Previous Success Circles
The Thumbnail pictures are linked to the video. To watch, simply click on the Thumbnail.
Title: Feb. 19-2019 – Backup Your Website, Files, Computer
Summary: Be prepared by creating the right back up. Today we can work mainly in the cloud accessing many open source software programs and Saving our data files. Backing up the computer itself: the need for backing up data, Windows settings, and programs stored in your system. Need to be organized and store all software licence information. Use Acronis True Image (https://www.acronis.com/en-us/personal/computer-backup/) Backing up the website: Use Word Press plugin: All In One Migration or UpDraft Plus and save to your computer/data disk.
Title: Feb. 12-2018 – Managing Images
Summary: We began by discussing the importance of efficiency and being organized, saving our website information (including, raw images, colours used, fonts used, compressed and resized images, files, links and logos) into an appropriate document (Google Doc, MS Doc or Adobe) Compressing images makes the file itself smaller so that it loads faster and takes up less space. Images should be saved as a .png unless there is an actual photograph involved – in that case, .jpeg works best. Two file compression alternatives: Caesium software or EWWWImage Optimizer WP plugin. Safe to use All In One Migration WP plugin for creating backups. Canva is good for creating and sizing images.
Title: Feb. 5-2018 – Increase Your Website Speed
Summary: It’s important to test the speed of your site. Use https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/ and look at both mobile and desktop. Factors that influence the speed of website: speed of server, age and size of site, size & type of images, image naming convention, number of plugins, junk code, number of revisions.
Title: Jan.29-2019 – Teamwork Projects Exploration
Summary: A browser-based application that will be useful for solopreneurs who work on projects for various clients. Tasks in a project can be laid out logically so that projects get completed on time. And the ability to set a timer and track billable hours makes for ease in invoicing and proposal/estimate writing. The free-for-life version is perfectly adequate for solopreneurs.
Title: Jan. 22-2019 – BaseCamp Demo
Summary: BaseCamp is a web-based tool especially for project management and collaboration. It integrates with all the other tools that you may use (Google Calendar and Drive for example). Great tool for keeping yourself and/or others organized. Also has other very useful tools – Campfire chat, Scheduler, ToDo list, Documents & Files – everything in one place. There is a free trial version with a premium version at $99/month.
Title: Jan. 15-2018 – Techniques For Staying Focused
Summary: Remember your ‘why” so that you don’t lose sight of your key focus. Try a digital de-clutter and unsubscribing to reduce topic distractions. Shut down all notifications. Especially for a writing or concentrated development task brain.fm works better than music that has lyrics and musical patterns that can be distracting. Set up steps in a project and set reminders when to move to the next stage. Set phone to ‘do not disturb’. Use tools you are familiar with rather than taking up yet another tool that must be learned and managed. Do important things first. Write a daily ToDo list – on paper. Set boundaries to ensure no interruptions. Form an order of tasks and make it a habit. Take breaks between tasks. Have themed days – one day for writing, one for meetings, etc. Stay connected to your mentor group for inspiration.
Title: Dec. 18-2018 – Life Savers and Lessons Learned
Summary: Valued discoveries: All In One Migration, Search and Repair. Word Fence, Call To Action (all WP plugins), SE Ranking Tool, Google Drive, Google Sheets, Search Console, Elf, OBS hotkeys (all Web Apps) Lessons Learned: The value of online communities, Ask for suggestions when needing to solve a problem, The value of time tracking, The importance of due diligence and research before committing to something online.
Title: Dec. 11-2018 – Google Slides for Creating Images
Summary: This technique is especially suited to the Do It Yourself-er who is pressed for time and has no patience for yet another learning curve. There are other alternatives: Canva was mentioned by several participants. First, you need to know exactly the size of the image you need. Then open a slide and go to File->Page Setup to set your size in pixels. When you have the slide looking the way you want it (you’ve coloured the background, added text and a picture) you then go to File->Download As and choose jpg or png and save to your image file. Bill showed how to arrange several items. Well worth a watch.
Title: Dec. 04-2018 – Collaboration – The Power of Google Drive
Summary: The video freezes up but audio is just fine.
Collaboration on Google Drive makes editing documents (Docs, Sheets, Slides, etc) by numerous people possible, while ensuring that everyone is looking at the same version as was suggested by Vivek in his story. For solopreneurs, this facilitates project management with our clients.
Title: Nov. 27-2018 – Make The Most Of LinkedIn
Summary: As a solopreneur, why is it important to actively participate on LinkedIn? Because all the decision makers are there. You will find only business-related content there. What should you profile contain? Your activities that will reflect what you do for your clients – how you solve problems, how you make it easy to learn about you and connect with you. Important to ask for and give recommendations. (Giving always comes before Receiving.) Insights provided for anything you post gives you valuable clues about your audience. LinkedIn is owned by Microsoft. Well worth the time you spend there.
Title: Nov. 20-2018 – More On Google Programs
Summary: We shared an update of our knowledge of G Suite – G+ is part of the core services. Which of the Google Programs do we use the most? Everyone agreed that Mail, Calendar and Drive were their top choices. The fact that all are available on all devices and their share-ability and connect-ability are key advantages. Hay said Google Search Console is important to him. LA shared the value of Sheets, especially for sortability. We showed an example of the great use we made of Slides taught to me by Bill Graham
Title: Nov. 13-2018 – G Suite and Google Programs
Summary: Two major advantages of G Suite: Because G Suite is intended for business, users have a Service Level Agreement that includes privacy. Gmail, on the other hand, involves Terms of Service that one agrees to however Google wishes to use your data. You can use your own branding (using your site’s Domain Name instead of gmail.com) Setting G Suite up for your branding requires adjusting MX records to point to Gmail. Google Programs include shareable data that can be accessed from any device.
Title: Nov. 6-2018 – All About Qigong with Nancy Crites
Summary: Qigong originated in China/Tibet 5,000 years ago It’s about moving and transforming energy. Becoming aware of this energy and healing self through happiness, joy, peace, contentment and gratitude. Connecting with one’s internal love energy and removing internal blockages.
Title: Oct. 30-2018 – How To Make The Most of The 4th Quarter
Summary: Participants offered some interesting approaches: simplify and get more focused, create a new business focus, Enhance website with a new video that speaks to the needs of target group, build two websites for new clients, re-brand the business and create a new website, note what is working and do more of it, introduce the new program, refocus the business.
Title: Oct.23-2018 – Book Publishing-What We Need To Know
Summary: From the beginning, it’s important to know the answer to five key questions that answer the question Why? Who” “What does s/he need’ etc. You must know who your target client is and you will write to that one person. Diana M Needham (DianaMNeedham.com)stresses the importance of having a strategy from the beginning of the process that will take roughly six months. She also says having an external editor to read through and find all typos and awkward sentences – is critical. You get ready for the E-book market first and then do the final print publication. Other important aspects: a copyright page, a disclaimer statement, images that you own and an ISBN number that you own.
Title: Oct. 9-2018 – Setting up Goals in Google Analytics
Summary: First decide what you want people to do when they visit your website: E-Commerce (purchase), Leads (subscribe), Content (engage with content), Support (help themselves) Make note of specific pages and their url to add to goals set up. To set up goals in Analytics: go to Admin -> View -> Goals -> New Goal -> Custom. To view your Goal performance Conversions -> Overview -> Source/Medium. Good to set goals as soon as the website is developed so that you can see what is working and what is not.
Title: Oct. 2-2018 – Get Your Message Into Their Brains
Summary: Susan Joy Schleef’s new book “Get Your Message Into Their Brains” is ready for sale on Kindle. She shared her experiences: Decision to write 4 or 5 years ago to gain viability and credibility for her business. Creating major content topics – R S V P (Refining your Message, Story Telling, Visual Images, Persuasion-Decision Making) Writing. Expansion of the concept to include speakers, presenters, content marketers and online solopreneurs. Getting the book cover designed. Getting the content formatted for the print version. Getting the publishing legalities covered. Getting friends to help promote. Marketing and Promoting in Facebook to include launching in Amazon and offering a course to help readers implement the book contents. Overall theme: How to capture attention.
Title: Sept. 25-2018 – How To Use Google Analytics
Summary: Google Analytics tracks the behaviour of visitors to your website; Google Search Console tracks the behaviour of your website. The moment your site goes live you should set up both. We looked at setting up Analytics for the first time, beginning with https://analytics.google.com. Navigate to Admin on the left at the bottom. Jay Neill walked us through setting up the account and then where to put code on your website. If your WP theme does not provide an option to add headers & footers, you could try the Headers & Footers plugin.
Title: Sept. 18-2018 – Producing Your Own YouTube Video – Part II
Summary: Following the recording: Must create a title that contains keywords, Create an attractive Thumbnail that contains the video title, Create a description (100 words or more) also containing the keywords, Ensure that the Tags also contain the keywords. Be sure to give viewers instructions about what you want them to do next (Call To Action)
Title: Sept. 11-2018 – Producing Your Own YouTube Video
Summary: Before Video: Ensure the equipment camera, mic and recorder. Decide on the right platform based on what you want to communicate. Decide on the content and write a script or notes. Decide on the process – just you speaking, an interview, a presentation, a panel discussion. Ensure you & your surroundings look professional. Prepare yourself mentally – minimize distractions. Prepare your computer – i.e. close all unnecessary tabs & programs. Decide how & where you will promote it. Prepare your guests. During Video: Ensure good lighting in front of you. Look into the camera as much as possible and keep script just under the camera. Know that with the basics you can do a reasonable video – fancy equipment comes much later.
Title: Sept. 4-2018 – Setting Up Your YouTube Channel
Summary: What to consider beforehand: keeping it simple, deciding who the video viewer will be, what will the channel be about? What topics? Ensuring there is great sound. Recording and posting consistently. Must overcome being nervous by JUST DOING IT. Nobody is expecting perfection or great production so long as something is of interest. Many different ways to make use of YouTube – conversations, demos, interviews, education, telling stories.
Title: August 28-2018 – How to Create a Great About Me Page
Summary: What is the purpose of the About Me Page? To generate trust and to start a relationship with your target viewer. It should give the viewer a sense of who you are and why you are doing what you do. It should contain a clear, face on picture of yourself. Usually, it should tell your story in first person. Here is the main section on mine: Here’s my story, How I got into this work, What inspires me, What I believe, Educational Experiences, My leisure time joys. Write as though you are speaking – be yourself. Consider putting a video giving this information verbally so that the visitor gets the sense of your personality.
Title: August 21-2018 – Managing Several Niches
Summary: What are the key considerations when deciding to take on more than Niche? That it takes a good six months to get a website fully functional. Know that it takes the better part of half a day to create one blog post – although you get better at it as time goes on. It is possible to create one overview niche like “Cellular Health” and have a couple of sub-niches so long as they are related. Time management is critical. Check out Jay’s MindMap that outlines the steps that every blog post should follow.
Title: August 14-2018 – How To Become Successful In Business
Summary: What more can we do? Look at improving our efficiency, Create your business funnel using a mind map, Constantly testing, evaluating what works or doesn’t, re-purpose older, out of date work you’ve done, Seek and provide feedback, Lots of networking, Try new things but be prepared to fail and correct/improve, ask your clients for their help (new ideas, referrals, etc.) Constant reading and professional development. Never leave home without business cards or QR code in your phone.
Title: August 7-2018 – Being In Business – Advantages and Disadvantages
Summary: Being in business means we have to learn to hustle; to sell ourselves and/or our products. We have to get over our dislike of sales and the possibility of rejection. Being in Business never leaves your mind, so much so that we must set some business boundaries for ourselves in order to refresh and see it with fresh eyes. The experience of learning self-management ensures that we develop as people and as a business owner. We enjoy the flexibility and the ability to make our own decisions.
Title: July 31-2018 – Mentors, Coaches, Consultants – Understanding the Differences and Similarities
Summary: Mentors, Coaches, Consultants & Counsellors all use the skills of deep listening, being non-judgmental, providing encouragement/motivation, open/closed questioning and teaching. Mentorship is usually an informal, volunteer arrangement where the protege seeks advice on succeeding in a given profession. Coaching is a contractual, fee for service where the client determines what will be discussed and the definition of success. Consulting is a contractual arrangement that lays out/teaches a specific process for a group. Counsellors, Consultant/Facilitators and Coaches are all professionally trained and certified. Mentors have proven their worth through their position and success. Many organizations use these professions internally and often add their own expectations according to organizational needs. Practitioners are attracted to these roles because they like working with people to help them in some way. The general population often uses these roles and terms interchangeably because they all use similar skills and approaches.
Title: July 24-2018 – Being a Solopreneur – What does it take?
*What Skills? – Being organized, self-disciplined, and task focused. Can finish tasks. Money Management. Ability to Unplug. Ability to prioritize. Ability to create processes. Ability to ask for help.
*What Knowledge? – Our own strengths, weaknesses and personality. Can see possibilities that others don’t see.
*What Personality? – The desire for adventure, quest, enjoy people, can buy into the profit motive, Big picture oriented.
*What Qualities? – Patient, determined, can handle overwhelm, self-confident, takes a positive approach, open to the universe, curious, independent, has clarity on the why, empathetic, non-judgmental, sometimes no other choice
Title: July 17 – 2018 – Techniques For Building Community
Summary: Essential Techniques include a combination of structure and informality, common purpose and safety/comfort. Important that there be a leader/moderator who draws out common values and reminds the group of them. A communication system to inform and attract members. It must be easy to participate and participants must receive value. All members need to ensure that new members feel included and special.
Title: July 10-2018 – Community Building
Summary: What does it feel like to be in community? wonderful, like I belong, that I have a purpose. Communities form when people have a dream, a need to make changes, a common interest or purpose, shared values. Why is community important for solopreneurs? To overcome isolation and business loneliness, to find possible affiliations, business partners, customers who discover you can be trusted. Community is all about relationship as is business.
Ideas for creating an online membership site: Determine the desired outcome. Get the technology you need. MindMap your policies and approaches. Determine your price points. (courtesy of Jay Neil)
Title: July 3-2018 – Confidence Boosting
Summary: As adults, our confidence fluctuates. Many stories recounting the effect that childhood messages have on us – “You’re stupid” “You can’t sing” “You’re cheating” Confidence goes down when we are not taking action. It goes up when we have overcome a fear or challenge. This points to the need to keep on doing the things that challenge us and that we have fears about. It takes practice and then the confidence rises. Some techniques for boosting confidence in the moment: Take a power pose, enact some anchors that remind us, visualization (turning down the volume) participate in community
Title: June 19-2018 – Social Posting Schedulers
Summary: There are many sites that do social posting. Here are a few: Hootsuite ($19/mo) AgoraPulse ($49/mo)
FriendsPlusMe $9/mo. Those are the ones I’m familiar with, but we found more: SproutSocial, Tailwind (best for Pinterest), CoSchedule. Feedly (best for content producers & bloggers) TweetDeck (for Twitter), Buffer, RecurrPost, SocialPilot, PromoRepublic. Advantage is for people who are very busy and who wish to publish to a lot of social media platforms. We decided that the people who are post scheduling are more interested in advertising and rarely connect personally with their viewers. We decided we are more in tune with personal engagement and so in the interest of the best use of time, it’s best to discover where your client group hangs out and engage with them there – usually one SM platform.
Title: June 5-2018 – How To Increase My Website Traffic
Summary: Important to post to your site regularly and consistently. Post needs to be based on extensive keyword research and be minimum 1,000 words long. Keyword rich title, meta description and headers. Include video, internal and external links and invitation to comment. Do a Fetch as Google for each posting.
Title: May 29-2018 – GDPR Revisit
Title: May 22-2018 – Blogging and Email Marketing
Summary: Are blogging and email marketing the best use of our time? We do social media to lead viewers back to our website. If all the pieces are in place, blogging and email marketing still work. We need a website, blog post once per week based on niche and keyword, an opt-in form on the website for a multi-day experience (using drip campaign from autoresponder), opportunity to purchase further products/services on the website.
Title: May 8-2018 – Instagram – For Business or Pleasure?
Summary: One or the other or both? The conclusion seems to be both. We know Instagram is useful for showing the human side of our business while promoting it once in a while. You can have a personal &/or business account. Ads appear in the timeline or in stories. Link Tree was recommended for putting more than one link in your profile. There is also Instagram for business. Use https://help.instagram.com/1696686240613595 to see how to switch accounts.
Title: May 1-2018 – Doing Business Internationally
Summary: Issues that can arise while doing business internationally: Time differences. Legal – laws, privacy legislation, taxes. Language – accents, idioms, acronyms. Culture – gender roles, humour styles, marketing styles, etiquette, ethics, dress codes, history. Belief systems and religions – all slightly different. Political Issues – both historical and current. Systems – Banking, retail and credit card. Most agreed the most difficult is differing banking systems that don’t speak to each other. Important to be clear on who your target market is and to gear your approach to the people in that market. Do business your own way but with awareness and respect for of all these issues.
Title: April 24-2018 – What Do We Need To Know About GDPR?
Summary: We now have privacy legislation in EU, Canada and US. All are similar. The GDPR will come into effect on May 25- 2018. It’s all about data protection for EU citizens. It provides guidelines for the collection and processing of personal information. Controllers must keep a record of how and when an individual gave consent, and that individual may withdraw their consent whenever they want. People can ask to see what data you have one them and they can ask to have it corrected if wrong or incomplete. They have “the right to be forgotten” i.e removed forever. This points to the value of using emailer services such as MailChimp, Aweber, ConstantContact or MadMimi. These companies have already ensured their service is compliant with all legislation.
Title: April 17-2018 – How To Prepare For The WordPress Change To Gutenberg
Summary: MaAnna Stephenson advises that it’s more important to take care of updating PHP, taking care of speed and security before worrying about Gutenberg right now. She predicts the full impact of Gutenberg will not take place till 2010. Good idea to use TinyMCE advanced to stay with the classic editor until all the kinks are smoothed out with Gutenberg.
Title: April 10-2018 – Gutenberg -What Questions?
Summary: What do we need to know, learn and do? If we are accustomed to WP, our first task to is to learn as much as we can about Gutenberg and then change our mindset and way of thinking & planning. We will need to do some testing using the theme we currently use. And we will need to review all our plugins – will they work? Do we still need them? Since there are still many unknowns, it’s important to stay on top of information as it is rolled out.
Title: April 3-2018 A Zoom Preview
Summary: To participate in a Zoom, you click a link that a host has provided. You will then be asked to download a piece of software that takes only seconds to do. Then you are taken into the meeting room where you participate in the discussion. Should you wish to create/host a Zoom session, you will need to go to their website and set up an account. There is a Free version as well as a Pro version. The free version allows you to have unlimited one-on-one sessions or up to 40 minutes with three or more people. If you wish to make a recording, the free version allows you to download the mp4 file to your own computer; the Pro version allows you to save the file to their Cloud service. If you wish to live stream and record to YouTube or Twitch, you will need to use a broadcast system such as OBS.
There are many settings worth knowing about so that you get the best experience from Zoom. For this reason, Andrew Hatchett is announcing a three-session review of all the settings and what they do for us. You will find announcements about these sessions on his Google + Community (User 2 User (https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/107449112405487632589)
Title: March 27-2018 – Commenting on Blog Posts
Summary: here are advantages to accepting comments on our blog posts: adds content length and new keywords to the post and therefore more Google Juice. Very important to respond. User experience is key – do they get to choose if/how they wish to receive responses. There are several WP plugins that manage vetting and responding: Disqus, Replyable, Jetpack, Heyoya and there is the native WP Comments. See comprehensive comparison review here: https://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/wordpress-comments-plugins-compared/
Title: March 20-2018 – Supporting Your Online Friends
Summary: Benefits are mutual when we find ways to support our online friends – we get exposure to new audiences. Lots of ways to support: liking and +ing, commenting and re-sharing, collaborating, helping by answering questions, interviewing, profiling, making referrals by introducing, writing reviews for work well done, helping to solve problems. It’s all about creating community!
Title: March 6-2018 – Twitch First Steps
Summary: Tim Longwell helps us gain a deeper understanding.
Some suggested Twitch Channels for the newbie to try: Bob Ross, kaypikefashion, devicat, pharewings. Some games to try: Handsimulator, Table Board Games, SubNotica. Business-related work can be found in TalkShows and InRealLife. Some Twitch terminology: Hosting, Raiding, Cheers, Subbing (subscribing)
Title: Feb. 27-2018 – Twitch Tour
Summary: Tim Longwell walked us through the setup process and notification choices. He explained that there are many categories over and above gaming. He belongs to a Creatives group that live streams various artistic pursuits, painting, music, graphic arts, potters, carvers. Audiences love to watch their creative process. He spoke about the relatively new TalkShows category and we visited Ileane Smiths Twitch site. He showed us how to follow someone that interests us. Another interesting category is InRealLife where people show and teach. He explained that Twitch has a couple of levels that allows one to earn donations using PayPal.me, or from subscribers. he also mentioned the use of other companions such as Discord.gg, a program that allows you to manage voice and text chat.
Title: Feb. 20-2018 – Speaking Principles
Summary: Fred Jones shared his communication model that is applicable to speaking, websites and writing books and articles. Just remember MASH-D M-message A-audience S- stories H-humour – D- distractions. You can read about his model here: http://www.ourfutureleaders.ca/blog/mash-d-communication-principles/
Title: Feb. 13-2018 – Paying For Traffic
Summary: We looked at Google Ad Sense and Ad Words and the way they are connected. Important to realize that your content must be what people are interested in and must be relevant to your keyword(s) Can also buy ads and boosting from Facebook where you get to narrow down your audience so that the right demographic will see what you have posted. In Twitter, there is Social Quant and Social Umph. In Pinterest, there are also paid ads.
We never got to whether solopreneurs should or shouldn’t but we did get off topic and discussed income from online and how it must be reported to the taxman in various countries.
Title: Feb. 6-2018 – Yoast Nuts & Bolts
Summary: We detailed the difference between the Free & Premium versions. We demonstrated how to manage Meta Title, Description and Keyword. Also looked at the social posting images and text for Facebook (need 1200 x 600 pixels) and Twitter (need 1024 x 512 pixels) Discussed the importance of accepting relevant comments to our blog posts.
Title: Jan. 30-2018 – Zoom Virtual Background
Summary: Bill Graham explained good reasons for using Zoom – Easy connection for participants, great visual clarity, ability to use a virtual background and thus eliminating a need to tidy up one’s surroundings. He recommended Pixaby to find lots of free photos that can be used in a virtual background.
Two great ways to create your own lower/upper thirds – Pixlr.com/editor creates a transparency appropriate for lower thirds – Google Slides that can be saved as a jpg (Bill demonstrated detailed instruction on using this) for upper thirds.
Title: Jan. 23-2018 – First Try with Zoom & OBS
Summary: Just a discussion about why we are trying this approach (seeking an alternative to Hangouts because of recent meltdowns). We still need to refine the Mixer settings so that voices are not heard during the intros.
Title: Jan. 02-2018 – Website SEO – Yoast and All-In-One
Summary: Maximum number of characters for Meta Title is 50-60. Best to aim for 55. Meta Description maximum has been increased from 165 to 320. Best to aim for 250 – 275. Yoast SEO places the first lines of your post into the description but you can open the Edit Snippet and change to what you want to show up in the SERPs. Make it look better by using Camel Case for each significant word. Use only one important keyword per posting.
There are times when an old posting should be simply updated with new info and visuals, yet there are other times an old post should be revamped and the publish date changed to today. Then there are other times when it makes sense to create a new post and refer back to the old one. All depends on the situation.
Title: Dec. 19-2017 – How To Target Your Website Effectively
Websites now have to be simple and clean because too much will not work for mobile. Audiences are doing a lot of their pinpoint searches from their smartphones. Landing pages need to laser focused. Websites must load quickly – within 3 seconds – otherwise, searchers will find somewhere else to get what they want. Test your site speed here: https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/
Page Speed on WordPress is determined by four things:
1. The theme and how will it is coded
2. The quality of images – they need to be compressed. You can get a plugin to handle this or manipulate images yourself using Canva.
3. The number of plugins being used. Suggested no more than five if there is a lot of traffic to the site. Important to research plugins well because some are resource hogs or have not been updated.
4. Hosting Speed – is slower if you are on a shared server rather than a single IP.
Take care of SEO
Make certain that Google can find you. Pay attention to title, meta description and keywords. (two plugins Yoast SEO or All-In-One SEO). List your site map on Google Search Console
Title: Dec. 12-2017 – All About Niche Research
Niche defined: A distinct segment of a market. Anything with an audience. A group of people online that share an interest, a passion, a need or a want.
A service niche may be less focused than a product niche. Best to keep website niche focus as narrow as possible. Gone are the days when websites were filled with visuals and products & services.
Doing the research: 1. Brainstorm the needs /wants of your target client. 2. Go to Google Search to see what is already there. Are people looking for what you are offering? 3. Go to Amazon and look at the categories and trending items. Does anything there fit your audience needs/wants? 4. Do some keyword research. Find some keywords that have a high traffic score and a low competition score. Give Jaaxy a try for keyword research.
Title: Dec. 5-2017 – Affiliate Links And How To Position Them
It was noted that Amazon rules have been changing. A recent policy decision is that the following quote must be posted on the site: “We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associate Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites”
You can add your affiliate link to any Amazon.com page by adding ?tag=YOURAFFILIATEID-20
Title: Nov. 28-2017 – Amazon Affiliate-A Beginner’s Guide
Summary: Steps- Sign up at Associates.Amazon.com and wait till accepted. Then sign up for
Amazon.ca, UK, etc. Then find ‘One Link’ that ties them all together. You get a piece of code to place on your website. This ensures that you get commissions from all the locations that your visitors might be purchasing from. The affiliate link cookie to a product on Amazon lasts for one day only. Important not to grab images from the merchandise page, but to use the links provided (text only, image, text & Image) especially for Affiliates.
Title: Nov. 21-2017 – Twitch Exploration
Summary: Twitch was originally a platform solely for gamers who wanted to watch, chat and connect with their tribe – videos disappeared after two or three days (a feature appreciated by youthful subscribers) It was acquired by Amazon and has been expanded to include the Creative Community (artists, musicians, etc). Users can live stream for up to eight hours straight. The site has a store with Twitch swag and is connected to Amazon Prime. Business application: connect with a unique audience not found elsewhere.
Title: Nov. 14-2017 – Tips on Presenting Yourself
Summary: Important to introduce yourself with a strong, confident voice. This brings up trust for the listener. Your first connection with others in the networking face to face world is to get people talking about themselves because that’s where they are. When giving an elevator pitch to a group, it must be in relation to what the listener needs, not about you. Important to
know your audience so that your language is chosen appropriate to the group. Elevator pitch on a website must feel like an invitation to a conversation.
Title: Nov. 7-2017 – Lightstream – Let’s Take A Look
Summary: Lightstream seems to be geared toward gamers but has a great deal of potential for Live Streams in that it consolidates everything into one dashboard and thus eliminating the need for two or more screens. It will stream and record to YouTube, Facebook or Twitch automatically. Similar to OBS but much more user-friendly and uses fewer computer resources. Eventually, an embed code will be available so that Lightstream can be hosted on our website using the WordPress VCP Plugin.
Title: Oct. 31-2017 – G-mail Efficiency
Summary: We value G-mail for a variety of reasons: watching what marketers are doing, running our business, staying in touch with our important people. We try to limit the amount of time we have to spend there so turning off notifications is recommended to avoid distraction from the important activities. Making the shift from other e-mail clients such as Outlook takes a different way of thinking and processing (moving away from Folders toward Archiving – recognizing the awesome Search capability) Useful features: Stars, Flags, Filters, Labels, sorting Tabs, adding sender’ info to contact list, accessing G Hangout conversations, sending items to Tasks. Some useful G-mail Apps: Boomerang for sending messages a chosen time, WiseStamp for creating great Signatures, Shift for swapping between several g-mail accounts, Chrome extension for sending links in an e-mail message.
Title: Oct. 24-2017 – About Google Forms
Summary: Lots of different ways to use Google Forms: Registrations, Client Intake, Application for a Service, Surveys, Business Audit, Needs Determination, Tests & Quizzes, Course Evaluations, Contact form on a website instead of plugins. User-friendly and simple to create. Easy sharing via e-mail, link, and embed.
Title: Oct. 17-2017 – Importance of Testing
Summary: Software developers must test to ensure they are meeting expectations set up by their adverts. User acceptance and ease of access critical because if a user gets discouraged will just leave and getting them back is almost impossible. Important to take learning styles (audio, visual, kinesthetic) into account when developing software or websites. For websites, important to conduct CTA (Call To action) button testing but also Page titles, button placement, CTA verbiage. This the best way to really get to know your audience – this is your competitive advantage, knowing the psychology of their behaviour. A/B testing involves a baseline control and then changing only one metric to determine what works best. Sumo.com provides great tools for this purpose.
Title: Oct. 10-2017 – The Psychology of Pricing
Summary: What’s the difference between $97 and $100? The number of digits is the main one. Fewer digits connote less expensive. What happens when the price is set at $99? Only one more number in the counting process. Most important is the perceived value. Jay says “your price needs to be forgettable” In other words, if the need/want is great, the consumer won’t remember the price.
Then there’s the lower price that allows one to think “what can I lose? X number of coffees?”
Sideways sales process – the price is only mentioned at the end after several videos that cover the problem, the solution, seeing people experiencing the solution, and here’s how your life can change for the better.
If your client is focusing on price, it means they are not sufficiently convinced or they really have no money.
A vendor must try their prices out to see what actually works.
Title: Oct. 3-2017 – Price vs. Value – An Exploration
Summary: Value is a right-brained concept. It is determined by the consumer according to what it does for them. Does it connect emotionally? Does it solve a problem or a need? Is it something that will be used continually? This is usually easier to determine for tangibles. If it’s a service, the experience/knowledge of the provider, the ease in process, time required of the user and end results are all important considerations.
Price is more left brained. Many factors come into play: What is the demand for the product/service? What is the going rate? What will the market bear? What is the perceived value of the product/service by the consumer? What are the operating costs associated? For services the degree of provider involvement comes into play – DIY, DWM, DFM (Do It Yourself, Do It With Me, Do It For Me)
Title: Sept. 26-2017 – The Value of Offering Freebies
Summary: Does offering freebies keep your audience engaged? Hopefully.
Do audiences look for freebies on the web? There is a belief that everything should be accessible to everyone on the web, but they are not searching for deals. Most are looking for information or a solution to a problem.
Why do online businesses offer items at no cost?
* To start the attention-trust-want process
* To educate audiences on our product/service
* To build reputation by offering our best stuff
* To offer a gift that may lead to a want/need
* To offer support to the DIY group with the knowledge that some will get discouraged and ask for help they are willing to pay for.
* To initiate personal engagement with individuals
* To exchange something of value for an e-mail address
There is a danger that something offered as “free” will be interpreted as having no value
Title: Sept. 19-2017 – Google+ Circles, Communities and Collections
Summary: G+ Circles, Communities & Collections – Are they useful for business? Or have they become ineffective? Why do people join communities? Their decision to join is related to questions they have. What keeps them there is the usefulness of the content and atmosphere of inclusion. Many solopreneurs simply post to Public or personal Circles because they believe they get Google Juice from doing so. The question is still there: Why bother? Especially if you are looking for real engagement.
To gain benefit from them, businesses that are posting must do so with constancy. The audience also must participate with constancy. Best to choose one platform and do it well rather than spreading energy and time too thin.
Title: Sept. 12-2017 – Paid Promotion-How does it work?
Summary: Google Ad Words Express attributes: condensed & easy to use, works with Google My Business, and is geared to local businesses. Has great reporting that shows the device that was used to access. It provides keywords that relate to your business listing. You set a daily budget and only pay for clicks. Gives great exposure for minimal cost.
Title: Sept. 5-2017 – How to Set up a Membership Site
Summary: Key questions to consider before setting up a membership site: 1) What is the purpose of the membership site?
2). What specific benefits will the members derive from the site? 3). What are the specific benefits to the Site Owner? Important to do a needs analysis before deciding what platform and what tool. If it is to be a paid membership, it must deliver great value. The best place to host membership is on your own website so that you are not subject to changing winds.
Title: Aug. 28-2017 – The Art of E-mail Marketing
Summary: Let’s talk about e-mail marketing. Is it a dying art? What are the advantages/disadvantages? How can we make it work?
Even though many people are overwhelmed by their inbox, it still works best because there are fewer distractions and it’s a more of personal experience.
To make it work, we must realize that this is really relationship marketing. We must provide value for the recipient. E-mails must focus on the recipient, not on what I have to offer. Sender must know exactly what the end is. It must give links to next steps without advertising or tricking people. In the CTA, need to use action words that promote immediate action. Dean Jackson has good material (http://emailmastery.com/). Sumo is also useful to handle opt-ins https://sumo.com/
Title: Aug. 22-2017 – Community Engagement
Summary: There are both free and paid communities. In free communities, people are there because they want the social interaction with like-minded folks. They enjoy exploring and sharing information and they want to maintain audience awareness and build trust so that when the need arises for their product or service, the audience will think of them first. People sign up for paid communities because they have been promised access to specific services that usually includes education of some sort. They like the exclusivity of content and members. Often they are offered rewards for staying in the community and participating.
When community members are new, they are usually uncomfortable and shy; it takes a while before they catch on to the community culture. They need to be made aware of the following:
1. They need to post a picture of themselves so that people can recognize them.
2. They need to post information about themselves in the profile
3. They need to become familiar with and follow the community ground rules
4. They must participate and with honesty and integrity
5. They must contribute by offering and receiving support.
Title: Aug. 1-2017 – Selling Without Appearing Salesy
Summary: Sales is the biggest challenge for solopreneurs. Best advice: forget selling and concentrate on buying. Important to know whose life you are changing for the better with your product or sales. The psychology of buying an important study. Sales process: awareness & attention ( people get to know you and your why)-> trust (you build your credibility by persistently being helpful)-> want (appeal to the emotions of human experience) -> want now -> buy -> echo (continued focus on customers who bought) Other concepts: reviews and price matching, use of visuals and facts, self-qualification. Toughest part: knowing when the prospect is ready to move to the next step in the process.
Title: July 25-2017 – Social Engagement – The New Marketing?
Summary: Social Engagement involves a variety of concepts – method of communication, creating an emotional relationship and building trust gradually – not unlike a courtship. Timing is key. It begins with offering something others can relate to -without expectation. Asking the right questions that help people reflect on their own thinking and feeling. Then as interest in the subject increases, there is a desire to know more about the person behind it. In short, it’s all about the other person and how you made them feel.
Title: July 18-2017 – Agility and Resilience for Solopreneurs
Summary: Change is constant and provides powerful lessons one can learn from. On a personal level important qualities – inner commitment, openness and desire to learn new things, desire to express oneself, patience, hope, gratitude, generosity, optimism and trust in self. On a business level – must not be distracted away from the plan. Requires self-discipline, organization, routines and focus. Yet important to be continually exploring new options, experimenting and having a business contingency plan. Continuous environmental scanning a must. Agility takes exercise in all aspects – mental, physical, emotional and business.
Title: July 11-2017 – Recycling Old Blog Posts
Summary: New terminology – evergreen, re-purposing, recycling, internal links. Benefits of recycling – when you are stuck for new content, can recycle evergreen content – gain improvements in traffic, Google ranking, comments and conversions – all leading to more sales. Seven step process for recycling old blog posts.
Title: July 4-2017 – Conducting Great Interviews
Summary: How do we interest people in agreeing to an interview? Got to find some benefit for the interviewee. Actually, a good interview has a benefit to both parties. Good to have a clear process to follow: Send written instructions/checklist for knowing how to gain access to the technology. Point them to a video outlining how to be a great video guest. Provide sample questions so interviewee can come mentally prepared. Do a live orientation to ensure equipment works well, do sound/visual check, provide guided tour of Hangout site, review agenda and set specific mutually acceptable time for live interview event. The good interviewer must follow general agenda but also must be able to follow her curiosity to something of interest to the audience. The interviewer must give the person an opportunity to say/provide what they came to say especially if the discussion has strayed off in new directions.
Title: June 27-2017 – Learning From Toastmasters
Summary: Toastmasters is an international organization comprised of hundreds of local Chapters. Their tagline: “Where leaders are made” People learn at their own comfortable pace and develop confidence along the way. www.toastmasters.org Usual meeting has three components: 1. Impromptu 2. Presentations 3. Evaluation.
Title: June 20-2017 – Facebook Video versus YouTube
Summary: Can We Win from the Facebook Video War With YouTube? Which one are you rooting for? Interesting statistics: 80% of Facebook users never turn on their audio; 50% of users only view Facebook on mobile and 98% don’t watch on landscape mode.
You catch viewers attention with motion. Need to add print captions to short videos. Make your video square at 10 x10 to take up more real estate on the Facebook screen in mobile. You can use PowerPoint 2010 to create 15 to 20-second videos for use on Facebook
Title: June 13-2017 – Podcasting For Business
Summary: There are some great resources in YouTube for podcasting – +Roberto Blake and +Cliff Ravenscraft (Podcast Answer Man). Important to be organized with name, format and structure before you start. You Need: a program to do the recording (Audacity or OBS), web hosting(Your website) and media hosting( Lypson or Blubrry)and promo hosting (iTunes) Great advantages to the audience who like listening/learning while working out, driving, ironing, gardening. A great advantage to solopreneur if s/he learns how re-purpose videos.
Title: June 6-2017 – Instagram Tips and Tricks
Summary: Instagram is owned and operated by Facebook. Importance of hashtags and what they are used for. Pictures must be square. Many people simply share pictures they have taken in their surroundings with the intent of keeping them top of mind. Viewers can leave comments and hearts. We do see sponsored ads that we assume come from Facebook. Discussed why one would want to post there from a marketing perspective – To show the personal side of a business.
Title: MAY 30-2017 – Promoting YouTube Videos
Summary: The importance of true engagement on all platforms. Places to share links – Most important is to embed on your own website and link in blogs. Others: LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Google Plus Community- no point linking to Facebook due to competition. Use of hashtags – where and when not to use them.
Title: May 23-2017 – Editing YouTube Videos
Summary: Looking for ways to edit without downloading, editing and then re-uploading. This gives a different url that will be confusing for users. One way would be to use a landing page on a website with a constant url.
Need to recognize that production perfection not expected from live events.
Can arrange some pre-production using default template provided by YouTube. Tube Buddy facilitates this even more. New feature YouTube Editor allows for some productions as well.
Editing software: Screen Flow (Mac & Windows), I-Movie and Windows Movie Maker, Screencastomatic & Audacity
Title: May 16-2017 – SEO Basics
Summary: Must ensure that the Google bots can read but also that visitors can read with pleasure. Good to use keywords or phrases that you wish to be ranked for. Seven important metrics: Meta title, meta description, keyword in content, images with alt. tag, internal links, external links and embedded video. Yoast SEO tool helpful for Word Press site and Tube Buddy for YouTube. Key Word Planner useful for finding good keywords.
Title: May 9-2017 – A Closer Look at Google Analytics
Summary: What can Google Analytics tell you about your website? It gives data about visitors to your site, where they come from, and how they came. It will tell how long visitors stay there and where they were when they left. This data assists in determining what needs to stay the same and what needs to be changed on your site.
How do you make the best use of it? Important to set up a second view so that data does not get lost by your making adjustments. Good to review Analytics data at least weekly and make appropriate adjustments to your website.
Topic: May 2-2017 – Tracking your Funnels
Summary: Tracking the source of our traffic to our website hosted videos. We looked at what Google Analytics can show us. Important to track the sources of the traffic to our website so that we can leverage what is working well. Other places important to track: YouTube, Facebook and Auto Responders such as Mail Chimp and AWeber.
Topic: April 25-2017 – Time-Savers to Support On-Line Activity
Summary: Automated systems that will help to save posting time. We referred back to the first box on the Mind Map which was Social Media. Three categories – Research, Videos, and Posting. For Research we talked about Buzz Sumo, Feedly, NinjaOutreach and PromoRepublic. For Videos, we saw the value of TubeBuddy that supports SEO, Design and Analytics for your YouTube Channel. For Posting & Scheduling, we considered Buffer, AgoraPulse and Hootsuite. After considering prices, we decided SocialPilot is the most reasonable for solopreneurs.
Topic: April 18-2017 – II. Funnelling Viewers To Your Live Stream Event
Summary: In Part II we looked at four more places where people can be led back to your website funnel: Content Off-Site – posting articles to Article Directories such as:
- Medium (https://medium.com/)
- Quora (https://www.quora.com/)
- Haro (Help A Reporter Out – https://www.helpareporter.com/)
- Triberr (http://triberr.com/)
Offline Marketing – business cards, T-shirts, Hats, etc. and local MeetUps, Private Groups such as G+ Communities and Collections, Facebook Groups, LinkedIn Groups. Forums and Bulletin Boards – joining the conversations and answering questions.
Then there’s paid advertising – which you would try once you have lots of traffic from everything else.
Jay’s Mind Map: https://goo.gl/jcij4Y
Topic: April 11-2017 – I. Funneling Viewers To Your Live Stream Event
Summary: In Part I Jay Neill shared his wonderful Mind Map depicting the Funnel. We got a start on looking at each platform: Social media – choose one that you are comfortable in and where your prospective clients hang out, post more than once and at different days and times. E-mail Marketing – can engage more here but less often, point to a landing page so that the same link may be used over and over. Your Website – this is evergreen and where you can build your audience by using CTAs on your blog posts. Next week in Part II, we will continue this conversation with four more platforms to cover.
Topic: April 4-2017 – Call To Action For Live Stream Events
Summary: How and where do we market our website hosted Video Events? Wherever our potential clients hang out. Recognize the best marketing comes from sneezers. How do we provide support to Newbies? Make connecting and participating as simple and constant as possible.
How do we take care of User Experience? We must recognize that many users just want to observe and listen rather than participate actively.
Title: March 28-2017 – Chipmunk – A Management Tool for Hangout Hosts.
Summary: This was an introduction of a tool developed by Vivekananda Baindoor Rao
that shortens and simplifies the setup to have participants register, have the event auto-post to Calendar and provide View and Panel Member links. This tool makes use of a variety of Google products: Sheets, Forms, Calendar, G-mail. Vivek’s video introducing Chipmunk
Title: March 21st-2017 Profound Sound on the Cheap
Summary: This week’s topic is a continuation from last week where we looked at creating an intro for our videos. Roland Takaoka will explain the equipment required to add the music to our hangout videos.
We acknowledged the need for courage to try adding music and that sound is an important aspect of our branding.
Roland described the different types of microphones and why they would be used in different situations. He also explained the use of Mixers.
Title: March 14-2017 Create a Great Intro for YouTube Events
Important things to consider:
* consistency so that people know what to expect
* branding that reflects what you do
* professional thumbnail so that the first frame does not show you with your mouth open.
* music is an important part of branding.
Tutorial on developing an intro/outro slide show using Google Slides presented by Bill Graham.
Topic: March 7-2017 Engagement Via Mobile Phones
Summary: The importance of a responsive website.| The new AMP plugin that improves the speed of mobile download. Google handles the cache in a special way that improves the mobile user experience.| Advantages and disadvantages of using the Call Now Button plugin.| Mobile as the Gateway tool – people use it for finding information but rarely use it to buy things or to engage in any meaningful way.| The goal is always to lead viewers back to the main website where the true engagement occurs.|
Topic: Text Message Marketing
Summary: Feb. 28-2017
Canadian Stats – 26 million have a mobile phone, 95% of mobile phones have text/SMS capabilities, More than 97% of text messages are opened and read within minutes of receipt, and can integrate with Facebook and Twitter. Compliance with Anti-spam laws required.
Uses: Appointment reminders, gift coupons, emergency messages, voting, surveys, send QR code, text to join, Text to video, request a review.
Concern over spamming (advertising) Some people have auto-blocking apps to block if name/number is not in contacts. Very useful for locals to promote specials when in the proximity. Used for notifications on all sorts of apps. Text messaging is a two-way street – sending and receiving. May need to use some different terminology. Can be used for good communications; engaging, not advertising.
Topic: The Power of Reviews
Summary: Feb. 21-2017 As consumers, how do we make use of reviews? With all these affiliate programs, can we assume all are real and objective? Do we look for other’s evaluation before making buying decisions? Lots of other terms for the review concept – testimonials, endorsements, feedback. Lots of value from reading comparisons of products/services. We all agree that getting a variety of points of view is helpful.
As solopreneurs, how do we make use of reviews? We know that the more reviews we get, the better our Google ranking. We know how important it is to provide a simple, easy way for our customers/clients to provide feedback. Negative feedback offers an opportunity for businesses to take corrective action that will make the customer happy. The more personal is can be done the better.
Paull Murray suggested that the best kind of review is always the informal, un-requested word of mouth. What’s the best way to get lots of “sneezers”?
Title: E-mail Marketing – How To Make It Work
Summary: Feb. 14-2017 First we discussed the question – Is it dead as some commentators would claim? Despite the fact that many people suffer in-box overload, they still subscribe to things that interest them. So, IT IS NOT DEAD. It just depends on how we deliver it. Messages must be conversational and have the intent of building a relationship. Jay Neil describes his successful model. Bottom line: Offer something of value in successive stages. Make good use of an autoresponder such as Mail Chimp or Aweber.
Title: Knowing Your Audience
Summary: Feb. 7-2017 How do we know our audience well enough to understand their emotions? We can make assumptions based on how we feel about it ourselves. We can do a lot of questioning & listening. We can ask for feedback or create a small survey. We can use right brain language. We also explored the distinctions between interest & emotion – curiosity & interest – reaction & response. We remembered the sales process begins with awareness and then the next stage is trust – trust is another emotion. Do we gain their trust by pushing the fear button? Do we just tell them what to do or do we offer how to do it?
Title: The Psychology of Writing
Summary: Jan. 31-2017. We clarified the difference between “copywriting” and “content writing” – terms that come out of the past and are often misused. For web writing, two considerations are important – the audience and the intent. The psychology in writing involves evoking emotion. We do that by telling stories and making why it matters very clear to the reader.
Title: NLP and Business
Summary: Jan. 24-2017 Guest Nadine Hanchar of Progressive Edge Plus helps us understand ways to re-frame our thinking and our language for greater success in Business.
Title: Exploring Viewedit
Summary: January 17-2017. Viewedit (now called Vidyard GoVideo)is a Chrome extension that allows you to record a video, a voice only or a screen. Maximum length is one hour. Very simple interface. Allows for auto share with Gmail, social media and you can copy the link for sharing in other places. Suitable for short messages showing something technical, for a facial message that shows your personality or a call to action in social media.
Title: Reflecting Your Personality on YouTube
Summary: January 10-2017 – Be yourself and make it easy for viewers to connect with you as a person. Share your story.
Title: Improving Our YouTube Presentation
Summary: Jan. 3-2017 Now that Hangouts On Air are hosted on YouTube, it makes sense to pay more attention to our presence there. Create a Channel that has a good banner, information about you, links to your website and videos organized into playlists. Importance of ensuring the video description has keywords.
Importance of directing the viewer to watch on your website. Use your own real estate wherever possible – you have more control over your messages to the viewer there.
New Word Press Plugin (Video Comments Plus) that allows for better engagement before, during and after the Hangout with commenting.
Title: Looking Back to 2016 and Forward to 2017 – Part 2
Summary: Dec. 27-2016 Looking forward, what trends do we see? The year of Video – Building Community – The importance of Authenticity – Away from TV and toward online – Keeping your audience through trust – Focusing on kindness and helping, The need for closed captioning. Our Plans: Creating great plugins, Developing tutorials, An interview series, Learning more coding, Expand Into Our Joy! Behave Our Way Into Success!
Title: Looking Back to 2016 and Forward to 2017 – Part 1
Summary: Dec. 20-2016 Additions to our Operating Principles – Trying to be Perfect? Allowing ourselves to be Average. Having Ideals. The MoZZ Core Values – TAGFEE. Introductions. 2016 Review – Tell me what happened in your business last year.
Title: How To Market Your Hangouts
Summary: Using the new Word Press plugin (VCP) to add comments to the video page on your website. Disabling comments in YouTube, Google+ Community and Collection shares and directing viewers to the website using a bitly link. Inviting people using Google Calendar Invitation. Understanding how Google Calendar Invitations works. Using the Hangout Invite People function for Green Room Panelists.