Stop Looking In the Mirror

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mirror Too many marketers these days are continuing to get caught up in how they look and how people perceive them online. One piece of advice for you,

NO ONE CARES!

STOP SPENDING SO MUCH TIME TALKING ABOUT YOURSELF ON SOCIAL MEDIA SITE AND ONLINE.

If you want people’s attention, put the mirror down and look closer at your target audience. Get in touch with your target audience and ask them directly what their needs are. Many times, they will tell, you unfortunately we have a hard time listenting for their needs. (Shut up and Listen – If you need a refresher, check out an earlier article I wrote this week.)

I’ll come back to this topi at the end of this article.

IN ADDITION – START WRITING ARTICLES ON TOPICS THAT YOUR AUDIENCE WANT, NOT WHAT YOU THINK THEY WANT.

Why should people care about the content you share? If they can easily find the “same, general” information on another site, your articles are just like all the rest and as a result, your site will  note resonate whatsoever.

START YOUR TRANSFORMATION!

Begin by looking at the end in mind. Set goals that actually matter. Some examples:

  • Identify and define the target audience you are trying to address. Give them a specific name and identify their wants, needs and attributes. (This is a personna)
  • Analyze the decision-making process and determine how you will bring them in. Move them through the following steps: Get their attention – Create an Awareness of the information they have – Drive them to another level in the information/decision making process – Drive them to some type of action like purchase, account setup, scheduled visit.
  • Start building this process out and determine how you wil achieve these processes. HubSpot is a great tool for this process.
  • Measure early success, Follow up by creating more content and share some content and other information online and on social media.

STOP SPENDING SO MUCH TIME TALKING ABOUT YOURSELF ON SOCIAL MEDIA SITE AND ONLINE. (PART II)

This is the second part. It is imperative to work on your personal brand, but help people understand where you are ultimately going.  I typically go back to articles that I received a lot of feedback on and usually the one, key characteristic of these articles was the fact that I identified a specific topic and I showed people examples, but better yet they could visualize the process. You need to start connecting your name with the work that you do in order for people to remember you.

“The reason I am taking the time to write this information is to remind myself and show others that people still connect with people, however when they can start identifying your name with specific actions, results and experiences then you will be able to take your personal brand to another level. People will connect you with your  company and your achievements. “

FINALLY, TAKE A LOOK IN THE MIRROR – ARE YOU SEEING RESULTS

If yes, congratulations your hard work is paying off and you are seeing results

If no, is it time to bring in some others to help you. Look at the mirror and look at yourself and others who share the same passion and want to help you succeed.

 

FINALLY – REPEAT THIS PROCESS OVER AND OVER AGAIN – IT NEVER ENDS

This process will continue and you will have successes and failures. Learn from your mistakes and make sure you look closely at why some processes were successful. Focus your time on your successes and continue to build on them.

photo credit: Reflect on This via photopin (license)

SHUT UP!

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shut upI was reminded how important it is to listen more than I talk.

One of my favorite business writers of all-time is Tom Peters. His books have made me think and rethink concepts over and over. Everytime I go back and reread one of his books I find myself relearning the same concepts that were stressed 20 to 30 years ago.  Recently, I went to Tom Peter’s YouTube Channel and I watched his message about being quiet. Tom is totally right, in a world of noise, it is more important than ever to just shut up and listen now more than ever.

When was the last time you were quiet long enough that there was an awkward silence? If you are honest with yourself, you may discover that it has been awhile.

Here are some benefits to being able to shut up.

When someone has an idea, let the person finish. Take some notes and determine the validity of the idea at a later time. The worse thing you can do is to interrupt or worse yet, dismiss the idea from the start. Shut up and listen.

As you plan out your own day, shut up and really listen to the needs of your internal and external clients. What should your priorities be? Where are you spending your time? Listen more and stop trying to self-talk your way into catering to your own needs.

Think about that person who talks all the time and controls the conversation. Are these the type of people you want to work with? Sometimes, in these cases, by not saying anything, the person actually thinks you agree with everything they are saying. These are the people you need to really avoid and keep quiet more. Also, these type of people generally are people who are all talk and no action. Try to cut the conversation short and move on.

There also people who state all of their emotions on their Facebook or Twitter posts. These type of people you also want to avoid, even if you agree with what they are saying, you never want to show your emotions and words by jumping on the bandwagon or strongly disagreeing with them. Emotions come and go. However, people’s memories of your comments may still linger and no one can afford negative publicity.

When a client complains, make sure you shut up and listen to the entire arguement. Most of the time, when we do not listen fully to the client’s complaint we really do a disservice and do not find out what the real root cause of the issue is.

For those of you who have an active prayer life, shut up and listen by reading scripture and praying for the needs of others. I have found when I shut up about my needs, I see the world in a whole new light.

If you have a family, make sure the first thing you do when you get home is listen to the wants, needs and experiences of your other family members. Sometimes, this information can be the most refreshing news of the day. Shut up and listen.

Summary

As you can see, if you focus on SHUT UP! as a goal, it may helpf you put things in a much better perspective.

Picture Source: Pixabay

 

 

Organic Search is Not Dead – In fact it’s never been stronger!

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Google Organic Search2015 – The year where organic search is coming back.
(I don’t think it was ever gone – It was more about the way I was looking at it.)

No I am not dreaming. I have been waiting for this moment for the last four years. It appears Google is awarding websites that have made it through the major updates over the past few years.

Here are some reasons I believe organic search is back (Why I changed my thoughts on this topic?)

  1. People are smarter with respect to search. Because of all the noise and information, people are starting to get smarter when it comes to search and they are typing in more words and asking more specific questions in the hope of getting better answers.
  2. Mobile is great for local searches which need quick, fast, local information. There is still a need for more advanced searches for business work and a wider audience than just local community.
  3. The world is getting smaller. Technology is opening competition up where small businesses with great content and a particular niche topic can compete on an equal basis with larger, more established companies.
  4. Don’t believe me, try yourself. Conduct an advanced search and change your location from your current, local location.
  5. Finally, Google+ results show up in search where people are logged-in to their Google accounts. This means content posted on Google+ is still getting traction in Google.

What does this mean for marketers?

  1. Follow Google rules, no matter how hard they might be. Don’t ignore the warnings and continue to stay on top of Google happenings.
  2. Create long-tail keyword search phrases that people can relate to.
  3. Post clients’ questions and answer their commonly-held questions on your website. Use this content that you might normally only save on email and put it online for others to see.
  4. Never give up on being organic. Remember ads work too, but they are only temporary. Content has a much longer shelf life and repeatability factor.
  5. Look at building your site for two audiences: strong local presence and strong national presence.

Overall, I’ve tried to keep the perspective of two audiences: local and national, however up until a few weeks ago I was not seeing the result of my work. Then, I started changing the way I searched for answers by asking more precise questions or typing in more specific keyword phrases. It was here that I noticed my own content was once again very relevant.

Search marketing is back and back in a big way. It is definitely one of the biggest reasons I am seeing a lot of success in 2015. Are you seeing similar results in your organic search efforts?  Don’t give up the fight and continue to produce content that makes a difference in the lives of people.

Picture Source: Pixabay

Your Site is Mobile-Friendly but You are not Seeing Results

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Mobile Friendly WebsiteIn April, the goal of most marketing teams was to insure their company website was mobile-friendly.

One item you may have overlooked or forgotten…

Well, most companies were able to achieve this result, but one thing most sites forgot to look at was their home page/welcome page. Yes, the content may come over, but when compacted on a smaller screen, the content looks overdone, especially when people have to scroll down multiple times to read the content on their devices.

Take a closer look at websites today, especially on your smartphone. It’s amazing how simple information like a company phone number is not listed or the site may be overloaded with information that it really does not make sense to spend the time lookingfor the particular informaiton you need.

Direct people where they should go…

I think this is the stage most companies are at with their website. Right now, start with your home page and create information that you believe the majority of visitors to your site would be interested in. If people can be directed where to go when they reach your site, your chances of connecting with go up immensely.

In my case, I was able to get our company switched over in December, 2014 to a mobile-friendly design. However, it took me the next several months to realize that the information and menus that appear on mobile devices are very complex and over done. I have been working to create a simpler design with specific action information and fewer menu items.

You’ve taken the first step, now take the second step…

Getting your site mobile-friendly is not a hard task. The harder task is to make it more accessible and simple for mobile users. Don’t underestimate the power of your home page/welcome page. Make sure this page is simple, easy-to-follow and gives people further direction with respect to your site.

Consider taking your mobile site to another level, by cleaning up your home page and making the site more simple and cleaner.

Picture Source: Pixabay

Less Social Media – Try Answering More Questions

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Less Social MediaI never really understood the whole reason behind trying to engage people on social media…

It was tough for me to hear people talk about their experiences of engaging with others and how it really helped them grow their businesses. Somewhere the process of providing answers to people’s questions was lost in this process. Because of my frustration, I decided broadcasting was more my style. Providing people with good information was the way to go, hence content marketing was the next stop on this journey. This worked for awhile, but then everyone else jumped on the bandwagon and now, today we have tons of information coming at us and most of the information is noise.

There is a big myth out there that “quality” content is the answer. What is quality content? What I find interesting may not be interesting to someone else. Just because I like it, does that make it quality content?

Over the past few weeks I have wrestled with the idea of where do I want to go.  The answer finally came to me as a result of our client service and account manager teams. We need to not only answer client questions on the phone and through email but also online and through social media platforms. People are hungry for answers. People do not need more rhetoric about our company brands, they want answers to questions.

Over the next few months, I am going to look for examples of commonly asked questions from clients and look at the answers we are providing our clients. This information is the most valuable information we can provide others.

Sometimes the most simple answers to improved communication are right in front of us, if we just slow down and really take a closer look at how we can better serve clients.

Picture Source: Pixabay