THE AMAZING KATHLEEN – PCT THRU HIKER

This job of ours brings us in contact with special and amazing things and people all the time. And if that’s not enough to be grateful for, our job – being self-employed – gives us freedom to take off from our desks and pursue special and amazing things. Here’s one example.

Many of you remember Kathleen Neves from when she worked at SkinSpirit. This year, she’s hiking the Pacific Crest Trail – all 2650 miles from Mexico to Canada. Wow! We’ve been excited since she announced her plans last year. And we’ve been self-styling ourselves as her trail angels as she hikes through “our” territory between Tahoe and Truckee.

(Catch up on her journey so far and adventures to come at: https://www.facebook.com/KathleenNeves. You can even sponsor her at https://www.travelersjoy.com/pct2018/ with gifts of as little as $10 going towards laundry, food, and showers.)

We were there to meet her on July 19th at the Donner Pass Truck Stop where the PCT crosses under Hwy 80.

Whew – 8000 feet up, in the smoke-filled air, at nearly 100 degrees – and she had hiked eight miles on the rocky and steep terrain already that day! So we had to do our best to spoil her and return her to the trail the following day clean, well-rested, and well-fed.

We were so, so lucky to get a walk-in rate for a lake-side condo. Lake swimming!


Kathleen wanted In-N-Out Burgers and root beer – done! (Along with a hot shower and toiletries.)


In the evening, we drove into Truckee and met her trail partner, Pierre-Luc AKA Grit, and John took us out for a big dinner.

The following morning, the smoke really settled over Donner Lake:


John made eggs, pancakes and bacon to fill the hikers. We rested and enjoyed the lake. I even had some time to get in a lake-side sunscreen Instagram post for Hayes Valley Medical & Esthetics:


We dropped Kathleen and Grit off at the PCT – mission accomplished.


We are grateful to all our clients who helped us to work around this little trip – changing their schedules and working with the short notice so we could meet someone who is hiking so far. Thank you. And thank you, Kathleen, for being THAT PERSON who charges after adventure and works so hard towards such an incredible goal.



HAPPY OCTOBER!

Halloween Marketing


John and I have been making sure to seek out balance between work and relaxation as we ramp up to marketing’s silly season over the next few months. (Are you ready?)

On Friday, we headed to Santa Cruz for lunch at the Crow’s Nest and a walk on the beach. Here’s John chilling out with some new friends.

Happy Halloween, everyone!

And remember, all work and no play makes everyone stressed and grumpy!

WEDDINGS

Wedding Photography

Wedding photography is not a service we offer, although we’ve enjoyed doing it for friends, like this recent wedding at Slate Creek Goat Farm in El Dorado Hills.  Our album uses photos we both took.

One wedding service we offer – and love to do – is signage for the event.

Signage for a wedding in Scotland:

Signage for Santa Cruz Mountain wedding:

We also have the opportunity to work with clients who offer wedding services.  Please consider them for any upcoming nuptials:

Gleim the Jeweler

Halo Blow Dry Bars (With the help of Hope Patricia Daly Public Relations, we just pulled together this fabulous guide, “All the Days to I Do” to help brides with their timeline.)

Hayes Valley Medical & Esthetics

Palace Cafe Catering (We just launched this beautiful new site for them.)

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PLAN AND ORDER NOW FOR HOLIDAY MARKETING

Holiday Marketing

A gentle reminder from Rachel that now is the time to start thinking of the holiday season.

And then for those of you who like a heavier hand, here’s your “I told you so.” Every year, around September, we remind our clients to start prepping and ordering gift bags, greeting cards, holiday decor, gift certificates, gift tags, posters, etc, and plan your online marketing: e-mail campaigns, seasonal web site changes, and AdWords campaigns. And then each year in November and December we get a slew of last-minute projects for which clients end up paying rush shipping and printing rates. (Reminder of our rush project policy.)

Are you sending cards, party invitations, and/or gifts to your clients and partners this year?  Let’s get on that too!

Selling gifts?  Check your inventory and the lead times of items you wish to stock.  From October on-wards, order fulfillment and shipping from your vendors may take additional time.  Also, be sure you stock plenty of festive packaging and shipping supplies if you plan on mailing items.

No stress, added costs, and drama this year — let’s get started on marketing’s silly season work now! We’ve plenty of ideas and sources for product.

Here’s some key dates to keep in mind…

OCTOBER

Halloween, Monday, 31th

NOVEMBER

Daylight Savings, Sunday, 6th

Veterans’ Day, Friday, 11th

Thanksgiving, Thursday, 24th

Black Friday, 25th

Cyber Monday, 28th

DECEMBER

Pearl Harbor Remembrance, Wednesday, 7th

Green Monday, 12th

Festivus, Friday, 23rd

Hanukkah, Saturday, 24th through Sunday, January 1st

Christmas Day, Sunday, 25th

Boxing Day | Kwanzza, Monday, 26th

New Year’s Eve, Saturday, 31st

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HAPPIER BY THE MINUTE

Happier By The Minute

Congratulation to Stacey on the launch of her new company.  Thank you from Rachel and John for hiring us for WordPress site customization and for some graphic design work.

Happier By The Minute is about giving us all the support we need – based upon Stacey’s experience and training in the field of positive psychology – to be happier.  All in one minute video sessions.

Stacey, and her Chief of Happier Operations, Kathleen, have done an amazing job dealing with all the intricacy of starting a new company.

Check it out at: http://happierbytheminute.com.  Or at Rachel’s favorite: https://www.instagram.com/happierbyminute.  It’s a minute well spent!

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THANK YOU BRANDAU BRANDAU & HALO BLOW DRY BAR

Keratin Cut Color

Thank you to long-time clients Brandau Brandau and Halo Blow Dry Bar for giving me unusually controlled hair!  My usual is an unruly mop of curls and frizz.

Ten days ago, I got a Keratin Treatment at Halo.  It has totally changed my hair – I can see why so many women are obsessed.

Before that Kerrie Brandau gave me the great colour and today George Brandau gave me a cut and blow out.

Thanks also to Halo for the Jane Iredale lips and mascara and SkinSpirit for the face make up.

Love that I get to enjoy the services and products of so many of our clients.

HOW TO VIDEO

Video for Websites

Yes, getting video on your site can help search engine optimization (SEO) and visitor experience, but done wrong, it can hurt SEO and the impression you give to visitors.  This post will hopefully answer frequently asked questions about using video on a website.

You may also be interested in our post on creating your own YouTube Channel – a must.  As soon as you have a video for your site, also post it to your YouTube Channel.

(See the videos in our header graphic at: http://www.hayesvalleymed.com/coolsculpting-body-contouring.)

CODE OPTIONS

The best code to use to play the video on your site is your own.  But this requires development time and money.

Many developers save time and money by using YouTube’s free embed code.  It’s very fast to copy and paste this into your site, but there’s a big downside.  Once the video finishes playing, recommendations on other related videos hosted on YouTube will be displayed.  This can drive visitors away from your site, and even worse, it can recommend video by your competitors, driving visitors to them.

As you can see, we recommend avoiding YouTube’s embed code for a good reason.  But we know that budget also has to be taken into account.  One idea, if budget is an issue, is to use the YouTube embed code and then as soon as the budget allows, switch to your own site’s code.

WAYS TO USE VIDEO ON YOUR SITE

We’ve ranked five main ways video can be used on a website – number one is the optimal and most beneficial – to number five, the anti-SEO, bad, bad way.

ONE – OPTIMAL

Develop your own, original, and unique videos, upload them to your server, and place them on your site using either of the code options mentioned above.

Unique content reigns as the king of SEO due to the high ranking search engines (including YouTube) give it.  It’s also going to provide your visitors with a true idea of your business and add credibility.  Of course, the downside is the high cost of video production, although with an iPhone/Pad and basic video editing software, just about anyone can produce their own video content.

TWO – GOOD

Use video with permission, upload them to your server, and place them on your site using either of the code options mentioned above.

An example of this is using the video created by a vendor and downloaded to your possession with permission – say with granted access to their brand box.  Since the content is not unique, the SEO value is slim.*  But it is still valuable for user experience and adds credibility and caché to your site.

THREE – NOT SO GOOD

Use YouTube video without permission. Using YouTube’s “embed” feature, grab the video code and place it on your website. (Note that some video content producers turn off the embed feature completely so this might not even be possible.)

This opens you to lawsuits – or at least a cease and desist letter. YouTube does actually seek out and punish copyright infringement.  Since the content is not unique, the SEO value is slim.*  You’d have to feel strongly that the content will have great user value before following this path.

FOUR – NOT SO GOOD, AND COMPLICATED

Use non-YouTube video without permission. It is possible to “lift” video off of other websites, but it usually is not easy and requires advanced HTML and video skills.

Again, this opens you to lawsuits – or at least a cease and desist letter.  You’d have to feel really strongly that the content will have great user value before following this path.

FIVE – DON’T DO IT!

Linking to the video on another site, including YouTube.

By doing this, you are driving visitors off your site.  Who knows what they may be distracted by on this other site – including your competition.  You also have no control over the page containing the video.  If the video’s URL is changed, you’d have a dead link on your site.  If the video is moved, you could lose the content.  Out-going links have no SEO value.

Did we miss something?  Still confused?  Ask John.

*One way to help SEO if you go this route is to put the video on a separate web page, rather than putting it in-line with other content.  At the least, that additional page will increase the size of your site which can help SEO.