Marketing Coaching Topics

Welcome to the collection of articles on topics that I cover regularly with my coaching clients. You can learn more about my coaching practice here.

Marketing InspirationIt happens to us all – we draw a blank for what’s next in our marketing campaigns. So you wait for something to come up – and you wait some more. No content gets posted. Your page or your site languishes.

Your Marketing can’t wait

Waiting for inspiration is fine for artists, but in an online marketing you have to continually capture attention. You have to collect your topics when you can, so that you avoid winding up with nothing to say.

Delivering content to your audience isn’t just about the topics. If you want to get the benefits of audience engagement and search engine attention, you have to publish regularly. The best content publishers deliver like clockwork. You know when to expect it, and if you deliver great stuff, people start to anticipate it. Over at Why About Marketing, we started Tuesday’s Idea (our Facebook page devoted to marketing ideas). While it doesn’t always make it out 1st thing on Tuesday, it shows up every week. The big challenge is to creating interesting and valuable topics for each week.

How to Get Into the Content Habit

For some folks, topics just seem to flow. For most of us, it requires some work. As Thomas Edison said: “Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.” While you don’t need genius, you do need results. Unless you are one of the lucky few who can bang out a blog post every time you sit at the keyboard, you need to have some structure and work on gathering your ideas. Here are some ideas:

  • Make lists. Have a place where you keep your ideas. While sticky notes will work, it’s better to have them in a place where they can be organized, sorted and backed up. I use an excel spreadsheet, because I like to rank order what I’ll say next. My list has over 100 entries collected over a couple of years. Topics aren’t a problem. But make sure your notes are clear. The other day I found a series of very intriguing titles on my list, but many months later I have no idea what I was planning – they ended up in the dustbin.
  • Scan for what’s popular. Empty list? Read other’s blogs, newsletters, or aggregator sites (like Mashable for technology). Review their topics and see if you have your own spin. Add it to your list. Here’s some ideas on how to organize your scanning.
  • Don’t forget what you do every day. Three are things that you could share – how-to advice; problems to avoid; even a typical day.
  • Revive older topics. If you’ve been publishing a while, there are topics or themes that where popular. Some could be updated or revisited.

Be Patient

It took me months to get into the routine of capturing ideas throughout the day. There will be days when I collect several topics, and others where nothing materializes. Don’t sweat it. Have the list ready for when you are.

Real success comes from not only having a list, but having a regular structured routine. Set a goal for how often you will share, and build a routine that will help you meet that goal. I review my topics every Sunday (sometimes Monday morning if it’s a busy weekend), and plan out what I’ll be doing for the coming week.

What’s your favorite source of marketing inspiration?

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Hosting or sponsoring events (both online and offline) can be one of the most effective ways for a small business to grow your connections and highlight your brand. But if you don’t do it right, they can be a huge waste of time. After hosting, sponsoring, and participating in a large number of events, I’ve built a list of some things you should consider.

Keys to a successful Marketing Event

  1. Target your desired audience – these are the people that you want to connect with. Pick events and topics that will attract them.
  2. When events fail, they often suffer from timing issues. Avoid times and on days where your audience isn’t interested in attending. Check local calendars to see if there are competing events that may “borrow” your audience. Don’t assume you have the right timing – see this article on how webinar time was all wrong.
  3. Think about how you are going to “source” your attendees. How will you advertise? Will you partner with someone who already has a list? Expect a 5-10% commitment rate from any given campaign and only about 50% of those who commit will bother to attend most free events. I big list is a necessity for a decent sized audience.
  4. Give yourself enough time to promote the event. One week is not enough unless you have a ready-made and enthusiastic audience. Most people don’t commit to face-to-face free events until a week before, but you’ll need to be on their radar before then. Allow at least two weeks in advance.
  5. Make sure you deliver what you promise, and that the value to the attendees is clear. See how this event failed with messaging and value.
  6. Plan for how you will connect and follow up with attendees while you are planning the event. Will you require registration? Will you collect business cards? Don’t invest in a great event and miss future opportunities to connect.

Events aren’t easy, but if they are done right, they can build new relationships and strengthen existing ones.

Need help planning an event or webinar? Let me know.

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Why Marketing (and other) Events Fail

January 19, 2012
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Marketing Events are supposed to be good for your reputation An acquaintance of mine recently sent me a solicitation for a marketing event. It ended up killing any respect I had for them. I host webinars, I know how hard it is to put yourself out there. I don’t mind invitations, people invite me to […]

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Avoid bad assumptions in your online marketing

December 14, 2011

Not just questioning your assumptions, but asking the right questions, is one of the keys to success in any marketing campaign. A bad assumption can ruin the best online marketing plan I regularly give online marketing webinars. My bad assumption started when someone gave me an innocent suggestion about when I should hold them. They […]

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How Small Businesses Can Stay Smart

November 14, 2011
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Small businesses have to stay up to date on marketing trends or risk falling behind their competition. Unfortunately the pace of change in online marketing continues to speed up, and our ability to absorb information isn’t increasing fast enough. Advice and how-to information in the various disciplines of marketing is out there, but you have […]

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The Right Focus for Your Online Marketing

November 3, 2011
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You really don’t care about me That’s OK, I struggle to care about you, your products or your services too. Nothing personal, we are just hard-wired by thousands of years of evolution to care only about ourselves and our immediate family. That doesn’t mean I won’t care, it just means that I have to work […]

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User Experience Matters In Online Marketing

October 20, 2011
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You might think that amusement parks have nothing to do with marketing, but they are in the business of delivering an experience. I would argue that marketing – especially online marketing – has everything to do with experience.

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How Much is Too Much

August 19, 2011

How do you know if you have too much on your plate? One of the great promises of online marketing is the vast array of opportunities to create, join, participate, connect, and share. The nearly effortless entry into most online marketing makes it far too easy to overindulge in a good thing.  How do you […]

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Asking the Wrong Questions

July 26, 2011

This article originally appeared in my Coach’s Corner email.  Sign up and be the first to know. The wrong questions will get you the wrong answer I get this question all the time: “what should I do?”  Invariably it turns out what my new friend is really asking is how to use a specific online […]

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Learning from Bad Examples

June 28, 2011
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Here’s a twist: Collecting good online marketing examples is helpful, but sometimes you can learn more from studying the bad examples. Sometimes things stick with you In my second year of NROTC, an instructor remarked that he was able to learn as much, even more, from a bad example as a good one. He went […]

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