Google and the Tour Guide

As a member of a tour guild or an association and being on their published membership list has a lot of unforeseen benefits.  The biggest benefit is the extra exposure they offer, and the marketing that comes with the association website.  Another benefit is networking of its membership, and the fact they will be more likely to call you if they can’t do the tour.

However, when you are a small or freelance business owner, you may not be comfortable advertising your personal contact information all over the Internet.  But, that is no longer a problem.

For the solution, I rely on Google and their package of marketing tools.  Tools that are designed for people who want to market on the Internet, while keeping some of their privacy.

Gmail, their popular email tool has been packaged with their Google Voice services.  Which offers you another telephone number with call forwarding, caller ID and voicemail… all for free.  Plus a whole bunch of other benefits that keeps growing by the day, just for the cost of logging on.

Gmail is the default email provider for most of the popular smart phones and comes with almost unlimited storage capabilities.  Gmail is the key to opening up a huge list of other excellent marketing tools offered by Google.

Gmail has quickly become the email address of choice for more freelance and home based business professionals.  It has excellent spam protection along with search and archive tools that keep the inbox organized.

With Gmail, you can easily set it up to forward your email to other addresses’ or have other email addresses sent to your Gmail.  The sender or the recipient doesn’t have to ever know you use Gmail.

My Google Voice number is used for specific marketing I do and is forwarded to my regular cell phone number.  When my phone rings, I see that it is the Google Voice number and I can answer or ignore it.

Ignore it or set it to go straight to voicemail.  Later I will get an email that includes the voicemail plus a text transcript of that voicemail.  It’s not perfect at voice recognition, but it is getting better and I can usually figure out what the message was intended to say.

So if you are one of those looking to market on the Internet, yet want to have a low cost way to keep your privacy, check out Gmail and Google Voice and see if that solves your problem.