Category Archives: markEDing

Lorrie Thomas
Marketing Is About Relationships, Not Sales

Marketing is not just a means to make sales. Marketing creates and cultivates and relationships.

There is a big difference between a transaction and a relationship. A one time sale has to be replaced with another one to keep a business alive. You have to start the process over and over again to get one result. A relationship can grow and refer you to other relationships. Marketing that matters will get you the results you want.

The next time you wonder if it’s worth your time to blog, post to social media, send a personal thank you card or go the extra mile to offer great customer service, remember that all of this is part of the marketing puzzle.

While the world of web marketing is highly techy, remember that being high on personal touch will set you apart from the competition.

 

Lorrie Thomas
Content Marketing That Multitasks – The How-To Hire Article

One of my favorite content marketing pieces that I advise my service-based business clients to create (or create for them) is the “how to hire” article. No matter what industry you are in, there are things that you know potential clients should ask when interviewing service providers, but may not know to. These questions and the answers can help a lead see you as the right choice faster and spare them from hiring the wrong company. The How-To Hire Article multitasks in three main ways.

Visibility. The title of a “how to hire” article usually has your profession name in it and sometimes your geographic location, helping to pull in searches. Title examples:

  • How to Hire The Right CPA
  • Hiring an Austin CPA for Your Business
  • Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Stylist
  • Ask These Three Questions Before Hiring a Wardrobe Stylist
  • What to Ask Before Hiring An Atlanta Web Marketing Company

Little easy titles, simple post to write, big online marketing asset. These questions kick off your article and when used in in the meta title and the url and the body of the text, the content might be picked up by a potential client searching for your services too. We call this “pull marketing” since the content pulls a prospective client in versus having to “push” ads to help generate visibility.

This content marketing piece can also be something you post to social media from time. We are big on reposting great content! Recycling is great for the planet and it’s awesome for your content marketing too!

Credibility. A client of ours has been creating content for a third-party industry publication that is very well known in his niche. He emailed us saying he had a huge potential client lead and that client was interviewing other people before they made a decision, a smart thing for a consumer to do. When he sent the after-meeting follow email, he included a line in the follow up email along the lines of:

As you interview other ________s, my recent article on titled How To Hire A __________ will serve as a great reference. It includes what to look for, questions to ask and more.

Any service professional can be an expert…you become the authority a client wants to hire by owning your awesomeness…owning your awesome is accelerated when you author content. In the word authority is the word author!

When my team and I are supporting Web Marketing Therapy and Wild Web Women clients, our work includes online PR, pitching our clients to journalists who are looking for expert advice to fill an article they are working on. My clients who do active content marketing make the cut 90% more than a non-content creating client does. Why? Simple. We can either pitch the writer referencing content that is already on the website (how’s that for multitasking marketing?) or if the client gives expert advice, we can turn that advice into content (yay, way to repurpose effort) and lastly, we can say ________ writes extensively on the topic of ______ as you can see on her website and blog (include link) which shows the client can talk the talk, but also walks the walk.

Sellability. When you actually SHOW what you KNOW it can help reinforce someone’s decision to hire you. Anyone can say they are the best choice, but when you actually document what you know, it reinforces this knowledge to the potential customer and to yourself.  

I coined the term MarkEDing® with my clients to help convey an ethical, effective and an easier approach to marketing. In a short 7 minute talk, I explained the concept of MarkEDing, how it works in today’s influence economy and how it can give everyone regardless of income, size or experience the power to have a place in business. (It’s worth a watch, fun and funny but will make a mark on your marketing brain!)

The wonderful, wild web world has taken the elitism out of marketing and allows service and product providers to market in a way that could never have been done before. MarkEDing is not about touting your products and services, it is about educating your current and prospective customer.

Take the time to write that “How to Hire” article. It will be a therapeutic exercise to reinforce your distinction, selling power, knowledge and will multitask for your marketing for years and years!

The fabulous thing about content marketing online is that the effort builds and compounds over time…a good investment for your visibility, credibility and sellability!

Virtual marketing hugs!

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.

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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,
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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
Three Simple Social Media Posting Tips

Screen Shot 2016-03-28 at 12.04.03 PMSimple steps are often overlooked when managing social media. The WMT Team helps our clients manage social media marketing daily. Follow our quick, stress-free tips to help streamline your social media marketing and make your posts look and work better.

1) Shorten your URLs Before Posting

When you post to any social media platform, there is no need for the full URL to take up valuable real estate in your post. You know how people joke that you look like a Yahoo if you use a Yahoo (or non-branded email)? Well, same goes for using the whole url when you post! No more of that! A great (and free) url shortener is bitly. We also love Hootsuite‘s url shortener and for full social media marketing management. To shorten your url, simply copy the URL of the content you want to reference, paste your URL into the “shorten content” field. Select “shorten” and “viola!” you have a nice short URL you can use in your social media content. This simple step makes you look more credible, professional, polished and saves you a lot of space. Less is more when you post content!

2) Make Your Post Interesting and Compelling, Do not Use a Carbon Copy of the Title

Helpful tidbit when posting content to Facebook, Linkedin and Google+: Don’t use the exact same content as the article heading that you may be referencing. Facebook, LinkedIn and G+ automatically bring the title and subhead of your post up when you put a url in the post. This is SOCIAL media, not robot media! Take a sec to write something pithy and powerful before you post! Make your post content appealing to potential readers. Create an intriguing opener to get people interested in clicking on the link.

3) Take Time to Add or Make Attractive Images

Content is king, but images rule the social media marketing kingdom! The great news is you don’t have to be a graphic designer or web developer to create eye catching image graphics to support your text content. There are free sites that offer user-friendly applications to create this content on your own. Pixabay and Pexels have awesome royalty-free images if you need them. Canva allows you to make super sexy images (text and photos) and offers many backgrounds, different font types and drag-and-drop manipulation you can do quickly and easily. Some of their images cost a small fee to use, however, there are many that are truly free.

Little steps make a big difference – these are all healthy habits to adopt when you post!

Happy social media marketing!

Katherine L. Garcia
What is a Boilerplate?

What-is-a-boilerplate-press-releaseA boilerplate is the last paragraph in a press release that tells readers about your business. This is an important piece of the press release because it tells readers about your business which supports credibility but it also can help boost your search visibility if you weave in priority key phrases. Your boilerplate should remain consistent from one press release to another.

Here’s an example of a boilerplate we have used in the past for releases about our CEO:

About Lorrie Thomas Ross, M.A.:
Lorrie Thomas Ross is a speaker, trainer, marketing expert, and the CEO of Web Marketing Therapy, a marketing agency and training company that prescribes healthy marketing solutions to get organizations on the right track for success. She speaks nationally on a number of marketing-related topics teaches corporate workshops for UC Berkeley Extension. Lorrie’s marketing expertise has been featured in the media including Inc. Magazine, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, SUCCESS Magazine, eCommerce Times, and Entrepreneur. Her book, “McGraw-Hill 36-Hour Course to Online Marketing” is a must-read. For more information visit: www.LorrieThomas.com.

If you’re interested in learning more about press releases, I encourage you to take a Press Release Course on lynda.com taught by our CEO, Lorrie Thomas Ross. Click here to get a FREE 7 DAY Trial of lynda.com!