Category Archives: Ask the Marketing Therapist

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
Define Success On Your Own Terms

When I support entrepreneurs with web marketing at Web Marketing Therapy or work with women on their web-based businesses though Wild Web Women, I’m often reminding these wonderful passionate professionals to stop comparing themselves…

You CANNOT compare yourself to others! 

The sooner you break down the habit of comparing yourself or business to others, the sooner you will start to pave our own path and see business breakthroughs.

“Define success on your own terms, achieve it by your own rules,
and build a life you’re proud to live.

– Anne Sweeney

Branding success

Lorrie Thomas
Branding for Success: What You Need To Know

Today’s digital world has altered the way we think about and approach branding. Here are some branding success points to mind to keep your company “on brand” and your content marketing “on purpose”.

No matter how new or old your brand is, it’s always a healthy branding exercise to identify your value and values then make sure your content marketing voices this to brand, build and boost business!

Branding for Success: What You Need To Know

NUMERO UNO: Branding today is still about the classics (offering value) but be sure to voice your values too!
Valued brands are clear about and are very comfortable communicating their values. Values can be philosophy, charity, approach to work and life interests. Voice your value and values though content -web, blog, and social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and video) to create brand affinity.

NUMERO DOS: Embrace your AUTHORity status!
Anyone can be a an expert – the most successful brands are authorities. In the word authority is the word AUTHOR! Write, post great content and get into markeding®! markeding® is a mashup of the words marketing and education. Successful branding is not about pushing products and services, it’s about educating your market. You become an authority via authoring educational content.

NUMERO TRES: Do not stress!
When clients get on my marketing therapy couch, I advise them to stop letting people “should” on them. There are so many “you should…” comments made to folks personally and professionally as they build their brands. Don’t get caught up in the chaos. Listen within. Stop listening to the should’s and focus on the could’s that support voicing your value and values.

If marketing is stressful, overwhelming or gives you any “ick…yuck” feelings, then there is something very wrong with what you are doing.

Marketing (branding, social media, messaging, everything!) is about maximizing relationships…that is wonderful and lovely. Your brand needs to support your value and values…happy, healthy brands are gleeful in voicing this!

If you need marketing advice or support, feel free to reach out to us, I’m happy to get you on the fast-track to success!
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Lorrie Thomas
Fear-Based Digital Marketing Sales Emails

Have you ever received an email from a digital marketing company or consultant saying that your website isn’t performing well, or your site isn’t found in search engines or you “have to” redo your website…….or else?

When companies try to sell their digital marketing services by using fear-based email messages, I want to reach my hand through the computer screen and smack them.

Here is an example and what to do if you get a message like this to help spare you unnecessary marketing stress.

Dear James,road-sign-63983_1920

I noticed that your website is not mobile-friendly which is hurting your visibility on Google. In April, Google began penalizing websites for not optimizing for mobile devices. Since then, businesses without mobile-friendly websites have lost significant search traffic.

The email example (from a real email a client forwarded me) goes on to insist that without a new website, the client’s visibility is doomed then leads into a free call. These types of email serve to alarm you into taking action…prompting you to call or book a time to talk online.

It is healthy to have ongoing marketing discussions and always great to look at ways to optimize your digital marketing efforts, but never, ever start a conversation in a state of stress. Here is the debrief on messages like the example above.

As this email above said, Google unleashed a new search algorithm (that was often called “Moblegeddon” as it threatened to wipe out websites from the search engines, favoring websites built on newer responsive platforms). Read more about that here. Newer websites that are built to be mobile-friendly will earn search favoritism, but it doesn’t mean that you your non-mobile friendly site isn’t being listed and found. Always do an internet search to see if your site is being found.

There is a lot you can do to make sure your site is being searched if you don’t want to (or can’t afford to) overhaul your website to be fully mobile friendly, which sales email examples like the one above propose. Ongoing search marketing efforts like blogging are a good way to keep your ongoing search marketing on point.

Search ranking is based on a number of factors, mainly architecture, content and linking. The architecture is the coding of the site and can include factors like if it is responsive (meaning it adapts to a tablet and mobile device automatically) as well as your meta data code. If your blog is extremely search friendly and content is regularly posted, it creates a good foundation. Content is king with search – the more content you publish (blog posts, etc) the better. Search engines have robots that read and index websites, the more “food” you feed these bots, the better. Linking is also a big factor – links within page content and other sites linking to you are important.

When Google changed their search algorhythm, many of our clients invested in redesigning their websites as they wanted these new mobile-friendly responsive sites so users had the best mobile experience. But many did not want to spend the money and have been FINE. There is no wrong or right approach and there are tons of benefits to building responsive sites, I always want to make sure folks make their marketing decisions based on understanding their options…not based on a knee-jerk reaction from a scare-tactic sales email.

If you do decide to reach out to companies following one of their emails, be sure to take a close look at what they are selling.  Some companies have very oppressive contracts. Also be leery of sales pitches that say they can redo your website with a very quick turnaround….quick doesn’t always mean good…

Healthy marketing is important. Keeping a close eye on ways you can improve your online presence is always a good practice, but don’t fall victim to alarmist emails. Set your path and readjust as necessary, based on your own experiences and research, or reach out to a reputable firm who is willing to talk with you and educate you on ways you can improve your online presence.

It’s always best to make decisions based on options…never let digital marketing people stress you out. If they do that from the get-go, the relationship is off to a bad start…

 

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Lorrie Thomas
Want More Marketing Results? Be More Helpful!

Marketing is both an art and a science. But without HEART, time, effort and money spent won’t ever get you the results you seek.

Why_How_What

One of my marketing man crushes, Simon Sinek says in his TED talk, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy WHY you do it.”

Most marketing talks about what a company does, even how a company does it. Sinek helps so many companies break down why they do what they do…when the why is communicated better, marketing breakthroughs begin.

Marketing is not about selling your products and services….it’s about helping others. The true meaning of marketing is maximizing exchanges. If you are not clear on your purpose (your “why?”) then your marketing and sales are in desperate need of an intervention.

marketing_rx1Marketing Rx Time!

Ask yourself these TWO SIMPLE questions:

1) What are my customer’s problems?
2) What can I help them solve?

Marketing needs to address root issues. When this is clear, your communications (ads, website, social media, emails) can really get to the heart of what you are about and help you connect better (and sell better!)

Look, everybody feels stressed about marketing at times. Sometimes the more we read, the guiltier we feel…not blogging enough, updating our website, checking our data, managing our social media…

I’m not here to stress you out….my WHY is to help de-stress passionate professionals and help them get on the right path.

Breathe…this is just marketing…

wmt_heart copy1Remember that marketing success does not come from quantity, it comes from quality efforts.

When you are aligned with your target customer and understand how you can help them, your ads, social media posts, blog posts, emails….everything becomes clear. Put the pieces of your marketing puzzle together from a place of heart.

Learn, give, grow and love…make your marketing matter…be helpful!

Virtual Marketing Hugs,

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Lorrie Thomas
2016 Digital Marketing Advice – Chill the (bleep) Out!!

Happy New Year! I spent the remainder of 2015 unwinding with family and friends – a very necessary digital unplug to recharge! While I had the mental space to reflect, I reviewed the past year and patterns to kick off 2016 on a proactive, “lessons learned”, foot.

We saw huge breakthroughs for our clients in 2015: New brands, business growth, opportunities tapped and amazing digital marketing improvements. The thing Web Marketing Therapy spent most time breaking down (to get to those breakthroughs) was stress. Most the of the new entrepreneurs and small businesseses who got on our virtual therapy couch had to overcome things like:

  • unhealthy mindsets
  • vendor dependency
  • unproductive habits
  • financial burdens
  • self-confidence issues
  • communication problems
  • social media abuse
  • dysfunctional websites

Stress is connected to major health issues – it is also the core of major marketing issues!!

Screen Shot 2016-01-04 at 3.21.43 PMMarketing is about building relationships. It should not feel like lying on pins and needles!

If you have issues getting service from your current vendors, then find new ones. Don’t tolerate crappy service. If you can’t afford certain marketing, then put it on hold! If you aren’t confident about who you are and what you do, then take a step back and get clear on the value you provide. Are you posting messages on social media that alienate people or are you an active contributor? Is your website easy to use and maintain?

Screen Shot 2016-01-04 at 3.21.57 PM

My 2016 digital marketing advice is short, not exactly sweet and is simpler said than done (but it CAN and must be done!):

Chill the F*<k Out!!

Digital marketing has made marketing accessible to EVERYONE – rich, poor, educated, uneducated, male, female, young, old, big business and small (even teeny tiny businesses). How digital marketing is used depends on your goals, comfort levels, budget and skill set. But the first thing is to begin from a place of calm.

Stress sucks the life out of us. It interferes with our ability to think and make smart decisions. You don’t HAVE to do things vendors tell you or spend money on things you can’t afford.

If you are still reading this and can’t stop stressing about marketing, then let me help.

#1 – Make a list of things you do for marketing. If there are things you are not doing that you feel guilty about, write those down too.

#2 – What are things that you can’t confirm are working that you can cut?

#3 – What are things you would like to add? How can you do this? Do you need to read more on it, have help? Remember, small steps make a big difference and this is a journey, not a destination. You don’t arrive in seconds – this is a process that takes time.

#4 – Tell yourself that it is OK to ask for help. At Web Marketing Therapy, we have an inside saying called “google that s__t” meaning that so much of what you want/need to know is Googleable. If you can’t self-help with Google, find companies who are willing to train you, not just do the work for you. If you at a point that you are so busy with work that you need to delegate marketing, then find a firm who makes your life easy, taking work off your plate, not creating more of it.

And don’t forget to breathe. This is marketing, not oxygen. 

While I believe wholeheartedly that marketing fuels business, marketing is not something that you should stress about. Do you stress every time you breathe? You shouldn’t with marketing either.

I’m off to go hike with my 4 year old. Happy New Year and Here’s to HAPPY, HEALTHY MARKETING!