The National Sports Day celebrations were special this time, and not just because there was a new head of state to hand over awards to meritorious sportspersons, coaches and adventurers.Perhaps in a reflection of India’s best medal tally and highest participation figure ever at the Olympics, the number of awardees was also the highest, and the ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhavan lasted close to 90 minutes as President Pranab Mukherjee honoured the best the country has to offer to the world of sports.Squash player Dipika Pallikal receives the Arjuna award from President Pranab Mukherjee. Olympic silver medallist shooter Vijay Kumar and bronze medallist wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt were awarded the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, which carries a medal, a citation and Rs 7.5 lakh.”It’s the biggest award that I have received in my career. I am really excited and proud,” Vijay said.Yogeshwar added: “It is a great occasion for us and the happiest moment of our lives.”Click here to EnlargeThe Dronacharya Award was conferred upon eight coaches, including Cuban boxing guru BI Fernandez, who became the first foreigner to be honoured in this way.”I have always felt like an Indian and I’m waiting for the next award,” said the man who bowed and did a ‘namaskar’ in front of the President.India’s former national hockey coach Harendra Singh accepted the award and then took a dig at the present coaching set-up, under whose watch the national team finished 12th at the Olympics.”The coaches should be sacked,” was Harendra’s reply to a query about the team’s performance.advertisementBut there was happiness and tears of joy too at the Ashoka Hall as family members watched their kin stand shoulder to shoulder with the country’s first citizen. To some, it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to soak in the atmosphere of the presidential estate.For others, like para athlete Deepa Malik, it was the culmination of a lifetime of hard work. The 42-year-old has battled a series of tumours in her spine, and has yet excelled in para javelin throw, discus throw, and shot put, in addition to being a keen rallyist and adventurer.”This award isn’t an honour for me, but a recognition for the entire para athletes’ community,” she said after the gathering had offered thunderous applause to receive her and visually challenged athlete Ramkaran Singh.London Olympians such as archers Deepika Kumari and Bombayla Devi, runners Sudha Singh and Kavita Raut, shuttlers Ashwini Ponnappa and Parupalli Kashyap, boxer Vikas Krishan, hockey star Sardar Singh, shooters Annu Raj Singh and Joydeep Karmakar, weightlifer Soniya Chanu and wrestlers Narsingh Pancham Yadav and Geeta Phogat received the Arjuna Award.Incidentally, the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Trophy for the best sports university was not conferred this year. Sources said there were some doubts raised over the way points were awarded for participation in addition to winning merit places, and that the committee would rethink the matter before arriving at a decision.The Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, has won this award 21 times since it was instituted in 1956-57.
Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. The news came several hours after Gordon said he was stepping away from football to focus on his mental health.Gordon said on Twitter his decision was spurred by his own feelings that he could have a better grasp on things mentally. He thanked the Patriots for their support and vowed to work his way back.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine football chief“We support Josh Gordon in his continued efforts to focus on his health. His attempt to do so is a private and personal matter, which we intend to respect,” Patriots team officials said.Gordon has been suspended several times by the NFL for violations of its drug policies since being drafted by the Browns in 2012, and missed the entire 2015 and 2016 seasons. LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño LATEST STORIES Lacson: 2019 budget delay due to P75-B House ‘insertion’ Is Luis Manzano planning to propose to Jessy Mendiola? Hotel management clarifies SEAG footballers’ kikiam breakfast issue Rafael Nadal donates 1 million euros to Mallorca flood victims Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion After being reinstated by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in 2017, Gordon revealed in an interview with GQ magazine that he drank or used marijuana before games. “Probably every game of my career,” he said.Gordon also said in a 2017 mini-documentary on Uninterreupted.com that he took Xanax, cocaine, marijuana and other narcotics.Gordon’s outlook had improved with New England, where he landed in September in a trade after the Browns felt it was time to cut ties. He had 40 receptions for 720 yards and three touchdowns with the Patriots, five years removed from an All-Pro season in 2013 with 87 catches for 1,646 yards and nine touchdowns.Special teams captain and receiver Matt Slater said despite his suspension, Gordon still has support inside the Patriots locker room.“My No. 1 concern is with him as a man,” Slater said. “I’m thankful for the approach he took here, how he was as a teammate. I enjoyed getting to know him in that process and I’ll continue to support him in any way I can.”ADVERTISEMENT Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next View comments Josh Gordon #10 of the New England Patriots reacts after scoring a touchdown during the third quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at Gillette Stadium on December 2, 2018 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Billie Weiss/Getty Images/AFPFOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Patriots receiver Josh Gordon was suspended indefinitely Thursday by the NFL for violating an agreement that allowed him to play after multiple drug suspensions, casting doubt on whether the talented but troubled playmaker would ever play in the league again.League officials said Thursday that Gordon was returned to the reserve/commissioner suspended list indefinitely for breaking the terms of his reinstatement under the NFL substance abuse policy.ADVERTISEMENT PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion TS Kammuri to enter PAR possibly a day after SEA Games opening Safety Devin McCourty said the 27-year-old’s well-being is his biggest concern, not football.“Life comes before all of that,” McCourty said. “I think we wish him the best and care about that more than wins or losses.”New England officials had insulated Gordon and focused him on getting acclimated to the team’s highly-disciplined culture, while also limiting his time with reporters.Coach Bill Belichick said last week that Gordon was thriving on the field, developing chemistry with quarterback Tom Brady and learning the offensive system.“He’s a smart kid, so he learns well,” Belichick said. “For better or worse, he’s been in a lot of different systems. I know it was only one team, but it was a lot of different systems up there. Most everything we’ve asked him to do he’s done somewhere along the line for somebody.“As we go through each week, I would say we’ve gained a little more ground on the overall knowledge of the system,” he said.Gordon said earlier this month he thought he was settling in well with New England.“It felt like home a long time ago,” Gordon said. “The atmosphere is very welcoming. It took me a little bit to get acclimated to the area. Other than that, it’s been pretty smooth so far, and that’s due in part to the facility, the organization, just everybody helping me along the way.” MOST READ
force DVD renters to watch movie trailers? Is 2010 the year to start clamping down on the distribution and availability of your content? In a world that gives movie enthusiasts a plethora of ways to view movies, some legal and some illegal, I would argue; “no”. . Thank you for helping to make the world just slightly worse. Content Marketing Warner Brothers decided they wouldn’t just settle for a degraded user experience, they also wanted to make inroads in decreasing the distribution of their product. Back in January, Warner successfully executed an agreement with Netflix (a company that has experienced huge success by making it easier to rent DVDs) that prevents Netflix from renting Warner movies until four weeks after they have been released. A similar deal was signed in February with another innovator in the movie distribution space, Redbox, also preventing them from renting movies until four weeks after the initial release. night when a Warner Brothers marketer decided to deliberately and abruptly interrupt me. After hitting “play” to watch the movie seems to think that is a dumb trend and is headed in the opposite direction. I sat down with my wife to watch a rented movie on Friday The DVD business is struggling right now. According to the I would also like to give a special shout-out to Philips for inventing the technology specifically designed to prevent you from skipping DVD ads, patented here: Fine, I figured I would just skip the trailers one-by-one by pressing the skip chapter button; “cannot operate”. Some swearing ensued followed by a desperate attempt to outsmart the DVD by ejecting the disc and then restarting it while pushing the menu buttons really fast. No dice. The only thing I could do was play each trailer at 3x speed, one-by-one, as each new trailer would put an end to my fast forwarding. There is nothing more emasculating than not being able to control your own DVD player. , instead of South African rugby I was greeted with a barrage of unskippable movie trailers. Then in March, Warner Brothers decided to embrace the least innovative movie distributor in the space, Blockbuster, by actually signing a new contract allowing them to continue to rent DVDs immediately after they are released. It’s almost as if they noticed that Blockbuster lost $435 million in the fourth quarter of 2009 and thought: maybe we shouldn’t hurt the people who distribute our product. Is it really good for business to , first quarter of 2010 data show that “U.S. DVD rental revenue fell 14% from a year ago” and DVD sales were down 13% in 2009. The economy is being blamed, and of course piracy is always an easy excuse. In any event, forcing customers to watch commercials they don’t want to see on DVD’s they could only rent from one store cannot be helping. k8marieuk http://bit.ly/9MFNe0 I tried in vain to push all the buttons on the remote that might enable me to get past the unwanted nuisances. I pushed “Top Menu”; no luck. How about “Pop-Up Menu”? Nope. A simple message would appear on the screen saying: “cannot operate”. Did the DVD magically and suddenly forget what the menu button is supposed to do? Marketing Takeaway Inbound Marketing Originally published Jul 7, 2010 3:00:00 PM, updated July 11 2013 Topics: Inbound Marketing Today, huge quantities of content are available free of charge everywhere. To compete, create high quality content and then give people a great user experience by making it easy to find and consume the content. There are plenty of options out there and anything less will send potential customers elsewhere to get a more gratifying experience. Warner Brothers, go read Photo Credit: Warner Brothers In a world with ever increasing choice of quality content, Warner Brothers has made a decisive move to worsen the user experience of their product. There is only one reason to disable the DVD functions during the previews; to try to force people to watch ads that they don’t want to see. Where is my “unsubscribe” button? Where is my do not call list? Why can I not opt out of this unwanted advertising? Never in the history of the world has it been easier to get incredible content inexpensively and conveniently. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack LA Times and I want my 5 minutes back. Invictus
Originally published Jun 7, 2011 8:00:00 AM, updated August 28 2017 HubSpot’s latest research, ” Lead Generation Lessons From 4,000 Businesses ,” reveals that the more landing pages a business has on its website, the more leads it generates. Specifically, our research found that businesses with 31 to 40 landing pages generated 7 times more leads than businesses with only 1 to 5 landing pages. And the numbers get even more impressive: businesses with over 40 landing pages generated a whopping 12 times more leads than those with only 1 to 5 landing pages. So how do you go about creating an arsenal of landing pages? By creating an arsenal of offers! First, think about all the different types of offers you can create: Ebooks/whitepapersIndustry research reportsLive/archived webinarsRecorded videosDownloadable kitsFree trialsProduct DemosPersonal Consultations Offers Relative to the Sales Cycle The beauty of providing a variety of different offers on your website is that you’ll tremendously increase your chances of generating leads, and here’s why…First of all, not everyone who visits your website is at the same point in your sales funnel. A first time site visitor, for example, might not be ready to jump into a full blown product trial or demo but might be quite content to download an instructional ebook. Similarly, a frequent visitor might be further along in the sales cycle and be totally ready for that personal consultation you’re offering but not very interested in downloading yet another ebook or webinar. Consider this when creating offers and offer a good balance of both top-of-the-funnel and middle-of-the-funnel offers. Similarly, consider also offering a healthy balance of content offers (like ebooks, webinars, kits) compared to offers that involve human interaction such as demos or consultations. Offers Relative to Customer Personas Sure, you could create a separate landing page with a form for each of these types of offers to increase your chances of converting site visitors into leads, but that’s only the beginning. What about getting even more targeted?Face it: your target customer isn’t exactly very one-size-fits-all. While you may have a pretty good sense of the types of customers your products and services attract, chances are there is still some variation among them. This is where marketing personas are helpful. To use HubSpot as an example, we have identified two main types of customers (marketing personas) that are a good fit for our marketing software : Owner Ollie (small business owners) and Marketing Mary (marketing managers in companies with dedicated marketing departments). Understandably, a Marketing Mary might not be particularly interested in the same topics an Owner Ollie is interested in, and vice versa.Now, think about all the different types of offers we just talked about. Can you create an ebook that targets one of your specific marketing personas? Or maybe an opportunity for a different marketing persona to request a specific type of demo relative to their interests? What about one of each? Or one of each for each type of offer? Holy cow — the possibilities are endless! The Benefit of Personalized Offers The good news is that, by offering a variety of different types of offers that appeal to different points in the sales process or different customer personas, you’ll maximize your lead generation efforts with the ability to capture even more site visitors as leads. And as an added bonus, with all the dedicated landing pages you’ll be creating to house your multitude of offers, you’ll also be giving Google and other search engines more website pages to index, giving your website a boost of SEO juice.The personalization of marketing is a hot topic lately, and more and more marketers are beginning to understand the value of more targeted and personalized marketing campaigns . So, are you getting personal enough in your business’ marketing? How else can you vary your offers? Have you noticed a causal relationship between the variety and wealth of offers you create and the number of leads you generate? Photo Credit: cliff1066 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics: Lead Generation
Leadership ? Launching a blog Publishing longer form content such as ebooks, whitepapers, and even webinars shows prospects and customers that your knowledge about given topics expands beyond 600-word blog posts. By publishing well-crafted, educational ebooks or other downloadable content, you’ll demonstrate that you’re capable of thought leadership on an even higher scale. 5. Speak at Conferences/Events: 6 Ways to Become an Industry Thought Leader I’ve said it a few times throughout this blog post, but it’s important to emphasize that one of the keys to becoming an authentic thought leader in your industry is to leave promotion at the door. Even the tiniest inkling of being too overly promotional can seriously undermine your credibility as an industry expert. … that covers important topics relating to the industry in which you’re selling is perhaps the best way to establish and uphold your image as a thought leader. A well-written blog will make prospects and current customers confident that the products and services they buy from you are created using industry expertise. Not only will maintaining an active business blog reward you with a more credible industry presence, but when done right, it will also afford you additional business benefits such as In what other ways can you and a boost in search engine optimization. 2. Contribute Guest Blog Posts: gain credibility as an industry thought leader 4. Launch Your Own Podcast: content creation Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack 1. Maintain an Active Business Blog: 3. Publish Long-Form Content: Your thought leadership doesn’t have to be limited to the web. Live, in-person conferences and events are valuable marketing assets, and a presence at these gatherings can be valuable to any business’ marketing efforts. Apply to speak at these types of industry events. Start with smaller events to introduce yourself into your industry’s speaking circuit, and work your way up to larger, more prestigious events once you’ve gained more experience and respect as a speaker. Once you’ve secured speaking engagements, always be sure to make your presentations as educational and non-promotional as possible to achieve maximum credibility. is the perfect platform for this, allowing you to search users’ questions by industry and topic. Also consider using Twitter Search to find users’ questions on Twitter. Quora and Facebook are also great places to search. Once you’ve identified questions for which you can provide a helpful response, answer it in an informative, non-promotional way. (Bonus points if you can link to a blog post you’ve written that expands on the topic in question!) This is perhaps one of the easiest thought leadership tactics to keep up with on an ongoing basis. Social media is littered with people trying to learn more or find answers to questions they have. LinkedIn Answers improved lead generation Photo Credit: An alternative or complement to blogging, launching a regularly scheduled audio or video podcast is another great way to exhibit thought leadership. Consider discussing important industry-related topics or news and inviting other industry experts to join you as guests to create an even deeper level of credibility. Leave Promotion at the Door So how exactly do you ? Here are 6 things you can do to start establishing yourself as a trusted expert in your industry. It’s no surprise that they all have to do with Once you start gaining traction as a credible business blogger using your own blog, it’s also a great idea to seek opportunities to contribute guest articles to the blogs of other industry thought leaders. Being recognized by already-established thought leaders as a credible source and contributor will further legitimize your industry expertise. Originally published Aug 9, 2011 3:00:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 6. Answer Questions in Social Media: exhibit your industry thought leadership On the other hand, if people start to trust you and respect you as an industry thought leader, the indirect result will be greater trust in the products and services you have to offer, and ultimately, more business! sites for industry-related questions can help you identify opportunities to share your expertise. Topics: Monitoring social media Jacob Boetter
846Save Social Media Engagement Originally published Feb 5, 2015 12:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics: You know by now that posting on social media is one of the best ways to amplify the awesome content you’re creating. But it isn’t enough to simply post content to social whenever you feel like it.Think about it: Is your audience spreading their time spent on social media equally throughout the day? Of course not. Every social network has higher and lower traffic times throughout an average day and an average week. Posting strategically at higher traffic times will help drive traffic to the content you’re sharing on social.Download our free social media content calendar template here to plan the timing of all your social media posts.So, when are the best times to post to each of your favorite social networks? Check out the infographic below from QuickSprout to learn when to share on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, and Google+.The Best Time to Post on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, and Google+846Save
You should also try your best to uphold image quality when republishing their visual content — if the website has embed code for that visual, use that code. This is why we try to make a point of creating embed code when we create visuals (and why we love that YouTube and SlideShare make it easy to grab embed code). It makes sharing easier for those that choose to republish the visual, and helps them maintain the quality and resolution in the process. If embed code isn’t provided, you can also include instructions like “click to enlarge” for static images — this helps ensure the visual fits the width of your website, but still provides a good reader experience.To Cite Sources Within a SlideShare, Infographic, or Visualization:And what happens if you hired a designer to create something for your site — how do you give credit to the designer? Well, it depends on the terms you’ve worked out together. You could hire a ghost designer (kind of like ghost writers) so that the content looks like it was designed in-house by your company. In that case, you don’t have to worry about attributing the design work to anyone. If, however, you’ve agreed to give credit to a designer, there should be some space in the visual (not a lot, but some) that gives them credit for their work. Here’s an example of how we gave credit to the designer in one of our infographics — check out the bottom left:And what happens if you cite content from other sources in your infographic? Use that bottom section for that, too. Here’s an example:If the list of source URLs is getting too unwieldy, you can also set up a URL to send people to for the sources:And remember, if you’re creating a SlideShare, you have the benefit of being able to make links clickable within the SlideShare. If you’d like instructions for doing that, check out this blog post — but this means that you can treat source content in a SlideShare with the same level of respect you treat source content in a blog post or elsewhere on your website.How to Cite Photographs and Other Images:Much like your infographics and visualizations, how you cite photos and images featured on your website depends on where you sourced them. When you buy stock imagery, it’s license free. You bought it, you own it, and you can do what you want with it.But many marketers are trying to find images for content such as blog posts, and don’t want to pay for a stock photo every single time. Some people go to Google Images and simply find an image they like … thing is, all those images have varying levels of permissions. So while it may be okay that some of them are used on your blog or website, that’s not universally true of all of them.Some marketers have started to use Creative Commons to deal with this issue because they have filters that let you select images you can “use for commercial purposes” and/or “modify, adapt, or build upon.” Unfortunately, you can’t always trust those filters — users have been known to upload photos and images that perhaps they have the license to use, but you do not. So if you want to be totally safe, I recommend purchasing a license to a stock photo site. There are also some free stock photo sources, like HubSpot’s free stock photos and Death to the Stock Photo, that you can check out if you’re on a tight budget.The Caveat (There’s Always a Caveat, Isn’t There?)Of course, some people who have content online, including some marketers, don’t want to share content at all and will get very upset if you do so — even if you give them full and generous credit for it, links and all. What happens when you share content from them? Well, it’s possible they’ll contact you to take it down. Or, if they have the resources, they’ll send a lawyer to do so. If that happens to you, I recommend respecting the fact that they don’t want to share data, quotes, visualization, etc. — it’s probably not worth the headache to fight it. Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in August 2012 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness. Topics: Originally published Jul 7, 2015 8:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Not only does David Meerman Scott get credit for his quote, but his company is mentioned with hyperlinked text to his website. An added bonus is the link to his Twitter handle — by no means necessary, but certainly a nice gesture. Aside from mentioning the person’s name, it’s also nice to provide them with an inbound link — either to the page from which you drew your quote, or to another meaningful page on their site.One thing to keep in mind when quoting text from someone else’s website is that many companies have content usage guidelines that will let you know how, or if, they want you to use their content. Take a look at HubSpot’s content usage guidelines to get an idea what these might look like, but in a nutshell, they’re the guidelines laid out to try to ensure you use the right stuff in the right way. For example, one of the notable parts of our content usage guidelines is that you can quote our content on your website, but only up to 75 words; this is to prevent duplicate content issues that would impact both our own organic search rankings, and the other website’s. So when quoting content from another source, do a quick check to see whether they have similar guidelines to which you should adhere.Citation Scenario #2:Now let’s say you have data you’d like to cite in a blog post. What do you do? This:The copy around the statistic not only gives credit to the company that published the data, but eMarketer also receives a link back to their site. That link, however, should not just go to their homepage. Point that link to the actual page on which that data lives. This is for the benefit of the reader, too, so they can dig into the research more if they’re so inclined.Citation Scenario #3:There’s one final caveat to your blog post/long-form citations that is just a matter of proper internet etiquette. If you found a quote, article, or data point via another website, it’s nice to indicate that in the copy. For example, if you’re newsjacking and you found the story via another website, give them a nod that they’re the ones who broke the story originally. Or, if you’re reading a blog post and there’s a particularly compelling quote contained therein from an industry influencer, it’s nice to give credit to the blogger that called that out. You might phrase it like this:”Today we learned via the New York Times that Twitter is hiring a new type of CTO — their first ever Chief Tweeting Officer.”The NYT link should head to the article they published on the subject, and the Twitter link should head to their blog post or press release announcing the news.Make sense? Alright, on to social media.How to Cite Sources in Social MediaWhen you’re sharing someone else’s content in social media, the approach you take to give proper credit changes depending on the social network. Here’s the breakdown:To Cite Someone’s Content on Twitter:Simply include a “via @username” somewhere in the tweet. If you’re retweeting someone’s content but you edit their original tweet, be sure to change “RT” to “MT,” which stands for “modified tweet.”To Cite Someone’s Content on Facebook:Facebook makes it pretty easy to give credit when you’re sharing someone else’s content right from their own timeline — they have a ‘Share’ button ready and waiting for you, and they make it easy to see the originating URL, originating sharer, as well as the names of people who shared it.If you’re citing content from elsewhere on the web, but want to give attribution to another person or company, you can find that person/company on Facebook and link to their Facebook Timeline in the status update. It’ll look like this (note the WordStream hyperlink in the image below).If you’re sharing content from another source and they don’t have a Facebook page, then the link to their piece of content will suffice.To Cite Sources on LinkedIn:Proper source attribution on LinkedIn is simple. Just include the link to the content you’re citing in the update, and mention the person or company name.To Cite Sources on Google+:On Google+, it’s customary to include the name of the person or company whose content you’re citing in the text of your update, because you can then link to their Google+ profile, much like you would do on Facebook. Simply include a + or @ and their Google+ name — they’ll pre-populate just like they do on Facebook.To Cite Sources Content on Pinterest:Pinterest is all about content sharing, so it’s no wonder proper source attribution is built right into the platform with their “Repin” button. When you go to repin content, however, sometimes the original creator has included a URL, hashtag, or other indicator of authorship. Don’t edit that link out — it’s poor form.And marketers, beware. If you include your link in the “Description” section of your pin, you may get flagged as a spammer.How to Give Credit to Guest Authors and Ghost WritersMaintaining a blog takes help, sometimes from guest authors or ghost writers. If you’re using a ghost writer, you don’t have to give credit to that author. That’s the whole point. They’re ghosts. You can’t see them.But if you’re publishing a post from a guest blogger, you certainly should be giving them credit for their efforts. In a few ways, actually. Here’s what you should be doing to give an e-nod to those writers:Provide space somewhere for the guest blogger to get not just their name mentioned (as a byline, ideally), but also the company they work for. Give them space to include a short bio that describes what their company does — this usually accompanies their byline or a separate author profile page. Many sites allow guest authors to include an inbound link to their website within that byline, too.Let them include at least one contextual link within the body of their blog content, too. Some sites allow more than one link within the body of the content, but the minimum should certainly be one.Some companies also outline very detailed guest blogging policies. If you’re concerned about mitigating the differences of opinion on some of these issues, make sure you write out your own detailed guest blogging policies for your website so expectations are set up front.How to Cite Images and Visual ContentIf you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know we’re behind sharing the wealth when it comes to visual content marketing — and we love it even more if you can give credit to the original artist properly. Here’s when you need to give credit, when you don’t, and how to do it.To Cite Visualizations, SlideShares, and Infographics:If you’ve found an infographic or visualization on another site that you’d like to feature on your website, you should treat it similar to how you’d treat citing any other content on your website. Simply include a link to the original source’s website where that visual lives, and include their name in the text. The best content marketers aren’t afraid to share. Share content. Share links. Share ideas. Share data.The thing is, sometimes marketers get a little protective of their stuff because there are less-than-scrupulous people out there who take content and then try to pass it off as their own. All that hard work, and none of the credit. Not cool, less-than-scrupulous people. Not cool.But sometimes it isn’t a matter of people being jerks — they might just not know how the internet “works.” You’re supposed to share content, but you’re also supposed to give credit where credit is due.Download the free stock photos you’ve been searching for here, no attribution required.So to clear up any confusion and ensure you (and anyone you do business with) is following generally accepted internet sharing etiquette, this post will outline how to cite internet sources. How to Cite Sources in Blog Posts & Long-Form Content AssetsBlogs are hotbeds of source attribution issues, probably just due to the sheer volume of content the format offers. Gated and long-form content assets are prone to the same attribution issues, too, but perhaps to a lesser extent since the volume is typically lower, and turnaround times longer. So let’s walk through a couple common scenarios bloggers come across and figure out how to address them — but bear in mind you can apply these attribution methods to your long-form content assets, too.Citation Scenario #1:Let’s say you’re quoting another blogger in your post — hey, sometimes you literally couldn’t have said it better yourself. First of all, you have to actually quote them. Don’t just take their words and adopt them as your own; they took time to think of that explanation.But there’s still some internet etiquette that goes along with quoting someone other than just throwing some quotation marks around their statement. Here’s an internet-friendly way to quote someone in your content (taken from an old blog post of ours): Content Creation Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
Co-marketing is a fantastic way to gain new contacts without having to wait for organic search to kick in … but it’s not always an easy job.The challenging part of co-marketing all boils down to one thing: your partner. Can you find partners who launch campaigns with the same strategy and thoughtfulness you do? Oftentimes, it’s a struggle.If you’re having trouble finding and evaluating co-marketing partners, keep on reading. In this post, I’ll outline 10 tips for making sure you’re entering into a healthy and prosperous co-marketing partnership.Let’s get to it.Click here to download a detailed guide and free templates for getting started with co-marketing.10 Tips to Finding the Right Co-Marketing Partner1) Start with a list of brands you admire. First, create a running list of brands and influencers in your industry that you admire from a marketing standpoint.If you’re an online wine distributor, for example, a great potential partner to include on this list would be a popular wine accessory company. Chances are, your audience would want cool wine accessories and gifts for their family and friends, and the wine accessory company would want an audience of wine lovers to buy more accessories. It’s a win-win!A few questions to ask yourself when you’re putting this list together:Are there potential partners in your space who have enjoyable-to-read blogs that would provide value to your audience?Do you follow any brands on social media that make lovable content that also speaks to your buyer persona’s needs?What apps, tools, or products make your customers’ lives easier? Once you nail down a list of companies that are a fit for your buyer persona, it’s time to dig a lot deeper.2) Consider competitive overlap.It can be tough to assess the “coopetition” of a new partner. It’s common sense to not go after direct competitors, but there is a gray area where a partner’s products are differentiated enough to where you might want to engage in a co-marketing relationship.My biggest pieces of advice when evaluating that gray area is to make sure you’re not fighting for the same keywords. If you’re an interior designer in Boston trying to grow outside of New England, for example, don’t co-market with another interior designer in Massachusetts as the keyword to find you would be “interior designer in Boston” or “interior designer in Massachusetts.” I’d opt to partner with somebody in the furniture or rug business that has a national footprint, as you can both drive traffic and leads to each other without cutting into each other’s business.3) Dig into social media profiles.The first thing I do to check out a new partner is visit their company’s profiles on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.While I’m there, I don’t just look at the number of followers — I also look at engagement, replies, and the type of content their social team is posting. Why? Chances are, your co-marketing content will be promoted on social media. It’s important to know the potential reach and engagement of your partners’ social accounts so you can assess how much exposure your co-branded content will get on social.When you’re looking at their social media accounts, ask yourself these questions:Does the partner use high-quality, relevant, and aesthetically pleasing visuals to promote their campaigns?Is the copy engaging and easy to digest? Are people liking/favoriting and sharing posts?Is the partner answering questions from customers and prospects? Is the partner joining conversations related to your industry? Try to answer all of these questions about your future partner to determine if they’re on the same page you are when it comes to social content.Pro Tip: When you’re on Twitter, check out “Tweets & Replies” as well as “Photos & Videos” to better determine what your future new partner is up to.4) Assess the company’s overall web and content reach.In order to assess how much traffic your new partner could drive to a landing page, I look at their overall web presence on www.alexa.com and www.similarweb.com. These sites help me get a rough idea of traffic, bounce rates, keywords, and sources people are using to find that site, as well as the next action they take after visiting.Alexa specifically is a great tool, as it can help you dig into where visitors click from a company’s main site. If you find most of the clicks are going to a company’s blog or resources pages, that’s a great sign for me as their audience likes that company’s content. If it’s going to a pricing page or something that’s not as top of the funnel, it signals that there is a hole in their marketing and conversion path — they may not be a great co-marketing partner right now. Another tool that works well for assessing a potential new partner’s reach is Buzzsumo. It allows you to find specific types of content that perform well in an industry, as well as uncovers thought leaders in that space. This handy tool ranks content by the number of social shares to provide you insight into what’s working on this company’s site. Here’s a great video on Buzzsumo’s capabilities and a look into how HubSpot’s own SEO guru Matthew Barby uses the tool.image Source: SEMrush5) Google the company.To make sure you don’t start working with a partner who is on the verge of bankruptcy, Google the company and check out the first few pages to see what comes up, as well as the “News” section. If the latest news doesn’t shed a positive light on this potential partner, perhaps you should wait until the dust settles after a few months. If it’s too damaging, you might consider crossing them off your list of partners to reach out to.If the latest news is about their impending IPO or recent funding and growth, however, go get ‘em! 6) Sign up for their newsletters and subscribe to their blog. Sometimes the best way to find out if this company markets their brand and content well is to subscribe to their updates. A few questions to ask yourself:Is the content they’re promoting lovable?How often are they sending emails?Is there an unsubscribe link?Are their calls-to-action to landing pages and useful content, or to assets that don’t make sense?The importance of knowing how this future partner markets to their own database is similar to how they engage on social media. Eventually, if you co-market with them, they’re going to promote via email, social media, and their website. If you like the way they are marketing to their database in helpful newsletters, interesting blog posts, and relevant content, that’s a sign this company knows what their audiences likes and how to convert them into delighted customers and evangelists. If they’re not sending any emails or the emails themselves are irrelevant, that should be a red flag on moving forward with a co-marketing partnership.7) If applicable, check out reviews for their product or service.In the case of the wine distributor looking to pair up with a wine accessory company, I’d check out the Amazon reviews for those accessories or Google search “[insert company name] reviews.”If there’s a way to dig into the customer service and support of this company’s products and services, you should absolutely find out if customers like what they are purchasing as it reflects on how the brand treats their buyers. Go the extra mile and dig into customer reviews and their experiences with any potential partner, if you can.8) Google the person you’d be working with, if you know who they are.Do a quick search to see if this person has experience in the industry, recommendations of their work, and a positive footprint online. I don’t judge people for not having a YouTube channel on inbound marketing that has over 1,000 subscribers and hundreds of thousands of view to their videos, but I do check out their LinkedIn to see what experience they bring to the table. Ultimately, the person you will be working with will make or break your co-marketing campaign. I don’t discredit people or choose not to work with those who haven’t had several years of experience, but it’s nice to know whether you’re working with somebody who is an industry veteran or somebody who is starting to learn the ropes.9) Ask your network for references.Have any connections in common on LinkedIn? Send your common contact a message and ask if this person you’re thinking of pairing up with is recommendable. If someone you trust can’t recommend this person, that’s a red flag. The same goes for Twitter. If you’re a dog walker looking to pair up with a local dog treat company and see you have a few friends in common on Twitter, Direct Message your common friend and ask about the dog treat company owner you’re interested in working with. Can they vouch for that person? Are they hard workers, passionate about growing their business with inbound marketing, and in tune with their buyer persona and delighting customers?Great recommendations from your network are invaluable ways to research a potential new partner you’re trusting your brand name with.10) Have an introductory call to make sure you’re both aligned (and you get good vibes from the person).I’m a personal believer in first impressions being lasting impressions. Having an introductory call with a future partner is a great way to get a temperature check on their energy and enthusiasm about the co-marketing partnership. A few questions to ask yourself:Do they seem excited about the campaign?Did they come with great questions?Are you aligned on goals?Does the conversation flow well?As a best practice, always schedule a half hour call to get to know each other before agreeing to a campaign. This will give you enough time to ensure you align goals of the campaign, as well as deliverables and the timeline of those deliverables.I try to be as natural as I can on first-time calls. This gives the potential partner a sense of my personality and lets them know I’m excited about the potential for working with them. It loosens the vibe and allows for a more relaxed conversation, which means you can really get to know each other and your goals.At the end of this whole process, you should have a much better idea whether this person and company will be worth partnering up with — or just a waste of time. What other tips do you have for finding and vetting co-marketing partners? Topics: Co-Marketing Originally published Dec 29, 2015 6:00:00 AM, updated August 29 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
All bloggers have a number of websites that they visit every single day. Aside from the obvious ones (like email and Twitter), your favorites might be anything from your blog’s publishing calendar, to your online to-do list, to all your favorite social media button generators.Wouldn’t it be great if all of those helpful resources were just a click away?That’s exactly what bookmarks are for. In your web browser, bookmarks are links to specific websites that show up as buttons at the top of your web browser — making it easy to visit your favorite websites.How to bookmark websites will depend on the browser you’re using. But trust me, it’s easy. Here are links to instructions for how to add a bookmark for four popular web browsers:ChromeSafariFirefoxInternet ExplorerNow, let’s get bookmarking. What are some of the best websites that all bloggers should add to their bookmark bar? Check out 30 of the HubSpot blogging team’s favorites below. (And be sure to share your own favorites in the comment section.)Download 6 Free Blog Post Templates Now30 Websites Every Blogger Should BookmarkFor Keeping Organized1) Publishing CalendarFiguring out when you should publish which blog posts is time-consuming enough, right? Bookmark your publishing calendar so it’s only a click away at any given time. You can use it to keep your topics and authors organized, track keyword and call-to-action usage, and make sure all your blog posts are written on time.If you’re a HubSpot customer, you can bookmark your HubSpot Calendar App.If you’re not a HubSpot customer, then you can create a publishing calendar using Google Calendar and bookmark that.(Are you also responsible for running your company’s social media accounts? Then you might want to bookmark social media publishing calendar tools as well.)2) TrelloTrello is a really simple collaboration platform you can use to brainstorm and organize your blog post and project ideas. Bookmark it so you can easily add new blog post ideas as you think of them, manage your own post-writing to-do list, and see what the rest of your team is working on. You can also use it to build an editorial and social media publishing calendar, prioritize different tasks, and organize notes.3) EvernoteWhile you can install Evernote as an app on your computer and any device, you may also want to make the website a bookmark on your web browser. Even more specifically, you can make notes within your Evernote into separate bookmarks: one for your to-do list, one where you store useful snippets of HTML, one where you store inspiring articles or ebooks, and so on.4) Waterfall GraphsWe use waterfall graphs to keep track of daily progress on our traffic and leads goals on the blog. If you’re a HubSpot customer, your marketing software has a built-in waterfall chart template that will generate these graphs for you — so you might want to bookmark that page in HubSpot. If you’re not a HubSpot customer, you can create a waterfall graph yourself in Google Spreadsheets and bookmark that.For Data Analysis5) Percent Change CalculatorI can’t even begin to tell you how useful this little calculator is when looking for and analyzing data. Ever want to know the percentage change of two values without having to remember the formula? Simply enter the two values into this calculator, and it’ll spit out the percentage change.6) Atlas (by Quartz)Atlas is Quartz’s slickly-designed command center for all its charts. There are all kinds of cool, useful data in there — everything from Prada’s share price over time to the highest CEO-to-worker pay ratios in the U.S. You can download, embed, or grab the data. It’s open source so you can create your own versions, too. One of the best ways to build credibility on your blog is to back up your claims with data and evidence, so bookmark resources like Atlas so you can easily search for and grab the data and charts you’re looking for.7) Comprehensive List of Marketing StatisticsWhether you’re a blogger who writes about about marketing, or you just need statistics to back up your strategy in a team presentation, it’s tricky to find the original source of data within the rabbit hole of the internet. We’ve put together a massive list of marketing statistics that are up-to-date and categorized for easy reference.For Blog Ideation8) QuoraQuora’s question-and-answer platform features questions from real people in your audience — and what better way to appeal to your readers than by answering their questions? Quora also offers an upvoting feature that lets you see how many other users are interested in the answer to a question, which can help you prioritize your response blog posts.9) Portent’s Content Idea GeneratorWhen you drop a topic into this neat little tool’s search bar, it proposes eye-catching, humorous title and topic ideas for you to test out. It also provides reasoning for the proposed titles, and you can make it spit out a new title idea if you’re unsatisfied. It might not produce the perfect title for your blog post, but it will get your creative juices flowing if you’re wondering what format or style in which to write.10) HubSpot’s Blog Topic GeneratorOur handy free tool produces a week’s worth of blog post title ideas when you submit three nouns or keywords you’re trying to write about. The tool is particularly helpful because you can generate ideas about specific angles by entering several search terms at once. I submitted “blogging,” “tools,” and “marketing,” and I got back these five interesting title proposals:For Writing11) Style GuideWhen you’re blogging, posting on social media, and creating other types of marketing content regularly, it’s important to have a written style guide to ensure your writing style is consistent across different marketing channels. But it can take a long time to learn all the nuances of your brand’s style guide, so have it bookmarked for easy reference while you’re writing and editing. (And if you don’t have a style guide yet, learn how to create one here.)12) Keyword ToolsKeyword research comes in handy when you’re brainstorming, writing, editing, and creating headlines for your blog posts. That said, keep your favorite keyword tool bookmarked. Here are a few of our favorites:HubSpot’s Keyword Tool (30-day trial)Google AdWords’ Keyword PlannerGoogle TrendsWant to learn more about how to do keyword research for SEO? Check out this blog post.13) WordCounterAlthough there’s no “right answer” for how long a blog post should be, sometimes word count can come in handy. Bookmark WordCounter so you can quickly paste in your content to see how many words you’ve written.14) Dictation.ioLet’s face it — if you’re a full-time blogger, you might get exhausted by writing sometimes. Don’t worry though, it happens to us too. When you need to take a break, try Dictation.io, a dictation tool that translates talk to text. This is a great way to keep the tone of your blog post conversational and to switch things up if you’re getting writer’s block.For Editing15) Pre-Publish ChecklistIt can be pretty hard to remember every little thing you should check on a blog post before hitting “Publish.” That’s why we bookmarked this pre-publish checklist, which is a complete list of everything you should do when editing and proofreading your blog content. It covers everything from ensuring all your sources are properly attributed to double checking all your links work.16) Hemingway AppHave you ever been in the middle of writing a blog post and realized your writing felt a little … convoluted? Bookmark the free Hemingway App for moments like these. All you have to do is paste your content into it, and it’ll assess your writing and identify opportunities to make it simpler. For example, it’ll point out instances of passive voice and hard-to-read sentences.17) Tone AnalyzerIn the same vein as analyzing readability, what about analyzing tone? Sometimes, you might be reading over a blog post and feel like it comes off as a little too negative or a little too excited. Tone Analyzer is a free tool that uses linguistic analysis to detect the tone of a piece — and then offers helpful tips on how to improve and strengthen the tone.18) HTML ElementsIf you edit a lot of blog posts, chances are you’ll be working with HTML on a regular basis. I like to keep this list of HTML elements handy so I can easily make changes to HTML when needed. From there, I can use CTRL + F to jump right to the HTML element I’m looking for.19) HTML ScoreSpeaking of HTML, here’s another great HTML resource to bookmark. It’s a long list of special characters that HTML 4.0 processors should support, like the copyright symbol ©, currency symbols € ¥ ¢, and so on.Image Credit: HTML Score 20) HTML CleanerSource codes can sometimes seem to take on a personality of their own and pull in crazy HTML snippets — especially if you’re copying and pasting from an external file, like Google Docs. If you find yourself having that problem regularly, bookmark a tool like HTML Cleaner so you can quickly remove any superfluous code from your content.21) & 22) Grammarly & CorrecticaBefore you can officially say you’re done editing a blog post, you should run it through an editing tool like Grammarly or Correctica to triple-check there are no grammatical errors. (Bonus: Grammarly even checks for plagiarism.)23) Headline AnalyzerYou’ve written and edited your blog post. At this point, the only thing standing between your cursor and the “Publish” button is an eye-catching headline. Once you have a few ideas in mind, head to your bookmark bar and open up the Headline Analyzer, a free tool that scores your headline quality and rates its ability to drive social shares, traffic, and SEO value. It also shows you how it will appear in search results.24) StockSnap.ioOnce you’ve written your blog post, a great header image captures reader attention on social media. There are numerous stock photo websites featuring free photo downloads that you’re free to distribute, and we like StockSnap.io’s trending feature that shows you popular photo downloads — so you can steer clear of them to make your blog posts more unique than other web content.25) Compressor.ioA photo compressor can help speed up the time it takes to load your web page and make your photos smaller for easy social media sharing. Drop your stock photo of choice into Compressor.io, and it will generate a new, compressed image for you to download and use in your blog post.For Social Media26) ClickToTweetCreating a tweetable link is a lot easier than learning custom code. Bookmark ClickToTweet so you can create basic tweetable links to accompany cool quotes in your blog posts at a moment’s notice. (Learn how it works here.)27) Pinterest’s “Pin It” Button GeneratorEver seen those “Pin it” buttons that let you pin an image to your Pinterest board? We use Pinterest’s “Pin it” button widget builder all the time to create those buttons for images we post on our blog. Bookmark that page so you can create and place these buttons next to images, infographics, and other visual content on your blog. (And scroll to the bottom of this blog post for instructions on how to build your own.)28) Social Media Button Cheat SheetWhile we recommend bookmarking some of your favorite social media button widget builders (like the “Pin it” button builder above), you may want to go ahead and bookmark this cheat sheet as a handy reference. It has links to all the widget builders for share and follow buttons for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+. It also includes step-by-step instructions for how to create them and implement them on your website and blog.29) BuzzSumoBuzzSumo shares analytics about how many social media shares a URL has received, so when you’re getting ready to publish blog posts on social media, drop links into BuzzSumo to see which types of content perform the best. You can also glean insights about posts from your competitors or previous posts from your blog to see which are most shareable and clickable. Here’s an analysis of one of our blog posts about Facebook ads:30) Embed Code GeneratorDo you create original pieces of visual content (like infographics) and post them on your blog or website? Then you’ll want to provide embed codes alongside them so it’s easy for your readers to share them on their own blogs. (Plus, it’ll help you generate some inbound links because the embedded image will automatically link back to your website.) Bookmark the embed code generator so you can easily create these HTML snippets. (And read this post for instructions on how to use it.)Here’s an example of what an embed code looks like (taken from this blog post):Share This Image on Your Site
When you’re looking for a job, you should expect to be Googled.When you’re trying to land a speaking engagement for a big industry event, you should expect to be Googled.When you send a guest contributor pitch to a blog you admire, you should expect to be Googled.The truth is, anyone that may end up working with you in some capacity wants to get a good idea of your work and your personality before responding to your email or getting you to schlep all the way into the office.Click here for free professional bio tips & templates that will get you noticed.That’s where you personal brand comes in. Your personal brand refers to the way you present or market yourself, your skills, and your work. And if you want to get past that initial Google search, you’re going to want to develop a personal brand that accurately reflects what you’re capable of.That’s why we put together the A to Z guide below. From consistency to networking, we’ll walk you through all of the elements that go into defining an impressive personal brand so you can feel good about those Google search results.The Complete A to Z Guide to Personal Branding 1) A: AuthenticityBuilding a brand around you requires quite a bit of soul searching. In the process, you’ll likely learn a lot about who you are, what you value, what your strengths (and weaknesses) are, and so on. These are all elements of your authentic self.When working on your personal brand, be sure to tap in to those layers — those things that make you, you.2) B: BioYour professional bio provides a clear and concise summary of your professional background that can be used to represent you across a ton of different mediums — blog posts, social media, a speaker profile, etc. In many cases, it serves as a first impression — which is why it plays such an important part in defining your personal brand.Trouble is, most people fail to keep it updated.”A short, professional bio is one of those things most people don’t think about until, all of a sudden, we’ve been asked to ‘shoot one over via email’ and have approximately one afternoon to come up with it,” explains HubSpot’s Lindsay Kolowich.Don’t fall into this trap. If you need help ensuring your bio reflects your best professional self, check out our free professional bio guide, complete with plug-and-play templates to help you get started.3) C: ConsistencyThanks to the internet, discoverabilityOne example of how to exercise consistency in your personal branding would be to align your username across all of your social channels. This approach is more memorable and it makes it easy for folks searching for you across platforms to surface the right account quickly. Just be sure the username you choose reads professional.Think: RoseJMills across everything instead of MissRose8794, RosiexMills87, and RJM8794.In addition to username, employing a consistent headshot across your online accounts is also a personal branding best practice. Take a look at how HubSpot Co-founder and CTO Dharmesh Shah sticks with the same headshot across his Twitter, LinkedIn, and Inbound.org profile: Job Search Topics: 18) R: ReputationWhen it comes to reputation as part of your personal branding efforts, there are two key areas you want to focus on:1) Your online reputationThe process for making most major decisions starts with a Google search. And when it comes to your personal brand, your online presence can and will reveal a lot about you, your work, and what it’s like to work with you.To keep tabs on your online reputation, set up a Google Alert for your name so you receive a notification every time you appear in a piece of content. This is a great way to track positive mentions of your name and your brand, while keeping a close eye on fires you may need to resolve.2) Your offline reputationYour offline reputation is determined by several factors including, the quality of your work, the way you treat other people, the way you respond to feedback, and the impact you’ve made on others.To achieve positive outcomes in all of these areas, you need to be committed to constant improvement by tapping into your self-awareness and self-regulation to ensure you’re putting your best foot forward.19) S: Social MediaFor many people, personal brand and social media go hand in hand. In other words, if you want to establish a personal brand, you need to establish a social media presence to support it.That being said, simply having social profiles that you post to regularly isn’t enough. You have to be strategic about your social output — what you post, when you post, and why you post — to ensure that it reflects the behaviors and values that anchor your personal brand.Here are a few of our favorite tips for using social media to advance your brand:Follow people you admire. What types of content are they posting? How frequently? How do they engage with their followers? Make note of their strategy and look for nuggets that you can incorporate into your own.Align your title, username, and headshot across platforms. We mentioned this up in the consistency section, but it bears repeating. Make it easy for folks to identify you and what you do by maintaining consistent identifiers across accounts.Post often. Part of building a memorable brand boils down to properly setting expectations. Commit to posting at least once a day on particular channels so people can rely on your for consistent, fresh updates.20) T: TrustA great way to build trust and advance your personal brand is to ask those you have a strong professional relationship with to write a recommendation or testimonial that you can then use across your website or social accounts.Here’s a great example from experience marketing professional John Bonini’s personal website:Stumped on whom to ask for a testimonial? Try to capture a variety of people — managers, folks you manage, contacts at other companies you’ve worked closely with, etc.21) U: Unique Value PropositionAs a professional, what problem do you solve? What value do you add? How do you make a difference?Asking yourself questions like the ones above will help you determine your unique value proposition — a pivotal piece of your personal branding strategy.Think of your unique value proposition as the key differentiator that people will use to evaluate your personal brand and determine what makes you the most qualified person to do XYZ. You can use this on your resume, in a LinkedIn summary, or on your professional website.22) V: VisibilityOnce you have a foundation for your personal brand, it’s time to spread the word.One of the best ways to increase your visibility is through a strategic content strategy, where you’re focused on delivering your unique value through the mediums that matter to your audience. This could be blog posts, courses, email campaigns, video content, webinars, etc.Allen Gannett, CEO of TrackMaven, has done an impressive job increasing his visibility on LinkedIn through his #AllenAsks video series that has helped him grow his followership from a few thousand to over 35,000…. plus it certainly doesn’t hurt your credibility when you’re creating content with Mark Cuban. Nicely done, Allen.23) W: Well-roundedThis one may seem a little confusing at first. After all, your personal brand is typically centered around the one thing you do better than everyone else, right?In most cases, yes. You want to become known for one thing — like being an expert in classical music or a seasoned pastry chef. However, there are advantages to knowing and owning your niche, while also maintaining a basic understanding of a variety of unrelated topics.Why waste brainpower on broadening your knowledge? It’s simple: Knowing a little bit about everything makes you more relatable. It makes it easy for you to talk to people, which in turn, makes it easier for you to build connections that can advance your person brand.24) X: X FactorSimilar to your unique value prop, your “x factor” is the thing you bring to the table that your competitors or other folks in your industry do not.Think of it as your very own disruptor.Maybe you have access to an extensive network of influencers that are willing to work with you on projects, or you’ve been recognized as the top content marketer of the year for three years running. Whatever your “x factor” may be, it’s your job to bake it in to your personal brand.25) Y: YearWe’ll admit it, coming up with a term for ‘Y’ was a little challenging, but this one is actually important.Make a conscious effort to update all of your personal branding assets — resume, professional bio, LinkedIn summary, author bio, personal website, etc. — on a yearly basis as a best practice for maintaining an up-to-date professional narrative.If nothing else, this will help you avoid all of those “Oh sorry, I don’t work there anymore” emails.26) Z: ZealousIf you’ve made it this far, well, we’re impressed. Thanks for sticking with us.You must really be really zealous in the pursuit of personal branding knowledge. And that’s an admirable trait. Why don’t you try working it into your professional bio?What are your best personal branding tips? Share them with us on Twitter @HubSpot. Originally published Nov 9, 2017 8:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 4) D: DirectionWhen it comes to determining the success of your personal branding efforts, how will you know when you’re making progress?This is where the importance of direction comes in.Some of the most accomplished professionals have a clear sense of direction. This includes well-defined goals, a long-term vision, and a handful of vehicles to drive that vision forward.Before you make any major personal brand plays, stop to think about the professional direction you want to go in and then plan your next steps accordingly.5) E: EvolutionaryOld Spice. Pabst Blue Ribbon. Instagram.Source: Logo InspirationsThese are all hugely successful names that have undergone dramatic rebrands over the years. And there’s something to be said about their willingness to change and evolve.Much like these brands, it’s important that you keep a close eye on the success and relevance of your personal branding strategy and pivot accordingly.As you develop new skills, consider how you might evolve your brand to reflect that. Similarly, as certain mediums for promoting your brand fizzle, invest in new ones. Your personal brand should be consistent, yet constantly evolving to reflect the most current, accurate representation of you.6) F: FocusRome wasn’t built in a day — and you shouldn’t expect your personal brand to be either. Establishing yourself as an expert in your industry or a noteworthy resource for any given subject requires a focused approach to delivering value to your audience while upholding your unique values.In other words, don’t expect overnight results. Instead, focus on what you can do today to strengthen your personal brand tomorrow.7) G: GrowthConsider the skills you already posses and the skills you want to build to advance your brand. If you have a fairly large skill gap to fill in order to achieve your desired outcome, it’s important to have a plan for prioritization.As you move towards mastering the skills on your “to-do” list, start by ranking each one by highest growth potential. In other words, which skills do you need to tackle first to make the biggest impact on your overall brand? Which skills are going to help you grow the most?Start there.8) H: HumanThink about the last time you scrolled through Twitter. We’re willing to bet that for every profound, original post from one of the folks you are following, there were about 20-30 automated tweets with a blog post title and a link.While there’s nothing wrong with automating aspects of your online presence — social, email outreach, etc. — it’s important that you’re strategic about how you go about it.Here are a few rules of thumb to help you strike the right balance:Don’t: Share just a link to an article. Instead, add color commentary. Share the article and share your thoughts on it.Do: Ask questions of your audience. No matter what the platform, inviting your audience to participate in a conversation with you will help you get to know them and better position yourself as a trusted authority.Don’t: Send the same pitch to everyone. Take the time to do some research. The more personalized your outreach is, the more willing folks will be to give you a shot — whether it be a guest post, a consultation, etc.Looking for an example of someone with a human social media presence? Give Ann Handley a follow:9) I: InterviewsHere’s a piece of sage advice: Say ‘yes’ to every single interview you’re offered — whether it be for a potential job, a podcast, an article, etc.Depending on the nature of the interview, there are a few potential personal branding wins to gain by simply saying yes.For job interviews …Even if you’re not interested in the position on the table, going through the interview process can serve as a great exercise for refining and practicing your professional pitch, as it provides you with an opportunity to sell yourself and your skills.What’s more, the feedback you receive from the interviewer can be extremely helpful in improving your personal brand. For example, if the interviewer questions a particularly weak part of your resume, you may identify an opportunity for improvement or clarity.For podcast or written interviews …If you’re comfortable talking about your industry or area of expertise, landing an interview — whether it is audio or written — is a really smart way to gain exposure for your personal brand.Depending on the spot you land, an interview can help you get your name in front of a large audience — one you may have not had access to otherwise. And in many cases, one interview can open the door for another. Momentum for the win.10) J: Join Thanks to the internet and social media, there is no shortage of professional groups to get involved with. And aside from the obvious networking aspect, joining these groups can be extremely beneficial when it comes to growing your personal brand.How so?Joining a community or group centered around something you’re passionate about and want to be known for can help you:Develop new skillsImprove ideasEstablish yourself as a resourceGain inspirationDon’t know where to start? Here’s an overview of how to find and join a group on LinkedIn.11) K: KnowledgeIn many cases, your personal brand is rooted in your knowledge in any given area. And knowledge can go a long way in helping you establish credibility with an audience.If you have a personal website, which we recommend for anyone looking to advance their personal brand, use that as a platform to highlight your expertise and share information with others. By volunteering your insight through blog posts, ebooks, or case studies, you are demonstrating your willingness to help.Marketer and entrepreneur Sujan Patel runs an inspiring blog where he gives away a ton of professional advice for companies focused on scaling growth. As a result, he’s become known as a trusted resource with a “mind for marketing.”12) L: LeadershipAnyone in a leadership position will tell you that personal branding comes with the territory.Think about it: It’s important that you are committed to developing yourself before you can prove that you can help others develop in their careers, right?This means knowing your strengths and weaknesses, honing your emotional intelligence, understanding how you like to receive feedback, and so on. All of these aspects contribute to your leadership style, which ultimately plays a role in defining your personal brand.13) M: MissionIt’s a best practice for companies to define a mission statement that sets the stage for what they do and, perhaps or importantly, why they do it. This statement serves as a guiding light, pushing those in the organization to uphold the company’s values and purpose.When it comes to personal branding, defining a statement that is specific to your professional development can be equally as effective.Before you sit down to write yours, take some time to reflect on the following questions:What are your personal career goals?What core values do you hold?What does success look like to you?What are you most passionate about? Why?14) N: NetworkWant to earn guest posting slots? Speaking gigs? Awards and recognition? All of these personal branding milestones require you to start by doing one thing: meeting people.By networking and building relationships on a regular basis, you’re constantly inviting new people in that have the potential to shape your brand by offering new opportunities for personal and professional growth.Need help kickstarting your networking schedule? HubSpot’s Chief People Officer Katie Burke suggests playing “Evenbrite Roulette.””Search for events happening in your area in the upcoming week and attend the third event that shows up on the page,” she advises. 15) O: OpinionA lot of people shy away from infusing their opinion into their personal brand, as they worry they might alienate part of their audience or say something offensive. While this is a valid concern, sticking to sweeping generalizations and careful word choice can actually hold your brand back.After all, part of establishing an influential personal brand means that you owe it to yourself to take a stance on the issues that matter most to you. And depending on your line of work, there is most certainly room for your opinion as a defining aspect of your personal brand.The key to success here? Share your opinion — but share it alongside your experience. This communication technique will help others understand where you’re coming from and opens the door for conversation around the subject.16) P: Public SpeakingWhether you’re comfortable with it or not, public speaking is a tried-and-true way to extend your personal brand. Speaking engagements help to position you as an authority, grow your network, and earn the trust of a new audience.Feeling a little shaky? Here are a few tips to ensure that your next speaking gig serves as a positive reflection of your personal brand:Speak about something you know inside and out. The more comfortable you are with the subject matter, the more conversational things will feel. Speaking about something familiar lends itself well to personal stories and experiences, which helps to humanize you.Know your audience. While you should always focus on being your authentic self, recognizing who your audience is will help you better direct your content. For example, your humor might land with one group, but not another. Know when to pull back.Get feedback. Practice your talk in front of a group of coworkers you trust before taking the stage. Running through your talk in advance will help you feel more confident in your delivery and also bring to light any areas you need to work on.17) Q: QuirkinessOne way to infuse your personal brand with a little individuality is to lean in to your quirks — the little things that set you apart from others. For example, maybe you’re known for calculating complicated math in your head, or doodling your notes, or being particularly clumsy.Whatever your quirks may be, don’t be afraid to incorporate them into your personal brand. While they may seem senseless, they make it easier for people to relate to you, as they provide a level of interest and intrigue.Leandra Medine Cohen, founder of Man Repeller, provides a great example of how to play up your quirks as part of your personal brand: Don’t forget to share this post!
Originally published Jan 31, 2018 6:00:00 AM, updated July 17 2018 As content strategists, we spend a lot of time talking to business people about the importance of storytelling to their business. When the subject comes up, a lot of folks get nervous. They say things like, “Well, I’m no Hemingway!” or some other nervous response.The pressure of storytelling can keep a lot of people from even trying.But here’s the thing: we don’t have to be Hemingway to be good at stories. Storytelling is part of what makes us human. If you have human DNA, you’re built to tell a story. Unfortunately, some of us give up on our storytelling ability too early.But even if you’re not a professional storyteller, there are a couple of storytelling frameworks that can help you bridge the gap. The two frameworks discussed below will help you regain some storytelling confidence, and start telling engaging stories in business and in life.Free Download: Marketing Editorial Calendar TemplateThe Hero’s JourneySee if you can guess what story this is.We have a hero who starts in humble beginnings and answers the call of adventure. She leaves home, gets out of her comfort zone, receives training from a wise old mentor, and then goes on a great journey. On this quest, she faces a bad guy, almost loses everything, but eventually succeeds and returns home having changed for the better.What story are we talking about?Is this Star Wars? Harry Potter? The Hunger Games? The Odyssey? The Matrix?It’s actually all of them.This is a template for storytelling called The Hero’s Journey. It comes from author Joseph Campbell, and it’s everywhere. It’s one of the most relatable storylines because it basically mirrors the journeys of our own lives. Understanding The Hero’s Journey can give you insight into how to frame your own stories, whether it’s the true story about your company or a fictional story that stirs your imagination.The following diagram breaks down this Hero’s Journey template, step by step.We start in an ordinary world. A humble character gets called to adventure and initially refuses, but meets a wise mentor who trains them and convinces them to go on said adventure. They’re then tested. They meet allies, and they make enemies. They approach a final battle and almost lose but, eventually, find it within themselves to succeed. They return home to an appropriate hero’s welcome, transformed by the journey.Let’s walk through this from the lens of the greatest story ever told.Yes, we’re talking about Star Wars. Let’s step through a crude synopsis to see how well it matches Campbell’s pattern:In the first Star Wars film, we begin with the rather ordinary Luke Skywalker. He lives on a farm on a desert planet. One day he meets some robots who need help. They need to find a local hermit named Obi-Wan Kenobi. So Luke takes the robots to Obi-Wan, who basically says, “Luke, you need to go out and help save the universe.” Luke initially says, “No, I have all this stuff going on,” but Kenobi, who becomes Luke’s mentor, convinces Luke that he should go. Kenobi trains him how to use a lightsaber, and Luke goes on an epic space adventure.On the journey, Luke meets the villain, Darth Vader. He battles evil stormtroopers. He makes friends: Han Solo, Chewbacca, Princess Leia. And then he has to help defeat the super-weapon, the Death Star. Nearly everything goes wrong, but in the end, Luke succeeds in blowing up the Death Star. The last scene of the movie is of Luke getting a metal put over his neck by the princess, who kisses him on the cheek. Now he is in his new home, a changed man, emboldened by the great power of the Force, which he can use on future adventures.This is the Hero’s Journey, which—modified in various ways—we see repeated in stories throughout history. The simple version of this is that pattern of tension that we learned from Aristotle. We have an ordinary person (what is), and we have adventure that lies ahead (what could be). The transference from one to the other is the journey.In business, the case study is a rather common way marketers use this kind of story to sell a product or service. (Most of them are a little less entertaining stories than Star Wars, unfortunately.) A case study is the story of where a customer was, where they wanted to be—the tension!—and how they overcame that gap.If you listen to podcasts, you’ll hear this story told in most every ad. One of the most common ads is for Harry’s razors, which tells the story of “Jeff and Andy, two ordinary guys who got fed up with paying way too much for razors at the pharmacy and decided to buy their own warehouse to sell affordable razors.”The problem with most brands’ stories is they either don’t fully utilize the four elements of great storytelling, or they don’t walk us through enough of the steps of the Hero’s Journey to capture our attention.That’s why these frameworks are so useful. They’re a really easy way to ensure that we’re more creative when we’re coming up with stories or trying to convey information.It’s sort of like a haiku: If we told you right now to come up with a poem on the spot, you would probably have a tough time. But if we told you to come up with a haiku about Star Wars, you’d likely be able to do it. This framework helps you focus your creativity.Another great story template comes from comedy writing. It starts similarly: A character is in a zone of comfort. But they want something, so they enter into an unfamiliar situation. They adapt, and eventually get what they’re looking for but end up paying a heavy price for it. In the end, they return to their old situation having changed.This is the plot of pretty much every episode of Seinfeld.For example: During the sixth season of the show, George gets a toupee. This new situation is unfamiliar, but he likes it and quickly adapts to it. Once he has what he wants, though, he starts getting cocky. He goes on a date with a woman and behaves like a haughty jerk.It turns out that his date, under her hat, is actually bald, too. When George is rude about this, she gets mad. His friends also get mad at him. “Do you see the irony here?” Elaine screams at him. “You’re rejecting somebody because they’re bald! You’re bald!” She then grabs George’s toupee and throws it out the window. A homeless man picks it up and puts it on.The next day, George feels like himself again. “I tell you, when she threw that toupee out the window, it was the best thing that ever happened to me,” he tells Jerry. “I feel like my old self again. Totally inadequate, completely insecure, paranoid, neurotic, it’s a pleasure.”He also announces that he’s going to keep seeing the bald woman. He returns to apologize to the woman, only for her to tell him that she only dates skinny guys.So then George goes back home, having changed. He has his regular bald head now, but he’s learned a lesson. (But because it’s Seinfeld, he goes back to his old habits by the next episode.)Both of these types of journeys are the journeys that we all go through in our lives, our businesses, and our families. As a storyteller, you can rely on these journey templates to shape your plots so you can fully unleash your creativity within.The Ben Franklin MethodWhen Benjamin Franklin was a boy, he yearned for a life at sea. This worried his father, so the two toured Boston, evaluating various eighteenth-century trades that didn’t involve getting shipwrecked. Soon, young Ben found something he liked: books. Eagerly, Ben’s father set his son up as an apprentice at a print shop.Ben went on to become a revered statesman, a prolific inventor, and one of the most influential thinkers in American history. He owed most of that to his early years of voracious reading and meticulous writing—skills he honed while at the print shop.Franklin wasn’t born an academic savant. In fact, in his autobiography, he bemoans his subpar teenage writing skills and terrible math skills. To succeed at “letters,” Franklin devised a system for mastering the writer’s craft without the help of a tutor. To do so, he collected issues of the British culture and politics magazine, The Spectator, which contained some of the best writing of his day, and reverse engineered the prose.He writes:I took some of the papers, and, making short hints of the sentiment in each sentence, laid them by a few days, and then, without looking at the book, try’d to compleat [sic] the papers again, by expressing each hinted sentiment at length, and as fully as it had been expressed before, in any suitable words that should come to hand.Basically, he took notes at a sentence level, sat on them for a while, and tried to recreate the sentences from his own head, without looking at the originals.Then I compared my Spectator with the original, discovered some of my faults, and corrected them. But I found I wanted a stock of words, or a readiness in recollecting and using them.Upon comparison, he found that his vocabulary was lacking, and his prose was light on variety. So he tried the same exercise, only instead of taking straightforward notes on the articles he was imitating, he turned them into poems. I took some of the tales and turned them into verse; and, after a time, when I had pretty well forgotten the prose, turned them back again.As his skill at imitating Spectator-style writing improved, he upped the challenge: I also sometimes jumbled my collections of hints into confusion, and after some weeks endeavored to reduce them into the best order, before I began to form the full sentences and compleat [sic] the paper. This was to teach me method in the arrangement of thoughts.He did this over and over. Unlike the more passive method most writers use to improve their work (reading a lot), this exercise forced Franklin to pay attention to the tiny details that made the difference between decent writing and great writing:By comparing my work afterwards with the original, I discovered many faults and amended them; but I sometimes had the pleasure of fancying that, in certain particulars of small import, I had been lucky enough to improve the method or the language, and this encouraged me to think I might possibly in time come to be a tolerable English writer.When he says a “tolerable English writer,” he’s being humble. In a trivial amount of time, teenage Franklin became one of the best writers in New England and, shortly after that, a prodigious publisher.But more importantly, being a better writer and a student of good writing helped Franklin become a better student of everything. Good reading and writing ability helps you to be more persuasive, learn other disciplines, and apply critical feedback more effectively to any kind of work. When we’re hiring for Contently, our first impression of a candidate is dramatically impacted by the clarity of their emails.After building his writing muscles through his Spectator exercises, Franklin reported that he was finally able to teach himself mathematics:And now it was that, being on some occasion made asham’d [sic] of my ignorance in figures, which I had twice failed in learning when at school, I took Cocker’s book of Arithmetick [sic], and went through the whole by myself with great ease.6Perhaps Ben’s little secret for learning to write isn’t so dissimilar from what MIT professor Seymour Papert’s research has famously revealed: that children learn more effectively by building with LEGO bricks than they do by listening to lectures about architecture. It’s not just the study of tiny details that accelerates learning; the act of assembling those details yourself makes a difference.This is an excerpt from the Amazon #1 New Release, The Storytelling Edge: How to Transform Your Business, Stop Screaming Into the Void, and Make People Love You by Joe Lazauskas and Shane Snow. Order it today to take advantage of some awesome pre-order bonuses. Don’t forget to share this post! Topics: Storytelling
Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) are being encouraged to explore the possibility of raising funding through capital market options, such as the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE).“The active steps include having your plan and the goal to be a listed company. Begin by keeping proper records, start to prepare a business plan, and actively surround yourselves with persons who have taken the journey and have succeeded. It can be done, and we await your entrance,” JSE Managing Director, Marlene Street Forrest, stated.She was speaking at the Small Business Association of Jamaica’s (SBAJ) second regional MSME Conference, held recently at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston.Managing Director of the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE), Marlene Street Forrest, addresses the Small Business Association of Jamaica’s (SBAJ) second regional MSME Conference, held recently at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston. She was speaking at the Small Business Association of Jamaica’s (SBAJ) second regional MSME Conference, held recently at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston. “The active steps include having your plan and the goal to be a listed company. Begin by keeping proper records, start to prepare a business plan, and actively surround yourselves with persons who have taken the journey and have succeeded. It can be done, and we await your entrance,” JSE Managing Director, Marlene Street Forrest, stated. Mrs. Street Forrest noted that despite foreign exchange rate fluctuations, “we have very favourable market conditions, with business and consumer confidence high, a low rate of inflation and over- subscription in all of our Initial Public Offerings (IPOs), which signal an interest in the stock market.”“These factors are good for business, and we believe that the MSMEs should now be engaged,” she further stated.For his part, Wisynco Group Chairman, William Mahfood, noted that financing is becoming easier for the MSME sector.“Many banks are taking more risks and investing in small businesses across Jamaica,” he indicated.The conference was held to highlight new trends in business development and management; promote success stories among MSMEs; examine the MSME Policy within a macroeconomic context and its impact on business profitability; provide an interactive forum to explore opportunities for national, regional and global business collaboration; and expose participants to new technologies, research and development in agriculture, and climate smart innovation. Story Highlights Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) are being encouraged to explore the possibility of raising funding through capital market options, such as the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE).
Share Listen Andrew SchneiderSteve and Patti Stockman emerging from Houston’s federal courthouse, April 5, 2017The defense has rested in the trial of former Congressman Steve Stockman. Stockman himself did not testify.Attorney Sean Buckley said the defense team had hoped to call several witnesses to testify about Stockman’s humanitarian missions to Africa. They wanted to counter the government’s argument that Stockman’s Africa trips were a ruse to raise money for one of his congressional campaigns.In the end, the rules of evidence only allowed the defense to call one additional witness. Stevie Bidjoua Sianard, an administrative assistant at the World Health Organization, acted as Stockman’s translator on several of his trips to the Republic of the Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.After Judge Lee Rosenthal dismissed the jury, Stockman confirmed that he had decided not to testify and that he was satisfied with the legal counsel he’d received on this point.The government will deliver its closing argument Monday morning. The defense is expected to do so Monday afternoon. 00:00 /00:44 X To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: