here's a screenshot). Every time I needed a change done it cost me more money. Several years ago I started doing it myself - but with an old software program, Microsoft Frontpage 2002. 

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Recently I finally started doing websites (this blog is an example) using www.TypePad.com. I must say it's a CMS ("content management system") dream come true. I'll be porting TA's existing www.TelecomAssociation.com site over during the next several months. 

Web_tools
 For every other business owner though that's cheap (like me) I have to share these tips. If your own web site is still awful (or non-existent) it's not for lack of cheap, easy web-based software tools that you can do yourself.

1. Website Builder - www.TypePad.com  Get the "pro" edition so you can build countless sites almost instantly. I can put a site together for a friend (like I did this weekend at www.LeyPowell.com) in less than 30 minutes. This is a "blog" type web package which allows you to regularly put new "stories" or posts up on a regular basis (whicdh ensures your customers & prospects will return often). Other services we tried but didn't like as much include www.Blogger.com & www.WordPress.com. 

2.  URL Hosting (emails, etc.) - www.GoDaddy.com Get URLs (www.MyBusiness.com) for about $10 and then get them "domain mapped" to your TypePad website all in about 30 minutes. Domain mapping means the website has your custom URL instead of http://MyBusiness.TypePad.com.

3. Favicon Maker - http://tools.dynamicdrive.com/favicon What's a "favicon"? It's the little square picture or icon that's on the browser tab when someone has your web page open. This site takes your photo (crop it first to a perfect square) and then gives you the .ICO file that you then upload into the "root directory" of your website.

4. SnagIt - The best $50 you'll ever spend. Your site needs cool images. This software makes it easy to take the ones you need from your carriers and put them on your site.

5. Camtasia - Sure, it's $300 but nothing comes close to this full set of tools that helps you put video on your website.

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6. ScreenCast - Where and how to host your video. DON"T put YouTube.com hosted video on your site if you sell to businesses because half the businesses in the US block YouTube.com hosted video at work.

7. FlipVideo - The VERY easiest way to capture video and then get it onto your website.

8. Bronto - Pricey B2B e-blasting service at just under $500 per month but it's the best - that's why we use it. I've heard others are fairly happy with AWeber & Constant Contact.

9. Kutenda - This service, for around $150 a month or so, combines web sites, blogging, search engine marketings, email capture & email marketing. I've seen a demo and really think it's cool. It takes a while to get set up for yourself though. When I get some time I'm going to really dig in and try it because it seems like the perfect combination of everything I know I need at a really low price.  If you really like doing things yourself but from an organic, "Unix-like" environment (where you "own your own code" and can host where ever you like) WordPress seems to be the solution. It can be pretty tricky to set up though.

10. Atomic8Ball - If you want everything you see here, website, search engine marketing, updates, email newsletters, etc. - but you want someone else to do it - at a very low, flat monthly rate, Atomic8Ball is the company to go with. I know the owner and I know very happy customers. AFter a one-time setup fee, the flat monthly rate is under $200.

Don't be intimidated to think that any poor entrepreneur can't do this. I'm just a dumb sales guy but I can bang out quick websites like no one's business. Once you get rich then hire someone to take care of it for you (but for less money since you know how to do it yourself!)

So now get busy and put our a decent looking website that helps you generate prospects and close more business!

Atomic8Ball 
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02/20/2010

Will You Pay to "VoIP Call" on Smart Phones?

I received the following email today from Toktumi about their iPhone app that lets users add a second line and talk airtime free over WiFi/3G. It also solves the problem of using their phones in an office or home that has weak cell coverage. Click the image below to see the email solicitation.

Toktumi Email Solicitation 

 My questions:

1. Are there any BuyingTelecom.com readers who need this service in their business?

2. If so, what vendors are you getting it from (or considering) now and how do you like the service?

I have a Blackberry myself that gets pretty poor reception in my home office but I'm not sure I want to pay any sort of monthly fee to solve the problem because I'd rather talk on my desk set when I'm in the office anyway. 

As far as being able to talk without using airtime, I'm not sure that's a problem most business executives worry about.

Am I missing something? Post your thoughts below or email them to me at Dan@TelecomAssociation.com.

 WTG has the best mobile solutions  

02/11/2010

Finding the Right Multi-Location Enterprise Account Vendors

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***  
Ernest Communications & Granite Telecommunications ***


Telecom Association multi-location subject matter expert 
Jay Morris shares what it takes for business end-users and decision makers to find and select the right multi-location telecom and technology solution provider(s). You can contact Jay at 404-918-4653 or jayjmorris@gmail.com

Click the player below to listen now.  Right-click here to download the MP3



Interview Questions       


1. (00m:25s) What's the classic definition of a MLE business customer and why are they different from normal business customers? 


2. (03m:55s) Since MLEs are often spread across many RBOC boundaries, what's the best sort of "consolidation" partner or carrier for MLEs to work with? 

3. (05m:50s) What's the difference between a "POTs consolidation" type MLE carrier and a "SIP/VoIP consolidation" type MLE carrier? 


4. (10m:50s) If money is no object, what's the best situation a MLE can find themselves in once they are "perfectly consolidated"?


5. (14m:30s) Describe the situation many non-consolidated MLEs find themselves in today.


6. (16m:55s) What are some reasonable migration strategies that MLEs might embark upon to achieve the ideal environment? What are reasonable time and what do the mid-steps look like? 


7. (21m:55s) When looking for the right MLE agent, partner or carrier to work with, what are the "Top 5 (or 10) Checklist Items" a MLE end-user decision maker would want to seek or avoid?


8. (27m:15s) Can you share with us some MLE success stories (or disasters) you're familiar with that emphasize the points we've been discussing?    Transcript 

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***  Ernest Communications & Granite Telecommunications ***


Ernest-Group

Granite

 

Consultant Gives Testimonial for Telesphere's SIP and Hosted Voip Solutions


Justin_picture_wShadow
Over the past couple years, hundreds of "business VoIP phone companies" across the USA have called on business customer to say, "We won't let you down!" But how's a business owner supposed to choose?

One way is to ask a telecom agent/consultant who's tried all the VoIP and SIP companies that are worth trying.  Justin Bentley, National Sales Director for Telcom National is such a person and he's settled on selling Telesphere, a hosted VoIP/SIP/CLEC with a national footprint.

So we decided to ask him about his experiences selling Telesphere. Below you can listen to our interview.

Quotes in this audio include: "We found they're the best for the hosted VoIP product", "By 2011, we predict half our revenue will be from hosted VoIP", "About half our customers could benefit from Telesphere-type solutions", "Nationally, Telesphere is our lead hosted VoIP and SIP provider" and "They're not inventing the solution - they're perfecting it!".

Click right-arrow below to listen now or download the MP3.

(00:12) First tell us about yourself. How long have you been in the industry?

(00:24) How long have you been a Telesphere partner?

(00:27) How does Telesphere's solution set fit into your agency's complete product set?

(01:01) What percentage of your revenues are from Telesphere-type solutions?

(01:37) Is Telesphere's service an add-on sale or do you lead with it?

(02:29) How does the service you get from Telesphere compare with other similar vendors?

(03:45) How do you see the Telesphere-type market changing over the next 2 years?

(05:15) What do TA's 3,500 members need to know about your company?

Contact Justin at 602-841-1000 or Justin@TelcomNational.com. 

For more information about Telesphere please visit www.Telesphere.com


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