Combining personal & business online: 5 guidelines/tips.

Dec 17, 2015

My 5 tips on building your personal brand by having a healthy personal + business presence on your social media channels.

During dinner two weeks ago in Buenos Aires, Ben Marks told me I should write a book on how I – as a (semi)public person – am active on social media (he didn’t specifically use the term “oversharing” but I got the hint), yet remain a (healthy?) balance between a business and a personal life. There may or may not have been some strong Argentinian Caipirinha involved with that request and I doubt Ben rememers it. A book also seems a tad bit over the top but I thought I could at least write a blogpost about it. I’m airborne for 12 hours without wifi anyway, what else is there to do?

Personal brand or business brand?

If you are active on social media and your work involves the internet then you’re activity is part of your own (personal and business) brand. For many people the line between a personal/business life became more blurred over the last years and it’s sometimes hard to use a social network for either your business or personal network. Do you connect with your colleagues on Facebook? Do you want your family to follow you on Twitter? Do you want potential customers to see your Instagram feed? There are a few different aspects and approaches and I wanted to share mine with you.

First of: I don’t advocate keeping your business and personal life completely separate. What’s a comfortable level will be different from person to person.

And it’s also not about having a split personality: I (like to) think I behave pretty much the same whether it’s a business or private context. It’s not that I don’t talk about what I do for a living with my friends. But I don’t necessarily want my friends and family pulled into my business life or the other way around. For their sake ánd mine.

I make deliberate choices about what I include or exclude in whatever I publish online (where in my case the audience is mainly from my business life). Below are my own guidelines/tips. I believe these can be useful for you too, let me know what you think in the comments!

My 5 tips

  1. If it only involves me, it’s fine to post whatever. BUT as soon as people from my personal life get involved OR business people who themselves are not (that) public or nor that active on Social Media I become much more restrictive. Restrictive in sharing their names and pictures of them that is, I can still post about the activity.
    On the other hand: If that person itself is usually open and active online, I become a lot less restrictive. So when it comes to @benmarks I have no limits ;p…

  2. Shares are not restricted to business related info. On the contrary. I share pictures of my home, things I do outside work, food and travel pictures… I work a lot (which I enjoy) you’ll usually see work related stuff, but not all serious. I’m still me ;). But that’s usually (on the side) intended to build a better/ more personal relationship and have fun with all my business friends.
  3. Discuss your choices with your friends and ask what would and would not be ok for them. If you never include them on social media channels which they do read/see, it might be very weird to them if you never include them. They might feel as if they aren’t a part of your life. Especially initiate this talk with you significant other and close family. That I don’t share that much about them doesn’t mean I don’t value them or don’t see them as a part of my life, it’s me being protective :).
  4. If your friends/family are also active online: consider creating different accounts. I don’t have that issue because most of my friends and small family don’t actively use social media (they are mainly lurking, high mom!) so for me there is nothing to separate. It might make sense when there is a lot of overlap and issues coming from that, but that does main maintaining double accounts…
  5. If there are offline events: do bring your family or friends to them sometimes. It’s fun for them to see what you do and meet the people you work with (and Tweet or Skype with all night long…). And also fun for your business friends to get a peek into your personal life and ask your family “is/was he always this weird…?”

So how do you maintain a healthy separation/balance and built your personal brand?

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Compute required Sample Size for your A/B tests

Oct 24, 2015

Direct link to the Google Sheets Template Preview.

So if you want to get started with A/B testing, you should calculate up front if you have enough users and conversions to see if it is even possible to perform an A/B test on your site.

There are some general rules of thumb out there that say “don’t go A/B testing when you have < 1000 conversions”, which is fine, but probably not really helpful in your situation. It really depends on a lot of variables to know if you can run a specific test on your site (7 to be exact).

For simple, one-off calculations you can use Evan Millers website ( and it’ll quickly tell you the sample size for your website:


If your baseline is 5% conversion, you want to detect a 10% relative change, have 90% power with a 5% significance level, you need over 40K users to hit each variation in your test.

If you know the number of variants you want to test, the duration of the test and lookup the number of users you have in that period of time you know if it’s feasible to even run the test.

This is a great tool to do a couple of calculations, but what if you have multiple websites and maybe multiple segments within those websites? What if you want to know to check the testability not only for transaction, but also for other (micro)conversions. And numbers change over time so you might want to recalculate or do a separate calculation for peak season

That is A LOT of manual calculations. I’m way too lazy for that.

So I spend many hours over the last days couple of days (yes, irony…) building a spreadsheet that does this automatically. And I created a Google Sheets Template out of it to share with you so you can use it too!

Overview of the testability of your websites:


Detailed view of the numbers of one website:


Go to the Google Sheets Template Preview.

It’s as simple as entering the data (use Supermetrics to automate that too), selecting the variables and poof you know for all websites or segments if you can run a reliable test there! There is a detailed instruction in the first tab of the sheet.

I also created an explainer video to take you through the different settings. Let me know if you have any questions/remarks!


Website Optimization Workflow Model: 5 elements to WOW your boss and customers.

Jun 29, 2015

Website optimization is not just about installing an A/B testing tool, creating some (random) tests and hope for the better. It’s one element of a testing process that builds on consistent gathering and testing knowledge about your customers and implementing all elements can seem a daunting task.

Last year I created a workflow to highlight the moving parts involved with website optimization to explain the process and resources needed and why it can take some time to implement properly. I used it in a public presentation (slide 29) as an illustration of the complexity of the testing process and how it was implemented.Continue Reading


The Magento forum is dead, long live the new forum!

Mar 19, 2015

So after a couple of years of developing a new community portal, Magento put their new forum live yesterday. To the surprise of many, the old forum (including all content) was not archived but trashed. It’s replaced with a brand new install of another forum without transferring the content. A valuable knowledge base of over 8 years of Magento support questions with many good answers.Continue Reading


My life with Magento – Part 2

Feb 14, 2015

So you try really hard to write good content, but just for fun once in a while you post a silly post on your blog with a lot of GIFs, call it “My Life with Magento” and it becomes one of the most viewed and shared posts on my blog.

Guess you like images better than text. I’m a psychologist, should have seen that one coming…

So here you have it, for all you GIF loving animals working hard today during #MageStackDay: My life with Magento – Part 2

For newbees: starting out with Magento feels a lot like stepping into the Tardis: it’s much bigger on the inside!


Continue Reading


Dating advice for Magento folks

Feb 14, 2015

So today is both Valentines day and #MageStackDay and I see A LOT of guys on there working 24hrs to get the Magento Q&A answer rate up which is really awesome! There are some girls there that do great work too, but I’m going to focus on the guys in this post…

So guys be honest: if you 1) work a full week with Magento already, 2) after that dedicate another 24 hours to the community and 3) do this on Valentines day…. you might lack some love in your life. It’s ok. I want to help you with that.

Now I’m not a developer so I’m not of much use helping at the Q&A site today, but I cán do something else. Like research. For example: research on how mentioning Magento on Tinder would work for getting into contact with girls.

TL;DR: Don’t mention you work with MagentoContinue Reading


The Future of the Magento Ecosystem

Mar 7, 2014

The Magento community is thriving and wants to push forward fast. This presentation is about feelings and ideas that live within the community and that I’ve discussed with many at Meet Magento conferences and on IM chats in the past months. I presented this at the Magento Snowcamp in Austria in January and this week at Meet Magento in Spain. Let me know what you think in the comments!Continue Reading


Free tickets to Meet Magento Spain

Feb 24, 2014

If you really need a break: next week is the first Meet Magento Spain in Madrid! Two days packed with Magento items (check the schedule), lot’s of international/English sessions, a hackathon (those are fun!) and of course a big Spanish Fiesta! I will also have two presentations: on day 1 about Online Persuasion, on day 2 about The Future of the Magento Ecosystem.

Order your tickets with the code ‘xxxxxxxx‘ (EDIT: The event is sold out!) and you’ll get a free ticket (€90 discount), only for the first 10 people! Don’t forget to book the hotel and your flight though ;).

Hope to see you there!Continue Reading