As I enter my 37th week of pregnancy, I’ve been spending most of my time and brainpower just getting ready.
Tying up loose ends. Battening down the hatches.
Blogging has taken a backseat to breastfeeding classes and labor bag checklists. But that doesn’t mean I intend to abandon you. I’ve lined up an excellent roster of women bloggers who will be sharing their voices during the month of April.
Here’s what (and who) you can expect:
• March 25: Author Kristen Fischer on Moving Past the Fear of Self-Promotion
• April 2: When I Grow Up Coach Michele Ward on The Exceptions to the Rules
• April 8: Life coach & writer Kate Courageous on Digital Sharecropping
• April 18: Copywriter Ana Ottman on Three Ways to Develop Your Voice
Are you excited? I am! I’ll keep you posted – but if you need to get in touch, please be patient with me as I enter this new stage called motherhood.
When I attended Content Marketing World last fall, people couldn’t stop talking about Charmin’s SitOrSquat mobile app. The free app relies on crowd-sourced information to help people find clean public restrooms.
While the technology isn’t necessarily life-changing, the app managed to make advertising both effective and useful – something that’s deceptively difficult to achieve.
Introducing “Take Them a Meal”
Chinet’s Take Them a Meal is another example of advertising that’s both effective and useful. The premise is simple: the microsite allows you to plan a meal schedule for a friend or family member, “simplifying meal coordination so friends, family, neighbors and co-workers can show they care.”
I heard about the site from a friend who recently gave birth to twins, and immediately thought it was a great idea. I didn’t even notice the Chinet branding until I’d started brainstorming what meal I could bring. That’s when I noticed this text at the end of a short list of tips:
“Consider making – and taking – your meal in disposable Chinet Bakeware®. They won’t have to worry about cleaning or returning your dishes to you later. Find a retailer near you here.”
I hadn’t even thought of how I’d store the meal, so it came as a welcome suggestion. Exploring the rest of the site, I discovered a bunch of other great content – recipes, blog posts, coupons, even a tip line – all subtly branded by Chinet.
The branding could have easily become intrusive had Chinet’s marketing team not exercised caution. But in its current form, I think Take Them a Meal is pretty darn perfect. And I’d bet money that it’s yielded a healthy return of investment.
What’s been inspiring you lately? Let me know in the comments section below!
To succeed at marketing, and business in general, you have to be willing to embarrass yourself.
I’m not talking about wearing a mascot costume and handing out coupons on a busy street corner. I’m taking about owning up to all the things that make you human: the idiosyncrasies that don’t fit your ideal brand. The failures you wish you could sweep under the rug.
Make Me Worry You’re Not OK
A friend who’s writing a memoir recently shared an article on this topic. In “Make Me Worry You’re Not OK,” Susan Shapiro talks about assigning her writing students an essay on their most humiliating secret:
Over 20 years of teaching, I have made the humiliation essay my signature assignment. It encourages students to shed vanity and pretension and relive an embarrassing moment that makes them look silly, fearful, fragile or naked.
You can’t remain removed and dignified to ace it. I do promise my students, though, that through the art of writing, they can transform their worst experience into the most beautiful.
Perfection, Shapiro implies, does not lead to compelling stories. Nor does it help readers identify with you. Rather, it just raises people’s defenses. Continue reading