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Showing posts from December, 2015

Best Reading of 2015

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These are our top picks of the best guest articles from the Work Better, Not Harder newsletter during 2015, not in any particular order.

Essential Elements of Storytelling
Neil Everton, Podium Media and Communications Coaching
The heart of storytelling is the hero-quest: Luke Skywalker and the forces of good battling Darth Vader and the forces of evil (and rescuing the princess). Any compelling story has four essential elements. Read on...

Adding Audio to Your Content
Natasha Marchewka Voiceover Services
Have you considered adding audio to your blog or enewsletter? Adding audio to marketing adds to the multi-media dimension, offering readers more for engagement. Read on...

The Eggnog Challenge
Steve Foran, Gratitude at Work
The Eggnog Challenge put an end to a hotly debated subject in our house... which eggnog is the best. I discovered a treacherous danger in comparison... a danger I've before never considered. Read on...

How to Make a ‘Thank You’ Speech
Halina St James, Podium Media &am…

Haste Makes Waste

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Rushing can lead to mistakes. We all know that but still we rush. Sometimes it simply means spending valuable time redoing something.

Haste can waste more than time. It can also hurt my reputation if my mistakes are public.

A little risk assessment before we start hurrying can save us heartbreak. I'll risk my time but I won't needlessly risk my reputation.

Sometimes just showing up isn't enough.

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A Simple Content Management Tool (NEW WORKSHEET ADDED)

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Many people have yet to embrace the concept of content management. I'm going to show you a simple way to get your arms around it, and keep them firmly gripped.

First, print or use this fillable worksheet (or draw 3 columns on a sheet of paper) and grab a pen. OK, don't overthink this - it shouldn't take any more than 10 minutes.

Content for Different Places
In the first column, make a quick list of all the places you have (or need to have) content. Examples of things on this list might be your website, blog, newsletter, social media posts, social media profiles, ezines, brochures, profiles on membership websites, other people's blogs/newsletters, and so on.

Content for Different Purposes
In the second column, capture your reasons for having content... your goals. This is not a list where you brainstorm - it's where you focus on your main goals. Otherwise you'll be too scattered. Some examples: to be seen as an expert, to build relationships, to have regular cont…

Automation can be Creepy

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If your ideal customer is new to social media, your autoresponder messages might be creeping them out. At one time I had this vision of some big guy hunched over his keyboard poised to pounce on my 'Follow'.

If your ideal customer is more tech savvy, they'll recognize an autoresponder immediately. (Really? You expect me to interact with a program?)

I liken autoresponders on social media to email spammers. Both are giving their medium a bum rap.

A recent Twitter following spree on my part resulted in 16 automated tweets (close to 10% of those I followed). At least I think they were autoresponders.

There's the rub. Even if you take time to respond to people individually, now they may assume it's an autoresponder. The legitimacy of your action is lost in the sea of spammers.

photo by wnstn / Flickr

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What do iWatches and Zombies have to do with eMail Marketing?

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Perhaps nothing.

Using a news story or pop culture as a hook can create interest that attracts readers. Keep your subject line (or headline) relevant and appropriate, though, or you'll forsake credibility.

"What will Happen to eMail Marketing on the iWatch?" is a good example, even if a horrible thought.

"What will Happen to eMail Marketing during a Zombie Apocalypse?" is not a good example. (I admit to giving it some thought but, really, there's nothing to write about.)

photo by Sangudo / Flickr

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Are You a Poet and Didn't Know It?

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Work is especially fun at this time of year because I'm busy putting together holiday ecards for clients. After a few, though, the messages of joy and peace start to become a tad lacklustre. And then Lea Brovedani sent me the message to go into her ecard.

It wasn't till I started formatting it that I recognized it as a poem. Then I giggled because I realized Lea had written it. You see, Lea is all about teaching others to be more trusting and trustworthy. Here's the first verse (she said I could share with you):
It's time for carols and some snow,
Time for being on the go.
Take a moment, and don't be fussed,
To show thanks to those you love and trust.
When I congratulated Lea on her winning message, she gave me this tip: "I went on a website for Christmas messages, found one I liked, and adapted it so it was my message on trust."

"Hmm, I have to try that," I thought and started Googling. I have to say Lea's message about trust is more adaptable…

Write without Fear, Edit without Mercy

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Do you get hung up over finding the perfect word? Distracted by comma placement? Or just stuck looking at a blank screen?
I've told many people I'm a wannabe writer. Now, closing on 350 articles, I still feel like a wannabe. That's because I'm a much better editor than writer.
I still quibble over words and have to remind myself to move on - but now that happens in 10 seconds instead of 3 minutes.
If writing is what's holding you back from publishing a blog or newsletter, here's what you need to know: Write something instead of nothing. Maybe you'll change it later, but it's a start.Write when you're inspired. That might mean making time to get inspired.Don't set goals about the number of words. Write only as much as you need to, as opposed to a 500 word essay.Don't get stuck choosing words. Pick one and move on.Spend twice as much time editing as you do writing.Have a time gap between when you write and when you edit. You'll have fresh …

Pantone Colour of the Year for 2016

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Colour has a big impact on all of the work I do so I'm always eager to see the colour trends published by Pantone. The seasonal colour schemes are based on trends in clothing design. I'm not sure what the 2016 Colour of the Year is based on but there's two of them. I wonder if someone high up at Pantone just had a baby.

While I quite like the colours personally, I don't see much business application. If a new client with a baby shop comes along, I might think differently, of course.


image source Pantone.com

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Gratitude Yields Results in Many Ways: An eMail Marketing Success Story

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Steve Foran is my hero. While he deserves that label for many reasons to do with his altruistic message and goal to make his community a better place, he’s also my hero because of his email marketing practices.

First, some background. Steve works with leaders across North America to shift culture and help teams bring more gratitude into the workplace. He’s been on the leading edge of gratitude-based research, writing, and teaching for over a decade and his science-based strategy, Gratitude At Work, is a simple, yet innovative approach to business growth.

When I first met Steve I was excited to talk to him because he was running an email campaign that put his name into people’s inboxes every day. To me, as an email marketer, that seemed to be the ultimate success story. I may have even disconcerted Steve a little with my enthusiasm - “You have permission to email people every single day!”

Now over 4 years later I’m still receiving Steve’s daily messages reminding me to be grateful. Re…