Let’s Talk Sales

There is nothing greater than understanding the power of sales in business. The questions that I will ask you before you dive into our training this week, is how are you attracting your ideal client and converting them in your sales funnel?

If you do not have a clear answer to that question, it is ok, but I want to ensure that you are ready to move into the new year like a BO$$ and this training was designed to assist you in doing just that.

Comment below and let me know what step that you will be implementing first in your business.

Philisha

The Queen of Content

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Business Recharged Radio EP10: How to Effectively Manage Your Time

Content Marketing Books – You Need These

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve been struggling to write this post for some time because when you work in a field like content marketing, where the landscape can change from month to month, it’s difficult to recommend books to read.

And I read a lot of books.

For instance, books on social media written five years ago may be outdated today if some platforms mentioned are out of business.

That’s why these nine books focus on timeless principles — the fundamentals that helped you yesterday, help you today, and will help you tomorrow.

They’re the nine books you should read this year. And the nine books you should read the year after that. And so on.

If you only had these nine books on your shelf — and never bought another one — I’m confident you could continue to kick content marketing tail long into the future.

Just imagine if you continued to read other books, too. You’d be unstoppable.

Book #1: Content Strategy for the Web

The word “strategy” turns some people off.

Or they think their website or business is small enough that a goal written on the back of an envelope is all they need to create successful content for the long haul.

The truth is, without a strategy your content will never reach its full potential. More importantly, it will probably unnecessarily suffer from common pitfalls.

Enter Kristina Halvorson and Melissa Rach, who deliver a road map to better content so you can have a better business. From understanding the business value of content to making smarter decisions about what content to use and when, this book is a delight to read.

In my copy, the first four chapters are covered in notes. More than likely, you’ll read a section of this book, put it down, work on your content strategy, pick up the book, and repeat.

Book #2: Everybody Writes

The next book you should read is Ann Handley’s A-to-Z guide to creating content, published in 2014.

You’ll learn about important writing rules (like following a writing GPS), grammar essentials (including five rules you should break), common publishing concerns, and the mechanics of writing on social media.

This book is like a blog about writing great content by one of the best practitioners in the field. Except all that great advice is in one tidy publication that sits on your shelf.

Flip open to page 53 to edit by chainsaw. Page 174 for the basics of copyright, fair use, and attribution. And 266 for productivity tools.

Book #3: Made to Stick

When I think of one book that’s influenced the way I write, I pick this one. So, it’s no surprise that this classic (2007) by the Heath brothers is my go-to book when people are looking for tips on how to write memorable and effective content.

It’s a 30,000-foot view of great content. It’s the skeleton that allows you to turn mediocre content into majestic.

Working from the acronym SUCCES (Simple, Unexpected, Concrete, Credible, Emotional, Stories), the Heath brothers demonstrate each tip with unforgettable anecdotes and facts. The urban legend about the kidney heist is my favorite. Or maybe it’s the newspaper with a readership of 110 percent.

So many gems to pick from. And the beautiful thing about this book is that you could probably read it in less than three hours.

Book #4: Letting Go of the Words

Ginny Redish did the web writing community a favor by writing this book in 2008 (the second edition was published in 2012).

You’ll find a lot of what you read in Redish’s book in other books on this list, but the value of Letting Go of the Words is the application of those truths to specific circumstances — all in one book. It’s the web writer’s reference manual.

One of my favorite chapters in this book is “Organize and Break Up Content.” In this section, Redish helps the reader go from thinking about “content” to “information.”

For me, this was a light-bulb moment. Perhaps it will be for you, too.

Book #5: Mobile Usability

Research shows the growing number of people who consume content on mobile devices. Thus, learning to write for mobile is a must.

Who better to show us the way than usability experts Jakob Neilsen and Raluca Budiu? If you’re a writer, pay extra careful attention to chapter four: “Writing for Mobile.” In particular, I think you’ll find the section on “Secondary Information to Secondary Screens” enlightening.

The rest of the book is a lesson in smart mobile design, which — as you’ll see below in Book# 9 — is something every web writer needs to be intimately familiar with.

It will pay dividends for your content. I promise.

Book #6: Clout

In this little gem by Colleen Jones, published in 2011, the task of creating compelling web content is raised to a new level by introducing the eight principles of rhetoric blended with the science of psychology.

She opens the book by fighting off the temptation to engage in short-sighted marketing tactics (we’ve all seen them) and urges us to take the higher road. Then she introduces a concept most of us have never even considered, but it is more important than content: context. That section is worth the price of the book alone.

The book also includes useful advice like persisting through roadblocks and qualitative methods to measure your content.

Book #7: The Big Red Fez

Seth Godin’s 2002 classic is useful for the divine, memorable analogy he employs to summarize his point:

Imagine the visitor to your website is a monkey (wearing a red fez). And he has a mission. To find the banana. Your job? Make it easy to find that banana.

This book will take you fifteen minutes to read. But you will never forget it. Which is helpful, since the best landing pages, articles, podcasts, and webinars follow Godin’s philosophy: one page, one goal.

Book #8: Don’t Make Me Think

Steve Krug’s web writing advice boils down to a simple anthem: “Don’t make me think.”

This philosophy is similar to Godin’s guidance: visitors should be able to finish their intended task as easily as possible.

The law of the web says people blaze through the web like it is an autobahn. And they blaze on the autobahn to do one thing: look at billboards.

Which means they won’t read your article. They’ll scan the headline if you are lucky. Skim the sub-headlines if they are feeling generous.

But you want to make them stick around. Krug offers you guiding principles on factors you need to get right and how to get them right.

Book #9: The Design of Everyday Things

My favorite Gary Larson cartoon is a picture of a kid pushing a door that says “pull” at the “Midvale School for the Gifted.” To cognitive scientist Don Norman, author of The Design of Everyday Things, this is not at all surprising.

Physical objects often confuse us.

I pour hot water into my lap because I can’t figure out which end of a tea pot is the spout or the handle. I hand grandmother a laptop and she blinks. These gaffes, Norman argues, can be solved with sensible, thoughtful design.

Why should you care as a web writer? Because lessons on the sensible design of physical objects translate well to design on the web. Take the concept of white space, for example.

White space serves a purpose. It aids readability. It gives a page a classic, rich, elegant appearance. You, dear web writer, shape the meaning of your content with words and also shape the presentation by formatting those words.

White space between words. White space between paragraphs. White space between sentences. When you write a large block of text, you break it apart into shorter paragraphs, sentences, or bullet points.

Sculpting as you go. With white space. That’s good design.

Your turn

A number of books on content marketing are published each year. If you are like me, you’d like to read them all. But it’s physically and financially impossible. You only have so many hours in a day and so many dollars in the bank.

The good news is that the tried-and-true are often just as good — if not better — than the new. In other words, you don’t necessarily need to read the best books published this year or next.

Unless you want to.

Hopefully these nine books above give you a head start on which classic ones to read, too.

So, would you add any books to this list? Drop us a line in the comments section below.

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It is 2017- Now What?

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Happy New Year!

It is 2017- Now What?

This is the time of the year when fitness centers are packed, individuals are ready to jump start their new year resolutions and turn over a new lead. Sadly enough, the reality of the situation is that by mid-February, oftentimes we all fall pack into old habits, we may not fall off the wagon totally, but it is probably a bit more of a struggle as the excitement of the new year wears off.

There are so many things that you can do to stay motivated, but the truth is that we know what we need to do. We know that we need to work on our businesses, work-out, eat healthy, stop procrastinating, take more time off and I can keep going on and on, but the reality is that it is not what we know that we need to do- it is often the things that we actually do that makes the most difference in our lives.

Here are 3 tips to assist you from having New Year Blues surrounding your resolutions.

  1. Grab an Accountability Partner- Nothing says that I am dedicated better than having an accountability partner that will check in on you, ensure that you are on the right path and one that will ensure that you have not only fallen off the wagon, but someone that will push you towards your greatness to ensure that you not only meet your goals, but that you exceed them.
  2. Turn your planner into action items- This is something that I have been doing for a very long time and I swear by it. Now here is how this works. Follow me here… I am sure that we all have a planner that we utilize to write out important dates, appointments etc. Take your goals that you set and break them down into smaller goals, then break them down in what I like to call action steps. Take those action steps and break them down into steps and assign them to your planner and the most important step is to assign them to your calendar on your phone. That way you will get an alert on your phone as a reminder of what you need to get done at that time.
  3. Plan your day the evening before. The best success that you can create is intentional success. Intentional success allows you to be intentional about the actions that create the success that you are desiring not only in your business, but in all areas of your life. If you know that you want to wake up and go to the gym-pack your gym bag the evening before. Take a moment and prepare for the following day meetings. Set alarms on your phone for important things that you know that you need to get done throughout the day. You will be amazed at how much you are able to get done when you implement this step into your daily practice.

I hope that you found this article to be helpful. Comment below and let me know which of the following steps that you will be implementing in your personal and professional development.

 

PS. If you have not done so, take a moment and learn more about my upcoming C2C-Coach 2 Coach Certification Training that is taking place Feb 16-18, 2017 in Atlanta, GA. Click here to learn more.

Cheers,

Philisha

C2C

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