More than a Few Words

Lorraine Ball | Digital Toolbox


A marketing conversation for business owners. The brief episodes of this marketing podcast are filled with practical tips from business owners and marketing professionals from around the world.

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754 episodes

#756 Email - Your Little Black Marketing Dress

----more----Every woman has that little black dress in her wardrobe. Classic in design it is not too trendy and not too stodgy.  It is incredibly versatile. With the right accessories, jackets, scarves or cool shoes it is perfect for every occasion, year in and year out.  And every smart marketer knows that email is their little black dress. It goes well with all of the other elements in your marketing wardrobe. From the hottest marketing trend to the most basic marketing campaign, email makes all your other marketing more effective.  Updating your website? Promote it on email. Building your social community? Reconnect with your audience through email. As you're planning your marketing wardrobe for next season, don't forget email, your little black marketing dress. 

Aug 07
#755 Managing a Business and a Family

So you think you've got distractions and can't start a business. Well my guest, Renee Harris has nine children and still found a way to build a six-figure business.  How did she balance the demands of a family and the demands of running a business? Renee explains. " We didn't start with 9 kids when we started a business and just like when you have kids normally you don't get them all at once and normally a business doesn't just fall in your lap. "  She didn't try to do everything at once, focusing on a few things and let the business and the family grow.  She built strategies to engage her children in the process and keep them occupied, when she needed to work on the business.   About Renee She is the founder of MadeOn - a unique handcrafted skincare product  line specifically for dry, cracked skin. What started as a simple farmer's market booth has grown into 6-figure online business.  She has also raised 9 children along the way, teaching them business skills and strategies to develop a marketable talent that earns them a sustainable income.      

Aug 04
#754 Make Your Content Fun

Social media and content marketing should be fun.  If you are not feeling the fun in the content you are creating then your audience is probably bored, and so are you.   But it doesn't have to be that way.  Guest Elizabeth Ruth suggests when you start with a clear brand voice it is easier to create content which entertains and is memorable enough to help you sell products.  About Elizabeth Ruth.    Elizabeth is the Owner and Chief Copy Writer for ER Marketing Services The agency empowers business owners to attract incredible clients, connect with their audience, and establish their industry authority. Elizabeth and her team specialize in designing marketing strategies and writing content for websites, blog posts, social media, and emails or newsletters. 

Aug 02
#753 -No Social, Just Media

Facebook is on a mission to take the social out of social media.  They've announced changes to their algorithm that you're already seeing. They're prioritizing ads and video from complete strangers over the updates from friends and family members. Those updates are going to be buried somewhere and you're really going to have to look for them. As a user, this is incredibly frustrating. And as a business owner, it's confusing as I tried to figure out how to navigate this post algorithm change world where there's really no social and it's all just media.   Looking for help keeping up with changes in the digital marketing landscape?  Join the Digital Toolbox today.  

Jul 31
#752 Profit Over People

These days business is built on relationships. So when you are in a networking situation, guest Patty Farmer suggests you remember to focus on the people and the profits will follow.  The relationships  we build are the currency in today's business environment. So think of your business like an ATM machine.  Are you making more deposits or more withdrawals? This is a return appearance for Patty.  If you enjoyed this episode, you are sure to find value in our earlier conversations.

Jul 28
#751 The International Team

These days, it seems everyone is talking about working remote. with advances in technology, you can work anywhere in the country or anywhere in the world. As a business owner, managing a remote, international team has some similarities to managing other teams and a few unique challenges. This week, Matt Levenhagen joins us for a conversation about running an international team.   About Matt For more than 20 years, Matt has on web design, affiliate marketing, niche marketing, PPC advertising and SEO.  Today his company, Unified Web Design, is comprised of a with a team of professionals from around the world. 

Jul 26
#750 Success in a Rocky Economy

I know the economy is rocky. Yes, things have been bumpy for the last three years. But the truth is, this isn't the first time it's happened, and it will be the last. If you want your business to still be around when things finally settle down, here are a few things you should do. __ __ If you're looking for resources that can help you review your marketing and start planning for the next quarter be sure to check out the DigitalToolbox.Club  

Jul 24
#749 Find Your One True Love

When it comes to finding your life's love or passion is there really only one? Maybe you think that's a strange introduction for a marketing conversation. But it's not.  Just as finding that one true love is important to your personally, it is also true for you as an entrepreneur.  There is happiness and profit when you commit to your one true passion.   Guest Jennifer Crawford  says is lots of talk in the entrepreneurial space about finding your why.  It can be a complex journey to find your why or your zone of genius.  Getting to the point where you are willing to let go of things that aren't in your zone of genius actually takes a bit of self-reflection.  In a way, the pandemic helped because it gave us the time and space to put the brakes on some things as we figured out what really was meaningful for us.    About Jennifer Crawford Jennifer’s passion is helping people grow their businesses. In addition to business and conference consulting, she is also the co-founder of a recently launched company, Sparent–a virtual temp agency staffed by stay at home moms with skills to spare.    

Jul 21
#748 The Psychology of Words

Sometimes when people write copy they forget they're not just writing for SEO.  They need to keep in mind they are writing to attract the attention of real people who have  specific reasons for reading the information  According to our guest, Rai Hyde Cornell, Google's not the one clicking the buy now or book a call button. They are not the ones making the decision. So, why are you going to prioritize Google and Google's spiders and search bots over the actual humans who have the real power to buy.  Those are the people that you want to be speaking to.   About Rai Rai Hyde Cornell is the CEO & Senior Copywriter at Cornell Content Marketing and Business Mentor & Coach at Chiron Consulting. Over her 15+ years in online marketing and writing, Rai has worked in hundreds of businesses, helping them grow and achieve their goals. Though she no longer works in the mental health field, her deep understanding of human behavior, emotion, and decision-making is honored in everything she teaches and creates for her clients. As a mentor and coach at Chiron Consulting, she works with freelancers and self-employed entrepreneurs to help them dramatically increase their incomes and their quality of life as independent income generators. At Cornell Content Marketing, Rai teaches entrepreneurs and business owners how to use content to build powerful, lasting relationships with customers. Now, she's sharing all of her most powerful business AND manifestation tricks and techniques with other freelancers.

Jul 19
#747 The Right Price

What is the right price for your product or service? Most small business owners struggle with this question, because they confuse the cost of producing the product with the value it brings to the customer. When it comes to establishing a price for your goods or services, the value of your product has absolutely nothing to do with production cost. The value is based on how much you help clients save, increase, reduce or improve. If you can quantify these benefits, then you have a foundation for establishing an appropriate price for your goods or services. Calculate Your Value How much value do you deliver? Use these questions to build your value: __ __ Focus on the Benefits Customers buy the benefits, the solutions to their problems. If you can associate a dollar value with specific benefits, you have a powerful message to include in your marketing material and a solid foundation to charge a premium price for your product!

Jul 17
#746 A.I. and You

If you're a little bit of a sci-fi nerd. The idea that the robots are coming can be a little bit terrifying. But if you're a marketer in today's world the advent of Ai is an exciting opportunity.    Guest Thomas Helfrich agrees some of the early AI content wasn't great it has gotten much better. It's doing a great job for small businesses looking to produce short marketing copy titles and headlines. But for longer form you still need a human in the loop. 

Jul 14
#745 Avoid Social Media Overwhelm

Do you feel overwhelmed by social media if you do you're not alone but I've got some good news for you because there are things you can do to manage the chaos and make the time you're spending on social media productive.  Our guest, Andrea Jones explains one of the challenges with social media is that it's a mixture of our business and our personal life.  one of the tricks is to identify why you're on social media to begin with  and separate the platforms for personal and business use. The second tip is to turn off notifications and block out specific times to use social media as a total grow  business with daily time spent with her  community and weekly time spent creating content. By giving herself those boundaries  she is able to reduce that overwhelming feeling    About Andrea Andréa Jones has built an online business committed to empowering businesses to utilize the power of social media in a positive and impactful way, without being overwhelmed and drained by it. With over 7 years experience in the game, Andréa hosts the acclaimed podcast, the Savvy Social Podcast, leads a team providing done-for-you service inside of her marketing agency that was named a Top Digital Marketing Agency in 2021, and serves over 200 students in her membership, the Savvy Social School.

Jul 12
#744 I Love Evergreen Content

One of the things I love about living in Indiana is the color of the seasons. There are the bright pastels of spring, the rich greens of summer, and the bright orange and yellow of fall. The exception is winter. The dreary days of winter seem colorless and bland compared to the vibrancy of colors throughout the rest of the year. That’s why I love evergreen trees. They bring spots of color to my view all year long. Just as these wonderful trees bring consistent color to my yard, evergreen content brings spots of color to a marketing calendar. What is evergreen content? It is information which is always relevant to readers. Unlike seasonal content or breaking news, this information answers questions readers have every day. That’s one of the advantages of evergreen content, you can insert it into your blogging schedule whenever you need filler. Frequently asked questions, simple how-to blog posts, or product reviews make great evergreen content. These posts can be researched and written well in advance. Then they are ready whenever you need some fresh content but there just isn’t anything happening that is newsworthy. Breaking news gets stale Sure breaking news and hot industry trends are exciting to write about and read, but they are hot for a moment and then become irrelevant.  The posts may get a lot of traction when they are written, but like the beautiful spring flowers I love so much, they fade quickly. How to write evergreen content Start with the questions customers ask. Look in your email folder for those long answers you have already written. Use your answer as the foundation of a FAQ. If one customer has the question, others will as well. In addition to rounding out your blog, these posts tend to index well on Google, as prospective customers search for answers. The timeless nature of this type of content allows it to build value over time. A well written FAQ or how-to article with a good title and appropriate keywords will bring traffic to your website weeks, months, and even years after it is published.   Focus on Keywords. Brainstorm a list of keywords you want to rank for. Use a keyword tool such as Google Trends or Google Search Console to find alternatives and ideas. I searched the phrase WordPress SEO, for example, and Google Trends suggested WordPress SEO plugin and WordPress SEO Themes. Both of these would make interesting posts on their own. They are more “niche topics” which means a well written post has a better shot at rising to the top because there will be less competition. Commit to Quality. If you want your post to stand the test of time, you can’t just slap up a 500 word article and call it a day. If you do, another article will come along pretty quickly and knock you down. So take extra time with your evergreen content. Research the topic, add unique examples, and your perspective. Create an article which isn’t just another 5 Ways to Do This….. Update Periodically. I know, I said this would be the kind of blog post that would stand the test of time. IT wouldn’t age, it would live on forever. All of that is true. But if it is a great traffic draw for your website, go back occasionally and add new content, a different image, and maybe a new CTA to keep it fresh. The key to successful blogging isn’t necessarily more content, just better content. LOOKING FOR MORE BLOGGING TIPS?  CHECK OUT OUR NEW BLOGGING FOR BUSINESS SELF PACED COURSE

Jul 10
#743 - Stop Creating Content and Start Telling Stories.

When it comes to creating content, the age old question seems to be " What do you write about? The biggest challenge of creating content is staring at that blank sheet of paper. But according to guest Kathleen Celmins, it doesn't have to be. The trick is to stop creating content and start telling stories with your clients, not you as the hero.   In the "story" focus on their transformation, how they changed as a result of working with you.  That is the source of compelling content!    About Kathleen Kathleen Celmins (SELL mins) is the cofounder of amplifiedNOW, a hub for solopreneurs and small business owners who want to grow their businesses sustainably. Practical advice, no shiny objects here.

Jul 07
#742 Unlock Your Creativity with Art.

People tell me they're they don't think they're creative. But that's not true. Everyone is creative. We just express it differently. And you need that creativity to solve the business and personal challenges in your life.  In this episode, our guest Fiona Valentine explains how simple it can be to unlock your creativity by  drawing just a few minutes every day.  Starting with a structure approach to learn the basic rules, anyone can learn to draw. That skill, in turn will unlock new parts of your brain, helping you think in new and different ways. 

Jul 05
#741 Shaping Your Brand Position

What do you want people to say about you when you're not in the room. What do you want them to tell people. who are looking for someone who does what you do? All of those comments add up to your personal brand. Now a lot of business owners are under the misconception that somehow they control their brand. But they don't. Your brand is something that exists in the mind of your customers.  All you can do is influence it with your marketing messages and your actions and over time you will create a brand representative of who you are. Looking for more resources on branding and positioning?  Start with the position statement workbook

Jul 03
#740 Flip the Sales Conversation

You think you know everything about sales. You've heard all the presentations and everybody talks about pain and objections. Well, my guest Chandler Walker thinks that might be the wrong way to approach a sales.  He believes the goal isn't just to stab at a prospect to find the pain.  Instead, when you become a cognitive listener you are able to identify the pain and understand where the pain exists.  Using that information you must help the prospect look not just short term, fixing the pain, but long term at the underlying issues which prevent them from being successful. 

Jun 30
#739 Better Networking Results

I love a good networking event. but I know not everybody loves that process.  They're often confused and frustrated with how to start the conversation and where to go after they've opened it.  Laura Templeton suggests you start by ditching the pitch mentality. Start by crafting a short "I help" statement.  So when someone asks what you do, you an say I help . . .  That makes the conversation about your customers not you.  The next trick is to have a great set of questions you can use to get the other person talking.  

Jun 28
#738 It Takes a Village

Every parent knows, It takes a village to raise a child. Each of the adults in the child’s life, relatives, teachers, coaches, brings a different perspective. The same is true for your business. No matter how smart you are or how much you know about your business, there are gaps in your skill-set. Your business village should be filled with smart, talented subject matter experts to help you fill in the gaps. If you are running a small business your village won't be comprised of employees, but an advisory board comprised of professionals, who provide information and guidance in their areas of expertise.  Who Do You Need in Your Business Village? (On your advisory board)  Your Attorney Your attorney’s primary objective is to protect you and your business from risk. As you start you business your attorney can advise you on the right structure for your business and submit appropriate state and federal documents. As you business grows turn to your attorney for a range of legal documents such as contracts, non-disclosure agreements, and non-compete agreements with employees. An attorney who is familiar with your business makes the process of creating new documents much more efficient because you won’t have to start each review by explaining what your business is about.   Your Accountant There are bookkeepers, financial accountants and tax accountants. Which do you need? Well that depends on your comfort level with the numbers of your business. A bookkeeper keeps your day to day operations on track, paying bills and invoicing clients. A financial accountant is someone who can provide guidance not just bookkeeping assistance. Your accountant should prepare financial reports on a monthly basis and review key numbers with you. Your accountant should be able to help you predict if you have enough cash to meet future obligations and growth goals. A tax accountant does more than just prepare your tax returns, understanding your business, he/she can help you make decisions about when to invest, when to pull back, and how to avoid paying more than you should in taxes each year.  Your Banker The worst time to establish a banking relationship is when you need money. As you start your business get to know your local business banker. He/she will advise you on the types of accounts you will need, develop a cash management strategy, and secure funding when you need it. Your Financial Planner For many small business owners, the business is your retirement plan. The question is will this be enough? Don’t guess. A good financial planner will look at both your personal and business finances to make sure you have what you need when you are ready to walk away from the business. Your IT and Marketing Support Sure, you can manage your computers and software on your own. You can post content on social media and call it marketing, but just like every other element of your business, you need to stop and ask yourself, should you? Is this the best use of your time, and do you really have the expertise to manage those roles in house. If not, it is time to add these professionals to your team. In both cases, the industry is changing rapidly. You need people on your advisory board who understand both the trends and your business objectives. Lean on them to make the right suggestions about where and when to invest so you can focus on growing your business.  Build Your Business Village Sure you may own your own business, but you don’t have to do it all on your own. Start building your village today. Don’t try to do it all at once. Find someone in one of these categories and enlist their aid in filling the other slots on your advisory board.

Jun 26
#737 - A Rational Approach to SEO

Think you know how Google works?  Guest, Kyle Roof explains your assumptions may not be right.  For example, many people think Google reads a web page as a human would.  Google is not able to do that, it isn't pulling meaning from your content.  It is an algorithm  looking at your content not from an editorial quality perspective, but a mathematical one looking to see if you check off the boxes in the formula.  Start with does your page include the keyword or phrase.  Google will look for contextual terms terms that provide context and meaning to understand what this page is about. In addition to the phrase, Google is looking at very specific sections on the page for those important terms and how many times you are using them in those sections. The sections include the title, meta descriptions and URL.      About Kyle Roof Kyle is responsible for the development and implementation of all SEO techniques used by the SEO agency High Voltage SEO and the SEO tool PageOptimizer Pro Kyle is also the co-founder of Internet Marketing Gold, a global community of 3000+ SEO professionals who test and prove cutting edge SEO techniques.  Kyle’s SEO techniques and discoveries are followed by many SEO professionals and business leaders, he has been featured in many respected publications and is a regular speaker on SEO and SEO testing at conferences throughout the world.  

Jun 23
#736 Sitting on a Gold Mine

I bet you didn't know that you're sitting on a gold mine. but according to my guest Mary Henderson, are. As human beings. we experiences built over a lifetime, and those experiences are currency.   This is particularly true of former corporate executives who are exploring entrepreneurship.  The skills you build over your career   can be worth millions if you can systemize your knowledge, wisdom and skill set, transforming that into a solution   Too often, however these would-be entrepreneurs make the mistake of starting with the hunt for customers when they should be working through a four part process  of defining their brand, their process, creating digital assets and then their website and sales tools.    About Mary  Mary is an internationally recognized Personal Branding & Online Business Specialist. Mary helps Service Industry Experts systemize, digitalize and commercialize their knowledge, wisdom and skills into a scalable & profitable online business and a brand so they become an authority in their niche or industry.

Jun 20
#735 Power Words

 Words have power to move, motivate, inspire, frightened and cheer, what you say and how you say it can have a strong impact on another person. Some words, called power words have more impact than others. These words have strong meaning, which can trigger a psychological or an emotional response. They're persuasive, pushing people to action. Using these power words in your web copy, email communication, social media, will grab the attention or your reader and move them to action. There are three kinds of power words seductive, emotional, and sensory, seductive, emotional and sensory. Seductive words actually override logical reasoning and compel people to take action. Words like new, free, how to, and because seduce people to action.  Emotional power words, tap into emotions that drive people to action. Fear, jealousy, curiosity, joy, surprise and anger are just some of the emotions you can tap into as you write your headlines. The final category are the sensory power words.  These words paint a picture in your mind of how we experience the world. Engage the eyes with words related to color, shape or appearance or tease the sense of touch as you describe textures. Words like gloomy, dazzling, bright, gritty, creepy, or slimy, all create sensory pictures in the mind of your audience. Want to experiment with power words?  - Grab a copy of our Power Words Workbook put the power of words, to work for you! 

Jun 19
#734 What Type of Bird are You

Whether you're trying to hire a new person, work with an agency or close a sale, the very first step is really figuring out if you're sitting across the table from the right person. The problem is that people don't come with scorecards telling you exactly who they are and whether or not they're a good fit, or do they?  Social engineer, Benjamin Bressington says there is a scorecard, if you look for it.  In this episode, he boils down people into four  main types, each with a set of communication patterns that give you insight into how they think. Listen to this conversation to understand if you are an Eagle, Dove, Peacock or owl.   

Jun 16
#733 The Rule of 26

What if you could improve the amount of traffic that came to your website, the amount of conversions and the lifetime value of  customers by 26% each?  My guest Michael Buzinski developed the Rule of 26  to help busy business owners understand we do not have to dive into the complexities of digital marketing to get revenue from our websites. He believes many business owners think of their website as an expense and not a revenue generating tool. To help change their perspective, he shows them how to double the revenue coming from your website  by focusing on just three objectives; web traffic, conversion rate and lifetime value of customers coming from your website. About Michael Buzinski Michael Buzinski is a lifelong entrepreneur, digital marketing thought leader, and best-selling author. Dubbed a “visionary marketer” by the American Marketing Association, Michael’s sole mission is to  reduce the prevalence of entrepreneurial poverty in the US. Buzz, as most call him, has simplified digital marketing success with the Rule of 26 help entrepreneurs avoid the time drain and frustration of managing profitable digital marketing campaigns.

Jun 14
#732 Healthy Conflict

Wouldn't it be nice if we all just got along. That might seem like a good idea but it really isn't. You can't eliminate conflict completely. and you shouldn't. Well-managed conflict actually cultivates discussions and create opportunities to uncover new and innovative solutions. Accept conflict as a natural part of your relationship with employees and with all of the people in your life. It isn't necessarily good or bad.  It can be very healthy if the conflict occurs when people have different ideas on how to solve a problem and they feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and ideas. The conflict resolution process leads to open and honest conversations often about more than just the issue on the table. It can be messy and it might take time to work through some of the conflicts but the end result is going to be a great solution.  

Jun 12
#731 Vacation-Proof Your Business

All work and no play makes Jack or Jill very dull.  As a business owner you work really hard but you also need to find ways to get away and take a vacation.  Guest Carol Clegg shared great vacation preparation tips from working ahead, to finding co-working spaces along the way to get things done.   You have to prioritize and focus on those things which have to get done to keep your business.  But you may not have to be the person to do the work.    About Carol Clegg Carol Clegg, is the owner of Classic Exec Marketing, a marketing consultant and a goal achievement coach supporting global women entrepreneurs in midlife to get organized, streamline their strategies and use time-saving tools to optimize the things in your business that YOU want.  

Jun 09
#730 What Makes You Remarkable

Why should I buy from you? That's the question we have to answer if we want to grow our business.  My guest, Rich Brooks thinks the answer needs to be remarkable.  And he has developed a formula to help business owners find makes them remarkable.   It starts with the four "F's" - find, focus, fashion and frame.  About Rich Rich Brooks is founder and president of flyte new media, a digital agency in Portland, Maine, that’s been in business for over 24 years. He is a nationally recognized speaker on entrepreneurship, digital marketing, and social media. He founded The Agents of Change, and annual conference and weekly podcast that focuses on search, social & mobile marketing. He is also the author of The Lead Machine: The Small Business Guide to Digital Marketing  

Jun 07
#729 Buying Journey

Let's go on a buying journey. Think about the last item that you bought, where you spent more than $100. Maybe it was something for your business or home. Write down the item where you bought and work backwards through your buying journey and describe why you chose that particular product. Did If you've seen advertising? Did someone recommended it? Was there information on social media which made you curious? Write down all of the things you remember related to that purchase. For example, we recently installed new windows in our house. Before we bought the windows, we talked to a few of our neighbors, checked. Angie's List, and then we went to the company website. Do this exercise two or three times for different types of purchases, so you get a better picture of your typical buying process.  What information sources to you rely on and what influenced you?  Next, build your customers by journey the same way. Evaluate your marketing based on  your typical buying process. If you were a customer for your product or service, would you notice your marketing? If the answer is yes, that's great. if you are your target customer.  If you're not your target customer, you got some work to do.  Ask several of your customers about their buying journey and see how that lines up with your marketing.  Make sure you are spending money on marketing to enhance their buying journey.  The trick for small business owners is not to spend more money, but to spend well, making investments designed to motivate customers to pay attention to you. 

Jun 05
#728 Follow Your Passion and Make Money Along the Way

If you're like a lot of people you may be under the misconception that you have to make a choice between doing what you really love or making money but that doesn't have to be the case.  Guest Joel Salomon doesn't believe you should have to make that choice.  It starts with transforming limiting beliefs into empowering beliefs and creating affirmations to shift your mindset. Use present tense, not future tense language.  Saying the affirmations out loud to start your day.  You don't have to jump all at once to your new career, start with baby steps.  Carve out time each day to work on your passion, until it generates enough money for you to make the leap. 

Jun 02
#727 Build Your Super Toolkit

Do you have a super toolkit for your business? Also called standard operating procedures (SOPs), when created correctly give business owners freedom to work on their business.  This week, our guest Kris Ward explains that many business owners make the mistake of creating  static SOP's to cover liability.  The narrow definition and inflexible design will actually hold you back. A super toolkit will grow and change along as the business grows and changes.   About Kris Ward Kris Ward is an author, podcaster coach, and speaker. She is a team building and system strategist and a leading authority in building your business by building your team. She is the founder of Win the Hour, Win the Day day philosophy and she helps entrepreneurs create their WIN team. Learn more at:

May 31