Using QR Codes to Get a Job or Promote Your Business

Using QR Codes to Get a Job or Promote Your Business

You probably have seen QR codes and don’t even realize it.  Perhaps they were on a marketing ad or a flyer someone handed you.  You might have seen them on a promotional piece or on a poster at a local store.  It may have looked so under-stated that you probably passed right by it and didn’t give it a second thought.

Start looking for them.  You’ll be surprised at how many places are using them.  What are they?  Think of them like a bar code that lists a lot more information and can direct you to specific websites.  Companies are creating these codes to be used with smartphone apps.  This is an example code that I created for my book, It’s Not You It’s Your Personality:

It’s really simple to make one.  You can go to a site like Qurify.com and type in the information you want to be encoded.  It may be something as simple as a website address.  You can go to the Qurify site and type in your website URL address. If you don’t have a website, consider putting in your Linkedin profile page.   Click on the Qurify button and then download the image it creates as a jpeg file.  Now you can take this file and put it on your business cards, on your resume, or on any other information you create. 

Anyone who has a QR Reader app on their phone can simply start the app on their phone and point it at your code.  When they do that, they will be directed on their phone to the URL address you entered on Qurify.  It couldn’t be easier. 

This can really make you stand out from the rest in the job search.  Just having that code on your resume will make those that don’t know what it is, look into it why it is on your resume.  For those that do know what it is, they will appreciate how technologically you savvy are.

If you have your own business and want to promote different parts of your website, these can be useful as well.  To show examples, I created several of these QR codes for Dr. Robert Spies’ plastic surgery site.  To see how they work, first download a free QR Reader app onto your smartphone.  Then open that app and point it at the codes listed below.

This code directs you to information about facelifts:

This code directs you to information about tummy tucks:

 This code directs you to information about breast augmentation:

 By having different QR codes like this, you can customize your marketing material to direct people to the appropriate websites.  For companies like a plastic surgery practice, this can be a very effective tool to target people that have a strong enough financial background to own a smartphone as well as those that are interested enough to point their phone at the code for more information.  It is a great tool to specifically target the appropriate population. 

To find out more about how these codes work, check out information from the guys at how stuff works technology podcast. 

What is the Difference Between a Citation and a Reference?

Today’s Ask Dr. Diane:  What do professors mean when they say to include citations and references?

Students are often required to have both citations and references when creating their college assignments.  There can be confusion as to what the difference is between a citation and a reference.  Cornell explains, “a citation occurs when you use a specific source in your work and then follow up with the proper bibliographic information; plagiarism issues arise when you use a specific source, but fail to indicate what you have borrowed, and/or fail to provide proper bibliographic information a reference is the bibliographic information that guides readers to your source.”

It may seem easier to understand when given examples of each.  Here is an example of a citation:

“Canadians can celebrate that smoking rates have dropped dramatically in Canada in the past three decades” (Reutter, 2001, p. 13). 

You may also paraphrase what others have written.  Here is an example of how to do this correctly:

According to the Canadian Lung Association (2008), most people who quit smoking use a combination of methods. 

These should be included within the body of the document. They should not be confused with references.  References should be included on the separate Reference Page.

An example of how to list references on a Reference Page is listed below.  Keep in mind that formatting will not show up correctly on a blog.  The first line of each reference should be at the left margin and each following line should be indented 1/2 inch.  Here is an example without the indentations showing up:

References

Canadian Lung Association. (2008). How to quit. Retrieved May 26, 2008, from http://www.lung.ca/protect-protegez/tobacco-tabagisme/quitting-cesser/how-comment_e.php

Reutter, L. (2001). Health and wellness. In P. A. Potter, A. G. Perry, J. C. Ross-Kerr, & M. J. Wood (Eds.), Canadian fundamentals of nursing (2nd ed.) (pp. 2-30). Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Harcourt Canada.

It is important to note that many students think they should just include references to show the sites they visited or read to complete the assignment.  This is not correct.  References should be listed to explain where the citation information was obtained.  If a citation was not listed within the document, it doesn’t make sense to list a reference.

New Study by Krux Digital Shows Data Leakage on Popular Websites

 

Data leakage occurs when an external entity, often without a publisher’s consent, collects data about a user while the user is on the publisher’s website. Krux Digital has recently released information from their study that found tracking tools on major websites were installed without the company’s knowledge.

According to earthtimes.org key findings include:

  • 31% of all data collection was enabled by parties other than the publisher, often without their control or consent
  • 55% of all companies collecting data on a Web site also brought in other companies to collect data as well
  • 27% of all collection was conducted by parties that are potentially competitive to publishers in media or data sales
  • 167 different companies were observed participating in active data collection across just fifty publisher sites, few of whom appeared to be doing so in the publishers’ interest or at their request

To find out more about these results, click here.

If You Aren’t Using Video to Promote You or Your Product, You Need To Read This

Image via seeklogo.com

Cisco recently stated that 40% of all Internet traffic will be video in nature by the end of 2010. They increased that forecast to 91% by the end of 2014.  Are you using video?  I recommend checking out the forecasts that Cisco has made for visual networking by clicking here.  

Videos can be an effective way to capture your prospective customer’s attention.  I wrote about the importance of self-promotion in my book, How to Reinvent Your Career.  A big part of self-promotion is using video.  In a recent radio interview, I discussed some tactics to using video to promote your products and services.  Click here, to listen to the broadcast. 

Compukol.com recommended the following tips to help you with your video marketing:

  • Short videos: Make sure that your videos (whether you post them on your own website or a website like YouTube) are no more than 5 or 6 minutes long. If you have a video topic that you feel needs to be expanded way beyond the 5 or 6 minutes, it is a good idea to do a series of videos to cover the entire topic. People will be more inclined to watch and will really get a lot out of your videos if you feed them to your audience in small doses.
  • Sales pages: It is sensible to post your videos on your sales pages and to take that opportunity to discuss your products and their benefits or some business opportunity that you are offering to others. The video is helpful in making your potential customers comfortable and the points that you make in your video about your products are reinforced about your sales letter.
  • Key words: Search engines pay a great deal of attention to videos. When the search engines are looking at content and figuring out how to rank the various websites and their content, it is essential to do everything possible to make sure that your website appears as high as possible in the search engine rankings. You should do research to make sure that the keywords that you use in your content is optimum. You should choose keywords that will attract the kinds of leads and traffic that you want to pay attention to you and your business. Try to find out what your target audience is interested in and what they are looking for. Make sure that you include your keywords in headings, tags and resource boxes.
  • Clear structure and purpose: By using the appropriate keywords, you are ensuring that your video will be targeted properly. You need to make sure that your video answers the questions that your audience is thinking about when they start searching for answers. You need to make your communication and your content as clear as possible at all times.

I think you can even make your videos shorter than 5 to 6 minutes.  I have found that people prefer less than 3 to 4 minute videos.  I also think it is extremely important to include a landing page website address on your video.  You must be able to draw your customers to your site.  If you have a landing page where they can sign up for a free newsletter, that is one really effective way to build a customer base.

If you want more tips about how to make an effective video, click on the rest of the Compukol.com article by clicking here

In my conversation in yesterday’s interview, we discussed how simple and inexpensive it can be to create a video.  If you have a flip camera or video camera, you are well on your way.  A video does not have to be elaborately produced to be effective. 

Check out instructions from Youtube about how to make as well as optimize your video by clicking here.  For more general information about lighting, sound, etc. click here.

What is Web Scraping?

A scraper site is a spam website that copies all of its content from other websites using web scraping. The purpose of creating such a site can be to collect advertising revenue or to manipulate search engine rankings by linking to other sites to improve their search engine ranking. 

There are now some sites that are working on finding out even more information about you through scraping.

Scraping for Your Real Name

PeekYou.com has applied for a patent for a way to, among other things, match people’s real names to pseudonyms they use on blogs, Twitter and online forums.

Read PeekYou.com’s patent application.

In a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, they wrote about how scrapers broke into sites like PatientsLikeMe to find out information about patients to sell data about consumers to drug makers. To read this very interesting article, click here.

It is disturbing to think that people are in medial chatrooms pretending to be patients in order to find out what drugs are being prescribed.  That kind woman you are chatting with about your hot flashes just may be a guy keeping track of your medical history.  For information on how to remove some of your personal details from the Internet, check out wsj.com/wtk.

Optimizing Your Resume Using Keywords on Sites Like LinkedIn

In my book: How to Reinvent Your Career, I give a lot of tips about how to get an interview and obtain a job. Part of being successful in the interview process is to have a strong resume. Keywords are a big part of getting your resume noticed.

You may hear a lot about using keywords when optimizing websites. Now that sites like LinkedIn are increasing their searching capabilities, you may want to revisit how you have worded your online experience to be sure you are including appropriate buzz or key words. Employmentdigest.net suggests the following:

1. Go to web sites that represent companies and associations related to the candidate’s target industry in search of other buzzwords.

2. Search LinkedIn profiles of users who have similar jobs to see what keywords they’re using.

3. Go to association websites to see what keywords other industry professionals have used.

The specific words employers seek relate to the skills and experiences that demonstrate your experience with the skills necessary to do the job. Both hard and soft skills will fall in this category. Industry- and job-specific skills are almost always included in keyword lists. Highly technical fields can also include specific jargon or terms that demonstrate subject expertise. Job titles, certifications, types of degrees, college names and company names also demonstrate an applicant’s qualifications. Awards and professional organizations can also be considered strong keywords.

5 Useful Sites For Help With WordPress

Collection of WordPress statistics:  http://en.wordpress.com/stats/

WordPress TV visual resources for all things WordPress: http://wordpress.tv/

Video press – Upload and share videos on WordPress – converts your video into multiple formats:  http://videopress.com/?ref=wpcom

WordPress beginners guide: http://www.wpbeginner.com/category/beginners-guide/

How to create a slide show in WordPress: http://wordpress.tv/2010/04/14/using-slideshows-on-wordpress-com/

The Best and Worst Websites

I often teach marketing courses where we discuss the use of websites to promote products.  In one class, I have students compare two different online malls to see their reaction to them.  Without exception, all students prefer one of the sites over the other.  Here are the two sites:  http://www.1mall.com/ and http://virtuallyshopping.com  Can you guess which one they prefer? 

I use certain sites as examples in my courses to show overly busy pages.  I think Godaddy’s site used to be an example of a difficult to navigate site.  However, they have since made some big improvements.   A company may have a great product, but if the average user can’t navigate easily, they may be losing out on business.

I chose my website developer, PS Web Design Studio, because they listened to what I wanted and developed a clean and easy to navigate site.  To see some of their example websites, click here.    Not everyone wants to spend a ton of money to have a site developed.  Many can save money having their site developed using Joomla or other inexpensive applications.  I consider myself pretty tech savvy, but it can help to have the professional touch to add some extra appeal that you may not have considered.  For more information about Joomla, click here.  I also like WordPress for its ease of use and ability to put together a blog with little technical expertise.

For some examples of well-constructed sites check out these links:

http://www.webpractices.com/samplesites.htm

http://sethgodin.com – I tend to like simple sites and Seth Godin’s does everything it needs to do.

http://www.drdaniellebabb.com/ – Dani’s site has a very clean and easy to manage feel. 

https://drdianehamilton.com – I am impartial . . . but I prefer the simple design.

To see some examples of overly busy or poor websites check out these links:

http://www.webpagesthatsuck.com/

http://www.siphawaii.com/

http://www.boogersite.com/boogerSites.cfm

In all of the examples of bad web pages, I think the following one may have my vote for the worst:

 
This may very well be the worst web page of all time.

10 Awesome Ways to Integrate Twitter With Your Website

Web developers with social media savvy are in hot demand. Imagine what it would be like to promise your clients a web presence that is fully integrated with  . . . click on the title to see the rest of this article.