Tag Archives: inbound

15 Great Resources for Managing a Content Marketing Campaign

In honor of Day 13 in the 30 Day Blogging challenge, I am going to show you the tools I use to manage and research content marketing and increase quality for myself and my clients. Because I want to provide the highest value, I am not using any affiliate links on this post. These are sites, resources, and tools I use and would recommend to anyone, free of charge.

Outsource Sites

  • Blogmutt.com – I am not going to recommend any other sites to outsource your content here. In full disclosure, BlogMutt was the kickstart to my career as a content writer and I happen to own writer’s stock in the company. But, if you want somewhere to get lots of content affordably with no contract and limited hassle, go on over there and use their product.

Information Sites

  • Neil Patel – Neil Patel writes some of the longest and information filled blogs on content marketing on the internet, or at least the little bit of the internet I read on a daily basis. Always a good place to find out information about the technical side of content marketing. Also, he reminded me I need to smile in profile shots.
  • Sark eMedia – I always shout out to Sarah and Kevin Arrow in giving a list of resources. They have great resources on their site, their email list is phenomenal, and their Facebook group is tremendous. If you go over to the link I included, you can access all of their resources as well as read an amazing blog on all the tools for getting legal and high-quality pictures online.
  • Screw the Nine-to-Five – Josh and Jill Stanton are hilarious and Jill is one of the best copywriters I know for crafting content in her own voice. I have been reading their blogs and newsletter since 2013 and the copywriting has been consistently good and had a unique voice across all platforms (blog, newsletter, FB Live, podcasts).

Tools

  • Nathalie Lussier and Robin Li – I honestly never know whether to include the Ally brand of products and consulting in a tool list or information site list. Since I am going to move my pop-up management back to PopupAlly from SumoMe this week, I decided to include them in the tools list at this point in time. Their email list-building challenge is amazingly informative, their products are top of the line, and their philosophy is right up my alley.
  • Buffer – This is pure tool. If you want a platform to schedule Facebook posts on personal and business pages, Twitter accounts, LinkedIn and more, check it out! My first Buffer posts were on the free version to read books to my children while I was away at a conference. Loved it ever since.
  • BuzzSumo– This tool helps you find out how people are sharing your content, what content is trending in your industry, and keeping tabs on other content information.
  • Canva – This is a great tool for quick editing of photos and access to free or cheap graphics to include in your photos.
  • Pixabay – Great resource for downloading high quality, royalty free images. If you sign in and upload some of your own photos the site is completely free and free of advertisements.
  • Grammarly – This checker is great for grammar checking your work as you type. The browser extension  for Chrome is a gift to writers everywhere.
  • DropBox – I would not be anywhere without Drop Box. I use it to organize, backup files, and do collaborative projects with clients in North and South Carolina, Idaho, and Egypt. Dropbox is one type of cloud storage and file management software. For a more complete list, check out this comprehensive review from Cloudwards.net
  • Gmail and Associated Products – This is worth a post in and of itself. I will update that link when I have created the post on all the ways you can use Gmail and other Google tools to manage content online.

Offline Resources

  • Coworking Locations – Really, besides giving me a place to write away from the bustle and hustle of a seminary-student wife and two preschool age children, my coworking location was my best source for leads in 2016. Skip the coffee shops, get better chairs, and do better work. Just google “coworking spot near me” to find one for yourself.
  • Networking Events – I have gotten clients from a BNI event and from a Chamber of Commerce event, as well as connected with other marketers. Meetup is actually a great way to find networking events in your local community.
  • Community Colleges – These will change depending on your location, but I always find interesting resources from small, local colleges for business people.

I could keep writing all day, but have other work to do. What are some of your favorite resources for writing, marketing, or networking as a business person?

Leave a comment below, and as always, email me if you want some help with your content marketing.

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Why You Should Never Close Another Sale

 

Preparing for Door-To-Door Success!

Preparing for Door-To-Door Success!

Knock, Knock.

Knock, Knock.

Ring-a-ding. Ring-a-ding.

“Hello?”

“Hi, are you the mom of the house?”

“Yeah, wait what’s this about?”

“Ok, great. My name is _____ and I am the student who is in the area helping parents plan their student’s educational success.”

…15 Minutes Later…

“OK. If you just sign here, I’ll get your order in process and be back to deliver your books in a few weeks.”

“Wait, what about______?”

“I totally understand how you feel, ________ down the street felt the same way, but after she realized that these books are __________, she was able to make a decision to purchase that same day. I am trying to meet with all the families in the area, so I do not have the time to keep coming back. So, if you will just sign here…”

I hand her the pen. She signs. It’s a good day.

Every year, thousands of students in multiple industries pou Continue reading

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7 Great Apps for Managing Marketing

If you look at any Google search for business marketing apps, you will see a long list of the newest and greatest, as well as different tools that have nothing to do with fulfilling your needs as a small business owner.

business apps   Google Search

Many of these apps are designed for large departments and enterprise level businesses who need to manage their marketing content on multiple social media channels, who need to manage servers and other hardware, and who have a regular budget for marketing technology.

The following 5 apps are useful for creating content, marketing content, and managing your business marketing online. The great news is they all come with free versions!

Buffer – Small business owners do not have time to be on Facebook all the time. I am building a content and inbound marketing business using social media as a primary marketing channel, and I don’t have time to be on social media all the time. Buffer is a way to get your business in front of your potential customers when they are online, without being there yourself. It is, basically, a post-scheduling app. Use this app to manage multiple accounts in their pro version, and use their photo sharing and editing software (Pablo) to get more bang for your proverbial buck.

Pop-Up Ally – I am just moving my pop-up management from SumoMe to Pop-Up-Ally on WordPress. This pop-up manager is designed to give you complete control over how prospects on your website are turned into leads. You can easily set the pop-up to only come up as they are leaving your site, when they have scrolled to the end of your post, or some other event-based pop-up. There is a free plug-in on WordPress if you do not want to upgrade immediately.

Hootsuite – Hootsuite is the app for managing social media profiles, and the first 3 are free. While Hootsuite has some automation features similar to Buffer, it is geared towards active participation in multiple social media platforms, while Buffer is geared towards setting up automatic updates of your social media profiles.

Canva – Canva is a great resource for finding and sharing photos to social media platforms, within posts, and on other online resources. Since memes drive the internet, any business marketing online needs a great photo editing platform that is integrated online.

Awesome Screenshot – Awesome screenshot is for creating photos that are instructional in nature. You can take any screenshot on your computer and edit it with highlights, pop-out comments, and in-photo texts.

Screen Cast Omatic – This is an essential tool for creating instructional videos, recording webcasts on your desktop and more.

17Hats – Although there are many CRMs out there, 17Hats is designed specifically for small business owners who need to manage more than marketing in their business software. CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management software and it is one type of the many business management systems available to streamline business processes, track communication and finances, and generally make life less hectic for busy business owners.

These are 7 apps that I have used for managing various aspects of marketing online, and I hope that you will be able to use them to benefit your business marketing ventures in the near future!

Please leave a comment below about any apps you use for marketing or sales.

 

 

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Closing Deals By Providing Value

In inbound marketing, your goal is by providing value to your leads throughout the sales process, you lead them to the close and  to become brand advocates. Through your content, you provide them enough information to qualify themselves, understand your services, and make a need-based decision. For legacy salespeople (which I have been in multiple businesses and industries), the goal of any presentation is to “Always Be Closing.” This means that you are always trying to provide incentives, motivation, and tricks to get people to sign the contract.

close through providing value

I heard one sales trainer once say that you should drop your pen so that when the lead picks it up you can just hand them the document and say  “Sign here.” The trainer was joking, I hope.

Inbound Marketing’s Alternative

In inbound marketing, the goal is to provide enough information and value to your prospective clients that they will be able to make an accurate decision and move forward with your service/product without high-pressure or hype. I recently put this into practice in offering a first session free for specific tutoring situations as a valuable service that also gives me and my students a chance to discover if we are a good fit. When it comes to teaching, a good fit is the highest value add you can offer.

A Sample Proposal

Sounds like your boys could really use some help building success in their schooling! As a fanatic reader (I just read an 800 page novel for fun in 3 days), a professional writer, and tutor, I understand the need to connect with children to help them learn to love our written language. Because of that necessary connection, I offer my first reading/writing session free to determine if my style of teaching and relating works with my students’ style of learning.

As you see in this proposal, I am proposing to offer an hour of my time teaching students in order to establish a fit.

No Gimmicks, No Hype

In giving value-laden information, you need to take care to avoid hype and gimmicks in order to get the sale. When I go and meet with a client, I will not always ask for the next session (because sometimes I know the tutoring won’t work). But, a client may not want to go forward with me, and that is OK. Whether you are creating content for someone, providing a service like teaching, or making a virtual or physical product, it is important to provide enough value that they can see the benefit of your service and qualify their own sale.

When I go to a free session, I provide the same service as I do at a paid session. Because, once I sit down with a student, my goal is to see them succeed, not to get a long-term working relationship. In tutoring, long-term relationships are the goal, as they are in writing and many other service industries.

We must remember what makes us excited and passionate about our work. Whether it comes to my writing or my tutoring, my passion is to see others succeed through the work I do.

This is the value of inbound marketing: you can always succeed if you help others meet their goals, and with enough value, your clients will close themselves. Rather than using pressure to succeed, keep providing value to your leads and give them the opportunity to join you in the journey.

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