6 Ways to Amp Up Your YouTube Channel

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YouTube is one of the most important social media platforms you could have as an artist – almost 5 billion videos are watched every single day, so you know you can’t miss out on your fanbase there!

 

While we all know to update our channel banners, utilize ads for your videos and include YouTube cards to promote your album, there are even more things you can do to make sure your YouTube channel is to the max in its ability to be found by your fans and shared with the world. Let’s get to it!

 

1) Make a channel trailer (2 min or less):
This can either be a direct call to action for new users to subscribe to your channel or a compilation of videos from your channel. Most artists starting out do the direct call to action asking viewers to subscribe to their channel. Once you make a channel trailer you’ll be able to effectively use the channel ad feature! This can automatically play whenever anyone who hasn’t already subscribed to your channel goes to your channel, and you can also make it eligible for free advertising from YouTube!

 

Example 1 and Example 2

 

It can take some time to make a really effective channel trailer, so in the meantime you can apply the “other five”…

 

2) Channel Keywords – utilize and really think about what keywords you want to describe your channel. Include similar artists and/or interests that you followers are into.

 

3) Branding Watermark – you can make sure every video has your logo. Get your logo with white and transparent background, and upload it as your watermark. Voila! Every video is branded – don’t worry, it’s subtle!

 

4) Associated Website – link your website to your channel! If you have a website you’d like to use for cards and annotations, this will also help your legitimacy in search results both on Google and YouTube.

 

5) Connected Accounts – right under your banner, you may notice small icons to your other accounts like Facebook, Twitter, etc. Make sure all the important links are there, including where people can buy your music!

 

6) Subscribe to other channels – yes, you must give to receive. Add similar artist’s channels to your featured artist channels. With users spending on average 40 minutes on YouTube, they could use that time to find your channel through a similar artist!

 

That’s it! See, I told you they were small…yet very important in order to utilize your YouTube channel as best you can, especially if you are heavy on promoting your music there. I hope you use them and be on your way to see your channel grow!

What is a brand guide, and what’s in it for you?

This year has been such a blessing – I’ve been exposed to lots of different projects just these first three months, including a PledgeMusic campaign, national tour, international tour, album releases and marketing overhauls with my clients.

I’m meeting lots of other folks in the industry and learning so, so much. And it wouldn’t be right if I didn’t share some of my experiences with you.

One of my clients has asked me to jump on meetings with his marketing team, and so far it’s been a blast. We are putting together a carefully thought out 3-month campaign in order to really grab his target audience and hold on to them. I don’t think I’ve ever been through a marketing project this extensive, so I’m really grateful to have the opportunity. And excited!

So, working with the marketing company, we’re going over my client’s brand and image based on who we are targeting, and they created a beautiful document called a Brand Guide. It’s a very useful tool to have for any brand, including a musician, to have in order to stay true to your goals and target audience as an artist.

 

What’s a Brand Guide?

 

A brand guide is typically in the form of a PDF that puts together visual assets that complement the brand, and in this case, the music and personality of a musician.

 

What’s in it?

 

  • 2-3 sentences summarizing the overall feel, sense, colors and descriptive words of the artist.

 

Go into what the visuals in the brand guide should reflect a sense of. You might have to save this for last.

 

The Logo

 

  • Displays the full name logo as well as mark, as well as any secondary marks, such as colors or patterns that can be used in your graphic designs.

 

Typography

 

  • The options of fonts to be used for any graphics or websites, to be used as consistently as possible.

 

Textures

 

  • Background images, patterns and images that convey the vibe of the music and your personality as a musician. It’s always good to include 4-6 examples, so you have a variety of options to pull from.

 

Why have a Brand Guide?

 

A brand guide can help anyone, and more specifically the person on your team who is making your graphics (like your designer or virtual assistant) understand your brand and message you want to convey right away.

When done properly, you’ll be able to hand off your guide to anyone who needs to understand your brand, build graphics for you, or create marketing materials for you.Essentially, a brand cheat sheet!

 

Doing it yourself.

 

If you’re not in the position to sit down with a marketing team, you can certainly create one yourself – I suggest bouncing ideas off of someone like a virtual assistant, colleague or friend.

 

A good place to start is to first establish your marketing mission statement, which can be something like:

 

Folk singer-songwriter and humanitarian who encourages you to be a part of passionate and intelligent conversations through songs and stories.

From there, you build out your mission words. For example:

Honest, inspiring, passionate, intelligent, positive, warm, welcoming.

Those two things will really set the roots for building your own brand guide, and will make every piece of marketing in the future clear, consistent and effective!

10 Thoughtful Gifts for Musicians

This time of year means gift giving, and I always hear from the people I work with that they need to find a thoughtful gift for their friends or colleagues. So, this year, I wanted to put together a list of what I know are considerate to people in the music industry.

Shall we?

pillow10) Pillow – comfy and stylish. I love this pillow, which is great for any music lover. Simple, clean and a great place to rest your head after a long day in the studio ($26)
Buy it now

9) Wifi HotSpot – For a musician, or any friend on the go, a personal wifi hotspot is a huge upgrade. I use KarmaGo personally and cannot recommend it more for a personal hotspot. The best part? You only pay for the data you need. Even better? When people connect to your hotspot, you get free data. ($129)
Get $10 off your purchase: Buy it now

8) Battery Extender – Another techie gift that’s useful for anyone, especially a musician on the go, is a portable battery charger. Great for when you just can’t find an outlet while on the go. This charger has been said to charge your phone to 100% in 90 minutes. ($30)
Buy it now

earbuds7) Ear Skinz – these are colorful covers that slip over most in-ear headphones, offering the next level of comfort, fit and sound. These are definitely on my wishlist – wearing those earbuds all day can give me a headache! Right now, they are offering a deal of buy 3, get one free. ($11)
Buy it now

6) Membership to AAA – this is a hugely helpful gift for any musician going on tour. The van will break down, no question about it. ($66 for classic membership for 2 years – 1st year is free!)
Buy it now

5) Pick Punch – this nifty tool should be with every guitar player in my book. This punch can make picks out of old credit cards, hotel key cards, gym member cards, the list goes on. ($25)
Buy it now

4) SpaFinder Gift Certificate – being a musician takes long hours of practicing, and the physical demands increase even more if they are in the studio working on their next album. Give the gift of wellness with a SpaFinder Gift Certificate – you pick the dollar amount and they can use it at several types of health spas (even chiropractors!) in their area, whenever they want. (Starts at $25)
Buy it now

3) Vocal-eze – This throat spray has been recommended by musicians like Tim McGraw, Joss Stone and always seems to be on the vocal coaches recommendations. If the singer in your life doesn’t have this already, treat them to some soothing support. ($13)
Buy it now

tea2) Tea Variety Pack – Tea has endless health benefits, perfect for the hard working musician and singer. One of my favorite tea companies is David’s Tea, mostly because of their many tea samplers. For just $26, you can give 12 different types of teas. They are bound to find a taste they love! ($26)
Buy it now

1) Support – the best gift to any musician is to give their career support. Buy their albums as gifts for your friends, fund their projects on Kickstarter, Pledgemusic or Indiegogo. Share their music with your friends because the most thoughtful way to give to a musician is to support them.

 

I hope this helps you in your gift giving search and don’t forget to most of all – enjoy the season!

The biggest hiring mistake I see.

This week, one of my clients showed me a spreadsheet of radio stations he wanted to send his album to – more specifically, U.S. stations that have Jazz Programs. He told me that he got the spreadsheet built by someone on Elance. My job was to comb through and pick out the top 50 (there were something like 200 found) so that we could start mailing out his new release.
 
I was excited to tackle the research he received, but after a few searches, I realized that this spreadsheet was not going to help us at all. Unfortunately, we realized that most of these stations didn’t have Jazz programs, were not even radio stations in the United States or worst case, weren’t even radio stations! On top of It was disappointing to know that my client paid for a service that ultimately will not help us. I’m still combing through as there have been a couple that will be beneficial to reach out, but for the most part, we’re going to have to start from scratch.
 
I’m not sure what happened or why the results were this horrific, but it got me thinking of ways how this could have been avoided. I understand that it’s not simple to find freelancers or a virtual assistant who understands what you are trying to do as a musician – most of the VA’s are trained as if they were working strictly for small businesses or offices, so understanding that you need a Jazz program with a local radio station is not going to translate when you ask for Top U.S. Jazz Stations. It was clear the freelancer just wanted to send a lot of results to be impressive. A classic quantity versus quality.
 
So how could my client’s dollar have gone farther to get the results he needed the first time? Here are some ways to give clear direction when asking a freelancer or virtual assistant to complete a research task.
 
1) Walk them through the steps – yes, this takes time, but it will save you the headache later. Brief them on what your goal is with this task and what you need to make decisions to reach that goal. Either jump on the phone (best) or show a video via Jing, or type up a paragraph explaining it all. For example, “I want to get my album into people’s hands who have a Jazz program on the radio, online and offline. Let’s get the name of the program, website, who runs it and their contact info – phone, address, email.”
 
2) Ask them if they have any questions – Give them the opportunity to ask questions about the research task. Almost every time I receive a research task, I ask questions or recap to ensure that once I start, I know what I’m looking for.
 
3) Offer examples if you can – If you have past examples of what you need, it’s always good to share. It’ll be easier and faster for them to deliver the results you want.
 
4) Ask them to do some of the task for your to review before moving forward – Especially for research on contacts, you can ask them to search for a few and then you review to make sure you have the information you need and that they understand the task. Once you approve, they can take it away and complete the task with confidence.
 
5) Hold them accountable – If you receive the research and something is incorrect or you wanted it delivered a different way, the first time this happens is the best time to let them know. This way, they can learn what your preferences are and you’re happier with the results.
 
Thankfully I got a hold of the spreadsheet from my client before he started sending his Jazz album to talk shows or shows in Puerto Rico! We’re taking direction by finding local stations first, and then building a list from there to help get his album into the DJ’s hands.
 
Have you ever had a horror story with a freelancer? Did you ever have trouble voicing or giving direction on a task you needed done? Did this help? I’d love to hear from you.
 
Thank you for reading and have a great weekend.
 
Cheers!

5 Ways to use Fiverr as a Musician

As a musician, there are going to be lots of instances that you need some creative jobs done, like a poster, a lyric video, or a quick logo. With all the hats you have to wear, you can’t expect to be a pro at performing, songwriting AND Photoshop. Sometimes you need an extra hand at these projects when you don’t have the expertise or time.
 
A site that I’ve found handy with clients is Fiverr.com (http://www.fiverr.com) . It’s where you can hire creative experts for one time projects, starting at $5.00. It’s perfect for when you need a poster done for an upcoming concert or a lyric video to promote a new single, or business cards for the next conference.
 
I recently worked on a special project with a client to create a whiteboard video promoting their online store, and we wanted to use Fiverr as our source for the talent. Whiteboard animation can cost upwards of $2,500, so with that out of our budget, Fiverr was a good option for us. During the project and getting familiar with the site, I was seeing how musicians could use this service, either to benefit their business by providing marketing materials or even creating an extra revenue stream for themselves.
 
So if you’ve never heard of Fiverr, or only browsed the site and want to learn more, here are 5 ways I discovered that musicians can use the site:
 
1. Lyric Videos – Lyric videos are a really great way to promote and market a new album or single, and there are more and more being produced today by every artist, big and small. Youtube is one of the top visited sites, your fans are going to be one it, so it’s a great tool to use for your music. You can find creatives to make a lyric video in a few days and boom, you have a great promotional video.
Pro Tip: When sending instructions to the person making your video, pick a font for them to use to save modification time. You can select and download fonts to send via Google Fonts or DaFont.com
 
2. Logos – While it’s not my favorite recommendation for a place to get a unique and stand out logo, it can be a place to get a quick new look on your name. Be careful, there have been rumors that some creatives steal copyrighted font or images, so just make sure they aren’t ripping someone off so it won’t hurt you in the end.
Pro Tip: Make sure you have your brand’s message in place and send it to the designer. You want to make sure your logo reflects your brand, no matter who is designing it!
 
3. Posters – Venues typically ask for you to send concert posters to post around their town to promote your show. But if you’re on the road or in the studio, it’s going to be hard to sit down and design a poster that reflects you. Send off the task to someone on Fiverr.
Pro Tip: Send 2-3 examples of posters you LOVE. This will help make the process go faster.
 
4. Business Cards – Everyone needs a business card for networking events or conferences, so you should have them handy, too. While these look easy to put together, Photoshop can get frustrating and you certainly shouldn’t be spending hours figuring out the program when someone comfortable with the program can whip out a card in minutes.
Pro Tip: Grab the template from Vistaprint, OvernightPrints or wherever you’ll be printing the cards to avoid any sizing errors later.
 
5. Share your talent & sell your service – Last but not least, create a profile and offer your services to potential buyers. Businesses are always looking for unique jingles for commercials or individuals looking for a special song to use for fun or for that special someone. In a discussion with Fiverr’s co-founder and CEO, Hypebot posted examples of how artists are using Fiverr for extra revenue to support their tour, next album and their business. If writing takes a ton of energy out of you, maybe this isn’t the best fit, but if you thrive on being able to write short melodies or light lyrics, you could really create a way to exercise your talents for extra income.
 
In addition to ways you can use Fiverr, or sites like it, be wary of some best practices I learned from my experience.
* You aren’t always going to pay just $5 for a service. Most of the gigs require add-ons to get the results you need, say HD posters or longer videos. I first attempted hiring the a person to create a video for $25, which ended up being a disaster, and we ended up hiring someone to create a great video at $60. While this is a far cry from $5, with whiteboard animation costing more than $2,500, it was a steal.
* Be selective and study your choices. Take the time to really watch their examples and read their reviews. You’ll be happy you did when you save the time of having to find a replacement from your first or second choice.
* Try to plan ahead and don’t procrastinate when hiring someone. Getting results isn’t going to be a day or two so expect at least 3-5 days to get the finished project. And that doesn’t include any time for modifications you might have. Give yourself time to work with the person to create a great product.
 
Utilize these sites and embrace the system, but be careful and smart, and you can create some great relationships with these designers to take some of the things you need done off of your plate. You’ll save time and the aggravation of learning Photoshop. 😉
 
I’ll see you next time.
 
Cheers!
fionazsig

Extra stuff = extra cash

This month, I went a little out of my comfort zone when a client of mine had me manage selling extra gadgets she had sitting around, wasting space. We discussed selling online and the argument came up – via eBay or Craigslist. I had never sold on either, only bought, so I was excited to learn from this. She had a handle of items, some small, some heavy, so I got to researching and got to listing. Some surprises, frustrations and success were the results.
 

If you’re looking for ways to make extra cash, here are the biggest pros and cons with both platforms, all learned first hand!
 

Craigslist – Pros
* Completely free, no listing or selling fees
* Great for local sales. Perfect if you’re in music city like NYC or Nashville.
* Best for large, heavy items (speakers, pedals, instruments, etc.)
* No shipping estimates or hassle.
 

Craigslist – Cons
* Less serious buyers, with some not even showing up.
* Last minute negotiations.
* Haggling very likely.
* Lower offers.
* Less credibility and no sense of how much of a sure thing buyers are.
 

My tips:
Things like furniture or large items that would be very expensive to ship. Clothing, accessories or books are not best sold through Craigslist.
Never give your personal email, use the email through Craigslist.
Plan ahead to meet in public place near you if at all possible.
Cash only!
 

Ebay – Pros
* Clothing, accessories, household items and collectibles sell really well on eBay.
* You can reach more buyers – nationwide, even worldwide.
* You can do an auction or list a price at Buy it Now, allowing possibility to earn more than expected.
* Free relisting option up to 2 times so you don’t have to manually update it.
 

Ebay – Cons
* Listing fees (10% of sold price) and payment fees (2-3% with PayPal) do apply.
* If you are estimating shipping, it’s difficult to estimate accurately.
* Possibility of getting negative feedback on your profile if you rub the wrong person the wrong way.
 

My tips:
Things like beauty products, jewelry, books sell really well.
Be sure to list your correct PayPal email and make sure it’s set up to receive payments to expedite payments.
Skip the hassle of estimating shipping and decide on a price with free shipping for your item with the fees considered. Free shipping attracts more buyers!
 

So for example, you want to get $100 from a watch? Set the price at $125, allowing $10-$15 for eBay and PayPal fees and $10 for shipping. You can also use this handy dandy fee calculator (http://www.fees.ebay.com/feeweb/feecalculator) from eBay. Remember to add on PayPal processing.
 
My experience? I went in thinking eBay was the better option, being that it is secure and protected, but unclear fees and unexpected shipping caused a frustrating experience. However, we successfully sold more items on eBay than Craigslist right away, so, with knowing the fees involved, I’d be happy to list more on eBay than Craigslist. Which is exactly why I wanted to share with you a) how you can use these sights to make extra revenue and b) what to expect and c) your best options. Bottom line, keep in mind what you’re selling and you should be able to strike a deal.
 

Look around and see what you could sell – you might be surprised!
 
Cheers to selling!
 

fionazsig

Turn views into sales with Youtube cards

Festivities are in full swing here in Florida – everyone is headed to the beach or pool parties to grill all day, and tonight will be one of the largest fireworks display in Southwest Florida – I’m excited to celebrate with family and friends! Not only am I celebrating the holiday, but also celebrating the fact that these past few weeks I’ve been featured as a guest blogger on three sites!
 
Check out my posts that you get first, featured on GrowthGroup (a site dedicated to accounting for musicians and music businesses, highly recommended!), HypeBot and CD Baby. It is such a great accomplishment for me to be featured on blogs that I myself use as resources for my business and clients.
 
This past week, I took on a project for a client who was interested in exploring the uses for Youtube Cards, the advanced annotations, as a call of action on her most viewed videos.
 
This feature is a great way to enhance your videos, add a sense of classy professionalism and create a call of action – whether it be for building your mailing list or promoting your latest album – to your Youtube viewers.
 
Here’s what you need to know to build your very own!
 
 
Start out by going to one of your videos to edit, click the Cards icon, and let’s walk through it together.
 
1. First thing to know – You can’t just share any link you desire. There are rules!
 
Here are the four approved links for Youtube Cards:
 
1. Associated website (Feature your website) – This means you can share your homepage so fans can sign up for your newsletter list, or maybe a blog post to get votes for a contest.
Pro Tip – Make sure your website is associated with you Youtube Account otherwise this will not work. Go to Advanced Settings under Channel Settings to set that up.
 
2. Fundraising (Encourage viewers to contribute to your projects on supported fundraising sites) – This includes Kickstarter, Indiegogo, Patreon, Pledgemusic! Link away.
 
3. Merchandise (Feature a product on supported merchandise sites – iTunes, etc.) – Most commonly used to feature latest album, single or EP.
 
4. Video or Playlist (Promote a video or playlist) – If you are trying to get views up on a certain video or playlist, link it on a Youtube Card to your viewers. This could be useful if you have a Album Press Video and in the card, you can link to your playlist of the album’s music videos or single.
 
 
2. Now it’s time to craft a beautiful card
With a Youtube Card, you have four components:
 
URL – link to what you want people to go to when they click on your card.
Description – brief description of what you are sharing. 50 Character MAX.
Call to Action Text – the text that links to your URL, shown below the description. 30 Character MAX.
Teaser Text – the text that pops up that will entice people to click on your card. 30 Character MAX. Most important in my opinion!
 
Here are some snapshots so you can see exactly how it shows after you enter the information.
 
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Download This Song! (Teaser Text)

 
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In this video (generated by Youtube, you cannot edit this text)
Album Cover / Image (Generated from URL via iTunes)
New Album – Now Ain’t a Time for Tears (Description Text)
Buy Now (Call to Action Text)
 
3. Place your card in the video
 
Consider what you are promoting when timing your Youtube Card placement in your video.
 
If you are promoting a fundraising site, wait until you mention it in the video.
 
For promoting a new album or single, wait 15-30 seconds into the video. With the short attention span in today’s world, if a viewer watches 15-30 seconds into your video, good chances they will click to learn more about you and your music!
 
An important thing to note also is that the Youtube Cards can’t be edited to show for a certain number of minutes or seconds. Unlike annotations where you can make them pop up for a minute or even the full video, the Cards Teaser Text shows for approximately 5-6 seconds before going away to hide behind the icon.
 
Pro tip: You can place up to five cards in a video, but be careful with this, especially if you are placing the same card five times throughout the video. If the viewer clicks on the teaser text, all of your cards will show at the same time, feeling very spammy!
 
I love the way Youtube Cards look on videos and I cannot wait to use them more for promoting merch, newsletter sign ups and projects to generate fans and exposure. People respond well to easy-to-use call to actions so it will be exciting to watch how this will help build support for musicians. Start building followers, customers and most importantly fans with a Youtube Card today!
 
Cheers and Happy Fourth of July!
fionazsig

5 ways a VA can help you stay within budget.

Originally written for guest post on Growth Group.
 
How is your summer going? It is hot, hot, hot in Florida, so for the most part I’m inside in the cool AC. This Sunday is Father’s Day, and while I cannot be with my dad this weekend, I’ll be hanging out with my boyfriend’s family and we’ll probably spend they day on the beach to soak in the sun! But before all the fun, let’s talk about something we all really want: staying within a budget.
 
I think we can all agree that saving money wherever you can is a good thing to do. But with the ongoing push and grind moving forward in your career, it can be hard to stop and take the time to analyze where you’re money is going and where you can save. Maybe you signed up for a music profile on SonicBids, which charges a membership fee, only to realize you only use it one month out of the year for their exclusive CMJ showcase submission. Or, you have been using the same web host services only to realize you could be saving hundreds if you switched to a newer company.
 
I get it, as an independent musician you’re not only trying to improve your craft and skill, you’re also running and managing your own career and business. It’s not easy to always keep your eyes open and you don’t always have the time to analyze every small purchase, membership sign up or investment you make.
 
That’s when someone on your team can take the time to analyze your spending or take the time to find the best price to ensure your money is well spent, therefore keeping you in budget.
 
Here are 5 ways an assistant can easily start helping you stay within budget:
 
Find the best travel deals. An assistant can research the lowest costing travel options for your next tour. Using sites like Kayak, Priceline, Groupon, Trivago and more, they can scout out the best deal for you, comparing costs of flying vs. driving, or with Priceline, bid to get the best daily rate for a rental – which you can usually get at 40% off the advertised price. After they do all the research, you’ll just have to choose the best option for you.
 
Remind you of deadlines. Most contests, conventions, events, and masterclasses offer early bird pricing for signing up earlier than everyone else. If there is a conference you know you don’t want to miss, an assistant can find out when those early bird deadlines are and set reminders for you to sign up, which can potentially save you hundreds of dollars.
 
Monitor and manage your bills. Bills constantly come in and it can get overwhelming to keep track of which ones have been paid, which ones haven’t and when they are due. An assistant can step in and set up automatic payments, enroll in paperless billing, or schedule withdrawal dates, saving you time and the energy in dealing with your credit card company, internet company, cable company, and so on.
 
Dispute erroneous or late charges. Instead of spending 30 frustrating minutes on hold, delegate the task to your assistant to argue against late or erroneous charges. Make sure they have all the account information questions so they can get through securely, or ask your assistant do call in at a certain time you are available in case they need to get in touch with you for a few seconds to verify that your assistant can have access to your account, especially with phone bills or bank accounts, including Paypal.
 
Eliminate or reduce business expenses. There are a lot of sites you can sign up on to host your website, run your online store, distribute your music, and even manage your team, and all of them come with a price tag. An assistant can research the ones you’re considering so you can make the best choice for your needs. For example, one of my clients was looking to leave her digital music distributor, and in my research I was able to find DistroKid, who does online distribution for the lowest monthly fee I could find with similar, if not faster results, and is, get this, endorsed by founders of Tunecore and CDBaby, two of the top online distribution channels for independent artists. Being able to save those dollars each month can add up to $100s or $1000s in a year, and is definitely better spent on my client’s next album.
 
These five ways are a great place to start if you’re just beginning to delegate tasks to an assistant which will save you money, energy and your valuable time.
 
Saving those hours spent on the hassling and energy-eating things to do in order to make sure your money is being well spent will instantly open up your day to focus on where your focus should be, making music.
 
Happy Father’s Day tomorrow to all fathers out there, and cheers to a recharging weekend,
fionazsig

Is your site ready for “Mobilegeddon”?

Have you ever found something that you felt like was too good to be true, like a secret that you can’t believe you knew before? That happened to me this week. During a conversation with my friend who specializes in Website design and SEO, we discussed the importance of having a mobile friendly site. Way back when smart phones were just being released, you didn’t need to worry so much about having a mobile-friendly site. Your site still pulled up on your phone’s website browser and that was just good enough.

Until now.

Google announced in April that they have “tweaked its algorithm for mobile searches to favor sites that look good on smartphone screens, and penalize sites with content that is too wide for a phone screen and text and links that are too small.”

This means that “Mobile-friendliness is just one of over 200 different “signals” that Google uses for ranking its results”.

But that doesn’t mean that this should be ignored. We are clearly approaching a “mobileggedon” where most people are browsing on mobile devices than desktops and laptops. In the last 12 months, mobile browser usage has nearly doubled, and in the past 24 months has more than tripled.

That is nothing to ignore.

I did some research online on how mobile friendly my own site is and then how I could build my own mobile site.

The first step: How to see if your site is Mobile Friendly

Visit Google’s Mobile Friendly Test site. Enter your URL and see results in just a few seconds on how mobile friendly your site is.
You’ll either see Awesome! This page is mobile-friendly. or Not mobile-friendly.

When I looked up my own site, I got the dreadful ‘Not mobile-friendly’ message, so I immediately began to explore options on building my own mobile site, and also find out how to build my client’s a working mobile site. I’m all about learning something new – every week if I can! I built my own website in order to teach myself WordPress. It didn’t take long for me to find the company DudaMobile.

The second step: Building your first mobile site

My suggestion to build your first mobile site is to use an existing program that can help you each step of the way. DudaMobile is a site that offers a mobile site building wizard and instantly pulls information from the content on your existing website. I was able to build and customize my own mobile site within one day.

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Now my site is one step closer to being Google Search friendly AND I am confident of how it looks on any mobile phone. Big and instant relief.

Costs and features:

DudaMobile offers to give you a free account where you can build your own custom mobile-site with many features, including a contact form, social media integration, images, and redirect from your WordPress site.

If you don’t have a WordPress site, they offer directions on how to enter the redirect coding to your website. A free account is ad-supported and the URL is not customizable. If you’re not a fan of ads on your site or would prefer a custom URL, they make it an affordable $7.20/month (for annual subscription) or $9.99 if you want to pay month to month. You also receive access to more interactive features like GoogleAds, Click to Call, Maps, and more.

Currently, I’m bringing the importance of having a mobile friendly site to the attention of my clients and together we’re building their mobile sites with SEO Tags and all, headed in the right direction to making their sites mobile friendly and keeping their sites current with Google’s algorithms, a very important and crucial thing.

Are you verified? Easy to follow instructions on how to get verified today.

Happy May! Can you believe it we’re already 5 months into 2015? Just..wow! I hope it has been fruitful and rewarding year for you this far. I never thought I’d be where I am today and I’m truly thankful for every opportunity and move I’ve taken. So here’s to keeping that momentum going!

 

Being a musician, you are essentially a public figure putting yourself, your story and your name out in the world, including on the internet and social media profiles. Protecting your name should be important to you – no public figure is immune to the possibility of someone posing as them, in person or online. While maybe you don’t feel that this won’t happen to you when you have a handful of followers, there is a reason they are following you and you mean something to them, as they should mean something to you!

 

A good start to protecting your name and brand is to authenticate and verify your social media profiles online. Some sites have to grace you with verification (Twitter, Instagram) while others you can put in a request (Facebook, Youtube).

 



Here’s the breakdown on how verification on the top social media outlets work

 

FACEBOOK
There are a couple steps to verifying your Facebook page.
1) Link your Facebook page or profile to your official website, and vice versa.
2) Complete your About section of your profile accurately. And I mean, complete it. Don’t skip sections that you can fill out.
3) Once those two steps are completed, click  here to request a verified badge. You will need a photo of your ID.

 

TWITTER
Unfortunately, you cannot request verification for your account. It seems that Twitter is the most difficult to be verified on. According to their site, they simply “encourage you to continue using Twitter in a meaningful way, and you may be verified in the future. Please note that follower count is not a factor in determining whether an account meets our criteria for verification.”

What you can do to show your account is authentic is linking your Twitter profile from your official website by including Twitter’s follow button on your website.

 

YOUTUBE
Good news. Youtube is very easy to verify your account, it takes one simply step. This video tutorial on how to verify your account shows clearly how.

 

PINTEREST
To get that pretty little checkmark by your website on your Pinterest account, you need to be able to edit your website’s HTML code. There are two ways to verify: with a meta tag or by uploading an HTML file.

Pinterest shares a step-by-step post on how to do this, plus instructions on how to edit your website HTML based on providers, including WordPress, Tumblr, etc. Click here to view and learn how.

 

INSTAGRAM
Similar to Twitter, right now only some public figures, celebrities and brands have verified badges. It currently is not possible to request a verified badge. Like Twitter, you can let people know your authentic by linking your Instagram profile from your official website (and vise versa) as well as Facebook page and Twitter account.Overall, it’s the best idea to link your social media sites every time to your website, and link your social media accounts directly on your website.

 

SPOTIFY
For Spotify, you will need 250 followers in order to verify your account, so if you don’t have that, definitely ask friends and fans to start following you. Once you have 250 followers, click here to complete the verification form. They also provide instructions on their site here to help you become verified.

 

The time you take to authenticate and verify your accounts will be a step in the right direction to protect your name and brand. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Cheers to authenticating!