Sustainably Yours, Tim King. Marketing Writer | Communications Specialist

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How to Optimize Content Marketing – White Paper | OutMarket

Check out this great list of tactics and tips on what it takes to create the best online content for your audience. I really like the fact that they’ve made it clear that there is an art AND a science to doing this well.

Many writers make the mistake of over thinking the Art and under appreciating the Science. Likewise, many content managers put too much emphasis on the analytics (Science) and not enough on the content (Art) itself.

How to Optimize Content Marketing – White Paper | OutMarket.

Are you looking for someone who works well on either side of the fence ?

Contact me and let’s talk about how to find the perfect balance between keeping your audience entertained and engaged…while also encouraging them to take action once and while too.

Sustainably yours,

Tim

tking3371@gmail.com

 

 

Duvet or Not Duvet? Eh? Just say Quilt.

I’ve always said that the ability to ‘do’ marketing well is both a skill and an art. It’s a delicate balance.

To be effective, marketers must communicate features and benefits in a way that is accurate and truthful but also emotional and exciting enough to attract attention and influence behavior.

When opposing (selling vs. telling) messages are communicated in precisely the right balance.

When opposing (selling vs. telling) messages are communicated in precisely the right balance.

When it’s done correctly, this is what I call marketing nirvana – the right message gets in front of the right person in the right way at the right time. A perfect match.

More often however, these contradictory communication goals will morph into materials and messages that actually accomplish neither one. We’ve all seen ad material too boring to read, too sensational to be believed, or worse too confusing to understand.

Recently, I spent the night in a well known, middle of the road type hotel chain and noticed this curious Post-It (R) note on my bed’s headboard. At first, I was intrigued/impressed to believe that the cleaning staff had left me a personal note welcoming me to rest in their comfy clean room.

Almost immediately though, that thought disappeared after peeling off the note and confirming that in fact the message had been pre-printed on the sheet of paper…and not hand written as I was lead to believe.

"Great! Ummm...What's a duvet? "

“Great! Ummm…What’s a duvet? “

Of course, I never really expected it to be a hand written note anyway. But, taking a closer look at the piece also brought up another intriguing question, “So what the heck IS a ‘doo-vet’ cover and  why were they so proud that theirs’ were clean anyway?”

Had I been unknowingly exposed to dangerously dirty duvets in the past at other hotel rooms? I honestly had no idea how to answer my own question.

Soon after this realization, flashes of Bill Cosby’s classic “Noah” sketch came to mind.

In the sketch, the booming voice of God calls out to Noah and instructs him (in feature-rich, important sounding, glorious language) that he wants Noah to go out and collect all the wood he can find and then build an “Ark”. God rattles on and on about what the Ark is for, how big it should be and who should be brought to it, etc. leaving no detail unmentioned.

Noah, patiently listens and when God finally pauses to hear Noah’s response to the mammoth task he has just put before him, Noah disbelievingly says “Riiiiiight…What’s an Ark?”

The same thing can be said about this piece of marketing. The hotel was SO concerned about appearing to be clever, personable and reassuring that they went the extra mile to make sure my duvet cover was clean…they probably never took the time to think “Does the average person actually know what a duvet is?”

For one, I sure didn’t.

But I have absolutely no doubt that everyone in the room at the time this was created definitely knew what one was. I’m also sure that hotel industry veterans know all about duvets and have conducted all sorts of research to find out that guests overwhelmingly like their duvets to be clean.

I wonder though if they were to gather 100 random people off the street and bring them into the hotel room and ask them to “go over and stand next to the duvet” if more than a few would likely walk over to a picture on the wall, the small table in the corner of the room…or maybe even one of those funny European style toilets that the water actually shoots up? 

In other words, does the specific feature / benefit that you are spending so much time, effort and money to create really mean anything at all to your customers ?

Effective marketing communicates what matters to customers – not what matters to the people creating the marketing or what companies think customers should think matters.

The only thing that matters to customers should be the only thing that matters to you…and don’t use a 25 cent word when a nickel word will do.

So, what do you think matters to your customers? Now THAT is the question.

For those who are still curious…. via Dictionary.com

du·vet [doo-vey]
noun
Def: a usually down-filled quilt, often with a removable cover; comforter.

SEO Keywords – Just Bark? That Bites.

Remember walking down the midway at the carnival and hearing a man shouting about “THE most amazing, fabulous, stupendous, unbelievable sights” just waiting for you inside?

“Yes Sir ! Step right up, folks! There’s plenty of room. C’mon inside and see … you simply won’t believe your eyes!”

They call this guy a “Barker” and his (or her) sole job is to get passers-by to stop, listen and become SO captivated and curious about the attraction that they immediately feel compelled to willingly and enthusiastically hand over their hard earned money JUST for the chance to take look inside.

Step Right Up Folks !! We got your keywords right here !!

Step Right Up Folks !! We got your SEO right here !!

The time tested staples of the Barker’s verbal repertoire generally emphasize some one-of-a-kind variety, novelty, beauty, or perhaps some unusual or grotesque feature.

“One day only!” “Don’t miss out.” “The only one known to man.” “Never seen before.” “From the depths of the black forest.” “Amaze your friends and neighbors.”

Two tickets please.

Unfortunately, chances are that the amazing spectacle vividly described outside the tent will generally have little in common with the mediocrity found within.  

And, the Barker could care less. He got you in the door – butts in seats – and that’s all he really cares about. “There’s a sucker born every minute.”

Today, the same can be said about building your business website strictly around certain “keywords” only to enhance the sites Search Engine Optimization (SEO) status.

Sure, barking out the right buzz words and phrases out into the cyber-world will certainly attract visitors to your site. What’s even better, the more you repeat these words over and over, the more Google and Yahoo will think that you are really something important.

Yes, their complicated algorithms may be smart, but the human intellect is still the only thing able to sniff out BS – both online and on your shoe.

The reality is that it’s not enough that web searchers are able to find your website. In other words, it don’t mean a thing if they don’t spend some bling.

Last I checked, you can’t pay your rent with “clicks” or pay your employees with “likes”.

You can't buy Jack with "likes" - unless you're Fonzie.

You can’t buy Jack with “likes” – unless you’re Fonzie.

At the end of the day, your website needs to be able to convince its visitors to take action. Trouble is, turning a visitor into a paying customer takes much more than a few strategically placed keywords and some SEO-friendly text.

As always, convincing a customer to buy takes trust…and trust is a very complicated thing to establish online, especially if your website is focused primarily on only telling YOUR COMPANY’S story and not the story of your customers.

Trust me. Customers won't buy without it. (Via DM NEWS)

Trust me. Customers won’t buy without it. (Via DM NEWS)

Effective, customer-centric copywriting should answer the questions that customers are thinking about and proactively address their fears, objections and uncertainties. The ultimate goal is not only getting them to buy, but to also feel good about the transaction, and maybe tell their friends too.

So stop barking and start thinking about what problem you solve for customers – then tell THAT story (over and over) in all of your marketing materials.

Otherwise, all you’ll get is a website full of unhappy people wondering how they let themselves get swindled into believing there was really something special behind the curtain.

#MARKETING #FAIL

#MARKETING #FAIL

It’s not you, it’s them…well, maybe it’s you a little bit too.

Some great tips here. The bottom line is that we need to remember that we are the experts here…the client hired us to do something that they could not (or would not) do. Tactfully reminding them of this when necessary can help reaffirm the relationship and get you sane – and confident in your abilities

Freelancers: it’s not you, it’s them | Webdesigner Depot.

Keep your head up !

Ransom Consulting – New England Environmental Engineering

Take a look at my latest web content writing project. I learned a lot about all the work that goes on – often behind the scenes – to make spaces and structures safe, clean and built to last !

Ransom Consulting

Orchestrating a symphony of change.

Ransom Consulting - Saco River Mill Project. Saco Maine

Ransom Consulting – Saco River Mill Project. Saco Maine

“Working in concert to confidently direct a diverse group of project stakeholders, including financial institutions, attorneys, developers, engineers and construction managers, Ransom Consulting has the experience and technical expertise to confidently and accurately assess the environmental concerns of any site – large or small.”

This was a great project to work on. The client had a good amount of information available – it just needed to be infused with a little life. Working with senior staff, I was able to decipher much of “science-talk” and distill some very complicated processes and services into language that was easier to understand.

Thanks to the clean design and thoughtful approach to page hierarchy from the web experts at iBec Creative the whole site came together right on schedule.

When iBec says, “We want you to have a great website — that works.”  They mean it.  Websites are not static advertisements that simply look over and over. They are responsive, dynamic entry points to your company and your brand promise.

Latest web project goes live – Residential Mortgage Services, Inc.

I am so glad to see this completely revamped website finally get launched !!!

It was a long road to get there, but I am proud to say that the copy writing, tagline and positioning work that I started the project with served as the framework that drove the communication strategy for the entire site.

 

Specifically, I hope the new tagline “We’ll guide you home.” is something that really connects with their customers and prospects. These folks are pros at what they do and it was a pleasure to learn more about them and the industry they are so committed to.

 

I also really enjoy getting companies out of their own heads.

They come in thinking “We just do mortgages” and don’t realize that people aren’t just  doing business with them because of this fact. That decision is both emotional and rational (in different percentages depending on the person – and the product) and therefore the messages that describe and promote this service must also have some emotional appeal as well.

 

I keep a note to myself visible on all of the writing projects I work on.

 

It says, “What are you trying to say? Can you feel it?” These are the words and phrases I brainstorm to begin every piece I write. These keywords become the soul or essence of what I want to communicate. The remainder of the process is getting the facts right and building a rhythm that keeps the reader engaged. I call this “putting the wood behind the arrow”.

 

bullseye!

bullseye! (Photo credit: happy via)

 

Arrowheads are great for making a point – but they still need good wood behind them to actually fly through the clutter and reach the target.

 

Of course, having great people providing truly exceptional service makes the job of a marketer / copywriter so much easier – just find the right words and tell the truth. I love it when a plan comes together…check it out here.

 

Residential Mortgage Services, Inc | Home.

 

HBWay Radio Show — Business, Bravery, and You!

Chris Brogan always has something interesting, entertaining and informative to say. He’s a Triple Threat Man. Check it out:

HBWay Radio Show — Business, Bravery, and You!.

Steps in Creating a Marketing Plan

Some clear, basic steps here for putting together a plan to drive business to your door. No, even when you build it…there’s no guarantee they will come.

The important thing to remember about marketing is that you need to keep doing it and refining your tactics and messages as your business and market evolves. Even if you are on the right track, you’ll still get run over if you are standing still.

Steps in Creating a Marketing Plan.

 A standalone marketing plan focuses on the target audience and the promotional strategies.”

 

Twin Rivers Paper – New Website Content Now Online

Proud to say that the content that I put together for Twin Rivers Paper is finally updated and live online today. They don’t make every paper…but they do make the paper that all of us come in contact with everyday.

Read about what they make here:

Specialty Paper Products – Packaging, Publishing, Label.

If you like what I did here, contact me about refreshing the content on your website.

 

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