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Welcome to The Social Forge brought to you by SocialMediaWright Inc. Our podcast will publish every Thursday morning and will typically run between 30-45 minutes talking about things related to business, website development and social media marketing to help entrepreneurs grow their business.

The SocialMediaWright website has a collection of between 100-200 inspiring quotes if you need some daily motivation.

Below you will find links to various locations where you can download our podcast. If you like it, please subscribe to it.

Apr 25, 2019

If you have been listening to our podcasts we like to start each episode with an inspiring quote from an entrepreneur or thought leader from around the world.

This Weeks Inspiring Quote is attributed to Elizabeth Gilbert who said: “Stop wearing your wishbone, where your backbone ought to be.”

If this is your first time joining us on The Social Forge and you are looking for some inspiration, you can go to the SocialMediaWright website, we will have a link in the show notes and look for the menu button marked inspiration.

We have collected between 100-200 quotes from business leaders and entrepreneurs in a great graphic image that you can download or share on social media.

We also publish a new quote every morning at 7 AM on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

 

Topics This Week:

  • In our Business Section: Office Space
  • In our Website Development Section: Images
  • In our Social Media Marketing: YouTube for Business

Business Section

  • one of the first things you need to think about when starting a business is where will your business operate
  • if you are planning on opening a retail location or a restaurant where a physical address is required to sell your wares or your food and beverages this is paramount to getting your business off the ground
  • the old expression location, location, location rings true as you need to look at facilities that meet your needs, are affordable and will generate sufficient traffic that will hopefully lead to sales.
  • You also need to assess what is around you and amenities like parking that may be a necessity to the success of your business
  • if you are a business that provides a service like a consulting practice, or design practice or similar type industries where you don’t offer an opportunity for people to walk in to purchase your products a home office may be an excellent starting point for you
  • Some of our biggest companies can trace their roots to starting in a garage so there is nothing wrong with using a home office.
  • things you may want to think about for your home office, is do you have the space to support your business operations, where do you plan on meeting clients, at their location, at a mutual location like a coffee shop or will you have them over to your home
  • do you have a team of staff that will need to work out of your home
  • do you have any concerns about representing your business out of your home, some people do and some people don’t and that is something that you will need to think about
  • you have heard the old expression that perception is reality, is that something that concerns you? would you be just as inclined to hire an attorney who worked out of their car as you would in hiring an attorney that works out of an office tower, just something to think about?
  • if you are planning a home office and want some ideas or are looking to make improvements in your current home office you can check out the Pinterest board Home Offices for SocialMediaWright. We have over 650 pins related to home offices and home office organization.
  • you would be surprised what some people can do with bull clips or have you considered using lego brings to organize things, some people have
  • we have pins of large home offices, small home offices, home offices under the stairs and home offices found in closets, so if you are looking for inspiration check that out.
  • the other end of the spectrum is renting a full-size office suite close to amenities but your annual monthly lease cost could be several thousands of dollars per month, which for a start-up could be a heavy financial burden to bear
  • especially if the office may not be used to full capacity for some time, as it can take a while to secure a client base
  • for a long time these were the two extremes either work from home or rent office space on a yearly basis
  • now, fortunately, there is a third option which has been growing in popularity over the past several years that is called co-working
  • so if you are not familiar with the idea, think of a hotel. A hotel room provides you with a place to sleep, to work, to relax, to use a shower and you can rent it for the day, a week, a month and some people have actually lived out of a hotel room
  • Co-working is kind of similar but for a work environment
  • With Co-working, you can rent a desk by the day or by the week. You can have a different desk or a dedicated desk and many co-working environments also offer offices to rent varying the prices based on square footage and whether the office comes with a window.
  • Most Co-working environments offer meeting rooms that can be rented by the hour and offer a host of amenities including photocopying, beverages and a place to relax.
  • There are a number of major organizations in the co-working space and a number of independents so if this is something that you are interested in you can look for co-working environments in your city or town, look at the prices and take a tour
  • they will be more expensive than your home office but far less expensive then renting office facilities on an annual basis
  • the locations also provide a professional appearance which depending on the services that you are offering could be a reason to think about them, remember that perception thing.
  • on a previous episode, we talked about Local SEO and I really believe it will become even more important as more small businesses start to utilize it.
  • we are working on our own Local SEO Guide and Checklists called Meet Your Community and one of the things you will find with Google My Business when it comes to your address, is they want a location where people can come and meet you, which is one of the reasons they likely discourage the use of a PO Box.
  • if you plan on taking advantage of Local SEO and you weren’t comfortable listing a home address, a co-working environment may be something you want to think about.
  • I’ve worked in co-working environments and we are shopping for one currently for SocialMediaWright. Beyond the office spaces they provide, many organizations in the co-working space have networking events to help your business grow, so that’s something else to think about.

 

Website Development

  • you have heard the expression that a picture is worth a 1,000 words
  • most websites that I can think of are made of three types of elements: 1) text 2) pictures and 3) videos
  • last week we talked about mobile platforms for your website and how speed is an important thing in the mobile user experience
  • one of the things that you can do to help increase the speed of your website is looking at your images
  • images can sometimes be very large in size when you download them from the web. If your website is only going to display an image at 1200 pixels wide and your image is 5000 pixels wide it won’t have a problem being displayed but the image itself is bigger than it needs to be which can cause the loading of the image to slow down your website
  • things you may want to consider when developing your website is determining the maximum size for images to be displayed in the theme that you are working with and reduce the image size to correspond to that size to reduce the file size.
  • if you are using a wordpress.org platform, look at plugins that optimize your images when they are uploaded to your media folder in WordPress.
  • images often have various amounts of data buried in the image that has nothing to do with the rendering of the image
  • using a plugin to optimize your image will help strip out this data making for a smaller image file without compromising on quality
  • a program that we use for SocialMediaWright is called Imagify which works to optimize our images that we upload to the site.
  • you can also set your website up so it lazy loads your images which means the images that can’t be seen on your webpage will only load when that portion of the website comes into view on the display screen. This can help with page speed loads.
  • if you ran the Google Page Speed Insights we mentioned last week one of the suggestions might be using newer image compression methods that could play a role in reducing your image files sizes like JPEG2000, JPEG XR and WebP.
  • -other options you can consider to work with your images and your website is deploying a content distribution network or CDN as they are often referred. What a CDN is, is a website with servers all over the world that have a copy of your website. That way when someone accesses your website, the images and the files are served to them from a server closer to them thereby increasing the speed of the download.
  • when it comes to your images, you want to make sure the file size is as small as possible without impacting image quality or how you want it displayed on your website
  • there are also options that you can choose with your website to determine how images will work on the site which can help increase the speed of the site.
  • one of the other things that I want to mention when we talk about images but it has nothing to do with image loading but rather getting the most SEO value from your images
  • you see I can show you a great picture of a lake and ducks on a lake and that is what you see, what a computer sees is a blank canvas.
  • we are not at the point where a computer can determine what an image is all about but we can help them out with alt tags.
  • alt tags also known as alt attributes is a line of text that can be added to an image to tell a computer what the picture is about. This is often a great place to tie your image back to your page or post when trying to optimize for your keywords
  • so just a quick tip make sure you complete the alt tags on all your images.

 

Social Media Marketing

  • at present, the single biggest search engine on the web is Google, probably no surprise there
  • the second biggest is YouTube. People turn to YouTube to find answers to questions that they have and to watch videos of people showing them how to do something or to entertain them.
  • we are going to talk about youtube today
  • in a previous episode, we talked about some of the tools you can use to create videos for YouTube and other video platforms
  • today we are strictly talking about YouTube
  • it's important to note that YouTube’s goal is to serve the right video, to the right persons at the right time
  • they have their own algorithms to decide what video is going to be served up to someone
  • if you have watched a video on YouTube did you see a list of recommended videos at the end? YouTube is trying to figure out what you like to watch and serve you up similar type videos
  • approximately 70% of YouTube views come from recommended content by the YouTube algorithm, so you want to make sure that your video is something people are going to click on and watch because as they do it, YouTube is  measuring the watch time by user and if people are watching to the end of your videos they will look at your content favourably and recommend to others to watch.
  • YouTube looks at watch time, which is the time spent with your content and session time, the amount of time someone spends on Youtube because the longer they are on YouTube the more advertisements they can be served and the more money they can make
  • so you want to try and make sure your videos are things people want to watch because those videos will signal well to YouTube who will likely serve them up to others to watch which gains you more views and possibly more subscribers
  • viewers will ultimately decide how you will rank on YouTube so you want to optimize for people and not for the algorithms
  • its important that you keep an eye on your analytics. If you find some videos are working and some are not, get rid of the ones that aren’t because if people start to watch and leave part the way through that is going to send a signal to YouTube that there is an issue here. If you have videos that work, continue to produce similar content and also keep an eye out on your comments, looks to see what your fans want to see and provide that to them.

 

Channel

  • so as a business one of the things you are going to want to set up is a YouTube channel. this will be your central hub for posting your videos on.
  • the channel is comprised of several components and you can refer to the SocialMediaWright YouTube channel to see some of these items.
  • at the top of the page we have our channel art, and this image will be seen at the top of the channel on computer screens, mobile devices and tv when connected to YouTube
  • the dimensions for channel art are 2560 pixels wide by 1440 pixels tall but in creating your image it should look fine on the tv screen but a part of your image will get cropped out for computer screens and mobile devices. If you have words on your cover image as we do, you may have to fiddle around with their placement to have them shown.
  • for us, we found producing an image of 2560 pixels wide with a maximum height of 423 pixels allowed us to properly display our words and then we used a black background behind that image to display when shown on a tv set.
  • in developing your channel, I would bear in mind that a significant portion of views in the US is on a mobile device. Think from your own perspective which devices do you consume YouTube on the most and keep that in mind when designing your YouTube channel.
  • after the cover art, you will have your name and logo or image that you choose.
  • on your channel art, you can have links to your website or other destinations to a maximum of 5, so we linked to the SocialMediaWright website, The Social Forge and our newsletter Wrights Writings. To add your links click on the Customize Channel button, go to the top of your channel art and look for the pencil icon. When you hover over it, one of the options should be Edit Links
  • there are two sections on the front of your YouTube channel, one for Returning Subscribers and one for New Visitors.
  • You should consider creating a video for New Visitors to let them know what they can expect from your YouTube channel.
  • You also have an About section that you should fully utilize to show people what you and your channel is all about, keep in mind that if shared on social media only a portion of the page will be displayed, approximately the first 157 characters on Twitter and the first 73 characters on Facebook so you want to make sure the opening sentences are going to capture people attention.
  • as you create videos you can create a playlist for any videos that you are doing as a series. we have a series called SocialSnippets so that has one playlist and we are just starting a series of videos on Local SEO called Meet Your Community and it also has its own playlist.
  • once you have your channel set up you need to start to create videos for uploading.
  • there are a couple of tools we have previously mentioned that you may want to check out, one is TubeBuddy which we use and another is VidIQ. Both will give you suggestions as you upload your videos as to best practices that are likely to help you get views.
  • when you go to upload your first video there are a couple of things that you will need to do.
  • give your video a title, if you think back to our podcast that talked about headlines, the title is very important you need to grab the persons attention as they scroll through all the videos they can watch.
  • you're going to provide a description of the video, if you have keywords that you are trying to optimize for that are related to the video content then consider using them in the description.
  • select tags for your videos based on what people are actually entering into YouTube
  • make sure you create a killer thumbnail that is reflective of what the video is about that once again like the headline is going to grab their attention.
  • select a playlist to add your video to
  • decide on whether you want immediate release or schedule for sometime in the future.

Conclusion:

We want to close out every show with this thought. If you are not bringing value to the party, what are you bringing? We recognize that you pay us with your time, listening to the show and we hope that we have been able to offer you some value in ways to help grow your business.

If you are looking for a place to share ideas on how to grow your business with other entrepreneurs. Consider joining the SocialMediaWright Entrepreneurs Facebook Group. You can find the link on the SocialMediaWright Facebook page.

If you like the show, please subscribe to it so you do not miss a future episode. We will be back next week until then everyone have a great week.