THE RELEVANCY SPECIALIST

A Modern, Sophisticated Approach
to Improving Conversion

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Rock Your Personal Branding With LinkedIn Long-Form Posts

LinkedIn Long-Form Posts Essential to Personal Branding

If you do anything in the digital space – PR, content marketing, search engine optimization, social media – the one thing that matters most is experience. Every skill gained is improved by experience, clients expect incredible amounts of it no matter what their budget might be, and we are all challenged at finding the time.

Enter multitasking! Learning new skills by doing one task that impacts or accomplishes multiple – but done in a very strategic manner. Successful people are excellent at this. They decide exactly why they need specific experience, then create ways to gain that experience in a way that fuels their success while they learn. It’s never wasted time.

In our industry, writing is one of those skills that can make or break career advancement. Attaching this multitasking mentality to improving your writing is important.

Read moreRock Your Personal Branding With LinkedIn Long-Form Posts

4 Ways Your Content Just Killed Trust & Buyer Confidence

Brushstrokes Building Trust image

Trust – it’s so fragile. It takes forever to build and moments to crush.

My brain is teeming with ideas about how to build trust, and how it’s impacted by the content we create and the social media posts we share. As I wrap up the last half of my book, I’m very focused on the topics of trust, value and reputation – and how they intersect to create a bigger picture.

Trust is a complex thing. It’s built up over time based on small everyday interactions, subjective opinions, our own unique perspectives and experiences, and what people tell us.

The internet is no different. Online, trust is built on a foundation of reputation, consistency, professionalism and demonstrated expertise. It’s a collective accumulation of impressions, with each exposure forming an imprint, like individual brush strokes together create a larger image, a larger truth.

Excerpt from Above The Noise (coming this fall!).

We can’t build trust if the content we create is unfocused, and we sure won’t build any kind of meaningful awareness or audience.

Each brushstroke – each piece of content and layer of social media – adds to a larger truth. How trustworthy does your content appear? What perception are you creating as the bulk of your content grows over time? Are you creating a masterpiece or something you can’t give away at a garage sale? Are you creating a bigger picture that is intentional or accidental?

Read more4 Ways Your Content Just Killed Trust & Buyer Confidence

The Often-Overlooked PR Gold Mine: Online Public Speaking

Overlooked PR Goldmine: Speaking, Podcasts and WebinarsIt’s easy to fall into the habit of looking for the more traditional PR placements – press release pick-ups, bylines, guest blog posts… But public relations opportunities aren’t limited to editorial.

What better way to build visibility and relationships with a specific target audience than landing speaking opportunities? It builds credibility and influence, plus it’s fantastic for generating leads. In fact, some use it as their primary lead generation tool or a valued revenue stream, and the PR agency or employee that can generate active leads is an extremely valuable part of the team. (This impacts client retention or job security nicely – whoot!).

There’s a gold mine of opportunities waiting for you. If you haven’t added them to your overall strategy, now’s the perfect time to take a closer look, and be proactive bringing up this tactic before it’s requested.

[Tweet “Webinars, chats and podcasts are amazing sources of #PR visibility – seek them out!”]

For agencies, the research can also be a nice way to upsell an extra project fee that is worth every single penny to their client, or a value-add to wrap into an existing retainer as time allows. And for in-house PR pros, it can be a project that has a major pay-off in bringing you to the attention of company leadership.

Most people who handle traditional public relations think of speaking opportunities – but they overlook the ONLINE SPEAKING opportunities: webinars, podcasts, Twitter chats and Google hangouts. They are all viable speaking opportunities and essential ways to build visibility online. They also give significant credibility to the speaker and build their reputation as a sought-after expert in their industry, in exactly the same way speaking does but with a potentially larger audience.

Read moreThe Often-Overlooked PR Gold Mine: Online Public Speaking

Ten Awesome Free Digital PR eBooks to Put on Your iPad Tonight

Spin Sucks Scavenger Hunt - Free EbooksWondering what my favorite eBooks are? Here are a few you can download to your iPad or smartphone tonight to read as time allows. Not all of theme are recent, but I found each one of them to be valuable.

Registration is required for many of them, but don’t let that stop you. After all, who doesn’t want to grow their knowledge using freebies, right?!

Did you know reading makes you learn great things almost via osmosis? Become an avid reader and you magically become an avid LEARNER almost effortlessly. It fills up your brain with juicy little pieces of information that seem to pop out front-and-center right when you need them.

If you don’t read, you probably aren’t learning – a big mistake in today’s environment.

Glance these over and let me know if you find one particularly useful.

Five Free eBooks (or Presentations) To Download Now

  • Strengthen Your LinkedIn Skills: The Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide to LinkedIn by…. um….. LinkedIn! Can’t get any closer to the source than that, right? It includes some very useful details.
  • Learn to Podcast: This new SlideShare deck from Jay called How to Produce a Podcast in 15 Steps is youtility at its best, including tips AND specific tools Sir Baer uses to fuel some of his success! And I LOVE his idea of sending guests an audio headset! It is a useful gift that also ensures the podcast is successful. If you haven’t tried them yet, podcasts are a fantastic way to create effective content. Just remember to make them educational, not just promotional! Word on the street is that audio is (re)emerging as one of the fastest growing content platforms for 2015.
  • Freshen up your skills with metrics: CyberAlert created a wonderful resource called The 2014 Measurement Handbook for PR, Marketing and Social Media. It has three parts, but if time is short, start with Part Three: Marketing Measurement: Implementing Metrics That Matter. Good stuff, Cyberalert!
  • Polish up your media relations smarts: BusinessWire’s 2014 Media Survey Results are very enlightening. I’ve blogged about them before, but if you haven’t checked it out yet – go take a look.

Read moreTen Awesome Free Digital PR eBooks to Put on Your iPad Tonight

As Trust Declines, How Are You Helping Clients (or Your Agency) Earn It?

And is a declining trust in media real?

As TRust Declines, Are You Earning It?According to the new 2015 Edelman Trust Barometer Study posted just six days ago, we are more jaded than ever about news – trusting what we hear about on social media far more than from media sources.

 

What led to this happening? Social media is stealing their value away as the first source of breaking news and content marketing has exploded into a rich source of fresh perspectives, opinions and expertise in an unprecedented volume.

But I feel this survey is extremely misleading, even detrimental to the importance of media.

Read moreAs Trust Declines, How Are You Helping Clients (or Your Agency) Earn It?

Five Signs You’re Too Focused on Meaningless Vanity Metrics

Meaningless Vanity MetricsThere’s nothing cuter than a puppy (or kitten!) chasing its own tail. Around and around, the silliness of it all is delightfully young and pointless.

But it isn’t so funny if you’re chasing your own tail in a business setting, and nothing exemplifies this more than pursuing vanity metrics.

So what are vanity metrics? Ones that feed the ego or build audience but are missing an actionable return on your investment.

They aren’t always meaningless, but they don’t tell the whole story about what’s actually working to drive business growth. Think of them as step one.

As we all continue to grow in sophistication and learning related to digital PR and marketing, the ability to tell the difference between a vanity metric and one that is truly valuable is growing in importance.

Read moreFive Signs You’re Too Focused on Meaningless Vanity Metrics

How To Blog When You Don’t Have One

How to blog when you don't have a blogGuest blogging to the rescue!!

One of the most powerful editorial tools we have as PR professionals is writing and placing guest blog posts on behalf of our clients or employer. And you don’t need a blog of your own to do it.

I’ve been running into one specific misunderstanding about blogging over and over this month – and I think it’s especially important to clarify.

When I talk about guest blogging, I’ve had multiple people chime in to say “oh, but I don’t have a blog.

You don’t need to have your own blog to write for other blogs.

Zip. Zilch. Not a single post.  You don’t even need any blogging experience. If you can write, you can do it. 

Read moreHow To Blog When You Don’t Have One

Press Release Headlines – Does Length Really Matter?

Are Your Press Release Headlines Too Long?When it comes to a press release, headlines are everything.

  • It determines whether or not a journalist will consider the press release newsworthy and worth reading.
  • It drives social sharing (or discourages it), based on the topic and how compelling it is.
  • It impacts click-through rates on search engines, depending how well-written it is.
  • It has a huge impact on search visibility (SEO), if keywords or phrases are integrated correctly.

Not only should it be well-written, compelling and seeded with a keyword or phrase – low on hype, please – but length matters more than most realize. Here are a few quick guidelines to keep in mind.

Read morePress Release Headlines – Does Length Really Matter?

How to Choose the Best Blog Syndication or Guest Post Opportunities

Apples to Oranges: Guest Blog Post SyndicationThere’s a lot to love about having your posts syndicated. More visibility. More reach. More traffic. More influence. More social sharing.

Same goes for writing guest blog posts – if content marketing is your strategy, mastering website selection for where to place that content is essential. Otherwise, you’ll be creating content, but not results.

If you are a public relations professional, post syndication and guest posting are absolutely critical tools in building digital influence for your clients.

Read moreHow to Choose the Best Blog Syndication or Guest Post Opportunities

Sprinkles or Frosting? Dress Up Your Content Cupcake With These 12 Fantastic Blog Plug-Ins.

Content CupcakeWithout plug-ins, a blog is a simple vanilla cupcake.

No frosting. No sprinkles. No glorious fudge center that makes your taste buds explode in joy.  Your nice looking theme makes a pretty paper wrapper, but that’s it. It’s like content cake sitting alone, in desperate need of TLC to make it delicious and irresistible. Readers won’t love it and clients won’t love it.

But with plug-ins!? You can do glorious things, all at the click of an “activate” button.

What are plug-ins? Small pieces of code that adds new functionality to your blog. Want to add SEO? Use a plug-in. Allow people to sign up for a newsletter? Plug-in. Send anyone that leaves a comment for the first time a quick thank you email? You got it, a plug-in.

Free WordPress.com blogs do not allow use of plug-ins, you must have a self-hosted WordPress.org blog. Use of plug-ins are best suited to intermediate to advanced WordPress users, not beginners, due to the customization most of them require.

Read moreSprinkles or Frosting? Dress Up Your Content Cupcake With These 12 Fantastic Blog Plug-Ins.