Know your buzzwords: what is Web 3.0?

ioT - Thing 1 and Thing 2

Does it feel like you need to learn a whole new language just to do business nowadays…even small business? If it does, ne’er fear!!  SmartAssistant is here to assist you! (See what I did there?)

In this, our very first edition of “Know Your Buzzwords”, we’re looking at one of the “numbery” words that get tossed around on the Internet: Web 3.0.

Wait…? What…? There’s a Web 3.0?  What happened to Web 1.0 and Web 2.0? 

 

Web 1.0 – The Internet talked at you

Web 1.0 (only it wasn’t called that back in the day) was all about “read-only” content created by “The Powers That Be”. Back in the early days of the Internet, things were much more similar to traditional media in that the technical requirements created a high barrier to entry and so companies could create and publish content that they had exclusive control over.  Done. No interaction, no comments, no viral memes…just a black screen with neon writing that gave you a headache.  

In those days, communication was one-directional – the Internet talked at you. 

Web 2.0 – The Internet engages with you

Web 2.0 was the next iteration of the web and emerged with the development of social media, blogging, and a host of new tools that make content creation and publishing much easier and more accessible to anyone who had an Internet connection. Suddenly the web was “democratised” in a way that meant that anyone and everyone could create and share whatever they wanted. YouTube, Facebook, and WordPress are all Web 2.0 tools.

Nowadays, online communication is multi-directional – the Internet talks with you. 

Web 3.0 – The Internet knows about you

And now there’s Web 3.0…well kinda.  According to the pundits, we are not there yet, but this is where we are headed.

There are lots of opinions on what Web 3.0 is, but the short version is that it’s all about using technology to create meaning rather than just content.  

Fair enough, but what does this actually mean in practice?

Using AI (Artificial Intelligence), Web 3.0 tools and devices will learn about you and present you with information based not only on what you asked for but also factors like your location and predictions about what you are likely to need or want at any point in time. 

The web will be ubiquitous in the sense that “internet of Things” (IoT)  devices will be everywhere and we will be interacting online almost all the time.  Think Waze…only much, much smarter and embedded in your car as a standard feature that reminds you to a) fetch your daughter from her swimming lesson and b) pick up fresh milk on your way home because your teenage son has just drunk the last of it and your car and fridge can “talk to” each other.

Pretty cool, isn’t it?  What are your thoughts about Web 3.0?

 

5 Easy Ways to Take Your Business Online

5 Easy Ways to take your business online

The impact of the ‘Rona means that we’ve all had to learn to adapt to a “new normal”,  not only for the sake of our health and safety but also for our businesses and economy. Thankfully, with all the funky tech we have at our disposal, this adaptation is easier than ever before!

Businesses that have made the switch to remote work, online tools, and digital marketing have had much better success in staying relevant during these toughest times.

Although some businesses have had difficulty figuring out what to use, fear not!  SmartAssistant has identified the five easiest ways for you to take your business online.

Create an online presence

Where do your customers hang out?  Chances are they are online!  And, as all good marketers will tell you, you need to “fish where the fish are!” Your business has to be known in the online world. This is why it is so important to take your business online.

Start with a website.   When a customer looks for a product or service, their first stop is usually Google.  If you’re not “google-able”, you are missing out on all those money-babies that can only be born when people know about you!

A simple website is easy to create using tools like WordPress (it really is, I promise!), and will cost you nothing more than your time if you do it yourself.  (If this feels like it’s a bit too much for you, a SmartAssistant can help you get you started.

A community or business page on social media is your next stop.  If you post daily or weekly this will help you achieve more awareness and exposure to your business, but in doing so you need to ensure you have the time to maintain and uphold your presence on social media and keep your audience entertained and engaged. 

Finally, a blog is great for marketing purposes. Blogger and WordPress both have easy-to-set-up options where you can share insights, news, or start discussions about your business or industry and demonstrate that you know your stuff.t regularly and reliably it will allow you to engage with your audience. This will help you understand your customers better while helping them to keep your business top-of-mind.

Some links to get you started:

WordPress: https://wordpress.com
Facebook: https://facebook.com
Blogger: https://www.blogger.com

Use video-conferencing software

Thanks to social distancing and remote work, using video-conferencing tools like Google Meet and Zoom, have free options and is an easy way to meet with your team or clients online.

Zoom: https://zoom.us

Meet: https://meet.google.com

Use online business tools

Online business tools such as G Suite (for managing files, emails, and calendars), Hubspot (CRM), and Jira or Asana (issue tracking and project management) are free, or highly cost-effective, tools that will make taking your business online a gazillion times easier!  They will help you manage your staff, delegate tasks, keep track of projects, manage your clients and allow you to share important information and/or documents with your team.

G Suite: https://gsuite.google.com/
Hubspot: https://www.hubspot.com/
Hubspot: https://www.atlassian.com/software/jira
Asana: https://asana.com/

Use social media for marketing

The widespread use of social media has grown exponentially in recent years. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn have millions of daily users, who accumulate a lot of screen time scrolling through their timelines. Utilising these platforms to create target-driven ads and as a means of engaging with your audience is invaluable for any modern-day business.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/

Pulling it all together

Having all these tools available, and utilising them to their full potential is a great way to get started with taking your business online, but there is still one vital part you’ll need to make it a success and not a headache! You need to find ways to integrate your online tools with one another so that you are able to track and manage your tools seamlessly.

If you need help with this…you guessed it…you need a SmartAssistant, who will help you with everything you need to take your business online and to the next level!

What are your favorite online tools?  Are there any that you struggle with?  Let us know in the comments below!

SmartHints: Impress your customers in 2021

Impress your customers in 2021

Love your customers

Your customers know when you love them.  They really do.  Have you ever dealt with a business where the staff seemed “off” or bored or not really interested in you?  If you had the choice, would you go back there?

Everyone likes to feel valued and appreciated!  Smile, be welcoming!  A little effort goes a long way in customer service.

Be responsive

One of the best ways to show your customers that you love them is to be responsive!  At the very least, you need to acknowledge any contact that a customer or potential customer makes with your business. Pick up the phone, answer the email, respond to the Facebook comment or like.  People need to be acknowledged. This is certainly one of the best ways to impress your customers.

Make business easy

It’s really frustrating for your customers when they are trying to get a quote, find an answer, or source some information, and they have to dig around to find it.  Make it easy for your customers to navigate your website, find your phone number, or learn more about your products and pricing.  The easier it is to do business with you, the more likely it is that you will win the deal!

Get comfortable selling online

Whether you sell physical products to consumers or focus more on sophisticated B2B solutions, doing business online is becoming more and more important.  If you are uncomfortable with it your customers will be uncomfortable doing business with you.  And guess what?  They will move to a supplier who runs a slick online operation.  The Internet and e-commerce aren’t going away any time soon.  Neither are Zoom sales presentations – after all, they are easier, more convenient, and way cheaper. 

Getting good at online business is no longer optional.  It’s a necessity.

Embrace digital signatures

Most business involves some form of documentation that requires a signature.  In the post-COVID world where we are all doing business online, digital signatures are a must.  They are easy to implement, inexpensive, more secure than wet/paper signatures, and legally binding. Talk to us about your options for an easy way to make your business more digitally secure.

Embrace the Cloud

No, we don’t mean the cloud of smoke above the dumpster fire that was 2020! (Haha)

Cloud computing simply means storing your data and managing your business using online tools and technologies.  Cloud technology is already pervasive – if you are using GSuite, Dropbox, Microsoft 365, or even Gmail, you are already using Cloud technologies.  They are not just for big corporates anymore – there is a wide selection of secure, simple, free, and inexpensive online tools accessible from your laptop, tablet, and phone that anyone can use.

Need help with this? Talk to us.  We’ll help you get set up.

Love what you do

You spend more time working or running your business than you spend doing anything else.  For the sake of your well-being and sanity, and that of your customers, make working FUN! 

Business doesn’t have to be as dry as sawdust. Laugh, share a funny meme, treat your staff to something small that will keep their spirits up, and, most importantly, CELEBRATE your successes. Share them loudly and publicly. There are more people rooting for you and wishing for your success than you can ever imagine.  

People are attracted to positive energy – so make a point of enjoying every moment, and you’ll be amazed at the positive impact it has on your sales pipeline!

What are you doing to impress your customers in 2021?  Share in the comments!