Book Review: Everybody Writes

EverybodyWrites

Well, we’re a month and a half into 2015, and my New Year’s resolution to read 12 books this year that’ll help me be a better marketer is still going strong. I just finished book #2: Everybody Writes by Ann Handley. I saw Ann Handley at Content Marketing World last September – and I’m a big fan of MarketingProfs – so I was eager to dig in.

I find many books about writing to be dry, boring and hard to get through. That wasn’t the case with Everybody Writes. Ann has a fun, light writing style (she definitely practices what she preaches), and I was able to polish off this book in just a couple sittings. It wasn’t just informative — it was entertaining!

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Learn What Kind of Content Your Audience Will Love

According to the Content Marketing Institute, 86% of B2B companies are using content marketing, and 70% say they’re creating more content than they did one year ago. But here’s the thing…you can work your butt off to create boatloads of content, but if it’s not relevant or interesting to your target audience, they’re not going to read it and share it.

As a marketer, you might be asking yourself: “How do I know what kind of content my audience is interested in consuming?” Well, before you create a single piece of content, you’ve got to do some research. Read on for 5 ways you can get inside the heads of your customers and prospects to learn what types of content will resonate with them.

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Tips for Hosting Your First GoToWebinar

Webinar

When I first made the switch from WebEx to GoToWebinar, I read how-to guides, watched video tutorials and perused user forums to prepare for my first session. Those things all helped, but some of the most important lessons I learned came from actually hosting (AKA making mistakes during) my first couple sessions. Read on for some important things I learned that can help make your first GoToWebinar a success.

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Book Review: Youtility for Real Estate

YoutilityforRealEstateOne of my New Year’s resolutions this year is to read 12 books over the next 12 months that’ll help me be a better marketing professional. Well, I just crossed the first book off my list: Youtility for Real Estate by Jay Baer. Not a bad start, considering it’s only January 12. Though I’ve got to be honest and tell you the book was only about 70 pages, so I managed to polish it off in a couple hours.

Overall, I’d say this book was just OK. Jay spent a decent amount of time going over the basic principles of youtility, which, if you haven’t read his original book (appropriate named Youtility), is the concept of creating marketing so useful, people would pay for it. Since I’ve already read Youtility, I found these portions of the book to be very repetitive and a little boring. I’d probably feel differently if I hadn’t already read Youtility.

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My 2015 Reading List

2015ToRead

I love to read. But I have to admit that most of the books I’ve read recently are fiction. That’s why one of my New Year’s resolutions is to read more books that will help me be a better marketing professional (and a better human in general). My goal is to read 12 business(ish) books in 2015.

There are so many great marketing and business books that have come out recently, so it wasn’t too hard to get a good start on my to-read list. So, without further adieu, here are the first six books I plan to read in 2015.

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Book Review: The Big Picture by Tony Horton

TheBigPicture

My husband and I did the P90X fitness program a few years back (well, for more it was more like P30X…I didn’t last very long), so we were excited to learn that Tony Horton, the creator of the program, was going to be presenting on “11 Life-Changing Laws” at Dreamforce. I had another session to attend at the same time, but my husband woke up bright and early to catch the session…and even got his photo taken with Tony.

DaveandTony

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Is Ello the Next Big Thing?

Every now and then, a new social network springs up and social media professionals hold their breath, wondering: Will this be yet another social network I need to figure out? Earlier this year, it was Jelly, a social network that allows users to ask questions using photos. And now, there’s Ello.

What the ‘Ell is Ello?

Ello was originally built to be a private social network for a group of artists and programmers. The thing is, people were intrigued by Ello and wanted to join, so the founders decided to create a public version. What makes Ello different than other social networks?

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Recap: Social Media Club Chicago October Event

SM_Cloud

This fall, I had the opportunity to attend Content Marketing World and Dreamforce. At both events, I networked with smart marketers, heard some great speakers, and came home feeling excited, reinvigorated and full of great ideas. Feeling reenergized about my work is a great feeling, and I didn’t want it to stop. So, I decided to make an effort to attend more professional networking events in Chicago so I can meet and learn from even more smart folks in my field.

The first event on my agenda? Social Media Club Chicago’s October meeting. Social Media Club is a worldwide organization with local chapters that connects folks who are passionate about social media. The October meeting billed itself as an “Earned Media vs. Pay to Play Smackdown.” Basically, a panel of social media experts – including the former head of social media for McDonald’s – debated the merits of earned media vs pay-to-play.

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Chicago Ideas Week Sessions I Can’t Wait For

Chicago is home to so many opportunities for collaboration and sharing ideas with other people. One of those opportunities is Chicago Ideas Week, a whole week of inspiring talks, panels and hand-on workshops with all sorts of inspiring speakers — from artists and inventors to scientists and entrepreneurs. I’ve attended Chicago Ideas Week events for the past two years and have had the opportunity to hear from bestselling author Malcolm Gladwell, Honest Tea co-founder Barry Nalebuff, and a host of other passionate, inspiring folks speaking on topics ranging from overcoming obstacles and reinventing themselves to making the leap into entrepreneurship.

I’ve always left these events feeling inspired and ready to set the world on fire. Which is why I was so excited when they announced the agenda for this year’s event, which will be held October 13-19 in venues across the great city of Chicago. There are so many great sessions on the agenda, but these are the three that really caught my eye.

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How to Lose Business One Email at a Time

I admire people who are in sales. I really do. I wouldn’t last a day in their shoes…I’m definitely an introvert and I know I would take everything too personally.

I knew early on that a career in sales wasn’t for me.  When I was in college, I worked in the children’s department at (the now defunct) Marshall Field’s. We were told to greet customers within 30 seconds of entering the department. So, I’d ask people if they needed help, and if they said no, I’d quickly scurry away, worried that I was bothering them. My boss even called me into her office once to tell me that I was doing a terrible job upsetting customers (“Are you positive you don’t need a pair of socks to go with those pants?”) or convincing people to open a Marshall Fields credit card account (“What do you mean you don’t want to save 15% on your purchase today?!).

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