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Episode 5: Soak An Entire Roll Of Toilet Paper In Kerosene

Guys and gals, we’re still trying to hash out this whole Mac Mini situation. And we detail portions of it in this episode. We also obtusely discuss the scammer situation in the after market sales arena. To sum it up for you here: It’s bad. Like, real bad. To the point that I ended up just taking my listings down because I never got any legitimate offers from actual local people. So, beware scammers when trying to sell your used items.

We discussed Apple. Again. A lot. Sorry not sorry.

And we bought a Chromebox! Having a full fledged, fully functional browser on your TV is kind of surreal. Something that pre-teen me would have salivated over.

Enjoy!

By |2018-11-18T08:43:12+00:00November 18th, 2018|Post|Comments Off on Episode 5: Soak An Entire Roll Of Toilet Paper In Kerosene

Episode 4: It’s Gonna Be A Power Horse Computer

It’s interesting when you’re trying to purchase a used Apple product. People tend to have an overblown sense of what the price should be for something. A 6 year old computer, even an Apple computer, isn’t worth several hundred dollars. But I digress.

We get off to a great start complaining about a review for the Mac Mini. And we made some truly insightful things about the Mac products gained through this terrible review.

There’s a brief discussion about why you’ll never see Mac OS X available for purchase without Mac hardware.

Later we also talked about the differences between Microsoft’s business model versus Apple’s business model.

 

By |2018-11-11T11:23:13+00:00November 11th, 2018|Post|Comments Off on Episode 4: It’s Gonna Be A Power Horse Computer

Episode 3: Fresh Baked Lies

Well, we managed to squeeze another podcast out this week. This one is all about the Apple Keynote that dropped on Oct. 30th. They introduced a new MacBook Air, a new Mac Mini, and a new iPad Pro. All with impressive hardware spec bumps.

We get into a bit of a discussion about a YouTube reviewer who reviewed the keynote, claiming that the new iPad is for the 1%. We also discuss the futility of upgrading your Mac products.

By |2018-11-04T11:53:13+00:00November 4th, 2018|Post|Comments Off on Episode 3: Fresh Baked Lies

Episode 2: The Most Ridiculous Business Card Sized Phone

Let’s get this out of the way. I was wrong about a lot of stuff on the Palm Phone off the bat. The cameras and storage, specifically. Here’s a link to a review by The Verge. If you’re interested in getting this extremely small smartphone, and you’re already on Verizon, and you’ve already got a data plan and phone service with them, here’s a link to the product page for the (snicker) Palm Companion Device.

We also discussed Google’s G Suite of products, specifically the email service. It’s leaps and bounds better than the C-Panel email we’d been using before. If you have been thinking about moving your email servers away from your web host, DO IT! What’s keeping you! Do it, now! And used Google’s G Suite.

By |2018-10-28T08:03:28+00:00October 28th, 2018|Post|Comments Off on Episode 2: The Most Ridiculous Business Card Sized Phone

Episode 1: Mt. Olive, you may have heard of the pickles.

In our premiere episode, Robert and I talk about getting started in business together, our lives before entreprenuership, and everything in between (without going into too much detail).

Join us as we go through the trials and tribulations of being business owners in our brand new podcast, The Purple Tie Show!

By |2018-10-21T19:03:11+00:00October 21st, 2018|Post|Comments Off on Episode 1: Mt. Olive, you may have heard of the pickles.

Everything You Need To Know About Hiring A Marketing Consultant

Everything You Need To Know About Hiring A Marketing Consultant

Marketing Consultant is not an easy job, but in the digital age, it feels like there is so much to keep track of. Metrics, trends, and analytics data are more accessible than ever, but at the same time, it takes such a great effort cognitive- and time-wise to truly make use of them all.

This exasperation with the complexity of marketing is the decision point at which you may find yourself thinking about hiring a marketing consultant for your business. In digital marketing, you might find that it’s especially important to do this with SEO, which requires a large time and effort investment to get right and implement.

Hiring an SEO marketing consultant isn’t any more or less involved than hiring any other kind of consultant, but it comes with its own unique challenges. Here’s what you need to know.

Freelancer Or Agency?

In hiring your consultant, the first question you’ll have to answer is that of the budget, and that directly leads to a freelancer vs agency dilemma.

Freelancers are cheaper than agencies, and it’s typically faster to get the ball rolling with them since you’re only dealing with one person rather than a team. However, freelancers don’t have the benefit of the combined expertise of a dedicated SEO marketing team, and on top of that, they may well be juggling several projects at once, which can cause them to prioritize another client if they become overloaded at any time. It’s an unpredictable prospect.

On top of that, if your needs have a somewhat large scope, you might end up having to hire several freelancers at once, which requires micromanagement on an unwieldy scale because you’re going to have to align your objectives with each individual freelancer at once. And of course, if any single freelancer leaves the team, you’re going to have to go through a lengthy turnover process.

A better bet, even if it’s a more expensive one, is to hire a dedicated SEO marketing agency. Yes, it’s more expensive, but you’ll also get the benefits of having a team work on your project for you, with dedicated account managers and specialists taking care of alignment, reports, implementation, and team management. All you’ll have to worry about is the fulfillment of your SEO needs, not how it’s done behind the scenes.

And of course, working with an agency means building a long-term partner with whom you develop a relationship, who would eventually share your vision with you and understand your needs better than anyone else.

How To Choose A Consultant

As with any kind of consultant, choosing your SEO marketing consultant requires you to ask a few questions about their background and how they can help you.

1. How successful is your work with your other clients?

A successful SEO marketing consultant’s work should be plainly obvious – their clients should be highly-ranked in their niche on search engine results pages! Answering this question should involve determining whether their clients’ websites experienced improvements in their rankings on SERPs, and whether the consultant’s work is directly involved in these improvements.

Another quick way to determine if their work is good is to check their own website’s performance in their marketing niche. Many consultants market themselves within their region, so you can look up something like “SEO marketing agency [city/region/province/state]” and look for their ranking.

Finally, if they have any case studies to offer, that would be an extremely useful way of determining their success. Not only will you see how effective their work was, but you’ll also get a glimpse of their practices.

2. What are your methods in implementing SEO practices?

Asking this question and getting a meaningful answer involves researching about SEO on your own. Learn about best practices and deprecated techniques. See what makes good SEO keyword research tick. And of course, look for red flags like the use of Private Blog Networks or article spinning. Compare all that you find out, against the practices that your consultant candidate intends to use.

3. What are your KPIs and reporting methods?

Every business will have different ways of determining their success, and a good SEO marketing consultant will know how to isolate these key performance indicators and report them. Elucidating these reports and indicators to you will show how well they can demonstrate the success of their efforts – and thus your return on investment with them. It’s also important for them to report to you frequently and effectively, while not needing to be micromanaged.

Don’t Cheap Out

Good SEO is expensive, let’s get that out of the way. And it has to be because cheap SEO won’t just be ineffective, but it may even damage your SEO ratings! Cheaper SEO consultants and agencies often use shady or outdated tactics to improve your search engine rankings.

For example, we mentioned Private Blog Networks, which are sites that you can pay to have links to your site included in their posts. Google and other search engines are constantly cracking down on PBNs, and punishing sites that make use of them. If your potential consultant says that they make use of “link schemes” that don’t involve organic traffic, turn around and walk away!

They may also use keyword stuffing, an old holdover from the early days of search engines, which is another SEO “technique” that will end up getting your site treated as spam and sent into search engine oblivion, never to be found.

Finally, they may also output low-quality content. After all, good content needs not only the expertise of the marketing consultant, but also an editor, a manager, research skills, and all these other man-hours that you simply can’t cheap out on.

Start Early

The minute your digital marketing presence is created, it should be optimized to improve its rankings in your niche as much as possible. Starting early with reach and engagement is key in order to capture as many potential customers as possible.

SEO is a long and involved process that will build up steam and grow an audience over time, and you need a marketing consultant who will be with you every step of the way, building a relationship with you and your needs. That means you should make sure you hire someone you trust, and who you believe aligns with what you want to happen. Do your homework, don’t scrimp on this, and you’ll achieve success.

By |2018-10-19T12:45:17+00:00October 19th, 2018|Post|Comments Off on Everything You Need To Know About Hiring A Marketing Consultant

3rd Street Boys & Girls Club of Decatur

We were lucky enough to be able to donate this wonderful video to the 3rd Street Boys & Girls Club of Decatur. Those kids are amazing!

I’ll add the donation button as soon as I get the link, but in the meantime, call them! Give them the support they need.

Also, we were awarded a Community Impact award at a recent Boys & Girls Club Banquet/Fundraiser!

SEO Service Provider
By |2018-06-21T21:10:09+00:00June 21st, 2018|Post|Comments Off on 3rd Street Boys & Girls Club of Decatur

4 Great Social Media Marketing Sites and How You Can Reach Your Audience!

Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Google+ allow those looking to get a lot of people engaged in social media marketing to do so by using photos, tweets, likes, pins and follows! Using timed posts and targeted ads, any brand can reach their audience in a meaningful way.

Facebook

8468995025_25e89894f5_oIt should come as no surprise that Facebook is currently the largest platform for social media marketing engaging 71% of internet users and continues to grow. Those who communicate via Facebook are interested in sharing connections – either to family and friends or to products with which they feel a relationship. The age demographic for this group is 24-50 and the audience is closely split between women (76%) and men (66%). Therefore, marketing to this audience is crucial to promote any business. Creating ads and a social media campaign using Facebook Ads will allow your business to tap into this market share and demographic. If you’re looking for a free way to promote your business on Facebook, schedule your posts so that they appear during the peak usage times: noon to 1 on Saturdays and Sundays; 3-4pm on Wednesdays and 1-4pm Thursdays and Fridays. To take advantage of these ad windows, write your marketing content on Monday and Tuesday then post, post, post throughout the week!

Twitter

Iphoto-1457433575995-8407028a9970f you want to target a younger demographic, use Twitter. Tweeting, hash tagging and pulling in 23% of online users, Twitter nabs the 18-29 year old demographic with a growing number of men and those 65 or older are becoming new users. Most tweets are posted between noon and 6pm and these tweets will contain images (55%) and links (31%).  Users are more engaged during the week than on weekends, so to reach this audience and garner a high click through rate (CTR), you will need to post during peak times or purchase an ad through Twitter Ads. Reaching this young audience may mean that you can get brand advocates who will not only promote, but stay with your product for a long time.

Instagram

Olia_Lialina_on_Instagram_logoAnother tactic for reaching younger prospects (especially women) is Instagram.  With an install base comprising 26% of all mobile devices and growing, Instagram is a great way to reach the 18-29 demographic. Best posting times for this platform are weekdays (except Fridays), between 6am and noon and around 5pm.  Previously, advertising on Instagram was only available for large businesses; however, even small businesses can now buy ads and reach young ‘grammers.

Google+

Logo_google+_2015One more area to create a marketing strategy is Google+ which has taken some hits in recent years, but having a presence on this platform is still the best way to rank well with the search engine. Google+ has moved Hangouts, Events, and My Business to subdomains but enhanced and promoted Communities (topic based discussion groups) and Collections (for images, similar to Pinterest). Google+ reaches a 60% male and 25% female audience and the principal age bracket is 25-34. If you are planning to utilize Google+ for Business to start ranking with this audience, you will need to create a local business page and have it connected with maps and display reviews.

Whatever strategy you pursue, you need to choose multiple ways to get your company’s brand shared out into the social world. You can extend your reach even further by combining social media marketing with targeted emails.  Look for a future post where we will discuss this in more detail.

Citations:

Pewinternet.org http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/01/09/demographics-of-key-social-networking-platforms-2/

Twitter http://www.businessinsider.com/who-uses-twitter-2015-6

Postings: https://blog.hootsuite.com/best-time-to-post-on-facebook-twitter-instagram/

Google+: https://www.semrush.com/blog/boost-local-seo-rankings-google-plus/

Lynda.com

Google+ for Business

Instagram for Business

By |2017-05-05T10:59:37+00:00June 14th, 2016|Post|Comments Off on 4 Great Social Media Marketing Sites and How You Can Reach Your Audience!

Our Official One Year Anniversary

keep_calm_anniversaryThis Thursday, March 17, marks the one year anniversary of The Purple Tie Radio Show! Can you believe it’s already been a full year?! A year of us bumbling through topics and joking about each other. A year of expert business advice, and a year of expert conjecture. A year of being completely wrong about things, I’m sure. But mostly, it’s been a wonderful year with you, our readers and listeners. We appreciate all of your interest in us, and that’s why we keep going. We’re striving to make the radio show/podcast better and more entertaining.

We’d love to hear from you, so drop us a line. You can email me or Robert. You can also follow us on Twitter, @thepurpletieco, or on Facebook, http://facebook.com/thepurpletie. Send us a note about how great we are or how terrible our country accents are. We’ll do our best to add in some “yous guys” and “piece of pie and a pop” every now and again.

Thanks again for sticking with us! And Happy One Year Anniversary!

By |2016-03-16T20:50:57+00:00March 16th, 2016|Post|Comments Off on Our Official One Year Anniversary

Independent Creators and the new economy

I didn’t see it happen, but there’s a new, growing economy blossoming right underneath my nose. It sped past me, and I never even gave it a second thought. It’s been right here, right in front of me, for years, and I’ve been to slow to even realize it.

Small business.

No, that’s a boring name for it. Let’s jazz it up. How about ‘Independent Creators?’ Don’t recognize it? How about indie. That’s the buzzword that everyone was jumping onto the past few years. And the truth is indie developers have been around a lot longer than people realize. But now, with the internet changing and evolving into a plethora of user-created content, indie developers are in the spotlight. Now, some back story and explanation.

Independent Developers are just small business owners like any old Joe Schmoe running a corner deli or clothing consignment store. The key differences are that anything made by indie developers can be made available immediately after the creating is finished straight from their website or another direct spigot to drink from.

I think the sheer amount of different types of indie developers will amaze the average person who hasn’t done any research into the topic. I’m going to focus on just a few. Obviously, indie video game developers are the first thing that pops into my mind. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. You’ve also got comic book creators, music makers, movie makers, and don’t get me started on Etsy. That’s going to be a large section of this article because DAMN.

Let’s start off small. Has anyone ever heard of a little webcomic called Penny Arcade? If you haven’t, it’s illustrated by Mike Krahulik and written by Jerry Holskins, and they cater to the video game crowd with most of their strips, masquerading as their alter egos rage-as-hot-as-the-sun John “Gabe” Gabriel and quick-witted, cool-headed, silver-tongued Tycho Brahe. They started the strip back in 1998, and they were making exactly $0 when they did. But they stuck with it, and now they are the face of one of the biggest gaming conferences in the world, PAX (there were no less than 4 of these events last year). Who knows how much money they’re raking in now just because they weren’t, in their own words, “stupid enough to stop making” dumb comics? They’ve also started different lines of products and clothing, but what I’m really happy about is the fact that they started a charity organization called “Child’s Play.” It helps hospitals get equipment for children. Equipment like Xbox Ones and PS4s. Kids need entertainment to help them heal! Heck, everyone does. But I digress. Penny Arcade is a stand out example of two people who started a dinky little webcomic and became wildly successful. And it happened without anyone realizing it. penny_arcade_creators

Let’s talk about some traditional comics, shall we? Does anyone know who Todd McFarlane is? He’s the creator of Spawn and one of the founders of Image Comics 1 2. Now, I wish I had sales numbers for the first run of Spawn, but I do not. I’ll do some research and see what I can come up with, but let’s just say that when Spawn launched in the 90’s it was a hit. And that’s an understatement to be reckoned with. The comic sold as good as (if not better than) any of the Batmans or Spider-Mans out there. There was a movie, an HBO series and multiple videogames based on it, for crying out loud! My point here is that Todd McFarlane stepped out of the traditional box of comic creation and publishing back then. He owned all of the rights to his creations and published them himself through Image Comics. He built an empire around the idea that no company should own your characters that you create. They should simply publish them. spawn_creator

I can’t say that I’m an indie movie buff. In fact, I typically hate them. They seem overly preachy or absurdly abstract to me. I’m more of a summer blockbuster popcorn movie type of guy. But you can’t deny that some of the most successful movies of our time have began as independent films. Movies like Lost in Translation and Paranormal Activity or the biggie The Passion of The Christ. These movies were either bankrolled by a single person or made by incredibly small production teams, and THEY WERE AWESOME! Or so I hear. Again, not a big fan. But Christ pulled in an insane $612M! That’s huge!

Moving on we have what everyone thinks of when they hear indie, and that’s indie music. It’s been around forever, blaring from garages and kids’ bedrooms, interrupting parties and social get-togethers. Thanks to the Internet, indie music is MUCH easier to find. iTunes has been a huge part of this, but really, it’s just much easier to find great music now. With sites like Soundcloud, Spotify and Pandora curating music for your tastes, it becomes very easy to find bands that have no label or promotions or even albums that have been released. It’s a truly exciting time to be listening to music.

And now, the subject that is near and dear to my heart. Indie Games. I consider myself a moderate gamer. I don’t have the time to be a hardcore gamer anymore, but I tend to veer away from games considered “casual.” The past two years, I’ve found that I’ve gravitated towards indie games. My favorite game currently is Gone Home by The Fullbright Company. It’s been called many things, both good and bad (my favorite review called it a walking simulator), but regardless of what others say it is definitely my favorite game. It was made by four people. And it is amazing. Try it for yourself! My second favorite game is kind of a cop-out since it was so popular when it was released, but nevertheless it’s an indie title. Journey by Thatgamecompany. It was made by eight people. And it is also AMAZING! It was exclusive to the PS3 for a long time, but as of this writing, a PS4 game is in development. Now, let’s address the elephant in the room. Minecraft. It started off as a game made by one man, Markus “Notch” Persson. Now, he’s since created and sold a company around Minecraft, Mojang, but the encouraging part of this is just how popular the game is still after 4 years. The Minecraft Stats page says that, as of right now, there has been 19,157,968 units sold. This game is like the lovechild of Legos and an Atari, and it struck a cord in gamers far and wide. I can’t find any sales numbers, but with that many units sold, plus selling his company to Microsoft, Notch is sitting pretty on his throne of redstone (that’s a Minecraft joke, look it up). One of the most anticipated games of the near future is called No Man’s Sky by Hello Games, an indie developer. There is as much talk about this game as there is the next Halo or Mario games.
games

So, that ridiculously vast background was all in preparation for this. Independent developers are essentially electronic small businesses. Why didn’t I realize this? Because it’s happened gradually over the past few years. Digital distribution has made these types of consumables accessible from anywhere at any time. Two services I use on a regular basis is Steam for games and Comixology for comic books. From either of these services I can buy a game or comic and have it delivered to me immediately. It’s the same as iTunes for music or movies or Amazon Kindle Store and Audible for books (which are also teeming with indie authors). People debate why independent creators are doing so well, and I think it’s because they’re so accessible to everyone. Granted, you need to produce good content, and that’s a given in any field.

So, my final thoughts. In the United States today, small businesses make up a whopping 48.5% of the workforce. That’s insane. And with all this digital distribution happening, it’s clear why indie creators have flourished. It’s an awesome time to be creative! So, get out there and make something!

By |2015-04-14T13:23:13+00:00April 11th, 2015|Post|Comments Off on Independent Creators and the new economy