Riding for the Brand: Living a Principled Life at Home and on the Range

A guest post by author, speaker, trainer, Jack Perry. He sent this to me after he heard that I spoke to the members of the NRBA on the topic of their personal brands. “Riding for the brand” was the code of the Wild West. According to famed Western writer Louis L’Amour, the expression meant “loyalty to …

Read moreRiding for the Brand: Living a Principled Life at Home and on the Range

Selecting your audience for podcast, blab, scope, ads, posts is the first step.

  VISUAL MARKETING INCLUDES VIDEO PODCASTS, STREAMING, PHOTOS AND GRAPHICS. VISUAL marketing is HUGE. We have the attention span of fruit flies and need to quickly state our message to our ideal client. This may mean that we don’t appeal to everyone. There is nothing wrong with TARGET marketing. I highly recommend not casting that wide …

Read moreSelecting your audience for podcast, blab, scope, ads, posts is the first step.

Google Analytics Annotations: Your marketing diary.

Here is a central place to keep track of your marketing efforts – Google Analytics – the little gray arrow under the bar graph. You can share your annotations with those who have access to your analytics account, or keep them just for your eyes. Google Analytics offers a little gray arrow that is the key to your marketing and website diary.

This is a great way to track when you add new campaigns, new design ideas, change hosts, scripts, launch an ad, promote a video within your site and more. Anything that can cause a change to your website traffic, you can make a note of to see if it did have an effect – positive or negative.

Think of it as a diary, one that you can share or not. You can share some of the annotations, or none – or all. Tell the story of what you are doing to promote your company, product, services, or yourself.

Blab Rant: Your contact page, it stinks!

B.L. Ochman and I dipped a toe into the new venue, Blam.im to rant about contact pages, your footer, your top links. Make it easy for us to find you. Stop hiding your key people. If you are that inundated with spammy people begging for jobs, you must be doing well. HIRE someone part-time to vet these for you. Allow us to know you. What if we want to interview you? Give you free publicity? We need to know we have the “right you.”  Allow us to contact you immediately. Let us know where you will respond the quickest.

Original post with comments – few that there were.

What about mobile? Are you really going to make me fill out a form WITH CAPTCHA?  THAT is annoying. Do your forms work from mobile? Some do not. TEST THE EXPERIENCE. How easy is it to reach you? How easy is it to call you? Does your phone number actually link to dial from your mobile device? Does it link every place on your site the phone number is listed.

Brick and mortar, how about those hours, “directions here”, schedule service (phone). Don’t make it hard. Don’t make us dig and click.

PUT HUMAN faces to your contact list. Are you that secretive or ashamed that you don’t want to show your staff? Your key personnel – C space and department heads. How can we trust your company? You ask us to fill in forms, take our money, but you won’t give us a face? Hmmm. 

Google has changed how they display map listings. There is less information. You need to have it available.

Jessica Dewell joined us and she reminded us that we have more than one contact page. It’s not just on our websites. We have a contact page on every social media venue with our profiles. TEST the links, review periodically.

B.L. also reminds us to not be distracted while driving. PULL OVER. Multi-tasking is a myth. 

Content comes before the pretty part, including images.

“The most beautifully decorated cake means nothing if when you bite into it you wince with disappointment.” One of the most difficult things I have to do with clients is to hold them back from focusing on the “pretty” part of their website before the content is developed. The design is LED by the content …

Read moreContent comes before the pretty part, including images.

Just because you have beautiful models, it doesn’t make your product memorable.

While watching Sharknado3 the other night, we were accosted by the Dorito commercial with the flying pig. The boy in the spot is unique looking, to say the least. Our children asked how they find kids like that and shouldn’t they want kids that are more “put together” looking. My husband and I both chuckled, …

Read moreJust because you have beautiful models, it doesn’t make your product memorable.

Create a press kit for your site – even if you are a solopreneur.

Make sure they use the photo you prefer and bio. Sometimes we are asked to be guests on a show, guest writers, there may be a story about our company, or a member highlight in one of your professional organizations. You don’t want people just googling your name and deciding which image to use. Make …

Read moreCreate a press kit for your site – even if you are a solopreneur.

Stop sending newsletters, send an email instead.

Email marketing campaigns start before you select your system of choice. Some of you don’t have a choice as you must use your CRM. Before you pull the trigger, make sure you have some basic drip pieces in place. It’s not about sending NEWSLETTERS. No one needs more newsletters. Think about these as sharing tips and items of interest with your contacts based on their interest and needs, rather than looking at it as a way to quickly cram your wares down their inbox. Wouldn’t it be great if the 2000 on your list each shared your helpful, well-written, concise email with 2 folks, and at least one of those also gave your their email because they love the offer you give them if they “subscribe?”
06:05 First things first – We asked Ely what he recommended before you even select which system may fit you best.
06:37 Put together some type of freebie that you can give to those who take action.
07:13 Freebies come in handy as a conversation starter.
07:50 Write 3 simple emails – no more than 10 lines each to get this started.
08:00 Some reason for people to GIVE you their email address.
08:35 Nobody wants another newsletter!
08:45 Yvi tips us to http://unsubscribe.com for those who have OVERSUBSCRIBED.
09:10 No one is going to your site to say, “Oh YAY! I want ANOTHER newsletter!”
09:33 What stops folks in getting started is the overwhelm to create NEWSLETTERS. Stop it. WRITE 3 emails 10 lines or fewer with a link to a “gift.”
10:30 There is no one correct call-to-action from your emails. Some may want a newsletter list, some may want people to subscribe to their YouTube channel.
11:10 Gating the checklist until they subscribe is a common tactic.
12:10 Nobody wants another newsletter!
12:24 ONE topic per email.
14:15 It’s a TIP H/T to Renee Christine and her great emails.
14:45 H/T to Dan Kennedy and his style of newsletter.
15:50 Fast Food mentality, Microwave compatible.
17:34 Started to talk about drip systems. 
18:25 What is drip system – Yvi prompted Ely to explain. GREAT explanation and examples given.
19:45 You can have multiple campaigns if you set up in a more elaborate system beyond MailChimp and Constant Contact.
21:00 Recap of the show and the two extremes.
21:50 Need the content to back up your emails. You want to drive them BACK to your site.
23:30 Open a conversation rather than just sending the email. Ask an OPEN ENDED question, ask for their opinion.
26:12 Yvi reminds us to provide a VALUE and not just shoving your wares at them.
26:20 The Marketing Booty Call
27:00 The wrap up and the checklist link.
Drip systems should be evergreen content. Revisit your drip messages and auto-responders. Are they still current? Do the links still work?
Link to the checklist gift from Ely, Susan & Yvi to help you get started before you spend too much time in the WRONG email marketing system for your company.
Guest Panelist: 
Ely Delaney is the Co Founder, Dean and Lead Trainer at Your Marketing University, a marketing education company designed specifically to help teach motivated entrepreneurs and business professionals how to take control of their marketing, online and offline. Ely has been in the marketing and multimedia design world since 1996 and is dedicated to helping businesses achieve their marketing goals without the need for expensive advertising agencies.
Subscribe to the Geekspeak Guides on YouTubeiTunes and Stitcher.

How Managing Leads for Independent sales channels brings big results!

LISTEN LIVE on SLMA Radio 12/18/2014 or to replays after that.
Managing sales leads has always gotten its biggest visibility for those organizations that have direct sales forces.  But there are advocates that say that managing leads for the independent channel can be just as fruitful and in many cases more so.  In this interview Jim LaBelle of LeadTrack software shares why the right software and the right management of leads for the independent channel can be tremendously productive.  The host for this program is Jim Obermayer.

Read moreHow Managing Leads for Independent sales channels brings big results!

Why convert your audio podcast to video and visa versa?

So you made a video show or tip or guide, but you want to turn it into a podcast. You can do that as a video – depending on your hosting account set up for your podcast station, or you can convert it to audio.
Which is a reminder, that not everyone sits watching you like they would The Voice. They may just want to listen. Don’t rely on screen shares and visuals if you want your content to be more versatile.

But what if you were a guest on a radio show and want to turn that content into video for YouTube? There are simple steps, including making sure you have permission from the original source to re-purpose the content. We will cover steps and ideas of how to best turn your content around to give you more options to get it out there.

You can capture new audiences by reposting your podcasts to other venues such as your website, promote in your newsletter with a screenshot linked to the post or video, uploading to push to iTunes, Stitcher and more. You may even want to upload an audio version and a lower res video version since most watching from those venues are on handheld devices.

Time to get a real head shot – tips for men and women

A headshot starts way before the headshot. There is planning, prep and research to find the right studio to take it for you. What to wear, accessories, pose and more. The tips below assume you are not having to wear a uniform. Also, if you are appearing, speaking, etc. you’ll want to provide an image as soon as you accept so that the intern doesn’t do a Google search and end up with something outdated, embarrassing or not even you. I’ve done it several times for radio guests that don’t seem to think they need to provide a headshot because it’s RADIO.

  • Wear some COLOR solids are best. Patterns are distracting.
  • Earrings – do they go with the outfit? Are the trendy or business like – yet with personality?. They, too can be distracting.
  • Shirts – are collars ironed? Is the jacket REALLY your size or the size you wish you still were?
  • Tie or no tie – depends on your target market. BORROW an expensive tie if you have to – that doesn’t mean buying it at Nordstrom and then returning it. Have a GOOD tie. It will give you a lift.
  • Glasses or no glasses? Do you always wear glasses? Will anyone recognize you if you do not have them on or will they ask if you got Lasix surgery? When was the last time you updated your frames? You may be due if it’s been more than 5 years. Styles change. You may end up with lighter weight ones, too, that are more flattering.If you bought your glasses with one shaped face and you’ve gained or lost weight, changed hair color, gone gray – your old glasses will not look as good as they did when you first got them.
  • Smile – do you want your teeth whiter or are you happy with what you have? There is no correct answer – just what fits for YOU. Whitening products. SMILE warmly like you are looking at a friend you haven’t seen in a while and they look fantastic and happy!Remember if you use a whitening product the night before or even that day – the real ones will somewhat dry your teeth out and you’ll need to replenish the moisture or the first thing you drink – coffee, soda, juice, wine – will soak right in to the more porous surface. Be ready to brush again.
  • Stray hairs – men – PLEASE trim your nose hairs and eyebrows. Get it done professionally. If your ears are showing – no YODAS! Same if your neck is showing – clean it up. Beards/mustaches – are they cleaned up or are you sporting that ZZtop – Duck Dynasty look?Women, as we get older hair shifts on us – chins and upper lips, sideburn area – defuzz, pluck. DO NOT WAX THE DAY BEFORE A HEAD SHOT. Sometimes, waxing your face stimulates the skin to cleanse and you end up with blemishes. RED is hard to hide.
  • DO NOT PICK your face – as a general rule – but REALLY leave it alone the day of your head shot. Be GENTLY, rub gently to avoid breaking something open. Patching it with cover-up will still show and add to the edits that need to be done.
    1. Selecting the studio: You want someone with some artistic sense who can help bring out your best
    2. Consider bringing a couple of shirts, colors with accessories: earrings, ties, etc. to give variety.
    3. You will want a HIGH RES digital version at the very least.
    4. Go for COLOR – you can always switch to black and white.
    5. Ask them about your rights to post the images and use them in promotional materials. Once you purchase a high res version, can you use it anywhere you want to without watermark?
  • Pose time – backdrops, your angle and lighting. This is part of why you will have a professional shoot you
    It can be JC Penney, WalMart, Target, not to be confused with Mall Santa shots – NO! Preferably a local photography studio that specializes in head shots. Wedding specialists are not business head shot specialists, nor is the local business that does passport photos.


Thank you, +Adam Music who shared some tips about the actual photo itself with us.  Love the part about wide and tall hair!

  1. Black and white is nice and artsy; but when your head shot appears on other sites, it might be next to color shots, which makes you look out of place. There are sections of our site where we do not run photos if they are in black and white, even if they run in the paper, because of our site’s optics. So make sure you at least get a color shot done, even if you’re not going to use it, to give other sites options. Remember – you can’t go from black and white to color.
  2. Sites have different display dimensions and sizes. A nice, big hi-res photo can help them accommodate you into other sites without them having to mess around with the image. But make it a FULL head, please. Some people have sent us head shots with the tops of their heads cut off. And I can’t manipulate an image to show your entire head if part of it isn’t there originally.
  3. The ratios we use in print and online are either squares or 14″ x 19″ vertical photos. I’d advise trying to fit that vertical ratio if possible. There are some people whose hair either is too wide or too tall, so there’s a lot that has the potential to get cut off. As a photo editor, I do my best to get as much of a head-to-shoulders view of them. It’s not always easy to accomplish. But when dressing and styling, those factors could enter into your decisions. Maybe you go for one pose that looks good vertically and one that looks good squared off. If you look better horizontally, I can’t help you.
  4. Look at the camera. The off-to-one-side may work for your site, but not others.
  5. Keep it current! There are a number of subjects who look a lot different when we run their mug one day and a feature shot of how they actually look today.
  6. We and some other publications also run knock-outs of photos, where the background is erased so the background appears to be gray. If you have a shot where the background is easily removed, you’ll look better when an editor who isn’t you gets it.

Final tip: Remember, we are all famous, just not everyone knows it yet. You want to be prepared!