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Should I use my name for a business name and for my website?

A lot of people want to use their name for their business name or for their website address. While I certainly think you should own a domain that matches your name, I DON’T believe you should use your name for your business.

One prime example is that most people don’t know how to spell your name. Unless you have one of the most generic and easy to spell names on the planet, people will struggle to type it in correctly.

I recently met a woman named Rhosee (Rose). Never would I have spelled it that way or correctly.

How many ways are there to spell Michelle (Michele, Mishelle)…probably more if you want to get creative.

People get frustrated easily. So if they misspell your name and can’t find you they aren’t going to keep looking. They are moving on.

Another reason is, what if your business grows huge and you want to sell it. Guess what? You now have to sell your name. Sucks, but true.

Find something unique yet easy to spell and that can be your business name. Better yet, find a business name that fits into the golden internet triangle.

Golden Internet Triangle

This is a simple post…not much too it. Your best bet to starting your search engine optimization off right is to use the Golden Internet Triangle. This means that…

Your business name = An internet search term = Your website address

If you can get these three things to match, search engines almost have to put your site as number one. But don’t quote me on that… 😉

How do I get more business?

At almost every ABNG mastermind session someone submits a question regarding getting new clients, prospecting, cold-calling, or something else related to getting new business. And while this is valid and we all want the magic wand for this issue, we decided to put the combined answers that happen every time in this post. Below is the list of solutions that have been thought up from many ABNG mastermind sessions.

A reminder…these are opinions and advice. DO NOT take it as gospel. Use what feels right, test it out, and draw your own conclusions.

Cold-Calling:

  1.       Don’t do the things you don’t like doing. If you don’t like cold-calling, don’t do it. Hire out the things you don’t like doing.
  2.       If you are going to cold-call, be ready. Practice in the mirror. Start with those smaller fish so when you get to your ideal client, you are refined.

Networking:

  1. ABNG is a great place to network. The idea of networking is to do it consistently so that you are top-of-mind, trusted, and the go-to-person when the referral comes about.
  2. Find networking events that are right for you. Some people like the more social events, some like the more structured events.
  3. Everywhere you are, is a place to network.
  4. Have a coffee with 4 new people a week.
  5. Talk to everyone, everywhere.
  6. Go to meetups that are of interest that aren’t about business. This allows you to meet people you might not otherwise meet.

Marketing/Advertising:

  1. If you advertise, you must stick with it for a long period of time before you can decide if it is working or not.
  2. There is social media marketing, search engine marketing, radio, tv, newspapers, neighborhood publications, and many more outlets.
  3. Figure out who your ideal client is and where they hang out. This is where you direct your marketing efforts.

Training:

  1. Don’t assume that because you are business owner that you know everything. Go educate yourself. Take sales training, get some business coaching, go to workshops. Basically, you need to keep growing as a person so that you can adjust and change your approach until you are getting what you want.
  2. Teach something to your ideal clients. Present. This is a great way to show that you are a knowledge expert and clients will come to you.

The main way to get clients is to be noticed and be top-of-mind. You can do this in many ways and you basically need to find ways that work for you.

 

Light

exall-sunny-tree_1-1exall-sunny-tree_1-1This time of year, I think a lot about light even more so than at all other times of year. I like the word, because it’s a homonym, (light, as in “bright light”, and “light”, as in not “heavy”). Light is so important to digital imagery. You might say that’s all digital imagery really is, perceived light, the medium notwithstanding. Light is energy, with colors as components of that energy. As a digital imagery creator, at the end of the day, all I really do is manipulate energy. Which is kind of cool to think about. because I use that energy in so many other important ways. To dry off after being wet, to grow vegetables in my garden, to make electricity, to tan, etc.). Sometimes I borrow Earth elements to make the light into something solid, with weight, called a print, but not as much these days as I once did.

At this time of year, in the Northern Hemisphere, the amount, intensity and angle of natural sunlight is receding. It begins to grow more scarce around Sept 22nd after the Autumnal Equinox, there are a number of celebrations in many traditions on this date. The most ancient being Mabon, the second harvest feast. The sunlight continues to recede until around the 21st of December, the Winter Solstice, which is an event, again, surrounded by celebrations in many faiths and traditions, with the most ancient recorded one being Yule, or Jul. All of them are very jubilant and inclusive celebrations, marked by the sharing of special treasures. They are so festive, with almost all traditions having stories with some element of sacred light and therefore are usually celebrated using artificial light(s) of some sort, because they pay homage to the return of the Light. They also celebrate oneself, and ones family and friends have successfully lived through the darkest, coldest, and least abundant time of the seasonal cycle. So a show of “light”, to ward off the “weight” of the darkness, and the sharing of remaining treasures. Hoarded nutritional items, things made while whiling away the dark hours, or spiritual treasures resulting from the increase in time available to meditate along with countless others, are shared to mark the end of the scarcity of those treasures during the season and to remind each other that the return of the light brings warmth, fertility tot he soil, and abundance. These gift exchanges are usually in some way part of this seasons celebrations in all traditions. That is what the season of giving means to me. The reminder of the return of the abundance of light.

I find it comforting to know that what I do for a vocation, is aligned along a beam of light, with traditions and rituals so very ancient. As I work with the light and color, throughout the coming year, I vow to try to be mindful of the history of the importance of this light, and the sharing of its meaning, to the many millennia of generations of fellow sojourners on this tiny rock orbiting this little sun.

Wishing you and yours great light and energy in this season, and the coming year.

Stay Bright in 2017!

Peace.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Is it worth it?

Yes and No!!!

It is worth it depending on a few factors.

  • Can you compete in SEO land with your industry?

I am in a very competitive field when it comes to SEO. I don’t try to compete with anyone because I don’t have the time or resources to compete at that level. So for me, it isn’t worth it. Plus, people who are searching for my industry online are looking at price, not quality or what I can provide.

  • Is your brand/website ready?

If you market yourself through SEO but your site looks like a kid put it together, you are wasting your money and time. People may find your site but they won’t take you seriously.

  • Who should do it?

You can take classes and try it yourself, but is your time really worth doing something you don’t already know how to do? You can hire a company, but again, do your homework. What are their results? What are their clients saying?

  • Is SEO guaranteed?

NO!!! And if anyone says it is, question them, question them, question them. What are they guaranteeing? I can guarantee I can you get you on the first page of Google for a keyword that has no relevance to your business, but that doesn’t accomplish anything. Keywords are what people type into the search engine to find you. If they are looking for your industry they are going to be typing in very specific keywords. Make sure the guarantee is in writing based on keywords you want. Otherwise, understand that this is a gamble and Google always changes the rules. There is no guarantee in SEO (from my background and knowledge of how it all works).

Again, do your homework.