• How People Use LinkedIn

    Most active LinkedIn users spend at least three hours per week on the platform, they have free accounts, and they allow their connections to see the rest of their network, according to a recent report from Wayne Breitbarth/Power Formula. Read the full article at MarketingProfs …read more

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  • How to Attract, Nurture, and Grow the Business-Building Audience You Want

    I got a great question last week after my presentation at our live Authority Intensive event in Denver.

    What do I do if I feel like I’ve outgrown my audience?

    I think a lot of business owners run into this.

    Maybe the owner has personally and professionally grown a lot, but the customer base is still very much made up of newbies. Or maybe the topic isn’t as exciting as it used to be.

    But there’s something that fascinates me about content-based businesses (online or off, actually). And the single most commonly used word I’ve heard business owners use to describe it is spooky.

    Let’s start with the very sound marketing practice of visualizing one single, perfect customer for your business. If this isn’t something you’ve done yet, it’s probably the most important single action you can take to improve your marketing. And it will only take you about 20 minutes.

    Once you know who you serve, you talk to that person and only to that person. In other words, every word of your content marketing program — your blog content, email content, advertising, and social presence — is written with that one individual firmly in mind.

    This makes your marketing and content feel more intimate, because you’re using the language of individual conversations — which is what works in web content. It makes your writing easier and tends to loosen up writer’s block. …read more

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  • Why The Hardest Workers Win And The Complainers Lose…And I’m Totally Fine With It

    In and around Ontario, the war on internships rages on. It’s been a hot topic in the press as of late since 2 Canadian magazines (Toronto Life and The Walrus) dismissed their interns after the provincial government questioned the ethics behind unpaid youth employment. This isn’t the first time internship drama has made an impact in the media – there was the Fox ‘Black Swan’ lawsuit that created quite a swell of excitement in September 2013 and it’s got me thinking.

    As an intern you have an opportunity to prove to a company why you deserve to be hired over anyone else. In J.J. McCullough’s article for the National Post titled ‘Why Internships Should be Illegal‘, he likens unpaid internships to “something [that] can be very good for business yet still ugly and immoral.” He even goes as far as to educate young internship victims (eyeroll) on “9 tips for ending your internship on a positive note”. As a business owner who employs unpaid interns, I regularly come into contact with many people who agree with McCullough’s point of view on a practice that is a personal career choice many young professionals make. A wise career choice, if you ask me.

    Allow me to add a personal spin. Internships are something I feel very passionately about – at the age of 15, the indie record label Wind-Up Records Canada gave me my first internship opportunity. I remember driving from Barrie to Toronto to be interviewed in their office and being totally amazed. It was in that moment I knew I was exactly where I needed to be and that this opportunity was a great chance to prove myself and start my long career in music. Three months later I was hired on a contract basis to coordinate Lifestyle Marketing, …read more

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  • Pivot like a champ

    Our world is in constant flux. I think we like it that way. It makes us feel alive and allows us to stretch and also to complain. We like complaining, but that is for another day.

    The level of upheaval in social media and digital marketing is something that we are becoming accustomed to. It is a good thing. Makes us nimble. Except when it doesn’t. Sometimes constant flux makes us panic and panic makes us pause and flap our arms a little.

    One of the earliest skills I remember learning was the ability to crush panic in an instant and pivot quickly. I learned in my first real journalism job that when you panic, you lose time and when you are putting out a newspaper in a few hours time, there is no time to waste in panic-mode. This training has served me well. And because of this training, I’ve learned that the most valuable skill in our arsenal at this moment in time is the ability to pivot.

    When you are quick to pivot, you avoid panic, you save time and effort and sweat and heartache. Pivoting is by far, the most valuable skill in our day. Question is: How can we learn to be better at pivoting?

    Imagine tangible success

    It’s tough to know when to pivot if you have no idea what you’re shooting for. This is beyond setting goals. This is about describing and documenting in real numbers or other tangible ways what success or winning looks like. If you do not do this, you will never know if you should be pivoting. The key to pivoting is knowing that it has to happen. If you have no idea that it needs to happen you will never do it and if you never do it, you’ll never get good at …read more

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  • Why Community Is The Key To Success On Social Media

    The beauty of social media is when global strangers connect and become neighbors. Where digital connections pass through smartphones, pad devices, laptops and more to bring people who would never meet otherwise into a space of not only daily connection, but in some cases, hourly.

    As we reach forward to a new generation that is striving to connect everyone to this great platform called the internet, we see corporations rising such as Internet.org and Google Fiber. An internet connection in every home, in every land. Free wifi everywhere we go. Connection is increasing and it’s time for you, the small business owner, to take this community based platform serious.

    If you are a plumber one of the first things you’ll learn is how to do a service call. You wouldn’t ever consider going into someone’s house talking about pipes, PVC and copper. No, your best foot forward would mean taking the time to have conversation, engage with the customers and service their needs as you do so. This same model works today brilliantly on social media.

    The “Loving Your Customers” model that I have been teaching for more than 5 years now is not new and it’s not limited to just a brick and mortar business. The struggle comes in when a succesful business that knows how to truly care for people begins to believe that they must behave differently, put on an internet marketing front and try to become something they are not.

    If you own a clothing boutique and you offer free hemming, fashion tips and even special bonus’ with every purchase, the customer will drive over an hour just to look around your store. People will linger through your clothing racks and they’ll enjoy the fresh smells of your boutique for one simple reason: they love being there with you. …read more

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  • Agencies, Clients, and Collaboration in MailChimp

    Before joining the team here at MailChimp, I worked at interactive agencies and as a freelance website designer. After we handed a finished website over to a client, they would be able to log in and edit their own copy through a content management system. This was great, but it was rarely the case with the email campaigns we managed. Most of the time, we managed lists, designed templates, and sent campaigns on the client’s behalf. If they wanted performance reports, we had to fetch them ourselves—the client seldom even had access to log in. Sound familiar?

    I’m sure some agencies are never gonna give up total control over their marketing efforts, but I wish I could’ve helped our clients become more independent. Thankfully, MailChimp believes in empowering our users, and our collaboration features make it possible to work together with your clients without feeling like a monkey in the middle.

    Set up multi-user accounts

    Once you’ve created an account for your client, the first step is to hand over the keys. Visit Account settings > Users & account details to invite anyone from the organization that might want to help out. You can even choose access levels to limit what each user can do.

    A single login can be used to access multiple accounts, so be sure to invite yourself and your agency coworkers. Using the same login to join all of your clients’ accounts will let you access everything from one dashboard and easily switch between projects.

    Collaborate seamlessly

    Your design requirements may necessitate crafting a completely custom email, but when you’re just getting started, we highly recommend beginning with a drag and drop template. They’re mobile-friendly and much easier for HTML-averse clients to customize themselves.


    Once you’re working on a campaign, everyone looped in on the Design step …read more

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  • What Makes You Memorable?

    Have you ever stopped to think about what people remember about you after they meet you the first time? Is it something intentional? Or is it different for every person? I’ve spent a considerable amount of time “working” on my personal brand. I say “working” with a pretty ridiculous amount of sarcasm, but I’ll get to that in a bit.

    There is a ton of content out there on personal branding and frankly there is some pretty decent stuff out there. But I have a short-cut to building your personal brand and it all comes down to one thing.

    What Makes You Memorable?

    Seriously, I don’t care what you want to be an expert in or what your specialty is. At the end of the day, it comes down to whether you were memorable or not. And I have a little secret. Being memorable doesn’t come down to the words you practice for your speech, the great ideas in your blog posts or any of the other things that we think defines our brand. It comes down to what strikes people as unique and what stands out above everyone else in your space.

    I remember in full clarity the first time I spoke at a larger social media conference. It was at the Inbound Marketing Summit in 2010. Believe it or not, Chris Brogan had enough faith in me to take a chance and gave me a speaking slot. (Thanks Chris!) I sat through a full day of sessions and got on the stage right after lunch. Needless to say, minds had been stretched to their consumption limits and I realized that I had to do something a little bold to stand out because energy was waning. The audience at IMS was a push the limits casual but insanely smart group. It had a …read more

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  • How You Can Generate More Qualified Leads With Google AdWords and Call Tracking

    Google AdWords is undoubtedly a viable medium for attracting qualified leads. But to fully take advantage of the opportunity, you need to track and monitor for both online and offline conversions. Read the full article at MarketingProfs …read more

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  • How Pairing Search and Social Boosts Campaign Performance

    Search campaigns perform significantly better when they are managed alongside social campaigns, according to recent research from Marin Software. Read the full article at MarketingProfs …read more

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  • A/B Testing in MailChimp: 7 Years of Successful Experiments

    Since its release in late 2007, MailChimp’s A/B testing tool has been a huge success with our customers. In fact, over 200,000 split tests were sent in 2013 alone. Using subscribers as lab rats is still both fun and educational, but we realize that some of you might not know how to get started with […]

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  • New File Manager, Link Checker, and a Little Fun in v9.2

    These days, lots of different kinds of people love MailChimp’s easy-to-use features—and we love them, too. But we’ve got a soft spot for developers. MailChimp was originally built for developers, and we’re developers ourselves. It’s an audience we enjoy serving, and (like last time) one we kept in mind while working on the app’s most […]

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  • CD Baby Founder, Derek Sivers, on the Habits of Successful Independent Musicians: Podcast Episode 13

    In this episode of the Music Marketing Manifesto Podcast, CD Baby founder Derek Sivers, joins us to discuss how he transitioned from musician to owner of the world’s largest distributor of independent music. He also discusses some of the defining patterns and traits he observed in their best selling artists. To listen in just go […] …read more

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  • Protecting Your Online Brand by Posting Your Perfect Press Kit

    There is something crucial that most of you are missing on your websites.

    In the age of social media we are all focusing on Twitter, LinkedIn, G+, and Facebook and, we’ve forgotten an important basic: Your online press kit – the asset that makes it easy for others to publicize your brand.

    In many ways, your online presence is equivalent to creating your own online billboard. If you are in control of your website and your social channels, and you have a good grasp of 2-way conversation mastery, your online billboard will have the exact messaging for your tribe (potential customers and fans).

    However, if this is not the case, here are some predictable scenarios:

  • You are featured on a website or in a conference program with a random photo of you that someone Googled.
  • You are introduced at an important talk by someone who is summarizing from a and Wikipedia page that focuses on all of the wrong things. (I’ve seen this happen multiple times – it’s not a good look).
  • You want all assets to be as much in your control as possible that you always have your best foot forward.

    Follow this guide to ensure that you are in control of your brand and your image.

    How To Post A Perfect Press Kit On Your Website

    Editors, bloggers, conference organizers and even potential customers will deeply appreciate having seamless access to your information because they are constantly under deadline.

    Here are the four assets to include:

    1. YOUR BIO

    Make sure your bio is easily locatable on your site and it can be easily cut-and-pasted (not in a PDF format that they can’t easily grab).

    Your bio should NOT just be a “who, what, when, where, why” or a list of business accolades. Invest in having a bio written that brings out your signature story. …read more

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  • Ariel Answers 14 Burning PR Questions for Novice DIY Musicians

    I was going through Google Analytics and I noticed this interview, which was originally published on the PlayItLoud Music blog in late 2011, had popped up again as a traffic source. I started to read through it and while it’s certainly a long read, there is a lot that I feel like could still help […]

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  • Neil Young Raises $6,225,354 on Kickstarter to Prove That People Still Care About Audio Quality

    Neil Young hates MP3s. He thinks the songs on your iPhone sound like crap. So he started a crusade to bring the “feeling” back into music. Literally. He wants you to hear everything, just as it was recorded. So, he created Pono, a high-end digital audio system. Within hours of opening the doors on his […] …read more

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  • Alternative Money Making Approaches for Musicians Failing to Sell Records

    The music industry has undergone a sea of changes since the days of vinyl records and cassette tapes. While the current mobile downloading setup offers plenty of convenience for the average consumer, it can spell financial ruin for musicians and producers dependent on record sales. After all, illegal downloads still eat into profits, with the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) reporting that piracy caused music industry profits to fall from $15 billion in 1999 to just $8.5 billion in 2009. In order to survive in this environment of piracy, musicians must think outside of the box, taking advantage of social media, mobile technology, merchandising and, of course, live performances. Together, these elements can spell great profit, even in an age of iTunes and illegal downloading.

    Offer VIP Packages for Concerts

    Critics of social media may complain of young people wasting their lives behind computer screens, but the truth is, music fans still love attending live shows. You still can profit handsomely off of traditional concerts, but if you’re looking to amp up returns on your tour, consider throwing in VIP concert options. These could include special meet-and-greets before or after shows, or even private performances for your most dedicated fans. Many …read more

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  • Personalization: Why Having a Dialogue Is Not Enough

    Now, it will be the marketers and their brands that move onward and upward from the obvious conversations in social media into a deep understanding of silent conversations and contexts that will distinguish themselves from the rest.

    …read more

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  • Is YouTube the Wizard Behind All Things Viral?

    YouTube is the place to go for the biggest, loudest, flashiest viral content. Without YouTube to host fail compilations, cats playing piano and the Numa Numa guy, we might not even have a concept of a viral video. But we can now see the man behind the green curtain, the cat’s out of the bag, and the cat is showing us how our sausage is made. Apparently, YouTube has been crafting our viral experiences this whole time.

    YouTube admits that the so-called ‘viral video’ is all an illusion created to push the ideas of a narrow set of writers and videomakers onto the video consuming masses. “Since 2005 YouTube has been behind the scenes of all your favourite video trends, meticulously crafting every single moment of every viral video EVER,” today’s video from YouTube Spotlight states.

    And what’s more, now that we’re through the looking glass, YouTube has decided to show us what’s in store for 2014. First we have “clocking,” the latest offering from Per De Graff, the inventor of “planking.” This European intellectual talks at length about his work on planking being about space, so clocking is his progression …read more

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