Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Do YOU have a "Back Pocket Topic"?

Let's say you are given time to speak at some event, unexpectedly and with no prep time!!

This doesn't happen a LOT but CAN happen. Everyone should have a "Back Pocket Topic" or maybe even 2 or 3. This should be something:
  1. You are passionate about 
  2. That you have something of value or unique to share 
  3. That you know backwards and forwards so you can expand or compress the presentation into the allocated time
Understand and utilize the M.A.G.I.C. Marketing formula:
  1. Think about who will be at the event (the A.udience) so that you can finetune the M.essage
  2. Asking a question at the beginning is a great and quick way to G.rab their Attention. Asking for that show of hands will also engage them.
  3. Know the emotional "hot button" of your A.udience means you can know what question to ask that might I.nvolve their Emotions
  4. What's your C.all to Action? Give them something to do or think about after you are done talking...
  5. "Tell them what you are going to tell them, tell them, and then tell them what you told them."(Best advice I got from Toastmasters). Nothing is more frustrating than listening to someone without an hints on the purpose of the presentation. Hard to do in 30 seconds but this is where the M.A.G.I.C. formula and the tips below REALLY comes in handy!
Practice, practice, practice... 
  1. The more you do, the easier it becomes! (No one EVER gets worse with practice!)
  2. Master communicator Jim Rohn says it well:
    "Take advantage of every opportunity to practice your communication skills so that when important occasions arise, you will have the gift, the style, the sharpness, the clarity, and the emotions to affect other people."
Other tips:
  1. Memorize some good, relevant quotes. It demonstrate you are well-versed in your topic AND connects with people in ways your own words cannot... (Quoting yourself doesn't work as well..)
  2. Use analogies. You don't have to explain much for people to "get it" because we already understand the story behind the analogy you use. I'll post some videos of examples.
  3. Have a printed introduction with you or have it on your phone. No more than 3 sentences or so. Comes in handy if you are to be introduced.
In summary, having that "Back Pocket Topic" will take Planning, Preparation, and Practice but boy, howdy will you be glad you did when you are put on the spot!

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Blogging can Change your LIFE!

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash
What's more, it can change the lives of others... Will it? No telling for sure BUT it's always a POSSIBILITY! There are many benefits to your business (and your prospective clients)*.

However there are many personal benefits as well. Let's examine how:

  1. It can be a part of our journaling process. Documenting our thoughts, opinions and perspectives is one way we can leave a "paper trail" of our journey through life to understand where we were back "when" and gauge where we are going.
  2. It can be part of your personal brand. We all have a totally unique perspective and therefore our "voice" is unique, valuable, and rare. Keeping that voice hidden is like keeping our light under that bushel basket. Plus that voice (and light) will surely outlast us as long as the Internet lasts.
  3. It helps keep us accountable. The more people that know about our goals and ambitions, the more likely we are to do what it takes to achieve it. 
Did you see the 2009 movie "Julie & Julie"? According to Wikipedia: "The film contrasts the life of chef Julia Child in the early years of her culinary career with the life of young New Yorker Julie Powell, who aspires to cook all 524 recipes in Child's cookbook in 365 days, a challenge she described on her blog that made her a published author" and was the source of the screenplay for the movie. It was nominated for and won dozens of awards. I enjoyed it because it describes the journey we are capable of if we make a decision. 

Here are some decisions for you to consider:
  1. Watch (or re-watch) "Julie & Julie"
  2. Write something that you think might be of value or interest to yourself and/or others
  3. Post it
  4. Share it to your family & friends in Facebook or other social platforms
  5. Schedule a time and repeat 
  6. See what happens (you might want to write about THAT sometime!)
  7. Enjoy the experience... it is as UNIQUE as you are!
*Check out blogging benefits for your business:

Sunday, November 12, 2017

EXPAND your on-line Presence so Searches can FIND you!

To be found you need to be seen. REALLY TRUE on the internet where finding information about you and your business definitely falls into the "needle in a haystack" scenario.

So how do you increase the size of your "digital footprint" to improve your chances of being seen? Here are just a few suggestions:
  1. PLEASE-PLEASE claim your "Google My Business" account. Since Google still commands the majority of searches, claiming and updating the information about your business is imperative to maximizing your exposure on this platform.
  2. Expand your listings on other search engines and directories. There are dozens of places where you can list you information to increase the likelihood that searches will display your information. Besides Google, there is Bing, Yahoo, and social media platforms to consider.
  3. Correct the misinformation about your business. Some of these search engines and directories have garnered your information and posted what it found. Unfortunately, often this information may be incorrect if you move, change a phone number, or even may be incorrect from the start. Also, anyone can "suggest" a change which means your business can get shanghaied by your competition!
To accomplish all this can take hours and hours to login, claim and update all the information.

GOOD NEWS! We can provide your business a "Digital Dashboard" that will allow you to update your information simultaneously in over 70 search engines and directories including:
  • Your NAP (Name, Address and Phone number) 
  • Business descriptions of your products and/or services
  • Your business categories
  • Your business hours
  • Menus for restaurants
  • Special events
  • Photos & videos
  • Staff bios
  • and SO MUCH MORE
Now you can have an easy, affordable way to manage and update much of the content about your business throughout the internet. Never have we seen a tool that allows you to claim and manage your BUSINESS BRAND on the largest marketing platform available: the World Wide Web! And the investment starts at only $197.

CLICK to request a FREE Digital Report on how your business is listed and to get more information about our services.

PS - Stay turned for our next post on how voice-controlled virtual assistants like Siri and Cortana should affect your strategy of achieving digital visibility.

Monday, September 18, 2017

On the Internet, Being Brief may not be Best

It can be said than when you post text on your website or blog, you are writing for TWO audiences: your potential customers and the search engines.
  • Readers want you to be BRIEF and to the POINT
  • Search Engines want to measure you on the relevancy of a keyword search and therefore, MORE matches is BETTER 
Seems like a "catch-22", yes?

Addressing what the potential customer wants.
  • In Google, there are two kinds of searches: shopper searches and buyer searches. 
  • Shopper searches are by people just looking around. They use generally use 3 words or less in the search. Example: “folsom chiropractor”
  • Buyer searches are 3 words or more and are more specific. Example: “folsom sports chiropractor”. A person doing a buyer search is far more likely to be a buyer than the first
  • Include keywords within your text that are likely included in searches by your target market
  • Start the page with a 350-ish word summary of a longer article to follow (they can then choose to read the lengthy article or not)
  • Have a "call to action" just below the summary or in a column to the right so they know what to do if they are interested in your products or services
Addressing what the search engines want:
  • The truth is Google is that they don't score pages well with less than 350 to 500 words. 
  • If you look at the first page results on Google for 3+ key word searches for many keyword types and averaged across the country, they come out on average at just under 1900 words of text as measured by Google on the page. Might as well aim a little high – 2000+ ish words.
What you need to do:
  • Write a good (educational, relevant) article of 1200 to 1400 words around a keyword phrase topic. It is far more effective when you write this even if  you hire someone to do all the rest. 
  • Don't be too broad in the topic as it will "water down" the relevancy of the page. Stick to the point in the article, but elaborate.
  • Use headers / titles (header tags are best structurally) for the parts of the article
  • Find pictures that illustrate your article (use you own images whenever possible as it put a "face to your name"). Rename the images using keywords and include descriptions in their meta info.
  • Rewrite the text replacing pronouns with keywords wherever possible. You may need to rewrite the text to flow smoothly once you've changed the words.
Things you need to know:
  • Decide what your goals are in writing for the Internet. Do you want to attract customers, searches or both
  • Good writers are generally available for a nickle to a dime a word depending on how good the initial article is and how technical the subject. Make sure they understand your goals.
  • You need to understand the current criteria for search results if that's your goal or hire someone who does. Google changes the rules all the time and each search engine has a different formula. 
  • Be aware that THEY do NOT control the ranking results (Google does)  so be sure to track your return-on-investment.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Is your Website Leaking Business??

They do, you know... Most websites have holes where potential business and customers fall between the gaps and cracks. No website is leak-proof but there are a few things that will do the most to minimize the lost potential.
  1. Be Phone-Friendly. At least 20-25% of website traffic is mobile (maybe more depending your industry). And if you have every visited a website that is hard to see or confusing to use on your phone, you most likely left it, possibly never to return.  The solution is to DESIGN a phone-friendly website that is concise (likely a subset of your main website) and clear (with prominent CLICK-TO-CALL, CLICK-FOR-MAP or other buttons that will make it easy for them to connect with you).
  2. Be People-Friendly. Websites have evolved from simple on-line brochures. With slideshows, videos, on-line chat, and links to social networks, websites can now be designed to ENGAGE your audience which will keep them on your website longer. What's more, you want to look different (and better) than your competition. You want your visitors to say "Holy Cow", not "Ho-Hum".
  3. Be Business-Friendly. The CLICK buttons on a mobile website is just one example of making it EASY to do business with you. Create a simple (and prominent) button to buy, register, schedule, book, call, email... You can make it even more compelling by providing a sense of urgency (limited time offer). You can also personalize how your website appears depending on the time of day (is it Happy Hour yet?), location of the visitor (where is your office nearest to them?) or time of year (are you open late for the Holidays?)
These are just a few of the myriad of strategies to get you more business from your website. We offer a FREE Digital Diagnostic (limited time offer!) where we will look at your website and make suggestions based on your business. There is no obligation and to buy anything and we GUARANTEE we will find a hole (or two) you can patch and will offer suggestions on how to patch it/them!

CLICK to schedule today!

Susan, Web Ninja

Saturday, September 26, 2015

When website changes don't appear as expected

In order to speed up web browsing, web browsers are designed to download web pages and store them locally on your computer's hard drive in an area called "cache". Browser cache (also know as Internet cache) contains records of every item you have viewed or downloaded while Internet surfing. So when you visit the same page for a second time, the browser speeds up display time by loading the page locally from cache instead of downloading everything again. (from http://refreshyourcache.com/en/cache/)

Hitting the refresh button on your browser will cause the page from the internet, therefore showing any recent changes. Each browser (Chrome, Firefox, Explorer) has the button near the URL bar and it looks like a "recycle" icon. 

Sunday, September 13, 2015

PICK the Video to SUIT your Purpose!

Videos are a great way to share information on the WWW. And each type of video has its strengths based on the purpose of the video.

Here are just a few examples...