You Need to Be Where Your Customers Are

Using a Helpdesk to Manage Customer Requests

In the always on, hyper-connected, social everything world we live in, people expect to be able to get in touch with your business in whatever way is convenient to them.

  • Ten years ago it was unheard of to have a business without a phone number.
  • Today, people want to be able to communicate how they want, when they want, where they want.

We faced this problem for one of our clients, All New Comics. They were getting messages from a variety of different places and were losing track of who was asking what, and where.

Peter from All New Comics doesn’t have a Facebook account, so he would never see the Facebook messages. With All New Comics, about 50% of all messages come through Facebook. Other messages would come in via email, while still others came in through Twitter.

He needed a solution that would keep everything in one place, and which would let him respond to people where they were.

We looked around and found a couple of different ways of doing this, and ended up settling on helpdesk software on this, which we very cleverly named “The All New Comics Helpdesk”. Continue reading “You Need to Be Where Your Customers Are”

How Marketers Ruin Email

Why Do Marketers Ruin Everything?

I signed up for a PDF a couple of weeks ago about something I was moderately interested at the time. To be honest, I saw the file, and was interested in .

Immediately I got three response emails. One contained the PDF that I wanted, the next one (sent five minutes later, before I could even download the file) was a follow up question, and the next, sent 30 minutes after the first, was an urgent plea for me to join a webinar in the next hour.

I kept up with the mailing list for two weeks, and I counted the emails that were sent to me, in the end there were 38 emails delivered to me over the course of 13 days from this one marketer. Continue reading “How Marketers Ruin Email”

What is a Digital Strategy?

What is a Digital Strategy?

Building websites is not hard. Pretty much anyone with access to a computer, some rudimentary HTML skills, and some basic understanding of the way the internet works can build a website.

We’ve established that everyone should have a website in our post on Digital Sharecropping – “Digital Sharecropping is Dangerous“. Not everyone asks the follow up question though.

What is your website doing for you? Is it generating leads? Is it creating opportunities? Is it helping to build your brand?

This is where a digital strategy comes in. Your website is like any other tool in your business, you need to look at it, analyze it, and make sure that it’s delivering results for you. Continue reading “What is a Digital Strategy?”

Creating Your Home on the Internet

Creating Your Home On The Internet

Business has changed, and the internet is a constantly changing place. While it’s important to have your Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and other social media spaces, the core of any digital strategy is a website that you own.

One of the most cost effective and essential tools that any business can have is a blog, an effective place for your business to communicate to your customers.

There are many different platforms out there, from Drupal and Joomla, to Squarespace and WordPress.  Here at NorthIQ, we lean towards WordPress because it is easy to implement, and quick to develop for, but any tool that lets you quickly post to a website domain that you own, and which will allow you to get your content back out of it later is a great choice.

No matter what you choose, there are some things you should consider when building your home on the internet. Continue reading “Creating Your Home on the Internet”

Auto Responders with Mail Chimp – Revisited

How to Set Up An Automatic Email Download

We’re doing a bunch of work on Manage Comics this week. One of the things we were working on were the landing page and auto-responder for Manage Comics.

When you inquire about Manage Comics, you get a 32 page download sent to you automatically.  This download tells you everything you need to know about Manage Comics and how it works.

My plan, like everything else with Manage Comics, was to build the guide when the first person asked for it. That day came, and I started writing. Continue reading “Auto Responders with Mail Chimp – Revisited”

Storytelling is a Powerful Content Tool

Storytelling in an era of echo chambers

It was a Saturday morning, I was just sitting on my couch when my phone pinged to let me know an email had arrived. I put down my coffee and looked at the notification. It was my friend Jonathan, and the subject had one word. “Help.”

“I’ve been posting online for a month now and I’m not getting any traction at all. I don’t have a bunch of money to put into ad words, and people tell me that I’ve helped them in the past. Why can’t I get any traction online? It seems like everyone is shouting and nobody is listening,” he asked.

He was right, I struggled with how blunt I was going to be, I saw the problem – the reason nobody was reading Jonathan’s posts was that they were boring, unoriginal, and had no unique point of view.

“You’re right, Jonathan, Twitter often feels like a big, vast echo chamber. The idea is to present a unique point of view in a way nobody else is doing it. You’ve got some awesome insights, but you’re fighting against the big guys, they’re louder, there’s more of them, and they aren’t afraid to post constantly. You seem afraid to actually take a position, so you’re showing two sides to the story when we both know one of them is right and the other is wrong. Let’s meet for a beer (my treat) and we’ll put together a plan.”

What Jonathan needed was to tell a story, he didn’t need to “share his unique value proposition.” We sat down for an hour, and I explained to him how storytelling works.
Continue reading “Storytelling is a Powerful Content Tool”

How to Come Up With Content Ideas

Where to Get Content Ideas

This is the third post on content marketing that I’ve written, the previous ones “Getting Started in Content Marketing“, and “How to Write Content that Helps Find Your Customers” were about the process, this one is about the actual writing and how we come up with our ideas here at NorthIQ.

The number one thing that stops people from content marketing is that they are afraid they’ll run out of things to say. I’ve been writing semi-professionally in some way or another since 1997, I’ve had a personal blog for pretty much that entire time. I’ve never run out of things to say.

I’ve got a few simple rules for what I write, and I find that following those rules gives me good stuff to write about. Continue reading “How to Come Up With Content Ideas”

How to Write Content That Helps Find Your Customers

Content That Finds Customers

We have previously written about “Getting Started in Content Marketing” where we discussed content strategy, and what you want to get out of the experience of content marketing, where you will send people, what channels you’ll market with, how to format your postings, and how you’ll know you’re successful.

In our NorthIQ Smarter Business Guide we talk about figuring out who your customers are and creating personas around them.

Today we’re going to discuss how you can use content marketing to find your customers. Continue reading “How to Write Content That Helps Find Your Customers”

Simple Rules for Writing on the Web

Zombies and Giant Fluffy Kittens

When you’re writing on the web, you need to think about your what your message is, and how you will tell your story. A great idea with poor execution will fail. Great execution with a bad idea will fail. You need both a great idea with an amazing “hook,” and you need to execute on that idea well.

Well-written content will be read by more people, more often, and will be shared more than poorly written content.

There’s a few simple rules you can follow to make your writing better. Continue reading “Simple Rules for Writing on the Web”