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Bruce McCallum
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5 Tricks To Improve Your Time Management

Come to our next 'in-person' HOST meeting at the beautiful Cedar Hill Golf Club, listen to +Julia James  and meet other solo-entrepreneurs...Only $15, coffee and baked goodies included.
As busy entrepreneurs we often find ourselves stretched too thin - too much to do and too little time to get it all done. Julia James will teach you five tricks that will manage your time for you, so that you can soar in business and in life! In this fun, interactive presentation you will learn how to: - Say goodbye to time-wasters  - Turn mountains into molehills  - Make time for what matters most Walk away emp...
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This Google Plus is open to both men & women.
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These secrets will help us expand the way we are using social media.  The +Guy Kawasaki +Peg Fitzpatrick book is well worth a read.
Social media tips that will rock your social! Links for more information on HOW to do each of these tips below. Secrets for Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, and Google+. How to add multiple photos and tag people in photos on Twitter:https://blog.twitter.com/2014/photos-just-got-more-social Facebook dark posts: https://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=10151107995291687 How to add video natively on Facebook: https://www...
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HOST members - Here is an opportunity to learn the basics of Google tools and Google Plus.  Come and bring your laptop.
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HOST members are invited to join the conversation.
 
This weekly Hangout is especially for   #solopreneurs  who like the #mastermind  concept.  Our purpose is to provide a forum for giving & receiving support, enacting positive change, removing stumbling blocks and creating stepping stones.  This week's topic is Relationships and e-mail.
This Hangout On Air is hosted by Lowell Ann Fuglsang. The live video broadcast will begin soon.
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Bruce McCallum
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Home Assessment Valuation Calculator

Find out what your BC home is assessed at!

http://evaluebc.bcassessment.ca/
e-valueBC – Compare Assessments Online: Terms of Use Agreement. By accessing any of the websites operated by BC Assessment, the user agrees to be bound by all of the Terms of Use and agrees that these terms constitute a binding contract between the user and BC Assessment.
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Bruce McCallum
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BC Assessment Value vs Market Value - Everybody is Asking

Every January homeowners in Victoria receive a letter from BC Assessment (I just got mine yesterday) indicating assessed values of properties – and in recent years, many owners have seen their property assessment go down. Some go up. Should you as an owner be concerned?

Q: Is this a bad thing that my assessed value went down?
A: Not necessarily. It could mean that your taxes went down as well. That’s good!

Q: Does this reduce the market value if I choose to sell?
A: Not necessarily. Your perception may be that a home is worth less but in actual practice, a buyer will pay what he or she feels the property is worth – regardless of what the assessment says. For example, the home might have many upgrades and is in tip-top shape compared to others in the area. And, because of this and other factors, might be very attractive to the right buyer who falls in love with the home and just has to have it. Sometimes with more than one buyer, there might even be a bidding situation which drives the price up. It’s the law of supply and demand. So, take the assessed valuation with a grain of salt.

Q: So if assessment goes down, what can I do to get the most money when I sell?
A: Repair, renew and relax. Seriously, it’s most important to repair all those things you’ve been meaning to do, large and small. Clear the clutter, clean thoroughly, paint, tidy up landscaping; make the home the best it can be within your budget. You only have one chance to make a first impression! Then, with confidence, list your home at a competitive price that’s based on actual recent sales figures and not necessarily assessed values.

Q: If my assessment went up can I get more money when I sell?
A: Not necessarily. Your assessment might have gone up but ask yourself: is your home in better shape than other comparable properties in the area? If not, then it should be - to get the most when you sell. Again, your home is worth what a buyer is willing to spend. So make it appear as the best in the neighborhood!

Q: As a buyer, will I get a deal if assessments go down or have to pay more if they go up?
A: As a buyer, the best thing to do is to research similar properties thoroughly and compare recent sold prices. Then, negotiate the best price you can. 

As a licensed Realtor®, I can help you with all these questions and more.

For more information from the BC Assessment Office:

http://www.bcassessment.ca/public/Fact%20Sheets/Market%20Value%20and%20Property%20Assessment.aspx
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Bruce McCallum

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Please join me for a very special edition of Good Day Google+ as we talk about the Art of Social Media and where its heading in 2015

This weeks guests are: 

+Guy Kawasaki Chief evangelist of Canva,  Author of thirteen books including The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users,  Social Media Superstar and all around fun guy!  

+Peg Fitzpatrick Co-author of The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users with Guy Kawasaki.  Innovative idea girl • visual marketing maverick • naturally caffeinated • Google+ evangelist • travelista • and so much more.

+Mia Voss Entrepreneur, YouTube Host and Interviewer , Video Content Strategist and the Ultimate people connector.

+Shannon Hernandez Podcast Producer, Digital Marketer, On-Air Radio Personality, Social Media Enthusiast with a Masters Degree in Secondary Education.

Friday, January 9th
@ 10 am PST | 11 am MST | 12 pm CST | 1 pm EST  | 6 pm UK 
 
Watch our show here on the event page where you can leave your comments and ask your questions during The shows broadcast live. 
But if you can not watch it live you do not worry can always watch the replay on my YouTube Channel: http://goo.gl/3iukbR

#GoodDayGooglePlus     #rockthegplushouse         #askchefdennis  
#varietyshow   
This Hangout On Air is hosted by Chef Dennis Littley. The live video broadcast will begin soon.
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Fri, January 9, 1:00 PM
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+Randy Milanovic Welcome to the HOST Community. Feel free to post useful content, events, etc. that will help the home office 'solo-preneur'
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So nice to see fellow Canadians here on the plus.
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A great resource for #solopreneurs   h/t +David Amerland for sharing this.
 
Strategy #5: Using Your Blog as the Centerpiece of Your Content Strategy from Building a Better Business Website is coming a day early because along with it is a 2-day FREE download of the ebook in the spirit of the season. Enjoy.

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PLEASE SHARE THIS POST & let me know if you'd like to be added to my book chapter notification circle.
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We all know that blogging is a great way to share ideas, give customers and readers useful tips, and even offer a little bit of industry insight and/or your own perspective.

When you do these things, you aren’t simply adding more “content” to your website (although that creates a wonderful SEO benefit), you are also demonstrating the fact that you are more than just another vendor – you can be a thought leader who is willing to share information and insights that can improve people’s careers, fortunes and even their lives.

In other words, your blog can help you build credibility and attract readership (in terms of new prospects coming back to your site) with each post.

And of course, the more great blog posts you have, the larger your current, searchable content grows. That means that blogging is good for all aspects of your online marketing efforts, from search engine optimization to prospect attraction.

Remember that getting Google’s attention shouldn’t be your blogging priority. If it is, it won’t take long before your posts end up being a stale mixture of keyword phrases instead of outstanding content that'll form the back-bone of your business website.

Keeping Up With Regularly Scheduled Programming

It doesn’t take most companies long to figure out that putting together a blog post is relatively easy, but putting together dozens of them, week after week, can be a challenge.

But, for blogs to be effective, your posts do have to be consistent. That means you can’t simply add new content when you feel like it, or when you think one of your competitors might be gaining on you in search rankings. Instead, you are better off to follow the kind of plan that magazines and TV stations do: an editorial calendar. (Download the marketer's toolkit here http://goo.gl/Z1d2Qh . It includes a calendar.)

If that sounds complicated, realize that I am just talking about a list of topics, themes, or posts that you can put together ahead of time. While I went into this concept a little more in depth in my Findability book, what you really have to know at the moment is that you shouldn’t be writing posts off the top of your head; instead, you should have a running list of ideas that you’re constantly adding to and pulling your best concepts from.

Doing so won’t just help you overcome writer’s block and inertia, it will also help you maintain a more focused blog (imaging the boost you could provide to your online campaigns with great blog content). Most of all, an editorial calendar will help keep you on time and on topic, which are key to your blogging success over the long run. 

Creating Content That Matters to Your Audience

Naturally, you’re going to have things you want to mention on your company blog, like new products, discounts and promotions, and so on. Be careful not to turn your blog into a platform for self-promotion — that’s exactly how you’ll lose readers. As they say, you can attract more bears with honey than with vinegar.

When your blog is doing its best work, you have potential buyers who are coming to your site regularly to read your new posts. Once they get into the habit of doing that (or when they see something so compelling that they want to learn more), they could take the next step: engagement.

Before those things can happen, though, you have to offer readers blog content that gets their attention and speaks to the issues or challenges they care about. In other words, you need to add material that matters to them, not necessarily the ones that fit directly in line with your sales and marketing objectives.

Over time, you’ll learn how to combine your goals with their needs to build unforgettable posts. In the beginning, though, err on the side of caution and make sure that the content you’re putting on your blog speaks directly to the buyers you want to interest the most. Well crafted - original - actionable, educational, informational and occasionally even entertaining content scores well.

Optimizing Content in the Ways That Matter

I mentioned the search engine optimization benefits of blogging, but won’t get into the technical details here. Mainly because those details change regularly, so anything I put into this book will become outdated pretty quickly. Check out my blog or some of the SEOs ( +David Amerland +Peter Nikolow +Barry Schwartz to name just a  few ) in Google Plus to stay on top of SEO trends.

With that in mind, let me just point out that, after you have finished putting together a strong piece of content, it’s a good idea to take steps to ensure that it’s easy for potential customers to find and access. That might mean making slight changes to the wording, adding sorting tags/categories, or even using plug-ins like that created by +Yoast to help you maximize the SEO value of your posts.

While most agencies and marketers will stop at that point, realize that you still have the most important job to do: optimize your post for readers and see if you can do more to get them to take that all-important next step: engagement.

This might mean adding a strong call to action at the end of the post (an excellent best practice, as +Mike Allton points out in this post: http://goo.gl/7yNRcs ), inserting a few statistics or supporting facts (check out this +Moz post on the benefits of breaking out your visuals assets: http://goo.gl/Gt5YjD ), or doing something else altogether.

The point, though, is getting people to find your content is only half the battle; getting them to stay on the page and further their relationship with you – even in a small way – is the real challenge, because that’s the difference between web traffic and lead generation... and it’s where bottom-line results come from.

Calling in a Fresh Set of Eyes and Fingers

As I noted in Findability, most business people aren’t natural blog content writers, and often don't have the time to put together regular of posts even if they were. Yet, your blog needs fresh content on a  regular basis - you need to feed it at least weekly.

There are a couple of reasonable solutions to this problem. One is to set a regular schedule for your own blogging, treating it the same way you would an important appointment. You might just be surprised with what you can accomplish with 30 minutes or an hour once or twice a week.

Another option is to delegate blogging within your team. If you have someone with a bit of literary talent on staff, see if you can make blogging a regular part of their role. Or better yet, share the task among a few team members to cover multiple insights and viewpoints.

And finally, if neither of those is a viable option, you can turn to an outside copywriter (either one that you hire, or one that works through your agency). The advantage here is that you are likely to get top-quality content supplied to you as regularly as you’d like. The only downside, other than having to pay for that great content, is that it can be tempting to simply turn your blog over to someone else. (That would be a bad idea, as not only can your voice easily be lost, you won't be on point when it comes to engagement. Both leading to fewer readers – and opportunities – instead of more.)

As with all the advice you find in my books, please remember that in the end, you are the person responsible for your own online marketing success (or lack of). Your vendors and partners should help, but you need to make a commitment to being involved. Honestly, I can't fathom a world where a business wouldn't benefit from serious involvement in their own marketing and communication efforts. 

So, if you have someone else doing the writing for your blog, internally or externally, make sure you’re the one setting the tone, developing topic ideas, approving and editing posts to ensure they maintain your voice. Again, people will thank you for it.

Blogging Is REALLY Worth the Effort

If keeping an editorial calendar, tweaking your content to fit the needs of prospects and customers, and working with outside writers seems like a lot of work, know that it can be. But, also remember that your blog can easily pull new opportunities your way, serving as a a powerful magnet, continuously attracting people to your site.

In other words, keep in mind that blogging is simply a matter of priority. If you can keep at it, the return can be significant.

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#gplusonly : One a very related side note, +David Amerland, author of the Google Semantic Search (http://goo.gl/fj06vr) , posted his year-end roundup of #SMTpowertalk  recordings of which I was fortunate to be a guest panelist. They're a collection of insights from some of the search and marketing industry knowledgeable minds (http://goo.gl/7Rkgn2). Check them out - very worth it. 

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BONUS Material:

Pro Tip: Regular blogging means that you can throw a wide net with your topics. You don't have to (shouldn't actually) blog about your services - this is your chance to discuss topics that are important to your customers, solving their problems and drawing their interest. Keep it informational, helpful and actionable most of the time - but don't be afraid to be provocative either (one post I did on memes earned 17,000+ links - astounding to say the least). Your readers will thank you for it. 
Resources: 15 Business Blogging Mistakes to Avoid (http://goo.gl/hpT8JH)
Further Reading: Creating a Content Machine via HubSpot (http://goo.gl/9U8AVm)

Missed the previous chapters?

Strategy 4: Empowering Your Company To Do More on Your Own
https://plus.google.com/112138989808817331242/posts/6T9hyFh6d11

Strategy 3: Distilling Your Message into Unforgettable Content
https://plus.google.com/112138989808817331242/posts/SYKRsNxBzVG

Strategy 2: Making the Structure of your Business Website Customer-Friendly
https://plus.google.com/112138989808817331242/posts/Fw2uHB487T2

Strategy 1: Putting Marketing Insight To Use
https://plus.google.com/112138989808817331242/posts/Zdbp59fHP4x

Remember to SHARE THIS post and let me know if you'd like to be added to my ebook post notification circle. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays all!

=======================
A GIFT FOR YOU: Download my ebook FREE Dec 26/27 on Amazon. Available in US, CA, DE, FR, ES, IT, UK, AU, JP,  BR, and MX stores. Please take moment to write a review - I'd very much appreciate that. Your feedback means everything. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00G0I3K3A
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PS. #HUGZ   to +Christine DeGraff for keeping it real on the Plus. She's been a big part of my success here as I come up on 1 million profile views. A great mentor to many.
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Thank you for sharing +Lowell Ann Fuglsang - very much appreciated. I hope your contacts got the free book down on the 26th/27th.
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About this community

HOST stands for Home Office Support Team. We are all about helping the 'in-home' business owner or as some call us 'solo-preneurs' Come share your stories and ideas.
 
Welcome +Leat A to the HOST Community page. Leat can help you organize your social media communications if it's just something you don't have time nor the inclination for. Send her a note!
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Leat A
 
Thank you Bruce!
I have 5+ years of journalism and marketing background, and am happy to help engage greater online/offline audiences to your business. My email is: ahrony.leat@gmail.com
C: 7789773495
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#HOST  members are very welcome to listen in or come into the green room and join the conversation.
 
This weekly Hangout is especially for #solopreneurs who like the #mastermind  concept.  Our purpose is to provide a forum for giving & receiving support, enacting positive change, removing stumbling blocks and creating stepping stones.  This week's topic is Finding Your Ideal Client
This Hangout On Air is hosted by Lowell Ann Fuglsang. The live video broadcast will begin soon.
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Being Your Own CEO
Tue, February 10, 12:00 PM
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Here is some research to help #solopreneurs  plan their #marketingonline  
Want to improve your social media marketing? Understand your audiences' social media behavior in 2015. 5 trends, charts and tips from Global Web Index.
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Bruce McCallum
owner

Discussion  - 
 
Closing sales isn’t as easy as 1-2-3. From dramatic demonstrations to creative guarantees, convince a prospect to commit with these pro tips.
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Welcome +Inga Michaelsen to the HOST community page on G+
Feel free to post information that is useful to the members, event announcements, etc.
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Great - thank you. I am looking forward to learn more about using Google+
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This weekly Hangout is especially for   #solopreneurs   who like the   #mastermind   concept.  Our purpose is to provide a forum for giving & receiving support, enacting positive change, removing stumbling blocks and creating stepping stones.  Discussion this week:  Share an on-line tool that increases your business efficiency.
This Hangout On Air is hosted by Lowell Ann Fuglsang. The live video broadcast will begin soon.
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Being Your Own CEO
Tue, January 13, 12:00 PM
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Bruce McCallum

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The goal is understanding. to persuade, motivate, or sell, you first need to understand the person. Join +Dustin C. Slade +Arizona Lowe +Catherine Wilfong +Tom Coleman as we explore this fascinating topic on the #otsShow at 12pm 1/ o6/2015
This Hangout On Air is hosted by Tom Coleman. The live video broadcast will begin soon.
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Targeting, Diagnosis, and Market Profiles of Your Customer
Tue, January 6, 12:00 PM
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Taking control of #email  checking  means taking control of our time.  That way we can be more productive in 2015. h/t +Guy Kawasaki +Peg Fitzpatrick 
You teach best what you most need to learn.” — Richard Bach ¶ I don’t usually write about personal and revealing matter…
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Victoria Now and Then - Photos from History
Inhabited for thousands of years by First Nations peoples, the modern city of Victoria was founded in 1843 as a Hudson's Bay Company trading post. In the 1850s and 1860s the population of Victoria exploded in response to the Fraser and Cariboo gold rushes. Soon the city was a thriving port and ...
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Home Office Tax Deductions
Your Personal Investor Dale Jackson has year-end tax tips for home offices
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