In the spirit of keeping each episode to 30-minutes, James and I launch in to some juicy internet marketing discussion around the following topics:
- Geo-arbitrage (listen in the find out what that’s all about).
- Best practice when it comes to creating your permalinks.
- What work to give a VA (Virtual Assistant) if you’ve not employed one before.
We were also hoping to share the listener feedback about whether we’d be holding some underground, live events in Melbourne and Sydney, but we hadn’t posted the last episode before this one went live! We’ll know more in episode 42.
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TIM: Welcome back listeners to Freedom Ocean, your favorite internet marketing podcast from the shores of Australia. I’m one of the hosts Timbo Reid and right there is James Schramko. Good day mate!
JAMES: Good day! How are you doing Timbo?
TIM: Couldn’t be finer. I was going to say couldn’t be finer 69er. But that would put off some of our listeners.
JAMES: You would offend another listener.
TIM: I would. I would. So, I won’t say that. That would be rude. Mate, I’m excellent and we’re going to get stack in today because I’m determined to keep these shows around the half hour mark, episode 41. Now, before we tell our listeners what we’re going to cover in this episode James, in the last episode, we talked about the idea of you and I running some live workshops in Melbourne and Sydney and then we’re going to put it out to the listeners to give us their feedback as to whether that would be a good idea and if they’d be interested. The good news is, that’s still happening but we haven’t put that show to air yet. So we don’t have a response.
JAMES: Right! So we could only guess.
TIM: We could only guess. So, that show goes live. It’s all a bit weird in podcast land because it’s not live but our editor’s been away and so that show will go up and then I’d hope in the next episode of Freedom Ocean that we’ll be able to make a decision as to whether it’s a go or not. So, mate, couple of topics, couple of questions from me. Sure you’ve got some things you’d like to share but I’ve got a real ticko question today about Permalink structure this practice.
JAMES: You love your technical questions.
TIM: Well, no I don’t but it’s something that’s been bugging me and I’ll explain why in a minute.
JAMES: Let me guess. Your Fiverr web developer wants to know what they are.
TIM: Haha. Very funny.
JAMES: You shouldn’t use outsourcers from overseas Tim.
TIM: Hello to all you ninjas.
JAMES: No. I was listening to your other podcast the other day and I heard that that’s a bad thing we should employ locally.
TIM: Well, I get that a lot because I operate in the small business world and because on my other show I just do have a lot of design, graphic designers, web developers listening probably similar to here. I get the odd one, the very odd one gets their backup when I suggest go to Elance or 99Designs or somewhere to find a designer to put on your virtual marketing team but you know, whatever.
JAMES: It is a global marketplace. I think that’s important when it comes to the internet thing. And, we’re talking about the topic here of Geoarbitrage which is being able to source things, in other countries at different prices. But there are some things that you need to consider. And that is, it costs less to live in other countries as well and you’re actually able to help people in other countries just like we’re helping people here. So, it pretty much all balances out in my mind.
TIM: Big time. Big time. And I think, I ran a little bit about it in the other show but it’s a global marketplace. And, you know what? Those marketplaces are just as available to those who are looking for work as those who have work to give, so a bit of a two way street. Now, so I want to talk about, anyway, back to Permalinks and no, it’s not the result of one of my Fiverr people.
JAMES: No. I’m just warning. I like to stir you about Fiverr.
TIM: Mate, James, I know. I use Tena now.
JAMES: You’ve gone up. You are out of control.
TIM: Yeah. Yeah. I’ve doubled my output. Tena doesn’t exist listeners. It was a joke. I actually did look at getting that website actually at one point thinking Fiverr was such a great idea but it was just one…
JAMES: There is one. There is one that charges $10. My daughter went on to that. She was doing Fiverr gigs and she figured out that she could get twice as much by going to the next one up.
TIM: I found a voice, I know, let’s not talk too much about Fiverr but every now and then I come across some gold on Fiverr and yesterday I came across a girl who not only provided a great voiceover service professional in studio but her actual voiceover skills were out of control. And the way she packaged it up on a 90 second YouTube video was, it was always just really impressive. So, I think we should put a little disclaimer that any SEO services you get on Fiverr will probably be dodgy but there’s some other good stuff. Enough of Fiverr, James! Move on. I want to know Permalinks VA, for someone and a number of our listeners are sort of starting to get into the outsourcing world and put on maybe a VA onto their team. What are some of those things that, what are some of the first things that you would suggest giving to a VA outside of work that you’ve already got, I mean, there must be a reason for bringing one on anyway. But we’ll talk about VA’s. And if we’ve got time, I was going to talk, we’re going to talk about podcasting show notes but I want to talk about
JAMES: We should do, in the podcasting phase, I don’t know if you caught up on my other podcast the other day but it was quite funny.
TIM: Mate, you are becoming, you are loving it. You’re very, so I’m sitting here, what James is referring to listeners is I’m sitting at my desk 10:30 one night just quietly typing away as I do and getting stuff done, then comes the email from James’s internet marketing speed podcast, and I go, “I wonder what he’s got on today. Ah, it’s Luke, my other old co-host from my other podcast small business big marketing.”
JAMES: Lukie, Lukie, Lukie.
TIM: Lukie. Lukie. Lukie. And so of course, I’ve checked, “Oh, great. 45 minute interview.” So anyway, next 45 minutes is me listening to two of my mates talk about me.
JAMES: Talk about you for most of it. Of course we had fun with that.
TIM: Very, very weird. Very weird. Sort of twilight zone stuff. Alright, well we’ll talk about podcasting show notes. So, enough rambling mate. Tell me, okay here’s the thing, Permalinks. Do you want to explain what a Permalink and then I’ll ask you my question?
JAMES: Okay. Well, at firstly disclaimer to all you web developers. I’m not a super technical person. But my understanding of it is that that is the address of the page or the content on your website. It’s the link structure of where you would find that content. So when it’s indexed in Google and on your website, you click on or hover on the link, you’ll see the actual address of where that file lives on the website.
TIM: Is there a difference between a Permalink and a URL?
JAMES: We’re going to see, I think URL stands for like uniform resource locator, so that’s beyond my technical knowledge. I’m sorry.
TIM: Okay. Alright. Well, here’s the thing. When I go to fill out the Permalink for maybe a blog post or obviously a podcast that I do, I always go through the same thinking process as to what should I do. Obviously, keywords are important, yeah?
JAMES: Well, the default setting for WordPress is usually like P=123 or whatever. So, that’s not very useful for a search engine or a human. So I would like listeners to focus far more on humans. And, if you had a, if you just think about your website like being a filing cabinet and you were able to walk up to it and easily identify which drawer to open and then inside that drawer which file to pull out. That’s what your website should be structured like from a navigational perspective.
JAMES: That’s how I think of Permalink. So, I just think it’s simply which filing drawer would it be in and within that drawer, where would it be listed?
TIM: So, I’m looking at the, the reason it’s kind of been on my mind for a while is because when I do the Permalink for small business big marketing, what I’m generally doing now is, I do the guest and their brand or topic. And I keep it pretty short whereas if I look at the Permalink for one of our podcast, any episode of our podcast, say I’m looking at episode 39. So we’ve got our domain name and then we’ve got a forward slash and you’ve got this section which is like, well I’ll say what it is, internet marketing podcasts and then your name and mine, and then another forward slash and you’ve got topic. So, you’ve kind of got a structure there of where you’ve got to have the domain name and then you put in the show name and our names and then the topic. So, is that your kind of file cabinet philosophy right there?
JAMES: For the majority of my website, simply the domain name, forward slash, category which is which drawer of the filing cabinet would be in, and then forward slash the name of the page which is identifying something about that particular thing. So the Freedom Ocean is probably a bad example because we have a codec of episode, this episode, that, we’re actually numbering our episodes. Probably a more realistic example would be something like internet marketing speed where I’m doing it by different topics. I generally cover things like traffic or conversions or mindset or leverage. So, I will have the domain name and then I’ll have a category in it. And, it’s worth noting that you can have multiple categories. So if I’m doing a podcast episode and there’s audio with that episode then I’ll tick podcast as well as another category that relates to that particular thing. It could be news, like it could be an announcement, it could be traffic. So whatever the most relevant filing drawer for that episode would be, I’ll put it in there. But it will also automatically go into the podcast filing cabinet as well.
TIM: Yeah. Okay. So, by ticking the podcast, okay, you’ve moved in the categories?
JAMES: Yeah. My Permalink extension is simply category/page name.
TIM: Right. Okay.
JAMES: Whereas some people they don’t even bother with categories. They just go straight for the page name. So a shallow site with 10 or 20 pages, you just need the website address/page name. That’s the simple Permalink structure. A more complex one is the website/category/page name. So that’s my preferred one. It’s the default setting for all of my websites.
TIM: Just so I understand why it’s preferred. Is it preferred because it provides better link juice or because it provides better structure for you to find stuff?
JAMES: It’s better structure for humans and for search engines. And, I’ll give you in a different metaphor for this. Imagine an octopus and the head of the octopus is the homepage and the octopus has tentacles. So each category is like a big tentacle and then within each tentacle are little suckers and that’s like the pages. So, you go, if that octopus was swimming on the bottom of the ocean floor and you wanted a special SEO fish then the SEO fish would be attracted to the SEO sucker on the SEO tentacle that would bring it back to the head, grab it and bring it back to the head. And that’s pretty much how it works.
TIM: I love your invertebrate analogy.
JAMES: Well there you go. My octopus structure.
TIM: Yeah. It’s a Freedom Ocean. It’s a Freedom Ocean analogy.
JAMES: Just think about that. Your website head is like the, is where the homepage action is and remember that only about half your traffic will come to the head, the rest will go to the tentacles or probably the greater majority. So just make each tentacle of your website theme related with the category. And then within that theme, you’re going to have little separate pages that relate to that theme and that that way you can spread out in different directions but it’s definitely easy to identify what the theme is and Google can look at your site and go, “Ah, I know what this site’s about. It’s about this topic and it’s a very theme related category there and these pages on that theme are very relevant to that particular theme. So, we’re going to give it a higher rating.
TIM: So, just to play it out then, if I was to then going forward with small business big marketing would be ideal Permalink and let’s go, the last episode I did, I interviewed Lloyd Perry from Big Richard Condoms. So the Permalink for that would be smallbusinessbigmarketing.com/smallbusinessmarketingpodcaststimreid/lloydperrybigrichardcondms.
JAMES: What I think you need, the middle one is a bit long. I think you want to favor shorter categories. I would be, small business big marketing forward slash, what was the topic, I listened to it, was it about venture capital, was it about…
TIM: Mate, we covered so much but in the end of the day it was.
JAMES: But what do you think if you’re going to label it with a dyno tape, if I said Tim…
TIM: How to market condoms.
JAMES: So it’s a how to marketing thing?
JAMES: Now, you can’t really put marketing because it’s too general because your entire podcast is marketing. So you need a subset. So you could actually have a category of, the whole thing is actually how to marketing podcast, so you got to go a bit granular. What’s the next sort of level of description you would put? What was the key point from the whole thing?
TIM: Well, that’s a subjective question because he actually gave quite a lot of great tips, I mean, he talked about a whole variety of stuff from packaging distribution, sCommerce, you know, it really covered, it’s a hard question. That’s why I find that therein lies my problem with Permalinks.
JAMES: You don’t even, may not even need a category then. It could be just smallbusinessbigmarketing/bigrichardcondoms.
JAMES: It could be that shallow. But you might want to just have one intermediary category and it might be relating to, it could be venture capital, it could be rapid business growth or something like that. Something that describes the theme of that topic in more depth.
TIM: Okay. Alright. Got you. What was I going to say then, I had something that I wanted to finish on with Permalinks but, is it too late to start?
JAMES: No. You can change Permalinks and redirect the old ones to the new ones.
TIM: Can you?
TIM: Big job.
JAMES: No. It’s just one plug-in generally. There used to be a plug-in called Dean’s Permalink Migration. Don’t know if it’s still around but you can actually change your Permalink structure and have the old ones redirect. There will be a plug-in that does it.
TIM: You don’t know what it is?
JAMES: Well, it used to be Dean’s Permalink Migration.
TIM: Yeah. Dean, I wonder where did Dean went?
JAMES: But if you haven’t ever set Permalinks then I think you can set them and it will automatically redirect the old ones.
JAMES: Because each page still has a page name that doesn’t have the Permalink names in it. So when we’re drafting, you might notice on some of our Freedom Ocean links, you look at it, it says like P=148. And, but it’s actually, when you get there, it’s got the Permalink name because there’s actually a short link for HPF.
TIM: Yep. That’s very useful, that short link in WordPress.
TIM: It’s good mate. In the Permalinks, I got a story to tell you before we move into VA land. So, looking for a car at the moment and I rang up a dealership, no, yeah rung up a dealership a couple of days ago and I got, had a bit of a chat with one of the sales guys he said I’ll get my dealer principal to call you tomorrow because he’s away and you can negotiate with him. So he goes, “Can I get your phone number and email address?” and I gave him my small business big marketing email address and I got a phone call from the dealer principal yesterday and he goes, it’s Paul from, it was Berwick Mitsubishi, and he says, he goes, “Before we talk about the car, you’re not the Tim Reid from the Freedom Ocean show are you?” What about that one?
JAMES: Does he charge you more?
TIM: Yep. Double the price. Double the price. He said, you speak, gobbled about you two blokes, and I get it. You can pay twice as much as anyone else.
JAMES: So if he’s listening to this show, I’ll give him a tip, a humbly respectful tip. His sales people shouldn’t actually alert the customer that they are in a negotiation. That’s a little bit of a rookie rule because it starts to get the walls up and it turns it into a fight. They should be getting on the same side of the table as you and making it a smooth transition.
TIM: Yeah. Maybe the words I use is not what his salesperson said but he did suggest that his dealer principal was away that day and that
JAMES: No doubt he was asking for a deal of some kind. I know how you operate.
TIM: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
JAMES: Customers are very difficult to deal with.
TIM: I was asking for a half price. Yeah. Yeah.
JAMES: Poor guy. You know, the salesperson probably makes $30 when he hands over the keys to that car.
TIM: Give me a break. Give me a break. It’d be at least 40.
JAMES: Mate, maybe even 50.
TIM: So there you go mate. I’ve made A-list celebrity. Now, let’s talk VA’s. My lovely VA, Shieg, she may well be watching this; she’ll be reading the transcription. So, we’ll speak very respectfully. She’s been fantastic. I’ve had her on board for a week James and I like her pro-activity but I know there’s a lot of our listeners who are entering into the world of getting their first VA. So I guess I’d just be interested in your take and maybe there’s a whole show on this. So we might just touch on it now. But, what are some of those things, those jobs that are ideal to give a VA who may well be in another country?
JAMES: We might want to explain what a VA is.
TIM: Right. That’s a fair call. It stands for virtual assistant. It’s like having a PA but they’re not in the same room or office. They’re somewhere in the world.
JAMES: Right. So when I first hired one, I was aware of the concept from books like the 4 hour work week and a friend of mine had a team and I was concerned that I might not have enough things for them to do if you can believe that. And, it turned out that we just started out slow and I thought that I would get some help building some websites and to start putting content to them and then we’d sort of look at some traffic stuff. Well, the basic rule of thumb is that they’re probably like 100 times more capable than they originally think they might be. So I think where I see people go wrong and I’m not just talking about people who have got one for a week or two. I have actually helped people who have had a team or a small number, say, two or three assistants even for two or three years and I’ve helped them with some techniques to really sort of tap in to the real person they’re dealing with and this is the key point. They are people and they’re just like you and I in many ways. And, as soon as we recognize that and have a proper relationship with them then you will be stunned at what they’re capable of. So, I would say, lift the bar on what you think is possible because most people just cannot believe the sorts of things that my team members are doing when I describe it, like setting up entire websites from start to finish without a single bit of help. And that is from people who are not skilled in those areas prior they’ve just picked it up and learn it like a bird taken to the air.
TIM: Yeah. Good point. And in fact, day one, I employed Shieg as a result of a friend of mine who had no more work for her. And, the first time I came into contact with her, we had a Skype call and she said my last employer never, she’d never spoken to him.
JAMES: Yeah. And I’ve got customers who have not spoken to their team in two quite something years.
TIM: That’s weird.
JAMES: I don’t get it. I speak to my team every single day. And if I don’t speak to them, I get withdrawals. I love my team. They are the most incredible, fun, dynamic, talented, clever people and I just, I love it. It’s bringing back the fun to my business.
TIM: I’m sure you’re going to move to the Philippines within the next 12 months. I’ve just got that feeling in the bones.
JAMES: Well, their internet’s faster than my joint.
TIM: Correct. Correct. And they do a better noodle soup too.
JAMES: Speaking of that, by the way, my girl’s a little bit upset that you haven’t put her song into the episode. You once asked her to sing a song.
TIM: I did.
JAMES: And she did, she sang it for you.
TIM: Can we blame Liam for that? I don’t know if he’s listening.
JAMES: No. No.
JAMES: I asked Liam, I said, “I sent you that song, didn’t I? Did I forget?” he said, “No, you sent it but you guys never mentioned it again.” So I was thinking we’ll mention it now. Shall we play the song?
TIM: Play it. What was the song again? Was it Country Road?
JAMES: Yes. I want to harness the talent. I want to show you what’s possible with your VA. So let’s cue the music.
TIM: Cue the music but give her an intro James. I’ll set you up. Ladies and gentlemen!
JAMES: Welcome to center stage! We have our delightful, beautiful, talented VA, Shmelly Cat, ready to roll. 3, 2, 1, go! [VA’s singing voice]
JAMES: Wasn’t that lovely?
TIM: Wow! James. That would bring a tear to a glass eye.
JAMES: There you go. So, you can feel the love. You can feel the love from Manila there Timbo.
TIM: Absolutely! Wow! That’s impressive stuff. I can feel a ninja karaoke challenge coming on.
JAMES: I’m actually, I’m in practice because I go back every few months and we do videoke.
TIM: I’d love to see that. You must video that. You’ve got all your video camera gear setup now. So, I demand that, I say a Schramko Videoke whatever you call it next time you come back.
JAMES: They try to trick me thought Tim. They play me a song with no words and then they try one with the voice on it. It throws me off a bit. So I just lip- synch and pretend that’s my voice.
TIM: Yeah right.
JAMES: They’re very, very funny.
TIM: Speaking of the voice.
JAMES: Yes. I saw you re-tweet it. You’re all over that media.
TIM: All over it.
JAMES: You’re into Twitter, aren’t you?
TIM: No. I don’t love Twitter but you mean that Tweet that I sent regarding The Voice?
JAMES: Yes. You’re promoting it for them.
TIM: No. I was testing to see whether I could actually get my Tweet on the screen because I interviewed the executive producer of The Voice Australia, for overseas listeners or anyone who doesn’t know what we’re talking about, it’s the most popular music talent show on in Australia at the moment getting an audience of about two and a half million within a 60 minute period which is pretty amazing and I interviewed the executive producer last week. Here we go. This is a bit of a scoop mate for a new podcast of mine which I haven’t launched yet.
JAMES: I was thinking you’d come out with one in like the sex market because you keep talking about condoms and dildos, sphincters, and 69, just sort of adding it all up here, I think there’s some frustration or something busting out.
TIM: Look, it’s all a bit serious, isn’t it? You just got to have a bit of fun. Well, okay, this is going to come back and bite you on the bum because the first sex interview that I did was with Anne Marie Roda or Roda and guess where I met her.
JAMES: You met her at my event in Queensland.
TIM: Fast Forward Formula 3. So, there you go, number one. But she was a listener of small business big marketing and that’s why she came along. But it was at one of your events that I’ve got my first sex interview then I happened to be at an internet marketing show two weeks ago where the condom fellow spoke and he had a very good story to tell, done some great video marketing, so it’s worth getting him on. And is there a frustration? I’m not saying anything.
JAMES: Turn off the radio Jack.
TIM: Yeah. Yeah. You’re exactly right mate. Jack, if you’re listening go to bed. That’s my boy.
JAMES: So alright, let’s get serious here.
JAMES: You mentioned my camera.
TIM: I’ve got a new podcast coming out. That’s big news in my mind.
JAMES: It’s not that interesting to our audience.
TIM: Okay. Okay. You’ve just shut me down. There you go.
JAMES: No. No. I think it would be great. You tell us about it when you’ve done it.
TIM: Yeah. Okay. Well I’ve done it.
TIM: I’m not telling you about it.
JAMES: So the Voice?
TIM: No I’m not telling. I’m not telling you. Nothing!
TIM: I’m not even going to let anyone hear me it.
JAMES: It’s a great show. It’s a great show.
TIM: What, the Voice?
TIM: Mate, I agree. I don’t watch a lot of Tele and I know you don’t because the only thing you do on your TV is shoot the bad guys on whatever game that you’re playing.
JAMES: No, I do. I watch the Voice and I watch the Apprentice.
TIM: Well, I haven’t watched the Apprentice but I think the Voice is stunning. You know, they’re 35, was it 35-42,000 some ridiculous amount of Tweets within a 60 minute period and they only put 20 up on the screen.
JAMES: The thing that got my attention Tim is that they’re promoting iTunes and that’s good for us because it’s more people thus getting trying to go to iTunes to get media content and guess what podcasting is all about. It’s getting that content onto iTunes in front of those same people.
TIM: Correct. That’s correct.
JAMES: That’s good for us.
TIM: That’s brilliant for us.
JAMES: You mentioned my video equipment lately. Have you seen my production values going up?
TIM: I have. Yep, a very sharp foreground, a very blurred background.
JAMES: Better sound now, I’ve got the zoom and nice microphones and stuff. It’s all happening.
TIM: You might want to invest in a make-up artist next.
JAMES: That’s mean.
TIM: I love it!
JAMES: That is mean. You know, I did have one listener complain when I got a new microphone that there were no birds anymore.
TIM: That’s fair.
JAMES: So, I’m bringing the birds back. I’m using a shotgun mic. I’ll pick up a bit of bird, a bit of me.
TIM: It’s amazing what people do pick up. I interviewed a guy a couple of weeks ago who had a sniffle and I’ve got an email from a listener saying that she couldn’t listen to the interview because the guy sniffle. It’s a bit harsh. It’s a good interview too.
JAMES: That’s pretty mean. Alright. Back to VA.
TIM: Back to VA.
JAMES: So what sorts of things can you do? Pretty much all the stuff that you shouldn’t do or you don’t want to do that could be done by someone who is in an office. That’s the sort of stuff that you might want to start with. It’s like you draw a big list down of everything that you do in your business, everything you should be doing in your business that you’re not doing and then you basically pick out the things that you would like to do for yourself and then everything else you want to find someone else to do. So, what I do with my students, say my coaching, is I say write down every single task you do on a post-it note. And now I want you to put a post-it note for you and then a post-it note for your team member across the top of the wall or on a board room table and then you stick all the task under the person that’s currently doing it and now move them around to where they should be. And then whatever’s left, that’s basically, everything other than you, you want someone else to do either in your own team or an outsource service or whatever but you want to try and eliminate every possible task. That’s the goal, is to make yourself redundant as much as possible. So that you’re free to do only the things you want to do. And as a classic example, the other day I posted my hectic schedule for the week on Facebook and it was my Wednesday, Thursday, Friday calendar and it was empty. And that is the way I like to roll.
TIM: Yeah, right. Yep. Nice idea. I like the sticky notes idea.
JAMES: It’s a great, it’s just so easy to visualize every single task and then to try and move them from you to someone else. That’s the goal.
TIM: Cool. Like that mate. Listen buddy, we’re out of time pretty much and we we’re going to talk about podcast show notes but we could probably keep that padded dry until the next episode?
JAMES: Yeah. Let’s do that. Let’s do it next time.
TIM: Yeah. We’ve covered a bit.
JAMES: We have. I got to go and find myself a make-up artist now.
TIM: Well, look, don’t take it too much to heart but see how you go. When was the last time you shaved? Have you got that beard? You would look like Ned Kelly by now, wouldn’t you?
JAMES: No, I actually shave once a week or so?
TIM: Do you?
TIM: Okay. Alright. Well buddy, listeners thank you for joining us out on the ocean. Go to FreedomOcean.com if you want to get a little bit more internet marketing lovin’ and there’s a bit of a back catalogue developing. So get in there. If you do register, you’ll get a transcript of every episode we’ve ever done which is good stuff. Thanks mate! Until next time we will be able to report on whether or not we’re going to run some live events in Melbourne and Sydney and once we’ll have the listener the feedback will be in and the judges verdict will be final.
JAMES: Nice. Thanks Timbo!
TIM: Love your work.