Tag Archive | "Joel Mark Witt"

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Simple Ideas For Generating Blog Post Ideas – Like Baking Cake

Posted on 10 December 2010 by Joel Mark Witt

Doing the hard work of content creation

Content creation is tough. It’s hard to consistently come up with valuable things to write about for your audience. But it’s important that you have a clear idea of how to generate content on a regular basis.

Consistent content helps your blog get found, gives your regular readers something to consume and helps you build a library of useful information.

Here’s a great tip to think about content topics right now.

  • Take the top 15 problems your customers are having. List these out and describe them in detail with specific actionable solutions for each one.
  • Write down the top 15 benefits a customer gets from doing business with you. Be specific.
  • List the top 15 frequently asked questions.
  • Write down the top 15 mistakes you see your customers making.

If you do this you’ll have 60 topics ready to go for your blog, videos, podcasts or email newsletters.

Today’s Action Step

Using the list above spend the next ten minutes writing out these lists and come up with your next 60 topics for content on your blog.

Now go take action.

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Joel Mark Witt is the Publisher of Folk Media. He is a producer, author, speaker and social media marketing coach who consults with businesses on how to use social media in marketing and communications. Get more from Joel on Twitter.


*Photo by JohnEdgarPark

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TAKE ACTION: The Best Way To Actually Make Social Media Work For Your Business

Posted on 02 November 2010 by Joel Mark Witt

Today I want to start a new sort of relationship with you and the rest of the Folk Media Insider Tribe.

Success in social media comes down to actually DOING something with all the great stuff you’re learning.

To help this along each week, we’ll send out an email with a learning element and an action step or “homework” assignment.

Of course you have to be ON the list to get this weekly email.

Read the email – do the assignment – and then post your response on the Folk Media Facebook page for peer accountability and feedback.

It will speed up your learning process and you’ll meet and interact with other like minded people.

Here’s your first assignment.

This is an easy one. Under this post write down your business name, website, a little about what you do.

Leave a comment below this week’s assignment.

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Joel Mark Witt is the Publisher of Folk Media. He is a producer, author, speaker and social media marketing coach who consults with businesses on how to use social media in marketing and communications. Get more from Joel on Twitter.




*Photo by ~Temjin

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Welcome, Laura Roeder Readers!

Posted on 01 November 2010 by Joel Mark Witt

I’d like to extend a warm welcome to everyone who’s come over from the Laura Roeder blog. It was such an honor to write a guest post for one of our favorite sites.

We’ve been writing about social media for several years, so there’s quite a bit of reading here. Therefore, I thought I’d share some of my favorite posts with you, as a little “Getting Started Guide” to our site.

These posts talk about the basics of internet marketing:

Three Quesition To Choose An Internet Business Niche

Inbound Marketing: Getting Your Customers To Call You

How To Choose Your Small Business Marketing Channel

Here are some posts to start out learning about social media:

Social Media Strategy: Presence

Social Media Strategy: Engagement

Social Media Strategy: Relationships

How To Choose A Good Online Profile Photo

How To Appear Like A Real Human In Your Business

Again, thank you so much for stopping by. I’d like to invite you to become part of the tribe and get private invites to webinars and other special social media trainings. So go sign up here.

We’ve got some amazing stuff coming in the next few weeks.

~ Joel

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Joel Mark Witt is the Publisher of Folk Media. He is a producer, author, speaker and social media marketing coach who consults with businesses on how to use social media in marketing and communications. Get more from Joel on Twitter.

*Photo by .scarlet.

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How To Easily Generate HTML Code Using WordPress [VIDEO]

Posted on 29 October 2010 by Joel Mark Witt

There might come a time in your business when you need to generate HTML code quickly for your website or blog. In this video I’ll show you a drop dead simple way to generate HTML code using WordPress.

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Joel Mark Witt is the Publisher of Folk Media. He is a producer, author, speaker and social media marketing coach who consults with businesses and nonprofits on how to use social media in marketing and communications. Get more from Joel on Twitter or Google Buzz.

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Don’t Rely On Novelty Advertising Online

Posted on 27 October 2010 by Joel Mark Witt

I’ve been thinking and writing about authenticity lately. There is a huge shift in how people respond to advertising and marketing messages.

Watch this video and then see my comments below.

Here’s what I observed.

1) They are relying on novelty to display their ad

This may gain some attention with magazine readers. But I’d guess that it’s getting more attention for ad agencies who are desperately trying to find ways to continue with their old school business model of interruption advertising.

2) There is no value being offered

Where is the value of this ad? If someone is reading a magazine – their mind is in a much different mode than when watching TV.  I would suggest that readers want to see value not novelty.

3) Are iPhone users even reading paper magazines?

This is a genuine question. I haven’t personally done the research – but I’d guess on a gut level that most iPhone users are NOT reading paper magazines and newspapers. They are most likely getting their information and content from the web or…dare I say the obvious…their iPhone.

So I’ll ask again. What are some things you observed?

How to stand out for real

Over at Copyblogger, Sonia Simone has a great article about how attention alone won’t make you rich. She’s right.

But it seems that ad agencies continue to push for the BIG attention getter type advertising.

Get attention. But do it so you can offer your prospects and customers VALUE

Get attention then provide value. Then deliver that value.

In the comments below – list 3 ways that you can grab attention without being novel. In other words – how can you capture attention while providing great value to your prospects?

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Joel Mark Witt is the Publisher of Folk Media. He is a producer, author, speaker and social media marketing coach who consults with businesses and nonprofits on how to use social media in marketing and communications. Get more from Joel on Twitter or Google Buzz.

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Consistent Content: Secret To Online Success

Posted on 29 September 2010 by Joel Mark Witt

It’s no secret that content is the currency of the web. It’s almost cliche to say this since so many people write and talk about it. After reading this blog for a while you should know how critical it is to create compelling content for your business and website.

Why consistent content is important

By posting consistent content you are helping people know that you are present and active. You are also staying on the top of mind for potential prospects and customers. The worst thing that can happen is to fade out of a prospect’s mind.

Plus, Google loves consistent content. In fact all the search engines like to see that you are posting regularly. They will begin showing your content in search results more if they see a consistent posting schedule.

What makes online content valuable?

Good content obviously provides value (something I harp on constantly). But good content also needs to be consistent. The value is in the actual content but it is ALSO valuable because of the consistency of that content.

If you have a genius idea once each year you will lose out to the person who has a good idea each day. Consistency and frequency matter and they are valuable in their own right.

So how often should you create content?

That depends on your business and audience. I used to say it doesn’t matter as long as you’re consistent. And that’s still a good rule of thumb. But I’ve become more aggressive in my stance.

So here’s my (newer) answer.

People are now always online – always working – always connected. The Internet is a 24 hour global environment. To play in this space I firmly believe that you need to create and post ONE piece of valuable content each day.

Obviously this is the ideal. You’ll need to adjust according to your ability and business. For example, some create and post content each weekday. Others post every Monday – Wednesday – Friday.

If daily seems like too much for you, keep reading. We can come up with some creative solutions for you.

Practical steps to creating consistent online content

First, commit to a schedule. Don’t just post blog articles and Twitter messages willie-nilly. It’s important to plan so you can be consistent. In week 12 of our Customers While You Sleep training we talk about how to construct a schedule for content.

A schedule forces you to do your thinking in advance. Then when it’s time to create content, simply refer to your schedule and BAM – you’ll know what to do.

Second, be creative with what you consider content.

There are only four things you can share online:

  • Text
  • Photos
  • Audio
  • Video

Your “content” doesn’t HAVE to be a 700 word article on your blog. It can be a couple Tweets that point people to news articles or other people’s content. It can be a photo or video. Content can be a simple question asked on your Facebook fan page.

Other things that work as great content.

  • Interviews with industry experts
  • Summary articles and book reviews
  • Short video updates from industry conferences

Today’s Action Step

Make a commitment to create consistent content.

Then, in the comments, write out your biggest obstacle with creating consistent online content. What do you struggle with? How are you going to use some of the advice above to tackle your core challenge?

Any other thoughts or advice you can provide?

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Joel Mark Witt is the Publisher of Folk Media. He is a producer, author, speaker and social media marketing coach who consults with businesses and nonprofits on how to use social media in marketing and communications. Get more from Joel on Twitter or Google Buzz.

*Photo by Andrew Morrell

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How To Stop Getting So Many Facebook Alerts In Your Email

Posted on 27 September 2010 by Joel Mark Witt


Facebook alerts can quickly become overwhelming, especially to a new user. Here’s how to cut down on the amount of alerts you get from Facebook.

At the top right of the screen click on the account arrow and choose “account settings.”

Then click on the “notifications” tab.

You will see a page that looks like this.

Uncheck boxes to stop receiving notifications.

I would suggest you keep these boxes checked:

  • Sends you a message
  • Adds you as a friend
  • Posts to your wall
  • Tags you in a post
  • Tags you in a photo
  • Tags you in a note
  • Tags you in a video

Congratulations. you’ve just cut down the amount of alerts you will get from Facebook.

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Joel Mark Witt is the Publisher of Folk Media. He is a producer, author, speaker and social media marketing coach who consults with businesses and nonprofits on how to use social media in marketing and communications. Get more from Joel on Twitter or Google Buzz.

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Social Media In Europe [What's your opinion?]

Posted on 20 September 2010 by Joel Mark Witt

I just returned from a wonderful week-long European trip to Amsterdam and Spain where I ran several workshops on social media and Internet marketing for the Computer Brokers Exchange conference. I loved it. I love Europe. I love the people – the culture – and the exciting business opportunities.

But to me Europeans seem very different in their view of social media. Many issues were raised concerning privacy and personal information being so public. Which baffles me on a continent that (at least according to US standards) is very open and progressive with regard to alcohol, smoking, sexual expression, nudity and other typically American social taboos.

Using a “personal” platform like Facebook for professional use is inconceivable for many of the Europeans I spoke with. Many in my audience simply could not imagine being so personal in business that you would interact on Facebook with other business people.

LinkedIn is a completely different story. No one seemed to have an issue with connecting there. In fact my workshop about LinkedIn was received enthusiastically.

I’m trying to isolate the issue. Are Europeans more sensitive with personal information, or are they six months to a year behind the US in embracing the social media work/personal life blend? Or are Americans too open and prone to over sharing?

Can’t say for sure. I’m guessing that it’s a little of all of these. What do you think?

While waiting for my plane at Schipol Airport, I bought a copy of Richard Branson’s book Business Stripped Bare. He spends a lot of time talking about personalizing business and really connecting with people as humans first, business partners second. It reminds me of another book, Trust Agents by my friend Chris Brogan.

Here’s what I do know.

The days of the corporate faceless interaction with customers is dead and gone. Yes – there are remnants of this old model of business – but good luck sustaining that.

Instead I would encourage you to focus on the human aspect of business. Technology allows us to be both professional AND personal. So why not do this in your business? What’s the downside?

What do you think? Are Europeans simply “catching up” or do you think we will see a consistent backlash and hesitancy to use “personal” social media tools like Twitter and Facebook for business?

And what do you think about humanizing and personalizing business using Facebook and other social media tools? Do you think that it’s okay to use personal tools and methods to really connect with those that you interact with professionally?

Leave a comment below and let me know.

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Joel Mark Witt is the Publisher of Folk Media. He is a producer, author, speaker and social media marketing coach who consults with businesses and nonprofits on how to use social media in marketing and communications. Get more from Joel on Twitter or Google Buzz.

*Photo by Samantha Decker

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Education Based Marketing: Teach. Don’t Sell.

Posted on 25 August 2010 by Joel Mark Witt

In traditional marketing a company would attach your ad to a piece of entertaining content. I Love Lucy episodes would break for commercials and you would be presented with an array of 30 and 60 second product pitches. Many call this interruption marketing and this practice continues today.

There are problems with interruption marketing

First, It’s expensive. Many small businesses can’t compete at this level. Purchasing TV, radio spots and billboards costs lots of money.

Second, with the internet there are more effective ways to communicate and sell your products and services.

Education marketing is the model for the 21st century

We see Oprah do it all the time. She brings a guest on her show who TEACHES you something about life, love or work. After they spend time with Oprah (going over the ways they overcame weight loss or discovered how to deal with the pain of divorce) Oprah holds up their book and sales start pouring in.

It’s as if the book was an afterthought.

Now imagine if Oprah and her guests acted like Billy Mays and spent an entire hour pitching products.

Would some sell? You bet.

But she won’t create instant New York Times bestsellers like she does now.

She is educating first – then selling.

How education based marketing works

Because the internet is the place people go to search for information, they are primed and eager to learn.

Your job is to create ENTERTAINING pieces of content (text, audio, video, photos) that teach something.

The selling happens after the learning.

The more niche and specific your content the better. I’m reminded of a something I wrote a long time about going Beyond The 30 Second Ad Mentality.

Take what you do and turn it into education.

If you own an insurance company, you could educate people on risk management in a fun and entertaining way. If you sell vacation homes, educate potential buyers on the culture and history of your region.

Get creative.

Today’s action steps

First, develop one piece of education or training that fits nicely into your product and service offerings. Put this on your website, blog or Facebook page.

Next, let me know in the comments what your plan is for creating online educational content. Also feel free to ask any questions.

Now go take action.

This article is part of the Internet Marketing Basics series where we cover the fundamentals of internet marketing and social media.

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Joel Mark Witt is the Publisher of Folk Media. He is a producer, author, speaker and social media marketing coach who consults with businesses and nonprofits on how to use social media in marketing and communications. Get more from Joel on Twitter or Google Buzz.

*Photo by World Bank Photo Collection

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Email Marketing Autoresponders: How To Write For Results

Posted on 23 August 2010 by Joel Mark Witt

Email marketing autoresponders are powerful. But only if you know how to effectively write them. In this article, I’ll show you how to write effective email marketing autoresponders. But first a story…

I know this guy who’s a personal trainer. Let’s assume that he’s invited into a prospect’s home five times over the next three weeks. What would be the best thing for him to do when he visits?

Instead of going into their house and trying to get them to sign up for his services, I’d recommend that he spends time showing them a few exercise techniques and healthy menus. After five visits, the prospect should be very excited to work with him since he’s invested so much into their health.

Email marketing autoresponders give you the same opportunity to INVEST in your prospects

Why autoresponders work

Once you have a prospect’s email address, follow up is the next logical and critical step.

Followup is critical.
It is critical that you follow up.
Follow up. Follow up. Follow up.

Have I mentioned follow up? :-)

Remember that on average, a prospect must see your marketing message at least seven times before making a purchase decision.

What autoresponders can do

The best way to followup is to automate the process. Email service providers, like Aweber, have tools in place that will send out emails to new subscribers at pre-determined intervals. These are often referred to as autoresponders.

You can create a series of marketing messages that you know will communicate your products and services effectively and then have them emailed automatically.

From a technical perspective, autoreponders are simple to set up and use. Most email service providers have this built directly into their software.

The most challenging work for you is to know what to WRITE in your emails.

How to write an effective auto responder email sequence

List the most common problems your prospect faces. Then write out a series of emails that will walk them through solutions to these problems. Focus on “how to” solutions.

For example, if you are a personal trainer, don’t just give your prospect encouragement to eat healthy, give them a weekly menu plan they can use to lose weight.

It depends on your audience and prospects, but a good “rule of thumb” is to have one automated email send every 3-5 days.

Today’s action steps

First, if you found this post helpful, share with your friends and associates.

Next, outline your first five autoresponders. Spend time thinking about five critical problems your prospects are facing and address them.

Then, write these in a personal and helpful way.

Now go take action.

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Joel Mark Witt is the Publisher of Folk Media. He is a producer, author, speaker and social media marketing coach who consults with businesses and nonprofits on how to use social media in marketing and communications. Get more from Joel on Twitter or Google Buzz.

*Photo by bijoubaby

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