Your Core Beliefs are Your Best, NO – Only Marketing Tool

I had to share this fantastic thought piece from Mitch Lipon, founder of marketing agency Ignite XDS. His take on marketing is beyond fresh; it cuts right to the core.  Presented in full below, with his permission. Enjoy.

It seems like the world around us is moving faster than ever. People have neither the time, nor the desire to invest what it would take to become familiar with the details of what you offer them. At least, not in the beginning. That being said, if you are willing to share your deepest beliefs – the reasons your company was founded in the first place, the real value you offer the market…you might get them to take a few seconds to pause and notice you.

Consider Nike, one of the world’s most iconic Brands. Nike is actually nothing more than a commodity shoe manufacturer. There are plenty of shoe manufacturers in the world, and there are even many direct competitors in the athletic segment of their market. Nike however, stands head and shoulders above them all. But if you look at their marketing strategy you will notice they rarely, if ever, talk about shoes. Instead, they associate with great athletes, doing great things. They associate with the average person accomplishing personal goals. They associate with the challenge, the joy, and the pride of athletics. And they help you imagine you could be there. In the arena, on the podium, feeling the sense of victory and accomplishment. They tell you to Just Do It!

Simply put; getting your Brand noticed is not about describing the details, the how’s, and the what’s…It’s about sharing the values you hold most dear. Initial consumer reactions are always emotionally controlled. Your core values will tap into that emotion when your details will simply skip off the intended target. Know the details will certainly come into play eventually, if you really think about it for a second, just how exciting can a specifications sheet be after all? Doesn’t the prospect have to buy in first before the details really matter?

It’s always hard to open up. It’s hard to deviate from the way we’ve always done it. It’s hard to leave the details of what you do, and how you do it for a later time. But really, you have no choice. For it’s the Brands that give consumers something to attach themselves to, that will rush to the front of the line. They will “go viral”, and their vitality will become contagious, within their organization and the community. Success will come to the companies who dare to be real, who aren’t afraid to share their core beliefs, personally, and up front. If you believe as I do that the most dangerous place in the world, is the one where you play it safe and blend in, you really have no other choice. Market your Core Beliefs!

Build Your Brand and Your Site Traffic by Guest Blogging

Guest blogging for site trafficA tried-and true SEO strategy — guest blogging —  took a big hit during the recent Google SEO reboot, mainly because so many blogs include spam-filled, substandard content. Still, it’s a viable SEO tactic when done right, according to Perrin Carrell of Authority Hacker.

“As long as links are an important part of Google’s ranking algorithm (and they are), guest posting on reputable sites will continue to be one of the best ways to earn them,” Carrell explains.

But how can you avoid running afoul of Google’s current SEO algorithm when guest blogging and use it successfully build your brand?

Becoming a Successful Guest Blogger

Guest blogging not only provides informative and engaging content to site visitors, it also helps you build your brand image. Guest blogging drives traffic to your own website through back links contained within your posts, gaining attention for you and your business — as witnessed by this actual screen shot from Carrell’s site:

Guest posting results

Image source: Authority Hacker

But becoming a well-known guest blogger requires more than just putting words on the screen. To become a successful guest blogger, “you must write content that is high quality and targeted to your specific area of expertise or industry,” says Susan Gunelius, president and CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc.

Posting content-rich, useful guest posts allows you to position yourself as an authority in your area of expertise. To be a successful guest blogger, while staying in compliance with Google’s SEO algorithm, follow these rules:

  • Create high-quality content within your respective niche.
  • Make sure the content you create as part of a guest blog is useful and highly relevant.
  • When linking other sources in your guest post, use only relevant, organic hyperlinks from trusted sources.
  • When looking for blogs to post to, only post to reputable sites.

How to Prepare for a Guest Post on a Blog

Before writing a guest post for a blog, do some research; ask yourself these questions:

  • What level is the audience you are writing for — beginner, intermediate or advanced?
  • What is the audience type? A guest post for a business to business (B2B) audience will look quite different than a post for non-business sites, such as hobby-related content.
  • What type of content does the blog use? Read prior blogs on the site to see if they prefer the use of lists, general concepts or more in-depth information specific to a specific market.

Remember that when approaching a site you’d like to write a guest blog for, get to know the site owner beforehand by engaging them in conversation.

“The other reason why connecting first is a good idea is because it forces you to get to know the blogger that you’ll eventually pitch,” says Adam Connel of Blogging Wizard. “You’ll gain a deeper understanding of the types of topics they publish and how they write. So, you can use all of this understanding that you’ve built up when you eventually send them a pitch.”

The bottom line: You can effectively build your brand through guest blogging. Plus, the back links within your guest posts help drive traffic to your website, leading to even more guest blogging opportunities.


5 Tips to Proofread Your Own Writing

5 ways to proofread your own writingEvery January since 1975, the Lake Superior State University publishes their list of banished words from the preceding year. The complete list has more than 900 entries, words considered overused, misused or just plain nonsensical. It includes words like “babyboomers” from 1989, “BAE” from 2015, and “talk to the hand” from 1998. This year’s list contained something special: covfefe, a word that isn’t even a word, described as “an impulsive typo, born into a 140-character universe, somehow missed by the autocorrect feature.” Yes, even on Twitter it’s important to proofread your own writing.

We like to think that this year’s list also contained a lesson about just how loud a mistake can be. In 2018, resolve to proofread. The website Grammarly put together these five tips to help you be a bit more effective at proofreading and hopefully avoiding your own impulsive typos this year.

1) Start a list of your most common mistakes

 Everyone has a few grammar errors that they seem to make over and over again. Maybe you can’t ever seem to remember whether you need your or you’re or automatically click a misspelled ‘definitely’ over to ‘defiantly’. Start keeping a list of the items you have trouble with, along with the correct way of writing them. Keep the list somewhere visible. When you have easy access to answers for these common mistakes, you are more likely to double-check what you are writing. Once you develop the habit of writing it the correct way, you are less likely to trip on the same problems.

 2) Take a minute before you even start proofing

After you finish writing, go do something else before you begin proofing. Everyone knows that you are supposed to read it again before you hit send. But sometimes when you have been sweating over something you’ve written, reading it again is the last thing you want to do. Stop. Wait a minute. Get up, walk around, get a cup of coffee. Come back and look at it again. As Brittney Ross at Grammarly points out, “The more time that passes between writing and proofreading, the better you’ll be at spotting mistakes your brain skipped over the first time through.”

3) Proofread your own writing by reading it backwards

Did you know that according to a famous study done at Cambridge, for many people, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae? If you could still read the second part of that sentence, this kooky tip is for you. Our brains have a tendency to fill in misspelled or repeated words as correct, especially when we are familiar with the piece. Reading backward, slowly, word-by-word can help to correct for this. Your brain simply won’t be able to tell you that the words are correct, even if the first and last letters are in the right place.

4) Change how you are looking at it

Grammarly advises that you change how your writing looks and “zoom way in so you can see only one sentence at a time. Change the font. Print it out.”

Changing how it looks will make the text feel unfamiliar so that, once again, your brain is less likely to “fill in gaps and blind you to mistakes.” This tip is particularly helpful if you don’t have time to read it backward or let your writing sit for a while first. Think of it as a shortcut to seeing your work with fresh eyes.

5) Read it out loud

It might make you feel silly, but reading it out loud is the best proofreading technique. You’ll find yourself stumbling over typos when you say them out loud that your brain whizzes by when they are written. Taking your time and focusing on each word will help you spot misspellings. As a bonus, when people read their work out loud they find themselves changing sentences around and making phrasing less awkward.

Shut your office door, hide in a broom closet, or head to the abandoned bathroom that no one likes and read your work out loud. It will help you spot anything that confuses the reader because, effectively, you become the reader.

Here’s to a typo-free year!