Tuesday, January 31, 2006

I've been blogged

I've been blogged!

See "5. How to Market a Book for Writers" in Publicity Hound's Tips of the Week for January 31. It quotes my suggestions for the book author.

Also, I was quoted in "When It's Best NOT to Blog," by Meryl K. Evans and Hank Stroll on January 17.

How did I pull this off?

In the first case, I responded to the Publicity Hound's request for marketing suggestions.

In the second case, I responded to an online survey. I had material handy from my original posting on the blogosphere. I knew it was interesting because when I'd contacted Nancy Lininger of CompliancE-news with a related question, she'd written a paragraph on my question in her newsletter.

Monday, January 30, 2006

How to punctuate bullet-pointed lists

Have you ever used a bullet-pointed list in a memo, report or PowerPoint presentation? Are you punctuating your lists correctly? Or maybe you're not as compulsive as me about these picky points.

Anyway, here's what one reference book,
The Grammar Bible, says:
"If a sentence follows the bullet, place a period at the end. Words and phrases that follow bullets need no ending punctuation. It is never necessary to place the conjunction and before the last item in a bulleted list."

Does this make sense?

If it doesn't, then post here a comment with a sample bullet pointed-list. I'll give you my suggestion on how to punctuate it.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

PowerPoint rules

I like Guy Kawasaki's 10/20/30 rule of PowerPoint.

He suggests that you limit your PowerPoint presentations to:
  • 10 slides
  • 20 minutes for presenting the slides
  • Slides using 30-point or larger type
The 10-slide limit is a bit severe, but I like his emphasis on brevity and easily legible slides. Using 30-point type will stop you from cramming too much into a single slide.

I thought about this at a conference yesterday. Even when I sat just five rows back, I didn't have a prayer of reading some of the presenters' slides. When I sat in the back of a long narrow room, all of the slides were illegible.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Inspiration from novelist Tom Wolfe

Are you struggling to think up ideas for articles to write?

Take some advice from novelist Tom Wolfe. "If you spend 30 days with your eyes open, you'll have enough stories for a lifetime," he said in his Dec. 2 address to the 2005 Nieman Confererence on Narrative Journalism.

How can you relate Wolfe's comment to your business?

Identify topics that interest your clients and prospects by listening to the questions they ask you. What confuses them? Intrigues them? Motivates them?

Tap those topics for your articles.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

"How to Get Your Prospect to Open Your Mail" from MarketingProfs.com

"How to Get Your Prospect to Open Your Mail" suggests two strategies for achieving this goal.
  1. "Make your mail look like personal mail"
  2. "Treat your outer envelope like a billboard"
It has been a long time since I've done any direct mail, but my mailings are so small-scale, they usually look like personal mail. Individually affixed stamps. No address labels -- sometimes the addresses are handwritten. I wish my handwriting were better.

The billboard approach means putting teaser copy on the envelope. It could be something as short as "FREE!"

Have you tried either approach? What results have you gotten? Is it time for you to try something new?

The author of this article is Ernest Nicastro of Positive Response. His article appeared in the MarketingProfs.com e-newsletter. I like this newsletter because it exposes me to good ideas in digestible chunks. Your subscription is free, with some content limited to paying subscribers.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

"Customer comments can contain pure gold"

Every week I scan Marcia Yudkin's Marketing Minute e-newsletter for tips that I can apply in my business.

Here's a recent tip that resonated with me:

"Customer comments can contain pure gold. Many of my most in-demand services came about from a suggestion made by someone who wanted to do business with me."

That tip has worked for me. Ghostwriting is playing a larger role in my business mix because of client comments. They have inspired me to add consulting services to my menu. For example, I coached one ghostwriting client on how to pitch a column to an editor. Now I'm advising her on how to manage that editor as her monthly column begins.

To read more of Marcia's tips about lessons from her 25 years in business, click here.
The only connection that I have with Marcia -- besides subscribing to her e-newsletter -- is that I took one of her excellent adult ed writing classes back in the 1900s.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

"New Lab Data: How Humans' Eyes Really See Email Marketing Campaigns"

I recently linked to "New Lab Data: How Humans' Eyes Really See Email Marketing Campaigns" from the MarketingSherpa e-newsletter.

MarketingSherpa tested two versions of a single-article email newsletter. One with a piece of clip art at the top, the other with no art. The intriguing result: the version with the clip art won the "number-of-words read sweepstakes."

Of course, whether recipients even open your email newsletter depends on your "from" and "subject" lines.

To learn more about this kind of topic, you can subscribe for free to the MarketingSherpa e-newsletter at http://www.marketingsherpa.com/. I don't have any business or financial ties to MarketingSherpa.

"How to Launch a New Blog the Easy Way"

Thinking about launching a blog?

"How to Launch a New Blog the Easy Way" will give you a quick overview of some of the things you should consider. Its seven steps, starting with planning, are particularly helpful.

I'm still learning about blogs, so I plan to explore some of the links from this blog posting on the Performancing.com site.

Not sure if you should start a blog? See my Dec. 18 posting below for a link to an article that'll help you figure that out.