Shameless bragging

In one day, we see more marketing communications than our grandparents did in a lifetime. Because we’re all busy people, we edit out anything that is not of direct interest to us, and our clients do the same. That’s why we have to give them as many shortcuts as we can, to make it easy for them to decide to use us.

One shortcut is ‘external endorsements’, because what someone else says about you is more convincing than anything you say yourself.

1. Use the power of social proof

  • If you sell products, you need reviews
  • If you sell services, you need testimonials
  • If you sell ‘yourself’, you need recommendations e.g. on your LinkedIn profile

2. Use the power of perceived credibility

If you are a member of any trade or professional associations, use their logos on all your marketing. For example, we are more likely to choose a builder who is a member of the Federation of Master Builders than one who is not. People don’t often check whether the criteria for membership is stringent or not.

3. Use the power of prizes

If you’ve ever won any relevant awards, crow about them. Winning – or even being nominated – makes people think you must be good (they rarely dig deeper to find out how rigorous the conditions of entry may be).

4th on BizBookAwards

I took this screenshot when my book was ranked 4th (unfortunately I didn't think to take one when it was 3rd)

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SEO made simple (part 3): How to optimise a web page

I used to work with a particular team of web designers, and could never be bothered to look up their phone number, so I’d just search their business name on Google.

The two lines that appeared in the search results under their web link read something like: “This web-design company is run by three lesbians.”

I did wonder whether that’s why they designed so many construction websites, and what the clients thought of me when I turned up to meetings!

Anyway, one day, I dared to tackle the web designers about it. “Why do you consider it good marketing to have that information included in your meta-description?” I asked. (more…)