Showing posts from May, 2016

How to Deliver Valuable Content

If you’ve struggled with success when it comes to blogging, newsletters or even social media, it may be because you’re missing the essential ingredient - value. There are many things you can do right or wrong but, if you aren't giving value, the rest won't matter much.

Another thing I know for a fact is that giving value is work and requires commitment. If you're OK with a little hard work, let's get back to the part about giving value and look at ways to do that, along with some examples.

Content that is in short supply or in high demand

This is content can't be found anywhere else.
Insider information is a prime example. Or perhaps it’s time sensitive and can’t be gotten as fast anywhere else. An example is Mari Smith and her exclusive Facebook content. If you are the single source for information that people want, you’ve got it made.Once you build your reputation, your opinions could also be included in this category. Many of you will already be familiar with Set…

eNewsletters and Charities in Canada

If you Google "CASL and charities" (in Canada), you'll find lots of reading on the subject. I'm not going to repeat all that here but rather give a quick snapshot of how CASL (Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation) impacts charities.

CASL applies to 'commercial electronic messages'. This means that most (but not all) communications sent from charities are completely exempt from the requirements as they wouldn't be considered 'commercial'.
Soliciting donations is okey dokey, as long as the charitable donation # is included.
Things to be careful about (may void the exemption): paid advertisements (funders/sponsors might be a grey area)promoting programs/courses "offering services to individuals who may benefit, where there is a cost-recovery element (for materials, for example)"internal job advertisements (because there's a commercial aspect, this may also be a grey area) Even if a message is not exempt, it can still be sent as long as all of…

Do Not Disturb (with eMail)

Once a contact unsubscribes, you don't have (express or implied) permission to email them again... unless they opt back in themselves or initiate a business transaction with you.

While all of CASL may not be easy to understand, this is pretty straightforward.

The example shown here is a no-no. Depending on the audience, the reaction may be less severe, but I can't imagine sending an email to everyone who has unsubscribed from my own newsletter over the years inviting them to come back. While you might not object, and some might resubscribe, I'd be asking to be flagged as spam - and rightfully so.

While it's partly about respecting my fellow business owners, it's also about protecting my own reputation. Like any other parts of your business, when you get a bright email marketing idea, think it through (and even research) before jumping on the bus.

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eMail Productivity: Automate Customer Reminders

For small business owners, nurturing long term relationships is critical, so keeping in touch with past customers to encourage them to return is a worthwhile activity.

Dentists have been doing it for years with their cute cartoon postcards reminding us to book our next check-up. It's time to take that process online and use our bulk email application to automate it. And we can apply it to more than patients.

While this process can be handled exactingly by a workflow app, you don't need the expensive software to make it work for you. One of our long time clients, HealthWalks Shoe Store and Orthotic Clinic in New Glasgow, NS, has been sending reminders by email for a few years now.

Here's how it works...
Initially I created the template based on a postcard HealthWalks had been mailing to customers one year after receiving their orthotics.Now, each month I receive a list of contacts who have just passed the anniversary date of when they received their orthotics. I simply add a…

Content Template - What I Learned

Using a content template is sort of like filling in the blanks on a form. It will get you started and make your writing time more productive.

The purpose of this content template is to help people learn something new... and the best way to learn it. Grab the What I Learned content template here (pdf).

Get More Templates

If you like this template, grab the mini workbook Quick and Easy Content Creation with 14 more templates, plus some tips for using them to be more productive.

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Content Ideas for Consultants - Getting Started (Part 1)

Just this week I heard it again: “If I start a newsletter, what would I put in it?” While I can think of lots of content ideas for just about any business owner I meet, it’s not so easy for everyone. In fact, it wasn’t always easy for me either. It gets easier, and you get better, with practice.

For consultants, there’s an added bonus to spending time creating marketing content and that's learning. Benjamin Franklin said, “There is no better way to learn than to teach.” Sharing valuable content is teaching and, when you’re creating content for your blog or newsletter, you’ll also be doing research, checking assumptions, and developing opinions.

If you’re a new business owner, or new to developing content, finding a place to start might feel like picking a needle out of a haystack. In this series of posts, I'll explain how to get started and accomplish other goals, too.

Build Your Confidence

Since confidence comes from writing about what you know, start with creating a list of …

The Lazy Approach to Blogging

Here's how the lazy approach works: don't blog for the sake of keeping a schedule; only blog when you have something to say. Have you heard that advice yet?

Pretty simple, eh? No pressure at all. Just push a post out whenever the mood strikes, and if it doesn't... oh well.

Here are the benefits of adopting this schedule-less strategy:
No commitment to readers. They won't be expecting anything so if you reach their inbox, maybe it'll be a surprise. Or maybe they won't know who you are.No pressure to keep current. This is a clear benefit in a business world of constant change.You can call yourself an expert. Your ideas are so captivating that you only need to have 3 or 4 a year. (Maybe I'm confusing this with a guru.)No wasted time communicating with readers. Relationships take up precious time, after all.No stress - ever - about meeting a deadline.
If you haven't guessed yet, I think this is a bunch of nonsense. If you want to excel at content marketing …