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Setting up your Business Facebook Account

Posted by lisas on January 17th, 2011

Most likely you already have a personal Facebook account. And most likely you want your personal account to be in no way, shape or form connected to your business account. That would be smart. Why is this smart? Consider these scenarios– you set up a page under your personal account but then you want to sell your business. How do you hand over the Facebook page? Or worse yet, you create a page, have an employee like it, and you make them an admin so they can update the page. But then the employee leaves and decides to get in there an un-admin you from your own page! How can you get back in? Bad news — you can’t. Not unless your page was set up as a separate stand-alone business page.

But how do you set up a stand-alone Facebook Page for your business totally removed from your personal account?

Facebook would like you to think that this is not possible. Facebook would prefer that you do everything under your personal profile, not your business name. But hold tight. I am going to show you a work-around.

1) Set yourself up an email address that you will be using exclusively for Facebook. If you have your own domain name do it there. If you don’t know how, call up your ISP or webmaster and find out how. If you don’t have your own domain, set up an email address at gmail or yahoo. Make sure the email address is unique. Facebook will not let you use an address such as facebook@yourdomain.com or sales@yourdomain.com or webmaster@yourdomain.com — you get the idea.

2) Write this email address down, write the username and password to access it down and put it in a safe place. Don’t do anything else until you have done this. No hurry. I’ll wait . . . .. . . .

4) Do not proceed any further until you have the above steps accomplished and you are sure you can access this new email address.

Okay? Are we all on the same page? Still with me?

Now go to www.facebook.com — if you are logged in as your personal profile, LOG OUT.

See on the main Facebook page where it says “SIGN UP” — Do NOT sign up. Instead underneath that is a link that says “Create a Page for a celebrity, band, or business. Click on that link.

This will take you to the “Create a Page”  page. Fill in the appropriate information to create and Official Page. Not a Community Page

Facebook will now take you to a Create Facebook Page Account. It has a selection at the top that asks you to specify if you already have a Facebook Account. Yes, yes, I know you do for your personal account, but for your business, you DON’T!!! Check “I do not”

Then fill in all the information, using the NEW email account you set up in the first few steps. Remember, make sure that new email is set up and working and you have access to it BEFORE you do this! This is very important!

It asks for your birthday. Just go ahead and enter in your regular birthday. Or make one up. Just make sure your birthday makes you more than 18 years old.

Click Sign up Now! And you will get this screen.

Now, go to your email. You will have a new email from Facebook –

Click on the link. It will take you to your NEW Facebook Page!

But WAIT!!!!! WAIT WAIT WAIT WAIT!!! You are not out of the woods yet!!!! Remember how I told you that Facebook does not like you to have a stand-alone business page? How it wants you to connect the page to a profile? Facebook is going to keep asking and asking and asking you to convert this “page” into a “profile” Let’s make a deal right now — you have to pinky pinky pinky swear with sugar on top not to ever, ever, ever click on this link at the top that says “create your profile” –once you do that, all is lost. You will have converted your page into a profile and you will never, ever, ever, be able to change it back.

What I would recommend, to avoid potential pitfalls in the future of maybe accidentally clicking somewhere not so great and converting your page, is to logout of the page you just created. Step back. Log all the way out.

Now Log back into Facebook as your personal self.

Do a search at the top of Facebook for your new page.

Then “like” it as yourself.

Now Log back out again.

Log back in as your new page using the email and password you used to set up your page.

Now click “Go To Page” REMEMBER DON’T EVER CLICK ON CREATE PROFILE! YES I AM SHOUTING. IT IS THAT IMPORTANT!!!!

You will see yourself down there as your first “like”

See how cute you are!!! :-)

Now click on “Make Admin.” You want to make your personal profile an admin of this page.

Logout again — and log back in as your personal profile. Still with me?

You will see that your new page made you an “admin” in your notifications.

I would HIGHLY recommend that from now on, as your personal profile is an admin of your business page, that you make all updates to this page through your personal profile. This will avoid the potential risk of you converting your page into a profile. Write that email address you used to set up the account, along with the password, and put it in a very safe place. Then write a note to yourself reminding yourself where you put it.

To get to your new page through your personal profile go to www.facebook.com/pages when you are logged in as yourself.

At the top you will see Pages I Admin. Click on that link. Your page will appear there.

Technically, now you won’t ever have to admin your page from the login we set up above. What it is, is an insurance policy. A back-door if you will. It gives you ownership of your page exclusive of your personal account.

Now, post a link on your personal profile and get all your friends to “like” your new page. Promise them candy or your undying devotion or something fun. Once you get 25 “likes” you can create your own unique username.  Yes, yes, I’ll help you with that too. But another day. My fingers are tired from typing.

And when you are ready to look REALLY professional, call me and we’ll set up come custom graphics for your new business page. Like these:


Setting up your Facebook Page

Posted by lisas on November 9th, 2010

Most likely you have a personal profile page on Facebook that you use to connect with friends from  your personal life. What about  when you want to set up a Facebook presence for your business? The last thing you want is to have your business clients/colleagues accessing your personal information: pictures of your dog in funny hats, pictures of your Cabo vacation in that skimpy bikini — you get the idea. So — what to do?

Enter: the Facebook Business Page

How you set up your business page can be tricky. Facebook is not a big fan of Business Pages in theory. It kind of went kicking and screaming into the realm of an avenue to market your business. Back in “the day” (like 6 months ago) business were getting around this by setting up a fake profile page for themselves. Facebook didn’t care for this and started enforcing its TOS guidelines and shutting these profiles down. And there went all the marketing efforts these businesses put into gathering friends on these profiles, advertising with these profiles, etc. A side note: one thing to remember when doing anything on Facebook is this: Facebook owns it. Not you. They have total control and can do whatever they want with your Page, your content, your layout, your photos, etc. The moral to this: proceed with caution! Don’t trust this setup to your brother’s friends’ teenage cousins to get the job done.

I digress, again. Facebook then created Groups and finally Pages. Pages are what you want to market your business. But how to set one up?

This is where you must be cautious. Remember when we talked about domain names? And how setting one up incorrectly could cost you? This is generally the same idea. Make sure you set up your Facebook Business Page so you have total control. Otherwise it will come back to haunt you later.

How do you do that? Stay tuned, I am going to walk you through the correct way to set up your Facebook Business Page. My gift to you  . . .

Unraveling Social Media - Part 1 - Facebook

Posted by lisas on October 4th, 2010

Does anybody remember a commercial from the 70s starring Heather Locklear for Fabergé Organic Shampoo? The premise of the commercial was that Heather used this terrific new shampoo and liked it so much she told two friends and they liked it so much they told two friends and they told two friends and so on and so on and so on . . . (you can watch it here if you like)

That is the best way I know how to describe marketing on Facebook. It’s perpetual. If someone “likes” your business page, two of their friends will “like” it too and so on and so on and so on . . .  FOREVER — and guess what? — it didn’t cost you a dime!

The statistics regarding Facebook users are impressive, but can be misleading depending on how you interpret them.

According to one study, done May 2010:  77% of the American population is on Facebook and they spend 56 minutes on average every single day there.

Yep. Impressive. Especially when you consider that as web developers we shed tears trying get people to spend 10 minutes straight on our sites.

However, consider this:

Nielsen Company reported that for March 2010 Facebook saw an average of 7 hours per user, for the month. That works out to about 14 minutes a day.

That same Nielsen report also shows that Facebook had approximately 117 million unique users for March 2010. If all of them came from the US that would represent about 38% of the US population.

However, Facebook states that 70% of their users are outside the US. So that means approximately 35 million of the March 2010 users were from the US, this represents about 11% of the US population.

Given this, it would probably be more accurate to say that approximately 1 in 10 Americans spends about 14 minutes a day on Facebook.

Still impressive. However you want to look at it or break it down, the fact remains. Facebook is a goldmine of marketing opportunity for your business. For very little investment, a business can tap into this powerful marketing tool and begin to get their brand in front of a very specific demographic.

In the coming weeks, I’ll post a series of blog posts on how to best incorporate Facebook into your Social Media Marketing plan. We’ll explore the best way to set up a Facebook Business page, how to get your own unique Facebook Page name, and how to set up Facebook to work with other Social Media strategies such as Twitter and your blog. We’ll even get into utilizing some of those fun little Facebook apps (and no, I am not talking about Farmville, so don’t try and sell me any of your cows or get me to water your crops.)

Stay tuned! And don’t forget to tell a couple of your friends!

Marketing Your Website . . . part 2

Posted by lisas on September 15th, 2010

Do me a favor? Go to www.google.com. Type in: South Dakota Web Design. Then hit “search.”

Go ahead. I’ll wait.

Don’t be shy. I promise I’ll still be here when you get back.

All done? If I’ve done everything correctly, you’ll notice that LisaDesigns.com came up in the top 5 searches. Most likely, LisaDesigns.com is coming up #1. In the FREE listings. Not the ones you have to pay for.

How the heck did that happen?

Well, honestly? I’d like to say I am an internet SEO marketing genius. But, I think you know if that was true I would be a gazillionaire. I would have a horse ranch on 1000 acres that backs up to Custer State Park. With a huge log house, an indoor gym and a swimming pool. And a carbon fiber triathlon bike. Obviously I am not a gazillionaire. But I digress . . .

In reality it is a combination of a multitude of factors:

#1: I’ve owned this domain name lisadesigns.com for over 10 years. Google really likes that.

#2: The focus of my site, with repeated words that emphasize that focus throughout the site, has stayed constant for 10 years. I don’t mean that the actual content is the same. My focus is the same. I’m a web designer, my site is about web design. It’s been that way for over 10 years. Google likes that too.

#3: Lots of different sites link to me. They link to me referencing web design. That makes Google happy.

#4: This one is very interesting. When I first started in this business, I manually submitted my site to yahoo.com. Back in those days Yahoo had to approve each and every site that was submitted before they would index it. I submitted to a geographical region: South Dakota. I didn’t submit my address because I worked from home, I had young children at home, and I was a paranoid new mommy. I didn’t want every crazy on the internet to know where I lived. Because I submitted without an address, Yahoo actually called me up! On the phone! To tell me they wanted an address to verify that I lived in South Dakota. I gave the Yahoo guy, who was very nice by the way (hi Yahoo guy), my sob story about not wanting my address on the ‘net. He agreed to index me without my address listed. In fact, he was such a nice Yahoo guy that he listed me as #1 in the “South Dakota Web Design” search. I stayed that way for a long time. When Google came around they listed me as #1 because Yahoo did. Yay for Yahoo! Yay for Google!

#5: I have a blog. Several blogs in fact. I update them regularly and they all carry a link back to this site. This, I believe, is the wave of the future. Blogs with constantly updating content. Google really, really likes that.

So you see, it doesn’t take genius to index in Google or any other search engine for that matter. It does, however, take time and take patience and a willingness to pay attention to your website on a regular basis. Google likes content that is updated regularly. The more often you can repeat your search terms within that content in a relevant way — google does not like bogus content — the better your rankings will be.

If you don’t want to be patient and wait for the magic to happen, there is always pay-per-click marketing. But that’s a subject for another blog post.

In the meantime, I’ll be working on that gazillionaire thing.

Marketing Your Website

Posted by lisas on September 14th, 2010

“Running a website without marketing is like winking in the dark. You know what you are doing, but nobody else does.”

Sound true? I get questions like this all the time – “how will people find my website?”

Of course there is internet search engine marketing, and I will address that particular venue in a future post, but first let’s concentrate on traditional advertising.

A new website is going to take quite a bit of time to be indexed by search engines. While you are waiting for that to happen, and truthfully throughout the life of your website, you will greatly enhance your visibility by using traditional advertising markets to push your site. By this I mean the obvious: make sure every single piece of collateral material that goes out of your office is branded with your web address– your URL. Your www.yourwebsite.com address. Slap that baby everywhere. In fact, if I could talk you into it, I would counsel you to tattoo that URL right to your forehead! Traditional advertising is really that important.

Take a look at what you might be overlooking. What does your “on hold” message say? Your after hours voice mail? Your email signature? Is it directing potential visitors to your site? That’s passive marketing. Passive meaning it doesn’t cost you anything and you don’t have to physically be there to make it happen. Use it to your advantage.

Fax cover sheets, vehicles, billboards, license plate frames, Yellow Page ads — you name it!

All marketing communication materials should emphasize your URL and entice readers to visit your site. Envelopes? Business cards? Invoices? Print that URL in BOLD TYPE where it is easily seen. Is your place of business located in a high traffic area? Invest in a banner. Voila! Instant billboard to direct traffic to your site.

Anything that can handle your URL should have your URL. It’s as simple as that.

Oh, and that tattoo comment I made earlier? I actually know someone who invested in temporary tattoos emblazoned with her website URL. She handed them out in goody bags at a marketing function. Pretty smart if you ask me. Her web traffic stats almost doubled. Imagine that.

Questions? Comments? Feel free to leave them below. I look forward to hearing your feedback.

Protect your investment!

Posted by lisas on August 22nd, 2010

When you set up a new website, you are making a very large investment in a very important part of your new web experience. What am I talking about? Your domain name:  .com, .net, .org — name for your site.

I can’t stress to you how important it is that you set up your domain name properly from the get-go. It is crucial that it is set up in a way that you will ultimately have access to your domain name no matter what happens.

Here’s  the usual scenario:

Very important, very busy business owner is too busy to find out about how to purchase one of these domain name things so they delegate it to “Someone Else” within the company. “Someone Else” purchases the domain name for them. But what does “Someone Else” use for contact information? THEIR personal email — not the email that goes directly to the business owner.

By and by “Someone Else” leaves the company for one reason or another. Hopefully it was an amicable split — because guess who is the only one now who has access to YOUR domain name? Yep: “Someone Else.”

And “Someone Else” doesn’t work for you any more! Bummer.

Here is another scenario:

You took the time to purchase your domain name yourself and used your own email. Yay! You did this part right. But then, down the line, you switch ISP’s and your email changes. You forget that your domain name is registered under your OLD email which you no longer have access to. Bummer again! Remember, if you switch emails, update your domain name before you make the switch so you can verify the change through your old email — that’s where the verification email will go.

The really big downside to both of these situations is this:

You are not getting renewal information if your domain name can’t find you! ICANN doesn’t care who owns a domain name. So if yours expires and someone else purchases it you will be out of luck. Think of all that money you spent in developing your website and marketing your website and having brochures, and business cards printed with your domain name that now belongs to someone else! And if you tattooed your domain name across your forehead Oh boy! Now your tattoo.com points to someone else’s site. Most likely a site belonging to scab who now wants to sell Viagra using your old domain name. And short of offering that scab a bunch of cash for your old domain name (and believe me, it won’t be cheap) you have lost that domain name forever.

Be careful. Protect your investment.

What Domain Name Should I Choose?

Posted by lisas on August 20th, 2010

This question would have been a lot easier to answer about 10 years ago. Back in “the day” there was only one go-to place to get your domain name, Network Solutions. They weren’t cheap, either. About $80 per year to register your .com name. Try to register several and you would be racking up a mighty large bill rather quickly. Finding what you wanted for your domain name back then, in the good ole days, wasn’t that difficult. For instance, I wanted lisadesign.com but it was already taken. Hmmmm? What to do? Well, I was in a hurry to start this business, and a little brain dead from all-night feedings with infant twins, so I just tacked an “s” on the end — lisadesigns.com was born. Worked for me. One less thing I had to worry about.

But then! Oh boy — domain name deregulation happened. Suddenly Network Solutions wasn’t the only game in town. Domain resellers started popping up all over the place! Register.com, tucows, godaddy. They were all out to undercut each other in price. It dropped to about $10 per year and hovers right around there now. The sky became the limit for domain names. Everybody wanted one. Everybody bought them. Enterprising entrepreneurs bought them to resell them. The field was wide open. Soon, most everything worth buying was already bought. Sure you can buy from a third party, but you will have to pay for it. Sometimes pay dearly.

So what’s a new website wannabe to do? First, try and see if your #1 choice is available. I just bought www.lonelyrangers.com for my band. Our band was already named The Lonely Rangers. Either I got lucky or our band name was so ridiculous nobody had thought of it before. (Just kidding! I love our band! Hi guys!!) It was a good deal that even though I thought it would surely be taken, I went ahead and checked anyway.

If your #1 choice is not available you may have some options to move a few things around like I did with my domain name and the “s”.

Add the location of your site into your domain name. For instance Motions, a site I do for a local dance apparel store, was already taken. However, our Motions is in Rapid City (hi Google) so we bought motionsrapidcity.com for Motions Rapid City.

If your business name is really long, it may help to abbreviate a little bit. South Dakota Overhead Doors becomes sdoverheaddoors.com

Use a thesaurus or a rhyming dictionary to come up with ideas. I love that Sheilatom.com, one of my first clients, has a sing-song rhymi-ness to it. Sheila Tom Dot Com! She got lucky — she came with that name.

Some theories say to use “power” words like super, mega, plus etc. to make your domain name more exciting. Several of the domain companies listed above have domain generators that will automatically combine words to help you with ideas.

Bottom line is to make sure you try your first choice before you do anything and you may get lucky. If not, don’t despair. Keep playing around with different combinations and ideas. Sleep on it. Make sure the combination of words you are thinking of purchasing don’t combine to spell something else you don’t want associated with your business. Run it by friends, co-workers, even your kids. They might notice something you don’t.

For $10 a pop, you can most likely afford to purchase several of your choices while you mull them around. It is probably a good idea to grab them before somebody else does. Good thing I did. Or we might have had to change the name of our band to the notsolonelyrangers.com :-)

Why do I need one of those blog thingys?

Posted by lisas on August 12th, 2010

Why indeed? Let me tell you why — because blogs are like internet gold, that’s why. What? What am I talking about “internet gold”? What could I possibly mean? Well, hang tight. I’m going to tell you.

Blogs are the secret to getting to the top of the search engine rankings. And that, as we have discussed before, is the way to a successful website.

But how do they work, these blogs? And why is a blog so important to ranking?

Think of it this way. A blog is a frequently updated, naturally search-engine friendly addition to your website. Blogs are text-rich, link-rich and have very little extraneous HTML. It’s like candy for search engines. They love it.

Check this out. If I write a blog post about Rapid City — anything about Rapid City, South Dakota and start blogging away about this or that thing that is happening in Rapid City and how happy we are in Rapid City and how Rapid City is the best city to live in ever — how many times have I written about Rapid City? How many times have I spelled out R-a-p-i-d C-i-t-y? And how many chances have I given a search engine to find me using the search terms Rapid City? What if I did a blog post a month or a week or twice a week and talk a little about Rapid City? All of those posts get indexed in my blog forever. How many times have I mentioned Rapid City then? It’s like compounding interest for my blog. Pretty soon I have my place cemented at the top of Google’s searches for Rapid City. Lucky me. Smart me.

Wait a minute, you say. If I have a blog what am I going to talk about? What could I possibly have to say that would be interesting? Really, it doesn’t matter. What have I written about so far in this blog? You know about marketing your site, how to resize images, SEO optimization, Friday Fun links to Matt Harding and how to configure your kid’s laptop. Sure all those posts have useful information for you (except maybe Matt Harding) But that isn’t really the point of the blog. Does the content have to be useful, entertaining, engaging? Well, it helps. I am sure people are coming to this site to find out a few things about the specific information I offer. But all that is a bonus for my readers.

The truth is, content wise, it really doesn’t matter– as long as I keep blogging I can talk about underwater basket weaving for all Google cares. I’ll end up being ranked #1 for underwater basket weaving in Rapid City — I mean, come on, how cool is that?

Seriously, what is going to happen is that when they search for a web developer in Rapid City, I am going to be right up there at the top. And that, my friends, is really internet gold.

Updated to add: You’re gonna love this — go to www.google.com and type in underwater basket weaving Rapid City.

Trimming the Fat . . .

Posted by lisas on July 28th, 2010

I run into a very common problem. Lots of times people email images to me that are HUGE. Sometimes several of these HUGE images come in an email attachment at once. This makes for one gigantic email. There are several problems with this.

#1 — it is going to tie up your email server and your ISP is not going to be happy. In fact, you may have the email kicked back to you as “undeliverable”

#2 — it is going to tie up my email. That makes it a little difficult for me to get things accomplished in a timely manner. But don’t despair! Fortunately, there are some very good solutions for this problem. So, let’s explore a few.

If the attachment you want to send me is something that absolutely needs to stay the large size that it is, I recommend the service yousendit.com. I’ve used this with great success in the past. They do, however, charge for this service although there is a free trial.

The best option if you are trying to send images is to compress the images. This can be done very simply with a free program available from Google. You know Google — right? Here at lisadesigns.com we LOVE Google - did you hear that Google? We LOVE you! Keep indexing us as #1!!! XXXOOO

Now where was I? Oh yes, compressing images:

Normally your digital camera will take pictures with a huge megapixel number. This is so your pictures will look nice and pretty and clear when you go to print them. The web doesn’t need to have such a huge megapixel number. In fact, huge megapixels = huge file size = loooonnnngggg download time = unhappy website visitor.

So here we go. Let’s compress those images:

First download Picasa from Google. Here is a handy link that will take you right to it. Picasa

It’s free! Did I already mention that? Install it by clicking on the .exe file you just downloaded. It will install the program and ask you if you want an icon on your desktop. Sure, why not. The icon is very pretty:

Now, put your images that you want to email to me in a folder in My Documents. Name it something fun like: pictures for Lisa.

Go ahead and click on the icon to open Picasa. Picasa will ask if you want to index all your pictures on your computer. Go ahead if you like, although it will take some time. This is a handy tool for organizing your images. It will be nice to have them all organized later. But if you want a shortcut tell it to just scan ‘My Documents Only’

Then at the top you will see a little search box with a magnifying glass. Type in the folder name of your images for me. They should pop up in the large window.

Next, follow these steps:

  1. Click Tools > Options > Email.
  2. Under Output Options, set the slide bar under ‘When sending more than one photo, resize to:’ I like to have them resized to no larger than 600 pixels. The default is 480 pixels. That works. You can leave it there if you don’t want to mess with it.
  3. Set the ‘When sending single pictures, resize to:’ option to 600 pixels, as above (or again, leave it at the default).
  4. Click OK.

Next, select your photos by clicking on them in the big window while holding your control key down. You will see them pop up in the lower left hand corner in the “Picture Tray”. Once you have selected the photos you would like to send, look at the bottom for the email button. Click on it. Select your email account from the pop-up window and send me the images.

That’s all there is to it! Now your ISP is happy, my ISP is happy, and Google still loves us!!

Occasionally I may need a larger image from you. It may be that I need to crop or isolate out a tiny part of the bigger picture. But if I do, I’ll let you know. In the meantime smaller is better. Compress away!

This should explain a lot . . .

Posted by lisas on December 8th, 2009

Working on a big project, fixing a site for a new client that was originally done by her brother’s uncle’s friend’s cousin, or something like that. Which brings to mind this quote:

“If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur.”
Red Adair

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