Do the Right Thing for Your Business … and Your Audience

This week was all about doing the right thing — being cool, kind, ethical, and respectful. Not in spite of your business goals, but to support them. Because it turns out, most people would actually rather do business with someone who isn’t a complete tool. On Monday, Stefanie Flaxman talked about content authenticity — what it means, and how it jibes with holding your audience’s attention by producing a high-quality performance experience. Can we be authentic and still deliver a great performance with our content? We think the answer is absolutely yes. On Tuesday, I thought it would be useful to remind everyone that we have a great, free session coming up with Tim Paige on how to make more sales with webinars (or other sales situations) … without turning into a weird saleshole. We’ll be meeting on Tuesday, June 26 at 12:00 Noon Eastern U.S. Time, and you can […]

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Join Us for a Free, In-Depth Workshop on Selling

At Copyblogger, we love to teach! We really have a great time teaching copywriting, content strategy, search engine optimization, social media strategy … The one thing we don’t teach? Selling. Because it’s not what we’re fantastic at. Fortunately, we found someone who is fantastic at it, without being … a creepy weirdo. (There, I said it.) His name is Tim Paige. He’s genuine, funny, nice, and seriously good at selling. Tim’s going to be leading a free workshop for us to help sharpen up our selling skills. (And let me be clear: I’ll be the first one in there, with my notebook open and ready to take a million notes.) If you’d like to improve your selling skills for your product, service, course, or other offering, Tim will help you get there. Without making it weird. Join us on Tuesday, June 26, at 12:00 Noon Eastern U.S. Time You can […]

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Do the Right Thing for Your Business … and Your Audience

This week was all about doing the right thing — being cool, kind, ethical, and respectful. Not in spite of your business goals, but to support them. Because it turns out, most people would actually rather do business with someone who isn’t a complete tool. On Monday, Stefanie Flaxman talked about content authenticity — what it means, and how it jibes with holding your audience’s attention by producing a high-quality performance experience. Can we be authentic and still deliver a great performance with our content? We think the answer is absolutely yes. On Tuesday, I thought it would be useful to remind everyone that we have a great, free session coming up with Tim Paige on how to make more sales with webinars (or other sales situations) … without turning into a weird saleshole. We’ll be meeting on Tuesday, June 26 at 12:00 Noon Eastern U.S. Time, and you can […]

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Join Us for a Free, In-Depth Workshop on Selling

At Copyblogger, we love to teach! We really have a great time teaching copywriting, content strategy, search engine optimization, social media strategy … The one thing we don’t teach? Selling. Because it’s not what we’re fantastic at. Fortunately, we found someone who is fantastic at it, without being … a creepy weirdo. (There, I said it.) His name is Tim Paige. He’s genuine, funny, nice, and seriously good at selling. Tim’s going to be leading a free workshop for us to help sharpen up our selling skills. (And let me be clear: I’ll be the first one in there, with my notebook open and ready to take a million notes.) If you’d like to improve your selling skills for your product, service, course, or other offering, Tim will help you get there. Without making it weird. Join us on Tuesday, June 26, at 12:00 Noon Eastern U.S. Time You can […]

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Turn Off Bad Pop Music and Turn On Good Marketing Strategy

This week, we got into the sadness of crummy email marketing, the delight of writing productivity, and the puzzle of why anyone ever treated marketing and selling like they were two completely different things. On Monday, Stefanie Flaxman talked about how weak email marketing is even weaker than Nickelback. (Wow.) Apologies in advance for any earworms that might get stuck in your head. On Tuesday, Loryn Thompson took the “woo woo” out of journaling, and applied her data nerd skills to looking at what a daily journaling habit did for her writing — and how to fine-tune your habits so you can make more progress on the goals that matter to you. And on Wednesday, I asked whether there’s still a difference between sales and marketing. Spoiler answer: Yes, but the line is a lot blurrier than it used to be. Over on Copyblogger FM, I talked with Tara Gentile […]

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Is There Still a Difference Between Marketing and Selling?

Back when I worked in the corporate world, our organization, like many, had a great, big invisible wall between marketing and sales. The marketers crafted messages, thought about fonts and brand colors, produced beautiful brochures and websites, and figured out new ways to get people to know our company existed. The end result of this work and money were “leads” — folks who might buy our product. The salespeople, a golden, confident team, took those leads and turned them into customers. In the five years I was with that company, I never saw anyone in marketing mosey on over to the sales floor and ask them what we could do to make their jobs easier. We did our piece and they did theirs, and that’s how things were. Officially, we were all part of the same happy family. There were meetings and initiatives. But unofficially, the marketing folks rarely made […]

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Ethical Marketing in an Age of Creeps

The phrase “ethical marketing” has always struck some folks as an oxymoron. Isn’t “marketing” just another word for lying, deceiving, and manipulating someone into buying a product or service? Yeah, no. There have always been plenty of good folks in the selling and marketing game. They just tend to be a little less noticeable than ones who rely on high pressure, tricks, or downright deception. On Monday this week, Stefanie Flaxman shared five real-world examples of marketing that’s helpful and useful, not sleazy. On Tuesday, Stefanie helped uncover your version of “autosave” — the genuinely beneficial difference in your business that makes life a ton better for your clients or customers. If you don’t know what that is yet, it’s a great time to start figuring that out. And on Wednesday, Brian Clark revealed that we’re on the cusp of a big shift in digital marketing and sales — one […]

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Web Personalization: The Future of Digital Marketing and Sales Is Now

In the beginning, the business website was a mere brochure. Low value, low shareability, low findability. Around 2005, a big shift happened thanks to content. Cutting-edge business websites became educational resources with valuable content that ranked well in search engines and benefited from the sharing functionality of emerging social media. Soon, “cutting edge” became the expected norm due to the content marketing revolution. Low-value brochure sites became invisible to search and social, and quickly abandoned by visitors who managed to come across them. We’re on the cusp of another big shift. One that will quickly become the expected norm for all websites, and yet will again provide a huge competitive advantage to early adopters. In other words, the concept of what a website should be has changed dramatically once again. Here’s how to get a jump on it. Personalization Will Transform Your Business There are still, without doubt, huge benefits […]

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Sign Up for Our Free Workshop on Persuasive Presentations

On Monday, I unveiled our new Copyblogger book club. We’ve been having a great time working through Ursula Le Guin’s Steering the Craft, and we’d love to have you with us! On Tuesday, webinar “gun for hire” Tim Paige swung by the blog to talk about one of the things that can make webinars so awkward — that creepy tension that builds while you’re waiting to find out what the presenter is trying to sell. Tim has a surprisingly simple solution … as well as a brand-new course he’s going to be teaching with Copyblogger on persuasive presentations. On Wednesday, I talked a bit about ethical, effective ways we can use webinars to promote our businesses. And I touched on a few key points I’ve learned from Tim about how to keep things graceful. I also let you know about a workshop we’re going to be holding next week, on […]

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Join Us Live to Learn Smarter Ways to Sell with Webinars

When I first heard about “webinar hired gun” Tim Paige, I really was a bit skeptical. I’ve read and watched a lot of sales education, and most of it is a horrible fit for me. Either the tactics feel weird and manipulative (and I’m never going to get the personality transplant I’d need to implement them). Or it’s “just be amazeballs and people will buy.” In other words, don’t do any of that terrible selling, just hope someone feels like making a purchase. Which I can handle on my own, thanks. Because I do run a business and I like to do things like pay my mortgage, I’ve become a student of conversion, copywriting, and sales techniques that don’t make me throw up in my mouth (not even a little). “Effective, ethical selling” has been my watchword for the approaches I gravitate to. And I dig Tim Paige. Here’s why. […]

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Overcome Webinar Offer Anxiety and Get Your Audience to Buy

Think back to a webinar you attended in the past. You signed up for that online training for a reason, right? Maybe you dug the topic, or you really liked the host. Or maybe you were genuinely interested in buying what that webinar might be selling, but you wanted to learn more about the product first. Then the day of the session arrived. You tuned in, ready to take notes. It started out well. The host was articulate, knowledgeable, and had a lot to say. But as the well-meaning host opened up their mind and spewed a ton of information, the minutes started to tick away. And you found yourself wondering: “Yeah, that’s great, but what are you trying to sell me?” After all, you know how it works. No one hosts a webinar just to give away free knowledge. Therefore, they’re trying to sell you something. The webinar continues. […]

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Getting Comfortable (and Effective) at Selling Your Product or Service

This week, we have some resources to help you actually Sell the Thing. Because you can create magnificent content all day long, pull together a wonderful audience, and produce a glorious product or service. But if you lack the skills to Sell the Thing, you don’t get the benefit of all that hard work. On Monday, Stefanie Flaxman outlined crucial “survival skills” for service providers — the ones that will help you set boundaries and actually enjoy your clients. On Tuesday, Chris Garrett shared some simple ways to get started with relationship-building webinars. We’re cooking up a very cool resource for you that goes deep into this topic — and you can get a running start with Chris’s post today. And on Wednesday, I wrote about the discomfort a lot of folks feel when they think about selling — and what selling is really about. If you prefer audio, there’s […]

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What Ethical, Effective Selling Looks Like

There’s a well-loved myth out there that if you do something reasonably remarkable and distribute passionate content, you’ll automatically have an audience who will support you in style for the rest of your life. You don’t have to do anything scary. Like sell, for example. Now if that works for you, that’s terrific. So does it? The painful truth is that there are lots of trusted, loved, and wildly influential smart people out there who are working like maniacs creating amazing content. And who are nonetheless still broke. It’s easy to think that if your audience loves you, all that love will translate automatically into paying customers. But if one of your goals is a financial payoff from your content, you still have some work to do. You have to offer something they want Your Aunt Frances loves you very much, but if you’re a Prius dealer and she’s more […]

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3 Ways to Get Started with Relationship-Building Webinars

While we are often introduced to new and shiny marketing technologies, webinars are still great ways to interact with our audiences. They help you build relationships, teach, and discover and drill down on your audience’s wants, needs, objections, and problems. But the thought of producing webinars can be overwhelming if you don’t have experience with them, and gaining that experience might cause performance anxiety and confusion about the technology you should use. How can we get started, overcome technical obstacles, and host our webinars with confidence? First, forget the word “webinar” The word “webinar” can overcomplicate the platform and discourage you from trying one! A webinar is actually similar to a Skype or FaceTime call with friends and family. You’ll apply the same principles whether you’re using Google Hangouts, GoToWebinar, Zoom, Free Conference Call, or any other service provider. To get started, you need: A mic A reliable internet connection […]

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Voice-Over Coaching: Tips for improving external webinars, internal trainings and other content

Webinars, demos, videos, external online trainings, internal trainings posted to an intranet and many other types of inbound, outbound and internal content require voiceovers. But many marketers don’t have time or budget for professional voice-over (VO) artists, or they don’t want someone external representing the brand. So many content marketers, sales directors and marketing managers find themselves doing the voice-over work, even though that isn’t their expertise. A MECLABS Institute Research Partner (MECLABS is the parent organization of MarketingSherpa) recently found himself in this situation while preparing to record audio to go with PowerPoint presentations that would be hosted in an LMS (learning management system) for internal training. The MECLABS team suggested we connect to discuss the presentations (“Dan leads our publishing team and has conducted many interviews, webinars and training — he’d be a great resource to get some tips on how to best prepare and conduct the recordings […]

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How to Turn Leads into Clients with Modern Email Marketing

When it comes to building an audience that builds your freelance or consulting business, email remains the undisputed heavyweight champion. Email was the original “killer app” — everyone uses it, and that’s why it’s been the absolute best channel for digital marketing and audience building. And yes, that’s still true in 2018. The stats don’t lie. Every $1 spent on email marketing produces $44 in return, probably because 58% of adults wake up and immediately check their email (mostly on smartphones). And email remains 40 times better at converting people than Facebook and Twitter. But that doesn’t mean that email marketing is the same as it’s ever been in years past. In fact, this is the one area where technology gives strategic content marketers an undeniable edge. In other words, the money is still in your email list. But things have changed. Less Content, Better Experience The days of publishing […]

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A Blueprint for a Successful Short-Term Joint Venture Affiliate Campaign

November is Affiliate Month here on SPI. Last week we talked about long-term affiliate relationships, so today we’re going to be talking in depth about how to create a successful blueprint for a short-term JV (joint venture) affiliate promotion. How is a short-term affiliate opportunity different, and how can you plan your campaigns to take advantage of the opportunity in a shorter time span? Often there are times when you have the opportunity to promote a product that has some scarcity involved. Maybe it has limited access, discounted prices for a short time only—your goal is to crush it and become the top affiliate. Depending on the promotion, these opportunities can be golden, and you don’t want to waste the short time that you have. I’ll be talking about the different kinds of short-term affiliate opportunities available, how to get involved, and how to stand out from the other affiliates […]

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SPI 263: Laddering Up: How to Build a 7-Figure Business by Building a $7K per Month Business

Clay Collins of LeadPages returns to the Smart Passive Income Podcast for another incredible, value-packed (and potentially record-breaking) episode. This time, Clay is dropping serious knowledge on building a seven-figure business, step by step. [Full Disclosure: FYI, I’m a compensated advisor and an affiliate for LeadPages.] During his time as CEO and co-founder of LeadPages, Clay has watched his business grow from a humble blog to a seven-figure company with a sprawling array of product offerings. He’s got his process for scaling a successful business down to a science, and that’s what he’s sharing here today. Clay’s got big plans for this episode: He wants to break his own record for the most downloads of an SPI Podcast episode (Episode 78). He wants to pack hundreds of dollars of value—the equivalent of an online course—into one interview. And he wants you to walk away with a framework you can implement today to turn […]

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A Potent New Content Tool and the Power of “No”

This week we’re talking about chatbots, ruthless editing, and the impressive power of the word “No.” On Monday, I unpacked some of the reasons why I’m now a chatbot cheerleader. If you’re already familiar with this tool, feel free to mock me for not knowing about it sooner. (And really, I should have, because way back in October of 2016, Brian Clark was telling us that this type of tech would be the next great opportunity for writers.) I predict that the Copyblogger-style, audience-driven, “poet and killer” approach will be a huge factor of success with chat. On Tuesday, Stefanie Flaxman revealed that not only is her name No, but her sign is No, and her number, also, is No. And she gave some suggestions about what you should be saying Yes to, with all that free time you’ll gain. It’s a super useful post. On Wednesday, Loryn Thompson showed […]

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Free Workshop *Today* on an Awesome New Content Tool

First things first: Brian Clark is co-hosting a free workshop today (in a few hours, at 12:00 p.m. Pacific Time / 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time), all about getting started with chatbots. If you don’t know much about chatbots, or even think they might be weird or creepy, check out my post from Monday explaining why I’ve really turned around my opinion of these. (I turned that opinion around based on, um, finding out how they actually work.) You still have time to join us for the workshop … just drop your details here: https://botacademy.com/workshop-registration/?wid=brianclark If you see this too late, go ahead and drop your information anyway, and I’ll see if we can get a replay for folks who registered. Now then, let’s talk content. On Monday, I unpacked some of the reasons why I’m now a chatbot cheerleader. If you’re already familiar with this tool, feel free to mock […]

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