How To Efficiently Create The Most Interesting Online Presence

building brand trust, Content strategy, content writing

It seems like the only news that goes viral is that which is sensationalized. So how are you, as a business owner, or a personal brand, going to captivate new followers on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn? How can you be more interesting on line? How can you become a magnet for curious customers and clients?

Every new business owner I work with struggles with the same issue. On the one hand they know they should “put themselves out there” on social media. They completely understand the power of blogging and vlogging (video blogging) but at the same time they are overwhelmed and confused about the type of articles and videos they should produce and share.

Then of course comes the “who has time for all of this?” question. Yes, producing “content” is time-consuming.

So, just how do you prove your own worth on social media in the most efficient way possible? How can you get others to listen to what you have to say? How do you become noticed when there is so much “noise”? How do you cut through the clutter and really stand out?

The truth is, you don’t have to write every single post that you publish or create a new video every week. Each platform provides a way for you to share posts that are already popular, making you the DJ or curator of interesting content.

On Twitter you can retweet and share trending tweets that are getting the most engagement. Simply search for the topic you are most interested in #health #fitness #fashion #beauty and retweet posts that are getting the most likes and follows.  Of course you want to make sure that the content you are sharing is in line with your values and is of interest to the followers you already have. On Instagram you can use an app like Repost to share popular videos and photos from those you admire and respect.

Here is a helpful article on how to share popular posts on LinkedIn as well.

Remember, you need to vet (carefully examine) the best content that has the most comments, likes and shares.

I am here to help you with your social strategy. Feel free to send me your questions by commenting below or drop me a line at hello@mj.works

Yours in Service,

Madeline Johnson

Your Best Website Yet

building brand trust, content writing, website design

Your website is one of your best tools to help you attract clients and customers.  A great website is designed to be of benefit to the people you are trying to attract and serve.

You are a benefit when you are helpful.

You see, if you’re not helping your customers or clients. you’re selling them and most people don’t want to be sold anything. They want to learn. They want to educate themselves.

Your job as a business owner or marketer is to help your website visitors.  If you really want to be of value, help, don’t sell.

What does that mean exactly?

It’s simple really. Think about all of the questions your customers and clients ask you on any given day and answer them on your website and your social media profiles.

You can do this in the form of blog posts or create a FAQ (frequently asked questions) page.

If you need help designing your website or would like a free audit, drop me a line at hello@mj.works

 

How to Build A Brand from Scratch

Blogging, brand reputation, branded content, building brand trust, code of conduct, content writing, entepreneur, Guiding Principles for Success, Marketing Strategy, website design
When building brand awareness, aim for collaboration over self-promotion.
When building a brand voice, shoot for sincerity over originality.
Worry less about being authentic and more about being honest and sincere.
Monday Motivation

How to Get Ongoing PR Coverage For Your Health & Beauty Business

Beauty pr, Brand Awareness, building brand trust, How to Do Your Own PR, Influencer marketing, media relations, press coverage, Public Relations, Uncatergorized

Press ClipsNote: This case study is a summary of a very successful three year public relations and media outreach campaign that I single-handedly created and executed, landing media and influencer mentions in US Weekly, Elle, Shape, Fitness, Allure, W, Health, Prevention and many, many more.  It is packed with story ideas, pitches and ways to reach out to the media and influencers for press coverage for your new brand.  While I love working with health, wellness, fitness and nutrition brands, these tips are for anyone trying to connect with the media and build their market. If you are looking to build press and influencer connections like a pro, you should probably check out my course The PR Playbook.com as well.

Why Vanity Metrics Matter

Everyone knows that influencers can actually sell through your product, bring real return on investment to your conversion funnel and actually have you making some money off your new business, but you tell me, how do you plan on paying for all that sponsored media? You need a balance of both blogger and persuasive top tier mentions and connections to convince and convert.

Same Problem, New Solution

I digitized these press clips and organized them into case studies with helpful tips for you to demonstrate that the news cycle in health, wellness, fitness and nutrition is a continual loop of how to look and feel our best. What is old again, is new again.

How to Pitch Like a PR Pro

It is not enough to tell the world you have built something brand new. You MUST share the problem you solve and why your product is the ultimate solution. In order to do this consistently like I did, with press in every media outlet imaginable – from  Brides to Marie Claire; Town & Country to Oprah and Travel & Leisure to Vogue, you have to be very, very creative. No blogger, vlogger or journalist in their right mind wants a mass blanket pitch.

One of my first clients in beauty was a complex collection of skincare products (read: over 125 SKUs) from a brand called Yon-Ka Paris.

The challenge: Accumulate international brand awareness and celebrity cult-like status for an obscure, botanically-based skin care line created by two eccentric sisters living in the countryside of France without heat, electric or plumbing.

  1. Create an influencer & celebrity worthy experience while delivering five-star results at a world premiere event, like the Cannes Film Festival.

2. Don’t just focus on the masses. Branch out and persistently and consistently land press coverage in specialty (niche) media like I did here with bridal and new moms.

3. Pitch story angles around each individual product for additional reviews and inclusion in specific problem/solution stories.

4. Build upon product coverage and reviews by promoting spa and retail partners to build a clip book of the best of spa and wellness experiences in top tier media outlets, like Allure, Vogue and W.

5. Stay on top of all consumer trends and connect the brand to everything that is “hot”, on newsworthy, while climbing the charts – always sharing with media outlets in a timely fashion.

6. Create a charticle and/or listicle with products that offer solutions for every health and beauty challenge under the sun.

7. Never miss an opportunity to let the world know that your product is coveted by insiders “in the know”. Yon-Ka featured here in The NY Times. 

The NY Times

8. Research, uncover and reveal blogger, vlogger, model, celebrity and influencer hacks, secrets & ways to look and feel their best. Then share it with those who want to look and feel like a star.

9. Highlight and tout exotic ingredients, or even every day house hold items and edibles like grapefruit as the next super food, miracle cure and foundation of youth, while sharing the benefits backed by science.

10. Show everyone short cuts to reduce stress while recreating an at-home mindful spa & wellness experience.

 

More ways to create story ideas around your products and brand . . .

  • People can never have enough ways to eliminate the signs of anxiety and exhaustion.
  • Help followers, customers & prospects pack for travel and another season and reason of self-care.
  • Vet products, curate collections and share other complimentary brands in your story.
  • Offer up new survival tips and products for every day annoying, yet common problems, like dark under eye circles. 
  • Collaborate with all-stars, including  your strategic partners, retailers and professionals for added press coverage. 
  • Reposition your products for a new market – like men’s skin care.
  • Position your more expensive, luxury product as an investment.
  • Make sure your products are in good company and in the hands of professionals – and share their know-how with the world.
  • Niche markets like “pregnancy” may have a shorter customer lifetime value, but they are open to product suggestions and recommendations. Especially when positioning your product as safe and effective for everyone.
  • You’ll build more trust when you sound believable, so keep it really real. Don’t just make up your CEO’s quotes. Let them speak from the heart. Be believable.
  • Popularize a certain part of the body and zone in on care for that one particular area.
  • Promote  soothing, safe, natural ingredients – like botanicals for specific skin conditions.
  • Take an age old problem, and propose a new way to deal and heal it.
  • Sampling sizes always work to give customers the opportunity to try before they buy.
  • Does your product have an exceptional color? texture? Share the beauty of what’s inside the bottle.
  • Understand your customer persona. What is her personality type? Naturalist? Futurist? or maybe just pure Becky. It doesn’t matter, just be sure to pitch to the media he/she reads, views, likes and shares.
  • Go local – Connect with city guides in areas of dominant influence.

 

  • Even in an age of influencers by the dozen, stars and celebrities still have pull.
  • Plan an amazing product giveaway for your audience, fans and followers. 
  • Plan a splurge vs steal story – and include products at every price point.  

 

  • Help people get ready to reveal more for a new season – summer slim down and beach beauty prep.
  • Have experts speak on your behalf. They need the publicity just as much as you do.
  • Promote your product by lifestyle – cross over with fashion and accessories. Create the ultimate beach guide.
  • Notice an ingredient trend before an influencer does? – help them select products for a round up .
  • Have you opened a new retail account? Launched in a new online store? Tweet and share the news.
  • Even if you are not pitching a story or new product it is important that influencers know what you are up to – so they can include you in their upcoming stories. Stay in touch with your VIPs.
  • What happens when you have a fierce sales team, a loyal customer base and a winning marketing team –  it’s a recipe for magic – it’s explosive.Work together.
  • Show people how to relax, de-stress and unwind during distracting times.
  • Help people transform themselves. Read: A complete vegan makeover.
  • Are your products in a new hot destination spot? Promote it.
  • Added tip: Make customization as simple as possible. As a matter of fact. Make everything as simple as possible. 
  • Take one ingredient – like geranium – and promote the hell out of it
  • Get people out of a bind – like when they over tan or burn their skin .
  • Keep it exclusive and promote win its aka “contests” to attract new audiences.
  • Promote B2B and B2C – which also helps boost employee morale.
  • Promote experts from within your company to speak about their skill set.
  • Seed out your products to celebrities.
  • Offer tips on how to choose the best products in a category – like self-tanners.
  • Go niche – pitch to smaller media and combine products with partners for the ultimate story mention.
  • Pimp out celebrity users when they are launching a new movie or track. They need the publicity now more than ever.
  • Reveal confessions. 
  • Ask your followers what their favorites are and report on that.
  • Enter awards for your brand and promote the honors.
  • Focus on problematic issues, like sensitive skin. 

Want more ways to build your brand with media coverage? Check out my on line video course, ThePRPlaybook.com a short cut to learning how to pitch the press like a pro.

Yonka Paris Press 2

Don’t Sell, Focus on Why they Buy

building brand trust, How to Do Your Own PR, marketing muscle, marketing rituals, press release writing, Sales Funnel Explained, Start up Success

So your marketing isn’t getting any traction. No retweets, likes, comments or love. You need more traffic to your shopping cart, eyeballs to your website.

The real reason you don’t have engagement, why your blog and social posts aren’t read is because your content is too self-serving.

Word of advice. If you want to succeed in growing your business, do not try to sell or market another thing. Every time you say or share something about your company that emphasizes the upside you will most likely get skeptical responses.

Sure, it is perfectly fine to list the benefits of your brand, but whatever content you are creating – whether it be a blog or Instagram post, your unbridled optimism about what your business can do for customers and clients comes across as salesmanship and it seems dishonest. As a consequence it is met with skepticism.

Retro-salesman_1403041206.jpg

Everyone is allergic to the feeling of being sold something.

What you should focus on instead – why people buy.

Buying motives are a million times more powerful than selling skills.

Don’t sell your product. Instead think about why people buy products like yours.

Marketing – Educate, inspire and enlighten your audience instead.

Learn more at ThePRPlaybook.com

How Does Your Business Add Value?

building brand trust, editorial know how, growth hacking, How do do your own PR, media relations, media relations expert

Writers for top tier media like The Huffington Post are generally very curious people. If you are going after media coverage and you’ve landed an interview, be sure to share the problem your business helps solve. Share your personal story as well. Did you create your business because of a problem you were having yourself? This is what makes your story more interesting, authentic and possibly more shareable.

Need help sharing your story with editors and journalists? Reach out for a complimentary brain storming session with me. Send me at Tweet @marketcouncil

Networking Your Way to the Top

Brand Awareness, brand reputation, building brand trust, growth hacking, How do do your own PR, How to Do Your Own PR, public speaking, Uncatergorized
The best way to grow your business is to build brand awareness to create word-of-mouth demand. Everyone I interview and I myself have found public speaking and networking at events to be an extremely effective way to attract new customers and clients. The larger the group and the more focused on your niche, the better.
Vincent Dignan, a UK-based growth hacking pro offers up his way to speed up the scheduling of your next series of public talks.
This quick video clip cuts right to the chase.
  1. Search sites like Meetup and Eventbrite for events with a larger number of members in your niche.
  2. Ask to join the groups and then contact the leader or group admin with this –
Hi there,
I am a (expert, pro, guru) at (your specialty) and I would love the opportunity to share my (top ten – fill in name of talk) at your next meet up. I have a huge network that I will invite as well.
Let’s connect,
Sincerely, you
  1. Cut and past that message into an email for each and every Meet up you target and cross your fingers for replies.
Now, he also makes a good point. About 5% (I say even less) of the attendees will actually buy something from you. However, focus on making your presentation entertaining and informative so you increase the chances of attendees telling their friends about you.

An Easy Guide to Creating a Consistent Brand Experience That Builds Trust & Loyalty

Brand Awareness, brand management, brand newsletters and magazines, brand publishing, brand reputation, branded content, branding on mobile phones, building brand trust, Integrated public relations plan, Uncatergorized

Your website and social media channels are your most visible brand statement to the world and every single page of your online branding should be as consistent as possible.

Your Brand Checklist for Social

Your logo, brand colors, tag line, mission statement, bio/profile, high quality visuals and contact information should be the same on each platform you use.

Why Consistency is so Important

People value consistency which in turn creates accountability. Consistency will also establish your reputation and make you and your brand that much more relevant. Being consistent builds trust with future clients, customers and colleagues and enforces your message.

How to Be Consistent

Be consistent in how you display yourself and your company on each website platform and consistently share information that is helpful, resourceful and useful.

This post is targeted to experts and creators in the fitness, organic beauty, health, wellness, nutrition, spa and medical industries. However the rules apply for all markets and all startups. 

As of March 2016 your essential brand platform list includes:

Your Website and a Vlog/Blog along with the following popular social media platforms where you will create brand awareness about your services and products. I recommend WordPress for both. WordPress is an online, open source website creation tool written in PHP. But in non-geek speak, it’s probably the easiest and most powerful blogging and website content management system (or CMS) in existence today.

facebook Facebook  The user profile according to 2015 Pew Research –66% Men 77% Women.  87% 18-29 years of age and 63% 50-64 yrs of age. However, you can really target your posts and promotional offers by age, interests and location with Facebook ads if you have budgeted for them. 

Instagram Instagram 22% Men 29% Women.  53% 18-29  years of age and 11% 50-64 yrs of age. As of March 2016 the posts with the most Instagram engagement have long form (five to seven sentences with about five #hashtags). Instagrammers want to know about the backstory  behind your photo and video so bring your emotional side along for the ride. 

youtube YouTube Distribution of video by content includes female dominated categories – makeup and beauty, skin and nail care & weight loss. Male dominated video includes soccer, strategy games, X Box and basketball.

YouTube tutorials and brand announcements may seem daunting at first so spend some time in front of the camera to become more aware of how you look and sound. Practice before you upload. You can also share inspirational videos on your channel if YouTube’s not for you. 

linkiedin LinkedIn A great way to network for B2B (business-to-business) services, a premiere subscription (not the free version) will have you connecting without having done business before. You can also publish your helpful and resourceful information to Pulse, LinkedIn’s blog.  Stats as of 3/2016 28% Men 27% Women.  31% 30-49 yrs of age.  30% 50-64  yrs of age. 

google +Google + This was Google’s way of keeping up with communities on Facebook and Twitter, but it never really got off the ground. Most use it to help with SEO (search engine optimization) 74% Men 26% Women 55% from the US. Read this for more on why Google Plus is not “dead”. 

Pinterest Pinterest  Be sure to link your posts, videos and favorite content from your own website and vlog as well. Boards are a collection of inspiration for you to review and to share with your community. 13% Men 42% Women 34% between 18 -29

Twitter Twitter While there is talk of this platform dying (read this New Yorker article) there are still hundreds of millions of dedicated users. 24% Men 21% Women 37% 18-29 and 12% 50-64

& possibly . . . think second phase of your growth . . .

snapchat SnapChat 70% Men 30% Women 71% are 25 and younger. Right now it looks like SnapChat is a pre-teen to teen social media platform but those in the industry like #askgaryvee think this platform will begin to be used by those 40 plus. All big media now have a channel. 

Tumblr Tumblr is a very visual platform and used by fashion designers, artists and photographers10% of all internet users are on Tumblr – 11% women 10% men. In the future, future possibly Periscope, yet another platform that enables you to “go live” via your mobile device anytime and anywhere. (If you are already on all of the other social platforms than I recommend getting on Periscope now because it is so new.)

As an expert it would also be smart to answer questions on Quora and to dig into conversations on Reddit for future blog and vlog content inspiration.

Follow the Leaders If you are looking for inspiration, check out . . .

I do consult with small brands and start ups, so please email me at m.johnson@themarketcouncil.com with questions or to schedule an appointment.

When to begin Branding? Startup Marketing 101

Brand Awareness, brand management, brand reputation, branded content, building brand trust, Marketing in the Moment, marketing plans, start up marketing

I am working on launching an online class called “The Market Sessions” this fall (Sept 2016) where I will share the most efficient and critical strategies for startup growth & success. Follow this blog and subscribe to my YouTube channel here for updates.

One of the first questions I get from owners and founders of startups and small businesses is “when should I begin branding and marketing my business?” In this short teaser video, I include a brief overview of how and when to start promoting your product or service.

Recommendations include

  • Beginning with a brand name and well a vision/mission and a brand guidelines map for media and strategic partners.
  • A strong Icon that can be used when you grow globally.
  • How to market before you actually manufacturer and/or launch.
  • Taking pre-orders to test the market and help fund the future of your business.
  • Once you start selling, continually checking reviews on Amazon, Yelp, Ebay – where ever customers are talking about you.
  • Marketing IRL(in real life) matters just as much as social media. Make sure you are attending and networking at all important events.
  • How user testing will help improve your website conversion.
  • and why it’s important to stay organized along the way.

Please feel free to email me at m.johnson@themarketcouncil.com or tweet me @marketcouncil with your most challenging marketing or branding question.

How to Build a Trustworthy Brand

Brand Awareness, brand management, brand reputation, building brand trust, Experiential Marketing, experiential retail

I had the opportunity to study and interview one of my client’s product demonstrations this past Monday during a Whole Foods in-store event. Call it experiential marketing for the organic & natural seeking consumer.

My assignment – discover how we can make the program even stronger. What tools should we supply these brand ambassadors with? How can we help them inspire and sell more?

This client peddles chemical-free hair color. I do a lot for them – including the creation of a beautiful new website.

It was just pouring outside. Bad weather had me cautiously driving slick roads thinking – low turn out, it’s going to be a bust, the store will be dead. Wrong.

Whole Foods was jammed, a cart-to-cart race around the fresh organic avocados and shiitake mushrooms. Thought to self: It’s Monday at 11 am EST, don’t these people have jobs?

Armed with new surveys, email sign ups and a beautifully wrapped raffle giveaway to inspire shoppers to hand over their emails and opt in to our monthly marketing offers, I was ready to take these demonstrations to the next level of branding and sales success.

When Branding becomes a Blemish on your UVP

I watched the demonstrator set up her table and she just blew my mind when she whipped out a home-made before and after photo of her own hair with her new healthy color. This is her show and tell to help sell my client’s hair color?

Two amateur photos, printed at CVS and glued on a piece of faded and slightly torn sheet of construction paper with the words “before and after” scribbled underneath. I was stunned.

Now my first thought was – add that to our graphics needs list, but the demonstrator insisted that customers just loved it. They believed the before and after because it was her own photo. It was convincing, not some “branded bullsh$@!

I gather the notion of making every single marketing message polished, perfect and PhotoShop-ed – is just not always the way to play it. Customers are so incredibly skeptical. Ready to shoot you down.

While I really don’t like “studies” and know that most statistics fall prey to confirmation bias, there has been  recent research on just how skeptical consumers have become.

The true challenge of marketing is how to make your mark without burning your brand. How to get customers to trust and believe you before they layout their hard earned cash.