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The Inbound Sales and Marketing Blog

Bryant Duhon

Longtime editor and community manager, now Vice President of Content Strategy at Convergo.
Find me on:

Recent Posts

9 Common Mistakes Copier Dealers (and Others!) Make When Writing Blog Posts

Blogging continues to be the backbone of content and inbound marketing.

While video is an ever-increasing tool to use to connect to your audience, the humble blog will continue on as a way to bring in traffic. I mean, after all, one of the ways to share videos you create is – you may have guessed – a blog post.

Blogs have been around for roughly 20 years now. Blogs and “posts” are often used interchangeably. For this post, “blog” refers to the portion of your website devoted to sharing information while “post” refers to the individual, er, posts within the blog.

3 Common – and Simple to Avoid – Writing Mistakes Businesses Continue to Make

The most common mistake businesses make is writing like they're a business.

While I've noticed a shift to a friendlier writing style in the past decade, partially thanks to social media and I'm sure influenced as well by Millennials entry into the working world in large numbers, there's still waaaaay too much bad business writing out there.

It's boring. It's formulaic. It's about your business (not about your clients' challenges). It's full of jargon and insider lingo. Most likely, if you have an “assessment” of some sort you don't even describe exactly what that even is.

Quick test: have someone in your office copy a few pages from each of your competitor's websites as well as your own.

Do you know which one is yours?

You're Scaring Away Your Customers: 3 Suggestions to Stop Acting Like a Used Car Salesperson on LinkedIn

Here's a quick guide for salefolks to use so that you don't become “that” `salesperson on LinkedIn.

Marketing Isn't a Brochure or Leave-Behind

True confession – I used to think marketing was a load of BS.

Yep, before I got into content and inbound marketing, I was an editor. Marketing to me was an endless barrage of crappy email pitches and product press releases.

My job as an editor was to separate the wheat from the chaff to educate my readers. Oddly enough, that's almost exactly what I do now when creating content for clients – with the additional goal of also driving the audience to take an action.

I saw more than my share of bad marketing, brochure-ware websites and other marketing “strategies” focused on the glory of the vendor.

We still see too much of that for copier dealers and managed IT provider sites. No one cares about you. They care about how you can help them solve their business problems.

Are You Ready for Your Closeup? Create Great Marketing Videos for Your Business With These Timeless Tips

If you've got a smart phone, you've got all the recording equipment you need.

I'm a late convert to video.

I like words. I like to read. When I watch a screen, I want to be entertained with a Saints win, a TV show, or a movie.

One of the critical rules in writing is to “kill your babies.” That means that the witty bit of prose you love that doesn't help advance your point – delete.

The same rule applies to marketing – you have to remove yourself from your personal likes and dislikes and figure out what works for the audience you want to reach.

A quick look at your social media feed – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn – will show more video this year than last year.

Video creates engagement. It's personal.

Quick Social Sharing Cheatsheet For LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook

This brief list of tips for sharing on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook doesn't cover all aspects of sharing on social media, but covers the basics so you can get started.

Every touch on social media is a chance for you to gain the trust of your customers and potential customers by showing yourself to be helpful and knowledgeable. Don't forget to be personable, within your brand guidelines.

And have fun. Social media is a great marketing tool, but it's also full of fun surprises and unexpected chances to get to know your customers. Don't be so focused on “getting the word out” that you miss the serendipity of social media.

Your Company Can Blog - 9 Writer's-Block Busting Tips That Will Turn You Into a Blogging Machine

Writing is hard.

There's no way around that.

Everyone gets stuck at least once in a while and needs a little nudge to get them going.

I'm going to share a few ideas that I use frequently to help bust through writer's block. But, first, why should you even care about blogging?

Google Page Ranking Isn't the Goal of Inbound Marketing

Search engine optimization (SEO) is an important piece of the inbound puzzle. However, good rankings aren't the goal of inbound marketing – leads are (and, ultimately, sales).

SEO is a means to an end, not the end itself.

SEO is the art and science (yes, art) of using what is known of how search engines (especially Google) rank content and executing strategies that allow a company's Web pages to be ranked as high as possible.

A few things about SEO:

Connection, Marketing, and Being Human

 

Possibly the most important thing companies miss when it comes to inbound marketing is that it’s about making a connection with a person.

I’m using the word “person” intentionally here. Businesses talk about their customers, clients, and partners when talking about the people that buy things from them. You talk about suppliers, partners, providers, and network when you’re talking about the people on whom you depend for the materials and support to stay in business.

We should be thinking about Robert, Tammy, Dave, Rosa, Neville, Jeremy, and Zack – the people we work with.

Turn a Deaf Ear to the Inbound Marketing Noise

 As I get older and, hopefully, better at this marketing stuff; I'm increasingly realizing that selective deafness is a good thing. Well, that depends on the context. My wife will tell you I only tune in and out on purpose. Don't tell her, but she's mostly right.

However, when it comes to trying to keep up with the massive volume of marketing crap available I've realized that I don't need to pay attention to hardly any of it, much less all of it.

Now, our youngest team member (the lovely and talented Kate Marsh) might point out that's because I'm turning into a cranky old git (somewhat true). However, you don't need to be cranky to quickly grow tired of reading the same article repackaged by multiple “thought leaders” using different words to describe the same thing or many of those same “thought leaders” pitching you to “try this next new thing.”