Neil Patel SEO is a great resource for anyone interested in growing their business online. Whether you’re an SEO specialist or entrepreneur, Neil Patel is a name and resource to familiarize yourself with. He is an entrepreneur and founder of several marketing tools like Crazy Egg and Hello Bar. One of my favourite free SEO tools is Ubersuggest which Neil Patel recently acquired and has expanded upon.
Ubersuggest – Free Traffic & SEO Analyzer
Ubersuggest is an excellent free audit of your websites performance that tells you where you rank with Google and for which keywords you are ranking for. It also provides keyword suggestions and insights into your industry market and competitors strategies.
Neil Patel YouTube
Neil Patel’s YouTube channel teach you to “Learn Digital Marketing in Just 5 Minutes a Day”. Videos found here are highly informative, useful and helpful for anyone interested in digital marketing, from beginner to expert. New videos are posted Monday, Thursday and Saturday.
Neil Patel is a columnist for HubSpot which is another great marketing suite of tools that’s great for business. They offer great free and paid solutions for your customer relationship management (CRM) and they are an excellent resource for marketing statistics and informative articles. Check out the Hubspot articles by Neil Patel
“Our goal has stayed the same: put suppliers in control of their sales, so they can control their futures.”
Local line is ‘an e-commerce tool for food suppliers’, based out of Kitchener Ontario Canada. Their complete suite of features is designed for farmers and market gardeners to sell and make their stock available online. Their white-label e-commerce, CRM, inventory and logistics makes it easy to setup an online store, communicate with customers, manage orders, deliveries & more. With COVID 19 currently affecting all aspects of the food supply chain, it is an important time for building new and solidifying current relationships between food suppliers and local consumers.
“Focally helps business pros create stunning documents that close more deals with less work.”
I took focally for a test drive yesterday. The timing was perfect for introducing me to focally as I have been prioritizing developing my marketing agency’s documents to be more visually appealing for my clients. I was also working on organizing them so that I can process my leads and proposals faster.
Document Templates & Customizer
Focally helps make your proposal game strong. The easy guides and customizer make it a breeze for anyone to create quality documents for proposals, quotes and marketing material.
Create your own unique documents from scratch or enjoy this web based app’s pre-made templates for business, consulting and marketing purposes. Customize documents with the easy editor that allows you to swap out and rearrange text, images, video & more. The app features a robust library of image assets and you can always upload your own images as well. Branding is a cinch when you can set your colours and fonts at document level. The documents can even include a navigation menu, allowing clients to jump to sections for quick reference. focally allows you to share documents with team members.
The app is design to close deals so naturally this includes receiving signatures so your clients can sign and accept your proposal’s. One of the features that most appealed to me was that these documents are responsive, so they adapt wonderfully to any screen size. My previous process of sending docs meant using pdf’s. With so many people using their smart phones to open documents, I had to think about the fact that pdf’s are not responsive and this could pose a barrier for some of my clients.
Close More Deals with focally
The idea is to make my marketing agency’s process of client communication and closing deals as efficient as possible. The app’s team is based in Toronto and is dedicated to great personalized & friendly customer support. I like how focally is helping me to level up my brand and customer experience in a way that makes it easy for both me and the client. focally offers a 14 day trial so you can try it out for yourself. https://focally.io/
Online Designer for Stunning Social Graphics, Short Videos, and Web Pages too!
Adobe has so many great online designer apps. Adobe Spark is THE must have for any one sharing content online. Not only is it great for social media design, it can also be used for most online visuals like ads, promotions, posts, hero images, videos and more. The app is brilliant and it’s FREE!
The app comes with tonnes of free stock photography, cool fonts and graphics to use. There are so many templates to use for almost any occasion and can be customized for your unique purposes. You can use the app on both desktop and mobile. Get it from the Play Store for Android. I like working on my graphics on my phone mostly because I can easily post to Instagram from mobile. But I use desktop often as well because I can work on the graphics on a bigger scale there. Check out some of my other social media planning apps on my blog here.
The Adobe Spark app is great for holiday graphics with templates for your holiday card maker and social media posts. I also recommend the app for promoting your brand, business, services and products. You can design one visual then easily readjust the canvas to any dimensions saving many versions at different dimensions. This makes it easy to develop a brand campaign of stunning and sophisticated visual graphics to represent your brand across all your social media platforms and more.
The app is also great for Wedding templates and more.
Teachable – Create and sell beautiful online courses
Your skills and experiences are unique and valuable. Easily build a beautiful course website, share your knowledge, and be rewarded for it.
Teachable is a very cool app that makes it easy to create online courses. Great for anyone who has a skill, a talent or with knowledge to share, Teachable can help you develop, launch and make money with your online training course. It is free to setup. All you need to get started is your email and the name of your school. This online course creator is a well designed platform that is well organized and visually appealing. The dashboard makes it easy for both you and your students to navigate your course. Develop a course curriculum with optional learning tools like quizzes, lectures, and video.
This top rated online course creator also makes selling your course a breeze. You can choose how you want to receive payment for your course, either by subscription, one time purchase or by payment plan. If you want to you can even share your course for free 🙂
Visually plan, manage, and schedule your Instagram Posts with Planoly
Create draft grids to test out the look of content without having to commit to publishing. Make social media management easy by planning ahead with Planoly!
“Manage, plan and schedule your Instagram posts from your computer and mobile phones. Create a cohesive Instagram feed and manage multiple Instagram accounts.”
Planoly is an official partner of Instagram (and Pinterest too!) that makes it easy to plan your posts and preview them laid out as a grid, just the way they will look once they’ve been posted to Instagram. One of the best features is the ability to auto post your scheduled posts (I use Facebook Creator Studio to auto post too, see my post about it here).
“It’s the First visual planner for Instagram. Clear and to the point web and mobile app – PLANOLY is the most effective visual social media planner on the market (oh, and you can schedule too)!”
Planoly makes developing content easy with access to a free library of stock images. You can also track your success and learn more about your audiency with analytics insights.
And if you’re into e-commerce, Planoly is great because you can add shop links to Instagram and tag your products on posts.
Social media managers rejoice! You can now plan, schedule AND post to Instagram from desktop!
For the longest time you could only post to Instagram through the mobile app. The desktop version of the app allows browsing of posts and profiles but there has been no option to post on desktop through the app. Facebook bought Instagram in 2012 and it was hoped this would change sooner but it is only recently that Facebook has made Instagram desktop posting and scheduling possible.
There have been third party hacks over the years but none too efficient. Even popular social media management platforms like Hootsuite and Planoly hadn’t offered this until early 2018. Before that time they would promote that you could ‘schedule’ Instagram posts which meant inputting your content and ‘scheduling’ the post. When the scheduled time came, Hootsuite would remind you to post but you still had to do this yourself manually as always. So while 3rd party partners of Instagram have offered this since 2018, since August 2019 you can auto post and schedule with Facebook too. I am very excited that scheduling and posting Instagram posts is now more efficient than ever with Facebook’s creator studio.
“Creator Studio lets creators and publishers manage posts, insights and messages from all of your Facebook Pages in one place.”
The average American makes more than 70 choices a day. In this Ted Talk Sheena Iyengar explains how consumers make decisions.Too many choices actually reduces engagement, decision quality and customer satisfaction. Iyengar provides and explains what makes choosing easier. She explains:
Four rules for making choosing easier:
1. Cut – Less is More
2. Concretize – Make it vivid
3. Categorize – More categories, fewer choices
Iyengar is a Stanford Graduate who teaches at Columbia Business School. She is an expert on choice.
Mailchimp has been my solution for making and sending e-newsletters. I use it for my business and for my clients. https://mailchimp.com You can sign up for a free account which is plenty good for many small business’. The free account offers up to 2000 subscribers and provides the means to make quality designed e-newsletters. You can collect email subscribers by adding a sign up form to your website. You can even put the sign up form on your Facebook Page. It’s also possible to add new subscribers to a Mailchimp list manually. For instance, If you have a shop put a sign up form at the till. If you’re a local musician put it at the door to the event. Just make sure you make it clear that you are collecting these emails for the purpose of your newsletter. Mailchimp doesn’t like when people add the emails of those who never asked to be included.
Other features include analytic insights of your audience’s interaction with your e-newsletter once you’ve sent it. I am a data hound and it’s because this kind of data is valuable to understand what’s working, what’s not. You can see metrics for how many people opened your e-newsletter and how often. It also shows how many clicks it got to links within the e-newsletter. It shows the popular times of day when your e-newsletter gets the most opens. These are just some of the helpful features this free app provides.
Spotify pays out less than 1 cent per track being streamed. Meanwhile, the majority of the money collected on bandcamp goes directly to the artists who made the music. Artists selling music on bandcamp pay the platform 15% of their sales, retaining 85%, the majority percentage of all album and track sales.
As Guardian columnist John Harris points out “Each day, I wake to find that Spotify’s systems have sent me an array of personal playlists, grouped together as my “daily mix”. On the day this piece was started, for example, mixes one to three were sold to me chiefly via the mention of such acts as Oasis, Happy Mondays, Bob Dylan and the Smashing Pumpkins, while mix four featured Pharrell Williams, Solange, the Mercury prize winner Sampha, and the uncategorisable Frank Ocean. Do you see what they did there? Presumably thanks to a moronic set of ideas about genre, white musicians go in one kind of box, while black ones tend to go in another.”
Most artists put a fair bit of thought into creating not just a track, but a thoughtful album from start to finish. The desired effect is often a type of story or mood arc which takes several well laid out tracks to achieve. After abandoning the expansion of my CD collection a number of years back, I relied too heavily on streaming services for my listening pleasure. While it seemed novel at first that algorithms could provide me with a semi appropriate follow up track, it turns out I was missing the simple pleasure of enjoying an album in it’s entirety. I have rediscovered this simple audiophile pleasure via bandcamp. Streaming services like Spotify have a tendency to replay popular tracks without sampling enough of any one artists repertoire. The result is the fast food effect of popular music.
We love working with musicians! While the music industry can be a difficult place to earn a living, it can also be one of the most rewarding. Many factors play into the success of a career in music. The industry can differ widely across scenes, genres, and and geographic location. Here are my best marketing tips for musicians in 2019
Start a Newsletter Sign-Up
Choose an Online Hub
Blog / Social Media
Patreon / Paid Subscription
People want to work with people they know, like and trust. Your personal reputation will always be the single most crucial factor towards your long-term success as a professional of any kind. This stands true of professional musicians too. Being reliable, hard working and good at what you do are all your best assets. So be confident in those traits when putting yourself out there. This will ensure you understand your own value as a musician and will know the difference between people who also value those qualities and those who do not.
It might go without saying but the larger your network, the more possible opportunities will become available to you. I began taking ‘socializing’ as imperative to my marketing plan a few years back and it has proven to be instrumental to every dollar I make. Maintain long-term relationships, and develop new opportunities when meeting new people by attending events you are invited to and other places where people are. I don’t think it really matters what these events are. Joining a hockey club or going out to a new D&D campaign can do the trick. I like to focus my time on the events that I am likely to have the most fun at and hopefully either meet a few new people or run into a few old friends. When people see you they usually ask what you do for a living or what you have been up to. Take opportunities to let people know you’re a working musician, then you can move on to keep having fun and enjoying the evening.
Start a Newsletter Sign-Up
E-Newsletters have been referred to as the golden goose of digital marketing. I believe it now that I have seen it. Having an email list to send e-newsletters to needs to be your marketing focus if it isn’t already. Conversions are high for e-newsletters compared to other platforms. If you’re looking for a cost effective marketing strategy, this is it. Promote the band, album or new music video with an e-newsletter. This really does need to be the focus for every musician out there.
People need to knowingly & voluntarily sign up to legally be included on a mailing list aka they have to ‘opt-in’. You can collect sign ups a number of ways, either online by
adding a newsletter sign up form to your website
or directly having a sign up sheet at the front door of your gigs
These people who have added their emails to your list are more likely to support you because they have supported you before by attending one of your shows or by going to your website. So this list of loyal followers who are probably already interested in what you do and are just waiting to hear from you. So go ahead, collect as many emails as possible and get a little fan club happening that you keep informed via e-newsletter shout outs. Mailchimp is my preferred e-newsletter method https://mailchimp.com/
If you really want to shock people, go old school and send them a snail mail newsletter! Then write me and tell me how it went.
Relax. You don’t have to ‘sell out’ to brand yourself as a musician (if that’s what you were thinking?). I’ve reviewed my share of musicians press kits and even the most professional of these seem to grapple with the basics of visual presentation (at least in the digital department!). So branding may or may not be your strong point, but if you’re a touring musician you’ve probably had to think about a poster idea or two. Save time by not spending time overthinking every individual marketing piece as it comes. Instead, having a few key visual cues that consistently convey your style across various marketing platforms can save time and drastically increase your success.
Create a logo by writing your name in a font that feels and looks good for you
Pick a secondary font to be used for content on your marketing materials
Choose a few colours to use consistently across your marketing
Create a media library of photos that can be used for social media, etc (I’ll write more about DIY photography later)
Choose an Online Hub
Whether it be a website, a Facebook profile or page, or even LinkedIn, choose at least one online platform where you can get all your info up online. Having at least one online platform where you can direct people whether through posters or word of mouth can provide them with access to news & shows.
For better or worse, social media can play a big part towards your music projects success. Spend time nurturing a couple of these platforms and they will payback. People spend an incredible amount of time surfing online so it is a good place to reach people. It doesn’t replace the very awesome face to face encounters and in-person greetings by any means. Blogging and social media are not the be all and end all of marketing. I am a firm believer in direct marketing and in person introductions as the #1 path to success of marketing. But once you’ve made that connection, social media is a great way to keep folks in the loop.
Patreon / Paid Subscription
Album sales are a fraction what they used to be. Live gigs are often the one reliable source of income for musicians, forcing them into constant touring. A new way for fans to support their favourite musicians is here with paid subscription options like Patreon. Using your e-newsletter list and social media to promote the subscription, you can offer subscribers incentives like new songs released monthly, tour updates and fan promotions like merch giveaways. 10 fans subscribing $5 monthly adds up to $1100 per year. Hmm, what delicious new music gear would you spend that on? Or how about gas for your next tour?
Flora & farmer is a food producer based out of Winnipeg MB who makes “delightfully daring preserves your grandma never made”. We love this client because we sometimes receive added perks of scrumptious pickles and jams that go down the hatch faster than most webpages will load.
Search Engine Optimization – aka – SEO is the process by which you can improve your ranking score for certain search terms in a search engine like google or yahoo.
Let’s say you own a florist shop called Deloris the Florist in Regina Saskatchewan Canada.When someone searches their preferred search engine with the key words “florist in Regina” will they find you in the first spot, or on the seventh page?
No one usually looks beyond the first few results and very rarely do they make it past the third page of results. For this florist shop to achieve their goal of being on the first page of google when someone searches with those key words, they will need to follow best recommendations for SEO.
First things first is to understand a bit about how your website is ranked by Search Engines. This will help you understand how to optimize your site. Search engines like Google have bots that are searching the web non stop. Bots scrape the text of new websites that have been added to the web and submitted to search engines and will periodically revisit your site. Bots do not have eyes so they do not see pictures, but they do read text. They search the text of a website for terms that are used most often, but not too often otherwise the bots will think you’re spamming them. Bots pay attention to how long a user stays on your page. This is called a bounce rate.
A high bounce rate means people are leaving your page or website too fast. To keep a low bounce rate, you want to be sure to optimize your site with terms that are truly descriptive of the content they will find on your page. Bots will rank your site with favor when they see that your site has a low bounce rate with steadily increasing traffic. Other ways to think about how to keep users engaged with your site and staying on your pages longer is by having plenty of interesting text for both users and bots to index, as well as other engaging content for your traffic, such as images, video and blogging.
Our Beginners Guide to SEO – Search Engine Optimization
1.Optimize your website by making sure it is running well. If your website is slow to load, people leave fast This contributes to a high bounce rate which will damage your search engine ranking. There can be a lot of reasons for a slow website. Luckily it is pretty easy to find out what these reasons are. Here are links to online sites that give you free website metrics, telling you how fast your page is, how it compares to other sites and recommendations for ways to improve your websites optimization.
GTmetrix | Website Speed and Performance Optimization
GTmetrix is a free tool that analyzes your page’s speed performance. Using PageSpeed and YSlow, GTmetrix generates scores for your pages and offers actionable recommendations on how to fix them.
2. Research keywords for your industry to use in your website copy. The best way to do this is probably using Google Ad Words and have get some training using SEO and developer keyword tools. But for something a bit more accessible we recommend, MOZ PRO
With MOZ you can easily look up keywords and get information back about the search engine relevance of that keyword. We also recommend reading the MOZ Beginners Guide to SEO and Keyword Research https://moz.com/beginners-guide-to-seo/keyword-research
3. Use an SEO plugin
Yoast is one of the best SEO plugins. Their Search Engine Optimization plugin is one of the most popular WordPress plugins out there. They also have a website that is full of great articles and content about website optimization best practices.
Yoast is our #1 Recommendation for a SEO Plugin
SEO for everyone • Yoast
Yoast helps you with your website optimization, whether it be through our widely used SEO software or our online SEO courses: we’re here to help.
4. Monitor your website traffic. You can track your website traffic progress by signing up with Google Analytics. There’s lots of free information that they provide you such as how much traffic your site gets, how people are finding you, and how users behave on your site and you can even get information about the organic search words that people are finding you with. There are ways to identify how to monitor your websites ranking for certain key words. Most of these online resources want you to make a paid subscription which can be very worthwhile. Of these you might like to check out https://www.semrush.com
Google Analytics Solutions – Marketing Analytics & Measurement
Google Analytics Solutions offers free and enterprise analytics tools to measure website, app, digital and offline data to gain customer insights.
This is pretty much the #1 tool for online marketing that I am currently recommending to my clients.
Easy to Use
Great for Generating Brand awareness and New Leads
You need a smart phone to use it. You can view accounts on your desktop or laptop but can only upload to your Instagram account via a smart phone. Navigate to your phones APP store. On Samsung the App is Play Store, on Itunes it’s the Apple Store etc. From there browse Instagram. Download the App then open it. It will ask you for your login information or to create an account. Create your account or login.
I could continue to explain using Instagram but I’ll save my typing and for a proper orientation I will point you in the direction of HubSpot! which is one of my favourite online resources for all things online marketing. There you will learn everything there is to know, starting with how to setup an Instagram business account. They’ll also show you about linking your account to your Facebook Page, how to create engaging content and more. Find the link below. There’s also a link for a YouTube video that breaks it down in about 5 minutes.
Once you get pretty good at Instagram, you might like to try out some expansion apps for doing things like
Reposting other peoples posts, similar to “sharing” on Facebook (Repost)
Share bursts of photos and mini videos (Boomerang)
Create layouts to show multiple images in one view (Layout)
If you have a Facebook Page for your business or organization, any advertising campaigns you set there can automatically be shared on Instagram. You can also share your Instagram posts to your Facebook personal or business page, making it as easy to share to two platforms as it is to one.
Using hash tags on your Instagram is a crucial aspect to developing an Instagram audience and to generating new leads.
Include as many as 20-30 Hash Tags with every post. Use relevant hash tags. Do a little research to find out popular hash tags you could use for your posts by searching the internet with a search querie like “Popular Hash Tags Instagram”. Look through the results and develop a list of hash tags that are appropriate for your content. You can be abstract, zany or direct with your choice of hash tags, creativity is usually celebrated here but remember to also try to be descriptive because they do serve to describe your content to your audience, bringing you up in peoples feeds that are relevant to your product or service.
Instagram Marketing: The Ultimate Guide
Instagram Marketing: The Ultimate Guide
Learn how to create captivating visuals, grow your following, and drive engagement on Instagram.