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Have you even spoken with one of your clients or customers and gotten an earful of how amazing you are? Have you asked them to email you a testimonial or requested that they give you a linked -In recommendation only to find it never happens?

You probably already know the importance of featuring testimonials on your website.

Testimonials are an important part of your content mix. They can be used to provide proof and convince prospects to buy from you.

But, they can be hard to get if you don't have a process that makes it easy.

People get busy and forget. So, the best way to make it easy to get testimonials for your products and services is to automate the process.

testimonial form

#1. Create a Testimonial Request Template

The best way to get a testimonial is to ask. But, having to write a request every time you get a customer can feel like a lot, especially if you're super busy.

So, I recommend creating a standard template you can just copy and pop into an email to send to your client.

After you complete a project, simply send this email to your client. Here's a template you can use:

"Hello [client's name],

It was a pleasure working with you.

Your satisfaction is extremely important to me. Plus you're feedback is valuable in helping to ensure we provide the best results possible.

So, if you would take a few moments of your time to give us feedback on your experience, I'd greatly appreciate it.

Simply complete this short form here; {insert link to your form}.

Thanks again!

Your Sign Off"


#2. Create a Form Using Your Favorite Form Creation Tool

Now, you can easily have clients simply respond to your request by sending you their feedback via email. The problem with doing it this way is, you may get a "lazy" testimonial. A lazy testimonial looks like, "Working with you was great!".

That's a warm and fuzzy compliment, but it really doesn't communicate results. That's what you're going for. Feel free to use or tweak the questions I use on my testimonial form.

The best way to get a powerful testimonial is to have them answer a series of questions.

To create your form, you can use any form creation or auto-responder you have or check out the options below:


#3.Create a Thank You/Gift Page

testimonial-thanks.jpg?width=229After you create your email request and form, create a thank you page. Your thank you page can be as simple or complex as you like.

If you want to make it a sweet deal you can add a free gift as an incentive for them taking time to give their feedback.


One Last Thing...

After you've set this up you'll have a repeatable system that takes seconds not minutes.

But, I would recommend after you get your testimonials creating a swipe file for storing them. Choose the best ones and archive them. If you have a virtual office, that would be the place to store them it. If you use Google Forms, it's okay to just leave them there .

Select the most compelling testimonials and feature them on your website as proof you rock!
Kenya Halliburton

Get This Done!

Kenya Halliburton helps busy entrepreneurs who hate to write create compelling content and install proven marketing systems that win clients and cash. To learn more about how to get the content marketing systems featured in this article set up in your business, visit .


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What every busy entrepreneur needs to know about building a highly profitable list

Is Your List Making You Money?

It seems like a funny thing to ask, I know. But, the mantra "the money is in the list" has us slapping opt-in boxes on our web pages and waiting for the money to roll in.

How's that working for you? I know it did not work well for me until I had this epiphany.

The money is not in just having a list; it's in the relationship you build with them.

A list is just that, a list of people who have given you permission to market to them. So, the key to unlocking the money making potential you hear so much about requires you to market.

And for most entrepreneurs, that's easier said than done.

Why does it seem so easy for our marketing heroes and professional crushes to make money their lists while you struggle to build yours?

The truth is it isn't a matter of hard or easy, It comes down to strategic and consistent execution until you find what works for you and your subscribers.

So, how can you build a list that is a win - win for you and your subscribers?

Here are a few tips to help ensure you build a list of responsive subscribers, ready to take action on what you have to say & sell:

#1. Get In Tune with Your Ideal Customer's Deepest Challenges and Desires

If you don't get this right, fuuuget about it! And it's not enough to know this intuitively, especially if you're just starting out. You need to deliberately research this information and keep a running list you can reference on an ongoing basis. This will not only help you hit the bull’s-eye with the next tip, but also when it comes to your follow-up campaign.

#2. Create a Compelling Signature Lead Magnet or Opt-In Gift

Make the right first impression. Your lead magnet should be both relevant and helpful to your visitors and be a natural first step to doing business with you. Gone are the days people signed up for stuff just because it's FREE. These days people's email in-boxes overflow with hundreds of messages from people who want them to sell something, read something, and do something!

Use this criterion as a general guide:

  • Is this something I feel confident about referring my offline networking connections to?
  • Is this something that people would gladly pay money for if it were for sale?
  • Is it a natural first step to working with me?
  • Is it a good introduction to my core offerings?

If you are a little shaky on any of the above questions, look at ways to change or improve your offering so you feel confident about marketing it and driving traffic to it.

#3. Provide One-Time-Offers on Your Thank You/Download Page

The "Thank You" page is the least utilized web real estate. It offers a great opportunity for you to offer your new subscriber an opportunity to solve their problem at a higher level. And, it provides you an opportunity to make a sale. They are the most excited and engaged at this point so now's the time to give them a deal on a product or service they won't want to refuse.

#4. Identify & Tell Your Subscribers What to Do Next

Be sure to build into your opt-in process, instructions on what to do next. To make this the most effective, you'll want to build this call to action into your opt-in offer itself. If you are providing a report, insert your call to action in the beginning and at the end of your report. If you free offer is a video or audio series, be sure to end each session with your call to action.

Don't assume they will go back to your site to buy something or read something. Show them that you have taken the time to guide them towards getting the results they need.

#5. Create Effective Follow Up and Nurturing Email Campaigns

"What do I write about?" This is the reason most entrepreneurs aren't making money. You have to build the know, like and trust factor and train your subscribers to act on what you have to say and sell.

I recommend when you create your opt-in gift/lead magnet. Write you first 10 follow up messages at the same time. Otherwise, it may never get done.

Here's a sample sequence you can use to get started:

  • Email 1 - Welcome and set expectations
  • Email 2-9 - Give incredible value
  • Email 10 - Sell them something

Don't forget to work in a pitch every now and then. It's okay if you have been adding value, they will be hungry for it.

Examine your opt-in process and use the above tips to implement or improve your list building results. Understand that building a highly profitable list may take some testing and work. But, if you commit to the process, it will be well worth the reward in the end.

"Feedback is the breakfast of champions."
~ Ken Blanchard

And as a champion of your success, I'd be honored if you let me know what you thought about this article. Your tips, advice and comments are greatly appreciated!!!!!!!!!!!

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Top 10 Tips Every Busy Entretpreneur Needs to Know About Creating an Editorial Calendar

Is Creating an Editorial Calendar the Secret to Marketing Success?

If magazine editors waited for inspiration or for free time, no magazine would ever get published. So how do they churn out high quality content, month after month?

By creating and using an editorial calendar. And top bloggers and savvy entrepreneurs have learned this secret too.

An editorial calendar is a plan for producing regular written or media content, at regular intervals (e.g. monthly) at a perfect pace. It leaves you with deadlines you can use as a roadmap. You won’t have gaps in your postings and there’s no chance for people to forget who you are or give up on your blog.

And it can help eliminate writer’s block and last minute marketing sabotage. – the sort that leaves you realizing you forgot that your readers and subscribers were expecting Part Three of your series… yesterday!

1. Use the Method that Works Best With Your Learning Style

An editorial calendar is only useful if you use it. And if you set up a physical calendar that doesn’t work with your natural learning style, you’re more likely to forget to use it… or even, ultimately, abandon it.

a) If you are a kinesthetic learner who likes the hands-on approach, a paper calendar may be your best option. (Tip: You will most likely to be able to find plain desktop calendars with large enough slots to be useful in your local Dollar Store.)

Just be sure to put it in a place where you are likely to see it, rather than hiding it away in a desk.

b) If you are an aural learner, make an audio recording of your upcoming schedule.

c) If you are a visual learner, paper or digital will work – it’s just a matter of preference

d) If you are a read/write learner, a dated, chronological list format will probably work better for you than a graphic calendar format.

If you want to find out or confirm your ideal learning style, try one of the free online questionnaires or quizzes, such as the VARK model.

vark questionnaire

(No sign-up required for the basic assessment.)


2. Create and Coordinate Monthly and Annual Calendars

Many people find that two versions of their editorial schedule work best:

  • A monthly calendar (e.g. WordPress Editorial Plugin)
  • An annual calendar (manual or digital)

The reason for this? On your Annual Editorial Calendar, you can enter important posts to tie in with events scheduled far down the road; or with seasonal events.

Then, every month when you sit down to fill out your monthly Calendar, a quick visual check with the Annual Calendar will allow you to transpose these events onto your monthly Calendar before you input new posts for the current month, making sure nothing gets double-booked – or missed.

Sample Yearly Editorial Calendar

(If you like the format in the example above, download it by clicking here:

3. Use the WordPress Editorial Calendar Plugin

If you use WordPress, then the free WordPress Editorial Calendar plugin can be your best post-scheduling friend. So do install it.

While you’re writing your posts or maintaining your blog, you have access to the Editorial Calendar at a click of the button. And you can log in and glance at your Calendar to see what you have to do today before writing a word.


4. Use the New CoSchedule Plugin for Wordpress to Create Your Editorial Calendar

They call it “The Better Editorial Calendar for Wordpress”. And it totally is!

CoSchedule is a new plug-in (currently free and in beta) for wordpress that allow you to create and manage blog and social media content all in one place.

This plug-in eliminates the need for having a separate social media editorial calendar, which can add extra work and be completely overwhelming, especially for a busy entrepreneur.

cschedulelogo coschedule editorial calendar

If you don’t coordinate your social media campaigns with your posts, you could be missing opportunities to allow each platform – blog and social media – to enhance the other. This is what makes this plug-in so powerful.

5. Use MS Excel to Create Your Editorial Calendar

If you are more comfortable using Microsoft Excel or you are a text-based learner, you may find Excel the best tool for creating your Editorial Calendar.

Another reason for using MS Excel: If your business is highly fluid, and you know you are going to be tweaking and adjusting your Editorial Calendar perhaps more than the average blogger.

In fact, there are many MS Excel templates for doing precisely that. (You can download – without signing up; just right-click and save – a very nice template courtesy of Vertical Measures.


6. Use Color Coding

If you are a visual or kinesthetic learner, try color coding the different cycles – then highlighting scheduled posts according to each cycle color.

This is also a fabulous trick if you have learning disabilities or any other form of cognitive impairment, as the visual stimulus and cueing helps you mentally “sort” and remember better.

You could also designate cycles by creating a Category field in your Calendar, along with corresponding two- or three-letter Category codes… or combine both categories and color coding. (Tip: Include a Legend at the top of your chart-style annual Calendar or beginning of your multi-page or monthly Calendar.)


7. Include Your Calls to Action in Your Editorial Calendar

Write down the call to action (CTA) for each item on your editorial calendar. Not only will this ensure you remember to include it in your blog post, but you will be able to more objectively judge the level of engagement your post is likely to create.

And yes: You could designate a color and highlight your CTAs too, if you wish.



8. Learn to Think in Cycles

No matter what your learning style, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is to think in a linear fashion – I. E. A B C D E F G.

Your blog will feel fuller, richer, more organized and more enjoyable to your readers if you learn to schedule your blog in multiple cycles.


Take your Annual Editorial Calendar and go through using the following “cycles” (and any others unique to your business), one after the other:

  • Seasonal cycle (Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter)
  • Holiday cycle (Christmas, St. Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, etc.)
  • Events cycle (e.g. Annual Cycling Workshop, Victoria Day Race, etc.)
  • Contest cycle (e.g. Summer Photo Challenge, Christmas Giveaway, etc.)
  • iscal Cycle (e.g. . Your annual business quarter-years, from beginning to end)
  • Product Cycle (All your scheduled, upcoming product launches)
  • Sales Cycles (High and low buying trends – base these on previous sales metrics)

Learning to plan your editorial calendar in this fashion will really help ingrain your business’ “big picture” in mind – and make much better business (and editorial) decisions.

9. Systematize Your Editorial Calendar Management Process

It really doesn’t matter whether you alone update the calendar and distribute information, or your authors or staff are allowed to cross things off and add them – the important thing is a clear understanding of the ground rules – and a clear chain of communication.

So decide on…

a) Who will update the Editorial Calendar(s)

b) How the Editorial Calendar(s) will be updated

c) Who will notify the rest of the team of necessary changes or completions

d) How they will do this

Making sure everyone understands the system is the best way to avoid scheduling conflicts or omissions.


10. Consider Publishing Your Upcoming Editorial Calendar

Not only will it inspire you to meet your own deadline (since there is nothing more lame than not following through to your readers) but you may attract quality submissions – leaving you with great content to use for your blog and the time to plan next month’s editorial calendar in comfort.

You don’t have to publish it in full Editorial Calendar format: You can simply make sure you create a section of upcoming stories (with Submission Guidelines) on your website or blog, just as many online magazines and publishing companies such as Chicken Soup for the Soul does.


But when all is said and done, remember that Editorial Calendars are simply tools: Only you can decide what type works best for you.

And, of course, they’ll be no use unless you use them!



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What the Heck is Content Marketing?

What the Heck is Content Marketing?

So, you learn email marketing, then comes social media marketing, followed by video marketing and the "fill-in-the-blank" marketing trends just keep coming, don't they?

Just when you thought you had it figured out, here comes Content Marketing.

I mean, we know we need content to communicate with potential and existing clients online, right?

But, what is it really? And more importantly, how can it help you grow your online coaching, consulting or speaking business?

Is it copy-writing, SEO or blogging?

Is it video marketing, article marketing and mastering social media or headlines?

Just what the heck is it and why should you care?

Content Marketing Demystified for speakers, authors and coaches

It's like the new "fill-in-the-blank" marketing term that makes you sound all smartish.

Yes! Content Marketing is all of that and more. But, mostly it's about strategy.

You'll find a lot of definitions of content marketing and pretty much all of them will center around the idea of creating quality content with the purpose of persuading a defined audience to buy from you - without being annoying and salesy.

Yes, you need good content, but there is something that most personality entrepreneurs (i.e. speakers, authors, coaches..etc) like you aren't told.

Newsflash! Most of the content marketing advice, articles and tips aren't for you...

Okay then who is it for?

It's easy to Google content marketing and find all kinds of eyeopening articles that show you how to grow your business with content.

But, it's also easy for busy entrepreneurs like you to get overwhelmed and confused by information you don't have the time, or resources to put into motion.

Much of the information you'll find is designed for content marketing nerds like me - content creators and strategists.

Breaking The Curse of the Busy Solo-preneur

Content Savvy & Successful Tip! Don't invest in copy-writing courses and templates if you know you hate to write.

It's just a waste of precious time and money.

I see this a lot. You become desperate, because your business is stalled due to lack of communication. You need to blog more and communicate with your list more.

You hate writing, but you know you need content.

So, you purchase a bunch of PLR and copy-writing products that aim to help make writing easy and fast. The problem is you still hate or lack the time to write, so that stuff you bought is just collecting dust on your hard drive.

As a result, many of us spend most of our time building million dollar hard-drives versus million dollar businesses.

It's really not your fault. You're just doing what you gotta do to move your business forward.

The key to breaking this curse and bad investments is to always keep a high level view of your business. Don't get lost in the details that matter, but you're not good at. This will help you to stay focused and keep you from burning out in areas you're passionate in, because you've over indulged in other stuff.

Trying to become an expert copywriter or marketing strategist when your gift is in teaching people public speaking, will undoubtedly have you feeling like you don't know what business in anymore.


What You Need to Know About Content + Marketing to Make Your Marketing Easier and More Effective...

Many entrepreneurs get caught up in trying to write killer headlines and cookie-cutter templates. But, in the hands of the busy entrepreneur it's just a recipe for overwhelm & mediocre pie.

I read this somewhere, and I can't find the post. But, a mantra you'll hear me talk about a lot is this...

Basically your content needs to do two things to be worth the time and resources you invest to create it.

If your content doesn't do these two things, you're wasting time & $$$

1. Provide the most relevant answer to the question your target audience is asking

2. Tie back to some clearly defined business objective

Content + Marketing is a formula that helps you master and monetize your message in a way that serves both your business and the informational needs of your target audience. It's not just about writing articles, its about creating the right content, for the right audience, in the right place at the right time.

Interested in Experiencing Content + Marketing in Action?

Content Creation and Marketing Jam Sessions


What questions or challenges do you have about growing your online business with content?

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Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy. ~ Dale Carnegie


Not knowing what to say or how to get marketing messages in front of an attentive audience  are common reasons entrepreneurs cite as reasons why their marketing content isn't done or performing

well.Speak your mind even when your voice shakes by Maggie Kuhn

But, I've found that it's not that we don't know what to do or even how, It's being too afraid to do it in the first place.

If I told you it took me 3 years to get up the courage to hit send on my newsletter without being anxious or posting an article and looking forward to the comments, you might hesitate to believe me.

But it's true! As a former introvert, standing out in front has always been a battle for me.

However, I learned early on to do it afraid. Now, for me that often meant taking time to find the courage to do the thing. But, I always did it... eventually. There is a lot less anxiety in being in front of the computer screen versus a room full of people.

However, the vulnerability you feel is the same in both cases. It can be a scary thing to release content on the web. For some, writing something crappy, hearing our own recorded voice  or seeing ourselves on camera for the first time makes us cringe and hide in our cushy little home offices stuck in our brilliance. Still, there are other reasons people get stuck in fear of creating content like...

  • You don't want to give away too much
  • Can't keep up with the demand of a content publishing schedule
  • Not enough ideas
  • Too many ideas and not knowing where to start

But, I have seen the light and I want to share with you some principles that helped be shake my fear of sharing my content with the world.

Focus on your passion for helping others through your knowledge and expertise. The advise you often hear for public speaking is if you know what you're talking about, it becomes easier. And, the more you do it the easier it gets. The same is true for stepping out online. I credit Kathy Brandon, the Happiness Chick and CEO of R4H Group for helping me realize I was playing small. She told me I was "shadowboxing". I was hiding my greatness by working for great people and not stepping into my full potential. So, a new website went up with my face plastered all over it and now I'm saying to the world "This is me, this is what I know and I want to share it with you!". Thanks Kathy!

Practice imperfect action. If it's crappy let it go. Another Achilles heel is trying to make it perfect before releasing it.  I can't tell you how many emails I've gotten from some of my favorite internet marketing "cool kids" with errors and mistakes. And you know what? They send a correction email to follow up their error and keep it movin'. I just love that! Maybe for you the design isn't quite the way you want it, or you want to add this or that. Just let it go. Perfection is a fantasy and a success killer. Practice taking imperfect action and tweaking things for improvement while in motion. You'll find that people want you to succeed and are more than willing to give you feedback on how to better your communications with them.

Believe in yourself, no matter what. Don't get lost in other people's disbelief. Think of how many successful people you admire had doors closed and were told they could not do something. Now consider yourself one of them and keep it movin'.

Trust yourself more that you trust the advice of others. It's easy to look at the outside trimmings of someone's success and think they know more than you and choose what worked for them versus what's best for you. Trust your instincts and your vision. Try your way. If it fails tweak it, if it fails again try plan B and keep it movin'. If Steve Jobs would have followed conventional wisdom and chose not to drop out of college. He would have missed sitting in on a seminar that opened his mind to think different and the world may have never known iPods, iPhones and personal computing as we know it. Think about it! Trust Yourself!

Focus on making meaning not money.Okay, I am not saying money is not important. But, when your focus is on money, that comes through in your marketing and prospects can smell it a mile away. Their buyer's objection goes up and sales fly away. Focus instead on providing value that makes people's lives and business better and they will reward you with your business and tell others. These are some of the ways I've been able to push past fear and live out my passions. I hope they inspire you to step out and play a bigger game in your life and business.

What are some ways you've been able to increase confidence in your content? What advice can you add to help others shake off fear and step into their greatness?

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Are you scratching your head wondering why people just aren't responding to your emails? I mean it's bad enough that they don't respond to your special sales promotions. But, they don't even respond when you give away free stuff.

What gives?

I believe there are three things that could be happening here:

1. You have spies on your list: You know, people who signed up just to see how you did your ebook or what kind of email campaigns you deliver. Oh, don't act like you've never done it :)

2. They're just not that into you: These people may have joined your list for something very specific that met their need at the time and now that they got it, well, they could care less what you send them. So, why have they not unsubscribed? They hang on waiting for something from you that wow's them to buy from you again.

3. You're not putting your back into it: I'm sorry, what I mean is, you aren't even trying. You are just throwing together emails, hoping that that best practice tip (you know the one where they said to email your list once per week?) will hypnotize your subscribers into obeying your every command.

If you want to get your marketing emails opened and your subscribers to take action you need to shift and shake things up a little.

Give value, value and more value and you'll be rewarded for it. Yep! Content Marketing applies to your email marketing efforts too!

So, how can you create a follow up campaign that keeps subscribers engaged, responsive and eager to buy from you?


Here are five quick tips:

1. Don't just send promos: Follow the 80/20 rule provide value eighty percent of the time and promote your offerings twenty percent. This will keep your subscriber's sales walls down and show them that they are worth more than a sales pitch.

2. Be intentional about providing value: Do you take time out each week and look for ways to make your subscriber's lives better?  I myself have been guilty of just throwing together a "fluff" email just to keep in touch. But, if you want to pass the "so what" test, you need to demonstrate that you really care about giving them valuable information they can use, whether they work with you or not.

3. Provide incentives: Sure coupons and discounts on your products and services are cool, but find ways to take it even further. What can you use as a carrot to get people to act? Can you offer tickets to an event, a gift card, a gift basket? Maybe you could partner with someone  and have them sponsor a gift to your list? The possibilities are endless, get creative.

4. Give your subscribers a piece of you: It's important to be you in style and tone when writing your list. It helps them to create a deeper connection and establishes the all important "know and like" factor of that famous marketing mantra.

5. Reward your most responsive subscribers:  If you want your subscribers to engage and pay attention to you, show them that you're paying attention too! Try rewarding them with exclusive discounts, a spotlight interview or a cool prize. I feel the best way to do this is unexpectedly. By the way, this could be a great incentive.

Employ these tips and your subscribers will go from "so what" and ignoring your emails to looking forward to communication from you.

I know there are a lot of email marketing blueprints and advice that give you the A to Z on how to build a responsive list. But, there is no magic bullet. You have to put what you know into action and see what works. Repeat what does and tweak what doesn't until it works too! Don't forget to have fun and be creative, your subscribers are people....not robots :)

 What are some techniques you use to keep your subscribers engaged and happy?

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What's the key to becoming a likeable and buy-able brand?

I'd say it's to get good at content marketing. Content marketing is all about creating interesting, high value, share-worthy content that makes people crave you as a resource and a choice provider for solving their pain.

But, you are a solo entrepreneur with limited resources, trying to get your audience to notice you amid an ocean of information available to them online.

Not only do you have to compete with the blogs and social media musings of competitors, you have to conquer their ADD over their umbilical smart phones, and iPads.

And, although you are offering all kinds of FREE stuff, it seems as if you can't pay people to sign up for it, let alone pay for any product or service you have to offer.

What gives?

How can you grab your target customer's attention to even begin to build a relationship when they are so distracted and guarded?

There's no doubt marketing and promoting your business in the digital age has become more challenging. But, sometimes you have to revert to old tactics to make yourself stand out as the new and better choice.

Here are 3 simple, yet powerful ways to win the famous know, like and trust contest and become the provider of choice for your target audience:

  1. Be Creative & Innovative: Part of the reason people are hitting the ignore button, is that everyone is doing and saying the same things in the same way. Cookie cutter marketing has made us immune to hearing blatant and bland attempts to entice our business. Excite, shock or surprise your audience. Look for innovative and creative ways to get your message in front of your audience.
  2. Educate: Don't just tell your audience they need your products and services. Show them why they need it and how having it will make their life or business better. That means…you guessed it, taking time to craft valuable content that helps them understand how various aspects of your solutions work to make their lives better. Be careful to be helpful here and not all "salesy". Your #1 goal here is to be a helpful and trusted resource.
  3. Build Relationship: Most businesses large and small focus on getting customers to come to them. Make a commitment to find your prospects and get to know them. Create an incentive program to inspire conversation. Show them you are willing to invest in them in the same way you want them to invest in you.

Case Study: The Apple Store is a great example of a company that leverages all three of these elements successfully. Go to any Apple Store and you can not only buy a product, but an associate will take the time to teach you how to use it. This model is creative, educational and builds good customer relations while inspiring customer loyalty.

Take Away: Success begins with taking action. Create a 3 step strategy for incorporating the above 3 elements in your marketing. Take some time to examine what others are doing and find gaps you can fill to do it better.

Share Your Thoughts! What are your tips on how we can create a that provides a unique experience that builds a likeable and buy-able relationship with our target customers?

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Do you find yourself frustrated that you’re not communicating with your audience consistently or effectively enough to get their attention or business?  Do you feel like your are missing something, like there's some magic trick to success no one is telling you?

For years, I struggled with this same problem. And regardless of what some of these tools and products hype you up to believe, there's no "abracadabra" to marketing with success online.

How do you serve clients and still have time to market your business? Most entrepreneurs wrestle with this same dilemma. But, in this article I’m going to share with you the key that unlocked this mystery for me and how you too can use it to make your business grow. The key is called Content Marketing Strategy.

What is a Content Marketing Strategy?

“Content strategy is the “planning for the creation, delivery, and governance of useful, usable content.” ~ Kristina Halvorson, author of Content Strategy for the Web and founder of Brain Traffic.

It’s the process of identifying both your business needs and your customer’s so you can create content that delivers on both. I know it doesn’t sound all that sexy. But, developing a content marketing strategy is the best thing that will happen for your business. A solid content marketing strategy will drive sales and amplify your brand’s web and social media presence. So, before you create any content you need to first develop a content marketing strategy.

What does Content Marketing Strategy Look Like?

Here’s an example of Content Marketing Strategy gone wrong. “Everybody is talking about Content Marketing is hot right now. Let me start blogging every day, posting stuff on social media and emailing my list to let them know about my products. One of these efforts will generate some business.”

Here’s an example of Content Marketing Strategy Done right. “I’d like to be seen as the “go-to-expert” in my niche. Let’s figure out what business goals I need to set and what kind of information my audience wants and needs to make that happen.

Content Marketing Strategy is not about creating content for content’s sake. There is no shortage of content available to your audience and, if I may be so frank to say, most of it is crappy. You want your audience to feel and be smarter than they were when they found your information.

How Do I Start Creating My Content Marketing Strategy?

It’s important to understand that Content Marketing is a process. And, in order to be successful you need to commit to the mindset. Here are three steps to get you started building your content marketing strategy.

Step #1 - Create Your Brand Story.

Many so called “experts” are advising people NOT to tell their story. But, your story is important. It’s not all about you. But, your story is what helps people remember and connect with your brand.  What does your brand stand for? Why do you/ your product or service exist?

Step #2 – KNOW Your Audience.

Create a buyer persona or narrative about your ideal customer. What are their day to day challenges? What’s important to them? What type of lifestyle do they live?  Paint the picture and speak to them when you create your content.

Step #3 – Create an Editorial Calendar.  

And editorial calendar is simply a calendar that identifies what topics you want to create content around and when. I advise clients to identify what products or promotions they plan to roll out each month, and then identify content topics that educate their audience around each product. This helps you to hit both the money and meaning goals of creating content that matters to your audience and your bottom line.

Whether you’re a busy entrepreneur who hates to write or doesn’t mind it that much, having a content marketing strategy will help you to stop spinning your wheels online. Don’t waste time and money creating content you hope will bring you clients and cash…take time to create the right content and get it to the right people at the right time. You’ll be glad you did, I know I was. :)

Do You Need Help Creating a  Content Marketing Strategy for Your Business?

I'd love to help you. Just visit  to check out my freeing solutions.

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Do you know how to create content to market and support your signature products and services?

You probably have some idea of what to do. Tweet it, pin it, post it…may be among some of your options. But, what kind of combination of content is best to promote your offerings?

If you’re still reading this. you probably know what you want to create. But, perhaps you’re not quite sure where to begin.

Educate to Sell Your Signature Products and Services

First let me make one thing clear. Educating to sell does not mean trying to win over people who are not aware or have a desire to solve their pain? I don’t care how much or even how good your content is, these people will never buy or engage. So it is a waste of your time and resources.

Instead, you want to educate people who have the desire and ability to purchase your solutions. Content Marketing is about soft selling by making your customers smarter than they were when they found you. So, your job is to create content that guides them from awareness to the sale, without being all “salesy”.

Once you create your product or launch your service, you want to be sure that you support it with client attracting content that reaches all over the web and sustain sales beyond the launch.

Here are 5 of my favorite ways to create marketing content to support your signature products and services:


#1) Create content that relates to each of your core offers

Content marketing is all about creating purposeful content. Creating content that educates your audience on topics related to your core offers will meet his requirement. Supporting content can include, articles,social media content, info-graphics, emails and more…

Supporting content can also include internal items like step by step training materials, course content, exercises, scripts, checklists, templates, and accompanying articles that highlight the training programs.

#2) Create several types of author resource boxes to get people to click-through your offers

If you want to create more opportunities for your audience to interact with you, create an author resource box. An “author resource box” also known as byline or mini bios are short summaries located at the bottom of blog posts or articles.

You can use your byline and embed links in articles your distribute around the web. This will help you to increase the flow of “qualified” traffic back to your site.

#3) Create social media postings that promote your articles

Most entrepreneurs make the mistake of not promoting their content. Great articles need help getting seen. I  like creating the posts as I create my blog articles. It’s just a part of the process, so it helps to ensure it gets done. Plugins like Tweet Old Posts are one way to automate this process and make life easier for you.

#4) Create sample promo content to make it easy for JV and affiliates to promote your offers to their networks

Pre-creating content such as ads, banners, emails, blog posts, social media content and more  helps make you more sharable. The easier you make referring and promoting your products and services, the more successful your affiliate marketing and joint venture programs will be.

#5) Create “Welcome Content” to support and guide your customer’s experience after the sale

We often hear about all the “external” content we need to create like blogs and social media content, etc. But, what we often overlook is creating content to WOW our customers after the sale. What type of content can you provide your customers to make your solutions easy to implement?

Exercises, handouts, scripts and templates are some common examples. Some other examples include, learning guides, mind maps, emails nurturing campaigns and newsletters. The more you can wow them, the more they’ll come back again and again and bring friends.

There of course are other powerful forms of content to promote your core training programs products and services. I will explore them in this article series so stay plugged in.

What types of content do you create and publish to support your signature products and services? Share your answers with me below…

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The Future To Internet Marketing

Learn How Some Marketers Found a Way to Instantly (and Legally) Get 2,500+ Shares, Retweets, Comments, Likes on Every Piece of Content They Create... Immediately!!


This FREE Webinar can save your business, and how top earners go viral and dominate the Marketplace.


For more information, click on my website and start your training!





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7 Tips for Writing Website Copy

As an entrepreneur, I'm sure you have a website. And if you have a website, I'm almost certain that that's where a lot of your clients/customers find you, especially if your business is solely online. Because of this, it is vital that the copy on your website is fabulous.


Here are seven tips to help:


1. Don't use too much copy. When someone visits your website, they don't want to have to scroll on and on and on to get your message. People are impatient and want to know what your business can do for them, and they want to know quickly. So, make sure you're not putting too many words on one page, and be as concise as possible. In other words, get your point across quickly!


2. Keep it simple. When you're writing content for your site, keep your audience in mind. You want them to understand what your business is about; so, if you must use industry terms, make sure you explain them. Also, keep your sentences short, and use paragraphs (i.e., blocks of text). Do not make one really long paragraph; no one is going to read all that.


Click here to read the other five tips...

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Your Ning Page Done Your Way

Did you know you can change the order of the content on your personal Ning page? I'm sure many of you do, but one thing that I've noticed is that a lot of pages I visit keep the content in the order that Ning provides.

When you first join a Ning network, you are given a standard personal page, but you are not restricted to displaying your content in this order. With a little bit of tweeking to your personal Ning page, you can more-effectively show who you are and what you do.

After you have selected a color theme/background and added your photo/image, it is important that you rearrange your content so visitors can immediately see you. Ning breaks up the content into categories such as "Latest Activity," "Comment Wall," and "Profile Information." Your Profile Information box contains all the important information about who you are -- your company name, website, bio, and links to connect on social media sites. Ning places this section near the bottom of your page, but this information should be at or near the top. It should be one of the first things your visitors see.

If you are blogging on your Ning network, your blog section should also be near the top of your page. I like mine under my profile.

In addition to these two sections, it is a good idea to add sections with your photos and/or videos.

Ning has a link in the left column for "+ Apps." These are various applications you can add to your page to make it more interactive. The app called "My Text Box" allows you to add extra sections to your page to include customized content. You can include more photos, video, widgets, etc. HTML is allowed. Type "my text box" into the search box to locate this app. On my page, I've used this app to add a banner linked to my website and a short description about myself, and I've placed this section first on my page above my profile information and photos.

I choose to put the "Latest Activity" and "Gifts Received" sections at the very bottom of my page below the comments, but you may prefer to have it in a different position on your page.

There are many ways to configure your personal Ning page. Do restrict yourself to what you've been given. I hope that this post is beneficial in helping you to organize your Ning page.

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Using Squidoo To Promote Your Website

Subscribe to Squidoo : Lenses by Desiree_Richardson by Email

A lens maker can create numerous lenses on a subject, focusing attention on a different aspect of the subject with each lens. On the other had, a lens maker can make numerous lenses that cover many different topics, reflecting the lens makers' different interests and expertise. Internet MarketingOne of the many good uses for Squidoo lenses is to use the lens as part of an overall internet marketing strategy. One or more good lenses can help to bring attention, traffic, and credibility to a product or business by providing valuable information and resources. Additionally, the lens can help to establish the author as an expert in their field and a person whose advice should be taken seriously.The single page websites that Squidoo allows an author to create are called lenses because the finished website focuses on a single subject or idea. This focused attention on a subject is very attractive to users of the internet who are constantly searching for answers to questions or problems. The internet search engines whose job it is to find good, focused websites that will answer the questions or problems are attracted to the lenses.Therefore, the use of Squidoo lenses has become a valuable internet resource for building and marketing a business.Traffic. I started out with Squidoo simply to promote my various internet ventures -- web sites, blogs and ezines. Due to the way Squidoo is organized it makes a great system to capture and redirect traffic. Traffic arrives both from search engines and internally generated traffic. I have found this to be a great traffic generation tool. I have some profitable web sites that I do nothing else to promote except through Squidoo.Money. While I started out simply to drive traffic to my other money-making enterprises I soon realized there is a number of ways to benefit financially from Squidoo. I can earn income directly from Squidoo based on the internal rank of my Squidoo page as well as from a variety of internal and external affiliate programs. Squidoo has several different affiliate programs programmed in and you are welcome to add as many other income sources to your lens as you want. I earn income every month from Squidoo and I have not even begun to fully capitalize on all my options.Addiction. I fully admit that I am a Squidoo addict. I check in several times a day on the various lenses (the Squidoo term for a web page) and groups I maintain, I eye my dashboard stats, I haunt the Squidoo forum, and I'm constantly creating new lenses. I don't think there is a 12-step program for Squidoo addiction yet but there might need to be. I am constantly tweaking, fixing, adding, and altering my existing lenses as well as creating new lenses. Do I have a problem?Friends. Squidoo is a friendly place. While there are certainly people here ready and eager to make a buck they don't seem to dominate this network as much as some of the others. Perhaps it is because Squidoo makes it so easy to donate all or a portion of your proceeds to a charity of your choice -- and so many Squidoo lens creators are dedicated to supporting a huge range of charities -- that makes Squidoo people a nicer group as a whole. Yes, there are people like myself using Squidoo to support or promote a business, but it is not all about money. It is about people and ideas and community. That is what keeps me coming back day after day. I find myself not just checking up on my projects but the projects of various people that interest me -- and Squidoo makes it super easy to do just that!

Squidoo : Lenses by Desiree_Richardson

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Desiree RichardsonMake Your Own Squidoo Lens Today
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Need Articles for your Website or Blog?

Name Of The Product: Easy PLRWhere You Can Buy It: Description: Private Label Rights Article PacksThis site offers private label rights articles which are sold in packs to web publishers looking for top quality content for their websites or blogs. This site also sells content to offline publishers like local parenting magazines and coffee table book publishers.Who This Product Is Intended For:The customers at EasyPLR are website or blog owners who are interested in adding quality content to their website or blog to give added value for their readers. These people are usually in the market for unique, quality content, but cannot afford to pay ghostwriters’ higher prices. Their solution? To purchase quality PLR and edit it to become uniquely theirs.Uses:You can use the PLR articles from EasyPLR for blog posts, articles in your newsletter, or to create e-courses for your auto-responder. Get creative and pull the articles together in a document, add graphics, and turn it into a pdf. Then, offer that pdf as a freebie report to your mailing list. You can also create an information product, put your name on it and sell it. The uses are only limited by your imagination.Pros:EasyPLR offers very affordable articles. In addition, the site always has many different topics to choose from that are relevant to parent, online marketers and the like. The articles are top quality, written by a paid writer, and then also edited by a second writer.The articles can be personalized to better fit your site and you can claim them as your own. The people at EasyPLR only sell a limited about of each topic so you aren’t regurgitating the same stuff everyone else is. The other benefit of choosing EasyPLR is that there is no membership required. You can shop just for what you need – and get what you need without loading up on miscellaneous content. In addition, the site often runs specials and is very current in what they offer.I’ve found that the articles that are offered here are of much higher quality that those that I’ve purchased elsewhere. Also, the customer service is great! I accidentally purchased two of the same report and I was given another report with no hassle.The folks at EasyPLR also include suggested affiliate programs to monetize the PLR that you purchase.Cons:As with all PLR content, the content will not be original to you. However, unlike most PLR sites, the packs are sold in very limited quantities. The only other negative for this site is that I can’t always find content on the topic that I’m looking for. However, the quality more than makes up for that – when I can find the topic that I need.Personal allows me to provide my readers with quality information while saving me time (it’s available when I need it) and money (no ghostwriters or PLR memberships). Furthermore, they offer discounts when you purchase in bulk. As a mom and blogger, there is always something there that will help me boost my content and/or increase my knowledge. I highly recommend Check them out today!
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Content is Queen?

You've probably heard it time and time again, content is king. Well let me tell ya, that saying is true, but I'd like to say content is queen because you, my sister, are queen of your domain (name that is). Everybody wants and needs traffic to their website and I'm sure you are no exception, but putting up a pretty site is not enough. You need content and that content should be search engine friendly.A few great ways to get content are to add articles, blog, have contests and giveaways, and exchange links. That’s nice, just remember that to keep it relevant to your site and be useful. An article about your garden when your site is about jewelry making is not very relevant, but an article about the how to make vegetable or flower shaped beads is relevant (and can be marketed to garden lovers). This type of article is also a prime candidate for using keywords to make it search engine friendly. More keywords another time.The problem many people have with content is that they think they can't write or don't have time to write. Well let me tell you, there are at least three ways around this. First, you can learn how to write. Here's a quick and dirty lesson. Take a subject that's relevant to your site, then think up three related topics and write a few sentences about it, next sandwich those topics between an introduction about the topic and an ending that tells what you just talked about. Voila! You have an article. It's not always that simple when it comes to doing it, but it's a good start.Second, you can go to an article marketing site like and grab one of their articles. The catch with that option is that your readers may click off your page and go elsewhere. You want them to stay on your site and respond to your call-to-action. We'll talk about that another time.Third, you can hire someone to write content for you. Hire someone who has written before, has samples, and charge a reasonable price. You don't want anyone who is charging pennies because you will get what you pay for. Yes, consider your budget, but don't get caught up in thinking you don't have enough to pay a quality. There may be times when you have to bite the bullet and hire that writer anyway. Web content writers are pretty reasonable so don't shy away from this option.So I've discussed the importance of content to you website, now take out that pad and pen (or keyboard) and start writing. Pretty soon you'll be the queen of your content.Samantha GregoryThe SEO Content Queen
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What does it take to become a successful Affiliate Marketer? What are the ingredients of an affiliate marketing success story? Is there a shortcut to Affiliate Marketing glory? All these questions play around in the minds of affiliate marketers who want to make it big in this business.Although affiliate marketing is touted as one of the easiest and most effective ways to earn money online, it is not as easy as it sounds. The wise affiliate marketer plans every action and executes it the best way he can. He should also maximize the potential to earn by utilizing the right tools necessary for a successful Affiliate Marketing business. We have consulted some of the most successful affiliate marketers in the business and below are the top three necessary tools for a successful affiliate marketing business.Important Tool #1: Your Own WebsiteThe most important and indispensable tool in Affiliate Marketing is your own website. The first step in any successful affiliate marketing business is building a good, credible and professional looking website. Your website is the jump off point of all your marketing efforts. Thus, you must first build a user-friendly website, which will appeal to your prospects and encourage them to click on the links to the products and service you are promoting and make a purchase. Therefore, you must first concentrate your efforts in building a website that will cater to what your prospects need.The most important thing you should consider is that almost all web users go online to look for information, not necessarily to go and buy something. Above all else, make your website full of original, relevant and useful content. People will love articles that are appealing and helpful. Keep in mind that, in the internet, content is still king and good quality content will not only build your credibility, it can also help you achieve a higher search engine ranking. By posting relevant and useful articles, you establish yourself as a credible expert in the field, making you a more trustworthy endorser of the product or service you promote. Establishing a good reputation is a good step in building up a loyal consumer base.Important Tool #2: IncentivesCompetition is extremely tight in the internet world. You must always be one-step ahead of your rivals to ensure that you capture a significant share of your target market. Therefore, you must use every possible means to encourage people not only to visit your site but also to click and proceed to the websites of the products and services you are promoting. Building an opt-in email list is one of the best ways to gather prospects. Offer a newsletter or an e-zine. Better yet, offer incentives to your prospects to encourage them to subscribe to your newsletters. You can present free softwares, access to exclusive services and other freebies that will be helpful to your prospects.Important Tool #3: Link PopularityThe importance of driving highly targeted traffic to your website cannot be emphasized enough. The all-important web traffic is at the top of the list of the most important entities in the internet world. Attracting people to your site should be the first step you should carry out. Do everything to achieve a high search engine ranking. Link Popularity is one of the factors that search engines use to determine search engine rankings. Therefore, to enhance your link popularity, you must launch an aggressive reciprocal link campaign.One of the best ways to do this – at no cost at all – is by submitting articles, with your website's link at the resource box, to e-zines and free article sites. You will not only gain exposure, you will also have the opportunity to advertise for free, just include a link back to your site. The more sites you submit your articles to, the better your link popularity is. Make your articles original, relevant and useful so that more websites will pick it up and post it.These are but three of the many tools that an affiliate marketer can use to maximize earning potential. The possibilities are endless and are limited only by your imagination, creativity, resourcefulness and determination. You can always explore other ideas and adapt other strategies, which you think might help you become a high rolling affiliate marketer.Lisa SimpkinsLisaSimpkins~BBS Global
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There are no secrets on how to rank high with the major search engines because effective search engine optimizations are now immense. What is search engine optimization? Before we discuss that thing, you have to understand first how search engines work and a bit of know-how.Search engines are into providing their users with the most relevant and up-to-date information to match the search term that was used. They are sophisticated pieces of technology which allow users to quickly find relevant websites by searching for a word or a phrase. Search engine results are useless to users if the information doesn’t relate to the search term, or if the results are old. People expect the most up-to-date and fresh information that is useful to them.Updating your website everyday and adding some materials will help you get noticed by the search engines. So, if you are going to sell any type of product or service online, you have to optimize your website for the search engines, in order to boost traffic and sales. It is because over 90% of your business will likely come directly from search engine results. And for that reason, it is absolutely important to optimize your site for search engines for you to have the greatest deals in the entire world.Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process by which webmasters or online business owners utilize strategic copy to augment their website’s status. It is certain that the internet has grown so fast over the years and the competition for the best search engine position has created an enormous market. Therefore, better understanding the fundamental elements of Search Engine Optimization is vital for an online business’ success.Making use of effective search engine optimization techniques will improve the page rank of your website. There are many tricks that can be used to increase page rank; the most effective method is to provide high quality content consistently. This seems like a simple concept but there are many websites that fails to provide content that visitors find interesting. Sites which provide content that are interesting, well-written and regularly updated create highly engaged visitors who are more likely to return to the website in the coming days. So, if you can set your website apart from those boring, lifeless sites then do it. You’ll surely have a step closer to achieving high page rank through search engine optimization.The next significant factor for an effective search engine optimization is to include keywords and phrases within your content. To make sure that you are properly targeting your market, you have to make sure that the keywords and phrases you have on your site are the keywords and phrase that your site is actually optimized for. The more keywords you use in your content, the more likely it is that online visitors will find your site when they do some research with those words. If you are unfailing with these techniques, then your overall search engine optimization will increase, boosting your page rank.You should also have to develop a linking strategy as a part of your search engine optimization. Not only does this provide free advertising for your site, but it makes the impression that your site is imperative because of its affiliated links. For each link that you have pointing back to you, that is another chance for your potential customer to find you. The more inbound links that you have pointing to your site, the higher you will be ranked in the search engines.Another is to develop a content stratagem. People who get to search from the internet are looking for information. The more information you provide for them and the more helpful it is, the more likely you will make the sale. Writing articles is the most effective way to build up content for your site. When writing articles to post on your site, make sure that you develop a clear means of arranging their content. You can do this by simply adding a new page to your site. This will allow room for extra articles to be added as you write them, and will allow you to build up an archive of articles which will maintain to draw online visitors. Make sure also that you have included your archived articles in a directory that is next to the root web of your site so that the search engines will catalog your online articles.Always keep in mind that search engine optimization methods are important in developing your site’s status. With that thing in mind, make sure that you write high-quality, keyword rich content and link your site to and from a deliberate family of other sites. These things will help improve your site’s popularity and coerce increased business through your online business.Lisa SimpkinsLisaSimpkins~BBS Global
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