Wednesday, January 6th, 2021
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You might think that seeking investors during a recession is pointless. However, if you plan your pitch project the right way, you may just land the investors you need during these troubling times.
How to Create a Pitch Project that Gets You the Funding You Need
Not surprisingly, angel investors and venture capitalists are always looking for the next big thing. Similarly, entrepreneurs are looking for the money. So, how do the two collide? First, you have to have a pitch deck that investors can’t resist. They watch hundreds of presentations, and you need to make yours stand out.
What makes the difference in a pitch that’s taken and one that is forgotten? It varies, but there are some general things that make a potential business stand out among the rest.
Check out our best webinar with its trustworthy list of seven vendors to help you build business credit, even in a recession.
Pitch Project: What’s a Pitch?
Of course, there are no guarantees. It’s possible your business will not be able to find the right investors regardless. However, if you handle the pitch project right, you have a much better chance. The pitch is the first impression investors get of your business, and you need to be sure it is done right. What is it though? It’s a fancy word for a PowerPoint presentation, frankly. Still, there is so much more. It is everything you give investors to convince them they want a piece of the pie you’re baking.
A quick search will turn up a ton of pitch deck examples that can give you some ideas.
Pitch Project: What’s the Point?
Honestly, the end goal is to get funding for your business. However, the immediate goal you should have in mind when starting your pitch project is to get you to the next meeting. Investment decisions are rarely made after the first meeting. A pitch deck can get them interested, but there is much more that goes into an actual investment decision than interest.
That said, if you don’t make an amazing impression with your pitch deck, you won’t even get that far.
There is room for creativity. But, some general information is necessary to any presentation.
This is one of our number one secrets. Not everyone will recommend this slide, but we believe it is essential for a couple of reasons.
This is a quick four or five bullet point summary of what the rest of the pitch deck explains. It answers the questions of what the company is, what you do, how you do it, and why you need to do it. This is important because it is the first slide potential investors will see after the cover. It will help investors decide whether they want to keep going.
It’s just a sample, but it’s designed to encourage them to view the rest of the presentation. In addition, if you happen to catch them when they do not have a lot of time, this slide makes sure they get all the information they really need right at the beginning. This could allow them to make a decision as to whether to meet you in person and discuss things further even if they can’t finish the slides.
Business Vision or Mission Statement
Don’t skip this. It should be a crisp, concise statement that does just what it says. It is there to let potential investors know what the vision or mission of the business is. You can talk about either what you want to become or what you intend to be. Some examples of mission statements from companies you may be familiar with include:
- Warby Parker-To offer designer eyewear at a revolutionary price, while leading the way for socially conscious businesses.
- Honest Tea– To create and promote great-tasting, healthy, organic beverages.
- Ikea– To create a better everyday life for the many people.
- Nordstrom– To give customers the most compelling shopping experience possible.
Don’t let this slide become a barrier. A strong mission statement is the cornerstone of your presentation and an essential part of any pitch project.
Meet the Team
This is where you introduce yourself and your team. Don’t skip it. Include not only names, but also what each person contributes to the company. There should be pictures as well. Investors need to see who they are investing in. It makes a difference.
Check out our best webinar with its trustworthy list of seven vendors to help you build business credit, even in a recession.
What Problem Does Your Business Solve?
For a business to work, it needs to provide a solution to a problem. This is where you explain what that problem is that your business plans to solve. What need will your business fill?
How Your Business Will Solve That Problem?
Right after you state the problem, you need to tell them how your business will provide the solution to that problem. Go into details. Use statistics and tell them how your product or service will actually make a difference.
What Are You Actually Selling?
Introduce your specific product or service and explain how it solves the stated problem. What makes it different from other options that may already be available? Have a prototype available if possible. If you cannot, then pictures are vital. If the product is still in development, use drawings.
Of course, if what you offer is a service it will be a little trickier. Do what you can to offer an example of what it is you offer and how it works. Diagrams, charts, screenshots if it is an online service, or whatever else you can come up with. Here is a great place to get creative.
First, use this slide to define your market. Who exactly is it that will be using your product? Who is it that will benefit from your business? What is the dollar market size?
Include graphs and charts that show how your company will be reaching the defined market.
If you are a business that has early customers, this is a slide that can be very powerful. For example, if you are offering a food or beverage product and some local grocers are already selling it in their stores, you would say so here.
Usually this has recognizable logos of well-known customers rather than just a list.
Of course, if your customers aren’t so well-known, or they are individuals, then names and testimonies can work as well.
Discuss Proprietary Technology
If you have proprietary technology, definitely highlight that. If it is still in development, use diagrams, graphs, and photographs to show the progress. Bring an example if you can.
Be sure to include any proprietary rights such as patents and copyrights.
Do not ignore or underestimate your competition. Lay it all out. Furthermore, be sure to address the following:
- Who your competitors are
- How your business is different
- How you give your business a competitive advantage
Also, research competitors thoroughly. Make sure you can answer questions about competition from potential investors. If you cannot answer the questions knowledgeably, they may conclude you actually do not adequately understand your market.
This is sometimes called a traction slide. If you have good stuff to put here, it can make a lasting impression. Truly, a great traction slide can be exactly what wins this for you. Include any of these that may apply.
- Early sales
- Website traffic
- App downloads
- Growth metrics
- Praise from the press
If you have any of these things available to report, do it.
Describe Your Business Model
Explain how the business makes money. Also, talk about if and how a customer retains value long-term. Remember, it’s also important to note what your pricing plan looks like. During a recession, this part is more important than ever. This is how your business will survive trouble waters. If they are going to invest, they need to see that it can make it through hard economic times.
Spread the Word
Outline your marketing plan. Investors want to see how you are going to get the word out. Additionally, you need to define what marketing platforms and channels you plan to use, such as television, radio, social media, prints, etc.
If you are already marketing through any of these channels, what have the results been like? For example, has one particular channel been more successful than the others? What is the cost to get a customer at this point? Compare and contrast that cost with the estimated lifetime value of a customer.
Investors may love your business idea. They may be on board with how it will work. Yet, without the financials to show the business will be profitable over time, it will not matter. Generally, they will want to see the following:
- Three- to five-year financial projections- this is basically a guess based on current numbers and trends as to how the company will do financially over the next 3 to 5 years.
- Unit economics
- Burn rate- how much money the company will lose, and how quickly, in the startup phase.
- Annual recurring revenue
- Total revenue and expenses
- Complete current financials if available and applicable.
- Key assumptions used to determine projections.
Check out our best webinar with its trustworthy list of seven vendors to help you build business credit, even in a recession.
Make the Request
Near the end is the slide is where you tell potential investors exactly what you are looking for. How much money are you trying to raise? You can use a range. It does not have to be a specific dollar amount. You will also need to tell them how long you think that amount of financing will last, and what milestones you think you will be able to reach with that funding.
Then, detail how you plan to use the funds. Will you use them as working capital, for product development, or to hire new employees? This is where you show investors how their money will go to work for the business.
If you already have existing investors, tell them. Highlight any that may be well-known.
Other Hot Tips to Make Your Pitch Project Pop
How do you make you pitch project one they will never forget?
Make it Look Good
Use interesting fonts, mix up letter sizes, and add pictures. Make the most of color and design to ensure it is easy on the eyes. Keep in mind however, that it should maintain an air of professionalism. There is a fine line between interesting and gaudy. Also, you don’t want to distract them from the point. You may need to hire a professional designer to prepare your pitch deck PowerPoint slides.
Don’t Complicate Things
Send the presentation in PDF format to prospective investors. Do not make them use a DropBox or Google Docs link. That is an extra step that they may not mind, but why take the risk? Just make it easy.
Cut the Fluff
It really shouldn’t be more than 15 to 20 slides. After that, you may begin to lose their attention. You can always add more when you meet in person or add an appendix. Along these same lines, do not get too wordy on the slides. They will not read pages and pages, they want to be able to skim and get the information they need to make a decision as quickly as possible. Concise, sharp bullet points are best.
Do Not Date It
It’s not necessary, and if you forget to change it will look bad. This is especially true if you have been at it for a while. Investors will know how long you have been trying to raise funds.
Give Competition Due Attention
Do not underestimate the competition. In contrast, take them seriously. Whatever you do, don’t trash talk or belittle them. Just do your research, understand them, and know how your product can gain the advantage.
Don’t Overuse Acronyms
Of course, you want them to understand what you are talking about. Don’t make them think too hard. Too many acronyms they may or may not understand can cause problems.
Your Pitch Project Can Make All the Difference
If you need angel investors or venture capitalists on your side, the pitch deck is where you start. It is even more important during a time of economic recession. Investors are going to be extra picky about where they put their funds, and you need to convince them to choose your business to support.
Don’t forget to explore other ideas for funding during these trying times as well. Crowdfunding, grants, loans, and the credit line hybrid are all viable options. Get expert help to guide you through finding the best funding types for your business with Credit Suite.
Build Business Credit in 30 Days
Have you ever wondered; how long does it take to build credit? You, too, can build business credit in 30 days! Here’s how and why. And you can do this during a recession or economic downturn. Build downturn business credit in 30 days.
Building better downturn business credit means that your small business gets chances you never felt that you would. You can get brand-new equipment, bid on buildings, and cover the company payroll. And you can do so even when times are a bit lean. This is specifically helpful in seasonal businesses. That is because you can go for calendar months with just hardly any sales.
Due to this, you need to tackle growing your company credit. Enhance and maintain your scores and you will have these chances. Do not, and either you do not get these business opportunities, or they will set you back you a lot more. And no business owner wants that.
You will need to understand what affects your small business credit before you can make it better.
Recession Period Financing
The number of US banks and thrifts has been decreasing progressively for a quarter of a century. This is from consolidation in the marketplace in addition to deregulation in the 1990s, lowering barriers to interstate banking. See: https://www.fundera.com/blog/happened-americas-small-businesses-financial-crisis-six-years-start-crisis-look-back-10-charts
Assets concentrated in ever‐larger financial institutions is troublesome for small business owners. Big financial institutions are much less likely to make small loans. Economic downturns indicate banks become a lot more cautious with financing. Thankfully, business credit does not count on banks.
Build Downturn Business Credit in 30 Days: Credit History Length Is Vital
This is in a nutshell how long your business has been making use of company credit. Obviously newer businesses will have short credit histories. While there is not too much you can specifically do about that, do not fret.
Credit reporting agencies will also look into your personal credit score and your very own background of payments. If your own personal credit is good, and in particular if you have a fairly extensive credit history, then your individual credit can come to the rescue of your company. That is, you did not just get your very first credit card not too long ago.
Obviously, the opposite is also true. Hence, if your private credit history is poor, then it will have a bearing on your business credit scores until your business and personal credit can be split.
Build Downturn Business Credit in 30 Days: The Best Way to Build Credit is to Tame Your Utilization Percentage
Your credit utilization rate just means the amount of cash you have on credit. So it is then divided by your total available credit. Lenders typically do not like to see this go above 30%. Therefore, for each $100 in credit, do not borrow on more than $30 of that.
If this percent is climbing, you’ll need to spend down. And work off your financial obligations prior to borrowing more.
Build Downturn Business Credit in 30 Days: Your Payment History Truly Matters
Late repayments will affect your company credit score for a good seven years. If you pay your business (and personal) debts off, as quickly as possible and as fully as possible, guess what happens? That is when you can make a very real difference when it relates to your credit scores.
Make sure to pay on schedule and you will reap the rewards of promptness.
A bad business year could wind up on your personal credit score. And just in case your small business has not been around for too long, it will directly have an effect on your biz credit. But you can still start building business credit with bad personal credit.
Fortunately, you can unlink them both by taking steps to uncouple them. As an example, you can get credit cards solely for your business, or you open up business checking accounts and other bank accounts (or even get a business loan). And then the credit reporting bureaus will start to treat your private and corporate credit separately.
Also, make sure to incorporate. Or at least file a DBA (doing business as) status.
You can also pay for your company’s invoices with your business credit card or checking account. And make certain it is the company’s full name on the bill and not your own. This is how to build credit with a credit card.
Build Downturn Business Credit in 30 Days: The Credit Reporting Agencies Can Make Mistakes
Are you asking yourself: how to fix my credit in 30 days? Just the same as each and every organization out there, credit reporting agencies just like Equifax and Experian are only as good as their data. If your firm’s name is similar to another’s, or your name is a lot like another company owner’s, there can potentially be some oversights.
So keep an eye on those reports, and your company report at Dun & Bradstreet, PAYDEX. Remain on top of these reports and challenge charges with records and crystal clear communications. Do not just allow them to stay wrong! You can fix credit in 30 days!
And while you’re at, it you should also be monitoring the credit reporting bureau which just handles personal and not company credit. So, that is TransUnion. If you do not know the way to pull a credit report, do not worry. It’s simple. It’s how to fix credit score in 30 days.
And say fix my credit in 30 days!
Build Downturn Business Credit in 30 Days: The Method
Business credit is credit in a small business’s name. It doesn’t attach to a business owner’s personal credit, not even if the owner is a sole proprietor and the solitary employee of the business.
Because of this, an entrepreneur’s business and personal credit scores can be very different. Build business credit because it can only help your business. And it can be how to start a business in 30 days.
Considering that company credit is separate from consumer, it helps to secure a small business owner’s personal assets, in the event of court action or business bankruptcy.
Also, with two distinct credit scores, a small business owner can get two separate cards from the same merchant. This effectively doubles buying power.
Another advantage is that even startup ventures can do this. Going to a bank for a business loan can be a recipe for disappointment. But building business credit, when done correctly, is a plan for success.
Personal credit scores rely on payments but also various other elements like credit usage percentages.
But for business credit, the scores actually merely depend on whether a company pays its debts punctually.
Building company credit is a process, and it does not occur automatically. A company needs to proactively work to develop business credit.
Nevertheless, it can be done easily and quickly, and it is much speedier than developing individual credit scores.
Merchants are a big aspect of this process.
Carrying out the steps out of order will result in repetitive rejections. Nobody can start at the top with business credit. For instance, you can’t start with store or cash credit from your bank. If you do you’ll get a rejection 100% of the time.
Company Legitimacy is Vital for Building Downturn Business Credit
A business needs to be reliable to lending institutions and vendors.
Therefore, a business will need a professional-looking web site and e-mail address. And it needs to have site hosting from a company such as GoDaddy.
In addition, business telephone numbers ought to have a listing on ListYourself.net.
In addition, the business phone number should be toll-free (800 exchange or similar).
A company will also need a bank account dedicated only to it, and it needs to have every one of the licenses essential for running.
These licenses all must be in the accurate, correct name of the company. And they need to have the same company address and phone numbers.
So bear in mind, that this means not just state licenses, but possibly also city licenses. Licenses are vital when you need to score small business funding.
Get awesome funding with our foolproof guide to building business credit, even during the threat of a recession.
Working with the Internal Revenue Service
Visit the IRS website and get an EIN for the small business. They’re totally free. Pick a business entity like corporation, LLC, etc.
A company can begin as a sole proprietor. But they will more than likely want to switch to a sort of corporation or partnership.
This is in order to reduce risk. And it will make best use of tax benefits.
A business entity will matter when it comes to taxes and liability in case of litigation. A sole proprietorship means the business owner is it when it comes to liability and tax obligations. No one else is responsible.
Sole Proprietors Take Note
If you operate a company as a sole proprietor, then at the very least be sure to file for a DBA. This is ‘doing business as’ status.
If you do not, then your personal name is the same as the company name. As a result, you can find yourself being directly responsible for all small business financial obligations.
In addition, according to the IRS, with this arrangement there is a 1 in 7 chance of an IRS audit. There is a 1 in 50 chance for corporations! Avoid confusion and drastically reduce the odds of an IRS audit as well.
But only look at any DBA filing as a steppingstone to incorporation.
Beginning the Business Credit Reporting Process
Begin at the D&B website and get a totally free D-U-N-S number. A D-U-N-S number is how D&B gets a small business into their system, to produce a PAYDEX score. If there is no D-U-N-S number, then there is no record and no PAYDEX score.
Once in D&B’s system, search Equifax and Experian’s web sites for the company. You can do this at www.creditsuite.com/reports. If there is a record with them, check it for accuracy and completeness. If there are no records with them, go to the next step in the process.
By doing so, Experian and Equifax will have activity to report on.
First you must establish trade lines that report. This is also called vendor credit. Then you’ll have an established credit profile, and you’ll get a business credit score.
And with an established business credit profile and score you can begin obtaining retail store and cash credit.
These varieties of accounts often tend to be for the things bought all the time, like shipping boxes, outdoor work wear, ink and toner, and office furniture.
But first off, what is trade credit? These trade lines are credit issuers who will give you initial credit when you have none now. Terms are ordinarily Net 30, instead of revolving.
Hence, if you get approval for $1,000 in vendor credit and use all of it, you must pay that money back in a set term, such as within 30 days on a Net 30 account.
Get awesome funding with our foolproof guide to building business credit, even during the threat of a recession.
Net 30 accounts must be paid in full within 30 days. 60 accounts need to be paid in full within 60 days. Unlike with revolving accounts, you have a set time when you have to pay back what you borrowed or the credit you made use of.
To kick off your business credit profile properly, you need to get approval for vendor accounts that report to the business credit reporting bureaus. When that’s done, you can then make use of the credit.
Then repay what you used, and the account is on report. You can have a D&B business credit profile or an Equifax business credit profile. Or you might have a business credit profile with Experian.
Vendor Credit – It Helps
Not every vendor can help in the same way true starter credit can. These are vendors that will grant an approval with hardly any effort. You also want them to be reporting to one or more of the big three CRAs: Dun & Bradstreet, Equifax, and Experian.
You want 3 of these to move onto the next step, which is retail credit.
Uline is a true starter vendor. You can find them online at www.uline.com. They offer shipping, packing, and industrial supplies, and they report to D&B and Experian.
You need to have a D-U-N-S number. They will request 2 references and a bank reference. The initial few orders might need to be paid in advance to initially get approval for Net 30 terms. Also, you may have to buy some things you don’t need.
Crown Office Supplies
Crown Office Supplies is another true starter vendor. You can find them online at https://crownofficesupplies.com. They sell a variety of office supplies and take helping clients seriously. And they say, “just starting your business, or maybe have an existing business, but you have a question regarding office supplies… we are here to help!” And they report to Dun and Bradstreet, Experian, and Equifax.
There is a $99.00 annual fee, though they do report that fee to the business credit reporting agencies. For other purchases to report, the purchase needs to be at least $30.00. Terms are Net 30.
Grainger Industrial Supply
Grainger Industrial Supply is also a true starter vendor. You can find them online at www.grainger.com. They sell safety equipment, plumbing supplies, and more, and they report to D&B. You will need a business license, EIN, and a D-U-N-S number.
For under a $1000 credit limit they will approve nearly any person with a business license.
They’re great for building business credit profile.
Accounts That Don’t Report
Non-Reporting Trade Accounts can also be helpful. While you do want trade accounts to report to at the very least one of the CRAs, a trade account which does not report can nonetheless be of some value.
You can always ask non-reporting accounts for trade references. And also credit accounts of any sort ought to help you to better even out business expenses, thereby making budgeting simpler. These are providers like PayPal Credit, T-Mobile, and Best Buy.
They are another way how to get your credit score up in 30 days.
Once there are 3 or more vendor trade accounts reporting to at least one of the CRAs, then move to retail credit. These are businesses like Office Depot and Staples. These companies are likelier to have goods you need.
Use the small business’s EIN on these credit applications.
Are there more accounts reporting? Then move to fleet credit. These are businesses like BP and Conoco. Use this credit to purchase fuel, and repair and maintain vehicles. Make certain to apply using the company’s EIN.
Get awesome funding with our foolproof guide to building business credit, even during the threat of a recession.
Have you been responsibly handling the credit you’ve gotten up to this point? Then progress to more universal cash credit. These are businesses like Visa and MasterCard. Keep your SSN off these applications; use your EIN instead.
These are typically MasterCard credit cards. If you have more trade accounts reporting, then these are feasible.
Monitor Your Business Credit
Know what is happening with your credit. Make certain it is being reported and attend to any errors as soon as possible. Get in the practice of checking credit reports. Dig into the details, not just the scores.
At Equifax, you can monitor your account at: www.equifax.com/business/business-credit-monitor-small-business.
Update Your Record
Update the details if there are mistakes or the relevant information is incomplete. At D&B, you can do this at: https://iupdate.dnb.com/iUpdate/viewiUpdateHome.htm. For Experian, go here: www.experian.com/small-business/business-credit-information.jsp. And for Equifax, go here: www.equifax.com/business/small-business.
Fix Your Business Credit
So, what’s all this monitoring for? It’s to contest any problems in your records. Errors in your credit report(s) can be taken care of. But the CRAs often want you to dispute in a particular way.
Get your small business’s PAYDEX report at: www.dnb.com/about-us/our-data.html. Get your company’s Experian report at: www.businesscreditfacts.com/pdp.aspx?pg=SearchForm. And get your Equifax business credit report at: www.equifax.com/business/credit-information.
Disputing credit report errors commonly means you mail a paper letter with copies of any proofs of payment with it. These are documents like receipts and cancelled checks. Never send the original copies. Always send copies and keep the originals.
Fixing credit report inaccuracies also means you precisely spell out any charges you contest. Make your dispute letter as clear as possible. Be specific about the concerns with your report. Use certified mail so that you will have proof that you mailed in your dispute.
Dispute your or your company’s Equifax report by following the directions here: www.equifax.com/small-business-faqs/#Dispute-FAQs.
You can dispute inaccuracies on your or your company’s Experian report by following the instructions here: www.experian.com/small-business/business-credit-information.jsp.
And D&B’s PAYDEX Customer Service telephone number is here: www.dandb.com/glossary/paydex.
A Word about How to Build Downturn Business Credit
Always use credit sensibly! Don’t borrow more than what you can pay off. Monitor balances and deadlines for payments. Paying off on schedule and completely will do more to raise business credit scores than pretty much anything else.
Establishing company credit pays off. Great business credit scores help a company get loans. Your credit issuer knows the business can pay its debts. They understand the small business is bona fide.
The business’s EIN links to high scores and lenders won’t feel the need to ask for a personal guarantee.
Business credit is an asset which can help your business for years to come. Get started toward building small business credit.
Build Downturn Business Credit in 30 Days: Takeaways
Once you learn what influences your company credit score, you can build downturn business credit in 30 days. You can even start a business in 30 days. And you can repair credit score in 30 days.
The post The Safe Foolproof Way to Build Downturn Business Credit in 30 Days appeared first on Credit Suite.
Google has an impressive resume of highly impactful, successful products. For instance, products like Google Search and Google Docs are used by millions around the world daily.
But no business is perfect. Even the most inspired innovation can fail if the market just doesn’t get into it. That’s why, over the last few years, Google has started to cut their losses and kill products that never quite hit the mark.
Google Play Music, Google Glass, and now Google Hangouts on Air have been retired, which may come as a surprise to users who relied on these products.
Don’t worry, though—it’s not all bad news! While you may have lost your favorite live-streaming service, there are plenty of Google Hangouts on Air replacements.
What Was Google Hangouts on Air?
Google Hangouts on Air launched in 2012, with Google adding live-streaming and community elements to their already existing Hangouts platform.
At the time, it made perfect sense. Effective live-streaming services weren’t particularly well-designed, so Google had a massive window to establish themselves in this space.
Their plan worked for a while. Google managed to get President Obama and Pope Francis to live-stream on its platform. Combine this with a list of solid support features, and Google Hangouts on Air managed to attract quite a few users.
This usage didn’t last long, though, as the market began to flood with competitors. Eventually, YouTube Live began to pick up steam, and live video was a more natural extension to that platform. Over time, it became clear Hangouts on Air should be absorbed by YouTube Live.
The 10 Alternatives to Google Hangouts on Air
Here’s a list of ten Google Hangouts on Air replacements on the market. Whether you’re live-streaming a podcast, a Q&A, or your cooking channel, you may find the tools you need here.
Be.Live is a simple, reliable streaming tool. If you’re looking to expand your audience and reach, Be.Live lets you stream on sites like Facebook Live and YouTube Live.
You can sign up using your Facebook or Google accounts and quickly set up your stream in either space.
Beyond that, there’s a surprisingly deep level of customization in Be.Live’s presentation. When you start using Be.Live, you’ll be able to add your logo, custom frames, and branding colors to the stream.
If you want to go even further, you can add name tags and agendas to the lower third of the screen during your streams. You can even download your streams in HD once they’re over and upload them to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Whether you’re looking to stream on Facebook Live or YouTube Live, Be.Live could be a strong Google Hangouts on Air replacement. You can try their basic plan for free to test it out yourself.
Discord is often seen as a gaming-centric platform. While there are certainly plenty of gamers using this service, what makes Discord stand out is their emphasis on two things: community and transparency.
This is a live-streaming tool that works best if your community is already on Discord. This doesn’t mean it’s off-limits to you if your audience doesn’t already use it, but it may take some extra legwork to get people on board.
If your audience and products revolve around gaming, you want to try Discord. It lets streamers display the games they play and the activities they’re engaging in. This is a fantastic Google Hangouts on Air alternative if you’re looking for a way to engage with this demographic.
At this point, you’ve probably heard about Zoom. In fact, “zooming” seems to be the word used for video chatting, even if a different platform is being used! But there’s a good reason it’s on everyone’s mind: Zoom is a robust live-streaming product.
One of the most compelling points of replacing Google Hangouts on Air with Zoom Live is that many communities are already familiar with Zoom. Millions of people are using Zoom daily, whether for work, school, or catching up with old friends.
Getting users to adopt an entirely new service or tool can be challenging, no matter how loyal your community is. Zoom’s level of familiarity may make it easier to retain your audience while you transition from Google Hangouts on Air.
Zoom offers a variety of features like virtual hand raising and polling to keep your community engaged. The fact that they let you stream your webinars and meetings to multiple platforms simultaneously is just the icing on the cake.
Streamyard is built around a simple idea: create an experience for live streamers that’s easy to learn and use.
This platform doesn’t ask you to download anything; it runs in your browser. If you already have a following on LinkedIn, Facebook, or YouTube, you can live-stream to all of them using Streamyard.
Streamyard recognizes complexity makes it difficult for streamers to connect with their communities. If you’re looking for a Google Hangouts on Air replacement that removes technical barriers and limitations, this is a tool you’ll want to try.
With useful features like audience comments popping up on screen and call to action buttons in your streams, Streamyard simplifies your live-streaming process so you can focus on what matters most: your audience.
In the hunt for your Google Hangouts on Air alternative, you’re going to find lots of products that promise to offer more. Many alternatives promise more features and integration.
But Talky.io doesn’t take that approach. Instead, Talky addresses a smaller niche, focusing on providing a simple video chat tool designed for groups of up to 6 people.
What Talky lacks in features, it makes up for with its simplicity and ease of use. Using Talky is as simple as starting a chat and sending your room link to the people you need to chat with.
In a sea of feature-heavy tools, Talky might seem underwhelming at first. But if you’re looking for a Google Hangouts on Air replacement anyone should be able to use, this may be a fantastic option.
6. OBS Studio
For a lot of streamers, this is the gold standard of live-streaming tools. What makes OBS Studio so noteworthy? Simple: the customization.
Aside from being a free, open-source software you can download and start using instantly, it’s sponsored by some of the biggest names in live-streaming. Facebook, YouTube, and Twitch have all supported OBS Studio. It’s safe to say if you have a favorite streamer, they’re likely using this.
Who is OBS Studio for? Well, it’s technically for everyone looking to start live-streaming. This depth makes it such a powerful tool, but it can also present some issues.
Think of it this way: OBS Studio is like Photoshop, with most other alternatives being more like Canva. OBS Studio is often a great tool for veterans of the live-streaming world and those not afraid to get their hands dirty.
Speaking of noteworthy live-streaming tools, we can’t ignore the current king of the live-streaming world: Twitch.
The company that put Mixer out of business, there’s no denying Twitch is one of the most popular live-streaming tools on the market. And while many think Twitch is a platform primarily about gaming, that’s not the case.
Businesses regularly promote their products on Twitch with marathons of shows. Art and philosophy streams have also started to take the spotlight, with a heavy emphasis on community engagement.
While it can be challenging to establish a presence on the site, success on Twitch may mean a massive increase in your community size and quality. It’s worth looking into if you’re looking for a Google Hangouts on Air replacement.
Spreaker does one thing, and they do it exceptionally well: it supports podcasts.
Whether you’re looking to host, create, distribute, or even monetize your podcast, Spreaker has something for you.
The reason Spreaker made the Google Hangouts on Air alternative list is simple: there aren’t enough tools dedicated to podcast live-streamers. What really makes Spreaker stand out is they go above and beyond for podcasters.
With Spreaker, you can publish your podcast quickly and easily using their Content Management System. From there, you can distribute your podcast across major podcast platforms.
Spreaker handles monetization, too, letting streamers auto-insert ads at any point in their podcasts.
If you’re serious about podcasting, Spreaker is a tool you should consider.
9. YouTube Live
If you’re wondering which of these tools Google wants you to use, it’s probably YouTube Live. Initially, Google tried to merge Google Hangouts on Air with YouTube Live, but the transition didn’t go incredibly well.
Still, there’s an appeal to using YouTube Live. Aside from the rich infrastructure YouTube and Google offer—plenty of features and a robust support system—live streaming on YouTube is made simpler by one thing: the platform understands user expectations.
When users are on YouTube, they already expect to consume content. This means when you create live content for them to engage with, it’s probably an easy transition for them to make.
Likewise, if you love the Google Hangouts on Air ecosystem, you’ll probably feel right at home in the relatively similar YouTube Live ecosystem.
10. Facebook Live
As far as innovation goes, Facebook Live doesn’t offer much that YouTube Live and Twitch don’t. That said, Facebook Live does have one ace up their sleeve: when you stream on this platform, you have access to billions of people.
We can argue about how impactful social media sites like Facebook have been in popular culture, but one thing is for sure: everyone and their grandmother is on Facebook. This means if you want access to a massive audience, being on Facebook may be a good idea.
Their live streaming tools aren’t as robust as others on this list, and the tools aren’t tailored to a particular industry or genre. But, Facebook has a reach that’s second to none.
Seeing your favorite live streaming platform vanish is frustrating. But there’s no reason to worry about the future of your content. As long as you’re willing to explore and adapt, you’re sure to find the right tool for your brand.
Gaming, cooking, and art streams have great community-focused tools like Twitch, Discord, and Talky.
Streamers looking for massive audiences and reach can use Facebook Live and YouTube Live.
Whatever you’re looking for, you may find the right Google Hangouts on Air replacement right here.
What alternative to Google Hangouts on Air is your favorite?
People have questions, and they want answers to those questions. When they do, where do they go?
Well, they usually go to someone who has the answer, and if you’re lucky, that someone might be you.
The Q&A format provides a great way for you to answer many queries in a short amount of time. Best of all, you don’t even need to have the answers if you know how to find someone who does.
What is the Q&A Format, and Why is It Important?
Q&A stands for “question and answer,” which is similar to a FAQ page, but it usually provides a more personal experience for the viewer or reader. This is because a Q&A format often makes it possible for whoever is looking to get involved in the question-and-answer process.
If you watched a video about building an affiliate site from scratch, you could come in armed with Q&A questions. Hopefully, you have the chance to ask some of them, and if not, it’s likely that other viewers will raise the same inquiries as you.
This type of content can be done in a live video, chat, text, social media event, prerecorded video, in-person event, and more.
From a content creator standpoint, this format can help you drive more traffic to your site and provide your audience with more of the information they want. Here are some specific reasons you should pay more attention to the Q&A format.
Q&As Can Optimize Content for Organic Search
As we know, FAQ sections and pages do a lot for our SEO. Q&As take on a similar shape by answering important questions raised about a specific topic.
They’re a great way to target long-tail keywords and land featured snippets through targeting “question-based” keywords.
For example, if we head over to Google and look up “how to upload an article into WordPress.”
You’ll find that the first result provides a direct answer to that question. When you’re putting together question-and-answer content you want to find relevant questions that other people are asking on Google so you can potentially rank for those searches.
If you scroll down a little more on the page, you’ll find a section titled “People Also Ask (or people also search for).” Google makes it so easy for us by telling us what other people are searching for related to the keyword you typed into the search box. So, you may want to include some of those phrases in your Q&A session as well.
While you’re doing all of this, you’re including a variety of long-tail keywords that you can convert into a blog post to include along with your video. This is a fast and simple way to put together a keyword-rich piece of content without having to do too much research.
Q&As Help Your Audience Understand Information Better
Google makes it pretty clear in their quality guidelines that they want you to produce content for users, not search engines. It’s our job as content creators to provide answers and solutions to whatever it is people want to know. The question-and-answer format is the perfect place for you to address a large number of questions in a short amount of time.
All in all, we know that Google wants us to write great content and provide answers to questions upfront. The algorithm doesn’t favor people who beat around the bush, drag things on, and fluff up their content.
The sooner you can get someone on your page and give them the answer they want, the better.
One potential way to do this is by answering as many questions as you can in the shortest amount of time while still maintaining proper quality control. Doing this increases your chances of ranking for all of those keywords while also providing a bunch of answers to queries that people may have.
Q&As Are Easy to Create
Question-and-answer content is easy and fast to create because it creates itself. Compared with a FAQ section where you need to know all the answers, all you need to know here are the questions.
You’ll do your research ahead of time by seeing what competitors are ranking for, who has the snippets you want, what does the “people also ask” section say, and so on.
From there, you’ll craft those questions in a way that appeals to both Google and the people. Doing this ensures you keep Google happy while providing valuable and direct information (that also keeps Google happy).
Once you’ve done that, it’s up to the interviewee to provide you with the answers. This is an enjoyable way to put together some extremely valuable content with commentary from industry experts.
You may even be able to rank some of your video content for voice search.
6 Ways to Use Q&As in Your Content
You understand the importance of Q&A interviews and you might even have some ideas as to how you’ll get started. Here are some simple and effective ways you can incorporate this format into your content.
Live Q&A Sessions
Within the live Q&A we have two subcategories. One is you’re the expert and people are asking you the questions. Two is you’re the creator and you’re asking the expert questions from the community.
Both of these methods work but they require their own set of steps to prepare.
You’re the Expert
If you have a skill, talent, or area of expertise, you can set up a live Q&A session on your YouTube channel, social media, or via a Zoom link to your list. The goal would be to preach the value of attending your live session so you get a lot of people to attend.
As the day rolls around, continue to send follow-ups via email and social media motivating your audience to sign up for the question-and-answer session. Prompt them to prepare some questions ahead of time because you’ll be answering as many as you can during the time slot.
Keep in mind that you won’t be able to prepare answers to the questions because you won’t know what people are going to ask. You’re firing straight off the cuff, which has its pros and cons.
On one side, you’re going to seem genuine because people know you’re pulling answers right off your head. On the other side, there’s more room for error if you don’t know the answer or you answer incorrectly.
Make sure you’re recording the interview and breaking it down well enough so you can convert it into a piece of content for your blog or website. You should be able to take many of the questions from the live session and convert them into rankable content.
You’re the Interviewer
In this scenario, you’re no longer the expert. You might be the one with a huge audience looking to bring valuable information to said audience.
Do some outreach and find an industry expert that you want to interview live in a Q&A format. This will provide value to your audience and you’ll also be able to discuss it ahead of time.
Now you can prepare questions that will work from an SEO standpoint while also providing initial value to the people who attend the live event. Your goal should be to ask questions that are related to the questions that people are asking on Google.
They don’t have to be word-for-word in the live event, but they need to be close enough so you can convert the video into written content.
Recorded Video Q&A Interviews
This strategy could be an extension of the previous method or one of its own. You can interview experts on industry topics, commonly asked questions, or go completely off the cuff and see where it goes.
If you recorded your live Q&A that we discussed previously, this could serve as your recorded video interview.
You can also start from scratch. This has a few pros and cons.
You’ll be able to prepare more and discuss with the interviewee so they are prepared for whatever you’re planning to ask. You can also do more SEO work ahead of time so you can easily convert the interview into a piece of rankable content.
The downside is that it might not appear as genuine and you won’t have the opportunity to engage with your audience live because they’ll be watching a replay.
If you’re using this format for the first time, this could be the way to go.
Written Q&A Interviews
A text interview will function the same as a video, except the conversation will be written in text. You can do this live or prerecorded as well.
There are many different formats in which you can do this; Facebook groups, Twitter threads, and Reddit to name a few.
Make sure you’re keeping tabs on the questions that are being asked and saving everything so you can convert the information into a blog post later on. You may even be able to use some of the questions asked in a live Q&A when you have more context about what people want to know.
Q&As in Content Headers
If you’re trying to rank content around popular questions, you’ll end up putting them in header form in your blog posts. This strategy functions much like a FAQ, but the difference is that you’re seeking the questions or answers from a separate source.
For example, if you’re the expert, you’ll want someone else to provide the questions. You can do a social media post or an email blast asking people for questions related to your area of expertise.
Once you’ve compiled enough questions, you can take them and build out a blog post with all the answers.
This works best when focusing on one narrow subject and ensuring that all the questions are relatable to your audience.
If you’re not the expert, you’ll want to follow the same steps but instead, reach out for questions to ask someone else. This person may be a popular figure that will draw attention.
As a result, when you do your outreach, people will be excited to ask this person their questions and will likely check in on your blog post when it’s up.
Ads and Social Media Campaigns
Expert interviews can give your brand a nice boost because the experts provide name recognition and visibility if they share it with their audience. This is a powerful way to build trust, create a buzz, answer audience questions, and rank for a variety of long-tail keywords, all at the same time.
The example above shows how an entrepreneur interviewed an industry expert and was able to provide a ton of value without having to actually know the subject himself. You can do this as well.
Best of all, it’s live without actually being live so you can prepare questions ahead of time and still be able to answer inquiries from the audience on the spot. This method allows you to control the quality of your answers, cater to the SERPs, and provide massive value to your audience.
Question Now; Answer Later
I like this method for YouTube, especially if you run a brand where people don’t often get to see “behind the curtain.” A lot of YouTubers do this when they provide a “day in the life” video.
You can create a social media post or send out an email to your list. Ask them what they want to know about you and what questions they have about you on a personal level.
Take a break from the business talk and allow your audience to get to know you. This can show that you’re relatable and people prefer to buy from people they know and trust.
There are really no limitations to what you can do with the Q&A format. Most importantly, it should be relevant to your brand and provide value to your audience.
If you can take the content and convert it into a blog post or repurpose it in some way, that’s a bonus.
Just remember that the featured snippets live in these Q&A sections so there’s a lot of ranking juice here if you can keep your question-and-answer sessions on topic with what people are asking Google.
Do you regularly create Q&A content? If so, what methods do you use?
The post Going Beyond FAQ: How to Use the Q&A Format in Your Content appeared first on Neil Patel.