Do You Want Prospective Students to Find Your Website? Google Tells You How

24 03 2013

Despite Bing’s aggressive marketing campaign, most people still use Google as their main search engine.  Google has put out a number of videos, in non-technical language, to help us help Google promote their websites.  They are narrated by Google engineer Matt Cutts, who seems to act as the face of Google when issues around their algorithm come up. Here are two examples.

The first one is on keyword density, or how many words that users would use to find your site should you make sure to include on your page.

The second is also on keywords, but on how much text versus images need to be on your website so that Google can figure out what you are about. Cutts describes it as a balancing act — pictures are more attractive and can entice viewers to stay on your website longer, but you still need some text.

Another tool mentioned by Cutts is Google Web Fonts, which seems to give you the ability to add more ornate fonts to your website without having them in a JPG.  This can GREATLY expand your site’s font options, aside from the standard Ariel, Helvetica, Times, etc., families — if it works (some of the comments under the video indicate that it’s may not work so well on some browsers on PCs).

For more videos, visit Google Webmasters Video channel on YouTube (remember, YouTube is owned by Google).

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Using Facebook

21 03 2013

Facebook is widely touted as the biggest thing in social media, with EVERYBODY and their cute crabby cat constantly logged in. However, using Facebook to successfully market your martial arts or self-defense school is something else.  Many of us have found that the time spent on Facebook has not led to contacts from potential students.

A local (Seattle) company, Brown Paper Tickets, published this list of 5 tips to making Facebook work for your events. My personal favorite is Tip 5, which is writing your event is a distinctive and engaging way (rather than just throwing the usual date/location info out there). My second favorite is #3, which is to post directly to Facebook.  In my experience it appears to be true:  for a short while I was scheduling posts via Hootsuite, and they consistently got fewer views/likes/clicks than did material I posted directly to Facebook.

One person who has seen success via Facebook said that it’s worked for her because she is on it constantly, and you have to be making those connections. So, for best chance of success, you should not just be posting your events, but be connecting with other similar organizations and people, and contributing intelligent and engaging comments on their posts.  Even  though it’s a new technology, the same old rules apply:  it’s all about the relationship.





In The News – Joanne Factor of Strategic Living

20 03 2013

Within the last few weeks, NWMAF member and Certified Self-Defense Instructor Joanne Factor was in the local Seattle media. Two were TV news segments (although in the second late-night segment we were not identified), and two were local radio broadcasts.  You can see (or listen to) the recordings at Strategic Living’s press page.

As self-defense instructors, I hope you all have similar press pages on your website. You do, right?

Two tips for the press page: make sure you have the media available from your own website (on your host server), as sometimes smaller media outlets over time drop older reports.  Also, if the story is still on the news media’s website, include that link — this aids credibility, and the source likes the linkback.

And one other important step.  Check your website’s analytics for the day of and the day after your media exposure.  (You do have analytics, right?  Google Analytics is fine, and free.)  That way you can assess if this media exposure had any effect.  For example, I did not notice ANY increase in visits to my site from either the TV news segments or from the AM radio interview.  But I did notice a bump after the FM radio interview, as well as several emails and phone calls asking about self-defense presentations and classes.  This information will help me decide if I wish to participate in a Health and Wellness Fair put on by one of these media companies (for which I would have to pay, at minimum, $300 for a bare-bones table with no promotion).





Seeking Super Sheros: The Contest

1 02 2012

If you could have one self-defense super power, what would it be? When would you use it, and who would you save?

Strategic Living needs to know!

This is a contest, and there be prizes (first prize is an iPod shuffle). Check out this video for more info.

Now go to the Strategic Living site for how to submit your AWESOME entry!

Self-defense instructors, please share this with your colleagues and students. Or start your own contest.

PS – Deadline is April 15th, 2012.





8 Habits of Successful Facebook Pages

25 05 2011

Mashable, that source for news in social and digital media, technology and web culture, has put together a brief list of companies that are successfully using Facebook to grow their interactions with customers. Each company has a “lesson” to be learned based on that experience. The lessons, in short, are:

  1. Ask your staff, customers, vendors, and partners — who already know you and like you — to “Like” your Facebook page first.
  2. Ask a lot of questions. You’ll get valuable feedback, plus you’ll be more likely to appear in your fans’ newsfeeds.
  3. Share lots of photos, and ask your fans to share photos. Facebook’s Photos remain the most viral feature of its platform.
  4. Find the resources to respond to your fans questions and inquiries.
  5. If you have a physical location, use Place Pages and Deals to drive traffic through your doors.
  6. Know your audience well, and when you make a mistake, quickly own up, do right by your audience and fix the problem.
  7. Integrate Facebook outside of your Fan Page, on your website, in as many places as you can. Create more compelling opportunities for people to buy your product based on their friends’ Likes.
  8. Find synergy with other organizations and entities, and then work together to promote each other’s Facebook pages so that everyone benefits.

Better yet, just read the article: http://mashable.com/2011/05/24/successful-brands-facebook/#. That way you’ll see which brand provided which lesson (from the Brooklyn Muesum to Oreo to Restaurants.com).

Thanks to Lauren Taylor of Defend Yourself for finding this article!





Learn to Increase Your Impact, and Your Income, with Erin Weed at SDIC-ST 2011

24 05 2011

When Erin Weed first presented to NWMAF conference participants in 2007, attendees responded with a string of superlatives: “Awesome – the best and most helpful. Thank you for having her speak. Please have her back!” “Great presenter, good energy, lots of content. Best so far at SDIC.” “Would have loved 3 hours and more!!!” “Excellent, motivated, and motivating speaker!” “Relevant and useful information delivered with enthusiasm and good humor. Thank you!”

Feedback was every bit as enthusiastic after Erin’s return appearances: “She is Great!” “Excellent, practical information – extremely well organized and presented with a lot of energy. I liked that it was presented as a paradigm rather than just a lot of bullet points.” “Outstanding! This class alone was well worth the trip!” “Great information – up-to-date, current, fresh. Love your energy, Erin!” “Very informative! Direct and clear and inspirational.”

We are honored to welcome speaker, author, and social entrepreneur Erin Weed to SDIC-ST 2011 to present a series of Saturday workshops on Business and Marketing. See below for more information about Erin and these offerings, and go to our website to register for SDIC-ST 2011 today! Register soon to take advantage of May pricing!

Have higher business aspirations? Want to make a greater impact with your work? You won’t want to miss this!

Erin Weed‘s sorority sister was murdered at Eastern Illinois University in 2001. Just 23 years old at the time, this tragedy lead her to abandon a career in TV broadcasting and study all aspects of women’s safety and self-defense. After training with some of the best violence prevention experts in the world, Erin created Girls Fight Back, a campaign to empower young women through safety and self-defense education. She and her international team of speakers have reached close to a million women since 2001, and Erin authored a book titled Girls Fight Back! The College Girl’s Guide to Protecting Herself. Erin has been featured in media including: CNN, The CBS Early Show, Ladies Home Journal, The New York Times, Glamour, The Washington Post and Marie Claire. She was given the Hometown Hero award by John Walsh (Founder of America’s Most Wanted) and named Best Female Performer 2009 by Campus Activities Magazine. Erin works as a consultant to companies and non-profits wanting to make a social impact, and is currently writing her second book about social entrepreneurship.

“Business Boot Camp,” with Erin Weed    (double session)

Are you a self-defense instructor and want to start holding classes, but don’t know where to begin when it comes to marketing, finance, media exposure or other business issues? Would you like to teach women’s self defense as a side job, or as a full-time career? Or are you already working in this field professionally, and want to kick things up to the next level? This special double session workshop will cover the basics of business, public relations and community outreach as it applies specifically to the world of women’s self defense. By first identifying the “ecosystem” in which we exist, each participant will walk away with a customized plan to create and maintain a brand, implement effective marketing techniques, utilize the media, and prepare for financial issues that face professionals teaching women about safety.

Erin Weed is a speaker, author, social entrepreneur and founder of Girls Fight Back! Since 2001, Erin and her team of international speakers have reached one million women with the message of peace and girl power. She is also the founder/CEO of Evoso, an agency that provides business consulting and social change campaigns for non-profits, corporations and universities across the globe. She has been featured in media including: CNN, The New York Times and The Washington Post. More information about Erin can be found at http://erinweed.com.

“Fireside Chat,” with Erin Weed

Good intentions may spark a women’s self-defense business, but they won’t keep the fire going… you gotta have a plan! We discussed some business and marketing success principles during this morning’s “Business Boot Camp.” Now join Erin Weed for a follow up discussion and question and answer session. Come ready to learn from others and share your successes in the business of teaching women to become their own best protectors.





Money for Nothing

5 04 2011

Today’s post is from Patrick Williams of You Rock! Communications. Modified only slightly to speak to the self-defense teacher. This tip is useful not only when a potential student contacts you about your program, but equally important, when teaching an interactive class to better engage your students.

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One of the biggest hit songs of the 80’s was “Money For Nothing” by Dire Straits. Chances are good you’ve heard it a few times.

What most people don’t know is that band leader and lyricist Mark Knopfler didn’t have to work very hard to write the song.

Knopfler overheard a conversation in an electronics store where two employees were discussing what they saw on the showroom televisions, all of which were tuned to MTV.  He quickly jotted down the banter, then repeated it virtually word-for-word in the song. The song become a big hit because anyone who isn’t a rock star could relate to the message.

Unknowingly, Knopfler tapped into one of the strongest selling techniques in the word, and you can use it to make selling easier than ever.

The technique is simply this: speak your customer’s language!

If you talk too far above a potential student, you’ll lose them. The same thing happens if you talk beneath them. Listen to what words they use to express their safety concerns, and use those.  Try to match the verbal style of your students and clients as closely as you can, and they will be more comfortable and open with you. Repeat some of the same phrases they use and you will help them trust you to guide them in making the right choice of class or program.

If you offer classes to companies, do a little research on their industry and make sure you use some of the same terminology they typically encounter every day. This suggests to prospects that you are knowledgeable about their unique business and might have valuable insights to share.

The truth is there is no such thing as ‘money for nothing’; but, when you mirror and match your customer’s language, you’ll start closing more business than you would without it.

© 2011 YOU ROCK!®

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Patrick Williams, Hit-Maker
Helping people and businesses be #1 in their market!
http://www.YouRockCommunications.com ·  253-318-7503

LinkedIn – http://www.linkedin.com/in/PatrickLWilliams
Twitter – http://twitter.com/yourocktm