Posted 11th January 2014.
If you use blogging, article writing or email marketing as one of your main marketing strategies you'll know that one of the biggest roadblocks you face is being able to consistently produce interesting, valuable material that your audience is going to lap up.
Online you're competing against every other source of information your potential clients use. And that means that articles on “working smarter not harder” or revealing that you should be “working on the business, not in the business” aren't going to get you much attention (other than your audience thinking you're rather short of ideas).
Coming up with stunning new insights from nowhere in everything you write is a close to impossible task. But it is possible to feed the content beast by “borrowing” ideas (completely ethically). Here are some of the ways you can do it.
Click here for the three methods >>
Posted 14th December 2013.
Today's post is from Damien Seaman, a copywriter at Drayton Bird Associates.
In this article Damien attempts to play “peacemaker” between the two warring factions of direct marketing and content marketing. Good luck Damien!
There’s a war raging in the marketing world right now. If you’re not careful, you could lose money because of it.
Because this is a false war based on the shakiest of premises:
That you have to choose between direct marketing and content marketing – otherwise known as outbound and inbound marketing.
You could end up losing money because you’re likely to favour one of these approaches.
And it’s very easy to be suckered into the idea that if you choose one, you can’t also do the other.
But the two concepts are not mutually exclusive at all.
Click here to read how to get content and direct to work together
Posted 25th September 2013.
I'm sure you've heard analogies comparing winning clients with dating and relationships before.
Probably they've gone something along the lines of “short term, one night stand pickup stuff is bad, long term lovey dovey courtship and relationship building is good”. In fact I've probably said something similar myself.
It's only part of the story though.
The truth is that sometimes short term pickup style marketing is EXACTLY what you need, and long term courtship will kill you.
You see, there's a huge difference between what I sometimes call “one to many” businesses and “one to few”.
Click here to find out how to market successfully in these very different businesses
Posted 2nd September 2013.
Today's blog post is by Caroline Talbott, leadership coach, author, and long time reader of this blog! Caroline's book Essential Career Transition Coaching Skills was recently published by Routledge.. Over to you Caroline…
We’ve all been told (not least by Ian!) – get yourself known, become a Visible Expert, an ‘Authority’. And we all know that writing a book is a fantastic way to do that – but where do you start?
Here’s the story of how I got mine into print – I hope it’s helpful to you in doing the same.
Myth number 1: Finding a publisher is difficult.
Not so in my case – it was about using my network, demonstrating my credibility, taking advice – and persistence.
My book came about when I saw a post in a professional coaching forum from a fellow member who is the Editor of a coaching book series – she was asking for ideas for new titles, I made some suggestions and one of them she liked. I took her advice about how to write the proposal and a sample chapter – she liked that too, and so did the publisher – eventually. It took a lot of waiting, chasing and a little bit of re-positioning. But getting the contract in my hand was a major moment!
So the best tip I can give you is: find someone, using your network, who has a need for what you want to write about (as with any product or service) rather than writing something and THEN trying to find a need…
Myth number 2: Writing a book is hard
I must say this is the part I loved! The following are my tips for how I got into the flow and made this enjoyable.
Content: If you choose a subject you are really an authority on you will know what you want to say – and you will move in circles with other experts who have different but equally valid takes on the subject. Tap into their ideas and feature them in the book – you’ll then have a range of interesting perspectives. And also a host of people with a network for promoting your book!
Find your voice: Don’t try and write in some fancy, artificial way that’s not you. Writing a blog is a great way to start and to practice with short pieces – and you get feedback.
Just put yourself out there: There’s also nothing quite like a blog to give you the courage to write down your stuff. I remember the trepidation when I pushed the button to publish my first blog post – and then the adrenalin rush when I saw it on the Internet. You know what you’re talking about so don’t spend hours agonising over “Will other people agree?”. As I’ve learnt from Ian, no one can please everyone and the people who are attracted to you are the ones who will want to read your book and work with you. Take the attitude ‘It’s my book and if I say that’s right – it’s right!’
Getting down to it: Set aside time every day to write (or everyday that it’s physically possible). Our minds are freshest and most creative in the morning so just get up, start writing. Great excuse to hang around in your dressing gown! Begin by writing as a stream of consciousness and then critique it afterwards.
Myth number 3: You’ll be asked to do endless rewrites
Not so. After I’d written each chapter I asked fellow coaches to peer review my work. I owed a lot of coffees/lunches etc afterwards but most said how much they enjoyed reading it. The upshot was that there was nothing I had to rewrite, just a few suggestions that were left up to me to use if I wanted to.
Myth number 4: Once it’s written your work is done
No, definitely not. The publishers employ a very helpful band of copy editors, proof checkers, co-ordinators etc etc who support you in getting the manuscript ready for printing. But you still need to do a lot of checking yourself to ensure that it’s exactly as YOU intended. I have to say most of this is still something of a mystery to me – and that’s one of the benefits of using a publisher – because if you self publish you have to do all this yourself. And it’s not easy when you have 60,000 words to contend with!
Does all this take a long time? Yes. I was given a year to write my book and then it took almost another year to get it on to the shelves. But it sure is worth it when you get your own printed book in your hand and see it on Amazon, and then read the 5 star reviews!
What would I do differently? I think the one thing I would change is that I would have put less content into this first book. I could then have got it out there faster – and would have more material for a sequel!
So what are you waiting for? The most difficult step is the first one so plan your strategy and get started – there’s no time like now. Why not you, why not now? If not now, then when?
With over 30 years experience in business, Caroline Talbott develops leaders and their organisations through executive coaching, leadership and Organisation Development and change consultancy, and. She is the author of ‘Essential Career Transition Coaching Skills’.
You can connect with Caroline at the Professionals in Leadership blog, on her website Caroline Talbott – catalyst for change or via twitter as @CaroCatalyst
Posted 27th August 2013.
There used to be a time when over the top marketing hype was restricted to get rich quick schemes and the like. But these days it seems to have infiltrated almost every sector.
In my own field there now seem to be daily offers and webinars that promise to teach you how to get floods of clients without selling, make millions in passive income just by knocking up an ebook or online training course, or to make six figures from group coaching just by holding a few webinars and running some Facebook ads.
Of course, none of it works. Or more accurately, it doesn't work for 99% of people who try it. The truth behind these extravagant claims is usually that…
Click here to find out how to beat hypey marketers >>
Posted 29th June 2013.
When most of us start out in business, we tend to be time rich and money poor.
Most of the marketing we do tends to be the stuff that we can do for free. But which naturally takes a lot of our time.
Basically, we don't have much marketing leverage.
I remember when I started out on my own nearly 6 years ago. I did what I was taught was the best way to meet new clients: networking.
I went to a couple of events a week at least, hoping to connect with people who needed my services. Over time I got good at it, and I got smart: I focused my networking on events where there'd be a decent number of potential clients or referrers in attendance.
What I found took the biggest toll on my time though was the follow up.
Networking best practice, I was taught, was all about arranging a follow-up meeting with likely looking businesses to discuss how we might be able to help each other out.
Boy, did that take time.
Click here to find out how I got more leverage into my marketing >>
Posted 18th April 2013.
Today's blog post is by Susan Harrow. Susan's a media coach and PR expert, and I'll be hosting her on a webinar next Wednesday where she'll show you how to “Speak in Sound Bites” for maximum impact. Click here for details.
In this new age of media 2.0 the media is much more likely to search for experts when they have the need rather than poring over hundreds of useless press releases that don't have information that is relevant for their audience.
So even if you haven't sent out a press release you could get that important call from the media – if you've positioned yourself correctly on the web.
On the flip side: did you know that now with YouTube and The “Wayback Machine” that what you say could haunt you forever?
Once a video of you is posted or something you said shows up on the Internet there's no way to take it back. With the advent of technology what you say will stay around in eternity and anyone can access it at any time.
This is why it's so important that you pay attention to what you say and how you say it.
That's right, your reputation, your credibility, your brand, your livelihood could disappear with one bad article or one TV appearance gone south. But it doesn't need to be so. Don't make these five mistakes.
Click here to find out the 5 big mistakes you should be avoiding >>
Posted 18th March 2013.
AKA Getting more people to subscribe to your emails
Project 10K is my goal to get to 10,000 engaged email subscribers by the end of the year. In my previous P10K blog post I reviewed my website traffic and identified how I was going to increase the right sort of traffic to get more subscribers.
In this post I'm going to look at how to get more of your website visitors to “convert” – in other words to subscribe to receiving emails from you.
Click here to see the top conversion strategies for blogs
Posted 18th February 2013.
In November 2011, Apple Macs hit a market share of 5% of the global PC market. Sales were up 25.6% in the home market (vs the industry average of 4%) and 43.8% in the business market (vs an average of 4.8%).
There are many reasons why Apple's doing so well. Power, usability, ergonomics, fashion.
But I believe one of the biggest reasons for Apple's recent success in computers has simply been the iPod.
The iPod – and later the iPhone and iPad – made millions of people "Apple people". People who hadn't previously considered themselves as Apple buyers.
Not only did they have a positive experience of Apple through the iPod, but for the first time, they considered themselves to be Apple buyers.
When it came time to buy a new PC, instead of just looking at Windows options as they'd done previously, many of them widened their horizons to consider a Mac. Previously, a Mac just wouldn't have figured in the decision – it'd have been ruled out subconsciously.
But once our self image includes an Apple buying element it becomes much easier for us to consider a higher priced part of the range.
We no longer have to make that psychological leap to seeing ourselves as an Apple buyer. We're already there.
The same thing happens with many potential clients.
If they've not hired consultants, coaches or whatever it is you do before, there can be a huge, inbuilt resistance to doing so.
They just don't see themselves as someone who hires a coach or a consultant. They barely consider it.
But if you can construct a simple "no brainer" offer. Your version of the iPod: a brilliant product with a low price tag. You can shift their perception.
You can get them to see themselves as a person who hires consulting or coaching. And so someone for whom buying a large project is just a step up from what they've done previously, not a whole different thing.
Someone who's bought just 1 day of consulting is 5 times more likely to buy a big engagement than someone who's never bought consulting before. The same goes for almost every conceivable service.
So what can you construct that's a low-cost, no brainer offer that will get your potential clients to see themselves as a buyer of your type of services.
What's your iPod?
Posted 3rd January 2013.
This is a guest post from Carl Friesen, an author and consultant who shows businesses how to grow their visibility and credibility by getting published. Carl's article will be particularly helpful to those trying to get through to hard-to-reach senior executives.
For any professional firm that wants to make a name for itself as a thought leader, there is huge pressure to provide evidence of its expertise online. Blogs, YouTube videos, a website that is a must-visit for people in their market … but is your firm ignoring a technology that is among your prospects’ favourites?
It’s called print.
Find out more about how print can be a highly effective media