I Write…

We’ve talked at length about the importance of creating content that people can easily share and make use of. But what importance do images play when creating good content? Do images really matter? Can they increase the click rate of your article? Of course, they can—check out these great image tips to get the most out of your content!

Make Sure Your Images Are Relevant 

When you’re creating a blog or website, it’s important that the images you use are relevant to the topic. It has been said that content with relevant images get 60% more views than content without relevant images. Be careful, choose wisely and go for it!

Originality… But Not So Original People Can’t Understand

Okay, we all know that picking the right image can be tough. You need to find the right balance between clichéd images that might make your content look dated, and something too unique and obscure that will leave your visitors confused. Start with relevant and move onto interesting. Don’t be led astray by the wild ways of internet image sites.

Try to Use People…

As humans, we respond to faces, so using images of people in your content can be a simple way of boosting engagement. Choose people who are relatable to your audience, think about your content and keep the people relevant to the theme. If you are talking about working in the creative industries, don’t use an image of someone in a corporate office in a suit. Try to lead people to your content with an eye toward being exciting.

Use Images to Keep Interest

Now that we know which kind of images you need, we need to discuss something else. How many images should you include in your content? It depends on how much text you have, but as a general rule, try and insert an image every couple of paragraphs. The more images, the more you will interest the reader.

Use Good Quality Images

Don’t fall into the mistake of using poor quality images. When adding images to your blog, website or campaign, it is important that they are high resolution images that are going to look sharp and not pixelated. Seriously… the better the images, the better you will look.

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I Teach…

This week, we are going to look at a major problem. The issues that arise between businesses and clients that damage business relationships are one of the biggest problems you will face as you build your business. This blog identifies all the major issues—and should help you fix them. There is no reason to have a poor rapport between yourself and your clients! If you do, let’s fix it!

Not Listening

This is one of the most obvious signs of poor communication in every business relationship. Someone who always cuts off their client every time they speak can send a wrong message to that person; for example, that their opinion and their thoughts are insignificant. Try to improve your listening skills and always try to understand what your client is telling you. This is one of the best ways to prevent any misunderstanding.

Being Passive Aggressive

Passive aggressiveness is one of the most dangerous forms of communication. By using it, you can put the other person on the defensive, and in the long term, this type of behavior can affect the stability of your relationship.

Losing Your Temper Very Easily

If you have anger issues, and if you easily lose your temper, then you might have communication problems, too. Anger will not allow you to express yourself rationally, and your behavior may hurt your client’s feelings or cause them to get angry in return. Despite this, everyone is accountable for their actions and for their reactions. If you remain calm during an argument, you can discuss things rationally to sort things out and not risk damaging the relationship.

No Nagging

Yes, nagging is indeed a sign of poor communication in your business relationship.

If you constantly nag, repeating the same demands over and over, you are not communicating efficiently, and the other person will not receive the message you are trying to send. Learn straightforward communication techniques that allow the problem to be addressed productively.

Ignoring That Person

Ignoring your client is not a way to improve the communication in your relationship. Not talking to your client when you are upset over something they did is never a good solution if you want to solve the problem. Ignoring your client will only cause more problems in your relationship, and you will only sabotage yourself and your business.

Shouting, Screaming and Using Poor Language

Even if you’re upset, this doesn’t give you the right to offend or to hurt someone, especially in a professional environment. Don’t use profanities, and be respectful!

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I Speak…

One of the big differences between a great speaker and an average (or poor) speaker is performance, and part of that performance is your ability to work from notes and memorize your speech. If you have trouble remembering lines, you may want to print out this blog article and follow the steps. Knowing your speech will allow you to concentrate on performance. You should be trying to work without your script as much as possible—and if you can do that, you will be ahead of the untold thousands of “public” speakers who are glued to their visual aids. Let’s take a look at memorizing your speech.

Move to Memorize

You will memorize your lines much faster if you move around, gesture, and show emotion as you say them. Don’t just say the words, but mimic the movements you’ll be making when you deliver the words. This will help your whole body understand the lines better. Even if you’re not gesturing, just try pacing back and forth as you recite the lines. This will still be a big help.

Repeat Yourself… I Said, REPEAT YOURSELF!

Once you feel very comfortable with your lines, you should take the opportunity to applaud yourself, but don’t stop practicing. You should still repeat your lines as much as possible until they feel like second nature to you. You should keep repeating your lines until the day you must deliver them, or you may forget them by the time you give your speech.

Just Relax!

This might be the most important point on this list. You should relax while you’re memorizing your lines and before you must deliver the lines. If you don’t relax, then you’ll be more likely to forget your lines in the middle of a rehearsal or even on the big day.

Try Word Tricks

If you’re stuck memorizing your lines, try a variety of words tricks to help you fully absorb the lines. Try to use rhymes to help you remember the right words in a sentence. You can also try visualization—just try to visualize the words you will say and what feeling you will convey. If you can tap into the emotion, the words will come easily.

Just One Piece at a Time

You don’t have to memorize your lines exactly from start to finish if you have a long chunk of lines, or an entire hour’s worth of lines, to memorize. Instead, you should break down your lines into manageable parts that flow from one part to another so that you have a good grasp of all the lines eventually.

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I Write…

fear11We’ve talked at length about the importance of creating content that people can easily share and make use of. But what does that entail? What makes content worthwhile? Well… the secret is to know how to spread your content and make it noticeable. For example, a great title makes content useful. So do the right images and the trust level you have with readers. Have you wasted their time too often? Where are you sharing your content initially? Wait… why don’t we run through the list together?

Titles Matter More Than You Think!

Your title needs to be both engaging and relevant. Maybe that means making it something that hooks people from the start. But do keep in mind that there’s nothing more disappointing than being hooked by a title, only to be let down by the rest of an article. Don’t lie… but do grab.

The Right Time, The Right Place… The Right Look

There’s a science to including effective, attention-grabbing images in your blog posts to get more engagement. Did you know that if you mix text into the graphic, people are more likely to look at your image? This explains why infographics are so popular and bring such great rewards.

It’s Not You… It’s Me… I Don’t Trust Your Content

As a content sharing company, you have a hard life to lead. Did you know that you need to come off as credible and trustworthy source of information to your audience? Your readers will engage with content that seems genuine, speaks to them, and reflects your brand. You can do that by citing trustworthy sources, helping readers feel like you understand them well, or even by challenging industry norms with more enlightening ideas. Remember the old sales mantra: To sell is to help. The more you help, the more successful you will be!

Don’t Let Me Down

There’s nothing better than being able to share content with others—but finding that content is getting harder and harder. I hate to share things with my followers that are dull, misleading or boring. This should factor into the design of your content. Try to avoid putting anything together that will bore, mislead or make people regret sharing your content. You have to make sure you are not letting your audience down.

Sharing Is Loving

My advice would be to do a little research. Your goal is to find out which social channels can give you access to your designated audience. If you know that your audience hangs out on Reddit, you should most definitely share it there. Don’t be shy. Start sharing where your audience is caring.

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I Teach…

once uponWe’ve been talking about communication here for a little bit, and I would like to spend this week talking about the importance of being a “people” person. Now, that’s going to scare a few people out there. There are those of us who believe we are not “people” people. But everyone can learn to communicate with others, help others, and understand the needs of others. I’d like to look at some of the reasons communication skills are some of the most important skills a person can have.

Builds, Maintains and Creates Relations

Relationships are built and can be maintained by positive encounters with others. Communication will be key to this process – without effective skills, it will be difficult to properly construct and nurture productive relationships.

Want to Make Something AMAZING happen? Learn to Communicate

When people feel comfortable in openly communicating new ideas, cooperation and innovation will be at an all-time high. In addition, if they are unable to convey their ideas due to limited communication skills, it is likely that the idea will not be implemented to its full potential.

Growth Is Based on Communication

A lack of communication can lead to the collapse of any relationship. Let’s face it, without proper communication internally and externally, most relationships, including within groups and organizations, will struggle to survive. Communication can also lead to productivity and helps to avoid unnecessary delays in the implementation of ideas.

Looking After a Team? Communication Is KEY!

If communication within a workplace is encouraged, a more cohesive and effective team will emerge. Good communication within a team also tends to boost employee morale. When employees feel that they are well informed of the company’s direction and vision, they will feel more secure within their role. Regular internal communication can also lead to an improved work ethic if staff are reminded of achievements and feel that they are working towards a common goal.

Bad Management? Is Your Communication at Fault?

When managers are effective communicators, they are more able to inform staff adequately of their responsibilities and what is expected from them. Good communication skills also help managers to provide constructive feedback to their staff, build better relationships, and understand personal goals that staff may wish to work towards. Try it—it works!

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I Speak…

sleepMany studies have suggested that repetition can have a positive effect on someone’s agreement with an argument. It may be important for you to learn the art of repetition—because like any skill it can be done right, but it can also be done wrong. If you are going to repeat yourself to make your point, you have to learn how to pose your repetition to create an impact. Let’s see how you can make it work…

Change the Way You Say It!

Although repetition can be successful as a persuasion strategy, subtlety can be as important as the frequency and intensity of the message. Rather than repeating the same words and phrasing throughout the course of an argument, finding more than one way to make the same argument repeatedly can be a more effective approach. The reader or listener is likely to respond more positively to the same argument stated several ways rather than having the same message shoved down his throat over and over.

How Often Do You Do It?

The use of repetition in a persuasive argument can be effective if the argument is constructed in such a way that the repetition is spread out over a period of time. The use of repetition over the long course of an argument, written or spoken, creates a greater familiarity with the message and leads to gradual agreement if the intensity of repetition is gradual itself. Too much repetition in a short span of time or space can actually defeat the very purpose of gradual acceptance by creating a stronger aversion to the argument. All repetition should be carefully spaced at equal or similar intervals throughout the argument.

How Much Do You Do It?

In speeches or other spoken arguments that are highly emotional in nature, frequent repetition of key emotionally charged phrases can be effective. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream Speech” often is cited as one of the primary examples of the success of such repetition. However, it may be effective in messages of this nature only because of the already emotional nature of the issue. Such techniques in sales and marketing may have the opposite effect — turning off the consumer — if not approached carefully.

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I Write…

coachWe’ve discussed content marketing—its failures, its successes—but we haven’t discussed some of the finer points of making your content work. This article is a series of points. Points that, if used properly, will help you fine tune your content marketing. Try these little tips to create a big response…

Create Content That Is Readable, Shareable and Hilarious

Some of the most popular viral campaigns have had the above ingredients. Being funny, making content worth sharing and making your content extremely readable are key steps towards success.

Longer Length Is Better

Yes, it’s hard to write a huge blog article—but try to write something that has some substance to it. Don’t just push out short articles. Write to inform and make sure your longer blog articles are easy to read. Break your content into paragraphs and allow your reader to scan through your content.

Images, Images, Images

If you want to make a success of your content, you should use images. When sharing your content, you want people to be captured as quickly as possible—good images allow this to happen easily. Don’t shy away from funny images, either. People like to laugh.

Appeal to Emotions

This is another point that many content marketers forget. If something makes you happy, sad, or enraged, you are emotionally attached. If your content can cause this kind of reaction with your readers, then they are more likely to take action with your content. Try to cause emotion, and you’ll see response.

Aim to Get Shared by Influential People

If you can get your content shared by at least one social media influencer, you will be on your way to gaining a new audience. The virtue of being shared by an influencer will create a level of trust with their audience. You will become a trusted source of information. Try to attain as much action as you can with influencers—it can only help you.

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I Teach…

fear11Last week, we discussed ways to communicate. This week, I’d like to look at the reasons why people fail to communicate correctly. Sometimes, even with all the will in the world, we cannot make ourselves connect with others. It may be our problem—or their problem—but it is a problem. This blog article is about discovery. Discovering why people fail to communicate is crucial to becoming a great communicator. Let’s look failure straight in the face and learn from it.

Compromise Is KEY

If one party is unwilling to budge on an issue, no progress can be made; when the other party senses this stubbornness, they’ll immediately stop trying to make their case. Compromise isn’t an admission of defeat — it’s a way of trying to maximize the payoffs between two parties, and if you ignore that, you’ll have only yourself to blame when the conversation stops.

Ultimately, successful conversations are dependent on two people willing to reach a mutually satisfying conclusion.

Didn’t Anyone Listen?

Too many people focus on the speaking part of a conversation; after all, that’s the part you can control. But it’s far more important to be a good listener. Being a good listener first demonstrates that you’re invested in the conversation and makes the other person feel welcome to share his or her thoughts.

Listening prevents interruption and other habits that can interfere with the natural pattern of conversation and provides a stable ground for mutual communication. Finally, and most importantly, listening allows you to hear and understand what the other party needs, giving you context and direction for your response. Without that initial effort, the conversation will never go anywhere.

Where’s the Respect?

When we don’t get respect from people around us, we may feel unsatisfied and withdraw from the situation. Showing respect in conversation is a prerequisite to having a healthy exchange, and even modest or subtle signs of disrespect can throw off that pattern.

Obvious signs of disrespect include insulting or mocking the other party or belittling what they have to say. Subtler signs of disrespect include interruption or changing the subject before it resolves. Aim to show more respect throughout your conversation, even if you aren’t doing anything intentionally disrespectful.

Failure to Communicate in Conversation

Sometimes, the simplest explanation for a failure in conversation is the most accurate. If one party fails to express things in clear and understandable terms, it stands to reason that the other party won’t have any idea what’s going on.

Honesty

Communication can also fail when one party refuses to express what they’re feeling or thinking honestly. It can be hard to be honest when you’re under pressure, or if you have a shy personality type. For example, when you’re trying to make a good impression at work, you may second guess the value of your thoughts. However, honest expression is vital if you want the conversation to progress.

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I Speak…

coach
We’ve been talking about speeches for some time now. You may have a pretty strong understanding of how to make your speech really work. This week, we are going to look at the delivery of your speech. You’ve written it, you’ve got a great closer… but you are nervous about delivery. How can you really push your point across and make yourself heard?

Keep It Real

If there’s one rule, it’s this one: Try to be as authentic as possible.  It’s well known that people can hear it in your voice when you are “real,” and they will love you for it. If you come across as fake, you will lose them.

Keep Learning

Regardless of how many times you’ve made a speech or spoken in public, there is always room for vast improvement. It’s great that you’ve got public speaking experience, but don’t become over confident and think that you can just turn up and present without doing your homework! You might get away with it a couple of times, but eventually you will be caught out.

Pack THAT power!

Your opening statement needs to be powerful. You need to hook those people.  Don’t be afraid to shock your audience, make your audience laugh or hook them with a story that really gets them ready to hear your point. Don’t just open with banalities… Go on the attack and make yourself heard.

Arrangement Is the KEY

Arrange your presentation and make it easy to digest, but keep in mind that you want to make your point. If you can tie everything back to the points you want to make, you will be doing well!

Slow Down… Don’t Move Too Fast

One of the most common faux pas people make when giving a speech, especially if they are new to public speaking, is they rush through their presentation. You need to slow down so that people can take on board what you are saying. If in doubt, record yourself and play it back. If you are speaking faster than the anchor person on the news, you know it’s too fast. Pace yourself to success.

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I Write…

writingWe’ve discussed content marketing, but we haven’t faced one undeniable fact. A lot of content marketing strategies fail. But why do they fail? This is an autopsy, ladies and gentlemen. We are going to look at why content marketing fails. If you are squeamish, leave now… but if you really want to know the gory details, read on…

What? You Had No Strategy?

In content marketing, you need to strategize, strategize, and strategize some more. Without a strong strategy in place, you’ll be the Monday night quarterback who enters the playing field looking up at the stands and hoping for the audience to cheer – even when you fumble.  It doesn’t work.

Am I Blue? Am I Boring?

You don’t like talking to a stick in the mud. Why would you like reading a dry blog post that sounds like it was written by someone boring and dull? I don’t want to read it. Nobody else wants to read it. People love doing business with people. Humanize your content and make it fun to read. Don’t be afraid to let your personality shine! Your audience will connect with your content faster and appreciate the extra showmanship you offer.

What, You Don’t Want to Spend a Dime?

You can start a blog for free, make a podcast for free, and create videos for free. With so many free methods for creating content, it’s natural to think that content marketing is also inexpensive. Although it’s true that you can create content for a stupidly low price, you’re probably cutting yourself short if you promote on the cheap. If your content marketing isn’t working, you might not have the right team putting it all together.

P.T. Barnum Says… Promote! Be Extravagant!

Perhaps your content is high-quality but still, no one is consuming it. Are you doing enough to get the right amount of eyeballs on your words, videos and images? Probably not. Although you never want to be overly self-promotional, some promotion of each piece of content is necessary to let your audience know it’s available.

Know Your Competition

There’s a lot of noise in our daily lives. From TV commercials and radio ads, to a flood of new blog posts being published every day, you’re already competing with a lot of content. If your competitor is producing a healthy portion of that content, your job just got a little more difficult. You have to be competitive! COMPETITIVE!

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