23 Oct Google’s Newest Roll Out Could Be A Gold Mine for Your Business
You know that frustration when you’re trying to fix something that you know, with just a little bit of guidance, you could fix yourself, but you end up hiring a costly professional to do it anyway? Leave it to Google to not only develop a solution to that situation, but to develop a solution that doesn’t even require you to leave your home or office. Google Helpouts are similar to the video chat service Google Hangouts except they allow you access to one-on-one video called “face time” with professionals in a wide range of fields. Though the service hasn’t gone live yet, the concept could prove to be a great resource for small businesses in more ways than one.
The first benefit to small business is obvious. Let’s say you need to learn the basics of a foreign language for your next business trip, or you need help installing new software on your computer. A Google Helpout would likely be less expensive and time consuming than language-learning software or hiring an IT person. And, since it is a one-on-one service, it will be easier to fit into your schedule.
But, Google Helpouts could also help you to boost revenue (or make a little extra on the side) and connect with current and potential clients when and where they need you the most. Currently, Google is looking for experts in the following fields; Home & Garden, Computers & Electronics, Health & Counseling, Nutrition & Fitness, Fashion & Beauty, Art & Music, Cooking, and Education. And they do mean experts, once you send an invitation request to Google, you are contacted by a third party to verify that you are a professional in your field, and if necessary, check your licenses and certifications.
Once you’re approved and invited, it’s easy to set up a Helpouts profile and your first listing. First, create a searchable profile that tells your potential client why they should choose you. Then create your listing; it should be a concise headline and description that makes it clear what you have to offer as a professional. To make your listing more attractive and persuasive, add a short video clip that introduces you and your Helpout. Next, set a price; free, by the minute, or a flat rate (Google does charge a 20% fee for each paid Helpout). If you are planning to be paid for your time and don’t already have one, you must then set up a Google Wallet Merchant Account. Submit your listing for approval and once it is approved, you can post your availability calendar and your listing goes live.
Even if you choose not to charge for your time, becoming a Google Helpout expert allows you to literally establish yourself as an expert online. This is widely argued to be the point of every business’ social media presence. On a less digital level, these Helpouts allow you undivided access to a potential customer for a set amount of time, and that will lead to word-of-mouth recommendations, putting you, your business and your Helpout in high demand.
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