images (18)When was the last time you heard about Google helping out anyone? Usually we associate them with search ranking algorithm updates that sink sites with their Pandas, Penguins and the like. But not this time around. Google Helpouts is a new offering from Google that seems to be actually, well, helpful.

So what are Google Helpouts?

Google Helpouts is a video chat platform, much like Google Hangouts with some major differences. Anybody can offer their services for free or for a fee, to undertake whatever tasks they may find helpful to others. For example, one person may offer technical web help, another baking lessons. Helpouts are offered on a timed basis, and monies are exchanged through Google Wallet. Each and every provider is approved by Google prior to going live, and all are rated by their users with regards to their ability.

Can a beauty salon business make use of Google Helpouts?

There are lots of ways a beauty salon business can make use of Google Helpouts. Lessons, tutorials, advice and one on one help can go quite some distance toward introducing your business to the local community, in addition to building up your brand and reputation. Consider how best your business can benefit from this source of lead generation, and whether or not it’s a good idea to charge for your services. A free consult could be just what is needed to develop some of the know, like, and trust you are wanting. It might function as a best business card you ever made!

How do you start with Google Helpouts?

You’ll need to get an invitation, and become approved, but after that all that is required is a Google account, a computer with webcam and a microphone, and a plugin that Google has for you to download. One nice bit of integration is that Helpouts pulls the profile information from your Google account, so for branding purposes this is consistent and easy. Ensure that your computer has a least a 2GHz or faster processor, and that your video area is well lit and professional. This is displaying your beauty salon business after all!