HonestyBoxx: Now with attachments

We pushed out an update earlier this week for one of the most requested features of HonestyBoxx – file uploads. Now when you ask or reply to a question, you can attach any files that you want to share with the expert or questioner.

Things you can do with attachments:

  • Attach an ebook or best practice guide to your answer
  • Attach a photo illustrating your question or answer
  • Attach a detailed brief
  • Attach a document for review

We think that uploading files enables many more scenarios for both questioners and experts. What do you think?

Say Hello to HonestyBoxx

HonestyBoxx - Earn Money from Your Expertise

With all the other launch activities last week – we didn’t get round to making the announcement here – so let’s put that right…

As a small business providing services to clients, you’ll no doubt have found people contacting you asking for ten or fifteen minutes of your time to give them your expert advice… for free.

At the same time there are a whole host of other people who are put off seeking the advice of professionals by the expectation of high fees and long contracts, often turning to internet forums for guidance instead.

What’s missing is a simple way for people to get expert advice from trusted professionals at a fair price.

Meet HonestyBoxx

HonestyBoxx helps start-ups, small businesses and individuals access affordable expertise from lawyers, accountants, consultants and other services professionals, and helps professionals from across the globe find new clients.

When a small business adds HonestyBoxx to their blog or website they’re telling visitors that they are happy to answer their questions in exchange for a fair fee. By providing an easy way to collect questions and payment from website visitors, HonestyBoxx instantly provides a new source of revenue and a stream of warm leads for larger pieces of work.

HonestyBoxx WidgetWith HonestyBoxx the buyer asks their question and says how much they’d be happy to pay – just like the honesty box payment system you sometimes see at small stores. In exchange, professionals get to demonstrate their expertise and build trust so that when the buyer needs a larger piece of work, they’ll be the first people they think of.

HonestyBoxx CEO Linda Cheung said: “By helping buyers connect with professionals around the globe we’re changing the game for the little guy. Now small businesses, start-ups and individuals anywhere can get the expert advice they need to solve their problems and make informed decisions.

“And, by helping small businesses reach a new market for their expertise we’re providing them with a stream of warm leads and clients at a time when new business is at a premium.”

Duncan Johnson runs digital agency Yodelay. “I think the HonestyBoxx concept is pure genius.

“Small businesses can get instant access to expertise at a price they can afford and the experts are able to make their downtime profitable.

“The simple process of paying for quality information also helps small businesses to value the time of a consultant whilst not breaking their bank account.”

Linda added “The services sector has remained largely unchanged by ecommerce and the internet, but with the current economic climate we believe the time is right for change.

“Services firms have always won new business by demonstrating their expertise. These days the initial hook is provided by websites and blog posts. HonestyBoxx provides the next step so that experts can earn directly from their websites.”

More Information

Who is HonestyBoxx for?

HonestyBoxx is for anyone who provides expert advice or services to others. People like:

  • Lawyers
  • Accountants
  • Financial Advisors
  • Marketing Agencies
  • SEO Experts
  • Social Media Consultants
  • Professional Coaches
  • Advertising Experts
  • Architects
  • Business Consultants
  • Interior Designers
  • Doctors
  • Dentists
  • Pharmacists
  • IT Consultants
  • Vets
  • Photographers
  • Wedding Planners
  • Beauticians
  • Careers Advisors

And many, many more.

How does HonestyBoxx Work?

We give you a small snippet of code that you can paste into your blog or website. If your website runs on WordPress we have a WordPress plugin too. The HonestyBoxx widget then appears on your website allowing visitors to ask questions and make payments.

More info: http://honestyboxx.com/how-honestyboxx-works/

What does HonestyBoxx Look Like?

We provide two different styles of widget: inline and fly-out. View a live demo of either of the two available widget styles: http://honestyboxx.com/widget/

How much does HonestyBoxx cost?

HonestyBoxx is free to join and set-up. For each answer accepted, we take a small fee of between 12% and 30% of the question value.

Who’s Behind HonestyBoxx?

HonestyBoxx was developed by the team behind the award-winning social CRM, CubeSocial.

Still Got Questions?

Try the FAQ.

2 Valentine treats… with a CubeSocial orange tweak!

2013-02-14 09.37.51Happy Valentine’s to you, and Happy Birthday to us! Are you feeling the love today? We are… and we’re not afraid to show it!

Two years ago today we moved into our office, with our first hire, and explained what we wanted to build and be. What an amazing two years it’s been since then, and it’s all thanks to you! Please consider this a virtual Valentine card from all the team, packed full of affection and appreciation Smile  

2013-02-14 10.24.07You’ve done so much to help shape what we do, and how we’ve grown, and while we can’t share the specifics just yet, it’s thanks to you that we’re about to enter an exciting new evolution. How? Our conversations, your feedback, our working together… have highlighted something that’s missing for professionals. We’re busy building something for you to demonstrate and earn money from your expertise, to grow your business. A Valentine treat in the making. All will be revealed soon!

Apologies to those who think this blog post too gushing, or who are feeling a bit bah-hambug this Valentine’s Day. Please be our Valentine, join us in celebrating our birthday, and feel the love!

2013-02-14 09.16.322013-02-14 09.07.22PS. These birthday treats arrived yesterday, the book via a tweet from @dordje, the card via @AjeetMinhasGTB. Thanks David and Ajeet – how lovely, and appropriate that they were both via social media Smile

5 LinkedIn’s most viewed profiles for 2012 – spam or smart?

20130208 LI top 1pc emailLast Friday I received this congratulatory email from LinkedIn. I was initially flattered to be in the top percentile, then focused in on the reason behind the mailing – LinkedIn had “reached a new milestone: 200 million members”. Having done the maths, I shared a screenshot on Twitter and Facebook with the comment “Email from LinkedIn… Should I be flattered, or frightened?” The response was immediate and wide-ranging – a wonderful mixture of sincerity, skepticism and sarcasm!

It seems that there have been emails for 1%, 5% and 10%. People have been questioning the validity of the percentages attributed, and how special being one of 2 to 20 million really is. Spam? Or smart marketing?

Many have shared their top percentage on social media using the pre-typed messages provided alongside LinkedIn’s Senior Vice President of Products & User Experience’s letter (reached via “Read More” on the congratulations email)

20130208 LI top 1pc read more

and even when the congratulations haven’t been received in a sincere way, they have generated social media shares, competition and conversation

image

 

 

 

image

imageimage

 

 

Of course LinkedIn has a feature, only available to Premium accounts, which enables those paid members to see who has recently viewed their profile. Members with Basic accounts are frequently sends teasers to “Upgrade… to see the full list”.

By congratulating the most viewed, this campaign has generated reaction (be it pride, envy, or cynicism) and discussion about what it means to be in those top percentiles… highlighting the paid-for feature, and potentially increasing curiosity and conversions. I wonder if LinkedIn will reveal how successful this campaign ends up being in terms of upgrades. 20 million emails could suggest spam, but I’m going with smart.

Getting started with Twitter – top 5 newbie questions answered

imageAs a Facebook Novice to Social Media CEO I’m frequently asked about my conversion from social media cynic and how I got started with Twitter.

Here’s a roundup of the most popular questions and my responses:

  1. Where to begin? 5 must-dos
  2. How do hashtags work? A case study (see the comments section for a link to another example)
  3. What are these “mystifying acronyms”? #FF, DM and RT explained
  4. Why are full stops added before Twitter usernames? Who sees what you’re tweeting
  5. Am I stuck with the username I chose on sign up? How to change your username

Should this list be extended to a top 10? What else would you like answered?

If you and/or your team are getting started with Twitter and would like some social media training or 1-to-1 coaching, get in touch.

How to change your Twitter username

image

So you’ve created an account, worked though the 5 must-dos to get started with Twitter, then realised that your username is tricky for people to say or spell, or not a tweet way to raise your profile. Don’t worry, it’s very easy to fix…

1. Go to Twitter, click on the cog (top right), then Edit profile:

image

2. Select Account, then change the username listed (mine’s LindaCheungUK to match with LinkedIn – you can also claim your LinkedIn public profile as your own):

image 

image

3. Save changes at the bottom of the page:

image

That’s it! If the username is taken, you will be prompted to choose another one. Usernames can contain up to 15 characters.

Changing your username will not affect your existing followers – they will simply see a new username next to your profile photo when you update.

If a CubeSocial contact changes their username, a new contact card will be created by tweet conversations, then you can simply merge the new with the old Smile

image

1 3 Financial Services Social Media Success Stories

As financial services firms step-up their use of social media, we’ve been looking for some early success stories. Here are three great ones:

The Rock Group (a Morgan Stanley company) generated 28% of their revenues from social media in 2011, including one $70m account. Financial advisor Mitchell Rock explained that the key to success is to understand your target market and focus on a niche.
Source: Reuters

LPL Financial win a $3M account from a prospect who followed the firm’s Facebook Page for 8 months. Financial Advisor David Armstrong was prospecting a business owner but the person was not ready to make a decision. That person, however, decided to follow the firm on Facebook.

“It was an easy way for him to see what we are thinking without us bothering him,” he said. As a result, the prospect later told him, “I love what you have been writing for the last eight months. I am ready to move my accounts to you.’
Source: Financial Planning

Morgan Stanley financial advisor wins $2.6m account from Linkedin.
Morgan Stanley Smith Barney adviser Mark Scribner one day noticed that a business acquaintance he hadn’t spoken to in 15 years had viewed his LinkedIn profile. Scribner called the acquaintance, mentioned LinkedIn, and within days was handling a large life insurance policy for the man’s boss.
Source: Wall Street Journal

PR Agencies: How not to use Social Media

 

image

If you’re a PR agency encouraging your staff to find and win new clients through social media, here’s a cautionary tale about how not to do it.

Earlier today I received a tweet “wondering what the best email to drop you a line on?”. It was from someone that I had never tweeted with before, so I was curious.

The Twitter bio told me the individual worked for “one of the UK’s fastest growing and most influential PR agencies”. The associated Twitter timeline showed character, but not the kind I was expecting:

image

imageimage

Rather than jump to any conclusions, I thought to double-check – perhaps the account was for personal use and I wasn’t the intended recipient of the email request:

image

Everyone in the office turned round to find out what was going on when I laughed out loud on receiving the response:

image

So, a representative of an “influential” PR agency, who has no idea how to represent herself or her employer online, would like to represent me…

Thanks, but no thanks!

Is Your Website Optimised for Smartphones and Tablets?

According to the latest industry data 13% of UK web traffic now comes from smartphones and tablets. More remarkable is the growth rate – that figure is up 70% from 12 months ago.

If you plan to do business internationally, some of the statistics from the emerging economies are astonishing. In India for instance, 53% of web traffic comes from mobile!

For us at CubeSocial, our data shows that around 25-30% of visitors regularly access cubesocial.com from mobile devices.

Something we’ve been planning to do for a while is update our website to detect the type of device you’re using and deliver an optimised experience, whatever the screen size. (The technical term for this is responsive design).

The good news is that our new, improved, responsive design is now live!

Take our main products page for instance, if you’re on a widescreen desktop or laptop, you get something like this:

image

Browsing from an iPad in portrait mode, you’ll see this:

image

On a smartphone, you’ll see this:

image

Pretty neat, huh? Whatever device you use, you get a layout that works for you. No need to zoom in on tiny text, or try (and endlessly fail!?) to click on miniscule links.

But what’s really appealing to us about responsive design are the social media and SEO benefits…

The old way of doing mobile web sites was to have a separate site, with a dedicated mobile layout. The problem with this is that there are different URLs for the same content on different devices.  This means two things:

  • SEO becomes twice as hard because you need to optimise for two different URLs.
  • If you are sharing links in social media that don’t work well in mobile devices, then you have a problem. (Because most people’s social media use takes place on mobile devices).

Have you had a look recently what your website looks like on a smartphone? If you’d like some advice or help optimising your website for mobile devices, get in touch.

1 Grant Thornton Lead Accountancy Firms into Social Media Future

Not sure how we missed this from earlier this year… Accountancy firm Grant Thornton’s internal video encouraging, no instructing employees to get on social media and connect with prospects and clients.

Great quotes from the video:

“Smart use of social media… will help us win business, achieve the growth we’re after and get the best people to joins us. We have a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

“At Grant Thornton using social media at work is not only permitted and acceptable, but desirable and expected.”

Here’s the video. It’s just a couple of minutes long and well worth watching:

Well done to Grant Thornton for taking a lead on this!

If you are thinking of using social media to market your services or connect with clients and prospects then give us a shout. We have years of experience working with accountants and provide a range of social media services for accounting firms large and small.