Why values are crucial for small business and personal branding

Every business and every brand has values. The questions are whether you know what yours are and whether you are communicating them to your customers.

Have you ever thought about your brand values? What values do you project?

Although it might not seem obvious, people will decide where to shop based on the values a company projects. As a general rule, people buy from companies that appear:

  • reliable
  • trustworthy
  • community-minded
  • caring about their customers

[Read more…]

Location marketing – should your building be your logo?

If you have a unique building with a recognizable design, can there be a better logo?

When the National Gallery of Canada’s new home opened in 1988, there was no question that architect Moshe Safdie had created a recognizable centerpiece. At the southeast corner of the building, a towering glass monument rises above everything around, drawing the eye from all corners of the traffic round-about.

It towers above the Great Hall.

In front of the corner tower is a wide space for people to mingle and congregate. On one side is a wide avenue, on the other side a narrow street and a park.

The tower stands out.

That same tower is the museum’s logo. [Read more…]

How your original research makes great PR and builds your company’s reputation

If you really want to grab the attention of the media, bloggers and influencers, conduct your own original research. Be the source that others quote.

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while. Several years ago, I noticed a story on choosing airplane seats. Some people like the back. Some prefer the front. Some like the aisle. Some prefer the window.

The data came from an airline. The clever PR folks at the airline had sifted through bookings and determined the exact percentage of people with various preferences. [Read more…]

Four signs of a professional, credible website that increases conversions

Want more conversions? First you need a credible website. Here are four signs to identify a credible website.

Along the side of a road we pass by frequently, stood a sign: “Flu shot kills.”

The sign was clearly hand-made and the LLs were actually upside-down 77s. It was a Frankenstein sign, put together from pieces found around the yard. For years, it dipped on a slant among unkempt underbrush. In fact, it was in front of a dilapidated house with a messy yard that looked like the scene of those “You might be a redneck…” jokes.

[Read more…]

Be a blog commenting champion, not a virtual graffiti artist

Blog commenting can be an effective marketing strategy. But far too many people just leave graffiti all over other people’s blogs.

Blog commenting is an undervalued means of marketing by most businesses. No wonder, when you see how many people make such a mess of it.

In fact, most comments I get on my blogs are at worst spam, at best virtual graffiti. Here are a few examples. [Read more…]

Why you should renew your website content – 6 reasons to update and upgrade

The Internet is a dynamic place. Your website is a dynamic tool. Your content needs to be dynamic, too. Here is why you should update and upgrade your content now.

Most content on the Internet falls into one of two categories. Either it’s timely or it’s evergreen. [Read more…]

Canadians are embracing extreme marketing in creative ways

These Canadian extreme marketing campaigns might inspire you to market your business in a wild and wacky way.

Marketing is evolving. But even as it evolves, there are benchmarks and best practices, tools and processes that are common from one company to another.

Yes, tools and channels evolve, but almost all real estate agents across the continent market in the same way. Almost all pizzarias across the continent market in the same way. Almost all hair salons across the continent market in the same way. [Read more…]

Why Canadians love ghostwriting…and why they make the best ghostwriters

Canadians make the best ghostwriters, and they have a few extra reasons to love the benefits of ghostwriting.

Ghostwriting can be a very rewarding career. If you know how to organize ideas and how to use words to express them, you could be a ghostwriter.

If you are Canadian, there are a few extra reasons why you might want to be a ghostwriter. Let’s look at those, but first let’s look at the reasons why anybody might want to be a ghostwriter. [Read more…]

A plain language guide from Alberta to make Canadian writing more readable

Canadians need to write clearer, so that readers understand what they write. This guide from the Alberta government’s education ministry can help.

Canadians speak in plain language. But they often write in…well…convoluted, difficult to read language. This is not unique to Canada, by the way.

The Canada.ca content style guide can help. It gives a lot of great advice on how to write clearer, easier-to-read text.

Like the Canada.ca guide, the Guidelines for Writers and Editors (Digital Design and Resource Authorization Branch) is a digital style guide. That means it is written to respond to how people read on the Internet. [Read more…]

What does this squash have to do with ghostwriting?

If you can get excited about almost anything—even a squash—you might just have what it takes to be a ghostwriter.

I get easily excited. Generally, I am a pretty quiet, focused person. I spend a lot of time staring at a screen. I spend a lot of time clicking a mouse and tapping on keys. But I also get excited very easily. And that’s the ideal recipe for a ghostwriter.

Let me explain using visual aids. [Read more…]