Floyder – – Google Says I’m a Nudist!

As usual, Jim’s loud proclamation got everyone’s attention. I had just raised my glass of cola to my lips when Jim burst through the door – – literally!, and laid his statement on me. I was mighty parched, but knew that Jim’s need was obviously greater than mine, so I put my glass down and swiveled to face him. 

He looked awful. He was perspiring profusely, though it wasn’t all that warm out. The rivulets of perspiration that had flowed from his forehead to his chin had left little trails of grime, and his eyes were as large as saucers. I noticed it had become as quiet as an abandoned mortuary, as everyone in the room strained their ears to see what Jim was going to say next.

“Jim, let’s go over to a booth and discuss this.”

He started moving with me, but he didn’t wait until we got there to continue. And, he didn’t tone it down any, either.

“Floyder, I swear to God I’ve never removed my clothes in public. I mean, I’m considered one of the pillars of the community! Good Lord, what is Martha going to think if she reads this.”

“Jim . . . JIM!!, “ I fairly shouted, until I got a look that reassured me he was finally back with me. “Jim,” I began more calmly, “what the smash are you talking about?”

“You gotta help me, Floyder. There must be something you and Randall can do.”

Jim was alluding to Randall Mains, co-owner of PATHMAKER MARKETING, a firm that specializes in Internet Marketing and Premier Blogging Services, as well as other Internet projects ranging from Online Fund Raising for Non-Profit Marketers to Search Engine Optimization Services. For the life of me, though, I couldn’t connect Jim’s nudity proclamation with Pathmaker Marketing!

Jim’s facial expression could now only be described as pleading, so I knew I was going to have to get down to the bottom of what was going on.

“Jim,” I began succinctly, “tell me exactly what happened.”

“Well, “ he began, “remember last night when you told me the importance of Search Engine Optimization, and how that both me and my Sporting Goods store should have a presence on the Internet?’

“Yes,” I assured him.

“Well, I had a few minutes this morning so I typed my own name into a Google search and it popped up right there on my computer screen that I am a Nudist. And, Floyder, it even had pictures!”

“You saw a nude picture of yourself?” I asked, my voice almost as excited as his.

“Of course not! Floyder, I already told you, I ain’t no nudist!”

More than a little confused, I whipped out my laptop and set it up. By the time I had logged in and started my search, we had quite a crowd forming a half circle around the table. Everyone was so interested I didn’t have the heart to ask them to leave, and, apparently, Jim didn’t have the inclination to. Finally the link popped up, and when I clicked on it sure enough, there was a photo. Only it wasn’t Jim, and he wasn’t nude.

“See, see what I mean. That’s not me,” Jim proclaimed.

I took a moment and read the brief bio. The gentleman pictured had the same name as Jim, of course, but was nearly forty years his senior and lived in Pensacola, Florida. Everyone drifted away, apparently disappointed the man was adorned in a bathing suit and beach robe rather than being natural, and Jim and I were again alone.

“Floyder, what am I going to do?”

“Well, Jim, you have discovered what a number of other people are learning. It is important that you protect your personal branding online – – both of your personal name and your business. What you need to do is spend either the time, or money, to make sure that when your name, and your company’s name, is typed in for a Google Search, the Jim they find is the one they are looking for.”

“Can Pathmaker do that?” Jim asked.

“Yes, we can, and very effectively I might add.”

“Good! I’m going to call Randall right now and set up an appointment. But before I do, will you do me a favor?’

“What’s that?”

“Will you call Martha and tell her I ain’t never been a nudist?’

The plea in his eyes was greater than the one in his voice, and there was no way I could say “no” to either!

Get Pathmaker Marketing to evaluate your personal brand on Google, Yahoo, Bing and AOL, and determine what you can do to displace any adverse listings that might appear.  Contact us at 1-623-322-3334 for a free consultation.

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23 Best Practice Tips for Successful Email Fundraising #9-11

9.    Include a Web Preview link.
Some people’s inboxes may default to NOT display graphics in their email client. To address this issue, always include a hyperlinked line at the top that says something like: “Can’t see the graphics? Preview online.”  link this line to a published version of your email fund raising letter online.

10.   Your emails must link to well-crafted landing pages.
It is important to have your emails connect to landing pages that are well-crafted, namely:  1) they offer more information about your cause; 2) they have a carefully engineered checkout process. By providing more in depth information about your organization’s needs on the landing  pages, your readers will get answers to issues un-addressed in your email copy.  By designing checkout pages that contain minimal friction and mitigate against anxiety and tension about doing business online, you’ll reduce abandonment and increase giving.  For more details about reducing friction (time it takes to complete the process) and anxiety (concerns about providing sensitive information) search our blog for posts on the subject of Best Practices for Landing Page Optimization.

11.  Eliminate landing page navigation in your online fund raising.
The only navigation you want on your landing page are links to (1) your checkout page and (2) possibly, if you are offering a premium, a page that tells more about the premium. This keeps visitors focused on your email fundraising offer rather than allowing them to get sidetracked while browsing your site. If your higherups insist, you can provide back door methods to your home page by hyperlinking your header of footer graphics, for example. Make it covert though, not overt, or your online fund raising will suffer.

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Social Networking Web Sites

Even if you don’t frequent them, you’ve probably heard sites such as MyspaceFacebook and Linkedin.  You may see these sites as youth-based social circles for kids to interact with each other via the Internet.  But you can take advantage of these sites to benefit your non profit fund raising program.   

These sites are known as social networks … places for individuals to interact with each other and share information.  These sites can be very useful tools for building contact groups and relationships with specific communities and markets.  

One of the greatest features of these types of sites is the amount of interaction you can have with your network of friends.  For example, if you are an author, you can send out an announcement to all of your friends about your newest book release.  In a sense, you can use these sites as mini press releases.  So, not only are you able to connect and share information at a lightning speed, but it is also free!  All it takes is a little bit of time and energy on your part.  The more time you put into it, the more you can get out of it. 

Social networking sites also offer many amazing features—from bulletin boards to blogs to event calendars.  Features like this help to keep your network informed. You can also have direct links to your newsletter sign-up sheet (for email fundraising),your website and web stores through social networking sites. These sites can be used a sampler of what your site actually offers. A newer development with these networks is that they are now available through cell phones using the 3G networks.  This means that there is a constant connection between you and your social network, fan base or friends, which ever you feel most comfortable calling them.   

A bonus with social networking is its link development or link building abilities.  This helps to drive traffic to you or your cause and assists in your online fund raising needs.  I highly recommend social network web sites and services to improve your sites overall popularity and link rankings.

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Five Overarching Principles for Non Profit Website Design

During this week’s blog posts, I’m going to introduce you to five overarching principles and many practical tips for developing and maintaining a website with exceptional website design that maximizes your ministry outreach for non profit marketing and fund raising. That’s a whole lot better than the alternative, which would be a website that gives you innumerable headaches.

Migraine headaches.  I know from experience that those are really lousy to live with. My wife, Carmel, will celebrate 22 years of marriage this coming September.  Those have been two really good decades together.  We’ve had our share of challenges too though.

For example, ever since Carmel gave birth to our first child, Caitlyn, nearly 15 years ago, she has suffered with headaches: low-grade everyday annoying headaches you keep 100 tab bottles of Excedrin around the house to deal with… to life-stopping, head-pounding, full-blown migraine headaches you get needle shots of Toradol to deal with, but always feel helpless and hopeless around.

For years, she has endured the pain. When they were small ones, they made our lives miserable. But when they were big ones they brought everything to an immediate, grinding standstill.

I confess I’ve never felt more helpless than when Carmel would experience migraine headaches – she would have to retreat to the darkest room in the house, huddled up in pain, begging for the elimination of any noise, nauseated, while I watched her suffer in pain and distress, wondering “What could I do?” or “What should I do?”

Thank goodness for exceptional doctors like Dr. Merle Diamond at the Diamond Headache Clinic in Chicago, who also suffers from migraines, and was immediately compassionate toward Carmel, when we finally entered her offices after attempting for years to get help from numerous other sources.

Over time, Dr. Merle helped Carmel gain control of this debilitating problem, and established a reasonable ability to manage and control her headaches.

To do that, it meant new routines — managing her diet, avoiding a stress-filled lifestyle, exercising regularly, and finally, just learning to deal with the genetic makeup she had acquired in life that made headache predisposed.

Headaches.  Some of us suffer from them physically. Some of us some suffer from them emotionally. Some of us suffer from them professionally – all too often, through our websites.

Which brings me back to my subject material – Non Profit Website Design.

So let’s follow along with headaches as our backdrop for covering this subject. In a nutshell for today’s post, learning the basics of good website design will save you numerous headaches, while also enhancing your ministry, expanding its outreach and increasing its online fund raising.

Let me repeat that so you can write it down:

Learning the basics of good non profit website design will save you numerous headaches, while also enhancing your ministry, expanding its outreach. and increasing its online fund raising.

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