Every now and then I get asked by my students, people I meet at our events, or just anybody else, "Where should I begin to learn about digital marketing?" It’s a tough question: We’re not doctors or lawyers, and there is no set career path or accredited certification required to practice our craft. I know people that have taken undergraduate and graduate degrees in our field, and I know people that have stumbled into it after working in unrelated careers for years. And neither path necessarily produces a better marketer. In my book, the best bang for the buck for somebody truly starting at square one are not necessarily traditional classrooms, but through a suite of tools that you can start right now in just a couple clicks.
When we work with authors and other thought leaders, one of the first questions we ask is “why should anybody care what you have to say?” This may seem a little blunt, but it’s the internal monologue that is running through a reader when they see your book on the shelf or hear your voice in an interview. Why are you the authority on the topic which you are speaking or writing about?
People lead busy lives and can’t deeply research each and every source of information or opinions that are bombarding them throughout the day. We all rely on shortcuts to help us sift through the noise and figure out who’s worth our limited attention. We look at brief biographical blurbs, first-line Wikipedia entries, and Twitter bios to figure out who you are and why we should care.
Though New Year’s resolutions catch a lot of flack from those that say it’s just another day, I’ve always believed that it is helpful to use this milestone as a focusing event to reflect, and ultimately improve. Any time that people can use an excuse to better themselves is good in my book.
That being said, we’re closed for a few days to observe the holidays and it’s a nice time to look on the year ahead with a clear head and nice cup of tea. As we are gearing up for 2020, here are three resolutions, or intentions if you will, that we have in our sights for the new year.
This holiday, with 2020 on the horizon, we decided to sponsor the gift of sight to people in need through donations to OneSight. There is a lot of beauty in this world (including some things we designed!) and even though most of our team needs glasses to take it all in, we’re fortunate that we get to see it. OneSight is on a mission to bring eye exams and glasses to the over one billion people around the globe who lack access to vision care. In honor of each one of our clients, we’re bringing vision to one patient.
A brand is not a logo, tagline, or jingle – a brand is a promise. A great brand is a promise that when you purchase product ABC, you will get qualities XYZ. McDonalds promises delicious, affordable, and quick food. Disney promises magical happiness. Harley Davidson promises big, loud machines for, in their own words, “macho men.” As you’re developing your own brand’s promise, it’s essence, it can be useful to examine one of our favorite models of defining a brand: Aaker’s Five Dimensions of Brand Personality.
While Facebook and Instagram seem to dominate the social strategy space, we're big believers in the power of Pinterest, a platform that shouldn’t be overlooked. A self-proclaimed search-engine-meets-social-tool, Pinterest is home to some 250 million users, making it a powerful network to meet new audience members, drive traffic, and make a sale. Pinterest differs from other social networks in a few different ways, chief among them that it’s more of a search tool than a social network.
Once a month, we order in some lunch and get together around a big table to discuss the latest installment in our company book club. We’re big believers in the continual pursuit of self-improvement, and there is always something (or many things) we can learn from others in our space and adjacent to it. With the year drawing to a close once again, we looked back on our shelf of dog-eared book club tomes and picked out our favorites. As is the case every year, not everything we read in 2019 was great, so these are just the hits.
Ninety-five million photos and videos are shared on Instagram each day, so if you want to stand out in a crowded feed, you’re going to need some tools in your arsenal. From learning how to create a consistent color scheme, to planning and scheduling Instagram posts, there’s never been a better landscape of apps you can use to improve your content, increase your engagement, and grow your Instagram audience.
If you’re thinking that the existence of your book is enough to move the needle on its own, you are poorly mistaken. Successful authors are proactive about building an audience, nurturing their communities, and maintaining a movement. Unsuccessful authors often do a lot of things in common too, including a few we’ve seen over and over. Here’s our top six mistakes that we see authors make when marketing their books and themselves.
There’s an old saying attributed to famed inventor Charles Kettering, “a problem well-stated in half-solved.” In life and in marketing, there is often a surprising lack of well-stated problems, which results in organizations wandering the desert in search of a miracle solution. When you’re working on designing a new website, either internally, as an agency, or as an independent consultant or freelancer, the first phase of the project is the discovery process – where you will define that problem and its elements.