Category Archives: Content Development

How to Stop People from Stealing Content

stealing content

Recently, I was talking to a guy looking to become an authority in the financial space. He has lots of content, charisma, and over the years, has been very successful for both himself and his clients with his proven methods. He quickly turned the conversation towards wanting to protect his content, how to put up paywalls, ensure that others paid for access to his work and how to keep copycats out.

So, how do you stop people from stealing content?

Howdy folks, Nick here. The short answer is, you can’t, so stop trying. And that’s all there is to it. Alright, good talk!

No, but seriously, I’m only partially kidding. There are definitely things you should try to protect. For example, if you have a unique catchphrase that is integral to your brand, then get it trademarked. (Starting point for trademarking a catchphrase if that’s you!) If you are using photography or videography, that you created and/or that you own, then consider adding a watermark. (Starting point for a watermark on photography if that’s you!) On your website, add a copyright statement that folks can easily find that outlines terms and conditions for using any content from your platform, including anything you post on social media, your newsletter, blog, etc. Here is an example from a website we created.

However, if you are trying to protect your thoughts and ideas from competitors, sharks, whatever — you need to understand that it’s pretty much impossible to keep that from happening, even with paywalls and login systems. Make something available online, and inevitably, if it’s of any worth, someone will pirate it, oftentimes, not even trying to make a profit, but simply to make it available for everyone. Heck, one of my favorite examples of this happens all the time on Reddit when someone posts a link to a news article from the Wall Street Journal or some other pay-to-read or watch platform. Just scroll down one or two comments, and within seconds you will find a mirror link or a TLDR (Too Long Didn’t Read) of the content, typically with the words, “I’ve got you fam.”

So, let’s change the approach and mindset; instead, make some decisions about how you post your content online. One way to organize things — split your content up into three main groups or levels:

The 3 Levels of Content Approach

Level 1: Content for capturing the attention of relevant strangers. This will be more marketing-oriented materials. This is giving away some things of value (entertainment, knowledge, etc.) for free without any strings attached, simply to introduce them to your brand. This content is typically geared more towards telling your brand story and demonstrating your relevance to your intended audience. There is a lot to unpack with this level, and it really depends on your industry and your intended audiences. 

Level 2: Content that you give to people that follow you. For example, this is info we put into a newsletter or that you can require a login to access. This content rewards people for simply joining your tribe. They don’t have to actively pay for anything, other than allowing you to email them or DM (Direct Message) them. Another approach to this kind of content, a smarter approach, is to use something like Catch Engine to ask them a series of questions and then give them content based on their answers. 

LEVEL 3: Content folks pay to have access to (anything that requires a paywall). There are any number of ways to achieve as well as execute this level, and if you spend a lot of time coming up with proprietary knowledge about something, you absolutely should consider charging for it. We all need to make money to live and sustain what we are passionate about. If your content is educational enough or entertaining enough, people will pay for it, because they want you to keep doing what you are doing. The audience you want to build and support you will not steal from you. Just be mindful that your paid content typically will have a shelf life of some kind, and there is a good chance that its value to people will decrease over time.

Having said all this, here’s something else to consider. Stop worrying so much about folks stealing content. You are constantly on the move, advancing your position in your area of focus, doing research, building your influence, coming up with new ideas, evolving. Copycats will be hard pressed to keep up with you, and they will never be able to surpass you. They have to stay under your radar, otherwise, they will get found out and most likely lose whatever clout they may have gained. Also, if it’s brought to your attention that someone is blatantly stealing your work and reposting it as their own, then reach out to an IP lawyer to talk about how to stop them from doing it and/or get compensation.

Each case of stealing content may be unique, and there are certain measures you can put into place to deter copycats, but for the most part, your time will be best spent in creating new content and advancing your brand!

The Content Lifecycle: Putting it All Together

content lifecycle

Content is dynamic, not static.

Content creation is pretty straightforward, but it’s important to know how and when to move through each step. The content lifecycle process can be broken down into these 5 steps…


Step 1: Strategize & Ideate

The first step in creating any type of content is thinking about what your ideal client is having trouble with. Then, create something that will help solve this problem for them. This will involve some research surrounding different topics in your industry. Find out what people are struggling with and answer their questions.

Step 2: Plan

The next step is to create a plan. Decide what type of content needs to be made and where it will be distributed. Are you going to write a blog post? Make an infographic? Film a video? Different platforms handle different types of content better than others. You should already know where most of your ideal clients or consumers hang out, so choose content mediums that work best for those platforms. For example: blogs do best on a website, Instagram does best with graphics, photos, and videos, and Twitter is best for short-form written content.

Step 3: Create & Design

After the plan has been created, it’s time to start designing and creating the content. As mentioned before, content can be in the form of blogs, social posts, graphics, etc.

Step 4: Publish & Distribute

Once the content is created, it’s time to edit and schedule for publishing and distribution. Again, decide beforehand where each piece of content will be published for best results. What platform are people most likely to engage with it and is it relevant? Familiarity with each platform is a must.

Step 5: Evaluate & Maintain

After the publishing phase is the final step: evaluation and maintenance. This is easily the most overlooked step in the lifecycle of any piece of content. Content maintenance can happen in several ways. Update:

  1. For technical reasons
  2. Popular older posts
  3. For relevancy

Whatever the reason for updating older content, doing so can be super beneficial. Some ideas are what we call “evergreen”, meaning they stand the test of time. Instead of trying to reinvent the wheel every time, you can simply revamp an older post that was once popular, giving it new life.

Putting it all together

  1. Find a problem you can solve
  2. Plan your content
  3. Write, design, record, etc.
  4. Distribute across the right platforms
  5. Breathe new life into older content

Understanding the content lifecycle can help you establish your brand. Instead of just focusing on one part (usually content creation), take the time to give each part of the lifecycle the attention it needs. This will help strengthen your online presence and keep you relevant for the long term.

6 Website Logins All Website Owners Should Know (Part 1)

As your favorite local tech support person, it’s a constant battle for us to maintain our client’s websites because so often our clients don’t know crucial access information needed to setup and maintain their websites.
Too often clients rely solely on a friend or trusted associate to handle all of this information. However, as time passes and people come and go in their lives or businesses, they often lose track of this information.
It’s important that you, as the owner of the web property, have accurate access information for these 6 key website logins that you or your tech support person will need. You should find out what they are, make sure they work and store them in a safe place.

Domain Registrar 

What is it?
Remember way back when you first reserved your domain name? Domain registrars are companies that are accredited to reserve, sell and maintain domains for you. Domain names are usually reserved in 1-year increments.
Why is it important?
A domain registrar serves several very important functions. Reserving and renewing the domain name is obvious, but just as important, the domain registrar is also where you specify the DNS host. We’ll talk more about that later, but this means it’s essentially the place where you specify the primary domain name server (like a phone book, only for a computer) which allows people to find your website when they enter your domain name in a browser.
Other facts about Domain Registrars:
When you reserve your domain name, you will be asked to specify contact information for the registrant (the person who owns the domain name), as well as administrative, technical and billing contacts. Most people use the same person, but you may want to include alternate emails in case they can’t reach the original email.
If you don’t know your domain registrar, you can visit a site such as WhoIs, enter your domain name and get a wealth of information about your domain, including who your domain registrar is.
Well known Registrars?

DNS Host (Name Server)

What is it?
A DNS host (name server) is a service that keeps copies of your DNS information on a bunch of different servers so that when somebody enters your domain name, it quickly returns the IP address (sort of like a phone number) to visitors so that they can find (call) your website. This is so that people looking for your website can remember rather than When someone enters in a browser, it looks up that name on your DNS hosting’s server and provides the IP address so that your website can be found.
Why is it important?
If you move your website to a different server, for any reason, you have to have this information to re-point the DNS information to the correct IP address. Add it to your list of key website logins, you will definitely need it in the future.
Other facts about DNS Hosting:
In most cases your domain registrar will provide this service for free as part of their domain registration service, so your domain registrar and DNS host are often the same company utilizing the same website logins.
If you don’t know who is hosting your DNS you can usually find out with a WhoIs and look for the name server. Sometimes the name server is a bit cryptic, but you can usually figure out who it is by Googling the name server name.
Well known DNS Hosts?
Cloudflare, Rackspace, FreeDNS, ClouDNS and many major domain registrars such as GoDaddy and BlueHost.

Website Host (Control Panel)

What is it?
Web hosts are services that allow organizations and individuals to publish a website or web page on the Internet. A web host, or web hosting service provider, is a business that provides the technologies and services needed for the website or webpage to be viewed on the Internet. Websites are hosted, or stored, on web hosting servers.
Why is it important?
Clearly, if you need to make changes to your website, it’s important to have access to where the files and images are that make up your website. Without it, you cannot update your content.
Other facts about Web Hosting:
Websites with low traffic visitation are usually found on shared servers, often with dozens of other sites.  Busier ones may be on dedicated servers, with increased pricing. The login that controls your website is often called a dashboard or control panel.
Many domain registrars will also provide website hosting. So your registrar and web host are often the same company with the same login.
If you don’t know who is hosting your website, visit WhoIsHostingThis? and enter your domain. There you will see the name of the company who is currently hosting your website.
Well known Web Hosting Companies?

Coming next time: Website Logins Part 2 – FTP, WordPress, and email services.

What You Need to Start Building Your Social Presence

social presence

When entering into a partnership with a client, there are a few important items we hope to acquire from our new client in the beginning. As a Digital Marketing Coordinator, my job is to elevate my client’s brand and showcase who they are and what is unique about the brand to the public, but that can be hard to do without the right tools to succeed. Below are some of the things we as a Digital Communications Agency try to acquire from our clients to start building their social presence.


Content is probably one of the most important things we need from a client. In this day and age, visuals are what sell and without those, it can be hard to promote a brand. To start off, it’s important that we have a client’s logos, brand colors, high-quality headshots (if applicable), and any photos and videos they have. Getting this base of visual content can really go a long way in helping to market a brand.

Account Info

This information, while it’s not as glamorous as visuals, is a vital part of setting up or running a client’s social presence. If the client already has social accounts, we’ll need to gain access to those to be able to take over posting for them. If they haven’t created an account, it’s time to decide which email to use and create that account so that we can start building out their basic info and later their posts. During this process, we’ll discuss what username / handle the client would like to use and what information the bio should include.

Brand Identity/Personality

Here, we get into who the brand is and what they stand for. It’s important to figure out the personality of the brand, their mission, the audience we’ll be targeting and the style of writing the brand uses. Keeping a consistent brand image across all platforms is extremely important for brand recognition and recall. You want your audience to be able to go to any of your social platforms and instantly recognize who you are. If your platforms don’t match up, it could lead to losing followers due to confusion.


At the beginning, it is crucial to understand in specific terms our client’s goals. Is it more important to them to gain followers or to increase engagement? Create a community for people to come to or encourage people to visit the brick and mortar location? Once we determine the goals of our client, it’ll be a lot easier to start creating content and promoting the brand with those objectives in mind. While it’s important not to only “sell sell sell!” your client’s brand, finding out their goals can help you determine what aspects of the brand to promote and when.

Hopefully, if you are considering doing business with Alter Endeavors or are unsure of what type of information is needed to start building your social presence, this guide will help you form a solid base of knowledge for getting started. Cheers y’all!

The Fine Line Between Social Sharing and Bragging

The Fine Line Between Social Sharing and Bragging

Recently, Hurricane Harvey attacked Southeast Texas and the Gulf Coast traveling thousands of miles and devastating communities with over 50 inches of rain and winds of over 130 miles per hour. Tens of thousands of people were displaced by Hurricane Harvey and it is estimated that damages could cost up to 180 billion!

Countless individuals and businesses rushed to offer aid in the form of physical help, financial and material donations, fundraisers, benefits and more, including several of our own clients. Throughout helping to broadcast and coordinate these relief efforts, we have encountered two schools of thought when it comes to social media and charitable involvement. Everyone wants to help, but not everyone wants their philanthropic efforts disseminated to the world. Some generous donors and do-gooders would prefer to remain anonymous, while others are okay with sharing about their donations. But, when is sharing about your brand’s charitable involvement considered bragging? And when is social sharing a means for inspiring, organizing and spurring others to action?

First and foremost, one should remember that social media is a tool. Like any other tool or resource, social media can be used for good or evil. Money is a resource that can be hoarded for greed or given to help others. Cars are a tool that when driven recklessly can kill, or when used responsibly can help deliver resources to those in need.  Similarly, social media is also a tool that can be used for bullying, bragging, tearing others down or it can be implemented to organize people and grow businesses. How the tool is used is up to the individual.

There are several pros and cons to broadcasting charitable efforts or keeping quiet about them, and the line between bragging and social sharing can get blurry at times.

Let’s start with a few of the negative aspects:


What’s the point of your philanthropic efforts if you are just going to boast about them?  The point of doing something for someone else is not that you receive credit or brownie points for your work or donation, but that the organization that needs help, receives that help. Brands or businesses that prefer to give anonymously want to keep the focus on others and not on themselves. Posting about your charitable involvement could easily cross that bragging line, so businesses need to be careful how they portray and post about their donation.


Really, it all comes down to the motivation behind your charitable involvement. Are you giving or participating to serve others or to serve yourself? Giving can certainly help sales, but perhaps that should be a byproduct of your motivation and not the main cause for it. By keeping quiet about your businesses’ philanthropic efforts you avoid the whole mess of appearing to be giving for your own gain.  Before sharing about your donation or benefit, consider the source of your desire to give.  If the desire to help is genuine, then you are headed in the right direction.

There are several pros to sharing your philanthropic efforts with others too:


By taking the onus to step forward and do some good, you can inspire others to do the same. Monkey see, monkey do isn’t always a good thing, but when it comes to charitable involvement, it is! If everyone else is helping out, social sharing can encourage other individuals and businesses to do what they can to participate too. Inspiring and spurring others to take action is definitely one of the more positive aspects of social sharing.


By sharing your benevolent efforts with others online, you are helping to bring awareness to charitable causes and the need you are helping to fill.  Others may not realize that a specific non-profit exists or that there is a need going unfulfilled. You can bring good publicity to other organizations and your own business through the profess of social sharing.

Community Involvement

When you offer opportunities for others to help contribute to your charitable involvement, you are strengthening the community and providing others with the chance to partner with you to do some good for others. A strong community can help meet the needs of more people and a connected community can rally together to help a greater number of people. You can encourage your audience to buy your product or service, but you can also encourage them to join with you in a specific benefit or fundraiser for a worthy cause.

What it all comes down to is your motivation behind giving and how you broadcast that message. From the language, you use to the organizations that you choose to partner with and the causes that you elect to support, sharing your charitable efforts with others has the potential to inspire, spur others to action, bring awareness and strengthen the community.  Finding the right balance between social sharing and bragging can be tricky. If you need help navigating the field of social sharing and charitable involvement, we would love to help you get started!

The Importance of an Online Presence Audit

While the importance of having a website with useful information and resources about your company is a necessity, businesses often forget to periodically check that current information is accurate and consistent across all platforms. Completing an online presence audit every few months can minimize the problems customers come across while maximizing your chance for engagement and sales. Below, I will discuss the importance of conducting an online presence audit, and what exactly that entails.

Contact info

First, it is important to audit all of your owned, rented and earned platforms to double-check that the contact info on every platform is consistent and correct. Your contact info includes: website address, physical address, phone number and email. On some platforms like Yelp and Nextdoor, you may have to submit a request to change your info or verify your number. Keeping your contact info up-to-date is extremely important; otherwise, you risk either losing a customer or irritating them because they can’t get into contact with you and that could lead to a frustrated potential customer before you even have the chance to interact.

About section

Most companies have a slogan or a few sentences that they consistently use to describe what it is they do or the services they offer. But, a lot of the time that description changes over time with the company and it’s easy to forget to go back and update your bio sections to reflect your new description of your brand. This can quickly lead to your platforms having different and confusing versions and leave your customer with an incorrect idea of your brand identity. Creating a consistent brand identity and image across all platforms can help customers recall and remember your brand better.

Links and submission buttons

Though it may seem obvious to make sure your links and submission buttons properly function, a lot of the time we trust in technology too much and assume that these will work. Every once in awhile it is good to go back and confirm that your links actually take people where you want them to and that your submission buttons properly submit the information they’re supposed to. A common issue we’ve seen at AE is that many people will link to their social sites such as Twitter and Facebook and when you click on that link it takes you to the homepage of those sites and not the actual company profile. So, go through your platforms as if you were a customer or client and try your links and different buttons to see if they are properly functioning.

Audit time

Alright, guys, it’s time to start checking. We know this process can be tedious and boring at times, but trust us when we say it’s all about the little things. Those simple fixes you make on your online platforms can be the make or break between whether a potential customer actually makes it to you or not. Best of luck out there, and if you’d rather have someone else run your online presence audit, you know where to find us!

Does Your Business Value Abstract Work?

Does your organization value abstract work? Does it need to?

Most businesses don’t value abstraction. They can’t. Because in order to survive they have to always be in action.

It’s only when a business takes action – puts a product on the market, makes an offer to customers, sends out an ad, creates a new contact – that the business itself becomes tangible, visible, and viable. Customers can react to actions. Sales can happen.

But customers can’t react to abstractions. Abstract work – planning, strategy, design – isn’t ever seen by a customer. It’s done behind the wall. It’s done way before actions happen.

Because businesses rise and fall on concrete actions, almost all businesses value action over abstraction. Businesses constantly push for action, to GET THINGS DONE.

Which means that abstract work suffers. It’s seen as an annoyance. Action needs to happen, even when planning isn’t complete. Or done well. What is important is that it’s out of the way. So that action can happen.

What people don’t see is the planning and thought process put into creating a successful strategy. For example, running an ad. The process behind creating the audience, choosing the right ad creative and crafting the right ad copy is all based on what we’ve learned from experience, continuing education and the current trends and successes of digital marketing.

The ad funnel strategy that our team uses helps businesses reach customers in the best way for what they want to achieve. If you’re too focused on actions and skip ahead to a conversion objective, you risk receiving a low conversion rate because the consumer doesn’t know you. If instead, you do the abstract work of planning and strategizing, you may find that you need to create a brand awareness ad before you can move on to the conversion objective. Without the abstract work, you are shooting in the dark hoping for random and aimless conversions, not knowing if you are targeting the right consumers or if they know your brand well enough to commit to a sale.

It’s a tough persuasive challenge to convince people who are running off to battle to stop, sit down, slow everything, and THINK. Even super think. To really mull over the best battle plan.

Trying to slow things down in order to do abstract work causes anxiety and panic in do-ers. “We can’t do that. The enemy – lack of sales, negative cash flow, rising costs, shrinking margins – is at the gates! There’s no time to plan. There’s no money for it. It’s too slow. It can’t be measured. Get out of the way so we can get in there and DO SOMETHING, we’re going under!”

And so everyone charges off, using the same old battle plan as they’ve used before. No one thinks things through in a different way. No one does the abstract work.

Into the battle, without a true strategy.

Does that sound like a good idea?

Why Local SEO is Invaluable

What is SEO?

Generally speaking, Search Engine Optimization is the practice of making your website more visible to search engines by focusing content, ensuring smooth interaction, and establishing external links with other sites. Steve Joiner of Searchography wrote a Layperson’s Guide to SEO for us, which gives a short overview and tips and tricks for today’s marketers in this ever-changing field. In a nutshell, SEO helps potential customers find you by searching for your products/services. Organic SEO, also known as organic search, is based around a website and is focused on relevant content. The primary goal of organic SEO is to rank your website as high as possible using select keywords. Local SEO shares this goal, but has one major component that organic SEO does not.

What is Local SEO?

Local SEO is built around a physical location. This added geographical component provides a whole new goal: consistency. The information listed on your company’s different web pages, whether it’s Facebook, Yelp, or Bing, needs to be EXACTLY the same. There cannot be any discrepancies, even when it comes to minute things such as substituting “Dr.” for “Drive” at the end of your address on one of your listings. Google wants to direct users to the most relevant and reliable businesses, and if there are inconsistencies with your company’s information across multiple sites, your ranking will suffer. Local SEO ensures that local searches (“search term + location”) will show your business. Even without the location specifically added into the search, Google will use the location of the computer/mobile device you are using to show you the most relevant results. This is key, especially now that these searches are submitted roughly half the time via a mobile device.

Why Local SEO is Vital for your Business

When it comes to driving potential customers to your business, local SEO cannot be undervalued. Each month more than 2.6 billion searches are conducted with more than half of the searches being submitted through Google. Organic SEO is extremely valuable, but local SEO gives you the chance to reach the customers in your surrounding area more effectively. Even better, claiming your Google My Business page is currently FREE and is a great step towards an effective local SEO strategy. Online reviews not only weigh heavily into how Google ranks your company but 88% Of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Online reviews are an incredibly important resource for your company’s web presence for SEO purposes, but also to show your business’ credibility.( make consumers lower case) A business that does not have an established local SEO strategy is at an extreme disadvantage.

How to Ensure your Local SEO is Effective

If you want to rank for your respective trade or product, you need to ensure that your local SEO is accurate and up to date. A Google My Business page is an invaluable resource, along with a Bing page. Your Google My Business page needs to be kept as up to date as possible, but at the same time, it needs to match the information on your Facebook page, Yelp page, and vice-versa. Speaking of Yelp, your business needs to be represented on as many online directories as possible. Online reviews (via Yelp, Facebook, Google, etc.) are extremely important, as Google weighs positive and negative reviews into their algorithm when ranking businesses. Optimizing your website effectively using your select keywords is important. Even if the person searching for your business does not specifically add in the city or area your business is in, the location of your computer or phone determines the relevant results.

We know creating and maintaining a local SEO strategy can be time-consuming, but it is a necessary tool to effectively reach the potential customers in your area. Hopefully, this blog proves to be a helpful resource that further explains what local SEO is and why it is important. If you are interested in having someone help improve your local SEO, we are always available to chat!

Local Lead Conversion and How the Spaces Between Platforms Make It Happen

Long title, I know. Sorry about that. Nick here to expand a little on the presentation I’ve been giving lately to local service providers on lead conversion. We have been speaking a lot in front of groups like the Homebuilders Association of Austin, the Austin chapter of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (aka NARI Austin for those in the industry) and so on. My recent presentation for these groups has focused on expanding Rusty Shelton’s overview of building a digital platform and understanding the three different auditoriums that comprise every brand’s marketing makeup.

The Three Marketing Auditoriums – Quick Overview

lead conversion

You’ll notice that all three platforms interact based on the diagram above and, ultimately, the goal is to feed the Owned Platform from Rented and Earned endeavors.  For reference, here’s a quick overview of the three arenas Rusty discusses.

Rented Media

Spaces where many flock to talk, share and consume, but they do not own. You can build an audience for yourself from the milling crowds running around in these spaces, but you have to stay in these spaces to continue the conversation. These spaces are owned by others and you have to subscribe to them and follow their rules if you want to play. Which means that the rules in these spaces can change dramatically and without warning. 

Earned Media

Other spaces endorsing you and lending you to their brand in order for you to gain attention and credibility. They control the messaging, the audience and the space, but their endorsement can drive a lot of attention your way.

  • Magazines, Newspapers, TV and other traditional pubs
  • Speaking/Presentation Opportunities
  • SEO: Google, Bing, Baidu

Owned Media

Spaces you own and control. You have to build your own audience for this space, but you decide how you display and disseminate information from these spaces, and when someone is in this auditorium, you control where their focus goes next.

  • Website
  • Newsletter

The Spaces Between Auditoriums Drives Conversions

When thinking about these three auditoriums (what we do in each one of them and who participates in each of them), it’s important to ask about what happens between them as well. Living between the auditoriums is where engagements of consequence tend to happen. These engagements are usually the action items that lead to real conversion. Let’s break it down.

The Space Between Rented and Earned Media

These are places where your audience lends their credibility to yours but neither of you owns the platforms where these conversations happen. In a word, think reviews. Think of Yelp, Facebook Reviews, and Google Reviews. These are platforms where folks can tell the rest of the world how they really feel, sometimes fairly anonymously and sometimes completely in the light, it just depends on the platform. For service-based brands in fields like moving, construction or remodeling, plumbers, real estate, cleaning, etc., these 3rd party platforms lend a level of objectivity to folks looking for these services, especially when they can see a bunch of perspectives on a single brand all in one place that a business can do very little to modify or change.

Gnash your teeth all you want at the unfairness of these sites, but even if certain claims about fake reviews making up anywhere from 2%-16% of all online reviews, the majority are real and mass review attacks from malicious competitors or disgruntled clients and employees are rare if happening at all. Many 3rd party resources like BrightLocal and Search Engine Land talk review why these review sites are so important to getting found and converting online. So, if your reviews are lacking, your brand is seriously lacking. Get them, respond to them, ask for more of them. If they constantly come back negative, the adage about looking for the common denominator in all of those responses most likely applies.

Also, besides review sites, getting mentioned on social sites in closed groups (think local swap groups and mommy groups on Facebook or sites like can lead to significant lead generation if the general conversation about your brand is positive. Even if an unhappy customer posts something negative about your business in one of these spaces, if your general service for others in the area has been positive, then this can lead to more attention and opportunity for your brand.

Yes, this means you need to be monitoring these spaces, but it’s worth it if these spaces are generating leads. That being said, don’t be afraid to ask customers to give you a shout out in this manner. It really does generate growth for your brand.

The Space Between Earned and Owned Media

This is credibility you have some control over. You not only gain information and credibility, you create an informed position to determine what happens next. In this section, we are talking about testimonials and assessments.

First, if you are going to get testimonials, try to get them as video testimonials, especially if you’re a B2C (business to consumer) type business. And with the video testimonials, you can always transcribe them for the written one. Typically, I encourage B2C companies to focus on building their reviews on 3rd party sites, but there is always merit to owned testimonials as well. For B2B (business to business), it’s easier to lend credibility to testimonials that come from other brands – accountability is easier to maintain.

Now, for the game changer in this category – assessments (or quizzes, if you prefer). Not just surveys. Surveys miss a step and provide non-specific results when someone hits the submit button. Create an assessment with results logic at the end of their feedback journey that provides them with specific calls to action or things to do based on how they answered your questions. Not only are you capturing all that useful data, you are driving your captured audience to then do something you want them to do. Basically, you are earning their feedback and then in turn controlling what they will potentially do next after giving you their knowledge. For satisfaction surveys, if they score high enough in their satisfaction, drive them to leave your brand a review. If you want to build an email list, then use an assessment to not only capture their email address but give them something of value in return and drive them towards action items that matter to them and to you. There are a few systems out there you can use for this. We use Catch Engine for assessment marketing.

The Space Between Owned and Rented

Gain some control over a rented space for your messaging. This one is all about Pay Per Click Ad campaigns. Facebook Ads, Google Ads, Youtube Ads – you name it Digital Ads.

For this arena, it’s all about great content and crafting the right audiences for your ads. The nice thing is that you can control exactly who can see your ad campaigns on platforms like Google and Facebook. These platforms are getting eerily good at tracking everything from individuals’ interests to income to job groups to family dynamics. Seriously, it’s messed up, but man can it be effective.

Know your audience, research your competitors, craft your message, spend some money on design and start testing campaigns against each other with different focus groups.

You don’t have to spend tens of thousands of dollars to run decently successful digital ad campaigns that focus on lead conversion. Sometimes $40 on the right boosted post on Facebook, with the right audience, can generate 5 deck jobs. We had it happen for one of our construction clients.

Wrap It Up, Nick

This is a fairly brief overview of what I dive into in my seminar, but hopefully, it gives you something to think about when considering your marketing strategy. All three auditoriums are crucial to local lead conversion, long-term brand development and marketing success, and do not neglect the spaces between. And if you’d rather have someone else handle your marketing, don’t hesitate to contact us. Cheers y’all!

3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before a Website Redesign

website redesign

Sometimes it can be hard to know where to start, especially when embarking on a website redesign. At Alter Endeavors, we try to break the process down into steps to get a clearer picture of what exactly we need to do to create a new and improved website for our clients. As an example of the steps we take, our Projects Assistant at AE, Rachel Clark, has narrowed it down to the three questions to ask before beginning a website redesign.

1) What is my timeframe/budget?

A lot of the time companies want to launch their site around a specific event such as a holiday, a book launch, a date that is relevant to their industry, etc. So when discussing your timeframe, you need to be sure to plan accordingly if you are trying to launch by a specific date or event. For example, our client Steve H Lawton planned to have the website redesign launch at the same time as his new book release for optimal traffic. After discussing your timeframe, it is time to figure out your budget. At AE, we discuss a baseline budget without clients at the beginning. That being said, we know that ideas and plans can change throughout the creative process of re-designing a website so we also discuss the importance of a “flexible budget” so that we can adjust along the way if necessary.

2) What do I want to change?

Next in line, is deciding how much of your website you want to change. Is it a single page, a quiz, or your whole website you want to revamp? Are you trying to keep your current content or completely redo what you have? What are you trying to change about the design of the website? Do you like your current colors and logo or do you want to create a completely new brand guide? All of these questions are important to consider before starting a website redesign.

3) Who do I want to work on it?

Your final decision to make before re-designing your website is who you want to work on this project. Do you want to do all of the work yourself? Do you have an employee who has website experience that you want to head up the project? Are you both going to collaborate together or are you going to give them the reins? Or, do you need to hire someone to do the re-design for you? When making this decision you need to consider who has the time necessary to take on this project. A website redesign can be a large task and you don’t want it to be forgotten about or swept under the rug because you are too busy to give it your energy and focus.

A lot of the time, our employees at AE are given different projects and tasks based off of their expertise or interest in the area. For example, our employee Nic Weiss was put on the team handling our client Aero Designed Systems because of his interest in how things work. By matching up our employees to clients in industries they are interested in, we are able to ensure the best overall performance we have to offer.

Now that you know the 3 questions to ask yourself before re-designing your website, it’s time to get the ball rolling. If you answered “who do I want to work on it” with hiring outside help, take a look at our Portfolio Page at Alter Endeavors and Contact Us if you like what you see!