She’s ruined “joy” for the rest of us…

I’m just going to step right out there and say it: Marie Kondo has made it impossible for anyone else to say that something should “spark joy” without being seen as a copycat.

But that’s okay. We should all be trying to find that one phrase that will be linked so closely with our business that no one can hear it without thinking about our business.

I’m thinking about this because I recently saw someone use the hashtag #sparkjoy on one of their posts.

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Before You Promote Your Event on Instagram…

I’ve been hanging out on Instagram a lot more lately (follow me here!), and I’ve noticed a big problem that small businesses and coaches are running into with event promotions – especially since so many people are now hosting online events.

Due to Instagram’s algorithm, you can’t be sure that your event announcement will be seen before your event happens! Your followers have no ability to see posts in chronological order, as they can with Facebook (the Most Recent option for the Newsfeed), Twitter (option to “See Latest Tweets first”), or LinkedIn (option for “Recent” instead of “Top”).

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Tips for Using Acronyms in Your Business Writing

Are you confusing and losing potential clients with your alphabet soup?

Did you know that CIA is not just the acronym for the Central Intelligence Agency in the United States? It’s also the acronym for the Culinary Institute of America.

If you are marketing your product or service to an international audience, you need to understand that not everyone will immediately recognize the acronyms you use. People who are new to your field might also not recognize an acronym! You don’t want to risk alienating folks or making them feel like “outsiders” when they don’t know which company or organization you are talking about.

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Join Me at the Small Business Grit Online Summit – May 18-29, 2020

Grit… and Resilience

These have always been important things for a small business to have, but in these trying times, how can you get or increase yours?

I am excited to announce that I’ve been selected to speak at the Small Business Grit Virtual Summit Series, May 18-29, 2020. The theme of the summit is “Resilience,” and my presentation topic will be “Consistency: The Key to Creating and Maintaining a Brand Image.” Continue reading

Take Your Text from Jargon to Cliché to Your Brand Voice

I have a problem with jargon. Many businesses think that using a lot of industry-specific terminology in their marketing materials makes them sound more impressive.

“Pimp your SEO for killer ROIs!”

But it doesn’t make you sound impressive. It sounds fake. It sounds like one of any number of jargon-spewing social media accounts I see out there featuring some 20-something guy in a suit standing next to an expensive car and claiming to make six figures per month. Continue reading

Does Your Website Sound Like You?

A recent client came to me because she wanted to redo her websites in English. One of the problems she told me about was the fact that her clients love her, but after getting to know her, they say: “You know, your website sounds nothing like you…”

Then, I was being interviewed for a podcast, and the host told me she gets the same reaction.

This got me to thinking about how the “voice” of your website works for or against you when you’re reaching out to your ideal client.

How do you stand out? How do you connect with your website visitors? Continue reading

Websites vs. Online Portfolios for Clips

I wrote the featured article for the 29 November 2019 issue of Funds for Writers, published weekly by Hope Clark, in which I talk about the various options that exist for freelance writers and journalists who want to have an online portfolio of past projects to show to editors. Below is a short excerpt.


 

Freelance writers are typically asked to provide clips of previous publications when they pitch articles to a new publication. No matter if it’s for a print or online magazine, the editor wants to see that you have a good track record and to check out your writing style. Continue reading

What You Need to Know About Getting Booked on Podcasts

Looking to get booked on podcasts? Learn from my experiences.

At the beginning of 2019, I set myself the very modest goal of being interviewed for at least five podcasts — a small goal, yes, but one I felt I could accomplish among other goals for the year. At the end of 2018, I had published a book, Branding for Beginners, and I thought it would be a good hook for getting on podcasts geared toward small businesses. With so many podcasts out there, I thought surely I should be able to get interviewed by at least five.

In January, I joined a Facebook group for speakers and authors. This was good timing for me, because the beginning of the year seems to be when a lot of podcast producers put out calls for potential guests. Several podcast hosts posted in the group that they were looking for guests, so I checked out their podcasts and wrote to those I thought would be a good fit for me as someone who runs my own freelancing business and had recently published a book — I knew I could provide some valuable advice to their podcast audiences. Continue reading

For Event Promoters: A simple fix to prevent wasted time and energy

As part of my business, I also manage a blog for a client. To create new content for this blog, I often have to research events using websites and social media. A big waste of my time occurs when an event listing contains no information about whether there is an entrance price for the event.

IMG_7867When I need to find out whether or not there is an entrance fee, and if so, how much it costs, I usually have to contact the event organizers or the exhibition hosts. If I am doing my research during normal business hours, I can typically call them. If I am researching outside of normal business hours, I have to send an email, or message them on their Facebook page.

Either way, it takes time for me to contact them. On their end, the person answering the phone or responding to emails has to take the time to reply with the information I need. Continue reading