BizCom Blogs

Notice the Green Lights


BCS_StoplightA good friend of mine seems to always be running late when we get together. Inevitably he’ll call en route, fuming that he’s hitting every red light between him and our lunch meeting. I find myself doing the same thing driving around my town…feeling way too annoyed that I just missed a green light and that I’m delayed by 30-40 seconds.

Why does it seem like every light we come up to is red?

It’s because we don’t notice the green lights.

When we sail on through the greens we’re already looking and thinking ahead. We don’t spend the next 30-40 seconds relishing how our random timing was just right. After all, lights should be green for us…we deserve them like we deserve air to breathe and coffee in the morning. Right?

Running a business is similar. Business owners pay more attention to the snags than the victories. That’s not necessarily bad—there are lessons to be learned from the kinds of problems that help us identify things to fix in our processes and viewpoint.

But business owners should distinguish those possibly foreseeable situations from problems that emerge from areas outside of our control that we had no reason to anticipate (the red lights). Yes, they suck, they cause problems, and we have to scramble to react to them. But in the long run, fate balances the pluses and the minuses.

So do yourself a favor. When the breaks go your way and the stars align with respect to your company or your professional position, take a few minutes to congratulate yourself. Enjoy the moment and savor the green light!

Brian Leugs is the Founder of Business Communication Support, LLC (www.bizcomsupport.com), a branded content marketing company serving B2B organizations. You can reach him at brian@bizcomsupport.com

image

White Paper or White Noise?


Maybe it starts in high school, when English Lit teachers ask the class for 15 pages on the symbolism inherent in Moby Dick. We sweat, struggle, and stretch to fill those 14 ½ pages to prove we have a substantive, quality paper.

From that time on, too many of us have come to equate the quality and substance of a paper/document/study with its length. But as any writer will tell you, it’s much more effective (and difficult) to present a message briefly and concisely.

Read More

image

Five Common Writing Style Errors that can Sabotage Your Brand


If there’s one thing your brand should stand for, it’s perfection. That’s why I’ll never understand why so many companies feel that anything goes when it comes to written content and messaging. Does writing like a fifth-grader enhance your brand? I think you know the answer!

Here are five examples of poor writing styles that will get in the way of your message:

Read More

image

New Thoughts on Writing Effective Case Studies


Nothing beats a good success story to push potential customers in your direction. B2B case studies prove you have a product or service that has solved the real world needs of a real world company.

I’ve noticed that my case study style has evolved in the last six months. Instead of occasionally interspersing quotes from my clients and their customers, I’m using far more quotes (around 25% of the overall content) and building the story around them.

The benefits of this technique are pretty clear:

Read More

image

The Way With Words: Writing Blogs


You can’t stroll through the Internet without tripping over at least three blogs on how to write a good blog. Blah, blah, blah. Blog, blog, blog. Well, add this one to the list but take it to heart first!

Whether you write it to promote your organization, educate the clueless, demonstrate your cleverness, or drive your SEO, do yourself a favor and write your blogs well.

As I’ve mentioned in previous articles, blogs fall into the category of brand building marketing content, along with white papers and thought papers. But unlike those other two, blogs give you a chance not only to demonstrate your skills and intelligence, and your product/service’s differentiation, you have the opportunity to project your personality.

Read More

image

The Way with Words: Website Writing


I work with enough PR firms and web designers to know that written website content often is an afterthought—if not by them, then by their clients.

Many web pros think about words only in the context of search engine optimization. SEO is important, but not the focus of this blog. Here we’re going to talk about genuine user/reader web engagement experience.

Read More

The Way with Words: It’s All in How You Say It.


So many people tell me that they “can’t write.” Thank goodness…that’s music to my ears and good for business. But I usually have to bite my tongue because, seriously, if you can talk you can write.

I think I’ve mentioned before that as I write corporate stories for my clients, I’m “hearing” the words with the reader’s/customer’s ears. That’s a lot like talking and listening…i.e., conversation.

Read More

image

The Way with Words: The Power of “You”


In the first few blogs in this series, we’ve talked a lot about “storytelling” in the context of presenting branded content, including call to action material (web content, sell sheets), brand building material (blogs, white papers, thought papers), and affirmation material (case studies).

When it comes to case studies, it’s pretty clear how those can be “stories”—typically they have a nice chronological flow, a challenge, a resolution, and a “happily ever after” ending. But how can white papers and web content be presented as a story?

Read More

image

The Way with Words: Call to Action Sales Collateral


Call to action sales pieces: too often they’re the only tools companies put in their sales/marketing arsenal. The theme in this corporate storytelling series—in case I haven’t been clear—is that telling people about your product or service is not enough. You need to reinforce that call to action message with branded content like white papers (brand building stories) and case studies (affirmation stories).

Read More

image

The Way with Words: Corporate Story-Telling (Part 2)


In Part 1 of Corporate Story-Telling, I introduced affirmation stories—case studies that tell how your product or service met the critical needs of one of your customers. These stories reinforce the value proposition found in your sales collateral.

Similarly, brand-building stories, today’s topic, reinforce your call to action by demonstrating that you’re smart and your product is unique. They include:

Read More