How to Leverage a Credit Card and Rack Up Massive Points | Ep. 45

Hey, Digital Family! My name is John D. Saunders and in today’s Digital Block I want to talk about how you can use your credit card to pay for items on your business to rack up points and travel for free. Let’s do this!

Hope all is well. I’m going to get right to it. Today I want to talk about how to leverage credit cards. I think they have a bad rap. A lot of people think you can rack up this credit card debt, end up paying interest forever, and can never pull yourself out of debt.

In reality, as a business owner, you can leverage credit cards to pay for items you’re already paying for, like your monthly fees for services and difference things related to your business to cover those expenses and be able to rack up points so you can travel and use those points for eating, restaurants, and other things.

Let’s go ahead and dive in. I’m going to do a presentation for you, show you my card, my system, and what I do to rack up points and travel the world for free.

Let’s talk about the misconceptions of credit cards first. One is high interest. Yes, a lot of credit cards have high interest. Some over them can be up to 24% APR, however, using the method of only spending what you have and paying that off immediately every month means you never really have to worry about that interest.

Next up, a lot of credit cards do not have bonuses. Yes, that’s true. However, in most cases a lot of these credit cards have great incentives like rewards, flights, and tons of other things. It really depends on your preference and we’ll go through that a little later as well.

Another one is forever in debt. If you have school loans, you probably are wary of using a credit card. You think you’re forever going to be in debt. You’ll never be able to pay it off.

But if you follow a strict method of only spending what you have and paying that off immediately, you’ll never have to think about it. Also, there is such a thing as good debt. Keep that in mind.

Lastly, burden on credit. This isn’t true. This is only true if you open a ton of cards. One factor in your credit is the lifetime longevity of a credit card. If you have a credit card for ten years and open another, that’s going to shorten that lifespan.

However, if you have five cards and are opening on every few years and stager that out properly you won’t have to worry about it effecting your credit much.

Next one is cancelling your credit card will help your credit. That’s not true. A lot of times if you have a credit card and don’t necessarily use it, get it down to zero and leave it open. It’s not going to hurt you in any way. As long as you keep up with your credit, you’ll be fine and good to go. Keep that in mind as we move through this.

Why should you use a credit card for your business expenses? I want you to think about a business credit card. You don’t want to use a personal credit card for your business expenses. You want to have a card strictly for your business.

The main reason being you can centralize all your spending. For us, we have a lot of services and different things we offer. We have hardware, software that we pay for every month. It makes it so much easier when we can use our credit card to centralize all that spending because now all of that is in one place.

Also, you can redeem massive points. I learned this from my mentor and boss. I was at a marketing agency in Ft. Lauderdale. I have an amazing boss. His name is Chris, and he was a proponent of using the card for a lot of business expenses, racking up points, and spending them on furnishing the office.

We have flat screens, new furniture. It was amazing. He used his points to pay for all of that because he was using the credit card to cover the cost and paying it off immediately every month to rack up those points a massive amount.

Also, you’re able to monitor employee card use. We have one employee with a card as well and he’s able to use that and we can see all the expenses that he’s tracking within one central account.

It makes it really easy to organize your expenses without having to think about it. Then, you have to think about welcome bonuses. With my card, I have the AmEx Gold Business card, you get 50,000 points just for spending $5,000 in the first three months. Boom! 50,000 points.

That can allocate to about $500 or $600 in cash. The card is free for the first year and then $195, I think, per year. Within that three months the card has already paid for itself.

Here is how I use my credit card. This is actually a look at mine. If you look here, here are some of the options that you can use your card to cover. Here is my points balance as of yesterday.

I did book a flight for my dad to come down for Thanksgiving, so I’m super stoked about that. We book about three or four flights a year using this account and we don’t have to pay for any. We’ve flown to California, New York, and abroad as well just using points.

It’s an amazing feeling when you can just login here, book a trip, and not have to pay anything for it.

I have the AmEx Gold and then the Platinum for my personal. I actually have those combined so I’m able to maximize my points even more. Both my personal and business spending all go into one point allocation.

That’s a little advanced tactic, but again, just to reiterate, this is how I rack up points and travel for free. Some of the bonuses with my card car I get 3x points. This is huge as a business owner.

There are a lot of cards that offer this as well like the Chase Ink and other options. Any U.S. purchases for advertising and select media like Facebook ads, Google AdWords, gas stations, shipping, computer hardware, software, cloud computing, all of that is wrapped up and you get 3x points. If you spend $1, you get three points.

That’s huge, especially as a business owner. You also get a $200 airline credit. That is actually for the Platinum card, but you can always move from the Gold to the Platinum and use that for checked bags, in-flight refreshments, and food.

As you can see, I still have a pretty big balance here, $165 for the rest of the year, and we’ll probably use that on our flights more so around Thanksgiving and Christmas.

You also get Global Entry and TSA Pre-Check. That’s also set in there, but also a $15 Uber credit. You get a ton of different bonuses with this card alone. Again, the Uber credit and the Global Entry are for Platinum, however, the 3x points are on the Business Gold card. That’s crucial for anyone trying to build up their points and organize their spending.

Here is a look at my process to rack up points. First, you want to calculate your monthly spending. Look at what you’re spending money on. Are you taking clients out? Using it for transportation? Merchandise? Business services? Organize that! Here is an example for a few weeks ago of some of our expenses.

Then use your credit card to pay everything. If you use your credit card for all that, you’re able to organize everything into one spot. You can login to AmEx and see all of your expenses in your account. Also, and I’m going to backtrack to one, remember to pay off the complete balance monthly.

The worst thing you can do is spend money that you don’t have. Only use your credit card for things you’re already going to pay for and pay that off every month, so you can get it back to zero and continue that cycle.

Number three, integrate with an accounting software. Whether QuickBooks, FreshBooks, Wave Accounting, you can combine your card or merge your card with that account. So anytime you make an expense or swipe that card, it’ll automatically push to your accounting software.

This is huge because it puts everything on autopilot. Again, you will have to go and adjust some of the categories, but otherwise all of your spending will drop in here and you don’t have to think about it. It’s all automatic.

Then review your spending and adjust accordingly. Make sure you’re always reviewing your accounting. I usually do mine at the end of the month. Only charge what you can afford.

Meaning if you have it in your debt account or business checking account to cover the cost of what you’re spending on the card, make sure you’re always under that. The worst thing you can do is be spending and spending, rack up credit card debt, and not be able to pay for it.

That’s when the interest and everything can eat you up and spit you out. Make sure you’re only charging what you can afford.

Lastly, here are some of my favorite business credit card options. One is the Chase Ink Business Preferred, an amazing card, awesome benefits. Also, the Business Platinum Card from American Express and the Business Gold Card from American Express are also.

I have the Gold for my business and the Platinum for personal. Again, you can merge those accounts and just get the points racking up. Last is the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business credit card.

Again, a lot of these cards are affordable. They might be $99 to $200 per year, which is absolutely worth it if you use it right to leverage this and do a great job.

Thank you, thank you, thank you guys for checking out our content. As always, hit the like button, comment that you loved it, and hit that subscribe button. I will see you in the next video. Peace!

How to Build a Facebook Messenger Bot for $50

 

Hey Digital Fam, my name is John D. Saunders and in today’s Digital Block I’m going to show you how to get a Facebook bot done for less than $50. Let’s do this.

Hey, everybody! Hope all is well. In today’s Digital Block I’m going to show you how to get a Facebook bot done for less than $50. The process is super simple and I’m going to walk you through it on my computer.

Also, side note, I’m going to provide a link to the Google Doc that we use to create ours as well as the process because you know I am the value-based marketer. If you have any questions, comment below. Let me dive into my computer now and show you guys the process.

To break it down in a literal sense, a Facebook Messenger bot imitates human conversations by solving various tasks. These can include customer service questions, FAQs, and more. In essence, it’s an automation tool to help pull you out of the day-to-day answering questions that can easily be answered by a bot with automated responses.

One example: This is my personal site. You see we have a bot installed here. If you hit “Chat Now” the chat will come up. I’ve got a cool little picture here of me, and as you can see the chat bubble makes it look like an organic conversation.

I ask, “Thanks for taking the time to chat. I’m uploading my brain to our chat box to answer your questions.” When things come up, you answer, and the chat bot automatically answers in response to you.

It’ll use emojis and very comfortable conversation to make it feel like an organic conversation with the person, and this bot can really take care of a lot of questions that you might not necessarily have to do in real time. The reason to use it is it’ll save you time in the future, right. A company called Gardner forecasts that by 2020 over 85 percent of customer interactions will be handled without a human.

That’s huge! You want to be ahead of the curve by starting with the Facebook Messenger bot that can do tons of different things on your website. One other example could be if you have an ecommerce store and people ask, “How long is my shipment going to take? Is this product back in stock?” You can have responses already setup that can answer a lot of these questions.

We use a platform called ChatFuel. The great thing about this process I’m going to show you is you don’t have to write any code or do the actual questions.

You just have to provide all the information to the person that’s going to do it. I’m going to walk you through that now. You can create a messenger bot for your marketing sales and support.

ChatFuel is awesome to use and free as well. That’s the great part about that. In the process of what we’re going to do today, we’re going to get your bot made for about $50.

Step 1 will be to create your bot funnel. Be descriptive and detailed. We’ll go into that as well. You’re going to hire a bot builder on Fiverr. The only time we use Fiverr is really for smaller projects and we’ll talk a little bit more about that later.

You’ll then download the ChatFuel customer chat plugin for WordPress and make your bot live.

If you’ve seen some of my content, you know I’m about automation. We’re going to create your bot funnel. We’ve created a customized Google Doc to help you develop your bot sequence.

The bot sequence is the conversational element of your bot that will help the conversation flow organically. A few tips for doing that: Be as descriptive as possible. Use emojis.

They help breakup the content and make it feel like an organic conversation. And have fun with it!

Let’s go to the doc and check it out. This is a doc we created. You can get the link in the description for this. In red, you can change it. This is the conversation.

We put “pause” because that will cause a pause on the conversation where you have the “…” as if someone is typing. It gives it that nice, realistic feel. We then just added a few questions.

One interesting question is, “Is this your first time chatting with a bot?” They can answer “yes” or “no.” We have all these responses here that you can replaced.

Anything in red can be replaced pretty easily and efficiently. You can download this doc by visiting the link, hitting “file,” and making a copy and copying it over to your Google Drive.

This is great because you don’t have to touch any of the code on ChatFuel or any of the bot platforms that you need to use. You don’t have to touch it! You just have to create this, send it to the bot builder, and they’ll do everything for you and your bot is done.

Once you get that done, that document, you’re not going to hire a bot builder. We’re going to use Fiverr in this example. Just a side note, Fiverr can be a good platform. We only use it for very small jobs. Jobs like video transcriptions or logo animations.

I wouldn’t use it for a bigger job. If your sequence is more than $15, I would either hire us or another marketing agency to help you do that because we have to make it custom and more descriptive. That’s a side note. I’m going to jump into Fiverr really quick and walk through that process.

Just do a search for “Facebook bot.” Once you’re there, Fiverr is automatically going to filter the best at the top. This is the guy that we actually use. He’s really talented.

He uses ManyChats as the platform. As you can see, a medium bot is $50. This includes six to fifteen conversation steps and multi-language. He does everything for you! He sets it up, does the admin, and everything else. It’s amazing.

Once you go and purchase this, you’re going to send him a direct message. Once I order the job, this is actually from mine when I ordered it, he’s going to ask for some requirements.

All you need to do is provide the industry, access to the page as an admin (you can give them admin access and still be the primary admin to remove them once the job is completed), the bot name, and layout example. All you need to do for the layout example is just share the link from your bot template.

It’s super simple. You don’t have to touch and lineup code. You don’t have to do any specific labor for this project. Just another side note, the first bot that I created was a quiz one that I do for one of my ecommerce stores. I did it myself and it took me hours of work. This negates all of that. All you need to do is create the sequence, send it to them, and they get it done for you.

When you’re searching for someone on Fiverr, make sure they have good reviews. Make sure you read through their reviews to see if they seem authentic.

Look for examples of their work and then contact them directly and ask for recent examples of bots they’ve created. Once you find that perfect person, order, go through the process, and your bot is ready to go.

Your bot will be live on Facebook, so anytime someone visits your Facebook page they’ll be able to see the bot and interact with it by asking questions. If you want to have it on your website like I do, I’m going to show you how to add it on WordPress.

It’s a super simple process. All you need to do is download a plugin. It is called “ChatFuel Customer Chat.” You download the plugin, add in your Facebook account, and you’re done! Super simple.

If you’re familiar with WordPress, you’ll know exactly what to do. Once it’s done you have no code or dev. Download the plugin, activate it, and you’re all set! And that’s it. That’s the process.

I don’t know how to simplify it more than that. This is a great way to introduce your company and business to chatbots. Get familiar with it, start a sequence, send it out to your clients, and see how they like it. Keep in mind that we only use Fiverr for these smaller bots.

If you’re looking for a more custom, detailed messenger bot, you can contact us at 5FourDigital.com/contact.

That’s it guys! Thank you for checking out the content. If you haven’t yet, make sure you subscribe because we do this on a consistent basis. If you have any questions, sound off in the comments and I’ll talk to you soon. Peace!

 

Facebook Chatbot Training – HERE
Chatbot Template – HERE

[FREE TOOL] How I Hacked My Calendar and Took Back Massive Time

Transcription:

What is going on everybody? It’s your boy, John D. Saunders. I’m here with a new remix. The Digital Block is back, baby!

I’m super excited to provide you guys with some really high-quality content. As you can see, I’m in the new digs. The new home office is definitely coming along.

Today, I want to talk about taking back your time and using this free tool to actually automate your calendar so you don’t have to worry about anything. To start, if you’re like me you probably go back and forth with clients or prospects when locking in the time to email or correspond with them.

You’re like, “Does 1 o’clock work on Tuesday? Does 3 o’clock work on Wednesday?” They’re like, “No, I have to pick up my kid,” or “No, I have to do this.” It’s a constant back and forth.

About a year and a half ago I found a tool called Calendly. This tool automates your entire calendar. You can block off times that you’re not available so people can’t book that time and then it automates the process where all you do is send the link and it gets taken care of.

I’m going to jump on my computer, show you guys how this works, and we’ll go through the process together. Let’s do this.

Okay, guys. First thing you want to do is actually go to Calendly.com. This is the platform where you can schedule meetings without the back and forth email. To add, it’s free for one type of event. In most cases, especially for us, we usually do meetings in 30-minute increments.

We only need the free option and we use it on a daily basis. You can scroll through all the options to learn more about it. You’re then going to hit “Sign Up.”

Once you get in, and I’ll login to my account so you can get an idea, you can have different types of events. Once you’re in here you’re going to go to “Event Types.” You can then create different types of events. You want to “Add a New Event Type.”

Is it going to be a one-on-one or a group setting? Let’s do one-on-one. The event name, let’s say we’re going to do “1 Hour Consultation.” We then add a location. You can either put a link to your go-to meeting, a link to Uber Conference, or whatever platform you use.

Then go to “Description/Instructions.” You want to keep this pretty consistent across the board. For “1 Hour Consultation,” we’ll just say, “Hey! Glad you signed up. You can join the meeting here.”

For us, since we use Uber Conference, another free tool – I’m all about free by the way – you can go in, copy the information, exit, and put the link here. Now anytime someone signs up for an event it’s logged into their calendar this automatically goes into the description/instructions.

You then have your Calendly link and just hit “Next.” This is the super dope part. You can create the event duration here. You can pick the general amount of how long it’s going to take. Data range, I usually have it infinitely.

You can then choose a time zone. You now need to setup your availability. This is probably the best part of it. For me, I usually work from about 8:00 AM to about 3:00 PM. I take a break and then might work that night from 10:00 PM to 12:00 AM. I usually only take calls between around 9:00 AM and 12:00 PM on specific days because I like to block out time to really grind.

Let’s do Monday. My availability will be 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM. Let’s just do this for one day so you can see. I’m then going to hit “Apply to all Mondays.” Now on Mondays you can only book me for that time.

If I were you, I’d go through each day and kind of set yourself up so you’re not always available, but you’re available in certain increments so you can allocate time towards other things.

Once you set that up, you’re going to hit next once more. All my information is in here. You can actually do additional options. You can have invitee questions asking specific questions before they get on the call. You can do notifications where they get text notifications or email reminders.

Some of these features are in the paid version. You can then also add custom links and collect payments. For right now we’re going to keep it super simple. I’m now going to view the live event page, but let me make it live first. Click “Save & Close.”

Let’s go back to my “Event Types.” I’m going to turn this off momentarily and turn-on “1 Hour Consultation.” Now what you do is keep this link right here and share it with anyone that you want to correspond with. For example, if I send this link to a prospect they’ll go, see this calendar, and say, “I want to talk to him on Monday.” As you can see, it’s 9:30 AM.

That’s the only time I’m available. The reason why is because you can sync this with your Google Calendar. Because I blocked out 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM on Mondays, there is a conflict on my Google Calendar that makes it so I’m only available at 9:30 AM. To do that, you actually go to the Calendly app.

You go to “Calendar Connection” and then you can actually add in the specific calendars that you want to tie into Calendly. That’s what makes this platform so amazing. Again, I’m not getting paid for this. This is just a tool I use on a daily basis that I love. You actually sync it with your calendar. It’s synced with my Google Calendar.

I have different calendars on my list. I only have “5Four” and “Personal” highlighted. I can then actually choose which calendar the Calendly events go into. Again, this tool is just phenomenal and super easy to use, extremely user-friendly.

That’s it! Thank you, guys, for watching The Digital Block. I’m super excited to be back. I took an eight-month hiatus, but I’m back to provide you guys with quality content. I’m going to be doing this on a biweekly basis so make sure you subscribe and let’s do this thing. Peace!

10 Things to Do Before ANY Website Launch [WordPress Edition]

1. Install Google Analytics + Setup Dashboards

Track everything.

You need to make sure you’re tracking ALL of your website efforts.  Google Analytics is extremely easy to install (especially on WordPress).  The setup can be done by viewing this link:

Google Analytics Setup for WordPress

Basic HTML Analytics Setup

Once Google Analytics is installed, you’re not going to want to spend HOURS navigating it.

With Dashboards you can get a bird’s eye view of EVERYTHING.  Within minutes you can view all of the data points you need.

Oh, and our favorites are below.  Just log into Google Analytics and click the links below:

General Analytics Dashboard

SEO Dashboard

Social Media Dashboard

Geo Dashboard

Mobile Dashboard

Entrance / Exit

Tech. Dashboard

This will add the dashboards to Google Analytics where you can access them at any time.

2. View Your Site on Desktop, Mobile and Tablet

Before you go live, it’s imperative you view your site on all platforms.

I can’t tell you how many times clients have had beautiful desktop sites, but their mobile counterparts were, well…counterintuitive.

“51.3% of all web visits last month came from mobile devices compared to 48.7% of visits from traditional computing platforms.” – BGR.com

Keep it simple by viewing your website on a desktop computer.  For mobile, use Google’s Mobile-Testing Tool to check out your rating and have your developer make minor tweaks to make sure your site is up to par.

3. Install Facebook Pixel and Event Tracking

This MUST be done before going live.  The Facebook Pixel is extremely important to future marketing efforts.

What is the Facebook Pixel?

“It’s used to drop a cookie that will track visitors on your website so you can advertise to them later. This is called retargeting.

Once you advertise to past website visitors, pixels can also be used to track their behaviour when they’re back on your website. This helps you measure the effectiveness of your ads.” – Shopify

The pixel is crucial to any Facebook ad strategy.  You can use the pixel to retarget customers, target visitors who visited your site, but didn’t purchase and SO MUCH more.

For directions on getting it installed, check out the link below:

Facebook Pixel Implementation Guide

4. Setup Google Search Console + Submit Sitemap

Search console is a tool that helps you monitor and maintain your site presence in search results.  In other words, it’s a cheat sheet for knowing what Google wants from your specific site and making changes to increase rankings and uncover things that need work on your site.

If you have Google Analytics installed, it literally takes SECONDS to install Search Console.  Once installed, follow these steps to add your sitemap:

Adding your sitemap to Google Search Console

XML sitemaps serve as a way to communicate directly with the search engines, alerting them to new or changed content very quickly and helping to ensure that the content is indexed faster.

5. Test Website Speed

Testing the load time of your website speaks volumes to your user.  If your website is bogged down and takes too long to load, the average user will be out of there in a jiffy and onto your competitors website in seconds.

You need to be sure that your content loads quickly so users can breeze through with minimal downtime.  We check load time two ways:

1. Via Google PageSpeed Insights

With PageSpeed Insights you can identify ways to make your site faster and more mobile-friendly.

Google will also provide issues on your site which can be fixed by a few WordPress plugins or by your web developer.

2. Via Pingdom Website Speed Test

This tool rocks!  I like it a bit better than Google’s tool because you can test your website load time from servers around the world.

This is especially important for web owners who perform outside of the US.  Testing your site is easy.  Just pop your URL HERE and watch it work its magic!

6. Download a Backup of Your Website

Every website owner needs to backup their website prior to launch.  There are several ways to do it.  For WordPress, the most popular platform, it can be done in just a few steps using BackUpWordpress.

This plugin is simple to use.  Essentially, you:

  1. Install BackUpWordPress either via the WordPress.org plugin directory, or by uploading the files to your server.
  2. Activate the plugin.
  3. Sit back and relax safe in the knowledge that your whole site will be backed up every day.

You can download the plugin for FREE right HERE

7.Optimize Title Tags + Meta Descriptions

So, you’re site is ready to go live, right?

Well, you think so.

If a web developer is working on your website, you want to make sure the page architecture is prepared for launch.  You should have great Titles and Meta descriptions to entice users on search and provide a quick snippet of what your website provides.  Here’s an example:

As you can see the title includes our site keyword and the description has a one sentence recap of the services we provide.

According to Moz: Google typically displays the first 50-60 characters of a title tag. If you keep your titles under 60 characters, our research suggests that you can expect about 90% of your titles to display properly.

Also, Meta descriptions can be any length, but search engines generally truncate snippets longer than 160 characters. It is best to keep meta descriptions long enough that they’re sufficiently descriptive, but shorter than that 160-character limit.

Make sure these are tailored for every page on your website.  With WordPress, download the free plugin Yoast.  It has a section on each page which can be used to fill in your keyword, Title and Meta Description.  Yoast will even grade your efforts!

Download Yoast, right HERE

8. Check Page Content for Calls-to-Action

You’re developing a website for a reason, right?

To create conversions.  It’s a good idea to make sure there’s some type of call to action on each page.

A call to action’s purpose is to cause your user to perform an action.  Whether it’s download an ebook, call you or complete a form.  You want to be sure each page has some type of action.  These can include:

Chat Messenger

Call to Action Banner

Subscribe Pop Up

Downloadable Content

These don’t need to be blatant.  The more subtle, the better.  Users want an organic experience.  They don’t want to be bombarded with mediocre content.

If you’re promoting a blog, make it simple for users to download a doc or PDF by filling in their email.

9. Check Page Images Include Relevant Alt Tags

Image tags are severely overlooked!

For any image on your site, the alt tag should describe what’s on it. Screen readers for the blind and visually impaired will read out this text and thus make your image accessible.

When Google bots crawl your web page, they don’t see images.  All they see is HTML text.  By optimizing image content with Alt Tags you’re helping Google rank and prioritize your content.

Alt tags provide better image context/descriptions to search engine crawlers, helping them to index an image properly.

Be descriptive as possible!

Bad: “Ironman”

Better: “Ironman Locked in Battle with Ultron on Manhattan Skyscraper”

To add alt text, it’s simple!  When uploading image content on WordPress, place your text here:

10. Test Form Completions On-Site

The last item to complete before your launch is testing form completions on your website. If you can’t receive email inquiries then what’s the point?  This can be done by simply completing all forms on your site and seeing if they are received.

If not, work with your developer to get your forms activated.  Here our favorite plugin:

Best Contact Form Plugins

Well, that’s all folks!  If we missed anything, let me know!

Keep in mind our client lists are more robust.  We just wanted to provide a basic walkthrough of what you can do to have a smooth launch!

Cheers!

How to Easily Complete Data Entry for Marketing Efforts

 

Transcription:

Hey, Digital Fam! My name is John D. Saunders and in today’s Digital Block, I’ll show you how to do hours of online research without lifting one finger. Let’s do this.

A lot of marketing strategies begin with research, right? In order to target the right people and create content that resonates, it has to be organized and catered to the right pips.

Now, for example, if you’re an e-commerce brand looking to research Instagram influencers to market your product, you’ll need to do tedious research that takes tons of time, make spreadsheets and record your data to properly contact those individuals.

You conduct research on a daily basis for clients. As business owners, you don’t have the time to do it yourself. However, using our quick process, you can get data entry and research done in under a day.

So in today’s episode, we’ll go over the process of 1) finding inexpensive freelancers to complete your research and 2) we’ll provide downloadable notes and PDFs of our process.

Really quick, I’m going over these steps. The first one is head to Freelancer.com or you can use UpWork as another alternative. We use Freelancer just because we’ve been on there for a few years and really familiar with the platform. So, we’re going to use that one in our example.

Two, we’re going to create your project. Three, you’re going to review the submissions for your project. And then four, choose the best candidate. We’re going to give you some tips and ways to really find someone that’s good. Then, you just wait until your project is complete.

So, first thing you want to do is of course sign up for a Freelancer account. If you haven’t yet, go ahead and do that. It takes about five minutes, not really a long time.

Once you sign up, I’m going to show you how to create a new job. So, for example, you’re going to go to Hire Freelancers and start a project.

Now, once you do that, it’ll have the categories of work and these are the things that you can get on Freelancer. So you can have web developers, mobile developers. There are writers, designers, data entry is what we’re primarily using before just so we can get all that data done pretty efficiently.

With jobs like these, we’ll outsource these because it’s something that’s pretty simple to do but just time consuming. So, data entry is going to be our main point of entry there. We go ahead and click that.

And then you can put what your project is about. Be descriptive as possible, what skills are required. A lot of times, it pre-populates so if I was doing, for example, graphic design, as you can see, it pre-populates there. Put as many that pertains to your project as possible. And then, you’re going to describe your project.

Now, we created a template, a Freelancer template that you guys can use. Not verbatim but most of the things you can take from here that you can use.

The first thing I recommend is asking them a question, right. So I usually start with first, so I know you truly took a look at the project, please answer the question 1+1=? This tells you that the individual actually read your listing. They make sure to put the correct answer so they’re not just basically spamming your listing.

So what will happen on Freelancer sometimes when you submit a job, you’ll get tons of people that submit the job without even having– look at the actual listing. So, this helps get rid of those people.

Now, I added another attribute to really solidify these listings. At the end, I put the answer to the question above should be awesome. So 1+1=awesome. So that lets me know that, one, they read the first sentence and the complete listing so I know that they’re really interested and they really submitted to this job

Two, it lets me know that by answering that question, I can immediately omit anyone that doesn’t start their response with awesome. So this helps just alleviate the process of when you’re doing it.

So I would just create your example and then pop it right here in the Describe Your Project. You can also include images if it has to do with anything like that.

Also, there are two ways that you could set your pricing. You could do fixed price or you could do an hourly rate. We usually do it fixed price for a project like this, I mean, you can literally get it done for $8. We usually find someone that does data entry for about $4/hour. It usually takes about 2 hours to do one of our projects, one example being– this is when we did for, we wanted someone to do research on Instagram followers in a specific niche.

Then, we also had them do this, this spreadsheet was full because actually 150 different websites where we created a link outreach program for our clients for SEO where we had them get the website, the name of the owner, e-mail address. If they’ve been e-mailed, notes, sending in.

So, we created this spreadsheet, will send this to you as well. And you can basically pull any type of information that you’ll need.

Let’s say you want someone to do research on Instagram followers or, you know, people that have read a specific book, you could really get some good details for your data entry project and have it all done through here.

So it’s totally free to post your project. You will have to pay, I think it’s a percentage, 3% commission to Freelancer. But other than that, you’re just going to pay whoever is doing your data entry and then a 3% commission fee.

So, I’m not going to post this project but I’m going to show you when we just submit it so you guys can see an example.

Okay, guys, so right now, I’m in my projects area. I wanted to show you the listing that we submitted. We asked them, “Please answer the question 1+1=?” And then at the bottom, we put, “Above answer should be dos,” right. So now, we know if it starts with that that the person read the entire listing.

So let me hit proposals. And once you submit your project, you’ll get sent to this page which will be the proposal page. And the way Freelancer aggregates it is the best rank as you see at the top and then the rest follows suit.

The flag shows where you’re coming from, a lot of times you could see from Turkey, from Ukraine, so you have people all over the world bidding on it. So, as you can see, dos, dos, dock, that’s close enough. This person didn’t even put anything for the listing so what we would do is hit remove, does not match brief. 1+1=2, you could tell that person didn’t read the entire listing so we’re going to get rid of him too. So this is a good– hello– this one starts with hello so we know that person is not matching the brief.

So this gets you rid of a ton of people because we had a lot of submissions on this one. I think there were, like, more than 30 or 40 individuals who submitted. So that helps us get rid of a ton of people who we don’t want to deal with.

So, the next thing that I look forward in a good freelancer is their reviews. So this guy has 206 reviews, 97% of his projects are completed and he’s offering to do the job for $500. So because this is more of a design job, it’s going to be a little bit more expensive for us but in regards to data entry, you might see $8, $15, $20, just you could base it off of your budget and you could use these filters on the right-hand side to filter up and down based on what you want to spend.

So, some attributes that will help you decide on an individual is reviews, their jobs completed, and the price. And then, what usually happens is if you click their listing, they’ll show you examples of their recent work. So, you’ll be able to click those links and check them out.

So overall, let me go back to my list. Choose the best candidate. The things we look for are, 1) their reviews, here and here, 2) how many jobs they’ve completed, and 3) their portfolio. If they don’t send their portfolio, you can ask for that individually.

And then what I try to do is make a 2-3 individual shortlist. So, this guy, I’m going to add to my list because he seems like a rockstar, so I’m going to put him in my shortlist. I’m going to put this guy just for an example and then I’m going to put this guy.

So now, if I go to my shortlisted area, it will show me the three individuals that I’m looking at the most.

Once I have three solid people to look at, I’ll contact them. I’ll just open up all three chats and I’ll try and discuss with them what I’m looking for, what my price is and if I’m looking for additional stuff in their portfolio, I’ll look into that as well.

Okay, guys, so once you find the freelancer you want to work with, you’re ready to go. The next thing you want to do is ask for their e-mail address. When you get their e-mail address, you could send them an e-mail template kind of like this. We’ll show you our example. This is what we did for data entry as well.

Hello, Sohan! I hope all is well. We’re excited to start the project. We create a dock on to Google Doc with everything that they need. So, we created this Google Doc that has website, name of owner, e-mail. We keep everything organized for the freelancer. The more information you could give them, the better they can do their job and more efficiently they can do their job.

So once you create that spreadsheet, and we’ll include this in the blog as well. We send that over to them and then e-mail. I got a template like this and we had him research the top 150 bloggers in Florida in regards to travel, exotic cars, luxury experiences and luxury lifestyle.

Now, we had him put all that research in a detailed Excel document and then, for him to send it to us for review. So you can use this as your template when you’re building this out. Once you find your freelancer, you’re ready to move forward, you can use this.

Now, most freelancers will have this done in a day or two and you’ve got tons of data to work with. We’ve even hire freelancers for a longer period of time because they’ve done so well. So, in regards to that, I’m going to review this list one more time so you guys can get it. If you have any questions, again, leave a comment below.

One, head to Freelancer.com or UpWork, create your project, review your submissions, choose the best candidate, and watch your work get completed.

Thank you again for watching. If you’ve not subscribed yet, go ahead and hit that button right here or wait for me to finish and I’ll show you the link right after. Thanks again, guys. Peace!

How to Use Facebook Ads for Instant Lead Gen

Transcription:

Hey, Digital Fam! My name is John D. Saunders and in today’s Digital Block, I’ll show you how to create Facebook ads that generate leads right on the spot. Let’s go.

So we all know that there are ton of different Facebook ad sites. You’ve got boost a post, promote a post, add downloads and a plethora of other ad types that Facebook offers. But one that a lot of people don’t know about is lead ads. And lead ads, what they do is they create a quick form that people can complete on the spot while on Facebook in regards to your business.

So for example, if you sell cars and you want someone to come in for a consultation or an oil change, you can have a quick form on Facebook that comes up in the form of an ad where all they have to do is click that form and it auto-populates the information and hit send and you get a directive to that lead.

Now, that lead drops into Facebook so sometimes, it can be difficult to pull that data, so I want to walk you guys through a really quick on how to create those ads and how to generate those leads and follow up them as quickly as possible to make sure you get them out of the hat. Let’s go ahead and dive in.

All right, guys, so the first thing you want to do is go to your Facebook ad manager. You should all know where that’s located, upper left hand corner, ads manager. Boom, it brings you here once you hit create an ad. Now these are all the different ad types that you can create on Facebook. We’re going to focus on collect leads for your business. I’m going to walk you through the whole process. We’ll just do a mock up one as an example.

So I’m going to hit continue and this is basically going to create an ad where form pops up and I’ll collect those leads. So, we’re just going to do it regular, you ask, 18-65. We’re not going to change any audience attributes, just going to go through this pretty quickly. Let me go to the top and choose a page, okay? I’m going to scroll to the bottom and hit continue.

Okay, so once you do that, it will take you to the ad set area where you can create your ads. Now, you can do these ads or create these ads like you would a normal ad. So you can have a single image, multiple image, and you can also have video, right.

So I chose to opt for the image. This is just a test ad that I want to show you guys the process but we have our page name, we’ve got our headline. This is our ad here, get a free audit of your website in minutes, sign up, so that when they hit this sign up button, a pop up will come up on Facebook for them to complete that lead.

Now, a lot of times, if you have a lead that’s off site using lead pages or your WordPress website, it’s taking them to another page. With this process, it’s all done seamless within Facebook’s platform. So our call to action, we’re going to do sign up which is fine, it’s nice call to action, and then, we’re just going to make sure our pixels tracking. I’m not going to get into detail on that. And then when you get to the bottom, this is where you create your form.

So I’m going to hit create form. I’m going to hit new form and then hit next. English is fine. I’m going to name my form and then I want to hit next.

Now, our context card just gives a nice kind of visual to display additional information about your product or service before they start to fill out the form. So let’s add a context card.

So let’s add in the headline, we provide digital marketing services. Okay, that’s simple. It’s just a test ad anyway. Use the image from my ad or you can upload your own image. Layout is going to be paragraph. Here you can tell the individuals a little bit about your product or service, just kind of a quick intro just to add something there. You can also make a bullet format as well.

So once that’s done, you’re going to hit next and now, you can add in the questions that you want to ask. So for us because we’d like to do custom audiences, I mean like to being able to record information that we can use later on, we’re going to do e-mail and full name. You can show more options. These are the fields that Facebook provides, first name, phone number, city. I mean, you got demographic questions, work information, and then you can also add your own custom question with answer options, right?

Now, we’re going to leave that alone because all we want is e-mail, full name, and let’s maybe do phone number. Maybe we can hit them up with some information later. So then, it shows you what your form looks like here. Once that happens, I’m going to delete this question so we can hit next. I’m going to hit next.

Now, here’s where you want to put your privacy policy so you can put that link, text ads. Okay, so once you do that, you can also add your custom disclaimer. Now, if you do this, you’re going to have to pull in all the information. It will just pull it from this page so all you have to do is click that link to go to your privacy policy. Now, once that’s done, you’re going to hit next.

You can also prompt them to visit your website so you can add a specific page on your website that correlates to that lead or you can just put your homepage then hit next. Now, we’ll show you what your form looks like. Let’s hit create form.

Okay, so now, our form is added. We got all of our information. I’m going to place this order now just to show you guys what it’s going to look like live, okay. So that’s the ad preview, let’s view in the news feed so we could see what it looks like in our feed. We scroll down a bit. Okay, there it is.

Now, when I hit sign up, that pop up comes up, as you can see, it’s directly on the page. It doesn’t take you to another website. This is the nice intro card that we’ve set up in the beginning. I’m going to hit complete the form.

Now, the great thing about Facebook is that it will auto-populate based on your profile, all the information there. So if someone is doing the form, it’s so much easier for them to submit it because they don’t have to fill in their information. It’s all supplied from Facebook and it’s pulled from Facebook, of your profile.

So now, I’m going to hit submit. When I hit submit, now I had that lead generated on that page.

Now, here’s the thing. You’re probably wondering where does that lead go. You have to go to publishing tools in the business manager side of your page, go to lead ads forms and under forms library, this is where your content will be.

Now, the only difficult part is you have to actually download this as a spreadsheet so you’re not getting it real time. So if you download in the morning, in the afternoon, at night, you may be missing out on potential clients that need that quick turnaround where you need to call them pretty quickly.

So what we do is we use a tool called Zapier. Zapier is a lot like IFTTT or [06:18] where you can add different web hooks and scripts that integrate with each other. So for example, if you wanted to add subscribers to MailChimp via Google Spreadsheet, you can automate that process with Zapier so that anytime someone fills out a lead on Facebook pages through our promo, it’s automatically e-mailed to the person managing that. So for example, for a car dealership we’re working with, we’re getting some lead forms completed for them.

Now, in that process, what we do is anytime that form is completed, we have it sent directly to the salesperson or the liaison between the salesperson. So first thing you want to do is log in to Zapier, sign up and then make a new zap, so bring up all the options. Go ahead in Facebook lead ads. I’m just going to do a test one to show you guys an example. Hit save and continue.

Now, you do have to be a full Facebook admin on the page you want the form on in order for this to work properly. So, make sure you’re full admin before you start the process. Hit save and continue when you find or when you label your lead. Then, choose a page and a form and hit continue. Then, hit connect and continue.

Once you do that, it will give you an option to send a test, boom, the test was successful. So, you can view your lead to make sure it came out properly. This would be an example of what it looks like and then hit continue. So that’s done. So the lead trigger is complete.

Now for every Zapier, you’re going to have to set up a trigger and an action in order for it to do something as a result. So for us, we want– you can either set it up to give you a slight message when it comes through, send it directly to your Gmail, set it up to Google Sheets so it will fill out a Google Sheet for you or even add it to your MailChimp for specific lists.

So for us, we’d like to do it the easy way and we like to have it sent to the salesperson most likely, so we hit e-mail. This is a built-in app by Zapier. Hit save and continue. Or if you want to send it to them, I’m going to do this as a test, so send to this individual. You can send it up to 5 people. I’m going to do form submission.

For the buy, you can hit this plus sign and it will pull the main attributes from your form. So us, we just want to do e-mail, full name, and then when you scroll down, pass this, and hit continue. Now, it’s going to be to, the subject and the body of the e-mail. Now, I’m going to hit create and continue. Test successful.

Then once you do that, you had finished, name your zap and then activate it. Boom, now it’s ready to go. So if I go to my Gmail account, I don’t know why but sometimes it drops into spam. You can see the form submission here. So anytime a lead comes in, you can have it directly e-mail to that individual.

And there you have it, guys. That is how you set up your lead gen for your Facebook ads.

Why Shopify is the Best Ecommerce Platform of 2016

Transcription:

Hey, Digital Fam! My name is John D. Saunders and in today’s Digital Block, I want to talk about the specific reasons why Shopify is the most kick-ass e-commerce platform right now. Let’s go.

So, really quick, Shopify is an e-commerce platform. You can create your website, set up a theme, sell products, sell digital goods— basically everything under e-commerce. Now, there are direct competitors, right? You got Magento which was a really detailed e-commerce platform. You also have WordPress with certain plug-ins like WooCommerce which I’ll talk about in a few, can help you expedite the process and really get your e-commerce store going on the WordPress content management system.

So before I get into Shopify and why it’s above the competition, I want to breakdown the top three, right.

So let’s start with WooCommerce  on the left hand side. Now, of course, one of the best pros for WooCommerce is it’s totally free. It’s a totally free plug-in that you can add to your WordPress content management system to go ahead and add payment integrations pretty quickly and efficiently, right.

WooCommerce, you could also create a custom design. So, if you have a developer, you can have them do a custom, totally custom PSD design of your website and then they can integrate WooCommerce into it. WooCommerce also has the largest themed library of all three, meaning, these themes are what you can download to give your site a certain aesthetic look.

They also have the largest 3rd party extensions. So, for different attributes and different things that you want your site to do in regards to e-commerce, WooCommerce definitely has the most robust.

And the last pro for WooCommerce is probably its excellent SEO. We all know WordPress which is a blog platform is made for excellent SEO, meta data, descriptions, titles, the host plug-in. There’s a ton of things that really held SEO when it comes to WordPress.

Now, a couple of cons are more plug-ins are recommended. So, out of the box, WooCommerce can pretty much do one thing, go ahead and let you purchase on the site. But if you want to add a Facebook integration, Facebook shop, you want to add more social attributes, you want to add multiple payment system, you’re going to need plug-ins for all of that and they can range from $5 to $500 a year.

So, with that being said, you also need to purchase separate hosting. So with WooCommerce, you’re basically hosting your site so you need hosting, you’ll need plug-ins, you’ll need to purchase the domain name, all that stuff separately on your own.

So if you’re not the best with website design and website development, WooCommerce might not be your best bet. But that’s just to break it down. It’s still a great platform if you’re wanting to use it, that’s okay, too.

Next up is Magento. Now, Magento is open source so anyone can go on and develop custom things for it just like WordPress. Now, the only thing with Magento is it’s extremely robust, right. The backend takes some learning. So I’ve put it in the pros and the cons. The pro, meaning, it has a lot of attributes, a lot of different things it can do, a lot of integrations but there is a steep learning curve when it comes to the platform.

Another pro is totally free, of course, just like WooCommerce. As opposed to WooCommerce though, Magento is its own standalone of platform while WooCommerce is a plug-in for WordPress.

Another thing is powerful SEO. Magento has been around a while so they’ve really perfected the SEO and the metadata integrations, also, its lack of social media and social media integrations like Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

Some of the cons, also robust backend, can be a little bit complicated for a lot of people especially starting out. The extension store is lacking. Because it’s open source, you have normal developers who are creating plug-ins and extensions for Magento. So sometimes, you’ll have issues, you’ll have ones that don’t work. Their extension store isn’t great as WooCommerce.

Also, they have no support so you’re pretty much on your own when it comes to Magento. You have to either hire a developer or learn how to develop these things on your own.

Okay, guys, so this is our brand new store. We just launched it yesterday. Basically, we sell travel dry bags, nothing crazy, but just take a look at the site, extremely clean. it’s also responsive as well. So with that being said, I won’t take too much time on the frontend but let me show you the dashboard so you guys could take a look.

So number one, it has a seamless dashboard. When you come to the dashboard, you basically get everything you need on site at that moment. So this tells me how many sales I’ve had today, how many visitors. It will tell you sales based on time as well.

And then what’s really cool is Shopify integrates with multiple sales channels so you could see where those sales came from in retrospect of Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, and through my online store.

If I scroll to here, it’ll show me updates and advice and more insights so you guys can take a look at that. But where it really shines is all of these integrations that it has is on this side panel. So for example, shipping integration, right. For orders, I can go to my order list here and I could click this order. These are already fulfilled so I can’t show you in a live environment but it will show you all the information about the invoice.

Here’s where you will be able to print a label. You can integrate it with the USPS. It will pull it, it will ask you the cost and then you will be able to fulfill that all from within the system. And this is all stock with Shopify as soon as you set it up. So you don’t have to add any additional integration or plug-ins or anything like that.

It also provides a timeline and you can print this and include this with your product that you’re shipping for your customer. So, just a nice customer experience for them to be able to get this and it’s all clean and has their e-mail, their shipping address and all that good stuff.

Shopify also includes, let me hit this again, abandon checkouts. So you’ll be able to see anyone that has come on the site, tried to purchase and, well, add it to their shop and left, right. So you’re able to go in here, I can send them a cart recovery e-mail. You can either e-mail this link to recover their cart or hit this to send them an e-mail and you can customize it.

So for example, someone comes on this site, they add it to their cart, and they’re like, oh, well, you know, I don’t want it anymore. We can assume that maybe the shipping was too high.

So what we could do is maybe say, hey, you know, here’s 50% off of your first purchase and that just helps bring the customer back in. This is also stock with the Shopify system. So you could see it has tons of integrations already included in its interface.

Next up is themes, let me show you guys really quick. So with themes, Shopify comes with 11 for free, right. So you can download any of these themes for free. They’re pretty nice, they’re all responsive, super clean, big images. Here’s free to check those out. And you could check out these, pretty clean.

Now, one con with Shopify is, in comparison to the others, the themes can be a little bit expensive. I think we paid about $180 for our theme but, as you can see, it has a nice, clean aesthetic to your site. So these are some of the paid themes. You could see this one’s $180.

But like I said before, these are all handpicked developers. Shopify handpicks these developers to work on these themes and they provide really clean, concise code. So it’s definitely worth it to upgrade if you like. However, you could still get away with any of these free themes and still have your site look modern and clean as well as responsive.

So another bonus with Shopify is all of the sales channels that you can add to your store. So, we’ve added Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and the buy button which is [07:48]. The buy button is the piece of code or snippet that you could put on any site and your product show up on that page.

So if you have another store that wants to feature your product or a blog, or maybe you’re doing some link building or outreach to other bloggers to feature your products, all you do is give them that buy button snippet then boom, they’re good to go. I’ll show you guys an example to see what it looks like.

So here is where you could select the product collection. I’m going to hit select collection. I’m going to hit our main collection and then it will show you what it would look like live on the page. And then you can customize the color and design of this. So this is what it would look like.

All we have to do is hit generate and get code, boom, it gives us that code so we can send it out.

Now, Pinterest is cool, too. Pinterest adds a buy button to your Pinterest page. So for example, ours looks like this and you can look at pins and you can shop.

And people can actually shop directly from Pinterest. They don’t even have to go to Shopify. They can make a purchase directly through here without even leaving which is awesome. And then all the funds and everything, the whole transaction’s done through my Shopify store thereafter.

So really quick, the last piece I wanted to show you guys from Shopify is their additional apps integration. So, [09:04] Shopify comes with tons of awesome tools but then they also have developers that go through a rigorous program where they’ll be able to sleaze their apps and integrate it with Shopify.

So here’s some of the apps that we have, product reviews, ad reviews on the site. Plug-in SEOs gives us like an SEO feedback but we already had analytics and search console installed. Lucky Orange is awesome. [09:25] tells you where the customer is going, lets you do outreach and then these others here.

So, if you can’t find something that you’re looking for in Shopify that the site doesn’t do, you’re able to find it through these apps. Now this is a pro and a con, a pro because it adds additional attributes to the site, con because a lot of these apps do cost funds. Some of them are free but a lot cost a little bit of money.

So lastly, Shopify has tons of resources and a robust blog on your website. So they have a blog that has case studies. They also have resources that include how to drop ship, how to find new product and just tons of other content for free.

So overall, hands down, Shopify takes the cake in regards to ease of use, information, customer service, design, look, I mean, it’s just really killing it right now. All three are great for what they do. At Shopify, sometimes when you have a larger store, I’m talking about tens of thousands of products, it might not be the best bet for you. You might want to go with Magento or custom design through JavaScript.

But essentially, Shopify for the normal consumer, the normal seller, even some bigger stores, are using Shopify as their e-commerce platform.

All right guys, that’s what I’ve got for you today. I’ve posted the Shopify link below so feel free to get that. Check it out, I think you get about two weeks trial period. So test the waters and see how you like it. Other than that, if you have any questions, sound off on the comments and please, please, subscribe if you like our content. Thanks again, peace.

How to Analyze Your Online Competition for Free

Owning a Business is Hard Work.
Lets just be honest.  Brutally honest.

It’s a ton of late night’s, direct responsibility and difficult decisions.

However, the awards and opportunity are endless. Especially if you’re willing to work for it.

millennial-tech-1

I understand how entrepreneurs can’t dedicate a ton of time to certain aspects of their business.  So, we’re here to help.It’s easy to see, especially from a digital standpoint, what your competitors are doing. Now, you might not want to emulate them, but, you could be wondering how they’re performing in certain digital aspects like:

• Social Media Presence & Engagement

• Website Traffic Estimates

• Organic Keywords

• Overall Web Rankings


By uncovering these few items, you can get a solid grasp on the competition that’s performing better than you, and learn to utilize these tools to your advantage for future marketing endeavors.

With just a few FREE tools we’ve uncovered, you can setup a competitive report in a few minutes.   We know your time is limited.

Yes, it can be done over that morning coffee.

google-search

1. Find Your Big Competitors
The first thing you want to do is isolate your competition.  Choose 3-4 solid competitors as a benchmark of comparison.  Don’t be afraid to aim high.  Perform a Google Search for specific keywords related to your industry.  We’ll use the keyword “mens shaving subscriptions” as an example.

The three we highlighted above rank #1,2 & 3 in organic search out of about 2.2 million SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages).  This tells us that these competitors are powerhouses in the industry and receive tons of traffic daily.  So, you’re probably thinking: “As a small business owner, how can I even compete?”  Don’t worry.  When there’s a will, there’s a way to reverse engineer it.

SEM Rush

2. Collect Information About Your Competition’s Web Presence
Yeah, this is the fun part.  One very versatile tool is SEM Rush.  We’re going to uncover a plethora of information about your competition within seconds.  Keep in mind, this tool offers a free, limited version.  It will do just fine for a simple competitor audit, but for more in-depth analytical work, click the link above.  First, visit SEMRush.com.  This website provides competitive data for websites.

Once you type in your competitor URL, you’re taken to the Domain Overview.

Understand Competitors Estimated Traffic
• Find Out How Much They Spend on Adwords (PPC)
• Where Their Backlinks are Coming From
• Competitor Top Searched Keywords
• Competitor Top Paid Keywords
• Top 5 Competitors (Level of Competition)

3. Collect Info on Competitor Social Engagement
Now that you have a solid overview of your competition web presence and ad spend, it’s time to take it Social.  Using Facebook Insights we can collect information about your competitors in a simple, yet intuitive, dashboard.  As a Facebook Page owner, visit your Facebook Page.  Once there, hit INSIGHTS like below:

facebook-insights-posts-tab

Once on the overview page, scroll down to the bottom to the Pages to Watch area.  Facebook’s algorithm does a GREAT job at pulling in example competitors based on factors like similar engagement, services and targeted demographics.  This area  helps you compare the performance of your Page and posts with similar Pages on Facebook. Just click Add Pages to get started.

Once completed, take a look at the aggregated data provided by Facebook.

Here, you can see how you stack up against the competition.  For example, if their engagement was higher during the week, visit their Facebook Page, to see what messages and content they posted that leveraged their fanbase effectively.  Also, take a look at their post consistency and how their Total Page Likes stack up against yours.  By monitoring this data, especially those high level competitors that use Social to their advantage, you can start to understand and develop original content you know will perform well on social.

4. Leverage Your New Found Data Dominance
Now that you have a ton of useful data, it’s time to put it to use.

Download Our Quick Competitor Profile Doc HERE.  This will provide your team with a very useful stream of data to leverage for your company’s success.  This competitive analysis blueprint will help you maintain and improve your position by understanding and tactfully using your competition’s data.

4 Ways Mr. Robot is Killing it on Social Media

Bonsoir, Reader

If you’ve been anywhere near a TV screen in the last few weeks, then you’ve heard of the USA sensation that is Mr. Robot.  The TV show, while still in its infancy with two episodes, has left an imprint on everyone it touches with an intriguing protagonist and an original storyline.

Dope Premise, Stellar Cast

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While I don’t want to spoil the show, the main premise follows Elliot, a Cyber-Security Expert by day, and vigilante hacker by night as he balances a life infused with social insecurities, drugs and a love interest.  The story is told through beautiful cinematography, a New York backdrop and remarkable performances by Rami Malek and Martin Wallström.  

So, not only is the show badass, it has the marketing strategy and team to implement a killer campaign.  According to Ad Age, Alexandra Shapiro, USA’s exec VP-marketing, kicked off the “Mr. Robot” effort four months before its premiere date of June 24. She explained: “We’re treating this like an ongoing political campaign.”  So, how are they doing it? Here are 4 Ways Mr. Robot is Killing it on Social Media:

 1. Started Promoting EARLY

The marketing team premiered the TV show in March at SXSW to patrons, winning the Audience Award for Episodic Programming.  Since the show premiered in June, the team leveraged the time to introduce a stellar program to create buzz and warrant activity for their social channels. 

 2. Targeted the Right Demo

Shapiro’s strategy included holding a screening at the Google Headquarters in New York to 25,000 staffers.  They also targeted Social Network employees at Twitter and Facebook while engaging in on-campus outreach to the MAIN viewers with viral power to share and talk about the show.

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 3. Active Social Media Presence

Mr. Robot’s social media presence is STELLAR.  The Social Marketing Team uses Facebook and Twitter with high efficiency.   Clear, concise imagery, perfectly timed posts and a response time that’s unparalleled for such a high-profile Facebook Page.  

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4. Stellar Tone

As in the show, Mr. Robot’s online “voice” is a direct parallel to that of the show.  Responses are brief and to the point, while maintaining show continuity and a sense that the responses are personalized for EACH individual.   

The Result? A Shit Ton of Viewers

The show has done OUTSTANDING.  According to TV By the Numbers, the premier reached an audience of 3.7 M total viewers (2.83 M for the 10PM telecast and 823,000 for the 11PM encore).  Overall, the series ranked as a top five premiere for basic cable dramas in 2015.

Also, an additional 2.7 M individuals peeped the pilot across a wide array of digital and VOD platforms. The critically acclaimed series has already been renewed for a second season.

Yes, USA has a huge budget.  Yes, the show is AMAZING.  However, the strategies above can be applied at a smaller scale with tools including:

• Local Outreach

• Facebook Ads that Target a Key Demographic

• Active Social Media Presence

• Consistent Online Voice

• Mr. Robot is on USA, Wednesday @ 10pm.