Video Invitation to the “Your Website is Broken!” Power Briefing

Your Invitation to a Free Video Power Briefing on Meaningful Digital Marketing

The video invitation below is kind of a big deal for me because I’m swinging out in a new way.

It’s not that I’ve produced another video in order to try to be helpful. Rather, it’s because my new “Power Briefing” videos are designed to create a different kind of engagement and that’s something I’m highly recommending and trying to model her for clients and prospects.

Metaphorically speaking, you could say that I am now “eating my own cooking.”  This is the first sales funnel—a sequence of the two videos with lead capture landing pages, & more—that I’ve ever created for my own company. Please click the image below to view my personal video invitation to check this out:

Your Website is Broken Video

As a digital marketing strategist, I have to ask: 
Does your website produce meaningful results?

Most websites are “broken” because they don’t authentically connect with prospects. That’s why this video invitation leads to a two-part “Power Briefing” about what I call “Relationship Funnels.” I’m honestly wondering if these are the most valuable pieces of free content that I’ve ever created?

I’d love to hear what you think!

If you want to skip straight to the Power Briefing, please check it out here: bit.ly/website-broken 

Video Post: How to Do Lead Generation that is Fun and Meaningful, Not Spammy or Sleazy

Spammy, sleazy online marketers have given “lead generation” a bad name. But it doesn’t have to be that way!

So, I’ve created a new video blog post to explain how—when you put “leading with value” and being of service first—marketing online can become more fun and meaningful.

Click the video below to watch now.

Lead Generation that is Fun and Meaning, Not Spammy or Sleazy Video

Edited Video Transcript:

What Lead Generation is NOT

This video came about because of an online conversation where a woman was asking about how do I do lead gen. Just the idea of lead gen or lead generation kind of made her skin crawl because she associated it with the get-rich-quick schemers that are out there pitching digital marketing day and night on the web.

When I talk about lead generation, I’m not talking about that kind of get-rich-quick sales pitch, go get them, you know, hustle until you die type of attitude. That’s not who I am. That’s not how I approach it. 

How I DO approach it is from the point of view of relationship building. Relationship building is a whole different thing when you talk about lead generation and it involves authentic value. I use the term “leading with value.” 

Authentic Marketing Feels Good Because It Is About Relationship Building

First of all, in order to do lead generation that feels good—that is going to really actually work in the long run—you need to offer something of value. You need to give a gift or a service. (For example), I’m doing this video for you because I think this information is important, and because I intend it to be valuable and useful. You have to determine whether I succeed at that, but I’m here because I want to be of service. 

So, immediately for me lead generation is not spammy. It’s not sleazy. I’m authentically trying to be of service. So, any good relationship building-oriented lead generation starts with value and it immediately feels good because you’re being of service. 

Relationship Building Means Offering Real Gifts that Are Truly Valuable

It also begins a real conversation because authentically you’re contributing value. You’re building a relationship. You’re not saying take, take, take, give it to me, give it to me.

You’re saying here, I’m here and I want to be of service. I have something valuable to offer and the relationship building then becomes a kind of what I’ve heard called the “pink spoon,” like at the ice cream store where they give you a free taste. 

So, it becomes something, in a way, delicious, right? 

You’re offering a free taste, a sweet taste, of what you have to offer that’s authentically valuable. And when you offer something that’s of value, then your ideal prospects appreciate it. You’re not looking for just any leads. You’re looking for leads who are your ideal customers, your target audience. 

And when you offer something of value, when you lead with value with that opt-in, incentive, free ebook, webinar, or organic social video like this, then you’re going to attract the people who are a natural fit for your message.

You’re not looking for everybody. You’re looking for the people who are your tribe or your community, and you want to build a relationship with them. 

Being of Services Makes Lead Generation Fun Because It Feels Good

So, you start out by being of service and you feel good about that. 

Then, next, you’re connecting with the people who are the right people for your service or product by offering them a sweet taste. In this way, it becomes a kind of a fun exchange where you’re putting yourself out there. It doesn’t have to be a fearful thing because you’re going for the people who are the right fit for you. And then that synergy begins to happen. And so lead generation authentically does become relationship building and when you approach it that way then lead generation becomes even more than relationship building. It becomes about building a long-term conversation which can become a long-term relationship. 

And, to tell you the truth about myself, I’ve not been doing as much of this kind of being of service as I want to. 

So, my request for you today is to let me know, is this valuable? Do you want more kinds of videos like this? 

Because I’m intending to be here more regularly, more frequently, in order to engage with you in a conversation and hopefully attract the right organizations and the right people who can value the kind of services that I provide… and my company, ComBridges provides. 

I look forward to hearing from you. I hope this has been valuable and thank you so much for watching!

5 Reasons NOT to Hire an In-House Digital Marketing Manager

Shine Online with Less Stress & More Profitability

The need to create an effective, engaging and profitable online presence can present serious challenges, and many organizations struggle to find appropriate resources that help produce meaningful results. A frequent mistake is to think that hiring an in-house digital marketing manager will make things easier.

Nagging Questions

Do you have a nagging feeling that your customers are out there on social media or searching on Google, but you don’t have the expertise to get your company or organization the visibility that it needs? Do you hear about other organizations profiting from online/digital marketing but feel like you’re missing out on opportunities?  Do social media, email marketing, blog posts and other kinds of content marketing just feel like a waste of time and a money sinkhole?

Making this situation even more frustrating, you would like your in-house staff to take care of this for you, right? Perhaps you could hire a low-budget young person? Don’t all young people understand how to use social media? Well, from the point of view of results-oriented strategy, no, they don’t.

Warning: A Word to the Wise

This blog post is your warning. Be careful. Hiring new in-house staff might not really save you money and, more importantly, you might not get the meaningful results you want and need. And if you don’t get the results you need, what’s the point?

Before you interview for a new team member, take a breath, pause and consider the key benefits of working with an affordable, talented digital marketing agency like us.

Yes, no doubt, we are making a self-serving point here. But don’t let that hold you back. We are ONLY interested in win-win relationships. Your success is our success. Seriously.

So, if you are considering an in-house digital marketing manager, here are five reasons why we think that we can do a better job at a comparable cost while saving you a ton of frustration and stress:

1. Simpler, Powered by Experts

Hiring a new employee who you have to manage in an area that’s not your expertise takes your focus away from your other responsibilities. If online marketing isn’t in your particular skill set, chances are you don’t want to manage a new hire and clutter your day and your mind with things you’d prefer to leave—and that would be better off leaving—to someone else. Why not be guided by experts?

2. Fewer Hassles, Fewer Expenses

A new hire costs you both time and money. But with ComBridges doing your online marketing, you don’t have to pay benefits, employee taxes or overhead costs. There’s no need to find space in your office, nor do you need to do employee on-boarding. The HR staff will save time, too. A new member of your in-house team can also affect company culture and morale in unpredictable ways. Simpler can be better.  

3. More Scalable

Your success is our success and we are built to grow with you, without you ever having to invest in increasing overhead expenses. As long as what we are doing is working for your organization, we keep going; and as appropriate, we keep growing with you. In other words, we will grow our efforts as you achieve new levels of success. All along the way, our work together will never create space and cost challenges for you.

4. Talent You Can Trust

No matter how carefully you check resumes, no matter how thorough your interview process, there’s no certainty that your new hire will meet all your requirements and be a good fit for your culture. Why struggle with a newcomer who may still be trying to figure things out, when you can work with experienced experts? We produce results that you can trust.

Our company has a 34-year track record with results-oriented marketing communications. We have an already-established “tool kit” and systematic strategies that we use to customize social media presence and to implement digital marketing strategies that we know work.

5. Consistent Results

In-house digital marketing managers often take a hit-and-miss or shotgun approach. On the other hand, we understand that online marketing is about building relationships. We will customize a strategic approach that is designed to build authentic, sustainable relationships with your customers and prospects.

That’s what we do.

Recommendations to Help You Make the Right Decision

  • Be clear about your goals for social media and digital marketing. Focus on real results.
  • Choose resources and virtual team members that you can trust to make your investment in marketing more profitable.
  • Consider all of the possible pros-and-cons of hiring in-house.
  • Aim to make your work easier rather than more complicated.
  • Build your team with empowering collaborators who can help take your company to the next level

If you can see that this approach may have benefits for your company or organization, we would welcome the opportunity to answer any questions you may have.

Click here to schedule a free consultation.

Video: 3 Key Online Marketing Insights for 2019

This blog post features the following new video with my three key online marketing insights for 2019. For your reading convenience, scroll down, there is an edited transcript below the video.

Edited Video Transcript

As an online marketing strategist, I am committed to helping clients build authentic relationships that expand their influence and increase their sales.

I’m making this video to offer you three key insights that come from my experience as an online marketer that I think are particularly relevant for this new year, 2019:

  • The first is that ‘Instagram is the New Facebook”
  • The second is that “A Boost is Not Facebook Advertising’
  • The third is that ‘funnels are the new websites’.

And if some of those terms are not familiar to you, stay tuned because I’m going to explain each one of them. Let’s do this.

Instagram is the New Facebook

I say that Instagram is the new Facebook because we’re seeing engagement on Instagram that we’re no longer seeing on Facebook. Facebook is still the “monster” in the social media space; but in Instagram we’re seeing engagement, connections between people around like-interests that we’re no longer seeing on Facebook.

For example, I have a client that has thousands of followers on Facebook; but we’ve just started their Instagram account, and they’re only in the hundreds of followers there. However, the same post on Facebook and on Instagram is getting more engagement on Instagram. Instagram is that much more alive.

In addition, not only is it a visual medium, but the hashtags enable you to connect with real like-minded people who are interested in what it is that you’re posting about.

So ,for example, I put an inspirational quote up today on my Instagram feed. I hash-tagged #inspirationalquote, and Instagram showed me that there’s tens of millions of people who are interested in inspirational quotes. Likewise, when I do posts like this ones that I’ll do related to this video, and I hashtag #onlinemarketing, I will get other online marketing people or other people who are interested in online marketing to check out that post.

Bottom line, it’s working. It’s real engagement at an authentic level that we’re not seeing on Facebook anymore because that platform has become so busy and so noisy.

A Boost is Not Facebook Advertising

Speaking of Facebook, a boost is not Facebook advertising. And for those of you who don’t know what a boost is, that’s like the very simple form of Facebook advertising that Facebook offers. Now, a boost, technically, is Facebook advertising, but potato chips are also technically food. But, as all of you know, food is so much more rich and robust that just potato chips. Some people call it a culinary art. And there’s desserts and fruits and vegetables and salads. Food is a much bigger subject, and Facebook advertising is also a much bigger subject than just a boost.

You can do far more sophisticated things with targeting. You can reach people who have visited your website by using the pixel.

Even more importantly, you can communicate so much better by creating an ad rather than just boosting a post. So, Facebook advertising, like food, is a huge subject with lots of nuance and variety and sophistication.

So a boost, technically it’s Facebook advertising, but it’s not really Facebook advertising because when you do it using the Facebook Ad Manager, you can do so much more and be so much more effective.

Funnels are the New Websites

My third insight about online marketing for 2019, is that funnels are the new websites.

If you don’t know what a funnel is, it’s really a device to build engagement, to go from people that don’t know who you are and have never been exposed to you or who are “meeting” you for the first time, to move them via a “value chain” so that you get more and more of a relationship built by delivering value over time. For example, you might do this through webinars, through an email course, through email followup, etc. So with a funnel, there are sequences and strategies that build relationships over time.

Websites don’t really build relationships. At best, they are brochures. Once somebody comes to the website, what happens next? And how do you create engagement? And then once you get that email address, or get that follower, how do you get them to continue to receive value from you so that you can build the relationship over time and make an authentic connection?

So a funnel is a real strategy, and just like real relationships, it requires multiple touches. ‘Touches’ is a marketing term, but really what it means is that you continue to interact, that you continue to offer real value. And that’s the kind of stuff that builds real relationships.

In Conclusion

So, think about it:

  • Instagram is really worth doing. It’s the new Facebook.
  • Facebook advertising is much more than boosting, and
  • Building a funnel and doing an online strategy that really creates authentic engagement, that’ll make your online marketing much more effective, and more importantly, much more meaningful.

Bottom line, we are in this, not to create more “noise,” not to just sort of be a hustler who is trying to sell something; but really, we are doing online marketing to do business in a meaningful way where we contribute value. We seek to offer content and other forms of marketing that are both valuable for the longterm success of our businesses, of our lives, and ultimately, of the planet.

Create Authentic Connections: Website Video Production Insights

Anyone doing online marketing faces the challenge of how to engage and inform visitors, while also communicating clearly enough that people get the intended message. Without the human face of a home page welcome video, most websites miss a crucial opportunity to engage with authenticity.

At the end of the day, at least in my opinion, there’s no point in digital marketing, if you don’t make an authentic connection with website visitors. Given the fact that website visitors, in general, have the “attention span of a gnat,” the power of video has become paramount. (For more on this, I produced this video in 2010 that’s still relevant: Why Online Video is Now a ‘Must Have’ for Internet Marketing)

Videos Starring You Are Essential

One of the best ways to grab people’s attention is video.  I am fond of reminding people that a video is starring you, has the added advantage of making a virtual human connection that only a human face and voice can deliver. Video does this quickly and in the exact way that brief home page visitor encounters require.

For more on why a human face should be in videos and not just hidden behind a whiteboard animated video, I recommend Wistia’s recent post, Your Business’s Videos Should Include Faces. Here’s Why.

The authenticity of human connection in video is one of the main reasons that I’ve been promoting video for years. I love opportunities that help my clients tell their stories by producing “welcome to my website” videos. Recently, I’ve produced two of these videos for clients. I’m offering them here as examples of how to do this, including some detailed production insights.

Helping an Expert Witness to Testify

Recently, I had the opportunity to work with Mark Levy, a forensic psychiatrist whose firm provides expert testimony for legal matters. His new company website for Forensic Psychiatry Associates Medical Corporation, fpamed.com, needed a new video for its home page. Mark was clear that his earlier “do-it-yourself” effort didn’t represent him in with a professionalism that reflected his services. This collaboration took the form of a low-budget video shoot with my Canon DSLR camera.

As you can see in the video above, Mark is an excellent speaker; however, one issue with his earlier video, was that it ended up being a bit unfocused. Without wanting to toot my own horn too loudly, I was pleased to be able to add value, as a director and performance coach.  I’m not just a cameraman who sets up the camera and records “pretty pictures.”

In this case, I felt more like a “crafter of communications” because I guided Mark in ways that ensured his video had a structure, a beginning, middle and end. Now, he has a website welcome video that includes an engaging and direct welcome message and a call to action at the end.

Beyond YouTube for Online Video Delivery

Another capability that I provided and applied to Mark Levy’s videos was optimizing them for YouTube search. Behind only Google, YouTube is the second biggest search engine in the world. If you aren’t already aware of this fact, let it sink in. Many small businesses consider SEO optimization for their website, but most don’t think about optimizing their YouTube video clips to be found in search. This is a very common mistake and often overlooked by a video novice.

In addition to YouTube for attracting new viewers and potentially new website visitors, for Mark, I also recommended and implemented video hosting on Wistia.com so that when Mark’s video clips are embedded in his own website, they can be customized to match his website’s colors; and, more importantly, so that YouTube doesn’t have the opportunity to “steal” traffic away from Mark by pushing other psychiatrist’s videos to his viewers at the end of his clips.

Bottom line, Mark’s website is his own “owned” virtual real estate. Why let YouTube leverage it for their objectives? Owned media is a thing and we should all maximize this kind of control on our own websites as much as possible.

Wistia’s call-to-action and other integrated features within the video are more robust and attractive than YouTube’s. Because of this, videos look more seamless as they are integrated into websites.

Giving Wistia a try is easy given that their free introductory level includes three videos hosted on their video delivery platform. Beyond that, it’s $99 a month. This pricing may not work for every small business, but I recommend it for companies that have a serious commitment to video marketing. The image to the right is how this video looks embedded in Mark’s home page.

A More Scripted Approach & Cool Piece of Video Tech

I would also like to share a second video client case study. The second home page welcome video that I produced recently was for physical trainer, Adam Hirsch of adamhirsch.net. A significant difference, in this case, was that before the video shoot, Adam and I collaborated on a script.

Truth be told, while Adam is extremely knowledgeable about his expertise with physical training, his expansive perspective of this subject can also result in him being a bit verbose. Because of this, we needed to find a way to help him be more concise, especially given the online environment where, as I mentioned, holding people’s attention is at a premium. By collaborating on a script, we were able to co-create a straightforward and concise description of what Adam offers.  

However, this creates a different challenge. I didn’t expect (nor was there time) for Adam to memorize and deliver this script like a professional actor. So, while Adam’s new home page video was also shot with my Canon DSLR camera, we used a nifty little piece of technology in the form of a small affordable teleprompter that uses an iPhone for the scrolling text.

Another example of how advanced small electronics are becoming, the Parrot Teleprompter costs only $115 (plus shipping) and fits virtually any video camera. I loaded the written script onto my iPhone before the shoot, and used the voice-activated PromptSmartPro ($19.99, free version also available) so that the text scrolled right along with Adam’s pace of delivery. No teleprompter operator required.

Not only was the hardware a small fraction of what it used to cost, personnel costs were also significantly reduced. The use of a teleprompter, when appropriate, has become remarkably accessible!

I believe the result is a clear presentation, well-articulated and precisely-focused in a way that would not have been otherwise possible. Take a look and see what you think.

At Your Service

Bottom line, I approach online marketing as relationship building. The quality of communication, when done well, enables authentic connections to be built via whatever medium is at play and regardless of what technologies are used.

Sure, innovations like Wistia video hosting and the Parrot Teleprompter help make this happen, but there’s no substitute for quality content and that’s what we do.

I believe that the human beings who are such a crucial part of every forward-thinking organization or business needs to be “front and center,” right from that first nano-second that a web visitor spends on your website. After all, if you don’t engage with them in a personal way, right away, you will lose them.

Please let me know if I can help you or your organization. Thanks!

 

My 6 Favorite Digital Marketing Apps. Webinar Video + Free PDF

Researching, testing and figuring out “what’s the best app for that?” is part of my job.

I also LOVE sharing information and being helpful. Recently I hosted a video webinar where I shared the six digital marketing apps that I use daily for myself and for my clients. I’m writing this blog post to share this webinar video recording with you.

Also, please scroll down, because there are links below to the apps themselves as well as to other resources that I mention during the webinar. Enjoy!

FYI, the initial presentation with demos and info about all six apps is about 30 minutes in length. It is followed by about 15 minutes of edited Q&A.

Get Yours: Free PDF, 6 Recommended Digital Marketing Apps

Leland combridges marketing app infographic small

This PDF has Jon Leland's recommendations for his six favorite digital marketing apps in one easy-to-read, one-page reference doc. Get yours now.

To watch the video webinar where Jon Leland explains these recommendations, click here.

We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit

For your convenience, here are the direct links to the applications that I talked about during this webinar:

Squarespace for Websites:
Blog Post: http://www.combridges.com/small-business-website-design…/
My 15-minute (recorded) webinar on Squarespace https://youtu.be/eOjMgce2E2A

ConvertKit for Email:
Affiliate link: http://mbsy.co/convertkit/76357
Blog Post: http://www.combridges.com/email-marketing-conversations…/

Canva for Social Media Graphics:
https://www.canva.com

Soapbox for Low Budget Video Production:
http://www.wistia.com/soapbox

Zoom for Video Webinars:
http://www.zoom.us

Thinkific Online Classes:
https://thinkific.com
https://combridges.thinkific.com/

If you have any questions or suggestions, I would love to hear from you via any medium you choose including this contact form or via any of the social media networking links at the top of this page.

Thanks for reading and/or watching! 🙂