Tag Archives: online marketing

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
Power-up Your Marketing by Leveraging the Psychology of Language

font-705667_640 copyThe way you communicate is possibly your most powerful tool in creating connections AND generating conversions. The language you use can make or break someone’s decision to work with you or buy from you. While this thought can feel a little intimidating, don’t worry! Once you understand some simple psychological points about language, marketing power will be on your side!

Leverage the Psychology of Language – Ideas to Power-up Your Marketing!

#1 – Speak to the “Positive”
When someone is looking to invest in a product or service, they want to feel good about their decision. Does your marketing language play up your positives?  People want solutions, value and results. Fill your marketing material with positive language that inspires and empowers your customer. By using positive language, your client will be motivated and in a mindset to make positive changes (also making it easier for you to make money honey)!

#2 – Answer “What do I get?” Clearly
People want to understand clearly and easily “What do I get?” and “What can you do for me?” Know what you can give them, how you can help them and OWN IT by communicating this clearly throughout your marketing messaging. People want to get the most out of their money. Spell out what the customer gets and communicate value! Adhering to the client’s wants and telling them where you come in now will help get you the revenue you need to succeed.

Screen Shot 2016-08-08 at 4.10.43 PM#3 – Use “Yummy” “Digestible” Language
It’s easier to pop eat sweet cookies into your mouth vs. chewing on a raw kale salad, right? (No vegans or organictarians were harmed in the writing of this blog post). I use this analogy as a way to tough-love clients into visualizing how more mindful messaging gets gobbled up by customers. Whether you are on a gluten-free, sugar-free diet or not, know that your marketing language needs to be more cookie vs. kale salad – sweet to chew, swallow and digest.

EXAMPLE:
Raw kale salad version: “I help people embrace their effervescence” (People think “Uh, whhhhhatttt?” or “You lost me” Too much to chew, swallow…and forget digesting!)

Cookie version: “I help people accelerate their self improvement process…” (People say “ooh really?” That sounds appetizing) then their hand might gladly go back into the cookie jar for another listening helping and messaging can continue with “…by helping them better understand and overcome their personal and professional challenges using a powerful psychological method.” People are more likely to get it and think YUM, I want some of that speedy self-improvement (if your target audience is wanting this kind of service)

#4 – Save the “behind the scenes” talk for AFTER you close the sale.
When it comes to talking to clients, especially in the service industry, start with on stage language and save all the techy, special effects, over-explaining, super-smartypants behind the curtain language for later. Potential clients first want and need to hear the on stage language— positive words, benefits of working with you, great testimonials, etc. Once they become a client, that is where the behind the curtain language comes in. The truth is, your prospective clients are reaching out to you because they have a problem, a certain need. They want to enjoy working with you and often do not know what they don’t know – getting too behind the scenes can overwhelm them. Positive, on stage language is so important.

EXAMPLE:
When I started Web Marketing Therapy, I talked too much about the behind the scenes/behind the curtain details of what we did, oozing my Master’s business marketing jargon and it was “too much, too early”. People want the easy to chew on things like “a new website” or “better search visibility” or “help with social media”…all clear “what do I get’s”. While I work a ton on helping people elevate their credibility and positioning and do a lot of psychological work in the process, that is not the client’s goal – they just want to GET better. So I keep my message initially to on stage simple speak –  I talk in digestible language about what we do and what we do to help, but I don’t totally geek out on how we do this until we are actually engaged….our clients actually learn while being led by my team and I during the experience.

It’s not easy to look hard at your marketing material and break it down to get it better, but when you do, oooooh the breakthroughs you will have!

Happy, healthy marketing to y’all!

Virtual marketing hugs,

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Lorrie Thomas
Google+ Pages for Business Marketing

When I talk to business owners about Google+, many reply with, “One more social media to master!!?” Don’t worry – there is no need to feel social media overwhelm. Setting up or optimizing a Google+ page for your business can be a great addition to your web marketing. A Google+ business page can boost your web marketing, plus (pardon the pun!) get you more visibility and give you a new content sharing channel!

Google+ for Business Can Increase Your Visibility
Every business needs to be visible to target customers. As you probably know, Google is the top-used search engine on the World Wide Web. What you may not know is that one of the main ways people search for products, services and information is through search engines. Today, social media is part of what fuels the content that appears in search engines. With the power of search, social media and Google’s popularity, it makes sense to engage in social media, especially Google’s social media.

When you have a Business Page, it increases your chances of being found for people searching on Google.com, within Google+ and it also gives people a new option of a way to follow and engage with your organization.

Google+ Pages Can Give Your Business a New Content Sharing Channel
We connect, communicate and convert with content. Google+ gives you a targeted, relevant way to expand your content distribution to connect with your contacts. By being active with Google+ for your business, you have another visibility channel to share your videos, blog posts, photos and other relevant content.

Having a Google+ page also allows other people to tag you in posts, increasing the ability for people to see and connect with your brand. 

Be sure that the content you share on your Google+ Business page is valuable content. It needs to serve and support your contacts, not overtly sell your products and services. Self-endorsements don’t work on the social web, ones authentically driven by people do!

If you haven’t created a Google+ page yet, visit https://www.google.com/business/ and hit the “Create Your Google Page” button.

Make Sure Your Google+ Page is Optimized!
Take time to add photos, videos, links to your website, hyperlinks to your website on photos. You can also add custom links to your blog, website, LinkedIn, Facebook, Youtube and your Google Places account.

Being there is the first step. Putting time into creating a robust profile with great about descriptions and photos is next, publishing great content keeps the love alive!

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virtualwordspecialist
Therapy for LinkedIn Network Neglect

linkedin-400850_640_pixabay_image

I was doing a little self-help this week and completed an audit of my social media accounts. I was disappointed to see how badly I had neglected LinkedIn! As a social media marketing professional, I was ashamed! But I got over the negativity and moved to positive action. First, I admitted I had a problem and came clean to The Marketing Therapist®, Lorrie Thomas Ross (which I sent via LinkedIn’s email to start using it better! Then I devised a plan to become a more active and social member of LinkedIn.

My therapy was a recent Social Media Examiner article titled: “5 Tips to Build and Grow your LinkedIn Network”. I used these tips as a guide while I set up a solid LinkedIn foundation and implemented steps to better management of my account in the future.

Below are the five key strategies I used:

#1 Update your status frequently and consistently. Eeek! It turns out the last time I posted anything was more than a year ago, so I used a recent Web Marketing Therapy blog post I created about humor in the workplace to update my account.

According to Social Media Examiner, only one third of LinkedIn members visit the site every day and another one third visit the network several times a week. Considering those statistics, here are some suggested best practices to becoming an active LinkedIn member:

  • Update your status on the actual site itself at least three times a day, versus using third party tools. This allows for full control of your message and genuine engagement.
  • Share and comment on the updates of your 1st, 2nd and 3rd degree connections at least once a day.
  • Send an invitation to connect to at least one new person per day.
  • Start and/or participate in LinkedIn Group Discussions three times a week.
  • Answer questions on “LinkedIn” answers three times a week.
  • Comment on profile updates from the companies you follow once a day.

#2 Build Connections Constantly. The easiest way to do this is to click on the “people you may know” link at the top right of the page. You can message these people directly and invite them to connect. You can also see how many shared connections you have with that person. Since making that request, I have doubled my network!

# 3 Be Strategic about When You are Active on LinkedIn. Studies show that LinkedIn members engage more in the afternoons and in the evenings when they are more apt to use the mobile site. It is important to test the best participation times unique to you for highest visibility. Also recommended is to mix it up and track the results of most communication.

#4 Join and Actively Participate in LinkedIn Groups. Social Media Examiner suggests the rule of thumb is to pick three to five groups to be active in and join in the conversation. I have never used this incredible connecting tool before and yet, groups are a vital part of the networking experience. Statistics show that 81% of LinkedIn users belong to at least one group. Of these people, 52% participate in group discussions. Connecting is “key.” I chose a few groups to join that I knew I would engage in professionally. To do this, I clicked on Interests at the top of the page and typed in a few keywords that best suited my expertise and interests.

#5 What You Share Matters. This is most important with LinkedIn. To be successful, you need to consider what would be useful, relevant and informative to the audience you want to attract. Then tailor the content such as news, articles and insights to meet that need. Consider the goals of sharing to be the following:

  • To become a thought leader whose content gets read.
  • To become a great resource for your audience.
  • To engage with your audience and create a dialog.
  • To share content others want to share to their own network.
  • To help increase visibility through the use of “share worthy” content.
  • To use LinkedIn Today to gather popular, trending relevant content.

After implementing the 5 Steps, I did a little self-diagnosis and self-prescribed the following: log in three times per week and engage each time with connections and groups. After coming clean, it’s time for me to stay on the straight and narrow path of quality, consistency and frequency. Whether it be a business or personal account, if your LinkedIn story sounds similar to mine, we can help with a little intervention session. You may be surprised how fun the healing process is.

Ah, I feel better already!

Sources:
Social Media Examiner post: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/5-tips-to-build-and-grow-your-linkedin-network/

Another Social Media Examiner resource: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/optimize-your-linkedin-profile-for-more-exposure/

LinkedIn Today: http://blog.linkedin.com/2011/03/10/linkedin-today/

Lorrie Thomas
Couch Session – Hashing out #Hashtag Issues

Ok, digital marketers – it’s time to jump on Web Marketing Therapy’s virtual marketing couch to hash out your hashtag issues. We might roll our eyes over hashtags (it’s ok, let’s be honest…it’s therapy afterall) or think about hashtags like this old SNL video.

But hashtags are serious! If you break down the value of hashtags, you might start to see some social media marketing breakthroughs!

Let me give you some social media aid to ease you into hashtags. My team and I at WMT were introduced to an article this week called Hashing out the Almighty #Hashtag! that is total social media marketing Rx. The blog post says “Businesses and individuals using hashtags on social media have seen a 50-100% increase in engagement. The almighty hashtag can be a great way to organize content, create discussion and follow events.”

(Can we have a #yeahhashtags for that stat!!??)

We love their great infographic (see below) that makes hashtag value so easy to understand! Here are some simple tips to help you properly apply the right amount of hashtags to your posts. You can click the graphic below to see it in full size.

And if you need ideas for popular hashtags, sites like hashtags.org are a great place to start.

why-use-hashtags

virtualwordspecialist
Shape Up Your Marketing Efforts in 2015

The stars don't align for those who just dabble image 10376089_10155089531745268_8366638418436921466_nI recently noticed that the gym parking lot is emptier. Sadly, according some sources, only 59% percent of the Americans who made resolutions to get fit in 2014 kept their word. The problem is that making changes takes a plan (goals), making exercise a priority, being consistent and willing to stick to it no matter what to get the results.

The same is true for marketing. Busy entrepreneurs and small business owners are so overloaded. “Bettering marketing” projects dive to the bottom of “to do” lists where most things never get done….just like fitness resolutions. You don’t have to be a statistic – start small.

Want to shape up your marketing efforts this year?  Start by STARTING. If you are ready and determined to change your marketing to get it up and running better, follow these three marketing tips for success:

1) Determine marketing goals. You probably don’t need an entire overhaul, but perhaps just to focus and tighten up your efforts somewhere (i.e. social media or website optimizations). Whatever ideas of what needs to get done pops into your head, write them down and prioritize their order.  Need to have’s first, nice to have’s later.  It’s like cutting soda as a start to fitness – you aren’t working out 10x/week, but you are making a small step that will be part of making a big difference in the long run.

2) Delegate the workload. Determine who will be the marketing “person” in your company if there is not already one. Consider one of your employees for social media posts if applicable. You can also hire an online marketing agency to help share the workload.  With fitness, it would be like joining a fitness class, hiring a personal trainer or a healthy cook to help so your future efforts are done more strategically.

3) Set a realistic budget and timeframe. Most companies spend 5-10% of their budgets on their marketing efforts every year. This is the point where the goals list (Step 1) is necessary to determine the importance of the tasks at hand so you are clear to help get estimates to to the work and plan time to complete them. This is also an opportunity to audit current marketing spend. Cut things that don’t work – it will free up budget to use towards things that support your goal list.

Creating a road map implementing that strategy and measuring results are the simple keys to healthy marketing. If you feel overwhelmed with it all, reach out for help! Creating a solution for that problem may be easier than you think.

Resources:

http://elitedaily.com/life/everyone-gives-new-years-resolutions/894828/

http://maristpoll.marist.edu/tag/new-years-resolutions/