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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*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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“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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Sales copy.

There’s a lot of tips, tricks, strategies, pointers, methods, angles, and tactics out there on how to make a sale.

But guess what, it’s really easy to slip from serving your customers down the dark, slimy, creepy-crawly path of manipulation.

At Resound, we believe that marketing is really about making connections between remarkable companies and the people that are already looking for them. (Check out this blog post by David Cosand circa 2013.)

The world is waiting for you to be you. Sales should be about showing off the DNA of your company – the authentic identity that makes you unique.

That’s what helps you position in relation to competitors.

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Resound has some really distinct personalities.

People here are very passionate about various topics. For example, Stephanie has a (debatably unhealthy) obsession with all things Disney. Others, like Ben, love talking about anything as long as I laugh at their jokes (which is pretty easy).

One of my things is relationships. I care very much about forming, maintaining, and growing meaningful relationships. Because that’s a value I possess, I strive to communicate with my fellow Resounders in ways that will deepen my relationship with each of them.

When I talk to Stephanie, I ask her for advice on my upcoming trip to Disneyland, and I avoid asking her how she thinks Kurt Warner is spending his retirement. Ben and I spend most of . . .

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Remember this line?

When Mr. Bilbo Baggins of Bag End announced that he would shortly be celebrating his eleventy-first birthday with a party of special magnificence, there was much talk and excitement in Hobbiton.

How about this one?

Mr. and Mrs. Dursley of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.

Even as I write I feel myself getting sucked in all over again. There’s something very special going on in those opening lines to two of my favorite novels.

If you’re not feeling it, you’re probably Spock…or you haven’t read the books.

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Batman perches on a skyscraper. Superman zips through the sky. These are the characters emblazoned in our minds when we think about heroes.

Why do heroes hold lake-view real estate in our mental landscape? Because where there’s a hero there’s a story. And the human brain is pretty much addicted to stories.

Did you know that every business is telling a story? It might be one dude cleaning windows or IBM, but whether they realize it or not, they’re telling a story.

Apple is telling a story about people who “Think Different.”
Telescrypts, a local tech startup, is telling a story about improving healthcare in developing countries “so we can all have access to healthcare.”
Resound is telling a story about how every company is . . .

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Writing is hard.

I lamented that fact to my author mother recently, and she solemnly shook her head in affirmation. Working in sales usually means you’re loaded with interpersonal skills. But the digital divide means those skills don’t transfer 1:1 to writing emails.

“Cold calling is dead,” says Hubspot’s Jill Rowley. Cold emailing is now the go-to outbound sales method, and there are some inherent challenges in that. Compared with face to face chats, phone communication loses so much nonverbal information. Email communication lacks even the vocal tone and interpretation that phone conversations offer.

The question is, how can we maximize sales opportunities using a far less media-rich medium?

Opening Sentences Go a Long Way

The one tip I want to talk about here is . . .

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In this day and age, we’re all bombarded with messages – particularly messages of the email variety.  As marketers, we spend so much time writing great content for our audience.  It’s a shame if they don’t even open your email.  How do we get that click-through?

1. Get to the point.

Don’t waste someone’s time.  If you want to create trust and stand out in a crowded inbox, get right to the point of the email.  This should go without saying, but some people still create gimmicky subject lines that are misleading or boring.  Let us say this:  Even if they happen to click your email once, they won’t make that mistake again.  For instance, if you sell handmade greeting cards, don’t . . .

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You’ve heard that before, I’m sure.

And it’s true, inasmuch as the entire internet is really just content. Your website, Facebook, marketing emails, heck, even your Google Ads are really just little bits of content chopped up and assigned semantic value to each digital passerby.

And certainly the “content marketers” of the world want you to believe that content is how you get your business to the top of the pile. Google certainly has made content king. They crawl, sort, filter, and rank all the lovely bits of content all over the place.  Then we all bite and scratch each other in attempts to be Google’s top dog for “best muffin in Saskatchewan” or “winning lottery numbers” or whatever keyword du jour . . .

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