image - Google+ Hangouts for Business

Google Plus Hangouts For Business Tips

Using Google+ Hangouts For Business

image - Google+ Hangouts for BusinessSo, why am I here talking about Google Plus Hangouts when I should be talking about bloggers using videos? (Besides the fact that Brad’s computer had the screen of death and our video production has been put on hold) Well, because some bloggers that plan on using the Google+ Business Pages may have a leg up on other bloggers/PR/Customer Service people. Yes, an unfair advantage for those that are thinking ahead and keeping up with the times. Yesterday it was announced that Google Plus will be rolling out Business Profiles. At this point they are limited to only people who have the Google Apps for Business. You can pop on over to Google+ Profiles for Business Apps are Here! to see the full article posted on Social Media Today. Who is going to have an advantage? The bloggers who have familiarized themselves with Google Plus Hangouts and sitting in front of a web cam. While some people can just plug in their webcam or video cam and chat away…others of us really need to work on our skills. So, if you are one who already loves the camera, you may think I am crazy for what I am about to say.

Google Plus Hangouts Video Skills.

KMEX AW-M1130 webcam

Image via Wikimedia Commons

You may find that you have customers, clients or even readers that have questions and you want to be ready to do a “webcam conference” using Google Plus Hangouts. Face to Face (or as close as you can get) may be a great way to deal with issues a customer is having. You can walk them through a process and get “side” questions answered all at one time. Heck, you can even have a question and answer hangout for multiple affiliates at once. While in Google Plus Hangouts you can even pull up YouTube videos. That means you can watch a training video with them and be ready for any questions they have afterwards. Google Plus Hangouts is a goldmine for Internet Marketers. Here are a few things to check BEFORE you get a surprise request for a Google+ Hangout….

  1. Do you have a webcam that works? My (elderly by tech standards) webcam worked but, I found that I had to have it plugged in when I booted my machine. If I tried to plug it in after booting, I got nothing.
  2. Does the mic on your webcam and the external mic you may use for Skype or other things cause issues? This is an issue I had and it was simply that the 2 mics had a problem battling each other. You can adjust which cam and mic you use in Google Plus Hangout’s settings. Depending on what type of webcam you have you may also be able to adjust the settings there.
  3. Do you have any quick lighting? I am not talking about big fancy umbrella lights. I am talking about a room light or lamp that can be turned on so you are not just showing a black screen on your cam. I sit in what you may consider a dungeon and the people in the hangout with me would not see my face at all without a light being turned on. Your cam setting may also allow you to lighten or darken the picture so check those out in different situations.
  4. Is your cam’s position and focus adjusted to where it shows your face from where you have it sitting or attached? If you grabbed me in a fast hangout and I didn’t think about it, you would see the back of a monitor from my webcam view. It doesn’t sit in a convenient place so; it spends its “off time” tossed behind a monitor and out of the way. Sure it only takes a second to pull it out and place it but I am sure the focus would be a bit wack.
  5. What is also in your cams view? While many people will know and understand that you might be working at home, that doesn’t mean that others will be as accepting. What type of business you have may be a big part as to how people view and accept your surroundings. Either way, you will want to take a look at the wall behind you and decide if there are pictures of things you may not want everyone to see in camera shots. I am not just talking about that picture of your husband at the beach in a Speedo. Some of you may have family pictures that you would rather not share with the world. These may be things as innocent as pics of your kids, your dog, your vacation house, or a mirror that may throw a glare.
  6. Do you have an easy to grab shirt? While most of us probably don’t sit around topless all day, some of you might. 😉 Ok, even if you aren’t nekked you may be setting in a ragged old shirt that you wouldn’t even want your neighbors to see you in. If you are in a business where people expect to see you in a nice button up shirt…just keep one at the front of your closet handy. Ladies, if your camera points down at you…you may want to do a cleavage check or have a “less showie” shirt handy (sorry guys, I know this piece of advice may have just spoiled your day).
  7. Is your hair and makeup ready? Yeah ok, I know nothing about this stuff. My hair is always pulled back (or under a hat) and I don’t know where my makeup is.

So there are a few things you will want to check out and have ready BEFORE you see that “You’re Invited to a hangout” type message pop up. There is no problem in telling someone you need 5 minutes before you can meet them but they may not want to wait around while you do all of the above. My suggestion is to find a friend or fellow blogger and try Google Plus Hangouts. Tell them ahead of time why you would like to meet with them so they can be ready to help with visual and audio testing on their end. By the way, Google+ hangouts can be used now by anyone with an account so there is no need to wait for business pages if you are in a business that doesn’t depend on business brand backing or permission to meet with current and future clients.

Google Plus Related Posts:

Google Hangouts & Hangouts on Air (HoA) Related Posts

About Sheryl Loch

I am always learning new and improved ways to better our blogs, forum, and e-commerce sites. You can find me at The Internet Marketers Guild and +Sheryl Loch.
I tend to be a bit straight forward and sarcastic at times so ask for an honest opinion and you shall receive...even if it is not what you want to hear.


  1. Fantastic Google+ Hangout tips Sheryl. I’m a little behind on taking advantage Google’s tools for business. Google+ Hangouts is the perfect solution for small business that want the technology that was only being used by the mega-business sites.

    You left out ugly. I had a face for the internet but now that video is getting so popular I need to find someway of hiding my ugliness.

    • Sheryl_Loch says

      Brian you did great on the Graphic! I was like “Oh look Brad, Brian makes me look like a pro with them there fancy pics in the post”.

      As for Google tools…Google loves those that use their products! I personally need the Big G to be my friend. Actually, I would have been lost on the Hangouts if not for Cait. She is the one that helped me test out the cam and settings.

      It is amazing that only a few years ago you would have to pay to gather in a “conference” room. Now, it is all free! Yes, any business can afford that…we just have to take advantage of it or it is wasted.

      I know how you feel…I have a face for voice overs! I may set one of the puppets close by so, they can Hangout on the cam. 😉

  2. Sheryl_Loch says

    Glad you stopped by Richard!

    I was thinking about the Whiteboard feature the other day when I was trying to help a client. It would have been so great to have…maybe they will add it at some point!

    When I ran a conference room I also loved being able to pull up sites or my desktop while explaining things. I guess for right now, I should be happy that G has given us the free tools they have. But, we can hope that they even add more. 😉

  3. Google+ hangouts is an awesome tool for businesses. You can really get imaginative with the way you use it. You can not only teleconference, but host webinars with it. I think the only feature that is lacking is perhaps a whiteboard ability so that you can draw out concepts for your audience as well.

  4. Google+ has edge over Facebook because of Youtube integration, and it could be a play maker. There are so many things which you can’t understand or explain better rather than watching videos and that’s what making Google+ more valuable.

    • It’s true Aaron, video is the next best thing to just being there in person when it comes to showing someone exactly what to do. Video also helps eliminate that misunderstood “tone” that causes confusion when using text alone.

      As far as G+ having an edge on FB, I guess time will tell. We can, of course, embed YouTube videos into our Facebook updates but FB falls severely short with their chat network.

      • Sheryl_Loch says

        Brian, I think he is talking about the brand new integration of the search.

        If you go over to your Google+, look on the Right hand side (under your name), you will see a YouTube button. From there you can start a search. It will bring up a play list and you can play & share from right there…no need to go all the way over to YouTube.

        This means that sharing of videos is super easy now because the person is logged in & can just hit the SHARE on the video. G+ could change how easily a Great Video goes viral.

        I shared an article about this on my Google+ at

        • Yeah, I was talking about this new feature. That’s really a great step and you can share some useful videos as well to explain your points on “Hang outs”. 😀

    • Sheryl_Loch says

      Hi Aaron, thanks for coming by!

      Yes, being able to find & watch a YouTube without ever leaving Google+ is a HUGE bonus!

      Whereas with Facebook, you can only watch what your friends or pages have shared.

      I think what will be great is when you see a friend/client on Google+ that has ask a question and you know of a great video that will help them…you never have to leave the site to find it & share it. BAM! You can help them so much faster and become their “Hero”!

    • Yeah, YouTube integration rocks! Also the hangout features sound pretty promising. But Facebook+skype is also really sweet, because very usable.

  5. Hi Sheryl, great article. I’ve seen so much buzz about the business hangouts, in fact I have even been invited to one but was stuck at work. I think if you can get into hangout with some experienced business owners and sales people you could potentially have an amazing learning experience. This might be where Google actually beats Facebook if they can continue the positive growth.

    • I’ll let Sheryl take that one Brian, I just wanted to thank you for all the support and promotions. 🙂

    • Sheryl_Loch says

      Hi Brian!

      Oh being stuck at work stinks…you should really stop that. 😉 Ok, not really!

      Just think if you could be a fly on the wall while some successful business owners disused problems, successes, or strategies… that could be worth soooo much.

      If you are ready to launch a product or site and have design or copyrighting issues, your trusted sales and marketing people (or trusted friends) could do brain storming to get the best results.

      The list is endless as to how the Google + Hangouts could improve your business.

      We use to pay $30 a month for a Hot Conference room…now we can get a Hangout for free. Sure it doesn’t hold as many people but it still works for many things!

      I would LOVE to see FB just go away. It drives me insane and is not that useful for many things. But, I know some people that should stay at FB and never leave. LOL

  6. Great tips. I’m not really an avid user of Google + but it seems like this is a good feature that might over run Facebook and Twitter. Google plus hangout is a good way to increase your online credibility and be trusthworthy to your customers.

    • Hi Jarrod, I’m not sure Google+ will over run Facebook and Twitter but if I was Skype I’d being watching very closely.

    • Sheryl_Loch says

      Hi Jarrod!

      While Google + is not yet as “large” as Facebook or Twitter…it is still very new. Both FB and Twitter took years to gain traction & with great new features being added to G+…I think in time…we will see a lot of our non geek friends and family over on Google+.

      The Google+ Hangouts can definitely help build credibility. If I am going to trust someone I want to feel that they are absolutely my best option. That means being able to answer questions on the fly…no canned responses. LOL

  7. Excellent tips Sheryl, this was the first time I read in deep about Google+ hangouts. This is very useful tool for bloggers and small businesses.

    • Sheryl_Loch says

      Hello Pritam! The hangouts are great! It puts inexpensive Customer Service right up there.

      You can talk with anyone in the world for free and the G+ hangouts is not as heavy on your machine as Skype. BONUS!!

  8. Great article Sheryl! I have yet to use G+ hangouts I’m more of a skype user but these tips would work for both.

    At first I though Brian wrote this and was laughing a bit at the makeup part LOL

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge

    • Ha ha Joshua, I avoid makeup on this blog but that’s not to say I don’t change character on others. lol

    • Sheryl_Loch says

      Hi Joshua, thanks for stopping in and reminding me about Skype video chat. And yes anytime you are using a cam, these tips can apply. Sometimes we get so busy we forget about checking the things around us.

      I used Skype for years and it was like a lifeline at some points. Yet, I never used the video part. It seemed to heavy for some users. They may have improved it since then. Gosh, I hope they did. 😉

      I also found that some people didn’t want to use Skype because they had to download it and were afraid…yes, I deal with some not so techie people and they are overly leery of viruses…. I am hoping that if these same people are willing to use Facebook then maybe they will use G+ and not be fearful since Google has a familiar name and they don’t have to “download” a new program. *Fingers crossed*

      As far as Brian wearing makeup…I am sworn to secrecy. But let me just say…he can still rock the glittery eyeshadow like a pro. LOL!

  9. I am real sorry for not participating in stuff in the outside world. I’m working hard at streamlining somethings right now in hopes to free up some time. Enough about my excuses!

    The hang outs are awesome by the way I really think they will work great for interactive trainings and brainstorming. A couple people having a conversation is cool, but if you can get 5 to 10 people together to feed off of the everyone else that is powerful.

    I will make sure to put on my V neck since a cleavage check seems to be necessary, you’re in for a treat for sure. I’m not so much into the make up, did that once and got some very unpleasant feed back.

    Anyone want to try and plan a few dates to hang out?

  10. I’m so behind on the google tools. Seems that they are really going after social traffic (FB beware). I can see the advantages of getting in on the ground floor of something new. Despite the anonymity of the internet, people still want face to face connections.

    • Well said Charles. Best quote of the day, “Despite the anonymity of the internet, people still want face to face connections”.

    • The face to face connections is what got me so excited about the hangouts. 10 people face to face in real time

      There is skype but it has had many changes over time that are not so appealing to me, we have been on skype since the beginning also, it used to be simple to use. I hope Google keeps the hangouts simple. They already messed up Gmail.

      No way will skype do what Google Hangouts do it takes allot of resources to run something like this.

  11. Hey Sheryl,

    These are some great tips for Google+ Hangout. This is the type of technology that small businesses should be taking advantage of to network and grow. I think I have everything on your checklist here so I think I’m ready to get that “You’re Invited to a hangout” message pop up.

    • Sheryl_Loch says

      Hi John! Yes, small business should be taking advantage of these tools…gives them a chance to have things that use to cost more money than some could afford.

      Glad you are ready to Hangout! Have fun, just not toooo much fun! 😉

  12. I have to tell you that you offered excellent tips! I will do my best to use Google+ further, because it is a perfect tool for every business owner, and it can definitely give a huge number of benefits to them

    • Sheryl_Loch says

      Hello Jeanie! If you haven’t tried Google+ Hangouts yet, just get on with friends or family so you can figure it out before you get on with clients.
      I agree, the business benefits should be huge!

  13. sai krishna says

    very nice pointing view Shery.7 points are very nice.keep it up 🙂

  14. For sure many are not aware of this good features of google+ … it’s good for business meeting eith clients and colleagues.

  15. says

    Today in every website google plus votes is used.It is increasing their popularity day by day.If you want anything about google+ here I am showing a way to find google+ related blogs,article,forums etc.

    The best google+ search engine to search on google plus

  16. Today in every website google plus votes is used.It is increasing their popularity day by day.If you want anything about google+ here I am showing a way to find google+ related blogs,article,forums etc.

  17. Santa Cruz Homes says

    Thanks for the info on Google+ hangouts. Im looking forward to using the business pages and video. I really believe Google is going to take FB down.

  18. Cool tips. I especially like the 6th one because I’m so guilty of wearing old and ragged shirt at home. I think it is really a good idea to have a nice shirt ready just in case we’re going to have a video conference whether for business or not. 🙂

  19. I am a programmer who has launched a google+ search engine called You can do searches for people, posts, and there is even real-time keyword based updates that gives real-time updates. Essentially, we would like to create the best search engine to quickly find information on google+. I am working on some other features that will be launching very soon. I was just hoping that maybe you could do a quick writeup about us on your blog.



  20. Noel Addison says

    Hangouts in Google+ is a great tool for personal and business use. For this reason we have to make sure that we always look great at all times even if we just work from home. The tips you provided are really useful.

    • Hold on Noel! Looking nice at all times could be a killer for me. Somedays, I am lucky to roll out of bed and brush my teeth before I get online. 😉

  21. I am like totally off topic here I’m sure, and this is a rant for sure. Short and sweet!
    I have been an active part of the internet community for over 10 years now and to this day it still amazes me people that want people to pay attention to them with really great things sometimes. But when you go to see who they are they have incomplete profiles and no avatar of themselves. People like to connect with people, there maybe something in a profile that connects with someone even deeper. This is all Social stuff take full advantage. Why would I or anyone and buy something if they don’t care enough to complete a simple profile? is their product put together with the same carelessness?

    Yes I know I need to change mine a little and add to it, but just an observation. Are you awesome? Time to show it!
    Thanks you’re all awesome!

  22. The best way to find results on Google+ using the best Google Plus search engine

  23. G+ really an awesome networking site which helps to improve business. i’m using google plus from last two months for business purpose and its giving me great results.

  24. Leonardo Salvador says

    This is really great for my Google plus encounter as I need some great info to go deeper with Google +. This is very helpful to me and Thanks for sharing this great information! It’s been months since I’m into Google plus but doesn’t have time to explore. It’s been a trend now and It’s good for business too aside from sharing great experiences as a social networking site.

  25. Google+ is also important in promoting a business. Though it could not compare to facebook but who knows someday it would. And even now they have also a lot of users worldwide.

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