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Creatives Meet Business

Listen in on what industry experts had to say at the latest Creatives Meet Business event. Host Ashland Viscosi curates and shares the best content and tips from the live events to help creatives and artists transition into creative entrepreneurs.
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Creatives Meet Business
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May 25, 2017

Hi there folks!

Creatives Meet Business is an event and podcast series based out of Austin, Texas for creatives of ALL disciplines to get from zero to one in thinking of themselves as business owners (in the creative sector).

This episode features Chad Jones, founder of Hatcreek Marketing, who joined us in February during our event on Digital Marketing. As you'll soon find out, he shares some awesome insights into the world of analytics and what you should really know. He chats about the scientific method, how to find the analytics that you actually need to measure and so much more. Because there's so SO much that's exciting about this episode - let's hop in and hear what Chad has to say!

  • 0:00 to 1:43 - Ashland Opening Remarks and Intro of Chad Jones
  • 1:46 to 2:36 - Introduction of Self and Why Analytics Should be Measured Now (Not Later)
    • You should be paying attention to analytics at every stage of your business as analytics help you keep your finger on the pulse with your customers and prospective clients
  • 2:37 to 5:59 - Concepts and Approach for Analytics - The Scientific Method!
    • Travel back to middle school and revisit The Scientific Method
    • Ask questions, come up with a hypothesis, test / research, come up with a conclusion
    • First question should be - how do I provide value to a client? Then -what metric do I use to measure that?
    • Example of a photographer - metric to measure is time on site
    • Think practically about what scares you off when you're shopping for things - Reviews? Slow load time on page? Preview thumbnails are too small?
    • Analytics is: question, test, answer, new question
  • 6:00 to 7:32 - Segmented Data
    • Grouping data and looking at specific metrics inside those groups
    • Source metric - where traffic is coming from (i.e. organic search result, twitter, newsletter)
    • Example with auto post to Facebook and Twitter, how you can measure the results to see which audiences are bouncing and which are engaging
    • Segmenting data gives you actionable intel
  • 7:33 to 9:20 - Building Funnels
    • Anytime you build an email campaign, website, etc, you have an idea how you want people to step through it (steps to take)
      • i.e. social post to landing page to call-to-action to form
    • Compare predicted behavior to actual behavior 
    • Hatcreek Marketing example - basic navigation funnel
      • Why, What, How and Who
        • Look at metrics with that funnel in mind
  • 9:21 to 10:54 - Pitfalls to Watch Out For
    1. Know how the metric you're relying on is calculated
      1. Example of bounce rate on a one-page website
      2. Example with dryer not behaving properly and bouncing from site after taking all of the suggested steps from the website (the site did what it was intended to do)
    2. Watching out for bogus data
      1. Counting your own traffic
  • 10:57 to 12:51 - Deep Dive on Google Analytics
    • Conversion funnels that can send you emails
    • User flow - user behavior report
    • Good place to start if you're just now thinking about funnels
  • 12:56 to 14:00 - Ashland Closing Remarks

If you like what you hear, share the podcast with your friends, rate and review. To stay in the loop - follow us on TwitterFacebook or subscribe to the newsletter.

More on Digital Marketing so stay tuned!

Thanks!

Ashland, Creatives Meet Business

May 9, 2017

Hi there folks!

Creatives Meet Business is an event and podcast series based out of Austin, Texas for creatives of ALL disciplines to get from zero to one in thinking of themselves as business owners (in the creative sector).

This episode features Maggie Miller, owner of MaggieGentry, who joined us in February during our event on Digital Marketing. As you'll soon find out, she shares some awesome insights into the world of email marketing. She chats about everything from strategies with downloadables and providing valuable resources to your audience to healthy open rates to strategies on when to send your emails (and much much more). Because there's so SO much that's exciting about this episode - let's hop in and hear what Maggie has to say!

  • 0:00 to 1:59 - Ashland Opening Remarks and Intro of Maggie Miller
  • 2:05 to 3:42 - Introduction of Self and Marketing for Solopreneurs
    • Misconception is that marketing for solopreneurs is only social media
      • You no longer own the content that you put out on Facebook, Instagram, etc. Once published, they are owned by these platforms
      • Use your social media strategy to drive people to your website or newsletter
  • 3:43 to 5:14 - How Do I Get Anyone to Join My Newsletter List?
    • Through the idea of an email opt-in, freebie, or downloadable
    • This is a free resource that provides value to the user in exchange for their email address
    • Product-based businesses provide 10% off first order in exchange for email address
    • This allows you to own the email address of that user
    • Whitelist your email address to reduce emails falling into spam or promotions filters 
  • 5:15 to 7:05 - What's My Free Resource?
    • Checklist or workbook, 5 free stock photos
    • Think about your end client, what will they find valuable?
    • Take it further though - what is valuable to them but also helpful for you? Think about the process you take with every client.
      • Example - a graphic designer who focuses on logo identity or brand design will need to create a mood board. An email opt-in could be a checklist for all of the elements for a perfect mood board or a worksheet to create. When they complete it and come back to hire you, they've completed the first checklist which helps you. 
  • 7:06 to 8:27 - How Often Should I Send Something and When Should I Send It?
    • Keep it consistent, but find YOUR consistent
    • Best time to send is typically Tuesday through Thursday
    • Test to find your sweet spot
  • 8:28 to 10:14 - Open Rates and Click Throughs
    • A healthy open rate is 30%
    • If you want to improve this, you can send a series of 3 emails to engage your audience and see if they want to still be on your list. If they say no, remove them and then you'll have a healthier list with a higher open rate.
    • A healthy click through rate is 2 to 3%
    • If you have a goal for yourself to sell a certain number of items or services, do the math backward and see how many people you'll need on your list to make your sale
    • People need to hear something 7 times before they take an action
  • 10:15 to 10:31 - A Typical Launch Strategy
    • 21 day is the sweet spot, 3 weeks and 7 emails
  • 10:32 to 12:14 - Ashland Closing Remarks

If you like what you hear, share the podcast with your friends, rate and review. To stay in the loop - follow us on TwitterFacebook or subscribe to the newsletter.

More on Digital Marketing so stay tuned!

Thanks!

Ashland, Creatives Meet Business

Apr 18, 2017

Hi there folks!

Creatives Meet Business is an event and podcast series based out of Austin, Texas for creatives of ALL disciplines to get from zero to one in thinking of themselves as business owners (in the creative sector).

This episode features James Renovitch with The Austin Chronicle who joined us in December during our event on PR. As you'll soon find out, he succinctly explains PR from the journalist's perspective. He chats about everything from how you should speak to press to what you should share with them to maintaining your own personality (and much, MUCH more). Because there's so SO much that's exciting about this episode - let's hop in and hear what James has to say!

  • 0:00 to 2:42 - Ashland Opening Remarks and Intro of James Renovitch
  • 2:47 to 4:45 - Rule 1: Know That You're Emailing Another Human Being
    • Know who you're talking to! That extends to the publications (what their bread and butter is) and what each journalist covers
    • Know why you're writing to them. Tech related? About social issues?
  • 4:46 to 6:08 - Not Sure Who to Start With?
    • Call the front desk of the publication. Don't ask to be transferred, just describe your project and ask who you should be emailing
    • Still not sure? In your email outreach mention "I'm not sure if you're  the right person to share this with. If you're not, could you please direct me to the right person or forward my email to them?"
  • 6:09 to 7:27 - How Many Times Should You Follow-Up
    • If there's no time sensitivity - Send first email, wait a week (include information again). If you don't hear again, that's probably it. You can try again in a few weeks, but that's really the max you should do.
    • If it's time sensitive, you can fast track it a little
    • Be mindful about phone calls
  • 7:28 to 9:27 - Tone
    • Professional or Informal? Depends on who you're writing to - know who you're writing to!
    • Don't hide your personality.
    • Professionalism is great, but that's really about including what needs to be included.
      • Don't forget to include a link to your website.
    • Put yourself in the journalist's shoes - what would they want?
      • Include a summary, photo, a link to see more
  • 9:28 to 11:10 - Don't Write the Story for the Journalist
    • Help them picture what the final product would look like
    • Include a photo, a video (if you have one), some snippet that stands out about what you've created
    • Know your strengths and weaknesses
      • If it's unfinished, mention the elements that aren't complete
  • 11:15 to 12:11 - Ashland Closing Remarks

If you like what you hear, share the podcast with your friends, rate and review. To stay in the loop - follow us on TwitterFacebook or subscribe to the newsletter.

We're moving over to Digital Marketing soon and have some pros that we can't wait to introduce you to. Stay tuned!

Thanks!

Ashland, Creatives Meet Business

Mar 30, 2017

Hi there folks!

Creatives Meet Business is an event and podcast series based out of Austin, Texas for creatives of ALL disciplines to get from zero to one in thinking of themselves as business owners (in the creative sector).

This episode features Kristen Chin with POM PR who joined us in December during our event on PR. As you'll soon find out, she succinctly explains SO much about "timing" in the world of PR. She chats about everything from the variety of different media outlets and when you should pitch them to what should be on your timeline and how  you should format it (and much, MUCH more). If timelines eluded you before this episode, you'll walk away with a spring in your step and a better understanding of all things PR. Because there's so SO much that's exciting about this episode - let's hop in and hear what Kristen has to say!

  • 0:00 to 1:40 - Ashland Opening Remarks and Intro of Kristen Chin
  • 1:41 to 2:01 - Introduction of self and POM PR and topic "Timelines - Why They Matter and How to Plan One"
  • 2:02 to 2:47 - Newsworthiness
    • Ask yourself - "Is this your time and why?"
    • Think about what's your story and what's the timeframe for you
    • Editorial usually won't break more than two weeks before an event / performance. Look into paid marketing opportunities if you're wanting coverage beyond the two week mark.
  • 2:48 to 3:20 - Formatting Your Timeline and Tasks
    • Suggests using Excel or Google Calendars (create a PR calendar for your PR activities)
  • 3:21 to 4:09 - Tasks on your Timeline
    • Get your materials (press release, pitch, artwork, graphics) ready to go before you start pitching
      • Worst thing that can happen is you get press interested in your story and then don't have any images or materials and you lose the story altogether
  • 4:10 to 5:02 - Creating Your Media List
    • Research outlets and writers
    • Read recent stories the writers have written
    • Nothing will get your email deleted faster than sending something to a writer that's not relevant for them
    • Media move around a lot, make sure they're still with the publication you think they're with before you reach out (and make sure they're still writing on the same topic)
      • Check the website, masthead, LinkedIn, google
    • Beats can be very nuanced, researching helps you know you're reaching out to the right writer
  • 5:03 to 8:37 - Timeframes for long lead press
    • Magazines - 8 weeks out
      • Think of your end goal date and back that out 8 weeks
      • Tip - pull the media kit online and look at the advertising deadlines 
      • Editorial will always happen before the ad date close 
    • Calendar listings - 6 weeks out
      • All your basic information - who, what, where, when, pricing and an image
      • Many calendars are self-submitting. If it's the first time you're doing it, factor in timing for creating an account.
        • Check it after it's posted to make sure everything transferred properly, the image is correct, etc.
    • Online and blogs - pitch periodically
      • Bloggers might have content planned as much as two months out
      • Give yourself enough time
    • Coverage is in limited supply - think about when you were last featured
      • Coverage is spaced out
    • If your news isn't time sensitive, pitch it around when your topic best fits into the media's editorial calendar
      • Advertorial sections can give you a good indicator of the topic that's being featured in a publication
  • 8:38 to 11:11 - Press Releases
    • General news announcement for a vast number of outlets all at once
    • Cuts down on amount of time you need to spend on finding media contacts
    • You can use a wire service to reach a lot of press at once
    • Benefits to wire service is press release pickup that copies your press release word for word which helps with SEO and link backs to your site.
    • Downside to wire service - you have to monitor your coverage, you have no idea when your piece might hit.
    • Downside to press releases - you aren't cultivating relationships with press
    • Hybrid situation - you can build a media list yourself and then if time runs out, blast it out to your whole media list (use something like MailChimp or Constant Contact to see who opened it for follow-up).
      • You can also do this by separating your long leads from your short leads
      • You can also send to 5 or so people individually and then a press release to the remainder of the list
  • 11:12 to 11:59 - Frequency of Pitching
    • Pitch when you have something really important to say
    • Once you've pitched, you want to follow up once, wait a week and then follow-up again. Don't ever follow-up more than twice. If you haven't heard from someone after two follow-ups, they aren't interested (not the right topic or not the right time).
    • Don't get discouraged - it's all about patience
  • 12:03 to 12:58 - Ashland Closing Remarks
    • More PR to come!
    • Stay in touch, email us (ashland@cmbatx.com) or connect with us on social

If you like what you hear, share the podcast with your friends, rate and review. To stay in the loop - follow us on TwitterFacebook or subscribe to the newsletter.

We'll be sticking around the world of PR for a couple more weeks and have some pros that we can't wait to introduce you to. Stay tuned!

Thanks!

Ashland, Creatives Meet Business

Mar 7, 2017

Hi there folks!

Creatives Meet Business is an event and podcast series based out of Austin, Texas for creatives of ALL disciplines to get from zero to one in thinking of themselves as business owners (in the creative sector).

This episode features Casey Miller with lookthinkmake. She joined us in December during our event on PR. As you'll soon find out, she succinctly explains SO much about the world of PR. Topics range from media alerts to press releases to honing your story (aka - know, explain and stay true to your why) and much, MUCH more. If PR confused you before this episode, you'll walk away with a spring in your step and a better vocabulary for chatting about all things PR. Because there's so so much that's exciting about this episode - let's hop in and hear what Casey has to say!

  • 0:00 to 1:27 - Ashland Opening Remarks and Intro of Casey Miller
  • 1:32 to 1:40 - Introduction of discussion topic - honing your story and making it compelling
  • 1:41 to 2:26 - Back it up, begin with your why
    • Don't start with what you're doing, but WHY! Tie things into your brand pillars and identity. 
    • Have this serve as your anchor for everything you do
  • 2:27 to 3:25 - Think about who your audiences are and what they will find interesting
    • Who is your audience - you, clients, media, other people in your industry (all of them combined)
    • Start by writing down a list of topics about what is interesting about what you're doing 
  • 3:26 to 4:32 - Telling what you need to tell in a tight and meaningful way
    • Be digestible and surprising
    • Be mindful of what somebody is going to cling onto. People resonate with emotional aspects and anecdotes
    • When telling a story, think about building a friendship
    • Make sure you're building a relationship with your brand
  • 4:33 to 6:54 - Press Kit
    • Evergreen, but update it when you have new content
    • Introduction to your story and your brand
    • You write it yourself, it's a way to craft your own story
    • Be mindful of adjectives and words that work best for you
    • Press Kits contain: 
      • History
      • Why you're doing what you're doing (story)
      • Background
      • Bios
      • Facts
      • General Information
    • You want your press kit to be used by media and have quotes and content pulled from this, it's how you want to be described!
    • Include visual assets
      • Always a good investment, this content can be used in so many channels to tell your story
  • 6:55 to 8:55 - Press Releases
    • Owned content (you write this yourself) that you send out to announce a significant milestone or piece of news
    • Include a couple of quotes and a boiler plate at the bottom (company bio)
    • Helps strengthen SEO for website
    • Helpful to distribute over PRWeb or another news wire service because it helps get your name out there
    • Differentiate between fluffy pieces and more timely, significant milestones. Use a press release for the significant milestones, things like: a new partnership, hitting a major milestone, announcing a new brand, an award
  • 8:56 to 11:56 - Media Pitches
    • Opportunity to tell your story to someone to share it with their audience
    • Keep your email short, around 3 to 4 short paragraphs
    • Be mindful, people read emails on their phones and consider the amount of scrolling needed to read your email
    • Be clever, catchy and hook them with your first paragraph with what you're trying to accomplish
    • Be digestible and concise
    • Don't just say "I'd love you to cover this certain thing," offer a hook and differentiate how you can be helpful and a resource
    • Take the time and think about who you're writing to (know about this journalist)
      • Look at their coverage and see if you can match your story to what they like to write
    • Your subject line is also an opportunity to hook them (if they don't know you). You're asking them to take a lot of actions, but by hooking them the hurdles get smaller and smaller.
    • Use the same adjectives you use in your press kit
    • You don't have to be the only person in a story for it to be a successful story.
  • 11:57 to 12:48 - Don't forget your interviews!
    • Prepare! Be prepared for them! 
    • You want to give a sound bite conversationally
    • Do your research on the journalist
    • Media isn't the only way to tell your story
    • Don't forget to reach out all the time, stay top of mind and be consistent
      • Don't pop up once every 6 months, they won't remember who you are
    • Eventually you'll find a story that works, the point is to build a relationship with the journalist
  • 12:49 to 13:56 - Ashland Closing Remarks
    • More PR to come!
    • Stay in touch, email us (ashland@cmbatx.com) or connect with us on social

If you like what you hear, share the podcast with your friends, rate and review. To stay in the loop - follow us on TwitterFacebook or subscribe to the newsletter.

We'll be sticking around the world of PR for a few more weeks and have some pros that we can't wait to introduce you to. We're so excited about future episodes on: timelines, leveraging events as part of your PR strategy and much more. Stay tuned!

Thanks!

Ashland, Creatives Meet Business

Feb 8, 2017

Hi there folks!

Creatives Meet Business is an event and podcast series based out of Austin, Texas for creatives of ALL disciplines to get from zero to one in thinking of themselves as business owners (in the creative sector).

This episode features Jennifer Sinski with Giant Noise. She joined us in December during our event on PR. As you'll find out, she leaves no stone unturned when it comes to Influencer Marketing. Topics range from what an influencer is, what pay to play is, how to engage with an influencer from a brand perspective and much, MUCH more. If influencer marketing confused you before this episode, you'll walk away with a spring in your step and a better vocabulary for chatting about all things influencer. Because there's so so much that's exciting about this episode - let's hop in and hear what Jennifer has to say!

  • 0:00 to 1:26 - Ashland Opening Remarks and Intro of Jennifer Sinski
  • 1:28 to 1:48 - Introduction of self, Giant Noise and discussion topic
  • 1:56 to 2:38 - Defines Influencer
    • Owns own platform (blog, Facebook page, YouTube), not a traditional media outlet and produces their own content. Looked to as tastemaker / leader in their area
  • 2:39 to 4:47 - Interacting with influencers and Pay to Play
    • Influencers are willing to promote a service or product in exchange for an experience or product
    • Restaurant example - dining experience for Instagram post
    • Pay to Play - Influencer will provide a media kit as well as cost for a post
  • 4:48 to 8:19 - How to Identify Influencers
    • Depends on industry
      • Food - look up hashtags, what's being tagged and who is tagging them
      • Search through location or services 
        • Instagram blocks APIs of a lot of 3rd party apps 
      • Look at Follow Page
      • Content that your friends like, people around you are liking
      • Hashtag research
        • Top content being engaged with, that content creator is someone you might consider being on the influencer level
      • Having a second means of communication - a blog, YouTube or other platform is a plus
    • Micro influencer - anyone under 20K followers on Instagram (not exclusive to Instagram, there are other platforms that should be considered)
  • 8:20 to 8:54 - Negotiating with an Influencer
    • Be clear about your expectations and what you're getting
    • With Pay to Play - Have a Contract!
      • Include: how many times they'll post, the copy of the post, when it'll be posted by, how they'll get paid, have them send a W-9
      • Don't just have a one email interaction or send product blindly, it won't come back to you
  • 8:55 to 10:14 - Identifying Fake Followers
    • You can buy followers
      • 100,000 followers with 100 likes or zero comments aren't good odds that they have real followers
    • Services that comment on photos for you doesn't translate to event attendance or product purchases
      • Services let you select demographic and it'll make comments like "This is everything" or "Thumbs up" 
    • Follow / Unfollow - following a person in the hopes they follow you back, then unfollowing them
    • Understand how Influencers have built their audience. If you are wanting to work with them, will this audience help you do what you want them to do
  • 10:15 to 12:00 - Influencer PR Strategy
    • Goes hand in hand with a traditional PR strategy. Just like you would do a media alert or press release, you'd pitch an influencer but tailor it to them
    • Expectation isn't that they will write about it. In outreach, offer opportunities for photographing and more
    • Influencer outreach is same type of interaction as press outreach
    • Done on every level, not just locally
    • Mommy blogging is a big market
  • 12:01 to 12:58 - How People Become Influencers
    • Some buy followers, for others it just happens
    • How to deal with it? Honesty with audience is key!
      • Attend media events
      • Attend free events
      • Sponsored posts are an option
    • Influencer Marketing helps brands reach their target demographic directly
  • 12:59 to 13:17 - Who Works with Influencers?
    • Ad Agencies and PR firms are in the middle, both share in this space 
    • Some ad agencies have targeted themselves as only working with influencers
  • 13:18 to 14:31 - Ashland Closing Remarks

If you like what you hear, share the podcast with your friends, rate and review. To stay in the loop - follow us on TwitterFacebook or subscribe to the newsletter.

We'll be sticking around the world of PR for a few more weeks and have some pros that we can't wait to introduce you to. We're so excited about future episodes on: timelines, making sure your story is compelling for press, leveraging events as part of your PR strategy and much more. Stay tuned!

Thanks!

Ashland, Creatives Meet Business

Jan 17, 2017

Hi there folks!

Creatives Meet Business is an event and podcast series based out of Austin, Texas for creatives of ALL disciplines to get from zero to one in thinking of themselves as business owners (in the creative sector).

This episode features Jon Lebkowsky, founder and CEO of Polycot Associates. Jon is a fascinating fellow and is beyond knowledgable about all things web and development (and on ALL things internet).  Jon shares about the different types of platforms out there (and the difference between them) and what questions you should be thinking about if you're ready to work with a developer. Because there's so so much that's exciting about this episode - let's hop in and hear what Jon has to say!

  • 0:00 to 2:16 - Ashland Opening Remarks and Intro of Jon Lebkowsky
  • 2:20 to 5:23 - Four Categories of Platforms  
    1. Hosted Service - examples include Squarespace, Wix, Tumblr
    2. Light Content Management System - you arrange the hosting yourself. WordPress is an example. Note - WordPress does have a hosted version, but Jon is talking about the software, not the service.
    3. More Complex Content Management Frameworks. An example is Drupal
    4. Web Application Development Frameworks - Ruby on Rails is an example. Basecamp is an example of a site built with Ruby on Rails
      1. Rails is good for rapid prototyping and web application development
  • 5:24 to 7:11 - Web Development is less about building from scratch and more about re-tooling to increase and customize functionality. Two ways to extend functionality:
    1. Themes, free or purchase - configure to customize based on needs
    2. Additional functionality that's not in the core platform:
      1. WordPress - plug-ins
      2. Drupal - modules
        1. Be careful of the plug-ins or modules you attach to your site as they increase complexity to site and potential for conflicts. There could be security flaws with the plug-ins or modules, so be cautious.
  • 7:12 to 11:32 - Questions to Ask When Decided on a Platform
    • What are you trying to do and who are you trying to reach with the platform?
      • Brochure sites - basic information
      • Considered Purchase site - informative, repeat traffic from same visitor
      • Information site or portal - very information dense
      • E-commerce site - can be simple or complex
      • Web application - application that's served over the web (Basecamp is an example)
    • How are you going to choose a developer? If you have someone in mind, get to know their platform proficiency.
      • Recommended to get developer first and include them in the conversation about platform selection that will work for your project
    • How much can you afford to spend?
    • How much are you willing to spend for ongoing maintenance?
    • How often will your website and content change?
  • 11:36 to 12:36 - Content Management System For Self-Maintenance 
    • Open source allowed more freedom for customers to change  developers, no longer locked into a developer if the client was dissatisfied 
  • 12:37 to 13:57 - Ashland Closing Remarks

If you like what you hear, share the podcast with your friends, rate and review. To stay in the loop - follow us on TwitterFacebook or subscribe to the newsletter.

We'll be moving over to PR next, so start getting excited. Stay tuned for more!

Thanks!

Ashland, Creatives Meet Business

Dec 13, 2016

Hi there folks!

Creatives Meet Business is an event and podcast series based out of Austin, Texas for creatives of ALL disciplines to get from zero to one in thinking of themselves as business owners (in the creative sector).

This episode features Alyssa Scavetta with Masonry. You'll find that she leaves no stone unturned when it comes to website admin. Topics include: domains, hosting,  SSL certificates, 301 and 404 error messages and more. If website lingo confused you before this episode, you'll walk away with a spring in your step and a better vocabulary for chatting about the web. Because there's so so much that's exciting about this episode - let's hop in and hear what Alyssa has to say!

  • 0:00 to 1:55 - Ashland Opening Remarks and Intro of Alyssa Scavetta
  • 1:59 to 4:01 - Anecdote about aiding a brand after their original domain included the number 1 at the end of it (name wasn't on brand)
    • Google Domains - find alternative domains and search misspells 
    • Domains - roughly $10 to $12 a year
    • SEMrush - finding misspellings - shows what people are searching for when looking for your brand or site so you can see how they're misspelling it
  • 4:02 to 4:36 - Domains and Hosting
    • Domain - basically the address
      • Roughly $10 to $12 a year, unless it's unavailable and someone else owns it
    • Hosting - basically the house - server space you buy so the domain can live there
  • 4:37 to 5:40 - HTTP vs HTTPS
    • HTTPS - ALWAYS use with e-commerce. Necessary if you're collecting other people's personal, private data. 
    • Technically, Google favors HTTPS sites (but it's not going to hugely increase your site traffic)
    • It's a certificate that talks to browsers and says the site is secure
    • You'll see a green lock next to the domain
    • Usually purchased on a one year or three to five year basis. Usually $100.
  • 5:41 to 6:11- Security Updates
    • Look for updates once a month
    • Save the current version of your website before the update in case something isn't compatible
    • Wordpress automatically updates sites
  • 6:12 to 7:30 - 301 and 404 Messages
    • 301 - Permanent redirect 
      • When building a new website based on old site, you'll want to redirect all of your old links
      • Masonry uses reroute module in Craft CMS
        • Keeps SEO value, visitors going to the right place
        • Put new link in as related content 
    • 404 - Page not found
      • Put a landing page, decreases bounce rate
        • Customize your landing page to be on brand
  • 7:31 to 9:08 - Domain Authority
    • Scale from zero to 100 that grades your website based off of backlinks that it has (and internal links it has). Based on the quality of the content.
    • Research your domain authority and your competitors as well
    • Hard to influence your domain authority, taking these actions can influence your domain authority:
      • Install Google Search Console tools - take snippet of code and it tells you where your errors are being received by the crawling bot, 301s / 404s and more
      • Getting rid of 301s and redirecting old or missing content to content that's alive
      • Mitigate 404s that you find in your crawl report
  • 9:09 to 10:24 - Ashland Closing Remarks

If you like what you hear, share the podcast with your friends, rate and review. To stay in the loop - follow us on TwitterFacebook or subscribe to the newsletter.

We'll be sticking around the world of websites for just a couple more weeks and have some pros that we can't wait to introduce you to. After websites, we'll be moving over to PR, so start getting excited. Stay tuned for more!

Thanks!

Ashland, Creatives Meet Business

Nov 22, 2016

Hi there folks!

Creatives Meet Business is an event and podcast series based out of Austin, Texas for creatives of ALL disciplines to get from zero to one in thinking of themselves as business owners (in the creative sector).

This episode features Jeremy Cox, Digital Director at McGarrah Jessee. He shares so so much about branding - brand positioning, brand personality, branding elements, what makes a brand unique and distinctive, pitfalls and more. Because there's so so much that's exciting about this episode - let's hop in and hear what Jeremy has to say!

  • 0:00 to 1:55 - Ashland Opening Remarks and Intro of Jeremy Cox
  • 2:00 to 3:58 - Branding Your Site - Consistency in Tone and Appearance
    • Branding is vastly important
    • Branding - what does it mean. Jeremy's definition:
      • It's not - just a name, logo or a couple of colors
      • It is - the public facing manifestation of who you are
        • Also includes people's perception of what you've put out there
  • 3:59 to 4:40 - What is a Well-Architected Brand
    • Unique - therefore own-able
    • Easily recognizable
    • Consistent - everywhere
  • 4:41 to 6:45 - Brand Positioning and Brand Personality
    • Brand Positioning: A statement - a single sentence - that says what you do and do well that the competition can't do and can't touch and that people actually want
    • Brand Personality: A layer / filter to brand positioning - how do you do what you do?  Is it serious? Whimsical?
  • 6:46 to - 12:41 Branding Elements
    • Name - one of the first things people experience
    • Logo - visual counterpart to your or company's name
      • Do these fit through filter of brand positioning and brand personality?
      • Visual anchors
    • Copy - great opportunity for you to exercise your brand through words
      • Ex - Choice of tense - 1st person is conversational, personal; 3rd person expresses size, it's bigger than just me
    • Micro-level interactions on your site - confirmation page as a place to add personality through a purchase made through website
    • Color - apply with thought to user experience 
    • Typography - More choices available now online
      • Use caution - use legible copy in the body text but one that's a compliment to the personality of your main typeface
    • Visuals - don't say things with words when an image would be much better, don't say things with an image when a video would be much better
    • Structure of a site - are you allowing the user to digest it the right way?
    • Interactions and Animations within site 
  • 12:42 to 14:57 - Pitfalls 
    • Just like your brand shouldn't be all things to all people, your website shouldn't be. Don't be afraid to make decisions that focus you towards your audience and the purpose of what your business is meant to do
    • Don't get too intricate / too fancy. Take it one step at a time when building up your brand online
    • Don't think of your brand as static, it's not a static brand
    • Be cautious with templates (WordPress, Wix, Squarespace) - put the time in to craft it and make it your own. They have customizable ways to personalize it
    • Be careful not to lean too heavily on trends and assume that's what your brand is. Trends change more frequently than your brand should
  • 15:02 to 16:20 - Ashland Closing Remarks

If you like what you hear, share the podcast with your friends, rate and review. To stay in the loop - follow us on TwitterFacebook or subscribe to the newsletter.

We'll be sticking around the world of websites for a few weeks and have some pros that we can't wait to introduce you to. Stay tuned for more!

Thanks!

Ashland, Creatives Meet Business

Nov 8, 2016

Hi there folks!

Creatives Meet Business is an event and podcast series based out of Austin, Texas for creatives of ALL disciplines to get from zero to one in thinking of themselves as business owners (in the creative sector).

This episode features Alex O'Neal, an Austin-based UX Consultant with UXtraordinary and Instructor at General Assembly Austin. She shares so so much about testing, metrics, analytics and more. Alex begins with the reasons WHY we test and moves into metrics and analytics. She also walks us through a great alternative to AB tests for smaller sites - before and after snapshots. One of the coolest we things we learned about was POP - Prototyping on Paper (check it out, it's awesome). Without further adieu, here's Alex...

  • 0:00 to 3:18 - Ashland Opening Remarks and Intro of Alex O'Neal
  • 3:20 to 5:12 - Why Do We Test?
    • Two big questions of User Experience 
      • Who is on the other end of the screen?
      • What are they doing?
  • 5:15 to 7:59 - Analytics for Websites
    • Some hosting services offer their own metrics 
    • Conversion - Does the customer do what you wanted them to do
    • Device (Desktop or Phone) Used to Visit Site
    • Google Analytics - free service - uses a snippet of code that you embed on pages of your site
    • Exit - someone comes to site, looks around at a few pages and then leaves
    • Bounce rate - lands on site and doesn't explore other pages (not applicable with one page sites)
  • 8:00 to 9:05 - Behave.org
    • Formerly whichtestwon
    • They gather tests from large and small companies from all over the world and organize them by type of page (homepage, landing page, e-newsletter, etc) and vertical (type of industry or field)
    • They provide AB tests and analysis on which test worked and why
  • 9:06 to 10:53 -  Before and After Snapshots
    • When AB tests aren't an option, use before and after snapshots
    • Two versions of a page (original and new version you want to test)
    • Measure metrics for a specific period of time - Sunday through Saturday (for example)
    • Make the changes you're interested in testing and measure during the same time frame (Sunday through Saturday, for example)
    • Be mindful of federal holidays when selecting time frames to review
    • Transformation test - testing two very different looks and feels, helps with things like testing a site refresh
  • 10:54 to 13:34 - Example of Importance of Metrics and Analytics
  • 13:35 to 17:05 - User Testing or Usability Testing
    • Essentially you're putting a potential user in front of your site with a goal
    • It's very important to set tasks and goals
      • Ex. Ask them "Where would you go to sign up for an event?"
    • Jakob Nielsen suggests that when getting a group together for user testing no more than 6 people are needed. They'll find 90% of the issues on the website
    • Paper sketches - Prototyping on Paper (POP) 
  • 17:06 to 18:42 - Ashland Closing Remarks

Wanting to learn more about metrics? Here's a bit of bonus content - 11 Analytics That Are Actionable.

If you like what you hear, share the podcast with your friends, rate and review. To stay in the loop - follow us on Twitter, Facebook or subscribe to the newsletter.

We'll be sticking around the world of websites for a few weeks and have some pros that we can't wait to introduce you to. Stay tuned for more!

Thanks!

Ashland, Creatives Meet Business

Oct 25, 2016

Hi there folks!

Creatives Meet Business is an event and podcast series based out of Austin, Texas for creatives of ALL disciplines to get from zero to one in thinking of themselves as business owners (in the creative sector).

This episode features Paul Glantz, an Austin-based CPA, who owns Launch Consulting, Inc. Launch Consulting, Inc. assists clients throughout the business process - from business consulting to entity selection to bookkeeping to tax preparation. In case you missed it, Paul was featured in the previous episode which answered questions like: What is a CPA and when do I need one, plus he strolled us through the World of Taxes and shared about deductions, estimated taxes and more. You see why we brought him back for business structures (like LLCs) and advice for getting started, right?  

0:00 to 1:03 - Ashland Opening Remarks and Intro of Paul Glantz, CPA

1:04 to 4:10 - Advice for Getting Started

  1. Set up an entity
  2. Get an EIN (pretty much the social security number for your business)
    1. This is free to file! Takes about 10 minutes
  3. Open a bank account
    1. Keep a separate business bank account and credit card, keep it separated from personal.
    2. Keeping it separate helps for several reasons: 1) easier to keep track of your expenses and you'll know what's a business expense, 2) if you're ever audited, the IRS will ask for your bank statements. There'll be more scrutiny if funds are "commingled", aka if expenses are mixed between business and personal accounts.
  4. Partnership Agreements (if you have a business partner)
    1. Have a written agreement! Have a lawyer help you draft this!

4:11 to 4:52 - Ashland Interruption

4:53 to 6:39 - What is an LLC + Entity Selection

  • An LLC is a Limited Liability Company. From a legal standpoint, this means your exposure is limited
  • A sole proprietor / DBA has unlimited liability which means your assets are exposed 
  • Entities that provide some sort of limited liability / limits your exposure are: LLCs, Corporations, Limited Partnerships and Limited Liability Partnerships
  • Which entity is right for you? Depends on your goals for growth, revenue and raising funds
  • Your choice of entity affects your taxes, day to day operations, how you grow / scale

6:40 to 7:13 - Are There Benefits to Being a Sole Proprietor?

  • The cost for starting is low, there's a filing fee for an assumed name certificate
  • Reminder: On the legal side, you have unlimited liability and on the tax side you pay the self-employment tax

7:14 to 8:46 - Choosing a Business Entity 

  • Consider liability
  • Consider your goals for growth and funding
  • Breakdown of entity types 

8:48 to 10:44 - Misconceptions about LLCs

  • LLC is the most common type for small business
  • LLCs are governed by state statute
  • LLCs with one member as the sole owner (by default) is a separate entity for legal purposes but disregarded for federal taxes
  • LLCs with two or more members (by default) is a partnership
  • No LLC is a corporation or S corporation by default, you have to make an election to be taxed as such
  • If you have an LLC and didn't make an election to treat it as anything other than its default treatment, there's no separate business tax return to file - it's reported on your individual income tax return

10:45 to 11:28 - Get Your Team Together

  • Gather your lawyer, CPA and financial advisor - the three of them will help you make the best financial decisions possible

11:34 to 12:35 - Ashland Closing Remarks

If you like what you hear, share the podcast with your friends, rate and review. To stay in the loop - follow us on Twitter, Facebook or subscribe to the newsletter.

In the next several episodes, we'll be shifting directions into the world of websites and have some pros that we can't wait to introduce you to. Stay tuned!

Thanks!

Ashland, Creatives Meet Business

Sep 20, 2016

Hi there folks!

Creatives Meet Business is an event and podcast series based out of Austin, Texas for creatives of ALL disciplines to get from zero to one in thinking of themselves as business owners (in the creative sector).

This episode features Paul Glantz, an Austin-based CPA, who owns Launch Consulting, Inc. Launch Consulting, Inc. assists clients throughout the business process - from business consulting to entity selection to bookkeeping to tax preparation. For all of these reasons, Paul will be back for the next couple of episodes as we tackle LLC and Business Structures and a mystery episode. Without further adieu, let's tackle taxes!

0:00 to 2:08 - Ashland Opening Remarks and Intro of Paul Glantz, CPA

2:14 to 3:51 - What IS a CPA

  • CPAs can focus in certain spaces like: Public Accounting, Taxes, Industry / Private Practice 
  • CPAs in taxes help with compliance and filings and more

3:53 to 6:22 - Taxes and Who Can Prepare Them

  • Taxes can be prepared by a tax service provider (like H&R Block), an Enrolled Agent, or a CPA 
  • CPA - has a vested interest in clients and looks for opportunities to save client money. Benefit in a CPA lies in the long-term relationship.

6:25 to 8:25 - Just Getting Started? Finding the Right CPA

  • Main factors for choosing a CPA:
    1. Price - Find someone in your budget, but don't cut corners
    2. Familiarity with your industry - Tax is broad, you want them to be familiar with your industry and the deductions available for you
    3. Are you a more aggressive or conservative tax payer? Make sure they're comfortable with your style and vice versa.

8:27 to 10:25 - How do you minimize your bill with your CPA?

  • Ask your CPA up front and have a conversation about it!
  • Keep clean records
  • Separate business from personal - have a business banking account and credit card

10:27 to 13:30 - What do you give your CPA (from your business) at the end of the year?

  • Profit & loss statement, a balance sheet, general ledger 
  • If you aren't using accounting software and are tracking for yourself, categorize your expenses on an annual basis
  • Benefits of accounting software

13:32 to 14:30 - When's the Best Time to Hire a CPA?

  • Best time to hire a CPA - during the year, beginning of the year or before the year-end.

14:32 - Getting More Advanced - Conversation Shifting to Taxes

15:03 to 17:10 - What's Deductible?

  • General answer - anything ordinary and necessary to produce income or operate your business is a deductible expense
  • If you're soliciting your business over: meals / drinks / tickets to a game / etc - 50% is deductible 
  • Clothing is never deductible - unless it's a uniform

17:12 to 18:33 - What Does The IRS Want??

  • The IRS wants their cut! 
  • Self employment tax

18:35 to 19:20 - Keep Your Receipts!

19:22 to 22:18 - How Do You Calculate Estimated Taxes?

22:20 to 23:20 - How do Estimated Taxes work with Expenses?

  • IRS has worksheets that can help you
  • Form you file - Form 1040-ES
  • IRS Direct Pay link

23:24 to 24:27 - Ashland's Closing Remarks

If you like what you hear, share the podcast with your friends, like and comment. To stay in the loop - follow us on Twitter, Facebook or subscribe to the newsletter.

Stay tuned for more, we'll be posting another episode featuring Paul in the next couple of weeks. This next one will be all about LLCs and Business Structures and some solid business advice for getting started.

Thanks!

Ashland, Creatives Meet Business

Aug 30, 2016

Hi there folks!

Creatives Meet Business is an event and podcast series based out of Austin, Texas for creatives of ALL disciplines to get from zero to one in thinking of themselves as business owners (in the creative sector). We recorded the content for this podcast at our live event on Social Media in June.

This episode features Hailey Whidden, Account Coordinator with Social Distillery. Her episode on "How to Plan an Engaging Content Calendar & Curation Tips" goes into three types of content: original, consumer generated and repurposed content. Hailey shares excellent tips on setting up listening streams to share relevant content to your audience and how to leverage social media holidays to work into your existing content. Some of our favorites here at CMB include: Hug Your Cat Day (June 4th), Maple Syrup Day (December 17th), National Potato Chip Day (March 14th), No Dishes Day (May 18th), and Ask a Stupid Question Day (September 28th).

:15 to 1:04 - Introduction

1:05 to 1:37 - Three types of content

  • Content creation takes a long time!
  • Three types of content: original, consumer generated and repurposed original content.

1:40 to 3:42 - Original Content

  • Content that you create - blog post, shared article that shows thought leadership
  • Stay up to date with industry news, create google alerts and set up listening streams
  • Hootsuite, a free listening platform that searches for relevant hashtags and follows certain accounts
  • Take the time to brainstorm before you build out your content
  • Utilize social media holidays that are relevant for your industry, research about two to three months out
  • Social Media Holiday Calendar - Downloadable Google Calendar with 2,346 holidays

3:43 to 5:06 - Consumer generated content

  • Repurpose what people are saying about your brand, it's organic and also saves you time
  • Guest blog posts - connects you to your community, shows your connections and thought leadership
    • Share guidelines with guest bloggers

5:07 to 5:43 - Repurposed Content

  • Look for ways to repurpose your content, brochures, information on your website, past blogs.
  • With long form content, you can break it up into chunks and share. Create a mini video series from snippets from your blogs.

5:44 to 6:41 - Videos

  • Videos are expensive to produce and time consuming
  • Prediction - 70% of social media will be video based by 2017
  • Take classes on Skillshare or lynda.com to learn more about making video
  • Utilize apps like Boomerang to make videos

6:46 - Closing Notes

  • Course on Lynda.com to help make better videos - How Can I Shoot Better Video on an iPhone from Video Gear Weekly.
  • Review and rate this podcast if you like what you hear
  • Advice column! If you want to ask a question, go to our website and submit through the comments section. We work with past speakers to get the best answer possible AND make it fun to read.


If you like what you hear, share the podcast with your friends, like and comment. To stay in the loop - follow us on Twitter, Facebook or subscribe to the newsletter.

Stay tuned for more, we'll be posting another episode featuring one of the pros from the Social Media edition in two weeks.

Thanks!

Ashland, Creatives Meet Business

Aug 8, 2016

Hi there folks!

Creatives Meet Business is an event and podcast series based out of Austin, Texas for creatives of ALL disciplines to get from zero to one in thinking of themselves as business owners (in the creative sector). We recorded the content for this podcast at our live event in June.

This episode features Alejandra Cos, a Strategic Account Manager with Facebook. Her episode on "Paid Strategies for the SMB" goes into Facebook's algorithm for serving ads and what you can do to best position your ads for success. The discussion ranges from the type of content that performs best on Facebook to what does best on Instagram to bids and budgets and custom lists and lookalike audiences to relevance scores and so so much in between. This episode will knock your socks off (unless you're already sock-less).

:15 to 3:30 - Introduction

3:36 to 5:10 - Why Facebook?

5:12 to 6:27 - Difference between the social media platforms, what to advertise where

  • Facebook - stories from friends, family, loved ones
  • People scroll through things that they value in life, the best way to stand out as an ad is to blend into timelines / scroll
  • Instagram - a platform where people go to get inspired (not necessarily by friends)
  • Sometimes the platforms aren't used for the same purpose, be mindful of this when creating your ad creative

6:30 to 8:06 - Understanding your objective

  • Know your business objective and match it with what's available on Facebook
  • Like campaign example - if you choose this as your objective, Facebook will use its algorithm to find people who like
  • Conversion campaign example - if you choose this as your objective, Facebook will use its algorithm to find people who take action (complete a lead form, sign up for an event, sign up for a newsletter)

8:07 to 9:13 - Know what audience you're wanting to reach

9:15 to 10:08 - Creating Creative!

  • Most of the real estate is the image
  • You have a second or so to capture someone's attention as they scroll, the image has the most stopping motion
  • Ensure a good timeline experience

10:08 to 12:05 - The Good, The Bad and The Delivery (of Ads)

  • X'ing out an ad affects how the ad is delivered (delivery slows and loses the auction more and more)
  • Captivating Ads win more auctions
  • Relevance Score (1 to 10) - how these work. A 6 or above is recommended

12:06 to 13:15 - Testing!

  • Look at signals from reporting & metrics and make your campaigns even more relevant
  • A/B Test - Test with one variable, otherwise it's hard to track which variable contributed to the better performance
  • One example of testing is to keep the content the same but add multiple images and see how each image performs separately 

13:16 to 15:05 - What About When Your Ad Isn't Performing...?

  • Tips to combating under-delivery - your budget wasn't reached in ad delivery
    • Review your bid - amount you're willing to pay for the desired action
      • Keep within your budget, but its recommended to pay toward the higher end of the funnel for the bid
    • Budget - how much the campaign will spend per day or in its lifetime
  • Facebook auction process
  • Be mindful about audience overlap - don't compete against yourself for an audience

15:06 to 16:20 - Frequency 

  • If you like a page, you can see 3 ads tops per day
  • If you don't like a page, the maximum you can see is 2 ads per day
  • Audience overlap example with frequency

16:26 to 19:11 - Closing Time (Tools and Helpful Bits)

  • Facebook Business (FAQ that includes pretty much anything you could imagine)
  • Link to FAQ about my inquiry about which creative serves best for Facebook or Instagram 
  • Link to event on 8/16 (Taxes & Accounting)
  • Announcing... the launch of the CMB advice column! Go to the comment section of the website and send us your questions!

If you like what you hear, share the podcast with your friends, like and comment. To stay in the loop - follow us on Twitter, Facebook or subscribe to the newsletter.

Stay tuned for next week, we'll be posting another episode featuring one of the pros from the Social Media edition.

Thanks!

Ashland, Creatives Meet Business

Aug 2, 2016

Hi there folks!

Creatives Meet Business is an event and podcast series based out of Austin, Texas for creatives of ALL disciplines to get from zero to one in thinking of themselves as business owners (in the creative sector). We recorded the content for this podcast at our live event in June.

This episode features Ryan Johnston, Director of Content at Social Distillery. His episode on "Storytelling for the Nimble Marketer" goes into the "why" of social media and how social media platforms exist as places to tell our stories. With the human attention span  dropping from 12 to 8 seconds, using story in your social media posts to captivate your audience is more vital than ever. Oh, and he's hilarious.

  • 0:00 to 2:47 - Introduction 
  • 2:47 - What's Storytelling 
    • Social media created to tell personal stories
  • 3:22 - Personal Storytelling on Facebook
    • Selective life story - baby photos, political beliefs, vacations
  • 4:11 - Micro story of your vacation
    • Check-in at the airport, panoramic selfie, foodstagram 
  • 5:02 - Why do brands tell a story?
    • Because the alternative is direct product and service sales
    • Stories touch people in a direct way
  • 5:25 - Science! (And Why Brands Tell Stories)
    • When people hear facts the language part of their brain lights up.
    • When people hear or read stories - parts of their brain fire like they were actually there. They're more likely to remember what you're saying, be brand loyal, etc.
  • 6:02 - Brands on Social & Putting the Customer in the Hero's Spot
    • Gain awareness, sales
    • "Star Wars" Analogy by Ben Cecil with UPG Video 
    • Customer journey - You can't put the product in the pilot's seat of the Millennium Falcon, that's where the customer goes!
    • Building brand ambassadors through storytelling
  • 8:24 - Human attention span
    • Dropped from 12 to 8 seconds - eek! Less than a goldfish.
    • Think about how fast you scroll through social media feeds and how hard it is for something to stand out...
  • 9:20 - Story needs to be relevant and make sense (even if it's seen in the middle of the story)
    • Break it into bite sized pieces
    • Fill in the gaps with micro sites or landing sites that provide the bigger story
  • 10:00 - Paid Owned and Earned
    • Owned - social media channels, website, micro sites that you own as a brand
    • Paid - ads on social media. Paid element needed for content to be seen
    • Earned - Word of mouth marketing. 
  • 11:25 - How do you get people to tell the story of your brand for you?
    • Spike Jones (Austin marketer) says people share content for three reasons: Ego, Info & Emo
    • Ego - Posts that feed your ego (when you post the sandwich you made that morning)
    • Info - Sharing the latest information with your friends
    • Emo (Emotions) - People share emotionally out of delight or disgust
  • 12:50 - Continue the learning journey on Lynda.com
  • 13:36 - Next event in Austin


If you like what you hear, share the podcast with your friends, like and comment. To stay in the loop - follow us on Twitter, Facebook or subscribe to the newsletter.

Stay tuned for next week, we'll be posting another episode featuring one of the pros from the Social Media edition.

Thanks!

Ashland, Creatives Meet Business

Jul 18, 2016

Hi there folks!

Creatives Meet Business is an event and podcast series based out of Austin, Texas for creatives of ALL disciplines to get from zero to one in thinking of themselves as business owners (in the creative sector). We record the content for this podcast at our live events.

This episode features Meredith Gonsalves, instructor at General Assembly Austin and Digital and Social Content Strategist at Deloitte.

Her episode on "Social Media Strategy Mapping" walks you through the six (6) main aspects that you'll need to keep in mind for getting started with new social media channels OR if you're about to tackle a new campaign. The topics she discusses are applicable to anyone who wants to make the most out of their social media marketing.

  • 0:00 to 3:28 - Introduction & Supplemental Materials
  • 3:30 - Meredith Introduces Self
  • 3:55 - 6 Tips for Social Media Strategy Mapping - whether it be for a new social media channel or for a new campaign, put strategy and measurements behind your new idea before you put out any new content
    1. 4:45 - Position Your Brand
      • Have a deep understanding of how people view your brand - on and off social. How do people engage with your content? 
    2. 5:44 - Understand Your Target Audience
      • Are you reaching the community you really want to be talking to?
      • Know basic demographics, but also find out the other brands they follow and where they consume content
    3. 7:04 - Know Your Competitors 
      • Direct Competitor - Selling exactly what you're selling 
      • Indirect Competitor - Selling something similar or a portion of what you sell, could become a partner
      • It's good to understand your indirect competitors but REALLY have a better understanding of your direct competitors. Know their content and campaigns.
      • Share of Voice - How much of the conversation does your brand occupy in a conversation about your field or discipline (how much of the pie is your brand getting in the conversation)
    4. 8:48 - Social Media Strategy Mapping (with a real map)
      • Prioritize and map out your goals, find your business "why." Why are you on social media? 
      • Your tactics should link back to the "why" you're on social media
      • Example of a strategy map (goals, tactics and measurement)
      • Be able to measure your goals!
    5. 11:10 - Map Out Your Resources
      • Hootsuite or Buffer to schedule social media posts
      • Graphic designer to help with graphics
      • Create a content calendar (you can even do it in Excel)
    6. 12:00  - Measure and Optimize
      • Measure and understand if your tactics are helping you meet your goals
  • 13:27 - Lynda.com - online video tutorials for business, creative, and technology skills

If you like what you hear, share the podcast with your friends, like and comment. If you're in Austin, come and join us for an event! The next one is August 16th. To stay in the loop - follow us on TwitterFacebook or subscribe to the newsletter.

Stay tuned for next week, we'll be posting another episode featuring one of the pros from the Social Media edition.

Ashland, Creatives Meet Business

Jul 10, 2016

Hi there folks!

Creatives Meet Business is an event and podcast series based out of Austin, Texas for creatives of ALL disciplines to get from zero to one in thinking of themselves as business owners (in the creative sector). We record the content for this podcast at our live events.

This episode features Kristen Sussman, President and Founder of Social Distillery  who will tell us all about "The Secret (SEO) Power of Social Media" and gives seven (7) stellar tips on how to get you started.

  • :58 - Superhero Origin Story - Peter Parker aka Spider-Man
  • 2:42 - Kristen's Superhero Origin Story
  • 5:20 - 7 Tips and Tricks for SEO
    1. Google's Keyword Planner
      • Make 2 lists - a 3 or 4 keyword list and a 20 keyword list
      • Use these keywords and be consistent across all of your social media platforms (About Us section) 
    2. Incorporate a blog on your website
      • Post once a week
        • Doesn't always have to be you writing - use guest blog writer, employees
        • When including links - be sure to set them to open in a new tab
    3. Understand Google Crawlers
      • Use simple and clear language in blog post titles
    4. Use a Good Content Mix
      • Videos, blogs, photos, GIFs, RSS feeds, social media
      • Tag appropriately and be specific with your titles 
    5. Include your Company in Local Listings
      • Yelp, Google Places, TripAdvisor 
      • Submit your company to relevant lists 
    6. Identify Link Building Opportunities
      • Comment on published articles, make sure your comments are relevant
        • Contribute with humor or with knowledge / information
    7. Use an Evergreen Strategy with Your Social Media
      • Content strategy for Creatives Meet Business event 
      • Content as spiderweb of stories - content, posts & links
      • Use original, high quality content

If you like what you hear, share the podcast with your friends, like and comment. If you're in Austin, come and join us for an event! The next one is August 16th. To stay in the loop - follow us on Twitter, Facebook or subscribe to the newsletter.

Stay tuned for next week, we'll be posting another episode featuring one of the pros from the Social Media edition.

Ashland, Creatives Meet Business

Jul 2, 2016

Hi there folks!

Creatives Meet Business is an event and podcast series based out of Austin, Texas for creatives of ALL disciplines to get from zero to one in thinking of themselves as business owners (in the creative sector). We record the content for this podcast at our live events.

This is our roadmap (aka - long trailer) for what to expect over the next 6 to 8 weeks as we release 6 episodes with our social media pros. These episodes are EPIC.

We hope this taste of what's to come gets you super energized for these episodes as they release.

  • 2:03 - Kristen Sussman, President and Founder - Social Distillery
    • The Secret (SEO) Power of Social Media & Tips to Get You Started
  • 2:53 - Ryan Johnston, Director of Content - Social Distillery
    • Paid, Owned and Earned: Storytelling & Content for the Nimble Marketer
  • 3:45 - Hailey Whidden, Account Coordinator - Social Distillery
    • How to Plan an Engaging Content Calendar & Curation Tips
  • 5:30 - Alejandra Cos, Strategic Account Manager - Facebook
    • Paid Strategies for the Small to Medium Business
  • 7:04 - Meredith Gonsalves, Instructor - General Assembly Austin
    • Social Media Strategy Mapping
  • 8:14 - Emilie Kopp, Founder and Managing Partner - Bonobo Interactive
    • How to Build a Community & Channel Definition

Already can't wait to hear the next episode and needing more content to tide you over? Check out Social Distillery's recap of the event.

We'll post the episode featuring Kristen Sussman next week. Stay tuned for more!

-Ashland, Creatives Meet Business

 

Jun 28, 2016

Hi there folks!

Creatives Meet Business is an event and podcast series based out of Austin, Texas for creatives of ALL disciplines to get from zero to one in thinking of themselves as business owners (in the creative sector). We record the content for this podcast at our live events.

This episode features five Financial Planners, all sharing insights into retirement and everything you always wanted to know about IRAs* (*but were afraid to ask):

  • 1:23 - Bill Simonet, Simonet Wealth Management 
    • Build up savings first
    • IRA (prioritize AFTER savings) - traditional or Roth, Simple or SEP
    • Once you start adding employees, then add in 401(k)s
    • Income matters for IRAs, Revenue matters for 401(k)s
    • Separate personal assets from professional, build savings for small business. Become "ramen profitable" - then start focusing on IRAs and 401(k)s
  • 7:26 - Chris Baum, Palermo Wealth Management
    • Vehicles for small business owners - SEP IRA, Simple IRA and Solo 401(k)
      • He's a huge fan of Solo 401(k)
    • Competition has made everything A-MAZING for the consumer, many custodians have similar fees, so it's really about finding the best fit for you.
    • Custodians - hold your money, open your account, facilitate the trade
    • Roth 401(k) - you don't get a tax break the year you make a contribution, but you take it out tax free
      • You can always get your contributions back out of a Roth IRA without a penalty (same rules don't apply to earnings)
    • Keep a separate "tinkering" account for investing in things like "water cooler" stocks
  • 14:35 - Sophia Bera, Gen Y Planning
    • 4 types of IRAs
      • IRA Rollover - moving a retirement account into your own plan
        • If you cash it out, you have to pay a 10% penalty AND taxes
      • Regular IRA - Up to $5.5K tax deduction for contributions made to IRA
      • Roth IRA - Pay taxes up front, but it grows tax free. In early stages of business it's very ideal as you're in a lower tax bracket then you will be in the future (fingers crossed for you)
      • SEP IRA - Tax deduction
    • Sophia's personal favorite for setting up a retirement account - Betterment.com
  • 19:19 - Philip Olson, The Art of Finance
    • Month by month approach - save for taxes and retirement when you get a paycheck 
      • Save 25% for taxes and another 10 to 15% for retirement 
    • Suggestions for fixed income and a mixture of fixed and variable
  • 22:22 - Keith Powell, Austin Divorce Planners
  • 24:00 - What Ashland is Focusing On This Week
    • Opened a business credit card and determines which card to use based on reward points for the transaction (5% for internet and cell phone with business card, versus 1% on personal card)

We hope you enjoy the many tips and tricks nestled into this episode about saving money on your taxes through IRAs.

If you like what you hear or want to give us some feedback, please leave a comment.

Thank you!

Ashland Viscosi, Creatives Meet Business

Jun 7, 2016

Hi there folks!

This is the final chapter in our two part "mini-series" on budgets. Be sure to check out "Budgets...What's in a Name?" if you want some more insights into creating a budget best suited for you and your lifestyle. 

Our podcast content is "filmed" in front of a live "studio" audience.  You may be (briefly) fooled into thinking that this audible chocolate was recorded in a studio. Alas, although oftentimes the vocals are clear, there will be evidence that our experts are recorded live at the events (with background noise to prove it).

This episode features five Financial Planners, all sharing tips and tricks you can use to stay on budget and tools that will help you along the way:

  • 1:42 - Chris Baum, Palermo Wealth Management
  • 7:42 - Megan Poore, Lucien Stirling and Gray Advisory Group
    • Accountability (to spreadsheets OR people!)
    • Recent study on motivation and what keeps folks accountable (for whatever priority they set for themselves)
  • 10:13 - Philip Olson, The Art of Finance 
    • Psychology of giving - save first and give generously
    • One month ahead goal
    • Baby steps to weather a financial storm: create your emergency fund from your one month ahead goal, pay off debt smallest to largest, then save more in the emergency fund
    • YNAB (You Need a Budget)
    • Live on last month's income philosophy
  • 15:24 - Sophia Bera, Gen Y Planning
    • Find the tracking system that works for you! App, spreadsheet, whatever works best
    • Mint.com (great for understanding past transactions)
    • Weekly spends versus monthly budget
  • Keith Powell, Austin Divorce Planners
    • Mint.com (create spending limits)
    • True Bill OR Trim for monitoring subscriptions on credit card statements

Alas, we must now bid adieu to budgets. We hope you enjoy the many tips and tricks nestled into this episode about how to prioritize your spending so that it works for you.

We still have a few more episodes featuring insights from these Financial Planners on savings, retirement and being a creative entrepreneur. We can't wait to share them with you.

If you like what you hear or want to give us some feedback, please leave a comment.

Thank you!

Ashland Viscosi, Creatives Meet Business

 

About Creatives Meet Business:

Creatives Meet Business is an event series based out of Austin, Texas for creatives of ALL disciplines to no longer think of themselves just as "artists" and "creatives" but also as "small business owners" and "entrepreneurs." 

 

 

May 20, 2016

Hi there!

Creatives Meet Business is an event series based out of Austin, Texas for creatives of ALL disciplines to no longer think of themselves just as "artists" and "creatives" but also as "small business owners" and "entrepreneurs." 

Podcast episodes feature experts who participated in the live event. Don't be fooled by the crystal clear vocals you'll oftentimes hear, our experts are recorded live at the events (and there will sometimes be background noise that proves it...). 

This episode features five Financial Planners, all sharing their insights on what a budget is and how you can make it work for you: 

  • 2:41 - Sophia Bera, Gen Y Planning
  • 5:06 - Philip Olson, The Art of Financing (there was something a bit off with the mic, sorry...)
  • 9:18 - Bill Simonet, Simonet Wealth Management
  • 14:39 - Chris Baum, Palermo Wealth Management
  • 20:43 - Megan Poore, Lucien, Stirling & Gray Advisory Group

There's something unique and magical about how each of these Financial Planners describes a budget. Sometimes it's as simple as removing the negative connotation of "budget" and rebranding it as a spending plan and other times it's about prioritizing and achieving your lighthouse goals. 

All this to say, budgets...what's in a name?

-Ashland Viscosi, Creatives Meet Business

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