Google Updates for Google Reviews
If you know brick and mortar businesses who are using Google Local ( places pages) please pass this on to them. If you are an agent who asks your buyers and sellers for testimonials, here are the new current updates from Google:
1. You can no longer use your comment box in your place of business for Google reviews. This means that you can not take those comment cards and type them into your Google Places page reviews section.
2. Customers must have a Gmail account and be a bonifide G+ user to help keep their reviews from being flagged by the spam filters.
3. You can not use your iPad at your business to log your customers into Google Reviews and ask them to leave you a review. Google will not allow reviews from your IP address.
4. You can not in ANY way, shape or form incentivize your customers to leave you a Google Review. That means no offering of gift cards, Starbucks coffee, etc.
5. You are allowed to email your customers after they have left your place of business to encourage them to leave you a Google Review.
For the small mom and pop shops, doctors offices and for REALTORS® this creates too many hoops for your customers to jump through just to leave you a review. Most people don't hang around their computers all day every day and know the workings of Google and other platforms.
Here in South Florida, we have a lot of over 65+ residents who still use AOL for their email! They have never heard of Yelp and don't have G+ accounts. Our chiropractor was going to get an iPad to get the reviews right in his office which was a great idea but now he can not do that. Google keeps changing the rules.
It is one thing to be in the business of ad revenue that Google is in. They get to make their own rules. They are about profits. I have no issue with that. But when consumers take to the internet to search for a doctor or hair salon or a REALTOR® the reviews are important. I understand Google is saying this is the way they are dealing with fake reviews and spam but real people in the real world just don't take the time to jump through dozens of hoops to say something good about someone, but they will do that in order to say something bad about someone!
Maybe you could add to your Google Places page: “To see our client testimonials please visit our website”. And then post all your testimonials on your testimonial page on your website. Link to that page often throughout all your blogs and websites.
authored by Katerina Gasset
Road Blocks Along our Juicing Journey
In January we started on our juicing journey. I first started juicing not to lose weight but for health reasons as you can read here in An Unexpected Journey. The great side effect was that just by juicing for breakfast and for lunch each day I lost 15 pounds in January.
At the end of January we decided to do a juice fast for weight loss since it had been working so well up to that point. We joined a health challenge which you can read about here.
I did a lot of research on juicing, bought our juicer and then decided to help inspire others to take this journey with us by producing a YouTube playlist on our juicing journey.
So last week we chose to follow the guy that did the documentary: Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead which you can watch here. His name is Joe. I wanted to make sure I was meeting nutritional values during the juice fast and that is why I chose his reboot your life 15 day menu plan. I wanted to see if I could go an entire day with just juice and no foods. The 15 day plan was to get you ready for 5 days straight of juicing after 5 days of juice mixed with raw and cooked veggies. There are not grains, beans, meat, fish, starches etc during the entire 15 days.
After the first 4 days of trying to eat ALL the food on this menu I had gained a pound. I was not feeling the same energy that I felt when I was juicing all day and having one meal at night.
After thinking about his 15 day plan this is my critique on it: The recipes are delicious but way too much food. This plan is for someone who eats a lot. Most people who are as overweight as I am eat a lot. I don't and never have. So having too much food even great veggies was not a great experience for me. It was TOO much cooked veggies, not enough raw foods and too many blender smoothies. For years I had a blended fruit smoothie every single morning and it never did anything to help me lose weight.
I believe that Joe has two intentions from his 15 day menu plan; to get people who overeat and eat a lot of junk and fast foods to get used to a yummy and delicious vegetarian diet and to help those with a sweet tooth and of course, to limit any liability of a straight juice fast for a long period of time. Joe did a long juice fast but it was under the supervision of a doctor. He is not going to promote those long juice fasts on his website because that would open him up to law suits by people who get sick from doing a juice fast. I get all that. I am fine with all that. I am just not in that place. It was not a good fit for me.
The second part that did not sit well with me was this menu is way too sweet. This is great for a person who has a sweet tooth. I don't. I like salty foods. There are a lot of cooked sweet potatoes in this menu plan which is great for a sweet tooth but I like my sweet potatoes juiced now, not cooked. That way I am getting raw sweet potatoes which is much more nutritional with the live enzymes.
So by the 4th day of this 15 day menu plan I went back to juicing for breakfast and lunch and today I feel so much better! I know a lot of about nutritional values from using the cronometer for a year. I know my daily requirements for vitamins and minerals and which veggies and fruits have them.
I have not missed meat at all. I don't miss white potatoes. I don't miss candy or sweets as those were never my downfall anyhow. I do miss rice and sushi and salmon which I will of course put back into my menus after I lose this weight.
Today is our shopping day for all the yummy and colorful fruits and veggies. My body is saying Thank You! Back to strict juicing again!!! For snacks I will go back to juices and raw veggies like sweet red peppers which are in season here in Florida right now. They are such a power packed veggie. A farmer at our farmers market sells them right now for 50 cents each!!! YUMMY and a great buy!!!!
Join us on our Juicing Journey as a participant or as a spectator, whatever works for you! We love your support!
My juicing journey started on January 2 – 2013 when the big “C” word stared me in the face! I will tell you, life stops abruptly when you hear you might have cancer. There is nothing that will make you stop in your tracks like a deer in headlights. Life as I knew it came to a screetching halt.
I wrote a post about it: An Unexpected Journey .
Getting healthy in the rain- setting my goal. Dr. Stacey Ann Bough is running a challenge in ActiveRain for health goals. You have to be logged into ActiveRain in order to read her post about the challenge because it is a members only post. My posts will be public because I am not just doing this challenge for myself but also for anyone who needs to be inspired to work on their health.
This challenge comes at a perfect time for me. Ordinarily I would not participate in such a personal challenge in such an open forum. However, in light of how my year started and the big “C” scare in my life- the timing could not have been better. In case you wish to read how I got to this crossroad in my life journey I wrote a post: An Unexpected Journey- A Path We Would NOT Choose to Take.
To sum it up briefly- I started off my January with renewed goals, new business opportunities, new mindset, etc., as most of us do each January 1st. But on January 2nd, all that changed with just a few words from the doctor. There was a 90% chance I had cancer. Nothing else will change life faster than those words. You can read the post to find out what happened in more detail.
So my goals changed from business and success to health and life in order of priority. We bought a juicer on January 5th. We started juicing on January 6th. I was going to beat this!
There was a wonderful side effect to the juicing! By January 14th I noticed my clothes were a bit looser and I had lost 10 pounds!!!
By January 22nd I had lost 3 more pounds. By January 28th I lost another pound. This is a total of 14 pounds in 3 weeks.
We juice for breakfast, mid-morning snack, and lunch. I have a sliced tomato with Kimchi on top most afternoons or other fermented veggie on top. Then for dinner we have another green juice and I will either have rice and fish or rice and beans or rice and stir-fry veggies in curry. Sometimes we have instead split pea soup or acorn squash curry soups.
I am far from perfect and have my own weaknesses like if I get super hungry to stop and get something to eat that is not healthy. One of my weaknesses is smelling food and then wanting to eat the food. Our son eats these really awesome smelling all natural, no nitrates, no nitrites, no preservatives angus beef hot dogs. He is a ten year old baseball player after all! Well, they really taste good and even though they are natural they are still not good for me to eat. I have broken down and eaten two of these hot dogs during the last 3 weeks. We took the grandkids to McDonalds and I ate a hamburger, no cheese, no bread, just the patty but still, NOT good for me. Then I was so hungry one day when my daughter was out showing houses. She makes all my juices for me in between caring for a toddler and a baby as well as working as a REALTOR® . She helps me so I can get some of my marketing work done for our company, coaching, trainings, etc. So that was a day I was so busy and forgot to eat. So she stopped at Wendy's. I love Wendy's ‘bad for you' hamburgers! I got such a headache after eating that single patty with no cheese!
Now this part I have NEVER told anyone!!! I am 104 pounds overweight!!! Many of you have met me and have seen me speak on stages so you know that I am overweight.
So that means that I have to lose another 90 pounds to lose. I will be happy at losing another 60 pounds.
My family and people who are close to me and see how I life my life are very surprised that I am overweight. This is the heaviest I have ever been in my entire life. I was a size 5 when I dated Nestor!!! I was even a size 10 and 12 after I gave birth to our son at the age of 44. I had 5 other kids before I was 30 and never weighed this much!!! I don't eat chips and snacks, I don't drink sodas. I don't drink alcohol or even coffee. I went totally off of dairy in May 2012. I detox my liver once a year. I detox my colon once every 6 months. I ate salad without added fats nearly every day.
I did all the weight loss programs you can think of. Not a pound would budge off of me. Those pounds just kept hanging on. I would walk 3 miles a day, do my rebounder jumping, Wii fit, do it all- not a pound budged off of me.
Juicing is now a part of my new lifestyle. I have never felt better physically! AND FINALLY!!!! Something the pounds can not hang on to!!!!
So if you have stubborn weight that just keeps hanging on…. you may want to give juicing a try.
On February 10th I will be starting a strict 15 day juice fast with no dinner of solid foods. It will be 5 days of strict juicing, then 5 days of juicing and raw veggies followed by 5 days of strict juicing. I will continue on this until I reach my weight goals.
In case you want to follow along with me I am doing the Reboot With Joe plan. This is the same plan as is featured in the documentary, Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. This is my favorite website about juicing.
In February we will also be start growing our own wheatgrass and juicing it. We are taking classes in water kefir and will be making our own fizzy kefir drinks and fermented beet juices. We will be adding these to our lifestyle in the middle of February with the goal that I will be able to rid my body of the postmenopausal endometriosis on my own instead of getting surgery.
We got a buyer lead on one of our listings. Nestor spoke with the buyer and the buyer wanted to see this particular listing that we have.
He arranged for one of our buyers agents to meet with the buyer. The buyer wanted to make an offer on the listing. They wanted to meet with one of our agents to make the offer.
Our agent goes to their home brings an offer that she had filled out by hand. So this offer was in our agent's own handwriting. She went through the entire offer with the buyers. The buyers asked a lot of questions. Our agent answered a lot of questions. Our agent went through the contract with the buyers.
The buyers wanted to keep the contract with them and they were going to sign it and send it back to our agent.
The next day we get this offer back from the buyers with all of the papers that are agent had filled out with her handwriting but the last page had been changed.
Another agent had taken the last page of our contract and wrote in our buyers agent's name as the listing agent on the listing agent line ( Nestor is the listing agent) and listed herself as the selling agent.
Can you believe that?
As I walked on the path of this new journey I was lifted up from my burdens by all of you who traveled this road with me. I shared this journey on my personal Facebook page. It was a little too personal for G+ and not appropriate for AR in daily status updates. It is appropriate to give a heart felt thank you to each and everyone of you that shared your trials, offered up prayers, put my name on your church and group prayer rolls and offered so much moral support as well as health tips.
Stay with my story because there is more that was manifested.
Each year during the last week of December I go over all my goals to see where I am going. I set up my calendar and schedule the steps to reach new goals. I felt great! I felt like I was really going to take on 2013.
But January did not start off like I had envisioned…
On January 2 we discovered that my diagnosis was 90% cancer. I am blessed with a wonderful husband and family that truly are there for me. But somehow it was not enough to share this nasty word with only them.
Cancer staring at you in your face stops life in its tracks straight away. Nothing can prepare you for those words. And then it consumes you. As I faced the fear that results I put on my detective hat and began the quest for natural cures and preventive measures.
The trial was too great for me to bear. I decided to share my journey with my Facebook peeps. This way all of my family, relatives, AR subscribers and agents from all over the country and Canada could follow along. It started out as being my way of saving the energy from having to repeat the same conversation over and over again.
The outpouring of love and support was nothing short of amazing. Gratitude filled my heart as I read each comment over and over again. It did not matter if the comment was two words or a paragraph. I treasured each one of them and held them near to my heart. There were many more people that did not comment that were thinking of me and following my journey. In fact two of our neighbors who I did not even know were following me on Facebook brought me flowers. They told me they were reading my updates on Facebook.
The outpouring of shared stories of your cancer journeys and triumphs, what you did to change your lifestyle, how you changed the foods you eat – all helped to give me strength and the knowledge that I would survive and outsmart cancer.
On January 9th I went into for a biopsy and this time there was more hope. The hope was that the biopsy would return a benign tumor. Again, the prayers abounded and so many of you reached out to me publicly and privately sharing your support and offering advice.
Now came the waiting period of two weeks. This normally would be the hardest part of the journey but I decided to take control of my future health. I read all the reviews of several juicers until deciding on the Breville Juice Plus juicer. We went to the Farmer's Markets, Publix for the organic carrots and Whole Foods. Green Juices became my breakfast and lunch daily.
I then began sharing what I was eating each day on my Facebook page which is something ordinarily I would not do. You know, the people who poke fun at those who share what they are eating:) . But this was different. As I followed the prompting to share our juice stories, my failures like when I succumbed to an all natural hot dog because our son was having one and I did not have the will power to abstain from eating one also. It did not hurt to share that I also lost 8 pounds the very first week of juicing!
Then the day arrived. January 17th. When I walked into my doctor's office I said one final prayer. I felt a strong prompting to let all of you know on Facebook that I was in that waiting room. Immediately after posting that status update I felt a tremendous burden lifted right off of my shoulders. I felt the prayers rising up. I was not alone. I was not carrying the burden of this journey alone. All of you plus many people that I do not even know, complete strangers were offering up prayers. Those of you who put me your church prayer rolls- thank you. Hundreds upon hundreds of people were raising up their voices in prayer for me.
The look on my doctor's face was interesting. It was a mix of wonder and relief. I did not have cancer! I have a condition called, Postmenopausal endometriosis. This is very rare. Only about 2% of women post menapause get this condition. I will be needing surgery and during the surgery my doctor will do a telescopy exam to make sure there is nothing else going on.
The two things that I gleaned from this journey was 1. the reality of the power of prayer and 2. you never know who's life you might change, help or even save.
But I also learned something about myself.
I learned to let go of my lists when they get too overwhelming. I learned to share your burdens great and small as well as the victories. I learned that it was OK to have a pity party the day that you are told the news but to get working on your health the day after.
Every trial we are called to bear is for a reason. We may not know the reason right away but there is a reason. When you share your trials and allow gratitude to flow from you the burden becomes lighter.
During these times most of us enter a stage of contemplation, deep thought. I thought about the messages saying, “you inspired me to buy a juicer”, and “you inspired me to take action with my bad diet”, etc, I saw the word “inspire” as the continued theme throughout the messages and emails. Why did that word mean so much to me? Because it is my calling. My gift is the ability to inspire others to take action. This is what my goal is in my coaching, my speaking, my blogging.
As I went through my life in my mind's eye it has always been the gift to inspire others no matter what business I was involved or what life experience I was going through that motivated me. This journey brought clarity and helped me to become congruent with my gift. Since you just never know what will inspire someone to make a change in their life I will continue to post about my juicing and weight loss journey and post about this rare condition so that women who have passed through menopause everywhere will call their doctor immediately if they start to bleed or even spot. It can be the difference of life and death in many cases.
I have reconnected with my gift to inspire and will base my life and business decisions moving forward to be aligned with the gift and goal. I hope that if this is the first post of mine that you have read that you will take the time to browse my posts from over the years to help inspire you to take action in your businesses and lives. We do not travel our journeys alone. Take time to discover your gifts and align your lives to be congruent with your talents and gifts.
authored by Katerina Gasset
Website Design Must Speak To Your Audience
When you are designing your website whether you are doing it all yourself or you hired a web designer you will not have a successful website without knowing who your audience is and what problem they are looking to solve.
Matching your design to their way of thinking is a key in your successful conversion of those who visit your website.
What you like may not be what your potential customers like.
Find out who your ideal customer is and then find out what they are looking for in a website that offers solutions to their problem whatever that may be.
Here is a website that my partner and co-founder of Gasset and McKnight – Mary McKnight designed and created to match the audience for Bess a 19 year old singer. Bess combines soul, blues and rock to create a soft sound.
You can click on this link to listen to her music and to click through her pages because every single page is a different design.
Think about how you can relate to your audience and create in your mind what is the ideal website they are searching for, what information they want to consume and who they want to relate to.
authored by Katerina Gasset