Category Archives: Sales and Marketing

Salesmanship in the Internet Age

When you create an online presence, your business is no longer local. Every campaign is global.

For example, if your cupcake factory is in Rosebud, Saskatchewan, and your delicious creations spread through digital word-of-mouth to the extent that you are now getting several orders a day from as far away as India, you may want to revamp your business plan to include international orders. (That would be a good problem to have!)

On the Internet, content is king. Post good stuff and it might spread like a good cupcake. There are no guarantees, but if your content is bad, you’ll be the only one reading it. If it’s really terrible and offensive, sometimes it goes viral because people can’t believe you posted it and will share it with their friends. That kind of viral isn’t creating disciples. Continue reading

New release: The Content Planner by Angela Crocker

We are pleased to announce the official publication of The Content Planner by Angela Crocker! This comprehensive workbook will help you plan, create, and publish content relevant to your business. If you’re struggling to come up with a content plan, here’s the first step you should take.

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Benefits of a Content Plan

An excerpt from the upcoming book, The Content Planner by Angela Crocker, available on February 7, 2017:

Creating content is an investment of time and, sometimes, money. A confirmed return on your investment makes it easy to justify spending the resources. With a content plan, you have the potential to experience a wide range of benefits. The benefits that matter most to you will depend on your business model and goals. Continue reading

Aerial Video Storytelling

Running a drone business is not only about flying a drone. One of the important skills you need to hone is creating compelling aerial video footage for your clients.

What you will deliver for your clients will be a package of aerial video and photos from the flight. This bundle will represent your company, your skill level, and your value, so deliver a quality product to every customer every time. Standardizing your deliverable will be important so you can be consistent, and efficient in assembling it after you return from the flight site. Continue reading

Meet the Author: Angela Crocker

You cannot underestimate the value of good content. Yet, many business owners still struggle to plan, organize, and create content which will align with their businesses’ mission. If you’re interested in planning and organizing your content in a better, more efficient way, be on the lookout for the new book on this subject coming this February: The Content Planner by Angela Crocker. And today you have a chance to meet its author.

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A Tip for Writing for the Web: Avoid the Cliché


An excerpt from Writing for the Web by Crawford Kilian

Avoid clichés like the plague. A cliché is a phrase or expression that was once so new and surprising that everyone repeated it. Like an unspoiled tourist destination ruined by too many tourists, the cliché loses its whole reason for existence when everyone uses it. Continue reading

From Page to Pixel: Technology and the Author

online-promoThe digital revolution has drastically changed where readers buy books, what books they read and in what format they read them. While these changes initially made engaging with and building loyalty among readers a challenge for authors and publishers, the shift online has come to be seen as an enormous marketing opportunity. Digital platforms offer valuable insight into how characters, plot lines and topics are perceived while presenting an opportunity for publishers and authors to directly engage with readers.

The internet offers authors many ways to market and promote a book. Engaging with readers through dedicated websites, blogs, social media outlets and other content media platforms extends a reader’s experience with a book. It allows them to share their opinion and information about it, thus empowering them to advocate for and promote the book through his or her own online channels. Why does a reader share their thoughts on a book? The simple answer: they enjoyed the book and want to encourage others to read it. A more analyzed answer: an author has helped, informed, delighted and inspired a reader and offered easy to share content.

The key to engaging with readers online is to provide easy-to-find content that people want to comment on and share. According to Debbie Elicksen, author of Publishing & Marketing in the Digital Age, “Creating great content is about answering a question people have.”  Is your content educational? Is it providing insight? Is it inspiring change? Making your content discoverable is vital so initially you’ll want to identify and then listen closely to your niche market. Who are they? What do they like to share? What are they talking about? Who are they following and who follows them? The internet is a sticky web and you will find like minded people clumped together. Find your niche, set up camp and then find engaging ways to deliver content.

The takeaway here is that it doesn’t matter if you are a lawyer writing on personal bankruptcy or a sci-fi author with 2 million unit print runs. Your readers are online therefore you should be too.

For more on how to create an online profile, market your book and build your own digital empire see Debbie Elicksen’s new book Publishing & Marketing in the Digital Age. You can also check out her website here or chat her up on twitter @bookpublish101.

Should Your Business Keep a Blog?

Blogs are all over the Web. Many businesses maintain a blog on or separate from their business websites. Some of them are written well and worth reading; some of them are written poorly and a waste of time.

Besides keeping your eye on popular and successful blogs to see what others are succeeding (or perhaps failing) at, I believe there are several main things that any business owner should consider before investing time and money into a 2 Continue reading

The future of business marketing – Gamification.

The Internet recently celebrated its 25th birthday and like all things that prove their worth, the staying power badge has been well earned. 

Those in business of every size and in every industry know that an Internet presence is today’s storefront and your company on social media is your voice to the world. Even social media, once a novel marketing tool, is now a mainstay of every venture, business or otherwise. 

So where can businesses look for the next revolution in marketing?

We recently heard about the gamification start-up Insticator when they were the focus of Debbie Elicksen and Cynthia K. Seymour’s Virtual Newsmakers Show.

We were immediately drawn into the site and happily spent way too much time there, so we knew they were on to something very fun.  

What Insticator does is allows users to open a free profile then accumulate rewards by voting on the outcomes of their favourite sports, or key story lines of their favourite TV shows. For example, if you’re a Calgary Flames fan who also watches Game of Thrones, you can predict the outcome of the next Flame match AND predict whether King Joffrey will finally get his due karma this season. The more shows or games you vote on, the more rewards you earn.  

When we reached out to Insticator earlier this year to tell them that they’ve got a cool site, they asked us if we’d be willing to offer up some rewards. We were more than happy to.

Since 1971, we’ve helped visionaries build their businesses from the ground up. Our customers rely on us for the best books on DIY legal advice and for insights and best practice policies for everything from incorporating your company to managing off-site employees. Our books are found at major retailers everywhere and independent book stores near you.  

 At Insticator, you can collect 250 rewards on Insticator to get a major discount on some of our most popular titles; No More Mac ‘n’ Cheese, Self Publishing 101, Getting Grants and Start & Run a Copywriting Business.

We’re thrilled to be a part of the next generation of Internet marketing futurists. Gamification as a marketing tool for business is here to stay, and from what we can see, will ignite the promotion and marketing of your brand in today’s marketplace.  

We have only one warning, Insticator is very addictive. Good luck trying to take a quick peek!

How are you gamifying your brand? Are you taking your marketing into a new world? Tweet us your story at @SelfCounsel. 

Social Media Essential for Many Small Businesses


Social media is an essential tool for many small businesses, according to San Diego-area authors and marketers Holly Berkley and Amanda Walter. It can be underused, overused, or misused in the wrong hands, and learning what to do and how to do it is essential as it can make or break a business.

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