If you want to amp up your digital marketing skill set and improve your company’s marketing profile, then the Wednesday, November 1st, “Assembled” event is an opportunity to learn about digital marketing and begin planning for your company’s long-term success.
Assembled Round-Robin Workshop
David Mihm, the founder of Tidings, has put together a round-robin of experts in every major discipline of digital marketing. He included Mary Ann Aschenbrenner as an expert on WordPress websites. She will be on hand to answer your questions about theme choice, usability, hosting, security, content, and much, much more.
This event is a round-robin workshop beginning at 8:00 a.m. and closing at 4:00 p.m. It will be at the Elevator Cafe and Commons, 1033 SE Main Street in Portland.
Use This Link to Reserve Your Ticket and Save
Mary Ann has secured a discount for Waterlink Web clients and blog readers. Book your ticket in advance and get personal advice in the areas you need the most help — solutions to your most painful digital marketing problems.
If you use our reservation link, you will receive a 33% savings. Our cost is $39. [button link=”https://www.picatic.com/assembledpdx?code=stjohns”]Assembled Reservation Link for Waterlink Web Clients & Friends[/button]
In the meantime, I will leave you with today’s comic from F Minus, a cartoon by Tony Carrillo. If you are wondering how things go viral, the Assembled workshop will answer that question.
Learning how to write a tagline and leverage its marketing value will help a new business owner start in a successful direction.
When I sit down with a new client to begin designing her or his website, one of the first questions I ask is, “What is your tagline?”
A good tagline sums up a company’s mission and promise and sets it apart from competitors. The tagline is such an important tool in marketing that there are agencies whose one specialty is crafting them.
Most us are not wordsmiths. Whether we are a solo entrepreneurs, artists, or run a small company, we already have enough responsibilities. Writing our company tagline can get overlooked.
This is a big miss. You can learn how to write a tagline. A well-written tagline used consistently will help even a small business rise over their competitors.
Tagline Marketing Lesson 101 From Trump University
This season’s Presidential contest reminds me, particularly on the Republican side, of the value of a tagline.
“Make America Great Again” is, frankly, a great tagline. After all, who doesn’t want to be great? The Trump tagline accomplishes all three of the important qualities of a good tagline: mission, promise, and brand. In four words the Presidential candidate lays out the mission of his campaign, makes a promise to voters, and brands himself as great.
This post is not an endorsement of any candidate. My intention is to encourage small businesses to think about their tagline and provide some guidance in how to write one.
–Mary Ann Aschenbrenner
Logo and Tagline Should Work Together
Think of it this way. A logo is the visible representation of a brand. The tagline is the audible representation of a brand. Like the logo, the tagline rarely changes. It is part of the company brand identity.
Large companies will spend millions marketing their logo and tagline. Consider Nike: the swoosh is inseparable from, “Just Do It.” In this case, the tagline implies activity and that Nike is a company of activity. The promise is that their products will make customers fit and active. Nike has done such a masterful job marketing their logo with their tagline that we can’t see one without remembering the other.
This season’s Republican presidential candidate gained status and recognition with free publicity from the media. His early marketing work in the Republican primaries, his volatile and entertaining pronouncements, garnered him millions in free media exposure. All along, at every public opportunity, he repeated his tagline.
As a small entrepreneur we often underestimate our ability to market our ourselves and our businesses. We may not have Nike’s budget or a billionaire’s ego, but we do have a network, a circle of business associates and customers. Each of our customers should know our tagline. Friends should also know our company tagline. They should know our tagline because we repeat it in conversation, on our websites, and on our business cards.
Even on a small scale, even for a small business or artist entrepreneur, a tagline will improve your marketing and help you stay in your customer’s minds.
Waterlink Web Example
My company is an example of a small business using a logo and tagline combination for marketing. Our tagline is, “connecting your customers with you.”
I wrote this tagline because we include onsite search engine optimization in each website we build. Our websites come up in search results for the products and services that our clients build or sell. But, saying all that can leave clients who are unfamiliar with technology confused. The tagline sums it up: connecting your customers with you.
Our company mission is to help businesses grow by connecting our clients with their customers through quality websites. The tagline’s promise is that a website by Waterlink Web can do this.
Both online and in our printed material our tagline is shown with our logo. Our logo is a bridge, an image of connection. In this case it is an artist’s rendering of the St. Johns Bridge in North Portland where Waterlink Web is located.
When people ask me what, I do I include the phrase, “Connecting your customers with you,” as part of the conversation while describing my work. This sets Waterlink Web apart from our competitors who generally list website and marketing services when describing their businesses.
Truth in Taglines
Taglines are not always honest, and occasionally we can live with that. As a child I remember wondering why the M&M’s were melting in my hand when the promise was, “melts in your mouth, not in your hands.” The M&M’s tagline may lack veracity, but this Halloween that won’t stop me from buying them for the trick-or-treaters who come to our door.
For business owners (and politicians), however, I recommend you keep your tagline truthful. Only promise what you can deliver.
Our fond memories from childhood will help us forgive M&M’s. Your customer’s memory of your service, products, and attention to detail will only be a pleasant one if those memories meet with the promise of your tagline.[divider_flat]
More Tips on Writing a Tagline
Keep it simple. Three to eight words is plenty. You can add more copy and description on your website or brochures. A short and memorable phrase will stay in your customer’s minds.
Keep it natural. Avoid the soulless version that a marketing committee might write. If it doesn’t feel right to you as the business owner, then it probably isn’t.
When I talk with a new client who doesn’t have a tagline we will begin the process of writing one. My client may not be a wordsmith, but I am. It may take a few days and a series of edits, but at Waterlink Web our clients come away with a website and a tagline. I can help teach you how to write a tagline.
Search engines, like Google and Bing, have a goal. They want to serve up quality content to their users.
You also have a goal. You want your customers, clients, and fans to find and read your blog posts and, by extension, your website. Your goal is for search engines to recognize that your posts are the quality content their users want and to rank your posts organically at or near the top of search results.
Follow these five steps to write a post that ranks. The steps cover content, formatting, image accessibility, categories and tags, and on-page Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Done correctly they will help you write the content your customers want in a format that meets search engine requirements.
Good content and proper formatting will help your posts rise to the top in search results, maybe even the very top.
1) Write what your clients are searching for
Don’t indulge in random posts about topics of mostly personal interests. Ask yourself, “What questions are my clients asking me?” Then answer those questions in your blog posts.
For every question a client asks, you can bet that hundreds of others have asked the same question on Google or Bing. Search engines are looking for the answers to users’ questions. Write those answers.
Include keywords, but don’t overdo it
What terms do your clients and customers use when they ask you a specific question? Make sure to include those key phrases or something similar in your content.
This is a little-known guide to prosperity, happiness, and finding love: look inside. It will work in 2016, just as it works every year.
When we look inside to discover our own unique and untapped potential, train our minds and improve our skills we are investing energy in ourselves. Each of us is our own best asset.
Four years ago I set out on an extraordinary journey that included studying for a career that didn’t exist the first time I attended college. Along the way I launched Waterlink Web, met life-changing mentors and remarkable clients, and enjoyed the freedom as well as the responsibility of running my own company.
I was blessed in 2015 with opportunities to learn, company growth, good health and happiness. 2016 will be even better. Just as there are every year, 2016 will bring challenges from which we should learn and difficulties that can make us stronger. Building on the success of 2015, this year to come may also bring prosperity.
As we move into 2016 consider the ways to “look inside” to train your own mind, improve your own skills and become your own best asset. One resource you may consider is Me Comma You. Using writing to look inside can help develop qualities and ideas you did not even have words to express. Kelly LeFave, the instructor, works one-to-one with her students to help them improve their writing skills and rethink their limitations. Make a resolution to become your own best asset in 2016. Look inside.
Growing a business is somewhat like growing a garden. It requires an economy that is loamy and workable, the fertilization of your creativity, ideas or seeds that are fresh and the favor of fortune shining on your work. It also requires the hardships of chilly rain to strengthen your resolve and business savvy.
The past year blessed me with all of the above while growing Waterlink Web! I know that this economy is workable because small businesses ready to succeed are coming to me. Each new website that I design and develop brings out more creativity. None are alike. Just as each client and his or her business is unique so are the websites I make.
Website design and development is a field constantly changing and adapting to new technology, new coding languages and new design requirements. Every day I gather these fresh seeds while I study, research and learn about the latest techniques and search engine optimization updates.
Fortune has also favored me in 2014 as one client lead to another and contacts and referrals blossomed into friends. There were hard times, of course. Weekends when I stayed in the office, days when the demands of children, husband and home took priority and, of course, occasional technical difficulties. I am grateful for 2014 and look forward to 2015.
After a year or so of study, learning and working all the while, I am now official. Officially certified, that is, in Website Development and Design.
This is not my first degree, that one is from the University of Puget Sound where I was an Honors student focused on English with an emphasis on Writing. That was followed by a stint as a sports writer for a local newspaper and several years in marketing, specifically, marketing carpool matching websites for local governments involved in transportation planning.
What I love about web design is seeing small business clients succeed with the websites that I created. These websites will serve my clients for years. The expert training and feedback I received from Portland Community College, one of only three colleges in the country that offers this program, has enabled all this to happen.