Archive for How to…Tips

Client Testimonials: Readers Know When They’re Phony

Client-TestimonialsThere’s no doubt that social proof is one of the key ways people decide to buy or try your products or services.  But if you don’t have a lot of clients, or you’re starting a new business or product, how do you get quality client testimonials?

I get asked about this by some of my consulting clients. Nothing can backfire and destroy trust and credibility more quickly than phony testimonials.

I was working with a client who – now that he owned his own business – didn’t feel comfortable using testimonials he had acquired when he was part of a team effort, working for someone else.

I don’t blame him. Even though he had a solid reputation as an expert in his field, he was concerned about authenticity and sincerity. He was afraid that the client’s comments were not genuine because they were not about his new company, products and services.  And he is right: Readers can smell a phony testimonial a mile away. Read More→

How to Make Social Proof Work for You

Social-Proof

When writing on the web about your services or products, I can’t emphasize enough the importance of testimonials and client reviews. Social proof is such a strong persuasion trigger you shouldn’t limit these comments to just a page, but have them scattered throughout your web and blog pages.

Know what works best for your content marketing strategies, especially when creating a website or blog, introducing yourself, a new product, or special promotion.

In my previous post, Social Proof: Why It’s So Important, I reported on research that showed travel destinations with client recommendations and photos of the reviewer were selected 20 percent more than destinations with no review.

But not all recommendations (and ratings) will yield the same results. According to Dr. Susan Weinschenk, in her book Neuro Web Design: What Makes Them Click: Read More→

Best Kept Secret of an Email Newsletter Bio

Email-NewsletterWhat’s the best kept secret of a newsletter bio? As I mentioned in my last post, your bio on your blog or website About page should be current and tell a story, rather than be a resume written in the third person. The same is true for an email newsletter bio.

Unfortunately, I see many coaches and consultants use their resumes for their sidebar bio. (“Dr. Smith has 20 years experience in strategic planning and holds an MBA from Harvard, etc.”)

Then there are those who go to the other extreme: They tell too much about their achievements and come across like an ego-maniac.

While everyone wants to know about who you are as the author of an email newsletter, mostly they want to know “what’s in it for me.” (WIIFM) Read More→

5 Key Elements for Your “About” Page:
How to Tell Your Story

About-Page-My-StoryWhen’s the last time you updated your bio on your About page on your blog or website?

Smart bloggers know that this is one of the most visited pages: People want to know who’s behind a business. Personalities count. Yet many blogs and sites have a standard resume written in the third person, boring as all get-out.

Certainly client lists are important. But so are you. An About page is an important content marketing opportunity. Tell your story, your real story. If you are the sole author of your blog, write it in the first person. Read More→

Story Telling for Blogs

What's Your StoryDo you use story telling on your blog or website?

For anyone involved in persuading others (i.e., everyone), success depends on cutting through the noise and clutter to make the sale or persuade others to adopt our point of view.

Storytelling sells and persuades because it’s an innate skill that has evolved over centuries—something we all know how to do.

In fact, a storytelling gene (FOXP2), discovered in 2001, gives us the physical and neurological skills needed to speak words rapidly and precisely. We use these language abilities to form complex sentences in the proper storytelling sequence. Read More→

2 Sure-Fire Ways to Inspire Your Blog Writing

Business-blog-writingA few years ago I polled readers and asked what their biggest blogging challenge is. Turns out, it’s not lack of time, it’s lack of inspiration. Does your blog writing lack inspiration? Is it hard to get really fired up when starting to write a post?

I get that.  When I was just starting out as a blogger (was that really over 15 years ago?!) I could just feel that screen staring right back at me.  What can a blogger blog about to other bloggers?

Lack of inspiration comes from not being sure you’re doing it right, or doing it well, and lack of confidence that it will be worth it… in other words, fear and doubt.

Fear and doubt go away when you know what you’re doing, and have a system that will allow you to move forward confidently.

Here are two ways you can side-step fear and doubt, and write frequent, consistent quality posts and develop a blogging habit that will grow your abilities over time. Nobody starts out writing well. Yet, everybody’s got a piece of genius within them, so it’s a question of finding it and putting it on paper, quickly, before any demons get in the way. Read More→

Secrets of Busy Bloggers:
4 Social Media Time Savers

Social Media BloggingMany of my readers are busy professionals who don’t have a lot of time for blogging or social media. But marketing is vital, especially if you’re growing a business, want to get found, get known, and get clients.

For those of you who have the bare minimum of time, and still want to get results, here are a few social media tips and tricks I’ve used. I must be doing something right: these tips have resulted in new clients directly from Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

1. Use social media.

Read More→

Don’t Fall Prey to Auto-Feeds:
Your Blog Posts Deserve a Personal Introduction

Social MediaMany people who fell prey to the Auto-feed short-cut introduced by Facebook found that it did much more harm than good. And it’s understandable why they did it: how can you have time for social media, when you struggle with creating consistent, relevant blog content?

While it may have saved time initially, there were costs in the long run. The same is true for auto-feeds to LinkedIn, Twitter, and all the other social media sites. Although this seems like a good idea, it may do you more harm than good.

Here are 4 reasons why you should NOT automatically feed your blog posts into these social media sites: Read More→

Blog Design Blink Test:
Simple, Easy Navigation

Navigation and SimplicityIn order to impress visitors and showcase your business expertise, your blog must pass the “blink” test.

As I mentioned in my previous post, your blog design must incorporate three critical elements:

  1. Branding/Personality (Banners, logo, photos)
  2. Navigation/Simplicity (Layout, use of white space and read more)
  3. Quality Content (Problems you solve for your readers)

Navigation/Simplicity

Your blog design should offer easy navigation, easy ways to find solutions to their problems.

Read More→

Does Your Blog Pass the Blink Test?
3 Critical Blog “Must Haves”

Blink TestDoes your blog pass the blink test? Content is king, but if your design stinks, visitors won’t get past the banner. They won’t stay, they won’t get to know you and they won’t subscribe to your blog.

I mentioned this in my previous post: in order to impress visitors and showcase your business expertise, your site must pass the “blink” test.  If it doesn’t, you could be spending a lot of your valuable time blogging for nothing.

Bad blog design = bad marketing = no new business. Stinks, doesn’t it?

The three critical blog “must have” elements you need to consider:

  1. Branding/Personality (Banners, logo, photos)
  2. Navigation/Simplicity (Layout, use of white space and read more)
  3. Content (Problems you solve for your readers)

Branding/Personality

Read More→