Aside from the simple abundance we normally experience on a hike, some days can be particularly special. Like the time we came face-to-face with a mule deer buck on the path just in front of us. It was as surprised by us as we were of him! As our brains processed his closeness and his majesty, he turned and disappeared into the trees. Much like what happens when observing a shooting star, we see it, then we don’t. We fix our eyes at the place it once appeared hoping to see it again. For that one brief moment, it was pure gratitude for our eyes.
How do you plan to build your brand and grow your business? The answer is at your fingertips! If your plan includes positioning yourself as an expert in your field—use your blog. If it includes improving your search engine ranking—use your blog. If it includes increasing traffic to your website—use your blog. If it includes engaging your readers with free gifts or special member-only offers—you get the idea—use your blog! Your blog offers you a platform and opportunity to do all of the above because it is a your narrative, your “brand.” The wisdom you share positions you as an expert in your field while it improves your search engine ranking because you are adding content. Compelling content drives traffic to your website to learn more. And free gifts and special offers provide that something extra to increase reader engagement. Following are 4 best practices to keep in mind [...]
“For Those Who Don't Know Jack” is a painting that finds its roots in vulnerability. The White Tailed Jackrabbit (which is actually a hare) changes color each year from brown in summer to white in winter. While this greatly improves survival chances in summer and winter—the periods when the change is complete—the time of transition is one of nervousness and caution with the hare constantly on the move. There is no safe place because the transition means the loss of protective coloring. There is no where to hide and danger abounds. Sometime, life feels this way. We find ourselves between places, not quite here but not quite there either. Staying focused and alert allows us to celebrate the transitions life brings and find enjoyment and inspiration on the journey.
Did you know that good Page Titles, Title Tags and Meta Descriptions are SEO components that advertise your business online? And did you know that your website has them all—even if you don’t give them a single thought or put any effort into them? The passive approach—using generic page names and title tags, and letting the search engines write meta descriptions. The low-effort, high-impact approach that will improve click through rates to your website—creative page names, optimal title tags, and meta descriptions written with your customers and clients in mind. Page Names We’ll start at the beginning with page names. Instead of having an “About” page, consider “About _____” (fill in the blank with your name or your business name). Or “Meet the Experts.” Or “Our Team.” Rather than a “Services” page, try something more descriptive like “Direct Sales Tips,” or “Work With Me.” Consider using the Google Keyword [...]
Are you looking for an easy place to get started with SEO? Search no more, Image Names and Alt Tags are it. Both image names and alt tags are underused SEO tools. They provide web accessibility to the visually impaired and they also improve search engine rankings for your website. This is because alt tags provide better image/context/descriptions to search engine crawlers and helps them to index the image properly. The good news is that the effort you put forth for the original intent: web accessibility for the visually impaired, is also good SEO practice helping search engines. To explore this area, I’ll use the image for the post. If I don’t change the name of the image file before I upload it (which is what most of us do, most of the time) and assign an alt tag, it will be “seen” as the number assigned it by [...]
You’re at a networking event and you’ve been asked about your business. You share what you do and who you do it for. Your words are impressive! You’ve created intrigue and a desire to know more, so you are asked for your business card. When you hand it to them, one of three things will happen. #1: It matches the eloquence of what you just said about your business. The feeling of connection grows and they move farther down the road to either becoming a client or a referral partner. This is the good beginning you are after. #2: The business card you hand them provides the necessary contact information, but it could belong to anyone and any business. It’s functional, but nothing more. It doesn’t do anything to move things forward. #3: The business card you hand them erodes the feeling of connection to you and your business. [...]
The inspiration for this painting happened on a camping trip. We had enjoyed a day hiking and were relaxing around the campfire at the base of Guanella Pass, at the Geneva Creek Campground. The weather forecast had been good for the weekend, but anyone who lives in Colorado will tell you that the weather in the mountains is unpredictable and can turn on you. Sure enough, just as the sun was setting, the wind came up and the thunder began to sound in the distance. But it didn’t stay in the distance for long. As lightening began to streak across the western sky, our dog Mica’s extreme distress reflected our own unease. We knew it was time to drown the fire, pack our gear and surrendered the night to the storm.
Welcome to 2020! Now that the new year has officially started, it’s time to execute the plans you’ve made to promote your business. Networking is key for new businesses. I’ve written other blogs on networking (links are below) and as I’ve learned more, I’ve found 3 top tips that have worked for me. #1: Focus on Building Relationships Some people love networking, some people would prefer to have a root canal. For these people, networking is much easier and more enjoyable when you focus on building relationships. Why? Because it takes the pressure off. You can approach anyone with a smile. You can rely on an ice breaker statement because you are focusing on the person, not on honing in on a potential client. (A link that lists some of my favorite ice breakers is shared below.) You can delight in the reality that even if the person you [...]
Telling someone that they’ve gone down a “bunny trail” is a kind-hearted way to let them know they’ve gotten off track with a story they are telling. This is what we were trying to tell life the year this painting came to be. Everything felt chaotic, especially with family and work issues. We yearned for a break, a time to hit the open road and drive. But that was not to be. Instead, Tom found peace in painting about our yearning and I found peace as I watched the painting appear from a blank canvas. When he told me the title, I laughed in delight. It was our private joke about a year we were glad had drawn to a close, thankful we had survived the lessons it taught us.
My last blog introduced how to use a survey to refine your mission and messaging. We’ll now take a closer look at how that works. The survey I conducted early in my business included 4 questions centered around how the participants handled their business presentation (logo, business card and website) when they first started. Business owners in this specific and early stage of business are the businesses I seek to serve. Following are the 4 questions I asked each participant. (Click here to download “Reap the Reward of Research/How to use a simple & short survey to refine the mission and messaging of your business” which outlines the complete survey process.) Did you hire someone or do it yourself? What was the biggest challenge or stressor (logo, business card or website)? What was your biggest fear about using the approach you used? If you could solve that problem and [...]