The (not-so) secret Google tool you should use

Of course there are no real secret Google tools. And if there are, I’m not running with the crowd who knows about them.

But over the last few weeks I’ve talked to  a number of site owners – speakers, recruiters, SEO folks – and I’ve been really surprised by how few of them know anything about Feedburner.

Now Google’s wall-splattered with spaghetti approach to product launches makes it too easy for some of the great tools they have to fly under the radar.

Feedburner is one of them. If you are a site owner with a blog or podcast, stop reading this post right now and sign up for Feedburner.

What it does is take your raw feed – generally looking like this – and turn it into this.

Pretty slick.

But it does more than this. It will also create forms so folks can subscribe to receive your new blog posts via email, provide a metric showing how many folks are subscribed – along with their emails. Go ahead and subscribe to my feed using the form on this page.

It will also generate simple code for you to display your blog posts on virtually any page on any site you run.

It will also notify different services when your blog is updated – helping your SEO. And of course it will also automatically update your Twitter account.

With a couple of Facebook tweaks you can even connect your Feedburner feed to automatically send your new posts to your Facebook Fan Page.

So what are you waiting for. It’s a free service.

In order for Linkedin to work, you have to participate

In order for social media to work, you have to participate

Over and over again, I hear it from clients and prospective clients. “I don’t see the value in Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter etc.”

“I’m on all of them and I’ve never got any business from them.”

Here’s the thing. The big difference between social media and advertising is that you have to be social and add value to the conversations if you want to build relationships and make some sales.

It’s not enough to build a Linkedin profile, create a Facebook Fan page or start a Twitter account. This isn’t a field of dreams. just because you build it doesn’t mean folks are going to beat down your door.

It requires a bit of work – not a lot – but some.

So if you only use Linkedin and all these other great tools to broadcast announcements about your amazing products or services, even the crickets will soon tune you out.

So here is a simple Linkedin strategy.

Set your account to get a daily digest from each of your groups where prospective clients hang out. And then each morning, browse the topics. If something is interesting or you can help someone out – do it.

The trick is to establish credibility and not come across like you’re always trying to sell something.

If you have something worth buying, and folks recognize that you can add some value to their business, then LinkedIn can actually become one of your biggest lead generators.

The best part is you can do this in as little as 5 minutes each day.