Best Business Networking Events in San Diego

When it comes to success in business, who you know can be just as important as what you know.  The good news is that in cities such as San Diego, there are a number of events that not only have networking as their primary purpose, but you can also count on them happening every year.  As a result, whether you are one of the more than 3 million people who call that area home, or you're only here on business, you can use any of these tips to give yourself a leg up on the competition. It's time to start closing deals!

 

 

1. SCORE: San Diego

SCORE is an organization run by volunteers under the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and is a perfect fit for entrepreneurs. As with 6 Degrees, you can choose from numerous networking events. If you’re a woman who owns your own business (or aspires to), you’d probably enjoy the Women’s Networking Breakfast, put on every other month with a new speaker every time. They also offer 40 workshops a year, almost all of which are either free or only cost a nominal fee.  Not only do these forums allow you to network with other entrepreneurs, but they also provide lots of useful information, from how to establish a marketing plan to understanding intellectual property laws.

( https://sandiego.score.org/ )

 

2. Mission Bay Networking Group

This group is similar to LeTip in that one person from each profession is allowed. Members range from a chiropractor to a lawyer to a seamstress and a travel agent. Ultimately, as their website reads, “The primary goal of Mission Bay Networking Group is to develop strong referral partnerships.” If you’re interested in open positions, they meet every Friday morning and once a month for happy hour.

( http://missionbaygroup.digitalinsights.us/ )

 

3. San Diego Pros

One great thing about San Diego Pros is that you can attend several meetings to test the waters and see if it’s a good fit for you. They invite you to one of their weekly Thursday morning meetings, you attend for several weeks in a row, and then you’ll be extended an invitation to officially join. They distinguish themselves from other similar groups on their website, explaining, “B2B (business to business) networking groups tend to be expensive and demanding of referrals to members’ businesses. The San Diego Pros believe that by investing in the relationships within the group, the exchange of business happens as a natural byproduct.”

( http://www.sandiegopros.org/ )

 

4 .San Diego Entrepreneur Meetup Group

Taking its inspiration from business guru Seth Godin, this group believes the business world will continue its march away from industrialism and toward a “connection economy” where real value is created through the human connections business people make.

( https://www.meetup.com/san-diego-entrepreneurs/ )

 

5. San Diego Young Entrepreneur Network Meetup Group

Not just for networking, this group is also for young entrepreneurs to stay up-to-date on innovative technology. Each week, the group gives a guest speaker 15 – 20 minutes to talk about a technique that is currently working for them so others may learn from it.

( https://www.meetup.com/San-Diego-Young-Entrepreneur-Network/ )

 

6. San Diego Small Business Meetup Group

The San Diego Small Business Meetup Group holds semi-regular networking events, workshops, speaker events and personal development opportunities for entrepreneurs in San Diego.

( https://www.meetup.com/san-diego-small-business/ )

 

7. San Diego Entrepreneur Center & Startup Society

This group wants San Diego to become a role model for other cities in the United States to follow in regards to entrepreneurship. It holds events and workshops throughout the year and even has shirts you can order to show your San Diego entrepreneurial spirit.

( https://www.meetup.com/San-Diego-Entrepreneur-Center-Society/ )

 

8. San Diego Entrepreneurs Exchange

A nonprofit organization, the Exchange is run by local entrepreneurs to encourage new entrepreneurs, and sponsor networking and educational services for people interested in Life Sciences, Biotech, Pharma, Medical Devices, Tech and Alternative Energy.

( http://www.sdentrepreneurs.org/ )

 

9. Entrepreneurs’ Organization San Diego

A global, peer-to-peer network, the Entrepreneurs’ Organization consists of influential business owners who belong to 157 chapters in 48 countries. It has been around since 1987.

( https://www.eonetwork.org/sandiego )

 

10. San Diego Venture Group

Another non-profit business association, its mission is to support and promote the venture capital and startup eco-system in the San Diego region. The group includes venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, experienced executives, and professionals who support them

( https://www.eonetwork.org/sandiego )

 

11. Youth Entrepreneurship Program San Diego

Featuring lessons, mentoring and counseling, this group focuses on young people who are interested in starting their own business. It even has a business plan competition for them to enter.

( http://www.yepsd.com/ )

 

12. CoFoundersLab

A unique group, CoFoundersLab allows entrepreneurs to find people who may be interested in becoming a co-founder of their company or, on the other hand, it also allows people who want to invest in a new company to find a startup that they can invest in.

( https://cofounderslab.com/ )

 

13. Connect

Connect gives entrepreneurs access to people, capital and technology that can help grow their startups. It holds events throughout the year.

( http://www.connect.org/ )

 

14. The VineSD

The VineSD connects entrepreneurs and allows them to grow under one roof. The organization has partnerships with EvoNexus, ROC, Irvine Company and ReadyNow®.

( http://thevine.irvinecompany.com/san-diego )

 

15. Exceptional Entrepreneurs

Founded in 2008, Exceptional Entrepreneurs has four weekly networking events in San Diego. No membership is required, but there is a small cost.

( https://www.meetup.com/Exceptional-Entrepreneurs/ )

 

16. TiE South Coast

Founded in 1992 by a group of successful entrepreneurs, TiE uses its five pillars of mentoring, networking, education, incubating and funding to help small businesses get started and grow.

( http://southcoast.tie.org/ )

 

17. Chamber Events

Events Calendar – business and community events with B2B business networking, mixers, workshops, roundtables, trainings, and many business growth opportunities. Get involved to start, change, and/or grow your business opportunities!

( http://sdchamber.org/ )

 

18.Weekly Community Events

Events Calendar – San Diego East County weekly events and attractions. Farmers markets, concerts, car shows, with local community experiences that will warm your heart, and keep your wallet happy also. Get out during the week and have some fun!

( https://www.sandiego.org/explore/events.aspx )

 

19. San Diego Women’s Groups

Discover dozens of women’s groups in San Diego—some are focused on networking, particular industries, occupations, professions or hobbies, and some are just for friendship. As a service to the community, I have listed them here with links to their websites and information about contacts, meetings, and dues (as of Jan 2014). Most of these are non-profit although there are a few exceptions. Please let me know if there’s anything I should correct. I hope you meet some wonderful new women!

( http://www.discreetguide.com/sd-womens-groups/ )

 

20. SDHF Networking Events

SDHF Networking Events are member-only events that highlight the vibrant housing sector in San Diego. Events include popular gatherings at the affordable housing developments such as:

The contribution required to sponsor a Networking Event varies depending on event factors such as expected attendance, location, and topic.

( https://www.eventbrite.com/d/ca--san-diego/networking/ )

 

21. 6 Degrees

Whatever you might call your perfect combination of fun and work, 6 Degrees has something for you. In fact, 6 Degrees has something for nearly everyone, regardless of the month, every month. Every month, at some time during the month, 6 Degrees offers something for you to do, whether it be a breakfast, Happy hour, or one of their Cigar and Scotch mixers, the whole point is mixing fun and business.

(www.sd6degrees.com)

 

22. San Diego Young Entrepreneur Network

About 150 people belong to this group, which was founded by Will Caldwell, who is a young entrepreneur himself. This group meets about once a month where most of the discussion centers on advice for startups and staying motivated.

(www.meetup.com/San-Diego-Young-Entrepreneur-Network)

 

23. LeTip of Greater San Diego

If you are in the San Diego area, but you want to expand your business horizons into areas beyond your own field, LeTip of Greater San Diego might be just the place for you. LeTip is a networking group where there are no two members of the same profession in attendance. As a result, you won't have to worry about conflicting with another of whatever business you are in. LeTip meets every Wednesday at 7 a.m. for breakfast.

(http://www.letipofsandiego.com)

 

24. Network After Work

Network After Work is a group that is rapidly expanding in cities throughout the country. At the present time, there are 19 cities that have Network After Work monthly events. The San Diego group alone has more than 600 people who attend regularly at a different busy nightlife location every month. Want to network? Join Network After Work. Just make sure you have a cocktail in your hand.

(www.networkafterwork.com/events/san-diego)

 

25. Women's Wisdom

This group, as its name suggests, is one for women. Founded in 1991, Women's Wisdom is a group for networking as well as coaching for business as well as personal success. Monthly gatherings, as well as retreats, are a highlight of this group.

(http://womenswisdom.net)

 

26. BNI

BNI is a business and professional referral organization that allows only one person from each profession to join a chapter.

(http://www.bnisd.com/)

 

27. The Friends In Business Network

A weekly event for building successful relationships/friendships for San Diego business owners. Onetime lifetime membership fee and full breakfasts is a solid deal.

(http://thefriendsinbusinessnetwork.com/)

 

28. San Diego Chamber of Commerce

The overpriced franchise of the biz networking world, but has the benefits of tons of members and resources.

(http://sdchamber.org/)

 

29. Startup Grind (Google for Entrepreneurs)

Sponsored by the Google, these events feature founders, authors, CEO's, entrepreneurs and more. I haven't had the time to check them out personally, but the website and future/past presenters look amazing. Looking forward to attending, and hope to see you there.

(https://www.startupgrind.com/san-diego/)

 

30. MPISD

MPI San Diego is a not-for-profit corporation approved for charter by Meeting Professionals International in November 1979. It is a membership organization that brings together meeting professionals and vendors for professional growth, advancement, and networking.

( http://www.mpisd.org/ )

 

31. SDBJ

Throughout the year, the San Diego Business Journal hosts a series of high-profile events that bring together decision makers and business owners from all industries. These programs are designed to recognize businesses and leaders who positively impact the San Diego County business community.

( http://sdbj.com/ )

 

32. AITP

For more than six decades, AITP has championed the human element of the Information Technology profession and remained focused on providing a community of knowledge, education, and resources that will empower its members to reach their true potential as an IT business professional.

( http://www.aitpsd.org/ )

 

33. San Diego Referral Connection

San Diego Referral Connection is a business network made up of local business owners and professionals in San Diego, whose members deliver products and services to home owners, consumers, small businesses, and corporations. Combining weekly meetings and a monthly social hour, our members work to get to know each other and actively refer one another.

( http://networking.mgfx.com/sandiegoreferrals/index.cfm )

 

34. Business Networking Groups

GSDBA BNGs (Business Networking Groups) offer a forum where GSDBA members can increase their business through networking and sharing direct leads with other members on a regular basis. They offer a supportive environment that allows each member to share products or services with others who want to help them succeed. Conflicts of interest are not allowed, meaning once you join, a business in the same category as yours can not join. BNG members will follow the guidelines outlined in the BNG Policies (below) so that all become more profitable and successful, and the BNG’s will continue to grow. BNGs are open to General, Corporate, and Associate Level Members only.

( http://www.gsdba.org/pages/Home )

 

35. Flagship Cruises & Events

Flagship Cruises & Events is San Diego's only locally owned and operated cruise and event company. Operating San Diego's finest fleet of high-end yachts expertly managed by our team of captains, crew, chefs and event consultants. Our services include fabulous gourmet dinner and brunch cruises, cocktail cruises, harbor tours, whale watching excursions as well as ferry and water taxi services. And there is no better place to celebrate a wedding, conduct a business meeting or just throw a party than on a Flagship yacht.

( http://www.flagshipsd.com/ )

 

36. San Diego Rotary

Of the 33,000 clubs worldwide, San Diego Rotary is the 5th largest! Boasting with over 500 local members as the longest standing Rotary in San Diego County, our club includes some of the city’s well-known civic, business and community leaders who meet weekly for fellowship and service. Since 1911, San Diego Rotary has been providing San Diego’s leadership with an opportunity to connect with others toward the common goal of improving the community in which we work and live, as well as the world beyond. This work is channeled through our 60 committees.

( http://www.sandiegorotary.club/ )

 

37. San Diego Business Network

The San Diego Business Network can benefit both established business owners and new business owners alike with the exponential power of our group! This dynamic group generates an average of more than 100 leads to members every month! How would you like to have 20-30 extra salespeople spreading the word about your product or service? The "sphere of influence" of each individual or business in the group can generate an unlimited number of leads for your business. It's "Word of Mouth" advertising at its best! If you are interested in finding out more about this exciting group of professionals dedicated to promoting and supporting the growth of each other's business, please make plans to attend one of San Diego Business Network's informal meetings. Dramatically grow your business through customer referrals!

( http://sdbusinessnetwork.com/index.html )

 

38. NET Party

With over 200,000 members globally, NetParty is The Worldwide Young Professionals Network. We are best known for our NetParty "Networking with a Twist"® business / social networking event. As seen in Forbes ("Best of the Web"), this event is designed to combine business networking with social fun" and generally follows this format:

We sponsor other events for young professionals, as well, including Tech Night 2000™ (for startups and the people who love them), NetParty Social Club (our purely social event), NetParty Turbo (speed dating for business contacts) and more!

( http://www.netparty.com/?noredirect=1 )

 

39. San Diego East County Chamber Foundation

The San Diego East County Chamber Foundation has been formed for public and charitable purposes, including and without limitation, to operate a nonprofit organization to promote better understanding of business and its integral role in community development in the East San Diego County, California area, to provide training and education to the local community at large, and to solicit, hold and disburse funds and property for the public benefit programs arranged through the San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce.

( http://eastcountychamber.org/ )

 

40. Athena

Athena San Diego is a 501(c)6 professional development association serving women in science and technology. Athena is a community of dynamic women that provides inspiration, education, networking and leadership programs that empower women to realize their true potential within STEM industries. Athena members come from all sectors of STEM organizations, including life sciences, healthcare, defense, engineering and related industries, as well as the service providers who support them. Athena represents senior executives, entrepreneurs, educators, and emerging executives, Athena supports members at the top of their field while paving the way for those on their way up.

( http://www.athenasd.org/ )

 

41. Star

We are a network of trusted resources revolutionizing the way our business community works through a collaborative platform that connects, empowers, and builds deep and meaningful relationships through education, communication, and collaboration.

( http://www.star-sandiego.com/content.aspx?page_id=0&club_id=53252 )

 

42. San Diego Speed Networking

San Diego Speed Networking was borne from an increasingly popular concept in major business hubs across the country: speed networking. Speed networking events have experienced growth because they actually work in helping companies, individuals, and organizations reach their business goals. The San Diego Speed Networking team is motivated and business-minded and organize high quality and effective events. Our goal is to help businesses, both large and small, expand their networking circle by assembling them in an energetic and active environment. We will work diligently to maximize your networking experience with us.

( http://www.silkroadproductions.us/speednetworking/sdspeedabout.html )

 

43. Pure Water Technology

Pure Water Technology partners with many local organizations to provide no-cost sustainable drinking water solutions for community events hosted by SDG&E, American Lung Assoc., Scripps, , Balboa Park Cultural Partnership and CalTrans to name a few. We also work very closely with non-profit organizations such as the Boys and Girls Club, YMCA, San Diego Bird Rescue, Community Housing Works and more to provide low-cost sustainable drinking water solutions.

( http://www.purewatertechsandiego.com/ )

 

44. CuffLinks Business Networking

Cufflinks Networking was founded by Mark Anthony Cedre. Mark Anthony Cedre, known to his friends as just "Mark Anthony", has grown Cufflinks Networking organically. It began as a method to attract professional resources for his wealth management clients to collaborate and establish new alliances in a challenging economy. After a year of holding such events, it gained the attention of many professionals in the San Diego area to achieve the same. Hence, a child of professional and social networking was born. Cufflinks strives to be a pillar of sophistication and class. Our events are held at only the most prestigious venues that San Diego and Los Angeles have to offer. One must have a sphere of influence to dominate his/her marketplace and it is Cufflinks' goal to help facilitate, build and grow those relationships by providing only the very best of environments to do so.

( http://www.cufflinksevents.com/ )

 

45. WIB

WIB San Diego has been a member chapter of the original organization for over 40 years, and has a very important place in the hearts of its members. Inspired by a “Women, Work and Power” seminar held at UCLA in 1974, a few women who had met there continued to meet informally, to share ideas, achievements, and experiences. Eventually, in 1976, this group incorporated and WIB was officially born. Its goals – then and now – are to provide a forum for increasing professional development, personal growth, and visibility – all factors that enable women to exert influence over and shape their worlds. Individually unique, the women of WIB San Diego are some of the most prominent and progressive women in San Diego County. We represent many professions, everything from corporate America to the world of non-profit … from the halls of education to the halls of justice and government. WIB San Diego members are diverse, encompassing women who are both starting their careers, as well as those who are in full stride … who come from all races and ethnic backgrounds … women who are single, married, with kids, and without. One thing we all share is a commitment to succeed at our given professions; another is our desire to have a place to garner support, knowledge, and friendship just by showing up.

( http://www.wibsd.org/ )

 

46. Ellevate

Ellevate is a global professional women's network dedicated to the economic engagement of women worldwide. The most expansive and diverse network of its kind, the community is made up of successful, motivated and passionate professional women from various industries and walks of life with one common belief: that investing in themselves and in other women is good business. Our members are at all stages of their careers: groundbreakers, thought leaders, CEOs, entrepreneurs, board members, and visionaries. They are alumnae and students of some of the world's leading academic institutions. Some are at the top of their fields, and others are on their way. Thousands of women strong, the community is large and growing by the day.

( https://www.ellevatenetwork.com/ )

 

47. TEDxSanDiego Community Network

TEDxSanDiego relies on an extensive network of community organizations in order to bring a diverse collection of innovators, explorers, visionaries, creatives, students and teachers to our annual events. We owe a debt of gratitude to the groups listed below who connect their networks to TEDxSanDiego.

( http://www.tedxsandiego.com/ )

 

48. University of San Diego

The local San Diego universities offer business networking and job fair-type events on a school-dependant basis. USD is dedicated to the values originally articulated by its founders, Bishop Charles Francis Buddy of the Diocese of San Diego and Mother Rosalie Hill of the Society of the Sacred Heart. Those values are reflected in the University's rich Catholic intellectual tradition. USD's community of scholars are committed to educating the whole person—intellectually, physically, spiritually, emotionally, socially and culturally. The university provides a character-building education that fosters independent thought, innovation, integrity, analytical thinking, and an open-minded and collaborative world view. USD welcomes and respects those whose lives are formed by different traditions, and we recognize their important contributions to a pluralistic society and to an atmosphere of open discussion and discovery, which is essential to a liberal arts education.

( http://www.sandiego.edu/ )

 

49. SDEE

San Diego Entrepreneurs Exchange (SDEE) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization founded by local San Diego entrepreneurs to provide a voice for early stage technology start-ups, to support new entrepreneurs and their companies, and to sponsor networking and educational events to help develop the skills necessary to bring funding, business, and jobs to the San Diego area.

( http://www.sdentrepreneurs.org/ )

 

50. San Diego Biotechnology Network

The San Diego Biotechnology Network was founded in September of 2008, addressing the need for more high quality, face to face networking among Biotech professionals in the greater San Diego area. Membership is open to those working at a biotechnology, diagnostics, green technology, medical devices, or pharmaceutical company in the Greater San Diego area. We plan to host monthly events in which we will actively promote face to face networking, and also allowing members to connect and interact on LinkedIn (check out our Next Event to get started!). We plan to feature one new or exciting company at each happy hour, allowing members to learn more and network with them. Organizers of this group are Mary Canady of Comprendia and Todd Backus of Blue Horse and Trumpet, two local companies that are interested in fostering communication in the Biotech community.

( http://sdbn.org/ )

 

51. AMA

San Diego AMA is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization comprised of mid to senior-level marketers that comprise our diverse, organization. While our content and benefits are aligned to provide empower integrated brand marketers with career-advancing opportunities, limitless access and marketing resources, all are welcome to our inclusive, professional organization.

( http://sdama.org/ )

 

52. Green Business Network

The City of San Diego is committed to reducing energy consumption, conserving water and minimizing waste. By joining the Network, the Green Business Network team becomes your business Green Team. Let us help you improve your operations by providing assistance in energy conservation, water, and waste reduction, and recycling hazardous materials such as fluorescent bulbs, batteries and paint products. Studies show that businesses using sustainable practices save costs. Let us help you save costs and save San Diego's environment.

( https://www.sandiego.gov/environmental-services/sustainable/greenbusnet )

 

53. Exceptional Entrepreneurs

The purpose of meeting with the business professionals in Exceptional Entrepreneurs is to develop relationships, learn about each other, connect people from different parts of the community and grow our businesses. Exceptional Entrepreneurs meets every Wednesday in San Diego & also in Tucson Arizona.

( http://www.networkingee.com/ )

 

If you live or work in the San Diego area, you can consider yourself unusually blessed with the networking opportunities that are available. If you need any assistance with increasing your business exposure online in San Diego, we offer a variety of digital marketing services, including Search Engine Optimization, Google Adwords Management, Facebook Ad Management, and more. We can bring more visitors to your website than you would see at any of the business networking events in San Diego!

Discover Pacific Beach can help your Pacific Beach Business!

Are you a business owner in Pacific Beach, San Diego?

First off, welcome! I love networking with fellow local business owners, and feel free to give us a call at 415-237-3932 if you want to meetup for coffee at one of our awesome local shops, including Cafe 976, 99 Cups, or Better Buzz.

Discover Pacific Beach is the business improvement association for our wonderful beach community in San Diego. They offer maps, events calendar, history, and general assistance and exposure for Pacific Beach and surrounding businesses (and residents)

 

Here are other helpful links from the city of San Diego for Pacific Beach:

 

Pacific Beach Council Representative

Photo of James McGuirk

James McGuirk
Council Representative

Email: [email protected]
Phone: (619) 235-5282

Pacific Beach Community Meetings

Pacific Beach Town Council
www.pbtowncouncil.org(link is external)
Meets 3rd Wednesday of the month at 6:30 p.m.
Crown Point Junior Music Academy
4033 Ingraham St, San Diego, CA 92109
Contact: Cathie Jolley
Pacific Beach Community Planning Committee
www.pbplanning.org(link is external)
Meets 4th Wednesday of the month at 6:30 p.m.
Earl and Birdie Taylor Library
4275 Cass Street, San Diego, CA 92109
Contact: Brian Curry, Chair
[email protected]

 

Discover Pacific Beach
(Business Improvement District)
www.pacificbeach.org(link is external)
Meets 1st Tuesday of the month at 12 p.m.
Discover PB Office
1503 Garnet, San Diego, CA 92109
Contact: Sara Berns, executive director
[email protected]

 

Hospitality Task Force
www.pacificbeach.org(link is external)
Meets 3rd Wednesday of the month at 1:00 p.m.
Discover PB Office
1503 Garnet Avenue, San Diego, CA 92109
Contact: Sara Berns
[email protected]

 

Bike Walk San Diego District 2
(location and time may vary)
Please contact: Nicole Burgess, Chair
Email Nicole
Bike Walk San Diego D2 Website(link is external)

Hootsuite Review & Top 5 Creative Strategies for Success

Hootsuite is generally recognized as a "Social Media Management Platform", and it is awesome! It offers so many great resources to manage numerous different social media platforms at the same time. Once you login to Hootsuite, there's a lot going on and it might look a bit confusing. That's where this post comes in handy.

Through all the plugins and shortcuts on Hootsuite, there is most definitely a strategy to be successful. Below are 5 unique creative strategies for success on the platform.

1)  Pick and choose your social platforms wisely. There are a lot of options out there in the world of social networks. Some platforms are better for certain things than others. If you choose to incorporate too many platforms, then you're Hootsuite is going to become very confusing very fast. We recommend to choose 2-3 platforms and dominate them, and then maybe add more.

2)  Create streams in Hootsuite to help optimize your strategy. The platform allows you to manage up to 100 different social networks at the same time such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, Linkedin, Pinterest, Mail Chimp and many more. On top of that, you are able to track different keywords such as "competitors" or "targets" on Twitter. This allows you to track a specific competitor and see what they are posting daily.  The "targets" stream allows you to track specific keywords, so every time someone uses 'online marketing' or 'broken website', that tweet will pop up. Then it's your job to reach out to those potential customers.

3)  Schedule multiple posts at the same time. Hootsuite gives you the ability to schedule posts in advance and schedule multiple posts at the same time. This is a great tool for staying organized and staying on the ball. It allows you to really focus on your strategy and develop a long term plan with a variety of content.

4)  Develop different content for different platforms. Hootsuite allows you to post to numerous different social networks at the same time, but that doesn't mean you should be posting the same content to Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. Why not develop a different content strategy based on what fits best with that specific platform? For example, Google+ allows for 'gifs' while Facebook does not. Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ recognize hashtags while Linkedin does not. Hootsuite gives you the opportunity to develop specific content strategies for each platform, and it makes it easy too!

5)  Cross promote on numerous platforms. If you have 5 different social platforms listed on your Hootsutie, sometimes you might want to post the same content to a few different platforms. Hootsuite allows you to easily cross promote between social networks with a click of a button. You can write a post and then decide to release it on Twitter, Google+ and Facebook at the same time. Cross promoting content is a great tool to help you manage your posting.

Overall Hootsuite is a great platform that helps optimize your social media strategy. The keyword in the last sentence is 'social media strategy'. Before you're able to use Hootsuite, it's best to come up with a  strategy so you don't get overwhelmed with all Hootsuite has to offer. There are a lot of tricks and great tools on the platform, so once you have a vision and you're ready to execute, Hootsuite is there to help you!

For Business IT Support in San Diego - We've got your Solution.

We've had the pleasure of working with hundreds of amazing businesses in the greater San Diego area, and one in particular is the topic of this article. Many of our clients come to us when things are rough, when the budget is tight due to not enough revenue (we solve that with our advanced online marketing techniques), and they are in dire need of affordable, local services. One service that I commonly see small businesses in need of is IT support. For our San Diego clients, we always recommend Endless Technology Solutions, owned by a local entrepreneur named Erik Nunn.

Endless provides a variety of computer services for small businesses, including it support, it consulting, managed services, network admin and security, disaster recovery, and more.

Track Phone Calls from your WordPress Website with CallRail

Are you looking for a more clear ROI from your online marketing? Your business should be tracking phone calls from your website and other online marketing channels. It's cheap, easy to setup, and allows for optimal refinement of your marketing campaigns.

CallRail is the answer.

Trusted by more than 10,000 companies, CallRail tracks phone calls from your website, records them, and gives you the analytics.

CallRail offers the following:

Let's run through an example of how to get started. First, you decide you want to somehow track your business phone calls to produce more leads. So you search the internet, find CallRail and sign up. You talk with a rep and they integrate your entire website including your WordPress, Google Analytics, KissMetrics, Salesforce, and Google Adwords. Now your on a roll. They even give you a toll-free number to track and walk you through voicemail transcription. You're very excited and the rep has even more great news: it doesn't cost your anything because you have a 14 day free trail. She then explains that you can set up notifications, block and filter calls, and receive real time statistics. She gives you your username and password sets you on your way to check out the CallRail analytics. It's as easy as that! KickinKnowledge will even help guide you through this process, and ensure the website/analytics integration goes worry-free.

This platform is a no brainer. It will increase the value of your Google Analytics data almost instantly and gives you the opportunity to properly measure your conversion rate. From visitor and keyword call tracking to dynamic website call tracking to static and offline call tracking, CallRail covers all angles and gives you the best results! Give us a call today at 415-237-3932 and we can help you integrate Callrail with an effective online marketing plan.

What is the best Startup Website Hosting?

When it comes to hosting for your startup website, you do not want to choose a low quality host with sub-standard hardware and support. For example, Godaddy and Hostgator Shared website hosting packages may have 1000+ websites along with your website.  So, instead, you go for a VPS, but with the same Godaddy, Hostgator, Bluehost hosts, you find out that when you get serious traffic, the load times increase dramatically, or they shut you down for too much cpu/ram usage. If you look at the server CPU's in a Hostgator VPS, you are likely to see something like AMD processors.  This website, KickinKnowledge.com, in comparison, is hosted on a Liquidweb VPS, which has Intel Xeon processors.  As we all know, Intel processors have consistently proven to have better overall performance.

In addition, not all hosts are taking advantage of the latest in hard drive technology, solid state drives.  Solid state drives, or "SSD", are significantly faster when accessing the files that make your website run.  Liquidweb has SSD servers, and many of the more popular hosts do not even offer the option yet.

If you already have a hosting service for your startup, you can test the performance of your startup website using LoadImpact.com - This awesome website tests your website speed with 50 users incrementally accessing your website pages.

Here's a screenshot of this website's performance, with one spike of almost 1.25 second's.  Most of the time, it is under 800 millisecond's for all the way to 50 users.  I can now have some confidence that my website will be able to handle a good amount of traffic and visitors moving around my website.  If you have a spike from reddit, facebook, or a large blog like Mashable, then you better have a good server like my VPS, and also caching configured properly (with WordPress use W3 Total Cache or Supercache)  If you have any questions about your startup website performance or hosting setup, feel free to contact Kickin Knowledge for a free consultation.  Full disclosure, we are a compensated affiliate of Liquidweb, and we recommend joining their Affiliate program, the rates aren't the highest in the industry, but their support allows myself and others to recommend them to friends, family, and clients without worrying about any negative feedback on the referral.

 

best startup hosting

Wooing Business into Ecommerce Prosperity

 

 

Wooing Business Into Ecommerce Prosperity With Woocommerce
By: Justin Michael Murray

Business trends in the current day and age have changed tremendously with the influx of internet technology and online communication. The internet has become the home for marketing and promotion of business products. It is possible for a Small business to explode into a multi-billion profit entity through effective use of the online platform for marketing. The market will only increase, but must be harnessed with ecommerce for small business. Ecommerce is simply 'the' best way to get your business visible and to attract attention of your potential customers. Ecommerce refers to operating business electronically, primarily over the Internet and with the capacity to get your products "floorspace" on the internet marketing platforms like search engines, social media networks, web pages, blogs, and business directories. You can also define it as buying and selling products and services through the electronic channels. There is nothing more convenient as ecommerce because of the expanding market, 24 hour product availability, and global reach in real time. Small, medium, and larger businesses are increasingly using the innovative ways of the internet to provide consumers with faster online business solutions.

The trick of getting ecommerce for small business booming lies in WordPress with the amazing Woocommerce plug-in extension. It's very important to note that ecommerce works best when you take into considerations the aspects of clean design, fast performance, and visitor captivation. When your business is online some of the things you need to do to attract traffic visibility include beauty and easy access to information on products. This is where the brilliant Woocommerce themes available comes in. Most businesses use WordPress ecommerce since it's very easy to operate and easier for the traffic to access necessary information. I've taught small business owners how to manage their own store in less than 2 hours of training!

Woocommerce is one of the most popular ecommerce plug-ins for WordPress. This is what transforms a WordPress small business website to a serious ecommerce store with easy management, a solid seo foundation, schema data (stars in Google search for products), and all the bells and whistles that an online store requires. With the help of the Woocommerce plugins the WordPress eCommerce become a fast and inexpensive way to get your products selling beautifully, yet feature-rich solution. As long as you pick a responsive theme (which you should!), then the store will be mobile and tablet friendly. This is extremely important in this day and age of iphones, androids, ipads, and desktops. Woocommerce extension plugins provide the best features to keep your store competing on many different levels. It has social media integration, Google Analytics e-commerce tracking, security to a WordPress Sucuri standard, comprehensive store management, tax & Shipping options, and a plethora of payment gateways. It's also quite conversion friendly, with one page checkout and plenty of room for product images and descriptions. Woocommerce and WordPress in general is developer friendly, so the market and rates are very competitive, equaling cheaper customizations to the theme (design) or coding (functionality) Now is the time for your business to jump into thinking about the possibility of an online store.

Thank you for reading!

Justin Murray

Owner of Kickin Knowledge

- E-Commerce Consultation & Development

Take your business to the next level and learn more about Woocommerce for small business at http://KickinKnowledge.com

Article Source: Wooing Business Into Ecommerce Prosperity With Woocommerce

A Guide to Woocommerce Security

 

Owning and/or managing an ecommerce website can sometimes be overwhelming.  Far too often I am asked to review a Woocommerce website for marketing or development work and I then immediately realize that the store is insecure and contains possibly serious security issues.  This puts a massive amount of liability on the owner of the website, but little to no liability on past developers or designers.  Many of these cases of insecurity is simply a business owner developing their own ecommerce website, or developers who simply don't understand the requirements of a properly secured woocommerce store.  Proper Woocommerce security simply cannot be overlooked for the long term protection of your investment.

Call KickinKnowledge at 415-237-3932 to schedule a free security review of your website.

The first sign of an insecure woocommerce website is the absence of a padlock in your browser address bar and no https before the website address.  If you enter your credit card data on a page that is insecure, you are putting yourself at risk for man-in-the-middle attacks and eavesdropping of your confidential data.  Woocommerce is supposed to secure your checkout when you enable "Force secure checkout" checkbox in the Settings.  This requires the purchase of a SSL certificate from a certified vender like Verisign, Thawte, Comodo, or Godaddy.  The payment gateway which you use for Woocommerce will alert you in the documentation if a SSL certificate is required, and generally any of the "on-site" payment gateways like Authorize.net will require an SSL for payment.  So if you don't have an SSL , I recommend Thawte, as they have fair pricing and a number of different coverage levels depending on your ecommerce store variables (the extenteded validation SSL certificates are awesome, as they allow for the long green security validation bar for extra security comfort in certain browsers)  Unfortunately, even with Woocommerce setup for secure checkout, and an SSL certificate installed on your server, that doesn't always cover some parts of the website generated via plugins and also certain themes.  You may still be stuck with no padlock, and insecure data warnings.

 

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent="yes" overflow="visible"][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type="1_1" background_position="left top" background_color="" border_size="" border_color="" border_style="solid" spacing="yes" background_image="" background_repeat="no-repeat" padding="" margin_top="0px" margin_bottom="0px" class="" id="" animation_type="" animation_speed="0.3" animation_direction="left" hide_on_mobile="no" center_content="no" min_height="none"]

Enable HTTPS in Woocommerce

Enable HTTPS in Woocommerce

 

Fortunately, their are a number of ways to diagnose the insecure checkout problems with Woocommerce websites.  Here are the steps I use to assess security with Woocommerce:

1) Have you confirmed that the server has a dedicated SSL certificate installed correctly (check with your host if you're not sure)

2) Have you forced secure checkout in Woocommerce Settings (as described and pictured above)

3) Have verified a secure padlock showing in Google Chrome and Firefox?

IF # 3 is not showing,  I use the WordPress HTTPS plugin

If that plugin does not solve your padlock issues, then you will want to run your checkout url through www.whynopadlock.com - or, you may use Google Chrome - Right click on the Checkout page, choose Inspect Element, and you should see all the insecure content warnings in the Console.  An alternative is to use Mozilla Firefox and the Firebug/Web Developers tool browser plugin.  Usually it is caused by images loaded via theme options with http:// instead of https:// in the url (a quick and easy fix) or third party integrations (social plugins)  Sometimes you have to use a plugin like Widget Logic to make sure that insecure content is not loaded on your Checkout page.  As a "side" note, if sidebar widgets are causing the problem, you should probably switch to a full page (no sidebar) page template anyways.  This thought behind this conversion element is that less distractions from the actual checkout process leads to more conversions.  Also notice in the image below from a previous ecommerce client, that there is an visual accreditation of the Geotrust SSL and the Authorize.net SSL badge.  These are also great for improving conversion.

 

[/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type="1_1" background_position="left top" background_color="" border_size="" border_color="" border_style="solid" spacing="yes" background_image="" background_repeat="no-repeat" padding="" margin_top="0px" margin_bottom="0px" class="" id="" animation_type="" animation_speed="0.3" animation_direction="left" hide_on_mobile="no" center_content="no" min_height="none"]

secured woocommerce checkout verified in google chrome

Secured Woocommerce Checkout Verified in Google Chrome

 

What are some other recommendations for keeping Woocommerce secure?

1) I always use the Limit Login Attempts plugin Wordfence to protect against brute force password attacks, and a variety of other security issues.

2) Use a reputable host like Hostgator, Bluehost, Rackspace, etc.

3) Updates!  Always keep WordPress, themes, and plugins updated to the latest version.

4) Have a backup and recovery plan for a quick comeback if a security breach or malicious code insertion is detected.

5) Preferably use SFTP or SSH when accessing your server files.

6) Advanced: Ensure that your MySQL database has a secure passwords and do not share access with anyone.  At Kickin Knowledge we also like to change the WordPress database table prefix to something other than wp_, for an extra layer of obscurity.

7) Keep a policy of having extremely secure and unique passwords for your hosting account and your wordpress administration login.  Use numbers, letters, special characters, and a minimum of 14 characters.

8) Limit your use of plugins, as the more plugins, the more possible security holes and usually slower website.

9) Buy a premium and consistently updated woocommerce theme from a reputable developer like woothemes or themeforest.

10) Advanced: Edit your htaccess to protect against sql injections. If you are not comfortable with the htaccess file and all of its functions, it is best you read to understand these items first, as you can do some serious damage to your website (although all are reversible if you have backups) If you use Yoast SEO for your Woocommerce seo, then you can access the htaccess file from there!  Remember to backup your original first before adding any of the code snippets below -

Add this snippet first

[/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type="1_1" background_position="left top" background_color="" border_size="" border_color="" border_style="solid" spacing="yes" background_image="" background_repeat="no-repeat" padding="" margin_top="0px" margin_bottom="0px" class="" id="" animation_type="" animation_speed="0.3" animation_direction="left" hide_on_mobile="no" center_content="no" min_height="none"][box] ## Include this at the start of your .htaccess file ## Options +FollowSymlinks RewriteEngine On[/box]

SQL injection block for WordPress htaccess

[/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type="1_1" background_position="left top" background_color="" border_size="" border_color="" border_style="solid" spacing="yes" background_image="" background_repeat="no-repeat" padding="" margin_top="0px" margin_bottom="0px" class="" id="" animation_type="" animation_speed="0.3" animation_direction="left" hide_on_mobile="no" center_content="no" min_height="none"][box] ## SQL Injection Block ## RewriteBase / RewriteCond %{REQUEST_METHOD} ^(HEAD|TRACE|DELETE|TRACK) [NC] RewriteRule ^(.*)$ - [F,L] RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} ../ [NC,OR] RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} boot.ini [NC,OR] RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} tag= [NC,OR] RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} ftp: [NC,OR] RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} http: [NC,OR] RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} https: [NC,OR] RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} (|%3E) [NC,OR] RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} mosConfig_[a-zA-Z_]{1,21}(=|%3D) [NC,OR] RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} base64_encode.*(.*) [NC,OR] RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} ^.*([|]|(|)||ê|"|;|?|*|=$).* [NC,OR] RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} ^.*("|'|<|>||{||).* [NC,OR] RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} ^.*(%24&x).* [NC,OR] RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} ^.*(%0|%A|%B|%C|%D|%E|%F|127.0).* [NC,OR] RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} ^.*(globals|encode|localhost|loopback).* [NC,OR] RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} ^.*(request|select|insert|union|declare).* [NC] RewriteCond %{HTTP_COOKIE} !^.*wordpress_logged_in_.*$ RewriteRule ^(.*)$ - [F,L] [/box]

Hide your server signature

[/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type="1_1" background_position="left top" background_color="" border_size="" border_color="" border_style="solid" spacing="yes" background_image="" background_repeat="no-repeat" padding="" margin_top="0px" margin_bottom="0px" class="" id="" animation_type="" animation_speed="0.3" animation_direction="left" hide_on_mobile="no" center_content="no" min_height="none"][box] ## Disable the Server Signature ## ServerSignature Off[/box]

Block All Access to Specific Security Sensitive WordPress files

[/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type="1_1" background_position="left top" background_color="" border_size="" border_color="" border_style="solid" spacing="yes" background_image="" background_repeat="no-repeat" padding="" margin_top="0px" margin_bottom="0px" class="" id="" animation_type="" animation_speed="0.3" animation_direction="left" hide_on_mobile="no" center_content="no" min_height="none"][box] ## Block Sensitive Files ## Options All -Indexes Order allow,deny Deny from all Order allow,deny Deny from all Order allow,deny Deny from all Order allow,deny Deny from all Order allow,deny Deny from all Order allow,deny Deny from all Order allow,deny Deny from all Order allow,deny Deny from all [/box]

I know, it's a lot of stuff to work through.  Once these security changes are implemented, you can concentrate more on the items that will bring you ROI, like search engine optimization and paid advertising.  You do not want to deal with Google unranking your website if you get hacked with malicious code, or even worse, compromising a customers private credit card data through your Woocommerce checkout.  When in doubt, or if you have any questions, contact Kickin Knowledge or another experienced Woocommerce security expert and have them audit your website.  We also have a great blog post for finding help with Woocommerce. Call me, Justin, the author of this article at 415-237-3932 to schedule a free security review of your ecommerce store.

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Looking for help with Woocommerce and WordPress?

Woocommerce is an amazing platform for e-commerce. It has the ability for small business owners to manage and modify many important aspects of their online store. Let's face it though, WordPress and website technologies in general have issues. Plugins have conflicts with themes or other plugins, load times become slower, and even design does crazy things sometimes! Luckily, as an open source plugin developed via GitHub, Woocommerce has a ton of resources for getting assistance with your issues. It is very similar to the community sourced WordPress CMS itself, which has done nothing but grow tremendously in the last 10+ years.  Woocommerce was forked from Jigoshop, and became available on September 27, 2011.  Now it literally runs thousands of websites.  With all the variations of coding styles in the WordPress themes, plugins, and extensions of these thousands of websites, often event the best Woocommerce developers get stuck with errors and need assistance from a third party.  Remember, before letting anyone make changes or updates, it's a good call to backup your database and files (your host can usually help you with this, or use a plugin like BackWPup or BackupBuddy).  Also, getting help and code snippets from random people on the internet could be a dangerous thing for your visitors and your website in general.  Make sure you have some idea of what the code snippet is achieving, and ask questions if anything looks or acts strangely.  Particularly with ecommerce websites, it is necessary to have a secure checkout process.  You can verify the security of your checkout by using the free service at WhyNoPadLock.com

 

woocommerce

 

So you're looking for help with Woocommerce for WordPress?

 

First and foremost, the WordPress.org Forums have a library of information on all WordPress related issues, including many discussions that are Woocommerce related. These people know and love WordPress, and the experience level ranges from some of the best developers in the world, to first time WordPress users.

 

Woothemes is the “caretaker” of the open source Woocommerce plugin. Their team members are some of the largest contributors to the code-base which keeps Woocommerce growing.  They are also the industry leader in related themes and extensions.  I always prefer my web development clients to consider their themes.  An alternative and wider selection of Woocommerce themes can be found on Themeforest.  The Woothemes support section is a great resouce for Woocommerce users.  If you create a Woothemes account, you can then access their helpdesk section, a knowledge base, and a forum.  The helpdesk is where you can submit support for paid themes and extensions, and possibly get answers to general Woocommerce questions.  Of course, support tends to be focused on their specific paid themes and extensions.  Their knowledgebase is full of extensive documentation, along with the forum of passionate users.  If you purchased a theme of Themeforest or another theme developer, then you should go to their respective support forum for any theme help. If you have a custom WordPress theme, or you are having difficulty choosing the right theme for your business, then it may be best to call an experienced Woocommerce developer like Kickin Knowledge at 415-237-3932.

 

StackOverflow has a specific section for WordPress questions that are "tagged Woocommerce", or containing information related to Woocommerce. StackOverflow is widely known as a programmers paradise, and can therefore be quite intimidating if you haven't encountered coding or the culture before. Google will be your friend with any programming jargon you don't understand.

 

The Google+ Woocommerce Users Community is only destined to grow and I have personally learned a few new tips by surfing around the past posts.  Members tend to be very helpful and Google+ Communities are the perfect infrastructure for sharing and discussion.

 

Quora is Kickin Knowledge's favorite question and answer website on the internet.  Quora is what Yahoo Answers or Ask.com never was. A real community of exceptional writers. Definitely check out the e-commerce and Quora Woocommerce topic.

 

So, maybe your sick of asking for help and you want to learn how to debug code and write your own themes or extensions.  It's not particularly difficult, and the basics can be learned in just a few months of practice.  Start with the basics. What runs behind the scenes Woocommerce?

 

PHP, Javascript, CSS, and HTML are the coding languages behind the scenes of Woocommerce and WordPress.  It is also beneficial to understand Server configurations and technologies, along with the basics of Mysql database workings (WordPress stores its information in a Mysql database).  For learning coding, I suggest checking out Treehouse education. The unique style of teaching at Treehouse can rapidly increase your knowledge retention and put you on the fast-track to becoming a Woocommerce pro!

 

Our friend Brad Griffin also has some great material and a helpful video for diagnosing issues on his Woocommerce help article.

Essential E-Commerce Icons, Security Badges, and Call-to-Actions

Are you interested in the best e-commerce icons, security badges and call-to-actions?  I've researched the best embeddable icons and badges, so that e-commerce owners may make the best selection for their online store.  The visual aspect of an e-commerce website is one of the most often overlooked and misunderstood concepts.  Visitors need to feel safe and secure, while having a memorable experience.  At the same time they have to be driven towards your purchase process.  I recommend reviewing your favorite e-commerce websites, and notice if you see any similarity between the icons for security scans, SSL, social media buttons, etc.  I'm betting that you will see many that I have listed and pointed out in the imagery below.

Let's start by taking a look at our favorite selection of e-commerce icons and security badges.  Chances are, if you already have an SSL certificate for your secure checkout process, then you already have a SSL badge to add to your footer, or perhaps your right or left website sidebar.  The position varies depending on the design of your website, but it's a good call to add the clickable SSL javascript provided by Comodo SSL, Godaddy SSL, or any of the other large name providers.  Other providers of icons and security badges are Trustwave, TRUSTe, McAfee Trustmark and the Better Business Bureau.

When I began writing this blog post, I intended to get screenshots of each security badge, some SSL badges, etc.  Instead, I found them all on the Godaddy SSL  product page, so I took a screenshot with Fireshot (an awesome firefox add-on), and used arrows to pick apart the some of the important visual accreditation.  Godaddy has an incredible product page here, with an aim of converting you to purchase an SSL, preferably the more expensive one.  Check out my edited screen shot below:

 

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent="yes" overflow="visible"][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type="1_1" background_position="left top" background_color="" border_size="" border_color="" border_style="solid" spacing="yes" background_image="" background_repeat="no-repeat" padding="" margin_top="0px" margin_bottom="0px" class="" id="" animation_type="" animation_speed="0.3" animation_direction="left" hide_on_mobile="no" center_content="no" min_height="none"]

 Godaddy ecommerce icons and visual accreditations

Godaddy Ecommerce Icons and Visual accreditation

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