July 29, 2016

100 Days of Content Creation and Promotion

I recently published issue #100 of the Work Better, Not Harder newsletter. When I started it, I didn't envision how long it would last. In fact, I didn't look very far into the future at all - I just did it, and kept doing it. It's changed quite a lot since that very first issue (I even had a different logo back then) but my focus has always been to give good value to small business owners.

When I told some friends that I wanted to do something special for my subscribers to celebrate, the idea of a '100' list was born... about a month ago. Since then I've had a computer crash and some software problems but I've been working furiously when I could. It's amazing how a publicly announced deadline can motivate!

Until the end of August 2016, I'm giving away my plan - 100 Days of Content Creation and Promotion - for free to regular subscribers of either our newsletter or blog. It won't be for everyone but, if you are a small business owner doing your own online marketing, you'll find value inside.
  • Beginners - It's written with you in mind.
  • In Between - Even if you've been doing your own online marketing for a while, you'll benefit from the routine.
  • Experts - Always looking to up your game, you'll find some ideas inside that you haven't tried yet.
Go to 100daysofcontent.com and grab it now!

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July 23, 2016

Content Template - The Checklist

Using a content template can shorten your writing time and also keep you more focused.

The purpose of this particular template is to give people a useful tool to complete a task more efficiently.

This type of article shows off your expertise. Because it is so useful, people will bookmark it and return. Part of its usefulness is its simplicity: no long paragraphs, no complex sentences. Grab The Checklist content template here (.pdf).

Get More Templates

If you like this template, grab the mini workbook Quick and Easy Content Creation with 5 more templates, plus some tips for using them to be more productive.

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July 19, 2016

The Collaboration Movement

'The Creativity Movement' - this headline caught my eye in the paper recently. Included were several inspiring articles about idea generation and I noticed a common thread running throughout. It turns out that idea generation works better with more people than just yourself. No surprise there; doesn't this sound like brainstorming? Whatever you call it, more people make it merrier... and more creative.

So, this creativity movement hinges on collaboration. And that's good news for small business! Most small business owners I know thrive on collaboration; having others to work with but having autonomy, too. It almost feels like we have an unfair advantage in this new age.

Small business owners dream of getting that BIG IDEA. The one that will make them rich or popular or powerful, or give them the means to do good for others. But to get to that big idea, we have to practice with lots of little ones. No matter how overused, "practice makes perfect" is still true and definitely applies to ideas.

Tossing around ideas is one of my favourite things to do, mine or someone else's. I can do it for hours at a time. Finding that time is the challenge. Finding collaborators who can also find the same time is even harder.

I'm planning to take advantage of summer's slower pace to very deliberately generate and flesh out ideas.

Join me at Make. Do. Camp. September 2-5, 2016 in Big Cove, Nova Scotia. This camp is for entrepreneurs, professionals, creatives... change-makers who want to workshop ideas, spark creativity and refocus their energy. Until July 31st, you can get 15% off! Click here and use promo code CAMPFRIENDS when registering. After you register, drop me a note to let me know.

What ideas will you start from seed this summer?

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July 14, 2016

The Absolute Best eMail Marketing Software

... is the one you don't have to learn yourself.

You don't know what you don't know. Hire an expert and go do what you do best.

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July 10, 2016

Colour Palettes for Summer Marketing

A photo can be a powerful marketing message, an expression of brand with more impact than a logo. It's worth a thousand words and expressed through many thousands of colours. We have feelings about the image itself and about the colours.

You know how you feel when looking at a beautiful photo of sand, sun and surf? Aquamarine, white, pink, and deep blue. Even if you don't own a bathing suit, you want to be there. Summer colour schemes can be bright and vibrant, or cool and relaxed.

What does your summer marketing campaign look and feel like?

Here are some photos that inspired me. I've included html colour codes and links to the original photos on pixabay.com if you want to download for yourself.



Can a fallen leaf be elegant? I think this one is - elegant and earthy. And, if I have time to contemplate this leaf, I must be feeling relaxed and at ease. Get the original photo.


Gazania are attention hogs in the garden with their warm colours and pinwheel designs. Get the original photo.


Purple always catches my attention regardless of the subject matter. This scene makes me think of mysteries and romance. Pass the wine. Get the original photo.


Warm, fuzzy, cute, cuddly, feminine, and youthful all come to mind. Pink elicits feelings of love and contentment. Get the original photo.


Cool, calm, collected... and casual. I love these shades of denim blue! Get the original photo.


Even if you don't live by the ocean, this photo shouts 'summer vacation'. A cool breeze lifts your hair and work feels very far away. Get the original photo.


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The next issue of the Work Better, Not Harder monthly newsletter will be Issue #100! We're working on an extra special resource and only email subscribers will get it. PLUS, if you sign up now, you'll also get a mini workbook with 5 Quick & Easy Content Templates to speed up your writing. Get it here.

July 5, 2016

Why Graphics are an Important Part of Your Content


Not everyone is a 'visual' person, by preference or physical circumstances. But many are, which is why you can't ignore graphics as an important piece of your content. Can I convince you?

Today we are exposed to about five times more information daily than we were in the mid-1980s - around 34 gigabytes of information, roughly equivalent to 174 newspapers. Out of necessity, our attention spans have become shorter as we attempt to process information faster.

Over 50% of the human brain is devoted to processing visual information, and 70% of our sensory receptors are contained in our eyes. This means people are good at processing and remembering pictures. In fact, it only takes the average person one-tenth of a second to understand the content in a picture. It would take that same person over 30 seconds to read a description about the content in that same picture… over 300 times longer. Since 2007, graphic content on the internet has increased by almost 10,000%!

We have become used to getting our information in a visual format, and we can process it faster than written content. It only makes sense to create and use visual content to communicate important ideas.

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The next issue of the Work Better, Not Harder monthly newsletter will be Issue #100! We're working on an extra special resource and only email subscribers will get it. PLUS, if you sign up now, you'll also get a mini workbook with 5 Quick & Easy Content Templates to speed up your writing. Get it here.

July 1, 2016

Why You Need to Create Original Content

"If all you're sharing is other people's content, why do people need to follow you?"
~ Anita Kirkbride

Recently I've sat with a couple of small business owners who have been "on social media" for a while but have not been doing much. In planning to ramp up their social game, one of the first things they both wanted to do was to get apps that help curate (bring them content based on keywords). This way they would have content to share.

I couldn't understand why this was important to them. I'm never at a loss for something to share.

Granted, we all have different strategies and goals. Here's where I find my content to share:
  • Experts I Know - I'm really lucky to know a few of them and their information is very relevant for my target market.
  • Clients and Friends - I follow all of my clients on all social media platforms. Their information is not always relevant to my target market but sometimes peripherally. I pick and choose to share what makes sense.
  • Service Providers and Other Trusted Sources - A big one for me is iContact which is the email marketing software I use for most of my work. I watch what they're posting to share interesting articles and also to stay current.
  • Search Topics - I search for information on something specific because I want to learn. Then I share the best of the results.
  • My Own Content - I spend a fair bit of time creating content and want to maximize its usefulness to others. By far most of what I share is original content in one form or another.
I use a Twitter list and a Hootsuite stream to keep track of the first 3 items above. Twitter is my fave so that's where you'll find me most.

Being able to curate good content is important but not as important as creating your own original content. That's where your time is better invested.

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The next issue of the Work Better, Not Harder monthly newsletter will be Issue #100! We're working on an extra special resource and only email subscribers will get it. PLUS, if you sign up now, you'll also get a mini workbook with 5 Quick & Easy Content Templates to speed up your writing. Get it here.