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How to Make a Good First Impression Online

Are you frustrated that people don’t “get” who you are or “what you are about” when they look at your website or social media profiles? Feel like your success and expertise don’t really come through when people check you out online?


You know what I’m talking about when you look at others’ profiles or websites – and you just can’t quite figure out what they do. So you have to scroll and click and scroll and click (if you don’t give up) trying to better understand what they are about before you will decide to connect with them – or better yet – subscribe to their newsletter or buy their book or service?

Oh – I get it!

On the other hand, don’t you love it when you go to someone’s social media profiles or website and you instantly “get it”? The way they are portraying themselves online makes you quickly and easily want more of what they are sharing, teaching or offering – right? You excitedly hit “follow” or “connect” or offer up your email address to get their expert content delivered right to your email inbox!

Do you wonder what the secret is? How do some people make this terrific first impression so effortlessly, while others send mixed and confusing messages?

Wonder no more…there are the 3 simple changes that you can make online to instantly look like the expert you are?

Seriously, these 3 things have nothing to do with elevator pitches, or target audiences or even high-falutin’ technology! They are ludicrously simple improvements that can even be managed in less than a ½ hour.

The three things that you need to change or update are:

  1. Your picture
  2. Your bio
  3. Your CTA (Call To Action)

Sound too easy, or think you already have this covered? Or want to know more? Then dive into this downloadable “3 SIMPLE CHANGES TO INSTANTLY IMPROVE YOUR “EXPERT” STATUS ONLINE” guide – right now.


The easy-to-follow guide walks you through the best practices for each one of these elements, and breaks it down so you define who you are, what you’re about and why people should connect with you.

Once you are clear and consistent with these 3 key elements across your social media networks and on your website, it will be so much easier for your fans to value you as an expert, engage with you and help grow your platform.

Want to know more about building your platform for your next big book launch or creative project? Let’s schedule a “clarity call” and see if I can help.


Behind the “Seens” – Podcasting Advice from Phyllis Nichols

Phyllis Nichols of SoundAdvice Sales and Marketing is an amazing master of messaging and crafter of content. We’ve worked together on all things digital marketing and helping people get their message out for the past several years. On the heels of a record-breaking year launching podcasts for clients, Phyllis shares her advice about why you should consider podcasting and how to get started.  

Nancy: What is the difference you’re seeing in the type of client work you’re doing and in terms of content marketing in general?

Phyllis: Podcasting has been a game changer for us and the business obviously. It’s also been a game changer in how people can think about putting content together. Content marketing has a place and when it’s done well you get a good return but it’s a long game.

For some people depending on their team and their bandwidth and the way they like to communicate, creating content can be hard. Podcasting makes it easier. Most of us communicate much better verbally. We’re much more comfortable with that. We also come across better and more interesting than we might in written form. I could write an article with this information, but you and I having this conversation is ultimately much more interesting than anything I could ever write.

Nancy: What do you say to the person who’s says “I could never podcast because there is too much tech and investment involved.”?

Phyllis: The technology part was a legitimate issue a couple of years ago when podcasting was newer. In the early days of podcasting that was kind of true. You had to have some decent equipment and you had to understand some technology but today that is not true. You can start podcasting with your phone or with your laptop and a web-based app that doesn’t cost anything. Financially you don’t have to spend anything.

Nancy: Can people get into podcasting without having years of voice lessons or speaking lessons?

Phyllis: Podcasting is a really forgiving medium because it’s not live. You can sit down and record and you can pause, you can stop. You can redo it or you can edit it. Editing also takes out um’s and ah’s and pauses and background noise. You don’t have to be perfect. You don’t have to say everything just right because it’s not a one take situation.  I could do it two or three times until it sounded just the way I wanted.

Nancy: How do you help your podcast clients look professional or how do you help them go from recording a podcast to showing up on iTunes?

Phyllis: I started podcasting a couple years ago and I figured it all out on my own. We’ve figured out all the steps you have to do in the very beginning. There are a lot of things you have to do once. There are a few steps that aren’t complicated but have to be done right – in a specific order. It’s about getting your foundation set up right. Most people don’t have the expertise because it’s just a one-time thing. We help people get all that set up done.

(Ninja note!) Here’s something else I want I mention. iTunes is the biggest platform but it’s not the only one anymore. There are almost 30 when I last researched it. We put people get on multiple platforms. There’s a specific process to follow to get your podcast on iTunes etc. It’s not hard but it has to be done they way they want it. It’s the same Stitcher and Spotify and Google. Once you have that set up then every new podcast in the feed automatically gets uploaded to all of those places.

Nancy: People are already doing social media and blog posts so they wonder why do I need to do a podcast?  But as we learned from Laura Vanderkam, one of our mutual author clients, she attracted a completely different audience than she was capturing on all of those other platforms. It’s become a new way to meet people who process information differently.

Phyllis: There are people who will listen to podcasts who would never read a blog post and may never read your book. There’s also a really cool connection factor too. It’s a singular experience. When I’m listening to somebody on a podcast it’s just me and them.

One of our podcasters went to an event not related to her podcast. Somebody behind her heard her talking and recognized her voice. That level of relationship building is powerful. It can be done in other ways, but it would be much harder and certainly much more expensive. Think about what it would take to speak in front of 20 intimate groups. It would require a lot more money and time and energy.

Nancy: What do you say to people who say it’s too late – everybody has a podcast?

Phyllis: It’s just not true and this isn’t me saying this. It’s industry people and people who track trends. Recently, Spotify announced they are planning to invest five hundred million dollars in podcasting in 2019. They want to be the place to go for all audio content. Adweek is tracking marketing dollars and comparing it to early stage internet advertising. They think this is just the beginning. So it’s not too late.

Nancy: What are the trends in podcasting and audio content?

Phyllis: One of the big drivers are the home devices like Alexa and Google Home. You can listen to podcasts there now too. You don’t even have to own one of the devices. You can use the app on your phone.

Amazon announced that over a hundred million of the devices have been purchased and are being used. That doesn’t count the people just using the app. That’s 100 million new people and these devices are in our home. Audience potential is crazy big and keeps growing.

Nancy: What if a person wants to test the water first, and be interviewed on a podcast? How does one get on a podcast as a guest?

Phyllis: With new podcasts being started come opportunities for conversations. Look for podcasts that are going to cover topics that you would like to talk about with an audience that’s similar to your target audience. Not competing interests but overlapping interests. Listen to the podcast to make sure you’re a good fit. Then pitch them an idea. Many podcasters have a form on their website for you to fill out if you want to be a guest.

A lot of podcasters are actively looking for interesting guests to talk to and most will appreciate a well thought out idea. You could take one or two hours once a month and identify four or five podcasts you’d like to be on and either fill out the forms or send a nice email. Think how cool it is to expand your network. It’s a really great way to expand how we’re connecting with people.

Nancy: And how often should people create and post their podcast? Also, is there an ideal time length?

Phyllis: Frequency and consistency help, so once a week is a good place to start.  As for length of podcast it should be however long it takes for you to be interesting and get your point across in a good way. Also be aware of your audience and where and how they listen.

Nancy: What’s the best way to find you? What’s the best way to learn more about getting started with podcasting?

Phyllis: If anyone is interested and want to find out a little more information you can go to the website SoundAdvice Sales and Marketing and download the Getting Started Guide. It will walk you through all the things related to getting started. Feel free to reach out to me there or on Facebook

If you know you want to do a podcast, I would encourage you to start recording. You can share info on your own or start having a few good conversations and hit the record button. The more you do it the better you get at it. The more fun you have and the more you do it, the easier it’s going to feel to you.

Nancy: Ultimately, it’s great advice to just get started. I want to see more people creating these conversations in more intimate ways and podcasting is a good way to go. Thank you for helping people do that.

Phyllis: Thank you Nancy! Someday, I hope that I’m going to be able to hear your podcast!

Nancy: Watch this space . . .


Are you interested in podcasting? Have you already started or been a guest? Want to learn more or plan out your content? Let’s connect and figure out how you can take your expertise to the next level with new audiences.

Behind the “Seens” with the “Getting To Hell Yes!” team

Let’s go “Behind the Seens” with Alexandra Jamieson and Bob Gower, co-authors of the recently launched book, Getting to Hell Yes! The Conversations That Will Change Your Business and The Rest of Your Life and my go-to branding expert and project partner, Vicky Vitarelli of The Organized Brand.

Vicky and I had great time working with Alex and Bob and were excited that they were able to share how they decided to write and ultimately publish their book.


(sorry for the wonky image – darn Facebook – but video works fine)


Theirs is not the typical publishing story.

Alex and Bob knew that to get their book Getting to Hell Yes! into as many hands as possible, the ultimate goal, it was going to be necessary to find new ways to brand, publish and market their first joint project together.

The premise of their book is that it provides a 4-part conversation structure and teaches you how to talk about emotional or highly charged topics in an easy non-confrontational way. It’s a tool they use and teach. They received so many requests for the guidelines that they began writing up what was first imagined as a simple Word document to share with clients and friends.

It then became clear that this should be a book and a resource. The goal: as many people as possible benefitting from having better conversations.

They intentionally made the book short and concise. You can read it in about 90 minutes or so. That was deliberate so that people are empowered to learn the system and then use it. It’s meant to be a practical resource that’s used often.


Don’t miss these great insights on their journey to Getting to Hell Yes! launch:

  • Hear how Bob and Alex decided to make this book come to life. The early decisions and the method for getting it into as many hands as possible.
  • Vicky shares how they figured out what the brand could be and how that was decided.
  • The branding process explained. Both Bob and Alex have personal brands and the new brand is resonating with both audiences which was the goal, but at first it was hard to see how to make that happen.
  • Bob shares the back story about how they created their avatar for the book.
  • Find out why “taking it home” was so important to the authors.
  • How to “Chicken Soup for the Soul” the message and framework. This is huge!
  • Hear how they determined what success with this book would look like.
  • The title Getting to Hell Yes! was strategic and they explain it in the book. A smart strategy!
  • Why they decided to offer this for FREE!
  • The (un)expected bonus from more people and companies knowing Alex and Bob as a result of launching the book.
  • Why a big launch wasn’t the goal and why longevity was the driving decision behind the website components and the free download idea.

This was such a fun project because it allowed for some out-of-the-box thinking and approaches to book marketing. It also proved there are a myriad of ways to plan, execute and measure the success of your book launch when you are clear about your message, your audience and your goals!

To learn more about Alex, Bob, and Getting To Hell Yes!, check out these these resources mentioned in the interview, and download your FREE Getting To Hell Yes! copy today!

Get brand clarity in 5 steps

Get Brand Clarity Now in 5 Easy Steps

As we’re halfway through 2018, now is a perfect time to take inventory of your brand and gain the clarity you need to make any needed shifts to ensure you end this year on top with focused and successful marketing.

I’ve recently been working on some projects with Vicky Vitarelli of V dot V Marketing, and we wanted to share what we think is a basic and practical approach to branding and marketing. We did a Facebook LIVE video to break down the 5 steps or elements to clearly defining your brand.


What is a brand?

VV: It’s how you tell the story about your product and/or services to your customers. It’s how you differentiate yourself from your competitors or entice people to engage with your brand and become clients.

NS: I’ll add that it’s important to figure this out because when you have your brand elements clearly defined, it’s much easier to put your marketing plan in place. You aren’t guessing, and you can be much more consistent in all areas of your marketing.

VV: As we jump into these 5 elements I want people to think about this as a lens that they use to see their brand. You know when you go to the eye doctor and they have you look through the lens and say better/worse? Use that approach to hone it on what parts of these elements are already great and what needs changing or updating.


Brand element No. 1: The physical attributes.

What does it look like? It will include your logo, your colors and fonts used on your materials. All of the things that you use to visually represent your brand identity.

NS: Many people stop right here, but this is just one element of your brand.


Brand element No. 2: Your communication style.

What to do you sound like? Are you a leader, a guide or authority? What type of vocabulary do you use in your messaging? What is the tone? How do you want others to hear you? Soft and nurturing or empowering and bold?

NS: How do your customers experience the way you communicate? How do they hear you?

VV: Right! It’s important to remember that every touch point that your customer has with you is significant. Brand voice shows up everywhere. In your invoices, your web copy, your blog posts. Each part of what a client experiences should have the same voice.

NS: Yes! It’s important not to let some areas become boiler-plate. If you outsource copy and writing it’s important that they understand as well. It’s not just about the facts and figures, they also need to understand the voice and how you want to sound so you stay consistent.


Brand element No. 3: What is your brand promise?

You may be selling a service, or a physical product or a book or a combination of those things. Let’s say people are selling consulting services. That’s not really what your clients are buying. They are buying the solution. An author is selling a book, but they are also selling the messaging in the book. The solution is what your client is buying.

This is also a great place to get clear on why people are buying from you or not buying? Often, digging in to find out why your message is different is a good way to really get clear your unique brand promise.

VV: A great example is the Mastercard “Priceless” campaign. At the time this was conceived, Mastercard was number 2 in their industry. We decided to use that and say Mastercard is for those special purchases, the ones that have to happen, the ones that are not every day. And it worked!

NS: Your brand promise are the benefits around what you are selling and what your clients are looking for.


Brand element No. 4: Who are you selling to?

I often hear people say “Everyone can use my product or service.” And that might be true, but everyone isn’t looking for it and everyone isn’t necessarily going to purchase. If you want to market to everyone it requires a massive budget to reach everybody.

Instead, let’s focus in on who will get the most benefit of what you are selling and really clarify that. Demographics are one part. Men or women? What age? Sometimes a geographic component might be important.

Even more important, what is the mindset? What are they thinking? If everyone can use what you’re selling why don’t they have it already?

NS: When you’re clear on this it then makes brand voice so much easier to define as well. When you know exactly who you’re “talking to” you can use tone and vocabulary that fits them specifically and will resonate with them. Writing for “everybody” means generic communications that aren’t going to resonate with anyone.

Who are your people, your tribe? When you get really clear here and it makes everything much easier.


Brand element No. 5: How do you know what your clients really want?

Do client research. Talk to them and ask them to share their experience with your company. Not just the product, but all aspects. The buying experience, customer service, ease of use etc. How did the product or service impact their life? Why did they choose you? How did they find you? What else did they consider before buying from you? Did you meet their expectations?

If you are new and don’t have clients, interview your prospects and find out from them why and how they go about making the decision to buy from you.

You will be able to understand their pain points and then you can shape your messaging to speak to that in a well-defined way.

NS: Remember that anyone can do this too. You don’t have to have access to a research firm. You can track these things from reviews, comments online, responses to your emails, as well making it a practice to ask customers for their feedback. Make it easy for them to let you know and they will be happy to share that with you.

VV: Creating ways to listen to your readers, clients and customers on a regular basis will help you create marketing strategies that stay relevant and resonate.

Summary: The Five Steps To Do Your Own Brand Audit

  1. What do you look like?
  2. What do you sound like?
  3. What is your brand promise?
  4. Who are you selling to?
  5. Listen, ask and stay mindful of comments of customers to continue to guide you.

Branding means different things depending on our background and where you are in your business. This approach is meant to keep it simple and focused, so you can identify what you want to say, who you want to say it to, and how to best communicate the way you serve your clients or customers.

Are you clear with all of the elements of your brand? Where are you stuck? Where do you need help? Leave a comment below or connect on Facebook and share!