How To Use Google Hangouts For Business

Google Hangouts for business

You might have heard about Google+ and Google Hangouts, they’ve been around for a few years now. But it’s not until recently that they’ve started to really make more sense for us as business owners.

5 Ways You Can Use Google Hangouts For Business

Let’s go over 5 ways that you can use Google Hangouts to improve your business, save money, and even make more money, too.

1. Google Hangouts for conference calls and team meetings

Here at Lussier Heartquarters we meet every Monday on a private Google Hangout, so we can talk about our big plans for the week and see each other’s lovely faces.

It’s pretty simple to get a Hangout going, and unlike telephone conference lines we know when someone is typing or not paying attention. It’s also a great way for us to know what’s happening, like if a kiddo or cat walks in the background we get it.

2. Google Hangouts to replace webinars

You might have explored and tried a few of the webinar software companies out there, I sure have. I love Gotowebinar, but I also appreciate that it’s a monthly expense that you might not want if you don’t run webinars on a regular basis.

That’s where Google Hangouts On Air come in – you can use the platform just like you would to run a webinar, and the bonus is that your attendees don’t need to download any extra software to attend.

Oh, and did I mention it’s free?

Your Hangout is recorded for you and you can trim the beginning and end if you don’t need the extra pre-amble in there. The video immediately gets turned into a YouTube video on your channel, which you can edit to become Unlisted or Private if you don’t want it publicly available.

Best of all, you can embed your Hangout on a page of your website so you can keep the branding consistent across the board. Plus, you can answer questions or have people share the Hangout on their Google+ pages, which in turn increases the attendees and social reach you’d naturally get.

3. Google Hangouts to host virtual summits

If you’ve ever wanted to put on a telesummit where you interview other experts and share the recordings with attendees, then hosting your guests on a live Hangout gives you major brownie points.

Here’s why.

You can have each guest join you live and the whole thing gets automatically recorded, so no editing or uploading required after the event itself. With many guests and moving pieces, anything that can save time coordinating or uploading files is a win.

You can also keep the recordings up for your desired “free access” period and then just change permissions to private when you’re ready to switch to the paid version of your summit.

Plus, when you do a live Hangout your guests can ask questions and really participate on a whole new level.

4. Google Hangouts to demonstrate software and create tutorials

I personally tested this out when we rolled out the free version of our WordPress popup plugin (PopupAlly). I just loaded up a Google Hangout, and selected my browser window to demonstrate how this WordPress plugin works in real time.

You could do similar things if you want to walk people through any technical process or even show a slide presentation.

Most Google Hangouts are videos of the presenter, but switching to your screen is an easy built-in function that’s worth exploring to keep things fresh on your Hangouts.

5. Google Hangouts to run a regular web show “live”

If you like watching these Off The Charts pre-recorded episodes, imagine if we were to run a live version of the show?

The sky is the limit when it comes to Google Hangout shows – and having a regular schedule for when you host your own show can help people connect with you more before they take you up on your paid offerings.

You can think of your web show like a set of office hours, where you answer questions and hang out with your audience. Or, you can script it and come up with topics each week. Or even invite guests on a regular basis too, like Yifat Cohen does. You can do what BakeSpace does with their ongoing baking shows.

Your turn to share…

Now I’d love to know – what’s holding you back from trying out Google Hangouts? If you’ve attended or hosted your own hangouts for your business, what did you love or hate about them? Leave a comment below and let me know!

 

21 Responses to How To Use Google Hangouts For Business

  1. Thank you, Nathalie

    So many great ideas, and am seeing the benefits are even easier now.

    I have been wondering how to set one of these for a while now. I’m just going to play around like I used to do when I was testing software to make sure I know how to set it up as when I did host my second talk I did it on Google Hangout, however I was a newbie and didn’t know what I was doing and someone ended up muting me throughout the whole episode.

    You are giving me inspiration to come back and give it another go, because after all it’s practice and getting the hang of it.

    Do you have any recommended tutorials on how to use google hangout?

    Much love and thank you again, Nathalie.

    I am now tempted to join you again for your 30 day List Building Challenge.

  2. Thank you for this, Nathalie! I’ve heard so many good things about Google Hangouts, but am not one of those people who thinks it’s fun to explore and mess around with computer/tech stuff, so I’ve been putting it off because of overwhelm.

    This helps me put it in perspective, and gives me a little more courage! Your Hangout on Friday will be a good way for me to actually experience it firsthand!

  3. This post couldn’t be better timed for me, Nathalie. My team and I have been trying to identify the best platform to record bonus interviews for Your Spotlight Talk, where best to host office hours for it, and a bunch of other things that all can have the same answer…Google Hangouts on Air. Thank you!

  4. Hiya Nathalie,

    As always, stellar content, delivery with a focused valuable message.

    Your brilliance shows through as usual. Beautiful visuals…you and your brand!

    Thanks so much, you inspire me to fire up google hang-outs.

    Cheers,
    Jul’s

  5. I really want to learn how to do this. I know one person who appears to know how, but her solution involves using Facebook for the hangout. Makes no sense to me that I should have to do that.

    Thanks for the info, looking forward to the hangout on Friday.

  6. Thanks, Natalie! As always, succinct, clear, and full of value. We use GHO for our weekly office “huddle,” since we are a virtual office, with partners scattered from NC, to MI, to CA. GHO provides a better connection than simply chatting by phone or Skype – much better insight into everyone’s moods when we can see each other. Thanks again, Russ

  7. Thanks for the clarity, Nathalie. I’ve been using Hangouts privately with clients and have been interested in using them for group calls, but the information is pretty scattered across the web. When I saw the invitation for your call this Friday, the question popped into my mind ‘how’d she do that?’ as well – and lo and behold, the next day I’ve got the answer ;)
    The one question I still have is – is the webinar page with the comments, attendees, and whatnot a part of the Hangouts interface, or is that a separate plugin or marketing tool?
    Thank you!

    • It depends how you want to do it. If you put everything into the Google interface – basically sending people directly to Google to watch and interact, then yes. You can also use outside chats and embed all the different pieces onto a LeadPages or other page on your website. :)

      • Ah, okay. The page I went to when I clicked through from your email – it showed who all had RSVP’ed, who was ‘watching’ etc… it *looked* like Google itself but I wasn’t sure. All these things seem like marketer voodoo until someone clarifies how simple it really can be :) Thanks!

  8. I’ve tried to use it for meeting with partners and clients but have found it to be glitchy and slow with poor sound quality. Every-time I’ve tried it – I end up switching to Skype.
    I’ve heard so many great things about it but I just can’t get it to work for me. I’ll definitely keep trying though.

  9. Thank you for that, Nathalie.
    I was looking for a while for a way to directly connect and live video is perfect for me.
    The technical aspect and also the research for what is the best way for me and my business was what taking time.
    looking forward to see you tonight.

  10. Thanks Nathalie
    Thanks for your post!
    I used it to do a few hangouts early on (about 18 months ago) as warm ups and pre-event marketing for a series of international events. I loved it in principle and then…
    I stopped using it because A) It consistently crashed my laptop & B) people found it very confusing in the invite department – which was hitting my attendance on the interactive front. What loved though was streaming it to both Facebook and a bespoke page on my site :D
    Your post is a great reminder to revisit it – my old laptop has died (a pc) and now I have a shiny new MacBook Pro – so it could well be that the Goog has moved on and GOA and my Mac can begin a new love affair :D
    Hugs
    Jx

  11. […] about trying Google Hangouts but just aren’t quite sure how to use the free tool, check out this post from powerhouse Nathalie Lussier. From team meetings to webinars and tutorials to web shows, you might have just found your new best […]

  12. Hi Natalie:
    Thank you so much. I am trying to integrate GH into my Rotary meetings so people can be at the meeting virtually. I would have to have the laptop and video camera set up in front of them which could be tough as we use a podium :-). Any way, I missed the webinar and would love to see the replay of the sept. 12!