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Hungry for something to fill your mind (and your business) with actionable ideas?

You’ve come to the right place. This is the Word Chef Blog where you can grab a healthy meal that’s 1 part  storytelling, 1 part made-you-think, and 2 parts tasty marketing strategies and tactics.

The best part of these meals? You can eat/read them at home on your couch.

But don’t be fooled into thinking this is just a quick way to pass the time. Nope, every one of these posts provides you with crucial info that — if you use it — will help move your business forward. (It’s what we do ’round here. You’re welcome.)

Happy reading!

Revamp vs. Rebrand? 10 Considerations for Your Business Website

Posted by on 5:04 pm in Branding, Chef's Recommendations | 22 comments

Revamp vs. Rebrand? 10 Considerations for Your Business Website

Most people don’t know that my parents named me Christina. I changed my name to Téa in college (I’ll share why at the end of this post). Yes, it’s my legal name. Believe me, the IRS, the DMV and every government office between Los Angeles and Portland can verify this fact. Most people also don’t know that my original business was Social Good Marketing, a full-service agency that catered to nonprofits and socially conscious companies. I invested a LOT of time and money in that brand — even going so far as to register the trademark...

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Case Study: Using Email Marketing to Deepen Relationships

Posted by on 12:21 pm in Case Studies, Chef's Recommendations, Community Building, eMail Marketing | 4 comments

Case Study: Using Email Marketing to Deepen Relationships

Last month in the Digital Dining Room, the group’s mission was to create a welcome email that would help them get to know their subscribers on a deeper level. Here’s how we got them there: Step One: Brainstorm three questions they could ask a new subscriber that would cause the least amount of friction (so more people would be apt to respond). Many marketing “experts” will tell you to ask your new folks to share their biggest problem. While that kind of information would certainly be useful, it’s often not...

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No More Marketing: Why I’m Done

Posted by on 12:58 pm in Branding, Chef's Recommendations | 39 comments

No More Marketing: Why I’m Done

What I’m about to tell you might kill my business, but I have to say it: I’m done (yes, you can stick a fork in me). I’ve never wanted to build an empire — at least not one whose sole purpose was “bigger, better marketing.” And a 4-hour work week? Puh-lease. Those of you who read this blog on a regular basis already know I’ve got a love-hate relationship with the work that I do. That I’m advocate for Slow Marketing and creating your own recipes. You know I love-love-love helping my clients find...

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17 Unique Ways to Turn Your Blog Readers into Loyal Fans

Posted by on 8:22 am in Chef's Recommendations, Community Building | 2 comments

17 Unique Ways to Turn Your Blog Readers into Loyal Fans

Sure. You read all the best blogs about blogging. Your content sparkles. Your design is flawless. You’ve optimized for SEO and ticked off the long list of best practices. You’ve fine-tuned every aspect of your site. And you’ve got passion, damn it. It’s all humming along quite nicely. (Thank you very much). But could you be doing more? It’s a question that all great bloggers ask themselves. That’s how they got great, in fact. And it’s not a question you can answer with a magic pill or a silver bullet. It can only be answered...

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My Big Why: On Motives, Mentors, and Defining Moments

Posted by on 12:22 pm in Branding, Case Studies, Chef's Recommendations, Storytelling | 7 comments

My Big Why: On Motives, Mentors, and Defining Moments

Every hero has one: an origin story. Bruce Wayne watched a mugger brutally kill his parents when he was just a child. Peter Parker found his inner hero after a radioactive spider bit him. Buffy discovered she was “The Chosen One” and learned to leverage her slayer superpowers in high school. Even real-life heroes have them: Rosa Parks’ decision to not move to the back of the bus. John Muir’s pledge to make the most of his life after a brief stint of blindness. The first time Amelia Earhart experienced the exhilaration of flying. And...

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Bloggers’ Kitchen Table Mastermind

Posted by on 2:38 pm in Courses | 0 comments

Bloggers’ Kitchen Table Mastermind

Why don’t you blog on a more regular basis? Do you lack motivation to start? Time to finish? Confidence that your writing is worthy of publishing? Welcome to the club. (It’s a BIG one.) If you’re ready to step into your full potential as a blogger, writer and/or marketer, I’ve got something that might be just the ticket for you: A Blogging Circle. Writers — especially those who write fiction — often join a writing circle as a way to get feedback on their work so they improve. Improving your own writing by...

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Flying By the Seat of Your Pants: A Marketing Plan Love Story

Posted by on 7:12 am in Chef's Recommendations | 5 comments

Flying By the Seat of Your Pants: A Marketing Plan Love Story

Do you have a marketing plan for your business? No, I don’t mean all those plans you’ve got in your head. A plan that’s written down. (Or, more likely, typed into that thing you stare at most of the day.) If you’re like 99% of the folks I talk to, you don’t. Because REASONS. Here are a few I hear a lot: I don’t know where to start. I’m terrified I’ll do it wrong. I never follow my plans anyway, so why should I write them down? It takes too long. And by the time I’m done, it’s out of...

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How Well Do You Tell Your Brand’s Story?

Posted by on 7:55 am in Branding, Chef's Recommendations | 8 comments

How Well Do You Tell Your Brand’s Story?

This past weekend I attended (via simulcast) Andrea Lee‘s Lasting Lead Generation event. It was three days of fabulous teaching, coaching and delivery of actionable content. And I gotta say, she really knows her stuff! One of the first exercises she had us do was to think about a particular purchase we’d made where we were very happy to be buying. My purchase? My last visit to the local Farmers’ Market here in Portland. (See picture above? Yep, all those goodies came home with me.) Then we had to think about WHY we were so...

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Case Study: Creating a Content Strategy to Support Your Launch

Posted by on 9:28 am in Case Studies, Chef's Recommendations, Marketing Strategies | 9 comments

Case Study: Creating a Content Strategy to Support Your Launch

Last month in the Digital Dining Room, the group’s mission was to identify their main business goal for the final quarter of 2013 and then to develop a content strategy to support it. Here’s how we got them there: Step One: Brainstorm ideas using a mindmap. Start with a topic in the center that relates to — and would help develop conversations around —  your #1 business goal. Ask yourself the question: What does my potential customer want to know about this topic? What kind of answers might they be searching for...

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Why Marketing Plans and Content Strategies Help Create Real Sales

Posted by on 2:03 pm in Chef's Recommendations, Marketing Strategies | 0 comments

Why Marketing Plans and Content Strategies Help Create Real Sales

You’ve got a product or service and you want people to buy it, right? First things first. Have you done your homework (e.g., written a plan)? Does your plan include a content strategy? If you’re like 90% of those I talk to, the answer is no. And guess what? I’ve got the skillz to talk you down off the ledge help you have fun with planning. WHY You Need a Plan You may think people will buy your thing because you just know they need it. But until they actually give you money, your idea is just a hypothesis (an educated guess,...

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