Google Hangouts is Skype on Steroids

Are you a home based business (like iHubbub) and just starting to put your networking toes in the Google ocean? We have been running online networking events for freelancers and home business entrepreneurs to engage and chat to each other about their business interests.

We have been doing this via webinars and it has been great fun networking in PJs and slippers, I can tell you. Some members have even reported what a nice change not to dress up and put a face on to pitch their business.

Day to day we use Skype and love it. We are true Skype junkies ... until we thought about getting more ooooomph into our online networking.

So I started looking around and even though we used to using Skype to work with clients and staff, we have not considered the additional benefits of Google Hangouts.

The experts tell me that Hangouts brings networking into real time with photos and group video calls for free.

So iHubbub team - shouldn't we be connecting with our members via their computers or lappies, Android and iPhones and even our freelancers who work from their iPads?

How to use Google hangouts for networking with other home business entrpreneurs

Go with me on this ... mostly because we are right here in the same boat, paddling like mad as we learn about Google Hangouts together.

So this is what I can gather...


Face To Face Business Conversations

Like Skype, Google Hangouts enable you to have face to face conversations over your internet connection. But because Google Hangouts integrate seamlessly with other Google Apps, such as Google Drive, you also have the opportunity to collaborate with any freelancers that are working on consulting projects with you. Or chat in real time with your remote working staff on documents, easily make multi-user conference calls and share files.

Got it. We're gonna try that.

Google has also made hangouts work with YouTube, so your home working team can watch and comment on video or audio files as well. And if you produce content you'd like to keep, Hangouts can be saved to a file and embedded into web pages.

And that's not all.

If you choose the Hangouts on Air option, you can broadcast to the world via live streaming, and still have the recording for your website, or even to sell. This makes Hangouts a very low cost way of publishing webinars or training sessions.

Hang on Hangouts ... this is getting mighty interesting! 'Specially where our online networking is concerned.

Collaborate And Network On Hangouts

Of course, both you and those you want to collaborate with do need a Google Account, in the same way that both participants need to have downloaded Skype. No diffs there.

Some innovative ways home businesses have used Google Hangouts include:

  • Expert Interviews: Interviewing an expert in your field, or having someone interview you is a great way to produce high quality content for your new start-up business website. Posting the results on YouTube will drive traffic to your blog or website and is great for SEO.
  • Tick - will do.
  • Roundtables: Getting a group of customers or in our case iHubbub Members around a virtual table via Google Hangouts will enable you to really get to grips with what they want from your product or service, and where their pain points really are. Encourage lively debate and let everyone learn from each other.
  • Sounds good for us to get Feedback on what we're doing on iHubbub for our home business and freelancing community.
  • Networking: Hosting a virtual networking session for local businesses is a great way to raise your profile and build a network of business acquaintances without leaving the house.
  • This is getting so exciting I can't wait to share it with the iHubbub team!
  • Demonstrations and webinars: If you provide a coaching or training function, Google Hangouts enable you to work with clients from a much wider area, and to retain a recording of the training for future use.
  • Sounds perfect for the webinars workshops we run and when I teach workshops.

Okay, so I've got this far. Now what? Where do I go next? What do I do to set up my first networking hangout?

Do you know?

Have you run a Hangout? I'd love to hear how it went. Maybe you can teach us a thing or three.

Next lesson in real time will have to be what to actually do when setting up a Google Hangout. Hang ten and watch this page to see if I can get that far and figure that bit out.

Maybe you see other ways this great free app could help home business owners?

Please do give me your thoughts - this is very interactive and I so want to hear more about your Google Hangouts and how you use it to increase comms in your home based business.

Speak soon ...

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