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Hey everybody.

I’m going to talk to you about marketing in 2019.

Now 2019 is half over, officially.

Only so many Fridays until Christmas and all of that.

But we want to think about what we’re doing through the first half of 2019, the last half of 2018 and what we should be doing moving forward.

This is a mobile world now. I bet a lot of you are watching this from your mobile device, which is awesome. We’re going to talk about that.

Now, I have a couple things I want you to know.

If you participate with me during this live, this is kind of an experiment, but we’re going to do this, if you experiment with me, help me out with this, if you comment, and I’ll give you the hashtags and I’ll give you the what I need you to see, I am going to do two things.

  • If you are not already a client, I am going to connect with you after the live is over and I will give you 10-day free pass into our insider’s program. You will be able to see everything, every video, all of the stuff our clients see, for 10 days. If that’s something that interests you and you want access to that for 10 days no strings attached, it ends at the 10-day mark, you can see everything you want to see, download anything you want to download for 10 days. If that interests you, then follow along with me. When I tell you to comment, comment, and I’ll reach out to everybody who comments. If you’re watching a replay of this, that’s okay too. You’re watching the replay, and I will go back and, for the next say 48, 72 hours, and make sure I connect with everybody who actually comments. All right? The giveaway for today is a 10-day free pass. The first thing I want you to do is this. I want you to type in #letsgo. Let’s go. #letsgo. Whether you’re watching the replay, or you’re not, it doesn’t matter. If you’re live, that’s great, #letsgo is what I want you to type in on the comment section.
  • The next thing is that, again, if you’re watching the replay, that’s okay, do #replay and follow along and we’ll get you in that 10-day free pass. If you are our client already, we will do a couple of drawings for a dozen chocolate covered strawberries because we appreciate you so much. If you follow along and you comment, we’re going to send a couple of our clients a dozen chocolate covered strawberries. You can eat them all yourself or you can share them with your staff. Whatever works for you.
  • We need #letsgo, #replay. All right. The first thing we’re going to talk about with regard to marketing today is your website.

A lot of you are folks that have had websites done by us, which thank you very much. That’s awesome.

We love doing websites for our healthcare clients, but some of you don’t have a website that is created by us. That’s okay too.

I would say this.

If you are still working with a Wix, a Weebly or a Squarespace type website, or a GoDaddy kind of throw it together, or, which is different than, I know that’s techie speak but they are different, if you are working with a web developer who does websites as a side gig, if you’re working with hosting on GoDaddy, on a shared server for $4.99 a month, if any of those things apply to you I want you to hear me and understand a little bit about what I’m saying about your website.

There’s so much that you need to consider when it comes to a website and I know that it is a challenge to feel good about spending a lot of money on a website. Just know this, in 2019 and beyond, the very first picture, the very first impression someone’s going to get about you, about your business, is your website. If you’ve watched some of my other videos before, you know that Google has a three-second rule. They have a lot of rules. Who are we kidding? One of them that they’ve been talking about a lot lately is that three-second rule, which started out in July. Oh, someone’s asking is this recorded? Right now, no. This is not recorded, but if you’re watching the replay later on then yes it will be recorded. Just depends on what time you’re watching. Right now we’re live.

Okay, so on your website, 2019 everything’s mobile. Google three second rule. If your website doesn’t load on a mobile device in three seconds or less then you are losing your audience on Google because Google is going to play favorites to the websites that load fast on a mobile device. The important thing to know is that you can go to any … You can type in like, “Website speed test,” and you can test your website. We use a program called GT Metrics. GT Metrics, it’ll do it for free. All you have to do is type in the exact URL that you want to test. Remember, if it’s www or not www, you want to make sure you type that in-correctly.

Type that in and let it roll. Now for our clients, if your website seems slow or it’s getting C and D grades, then all we have to do is have a conversation. We’ll make some changes to your home page and beep, we can get you back up to under that three-second rule. A lot of times the things that are slowing down websites on a mobile device are a lot of images, or big giant images that aren’t being optimized.

There’s a lot of things we can do. If it’s a WordPress website, in our case we only work with WordPress, that’s just our choice as an agency, and hosting is a huge issue. If you’re on a shared server with thousands and thousands of other websites, no matter what you do to your website, it’s always going to load slow.

That’s when you’re paying 4.99 a month for hosting on GoDaddy, or 8.99 a month. You can upgrade your hosting on GoDaddy and get a more dedicated server, but my advice is this. When we build a website, it is It should load in under three seconds. We can do all the magic behind the scenes to make that happen.

It’s a lot of techie, geeky behind the scenes stuff. It’s cloud flair, it’s CDNs, it’s all kinds of stuff that we can do behind the scenes. It’s having a mobile responsive website is so important. All those things. I’m going to talk about that at the end because we have some Q&A. I have questions that people have already sent in that we’re going to talk about.

Your website is a number one, your professional presence online.

If it is janky, and I use that word a lot, janky, type in #jenky, if your website’s janky, it’s not going to pass the smell test with a prospect. They’re going to be like, “If this is how their website is, what is their agency like?” I know that’s not fair because some of you have amazing web agencies and your website’s just old, but get your website upgraded. That’s how people work. We’re very visual people. All right next, your content. Oh, your content. Oh my goodness. Some of you have a lot of great content. Some of you have no content. You need to have fresh amazing content all the time and that’s really hard when you’re trying to run a business of any kind.

You don’t necessarily know how to be a content guru and content is king. How do you do that? You can outsource it. Here’s what I want you to do. Next hashtag, if you’re watching the replay that’s okay, if you’re watching this live, is #content, #content. What is your favorite type of content? My favorite is video. I know that most of us are into the blog posting. That’s the easiest kind of content, believe it or not. It needs to go on our website. When we provide content to our clients, and this is a great type, yes we have writers and yes we buy 600 to 700 articles per month to provide unique search engine optimized articles to our clients.

Now, you can also buy content but you have to make sure you vet your writers. You have to make sure that you know that English is their first language because they will try to fool you. After you’ve paid them you’ll realize that we don’t necessarily use the word rollator or lift in the United States. We use elevator. We use walker. We use wheelchair. If they’re speaking British English that might mean they’re in India. It might mean they’re in a country that teaches British English as their English second language. You have to be careful who you’re working with. Four articles per month, two articles per month, whatever you can do to get a professionally written educational piece of content on your blog, on your website, every single month is great.

And company news. Your company news is really important and you don’t have to write dissertations. We’re talking about 500 to 600 words. You can even write less if it’s something that people are going to engage with. I guarantee you that when you share the latest senior fair, the latest job fair, the latest networking event you’ve gone to, where you’ve had a table or a booth or maybe it’s the lawn and garden show. I don’t know, whatever it is, if you take a few pictures and write four or five sentences and put that on your blog and talk about how much fun you had, people are going to absolutely eat that up and love it much more than the educational content. They love the educational content but seeing you in action is what really … It’s what people want.

We want to see who we’re doing business with. We want to be social. Social media’s coming up in a second. Your content is really important. If you’re watching this, I want you to type in #content. If you’re a client, chocolate covered strawberries and if you are not a client, we will give you a 10 day free pass to the Valerie V Show insider’s program. You can see all our videos, bonuses, book, all that other stuff. That is what we’ll do. We know our clients love their chocolate covered strawberries.

Your social media. Let’s talk social media. You are watching me on Facebook. You’re watching me on Facebook Live. As soon as this is over, I’m going to repurpose this video and it’s going to go on Twitch. Weird, I know, that’s for gamers, right? The old lady talking about marketing is going to be on Twitch. It’ll also go out to YouTube. It’ll be posted about on Twitter, Instagram. The Instagram video will be shorter. It’ll go out to everything. We repurpose any content that we have, whether it’s pictures, a blog post. This will also be on our podcast. If you’re listening to this on a podcast, I can’t see your hashtags and I can’t see all your stuff, but it’s still valuable content to share with every audience possible.

We even have a TV channel on Roku and Amazon Fire TV called the Valerie V Show.

All you have to do is go there, to your Roku or Amazon Fire TV device, and look for the app for Valerie V Show. It’ll show up and you can download it and watch all the episodes. All of those are also on YouTube. We repurpose the content and we share it on every platform we can. The more content you create the more opportunity you have to use it in different ways. I recommend that you definitely make great use of Facebook. Be on there. Be social. If somebody likes a post that you posted, thank them for that, or ask them to like your page. If someone asks a question, answer them. Be social. Be a human being on social media.

What we often get caught up in is this whole automation thing. Yes, we do a lot of automation, but what I always tell our clients is your engagement is what matters. Your engagement really is what matters.

Me doing this live really matters a lot more than any meme I can post. Your social media, Facebook. Twitter is great because everybody’s on Twitter. Twitter is never, in our market anyway, going to net you a client. That’s just the way it is, but it is fun to interact with people, get to know people. If you’re going to use it correctly, it is a great platform to have. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, a firm believer in LinkedIn. Yes, this video will go on LinkedIn.

Now, LinkedIn only allows 10-minute videos so I’ll have to pair it down a little bit, but yes it will go on LinkedIn. Your content, your written content, your blog posts, should go to all these places. Instagram is important. Everybody seems to be on Instagram. I will say, again, in this market, Facebook, with our market that I talk about primarily is the senior care market. Facebook is really going to be where it’s at for you. LinkedIn is where your professional referral sources are. Instagram is great. You cannot automate that as well, so it’s important that you have your Instagram account and you have it on your phone and you’re sharing stuff and then you remember to go back and share it on your blog later.

Next up, I mean there’s so many, Pinterest. Oddly enough, Pinterest is not necessarily going to net you a client, but you get a lot of followers from Pinterest. Those are just a few of the many social media networks that I think are important. YouTube is important if you’re going to make videos. If you’re not making videos, not so much, but definitely YouTube if you’re a video creator. This is what I want you to do now. What is your favorite social media platform? Don’t put #yourfavorite. Do #Facebook, #Twitter, #Instagram, #Snapchat. Whatever your favorite social media platform is, I want you to put hashtag and then whatever that is. If you’re watching the replay, still do it because you’re in for a 10 day free pass to Valerie’s insider program to see all the videos and you’re also, if you’re our client, you’re in for the free strawberries. Chocolate covered strawberries, I should say.

Let’s talk in person networking. Nothing will ever replace in person networking. If you own a business that is very dependent on trust and authority and expertise, you are definitely going to need to do some in person networking. You can’t rely just on the internet to get all of your leads and all of your referrals. It definitely requires hitting the pavement and shaking hands and looking people in the eye. That is just never going to change. We’re human. We want that interaction. In person networking is super important. If you are doing a lot of good in person networking then you’ve got half your leads there. I know there are people, clients of ours, that say half their leads, or 90% of their leads, even, come from the internet, which is great. I’m so happy they’re getting that many.

It still is about referrals. Whether it’s from a customer, a current customer, a previous customer or their family members, or a professional referral source. If you understand the importance of in person networking I want you to type in #referrals, #referrals, for in person networking. The reason we ask you to engage with this is because Facebook loves it when people engage. If you do your #referrals or any of the other directions I’ve been giving, you’re either in for a 10 day free pass or we’re going to do a drawing for two sets of chocolate covered strawberries for our current clients because you already are in for our Valerie’s insider program. All right, so #referrals on that one.

Free listing on ASN. Now this is speaking to all of our senior care businesses. No matter what kind of senior care you’re in, whether it’s elder law, home care, home health care, assisted living, nursing home, care home, I mean I could just go on, long-term care insurance agents, financial planner, estate planning professional, if you are one of those people, or care manager, life care manager, then what we want you to do is make sure you get your free listing on Approved Senior Network. You know what I want you to do? I’m going to put my hashtag up there so I can explain it. This time I want you to type in #ASN and the name of your business so that everybody can go to your Facebook page and see you.

So #ASN and then the name of your business. I would love to see that. I want you to go to and make sure you get your free listing. There’s three levels, but really all you need to do is sign up for that free listing because inside of Approved Senior Network, even with your free listing, you can get reviews of course. You can host job postings. We have a lot of people taking advantage of that. There’s a form, once you post your job posting, if you need home health aids, you need CNAs, you need care givers, once you post that there’s a form that connects to you, if somebody fills out that form, it goes straight to you. We also, every job that’s filled out, or every job post that goes up, goes out to our Facebook page, which is Approved Senior Network, or

We have a jobs page for Approved Senior Network. We have our regular Approved Senior Network Facebook page and we also have one specific to Alzheimer’s Disease. We want you to be a part of all of those things. Every time we post content, every time you post content on Approved Senior Network, it goes out to all that stuff. There are 11,000 people on the Alzheimer’s page. There are almost 6,000 on the Approved Senior Network page and there’s over 1,000 folks on that jobs page. Be sure to get your free listing and take advantage of all the things that happen, even at the free level, when you participate and engage with Approved Senior Network. It’s If you want the free listing, you haven’t done that yet, /join. Just pick whatever listing type you want and then go on in there and fill it out.

If you are not in the senior care industry, or elder care or something close to that, if it says like, “DWI lawyer,” you’ll be deleted. This is only for senior care stuff. Make sure that you fit that criteria. We even have people in there, real estate agents who are certified in senior housing. We have those kind of folks on there. We have people who do medical equipment. We have pharmacies. We have hospice. Anything you can think of in the senior market, please, please, please, put your free listing there. I want you to do #ASN and then the name of your business. Let’s go to our next topic.

Videos for consumers. The next thing that’s going to happen with Approved Senior Network, and I’m very excited about this, just like this live, although we will do these in a recorded fashion so we can edit them, just like this live we are going to start doing educational videos for Approved Senior Network. If you didn’t know, I’m a registered nurse by trade. Now, I don’t do patient care anymore. I run this business, but certainly I have been in the senior market for a very long time and I understand, just like all of you who are in the senior market, the complexity and the challenges that it brings to our families who are dealing with an elder care crisis. For those of you who don’t know, or haven’t watched every single video I’ve ever made, which I can’t even imagine, my dad’s in a nursing home.

Now I was not his primary caregiver. His wife is, or was, until he went into the nursing home. He’s only 70 years old. He has vascular dementia from years of diabetes and heart disease and cholesterol and stuff that went left not treated well or not managed well. I understand from a personal perspective some of that and from working in this industry for years and years and year. Before I ran this business, I did care management. I did case management from the insurance side and from the actual patient side. It is just amazing how these families come together and sometimes don’t come together.

For Approved Senior Network, we are going to start doing regular videos that are educational in nature, that talk about the different aspects of family caregiving, dealing with dementia, dealing with stroke. Some will be more diagnosis oriented and some will definitely be caregiver, or family caregiver, kind of stuff. That’s what’s coming next for Approved Senior Network. That also has a TV channel. If you’re on Roku or Amazon Fire TV, you can also find Approved Senior Network TV and you can go there and watch. We’ll be promoting that a lot. You can watch on YouTube and on the page and everywhere else, but also on your television set. A lot of our older demographic is still very much TV driven. The big screen’s what they like. That’s why it’s important that we have a TV channel as well.

Question, the first question we’re going to answer today is what is the best way to automate your social media? If you are going to blog post on your website and you want that to go out to all of your social media, my recommendation, we have a couple of different things we use. Of course, you’ve heard of probably Hootsuite and one that you may not heard of is Dlvr.It. It’s D-L-V-R.It. Dlvr.It. That’s one we use. If we blog post the content first, so it’s an article with a picture, then bloop, it goes out to all the social media accounts, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, everything instantly. If you’re not going to blog post, you just want to post something cool like a meme or happy Monday or whatever, you can use Buffer. You can use Hootsuite. You can use a new one that is … I’ll have to look it up. There’s a couple of different ones out there.

There’s actually tons of social media automation programs you can use. They do have some free levels and they have some paid levels. If you’re keeping it down to just two or three accounts, you might be able to get a free level but if you’re going to move up to 10 or more accounts, sometimes you have to pay for it. Just check out any of those automation features. For blog posting, which I highly recommend that you blog post it first … Oh, I’m so glad my kids are watching. Hi Sophia. Hi Sam. Hi Maddy. I’m sure they’re thrilled. If you’re going to blog post first, I recommend Dlvr.It.

There are also plugins for your WordPress website that will send content directly out to all your social media after you post. You have to manually tell it to do that. Sometimes you can make that automated, but there’s all kinds of ways to automate your social media. I would say, people really want to talk to you. They want to know that you’re human, so don’t automate everything. Log into your Facebook page. Go to your Twitter account. Go to your Instagram and be human because people really want to talk to you. They want to trust you. They want to know that you’re an authority and an expert in your field and by you showing up, actually showing up as a human, that is really important.

This is a great question that I get all the time, is what is the most expensive marketing? I’m going to give you a really interesting answer. The most expensive marketing is one without a plan, a goal, that is not tracked and recorded. If you’re just throwing stuff at the wall and seeing what sticks, you’re spending a lot of money that you don’t need to spend. A great example of that is this. Sometimes people will come on board with us and say, “Well, I’ve been spending $7,000 a month on Google AdWords.” Not only am I shocked because you don’t need to do that, but I don’t believe that is a great use of money for the home care market in particular, but for other markets it might be fabulous, I don’t know. For the home care market it is definitely not fabulous.

It shouldn’t be that expensive to get leads. That’s like $100,000 a year, almost. People have told us they spend $11,000 a month on AdWords. That’s so crazy. What I’m talking about is Google pay per click. If you know that for every $11,000 you spend, you are making $50,000, $60,000, then okay. That may be very inexpensive for you. That may be great for you. But if you’re spending $11,000 or $7,000 or even $500 a month and you don’t know if you’re getting any more revenue or clients based on some of that, then that is a very expensive spend for you. Now all social media, when you spend money on marketing via social media and content, it’s kind of a gray area. It’s hard to know if all of your efforts are causing more people to call and refer, or if it’s one specific effort. That gets into a gray area.

If you are spending money on Google AdWords and you are not tracking it and you don’t know if you’re getting any clients, and there are ways to do that by tracking the phone, by tracking the links, I mean there are ways to know for real if you are getting clients from that, filling out forms, stuff like that. If you know it’s working for you, awesome. If you don’t know or you’re not sure, then that’s really expensive on your part so don’t do that. TV and radio, of course, tend to be the most expensive of all advertising platforms, especially in election years, especially during drive time. Again, if you know you get three client new inquiries a week that turn into clients … For all of my children who are watching, I hear your peels of laughter that mom got kicked off of the live.

Let me know if you can see my screen again. Let me see if I can see. Are we back on? Can anybody tell me? Let’s go. Here, here, here. Oh, it may have kicked me off totally. I don’t know. Oh, I’m live. It says I’m live. Okay, who knows? We’re going to keep going, okay? Where were we? Oh, we can see it now. Hello. Welcome back. I’m pulling up my agenda again. You know what? What’s funny is I see other people get kicked off and come back and I just don’t get it. Why does the internet disconnect at such valuable times? Okay, here we go. Last question.

How much should you be spending on your website? This is a tricky question. If you’re brand new out of the gate, I totally get it. You’re going to do whatever you can do in order to get a website up. Totally awesome. Once you’ve been in the business for awhile, you know this is a business you’re going to stick with, you know that you have clients, I would say you should spend anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000. You do not need a $10,000 website. The only organizations that need a website that costs that much are ones that are multi-location and that you need to integrate some HIPAA compliant servers and you need all kinds of … All your documentation and everything’s going to be online and you need that technical safety. Then you’re probably going to have systems in place that are extremely expensive.

I totally get that. That’s for big Medicare certified companies, or people who deal with private data. For a website on the internet for marketing purposes, you do not need to spend more than $5,000, as far as I’m concerned. Sometimes those fees go a little bit over only because they’re so large. You do not need to spend that much money all the time. 2K, $2,000, is probably somewhere, a little over that is probably about in the right wheelhouse for a website. Believe it or not, having a $99 website just doesn’t get it anymore. They’re going to be slow. They’re going to break. They’re going to be full of malware some day. What do you get for a $2,000 website?

First of all you get quality. We’re not talking about having a website done by somebody who does this as a side gig. We’re talking about having somebody do this website who’s been in the business for several years. This is all they do. They’re not going anywhere. This isn’t cousin Eddy. This is a real web developer who really does this all the time. I get it that it’s totally awesome to have a friend do your website when you’re first starting out, but if you want a quality website you need to spend some cash. Quality, responsiveness of the team. I know that we get a lot of compliments on our end about being very responsive in support. We try to be very responsive all the time. If a website goes down, we try to get that managed very quickly.

If email goes down, we try to get that managed very quickly if it’s something that we are responsible for. Those are the kinds of things that are really important. Responsiveness of the team that built the website. The functionality of the website. Things break all the time. Things get old. They get worn out. If you’re not keeping up with your website. If your plugins are outdated. If your platform is outdated and nobody is taking responsibility for the back end, then you’re setting yourself up for some malware and some embarrassment when you finally go look at your website one day. The safety and security of your website’s super important. That’s what you’re getting when you have a team behind it.

Malware and protection against that. Hosting, we talk about that fast hosting speed. Mobile responsiveness and speed in general. The back up of your website, so if it did get malware, or it did get hacked, or whatever, then you have somebody who has kept back ups every week or every day for years and can just roll that website back to the last non-hacked event date. When you spend a lot of money on a website, and I would agree $2,000 and more is a lot of money, but it’s worth it because this is your first impression that people get of you. This isn’t just a brochure anymore. This is how you interact and communicate with your audience, with your people, with the people who need you. Please, don’t underestimate the power of having a well designed and a very well maintained website for your business. It’s super important.

That is my last slide for the slide, my last comment. I want to thank all of you, especially my lovely children, for being online with us and you will be watching the replay. Give me some hashtags. Give me some comments. We will definitely put you in for the 10 day free pass and for a drawing for the chocolate covered strawberries, my clients. Thanks everybody. Have a great day. We will be back on live this evening on Twitch. If you want to catch us there, it’s on Twitch this evening. Bye.