Monday, May 19, 2008

What Every Tech Company Should Know About Trading White Papers for Leads

Just read a great article that addresses lead generation and white papers. Roger Warner makes a great case for ditching the carrot method of trading email addresses or login info for white papers.

I’ve clipped some of the insightful tid-bits below. Thanks Roger!

Insight #1: “For B2B web sites, the content that really matters in terms of positioning and prospecting isn’t your ‘markitecture’ pages - your product and services descriptions, corporate histories and such…. it’s your ‘thought leadership’ pages - the places where you express opinions and ideas rather than features and benefits.”

Insight #2: “Furthermore, what of the people that you lose along the way? To me, a commitment to form-filling is no great measurement of the quality of a sales lead. A far better tactic is to set your thought leadership content free and give people more ‘opportunities to engage‘ with who you are and what you stand for.”

Warner continues, “Let’s face it, most of us are commitment-phobes when it comes to the web anyway. Why not just accept this fact and move on?”

Here are Warner’s review questions for evaluating your own white paper exchange process:

“Ask yourself:

  • What’s your most valuable and engaging content?
  • Do you make you accessible enough?
  • What’s the upside of providing more opportunities to engage with it?
  • What’s the downside of removing a subscription line?
  • How scientific is your answer to the previous question? (Gut feeling, conventional wisdom, or based on small side-show experiment and validated by stats?)”

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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Fear, Marketing and Jack Canfield

I read the following Jack Canfield article this morning. It’s a good general piece, but it’s also particularly useful for marketing folks that need new ways to test ideas, create intriguing copy, make money, test products, open new markets and innovate. Creativity is, after all, a leap of faith. It requires boldness and a healthy approach to fears. The article offers useful strategies for moving past fear and/or using it to guide your decisions and creations. I especially like the “taking a 2-year-old to the market” analogy.

Putting Fear in Its Place
by Jack Canfield

As you move forward on your journey from where you are to where you want to be, you are going to have to confront some of your fears. Fear is a just a natural part of living.

Whenever you start a new project, take on a new venture, or put yourself out there, there's usually some fear involved. Unfortunately, most people let fear stop them from taking the necessary steps to achieve their dreams.

Confronting your fears is a very necessary step in achieving success.

There is simply no other way.

Fear can be a helpful emotion, as it tells you when you need to be extra careful, keenly aware, and cautious. Fear is not an emotion that is telling you to stop. In fact, it's telling you just the opposite!

Acknowledging your feelings of fear helps you know when you are stepping out of your comfort zone. It points your awareness to areas where you could improve and grow.

Successful people also feel fear. Yet they don't let it get in the way of anything they want to do--or have to do. They understand that fear is something to be acknowledged, experienced, and taken along for the ride. They have learned, as author Susan Jeffers suggests in her must-read book, to "Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway®."

(Susan Jeffers has been a friend of mine for twenty years now, and her work, which is very powerful and transformational, has helped millions of people overcome their fears and move forward to create success in their lives. I highly recommend her as a resource.)

You see, fear is more of a signal that we should stay alert and cautious. We can feel fear, but we can still move forward anyway.

Think of fear as a 2-year-old child who doesn't want to go grocery shopping with you. Because you must buy groceries, you'll just have to take the two year old with you. Fear is no different. In other words, acknowledge that fear exists but don't let it keep you from doing important tasks.

Also realize that so many of our fears are self-created. We might frighten ourselves by fantasizing negative outcomes to any activity we might peruse or experience. Luckily, because we are the ones doing the fantasizing, we are also the ones who can stop the fear and bring ourselves into a state of clarity and peace by facing the actual facts, rather than giving in to our imaginations.

If a fear is too great for you to overcome, try breaking it down into smaller challenges.

Try starting out doing the parts of the project that don't scare you so much. You need to give a speech in front of a large group? Try giving your speech in front of a small group of people who care for you. Work your way up until you are able to feel the fear but still move forward. As you do, you will build your confidence and eventually you won't feel fear surrounding those issues because you'll have done them enough to count it as a skill.

As you move toward your goal, don't attach yourself so much to the outcomes.

Keep moving toward your dream doing everything you can to create what you want, then let it go and see what shows up. Sometimes the universe will have a better idea in mind for you and present a better opportunity when you were expecting something completely different. Don't let fear keep you from moving forward. Even if the horrible outcome that you imagined happens, the universe will always provide for you another way to succeed. So be on the look out!

Trust that no matter what occurs, you are smart enough and strong enough to keep looking for, and attracting, opportunities.

If you are willing to try new experiences in spite of your fears, then more new experiences will present themselves for you to try. And the more you try, the more you are likely to succeed!

For even MORE inspiration about overcoming your fears, you can learn from this Video Clip of Me on YouTube discussing some tactics you can use right away!

© 2008 Jack Canfield

Jack Canfield, America's Success Coach, is the founder and co-creator of the billion-dollar book brand Chicken Soup for the Soul and a leading authority on Peak Performance. If you're ready to jump-start your life, make more money, and have more fun and joy in all that you do, get your FREE success tips from Jack Canfield now at: www.FreeSuccessStrategies.com

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Tuesday, May 06, 2008

When to Blog: What Everyone Should Know

Most progressive companies are now blogging to drive thought leadership, manage public relations, sell products and provide customer service. Most simply post when they can.

A new study discovered that there are advantageous and disadvantageous times during the day and week to blog.

Ah data analysis. I love it.

In a nutshell (hey, I’m in a nutshell get me out of here)… here’s what they found:

After lunch, between 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM (PST – Pacific Standard Time) is the best time to post on any given week day. Between 5:00 PM and 7:00 PM is also good (after work). Thursday is the best day.

What’s the worst time to post? Between 3:00 PM and 5:00 PM PST on the weekends. Everybody’s out doing something else. That makes weekends a good time to get posts together and then schedule them for posting on weekdays in the optimal time slots.

Now get out there and post.

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Conversational Writing and eBay Descriptions - Marketing Mojo

We talk a lot about conversational voice and tone in these pages. Conversational style engages and persuades people. That's the gist of it.

A lot of businesses still shy away from this type of writing in their Web sites, eBay listings and marketing collateral.

I came across validation for the conversational approach in another book (which is great, by the way). It's called Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas On Presentation Design and Delivery and it's written by Garr Reynolds.

Here's a quote from the book (p. 83):

"When you are in a conversation with someone you are naturally more engaged because you have an obligation to participate. You are involved. Formal speech and formal writing devoid of any emotion whatsoever is extremely difficult to stay with for more than a few minutes. Your conscious mind has to remind you to "stay away, this is important!" But someone who speaks in a natural, human, conversational style is far easier to stay engaged with."

I urge you, as always, to write with conversational tone and style. That means speaking as if in a one-on-one conversation, adding emotion, using imagery, and communicating as you would with a friend.

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Saturday, January 12, 2008

Me Blogging About RSS Photo Feeds -- Are You Blogging about Your Products?

If you’re interested in technology trends, I wrote an article for D-Link about RSS photo feeds. This kind of application is simple, like ring tones – hence the title of the article. Yet it’s so much more clever and elaborate.

I write blog posts for D-Link from time to time, and this is the latest one. Which reminds me… are you blogging about your products and services? It’s a great way to communicate with consumers, explore new ideas and uses for your products, and learn from your user/consumer community.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Simple, Timeless Marketing Techniques

Whether you're writing SEO copy for your Web site or writing SEM copy for a Google AdWords landing page or just writing a new brochure (or even an eBay listing), there are always some very simple, timeless things you need to do. Here they are in stripped down, bare bones bullets:

* Write strong headlines

* Describe benefits before features

* Use specific subheads

* Write about the reader (not about yourself or your company)

This is simple marketing copywriting 101, but sometimes we need to remind ourselves what the basic techniques are.

Strong headlines contain delicious offers, benefits and intrigue. Benefits sell the dream before the hardware that produces the dream (and the relationship between the two). Specific subheads are key because many readers scan the page and follow subhead stories before diving into specific sections of your body text. Finally, when you use the word "you" and talk directly to and about the reader, you make better connections and sell more effectively. Nobody wants to hear about the genius behind the product. They want to know how it's going to help them specifically.

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Sunday, July 22, 2007

Quick Blogging Tool for Marketers that Blog - Blogger Bar :: Firefox Add-ons

Blogger Bar :: Firefox Add-ons

This is a handy little tool that allows you to write quick blog entries about a page that you're visiting. I used it to create this post. You simply click the "blog this" button, and it pops up your Blogger account, with the title and link fields all set.

As a marketer/writer, you should always be blogging, posting and generally writing about your personal expertise to generate interest in your business and establish your authority. This makes it quick and easy.

The more you tell (even indirectly), the more you sell.

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