Wow! Here’s Your Social Media Post Cheat Sheet

by mandy on September 11, 2014

My Clever Agency is living up to their name with this wildly useful Infographic shown below (keep scrolling).

They give you social media posting template with annotated advice.

I think the “timing” at the bottom of the Infograph is a bit of dodgy advice.

I also encourage you to place your top keywords in your title, not just the first sentence.

But I’m nitpicking.

This baby streamlines your social media posting and I’m thrilled to share it here with you.

Remember, I don’t recommend you use all these social media platforms.

I strongly recommend you have ONE primary channel of communication with your audience, they channel they use most, with a second, maybe third channel at most.

For example, I use my blog as my primary channel with Facebook as my second.

Enjoy this template and my thanks to the good folks at My Clever Agency.


LeadBox BoxClick here to get FREE weekly tips


It’s only 111 days till Christmas

by mandy on September 5, 2014

More importantly, it’s only 84 days until Black Friday, when your year-end campaign becomes most visible.

If you’re in retail or a nonprofit, you just shuddered reading this.

Blue Christmas TreeThis means you have about 83 days to prep for the season that drives, on average, 40% of your revenue.

You’re up to the task. I believe in you.

Let’s. Start. Now.

Here’s a quick checklist to help you get organized now to have the best year-end ever

  • Keep building your email list with mini list-building campaigns – especially to give yourself time to build a trust relationship with your new prospect
  • Segment your list so you can customize your messaging and “offer” to each segment
  • Choose your year-end campaign theme that is compelling and true to your brand
  • Create your key campaign messages that generally speak to your target audience’s top 5 pain points, goals, or why they support your nonprofit. If you don’t know, without a doubt, what these are, your very first task is to start talking to your target audience 1-1 to get this answered
  • Create an inventory of all the stories, quotes, images, and testimonials you need assemble for your year end campaign
  • Decide how many communications you’ll send. Remember the “rule of 7″ which says that a prospect needs to hear your marketing message at least 7 times before they take action and buy from you or donate to you
  • Create your campaign calendar that includes listing all emails, holiday cards, direct mails, and social media that supports your campaign messaging–with dates
  • Create your dedicated landing or sales page - this is very important for conversion
  • Create your light box (pop-up) for your “deadline” push the month of December

“What gets scheduled gets done.”

Right now, schedule at least 4 hours per week, every week until Thanksgiving, to work on your your year-end campaign to get it all done right. Block out Wednesday mornings, or Thursday afternoons, or Monday mornings. Whatever works for you. Just book it.

LeadBox BoxClick here to get FREE weekly tips


How to pass the fortune cookie test

by mandy on August 29, 2014

Are your sales or donations stalled?

You ran a “sure-fire” campaign that just tanked?

Whenever I hear crickets rather than cha-ching’s, here are the top mistakes I troubleshoot for where I veered off course.

Mistake #1: If you’re selling to everybody, you’re selling to nobody

Did I skip over the unglamorous work of narrowing my target audience and really getting to know them?

In their language?

This is usually the #1 culprit.

A narrow audience that really needs your product, or cares about your cause, drives higher revenue than “the world.”

Mistake #2: If I have to convince them the problem exists, I’ve already lost the battle

Unless you are Steve Jobs or Elon Musk with a reputation for showing us the future, you need to sell products or services for a problem your customer already knows they have.

Otherwise, enjoy pushing that rock up a hill.

If you’re a nonprofit and you have to convince people that your mission is a problem first, you’ve lost the battle.

Case in point: Climate change. As long as climate change is being argued as scientific fact or fiction, environmentalists lose the debate every time–even with facts on their side. When enviro’s start asking people if they are sick and tired of extreme weather and want to do something about it, change will happen much more quickly.

Mistake #3: Does my message pass the fortune cookie test?

If you can’t explain what your product, service, or mission is about in one simple, short sentence, it’s probably too complex and you need to break it down into bite-size chunks, or you’re simply out of focus. You’re close to what they want, but a teensy bit off. 

Use my “one sentence that will change your storytelling forever” to fix that.

Business version:  Our *product or service* help *customer* = *benefit.*

Nonprofit version: We *donor and organization together* help *beneficiary* = *benefit.*


Fortune Cookie 1

Mistake #4: Does my message strike an emotional chord?

I can’t stress enough that we all make decisions based on emotion more than logic.

Even our stock market is driven by emotion.

I know you want to sound like a fancy pants to your boss and colleagues, but more often than not, I completely blow it by delivering reasoned, logical information versus resonating emotionally with what my consumer wants, needs, or is feeling pain around.

See mistake #1 above. Spend time narrowing the target audience you serve, narrowing the pain or dream you fix for that audience, and then truly “feel” what they feel (fear, desperation, exhilaration, pride) and use those feelings in your copy writing.

Watch your sales soar and your clients become raving fans.

This is scary, I know.

It’s counter-intuitive to believe that going narrow and smaller actually increases sales, but it does because your audience knows you “get them” and they trust you.

Don’t know what “emotional” is? Two resources: Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer

Here’s a chart of the types of emotions that get “shared” the most on social media, so it’s a good jumping off point.

Heat map of Emotions in Most Shared Content

Mistake #5: Am I reaching people the way they want to get information?

I don’t care that Instagram is the hottest craze in social media if my audience wants to hear from me via email.

Or that Pinterest generates the most shares of all social media if my target audience really only wants to hear from me in direct mail.

I always coach my clients to choose only 2, maaaaybe 3 primary marketing channels. The best way to know which ones work is:

  1. Ask your target audience how they prefer to hear from you, e.g. “where do you get the most reliable information about _______?
  2. Observe behavior – if you get more Like and Comments on Facebook but more conversions via email, then stick with email as your primary communication channel and share reinforcing information via Facebook.

Mistake #6: Did I just come out of left field?

Is your messaging and communication consistent.

I know you’ve never thrown messages on the wall just to see what sticks.

But I have.

It doesn’t work.

There’s a reason I post this blog every Friday morning.

Consistency builds trust.

Blind sides and curve balls erode trust.

It’s okay to introduce new ideas, breaking news, and new concepts, but be super-selective about it.


LeadBox BoxClick here to get FREE weekly tips

Photo Credit: StudioTempura via Compfight cc


Steal this right now

August 21, 2014

I was a lot happier for The ALS Association’s Ice Bucket Challenge success before I actually felt that ice water hit my own head. Holeee crap! That was reaaaaaalllllly cold. No more afternoon energy slump over here. The Ice Bucket Challenge is no longer “bucket size.” It’s a bona fide “glacier size” campaign. It’s raised […]

Read the full article →

When you need an image better than stock photo

August 15, 2014

Images work. Images bolster your opens, clicks, shares… you name it. Your audience loves images. It’s why Instagram’s popularity is skyrocketing and Pinterest is a major source of retail traffic. Pinterest refers up to 40 times more visitors to than other social networks. Pinterest also dominates social media shares. Original images related to your […]

Read the full article →

9 proven tips you can use to write more share-able headlines

August 8, 2014

“List posts” are a hot ticket to viral shares. Pinterest is totally killing it in the percentage of social media shares. Who knew? No wonder Buzzfeed has gone “all in” on Pinterest. Only 11% of all content is ever shared more than 100 times. Ouch. If you want your content to get shared, Coschedule, the company […]

Read the full article →

How not to look stupid in your emails

August 1, 2014

Using big words in your email marketing isn’t just dumb. It makes you look stupid. Research out of Princeton reveals that using big “pretentious” words comes across as a sign of low intelligence and low credibility. Using small words comes across as far more credible. It’s also smart email copy writing. People click on what’s clear. […]

Read the full article →

Did social media kill the newsletter?

July 25, 2014

No. But the game changed. Here’s how. A dozen years ago, we found that newsletters were a brilliant way to “soft ask.” Share some great content, ask for a donation or sale in the content of your newsletter, and BAM! the money rolled in. It *was* brilliant because a newsletter cost very little in production […]

Read the full article →

27 Hot Ideas to Grow Your Email List With Highly Qualified Leads Super-Fast

July 21, 2014

Ever wish you could get the Cliff Notes for growing your email list? You know, just go straight to what works, and forget everything else? Well, here’s your chance. Click here to instantly get: 27 hot ideas to grow your email list with highly qualified leads super-fast. Also, mind helping me out with something? This hot-idea tip-sheet is […]

Read the full article →

Build irresistible moments of curiosity into your emails

July 10, 2014

Did you know that 55% of your readers spend less than 15 seconds actively on a web page before bouncing off? This quick of a bounce is really hurting your click-through rate to get the sale, donation, or registration. I’m about to show you a super-effective way to keep your readers glued to your email […]

Read the full article →