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INNOVATE! Technology, Tools, Tips & Techniques
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December 2011
Welcome to INNOVATE!, an administrative resource for small business owners. INNOVATE! is a product of Cybertary, a professional Virtual Assisting company. In these monthly emails we will be giving you numerous resources and tips you can use in your business, your home, your office and your life..

This month, we are winding down the business and social year. Speaking of social, our Cyber QuickTip introduces you to Google+ as another tool for your social media strategy. Use our “10 Ways Cybertary Can Work for You” to help you survive this hectic time of the year. We hope that you enjoy our “If Santa Had a Cybertary” article, suggesting some tongue in cheek ways that we could help the jolly old boy. And in “Truth in Advertising, or Yes, Virginia There is a Santa Claus!” we offer some tips for creating dynamic copy along with some suggestions on low cost ways to get your message out.

So take a break, sit back with a hot cocoa or eggnog latte, and enjoy our last newsletter of 2011. We wish you and yours a safe and happy holiday season!

Merrily yours, Cybertary
Truth in Advertising
Truth in advertising can be as oxymoronic a phrase as jumbo shrimp. After all, we are constantly bombarded with outlandish claims on late night infomercials or other campaigns the “Mad Men” of Madison Avenue can dream up. It is certainly difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff of over the top testimonials and statements that may have no basis in reality.
On the other hand, investigating what are truisms (vs. truths) in creating compelling advertising copy, we came up with three that generally characterize effective ads. The copy must Attract, Engage and Change.
Let’s take a look at these individually.
If Santa Had A Cybertary...
The holidays are upon us, as well as the ever-busy jolly ol' St. Nick. So what would make Santa's 2011 holiday season even brighter? Well, Mr. Claus can break with tradition of having to do everything himself by hiring a Cybertary! Here is how Cybertary can help the red-clad one.
Cybertary can help Santa by...
Cyber QuickTip: Google+
I know what you are thinking – yet another social media site that I need to get a handle on. Well, transitioning to or supplementing your current social media strategy with Google+ may not be as painful as the annual polar bear ritual plunge into icy waters. After all, Google is quickly replacing (or same may say have already replaced) Microsoft as the most ubiquitous tech organization, with octopus like tentacles. Instead of the “It’s a Bill Gates world”, Google has achieved a fete never contemplated by Microsoft – they are a noun (as in ”Google it”) in the New Webster’s Dictionary.
Google+, positioned as “real-life sharing, rethought for the web”, claims to offer a new approach to sharing. By using segmentation, called ‘Circles’, Google+ recognizes that we share different things with different people. You can then be more discrete and discriminating with what you share and with whom. You can be more casual with your BFFs while coincidentally being more formal with your work crowd. Unless the circles intersect, your lives can remain in separate spheres.
Another new construct that Google+ offers is ‘Hangouts’. The feature Hangouts mimics the spontaneity of bumping into friends live and in person. You can simultaneously share a YouTube video with 9 of your friends, for example, and chat about it.
or the gameophiles among us, Google+ offers a game room, where you can brag about your high score, but only to those contacts interested in that. This could be relevant when you don’t want to annoy your boss with your Bejeweled score. The Search feature helps you to find information quickly on topics that are relevant to you.
PC World’s Jared Newman compared Google+ against Facebook and made the following observations:
The look and feel of Google+ is remarkably similar to Facebook, so that all important ramp up of adopting a new outlet should be eased. The biggest differentiator between the two is Circles; while Facebook has private and public groups, it is more an optional feature and is not used for segmentation of interaction in the same way as Circles.
Photos: Google+ allows a staggered view of photos vs. the album view of Facebook.
Mobile Apps: Facebook’s mobile app is far more feature rich and is available on more platforms. Google+ is only available on the Android and is still somewhat limited.
Bonus Features: Hangouts has a lot of potential for you to get dragged into a time sink. Sparks can help serve up topical information based on interests.
Facebook wins out on the richer portfolio of games, although Newman characterizes them as “heaps of time sucking diversions, such as FarmVille”. For now, Facebook dominates in this area and it remains the reason people spend so much time on the site.
So check out Google+ to see how you may want to augment your social media plan with this new tool.
During the hectic Holiday Season, everyone can use a little help. Let Cybertary be your elf for checking these items off your list so that you can relax and enjoy!
  1. Type Larger Document Projects: Working from your emailed, faxed or mailed original, your Cybertary types your document project (manuals, reports or other pertinent documentation) and returns it to you via email attachment, FTP site and/or on a CD via mail.
  2. Prepare PowerPoint Presentation: Working from your emailed, faxed or mailed diagram and chart sketches, your Cybertary prepares your PowerPoint slides and returns the completed presentation to you via email attachment, cloud collaboration site and/or on a CD via mail.
  3. Schedule Follow-Ups: So many details, so little time. As needed, your Cybertary tracks pertinent expiration or follow-up date information and upon the due date, sends a reminder email to you or your customer.
  4. Database Verification, Updates and Corrections: Working from your emailed database or accessing your database via remote access tools, your Cybertary telephones each contact and verifies the information, including name, spelling, title, etc.. All corrections are made, old names are deleted and new names are added. The corrected database is zipped and returned to you via email attachment or updates could be made on line. Your Cybertary identifies missing data in your database, obtains the missing or outdated information via Internet and telephone and returns the updated database to you via email attachment or online updates.
  5. Prepare Schedules: Your Cybertary types, designs and prepares schedules or calendars so that you know where you need to be and why. Your Cybertary can alert you to potential conflicts and keep your day rolling smoothly.
  6. Establish Client Welcome Kits: Your Cybertary creates client welcome kits and coordinates mailing them to new clients for a warm and friendly welcome.
  7. Process Fulfillment and Materials Shipment: Under your email, phone or fax direction, your Cybertary handles fulfillment services for books, tapes or other materials and prepares and mails the packages. Your Cybertary ships products and handouts to customers/clients and to other locations, seminars and tradeshows where you’re exhibiting or speaking.
  8. Get Directions: Your Cybertary calls, obtains directions and emails you the directions to a prospect's location, meeting place or that great new restaurant that is hosting your holiday party.
  9. Protect Personal Time: Your Cybertary helps prioritize your personal time, gently reminding you to keep your gym schedule, take a lunch break or to head off to important family functions, like your child’s holiday recital. This is especially important when you are trying to juggle all of the extra demands on your time at the end of the year.
  10. Serve as a Brainstorming Partner: Whether you're toying with a presentation or a new ad campaign, your Cybertary serves as a great sounding board and brainstorming partner.

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