There is so much to do when starting a new business that new entrepreneurs typically have trouble prioritizing. So much demand on time and money resources that decisions get made for expediency and costs. But some of those decisions have long arms and can impact a business negatively in opportunity cost – that is, if they don’t get done correctly and well the first time, it costs more to fix them in the long run. And fix them you will, or they will hold your business back.
A banker would say it’s a business plan. An accountant would say it’s accounting software. A lawyer would say it’s business filing documents. All these things are true. Michelle and JoyGenea are marketers. And with so many people contemplating starting a business right now, they’re sharing the Top 5 Money Saving Marketing Tips. These are 5 simple things that an entrepreneur can do (or pay for) to get their business set up for success online. In other words, the 5 things JoyGenea and Michelle have to fix most often in year 2 or 3 for a business. Take notes! It really does save money to do it right the first time!
J: Hi! This is JoyGenea with Solutions by JoyGenea.
M: And this is Michelle with BadCat Digital and welcome to…
J: If These Heels Could Talk!
M: It’s so funny when we start because usually, it’s like you start, no you start, no you start, and it’s like a teenager you hang up, you hang up, no you hang up. Super annoying.
J: And then the giggles.
M: And then we giggle and then we start and then we’re way too chipper at the beginning. What are we gonna cover JoyGenea?
J: Today on our podcast we’re gonna do the Top 5 Money Saving Marketing Tips for brand new businesses because right now coming out of this Covid, I’m feeling it. I’m getting the phone calls. There are a lot of new businesses.
M: There are a lot of people who are, you know, laid off, bored, thinking about starting new businesses, not wanting to go back to career that maybe wasn’t fulfilling at all and now they’ve got some time on their hands and so they’re gonna start businesses and JoyGenea and I get calls to fix things a lot. So this is based on what we’re commonly required to fix. The first thing that we want to say is the reason we put this list together is only because it will save you money to do the things right the first time and when I say money I don’t mean small amounts of money.
J: We’re talking things with commas.
M: Thousands of dollars.
J: It’s got a comma and it might even have 2 digits in front of that comma for us to repair.
M: Yes. And that’s not because we’re money grubbing jerks. It’s because it’s hours and hours and hours of work to fix what could have just been dealt with correctly the first time. So what’s the first thing on our list JoyGenea?
J: Name of the business.
M: Ok this was so important we actually have an entire podcast about it but here’s the thing. When you name your business or you pick a name for your business you want to first google the name that you have selected. Don’t fall in love with the name before you have done that. Most recently a person that I know wanted to start a business and name it after a book, the thing is that that book is incredibly popular which means that not only will that person starts a business with that name, if they paid to advertise on the radio or on a billboard and they advertise their business name first of all there might be a copyright violation in there somewhere.
J: Oh absolutely.
M: Second of all I guarantee you they’ll never be able to get a trademark on it. And third, a person searching it is only going to find the book, they’re never gonna find the business.
J: And search is really, really key.
M: It’s key.
J: I just ran into this. I had a client that named his business after another local business with a similar name. We changed one word out of four.
M: Yeah that’s a challenge.
J: A challenge. It turns out that same name also refers to multiple cities in the United States.
J: So now we’re competing with not only the local person, we’re competing with national companies that have been around for years and are in search at a deep, deep level.
M: Yep. And I will give you an example. We live in St. Cloud Minnesota. There is a St. Cloud in Florida. Our town has a nickname. The town has been referred to by locals as the Granite City forever or as long as I’ve been here.
J: Right. Sports teams.
M: And there’s probably somewhere in the neighborhood of 150 businesses in town that have Granite City in the name.
M: So if you’re gonna start a new business and you’re gonna be all creative about it and name your business granite city something, you’re gonna have some challenges. So just pick something different, please, before you pay somebody to make a logo. Just pick something different. And if you google it first, you will pick something different. And the other thing is if your name is John Smith do not name the business after yourself because if your name is a baseball star, a singer, some sort of celebrity or well-known person, you will never own your own name in search because somebody else already has it.
J: And all of those things make life complicated when it comes to helping your business get recognized on the web.
J: That’s what we’re talking about and that’s what you want for your business. When people think about a particular service, skill, you want them to able to type that into the search engine and find you.
J: And so when a company isn’t named in a manner where that’s easy.
M: It creates a problem.
J: And then you wind up spending….
M: Lots of money.
J: Right with commas.
M: Now I’m more than happy to take your money with commas but this is me trying to prevent.
J: Well we don’t even get to keep half of it. Most of it goes right over to google. We don’t even get to keep this. This mostly goes to somebody else anyway.
M: Because you have to pay.
J: You have to pay.
M: For positioning above all of the other stuff that can’t rank above because you named your business poorly.
J: And we get that these are the kind of things that we know cuz this is where we work and that’s why we’re sharing it with you because we really want you to be successful. So naming your business.
M: Tip number one.
J: Tip number one.
M: What’s number two?
J: Number two is about that website. So, let’s talk about website domain name. That section.
M: Number one you need a website.
M: A Facebook page is not enough. You need a website.
J: Why not? Why isn’t a Facebook page enough Michelle?
M: Because you don’t own it.
J: You can’t control.
M: You can’t control the Facebook algorithm. Facebook could decide tomorrow that businesses with pages are required to pay $10,000 a month to maintain them. We have absolutely no control about that.
J: I have a client who currently the URL linkage is broken and he can’t even access his page.
M: Right and no matter how much.
J: There’s nothing we can do.
M: Well we can submit it to Facebook support over and over and over again which is gonna cost you money as the client because that’s work that we’re doing but we can’t make Facebook change anything.
J: Cuz we don’t own this.
M: Yup. Your marketing, your digital life, your whole world is – think about it like a big wheel – and right in the middle of it is your website. All of the spokes of your marketing lead back to your website. Your radio ads, your billboards, your google search, your ads, your social media, they all need to come back to a single source that you can control which is your website and not a Facebook page. Sermon over.
J: So first thing – buy a domain name.
M: And make it a dot.com can we just get rid of these .biz and .nets and whatever.
J: Don’t do it. Figure out how to do the .com.
M: If the name that you want as a .com is not available it’s not the name you want.
J: And keep searching.
J: There are still plenty of options available
M: I promise you will find something that you like. I promise.
J: Yes. And you’ll be happy with that. Another thing I want to explain. So now we’re gonna talk about websites. Here’s why this is valuable. There’s a large difference between a website going live, which means its’ turned on and if I type in that specific…
J: Domain. Dot com. Find me dot com, I’m gonna go right there. There’s a big difference between that and going into a search bar, let’s just use google cuz they’re the largest and typing in Find me dot com.
M: And getting found.
J: And having your website come up. So when we’re talking about a website, we’re talking about it being live and then we’re talking about it being actually found in search. And those are months apart from each other.
J: And that is what people don’t understand. This is why this is really, really valuable what we’re gonna tell you next. This is where the millions of dollars is made in listening to us right now. I’m not kidding. This is the money.
M: It’s called a splash page.
J: It is one page.
M: One page
J: Don’t overthink this. Don’t panic. It’s merely your business card.
M: On a page. Maybe you put a fancy old picture on it.
J: One would be good. Don’t over do it.
M: Don’t over do it.
J: I’m gonna make it really simple. Name of your company at the top.
M: In text not in a picture.
J: Exactly because that’s searchable.
J: Which is what we’re trying to make happen by having one page so you can go live and then move yourself into searchable so when you really have content and when you really want people to find you cuz you’ve clarified your business and you are looking for clients. You are ready. Like I want to get you ready for success. This winds up being one of the biggest painful experiences for me and my clients, understanding this difference. So that one page. Name at the top in text. You’re gonna have your phone number on there. You’re gonna have your email address which – what’s our hint about the email?
M: The email needs to be a domain email. There’s nothing says amateur more than email@example.com or worse yahoo.com.
J: Oh and don’t go to aol. If you still got the aol don’t put that in public.
M: You know what I’m not even gonna finish that sentence. Switch your email, ok. You can forward one email address to another. It’s actually quite simple and there are youtube videos about how to do it. When you buy your domain – there are so many services out there for you to do that. We’re not even gonna get into it because which one you should use and what’s the best one to use and what’s the cheapest one to use it’s all dependent on a few things that are dependent on your circumstances so that’s something that you call a trusted person and most people who are not evil…
J: Or you’re working with.
M: Will just tell you what to do for free.
J: Right. Small business. The local chamber.
M: The small business development corporation is great for this. You buy a domain and with that domain you more than likely get access to a few email addresses. That’s usually part of the package when you buy a domain is 1-5 email addresses. Make yourself one and then you make a generic one. So if your name is John its firstname.lastname@example.org not email@example.com and you also want firstname.lastname@example.org , email@example.com because you want the email that goes live on the website to not be yours. So that when it comes in a bunch of spam you don’t have to dig through it all.
J: Because it will.
J: And this is how this works and this is part of owning a business.
J: We’ve got the name in text. We’ve got a phone number. We’ve got an email address. We have your name. Your real person name and then three sentences. It doesn’t have to be anything major.
M: This is what this business is gonna do.
M: And so help me if you put an under construction with a little orange cone on it – don’t do that. Just don’t do that.
J: Just don’t do it.
M: It’s so tacky. That’s so 1999.
J: Yeah. Just don’t do it.
M: So 1999.
J: And this starts.
M: Sounds terrible.
J: But this gets you started.
M: This gets you started and what does this do specifically? This cuts the months that it takes for google to recognize all of the text on your website. All of the content on your website and give it what’s called authority. It takes the months and uses that time as the same time you are really thinking through and developing your business. What do my services look like? What are my whole pages like? We have this tendency to want to plan everything out and then put it out into the world.
J: And it just does not work that way with search and live website.
M: Not at all.
J: It does not.
M: You need to make a move. You need to act. Put up a splash page so that domain can start to gain what’s called authority and then when you’re ready to build out the rest of the website you can and then you can push it all live at once and within a couple of weeks google will have recognized every page on that website but it’s because the splash page was live for three or four months.
J: Yes. Huge advantage.
M: Huge advantage.
J: Huge advantage. We just saved you millions. Thank us later. That’s all I’m saying.
M: Well, thousands at least.
J: So. Now we’re up to beautiful number 4 which is the google trifecta.
M: Yes. This would be google my business which you might recognize as the map.
M: Google analytics which is software that you put on your website to measure how many people are coming to it. And google search console which is a tool that google provides so that you can get feedback from google on how your pages are doing in search.
J: When people create these google accounts, cuz actually each one is a separate…
M: Each one is separate thing.
J: You can google these things and it will pull them up. What email address should they be using for those accounts?
M: Well you absolutely have to have a gmail or google email addres for that and you need to, it’s very highly recommended that you use the same email address for all of those accounts so that you can link them all together.
J: So really part of the google trifecta and this is what I was trying to share with them you’re gonna create a google account.
M: A gmail.
J: You’re gonna create a gmail account for this. So start there. Number one start there. And then you’re gonna go into google my business.
J: And then you’re gonna go into google analytics and then you’re gonna go into google console and you get those. Once you get the google business, analytics all of them are gonna ask you for a website.
J: You can’t move in google analytics without a website.
M: Well, yeah, because it’s a software that’s intended to count things on the website. So you have to have the domain first. You’ll notice that in this helpful list of top 5 money saving blah blah blah blah – we put it in order.
J: Yes. We’re really trying to be helpful. I’m not going to tell anybody that the google trifecta is extremely easy to wrap your head around.
J: It’s also not that extremely complicated.
J: You don’t have to understand all of it today.
J: These are our business tips
M: Just set it up.
J: Just set it up.
M: Yup. Set it up now. And then when in 6 months you actually have some revenue for your business and you call JoyGenea or myself and say I need some help with this you’ve already got a baseline. You already know kind of where you’re starting because then when we start our work, you can measure our work and we can show how to do that. We can teach you how to use these tools. But if you just get them set up…
J: That’s huge.
M: It’s huge.
J: And you know your password. Please, please, please retain your password to your gmail account. And make sure you also have it attached to a phone if you’re using that as one of the second factors. Don’t have somebody else set it up for you on phone that their using that you really don’t see them often. I’ve had this.
M: Because there are 2 factor verifications. And the nice thing is because they’re all google tools and you log into them with the same gmail address. All three tools require exactly one password.
J: We’re really making this simple for you.
M: We’re doing our best.
J: And number 5. Continuity on all digital platforms.
M: Oh my gosh.
J: Oh, she’s buried her head into the microphone people. It’s not pretty.
M: What this basically means is that if your business is John’s Plumbing then your Facebook page for your business should be John’s Plumbing and not John Smith. Your Instagram account should be John’s Plumbing. Your website should be John’s Plumbing. Your google my business listing, maps listing, is for John’s Plumbing like your business name. Whatever it is, it’s the same everywhere. And this by the way extends to your business address and phone number. If you’re gonna put your cell phone number out into the world as your first business phone number, as is very common…
M: It’s going to be attached to your business forever. So just make sure that you’re prepared for that. Some people don’t mind. Some people don’t mind using their home address on google business. They don’t. They don’t mind having their home address show up when somebody googles their business and that’s totally fine. But there are ways to get an address, not a p.o. box but an address, through coworking spaces or things like that where it’s just an address. It’s very inexpensive and then you can retain a common address for a very long time.
J: It’s very helpful. Again saves you whole bunch of money.
M: Whole bunch of money.
J: As you grow and expand as you do different things. And the continuity on platform, I’m just gonna point out you don’t have to go out and at this point start the fFcebook page and start the Twitter accounts and start all of that. You don’t have to do that so if you’re not prepared to that don’t do it. That’s truly what I would say.
M: Don’t do it.
J: Don’t do it.
M: But claim the name.
M: And then don’t post anything. Just claim the name when you buy your domain. Claim your business name on Twitter, on Facebook, on Instagram, on YouTube which is also logged into with that gmail address.
M: Claim your name on all of these places so that no matter what happens nobody can come behind you and take your name.
M: I’m gonna add one bonus.
J: This is a bonus.
M: Bonus tip.
J: Oh, she’s bringing the bonus.
M: It’s a bonus tip.
J: Bring it.
M: This is actually a business security tip. Ok. You’re never gonna email your password to anybody. You’re gonna have to share your passwords with partners at some point. Set yourself up with a password manager. Give a little plug for LastPass. It’s my favorite but there are other ones out there. I have a team of 10 people and LastPass costs me about $400 a year. So I’m telling you this is not expensive.
J: I’ve implemented it on a variety of businesses.
M: There’s nothing on here that’s expensive.
J: No these are all very doable and they save so much time and money. The other thing I’m gonna point out for small amounts of money hiring someone like us, if we’re not, you know, you’re not reaching out to us but we’re here – but hiring someone to help you do this quickly. You will be amazed at the estimate on this. It’s not that earth shattering.
M: Yeah. I mean, I’m looking at that list.
J: I love when they come to me without all this stuff done and I can do this because it hardly takes that much time.
M: Yeah, I mean I could between, at BadCat we could perform that list for a one-time fee between 5-10 hours.
M: Which is not that much money. And then you never have to talk to us again.
J: And you have a great base.
J: You have just set yourself up to launch, to go anywhere but you’ve got a good clean nice base.
M: So I would like cuz we really wanted to make this podcast very, very short.
J: Yup and we’re at that space.
M: Ok ,but really quick. JoyGenea.
M: What’s the one thing that you did when you started your business that you think everybody should do. The best thing you did. The best decision you made.
J: The best decision I made was actually getting the mailing address that was in absolute one location I’ve never moved it.
M: Perfect. So even though you’ve moved offices a lot.
M: Your mailing address has never changed.
J: And sometimes I’m at home and sometimes I’m at work. Yeah, it’s been a wide variety of things.
M: That’s awesome.
J: That to me was so much savings.
M: Yes. Mine.
J: Yes, I was just gonna say, what’s yours?
M: Is the investment I made in my early marketing materials. The business cards that I had made.
J: Oh yeah. You had those metal business cards.
M: I still have the metal business cards. The website – that I spent time putting together. It made our business known and remembered in the community so quickly. So, the time and money and effort that I put into my logo, my name, my website and my collateral. That’s what it’s called collateral. So that’s your business cards, your letterhead if you need it, your, you know whatever. Your brochure. That time and money spent into that cuz it was a lot more time than money, cuz you know at the start you have more time than you have money. But that best thing I’ve ever done set me up for success.
J: I am really excited about all the people that are gonna be launching new businesses.
M: I am too.
J: I really am. Like that is part of this.
M: And not just because they’re potential clients.
J: No but for me, it’s the coach in me jumps up and down and says these are new people exploring new possibilities and dreaming big.
M: The entrepreneur in me is just like bring on. It’s so much fun. You guys are about to be on a roller coaster.
J: And what you don’t need to be worrying about is all of these things.
J: That’s really because I see people get really flooded in the minutia of this which isn’t super important like this can be handled easily and affordably and you move on.
M: People get really bogged down in single decisions. Like should I use this picture or this picture. And at some point you will have forgotten that the other one even existed.
M: So you have to get comfortable with 85%. Because we’re used to and a lot of us want to be 110% all of the time but when you’re starting, it’s just not gonna happen. You’re so divided. Your attention, your time. You have to get used to being 85% pleased and moving on because the next thing that you’re gonna do is more important than the last 15% of the last thing that you did. I swear.
J: I want to leave with this.
J: Welcome to business, we’re really excited to have you here.
M: We’re very excited to have you! Alright so we’ve come to the end of this podcast, The Top 5 Money Saving Tips for whatever.
J: Branding your new business.
M: Oh, you were the one who wrote it down. For branding and marketing your new business.
M: Yes. But it is June 5th in Minnesota and there’s some things happening.
J: It’s been a week.
M: It’s been a week. And it should be.
M: It should be a week. But there are three, I’ll say groups even though that’s a loose term.
M: There are populations of people that are outside during a pandemic because they really believe in what they’re doing.
J: Yeah. I think that’s nicely put.
M: And one a group of people peacefully protesting to a group of people who are attempting to keep the peace. Three crazy… Well I mean people who really truly believe in what they are doing but who are being violent, aggressive, both.
J: Causing harm. Causing damage.
M: Yes and that’s both people in uniform and out by the way –
J: Right. That’s why we give them their own special category.
M: Yeah, that’s why we gave them their category. People are going to follow their own path and their own heart in all of this. Our hearts are with the people who are peacefully protesting. Our ears are to the ground. We are listening, we are learning.
M: And our thanks are to the people who are peacefully protesting and the people attempting to keep that peace alive.
J: Thank you. That was perfectly stated.
M: I really truly hope so. I sit in my own Caucasian discomfort and existential anxiety which is really important for me to be doing right now.
J: Yeah. We’re learning.
M: We’re learning.
J: We are in our space of learning and we welcome everybody else to this space of learning.
J: Cuz we got room to grow.
M: Always. That’s it for If These Heels Could Talk. We really hope that we’ve inspired you in a new direction. We really hope that we don’t hear from you when you screwed up one of these 5 things but when you get them all right we’ll welcome you into our client space with open arms.
J: Thank you. Have a great week.