Repeat after me: Cap-ti-vate me.

ProfessionalMojo-peacockIt would take the next decade to sift through all the stuff worthy of reading on my desk. Not gonna happen.

This should make you stop and think about your own material being distributed on the almighty Web. What would’ve made me stop and read each one the moment I saw the headline or was referred to the link? What would have made me stop at your tweet or your post on Facebook? The answer will be different for everyone, but I can name a few common denominators: Relevance in the moment. Entertainment value (or just value). And brevity.

Your business wants to make an impact. You want your target audience to read and enjoy what you put on the Web. You don’t want to be part of the uber distracting “Net noise” that disturbs your listeners rather than entices them. So, when you consider what to publish next time, ask yourself a few questions:

1. Am I posting just to post? If yes, don’t.

2. Is this a timely topic? Our global universe operates at mega speed, don’t appear late to the party.

3. Is my headline engaging? Here’s a tried and true reference.

4. Did I offer value?

Go on. Captivate me.

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Hello or Goodbye? Don’t Underestimate Your Newsletter

With all of these great social media tools swirling around like someone just took a broom to a dusty floor in a sun room, one should never forget the value of the old school follow-up. What do I mean by follow-up? Well, specifically in this case, I’m referring to your newsletter. 

Your business newsletter is an unobtrusive reminder to your current and future customers or members of your value to them. Your name is planted in their mind again and again. The social media frenzy calls up on the critical aspect of developing a relationship with your audience, but keeping them around is another thing entirely. Be the creator of all things worth reading and add a newsletter to your social media portfolio.

 Here are a few tips to creating a great monthly read:

1) Awareness. Your audience needs a basic understanding of your business before they will do business with you. Explain who you are. Succinctly. I’m big on saying things as concisely as possible. After all, you have about four seconds to capture someone’s attention. Tell them who you are, what you sell and how to get in contact with you.

2) Image. Man. Oh man! This matters, people. Even with the down to Earth nature of your blog, or the matter-of-factness of your tweets, or the friendliness of your Facebook profile, your customers want to know you are a professional. They might enjoy the cutesy backdrop on your MySpace page, but rest assured if they are going to donate or spend money with you and your organization, they want solid reassurance of why. Prove to them you run a credible business. Convey to them you are the expert in your space. Give them real reasons why they should choose you over the competition.

3) Call to action. Don’t leave them hanging on the last word. Tell your prospects what you would like from them. It can be as simple as passing the newsletter along to a friend or associate (build that opt-in list you dream of). Ask them to sign up for an event or check out a new product. Provide quick links to other pages.

In the end it’s about value. If you cannot provide them value, that “what’s in it for me” factor, then you’ve lost them at “hello.”

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