June 2012

Thought we would take a quick review of how the YouTube promotion is going;-

In short the video as been viewed 911 times, most of which kicked off in the first day of the Addwords Video Add campaign – then I realized that I could target geographical areas, also added the website link www.stovetopfan.co.uk .  after reviewing the add results on day 2 it was clear I was somewhat adrift – following various emails with the help team at Google Adds, I established some ground rules and set about tweeking the add – mainly with the following;-

1. UK Base
2. Males in certain age group
3. Overlay Add redirected domains strip off google analytics so this was sorted
4. Cost per day v’s budget was realistic and has remained unchanged

This is now delivering a handful of charged click through each day. We await the report at the end of the week when the add finishes. There remains a good portion of the views which don’t click through – but as all these add to the view number it will lift the video position in the event someone searchs for Stove Top Fan on You Tube – which reminds me that I also have to work out the best KeyWords for the video tags and add these.

So based on a £10 investment – no orders but plenty of hits which will lift its ranking so far so good and its not half spent yet !

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Following yesterdays production of 23 units, we have today listed the Fan-C on Ebay.

We have done this for the following reasons:-

  1. it should increase awareness of the product
  2. and this Blog
  3. & the Website
  4. It may even result in sales who knows

At £0.40 for the 10 day listing and having increased the price to cover PayPal & Ebay fees – got to be worth a punt. Not sure if the inclusion of the Website infringes Ebay Listing – as the website price is lower..no Ebay fees to contend with ! (should have read a bit more small print with regard use of the word ‘Ecofan’….ooops (see below)

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Update Wednesday 13th June

So here’s the thing, foolishly I had included the following  ‘EcoFan’  in the listing title as

“Not An EcoFan”

….Ok dumb ass mistake. Interestingly 5 watchers before Big Brother stamped All over it and squished the listing (I wonder how many were ‘ecofan paid’

Lucky for me I have this copy of the original Add so I can correct my error and re-list 🙂 without having to re-create it all. All done and re listed in 10 minutes.

Makes me wonder how much it cost Camfromoaners to lodge the complaint – now you see a lot of Eco Stove Top Fan references – which get pulled up with the same search criteria .i.e Ecofan. I guess if you pay for the TM you have to Pay to protect it – but wouldn’t it have been better to protect the idea/design principle – the ‘Asian’ imports are pretty hard to tell apart unless you really know the products….. they do not appear to have tried to ‘improve the design’ merely pass it off…

Now just to be clear – I LIKE THE ECOFAN and I recognize the term ECOFAN is a trademark and I am not trying to copy it or make use of it by trying to ‘pass my Fan-C off as an Ecofan – If I could put the little ‘r ‘ in its circle I would ! From now on I will do my best to avoid reference to it or its makers – nice guys I’m sure.

If the makers had come up with a low profile one for under £100 I would have never started off on this track – they didn’t, so I did and am already looking to improve it.

They must be watching the market pretty well in each country ! BIG EYES everywhere !

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Wet, Wet Wet…

The recent 3 weeks of wet weather which I had hoped would generate better order levels after the blistering 3 weeks of early May,  has not had any noticeable impact. Full of a head cold as I type after cutting up some wind fallen beech and getting soaked over several consecutive days the glorious summer looks some way off as yet.

Website hit rates continue to bob along the 8 – 10 hits a day on the Fan-C pages – pretty good as far as the website hits goes, but conversion of hits to orders now has to be the focus. The Twitter @Thefan_Ce tweets now use the www.stovetopfan.co.uk reference which is re-directed to the existing pages in the hope that it is a more memorable website address than the actual location, buried as it is 3 levels down.

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Paul Morgans of Peak Films , a friend and client, has offered to come over and help put together a professional promotional video for the website and Fan-C – which is a great opportunity. I have started to put together a ‘story board’ of the sequences so at the least we have a starting point to frame up and work with. This includes what I hope will be some ‘sexy’ looking close up panning shots of the components that go into the product. I hope I have use of my nose by then in the event of any ‘voice overs’ !

This generated a few ideas for me to see what I could do with what I had, that is to say, some product still shots and Windows Movie Maker. After about 90 minutes work I came up with the following sequence. Which given I had not used the software I think just goes to show how good software is now at making a job intuitive. Additionally, a quick search on YouTube and a few minutes watching tutorials I was up and and away.

For next time, I will try to get a music sequence which I can trim to the movie in the software rather than adding it in via YouTube which will not allow trimming / editing of  these file types.

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The Queens Jubilee Weekend

Jubilee Sunday… a Bank Holiday Weekend which means raining most of the days and true to form it has been since 11pm last night. That being said it did stay dry long enough for the kids to have their first night in a tent – shame they were both too tired to stay up for the marshmallow toasting on the fire basket :-

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Having only camped an hour from home, we came home early and I can hear the dripping tent hung to dry as I type. It also means Roast for tea not noodles !

Progress today is focused on getting https://web.tweetdeck.com to work – it seams my older desktop version is now out of date and as such does not allow scheduled updates -meaning I have to be around at key times to tweet & re-tweet to promote the business. -times which usually coincide with the kids dinner time leaving me frustrated.  Isn’t this what IT & improved Communications were supposed to help resolve ?

Having now got the ‘on-line’ version running with all the twitter accounts listed and a test tweet sent with the scheduler, the plan is to come up with a tweet worthy of being picked out by @TheoPaphitis
if I get lucky, OK very lucky, this could provide a huge exposure for the Fan-Ce at a stroke.

How does it work ? as best I can work out, the Dragons Den Star and Entrepreneur runs a scheme where every Sunday between 5.30pm and 7.00pm if you tweet him about your business with the #SBS (Small Business Sunday) tagged, he selects his favorites and re-tweets them to his 250K followers.  Now we have to assume that some of these followers (a high proportion for that matter) will never bother looking at the #SBS tweets but given my existing followers amount to less than 200 across two accounts – there is every chance it should be a little more successful.

On the plus side, if the #SBS is anything like the @lookeastmidland #EastMidlandsHour I may pick up a few followers who look at the new profile twitter page.

So now for the Tweet – strap line…..erm…. still working on that and I have 2 hrs until it starts. But then there is always next Sunday 🙂 …

9.45pm – ok so maybe I should have read the website about it first … only one tweet per business, ‘referrals’ don’t help and lots of other useful to know bits of info’.  Well like I say there is always next week.
Picked up a few follows and website hits went up – which is always useful.
I have some additional tooling due by post this week – another bottle neck removed from the assembly operation I hope.

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Catching Up

Thursday 31st May 2012, we received a small number of the base discs and the small hubs to complete some products already sold. Before postage, we managed to grab some product images….

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Now, I have never been very good with ‘product images’ no studio, no large windows streaming with natural light…. I live in a part of the world where it is rare to see the sun for a few days in a row, further I struggle with the whole ‘how to set it up’ what will look best ?’.

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Whats more I have to admit to being part of the photographic club of  “All the Gear No Idea” Fortunately lack of funds has forced my exit from the club as I can’t keep up with members quest for new better gear and there is only so far a lack of knowledge will get me …

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– I first picked up a digitial SLR 5 or so years ago, I’ve upgraded several times to the point at which I now have a camera with more internal processing capability than was used on the first Apollo space missions. Thanks to Nikon, I have lots of ‘gear’ all of which combines to produce high quality capability – me being the limiting factor 🙂

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That being said – I am quite happy with some of these. Taken inside a £15 light cube from ebay (thanks Mr Coull) & below a north facing Velux skylight.

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I prefer the last image and will work on that for the larger Fan-Ce images. Next job is to see about getting the base discs engraved / etched with product name / web address. I suspect it will be cost prohibitive, I have a hankering for a bench top CNC engraving machine.. which go for £300 on ebay- couple it with an old PC and a little router I have – it may suffice ??

It is now the weekend of the Queens Jubilee and two Bank Holidays – which of course means its raining or dull, cold and overcast at best – shouldn’t grumble as May produced me 365 KW/h of Solar PV from my 16 panels – you can see 6 of them being installed here:-

http://www.peakdistrictcreations.co.uk/about-us/environmental-policy/solar-pv-panel-installation/

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Wednesday 30th

The morning was spent chain sawing a large Beech tree up for woodturning and Stove Fuel (in a couple of years), so the afternoon has been spent taking it easy – a tonne of wet wood takes some shifting, I think about 200mtrs plus stacking to dry.

Finally got to speak to ‘Mr Smith’ aka the owner of the machine shop today and he assured me that a small batch of parts would leave them tonight for me. Then I got another call confirming details and another checking for a minor mod to help with their machining…. so I have to assume they are on with the job 🙂

I found this useful and I hope the guys will be ok with me pasting a bit here:-

The 5 Minute Guide To Cheap Startup Advertising

Strategy #1: Try to Get Permission

Seriously consider offering something in exchange for a visitor’s email address. It can be a free trial, a free report, or maybe even a free book. But gaining the means and permission to contact that customer again will increase your conversion rate over time in most cases. There is great power in an email list.

Strategy #2: Use Advertising to Test

Use advertising as a testing tool rather than a long-term stream of customers. Very few startups can withstand the cash outlay required to turn advertising into a marketing activity with positive ROI. Even if you figure it out, advertising is a volatile marketing medium. Prices increase rapidly in online advertising as new competition crops up or prospects grow bored of your ad and your click through rate drops. When this happens, all of the time you invested in optimizing your ad campaign is *poof*…gone. So instead of relying on ad traffic as an ongoing stream, use it for what it’s best at: the ability to generate a slew of visitors very quickly, and to be turned off just as quickly. This kind of traffic source makes it great for split testing and user behavior testing using tools like Clicktale and Crazyegg. It also gives you insight into how certain traffic converts for you. With properly tracked conversions and an ad on Facebook, you can determine that men from 35-45 convert at a rate 15% lower than women of the same age. This is valuable information, especially early in your marketing effort when you’re still trying to figure out the ideal market for your application. Often this is not the largest market; it’s the one to whom you can market for the lowest cost. As another example, with AdWords you can learn in a hurry which keywords convert for you, and which don’t. This is insanely valuable as you invest the time and money on the long-haul of search engine optimization. Knowing the keywords that really convert for your business, as opposed to the ones that you think will convert, can save you piles of cash and many months of SEO effort.

I’m still reading the article …. having now finished the prospect of having $300 to invest at this stage is shall we say a little way off. However, I note FB are promoting free Addword credits for small business pages , so efforts underway to gather 100 LIKES on our FB page http://www.facebook.com/TheFanCe

This blog is looking bland with no images, promise to upload some product images as soon as the parts arrive.

…. its Friday ! what happend to Thursday ??

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