Month: February 2017

♥ / This Is Ground

♥ / This Is Ground

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Big thanks to This is Ground for sponsoring my blog and RSS feed this week!

At This Is Ground we make leather accessories for tech & travel. We’re excited that the Swissmiss audience is the first to know that the Tech Dopp Kit 2 will be released very soon. The TDK is a place to store your electronic gear such as camera equipment, remote controls, batteries, mobile devices, USB cords, plugs, and anything else you need at your travel destination. The second generation provides even more flexibility for your essentials as well as more space for things that are bulky and hard to travel with.

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Marketing,Design

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February 28, 2017 at 09:01AM

Why a Prospect You Want Chooses Your Competitor

Why a Prospect You Want Chooses Your Competitor

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"No one cares about how good you are until after they know they can trust you." – Stefanie Flaxman

You had trouble sleeping again last night.

Up until the time you got into bed, you were looking at their Twitter feed, their Facebook page, and their website.

It’s your competitor.

You’re completely preoccupied with everything they do … and for a seemingly good reason. Their customer base seems to keep growing and they keep expanding their offerings, while you’re just trying to keep your head above water.

You constantly ask yourself:

“What will it take for my business to be viewed like theirs?”

While it’s natural for that question to arise in your mind, it may stifle your progress if you’re thinking in terms of duplicating their marketing efforts.

Prospects don’t want to see a carbon copy of another business and you don’t want to obsess about competitors anymore, so I’m going to show you how you can immediately become energized about and sharply focused on your own marketing ideas instead.

The heavy lifting content marketing can do for you

Brian’s recent post about how to build trust and Sonia’s post about how to stop being boring are two sides of the same content marketing strategy coin.

The benefits of creating not boring content are essentially everything you wish to achieve with content marketing.

It allows you to build an audience of interested prospects who trust you to solve their problems.

They trust you because they know your personality. They know your sense of humor. They know your favorite analogies. Your word-choice preferences. What irritates you. What warms your heart.

They want to hear from you. You’re their go-to resource.

So, if a prospect chooses a competitor over your business, it’s likely because your competitor has revealed themselves to their audience in ways that you haven’t … yet.

What’s editing got to do with it?

The example we’re going to look at today comes from the service business world — specifically an editor who offers his services to clients — but you’ll be able to see how these ideas can be applied to any niche or product.

There can be a difference between what you think your prospect needs to hear and what your prospect actually needs to hear.

In order to explain why he is qualified to edit a prospect’s writing, an editor might write on his website that:

  • He pays fierce attention to detail.
  • He is a “grammar nerd,” with extensive training and experience.
  • He loves working with writers.

And in order to explain the benefits that prospect will receive from hiring him, the editor might state:

  • Your draft will be flawless when it’s returned to you.
  • It will be returned to you on time.
  • You’ll get feedback about common mistakes you make.

All of those statements sound informative and professional, but here’s a secret about writers:

Every writer thinks their final draft is perfect. Most only have someone else edit and proofread their work for good measure.

If a writer is your prospect, you have to do something else to win her business.

No one cares about how good you are until after they know they can trust you

Those bullet points above don’t impress the prospect, and even if they did, the majority of other editors offering their services on the web make the exact same claims.

When selecting an editor, the prospect is actually concerned about the intimate act of another person — a stranger — reviewing and revising her writing.

She wants to know if she can trust the editor with her draft and if she’d like working with him. She’s less concerned about whether or not the editor knows the difference between “compliment” and “complement.”

How do you get someone to trust you?

Even though you may superficially provide the same product or service as your competitor, you choose to attract the exact right prospects for your business.

When you decide to not be boring, you step into your power as a creative content marketer — an artist who reveals himself to his audience and builds trust.

Like your favorite painter or musician.

This is the fun part.

When you create a variety of content that helps your prospects with the issues they struggle with, the most important thing to remember is:

Information does not equal content.

If someone could find what you create on Wikipedia or your competitor’s blog, your content will not be the type that builds trust over time.

The type that builds trust produces a valuable, entertaining experience for your audience member and has a clear, unique payoff.

Your content is an opportunity for you to take knowledge you’ve acquired and supercharge it with your perspective. Then you’ll share your creations to reach the people who are attracted to your communication style.

The complete package

Now, you do have to provide an outstanding product or service once a prospect accepts your offer.

That’s why an editor should know the difference between “compliment” and “complement.”

All that trust you’ve built won’t help if you don’t fulfill your promise.

But think about the powerhouse force that is in motion when you’ve built enough trust to make a sale — and then meet (or even exceed) your customer’s expectations?

You’ve become the only reasonable choice for that person and made the competition irrelevant.

And when you nurture your existing customer base, you’ll get testimonials to display on your website that further demonstrate your trustworthiness. Those happy customers will also recommend you by word of mouth if someone they know needs a product or service like yours.

It all starts with smart content.

Consider that question from earlier again:

“What will it take for my business to be viewed like theirs?”

If your competitor’s business seems less interesting now … good. You’ll have a lot more free time to get to work.

Image source: Gwen Weustink via Unsplash.

The post Why a Prospect You Want Chooses Your Competitor appeared first on Copyblogger.

Marketing

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February 28, 2017 at 01:18AM

Hate In America

Hate In America

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Do we blame the internet or income inequality, the inability to rise above and get ahead?

Every damn day people tell me I’m an asshole online. And let me tell you, if I say something negative about you or your project, it’s open season, it doesn’t surprise me when you reach out and castigate me. But when there’s no nexus, I don’t know you and you don’t know me, why such vitriol?

Used to be society was divided into those who ruled and those who were ruled. And we kind of liked this, because we had economic mobility, we thought if we just put our nose to the grindstone we could get ahead. But then mothers were working alongside fathers and bills went up and income stayed stagnant and everybody started to scratch their head and say, “Wait a minute here…”

Now the paradigm’s been blown apart. The elites think they rule but they don’t. That  was the story of the Presidential election, those who knew better left behind those who supposedly didn’t and those on the losing end decided to give the middle finger to the winners of society, the educated, the advantaged, even if it was against their best interests, because as the bard from Minnesota once told us, when you’ve got nothing, you’ve got nothing to lose.

And the artists are a black hole. Chasing a buck too. Anybody with power refuses to go on record in any meaningful way for fear of alienating a potential customer and the nobodies keep clamoring for attention, when they’re not hating online.

But now they’re tipping over headstones.

I want to know why this is the Jews’ problem, please tell me what my tribe did to become the most hated. Seems we’re decried even more than immigrants. But that bozo shot those Indians in Kansas and what’s even scarier is the nincompoops have guns, it’s like the wild west, if you feel safe…

You aren’t.

But what’s funny is those who feel most at risk aren’t. Those red state denizens where the terrorists don’t go, because there aren’t enough people there. Believe me, they’re going to Oklahoma and Idaho last. But we must beef up the military for a perceived threat that doesn’t exist, when we can blow up the world many times over and we cozy up to the real enemy, Russia.

Makes your head spin, doesn’t it?

But no one wants to accept any blame. Trump wants more facts before he weighs in on Kansas, even though he heard rumors of election fraud and cheering Muslims in New Jersey and had no problem rushing to judgment and pontificating on those subjects. Because golfer Bernhard Langer, not even a citizen, is a more trustworthy authority than the media.

If you’re educated, if you’re doing your job, you’re scorned.

How can this be?

I get it, people have been left behind. But does this mean we give up on facts, we give up on truth, we no longer respect those who are educated and informed? What next, rogue doctors performing surgeries after learning their craft on YouTube?

So the elites won’t acknowledge that globalism results in losers who must be helped and the losers keep telling us we need less government and more guns but we had better not cut their Obamacare.

This is the county we’re living in. One where no one seems to be in control.

We as a society should be excoriating hate. We should be shaking our fists and rallying for truth and understanding.

But everybody’s watching their own news and so much of it is biased and everybody feels powerless so they just yell at each other, over and over again, all the damn time.

But words hurt less than actions.

Once you start shooting people in the name of hatred, once you start vandalizing Jewish cemeteries, calling in bomb threats to Jewish Community Centers, you’ve got a major societal problem. One that we must be led out of.

But who is leading, who do we respect anymore?

I can’t respect a President who believes everything he sees on Fox is right.

And I can’t respect a Democratic elite that left the working man behind.

But I do know we’re only human, flesh and blood.

They teach us to be good citizens…

But now Betsy DeVos wants to eviscerate public schools, even though the latest research shows vouchers result in lower test scores. We want to segregate ourselves more. By race, by religion, by income.

And endgame is?

They’re coming for you next. Don’t think you’re immune. You can pray to your God all you want but that won’t make you safe. Your only choice is to love and understand your brothers and sisters, but this is hard to do when you have trouble making ends meet.

The media has been neutralized. Trump is fanning the flames of discord.

And I’m very scared. Because I’ve been on this planet quite a while and have never seen it this bad. Where anti-Semitism is legitimized. Where immigrants are the root of all problems. Where truth is for pussies and we make up alternative facts that befit our desired scenarios.

Come on, what kind of coarse society do we live in where every immigrant has to be afraid of being rounded up and kicked out while the poor aliens are picking out fruit and the rich aliens are aiding breakthroughs in Silicon Valley. I’m not saying people should be able to cross borders willy-nilly, but if you think the major issue in this country is immigration, you’re not looking at the real problem.

You and me. Who’ve been here from day one. We’re standing by as our society fails, feeling hopeless as we yell at each other online, pointing fingers at everyone but ourselves.

A change has got to come.

And it’s got to start with us.

We are America. We make policy. We have power.

And I don’t care who is in office, who won any election, this hatred has got to stop.

Marketing

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February 27, 2017 at 11:35AM