Category Archives: Tips and Tricks

Email Newsletters Done Right

By | Email Marketing, Tips and Tricks | No Comments

Want to know how to keep current clients entertained and your phones ringing with referrals… try adding a little personality and humor into your monthly email newsletters…

Take a tip from ACS Business Insurance Services.

 

Monthly Newsletter – July 2012

My life’s successes aren’t measured by my education, job, or even raising my kids. I measure it purely by not ever being on the “People of Walmart!”

If you do not know what I am referring to, then:

  1. You don’t own a computer, (obviously you do, because you’re reading this),
  2. You believe that mullets combined with spandex and shirts that are eight-sizes-too small are fashionable,
  3. You are one of the People of Walmart.

Now, I have nothing against Walmart (this is not a political e-blast) but I often wonder about the people who are on there… do they know they are, and if they do, is their next comment: “Hey! That was my Sunday Best!” Maybe it was part of their planning process all along – sort of like their 15 minutes of fame.

Maybe the “People of Wal-Mart” have photos and websites of me that say: “People of Home Depot” or “People of Barnes and Noble” and they have their own laughs. Maybe it will be my 15 minutes of fame.

Obviously, if you’re reading this, you already know about success and fame. Success is having ACS Insurance in your life, not only as your health insurance guru but also as your life insurance guru, aficionado, or go-to-person. “Broker” just seems so informal.

Speaking of fame, this month’s made-in-Nevada winner is Barbara Houck. Barbara is a long-time client of ACS Insurance. When Barbara was told that she won, she was surprised and happy (now, who wouldn’t be happy to get new cool stuff, like BJs BBQ Sauces, Big’s Bees Honey, ACS water bottles, etc…?) Not to toot our own horn (ok, I will…) Barb said of ACS Insurance: “You all are so nice and friendly, not intimidating at all!” Why, thanks Barbara!

Speaking of success, if you haven’t already received one of Andy’s books, let me know, (I snuck a stash from his office) and would be happy to give you one. If you don’t remember, this book is designed for this economy – and helps to increase your money with a blueprint for financial security and stability. Let’s face it, if you’re not sleeping with hundred-dollar-bills stuffed in your pillows, bathe with caviar, or have rose petals for carpet, this book’s for you. Just so you know, supplies are limited, as I can only steal enough so he won’t notice they’re missing…sort of like taking the last cookie from the jar, by rearranging them so it appears there’s more. Pshhhh, nooooo, I have never done that (wink, wink).

As always, thanks for reading this e-blast – I would love to put your name in the monthly drawing – just refer someone to ACS Insurance, call for a quote, or like” us on Facebook.

Until next month,
“Silly People…Serious about Insurance.”


Kleptomaniac-In-Recovery

Welcome to WordPress Power Point Presentation

By | Business Intelligence, Definitions, Tips and Tricks, UNR Extended Studies PPP | No Comments

More than just a blogging platform

Welcome to WordPress

Download the Welcome to WordPress Power Point Presentation

A Step by Step Guide

If you decide to move forward and develop a website here are a few steps to take in order to make it as painless as possible.

1) Figure out what you want to talk about
2) Choose a Domain Name ( www.DomainName.com )
3) Setup a Gmail Account using domain name (DomainName@gmail.com )
4) Register Domain Name
5) Setup Hosting
6) Setup WordPress One-click Install
7) WordPress – What’s it all mean
8) Select a Theme and more
9) Add and publish content
10) Start Networking
11) Build Profiles on Local Pages
12) Plus much more …

Details of Class:
Creating WordPress Blogs (NEW CLASS SCHEDULE – COMING SOON)
Create your own blog and blog-based website with WordPress, an open-source blog tool offering a wide variety of features and a large supporting community. This course will guide you through the fundamental processes for building and maintaining your blog-based website from setup and design to marketing and search engine optimization (SEO). With step-by-step guidance, you’ll learn how to develop and customize the look of your blog-based website, integrating widgets, plugins, themes and more. You’ll also learn practical ways to use your blog for business, build your personal brand, establish expertise in your field, and create and maintain new sources of potential revenue.

 

Online marketing strategy overview for Extended Studies

By | Strategic Planning, Teaching, Tips and Tricks | No Comments

If 3 out of 4 people use social media and approximately 84% of consumers use search engines before making a purchase is your business their first stop?

Kristy Crabtree, owner of Westward Strategy & Design Group, knows that in today’s market if your business doesn’t have a presence online – you are missing out on potential sales. It’s as simple as that.

Find out WHY millions of businesses have a social media presence to expand their exposure and learn how to build yours effectively and efficiently. Discover best practices and techniques on how to leverage some of the best tools and top social media platforms to successfully integrate into your marketing and management strategies.

Topic discussion points

– We’ll talk about how to brand and market you as an individual to increase more leads for your business. I’ll explain why taking advantage of all of the ‘Free’ local business listings has an enormous impact on your search rankings.

– I’ll introduce to you one of the most powerful and easy to use publishing platforms available today and how businesses are using it to get their message to the right audience.

– We’ll review top 10 tips on how you can manage your own search engine optimization to increase your businesses exposure.

– I’ll give examples of the pro’s of having an active Facebook ‘business’ page and how it also increases your natural search rankings as well as using Facebook to promote your products and services through additional applications.

– We’ll talk about how to market on Twitter, what businesses see benefit, how Tweeting increases exposure and how to take advantage of micro-blogging.

– I’ll review leveraging LinkedIn and how to setup and use all of the available applications to promote your business on LinkedIn’s company profile page.

– Take home copies of the Power Point Presentation along with other helpful tips, tools and URLS will be provided.

Social media business basics visits Fallon

By | Business Intelligence, Search Engine Marketing, Strategic Planning, Tips and Tricks, Westward Strategy | No Comments

Fallon, Nevada


I am extremely excited and very grateful to have the opportunity to share best practices and techniques on how to use social media to promote you and your business.

First steps matter in how your platforms are constructed and used. By the end of the class you will have a road map with helpful tools to successfully integrate into your social marketing strategies. 

I intend to throw as much FREE information at you as possible!

First stop on the 5 City tour
for Social Media Business Basics
is beautiful Fallon, Nevada!

  • WHERE: WNC Fallon Campus & Rural Development Computer Lab, SAGE 102
  • WHEN: MONDAY APRIL 11, 2011
  • TIME: 8:30am-3:30pm

Questions? Send an e-mail to Kathy Carrico at kcarrico @ unr.edu or call directly to (775) 784-6879.

Sponsored by
Nevada Small Business Development Center

Agenda items include:

  • Strengthening your on-line presence
  • Reasons to create Profiles
  • Selecting a professional email address
  • Email recommendations
  • Setup a Gravatar
  • Create a quick profile page on Google and Yahoo
  • Google Places – list your business on Google
  • What’s Your About ‘ME’ Statement?
  • Keep a Cohesive and Unified Naming Convention
  • Setting up a Twitter Account is as easy as 1-2-3
  • Twitter Definitions
  • Twitter Tools and References
  • Setting up a FaceBook Account is as easy as 1-2-3
  • FaceBook Tools and References
  • Setting up a LinkedIn Account is as easy as 1-2-3
  • LinkedIn Tools and References

plus more if we have time!

Stillwater Wildlife Refuge - Fallon, Nevada

About the Presenter: Kristy Crabtree has more than a decade of marketing and website communication experience. As owner of Westward Strategy & Design Group she knows that in today’s market, your on-line communication platforms are the core of your management and marketing strategies. Westward Strategy & Design Group specializes in developing relationships with businesses that are in need of strategic solutions in areas of website design, social media platforms and practices.

Kristy spends much of her recreational time in various rural Nevada locations as an amateur photographer and engages in camping, hunting and fishing whenever possible.

“Unlike other Reno web design or social marketing agencies, I don’t try to be all things to all people. Instead, I focus on implementing the latest, most effective online marketing strategies that work for you and your business.”

Teaching 2011 Extended Studies

By | Business Intelligence, Strategic Planning, Tips and Tricks, Web Design Tidbit, Westward Strategy | No Comments

Extended Studies Classes at UNR

Social Media Marketing Certificate – Reno

Westward Strategy, a Reno Web Design Company, and Kristy Crabtree, a Web Designer in Reno – will be teaching 2-two day courses for UNR’s Extended Studies Social Media Marketing Certificate.

The first course will be a simple step – by-step guide to getting your WordPress Blog setup, stylizing your look and feel and then creating content that will keep your audience coming back and wanting more.

The second course will focus the next steps for developing strategies using online tools effectively to improve your bottom line. In this hands-on class, you’ll learn how successful businesses large and small are using social media effectively and brainstorm social media strategies that will generate income for your business.

Creating WordPress Blogs

Apr. 26 & 27, 2011 (Tue. & Wed., 6 – 9 p.m.)
Description:

Create your own blog and blog-based website with WordPress, an open-source blog tool offering a wide variety of features and a large supporting community. This course will guide you through the fundamental processes for building and maintaining your blog-based website from setup and design to marketing and search engine optimization (SEO). With step-by-step guidance, you’ll learn how to develop and customize the look of your blog-based website, integrating widgets, plugins, themes and more. You’ll also learn practical ways to use your blog for business, build your personal brand, establish expertise in your field, and create and maintain new sources of potential revenue.

Topics will include:

  • Setting up a domain, hosting and SEO
  • Understanding the Dashboard interface
  • Selecting the best blog design theme
  • Using plugins to extend functionality
  • Creating valuable content
  • Marketing and monetizing your blog

Online Marketing Strategies for Small Business Owners

May 10 & 11, 2011 (Tue. & Wed., 6 – 9 p.m.)
Description:

You have all the tools you need for effective social media marketing — a blog and accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Google, and LinkedIn. The next step is developing strategies for using these tools effectively to improve your bottom line. In this hands-on class, you’ll learn how successful businesses large and small are using social media effectively and brainstorm social media strategies that will generate income for your business.

Topics will include:

  • Developing your website as the center of your marketing strategy
  • Using your blog to bring people to your website and enhance your website’s position
  • Leveraging Facebook to build your expertise and communicate with your customers
  • Marketing your business using LinkedIn tools to develop leads
  • Driving traffic to your business and website with Twitter
  • Strategic differences between service and product companies

Diagnostics and safe browsing

By | Tips and Tricks, Web Design Tidbit | No Comments

Looking for a reliable source to check your website against any type of possible hacking? Google has a Safe Browsing feature allowing you to check your website and other websites for malware, spyware and possible malicious infections.

URL- http://www.google.com/safebrowsing/diagnostic?site=domain.com

Just replace Domain.com at last with site URL.

Example: if I wanted to check my site – Westward Strategy, I would just replace Domain.com with westwardstrategy.com. Google will show you complete information about the site.

URL- http://www.google.com/safebrowsing/diagnostic?site=westwardstrategy.com

Google will give answers to the following questions –

  • What is the current listing status for domain.com?
  • What happened when Google visited this site?
  • Has this site acted as an intermediary resulting in further distribution of malware?
  • Has this site hosted malware?
  • Next Steps: You can also request a review of your site directly from Google’s Webmaster Tools Help Center.

   

About Westward Strategy: Kristy Crabtree provides local Reno web design and developmental solutions for businesses.

3 Day Course on Being Social

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Extended Studies Classes at UNR

Social Media Tools: Developing the Foundation for Inbound Marketing

Description:
Now that you see the potential of social media marketing for yourself and for your business, you need to establish your presence online. With an effective online presence, you can begin to attract people to what you have to offer instead of interrupting them with messages they don’t want to hear. Inbound marketing is the process of attracting people to your website with information that matters to them.

The process of inbound marketing starts with having the right tools to do the job. The purpose of this course is to help you get started with the essential tools of inbound marketing – a blog and accounts on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Participants in this hands-on class will leave with a Facebook page, LinkedIn account, Twitter profile and a WordPress blog. These tools are required for the final two courses in the University’s Social Media Marketing Certificate, which examine how to practice inbound marketing and how to evaluate and improve your results.

Topics will include:

  • The importance of a professional email address
  • Setting up your Google profile
  • Purchasing a domain name
  • Developing an “about meâ€? statement
  • Formatting a photo to use on all your online platforms
  • Setting up a WordPress blog
  • Creating Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter accounts and linking your blog to those accounts
  • How to auto-feed content to different platforms

Contact UNR to learn more about the classes or to sign up today!

Camera and photo equipment

By | Tips and Tricks, Westward Strategy | No Comments

Photo Equipment
iPhone 3GS
3-Megapixel Camera – The new 3-megapixel camera takes great still photos, too, thanks to built-in autofocus and a handy new feature that lets you tap the display to focus on anything (or anyone) you want.

Canon EOS 7D
18 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera with 3-inch LCD – the camera is amazing…. and eventhough it has twice as many gizmos and gadgets – it’s still pretty easy to figure out. It was a good upgrade from my original Canon EOS Digital Rebel.

Canon EF 17-40mm 1:4L USM
Ultra-wide Zoom Lens – I use this lense all the time. Mostly because it takes such wide shots that allow me to crop more than less of the image out of the frame.

EF 50mm f/1.4 USM
Standard & Medium Telephoto Lens – I adore this lense for its sharpness and blurring affects. I use this lense for portraits and for all of my food shots.

EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM
Telephoto Zoom Lens – This is a heavy lense but manages to get some great close up shots of subjects that are just sometimes to far to get close to.