I've been blogging a lot lately about lead generation.  For most businesses it is the hot topic because, if you are not generating leads, little else matters.  I my previous blog I discussed content creation, but today I'd like to focus on one specific form of content and that is blogging.

Writing a blog can be easy, fast and effective for generating leads.  It can also be a complete waste of time if not done well, with no real purpose.  You know the adage, "If a tree falls in the woods and no one hears it fall, does it make a sound?" Think of your blog as a tree in the woods, if no one reads and responds to your blog, does it make an impact on your business?

Here are things you must consider to write a blog that makes an impact:
"How far do you live from Waco, TX?" "Do you watch HGTV?" "Have you seen Chip and Joanna?" These are questions I've heard from California to Pennsylvania and Kansas to Tennessee.

People are just obsessed with Chip and Joanna Gaines, a couple living on a farm in central Texas who spends their days remodeling dilapidated homes. These are just normal folks, flipping inexpensive houses in a small town.  They decorate the homes with vintage farm items, decorate with painted exposed paneling (now called shiplap), and have their friend repurpose some old wood into a dining room table. 

If I told you five years ago that this would have people glued to their TV waiting for the big reveal, or traveling to a town plagued by bad press to shop at a store in an abandoned rusty silo, you would think I was truly crazy. If I told you this was big business, including real estate, a Bed and Breakfast, a store front, a bakery and branded items, you would want on-board.
If you have been following my blog series on Lead Generation, you know that you need to have an offer to engage your prospects.  If you missed that blog, you can check it how HERE.

The offer is basically the carrot, now what you need is the pole and string from which to dangle that well-crafted carrot and to get your prospects to act or engage.

What gets our audience to reach for the carrot is your call-to-action (CTA). When effectively crafted, they will capture people’s attention and persuading them to act.

Not all CTAs are effective or will result in action. It's important to consider what your competitors are offering and then determine why someone may choose your offer over the competition.

Once you have your offer decided, now it's time to get the word out.  Here's how:
How do you respond to a week that goes completely opposite as planned?  In business we know that having processes in place is what makes for efficient operations, but what about when those operations don't work?

My week has been anything but normal and this disruption may be just what my businesses needed.  When you hear the term disruption, do you think of a disturbance that interrupts an event, activity, or process?  Or do you think of it as Clayton Christensen has defined: disruption that creates a new market and value network and eventually disrupts an existing market, displacing the established?

What I have found is that these can be two-sides of the same coin.  I realize that saying both definitions of 'disruption' work together is a bit like saying we should make lemonade out of the lemons we've been dealt.

Here's how I made something positive out of a week that went off the typical process.
Google Analytics can be a very effective tool for entrepreneurs if you know how to use it correctly. Not only does it inform you of your sites digital traffic flow and about new incoming traffic; it also helps raise revenue for your apps or online business sites.  Amazing right?
Sometimes we're in conflict between our marketing professional selves and our personal or professional buyer selves. I'm in conflict now as I try to get my home back together after a hail storm pummeled our roof, fence and who knows what.   

My conflict is seeing how repair services are marketed to us and how as a buyer I perceive their efforts to meet my needs .  Yes, I see the hail storm as an opportunity for them. They have services and products in need, a well-defined target audience, and a high rate of anticipated purchase for their product.  For excitement, they face multiple competitors in a race to a sale.

This could be a chance to see multiple marketing styles and find out what works best on me.  It's a good test because all contenders start out the same.  No company has an inside track or perceived advantage. I was not already in the market, had not contacted any suppliers, no former suppliers have claimed me, and my insurance company offered only vague guidelines, no company recommendations. So how did they do?
The trend for small businesses is not adding more staff, but hiring an industry expert partner. Managing employees takes investment in training, paying for benefits, and so on.  Even worse, what if that individual is not the right fit for you business culture, then what?

What makes more sense is to hire a partner that off-sets the business owners weaknesses. Not as an employee, but as an adviser.

Here are some key reasons entrepreneurs should consider the outsourcing route.
Almost everyone knows about Twitter and Facebook. Most might know LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest. But, does using any of these Social Media platforms to promote your business seem confusing and not exactly intuitive to you?

You’re not alone. It seems like there's a new hot platform every day. You feel like you barely know how to use Facebook or Twitter in your personal life. And now, some millennial is going to tell you that you need to be using social media to market your business?

The world is changing and social media hasn’t faded away. Blogs are more popular than ever, and everyone who is a part of that world or wants to get into it needs to be using social media. It isn’t just for bloggers though, if you have a small to medium business – it will help you too.

Social Media helps your business gain exposure, generate traffic to your website, and promote your blog. I know it seems difficult, but really it’s easy and inexpensive. They’re generally free to join and give you a wide audience to reach.
Mar 31, 2016
One of the greatest strengths of small business is their ability to be agile and to respond quickly to market fluctuations.  One thing that can create a drag on the business is managing functions of your business that are foreign to your core business model or take away from daily operations or billable work.

There are very few businesses today that can grow without a marketing model in place.  Even if your client base continues to buy from you, think at how much more you could grow if you expanded your sphere of potential clients.   

So how do you expand your business and implement a marketing model, without adding a staff function you need to manage?  The Answer: Hire a Fractional Chief Marketing Officer.

I attend many networking events.  While I always being the "authentic me," my tone differs at a breakfast networking event at 7:30 am vs. a happy hour at 7:30 pm.  With social media, your tone should change as well from one platform to another. So what is the difference between your company's voice and its tone and what tone is appropriate to use on each platform?
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