TALK BEHIND MY BACK... PLEASE!

If you want a business that attracts all ideal clients, you need to give them something to talk about.

Gossip gets a bad rap, especially considering it seems all PR is good PR these days.

Hell, we've got a presidential candidate who barely had to spend money on his campaign because he was so gossip-worthy! At Worstofall, we want people gossiping about us, too. That is, talking about us to their friends. Because good gossip is the best form marketingfree and reliable! And it builds reputation better than anything else.

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People share things that are… Entertaining

Whether it’s a polarizing political article or an adorable puppy licking a giggling baby, content that revs up our emotional juices are fun to share because they inspire reactions. This is obvious when it comes to Trump & puppies, but how does it relate to your business?

Take Night, a luxury pillow company that is as much a beauty product as a sleep buddy. We built their brand a couple years ago, and encouraged them to embrace the authentically sassy voice of their cofounders Kalle & Isaac. 

A recent blog post of theirs had me laughing so hard I had to forward it to a few friends. A behind-the-scenes story of Isaac’s trip across the country to personally deliver their product to Kim Kardashian, including a series of travel missteps and how airport miracle worker “Linda” made magic happen, was both entertaining and personal. It infused a brand (whose sole product is a black, silk pillow) with personality that makes you want to hang out with the founders.

What fun and entertaining stories can you share that let us in on the people behind the brand? 
 

People share things that are… easy to share

I bet there are a ton of people that know and trust you that would love to send you business... but they don’t. This is usually because you’re not easy to share with others because:

  • You are selling something generic that lots of other people are selling. In their most genuine tone the only reason they have to tell their friend to contact you is because they like you. “You should call my friend who’s an insurance broker because… he’s a great guy!” Not a very compelling sell. 
  • What you do is hard to explain, so it’s hard to bring it up. “My friend does this energy healing thing, I’m not sure exactly how she does it but she makes you feel better. You should try it!” Hmm… really?
  • It’s completely unclear how much you cost, so others are fearful of sending the wrong people to you because it may make them look bad. Either they send you someone who can't afford you (and wastes your time), or they send you a client who is ready to spend a lot more and then feels like their time was wasted when they find out you are at a much lower price, and therefore not in the league they were looking for.

Having a clear idea, action or product that makes you easy to talk about and share can change this. One example: we productized SAT test prep company Ivy Lounge Test Prep’s first meeting into an “Ace the Test Game Plan.”  Instead of an hourly test prep tutor, Ivy Lounge offers a $750 package where they do a full assessment of the student’s testing abilities, diagnose strengths and weaknesses, discuss test score and college goals, and gives a full report with an action plan on how to achieve said goals.

This is both easy for students and parents to share, and it lets everyone know the price range of their services. Instead of being another, albeit great, test tutor, they have something clearly defined that others can talk about.
 

People share things that… are unexpected

There are so many unexpected ways to be unexpected, but I’ll share my favorite one here: say "no" to clients that aren’t ideal for you. Nobody forgets the company that said “no” to them, whether explicitly ("we're not a match"), or implicitly by pricing themselves out of certain clients.

We just got an amazing client from a prospect who wanted to work with us months ago but couldn’t afford our services. Instead of feeling disillusioned, she was motivated to get her business to a more established spot so she could afford our services. In the meantime she became a raving fan who told her colleague that they had to work with us because they could afford it.


Are you gossip worthy?

Do you have something clear and specific that makes it easy for your friends, colleagues and fans to share you with others?

Sign up for our upcoming training and get clear on what makes you gossip worthy...

WHAT YOU SUSPECTED ABOUT SOCIAL MEDIA IS TRUE

"Customer Engagement"
"Building Brand Equity"
"Developing Your Brand Voice" 
"Creating a "Fan" Base"
"Building Community Network"

"If you're not on social media, you don't exist." 

Blah blah blah.

This fear mongering is annoying and not the whole story.

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So let's get a few things straight.

1. You don't have to do anything

You don't have to be on facebook to build a business, so don't get your panties in a bunch when you read that. Yes for some businesses in some industries Facebook is an amazing tool (as can be twitter, instagram, linked in, etc...) but not being on them isn’t the life and death of most businesses. 

Actually, 80% of small businesses on facebook would be in the same exact position, possibly even a better position, if they weren’t on facebook. Where did I get that statistic? From my own two eyes! You know what I’m talking about. How often do you look at a fellow business owner’s facebook page of 87 followers and see that their last post was 2 months ago? My point exactly, that page is doing nothing for them.

2. “Don't half-ass four things. Whole-ass one thing" -Ron Swanson.

The biggest mistake people make in social is trying to be on everything, and then spreading themselves too thin. When you have a pathetic number of posts and followers, even if you are on every platform, it still doesn’t give a great impression. Instead, pick the one that makes the most sense for your company, and go hard.

Where is your audience, and what kind of information are they looking for? If you’re selling organic baby food, facebook is great because you can target ads to new moms, and we know they’re all there because we see all their baby photos. But if you’re selling art, go to Instagram where it was reported that the actor Leonardo DiCaprio bought a $15,000 by Jean-Pierre Roy, an emerging artist, over† the phone, after supposedly seeing it on Instagram. 

And do your best to give value, don’t just make “Me! Me! Me!” posts and expect people to follow you. There is lots written about this, you can start with point 3 here.

3.  Likes and Fans Don’t Mean Diddly-Squat if You Aren’t Getting Sales

If you don’t have a clear path to conversion (i.e. they see the ad and you know exactly how they are going to turn into a paying customer) then it’s not worth a cent. Hashtags don’t get you sales. "Impressions" don’t get you sales, and paying for “impressions” is ad sales fodder useful mostly to major corporations.  Planned marketing efforts executed creatively yield sales through social media, period. Yes you could get lucky with a random sale sometimes, but random luck is not the way to run a business.

4. Facebook: Pay Up or Lose

If you want to use Facebook to build your business you must spend money on ad dollars. This is not the post explaining how to do that but I’ll give you a few tips:

  • Always have a goal for a post/ad.
  • Want more people on your newsletter? Then make it an ad for an irresistible FREE download that people get for subscribing.
  • Launching a product, or want to sell directly to customers? Offer a limited time special or coupon and make the offer a “first month free” to a subscription based business.
  • When choosing the demographic for your ads, target specific people in specific locations. Then write your ads to speak to those people in those locations and use imagery about those people in those locations. 
  • A/B test your ads- easier than it sounds. It just means put up two ads at a time, give it a week, and then change the one that’s losing and try to beat the one that’s winning with a new ad. Rinse and repeat.

Need ideas for ads? Pay attention to the Facebook ads you see and you’ll start to see a pattern. They work. If you’re on Facebook, it’s what you need to do to be successful.  

5. Google+, wah wah

And if you still want to just post for the sake of posting without thinking too hard about creating value or developing creative strategies, do it on Google+. No, we still don’t think people are looking at it, but Google is, and they reward companies that use it. Get your business on Google+ so you can show up on the map- this is big and your competitors likely aren't doing it cause it's a pain in the butt! Reviews on Google+ are huge too, they show up when someone does a google search for you.

Not that we use Google +, just sayin’. (Dec. updatewe did sign up to be on the map, and we're waiting for the snail mail postcard to come in the mail. like I said, kind of a pain.)

Conclusion

The illusion of social media is that you can do it yourself successfully because it's easy to use. But unless you've got a lot of free time to educated yourself on a new industry, you are probably spinning your wheels. If it really is a strong place for your business to be, then hire a professional to at least help you come up with a strategy that has clear goals. Even if you execute it yourself, you'll be infinitely better off then just posting on facebook because you think that you should.

DID DONALD TRUMP MURDER AN ARGENTINEAN PROSTITUTE IN 1987?

Nope.

Well, to be completely accurate, I don’t know if he did or didn’t.
I’m more interested in why you clicked the headline.

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"Clickbait" is a term used to describe inflammatory headlines that pique curiosity to get clicks. Since advertisers care about clicks, not readers, the follow up content is often useless and irrelevant. Gawker and Buzzfeed are the best (or worst?) at getting click to an "article" that ends up being a complete waste of time.

Why do we care?

Because if you can use clickbait to share genuine, useful, entertaining content, you will win the hearts and minds of your readers. Since we trust you only put out genuine, useful content, we recommend you use some clickbait tactics to get people to actually read it.

So here you go, the 5 Easiest Clickbait Tactics to make your articles clickable (we urge you to only use these powers for good!)

1.  Tie your article to something that’s happening NOW

Did you just have a small heart attack watching Trump at the republican debates? Do you own a fitness company? Here's some free copy:

  • “The Trump Workout: Drown your tears in a tub of Ben & Jerry’s and then do these 3 exercises.”

WHATEVER YOU DO, don’t make the subject of your emails “July Newsletter” or the title of your articles “May Marketing Article.” This does not count as being "current" people!


2. Start Your Headline with “Why”

“Why” tickles our curiosity, and when we are curious, we click to relieve that itch. Pair it with something random and you really have a winner:

  • Why too few clients is better than too many
  • Why you're still single
  • Why cookies for breakfast might make you skinny
  • Why Tequila is Good for You

3. Be Bold (Ask for Forgiveness, Not Permission)

This is a classic clickbait tactic, but hyperbole and exaggeration do not mean the content has to suck. As long as the article has value other than just the click - it will attract your target market AND you will actually deliver relevant, valuable information to them. This is clearly one of our favorite moves, like in some of these past articles:


4. Turn Any Headline into a Question

“Sugar is poisonous to your health” is less engaging than “Is sugar poisonous to your health?”

When posed as a question, people on both sides of the conversation are curious to see what you’re going to say. State the fact, and you already told me the punchline.

Here's another:
"Trump seems to hate women” does not get as much interest as “Does Trump hate women?”

Basically, do you want to be talked at or asked a question?

Headlines phrased as questions have the potential to entice literally everyone, those who hate, love or are just curious about the subject. You can hear the reactions: "What a dog, I bet he does hate women", or "No way he hates women, he's married at least a few of them!". Regardless of your position, the question makes space for many points of view and opinions.

*(By the way #sorrynotsorry for the Trump bashing. If you find it offensive this is probably not the company for you!)


5. Talk Directly to Them: "You" and "Your"

In the end it’s not about you, it’s about the reader. And using the word "you" subconsciously hammers that home. Talk to your customer, not at them.

  • How Would You Spend an Extra $5,000?
  • The Best Kept Secret Investment Tip You Won’t Believe
  • Your Evening Routine That is Draining All Your Energy

So there they are, the five easiest click bait tricks. If Donald Trump can pull off this kind of lead in the republican presidential campaign using these techniques, imagine what you can do with them!

Note: Sometimes we even help clients write these clickbait headlines... in our BRANDUPS!

THE NEWEST GENERATION TO COMPLAIN ABOUT

Just when you were starting to figure out the Millennials, here come the Gen Zers. These kids, born from the mid-1990s through the late 2000s, are poised to become the largest consumer AND entrepreneur generation yet, and they are going to seem like aliens.

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Generation Z has never known the world without computers and the Internet. If you think Millennials know more about technology than you, brace yourself. These Gen Z kids are native; it’s in their blood. Connecting with them is going to be quite the challenge.

For Gen Zers, opening up a small business is a no-brainer so look out!

By 2020, a projected 50 percent of Americans will be self-employed, and you can bet a lot of them will be this younger generation, who will wonder why they would ever get a job when they can sell stuff from home by playing around on social media all day.

You’re probably getting that sinking feeling... Yet another group you have to figure out so you can keep your business afloat, right?

Wrong! 

The only real difference in working with Generation Z is that there will be infinitely more young, hungry competition down the road. This demographic grew up building websites and marketing themselves before they even understood the concept of marketing.

It’s not only that they know how to use editing programs like Garageband (to edit music), Adobe Creative Suite (graphic design and photography), and iMovie, it’s that learning these new programs is second nature and effortless. They are unafraid to grow and change. So how do you prepare yourself for this ever-increasing competition?

No matter how quickly and easily these kids might be able to create a website and design a logo, they are not inherently able to grow a strong business by building a brand and reputation. 

You need to have your own niche. This is true not just for new and prospective clients, but also for your existing customer base. When you grow your business based on a realm of expertise, it will be increasingly difficult for anyone to compete with you. You will actually scare off future competitors because you have such a hold on your corner of the world.


We call that having a badass brand!

The Gen Zers will inevitably build things they’ve already seen, playing the “me-too” game that lures in so many entrepreneurs. It will take a while for them to realize they have to create their own niche, so that gives you just a little extra time to make it happen. 

But make no mistake: They will figure it out! And if you don’t build your foundation now…well, don’t say I didn’t warn you.


Need help with that? 

5 REASONS LISTS WORK

Articles and newsletters are a great way to stay in touch with your network, but how do you get people to read them? Try writing in list format, it's easier than it sounds and makes a world of difference. Here's why:

1. We've Got Shrinking Attention Spans

Many of us have an obsessive need to check our phone and email constantly, and the distractions online make is difficult for us to focus sometimes. Feels like we've all got ADD! When there's a list, at least we know we'll get the basics even if we get distracted before we finish the article.
 

2. We Want Easy Answers

Who doesn't? Sometimes the only way to attack a difficult challenge is to make a list of simple steps, and likewise when we are faced with a challenge, we find it comforting to see that there are really only X number of things we need to think about to fix it. Breaking it down so it's easier to digest is a sure way to get people reading.


3. Lists Immediately Tell the Reader How Long The Commitment is Going to Be

Ever notice when you're taking a survey that they usually let you know the page you are on and how many pages there are total? This practice is common across many forms of communication from websites to books. That's because it's been proven that when one doesn't know how long a process is going to take, we bail sooner and out of frustration. If you want someone to finish a survey, or look through a slideshow, or read through an article, letting them know at the beginning how long it's going to be actually encourages them to stay to the end.


4. We Don't Read Linearly Anymore

At least, not online. Our eye scans and jumps around to get the gist before we commit. Studies show that the way an email is read is as follows: 

1) Read the subject, decide it's worth opening.
2) Read the intro line, decide it's worth moving forward
3) scan the headlines (or list titles, in this example), see if you want more info
4) read the paragraphs of the headlines that intrigue you
5) Maybe read the conclusion (step 4 might be eliminated for the super-time crunched)

So if you want to get a point across, make the bolded headlines the most important points.
 

5. Easier to remember

We've got information overload, so a list is a great way to have the main points stick in your head. It's valuable to actually read the information about each topic, but the topic itself will help you recall that information more quickly.
 

Conclusion

Want people to read your carefully crafted article chock-full of valuable information? Try breaking your points into list form, at least once in awhile. More people will open it purely out of curiosity to see what your believe those 5 most important blah blah blahs are. (You clicked on this one didn't you?)

WHY MARKETING WITHOUT BRANDING WILL LOSE YOU MONEY EVERY TIME

 When your brand is bland, your marketing dollars are like  The Little Engine That Could -  gone terribly wrong  . You'll just keep chanting  I-think-I-can, I-think-I-can  indefinitely, never really able to push the train over the mountain!

When your brand is bland, your marketing dollars are like The Little Engine That Could - gone terribly wrong. You'll just keep chanting I-think-I-can, I-think-I-can indefinitely, never really able to push the train over the mountain!

Badass Branding saves a "cookie" in your customer's mind. 

Have you ever gone to a website, and then realize that ads for that company keep popping up on other websites you visit after? It's a kind of online marketing called retargeting where the website downloads a "cookie" on your browser that follows you around, reminding you (a prospect) about the product/service you looked at. When you have a badass brand that is noticeable and memorable, it downloads a cookie into your prospect's head. 

 


Try It For Yourself

Think about the last time you saw something really cool, something that really stood out to you as interesting and different. Did you think about it afterward? Maybe take a second look later? Possibly share it with someone who also might be interested?

What if everyone that encountered YOUR business had that experience?
Would your business benefit? 

 

The Blind Spot

It is enticing to want to spend every dollar you can on marketing your business and bypass the brand, particularly if you think a brand is just a "nice to have." After all, you want to increase sales, and marketing seems like the most direct way to sell to consumers.

But being short-sighted is not good for business. Marketing will make a sale today, but the brand is what sells today, tomorrow, next quarter, next year, 5 years from now...

Would you rather your marketing dollars pay for sales today? Or sales today and forever moving forward?
 

Marketing Without A Badass Brand Makes For a Steep Uphill Climb

We all invest money in our companies because we want to increase sales, but it's important to understand the role each plays in the sales process.

Marketing: How people find you

Branding: WHY people buy

Sales from Marketing: The way anyone becomes aware of what you're selling. You can't buy something you don't know about.

Sales from Branding: The reason someone buys from you instead of the next guy, and buys in the future, too. If your brand sticks out in my mind, I will remember you and come back when I am ready to buy, or ready to buy more.

Branding without marketing will make you the best kept secret, but some people will still find you. Marketing without branding, on the other hand, will burn out your engine and your capital. 

It's not that you you won't have to pay for marketing when your brand is badass, quite the opposite. Once you have a brand that supercharges your marketing efforts, the ROI will be so damn good you'll be happy to invest more into it. 

Instead of pushing your train uphill forever, investing in your brand will take all the potential energy you've built up with your business and turn it into sales for years to come.

 

PHOTOS: A simple way to strengthen your brand

Don’t know what to post? Here’s an easy way to strengthen your brand AND make social media posting easier

The more you can infuse a consistent message, voice and look into everything your company puts out in public, the stronger your brand will be. That means each aspect of your touch points is up for grabs. Photography can be an easy way to strengthen your brand, simply by being aware of it.  Here are 3 ways to use photos to strengthen your brand. 

1) WATERMARK

People love photos, they’re an easy way to experience a story without much thought. They can also be an easy way to get your brand in front of clients over and over without being invasive. When you host an event, for example, posting the photos afterward gives a reason for people to experience the event again and think about what a great time they had! In Worstofall’s experience, the newsletters with event photos by far get the highest open and click rate- because people are either dying to see photos of themselves and they also want to make sure they look good.

So make sure your logo is on all the photos as this will subconsciously strengthen the viewer’s association with your brand and relate it to either a) the great time they had at the event or b) a great event they missed but will want to attend again. Photos from events also get shared across many social media outlets so friends of attendees will see them too, so there are exponential opportunities for visibility. And you’ll want those  to know those photos are from your brands badass event!

WARNING: Watermarks can easily look cheap. Get a second opinion before you move forth with your watermark. Generally anything that’s in the center of the photo or in a large decorative font is something to avoid as it can often be distracting or tacky.

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2) STYLE

If your brand looks good under the instagram filter, try to pick a couple filters you like and stay away from the rest. Too much variation feels all over the place. Filters, on the other hand, are a great way to help an amature photographer show consistency. So if you are a weight loss coach, and you are constantly sharing photos of your meals and of your trainees at the gym, think about using one filter for all the food photos, and another for all the gym photos. Over time, your followers will associate gym photos with a sepia tone (for example) and meal photos with a white border with your brand.

3) SUBJECT MATTER

Particularly on social media, there is a tendency to want to share everything because you are looking for things to post. But if you’re a construction company, just because your operation’s manager had a birthday doesn’t mean you should post a pic of the office party on facebook. On the other hand, if your brand is all about how your company is a big happy family, then you should post that photo and many more like it on a consistent basis.

A picture is worth a thousand words, so make them count!