From product design and building intrigue to (content) promotion, business cards, keywords, analytics.

"Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large."

- Definition according to American Marketing Association

"Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care."

- Theodore Roosevelt (quoted on Copyblogger)

"Self-promotion is an art that allows you to sell yourself - your personality, your knowledge, your experience - as a brand."

- Nancy Young on Digital Photography School


General Advice

  • Modern marketing In a nutshell (Pamela Wilson at Big Brand System):
    • Determine your ideal customer (youtube video for this!)
    • Create a message that will resonate with them (Copyblogger, Jul 21, 2015)
      • This part is essential!
      • Make the sale about the customer, not you/your product/service
    • Build visual marketing that communicates your message
    • Use content - blog posts; ebooks; guest posting; interviews; podcasts - to get your message out
    • Drive everyone who finds you back to your website, which is your marketing hub
  • Call to action: subtle, like recommendation from a friend
  • What is your mission statement?
  • What idea or concept created the brand originally?
  • How many blogs do you have?
  • How many images?
  • What content are you not using for promotion? Why?
  • Be on Youtube! It's one of the world's largest search engines. (from: Chris Brogan - The Freaks Shall Inherit the Earth)
  • Tie external factors into marketing (e.g. holidays, brand-related topics)
  • Promote existing content instead of writing lots of forgettable text (less content, more impact)
    • How to: pair words with images!
  • 5 things customers care about when researching products and making purchase decisions:
    1. Cost/price questions
    2. Problems/issues questions
    3. Versus/comparison questions
    4. Review-based questions
    5. Best-of questions
  • Reviews: find out which review sites are relevant to your business!
    • LinkedIn recommendations?
    • Yelp? TripAdvisor? Rotten Tomatoes? IMDb? Amazon?
    • Also for testimonials

Determining the Customer

Market Research | Target Demographic | Audience

How to do interviews! (Justin Wilcox on Customer Development Labs)

  • Interviewing helps (in)validate ideas quickly
  • Cold-approaching is likely a necessary step
  • It's about the customer's thoughts, ideas, words
  • DO NOT...
    • Talk about your idea! It skews the interview and outcome
    • Ask about the future - avoid "would" in questions!
    • ...both lead to attempts to validate your product, not their problem
  • DO ask 5 questions!
    1. What's the hardest part about [problem context]?
    2. Can you tell me about the last time that happened?
    3. Why was that hard?
    4. How did you solve the issue? Did you?
    5. What don't you love about the solutions you tried?
  • Problem context: tricky!
    • Don't be so specific that you provide the issue you want to solve
    • Don't be so vague that the conversation derails into irrelevance
    • Ask about significant context: specific recurring or painful situations
  • If the interview doesn't validate your hypothesis, is leads to problems ppl do have
  • Additional good questions:
    • How often do you experience the problem?
    • How much are you spending to solve the problem now?
    • Where do you find info about [problem context] (online)?

Tell a Story!

Copyblogger's Core Tenet - see also: Web Site Content page

  1. Has to have a hero - the customer
    • Undergoes a transformation
  2. Requires a goal: what kind of transformation?
    • How will hero's appearance change?
    • What skills will the hero have?
    • What will they have and believe?
    • What new relationships, connections?
    • Who will they be?
  3. Needs an obstacle: keeping hero from goal?
    • Emotional/psychological roadblocks?
  4. Mentor: this is where your business comes in!
    • Role: empower them to solve their problems! (instead of just solving them)
    • Guide, coach, mentor, help
  5. Finish with a moral
    • After telling the hero's story, spell out the moral
    • What should they do next
    • What's their main takeaway

Captivating an Audience

  • 3 ingredients (Kelton Reid, Email Marketing - How to Push Send and Grow your Business):
    1. Ethos - Selling Yourself: create a vast amount of trustworthy knowledge
    2. Pathos - Swaying Emotions: metaphors, storytelling, evoking emotions
    3. Logos - Solid Reasoning: statistic, logic, specificity. Examples: from history, mythology, hypothetical situations. Deductive reasoning.
  • Use visuals and emotion!!
    1. Faces provide context around a situation and help us decide how to act
    2. We mirror somebody's feelings (mirror neurons)
      • Show images including strong emotions!
      • Include my logo in incredibly exciting pics
    3. Appeal to common personal memories (childhood, relationships)
    4. Promise and deliver something new
      • No really, use the word "new"!
      • Showcase all the new things going on with my business
  • Appeal to the senses
    • Smell, sight, touch, taste, sound
  • Make it simple!


  • Tempt your readers, get them addicted
    • Write something informative that is intriguing as well (e.g. Guinness writing about cheese & oysters)
    • Offer a free trial, and free guides that people can use first - then promise bigger things if they sign up!
    • Dare/encourage people to use your product (bet you can't eat three! / create your own designs): provide free tutorials!
    • Provide upfront results for readers of your content
      • There's an excellent breakdown of content marketing here!

Social Proof

Article on KISSmetrics

  • Simple definition of social proof: group influence
    • "others are already doing it"
  • 7 things to understand:
    1. Negative doesn't work!
      • "Many people are stealing wood here"
      • Actually increases likelihood that more will do it!
    2. Positive does work
      • "77% of your neighbours are using fans instead of A/C"
    3. Include portrait pictures to improve trust
      • High quality
      • Inviting and friendly
    4. Evoke similar people
      • "Implicit egotism": we value people who are most like us
      • The more precisely you relate to your client persona, the better.
      • Citing "mirror neurons" here, as is often done. It's a pretty hyped concept and you'll want to read some critical thought on it. - Matt.
    5. Storytelling: customer stories
      • aka: anecdotes
      • Very nice: this article quotes psychological research! (2nd paragraph)
    6. Authority figures
      • "Halo effect": we judge an opinion based on our overall impression of the speaker
      • That's why we are more likely to believe people with an established strong rep
    7. Better no proof than low proof
      • Very low levels of social media proof might make people think of you as less trustworthy
      • Consider removing share counts from important parts of your site

Writing Techniques

10 Persuasive Writing Techniques (Copyblogger)

  1. Repetition (make your offer in a variety of different ways)
  2. State reasons why ("because")
  3. Consistency: start by getting the reader to agree with your basic common-sense point, then rigorously elaborate your case on that foundation
  4. Social proof: testimonials, authority references, name-dropping (careful!)
  5. Comparisons: metaphors, similes, analogies
  6. Agitate and solve: establish the problem, agitate pain (with empathy), propose solution
  7. Prognosticate: provide a glimpse into the future
  8. Go tribal: incite people to join the group that's already where they want to be
  9. Address objections: know and discuss the reasons against your proposition
  10. Storytelling: easiest way to sell something

Trust, Relationships

  • Ask the community questions, then listen!
  • Give value and show results to build trust and legitimacy
  • Don't mention your product early on. Help people! Care!
  • Anticipate and meet your audience's needs
  • "Signs of Quality" on Big Brand System: about creating a product and service that boosts trust
  • Amazing tips to cultivate loyal customers using social media (Social Media Examiner, Jul 23, 2015)
    • Personalize the fan experience
      • e.g. make customizable products available
    • Offer rewards for loyalty, engagement
    • Surprise fans/customers! Random acts of kindness
      • e.g. gifts for milestones, celebrations, giveaways
    • Listen! Engage, respond, take action
    • Know your product inside-out
      • So you can offer expert service and support
    • Follow up: ask fans how they've been doing
    • Cultivate trust: keep promises, own mistakes
    • Share your values to connect on a personal level


Split-Testing: Copyblogger Podcast

  • Test your headline when you don't have a lot of traffic? (very low: 300 home page visitors/day)
  • Podcast uses a lot of advanced terminology/ideas from marketing

Business Card

  • Design it to be a talking point
  • Positioning: how is my business unique? How does it help people?
    • Slogan! Example: "Taking the fat out of computers"
    • Simplicity: principle of 3. 3 elements, 3 fonts, 3 colours
    • Relevance. Only include what's necessary to get in touch.
    • Use the back
    • Use a strong, recognizable, easy logo!
    • Font: elegant? Strong? Flowery? Casual? Loud? Extreme?
    • Consider card & font size: serif/sans serif?


"Minimum Viable Audience"

  • Article on Copyblogger: build an audience first and let them reveal what they want
    • Build a basic product for a test audience first.
    • Then expand and improve depending on feedback
  • But before doing that, build a Minimum Viable Audience!
    • Helps find out what people want to buy. How to tell if I have one:
      • Receive enough feedback from e-mails, comments, networks, social media to evolve product
      • Audience grows organically through sharing
      • Gain enough insight into their needs to serve them beyond free service
  • Serving an (online) audience is Market Research
    • Look what they're buying (not what they may say they want)
    • It's my job to know what an audience wants
  • Build a better product, faster
    • Embrace that it won't be perfect! That's good. Early adopters (fans!) are forgiving and provide feedback
    • Be very explicit about the situation: best price, terms in exchange for helping make the product better
  • An audience attracts outside opportunity
    • Once you have an audience, it starts growing organically
    • ...and generating opportunities
    • The audience will also reveal what's not right for the business
  • Waste not, want not
    • Do not take money from sb. else first (or at all) => no funding. You'll waste:
      • Control
      • Equity
      • Opportunity
  • You're building a valuable business asset
    • Your website is a growing value
    • Retain 100% control and ownership of it

Follow-up in January 2015

  • If you have an audience already:
    • Study which of your blog posts are shared most
    • Note the newsletters that get highest engagement
    • Note your audience's e-mailed questions/problems
  • If you don't have an audience
    • Become a member of your own market
    • Go where your audience is, listen
    • Create a survey about people's biggest challenge
    • Interview envisioned audience's members
    • Identify their problem language
    • Distill the patterns
  • Develop a pilot version with audience's help
    • Gather information
    • Reach out to audience
    • Listen to their answers
    • Tell them your plan
    • Open a brief registration window
    • Deliver!
  • In short:
    1. Become a member of your market
    2. Listen to the audience (their exact words)
    3. Build the product they want

E-Mail Marketing (Mailing List)

Introduction & Social Media Integration (Mar 2015, Social Media Examiner)

  • You need a lead magnet (e.g. eBook, free product etc.)
  • Have a "squeeze page" (promo/splash/landing page) for it
  • Promote on Facebook page:
    • In website field
    • In short description (160 chars)
    • Custom tab (e.g. through MailChimp)
    • FB page call-to-action button
    • Cover photo
    • Facebook ads
  • Promote on Twitter:
    • In bio (make it the only clickable item)
    • Twitter Lead Generation Card
    • Twitter advertising
      • Market to custom audiences: "audience manager"
  • Promote on LinkedIn:
    • Add "publications" section on LinkedIn profile
      • Or use the "projects" section
    • Add lead magnet to to website links in contact info
    • LinkedIn Advertising
  • Additional promotion:
    • Pin image on Pinterest
    • Share image to Instragram
    • Videos on Vine, Snapchat
    • Make a Twitter or LinkedIn share button
    • Configure Facebook "like" button
    • Include "Pin it" button (Pinterest)

Recommended: basic tips from Entrepreneur Magazine:

  • E-mails need to be short, immediately captivating and goal-oriented
    • Tell a compelling story
    • Make it scannable
    • Have just one goal
    • Make it mobile-friendly
  • People's attention spans are ~8 seconds
  • They're multi-tasking
  • They're on the go!

Most of the info below is from the Copyblogger ebook, "Email Marketing: How to Push Send and Grow Your Business".

  • Add mailing list opt-in forms to my most-read articles:
    1. Check Google Analytics (Piwik)
    2. Add opt-in form
  • Newsletter sign-up has to be front and center! Get a plugin that pops up!
    • Place CTA at bottom of content (not just sidebar), so mobile users will see it too
  • How to address readers (from Copyblogger eBook):
    • Speak directly to ideal person
    • Get to the point quickly
    • Tell a relatable story
    • Succinct and to-the-point message
  • Ensure you have a well-written autoresponder
  • "Has anybody gone before me?" Use social proof to get people to sign up:
    • Testimonials, number of existing subscribers, exclusitvity
    • Encourage dissemination over social media
    • All this to say: make them feel part of an exclusive group
  • Call to action: direct, strong
    • "I want YOU for the US Army"
    • "Enter your e-mail today and get started"
    • "Book me for a consultation"
  • Address people's concerns:
    • Too many updates
    • Getting something other than promised
    • Content with a purpose that defeats the original CTA
    • Complicated unsubscribing (make it very easy!! Not more than 2 clicks)
    • E-mail addresses being sold to spammers

Getting Subscribers

Article on Copyblogger

  • Actively ask for their e-mails
  • Obviously: offer a free product
    • An exclusive ebook
    • Most popular article as PDF
    • FAQ-style PDF guide
  • Ask for e-mail address within my content
  • Create a free course (4-6 weeks)
    • Review your best material
    • Revise and improve
    • Add actionable items
    • Create urgency for sign-up (e.g. only 7 days)
  • Write high-value guest posts
    • Well-researched
    • Engaging byline (with CTA)
    • Direct to bonus material on your site
    • Create landing page specifically for readers
    • Promote on social media and mailing list

Subject Lines

  • Useful · Ultra-specific · Unique · Urgent
  • Identify yourself: "From" field, tag at beginning of subject line
  • Useful and specific first!
  • Urgent: only when useful!
  • Keep it short (you want it to fit even on mobile devices)
    • 5-7 words
    • 40-50 characters

E-Mail Content

  • Autoresponder!!
  • Should constitute a recipe for success. This creates trust and makes readers more likely to keep your e-mails. Examples:
    • For financial independence
    • For a captivating online presence
    • For a happy marriage
  • From the Copyblogger ebook:
    • 8 tips for being a better dad
    • 7 ways to know if stock trading is right for you
    • 20 keys to Internet marketing success
  • Each step should deliver a positive result and stand on its own
  • Make links and important statements stand on their own. Isolate so they'll stand out.

Social Media Interaction

  • "Like" my community's posts both as page and person, and respond to everybody!
  • Share control of my page with audience: they can submit photos, content
  • Encourage them to share content on the spot - even while engaging!
  • Collect and share (collages of) fans' content, pair with links to page/blog, social media, questions

How to Promote a Blog Post

From Make a Living Writing:

  • Build relationships: other bloggers in my niche!
    • Comment on their posts
    • Share in social media
    • Skype chat
    • Offer guest post
  • Get active in social media (again, again!)
    • Twitter is among the most important
    • Followed by Google+
    • Use hashtags
  • Have social sharing buttons!
  • Design my post for shareability
    • Buzzwords?
    • Hot topics?
    • Who to mention?
    • Strong headline
  • Target my audience after sharing my post
    • "Hey, I mentioned you in ..."
  • Use a scheduler


  • Jan 2015: most important metrics
    • Hits/visits/page views
      • aka engagement
      • web traffic
    • Followers/friends
    • Sales
      • Profits/revenues per customer
  • Social media continues to be highly important