Twitter Link Roundup #267 – Flawless Resources for Small Business, Startups, and Design! Mike | May 1st, 2015

Where does creativity come from? Apparently it flows straight from the fingers, and this amazing guy shows us how it is an unstoppable force! This man has developed a technique that lets his creativity flow in way that is thoroughly unique and incredibly special. As I type this, I can’t help but think of what this artist would be doing if he were typing this particular blog post!

OK. Close your mouth and take a breath, because it’s time for our weekly Roundup! This week’s set of beauteous links and delicious articles that we shared with you over the past week on our  crowdSPRING Twitter account (as well as my own Twitter account) is keyboard perfection! We just love sharing articles about fonts, logo design, web design, startups, entrepreneurship, small business, leadership, social media, marketing, economics and other interesting stuff! Enjoy!

smallbusinessblog

How An 80-Year-Old Park Avenue Institution Went Digital In Just 80 Days bit.ly/1bDSip4

Pixel And Dimed: On (Not) Getting By In The Gig Economy bit.ly/1D7Ftuv

What to Do If a Feud Threatens Your Family Business bit.ly/1QaKvzs

World’s Coolest Jobs: How Fenway Park’s Organist Strikes A Chord With Fans bit.ly/1G0QTAT

Small Business and Startup Tips: Analyzing Your Search Data | @crowdSPRING Blog – bit.ly/1EFd59a

startupsblog

The “Greenest Schools On Earth” Do More Than Put Solar Panels On The Roof bit.ly/1blB5Bl

Why Revenue Isn’t the Most Important Financial Metric for Startups – buff.ly/1DhyQo4

When the Cyberbully Is You nytimes.com/2015/04/30/sty…

How Philosophy Makes You a Better Leader -buff.ly/1HVDrmI

A Technical Founder’s Notes on Sales Team Management – buff.ly/1aV8cL4

30 Startup Lessons – buff.ly/1DIXcZy

The Most Important Change You Can Make to Prepare for 2020 bit.ly/1QaLoYP

Google accused of abusing its search engine dominance bit.ly/1yLzKhK

Fooled by Experience bit.ly/1QaKs6B

Why You Should Kill Your Competitor in SaaS | SaaStr – buff.ly/1Fq5lqe

The Beatles Ignored Their (Surprisingly Harsh) Early Critics, and You Should Too bit.ly/1cRotSS

Is Slack Really Worth $2.8 Billion? A Conversation With Stewart Butterfield nyti.ms/1JZMxhm

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Fresh from the SPRING: ShahabasPoozhithara Audree | April 29th, 2015

When perusing our galleries here on crowdSPRING, we see some amazing work submitted in the projects. Today, we noticed this gem submitted in this logo project.

Let us start the slow clap for ShahabasPoozhithara. Check out more great work on ShahabasPoozhitharaFFS-ShahabasPoozhithara’s profile page.

Nicely done, ShahabasPoozhithara, nicely done!

Small Business and Startup Tips: Analyzing Your Search Data Mike | April 27th, 2015

SEO is simple. NOT! Virtually every business relies to a certain extent on where they will appear in an online search for their service, product, or company name. Online businesses, in particular spend massive resources to ensure that they rank highly on Google, Bing, etc. for any relevant search and most spend a significant percentage of their marketing budget to define the best keywords, optimize their websites, and execute on their strategies.

To most managers (and I absolutely include myself in this group) SEO is an opaque mess. The wizards who make a living at this work are enigmatic masters of an obscure and mysterious art. They speak a language that most of us find to be bafflegab and trying to understand them can make one’s head explode.

This doesn’t diminish the importance of understanding the basics of SEO, nor does it excuse you from doing your homework and learning the basics. There are plenty of great resources out there on the interwebs, and it is critical that managers take the time to develop at least a rudimentary understanding of this puzzling and inscrutable art. A great place to start is with the wonderful primer available via Moz, the online resource for everything SEO.

Now just because SEO strategy may be over your head, this doesn’t mean that you can’t effectively track your rankings and keywords to gain a clearer understanding of where you stand in relation to, well, everyone else in the world. Little too broad for you? OK fine, then start by understanding where you rank for the keywords most important to your business. For instance, if you are a catering company, you’ll want to track words like catering, wedding planning, events, bar mitzvah, party, etc, etc to see if your company shows up when someone searches for terms like those. Get your list together now, because you’re going to use it as you follow these steps to track your search results!

1. Fetch!

You’re going to download your data now, but first you’ll need to set up an account on Google’s Webmaster Tools which should take you all of 5 minutes (here’s a great how-it-works video). Once you’ve got your site set up, you’ll have a look to better understand how search results lead to your website’s traffic. How’s that, you say? In the left hand menu, click on “Search Traffic” and then “Search Queries.” This will display a graph that represents the number of impressions your company received (i.e. the number of users who viewed a page of search results in which your company included), as well as the number of people who clicked through to your website. Below the graph is a table that lists the actual search terms people typed in as well as columns for number of impressions for each query, as well as clicks, click through rate (CTR) and your average position in the results (1-10 equals page one of the results, 11-20 is page 2, etc). You can sort these results by clicking on the column headers and you can also mouse over the graph to check your totals day by day.

Now it’s time to start your download, week-by-week. First you’ll want to see all of the search terms which results in your company being listed, even the most arcane (think longtail); the default for this page is the top 25 search terms, but you can use the pulldown above the table on the right to display 500 rows of data. In addition the prior 30 days of data is automatically displayed, but for the purpose of this exercise, you’ll want to click on the date buttons upper right to look at one week at a time.  Set the date for a one-week range as far back as the site will allow (note: Webmaster tools only provides the past 90 days of results).

When you have a single week of data displayed, click the “Download this table” buttons on the upper left to create a CSV file which we will use shortly. Change the date range to the next week and repeat until you have 12 or 13 downloaded CSV files. You’ll want to rename these files in a manner which makes sense to you do you can keep them organized; I like to use dates or other specific identifiers when naming multiple files of data. Now the fun can commence!

2. Week over week over week.

Right now, you’re probably asking yourself,  “Why do I have a dozen data files and what am I supposed to do with them?” Well let me tell you: you’re going to copy them into a new Excel spreadsheet and get to work. That’s right – fire up Excel, and get a brand new clean workbook in front of you. This workbook needs to have one tab for each file you’ve downloaded – if you have 12 data files, create one tab for each; I like to rename the tabs so they match the CSV files I will be copying into each one. Once you have your weekly tabs created, simply open those CSV files in excel and copy/paste the data from each into the corresponding tab. Don’t forget to save your work!

3. Pick up the tabs.

Each of your tabs will look exactly the same as the others, with the same column headers and the same number of rows (501, including the header). For you to manipulate the data, however, you’ll need to add a few more columns to the right of the data in each tab: Date, Year, Month, and Week. For the date, which will be in Column F of your worksheets, simply use the first date of the week that this particular data-set represents; for instance, if it is for the week of March 1st – March 8th, simply type in 3/1/15 and copy it down the entire column. In Row 2 of the “Year,” “Month,” and “Week”  columns type in these formulas: =year(F2), =month(F2), and =weeknum(F2). Copy those three formulas down their entire columns to fully populate your data-set. (Tip: I like to highlight the added columns in yellow, so I can see at a glance which are the original columns of data and which I have added.)

4. Aggregate.

Now create yet another new tab, this one labeled “Aggregated” and copy the full data-set from each individual tab (including your yellow columns) into this tab; when you finish this little chore you should have a master data-set that has thousands of rows of numbers and includes your date, year, month, and week columns. This becomes your “master” set and contains the full 90 days worth of data and will allow you now to track performance week-over-week, which is something that Webmaster Tools does not provide for.

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Twitter Link Roundup #266 – Irreproachable Resources for Small Business, Startups, and Design! Mike | April 24th, 2015

Why are passwords so important? If anyone should be able to answer this question it is Edward Snowden, he of NSA whistle-blower fame. John Oliver asks this simple question as part of an important and wide-ranging interview. Oh yea, not to mention it’s hysterical!

When you finish changing up your own passwords, turn your attention right back here! Why? Because it’s time for our weekly Roundup! This week’s set of great links and articles that we shared with you over the past week on our  crowdSPRING Twitter account (as well as my own Twitter account) is perfectly secure! We so like to talk about fonts, logo design, web design, startups, entrepreneurship, small business, leadership, social media, marketing, economics and other interesting stuff! Enjoy!

smallbusinessblog

What Running A Company And Racing Cars Have In Common bit.ly/1F7WDN8

5 Ways to Boost Your Home Office Productivity bit.ly/1blqKp3

The Last Days Of Streit’s, New York’s Jewish Willy Wonka Factory bit.ly/1G0HYQ8

Signs You Shouldn’t Work With a Customer noobpreneur.com/2015/03/25/12-…

startupsblog

5 Things Entrepreneurs Can Learn From Artists | @crowdSPRING Blog – bit.ly/1DYSQ3Q

The Startup Revolution Is About To Surge Again bit.ly/1yLp2YC

3 Things That Successful Entrepreneurs Know About Data entrepreneur.com/article/244771

The Coming Workforce Crisis linkedin.com/pulse/coming-w…

Study: Introverts Are More Adaptable at Work inc.com/laura-montini/…

Funding Strategies to Start a Business When You’re Low on Money entrepreneur.com/article/242901

Pay Attention: You Need to Understand These 5 Women’s Issues inc.com/gene-marks/5-i…

Why the Bubble Question Doesn’t Matter -buff.ly/1aT4uBz

How A Founder Can Think Like An Investor At The First Outside Round Of Funding – buff.ly/1HaGxnH

Emotional Intelligence Doesn’t Translate Across Borders | HBR – buff.ly/1Gjmrr9

Anger Management: Why the Genius.com Founders Turned to Couples Therapy nytimes.com/2015/04/19/fas…

How Philosophy Makes You a Better Leader -buff.ly/1HVDrmI

DOA: Can Your Business Survive These Top 5 Security Threats? huffingtonpost.com/john-rampton/d…

Will the New Concierge Economy Mean the End of the Errand? nymag.com/daily/intellig…

Having constraints helps you to succeed … Constrained – buff.ly/1JRykD9

Why Revenue Isn’t the Most Important Financial Metric for Startups buff.ly/1DhyQo4

A Technical Founder’s Notes on Sales Team Management – buff.ly/1aV8cL4

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Fresh from the SPRING: coyotejack Audree | April 22nd, 2015

When perusing our galleries here on crowdSPRING, we see some amazing work submitted in the projects. Today, we noticed this gem submitted in this clothing project.

Let us start the slow clap for coyotejack. Check out more great work on coyotejack‘s profile page.

Nicely done, coyotejack, nicely done!

FFS-coyotejack

5 Things Entrepreneurs Can Learn From Artists Mike | April 20th, 2015

Art inspires in ways sometimes difficult to articulate. Ideas, metaphors, and themes are the product that artists traffic in, and their ability to  galvanize their audiences in a powerful, indirect way can stir us in profound ways.

Yet, while we celebrate, even lionize the greatest of our artists we simultaneously relegate the vast majority to poverty and struggle. Our culture at once values art, while devaluing the artists among us. Like artists, entrepreneurs rise and fall not only on their creativity and the quality of their ideas, but on their ability to execute, and on their productivity. But, just as with most artists, creativity, hard work, and the ability to execute are not, in themselves, enough to guarantee success. Sometimes the best of entrepreneurial ideas fail to rise to the top, just as many wonderful and talented painters will never succeed on their chosen path.

I look at a lot of visual art and draw deep inspiration from the artists whose work I view. While I derive so much from the art I view on exhibition, I empathize most especially with the artists whose work I never get to see – those who produce, who generate ideas, who focus on their work in the absence of audience, with little solid measure of success – in so many ways, these are the true artists, just as the hidden entrepreneurs struggling to generate ideas and launch their own works represent the truest part of ourselves.

1. Focus. Artists learn early to focus on the work at hand. And when I refer to “work” I am referring to it ion both senses of the word – work as “product” as well as “process.” Entrepreneurs, too, need to stay focused on both the “product” that they are building – its functionality, its ability to solve a problem, or its potential to relieve the users pain. They also need to keep focus on the process; it is of critical importance that anyone starting a business prioritize their own workflow and maintain personal productivity and efficiency.

2.Imagination. Artists reside on a foundation built of great imagination and Entrepreneurs can also learn to use imagination as a strong tool. The ability to develop a vision of what your product or service can do, where no one else can is a powerful competitive barrier and should be leveraged whenever possible. We talk a lot about creativity and entrepreneurism, but creativity starts with the ability to imagine something and to then bring it to life.

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Twitter Link Roundup #265 – Exemplary Resources for Small Business, Startups, and Design! Mike | April 17th, 2015

I like to think of myself as chameleon-like, able to adjust to fit into whatever the surrounding or with whomever is around me. But, I got nothing on these two women! Artist Johannes Stoetter’s work focuses on fine-art body painting and he has raised the bar to extreme heights. Click play on the video above and watch his work come to life!

So try your best to blend into the surroundings, because it’s time for our weekly Roundup! Here is a big ‘ol batch of great links and articles we shared with you over the past week on our  crowdSPRING Twitter account (as well as my own Twitter account). We so like to talk about fonts, logo design, web design, startups, entrepreneurship, small business, leadership, social media, marketing, economics and other interesting stuff! Enjoy!

smallbusinessblog

In Newark, a Vertical Indoor Farm Helps Anchor an Area’s Revival nytimes.com/glogin?URI=htt…

5 Tips For Small Businesses During Tax Season forbes.com/sites/drewhend…

Amazon, Google and More Are Drawn to Home Services Market nytimes.com/2015/04/13/tec…

Essential Financing Terms Every Small-Business Owner Should Understand – NerdWalletnerdwallet.com/blog/small-bus…

Successful Business Owners Should Focus on “Five C’s” When Offering Services – Small Biz Dailybit.ly/1GLYIOM

startupsblog

Small Business and Startups: Management for the Joy Of It | @crowdSPRING Blog – bit.ly/1CGkhu2

How Google Destroyed Internet Explorer, Visualized bit.ly/1Nactfq

How to Stay Positive in the Face of Doubt bit.ly/1FCAVPI

Howard Schultz is Giving His Employees Free College Educations — And is Ready for Critics (Again) linkedin.com/pulse/howard-s…

Culture Hack: Cheers for Peers – buff.ly/1JNVo5A

What factors help the best entrepreneurs succeed – buff.ly/1PDzuX4

How to Launch Your Digital Platform bit.ly/1GLYFm9

Brainstorming with Marc Andreessen | Fortune -buff.ly/1DWRmZN

The Innovator’s Dilemma for SaaS Startups | by @ttunguzbuff.ly/1cp7xD9

7 Steps to Building Better Business Relationships inc.com/ken-lin/7-step…

CEOs Need Mentors Too bit.ly/1GpIEDT

The Executive Coach’s Guide to Hacking Leadership bit.ly/1yWvgiO

Reinventing Performance Management bit.ly/1GpIEUg

Kris Bryant, the Baseball Players’ Union and a Lesson for Labor nytimes.com/2015/04/07/bus…

Jeff Bezos’s 5 Most Daring Career Moves inc.com/graham-winfrey…

USCIS Reaches FY 2016 H-1B Cap | USCIS uscis.gov/news/news-rele…

What Steve Harvey Knows About Storytelling in Business inc.com/graham-winfrey…

A Conversation With Anthony Hsieh of loanDepot nytimes.com/glogin?URI=htt…

Do You Have a Severe Case of Modern Life? Tips to Focus and Succeed linkedin.com/pulse/do-you-h…

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Fresh from the SPRING: martinroy Audree | April 15th, 2015

When perusing our galleries here on crowdSPRING, we see some amazing work submitted in the projects. Today, we noticed this gem submitted in this logo project.

Let us start the slow clap for martinroy. Check out more great work on martinroy’s profile page.

Nicely done, martinroy, nicely done!

 

FFS-martinroy

Small Business and Startups: Management for the Joy Of It Mike | April 13th, 2015

Business owners and managers tend to focus on business. This is right and this is good; it is our responsibility to our stakeholders to responsibly lead our companies towards success and to prioritize operations and profitability. We work hard every day to improve efficiency, acquire customers, increase margins, analyze results, craft strategy, execute tactics, and track growth. What we don’t always work so hard at is improving ourselves, supporting our team, and making our companies forces for growing good.

As leaders there is much we can do to set an example and to be a guide for others. But it must first start with ourselves; strong managers must develop the ability to self-reflect; to provide a kind of internal feedback to ourselves, much like we provide feedback to our employees. And just like periodic performance reviews can go far towards developing talented workers, internal reviews can help managers to be better at what they do and to continuously develop themselves into better leaders, better strategists, and better employers. And, as a result we will have better companies, more loyal customers, and a competitive edge in building and retaining the strongest of teams.

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Twitter Link Roundup #264 – Quintessential Resources for Small Business, Startups, and Design! Mike | April 10th, 2015

Skin cancer is a scourge. And dalmatian puppies are just about the cutest things that ever walked the earth.  Put the two together and what do you get? A genius marketing campaign and a public service effort that is attention grabbing (not to mention, “awwww” inducing). Have a look at the video above and see if you agree!

Enough with adorable dogs? Good! Because it’s time for our weekly Roundup! Here is a whole litter of great links and articles we shared with you over the past week on our  crowdSPRING Twitter account (as well as my own Twitter account). We so like to talk about fonts, logo design, web design, startups, entrepreneurship, small business, leadership, social media, marketing, economics and other interesting stuff! Enjoy!

smallbusinessblog

Snapchat for Small Business: Consider 3 Key Factors crowdspring.co/1xWxtu0

Lean Marketing: Basic Metrics You Should be Watching. Now. | crowdSPRING Blog – bit.ly/1CHJc3M

Small Business and Startups: Mind the Gap | crowdSPRING Blog –bit.ly/1Eambdb

Meet the small businesses making millions from online marketplaces crowdspring.co/1LPs3wB

Company Growth: Why everything breaks at 25 employees crowdspring.co/1MyQOtN

How to Build Your Digital Business with the “MVP” Process crowdspring.co/1DQd8hl

Small Business and Startups: Sustainability and Your Company | crowdSPRING Blog – bit.ly/1HLRlsi

Companies run by women perform better crowdspring.co/1LPs3g6

startupsblog

Putting More “You” in Your Business—A Guide to Building Brand Personality crowdspring.co/1xWxzli

Build an Organization That’s Less Busy and More Strategic bit.ly/1yWveap

Eight genuinely useful tools for domain name generation crowdspring.co/1N24v4y

Don’t Buy Into the Lies — It’s Possible to Have a Career and a Family crowdspring.co/1Bbcftz

Richard Branson to Entrepreneurs: Shoot for the Moon (But Be Prepared to Crash) bit.ly/1CiN5NR

FAIL ACADEMY: Top Reasons Startups Fail bit.ly/1HuK3t2

Job-Boosting Skills You Can Learn In A Weekend bit.ly/1N2ac2C

From Chicago’s 1871: Howard Tullman’s heavily caffeinated life crowdspring.co/1EAvVe5

15-year-old entrepreneur Brooke Martin on her ‘nerve-wracking’ Shark Tank appearance this week – GeekWire – crowdspring.co/1xWCYc2

Malcolm Gladwell on What Really Makes People Disruptive crowdspring.co/1BJ7iau

The Evolution Of Steve Jobs crowdspring.co/1BbcdSo

At Kodak, Clinging to a Future Beyond Film nyti.ms/1HuK6Vw

The Biggest Business Comebacks Of The Past 20 Years crowdspring.co/1BJ5wGs

Reasons Why You Should Network Less entm.ag/1xWH3Nw

Why Aren’t Women-Owned Businesses Growing Faster? | OPEN Forum bit.ly/1HskbdO

New Tips From Guy Kawasaki on Startup Funding bit.ly/1BnUZAH

Richard Branson on Challenges: It’s More Fun Being David Than Goliath crowdspring.co/1CRUBkM

Toms Founder: 3 Killer Advantages of Social Impact Businesses bit.ly/1DQjFZq

Catching Up with Basecamp Founder Jason Fried crowdspring.co/1xWv9mH

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