Can I Give You A Sift? The Intelligence Brief – Issue 62

by | Sep 12, 2020

Hi there. It’s me, Forest.
Long time no writey, eh? [Insert details of pandemic effects, health challenges, and remote 7th-grade schooling happening in our house.]
I’ve deeply missed writing to you, and that’s not a joke. Finding great things to share with you and then writing to you about them is one of my favorite things to do.
In the past, I used to share 10 things in each newsletter that could help your online business engine run better, but while I do like the number 10, the Number 4 feels left out. So, today’s issue of The Intelligence Brief is brought to you by The Number 4.

 

Conversion Bait

“We tend to want to avoid pain more than we want to gain a benefit, so heading straight into benefits with your copy can hurt your conversion rate.” That sentence from Brian Clark, who recently started writing for Copyblogger again, caught my attention. It’s true, focusing on benefits too much and too fast can drop your conversion rates. But how do you not do that? Contrast storytelling. This is a powerful quick tip for your copywriting. But is it powerful enough to handle this math problem?: Right now I really want one of the doughnuts my wife made for the family, but I don’t want the pain that will come when I look down at the scale tomorrow morning. What is the conversion rate of the doughnuts?

 

Tiny Answer

When someone says “social media marketing,” I bet posting images and short bits of writing on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram come to mind first, and maybe, depending on your industry, LinkedIn. But there’s another large social network and another method of social media marketing that’s taylor made for subject matter experts like you: Quora. It’s grown substantially over the past 10 years and if you can dedicate yourself to regularly answering people’s questions about things you’re an expert in, you can build quite a large following, which can bring loads of new leads to your site.

To be honest, I’d forgotten about Quora until I listened to this podcast interview with Jason Lemikin, founder of several large software startup companies. He describes how he went from 2 views on Quora to 45 million views in 5 years. That’s a lot of eyeballs. Quora is now on the roadmap for my own social media marketing strategy, which is currently non-existent because I don’t like other social media platforms (except Twitter, but that’s just where I go to get angry and vent about our current political situation in America.)

 

Can I give you a sift?

I’m a big fan of content marketing, which is the process of creating and publishing free, helpful, useful, or entertaining content for your target audience. (Targets? Why are there so many shooting metaphors in marketing? Sigh. How about “chosen audience”?)

At its essence, content marketing comes down to helping people for free, over and over, until you have an audience of people who know, like, and trust you. Then, when it comes time to offer them something for sale, it’s far easier to make more sales.

But creating heaps of content every week for your audience is hard, and the interwebs are flooded with other people’s content. What’s an online entrepreneur to do? In a word, curate: the process of sifting and sorting to find the best content on the web and share it with your audience. Here’s Brian Clark (yes, the same one from above…it’s 2X Brian Clark Day!), one of the pioneers of content marketing, on why content curation by a trusted source is the future of marketing.

 

So Good They Steal It

This probably won’t surprise you, but there are people out there who have nothing better to do with their lives than to steal free or paid content from your site and set up a fake site representing a fake personality that uses your content to draw traffic to the site, and then sell your stolen paid content…without your permission. Or, maybe that sounds crazy to you? Either way, it happens. It happened to me a couple of months ago, when I found this blog post of mine had been stolen and posted on a few websites. (Maybe this should be a new goal for creating content? Make things so good that people steal it.) I used a great service called Takedown Czar and got two of these fake sites that had stolen my content taken down via legal action.

 

Alright. That’s all for today.

I hope your business is going well and that you’re finding your way through this mess of a world we’re in right now.

Steak puns are a rare medium to be well done,
~Forest

 

P.S. I lied a little. This issue of The Intelligence Brief isn’t really brought to you by The Number 4. It’s brought to you by my business, Clarity Lab, where I give away free help, like this post about my top pick for the best software to use for selling online courses, in exchange for brownies, which have a higher conversion rate than doughnuts in our house.

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