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Sudden Appearances and Why They May Not Work

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Have you noticed a sudden flurry of emails recently? Here are a couple of examples I’ve received: The nail technician who I haven’t heard from since before the pandemic suddenly shows up telling me she’s open for appointments. But not a word earlier about the … Keep reading…

Basic Set-up for a Lead Magnet

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Recently several small business owners have asked me about how to set up a lead magnet to encourage more subscriptions to their newsletter. Here are instructions for you DIYers. First, prepare your lead magnet – the thing that you’re giving away. It should be something … Keep reading…

The Bottom Line About Newsletter Bottoms

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There seems to be some thinking that getting people to read to the bottom of a newsletter is a most desirable goal. And, if getting people to read to the bottom (read the whole newsletter) is so important, isn’t putting the really good stuff at … Keep reading…

Testing Theories: Marketing Experimentation

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Advice is one thing but thought and research are still necessary. Theory is another thing (I’m all for it) but experimentation is where the rubber hits the road (and many other analogies). Now is a good time to try new things and figure out what … Keep reading…

Watching, Learning and Stopping

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A client recently wrote in her newsletter about how reducing her social media presence over the past few months hasn’t impacted her sales results. Here’s what Natasha said: As the weeks and months fall away, it’s glaringly obvious to me how I can let go … Keep reading…

That was a Great Conversation But…

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Imagine you’ve just gotten off the phone from a lively conversation with a prospect that lasted an hour. Your purpose in having the call was to build a new business relationship or build on an established one. You both discovered you have much in common … Keep reading…

What First, How Second

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Buying or subscribing to a software application is never the solution to a problem. But it can certainly be part of the solution… or not. It’s all about the process. An app can help streamline a process. Likewise, it can overcomplicate a process. It’s all … Keep reading…

How Planning for Failure Can Help Ensure You Don’t Fail

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We all want things we’re working on to be successful. Nobody ever plans to fail… but wait, planning for failure can be a useful exercise. The term ‘premortem’ comes to us from the field of project management. According to the Harvard Business Review: “A premortem … Keep reading…

Too Many Items, Not Enough Action

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pivot – purge – plan – prepare – postpone The P words are overtaking our business lives in recent months! To make all those P’s happen, we also have long to-do lists… longer now than usual. I know this because I’ve had chats with many … Keep reading…

Working Alone Doesn’t Have To Be Lonely

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Sometimes I take things for granted. For instance, while many have been adapting to working alone, I’ve been happy as a pig in sh*t. You might think this is because I’ve been working at home for 15 years, so I’m used to it. Sure, that’s … Keep reading…

Should You Be Concerned with SEO?

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Search engine optimization (SEO) has been low on my own priority list throughout the 15 years I’ve been marketing my own services. Yes, I freely admit I’ve been mostly ignoring it while doing just the basics. This may seem like a blatant disregard for something … Keep reading…

Find Gems in Your Sent Mail

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Perhaps you’re wondering, “What the heck am I going to write about this week?” Look no further than your Sent mailbox. Over the past month or so, I’ve answered a lot of questions by email. I bet you have, too. Have you considered that, if … Keep reading…

Social-Media-Friendly Blogging

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You’ve just finished editing (and proofing!) your latest blog post. You pause for a mental happy dance, then you click Publish. Ahh. And now the rest of the work starts. Because, of course, you need to let people know about this new useful and interesting … Keep reading…

writing on a checklist

Newsletter Audit Checklist

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Whether you’ve been doing an email newsletter for a while or are just getting started, there are always ways to improve. Not all of these items will apply to every business’ email newsletter but include as many as are appropriate for yours. Link to view the … Keep reading…

The Biggest Mistake You Can Make in Your Small Business Newsletter

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It happened again today. I am blown away by how often I see this particular mistake. I received an email newsletter from a business I wasn’t familiar with. That’s OK but I wanted to go to their website to investigate more. And there was not one … Keep reading…

How to Start Building Your First Email List

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Like many things, list building seems pretty straight-forward… until you start. You may expect it to be tedious work of copy/pasting and spreadsheets and looking things up online. Yes, it likely involves some of that but I get asked a lot of questions about who … Keep reading…

Annoyed With All the COVID Emails? 3 Reasons to Communicate

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We’re all getting inundated with COVID emails – yes – but I’m glad the companies I do business with are paying attention and communicating their plans. I need to know that my web host and other service providers are taking action to be able to … Keep reading…

What Are Your Small Business Blogging Goals?

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If your answer to the title of this post is “increase sales”, you’ve got that part right. But you should also realize that there’s no direct path from one to the other. You don’t start a blog and immediately make more sales – although I … Keep reading…

Try a Newsletter Full of Tidbits

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Tidbit is defined as “a small and particularly interesting item of gossip or information.” (Just in case you’re Canadian and were thinking about chocolate Timbits.) The most successful newsletters I’ve seen are full of tidbits. A tidbit is short, delightful and easily digested (just like … Keep reading…

All of Your Words are Important

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But all of our marketing words are not important in every context. We have to pick and choose. When I first started my business almost 15 years ago, I remember struggling with the distinction between features and benefits, and with talking about my potential clients’ … Keep reading…

What Name Are You Using?

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This morning I deleted an email from a good friend and past client. I didn’t realize it was from that wonderful lady because it didn’t show up in my inbox from her name or her company’s name. I only dug it out of my trash … Keep reading…

Good Marketing Practices Wear Out

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Is this you… ? When you watch TV, you can’t wait for the ads. On YouTube, you let every ad play fully. You open your email inbox eagerly every morning, anticipating all the emails with this week’s sales or next week’s webinars. You read the … Keep reading…

The Difference Between Editing and Proofing

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We often use the words editing and proofing interchangeably but there is a significant difference. If you’re not aware of it, you could be failing at both. Editing is big picture or ‘zoomed out’; proofing is detailed or ‘zoomed in’. Editing is about the overall … Keep reading…

Being Seen = Being Remembered

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Isn’t it amazing that it’s now so easy to keep in touch with people we met years ago? Social media has allowed me to reconnect with old friends and work colleagues from long before social media existed. (Yes, I’m that old.) It has also allowed … Keep reading…