Marketing LelandsWallpaper.com Part 2

From The Gary Leland Show

Marketing LelandsWallpaper.com Part 2 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 how I am using the Fixer Upper TV Show to market the site.

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

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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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Talking PayPal for WooCommerce with Ashley Hodges

Gary Leland Show - WooCommerce Season

Gary Leland Show with Ashley Hodges on PaypalGary Leland Show Episode 26

Ashley Hodges, Senior Account Executive at PayPal, Talking about WooCommerce and the free PayPal plugin just released from Braintree on this episode of The Gary Leland Show.

If you have a question send it to me at GaryLeland@gmail.com

Find The Gary Leland Show on iTunes at GaryLeland.com/iTunes

Find The Gary Leland Show on Stitcher at GaryLeland.com/Stitcher

Find The Gary Leland Show on PocketCast at GaryLeland.com/PocketCast

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This content is provided with a Creative Commons Share-Alike License. Feel free to use this content, so long as you give credit to Gary Leland, of GaryLeland.com and link to http://garyleland.com

See everything I do at Lelands.org

Arlington Social Media Marketing Group

Talking Sales Tax for WooCommerce with Whitney Williams

Gary Leland Show - WooCommerce Season

Gary Leland Show with Whitney Williams on Sales TaxGary Leland Show Episode 25

Whitney Williams, Partner Alliance Manager at www.Avalara.com, Talking about WooCommerce and Sales Tax on this episode of Season 2 of The Gary Leland Show.

If you have a question send it to me at GaryLeland@gmail.com

Find The Gary Leland Show on iTunes at GaryLeland.com/iTunes

Find The Gary Leland Show on Stitcher at GaryLeland.com/Stitcher

Find The Gary Leland Show on PocketCast at GaryLeland.com/PocketCast

Subscribe to the Gary Leland Show with RSS at GaryLeland.com/RSS

This content is provided with a Creative Commons Share-Alike License. Feel free to use this content, so long as you give credit to Gary Leland, of GaryLeland.com and link to http://garyleland.com

See everything I do at Lelands.org

Arlington Social Media Marketing Group

Talking WordPress & Jetpack With Eric Binnion

Gary Leland Show - WooCommerce Season

Gary Leland Show Jetpack Eric BinnionGary Leland Show Episode 24

On episode twenty four I continue the WooCommerce Season. This week I am joined by Eric Binnion, Man Of Hustle, and we discuss WordPress.com and the Jetpack Plugin by Automatic.

Links Provided by Eric:
BruteProtect –
“Jetpack Bloat Myth Followup – More Data”
WordPress Tavern – “Jetpack Doesn’t Negatively Impact Site Loading Times”

If you have a question send it to me at GaryLeland@gmail.com

Find The Gary Leland Show on iTunes at GaryLeland.com/iTunes

Find The Gary Leland Show on Stitcher at GaryLeland.com/Stitcher

Find The Gary Leland Show on PocketCast at GaryLeland.com/PocketCast

Subscribe to the Gary Leland Show with RSS at GaryLeland.com/RSS

This content is provided with a Creative Commons Share-Alike License. Feel free to use this content, so long as you give credit to Gary Leland, of GaryLeland.com and link to http://garyleland.com

See everything I do at Lelands.org

Podcast Dallas Meetup Group for Podcasting

Talking WooCommerce & WordPress With Dustin Hartzler

Gary Leland Show - WooCommerce Season

Gary-Leland-Show-WooCommerce-Dustin-HartzlerGary Leland Show Episode 23

On episode twenty three I continue the WooCommerce Season. This week I am joined by Dustin Hartzler of YourWebsiteEngineer.com. We talk about WooCommerce, WordPress and much more.

I have also started a new giveaway on this show, Win Some WordPress Stuff. Listen for your chance to win a new WordPress plugin! This episode I am giving away the Product Sales Report Plugin by Potent Plugins.

If you have a question send it to me at GaryLeland@gmail.com

Find The Gary Leland Show on iTunes at GaryLeland.com/iTunes

Find The Gary Leland Show on Stitcher at GaryLeland.com/Stitcher

Find The Gary Leland Show on PocketCast at GaryLeland.com/PocketCast

Subscribe to the Gary Leland Show with RSS at GaryLeland.com/RSS

This content is provided with a Creative Commons Share-Alike License. Feel free to use this content, so long as you give credit to Gary Leland, of GaryLeland.com and link to http://garyleland.com

See everything I do at Lelands.org

Join my WPengine WordPress Hosting Affiliate Program Today!

Talking WooCommerce & WooConf With Brad Griffin

Gary Leland Show - WooCommerce Season

Gary Leland Show with Brad Griffin WooCommerce ExpertGary Leland Show Episode 22

On episode twenty two I continue the WooCommerce Season. I am joined by Brad Griffin. We talk about WooCommerce, WooConf and much more. – Produced By Gary Leland

Brad Griffin is a WooCommerce expert, and runs BradGriffin.me.

If you have a question send it to me at GaryLeland@gmail.com

Find The Gary Leland Show on iTunes at GaryLeland.com/iTunes

Find The Gary Leland Show on Stitcher at GaryLeland.com/Stitcher

Find The Gary Leland Show on PocketCast at GaryLeland.com/PocketCast

Subscribe to the Gary Leland Show with RSS at GaryLeland.com/RSS

This content is provided with a Creative Commons Share-Alike License. Feel free to use this content, so long as you give credit to Gary Leland, of GaryLeland.com and link to http://garyleland.com

See everything I do at Lelands.org

Join my WPengine WordPress Hosting Affiliate Program Today!

Talking WordPress & WooCommerce With Jaime Jay

Gary Leland Show - WooCommerce Season

Gary Leland Show with Guest Jamie JayGary Leland Show Episode 21

On episode twenty one I start the WooCommerce Season. I am joined by Jaime Jay. We talk about WordPress, and WooCommerce. about WordPress, Woo-commerce, and more blogging advice. – Produced By Gary Leland

Jaime Jay is a WordPress expert, and runs slapshotstudio.com.

If you have a question send it to me at GaryLeland@gmail.com

Find The Gary Leland Show on iTunes at GaryLeland.com/iTunes

Find The Gary Leland Show on Stitcher at GaryLeland.com/Stitcher

Find The Gary Leland Show on PocketCast at GaryLeland.com/PocketCast

Subscribe to the Gary Leland Show with RSS at GaryLeland.com/RSS

This content is provided with a Creative Commons Share-Alike License. Feel free to use this content, so long as you give credit to Gary Leland, of GaryLeland.com and link to http://garyleland.com

See everything I do at Lelands.org

Join my WPengine WordPress Hosting Affiliate Program Today!

Talking WordPress with Leslie Samuels

Gary Leland Show - Season One

GLshow19
Gary Leland Show Episode 19

This week I talk with Leslie Samuels of www.becomeablogger.com about WordPress, Woo-commerce, and more blogging advice. – Produced By Gary Leland

If you have a question send it to me at GaryLeland@gmail.com

Find The Gary Leland Show on iTunes at GaryLeland.com/iTunes

Find The Gary Leland Show on Stitcher at GaryLeland.com/Stitcher

Find The Gary Leland Show on PocketCast at GaryLeland.com/PocketCast

Subscribe to the Gary Leland Show with RSS at GaryLeland.com/RSS

This content is provided with a Creative Commons Share-Alike License. Feel free to use this content, so long as you give credit to Gary Leland, of GaryLeland.com and link to http://garyleland.com

See everything I do at Lelands.org

Join my WPengine WordPress Hosting Affiliate Program Today!

Joe Youngblood Tells Us Why Google Hates Me

Gary Leland Show - Season One

Google Hates Me, and Joe Youngblood Tells Us Why
Gary Leland Show Episode 18

This week I talk SEO with Joe Youngblood of WinnerWinnerChickenDinner.co, and JoeYoungblood.com tells me why Google hates me. – Produced By Gary Leland

If you have a question send it to me at GaryLeland@gmail.com

Find The Gary Leland Show on iTunes at GaryLeland.com/iTunes

Find The Gary Leland Show on Stitcher at GaryLeland.com/Stitcher

Find The Gary Leland Show on PocketCast at GaryLeland.com/PocketCast

Subscribe to the Gary Leland Show with RSS at GaryLeland.com/RSS

This content is provided with a Creative Commons Share-Alike License. Feel free to use this content, so long as you give credit to Gary Leland, of GaryLeland.com and link to http://garyleland.com

See everything I do at Lelands.org

Talking Social Media with Vernon Ross

Gary Leland Show - Season One

Talking Social With Vernon Ross

Gary Leland Show Episode 17

This week I talk social with Vernon Ross of VernonRoss.com – Produced By Gary Leland

If you have a question send it to me at GaryLeland@gmail.com

Find The Gary Leland Show on iTunes at GaryLeland.com/iTunes

Find The Gary Leland Show on Stitcher at GaryLeland.com/Stitcher

Find The Gary Leland Show on PocketCast at GaryLeland.com/PocketCast

Subscribe to the Gary Leland Show with RSS at GaryLeland.com/RSS

This content is provided with a Creative Commons Share-Alike License. Feel free to use this content, so long as you give credit to Gary Leland, of GaryLeland.com and link to http://garyleland.com

See everything I do at Lelands.org

Join my WPengine WordPress Hosting Affiliate Program Today!

Talking Twitter With Gary Loper

Gary Leland Show - Season One

Talking Twitter With Gary Loper
Gary Leland Show Episode 16

This week I talk about Twitter with Gary Loper of GaryLoper.com – Produced By Gary Leland

Leland: Gary thanks for joining me on the show!

Loper: It’s my pleasure! It’s my mission to help people understand what Twitter is and how they can utilize it in their lives and businesses.

Leland: I was asking around to find out who the Twitter expert would be that I could interview and your name came up several times, so I found you there at twitter.com/garyloper and you have 129,000 followers. That’s an expert mode to me!

Loper: I got on early and found ways to get people on there to follow me, by providing great information and I will provide some of those tips along the way. There are some secrets in there of ways to do things, which is one of the services I provide to my clients, is managing their accounts to be able to attract followers and create a bigger audience.

Leland: With so much social media it’s hard to find time to do it all.

Loper: A complication with that are all of the rabbit holes you can fall into. You can probably do all of the things you need to do on Twitter in 2 twenty-minute segments a day if you have less than 50,000 followers. All you have to do is go on, post a few tweets, retweet a few things, comment on a couple of tweets, and you have an established presence. When you start to head above 50,000, it will start to take more time and you may have to train someone on your staff who is familiar with what you are trying to do and allow them to answer tweets in your voice, which is very hard to do. I always tell my clients that the voice is the authentic part of the business that a lot of people don’t realize. This is a people-to-people business and people want to connect with a live person who is the voice of the company.

Leland: So do you think that is why my Twitter is so low? I just send out content basically. I have 22,000 followers, but only follow 23 people.

Loper: What you would look at is that a lot of people are doing the same thing, using a broadcast method. Those niche people who are attracted to your material are going to come and find it but they may not be looking for engagement. If you want to build your business on Twitter, I look at social media as having leveled the playing field. A great example is that I am a student to Bob Berg who is a good friend of mine and business partner. He has the golden rule of business networking, which is a very important thing to remember: all things being equal, people are going to do business with and refer business to people they know, like, and trust. With social media, we have the opportunity with the personal engagement and way that we tweet that creates and unequal advantage in our favor. When they have a need for our products and services, we are in the front of their mind. What’s great is that if you build that rapport and build a larger audience, that if your audience does not need you, but you have built that relationship with them, they are going to be able to refer you to the people that they know which leads to exponential growth in marketing aspects.

Leland: When you say it like that it becomes common sense.

Loper: There are a lot of marketers on social media now who use those 1960’s sales tactics of broadcasting the product. Again, consumers have so many options both on and off line, so you have to make that connection and give them a reason to connect with you. Another important thing to consider is extending your personality. I have a client who is a coach, but is a really big Star Wars fan as well. One day he tweeted some Star Wars quotes and he started to make connections with people based on Star Wars because there was a common bridge. People, whether for business or personal needs, are always looking for a connection and validation. If we give them a little bit of a seed of who we are or why they can connect with us, then it is just like a magnet that got turned on.

Leland: Let’s start with some details. I have our pages side by side right now. You have over 100,000 followers and also follow over 100,000 people. Are you saying that I need to start following people so I can interact with them? Because I only follow 23 people, I’m not interacting with a lot of people who follow me.

Loper: Right, because you can only see the post from those 23 people and you want to be able to interact with some of the people who followed you by following them back. Even determine who your audience and market is and start to attract them to your page and start to follow them back. I think when people see account disparities like that; they think that the owner of that page is not interested in having a conversation with anyone. I really believe that Twitter is so important because it touches people. Any audience you go to, about half of them who have their heads down and are taking notes. The same thing is true on Twitter. The number I heard is that 40% of all active users, which is around 300 million a day, are observing. They are watching us to see how we interact with other people because the way that I interact with my audience is probably how I will interact with them. That creates the unequal advantage because they may want to work with me or refer me based on that.

Leland: I guess my first step is to go to my followers list, because they already like what I post, and start to follow them back and get involved with them. If I start to do that then they will be more inclined to refer me to other people.

Loper: Absolutely. You will be able to go into your notifications column and you will be able to see who has retweeted your posts and who has favorited your posts. Those are the people who you should be following back first because they are already showing you that they support what you are doing and what you are putting out there. Back in the early days of Twitter I would spend probably an hour a day thanking each person who retweeted, mentioned, and commented to me. I think that is what differentiated me from everyone else. People saw that I took the time to interact with them and that helped me from the beginning.

Leland: I noticed on your Twitter page, that your header has all of your information.

Loper: This is probably where I spend the most time with my clients for the first half of our time together working on the first impression. If someone clicks onto your site, you have 4 to 10 seconds who you are, what you do, what you can do for them, and what they can do next. A lot of people just have a pretty picture up there that they haven’t updated in two years. We restated our profile to the center of that banner because the profile is below the picture and not really with natural eye movement. It’s also important that the profile is also SEO, so the words you put on that profile, should be the same words you use on your website because you assume that if someone does an Internet search for you they will put those same words in the search engine. If people don’t see a reason to stick around and interact with you, they will move on because it is all about them and what interests them. We have to be focused on what is in it for that client or customer. What problems are they looking to solve and if we address the way we tweet, it gives them more reason so stay and check us out.

Leland: You mentioned earlier that for those of us with smaller accounts, we should spend 2 twenty-minute sessions on Twitter. What exactly should we be doing and in what amounts?

Loper: You should spend that time retweeting other people’s content about 5-7 times because it shows your audience that it is not all about you and that you will share good content that is not yours. I share a lot of the motivational quotes because those enhance people’s lives. A way to do this easily is to start making lists of people who consistently put out great content. That way I can go to the list when I need something to retweet and don’t have to spend a long time trying to find it. I have several different lists based upon interest, so some lists are bigger than others.

Leland: I sure like your header with this information and links on here. You have short links for free books you give out and I assume that when they follow the link to get the book they sign up for your mailing list as well. On the right here it says Gary’s Networking Party, what’s that?

Loper: A Twitter party is an incredible way to build and audience, build rapport, build a presence, and build a community. It’s basically like a chat room from back in the day, where people would join a conversation about a topic they have an interest in. What we do once a month is a two-hour Twitter party, which are all themed. You follow the party by hash tag. My hash tag is #GLTP, which Twitter uses as a search tool. This is one of the things I love about Twitter is that it’s a huge networking event. When you go to a networking event, you don’t spend all day trying to figure out what every little cluster of people are talking about. You try to find the conversation people are having over a topic you want to learn more about or you want to add to. Twitter works the same way when you use the search box because you can narrow down to the conversation you want to have. I think that is where a lot of people get frustrated is by trying to keep up with everything instead of focusing on what you are interested in.

Leland: So since I am a huge fan of softball, I should look up #softball a couple of times a day to see who is talking about it and what they are talking about.
Loper: Yes absolutely, and you can save that to your lists so it’s waiting for you every day to look at.
Leland: So you’re saying that anyone who is trying to market online is missing the boat if they are not working Twitter for a little bit of time every day?

Loper: Yes it is. It has grown exponentially since the beginning. Some of the numbers I saw on marketing estimates said that by 2020 Internet marketing should increase by 500%. If you’re not on now and creating the presence, carving a niche, and building the relationships with these potential customers and referring ambassadors, you will be way behind when the rest of the world gets on. You have to establish yourself and your business. You will struggle trying to catch up by that time; it’s already hard to catch up!

Leland: What is the secret on being found on Twitter?

Loper: In your profile, you want to have the words people would use in and Internet search to find you, you want to use those hash tags, and you want to put up links for a new blog 5 to 6 times after you put it up, not just once. The reason for that is because we are trying to connect with people in their search to solve their problems. When we blog, the title can have one of two responses: tell me more or so what. You probably look at your email and 95% of it is under the so what category. Look at your blog post and pick out a few different things that people could be looking for because that is what they will search for. Make sure your profile is recent and has a picture because it makes you real as a person. Your business logo may resonate with you but it doesn’t necessarily with your audience. Let your smile be your logo and let them connect with you that way.

Leland: How does sharing a tweet make me get found by other people? Doesn’t it just get shared with my people who already follow me?
Loper: If I find your tweet that you shared and I share it, then my followers might go check you out because it says that I retweeted that tweet from you. It’s important to remember that every tweet is like a mini web page, so it will always be there. Twitter now has a deal with Google that tweets will be Google indexed, so a lot of the tweets will show up in Google searches if you use those SEO keywords. Retweeting is also a way to show people who your mentors are and who has influenced you. Figure out what you purpose is going to be on Twitter and stick with it.

Leland: That makes much more sense to me; that’s a double win to me!

Loper: Your lists also can show who you are. I would have more lists of other things that I am interested in, but they are not in line with my online persona. Sometimes I even have who would be deemed competitors in a list so I can see what they are doing. I want to see what they are doing well so I can do it better and I want to see what they are not doing at all so I can exceed them. Another good use is if you want to follow a celebrity because they don’t follow a lot of people back. If you put them in a list, you don’t have to follow them and they won’t count against Twitter’s 10% rule.

Leland: What is the 10% rule; I’m not sure what that is.

Loper: When you first get on Twitter, you can follow as many people as you want until you get to 2,000. When you get to 2,000, then the people who are following you back has to be in a 10% ratio with those you are following in order to follow any more people. So if you’re following 2,000 people, 1,801 have to be following you back to add one more person. This is one of the things I share in my e-book, “Mastering the Twitterverse”, which you can get at garyloper.com in the center column. With any list in business, 1/3 of the list is outdated and the same thing happens on Twitter. 1/3 of the people who are following me on Twitter are no longer there or no longer active. You want to be able to flush those people out so you can work with that 10% rule. I give some pointers in the book of how to flush those people out of your account.

Leland: That makes perfect sense. You have given me a lot of great information today. It sounds like to me that it would be smart for people to get the free e-books and newsletter from you. That doesn’t hurt anyone.

Loper: If you’re serious about learning how to get the most out of your Twitter account and see what’s next for you, then I would like to offer a free 30 minute consultation where we look at your page and see how we can improve your Twitter persona. If you go to bit.ly/ReviewTwitter you can get on my calendar to schedule a time to take a look at your Twitter. If you feel that it is something you want to go forward with, then we can partner up and move forward together.

Leland: Thank you for coming on and talking to me today. We already know we can reach you on twitter.com/garyloper and on garyloper.com. Is there anything else you would like to direct people to or let them know about?

Loper: That is the best way to find me. If you go to my website and click the contact button you can email me directly.

If you have a question send it to me at GaryLeland@gmail.com

Find The Gary Leland Show on iTunes at GaryLeland.com/iTunes

Find The Gary Leland Show on Stitcher at GaryLeland.com/Stitcher

Find The Gary Leland Show on PocketCast at GaryLeland.com/PocketCast

Subscribe to the Gary Leland Show with RSS at GaryLeland.com/RSS

This content is provided with a Creative Commons Share-Alike License. Feel free to use this content, so long as you give credit to Gary Leland, of GaryLeland.com and link to http://garyleland.com

See everything I do at Lelands.org

Talking Google Plus with Lynette Young

Gary Leland Show - Season One

Talking Google Plus With Lynette Young
Gary Leland Show Episode 15

This week I talk about Google Plus with Lynette Young of Purple Stripe Media – Produced By Gary Leland

Gary: Lynette, welcome back to the show! I was looking at your Google Plus page today and you have 1.5 million followers, which has to put you as an authority in the world of Google Plus.

Lynette: There are some tricks that work across most social platforms, so we can probably talk about some of those here today.

Gary: Absolutely. Why should we be looking at Google Plus?

Lynette: Its funny that you bring that up because it has not been as much in favor with the general marketing public or even the general public as Twitter or Facebook, but I find that Google Plus is best used by brick and mortar stores. If you think about it, it’s a whole Google ecosystem. They own Google Maps and on Google Maps is Google Local. Google Plus hooks into Google Local, which are all of the pins on the map. So when I go and search for a restaurant in an area, you can hook all of your Google Plus into your Google Maps so that it spans across all of the Google properties, which makes it kind of seamless. In my opinion its one stop shopping for getting your online presence out there and working for you.

Gary: I didn’t know it was that incredible for this! But aren’t there two kinds of Google Plus pages aren’t there? Like one for me as a person and one for me as a business?

Lynette: Well there are three when you think about it. It has the regular profile for the person, an organization page, and the local page. The local page has a lot more functionality because you are a physical location, you can take reviews, you can put directions in there, your own photographs, and you can control what they see about you.

Gary: Ok so I need to get into the right one. How do I know the difference between the three? How do I know if I have the right page?

Lynette: When you first go into Google Plus, you are always going in under your profile. If you look at the upper hand left part of the screen, there is a little blue icon with a person in it and that just shows that you are on your personal page. If you scroll down a little, there is a drop down menu for your pages. When you set up your page that is when you get to choose if you are a business entity or if you are physical location. It’s set up similarly to Facebook, so you do have to set it up in the beginning.

Gary: I spent so much time on Google Plus that I didn’t even realize that when I put an image into one of my communities it automatically comes onto my page.

Lynette: It can because you have allowed that in your security settings. The nice thing is that you can go into your security settings and get pretty granular with it. I think it is pretty solid, but everyone has their own ideas of solid internet security. It doesn’t seem to want to trick you into exposing all of your information so you can go in there and choose where you want your pictures to show up. I have to agree though, that once you are in it so long you get blind to everything else that exists because you go on there for specific things.

Gary: I had been posting a picture of the day on my personal page, my Facebook page, and my community page and didn’t realize that it was posting twice. People must have been getting tired of seeing the same picture twice on my Google Plus and community pages!

Lynette: Here is a big difference between Google Plus and Facebook. I personally feel that Google Plus behaves more like Twitter. When you think about your Facebook wall, like mine for instance at facebook.com/lynetteradio, you see everything that I allow on my wall. If you remember years ago when people would spam people’s walls just to gain the eyeballs of the people on their page. That doesn’t really exist in Google Plus. On my Google Plus page, plus.google.com/pluslynetteyoung, they only see what I post. When you go in, you are looking at your home screen; however, when someone else is looking at your profile they only see the things that originate from you. I check it myself sometimes by opening an incognito window in Google Chrome so that I am not logged in. I put in my URL and can see exactly what other people see. A lot of what I do is behind the scenes in the community pages. Because of the number of followers I do have, I don’t usually blast out posts to all 1.5 million followers. A majority of the activity I do is within those community pages. I also make circles, which are groups of specific people or security groups, and I will put a post out just to that circle. I do that mostly because all of those followers are not interested in the same topics so I don’t want to necessarily share a post with everyone when only a few are interested in a given topic.

Gary: I actually have several groups and they are doing better than my page!

Lynette: I have a few things that I absolutely love in Google Plus. The local pages, like I already mentioned, and the groups and communities are probably more active than the general population because they can hone in and talk about what they are interested in.

Gary: Should someone spend more time working and developing their community than their page?

Lynette: Personally, I think there is more value in the communities and the feedback and interactions that you get from them over the page. The pages are in more of a broadcast mode while the communities are more peer-to-peer. You get more interactions that way. I have been finding that communities are where the gold is in the Google Plus platform.

Gary: What are some of these tips and secrets about Google Plus?

Lynette: Some of them we have already touched on. Local pages, hangouts, events, and communities are my four hidden nuggets of Google Plus. I think that people don’t realize how long it takes to grow communities or to get traction in an area and they just want to show up to a new place and bring over all of the success they have worked for somewhere else. I found the fast track to getting people to start following you are in communities, but my favorite feature is events. If you are a brick and mortar store, you can create events at your store and get people in the door. It doesn’t go away either so people can search and see what you have done in the past. I don’t think that enough people use this feature! They don’t have to be in person events either; you can do virtual events if that works for you better. Let’s say you are going to have a bat sale. You can get people to post pictures on the event after the fact with their new bat, which is user generated content. This type of content makes you much more powerful. Come up with unique ideas or twists on things, even if it is the same 10% off coupon. It is a way to draw people to your community.

Gary: If I did that coupon idea, let’s say for 30% off of bats, would it everyone be able to see it or would it be opened up to the entire world.

Lynette: You can choose actually. You can make it public, which means its open to everyone and the search engines, don’t forget about that, or you can make it private. You can make it only open to a VIP circle of your best customers or members of a team and you can invite them in for exclusive deals. More than likely you would want to make it public so everyone in the world can see you.

Gary: So you would say that the top 2 things to get into with Google Plus are events and communities?

Lynette: Yes exactly.

Gary: So what else do I need to know here? I think I am on the track with the communities I just need to figure out how to get more people on here. I don’t know if my niche is so small or because only a certain number of interested people are on Google Plus. The events are a big deal. I can see where this can be very popular because I could do a sale once a month every month on here. If it is open to the whole world the I can see where this could be a really big deal.

Lynette: The nice thing too is that if it is public on Google Plus and these are all tied together as Google Properties, if you create an event it looks attractive in search. If someone searches for something that has your keywords for your event, it is something that they can find value in and the Google search engine will make it look attractive to them in the results. Where normally on a website you have to use a lot of code to make something look good, you don’t have to do that here because Google Plus and the search engine are connected as Google properties so it will automatically format it to be eye catching. Another cool thing about events is that if a person responds yes or maybe to attending an event it is automatically synced with their Google Calendar, which I live by.

Gary: Should I follow a lot of people? I follow very few people, could that be what is hurting me?

Lynette: I’m going to say it’s not killing you, but it’s not helping you either.

Gary: For instance on Instagram I was trying to get followers and I followed like 5,000 people, got rid of them all, and ended up with 8,000 followers who are very involved by liking and commenting on pictures I post. Even though I only follow 30 people now, I still have 8,000 followers. Is it the same idea with Google Plus?

Lynette: The limit I believe is 5,000 for you to follow and an unlimited amount can follow you. You do have to be diligent with putting people in circles, which are like lists. I have circles that are for local people, professional friends, etc. You want to have manageable lists.

Gary: I would have three circles: personal friends, softball people I want to buy softball stuff from me, and podcast people who are not personal friends.

Lynette: Well there you go! Another interesting thing about these circles is that you can sort your circles into how active people are. That way you are only really paying attention to those who are active and can not look at the rest of the “noise”.

Gary: Is my problem that I am not communicating much? I mean I love Facebook and I communicate on there all day long! I just don’t want to be neglecting these other platforms.

Lynette: It’s because you are comfortable there! It really isn’t possible to dedicate the necessary amount of time to each and every social media platform to make each one powerful. You just can’t dedicate the time needed for each platform, especially when you also run an actual business.

Gary: I want to know how to get the maximum results on each platform with minimal interaction. I think I have done that well on Pinterest and Instagram already.

Lynette: You already have a good thing going with your photo of the day. You are giving people a reason to come back every day to see what you post. You are asking for user-generated content, you are already hitting all of those things that make social media tick and work well. You don’t have to use every single feature in the platform to consider it a success. You are already doing something that is bringing traffic and eyeballs to that community. You may want to come up with a supplement to the photo of the day to keep it interesting and fresh. That could help create more traffic and bring more eyeballs to your page. People might bring their friends in too, which will bring your follower number up. You can ask for themed pictures for holidays or for specific softball equipment and that user generated content will help you out for sure.

Gary: I thought that if I were to search softball on Google Images, I don’t see any of my photos. If I go and search Women’s College World Series, I see a ton of my photos that are on my blog, not directly on Google.

Lynette: Before you load a photograph up to Google, make sure that the file name has a keyword that you would use to search for it on Google. When you upload it to the actual community and you click on the photo and can see the details, it will show your file name. That is what Google is pulling from so make sure it says softball photo of the day with the date or something like that. From there it should start to get into the image search.

Gary: This was a great conversation for me. Is there anything you want to leave us with as a tip that we have not covered yet?

Lynette: Try to follow 20 people a week if you can. Take 5 or 10 minutes and go through your communities. It’s a nice way to acknowledge their interaction in the community.

Gary: Where should people hunt for you if they want to get in touch with you?

Lynette: The best place to get to me is at lynetteyoung.com.

Gary: I do appreciate you taking the time to talk with me today about Google Plus!

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Selling on Amazon With Chris Green

Gary Leland Show - Season One

Talking Amazon With Chris Green
Gary Leland Show Episode 14

This week I interview Chris Green of ScanPower.com – Produced By Gary Leland

We talk about selling on Amazon. http://scanpower.com

Gary: Chris, thanks for joining me today. This is a topic that I am really interested in and I think everyone should be really interested in. First please tell us about yourself.

Chris: Thanks for having me, Gary! Talking a little about myself is tough because I have become a little Internet famous for different things. The quick version of it is that I graduated from Texas A&M, worked for Bosh Power Tools for 5 years, got big into EBay and built up a couple of accounts that has over 30,000 in feedback, then I got big into Amazon. Amazon then started the FBA program which stands for “fulfillment by Amazon”, which basically means they warehouse all of your stuff and are eligible for all of their shipping programs. Essentially you are outsourcing your fulfillment, which is incredible in the time that we live in that we can let Amazon handle our products no matter how small. There were no software solutions, so I partnered with a guy I met online and we founded a company called FBA Power, which helps FBA sellers optimize that platform. We then renamed it Scan Power and we are a one stop provider for anything to do with Amazon FBA, scanning products, making money online, optimizing price, and evaluating lists, all of that stuff. We openly market our products with education. I write books, do webinars, YouTube videos, and chats, anything people will need to be good at selling products. If they succeed at selling online then they might want to use our software. The Internet allows us to help people at scale. Take this podcast for example. We record it once but I can help thousands of people down the road when they listen to it. I am happy to help thousands of people! If they decide to buy the software, great, but I am truly happy to help people regardless.

Gary: Now your company website scanpower.com has a lot of information and tools on here. Are all of the tools meant for FBA or can anyone benefit from them?

Chris: They can help anyone, but they are optimized for helping FBA sellers. The first product we put out was our listing product, so you could get a product, scan it with a USB scanner, and list the condition and put notes up about your product. There was nothing like that when FBA first started out.

Gary: I have been doing Amazon for 22 days and I have been using a tool called the Amazon Seller App. Is that similar to your software?

Chris: Well that is a mobile app. Our first program was web based and you had to use the computer to list. Then we came out with our mobile app for Android first and then the iPhone. What you are using is from Amazon themselves and you have to have an Amazon Seller account to use the app. It’s a great program, it’s free, easy to use. You scan a barcode, it will identify the product, show you what it is selling for, show you the fees if you sold it and what you are going to get so you can calculate your profit.

Gary: That is exactly what it does. It shows me the lowest price it is being sold for, what they will charge me to sell the item, what the recommended freight is, and information like that. When I see all of that information and do the math I am able to see if I should even bother selling that item. I have scanned products that show that I would make $1 of profit so I didn’t bother putting that item on my Amazon page because it wasn’t worth selling there. There are other things with the opposite effect.

Chris: The Amazon Marketplace is inefficient as a whole. There are plenty of items on Amazon that people are paying a premium for and a lot of it relates to the Amazon Prime program where people have gotten used to getting free 2 day shipping and sometimes even overnight depending on how close they live to the distribution center. The Amazon Prime customers will choose Amazon over going to a store because it is quick and free shipping. I am a typical Prime customer because basically won’t buy from you if you are not Amazon Prime eligible and my time is very valuable. I do not want to drive 25 minutes to Target to save a dollar because then I have to make that same 25-minute drive home and I have to pay tax. It’s not a better deal for me to go to Target over buying from Amazon with free expedited shipping.

Gary: Let’s say that I have a widget and a competitor has a widget and mine is $2 higher than the other guy. Wouldn’t people go with the other guy over me?

Chris: If you are both FBA, probably, but if he is merchant fulfilled and yours is FBA it’s not the same thing. Yours will be shipped today because Amazon does that, and other guy lives clear across the country from the buyer so it will take longer to get there, plus there is no guarantee the item will go out today. Now there are some people who will wait 3 months for an item just to save $2, but that’s not typical.

Gary: I have 2 questions for you. First, what is different about the Scan Power mobile app compared to the free Amazon app?

Chris: The Scan Power mobile app is designed for sellers. It’s $40 a month so its not free, but what you see in this app are all of the prices: the new offers, used offers, collectible offers, and the payouts for all of those offers. It will also show Amazon as a seller with the picture, the title, the category, the sales rank, the weight, the dimensions, and all of that stuff so you can make an informed decision. You have to price strategically.

Gary: So we are talking about FBA now, which I have not gotten into yet. I do have this one item that I have been selling like crazy and it’s something that I import from China. I am making great money off of it right now. Because I have hundreds of this item, I should be sending say 50 of them to Amazon?

Chris: Are you the only seller on it?

Gary: No, there are other people who have them; they must be importing them as well. They are pricing them high enough that they are making a pretty good margin on them.

Chris: If you have a product you are making a good margin on and you are merchant fulfilling right now, you are going to get FBA boost. You will get more people who buy your product because you are FBA eligible. This number comes straight from Amazon: 50% of all Amazon buyers will not buy from someone who is not FBA. They either buy from Amazon direct or from FBA sellers. They want their free 2-day shipping.

Gary: You’re saying that anyone who is getting into Amazon should seriously consider going with FBA instead of merchant fulfillment on everything they have. If I have for example 1 glove left, then yes I will use merchant fulfillment because I just want to get rid of it; but if it is a regularly inventoried item I should just ship it to Amazon.

Chris: It’s kind of a no brainer. I hate to make blanket statements because there will be items that are not eligible for FBA export, meaning Amazon will not ship it internationally, so you would want to list that clearly so you don’t list those sales. As a general rule, you will sell more units and make more profit or net payout by using FBA on top of the fact that you will do less work. I have done fulfillment I know this happens. When you send your products to Amazon, make sure you put a new barcode over the existing one because Amazon will scan the product barcode and whatever it scans as is what the product is. You can print a new barcode with the information you want the item to have with Scan Power.

Gary: What happens if a product that you thought would sell well doesn’t and a year later they still have all 12 of your item in their fulfillment center?

Chris: Once you send stuff to Amazon, you have to stay on top of it. When you send them items, there is a very small storage fee. If you send them a book for example it is a penny per month to store. They have varying fees for items, so not everything costs a penny because they want to encourage you to send them stuff you can sell and profit from. There are some small, cheap items that they will charge more to keep so you don’t make any profit off of them and in turn will stop sending them. There used to be no limit, but now if your items are left after a year of being in the fulfillment center, they will hit you with a pretty hefty fee. These fees are something along the lines of $45 per square foot your items are taking up in their warehouse. Now they have changed it to 6 months as the time limit. They want you to manage and turn over your inventory. The good thing is that Amazon gives you a lot of tools to help you keep track of your inventory. To answer your original question, if you send them an item that does not sell, don’t wait around for it to sell and then get hit with these long term storage fees; ask for them to be returned to you. Return fees are so much lower than the long-term storage fees. They are only going to charge you 50 cents per unit to get them back to you.

Gary: So if you are at 11 months, you should be getting that stuff sent back to you right away!

Chris: You can do that or you can get more aggressive with your pricing of that item. It may even be a price that would make you take a small loss, but when you think about it that may be the smartest thing to do in some instances. If an item is struggling to sell at that price with Amazon, the story will be the same for you so if you have it returned to you then you have to figure out how to sell it on your own. They also have a disposal fee of 15 cents if you don’t want that item back and you don’t think it will sell. They will either destroy it or they will liquidate it. If you go to a flea market you may see a guy with a whole table of stuff with FBA labels on them because they bought a palate of liquidated items from Amazon. They have a whole part of the business that no one really sees or recognizes.

Gary: So if a person has an Amazon account to sell, do they have to qualify in some way to be FBA?

Chris: No actually you can open an Amazon account tonight and label it FBA and ship them product tonight. There are some restricted categories like shoes and videos because of the counterfeit potential and it’s hard to get approved but if you have enough stuff go ahead and get started.

Gary: What are some really good tips for the new person to Amazon? What things do they definitely need to know or get to help them get started?

Chris: There are two ways to look at this stuff. I love Amazon and believe that it is the best platform to get on and make money. The barriers to entry are really low and you can get in there and compete with the big guys today. You can outsource fulfillment and get Amazon shipping options attached to your items today. Because of that, it is almost bad that the barriers to entry are so low because anyone can get in there to do this and some are a little too quick to get in. Sometimes they don’t really study or know the rules, but at the same time Amazon is more of a do first and never ask questions. If you do break the rules, there is no ignorance of the rules or if your account gets suspended you can’t just make another one with another email without them catching you.

Gary: What is an example of a rule that could cause that to happen?

Chris: If you list a restricted product because you are responsible for your listings against everyone else’s listing. I have seen sellers just not take the time to know what they are doing and what they are allowed to sell or not allowed to sell. There are forums all over the place to ask questions so don’t be afraid to ask questions. You definitely do need to be sure to read the rules and policies and understand what categories you are allowed to sell in. If you are going to sell books, you need to read every word about books so you meet all of the guidelines Amazon has set up for you. Take the time to understand what “like new” or “used” actually means and what criteria it has to meet because what I may think looks “like new” may not meet Amazon’s standards. I could get in trouble for that. Be sure to keep your customers satisfied because if you start to get a lot of customer complaints your metrics will go down and they will pay attention to that. You have to run and treat your Amazon store like a business. It is not something that you can make mistakes and learn as you go. You want to avoid making mistakes on Amazon. Pay attention and read the boring pages of policies and rules they have available to you. If you agree to what is in there, you had better not make a mistake and do something that is against the rules because you will be responsible for that and you may not be able to recover from that.

Gary: So you can make a mistake that was an error and they can shut you down for that? Everything that you had going for you is now gone?

Chris: Absolutely. The worst offense you can make is to sell a counterfeit product. I’m not saying that everyone sells counterfeit product on purpose, but they do need to be able to verify their chain of supply. Just because something is wrapped when you buy it does not mean that it is genuinely that product, it very well could be counterfeit. You have to be able to prove where you get your product.

Gary: So they could ask you for a copy of the invoice from that vendor who makes and distributes those items.

Chris: Yes they can and they will. They pay more attention to high-risk products so if you are selling a bunch of items in one of those categories then they will pay more attention to you. They will slow you down a little to make sure you are selling genuine product. If you have issues or are unsure about what you are doing, join an online forum. Scan Power has a Facebook group where we discuss these things. You can find our group at facebook.com/groups/scanpower. There are both advanced and new sellers so no question is a dumb question, just ask. It’s better to ask than to get shut down for something you did.

Gary: Do you think that Amazon being as strong as they are, having so many shipping locations, having such a large product base and the way the continue to grow it, do you foresee where there is a time where online stores are going to have a hard time because people would rather buy from Amazon because I will get free shipping and will have my item tomorrow.

Chris: Yes and no. There are always going to be ways that stores can compete. So let’s say we have Joe’s Bats and they sell all kinds of equipment. Here is one thing people don’t know about Amazon; they have something called Multiple Channel Fulfillment (MCF) where I can still send my stuff to an Amazon and then use them as a pseudo drop shipping option. So my items are still purchased through my store and the payment is made to my store, but I go into my seller account and have the item sent from an Amazon distribution center. They will charge you for it, but it won’t be nearly as expensive as it is to do it on your own. You can ship a 4-pound box UPS second day air for around $11! I know I can’t get that price on my own UPS account, so it is worth doing in that way. On top of that, you don’t have to pay the commission fee to Amazon this way because Amazon isn’t selling it; they are just shipping it out for you. You can essentially use them as a warehouse and shipping agent.

Gary: Since this FBA seems to be a selling advantage to me, is there a way to tell if anyone else is selling a particular product FBA or if they are fulfilling it themselves?

Chris: That’s the big advantage of Scan Power is that we show you the new, used, and FBA on that product. It might show that no one is selling a particular product FBA. There are some sellers who look for products that are not available FBA and then find out where they can get them so they can be the only person who is selling them FBA. That is a huge advantage because of the 50% of customers who will not buy from non-FBA sellers because they want their free two-day shipping! Here is another tip: there is a tool called the FBA calculator. You input the item and what you want to sell it for and it will show you the pay out for that item, so there should be absolutely no surprises. There is no reason to find out after the fact that you lost money on a product. Use the calculator and figure out if it is worth selling or not.

Gary: Do FBA items have more of a chance of being an add on item that you see because they are already shipping something to a buyer?

Chris: That would be for a whole different show! In short, maybe because the items have to be FBA to be add on eligible so yes it’s possible for that to happen. Add ons are usually small, lightweight, low priced items that Amazon can’t afford to second day air. They would rather throw that small item in that same box because it is worth sending at that point.

Gary: Before we go, do you have any funny stories on your Amazon adventures?

Chris: 6 or 7 years ago when no one really knew what FBA was and I was one of the only sellers using this feature, I was sending in power tools like crazy. I wasn’t packaging the power tools was terrible, looking back now, but I just threw stuff in a box with exposed blades and every other bad way you could ship a power tool. The way I was doing it back then is laughable when you see what I do now. They do also have packing requirements especially with things like this where you have to bag things, cover exposed blades so they don’t hurt the warehouse guys. You want to prep the items so that it arrives to the customer how you think they would expect it to arrive. Be smart about it. Your items have to survive the inbound shipping, the warehouse, and the outbound shipping. They have to go through a lot of stuff so keep that in mind when you are sending your FBA items to Amazon.

Gary: I appreciate your time today, I have certainly learned a lot today.

If you have a question send it to me at GaryLeland@gmail.com

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Marketing on Facebook With Mason Pelt

Gary Leland Show - Season One

mason pelt
Gary Leland Show Episode 13

This week I interview Mason Pelt of MasonPelt.com – Produced By Gary Leland

We talk about Facebook marketing. http://rocksdigital.com/roi-social-media-marketing/

Gary: Mason, welcome to the show, thanks for joining me. Before we start talking about Facebook, please go into your background with Facebook advertising and your qualifications.

Mason: My background has been all over the place in marketing. I started out wanting to do video production but that didn’t work out and now really love podcasting. My backgrounds in Facebook marketing relates to working with large brands and small business owners on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Google ads. I do a lot of stuff around organic content marketing and paid media buys. For example I consider a promoted ad on Facebook ad to be a paid buy. Most of my work is direct marketing.

Gary: I know that next week you are speaking at Podcast Dallas and you are talking about marketing podcasts.

Mason: Yes, I will be talking about how to grow your podcast organically and how to grow your audience using online advertising and marketing automation which are often times under looked items. I have a blog post coming out on Rocksdigital.com in which I talk about how people mess up on social media by not being willing to spend money or posting the wrong content. I think the biggest mistake is not tracking properly though.

Gary: In regard to spending money on Facebook, you don’t have to spend a lot to get decent results.

Mason: You really don’t. Actually one of the things I have been having great success with is a content company who makes a digital publication. What we have been doing are small custom audiences. It is an audience of 50-60 hand-selected people that we have assembled are they are the most passionate fans. If they see us post something, then they will like it. The test is spending $4 with a bid for CPM, meaning cost per thousand impressions to reach an audience of 50 people. $4 CPM and reaching 50 people is a lot of impressions. Usually what happens is we get a ton of organic pick up off of just that little bit of seed money. Think about it, $4 every time you make a blog post or something, to be able to get that type of engagement on social does greatly improve your organic reach.

Gary: So when you are saying 50 people, you are talking about the reach the 50 people give you by liking and sharing your post?

Mason: Exactly because these are hand selected influencers. They are people who like everything we do. They like it, comment on it, an engage. It has improved traffic and our overall visibility on Facebook. What happens when I like something and one of my friends sees it? Well first of all they have seen it, which is one of the beautiful things about Facebook. We run ads also for friend-to-fan targeting which is an ad that says that one of your friends likes this or commented on this.

Gary: Before we get into that, I want to go into the basic uploading of an email list. For instance I have an email list of people who want to subscribe to my blog because they like it. What can we do with that email list, how do we do it, and how do I benefit from it.

Mason: What you are talking about are Facebook custom audiences. There are a few ways to do this. If you go to facebook.com/ads/manage on the left hand side you have the option for audiences on your account. If you click there you have the ability to import several types of files and now Facebook has added the ability to copy and paste and email list in because it was a little complex to change file types. When you upload the list you can target your most passionate fans.

Gary: So when I upload my list I can say that I want these people to see my stuff, it’s not up to Facebook?

Mason: Exactly and you can do some great stuff with this like targeting journalists. I will give you an example of what we have been doing with a company I am working with called Little Black Pants. WE have been doing custom audiences of their existing buyers. So people went to their e-commerce store, purchased a product, gave their email when they purchased the product, and we uploaded it to Facebook as a custom audience. The issue is that they just bought the product and we don’t have a lot of other products to sell them right now, so how do we get them to buy something. The truth is, those people won’t buy, but Facebook allows us to create a look-a-like audience. It’s one click to create. Under the audience tab you have an option to create a look a like audience.

Gary: Is that an audience that basically has all the same demographics as the person you just uploaded?

Mason: Same demographics, but more than just demographics, it’s more complex than that. It looks at the Facebook pages they like, their age, and even off line data like their credit card spending, income, and online spending habits. Facebook has partnerships with several large companies that allow them to find out off line purchase data. It is a little creepy, but your email address is linked to a credit card number somewhere and that data is not given to Facebook but they can mine some of it. I as an advertiser can create a look a like audience of people who have similar characteristics in every way. We are targeting people in several deeper ways than just liking one page. The other best-kept secret with Facebook is remarketing. I can run an ad for people who went to my website and for people who have been to the website, added and item to the cart, and not completed the order. With at least two of my clients right now we have ads running for people who have not completed orders in the shopping cart and we know who they are because of a tracking pixel in the website, not because of an email address because clearly they did not use one of those yet. It’s a Facebook website custom audience, which you can get to through the audience tab. You will get a little piece of java script code similar to Google analytics. You can install that onto your website and assign different behaviors to that, so we can say that people who tried to check out but didn’t can have an ad run to them reminding them that they have an incomplete order. Sending people back to that site can result in extra sales.

Gary: It sounds to me that the strongest one is the look a like audience.

Mason: Look a like audience is the one that will get you the most volume in that I can generate an audience.

Gary: So the bigger the email list the more powerful the look a like?

Mason: Not necessarily. With some companies I segment the list into what types of products they buy because it will let me get more specific with the person who buys that type of product. For example if I were selling hockey equipment, it wouldn’t be a great list for people who buy baseball equipment. Merging the two lists together would confuse it, so I would make two separate lists for one who buys hockey equipment and one who buys baseball equipment and go from there.

Gary: These ads we are talking about now, are they the side ads or the ones in the feed? Or is it both? Is one better than the other in regard to how much it costs for what you get?

Mason: In the feed is a little more expensive but it results in more clicks while the sidebar will result in more impressions. What I tend to do, and Facebook will let you do this automatically, is that you can make one ad and it will go both places. In the last year Facebook made the sidebar wider so it has more real estate there. I actually like to run ads in both. They split pretty evenly between the sidebar and the news feed in regard to effectiveness.

Gary: Let’s say I am going to spend $5 a day, so not big money, I don’t think it matters where I put my ad at $5 per day I am probably going to sell out of my whole $5. Would I be better off to put in the sidebar where I will get 20,000 views plus $5 worth of clicks versus putting it in the feed where I will get 10,000 views and the $5 worth of clicks?

Mason: My honest suggestion would be to test because it depends on what product you are selling and who your audience is. Probably what I would recommend is to do both newsfeed and sidebar. Mobile is kind of tricky because you have to have a mobile ready site and people have to be willing to buy your product off of their mobile device. Even if you put the ad in the sidebar and it doesn’t get as many clicks, it doesn’t have the impression on people that it is the only ad they have seen all day and they are tired of looking at it. People also do respond to impression. Let’s say I am impressioned by your ad in the sidebar for 3 weeks. I have seen your ad in my newsfeed a few times and in my sidebar a lot, now I am getting comfortable with you. I prefer you because I have seen you. It’s basically brain recognition. That being said, I definitely recommend you run your ad in both places because one isn’t better than the other, it’s just different.

Gary: How about boosting a post? That’s the easiest thing for someone to do if they are not Facebook smart, I think.

Mason: It is and it actually works now. It used to be terrible, I would tell people not to waste their money on them, and I think every Facebook marketing person would say not to buy them. Over the last 6 months they have improved the targeting options you have to where it’s not bad. There are still problems, but it is much better than it used to be. There are a couple of things you can do with boost post that are easy and work really well such as targeting your fans, so you can boost it only to people who already like your page. The other way is to boost post to custom audiences, so for people who are not necessarily a fan of your Facebook page.

Gary: So as an advertising agency, what is your starting point for a client? There are a lot of people who don’t have the time and need someone to do these ads for them. Is this the kind of thing that small businesses could use or are medium to large businesses more benefited by it?

Mason: I actually have been catering to quite a few small businesses lately. I have what is called a launch package, which I offer internally, but if someone wants to get a proposal from me they can go to MasonPelt.com to get in touch with me. I almost exclusively work with companies that have a direct sellable product because otherwise it’s too much stuff and it’s difficult to prove that I am making money. At the end of each month, I want to be able to send you a report that says that you spent $2,000 on me, you spent $4,000 on Facebook, and I made you $10,000. For me, if a client has a product that can be sold directly, is a good product, and if they can survive on the product they are selling and shipping. They have to be willing to put a minimum of $1,000 in advertising on Facebook otherwise it is really difficult to shine out there.

Gary: Where can people find you if they have questions about your services?

Mason: You can find me on MasonPelt.com, you can email me directly at Mason@masonpelt.com, and you can Google my name to find me on any social network except for Pinterest.

If you have a question send it to me at GaryLeland@gmail.com

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Setting Up Automation With Christian Psencik

Gary Leland Show - Season One

Interview with Christian Psencik
Gary Leland Show Episode 12

This week I interview Christian Psencik of ProlificSuccess.com – Produced By Gary Leland

Gary: Christian, before we start I want you to tell me in your words what we will be talking about today.

Christian: We are talking about Automation and how we can take ourselves more out of our business to allow us to dedicate time toward what we want to do. Maybe that is spending more time on things that will grow our business as opposed to spinning our wheels trying to keep up with your business. It could of course also being having more time to spend with your family and friends. There are a lot of tools we can talk about in this Automation arena that I would be happy to go into further. Automation is what I really love to talk about.

Gary: When I think of Automation, I think of robots and George Jetson.

Christian: Yes and I think you should because I think that is where we are going. I think there are a lot of Internet robots out there that we can take advantage of now. On the Internet there is a tool called “if this then that”, which I will get into in a minute, we have Dropbox, Gmail, all of these things have tools that will do things for you. For example there is a spam filter in Gmail is an example of Internet robots doing our bidding. It’s things that we don’t have to manually do anymore so we can spend our time doing something else other than filtering spam out of your inbox.

Gary: I hadn’t considered the spam filters to be like robots before, but when you explain it that way it makes perfect sense.

Christian: It’s allowing you those mental cycles, or mental RAM, to dedicate to something else. I have many more examples of this. Depending on what your business model is, there are different places you can incorporate this. We have all kinds of online services we use in our business. Let’s say you have a booth somewhere where you sell your products and in order to take credit card payments you use the Square reader. You can tie that into other online services by using ifttt.com. You can choose that every time someone initiates a refund through your Square, you will receive a phone call or a text message notifying you that this has happened. You can request to have a spreadsheet created for every time you sell an item. It’s not huge or Rosie taking care of your kids, but it does take care of you having to copy and paste between spreadsheets or emails. It allows you to focus on the things that are more important.

Gary: I did not realize you could integrate that into the Square platform!

Christian: There are other ones like eBay which has it’s own channel. The eBay search itself can be set up as a channel, so you can set up a search for a particular object on eBay that may be pretty rare or hard to find and it will notify you when that item is available for purchase or bidding. You can even set up for your Twitter to notify all of your followers when you have made a sale of your products. It can be seen as spam a little bit if all you’re tweeting is that you sold another item, but it could work for you in the beginning. You could also send it to a special blog post and have a public place that shows all of the sales for social proof.

Gary: How do you send that to a blog post?

Christian: In the service “if this then that”, you can tie the “then that” into Word Press. You would have a whole bunch of little entries for the sales you made.

Gary: So you couldn’t add each sale to the same blog post so they are all in the same place?

Christian: That’s right.

Gary: That could be some bad reading after a while!

Christian: Absolutely it could but it doesn’t have to be on your main blog page. I gave a talk about this the other day and I compared this to Legos. The little knobs on the top of the Legos are like IFTTT because they snap everything together and the blocks themselves are things like Dropbox, Evernote, eBay, etc. You have to decide what you want to build and design. You can make it exactly the size and shape that you want so that your business performs the way you want it to perform. If you think about it in those terms, what is it that you need to do that you don’t like to do or find to be boring? Then you can decide how to use IFTTT to your advantage.

Gary: I set one up so that if I make a post on Instagram, it automatically makes the same post on Twitter. In doing this it saves me a whole step. Now I make the post once and know that it goes to two different places. I could do the same with Facebook.

Christian: As a matter of fact you could have your post to those locations, but you can also use a social scheduler to send it out at a particular time. I use Buffer for social scheduling. The idea is that you want to have a consistent, regular social media presence. People are on and off of their profiles throughout the day and they can very rarely keep up with everything in their social media circle. This is why it is a good idea to post on a regular basis. If you are like me, you also have a life and you don’t want to be posting to social media every hour or two. In order to keep that social media presence, an app like Buffer allows us to sit down for 10-15 minutes and set up a bunch of tweets and Facebook posts for the entire day. There are quite a few other social schedulers out there to be used; Hootsuite is another popular one. I have an example of how I utilize this. Whenever I have a new podcast come out, I have a tweet automatically sent that tells people I have a new podcast with the episode number and a link. I also have a second recipe that runs parallel and schedules a post in Buffer. My Buffer time slots are normal business hours: 8am, 11am, 2pm, and 5pm. So now my tweet gets sent out into one of those open time slots. If I sent it out when I publish a podcast it would be around midnight, which would not help me much since most of my audience is probably asleep. In your case you can set it up to go from Instagram to Facebook and Twitter and you can send it to Buffer and have it queued up to be posted again later.

Gary: I just opened up my Buffer app and it is very interesting. I see that there is a recipe, which is what they call the action with IFTTT, for Instagram to Buffer.

Christian: They actually call them channels and ingredients. The recipe is the whole thing, the IFTTT: if new blog post, then post to Twitter. That is a recipe. The ingredients are the two parts, so in this case the blog post and Twitter and things like Evernote or Dropbox are called channels.

Gary: So I would take the two ingredients, put them together, and I would have a recipe? Then I could post to Instagram, then it would get sent to my Buffer to be sent out to Twitter at a later time?

Christian: Correct. Buffer is designed to have a certain number of recurring time slots to fill. Buffer’s strong suite is not to post something on Tuesday at 2pm, but rather to post something at the next available time slot that I have configured. So if you have two weeks set up, it’s not going to come out for two weeks. Hootsuite has more options on choosing an actual day to put out a post. Also IFTTT has a channel called “time” and you can specify a specific date and time for something to happen. I haven’t had a chance to play with it yet, but this is what I love about this. It’s the creativity we can reach with this.

Gary: I am a big believer in making the same post multiple times. I will take a post and schedule it out over a 6-month period so it will go out each month on a different day at a different time. I believe that more people will have the opportunity to see the post, even if the first time they are seeing it is the sixth time I have posted.

Christian: You do have evergreen topics and post that make that possible to do. I love your strategy and it is amazing what you have done with your pages. There is a Word Press plug in that seems to work similarly to the Facebook scheduler and its called CoSchedule. With this plug in you can choose to have old content shared at multiple times in the future. It would be worth checking out for you, I think.

Gary: Let’s go to Word Press for a second because last episode we talked about Woo Commerce using Word Press. Let’s say I put a new product in my Woo Commerce, we’ll say it’s a hat, and I make a post on my blog. How would I use Word Press to get that hat out to all of my social media platforms?

Christian: What Lego pieces do we have to snap together in this example? I know that there is a Word Press channel on IFTTT and if you activate that, one of the things you can do is to say “image” as one of the objects, you can use the title, date and time, and author of it as well. All of these are pieces of the Word Press components. If I want to send this out to my Twitter followers, we can say that when we have a new blog post, it gets tweeted out with the picture attached to it. I also want a link to the blog post with the title of the post. Everyone knows that pictures interact much better than words on Twitter. How many times do you scan over all of the posts except for those with a picture? If there is a picture, you will more than likely at least stop and take a look at it for a second. This is a great way to get more interaction, by adding in a picture. You can make this recipe of Word Press to Twitter over and over again with different channels, so the next time it will go somewhere else to be seen and hopefully purchased.

Gary: With IFTTT, is there anywhere I can’t send my post?

Christian: Google Plus and Pinterest are always different animals. Google Plus has a very limited interoperability with different tools. There is no direct way to go from IFTTT to Google Plus but the Buffer app does along with a few others. I can simply set up my Buffer app to post to Google Plus as well as Twitter, Facebook, and wherever else you want for it to go. It is a way to get around the IFTTT service. Pinterest is kind of a closed environment right now. They say they are going to develop an API, which is a way for people to program hooks into it to be able to utilize it outside of their direct service. Right now you either have to use their apps or you have to go to their site to send something into Pinterest. They do have a way in Pinterest to set up your board to be a feed source, so if you post something on your Pinterest, it will then be sent to Twitter. It’s like their own RSS feed. Keep in mind that with all of the social media platforms, people interact with them differently. People on Google Plus, for example, expect a more verbose post with more details than the people on Twitter because you are stuck on 140 characters.

Gary: On Buffer, can you say that you want a post to be made every Wednesday at 5pm?

Christian: Not exactly. You can change the times that you want things to be posted on each day. For example, you can choose to only post at 11am and 5pm on Fridays, so those will be the only slots available that day. You can’t schedule to have something post at 5pm on Wednesday though because this app is first come first serve on posting. Your post will fall into the first available time slot. I like to not have to think about my posts and hope that they post at the right time. With IFTTT and Buffer I know it’s going to happen. Think about what you are doing, how you do business, and what you want to accomplish. What is boring and redundant or something that you don’t want to do? What can you be doing better? There is a good chance that at least part of it can be done with one of these types of services. Hopefully the examples we have used will illustrate how you think about this. One reason I use automation is because I have a day job. I come home at night and record a podcast with my wife called “Days of our Lives” after we put our baby to bed. I don’t have a lot of extra time to be posting on each individual social media platform every day. I have it down to a science at this point.

Gary: Do you have a blog where you write about Automation?

Christian: I do, it is at prolificsuccess.com. I blog about these kinds of things and I have interesting use cases on there as well. I have a recipe for how I have set up instant idea capture and how to use voice recognition through your smart phone to keep it organized in Evernote. It will help keep things out of your head.

Gary: If someone wants to start out with Automation, what is the best way to start?

Christian: You can subscribe to my email list at prolificsuccess.com. If you want to get out there and just try it, don’t be afraid. Go to IFTTT.com and bufferapp.com and explore it. Dump the Lego bucket out on the floor and see what pieces there are for you to piece together. We are all busy so if you are looking at and considering automation, you probably need it.

Gary: Thanks for taking the time to come on and talk to me today!

If you have a question send it to me at GaryLeland@gmail.com

Find The Gary Leland Show on iTunes at GaryLeland.com/iTunes

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See everything I do at Lelands.org

Learning WooCommerce With Patrick Rauland

Gary Leland Show - Season One

Interview with Patrick Rauland from Woo Commerce

Gary Leland Show Episode 11

This week I interview Patrick Rauland of WooCommerce.com – Produced By Gary Leland

Gary: Patrick thank you for joining me, this is a topic I am very excited to talk about. What exactly is Woo Commerce?

Patrick: Woo Commerce is a free plug in on Word Press, which will turn your site into an e-commerce store. It has all of the shopping pages, the check out, the payment gateways like PayPal, and order management. It does everything you need for e-commerce.

Gary: Now that is free but a lot of there are purchases you would have to make to use all of the features.

Patrick: Right, we use the freemium model, which we love because it gives people the opportunity to try it out and see if they like it before they start to invest money in it. A lot of people are fine with that but if you want extra functionality we do have extra stuff. If you really want to take your payments with authorize.net instead of PayPal or simplify commerce, we have hundreds of extra add-ons, one of which will allow you to use authorize.net.

Gary: I think that I have one that requires you to have a PayPal Pro account instead of a regular PayPal account, I have one for US Mail shipping that figures out weight and dimensions, and one for sales tax. I added these things right away, so can you explain what comes with the basic package.

Patrick: I think that most people start with the basic model first. What they get with that is unlimited products, they can check out with PayPal or Simplify Commerce for credit cards, and we use flat rate shipping. The reason we have it is because it is the easiest way to get started. For example you charge $5 and then an additional $2 per item. It’s usually pretty simple math. I love USPS, but you have to have an exact weight and exact dimensions for all of your products otherwise it won’t work.

Gary: I had put 30 or 40 items on and we had not done that so we had to go weight each item and measure each one so it would be accurate.

Patrick: We like to start simple. If it is your first e-commerce site ever, having weight and dimensions being required would be a hindrance to using the software.

Gary: So you’re saying that keeping it more basic makes it easier to get into?

Patrick: Absolutely, we make it easy and basic on purpose.

Gary: After you get into it, then you can start to upgrade your store because you are more comfortable with it.

Patrick: Yes, exactly. There are close to 400,000 Woo Commerce sites and we don’t have nearly that many customers, so there are plenty of people who are getting by with the free version of the site.

Gary: When it comes to the plugins, not counting a credit card processor, what would be your top plugins?

Patrick: I will start with my favorite plugin, which is free and can be found on WordPress.org. It is WordPress Google Analytics Integration and a lot of people don’t realize they need this. All you do is put in your Google analytics id and you are good to go. It adds e-commerce tracking to your site. The reason why it is so good is because you can see how many people go to your site from Facebook for example, and can see how much those people spent. It helps you quantify your sources of revenue. So if 1000 people are visiting from Facebook but they only spend $50, that tells you something. If you never get into the data, that’s fine, but you may as well install the plug in just in case you do become a data person at a later date.

Gary: That sounds like a great plugin! Are there any others that are worth checking out?

Patrick: The next one is not great for everyone, but I love it. It’s also on WordPress and is called Pushover and is also free. It basically sends you a “push” like a text message whenever you sell something. I know it sounds silly, but for first time storeowners who may not be selling more than an item a day, that one product is very exciting and can be motivating to continue trying.

Gary: I like that because whether you are a new or old store it is something you like getting. I thought I already had one from you but it’s not Pushover.

Patrick: There is also the iOS app for the iPhone. It works similarly but I have Pushover for several things. If I make money on different stores then you can get pushes into one app. The Woo Commerce app will give you full details while the push will just say that you have an order worth $50.

Gary: That is something that is nice to do when you are out and about with time to kill. You can take a look at it right then and there and analyze it a little more closely.

Patrick: Technically the Pushover app is $5, but it is a one-time investment that makes it basically free.

Gary: That is very true! Your title is Product Manager. What does that mean and what do you do in that role?

Patrick: That is a good question! The role was created about a month ago and I am the person who plans where the product, Woo Commerce, is going. We have a Head of Product who used to do all of the Woo Commerce planning, but now I do the planning and report to him. My sole job is making sure the right extensions are being built and the right features are going to be at Woo Commerce’s core, and that we are catering to all of the right niches. Things like that.

Gary: Have you had a chance to look at my Fastpitch.TV store?

Patrick: I have it pulled up right now. Do you have questions on it?

Gary: From all of your experience and all of the stores you have seen, does this one have a sound layout or do you wonder what I am doing with this store?

Patrick: First of all, the Fastpitch.tv/category/softball-store is your store archive page, which lists all of your products. If I go into a specific one, I think it is okay. Your buy button is several scrolls down when there is a YouTube video on the page. We like to keep our buy buttons near the top.

Gary: That is a great point! So you would recommend that the information and video should be underneath my buy button instead of above it.

Patrick: Yes. I also like to have the product title, price, and short description just as you have it that is perfect. I like to have all of the extra information below the buy button so that people who want the information will keep scrolling to read and watch it, but your customers don’t have to go through it just to hit “buy”.

Gary: So always start out with your purchase and then put the information below it because they may have seen it already on YouTube or Facebook. Let me ask you another question. It took me quite a while to figure out the Woo Commerce set up because I am not a technical person who writes code regularly. Is there a resource that you provide if people do need help?

Patrick: There are a couple of resources. If you go to WordPress.tv, and look for my name Patrick Rauland, I have a two-hour workshop that was recorded. It goes through how to set up the Woo Commerce site step by step. The exact title is “Patrick Rauland: Creating your Online Store. Here is the thing with Woo Commerce. E-commerce can be incredibly complex. There are so many ways to make money, to optimize your site, and to make your products better. Just start simple: listen to a podcast, follow a blog, and you will slowly absorb all of the finer points.

Gary: Getting back to an earlier question, is there an example of a really great looking Woo Commerce store?

Patrick: Yes, there are a couple of those on our home page, woothemes.com/woocommerce. We have three case studies on there right now. One is a person who sells cool socks. That may sound silly, but the way he is selling socks is pretty and attractive and makes it more than just going to Kohl’s and buying socks.

Gary: Do you change these out?

Patrick: Yes we do. There is also another resource of Woo Commerce, which is ProsPress.com. The woman who writes the blog does a wonderful job of writing about Woo Commerce and having occasional case studies that show what you can do. There is one website that I am a customer of because I love it so much. It’s called Smiles for the People. What they do is sell toothbrushes but they are on subscription. Every three months they send you a new toothbrush, which is how often you should be changing out your toothbrush, but no one does that. So every three months they use Woo Commerce Subscriptions to bill you before they send it to you.

Gary: I’m glad you mentioned Woo Commerce Subscriptions, how does that work?

Patrick: This is actually one of the big selling points for Woo Commerce because I think that we have a better subscription than any other platform out there. We have had one person dedicated to this for two years straight. That is all he does is make subscriptions better. What it does is allows you to create a subscription product, like a magazine or shaving club, and it integrates with probably 20 different payment gateways which is a lot. It will bill people at the appropriate times and you just have to fulfill the order yourself.

Gary: My niche is fastpitch softball. Right now for the App store and the Android market I have a magazine that people subscribe to. It is $12.95 a year and they receive a copy of the magazine on their phone or tablet every month, Apple collects the money and keeps the subscriptions open. I have so many people who want to receive that who are not with Apple or Android. So you are saying that I could have people subscribe to it and send it to the people on my list every month.

Patrick: Right. For digital goods it should be done automatically.

Gary: That would work perfectly for that then because I have been trying to find a solution to that issue.

Patrick: Every version this guy releases gets better and better. It’s getting really cool.

Gary: Getting back to the other question: do you have a database or resource for help?

Patrick: If you are looking for help from people like Woo Commerce experts, I suggest going to woothemes.com/affiliated-woo-workers. That site is a listing of people who have shown us that they do really good work and you can reach out to them with any of your issues. I am a really big fan of Codeable because they will sometimes fire you. If you don’t write a good enough product description they will tell you why it was bad, close the request, and make you open a new one. They force you to be very detailed in what you do so you can get an honest quote. You would think that being fired is a bad thing, but it’s not because they tell you exactly what you’re missing and what you need to fix. The whole process is miserable so if you get all of that out of the way ahead of time, then you are good to go.

Gary: Are there any Woo Commerce tips you have for us that we have not covered here today?

Patrick: As I said before, I think the best thing to do is to start simple. If you are trying to start an online store, launch it and start going. You can start to grow as you get experience with Woo Commerce. You will start to find the right shipping formula for example. The longer you wait to launch the store, the more potential revenue you could be losing.

Gary: That is a lot of people’s problem is that they won’t just get started and learn as they go. I learned a lot of great information here today. I really appreciate you spending the time talking with me today and for taking a look at my site and giving the personal tip. Is there somewhere where people can ask specific questions?

Patrick: If you are a paying customer, we have our support portal where we can help you with any problems. We don’t offer this for the free version of Woo Commerce because that is 400,000 websites. We also have pre-sales which will answer your questions about a product and what it is supposed to do and support. We do have a 30 day money back guarantee if you buy some software and it doesn’t work we will give you your money back.

Links mentioned on this episode

http://wordpress.tv/2014/10/13/patrick-rauland-creating-your-online-store/

https://www.facebook.com/sacgroIT

If you have a question send it to me at GaryLeland@gmail.com

Find The Gary Leland Show on iTunes at GaryLeland.com/iTunes

Find The Gary Leland Show on Stitcher at GaryLeland.com/Stitcher

Find The Gary Leland Show on PocketCast at GaryLeland.com/PocketCast

Subscribe to the Gary Leland Show with RSS at GaryLeland.com/RSS

This content is provided with a Creative Commons Share-Alike License. Feel free to use this content, so long as you give credit to Gary Leland, of GaryLeland.com and link to http://garyleland.com

See everything I do at Lelands.org

Join my WPengine WordPress Hosting Affiliate Program Today!.

Talking Aweber With Lynette Young

Gary Leland Show - Season One

Lynette Young Interview
Gary Leland Show Episode 10

This week I interview Lynette Young of Aweber.com – Produced By Gary Leland

Gary: Lynette, I appreciate you joining me on another episode of The Gary Leland Show. Thanks for joining me. We go way back, back to the old days of podcasting!

Lynette: Absolutely, glad to be here! We are old school, what has it been 10 years since we all got started?

Gary: I think so. I started seeing people in Podertainment magazine writing articles about what they have learned in 10 years of podcasting. Now you work for Aweber. How is that going?

Lynette: I love it. I have been there for about 6 months and it’s a really good fit for me, which was kind of odd because a lot of people wouldn’t have thought that because I am everything social and content that it wouldn’t work for email. I work at a technical marketing company, which is exactly the right fit for me.

Gary: I thought it was an odd fit too when I heard. As you know I’m late in the game when it comes to my email list, but I have set it up with Aweber, which is why I brought you on. Tell us a little bit about what’s involved with this?

Lynette: Part of the story is why I think email works so well and why Aweber was such a good fit for me. I was using Aweber for about 8 years before I became an employee and team member there. For me, everything I have done online is to help businesses, whether you are a small micro business of one or a big corporation, learn how to connect better with potential clients online. I love small-medium businesses, it’s where my heart is, and it’s what I still am even though I get a paycheck from somewhere else. I think that everything that you do on social platforms like Facebook, MySpace back in the day, Twitter, etc., there are a ton of people out there, but not everyone is willing or able to purchase your product. The more you narrow it down, the closer they get to you, the more they get to know you, and that will divide them down into email. That is why I thought this was such a great fit for me because after you build those relationships and you get that subject matter expertise and people get to know you for what you are selling online, they always go to email from there.

Gary: When it comes to doing email, I am looking for a couple of tips. We know Aweber is the company I am going to recommend because that’s the company I am doing business with. I do want to say that their service is fantastic. I don’t think I have ever had this good of a service before, you will be treated great. I’m just saying this because it’s the truth. Now when it comes to email marketing, give us some guidelines. As an average person, how often would they want to send out an email? Is there a norm where you are giving them enough helpful information without overloading them?

Lynette: I like to ask them how often they want to hear from us. We call that cadence in the content marketing world; what repetition do you want to do, once a week, once a month, etc. You should be paying attention to that on social channels and your blogging. With email, ask people how often they want to hear from you and watch your open rate. If your emails are being opened less and less, you may not want to send as many emails. Aweber actually has plugins that allow you to poll people within your email list to find out that sort of information. I always like to remind people to not overextend themselves. If you say you want to send out an email a day and you can’t keep up that pace, people will notice and you will lose your relationship with those people. If you can’t commit to more than once a month than stick to that frequency. It may not be as often as you want it to be, but it is very important to be consistent.

Gary: I plan on starting once a week and going from there, I figured that would be an easy guideline. Lynette, you just mentioned the open rate, which is something that you can see with Aweber.

Lynette: It seems a little “big brother” but this is something you need to pay attention to. If you have people who consistently open your emails, then you would want to single them out because they are your most dedicated audience. That’s why I encourage you to use that information, see if they are clicking on links, sharing the information, and then reward them with extra or exclusive content.

Gary: What is considered to be a good open rate? What am I looking for as far as numbers? Let’s say I have 10,000 subscribers. How many should I be looking to get to open the email?

Lynette: There really is no industry standard with that. I would say anything over double-digit percentages is good. This is just what I have seen; Aweber has these stats online. In my opinion, anything over 10% is solid. It seems like you would want every single person to read every single email, but it doesn’t work that way, just like every single tweet is not seen by everyone who follows you. If you can consistently get double digit percentages to open your emails, then that is a great place to start. Expecting 50, 60, or even 100 percent of people to open your emails is difficult because everyone gets busy, your message may not resonate every single time. This does not mean they don’t want to hear from you, it just may not work out at that particular time. Consistency and always improving is what I believe to be the most important part. I have seen people with very low open rates, but they don’t get discouraged, they keep plugging away and as long as you are improving that’s what really matters.

Gary: Wow 10%, I wouldn’t have known that a number that low was really that high.

Lynette: I have seen industries at 30-40 percent, but it also depends on how close to the audience that person is. Things like deals and coupons and things that are time sensitive tend to do well. Things that are more personal in nature like a blog post will get varying open rates based upon how much time people have to read what you are sending. Every industry is different.

Gary: Do you read Chris Brogan’s email? Is it a good guideline for me to follow?

Lynette: Yes actually and I will tell you why. I would read his email even if I didn’t know him because the topics he covers are relevant to me. Even though I work at a company now, I am still an entrepreneur at heart. He starts his email as if he is writing to you. He does legitimately write to one person even though he is sending it to multiple people in an email list.

Gary: How does he do that?

Lynette: When you write an email, you don’t want to write it as if you are on a stage in front of 1000 people. You should write it as if you are sitting across the table from someone drinking a cup of coffee. If you think about it, if I send an email to you or you send one to me, you’re talking to me. That is what Chris’s email does; it feels like he is talking directly to me even though I know that it is sent to many other people. I feel a personal relationship with him when I read it and that is the strongest part of what he does.

Gary: It’s funny you mention the cup of coffee because in those emails he mentions that he is drinking a cup of tea or coffee.

Lynette: He does and he will tell you exactly what he is drinking and sometimes will give you link because people want to know. He is also visually framing that relationship. When you read that you think about Chris sitting at his kitchen table with a cup of coffee. Sometimes he even puts pictures of his mug in there and that is building personal rapport with the people he is emailing. He wants you to be part of his business process and part of his professional life. The other thing he does that I really love is he only has one call to action per email. He wants you to do 2 things: he wants to you to learn something and be inspired, which I call the expected outcome, and the call to action is only one link. He doesn’t offer you 16 million things to click on. He is really good at building that conversation with you and at the end of the email when you are comfortable with him he gives a link to the thing he wants you to do or buy.

Gary: He has a huge email list so he must be doing something correct!

Lynette: He has a huge brain and is definitely doing something right!

Gary: Now I have been working on building my list so that I can send out a newsletter. Should I have been sending the email from the beginning even though my list was really small?

Lynette: Your email list is like a cookie jar. If you stockpile them and never eat them, they are going to go bad. You can get cookies but you should use them from the beginning. Before I started at Aweber people would say that they wouldn’t start the email list until their blog was built out or until they have 100 fans on their Facebook page. Those are all good things, but I believe in the social marketing trifecta: social media, blogging, and email are your three horses in the race. You need all three to win. If you pull one or two out there is no way to win. Starting your list early is good. Even if you have 5 people you can send them emails, they can still go back to the archive for those early posts. It also helps sharpen your skills going forward so you are more comfortable with it. I think you should grow your list as you grow. Those first people will be the most loyal ones because they joined you in the beginning.

Gary: Ok so I did it wrong and it’s funny that it happened this way because it is completely the opposite of the way I do everything else and the way I tell people to do things. Let me ask you another question about double opt in. Double opt in is when someone signs up to be a part of your email list, then they get another email asking for them to confirm that they want to get your emails. Is that the only way you can do emails with Aweber?

Lynette: It’s not. If you are coming from a different service and have a list that you have been using, you can generally transfer the list over. Our customer service department is amazing, which is honestly one of the reasons why I wanted to work there. You can generally bring your list in, there are exceptions, but for the most part you can bring it over. Sometimes people will be on email service providers who don’t exactly play by the rules, so you will have a list that is spammier than you want it to be. We do have stoppers in place to make you have a good, clean list where people actually want to hear from you. Having a big list where no one does anything or buys anything is a waste in my opinion. The customer service team we have works really well for that. There are reasons for this and there are laws in place for this. The one we have in the United States is called CANSPAM and there is one in Canada that goes by the acronym of CASTLE. They are in place to prohibit people from spamming you although we all know it happens. The double opt in is in place just to help confirm that you did sign up for this email or newsletter, just in case someone else did it for you or something like that.

Gary: Good to know there is a reason for that. When people are emailing like this, what is your bounce rate?

Lynette: Bounce rate is basically when an email is not deliverable. So if their mailbox is full or their email has changed or something has happened, it is like a return to sender.

Gary: Does that hurt you? Does it hurt your standing with Aweber?

Lynette: Not necessarily because there is some magic that happens behind the curtain that we take care of. We tell you what the bounce rate is, but it is taken care of in the computer system. If an email address is invalid, the system will not send an email to them again.

Gary: Something else I did that I am not sure many people are aware of is that you can just store a list with Aweber for $5. I have a list from Podcast Pickle that has thousands of people on it and Aweber took a look at it. They are going to check it and make sure the addresses are still good before I start sending to my email list.

Lynette: I actually didn’t know about it until recently. People spend time and money driving people to their social media outlets, then to their blog, and then to email. I like to use plug ins or third party products. There is one called Heyo. They run contests on Facebook where they submit their email address to enter the contest and are told that they are now signed up to your email list, so you are going straight from Facebook to your email. You’re skipping over some of the steps. For Twitter, there is something called Twitter Cards. It’s not technical but you have to read into a little bit. You send a tweet and it embeds a little form where they can enter their email address and be added to your email list. There are more people on my social media sites than there are on my email list and blog. Use that big audience to your advantage.

Gary: So I shouldn’t be emailing saying to follow the link to sign up for the newsletter? I should be making it possible to sign up in the post?

Lynette: You can do both, but I like the social aspect better because it is much bigger. You should be getting to people any way you can, so some people you can send an email or you can post a link that goes to your sign in form and you can invite them to listen to your podcast or get your newsletter because it is of interest to them.

Gary: What tips can you give me before you go to help with my email efforts?

Lynette: First tip is to be consistent. Send those emails on the same day or days every week. The second tip is to pay attention to your statistics. Pay attention to what people are clicking on and give them more of what they want. The third tip is to get in touch with your audience any way you can because no everyone loves social media or understands it, so go out and reach your audience where they are comfortable. Tell them about your email right from there; don’t make them go to your blog to sign up, it’s too many clicks. The last tip I have is to be human in your emails. If there is nothing else that Chris’s email has shown us it’s that having an honest to goodness conversation with someone in email is probably the best way to build rapport and trust. When you think about it, Gary, the two things we have on us as modern people every day is our cellphone, which has both our text messaging and emails. Those are the two most intimate ways to get to someone. I know that I don’t want someone texting me all of the time, so if I give you my email and permission to email me, that’s about the closest relationship you can get to me digitally.

Gary: All of those are very good tips. I had not realized the personal conversation aspect of the email. That is probably the biggest tip I got out of this interview. What is your personal thought on the best time of day for your email to go out?

Lynette: That’s a tricky one! I won’t give a best time of day, but I have seen a couple of things. J Bear, who does Convince and Convert, has given this tip over and over again: he likes to send emails a couple of minutes before the hour or a couple of minutes after the hour during business hours. His thought is that when you go to a meeting, you get there a couple of minutes early and you fiddle on your phone to read your email. Right at the top of the hour, either 10 minutes before or 10 minutes after works best because people tend to be reading emails. I would also be mindful of time zones. You can find out where most of your list is located with Aweber, so use that to your advantage. Don’t send your emails at 4 am because people will not be reading them.

Gary: That might be the second best thing I learned today. People can visit you at Aweber.com? Is it easy to find the blog there so people can find all of the great information you are talking about?

Lynette: Aweber.com, yes. It is because we just redesigned the website and it looks fabulous with a big blog tab on the top of the page. Everything that is in there I am extremely proud of because we have an amazing team who is out to please and to give information to businesses to help them along.

Gary: If people want to know more about you they can go to lynetteradio.com?

Lynette: lynetteradio.com or lynetteyoung.com. Lynetteyoung.com is my professional site, or @lynetteradio on Twitter is also a good way to find me.

Gary: Lynette, I really appreciate you spending time with me today.

If you have a question send it to me at GaryLeland@gmail.com

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Optimizing Leadpages With Tim Paige

Gary Leland Show - Season One

Tim Paige Intereview
Gary Leland Show Episode 9

This week I interview Tim Paige of leadpages.net – Produced By Gary Leland

Gary: Today I have a great interview with Tim Paige of LeadPages.net, which is a great system to help you grow your email list so you can use that list to market your products. Tim, thanks for joining me today. I have a lot of questions about this, but let’s start with a little bit about Leadpages like the history and what it’s all about.

Tim: Thanks so much for having me on; it’s a real honor for me. Leadpages is software that takes what has been tested and proven in the world of marketing and does it for you. Everything we do is based on what is going to get your customers to take action, whether that is to opt in, register for a webinar, purchase your products, or whatever it is. We have opt in pages, sales pages, webinar registration pages, thank you pages, already set up. You can go in there, put in your information, a picture of your product, and much more and it will convert for you. We are always adding new things, for example this past year we created “Leadboxes” which is an opt in form that only appears when someone clicks a button or a link. We are a platform that allows people to do marketing without having to focus their whole lives on it.

Gary: I know there are basically three parts to Leadpages, is that correct? There is a sidebar thing, a box thing, and a delete page, is that correct?

Tim: The three main features you are talking about are Leadpages themselves, which are the templates for the webpages, Leadboxes, which are the opt in forms that only appear if someone clicks a box or link, and Leadlinks, which are links that you can send in an email and when someone clicks on it, it automatically get opted into another list or whatever.

Gary: What does it mean to automatically get opted in?

Tim: Typically if you were going to send an email to invite people to join a webinar, the link you send will take them to another page where they have to enter their email and register for the event. With Leadlinks, if you send them a link and they click on it, they are automatically registered just by clicking.

Gary: That’s really great for webinars!

Tim: It’s also great for affiliate partners or someone else who helps promote your product because they can send an email to their audience with your Leadlink. Then if people on their email list click the link, they are now also on your list automatically. Let’s say you are a product creator and you make a couple of different products in an industry and you get someone gets added to your list for some kind of a light up football. You have a new football that’s coming out that is a specialized kind of ball and you want to know who on your list would be interested in that. You can send your whole email list a link that they can click to get updates and learn more about this new ball.

Gary: The main thing it seems like to me is that Leadpages is the best for signing people up for a mailing list. Am I incorrect on that?

Tim: You are not incorrect. We are mostly known for our landing pages. For me, I am an avid user of the Leadboxes, it is my favorite thing that we have. Definitely we are best known for our pages. You mentioned that opting in is the main thing that people use Leadpages for and we have a narrative that has been around since the beginning and even before that. We were at a point in our business where we were focused on doubling our revenue, getting more sales and doubling revenue. The first way we looked at to do that was to double our traffic, which I think is usually the first thing that is done. There does come a point when you are SEO optimized like we were, we were doing tons of social media like Facebook ads and YouTube. For us, we came to the conclusion that it not the best way to go to double our revenue. The second thing we came up with was double the conversion rate of our sales page; double the conversion rate, double the sales, therefore double the revenue. When we create a sales page we have so much into it. We work with the copywriters; we work with the video producers, and all of those things. We don’t want to do that more than once every six months or so. Honestly looking at it, we couldn’t envision a way of doing that that would double our revenue. The third thing we looked at, which was where the magic happened, was the double the number of people on our website using our email list. The thought was that if everything else held steady like our conversion rates and the value of everyone on our email list, then if we doubled the conversion rate of our landing pages, we would double our revenue that way. The first month we did that, we doubled our revenue. The second month, we doubled our revenue from the first month, which means our revenue increased 4 times in 2 months. The third month we doubled our second month revenue and almost did it in the fourth month as well. What we found is that it was much easier to double the conversion rate on our landing pages instead of doubling the traffic or sales conversion rate. That is what inspired us to focus harder on more opt ins and in doing so it has allowed us to create these awesome tools that help with the generation of opt ins.

Gary: that’s a pretty smart way of looking at it. You’re doubling your list and if all of your metrics stay the same you double your business.

Tim: I think that more people are working on their lists and it’s really important to be doing that. If you don’t have an active list, you can start anywhere and start building that. It should be a focus of your business if you want to sell your product or whatever it is, then you need to build your list. It’s silly not to!

Gary: I can’t believe I have been online since 1996 with a retail store and I just started my list a year ago! I have everything covered, but have the worst list! I should probably have the biggest list of any retail softball store out there and I probably have the worst, which is what got me looking at Leadpages. Now Chris Brogan was on our first show. I was looking at his system of selling, not sure if it is Leadpages or not, and it had a lot of those “click here to buy” and highlighted buttons. I was giving him a hard time about it and he said that he thought the same thing at first, but they really work. The number of people who click on them went up drastically when he had buy buttons everywhere. That was very interesting because I had no concept of that. I noticed that a lot of your pages have that same progression. Is that the standard way of operating these?

Tim: The reality is that the more opportunities you give people to take an action; the more likely they are to do that. It’s interesting because we have found that you can’t take it too far when it comes to opt ins because the more opportunities we had for someone to opt in, the higher our conversion rate was. It can however hurt your perception in the marketplace if you have too many calls to action because it can make you look spammy or like you are out there to just take stuff. One way we have combatted that is by our featured Leadboxes. We have a podcast called “Conversion Cast” which can be found at conversioncast.com. If you go to the website, there are 19 opportunities to opt in by the time you get to the bottom of the second blog post. If that were a bunch of visible opt in forms, that would be the ugliest, spammiest website of all time. If you look at it now, it is beautifully designed, it doesn’t look like a site to just take your stuff, it has great images. The opt in forms are all hidden behind buttons, links, and images. The only way they would see those opt in forms is if they click that, meaning they were hoping to get whatever you were offering with their opt in. There are three reasons why we found this works really well. The first is that when someone comes to a website, they make an immediate determination whether that page is a giving page or a taking page. When they get to a website and the first thing they see is a form to fill out to opt in, they immediately see your page as a “taking page”. When you only give them the opt in form when they ask for it, you are seen as a “giving page”. The second reason is that the two-step opt in, meaning you have to click to get to the form, you are forcing them to make a decision. I get asked a lot what the first goal in business should be. My answer is to get people to make a decision, not to get people to buy or opt in. The reality is that 100% of people, who don’t make a decision about whether or not to opt in or register for a webinar, will not do that. Some percentage of the people who do make the decision to buy will actually do it. If you can make everyone in the world to make some decision about whether or not to take an action on your site, you could have the world’s worst conversion rate, but have the biggest mailing list or most amounts of sales because you made everyone make a decision.

Gary: I began in in home sales, selling stuff door to door. That same approach is used in in-home sales; get the saying yes to decisions. Once they say yes 10 times, at the end of the sale they are used to saying yes and it’s a lot easier!

Tim: I say that on almost every webinar. Its called behavioral inertia. If you can get someone to keep making a commitment, when you ask them to buy they are more likely to do that. It’s very powerful. People think that because the Internet is so relatively new, all of these marketing things we have to learn have to be new. In reality, human psychology does not change; it still works now, we just have to apply it to the new medium of the Internet.

Gary: I am a novice at Leadpages. I am looking for 19 hidden places on this page that are opt ins. Some of them are obvious to me. Are all of these, the review marketing materials, subscribe now, etc., going to the same place or do they go to different places?

Tim: Some are going to the same place and other are going other places. You can see in the header you will see “case studies”, that is a Leadbox that will go one place. Another is “review your marketing materials”; that will go to a different Leadbox.

Gary: So in this top one, this is a Leadbox, it is a whole page. I expected it to be more of a box.

Tim: Case Studies is a box. If you click on case studies it will just be a box. If you click on free webinar, that will take you to a landing page. If you have ever been to a website and have had something pop up after 10 seconds, we know them as annoying pop ups. We all use them, most marketers use them and that’s fine; but this is similar to that except for it won’t pop up until someone asks for it to appear. The person looking at the page made that happen by clicking on something. Its permission based marketing. I’m not giving you an opt-in form until you say that you want this one thing. All I do from there is say that you can have it if you enter your email in this box and submit it.

Gary: You’re giving them something to make them want to opt in. It made me think the other day that I need to find something to give them to be effective on this. I decided to give them the first chapter of a book that I am doing. Is that a good idea? Should I be giving them the whole book?

Tim: No, that’s a great place to start is the first chapter. I will tell you the most effective lead magnet we have ever had. A lead magnet is the thing you give away in exchange for people opting in. Some people call it an opt in bribe, but we call it a lead magnet. I like it better. The highest converting lead magnet we have ever seen was a one-page pdf that was a list of tools. For example, the landing page said that “a free report reveals the five dirt cheap tools I use to create my videos”, and then in parenthesis it said “including my $80 HD video camera”. We have found that the highest converting thing that you can give away that people will really want is a list of tools or resources, doesn’t have to be literal tools, but resources that will solve a problem. So a lot of your audience is product people, right? They sell a product?

Gary: Right, on this show, but a lot of the stuff I do is relating to my fastpitch business, which is selling softball sporting goods.

Tim: It’s some form of sales or selling product. People will say to me that they are selling a physical product, so there are no tools or resources to give my customers. Let’s say for example you sell a cool watch. Your list of tools and resources can be something along the lines of, “the only four tools you need to keep your jewelry looking great for the next 20 years”.

Gary: So it’s just making them information? I was kind of tunnel vision on this. It doesn’t have to be a lot of information; it just has to be useful information.

Tim: Right, yes-useful information. The fact is, the long information you mentioned like an e-book will not convert as well as that short information because people are so overwhelmed and on information overload. They don’t want something big like that; a list of tools are things that they can buy and solve their problems.

Gary: So like a list of the top 10 bats for fastpitch softball this year would be the right idea?

Tim: I would even encourage it to be the top 5 bats for fastpitch softball this year. It would only take about 20 to 25 minutes to create, you can get your designer to go out and make something, and you can be up and running in 30 to 40 minutes. It will convert really well.

Gary: They sign up for it and you send them a PDF right?

Tim: Yes. If you’re using Leadpages it will send the file automatically. If you’re not, then you can go to your email service provider, set up the welcome email, and make sure that email delivers the PDF.

Gary: You have changed my whole thought on how to go about doing this! I went ahead and bought your 2-year program because it was a great deal. If you’re going to use it, you probably won’t quit using it after you get it all figured out! What is the retention rate on this, I would think it is high on people who use it for over 6 months.

Tim: I’m not 100% sure but I know it’s pretty high. We don’t get a lot of people who leave. The people who usually leave the program are those who buy it and never actually use it. Obviously if you don’t use it, you won’t get any benefit from it. The people who go out and create a couple of pages tend to stick with it because it works.

Gary: You have a bunch of templates in there; I used one of them for all of my Facebook pages. It looks like a Facebook page when you click on my header on Facebook that says “free newsletter” it looks like you are going to another part of Facebook, but it is actually my Leadpages where they sign up for the newsletter. That is pretty cool, and there are many more templates to use. What are your top 3 templates for Leadpages?

Tim: Leadpages is the only landing page software to actually let you sort templates within our builder by conversion rate. If you ever want to know what is converting best at that moment, because it is real time, you can click the box for highest conversion rates and it will show you which ones are converting the best. For all of those people who think that they need these crazy, intense landing pages, the third highest converting template right now is called “basic squeeze page”. All it is is a page with a wooden background with an image of your giveaway and a little bit of copy. That is what converts the third best out of all of Leadpages.

Gary: You can actually take the Leadpages and put them in your site?

Tim: You can put them anywhere that your site is hosted. You can put them on WordPress, add them to Facebook, you can download the HTML and publish them wherever, so I get this question all of the time. Anywhere that you go you can publish them. Leadpages allows you to host the page on Leadpages and they will give you a link so you can send people to that link and never have to worry about putting them on your own site. We are on the Google server so it is absolutely lightning fast.

Gary: That’s pretty cool. So as far as putting it on your own site if you want it to look like it is a part of the site, it almost seems as though the Leadbox would be the way to do that.

Tim: Leadboxes is a pretty amazing feature. There is a rule of thumb we use to suggest this to people: if you have to send people from one page to another, use a Leadbox instead. Don’t use a landing page, just use a Leadbox. If you are going to send them from an email or a tweet, then send them to a landing page.

Gary: Okay that makes sense. So if they are already on my website and I want them to sign up for my newsletter, then a Leadbox would be the way to go.

Tim: It is a better approach. We have seen a 30% improvement in conversion rate when we send them to a Leadbox instead of a landing page.

Gary: That is good to know because it’s one of the first things I need to do. How about on the right hand side of pages. A lot of people have things on the right hand side. Aweber for example provides those templates.

Tim: Two things about that. I love Aweber, I use it in my own business, I do voice over work for podcasters. I use Aweber for that business. Their specialty is in the email list itself, in what happens once the email is collected, it’s not in generating leads. Those Aweber forms, to be blunt, are ugly and don’t convert very well. The second thing is that when you remove that sidebar opt in form and replace it with a Leadbox, that one thing alone on average has resulted in over a 30% improvement in conversion rate.

Gary: So you shouldn’t even have that on your page is what you’re saying.

Tim: Yes, get rid of it, replace it with a little image that says, “Free report reveals xyz” or “get the first chapter of my e-book free”. When people click that a Leadbox will appear.

Gary: That makes a lot of sense. When people use that Leadbox, if they are using Aweber, they still have to use the opt in on that email right?

Tim: Yes, they will still have the opt in regardless, but what Leadbox will be is the front-end part of it, it’s the sales person, it’s what gets people to take action. Aweber is the “customer service” in a sense, it’s the back end, and it controls what happens to that email and how you handle it.

Gary: Is there anything else you want to tell us about Leadpages or anything else we need to know.

Tim: I would just say, as a salesperson, just go try it. See if it works for you. Once you try it, you will see results. If you don’t, we do have a 30-day money back guarantee.

Gary: To be honest, I used that money back guarantee a year ago. I signed up for it, didn’t have time to mess with it, asked for my money back, and I had it back the next day. This year I got back in it again and went with the longer program to get myself committed because I do hear so much about this product. Thank you so much for coming on the show to tell us more about Leadpages, I really learned a lot.

If you have a question send it to me at GaryLeland@gmail.com

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Optimizing Youtube With Jeremy Vest

Gary Leland Show - Season One

Jeremy Vest Interview
Gary Leland Show Episode 8

This week I interview YouTube expert Jeremy Vest of Vidpow.com/softball – Produced By Gary Leland

Gary: Jeremy, thanks for joining me today. We will be talking a little YouTube and I can’t think of anyone who would be better to talk to about this subject than you. Could you please tell us something about your site Vidpow?

Jeremy: Sure, great to be here. The idea behind Vidpow is to teach the average marketing person, someone who has never really used YouTube before, the ins and outs of what happens after the camera starts rolling. What do you do then? How do you grow your subscribership? We have monthly online conferences and weekly online courses all taught by 50 of the best people in the world, superstar YouTubers or just huge people in online marketing. We have gathered them all and made a pretty neat thing. We have been in business a few months but we are one of the largest, if not the largest, online video training company.

Gary: Where Vidpow may be new, you are certainly not new. You have done this for quite a while. Could you please give a couple of examples of companies that you have or do work with on their YouTube campaigns?

Jeremy: Unfortunately I can’t say most of them because we are the back end of the channels, but I can say that I have worked with over 20 of the top brands in America. We helped Adobe launch Adobe Television with a company called xTrain in 2008; we also created the first videos for the books for dummies, and work with a lot of really large companies right now. Unfortunately I can’t really say the names, but if you think of the top 20 or 30 brands that is where the clients are.

Gary: I actually attended one of your conferences and it was pretty cool because the people running the conference used my site as an example and critiqued it for me so I learned a lot from that experience.

Jeremy: It is pretty neat. The cool thing about these online conferences is that they are online as well. Probably 80-90% of our viewers watch these conferences on their own time instead of in real time. The benefit of real time is that you literally get full access to these guys and if we are not able to answer your question right then and there, we are sure to get you an answer. You’re literally in the room with people with up to a couple of hundred million views and more. They didn’t get that success by being pretty; they do know what they are doing.

Gary: I thought you did a great job of making sure that all of the questions were answered. You guys had taken notes on them to make sure they got an answer. Now let’s move into talking about YouTube to help us sell physical product. How can we use YouTube to help us sell product?

Jeremy: First let’s talk about the whole philosophy of how video works into online marketing. If a picture is worth 1000 words than a video is worth 1 million words. Is there a better medium online to promote a product or service? Most of the time there really isn’t anything better. If you have a really clever info graphic or single graphic, obviously you can still capture people’s imagination and get them through the funnel to become a sale. The reality is, video is the most powerful online medium. If you think of that in terms of selling a physical product, how else are you going to show off the great benefits and features of your product? I will give you an example. I worked with a local company here in Dallas called Wasp Barcode and we got their channel up to 1.5 million views. They sell barcodes, barcode scanners, barcode printers, and we came to a point where on of the biggest lead sources was YouTube. A lot of the examples I use most of the time are these huge brands that I work with that get hundreds of millions of views, but the reality is everyone can benefit from YouTube, you just have to understand how to do it. Taking this old school style of company and making YouTube its biggest lead source in company history was not an accident or good luck. It was strategy and a comprehensive plan. It took a few years, but we got there. I think a lot of people look at YouTube as the last social platform, but did you know that YouTube has eclipsed Facebook in the US as the biggest social media platform? 18-36 year old males now watch YouTube more than they watch television – all of television. I still can barely grasp that statistic; I grew up in the television world. The world has changed and television will not continue to be the force that it has been over its years of existence. One of the things I like best about Gary and his channel with over 2 million views, is he does a good job but he doesn’t worry about quality too much, he just gets in there and does his thing. People have this notion that they need to have a $3,000 camera and all of this editing equipment, but the reality is that people procrastinate so much that Gary will get another million views before they even turn on that expensive camera! My suggestion is just to do stuff, test and learn from your mistakes and experiences.

Gary: I am definitely a big believer in that. I tell people all of the time that they just need to do it and to not wait.

Jeremy: Go to youtube.com/softball. Why is Gary successful? What is the trick behind that? The reality is, he is creating stuff that people want to see. The number one mistake that people make on YouTube is that they go create a video around their products or services. Let’s face it: unless if you are really attractive, famous, or funny, no one is going to care about you. Instead think about this: what if you made content that people were actually looking for and created it in a fashion that people like to watch. For example, if you have a spinning logo for the first 7-8 seconds of your video, people are going to leave because people do not like to wait. Get to the point quickly, make sure your eyes are well lit because people engage with your eyes, make sure people can hear your voice, and if you have something good to say that actually helps someone else they are going to stick around and maybe even subscribe to your channel. If you do that a couple of more hundred times and you will start to see results from that effort. Gary would you agree with that?

Gary: Some of my shows are quick to the point, like the shows where I am trying to sell something and I have a product review. My other shows, like the hour-long shows, have about 8 seconds that is nothing special; it’s just fan build up. If they are watching that show then they know what is coming, they know what to expect before their actual content begins. I do believe that it has a lot to do with your content to be honest. If you have an hour show and your fan base is looking to learn something that they know is free, then 8 seconds will not turn them off. It is like the price they pay to get free information.

Jeremy: You’re absolutely correct. Now for someone who has never heard of you before, that 8 seconds could be the difference in whether they stay to watch or not, but there are two schools of thought here. If you have subscribers, it is a different story. If you don’t have a lot of subscribers, then you do need to be quick and to the point. Maybe at the end of the video or somewhere in the middle you try to drive those non-subscribers to the hour-long show. There is a different mentality between Gary’s hour-long show and how to throw a softball. If you are specifically looking for something than you have to get to the point. How long your video should be depends on how long you can engage someone. The videos Gary has on specific items are around 90 seconds, which is a great length and his longer shows are a whole hour. Use YouTube analytics to figure out when people are turning off your video and that will help you find an appropriate length. Most people can’t engage over a couple of minutes, but if you are really funny, entertaining, informative, and engaging, then you can throw out the rules. If you are trying to get people interested in your product, make it interesting, make it short, and make it to the point.

Gary: In all of my hour-long shows, I am only on there for 90 seconds to a minute, and then I cut off to a seminar I recorded. The people who are going to watch these know that it is a seminar and will not be 5 minutes long. The reason why they come to watch is to hear an Olympian talk about how to hit the ball, so I am on the screen for about 90 seconds at the beginning and 30 seconds at the end thanking them and asking them to come back next week.

Jeremy: That’s brilliant. There is always a time and place to do long format videos which has been something that YouTube likes and there is a new ranking algorithm factor that shows that time watched is the number one ranking factor on YouTube. That’s why I’m telling everyone to start as long as you can engage someone because that’s the number one ranking algorithm. There is also a ranking for how many videos they watch from your channel and how many times they come as subscribers to your channel. The amount of videos they watch and the number of times they come to your channel every week or month does matter. Overall view duration of all of your videos is a big deal. The ranking algorithm does seem to favor how many times your channel is visited. Having one video a week is very important. There are 3 types of content you should do. The first is about your products and services, your CEO, etc. The second is how-to tips, which is what people will look for and you can answer people’s questions. The third type is the viral video. Now you have a better chance of being struck by lightning than creating a real viral video. Create something that may go viral, but if it doesn’t its not a big deal. For that reason, I would create 4 or 5 videos and put them out one at the time. As a small business owner on YouTube, I would shoot one video per week and try to legitimately help people instead of shouting my product information from the rooftops. Quite honestly this is a new school format where you don’t have to tell people to buy the product; in fact, people do not like getting sales pitched to death. If you show a cool product with a different use for it and show it against the competitions model of the product, people will be more inclined to buy. If you just tell people how cool it is and don’t visual show them how it can and does work or you are boring and lame, then rethink your approach. Try to be as entertaining as you can, get to the point quickly, do it often, find out what your audience wants from you, and be at the heart of it. If none of that works, there are a million strategies you can use. One I would use is Ad Words for video.

Gary: Let’s slow down. I know Ad Words very well and used it to the point where I was spending $10,000 a month on them. I don’t use them any longer and my business is up due to the YouTube and social media. At 10 cents per ad I wouldn’t have a problem going back into this. I didn’t realize that there was an Ad Words for video.

Jeremy: We are going to have courses on this on the site. There is an Ad Words for Video on Google Ad Words and there are a couple of different types. The first is called Pre-roll, which are those ads that have the “click after 5 seconds” option that everyone is trying to take as soon as the timer hits 0.

Gary: You know I actually watch those to help the person out. I think of it as my way to pay them for the free information they are providing me with.

Jeremy: You know the really cool thing about these 30-second clips is that if you don’t watch up to a certain point, people don’t have to pay you for that view. I have had campaigns where we have had 1 million impressions but only had to pay for 140,000 views.

Gary: So it would be good to have a 60 second one then and get all of my info I want out there?

Jeremy: It is actually a better idea to have a 27 second one and if they don’t watch it 100%, then you don’t have to pay. It’s 30 seconds or 100% to have to pay for the ad. So what I do is a 20 second one with a 5 second in slate and that in slate, which is the subscribe button and other videos they can go watch. What I would do for this specific one is to have an in slate that has a logo that they can’t click on, so they click off and go to another video before 30 seconds so you don’t have to pay at all.

Gary: That’s just in regular Ad Words?

Jeremy: Yes it is. And the other kind is called in display. If you use the search function on YouTube, you can display ads on the search results. On the actual videos of softball for example, you can show up on the right side as an ad. These perform better for me and are keyword centric, so if someone is looking for left handed batting techniques, you ads will come up.

Gary: Is there a way to advertise in ad words and have it appear in the regular search results on Google?

Jeremy: Yes, you can specify that on the actual ad words or YouTube’s ad words for video, you would cross breed those. I wouldn’t combine them though because they are two different platforms. I would have normal ads running on Google and your YouTube ads running on YouTube.

Gary: I was thinking of my 90 second clips on the Fastpitch.TV store where I talk about a product and tell them where to go buy it, If they were searching that item in the regular content you would have other names and my video because I am probably the only person with a video.

Jeremy: In the last few months, I don’t know why or what happened, but you may have heard of Google Authorship. You used to see a lot of video thumbnails on Google and we are not really seeing that anymore. Google kind of just took that out of the algorithm.

Gary: Well that is really great to know about the ad words because I had not messed with that at all. Great tip on the pre roll as well and putting the slate on the end because the chance of people making it to the end is slim.

Jeremy: In fact not only is it slim, but they are pre qualified. Now if they are going on your landing page, they are pre qualified because they want to see your products.

Gary: Do annotations work in pre rolls?

Jeremy: No, but the pre rolls work as a link to your website or landing page so you can click on it and go straight to the page.

Gary: Can you take a look at the annotations on my page and let me know what you think of those? I have them on my product review videos for the duration of the video. Should I have them up the whole time? Is the purchase annotation in the right place?

Jeremy: I have a couple of suggestions for you. First I would move the purchase annotation to the top left because we read left to right, top to bottom. The eyes naturally go that direction. Also, when you hover over the “click here to purchase” the background is black. I would change that to a red, orange, or yellow color because then the annotation will be shaded that color which will make it stand out more. The next thing I would do is not have the annotation up there for the duration of the video. Have it pop up for 10-15 seconds and then disappear for a few seconds. That way, it will catch the attention of your audience and hopefully create more business. The last thing I would change is what your annotation says. Using the word purchase is very intimidating and final. Instead, use phrases like “learn more”, or “save 20%”, or “free shipping”. If you make the annotation less intimidating it will also most likely get more clicks.

Gary: Well, that is some great information I will have to fix those right away.

Jeremy: I also am looking at your Meta description and you only have one line – purchase the zip board at URL. You need to give them a reason to look at your site. Maybe have some nice copy in the 5 lines before the show more button with the URL being the last thing they see before having to expand the section. You have to tell someone why they should click the link and go to your site.

Gary: I thought that being simple would get people to visit my site. Thanks for the extra tip there, it should make a big difference. Thanks for coming on the show today, there was a lot of great information given today. Be sure to visit Jeremy’s site vidpow.com and watch these courses and conferences.

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