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What I’m Reading Wednesday: Google Helpouts

November 6, 2013 -  By

I have just one article for you this week, albeit a fascinating one. It seems the Google Hangout (who’s ever participated in one of those, by the way?) has a revenue-generating cousin with a possible application for the landscape market.

“Google Helpouts Promises ‘Real Help from Real People in Real Time’ — for a Price
Time
“A new way to connect people who need help with people who can give help over live video,” is how Google is positioning its new Helpouts feature, and it’s betting that experts (aka “helpers”) will jump on board for the opportunity to get paid to offer advice and that customers will be happy with the service (via a 100 percent money-back guarantee). This product was only announced to the public two days ago, so it’s too early to tell what consumer response will be, but it seems there are already landscape pros jumping on board to try their hands at helping out. In fact, “Home & Garden” is one of the eight main Helpout categories. A cursory search for “landscape design” yields 15 results. The majority of “helpers” who appear in the search results seem to be legitimate designers or contractors offering advice to homeowners or other professionals. Their prices per session run from free to $120 per half hour.

Will virtual consulting become a lucrative revenue stream and an early path to retirement for you? Probably not. But it will be interesting to see if and how certain experts are able to make names for themselves via Helpouts and leverage it into marketing/content currency for their firms.

Want to be a “helper?” You’ll need to get an invitation. You can do that here. If you do join Helpouts, be sure to let me know (mpalmieri@northcoastmedia.net) if it’s fantastic or a flop. I’d love to hear how it goes.

About the Author:

Marisa Palmieri is an experienced Green Industry editor who's won numerous awards for her coverage of the landscape and golf course markets from the Turf & Ornamental Communicators Association (TOCA), the Press Club of Cleveland and the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE). In 2007, ASBPE named her a Young Leader. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Journalism, cum laude, from Ohio University’s Scripps School of Journalism.

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