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Answering your questions about Skype in the workspace

SITW(4).pngSkype in the workspace is growing more and more every day, and we’ve gotten some great feedback and suggestions from so many members using the platform. I’ve collected some of your most frequent questions and will answer them here so you all can benefit from the information.

How can Skype in the workspace help my business?

Great question. Skype in the workspace (SITW) is a way for you to connect with people around the world who can help your business grow, either because they are potential customers, or they are experts and/or consultants who can advise you and help you run your business better.

If you’re just getting your business off the ground, SITW can help you find more seasoned professionals who can share best practices and guidance to get you started – like this group of business coaches, for example.

If you’re more established, you can use SITW to market your services and connect with potential customers or other professionals with whom you can collaborate. Some ideas: several financial advisors are offering a quick meeting to discuss topics like tax planning, and a number of design firms have posted opportunities to consult on a particular project.

Every opportunity you create showcases your skills and talents to others who may want to hire or work with you. We’ll help the right members find you, and you can market any opportunity you create through your own social media channels, too. And don’t forget, the general public can use SITW as a global business directory, which means the number of people who can discover your business through SITW is virtually limitless.

Once you’ve had a few interactions, the testimonials left on your profile from people you meet through SITW will help polish your professional reputation.

Can one user create multiple opportunities on Skype in the workspace?

Yes. To get the best results, however, we recommend starting small. Create one or two opportunities that showcase a specific service your business can provide. Be as descriptive as you can when outlining the particular benefits someone can expect if they work with you.

When I create an opportunity, I’m prompted to include an amount of time (5 minutes to 30 minutes). What exactly does this mean?

Opportunities are intended to spark an introductory conversation like one you’d have with someone you’ve just met about your business.

The time options are merely suggestions. They give people a general sense of how much time the first conversation with you will take. Ultimately, however, the conversation can be as long or short as is right for the situation.

I’ve created an opportunity for my business. What happens next?

Let people know about it! You can spread the word by sharing your opportunity in your social channels: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and many other platforms.

Your opportunity is also indexed by search engines, meaning it may come up in results when people search for words or phrases in your listing. That’s another reason to make your opportunity as descriptive and clear as possible.

The goal is for others to see your opportunity and contact you. When they do, they’ll send a request to connect. You’ll need to add them as a Skype contact so you can converse on Skype.

When someone clicks on my opportunity, how does that work? Does it connect us right away, or is there a way to schedule the meeting?

When someone clicks, you’ll receive an email showing their interest. At that point you can respond (either by email or by Skype IM if you’ve added them as a contact) and schedule a time for your introductory conversation on Skype.

Would that meeting take place as a voice call, a video call, or chat – or is that open?

It’s up to the two of you. Once you’ve added the person as a Skype contact, you can conduct your introductory conversation as an IM chat, a video or voice call, and on whatever device is convenient for you.

How do I know what to charge someone who wants to hire me after finding me on SITW, and how do I collect payment?

The money exchange is between you and your new customer. We suggest handling fees, invoicing and payment as you do with all your other clients. Use common sense, and be completely transparent about the cost of your services and your expectations for payment.

How will people find me if they search on SITW? Any guidelines around keywords to include in the opportunity so I come up in the right searches?

Use words that best describe your business and services. Include every word that is relevant to what you do and that people may search for. If you provide social media consulting, for example, be sure to include words like “social media,” “Facebook,” “Twitter,” “LinkedIn” and “consulting” in your opportunity.

Any other questions about Skype in the workspace? Please share in the comments.

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