Ohio Social Media and SEO Company

I have been involved with social media marketing and SEO in Ohio since 2005 on a personal basis.  I have built websites and got them to rank on search engines like Google and Yahoo with a lot of number one page ranks.  This means that when I write something and publish it on the internet, it usually gets seen.

Do you have a business that you would like to have get more attention when people perform searches on Google, Yahoo or Bing? Many small business owners don't have the time to learn the complexities of social media marketing or SEO, that is where I come in.  I have already spent years learning the craft and will do the work for you.  I am primarily interested in working with business owners here in Ohio.  I like working with companies on a one on one basis.  I want to be able to visit with you, get to know you and your business.  A lot of companies are outsourcing their work to India, Pakistan or other foreign companies.  I like to personally get to know the people I do business with and that is hard to do if you are thousands of miles away and have language barriers to deal with.

I own Lima's Gallery 309, a flea market and consignment store in Lima Ohio and and work out of my office at the market.  Feel free to drop by, introduce yourself and discuss your internet marketing needs.  I will be happy to tailor a program to build your presence on the various social media networks as well as market your company by using good SEO techniques enabling you to be found on Google as well as other search engines.

Stay connect on Facebook at Ohio Social Media Marketing
Stay connected on Google+ J. Michael Warner

Facebook Business Page

Turbocharge Your Facebook Page For Business

If you are on the net then most likely you have a personal Facebook page.  As a small business owner the ability to market for free using Facebook presents a fantastic opportunity.  Marketing using a Facebook Business Page allows one to reach a potential audience that you could not reach any other way.

I am writing this mostly for small business owners, mom and pop operations that don't have a big budget for advertising.  Nothing wrong with having a nice budget for marketing and advertising, but if you don't have the cash these days you can get sweat equity in your business by spending some time marketing on the Internet.

To get started with your Facebook Business Page click here:  Create a Facebook Business Page

The setting up of the page is fairly self explanatory.  One of the most important things to do is make sure of your business name prior to starting the page.  Facebook used to let people start a page and take it through different iterations and along with that, name changes.  Now they are only letting you change your name one time.  There is an option that allows one to merge pages, but even that can be complicated.  If they determine that the pages are not similar enough then the permission to merge will be denied.  I would think that if two companies merged or if one bought the other out, you could probably go through a process to get the page merged accomplished.  Just put some thought into what you are doing, you don't want to build a lot of followers up on a FB page and then later on down the road have to start over.  Like a lot of other companies Facebook changes the rules on a regular basis so try to stay one step ahead of them.

This article is an introductory article for getting started on your Facebook Business Page.  I will include more info and strategies in future articles.  I read as much as possible myself and recommend others do the same.
A good book on Facebook for business is:  Facebook for Business Owners: Facebook Marketing For Fan Page Owners and Small Businesses (Social Media Marketing) (Volume 2)

  1. When picking out your cover photo and profile picture the most important thing to remember is to use images that reflect what your business is.  First impressions are everything!  Don't have a Facebook page that leaves people asking the question, "What are they all about?"  
  2. Once your page is set up FB will give you the option of inviting all your friends to like your page.  Invite everyone you know unless they are someone that has the potential to cause you problems.  You don't need drama from your personal life on your Facebook business page.  If someone starts some personal drama on your FB business page, delete them from the page and ban them.  Nuff said!
  3. Put images in most, if not all of your posts.  A lot of people look more at the pictures than read, take advantage of that even if it is making an image with phrases in the image.
  4. It is recommended that you post on a consistent and regular basis.  Personally I don't do anything on a consistent and regular basis, but I can understand why one should and why it is recommended.  As a page administrator you get to see how many people see, like and share your page and posts.  I have noticed that if I post in the evening the post get seen by more people.  If the post is interesting it will get likes and shares.
  5. The most important buttons on your Facebook Business Page are the like, comment and share buttons.  Whether you are helping build a page up for another friend in business or promoting your own page, the utilizing of those buttons is of utmost importance.  It does not matter if you have thousands of likes to your page.  If you have no one like and/or share the post, you are wasting your time.  
  6. When you make a post that post will pop up on the timelines of those who have liked your page, if they are on Facebook at the time that happens, they will see it.  If they are not on Facebook, it could still show up on their timeline, but they may never see it unless they are in the unusual habit of perusing their entire timeline each time they get online.  Facebook has an algorithm that determines who gets to see a post and when.  If a post gets enough likes then Facebook will sometimes push the post up on the timelines of those who like your page, but have not seen the post yet.
  7. Comments are great as they show engagement on a different level than that of someone who merely likes a post.  If someone leaves a comment, like and or reply to that comment as applicable. If you get a malicious comment use good judgement in how you handle it.  If it is a customer service type complaint, show the world that you know what you are doing and are willing to make things right for your customers.   If the comment is just someone being a jerk or taking a personal situation to the net to air out with you, delete the comment and ban them from your page.  This is business, not a school playground.
  8. If likes are your page on steroids, then shares are your page on super steroids!   The best thing someone can do for your page or you can do for someone else's page is to share a post.  When you post an article a percentage of the people that liked your page will see the post.  When someone shares that post then everyone that is their friend on Facebook have the potential to see your post and you will gain new fans.  

My next article will be on the basics of Google+, like the share button on Facebook, if Facebook is steroids for your marketing plan, Google+ has the potential to become super steroids for that marketing plan!

Small Business Marketing and Flea Markets

An oft repeated phrase in reference to advertising and marketing is "word of mouth is the best advertising"! Personally, I think that phrase is one of the most naive sayings I have ever heard.  If word of mouth advertising was the best thing since sliced bread then we would never see a McDonald's commercial again. What this saying does to the individual proprietor or small business person is lull them into the false impression that they don't need to advertise or have a marketing plan, word of mouth referrals are all they need to succeed.

I was recently told about a local business that is considered to be successful, yet has never advertised other than signage, business cards and word of mouth. So it is possible, but do you really want to take the chance of putting your time and money into a business endeavor with the attitude that, "if I can't get customers and make this business successful without marketing I would rather fail".  I have never heard anyone actually say that, but I have had quite a few people that may as well have said it.

Years ago if you wanted to come up with a marketing plan and do some advertising on a low budget your options were very limited.  One of the books that I got ideas from was Guerrilla Marketing by J. Conrad Levinson.  He has a new edition out that will be great reading for further research Guerrilla Marketing, 4th edition: Easy and Inexpensive Strategies for Making Big Profits from Your SmallBusiness.

One of the biggest problems I have with advertising is in not knowing what the payout will be.  You can spend $10,000 on advertising and get little to no return!  There are simply no guarantees.  For most of us that is simply unacceptable.  We want a guarantee!

In my current position as owner of Lima's Gallery 309, a flea market in Lima Ohio, I realized that a lot of small business entrepreneurs get started at flea markets.  Some even do quite well making a career selling at flea markets. Many people selling at flea markets never have to think about marketing or advertising. Depending on their situation it simply may not be necessary. If your business is located at a flea market like Shipshewana in Indiana, then you may not need to worry about advertising.  Shipshewana is one of the largest flea markets in the Midwest and pulls in thousands of shoppers every day that they are open.  If they have space available and you can set up there, it is going to cost you around $4 per square foot for your booth space per month.  At Lima's Gallery 309 we are currently charging $1.25 per square foot.  So at LG309 a 200 square foot booth will cost you $250 per month, not bad for a budding entrepreneur.  At Shipshewana the same booth will cost you $800 per month.  If you are located in the bigger market you will need to also have a large enough pocketbook to keep you booth stocked for the six months they are open each year.

I decided to start writing articles that are designed to help small business entrepreneurs succeed.  Going forward I will put together an article at least once a week on this blog that will be designed to help the small business entrepreneur find success especially in the areas of marketing and advertising.

The next article in this series will be about setting up a Facebook Page for your business.  Like it or not the internet is here to stay and if you want to advertise for free or at least inexpensively then this is one of the best places to start.

Small Engine Repair at Lima's Gallery 309

When I took over Lima's Gallery 309 one of my ideas was to get craftsmen that could make products or do services that would be beneficial to the local community.  Here at LG309 we have a 3,000 square foot warehouse that we are converting to a small engine/lawn mower repair shop for the Lima Ohio area.  I  also plan on bringing in welding equipment and doing welding and other metal work as time progresses.

At this point I guess I can say that I am going full circle with the things I have done in life.  As a teenager one of my biggest interest and activities was working on lawnmowers and other small engine equipment.

It all started with my dad bringing home lawnmowers for me to cut the grass, my summer job.  He would buy used lawnmowers from people, swearing up and down that they ran when he bought them.  Most of the time it was a struggle getting them to run.  We always had one of those reel type mowers as back up, you know the type, no motor!  Just me doing the back and forth trying to cut grass that seemed to grow a couple inches a week.  Not something that I wanted to spend time and energy doing.

I was a delivery boy for the Lima News and one of my customers was the Cairo Grain Elevator.  They just happened to have a book for sale on how to repair Briggs & Stratton lawnmowers.  I took my paper route money and invested in that book as well as a set of Craftsman tools and started teaching myself small engine repair.

I would go up and down the alleys of Cairo Ohio looking for discarded lawnmowers that no longer worked. I would drag them home, fix what I could and use the rest for spare parts.  So began the humble beginnings of a small engine repairman.

Here at LG309 I have lined up a couple guys with similar stories to mine.  Guys that love to turn a wrench and have a passion for repairing equipment.  We are excited with the changes we are making and look forward to working on your equipment.

Lima's Gallery 309 aka LG309

The last eight months have been kind of a whirlwind.  First, despite years of claiming no interest in getting involved in a brick and mortar business, despite spending countless hours for the last nine years learning about and monitoring e-commerce, blogging, SEO & SEM, I now own a brick and mortar business.

About seven months ago I made arrangements to set up a display of sheds in the parking lot of a local flea market, Gallery 309.  I thought the location would be great for shed sales as it is right across the street from the Allen County Fairgrounds and right next door to Tractor Supply.  The Allen County Fair actually has the highest attendance of any fair in the state of Ohio and the fairgrounds have numerous activities every month that draw in a lot of people.  Hardin Highway (State Route 309) is also one of the most heavily trafficked roads in Allen County Ohio.  Seemed to be an ideal location if one had storage sheds for sale.  They were only open Friday through Sunday and that would give me the rest of the week for construction projects.

A few weeks after I got my display sheds set up I was informed that the owner of the Gallery 309 Flea Market was in the hospital and was not expected to live and by the way, the Gallery 309 was probably going to close as the lease was up and there was no one to run it.

I did not have the money to buy the Flea Market let alone run it.  So long story short, I talked to the owner of the building, laid out my ideas of how to make it a successful business, gave him the title of my truck to hold as collateral in lieu of a down payment and deposit and took over the business.

Needless to say the last 8 months have been a whirlwind.  The flea market concept had never made the two previous owners a profit.  A couple months into the operation I came to the conclusion that a flea market would probably never be profitable in this particular location.  Many reasons for that conclusion and I did not want to beat a dead horse, so decided to convert the business into a consignment shop and bargain center.

We are still going through a lot of changes.  Currently we are painting the interior of the building as well as some other remodeling projects.  Every week we bring in new items and are working hard at improving the quality of everything we have to offer.  I will elaborate more on that in a later post.

Squash Blossom Necklace and Earrings

Squash Blossom Necklace and Earrings

Beautiful Handmade Native American Squash Blossom Necklace and Earrings available at Lima's Gallery 309

Mustard Porkchop Marinade

Just ate some of the best pork chops ever!  I came up with this marinade for pork chops that is absolutely delicious!  (Note to self, take a break from eating next time and take a picture)

1/2 cup of Kraft Zesty Italian dressing
1 heaping tablespoon of horseradish mustard
1 heaping tablespoon of brown spicy mustard
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper
pinch of thyme

Combine ingredients in a 1 gallon plastic storage/freezer bag.  Put in a couple pounds of pork chops and marinade in the refrigerator for a day or two.  I do it for two days.  Grill the chops at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes until lightly browned.  While grilling, brush the marinade on the chops.  Will make the the best, moistest, tenderest pork chops ever!