Leland’s Wallpaper

is set for growth

One of the things that I have been working on for the last few months is creating a network of media to help market my store Leland's Wallpaper, and the store's website LelandsWallpaper.com.

I started the business back in 1981, and built the website in 1996. Yes, being built in 1996 was like the olden days of the internet.

Over the last few years the site has had a loss In traffic and business partly because of Google's dislike of the site. I am sure Google disliked the website for not being mobile friendly, and other issues the site had.

After spending the time to completely rebuild the website I started my new marketing plan to get the site back in Googles good graces.

I have made several posts about the steps, and process I have been using to help spread the word about the store and in turn increase sales. You can see some of those previous posts on my blog.

I have been creating blogs, podcasts, and I have been using social media sites to really push the site out to the internet.

I am so happy with the results so far. And have to say my plan seems to be working very well.

I have included an image of my google statistics for one of the pages in the site. I have really been working hard on promoting this page and this graph shows some great results.

google stats

This graph shows the increase in visitors to one page about Joanna Gaines' new wallpaper book Magnolia Home over a 60 day period. As you can see there is a great increase in traffic to this page.

One of the best things that has happened to help promote the website was really just a side benefit of the marketing I have been doing myself.

Yesterday on the Today Show's blog my website was used as the go to resource for purchasing the wallpaper from Joanna Gaines new wallpaper book.
today show
They interviewed Joanna and were posting about the interview and her wallpaper . They not only used a link to my site on the blog, but they had 6 separate links to to 6 of my website pages.

OMG, can you say Google Juice. Having a high authority site like Today.com linking to my site 6 times is fantastic.

Yes it was great for Google Juice, but it was also great for getting readers of the Today Show blog to come to my website to purchase wallpaper.

You can see the blog post on the Today's Show Blog Here.

Like I said my plan on blogging, podcasting, and using social media are paying off big time, and this is just the start of my new marketing plans for LelandsWallpaper.com

Podcasting

Should it be part of your content strategy?

This is a video of my presentation on podcasting from the DFW Social Media Marketing Meetup Group.

This is a great Meetup group put on by Stephanie Inge at Improving in Dallas, Texas.

I have given this presentation before, but I feel I have tweaked it quite a bit since the last time I made this presentation.

You can find more interviews that I have given over the years HERE

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Creating Fixer Upper Products

for the Fixer Upper Podcast

If you have been keeping up with everything I do then you already know I started a new podcast with my wife to help market our decorating websites.

Kathy, and I decided to produce a podcast about the HGTV Fixer Upper TV Show.

The TV Show has ben one of the top shows on HGTV, and has brought quite a bit of fame to the show hosts Chip and Joanna Gaines.

Every Tuesday Kathy and I watch the latest episode. Then we record our podcast on Wednesday night. I edit, and upload the podcast Thursday around noon.

As part of our marketing program I decided to create Fixer Upper Gear to sell on the podcast, and the website too.


Fixer Upper Podcast Cap $19.95

The first thing I created was the Fixer Upper Podcast Caps. I think it is a perfect fit too sell on the podcast. I thought it would be an item that men would like, and since this podcast will attract more women listeners they might buy the caps for their husbands.

The Fixer Upper Podcast Hat





Next I created a ladies t-shirt. Instead of creating a t-shirt for the podcast I made a generic fixer upper t-shirt. The t-shirt says “GOD, knows I am a Fixer Upper”. I thought that was a great saying, and made a cute t-shirt. Only time will tell if this is a winner or not, but I think it will be.

Fixer Upper T-shirt $19.95


Select A T-Shirt Size Then Click The Paypal Button


Sizes




Both items are available now, and will ship to customers within 24 hours.

I hope you enjoy the first 2 items for the Fixer Upper Podcast.

Fixer Upper Podcast

Marketing The LelandsWallpaper.com Part 1

From The Gary Leland Show

The first website I created back in 1996 was LelandsWallpaper.com. Leland's Wallpaper is the largest wallpaper store in Texas, and was probably one of the first wallpaper websites on the internet.

So much time went by that it barely functioned. Not being mobile friendly was only one of the problems with this old website.

On this episode of the Gary Leland Show I talk about what I have done to remake the site in a much better format, and how I am marketing it in the new world of social media.

By the way it is working. Sales have been going wild!

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Podcast Pickle Changed My World

Podcast Pickle changed my world.

PodcastPickle.com was one of the first podcast directories. It was a directory with a very active forum board, wrapped in a social atmosphere. At one time Podcast Pickle had an Alexa ranking under 5000.

Podcast Pickle went live in the early part of 2005. At the time there were not many podcasts in the world. Podcasting was so new it was hard to even find them. I still remember how excited I was when our 100'th podcast listed itself on the directory.

This certainly was not my first website. I probably had around ten websites by the time I started Podcast Pickle. The people I met, and the connections I made from Podcast Pickle changed the way I thought about the Internet forever. Many of these people are still good friends of mine almost 13 years later, and of course I am still podcasting. Now I am even in the Academy Of Podcasters Hall Of Fame.

Whenever I am at a podcasting event someone will refer to me as a podcast pioneer. I don't know about the pioneer part, but it was great to know people remembered me and my website

Time Magazine

Time Magazine

Podcast Pickle. Countless people have told me that Podcast Pickle helped shape their podcasting careers. It gives me a wonderful feeling when someone tells me that. I could not think of a better compliment.

In 2006 Time Magazine honored Podcast Pickle by naming it one of the their Fifty Coolest Websites in the world. Here is the link to the Time Magazine Article.

The Podcast Pickle Mascot

The Podcast Pickle Mascot

You can also find Podcast Pickle listed on Wikipedia. Podcast Pickle was written about in the books Podcasting For Dummies, and The Business Podcasting Bible. I was also quoted in the books Tricks of The Podcast Masters, and Promoting Your Podcast. One of the coolest things that happened was being asked to judge the Parsec Awards. The Parsec Awards are the awards for Science Fiction Podcasts. I am still a judge to this date, and look forward to it every year.

Another fun fact about Podcast Pickle was our mascot. The Pickleman as I called him, was a hit anywhere he went. He went to Dragon Con, SXSW, Podcamp NY and Podcast Expo in California. People loved getting their photos taken with him. The Pickleman was a great way to advertise the website.

PodcastPickle.com changed my world. Today a lot of what I do on the net was formed from what I learned in the early days of podcasting.

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Hanging Out With Tom Cruise

Born On The fourth Of JulyYes, I was hanging out with Tom Cruise.

During my one, and only appearance in a major motion picture. I was in the movie Born On The Fourth Of July with Tom Cruise.

Being in a major motion picture was a great experience. For a full week I was hanging out with Tom Cruise, and having a blast. While doing this I really learned a lot about Movie Magic while there. It makes for a great story that I am going to share with you. A story of how some opportunities are made, not given.

It all started one day while driving to work in Dallas. I was listening to the radio, and a story came on about a movie being filmed at the Dallas Convention Center. Since I was a salesman and could schedule up my own day I went straight downtown to the conventions center to see what was going on.

Walking in the convention center I saw a hundreds of people hanging out, and waiting for something to happen. I was told they were the extras for the movie. I was told that if I wanted I could just wait with them. That I could be an extra in the movie, so I waited.

After about thirty minutes of waiting I heard a voice on the speaker say “All secret service agents come to east door”. I decided to go to the east door and see what the story was on the secret service agents. When I arrived at the east door I saw twelve men all wearing nice suits. Since I had a suit and tie, I knew would fit right in.

I remember when one of the people in charge of the cast came over, and started counting. I almost laughed when he said “there is thirteen of you guys. There is only suppose to be twelve.” I thought I was busted for sure. Then he said, “Oh well come on everyone lets go.” The next thing I knew we were all going to over to get our guns, badges, and earphones. Basically, they gave us everything a secret service agent would need.

After we were given our gear we were all marched into the arena. This was where the filming for the Republican Convention would take place. I was then assigned a spot to stand at. I was just suppose to stand at this spot, and stay there during the entire filming of the movie.

My New Spot

I have to tell you this was a terrible spot to stand. The camera would never see me if I stayed in this spot. I was very removed from the action, so I had to move. I moved to the main aisle, where all the filming was going on. The aisle that Tom Cruise would be rolling down in his wheel chair. I found a good spot, and just stood there like that was my assigned spot.

Before I knew it another guy came by, and told me to run into the crowd. He told me to help remove Tom Cruise from the convention center when all the fighting started. It was not five minutes later before the original guy, who told me where to stand came by. “What are you doing in over here?” he said. I simply pointed to the other guy, and said “he told me to stand here”. That was all it took to make this my new assigned spot.

For the next week I was within thirty feet of Tom Cruse all the time. I was right in the middle of the action. Personally, I thought Tom was great. He hung out with everyone between scenes. He was very pleasant, and talked all the time. I know people give him a hard time, but my only experience with him was great.

It took close to a week to film this one scene. I was amazed how long it took to get this one scene done. It is hard to believe that after a week of being in all that action, and that close to Tom I am only in the movie for a few seconds.

I guess most of my scene ended up on the cutting room floor. Oh well thats show biz, and the end of my story.

Just remember that sometime you have to make your own opportunities in life. The things that are left to those who wait, are left by those who hustle.

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Case Study of Gary Leland

By Christian Tippens

Gary A few months ago a young lady from the University of Texas at Arlington came in my store, and asked if she could interview me for a case study she had to do in one of her classes.

I really do not think she had any idea of who I was. She simply came in because her boy friend was a softball player and suggested me as an interesting interview subject.

I just received her Case Study and while she did get a few facts wrong, all in all it was pretty good.

I thought I would share it with you.

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Gary Leland, a South Carolina native with just a high school education would have never foreseen the promising happy life he has now. Leland came from nothing and everyone that he knew from his neighbors to all of his family members were all manual labors, his parents even sent him to a two year vocational school so that he could learn the craftsmanship of being an electrician.

Leland did not want that to be his story in life, so he moved to Texas in 1979 in his early twenties to get away from his environment and start fresh. He knew he couldn’t be great living in his hometown. Leland started out as a salesman in home sales with just $24 he built himself a small empire by selling mini blinds door to door, which now has turned into numerous small successful businesses.

Leland, an owner of SoftballJunk.com which came into fruition in 2000, then he turned the website into an actual store in 2001. The store was the first fast pitch softball store to be established in the country. Leland’s store is a small but lucrative shop that originally sold just softball gear, but over the years developed into also carrying baseball gear is celebrating its 14’Th year in business. Leland, a father to two girls, Amanda and Lauren one could say he owes a certain amount of gratitude to his daughters. Gary’s daughters both played softball and he was their coach.

Gary first created softballjunk.com in 2000 to help pay for the cost of uniforms and equipment, with four teams under his belt, one can imagine how expensive playing softball could be.

Gary also owns Leland’s Interiors which was founded in 1981 by Gary and his wife Kathy. The Lelands first began selling mini blinds, and now sell custom blinds, wallpaper and other decorative textiles to suit all customer needs rather it be business or personal.

Leland’s online world began in 1996, he has 25 websites and is the owner of 450 Facebook groups with 100,000 followers, he has written a number of books and owns and runs two magazines, he is the former National Director of Social Media for 3.7 million member strong United States Specialty Sports Association.

Leland has his own show the Gary Leland Show, along with Fast Pitch T.V. Network. He owns and runs Podertainment.com and is the publisher of Podertainment Magazine, a magazine at a rate of $12.99 a month, which welcomes ideas for original editorial content from guest writers. Leland is believed to be one of the first 50 pioneers of podcasting.

At a point in time in the interview Mr. Leland described his business as a wagon wheel, all spokes… his websites, his books, and his magazines all lead back to his stores Sports Junk and Leland’s Interiors.

Gary first started working in small jobs that most teenage kids have while maturing and growing up. Gary worked at a clothing store, he did telephone sales in high school and worked at a dance studio signing people up for classes, working at the dance studio was one of his favorite jobs; “It was a blast working at the dance studio, all we did was play around.”

After high school, Gary, a 27 year old young man worked for a marketing company which travelled 3-6 months per city opening cable t.v. markets that taught people how to be door to door salesmen. The business was supposed to move on to Louisville, Kentucky but he met Kathy, his wife to be and stayed in Texas and started selling storm windows.

He wanted to get out of in home sales so he got involved with a vending food company. The company ran restaurants for larger corporate companies, General Motors was one of the accounts Gary personally ran. Gary stayed with the company for a year or two and then went back to in home sales selling mini blinds door to door, at that time new houses and sub divisions were built and no one had mini blinds to protect their privacy.

New home owners would just put up sheets, the 1 inch mini blinds had come into fashion and the blinds couldn’t be purchased at home depot or other retail stores. Gary would sell the mini blinds and receive a thousand dollars per house, he and his friends were rolling in the dough. He had a quota to make which was a million dollars a year, Gary had made his quota by January 8th, he gave his boss two weeks’ notice and decided to go into business himself selling mini blinds full-time.

One could say that Gary Leland fell into his own businesses he loved in home sales, and still does. Leland did not have business plans or business models, he started out going door to door selling high pressure storm windows.

He did however have some help when it came to establishing his first website in 1996, against the advice of his friends, who said nothing will come of that Gary pursued it any way. Gary can see the big picture, “you gotta know what the people want”.

While being an in home salesman Gary was bringing in thousands of dollars, he was an optimistic, charismatic person who could sell anything, who just happened to be a relatable average guy and people loved that. The success that in home sales brought him was what started his first business Leland’s Interiors.

At that time there were many small interior businesses in Arlington on Cooper Street and Gary’s was one of them. His friends saw how successful Gary was becoming and they wanted to work for him, and they did. After years of working under Gary his friends realized that he was receiving 100% of the business revenue and they wanted that income for themselves; so Gary helped his friends establish their own interior businesses.

To this day Gary has gone on to accomplish a plethora of successful small businesses and his friends still just have one interior business, and his friends are all college educated; in fact they all graduated from Texas’ top schools. A college education isn’t everything when it comes to being successful, Gary’s many successes are proof of that. Gary agrees and strongly feels that a college education is important and that everyone should go to college. He tells the technology gifted people he frequently comes in contact with that they too should attend college, regardless of how skilled they are at being techs.

Leland’s Interior’s is now one of the largest and most successful interior stores in Texas, Gary and his wife Kathy started in a smaller shop but over time their business grew and they moved into a larger brick and mortar store. The other textile companies that were located on Cooper Street have since then gone out of business, when they did Gary bought their textile books and materials for pennies on the dollar. One could say that Gary was and is successful from the other business owners’ failures.

The same with his softball and baseball junk store, Gary heard that a business owner was going out of business in Fort Worth, Texas and Gary offered to buy the man’s gear, but the man refused to admit that his business was foreclosing. In the end Gary was able to save money and buy the gear for pennies on the dollar, another success from someone’s failure.

When asked to describe his life as an entrepreneur Gary replied, “What does that mean? I know what the term entrepreneur means I learned it ten years ago, but I don’t know what that means.” “These days everyone wants to be an entrepreneur it is such a big term that you didn’t see fifteen twenty years ago.”

Gary starts his days at six am, gets up checks his emails and social media sites as he watches T.V., specifically the news. He then heads to the Leland’s and arrives at his stores by eight am, he gets a couple of hours to himself before the stores open at ten am. He works from ten to closing which is 6pm, heads home to get ready to walk two miles with his wife and then works somewhere until ten pm and afterwards calls it a night.

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Spreaker Live Show

By Rob Greenlee

I was interviewed on The Spreaker Live Show by Rob Greenlee.

Rob interview me back in 2015 at New Media Expo.

You can find the Spreaker Live website at https://www.Spreaker.com

You can find more interviews that I have given over the years HERE

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