I recently found what I’d consider an old wellness advertisement in a newspaper from the early 1900s. It was an ad for something called the Claxton Ear-Cap and it was intended to keep kids from developing “ugly” ears. I found the marketing sales pitch language really interesting and I’ve transcribed most of it below. Check out the image…
No More Ugly Ears
Why allow your child to be annoyed in later life by outstanding ears, when you can easily prevent it now? Get the Claxton Ear-Cap, and let it be worn in the nursery and during sleep, and any tendency to ugly ears will soon be corrected. The pressure exerted is imperceptible, but thoroughly effective, and the cartilages of the ears are gently molded while they are pliable, and beautiful well-placed ears in adult life are thus assured. In addition, the Claxton Ear-Cap prevents the hair dangling during sleep, and causes the child to breathe through the nose instead of the mouth, which is so common a cause of chest and throat troubles. The Claxton Ear-Cap Is made in twenty-one sizes. Make no mistake. You must get the Claxton Ear-Cap. Cheap and nasty imitations are no good. In ordering, send measurements round head just above ears, and also over head, from lobe to lobe of ears. Perfect satisfaction guaranteed, or ear-cap exchanged.
I was cleaning my home office desk on Sunday and noticed an abundance of business cards have piled up from various conferences and events I’ve been attending during the past three weeks. I picked up about one hundred business cards from chiropractors attending the DCS California Jam in Orange County. I was handed a couple dozen business cards while at Barcamp San Diego last weekend. I got cards at the Santa Monica Mixergy event, and I picked up a few more cards at the after-hours Tweetup Meetup in the Viceroy hotel. What to do with all these business cards?
I like to begin the week with an organized desk but I’ve been traveling the past couple of weekends. The Sunday task took a little bit longer than normal. Chiropractors hand me business cards all the time. I’m beginning to think this is an inefficient way to collect chiropractic office data. I mentioned last week that chiropractors should be posting their office information to the comments of this blog post so that my staff can collect the data and get it added to the appropriate local chiropractic directory. I’ll keep chiropractor business cards for a while, but I will likely begin discarding them at some point in the near future.
Business cards from online marketers, search engine folk, and other people doing activities that involve an active online community, are going into a separate pile. I’ve been organizing these in mixed categories. I received a card from Jonathan Lieberman, the CEO for a company called Deal Locker, (oodles of free online coupons) when I was in La Jolla last weekend. Great website resource, definitely a card worth saving.
I noticed I had a card at the top of the stack for Tamar Weinberg of rustybrick.com and I remembered it was there because I’ve been collecting some more Schwag for her. Tamar is a fantastic person and she’s quite a connector of people in the online social space. Great person to know.
I had two cards from Dr. Russell Kun of Evergreen Chiropractic Center. Got one from him while in Las Vegas at the roundtable, and then again in Orange County, California at the DCS CalJam. Dr. Russell recently moved to Seattle from Northern California and we’d like to send him some new clients.
I’m also had a card on my desk since attending SMX West. It is the card of John Carcutt, president of Applied SEO. I’ve been meaning to steal borrow the design on the back of his business card. My next search marketing related card will include my Digg profile, Twitter profile, Facebook ID, Linkin URL, and a few others. John is a super smart guy and I at least know him an In-n-Out Burger for applying his card design to mine. They will come in handy for our search marketing intensive events in Los Angeles.
So what would you suggest I do with all of these business cards? Throw them all up on the blog with links? Toss them in the trash? Wallpaper my walls with them? Hand them out as my own?
The following is Part #4 of a 4 part audio transcribing (part #1 is here, part #2, and part #3) of an interview with Michael Dorausch, founder of Planet Chiropractic. The audio was transcribed from a phone interview which focused on marketing and tips for building traffic to one’s website.
Andrew: Okay, can you tell me some of your success stories. Let’s start with the one about Van Halen that Brian Deagan was talking about.
Mike: Okay, Van Halen was nice. And again this is an example of how easy all of this can happen. So I’m a big Van Halen fan, big rock and roll fan. And I’ve actually worked with quite a few people in the rock and roll industry as a chiropractor, and it’s not uncommon for a band to need a chiropractor at, like the Staples Center or something like that. So it’s not uncommon in our industry that somebody will call and say “hey can we get a chiropractor for this concert, we’re going to be in town for three days.” So my industry knows that. Well what happened back last year is there were rumors that there was going to be a Van Halen reunion tour. First of all being a fan of the band, I was paying attention to the news and I thought “wow this would make a good story.” And I also saw that obviously there were some other people interested in this as well.
So on February 3rd, 2007, I wrote an article entitled, Chiropractors prepare for 2007 Van Halen tour with David Lee Roth. So that’s really long and very keyword heavy. You can look at it and go “huh”, but it covers the key things I was looking for which was chiropractors, Van Halen, and David Lee Roth. Now the average consumer is not concerned about the chiropractors. They’re just concerned about Van Halen and David Lee Roth. Because this wasn’t just Van Halen. The big news was that David Lee Roth was back with the band. And what we did was we covered the news like anybody else would. We covered the rumors that Van Halen would be reunited, we gave the link to their site, we talked about the official announcement that came out the day prior, it was the 2007 North American tour. And we basically went into that just like any other journalist would. We talked about the band and their history. And it wasn’t until the last paragraph that we talked about the idea that there should be chiropractors present to support this band.
And so, the interesting thing here, Andrew, was this wasn’t something that I got on the phone with their management or they got on the phone with me, this was pure opportunity. This was saying, you know this would be a great opportunity, the chiropractor profession could support this, get behind this band, and volunteer to have somebody available at each of the forty cities. And Planet Chiropractic would be happy to organize that. And so the interesting thing that happened was, we didn’t end up doing it, we weren’t contacted by Van Halen. I don’t know how many people worked with them, but we didn’t organize a big event. But the point was we got traffic. And we got a significant amount of traffic. We were getting as many as 4000 people a day visiting the page just for the Van Halen information throughout the month of February.
Andrew: Just because you included Van Halen, and because it was a hot story at the time.
Mike: Right, just because it was a hot story, and because there wasn’t anything fresh out there.
Andrew: What about for your readers though. They’re coming in and they’re not looking for Van Halen stories, they’re coming to you because they want information about Chiropractors.
Mike: Yes! Our readers were actually very excited about it. Our readers were emailing us saying”we’re in! I’m volunteering.” I had chiropractors in the state starting to line up saying I’m in, I’m located near the theater in Colorado, I’m located near Madison Square Garden in New York City and if this comes together, I’m in. And what’s nice is we now have even more news. So now we have another follow-up article we can write about the chiropractors who have lined up for this event, so let’s make this happen.
Andrew: Do you have another example of how you were able to use a top story and tie it into your site?
Mike:Superbowl. We did the Superbowl this year and I’ve gotten good at this. You have to remember it’s been about ten years we’ve been using a method like this. It really is just understanding what people are doing. So, we did two things this year for the Superbowl. I paid attention starting on Thursday to see what people were looking for. And it’s amazing when you start studying how basic it is, right?
So here’s Superbowl weekend February 2008, and it’s Friday. Now, on Friday, people were looking for Superbowl commercials because they wanted to find them online. So that was the first thing, I found people were looking for superbowl commercials. But here’s the interesting thing, Andrew, there was something that caught my attention. There were people searching Superbowl location. So I thought wow, America doesn’t know where the Superbowl is. They don’t know if it’s in Florida or if it’s in Los Angeles. And it turns out it was in Phoenix in a brand new stadium in Glendale Arizona. So I went, well they’re looking for where it is, they’re also looking for commercials. And then you had the gamblers, what’s the spread. They were doing searches for what the spread was. And then you had moms going, well, what am I going to cook this weekend? So, they were typing in things like chicken recipes, quesadilla recipes, fajita recipes, burger, barbecue, things like that.
So what I did, a very nice compiled article which became our guide to the 2008 NFL Superbowl. And we covered the schedule, so what time it’s gonna be, what channel it’s gonna be on, where it’s gonna be located, the name of the stadium, kickoff starts at 6:18 pm, we went into the location. We gave links to the websites that had commercials. You know, because we studied that and we found out well, where are all of the commercials going to be hosted after – where will they be on Monday? So we gave a nice list of about a dozen sites that had all of the commercials. Then we had another section that covered the spread and we gave a link to different gambling type sites that covered the spread. And we were very clear to say this isn’t something we’re doing but this is what you guys are looking for, so we’re giving you a resource. And then we covered recipes, and we gave links to places like Frank’s Red Hot, and things like that. Things we figured would be popular. Hot Sauce and Buffalo Wings and things like that.
So a very nice thing, and again the same thing we did in the Van Halen article. We really scored on this one, because one, we’d gotten a quote from one of the players on the New York Giants. So we got a quote from a football player on the value of getting chiropractic care.
Andrew: You found that online or you got it?
Mike: We got that from his chiropractor. We started working on that on Thursday and we said, who’s working on him and can we get something? So we got a quote from a player. We also have been doing this for years, so we already had previous years. We had an article on Emmitt Smith on previous stuff. We had an article with LaDainian Tomlinson from the San Diego Chargers. So of course we’re going to link to all that.
So we built in those links at the end of our article and said hey, do you remember when we covered stories with Emmitt Smith? Do you remember when we covered stories with LT? Do you remember when we, you know, we have as far back, and this wasn’t the internet but we still wrote about chiropractors being seen during the super bowl, because chiropractors on the sidelines were adjusting players. So, you know, we have that history, so we mentioned that.
And the result of this was that this article was huge. It hit the top of Google News by Saturday morning, with the title Guide to 2008 NFL Super Bowl. And it was in national search, people searching anything schedule, location, commercials, and it was also hitting the top of the News Page. So we were sitting on top of Google News home page and providing a great resource for the weekend. You know, like a map that you could print out and go, man I got everything I need for the weekend right in this one article. So that one I was really proud of because that one was great.
Andrew: And that all originated because you looked at Google trends, and you saw this is what people were looking for, they’re not finding it, I’m going to put together a webpage that has all of the stuff that they’re looking for around the Super Bowl and I’m going to tie it in with my website Planet Chiropractic, am I right?
Mike: Right, because if you talk to a Google engineer, if you talk to somebody who works at Google, and they’re humans and they’re going to look at pages and they don’t want you being spammy. They don’t want you gaming search engines. So if I just made this obviously spammy, they would go man, this isn’t of any value. But they would look at this article and go “man this guy did research. He’s covered everything. He gave a lot of good information. Well, so what if he’s a chiropractor, give him credit.” I mean that’s what the internet is all about, it’s the great leveler. You know, it doesn’t matter that I’m not the New York Times.
Andrew: What about for your readers? Your readers aren’t coming to your site looking for football, they’re coming there looking for chiropractic care.
Mike: Exactly, our readers look at that, and they’re chiropractors. Who wins from this Andrew? If more consumers know about chiropractic care?
Andrew: I see, so they know that you’re doing this for the internet as a whole.
Mike: Our readers look at this and they go wow this guys getting traffic and at the end of the thing we link to chiropractors. So we said you know, if you’re looking for a chiropractor, we’ve got links to offices. And so we have a directory of chiropractors throughout the United States so we don’t get any chiropractors really complaining. And if they do that’s their personal issue. I’m more for marketing the industry. Part of my whole philosophy is to promote the industry as a whole. You want to promote the industry as a whole and put a strong presence and branding on the industry. So that everybody can grow. This isn’t about my personal office getting new clients. This is about can we get 5000 new clients this weekend as an industry?
The following is Part #3 of a 4 part audio transcribing (part #1 is here and part #2 is here) of an interview with Michael Dorausch, founder of Planet Chiropractic. The audio was transcribed from a phone interview which focused on marketing and tips for building traffic to one’s website.
Andrew: Okay so first thing is I go and offer to blog on other people’s sites. The second thing is I write top ten lists or top seven lists about influential, interesting people. And at the very least it gets me noticed by them and hopefully it gets them to link to me. What else can I do to get links to my site?
Mike: What else can you do? Link Bait. Now link bait is going to start getting, now I’m not a master of link bait, and link bait comes in many different ways. I’ll use an example in my industry that’s worked very well for me in the area of video. So video is hot. And people think, wow “I can create a video and put it on YouTube.” Now this was about a year and a half ago. I shot a video during lunch break in my chiropractic office with one of my staff members that took about 90 seconds to shoot. And all it was, was me doing a posture assessment on my staff member, lying on a chiropractic table. And I don’t know if your audience knows what that looks like, but what happened was she was wearing a skirt and high heels. And, we didn’t do anything purposely, you know it was just very innocent “hey we’re going to do a posture check.” But I got into it saying “hey, you’re wearing high heels” and people ask questions about that attractive woman.
We shot the video, loaded it into YouTube and didn’t do much about it. And I started getting calls to my business from people wanting to become clients. And I thought wow that’s impressive, YouTube works. So we started to play around with that and write about the video in our blog and then included it. Well what happened was the video got picked up by other people, and it went viral. So a marketing blog wrote about it and included the video in there, which drove more traffic to our site. And then a search engine website picked up that story and interviewed me and wrote about it again and linked to the video and my site, which drove even more traffic. And then another search engine site wrote about the video again which not only drove more traffic to the video and our site, but now the video shows up in the top results for the search term in my industry. So now, the traffic came in so hard that if you search for the term, like for the term chiropractic, that video shows up within the top twenty results and it’s a very competitive space. So normally you’re going to get an industry that’s like typing medicine. You type chiropractic you’re gonna get government, wikipedia, you know, you’re going to get several government sources. You’re gonna get organizations and things like that. What’s nice about that is Google rotates that video into the results. And since it’s universal it’s not on every single search, but it tends to show up consistently.
Andrew: What Google will link to is your YouTube video on YouTube, or your YouTube video on your site?
Mike: Well, exactly they will link to YouTube, but there’s that branding opportunity there. So they link to YouTube on YouTube, it goes to their property, but the video includes information about our url, which helps us get more traffic, but it also has a link to our site in the description tags over to the right. So it’s one more, and what’s nice about all of these, Andrew, is that these are free ways to drive traffic. We haven’t mentioned anything on buying traffic.
Andrew: Would interviewing other people in my industry help out? So, I have an interview of somebody who is a great speaker in my industry. I just happen to be at a conference, I hit my camera and I interview him, and then post it to YouTube with links back to me and my logo on there.
Mike: Yes. Not only will that work. That is back to the first story of what really exploded our site and our traffic. Back to the original person, when I had somebody at the college when I was a student and we shot plain old video. You can gather up people in your industry and sit down and do a three minute or five minute interview with somebody who is a guru in your industry. And you upload that video to YouTube, and it doesn’t have to be fancy, you can shoot it with an ordinary web-cam and just record it to your computer if you want to do it that way. Upload it to YouTube, make it short, make it sweet. Make sure you throw your url on there so they know what site you’re at, and promote it. Make sure it’s good, that’s the key.
Andrew: If I go to a conference or even at one of the mixergy events that I put together around here I should have a video camera with me and just videotape the interesting people in my industry, right? And then put it up online with a link back to my site and my blog.
Mike: That would be perfect. So, if I was doing your event, would be either yourself or somebody else, would be maybe three minute clips with people that are there, and just get their input on things. And now you would have a library of videos you could be uploading on a weekly basis.
Andrew: Okay, I love this. What else, what about what you and I are doing here, interview people in my industry and put it up on my site and hope they link back?
Mike: Yeah, you know the interesting thing about what we’re doing now is so under-rated. But this is something that even I, myself, is not doing enough. But audio interviews over the phone are really easy now. I mean here we get on Skype, you throw on a recorder, you record your interview, you can get free tools out there to edit, audacity comes to mind which is free open-source audio editing. And you could even edit that and throw in a plug and you know, at the beginning open up with some nice audio “hey, this is Andrew Warner and you’re listening to, you know, my Friday lunch special.” And it just fades into our talk and then it fades out and says don’t forget to visit our website, tell your friends and share this link with others. And the secret though, Andrew, is consistency. So, if we were to do that, that’s great. You want to pick somebody once every other week or once every month, you know when you’re starting out. And say ok, I’m going to add content on a regular basis. And that’s great. Now you’re giving the search engines what they want. You’re giving them blended content: audio, video, text, blogging.
Andrew: Audio seems undervalued by search engines.
Mike: Audio is undervalued, but what’s nice about audio is if you take a little work, you throw the audio on your blog with an mp3 player, which you can pretty much put on any blog for free. And you transcribe some of that audio. So you take the work to sit down and transcribe that and say, you know “here’s the four things Mike and I spoke about.” And you just highlight the four things and say, listen to the audio for the whole thing. And that way you’ve got content for your post.
Andrew: Okay, yeah, that seems like a much easier and cheaper solution than having a transcript up just so the search engines can search for it. You’re saying take the top seven things I’ve learned on this call, put that up, and then a link to the mp3.
Andrew: Okay, anything else for getting traffic over to a site?
Mike: I think that there we’re pretty good. We covered writing for others. We covered writing about others, which is like attracting others into your circle, so you write nice things about others. We talked about using video. We talked about doing interviews, both audio and video interviews. Given the option I would do video interviews over audio just because you could upload them to YouTube. But if you look around, you’ll find that there are videos uploaded to YouTube that don’t really include any video. They might just show a photograph but have an audio interview.
Andrew: I’ve noticed that actually, and that’s good for some traffic at least, right?
Mike: Sure, and again we’ve got to get back to, we’re talking entrepreneurs here, we’re talking guerilla, you know these are things that have worked for me without startup funding. This is stuff you can do and say “hey what can I do with the tools that are available.?” You know? You haven’t broken the bank yet here, you’re just working guerrilla style. And I think that’s where every entrepreneur starts out. It’s like, how can I do this out of my apartment? How can I do this off of a laptop? And you can accomplish all of this stuff without breaking a budget.
Andrew: Yeah, and you know doing the audio like you said, putting it up on YouTube. It makes it easier for me, I don’t have to go out there and hunt for a program that will play my audio. I won’t have to hunt for a program that’s universal, so that if any of my users want to take it and put it on their site they’ll be able to do it.
Mike: Yes, things have gotten easier, and they’ll continue to get easier. So, with that in mind, that brings us to one of the next things, utilize everything that’s out there. And, here I’m going to give away something that’s been a secret for me, but I would study what’s going on in social media and on other sites in general.
So let’s say, YouTube everyone is familiar with, you should definitely have a channel on YouTube, and you pick the most advanced channel you can get. And again, we’re talking free. So you get a user account, you make it nice, you personalize the page. Create an account that people want to subscribe to. So there’s that. I would do the same thing on flickr. Create an account on flickr. Use the name of your site on flickr so you have the same keywords and your branded. And you’d want to do that on YouTube as well. You use your branding on YouTube, you use your branding on flickr. Maybe create a picassa account, which is a photo account. Photoshop just came out with a new site, so you can have user-generated content on photoshop.com. So you can create your brand on photoshop. If it’s available I would crate your brand on Digg, so you at least have a presence on Digg. I would maybe look for other sites within your industry if you’re in a specific industry. But just taking those, let’s just take flickr and digg for example. Now you’re on flickr and you can upload all these photos from your event. Let’s say you interviewed somebody and you took a few photos or some screen shots. You upload those to flickr. You can put links from flickr to your video. You can put links back to your blog. And you won’t get juice from it, so you won’t get search engine traffic. But you will get users that are searching. And it’s just one more way to build that circle. Build a wider net.
Andrew: Do you recommend buying traffic?
Mike: Personally I don’t. I’ve never bought traffic, so I’m not an expert in that area. But personally my experience is that I don’t think you’re going to get the quality. Really, if you just genuinely get people who are going to support you, then you’re going to do great.
This is the end of Part #3. Part #4 will feature a few success stories.
I love affirmations. I’ve been reading affirmations every morning, midafternoon, and evening, for as long as I can remember. This past weekend I was in Las Vegas attending a roundtable and chiropractic conference when someone handed me a motivational card with an affirmation on the front, and business related information on the back. Let’s take a look…
The card reads My creative mind will come forth with new and productive ideas.
The bottom of the card reads Say 108x out loud. (3x — 3x a day)
This isn’t the size of an ordinary business card, it measures about 2.5″ x 5″ and there’s printing on both sides. The back of the card has information about the company that produced them (MoChihChu – Moving Forward without Hesitation) along with their business address, phone number, fax number, and web site URL. Let’s take a look at the back (or the front depending on how you view this card).
I love receiving stuff like this, especially when I’m traveling. It’s easy to sit down in a hotel room and read… My creative mind will come forth with new and productive ideas. If you’ve never done it before, sit down and say that out loud 108 times. Get yourself in a comfortable position and maybe use something to help you keep track of how many repetitions you’ve done.
I’ve talked about postcards before, as well as postcard marketing. There have also been posts related to wellness gold card business cards. While the card showed above could be made into a business card, I particularly liked it being the size it is. it’s not quite as big as a postcard, but more than twice the size of a business card.
Handing out one of these cards (or four of these cards) to each client coming in your doors could easily be added to my list of 23 surefire small-business marketing tips for the 2008 season. This idea certainly isn’t just for chiropractors.
Read the front of the card again. My creative mind will come forth with new and productive ideas. Who wouldn’t want to be thinking that on a daily basis? Who wants to be less productive, less creative, and becoming stagnant? I could think of dozens of situations where a card like this would work well, especially if you’re in an industry that’s not already used to receiving information like this. This stuff comes natural to chiropractors, we’ve talked affirmations and metaphysics for a hundred plus years.
The following is Part #2 of a 4 part audio transcribing (part #1 is here) of an interview with Michael Dorausch, founder of Planet Chiropractic. The audio was transcribed from a phone interview which focused on marketing and tips for building traffic to one’s website.
(photo: Sock puppets may not bring as much traffic as you’d hope.)
Andrew: Okay, so that’s one of the issues that I see out there. People will launch a new site. They will say “I know that blogging is the way to get traffic to my site, get new credibility and get more attention.” They blog, their family goes to the site for the first month, and then nobody’s there. Right? And even family stops going. What do those people do to build up their sites? You’re saying one thing is to go out there and get links to the site?
Mike: They can go out there and get links. And one of the best ways to get links that I’ve found, a good credible way to get links, is to write content for others.
Andrew: What does that mean? For my readers or write it for other writers?
Mike: For other writers. Let’s say I go to your site, do you have a blog?
Andrew: I do, I just recently launched one.
Mike: So let’s say I come to you and I say “hey Andrew I’ll tell you what. I’ve been writing on the internet for 10 years now, how about I write a nice detailed article on how to start up a news site that will drive traffic? Would you like that on your site? And what I’ll do is offer that and give that to you, and as a result I get a bio and a link. And so in that link we get the link from your site. Now for me it would be kind of backwards because if your site is new I would want to try to get on a site that’s established.
Andrew: Okay, but if I’m a new blogger, what you’re suggesting is one thing I do is I go out and I offer to write articles for other bloggers in return for them putting up my profile and the link back to my site and that’s how I get more links back to my site.
Mike: Yes. Yes, that’s one easy way and it’s very well understood in the circles of the blogosphere where people say “you know if you write good content and you want to guest post for my site, sure we’ll give you a link” because it’s nice reciprocity there.
Andrew: See this is extremely helpful. What else can people do? You’ve got a new site, you want more links to your site, what else can you do?
Mike: I was looking on my site, I had four points. First of all you’re excited about what you do. So that’s obvious, you want to be the expert. You go looking for these places that you can write for. And you can ask for links. And that’s an obvious one that people skip.
Andrew: So I go to blogs that are out there or I go to other sites?
Mike: Yeah, if you go to blogs, you’re not necessarily going to get links. I mean, if anybody emails me and says can you give me a link to my site, I’m pretty much going to delete that. You know, and I get emails like that every day. How you will get links is “this could be in our list of secrets” if you want to get someone’s attention? What’s a nice way to get somebody’s attention. Certainly not by sending someone an email saying give me a link. But even though your blog is new, if it’s a blog and it’s indexed anywhere, you can do a nice job by saying: seven people in Los Angeles that I think are incredible at what they do. You write about those seven people and you find out either their blogs, twitter accounts, websites or whatever and you link to them. So now, here you are going across the internet and you go, wow Mike wrote this article about me and it says that I’m a great speaker and a great organizer and I put on fantastic events and I’m a good community builder and you go wow, this guy, you know I should link back to this. And you’re going to have a section on your site where you’ll say, hey check this out.
Andrew: Okay, so I find the people who are most interesting in my area and I blog about them, maybe put together a top seven list and?
Mike: Yeah, you could do a top seven list, which is easy because you could hit seven different people. So off the top of my head if I was going to do that, if I was going to do a top seven list, you’d be on that list and I’d talk about what you’ve been doing in Los Angeles. I would put Nicole Jordan on the list, I would put Brian Deegan on the list. You know go down the list and say wow, these are people that are really influencing others in the area. These are the people behind the scenes that are helping to make things happen.
Andrew: And they will link back to me?
Mike: Well, not only will they link back to you, even if they don’t link back to you, it sure is a nice start.
Andrew: Because now I’ve got their attention at least?
Mike: Yes, because now we have that law of reciprocity, you’ve got their attention and you’re saying nice things about them. Now when you see Nicole or Brian at a meeting, they’ll likely mention it. Hey I saw that article you wrote about me, you know, that was great. In fact, it’s interesting you mentioned this because this was my news article just yesterday. Yesterday I had an article that featured in my news and I linked to about a dozen people throughout the nation. Half of them chiropractors and half of them non-chiropractors. And at the end of the day I received an email from one of the guys already saying thank you so much for writing about me, and I noticed that he had a link to my site. So it goes to show that this stuff works, and it works quickly.
Andrew: Okay so first thing is I go and offer to blog on other people’s sites. The second thing is I write top ten lists or top seven lists about influential, interesting people. And at the very least it gets me noticed by them and hopefully it gets them to link to me. What else can I do to get links to my site?
The following is Part #1 of a 4 part audio transcribing of a Mixergy Interview with Michael Dorausch, founder of Planet Chiropractic. The audio was transcribed from a phone interview which focused on marketing and tips for building traffic to one’s website.
(photo: Andy Sorcini aka @MrBabyMan and Michael Dorausch aka @chiropractic attending one of Andrew Warner’s Mixergy events in Santa Monica, CA.)
Andrew: Hi everyone, it’s Andrew Warner from mixergy.com. Mixergy is a website that you use to organize events, and I’ll be using interviews like this as a way for all of us to learn from some of the people who I’ve met when I organized events at Mixergy.com.
In this session I’ll be talking with Michael of Planet Chiropractic. What I think is exciting about Michael is how he uses Guerilla marketing techniques to drive traffic to his website. Every idea that Michael will share with us on this call, you can use today to start growing traffic to your website. I think it’s packed with valuable information, so let’s jump into the call.
Andrew: Here’s my outline for the call.
Andrew: I want to find out about what do you do? How did you start out, because I love entrepreneurs, I love business people and I especially love hearing that ramp-up period. And then the third thing is some ideas from you that other entrepreneurs, that other start-ups can learn from and use to grow their businesses.
Andrew: So let’s start with what you do now, and then we’ll get into how you got there.
Mike: So, the company is called Planet Chiropractic, and it’s planetchiropractic.com. So basically what we do is we cover everything that you could think of in the industry. So we handle news in the industry. We cover conferences in the industry. There’s trade shows going on every weekend all over the nation, so we cover information on trade shows and registration for trade shows. We run a classified database for equipment and for people looking to hire.
Andrew: How did you get started with that?
Mike: How did I get started? That’s a great question. Timing was really just good for me. I was a student at the time. This was like, early, early internet, there were about six websites altogether that covered chiropractic at the time, and most of them were government. So, I really saw an opportunity there and I thought well our profession should create a site and get everything organized so that we could all get together and communicate. And that’s pretty much how that started and that was back in 1995-1996.
Andrew: And what was on the site at first or was it just news, a blog?
Mike: Our school was a great school that supported us. You could bring out somebody who was just a leader at business and they could speak in the lunchroom at lunchtime and two or three hundred students could come attend. Well we had had a speaker come out, and I had talked to some students from another school and the speaker was not allowed to visit their campus, because the school didn’t want certain individuals speaking. They thought they were maybe too motivational. They felt, well, this guy is too much like Anthony Robbins, or too excited about what they do, which I love people like that. So what we did is we gathered up the email addresses of every student in this other school and we offered to send them a video tape. And that’s kind of how this whole thing started. It just took off virally and there were about 700 students who wanted to get a copy of the video, and we thought we should figure out how to do this on the internet.
Andrew: Okay, and what are the most popular sections on your site?
Mike: If we divided it up the most popular section is going to be the news. The news comes out pretty much daily. I have a goal to put out two news articles a day, or have somebody contribute two pieces of new content daily and that’s in the news. And that is definitely the highest traffic, which is right on the home page. So the home page will receive the most traffic of all.
Andrew: And your news, where does it come from? Do you guys do original news or are you finding stuff on the internet that’s related?
Mike: I’ll look at hot trends and look at the top search terms that are coming in. For example, right now out of the top 100, there are a bunch of names showing up Herst, Billie Collins Junior these are things that I don’t know what’s going on with them, but I’m sure if we looked into them there would be some stories. There’s a lot of searches going on right now for Martin Luther King and Martin Luther King assassination, because we’re in the forty year anniversary of that. So, what happens from a journalist perspective, if you start looking at that and going, wow, people are looking for this now, will they look for it more tomorrow or less tomorrow? So, it depends on how you time it. And if you get good at it, you’ll start figuring okay, can I get to the party early? And if I get to the party early I can set up a booth. And that’s how I think about it.
Andrew: So you’re looking at the hot trends and your saying okay, so which of these trends actually have legs and is going to develop into a story that people search for tomorrow and then for the next week at least. Let’s say you find a story, how do you tie it in to your site?
Mike: Chiropractic isn’t normally something that would be in the news. And for me that’s the exciting challenge because it wouldn’t get into the news on a regular basis. But it’s more than just healthcare, there’s this whole lifestyle. So we can look at our industry and say well, sure I’m a chiropractor, but I’m also a small business owner. And there’s a lot of people searching for small business information. And I’m an entrepreneur and there’s things like that. So we try to find out what other things do we have in common with the rest of the world. So, for example we can take Martin Luther King, because that’s probably something that will probably be hot all week or all throughout next week. We can look back and say what was the state of the chiropractic industry forty years ago? And we can make some comparisons and say well, what freedoms have we gained? Just like freedoms have been gained in different circles, we could say that freedoms have been gained for the chiropractic industry for inclusion in Medicare and insurance and things like that. And so what we do in the process is we bring in traffic that is now interested in this subject and we tie it to stuff that people would actually benefit from learning. So the end consumer would say, wow I was looking to read an article on Martin Luther King, but this guy made some really interesting parallels and looked at how the world has changed in forty years, and there’s this industry here that now accepts my insurance as a result of all of this change.
Andrew: And they’re going to find you by going to Google the website or Google news?
Mike: No they’ll straight Google or Google news. So one of the things that’s been wonderful for webmasters the past six months has been the advancing of Google universal, or what we call blended search. You’ll see that now, you do a search on Google, and you’ll get images. Or you’ll get news, or you’ll get books, or you’ll get a combination of. Something that Google has done, if you write good content, and it’s good relevant content, it will tend to rank very high very quickly now. So if I wrote an article about Martin Luther King, the chances of me being in the top five search results on a national Google search are very good.
Andrew: Even with all of the competition out there for that?
Mike: Even with all of the competition, right. Because Google wants to give the most relevant and up-to-date. So their search engine says well this guy has an article on Martin Luther King, but it’s only a couple of hours old, we really want to get this in front of people. Whereas before, that article would sit at the end of the results for the next two years. Now they say, let’s put that article all the way to the front an we’ll let it hang out there for maybe eight hours or so. And if it gets traffic we’ll keep it there, if it doesn’t get traffic we’ll bump it back.
Andrew: Ok, so will somebody who’s starting a new site or a new blog, will they be able to get the same kind of attention in Google if they write a relevant news story quickly. Or is it because you’ve been around for so long that you get bumped up right away?
Mike: Yeah, there’s a big advantage to being around. My recommendation, if you are starting it fresh – you’re better off purchasing a site if you can. So if you really want to hit it, it’s worth the investment. Let’s say you were going to cover speaking. If you were going to do meet up events you would look for a speaker related website that’s been around since the 90’s that’s not getting much action. And you could say to somebody hey, you know, would you be interested in selling this domain? And the reason for that is because it’s an aged domain and typically it has more trust. So that’s one way you can do it. The other way you can do it is go fresh, go with a new domain, register it for a good length of time, and just get in there and start getting good content out on a regular basis. If your content is good and it’s not spammy it will get linked to. You can’t expect that in the first 30 days you’re going to be super-successful, but if you can get that content out there and get it linked to it will start moving quickly, and it will get picked up in social circles.
Imagine having a video on YouTube that has less than a 1000 views. Pretty lame by social media standards. Now imagine that same video provides you with new business and also gets your business featured on a local TV news channel. Not so lame. Thanks to blended search, new and easy to implement opportunities exist for those seeking to increase exposure of their small business.
News of Google Universal Search is not new. Google has been blending video and other content in its search results officially since May of 2007. But Universal Search has evolved, and we now have examples of how the 2008 Edition can lead to success when some basic skills are applied.
First-Hand Experience In August of 2007, I shot a 90 second video of a friends 11 year old daughter speaking about his business, and I uploaded it to YouTube. I gave the video a link from one site and shared it with him and a few other friends, I then forgot about it. 6 months later he informed me his local small business was getting new clients as a result of the video. I was impressed that a small business was attracting new local clients from a YouTube video (that had not been actively promoted), apparently I was not alone.
On a Monday night I posted an article on the making of the video and it’s interesting success. The article appeared in Google News moments later and was spotted by a local NBC TV affiliate reporter early the next morning. Within a few hours the local news station was visiting the office address of the business owner and interviewing him and his daughter (the girl featured in the video). The broadcast (Local tween hits it big on youtube.com) ran the following Tuesday night as a feel-good story for the local evening news. How cool is that?
As a side note, while receiving less attention, Google News has also been evolving with enhanced local features and others (like comments and video).
The First 1000 Views After I heard the news of my friend getting new clients I did some research. I assumed people were finding the video via Google organic search (he didn’t ask). A review of Google results provided two types of links leading to the video. First was a text link to the video on page 1 of results (in position 6), which was blended with the recently updated ten box local map results, and 9 other regular listings.
On page 2 of the results was a “blended” video link (also in position 6 for that page), along with 9 other regular listings. Let’s take a look at a screenshot.
Looking at the anatomy of this Google blended search result we see a two keyword title, a snippet that is pulled from the text description (added when uploading the video), the video length, and a cached star rating. There is also a clickable thumbnail (80 pixel by 60 pixel screen capture).
As has been previously reported on Search Engine Land, eye tracking tests ran on Google blended search results, showed restriction when it came to graphics appearing in the results set. Basically, ones eyes tended not to continue going down beyond the thumbnail graphic. I’d like to think of this as a big red stop sign type of opportunity that could help your result in standing out from the rest of the crowd.
What I find interesting is that these opportunities are very much in reach, even for the non-web savvy small business owner. I won’t guarantee that your local news will be calling you for an interview, but you can benefit from applying the few easy steps I’m suggesting here.
Create a YouTube account and upload your video
Use a descriptive title (keywords you’d like to be found for)
Describe the video as you would in conversation and include that information in the description
Share the video via e-mail with your friends and family
There are other steps one may suggest, like encouraging your friends and family to vote for your video, and maybe asking them to forward it to their friends, but the basic steps mentioned above should be enough to get you into the game.
Blended search will continue to evolve and users will begin to expect things other than standard search results. Having a video promoting your business, that Google can index and include in its blended search results, is an adjustment to your marketing strategy I would highly recommend.
I grabbed a screen shot earlier today of an ad appearing at the top of the chiropractic news page. It appeared as if it was supposed to be a banner ad or an image-based ad but it was horribly formatted. I shrunk the screen shot down so that I could fit it here but you can still get a good idea of what I’m talking about. Let’s take a look…
You can see that this was meant to be someone’s face, but the original image was probably a fraction of the size needed to fill what I believe was a 468 x 60 pixel space. If you’re including images in your contextual advertising campaigns, make sure that you’re sizing everything correctly. Text based advertisements are easy, image and video based ads require a bit more attention to detail.
Next topic. Last week Daria published a news post with 101 Ad Snippets For Chiropractic Advertising (I didn’t count 101). The single lines of chiropractic content may seem odd when read as an article, remember that most of these were preceded by a title or headline, and followed by a URL.
I find it interesting when chiropractors mention techniques in their online advertising snippets. There was one for Graston Technique and one for a Fenzian Practitioner. I’ll have to do some of my own research and see if I can locate any advertisements that include terms like Gonstead, Activator, Palmer, Network Spinal Analysis, or such. Did count quite a few ads using the term gentle and gentle chiropractic, but not much brand name usage of techniques practiced.
I also want to locate some more advertisements like these that mention prices and fees for first visits. If you spot any (for chiropractic services) do a screen grab and forward it my way, I’ll give you credit in the post.
Back in December of 2007, I received a postcard from a chiropractic office in Northern California. I’d been meaning to do a post regarding what I thought was an effective postcard campaign, but I got sidetracked, until I saw the postcard again today.
The office of Sacramento chiropractor, Dr. Jeri Anderson, sent my office a holiday postcard in mid-December. While it was sent in the spirit of holidays and giving, we should not overlook the potential business opportunities created when following this practice.
I am not talking about sending out postcards or even holiday postcards, I’m talking about sending postcards to others within your own industry. In my experience, it’s an opportunity that’s often overlooked. Let’s take a look at the front of the card.
Seasons Greetings 2007 from Capitol Chiropractic
The top of the card reads faith, peace, joy, love, health, happiness, and abundance. The card includes a photograph of the office chiropractor, along with staff, dressed in their holiday cheer. The message on the bottom reads Wishing you blessings upon blessings, Beth, Dr. Jeri, Crystal and Brianna.
The card was undoubtedly sent to the thousands of people this office serves in the Sacramento area, but they also sent the card to business owners like myself. Let’s take a look at the back of the card.
May Your Holidays Be Merry & Bright!
There’s an excellent and quite positive message on the left of the postcard. On the right hand side they’ve included their office address, phone number, and website URL. Even though the ZIP code listed on my office address is incorrect (it’s 90066), the card made it to ADIO chiropractic in Los Angeles.
It’s really important that they included a phone number and it’s great that they also included website information. The thing that I find most interesting about this card is likely something many would have overlooked, the stamp. That’s a USA $.41 stamp being used to mail a postcard that was probably printed by the thousands. What’s the potential return on investment for this chiropractor?
1) I did a blog post about them so that’s one unexpected return. 2) How likely is it that I will refer to this office when seeking a chiropractor in the Sacramento area?
Fact is, not only will I refer to this office, but I will contact this office when seeking other chiropractors in the Northern California area (that may not be around Sacramento), simply because they are probably likely to know about high quality offices that provide great care for patients. Not bad potential on 41 cents.