Category Archives: Tough Love

Anne Orfila
You Only Need One Space After a Period. Period.

Are you guilty of double-spacing after a period? Or a question mark? Or an exclamation point?

Congratulations! This means that you were a conscientious student in school (ahem, over 25 years ago) – typing class specifically – and your typing teacher would be proud. Today, no teacher would probably sing your praises doing this because the practice of inserting two spaces after a period (or other punctuation mark) is no longer necessary or the norm.

One space after a period does not mean you are lazy, but it does make you look old-school! 

Dropping the extra space after the period is not due to a time-saving effort or because people today are lazy. There was a legit reason behind the practice, so before you enter modern times, let’s take a little walk back in history to learn why double spaces existed.

Typewritten documents actually needed the extra space. 

The typewriter has a monospaced font. This means that each letter, number, or punctuation mark is allotted the same amount of space before and after the character (i.e. the skinny letter “i” has just as much breadth of room as the chubby letter “m”). In short, sentences from a typewriter look long and the act of using two spaces after a sentence gives the reader an easy-to-see break between sentences.

Computers, and word processors, are much smarter creatures.

The characters used in computer fonts are spaced proportionally. Therefore, words look more “joined together” and the space in between is more defined. And individual sentences are easier on the eyes to tell apart. Thus, the extra space is not needed.

There are still a few fonts available that have monospacing, such as Courier and Lucida Console. Here is an example which illustrates the difference between a monospaced font (Courier) and a proportional font (Arial).

Web Marketing Therapy One Space After a Period

Not entirely convinced to drop the extra space? Read this:

If you continue to use that pesky extra space, you are aging yourself!

Whether you are writing website copy, a business proposal, a resume or CV, a blog post, or your profile on a dating app, using that double space will mark you as middle-aged. Let’s put it this way, I was the last class in high school to learn to type on an actual IBM typewriter (that was waaaay back in 1989) where the double spacing was drilled into my typing repertoire. The class after me and beyond used computers (and no double spaces). So anyone who uses the double space is someone who learned on a typewriter ages ago! If you are trying to maintain a certain “arbitrary” age in this youth-oriented world, that double space will “out” you faster than it takes for your Botox to set in!

The bottomline: One space after a period is a simple way to update your writing and maintain your youthful reputation. 😉 

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
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!

 

 

Anne Orfila
Old School Rules Still Apply in The New Web World

I have been in the wild web world longer than many of you who are reading this. I’m a Gen X, not a Millennial. Most likely, the biggest differentiating factor between me and a Millennial who is doing the same type of web marketing work as I currently am, is that I worked in an office. Sure, sure, you’re saying that so have you. But my first job was in a serious mega corporation that wasn’t full of young people aspiring to hit it big with IPOs and stock options. My employer was already on the stock market and I had the bigwigs from New York breathing down my neck for sales revenue reports, forecasts, and whatever else they needed. This also happened to be my first job out of college. I was young, but eager to be a team player, and a fast learner. What I learned in those 3 years of corporate life was something I have taken with me to every job since. Old school office etiquette works wonders. Even in this current fast-paced web world.

Mind your manners in the wild web world. What is old school etiquette in the office? Basically, it’s using proper manners in the workplace. Etiquette applies to “netiquette” too! Show respect to your coworkers and their privacy, speak (or email or call) politely, mind your (political, religious, controversial) opinions, use “please” and “thank you” whenever appropriate, keep your voice down, ask to borrow other people’s office supplies, keep team members in the loop, show up to meetings on time, stay at home when you are sick (unless you are already home, then just be thankful for your work-from-home job!)

I’ve been working at home for more than a decade, but I never let my etiquette slip. Since my clients, and Web Marketing Therapy coworkers are all over the U.S., all of my work and most of my correspondence is done electronically so my office manners have been transposed a bit to fit the web world, but the gist is still the same.

Follow These Old-School Rules in Today’s New-School Web World:

  • Keep your emails clear, polite, to the point, and prompt. If there is something you need, be clear to ask for it…nicely!
  • Emails should not be one word or in all lowercase. I don’t care if you reply from your phone! You don’t talk in one word sentences (and even if you do), your emails should not just be one word sentences.
  • Address the recipient with a pleasant greeting such as “Dear xxx”, “Good Morning, xxx”. Not “Hey”
  • Confirm receipt of work emails from clients, even if you haven’t completed it. Occasionally something doesn’t get delivered and if your client is used to a confirmation, than they’ll know if you haven’t received their email.
  • Use “please” and “thank you” whenever necessary.
  • Your email subject needs to reflect what your email is about.
  • Don’t forward anything personal (jokes, political statements, funny cartoons, chain letters, etc.,) to clients, even if you are on “friendly” terms.
  • Stick to a basic font (Arial, Helvetica), in a “regular” size, and use black.
  • Do not use ALL CAPS, EVER.
  • No profanity belongs in any client email.
  • Temper the exclamation points, the bolded words, and underlining.
  • Avoid shortcuts for words: “u” for “you”, “bc” for “because”, “gr8” for “great” and so forth.
  • Use emoticons sparingly.
  • If there are multiple people on a message you receive, decipher whether it is appropriate to “reply all” or to just reply to the sender.
  • Keep your client or coworkers in the loop. You may be half way through a project, but it’s always nice to send them a brief status email update so they know that you are working on it.
  • Sign off your emails with a pleasantry such as “Sincerely”, “Warm Regards”, “Kind Regards” and include a signature with your contact information.
  • Notify clients and coworkers of vacations or times when you are away from your office.
  • Use your out-of-office assistant when taking extended time away from work.

Whether you are Gen X or a Millennial, don’t be afraid to throw in some old school office etiquette in the new wild web world. After all, courtesy, respect, and professionalism never go out of style.

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

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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!
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