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25 Freelance Writing Jobs Sites In 2018

Believe it or not, freelance writing can be considered one of the BEST methods available to the people in today’s world to make money online. But where do you find these writing jobs? Apart from the regular Problogger and Blogging Pro job boards and constant LinkedIn outreach, following are a few best places to find freelance writing jobs. Then you will be able to put your writing skills to work and keep on making money.

freelance writing sites in 2018

Below mentioned are some of the most effective places available for you to discover freelancing writing jobs.

iWriter – iWriter can be considered as one of the most popular platforms that offer freelancing writing jobs online. On this platform, you can write cover letters, press releases, blog posts and articles. You get paid a chump change in return of regular flow of jobs.

Hire Writers – All people who sign up with Hire Writers will be provided with the opportunity to write articles and get paid on a weekly basis. There is a joining bonus of $20 as well.

Green Light Articles – If you wonder where to find freelance writing jobs for beginners, you can take a look at Green Light Articles because they have taken all necessary steps to organize the instructions and provide to you.

Great Content – Thousands of clients are on Great Content, looking for content writers who can submit the best quality articles for their needs. Hence, all people who search for online freelance writing jobs can take a look at it.

EssayTown – EssayTown.com is more focused towards academic writing. If you are good at academic writing, you can join EssayTown.com and earn as high as $21 per page.

Content Gather – A large number of customized content writing gigs are available at Content Gather. Hence, any person who searches for freelance writing jobs from home will be able to take a look at what’s available.

Contently – On Contently, all content writers are provided with the ability to develop their own writing portfolio and then proceed with looking for writing work under any preferred niche.

Constant Content – Some of the biggest brands that are looking forward to outsourcing their content writing work have signed up with Constant Content. Therefore, you will be exposed to excellent content writing opportunities online.

ClearVoice – If you are capable of writing articles based on your interests and experiences, ClearVoice is the most appropriate platform available to take a look at.

Cha Cha – You will have to write answers to questions asked on Cha Cha. The best thing about this content writing platform is that you will be paid on an hourly basis.

Boost CTR – On Boost CTR, content writers are being hired to create content for the advertisements on Microsoft and Google AdWords.

Blue Mountain Arts – This is a company that manufactures greeting cards. If you are looking for freelance writing jobs with the ability to write poems, you can sign up with them.

BlogMutt – BlogMutt offers excellent freelancing writing jobs for the individuals who are familiar with writing content for marketing and business.

DotDash – Dotdash.com is in the process of recruiting people in order to come up with online content on a wide variety of topics. You will be paid based on the number of articles that you have written.

Content Mills – This freelance writing jobs site is primarily for beginners. It pays low in comparison to others and is more appropriate towards the people who don’t have previous experience with content writing.

Writers Weekly – Tons of content writing work is available at Writers Weekly for the interested people to take a look at. In addition, you will be exposed to some excellent tips on content writing as well.

WriteJobs – Content writing work under a large number of niches are available for you to try out at WriteJobs. On WriteJobs, you will be writing stories for magazines as well.

Work at Home Adventures – Work at Home Adventures doesn’t just offer freelance writing jobs online. However, there is an excellent demand for content writers on this platform.

We Work Remotely – People who search for online freelancing jobs can use We Work Remotely. A large number of writers are currently working on this platform to offer their skills and make a decent amount of money.

Work hoppers – Work hoppers is a platform that is dedicated towards clients who are looking to get hands-on talented freelancers.

Writer Bay – Upon signing up, you will be exposed to a large number of content writing opportunities at Writer Bay. There is a possibility to look for a steady flow of work at Writer Bay as well.

Task Army – Task Army may seem like another platform available for the people to sign up and keep on making money. However, there is an excellent demand for the people who work as content writers on this platform.

The Write Life – Among the websites that offer online freelance writing jobs, The Write Life has received a lot of attention. On this website, you will be able to discover writing opportunities, which span across a large number of topics.

Fiverr – Fiverr can be considered as one of the most popular freelance marketplaces that you can find out there on the Internet. On this platform, it is possible to look for a large amount of writing work. They span across multiple topics such as blog posts, legal writing and press releases. You can set your base price for an article as $5 and keep on making money.

Fourerr – Fourerr is one of the up and coming micro job websites. People who are looking for freelance writing jobs from home will be able to take a look at this website. That’s because the website exposes you to a large number of customized writing projects. There is an excellent community of writers on this platform as well.

Honestly speaking, this is just a list of freelance writing job sites (and not all sites that I personally prefer!) I do focus primarily on Problogger, Blogging Pro and Contently. But it’s just my opinion. If you ask my opinion, I would always say, reach out to prospective clients via email and convert them. Time-consuming and highly profitable!

I would not deter anyone from joining any site and working as a freelance writer if it suits them. Asking someone not to go for content farms just because it pays $15 for 1,000 words is foolish if it suits their financial lifestyle. To each their own.

The Greatest Sin Of A Content Marketer

Dear Reader,

I tell you...

If you are doing this, you are committing a GREAT SIN as a content marketer.

Be honest.

Are you following the herd?

What I mean is, are you doing something just for the sake of doing it?

Because others (maybe influencers) are doing it?

Have you mistakenly fallen prey to The Tipping Point theory of Malcolm Gladwell?

If you said yes, I don’t blame you.

“Let's face it. We live in a command-based system, where we have been programmed since our earliest school years to become followers, not individuals. We have been conditioned to embrace teams, the herd, the masses, popular opinion -- and to reject what is different, eccentric or stands alone. We are so programmed that all it takes for any business or authority to condition our minds to follow or buy something is to simply repeat a statement more than three or four times until we repeat it ourselves and follow it as truth or the best trendiest thing. This is called "programming" -- the frequent repetition of words to condition us how to think, what to like or dislike, and who to follow.”

― Suzy KassemRise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem

So yes, you are just being human. I am not that different either.

However, let me put it out to you as bluntly as I can.

You are doing it WRONG!

Why?

The sole reason is that you are a “marketer”.

Why do you think they always ask for ‘creative bent of mind’ when they post that ad on Monster? It’s not for the sake of including it because it sounds so dandy and the company was in lack of better criteria.

It is because...

Your job as a marketer is to disrupt marketing strategies.

You heard that right.

As a marketer, you don’t follow the age-old, outdated strategies on and on. It will diminish business results further over time and you will end up getting handed the pink slip, ouch!

For example, look at the content marketing industry today.

For God’s sake, every Tom, Dick and Harry is writing 2000+ word blog posts. I never knew there were so many “experts” around me—on every possible niche under the sun.

content marketing fallacy

Tell you what, it’s a fallacy.

But I am not going to criticize the industry here. If one likes to pose as an expert in his black suit and speak to a hall room full of audiences, who am I speak against it?

Everyone has right to do what they want to do (at least within restrictions).

However...

If you as a marketer try to follow the herd and spout out long-form pieces one after another, to prove “Who’s your daddy?” theory, you are the Bigger Fool, my friend.

Rather, do something different.

If they are writing 2000+ words articles, write 200 words—but of superior value.

Make it count.

Remember, at the end of the day, your customer desires higher value, he doesn’t go looking for 2000+ words posts or infographics or whatever.

Be different.

Be valuable.

21st Century Marketing Formula: Value + Uniqueness = Success Click To Tweet

As Seth Godin says:

“In a crowded marketplace, fitting in is a failure. In a busy marketplace, not standing out is the same as being invisible.”

Can’t beat that. Love his ideology.

Your Content Marketing Takeaway-of-the-Day:

Go in the opposite direction searching for a higher value to your customers.

As ever,
With my best wishes,
Ron C

Does The Secret Sauce Of B2B Content Marketing Still Elude You?

Because there is no secret sauce in content marketing, my dear friend. Look at my straight face here. I am not joking at all.

In fact, I am going to reveal a profound truth that might have been eluding you for a while.

Digital marketers and entrepreneurs: prick up your ears, as I am going to sprout the century’s most enlightening...

Oh wait! Let me start with a verified truth here.

In life, we tend to chase our tails at times ... in an illusion of the presence of some invisible magical power around us. We like to think or let’s say, we WANT to think in luck—which I totally believe in—that nothing is in our hands. But in reality, a lot remains in our hands. Seldom do we realize that the power is within us.

The magic lies within you as a content marketer.

It’s not by chance that a slight 1 percent of internet entrepreneurs have 100K+ Twitter followers while the rest have a mere hundred. It’s amazing how that little, privileged segment of entrepreneurs are being talked about in almost every other blog in that particular niche. The community admires them, “worships” them and eats out of their palms—even if some of them are selling $2000 ecourses. (Quite a BIG sum, right? Is it worth it? That’s another topic.)

b2b content marketing

First, can you tell me what’s separates these ‘special’ people from the pack?

Can you guess?

It’s the Power of their Brand.

Are you wondering, “Huh! Why are we talking of Branding now?”

Have patience. Let me explain. (Taking a long sip from my coffee mug.)

Come to think about it...

What’s driving that solid brand in the first place? I mean, how do you think these entrepreneurs created one for God’s sake?

Yes, you guessed it correctly, my friend.

By the Power of Grayskull! (I am kidding.)

It’s through their Awesome Content Quality.

Go through each of their blog posts, their reports, their infographics or sometimes even their landing pages.

You will see that they give so much value. Whether through the interactive quizzes, colourful graphs and geeky informative charts, they give, give, GIVE!

CMI’s Chief Content Adviser Robert Rose says, “If we’re truly focused on delivering value through content — value that is separate and distinct from our product or service — then the experience becomes ‘enhanced.’ This enhancement is what will be additive to the customer’s perception of what that brand provides.”

So true. I fully agree. Thumbs up.

Awesome Content Marketing Begets Unbeatable Brands. Click To Tweet

Only with the right content marketing strategy can you build a solid, time-tested brand for your B2B business. A Brand that stands out and shines in its own industry niche. But optimizing for such a content marketing campaign with the highest return potential requires ... umm ... ATTENTION.

I agree with 4 aspects of a great content marketing strategy as suggested by Talia Wolf:

The content: Map the content people actually want and need. Why should people read your article vs. someone else’s? What will you be saying that is new and different?

The influencers: Next, map out influencers who would be interested in this article. You can collect quotes from them, mention them, or simply add them to a list of people you’re going to tweet to or reach out to via email when the article is ready. The more personal you get with them, the more likely they are to share the article.

The media: Map out websites and publishers that would be interested in your article. Many publishers feature articles they find interesting or syndicate content. Reach out to them and let them know you’re writing a specific article they may be interested in. Reaching out beforehand will give you an indication if they’d like to see certain information in that article for them to share it or syndicate it.

The promotion: Writing the content is only 20% of the job. The other 80% is promotion. Don’t just rely on sharing it a couple of times on Twitter and LinkedIn. Have a list of all the sites, communities, and platforms you’re going to promote on.

If we tend to these four factors regularly in your content marketing campaign, you can rest assured that you business graphs—whichever you prefer—will go up.

BUT, BUT, BUT...

There’s one another crucial aspect of a perfect content marketing strategy that we are missing here. Perhaps, that’s the reason why your card house is crumbling down again and again. Or maybe, you are not being able to reap the results you want.

Normally, as soon as we start talking about content marketing, the following objectives begin popping up in our mind from nowhere—it’s become so cliché these days, seriously:

Generate traffic and visibility in social networks

Yes, this one is indeed important. I believe, if nobody gets to see my content, it’s no use creating it. Then...

Improve SEO positioning

Ah, how can we ever forget about the search engine robots, right? With all the hype of automation going on around us, we may as well become robots ourselves. But that’s best kept for another letter.

Promotion of a product or service

Your content needs to sell. Everyone says so. That includes me as well. He he. However, we are still not talking about one particular objective of content marketing.

Getting loyal subscribers

Nopes, this is not the one we are talking about. Yes, getting LOADS of subscribers has never made any marketer unhappy. But guess what, this is still not the one.

Add to this...

Building A Solid, Unbreakable Brand

Seen it and already know how powerful it can be. In fact, all of the above can be accomplished if you manage to succeed at this one only.

(Courtesy to the $2000+ courses! No offence to those entrepreneurs. I know a few and I can tell you, they are a bunch of the most hardworking people on this planet. But frankly speaking, not all those courses are worth it. However, they sell like hotcakes. Brand, my friend, that’s called a Brand. And in case you are wondering, oh, I am damn jealous, you know.)

If you listen to Talia’s advice, you will achieve all of these objectives. However...

I believe we are missing ONE IMPORTANT INGREDIENT from the content success matrix.

Let me add this one.

Want to know about the most consequential, earth-shattering secret sauce to your content marketing strategy?

“Hey, you said there’s no secret sauce at the beginning of this article!”

Well, I lied. Straight face. Can’t I?

The secret sauce of your B2B content marketing strategy is ... wait for it ...

Branding First. Content Second. Click To Tweet

You probably didn’t get it, right? I can see it in your blank face.

Let me say it again ... in a simpler way.

You don’t do content marketing first in order to build a brand as a result.

You focus on branding first for a perfect content marketing campaign.

I think, this has been aptly brought out by Jillian Hillard, director of brand marketing, small appliances, at Electrolux, commented:

“For brands, it’s no longer a question of how you can use content to enhance the consumer’s perception of the brand, it’s a necessity. Content is the gateway into a brand’s soul.” 

You build a brand by focusing on BRANDING at all times. You cannot be telling your copywriter, “Hey, get me an article about the latest industry statistics.” And then, you daydream how it will increase the brand score of your business.

You create branded content to create a brand.

Savvy?

Stop reading right now, and give it a long thought.

Doesn’t that really make sense?

Unfortunately, this is where most marketers and entrepreneurs falter. They lack the right content marketing strategy to start with. Needless to say, it doesn’t fetch you the expected results.

3 Main Essentials Of Branded Content Marketing

branded b2b content marketing

Your B2B content must demonstrate your brand values and principles.

Content marketing is not advertising—bold and direct. As a content marketer, you need to bring forth the essence of your brand in a subtler manner.

Your B2B content must achieve the business priorities.

Are you trying to find new customers? Retain existing customers? Cross-sell? All three? Are you a direct-seller with ecommerce sales goals? Whatever your marketing goals are, your B2B content marketing strategy must cater to your business goals ... always.

Your B2B content must serve your customer needs and desires—a challenge for most businesses.

We live in a selfish world, and as humans, businesses too care about their self-interests. You need to go further. Traditional research, customer surveys or lengthy pitches from sales professionals might not cut it anymore.

Understand what moves your customers, their needs, their desires and their fears. Create content not to advertise your business, but to cater to their personal lives. Make it ‘shareworthy’!

It is the secret sauce that’s been lacking in your B2B content marketing strategy.

Give them more than they expect from you.

Give ‘em value, my friend.

As ever,
Ron C
Copy-e-Writing

Being A Marketer Is Damn Tough BUT…Possible In 9 Simple Ways

Look, whoever said “being a marketer is easy” is the BIGGEST liar of this century. He probably lives in the basement of his parents’ house and could not market his idea to his dad even, because for all I know…

Marketing—I mean, marketing anything, whether it is a new product or rebuilding an old dying brand—can turn out to be the hardest challenge of your life, unless you are eating dinner with the managing director of IBM or recently resigned as a Chief Technology Officer of Twitter.

In the super-competitive market that we live in today, expect to put in all your resources plus at least 80-90 hours per week and still you might find it not to be enough. In short, being a marketer dares you. Being a marketer drains you. Being a marketer punishes you…like you are a pet dog. Whew!

The question is, can you sustain this onslaught on a daily basis? Perhaps not, unless you include some serious productivity hacks in your daily life.

Divide Your Full Day Into Convenient Time Blocks

Whether it’s 15-minutes or as long as an hour, it’s your call. However, you need to segment your whole day and allot each time block to a single task. Read it again, SINGLE task. Do not multitask—it negatively affects your productivity. Do not create a to-do list. Create a schedule instead. You will benefit just like Rebekah Epstein did:

“Not only did this make me feel significantly less stressed, I was getting more done in fewer hours!”

And oh yes, it’s “crucial to make sure you record all your meetings and appointments in one place instead of having them scattered throughout different calendars, notebooks, and apps,” writes Alexandra Weiss, a partner at CA Creative in New York, via email. “Not only will it save time to only have to check one calendar but it will also help ensure that you are not double booking or missing any meetings.”

Keep Distractions Out Of Your Way

If you study some of the most successful marketers in the world, you will find one thing in common: Focus. Stop checking your emails every 10 minutes. Keep your phone on the silent mode or just switch it off altogether when you are working. Take three 15-min breaks to check your emails and voice mails during the day.

Alex Turnbull, CEO-Founder of GrooveHQ writes:

“A sec” probably means a 3-5 minute conversation is about to take place. But the cost of that conversation isn’t just those 3-5 minutes.

Scientific research shows that you need at least 23 minutes to regain attention. Ouch, 23 minutes of non-productively as a marketer—that’s quite a lot!

Preparation Is The Key To Your Marketing Success

Nothing is more than this one. Mr Opportunity might be knocking on the door but if you aren’t there to open it, it’s no use. Mr Opportunity is a fickle-minded and busy person. He won’t wait forever. Prepare beforehand. Start with the end in mind and work on it. So, when the time comes, you are ready to take advantage of it.

As per the words of Eliyahu Goldratt:

“Good luck is when opportunity meets preparation, while bad luck is when lack of preparation meets reality.”

And oh, I have to let Will Smith, one of my favourite Hollywood actors speak here. He is massively successful and just plain awesome at his art, and he says:

“I’ve always considered myself to be just average talent and what I have is a ridiculous insane obsessiveness [sic] for practice and preparation.”

In the marketing niche, who wins? Not the one with the most talent, but the one who puts in the highest level of effort. Resources matter but only to an extent.

I don’t boast often but I must share this little fact about myself. I became a copywriter long before I even completed my college education. I know a plenty of copywriters who have completed their University education and still haven’t gotten hold of the basics of digital marketing. The problem is, they don’t put in the necessary effort to perfect themselves in their art.

But I did. I spent nights completing the AWAI course and reading the Halbert Letters. Put in the effort, man or woman (I am not a sexist, you see).

Set SMART Goals For Every Quarter Or So

Break down the BIG goal into smaller, achievable and quantifiable goals for the short term. Write them down on index cards and paste them in front of your desk. Not only does it help you to keep focus in your regular endeavours, it ensures that the whole business goes in the right direction.

The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score. – Bill Copeland

In his fantastic book, “Delivering Happiness“, Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh describes how offering smaller, but more frequent promotions had a measurable increase in employee satisfaction, even though the final accomplishment was the same. Instead of offering one big promotion every 18 months, for example, the management at Zappos found that offering smaller promotions, say every 3 months, would result in increased employee satisfaction and motivation.

You can take this lesson and apply it to your own life. Take the mountains you need to climb and break them up into smaller hills that you can walk. You’ll be happier and more motivated to start working towards that next milestone on your way to marketing greatness.

Work Urgent Tasks First And Delegate As Much As You Can

This is against popular opinion but involves a far more effective strategy. You measure a task on a 2D scale of impact and effort. You finish the “highest impact, highest effort” tasks first and “lowest impact, lowest effort” ones last. What I mean by that is, you should always reward your mini self by finishing off the quick and easy starts, and leave the most complicated tasks to tackle in the end.

And always delegate the tasks you can. As much as you would like to say to your wife, you are not a Superman or even a Batman. You cannot do everything alone. You need help from your in-house associates. You need help from your outsourced staff. In fact, make sure you do only what you cannot delegate to others.

Remember not to work in your business but to work ON your business. (This is mainly applicable to the C-level marketing executives.).

Maintain Daily Routine Of At Least 1 Hour Yoga (Preferably)

If you ask me, yoga has a unique way of rejuvenating your mind and body and strengthens your Self to take on what comes your way. Every successful marketer comes with a strong, resilient spirit, derived from a healthy body and mind. It’s not sitting at a desk for 9 hours after all.

Bonus Tip: Meditate for at least half an hour every day (twice is always advisable).

Shrimati Bhanu Narasimhan of Art Of Living Center In California says, ““Meditation is the mind without agitation.” It’s about sustaining “mental hygiene”. Stanford Researcher, Emma Seppälä, who is also the associate director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford, says, “It’s very empowering.”

Personally speaking, I meditate whenever I can. And I recommend it to everyone I come across, sometimes even 5-year-olds! (Their moms always love that BTW. I don’t know why.)

Start Your Day By Writing A Journal

Again, this is not what they (pointing at the pop psychologists) will suggest. They say, write the journal by the end of the night—a great way of letting out your emotions and go to sleep peacefully. But as an entrepreneur, you can only sleep peacefully when you have done your day’s work properly.

That happens when you start your day with a little pep talk via the journal. You are basically talking about yourself. You are the patient and you are the psychologist. You listen to your own questions in your “struggling” marketing life (we all go through this) and you yourself start providing answers for the same.

What’s more? Journals can be a great way to start self-discovering yourself.

Paul Smith and Betty Smith, both fashion designers, keep their creativity alive by regularly writing in a notebook. Great writers like Virginia Woolf, Maya Angelou, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Sylvia Path and Alice Walker along with hundreds of writers across time who all kept diaries and journals which has informed their writing and creative productivity.

As the life coach and author, Jackee Holder states:

“Journals are creative portals. Because you’re in dialogue with your inner life when you write in a journal, you solve problems and get creative. Keeping a journal can be both a clearing-house and – in the next word, sentence or page – become an incubator where you tap into your imagination and unleash your creativity and ideas.”

Keep Gathering Daily Lumps Of Gold In Your Knowledge Ville

I cannot stress much on this one. Not only reading stimulates you mentally, keeps you updated with knowledge and builds up your analytical and critical skills, a new study shows that for men, access to books from a young age corresponds to higher earnings over a lifetime.

Now you are listening. It’s not me speaking. It’s Charlie Munger speaking. (If you haven’t heard about his name before, forget reading this letter and Google his name right now.)

“In my whole life, I have known no wise people who didn’t read all the time — none, zero”.

Take the richest man in the world, Bill Gates, who reads 50 books a year, or Buffett, who spends as much as 80 percent of his day reading.

Eat A Live Frog Every Morning. Seriously!

Mark Twain once said, “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” He may not be a young entrepreneur, but his advice still stands over a century later: if there’s something you’ve been dreading doing, don’t let it drag on — just do it and move forward.

Research by Roy Baumeister shows that our willpower starts off high and then depletes throughout the day. Other research shows that starting a goal but not completing it (a.k.a., procrastinating) makes us less effective at the next tasks we perform.

The truth is, being a marketer and watching consumers talk about that old shitty brand in a new light or the sales graph go up every quarter can be a fulfilling life achievement, but only if you make yourself capable of being one.

Or else, know the feeling of drowning? Imagine you are drowning in the middle of the Pacific and nobody is there to save you. That’s how you will feel every day.

You sure don’t want that, do you?

Contently yours,

Ron C, Copy-e-Writing

Branding: What It Is and Why It Is Important

“You do branding? That’s like graphic design, right? Like, logos and websites?” – about 30 people we shall not name.

One common misconception about branding is that it is the same as design. And while design is the visual representative of your brand, it is only an element of your branding. Lately the word “branding” is viewed more like buzzword than a staple part of starting a business.

However, branding is a significant part of your business development. It should be highly prioritized when starting a new company. Your branding will influence how your company does against competitors when it enters the marketplace.

What is branding?

Branding is the practice of creating a name, symbols, or designs that represent who you are, why you are, and how your target audience should perceive you. Its purpose is to differentiate your company from its competitors and clearly display the promises that you make to your customers.

The branding process includes research that helps develop a strategy of how to present your brand to your target audience. This research is then used to create assets that support your brand promise and appeal to your customers.

Doing brand research.

Brand research helps define exactly what you intend the brand to be. It is an essential step that should be done prior to developing any elements to market to your customers. This research ensures that the assets you create attract the most qualified buyer for your products and services.

The two types of research that you should do when building a brand are:

Market Research

Market research is the process of finding information about the competitive market you are entering. You should know who your competitors are, what they offer, how much they are charging, and what unique benefit you can offer to your customers that they cannot. This helps define your company’s value proposition.

Customer Research

Customer research is the process of finding information about people who are currently purchasing products and services similar to yours. When doing product research you should determine what customers are looking for in a product, what they are not receiving from the current provider, and how they will value what you offer.

Developing your branding.

Your company’s branding includes a complex set of assets that collectively establish a relationship with your customers and defines your values. These assets should be deliberate and consistent.

The following assets are part of your branding:

Brand Message

Your brand message is the value that you offer to your customers. This is what makes people relate to your brand and influences them to buy from and follow you.

Brand Tone

Your brand tone is the tone of voice that you want to use when communicating with your customers. It is a representation of your brand’s message. The tone used for your branding will influence how your target audience thinks of and interacts with your brand.

Brand Name

Your brand’s name is the first thing a potential customer hears in reference to your company. It should be strategically developed to clearly define what you do and who you do it for. A customer should not have to guess what your company is about when hearing your name.

Color Palette

Understanding how colour affects emotion allows you to capitalize on the emotional elements of sales. Color is one of the first things that your brain perceives. It will influence the customer’s reaction to your product or service before they learn any detailed information about it. The colours for your brand must be consistent with how you want your customer to feel when they see your brand.

Typography

Typography is the art of arranging type. The fonts you use when branding your company will heavily influence how your message will be perceived. They must be consistent with the tone of your brand.

Logo

A logo is a symbol used to visually represent your products and services. It should incorporate all of your branding elements. Your logo should be a clear, distinct symbol of your brand.

Brand Collateral

Brand collateral is the media, usually printed, that you use to promote your brand. Business cards, flyers, direct mailers, and product labels are all brand collateral. These are used to strengthen your brand’s message and tone and generate customer leads.

Website

Your website is your strongest marketing tool of all. It incorporates all elements of your branding to generate a stronger brand presence in your industry. It is your global voice as it is the most accessible asset you will have worldwide.

Why branding is important?

Branding is important because it makes your brand relatable to your customers. It also creates credibility for your company. Your branding will influence the success your company has in its target market.

It takes 5-7 impressions for your brand to become recognizable to the customer (Action Card). If your branding is inconsistent, even a little, your brand value and message may become lost in your marketing. This will make it harder to produce brand loyalty.

Having strong branding allows the customer to build a connection with you that they can trust. 90% of purchases are made subconsciously (ISPO News). Once you have secured a place in the customers’ mind, it is easier to close a sale.

The colours that you choose for your branding significantly impact your brand recognition. A staple colour increases brand recognition by 80% (University of Loyola).

The strength of your branding plays a huge role when trying to secure funding for your company. 82% of investors see brand strength as an important factor when deciding on an investment (Reuters).

How strong is your branding?

If you did the necessary research prior to starting your brand development, your branding should be generating sales and producing customer loyalty. However, if you are like many entrepreneurs starting, you may have overlooked a step or two. Don’t worry, it’s never too late to rebrand.

Branding is something that has to be monitored actively to ensure that it is effective. Just like the customer, it evolves and you must evolve with it. Well-known companies like Coke-a-Cola and Starbucks have all re-branded at some point or another when their branding no longer reflected their direction or reached their valued customers.

Invest in researching, defining, and developing your brand. Full-service agencies ensure consistency within your development and design processes. They are capable of creating all of the elements seamlessly while being able to monitor the impact that it has on your sales. Because they help create your strategy, they understand your goals and are able to help your brand pivot without losing the company’s core values.

In conclusion, great branding leads to loyalty and sales. Don’t sell yourself short.

To your business success,

Ron C. 
Owner-Manager, Copy-e-Writing

Relationship Marketing With Solid, Interactive Content In 2017

“I want a relationship with you.”

“Why?”

“Because I love you.”

“Come on, seriously? That cheesy you are?”

“No, I just spoke from my heart, you won’t know…”

Oh, my dear readers, I love you too.

But okay, these are the lines from a very boring Bollywood movie—becoming more of a downgraded version of Hollywood movies these days. Well, even Hollywood movies suck these days.

I know I sound too cynical. Can’t help it, it’s in my nature, man.

Do you still want a relationship with me? That’s great.

Then keep reading on.

Because today, we are going to talk about relationships, I mean, Customer Relationships.

And how well-connected and almost inseparable it is from your Content Marketing strategy.

For many who might not be so well aware of the term…

Relationship marketing is about relationships, of course. Here, the idea is not just getting new customers; it is reaching the right public, the one that’s able to perceive and extract the best out of your solution or product, reaching their goals and total satisfaction. And it goes beyond that, focusing on building and nurturing long-term relationships to increase loyalty and make clients loyal to your company.

We are talking about generating more business opportunities, and yes, we do want to improve the company’s revenue and get a bigger number of clients. However, relationship marketing aims its attraction efforts on:

  1. Your target prospects with fit, able to get results from and with your company.
  2. Identifying opportunities that can really benefit from that purchase.
  3. Creating connections and providing a good communication throughout the funnel
  4. Keeping clients happy and engaged even after the sales cycle is over.

If we take the dating analogy, it is about building a momentum where the woman gets smitten with you, agrees to sleep with you and is still happy to have more of it every day afterwards. She is a happy and satisfied client you have a very HARD-core relationship with.

(God! My examples—complete baloney I know! Forgive me.)

And the most important confession now as a copywriter now…

Can any sales or ad copy ever achieve this? NEVER.

What a sales copy does is, lure the woman or manipulate that 16-year old (underage alert!) to sleep with you once and only ONCE. She might regret it later and not see your face again. Heck! She can complain to the police. Whatever.

But the point is, no relationship is formed. No loyalty is created.

That’s where content marketing comes in.

Content marketing comes in to fill the gap left behind by traditional advertising or marketing methods (We are talking about brochures, flyers, website banner ads, etc).

But How Does Content Marketing Work To Build Customer Relationships?

The short and precise answer to that is: If someone comes to you for advice and you help him again and again, you create a relationship with him.

Forget about selling anything to him at the moment. Who cares! If you have an audience, you will have ready buyers.

According to a study by Robin Buchanan and Crawford Gillies, the increased profitability associated with relationship marketing is the result of several factors:

There’s less dating around. Loyal customers don’t go shopping around and they’re far less to switch. As an added bonus, they’re less price-sensitive because they’re more focused on the value than price.

It’s the foundation of word of mouth. Strong relationships are essential to a high Net Promoter Score — the chance that a customer will happily refer your business to a friend.

Your regulars are your rock. Returning customers buy more and buy more often. They’re often less expensive to serve because of their familiarity with your business and how your product works.

Expansion becomes easier. Longstanding customers are much more likely to purchase ancillary products through upselling and cross-selling.

You reduce the cost of acquisition. Happy customers introduce you to new prospects, reducing the need to paid advertising and costly marketing campaigns.

—      From an article by Gregory Ciotti

That’s what content marketing does for your business.

“What if businesses decided to inform, rather than promote? You know that expression ‘If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day; if you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime?’ The same is true for marketing: If you sell something, you make a customer today; if you help someone, you make a customer for life. In every business category, one company will commit to being the best teacher, and the most helpful. And that company will be rewarded with attention, sales, loyalty and advocacy by consumers who are sick to death of being sold, sold, sold.”

— Jay Baer, author of Youtility

So How Does Creating Mind-Blowing, Quality Content Affect Your Relationship Marketing Strategy?

Oh, I can ramble on and on…on this topic. Remember, it’s my job to ramble on in print.

However, I normally like to keep my letters short and to the point (apart from a little frivolous yapping in between). So, in the next 350 or 400 words, I will try to wrap this up.

Reason #1. Content marketing helps you retain long-term customers.

Research has shown that the longer a customer stays with a brand, the more valuable they become. In fact, an annual increase of just 1% in customer retention can equate to a 20% increase in revenue annually. When you work on building relationships with your customers, and not just selling to them, you begin to develop loyalty, which means they’re more likely to stick with your brand for the long haul.

Reasons #2. Content marketing helps you increase the likelihood of referrals.

Regardless of the dozens of different marketing techniques out there today, word of mouth is still the most powerful, with 84% of consumers citing the recommendation of a friend or family member as their most trusted source when making a purchase decision. The more satisfied and loyal your customers are, the more likely they will be to refer your brand to others. The best way to achieve this is through relationship marketing.

Reason #3. Content marketing helps create your “market moat”.

This term coined by me, proudly speaking, means how much market power you have—not based on your market share, access to limited resources or market penetration, but by dint of love and loyalty of your customers. Interactive, engaging content anthropomorphize your brand in the eyes of your target audience which they get into a unique relationship. It’s all in the personality, man.

Reason #4. Content marketing creates a two-sided interaction with your market.

When you’ve got a whole slew of happy, loyal customers in your corner, you’ve got an instant test market at the ready. Whenever you need to try out a new product or propose a new service, your loyal clientele will be there to offer feedback. Want to know how you’re doing? Ask your long-term customers. Their feedback can help you determine what your business’ greatest strengths are as well as identify areas that need improvement.

Content marketing DOES form an indispensable part of any marketing campaign. Yes, short, snappy two-liners look sexy and they do work in their own way, but when it comes to long-term advantages, long-term content, those 1000+ words articles, in-depth videos or podcasts and so on, rules. As @Kit_Smith says: “Content marketing can help you build an audience for the longer term, as good evergreen content will provide years of value.”

For the sole reason that they help to build a clout around you—the denser and the more outstretching it is, the better. And it all starts with one term ‘relationship’.

To your success,

Ron C.
CEO, Copy-e-Writing

P. S. It took me another 600 words to complete it. Whew!

Top 5 Secrets To Awesome B2B Content Marketing Strategy

We need to stop interrupting what people are interested in and be what people are interested in.” ~ Craig Davis, former Chief Creative Officer at J. Walter Thompson.

And my friend, this is what makes Content Marketing perhaps the only marketing left today. Not my words, it’s Seth Godin who said it. A fine man with a wealth of marketing knowledge, I admire him.

Yes, he is true.

According to the 2017 B2B Content Marketing Trends, 39% of companies are increasing investment in content marketing.

Do you know the most surprising thing though? If you are an entrepreneur, you need to pay attention now.

Most businesses do not even know how to utilize the power of content marketing. They are CLUELESS.

Want evidence?

Two of the leaders in B2B funnel benchmarking, Sirius Decisions and Forrester, will tell you that inquiry-to-closed-won conversion ratios are often below 2 percent in most industries, even for those who follow best practices.

Of course, if you go upstream of lead capture, the conversion rates of clicks or traffic to closed-won business are absolutely microscopic.

There are many reasons for these low conversion ratios. The most important of ‘em all is:

48% of small organizations have documented content marketing strategies(Source)

41% of large organizations have documented content marketing strategies(Source)

The competition is growing more intense every day, with avalanches of new content sliding into the market. And let’s face it, creating compelling content is hard.

(I consider myself to be an experience content marketer, and I spend over 2 hours in a single piece of article! Don’t be surprised; it’s the norm these days.)

In short, the market seems to believe that content creation, in and of itself, will win the day. It won’t. You really need the right content.

Well, I have listed 5 crucial steps to content marketing strategy that is geared to increase the quality and effectiveness of your content significantly.

STEP 1: DEFINE WHERE YOU CAN WIN - YOUR NICHE!

Media companies, marketing agencies, and our own egos often lure us into the crazy idea of expanding our target market. I must have heard this type of sentiment a thousand times from otherwise thoughtful, intelligent people.

We do so in the name of economies of scale or because we fear missing out on revenue opportunities. Don’t do it. Focus, focus, focus. Start with a rigorous exercise of looking at your current customers for the solution you are trying to sell. Begin with qualitative intelligence-gathering. Talk to the best sales people, the product team, the post-sales team, and the sales engineers:

  • Who are your most profitable accounts     and why?
  • Which accounts have the greatest longevity and why?
  • What do these accounts have in common?
  • What accounts are unprofitable and why?
  • How can we avoid them?

Then do quantitative analysis, ideally matching your customers to third party databases to add dimension to your profiles.

Share the findings with the most relevant stakeholders to get a consensus on the ideal customer profile. Define account characteristics. Break your market into two or three segments, based upon their potential value. If you can only afford to speak to one of the segments, talk to the most valuable one. (Often the market leaders, if you can win them over, will influence the rest of the market).

Please understand that your definition today will change tomorrow. So make this an annual exercise for every solution you sell. For new solution categories, you may need to have a running dialogue until you find the ideal customer profile, experimenting as you go. And of course, find different ways to test and optimize your messaging hypothesis.

For companies with multiple products and services, you’ll generally want to look for one of your solutions that can most readily open the door to your other products and services.

FIND FOOT IN THE DOOR SOLUTION FOR OTHER THINGS YOU SELL

Microsoft, for example, started with tools for programmers initially. These attracted the most technically savvy people, a group with enormous influence over the next wave of early adopters.

Next, Microsoft created an operating system (well, Microsoft bought one and licensed it to IBM, to be perfectly accurate). The operating system created a platform for selling desktop productivity products like Word and Excel and their relationship with developers let them encourage those developers to build other desktop software and utilities.

There was enough critical mass to gradually expand from the desktop to the network and the applications on the system. Initially, the enterprise applications were BackOffice-focused but gradually became customer facing, like CRM Dynamics, Bing, and now LinkedIn.

This sequencing idea is the essence of product strategy and a key to demand generation success.

STEP 2: UNDERSTAND YOUR TARGET “CONTENT” AUDIENCE

Once you are clear on the kinds of accounts, you want to attract and the value you offer, it’s time to understand the decision dynamics for your solution in those accounts. While you will want to look at the entire path to purchase, let’s focus our attention on the top of the funnel:

WHO IS MOST LIKELY TO CHAMPION THE IDEA?

Not all champions get to vote.

You are really looking for one of those rare people inside an organization who can influence others.

Many try.

Few succeed.

Think about the functional role, the attitudes, the personality type, the credentials, the likely beliefs, and so on. This persona is who you are speaking to.

Even when your message reaches others in the company, as it probably will, they will often find this person for you.

Let them know who to look for.

WHAT EVENTS TRIGGER INTEREST?

Trigger events can be positive or negative (although, generally, people are far more motivated by pain-avoidance than by gain-attainment). These events can happen within a company or externally. They can happen on a day or over a long period of time.

The point is that those events often trigger companies into consideration for your solution. In many cases, these are problems your company can help address. You’ll want to understand what those trigger events are, like layoffs, leadership changes, new regulations, rapid growth, competitive encroachment, a round of VC funding, or employee turnover or customer churn.

You can then reference or otherwise leverage one or more such trigger events to help connect what your champion cares about to the possibility your solution might make a material difference. You can also research the prevalence of these trigger events in your target market to gauge the possible volume of demand that might exist.

Describing these trigger events clearly helps build for your prospect a bridge from what he or she understands to what he or she hasn’t considered.

WHAT UNCONSIDERED NEEDS CAN YOUR SOLUTION ADDRESS?

Generally, for people to change, they must feel the status quo is unsafe. And to do that, you must help them see what they do not see.

Jill Konrath in her excellent book, SNAP Selling, talks about “crazy busy” buyers. These are people who get so close to the day to day whirlwind of their jobs, they lose perspective. You want to help them see their situation with new eyes. This is the heart of the story you must tell.

To tell this story well, you really must understand the implications of these unmet needs.

Who is impacted by the status quo?

What does doing nothing cost, both short term and over time?

If you can quantify the benefit financially, you will empower your champion with the universal language of money, a language that everyone understands.

TO TELL OTHERS IN THE ORGANIZATION ABOUT YOUR SOLUTION, WHAT KEY BELIEFS WILL THE CHAMPION NEED TO HAVE?

You are not trying to get a champion to buy your solution at this point. You need your champion to begin to share your story enthusiastically with others.

To do so, she will need to believe a few things. She’ll have to believe your solution could make a big enough difference to warrant prioritizing your solution over any number of other things. Such an overarching belief often has some stepping-stone beliefs.

For example, I was just looking at a very cool software program (Conversica) that can apparently understand written email responses, including their tone and sentiment. So one stepping stone belief is that the AI engine can actually understand the nuances of the written language. Another is that my prospects won’t know they are not emailing a computer. A third might be that the program won’t inadvertently annoy my prospects.

WHAT EVIDENCE CAN YOU PRESENT?

Again, you are not trying to win the sale here. You are only trying to earn enough commitment to move the prospect from their status quo to interest in having a conversation with your company.

Still, you must present sufficient evidence to make the promise you are making credible enough to warrant taking the time to take a deeper look at your solution. To do so, you will need to marshal sufficient evidence to address the key beliefs your champion must have, both about your solution and the viability of your company.

Ideally, you are getting most of this information through direct interviews and/or focus groups, augmented with simple surveys. Usually, 5-10 interviews will give you what you need. If the information you are hearing gets redundant, you’ll know you have talked to a sufficient number of people. One tip: talk to these individuals during the purchase process or shortly after that while the experience is top of mind.

STEP 3: CLEARLY ARTICULATE YOUR TRUE VALUE PROPOSITION FOR YOUR PROSPECTS

Duh! Right?

And yet how often do you see words like “leading,” “exceptional,” “largest,” “greatest,” and other unbelievable, vague, vacuous claims?

One reason social media has become so popular is because people want another source of information they can trust: information from their friends or really anyone but the vendor and their media conspirators.

Part of the problem is that there is a LOT of things you can say about your solution and your company. But verbosity is confusing and boring. And if you really research your market, you’ll have a far more to share than you will need at the top of the funnel.

To find your value, you need to look at your solution through an honest, competitive lens and through the eyes of your customer. When doing so, you are looking for something your ideal customer wants badly that your competition doesn’t have. If your customers don’t want it, it doesn’t matter. If your customers want it and your competitors can also provide it, you’ll be in a low margin commodity business. Instead, you are looking for your only-factors, the ones your customers care deeply about and that only your company can make.

If your customers don’t want it, it doesn’t matter. If your customers want it and your competitors can also provide it, you’ll be in a low margin commodity business. Instead, you are looking for your only-factors, the ones your customers care deeply about and that only your company can make.

This is another case of getting your key stakeholders in a room to really grapple with this problem and come to a consensus. Look for three areas where you stand out and then build your messaging and story around these three value positions.

STEP 4: DEFINE YOUR MARKETING OBJECTIVE…OR SIMPLY, THE CALL TO ACTION

It’s important before you start to create content to consider your objective. It’s not to build your brand. That can certainly be something that happens as a by-product of your efforts, but it’s not the goal. The role of content at the top of the funnel is also not to generate clicks, traffic, inbound calls, or even leads, either. It’s also not to sell your product or service. That may be the endgame, but it’s not the objective at the top of the funnel.

I like to think of the objective as going to a party. Yes, you might secretly be hoping to meet the man or woman of your dreams, but you don’t go around asking someone who appeals to you to get married.

Rather, you’re just trying to spark a conversation, typically by being observant and interested in the other person. That’s the goal with demand generation. Show enough insight and interest to spark a conversation. Within the demand generation framework, each element must support that objective. If not, trim the fat, using your objective as a knife.

STEP 5: AND OH YES, DO LOVE YOUR PROSPECTIVE CUSTOMERS

This one may seem obvious, but there is a reason why sales and marketing often have bad reputations in the public square. Loving your customers starts by being respectful and empathetic toward them. And that means being authentic and honest, even if your tone needs to be playful. Treat them the way you would want to be treated. To the best of your ability, you want to climb behind the eyes of your would-be champion and experience the world the way she does. The more deeply you connect with them, the more effective the story you will tell.

This connection to your audience will generally help you find the right tone and voice, just as it does with people in your personal life.

Of course, with these five steps, you still need to create the content and adapt the content to the most appropriate method(s) of contact.

You’ll also need to make sure that the content and messaging at the top of the funnel is congruent with what comes later on.

But you’ll have a sound basis for breaking through the noise in the ever changing market because what you will offer will be rare, honest and true.

Now, if you are thinking to yourself, “Why take all these pains after all?”

Hmm…you can, after reading the statistics below.

Businesses that use content marketing get 6x more conversions than businesses that don’t (Source)

Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing (Source)

Content marketing generates 3x more leads than traditional marketing(Source)

82% of marketers who regularly blog see positive ROI from inbound marketing in general (Source)

Do you wish to be left behind?

I guess, no.

Until some other day…

To your marketing success,

Ron C.
CEO and Chief Copywriter, Copy-e-Writing

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