Wednesday, November 5, 2014

I'm getting featured on In the Trenches with Tom Morkes!

I'm so excited to announce that I've been interviewed for Tom's podcast called In the Trenches. 

In The Trenches is an almost weekly podcast where I interview entrepreneurs, artists, writers, inventors, warriors and leaders about doing the hard, creative work, day in and day out.
These are people who are actually in the trenches, and our world is better for their work.
It was great talking with Tom about the work Ilysa and I did to bring Polymer Clay Adventure to life. I'm so excited about that project. Let me tell you, it was the culmination of almost 8 years of our collaboration. We were tired of constantly "marketing" to a group of people who were really not buyers, they just enjoy the free tutorials we make on a weekly basis. And that's so cool- we are doing the tutorials because we love polymer clay. But it would really be awesome if we could also make some money. After all, I've always had a day job and I am DYING to get rid of it and work for myself! So marketing to non-buyers was no longer a viable idea.

Where to find buyers? Well we started doing some covert market research, which involved reaching out to our current network to ask them what they really need help with. We also did some brainstorming - what was our current network and reach comprised of? How were were talking to them about buying? What were we actually providing to them to buy, and could we do a better job?

We slowly answered those questions and then came up with our big idea- create an online event to bring together a large group of guest teachers, with great classes and lots of community interaction. That's how was born, and it's been a great success.

If you want to make money online, remember that you may need to research, do some learning (we read some books and discussed how to implement ideas from our mentors) and really ask your customers what they want, so you can give it to them. We found that when we asked our customers to "Do us a Favor" by answering a couple of survey questions, we got a lot of responses! They knew they could help us by answering, rather than us just saying here's a survey. Words that you use have so much to do with marketing!

I will post a link when Tom gets the podcast interview posted!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

On the web, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

I enjoy craigslist, I’ve gotten some great deals there. Recently I was looking to pick up some work, and I responded to a job posting for an accounts payable position. This guy answered me back, and I’m really just posting this so maybe someone googling Craigslist Scams can find it and beware.
Dan McCain
He sent me an offer, and when I looked around I found a very similar scam and the info was posted here:
He told me I would have to buy check printing software, print and mail his checks, and get paid by money order every two weeks. I figure I better not print his fraudulent checks and mail them, thereby making me responsible for committing fraud, and then wait for his bogus money order that he printed at home on HIS printer and sent to me. Please don’t fall for it.
BTW, I sent him that link when I told him no.

Friday, August 1, 2014

What is SEO?

In this day and age, I sometimes can’t believe that people ask that question. But so many businesses don’t have the time to dedicate to internet research, so some of the information does fall through the cracks.
SEO is simple and at the same time, incredibly complex. It stands for “search engine optimization.” But what does THAT mean?
There are three major search engines, Google, Yahoo, and Bing. There are others that have been around for a while but haven’t caught on, or that try to pop up and don’t gain ground. Google is the most popular, to the point where we sometimes hear “google” being used as a verb- I’m going to google it, for instance.
The people behind the search engines are pretty smart and they know that everyone wants to be on the first page of google or yahoo or bing. They also know that businesses are willing to do unethical things to gain that page ranking. So they are CONSTANTLY changing the methods for deciding whether a site is relevant or not, and they basically use a mathematical equation called an algorithm to figure it all out. The trouble is, they don’t tell anyone what it is! So when you are optimizing your site, you are trying to figure it out… it can be like shooting in the dark.
The best way to optimize your site for the search engines is to be thorough and honest. Write and post about your niche or product, be honest about it. Make sure you use the words that people in your field or shopping for your product or service would use. Then you have to be sure that you are relevant. Google does not like websites that haven’t updated in a year, they feel that the site is dead an no longer relevant, so your page ranking will drop as new more updated sites take over.
Maintaining your websites SEO is an ongoing and constant job. If you can’t hire a marketing person to do this for you, your internet presence will suffer. Hint- you can hire me :)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

About Internet Relations... or, remember, that's a person you're typing to!

The internet, Skype, texting... there are so many ways to connect with people these days. For those of us over 20, there were "the old days," when you talked on the phone, went over to their house, and wrote letters, and then there was technology, starting with email and landing us where we are today.

For the under-20 set, they have NEVER known life without cellphones!!!! I remember, my first cellphone was a brick I got in 1995 when I graduated from college and was living in someone's spare room. I was a substitute teacher and needed a way for people to contact me at 5 am. But I digress...

I urge you to keep two things in mind.

#1: There is a person, with thoughts and feelings, on the other end of whatever you are about to type.

#2: If what you are about to type would be better said in person, with facial expressions and tone of voice, find a way to "be with" the person rather than writing it. Google Hangouts, Facetime, Skype, Oovoo... these free options offer you a way to see and hear the person you need to communicate with.

So much gets lost in translation on the web or via text. You can make or break any relationship by not communicating properly, by typing when you should be taking the time to talk.

This is true in social networks too. You can make or break someone's day in a forum or on Facebook, all with the power of your fingers. So use your powers wisely.

And for god's sake, don't break up with someone or give them bad news via words that you type. At least give them your face and your voice.