What is the best source of advertising?

Tags

, , , , , ,

With social media use at an all time high, many wonder what the best source of advertising is these days and how best to leverage it.  While the oldest form of advertising, your reputation through word-of-mouth … online or offline…is still THE most influential social media platform. It’s in the numbers…

  1. 86% of consumers trust word of mouth recommendations from family, colleagues, and friends about products and services.
  2. 90% of consumers research reviews before purchasing a product or service.
  3. 59% of consumers enjoy sharing their buying experience with others in brand-related conversations.
  4. Customers acquired through word of mouth spend 200% more than the average customer and make twice as many referrals.
  5. 49% of U.S. consumers say family and friends are their top sources of brand awareness.
  6. A consumer is 50x more likely to purchase a product or service if recommended by a close friend or family member.
  7. It takes just 1000 customers to generate 500,000 brand-related conversations.

It’s no wonder that for centuries, people have been forming everyday preferences and making HUGE decisions based on word of mouth. It’s simple. It’s powerful. Best of all…it’s readily available.

So how do you make the most of and protect your reputation? As more small businesses use organic networks to boost their personal brand and their leads, having forethought and being proactive are key. It begins by developing a word-of-mouth marketing strategy that leverages the power of recommendations and referrals.

Want to learn more about how we Edit, Promote, and Educate? Contact us today!

To Oxford or not…

Tags

, ,

To Oxford or not … has been a subject of great debate of late with plenty of buzz surrounding whether to use an Oxford comma when writing content. For those who are not in-the-know, the Oxford comma is the use of a comma before the words “and”, “or”, or “nor” at the end of a list. To be fair, its use is grammatically optional, technically speaking, in American English. However, depending on the list you are writing, its omission can lead to some confusion. For example, in a recent article, Buzzfeed cited some very funny, if not innocuous reasons why you should always use the Oxford comma. In other instances, its lack of use have brought Corporate CEOs and World leaders alike to their knees… literally and figuratively… with a few winding up in the courtroom.

Case in point… a group of dairy drivers from Oakhurst Dairy in Portland, Maine argued that according to the company’s written guidelines, they deserved overtime pay for certain tasks they had completed. The company, however, disagreed. The drivers took the case to court, with an appeals court siding with the drivers, saying that the company’s guidelines were ambiguous. Why? Turns out because it lacked an Oxford comma. You be the judge.

In short, the guidelines read: “The canning, processing, preserving, freezing, drying, marketing, storing, packing for shipment or distribution of:
(1) Agricultural produce;
(2) Meat and fish products; and
(3) Perishable foods.”

In reading the guidelines, it begs the question: Is packing for shipment its own activity, or does it only apply to the rest of that clause, “distribution of agricultural produce, etc.”?
All of this could have been simply resolved if only the company had included the use of an Oxford comma in its guidelines, clearly stating “packing for shipment” and “distribution” as separate activities. In siding with the plaintiff, the appeals court stated that the drivers distribute perishable food, but don’t pack it.

Yes… a real court case with the Portland, Maine based dairy company losing millions of dollars in back overtime pay for their drivers all because they chose not to use the Oxford comma.

So while style experts may continue to disagree on whether to use the Oxford comma, its lack of use is increasingly illustrating why it is now considered THE most important punctuation mark of all time!

Want to learn more about how we Edit, Promote, and Educate? Contact us today!

7 Ways to Educate Clients

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , ,

7 ways to empower and educate your clients about what you do…

1.       Be known as a problem solver. Clients seek help from those who understand what they’re going through and can help them navigate the issues. E-mail, call, or meet up with clients at regular intervals to stay abreast of their issues. From those conversations, develop products / services and content that help them solve their problems.

2.       Be engaging with hands on experiences. Most people are visual or kinesthetic learners – they need to see, feel and have their hands on something to really learn and understand how it works. Organize workshops and hands on experiences that allow your clients to touch, watch, or experience your product or service in action with live demos, or simulations and samples for them to test out. Follow up with those who have positive experiences about writing a product review.

3.       Be transparent. Prospects and clients alike respect industry leaders who can speak authoritatively about overcoming their struggles the hard way. Create and share useful content such as tutorials, how to guides, hacks and tips on your website or blog so that your clients can learn from your mistakes. Educate your client and develop your relationship further by sharing your personal experiences and the lessons you’ve learned along the way as proof that you are knowledgeable about their issues.

4.       Demonstrate value. Your best value proposition is showing who you are, your passions, and your values. Allow your clients to actively interact with your brand in real time. Repurpose and repackage your existing content into micro-content for sharing on social media to educate your prospects and promote your larger offerings. The more life experiences you share with your audience, the more they will forge a more unique, personal connection with you rather than with your competition.

5.       Help your client achieve optimal results. Organize webinars and face-to-face workshops where customers can learn ways in which to use lesser known features of your product or service for making the most of your offerings.

6.       Share the spotlight by taking testimonials to a whole new level. Solicit and upload your clients’ homemade videos for posting into a video blog (vlog).  What better ways is there to share the many creative ways your clients are using your product or service as well as unique or lesser known features they found helpful?

7.       Learn together by conducting Q&As with industry leaders who you think do great work. It’s a great way for you and your clients to learn together as well as expand your knowledge and expertise.

 Want to learn more about how we Edit, Promote, and Educate? Contact us today!

 

Promoting Your Business for Free

Tags

, , ,

The following are 7 ways in which you can promote your business. The best part? They’re free!

  1. Practice your micro-pitch. What better way is there to start a conversation with prospects than to introduce yourself and your brand with a short, clever 30-second micro-pitch.
  2. Offer a free consultation meeting. Continue the conversation by offering a one-time, no-strings attached meeting to introduce your product or service and its value proposition.
  3. Speak at a professional conference. Spotlight your business by presenting your vision , discussing trends, or sharing your expertise with a live audience.
  4. Create an e-newsletter. Sending an attractive e-newsletter to your existing and potential clients on a regular basis is a highly effective way of sharing the value your products or services offer in solving a business need.
  5. Start a blog. Write your own blog or reach a broader audience by following and writing guest posts on blogs with a large readership.
  6. Have happy clients share their experience. Word of mouth advertising is the oldest and still the most effective way of promoting your business. What others say is always more authentic than whatever you have to say about yourself and your business.
  7. Promote the good works of others. Get people’s attention by tagging social media profiles of others and sharing their good works in your posts.

Want to learn more about how we Edit, Promote, and Educate? Contact us today!

Cutting to the Chase

The following are 7 editing tips to tighten your copy:

  1. Cut long sentences in two. While they may grammatically correct, long sentences tend to contain two or more ideas. Limit each sentence to one idea.
  2. Keep to a single voice. It can be confusing to the reader start off a piece of writing using “I” then halfway through addressing the reader as “you”. Stick to “I” or “you” throughout.
  3. Focus on the positive. Quickly flip your script by explaining what something is rather than what it is not. For example, rather than saying what not to wear at a restaurant, rephrase it by describing what to wear instead.
  4. Keep it simple. Some people think that using big words make them look smart. In reality, it may intimidate the very readers you want to attract. Use small words that pack a punch. If you can’t think of one, your Thesaurus may just become your best friend.
  5. Nix “that”. In most cases, adding the word, “that” to your sentences has no value and only makes them longer.
  6. Stay active rather than passive (voice wise that is). While use of passive voice is not wrong, sentences in active voice tend to be more concise and more direct than those in passive voice. Further, fewer words are required to express action in active voice than in passive. For example, in passive voice you may say, “the bird was killed by the cat”. In active voice, suffice it to say, “the cat killed the bird.”
  7. Refer to people as “who”, not “that”.  For example, “Mary is the elderly woman who speaks wisely” rather than “Mary is the elderly woman that speaks wisely.”

Want to learn more about how we Edit, Promote, and Educate? Contact us today!