Do It! Marketing Blog: Marketing for Smart People™

Content Marketing helps prospects know, like, and trust you

Guest post by Hendrik-Jan Francke

If you are not actively implementing a content marketing strategy – because you don’t have the time, expertise, or don’t see the value – you are actively denying yourself the visibility and opportunity to get in front of prospects who want what you have to give. You are denying yourself more business!

Even if you do implement a plan, there is always room to improve. Learn why you need a content marketing strategy and a few tips to improve what you’re already doing.

Content marketing increases visibility, trust, and value of your brand

61% of consumers say custom content improves the way the they feel about a company and are also more likely to buy from that company.  Why do you need content marketing? Because consumers want it. Content marketing can help you:

  • Get found by more people
    The more you post to your blog and promote content across social media, people will start to take notice. You will drive more traffic to your blog and to your site.
  • Build brand trust and credibility
    By positioning yourself as a subject matter expert on the web, people will recognize your content is valuable and listen more intently to what you have to say.
  • Boost your SEO rank
    Content marketing is not an SEO strategy, but should be part of your SEO strategy. Relevant, insightful content, basic keyword optimization, and strategic social sharing can boost your traffic and improve your site’s overall SEO standing.
  • Prime and prepare prospects 
    When prospects that are primed with your content, prospects that already value your expertise, contact you for your services – why wouldn’t you close that deal?

Tips to Make Content Marketing more effective

So know you know the why, but the how takes more time and expertise. Time is fleeting, so take advantage of these tips.

  • Limit involvement to what is manageable
    You don’t need to blog daily or spend your day posting to social media to be effective. Limit your involvement to what is manageable. Create a content calendar to map out and schedule your blog posts, set aside a few hours each month to write, then use a tool like HootSuite to batch schedule social media posts promoting that article.
  • Know when, where, and how often you should post
    Maximize engagement by sharing and posting content where your audience will find it. If your audience isn’t on Pinterest, you don’t have to be either. But you can increase impressions and clicks by using analytics to track when your audience is most active on each social media platform.
  • Recycle your content to make it go further
    Generating 50 new blog ideas can be exhausting. Instead, take one strong piece of content you have and break that down into 10 web-friendly chunks you can use as blog articles. A little spit, polish, and strategic optimization can give your old content new perspective.

Bonus Tip: Know when to delegate!

This is probably the most important tip you need. If you can’t get the work done, delegate the tasks to an expert who can. You have the subject-matter expertise that your prospects want, but a partner that has the web writing, social media marketing, and key word optimization techniques can more effectively reach those prospects.

Start putting your plan into action

Take a quick survey of the content you already have - a book, presentations, white papers - and jot down a few ideas of how you can convert that into a blog and share it. The sooner you start your content marketing strategy, the sooner you will get results.

Ready to delegate the content marketing grunt work to a strategic partner that can amplify your results? You might be ready for your own Content Marketing Concierge.


hj headshot 150pxHendrik-Jan Francke is the owner, creative director, usability expert, and lead generation specialist of Bright Orange Thread. He and the Bright Orange Thread team deliver digital marketing solutions that engage visitors, encourage action, and result in more – and better qualified – leads.

Tags: marketing for speakers, marketing for coaches, consultant marketing, thought leadership marketing, marketing professional services, done for you marketing, marketing coach, speaker marketing, marketing for authors, marketing for consultants, social media marketing, content marketing

Marketing Coach: How to identify with your prospects on your blog

marketing concept business bloggingGuest post by Diana Urban

Some of the benefits of having a business blog is that you can generate leads from qualified prospects who visit, establish yourself as an industry thought-leader, and build business relationships in the blogosphere. This is most effectively done if you identify the persona(s) you're targeting and establish your voice when launching your blog.

The first things to consider are:

  • Who are you writing for?
  • What are you writing about?
Know your audience
Think about the type of person, on average, who you want to attract to your blog. Is it a 40-year-old head of manufacturing? Does he have a family? What are the pressures he faces? What is he interested in? What kinds of things does he do and read? Or perhaps your target audience is a 24 year-old professional who lives in a major city. What does he look like? What motivates him? What interests him? You should develop marketing personas for the types of prospects you want to attract to your blog so you have a mental picture of who you are writing for, and you can easily communicate this to others.

Brainstorm articles
Considering your marketing personas, brainstorm some articles you might write to appeal to your readers. Come up with 5 or 10 topics you could write about.

Keep tabs on related blogs
Find related blogs on the web; these can serve as an inspiration and to connect with fellow industry experts. Engaging with related blogs to understand:
  • What are the current hot topics in your industry
  • Common topics that personas in your industry enjoy reading
  • Gaps in topics that you can cover in your blog
As you find blogs that are interesting, subscribe to them via RSS or email. 

Comment on related blogs
As you skim the articles, try to think of interesting and insightful comments you might be able to leave. Note that "nice article" and "I agree" are NOT interesting or insightful. If you can think of a good comment, leave it. If you can't, just move on. The goals of commenting on articles are:
  • Develop a reputation in the blogosphere as a thought leader
  • Generate some site traffic through any link to your website that you can leave in the comment
  • Get the blogger's attention, which is useful later when you are initially promoting your blog and building links
  • Get comfortable projecting your voice and joining the conversation happening on the web
  • Over the course of a week or two, as you continue to read blog articles and leave comments, you should start to get a pretty good sense of what other bloggers are saying, the kind of content people in your industry like to read, current hot topics, etc.
Based on all the work you've done, you should now be able to articulate the "who" and "what" of your blog. Congratulations!!

Need help blogging? Contact us and we can help you get going and keep going with a prospect-magnet business blog.

Tags: consulting firm marketing, marketing professional services, professional services marketing, done for you marketing, professional speaker marketing, small business marketing, marketing mix, social media marketing, content marketing, business blogging, inbound marketing, internet marketing

Marketing Coach: Your Blogging Quick-Start Guide

blogging for business bwWant to Grow Your Business With Blogging? Here’s Your Quick-Start Guide

Guest post by Claudia Somerfield

One of the easiest and most powerful tools for growing your business is the business blog. Most marketing advisers suggest including a business blog as a sales tool. If you are a business owner, entrepreneur, or thought-leading professional and want to expand your influence with blogging, here is a quick-start guide that will have you up and running in no time at all.

Start with a clear plan

A common mistake that many businesses make when they start a blog is not having a long term plan in place. This applies to various aspects of the blog.

Consider these questions:

  • What is the core purpose of your blog?
  • How do you want it to look?
  • What should be the writing style and tone of your blog posts?
  • How openly do you want to position your blog as a sales tool?
  • What kind of interface do you want to offer your blog readers to contact you?
  • How do you want people to find your blog on a web search?

Having a clear cut strategy makes your blog much more focused, consistent and professional.

The web is often referred to as a fickle medium. If your blog readers do not find your blog of value, they will not return, they will not click through to your products or services, and they will not promote it by sharing it on their social networks.

At the end of the day, your reader looks for value, and your long term plan can help determine the specific nature and scope of the value you will offer.

Select your tool

The interface that you will use to upload and publish content on your blog is known as your blogging platform. There are several popular blogging platforms that you can choose from such as Blogger, Wordpress, and TypePad. While your web developer may provide you with a "home-made" interface on your website to create and add content to your blog, it is much easier and more efficient to integrate one of the more popular platforms. Take a look at what these platforms offer, and choose the one that appeals to you the most.

Create classy content

If you want your business blog to attract readers, and if you want the blog to become an integral part of your business strategy, you will have generate high quality content. You may want to employ the services of a professional blogger or content writer for this or you can do it yourself.

In the context of a business, there is no one who knows the nuances of the business better than you. However, you will want to keep in mind that it takes consistent posting of good content on a regular basis on your blog for it to grow in value.

Many business blogs make the mistake of compromising quality of content for quantity, over-using techniques like link building and search engine optimization to get more traffic to their blogs, but across time, they fail to engage the readers or to get them to respond to their call to action.


The key to popularizing your blog is to promote it. This can be as simple as sending out email announcements every time you update your blog, sharing it on your social networks, and notifying what are known as pinging services that will update web directories with your new content.

Social bookmarking sites are another commonly used promotion tool. The most popular social bookmarking platforms that are worth your time are Delicious, Digg, and StumbleUpon.


Start building relationships with other business bloggers. Promote their work on your networks. This may seem counterproductive especially if they are your competitors, but it will establish you as a fair and open networker. This will also help you study other business blogs and learn the tricks of the trade. Study how they use interesting content to get their readers attention and how they convert it either into return visits or a click through to products and services.

Visit other blogs and leave your opinions in the comments section. As people take note of your opinion, you will find them wanting to network with you and your blog. As with everything in life, blogging for business has a certain amount of give and take involved. The more you give, the greater your chances of taking something back.

Business blogging is proven strategy that will help your business grow. However, for a blog to be noticed and acquire a reputation among readers and clients, it takes time and dedicated effort.

Study the basics of search engine optimization and keyword research so that you are able to bolster your content with the technical strength it needs to reach the top of search results. Make your content interesting and useful.

Remember that your blog posts are not direct sales messages, but rather high-value assets with which to build a community of interested readers who are your potential customers.

As you grow your dedicated readership, you will find that your blog has become a significant source of web traffic, leads, referrals, and new business.


About the author: Claudia is a blogger by profession. She loves writing on luxury and technology. She recently read an article on a t-rex car that attracted her attention. Her next writing project involves a flying car.

Tags: marketing for speakers, marketing speaker, marketing success, marketing for coaches, consulting firm marketing, marketing concept, marketing agency, new media, marketing professional services, blog, done for you marketing, professional speaker marketing, marketing ideas, marketing coach, marketing strategist, motivational speaker marketing, marketing consultant, small business marketing, small business marketing speaker, marketing tip, content marketing, inbound marketing, becoming an expert, internet marketing

"Magic Service" about to launch for speakers, consultants, coaches

done for you marketing services-----
PERSONAL NOTE: Although I started my marketing speaking and consulting business in 2001, my work has focused almost exclusively on making professional speakers successful since 2003. For the last 7 years, that's what gets me flying out of bed each morning (sometimes at 5am!) and it's what brings me the biggest professional joy on a daily basis. Enough about me - let's talk about YOU...

If YOU are a professional speaker, coach, consultant, author, or thought-leading solopreneur, your marketing and business development prayers may be only a few days away from being answered...

Whoa... Stop the tape! That paragraph sounded like a lot of hype and malarkey, didn't it?

done for you marketing services for professional speakersIt did to me, too - except that for YEARS, my secret dream was to find a "Magic Service" that would take marketing, prospecting, and booking tasks (and all the gruntwork too!) OFF my plate and let me refocus 99% of my time and energy on working with my amazing clients and speaking to the groups I love.

  • Was it a Virtual Assistant firm? That helped - but no
  • Was it my Webmaster? Great for tech - not for this
  • Was it my Sales Coach? Love the guy, but he wasn't gonna do my work for me
  • Was it my Mastermind Group? Super for accountability - the work was still on me
  • Was it my own Marketing Consultant (yup I've hired 'em too) - wonderful insights but zero implementation help
  • Was it my Intern? She's awesome for prescriptive tasks, but not the marketing brains + marketing brawn "Magic Service" I was envisioning
  • Was it recruiting and training my own Marketing Manager? Over the years, I tried - but it was hit or miss. Faith came from the printing industry and was great at selling printing - not speakers. Pete was a radio guy - and smart, hardworking, and persistent. But this wasn't radio. And Glenda - well, don't ask about Glenda. As she tells it, she couldn't book me because I "wasn't already famous" and "nobody knows my name" (Guess whose job it was for them to GET to know my name!!) 

So where did that leave me? I had three options:

  1. I could wait to get rich and famous on my own and then maybe - just maybe - work with one of a few "elite" speaker agencies like Holli Catchpole's SpeakersOffice. (As of now, unless you're willing to change your first name to Nido, Jim, or Desi, Holli's roster is full up.)  
  2. I could wait to get rich and famous on my own and then perhaps some wonderful speaker's bureaus would become interested in booking me once I was already booking 30-40 gigs a year under my own steam at fees between $7,500 and $10k per speech
  3. As a marketing speaker as well as a marketing coach to some of the best and brightest NSA speakers and other experts who speak professionally, I could create the "Magic Service" that I myself wanted to use. 

(Music - Lights - Drums): NEW "Done For You" Marketing Services and NEW Speaker Booking Service debut in May 2010...

Part I: Done for You Marketing Services

done-for-you speaker marketing services This idea has been percolating - and our team has been strategizing together on how to best launch these services for you since January of 2009, so this is definitely not some random collection of subcontractors that other consultants may trot out from time to time.

I've worked individually with each member of our team and they have proven themselves time after time on multiple client projects ranging from a few hundred dollars to design your killer business card to $10,000+ for creating your complete online and offline marketing platform, print materials, video, social media, and a host of monthly ongoing "done-for-you" services.

Part II: Speaker Booking Service

The most exciting part - for which we're almost at capacity even before the launch - is the new Speaker Booking Service...

Because of the devastating 2008-2009 downsizings and layoffs in the world of speaker's bureaus, event management companies, trade and professional associations, and meeting planning firms, there's an unprecedented glut of amazing talent out there who...

  • Know the meetings industry inside-out
  • Can articulate the value proposition of hiring strong professional speakers
  • Will hit the ground running already well-practiced with between 70-80% of what they need to know, say, and do to get the interest of decision-makers and open long-lasting relationships (and between you and me, we'll teach them the other 20-30% of what they'll need to book YOU specifically!)
  • Don't need to be "shown the ropes" in the speaking industry because they've already been actively working in it - either on the buying side or the selling side or both
  • Will get to know you and your thought leadership platform in detail so they can represent you as your dedicated marketing and sales rep with no overhead, no recruiting hassles, and no turnover headaches 
  • Will stick around because YOU don't need to feed them 40 hours of work per week - we will!
  • Will get better the more you use them because you will get a dedicated agent with whom you book a block of outbound marketing hours. Our booking staff becomes your booking staff
  • Will become more affordable the more you use them because as you buy bigger blocks of time, your hourly rate will go down. If you become a high-volume client, it's possible that based on our work together, your hourly fees eventually disappear in exchange for a higher commission rate on booked business. (Totally your call, but the service is designed to maximize the value for you either way)

done for you marketing services for speakers, consultants, and coachesFinally, the kicker is - with these two new services, you get BOTH the brains AND the brawn. You may not want consulting from me right now and you might just want some "done-for-you" services such as the booking service...

You STILL get my input as your "marketing quarterback." As you work with our team of speaker booking agents, graphic designers, web designers, social media specialists, ghostwriters, and the rest of my team, I'm watching the process, helping guide your decisions, and serving as "creative director" to the team and "marketing advisor" to YOU. 

Frankly, it's amazing to me that nothing like this hybrid marketing strategy plus done-for-you services firm existed to help make professional speakers, consultants, and thought-leading solopreneurs successful. But it's here now!  

I'm so excited I can hardly stand it. If you're equally pumped about this and/or want to learn more, call me at 610-716-5984 or drop me an email at and we'll talk about which of these services might help YOU become more visible, more marketable, more bookable - and more successful!!!

Keep your eye on the Done For You Marketing Services page over the next few weeks as we roll out the details and initial service offerings so you can see all the "marketing jobs" we'll be able to take off your plate. 

Tags: marketing for speakers, marketing speaker, marketing strategy, marketing for coaches, done for you marketing