Tag Archives: Ideas

How to Tell a Compelling Brand Story by Clifford Chi

Last year, a buzzword ripped through the content marketing space that most marketers were surprisingly thrilled about and eager to implement. Shockingly, it didn’t start with “virtual” or end with “intelligence”. Instead, it was what attracted most marketers to the industry in the first place — “storytelling”.

Content marketing’s steady adoption of storytelling is an exciting new opportunity for content creators. The human brain is wired to respond to well-crafted narrative — neuroscience proves that storytelling is the best way to capture people’s attention, bake information into their memories, and forge close, personal bonds. Your audience is programmed to crave and seek out great stories — that’ll never change.

However, since we’ve spent the majority of our careers optimizing content for algorithms, it can be challenging to flex a creative muscle that’s slowly withered away from inactivity and, in turn, move people emotionally and sear your brand into their memories.

So, to help you strengthen that creative muscle and write compelling stories again, we’ve created a guide about the fundamentals of brand story structure and provided examples of three small-to-medium sized businesses who have leveraged their brand story to resonate with huge audiences, despite their comparatively small size.

What is a brand story?

When HubSpot first started, we noticed traditional, interruptive marketing didn’t appeal to consumers anymore. Due to the digital age, people were in complete control of the information they consumed — and they were sick and tired of receiving direct mail, email blasts, and cold calls. People wanted to be helped, so we started creating educational content that aided people in solving their marketing problems.

Today, we’ve built a passionate community of inbound marketers, expanded our inbound marketing approach to the sales and customer service industries, and strengthened the inbound movement more than ever before.

This our brand story — a simple, digestible narrative that explains why HubSpot began, and how this reason still serves as our purpose today.

How to Write a Brand Story

1. Highlight your story’s conflict.

Check out the following story. Does it resonate with you?

A girl wearing a red-hooded cloak is strolling through the woods to give her sick grandma some much-needed food and TLC. She passes by a wolf on the way. They exchange a slightly awkward soft smile-nod combination that random colleagues usually greet each other with as they pass in the hallway. She makes it to her grandma’s house without a scratch. They eat lunch and play a game of Clue together. Grandma wins by deducing that Colonel Mustard killed Mr. Boddy in the Billiard Room with the candlestick — what a shocker! The End.

So … what’d you think? Did this story keep you on the edge of your seat? Or does it feel … off? For some reason, it doesn’t work, right? That’s because there’s no conflict. Despite the intense game of Clue at the end, there’s nothing at stake. There’s no tension. The wolf didn’t try to eat the girl. He didn’t even go to Grandma’s house. He barely acknowledged Little Red Riding Hood.

At their core, stories are about overcoming adversity. So if there’s no conflict presented, there’s no drama or emotional journey that people can relate to. And if your story has no drama or emotional journey, it won’t hold anyone’s attention — let alone resonate with and inspire them.

Unfortunately, in the business world, brands are horrified to reveal any adversity or conflict they’ve faced. They believe that spinning a rosy, blemish-free story about how their company only experiences hockey stick growth will convince people that they’re the industry’s best-in-class solution. Any adversity or conflict during their company’s history will expose their imperfections, deterring potential customers from buying their product.

But, in reality, this is a huge misconception. Nothing’s perfect. Everything, including companies (especially companies), has flaws. Plus, people don’t relate to perfection. They relate to the emotional journey of experiencing adversity, struggling through it, and, ultimately, overcoming it. Because, in a nutshell, that’s the story of life.

Conflict is key to telling compelling stories. So be transparent about the adversity your company has faced, and own it. The more honest you are about your shortcomings, the more people will respect you and relate to your brand.

2. Don’t forget about your story’s status quo and resolution.

Read More Here

Summoning Your Muse with Ruth Harris



Writing and The Hidden Power Of The Subconscious:

Summoning Your Muse




3 Book Promotion Ideas (That Nobody Is Talking About)
Mar 9, 2018 | Marketing, My friends’ Guest Posts

Chris Naish | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children’s bookThis is a guest post by Chris Naish of NoHatDigital. Chris is a social media/SEO wizard and self-published author who likes learning new things and tinkering with stuff on interwebs. He also blogs now and again at his site ThinkClickRich.com and writes books with proper England grammar when the mood takes him.

3 Book Promotion Ideas (That Nobody Is Talking About)
I know you probably know all the basic stuff, so I want to provide you with book promotion ideas that you likely have not heard before. Here we go:

Thunderclap is a service that allows you to get all of your supporters behind you on launch day. They sign up and grant Thunderclap access to post a message about your book launch the day it goes live. All of these tweets and Facebook likes to go out the same time so that you are literally everywhere on your launch day.

If you want to make sure you get even more eyes on your legion of tweets, be sure to visit Hashtagify.me and include a couple of popular ‘hashtags’ in the message that is going out.

In the image below you’ll see that with this particular thunderclap we got almost 2000 clicks to a free book. While there is no way of knowing how many of those actually downloaded the book, you can bet it was a fair few!

Finally, this is free. but only if you reach 100 supporters. This is hard work, no doubt about it, but worth your time. If you can hire somebody to do outreach to people in your industry/niche on your behalf it will, of course, make this a lot less painless.

Kindle Categories
Internet Business Insights by Chris Naish | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children’s book
Chris’ book. Click to view on Amazon

Nicholas has written in the past about the importance of Amazon categories. As everyone says, make sure you select the best, most relevant categories for your book.

Well, forget that!

Select EVERY relevant category for your book!

It’s a little-known secret that you can actually add your Kindle book to up to ten categories. Identify them in advance of your launch day and, as soon as the book is live, message KDP from the dashboard (the contact link is in tiny text at the bottom) and tell them to place you into the other eight categories you have identified. Use the exact category path in your request, like so:

Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Business & Money > Management & Leadership > Total Quality Management

Be sure to go to the deepest level possible as this will result in more eyes on your book, and a greater chance to rank highly in these deeper categories. This article will help with deep category selection.

This is one is in beta, and something I wish I had thought of prior to publishing my last book. As far as I can see, nobody is really talking about this… at least not in public!

Now, I’m not talking about the seven keywords you get to enter in the back end of KDP here. I’m talking about getting Google to start selling your book for you. This involves doing some in-depth keyword research so be prepared to do some schoolin’ on the subject.

This may not work so well for fiction books, so the non-fiction crowd here will probably appreciate it more. The idea is to include a keyword in your title that is highly searched in both Google and the Kindle store. As an example, do this:

Go to Google.com and type in “adult coloring books”
Go to searchvolume.io and type in the same phrase
At position one (at time of writing) on Google, you will find this book.

At searchvolume.io you will see that there are somewhere in the range of 246,000 searches for this keyword per month.

Now check the best sellers ranking for that book on Amazon. Not bad huh?

Book Promotion Ideas | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children’s book

Of course, it’s not guaranteed that you will rank first in Google just because you bang a keyword in the title. Some linking from other sites with relevant anchor text will help that book to rank for that keyword. Hmm… let me think of a good example…

OK, let’s say you write a book about online business and you think it is one of the best digital marketing books out there. You might create a link like the last one, in an effort to let Google know that is a vote for that search term.

The great thing about this is that Amazon is such a powerful and trusted website, that ranking your book for a highly relevant keyword should be much easier than on any ‘normal’ site.

Thanks for taking the time to read this, and I hope you found the book promotion ideas interesting. If you have any questions then holler below and I’ll see if I can’t help you out!

Technology and those who DON’T use it!

I love technology. I had always wanted to be a computer tech, however my parents thought computers were a FAD so I wasn’t allowed to take computing at school in the 1980s.  This was also prior to public internet. I loved every class and I was good.  Never mind I eventually got my way over 25 yrs later when my husband went to college.  Computer access was important.

Since that time I have developed some excellent skills and though I still have people help me out on odd occasions, I find I am now helping others and get called a tech expert – which I’m not. I just happen to know my way around various things and can teach others a few tricks I have learnt along the way.

Then you get those who aren’t interested in computers, those who can’t or won’t learn and those who would love to learn and should really take a course to get them on the right track. 

I have a client who took a computer course – WOW she is so much more confident in what she does on her computer now. It is wonderful to see her take control and understand what I am talking about, without either of us getting frustrated.  Mean while my parents still refuse to have a computer in their home, they dont’ even have cell phones.  A lot of their friends do, so they actually see more about my family than my parents do. Sadly I doubt they will change. We do manage to get them on Skype on odd occasions at my sister’s house.

My sister is one of those who keeps getting computer issues and viruses. She also asks how to do certain things and makes me want to pull my hair out at times. Thank god my brother is easier to deal with. Mind I don’t see either of them very often to talk with online.

One of the technologies I have learnt along the way is building and setting up WordPress Websites. I love it.  It is fun and I dont’ mind sharing my knowledge even though it is only basic – well to me.  Another I have learnt a little about is JAWS – Screen Reader, which is for blind and partial sighted people. I looked into the technology due to having a couple of blind clients and friends. It was an interesting learning curve to be sure.  The other type of technology I learnt was helping  a client run a bed and breakfast – I had to learn how to use the booking websites where consumers book rooms. Each and everyone is different to use, different specs, different ways to enter data and places to upload photos. It is totally amazing how complicated it can get.  Solving problems though is another area I can excel at – sometimes I have to wait for the lightbulb to click, other times it is working through several ideas until the right one turns up.

Over the last few years I’ve had several lightbulb scenarios. Daft ones having me saying DUH me and research ones which you win and grin with delight at your success.  Then comes the question. Do I share with others or hold on to my info?  Generally I share, I just can’t seem to help myself.

My next learning curve – is to work out how to use Flipboard website correctly so I can share my site with everyone.  After this I really need to concentrate on those who don’t use technology and give them a gentle push in the right direction, by which I mean a computer course to a level suitable to them. Then I may go see my parents and try to set up a tablet for them to use.  I will need lots of luck with this last idea.  I already know my dad loves Skype from my last trip to see them.

Good luck with your technology and give me a shout, you never know I might be able to help. There again I might not.

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