Zach Lyons Wants You To Eat More Herring

Ed. Note: Nate has some fires to put out (figuratively) due to the literal fires in S. CA this week. Meaning two things: a) I'm the interviewer in this episode and b) my liner notes are even more misleading than usual. Also because of the unplanned swaperoo, I sound like I'm in a tin-can. In spite of that, I hope you enjoy this ep! I did. -Seth

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Alica Forneret Wants You To Eat Crow Pie

Ed. Note: My liner notes for this episode are terrible. Was too busy listening to type good notes. Whoops! Is this my favorite episode so far? Guess you'll have to listen to find out! -Seth

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The Individualization Obsession of Mike Giles

Nate speaks to Mike Giles of The Prospecting Wizard, who shares our obsession with injecting humanity into business. Pull up a chair and have a listen to find out where Mike has successfully added crazy levels of individualization to his marketing efforts and what he's working on next.

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Corey Singleton's Life, Universe, and Future of Marketing Agencies

Nate speaks with SBT's favorite Canadian, Corey Singleton. Listen to the episode to learn how Corey purchased and sold his first franchise before launching into a new phase of his life, what came after that, and what he believes is coming next.

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Bob's Perfect Business

After years in the investment industry, Bob Ellis created with a goal to bring the brick and mortar experience to eCommerce. 25+ years later, he hopped on the phone with SBT's own Nate Wright to share his story.

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Statistically, small business owners are already at a disadvantage. According to industry studies, only 50% of small businesses remain operational after 5 years. If you factor in the 2008 recession, the number may have to be adjusted downward. A recent study by Bank of America showed that 64% of small businesses are still trying to recover seven years after the recession. Thus, the challenge for small business owners to profit just to sustain operations is greater.

Here are 10 ideas small businesses should consider that lower costs without affecting productivity:

1) Outsource services. Is it coincidental that global outsourcing has not had a decline in revenues and market value since the new millennium; when events shook and transformed the global business landscape? No.  

Outsourcing services has come to the forefront of business agenda for one reason: It works. By taking advantage of economies of scale and comparative costs through third party arrangements, businesses can lower cost of business by an average of 40% without affecting productivity. In fact, outsourcing services also takes advantage of talent that is affordable and thereby improves productivity.

2) Go paperless. How much does your business allocate from gross income to cover office supplies or contingencies? 5%? 10%? Most businesses are oblivious to it but unmitigated use of paper can accumulate and cost your business more money than you previously thought of. Excessive use of paper is unsustainable and leads to more inefficiency.

When transmitting communication with your people use e-mail as the primary medium. Electronic mail is considered a legal document and you can even affix your signature on them. There are also default templates for standard business documents, contracts and invoices which you can find online.

3) Use technology. Another culprit in the monthly budget is unmitigated expenses in telecommunications. Call charges to landlines and mobile phones can accumulate and eat up a larger portion than you initially allocated for.

Take advantage of technology and communicate through any of the available platforms online. Skype is a very popular platform which allows you to make audio-video and conference calls to other Skype users. If you want to make calls to a landline, Skype charges are competitive and you can set limits by opening a credit line.

Mobile to mobile calls can be done for free simply by registering your employees with Viber. If you have a sales team, you can designate VOIP units to them and make arrangements for specially discounted unlimited calling plans with your carrier.

4) Focus on online marketing. Not only does online marketing strategies cost less money but these give you access to a global market of billions. Even if your business is regional, online marketing will still give you more advantages cost-wise and in terms of scale.

The first step of course is to build a website. Then you need to open social media accounts to create the traffic you will be tasked to drive into your website. The challenge online marketing presents to small business owners is that it requires time and expertise.

The solution is to adapt Cost Saving Idea #1: Outsource Services. Hire a Virtual Assistant with the experience and expertise to design and implement online marketing strategies.

5) Switch to mobile devices. The days of the desktop computer are numbered not only because 60% of Internet users prefer mobile devices but because PC’s consume 90% more power.

If you have a sales team, it would be more cost-efficient and effective to communicate with them via smart phones or tablets which virtually perform like PC’s.

6) Cut down rent. If there was a singular expense that drains businesses, it would be rent. If your rental expense is close to 20% of your gross income, you should look for ways to circumvent rent.

The best option would be to work from home. You will save more even if you calculate a rental component based on the size of your work area in the house in your income statement. Another option would be to sublet your current office space to another business.

7) Lease equipment. There are companies that offer leasing services for computers and other office equipment. This is particularly valuable for technology because it saves you the need to have to upgrade them every few years. Computers for example, have to be continually updated and upgraded at least every two (2) years. These assets are fully depreciated in a year’s time. Leasing is also convenient because you don’t have to spend for its maintenance; conditions apply however, and it can be replaced by another unit if it breaks down

8) Request an advance. Most business owners hesitate to request for an advance payment or deposit from the client. You should view a business arrangement like a strategic partnership where there are shared interests. As the service provider, you are tasked and obligated to render services or deliver products that are in good condition. As the client, he or she is obligated to pay you for your products and services. Especially when you render a service, costs have to be covered even before you commence operations. Most clients understand that and are more than willing to oblige. Receiving an advanced payment or deposit will improve your cash flow.

9) Request for volume discounts. If you are a retailer, you can request for volume discounts from your supplier and receive a good-sized discount. Just be careful not to overstock on inventory. The same goes for subscribers of certain services. There are phone service carriers that offer significant discounts on calling rates depending on the guaranteed volume of calls made per month. 

10) Consider bundled services. There are service providers and carriers that offer business packages with Internet connection, PC, fax machine, cable TV and landline at a highly discounted bundled price. You could avail of these, save good money every month and not have to worry about maintaining equipment and depreciating assets.  

Despite the need to streamline operations, small business owners have to remain focused on the primary task at hand: Generate Revenue. You should only cut costs to a point where it will not compromise the quality of goods and services. Small business owners must be cautious in identifying which cost items to reduce and be purposeful in developing strategies that improve efficiency.

583px-Bird_on_a_bar_(2913031978)Using WordPress to build a website is a great decision. As many regular readers of this blog should know, there are many advantages to using the old blogging standard. One of those is a relatively new concept called Twitter Remarketing. Its ability to connect your Twitter account to your overall online marketing goals can not be ignored.

The new Twitter Remarketing plugin is all part of Twitter’s larger goal of becoming a profitable company. As every social media giant has shown, helping their advertisers get a better cost per acquisition (CPA) is the surest way to a profit. You, as someone with a WordPress website to promote, can benefit from this.

Twitter Remarketing works by bringing three powerful online tools together:

  1. WordPress websites
  2. Twitter Ad Campaigns
  3. Google Tag Managers

Are three of the most powerful online companies working together enough to get your attention? Read on if so!

What can you actually do with Twitter Remarketing?

To start, Twitter Remarketing creates a link between a Twitter Ad Campaign and your WordPress website. At the core of it, you’re recording who visits your WordPress website via a Google tag, then using this data in your Twitter Ad Campaigns. How it uses this data is by displaying ads to those who visited your website more frequently during your Twitter Ad Campaign.

The thinking behind this is that instead of showing an ad to everyone who is remotely related to a loose ‘target demographic,’ you can appeal to specific Twitter users who are already interested in your website. The extra push provided by remarketing to these people can drive them back to your website for that second or third look so that they finally click ‘Buy.’

For an even more advanced user, you can use this technique for specific pages within the website, not just the website as a whole. For instance, say you’re having a sale on an item that’s being promoted with a promoted Tweet campaign. If you had set up a remarketing tag on the specific page for the item right from the start you could target those who had already visited that page. This will bring them back and capture those who weren’t quite ready to buy at the higher price point.

To do this, follow the steps exactly as below for each new webpage. The difference will be in Part 1, step 4.  You obviously won’t be choosing the pop down menu item for “Create Your First Website Tag,” and you’ll want to give it a new name in Part 1, step 5, and Part 3, step 2.

Keep in mind that this can not be your only Twitter marketing technique. This will be a smaller part of a larger Twitter follower growth campaign. It can’t be your whole plan!

The steps to install Twitter Remarketing on a WordPress website

Most of the regular readers of this blog won’t have too many problems following these steps. All you have to do is follow the correct order, there’s no alteration to code or anything complicated. Give it a read through once before starting and you should be fine!

Part 1: Start on your Twitter business account

  1. From your Twitter account, click on the Settings option in the top right of the page. It is your profile photo.
  2. Choose “Twitter Ads” from the menu that comes down. Choosing this takes you to the Twitter Ads dashboard for that account.
  3. Select the “Conversion Tracking” option from the top toolbar.
  4. Choose the “Create Your First Website Tag” from the window that opens.
  5. Name your Twitter Remarketing tag. Make it easy to remember by keeping it relevant to the overall goal of the campaign.
  6. Choose “Website visits” as the conversion you want to track.
  7. “Create a Tailored Audience for Remarketing Purposes” is the next option from the menu.
  8. The last step is to click the “Create Tag” button. This creates your Twitter Remarketing tag, it pops up in a box. Copy and paste this into another document for safe-keeping.

Part 2: Go to your Google Tag Manager account

All that you need here is your assigned website ID. Create an account if you don’t already have one, it’s a simple process. Take this assigned website ID and paste it into the document with the Twitter Remarketing tag in it. Label them both.

Part 3: Link everything in your WordPress dashboard

  1. From your WordPress editing dashboard, click on “New” on the top bar. Choose “Tag” from the menu.
  2. Choose a name for the generated tag.
  3. “Custom HTML tag” is the type of tag you want to choose from the drop-down menu.
  4. Now copy and paste the Twitter Remarketing tag from the backup document into the field.
  5. From the Plugins area of your dashboard, select “Add New.”
  6. Put “Google Tag Manager” into the search field and select it when it appears.
  7. Once you have installed the plugin, use the website ID that you got from your Google Tag Manager account above.

If you followed along perfectly you’ll be all done! Now repeat the steps above if you want to do specific pages for future campaigns as I was saying earlier.

Are certain Twitter Ads better for Twitter Remarketing?

You will ultimately have to base this on the needs of your particular marketing campaign. My advice on which Twitter Ad Campaigns you’ll want to consider are:

  1. Twitter Cards: These ads will gather email addresses for your email marketing. This can help you cross your Twitter Remarketing over with another important online form of advertising. The more connections you make with potential customers across digital platforms, the more chances you have of reaching them for that sale.
  2. Twitter Promoted Tweets: You’ll have more flexibility with these in comparison to Twitter Cards. You won’t get the email address data though. Promoted tweets can help promote nearly anything else that you want to push out.
  3. Twitter App Cards: Anyone with an app to promote would be a fool to ignore App Cards. Twitter Remarketing via an App Card can is another chance to make sure everyone who has visited your website also downloads your app. This allows you to gain exclusive levels of their attention, like the new adidas sneaker booking app.

Each one of these will be sure to give you a more targeted and efficient Twitter Ad Campaign. Your results will vary depending on which you choose, but you’re sure to have a better CPA than if you had never used Twitter Remarketing at all.


What is off page SEO?

Effective SEO strategy involves more than having a website with all the right things. It also requires making efforts elsewhere on the internet. The major search engines are programmed to think that the more other sites link back to your site, the better your content is. There are things you can do off-site to get the right type of notice and acknowledgement from the right places.

Is social media important for off page SEO?

Yes. But a company doesn’t need to post to social media outlets a certain numbers of time a day to reap SEO benefits from social media. What’s the minimum for social media engagement for off page SEO? You must have a business page or account on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google+ for Business, as well as a professional personal page on LinkedIn. There’s a good chance if you’re on LinkedIn you have a professional personal page but not a business page. Get one and make sure all your pages are accurate and optimized. Do all of your pages have the exact same business info? Make sure they do and make sure it matches exactly what’s in Google My Business. Yes, you must be listed with Google My Business. Yes, it used to be Google Places. If you’re a social media fan and have the time to invest there are more ways to use these and other accounts to further improve your off page SEO. Pinterest has really gained business traction and is great for the visual businesses like photographers, interior decorators, etc.

DO NOT IGNORE Bing and Yahoo!

Along with creating a business listing and optimizing it on Google+ (aka Google Places) you MUST also do it on Yahoo Local! and Bing Local. As a matter of fact Google expects to find your listing there!

Are online directories a waste of time?

No! Not only do they create more of the all important high quality backlinks, they also let Google see you all over the internet, which it really likes. As a matter of fact if your business isn’t on a ton of directories your off page SEO will take a hit. Through manual creation and data aggregators your business can get into 400+ directories! On the flip side, the majority of businesses have misinformation about them on the internet and that can harm your search result standing. Never assume your info is not part of a particular directory or that the info about you is accurate.

How do I make the most of online directories?

Start by establishing the social media pages listed above if you haven’t. Next, check the main directories like SuperPages, MerchantCircle, Yelp, Manta, HotFrog and CityGrid (CitySearch), etc. Make sure your listings are accurate and identical. Then do the same with secondary and tertiary directories like JudysBook, Yellowbot, Yellowee, and MyHuckleberry. If your city has a hyperlocal directory, make sure you’re listed and listed accurately.

When searching for your listings, start with business name, then phone number. Don’t forget to check for any old phone numbers or business names. Make sure the info matches your Google My Business listing (aka Google Places). Correct any errors you find. If you don’t find a listing for your business then create one.

Optimize the directory listing by adding photos, video(s), payment types accepted, hours, description, email, website address, services, brands, categories, etc. By filling out your directory listing completely you can end up ranking higher within the local directory.

By the way, when you create these directory listings, use a “trash” email account. You will receive a bunch of garbage emails afterwards. Also use the same password for every account. If your business ever moves then you will need to go back to every listing and make the appropriate changes. If you don’t with time your off page SEO will most definitely suffer!

Also, expect directories to call your business. Do verify the business information, but as soon as they try to upsell you, shut them off by telling them you are sticking with the free listing and to take you off their solicitation list!

So, why start with making sure you have the right social media pages? When creating directory listings, or updating them, you’ll be asked where people can find you on social media. Be sure to include your social media business page links.

What is guest blogging and how can I use it to draw traffic to my website?

Many blogs welcome guest posts from industry experts, for single gigs here and there or as ongoing contributors. Are you familiar with the popular blogs of your industry? Your target audience is already hanging out there. You can reach out to them through people they already listen to, and bring in your audience. It’s part of the beauty of guest blogging. If everyone has worthwhile content, everyone wins. Make sure to include links back to your site in the text of your post or in the author bio.

Should I ask satisfied customers for reviews?

Why not? A testimonials page on your website is great to let prospects know you’re good at what you do. Make sure to try and have a keyword phrase within the review and the person’s city and state at the end of the review. This can help with local search results.

Reviews elsewhere on the internet are also great for your off-site SEO. Customers or clients should post their review in only one place. G+ is great for those with gmail accounts. Be very careful though when asking for reviews to be posted on a review site. Considering the industry you are in too many reviews and or too many reviews in a short time frame tells the sites like Google and Yelp that you “solicited” the review. If they get a whiff of that then those reviews will disappear!

How will I know if my SEO efforts are working?

An effective local SEO campaign will yield more phone calls and foot traffic. We highly encourage you and your staff to ask every new visitor or caller how they heard of you. For almost all service oriented local businesses just keeping track of how new customers discovered your business will provide all the confirmation needed.

You can also look for an increase in visits to your website and increased engagement with your content. Are people spending time on pages they land on, or bouncing? Do they click links? SEO isn’t just about getting people to your website, it’s about getting people there who will find it useful, informative and contact the business.

Off page SEO is only part of the local SEO program and strategy. There is also on page SEO. When both of them are properly created and maintained it can make for a powerful result. If only one of two is optimized, then the local SEO results will be weak. As Helen Keller said “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much”.




Here's the first of our new "Uncensored Small Biz" video series, with small biz owners in mind. This video covers the three attributes an influencer has. To learn more about how to approach influencers and build your reach, check out our series of four blogs specifically related to influencer outreach in the links below. 

Read more about finding influencers on our blog (series of 4 posts):
Human Interaction in a Digital World
Finding Influencers
Making Contact

Pinterest is one of those social media platforms that many people struggle with using as a marketing avenue at first. It differs significantly from the more familiar Facebook, and looks nothing like the often used Twitter.

I’m going to start by giving you the basic tools for success on Pinterest as a marketing platform, and then build up from there to more advanced ideas. If you can’t market on Pinterest by the end of this article, you may want to take a look at whether or not you’re the right person for the job.

The basics of what Pinterest is, and how to start an account

Interaction on Pinterest takes place on a virtual bulletin board. Think of it as a Facebook wall that doesn’t scroll down, but expands. Users ‘pin’ items they like to their Pinterest boards, and can have multiple boards at once sorted by topic.

The successful businesses that you’ll find on Pinterest right now are using it to:

There are two ways to start a Pinterest business account:

You wind up with the same thing in the end either way. Converting an existing account, which already has content and followers, is obviously going to give you the biggest boost. Once you have your account going, be sure to use Pinterest’s dashboard to start the learning process about your audience.

The best content to share on Pinterest

First, you need to establish what it is you want to do with your Pinterest account as a whole, with each board, and with each pin. The three basic goals of any social media marketing campaign are:

  1. Push visitors to your website
  2. Expand your reach on the platform via shares
  3. Increase brand awareness

Each goal is met via different means. Therefore the best content to share to meet those goals will also have to change.

To take the numbering from above, the basic way to accomplish each of these goals is by:

  1. Including a call to action to visit your website in the pin description, along with the link
  2. Including a call to action to share your content in the pin description, as well as being sure to share content that will prompt people to do this
  3. Using company logos on all photos shared, and sharing images of your product or service.

I’m not a big fan of telling without showing. Here an actual examples from Pinterest for each of the three points above.

1: Pushing visitors to your website - Nike Women

Yes, I know we’re talking about small business and solopreneurs, but on social media everyone is level. You can do exactly what Nike have done with this pin by having a simple call to action; “Get a boot, a wrap and a ribbon in the Nike Studio Mid Pack.” The link is the “Found at” part. Click it and you’ll go right to the product page to purchase.

2: Expanding your reach - CarbSwitch

CarbSwitch is a niche website for those looking to lower thier carb intake, as well as those looking to lower their gluten intake. They simply say “Please repin” at the end of their description for this pin. Over 360 repins happened, putting them right into the boards of relevant users. All it took was two extra words.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that this is all you have to say. Pinterest users know when they’re being scammed. Write an accurate or insightful description along with your pin.

3: Increasing brand awareness - GE

Take a look at nearly any photo shared on GE’s boards. All of them, including the above pin, feature the GE logo. They also frequently share photos of their products - and they have some pretty exciting products! This is all done in the name of brand building and awareness.

Use Pinterest as a link building sales funnel

Each Pinterest pin has 500 characters available for you to describe the image, and insert a link or two. Having a link plan from the top down can help you build links not only in the SERPs, but in the minds of you fans.

To start from the top and work down, use your keywords in:

As an example, a brand which is selling the new Nike Air Jordan 7 retro in the ‘Hare Jordan’ colorway (available in May and I’m so anticipating it) can:

You can see how each step down towards the product page includes keywords. You need to build a sales funnel like this in order to truly use Pinterest for your business.

Using Pinterest for small business promotion isn’t complicated

From the biggest mega-corporations, to the crafters with homemade scarves, Pinterest can be a powerful tool when used correctly. Be sure to establish goals for each board and pin, share appropriate content, and create sales funnels of keywords that lead naturally from Pinterest to your a sales page on your website.

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