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Be Seen. Be Heard. Be Chosen
Be Seen. Be Heard. Be Chosen

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Do you own a mature business? Or, are you just getting started? If you want to grow it’s crucial that you’re totally clear about who is your ideal customer.

Who’s your ideal customer? An individual who immediately sees value in what you offer and is willing and able to pay you for it. It’s that simple.

Here’s another reason why you should nail down the identity of your ideal customer: people tend to hang out with people who have similar interests and lifestyles. When your happy customers tell their friends or colleagues about you, it’s like you have a free sales force out there working for you.

The more you serve your most ideal customers, the more referrals you’ll receive.

But figuring out who your ideal customer really is can be mystifying.

I’m an expert on ideal customer identification, and my entire business is built around helping businesses with this often frustrating exercise. If you haven’t gone through the process, or if you’re ready to re-define your ideal customer, the 5 steps below will help.

[The following is a quick and dirty version of the deep dive exercises I conduct with my private clients.]

Who Is Your Ideal Customer? Start here:
1. Scan your customer list and choose one customer you would love to clone. Tip: This person happily paid your full fee, was thrilled with what she gained from your product or service, and sent you referrals afterward.

2. List every characteristic that you can think of which describes this customer—demographics, lifestyle, and psychographics. Tip: What did he or she want more than anything in the world when it comes to what you offer?

3. Write down how that customer found you. Was it from a referral? Through your website? At a networking event? Tip: Whatever it was, do more of it!

4. Make a list of what you offer and why your company is the perfect choice for this customer. List as many as features and benefits you can think of. The list will help you create your value proposition. Your value proposition answers the question, “If I’m your ideal customer, why should I buy from you instead of one of your competitors?” Tip: Interview your ideal customer. [Read: How To Create A Value Proposition]

5. Print out a photograph of your ideal customer and pin it up where you can see it while you’re working at your computer. Tip: Make believe that you’re having a conversation with that person whenever you create marketing such as blog posts, website content, and emails.

Just Launching? Here’s what you can do to find your ideal customer:

If you’re launching a new business, I’ll bet you have a pretty good idea about the identity of your ideal customer. In fact, your ideal customer may be you! Many successful companies were launched because some enterprising person identified a need that wasn’t being met for him or her.

Go through the same process as above but pretend you’re Dr. Frankenstein! Create a prototype of the person who will see immense value in what you offer and will be willing and able to pay you for it. Do your best to be precise.

Listen, folks, I know this for a fact. Being totally clear about who is your ideal customer has a long-term positive impact on every aspect of your business. It’s the secret sauce to create websites that connect, blogs that are found, engaging social media posts, and a brilliant elevator speech.

The five steps above will get you started. When you’re ready to really dig in, reach out to me! Schedule a call with me here --
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This may come off a bit harsh, but hear me out:

Today’s Internet user has the attention-span of an untrained beagle.

Better yet, an untrained beagle walking in a Fourth of July parade surrounded by loud music, confetti, cannons and other untrained beagles.

Listen, I wasn’t the one who put together the stats. But it’s been said that people lose focus and venture off to other websites if they’re unable to connect with what they’re reading within the first few lines on a website. Sometimes, even feeling the urge to walk within one-twentieth of a second!

That’s why it’s so important to uncover powerful words for marketing to your ideal client.

Through the work I do with businesses, we spend a lot of time uncovering words that will make an instant emotional connection with their ideal clients. Our objective is to unearth the exact words their clients use to express their feelings at key points in the relationship.

Sometimes, it’s really hard to find the powerful words for marketing copy. Especially, if you’re more of an analytical type than a creative type. But the words start to flow once you get into the swing of things.

For example, lately I’ve been working with an attorney. At first, she was skeptical about the concept of an “ideal client”. Right now, you’re probably thinking, “Yeah, Betsy, that’s because attorneys are skeptical about everything!” Well, she told me that if she only took clients that were classified as “ideal”, she wouldn’t have enough revenue to keep the lights on!

Nevertheless, after asking her many specific questions about a client that brought in a very important case, she was able to visualize that person sitting in the chair across the desk from her. Then the words just flowed.

In the middle of this discovery process, I told her how much I was enjoying our dialogue. She replied, “And, you are really good at it!” My heart soared. She went from skeptic to totally engaged in the process. This is what I love about my work.

Today, I’ll be putting together what I call her Power Words List. We will use it to craft marketing copy that will instantly connect with her firm’s perfect fit clients (and not turn away the “not so perfect clients” – which is another story for another blog!).

When you write content for your website, for emails—or even when you plan your next elevator speech for a networking event – wouldn’t it be great to have a list of the most powerful words for marketing copy within arm’s reach, ready to assist you in crafting a compelling message?

I can help you find your Power Words. Are you ready? Click here to schedule a call with me --

Thanks for reading!
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Do you ever take an honest step back and think to yourself, “But, really, why did I open that email?” I pose the question because, like any New York Times bestseller, the title matters—and there is a clear distinction between content that’s first class and content that never makes it past TSA. It’s in your email subject lines.

Now, if you’re like me, you subscribe to a lot of blogs—some you always read, lots more that you don’t (but, at one time, you did). What happened between then and now? Let’s do an analysis—because knowing why some content connects with you while other content doesn’t will help you become a better marketer.

Take a look at the emails you opened so far this past week. At a glance, what do you think compelled you to open them?

Were they from your favorite writers?

Were you on the hunt for new deals?

Or, was it the email subject lines that caught your attention?

Try to jot down some of the common threads between the emails that made it past your internal auditor.

Here are the top 5 tips I’ve learned over the years about email subject lines:

1) Lists: List-based content is still opened first (because people know they’re going to receive information in a clear and concise manner that will be easy to scan (people don’t read on the web, they scan). Also, always, always, always use numerals—not numbers—spelled out (i.e. 4 Reasons It Takes So Long To Build A New Website vs. Four Reasons It Take So Long To Build A New Website).

2) Test: Take advantage of A/B testing. Create two different subject lines for each email/blog you send out. The winning subject line gives you clues as to what resonates with your audience. Try to follow the same formula for your next emails.

3) Mobile: Most people use phones to read emails, not desktop computers or laptops. You probably compose your content on your computer but take into consideration the device(s) your recipients are likely to use to view your work. Try to position your “hook” at the beginning of the subject line, whenever possible so it appears on the small screen.

4) Change The Title: If you email your blogs to your lists (which I highly recommend) your email subject line does not have to be the same as the title of the blog. I teach bloggers how to optimize their posts for Google, which includes choosing a strong keyphrase. However, the title that you create for your blog (that includes a keyphrase that you’re optimizing for) may not work as well for your emailed version as it does on a search engine.

Power Tip: Get into the head and heart of your ideal clients when crafting your titles and subject lines. When your audience searches for information on Google, they are in research mode. But, when your email arrives in their inbox, however, they move into selection mode.

5) Use Google! There tons of experts on the web who share helpful tips about how to create email subject lines to increase the open rate of campaigns. Just do a search and you’ll get tons of advice. Just remember to filter everything through the lens of your ideal customer to ensure that the information is relevant to your objective.

Check out the blogs published by email marketing companies in particular (i.e. Mailchimp, Hubspot and SPARK). The juicy tip here: make sure you select posts that are not more than six months to a year old. What worked well in, say, 2015 may not work well two years later.

Think of email marketing as a form of electronic gift-giving. Sure, email subject lines are nothing more than a few words—but they have the power to connect with the people you want to engage with through your writing.

Now, tell me, who wouldn’t want to get a piece of that? If you do, reach out to me – I’ll help you discover the right words to capture your ideal customer’s attention fast.

Schedule a 30-minute consult with me — click here
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In my last blog, I told you about how the most brilliant content for your website may be hiding in plain sight – right in your customer testimonials. Testimonials, also called reviews, are a proven way to build credibility for your business.

You want to win more of your ideal customers, right? Then think about the reviews written by your current ideal customers as digital referrals. What one ideal customer says about your business, in their own words, will resonate with prospective ideal customers.

In my experience, the two best places for reviews are Google My Business and LinkedIn. In this post, I’ll show you how to set up your listing and start getting reviews on Google My Business.

But first, remember those huge Yellow Pages directories that were dumped on your doorstep year after year? Well, the internet has pretty much killed off The Yellow Pages. But you still need a reliable place to find addresses and phone numbers for local businesses, right?

And because Google wants to make sure that you never go to Yelp or any another online directory, they created Google My Business (formerly called Google Local and before that called something else, which I don’t remember, but that’s neither here nor there).

Your Google My Business listing will appear whenever someone searches for your business in your local area. Mine even appears when I search for my own name.

Now, if your business is virtual and your customers are outside your area, you may be thinking that you don’t need a local listing. Au contraire mon cherie! You never know when a great customer is going to be referred to you and that person searches Google to check you out. It’s the smart thing to do to take advantage of every bit of visibility you can, especially when it’s free. And, as they say in New York, "It couldn’t hurt!"

Your Google My Business listing will appear in many types of searches, not just when someone searches for your business by name. For example, we used Google My Business to increase visibility for my client Barbara Bonar, an attorney who specializes in sexual harassment cases.

Click here to see a screenshot and read the rest of the blog -- (I walk you through the process of getting reviews, step-by-step!)
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When you go to a networking event, do you expect to come home with a ton of new orders or contracts in your suitcase?

Probably not.

I just returned from a conference in Chicago where my colleague, Michelle Hummel from Web Strategy Plus, had a booth. Between the two of us, we must have chatted it up with at least 200 business owners over the two days of the event.

While Michelle was on the floor I was at the booth – and vice versa.


We came home with none. We were not there to make sales.

Michelle and I are both seasoned business owners, and we know first-hand that networking is how to make a powerful first connection with our potential clients.

Instead of contracts, we came home with a list of prospects that need our services and will remember us, especially because we took a genuine interest in their businesses and because of how we described our services.

Know. Like. Trust.

You already know that people buy from people – and they must know, like, and trust you before they feel comfortable to buy.

Moreover, you know it can take time and nurturing to win your ideal customers. That’s where online marketing is an incredible tool.

Michelle likes to use this saying, which elegantly describes the power of marketing, particularly online marketing:

Make Me Think
Make Me Laugh
Inspire Me or
Teach Me Something New

I’ll Remember You When The Time Comes To Buy

Online Marketing Is Networking On Steroids

Sometimes businesses don’t immediately understand the role of online marketing in their quest to increase sales.

In my previous life in advertising, I learned that ideal prospects must be exposed to a marketing message at least seven times before they take steps to buy.

In-person networking is only one touchpoint in the process. Each touchpoint builds on the others. Companies that use every touchpoint combined with a consistent, clear, and focused marketing message, are the ones that are winning.

Online Marketing Touchpoints To Nurture Your Ideal Prospects

Check off the digital tactics you are using right now to support your in-person networking. Is anything missing?

Email Newsletters
Emailed Blogs
Social Media Posts
Social Media Engagement
Invitations To Live Events
Invitations To Webinars
Links To Your Website

You will feel a lift in sales when you add more touchpoints to your strategy. Just as important is the messaging you use – make sure it’s consistent, clear, and focused on the needs of your ideal customers.

So, next time when you’re at a networking event, think of it as just one touchpoint in your overall strategy to win your ideal customers. Then use online marketing to increase your exposure.

Online Marketing Is Networking On Steroids Working For You 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

If you’re ready to pump up your online “networking” and sharpen your marketing message, reach out to me at I can help.

Got something to say? Leave a comment below.
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Today I’m going to ask you to think about your website for a minute. Yes, your website. That pesky little window into your business that is sometimes neglected, but always there – trying desperately to make a connection between you and your ideal client.
So, how’s it working out for you and your website? Not so great? You’re not alone.

The average business website does a good job of telling visitors what the business does, but a crappy job at telling visitors what the business will do for them. That’s what I call a narcissistic website.

A narcissistic website doesn’t answer that question in 1/20th of a second – which is the attention span of the average internet user.

In a quest to clearly articulate their services, most businesses take their client out of the equation and instead focus on themselves.

You may be thinking, “But my website must inform people what I do – so they can decide if it’s right for them.”
But I say, “Why force them to decide?”

What if your website spoke directly to your ideal prospects…in their own words? What if it sparked an immediate emotional connection that made them think, “This company totally gets me!” ?

Wouldn’t that eliminate them having to decide if your business is right for them?

Click here to check out three home pages that do a great job of sparking a strong emotional connection with their ideal prospects:
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Here’s a great tip that I just have to share with you:

One of my clients is a highly accomplished interior designer, Sharon Sherman. Last year we worked together to update her website so it would connect more powerfully with her ideal clients. And do it without investing in a website re-design!

Sounds like a tall order, right?

But guess what? You can really pump up the power of your website simply by updating the content on your homepage.

There’s content gold hiding…in your client testimonials and customer reviews!

Try this:

Go to each platform that contains client testimonials or customer reviews about you and/or your business. Find the reviews on your own website, your Facebook page, LinkedIn, Yelp, Google, or specific industry sites where your clients review your work. My client’s (Houzz profile has tons of testimonials).

Copy and paste all the testimonials into one document. Read through them and highlight your ideal customers’ descriptions about you and then dump them all into a list of what I call “Power Words”. (When I work privately with clients we create Power Words “bibles” to use in their marketing.)

Here’s what we found buried in Sharon’s testimonials:

Wow Factor
Clever Ideas
Consummate Design Pro
Ingenious Function
Great Execution
High Level
Gorgeous Form
Prompt Communication
High Quality
Best Of Everything
Space With Style
Right Touches Of Whimsy
Considerate (Of Pets)
Accurate Costs
Finished On Time
The Design Totally Matched What Was In My Head
Nailed It
Better Than What We Hoped
Fabulous Job
On Time
On Budget
Good Listener
Guides With Her Experience
Magnificent Design Ideas
Consistently Fresh
Wonderful To Work With
Delight To Work With
Fabulous Eye For Detail And Design
She Is A Treasure
Wonderful Taste
True Joy To Work With
Elegance, Function, Technology, Appreciation For Environment
Consummate Professional
Spectacular Outcome
Masterful Elegance
Simplicity And Function
Withstood Test Of Time
Looks Better With Age
Delightful Air Of Openness
Excellent Eye For Space, Lighting, Color
Boundless Insight

Sharon was blown away when she realized so much powerful content was sitting there just waiting to be uncovered. I don’t think we could have come up with better descriptions of what it’s like to hire her than what her own clients had already written.

We repurposed the phrases and words and used many of them to replace the boring, market-y content that was previously on her website’s homepage. Today she’s getting great results – more inquiries from ideal clients and fewer from less-than-ideal clients!

Is your home page boring and market-y? (I made up that word.) Dig for gold in your client testimonials and customer reviews. You’ll be able to update your website without having to hire a website designer – a lot cheaper and less painful!

Give me 30 mins and I’ll give you a tip about your ideal client (or customer) that will make a difference in your business right now. Click here to schedule --
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(This article is about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) website compliance requirements – 5-minute read.)

Last week I received a frantic email from one of my colleagues who runs a successful digital marketing agency here in town. It turned out that one of her clients was hit with a lawsuit because, get this, their website was not in compliance with ADA requirements.

She was freaking out. Then I started freaking out. Before you freak out, read on:

What Is ADA Website Compliance?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed by Congress in 1990 and was the first national law to address the needs of people with disabilities. It prohibits discrimination in employment, in public services (think special wheelchair access on city buses), public accommodations (handicapped restrooms, etc.), and telecommunications (closed captioning for the hearing impaired, for example).

According to the EEOC (The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission), the “ADA covers employers with 15 or more employees, including state and local governments.”

Well, a lot has changed in the years since the act was passed and it’s been updated to reflect some of these changes. The updates that impact websites is called Title III. Title III of the ADA requires businesses to maintain websites that are fully accessible (even to the blind!).

Friends, I dug and dug and dug and dug to find out if Title III covers every business website or only websites owned by companies who have 15 employees or more. I could not find one piece of content that clearly answered that question.

What I did find, however, was an excellent article in Business Journals titled, Is Your Business’s Website ADA Compliant? (You can read it here - Now before your anxious link-clicking finger jumps over to that article, let me inform you that it doesn’t answer the question either!

But the author, Ana Crawford, who is an attorney with the law firm Porter Wright - - responded right away to my email. (Thank you, Ana!)

The Bottom Line

If your company has fewer than 15 employees you do not have to update your website. Of course, maybe your business would benefit from an update, making it accessible to an entirely new stream of customers who would be able to use your site who can’t now.

If you have 15 or more employees, your website must comply with ADA rules and it’s important that you have it updated immediately. Updating involves site layout, font sizes, color contrast, and more (there is a link below with details).

If you don’t have an in-house team, I recommend you hire a professional developer or agency with experience to perform the updates. I’ve been sending my clients to Michelle Hummel at Web Strategy Plus - Her team really knows what they’re doing when it comes to ADA compliance. Michelle can be reached at

For your convenience, here’s some of the information I found through my research so you don’t have to go digging. You can get all of the information here:

I don’t profess to be an expert on all of this, so if you’re reading this article and have more information to share, or if my information is not correct, please let me know a.s.a.p.

It’s always something, right? ADA compliance must not be ignored if you have more than 15 employees. Reach out to me here - - if you need help!

Thanks for reading!
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How’s business? Lots of folks I’ve been talking this week are in the midst are figuring out how they’re going to attract more clients. You, too?

So I gotta ask: Are you blogging? No?

Ah, but you want to. You know you get back to blogging again. But you keep getting bogged down with other stuff. And then when you finally sit down to do it you can’t think of a good topic.
Ugh. I know it well.

Everyone struggles with writer’s block sometimes. I’m no exception. That’s why I use all kinds of tricks to keep me from getting stuck.

Most entrepreneurs don’t blog because they don’t know what to blog about.

Most entrepreneurs don’t blog because they don’t know what to blog about. Of course, you can do keyword research, ask your community for ideas, do a ton of Google searches, and look at your competitors’ blogs.

Sometimes I don’t have the time or patience for that.
This trick works so well to get you blogging again, I had to share it…

Start here:

If you’ve already identified your ideal client, get out your ideal client narrative and read over it a couple of times. [If you haven’t yet identified your ideal client you can get tips on how to do it here:]

Next, fixate your mind on your ideal client and open a document on your computer.

Type the dialogue of a what a phone conversation with your ideal client would sound like. Word for word.

Go back and forth with the dialogue as if it were a real conversation. You can even say it out loud. (You’ll feel silly but it’s worth it).

Keep in mind that if you were actually on a call with your ideal client you’d ask her what’s going on in her life, especially where what you do is concerned.

For example, if you’re a business coach and it’s the beginning of a new year, you’re probably going to chat about goals and plans.
And she’s going to tell you what she’s struggling with.

That’s when your blog topic will show up! And it will be a topic that connects with all the ideal clients out there who need you right now. And when you start getting comments, shares and likes, you know you have a topic that you can run with.

The fake phone call trick will get you blogging again.

Another great thing about this trick…it makes your blog posts way more conversational. Your ideal clients will know you’re talking to them.

>>> Here’s another idea! Call your favorite client in real life and take notes (duh)<<<

Are you going to try it?

Disclaimer: I actually used the fake phone call trick for this post.
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Is there a correlation between your email subject line length and the percentage of people that open your emails?

[FREE WORKBOOK -- "5 Things You Must Know About Your Ideal Customer" here:]

If you’re like me, you would probably say yes. On mobile phones in particular where long subject lines are cut-off, it would make sense that a shorter subject line would result in a higher open rate.

Note: On a typical computer or laptop, the inbox will display approximately 60 characters of an email’s subject line. On most mobile devices it’s a lot less, more like 25-30 characters.

So what is the secret formula for email subject line length?

Surprise! There is no secret formula. A recent study by Return Path indicated no relationship between the number of characters in a subject line and whether or not the email is opened. That sounds unbelievable, right? But it’s true.

But be mindful of this:

A large percentage of people today access email from a smartphone. If your audience is primarily smartphone users you should place your offer or call-to-action at the beginning of your subject line. (The email tool you use may be able to give you this metric, but most of them do not.) But if you check your website analytics you can see the percentage of website visitors using a mobile device to access your site. That gives you a clue right there.

Tip: Cover your bases! Position your call-to-action or offer at the beginning of the subject line so it will be good for both desktop and mobile devices.


Instead of this:
Here’s The Tip That Transformed My Biz Overnight [Time Sensitive]

Use this:
[Time Sensitive] Here’s The Tip That Transformed My Biz Overnight

Have you done some email subject line length testing? What impact has it had on your open rate?

[FREE WORKBOOK -- "5 Things You Must Know About Your Ideal Customer" here:]
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