Author Archives: Lorrie Thomas

Lorrie Thomas
Make Service The Center of Your Marketing

Someone asked me today what my #1 marketing success secret is.

I’m 100% sure they were expecting a geeky answer that involved website development, search optimization or social media marketing, and while we are experts in all those areas, I can’t credit any of them as top marketing steps that have made my company or my client’s companies successful.

The marketing method that has allowed Web Marketing Therapy to thrive for 10+ years isn’t about how we promote our company, it is how we work after the sale. Being service-centric is the foundation to marketing success. Our focus is consistently taking great care of our clients.

Marketing isn’t just about promotion. Marketing includes building awareness, managing communications, making connections, offering great service and generating sales. It’s so much easier to keep sales coming in when you take care of the people who chose to invest in you already!

We have never purchased an ad in all our years of being in business (with the exception of a local ad for my book, which was not published by our company, but by McGraw-Hill).

Want to pay the bills and have a sustainable business? Make good old fashioned customer service the core of all you do.

It’s one thing to tell a client what they need to do or what to buy, it’s a whole other thing to deliver it and keep delivering it.

You can know every web trick and use every hip, cool tool and have strong visibility, but if you don’t consistently deliver….forget about it!

Lorrie Thomas
Sometimes A Simple One-Page Website is The Way to Start

Does the idea of building a new website or redoing your current website stress you out a little?

Or, maybe a lot?

You aren’t alone. I’ve been there myself. In 2013, I hated our company website so much, I pulled the ENTIRE site down to provide a blank slate allowing us to focus on a simpler, cleaner website, it was one of the best marketing moves I ever made. Here is a post I wrote about it.  When I have clients in fear of starting or redoing a website, I often advise the same simple solution:

Start with a temporary one-page website.

When I suggest this, I often get responses like: “but what will people think?” “Will this hurt my search visibility?” “Shouldn’t we wait until the whole site is ready?”

If you don’t have a site, having something up is better than nothing. People are searching for your business online, and if you aren’t there, your customers aren’t happy…or think something is wrong.

Especially in today’s mobile-centric web world, you do not need a big fancy website. What you need is something simple, informative, targeted to your demographic and requires little to no maintenance. Why not start with a one page website? Say who you are, what you do and whom you serve. Make sure your contact information is visible, include an image(s) if it helps and have links to your social media. Capture email addresses if you have a good reason to.

Simple information paired with clean design that is on-brand and on-purpose is the best foundation you can have.

For those of you struggling to redo your website, remember that it isn’t just about being on the web any way you can, it is about being on the web in a precise manner that speaks true to your business and your brand. A website doesn’t have to be (and shouldn’t be!) complicated. A simple one page site has given so many of our clients the opportunity to be seen and heard while they work on the bigger website behind-the-scenes.

And if you are still stressing, reach out. I’m happy to talk with you. I’ve been there. I still remember the stress of yanking my old website, but what a blessing it became!

Virtual marketing hugs!

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!

Lorrie Thomas
Digital Marketing Alone Will Not Make You a Superhero

I sometimes feel like I am punching people with tough love when I break the news that digital marketing is not going to make them successful. Digital marketing is absolutely part of the equation, but the tools need to be driven with some serious human KAPOW to really pack some punch into the equation!

YOU (not the tools) will make you successful!

Look at web marketing (websites, online advertising, social media marketing, search marketing, etc.) like this:

YOU are Batman, Web Marketing is Robin. Stay with me on this one….Batman is the leader, the one on the front lines while Robin acts as your trusty sidekick – he has your back, but he’s not going to make it alone!

Batman is NOTHING without Robin, but Robin could not strike out on his own and be ok either. It’s a synergistic dream team!

I love to help people build and optimize their marketing so it does act as a trusty sidekick – making you look good, reinforcing your message, keeping you out there, communicating, serving, supporting and selling…(it has your back!)

Digital Marketing will not magically make you a superhero. When you get in the hero mindset and are really ready for success, then the tools become VERY useful!

You grow when you have a great support system in place. Make sure your digital marketing is optimized to brand, build and boost business, when it is, you’ll be in much better shape to pack some marketing POW! into your business.

Remember: You can’t hide behind your computer and expect to make money honey!

Marketing is the act of building awareness, connecting, communicating, serving, supporting…all to make sales.

Don’t count on digital marketing to do it alone, get in the mental mindset to have your superhero pants on at all times!

Lorrie Thomas
If You Build It….They Won’t Come

In the movie Field of Dreams, the protagonist (played by Kevin Costner) hears a voice in his Iowa cornfields…”If you build it…he will come.”

It doesn’t work that way with web marketing.

If you launch a new website, blog, Facebook page or anything online, people will not come unless you make an effort to get people to come!

Marketing is about making relationships. This is not a passive act. Relationships take effort, energy and enthusiasm.

Web marketing includes online advertising, email marketing, search engine marketing, social media marketing and content marketing. If you don’t act, don’t expect anything to happen.

If you want results, you must be genuinely enthusiastic about what you are offering. You have to be willing to put in the effort (which might include hiring help to delegate some of the work). Lastly, you need energy…positive, proactive energy. While this might sound a little woo-woo, in the 10+ years I have run my digital marketing agency, my most successful clients are the ones who radiate energy and put energy into voicing their value and values.

Web Marketing RxNeed a Healthy Dose of Marketing Rx? Take 3 V’s:

1) Offer Value to your customer by sharing content (that has value to them) and communicate your value
2) Marry your with content with your Values (this will help you attract your ideal client)
3) Publish content consistently to solidify your Voice

 You will have a great voice online when your web marketing communicates your value and your values!

Virtual Marketing Hugs!

 

 

Lorrie Thomas
Measuring Social Media Marketing Success

social media marketing successWhen I hear people talk about measuring social media marketing success in myopic terms like growing followers, or getting direct sales, I feel like a marketing intervention needs to be staged. Social media absolutely supports sales, but it’s a piece of the overall marketing puzzle. You can’t expect one social media post will make you money honey! For any of you wondering how to measure social media marketing success, here is what you need to know.

#1 – Start By Understanding the Five Factors for Social Media Marketing Success.
There are five factors for social marketing success: credibility, usability, visibility, salability, and scalability. Sales do not happen unless all factors are attended to. Knowing and managing these five factors will help get you know what to focus on, what needs to be optimized and where your strengths and weakness lie.

Credibility is believability. Social media marketing helps people know, like, and trust you. Are you sharing content that really matters? Are your cover photos designed to be on brand? Are you consistently posting content that benefits your target audience?

Usability is how easy your social media assets are to use. This can include the ease of being able to easily navigate or search your blog, having the right share widgets installed on your blog and optimized properly, or having the right Facebook template installed so your page is well organized.

Visibility is how well you are found on social media. You can be the most qualified expert or company, but if nobody knows about you, then you have a problem. Visibility can come from boosting Facebook posts, increasing your social media posts by using great tools like Hootsuite.com and being more mindful of using hashtags when you post. Blogging and social media content can also help boost your search engine visibility, so determine the right phrases to include in your posts.

Sellability is how well you help people understand your value. Every social media profile description needs to clearly communicate who you are, what you do and whom you serve. This includes your LinkedIn summary, Twitter description, Instagram description, Facebook about area and more.

Scalability is how solid your social media foundation is. When you create great content and you commit to creating content for social media regularly, this content is an investment! It builds and compounds over time like a great stock investment. I love how I am able to reference old blog posts by simply searching the blog toolbox. I have content to share for my company and my clients companies for a lifetime thanks to the continual development of quality content!

#2 – Measure Social Media Success Against Your Social Media Strategy 

We do not plan to fail, we fail to plan. What is your social media marketing strategy? Don’t have one? If you need help, know that your social media marketing needs to be bigger than you or your organization. Have an overarching theme – think broadly about the topics you will address. Learn more about this by reading my post on keeping social media strong. Part of your planning needs to include deciding who is responsible for managing your brand’s social media efforts. Neglected social media creates a poor impression of a business, just like an abandoned storefront. Ensure your social media cover photos are consistent with your brand, when you write posts, use phrases in your text or hashtags that you want to be searched and found on, and plan for outreach. Many brands build into their social media marketing plan a budget for Facebook ads, Instagram ads and sometimes initially search ads to drive traffic to a site or blog.

#3 – If You Don’t Think Your Social Media Marketing is Paying Off, Revisit Your Approach

It’s not uncommon to feel like your social media isn’t “successful”. When I was interviewed by Intuit’s Small Business blog for an article called, Why Social Media Isn’t Paying Off for Your Business, I outlined tips businesses can do to make their investment work. If you don’t feel like things are not working out for you with social media, follow these tips for social media marketing success:

  • Plan your social media marketing journey
  • Be conversational – this is social media after all!
  • Teach and educate, I call this markeding (marketing and education)
  • Make social connections
  • Have fun!

Social media marketing is a journey, NOT a destination. Success is about building trust, serving customers, supporting sales, increasing engagement, building your brand, boosting awareness and communicating news.

If you feel like you need social media support, don’t hesitate to reach out.
Virtual marketing hugs,