My friend came up with a brilliant idea a couple of years ago. It all started because so many of her single friends were running into the same issues when it came to online dating – they kept telling her, “It’s just so difficult to find the right person, you don’t know who to trust anymore.” When the profile says 6 ft tall, is he really? How current are the selfies displayed on the app? Was it taken within the last 10 years? In fact, here are the top 10 common lies people use online dating apps.
- Height (see, I told you)
- Body type (men will frequently describe themselves as “athletic”)
- Income (usually 20-40% over)
- Job type/title
- Outdated photos (again, I told you)
- Hobbies and interests (‘walks on the beach’ is most popular)
- Looking for a relationship (this actually surprised me)
- Relationship status (this surprised me even more)
So, what was her brilliant idea? It’s a program where one friend nominates another friend and submits an application on their behalf. Then, the program chooses five potential matches (10 people total) within a certain radius and hosts a fun party to see what happens. I am leaving out a lot of details but that’s the gist of it. The key behind the program’s brilliance is simple: it builds trust because someone else is vouching for you. This is why referral marketing works, this is why Yelp reviews are important, this is why reputation matters. What others say about you builds trust.
Imagine you are Google, and you are ranking businesses to send traffic to. Your goal is to send traffic to the most deserving and the most talked about business…how will you know? Easy. It’s called link building.
Link building is an SEO term for the process of getting other websites to link to a page on your own website in order to earn a higher spot on the search engine results pages (aka SERPs). The more links you’ve built (meaning other sites share links to you) and the measured authority of the links you built (meaning those who link to you are credible) will determine one thing…trust. You are a trusted company according to a lot of people and that will help your SEO tremendously, which will increase your traffic to your website significantly.
Google’s goal is to find the most trustworthy links from trustworthy sites. For example, if you are a golf academy that has produced a lot of PGA champions and all these top athletes keep referring to your academy on their own websites…wow…Google is going to love you and send you a ton of traffic from those looking to find the right academy for their own training.
Finally, let’s talk about how we can start building a link. There are hundreds of ways to do this, but I would start with these 3 options:
- Continuously create content: I mentioned this in our last post – content is the key to successful SEO. Focus on your industry and on your client’s needs. With quality content, you will gain authority in time. Make sure that your content is relevant, useful and well-structured. This ensures that others who will find your content useful will want to link to it again and again. That’s how you get great backlinks; you earn them!
- Build relationships: For good link building, you need to build good relationships. There are plenty of opportunities to build new contacts. You should start with niche-related communities: forums, blogs or social groups. Make the first step and start contributing with interesting and relevant comments and posts, providing contextual value to each discussion. By actively participating in these online communities focused on your niche, you will not only gain some good backlinks, but you will always have access to the newest industry news and be able to connect to people who share your passions.
- List your site in trustworthy directories: There are many online directories that provide real value to the users. The ideal directory will not only give you the chance to post a link to your website, but also provide useful information for your potential customers. There are even tools and apps that help you get on these lists…even niche directories.
So, there you go. A little bit about backlinks and the important role it plays with SEO. Again, don’t forget, it’s all about building trust. Continue to be relevant out there by keeping your website dynamic… and don’t forget to help other credible sites by offering links to their content on your website. Because at the end of the day, we’re all just single businesses trying to sift through the lies and hoping to find a match.
I talk to so many clients and business owners about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and realize that there is a lot of misunderstanding about it. I thought it would be fun to spend some time going over the basics and learn together what we can do to ultimately help increase traffic to your website.
But first, what the heck is SEO and why should I even care? In order to answer this question, you have to understand Google’s mission…this is straight from Google’s own words:
“People around the world turn to Search to find information, learn about topics of interest, and make important decisions. We know people rely on us so our commitment will never waver. As technology evolves, we will continue to help everyone find the information they’re looking for. We believe Search should: Deliver the most relevant and reliable information available.”
Let’s start there. Basically, Google wants to be the #1 guide when you’re looking for answers online. How? By giving you the most relevant information that you’ll find helpful to you. Why? Because if Google keeps giving you the best answers to your questions, you’ll start to trust them, and eventually, Google will become a huge part of your life.
In order for Google to keep their promise, they have to have their own set of rules (algorithms) to help them filter and determine what information is most RELEVANT out there and rank it accordingly. The higher the ranking, the more visible the answer will be for the people searching…meaning, it shows up in the order of relevance starting from page 1 of the search results.
So, why is that important to us as business owners? Because we want Google to look at the information on our website and be impressed by what we provide, so when they’ll show it to others as part of their promise to provide the most relevant and reliable information. And if Google wins, you win.
Here’s the ultimate question: How do I impress Google? How do I create, format, design, add content, structure and work on the website so that Google will determine my website to be credible and useful? Simple – know the rules (algorithms) Google has determined to increase your rankings, then do it authentically and do it well. But here’s the challenge: there are a lot of rules, and the rules change. Not only that, there are rules that are transparent and obvious and there are also rules that they do not share…not even within their own company. (They don’t want the secret getting out so no one can unfairly manipulate the numbers).
Here’s a reference that I hope you find helpful. This company began conducting a continuous study of Google’s algorithm 12 years ago, and for the last several years has published its results publicly. As the largest SEO firm in the US, it has a sizable data set on which to base its understanding of the factors that comprise Google’s search algorithm.
Below is the 2021 update, along with a description of each factor and a summary of changes from the past year. Also, here’s the link directly to their page if you’d like to read more about it.
I hope this gives you an overall picture of how SEO works. Unfortunately, it can get very complex and it’s always evolving. But I believe it’s important enough for us to pay attention to it and continuously implement the right factors into your website. I’ll be sharing more in the coming weeks about how you can raise your SEO game. Because what’s more important than receiving love from your mom? Receiving love from Google. 🙂
SEO ya later!
Think about the last time that your heart was so heavily burdened and your mind was going 100 miles per hour, you just couldn’t sleep. What were you thinking about?
If you know me, I am a great sleeper. I take 30 minutes picking out the right movie to watch, get all cozy, and after a couple of minutes of the opening scene…I am out! Most nights, I fall asleep before my head hits the pillow. Except for when I have something heavy on my mind.
Last week, we found out our dog Sugar (sweet Maltese of 15 years) became terminally ill. She stopped eating and her kidney was failing. They say 15 years is a good long life for most dogs, but I just couldn’t sleep thinking about missing her and also trying to figure out what next steps to take.
As a business, we always have to ask ourselves, “What problem are you solving?” But when we ask our customers the same question, they often fumble around not knowing exactly what their needs are…until, we ask them this: “What keeps you up at night? What is it about your current situation that causes such a heavy burden that you are not able to peacefully sleep?”
During our painful research of “what next steps to take” with our beloved Sugar, we ran across a lot of websites that offered the same solution for our heaviness, but they did it in totally different ways. I would like to share with you why we chose who we chose and how they met our expectations and delivered exactly what we hoped for. A peaceful transition for Sugar into her next adventure.
Why we chose this company:
1. Welcome Section: Right away, they acknowledged what we are going through and offered comfort. But what I really loved about what they said was that the focus wasn’t on the pet owners (us), it was on the pet…what they were going through and what we all could do to help. In this story, they made the pet the hero, not the pet owners. This captured my attention right away.
2. Information Section: They started educating us. They showed us why the services they offered were right for us. It answered the most pressing questions we have and it included a link to more in-depth discussions, research, and videos helping us understand and create a clear picture of the process and expectations.
3. Testimonial Section: They offered insight to the people who have used their service. Their testimonials were not templated or generic; they were real, heart-felt testimonials in letter form explaining in detail how much they appreciated the service and why.
4. About Us Section: Even though they were all well-qualified doctors, they focused very little on their own accomplishments but more on their own story of childhood and how they became animal lovers, and why they currently love what they do and how it affects people’s lives.
Why we didn’t choose the other companies offering the same services:
1. Welcome Section: They didn’t take the time to acknowledge the visitors’ heaviness that brought us to their site in the first place. They mainly focused on all the different services they offer right away. Felt very salesy and untrustworthy.
2. Information Section: It was vague and didn’t offer additional resources or videos to educate or address the difficult questions or even controversial issues or philosophies about their services.
3. Testimonial Section: Mostly short, non-descriptive and templated testimonials. They didn’t offer any personal stories or even detailed examples of what was helpful.
4. About Us Section: Heavy emphasis was on the credentials of the doctors. Their education and previous experiences. Felt cold…like reading a resume.
This is why copywriting matters. It’s the latest word in our definitions series, and it really does have the power to shape people’s first impression of you. Although I’ve never met or spoken to anyone from the first company, just from reading the copy on their website, I knew in my heart, it was the right company. And it was.
We all know how hard it is to find solutions to meet our most important needs. Here’s to being that company that answers people’s questions with the empathy they are looking for so that on sleepless nights when people go searching, they find you.
I am always reading the latest research about marketing, and during my content consumption phase, I hear this a lot, and I know you do too:
“In order to successfully engage and win the trust of your current and future customers, you have to continue to give VALUE. And the more value you give, the more trust you’ll earn.”
Okay, awesome!! But…what does it really mean? How do I know what’s valuable to my audience?
In his newest book Superfans, Pat Flynn paints a great picture of what VALUE is and how to provide it for your clients. He describes a conference where a speaker asked the audience if they saw a penny on the street, would they pick it up? Most people will keep walking…not worth their time. Then he asked, what about a quarter? About 50% of people raised their hands to say yes, they would stop. Finally, he asked, how many of you would pick up a dollar bill? At that point, most of the crowd raised their hands. In this example, all three levels of currency offered value, but the value of a dollar bill passed the threshold from “not worth my time” to “ok, I’ll stop.”
So, the next question is: how do I offer something that my audience will see as worth their time? How do we create the dollar bill level content that someone will stop for?
Here are 3 ideas to help you become a more valuable and trustworthy authority in your field.
1. Know your audience. I know, I know, you’ve heard this before….but really, KNOW WHO THEY ARE. What do they love? What do they hate? What are they good at? What are they bad at? Know their problems, know their frustrations, know their pain. And you know what you get to do? Help them out of their problems, help them out of their frustrations and help them out of their pain. How? Offer unique insights, tips, data, solutions and even inspiration.
I’ve been playing golf for a long time. I played competitively as a Junior and still keep a pretty low handicap (meaning, I am a pretty decent player…lol). However, I play with a lot of weekend golfers who are always frustrated at the game because they don’t improve. Why don’t they improve? Because they are weekend golfers – they never practice, but they all think they just need a magic cure. Knowing this inside information, I decided to start a podcast specifically for these weekend golfers and offer insights, tips, data, and solutions on improving their game by….inspiring them to practice. If you ever want to check it out, the podcast is called Better Golf Academy. I still get random fan emails saying how much I have helped their game.
2. Know your expertise. What does that mean? It means that whatever industry you are in, you are an expert whether you like it or not. You have unique insight that no one else has. You might not know it because it’s just part of your everyday life and you’ve been doing it forever so you take it for granted…but what you know and what you do is unique to a lot of people and they are dying to know what you know. Dive deep into the knowledge that seems so obvious to you, then share your journey and your findings.
Ever since I started camping, I’ve been researching a lot of camping gear. One of the essential needs when you are off the grid for 3-4 days is a reliable refrigerator, and in order to keep your refrigerator running 24/7, you need a good source of power. Well, how about a power unit that runs off of solar? Not knowing anything about this, I started my research and ran across a guy named Will Prowse. He’s a guru in his niche of off-grid solar power and I’ve learned so much from him. I trusted his expertise and ended up purchasing his recommended power unit. It’s exactly what we needed and for me and his other 472k followers, we find him and his content more than valuable.
3. Know your platform. In the golf example above, I chose a podcast as the way to get my information out to an audience. Why a podcast? It’s something I enjoy doing. Also, it’s less time consuming than a YouTube channel – video editing can be very tedious and tiring and I didn’t have a lot of energy for it. Editing audio for a podcast is more simple and something I feel like I could do consistently for a long time. Some of us think now that we have something to share, we need to use all platforms and channels to broadcast our content, but this can be overwhelming. Find one channel that fits who you are and that also provides an opportunity to reach the like-minded people that consume content on the same channel. Give it all you got and watch your audience grow.
I hope this helps get your creative juices flowing for how to strategize, create and broadcast your content. Don’t underestimate what you know – you really do have dollars in you that will stop customers in their tracks.
There’s a reason we’ve spent the past month focusing on words. It’s because WE CARE ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS.
Here’s the executive summary: The right words will generate interest; the wrong ones will be ignored.
BOS Media can provide you with WELL-WRITTEN COPY to help convince new customers that what you offer is a valuable solution they can’t live without.
As we said last week: Better copy means more sales, increased traffic to your website, and more time for you to focus on what you do best.
One other way that words matter at BOS Media: in CONVERSATION. Everything we do starts with listening. The more we know the uniqueness of your story, the more we can translate that into words and emotion that will be compelling to your target audience, which in turn means more business for you.
Give us a call. We would love to come alongside you, customize a plan to fit your needs, and then craft the right words to let your story shine.
BUTTON: YES! I am ready to IMPLEMENT!
You are one click away from taking your business to the next level – let’s get to work!
Hello and Welcome to 2021!
Over the past month, we’ve been talking about the importance of COPYWRITING.
But some of you may be thinking, “Hanju, I’m not an author. I don’t need to copyright anything.”
First of all, don’t sell yourself short – if you ever wrote a book, I would LOVE to read it. But we’re talking about copyWRITING, not copyrighting. And it really can make a massive difference for your business.
Copywriting is the text that drives every aspect of your marketing. It can positively affect people’s perception of you, and give them a reason to purchase what you’re offering.
The fact is, you’re actually experiencing the magic of copywriting RIGHT NOW. Every word you’re reading was crafted by a BOS Media copywriter. And just to show you what a huge impact it has, here’s what this email would sound like without the assistance of a copywriter:
Me do websites.
BOS Media good.
See what I mean? You don’t want your company’s message to the world to sound like it was written by a caveman.
Better copy means more sales, increased traffic to your website, and more time for you to focus on what you do best.
Words Matter. Maybe the new year is a perfect time to re-examine what ideas you are projecting to future customers. If there’s anything BOS Media can do to help you better tell your story, please reach out. We’d love to help.
Copywriting is serious business – especially around the holidays.
“Let’s eat, Grandma!” vs. “Let’s eat Grandma!”
That comma may not seem like a big deal, but just ask grandma how she feels about it.
For her, it’s the difference between a lovely family meal and BEING the family meal.*
All joking aside, the question is: are you putting the highest level of care into your copywriting?
On behalf of grandmas everywhere, BOS Media is here if you ever want to take your copywriting to the next level. If your grammar is endangering your gramma, please give us a call – we’d love to have you for lunch to discuss it further!
(I mean – we’d love to HAVE a lunch meeting together, not have YOU for lunch.)
*Editors note: under no circumstances should BOS Media be held liable for any indirect or incidental damage that commas or lack thereof may cause to grandma or other family members. No cannibals were involved or harmed in the making of this email.
How I got to know a stranger very quickly…
He seemed pretty cool. Young, hip, athletic-looking dude…probably in his 30’s. His golf swing looked ok, not great, but nevertheless, he was put into our group of 3 to make the complete foursome. This means that he came to the golf course alone…on a Thursday afternoon. Instead of getting prepared for the best round of my life and figuring out my game strategy to destroy my friends on a bet of $1 per hole, I was somewhat curious about our new fourth person. Let’s call him Nick…because, that was his name. After a quick introduction and a handshake, we were off to the first tee.
After struggling through a couple of holes, we had plenty of opportunities to chat. If you play golf, you know there is a lot of downtime for conversation. So, besides the standard surface level talk (weather, current events, blood type), I went straight for the kill. “So Nick, what’s your story?” Warning: this is not always the best conversation starter. You’ll need some warm-up time and gauge the level of openness for deeper conversation. And honestly, he was ready, and I was genuinely interested.
Well, you guessed it, he shared about his work, his marriage, and his kid, and how he loves being a dad and how he’s teaching his 4-year-old how to play golf. He talked about the college he went to and the engineering degree he received, his current job and he told funny stories about the industry he’s in and all the inside jokes about it. We became buds.
Why do I need to change my traditional “about me” page on my website?
Because you are not telling a story. You list accomplishments and the history of where you have been, what you have done and who you have worked with. Sometimes, you list your hobbies…something like “I enjoy playing music on my ukulele on weekends and I love to read romance novels”…boooooring.
Why tell a story?
Thanks for asking. Humans love stories. We emotionally connect, we easily remember and we pay attention to stories. We are just built that way. Don’t take my word for it, there is actually scientific research done on this that shows the importance of not just having an “about me” page with a story but creating an entire brand on storytelling. Check it out here to see some awesome examples.
So, how do I write an engaging story about me?
Story writing is an art. There are many different forms and strategies in writing but the structure is very similar. It goes something like this:
- There’s a conflict or a situation (The Setup)
- There’s a confrontation (The New Situation)
- There’s a journey (The Progress)
- There’s a resolution (The Showdown)
- There’s a transformation (The Change)
Example of a typical, non-story and boring “About Me” page.
CEO of Cookie Crumb Inc.
Cookie Monster spent the last 52 years in television starting from general foods commercial and eventually landing a role in Sesame Street where he served as a passionate, cookie eating monster. As a CEO of Cookie Crumb Inc., manufacturing the most “nutritious” yet “delicious” cookies in the world, he is committed to utilizing only the most advanced techniques which ensure personalized care and flavors for every cookie eating client that wants to stay healthy and eat cookies. His devotion to every detail has resulted in thousands of pounds lost all over the world.
Education: None whatsoever
Hobbies: You guessed it, eating cookies
Example of a story-style “About Me” page.
CEO of Cookie Crumb Inc.
I had no idea that my love and passion for cookies would eventually lead to a disturbance in the American culture for my contribution to a childhood obesity epidemic. After realizing my negative influence and impact, I knew I had to make a change. This deep revelation lead me to my new found purpose in making a difference in the world through healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle.
After years of research and exploration with the determination to discover the solution, I’ve founded the Cookie Crumb Inc. Cookie Crumb Inc. only offers cookies that are “nutritious” yet “delicious” by using the most advanced techniques in manufacturing and natural ingredients that will help you lose the pounds you need.
This new product has been transforming lives all around the globe resulting in thousands of pounds lost.
Education: None whatsoever
Hobbies: You guessed it, eating cookies
Breaking it down:
Do you agree that second “About Me” is easier to follow, easier to remember, more engaging and says more about the Cookie Monster’s character? What does all that equal? Trust. Trust is the main factor on why a customer will choose a service or a product.
Following the simple story structure above, I rewrote the Cookie Monster’s bio.
- The conflict or a situation (The Setup): I had no idea that my love and passion for cookies would eventually lead to a disturbance in the American culture for my contribution to a childhood obesity epidemic.
- The confrontation (The New Situation): After realizing my negative influence and impact, I knew I had to make a change. This deep revelation lead me to my new found purpose in making a difference in the world through healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle.
- The journey (The Progress): After years of research and exploration with the determination to discover the solution, I’ve founded the Cookie Crumb Inc.
- The resolution (The Showdown): Cookie Crumb Inc. only offers cookies that are “nutritious” yet “delicious” by using the most advanced techniques in manufacturing and natural ingredients that will help you lose the pounds you need.
- The transformation (The Change): This new product has been transforming lives all around the globe resulting in thousands of pounds lost all over the world.
Again, there are many strategies and structures in writing a story, but I truly believe if you rewrite yours to reflect your own story and genuinely share what you do and why you do it, you’ll be surprised by the impact that will make in your company and brand.
So, what’s your story?
Some of the most powerful hours of television are aired during the olympics. Not only do they cover the footage of the neck-to-neck competitions and the victory celebrations, but mostly, they focus on the back stories of the featured athletes and what they’ve overcome to be the best in the world. Their stories have power. They inspire, motivate and even challenge us. These background stories also help us emotionally connect, and I often find myself rooting for someone because I feel like I know them.
Marketing is about connecting with your audience. And in order to connect with your audience, stories must be told. Here’s an example of an iphone commercial that uses this story-telling strategy to engage with the audience emotionally. Rather than highlighting the features and functions of the iphone, they simply tell a holiday story from a misunderstood teen expressing his love for the family through technology that the iphone offers. Brilliant!
Google uses the same strategy and emphasizes the importance of family rather than the product itself by showing how a father connects all of google’s technology and tools for his child.
So, what does that mean for us? We don’t have an advertising budget like Apple or Google to create engaging and beautiful videos which emotionally connect the audience to a brand. But what we do have are the stories to cultivate client loyalty and to continue to attract new clients into our business. Craft your stories and share them on your company blog, post them on social media, email blast them through your newsletter or tell them during your seminars, other marketing functions, and/or sales meetings. Also, keep in mind the following 3 types of stories that you can share to effectively gain trust and loyalty.
Your customers’ stories: Just like your own story, your client also has a story. Ask permission to share the story of how your product or service helped them overcome their challenges. These stories will attract other companies facing similar challenges, and they will more likely work with you.
Educational stories: Use stories to educate and explain concepts and strategies to your clients. Use your own personal examples or analogies. It’s what people will remember and resinate with.
Your own personal story: Tell your own personal story. Share how your company was birthed and what brought you into the industry. Share your failures and your pivotal moments of success. Be authentic and even vulnerable to really get the people to know you. They will learn to trust you as you share your experiences, failures, and life lessons along the way.