Martha: The Backstory
My background is in starting, running, marketing and selling businesses. I like to imagine the possibilities and find ways to make those possibilities a reality. For much of my career, I was an agent for commercial artists. I developed their visual brands, executed numerous marketing activities and handled not only the client/creative liaison but also the fee negotiations and contracts. My job was to assure that the artists got noticed and got work. Now, I do the same for small- and mid-size businesses, primarily in the professional services and B2B arenas. I work with clients to brand their business and then spread the word, mainly through their website and online and content marketing. I also provide pro bono consulting to the Taproot Foundation and am a mentor at The South Bay Entrepreneurial Center.
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When someone thinks of your brand, what do they feel? Your brand is a powerful combination of the words, visuals and emotions that one associates with your company. Defining your brand -- finding that niche in which your company excels, "positioning" your brand for maximum exposure and effectiveness, and then creating the message, images and experiences that communicate that excellence, assures your place in the minds...and hearts...of customers.
Blend words, visuals and the internet, mix with topics relevant to your audience and season with SEO, and you've got a content marketing strategy that will spark a conversation with your customer. Whether you blog or post on social media platforms, email, publish a whitepaper, ebook or newsletter, do podcasts, webcasts or shoot video, content marketing allows you build trust and credibility in your business, demonstrate your "expert status" and accelerate your relationship with prospects and customers.
I write copy that tells...and sells...your story. From a grabber headline to an attention-getting call to action, compelling content is king. Engaging website visitors, demonstrating your industry expertise with a weekly blog, showcasing your business knowledge via a new brochure, publishing an ebook or putting your best face forward in a moving presentation...all require entertaining, engaging, well-structured, grammatically-correct content. And because you want to get found online, your digital content must include keyword-rich copy, links, conceptual visuals and Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Marketing spreads the word about your business. Determining the best way to do that requires developing an ideal client profile, assessing their needs, defining the best way to reach them and creating a marketing strategy that will most effectively target and convert your prospects. Between digital and print opportunities, live events and presentations, guerrilla techniques and public relations, the number of marketing channels are almost unlimited; selecting those that are the best fit for your goals, your audience, time constraints, budget and results is critical.
Today, media is a many-headed creature. Getting your company's newsworthy events in the spotlight could mean a press release distributed to individual publications, solicitations of bloggers and columnists to feature your news, staging an event that gets press coverage, shooting a video you hope will go viral or hiring a celebrity spokesperson to tout your products or services.
Once the digital version of a personal journal, business blogging has become an indispensable ingredient in the marketing strategy of businesses big and small. A business blog can be a rant or a rave, instructional or provocative, educational or inspiring. Its goal is to educate readers, build company credentials and drive business. I work with clients as a "blog coach" - creating, editing, optimizing and emailing blogs...that "post" results.