Skype Video Call

Marketing-Ideas-GirlWant to interact with your friends with both voice and video?

 

You can, with Skype’s video call features. As long as you and your friend have webcams built in or connected to a computer, you can use Skype’s video call features.

 

Alternatively, you can also do a video call with the iPhone 4’s built in camera and the Skype iPhone app.

 

To make a video call using Skype, follow these steps.

 

Step 1: Select the Person to Call

Double click on the person you want to call. The call box will pop up.


 

Step 2: Click Video Call

Click on the video call button to initiate a video call.


When the person on the other end of the call picks up the call, you’ll see the connected video call window. It looks like this:


Once connected, you’ll be able to see your friend in the upper screen and yourself in the lower screen. The lower screen enables you to see exactly how you look to your friend.

Connecting a video call is that simple. Here are a few more options for the video call:

 

Step 3: Video Options

Hover your mouse over the top of the screen to see the video options bar.


 

Here’s what each of these options does:

Snapshot: Saves a picture of the screen.

Full screen: Enlarges the video to a full screen view.

Zoom in: Zoom in on your friend.

Pop-out: Pops the video out of the chat window, making it smaller and more maneuverable.

Step 4: More Tools

Along the bottom of the call box are a few more tools for managing the video chat.


 

#1 – Ends the call.

#2 – Mutes your microphone.

#3 – Adjust the volume of your mic.

#4 – Invite more people to this video chat.

#5 – Hover over this button to see your video feed.

#6 – Screen sharing.

#7 – Show the dial pad.

#8 – Show the chat box.

#9 – Like a cell phone, this box will light up with bars showing you how strong your connection is.

 

That’s it! You now know how to make a video call and how to adjust the video call options. Making a video call may seem daunting if you’ve never done it before, but in reality it’s just a few clicks away.

Top 10 iPhone Apps for Online Business Productivity

One of the biggest benefits of having an iPhone is its unique ability to add productivity to your workflow. There are literally hundreds of iPhone apps on the App Store designed to help you speed up your work, reduce stress and increase productivity.

Some of these apps work by helping you keep track of tasks better. Others help you concentrate. Others help you co-ordinate with your partners and staff, still others help you increase your motivation. These are ten of the top tools for online business productivity.

App #1: Pomodoro iPhone App

Pomodoro is a productivity system first invented by a college student for studying. It soon took off and became used by professionals, students, executives and online business people of all types.


http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pomodoro-time-management/id323222604?mt=8

The idea is simple. For 25 minutes, you work uninterrupted. No phone calls, no emails, no Facebook. If you get interrupted, you have to restart. After 25 minutes, you take a mandatory break, then do another 25 minutes.

The Pomodoro app helps you keep track of these times and stay on task.

App #2: Skype


http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/skype/id304878510?mt=8&ign-mpt=uo%3D2

Having Skype on your phone makes making phone calls or having Skype chats much easier. People often underestimate the quality of the microphone on the iPhone. It’s actually an extremely high quality mic.

Instead of having the scramble for a headset and a mic every time you need to chat on the computer, just install Skype on your iPhone and you’re good to go.

App #3: Recorder Pro iPhone App


http://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/recorder-pro/id290854227?mt=8

If you record podcasts, interviews or notes to yourself, this iPhone app is a must-have.

Unlike Apple’s built in microphone, this app allows you to name files, pause, retake, sort files and more. Use this to record audio for your online business on the go.

App #4: Mint iPhone App


http://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/mint.com-personal-finance/id300238550?mt=8

Mint allows you to track all your accounts on one easy to see screen.

Say you have two bank accounts and two PayPal accounts. Having to log into each one separately takes a lot of time. If you just want to get an overview of your account balances or if you want to check your bank statements, having all your accounts integrated into Mint makes things a whole lot easier.

App #5: Spending Expense Tracker


http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/easy-spending-expense-tracker/id437238261?mt=8

Tracking your expenses is a critical part to any online business. Having an iPhone app that allows you to track your expenses can make this process a lot easier. Instead of having to fire up QuickBooks and have it running while you’re operating your business, you can just quickly type in your expenses into an app.

You can use it for both personal and business expenses.

What is your favorite iPhone App for Business Productivity? Leave a comment below.

App #6: Evernote


http://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/evernote/id281796108?mt=8

Evernote is the leading app for taking notes. It automatically uploads all your notes to its web server, so you never have to mail yourself your notes again. Furthermore, sharing your notes on Evernote is simple and easy. If you have a meeting and want to share notes with others, you can do so easily.

Evernote also works the other way around. You can take notes on your computer then quickly have it up on your iPhone screen. It is great for meeting notes, shopping lists and so on.

App #7: ReQall iPhone App


http://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/reqall/id284930649?mt=8

ReQall is a to-do list application that has a few very neat features.

You can share all your to-do lists with others who have the same app. If you run a business with outsourcers for example, you can all share to-do lists and make sure everyone’s on the same page.

The app also supports adding by voice. If you don’t want to stop and type, you can just leave yourself a voice to-do.

App #8: Dropbox


http://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/dropbox/id327630330?mt=8

Want to access your files with your iPhone? One of the easiest ways to do it is through Dropbox. Any files you have in your Dropbox folder at home or at your office can be easily accessed through your iPhone. You can also share them easily via email.

App #9: iDoneThis iPhone App


http://search.itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZContentLink.woa/wa/link?path=apps%2fidonethis

One of the best ways to motivate yourself is to regularly be presented with your accomplishments. That’s what iDoneThis allows you to do.

At the end of the day, iDoneThis will send you a push notification asking you what you did that day. Fill it out and it’ll add it to your calendar.

Then, a week or two from now, you can look back and see all the things you’ve done over the last week or two. It helps create a sense of momentum and motivation. You can also create group projects, so you can see what your team members have completed as well.

App #10: TripIt


http://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/tripit-travel-organizer-free/id311035142?mt=8

TripIt allows you to plan your trips, schedule itineraries and wrap all your email confirmations up in one easy to manage package.

If you’re going to marketing conferences, meeting with business partners or traveling for any other reason, TripIt can save you a lot of time and headaches.

These ten apps will help you get more productive, track expenses, save time, manage accounts and more. Use your iPhone to its full potential and take your business to the next level.

Please give us your review of these and other iPhone Apps for Business Productivity.

Top 10 Online Collaboration and Document Sharing Tools

The most successful businesses in the world all rely on strong teamwork. In the past, a “team” meant people sharing the same office. In today’s virtual world however, a team can be as diverse as a group of people from Poland, New York, India and London all working together. Whether you have virtual staff, outsourced staff or just co-workers who work from home, having the right tools makes all the difference. Having great online collaboration and document sharing tools will enable you to all work together and eliminated wasted time. Here are ten of the top online collaboration and document sharing tools. If you’re running an online business, these can really help you bring your team together.

Tool #1: Basecamp

http://basecamp.com Basecamp (Used by Westwood Virtual Associates team) is one of the top project management tools on the market for small businesses. It allows you to create multiple projects, track milestones, assign to dos, see daily progress, communicate through discussions and more. It’s perfect from tracking what needs to get done by who and by when.

Collaboration and Document Sharing

Tool #2: Doodle

http://doodle.com Need to schedule a meeting? Instead of emailing availability back and forth, just use Doodle.com. Use Doodle with Google Calendar, iCal, and Outlook, and create polls in Doodle’s convenient calendar view. Your personal profile for 1:1 meetings: Show your co-workers and friends when you are available. A user-account remembers your polls for you and lets you connect your calendar. Best of all? It’s free.

Doodle dot Com screenshot

Tool #3: Pidgin

http://www.pidgin.im If you work with a diverse team that has a wide range of communication mediums, having Pidgin can save you a lot of time and headache. Pidgin allows you to communicate on Google Talk, AIM, MSN, Yahoo! Messenger, ICQ and a lot more.

Many industries tend to only work in one medium. For example, the CPA affiliate marketing industry runs a lot on AIM. Programmers on the other hand love IRC. Having Pidgin makes managing virtual communication a cinch.

Collaboration and Document Sharing

Tool #4: Mindmeister

http://www.mindmeister.com Mindmeister allows you to create and share mindmaps on the web. These mindmaps can then be shared with other people on your team, who can also edit and add to those mindmaps.

A lot of research has been done on how mindmaps work with the brain. People retain mindmaps much better than linear notes. They’re a versatile tool for taking notes, making plans or brainstorming.

Collaboration and Document Sharing

Tool #5: Google Docs

http://docs.google.com Google Docs allows you to collaborate on documents with others in real time. Any document that’s shared with other people can be accessed by them at any time. The moment you make any changes to that document, the changes will be reflected on the other person’s screen. You can literally take notes in a document and have those notes appear in real time halfway around the world. For documents like word files or spreadsheets, Google Docs is a fantastic sharing tool.

Collaboration and Document Sharing

Tool #6: Dropbox

https://www.dropbox.com Dropbox allows you to create a shared folder that can be accessed by everyone on your team. Any files added to Dropbox will automatically be uploaded to Dropbox. It works just like any other folder on your computer, except the upload is automatic. You don’t have to worry about sending files to others or backing anything up – It’s all done for you. Likewise, any new files uploaded by co-workers is automatically downloaded as well.

Collaboration and Document Sharing

Tool #7: Google Drive

https://drive.google.com Google Drive is Google’s version of Dropbox. It aims to provide much of the same functionality as Dropbox, as well as contain all your Google Docs files.

At the time of this writing, Google Drive provides about double what Dropbox does for the same price. That said, Google Drive doesn’t quite have the same functionality as Dropbox yet. Only time will tell which is the better tool.

Collaboration and Document Sharing

Tool #8: YouSendIt

https://www.yousendit.com If you need to send a large file quickly and don’t have time to get someone to signup for and install Dropbox, use YouSendIt. This allows you to send large files (up to 250 MB) for free. Most email clients only allow you to send files up to 25 MB. If you’re sending a large document or file, YouSendIt makes it easy. All you need to do is upload the file and YouSendIt will send the other person a link with your file in it.

Collaboration and Document Sharing

Tool #9: Skype

http://skype.com As far as real time team collaboration goes, there’s no better tool than Skype. Skype has just about everything you could want from a messaging and chat service. First, you have text chat. That’s great for quick messages and requests. You can easily call team members if you need to talk about something more complex. Video chat enables even better communication. Screen sharing lets you show others exactly what you’re talking about. If you’re looking for a versatile tool to communicate with the rest of your virtual team, Skype is often the best answer.

Collaboration and Document Sharing

Tool #10: Hootsuite

http://hootsuite.com One of the toughest things to co-ordinate online is a social media strategy that’s run by multiple people. For example, let’s say you’re running a contest. The prize announcements are handled by one person, the updates by another and the personality by yet another person. How do you co-ordinate it all? Hootsuite makes this easy. Hootsuite allows you to access all your social media accounts all in one screen. You can schedule posts to go out in the future rather than post them all right now. Best of all, the account can be managed by multiple people. For example, the person responsible for the prize can upload tweets about what the prizes are without sending them. The person responsible for the personality can look over the announcements and rewrite them to make sure they’re in line with the brand. Then and only then are the tweets sent. If you’re managing a multi-person social media strategy, give Hootsuite a try.

Collaboration and Document Sharing

These ten online collaboration tools will make managing any kind of virtual team a whole lot easier. Whether you’re running a two-person business or a business with hundreds of staff, the tools available here can help you streamline your processes and increase productivity.

Have a collaboration or document sharing tool you like to use? Please leave a comment below on what works and what doesn’t in your workflow.

Top 10 Split Testing Tools

Split testing is at the heart of every response-based marketing campaign. Split testing allows you to take an idea and statistically prove whether it’s more or less profitable than the previous version. The core principles of split testing apply to banner ads, websites, emails and just about every other medium where you’re communicating with potential buyers. There are two primary different kinds of split tests you could run: An A/B split test and a multivariate split test. An A/B split test is where to you take Version A of a website (or banner) and test it against Version B. You measure the response, then take the winner and make it the control. Rinse and repeat. A multivariate split test is where you pit a wide number of different variables against one another in one test. For example, you test a headline, an image, a price and a design framework all at the same time. Multivariate tests allow you to get more accurate data than sequential A/B split tests, but require more data to run effectively. Here are the top 10 split testing tools on the web.

Tool #1: Google Website Optimizer

Site: http://www.google.com/websiteoptimizer Google Website Optimizer is one of the most versatile website optimizers on the web – And it’s 100% free. It supports both A/B split tests and multivariable split tests. The A/B split tests are run on two different pages and the traffic is simply split between those pages. Multivariate tests are run on one page with a PHP script that replaces each element with the element being tested. For most businesses, the features provided by Google Website Optimizer are more than enough to run all the split tests they need.


Tool #2: Split Test Accelerator

Site: http://www.splittestaccelerator.com Split Test Accelerator used to be the biggest player in the split testing arena, before Google Website Optimizer came along. It’s a very powerful testing software that’s installed on your own server. One thing that STA offers that Google Website Optimizer doesn’t is Taguchi testing. Taguchi allows you to mathematically calculate the best version of a website, based on incomplete data. With Google Website Optimizer, you need a lot of data to run multivariable tests because it runs on a full factorial model. That means it tests every possibility to see what converts best. Taguchi on the other hand can run fewer tests and mathematically piece together the best combination. It’s less accurate but faster than full factorial. It’s good for small sites looking for fast results. Using Taguchi with Split Test Accelerator is optional.


Tool #3: Split Testing Pro

Site: http://www.absplittesting.com/ Split Testing Pro is a simple and easy tool for split testing web pages. It uses the traffic rotator model, where you create multiple pages for different variables you want to test.

All you need to use Split Testing Pro is the ability to copy and paste a simple line of code. Just upload all the pages you want to split test, plus the line of code on those pages and Split Testing Pro does the rest of the work.


Tool #4: Visual Website Optimizer

Site: http://visualwebsiteoptimizer.com Visual Website Optimizer is designed to be an advanced split testing solution for non-tech oriented people. If you don’t know HTML, if you don’t have a system administrator and if you don’t want to do any programming whatsoever, Visual Website Optimizer can help. What makes Visual Website Optimizer unique is that it can make the installation process so simple and tech-free, while still delivering advanced features like multivariable testing and geo-location based page delivery.


Tool #5: Split Testing

Site: http://www.splittesting.com Split Testing is a tool that allows you to calculate the statistical significance of an advertising split test. Just enter in the number of clicks and CTR you got on two different ads and Split Tester will tell you how likely it is that you have a statistically significant winner.

It’s fast, simple and easy. Don’t end a split test without making sure that your statistical significance is 99% or higher. Remember: 95% means that 1 out of 20 times, you’ll be wrong. That’s huge when you’re running dozens of tests.


Tool #6: Open X

Site: http://www.openx.com Open X is technically a banner ad server. However, if you’re running banner ads, you can register yourself as an advertiser and use it to split test banner ads. This is especially useful if you do a lot of affiliate advertising on your site(s). Instead of using split testing software to test banner ads, which can be quite cumbersome, just use Open X instead. Open X will allow you to test a large number of different banner ads, pit them against one another and see which one gets the highest CTR.


Tool #7: CrazyEgg

Site: http://www.crazyegg.com CrazyEgg isn’t a traditional split testing tool. Instead, it’s a tool that can tell you what you need to split test and how people are perceiving your various split tests. What CrazyEgg does is create heatmap impressions of where people clicked on your site. For example, if you find that a lot of people click on an image on your site that isn’t actually a button, it might be a good idea to make that picture clickable.

Use CrazyEgg to gather data about how people are using your site, then redesign or split test accordingly.


Tool #8: Userfly

http://www.userfly.com Userfly is another bit of visual analytics software that can help you in your split testing efforts. Unlike CrazyEgg which generates heatmaps, Userfly actually generates real videos of people using your site. If you’ve ever wondered how people get stuck on your site and how they tend to navigate your site, installing Userfly can be a big boon.

Installing the software takes just copying and pasting one line of code. Once you’ve got a few videos, you can watch them for kinks to see where people have trouble with your site. Then you can arrange a split test to see if getting rid of that kink increases conversions.


Tool #9: Five Second Test

Site: http://www.fivesecondtest.com/ Five Second Test can give you a preview of what people think of a page you’re going to test, before you test it. It can also help you identify what elements on your page you should split test. Here’s how it works. First, you provide Five Second Test with a page or an image. For example, you might give them your squeeze page. Then, you craft a question. For example, the question might be “What was the main offer?” or “What caught your attention first about the page?” The user looks at your page for five seconds, then it automatically closes. Five Second Test then asks them to answer your question.

Use this tool to identify strong headlines, good designs or weak areas of your site that need to be fixed.


Tool #10: Boost CTR

Site: http://www.boostctr.com Boost CTR is a very unique AdWords tool that makes improving your ad copy a cinch. Instead of writing your own ad copy to split test, Boost CTR allows you to go into a pool of qualified copywriters and have them write it for you. Only the best ads are then split tested against your ads.

Basically, this tool allows you to get access to dozens of world class copywriters for pennies on the dollar. They’ll write ads that out convert yours and you only have to pay them if they can beat your controls.


These are the top 10 split testing tools on the web. We’ve covered everything from heatmaps to AB testing to multivariable tests to AdWords and banner ad split tests.

Need Help? Westwood Virtual Associates are available to help with any aspect of your split testing process. Call today for a free 30 minute consultation 513-317-3049.

Skype to Skype Calls

Skype to Skype calls allows you to make free phone calls to anyone else with a computer, a mic and a Skype account, no matter where they are in the world. It’s a great way for businesses or individuals to save money by using voice over IP instead of making expensive phone calls.

Here’s how to make a call from your Skype account to another Skype account.

Step 1: Add New Contact to Skype

In order to contact someone on Skype, you first need to have a friend relationship with them. In other words, you can’t call someone until they’ve “approved” that you can call them.

To add someone as a friend, go to Contacts in the top navigation bar.


 

Then select New Contact.


 

Step 2: Search for Your Contact

Type in either the person’s name, email address or Skype username to search for your friend’s account.


 

Skype will automatically search its database and display a list of all potential matches.

It’ll display the person’s name, Skype name and country, hopefully giving you enough information to be able to tell which one is your friend from all the possible matches.

Select the name of your contact and click “Add Contact.”


 

Step 3: Write an Introduction (Optional)

If you met the contact some time ago, or if the contact isn’t explicitly expecting you to add them, then it often helps to write an intro reminding them of who you are and where you met.


Click Send to send your friend invitation. Before you can call this person, they have to receive your invitation and then confirm that you’re friends.

Once the two of you are friends, you can easily place a call to one another.

Step 4: Choose Who to Call

Double click on the name of the person you want to call from your contacts list.


 

Step 5: Select Call

Press the call button from the dialogue box that pops up.


Skype will attempt to make the call connection. You’ll hear a dial tone, then the person on the other end will receive your call and decide whether or not to take your call

If they other person accepts the call, you’ll see the active call dialogue box.


When you’re finished with your, click on the red handset to hang up.

 

That’s all there is to it! In short, to make a Skype to Skype call, first add the person as a friend and have them accept you as a friend. Then double click on their name in your friends list and select “Call.”

 

Want to give it a try? Skype me @JWestwood3049

Skype:: Screen Sharing

Skype

Screen sharing is a revolutionary technology by Skype that allows its users to easily see each other’s desktops.

In the past, screen sharing technology was either very slow or very expensive. With Skype, you can share desktops with one another over a fast and free connection.

Before you start, make sure you have the latest version of Skype installed.

Here’s how to use Skype’s screen sharing system.

Skype

Step 1: Choose Who to Call on Skype

Double click on the name of the person you want to call in your screen name list.

 

 

Skype

Step 2: Place a Video Call

You need to first be in a video call before you can start screen sharing. Click Video Call to initiate a video call.

 

 

Step 3: Click on the Screen Sharing Button

Skype

 

At the bottom of the video call is a row of buttons. Click on the screen sharing button.

 

Step 4: Choose Whole Screen or One Window

Select whether you want your users to see your entire screen or just one window.

 

 

Once you click either of these selections, Skype will switch over from camera view to screen sharing view. It may take a second to load.

Skype

Step 5: Screen Sharing Controls

Skype

Once you’re in a screen sharing connection, you can easily control the share with options along

the top.

 

#1 – Click this button to have #3 pop up.

#2 – Click this button to stop sharing.

#3 – This window shows you what your friend is seeing. It doesn’t appear unless you click on button #1. If you’re sharing just one window rather than your whole screen, click on Select Window to change the window that your friend is looking at.
Congratulations! You now know how to screen share and control the screen share connection. Using screen share makes it very easy for anyone to demonstrate how to do things on a computer, share work live or teach computer related skills.

Skype:: Instant Messaging

Don’t want to actually make a Skype call? Or have a friend who doesn’t have a mic on his or her computer?

You can easily use Skype’s text chat instead. With Skype chat, you can send instant messages, share files between one another and even create your own multi-person chat room right on the spot.

Here’s how to use Skype instant messenger.

Step 1: Choose Who to Chat With

Double click on the name of the person who you want to call.


 

Step 2: Type in the Chat Box

At the bottom of the box that pops up is a blank box. Type what you want to say in this box and press enter.


 

Above the box where you type your messages is the chat box. In the chat box, you’ll see what your friend’s said and what you’ve said, along with any other activities like phone calls or files sent and received.

That’s the basics of how to use Skype chat. Next we’ll go over a few other optional features of Skype chat.

Step 3: Insert Smiley Faces

Smiley faces are a great way to add some character to a conversation. Skype’s smiley faces aren’t limited to just faces but include a few symbols as well.

First, click on the smiley symbol on the left. Then select the smiley you want to use. It’ll automatically be inserted into the message box.


 

Step 4: Send a File on Skype

Want to share a file with a friend? It’s easy. Just click “Send file” above the message box.


 

Select the file you want to send from the file box that pops up.


 

Step 5: Add People to Chat

Want to chat with a team or a group of friends instead of just one person? You can. Just click “Add people” to invite others to join your chat.


 

A box will pop up, where you can select who to invite.


Just highlight the people from your friends list on the left who you want to invite, then click select. If you change your mind about any of them, click remove on the right.

Once you’ve selected everyone who you want to add, click “Add” along the bottom. They’ll all be invited to join your chat room.
That’s how to initiate and use a Skype chat. We’ve also covered how to use smileys, send files and invite more users to the chat room.