Ever get the feeling that technology has depersonalized the world? And that despite all the claims of social networking, it is getting worse the faster and faster we move forward? Worst of all, ever notice how technology impacts business, where something as simple as a handshake or a face-to-face meeting can be the difference between a sale and a dead end?
It doesn’t have to be that way. There really is power with technology’s promise. And its name isn’t Facebook, it is the cloud. The cloud has evolved to the point where it can be a truly effective sales tool, allowing you to share not just files, but videos and your desktop—all in real time. And with built-in security, file tracking and analytics, it gives you the control you need to run your business efficiently. Best of all, by leveraging the power of the cloud, the content you want to share is available to any device—desktop, smartphone or tablet.
Let’s take Sally and Bill, a couple in Portland, Oregon. Sally is an architect and Bill is a digital creative designer. They were both looking for an easy way to collaborate with their clients and teams.
Sally uses YouDazzle to upload and share her latest CAD drawings and renderings with her clients, contractors and builders. She has a weekly web meeting with the contractors to discuss blueprints, identify budget, and resolve scheduling issues early in the project. Sally is constantly on the go so she has the ability to view the latest CAD drawing directly on her smartphone. Her meetings may not be face to face but her busy clients and colleagues appreciate the new face to face: device to device communication that is easy and detailed.
Bill is a digital, creative designer who designs marketing campaigns, develops brand identities and viral videos. He was looking for an easy way to share client deliverables, manage timelines, and client approvals. He collaborates with his clients via his branded YouDazzle data rooms. He receives real-time notification when a file has been viewed along with comments that drive his project workflows forward. He can peer into the analytics and learn how his business development efforts are progressing and whether his prospects have viewed his portfolio samples or not. He may not be looking his clients in the eye—but he is going one step further and understanding their behavior.
Sally and Bill are like thousands of YouDazzle customers working and collaborating in the cloud. They may not be gathering at the water cooler with co-workers, but they are using the cloud to find a way to let distances disappear—and even make you closer. By sharing details never before possible and making work mobile in a way people didn’t dream of even a few years ago, YouDazzle is helping personalize technology and empower a new generation of businesses. And there’s nothing wrong with a virtual handshake…especially in cold season!
It may be an election year so a lot of people are offering a lot of economic solutions, but the fact remains: the economy—unless you are about to become a Facebook millionaire—still stinks. Even if there is some improvement, it is unpredictable at best. The only silver lining has indeed been the tech sector, which seems to be improving rapidly, with talk of another gold rush to come.
The cloud has continued to come into its own in 2012, with more and more businesses and tools being built around the cloud. The cloud is a lynchpin for this upturn in the tech economy and all that it stands for—flexibility, power, ease of use—can also be said about working from home.
According to an employment review from eLance, the number of businesses seeking independent contractors who work remotely doubled in 2011. Plus, 83 percent of businesses surveyed planned to let half their employees work from home over the next year. In addition, the report predicted that working at home is on track to be a $500 million industry, with 650,000 new jobs created for remote workers. So, it may be a bad time to be looking for a desk job but it is a good time for working from home—and working in cloud services, which is itself a $1 billion market.
Working in cloud services not only gives you a great way to ride out the tough economy by building your own businesses with no overhead, it also gives you the kind of cutting-edge skills that you need to get into the lucrative technology marketplace. And the cloud—and YouDazzle—is flexible enough that you can work on your time from wherever you want. These days home really is where the heart is—be that working from your local coffee shop, your kids’ school or (much better yet) a remote, Wi-Fi-enabled Greek island.
So, don’t let the economy get you down: take advantage of this endless downturn to make an upturn in not just your skill set but your quality of life. Because another study from Home Office Computing Magazine found that 98% of people are happier working from home, 96% would recommend working from home and 88% would never return to the office…How’s that for poll numbers that would make any politician deliriously happy! And, just think, that could be you. Take that, Facebook millionaires!
There have been so many great pairings that at first glance didn’t seem obvious. Felix Unger and Oscar Madison. Sonny Bono and Cher. Acid wash and jeans. Throughout the years, we have been surprised and delighted by what unusual pairings can accomplish. So while at first blush someone might wonder why the cloud would ever pair up with network marketing, the truth is that this is a match made in heaven, a match that will last . . . unlike some of those others we just mentioned.
So, why are network marketing and the cloud so perfect for each other. Let us count the ways:
Cloud computing, the number one business opportunity in the world, is powered by relationship marketing and social networking. No one does relationship marketing and social networking better than network marketers. In fact, Network marketers invented “viral marketing” and are experts at monetizing their social networks.
The time to tap into the cloud is now because the opportunity is about to explode. There are more than 200 million small and medium businesses that want to move to the cloud in the US alone. File sharing and web meetings are already multi-billion dollar business and are becoming core business tools. The need for YouDazzle is endless.
YouDazzle is a gold mine. Not only is this a tool that you can use to simplify your own life while wowing prospects and building your business, but YouDazzle is a business in and of itself. And in using YouDazzle you are learning the hottest technology around, cloud computing.
And perhaps the most important reason that network marketing and the cloud go together: network marketing is bringing a personal touch to cloud computing that is sorely needed. So many individuals and businesses never get going on the cloud because the move seems daunting and there is no one there to give them the TLC it takes to make a move. Network marketers, as we said, are expert “people persons”. They will be able to get these small and medium businesses up and running in no time, bringing the cloud to the masses like never before.
“[O]ur attraction to a world of infinite possibility, information and complexity is here to stay. The challenge is how to participate productively in this new and turbulent world, and not be paralyzed by it.” –David Allen, “When Office Technology Overwhelms, Get Organized,” The New York Times, 3/18/12
Well-known business consultant David Allen contributed a fascinating column this past weekend to The New York Times, which addresses the conundrum he describes in the quote above. Basically, Allen is writing about what we all feel: technology has made our lives easier but in doing so has also piled a lot more management headaches on us and added job responsibilities onto our shoulders. So, the challenge is, how do we make technology really work for us?
Allen has a lot of great organizational tips, including a simple one that many people ignore at their peril: if something will only take 2 minutes, do it right away. Also, he notes that we need to make lists not just for the sake of list making but to actually get something accomplished.
There’s where we really think secure online data rooms can help. If we are able to organize our files online in an actual system, then we can achieve a few goals straight away:
We can send people after information found in a clear, centralized place rather than having to create endless email chains trying to get data to people.
We can track what data is actually being used via analytics and then we can avoid wasting time on data that no one is even bothering to look at.
We can invite others to contribute to our data rooms, cutting down on work cycles and making work collaborative again.
As Allen says, “To be successful in the new world of work, we need to create a structure for capturing, clarifying and organizing all the forces that assail us; and to ensure time and space for thinking, reflecting and decision making.”
Now, data rooms are just one small step towards this overall goal, but wouldn’t it be nice to clear your desk and clear your mind by putting everything in one organized place and then seeing what gets used when? Not only will you feel a sense of accomplishment when things get done—a sense we rarely get in this modern work world—but you can avoid doing work that no one even uses. Now, isn’t that a novel concept.
So, go and get your list started. As Allen says, organize by priority and don’t let the most recent thing become tops just because it is top of mind. And remember to add a bit of free time to that list because once you get your data room up and running, you might even have time to do something for yourself for a change. (Just don’t tell your boss…or your spouse!)
Here at YouDazzle, we don’t mind telling you that we are fans of Dropbox. It’s a great tool! But frankly we’ve long thought that it is a bit too impersonal and not quite powerful enough to share with prospects and partners. So, we’ve spruced it up, and our users—and longtime Dropbox users—are loving the results. PC Magazine even pointed out our Dropbox integration as one reason why we are one of its 25 Best Small Business Apps for 2012.
So, what’s our secret sauce? It’s simple:
Custom branding: Add your own branding to Dropbox folders and make your brand stand out whenever you share content and collaborate online. Add your logo and color choice in seconds to present a consistent and professional image.
Web meetings: Instantly share Dropbox files with up to 100 people at once. YouDazzle web meetings are 100% browser-based, require no download, and work with virtually any computer, tablet, or device.
Commenting: Extend the collaboration capabilities of Dropbox by adding comments to your files. Exchange feedback and ideas with team members, clients, customers, and prospects, and keep everyone in the loop.
Activity analytics: Keep on top of who’s looking at your files. Stay in touch with trends and decision-making processes with instant feedback on deals and projects! No more wondering if someone viewed your files.
Enhanced viewer: View Dropbox files without leaving your browser in large format with helpful viewing tools like zoom and multiple page display. YouDazzle viewer supports 300+ popular file types including MS Office files, PDFs, and many more.
So, give it a try today and let us know what you think. We believe that together YouDazzle and Dropbox bring Cloud-based information to life in a way never before possible!
A long time ago, web meetings were created to augment face-to-face meetings. They were yet another tool technology was offering to bring us closer. Then, the economy crashed and web meetings became the only way to get close to anyone, be it your colleagues, partners, customers or prospects. This technology, created to be an aid to interpersonal communications, became the whole shebang. And, frankly, it just doesn’t work.
Think of it. Have you ever had a web meeting that was actually satisfying? Or even actually worked? Traditional web meetings have a horrible track record and a bad reputation, which is unfortunately well deserved. But you know all this. Enough with the problems. What about the solution?
We wish the simple solution was to double that travel budget of yours, but that sure isn’t happening anytime soon. So, instead, here are the top three pitfalls of traditional web meetings and some ways around them:
1) It’s The Download, Stupid: Let’s face it, most of the reasons why web meetings don’t work is that they aren’t really, simple web solutions. They require downloads. In this day and age, no one should have software sitting on their computer. Say no to downloads, say yes to the cloud.
2) Roam Where You Want To: The whole idea of the mobile office is to be mobile. It is ironic that in this time of virtual everything, people would be tied to their desks to have a meeting. Think of it, when you meet people in person, you aren’t always stuck in the board room. So, find a solution that works on any device and get out there.
3) A Little More Conversation: Traditional web meetings are all lecture, little conversation. You don’t actually share anything, unless it’s those awkward glimpses at someone’s mailboxes or an unfortunately timed IM from the presenter’s boyfriend. There is a whole new world of interpersonal relationships out there in cyberspace, people! It’s called co-browsing and it will let you take people with you to find what they need and even to fill out online forms (like purchase orders—you get where we are going with this!). Now, this is what web meetings should be about!
So, long story short, there is hope out there! So clear your hard drive of any of those dinosaur web meeting solutions you might have, and start anew! You’ll be glad you did…although we’ll all kind of miss those awkward glimpses into our co-workers’ email! Hey, we’re only human after all!
One of the challenges of today’s virtual business world is finding a way to still make human connections with colleagues, partners, customers and prospects despite the miles between us. Gone are the days when people visited prospects’ offices and made cold calls, now salespeople can quickly get on same page (literally) and control the customer experience from beginning to end.
There is a great online tool you can use to bring back those bygone days of stopping by with a box of chocolates or yet another mug: Co-browsing.
Co-browsing basically means that you can share your website—and anyone else’s website—with someone else in real-time. Co-browsing makes it feel as if you are actually sitting in a room with someone else again, surfing the web and working together. And, if you are in sales, that personal touch and in-the-moment responsiveness helps you achieve your ultimate goal: converting more leads.
Things you can accomplish with co-browsing include:
Reacting in real-time to prospects’ needs: Rather than waiting and see what sales materials seem to spark the most interest, you can browse your secure, Cloud-based data room in real-time with your prospect, finding the most relevant information quickly and even demoing your product effortlessly and effectively.
Filling out forms together: Let’s face it, countless sales opportunities are lost because someone gets tripped up by a question, has a submission error or simply just loses steam half-way through the process. With you by their side, you will never lose a sale to a form again.
Shopping together makes you stay together: Co-browsing is the perfect way to make sure your prospect finds exactly what she wants—or better yet what you want her to find! There is no better way to make online shopping more effective and efficient than by being there to give your customer a hand.
So, you can see how easy it is to grow your business online with co-browsing. And if you really, really miss those mugs? Well you and your customer can design one online together!
2012 is looking to be a great year as we have some exciting news to share! We have been chosen by PCMag.com to be featured in their “25 Best Small Business Apps for 2012”. PCMag.com has chosen their 25 favorite apps ranging from cloud services to financial services and everything in between. What they have in common is the ability to enhance, grow and improve the success of your business. YouDazzle is ecstatic to be apart of such a great list. YouDazzle has been working hard to provide you with the tools you need to grow your business through affordable online file sharing, easy web meetings, seamless integration with Dropbox and a professional way to present your company through custom branding. With 2012 off to a great start we will be continuing to provide you great service and great features to help you succeed! Check out the article at www.pcmag.com Do you use any of the apps on the list? If not, then what are you waiting for? Get started today!
So, you use Dropbox regularly to sync files with your colleagues and peers across all of your devices, right?
But, wouldn’t it be great to be able to extend Dropbox capabilities with features like:
Customized Dropbox folders with your own branding
Instantly share Dropbox files via web meetings without any downloads
Add comments to your Dropbox files
Or view who’s been accessing your files
Well if you’ve answered yes to any of these questions; then we have some exciting news for you, now you can! YouDazzle has integrated with Dropbox to bring a richer experience!
Now it is easier then ever to offer a professional experience that is second to none! Need to upload your files to your YouDazzle account? With the Dropbox integration there are more ways then one now! Hate lengthy downloads to conduct web meetings and share files? That’s a thing of the past now! With YouDazzle you can easily be conducting a web meeting and simply drag and drop a file into your Dropbox for a seamless flow. Need to ensure your files can be accessed from anywhere in a safe and secure manner? Now you can access your files in more ways then one! You can access your files through your mobile browser or through your Dropbox app.
Businesses are defined by borders – cube walls, office walls, building walls, even fire walls. We put walls around everything. And each time you hit one of these walls, you encounter friction; you get stopped. There is always a new app or site to launch, always a new password to enter, always one more thing to click.
Think about it. To access the information you need to get your job done might take 5 clicks, 5 separate steps. Imagine if 5 clicks became 2 clicks became one click became no clicks. This is the new frontier: frictionless access and sharing of information, the ability to access and share information at any time, any place and any device.
Today’s technology is giving us the opportunity to become frictionless, to share online easier than we ever could offline. In the cloud, on the Web, there’s no distance to slow us down, no custom infrastructure we have to build, no paperwork to get lost. We can make connections, harness resources and start interacting without ever having to wait for physical stuff to happen first. This on-demand access to information and resources has already transformed long-established industries such as bookselling, classified advertising and music publishing.
We have started to do this with the new Facebook. Up until now, sharing on the social Web has largely been a manual process. You click a Facebook “Like” button, you click the “Check in” button in Foursquare, and you click a button to “Re-Tweet” something. With Facebook’s frictionless sharing, once you approve a media partner app, all of your activity—be it reading, listening or watching– in that app is automatically shared to Facebook. No need to click any buttons.
And, as often happens today, what is happening in our online social networks has resonance for our businesses. Indeed, many of the ingredients of frictionless access have come together to create the modern online subscription business model. A pay-as-you-go service like ZipCar would not be economic without smart devices, self-service web pages, a distributed workforce, real-time information updates and a cost-effective cloud infrastructure for automatically processing bills and payments. With all of those ingredients in place, many innovative new businesses become possible across a swathe of industries, all building on the game-changing foundations of being frictionless.
The successful modern business is one that is not fixed in place, contained within its own walls. It has to transcend physical walls and boundaries, harnessing the cloud to share information, coordinate resources and interact with customers, prospects and partners wherever they are. The new paradigm is not only flexible but frictionless.