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11 Lessons Learned from 500 Blog Posts

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Sometimes we surprise ourselves. I didn’t imagine there would one day be 500 posts on Work Better, Not Harder when it started back in 2010. I wasn’t thinking beyond the stress of getting that first post published. Yet here we are and I’m feeling a … Keep reading…

Start Using This Today: Client Relationship Check-in Checklist

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(guest post by Natasha Marchewka) Life is good as a freelancer or small business owner. No one to answer to, but our own clients, of course. No one breathing down our necks to make sure we’ve done THEIR job correctly. We get to “do it … Keep reading…

Design Colour Trends for Spring 2018

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excerpt from Pantone’s NY Fashion Week Spring 2018 We’re just getting back to serious work after summer vacations and the design world is already thinking about spring. I like what I see but then I’m a sucker for bright colours. You’ll find these used online … Keep reading…

An Image Tool You Don’t Know You Need

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Sitting in the home office of a friend last year, she mentioned she would love to find a particular photo to use on her new website. She unpinned a much-handled postcard from her bulletin board and passed it to me. The black and white photo … Keep reading…

Do You Need an Editorial Calendar?

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An editorial calendar makes it easy for people to work together, helping them follow a plan. What if there’s only you in your business? Does it make sense to create an editorial calendar? Absolutely, but for different reasons. If your plan is in your head, … Keep reading…

Storage for Great Ideas – Back of Book (BOB)

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Do you often flip to the back page of your notebook to jot down content ideas? If not, start! When I’m teaching small business classes about online marketing, I insist they start a page in the back of their notebooks for jotting down ideas for … Keep reading…

Quick Prep for Business Phone Calls

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Imagine this happened to you earlier today… You chatted on the phone for two hours with one of your favourite customers. You both laughed a lot and enjoyed catching up. It had been a while since you had a relaxed conversation with her. You’re smiling … Keep reading…

One Little Word Can Go A Long Way

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It’s 2pm on a Thursday afternoon. I’ve been out all morning and discover urgent requests from two different customers as soon as I’m back at my desk. I already have a full plate for the afternoon and immediately realize I’m not going to be able … Keep reading…

How to Get People to Open Your Emails

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How long did you think about the subject line of that email you just sent to your brand new client? Will they be interested or excited to open it? Or will they leave it sitting unopened, floating closer to the bottom of their inbox? I’ve … Keep reading…

Behavioural Economics and Small Business Marketing​

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After spending my adult life thinking I’m a mostly logical person (and being not so secretly proud of it), I just found out I’m not. And apparently the fact that I think I am is a little irrational. You might think I’d be a little … Keep reading…

Great Learning Option from Your Local Library

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Have you ever searched for a course on a specific subject online? How do you know which course is better than another? It can be hard to choose and expensive to find out you were wrong. I was asking a WordPress consultant what she recommends … Keep reading…

Using “Air Quotes” in Online Communication

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When I see double quotes wrapped around a couple of words or a small phrase, I immediately think of Sheldon’s air quotes from The Big Bang Theory and the emotion that comes to mind is sarcasm. I absolutely know this is the case for many … Keep reading…

Get a Blogging Buddy

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It might sound a little corny but having a blogging buddy is a great strategy, especially if you can find one that serves the same target market as you. Why? You can plan and generate ideas together. You can write series of articles that intertwine, … Keep reading…

Favourite Free Image Sources and Graphics Tools for Small Business Marketing

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Wondering where to find free images for your newsletter or blog? These are the most common sources we use for free images: FREE: http://pexels.com http://pixabay.com http://gratisography.com https://www.goodfreephotos.com http://www.freeimages.com https://morguefile.com http://unsplash.com FREE with Attribution: https://creativecommons.org Here are some graphics tools we use often: Create favicons for … Keep reading…

Eliminating Waste and Ageism from My Writing

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In today’s society… in today’s busy world… our current technological society… and so on. I’ve written phrases like that more than once. And I’ve stopped because: 1. These phrases don’t add any value to my writing. If I’m writing about the past, I’ll say, “In … Keep reading…

What’s on Your Business Bucket List?

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Almost 12 years in business and I don’t have a bucket list. In fact, it didn’t occur to me to have one until I stumbled across mention of it online. It got me thinking, what is the difference between a business bucket list and business … Keep reading…

9 Writing Prompts for Small Business Bloggers

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Even when we love to write for our blog or newsletter, staring at a blank screen is bound to happen sooner or later. Here are nine writing prompts to help you get past the blank screen: What do you love most about your business? What are … Keep reading…

Three Words for 2017

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‘Focus’ has been my ‘word of the year’ since January 2010. When I did a little checking to figure out that date, I was surprised at how long I’ve been focussed on focus. Perhaps I’m as focussed as I’m going to get. This year I’m … Keep reading…

Milestones Mean Opportunity

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On May 30, 2013, we sent out the 50th issue of the Work Better, Not Harder newsletter. In it I wrote about the importance of celebrating milestones – small business owners don’t do that enough. In July of 2016, we sent out issue #100. That … Keep reading…

Home Office Holiday Party

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In preparation for our office party this year, I wrote a poem. Then I gathered together the things I would need to have a party with Romeo and Danielle. (The Temptations were for Romeo, the phone for Danielle, and the coffee for me.) Romeo, my … Keep reading…

Stock up on Content for your Busy Season

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Whenever the busy time is for your small business, you can’t avoid it – at some point in the next year, you’ll be overwhelmed. Help out your future self by preparing a bunch of marketing content during your slow season. Having a whole day to … Keep reading…

11 Ways to Make Your Newsletter More Interactive

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An interactive newsletter will provoke responses from your readers. Aside from calls to action related to a sales process, interactivity is also good because it makes you more memorable. #1. Conduct a poll. Use an app (like SurveyMonkey) that allows you to show results after … Keep reading…

The Colours of Your Christmas Campaign

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If you are looking for new palette options for your Christmas marketing campaign, once again the image is the best place to start. Choose an image that is obviously holiday themed but in colours outside of the traditional red and green colour combinations. Pull the … Keep reading…

If You Pay Attention to Your Headline, It will Get Attention

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When a client mentioned CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer, I hopped on over to check it out. (Thanks Natasha!) Here’s the promise I found there: “The free blog post headline analyzer will score your overall headline quality and rate its ability to result in social shares, increased … Keep reading…