The Best Job I Ever Had

best job kfcToday, I have been married to my wife, Nicole, for 21 years. Nicole and I have actually known each other for over 28 years thanks to the place we first met; Kentucky Fried Chicken in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

I was attending the University of Wisconsin at the time and had a part-time job as an assistant manager at the KFC location on Bobolink Dr. Nicole was still in high school and worked part-time as a cashier. She and her mother lived a short distance from the store.

Nicole was very shy and quiet and was easily the best employee in that store. She was diligent, detail oriented, and not afraid to work long hours. As a second-year surgery resident in 2014 she still works long hours but is not so shy!

Nicole and I worked several other jobs together before getting married including Hardee’s, security services, and an entrepreneurial business, University Painting.

I am sure neither of us could have envisioned the long and winding road we would have together. The entrepreneurial bug that I had in college has come full circle into the development of a full-time web consulting business. Nicole has always had an interest in medicine and is living her dream as a surgeon.

I recently did a Google Street view search of our KFC rendezvous and it seems we have outlasted the original place of our pairing.

I thank God for the best job I ever had since it was there that I met and married the woman of my dreams and the mother of our three children.

Happy anniversary Nicole I love you!

P.s. I still love those original recipe chicken wings! …just in moderation.

 after this day

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Twitter SEO

twitter seoTwitter SEO strategies are as simple as they are effective. However, many small businesses still do not take advantage of this key social media platform which can help drive traffic, leads and ultimately new business.

One of the hallmarks of Twitter is its simple and open design. Twitter is considered by many as one of the few remaining authentic social media platforms. Twitter is by default a publicly oriented discourse. By contrast, Facebook personal accounts are private and business Facebook accounts continue to suffer from algorithmic obscurity unless advertising is implemented.

Make sure you are taking advantage of of these key ways to increase your SEO with Twitter.

1. Pick a Twitter handle that closely represents your business or brand name. For example, one of my coaching clients, Ashley Phillips’ brand name is APSoul. Her twitter account is aptly named: If another person or business has taken the name you wish to use Twitter may grant you the use of the handle if your business name is trademarked. (Thanks to fellow blogger, Blair Pettrey, for that bit o’ wisdom!)

2. Link to your website and include your location. Twitter makes it easy to ensure you include these elements so be sure to use them! Even if you are an international organization, adding a local city and state to your Twitter profile will help optimize your business for local searches and won’t negatively affect international searches.

3. Be descriptive in your profile and use keywords in your industry. Twitter profiles are searchable by keyword so including a few hash-tags and/or keywords that describe your business will help increase your reach.

4. Post regularly about your industry and be sure NOTtwitter-seo-example to begin tweets with someone’s Twitter handle. In the book Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook by Gary V., he explains that beginning a tweet with an account name will prevent most people from seeing the tweet. When you begin a tweet with an account name, such as @garyvee, Twitter assumes you only want to speak with that one person so it only shows the Tweet to people you BOTH follow. Dirk Hoag’s blog describes the process in great detail!

4. Mention others in your tweets. Mentioning other Twitter users in your posts is the primary way to begin a conversation with someone. At a minimum, it at least lets them know you have them in mind. The ever popular #FF posts, aka: Follow Friday, is a way to tell the world whom you would suggest as a good person to follow. For more details and history of the #FF meme visit Jeff Hester’s informative blog.

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Social Media Explained

As an Internet and Social Media Marketing Strategist I often find myself explaining and defining various social media accounts to Internet newbies and off-the-grid gurus. Here is a quick run down on some of the top social media sites with a tongue-in-cheek description of how they might be perceived.

How would you describe your favorite social site?


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How to Add a User to a Google Analytics Account

Google Analytics logoadd a person icon

[Information is accurate as of: 6/10/2018]

As a small business, there are several reasons you may want to give someone access to your Google Analytics account.

  • You may hire an SEO specialist to evaluate your website statistics.
  • You might want a staff person to manage your analytics without giving them the login to your Google account.
  • Your web designer needs to copy the Google Analytics tracking code from your account to install it on your website.
  • An advertising company, such as Hanapin Marketing, may need access to set up conversion tracking for ad campaigns.

Follow these simple steps to add a user or an administrator to your Google Analytics account while still maintaining the confidentiality of your Google login information.

  1. Log into Google Analytics using your Google login information:
  2. Click the wheel labeled “ADMIN” at the bottom of the sidebar menu.

Google Analytics sidebar menu

3. In the section that appears on the left-hand side, click the “User Management” button.

Admin User menu, Google Analytics

 4. On the Account Permissions page that opens, click the blue wheel in the right-hand corner.

blue add users button

  1. A short menu will open. Click “Add new users” at the top.
  2. Add the new person’s email address in the section titled “Add permissions” and select the level of access they need to assist with Google Analytics management. Usually “Edit” level is sufficient.
  3. It is a good idea to check the “Notify new users by email” item so they know they have been given access.
  4. Once complete, click the “ADD” button.

Add permissions

  1. Done!


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SEO Trends for 2014

seo 2014 trendsSEO Trends in 2014 have made some important shifts since the previous year. Press releases as a way to increase high PR backlinks, have decreased in importance and Google has down ranked links from the major Internet PR sites (See Marketing Prof’s article…). However, the wider distribution of press releases from affiliated news sites is still creating good good linking results for business. In early 2014, Craigslist changed its platform and now disallows external hyperlinks to websites. As a result, the value of Craigslist for generating organic traffic and leads will definitely be negatively affected. (See Bigger Pocket’s Blog…)

In 2014, I believe the focus for SEO will be on quality, customer-focused, content that is leveraged through social sharing and relevant backlinks from high PR-ranked websites.

There will need to be tighter integration of websites to social media, press releases and mobile applications. Optimizing for search engines will be congruent with optimizing web content for target customer groups. If the content you are creating and distributing is highly useful and relevant for your target market, it will likely be favored by the search engines.

2014 SEO Trends

  • Reliance on original content will continue to expand
  • Internet advertising and SEO will be more closely coordinated
  • Online press releases are less important
  • Google Places for Business, Google Authorship and Google Plus Business pages will help maximize SEO efforts on Google.
  • Targeted, top local directory listings will be important for page one Google results
  • Linkedin company pages will continue to increase in relevance and use
  • Craigslist will decrease in importance as a source of top level organic search results
  • Social media advertising will be as important as search engine advertising, but targeting and engaging the right audience will take research and testing.
  • Video content will continue to expand and will become key to business SEO rankings.

2014 SEO Recommendations

  • Use a business blog and publish customer-centric articles at least monthly; twice a month is optimal, weekly even better!
  • Use Internet advertising in coordination with onpage SEO optimization efforts for maximum leads. Google Adwords quality scores are dependent upon a good website landing page experience.
  • Use online press releases sparingly and focus on truly newsworthy content., and PRNewswire remain worthy resources
  • Select the top five to ten local directories where people are finding, or likely to find, your type of business and fully develop and maintain those listings. Search your analytics to see which directories are currently being used by people to find your site.
  • Develop, expand and regularly update your business company page on Linkedin.
  • Test social media marketing possibilities to find which platform results in the best sources of traffic and engagement for your business.
  • Develop a video creation strategy and use YouTube to distribute the content. Embed videos on your website, social media channels, newsletters and other places to maximize distribution.

Review other articles on SEO topics…

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Best Practice for Business Facebook Page Design

Facebook Under ConstructionDesigning a Facebook page for a company, cause, brand or local business should involve as much attention to detail as the corresponding professional website. Too often companies create a Facebook page with little forethought or advanced planning. What’s worse is that some businesses create it and then leave it alone. Aligning the company brand and business strategy with a professional Facebook presence will leverage this important medium for maximum effectiveness.

These best practices are well known to social media marketers who often charge hundreds and even thousands of dollars a month to professionally develop business Facebook pages. Small businesses are wise to learn what elements of social media they can develop themselves and where they can use additional assistance.

  1. Create a Custom URL
    1. This simple task will help brand your Facebook page for easy sharing of your page URL. A Facebook URL such as is much more memorable than
    2. Find out how to change a facebook page address here…
  2. Maximize the use of Graphics and Images
    1. Design a timeline profile image that uses the maximum allowable image dimensions , i.e. 850w x 315h pixels.
      1. Good example:
    2. Choose a thumbnail image that best represents your logo and maximizes the allowable image dimension of 180 x180 pixles. It mus also be recognizable on wall posts when it gets reduced to 32 x32 pixels.
    3. Be selective about the wall tabs you publish and/or allow to be shown. For example, if you don’t have any events, remove that tab. If you only have a few fans, move that tab to the end of the list.
      1. Good example:
  3. Add your page URL to the “About” section of your page

    1. Facebook pages that are setup as “company” pages will allow the ‘about’ section of the page description to appear on the front page of the site. As a result, it is a best practice to use this prime real estate as an opportunity to link back to your website. Put the URL at the beginning of the short description so that it will appear on the front page of your Facebook page.
      1. Good examples:
  4. Use Free Social Apps
    1. Integrate other important social media into page tabs. YouTube, ConstantContact and other social media sites offer free apps that will integrate their content directly into your Facebook Page.
    2. Good example:
  5. Drive Traffic to Your Website
    1. Completely develop the ‘Info” section of your Facebook page with website links, phone numbers, product descriptions, etc.
      1. Good example:
    2. When posting photos of products or service related info, make sure the images are also available on your website. One good strategy is to post several sample pics on your Facebook page with a note in the photo description to view more or higher resolution images on your website.
    3. Change the ‘About Us’ section of your page so that is shows your web address. This is the only place on your FB wall that you can provide visitors with a link to your website. For example: “Find out more at:”
      1. Good example:
  6. Use Custom Apps
    1. There are a plethora of social media services that provide custom apps that can drive traffic to your inventory of products and encourage visitors to ‘like’ your page. WildfireApps, Constant Contact, MyTab, PageModo and others will provide the technology you need to create social media campaigns, contests, sweepstakes, quizzes and more. Prices, features and usability vary widely between these services so research the ones that will best meet your needs and budget.
  7. Create a Reveal Tab
    1. One of the single most useful page apps is a reveal tab with mandatory ‘likes.’ Visit my blog article on how to setup a reveal tab using the “My Tab” app. A reveal tab with mandatory “likes” is a Facebook page that invites visitors to see additional content by requiring that they “like” the page. This strategy is being used by many organizations to give away coupons, offer free e-books, enter drawings and sweepstakes as well as numerous other uses.
      1. Good example:
      2. How to create a reveal tab:
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Increase Visibility Using The Top Small Business Directories

business Internet directoriesSmall business owners are always on the lookout for the lowest cost, highest value promotional opportunities on the Internet. Creating or claiming local business directory listings is a great way to expand ones digital footprint.

Many Internet service providers have identified the value of local directories which has spawned a bevy of mass listing services such as, CityGrid and others. These services make it easy to claim a large list of directories that may or may not be relevant to a business. The listing provider’s monthly fees tie a business into a relationship with them for life since discontinuing their service will remove your business information from the listing enmasse.  A more time intensive, but lower cost, approach is to claim ones business listings by hand with the top directories relevant for your industry.

The following list of directories are recommended for a wide variety of businesses and industries. Links to the business listing page of the directory will make it easier to begin creating or claiming your business listings.

  1. Google Places for Business (
    1. This is often the first and arguably the most important location a local business should list their business. Google Places for Business is key to ensuring you can be found by your customers on Google Maps.
    2. Your first step will be to sign in using an email account associated with Google. If you don’t have one that is connected to Google, you will need to set one up. A Gmail account is an easy choice, but you can also associate a non-Gmail account with Google.
    3. A post card verification process is usually required and will take up to two weeks to process.
  2. (
    1. Yelp has become one of the most popular and important directory and review sites for a business due in part to the rigid system of controlled reviews on the site. Yelp works tirelessly to ensure reviews submitted are by real people and customers through a series of algorithmic controls that filters questionable reviews out of site.
    2. Like most directory sites, you will be guided through a search process to see if your business is already listed. If it is, you will “claim” the listing. If not, you will be able to create a new Yelp listing.
  3. (
    1. Super Pages is the Internet version of the traditional yellow pages phone book. Similar to Google Places, many existing businesses are already listed in the Super Pages directory. If you business is listed you just need to “claim” your business and update the listing.
    2. Free listings include address, phone, website link, embedded Bing map, customer reviews, and the ability for visitors to share the listing via email, Facebook, Twitter, and mobile phone.
    3. Paid listings include a business description, listing categories, specialties, payment options, products/services, hours of operation, large thumbnail image of website, embedded video, etc. Prices are not published, but can reach several hundred dollars a month.
  4. Yahoo Local (
    1. Yahoo Local is an important site to list a business since it is connected to one of the largest search engines on the web. Basic/free listings include phone, address, website, store hours, products and services.
    2. An enhanced/paid listing is $9.95/mo and includes a company logo, tagline, up to 10 photos and a detailed business description.
  5. (
    1. Angie’s List is a popular directory and review site of service companies and health care professionals in over 550 categories. Angie’s List customers pay an annual subscription fee to access business listings and reviews from their local area.
    2. Categories include business description, service area, operating hours, services, payment options, 24 hour emergency service designation,
  6. Manta (
    1. Manta claims to be the largest online community dedicated to small business. Owners can list their business in the Manta directory for free and take advantage of networking, articles and numerous small business resources.
    2. Free listings include contact information, website link, business description, 3 business categories, products/services, years in business, state of incorporation, NAICS and SIC codes, etc.
    3. Enhance listings range in price from $29 to $49/mo and include more prominent listings, competitor add removal, multiple search keywords, etc. Compare plans here:
  7. (
    1. is a leading nationally positioned local business search site. It’s mission is “to be the leader at enabling local businesses an consumers to find each other and connect.”  Major search categories include: Businesses, Deals, Events and Activities.
    2. Free listings include business name, address, link to an embedded Bing map of the business location, phone number and website link.
    3. Premium listings start at $49.95/mo and include listing at the top of search results, company logo, special offers to customers, web page, 5 photos, two category listings and color in the business listing.
  8. Local City Directories (e.g.
    1. Most midsize and larger cities have popular city directories that promote local business. is a directory operated by the city’s largest daily paper, the Richmond Times Dispatch. Free business listings on this site allow users to add phone numbers, business hours, types of payments accepted and categories associated with the business.
    2. Like most free directory listings, enhanced listings can be purchased for a fee. Here is an example of a paid listing on
  9. Merchant Circle (
    1. Merchant Circle claims to be “the largest online network of local business owners, combining social networking features with customizable web listings that allow local merchants to attract new customers.”
    2. Free listings include address, phone, embedded Google Map, up to three categories for listing the business, customer reviews and compliments as well as the ability of Merchant Circle members to “follow” your business on Merchant Circle.
    3. Paid listings include top search result positioning, business logo thumbnail image, social sharing buttons, website link, payment types, hours of operation, a simple blog, product descriptions, offers and recent news updates.
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Eric Toussaint | Jett Training, Fitness Founder

eric toussaintEric Toussaint was the first person who greeted me when I arrived at a new Business Networking International (BNI) group at the end of 2013. I heard about the worldwide BNI organization in a webinar and wanted to see it for myself. I scheduled a visit with one of the membership chair people and showed up not knowing at all what to expect. Eric greeted me with a firm handshake and a vibrant sense of energy that I would later understand is the natural charisma that has propelled his personal training business. Eric’s approach to his clientèle is the same approach he has to business. He is energetic, humorous, generous, razor-focused and results oriented. It has been a joy getting to know him at our weekly BNI meetings and I look forward to seeing his Jett Training business soar to new heights.

1. Career influences

As far as overall work ethic I would have to point Tammy Darvish from Darcars as my best influence, I just have never seen such a tireless work ethic, not to mention very well run business.

As to my peers that I look up in my industry I would have to mention Alan Stein from Stronger Team, Robert Taylor from Smarter Team Training. There contributions to the health and fitness industry are ineurable and there work ethics are second to none especially in the area of social media.

2. Biggest Career Success

One of biggest career success (ongoing) was winning “Best of Bethesda” award for personal training while simultaneously marketing that accomplishment through a strong social media push, coupled with a grass roots campaign to distribute as much JETT company literature to other local health care professionals.

3. Recent Lessons Learned

Always look to improve your business, never stand still. I am going through a whole round of improvements in my ability to increase the exposure of my personal training business as well my nutrition business.

4. What Inspires and Motivates

I think what inspires and motivate me is mainly the success of others, being able to feed off of the positive energy and happiness that they feel when their businesses’ are doing well. And of course my twin boys Lucas and Oliver. 🙂

5. Share a Leadership Story

My approach to leadership, is very simple. Lead by example and help as many people as I can. My best trainers are the ones that I have helped to grow, both professionally and personally. I truly believe if you apply a “givers” philosophy with those around you, you will always find success.

Another principle I like to apply to my business and my life is consistency and persistence. I just landed a client, after a two-year “courtship”. We spoke of training very little, but always made sure to stay in touch and I did my best to befriend her. I knew deep down she always had the intention to start training with me, so I did my best to stay in contact with her and offer advice and help wherever possible. My care and attention created a situation that when she was ready to start personal training, it was a foregone conclusion that it would be with me due to the personal relationship we had developed over the two year “courtship.” Our relationship was such that not only did she start training with me but she brought a friend to train with her and now I have two new clients. When the BNI “givers gain” philosophy is combined with consistency and persistence there are not limits.

6. Your Top Two

  • Study the industry and understand every aspect of it.
  • Make as many contacts you can with your industry peers and learn from them.

7. About Eric Toussaint

Eric Toussaint is the owner and founder of Jett Training in Bethesda, MD.

JETT Training custom tailors workouts for individuals based on their specific needs and goals. Jett provides the most comprehensive and intense training available to all populations, ranging from pre-teens to the geriatric, in a fun and professional manner. JETT Training specializes in athletes, rehabilitation, martial arts, sprint work, and cycling.

Follow them everywhere!

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Angela Martinez | Small Biz Graphics Pro

angela martinezAngela Martinez is one of those people you run into randomly on the web searching for low cost freelancers. Our random chance meeting in the summer of 2012 has grown into a professional business partnership.

I first encountered Angela through when I needed help with regular inspirational posts for my facebook page. Angela was highly professional and very skilled so our partnership expanded beyond the site to small business projects for logo development and beyond. I encouraged Angela to setup shop on a professional website and begin marketing her vast collection of graphics beyond the paid lead sites and her diligence has paid off ten-fold. I am happy to present Ms. Martinez in this Entrepreneur in Action article series since I believe her growing graphic design business will continue to propel her towards the full-time entrepreneurial path!

1. Career influences

Its hard to say who my career influences have been. There has only a person or two who has influenced my career. I find it important to listen to advice and take guidance from others who are knowledgeable and willing to share their experience with me. I really like the idea of being able to support others no matter where you are in your career path.

2. Biggest career success

Gaining over fifty-five clients over the past 8 months. Determination helps drive your business!

3. Recent lessons learned

Hard lessons should not be dwellt on. Don’t get discouraged when you hit a bump in the road. Everyone has to learn from mistakes sometimes. The best thing I have found to do is think positive and try to correct the issue.

4. What inspires and motivates

Nothing motivates me more, then seeing a client get excited by their design in the final stages. Also, listening to music while designing is when I feel most  in tune with the design that I am working on.

5. Share a leadership story

In 1996 Mike Hollander established Kidstown Romania. The mission of Kidstown is to help abandoned children living in indigenously-operated Christian orphanages in developing countries so that they may be alleviated of their suffering, have hope for the future, and become productive adults who love the Lord and who will contribute positively to their society. As of 2011, Kidstown is helping to care for 625 children living in 26 orphanages in Romania, India, and Nepal.

This story reminds me that it may be hard to give to others but it is worth the drive. Hard work pays off, in all aspects of life.

6. Your Top Two

Stay open and Honest to each client you work with. It builds trust and their loyalty to you.

Stay one but you can achieve your goals.

7. About Angela Martinez

Hi there! I’m a graphic designer from the state of Washington. I’ve been doing graphic design for the past 4 years. My goal is to meet the needs of every client I work with. Designing is a passion for me. I specialize in logos, banners, Facebook ads, brochures and much more.

Angela Martinez, Graphic Designer

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