Business Catalyst Blog

Episode 43 of the BC Podcast - Kristen Lindsey

Scott Reynolds Thursday, February 26, 2015

In this month’s podcast, Kristen Lindsey from Apokrisis speaks to me about her successful sales techniques.

Tune in for Episode 43 of the Business Catalyst podcast!

Listen to this month’s podcast:

Simply click the play button below to stream the podcast via your browser.

player

Alternatively, you can download the podcast in .mp3 format for offline listening.

In this episode:

  • Congratulations to the BC App of the Month developers and prize winner
  • Interview with Kristen about her sales techniques
  • Business Catalyst Quiz Question

Be A Business Partner

“We are not just orders takers for a site, we want to have their solution to be integrated in their overall business goals.”
Speaking with Kristen, I am reminded how important it is to be seen as a business partner, not an order-taker. It takes building trust and setting expectations early on, but it makes for a more valuable relationship.

“Business first, then marketing”
Kristen uses the business goals established in the proposal process to create a monthly dashboard showing progress towards those business goals and return on investment. This not only keeps communications open, but also allows for opportunities to help clients move towards those goals. Being a business partner makes you extremely valuable and of course leads to more work.

“It’s the businesses that really try to integrate their website into their overall business that have the most success.”
It’s our job to explain why this is true. Kristen, and the rest of Apokrisis have obviously have done a great job proving that the work they do is a great return on investment.

Resources mentioned in podcast:

Scott B Reynolds - Thrise

Updating Business Catalyst customer on-boarding experience

Cristinel Anastasoaie Thursday, February 26, 2015

With the upcoming release of BC.Next, which comes along with an enhanced rendering engine, new mark-up that gives an improved control over the data and layout, and improved module mark-up for better readability, we will be updating the Business Catalyst site and partner sign-up to take advantage of these updates. 

As part of the change, we are going to restructure our site templates portfolio in order to gradually replace them with a collection of templates standardized on top of template frameworks, which aim to reduce time spent to learn BC and take a site from trial to production. As a first step, starting March 1st, 2014, we are going to end the pilot program ran in collaboration with BC Gurus, which offered a collection of 15 additional templates which, while having a modern design, were using the legacy BC methods and mark-up, making them hard to customize and transform into a real project.

The next step will be to replace the remaining BC templates, which inherit the same legacy and hard to read mark-up,  with a collection of templates based on our Universalis templates, but updated to use the latest additions in the platform, especially new module syntax and liquid mark-up. We plan to launch these together with Liquid 1.0 later this year.

And, since we know that BC partners know better than us how to build templates other partners can use, we are also looking to provide a framework that will allow partners to publish standardized templates into the Business Catalyst site create wizards and get paid for that.

The Adobe Business Catalyst Team

BC Sandpile: a community building love story webinar recording

Diana Herac Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Thanks to those of you who attended our February BC webinar - BC Sandpile: a community building love story presented by Urszula Richards, Scott Reynolds and Adam Zoblotsky.

In this webinar they presented the story of how the BC Sandpile was born and answered key questions about building a successful community.

If you were unable to join us live, check out the webinar recordings here:

If you have any questions or suggestions please do not hesitate to send them over to BCPartner-Team@adobe.com. We will be happy to answer all your inquiries.

See you next time!

The Adobe Business Catalyst Team

Liquid Lessons special offer

Diana Herac Saturday, February 14, 2015

Are you struggling with how Liquid Markup will help you build better online businesses? Liquid Lessons is a new course that provides step-by-step examples showing how to best use Liquid Markup in your projects. This course shares solutions to common problems, and helps you build up your Liquid Library.

A Liquid Library is more than just a collection of code snippets. Combining includes with variables is a simple, yet powerful concept. Imagine pasting a couple lines of code to do something that would have taken hours/days to build from scratch. The concept of a Liquid Library can revolutionize Business Catalyst.

This course is starting at $199 (USD), and will go up in price every time a new lesson is added. If you make the purchase now, you will get the entire course, several Liquid Library items, and all future lessons for only $99*. This coupon will only be good until we add our next lesson, so lock that price in now.

Coupon Price: $99* (USD)
Use this link to redeem this coupon: http://thri.se/bcfeb15

Remember, this offer will expire when new lessons are added (which will be soon).

Student Reviews:
“Awesome insights into liquid markup for business catalyst”

“Great course to help business catalyst partners get their heads around liquid. The concept of building a library is super helpful and examples to get started are brilliant. Thank you!”

“Good overview and introduction to Liquid Markup for Adobe Business Catalyst. The lessons are well thought out and organized. Includes downloadable code to use.”

* Coupon is for a limited time.

App of the month: Solid Admin Menu

Diana Herac Thursday, February 12, 2015

Dave Arlin, Scott Shefler and Michael Sallander teamed up to create Solid Sky, a company dedicated to building apps for Adobe Business Catalyst.

The great thing about building apps on Business Catalyst is that they didn’t need to learn a new language. They took the same skills (HTML, CSS, and Javascript) they were already using to build websites and applied them to the Open Admin APIs through the Javascript SDK, making the whole process simple.

Customize the Admin Console to Provide a Better Experience - They set out to help developers change the menu labels in the admin so that the labels can more accurately reflect what their customers use the feature for, such as changing “customers” to “members”. As they started doing this they realized that renaming was just the beginning; there is great value in reordering, regrouping, disabling and adding new menu items. These customizations give the business owners a more intuitive, easier to use admin experience.

Practical Use Cases

When they are not creating apps, Scott Shefler and Michael Sallander are running a web agency called Chicago Digital. Chicago Digital has already put the app to use in a few productive ways:

Personalized Support Center - Support tab that automatically logs users into a support secure zone on their partner website. This portal shows customers their support plan, hourly rate, account manager, training video library, custom videos/documents, and ability to submit a support ticket or hop on live chat.

Regrouping Web Apps - There were over 30 web apps used to build the content rich website for the United States Drug Testing Laboratories. Their goal was to simplify the content management process by using web apps but with so many web apps it became overwhelming to find the right one and understand what it does. Using the solid admin menu app Chicago Digital was able to break the web apps into meaningful groups, giving the client a clearer understanding to their meaning and their relationship with other Web Apps.

Endless Possibilities - This app gives developers the ability to customize and integrate third party functionality into the admin allowing endless possibilities to create custom experiences. This is all done through a simple drag and drop interface that will even save the most advanced developers time.

The app is available at the BC App Store. The installation process is simple and you could be customizing the BC admin console for your clients in minutes.

The Adobe Business Catalyst Team

February 2015 Sandpile Schedule

Diana Herac Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Weekly Day/Time:

  • San Francisco: Tuesdays, 5pm (all times adjusted in relation to this time)
  • New York City: Tuesdays, 8pm
  • London: Wednesdays, 1am
  • Sydney: Wednesdays, Noon

Reliable Email Campaigns in Business Catalyst with Matt Knighton
3rd February (4th in AUS) 2015
Sending Emails can be daunting. Checking all those email clients and making sure your email gets the best response is at times overwhelming. Help is at Hand. In this presentation Matt Knighton from BC App Centre and M R K Development will show you some of the tricks and tools he has found to make sure your emails get to inboxes in a reliable way.

Making a Good Living as a BC Partner
10th February (11th in AUS) 2015
In this panel discussion, three experienced Business Catalyst Partners will share how they run their businesses to be financially successful. Learn how they do marketing, sales, contracts, billing, client training, and much much more.

Using Dreamweaver as a Business Catalyst Partner
17th February (18th in AUS) 2015
Scott B Reynolds with Thrise will walk us through recent Dreamweaver updates and share time-saving techniques of using Dreamweaver and Business Catalyst together. Join us as we take a second look at Dreamweaver to see what’s new, and how we can update our workflows for the modern web.Emmet with Dreamweaver to write your HTML and CSS quicker.

Full schedule: http://www.bcsandpile.com/_blog/Meeting_Chalkboard/
Sandpile Recordings: http://www.bcsandpile.com/business-catalyst/resources.htm

Brass Tacks January webinar recording

Diana Herac Friday, January 30, 2015

This January, Liam Dilley from Pretty presented some key aspects on this month's BC release and the practical examples to go with each item:

  • Web app enhancements: small tweaks can mean big gains
  • Liquid Data types: Awesome new data and date manipulation features
  • More Global Data: A first step in making more of the CRM useful
  • API enhancements: And how the new API is amazing with module_data
  • How BC.Next is going, what is next

We had some issues matching the hours and considering daylight savings in the process and this is why some subscribers couldn't make it to the new hours. We apologize for this mix up.
If you missed this session or you simply want to see it again to check out Liam's demos, you can access the recording here

More interesting Brass Tacks sessions will follow so stay tuned!

The Adobe Business Catalyst Team

BC webinar - BC Sandpile: a community building love story

Diana Herac Tuesday, January 27, 2015

We'll meet Wednesday, February 11, for a webinar that talks about BC Sandpile: a community building love story.

Urszula Richards, Scott Reynolds and Adam Zoblotsky will tell the story of how the BC Sandpile was born and in an interview-style webinar answer key questions about building and nurturing a successful community.

We will still be offering a 15% discount to all webinar attendees that upgrade a trial site using an annual site plan but the discount code will only be offered live, via the webinar session.

You can register for this webinar here:

Also, if you could not join us live or would like to review some parts of the past webinars, you can click on the title and access the recording of past webinars here:

If you have any questions or suggestions please do not hesitate to send them over to BCPartner-Team@adobe.com.

See you there!
The Adobe Business Catalyst Team

Episode 42 of the BC Podcast - Stephanie Campanella

Scott Reynolds Monday, January 26, 2015

My podcast strategy is to interview various Business Catalyst Partners who are willing to share their experiences with specific areas of their business. Marketing is a great place to start. After having a few conversations with Stephanie I knew she would be the perfect Business Catalyst Partner to interview about the subject.

In this month’s podcast, Dave Haggblad and I start out by discussing the January 2015 system update, including date filters, partner-to-partner site transfers, and web app improvements.

Then, Stephanie Campanella from Summit Web Design and Tradies Get Online speaks to me about the advantages of Niche Marketing.

Tune in for Episode 42 of the Business Catalyst podcast!

Listen to this month’s podcast:
Simply click the play button below to stream the podcast via your browser. player

Alternatively, you can download the podcast in .mp3 format for offline listening.

In this episode:

  • Scott and Dave Haggblad talk about recent system update
  • Interview with Stephanie about Niche Marketing
  • Business Catalyst Quiz Question

It’s amazing what you can learn when you simply ask (and listen). Stephanie had a lot to share about Niche Marketing. Here are my favorite quotes from the interview:

It won't shrink the business, it will make it bigger” The idea of limiting your customers to a specific type may seem counter-intuitive, but Stephanie makes some powerful arguments on why it can grow your business.

There are a hundred different electricians and they have different strengths.

It’s important to realize that even in Niche Marketing customers can be similar but they not the same. Knowing your industry saves a significant amount to time on research, but you still need to know your client’s business goals and their strengths. And, as Stephanie points out in the interview, making a deep dive into your customer’s business allows for better long tail keywords.

Stephanie uses as much Business Catalyst for her own company as she can, including the entire CRM. She also uses the built-in reporting tool to make intelligent decisions in her marketing, like when to schedule email campaigns.

It’s really about picking the right time to send it to the right audience. And, and the more niche you are the stronger connection to your audience you get, therefore the better data you get."

According to Stephanie, another reason to use Business Catalyst in your own company is that it shows that she's committed to the platform, even for her own site. There's nothing more important than your clients knowing they can trust you.

It was a blast interviewing Stephanie, and I can't wait for my next interview.

Scott B Reynolds

Transitioning all sites to the new Business Catalyst rendering engine (BC.NEXT)

Cristinel Anastasoaie Thursday, January 22, 2015

Starting Wednesday, January 28th, we will begin gradually transitioning the Business Catalyst sites to our new rendering engine.

Already used in production by thousands of sites, this new engine is faster, more reliable and gives you access to additional functionality like named parameters for modules, Liquid language support and increased SEO score by enabling browser caching for static assets, plus our new admin editor with HTML 5 support and enhanced code view (in the beginning, we'll deploy with those features set to off but they can be enabled via the Beta Features page). As part of the transition, new features or enhancements will only be included in this new system engine.

The transition process starts on Wednesday and will be completed towards the end of this spring, when the current rendering engine will be decommissioned. It will be a multi-stage process that is looking to gradually move sites while limiting the customer impact. You can find below the transition schedule:

  1. Milestone 1 (Jan 28, 10:00 AM UTC): Existing trial sites & all sites on webBasics and webBasics+ plans will be transitioned to the new engine. Additionally, all new trial sites will be created on the new engine.
  2. Milestone 2: All sites on the webMarketing site plan
  3. Milestone 3: All partner sites
  4. Milestone 4: webCommerce sites located on the EU datacenter
  5. Milestone 5: webCommerce sites located on the AU datacenter
  6. Milestone 6: webCommerce sites located on the NA datacenter
  7. Milestone 7 (late April): All remaining sites will be switched to the new version; the current version will be decommissioned.

Note: The dates of the next milestones will be announced in time on the Site Transition Schedule page, based on the progress of the transition. We estimate that all sites should be fully transitioned to the new engine no later than mid Q2 this year.

The move does not include any updates to the admin user interface that will impact your customers and should not have any impact on the site uptime, performance or functionality either. Partners will be able follow an updated transition schedule by visiting the Site Transition Schedule page and subscribing to the transition plan email alerts.

Even if we we'll transition the sites automatically, we strongly encourage you to see how the sites behave on the new engine before it's actually scheduled for transition (you can enable temporarily a website to be rendered on the new engine, just for you, from the Admin Console Beta Features page). This will give you more confidence that the transition will go smoothly and you won't encounter any problems.

For more information about the transition, read the Site Transition FAQ.

Thank you for your support,

The Adobe Business Catalyst Team