Blog

Here's an archive of blog posts I've shared since 1999, including articles, interviews, books, and news. Topics include marketing, digital marketing, copywriting, communications, and business.

The Daily Marketing Memo For Professionals

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landing page to drive actions

On Making Your Marketing Productive

August 16, 2020

After my post about the seven most effective digital marketing channels for professionals, a subscriber to my email list wrote in:

“40 landing pages? That seems a like overkill to me. Why would I do that? Sorry, but I don't see the need.”

Understandable. I think 40 may seem like a lot, and I recommend not to start with such a high number. But I've seen businesses with hundreds of them — like car dealerships, for example. (Imagine having a landing page for every make, model, promotion, and region.)

Whether you have one or 100, make sure each landing page offers something that's valuable to the user.…

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Perfection Is The Perfect Way To Ruin Good Marketing

Perfection Is The Perfect Way To Ruin Good Marketing

August 16, 2020

This week, I watched a video from one of my favourite people, Dori Clark, who talked about writer's block.

She said, “I don't believe in writer's block, it doesn't exist.” Her point, coming from a journalism background, is that when you're facing constant deadlines, you never have writer's block because you can't have it.

Writer's block is just an excuse. When forced to deliver as most journalists are, excuses can kill not only your creativity but also your career.

If you choose to procrastinate, whether you do it consciously or not, a looming deadline is like having a gun to your head, kicking you in the pants.…

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Digital Marketing Channels For Professionals

7 Effective Digital Marketing Channels For Professionals

August 16, 2020

If you dabbled in digital marketing and would like to expand, there are plenty of options and channels. But I recommend that you see first what works best to determine your ideal marketing mix.

To give you a headstart, here are seven that I have found to be the most effective for professionals. While each of these might require an entire article (or more), let me provide you with a high-level overview and some of the most important aspects to consider.

If you already well-versed in digital marketing or have tried any of these, this article might seem a tad perfunctory.…

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the ketchup stain principle in marketing

Perfection Is Subjective, Consistency Is Not

August 14, 2020

As consumers, we tend to look for negatives. It's human nature. We want to ensure the decisions we make are good ones, and we want to avoid the pain of making bad ones. The latter is certainly more powerful.

  1. If the thing we want seems too good to be true, we're looking for anything that confirms our suspicion.
  2. If the thing we want requires considerable investment, we're looking for anything that justifies our indecision.
  3. Or if it's a combination of the two, anything inconsistent in the slightest can stop us from moving forward.

We might not search for negativity in a direct sense.…

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The 4 Pillars Of Power Positioning -

The 4 Pillars Of Power Positioning

August 14, 2020

Back in 2002, I wrote a book called Power Positioning. It was an expanded version based on my booklet, The 10 Commandments of Power Positioning, which I wrote back in 1992.

In it, I defined Power Positioning as a skillful blend of “the art of positioning” and “the science of direct response” because it has two goals:

  1. Attracting an abundant quantity of high-quality prospects, and
  2. Effectively converting those prospects into profitable relationships.

It stems from my artistic and analytical sides; those dueling parts of my brain that love the creative aspect of marketing as well as the logical one.

According to Trout and Ries who wrote the book on the subject, positioning (specifically, brand positioning) is to occupy a position in the market's mind above the competition.…

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marketing and branding tips that stick on the mind

How To Stick Out And Stick On (The Mind)

August 13, 2020

By communicating (and even branding) something you offer that's usually assumed in your industry or taken for granted by your target market, you will position yourself above the competition in their minds.

I call this “turning the assumed into the assured.”

In other words, you're turning a typically assumed product or service (or feature, process, add-on, whatever) into an assured one in the minds of people.

In this day and age where people have less time to shop around and compare things, they would rather skip the process or at least reduce the time and effort.

So if they had a referral, for example, they would choose it first or at least reduce their shopping time by looking at fewer alternatives because the referral implies that someone else has done the research for them.…

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Challenges Can Often Uncover The Biggest Opportunities -

Challenges Can Often Uncover The Biggest Opportunities

August 13, 2020

I play in a local murder mystery show. Last week, I caught up with my cohorts from the theater company for the first time in months.

Since early March when the pandemic forced all public venues to be closed, our weekly shows in Ottawa's Little Italy, which have been frequently sold out for years, came to a screeching halt.

That's when Peter Dillon, the owner, made the bold move to pivot to an online version of his popular show. This is not only a great example of a business that pivoted with the help of online video conferencing, but also one that seized a new opportunity that never existed before.…

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Do Page Builders Affect SEO? -

Do Page Builders Affect SEO?

August 11, 2020

Another SEO consultant reached out to me on LinkedIn. She asked me:

“My client is struggling during the pandemic. She is trying to decide if and determine how having the website developer she already engaged launch and build her WordPress WooCommerce site using the drag ‘n drop capabilities of Beaver Builder will impact her from an SEO standpoint.

“My experience as an SEO expert has been to-date that drag ‘n drop sites don't perform as well due to ‘bloated' or less-easily-indexed-by-Google code, but I get this would be kind of a hybrid site — one built in a strong CMS like WordPress, but employing Beaver Builder capabilities.

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The Best Non-SEO SEO Tip I've Heard -

The Best Non-SEO SEO Tip I've Heard

August 11, 2020

This morning, on one of my favorite podcasts about positioning for tech professionals, the host was interviewing a successful consultant and asked him how he managed to attract so much traffic with so little investment.

He said, “I don't care about SEO, I care about my audience.”

In fact, he gave only one “non-SEO” SEO tip. He said, “I simply look for questions people in my audience are asking, and I answer them. That's it.”

His answer was perfect.

The key to attracting higher levels of targeted traffic is to focus on your users, not Google. Even Google themselves have said so.…

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What Am I Doing Now? -

What Am I Doing Now?

August 11, 2020

I recently became aware of a relatively cool concept called the “Now” page. I see it on more and more websites. It's simply a “what I'm doing now” page — a snapshot of what's going on in that person's world, be it in business or in life, or in both.

I even created one of my own.

Unlike an about page, which is more of a backgrounder on the business or the person behind it, a Now page shares what a person is focused on at this point in their life.

Unlike a mission statement, which is more of a promise (and can often appear contrived), a Now page doesn't make any promises but shows what's really important to that person through the lens of what they're focusing on now.…

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Strategic marketing consultant Michel Fortin