Maintaining productivity outside of an office environment can be difficult, especially for freelance writers who have no boss but himself or herself. You’ve got great resources to provide the best possible blogs, articles, and ebooks for your clients, but somewhere between the research and the editing, it’s easy to lose focus. The result is either a hastily completed project that meets deadlines but not much else, or well-executed content that’s a little too late.

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The About Us page is one of the most visited pages of your website. But what happens after visitors land on it–do they stay on your site, look at your offerings, contact you for more information? Or do they disappear?

Part of the trick to keeping visitors and turning them into leads is to tell a powerful brand story, one that grabs and holds their attention like a great novel or movie. If you’re having trouble using stories in marketing, try these 15 storytelling techniques to help you write a better brand story.

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People have been telling stories since we could draw on cave walls. Bedtime stories, grand odysseys, tall tales, epic adventures, tragedies, romances, comedies – these are how we understand one another, how we bond with each other.

Stories are how smart marketers win their customers’ hearts.

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Selling isn’t just about the cool things your product can do, and buying isn’t a logical process. Stories bridge the gaps between features and benefits and the deep emotional reasons people buy. Stories build connections between you and your prospects – emotional connections that keep them coming back to you.

Consider your favorite blogs and the most memorable commercials. They used the art of storytelling to bypass your logical mind and put their message straight in your heart. Whether you laughed, cried, hated the product, or rushed out to buy it, the stories stuck in your mind and kept you coming back for more.

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3-5 seconds. Generally, that’s all the time you have to convince a first-time website visitor to remain on your page, and begin a lasting relationship with your brand. Research by the NN Group has found that while the average website visit lasts less than 60 seconds, the first ten seconds are the most important in how a prospect will perceive your website, and ultimately your company.

That means that fancy flash designs, enormous images, or any other elements which can slow your load time to a crawl are definitely out of the question.

The modern marketer’s job is to create a web experience that communicates everything wonderful and unique about their company in mere seconds. Sounds easy enough, right?

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There once lived a valiant B2B marketer named Lance. Even though he was incredibly clever, he had been tasked with a particularly arduous mission. His assignment was to create compelling content about one of the most boring products to ever be sold at the market. Not only did he have to write interesting content, he had to create a lot of it.

Lance discovered a magical secret nearly as old as time, which was that every buyer persona loves a good story. By switching his approach from simple information to a narrative, and by creating heroes and conflict, his audience grew.

This new audience wasn’t just there to listen, and suddenly the company’s sales were higher than ever before.

His boss was so pleased he was given an enormous raise, which was enough to buy the shiniest steed in town.

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