Looking for Something?
Monthly Archives

October 2013

025 The Podcast Report – Tips On Getting The Most Out of Your NMX Experience

Author:

PodcastReport-150 Erik Fisher and I are back with another episode of The Podcast Report, the podcast devoted to the Podcasting Track of New Media Expo.

In this episode, Erik and I are joined by Mike & Izabela Russell from Music Radio Creative as we discuss the various tips that will help you get the most out of your NMX experience.

 
 
New Media Expo Promo
If you have an interest in promoting NMX to your audience, we have created a professionally produced promo that you can play on your podcast. This is a great way to encourage your community to come meet you, face to face, at this event.

Click Here To Download The Promo

Subscribe To The Podcast Report
iTunes RSS Feed

Highway Blogging: How to Keep Your Readers Happy No Matter What Their Experience Level

Author:

highway Recently, I went on a pretty epic road trip to visit family members living in various east coast states. Driving thousands of miles gives a person a lot of time to think (especially when your boyfriend/driving buddy falls asleep like a baby whenever he’s sitting in the passenger seat of a car for more than five minutes). Y’all know me: when I have a few minutes to my mind turns to my favorite subject: blogging.

Somewhere in Tennessee, I started to think about how to better please my blog readers.

One of my challenges has always been figuring out how to keep readers happy even though they are worlds apart in terms of experience and skill level.

Here on the NMX blog, we have people who are just starting out, but we also want to keep our long-term, more experienced readers interested. It’s a tall order to provide educational content for someone who has been blogging for a decade AND someone who only recently started blogging.

I call this highway blogging, because you need lanes for everyone, from slow, inexperienced drivers to drivers who are testing the limits of their cars speedometers. Without enough lanes, the highway is congested and drivers get frustrated.

So how can you make sure that your blog’s highway is wide enough to accommodate all readers without being too unfocused? Here are some tips I use:

  • Schedule your content: When you look at a calendar of your content, you can easily see if you’re posting too much beginner content or too much expert-level content.
  • Err on the side of “advanced”: You’re more likely to lose experts who are bored than beginners who are in over their heads. Beginners are hungry for knowledge, so even if they aren’t quite ready for your advanced content yet, they’ll bookmark it to read later.
  • Focus on being unique: Even advanced users will read your beginner content if your approach to the topic is unique. Remember, people come to your blog to read posts from you, with your style and voice. Teach from a different perspective and an expert in your niche will still share your content, even if it’s teaching a skill they already know.
  • Combine content: There’s no reason you can’t cover a topic from both educational levels. Start with a few paragraphs about the basics, then go over some advanced content as well.
  • Poll your readers: You might be wrong about the skill level of your primary audience. You might think that most of your readers are more advanced (or more beginner) than they actually are.

To be honest, this is still something I struggle with: finding that balance to keep all of my readers happy. Leave a comment with your tips. How do you  cater to all experience levels on your blog?

5 Tips to Make the Most Out of Conferences (Sponsored Post)

Author:

NMX blog post_Sept_Kelly and Milutin You’ve booked the tickets. You’ve found a place to sleep. You’ve broken every single piggy bank you’ve ever owned and paid the registration fee (or registered early and got a really good deal, because why waste perfectly good piggy banks?).  And now the day has finally come – The Much Anticipated Conference is finally here, and you’re off, with your phone, laptop, tablet, chargers and friendship bracelets tucked away in your backpack.

But let’s face it: conferences can be a rather chaotic affair. As frequent and avid conference goers, we’ve put together a list of tips that may help you get the very best out of the event:

1. Plan ahead

One does not simply walk into Mordor. Similarly, one does not simply walk into a conference without a solid game plan – including, but not limited to, all the places that sell food that can pass for lunch. With all the great keynote speeches to hear, sessions to attend, people to meet and booths to visit, there will hardly be room for a three-course meal. So pull out that conference agenda, and mark away! Pick some favorites and a few backups – it’ll be as easy as choosing which college to attend (by which we mean, there may be tears).

2. Be flexible

You’ve picked out the three sessions you’d physically fight people to attend – but you lost, or the speakers cancelled last minute. Now what? This is when your backups come in handy: some of the best sessions we’ve attended were completely spontaneous calls that featured an awesome audience and a speaker who is a part time blogging messiah, and part-time stand-up comedian. We’ve loved him so much that we invited him to speak at our own conference. See how that works?

3. Check out those booths

Things that can happen if you ignore those conference booths: a cute baby animal dies. Or, somewhat more likely, the people who are ridiculously passionate about their work (and may have flown over 4,000 miles to be there) don’t get to pass on that enthusiasm to you, which is totally your loss, dude. Not only can you score awesome freebies, you can also find unexpected business opportunities: we’ve been known to interview bloggers that use .me, feature them on our blog and social media channels, and give them the extra exposure they deserve! So check out those booths.

4. Bring business cards. Bring more.

If done right, conferences are usually 70% learning, 30% networking and 100% fun. I just made those numbers up, but jokes aside – while you’ll no doubt be inspired by the speeches you hear and the stuff you learn, don’t hesitate to share it with all the awesome people around you! And in these Days of Digital, don’t forget that business cards (especially neat ones with your headshot on the back) can go a long way in nurturing the new relationships you’ve created.

5. Follow up!

You’ve met ALL THE PEOPLE. Now what? Easy: as soon as you sleep of the post-conference excitement, go through those business cards and shoot everyone an email. This step is especially important for potential business partners – remind them where you’ve met, perhaps what you’ve discussed and where you’d like to go from there. Including a personal comment will always get you brownie points – we get tons of these emails after sponsoring conferences, and the ones that stand out are from people that paid attention to my (slight) obsession with chocolate, or the fact that our company is based in Montenegro, population: 620,000.

With this cheat-sheet in hand, you’re guaranteed to have a fun, memorable and productive event.  We’re also looking forward to hearing your voice: what tips, if any, would you add? What are some of your favorite ways of approaching people or businesses? Lastly, what’s the best memory from a conference that you’d like to share with the Internet?

Six Ways to Make Your Brand Shine in a Small Business Blog

Author:

Ask a dozen marketers what “branding” means and you’ll get a dozen answers. Why? Because it’s a word with many meanings, depending on who’s doing the defining. This blog alone shows 30 unique definitions, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

What we do know is that branding is that it is the yin-yang of your business: You tell the world how you want to define your services or products, what differentiates you, and why people should trust and buy from you. Ultimately though, your brand ends up in the hands (and minds) of customers and prospects—they will be the ones collecting experiences and driving business to or away from you. Some even argue that companies have lost control of their brands altogether, unintentionally passing the baton to consumers, thanks to the power of social media. That’s why it’s even more important to exploit the brand equity you do have with the vast web connections, from your web site to social media presence to search, and anywhere else your business lives.

In the end, your blog can be one of your biggest brand assets, or do nothing to add value and attract business. Here are some top tactics to work it to your advantage:

#1 Mirror, Mirror On The Web

Starting from the outside in, your blog should walk the walk as a natural extension of  your company name, logo, color scheme, and all other tangible elements that make up your brand identity. The best way to stop that natural flow in its tracks is to publish a blog that lacks brand identity. A company blog should be a seamless transition from anywhere you’ve marked your (brand) territory: a real-world meeting where your business card was passed, a visit to your store, an eBook you wrote, or a transaction on your site. Make sure to give your blog a name—not just a “blog” section on your web site—one that reinforces who you are and what you do (My business name is LiveWire Communications and my blog name is Marketing Sparks. Get it?). And don’t forget about a tagline so readers know what your blog is about (Mine is “Insight about Advertising, Marketing, and Branding.”).

#2 No Blog-ots 

Of course your blog should not only walk like your business, it needs to talk the talk too. Speak in your brand voice at all times: Is it funny? Conversational? Whimsical? Even if you’re a number-crunching accountant, you can still let your personality come through (unless you’re crabby). The tone, style, and words that you use act as a conductor for your brand. Be true and authentic, whether you’re a storefront or a one-person shop. No one would question speaker and self-proclaimed “Unstuck-er” Erika Napoletano about this: Whether or not you like her cussin’, in-your-face style, her brand is illuminated in every word of her blog, even the four-letter ones. That also goes for your “About” page too. This is a great opportunity to showcase and reinforce your brand story.

#3 Stand Out From the Competition

It’s pretty easy to be a “Me Too” when it comes to blog topics for various industries. You can go outside the lines, but only so far. Your blog is a prime opportunity to bring out the uniqueness of your brand, no matter what the post is about. Marc Sheridan turned River Pools blog into what it calls itself  “…the most educational swimming pool blog in the country” through his efforts to educate and inform readers on the pool industry (which he turned into a successful content marketing/speaking career as The Sales Lion). Conversely, another tactic is to deliver contrasting point of views from industry bloggers. For instance, if all graphic designers are writing about the hottest trends in typography, write about the suckiest fonts instead—you’ll stand out for your knowledge in a different way.

#4 Dole Out Your Branding in Quick Hits

Another way to continue brand extension in your blog (and amp up your content promotion while you’re at it) is to leverage a thought-provoking quote, stat, or visual from a post and blast out to your social networks at various intervals. It will make a brand statement and also serves as a call- back to the blog while you’re at it. And don’t forget to make thoughtful, impactful comments on related blogs, this can be another great opportunity to put your branding stake in the ground.

#5 Hitch Your Wagon to a Like-Minded Star

Reinforcing your brand in your blog can be also be achieved by bringing someone else into the writing mix. Think interviews, quotes, or a guest posters. And I’m not talking about using a generic quote from Abraham Lincoln here; more like showing your affinity with a thought leader, industry luminary, or cheeky scofflaw who will draw attention. This will speak volumes about who you are (not to mention getting your blog some back links).

#6 Look Inside Yourself

Still stumped on how to bring out the essence of your brand? Conduct a brand audit to get more clarity. That may seem fancy pants if you’re a consultant or small business, but it can also lead to valuable insights. Do a free quickie one with a consultationdownload a tool, or ask yourself a few pointed questions. Doing these exercises can help reveal the true essence of your brand and point to any disconnects communicating to your audiences. If you’re strapped for time, try Wordle to visually capture brand descriptors and get a snapshot of who you are. After all this soul-searching, you may find that your brand is not reflecting what your small business is about, and it might be time to rebrand—but we’ll save that subject for a future post.

What tactics do you use in your blog to bring out your brand?

Learn About NMX

NEW TWITTER HASHTAG: #NMX

Recent Comments

Categories

Archives