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What do I mean by “You are Your Platform”?
Are you online?
Whatever you post, how you interact, are you helpful and engaging, have you built trust with your contacts, do you add value, and this is your platform (You).
Are your interpersonal skills good or do they need work so potential clients want to work with you.
What happens when someone Googles your name, what will they find on sites like Facebook and other social sites. Are you sure that everything you post portrays you in a good light and someone that is a good fit for people searching for what you offer.
You must always guard your reputation because it is all you have to put in front of potential clients. Do not post pictures or rants that portray you as someone extreme with views that might reflect a negative persona. This could hurt your chances to convert visitors to your site.
You as a platform, may be a foreign concept but think of it as applying for an open position. The open position is your client has and you want it. You have to present yourself as the best choice or their open position. The question is does your online and offline person reflect you as the best choice because you are in a competition with others. Why are you the best? Do you bring value?
Does your persona reflect confidence and trustworthiness? If it doesn’t, you could lose out on jobs you might like and feel are in your wheelhouse.
You must always put you best foot forward at all times. One way to do this is to answer questions that others online and offline may have. Be helpful and pay it forward. You’ll be surprised what you get back in return. Be the go to person for your niche.
If you are helpful and offer value to clients, your chances of getting referrals and testimonials increases without have to work at it, happy clients are your best advertising.
Consider being a lifelong learner by keeping up with the changes in your niche and the Federal Trade Commission rules if you are in the United States.
Freelance writer, blogger, editor, proofreader, and reviewer learning marketing.
Eight Forms of Content for Online Content Marketing:
These types of blog posts should speak to the visitor’s pain point. They should answer the question of how you can help them with their pain point. They should contain relevant information, How-To, and educate them.
Is there a book or guide you can write that is relevant to your product or service that you can offer to visitors to your sites? Something that can explain about your product or service that will explain what you have to offer.
Let’s say you design websites for example. You might write an eBook explaining some aspect of a website that draws traffic and offer it as a reward for visiting your site.
Do ever offer contests, freebies, or other items to people on your email list? Sending emails or a newsletter to your list is a chance for you to enter the world of your visitors with items only to subscribers. I chance for you to offer posts about the niche you serve, and possibly a ready market to make purchases of your product or service.
Here is your chance to offer some of your expertise within your niche that shows you are a go to person for help when someone has a problem not in the how-to guide.
It’s almost impossible to cover every possible problem that a person might run in to. This is a way to build trust with a potential customer. Something you said actually works.
If you spent any time on the internet, you may have seen these. These are rectangles or some other shape containing graphs or information, which offers information about a specific subject, and posted on websites, social media and other venues.
A bookmark with information about a specific book or a play, a store is an example of an infographic that has been around before the internet. It is only recently the he term infographic widely used.
This is you chase to repurpose your blog posts to create something that people can listen to or their tablets or smart phones. You can offer information about your product or service by talking about the product or service in a way that is educational and not push sales only.
What can you come up with that you can create a video or audio about the product or service that can help educate the listener or viewer? Something they can learn and apply to help them with what they do or need to accomplish. What did they search for to end up at your podcast?
As with all content, it must offer relevant context of their search.
These videos are not your home movies but could be instructional, informational, and educational. Here is where visitors get to know you and what you offer, a chance to begin building relationships, with whoever visits or stumbles across your videos.
This is your opportunity to present yourself to viewers. You, a real person and not some anonymous name on a screen, it’s better to see the person to build trust than just some name that could be anyone on the internet.
Once again, and opportunity to help viewers with instruction or education and allowing your viewers to meet you, a real person, not just a name, now you are a name and a person they can relate to.
Your website is where you offer your product or service, make contact, offer testimonials and a way for visitors to contact you, ask questions and interact with you.
This is a place for your story. Websites are a place where you can explain about your product or service, a site where you can list your services or product where visitors can read more about them and purchase.
A place where all of your contact information is in front of visitors to connect with you, ask questions or request a quote for a specific project they may need your expertise for in relation to how you charge.
All of the above is content marketing basics.
As you can see, there are many forms of content marketing. The next thing you need is a content marketing strategy.
I plan to cover content marketing strategy later in this series of posts about content marketing.
Freelance Writer, Blogger, Editor, Proofreader, and Reviewer learning marketing.
There are many goals to content marketing.
- Lead Generation
- Driving traffic to your website
- Telling your story
- Telling people about your product or service
- Add value through relevant information
- Building a following
- Turn followers into clients
- Build relationships
This is by no means a complete list, but you get the idea.
Content should inform and educate visitors to your website how you are the one to help them with your product or service.
Many people begin searching on the internet for information about a certain subject or How-to Guides because they have a need to satisfy a curiosity or need to learn something needed for a project or possibly a business need. Perhaps a person is someone for whom writing is as scary as insects are for others, a “pain point”. There are many freelancers that can write content, what do you have to offer that would make them hire you?
Does your content help them with this pain point? Is your content relevant? What separates you from other freelance writers?
Individuals and businesses may have many pain points. There are non-geeks that may need a website built, others may need content for blogs and webpages, some may need reviews, and authors may need editors.
Who is your product or service aimed at? That person is your audience. Why do you want to sell a product or service? Is it to make money or help your client with their needs?
The first order of business should be to build relationships with your ideal audience. Once you have built a relationship of trust you may have a loyal client and be in a position to request a referral to gain more clients.
The best method of advertising is word of mouth. If your content marketing is relevant, informative, and educational your visitors will spread the word about your site. This is true organic traffic.
Organic traffic from many different sources will raise your position on search engines.
Does your content fulfill the needs of your audience and does your site have an easy way for the visitors to ask questions or connect with you?
All sites should have some easy way of interaction with the site owner.
Businesses should listen to their clients and visitors.
This is the main goal of content marketing.
Freelance writer, blogger, editor, proofreader, and reviewer learning marketing
Many people in business on the internet have heard the term “Content Marketing” but may not completely understand what the term means.
“Content Marketing – Formal Definition
Content marketing is the marketing and business process for creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.
A content marketing strategy can leverage all story channels (print, online, in-person, mobile, social, etc.), be employed at any and all stages of the buying process, from attention-oriented strategies to retention and loyalty strategies, and include multiple buying groups.
Content marketing is comparable to what media companies do as their core business, except that in place of paid content or sponsorship as a measure of success, brands define success by ultimately selling more products or services.”
This may be a bit too formal for some. My definition of Content Marketing is this:
The creation of value added content (any medium such as a blog, website, social media, networking, etc.) that explains what you as an entrepreneur, freelancer or small business owner have to offer that is of benefit to your customers.
I would also like to add the definition of the term “copy” which I use quite often when writing about blog posts, articles, press releases (PR), etc.
According to the definition found in Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary Eleventh Edition “Copy” is:
4 a: matter to be set esp. for printing.
b: something considered printable or newsworthy – used without an article
c: text esp. of an advertisement
Copy is anything suitable for printing. Is a blog post suitable for printing? When you hit the post button, your post is electronically printed. Therefore, anything created that involves text is copy.
Content consists of video, eBooks, whitepapers, infographics, case studies, how-to guides, etc. Content is any media that positions you to drive traffic to your business with an audience looking for what you have to offer.
In subsequent posts, I will be covering more about the marketing aspect of content as it relates to your ideal customer.
Freelance Writer, Blogger, Editor, Proofreader, and Reviewer learning marketing
Is the new advertising old advertising?
McDonald’s brought back the “Hamburgler” and Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) brought back the Colonel in their respective commercials.
It is time that what is old is new again, or is it the fact that their current advertising isn’t working and they are scrambling to draw in patrons with what worked in the past.
Personal experience: My wife and I stopped at a KFC because we wanted to place an order from and television commercial. We placed our order and they were out of everything we tried to order. We ended up just driving thorough without making a purchase.
Note to KFC: Not a way to run a business.
When advertising a special or some product or service, be sure you can deliver or customers may not be in a mood to make a purchase or trust you in the future.
Things like bait and switch; trying to upsell before you’ve created a relationship with the customer isn’t the best way to create loyalty.
I have lived in California, Kansas, and now reside in West Virginia. I can tell you the not all franchises are equal.
Example: Red Lobster and Outback in San Bernardino, California were below par while Red Lobster in Salina, Kansas is a place to visit for a good meal. Outback in San Bernardino, California is place to avoid while Outback in Princeton, West Virginia is wonderful.
What is the reason for this stark difference, one word, “Management?”
As a business, never advertise what you can’t deliver. Whether you use so tried and true method or a new method of advertising, businesses must deliver what they are promising in the advertising.
To me, this is true truth in advertising. I can’t tell you how many times I have received and offer of something for free and then have to pay for shipping, or some amount after a period get charged a monthly fee that is beyond the budget of many people in today’s economy.
The point to this, if you want to cultivate customer loyalty, you must deliver on the inherent promise your advertisement offers and nothing less.
Businesses regardless of what they offer, the offer must be open and transparent. Don’t let customers come to you only to find out that something offered is not what they expected or costs more than they expected to pay for a product or service.
Businesses need to deliver that best product or service for the price, cultivate relationships, and deliver on all inherent promises to establish customer loyalty.
Freelance Writer, Blogger, editor, proofreader, and reviewer learning marketing
“Words are labels for the things we see and the things we feel. Without such labels we are lost or at least confused.” ~ Garrad Beck
“Words are important. If you cannot say what you mean, you will never mean what you say. And you should always mean what you say.”
Paraphrased from the film, The Last Emperor
Written by Mark Peploe & Bernardo Bertolucci
(The line was based on a quotation from George Bernard Shaw.)
Everyone wishing to write needs to work on their vocabulary by reading all manner of the written word from periodicals, books, and even the lexicon.
As Mark Twain said, “The difference between the almost right word & the right word is really a large matter–it’s the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.”
It behooves every writer to grow their vocabulary and not always rely on the same words when writing for the web, poetry, or prose.
Writers by nature must also be avid readers. While listening to Ray Bradbury speaking at a meeting of the writers group, Southwest Manuscriptors, Mr. Bradbury told everyone in attendance to read everything they could get their hands on, the classics, good writing, and even bad writing.
By reading the work of others, it is that writers learn how to write. By reading, do writers find out how to construct sentences, learn tenses, and fine tune consistency while writing.
Commanding a large vocabulary comes with a caveat. The responsibility to use words that intelligibly and distinctly convey your meaning to the reader. You must choose your words wisely from your vocabulary that is well suited for the educational level of the reader.
When writing for most audiences, forget using jargon, use plain English unless you are writing about technology to engineers, or a legal paper read by attorneys. Your language must fit the audience.
During the 1960s, Army technical manuals were written for a person with only an eighth grade education.
With knowledge comes great responsibility in using said knowledge wisely.
Freelance Writer, Blogger, Editor, Proofreader, and Reviewer learning ethical Marketing
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If writing were only as easy as many people think it is. This post is about Tone.
What is Tone in writing?
You will probably get as many different answers as the number of writers you ask.
Tone in writing changes with the writing.
- Tone can be conversational, meaning as though you are talking to a friend or loved one.
- Tone can be informative.
- Tone can be educational.
- Tone can be a narrative.
Your choice of tone depends on what you wish to convey as you work on a specific project, just as style and word choice will alter if you are writing a report opposed to a story.
Tone becomes more about attitude and experience when writing for an audience. If you attend church, is your attitude the same in church as it is outside of church? I think not.
In the normal usage of language most people use contractions, (i.e. can’t, isn’t…etc.), meaning less formal language. Dialogue in stories should reflect the language used by the characters. In a period piece, the language might be more formal.
Tone also applies to the audience you’re writing for. You would not use the same tone for clergy as you would business writing.
There are many types of tone. I have listed some above but there are also humorous, envious, pessimistic, and optimistic. It is up to the writer to choice tone and the audience they are writing for. The audience does play a part in the tone chosen by the writer.
The main thing a writer needs to do is check their ego at the door and write more for themselves.
If you don’t write for yourself first, then whom are you writing for? I mean, if you enjoy science fiction, would you write a romance novel. This is writing for yourself is about, writing what you like. If your writing is well conceived; and well written your audience will find you.
Think about what you write, and why you’re writing it.
Part 5 will be about Tense.