Let’s play Mad Libs! Exhibiting at trade shows is __(adjective)___. Whatever word popped into your head was likely rooted in an emotion.

Maybe it was positive, maybe it was negative. Either way, you probably have a strong opinion when it comes to exhibiting at trade shows.

If you’ve had great success on the trade show floor, you probably attribute it to your awesome booth design, creative giveaways, and killer product. If you loathe the trade show circuit, you probably hate the logistics involved in getting that amazing booth up and running, or maybe you just don’t believe the ROI is there (but you feel compelled to keep showing up).

Believe me, I can personally relate to both reactions. It’s not easy to put a great trade show experience . . .

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I’ll be honest, I was pretty shocked and disheartened when I found stolen merchandise in my 9-year-old son’s room. On one hand, I was slightly amused that his sticky fingers latched onto two travel-sized hand sanitizers from Bath & Body Works.

At least the kid appreciates cleanliness.

On the other hand, I was disappointed that my flesh and blood had committed a crime…and he’s only 9! What made it worse was the fact that I started my career as a police officer. Oh, the irony!

I know I’m not probably not alone here – there’s millions of parents out there dealing with the same issue.

So, we can respond to this situation in many different ways, right? Get angry and act punitively…pile on heavy doses of guilt and . . .

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Think about the McDonald’s logo right now.

What color is that M?

Yup, it’s yellow. Or, gold, if you prefer. (Ya know…Golden Arches?)

I’ll bet it took you .3684 seconds to come up with that answer. Why? Because McDonald’s has been very purposeful in their use of color over the years. When you’re driving down the road and you see that yellow M, there’s no doubt that a Big Mac and Coke are within reach (and if you’re hungry…they just bought themselves some business).

Why do you think they chose gold/yellow? Could it be because yellow is very easily seen? How about because yellow denotes friendliness/happiness? With a tagline like I’m Lovin’ It, they’d certainly want to stay away from colors like sludge green . . .

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*scroll*

“The 2017 bob-length haircut… Six ways to make a mason jar salad….23 Words or Phrases to Eliminate from Your Marketing Today… Wait, words to eliminate? I’ll bet I use more than half of these…unless it’s all buzzwords. I’d better make sure.”

*click*

Well, one thing’s for sure…Pinterest knows me too well.

Also, Global English Editing advises cutting out a few words and phrases to make writing more concise, direct, and persuasive. Being the word junkie that I am, I wanted to see if they had indeed achieved the holy grail of copywriting.

The infographic is linked above if you want to take a look, but I’ll summarize their recommended words to shed:

“Very, basically, totally, essentially, and really” – nondescript
“Then” – nondescript
“Each and every” – . . .

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We’ve come to the last of the installments of our 2017 website tips. We’ve been through design. We’ve been through content. Let’s talk through the final piece of the trifecta: web development. This is where the rubber meets the road. All your strategy, design, and writing will pay off…if you build it correctly.

Even though websites are designed for people…they’re built on code. If you don’t do that right, you’ll have slower page loads, tougher indexing (which kills your SEO rankings), or wonky mobile experiences.

So obviously, have someone dev your website who knows what they’re doing.

But beyond that…here are some ways to NOT dev your site:

1. Put way too much hope in slideshows.

These get used all the time at the top of . . .

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“Why do I have a website?”

Have you ever stopped to ask yourself that question? Is it just so you can show up somewhere online? Is it so that customers can get to know you before they hire you? Is it so you can talk about your huge vision for bettering the world? Is it so people can download your ebook?

All of these are valid answers, but the important thing is that you know what you’re trying to say, and why you’re trying to say it. That’s called content strategy, and if you don’t have one, your website probably won’t fare well.

Last week we talked about The 11 Design Don’ts for 2017 Website. Now, let’s talk content. Here are nine things you . . .

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If your business is like most, your website is a huge part of your marketing and sales success. (81% of shoppers research online before buying. And that percentage increases to 94% when talking about B2B buyers!)

Of course, if you’re selling products directly from your website, this is absolutely true. But even if you’re selling services that require an in-person sale, your website can be one of your biggest marketing tools.

Knowing how important your website is, continually optimizing is your best chance to get more (and better) qualified leads and sales. Sometimes optimizing your website means just some tweaks here and there. And sometimes it demands a complete overhaul.

Either way – whether you’re making some tweaks or redesigning the whole website from . . .

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In one of my former jobs, I was conducting a highly-complex systems training session with a group of people…and I had a “challenging” leadership moment. It was the kind of moment where corporate politics was the game, jockeying for position was the play, and keeping my cool in the middle of it all was the only wild card I had. You’ve probably been there as a marketing leader. It sucks. It’s the kind of situation where you can’t wait to get home and vent to whoever will listen (my cat got an earful that day).

Let me set the scene for you:

The class I was teaching had a pre-determined list of tasks that participants had to accomplish before the class was . . .

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The internet is awash in ‘proven marketing strategies’ and the latest trendy tactics to grow your business. But with so many ideas, it can be hard to know which ones are worth pursuing and which ones are not a good fit for the way your business runs and the market you’re in. And many tactics just don’t translate to every business. So which ones to pick?

Well, let’s start with the fundamental.

Communicate your big ‘Why’…clearly.

As Simon Sinek says: “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe.” For most businesses, the story of why the owner or founder started the business and the mission the business continues to carry out . . .

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