Nov 09

Weekly Top 5 for Nov 9, 2015

By Janice Deleon

Our classes are just the start of the learning you get here at  Here are the additional resources available this week..


People talk in speech bubbles, isolated with clipping paths. Soc

#1. 31 Marketing Resources from 3rd Quarter 2015

Need the latest in social media marketing tactics (not what worked 6 months ago)? Get ’em right here . . .

#2. Facebook 103 Enables SMOC Member to Get 300% ROI on a $12 Facebook Ad

This SMOC member ran a $12 ad for her online store and got an ROI of over 300%. How’d she do it? With her lessons from Facebook 103…

#3. What Type of FB Ad Generates the Best Return on Ecommerce?

Have an ecommerce store and need to generate holiday sales? Find out which FB ad generates the most sales here . . .

#4. This Page on Our Website is on Google’s First Page after only 60 Days

60 days and we’re on the first page of search results not just once, but twice. Learn how we did it here . . .

#5. Our Favorite Website Analytics Tool (for non-geeks)

While Google Analytics offers tons of data, sometimes you just want the most important stats to jump out at you, rather than having to hunt for them. We’ve shared out favorite, easy, analytics tool here: . . .


Nov 03

31 Social Media Marketing Resources from 3rd Quarter of 2015

By Janice Deleon

3rd quarter smoc

Every week here at we give you a list of our most recent resources with our Weekly Top 5: your lessons, infographics, webinars, and articles. We’ve gathered all those resources from 3rd quarter of the year into one GINORMOUS list for you, making it uber-easy to find what you need to grow your business using social media marketing.


Social Media Strategy

  1. Grow Your Business in 30 Days Using Social Media Marketing
  2. How to Use Social Media Tagging – the Ultimate Guide & INFOGRAPHIC
  3. Two-Minute Video: Create Your Own Stock Photo Library Using Canva
  4. How to Run Your Business on a Chromebook for Less Than $300
  5. Tips for Entrepreneurs from a Top UpWork VA
  6. [QUIZ] What’s the Best Social Network for Your Business?
  7. Are You Wasting Money on Marketing?
  8. CHEAT SHEET: 4 Social Media Engagement Hacks [CLASSIC]
  9. Most Popular Articles from the First Half of 2015
  10. Marketing Challenging Brands — Vlog and Transcript
  11. Six-Figure Working Moms Keep One-Week Time Diary: What They Do Differently
  12. [VIDEO] Secrets to Getting Sales for Small Business Using Social Media


  1. [INFOGRAPHIC} A Baker’s Dozen Tactics to Monetize Your Facebook Fans *
  2. Who Sees My Stuff on Facebook? Business Page vs Personal Profile [INFOGRAPHIC]
  3. How to Get Leads from Your Facebook Business Page *
  4. Updated Facebook 102: Customizing Your Facebook Page *


  1. How to Reach Your Goals EVERY Time [WEBINAR EXCERPT]
  2. [WEBINAR EXCERPT] Broadcasting with Periscope & Blab for Small Business
  3. Periscope & Blab for Your Small Business [WEBINAR REPLAY & RESOURCES] *
  4. BONUS Videos in Twitter Success System Webinar *
  5. [WEBINAR EXCERPT] How I Got to Google’s First Page in 90 Days


  1. [NEW] Instagram 101 Class Updated for New User Interface *
  2. What’s New in Instagram for 2015? *


  1. How to Get Your Video Content Retweeted on Twitter *
  2. Our Most Popular How-To Interviews: 70% of Your Business from Twitter, 200% of Crowdfunding Goal in 7 Days & More
  3. Twitter Image Sizes Cheat Sheet


  1. [VIDEO] How to Create a Hyperlinked Infographic Using Google Slides


  1. Watch Videos on YouTube


  1. Download Presentations from Slideshare
  2. How a New York City Based Small Business Pivoted for Greater Revenue [SLIDESHARE]


  1. Get More Enagement with Your Social Media Swipe File

* Indicates Members-Only Content

infographic google slides socialmediaonlineclasses
Oct 27

Create an Infographic Using Nothing but Google Slides

By Maria Peagler

Ever wanted to create an infographic, but you're not a graphic designer?

Don't have mad Photoshop skills?

Don't let that stop you.

In this epic blog post, you'll learn how to create a hyperlinked infographic with nothing but lowly Google Slides (a free presentation tool similar to PowerPoint).

The background? I wanted to create an infographic about growing your business in 30 days using social media marketing, with each week's tasks hyperlinked to the blog post explaining them. However, adding that to any infographic, no matter what tool you used to create it, requires coding. 

But not using Google Slides. You can add hyperlinks to any text or graphic element on a slide. While it's not designed to be an infographic tool, why not? It's a smart hack.​


Here's what the final infographic looks like. I'm showing the .jpg version; if you would like to get the full PDF with hyperlinked buttons, click on the infographic to get it.

Grow Biz in 30 Days with Social Media


1. Open Google Slides and Size the Slide Deck

    Open a new slide deck in Google Slides and size the deck to 700 x 1800 pixels.  You can see in the image below, the slide deck has only ONE slide.  That's your infographic.

google infographic slide page size

2. Choose the Background Color of Your Infographic

    Select the background color for the slide (I chose blue), and remove the text elements on it. You'll be adding your own.

  • Tip: Steps #1 & #2 are the foundation for creating ANY infographic, on ANY platform. Create the section, change the color, then you'll be adding elements to it. Lather, Rinse, Repeat.  That's the same process you'll use whether in Google Slides, Pixelmator, Canva, or Photoshop.


Need to create solid content for your marketing but dread it? Learn how to create your BEST. CONTENT. EVER. In just 10 minutes a day.

3. Add the Infographic Title

The infographic title is made up of several different elements:  

google slide infographic titles
  • a black rectangle (the title background)
  • GROW YOUR BUSINESS is two different text boxes, so I could change the font sizes of each line so they are the same width (a kerning hack).
  • 30 DAYS uses the same process as GROW YOUR BUSINESS, with a different font.
  • a thinner light blue rectangle for the subtitle

4. Add a Tutorial Section with a Hyperlinked Button

The individual sections that offer a week-by-week breakdown of your social media strategy are what I call the "tutorial sections."  They're made up of the following elements:

google slides infographic section
  • a black rectangle for the section title ((notice this color matches the infographic title background. That's color harmony: a simple way to unify all the different elements of your infographic).
  • a light blue rectangle (also harmonizing with the infographic title) 
  • text elements for the title (WEEK 1) and the tutorial text
  • a social media strategy chart image I had previously created using Pixelmator. You could do the same using Canva.
  • an orange hyperlinked button that takes people to a free class where they can develop their own social media strategy.  The button is a rounded rectangle, with a hyperlink added to it.
  • the text for the hyperlinked button, simply added on top

5. Repeat Step 4 for Each Section of the Infographic

The remaining weekly sections, and the branding sections at the top and bottom, are all developed using that same process.  Add the rectangles, add the text, hyperlink the text, and add images if needed.

Want to watch the exact process I used? Here's the full video, followed by the transcript, below:​



Maria Peagler: Hi, everyone. It's Maria Peagler with ''. This is my very first scope, so be kind. I would appreciate that. I wanted to enable the Twitter feed on this, but I don't think I was able to.

What I'm going to do ... double tap this and turn around. Welcome, everyone who's joining us. I am doing our very first '' live broadcast here on Periscope, and I'm going to show you how to create an infographic using nothing but Google Slides. I will tell you a little bit about me, a little bit about why I chose this for our first scope, and then we're going to get right into it. Welcome, everyone who's joining us.

Again, my name is Maria Peagler. I am founder of ''. I've been doing tech training for about 25 years. Recently, I went to a conference in Austin, Texas with nothing but my Chromebook, which if you're not familiar with a Chromebook, it's basically a cloud-computing laptop. You can't use any type of desktop applications.

I was really fascinated by how much I was able to do with it. I wrote a blog post called 'How to Run Your Business on a Chromebook for Less Than $300'. One of the things that's really hard to do on a Chromebook is to create graphics and infographics, but I was able to not only create an infographic, but make it clickable and add hyperlinks to it using nothing but Google Slides, and so I'm going to show you how to do that. First of all, what I want to do is show you this infographic up close and personal. This is it.

Now, if you are familiar [00:02:00] with Social Media Online Classes, you'll know that we use infographics a lot. As a matter of fact, this is if you go to Google and search ' infographics', these are the type of infographics that I’m known for. They're very simple, they're simple to create, and they're simple to consume. In about five seconds, you know what these are about and you've gotten what you needed out of them. I usually create these in a Mac application called 'Pixelmator', which is easier than Photoshop, but it's not available for the Chrome.

I'm needed to create an infographic while I was at this conference, and I did it using nothing but Google Slides. This is the infographic. It's '13 Ways to Monetize Facebook'. It goes through and has a different tactic from one to 13. It has my branding at the bottom. It also has my branding at the top with my URL. The really cool thing about this infographic, and this isn't easy to do in any program, but doing it in Google Slides is easy.

What it is is I added hyperlinks to it. For example, number one on how to monetize Facebook is get a custom Facebook page name. I explained a little bit about what it is, but then, if you click on it, it takes you directly to the lesson in '' on how to do this. That's what I loved about this. Again, here's another infographic. Here's a video on how you would do this.

There's a lot of information here in this infographic, but my favorite thing about it was I was able to do it in Google Slides, and I made it hyperlinked. I didn't have to do any code or anything. [00:04:00] I'm not a graphic designer. I'm not a coder, but I was still able to do this. I wish I knew about that sooner. I feel the same way. I feel your pain.

I'm going to do a brief demonstration. I'm not going to create a really complex infographic, but I'm going to show you how to do this in Google Slides. If you're not familiar with Google Slides, what you do is you need to have a Google account, and if you have a Gmail account, you would have that and you go to ''. It's from here that you can access all of Google Drive's applications which are Google Docs, Google Sheets. There are photos, application which is now Google Photos, but what I used was Google Slides.

It used to be called 'Google Presentations'. You're going to come over here to this big, red button. Thank you. Great information. I'm glad you're enjoying this. This is my first scope, so please feel free to offer suggestions.

I am using Catch to do a replay of this, so hopefully that's going to work for us. I'm clicking on 'New'. In here, I can choose what I want to do, but I'm going to pick Google Slides. Now, you could probably also do this at Google Docs, but I do a lot of slideshow presentations for our webinars, and I was frankly just more familiar with doing that. When you first start, Google Slides is going to give you a blank slide here.

The really cool thing about this is you're just going to use one page. You're going to have one slide. You're going to change the dimensions to be whatever it is that you want for your infographic, and then you're going to add your text and graphic elements to it. [00:06:00] I think what the infographic that I did before, I made it ... Let's see. We're going to go to 'File', and then 'Page Setup'.

I think I made it custom to be ... Here, it's doing inches. I want to do this in pixels. I think I did it to be 700 by 2,000 which is a long ... It's the standard dimension for a long infographic.

Here, you can see this baby is pretty long. Then, what I'm going to do is create a background color. Right now, it's white, and you could keep it white. I'm going to do a blue color, and so I clicked there and I didn't tell you what I was doing. I'm going up here to the menu, and I'm clicking on 'Background', and I'm going to go to 'Color', and I'm going to choose a color.

I don't really like a lot of the ones that they have. Let's see. That one. I like that color. Let's see what color that is. Let's see.

If I drag that over, will I do it? No. Of course not. I'm going to do a custom color here. You can do that by going to 'Background', and then 'Color', and go to 'Custom'.

I just want this to be a little bit lighter, so let's see. We're going to make it a little bit lighter. That's a little too purple there. There. That's fine. That's fine for what we're doing right now.

Okay. Now, I've got a background color. If you look at this other infographic that I did, it is divided up into ... Let's see. I'm going to make this a little bit smaller so you can see the whole thing. It's divided in half lengthwise, and then into one, two, three, four, five, six, seven different rows, [00:08:00] and then, there's a little bit of space at the top and bottom for branding, so I would say probably eight different rows.

One of the first things that you want to do when you create even a simple infographic is give yourself a framework for where everything is going to go. What I want to do is the way that I do this ... Again, I'm not a graphic designer. I'm not using Photoshop here, so I'm probably doing a lot of things that wouldn't make sense to a graphic designer, but that's okay. This is kind of quick and dirty infographic.

What I'm going to do here is I took off the SlideDeck text. What I'm going to do is add a shape. I'm simply going to add a rectangle right here, and I'm going to add it. I'm simply doing this to create placeholders. That looks pretty good to me.

What I want to do here is to create four different rows, and then a fifth one for my title and a sixth one for my branding. I need six. What I'm going to do is to create an infographic called 'Grow Your Business With Social Media in 30 Days', and I want to give people something to do one week at a time. Week one, they'll be doing something. Week two, they'll be doing something, and I need four weeks, plus a title, and then my branding.

I've got this here. What I'm going to do is go, and I'm going to duplicate it. Usually, that is depending on what computer you're on, and it's control D or option D. Yes. Duplicate is command D. I'm on a Mac, so I'm just going to duplicate this and make sure that I've got enough space to have [00:10:00] five rows.

Let's say one, two, three, four, five. Here, six. This is not necessarily the coloring that I'm going to use, but it just lets me know that yes, I will have enough space. Okay. That looks good. I'm happy with that.

Okay. One of the first things that I'm going to do is to create my title. I like to have my other infographic up so I can see what I did on that one. What I'm going to do is make this smaller here so that I can see it over here. I don't like having these themes up, so I'm going to close that, and I'm going to ...

Okay. I just want to be able to see this so I can refer to it. I'm going to move this over a little bit so that I can see both of these at the same time. Okay. Here, I didn't have the title all the way over, but I have a pretty big title on this one, so I think I might need to do that. First thing is I'm going to change the color. I'm going to make it black.

Let's see. Is the wine color? I think I want black. There, I'll have a nice, black title background. As you can see, I have that here. What I'm going to do is add some text here, and I'm going to say “Grow Your Business”.

This is must be really, really small because I can't see it at all. Let's see. I want to change the size. Here we go. Fourteen. This needs to be big like yes, 72 or something like that. That's a little too big. [00:12:00]

You can see here, you just go through and create each of your elements that you're going to have on here. I want this to be white, and I spelled grow wrong, so I need to fix that. Let's see. Textbox? I want this to be ...

Here we go. Text color. I want it to be white. I like having all 'Grow Your Business' all caps for my titles. I can't remember if I used Oswald, and those are not.

I like using Oswald because it's the font that is on my website. Yes, 'Grow Your Business'. I'm going to show you all a little trick to this. If you want to have ... Notice right here I have ‘Monetize Facebook’, and they're both the same width. You can do that in a shortcut way.

You don't have kerning available which is if you want to spread things out. You can do that in a lot of graphic editing tools, but you can't really do that in Google Slides. It's just not sophisticated enough, but you can do a work around. What I did here was just command D to duplicate that, and I'm going to delete the text in there. I'm going to put business in there, and I'm going to make this bigger.

Right now, it's 48. I'm going to make it 54. See? It's getting really close to be the same size, so let's say 56. Maybe 58.

Okay. There we go. Now, I have titles that look very similar in their [00:14:00] width. Let's see. 'Grow Your Business'.

Let's see. Okay. I've got 'Grow Your Business', and I want to zoom in. I'm going to go to 'View', and I want to see this a hundred percent. Okay. here we go. That's so much better, isn't it?

Okay. Here, you can change your text. You can do a lot of stuff there. I want to say 'Grow Your Business With Social in 30 Days', and I'm going to do a different font for each one. Let's see. 'Grow Your Business'.

I'm going to do a ... Let's see. I'm going to do some more text, rotate it here. Let's see. I'm going to type 'With Social'.

Yes, and again, it's black which you can't really see that, can you? I'm going to change it to be white here in text color. Again, it's ... Let's see. I don't want this to be Oswald. I want it to be something that is completely different from Oswald.

Let's see. Maybe ... Yes, Architect's Daughter. That's a cool looking font. Again, I want this to be big. Maybe 48.

That's real big. Then, I'm going to rotate it. Let's see here. If I want to rotate this, I think you use this little thing here. Yes. There we go.

'With Social'. Okay. 'Grow Your Business With Social'. I probably need to put social media. 'With Social Media'. I want this ‘With’ to be significantly smaller though.

Okay. There we go. Okay. That looks good. I'm going to move that up, 'With Social [00:16:00] Media'. Okay.

At the bottom, I'm going to say 'In 30 Days', so I'm going to add another rectangle there, down here, and I'm going to make that a different color. Let's see. One of the things that I do when I do my infographics is I use a lot of color harmony to make them work together. I actually wrote a book on color, but it's not for graphic design. It's for quilters, because I am a quilter in my leisure time.

One of the easiest ways to harmonize your colors is to use colors that are in the same family. I can use another blue color, but just use maybe either lighter or darker. I'm going to go up here to this color. Now see, I could do the opposite of ... Blue is orange on the color wheel, and that would make this stand out in high contrast, but it makes it look a little Halloweenish. That's not what I'm looking for.

I am going to do this ... There we go. In a lighter value, and I'm going to do the same thing with the background. I think I need to make this a little bit bigger. Oops. Not that big.

Okay. Let's see. 'Grow Your Business With Social'. Okay. Goodness. That moved away over.

Let's see. No. That's rotating it. I'm using my cursor keys here. All right.

I'm just going to go ahead and put the text on it. I'll worry about that later. I want to say 'In 30 Days' here, so I'm going to say 'In 30 Days'. [00:18:00] Again, this is going to need to be in ... I like Oswald down here, so I'm going to pick Oswald for my font.

Yes. That's just going to be way, way too big there. Let's see. I may not use Oswald. I want ... See, Architect's Daughter is ...

I need a wide font. Something very wide, but that looks like a ransom note with all those different fonts. I think I'm going to stick with Architect's Daughter, but I'm going to make it a little bit smaller, and yes. You can see, there's a lot of ... The first time you do one of these infographics, there's a lot of decisions to make, but the cool thing is once you have one of these, you can use it as a template for the future infographics you want to do, like an easier way for me to do this would have been to copy this one and use it from that, but that's not really going to help you guys because I'm showing you how to do this from scratch in Google Slides.

It looks like something in here didn't get changed, so I'm going to change all of it to Architect's Daughter. I guess I did. I'm going to change the color of the font to be a blue color, something like 'In 30 Days'. Yes. I like that.

Okay. 'Grow Your Business With Social Media in 30 Days'. Okay. Here's what we're going to do. I'm going to give people something to do in each week of the 30 days.

What I'm going to do is something very similar to this. I'm going to use ... [00:20:00] Basically, these are two rectangles, so I can go ahead and start with this rectangle right here. I am going to make it a different color. I will probably make it the same color that I have this rectangle right here.

Again, I want to use a color harmony, so I'm going to do that. I'm going to use that for both the fill color and the stroke. Welcome, everyone. Thank you. Thank you. I appreciate that heart.

Then, what I'm going to do is to put a title bar at the top. Again, I'm going to do that in a contrasting background and add some text to it. You can see here there's a pattern. You'll notice what I'm doing when I'm creating this is I am creating divisions in this infographic here like right here, right here, right here, and right here with shapes. Then, I'm changing the color in the text.

You're going to see me doing that over and over again. Once I get this done, I will use it and just copy it and duplicate it to create the remaining sections on the infographic. Here, I'm going to again make this black, and I want to have it for both the square in the background. I'm going to type my title in here. This is going to say ... Let's see. ‘Days One Through Seven’.

Again, this is in black so you can't see it. I'm going to change this to be Oswald. The font is going to be a little bit bigger. Yes. I like that.

Okay. ‘Days One Through Seven’. It's still black so I need to change it under 'More'. I'm going to go here to the font color, and I'm going to make it white. I want this very, very high contrast. [00:22:00]

I'm going to say 'One through Sven: Develop Your Social Media Strategy'. Okay. That's going to be a little too big, so I'm going to make instead of 24, 22. There we go. Boom. That's a beautiful title all the way across.

Okay. What am I going to use here to identify social media strategy? What I'm going to do is add some text. I'm going to do something very similar to what I have here. I'm going to add a very small amount of text that I have that's going to describe what they're going to do and why. I'm going to make it hyperlinked, and then I'm going to add a graphic to it.

Here's what I'm going to do. The first thing I'm going to do is I'm going to add some text. Let's see.

I'm going to add some text, and I'm going to say "Identify your goals, your primary social network and how you plan to execute your social media marketing". Okay.

Here is the text. Again, I'm going to change it to Oswald. That's a very easily readable font. I think I used Oswald on this. Let's see.

I'm going to zoom in on this. No, I didn't. I used a different font. I used one that had syrups on it. Let's see. I like using Special Elite in here because it looks like typewriter text. Okay.

I'm going to do that [00:24:00] and I'm going to hyperlink this. Now, this is the really cool thing about using Google Slides as an infographic tool is that you can hyperlink. I've got the text that I want linked. I need to go to where I need to copy the URL, and this is where you can get the free social media strategy class at ''. I'm going to do an edit copy or a command C, and I'm going to come back to my presentation, and I'm going to add a link.

That's going to be under 'More' right here. It's the insert link. I'm going to paste that text in there, and boom, it's hyperlinked. Now, you'll notice that it changes the color. That's Google Slides' way of saying "You've got a hyperlink in your text." I still just want it to be black. That's fine, but I don't want it to be underlined.

Let's see if I can take ... Yes. I don't want it to be underlined. I just want people to see when they hover over it, they can click on this. Then, what I'm going to do is I'm going to pull in an image. You'll notice here in this infographic ... I'm going to zoom in on this again.

I used an awful lot of images in here. These are all images that I had to have ready. Most of the time, these are screen captures where I've notated something. You can use either Google ... Not Google Slides. You can use [Mac of Wala 00:25:42], you can use TextNets, Snagit.

There's a lot of different tools that you can use to do that. Either way, when you do an infographic, you need to have your graphic elements that you want to use ready. [00:26:00] Now, a lot of these I just created as shapes in Google Slides, but I also had images ready that I had already created. If you don't have images, you can purchase them from some place like GraphicRiver or CreativeMarket. You can get images from there. That's another thing that you'll need to have in order to do your infographics.

Here we go. Tell me how I'm doing. If you have any questions, please feel free to put them in chat, and I'll be happy to answer them. I'm going to move that there. What I'm going to do is to pull in the social media strategy chart that you used in this class, and so I'm going to go over here to ‘Image’.

You can also do insert image from their menu, and I'm going to upload this. Let's see. I'm going to look for my Social Media Strategy. Here it is. 'Social Media Strategy Template'.

I'm going to open that up and put it in here. It's going to be huge when it comes in, but I will resize it to be the correct size. Basically, this is the whole process of creating an infographic in Google Slides. It's kind of a lather, rinse, repeat once you get the process down. Yes. Here it is. This is huge now.

You can see over here how much real estate this is taking, but I'm going to reduce this significantly so that I can have it here as like a little thumbnail. Okay. Almost [00:28:00] there. Yes. Almost there.

Okay. Great. Here we go. Here is the image that we're going to have. Basically, I've made this hyperlinked. If I look at this, I want to make this a little bit smaller.

Now, I'm going bigger. I want smaller. Let's see. ‘View'? Yes. Here we go.

I've got the title. I've got the elements here. What I would end up doing here is just continuing to do more of the same. I would continue to ... Let's see. I want to get out of this view mode and I want to get into the pointer, cursor just by clicking on this arrow to select.

What I would do next is instead of recreating each of these sections, I'm going to delete this one, and I would just copy all the stuff that I've done here. I would copy these elements and I duplicated it. It looks like I could only do one, so I guess I have to do it one at a time. Maybe I can do the text. Yes. Here, I was able to do the text two at a time.

Okay. That's basically what you'll be doing. You're going to be creating your first element, and then, just continuing to refine as you go along. You can also arrange these. I want this to go backward.

I don't want it to be in the very back. Send backward is command and down arrow, [00:30:00] so I can do that. Then, here, I'm going to say ‘Days eight through 14’. Let's see. ‘Day eight through 14’, and I'm going to change this which is going to be ... Let's see. Engage on ... Let's see.

I would say 'Post Consistently On Social Media'. Okay. Once you've identified your goals, you're going to focus on one social network. Focus on your primary social network and be consistent in posting. What I'm going to do here is give links to four different infographics that people can download to start learning how to do that.

The first one that almost everybody wants is to going to be Facebook, and so I'm going to link to the Facebook infographic and where they can download that. I'm going to put Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. I can't do everything, so I'm going to do those four. To link to that, again, I'm going to select a text, put the link there, paste it, and then apply. That is now hyperlinked.

I need to change the color so it's still going to be black, and it's not going to be outlined. Okay. I'm going to put [00:32:00] here "Click to download each infographic". Okay. I think I'm going to have a little bit more space.

What I did on this one was I switched where the text was and where the infographics were. I'm going to show you how ... I'm going to pull in another infographic here. This time, instead of going to 'Insert image', I'm going to go to 'Image' right here on the tool bar. I'm going to choose an image, and I'm going to choose the Facebook Marketing Infographic. It's the 2015 edition.

Let's see. I think that's it. Yes. There we go. Okay. What I'm going to do is I'm going to upload each of these and stair-step, and I'm going to have one in front like this, and then they're each going to be behind each other just so people can see what it is that they would be downloading.

Again, I'm going to make this smaller right here. Okay. That's the Facebook one. Let's see. For LinkedIn, I already have these pages already pulled up, so this is the LinkedIn infographic.

Again, if you are new to the scope, I'm Maria Peagler with ''. This is my very first Periscope. I'm using it to show you how to create an infographic in Google Slides. I've already got this up. If you'd like to get this infographics, [00:34:00] you can go to ''.

I will actually go ahead and show you that URL. That's it right there, ''. Here is the website. If you want to take the free Social Media Strategy class, you can actually do it right here in the middle of the page. What I'm going to do is ... Let's see.

I was here on LinkedIn. I'm going to copy this by doing command C. I'm going to copy the URL, and I'm going to hyperlink it over here in this LinkedIn text. I need to go to the menu and select the link Icon, and paste that link in there. Again, I need to change the text so that it's not something so light, and so that's not outlined. Okay.

Then, what I'm going to do is I'm going to pull in the LinkedIn infographic, and I'm going to stair-step these. I'm going to select 'Image', and I'm going to choose an image to download, and I'm going to do 'LinkedIn Marketing Infographic'. I think that's what I called it. Let's see. LinkedIn. That's it.

Okay. Is that a ... No, that's a big file. No. That's the Photoshop version. I want the 'Jpeg'. I want something smaller. Let's see.

Did I ... Let's see. LinkedIn. Sometimes, the hardest part is finding the files that you need. I know I called it 'LinkedIn'. [00:36:00] Maybe I said 'Networking Infographic'.

Here we go. No. That's still [a meg 00:36:09]. That's not the one I want. Let's see. I'm just going to

Create an Infographic Using Google Slides - Social Media Training

Page of

say 'LinkedIn Infographic' and see what I get. Okay.

'LinkedIn Checklist'. No. That's not it. You can see, I do a lot of infographics, so I've got a lot of them. All right.

I'm just going to do this one just for illustration purposes. I don't want to waste a lot of time looking for a file on the scope. That one was way too big. Okay. Let's do a different one. We're going to do the ‘Instagram Marketing Infographic’, because that's what I know that we'll need to be doing.

'Instagram Marketing Infographic'. I'm having the hardest time finding these. You know what I'm going to do? I'm just going to go to infographic and see which ones I can get. Okay.

I'm going to add this one. This is a brand new infographic that I just released yesterday that is available to the public. It's called 'The Ultimate Guide to Social Media Tagging'. It shows you how to use tags on every major social network. It's got some really cool examples. It's one of the ultimate guides that has got 64 different tactics on it, along with screenshots and examples, and all kinds of really cool stuff.

I'm just going to use that as an example here. What I'm going to do is make this the same, a little bit smaller, and it's going to go behind this. I'm also going to see if I can make this [00:38:00] transparent, so I'm going to put this backward. See, I want it behind that, and I want it to be transparent a little bit. Let's see if I can do that or blur it a little bit.

I don't think I'm going to be able to do that in Google Slides, so it's just going to be like that. That's fine. I'm going to add one more. After that, I think I'm going to wrap up the scope because that will give you a good idea on how to do this. I am going to put this up a little bit more so the spacing is better. I'm going to pull in one more infographic and put it on the right side.

Again, I'm going to go to 'Image'. I'm going to upload an image. I'm going to go right to infographics so we don't have to spend a whole lot of time on this. This is another one on how to monetize Facebook that I did, but it's ... No. That is what I started to do, but I actually ended up doing this one instead, and I actually like it better, but we're going to go ahead and upload it.

I'll put that behind here in Google Slides, and then I'll show you how to save this as a PDF, and you'll have your hyperlinked infographic which is really, really cool. You didn't have to use Photoshop. You didn't have to use Pixelmator. You were able to use a free tool available on the web. Now, I do use Google for work. I do pay $10 a month to have Gmail for business because I think it's worth it. It gets you Google apps for work with support, so if you ever have questions, I think it's worth having that so you can get support, and this is taking forever in a day to upload.

I'm not doing that. We're going to do something a little bit simpler and a little bit smaller. Let's see. Infographics. [00:40:00] No. No. No. That was a huge one.

I already did that one. ‘Blog Tour’. Okay. The ‘Blog Tour’. Let's see. Anatomy?

Okay. Here's one. 'The Anatomy of an Irresistible Offer', and it's a small one. This is an infographic that I did for a bonus webinar, because our members wanted to know how you make an irresistible offer on the web, and so, I will use this as the third infographic. Again, I'm going to shrink it down and I'm going to put it behind that other infographic.

I want to do is just show people "This is what you get. These are the things that you can go download." Okay. I've got that there, and I want to put it ... Yes. See, it gives you those lines so you know if you're in line.

Instead of going to arrange this time in order and send backward, I'm going to do it with my cursor keys. I'm going to press command and down, and there it went right behind it. There we go. I have got a hyperlinked infographic, and I would just repeat these steps over and over again. I'm going to name it and I'm going to call it 'Grow Biz in 30 Days With Social Media'.

I've titled it, and then, last load it as a PDF. That is how you can create an infographic on Google Slides. If you have any questions, I'm happy to answer those. This is not something that a lot of people think that you can do with Google Slides, but it's actually a really, really easy thing to do. What I'm going to do actually in just a few last minutes that we have is I'm going to open [00:42:00] up that other infographic and start copying some things from it to this one to show you how I would do a lot of that templated stuff.

Here is that 'Monetize Facebook' infographic. What I'm going to do is ... This is one that's not available to the public. You can see it's in ‘Facebook 102’ which is our intermediate class on Facebook in lesson 13. I want to view this a hundred percent. Okay.

One of the things that I have in every single one of my infographics is my branding at the top and at the bottom. What I want to do is I want to copy this text in this rectangle, and I'm going to select them, say edit, copy, and then I'm going to go to this infographic, and I'm going to paste it. I'm going to say edit, paste. That brought over the text, but now I need to get the rectangle. Let's see.

I need to select that over here. Okay. Again, edit, copy. I'm going to come over and do edit, paste. You see, it's almost in the right place. I can move it over a little bit, and I'm going to make it go backwards.

It's actually way too big. What I want to do is to make this a little bit smaller so I can see the whole thing, and I'm going to make this fit the space that I've got. Okay. There we go.

Then, I'm going to come here down at the bottom and I'm going to do the same thing.

Now, I have no idea why this looks different down here. That is really weird. I don't know what that is. I'll figure that out a minute. [00:44:00] What I'm going to do is come over here and come to the bottom, and I'm going to see if I can select a lot of the stuff at the same time.

Let's see. I've got it selected. I'm going to say edit, copy. I'm going to go over here. I'm at the bottom, and I'm going to do edit, paste. It did bring a lot of it over.

Look. It brought everything over. Beautiful. I love that. Okay. Here we are at the bottom, and I've got my branding right there in my infographic.

See, once you do this, you've got a template and it's really, really easy to do this. The one thing I would do differently is I need to make these hyperlinked. Let's see. That's my Twitter handle, so I'm going to come over here. I'm going to come to the 'Link' button, and I want to go to 'Twitter.comsm_onlineclass'.

That takes people to my Twitter handle, my Twitter account. This is my Facebook account, and I need to select the whole thing. I'm going to copy this. Edit, copy. No. Not copy. I need to link.

Here, I'm going to put in my Facebook URL. It's ''. Okay. That's it. All right.

Thank you for everyone who joined me on the scope today. I'm going to wrap it up. I'm Maria Peagler with '' in how to create your own infographic in Google Slides.

weekly top 5 - puppy edition
Oct 26

Weekly Top 5 for Oct 26, 2015

By Janice Deleon

Our classes are just the start of the learning you get here at  Here are the additional resources available this week..

weekly top 5 - puppy edition


#1. [WEBINAR EXCERPT] Broadcasting with Periscope & Blab for Small Business

Watch this brief webinar excerpt to learn what exactly these two new apps are and how they are game-changers for small business . . .

#2. Grow Your Business in 30 Days Using Social Media Marketing

Stop social media overwhelm and get a week-by-week plan for an entire 30 days. At the end, you’ll have grown your business using these resources . . .

#3. SMOC Member Generates Her First Sale from a Facebook Ad!

Join me in congratulating this SMOC member who created her first FB ad and is already getting sales from it . . .

#4. Lessons Learned from My First Blab Broadcast

Last week I broadcasted my first ever Blab episode. I learned some valuable lessons to help members avoid a few awkward situations . . .

#5. How to Block a User on Periscope

Want to block a user on Periscope from leaving creepy comments during your broadcast? Here’s how . . .


periscope blab small business webinar
Oct 20

Broadcasting for Small Business with Periscope & Blab [WEBINAR EXCERPT]

By Maria Peagler

Ever wished you could host your own Bloomberg TV show?

Your own Shark Tank? Or your own reality show?

Now you can, thanks to Periscope & Blab.

If you’re wondering what the huge buzz is around these two applications, wait no more. Watch this brief excerpt explaining how you can now host your own live broadcast, simply & easily.  Want the full webinar? Members get it free here.

Video Transcript

The original blog post appear here.

In, you get classes on every major social network, infographics, webinars, and 1:1 coaching with me. I hope to see you inside


Maria Peagler: Really what Blab and Periscope are are the democratization of broadcasting. You no longer need to be a celebrity, have a cameraman and a big studio to put on a decides. All you need is one person in front of a smartphone or a computer and you can have your own broadcast. It’s literally that simple. It is an exciting time. I can tell you, if I were sitting back in my journalism 101 class at the University of Georgia, they would be all over this because it allows anyone to be a citizen journalist. You can be Charlie Rose. You can be Jimmy Fallon. You can be Oprah. You can host your own talk show. You can host your own TV channel. That’s what is so exciting about this.

Let’s take a look first at Periscope. We’re going to take a look at what it is, how people are using it, and I’m going to give you a little glimpse of a Periscope that I did yesterday. What is Periscope? Periscope is a mobile-only app that was purchased by Twitter, that allows you to both broadcast live stream video and watch live stream video from other scopers. That’s what these are called. People who use Periscope are called scopers, and the broadcast is called a scope. Here are a few of its features. It’s mobile-only. It is specifically for a smartphone or tablet. You’re broadcasting live video and you can watch live broadcasts as well.

Blab is the second live stream app that we’re going to be talking about today. It’s very similar to Periscope, but it’s different in a couple of ways. First, it’s meant for a group broadcast. You have to have two to four people to do a blab. You cannot do a solo blab. It’s not possible because they will not make it public if it’s just one person. You literally have to do it with two to four people. That’s the minimum and maximum. You can do it either from desktop or mobile. I have to tell you I find Blab absolutely fascinating. I’m going to show you how you would use this and why I find it so fascinating.

Their motto is “push a button, start a talk show.” It’s literally that easy. If you ever tried Google Hangouts, this is what Google Hangouts should have been but wasn’t. It is so easy to use. It’s easy to find people. The really cool thing is you can hop on a blab with anybody. If they have an open seat, if they don’t have four people on their blab, you can hop on. You can watch live conversations either from your mobile phone or from your desktop. You can interact, again, via Twitter. Now Blab is not owned by Twitter but it’s integrated with it. You can leave comments on Blab. You can … they call it tell a little bird, which is tell people something that you’re hearing on a blab. You can see here that they have something similar to hearts in Periscope. You give people props. Everybody has their own little prop hands. If somebody in a blab is doing something that you like or makes a point that you like, you click on it.

Let’s look at a comparison of the two. Periscope and Blab are both live stream broadcasting applications. Periscope is mobile-only. You cannot do anything with it on the desktop. Blab is both mobile and desktop. I just showed you Blab from my desktop. Periscope is a one-person broadcast only. Multiple people can watch it but only one person is broadcasting on a scope at a time. On Blab you have to have at least two people. Now it looked like Chris Brogan was able to record his just being one person, but I’m going to have to try that and see. Because in the Blab help it says that they don’t make it public until you have two people, and that the maximum you can have is four. There’s no limit to the number of people who are interacting. Now, Periscope will only save your broadcast for 24 hours

In, you get classes on every major social network, infographics, webinars, and 1:1 coaching with me. I hope to see you inside


Oct 19

Weekly Top 5 for Oct 19, 2015

By Janice Deleon

Our classes are just the start of the learning you get here at  Here are the additional resources available this week..

Colorful cupcakes with flowers


#1. How to Use Social Media Tagging – the Ultimate Guide & INFOGRAPHIC

Learn how to use social media tags to give people & brands direct notification you’ve mentioned them. Includes 64 tactics, 17+ examples, screenshots and much, much more . . .

#2. Periscope & Blab for Your Small Business [WEBINAR REPLAY & RESOURCES]

What are Periscope & Blab and how can they help your business? They’re super-easy broadcasting tools allowing you to broadcast live from anywhere, using your mobile phone or computer.  Learn more here  . . .

#3. People Who Like My Organization on Facebook: Friends or Fans?

An SMOC member wants to know if people who like the organization pages she manages on Facebook are fans or friends. She’s seeing friend requests from them and needs to know why . . .

#4. Two-Minute Video: Create Your Own Stock Photo Library Using Canva

We’ve taken one of our most popular how-to videos and sped it up so you can watch how to create your own stock photo library in just a few minutes using Canva . . .

#5. [VIDEO] How to Create a Hyperlinked Infographic Using Google Slides

Yes, you really can create a robust infographic (with hyperlinks) using a simple, free tool:  Google Slides. Watch this in-depth video to learn how . . .


social media tagging infographic fi
Oct 13

[PDF DOWNLOAD] The Ultimate Guide to Social Media Tagging [UPDATED 2016]

By Maria Peagler

Click on the infographic to download your own full-size pdf version

<< Click on the infographic to download your own full-size pdf version.

[UPDATED 2016]

“Tag — you’re it!”

In a nutshell, that’s what a social media tag does: allows you to notify a friend or business you’ve mentioned them on that social network.

No, they’re not “it,” but they been talked about. And curiosity will prompt them to check out what you’ve said (good or bad).

Every major social network offers the ability to tag: who you can tag, how you do it, and the effect it has is what this guide is all about.

A tag is not a hashtag: a tag identifies a person or brand and notifies them they’ve been mentioned in a post.  A hashtag is a word or phrase describing the content or context of your post and helps people find it.

In the tweet shown below, I’m linking to an infographic on how to use a Google search to find anything online. I used the tag @Google to notify them I mentioned them in my tweet; I used the hashtag #search to increase the visibility of the tweet:

@Google "taps" them on the shoulder to say "you've been mentioned;" #search helps people find the tweet

@Google “taps” them on the shoulder to say “you’ve been mentioned;” #search helps people find the tweet

See the difference? A tag notifies one person/brand directly; a hashtag allows a wider group of people to find your content.




1. Tags is a @ symbol used before a name

A tag is the “at” symbol (@) preceding a person’s or brand’s name on a social network. For example, if you wanted to tag Apple’s CEO Tim Cook, you would use @Tim_Cook (Apple is conspicuously absent from Twitter, however). You’ll see over 17 screenshots of tags in this guide (scroll to see them).

2. Tags can be a person’s name

You can tag a person on every social network using the exact spelling of their name on that account. And their account name may be different on various social networks. I’m @mariapeagler on Instagram, but @sm_onlineclass on Twitter.  Most social networks will display the person’s account name and avatar as you type, so you can select the correct one.

3.  Tags can be a business’ name

All major social networks allow you to tag a business in your posts. However, many limit the ability of a brand to tag a person for privacy reasons (I give you all the details later in this comprehensive guide).

4.  Tells them of your mention

A tag tells the person/brand that you’ve mentioned them in a post and identifies you as the person who did it.

5.  They get a notification

When you’re tagged on social media, you get a message in your notifications area identifying who tagged you; click on it to see the post itself.

6.  Gives people a “heads up”

A tag is literally a “heads up — you’ve been mentioned” courtesy.  Social media can be a noisy, overwhelming place, and tags notify users of they’ve been named in a post in case they’ve missed it.

7.  Tags are public; notifications are private

Because tags are visible in a social media post itself, anyone who has permission to see it will be able to see your tag. However, the notification you receive from the social network is private.

8.  Works on personal & business accounts

Tagging works on both personal and business accounts for every major social network (Slideshare is an exception currently. However, since their purchase by LinkedIn, I expect tagging will be added as a feature soon).


Tips like these and significantly more are covered in



9. Use @ in Mentions & Replies

You can tag Twitter users when you mention them in a tweet. A specific type of mention is called a reply. The difference between the two? I clear it up in #10 and #11

10. Mentions is a tag in tweet body

A Twitter mention is when you tag someone in the body of a tweet. When you tag another Twitter user, they’ll get a message linking to your tweet in their Notifications tab.

social media tagging twitter mention

Mention example: I tagged author Ekaterina Walter in the body of this tweet; she got a msg linking to it in her Notifications tab


social media tagging evernote example

The Power of a Mention: I tagged Evernote in a tweet, which notified them. They saw it, retweeted it, and over 400K people learned of my brand in just one day.

Want to mention someone at the beginning of a tweet, but it’s not a reply? You can do that too: just type a period at the beginning of the tweet, like this Pantene did here:

sm tags twitter mention period

11. Replies begin a tweet

A Twitter reply is usually a response to someone else’s tweet. Use a tag at the beginning of a reply; by doing so, the only people who will see it in their timeline will be those who follow both you and the other user.

social media tagging twitter reply

Because I tagged @Ross_Behrens at the beginning of this tweet, only Ross and the people following both of us will see it

12.  Use tags in tweets or photos

You can tag someone in a tweet or by tagging them in a photo you upload to Twitter.  Here I uploaded an infographic to Twitter and tagged the business I featured in it by clicking on Who’s in this photo?:

social media tagging photo twitter


13.  Search Twitter using tags

You can search for a user’s tag natively on Twitter or by searching for their tag on Google.  Searching for @RisingStarRes on Google search returns Lynda Spiegel (see her tag in #12).

14.  Use “via @WSJ” to credit

An easy way to credit the source of content or a link in your tweet is to end it with “via @username.” So the tweet “On ‘Big Bang,’ hiding jokes are a science via @WSJ” tags the Wall Street Journal and also gives them credit. While they use their own shortened & branded URL, most brands don’t, and this is a simple way to source them.

15.  Use mentions as testimonials

An easy way to provide a public testimonial is to tweet it and tag the brand in it. Easy for you to do, and great publicity for the brand.  In the tweet below, @thedreamregister offered a testimonial about her membership with and tagged us in it:

social media tagging testimonial twitter


16. Tag up to 10 people in a photo

Tagging people in your photo? You can tag up to 10 of them on Twitter.

In, you get classes on every major social network, infographics, webinars, and 1:1 coaching with me. I hope to see you inside



17. Use @ in caption text

The area below the photo in Instagram is called the caption, and this is where you can tag a person or brand using the @ symbol.

18. Can use anywhere in caption

You can tag an Instagram user anywhere in the body of the caption; unlike Twitter, it doesn’t matter where it appears.  The effect is the same: the user gets notification they were tagged on a post.

19.  Can tag people in a photos

You can also tag other Instagram users in a photo by clicking on the image and adding their username, as shown below:

social media tagging instagram

Tap the screen to add a tag to a photo on Instagram


20. Use tags to link to other Instagram accts

Old Spice created a simulated game by tagging its other accounts in an image and setting up the scenario in the caption:

instagram tags old spce gaming

Instagram created a game-like post by setting up a simulated environment and tagged its image with its other accounts as the game’s next steps

21.  Tag users & add emojis

Add some extra life to your Instagram captions by tagging another user and adding emojis to reinforce your message.  Instagram users love their emojis, and it gets the conversation going.

22.  Use tags to showcase products

If your brand offers multiple products and each has its own Instagram account, tag them in your images.  Those tags will act as a hyperlink to take users to the product accounts.

23.  Host a Follow & Tag contest

Want a simple contest for Instagram? Require users to 1) follow your account, and 2) tag a friend on your post. That both gains new followers for you and generates more visibility.

24.  Tag wisely using post etiquette

Instagram tends to have a lot of spam tagging and hashtags, so set yourself apart by being different: only tag those people, brands, or influencers who are relevant to your account.  Don’t tag Oprah in hopes she’ll see you and promote your next book.




25. Can tag people from profile

Facebook allows you the most freedom in tagging on your personal profile: from here, you can tag both people and brands.

26. Can tag only business from biz page

From your business page, you can tag only other businesses, for privacy reasons.  Remember that your Facebook posts are public, and your fans may not want their clickable tag appearing in your post.

In this Facebook post, I tagged the authors of a post I shared. I was able to tag Orbit Media Studios’ business page, they saw the post and responded to it, as did my fans.  Notice this post didn’t get a huge reach — only 21 people. It didn’t need to, because it reached the right people through social media tagging:

social tagging facebook engaging post

27.  Can tag people in photos

From your personal profile, you can tag both people and brands in a photo.  You cannot do either from your business page. However, the UEFA Champions League cleverly gets around that restriction by telling its fans to tag themselves in this photo:

tag yourself sm tag facebook

While you can’t tag a person from your business page, you can suggest your fans do it themselves

28.  Can tag in comments

Tagging is also available in post comments.  While you cannot tag a person from your business page, people can tag their own friends in a comment on your page or even your ad.  It’s an easy way for them to share content.

Men’s Health magazine suggests tagging a friend and liking their page. From the 55,000 Likes and almost 5,000 comments, I’d say it’s working:

sm tag facebook mens health


29.  Groups can tag their members

Facebook groups allow its members to tag each other in comments, so they get notifications of when they’ve been mentioned. In large groups, this allows members to stay engaged when there are far more posts than they’ll ever be able to read.

30.  Fans can tag friends in comment

An easy way to get more visibility for your posts is to encourage your fans to tag their friends in the comments on a post.  SHAPE magazine does this in their squat challenge:

sm tag facebook comments

31.  Ask fans to tag you biz in contest

Tag contests are popular on Facebook too.  Good Morning America had Garth Brooks surprise a Mom at her front door on Mother’s Day, and an easy way to promote the story was by suggesting fans “tag a mom you love in the comments.” While that didn’t enter them in the contest, it did increase the viewership of and buzz around the story:

sm tag gma facebook

GMA gets greater visibility for their Mother’s Day contest by encourage fans to “tag a Mom you love”

32.  Notifies you when tagged

No matter who does the tagging, you get notified in your Facebook menu when you’ve been tagged. It’s a smart way of cutting through the noise on Facebook to say “you’ve been mentioned!”


linkedin33. Tag using the @ symbol

Tag people and brands on LinkedIn using the @ symbol, as you do on other social network.

34. Tag in status updates or comments

You can tag LinkedIn users either in a status update or in comments on your own or others’ status updates.

35.  Tag a person in your network

LinkedIn limits you to tagging only those people you’re already connected with in your network.

36.  Tag a business

You can tag any business having a page on LinkedIn — no restrictions.

37. Tagged name gets notification

The LinkedIn account you tagged gets a notification in the upper right of their Main Menu.

38.  Tagged name links to profile

When you add a tag to your LinkedIn status update, that tag becomes a clickable hyperlink.

39.  Reply to people who tag you

It’s good etiquette to reply to people who tag you on LinkedIn.  They’re providing engagement, and you want to add your voice to the conversation and say “thanks!”

linkedin social media tags

This robust conversation on LinkedIn uses tags to directly address the participants

40.  Great way to start conversation

Tagging is an excellent way to start an intelligent conversation or ask for input on LinkedIn.

Google Plus

google plus41. Tag using the @ or + symbols

Google Plus allows you to tag other users with either the @ symbol or the + sign.

42. Can also tag using email

You can also tag someone on Google Plus using their email address. As you enter it, an autocomplete list will appear, and you can select their name from it.

43.  Can tag people & businesses

You can tag both people and brands on Google Plus. You can also tag people who are not in your Circles.

44.  Can tag in posts/comments

You can tag Google Plus users either in your posts or in comments (on your own post or in other’s posts).

45.  Tag people in Google Photos

Photos or images you upload to Google Plus are managed by their Google Photos application, which allows you to tag both people and businesses:

social media tagging google plus


46.  Feature called Tag People

While Google Photos calls this feature Tag People, you can also tag a business in a photo, as shown below:

google plus tag business photo

47. Tagged name gets notifications

You get notifications you’ve been tagged in an image in your Notifications icon at the top right. By clicking on it, you can see the images as well approve or reject any mentions you don’t want:

google plus notifications


48.  Choose where to receive notifications: desktop, mobile, email, sms, or push notifications

Google Plus has the largest number of notifications options of any social network: you automatically get notifications on desktop and mobile, but you can also have them delivered via email, sms on your smartphone, or by push notifications.



49. Tag using the @ symbol

Pinterest allows you to tag other users using the @ symbol: to tag me, you’d use @mariapeagler.

50. Tag in pin description

You can tag other users in the pin description, shown below the pin photo:

social media tagging pinterest

I was able to tag Marybeth because I follow her on Pinterest

51.  Tag in pin comments

You can also tag other Pinterest users in comments on a pin. While it’s unlikely to be as robust a conversation as you would have on Twitter or LinkedIn, those users will get a notification of your tag and see your mention.

52.  Can tag followers

Pinterest allows you to tag people who you follow. As I type @marybeth, Pinterest displays followers whose names match that and allows me to choose from them.

53.  Can also tag businesses

Want to tag a business on your Pinterest pin? No problem! You do need to follow them first: you can tag only those brands you follow.

54.  Notifies you when tagged

As with other social networks, Pinterest notifies you when you’ve been tagged either in a pin or a description.

55.  Great for contest entries

Run a contest on Pinterest and require entrants to tag your brand. You gain a new follower and get notified they’ve entered your contest.

56.  Cuts through visual clutter

Pinterest is overwhelming to some users because of all the visual stimulation (an artist friend says there’s just too much to look at!). So getting a notification helps to cut through the visual noise and gives a user a “heads up” when they’ve been mentioned.



57. Be innovative to grab attention

How can you be creative in using tags on social media? Can you create a “game” like Old Spice? What if you tag people or brands you mention in a blog post? Start small and have fun!

58. Tell a story using tags

Use tags to tell your brand’s story: tag your clients when you include them in a case study. Tag your vendors to recommend them. Tag influencers to say how they’ve inspired you.

59.  Host contest; entrants must tag you

Tags serve multiple purposes for contests: they gain new followers for your brand, reduce the workload (since you get notifications), and gain greater visibility for your brand.

60.  Use your tag in branding

Use your tag in your branding across the web.  Every infographic I do (including this one for social media tagging) includes my Twitter account tag @sm_onlineclass. Make it easy for people to tag you.

61.  Give credit with a tagged shout out

Impressed with an article? Tag the author.  Shared a great story? Tag the person or brand it’s about. Had a great experience at a restaurant? Take a photo of your meal and tag them on Instagram. Tagging is the EZ button for testimonials and reviews.

62.  Use tag on your products

Can you include a tag on your product packaging (or the product itself)?

63.  Use on SWAG giveaways

If you give away promotional freebies, be sure to include your social media tag on your products. It’s a reminder of your generosity and the product/service you offer.

64.  Tag relevant influencers (wisely)

Yes, I included this one before, but it bears repeating: if you’re tagging an influencer, be sure you have sufficient reason to. Don’t spam them. Be helpful, be relevant, and be authentic.

What’s your social media tag?

social media tagging infographic 300 Click HERE to download the full-size infographic[/ninja-popup]

Every small business can brand themselves and expand their influence using social media tags.

Go through this post again and identify which tactics best fit your business. You don’t have to completely change the way you market your brand; instead, simply start using a tags in your social media posts, visual content, and contests.

Use this infographic as a “to do list” of tactics, and experiment with a few to see which ones generate the most buzz and results for your brand. Don’t forget to let me know which ones worked for you, using the hashtag #smtagprimer.

Share this #smtagprimer Infographic On Your Site

Share this Image On Your Site


Oct 12

Weekly Top 5 for Oct 12, 2015

By Janice Deleon

Our classes are just the start of the learning you get here at  Here are the additional resources available this week..

People talk in speech bubbles, isolated with clipping paths. Soc


#1. Periscope (and Blab) for Your Small Business: Live Webinar,  + Recording + MP3 Audio + Infographic

Heard about Periscope but wonder if it’s right for your business? Join us for this free members webinar to learn more about Periscope, Blab, and what they can do for your small business . . .

#2. How an SMOC Member Turned Her Business Around

We’re so proud of this SMOC member, who has completely transformed her business using our classes, coaching, and Facebook group . . .

#3. Maria’s Take on the Prison Debate Team Who Beat Harvard

Maria was on the UGA debate team and saw the Harvard debaters, in action. See what she has to say about the prison team that beat Harvard (and you can use it as inspiration in your business) . . .

#4. Download Presentations from Slideshare

Have you checked out our presentations on Slideshare? They offer proven tactics for growing your business using social, SEO, and email . . .

#5. Watch Videos on YouTube

Over 75 videos for you to watch, review, and learn on topics like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, mobile marketing, selling with social and much more . . .


periscope for your small business webinar
Oct 06

Periscope for Your Small Business: Live Webinar + Recording + MP3 Audio + Infographic

By Maria Peagler


periscope for your small business webinar

Join Maria Peagler for this 30-minute live webinar: Periscope for Your Small Business —

  • 30-Minute Webinar + On-Demand recording + MP3 Audio + Infographic
  • $297.00 value FREE for Members (Membership is $57 per month, cancel easily anytime.)
  • Thurs, October 15, 1pm EDT, 6pm GMT

Get Webinar FREE with SMOC Membership
Already a member? Your webinar access codes will arrive in your Inbox a few days before the webinar.

What is Periscope and What Will It Do for My Business?

Periscope is one of the hottest new apps from the team at Twitter —

— but what is it?

How will it benefit your small business?

That’s what you’ll learn in the October webinar: actual case studies of small businesses using Periscope to engage their audience in a way never before possible.

Here’s a “secret” most marketers won’t tell you: a huge segment of the people using Periscope are marketers . . . marketing to other marketers.

That’s NOT what you’ll be learning in this webinar.

I’ll be sharing with you how real small businesses are using Periscope everyday, including:

  • local farms
  • beauty bloggers
  • local tours
  • event planners
  • wineries
  • restaurants
  • and many more!

Plus, plenty of time for Q&A, so come with questions, so sign up today!

Get Your $297.00 Webinar ticket FREE When You Join Today

Purchase your Webinar ticket for $297.00 now, or get it free when you join as a Member today for $57 per month. Cancel easily anytime. is a continuous service, including instant access to over 200 online lessons valued at $1,997.00 plus $397.00 worth of new Bonus Webinars & infographics each month, billed to your payment card every 30 days at the lowest rate then in effect, currently just $57.

In total, you’ll get instant access to $2,297.00 (and growing!) worth of practical Members-Only training to grow your business using social media. Membership helps you:

#1. Get Access to One Billion Customers in 10 Minutes

Learn how to identify the social networks best for your unique business, then build a profile that turns more visitors into paying customers. SMOC brings you ‘what works’ training that cuts through the noise & crushes social media overwhelm.

Members instantly access how-to videos, screen shots, checklists, infographics, and case studies — tools which can be put to work on your website & social networking right away.

#2. Get More Fans in Less Time

Discover how to get fans & connections without spending all day in social media. You really can post to all of your social networks in as little as 15 minutes a day, and you’ll learn how to generate content & posts that get your business noticed, attract fans, and turn them into paying customers.

Members immediately get their hands on how-to checklists (like 13 Ways to Get More Facebook Fans), videos that teach you how to do search engine optimization yourself, and real-life examples of successful small businesses who’ve achieved great success.

#3. Customize Your Learning Track

Online training is often a one-sized fits all plan, but not for SMOC Members. You’ll get a customized social media assessment that details the optimum social networks for your unique career path & industry, and you can use it as your guide for what classes you’ll need (Members are often surprised at the results). Plus, Members can instantly access:

  • hands-on video tutorials
  • monthly social media makeovers (for your website or any social network)
  • bonus webinars that dive deep into profitable tactics
  • infographics to print as your cheat sheets
  • a private community forum
  • 1:1 private coaching

#4. Get 1:1 Coaching Plus Networking with Other Business Owners

Members get instant access to a private online community of peers eager to connect and discuss what’s worked and what hasn’t for them.

Each month, members also get 1:1 coaching time with Maria where you can get feedback on your website, advice on your business plan, help with your social media marketing, you name it — it’s your time!

Plus, your Membership includes a complimentary pass to SMOC’s monthly Bonus Webinar or virtual workshop focused on a hot social media business topic — ranging from one & done posting to getting listed on search results — with plenty of time for extended Q&As . The webinar alone is a value of $297.00 per month.

As a member you’ll get immediate access to all the materials on the site plus that month’s Bonus Webinar. After that, you’ll be billed the lowest available monthly fee (currently just $57) via convenient automated billing. It’s risk-free and guaranteed, you can easily cancel at any time.

So why not join today and see how can help your business grow!

Get Webinar FREE with SMOC Membership

weekly top 5 - puppy edition
Oct 05

Weekly Top 5 for Oct 05, 2015

By Janice Deleon

Our classes are just the start of the learning you get here at  Here are the additional resources available this week..


weekly top 5 - puppy edition

#1. How to Run Your Business on a Chromebook for Less Than $300

One of the most popular posts we’ve evern published.  Maria reveals how she can run from her Chromebook laptop (even without wi-fi).  A must-read . . .

#2. How to Drive Traffic from Twitter

New members-only infographic: what does it take to get traffic from just 140 characters? Learn the t + rt = T method for driving traffic here . . .

#3. [HACK] How to Post an Image to Instagram from your Computer

“How can I get a photo from my computer onto Instagram?” SMOC members want to know, and Maria shares her easy “hack” in Lesson 5 of Instagram 101 . . .

#4. Make It Easy for Clients to Share their Special Moments

The last place you’d expect to be innovative on Instagram? The Georgia Department of Drivers’ Services; but they have a fun and creative way for new drivers to show off their new license . . .

#5. Changes Coming to Facebook Mobile

Facebook is improving your mobile experience, and here’s what changes are coming to your device in the coming months . . .


how to run your business on a chromebook
Sep 29

How to Run Your Business on a Chromebook for Less Than $300

By Maria Peagler

how to run your business on a chromebook


Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it?

I was skeptical myself, until I took my Chromebook to Austin for a conference.

That’s when I fell in love with it.

In this post I’m sharing why . . .

. . . and why you should consider a Chromebook for your work, studies, or personal life.

Two Laptops Destroyed in Two Months

It was heartbreaking —

My husband and I were on vacation celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary in the Florida Keys.  It was gorgeous, warm, and magical . . .

. . . until he dropped his laptop (while it was in the padded case) on a tile floor. He took out his Dell laptop, tried to boot it up, and nothing happened.  We removed the hard drive, sent it to a data recovery specialist, and the verdict was the data was unrecoverable.

All of my husband’s business data on that laptop was gone.

Yes, he had backups.  But he also was missing three months of critical data from his business.

Two weeks previous to the death of the Dell, my son’s laptop (my old MacBook Pro) had water spilled on it.

Another laptop gone — two laptops destroyed in two months.

I was determined this was not going to happen to me.

I wanted a backup laptop I could take on vacation, to conferences, and have just in case my current MacBook Pro died.

I was not, however, willing to shell out the $2,000+ a MacBook Pro costs.

Enter the Chromebook

I had read about Chromebook laptops, which run the Chrome operating system and are manufactured by multiple companies, including Google, Toshiba, Hewlett Packard and more.  The only downside is any application you run on it must be a web application, as Chromebooks are meant to run only on wi-fi and have a minimal hard drive.

Basically, they’re meant for cloud computing only.

When I analyzed the applications I use in my business, almost every single one was a web application:  WordPress, Google Docs, Canva, and social networks.

I researched Chromebooks and found they top out around $300 (unless you’re considering the Google Pixel version which costs over $1,000).  The Toshiba Chromebook 2 received glowing reviews, had a high-resolution display and was recommended by BusinessInsider.

I was sold. I could theoretically have a backup computer for less than $300.

I ordered my Toshiba Chromebook 2 from Amazon, and because I’m a Prime member, had it in two days.

Now the real test would begin.

Running on Wi-Fi Only is a Myth

Initially I used my new Chromebook in my home office only, where I have a good internet connection via DSL.  I wrote blog posts on the Chromebook, posted on social media, watched YouTube videos, and was pleased with how well it performed.  The only downside was I couldn’t create infographics since Pixelmator (my favorite graphics app) was Mac-only.  I could use instead, but my infographics were too complex for Canva to handle.

My love affair with it really began this month when I attended a conference in Austin.  In a large hotel conference room (with no wi-fi nor enough power strips for the 300+ laptops in the room).

My Chromebook prevailed!


First, you can use Google Docs without wi-fi on a Chromebook. So it didn’t matter that we were stuck in a windowless conference room without an internet connection.  I was able to take notes using Google Docs (and those notes were beautiful— tables, bullets, emojis — I took full advantage of everything Docs offers).  I also updated the notes on the flight home (without wi-fi).

Second, the Toshiba Chromebook 2 has a whopping eight-hour battery life.  And it’s really eight hours. I took conference notes from 9am to 5pm without ever being plugged in to a power strip.  Comparatively, my MacBook Pro battery lasts only about three hours, tops.

Third, my Chromebook is small enough that it fit easily in my leather handbag.  I didn’t need a separate laptop case, simplifying  travel, and needing one less carry-on bag.

Fourth, in the evening at my Airb&b guest house with wi-fi, I was able to record a webinar and upload it to Vimeo, extract the audio, covert the media files, and create an infographic, all using the Chromebook.  I was able to accomplish far more than I originally ever thought I could with a Chromebook.

What follows is a list of the apps I used to do accomplish all those projects, along with my other favorites:

Record a Webinar with Snagit

Snagit is a much-loved desktop screen capture tool from TechSmith, that also records video.  They debuted a bare-bones Chrome version last year, but I was unsure if I could record a webinar 40 minutes long using it.

I needed to record my screen, with multiple browser tabs open, and demonstrate to SMOC members how I was able to reach Google’s first page in 90 days (the topic of my webinar).

I recorded the entire 40 minute-webinar using Snagit.

While the sound quality wasn’t nearly as good as it would have been on my MacBook Pro, it worked well enough in a pinch.

Awesome! I had my 40-minute long Snagit file.

Now what? How was I going to get Snagit’s .avi file converted to .mp4 format so I could upload it to Vimeo?

Convert Almost Any File with CloudConvert

Snagit automatically saved my webinar recording on Google Drive.  When I went to open it, Drive asked me if I wanted to convert the file using CloudConvert.

I was game: I needed to convert the file, and had no idea how to do it using a web application.  My favorite desktop conversion tool, Handbrake, wasn’t available for Chromebook.

So I tried CloudConvert and was thrilled: it converted the webinar file from an .avi to an .mp4 successfully, and reduced it significantly in size, from 272MB to 104MB (tiny for a video file).


Then I realized I needed to convert the audio from the webinar to an .mp3 audio file: could CloudConvert do that too?

No problem: it took the .avi file and extracted the audio, saving it to an .mp3 file. Brilliant!  Again, the size was considerably smaller than .mp3 files I save using TechSmith’s Camtasia (my regular webinar recording tool).  Those .wav files are usually over 100MB; CloudConvert’s .mp3 was only 30 MB.

Create Lessons & Webinar Pages in WordPress

Since WordPress is a web application, I didn’t anticipate any issues using it on my Chromebook. I was able to create lessons, create the webinar page and embed the webinar video and audio files on it.  Smooth!

But, WordPress won’t accept a media upload larger than 2MB, so how could I upload my audio file that was 30MB?

Upload Files to My Server Using sFTP Client

I normally use FileZilla to upload files to my server (I even donated to the application’s author I was so pleased with it), but again, no Chromebook version of it.

So I searched the Chrome Store for the most popular FTP application and downloaded it: sFTP Client.

One FTP application is pretty similar to the next: either they work or they don’t.

It worked. The first time.

And it choose between regular FTP (File Transfer Protocol) or sFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol).


Create an Infographic Using Google Slides

My last major test for the Chromebook was creating an infographic.  While I had read about graphic web applications like Pixlr, it was vastly different from Pixelmator, and I didn’t want to invest the learning curve in a tool I would use so infrequently.

Then it hit me:  HubSpot offers free templates for creating infographics using PowerPoint.  While I had never downloaded the templates, I wondered if it would be possible to create my own branded infographic using Google Slides?

I created a new slide deck with only one slide, modified the size to what I needed, and created an infographic consistent with the others I share in my members-only webinars. It had the same look & feel, and I was able to create it entirely on the Chromebook:

infographic created in Google Presentations

I was able to create this infographic entirely in Google Presentations

Manage Projects Using Trello

As a visual person, I enjoy using Trello for project management, as I can easily see the progress on each task as it happens.  I can also organize my projects and teams the way I choose.

Like other web applications, Trello worked seamlessly from my Chromebook.  It was the same experience as using it on my Mac, so I was able to communicate with my VA and developer without a hitch.

Projects continued while I was gone, and I managed them all from my Chromebook.

Creating Simple Graphics Using Canva

I already used Canva to create simple images for some of my blog posts and social media, so using it from the Chromebook wasn’t much different.  While the screen on my Toshiba was smaller than my MacBook Pro, I could easily zoom in to see the areas I needed in Canva.

Documenting Everything in Evernote

I use the basic free version of Evernote, so I wasn’t able to use it to take notes during the conference (no wi-fi during the day).  But at night, I had wi-fi and was able to access my travel itinerary, conference details, update my To-Do List and more.  I experienced no difference in using Evernote’s web application and the Mac desktop version.

Accounting for Non-Math Majors Using LessAccounting

As a writer, trainer, and artist, I love being creative and helping others to learn new things.

I have rarely loved math: I can do it, but it takes me longer than those for whom it’s a strength.

So I outsource my accounting. Not to a bookkeeper, not to QuickBooks (tried it, hated it), but to LessAccounting: a web-based accounting application designed for people who hate accounting.

I connect my bank accounts and PayPal, and it does the rest. It imports all of my transactions, including expenses, income, and I can create invoices from it as well.

It costs $39 a month, and it saves me hours of time every month.

I can log in from Chromebook, review and categorize my expenses (if necessary), and analyze my Profit & Loss statements, just as I could from my MacBook Pro.

A Chromebook for My Virtual Assistant

My experience with the Chromebook was so positive, that I purchased one for my VA when her old laptop began to have problems.  Because I already had experience successfully using the applications core to my business from the Chromebook, I knew she would be able to do the same.  I sent her an advance on PayPal, and she purchased the Chromebook in her country.

She’s thrilled with it.

As I am with mine.

I still love my MacBook Pro and use it as my primary business computer. But, if a new Chromebook debuts with a larger screen, I may make the switch permanently.

How Are You Using Your Chromebook?

It would be so great to hear how you’re using your own Chromebook (or questions about its potential).  Share your tips in the comments below so others can learn what’s possible using a Chromebook.

Projects I want to try from my Toshiba Chromebook 2 are:

  • Recording a live webinar with attendees
  • Reading a Kindle book (I’ve downloaded the app but haven’t used it much yet)
  • Exploring its abilities I have yet to discover

I’ll keep this post updated as I learn and experience more!

Sep 28

Weekly Top 5 for Sep 28, 2015

By Janice Deleon

Our classes are just the start of the learning you get here at  Here are the additional resources available this week..

Colorful cupcakes with flowers


#1. Tips for Entrepreneurs from a Top UpWork VA

Ever considered delegating projects to a virtual assistant but weren’t sure where to start? Read this article from a top 1% Upwork freelancer on what U.S. entrepreneurs need to know about working with a VA . . .

#2. [WEBINAR EXCERPT] How I Got to Google’s First Page in 90 Days

Watch this brief excerpt of the full webinar where I explain how I got to the first page of search for a highly competitive market . . .

#3. How to Focus on Days You Feel Brain Dead

Not feeling productive? Day full of crises? Here’s how to get back on track when it’s tough to focus . . .

#4. [NEW] Instagram 101 Class Updated for New User Interface

Instagram debuted a new interface, and our Instagram is updated with the new details and awesome tactics you won’t learn any where else! Check out the new class here . . .

#5. [CLASSIC WEBINAR EXCERPT] How to Get More Sales from Your Website

Get a sneak peek into this month’s webinar! Best member takeaways were “where visitors look on my website,” “how to make my site look good on mobile” and “now I know why people don’t trust my store!”  Watch the 5-min excerpt here . . . . .


Sep 23

90 Days to Google First Page [WEBINAR EXCERPT]

By Janice Deleon

Watch this webinar excerpt to see how I got to google’s first page in 90 days. You can get the full webinar FREE here.

Tips like these and significantly more are covered in


Video Transcript

Maria Peagler: Case study that I’m showing you is actually for, for my business. Now, I rank pretty well on a lot of pages for certain keyword terms, but this year in May I debuted our online social media certification program. I knew that I wanted to get this program ranking well in Google and in other search engines, but I also knew I was going to have some stiff competition in the form of major universities.

Let me show you what I mean by that. Here I am on Google. If I look for online social media certificate, what comes up are … it’s a very, very busy page, which tells you that it’s probably a very profitable market. You can always tell in your market research if you’ve got a good idea if there are a lot of ads for it, because that means that there are companies out there who are making enough money advertising that they can still generate revenue with their business on an ongoing basis even when they’re doing Google PPC or pay per click.

Now what you’ll see here in these ads are major universities, the University of Georgia. I don’t know what NECB is, but it’s got an edu, which means that it’s a university. This is General Assembly, which is a very large online train- They started out doing local training and now they do things online. There’s a lot of edu, a lot of very, very large companies with deep pockets. I can tell you that the cost to advertise on Google per click, which means every time somebody clicks on your ad or online social media certificate, is around $20 a click. This just to get somebody to look at it, just to come to your website and look. This is not a pool that I want to dive into. I don’t want to be competing with major universities because I’m going to lose. I don’t have their budgets.

I knew when I debuted this that I was going to have to do something different. There were already some major players here who are not necessarily advertising, but see like Hootsuite, Online Marketing Institute, University of Miami. I knew that I was going to have stiff competition in ranking for this. If you notice, is not anywhere on this first page. I don’t even think I’m on the second or third page. How can I be saying I’m ranking on Google’s first page?

I am ranking on the first page, but not on the first page of web results. If you go to images, I rank on this first time not once, not twice, but three times. I’m going to show you those in just a minute, but your first question may be, who does this? Who goes and looks at images? I do, all the time. A lot of other people do too. We’re a visual society. People want to see what the certification looks like. A lot of people when they’re searching for stuff will look at images and look to see what does their certificate look like, what does the badge look like.

I’ll show you the images that are mine. Now here’s the first row and the second row. I’m in the first and second row. This is mine. This is actually a spreadsheet that I did of the entire curriculum. I love this because it talk me a long time to do this but it looks very official. Here you can visit the page. That’s a link to my website. Right here is a nice badge. Again, this is mine; it links to my website, looks very official. Then down here is the third one, again using this badge. You can see that this is again a image.

I am starting to get traffic from this. Now is it as much as if I were on this first page? No, it’s not. But that’s okay, that’s okay. I’m happy being here. This is a small step. Remember, we’re just 90 days into this. I’m happy showing up on the first page somewhere, and I am getting traffic from this. I’m going to show you how I did it. I’m going to show you how you can do it, because it really is an easy process; it’s just not one that most people know about.

The original blog post appear here.

In, you get classes on every major social network, infographics, webinars, and 1:1 coaching with me. I hope to see you inside


Sep 22

Tips for Entrepreneurs from a Top UpWork VA

By Janice Deleon

Tips for Entrepreneurs from a Top Upwork VA

Editor’s note: this article is from Janice Deleon, the virtual assistant who has worked full-time for for almost four years. I have edited the article for grammar only.

Well hi, this is Janice Deleon, Maria’s SMOC Director of Member Happiness.

When I’m writing my name and my role every time I email SMOC members, there’s always a smile on my face ☺.

Is it a tough job? Well yes, really! And a very challenging job for me.

Growing up in a different culture here [Philippines], polishing my English language, keeping myself updated on the fast-growing virtual trends in social media, while serving my American clients virtually, are all challenges. It’s really a fun and exciting career to work virtually and beneficial for a mom of 4 like me.

It was 2009 when I started to work as a virtual assistant; it was a crucial beginning for me, as there was a lot of competition between freelancers and newbies who didn’t have any 5 -tar rating. I started to apply as a data encoder, at a lower rate, to prove first that I have the proper skills for the job, so employers knew they could trust me for their future projects.

As time went on, I acquired my skills by self-study & research. From data entry, to administrative assistance, email marketing using various email marketing tool, project management, up to working as a web developer (I’m into creating membership sites).

I’m still learning; not just for me, but for the businesses I take care of.

This year I got my badge for being one of the top VAs on oDesk, now UpWork. I felt great and proud of myself when I received the email that I’m one, out of the thousands of VAs from the Philippines, to earn this badge. It’s a reward for all of the hard work of being a virtual assistant for almost six years( and still counting):

top upwork VA


Now I am here to give some tips for U.S. entrepreneurs on what they need to know about working successfully with a VA.

So here are my top four tips:

#1. Trust Your VA

You need to give your trust to your chosen VA. You are sharing your business with them, so trusting us feels like we are part of your business that we need to take care of (not just your responsibility but for us too).

For example, I have a client from oDesk, that I have worked with from 2009 to the present; he still contacts me for any of his business needs. I feel good about myself for having people trust me for years. And even we are not seeing each other — we are just a chat away to connect.

But of course before giving your TRUST to people living in a different time zone, you should always verify they can be trusted. For me, it’s my UpWork Profile ☺ and my client’s feedback, and same for other freelancers working on UpWork. That’s for sure.

feedback 3

5-star feedback from a delighted employer proves future employers can trust me with their work

2. Share Your Goals

This is simple: virtual workers are very visual people. You can share with us your goals (what you want to accomplish on a certain project or for your business) and our minds will process it to help you correctly the first time.

For example, I completed one short project for Maria a few weeks ago, but with some complexity, as there were two-to-three software tools that I needed to integrate. She told me what she wanted to accomplish and gave me some screenshots and a video tutorial to make it easier to understand. I read carefully the given instructions, then visualized the process in my mind.

I then asked her, “was the process something like this? Create a new funnel page – > integrate to autoresponder -> make automation active -> change the landing page content -> send to the main site thank you page – > then check email software if optins were successfully captured.”

I got it right and I finished it just in time for about 3-4 hours. ☺

Here’s another example: a client invited me for a job, told me what he wanted, and asked me, “what do you need from me to finish this project with less supervision?” So I reviewed what he needed, estimated the possible time completion based on his requirements, and told him directly what I needed, with no drama:

Sir, send me your wp-admin access, your model site, content and it will be finished in 3 to 4 days.

Then I finished it in less than 3 days.

A VA who knows 100% of the skills he or she is offering won’t waste time on drama and excuses. Time is important for the VA as well as for his/her employer.

feedback 1

Enable your VA to do 5-star work for you by communicating your project goal, showing how to complete the job with screenshots and/or video,

3. Remember VAs Have Family Too

It’s vital to know the family background of the VA you are working with. From my own experience, almost half of my teammates and acquaintances from the UpWork community are a mom or a dad working from home. Working virtually and having our salary in US dollars is a blessing if you are working from home.

But sometimes, our availability is affected if we have issues at home, like having a poor internet connection, or the worst – our computer isn’t working perfectly for our needs. Note that we freelancers provide everything we need for the job, and pay all the bills for our tools.

So for employers, it’s important to ask about our family background and where are we working: home office or just at house with kids running around, and our time of availability. If this is not clearly discussed, we will just end up ending the contract and leaving poor feedback.

So for both parties, we need to discuss family prior to the hiring process, and in the case that some issue or important errands can’t be avoided, a responsible VA will always inform their clients and have a Plan B.

feedback 5

4. Pay Your VA on Time

Here’s my last tip, and my favorite after all the hard work:  send your payment to your VA on time.

  • It’s simple, we are working virtually and we’re thousand of miles away from you.  We are giving you quality work and we deliver the project on time.
  • We know sending payment via wired transfer will cost you a fee. So we will be happy if our payments will be processed via Upwork on hourly or on fixed cost project.
  • Sending our salary from non-Upwork clients can be sent via PayPal; it’s fast and affordable for both parties.
  • A responsible client, who knows his or her VA needs a timely payment, will build trust and long-term working relationship.

So that’s how it goes: my tips for U.S. entrepreneurs are all based on my work experiences, U.S. clients’ encounters, working with teams and various projects that I have worked on for almost six years of working virtually.

You might be asking why I always have a smile on my face every time I write my name and role to SMOC members in customer support emails. It’s because I am happy to be of service to my client Maria and to the business that we are both taking care of. With her since 2012 and still counting. ☺

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