Filtering by Tag: Los Angeles

Casa Victoria

Casa Victoria is a funky furniture shop in the hip Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles. With inventory ranging from 1930’s art deco pieces through to matching President Lincoln book ends – they have a lot of stuff to show off and were looking for an easy way to do it that didn’t involve trekking to a “web guy” every week.

Casa Victoria La - by Kilted Chaos

The approach here was to make the site as image heavy as possible without slowing it down. Use of CSS image sprites add interest while keeping page loads light and a cunning twist on category management allows the owners to easily arrange their inventory while maximizing visibility.

To keep server space down, product images are stored on Flickr and to ensure maximum visibility have a creative commons license – increasing the possibility that Casa Victoria inventory will be seen on other sites. To add a new item the owners simple create a new blog post – paste in the id of the product image on Flickr and the Flickr product set into the shortcode and bam – a new product is listed within the right category – couldn’t be easier.

Add to that a simple styling job on the Casa Victoria Twitter and Facebook pages – hook everything together and you have a super easy to use and incredibly effective approach to promoting a local business.

  • PLATFORM - Wordpress
  • Theme - Thesis 1.6
  • Key Plugins: Flickr Gallery (Easy images + added SEO)
  • Price point of Site: $550

Adding Your Business To Yelp Is Easy

What kind of a business turns down ½ a billion dollars?

For local business owners who think that social networking is a fad and that sites like Facebook and Yelp are childish nonsense that have nothing to do with their business, this is your wake up call. Last week Facebook beat Google as the number 1 most visited website and back in December Yelp turned down a Google buyout of $500 million (and apparently later rejected another offer of $750M from a different party.)

The success of these sites is the clearest indicator yet that if you are not actively working the online space – you losing out. Yes we know there are only so many hours in the day and yes we know some of you can barely type, but to be in business in 2010 means you need these skills.

A while back we did a simple walk through on how to add your business to Google Local Business and we thought it might be fun to do the same for Yelp. Of course you can have us do this for you, we’ll work with you to get the right language, imagery, etc, etc – but if you’ve got the time – it’s pretty easy – here you go:

So first off - get yourself to the Yelp Business Home Page - you'll find it right here - https://biz.yelp.com/ - and it looks like this. Watch the video if you have time or go ahead and click "Get A Business owner Account"

Yelp Business Owners - Find Your Business on yelp

Here's where you type in the name of your business and the city - if you're well established it is likely that someone has already entered your business into Yelp - at that point you can "Claim" your business - but that's a tutorial for another time (it's pretty much the same as this though!) Anyway - go ahead and see if you're already in there

Yelp Business Owners - Find Your Business on yelp

If Yelp can't find you they'll suggest a few options - I kinda like the idea of tilted chaos - still - if nothing recognizeable appears - then click on the "Having trouble finding your business?" link

Yelp Business Owners - Find Your Business on yelp

..and you'll arrive on this nice entry form - enter your details using your business email address

Yelp Business Owners - Add Your Business on Yelp

And voila - you arrive here and your Business page is almost ready to be published, but Yelp needs to confirm your email addresss but this part of the process is pretty quick so by the time you go to your inbox you ashould already have...

Yelp Business Owners - Business ready To be published

This email - click the link and you arrive back at Yelp and your page has been created. But what next?

Yelp Business Owners - Verify Your  Email

If you read the above email again you'll see that the Yelp customer support team has to review your submission before you can claim your page and start editing it. So - you have to wait.

If you're lucky the following email will arrive within 30 minutes - but it can take longer - the last two we set up took 5 minutes.

Yelp Business Owners - Claim Business Page Email

So - having clicked on the link - you arrive here. In order to edit your Yelp Business page - you need a Yelp Business Account (it's free) and takes less than a minute to set up.

Yelp Business Owners - Set up Your Yelp Business owners Account Page

It's quite simple - you fill in the following form using your business email address and once again Yelp will send you a confirmation email which will take you to..

Yelp Business Owners - Set up Your Yelp Business owners Account Page

Ta Da! - You've created the page and now you have access to it. So it's time to get busy adding your information

Yelp Business Owners - Congratulations Page


Next comes a series of 6 screens where you get to enter information about your business, your logo, descriptions of what you do and how you do it as well as some info about you - the person behind the business. Seeing as business is all about time it seems fitting that the first screen is about your opening hours....

Right - we'd love it so that business hours are only 9 to 5 - hell - if you can get away with it - good luck to you. The strange thing about this page is that even though you will enter them here - for some reason the system doesn't take it and you will need to enter them again at the end of the process - so - don't worry too much about getting them in here - move on...

Yelp Business Owners - Business Hours Page

This is our favorite part of the whole Yelp business page - you can put an offer right in front of your reviewers - how cool is that. If you can - make it special to just your Yelp customers - i.e. - if you're reading this on Yelp and you come in and say the magic codeword (which today is Bananas) you'll get 20% of your check - try it out - you'd be amazed at the loyalty this kind of tool creates.

Yelp Business Owners - Offer Page

This is your elevator speech - you know - the one where you have a couple of sentences to say really succintly what it is you do and how you do it. Don't be over the top - you are writing for one person only - the person reading this page - you may be the best but really - there's so much over exaggerated crap that nobody is believable anymore - write the basics and let your customers and reviewers say that you're the best - capiche?

Yelp Business Owners - Business Specialties Page

You need a Square image - any size will do - but it has to be square. Load up as many as you like - maybe a few shots of happy smiley customers or you handing a big check to charity - that kind of thing.

Yelp Business Owners - Business Photos Page

Does the President use your services? This is where you choose to share that (or not!) make it relevant and avoid the hyperbole - write as if you were speaking to someone face to face - and for god's sake be honest!

Yelp Business Owners - Business History Page

Here's where you get to upload your smiling face - and yes - we strongly recommend that you have a picture of yourself. Icons and branding are great for business identity but this bit is about you and you have to appear human (even if you're really an evil cyborg.) Whatever your personality is - make sure it comes across in the text - if you're not a big talker - leave it very business focused - what skills have you learned along the way that will influence a reader to use your services - if you're a crazy gregarious person - let it rip - share as much of yourself as you are comfortable with.

Yelp Business Owners - Business owner's Bio Page

You will finally arrive on the following page. Annoyingly enough it isn't quite 100% complete - for some reason you have to go back and add your hours again. Not quite sure why it doesn't take it earlier - but there you go!

Yelp Business Owners - Summary Page

So - having added your hours - you can finally go and check out your new Yelp Business owner's Page:

Yelp Business Owners - Complete Business Page

Awesome!

Not exactly rocket science but it helps if you have all your information ready and in one place. And of course, if you're thinking strategically - you will be using the same information and visual branding across all of your social media sites.

having set up your Yelp page you now need to make an active effort to check it regularly and to respond to customers - again - more on that another time.

Kilted Chaos - Colorado

Kilted Chaos - Los Angeles

Digital Music News

If you’re thinking of your band as a business – (which we sincerely hope you are by now) then there is another read that you might want to incorporate into your daily routine: Digital Music News.  Written by Scion of the business Paul Resnikoff and his team out of Los Angeles, the Daily Snapshot is delivered to 20,000 subscribers every morning around 5 AM and has everything you need to negotiate that fat 360 deal with the label.

Let's not allow the fans to kill the music

I met Paul at the 2nd Bandwidth conference in San Francisco a few years back; for a journalist who operates in such a turbulent market he was one of the most positive and enthusiastic guys there – you can tell that he eats, sleeps and breathes the music world.  I’ve been reading DMN for 4 years now and if I had to choose one industry publication over all others – this would be it.

Aimed at Industry executives – the snapshot’s content tends to be data driven (which is reassuring!) backed up with thoughtful analysis in digestible bite size paragraphs.  Relevant ads from companies whose services you might actually want to use as well as the latest conference dates and industry jobs makes it a great top level start to the day.

Twitter Followers are like Lovers

Actually they’re also like steak, haircuts and ideas – there’s no point in having a lot of them if they suck (well – maybe not the lovers…) I write this post because my brother in law to be recently asked me what I thought of one of those automated Twitter follower services; you know – the ones that promise to get you a million followers by lunchtime.  Eric runs a growing Real estate business in Los Angeles and we recently hooked him up with a Social Media integrated website - he’s been blogging and tweeting diligently for the last few months and like everyone else is concerned with the number of Twitter followers he has.

The thinking goes that if one follower is good then 2 followers are better; if you’re tweeting about your business then the more followers you have the more likely it is that someone will see your information.  And yes – to some extent this is true and from that perspective it makes sense to sign up with these services and grow your base – however…

Both Alex and I have been using Twitter since 2007, my @andrewmccluskey account started on 10/08/07 and now has 877 followers.  I have never used an automated follower service, neither has Alex and we were chatting about this the other day.  Aside from the fact that many of these services over the years have turned out to be nefarious organizations that take your login information to send out spam tweets to your user base (and you’d be amazed by how many “smart” people fall for it,) there’s something fundamentally flawed behind the mass growth strategy.

There’s a great post from Anil Dash on the impact of having hundreds of thousands of twitter followers and what that actually meant to how his information was getting distributed.  In essence his point is that there is really no point in having many followers unless those people were truly interested in you in the first place.  In terms of getting your message out and stimulating interaction – it’s the quality of followers that counts – not the number.

We’re going to have a look at some of these services over the coming months and see if any are actually worthwhile.  There is some sense to having a service that identifies tweets that reflect keywords of interest & suggests followers but both Alex and I shy away from the automatic follow.  When we looked at our behavior, if we’re considering following someone we will check out their profile, read through their most recent tweets and often check out their website before we choose to follow.  Without going through that process you dramatically increase the signal to noise ratio of your twitter stream and who needs that?

Bottom line for small businesses - if you’re producing a business relevant stream then people looking for your type of business will find you.  If you’re writing “sticky” tweets then people are going to re-tweet them anyway – it’s the quality over quantity concept all over again.

There’s a word for people who focus on the superficial and short term benefits of social media measurements such as number of Twitter followers – broke!  Focus on the quality of your output and the quantity of your followers will grow naturally – and most importantly to your business they’ll be genuinely interested in what you have to say.

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