Connecting Consumers with Experts and Business Owners
Guest post from Melissa Selden:
“Googling it” is part of our day-to-day survival. Life as we know it really would cease to exist without Google. How else could we possibly obtain instantaneous information, if not for Internet access and a Google search bar? A world without Google would be no world worth living in. And that Google world is getting better—better for people who need personalized help on a subject matter, and better for small business owners and entrepreneurs who want to share their expertise.
The new space where businesses and people can meet and help one another is called Helpouts by Google. Google’s latest service is a live video chat platform where experts and business owners can connect with consumers one-on-one and offer their services. It’s a Google Hangouts upgrade, and it’s a small business opportunity. You can offer Helpouts for free or charge a fee. Users can choose services according to qualifications, availability, ratings and reviews.
Helpouts connects tech experts with someone who needs computer troubleshooting support, a career coach with an unemployed job seeker, even a makeup artist with a gal in need of beauty tips. Sephora, for example, is already partnering with Helpouts to provide online beauty tutorials, such as how to master shadow play for smokey eyes or how to contour.
Supporting the Marketplace
Helpouts supports an evolving marketplace that’s increasingly influenced by freelancing and digital social sharing. According to the small business software provider Intuit, traditional full-time jobs will be less available over the next decade. Intuit predicts that self-employment and micro-businesses will increase, and contingent workers will make up more than 40 percent of the workforce. Helpouts is one avenue self-employed consultants and startups can take to build their enterprise.
Authentic & Branding Experiences
Helpouts provide an experience. Users can learn from a master chef how to make a specific recipe on a tablet in their kitchen, or follow a yogi through a yoga sequence on a laptop in their living room. Helpouts create an authentic and branded experience that’s equally valuable to both the business and consumer. During a Helpout, you develop a connection with a customer or client, and from there form a relationship and even brand loyalty.
As you continue to provide meaningful experiences, you’re also providing marketable experiences. These experiences can lead to a stronger online presence and brand reputation that’s social and personal.
These experiences also offer “hidden” opportunities for selling a product or promoting your website. It’s as simple as teaching public speaking skills and adding that more tips on communications skills are available on your blog. Do you grow and sell organic fruits and vegetables? Teach how to cook or juice using the organic vegetables from your garden. Extending expert help through video chat not only helps unveil the value of your expertise and knowledge, it helps promote related aspects of your business. Upstart Business Journal shares that brick-and-mortar maintenance businesses, tech support and tutoring, editing, career advice, and wardrobe advice can all use Helpouts for business expansion and marketing.
To sign up, you must have a Google Plus account and receive or request a Google Helpout invitation code. Once you receive the code, you’ll create a business profile that highlights your services. Google will have to qualify you as an official Helpout provider before your Helpout page goes live. Learn more by visiting Helpouts.Google.com.
For assistance with getting started on Google Helpouts, get in touch with us and we can help you out!