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Showing posts from March, 2019

Creating Your Own Networking Opportunities

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If you're new to business networking, you might be discovering it can (and should) be much more strategic than just showing up. You might also be feeling some stress about it. I can remember being worried about how to start conversations and what to talk about. And even now, I still expect to feel the embarrassment of not remembering someone's name. But I always enjoy myself when I'm with small business folk.

When I recently stumbled on this blog post I wrote 8 years ago, I realized I was encouraging myself, as well as readers, to more fully embrace networking. And it turns out I've done a good job of following my own advice.

Holding my own events has given me a sense of control... which begets confidence. It has also helped to grow my reputation, my mailing list and my client base. One-time or repeating events, public or by invitation, formal or casual... I've done them all and found value every time.

Take 2 minutes to read this blog post and see what self-serve …

Saying Bye-bye and Why

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We're all familiar with unsubscribing from unwanted emails. Some make it harder than others but, since anti-spam legislation has come into effect, there's been an improvement. Email readers are more aware of their right to unsubscribe and so marketers are getting better at giving that option.

This creates the opportunity to gather feedback - to understand why people are unsubscribing. It might have to do with the frequency or that the person is simply no longer interested in the topic. Knowing why is useful to help shape future email strategy. As someone who's unsubscribing, I can quickly select a multiple-choice option and say bye-bye.

Recently I ran into this example which threw me for a loop. "Wow!"


What's your reaction? "How brazen," I thought. Then, as I was clicking 'other', I realized it's also brilliant. I mean, how many people are actually going to click 'I hate you!' and, if they do, do you care about their feedback? I…

Consider Point of View for All Your Writing

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I've done it. You've done it. And they've done it. I'm talking about mixing up points of view when writing. And also using the right point of view for the right purposes.

Grammarly has a quick little article explaining First, Second, and Third Person in case you don't remember from school.

Here are some things to consider from a content marketing perspective:

Articles, blog posts: Mixing up I-we-you-they-me all in one article might cause confusion. There may be reasons for including all of these words in one article but it's worth re-reading to check. Using both second and third person is something I see often and probably accounts for most of the editing I do. If you are writing to/for your reader, consider using the second person. If you are writing about your own experiences, of course, you have to use the first person.

Website: If your business IS you, I recommend writing in the first person (about yourself) and the second person (for features, benefits, call…

Is Your Newsletter a Vehicle or the Destination?

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Small business owners often arrive at the desire to start an email newsletter from one of two different directions. The route has an impact on the strategy, tactics and tools you will use.

A Vehicle

Some have already been blogging and, for them, an email campaign is a vehicle to get their content in front of (more) people on a regular basis. It's a way to extend the reach of the content they are already creating. It gives regular readers a way to ensure they don't miss a post. Plus, adding additional content snippets can help advance marketing goals.

The Destination

For others, starting a newsletter is their first foray into content marketing - their newsletter will be a resource they want their target market to sign up for. It may be something that isn't available anywhere else. The value delivered is the final destination.

Why does it matter?

If the newsletter you're thinking of starting is a vehicle, you can cruise right past strategic planning. If you've been blog…

eMail Newsletters - Develop Your Strategy First

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The process of starting an email newsletter for your small business involves focusing on these aspects: strategy, tactics and tools. It makes sense to approach them in a logical order from high-level thinking through to detailed work.

Strategy First
This is where you consider that your newsletter strategy flows from your overall marketing strategy. These are the goals typically related to email campaigns: Build relationships, communityGrow your reputation, sphere of influenceBe seen as an expertShare valuable info, products, servicesIncrease your social media followingGive value to your customers, prospects and colleagues on a regular basis From that list, identify 2-3 goals that relate directly back to your marketing strategy. These will guide your thinking and planning moving forward with your email campaign.
Aside from goals, your newsletter strategy also needs to consider 'who'. Depending on the breadth of your target market, this might be a subset of your overall market. T…