Category Archives: Free Therapy Advice

Lorrie Thomas
Have You Evaluated The People in Your Life Lately?

screen-shot-2016-11-30-at-10-44-43-am

I love this quote from motivational speaker Tony Gaskins: “Evaluate the people in your life; then promote, demote, or terminate. You’re the CEO of your life.”

I often hear my clients say “I have a really hard time with my ________ (insert web, design, marketing) vendor” then they go on to say why. You don’t have to tolerate mediocre!

We are the product of the people we associate with – personally and professionally.

Think critically about your people and make sure they count!
ltr_signature_initial copy

Kelly Kohen
Digital Marketing Netiquette – Mind your Grammar!

I am currently volunteering in my son’s 3rd grade classroom during their writing hour. My job is simple, to make sure they have a capital at the start of each sentence and punctuation at the end, use proper grammar, check their spelling and make sure they have clear and complete sentences. While the rules are simple, the kids still need constant reminders for these tasks.

You may be asking, “What does 3rd grade writing have to do with digital marketing?” Amazingly, A TON. At Web Marketing Therapy, I help proofread copy for our clients, anything and everything: social media posts, blog posts, meta data code for SEO, press releases, website copy, copy in images and more. We often find spelling and grammatical errors-it happens to the best of us. We also stage interventions when we see clients blogging sloppily or using poor form – it’s a major credibility killer! My healthy digital marketing advice is to exercise proper netiquette, ALWAYS proofread your writing!

Here is the checklist I use when volunteering in the classroom. More adults need to respect these rules!checklist

Remember, the way you write is a reflection of your brand!

With technology today, it is a quick and easy step to use the built in tools of spell check and grammar check before posting your work. Be sure to use them. If writing isn’t your strength, have someone proofread your work! Asking for help is a small step that makes a BIG impression!

Mind your grammar manners!

Spell and Grammar Check Your work

 

 

 

Lorrie Thomas
The Sum of Business Success – Ops, Admin and Marketing

If you want to succeed in business, you have to respect that marketing is part of the success equation, not an optional additive. Respect the sum of business success:
Equation for Success

  1. Operations. Whether you sell a product or service, you have to deliver. Operations is the making, delivering, etc of what you sell.
  2. Administration. Ah, the unsexy but necessary part of a business. It is critical to collect money honey, pay vendors, employees, insurance, etc.
  3. Marketing. Connecting, conversing, educating, getting attention, addressing client concerns, sharing news, etc.

It’s funny because I rarely hear a client say “Oh, I just am not feeling inspired to pay my bills.” or “I’m just not good at delivering the ___ I sold.” But you hear excuses about why marketing isn’t happening ALL THE TIME! If you look at your business holistically (meaning all parts are connected) you will be leaps ahead of your competition. Marketing is part of the business equation, not an option. I’ve blogged before about how Marketing Does Not Have An On/Off Switch. There is a misconception that marketing is more of a “nice to have” versus a “need to have”. But that isn’t true! Marketing MUST be a constant in your business if you want to succeed.

Here are some key points to remember when integrating marketing into your business:

Marketing is not advertising
The true meaning of marketing is maximizing exchanges (connections, communications, relationships). Marketing includes building awareness, communicating, connecting, serving and selling. Marketing includes everything from the way you write your emails to how you communicate with customers, to how you manage your personal brand. Marketing is essential in forming bonds with clients (current, past and prospective). Stop thinking of marketing as a chore and start seeing marketing as a healthy way to brand, build and boost business!

Marketing is a constant
You don’t take breaks from breathing do you? Well, don’t cut off the air supply to your business by pausing marketing! Regular updating on your blog, website, social media accounts and newsletter shows that your business is playing to win. Beyond that, marketing principles should be implemented throughout your daily routine such as how you communicate with clients and build your business.

Marketing requires effort
If you have marketing help with an in-house marketing team or use a third-party vendor, you have to collaborate with them! They can’t read your mind so reach out and find out what ways you can boost your marketing efforts. Better communication will lead to solid and healthy marketing that reflects your brand.

Stop Stressing!
Sometimes getting over your marketing fears is as simple as rethinking how you approach marketing. When I ask clients “what do you want to help your target audience understand?” the answers flow. Once the message is clear, then how to get the word out is easy. Sometimes it means going back to the website and making changes, sometimes it means adding pages, sometimes it means buying ads.

wmt-quote-marketing_education

Stop treating marketing like a toy. It is a critical tool that you need to succeed!

Here’s to happy, healthy marketing!
Virtual marketing hugs,
ltr_signature_initial copy

Lorrie Thomas
Easy Ways to Create Social Media Content

The most common challenge professionals face when managing social media marketing on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram or Pinterest is writing and managing content, starting with the #1 question:

“What should I post?”

Creating social media content is a pain ONLY when your head is not in the right place. Your mindset needs to be 100% focused on how you can serve and support your desired audience.
Successful social media marketing is about communicating in a meaningful way with your target audience.

Stop the stress and move towards success. Here are some easy social media content ideas to keep you current, collaborative, conversational and converting!

Quotes
When you lack writing inspiration (and let’s face it, we all have our days), then give yourself a little dose of inspiration – share a quote! Quotes are a form of content that are fast, easy and enjoyable for your readers.  The best part is you don’t have to write the content!

It’s so simple to give your social media followers a fun, funny or motivational quote that will make their day brighter…and quotes are often shared so you can get a viral marketing boost too!

Google is your best friend when it comes to finding quotes. Do a search on a phrase relevant to your industry. There are thousands of quotes online waiting. When you find one that works, copy and paste to your blog, tweet, posted on Facebook or share on Google+. Be sure to credit the writer and if you want to thank a certain website for providing the quote, that is good netiquette.

Here is one we shared on Facebook and Instagram designed with a free tool called Canva.com.
TakethatstepHere are some simple quote search queries to get you going based on industry terms. You’ll be surprised what (and how much) you find:

Productivity quotes
Marketing Quotes
Insurance Quotes
Tax Quotes
Fashion Quotes
Fitness Quotes
Food Quotes
Success Quotes
(Your industry terms) + quote

You can add additional words to your query like “funny” or “motivational” to get more refined results:

Funny + (Your industry terms) + quote
Motivational + (Your industry terms) + quote

When I was looking for content inspiration, I couldn’t remember the person who coined the famous “If at first you don’t succeed…” quote so I searched (for that part of the phrase only) and found not only the source, but an extension of the quote that I had never heard:

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then quit.
There’s no point in being a damn fool about it.
– W.C. Fields (source www.brainyquote.com)

I copied it, pasted it into Twitter.  Content – done. Easy, peasy.

Quotes can be shared on all social media outlets – your blog, LinkedIn (if the quote is relevant to your professional contacts) Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook.

Many bloggers post quotes on their blog and then use the link from their blog post (with the quote in it) as what is posted on other social media outlets. Often, quotes can include pictures…(just make sure you are using royalty free images, images you took or ones you own).

I love this example of Linda Menesez, a Santa Barbara Counselor who uses quotes when she blogs (she is a friend and a client my company has advised over the years) who launched a blog post with a quote. The quote is compelling and was perfect content to launch the rest of her post from.

Quotes for Content - Linda Menesez

Interviews
Interviews are another content-creating opportunity. We connect through our stories. On the social web, bringing people together through interview content is fun, interesting and often very, very easy.

A business blog I am totally addicted to called SheBrand.com features “You Should Know” wonder women. I LOVE to learn from the interviewees and always stay tuned for the great content.

Screen Shot 2016-07-14 at 12.56.10 PM

Social media interviews are great content and they are fast, easy and fun!

Who would your current and prospective customers want to read about? Other customers? Inspiring professionals? Once you have a theme of who you want to interview, come up with a handful of simple interview questions. You can send these questions over and over (saving you time and time is money!) to new interviewees. Often, interviewers will give interviewees the option of only answering questions on a list that they want to (versus making it a mandate to answer all questions). Sometimes a photo is asked for to add visual appeal to the social media post.

I earned my Masters from Antioch University in Santa Barbara. I did a marketing advisory project for them – an idea that was implemented was interviewing alumni.  The interviews were conducted online. The effort was simply finding the alum, sending them the questionnaire and then posting it to the blog (and sharing the post on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.) Time wasn’t spent on content creation, it was invested. These interviews are online and build as more interviews are conducted.

Antioch Interviews

One of the best parts of conducting interviews on your blog and sharing them on social media is often the interviewee will also share the interview to their social circles, giving you even more visibility!

Infographics, Videos and Photos
Content doesn’t have to be text only. Sharing content like infographics or videos can be very rewarding. Here is an example of a Facebook page I follow (the www.thesilverpen.com blog is great too!).

Screen Shot 2016-07-14 at 12.58.29 PMNote how the url of the blog (TheSilverPen.com) is also some of the infographic designs to create more awareness for the site.  Great marketing touch.

These graphics that are shared on Facebook are also posted on the blog as well as pinned on Pinterest.

Screen Shot 2016-07-14 at 1.07.11 PM

Be a Web Gemologist
So many professionals carry the weight of the content creation world on their shoulders.  You don’t have to sit and create new content all the time, why not get in the habit of being a “web gemologist” where you share “gems” of other people’s content on your social media:

Links to other posts that your readers would enjoy
Share Videos
Share Infographics

*Always, always properly credit the source of the article or videos.

I share great links and videos on Twitter daily. This is my favorite place to be a “web gemologist”!

Screen Shot 2016-07-14 at 1.09.39 PMThe phrase “content is king” is still true on the web…except nowadays, content is the whole marketing kingdom! It’s all about being a strategic content creator. Enjoy these tips and enjoy communicating in a way that is “on brand” and “on purpose”!

ltr_signature_initial copy

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…

 

ltr_signature_initial copy

Kelly Kohen
Do’s and Don’ts of Social Media Marketing Content

Social Media Do's and Don'tsOne of the best ways to connect, converse and convert is through social media content creation – sharing helpful, relevant and educational content on channels like Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and blogging is low cost (and often no cost) and is scalable.

Know that while you may be producing social media content, you might not always be engaging in a meaningful way.

Here are some of WMT’s Do’s and Don’ts of Social Media Marketing Content Creation. While we have seen the addition of new platforms over the years, the rules of engagement are still the same!

  • DO focus on content that is about more than just your organization- write content that educates people on reasons WHY they want your product/services rather than the WHAT or HOW your company, product or service. Social media content is about you, not your customer!
  • DON’T share content that is ONLY about your company or organization. (I know I said that above, it’s so important I had to to say it again!)
  • DO become a hub of information by sharing your great content! Save your reader’s time and energy by posting it all on your social media platforms.
  • DON’T become overwhelmed by the feeling that you need to personally come up with all your social media content. You can often reuse email content, messaging from press releases, and resharing old blog posts (if they are old but still good, repost them!)
  • DO embrace the three V’s of social media marketing – Value, Values and Voice!
  • DON’T avoid social media marketing!