Friday, July 14, 2017

Your Website Doesn't Have to Be Fancy to Be Fantastic

Here's another #ExcellentExample - in this case, a good-looking website that does its job.

Take a look at the Halvorson Design website. It's not fancy, but fancy isn't the point.

The point is to get prospects to call the firm.

So Why Does This Website Work? 


  • It's clean, easy to navigate and understand. (Life is distracting enough.) Hint: white space helps!
  • It's up-to-date! Prospects can see right away that the firm is busy and on the ball. Sharing succinct messages about recently-completed projects tells the world: we get things done.
  • A site visitor's next step is obvious. In this case, the call to action is subtle, but clear. (For professional services, subtle is good. If you're selling consumer goods, you'll NEED TO BE A LITTLE LOUDER.)  On each page of the design firm's site, the contact is clearly listed on the right of the page. With a lot of white space...nothing to get in the way of your decision to call. Nice.
#ExcellentExample, Halvorson Design!

If You Don't Have a Website, Don't Panic

You don't need an expensive website. You do need a plan. Clean design and updated content gives prospective customers confidence; it makes them want to work with you. 

You can do this. We can do this. Not sure? Here's a shot of confidence for you.



Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Website Reality Check summer special

Do you need a little help with your website? Have you been managing your site in-house and find you're falling behind?

Want a different set of eyes and a fresh perspective on your site?

A Website Reality Check can make a BIG difference, and through the end of the month, it comes at a much lower rate. Find out more; book now to save.

What do you get from a Website Reality Check? 

  • Broken links, typos, missing tags identified
  • Initial review of UX/UI 
  • More...
What's the discount?
More than 50%! The initial consultation is reduced to $45; per-page rate just $35* for the month of July only

*Limited to the first 5 projects booked. 


Remember: in most cases your website is the first impression customers get of your business. Make sure it's a good one.

Video Marketing May or May Not Be What Your Business Needs

Video is everywhere, and there are dozens of tools to help you do it well and inexpensively. The cost to hire an expert video firm is dropping, too, thanks to competition.

But before you say, "hey, maybe it's time we invest in video," here's another idea:

Ask yourself if you really need it. Ask yourself if your prospects and customers want it. Ask yourself if you're committed to making it worthwhile.

Because if the answer to any of those questions is less than an enthusiastic yes, you need to go back to the Content Drawing Board, also known as Marketing Plan 101.

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Yes, I'm a copywriter, content manager, marketing communications professional and all-around lover of words. But, I don't believe in content for content's sake. Want to talk about how content can help you attract the right kind of prospects and turn them into customers you'll love doing business with? 
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<< This is a good example of smart video marketing. Why?
1. The right tool for the right audience - college students and interns are eating up video.
2. What's better than a testimonial? a testimonial on video!
3. The live event will live as relevant marketing collateral for at least the rest of the summer, probably well into the fall, or even spring semester.


New to video? Periscope is Twitter's video tool; Facebook Live threatened to eclipse it in 2016. Instagram has its own (stories). It's important to note that you don't need to use social media to use video (and vice-versa) - and the tools to create video are getting better, cheaper, and easier to use every day. 

So while it's easy to get overwhelmed (or excited) about the tools, the important thing to remember is that, unless you're in the movie-making business, video is about marketing. 


The tools change constantly; the principles remain pretty much the same. File under "Common Sense Marketing." If you like the sound of that, get in touch





Monday, June 26, 2017

So Maybe You Should Have a Blog

I've played devil's advocate and come up with some instances in which you may not want or need a blog for business. But for the most part, blogging is good for business - any kind of business.

Interestingly, GoDaddy has a lot of good stuff to say about blogging. I say interesting because GoDaddy isn't really big in supporting its users with blogging tools. Go figure.

Anyway, blogging is good for business. Seriously.  See what GoDaddy says about it here:
https://www.godaddy.com/garage/smallbusiness/launch/how-to-write-a-great-blog-post/

Here's another perspective on how blogging augments your PR efforts, too:
http://ducttapemarketingconsultant.com/blogging-is-public-relations-tool/

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Need help starting or updating your blog?
I can do that.








7/7/17 UPDATE: Yet another article with some good advice on making your blog more productive, from Mark Shaefer's Businesses Grow.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Copyediting, Line editing, Proofreading - what's the difference and what do you need?

"How much do you charge for proofreading?" sounds like a very innocent question, and one that should be easy to answer.

Unfortunately, a short answer is probably going to be wrong. Or at least make somebody unhappy (me or my client).

It seems like everyone - including the "experts" - have different ideas about what constitutes proofreading, light editing, copyediting...you get the idea.

This is why, when asked to quote a job, I usually say, "Well, it depends. What do you want?"

I"m not hedging. I'm trying to get it right - for all involved.

Below are links to some "definitive" descriptions about "general" proofreading and editing work. Keep in mind, these are general guidelines for "regular" copy. Typically, costs to edit industry-specific or very technical writing are double or even higher.



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Would you like some help proofreading or editing your marketing copy, website, or other business communications? Let's talk. Let's get it right.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Introducing the Facepalm Marketing Series

What NOT to do in marketing communicationsWhen I wrote Don't Have a Webinar if You Have Nothing to Say, I didn't realize there would be so much more where that came from. Unfortunately, I seem to have found a rich source of ideas for a new stream of content, which I am calling The Facepalm Marketing Series.

Welcome. You may wish to take a moment to sigh before we begin.

This week, I was eager to attend another webinar on email content. When it comes to email marketing, it's difficult to get a good grip on the "rules" beyond the basics. (The basics being start with good lists, include nice images but mind your load time, offer safe unsubscribe options, run A/B tests and use smart - but not TOO clever - subject lines. Whew. And those are just the basics.) 

Imagine my excitement when I signed up for a webinar offering a few insights into current trends in email and sample campaigns. (Maybe I need to get out more.) Now imagine my dismay when the presentation focused on content marketing in general and most of the examples cited were from blogs and landing pages.

Insert facepalm here.

In case you're wondering, the company hosting the webinar was not the same as the one that hosted the 17-minute wonder a few weeks ago. I'm not sure how long this annoying series will last, but I'm pretty sure we can look forward to a few more installments, at least.

Better Email Marketing Examples Are Out There

Also, in case you're interested in email marketing trends from a more worthy source, consider following the Moz Email Marketing blog. I sincerely doubt it will provide me with any new Facepalm material.

Stay alert, my marketing friends.
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Before I accept an assignment to create content for a client, I like to be sure we both understand the point of the project. If that sounds like a waste of time to you, please don't contact me


Thursday, June 1, 2017

The Numbers Say, Take Social Media Seriously

What's social media worth to your business? Do you need a blog?

Consider this scenario:
A business has an overall bounce rate of 44% - but the bounce rate for visitors coming (to the same website) from social media channels is 18%.

Stats from the same business, same month:
(Overall) average page views from organic traffic: 1.7
Average page views from traffic referred by Facebook: 2.8
Average page views from visitors referred by blog: 4.4

Old-school sales people like to talk about priming the pump and filling the funnel...and there's a reason social media and content managers use the same phrases.

Sales and marketing have always been about relationship building. Only the tools have changed.

Prospects are referred, customers are educated, leads are nurtured, relationships are developed and sales are made...when people connect with your content.
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Get Writing that Works, and grow your business with excellent content.