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5 Steps To Creating a Better Workplace Culture

You hear it all the time from people who have recently left a job: “I liked the work I did, but I didn’t love the culture.” Or someone who’s envious of a company’s image will say: “how do I work for a company with a culture like that?” To each person, “a culture like that”—one they view as ideal—is going to be a little different. So how can you create a one-size-fits-all workplace culture that will satisfy the most employees and keep them happy, healthy, and productive? Here are five simple steps to improve the overall culture and energy of your workplace.


1. Having an environment people want to work in

Working from home is all the buzz right now. While it’s true that employees should be trusted to work from home, companies should strive to create an environment people want to physically work in every day. While a brand-new work-space isn’t always feasible for companies, continually updating your work-space is important. By investing in new carpet, a fresh set of paint, or maybe even new desks, employees will feel revitalized in their work-space. Your employees are spending a third of their day in the office, so make it an area they want to be in. For our part, Parqa just moved into a new office space with stand-up desks, walking treadmills, and a wellness room—all amenities that keep us refreshed so we can bring better ideas and better attitudes to the table.


2. Invest in your employees’ health

Speaking of healthy employees, a healthy employee is a happy, more productive employee! And it doesn’t need to be costly to show your employees you value their wellness. You can offer gym membership reimbursements (that often align with your employees’ health insurance), provide healthy options when ordering food for meetings, and offer sit/stand desks to show your team you’re invested in their health. Our personal favorite health benefit at Parqa: Fitbit Challenges. All employees were given Fitbits, and challenges are held every month. This not only encourages employees to get their steps in and stay fit, but also builds a comradery amongst team members who may not always cross paths on a normal day. There’s nothing quite like bragging rights when you’re the winner in the office.


3. Growing the family

When employees spend 40+ hours away from home and their loved ones, families should be made to feel as if they’re apart of the work family too. This could be as simple as inviting them to holiday parties, including them in company picnics or summer barbecues, or just encouraging they stop by the office for lunches or happy hours. To create a culture people want to work in, it should feel like an extension of your personal life. This will encourage people to be in the office more often, and not make them want to ‘run as soon as 5 pm hits.’


 4. Fun, fun, fun

Every month there should be a time when people are encouraged to leave their desks for a few hours during the workday and just enjoy the company of coworkers. This can be anything from a March Madness party to an offsite fundraiser that benefits a local charity. We have a “fun committee” with our sister company, Versique, that plans plenty of fun new events for our teams to look forward to. Your company isn’t going to go under just because people spend 3 less hours on work that week; trust that your employees want to get their work done and treat them to a celebration every now and then! They’ll be more relaxed, feel appreciated, and more motivated to get things done.


 5. Live and breathe your brand

No matter how many of these things you try to add to your workspace, employees won’t embrace the culture until you and the rest of the executive team do. This starts from the top down. An encouraging attitude about your work is contagious; but one bad apple can spoil the fun. Be mindful of the energy you bring to every meeting, conference, and interaction you have: you spend so much time at work that if you’re not living and breathing the positive values you want your business to embody, what’s the point?

In conclusion, setting a fun and positive workplace culture can mean the difference between happy, productive employees and pent-up resentment and conflict. We all thrive and do better when we feel valued, balanced, healthy, and inspired.



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Why Emotional Intelligence Makes You A Better Marketer

Early on in my career I worked as an editor for a large food company. Our goal was to create digital content that appealed to a busy mom who was short on time but still wanted to prepare a quality dinner for her family. In a brainstorming session, people were throwing around ideas on how to market the packaged product itself. They delved into the features of the product: how it tasted, what it could be served with, etc. But they easily forgot who we were talking to and how this person felt. We started discussing what this woman’s typical day looked like: she worked full-time and had small children. She was super busy but cared about her family coming together each night for a hot meal. What does someone feel like when their day has been insanely busy and they don’t know what to make for dinner? And how would they feel if they had an easy solution that they didn’t have to spend hours preparing?

Sometimes the simplest exercises like that can be the most powerful. The biggest takeaway from this was remembering that what I’m selling matters less than how I’m making my audience feel. Yes, it can sound kind of mushy, but using emotional intelligence to identify with your target audience is a highly effective approach. Marketing, after all, is about motivation. As humans, our emotions are our number one motivator. If you can connect with your customer on an emotional level, you’re much more likely to motivate them to act.

How To Go From Robotic Marketing To Emotion-Driven Marketing

Content doesn’t exist in a vacuum—a real, live human is going to read it. Countless companies forget this simple fact. Their content is generic and lacks the emotional element of human connection. If it’s a blog, it uses a lot of keywords to try and rank first on google; if it’s an email campaign, it’s churned out in less than 20 minutes and talks up what the offer is rather than how the reader will feel after they utilize the offer.

This type of marketing doesn’t motivate your reader to do anything. If you want your marketing strategy to be effective, you need to understand what your potential customers are feeling and how they want to feel, whether you’re selling a product or service. Hubspot Academy’s Content Marketing course delves into this, too, reiterating that “you have to appeal to the emotion of your prospects, not just the logic of what you do.” If you’re in a rut and not seeing results from your content marketing, it’s time to get back to the human element of what you do and make an emotional connection.

Let me offer a quick example. Here are two different email intros for a fitness center: we’ll call it The Imaginary Gym. Imaginary Gym has had a hard time filling their early morning fitness classes, and they want to send out a promo/special offer around New Year’s for 50% off. Which email are you more interested in?

  1. A) Subject: Have You Signed Up For Our Fitness Classes?

Just in time for New Year’s, we’re offering 50% off all early morning fitness classes! From strength training to Pilates and everything in between, Imaginary Gym has tons of different options to choose from to meet your fitness needs. Sign up for a class today and save big! Don’t miss out on this exclusive offer because it won’t last forever.


  1. B) Subject: The #1 Way To Start Your Day With More Energy

Feeling weighed down after the holidays? Low on energy? A little…meh? Us too. Let’s get back on track together. Through the end of the week we’re offering 50% off all early-morning fitness classes, so you can sweat off those Christmas cookies and start your morning with more energy. Get your workout done before your brain can say no—and gain the muscle (and confidence) you need to tackle the rest of your day like a champ.

-The Imaginary Gym Team


In my humble opinion, an email like option B is much more effective at motivating your audience. It’s written like it’s actually speaking to a human (remember how content doesn’t exist in a vacuum?) and it incorporates the emotions and feelings of the reader. The email addresses a problem: feeling out of shape and low-energy after the holidays. It then offers a solution: early morning workouts. But beyond a simple problem/solution template, it also does three things that emotionally intelligent content does:

Acknowledges that the problem is common and somewhat universal (being out of shape after the holidays)
Empathizes with how that problem makes someone feel (bloated, tired, not their best)
Motivates the reader to act based on their desired emotions. They want to feel strong and confident. You can help.

The next time you feel stuck with your marketing strategy, an easy way to get back on track is to see if your message has some of the characteristics of emotionally intelligent content above. Sure, not everything you write needs to be a passionate saga, but you need to inject some element of emotional connection into your content if you want it to resonate with someone—and motivate them to buy what you’re selling. Go ahead and get a little emotional. Your reader—and your marketing strategy—will thank you.

Do you want help developing a clear content strategy that motivates customers to act?

man thinking hard on laptop

How To Create Bad Content

We’ve all seen it and fallen victim to it: an enticing headline on Google or social media catches our eye so we click the link, assuming we’ll soon land on a page that delivers relevant and useful content. Instead, we’re left underwhelmed by the lack of content or the quality of it. (And let’s face it: sometimes it’s both.) We get frustrated and either bounce back to the search results or simply move on to something else. It happens every day because bad content is everywhere—but your company doesn’t have to be a part of the problem.

Below are some common ways businesses inadvertently end up creating bad content. Consider these the bad content principles to avoid at all costs!


Poor Readability

Poor readability is a hallmark of bad content. Numerous misspellings, a difficult-to-read font, and poor sentence structure all confuse and frustrate your reader, making them more likely to abandon your website at first glance. Avoid the following: light text on a light background, small font size, and run-on sentences that go on and on and…you get the picture. These content mistakes bore and annoy your reader before they even have a chance to understand what you offer.

What you should do instead…

Pick an easy-to-read font and make sure your content is well-written and clearly organized.


Confusing Infographics

If the user wasn’t already annoyed by the lack of readability, confusing infographics will certainly seal the deal. When people use confusing infographics that are poorly designed, too cluttered, or don’t support your content, your reader will become so confused they might just abandon the internet altogether.

What you should do instead…

Make infographics eye-catching but easy to understand. They’re supposed to be a tool that supports your message—don’t let it be a detractor.


Not Useful or Relevant

One of the fastest ways to agitate your reader is to have a headline that doesn’t actually apply to your content. People spend so much time crafting a catchy headline and less time writing content that supports it. But as we said above, how often have you been frustrated by those same click-bait articles? No one wants to be fooled or tricked into clicking on something they thought would be useful; you’re there to help inform or educate your reader, not just get them to come to your website.

What you should do instead…

Keep your content useful and valuable to your reader and create a clever but truthful headline that pertains to the content itself.

Related Post: 4 Ways to Make Your Content Strategy Authentic


Stuff Keywords

I’m sure you have heard of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) by now, right? Well, SEO involves adding specific keywords to your content so that Google can find your page easier. But some businesses take this one step too far and perform something called “keyword stuffing” where they add that same phrase over and over again—even where it doesn’t make sense—in an effort to come up as number one in search results. The problem with this is that Google has gotten smarter and can now easily detect when keyword stuffing is taking place. Plus, your reader certainly doesn’t want to read something that’s illogical just because it has the phrase they’re looking for in it.

What you should do instead…

Yes, use keyword phrases. But use them where they make sense. Don’t try to keyword stuff or go over the top because Google—and your readers—will see right through it.


Have a Slow Website

While Google says that site speed is a ranking factor in 2018, bad content creators somehow don’t believe them. When you visit a website that takes forever to load, what do you do? You abandon it. You go back to your search bar and look for something else. Our attention spans have gotten shorter and shorter these days, and that’s why it’s crucial that your website isn’t lagging.

What you should do instead…

Evaluate your website speed on several different browsers, and on both desktop and mobile. If your page load times are slow, contact your developer to see what can be done to improve site speed.


Quick + Dirty Content Production

You’ve likely seen websites that churn out a massive amount of quick, poorly written content because they think that more is better. Honestly, while quantity is important, it should never be more important than quality. You want to create things that others will find valuable; content that’s clickable and linkable and offers a benefit to your reader.

What you should do instead…

Assign content creation to a group of people in your company who actually enjoy writing. They’ll take more time with it and can even help you come up with a content strategy so you have a scheduled way of producing important, well-written content.

Related Post: How to Make Content that Sticks


Bottom Line

Go back through your site’s content. Does it contain any of the characteristics of bad content mentioned above? If so, you’re likely losing out on potential clients as they become deterred by your bad content. Your website should offer value to your potential clients, not confuse or underwhelm them. If you want to re-examine your content strategy to better represent your brand and grow your business, contact the Parqa Digital Marketing team here.


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What Is An SSL Certificate And Why Does My Site Need One?

As you navigate the world of digital marketing, you’ll likely come across two different acronyms: HTTPS and SSL. What do these two acronyms mean and what do they have to do with your business? HTTPS stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure. You’ll see it at the beginning of certain web addresses, while others use just HTTP. The difference between the two is that HTTPS utilizes something called a “secure socket layer” or SSL. The primary function of an SSL certificate is to protect sensitive information as it travels across the Internet from computer to computer until it reaches the destination server.

Why is an SSL Certificate Important?

Well, any computer between you and the destination server can intercept sensitive information like usernames, passwords, contact information and even credit card numbers. When an SSL certificate is properly installed, this sensitive information is encrypted and unreadable to anyone except for the destination server. SSL is essential for protecting your website, even if it doesn’t handle sensitive information like credit card numbers. SSL provides critical security and data privacy for both your website and your users’ personal information.

An SSL certificate also provides authentication. This ensures your website is sending secure information to the right destination server. The nature of the internet offers users the ability to send information to many different devices. Any of these devices offer an opportunity for hackers to pretend to be you in order to trick users into sending them private information. SSL certificates and having https:// before your website provide trust for your users, letting them know they’re safe to visit your site and potentially fill out forms and hand over personal information. Web browsers give visual cues, including the ‘Not secure’ in Chrome 68 update in July 2018, to make sure visitors know when their connection is secured. This means that they will trust your website more when they see these cues and will be more likely to submit a lead (contact form, email, phone).

The SEO Value of Having An SSL Certificate

Google is continually making moves to make the web a more secure place, and your website needs to keep up. Google has been indexing HTTPS pages first since December 2015 and announced HTTPS as a ranking signal as far back as 2014. HTTPS can act as a tiebreaker in search engine results (SERPS). There are no real concerns with switching from HTTP to HTTPS. If Google is backing it consistently, it is good practice and your website will stay in good standing with Google.

Different Types of SSL Certificates

So you know that having an SSL certificate is critical, but where do you start? The truth is, not all SSL Certificates are created equally. Below is a quick overview of the most common SSL Certificates available and their pros and cons:

  • Domain validated certificates: A quick verification check is performed to ensure the applicant owns the domain for which he or she wants an SSL certificate. The applicant can get away with not even being a valid business entity, however, which is why this kind is considered an entry-level SSL certificate.

Examples: Instant SSLInstant SSL ProInstant SSL Premium


  • Wildcard certificate: For websites with several subdomains, a wildcard certificate is a sensible option to secure the entire collection. For example, Yahoo’s subdomains show up as,, etc. Yahoo is secure domain, and may very well be utilizing a wildcard certificate.

Example: Comodo Premium SSL Wildcard

  • Multi-Domain SSL Certificate (MDC): As the name suggests, a Multi-Domain certificate allows website owners to secure multiple, distinct domains on one certificate. For example, a single MDC can be used to secure,,, and so on. MDCs usually represent a cost saving over the price of individual certificates.

Example: Comodo Multi-Domain CertificateComodo EV Multi-Domain Certificate

  • Extended validation (EV) SSL certificates: Websites with this type of certificate have met the highest standards for authentication. Whenever somebody visits a website that uses an EV certificate, the address bar will turn green in major browsers such as Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome. EV certificates are used by all major online retailers and banks and are highly recommended for businesses that wish to immediately build customer trust in their site.

Examples: Comodo EV SSL CertificateComodo EV Multi-Domain Certificate

Learn what digital marketing can do for your company

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4 Ways to Build an Effective Relationship With Your Marketing Agency


Building an effective relationship 

You’ve signed a contract and are ready to get started with a new marketing agency. Now what? The relationship you have with your agency is not unlike any other meaningful relationship in your life: it requires open communication, trust, and managing expectations. It’s important to go into this partnership with the right attitude so that everyone can be successful together. Let’s explore some ways in which you can have a more effective, healthy relationship with your marketing agency.


1. Start your relationship with trust

Like any relationship, trust is crucial when it comes to dealing with your marketing team. You’ve trusted us to be the experts, so trust that we want to succeed as much as you do! We’re your partner, not just a vendor. After the initial client onboarding, we get to work on our deliverables—but at certain points, just because you can’t see something happening, it doesn’t mean it isn’t getting done. Treat us like you would any other employee that you work with in your office: you’ve given us tasks to complete, and now it’s our job to get them done. Always remember that we are here to make your life easier and better. Ask questions as they arise, but trust that as your partner, we’re working on your account and determined to help you succeed. We partnered together because you had a pain-point in your business, so now you can exhale and focus on what you’re most passionate about and let us handle the rest.


2. Keep communication open

While trust is important, as you navigate a new relationship, open communication is equally essential. Don’t assume we can read your mind; tell us, openly, what you are expecting from us. Let’s have a conversation together about if it is feasible and let us explain how we will get it accomplished or why it might not be possible. Not to mention, if you’d like to know something, just ask! We’d love to help you learn about what we’re doing and shed light on any step of the process that you’d like more information on. It’s important to have open communication and complete transparency from the very beginning. Tell us what we’re doing well, but also feel free to offer constructive criticism. What can we do better to make this a more effective, healthy relationship?


3. Tell us your work style preferences

Everyone works a little differently and going back to the fact that we can’t read your mind, it’s important that you let us know your individual preferences. Is there an ideal time of day to contact you? Is there a preferred mode of communication? For some people, hopping on a five-minute call is preferable to emailing back and forth, while others greatly prefer email. Who should be our point of contact for different deliverables? Do you want to be CC’d on certain updates? Are there specific metrics you prioritize over others? From the very start, it’s important that you let us know your preferences, so we can make this the best working relationship possible.


4. Don’t let resentment pile up

Just like in any other relationship, if you let small grievances pile up and fester, they breed long-term resentment. Don’t let this happen! If something bothers you, tell us. It’s much easier to fix problems as they come up rather than have resentment build over things that were not properly addressed at the time. At that point, the relationship can be much harder to repair. If something bothers you or goes wrong, let’s hash it out in the moment instead of waiting until something else happens to trigger that frustration. By addressing the main problem as it occurs, we can have a healthier relationship with fewer hiccups and more success.

At the end of the day, your marketing agency is your partner—treat us like an extension of your team, not a vendor. Pretend as though we’re employees that sit next to you at your office and offer us the same trust, open communication, and transparency you would anyone else. When you succeed, it means we succeed. We’re all in it together!

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How To Build Your Brand Through Digital Marketing

The word branding gets thrown around a lot in the business world, but what does it actually mean in the age of digital marketing? The goal of branding is to help your company establish its position in the marketplace for the long-term. It’s the way you give meaning to your products and services by creating a uniqueness in your clients (and potential clients’) minds. Branding is strategic—whereas marketing is tactical. Marketing contributes to your brand but the truth is, your brand is bigger than any one particular marketing or sales effort.

The question is no longer:
“Should we be doing digital marketing?” but rather, “how much should we be spending in order to achieve year over year growth?”

Impactful branding relies on continuity, consistency, and investment. Lack of investment and inconsistency in brand development will allow your competitors to steal market share from you. If you want to grow your company, it’s imperative that you make long-term branding a part of your focus. And it’s equally imperative in today’s world that you use digital marketing to do so. Here are four ways you can build your brand with digital marketing.


4 Ways To Build Your Brand With Digital Marketing

1. Content:

Potential clients and candidates first go online to qualify your firm’s credibility before they do anything else. So what kind of a brand story does your content tell? Everything you write and produce tells a story about who you are as a company, whether it’s the copy on your landing page or a blog that you wrote.

      • Do you sound credible?
      • Are you giving advice that is valued in the industry you serve?
      • Are you telling people things they may not already know, which ultimately adds value to their lives?
      • Do you have case studies to validate your process?

These are all essential questions to ask yourself that will contribute to your authenticity and credibility in creating industry-leading content for your brand.

2. Social Media:

Social media is a platform and ever-evolving landscape that uses content to build your brand, reputation, and credibility in the marketplace. So do you have a solid social media strategy to share your brand with potential clients and candidates? Posting insightful blogs, salary guides and best practices to LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter will keep you top-of-mind for clients and candidates seeking talent or new positions. If you build an informative, reputable, and credible brand on social media you are much more likely to be the first call when an opportunity presents itself.

3. Website:

Your website is the foundation of your brand. Having a website that is outdated and underwhelming is like walking into a potential client meeting in sweatpants and a t-shirt. Your website is the face of your company these days, so what kind of shape is it in? The quality of your website will often be the deciding factor in whether or not a potential client will commit to the next step with you. While content and social media will lead people to your website, you can still write the best blog in the world and lose out on a potential client who gets turned off by a website that’s outdated or hard to navigate.

“Having a website that is outdated and underwhelming is like walking into a potential client meeting in sweatpants and a t-shirt.”
– Jared Hummel | VP, Finance


SEO and PPC are the back-end of building your brand. They’re the aspects of building your brand that aren’t always tangible to the novice eye and are usually handled by experts. This can sometimes create confusion for small business owners and scare them away from fully jumping into the digital marketing space. If you don’t understand something, it’s easy to not want to do it! But SEO and PPC are what help search engines like Google not only find you but allow you to rank at the top of the search results page. This is crucial in building your brand as a credible expert in whatever topic a potential client searches. Imagine yourself searching for an attorney on Google to represent you in a business case that could have great financial implications. When you type in best business attorneys, the first ones that come up in the search results garner instant credibility. The message is “we specialize in this, we’re the experts” and they’ll likely be the first ones you call or click on. It’s no different for recruiting; if you don’t show up in the search results until the second page, you probably aren’t getting the call.

Related Post: SEO vs. PPC: Which One Should I Focus On? ➢


Related Post: How Long Does It Take for SEO to Produce Results? ➢


How Branding Through Digital Marketing Will Pay Off

As the Vice President of Finance for Parqa and their sister Company, Versique Search & Consulting, it is easy to assume that my mentality is all about immediate ROI on any money spent on marketing—measuring all our financial metrics down to the penny to make sure we know what we’re getting. While it’s true that it is always important to know your numbers, when it comes to branding your company there are many non-immediate financial implications to creating a great brand and the metrics used to identify if your brand is growing don’t always pay off in an immediate financial ROI. There is a familiar phrase “if a tree falls in the woods and no one hears it, does it make a sound.” In an ever-changing digital marketing landscape are you being seen and heard?

As a passionate entrepreneur myself, I have spent the last 8 years helping small business owners realize their dream of growing their revenue, gross margin and net income. I understand that the role of a financial leader or business owner in a company is more then just looking at the next month’s income statement. It is imperative to be looking a year or two down the road and prepare for growth in order to achieve growth. The pay-off may not happen overnight, but if you don’t start making digital marketing a part of your branding efforts, you won’t see a pay-off at all. Two quotes that I try to live by are:


“If you’re not growing, you’re dying” and “Insanity: to do the same thing over and over again and expect a different result.”


While cold calling and individual reputation will always be a part of our business, if you aren’t investing in digital marketing and branding today I can guarantee you that your future growth will face a significant uphill battle as more and more people look to the internet to build trust and verify reputation.

Our CEO, Tony Sorensen just attended a staffing conference in Dallas where the common theme was not “should we be doing digital marketing?” but rather, “how much should we be spending in order to achieve year over year growth?” It’s time to leverage digital marketing to grow your brand, gain credibility, and yes, eventually see that return on investment.



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Let’s Get Real: 4 Ways To Make Your Content Strategy More Authentic

The word “content” gets thrown around so much these days that it’s become slightly convoluted. Yes, businesses do need to produce content and distribute it to increase visibility and grow their brand, but throwing words against the wall won’t do you any good. At the end of the day, content creation is about telling a story. And with so many different brand stories saturating the market, the ones that will stand out are the ones that are authentic. Consumers can smell flimsy, inauthentic content from a mile away; if you stuff your blogs with keywords or come across like a used car salesman, you don’t stand a chance of surviving in today’s era of shortened attention spans and an increased desire for transparency. What your company should aim for when it comes to content creation is, at the end of the day, what we all crave: authenticity. It’s time to get real.

Related Post: 6 Signs You Need a Content Marketing Strategy


  1. Stop being overly promotional

Show of hands: who likes listening to commercials? Didn’t think so. Our attention spans are shrinking by the day, and people can quickly identify if an “article” is really just a longform advertisement. People search for answers to their problems on the internet. They want to be informed, educated, and to walk away with a new insight or fresh perspective. In the words of Scarlett O’Hara, frankly, my dear, they don’t give a damn about how great you are. You have to show them you’re great by providing something to them, no-strings attached. What can your content do for your reader? Don’t sell in your blogs: inform. Educate. Tell them a story. This is how you earn their trust—and yes, potentially their purchasing trust, later on.


  1. Get vulnerable

Companies—and the people behind them—love to talk about their successes, but rarely do they address their shortcomings. But our vulnerabilities, weaknesses, and failures are often our greatest opportunities for growth. When you’re writing content like personal essays or articles in the first person, don’t be afraid to talk about mistakes and missteps you’ve made. Articles about things you “wish you’d known,” areas in which you’ve grown, or obstacles you’ve had to overcome are incredibly helpful to other people—and they’re highly shareable. In today’s age of lifestyle bloggers and influencers, brands have to compete with those “oversharing” personalities, the most successful of which are usually people that keep it real, incorporate some levity into their content, and open up about their vulnerabilities in a humble way.


  1. Remember who you’re talking to

Along the same vein as being overly promotional, I see a lot of people who create content without thinking of their audience. You may not be physically next to your audience, but you’re still talking to them. Consider the tone you take; don’t be condescending but don’t underestimate their intelligence, either. Truly take the time to picture your ideal reader or customer and think of how you can help them. What is their day-to-day life like? What kind of content can improve their life? What do they value? What are their biggest challenges? People want information that will solve problems, inform them, improve their lives, or open their minds. Tell your story in a way that will deliver the most benefit for them. An article about retirement funds aimed at baby boomers can and should be formatted and written differently than an article written about Snapchat trends aimed at Gen Z’ers.


  1. Don’t be afraid to be the first or only

Digital marketing is a competitive world. As such, many companies feel desperate to churn out a lot of content in a short amount of time, often at the expense of that content’s quality or purpose. To do this, they tend to copy specific formats that they see other people using successfully. This isn’t wrong—you want to learn from successful companies and how they’ve established themselves. But you also shouldn’t be afraid to branch out once in a while and try something new. Don’t be afraid to create content that nobody has thought of yet, and present it in a style that’s uniquely you. If you do what’s authentic for your company, do it well, and do it consistently, you will establish yourself as a content leader in your field.

laptop and notebook with report illustrations

PPC vs. SEO: Which One Should I Focus On?

When it comes to boosting traffic to your website, you have two basic options: pay-per-click (PPC) or search engine optimization (SEO).

You can pay for traffic using the PPC advertising programs provided by Google Adwords, Bing Ads, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. They enable you to display ads in the sponsored results section of each search engine’s results page or the feed of a social media platform. You pay a fee based on how competitive your chosen keyword is and how many clicks your ad receives.

Alternatively, you can build traffic for free by increasing your rankings in the organic search results. These are the listings displayed below the paid/sponsored results. It takes time to reach the top of the organic results for the keyword(s) related to your product/service offerings, but the free targeted traffic will prove to be well worth the investment down the road.

Related Post: Top 5 Questions Business Owners Have About Digital Marketing ➢

Which approach is better?

It depends on a multitude of factors including your needs, budget, business goals, and website quality. If you want more traffic fast and are willing to pay for it, then PPC might be right for you. But if you’re operating on a smaller budget and are ok investing in something that will take time to build & see results, optimizing your site & content to help increase your organic search rankings through SEO efforts may be a better option1.

One of the biggest problems I see with many clients is that they come in wanting immediate results, whether that’s product sales, business leads, etc. The reality is that both PPC and SEO take time to build, implement, and optimize.

The other problem is that many of these clients come in with a website that’s poorly laid out (i.e. looking like they were made in the 1990s, and very little information and content around why individuals/ businesses should buy from them or utilize their services over their competitors).

Whether you choose to invest in PPC or SEO, your website has to do an efficient job of selling your services and telling visitors (directly or indirectly) why they should work with you over another company—otherwise it doesn’t matter how much you increase your traffic.

When Should I Invest in PPC?

Let’s get to it: when should you focus on PPC instead of SEO? Your company should invest in PPC if:

  • You’re looking to quickly increase the amount of traffic coming into your site (not just conversions or leads)
  • You’re willing to spend money on advertising within Google & potentially other search and social platforms
  • Your website ISN’T designed/ optimized for SEO
    • When this is the case, oftentimes we recommend our clients use a landing page creation software (i.e. Unbounce)
    • This gives us optimal control over the look and feel of the landing page we’re directing paid visitors to, and we can tailor that page towards a specific type of conversion2, without having to redesign the whole website
  • You’re looking to target a specific type of traffic (i.e. by demographic, education, hobbies, etc.)
  • You thoroughly explain why you’re better than the competition on your site

And When Should I Invest In SEO?

It’s important to remember that SEO is NOT free. No matter how you look at it, SEO comes at a cost. Whether it’s your own time or hiring an outside firm to develop or manage your SEO strategy, SEO does come with a cost. Invest in SEO if:

  • You want to invest in growing traffic for the long-run
  • You have quality pages on your site that advertise all your different products and/or services (i.e. this is what we call $$ pages)
  • You want to dominate search results for your keyword(s) category
  • You want to increase the value of your website

Related Post: How Long Does It Take for SEO to Produce Results? ➢


In an ideal world, we would look at both SEO and PPC. They both have pros and cons, but work best when supporting each other. Clients & companies who can get SEO and PPC working in tandem will often be able to drive results that are greater than their individual component parts.

1 Investing in SEO may require you to also invest in redesigning your website. You can drive all the traffic to your site, but if it doesn’t do a proper job of portraying who you are, your offerings and differentiating factors it’s not going to convert those visitors

2 A phrase used to describe the act of converting a customer who browses your site to a paying customer

two men shaking hands

Tips To Perfecting Your Client Onboarding Process


You’ve received the signed contract from a new client. Now what?

This is the most exciting time. You’ve worked incredibly hard to obtain a lead, nurtured them with the expertise your company offers, and now you’ve finally closed them. Your team has probably celebrated a bit, given a pat on the back to the sales team, and relished in knowing your company is growing. But this is just the beginning. Take a moment to celebrate, yes, but then know that what you do next is crucial in determining the health and stability of your client relationship.

Process Is Everything

Whether or not you have a process in place for what happens immediately after a new client signs can dictate the nature of your entire relationship. Sure, the exact cadence of a new client relationship takes some time to develop, but you need to have some process in place to start establishing consistent communication or you can quickly lose their trust. New clients still need to be “won over;” just because they’ve signed doesn’t mean they know what you can produce yet. Leaving them hanging by using vague language or not communicating quickly enough can make them feel uneasy.


What should a new client process entail? Here are 3 key factors: 

  1. Start with a meeting to transfer all knowledge the sales team has of the client over to the team responsible for the deliverables.
  2. After they have all necessary information, set up a call to introduce the team to the client. At least one member of the sales team should be present to make the client feel at ease—not like they were just immediately shuffled off from the person they’ve gotten to know.
  3. After the meeting, the team should be fully equipped to start implementing initiatives for the client.

But that doesn’t mean the process is complete yet. Your client came to you expecting they’re hiring an expert. To prove you’re the expert, constant communication throughout the rest of your relationship will be key. Talking to your client every week—preferably on the phone, even if only for a few minutes—will assure them that they made the right choice by selecting you. Keep in mind that the cadence developed with the client should come from you, not the client. It can be tempting to go along with “whatever the client finds easiest” or “whatever the client wants.” But the truth is, they’ve come to you with a problem, and you’ve been hired to provide a solution. A specific process and constant communication is key to providing that solution.

As time goes on, on-boarding tasks are completed, and a relationship has been established, you’ll find that things begin to flow more naturally. But you can’t afford to get complacent; none of this can happen without a proactive process once you’ve signed that new client.

Develop your on-boarding process and encourage the sales team to start closing clients!


modern office with toy robot on desk

Marketing Automation 101: The Basics of Building a Marketing Machine


“The core problem we’re going to have going forward is that you have two forces [that will] govern much of what [happens] in the future. The first is globalization, which we’re not going to repeal, and the second one is automation, which we’re not going to repeal.” – Eric Schmidt, Former Executive Chairman of Google, Inc

With the marketing world moving more and more towards automation, it’s natural to take a step back and wonder: what is automation, exactly? Automation has been around since the printing press, the loom, and even the wheel. Throughout history, humans have found ways to automate repetitive or laborious tasks to machines, and automation in the digital age is no exception. While automation can conjure up images of machines from the Matrix, it’s less dystopian and more beneficial than you might think.

Properly understood, automation allows humans to do more with less. Think about it this way: where would the automobile industry be without the creation of the assembly line? Where would we be without the machine-based search algorithm that google built? Automation is a part of your washing machine, your coffee maker, and countless details of your everyday life. Marketing automation can be thought of in the same way that every other form of automation can be: it allows you to do more with less. Think of marketing automation as a way to do the work of a large marketing department, but for the cost of a single marketer.

Marketing Automation Basics

With automation, you can scale your marketing team without hiring a bunch of new employees. In essence, you can create a marketing machine. Marketing automation consists of software and tools that allow you to efficiently market to your customers throughout the entirety of their buyer’s journey. You nurture prospects with engaging and relevant content and then turn those prospects into customers. It’s the reason that Amazon is ranked one the most reputable companies on the planet: they don’t just sell to their customers, they provide value-added service to them at every stage of the funnel. They have built a marketing machine that removes the friction between the customer and the company. Don’t get me wrong, this is not easy to dobut as you can see it’s worth the required investment.

5 Steps to get started with marketing automation:

  1. Generate relevant leads by creating great content and driving traffic to your website. Focus on making your content informative, not promotional. By providing educational information, you help solve your prospect’s pain points which allows them to move smoothly through the rest of your funnel.
  2. Build your marketing funnel using landing pages, email marketing, and content that is valuable to your prospective buyers, whether that’s a blog, an ebook, a whitepaper, etc.
  3. Create content that includes calls-to-action with other relevant content that will help your prospects to solve their problems. If you’re discussing obstacles in the recruiting world in an article, you should link to another piece of content at the end that helps solve those obstacles or presents new ideas.
  4. Send out relevant and timely messages to your prospects at the various stages of the funnel. Your prospects are always on the move, their information and needs change everyday–it is your job as a marketer to figure out what information will help them progress along their journey. Sending the right information at the right time is critical to building trust with your customers, and solving their problems, even after they’ve become a customer, is how you build a reputation as enviable as Amazon’s.
  5. Work with your sales team to integrate your marketing and sales efforts, by creating a delightful sales experience for your prospects and customers, your sales team will begin to understand your customers from their perspective. Rather than interrupting your leads with irrelevant messages and cold calls, marketing automation allows your marketing and sales department to work in harmony to understand and help your customers every step of the way.

The key to successful marketing automation is remaining customer-centric. Much like Amazon’s mission of being the most customer-centric company on the planet, marketing automation is all about your customer, not you. Where I see many fall short with marketing automation is that they only focus on their existing mailing lists and ignore the rest of the 99% of the market out there. Marketing automation is not just emailing your leads to death; it’s a holistic approach to creating great marketing that is non-intrusive, relevant to prospects, and delights the customer at every stage of the funnel. 

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