Lorrie Thomas
The Secret to Being a Successful Digital Marketer

Do you know what the secret is to being a successful digital marketer? 

If I asked this question to a room full of professionals, most of them would guess that it’s being knowledgeable in the technical parts of marketing: knowing SEO, SEM, how to buy ads, knowing the best times to post on social media, how to build and manage a website, graphic skills for photos, and much more along those lines.

All of those are great answers and true. Having a handle on any of those skills is going to give your marketing career a big boost. That’s no secret.

But that is not the key to success. When I spoke with Matt Krumrie, Director of Content Management for Power Network for his article on marketing career success, I told him that the the number 1 skill needed to succeed throughout your marketing career is not tech-related, it is the ability to communicate clearly.Web Marketing Therapy: The Secret to Being a Successful Digital Marketer

Whether you are a college grad seeking to launch a successful marketing career or a professional who has decided to launch your own business and has suddenly found that marketing is now part of the job, being an artful communicator is just as important as knowing the technical stuff.

“The world we live in is phone/text heavy, but this ‘quick and dirty’ method of communication will only leave the marketing grad dirty career-wise. Whether it is an email to your boss, selling something, writing copy for a social media post or an ad, the ability to communicate in a compelling way (and online, that means pithy, powerful text) is critical.

Strong communication skills are needed at every level of online and offline marketing, from writing ad copy to emailing a boss or reaching out to a new client. I loved being interviewed to talk about the skills college grads need to succeed in Matt’s article titled Marketing Careers: Combination of Technical and Soft Skills Key to Success.

How do you sharpen your communication skills? Practice makes perfect. There are so many ways to practice your communication skills in everyday life – strike up a conversation with the clerk at the store, email your child’s teacher, write a thank you note to your neighbor. Sharpen your writing communication skills by writing more, listening more, and reading a lot. Take the time each day to read any book, magazine, newspaper, or online news story that catches your eye. The best part is that once your communication skills are sharp, they will rarely dull, instead they will only become even better with use.

Happy Marketing!

Katherine L. Garcia
Canva Tip of The Month: Explore Templates

I’ve been using Canva for years to support clients with their social media marketing and content marketing efforts. In the beginning, design options were limited so most of the graphics I would design were from scratch.

Now all that hassle is not needed as Canva provides hundreds of templates for you to use. To help spare you any social media stress, I am sharing some tips below so you can be empowered to get more out of this wonderful image-creating solution!

Templates are pre-made designs Canva offers for web or print. They offer pre-made blog graphics, presentations, social media covers designs, flyers, posters, invitations and so much more. Once you select the template you want to use, you can edit the font, color, photos, and if you’re a paying customer, you can change the size of the design.

Templates are great for entrepreneurs who are non-designers! With templates, you can make professional looking graphics and since templates are pre-designed, it saves you a lot of time – no need to start from a blank page.

The templates can be found on the left side of the Canva website, once you’re logged in. Under Explore Templates.

Once you click on Explore Templates, I suggest using their search bar. Let’s say you’re looking to design a social media graphic for Thanksgiving. In the search bar, type ‘Thanksgiving’. 10+ pages of Thanksgiving-related designs pop up.

When choosing a template, don’t focus too much on the color or the font used because that can be changed. Instead, focus on the overall feel. Ask yourself, does this graphic go well with my brand?

Also, you’ll notice that some of your template options will be posters, post cards, social graphics, etc. You don’t have to worry about this if you pay for Canva for Work, which I strongly suggest you do because then you can choose any template and easily resize the design to your liking.

If you do not pay for Canva for Work, then you have to choose a template specific to the type of design you’re creating. If you’re creating a graphic to post on social media, you’d need to choose a template that’s a social graphic.

Since we are paying customers, we chose this design; a postcard.

First things first, let’s resize the image into a graphic that can be posted on social media. We always resize it to the Instagram size option Canva provides because we’ve noticed that size is larger than the other social graphic options in Canva.

Here’s how to change the dimensions of the graphic (remember, this only applies to Canva for Work customers!): Click on File -> Change Dimension -> Instagram Post.

Ta-Da! Our design went from post card dimensions to Instagram.

After you resized your image, you have to edit it to reflect your brand. In this case, I’m going to change the color, the font, and the messaging to be more on brand with Web Marketing Therapy.

Here’s the final product:

All done!

My favorite part of Canva is that your templates are automatically saved. So let’s say you use Canva to design a flyer about a workshop you’re going to host. And then let’s say a few weeks later, you have another workshop coming up. Well, you can use the same template that you edited prior, just change the details. Easy peasy. Ah, Canva rocks!

Have Canva questions? Ask them below and we’ll happily answer them!

Easy Social Media Content – October National Days

Do you struggle with creating social media content on a regular basis?

You aren’t alone, which is why we are here to help! October is right around the corner and the national days are plentiful next month! Don’t miss out on opportunities to connect with other like-minded fans through your branded social media content celebrating the following days!

October 1st
Fire Pup Day
National Homemade Cookies Day

October 2nd

National Consignment Day – First Monday in October*
National Custodial Workers Recognition Day
National Name Your Car Day
National Fried Scallops Day
National Child Health Day – First Monday in October

October 3rd
National Techies Day
National Boyfriend Day

October 4th
National Taco Day
National Golf Lover’s Day
National Vodka Day
National Walk to School Day – First Wednesday in October
National Pumpkin Seed Day – First Wednesday in October

October 5th
National Get Funky Day *
National Rhode Island Day
National Do Something Nice Day
National Apple Betty Day

October 6th
National Mad Hatter Day
National German-American Day
National Noodle Day
National Manufacturing Day – First Friday in October

October 7th
National LED Light Day *
National Frappe Day
National Inner Beauty Day*

October 8th
National Fluffernutter Day
National Pierogi Day
American Touch Tag Day
Clergy Appreciation Day(or Pastor Appreciation Day or Ministry Appreciation Day)(No official sponsor) – Second Sunday in October

October 9th
National Leif Erikson Day
National Pro-Life Cupcake Day
National Moldy Cheese Day
National Chess Day
National Online Bank Day* – Second Monday in October
National Kick Butt Day – Second Monday in October
Native American Day – Second Monday in October
Columbus Day  – Second Monday in October

October 10th
National Angel Food Cake Day
National Cake Decorating Day
National Handbag Day

October 11th
National Sausage Pizza Day
National Coming Out Day
General Pulaski Memorial Day
National Fossil Day – On Wednesday of Second Full Week in October
National Emergency Nurse’s Day – Second Wednesday in October
National Bring Your Teddy Bear to Work/School Day – Second Wednesday in October
National Stop Bullying Day – Second Wednesday in October
National Take Your Parents To Lunch Day – Changes Annually (Tentative 2017 date)

October 12th
National Savings Day *
National Vermont Day
National Freethought Day
National Farmer’s Day
National Gumbo Day

October 13th
National Train Your Brain Day
National Yorkshire Pudding Day
Navy Birthday
National No Bra Day

October 14th
National Dessert Day
Be Bald and Be Free Day
National Costume Swap Day – Second Saturday in October
National Motorcycle Ride Day* – Second Saturday in October

October 15th
National Aesthetician Day*
National Cheese Curd Day
National I Love Lucy Day
National Grouch Day
National Latino AIDS Awareness Day
National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day
National White Cane Safety Day

October 16th
National Liqueur Day
National Dictionary Day
National Feral Cat Day
Department Store Day
Boss’s Day (or National Boss’s Day) – Annually Oct. 16 unless it falls on a weekend. Then it’s the closest workday.
National Clean Your Virtual Desktop Day – Third Monday in October

October 17th
National  Edge Day
National Mulligan Day
National Pasta Day
Black Poetry Day
Pro-Life Day of Silent Solidarity – Third Tuesday in October
National Pharmacy Technician Day – Third Tuesday in October

October 18th
National Chocolate Cupcake Day
National No Beard Day
BRA Day USA – Third Wednesday in October
Hagfish Day – Third Wednesday in October
Support Your Local Chamber of Commerce – Third Wednesday in October
Medical Assistants Recognition Day – On Wednesday of Third Full Week in October

October 19th
National Kentucky Day
National Seafood Bisque Day
National LGBT Center Awareness Day
National Get Smart About Credit Day – Third Thursday in October
Get to Know Your Customers Day – Third Thursday of Each Quarter (January, April, July, October)

October 20th
National Brandied Fruit Day
National Mammography Day – Third Friday in October

October 21st
National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day
National Reptile Awareness Day
National Sweetest Day – Third Saturday in October

October 22nd
National Nut Day
National Color Day
National Mother-in-Law Day – Fourth Sunday in October

October 23rd
National Boston Cream Pie Day
National Mole Day
National TV Talk Show Host Day (Johnny Carson’s birthday)
Swallows Depart from San Juan Capistrano Day
iPod Day

October 24th
National Food Day
National Bologna Day
United Nations Day

October 25th
National Greasy Food Day
Sourest Day
Chucky, The Notorious Killer Doll Day

October 26th
National Tennessee Day
National Day of the Deployed
National Mule Day
National Pumpkin Day
National Mincemeat Day

October 27th
National American Beer Day
Navy Day
National Black Cat Day
National Pharmacy Buyer Day – Friday of Last Full Week in October
National Frankenstein Friday – Last Friday in October
National Breadstick Day – Last Friday in October

October 28th
National Chocolate Day
National Make A Difference Day – Fourth Saturday in October

October 29th
National Cat Day
National Oatmeal Day
National Hermit Day

October 30th
National Speak Up For Service Day
National Publicist Day
National Candy Corn Day

October 31st
National Caramel Apple Day
National Knock-Knock Jokes Day
National Magic Day
Girl Scout Founder’s Day
Halloween

WOW-there are a LOT of days there! Which ones will you be celebrating? My favorite ones tend to be the food days! I love any excuse to enjoy my favorite foods! Although I’m pretty sure I don’t need to celebrate Moldy Cheese Day on October 9th. YUCK!

Another way to maximize the exposure that National Days can provide is through creating new ways that your business can celebrate special days. For instance, October 28th is Make a Difference Day. I love the idea of making a difference, big or small! This is your chance to get creative in how you celebrate and how you connect with clients.

Lorrie has often said that marketing is the act of building awareness, connecting, communicating, serving, supporting…all to make sales. National Days are an easy way to make your marketing count!

Kelly Kohen
Easy Social Media Content Creation with National Days

Social media marketing is here to stay, but sometimes it’s difficult to find relevant content to share with your readers on a regular basis. One super easy tip to creating easy content is to do a quick search for National Days for the current month. There are a variety of specific days that might relate to your audience and provide fun and informative content. You can simply share your support of the day or create fun infographics using a platform such as Canva.com to create beautiful images.

For example, here is a list of National Days remaining in September. While I might not feel like celebrating National Corned Beef Hash Day, as a woman in business, you can bet I will be celebrating American Business Women’s Day this Friday. One of my other favorites was National Ice Cream Month! Yes, please!

September 20th

National String Cheese Day *
National Punch Day

September 21st

National Pecan Cookie Day
National New York Day

September 22nd

National Legwear Day *
National BRAVE Day*
National Centenarian’s Day
National White Chocolate Day
American Business Women’s Day
Car Free Day
Dear Diary Day
Elephant Appreciation Day
Hobbit Day
National Ice Cream Cone Day
Autumnal Equinox – Changes Annually September 22, 2016

September 23rd

National Teal Talk Day*
National Snack Stick Day
National Singles Day
National Checkers/Dogs in Politics Day
National Great American Pot Pie Day
Celebrate Bisexuality Day
Restless Legs Awareness Day(Different sponsor from the July Weekly Observance)
Innergize Day – Day after the Autumn Equinox
National Hunting and Fishing Day – Fourth Saturday in September

September 24th

National Cherries Jubilee Day
National Punctuation Day
Schwenkfelder Thanksgiving
National Gold Star Mother’s Day – Last Sunday in September

September 25th

National Lobster Day
National One-Hit Wonder Day
National Comic Book Day
National Tune-Up Day
National Research Administrator Day
Math Storytelling Day

September 26th

National Situational Awareness Day
National Compliance Officer Day
National Dumpling Day
National Johnny Appleseed Day
National Shamu the Whale Day
National Pancake Day
National Woman Road Warrior Day – Fourth Tuesday in September
National Voter Registration Day – Fourth Tuesday in September

September 27th

National Chocolate Milk Day
National Crush a Can Day
National Corned Beef Hash Day
National Women’s Health & Fitness Day – Last Wednesday in September

September 28th

National North Carolina Day
National Drink Beer Day
National Good Neighbor Day(Used to be on 4th Sunday)
National Strawberry Cream Pie Day

September 29th

National Coffee Day
VFW Day
National Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day – Last Friday in September

September 30th

National Ghost Hunting Day – Last Saturday in September
National Chewing Gum Day
National Mud Pack Day
National Hot Mulled Cider Day
National Public Lands Day – Usually Last Saturday in September
Save Your Photos Day
National Family Health and Fitness Day USA – Last Saturday in September

Now that you have some inspiration or shared a few laughs looking through this list, start creating your social media content, so you are ready for the National Days that resonate with you and your brand and you will be ready to fill your social media calendar!

Anne Orfila
Email Etiquette: Reply Required

Do you have a friend, colleague or client who never responds to your emails? 

In this web world, I believe that everyone knows someone like that. (Insert eye roll here.)

Email Etiquette: Reply RequiredWhen this happens to me, I begin to wonder: Did they get my email? Are they giving me a passive okay to proceed? Did my email get stuck in their spam folder? Maybe it’s a passive no? And so on. As you can see, it would’ve just been better if they had answered my email!

Working virtually in the web marketing world for many years, I have learned that responding to an email as soon as you can is really the right thing to do. The trouble is there is no Emily Post book of etiquette for web behavior so if someone doesn’t respond, it’s not “wrong” or “rude” but in my book of etiquette it’s just annoying! But I digress . . .

With 99% of my business dealings done online, I know that the way I respond to an email, and the timeliness in which I do so, is a reflection of me. My clients don’t get to see my salon-styled hair, my punctuality to a meeting, or my chic shoes so what they basically have to judge, for lack of a better word, me on is my interaction with them over email. So I better show them my best side, so to speak.

I have one rule – feel free to adopt it – when it comes to client emails:

Respond to the email whether or not I have the reply they need.

That means that even if I don’t have an answer to a client’s question, or if I haven’t completed their project, I will still reply to their email with something as simple as “Hi XXXX, Confirming receipt. This is in my work queue.” I do this so often that now my clients expect a response and in a few rare occurrences when a client’s email did not make it into my inbox – and therefore I did not respond – they have contacted me via phone to follow up. (Insert applause here.)

So, my fellow readers, if you take anything away from this post, I hope that you realize “silence is golden” in some circumstances… but not when it comes to replying to emails.

– – – – –

Now, if someone is cold emailing you (like to sell something) then do not feel obligated to reply, this netiquette is focused on people you know!

For more web etiquette, see my past blog post about “Old School Rules in the New Web World“.

Anne Orfila
Web Marketing Management Tools Our Digital Marketing Agency Is Addicted To!

I have a confession.

Image via Pixabay.comThe digital marketing management team at Web Marketing Therapy would not be as organized, efficient, high-powered and streamlined without help from some super supportive web marketing tools. Through trial, error, and research, the following are some web marketing tools we are addicted to (healthy addiction, of course!) that help us keep our work tight and together.

Without further ado, I share with you some of our favorite web marketing tools – you can thank us later! 😉

ClickToTweet
If you have a message that you want others to share on Twitter, this is the tool for you!

Clicktotweet allows you to create a fully tweet-able link (meaning people just click and it tweets exactly what you want them to post!). You need a Twitter account to use this. When a visitor clicks on your link, the message gets auto-inserted in their Twitter status box. They click and – boom! – your message is shared. In addition, there is tracking and analytics of your messages.

Cost: This awesome tool is FREE. We made one for this post – click here to tweet it!

Hootsuite
If you want to save time managing all of your social media accounts on one easy dashboard, this tool is for you!

Hootsuite allows you to schedule unlimited social media messages and respond to messages across your social networks. You set it and forget it! Analytics reports also show you what is working and what isn’t.

Cost: Variable pricing structure depending on number of social media profiles you are managing.

Boomerang for Gmail
If you want to take control of your inbox, this tool is for you!

Boomerang is your personal assistant for your email account. Write an email and schedule it to send later, check! Got an email that will be relevant in a few days? Click it away and it will be brought back into your inbox when you want it to be there, check! Don’t let any emails fall through the cracks. If you are sending out an email that needs a reply, you can select to be reminded if no one replies, check! And much more.

Cost: Varies by usage between $4.99 per month up to $49.99 per month.

Animoto
If you want your video to look professional, this is the tool for you!

Make great videos, easily. Choose a style and song, customize your video with photos, video clips, and text. Produce it and share. Animato is user-friendly. You don’t need to be a videographer to look like one.

Cost: Varies by what features you want to utilize. Starting at $8 per month up to $34 per month.

Hightail
If you want a more efficient way to manage hi-res emails between your team and/or clients, then this tool is for you!

Hightail gives you dedicated space for team members or clients to preview hi-res images and videos without downloading them. It also allows viewers to comment and provide feedback in context and lets people know when you need their input with actionable notifications.

Cost: Varies from $125 per month to $325 per month or customizable prices for larger options.

This last one isn’t really a tool, but more of a tip…

Share Buttons
Just like you learned in preschool, sharing is the best way to play together. 

If you want people to see your blog – and share with others – then having share buttons on your blog is A MUST! Read our blog post about the importance of making your content easily share-able.

Don’t Be Afraid to Try Something New!

All of the above web marketing tools are tried and true. We know, because our WMT team uses all of them. I believe that they all offer some sort of free trial so if one – or more – jumps out at you, don’t be afraid to try it. The worst that could happen is that it doesn’t work for you and there is no money lost. The best that could happen is that it takes your business to the next level.

Happy, healthy marketing!

SaveSave