Intro to Newsletters And Blogging

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As a small business owner, you need strategies to get the word out and to keep your name in front of prospects and customers. Blogging and e-mail newsletters are a great way to establish yourself as a thought leader.

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Intro to Newsletters And Blogging

  1. 1. STORYTELLING: BUSINESSBLOGGING & EMAIL NEWSLETTERS (e-MARKETING SERIES) Catherine Morgan Career Transition and Entrepreneur Coach Point A to Point B Transitions Inc. February 15, 2012
  2. 2. Polling question #1• Do you currently have a blog or newsletter? – Yes – No
  3. 3. Did you know that…• A prospect needs on average 7 exposures to you before they buy• People buy from people they know, like, and trust• When you first find a prospect they may not be ready to buy• You need a keep-in-touch strategy with previous clients
  4. 4. Today we will cover• Why you should consider having a newsletter and a blog• How to get started doing both• How to write content that people will want to read• Technology options – Easy-to-use and inexpensive options• And much more!
  5. 5. Blogging vs. newsletters• Actually, best practices are very similar
  6. 6. Best practices for both• What would make a reader want to read it?• Do’s and don’ts – Do ask yourself: Why should the reader care? – Do try to provide value – Don’t pitch all the time – Do set up a schedule and keep to it – Do include a clear call to action
  7. 7. More best practices• Keep it short!• Chunk the text – Nobody likes a sea of words – it’s intimidating!• Use pictures• Make it visually scanable• Use subheadings – So people can decide easily if they want to read the whole thing
  8. 8. Polling question #2• Newsletters help you: – A. Get the word out about your business – B. Keep in touch with people who aren’t ready to buy just yet – C. Keep in touch with customers – D. Offer incentives like special coupons – E. All of the above
  9. 9. Now for newsletters• What value could you provide in your newsletter and what “sweeteners” would make sense with your business? – Best of the Web (be a curator) – 5 tips or Top 10 (or whatever) – Informational articles – Coupons – Special offers – Complimentary consultation
  10. 10. Newsletter options• HTML or plain text• Pros and cons• Why I do what I do • Hint: Know your customer!
  11. 11. Newsletter example 1You are receiving this because you signed up for updates from Point A to Point B Transitions. If you no longer wish to receive these,you can opt out at the bottom of this e-mail - but we will miss you.How are you doing with your 2012 goal-setting? I am doing some serious soul-searching both personally and for mybusiness. I have some big plans for the New Year. How about you?RECORDING - Goal-Setting for the New Year: How to Set Your Business Up for SuccessI did a teleclass with Victoria Cook and Cathy Presland. We talked about goal-setting for your small biz. Yes, its that time!You can listen to the teleclass here. (Other teleclass recordings can be found on SoundCloud here.)Brand Aid (TM) Sessions hit the big timeMy signature Brand Aid session is now posted under "Business Resources" on CarolRoth.com. You can get $200 off as amember of Carols community. Are you struggling with your image and messaging? If people dont understand what youdo or if you know that you need to update your website or blog, you might want to take advantage of this offer. The ROIwill be almost immediate. And remember, when you invest in your business, clients will want to invest in you.New on ChicagoNow.com | Successful In ChicagoI share what it feels like to achieve a goal and to be authentic in Walking your talk feels great! (Includes some prettypictures.)Be The Boss magazine November articleMy latest article in Be The Boss magazine is on page 54. Check out Using Virtual Mentors to Boost Success.A sincere thank you and gift for referralsThank you so much for supporting me and my business. In December as a special thank-you offer, refer a friend and geta personal Envisioning Session for your career or business. This will be a one-hour session where we brainstormstrategies and goals for 2012. All you have to do is e-mail your friend, copying me, to introduce us, and then you and I canset up a time for your thank-you Envisioning Session. This is one sweet deal that you wont want to miss.Have we connected?Please "like" the Facebook Fan Page, and connect with me on LinkedIn or follow me on Twitter.
  12. 12. Newsletter example 2
  13. 13. Newsletter example 2 (continued)
  14. 14. Newsletter example 3
  15. 15. Newsletter example 3 (continued)
  16. 16. Polling question #3• How do you determine what the right format is for your newsletter? – A. Pick something really pretty – B. Go with plain text because it is easy – C. Find something that works with my brand – D. Understand how my audience likes to see information – E. Use a combination of C and D
  17. 17. Delivery services you can use• Delivery services – free / low-cost – MailChimp – Constant Contact – AWeber
  18. 18. And you can amplify by• Asking newsletter subscribers to share your newsletter with others• Utilizing your e-mail signature as a marketing toolCatherine MorganTransition and Entrepreneur CoachPoint A to Point B Transitions Inc.877.672.5333Catherine@PointAtoPointBTransitions.comhttp://www.pointatopointbtransitions.com**Please join our e-mail list (monthly updates) and "like" us on Facebook**
  19. 19. Newsletter frequency• Once a month?• Twice a month? – I saw a study that said twice a month was the ideal frequency• Very few folks can do weekly• It is more important to be consistent
  20. 20. Who can you send it to?• Highly recommend using a double opt-in• Do not add people to your newsletter list without permission• CAN-SPAM Act – Must have your mailing address listed – Must have an opt-out link – Can’t use deceptive subject lines – And more
  21. 21. Polling question #4• Is it OK to add someone who gave you a business card at a networking meeting to your newsletter list? – A. Yes, because they are going to be interested! – B. Yes, if they gave me specific permission – C. No, it is a violation of the CAN-SPAM Act
  22. 22. Why are blogs all the rage?• Allow you to demonstrate your expertise• Can establish you as a thought leader• Search engines love fresh content = Google juice!
  23. 23. How often should I blog?• Benefits of posting on a schedule (deadline/discipline)• Just “post awesome” stuff (Scott Stratten, UnMarketing) – People spread awesome• Blog posts at least once a week? – Maybe 2x a month? – (Do what I say and not what I do on this one) – Yes, some big guys post every day. Don’t try it.
  24. 24. What can I write about?• Anything that your target market would find interesting• Have you done your homework? – Then you have a good idea about 1. who your ideal customer is, and 2. what their interests are
  25. 25. Even if you are new you could• Do interviews with people your customers would be interested in• Become a curator – sift through and find the valuable stuff so you save time for people – Time is a precious commodity!• Eventually you will feel like more of an expert
  26. 26. Or you could try• Have you read or seen something that was interesting? – Try using that as a foundation and create content using that as a basis – My friend Kelley C. Long did a great job with that with her Financial Archetypes series • She did a monthly review of the eight financial archetypes presented in Brent Kessel’s book It’s Not About the Money
  27. 27. How to write catchy headlines• Lists: 5 Tips for…, 6 Easy Ways to…, 10 Best…• How to’s: – How to sell without cold calls – How to fill your coaching practice in 6 months – How to lose weight without giving up ice cream (OK, wishful thinking on my part)
  28. 28. Another technique• Provocative titles can work too – But use this technique sparingly – Examples: • 7 Warning Signs Your Brand Sucks • 10 Reasons We Won’t Do Business With You • Google+ is a Waste of Time for Small Businesses
  29. 29. Headline example• Don’t do this ”How to be Ready to Side-Step the Obstacles Which if Left Unattended are Guaranteed to Derail your Business Goals”• Instead you could try “Business Goals: How to Side-Step the Obstacles” OR “How to Achieve Your Business Goals and Side-Step the Obstacles”
  30. 30. Polling question #5• Which would not make good headline? – A. 10 tips for writing hot headlines – B. How to write a compelling headline that will get your post read – C. Writing a good headline is easy if you know how to do it right and we can show you how – D. Why your blog headlines suck
  31. 31. Blog writing tips (newsletters too)• Make it so a reader can easily scan it to figure out if they want to read more – Shorter is usually better – Chunk content so it is easy to read – Use subheadings – Use bulleted lists – Numbered lists are good too
  32. 32. More tips• Add featured images – Studies show they increase reads• End with a “call to action” to increase engagement – Ask a question that people can answer in the comments• Take time away from your post and then come back to edit later when you are fresh – This is critical (or find a copyeditor)
  33. 33. Mix it up• Consider doing text, videos, audios (podcasts) – Why? Adds interest• YouTube is the #2 search engine and it is owned by Google – You can host your videos in other places but make sure you have some on YouTube as well• Blogs with videos tend to rank higher
  34. 34. Polling question #6• Finding topics to blog about is really hard – True – False
  35. 35. Blog example 1
  36. 36. Blog example 2
  37. 37. Blog example 3
  38. 38. What platform should I use?• Recommend using WordPress as your platform. Over 71 million blogs use WordPress.com. There are two ways to use WordPress: – 1. Free WordPress.com • Why I picked this first and wish I had known better – 2. Hosted WordPress • A better choice most times • Lots of people use WordPress for a website/blog combo
  39. 39. My new website is in WordPress
  40. 40. Other options• Tumblr – Made a big splash last year• Blogger – We were counting it out but maybe shouldn’t since it is owned by Google and with Google launching Google+…• TypePad – Used by some big folks like Seth Godin – but you should really go with one of the others
  41. 41. Polling question #7• Do you already have social media accounts for your business? – Yes – No
  42. 42. If you don’t, you probably should• Small businesses need to make every dollar count and utilize low-cost and no-cost options• Why miss out on free publicity? – But yes, it will take time – And as with everything else, you need to show up consistently
  43. 43. Spreading the word• Your list• Social media – Facebook – Twitter – LinkedIn – Others
  44. 44. How and how often?• Methods – Manual vs. automated – Frequency• You will need to decide what is right for you and your business
  45. 45. Encourage sharing• Encourage readers to share: – Make it as easy as possible for them!• Use a good comments plug-in: DISQUS, Livefyre, or something else that lets you sign in with Twitter or Facebook• CAPTCHA annoys people. *Do not use this*
  46. 46. Consider using an editorial calendar• For content development• For sharing (like a mini marketing plan)• Possible tools – Paper calendar – At CarolRoth.com we use a calendar in Excel – Have heard good things about the WordPress editorial calendar plug-in
  47. 47. Don’t be intimidated – just get started• New technology will take some time to learn• Newsletter and blogging software is pretty easy though• FYI, if you know how to use Microsoft Word, WordPress works similarly
  48. 48. Polling question #8• So how do you feel about newsletter writing and blogging now? – A. I am still terrified – B. I am going to give it a try – C. I am totally fired up!
  49. 49. Questions?Catherine MorganCareer Transition and Entrepreneur CoachPoint A to Point B Transitions Inc.877.672.5333Catherine@PointAtoPointBTransitions.comhttp://www.PointAtoPointBTransitions.comTwitter: @PointA_PointB

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