Client Profile: Pellé Medical Spa

Pellé Medical Spa is a premier medical aesthetics center located in Manchester, NH. They specialize in state-of-the-art laser and light-based treatments for wrinkle reduction, skin resurfacing and hair removal, among other things. The spa also offers beauty solutions such as dermal fillers, Botox®, and facials performed by medical professionals. Pellé aims to offer the latest in skin care products and therapies tailored to each client’s needs.

Pellé Medical Spa

I came to know Pellé’s President, Charlie Morgan, through another client of mine, June Trisciani of j. ellen Design, LLC. Charlie Morgan is an accomplished businessman and has an impressive track record. He has aided in the development of several subdivisions in Northern MA and is the owner of Morgan Self Storage and Founder/CEO of Morgan Records Management. Charlie was intrigued by the role of laser technology as a key component in tattoo removal. This lead him to discovering the broad applications of lasers today and lead to the creation of Pellé.

Charlie’s goal was to make Pellé a destination medical spa in the heart of Manchester, but having a luxurious facility, the latest technology and experienced staff wasn’t going to cut it. Pellé needed a web presence to reach a wider audience and to build it’s clientele. hasOptimization helped Charlie and Pellé every step of the way. We built Pellé a sleek and elegant, easy-to-navigate website from the ground up. Our graphic designers worked to give the website a calm, relaxing feel, while we worked to write optimized content for each webpage on Pellé’s site. We’ve also helped Pellé write and edit their blog content, so that their clients can stay up-to-date with the latest in skin care news.

Screenshot of Pellé Medical Spa website

In addition to this, hasOptimization has gone beyond the website to help develop Pellé’s online presence. We actively manage their email marketing program and their social media accounts on Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+, interacting with customers and developing their client base, as well as managing online advertising and other efforts to expand awareness of Pellé.

Charlie Morgan and the rest of the Pellé team have been a pleasure to work with. If you want to look and feel great, please consider a treatment at Pellé!

Client Profile: j. ellen Design, LLC

j. ellen Design, LLC is a local interior design firm based out of Manchester, NH. The owner, June, provides a full range of residential and commercial interior design services and is dedicated to working collaboratively with you, your architect, builder, or other trade professional to create beautiful spaces suited to your personality and individual style. j. ellen Design can provide expert guidance to help you through the overwhelming array of choices involved in a design project. Whether you need help with a small design project–like picking the right color to paint a room–or a full house or business design, j. ellen Design, LLC is there to help.

J Ellen design websiteI know June Trisciani, the owner of j. ellen Design, LLC through my local business networking group. Soon after we met, we began discussing improvements June wanted to make to her website. We redesigned June’s website to match the look of her excellent logo and business cards (created by our good friend Susan at Sandpiper Artisans), and optimized the content on June’s site so that she is more easily found in the search engines. We’ve also helped June to develop her online presence in other ways, including social media.

June-headshot

June is fabulous interior designer and a genuinely friendly person. What better way to showcase this than social media? We’ve set up a several of June’s social media profiles, got her started in email marketing, and aided her in launching her new blog. June is truly a pleasure to work with, and has even introduced us to new clients! She’s also the lovely writer of our best testimonial ever. Thanks, June!

Client Profile: Antonia Designs

Antonia Designs is the Washington DC based company of graphic designer Antonia Balazs. Antonia Designs works with individuals and businesses, striving to create custom designs that harness each client’s vision. Antonia prides herself on listening to her clients to capture their ideas on paper. Whether you have a clear vision or are struggling to express an idea, Antonia Designs is there to listen and understand, helping you articulate your ideas.

What kind of occasion would you use custom graphic design for? Any! While Antonia does a lot of her design work for engagements, bridal showers and weddings, custom graphic design is appropriate for any occasion. From introducing the newest member of your family with a birth announcement, to special event menus and bar mitzvah and holiday cards, you’ll never be disappointed with Antonia Designs.

Antonia Balazs also features comprehensive logo design and branding for small businesses, giving your business a cohesive and professional look to create a lasting impression.

However, when it came to Antonia’s online presence, she needed a little help from us. We crafted the Antonia Designs website from scratch, combining quality content and web design with Antonia’s stunning graphics. We created and help to manage most of Antonia’s social profiles (including her new Pinterest page!), allowing her to have meaningful online interactions with potential customers. We’ve also continued to develop Antonia’s Internet presence through online PR and ongoing SEO work on her website. She now has a lengthy mailing list and many social media followers. She deserves it–look at those beautiful designs!

Client Profile: Central Lakes Region Movers

Sean, owner of CLR Movers

Sean Malone of CLR Movers, hard at work.

Central Lakes Region Movers is a family owned and operated moving company based out of Belmont, NH. Central Lakes Region Movers specializes in both commercial and residential moves, to move your home or office with minimal fuss. Owner Sean Malone is a high school classmate of mine and took over the family business in 2011, after many years of experience.

Moving can be a very stressful time in your life. Central Lakes Region Movers works to make your move as easy as it can be. They offer a variety of services, catering to your specific needs.

In addition to commercial and residential moves, Central Lakes Region Movers also offers labor only services, to pack and unload your belongings into and out of own vehicle or rented truck at a fraction of the cost of a full move. Their labor only services are also ideal for those who are not moving, but who might just need a few strong guys to move furniture around for a few hours. You’ll feel like you’re amongst friends, not strangers.

Sean and CLR came to us in early 2013, in need of their very first website. We created the site you see now on a tight budget to meet the needs of a small, family-owned company. Since the site’s launch, we’ve been hard at work ensuring that this local business has a secure presence on sites like Yelp and Facebook as well as a strong website to capture online leads. It’s always a privilege to assist a company in making their first forays into the digital marketplace, and CLR was no exception

If you’re planning a move, please consider one of the many services at Central Lakes Region Movers. They provide a free in-home estimate, to take the guesswork out of moving, and aim to make your move as stress-free as possible. You can find them on Facebook, Google+ and on their website at clrmovers.com.

We don’t like to toot our own horn…

But if our clients want to do it for us, we’re delighted! (Read more testimonials here).

The smart and talented June at J Ellen Design has this to say about our work:

“At my invitation, Holly was a guest presenter at Window Covering Association of America’s Seacoast Chapter monthly meeting. Holly’s presentation was focused on SEO and Social Media and was geared toward Interior Designers and Window Treatment Workroom professionals. This can be a difficult topic for a group of non-technical individuals; however, Holly was amazing at breaking down each piece into bite-size chunks that were easy to grasp. The group was quite impressed with her skill set and were able take away valuable tips they could use immediately to improve their web sites and enhance their social media presence.

[In addition, hasOptimization] created my business website and has been working with me to create content and leverage SEO to improve my business traffic. After a bad experience with this in the past, Holly has been a breath of fresh air and I look to her for her expertise on a regular basis. Her breadth and depth of knowledge never ceases to amaze me and I look forward to taking the next steps with her to improve my social media presence and continue to beef up my own web presence as my company continues to grow.

[Finally,] I have referred Holly to my client who is opening a new laser medical spa in Manchester, NH. Again, Holly is quite knowledgeable in her field and never ceases to impress! In our first meeting with the client, Holly was able to shine and really present herself as an expert in the web optimization and social media realm. She was able to answer my client’s questions and build a comfort level almost immediately. Holly has been retained to provide her expert project management skills and expertise when developing the website, social media presence and site optimization as we prepare to open this new business. As with my business, Holly will continue to be a valuable, long-term member of the team. (Holly has also already been asked to review one of my client’s other business websites to see how she can make it better!)

I can go on; however, the best thing I can say is you will not be disappointed when you work with Holly. She is a remarkable young woman who continues to impress me every day.”

–June at J Ellen Design

June, you’ve been a delight to work with and we deeply appreciate the referrals. There is no higher compliment!

j ellen design finished website

J Ellen Design’s finished website (click to view the real thing!)

Q&A: How to Get Your Facebook Reach Back

Q: OMG Facebook changed things and my reach has gone down the toilet and no one is seeing my posts and Facebook wants me to pay for Promoted Posts but I can’t afford it and this is killing my business! How can I get my Facebook Reach back without paying for Promoted Posts? –Posts Aren’t Getting EdgeRanked

a status message from a page owner complaining about promoted posts and reach declines.

This business owner would have done better at keeping her reach if she had used the time she spent writing this status to instead craft a post that would be highly engaging.

A: Okay, PAGE, calm down–it’s going to be okay. This article does an excellent job of debunking the issues surrounding Facebook’s latest changes. Here’s a quick recap:

  • Facebook has historically NOT shown you all the posts of all the things in your news feed, even if you select Most Recent (with some exceptions).
  • Facebook did not artificially restrict Page Reach in order to sell advertising. That would be a bad move on their part for many reasons.
  • Rather, the EdgeRank algorithm changed such that less-popular posts were less visible, and posts with high interaction from Fans were made more visible. This should ultimately be good for users. (Unfortunately, this happened concurrently with the launch of Promoted Posts, leading to a lot of confusion). EDIT: The date of the EdgeRank change has been confirmed to around September 20, 2012.

This new update to EdgeRank means that for businesses like PAGE’s, the game has remained the same, but the bar for entry has gotten higher (and I’m not talking about money). As a business Page Manager, your job has always been “Create and share content that users will want to see, interact with, and share.” Keep in mind that Facebook is less about selling and more about visibility. This is similar to the philosophy espoused by top networking organizations like BNI, which suggest you follow the mantra ‘Visibility, Credibility, Profitability’; that is, be present, be high quality, and the business will follow. In this example, your primary use of Facebook for the majority of brands is in building Visibility.

So bringing it back to EdgeRank and Promoted Posts and the ‘new reality’ of Facebook marketing for businesses. You know, what PAGE came here for: to learn how to get your Facebook reach back, how to get more views on Facebook without paying for Promoted Posts. I’ve done some casual experimenting, and lots of reading, and here’s what I’ve determined:

  • As a Fan, the way to get a given Page’s posts to show up consistently in your NewsFeed is to Like, Share or otherwise interact with that Page’s posts. 
  • Therefore, as a Page, the way to get more Reach or ‘get your reach back’ is to create and share content that encourages users to interact, Like, Share or comment on your Page’s posts. 
  • Share your appealing content, users interact, and your future posts are more likely to show up in the NewsFeeds, increasing Reach with no need to pay.

Once the user has interacted with your posts, they are going to see more of the rest of your posts in their News Feed. Now you have your Facebook Reach back, you are getting more interaction on your posts, and ‘Ooops!’ you have created better content. 

Have a question for the Q&A section? Ask it here or email me.

Small Business Marketing: Think Local

My favorite projects to work on are small business clients from my hometown area. Why? Well, I’m from a small town (Canterbury, NH) and live in a small city (Concord, NH), and when you grow up in small communities you understand the value of local communication. I’ve also lived in the big city (Los Angeles, CA) and the contrast between small business marketing there and small business marketing here in Concord is stark. Small business in Concord, NH is interdependent. There is less competition, and more incentive to cooperate with your fellow small business next door or down the street. This makes for an interesting local marketing environment.

Canterbury NH town center

This is the center of my hometown. Yes, really.

A small, tightly knit community doesn’t allow a small business the luxury of alienating potential customers, and word-of-mouth has a lot more impact than in a larger city. A small business who annoys five people in LA today will have no trouble getting business tomorrow, but a small business in Concord, NH that annoys five people has just irked a fairly significant segment of potential customers. Make someone happy, they may tell a friend. Make them angry, and they’ll tell everyone they know what a jerk you are.

I enjoy working with local small businesses, because local SEO and local marketing are a more authentic sort of marketing project. You have more ability to speak directly to people, and there are so many excellent opportunities for online optimization for local businesses: Google Places, Yelp, and Facebook Place Pages, to name just a few. With a good local marketing strategy, and the investment of the business owner in keeping up with social media content and helping to get reviews, checkins and the like from the local customers, great things can happen. And it doesn’t require shady linkbuilding, crazy content strategies, or fancy coding.

Local marketing takes us back to the real core of marketing work. You speak more directly to people. There’s a greater investment in offline strategies to go with the online marketing. Social media efforts take on a different flavor when you’re marketing for a local small business rather than a multinational brand.

It’s particularly rewarding when you get to do local marketing in an area you know well. I grew up only 15 minutes from where I now live in Concord, NH so I know this town, these people, this political and social atmosphere very well. Living in ‘the big city’ for a few years only gave me more perspective on that! Even better, when I work for a company in Concord, NH I can actually go to their store, use their services, and recommend them to my friends and family–something I can’t do when I market for local businesses in distant areas.

Ultimately, what I offer to local small businesses, whether in Concord or elsewhere, is an opportunity to fill in the gaps in their marketing. Whether that means helping them develop a social media strategy, getting them going on blogging, or helping with creative ideas for offline marketing programs, my goal is to get your small business more business. If that sounds like what you’re looking for, contact me. I’d be delighted to talk to you about how we can improve your marketing ROI, get you a more professional web presence, leverage social media, or anything else you need help with.

Q&A: Where can I get my one-off content distributed?

I have an idea for a piece of content and I want to maximize the likelyhood that people using Google will find it. I don’t plan to create an ongoing blog, and I don’t currently have an outlet that this content is appropriate for–I just want to write about this topic! I considered setting up a WordPress, but it looks complicated for my purposes. How about tumblr? Other ideas?
-Wants Right Internet Tool

Sometimes you have a piece of content just banging around in your head and you want to have people read it, but you lack a good place to put it. You could, of course, create a new microsite devoted to it, or a small blog, or even just put it up as your Facebook status, but those options all come with significant limitations or downsides, from lack of professionalism to lack of distribution to excessive work for your purposes. My suggestion to WRIT? Find a site that accepts guest posts that is related to your topic, and offer your post up to them. Seek one that is as relevant as possible, has good readership and/or connections in the blogging community, and which will offer social media publicity for your content. If WRIT lacks the expertise to find the right channels for her content, hiring someone who does article marketing (like me!) is always an option.
Once you’ve found a good channel, WRIT, don’t forget about social media distribution. Pushing your post out to your friends and family will give you a decent visibility boost, and if you have public/professional pages those can do even more. You can also hang around forums and comment areas on related websites looking for people talking about your topic, then mention your article and link to it. Basically all the standard options for article publicity remain open to you, WRIT, even if you’re publishing on a site you do not own. If your only goal is to get as many people to read it as possible, the sky’s the limit!

Q&A: Do I need to be on Facebook?

I recently launched my business and I’m working on building social media profiles. I don’t have a lot of time and I’m worried that having many profiles will spread me too thin. I sell mostly to business professionals. Does my brand need to be on Facebook?

–Facebook Is Necessary?

Let me preface this with the following: I’m a product of the Facebook generation. I got a profile back when you had to have a college email to join. Social media helped shape my college experience, and therefore has had no small influence on my career. I love Facebook.

That said, FIN, you DO NOT have to have your brand on Facebook. Facebook Logo

Some brands need Facebook. Some brands will do wonderfully on Facebook. But some brands have no business even attempting to be on Facebook because it’s simply going to be a waste of time and money.

How do you know which of these your brand is? Should your brand be on Facebook?

Ask yourself the following:

  1. Am I selling to a Facebooking demographic? If you are trying to reach anyone under 30, women up to around 50 (Facebook is full of moms), college-educated folks around 18-30+, or social media addicts (this is a real demographic if you’re marketing games or apps), you need to be on Facebook. If you are targeting an over-40 demographic, especially males, Facebook might not be the place for you. FIN is targeting business professionals…FIN, are you on LinkedIn?
  2. Do I have the time needed to create and maintain a presence? Having a poorly maintained social media profile can actually damage your online reputation, especially if you are trying to cultivate a very professional appearance. It can be better to not have a Facebook profile than to have a bad Facebook profile.
  3. Following on #2: Are there other channels that will suffer if I put time into Facebook? In the case of FIN, time might be better spent on LinkedIn, or even Twitter (which can itself be time consuming in the extreme!). If FIN can’t keep up with all the profiles, he should focus on those that are the best options for him.

So for FIN, I’d probably recommend Facebook only if he has the time/bandwidth to maintain it. If he wants to ensure he’s ON Facebook but doesn’t have time for it, he can create a profile, lock it down to prevent people from making a mess of it with comments, and let it sit until he has time (or interns), but he should put in at least the time required to build a search-friendly, professional Page and make sure it’s set up to email him important updates so he doesn’t ignore potential business. Otherwise, though, FIN is probably better off putting time into LinkedIn and possibly Twitter and/or Google+, depending on the specifics of his business.

Have a question for the Q&A section? Ask it here.

 

From the Horse’s Mouth: Employee Word-of-Mouth Marketing

In a company of any size, it is your employees who make or break your business–they are the ones who speak to your clients and potential clients, the ones whose motivation and rewards will determine the efficiency of your business. Clients are important, of course, but it can be easy to forget that word of mouth marketing comes not ONLY from clients, but ALSO from employees, and in many cases a good or bad word from “the inside” can count a whole lot more than the word of one customer. What are your employees saying about you?

Ask yourself:

  • What are my employees saying about me, and my company? How can I positively influence this?
  • What information do my employees have about my business I wouldn’t want customers to know? How am I controlling that information?
  • Do my employees like working for my business? A happy employee is unlikely to bad-mouth you. An undercompensated, overworked employee is already complaining about you on Twitter.
  • What can I do to make my employees more satisfied? A satisfied employee speaks highly of their employing company.
  • How can I encourage employees to be good word-of-mouth? What can I do that will encourage them to passively bring in new business (remember, you don’t have to pay for this!)?

Furthermore, consider:

  • How am I controlling my reputation on the social web?

As an online marketing professional, I see many companies that have little awareness of the social web beyond “I know I should be on Facebook” (actually, maybe you shouldn’t, but that’s another blog post). If that’s where you are now, you need to broaden your view. Even if you haven’t put yourself on Facebook (or whatever social channel), you are already there. Your customers and employees are likely already talking about you. While there’s a limit to how much control you will ever have over your social web presence, careful management can head off problems before they affect your business. Be aware. And for many companies, having a social media policy that outlines how employees may talk about the company on the web is an appropriate step.

As a final point (but a big one): How am I making my business accessible to my employees?

Small businesses tend to have a greater “friendship” with their employees–the business seems more “human”. As a business gets larger, it becomes easier for your employees to see it as “working for ‘the man’/the industrial complex”, which in turn makes it easier to badmouth the company (online or offline) without feeling the guilt that comes with badmouthing an individual. As your company grows, make sure you’re still connecting with your employees on a personal level. Remember, no matter how big you get, your employees still make or break you.