Author Archive: Jennifer Mitchell

Pivotal Homes’ Michael Irwin Uses Website to Give Clients Peace of Mind

Michael Irwin Pivotal Homes

While most websites are purely for marketing purposes (to promote a business, attract leads and so on), some smart business owners are using their website to build relationships with their existing clients. Michael Irwin of Pivotal Homes is one such business owner.

The Michael Irwin Approach to Customer Service with Pivotal Homes

On Michael Irwin’s company website, he gives his property investment clients a seperate login where they can view photos of their property… while it’s being built.

The benefit of this for Pivotal Homes’ clients is significant. Especially for interstate investors, who would otherwise have to pay for airfares and accomodation to see the progress of their investment property. Not only that, but the normal concerns experienced by property investors – building delays, shortcuts being taken, tradesmen being lazy on site – are largely addressed by being able to see the progress photos right there on the company website.

Of course, the most effective inspections are in person, on site – but at least with this setup, clients can use this as an “optional extra” – not a “mandatory monthly exercise”.

It’s not uncommon for Michael’s clients to never visit the site at all, particularly his repeat clients who know and trust Pivotal Homes to finish the job as they promised.

Michael Irwin believes, “…it’s quite a simple thing, but I find it’s still very uncommon in this industry… I’m regularly surprised more builders aren’t showing that extra level of service to their clients.”


What Can YOUR Website Do?

It’s easy to think, “Great, but that won’t work for me / my industry / my customers”. But this thinking is very limited! There are many ways you can add extra value to your clients with your website. Here are some ideas to get you going:

  • Share unique educational video content, by you and your team
  • Run surveys for client feedback
  • Give viewers access to web-based tools, such as pricing calculators and decision-making workflows

You can also integrate many third-party apps into your website to help with this. Fantastic modern tools such as TypeForm can be embedded on your website, allowing you to create a fun and interesting way for your clients to share their feedback with you.

Social Media Value

There’s no reason for this “extra value” to be limited to your primary website, either. Social media is an excellent way to provide advanced customer service. Many Facebookers today use the Messenger for asking common questions from “what time are you open?” to “how much for your services?”

Smart business owners don’t consider these questions as annoyances or interruptions, but as an opportunity to respond (in real time) with a live, interested prospect. They understand that at EVERY interaction, they and their team are either enhancing or damaging the view of their company in the eyes of that customer.

Beyond Messenger, Facebook posts can be scheduled to include helpful links, articles and much more beyond the common “buy my stuff” posts we see on that platform.

The same can be true on the other major social platforms such as Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter. By building relationships with your clients – rather than being silent or posting the occasional sales pitch – you’ll be increasing the reach of your brand, and positioning yourself as the “market leader” in your industry.

Now Go And Do Likewise!

Just as Michael Irwin at Pivotal Homes can add extra value to his clients with his website, you can absolutely do the same thing. It may take a brainstorming session with your team to come up with some quality ideas, but once you’ve got those ideas, ensure you follow-through. In business, the spoils belong to the action takers!

Life is Easier with these Internet Marketing Tools

online marketing tools to make life easierIt takes more than a fabulous idea to make money as an Internet Marketer. You must carry out the idea in a way that brings success. Doing everything themselves is what many Internet Marketers think is the right thing to do. Tracking their own sales. Manual responses through their e-mail clients is also done. They want to minutely manage each detail. This is fine. However, these people should use tools specifically designed to get this work done, making their lives much easier in the process. Here are some of the absolute best tools that an Internet Marketer needs to have in his or her arsenal.

Project Tracker

Find a way to track your projects. This is different than tracking payments or your bookkeeping. You should find a way to monitor every little step from the beginning of your project until the end. There is a lot of project tracking software out there that you can use to help you with this. If you have any intention of taking on more than one project at a time, then this software is of the highest importance. Most of these software programs have free versions and free trials you can use to help you track things. Test out some of these to find the right one.


It is important to have an auto-responder service in place to help you deal with the influx of emails that you have and that you want to send out. There are two main functions of auto-responders: one option is to automatically respond to every single email that you receive, and the second function is to store multiple messages that your prospects will receive, based on whatever schedule you decide upon. When you start getting lots of emails, this ensures that every person will receive a prompt reply. You can also use this to create a newsletter and preload all of the content. This allows you to do your email marketing in an efficient way and make sure that all of your contacts receive a response from you. This tool allows you to build a subscriber list with ease.

Shopping Cart

If you have products to sell, your website will need a shopping cart. It’s easy enough to let people buy one or two things through your site using the invoice system provided by your payment processor. If you want to sell numerous products then you must get a shopping cart. Your hosting provider should be able to help you pick out a few. You can always find plug ins and software that will have what you are looking for in this area. If you cannot do it on your own, hire a professional coder to get it done for you.

If you attempt to do everything manually, you might learn a lot and get a sense of accomplishment. But you may also find that you spend so much time on each little detail, that it’s hard to build any forward momentum for your business. The real advantage of using the type of tools we’ve mentioned here is that you can spend more time improving your business and maybe thinking of new product ideas rather than spending hours on each mundane task you have to do.

Know the Right Approach in Keeping Your Online Business

The right online business approach

There are so many available resources that make an online business more of a reality than ever before. The old saying about getting started on a bootstrap still apply, and you can easily do that if you prepare for it. You will have to proceed at your own pace and just do what you can do but never give up. One of the single most important habits you can develop is getting into the habit of taking action. Just remember that an online business is not hard, but it takes real effort and a real focus that perhaps you have never had before.

You will need many things on your side, and one of them may be distinguishing yourself in some meaningful way. Most of the time our first answers and first feelings are the best ones, so just remember that as you go along. Some people move along using the wrong information, so you have to be mindful about that. If you choose to overlook these points, then they will come back to haunt you.

Be Flexible

People have made lots of money in very non-creative ways, so just do not get stuck on the notion you must be creative. When you create a plan, or identify objectives for your online business, remember that these should not be set in stone. Your plan may have to be adjusted based on what’s going on around you. The best plans are there to guide you, but that doesn’t mean you can’t alter them whenever appropriate. As a business grows, it’s almost certain that its plan or blueprint will have to be altered somehow. This is essential for any successful entrepreneur to understand. Being stubborn about sticking to a plan can harm your business. Flexibility is always the best approach.

Make your Goals Realistic

But be careful that you do not sabotage yourself by making your goals unrealistic. Focus on your current tasks as much as you can, and get the details right and the big picture will fall in place on its own. Always look at your net business as a real business, and that must apply even before you make your very first website. Have something in place that gives you a sense of your progress because that is important. The one thing you do not want to let happen is a slowing down of your momentum because that can really be destructive.

It should be Fun

Actually, doing business online can be fun and it’s supposed to be be fun otherwise you can be miserable. Never let negative thoughts enter your mind, even though that can be hard for many people to do. There will be times when you may question what you are doing, but that is fine and just keep pressing on. Lots of challenges of all kinds are ahead of you, and that is just a part of being in any business.

How to Grow Your Online Promotion with these Tips


There are a lot of ways to make money online, but nothing compares to internet marketing. The suggestions listed below will help you to market your product online.

Every internet marketer knows that they should be building an email list of targeted subscribers, but many don’t take advantage of what this list can bring in terms of success. There are many reasons for this, however, the main one is that your approach is all incorrect. First of all, you need to remember that your list is like a goose that lays golden eggs. The more that you provide it with quality info, the greater your chances of making money from it. But when you get over zealous and hit your subscribers over the head with too many offers, you are killing the magical potential of your list.

What you have to understand here is the fact that building an email list is only the first step towards success. The next step is to find a successful balance between your info and offers. The quality information that you give away helps your subscribers in a number of ways and shows them that you care. It gives them a reason to believe that you want to help them with their problems. Once they begin to trust you, they will be more receptive to your offers. This works out for everyone involved. You have to make sure that you give good info before you send offers.

For example, send a tip every few days and an offer every other week. Just discover what makes your subscribers happy. You will have to test a lot to determine what your subscribers react to. In order to be prosperous with online marketing, you must recognize that your customers are the ones that will provide you will long term success.

When you finally realize that your customers are valuable, you will learn how to use this to your advantage in the long run. But in order to derive this lifetime value from the customer, you’ll have to first have his / her contact info so that you can stay in touch on a regular basis. Secondly, your first sale is important because it determines if your customer will purchase from you again. But when you screw up the first sale, it won’t be easy trying to get him to purchase anything else from you in the future.

Treat your internet business like a real business and not just a hobby. Many newbie marketers view their online businesses as fun projects and in error never really treat them like real businesses. This only makes it more difficult for you, which is why you should treat your internet business like a successful business in the very beginning of your journey. Any business takes some financial input, so don’t believe the hype that you can become a millionaire without spending any of your money!

One of the great things about internet marketing is that it is so easy for anyone with a computer and internet connection to break into it. So why not get started today – you never know where it could take you!

Cyber Security Tips for Your Business


If you’re running an online business or an offline business, cyber security should be top on your list of priorities. With malware attacks and identity theft becoming more common, you can’t afford to ignore it – the cost may be catastrophic.

What can you do to protect your company and personal data? Fortunately there are many steps you can take, starting with your own computer.

Cyber Security Software

A top-rated cyber security suite can help protect your data from keylogging (key capturing) attacks as well as phishing attacks & malware. There are many suppliers of cyber security software including Symantec, Kaspersky, Norton, McAfee & the AVG.

This software can include anti-virus and malware protection as well as firewall security, it all depends on the product you choose and how much money you are prepared to invest.

Look for software that has received good reviews, obviously – from personal experience Nortons is not a good choice, because it has a very common tendency of bringing your machine to a halt. I personally use and recommend Kaspersky, because it includes 5 licenses which lets me protect my MacBook Air, my Windows 10 desktop and other family computers.

Be Smart Online

The best software in the world can’t protect you from being careless. Avoid clicking any links in emails from people you do not know. You should also make it a habit to double-check the actual URL of any links you see in emails or websites that you may not fully trust.

As a general rule, .ZIP files and particularly .EXE file attachments should be treated as highly suspicious.

Also, never share your personal details online outside of secure forms – and even then, only with vendors you know and trust. It’s too easy these days for cyber attackers to take your personal information and use it against you. We are seeing an increase in cryptoware, a scenario where attackers lock you out of your website unless you pay them thousands of dollars. In 2015 the frequency of these attacks increased substantially and show no sign of slowing down.

Educate Your Team on Cyber Awareness

Sign up to online cyber security training courses for you and your team. Make sure they understand the implication of a cyber breach and what they can do to help avoid this from happening.

From time to time, test your team to see how they respond to various cyber threat scenarios. For example, you could send an email from a bogus account that “looks real” and see who clicks the link.

Use SSL for Ecommerce Sites

If you’re selling online, you’ll want to ensure that you’re using an SSL certificate for your customer’s safety. This will help prevent you from being accused of stealing credit card information, and also help give your customers confidence in your site – which will directly impact the number of sales you generate every month.