How Brand Benefits Define your Position

Do your benefits attract the right customer?

Choosing the right lead benefits for your brand messaging dictates which customers you will attract. And a pair of hospital system giants in the San Francisco Bay Area exactly prove this point.

Why this is even more amazing: healthcare advertising is the WORST. Most of it talks about the exact same things and offers no real differentiated position for customers. In my advertising days, we used to joke that, with any hospital billboard or TV spot, you could just swap out a logo and it would be the exact same one as any other hospital in the country.

Here in SF, UCSF and Dignity Health are two separate hospital systems.

UCSF has gone big with promoting their commitment to advanced technologies and treatments. To their doctors’ experience and the medical breakthroughs that they are a part of every day. 

Their tagline: Redefining possible.Their ads and billboards, as this campaign video suggests, focus on technology and offer hope based on what science can do for medicine’s toughest challenges. They have created a brand that showcases them as leaders in medical advancement. If you want cutting-edge treatments for complex problems, go here.

This is one of my favorite ads, for UCSF’s Benioff Children’s Hospital.

Dignity Health differentiates itself based on the human experience. Their ads focus on how extraordinary acts of kindness create miracles every day. They have created a brand that if you want to be treated as a human, and not just a medical test subject, go here. Their tagline: Hello Humankindness.

You MUST watch some of these ads (get ready for all the feels!):

How far would you go for someone?
Kids playing hockey
We can face anything together
Is there a hero is all of us?

Both work as complements in the market, because they both claim a different space.

Obviously sick people care about getting well. But some people care more about the science and technology aspects. Others care more about their experience being treated as human beings.

Clearly, patients want both. But these different brand strategies each claim a separate space based on the main motivator (or buying driver, if you can call it that in healthcare) of their target audience. 

If your primary concern is getting cutting-edge treatment to achieve the impossible, and you care maybe a little bit less about how nice your doctor is (not that UCSF’s doctors are not nice, but if that is not your primary motivation), UCSF will appeal more. I think of data-driven thinkers, those comfortable with risk, those early adopters who want the latest science and technology.

If your primary concern is the patient experience, and you value that above all else to help you get well, Dignity Health will appeal more. This could be someone who had a traumatic experience at another hospital, or someone who knows they really need their hand held. Doesn’t mean Dignity Health’s quality of medical care is not also excellent, it just means they are more attractive to someone who cares more about kindness, respect and well….dignity.

Neither position is wrong or right. But each brand position is super clear on who they are talking to.  And that is why they both work.

Honda and Porsche both sell cars but they sell to very different drivers with very different motivations and needs.

Your brand must claim its space in a crowded market as well. And you do that through the brand benefits you choose to lead with. (TWEET THIS!)

Who is your brand talking to? What benefits do you lead with? Are you taking a position that people can clearly understand or can any company just slap their logo on your website and no one would be the wiser.

3 Ways to Give Your Marketing More Charisma

Ready to jazz up your marketing?!

You know that killer accessory you have? The one you feel in love at first sight with at a random boutique years ago? You wear it with everything to give your outfit a pop. It makes a statement.

People take notice.

The great thing is, you can add this piece to simple sweater and jeans and like magic, you’ve added some pizazz to your look.

Your marketing and messaging needs to be the statement piece for your business.

Yes, you can describe exactly what you do and give people the price list before sending them off to the Contact button……zzzzzzzzzz….I’m already bored.

Or you can spice things up and add some charisma!

Charisma means “compelling attractiveness or charm that can inspire devotion in others.”

You want your work to attract the right people.

You want your work to charm them and inspire devotion so they become loyal customers and raving fans.

So launch a charm offensive! If you want to attract customers and generate revenue, your marketing needs some charisma. (TWEET THIS!)

But with all my talk of making sure you have a clear, consistent message, how do you do that?

Here are 3 tips for how to add more charisma to your marketing:

  1. Be human. I’ve said this one many times before. You have a unique way of talking and your marketing messaging needs to connect with people on a human level. Write like you talk. Ditch the jargon. Explain things in a way that intrigues them, lures them in or speaks exactly their language.  You can still tell someone you are a “financial planner” but talk about creating a happy, healthy, wealthy life on all fronts, not just financial. Or that smart financial planning now means realizing your dreams later. This is much more interesting than, “We’ll help you decide the best places to invest.” You can still tell a prospect that your software will help them manage their recruiting and talent management with integrated data and access to API’s, but you can also talk about helping companies and talented workers make a lasting love connection or that your software takes the hassle out of keeping track of all your candidates so you don’t even have to think about and no one falls through the cracks.

Being human in your marketing does not make you look unprofessional. In fact, let’s put that to bed right now. Professional does not have to equate to boring, stiff, jargon, robotic. It means competence, confidence and accountability. You can be all those things and still speak like a human.

  • Find rich, luscious, delicious words: You get my point. Expand your vocabulary and stop using every adjective you’ve ever heard your competitors use before.  Consult and find better words for what you’re trying to say. It’s like adding exotic spices to your spice rack! Instead of “flexible” how about “We roll with the punches.” Instead of “effective” how about “compelling, potent or powerful”? Instead of “help” how about, “advise, nourish, encourage”? Choose words that rev up the senses: words people can see, hear, taste. Use these words in your brand marketing to create mental imagery for people that excites them.

If you feel like jazzy writing is not your strong suit, that’s okay, Hire a gifted copywriter to help you add more charisma at precisely the right points in the process. For as much writing as I do, I’ve even done this for my own marketing (because sometimes you just can’t see it for yourself) and it’s made a WORLD of difference.

  • Leverage the power of video: What better way to connect your business to millions across the globe than through the power of video? More than words on a page, video helps you make a human connection (there’s that humanity again!) and enables people to see the real you or people behind your corporate logo. You Tube is the second largest search engine. Let people typing in how to do something find YOU there explaining it to them! Jazz up your static website with a welcome video or customers raving about you in video testimonials. Don’t be afraid to experiment. Your iPhone is one of the best cameras on the market. Just start. I’ve been trying to do more of this myself over on my YouTube channel (subscribe now if you’re not already!)

The key takeaway is that like anything else in life, you have to be interesting if you want to capture attention. And “charisma” is subjective. What might seem charismatic to software developers might not be to ad agency creative directors. Know your audience and you will find the best ways to lure them with your charms!

Traffic or Referrals?

Heavy city traffic - Do you invest in traffic or referrals?

When it comes to the primary method for attracting new clients or customers, small businesses and entrepreneurs fall into two camps:

  1. They rely on website traffic.
  2. They rely on referrals.

Neither strategy is right or wrong. You just need to be clear on what is your strategy so you can invest your time and money into the right activities.

Online shops, of course, rely on website traffic. They need as many of the right people knowing about and coming to their site as possible to make their sales. But this strategy also benefits coaches or consultants with online courses or speakers and authors needing to build a platform. These are the folks you also see investing heavily in social media ads. (Sidenote: while I was never someone who bought from online or social media ads, I have to admit that Instagram ads finally got me. I regularly buy from brands I’ve never heard of before after seeing just one compelling video ad!)

Certain consultants and B2B marketers, however, rely more upon referrals. I’m one of those people. People may not buy such high-touch, high-priced offerings from their site, so they double-down on referral efforts. This includes actively reaching out to their networks or existing fan base, consistently asking for client testimonials and spending their time providing compelling content for those audiences to constantly stay top of mine.

You must understand your primary sales lead channel in order to invest in the right marketing. (TWEET THIS!)

Some resources for you:

If you’re focused on driving online traffic, I highly recommend you check out Devani Freeman for Facebook and Instagram presence-building and campaigns. Amy Landino for video marketing strategy to build a YouTube presence and drive traffic, or Diamond and Branch Digital Marketing for all things SEO, digital content strategy and more traffic driving.

Articles you may love:
How to make Facebook and Instagram ads work for your business
5un-ignorable reasons why your business needs a blog
How to do SEO in 5 minutes (really)

The 5 best ways to drive traffic to your website If you’re focused on referrals, I highly recommend you check out relationship and networking and connection expert Michelle Tillis Lederman (she has a new book coming out soon called THE CONNECTOR’S ADVANTAGE – so good!) and LinkedIn guru Sandy Jones-Kaminski of Bella Domain. I also highly recommend Leah Neaderthal’s course SIGNED to help you create a lead generation process and really work your referral base (If you’re interested in an intro to Leah AND a special discount code for this course, contact me!)

Articles you may love:
6 ways to spread the word about your business
Top 5 networking tips from a pro
How to attract quality clients and customers
25 ways to ask for a referral without looking desperate

How to Combine Everything Under One Brand

07.12.16 One Brand (Blog)

I like things tidy…do you? While I’m considerably less organized as a Type A personality than I used to be prior to my brain injury, I’m still an organization freak. My biggest pet peeve is the jumble of wires behind our TV that is now our hub for cable, internet, phone, game consoles and more. The sight of it literally gives me a headache.

But my obsession with organization is a huge benefit for my clients. One of my superpowers is being able to connect dots that no one else can see to create a clear, crisp narrative.

My clients often have an enviable problem: they are interesting people with many passions and skills to offer the world. And they are full of ideas on how to do it. Which is all great. Until you confuse the heck out of your target audience.

First step to clarity? Understand that not everything you love has to be a part of what people pay you to do (TWEET THIS!)

If you have ever asked, “How do I combine everything I do under one brand?”, here are 5 steps to tie everything together:

  1. Take inventory: Write down every offering or skill you currently, or would like, to showcase to your market. Seeing things on paper is a big step to getting it out of your head and into some sort of system.
  2. Identify the common threads: Trust me, there will be some. How do I know? Because they are all stemming from one person or company with its own unique personality! If you are drawn to offering different types of things, there is something linking those all together for you, whether it be a theme, audience or product/service “type”: Do you see a pattern across all your offerings and interests about healthy living? Storytelling? Connecting women? Transformation? Solving complex tech problems? Fine design? What is it that runs through everything?
  3. Define your core audience: If many of your offerings can serve the same audience, great! But if they are all targeting completely different ones, you may have to pare down and get focused. It’s going to cost too much time and money to build your reputation among so many disparate audiences. Plus, people will get confused as to if you are right for them. Focus on the low hanging fruit.
  4. Determine a compelling “Brand Umbrella”: What is the overarching theme that ties everything together? When you find the right one, you will see that you can easily fit all your offerings and passions under that umbrella in a way that makes sense to people. Brands you know and love offer tons of products or services but usually under the same brand umbrella: Method is all about pure cleaning products that don’t harm the planet. Dove is about real beauty and healthy skin. Alexandra Franzen is about writing and self-expression. Hiro Boga is about building a soulful business.
  5. Purge: Anything that doesn’t fit. Maybe those are not your business’ core offerings but simply personal passions. Your brand umbrella can help you find your creative brand hook that can lead to a snazzy title, a unique company name, a signature touch or a unique visual device (juicy fruit that is irresistible to resist, perhaps?!).

For example,  I determined a while back that my brand umbrella was “irresistible storytelling.” I help clients tell compelling stories, I speak at companies and conferences, I write books…I even enjoy acting and voiceover work, which is all about storytelling and even wrote food and wine articles for websites and print – but these are not the core ways I make my money. So I shifted that from an “offering” category to a “passion” category – and now use that personal interest to add color and life to my work.

Personal passions that have nothing to do with how you make money can also be called your Swirl, as publicity expert Melissa Cassera says. This is what gives your work a unique voice and flavor. You can color how you do the work you do with these unique interests. My love for wine and past wine writing experience does not mean I have to go out an create an entire company or offering as a “wine writer.” But it makes my stuff a lot more interesting to read!

A wise coach once told me, ‘You can do everything you want to do. You just don’t have to do it all right now or even with this evolution of your business.” (TWEET THIS!)


Image credit via Flickr

How to Make Great Videos: An Interview with Nathan Agin


Do you freeze like a deer in headlights when a camera starts filming you and your important message to the world?

We all know video is a fabulous way to communicate your brand. But something seems to happen when we turn that RECORD button on. Doesn’t matter if we’re surrounded by lights on a fabulous set – or recording on our iPhone.

As an actress, I totally get this – and it doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen to me either. You freeze. You forget your lines. Or worse, you come across monotone and robotic. What is about that little flashing light that makes us lose all of our passion and focus?!

Never fear. Making great videos to amplify your brand is easier – and cheaper – than you probably think. And you can overcome your fears to come across brilliantly. Video is one of the best ways to really convey your story and personality so you gain that sought-after trust you seek from your audience.

Today, I’m talking with Nathan Agin to help you get over your video fears and create something simple, stunning and effective. Nathan is the founder of Videos in One Take, which helps entrepreneurs become more powerful and captivating in their videos, leading to more engagement and conversions. Nathan has appeared in feature films, a Super Bowl commercial, and on Jimmy Kimmel Live; he also produced and hosted a TV-quality travel/food pilot. He’s a classically trained actor and has created over 400 YouTube videos; on his Videos in One Take blog, he explains how he does it–and how you can, too.

In this interview, we chat about:

  • Why video is so important to an online business.
  • How you can get over your fear of being on camera.
  • The simple keys to creating great videos (without expensive equipment or fancy editing…as Nathan says, “You don’t need a crazy setup!“)
  • Different ways you can use video to promote your brand and your business..while showcasing your unique personality.
  • The challenges that even stump the pros!

YouTube video

As Nathan shares, “The videos you have the ability to create have more power than you realize.” (Tweet this!)

And don’t miss….Nathan is launching a new Videos in One Take course to teach you everything he talks about in the video and more!. Check out the details right here!

Photo credit: Laura Lee Moreau, Unsplash

After watching the video, please share in the Comments which tip or trick you’ll try out today to get started on making compelling videos. Do you currently use video or are you dipping your toe into the water?

9 Hot Women Your Business + Brand Need Right Now

6.2.15HotList (Blog)

I’m going to be straight with you: stop trying to do everything yourself.

You know who you are: In an effort to “save money,” you sign up for every DIY course under the sun, thinking you’re going to have time to: perfect your writing, code your website, design your flyers, and everything else you need to do to run your business or promote your message. In addition to, you know, doing your actual work.

There’s definitely a time and a place to go it alone. Heck, I offer a self-study digital program that enables you to put together a clear, crisp brand strategy on your own – and folks love it. But savvy business people also know that no one can be an expert in everything. Why should you be, when there are fabulous resources out there? Not to mention that there are just certain things you may enjoy, like writing your blog or designing your materials, and some things that make you want to poke your eye out because it will take you three times as long to be half as good. Time better spent on the real, revenue-generating value you offer, whether that’s making your custom jewelry designs, working with paying clients or writing your next novel.

Folks often ask me for referrals, which I love to provide. This is not a zero-sum game. If someone helps me be successful, my responsibility is to mentor and share to help you, too.

If we can’t share our resources to lift everyone up, why are we even doing this “entrepreneurship” thing? (Tweet this!)

Enjoy my Hot List of 9 ridiculously talented people that will help your biz + brand shine bright. And yes, they are all women (#girlpower). You’re welcome.

Norma Maxwell of Connect Interactive. My website shaman. She has designed and built outrageously on-brand websites for me as well as many of my clients. She’s the genius behind my recent website facelift! Norma gets that your website is not just about good looks, but that it should speak to your target audience and represent your brand well – plus ensure a great user experience to achieve your goals.

Sarah Von Bargen: Sarah and I are long-time partners for many of my clients. She is the writing genius behind my SLICE Sessions. She loves to ghostwrite blog posts or eBooks – and she’s amazing at articulating your unique brand in a way that gets people excited and engaged. She has written a lot of great stuff for me over the years.

Tammy Martin of Martin Marketing: Tammy is a Facebook marketing expert for savvy soulful entrepreneurs. And not just about Facebook ads per se but how to use them to build a true sales funnel and lead your prospects down the path to purchase. She’ll help you build your following, your email list and generate crucial traffic back to your site – all while setting up both your ads and your unique landing pages, dealing with all the technology behind-the-scenes, installing all tracking pixels to make sure it’s working, and tweaking as needed. We had great results working together and I’m eager to work with her on more!

Alison Monday of Tiny Blue Orange: Alison is my website wizard and guardian. She is a designer and developer and ensures your site looks good and stays safe (she’s a techie at heart and is all about security, uptime, and performance). She helps me create pages, improve layout and has designed promotional JPG’s for me. She has also helped some of my clients build wonderful websites that required sophisticated back-end complexity and unique imagery.

Sandy Jones-Kaminski of Bella Domain Media: Sandy is a networking maven and LinkedIn ninja. She combines her expertise in how to network online or offline with her vast knowledge of how to use LinkedIn to generate leads, find connections, and get found by the folks who matter most. She has all kinds of social selling and networking tips and tricks that will change your business.

Anne Watson Barber of Almond Tree Social: Anne specializes in helping her clients boost the ROI of their websites via SEO, paid marketing campaigns, Infusionsoft eMarketing and other tools. As a Search Engine Marketing manager, she focuses on boosting conversions and traffic for large, complex websites. Fun fact: She was a News Editor for Wall Street Journal online before going freelance.

Social Media Gurus: These talented experts have been behind the scenes of some killer brands ranging from authors to consultants to restaurants and can help you develop a practical and powerful social media plan – and even ghostwrite and manage pages for you.

Karen Rosenzweig of One Smart Cookie Marketing

Tracey Warren of Ready, Set, Grow Marketing

Katie Kay of Virtually Savvy

And if you need a dynamic speaker to motivate your marketing team, liven up your next business event or inspire conference attendees into action, you can always enjoy my unique blend of branding and inspirational wit and wisdom but please check out these other fabulous folks as they are gifted presenters on their specific topics. Bookmark this post for when you need to find an amazing speaker for your next event.

Image Credit: Tomi Tapio K via Flickr

7 Simple and Stunning Blog Post Ideas to Keep Your Ideas Flowing

5.5.15 7EasyBlogPostIdeas (blog)
You’re staring at the cursor and it’s blinking at you, taunting you. You sigh.

When you were out driving earlier today, you had a ton of clever blog post ideas that just came to you with no effort. But you couldn’t write them down. And now – poof – they are gone with the wind.

This happens to me all the time. I seriously wish I could record the thoughts I have right before falling asleep. I’ve written 5 novels in my head this way. But I can’t remember a damn thing once I wake up. So I was inspired by a hilarious video from my buddy Amy Schmittauer of Savvy Sexy Social to share my own take on 7 simple and stunning blog post ideas – these will help so much when you can’t think of anything to write about.

And BONUS TIME: Any of these can easily be turned into a free email opt-in download, a lead magnet for your next course, an eBook, a podcast, a video… get the idea. Recycle, people.

Oh, and the numbers below are arbitrary. It’s up to you to pick how many you can create – but play around with being short and sweet (3 quick tips…) versus providing a more exhaustive resource (64 ways to….). See what resonates with your audience the most.

7 Simple and Stunning Blog Post Ideas – When You Can’t Think of What to Write About (Tweet This!)

  1. 3 Crucial Tips for… (YOUR SUBJECT AREA HERE). …Building a Website, …Finding Inner Peace, …Choosing a Killer Date Outfit, …Buying the Right Engagement Ring. Whatever your business does, surely there are 3 basic tips that you always seem to share with prospects or customers. This worked well for me when sharing 4 Clever Ways to Make it Easy For Others to Promote You and 3 Tips for Smarter Small Business Marketing. Don’t fall into the trap (as I once did before a wise woman slapped me upside the head – with love) of assuming “everyone know this.” They don’t. It’s why you have a job.
  2. 6 Questions to Ask When… (YOUR SUBJECT AREA): People love to read articles that guide them when making a decision. And, heck, no one says you can’t choose questions that would immediately point them to your products or services if it’s a good fit – just make sure you’re being unbiased, as people may feel like you’re being slimy instead of helpful. So how about: …Choosing the Right Accounting Software, …Picking the Perfect Executive Coach, …Creating Your Social Media Strategy.
  3. 5 Powerful (YOUR FIELD) Lessons from (POPULAR NEWS TOPIC/CULTURAL REFERENCE): This one is super fun, because it allows you to be timely (and show up in what people are searching on right now) and showcase your cleverness in relating your expertise to something that culturally binds us. One of my most popular blog posts was 4 Powerful Business Lessons from James Bond and Skyfall. The other form this can take is “What (POPULAR TOPIC) Can Teach You About (YOUR FIELD).” Relate key lessons or tips you always talk about to something timely and hot and give it a fun spin (if the topic allows for it) or simply analyze a current news story through the lens of your expertise, as I did in popular posts about Lance Armstrong’s and Susan G. Komen’s epic brand fails.
  4. 7 Lessons Learned When (YOUR FIELD OR INTEREST): You have wisdom to share based on your experience (See #1 above) and your audience is thirsting for it. What can you share about mistakes you’ve made, unique things you’ve done, or clients you’ve worked with? What can they learn from your story? Remember, share your lessons but ensure you make it about how it applies to the reader. I loved sharing 7 Lessons I learned While Writing A Book…And What They Can Teach You as well as, yes, the 7 lessons that a brain injury can teach you about your brand.
  5. Pose a question related to your subject area: Think about the most popular questions you get asked about your business, brand or profession and turn that into a single-threaded blog post. How Do I Write Good Sales Copy? How Do I Work with a Stylist? How Long Does A Website Take to Build? What is a Brand Strategy? This helps you showcase your expertise, offer great advice and even make it easy for new people to join your tribe and not feel like they don’t know some inside joke. Remember, your audience may be at different phases of the buying cycle and are only just now getting to know you and your brand.
  6. Interview another rockstar expert: Are there folks related to your field from whom your audience would loooooove to get the inside scoop? You don’t have to be the expert in everything. But you can be the go-to resource for curating that info and brining those guests to your community. Are you a health and wellness coach? Interview a stylist to help your clients showcase their brand new health bods. Are you an Etsy store selling handmade jewelry? Interview a party planner on how to throw the perfect jewelry party for your friends. Do you sell customer management software to small businesses? Interview a branding expert to give them tips on how to build their brand online and create compelling content. These can be super easy to create. In my Slice of Brilliance column, I interview experts in related fields that are of interest to you and send them a 3-question form to fill out. You get a great blog post, your audience gets great content, and you get the added bonus of that rockstar also promoting your post! #Winning
  7. Make one observation on your industry and present your point of view: These are the thought leader posts, the ones that inspire, delight, provoke thought – and get shared. There must be something you love or hate about your industry that you have a view point on: your disgust with smarmy sales pitches (if you’re a sales consultant), your crush on brands that give back to the community (if you run an advertising agency), your confusion over why contracts can’t be written in plain English (if you’re a lawyer), your deep hatred of hyperbolic software sales claims (if you run a software company). How can you make this personal commentary interesting and relevant to your audience? Ensure there’s a strong takeaway that they can ponder or act upon – otherwise it’s just a rant. I tried to do this with my observations about how perfection holds many people back from birthing their great ideas into the world or why you are called to create something that matters, rather than spew more noise into the world.

P.S. Need help coming up with more compelling content? Want to learn the secrets to writing copy that seduces your audience? Want more content creation tips? Get it here.

Image credit: qnuckx via Flickr

What Are Your Competitors Success Secrets? Here’s How to Find Out

04.14.15 secrets BLOG

Is it possible to check out your competitors without falling into a deep, dark pool of insecurity and self-doubt?

Yes. Here’s how.

Paramount to this process is the act of objectively, strategically seeing what your competitors are doing. There’s little benefit to weeping with envy over your competitor’s perfect prose but it is helpful to notice how many service offerings they have or how often they post on Facebook.

There’s a  fine line between diligently staying your course and sticking your head in the sand. It’s just ego to think you never need to change and adapt. You must know what is going on in the marketplace and more importantly, what your prospective customers are seeing and experiencing if you want to stay relevant and compelling. Great businesses understand the fine art of this balance between nimbly reacting to competitor moves and staying true to their own vision.

With that in mind, I created a handy, dandy worksheet for you. This worksheet will help you gather tons of helpful information and remove a lot of those self-esteem ruining moments.

Share this worksheet and help others learn about their competitors the objective way. (Tweet this!)


How many products or services do they offer?

Do they post their prices? If so, how much do they charge? If they have similar offerings to what you have, are there features they include in the price or do they charge extra?

Are their offerings one-on-one and customized? Do they offer packaged info products? Group offerings? A mixture of both?

Are their offerings evergreen and always available? Or do they open and close periodically?

Does it seem like they’re a one-person operation? Or do they have a large team?

Do they have testimonials? How many? Are their testimonials on a separate page or on specific service pages – or both?


Does their site look professionally designed? Is it easy to navigate?

What is the vibe and the main messages or benefits they tout?

How do they present their offerings: by industry, by audience, by type?

Do they have a newsletter? How do they entice people into signing up for their newsletter?

How many places do they link to or promote their newsletter and other offerings throughout the site (cross-linking)?

Do they have a blog? If so, how often do they post?

Are their blog posts related to their offerings?

How long is their About page? Are there outgoing links on their About page? If so, where are those links going?

Do they use a pop up to capture emails?

Social media

Which social media platforms are they on? Where are they most active?

How often do they post on those channels? What type of content do they post?

How many followers/fans do they have on each channel and more importantly, how ENGAGED are those fans? (RTs, Shares, Likes, Comments).Which posts get the most comments, shares or likes? Are there common threads you can see in their topics, format or which posts are most popular?

Do they @mention people or use specific hashtags?

Do they use images?

What “voice” do they use in social media? Is it consistent with their brand? 

What link do they use on their social media profiles? Does it go to their home page? A landing page?

Print this out, pour yourself a glass of wine (I may be drinking a nice shiraz) and see what insights you can gather from your competitors.

And then use that information to tweak your online space accordingly.

Have you ever researched your competitors online? Share your best tips in the comments!

P.S. If you find that most of your competitors are using Twitter more effectively than you are, this will help. If you need help with Facebook, read this.

photo by Grey World // cc