Archive for the ‘Blogs and Blogging’ Category

When Does Self-Promotion Cross the Line? Monday, April 1st, 2013

Self-promotion is tricky.  Whether online or in-person, you want to promote your business or cause, but don’t want to appear annoying or boastful.  When does healthy self-promotion cross the line?  How can you avoid common pitfalls that make you seem big-headed or bothersome?

From a personal branding standpoint, the first thing to remember is that your personal brand is like your reputation.  You are not a bag of potato chips, so don’t market yourself like a commodity.  Be honest when you describe your accomplishments, and don’t exaggerate the details.  Often it’s best to let your work or product speak for itself: your first priority should be to deliver quality content, not to promote your personal brand.  Communicate how you can help others; people want to know what’s in it for them.  Make it about other people, not just you. Give credit to people who have helped you.  Using testimonials (written responses by others that praise you) are much more effective than tooting your own horn.  Make sure your self-promotion is relevant or helpful to the topic at hand.  Respect your target audience.  Your goal should be to make connections, not “win” supporters.

One of the worst things is to over-do it.  Be careful not to be too aggressive about self-promotion; it’s a major turn-off.  Relentless self-promotion can imply insecurity and self-doubt.   Don’t post links for your websites on forums or sites too often or when it’s irrelevant.  Be cautious about how often you “name drop” illustrious colleagues, programs, or companies you’ve worked with, since this can be seen as bragging.  Don’t be the guy who spams in-boxes with tons of self-promoting emails, especially if those emails are impersonal and of the “one size fits all” variety.  Don’t offer advice when you have limited or no expertise on a subject.  Failure to sensitively self-promote can leave people feeling irritated and manipulated.  If it sounds like a sales pitch, people are smart enough to know what you’re doing.  Don’t post anything that will come back to haunt you.

There is a fine line between appropriate self-promotion and just being obnoxious.  Gimmicks will fool some people, but not all.  You want people to respect you enough to return to your website or services in the future.  Be sensitive about how often you promote yourself, and how you go about it.

John Bradley Jackson

Top Dog

The BirdDog Group

© Copyright 2013

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Personalize Your E-mail Marketing Letters Sunday, June 10th, 2012

A highly effective marketing technique used by successful e-mail marketers is to personalize the e-mail letter. This personalization can be accomplished in many ways.

One way to personalize an e-mail letter is to use the recipient’s organization logo or web site. The purpose of a personalized image is to provide a familiar frame of reference in the most compelling way possible, resulting in the recipient feeling better understood and more comfortable, leading toward better acceptance of the offer.

Personalization can also include personalized subject lines by including information that refers the stated preferences of the customer segment that you are marketing. For example, you can also personalize your e-mail offer by adding a comment that recognizes a customer’s five straight years of patronage. Or, you can refer to recent customer transactions by recommending complimentary products for purchase.

Or, you can incorporate maps or directions to the nearest store or facility. You can reference important dates such as an expiration date. Personalization works because your subscribers feel like they already have a relationship and the dialog is a one-to-one conversation. The goal is for it to feel real and not faked.

The more you personalize your e-mail marketing campaign with information from your database, the more important it becomes to have the correct data. Errors in your data can damage your campaign by showing how poorly you know the recipient instead of how well. Always have default information to substitute in case you are missing data.

You can write your copy so that substituting this default text maintains the flow of the copy. Also, respect the privacy of the recipient and avoid the use of any sensitive information such as financial or health status.

 

John Bradley Jackson

Top Dog

The BirdDog Group

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Blog Idea Generator Saturday, March 3rd, 2012

As many of you know, I advocate blogging for businesses whether they are big or small. The evidence is simply overwhelming that blogs position the author as an expert about the readers’ interests, needs, or problems. It just makes too much sense.

If the blog is sub-domain to the main website, the new and original blog content also organically updates the site for the search engines. Rank will increase and your site will be found. When you are found your message gets heard and you have the chance to create conversions: buy now,  contact us, etc.

Yet, many folks struggle with finding topics to write about. The attached article offers a list of creative ideas about to uncover blog topics. Check it out.

http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/223023?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+entrepreneur%2Flatest+%28Entrepreneur%29

John Bradley Jackson

Top Dog

The BirdDog Group

 

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What is a Community Manager? Sunday, February 26th, 2012

I get asked this a lot.

A community manager manages a specific community and/or platform for an organization. He or she may wear many hats including brand champion and engagement specialist for that community. The community manager may be tasked to create and manage content. In a nutshell, a community manager uses online networks to be the voice of the company to the community and the voice of the community to the company.

Generally,  a very digital-savvy employee, her or she is responsible for all communications, PR, social media, events, and out bound messages.

This role can be in-house or outsourced but the job requires someone who is intimate with the brand and has the authority to make decisions.

 

John Bradley Jackson

Top Dog

The BirdDog Group

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Why Blog? Saturday, May 22nd, 2010

“The faintest writing is stronger than the strongest memory.” – Chinese proverb

Why do I Blog? I get asked this question a lot. Yes, it takes a lot of time and brain cells, both of which I have a very limited supply. To blog regularly requires tons of research, fact checking, writing, and editing. It is hard work.

I don’t blog for the money since my blog is free. I don’t measure my success by the number of visitors to my site, yet I have many. The answer is that I blog to help people. And I suppose that sounds a little high-minded. But, of all the things that I do, including teaching at a university, running my own company, consulting with entrepreneurs, writing books, and speaking at conferences, blogging has the biggest impact of all.

Blogging is my way to share with others who know me and with others who I will never speak with or meet. Some like to call this “thought leadership”, which is a very uppity term. For me, it is the best way to communicate clearly with my target audience with my audience being people who want to learn more about marketing, sales, and negotiation.

Because I blog, I have been invited to speak at conferences, quoted in the national press, and have been interviewed on MSNBC. My motivation is not fame, rather it is the desire to teach and help others. Certainly a by-product of my success as a blogger includes book sales, paid speaking engagements, and consulting. This helps me pay the bills, which is important with two kids in college.

Seemingly every day my phone rings, or I get e-mails from people who I have never met before. They read my blog and want to share an idea or ask a question. That interchange is a thrill to me and is its own reward. This is why I blog.

John Bradley Jackson
Top Dog

The BirdDog Group
© Copyright 2010
All rights reserved.

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