6 Rules to Make Sure Your Marketing Messages Don’t Smell Like Spam

Email Marketing, marketing demographics, Marketing in the Moment, Marketing Mavens, Marketing Strategy, Measureable Marketing, Uncatergorized
Nobody wants to spam their customers, but most do it anyway.  Spam isn’t just about the quantity of emails and marketing you do you. It’s also about the quality.

Rule 1

Make a promise to yourself to never underestimate the intelligence of your customer or client. People are much smarter than you give them credit for and every time you send them an email or lead them down a drip campaign that smells like spam, you lose any form of trust that you were hoping to get.
When you are building a business, trust is everything.

Follow these surefire ways to build trust with your future customers.

Rule 2

Marketing messages that over promise and under deliver and sound too good to be true not only smell like spam, they taste like it too.  Keep your claims and benefits realistic and believable.

Rule 3

So don’t use unnecessary words to describe your product or service. It’s better to describe what your offer is in a more clear and precise way than to add on adjectives that lose their meaning. Another benefit of writing concise copy – it can be read and understood faster and easier.

Rule 4

Speaking of wasting another’s time, that is exactly what spamming does. If your email or landing page copy takes more than a minute to read or watch you have wasted everyone’s time. Get to the point as soon as you can. People are smarter than you think and don’t enjoy being lead down a long, boring sales funnel.

Rule 5

Especially if you are trying to put a squeeze on their decision making. People are on to your tactics and they aren’t going to buy into your limited time only offer. Knock it off. If they are looking for what you are selling and you have a superior product, they’ll buy it. No need to put the squeeze play on. It’s a total turn off.

Rule 6

Please price your products competitively. The more time it takes to understand how much you want for that product or service you are selling the more frustrated your customer will become. Be upfront and make sure your price is sensitive to competitive pricing. If it’s higher, be prepared to explain why and if it’s too low, you risk looking like a cheaper and lower value offer.

Would you like me to review your marketing messages? Drop me a link at hello@mj.works  – I am happy to connect.

 

How to Pitch The Media & Win Over Influencers on A Very Tight Budget

Beauty pr, Brand Awareness, collaborations, digital content strategy, How to Do Your Own PR, Influencer marketing, Marketing Technology, media relations, Owned Media, press liaison, Public Relations, Uncatergorized

Every day I speak with business owners from around the world. Personal trainers, nutritionists, physicians, cosmetic formulators, fashion designers, spa owners, hair stylists, pharmaceutical companies and so on.  I really specialize in anything that makes us look and feel good.  New exercise classes, superfood snacks, wearable tech, athletic wear, healthy food services, a breakthrough drug, beautiful apparel, etc.

sneakers

It’s a part of what I do each day and I learn so much about the real pain points that entrepreneurs face as they try to expand their business and build brand awareness.

Every so often I will post real questions from brave bosses and start-up founders hustling to create their dream businesses.  Everybody seems to have similar problems and questions, even though they are in different industries. They’re all trying to figure out this marketing game.

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I am a business marketing consultant trying to help them. Sometimes I consult and sometimes I build strategies to help organize entrepreneurs so there not marketing by the seat of their pants.   I meet all these brave souls on sites like Upwork, LinkedIn Profinder, YouTube, Angel.co, Clarity.fm, etc.

I love working with startups and passionate people in general. It just makes the day better. They are working on the coolest things.  What kinds of things? Apps to help us stick to our diet when we eat out; evidence-based reviews of alternative therapies like acupuncture and cryotherapy; a new health and wellness club that incorporates the newest in tech like DNA testing; a seasonless line of women’s wear with styles that enhance what you already have in your closet; a better bone broth; a way to help people allocated their paycheck and a path to financial wellness, and so forth.

Health-and-Welfare-Technology

One particular entrepreneur/blogger was looking to pitch journalists about her new website.   She is obsessed with how technology is helping women stay healthier and live longer.

She sent the link to her new website and had placeholders for blog posts and zero social media content, but she wanted to build a plan to pitch the media and collaborate with influencers to build her network.

Her questions –

1) Can I use the same pitch for lifestyle and health (journalists)?

Short answer, no. Best practices include tailoring the pitch to each individual writer and website/program. General pitching is rarely picked up unless it is a very timely news story. Pitching should be thoughtful. You’re developing relationships with these writers and you won’t be off on the right foot if you start with “here’s my story, now please write it.”

2) Which news categories should I target?

Health + tech. I’d start with those two categories. It helps if you do a Google news search to see who is hot on your topic. Just search in Google News and read the first ten most recent articles. Recent is important. In this ever-changing, fast-paced world, yesterday’s news is long gone. Then start a simple excel sheet and dig for the email address of the writers who are covering your topics. This will be the beginning of your media list.

3) Best channels (online platforms) to approach media for the site?

Email and Twitter. However, you need to start a relationship first. For example, you don’t just DM on Twitter. Retweet some of their stories, comment and like.  Don’t just start pitching, it looks like stalking.

4) Other ideas you can provide to accelerate traction (brand awareness) on a tight budget?

Write or film amazing blog content and be the publisher of all things health + tech. That’s what you should be doing in the first place. Media attention and collaborations come naturally from producing excellent work built on honesty and integrity that gets shared.

pitch

Marketing Your Business Blindly & Building it in a Bubble

Brand Awareness, brand management, Creative Marketing Campaigns, market research, Marketing in the Moment, Marketing Strategy, Marketing Trends, personalized brand experience, social media marketing, Uncatergorized

I am working on a video tutorial today on how to research and test before you build your business. It will also be useful if you are looking for ways to make it grow.   I will be sure to share it on this blog once it’s posted.  Market research is really important, yet most brands keep on fumbling along without it.

So many companies that I work with tend to build in a bubble. They forget to find out more about their customers, investigate the competition or look for trends on the horizon.

You need to know the lay of the land. You can’t promote just because everyone says “oh this really works”. You need a marketing map people. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to marketing your business and you can’t build anything big in a bubble.

CXBubblePost-1

 

Image from SunCityCamp.com – recreating the Martian experience.

 

How to Create Your Very First Email Campaign Using Mailchimp

digital marketing, Email Marketing, Mailchip email campaigns, Uncatergorized

Email marketing is still a very viable source of communication when done properly.

It’s one of the smartest ways to stay in touch with your customers and clients, as long as you are adding value.

That is exactly why I created this video tutorial above and here on YouTube.

I also have PDF’s you can use to follow along if video isn’t your thing.  Just drop me a line at m.johnson@themarketcouncil.com and I will send them your way.

xo

MJ

How to Build Five Star Online Reviews to Fuel Your Business and Career

freelance, Marketing Metrics, marketing muscle, Marketing Strategy, Online Reviews, reputation management, Reviews, testimonials, Uncatergorized, word of mouth campaigns

Zero-cost word-of-mouth marketing is the gold standard of brand ambassadorship and the one thing that will surely build your business, customer base, and client book.

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The best way to build online reviews for your business is by designing a superb product or service that delights your customers and clients while delivering an exceptional experience from beginning to completion of a purchase.  Restaurants know this via Yelp and Open Table. Businesses are starting to pay attention to Glass Door.  However, consultants, freelancers, and hired guns also need reviews.

 

Ming

It doesn’t matter what you do or what you offer.  If you’re a nutritionist or personal trainer, or maybe a fashion apparel designer or corporate wellness director. Perhaps you’re a physician, attorney, life coach or yet another creative director, you want to work for five-star ratings.

Kyle

As I transitioned from marketing and PR agency owner to online business consultant and strategist, I knew that one of the fastest ways to bring in new business was to focus on my current clients’ absolute happiness.

Matt

I knew that when they shared their happiness with other people who didn’t know me, I was creating a built-in lead generator for future clients while minimizing my cost per client acquisition spend. What does that mean? Well, this has been going on since the dawn of time, but so many free agents don’t remember to make recommendations and referrals a priority.  You see, my reviews on LinkedIn, Upwork, Angel list, Clarity, Thumbtack and my website help convince and convert those that are on the fence about working with me. They help to get the client to sign the agreement and start the project.

Stephane

Whether you own a healthy fast food cafe, or you’re a veterinarian looking to build your thought leadership position, great reviews will let everyone know what to expect from you.

Upwork

So how do you get reviewed? Well if you are pivoting your career like I did or you’re just starting out, you want to create profiles on above-mentioned platforms, like Linkedin. Then you want to find clients and you can do that on platforms like Upwork. Then you want to deliver the goods in an impressive way.  Some platforms will prompt a client to give you a review. Others, like LinkedIn, require you to request a recommendation.  How?Recommendtations

Thumbtack 1

 

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thumbtack

I continue to work diligently for great reviews and recommend you do too. Need help creating your online presence? Let’s connect about what you’re up to  @madelinemariejohnson on Instagram.

Linkedin Pro Finder

 

Building Brand Awareness for Health, Food & Fitness Startups

Brand Awareness, branded content, Content strategy, entepreneur, instagram, Key Messaging and Talking Points, LinkedIn, madeline johnson, Press Kits, Star Powered PR, Uncatergorized

Note to reader: I have included examples of digital press kits and timely news angles in this article that you can download. They may be helpful for you as you build out your stories to share with top tier media and influencers.

Examples from the Front Lines of Digital Marketing

One of the reasons I continue working with startups and emerging entrepreneurs is because it keeps my ear to the ground and in touch with the true pain points and biggest challenges that many new brands struggle with when it comes to marketing and promoting their products and services. The obstacles they face become my opportunity to help.

Case Study #1  – The More They Burn, The Better They Learn

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Matt Gardner is a physical education teacher and health and wellness professional speaker from Novato, California. Championing kids to be more active and healthy on a daily basis, Matt has created PEbyDesign,, a program to help elementary school teachers get their students moving in the classroom for at least 60 minutes a day (a requirement from most states and the federal government).

I have been helping Matt build his side hustle, working with him on everything from his website user experience to building his own authentic voice while creating his digital press kit and all of his social media platforms including LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook.

Right now I am conducting one-hour consulting calls with Matt and screen sharing video web chats with him to help him build out his social media strategy.

Case Study #2 –  The Best Place For a Financial Wellness Check up

financial Wellness

The best place to start your financial future and an empowering tool for financial wellness, I have helped R.J. Irving, a former Morgan Stanley advisor launch this SaaS platform to help Millennials understand how much to allocate to their 401K savings, health plans, and rainy day, emergency accounts. I created his digital marketing decks and press kit and scheduled and executed his strategy for Twitter and LinkedIn.

A sample of marketing collateral and digital press releases in a downloadable PDF file here Melius General Presentation-2.

Case Study #3 – Celebrating The Millennial Home Buyers Journey

home

Hearth & Beam’s creator Kyle Rothschild hired me to write his digital press kit, timely news stories, and social media strategy.  Hearth & Beam was created to document and share everything that makes a house a true home.

Hearth & Beam’s downloadable digital press kit here. A writing example of a creator profile Kyle Rothschild, HearthandBeam.com,

An example of FAQ’s for the media and influencers here HearthandBeam.com Media FAQs

My fact sheet writing sample here Hearth and Beam Fact Sheet

And timely and newsworthy story angles here HearthandBeam.com News Stories

Case Study # 3 – Artisanal Gourmet & Organic Condiments 

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Brown Dog Fancy is the purveyor of artisanal gourmet mustard.  Made from organic ingredients and sold online and in stores, I helped the owners of this condiment brand with their marketing collateral, digital press kits and social media strategy for #HowIFancy

Here are examples of a healthy food digital press release that I wrote for Brown Dog Fancy to share their story Brown Dog Fancy Story

Here, timely, news angles and ideas for reporters and influencers Brown Dog Fancy Story Suggestions

More writing samples including answers to media FAQ’s Brown Dog Frequently Asked Questions  and more indepth information about the founders behind the brand Brown Dog Fancy Creators

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

Start & Build Your Dream Business

Brand Awareness, brand reputation, digital content strategy, madeline johnson, marketing plans, media relations, Public Relations, Uncatergorized

For those of you sitting on the fence about starting your own dream business, I urge you to start now and take advantage of all of the amazing tools that can help you reach a global audience. I’m not just talking about social media like Instagram, Facebook and YouTube. I am also very excited about the hundreds of other ways in which you can reach your audience in countries around the world and the collaborations happening in my industry, health, wellness, fitness and nutrition.

My name is Madeline Johnson and I am an marketing and media strategist based in NYC. I help startups and entrepreneurs build brand awareness and sales revenue by creating easy to follow marketing plans and courses like ThePRPlaybook.com.

Here is my new intro video.

I am very enthusiastic about learning more about what you are working on, so please connect. You can comment on this blog post or meet me on Twitter @MarketCouncil or here on my YouTube Channel.

Instagram Love❤️ & an Award from Linkedin

business, instagram, instagram insight, Instagram marketing, Public Relations, Public Relations Plan, The PR Playbook, Uncatergorized

instagram

Out of all the social media platforms right now, I am finding Instagram to be the most engaging and rewarding. Yesterday I had a group of holistic nutritionists invite me to their Instagram group, yes we are creating our own community, and they have inspired me with the healthiest recipes for plant-based food – delicious meals as healing medicine for the body. If we haven’t connected on Instagram yet, please say hello @MadelineMarieJohnson I’d love to learn more about what you are up to.

Helpful Hashtags & Consistent Content

Two of the strategies that I find work best include using #hashtags within the 100,000 and 800,000 range. For someone like me this includes #healthandwellness which at the time of this post is at 562,451 and #digitalmarketing 951,149.

The second strategy is posting at least four times a day. I am paying attention to Instagram Insights (I have a business page) and find that around 3:00 pm is the golden hour for engagement and likes.

LinkedIn ProFinder Best of Badge

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The team at Linkedin emailed me a badge of honor yesterday. According to the marketing team at Linkedin, the Best of 2016 badge signals a best in class ranking on their platform and spotlights the services I provide on ProFinder.

Strategies to Grow Your Business

And, if you are looking for a way to grow your business, than check out my online course, www.ThePRPlaybook.com which is packed with PR strategies to take your personal brand to the next level of success. Comment below and ask me for a code to take the course for free.

 

 

The PR Playbook – Your Startup Strategy

business, Content strategy, editorial know how, Experiential Marketing, growth hacking, marketing plans, The PR Playbook, Uncatergorized

Who am I? Why am I creating ThePRPlaybook.com and how will it help you?

My name is Madeline Johnson and I am a Marketing & Media Strategist & Consultant specializing in health, wellness, fitness & nutrition. I am based in NYC.  I enjoy working with startups and entrepreneurs who are  creating anything that makes us look and feel good. I am also the creator of The PR Playbook, an essential guide to growing your business through brand awareness and consumer engagement that leads to sales.

I consult. I strategize and I create content for emerging brands. I help businesses grow. Right now, at this moment, I am working on –

  • Creating brand guidelines and editing training manuals for Tevia Feng, the creator and founder of White Tiger Qigong.
  • Writing and designing digital media kits for Kyle Rothschild, owner of HearthandBeam and BrownDogFancy.
  • Developing a blogging and social media strategy for Richard Silver, a very talented photographer who is about to embark on A Remote Year.

I am creating The PR Playbook, a two hour online course, to help startups and small brands  cut through the clutter of repetitive, abundant and confusing marketing advice, while helping them to understand and execute only the most productive and critical marketing tactics and activities to build upon success.

This course is unique in that it is an intelligently-designed mash up of marketing strategy, timely tactics and and technology to help you grow faster. 

With each lecture you will benefit from –

  • my years of experience working with businesses of all sizes while collaborating with top tier media like The NY Times and The Wall Street Journal and influential bloggers. I have had the opportunity to represent incredible brands like Reebok, Aveda, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts and Lisa Drayer, former CNN Health correspondent and author of The Beauty Diet, to name a few.
  • a real time focus on continual social media execution and every day marketing in the moment activities with real time insights as I work with brands of all stages and sizes and from around the world.
  • wisdom from winning business strategies and growth hacking techniques boiled down to simple and easy to understand and implement directives.

Note:

This course offers much more than just high level strategy and lessons on how to find a writers email or google more bloggers to review your new product.

Who is this course perfect for?

Startups, brands and personal consultants and coaches disrupting the world of health with technology and new products and services designed to help people become physically, emotionally and mentally prime.

Professionals in the wellness industry including aestheticians, spa operators, licensed massage therapists, cosmetic dentists, physical therapists, meditation facilitators and anyone with a business helping people become a better and stronger version of themselves.

Personal trainers, dancers and fitness coaches and mentors who are looking to build an online community and audience for their new workout product, video classes, gym concept, studio or other exercise innovation.

The two-hour course will launch this September. Sign up here to receive updates at ThePRPlaybook.com