Good Reads

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Long but terrific New York Times article on where social media fits into marketing and advertising today. Can it sell? The writer ponders its ability to move merchandise and its value to society in Can Social Media Sell Soap?

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How important is ease of customer service to you? To your business? Check out these statistics on customer service and social media at Sprout Insights.

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Are you mindful of relationships with customers? (And creative in nurturing them?) If you thought the Sprout Insights story above was interesting, try this: Here’s L.L. Bean: The importance of relationships in CRM and social in CSR from Brian Solis’ blog. Is a great story, a worthy read and has a terrific short video.

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Wish Facebook was more attractive? Check out this designer’s beautiful vision for a redesigned Facebook from The Next Web.

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Did you ever stand in line for hours to ride the Pirates of the Caribbean? Me, too! The folks at Disney are about to unleash a whole new way for customers to use their parks this spring. In the New York Times’ At Disney Parks, a Bracelet Meant to Build Loyalty (and Sales), take a look at how evolving technology can vastly improve the customer’s experience.

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If you missed this amongst the native ad mumbo jumbo main story, you may find these 5 Marketing Predictions for 2013 by Mashable to be quite interesting.

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Do you use your contact database on a regular basis to reach out to clients? How often do you clean up the records? If you can’t remember, you may want to Resolve to Have a Better Contact Database in 2013.

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Art fan? This creative artist crafts sculptures from old encyclopedias. Take a look at Design Taxi.

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If you’re an entrepreneur, hopefully you’re already doing what you love. But there’s always the possibility it isn’t what you love anymore. Or it’s not what you thought it would be. A great way to start the year: Seth Godin’s Doing what you love (but maybe you can’t get paid for it).

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In Four Types of Visual Content That Cut Through the Noise, Marketing Profs provides a short list of great tools to reach out to your prospects online. Which one(s) of these are best for your business?

January 8, 2013|Good Reads|

About the Author:

Marcia Macomber
Bringing a cornucopia of services to her clients, Marcia provides graphic design, market strategy, social media, copywriting, website, video and many other services. Too impatient to wait for others to deliver the goods, Marcia prefers to usher projects from the twinkle in a client's eye to the finishing touches on a big stage. What are you dreaming you need to market your business?

Good Reads

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From the hard questions to fun videos, here are a few quick reads (or views) worth your time to kick off the New Year.

Haven’t yet joined the social media bandwagon? Not sure if it’s right for your business? (Maybe it’s not!) Here are 20 (superb) questions to ask if you’re not sure social media is right for your business.

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On clarifying your ideas, goals and long-term vision: Chris Brogan recommends distilling them all down into 3 words for the whole year. Can you think of 3 words that represent all that?

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Interested in adding an element of gaming to your marketing mix? Here are some tips on what to incorporate to ensure your gaming tool is well-received.
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Are you thinking of creating a LinkedIn group to extend your content marketing reach and expertise? Here are 5 Tips for Effectively Managing a LinkedIn Group, a terrific post from Social Media Examiner with easy guideposts to steer you to success.
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Strategy time: Now you need to tell your brand story. What’s the best medium? Who do you tell it to? (Who will listen?) Perhaps the best place to start might be considering How to Tell Your Brand’s Story: Four Questions You Must Answer.
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Have you ever thought, “If only I could come up with one really good idea for a business?” Perhaps an idea has already presented itself to you. But if you missed the opportunity, you may feel all the good ideas are already taken. Not true. Check out How to Find New Business in Everyday Life from Entrepreneur Magazine for a fresh approach
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Do you use Google Play? I had no idea all the things you could do with this app. In Cookie Monster Falls Off Wagon Early in 2013 in Google’s New Year Spot, Ad Freak takes a hilarious look in this video at its features. Enjoy!
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One of the things I learned starting my own business was that it’s ALL about understanding my clients and prospects. If I don’t get their point of view, the relationship is doomed. In Industrialists vs. the rest of us, Seth Godin provides a crystal clear definition of two types of entrepreneurs – or maybe it’s really just one plus the rest.
January 3, 2013|Good Reads|

About the Author:

Marcia Macomber
Bringing a cornucopia of services to her clients, Marcia provides graphic design, market strategy, social media, copywriting, website, video and many other services. Too impatient to wait for others to deliver the goods, Marcia prefers to usher projects from the twinkle in a client's eye to the finishing touches on a big stage. What are you dreaming you need to market your business?

Good Reads

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Looking for a little year-end beauty to enjoy? Check out these 20 beautiful book covers chosen by graphic designers around the world. (Obviously it’s not all the best designers, as no one asked me!)

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Still debating about the value of social media? (“It’s great for bigger companies!” “I don’t have time to bother with it!” “My customers don’t use it.”) Here’s a fun, short, easy-to-read success story to enjoy: Social Media Eye for the Small Business Guy: A Chicago Butcher Gets a Makeover.

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The holidays seem fraught with a lot of highly annoying advertising. In The 5 Most Insulting Ways Products Are Advertised to Men, the writers take a look at a series of print and TV commercials that clearly convey the target market is a lot dumber than you might otherwise think.

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In the 4 Best Practices for Digital Marketers in 2013, Jonathan Gardner predicts some shifts in marketing efforts for the New Year. At the top of his list: mobile marketing, which goes hand in hand with viewability. (An awful lot of us can’t see the videos or ads created for mobile. What good is that?)

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As a graphic designer having crafted my share of company logos, I sympathize with those who feel the University of California Logo Change Sparks Online Outrage. If you missed the recent flak over the changes, it’s an interesting story. (For the record, I agree with a student’s comment that the new logo looks like “something found in the toddler section of Toys R Us.”)

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Finally, if you still haven’t found the perfect gift for all your Friends (in case you missed it), Facebook now allows you to buy gifts for Facebook Friends and notify them the gift is on its way (even if it won’t make it until after Christmas). How cool is that? If you’re a retailer or even a consultant with only services to package and sell, you can now get on the Gifts bandwagon at Facebook to up your social media ROI. Merry Christmas, Friends and Fans! Here are the tips in Facebook Makes Big Last-Minute Holiday Drive To Sell Gifts With Banners Atop The Web And Mobile Feeds.

December 22, 2012|Good Reads|

About the Author:

Marcia Macomber
Bringing a cornucopia of services to her clients, Marcia provides graphic design, market strategy, social media, copywriting, website, video and many other services. Too impatient to wait for others to deliver the goods, Marcia prefers to usher projects from the twinkle in a client's eye to the finishing touches on a big stage. What are you dreaming you need to market your business?

Good Reads

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This week’s good reads cover a wide array of marketing, advertising and design topics. Pick and choose what suits your fancy!

If you’ve dabbled in or been a devotee of PPC (pay-per-click) ads, it may be news to you that there’s less value in conversion from clicks as there is from mere impressions. (Say what?) Most online advertising is priced to buyers based upon the number of clicks your ad receives. But what if the number of clicks either doesn’t convert to sales or doesn’t justify the expense? We all know that frequency of clicks is microscopically small compared to the number of folks who actually SEE your ad. That doesn’t mean that you haven’t made an impression if there was no click through. Roger Dooley examines this anomaly in buyer behavior in Clicks Don’t Count! Further, tests have shown that the most crucial factor in online ads is position: above the fold. If your ad loads below the fold, the page visitor may never see it and never scroll down.

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On the flip side of Roger’s report above, Facebook introduces Promoted Posts, a pay-per-impression ad that allows you to build your reach beyond your existing Likes. In Facebook gives page owners new option to reach friends of fans with ‘Promote’ button, Inside Facebook takes a look at how this new advertising feature works. And by the way, I have social media peeps who report you can actually target the audience of these ads IF you schedule your promoted post in advance (allowing you to go back in and edit, garnering you access to additional demographic targeting features). I haven’t yet tried it myself. But I’ve seen this now available on my fan page. This is a great way to build Likes.
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Looking for a quick ‘n’ easy way to test close a sale? Roger Dooley takes a look at the unusual but effective technique in Make a Crazy Request, Close the Deal. Turns out that asking a prospect to do something decidedly out-of-the-box increased the probability the prospect would close later on a deal.
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Truly inspiring advertising is rare. The level of creativity is more than a step above the surroundings and yet it isn’t untrue to the product or message. Check out this incredible video advertising for Norway’s Nettbuss. A bus? Yup. This is an ad firm’s answer on how to get commuters to take the bus. It’s spectacular!
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How often have you looked at the wine selection in the grocery store or wine shop and been thoroughly frustrated because they all look so similar? That’s today’s honest complaint from Jeffrey Slater in Whining who works in the cork industry (for wine bottles). It’s a valid point. Why don’t wineries use varied bottling like the spirits industry which uses shape and color to differentiate themselves in the market.
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Trying to understand why your updates sometimes really last in Newsfeed and other times they are a blip? Take a look at this infographic about EdgeRank to learn how the algorithm works to favor the socially active online.
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Are you a fan of Gilbert & Sullivan? The English language as a whole? A good turn of phrase? Well, then this spin on minding English grammar is for you!
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You may have noticed the need to up your game as a professional. If you are a consultant, you may have more than redoubled your efforts and skills. Seth Godin has some sage advice for what it takes in today’s business climate in If you want to get paid.
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Looking for a visual break? Inspiration? Check out these highly creative ‘hand’ ads that depict everything from wild animals to a cityscape. I think the Against Abuse ad is the one I find the most original and effective. And while you’re there, check out the creative logos. Constructive Ideas is my favorite one of them.
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Here’s my favorite line from Chris Brogan’s blog about choosing your customers: “Because customers that aren’t a fit create friction,” Isn’t that it in a nutshell? Of course, yes, I noticed there’s a less than booming economy out there. You can’t always be picky. But do you honestly not see, feel and hear the difference between your raving fans and the ones who just aren’t a perfect fit?
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If you’re struggling to gain more engagement and fans on Facebook, Mari Smith has a great post on 5 Way to Increase Your Facebook Engagement for SocialMedia Examiner. Contests are a great way to improve your page performance!
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I speak with many solo business owners who prefer to have all their marketing verbiage written formally: “We offer these services or that product line.” Or, “We’d be happy to help you with…” even though it’s just one person. (You can probably find remnants of first person plural on my own site. I’ve tried to change most of it to “I” and “me” throughout. But I’m sure I’ve missed a few that need changing.) Chris Brogan makes the case in People Want the Real You to drop the royal “we” in your literature, conversation and dealings with clients. I agree. I’ve even worked with folks with imaginary/fake silent partners they can put the blame on when a customer doesn’t like a reply. That’s okay. But I think we’ve passed that point during which it worked. What do you think?
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Marketing Profs offers a well-researched and simply laid out article on how to Go From Good to Great by Listening to Your Customers. If you’ve had any recent incidents where you thought you understood a customer only to find out later you missed the mark, this is the story for you.
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Here’s another great one from Marketing Profs (probably because the meat and potatoes is in video so less reading!) Check out Hey, Doubters: Dynamic Video Shows Why Pinterest Really Does Boost Business to learn how you might begin taking advantage of this fun medium.
September 19, 2012|Good Reads, Online Marketing, Social Media|

About the Author:

Marcia Macomber
Bringing a cornucopia of services to her clients, Marcia provides graphic design, market strategy, social media, copywriting, website, video and many other services. Too impatient to wait for others to deliver the goods, Marcia prefers to usher projects from the twinkle in a client's eye to the finishing touches on a big stage. What are you dreaming you need to market your business?

Good Reads

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Lots of Good Reads this week on a variety of topics from social media to getting rich! Here they are:

We’d all like to be filthy rich, right? And we all have lots of preconceptions about the rich, right? If you’re curious about what they do or think differently, then 21 Ways Rich People Think Differently is perfect for you. I was utterly fascinated by some of the findings reported. If you think they’re just a lot luckier than those with less money, take a look. What do you think?

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In One Name, Three Ways, Nancy Friedman takes a look (via photos) at a bar on Geary Blvd. in San Francisco. What do the three different signs have to say about what to expect inside? Well, given the variation in font styles for each sign, I’d have to say schizophrenic.
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I’ve long advocated a wise choice of words in your marketing copy. (Say the wrong thing and you turn off a potential buyer; say the right thing and close the deal.) In Persuade with Silky Smooth Copy, Roger Dooley goes so far to explain that sensory adjectives actually stimulate neurotransmitters in ways that non-sensory descriptors (that are synonyms) cannot. They may leave the reader with far less connection to the product or service. What’s it all mean? Choosing your words wisely can translate into making sales…or not!
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While the article headline is a bit salacious: Female Flirting: Sound Business Strategy, the content is a bit more sober and begs the question: “Is this really a good idea?” Judging from the lengthy negative comments after Roger Dooley’s story for Forbes, I’d have to say no. However, extracting the very basic elements of behavior (male or female) of “charm” (not just “feminine charm”) from the experiment, the ability to negotiate a better deal using charm seems logical. My definition of charm here is employing kindness, being genuinely complimentary (when deserved) and showing interest in the other party. Why should all that translate into negotiating a better deal? Easy. The object of all that charm will feel better with the personal attention. (NOTE: If done poorly or disingenuously, this will backfire.) When you feel better, you are more likely to give the other person what they ask for as you wish to please them or make them feel good too. What do you think?
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Have you always heard you must rise early to be productive? Not so, according to Lydia Dishman, writing for Fast Company. In What Successful Night Owls Get Done Before Bed, she reviews the work habits and studies of several successful entrepreneurs who do their best work in the wee hours.
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Look over this terrific post with fresh ideas on incorporating QR codes into email campaigns, including time sensitive deadlines on using them and more. In How to incorporate QR codes into your email strategy, learn more about effective use of this technology as it continues to grow in adoption.
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Seth Godin’s post, Advertising’s bumpy transition (and why it matters to you), is longer than most of his but is worth reading at least twice. We’ve all been trained to look at magazine and TV advertising as a kind of spray ‘n’ pray technique (with the added benefit that a ton of folks will see the ad even if they don’t take action right away). Now web ads are quite different beasts, but your ads do get seen by tons of folks if they’re on the right page. What’s the value in that even when someone doesn’t click on your ad?
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In Branding: Avoiding Bad Neighborhoods, Roger Dooley takes a look at what might happen if a business brand associates with the ‘wrong type’ or place or experience. Does it build in negative associations with neurotransmitters? If you were stuck daily in traffic on the Nabisco freeway, would you begin thinking badly about this brand?
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Fun find for a logo designer: The new blog Emblemetric highlights trends in logo/wordmark design as registered with the USPTO office. If you’re wondering if your own logo is part of a rising or falling trend, simply dial in to this site to see if its characteristics are becoming more or less popular.
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Do you stumble with your suffixes when you need to pluralize Jones? Not sure about its possessive? In Nancy Friedman’s Not Keeping Up, she explains simply how to remember when to add an “es” or an apostrophe (or both).
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Here are How 4 Small Businesses Are Winning on Pinterest: In this terrific Entrepreneur article, Kevin Falls looks at how small businesses can use Pinterest to advantage, from a plumber to an artist. Ideas are creative, original, and most importantly, are generating traffic and revenue for these businesses.
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Want to reward your customers to keep them coming back for more? Try a bit of gamification in your marketing. What? In Juice Your Marketing with Dopamine, Roger Dooley looks at the reward factor in the brain. Is your client more likely to return with this type of positive reinforcement? Bottom line: gaming mechanisms and results can change the brain wiring…perhaps in a good way for your company!
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Everyone hates junk mail, right? It follows everyone hates spam, Facebook ads, the annoying banner ads that launch into video when you accidentally roll your mouse over them and don’t know it and so on. Seth Godin takes a look at the paradox of who the real customer is across different mediums (and particularly on Twitter). If you are a Twitter user, the Difficult challenge of media alignment is a fascinating read.
September 6, 2012|Good Reads|

About the Author:

Marcia Macomber
Bringing a cornucopia of services to her clients, Marcia provides graphic design, market strategy, social media, copywriting, website, video and many other services. Too impatient to wait for others to deliver the goods, Marcia prefers to usher projects from the twinkle in a client's eye to the finishing touches on a big stage. What are you dreaming you need to market your business?

Good Reads

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This week a variety of good reads on several marketing, design and writing topics:
Starting a new company? Considering an identity makeover for your existing company? This 6 minute documentary from PBS, The Art of Logo Design, is fun to watch, information
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Terrific, short post from Randi Rossman at Quiddity Marketing on key elements to ensure you Don’t Scare Your Prospects Away. Important stuff to review and make sure your website or copy isn’t actually sending away your prospects.
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Are you considering a website redesign? (Or starting a new one?) Here’s a terrific post to help you as the buyer understand Why Content Marketers Need to be Involved in Website Redesigns. What’s that mean in English? Modern marketing (i.e. marketing in the teens of the 21st century) means your value (to prospects as well as to Google for a good results rating in search) gets a huge upgrade when your website is designed around fabulous content – your expertise. But that content won’t be found as easily if you don’t bring in a search engine optimizer (i.e. that content manager) early to ensure your new site gets the attention (from the search engines) it deserves.
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Kissmetrics, a highly regarded tech/social media firm, offers 50 Ways To Seduce Your Web Visitors With Persuasive Landing Pages. Why should you care? You want to sell your stuff, right? You don’t want folks to just leave your website. Well, you’ll really enjoy all 50 ways because this blog post is entirely visual. Each one has an example from a real website of the right way to grab a visitor’s attention and move her to the next step in the sales process.
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Although Susan DeMatei’s guest post for Vin65 titled, How to Be a Web Analytics Rockstar, is targeted to the wine industry, all of her suggestions apply to any industry. Sure, those Google Analytics reports can look intimidating. The terminology can sound like a foreign language. But if you get a handle on a few key terms (outlined in her post) and create a simple spreadsheet in which to track trends in those numbers, you’ll understand exactly what is and isn’t working in your website.
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Over at Mashable, they’re talking about How Online Marketing Can Fuel Offline Conversations. What’s that really mean? It’s what’s online that generates conversations around the old water cooler. They have five great tips for writing online content that will get folks talking. It’s step numero uno to expanding your reach!
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At Top Dog Social Media, Melonie Dodaro outlines 3 Critical Online Marketing Strategies For Professionals, which (spoiler alert!) includes using LinkedIn for lead generation; blogging for demonstrating your expertise; and search engine optimization (SEO) for being found. NOTE: I’m a bit partial to this firm simply for the excellent logo!
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Fast Company has 5 Rules For Marketing In The Age Of Discovery. The gist of this nicely told story about marketing in this new age (of discovery): Your product is your message. And peer influence is becoming more and more powerful for decision-making. (How are your customer testimonials going???)
August 22, 2012|Good Reads|

About the Author:

Marcia Macomber
Bringing a cornucopia of services to her clients, Marcia provides graphic design, market strategy, social media, copywriting, website, video and many other services. Too impatient to wait for others to deliver the goods, Marcia prefers to usher projects from the twinkle in a client's eye to the finishing touches on a big stage. What are you dreaming you need to market your business?

Good Reads

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Facebook Changes

You may already have a Recommendations Button on your blog. But now Facebook has launched their own Recommendations Bar Plugin (for WordPress websites) that goes much further than before by taking into consideration what your reader has already seen and recommended. See how it may enhance your website and blog. (I’ll be looking to add this to my own website soon.)
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Facebook’s been taking a bit of (well-deserved) pummeling in recent weeks. Users have been pushing back over how well their content is reaching actual fans (and it wasn’t looking good). Facebook, in response, is rolling out what could be quite the awesome tool for small business to aid in targeting fresh fans. This would be their Post Targeting Tool, which will allow you to target market segments in great detail with new updates you post. Choose gender, age demographics, interests and much more for the type of viewer you’d like to see your post. This tool is rolling out in waves, so you may not see it on your page for a while.
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Have you heard of the Voice feature on Facebook? I didn’t know it had that name. (I have heard of the TV show though of the same name.) In short, the Voice is the feature that lets you switch between posting as you on Facebook and using the ‘voice’ of your page instead. This terrific, easy-to-watch video does a terrific job of showing the differences and explaining why you may want to switch easily (which you couldn’t do awhile ago) between your voices on Facebook.
August 4, 2012|Good Reads|

About the Author:

Marcia Macomber
Bringing a cornucopia of services to her clients, Marcia provides graphic design, market strategy, social media, copywriting, website, video and many other services. Too impatient to wait for others to deliver the goods, Marcia prefers to usher projects from the twinkle in a client's eye to the finishing touches on a big stage. What are you dreaming you need to market your business?

Good Reads

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You may be wondering why I recommend reading Hubspot’s Why I Fired My Marketing Agency? The reason is the writer makes wonderful suggestions on how to ensure you have a successful relationship with anyone advising you on your marketing. No one wants a bitter and unproductive relationship. A key recommendation is to ensure you’re crystal clear about your objectives and the agency’s objectives.
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Have you been posting photos of your products (or customers using your products) to your social media pages? What are your results? If they’re less than stellar at creating strong engagement with fans, it’s time to examine your efforts: Does each photo contribute something to the interests of your biggest fans? If not, you may simply be treading water. Check out Social Media Examiner’s 13 Tips to Combine Photos and Social Media for Greater Exposure to stimulate your creative juices for more social media success.
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Beth Hayden’s excerpted article, 5 Ways Brands Use Pinterest To Authentically Connect, from her book, Pinfluence: The Complete Guide to Marketing Your Business with Pinterest, is not only a great primer for creating an effective strategy on this social media site. But it’s also a fabulous primer on marketing basics: Know your customer first. Get in the business of solving your customer’s problems and sales will increase.
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This video, A Marketer’s Guide to Pinterest, is also another great introductory guide to maximizing your use of Pinterest. This is a great watch if you’re wondering what all the hoopla is about, and you’d rather not make a huge effort learning about it. Start with this video.
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From the Harvard Business Review blog, I Won’t Hire People Who Use Poor Grammar. Here’s Why. It’s amusing. It’s accurate. It explains why some of us get a bit peeved over mis-usage and other errors.
July 25, 2012|Good Reads|

About the Author:

Marcia Macomber
Bringing a cornucopia of services to her clients, Marcia provides graphic design, market strategy, social media, copywriting, website, video and many other services. Too impatient to wait for others to deliver the goods, Marcia prefers to usher projects from the twinkle in a client's eye to the finishing touches on a big stage. What are you dreaming you need to market your business?

Good Reads

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In case you missed it, do you need to rethink how marketing fits into your business culture altogether for 2012? Is it an expense? An investment in your brand? A necessary evil? (LOL) Take a look at this Q&A at Copyblogger I cited in the main story to see where marketing fits into your business belief system.
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Seth Godin On Buying Something for the First Time is a fascinating look at the challenges of selling something new. We buy Wheaties cereal because Mom bought it before. (I’m protecting the innocent. This wasn’t the cereal of choice in our house.) In fact, for a period of time folks bought Oldsmobiles because Dad did (also not the car brand of choice in our house). What does that mean for someone who’s never gotten therapy but wants to see a therapist? Impossible? What if you want to go to college, but no one in your family’s gone to school past high school? It also includes a great, six-minute video.
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Curious about what goes into rebranding a big, famous company with an already recognizable logo? Hewlett Packard’s recently gone under the rebranding knife, but they haven’t said yet if they’ll adapt the proposed new logo. Take a look to see what you think about the change.
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Do you get terrified of having to make presentations? Would you like to get better at it? Marc McGuinness has some great tips for putting together a great presentation without making PowerPoint a complete crutch.
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Are you curious about what some of the world’s biggest websites looked like when they launched? Mashable put together a little slide show of where some of these giants began.
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Seth Godin wrote a few very wise words about Trustiness right before Christmas that are worth your reading. He cites examples that banks use marble pillars and guards to give the impression our money is safe. (We all know how that worked out!) So what are you doing to gain your customers’ trust?
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From Roger Dooley at NeuroScience Marketing: Nine Words Nearly Double Results is a well-written post on the success rate of Salvation Army solicitations at grocery stores. Surely this is a topic with which you’ve recently encountered a bell-ringer? Or maybe you used the other door to the store to avoid the bell-wielding volunteer? Dooley explores the experimentation of the bell-ringer asking for a donation (the ‘nine words’) versus passive bell-ringing and also ties it together with for-profit asking-for-the-sale experiences. Insightful.
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Do you want more Twitter followers? Chris Brogan had about a jillion of them. He’s pared down. (Smart thinking!) He has a few wise words in this post about how to do it. The mystery to me? Although he advises not to spend too much time on Twitter (or else it’s like watching soap operas – an accurate metaphor, I think), the tasks he suggests you perform each day will eat up gobs of your work time.
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In Roger Dooley’s How to Write Taglines that Double Sales, he explores the results of promotion vs. prevention advertising by appealing to customer segments that resonate with the appropriate message. Will the majority of your target market respond to: “Save 15% now,” or prefer: “Get 1 free when you buy 10”?
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Have you been working on your own regular email newsletter? How’s your open rate? If it’s not where you want it to be, you may want to consider these 10 Ways To Make People Actually Read Your Emails.
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If you’ve been hammering away at your social media campaigns, wondering why they’re not as effective as you wished, perhaps you’re working too hard in the wrong area. Take a look at these great 7 Unwritten Rules of Social Media.
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Chris Brogan thinks You’re Not as Busy as You Think. And he’s probably right. We all say we’re busy, but exactly how busy is that? And could you do better at really being busy?
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Wise words about in 6 Social Media Lessons from David Ogilvy. Never mind that social media didn’t exist in Ogilvy’s day. The advice is timeless. It’s a short and worthy read.
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Have you been wondering what exactly is ‘content marketing’? Look no further! If you’ve been hearing quite a lot about these buzz words but haven’t been able to grasp what everyone’s talking about, here is a terrific primer: The Beginner’s Guide to Content Marketing is filled with basic information on why you should consider setting up your own content marketing program. What are the benefits? How is it different from traditional marketing? Take a look.
January 4, 2012|Good Reads|

About the Author:

Marcia Macomber
Bringing a cornucopia of services to her clients, Marcia provides graphic design, market strategy, social media, copywriting, website, video and many other services. Too impatient to wait for others to deliver the goods, Marcia prefers to usher projects from the twinkle in a client's eye to the finishing touches on a big stage. What are you dreaming you need to market your business?

Good Reads

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There have been a lot of great articles (and videos) out there recently. Choose what appeals to you:

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Check out If You Really Want to Get Something Done to learn more about goal-setting and tackling those insanely unrealistic deadlines.
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Although Seth Godin titles this piece: What good interview questions are actually trying to discover, I read them more as a list of excellent questions to ask yourself about your own business! When should you stop pushing on a project? How well do you take criticism (and how does it affect your business)? As always, Seth gets you thinking!
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Considering launching a YouTube channel for your business? Mashable has some great, simple tips for learning how this venue works best for small businesses.
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Are you tripped up about when to use your and you’re? How about there, they’re and their? Editorial Emergency is Setting A Few Parameters to help you keep similar words straight.
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How spending method affects buying decisions: If the majority of your clients pay by cash, they’re giving a lot more consideration to cost than you may realize. If, on the other hand, your customers pay mostly by credit card, they’re focusing far more on product benefits. Read What’s in Your Wallet? From NeuroScience Marketing to learn more about how to target your customers based on payment type.
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In The Dark Side of Adjectives NeuroScience Marketing takes a look at how the quantity of adjectives in your blog posts affects readership. Too many descriptors turn off readers.
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How One Company Saved Thousands of Dogs Using Social Media not only is a great story about saving lots of worthy doggie lives, but it also provides step-by-step tips on how to engage customers (non-profit or for-profit) on social media sites and spur them into action.
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Trying to get a handle on managing your social media accounts, posts and replies? Look no further! Entrepreneur Magazine shows How to Create a Social Media Marketing Schedule.
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I’ve discussed the Lifetime Value of a Customer (LVC) in the past in this post, which corresponds, of course with the Cost per Customer (or cost of acquisition). This past month Seth Godin also has a short timely post on this very subject worth pondering.
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In What Guy Kawasaki Learned From Steve Jobs you’ll see a short online five-slide presentation. One point I agree with wholeheartedly: Customers don’t always know what they want until they see it. You can’t focus group everything. (Yes, that’s a verb sometimes! LOL)
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Understanding why your great online content isn’t translating into bigger audiences or tons of sales is complicated at best. At the SEOmoz blog, they take a look at a number of reasons in: Why Does Great Content Fail? They have great tips on outreach you may have overlooked.
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The folks at Google have some tips on how to Grow your audience with Google+. (Yes, I know, I haven’t started an account yet there either. There are a lot of social media sites to keep up with. Choose the number of plates you can keep spinning at one time without any one crashing to the floor!)
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Tired of reading? Try out these video tips: How Your Body Language Affects What You Say by Dr. Nick Morgan, author of Trust Me: Four Steps to Authenticity and Charisma. In this insightful 10-minute video Dr. Morgan takes a look at what non-verbal queues say about what you’re truly trying to communicate.
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Something you should know about if you have a web presence: New Google Search Update Could Spell More Trouble for Business Websites. How often you update your website content could greatly affect your search engine results. These are recent changes to Google’s algorithm.
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Looking for some good news out there in promoting your small business? Here are 26 Promising Social Media Stats for Small Businesses from the Social Media Examiner. Lots and lots of charts and graphs here on Facebook, Twitter and more.
December 1, 2011|Good Reads|

About the Author:

Marcia Macomber
Bringing a cornucopia of services to her clients, Marcia provides graphic design, market strategy, social media, copywriting, website, video and many other services. Too impatient to wait for others to deliver the goods, Marcia prefers to usher projects from the twinkle in a client's eye to the finishing touches on a big stage. What are you dreaming you need to market your business?

Good Reads

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Do you feverishly race to keep up with your competition? Seth Godin’s post, Run Your Own Race, hit a nerve with me. I’m not one for doing what everyone else does; and I never stop when I think a client will be happy with a project unless I’m also completely happy I’ve done everything possible on their project. I set my own standards. How about you?
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Are you as frustrated as I am with Facebook’s myriad changes this past week? I’ve got two links to help out. For those with Business or Organization Pages (which thankfully haven’t changed yet), take a look at Mashable’s mock up of where they might go soon. Business pages could get a whole lot more interesting in the near future.
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If you’re still trying to understand (or change) your preferences, settings and whatnot in Facebook so that you either do or don’t see a lot of content, the Social Media Examiner takes a look at recent changes and provides good tips on how you can control them.
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Qwikster? Really! First Netflix fumbles the ball with its new pricing plan for streaming and DVDs by mail service, then they come up with one of the worst names for their newly spun off mail service. Sheesh! Nancy Friedman takes a humorous look at the naming process and all the other Kwik- business names out there at Fritinancy.
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If you never get enough of your fill of Britishisms from the Austin Powers’ movies and are in the mood for a shagalicious read, check out Slate’s investigation of the Britishisms Invasion. It’s randy, Baby!
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When you hear someone speak of their aspirations, goals and dreams, do you automatically say to yourself, “Yeah, right”? Or do you say, “Yeah! Right on!” Seth Godin had an interesting post about what is means if you treat it sincerely or mock it.
September 29, 2011|Good Reads|

About the Author:

Marcia Macomber
Bringing a cornucopia of services to her clients, Marcia provides graphic design, market strategy, social media, copywriting, website, video and many other services. Too impatient to wait for others to deliver the goods, Marcia prefers to usher projects from the twinkle in a client's eye to the finishing touches on a big stage. What are you dreaming you need to market your business?

Good Reads

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Starting with a bit of levity this week, here are 19 Parody Logos That Say the Real Meaning of the Brands. I’m not sure if my favorite is the one for Facebook or for Porsche.

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And on the serious side (but it’s extremely well-written) is Seth Godin’s thoughts on Labor Day (yeah, I’m late with this) and going back to school.
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Seth Godin had a number of gems last week. Of course, one of my favorite was his ode to talent (versus vendors). I prefer to think the products and services I provide my clients are highly unique and not available on every other street corner.
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Hand in hand with Seth’s blog post on talent, this graphic depicts the decision-making process of a graphic designer or other artist about accepting a new project
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For those who love a good org chart, this one’s for you: How does your organization’s structure line up against Google’s or Apple’s?
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Are you more likely to take an altruistic action after hearing death stories? Sounds a little creepy, eh? But it is about marketing. This post is more along the lines of those long “for a cup of coffee a day, you could save a child’s life” commercials.
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If a website has 10 glowing testimonials for a product, and then your best friend recounts her horror story with the product, will you buy it? Logic may say, “It’s 10-to-1 in favor, buy it.” But the brain doesn’t necessarily draw that conclusion. It gives greater weight to the one testimonial you know personally over the 10 you don’t. Learn why specific stories sell.
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The title of this short blog post is 4 Steps to Networking Mastery, but the steps apply to almost every aspect of business and life. At the essence of Robert MacPhee’s article is the point that changing your mindset is easier said than done. You may tell yourself, “I will make the first move to greet strangers at an event.” But the reality is you may remain frozen in your own patterns. Take a look at his ideas to help.
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As businesspeople and owners we often worry about our reputation. What do others think about me or my business? We know that any one customer’s bad experience could be quite damaging to our business. Chris Brogan admits he knows not all his customers have had stellar experiences with him. (And many rave about his work.) He thinks it’s a Myth of Reputation.
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Copyblogger is back with their radio interviews again. First up: Seth Godin. (Yes, I know. He’s getting a lot of space this issue.) But this is a fun interview you can play in the background while you work.
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An interesting post from Marc McGuinness at Lateral Action on Your Invisible Wealth. What exactly are you worth?
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Book website: The Secret Life of Pronouns – (What do all those he’s, she’s and its do by themselves?) Just kidding! Just out, this book sounds fascinating. No, haven’t read it yet. (Wish list!) As a marketer, this bullet point had me intrigued: “When we can predict a person’s age, sex, where they live, and what their background is by analyzing their conversations or emails.” Be sure to check out the author’s Exercises on the site; the “I-test” exercise is fascinating. Answers to his questions are provided upon completing the survey.
September 14, 2011|Good Reads|

About the Author:

Marcia Macomber
Bringing a cornucopia of services to her clients, Marcia provides graphic design, market strategy, social media, copywriting, website, video and many other services. Too impatient to wait for others to deliver the goods, Marcia prefers to usher projects from the twinkle in a client's eye to the finishing touches on a big stage. What are you dreaming you need to market your business?

Good Reads

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The best time to close a sale may be when your prospect has the most energy, but when is the best time to buy? I searched high and low on the internet (as if it actually has these locations!) and came up with a few answers. Oddly, I found June and July the best times to buy butter. There’s tons of information on when to buy and sell on eBay. Of course new model cars come out in the Fall. And December is the best time for computer sales.

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Responses to a LinkedIn query brought about many interesting and wise comments on the best time to close a sale.
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All things considered, if you haven’t really listened to your prospect’s needs (or your spouse’s!), perhaps you need to Shut Up and Listen, a few suggestions from Success Magazine.
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How long should a blog post be? This is a commonly heard question (and goes with how long should a newsletter be?) Everything depends upon the value of the content. Daniel Burstein takes a look at this topic in a well-written post at MarketingSherpa.
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Do you loathe the limited font choices online? (You can imagine as a graphic designer how much I dislike the limited options!) Things are changing… Good typography (or lack thereof) has a much bigger influence on how your reader feels about your website or blog post than you may realize. Seth Godin takes a look at new options in online typography.
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Ever been seriously stuck creatively? It’s one thing to have occasional writer’s block, it’s quite another to have your life upended. Lateral Action takes a look at one case study and proffers solutions.
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I liked this video from John Assaraf and Loral Langemeier about Act, Think and Make Money the Way the Wealthy Do. Loral can irritate me (like Suze Orman) on TV, but here she is more subdued and focused on the topic.
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Are you a social media user? or loather? Either way you might find this infographic from SocialMouths fascinating. It depicts the development of users on the major platforms for the past five years. Numbers are swelling with astounding speed!
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Fan of obscure vocabulary? Nancy Friedman put me onto this nifty word site.
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Finally, have you heard yet of CinematoGIFs? A GIF is a common image file that often depicts some small, animated movement, looped indefinitely. Now Gustaf Mantel elevates the simple GIF to a new art form. Here are more than a dozen CinematoGIFs from him on Mashable, depicting some of the most famous moments in screen history, from 2001: A Space Odyssey to a scary Jack Nicholson moment in The Shining.
September 7, 2011|Good Reads|

About the Author:

Marcia Macomber
Bringing a cornucopia of services to her clients, Marcia provides graphic design, market strategy, social media, copywriting, website, video and many other services. Too impatient to wait for others to deliver the goods, Marcia prefers to usher projects from the twinkle in a client's eye to the finishing touches on a big stage. What are you dreaming you need to market your business?

Good Reads

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I review a wide variety of blogs and articles online, from writing tips to design, marketing and business ideas. I know there’s something here you’d enjoy:

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What makes your readers keep coming back for more? Problogger says it’s adding something specialto your posts. Sometimes it might be a nod to a little inside joke. It may be an obscure reference to long but short hunting dogs of German origination. I don’t know. What makes you come back for more?

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Are you trying to fit your PR endeavors into Facebook? (Or vice versa?) Given the size of the audience on this platform, it’s inevitable that these marketing initiatives will join forces to maximize reach and results on the biggest social network.
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Debating the virtues of a RSS feed versus an autoresponder? (If that sounds like Greek, then skip to the next one!) This well-written post examines the pros and cons of FeedBurner versus Aweber.

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Ever judge a book by its cover? Don’t feel badly! So does everyone else. That’s why it’s so important to pay attention to the cover design of your book. If you’re self-publishing, this is a must-read post. If a cover’s being designed for you, you still need to protect your interests. It’s What Every Author Needs to Know About Cover Design.

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Are you on Twitter? Are you thinking about it? Are you wondering how to make it work as a business? Here are 5 Steps to Getting Your Business on Twitter.

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Now that you’re on Twitter, are you wondering how to join in the conversation? How to make an impact? Pam Moore has 10 Tips to Get the Twitter Conversation Started.

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If you’ve been emailing newsletters for awhile now, you may be wondering what the value of your subscriber is. (This is particularly pertinent for ecommerce purveyors!) Practical eCommerce provides How to Calculate the Value of an Email Subscriber.
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Google’s Plan for World Domination!Need I say more? It’s necessary reading if you need a good chuckle today.

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Those of us in the marketing world rather revere Seth Godin. Day in and day out he drops gem after gem. While this short post seemingly discusses Mark Zuckerberg’s genius, Seth is talking about something much more important. Take a look. How can you apply his idea to your life?

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This Chris Brogan post makes a nice bookend to Seth’s ideas. Until something changes in the story, until we make a change in our lives, until something happens, no one wants to read about it or see it. Do you agree?

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Humor break! This is absolutely one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. From the graphic designer’s point of view, I hope this never happens to my stuff (but it probably already has). Take a look at these Unintentially Vulgar Sticker Placements. You will roar. No drinking your coffee while looking if you want to get it all down your gullet.
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Here’s another one to put a smile on your face (but much shorter than the latter). How Guys Read a Wine List
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And to finish off this round of goofiness, what do you think of this logo for a migrane? …Definitely not my work!
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While we’re on the subject of brains (stop that sniggering!), here’s a really interesting site and free software for mind-mapping. I haven’t tried it yet myself, but I recommend viewing the video to see if it’s something that might help you organize your thoughts, business and personal projects.
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Are you launching into video blogging or seminars? Here are some great, simple tips to improve your video appearance.
August 31, 2011|Good Reads|

About the Author:

Marcia Macomber
Bringing a cornucopia of services to her clients, Marcia provides graphic design, market strategy, social media, copywriting, website, video and many other services. Too impatient to wait for others to deliver the goods, Marcia prefers to usher projects from the twinkle in a client's eye to the finishing touches on a big stage. What are you dreaming you need to market your business?

Good Reads

"R" Avatar Pic

I review a wide variety of blogs and articles online, from writing tips to design, marketing and business ideas. I know there’s something here you’d enjoy:

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Need an outside nudge to help your productivity? Daphne Drescher of Drescher ProParalegal turned me on to this nifty online tool: Register at IDoneThis. Each day they’ll send you an email asking what you did. You reply to the email with your accomplishments, and they’ll track how you’re doing. I’m signing up to give it a whirl.

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If you struggle with time management, Marc McGuinness has a fabulous e-book, Time Management For Creative People, that I found to be well-written and filled with highly useful ideas.
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Are you a finance junkie? A numbers cruncher? If what they taught you in business school seems to have little correlation to the real world, you’ll like this piece from Forbes: Ten Things They Don’t Tell You In Business School.

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Darren Hardy, publisher of Success Magazine, has a plethora of ideas to keep you productive throughout the day. Check out his Overachiever vs. Superachieverseries. His mantra:

DON’T MISTAKE:
Movement for Achievement
Activity for Productivity
Rushing for Results
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Are you considering adding a QR Code to your new product line? (What’s a QR Code?) Mashable offers 5 Big Mistakes to Avoid in Your QR Code Marketing Campaign.

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Does this newsletter leave you wanting more? (I hope not.) Do you cringe upon hearing, “I could care less,” when the speaker actually means the opposite? Read Nancy Friedman’s post on Subject Lines that rub you the wrong way.
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Do you ever wonder why some contracts are so difficult to enforce? And on the flip side, do you wonder why handshake deals are rock solid? Neuromarketing takes a look at why the Stronger Contracts foster less trust between parties.

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Are you considering a website redesign? Here are Essential E-Commerce Website Features: Tips and Examples. Six Revisions highlights the best of the web’s e-commerce sites, what works best, great user interfaces and features that make visitors come back for more visits.

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Other great insights on productivity can be found at Copyblogger, Chris Brogan, Lateral Action and Jack Canfield.

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Wrapping it up: Where would we be without the alphabet we use to write these weekly missives? They might look a lot like the ‘documents’ in this great BBC video: The Story of How We Got Our Alphabets. (Where is the Send button on that chunk of stone tablet?)

August 24, 2011|Good Reads|

About the Author:

Marcia Macomber
Bringing a cornucopia of services to her clients, Marcia provides graphic design, market strategy, social media, copywriting, website, video and many other services. Too impatient to wait for others to deliver the goods, Marcia prefers to usher projects from the twinkle in a client's eye to the finishing touches on a big stage. What are you dreaming you need to market your business?

Good Reads

"R" Avatar Pic

“R” is for Random Reading Material, as I review a wide variety of blogs and articles online, from writing tips to design and business ideas. There’s something here for you:

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Need serious help with office or home organization? Nancy Lochmann is local here in Napa. She has a dynamite newsletter packed with great tips for business and home organization. (Of course, if you need a serious closet organizer, you’ll have to call me for help with that one. I have too many connections to list them all here!)
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Colin Harman asks “How Would You Like Your Graphic Design?” in this quick infographic that perfectly summarizes not only what you’d get when you hire me or any other designer, but it is also a perfect representation of the Magic Purchasing Triangle. 30 seconds will tell you everything you need to know.
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Here is yet another perfect infographic. This time it’s Stairway to Brand Heaven and Hell. (Which staircase are you on?)
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Are you a student of success, an entrepreneur? You may find these short, Forbes’ photo and caption anecdotes on The Greatest Risk They Ever Took fascinating. Warning: You must put up with the commercial on the landing page and probably have to scroll down slightly afterwards to see the headline of the story.
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I often look at showcased logos with great envy. (“Why didn’t I come up with that?!”) Here are 35 Great Geological or Eco-Friendly Logos starting with Eco Boy. (Take a look!)

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Have you ever suffered from PowerPoint disasters? Too much detail? Run-on sentences? Goofy fonts? With a nod to my friend Geni Whitehouse, who does NOT produce boring PowerPoint presentations, check out Life After Death by PowerPointfor a good chuckle.

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Are you a worrier? Do you get caught up in negative workplace politics? Are you afraid your work just isn’t good enough? Good news: you can rewire your brain to stay focused on the positives. Check out Wired for Winning.
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Do you ever turn a product or company name over and over in your head, trying to decide if it’s the right name? Nancy Friedman offers practical, simple advice in How to Evaluate a Corporate or Product Name.
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We all know that large, clear product photos go a long way towards selling the product. What you may not have known is that Vivid Print Ads can actually alter your memories. Researchers showed different groups of participants ads for popcorn. A week later, those who had viewed the ad but not been given samples were as likely to indicate they’d tried the product as those who were given actual samples of the popcorn but not seen the ads. (Invest in good product photos!)
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Have you proofread every page, every word on your website? Can a typo or spelling error cost you customers or sales? Oh, yes! Editorial Emergency takes a look at gaffes that could do serious harm to your bottom line.
August 18, 2011|Good Reads|

About the Author:

Marcia Macomber
Bringing a cornucopia of services to her clients, Marcia provides graphic design, market strategy, social media, copywriting, website, video and many other services. Too impatient to wait for others to deliver the goods, Marcia prefers to usher projects from the twinkle in a client's eye to the finishing touches on a big stage. What are you dreaming you need to market your business?

Good Reads

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“R” is for Reading Material or Resources or Referred Links. Whichever one you prefer, here is a variety of fascinating reads:
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Can you increase the probability you’ll make more sales simply by asking prospects to predict whether or not they’ll buy it? Neuromarketing takes a look: Predicting Power: Asking Gets Results
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What if you could combine gaining prospects positive predictions on their purchases (above) with a nudge to make it easier for them to buy? Nudge: Thaler and Sunstein – a Book Review
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Seth Godin ruminates about the differences between Design Quality and Manufacturing Quality: Defining Quality
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If you missed my seminar on email marketing, or even if you’d just like to get better at it, consider the split test. When utilized properly, there’s much useful data to glean. A terrific tutorial on this topic: Copyblogger’s Why Split-Testing is Like Sex in High School.
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You may (or may not) remember my “Red Shoes” ad campaigns (or “Red Dress”), or even the “Some Tame Wild Animals, We Tame Closets!” campaign with the tiger? They were all based upon this one, well-known rule in advertising: you’ve got to get attention! In those ads, the mechanism for getting attention was visual high contrast. (After all, most don’t expect to find a tiger in their closets!) In Jay Ehret’s short and visually-rich blog post, Getting Attention vs. Being Liked, Jay examines why one is more important than the other and shows many examples at his Marketing Spot.
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Are you looking for ways to build Influence in your local community? To build your brand? Expand your business? Chris Brogan examines where it comes from and how you get it in this short post.
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What’s in a name? From 3M to Sony or Starbucks, here’s a fast read (as it is almost entirely logo visuals) on How 50 Big Companies Got Their Names.
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Headlines are tricky. The tabloids are supreme at writing headlines that grab passersby and readers. (Never mind that the accuracy of their headlines’ content may have nothing to do with the truth!) If you’d like to increase your headline-writing skills, check out: 7 Ways to Write Super Catchy Headlines.
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This statement got my attention from the article: “Analysts predict that by 2015, more than 50% of organizations will gamify their innovation processes.” Holy moly! Doesn’t that mean we’ll all be doing business a lot differently by 2015? We already keep track of our miles with airlines. And many are collecting points and badges from a number of game apps that seek to win buys as well as increase education. Not interested? Scan down to the story in the article about reducing speeding on Sweden’s roads. It’s a whole new perspective on how you can change people’s behavior using positive reinforcement. From Mashable: Gamification: How Competition is Reinventing Business, Marketing and Everyday Life
August 3, 2011|Good Reads|

About the Author:

Marcia Macomber
Bringing a cornucopia of services to her clients, Marcia provides graphic design, market strategy, social media, copywriting, website, video and many other services. Too impatient to wait for others to deliver the goods, Marcia prefers to usher projects from the twinkle in a client's eye to the finishing touches on a big stage. What are you dreaming you need to market your business?