Tag Archives: Linda Barrett

The Two Best Ways to Market Online: Guest Post

All the Buzz is pleased to offer this guest post by William Skuba, Director of Marketing at Enable, a web design firm offering affordable web design, graphic design and marketing for small businesses.

The Two Best Ways to Market Online

online-marketing-graphicI hate the word “marketing.”

Whenever I use it in conversation, I immediately see the person I’m talking to lose interest. His or her eyes glaze over, he gives a canned response like “Oh cool,” and I know he isn’t listening anymore.

And I don’t blame him.

What does the word “marketing” even mean? I hardly even know what it means, and I do it for a living.

The fact of the matter is, the term “marketing” has become a vague, meaningless term from decades of overuse. You see self-styled gurus on Facebook offering reports on: “Top 7 Secrets of Marketing,” or “The Content Marketing Hacks That Made Me My First Million.” And you see YouTube ads trying to sell training courses and webinars about how you too can make millions from home simply by starting a digital marketing agency.

But none of us really even knows what they mean by marketing.

So let’s not use the words “marketing,” “awareness,” or “engagement,” or any other buzzword. Let’s just be honest about what we all need for our businesses.

We need more customers.

Marketing revolves around these two questions:

  1. Who do you want to reach with your service or product?
  2. What do you want them to do?

We need to find people that want our service or product, and then tell them about our business in a way that appeals to them.

Here are the two best, most universal, ways to appeal online to ALL clients in ALL industries via ALL media:

Testimonials and Video

Online Testimonials

When you think about it, how do most people bond with each other?

Answer: By complaining.

97% of people who have a bad experience with your product or service will tell their family and friends, and 57% of them will tell their coworkers. On the other hand, only 87% share good experiences with family and 40% with coworkers.

People write about the experience they have with you on FaceBook and review sites, and these reviews can be either good or bad.

What you want are more GOOD testimonials that provide a clear trust indicator for leads and prospects, showing others like them have how they have used your service or product to solve their problems. These testimonials actually target your leads and prospects.

Where do you get online testimonials, and what do you do with them?

  1. authoritative-reviews-link-google-my-businessAuthoritative Reviews
    Has an industry expert mentioned your business in a positive light, or has a local newspaper spoken positively of your business? Reach out to them and ask if they will post their review on your Google My Business review page.
  2. Post-old-reviews-Grade-usOld Reviews
    Connect with old customers. Using us, you can create a custom link that opens the review box for your Google My Business profile. You can even create a custom link with a 5-star rating already listed, just awaiting their confirmation click. Click the link here to get a feel for it.
  3. Prominent Reviews
    Post your reviews prominently on your website to show your visitors what your clients think of you, because 84% of people trust online reviews as much as they trust friends and family members.

video-shootOnline Video

Producing a professional video can help your business. Statistics show that 88% of website viewers spend more time on a website with video than without, and one-third of all online activity is watching a video.

In fact, site visitors are four times more likely to watch a product video than read a product description, and 74% of those who watch a product video go on to buy the product. Video produces results.

  1. Professional Video
    When reading website copy or viewing products online, you may be inclined to take their descriptions with some skepticism. After all, if the business owner is telling you how great his business is, you may not be apt to believe it since he is too invested in the outcome.However, if you have a conversation with the owner and he goes through his work process, showing you results and explaining why and how he does what he does, you are more likely to believe him.Video adds a level of professionalism, trust, and a personal touch to an otherwise impersonal situation (reading someone’s website). In one study, 57% of consumers say that watching a video makes them more confident in online purchases.You might think videos are too expensive to consider, however, while dropping two to five grand on professionally-shot and edited video production might be out of your budget, you can create FaceBook Live videos and video messages for little or no monetary outlay.
  1. Amateur and Live Video
    In addition to a professionally-produced video, you can also continually release FaceBook live streams of yourself working on a jobsite or giving business tips to your followers.  Most cameras have a video capacity, and purchasing a computer camera is also not a huge investment.Likes and shares grow by 20% on live video streams, according to MediaKix.com. Additionally, live videos are watched 3x longer than non-live videos.Giving your followers a glimpse of you at work or a quick look at you in person (not in polished, published form) is great for building trust with you clients.

Search Engine Benefits of Posting Online Video

Finally, Google also loves video. For example, if you have a video produced on a certain topic as well as a blog post, Google is going to give preference to the video in organic search rankings. In fact, 70% of the top 100 search listings on Google are video.

So with all the positive benefits that viewers and consumers are showing about video, why aren’t more businesses using it?

The answer is unfamiliarity. People are afraid to use what they are unfamiliar with. While video is not a new technology, it might be a new online marketing tactic that more business owners need to employ. The payoff for online visibility and credibility is worth the effort.

Will-Skuba-EnableWilliam Skuba is Director of Marketing at Enable Web Design. He is passionate about sales and marketing, and is always looking for more efficient ways to do both. When he’s not creating new content for Enable, you can find him spending time with his family and friends.

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Do You Have Passion For Your Business? Take This Quick Quiz.

Do_it_with_passionIf you don’t love your business, you probably dread going to work every day. It’s a bad feeling. And unfortunately, it is not only you who feels that way, your customers pick up on it as well.

They say that those who are passionate about what they do never feel as if they are working. Their passion is what drives them, and what makes them successful.

Wonder if you’re still passionate about your business? Take this quick quiz to find out:

The Passion Quiz

  1. Do you have a strong curiosity about what you do, and a desire to keep learning more about it in order to get better?
  2. Do you have a sense of excitement and energy when you are working?
  3. Do you want to seek out others who share your interests so you can talk about it?
  4. Do you literally dream or daydream about it?
  5. Do you secretly fantasize about being on the top of your profession, or envision taking it to a new level never before reached by anyone?
  6. Do you feel a sense of loss or like something is missing when you’re not doing it?

How Did You Do?

If you answered “yes” to these questions, you’re on the right track. If you answered, “no” then your business is probably passionate-less as well.  You may want to re-look at the business you are in, and perhaps make some changes.

The good news is that if you have lost your sense of passion, you can get it back. Step back from your business and return to the “why” you chose this profession in the first place. There was some reason that has somehow gotten buried along the way.

Entrepreneur Richard Branson advises, “Go back to that ‘aha!’ moment and try to understand what motivated you to think in that direction in the first place — the passion behind your idea might lead you to the business or industry you truly care about.”

Translate that Passion into Sales

Once you have rediscovered your passion, use this information to translate it into sales materials, website copy, and interactions with your customers. There is nothing more appealing than someone who is truly passionate about and sincerely believes that what they do can make a difference.

As Branson puts it, “When you believe in something, the force of your convictions will spark other people’s interest and motivate them to help you achieve your goals. This is essential to success.”

Think about the last time you interacted with a customer. Were you merely going through the motions, or was there a spark in your voice and a twinkle in your eye as you described your product or services. Your passion can make all the different between a sale and a so-so experience.

–Passion Quiz excerpted from “Protecting Your Passion,” by Robin Todd, Motivated Magazine.

 

Google’s Rules on “Duplicate Content”

Do_Not_DuplicateAny good web designer or web copywriter will tell you that you cannot have duplicate content on your site. They’re right–in most cases.

According to Google, “Duplicate content refers to substantive blocks of content within or across domains that either completely match other content or are appreciably similar.” This means that when writing good web copy, each page should be original and blocks of copy should not be repeated within your site.

This also means that blocks of copy cannot be lifted from other sites and used on your site. Besides, this could be considered plagiarism without consent and attribution.

Google instates this rule to avoid deceptive practices by which content can be “deliberately duplicated in an attempt to manipulate search engine rankings or win more traffic.” This also results in a poor user experience where a visitor sees the same content on various pages of your site, and can lose you credibility in their estimation.

“Google tries hard to index and show pages with distinct information,” it reports. If you are caught and determined to be guilty of deceptive practices, Google will make “appropriate adjustments in the indexing and ranking of the sites involved. As a result, the site may suffer, or be removed completely from the Google index, in which case it will no longer appear in search results.”

The Exceptions

There are times, however, when duplicate copy cannot be avoided, such as with PDF-formatted items, printer-only versions, discussion forums that generate both regular and stripped-down pages for mobile devices, and store items linked via multiple distinct URLs. These are recognized by Google as “non-malicious” duplicate content.

Trust the Copywriting to the Experts

Professional copywriters, like those at All the Buzz, know the rules Google applies, and we work hard to provide unique and keyword-rich content to each of your online pages, whether they are web pages, blog posts or social media listings.

Navigating search engine optimization can be tricky, and although you can do it yourself, it is best left to the experts. You don’t want to make a mistake with something as important as your online business presence.

Contact All the Buzz for expert website copywriting.

–excerpted from Google’s rules for Duplicate Content

What is it You’re Truly Selling?

raising-hand-in-a-crowdI was listening to a TED Talk today that offered to teach people how to find their true calling in just five minutes. In it, the speaker, Adam Leipzig, asked the audience five questions:

  1. What is your name?
  2. What do you do?
  3. Who do you do it for?
  4. What do those people want and need?
  5. How do they change as a result?

When he asked the first question, of course everyone in the audience knew the answer, however, as he progressed down the short list, the responses became fewer and fewer. Although most people knew what they did, they knew not why they did it.

The last question, #5, is the most important, he said. Knowing how you make a difference in someone’s life or work is how you should answer the question, “What do you do.”

In other words, instead of saying, “I do bookkeeping,” you could answer, “I keep people’s monthly accounting up to date so they know exactly how their business is doing at any time.”

Look for the real reason people rely on you and your service, and engage and intrigue your audience with the benefit.

All the Buzz Can Uncover Your Real Value

If you have difficulty defining what it is you really do in terms of its benefit, that’s where we come in. Let a professional writer, like us, look at your website copy and your marketing materials. We’ll uncover the real benefits of doing business with you and help you share them with the world with more compelling sales messages that get results. Contact us today.

An Insider’s Tip to Getting Your Story into the News

woman-reading-newspaper

She should be reading YOUR story.

I, like other writers, am always looking for good stories. When we writers find something we think is interesting, it is likely that others will find it interesting as well, so we pitch the story idea to magazines, newspapers, online media, etc. If the publication also believes their readership will benefit from the story, they will contract with us to write it.

But how does a story get from your company into the media? Continue reading →

Article: National Aquarium

diver-at-natoinal-aquarium-baltimore-maryland-linda-barrett-all-the-buzz

Diver at the National Aquarium, Baltimore, MD

There’s something about seeing your story in print that never gets old. I also find it especially thrilling when my photographs are also printed, as in this beautiful montage for my article about the National Aquarium (see photos and story here) in the May/June 2016 issue of Viva Tysons magazine.

Have a story you’d like to see in print? Contact All the Buzz to find out how we can help.

 

 

6 Steps to a Better Presentation

man-giving-presentation

Sometime in your career, you’ve been asked to give a presentation. Maybe it went well. Or maybe it didn’t. The answer lies with your audience. Did they listen attentively and ask questions, or did they look at their watches and dart out the door once you were done?

There is a science to giving a good presentation and professionals know they just can’t wing it. A good presentation is carefully researched, written and practiced ahead of time, keeping the audience’s interests in mind. Here are six steps that can help you develop a better presentation.

How to Give a Better Presentation

  1. Find out who your audience is. Then single out a couple of members or leaders and send a questionnaire or hold an interview in advance to find out what issues they are facing, or what it is they really want to learn or know. Incorporate this information into your presentation.
  2. If you must use slides, use them as visual backup to what you are saying. Do not outline your presentation on the slides and read it to your audience.
  3. Continue reading →

Should You Write in Full Sentences or Fragments?

Do you get this

Do you get this “fragment” prompt?

When I run my work through Spell Check, I’m often stopped by the phrase “Fragment (consider revising.)” Does this happen to you?

While Spell Check helps me find spelling and spacing errors, it doesn’t really know about conversational writing style. Writing for blogs, the web, or social media is different than writing novels or papers. You MUST use sentence fragments.

Yes, use fragments

People don’t speak in full, formal sentences. They speak in fragments. And the point of engaging an audience is to stimulate a “conversation.” I’m sure you’ve heard people say, Continue reading →

What Does a Modern Web Writer Look Like?

My inbox today contained a great infographic titled The Perfect Anatomy of a Modern Web Writer.  It explains what we, as web writers, need in our arsenal as professional writers, as well as demonstrates what to look for when hiring a web writer. So I thought I’d share it.

The Perfect Anatomy of a Modern Web Writer

  1. image-of-modern-web-writer-infographicOutstanding Copywriting Ability.  Copywriting begins with knowing your customer’s hope and fears, her principles and problems…and then figuring out how to help her achieve her goals and ease her pains.
  2. Storytelling Skills.  Storytelling creates a narrative that spellbinds people. There’s no debate: the best web writers are also the best storytellers.

Continue reading →

Author Finds that Sometimes Publicity is Just Serendipity

I foolishly knocked my carriage clock off the mantle while cleaning one day recently and was heartbroken to see its shattered condition on the marble hearth. So I picked up the pieces and took the remains to a local clock shop.

The news wasn’t good. My clock was so badly broken that all that could be salvaged was the Seth Thomas brass face. A customer standing in line behind me, carrying his own broken mantle clock witnessed this transaction and commented on how beautiful my bright clock face was. He thought, in fact, it might fit into his own clock, which had a tired, faded face.

We held the face up and it seemed to be a perfect size match. He purchased it from me on the spot.

You Never Know Who’s Listening

While he was waiting for the clerk to research his problem, we struck up a conversation. It turns out he’s an author and has just published his second book: Titanic’s Resurrected Secret–HEW.

Having done a lot of reading about the Titanic and its survivors, I was interested–not only in the book, but in this fascinating man and his stories. Continue reading →