About Tom Sullivan

Experienced, good, and easy to work with. Copywriting, editing, content creation, SEO, SEM, social media, marketing communications, and email marketing are some of my main gigs.

Jeremy Lin, Linsanity & 5 Lessons for Viral Marketing

Fans are Linsane for Jeremy Lin

Photo by REUTERS/Mike Cassese

Jeremy Lin is on fire right now. On the basketball court, the new New York Knick point guard has been crazy hot, successful beyond anyone’s expectations, even his own.

Off the court, Lin’s been even hotter. Linsanity is the most popular term to capture the buzz. Everybody’s talking Lin. My 9-year-old daughter has been asking about him every day. Even my wife, who prides herself on being checked out of popular culture, knows about Jeremy Lin.

In other words, Jeremy Lin has gone viral. The viral buzz seems even more intense than it was for Tim Tebow earlier in the year.

So what lessons, if any, can Jeremy Lin and Linsanity teach viral marketers? Here’s what I think.

You Need a Story Before the Story Can Go Viral
By story, of course, I mean a real story, a compelling story. The best-known example is that Dog Bites Man is not a story. Man Bites Dog is a story. In other words, the common or expected is not a story.

In the basketball world, Lebron James scoring 20+ points for 5 games in a row is not a story. Happens all the time. Even for lesser players, that kind of scoring would hardly garner much more than “Yeah, he’s playing well lately,” if it got any attention at all.

But with Lin, there’s much more. Jeremy Lin is one of just 15 NBA players since 1986 to record at least 20 points, seven assists and a steal in six consecutive games.

That makes his performance historically significant, but that’s not enough to push the story viral. It’s too insider-y.

This ESPN True Hoop article point to other stats that make Jeremy Lin’s performance worthy of being a story – and a good story.

Lin’s 136 points in his first five NBA starts is the most for any player in 36 years. In addition, Lin is the only player since the NBA/ABA merger to win his first five starts while scoring 20 or more points in each.

But as incredible as those stats are, on their own they would lack what it takes to go viral. They help sustain the virus but didn’t initiate it. The Linsanity started before his stats built up to these truly impressive levels.

Viral marketing lesson #1: Viral marketers need to have a keen ear for story so they don’t waste time and money investing in an idea that doesn’t have potential. It doesn’t have to be a full-fledged linear story. It actually only needs to be the kernel of a story, something truly compelling that generates a story in the re-telling and sharing.

I can’t believe what I just saw…” and “You gotta see this…” are the responses that viral marketing is after, because you know they’re going to give the story more viral momentum. To get there, viral marketing needs to defy expectations.

Viral Marketing Defies Expectations
On their own, the stats above are truly impressive. But who’s heard about the 14 other guys who scored 20 points with 7 assists and a steal in six consecutive games? My guess is almost nobody.

One of the key ingredients in the Jeremy Lin story and the story of viral marketing is expectations. People rarely talk about it when something expected happens. Viral marketing thrives by delivering the unexpected.

That a blender can blend fruit into smoothies is expected. That a blender can blend (or try to blend) an iPhone, a Rubix cube, golf balls, a Nintendo Wii, a crowbar and a Ford Fiesta, was highly unexpected and led to a viral marketing homerun, the Will It Blend? YouTube videos for Blendtec.

The Old Spice Guy campaign became a viral marketing mega-hit by subverting expectations of a traditional personal hygiene commercial, by blending random and surreal elements with quotable copy and a bizarrely charismatic lead actor.

The Jeremy Lin viral buzz got going based on defying three expectations in a big way.

What was Jeremy Lin expected to do in the NBA? Nothing. That’s why no team drafted him. When he finally made a team, he got cut. Then cut again. So expectation #1 was that he would fail based on basketball evaluations by the experts in the NBA. Undrafted, cut twice, he arrives at team #3 DOA. Expectation #2 was failure based on his being from Harvard. The Ivy League just doesn’t produce NBA stars (at least not since Bill Bradley). The third expectation was failure based on Lin’s ethnicity: he’s Chinese-American. And while Yao Ming was a sensation not long ago, there have had been zero Americans of Chinese or Taiwanese descent in the NBA. Zero.

But having these 3 big strikes against him made him a curiosity early on. Undrafted, really? Harvard, really. Chinese, really? The last one especially, since being the first of anything is noteworthy and that’s a very big demographic that had yet to be represented in the NBA.

So Lin started his first game as a novelty and underdog and was therefore teed up to generate big-time buzz if somehow he could subvert the built-in expectations (and some would say stereotypes). Which he started to do from day one.

Viral marketing lesson #2: Look for novelty, surprise, the surreal – anything that defies expectations. When you have an idea, push it further to make it memorable and share-worthy. Undrafted player playing well is a story, but not viral. Undrafted from Harvard playing really well might take off if there’s something else compelling about him personally. Push your campaign to that tipping point where it has enough to get viral traction.

Audience Matters for Viral Marketing Success

Viral success depends on sharing, and sharing skews young. The 18 – 29 Gen Y demographic is often the driving force of effective viral marketing, since they share a lot and are often seen as the group to decide if something is cool and buzz-worthy.

The NBA fan base is pretty youthful (according to these stats, 25% of fans attending games were 18 – 29 and 62% were 44 or younger), as well as concentrated in major media markets, so Lin had a built-in base of Tweeters, Facebook sharers, bloggers and YouTube video posters to spread his story, if there was any.

Jeremy Lin also had from the beginning two very interested audiences ready to amplify the buzz about his success: New York and Asians.

New York is the largest media market, and it’s a passionate basketball city that’s without a major (sorry St. John’s) college program. So the NBA and the Knicks get all the attention. Knick fans have been desperate for success and this year their desperation had begun to focus on the need for a point guards. So, when injuries and other issues forced Jeremy Lin from the end of the bench into the starting rotation, millions of eyes focused on him. Most were likely bemoaning their bad luck to be down to Jeremy Lin running their team’s offence and therefore ready to be thrilled when he defied their expectations.

Asian-Americans (followed by Asians abroad) were another built-in audience for Lin. As noted above, they’d never seen an Asian-American in the NBA so there was obvious keen interest in his story. His early success made it likely that this audience would spread the word and help it go viral, taking it well beyond the typical NBA or any other sports story. A feel-good story is often considered too corny for marketing in our cynical society, but there are times, like this one, where a feel-good story helps it go viral.

Viral marketing lesson #3: Make sure you are producing viral content for at least one audience you expect it to resonate with and be shared by. A viral marketing campaign can’t even get started if it doesn’t resonate with any particular audience. Identify which element(s) of your viral campaign are likely to do that.

Emotions Feed Viral Marketing

Connecting with people on some emotional level makes viral success more likely.

Humor (Blendtec), especially irreverent or over-the-top humor (Subservient Chicken), tends to work well with viral campaigns. Also surprise (Evian’s Live Young skating babies). Curiosity and intrigue (Blair Witch).

Jeremy Lin’s story misses out on the big push humor can provide, but it does capitalize on surprise and curiosity. There’s also empathy at work, people rooting for the underdog, someone more like they are, fighting against all odds. The Lin story also has another big factor in it’s favor: likeability of the central character.

When Betty White rose to viral fame, much of it was attributable to the surprise and intrigue factor of a Facebook petition to get her on Saturday Night Live, but the campaign was a viral marketing success because she was likeable. It was funny (and random) to suddenly push for an 80-something TV star to host a young and edgy show, but people could better get behind it because she’s such a likeable star. Jeremy Lin also seems quite likeable. Lin comes across as a smart, hard-working, humble guy, a guy so unsure of how he fit into the Knicks he was sleeping on his brother’s couch. In a world of over-entitled and look-at-me sports stars his low profile but intense and successful approach stood out. And encouraged people to root for him. And spread the buzz about him. Again and again and again.

Viral marketing lesson #4: Hook people emotionally and they’ll more likely be motivated to share their emotion. Laughter and surprise are good starting points. And if you are featuring a person in your viral marketing campaign, make it someone likeable, someone that others will line up to support. Some viral characters don’t really need to be likeable, per se, but they must at least be charismatic or attention-getting in some way (I’d put Old Spice guy in this category as not as likeable as watchable).

Viral Marketing Requires Distribution Channels
Jeremy Lin doesn’t have to worry about distribution. Being seen regularly in the largest media market, on national TV, in nightly ESPN highlights, and in daily sports pages ensures that enough people are aware of his story even before it spread on social media. Most viral marketing campaigns won’t get this kind of head start.

Viral marketing lesson #5: Viral marketing campaigns need to be integrated into all the social media platforms to facilitate sharing. Ideally you can get a critical mass of socially influential people to tweet about, blog about, post to Facebook, and put the word out to their followers that this is something to look at.

How long with the Linsanity last? Hard to say. He doesn’t need to score 20 points every night. In fact, the Knick-Kings game just ended as I’m wrapping up this post Tuesday night and Lin scored just 10 points…but had 13 assists and the Knicks won 7 straight with him. So on it goes…

As long as it’s a good story. As long as he keeps defying expectations. As long as he continues to connect with his audience. As long he stays the likeable kid he seems to be. And as long as he keeps appearing on the sports highlights.

And then the playoffs will arrive, just as they did for Tebow. We’ll see.

Good luck Jeremy.

Best New Business? Make It Yours Every Day.

The Grammy’s were last night. And Bon Iver won for Best New Artist.

Bon Iver singer Justin Vernon bites Grammy Award. The band won Best New Artist & Best Alternative Music Album. (LUCY NICHOLSON - REUTERS)

You may be confused about who Bon Iver is (and evidently you would not be alone).

But I was confused how the band won for Best New Artist. I was pretty sure I had downloaded a Bon Iver song from iTunes at least a couple of years ago.

Double-checking the band’s history, I confirmed that the song I downloaded was from a 2008 album. They also released a CD in 2009. And one in 2011. So, new?

Even marketers who fight to keep New & Improved attached to products as long as possible would find it a stretch to call a band with 3 CDs over 4 years a New Artist.

But this post isn’t to rail against inscrutable Grammy rules (or even how they mysteriously classify songs as Rock, Alternative, Pop, R&B or Rap).

It’s a reminder to businesses.

When it comes to your business and your products, new is in the eye of the beholders: your customers. If it’s new to them, it’s new.

No matter how long you have been in business, you have people becoming aware of your company, your brands, your products or services for the first time every day. You have people who are talking to your sales reps for the first time. People unwrapping your boxes and reading your instructions for the first time. Visiting your website for the first time. Making their first customer service calls to your call centers. And long-time customers who may be buying a new product or upgrading to a new level of service.

And your business is not only new every day, it is new many times per day. Over and over and over.

On the positive side, it’s a kind of like Groundhog Day, where your business has the opportunity to get better and better as it relives this ongoing cycle of newness.

However many businesses begin to fail when they forget this dynamic over time. They get complacent. Gaze at their corporate navels. Drink their own cool-aid. They somehow think everyone, by now, knows their company history, can recite their mission statement and value proposition, loves their marketing, and conforms neatly to one of their customer personas.

Real world customers are messy because they’re unique, and they’re all over the map when it comes to experience with your company.

Best to instill a corporate culture that continually sweats all the details of customer engagement as if it were a brand new small business, eagerly trying to attract and retain its very first customers, one by one.

Don’t let experience dull your passion. Don’t let the growing number of customers you have diminish your attention to each one.

Think New. Every day.

You may not win the Best New Company award, but your customers will sing your praises and you’ll reap the benefits year after year.

Generation-UN: Marketing to the Unmarketables.

Marketers care about targeting: getting their product or message to the right group of people.

That’s why they care about demographics: specific ways to group and characterize the overall population, such as gender, age, race, income, education level, location, home ownership and more. Once a group is grouped, it can be targeted.

Related to the age demographic is the idea of the “generational cohort,” all the people within a certain age range that grew up experiencing the same important events in their formative years, such as the Great Depression or Woodstock.

Woodstock Music Festival Poster

Woodstock. A generational moment for many Boomers.

More commonly, we just refer to generations (dropping the cohort), such as the Boomers.

According to everyone’s favorite search result Wikipedia, the procession of named generations in the U.S. goes like this:

1. The Lost Generation
2. The Greatest Generation
3. The Silent Generation (maybe that’s why I never heard of them)
4. The (drumroll please) Baby Boom Generation
5. Generation X
6. Generation Y
7. Generation Z

(Clearly someone wasn’t planning well when we skipped all the way to X.)

Possible New Generation Names
So…where are we now?

Well, we may still be generating Gen-Zers, because Gen-Z is also called the Internet Generation and Generation@ and kids are likely being assigned @Twitter names at birth.

But this generation started in the early 1990s, so I think we may be ripe for a new one.

We could think about extending the Internet/Web reference and using Generation 2.0 or 3.0, but they’d probably split the vote.

Steve Jobs might argue for the magical Generation A (as in Apple), which would also give us the Amazing and Awesome opportunity to re-Alphabetize from the beginning.

But Apple’s influence on our culture is more characterized by the i, so “the iGeneration” makes more sense to define the post-PC, i-everything world kids are entering now.

Both these Apple-centric approaches are of course too narrow.

If we step away from technology for a moment, Generation-O would be interesting, in honor of the post-racial U.S., with our kids being able to look up to Oprah and Obama as leaders of culture and the nation.

But I’ve been thinking a lot about Generation-UN lately.

The Case for Generation-UN.

Home Foreclosure Sign - Bank Owned

Homes Underwater. People Unemployed.

A growing movement in interior design is to undecorate.
Tens of millions of Americans are unemployed.

Millions of home mortgages are underwater.

And smart marketers are finally realizing they need to UN-market.

The first couple of economic Uns are unfortunate and will hopefully pass soon.

I think that Un-Marketing is a big part of a large, serious generational shift—and not just because social media expert Scott Stratten has recently written an excellent book UnMarketing: Stop Marketing. Start Engaging.

Marketing to the Unmarketables
Whether or not the next generation is named Generation-UN, marketers must pay attention to the conditions affecting people’s lives now and their reactions to them. If they do, they’ll find threats…and opportunities.

Over-hyped marketing and false promises around real estate (along with inadequate systemic safeguards) led to a catastrophic undoing of the economy.

This strengthened the already widespread distrust of hype and dislike of being marketed at.

It also led to a nationwide retreat to home, family, community, simplicity.

Men's Knitting Club in NYC

Men's knitting club. Simple, old-fashioned activities trending up.

Increased DIY. Knitting clubs. Scrapbooking. Home gardening. Chicken coops and backyard beehives. Home butchering. Co-ops and community gardens.

These things may be old-fashioned, but it’s not a fashion. They may be trends, but they are not fads. People are changing how they live in deep and meaningful ways.

People now expect – and demand – to be dealt with differently: openly and honestly.

They are looking for value and values.

The over-riding UN these days is a desire to strip away artifice and embrace authenticity in all its manifestations.

Brands must work first with an un-marketing mindset to be liked and trusted before they work on closing the sale as marketers.

Brands need to be part of the community and conversation before they become part of a transaction.

If they don’t, they won’t have much of a chance with Generation-UN. Or whatever they’re called.

Attention Must Be Paid

How Little Errors Can Become Big User Experience Issues
That Prevent Your Success

Attention: user experience problems everywhere.
The devil’s in the details. So you’ve got to sweat the details. All of them.

After all, you are working hard enough to make your site or website a success. Go one step further and proof your posts and pages. Look for the little things that might trip someone up.

Forget What You Know, Look with Fresh Eyes

If you not a professional proofreader or UI specialist, how to you do it?

Simple: Look at your pages as a new site visitor would. You have to forget what you know about the subject and the site. You can’t proof as the person who knows what everything means and is supposed to do.

Watch for Spacing & Alignment Issues

Problems can arise from something as simple as spacing. Or lack of spacing.

This is what I saw on a site I visited earlier today:
One Icon Heading Looks Like Caption for Other

Do you see the problem?

People Don’t Read, They Skim & Scan

How do people read online? Jakob Nielsen answered that question long ago:

They don’t.

People visiting your site skim and scan, their eyes darting around the page quickly, “foraging for information.”

That’s what I was doing when I glanced down and saw these big icons labeled “Translate.”

Except they aren’t translation icons.

The heading above the translation icons is much closer to the social sharing icons, like a caption under the icons, so people scanning the page will visually group the wrong text with the wrong icons and move on:

Don’t need anything translated, so Goodbye. See ya.

And you, the site owner or blog writer, have just lost a great opportunity to share your hard work and get more readers.

All over a few pixels of lost whitespace.

And a lack of attention to little things like spacing and alignment.

Lost in Translation

You have to be proactive and try to imagine how your site visitors may interpret or, more importantly, misinterpret your page.

Take things one at a time.

Read the copy: headline, subhead, body, etc. Look at the navigation. Check the images.

Most important:

Check and double-check any call to action, anything you want your visitors to do.

Like share.

If you don’t have time to do it yourself (or think you’re too close to the material to look at it objectively), see if a family member or friend will take a look.

Remember, you’re not looking for expert opinion, just the opinion of a regular person who might visit your site.

Small Example, Big Problem

This is just one example. And admittedly a pretty small one. After all, most of the people who are likely to share your work would probably recognize the icons well enough not be confused by the text.

But I’m writing this today because, for a moment at least, I was confused by what I saw.

And it’s always a trap to make decisions thinking people know what you know and will do what you do.

And the same kind of issues and the same lack of attention to the details of user experience (UX) do occur all over the Web, sometimes resulting in higher bounce rates, lower visitor return rates, or lower conversion rates.

Big opportunity and big money is sometimes lost.


Avoid that tragic ending on your blog!

As Willy Lowman says near the end of the classic play Death of a Salesman, “attention must be paid.”

How to Succeed in SEO Without Really Trying

Reading a profile of Pritzker Prize-wining Swiss architect Peter Zumthor in The New York Times Magazine, I was struck by this quote, explaining his aesthetic philosophy:

“I think the chance of finding beauty is higher if you don’t work on it directly.”

He went on to explain that you should try to “do what you should do,” by which he meant design in a practical way, with use and users in mind (my emphasis).

Sounds kind of like Matt Cutts, don’t you think? You know, Google’s oracle of SEO. He’s always advising SEOs to do the right thing. To develop content with users in mind; to design websites with real-world use in min.

The promise: create good content for users to enjoy and good site structure that helps those users get to your good content, and success will follow.

And here it is succinctly in Google’s Webmaster Guidelines (quality guidelines section):

“Make pages primarily for users, not for search engines.”

Of course, many (and not just black hat SEOs) have taken issue with this advice, such as SEOmoz founder Rand Fishkin in this Sept. 2009 blog post Terrible SEO Advice: Focus on Users, Not Engines.

And some websites, such as the HuffingtonPost.com, have parleyed search-engine-specific tactics to outsized success.

Where do I stand?

Primarily with users.

Search algorithms have and will continue to change, rewarding and punishing different tactics over times.

The one constant will be content. Quality content.

And search engines will always want to reward sites with high-quality content. The kind of content that real people really want. And real people will continue to value and validate real content with their traffic and attention.

But the word “primarily” in Google’s guidelines is an important one.

In his blog dissent, Rand really takes issue with user-only statements without the “primarily” qualifier and acknowledges “users should absolutely be the focus of your efforts.”

My advice: Write and design with pure user intentions, trying your best to produce the content that people really want, content that offers real value and enjoyment.

But then you should put on your SEO hat (white, of course). And dot your i’s and cross your T’s. Which means you make sure all the technical stuff that the bots want to see is there.

I think it’s ideally a writer/editor paradigm.

The SEO is to the content producer as the editor is to the writer.

Writers should write fluidly and freely, without the sometimes-stifling pressure to get it all right immediately.

Then the editor steps in (even if it’s the same person). And he or she looks at the work critically and makes sure everything is optimized. Editors don’t typically use the term optimize, but in reality it is what good editors and SEOs both do.

And in ebb and flow of search algorithm updates that periodically reshape the best practices of SEOs, we are in a period where this advice is even more important.

Google’s Panda update was meant to penalize many popular sites that rose to prominence by focusing overly on the search bots and not the real needs of people. And, while not perfect, the update largely worked.

In addition, social media signals are becoming an increasingly important ingredient in the SERP recipes.

Those amplifying signals – Tweets and Likes and other forms of social sharing – are coming from real people responding to content that was meaningful to them in some way.

So stop trying to make the search engines like you.

Make pages, primarily, for people to like.

How to Write Copy That Sells by Channeling Your Customer’s Voice

I recently bumped into a writer friend of mine. She thanked me for helping her out.

Smiled. Tipped my head to the side a bit. Smiled. Huh?

See, it had been a while, and from my perspective at the time, it wasn’t memorable advice I had given her.

But thinking about it now, I know it is a good tip for copywriters and other marketers involved in creating messaging for a brand or product.

Here’s what her problem was…

She had just transitioned from a journalism job to one in PR. And she was really stressed out about something she had to write for her new boss. She said the piece needed a lot of energy and enthusiasm, and a different perspective that she just couldn’t find her way into it. She was stuck.

She said that the owner of the company would be able to do it perfectly…but it was her job.

And here’s the writing advice I gave her…

Write in Your Customer’s Voice.

In this case, her boss was her customer. And this customer wanted to hear his own voice. His real passion. His genuine enthusiasm. His world-view.

Imagine, I told her, you are him. Internalize his emotion, channel his energy, and inhabit his perspective. Hear his voice as you write. Try to use the words and expressions he uses.

Then, afterwards, use your writing and editing skills to polish it up if you need to.

Evidently it worked.

He was sold. She was happy.

In this case, there was essentially just an audience of one, but this writing tip works for broader marketing challenges as well.

Personas vs. People

Sometimes marketers and copywriters are encouraged to create “personas” that they keep in mind as they develop and market products. (David Meerman Scott calls them buyer personas in this excellent post.)

Personas, which are archetypal or composite personalities meant to represent real customer segments, are a huge step up from just pulling stuff out of your…you know.

But, if not animated by your knowledge of a real particular person (or a few that you can combine), personas can end up being another well-intentioned but hollow marketing tactic that falls flat in execution.

Personas can merely be a name you put on a “category” of people leading you to write more generically to a general abstraction, rather than writing more authentically and powerfully to a specific individual (or even a simple composite based on a few real people).

People are not categories. They’re not summaries of boxes checked on a survey.

The 1.2 million real people represented by a persona I create don’t all think the same, have the same worries, share the same sense of humor, or have the same voice.

You might not be able to decide if your assembled persona would use a particular word or phrase but you probably could if you were thinking about a person.

People are individuals and it’s best when you can pick a real live one to represent your buyer or customer or target audience.

I also think it’s great when you can leverage the voice of a real individual in your work.

The fear, of course, that some marketers have is the fear of limiting the appeal of the message by basing it on one person. But the opposite, in fact, is true.

Great art has long been praised for illuminating universal themes through the carefully observed individual.

Personal, done extremely well, becomes universal.

Politicians since Ronald Reagan have tried to use individuals to represent voter blocks whenever possible: Joe the Plumber, for a recent and memorable (if not ultimately successful) example.

The same can be true for copywriters and other marketers engaged in messaging.

Being able to tap into a customer’s voice can help your message sound and feel more authentic and resonate with your wider target.

Good fiction writers are adept at writing from different perspectives and adopting the individual voices and views of others.

Good actors often observe real people and look for the speech pattern, hand gesture, posture or gait that helps them create an authentic/believable character.

Many copywriters, however, even good ones, have trouble with this. You can have an engaging voice as a writer that’s perfect for your blog or a certain set of similar clients but struggle to get out of your comfort zone.

But the good news is it’s not hard to make your writer’s voice more versatile.

Listen to People. Very Closely.

Note their word choice, their sentence types, their sentence patterns, their perspectives and orientations. What are their passions, their pain points, their hesitancies and confusions? Imagine how you would talk to them if you really wanted to engage them. What would they respond to?

If you own a business, start listening at work. If you have a customer support or sales line, listen in. If you work at a larger company, try to attend (or listen to recordings of) focus groups. (I don’t always believe people in focus groups when they say what they want, but I’m a big believer in listening to what exactly they say and how they say it.)

Engage people you know in the real world about your products, the product category, or the customer needs your product is supposed to meet and hear what they say.

You can also pick up some information in online forums but people’s writing in those places is often not as true and authentic as their speech would be.

Copy Good Copy

A more solitary, less social way to exercise your copywriting voice is to find writers or brands whose work you like (you can use print ads, web pages, emails, whatever you like) and use that as a model for your writing.

You can start by literally copying the ad or page word for word to get used to the style, but you should soon be able to internalize the work enough that it can inform your sentence structure and length, word choice, punctuation, and sales strategy without copying anything directly.

You can also try imagining you’re the person who wrote the copy you like. Even if you don’t know the writer, think of a real person as you try to write in that style.

Don’t worry about getting it all right. There is no perfect here.

Sometimes just dropping a couple of well-observed and well-timed colloquial expressions into an otherwise conventional sales piece can transform it.

However imperfectly you can do it, being a bit of a mimic or ventriloquist, being able to tap into a person’s or a brand’s voice (remember good brands are like people with distinct voices) can help make your writing more dynamic and versatile.

It will equip you to win a wider range of clients.

And make you more persuasive with your customers.

Have at it.

New Marketing Blog on April 1? No Fooling.

Not a fool. Only a jester

Welcome to MarketingGoodness.com.

You can only procrastinate so much.

Then, April Fools Day or not, you just have to launch your blog. Even if it’s the softest of soft launches (as in, I didn’t even tell my wife).

So here it is.

I’ll be dishing out foolishly large helpings (or, when time is short, just little dollops) of marketing goodness to help keep all you other marketers strong and fit.

I hope you’ll come back often for tips, advice, perspective and opinions about copywriting (online and offline), social media (SMM), search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), pay per click (PPC), marketing strategy, branding, user experience (UI & UX), design, and all the other things (there must be others, right?) that make people click. Or not.

For now, you can follow me on Twitter @TomSullivan. Facebook.com/MarketingGoodness will be live soon.

See you soon.