Just read: ’10 Ways To Improve Your Trade Show Results’ at TKO Graphix Brandwire Blog

When people talk to me about sales funnels, they tend to sum up the Audience-building and Lead-generating activities as marketing (or even web marketing) activities. But they are far broader than that!

Trade shows can make up an important part of the sales funnel for many businesses. There can be a high cost of entry (you need to get to the trade show, you need the time to spend at the trade show, and you need a nice display). But there can also be a substantial reward.

In this post from the TKO Graphix Brandwire Blog, Randy Clark lists 10 useful tips that companies who use trade shows can apply to improve the role that trade shows play in their sales funnel. Read the article here: TKO Graphix Brandwire Blog, 10 Ways To Improve Your Trade Show Results – 10 Ways To Improve Your Trade Show Results.

I would add a point to this list — it’s a point that Clark hinted at in the first paragraph but that deserves a much bigger mention: Create and implement a plan to follow-up on the leads you get at the trade show. Don’t just throw them into the mix of others — create a unique marketing plan specifically for this group of people. There’s a good chance they are warmer leads and more motivated (and you met them face-to-face!)

Just read: ‘The Newsonomics of The New York Times’ pay fence’ at Nieman Journalism Lab

Newspapers are struggling to survive in an age where free and rapid information-sharing threatens the value newspapers once had. Many people (myself included) wonder why we should pay for local news delivered the day after it happens when we can get far more current (and varied) views as it happens.

This self-identity crisis is even more apparent because newspapers charge money for a subscription to have the news delivered to your house the next day… but they post it for free online for everyone to see as it gets written. In other words, the newspaper industry is an industry where people pay to get inferior service compared to those who don’t pay!

Recently, the New York Times introduced (more accurately: re-introduced) a paygate where internet users can view up to 20 articles per month for free but will have to pay after that. Read the Nieman Journalism Lab article about it here: The Newsonomics of The New York Times’ pay fence » Nieman Journalism Lab » Pushing to the Future of Journalism. In particular, pay attention to the seven tests that the writer outlines, which will determine the success of this paygate attempt and will guide the way for the NYT to survive (and even thrive) in the future.

You might want to also read a blog post I wrote last year about my thoughts on how newspapers can survive in today’s marketplace.

Why I’m okay with the Oxford English Dictionary adding LOL, OMG, IMHO, etc.

The Oxford English Dictionary recently announced that it is adding several words to its pages, including initialisms that we typically associate with email and texting: LOL, OMG, IMHO, TMI, BFF. (There are plenty of news stories about it but this one is a brief overview).

The reception to this news — at least among my peers — hasn’t been positive. Some feel that it’s annoying. Others feel that it’s a sure sign of the end of the world.

But I’m okay with it. Here’s why:

We tend to think of the dictionary as the golden standard of language (especially the Oxford English Dictionary!). We turn to the dictionary to look up a word or its meaning, or to ensure that we are using a word properly. Thus, the dictionary takes on a role of being an impeccable reference tool and the standard by which we measure language. (And, we tend to extend that role assignment by holding up the dictionary as our standard of intellectual sophistication, thereby forcing us to conclude that we are decaying intellectually because these recent initialisms have been added).

The dictionary should be a golden standard of language. But the dictionary has an additional role that we don’t consider: It’s a portrait of today’s culture. It’s a slice of now.

That makes it tricky for the dictionary people: They need to create a resource that is not only impeccable as a language reference, but they also have to deal with the messiness of today’s language usage. If dictionaries were only the golden standard of language, words would rarely change. If dictionaries were only a slice of now, we would not be able to trust them to tell us how to use words.

An example would be a word once used to describe African-Americans. You know the word I’m thinking of. At one point in life, it was acceptable to use that word. (Socially acceptable, I mean, not morally acceptable). If the dictionary was only a golden standard and nothing else, it would continue to define that word today as a socially acceptable word. Fortunately, we’ve progressed socially, and the dictionary has altered the word’s meaning to reflect modern sensibilities. Okay, that’s an extreme example and there are many other less controversial words to which this has also happened. Basically, our language would still be Shakespearean if we only used the dictionary as a golden standard and not as a slice of now.

So I’m okay that the OED has added LOL, OMG, IMHO, TMI, and BFF to its pages. I don’t think it highlights the intellectual decay of modern youth. Rather, I think the dictionary is giving us a slice of now. Encyclopedias are facing the same challenges today. It’s not a perfect system, but it’s nothing new.

Weekly Sales Funnel Challenge: Wrap-up

This week, I challenged you to revisit your search engine optimization to figure out if you were truly targeting the keywords that your Audience and Leads are searching for.

That’s not to say that you can’t work on other keywords, of course, but you should be putting your focus on the keywords that your Audience and Leads are typing in.

Here’s an example from my own business a few years ago: I determined that my particular target market wanted to sell digital content on their blog. They needed blog content, ebook content, autoresponder content, and sales funnel copy. A lot of my peers were targeting their keywords for “freelance writer” and “freelance writing”. I took a different approach and targeted my keywords to some of the specific needs that my Audience was looking for, and it made a big difference. I didn’t have to compete for the really popular “freelance writing” keyword and I stayed busy with projects from people who found me through other keywords.

Schedule time to revisit your SEO at least once a month.