Launch with Words with Bridget Willard: Why Empathy in Marketing Is Important

Why you need to use empathy in your marketing

Recently, I was on Bridget Willard’s podcast, Launch with Words. If you haven’t checked it out, you definitely should because Bridget is awesome! And my friends know that I don’t use the awesome word lightly. Honestly, Bridget is one of the hardest working marketers around and you should get to know her. Here’s the full podcast: Empathy is More Important Than Ever with Carol Stephen. And I want to go into a little more detail about why your marketing should encompass empathy.

Marketing and social media have changed

I’ve talked about this before: gone are the days when you can post a picture of an old lemon and have a hundred people like it. Now your competition is tougher, even if you jump to the newest social media platform. You’re going to have thousands of people posting about lemons, lemonade, recipes for lemon cake, and so on. You have to differentiate yourself, and in many cases, you need to pay. Even a small budget will help get more eyes on your posts.

Engagement counts

If you just post and go or constantly broadcast without any interaction, people will lose interest. That is, unless you’re a big fancy news outlet with millions of subscribers. But for a small or medium-sized business, you need to interact. In order to interact, your business needs to have a unique voice. So it’s a good idea to decide ahead of time what you’ll say, what you won’t say, and what kind of personality or voice you’ll have on social media. For more about engagement, you might like this: You Don’t Need Fairy Dust to Improve Your Social Media Engagement.

More empathy, less snark

Right now, people are hurting. Many are hurting a lot. Think about all we’ve been through recently. Climate change, the Pandemic, and now World War Three (at least many are calling it that). We’ve lost friends and family and haven’t been able to travel. Some of us couldn’t even visit our sick relatives in the hospital. Kids, in particular, are having a tough time with being on Zoom calls and not being able to see their friends. It’s a lot to handle right now. So erring on the side of empathy in your marketing is an especially good idea. Which reminds me of a recent article I read about the Culture of Caring and retaining talent. “Creating a culture of caring really starts also with the leadership team,” said Laura Brusca, senior vice president of corporate communications for Forbes. Leaders must show that they care, not just saying the words. That can be as simple as checking in with employees and making sure they’re taking vacation days.”

We’re tired

All of us are more than a little tired. But as marketers, we still need to be able to see things through our customers’ eyes. They’re tired, too, and engaging with them on an emotional level is a good idea. Sometimes just listening is a good idea. A lot of people could use a high five, a hug, or a big pile of cookies.



#DigiBlogChat April 5, 2022: Finding Your Target Audience

Image by <a href="">Okan Caliskan</a> from <a href="">Pixabay</a>

#DigiBlogChat April 5, 2022: Finding Your Target Audience| Image by Okan Caliskan from Pixabay

The topic for April 5, 2022 is finding your target audience! Join us on Twitter each Tuesday at 1:00 p.m. PDT for #DigiBlogChat. My partner for these chats is @LazBlazter. If you need to know how to participate, click here: How to Join #DigiBlogChat.

Here are the questions for our chat:

Q1. Where would you start if you needed to find your target audience? 

Q2. Could you conduct a survey to find your target audience? How so? 

Q3. How would you analyze your competition? 

Q4. How has your target audience changed? 

Q5. Why would you use Google Analytics to help define your audience? 

Q6. How could @Tweepsmap help you with finding your audience on Twitter? 

Q7. Have you ever created an audience persona and how did that go? 

Q8. Who is your ideal client and are you targeting that person? 

Q9. What problems does your ideal client have and how do you help solve those problems? 

Q10. How does your target audience differ depending upon the social media site you’re on? 

#DigiBlogChat March 29, 2022 (Marketing/social media tips for niche markets)

Image by <a href="">Alexander Fox | PlaNet Fox</a> from <a href="">Pixabay</a>

#DigiBlogChat March 29, 2022 (Marketing/social media tips for niche markets) Image by Alexander Fox | PlaNet Fox from Pixabay

The topic for March 29, 2022 is Marketing/social media tips for niche markets with Loni of @JorgensonLocker! Join us on Twitter each Tuesday at 1:00 p.m. PDT for #DigiBlogChat. My partner for these chats is @LazBlazter. If you need to know how to participate, click here: How to Join #DigiBlogChat.

Here are the questions for our chat:

Q1. What is a niche market?

Q2. Why can it be a challenge to gain traction as a niche market?

Q3. How do you narrow down your target audience?

Q4. What are the best ways to reach your target audience?

Q5. How can you increase engagement and reach? 

Q6. How do you make your product or service stand out?

Q7. What are your marketing and social media tips when it comes to niche markets?

Q8. What do you think are the best social platforms to use when you’re working with a niche market?

Q9. Do you have any favorite examples of companies who excel with niche marketing?

Q10. Are there any benefits that come with being a niche market?


Social Media: When Technology Breaks down, it’s Back to Basics

When social media breaks down, it’s back to basics!

We’ve all had those days when something doesn’t work, technologically speaking. Zooms don’t zoom, WiFi breaks down, or Facebook won’t let you post what you want. And in those moments, you might have to get back to basics with how you market yourself or your business. So what would you do if forced to market without social media? Here are some ideas.

Call people on the (gulp!) telephone

Now that our phones do everything except bake bread, we don’t use them for their original purpose anymore. We store thousands of photos, use it for complex math problems, or play games on it. But calling people? Nah! Who does that any more? But listen: if you really want to get the word out about your event, business, or new website, why not call people? So few people do this any more, that it just might work! I wrote about this a couple of years back: Yes-why not call your friends on the telephone? It’s fun to scare people with a phone call, after all! And I’m guessing the first thing they’re going to say? “What’s wrong?”

Send a postcard or letter

Another old-school technique that could work if nothing else does! If you remember how to use a pen, and you still have some cards or paper around, you could actually write a letter. Or, if you want to be funny, you could sketch some emojis and send that instead! Seriously, though, sometimes a letter or postcard campaign could be the way to go if no one else is doing it.

Use door hangers or flyers

Do you remember these relics of days gone by? Hotels still use door hangers so you can tell the cleaning staff whether you want your sheets changed or not. But you could use door hangers, especially if you have a brick-and-mortar business that’s looking for locals. I’ve heard they work well for car repair shops, in particular. Flyers are another one that people might not have seen for a while. If you don’t understand what flyers or door hangers are, maybe call your local museum. Or your local boomer friend.

Word of mouth

Word-of-mouth marketing is probably the best kind there is. And although the word of mouth might be facilitated by social media, it’s often just one neighbor telling another about a service that they like. It’s how I’ve found my CPA, plumber, and handyman, come to think of it. Nobody wants to try a service that’s untested by their friends and neighbors. Nobody wants to be that first penguin off the iceberg!

Go to their house!

No, no, no! I’m just kidding about this one. If you do this, you’ll probably get arrested for being a stalker. But one thing’s for sure, when social media breaks down, you need to get back to basics and use your creativity! Whether that’s getting outside or calling people is up to you.

Email marketing

Believe it or not, email marketing continues to be very popular. People will follow and read newsletters from those they know, like, and trust. Here are 11 Ways to Promote Your Product Without Using Social Media (and they list email marketing as one way to promote your product).

#DigiBlogChat March 22, 2022 (Photo Storage Solutions)

Image by <a href="">rottonara</a> from <a href="">Pixabay</a>

#DigiBlogChat topic on March 22, 2022 is Photo Storage Solutions | Image by rottonara from Pixabay

The Topic for #DigiBlogChat on March 22, 2022 is Photo Storage Solutions

Join us on Twitter each Tuesday at 1:00 p.m. PDT for #DigiBlogChat. My partner for these chats is @LazBlazter. If you need to know how to participate, click here: How to Join #DigiBlogChat.

Here are the questions for our chat:

Q1. What have you found to be the best way to store your photos? 

Q2. How do you keep your photos organized? Do you tag them, create folders, etc.? 

Q3. Have you considered keeping your photos on Facebook? Why or why not? 

Q4. Pinterest allows you to keep many photos. Have you thought about a secret board (or ten) for backing up some of those photos? 

Q5. Is there an easy way to automate photo backups? Do tell! 

Q6. Can you name 3 apps that backup and store your photos and videos?

Q7. Do you store your stock images securely and away from custom images, and why if you do?

Q8. Do you resell images and if so, how? 

Q9. Ever thought of hosting images to resell? 

Q10. How do you go about protecting your images?

The Twitter Toolbox: New Digital Tools

Recently, on our Tuesday#DigiBlogChat Larry Mount (@LazBlazter) and I spoke to Samir Al-Battran of @connexinet and @Tweepsmap about the brand new Toolbox recently rolled out by Twitter! And we discovered that there’s a lot to know and learn about the Toolbox!

The Twitter Toolbox, defined

What is the Twitter Toolbox, you might ask? As Samir Al-Battran explained, Twitter Toolbox is a hub (in beta phase) where people on Twitter will be able to easily discover, learn more about, and quickly sign-up to third-party developer tools to enhance their Twitter experience. Developers created these tools to make Twitter better and safer. And Twitter launched The Toolbox on February 1, 2022.

How to access the toolbox

Twitter Toolbox has its own website where you can find and get started with tools

The toolbox includes three sections: 1. Expression Tools, 2. Safety Tools, and 3. Measurement Tools. Twitter has listed Tweepsmap, an AI-driven Twitter analytics and publishing platform, under Measurement Tools, although you can actually do much more than measure with Tweepsmap.


Image by <a href="">endri yana yana</a> from <a href="">Pixabay</a>

The Twitter Toolbox: New Digital Tools| Image by endri yana yana from Pixabay

Where would you want to start with the Toolbox?

Personally, I’ve already used Thread Reader, Buffer and of course Tweepsmap! But I’d love to sit down and try all of the tools in the toolbox. Personally, I’d pick one of the three sections and then choose a single tool to start. Otherwise, you might be overwhelmed.

Why did Twitter launch the Toolbox?

Samir: “To help people on Twitter easily discover, learn more about, and quickly sign-up to third-party developer tools that will enhance their Twitter experience, and to support developers on promoting their tools and growing their audience.” Shruti Deshpande (@shruti12d) explained that Twitter launched the Toolbox to make the most of the Twitter analytics and tools that help content creation in order to maximize your Twitter marketing. THIAM MÉKÀ de GOGUENHEIM (@ThiamMeka2Gogue) added that Twitter launched the Toolbox to provide support to @Twitter‘s users in elevating their #Twitter experience.

Will Twitter add more tools to the Toolbox?

Samir: “Twitter Toolbox is currently in beta. Developers who are interested in having their tool considered for Twitter Toolbox in future can join the waiting list.” So that sounds like a definite yes, although we won’t know for certain until Twitter announces that there are more tools. 

What publishing capabilities can the tools in the Toolbox provide?

Once again, from Samir: “Expression tools on Twitter offer smarter ways to compose, organize, and manage Tweets. Check out the product features for each tool on the Toolbox website. With Tweepsmap, you can schedule threads/polls/posts and measure engagement analytics in one platform! ” And @JonWesselink added “Scheduling threads and polls, anyone? ;)”, along with the image above. 

What Safety Tools are available in the Toolbox?

Toolbox currently includes three safety tools: Bodyguard, Block Party, and Moderate. You can get details on all the safety tools (and other tools, too) if you go to the Toolbox.

Alyx from @ColfaxInsurance adds “It looks like there are three on there right now, and they mainly focus on being able to clean out trolls from your Twitter feed: Moderate, Bodyguard, Block Party -Alyx”

What kind of measurements can be done using the tools in the Toolbox?

Samir: “You can discover new/faster ways to analyze your Tweets’ performance & trends to uncover insights with measurement tools.” Samir added that you can improve your growth when you measure your Tweets with Tweepsmap by understanding how people receive your tweets differently across demographics.


#DigiBlogChat March 15, 2022 (Email Marketing with Tess Wittler!)

Image by <a href="">Gerd Altmann</a> from <a href="">Pixabay</a>

#DigiBlogChat March 15, 2022 Email Marketing with Tess Wittler!| Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

The Topic for #DigiBlogChat on March 15, 2022 is the State of Email Marketing in 2022 with Tess Wittler of @TessWittler. Questions are by Tess Wittler. 

Join us on Twitter each Tuesday at 1:00 p.m. PST for #DigiBlogChat. My partner for these chats is @LazBlazter. If you need to know how to participate, click here: How to Join #DigiBlogChat.

Here are the questions for our chat:

Q1. Do you have an email newsletter now and if not, why not? 

Q2. In just a few words, tell us what your newsletter is about!  

Q3. Who is your email newsletter’s target audience? 

Q4. How do you use your newsletter (i.e., as an RSS feed, to keep in touch, etc.)? 

Q5. What’s your biggest challenge with email marketing/newsletters? 

Q6. How are you measuring email marketing effectiveness? 

Q7. How do you tie your newsletter into your overall business goals? 

Q8. Do you republish your newsletter to other platforms, like Medium or LinkedIn? Share results. 

Q9. What other newsletters do you read or subscribe to? 

Q10. What’s one thing you can do this week to improve your email marketing efforts?

Five Clues that You’re Overentertained

Recently I watched one of my favorite YouTubers, Kellie Branciforte of But First, Coffee. She talked about becoming a more tidy person, and mentioned that she might be overentertained. And that got me to thinking. Are we all overentertained? Have we reached the point where we can no longer be bored and do nothing? I’d say yes (at least for me). Here are a few ways to see if you truly are overentertained.

You always need to be multitasking

Yes, I know, you’re going to tell me you can’t really multitask. (I’m thinking of you, Randy Clark!) But you know what I’m saying. You can’t do just one thing at a time. That’s not enough mental stimulation for you. By the way, you might like Randy Clark’s article about multitasking: How Multitasking is Killing Your Creativity and what to do about it. Randy writes: “We aren’t wired to multitask. At best, we task switch jumping back and forth between tasks. How efficient is that?”

You need your phone while standing in line

Do you ever look around for your phone while waiting your turn at the grocery store? I do that sometimes, too. You might want to check your Twitter, or watch part of a video, or look at TikTok, am I right? Meanwhile, everyone in front of you has moved up and you’re standing there with a ten-foot gap while people give you the stink eye. At least, that’s been my experience!

No time for boredom!

Like sleep, you believe that you can be bored (or sleep!) when you’re dead. But in reality, being bored means that your brain has time to rest. And your brain seriously needs some downtime. Why, if you asked your brain right now, I’ll bet your brain would say it needs a vacation! Go ahead–ask it. I’ll wait! I’ve talked about boredom before. You might like this article: Can the Simple Pursuit of Total Boredom Make You Smarter? If you had to guess, you probably already know where I’m going with this line of thought, right?

Image by <a href="">Gerd Altmann</a> from <a href="">Pixabay</a>

Five Clues that You’re Overentertained | Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

You fall asleep with the tv going and music blasting

If you need lots and lots of background noise to fall asleep, that could be a clue that you’re overentertained. Spotify plus Netflix plus TikTok plus whatever else is going on so it’s just one solid wall of noise. Sound familiar? Or is it just me?

Social media sites send notifications many times a day

If your social media sites send you tons of notifications all day long and you don’t notice how many there are any more, that could be a clue that you’re overentertained. Or you have so much Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) that it all melts into one blobby mess of notifications. Does this sound like you? If not, how have you managed to escape being overentertained? Maybe you revel in silence and boredom (at least sometimes).


#DigiBlogChat March 8 2022 (Twitter Toolbox with Samir Al-Battran of Tweepsmap)

Image by <a href="">Arek Socha</a> from <a href="">Pixabay</a>

#DigiBlogChat 3/8/22 Twitter Toolbox w/Samir Al-Battran of Tweepsmap | Image: Arek Socha from Pixabay

The Topic for #DigiBlogChat on March 8, 2022 is the Twitter Toolbox with Samir Al-Battran of @Connexinit and  @Tweepsmap. Samir came up with the questions. 

Join us on Twitter each Tuesday at 1:00 p.m. PST for #DigiBlogChat. My partner for these chats is @LazBlazter. If you need to know how to participate, click here: How to Join #DigiBlogChat.

Here are the questions for our chat:

Q1. What is the Twitter Toolbox?Q2. How do you access the Twitter Toolbox?Q3. When was the Twitter Toolbox launched?Q4. Which of the tools in the Toolbox have you used already?Q5. What categories of tools are in the Toolbox?Q6. Why did Twitter launch the Toolbox?Q7. Will more tools be added to the Toolbox?Q8. What publishing capabilities can the tools in the Toolbox provide?Q9. What safety tools are available in the toolbox?Q10. What kind of measurements can be done using the tools in the Toolbox?Q11. How can you use the Toolbox to enhance your Twitter experience?


Best Ways to Better Brainstorming

Best Ways to Better Brainstorming

Best Ways to Better Brainstorming

We all need to brainstorm from time to time, but what are the best ways to get better at brainstorming? Are there methods that work better than others? Whenever you get stuck trying to come up with ideas, brainstorming is the way to go. I think some ways are better than others; here are some of my favorites.

Mind mapping

This is probably my favorite, since you get to write with colored pens and it’s more like playing than anything else. You can do this method online with an app, but I prefer the old-school way of using a big sheet of paper and pencils. I’ve written about Mind Mapping before in How to Come up With a Year’s Worth of Blog Content. And, since we just finished a #DigiBlogChat about Bullet Journaling (with Krystal Blais), the colored pencil idea is twice as attractive. I now have a bunch of Pilot sparkle pens in twelve different colors, for all you bullet journaling nerds (like me!). Also, if you’re an introvert, Mind Mapping is probably one of the easiest methods to do alone.

Collaborative brainstorming

Your friends or colleagues will come up with entirely different ideas than you do. So why not include them in your brainstorming? For instance, when I was first starting my business, I had my friends brainstorm with me. We all had coffee and snacks (on me, of course) at a little cafe. One person wrote down ideas, and another one checked for available website names. It was fun, and there were more ideas than I would ever have come up with myself.

Image by <a href="">athree23</a> from <a href="">Pixabay</a>

Best Ways to Better Brainstorming | Image by athree23 from Pixabay

The S.C.A.M.P.E.R. technique

Here’s a fun one where you poke at your idea from different angles. It’s the third one in this list from The Guide to Mastering Online Brainstorming. SCAMPER is an acronym stands for Substitute, Combine, Adapt, Modify, Put to another use, Eliminate, and Reverse. For instance, if you choose Adapt you’d ask How could we adapt this thing to a different context?

I also love their Reverse Brainstorming method, where you come up with problems, rather than solutions. Sometimes it’s easier to think of problems, rather than solutions. This is especially true if your coworkers like to complain–it’s easier to do than think of positives, isn’t it?

Rapid ideation

The Rapid Ideation technique, also from The Guide to Mastering Online Brainstorming, is a method whereby you write down as many ideas as you can think of as quickly as possible. Think of it as a verbal speed chess game! Write them on sticky notes or an electronic document (Google docs would be a good way), and then have everyone vote. Maybe you could have prizes for the best ideas, too.

Do you have another way to better brainstorm?

What works best for you? Do you have a favorite? Leave me a comment, please!


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