Cultivating Continued Care options

AMANDA MORRISON / NNY BUSINESS
Nurse Michelle Wood adjusts the hat on a patient at the center.

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Finding Your Food: Regional food hubs connect consumer with food

CHRISTOPHER LENNEY / NNY BUSINESS
Peter Martins displays a handful of strawberries at Martin farm on Needam Road in Potsdam.

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5 Reasons Why No One is Visiting Your Website

Joleene Moody

You want more sales. More visitors to your website. You want people hungry for your product to eat right out of your hand. As you sleep, you imagine your email list growing and growing, with an email open rate larger than your biggest competitor. You have everything you need to achieve this: the website, the perfect opt-in, a high-demand product, everything.

    Or doooo you?

    If your traffic is nil and your numbers on Google Analytics are making you cry, you need to find out why, most ricky-tick. Based on past clients who have struggled with this very issue, we have compiled the top five reasons why no one is visiting your website, and what you can do to turn things around.

1) Your Branding is Lackluster

Branding is often misunderstood. Ask someone about their brand, and you might hear them talk about their logo. This is because the traditional definition of branding is based on the color, shape, size, and font used to create a logo.

    But my friends, branding is so much more.

    While the logo is certainly an element of your brand, it isn’t the end-all, be-all. Branding is how you are able to control the way people think and feel when they see your logo or hear your company’s name. That means when they visit your site, they need to be pulled in by your message and your mission. One should know within five seconds of landing on your home page what it is you do. If this isn’t happening, your branding may be out of sync. Maybe even non-existent.

    Clear, crisp branding also makes you stand out like an expert. If you were to visit a website that lacked character versus a website that pulled you in with plenty of character, which site would you peruse?

    Get clear on your branding and invest in the change. The sharper you look, the more traffic you’ll see.

2) You’re Not Blogging

I saw that eye roll. I see it quite often, actually. Business owners think blogging is for the birds. Some are under the misconception that blogging is a complete and total waste of time.

    But what if I told you that a single blog post could be your ticket to a sale?

    Blogging is a highly encouraged form of inbound marketing that uses targeted content. Targeted content is the kind of content internet users seek when they sit down with Google. For example, if someone Googles the term “need website visitors,” Google will send out a bunch of bots to find legitimate, purposeful content that matches that search.

    By writing blog posts with targeted content, you’re essentially opening the door to your website to invite people in. The more you blog, the more you become BFFs with Google.

3) Your Website is Clunky

Think about the way you navigate a website when you land on it. You see the home page first, look for the menu bar second and click on your desired location third. Sometimes you might see an image you want to click on, so you head over to it. Other times you might get distracted by an opt-in, so you sign up for the offer and move on.

    No matter where you go or what you might get distracted by, the website you land on should be navigable at all times from all angles. It should be easy to look at and easy to search.

    If your website is poorly designed, doesn’t load quickly, and gets people lost almost immediately, you’re compromising one of the most important pieces of your business.

    The truth is, you have approximately seven seconds to grab the attention of your visitor or they’re gone. They’ll zip back out into cyberspace to find a website that is user-friendly, easy to navigate, and doesn’t look like a fifth-grader built it.

    Your website is most often your first impression. If it’s clunky, your visitors will think the work you deliver is clunky, too.

4) You’re Not Sharing on Social Media

Social media can be a bear. With so many social channels to choose from, it can be overwhelming for some. As a result, we resist sharing and eventually give up because we think it does no good.

    I encourage you to not give up.

    Creating a presence on social media takes time. But even if you have a small following, sharing and engaging with others is the secret sauce to your success. Start by choosing three social channels that resonate with the work you do. Decide to put a few hours a week into posting your content. But coupled with this, decide to like, share and comment on others’ content.

    Make friends with others. Play nice. Build relationships. If you stick to this strategy, you’ll soon discover that many people out there are on your side and happy to share your content. Before you know it, your Google Analytics numbers will increase, and you’ll be a happy camper.

5) You’re Using the Wrong Keywords

Keywords are tricky. We get it. Over the past 10 years or so, the use of keywords in web content has changed. Site builders used to use a method now dubbed as keyword stuffing, where they would stuff the same word (or series of words) over and over again into as much content as possible all over the site.

    Google won’t let you pull this stunt anymore. That’s why using long-tail keywords to help narrow down a search is where it’s at. This is because these keywords are associated with more qualified traffic.

    For example, thousands of search options will pop up if you use the words “cake maker.” But if someone is searching for a cake maker in Virginia, using keywords in blog posts like “cake maker in Virginia” will knock other prospects out of the way and shoot you to the top of a Google search.

    Using keyword research tools is helpful, too. Don’t go it alone.

Why It Pays To Be Honest in Business

Joleene Moody

I’m going to share a personal story here, one that actually destroyed me emotionally. But only for a moment. When it was over, it gave me exactly what I needed to be a better leader. If you’re interested in being the best version of yourself, listen up. This has to do with being brutally honest, even at the cost of making a fool of yourself.

     I write books for professional men and women. Self-Help and How-To, mostly. When someone who needed a book written contacted me, his professional stature intimidated me a bit. So much so, that when he asked me what it would cost to write his masterpiece, I fumbled and jumbled my quote horribly. So much so, that I severely undercut myself.  Severely.

     He agreed to my teensy price and we ended our call. I was devastated. What had I done? Why didn’t I say anything? How could I possibly move forward, knowing I would be making mere pennies, thanks to my fumbly foolishness?

I had a choice to make:

1) I could either move forward and write his book for peanuts, or

2) I could call him back and tell him I made a mistake.

     If I went with option one, I knew I would regret it and hate every step of the process.

If I went with option two, I risked making a fool of myself and looking unprofessional.

     After wrestling with both options, I decided to go with option two. I decided to be honest, even if it meant I might look like a fool. Here’s what I said:

     “Mr. Author, I owe you an apology. For reasons I can’t quite explain, other than I became flustered while talking to you, I severely misquoted you. I said I would write your book for X dollars when the truth is, I should have quoted you four times that amount. I am so sorry. I don’t know how it happened or what I was thinking, but I would be doing myself and my clients a huge disservice if I moved forward writing your book for what I quoted you. I am so very sorry. I am embarrassed and humiliated. I understand completely if you want to move on and find someone else to write this for you.”

     And do you know what happened?

     He said he would like to move forward with me anyway.

     Yes, I was as stunned as you are.

     Mr. Author told me he valued my work and appreciated my honesty. He could hear in my voice how terrible I felt and understood I simply made a mistake.

     After we hung up, I had an unexpected emotional release and I cried.

     I cried because telling this man I made a mistake was very difficult.

     I cried because the perfectionist in me was still beating me up.

     I cried because I was honest and it felt good.

     I cried because I realized, even if he decided not to work with me, being honest and standing in integrity felt better than any check in my hand would.

     Choosing to be honest is actually a gateway to freedom. Had I lied to him or myself and moved forward anyway, I would have actually done more damage than good. One lie leads to another lie, which leads to another lie, which in turn leads to another lie. My emotional release was my body understanding that, and thanking me for being true to myself and to Mr. Author.

     If you want to feel free, take the route of honesty every time. Looking back, I can safely say that even if Mr. Author told me to go fly a kite, I still would have felt free and safe because I told the truth. There were no stories to protect and no lies to continue to weave.

     Decide to be honest, no matter what. None of us is perfect. All of us make mistakes. Besides, look what happened when I told the truth. I ended up getting paid what I should have from the beginning. See? It really does pay to be honest.

JOLEENE MOODY is a freelance writer, blogger, and speaker who lives in Oswego County with her husband and daughter. Learn more at: www.joleenemoody.com

How To Dominate Social Media

Joleene Moody

If your business isn’t showing up loud and proud on social media, you could be compromising your bottom line. You want to dominate the social airwaves and bring new clients and fresh opportunity with it. Your social success hinges on where you post and how much effort you put into it. Consider these options when posting on social media platforms that meet the likes of your business.

1) Schedule Your Posts

     Some businesses don’t consider this an option as they circulate the cyber airwaves. But continuous posting can pull more followers your way, especially on a platform like Twitter. Use apps like Hootsuite or Tweetdeck to schedule hourly tweets. Include posts that inform, engage, and promote sharing. Your followers choose to trail you because of what you do or what you’ve posted in the past. Make them happy and share their posts as well. The more followers you have, the more you open the space to be recognized as the expert in your field. If you seek more sales and a powerhouse reputation, share great content and post regularly.

2) Use Video to Share Content

     When Twitter released Periscope, the response was both immediate and overwhelming. Within a few short months, small business owners and entrepreneurs across the globe were Livestreaming tips, stories, and useful information to followers. With a chat that allows comments and hearts for likes, Periscope is ideal for the business owner that wants to stay focused and instruct. Many followers convert to fans and clients for those that regularly use the app.

     If Periscope doesn’t thrill you, consider Blab, a social video platform still in its Beta stages. With four video seats and a chat section that allows hundreds of attendees to engage, Blab is shaping up to be the new wave of Podcasting. If the host allows, a single attendee can briefly take one of the video window seats and be heard. Blab chats can go on for hours. Some Blab users actually schedule 24-and-48 hour marathons. While this isn’t necessary, a short 30-minute show can prove invaluable for business owners that want to share content and elicit trust.

3) Use Platforms that Match Your Business

     You don’t have to exist on every social media platform to dominate in social media. For some businesses, determining which platform works best is a challenge. But it doesn’t have to be. Spending time on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Pinterest can answer that question for you. If you are a coach or consultant, Facebook and Facebook Ads are where your tribe exists. If you are a social media or content marketer, Twitter may be where it’s at. And if you own a design or bakery business, Pinterest is the ideal platform for you. Overwhelming yourself with too many platforms can actually work against you. Choose two or three that fit your business well and shoot for the moon.

     Regular posting and highly valuable content will give you the exposure and leverage you need on social media. Offering information that is actionable is also key, as it leads followers to your website and other social platforms. Show up with integrity and your business will shine above all others.

JOLEENE MOODY is a freelance writer, blogger, and speaker who lives in Oswego County with her husband and daughter. Learn more at: www.takeyourvoiceback.com

Take Action Everyday

Joleene Moody

“Your life will never improve unless you start making daily improvements.” – Lewis Howes

I’m a quote geek. I always have been. When I feel like the world is crashing down around me, I look for a quote that seems to fit exactly what I need to know in that very moment. Sometimes that quote shows itself to me.

     My hope is that Lewis Howes’ quote just did that for you.

     There are so many of us that have wants and desires but let those wants and desires sit on a shelf collecting dust because we don’t know what to do with them. We don’t know how to get to them. We may think they’re impossible to achieve or too hard to begin.

     And you’re right.  It may hard to begin. Which leads me to quote number two: “If we wait until we’re ready, we’ll be waiting for the rest of our lives.” – Lemony Snicket

     Very few people that start on the path to success know what they’re doing. It’s true. But it doesn’t matter to them because they know the answers will be revealed to them along the way. They understand that taking action every day is the only way to live life. It’s the only way to learn. There is no physical manual or blueprint that tells you exactly what you need to do to get started. But there is a soulful blueprint. And it lies within you.

     You know what you want. So take a tiny step toward it today. No matter what it is that you want to chase, there are a plethora of things you can do to start manifesting it right now.

Here is a list of things you can do to get started, no matter what it is you’re after:

  •  Read a book.
  • Ask someone what book you should read if you don’t know.
  • Ask a question.
  • Ask a question of someone who is doing what you want to do.
  • Watch movies.
  • Read some more.
  • Take a workshop.
  • Ask more questions.
  • Read more books.
  • BE CURIOUS.

     When I wanted to be a public speaker, I took the time to ask a speaker that was visiting a local school what she did to get started. She told me to buy a book on her website and begin there. She also invited me out to lunch and gave me an hour of her time to tell me more.

     Those nuggets of information were pure gold. They got me started and took me to the next level. Once I reached that second level, I asked more questions of more people. Up and up I went.

     So ask questions. Read books. And don’t rush the process. But do begin now, before your dream gets so covered in dust, you won’t be able to find it.  Which leads me to one final quote for you:

“Even if you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” – Will Rogers

     Better stand up and take action. Your dream is waiting for you.

August 2016 Feature Story: Community Clinic of Jefferson County

Celebrating a milestone

Jennifer Earl is director of clinical operations at the Community Clinic of Jefferson County, an affiliate of the Children’s Home of Jefferson County. The clinic marks its fifth anniversary this year. Photo by Justin Sorensen, NNY Business.

Jennifer Earl is director of clinical operations at the Community Clinic of Jefferson County, an affiliate of the Children’s Home of Jefferson County. The clinic marks its fifth anniversary this year. Photo by Justin Sorensen, NNY Business.

Community Clinic of Jefferson County marks its fifth year

By Joleene Moody, NNY Business

When Mercy Behavioral Health and Wellness closed its doors as a mental health provider in June 2011, officials blamed poor Medicaid reimbursement as the culprit. The shuttered clinic left a gaping hole in the community for severely mentally ill patients. So when the Community Services Board in Watertown opened a bid for proposals for a county entity to acquire the operation, the Children’s Home of Jefferson County applied. They were humbly selected. [Read more…]

August 2016: Entrepreneur’s Edge

How to get your content to go viral

Joleene Moody

Joleene Moody

You need more traffic to your site. More interest in your articles. More reaction to your action. You’ve been told a thousand times that the key to making you a master on the web is to create viral content. And so you attempt to do so. But nothing happens. No one tweets you. No one shares you. Basically, no one loves you. So how do you turn things around so your content is contagious? Easy peasy. [Read more…]

July 2016: Entrepreneur’s Edge

Don’t give up because it didn’t happen

Joleene Moody

Joleene Moody

Are you familiar with the 80/20 rule?

It’s originally known as the Pareto Principle and it basically says that 20 percent of any input creates 80 percent of the result.

In other words, only 20 percent of you will do whatever it takes to become a self-sustaining entrepreneur. [Read more…]

June 2016: Entrepreneur’s Edge

Tips to improve social media response

Joleene Moody

Joleene Moody

There’s a saying out there that says, “If you’re not on social media with your business, you’re not in business.”

I believe this to be true. And if you’re in business and disagree with this, you should check your resistance and ask yourself why. Why are you resisting a social media presence? Whatever answer you come up with is the very block that needs to be removed so your business can grow. And trust me, it will grow. [Read more…]