“Consistent Emotional Labor”

Defining authenticity

 Today Seth Godin was in my email box and that’s a normal good thing…it’s my wake-up words for the day. Sometimes his commentary rings clear and at others it comes just clever. But today it came spot on.

Seth Godin’s comments on defining authenticity as doing what you must with panache. Since writing every day is what I must and is my pleasure. A smug smile hung on my lips while digesting his words.

If hanging out at the beach I am either writing or jotting down thoughts for composition later.

Before writing for a living I searched for reasons to compose in previous employments where writing wasn’t the mandated task. So, I know of days when composing relevancy has its moments of challenge.

In our drive as business writers we stifle our egos into whatever business or client we’re writing for. I wondered just how does a writer truly brand themselves.

The reveal for me, in this Seth moment was this,

“We call a brand or a person authentic when they’re consistent, when they act the same way whether or not someone is looking. Someone is authentic when their actions are in alignment with what they promise.”

Composing copy each day with words that titillate, captivate, make a reader salivate is not always easy. But if you enjoy writing, if you’re compelling incentive is to create prose, if every fiber of your being looks forward to putting pen to paper…then self-branding should come easy.

If thing one is writing as your raison d’etre, then thing two is where branding should become inevitable.

How, for me, does the term “consistent emotional labor” apply to the everyday job of composing content.

A writer’s choice of terminology and style reveals their brand. It becomes a brand by way of consistency. Whether selling compelling innovative copy, that motivates, or drive quant data solutions.

We must scrub our thoughts each day for words that compose thought filled and rewarding content.

Showing up with great copy every time makes your style of writing shine through. That to me is branding wrapped in “consistent emotional labor”.

 

The Earth May Come to an End But Marketing will Survive

 

Imagine preaching to a global audience in 2017 that the Earth is flat. And while imagining, did you know that the Rapper B.o.B is the iconic voice of this growing movement. He’s crowdfunding and promoting this premise. What’s most amazing? Is that there are more than a few willing followers ready to embrace his “reasoning”.

Now….I realize that we live in a world where intelligence often diverge onto paths of – shall we say – unintelligent rambling. But this gifted artist has set upon a vigorous campaign to enlighten the world. He goes so far as to propose that NASA covertly guards earth’s flat borders.

This bit of news caught my attention because of the sublime simplicity in its proposition and the admirable ROI. Obviously, what this artist is promoting is absurd…but his marketing efforts are working…people are listening.

Perhaps we should rethink our content marketing strategy.

I’ll name this marketing concept “the flat earth hypothesis”. People need to believe that there’s something new and exotic in their world, even if that thing is a misconception from uninformed eras.  But clearly, this is where a business story can become a best seller.

And then there’s the reality of hurricane destruction.

Global financial markets wait with baited breath for utterances from the world’s money regulators. Janet Yellen, Mario Draghi, Mark Carney, Ben Bernanke, Christine Lagarde to name a few. They are the guardians of the stuff that dictates the behavior of money.

20 years of BoE independence

While the world evolves around economic downturns and corrections, a relative few global banks have acquired an ever-expanding independence. Long ago governments relinquished their ownership of banks. Although regulations and regulators act as overseers, the world’s largest, banking institutions have become the rock stars of cultural and societal influencers.

There are a few things to consider post Harvey, Irma, and Maria as a Content Marketer whose business depend on the availability of money.

Thing one is that you know the current nature of your client business or market niche performance.

But the advent of destructive storms has and will unleash new money into our economy. The rising cost of replacing destroyed infrastructure will last for decades. Rising cost of rebuilds will tax insurance and government coffers.  In the role of marketing professionals, tasks of exploring new and testing old channels will also change.

Following the golden brick road

The will of the banking sector will hold sway and content makers should prepare for increased marketing dollars.  Financial shifts within the ranks of consumer giants like Home Depot and Walmart is a given.  But there is more to this story.

Insurance companies will alter their marketing strategy to attract the more fearful consumer. Banks will direct the consumption pace based on market sectors. 

Thing two, where in the feeding chain are your clients. And are they in need of stepping up their content marketing campaigns.

Up and down the manufacturing food chain…lumber, machinery, metals for tools, real estate markets, changes in financials, and the flow of cash will impact fuel consumptions and consumer buying.

All these things influence businesses large and small requiring new content marketing strategies.

Just sayin’

 

God A Human Story By Reza Aslan

Book Review

Impressions

A monotheism experiment – “the climax of the fairly recent belief in a single, singular, nonhuman, and indivisible creator God as defined by postexilic Judaism, as renounced by Zoroastrian Dualism and Christian Trinitarianism, and as revived in the Sufi interpretation of tawhid; God is not the creator of everything that exists. God is everything that exists.” ~ God A Human Story

Nothing prepared me for this uplifting treatise on the intelligence of our evolution. We may be nature’s experiment, but humanity has always initiated its own exploration of the neural pathways that explain not only who we are but also how we are to each other.

 

The author Reza Aslan offers an explanation on how religions are constant constructs in evolution and is the creation of our civilizations.  So I ask have we engineered religions as guideposts to our evolution. Or is religion an organic living thing that progresses with civilizations.

This essay is not a read for those who understand or live religious dogma as an unchanging thing written on stone tablets. Rather this author explains concepts of the many religions we’ve embraced in clear and unambiguous terms. And his book is the brilliant product of much work. It comprises mountains of organized, substantive research and a discourse on the evolution and sometimes devolution of humanity’s faiths.

Divine humanization

From Lord of the Beasts to a redefined god stripped of carnal form to become a dehumanized god…”without shape or form – utterly transcendent and apersonal.” From God A Human Story

It is reasonable to surmise that the growth of religions becomes part of a learned pattern of thought that manifest by way of cellular memories. The disparate events in discoveries of cave art depicting similar objects of deity in other times and spaces begs the question, is there cellular memories embedded in our DNA.  And, do these objects contain a formula for organized religions necessary for humanity’s socialization?

Although bioresearch has evolved to a place that aggressively challenges what we don’t know about the cell and the intelligence fueling its organelles, it is safe to say that they may harbor information about the origin of the phenomenon we call organized religion.

For me the most compelling argument made by Mr. Aslan on how we struggle to awareness is in the advent of Marduk.  He was central to one of  the longest lasting religions that arrived during Babylonian times when humanity was grasping for an inclusiveness. In a society led by Cyrus the Great and when Judaism was still new and Yeshua ben Joseph (Jesus) wasn’t born yet, the kernels of a culturally changeable society came to be.

The preponderance of evidence reasons that Cyrus the Great constructed an inclusive nation that respected values of a culturally fluid civilization.   While slowly dehumanizing its center of worship, a god name Marduk.

Our imagination driven by what we understand dictates our need to make gods in images and traits we know best…ourselves.

It requires a brave heart

One must enter into the labor of religious research with an open mind and heart.  Reza Aslan owns both with a healthy dash of skepticism and bravery.

In my opinion, to argue the relevance of the constructs of our belief systems requires extreme courage. The evolution of religion is the tender under belly of all human cultures.  They compose the most personal self-identification of societies and sovereignty. It composes what we understand as the collective reasoning.

I wouldn’t, shouldn’t and couldn’t comment on this read as an essay on opposing religions. Rather it’s a talk on how our ‘systems of faith” evolved to reflect our relative truths.

This author delves very little into the nature of the societies that constructed these religions. In my opinion because Mr. Aslan’s course of study and this book is centered on the far more important stuff of explaining how religions work and its mind numbing effects on human progress.

Survival

Our objects of worship served to explain the unexplainable while aiding our survival as a specie.  Are we in the midst of embracing and expanding the precepts of a dehumanized religion?

This is genius writing on comparative religions and the processes of its creators and inheritors.

Story/Plot/Conflict

An extremely ambitious book becomes an easy read on the roots of religions and thoroughly researched story of comparative ideologies.

The cultural timelines and borders appear almost a blur.  The author clarifies those lines that seem to disappear in the miasma of disparate teachings of scholars separated or compromised by secular belief systems.

The book explains in simple terms how the conflict lies in man’s reasoning for living and the need to look elsewhere for guidance and comfort.

The human story preaches how the varied forms of deification and religious fables have endured and colored how we see experience our religions. This author makes this 12,000 to 14,000 years tale seem like mere steps in discoveries of whom we are and how beliefs have inform our lives.

Main Character

God

My Critique: Even for the most august of theologians can experience epiphanies in this read. This writing has the rare flavor of pure objectivity.

Genre: General audiences and an enlightening read.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 Ways to Keep Your Nerd at the Door While Keeping it Simple.

Content or article ideas come by way of daily media headlines in every genre.

Every subject of public interest has a relationship to the business of your blog.  It’s all in interpretation of thought. The tricky bits come in understanding how to insure that the story actually convey what you do for a living.  In creating your website content, discuss a storyline choosing trending subjects that relates to your commerce offerings.

Write an article, exampling how Google is trending because of acquisitions or new technologies. The great reveal is how that bit of news pertains to your product/service performance, perhaps a useful tool for customer fulfillment. This reveals how your way of doing business is proactive not reactive. And then use captivating call to action words.

The most difficult part in presenting fantastical ideas into content is to present your accepted wisdom in clear unambiguous terms. Keep your nerd alter ego at the door.  If you have a product or service story to sale – just say it. Being too technical or roaming too far into the weeds when explaining what you have to offer can lose an important moment….capture the imagination of your new patron.

 

When Writers’ Broken Hearts become Good Marketers.

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A week passed and the booze and seclusion did little to stop the pain that stole my sleep and kept the tears flowing. The sudden loss of my friend, lover, and partner seemed more than I could handle. I thought all was good and right with my world. A great job with a global media marketer, a boyfriend I thought loved and wanted to marry me. Then the door to my dreams suddenly slammed shut leaving me staring into a black abyss. Stark fear and hurt took hold of my senses. There was a desperate need for solace.

Interrupting her busy workday my best friend Aisha responded immediately. I knew she heard all reason abandoned in my shaky voice. Friends since grammar she rearranged her schedule to meet me the next afternoon for lunch. Staring that morning into the bathroom mirror, I tried to calm my nerves enough to apply makeup to hide the dark circles and swollen eyes. The face staring back at me affirmed a struggling recovery from a week of constant booze and too little food. Dulled senses, a stomach churning, and I was throwing up twice a day.

We met on Pearce and Michigan Avenue. My mass of highlighted coils hung over red-rimmed eyes. I knew I looked awful as she suddenly appeared with a hug. I smiled into her beautiful face and hoped it made sense to share my hell with her.

Grabbing my arm, we sprinted across the crowded lunchtime sidewalk to the Chicago Museum of Modern Art. Dodging the usual pedestrian crowded sidewalk, we ran up the hot white stone stairs to the glass covered entrance. Entering the cooled lobby with summer tourists milling everywhere, we settled into the dining room and I whispered almost out of breath, “Rashid has left me.”

Settling into the seat opposite, she leaned forward in silent rage. The reply arrived short and angry, “I knew that little creep would do this. I’m damn glad. Good riddance” She began arranging the linen in her lap before the infamous glare, “Don’t tell me you’ve been on a binge and calling off work”.

Aisha knew me well. She also knew my dark handsome ex-lover. We three attended Chicago Colombia University and it was love at first sight for me. I moved into his apartment just a few weeks after we met. Five years after graduation, his family business took him away from me most of the year. Busy with my own career my illusions persisted about “that wonderful someday” when we would marry and have children. That was not to be.

Over lunch with Aisha, I began relating my sad tale about Rashid’s midnight call. He was not returning to Chicago as planned. A childhood friend had stolen his heart and they had married. I timidly shared with Aisha the worst part of my story. I told him that I was pregnant and he ended the call.

My meeting with Aisha reassured me of her support. But my drinking continued and days later, I looked into the mirror again. The alcohol induced swelling changed my features. The guilt took charge reminding me that I had a little life growing in my belly.

Weeks later, I told Aisha over dinner my decision to keep the baby. Struggling to bring something good and positive into my life I decided to journal about my passage to healing. I wrote about my pain, the loneliness, the hate, anger, and sense of deep betrayal. I took a leave of absence for eight months. Four months later the abyss gave way to sunny days again. My journaling became a novel and by the time my young one arrived so did a best seller.

I named that book after her and dedicated it to Aisha. Each time I look at my little girl’s face that mirrors the dark handsome features of Rashid I smile. Because that brief painful time gifted me with a glorious new life and a new friend and daughter, a new career as a marketer and a bestseller.

When new authors ask me how to survive those awful searing moments of pain that threaten to destroy their muse. I always tell them that when creating prose it empties the soul of its pain and frees you to live the joy that always follows. And sharing is also a good marketer for your work.

We at ChapterSee would love you to share with us those moments of truth when your gift of creativity helped heal a painful time.

Free and Inexpensive Book Marketing really can Shift Your Sales Paradigms. by Barbara Cerda for ChapterSee

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You’ve spent an enormous amount of time and thought into getting your book published.  One of the biggest obstacles to success is getting your work front and center to readers and that requires marketing.  This is perhaps the biggest hurdle in achieving author stardom. But shifting the paradigms in achieving over the top book sales is more than possible.  Start your own marketing campaign. Begin treating your work like an undiscovered gem.  Free or inexpensive book promotions requires truly aggressive marketing.

Even successful authors face the same conundrum.  Most publishers have budgets of many thousands of dollars dedicated to fomenting enthusiasm….for a single book. Those pre-allocated funds are normally exhausted within a month.  Publishers take their return on investment and the author is stuck with continuing his own marketing efforts from that point on.  It’s a little like being queen for day. Unless he/she is one of those authors that generates top of the charts status every month.  That is hard and costly to maintain.

If you are a student or postgraduate where do get the money for marketing? There is crowdfunding.  After all crowdfunding is among the newest ways in finding small investors by way of social media.  But let us be real.  Even free marketing has opportunity costs.   Let’s explore a few.

YouTube videos

The world is hungry for great content. We enter a time when the globe wants its info and entertainment in ways that appeal to all our sense.  Quick…you have 60 to 90 seconds to capture an imagination, a need, curiosity, or diversion. This requires time to create and talent to deliver a compelling synopsis. But videos are rapidly becoming one of the best marketing tools.  Quality sound and visuals can do a lot toward getting your book known cheaply.    The happy parts is once you get the hang of it – productions get easier and cheaper. I love How to Make a Difference.  It is a how to website that also offers an excellent YouTube how to video.

Book Consortiums

Author consortiums are cheap or free and the more the merrier.  The caveat is finding websites with the greatest amount of traffic. You want your book cover advanced in markets where it will become a best seller.  Joining the general book marketing blogs is good.  But if you are writing about the economics of global terrorism….you probably wouldn’t expect a lot of interest with a group whose audience is clamoring for children or how to books.  Time and energy required to do proper research on these sites draws from daily itineraries.  But in the end your book cover will get buzzed on all the major internet highways.

The cost of posting your cover on book marketing sites vary from free and/or $19.00 onetime memberships to hundreds of dollars.    Essentially aggressive book marketing can be expensive – you are paying for expertise.

Writers’ Resources

There is a very important differences between a simple book marketing site and an author site that is a valuable resource. Resource sites actually offer important updates of the latest publishing listings where authors can market their books. These sites often conduct author to author book reviews. They are a treasure trove of wisdom and valuable feedback. But they often require active participation. You read my book and I’ll read yours. In addition many keep an active database of publisher submission guidelines and contests.

Technology junkie

I love well done videos linked to websites that can sell anything.  Learn how to get creative. WordPress and Word have plugins and themes dedicated to marketing books. The caveat in using YouTube and creating a winning website does not require that you become a tech nerd or junkie – although it helps. But it does require the time to learn and do and create.  Learn how to use visualization tools like Vimeo or Visul.ly.

There is a term that economist use called “opportunity costs”.  When making a decision on how much of your resources is required to successfully complete a tasks – you must take in consideration what is your time worth, how much will the goods or services cost in relation to successfully completing the task of selling your book(s). Most important at the end of the day will all those costs add up in the win column. Will you come away with over the top book sales – or close to it?

Word of Mouth

If you aren’t doing this already began creating posters of your cover art.  Every university, college and school has a student union hall or cafeteria.  Get permission to post your work. If you can, begin during prepublication to create buzz about your work in art and creative networks like My Journal, About me or See Me.  Start a conversation about your book before it is published. This will give you an idea of where to find your market niche. Start a Twitter and/or Facebook page using your book title to generate interest. Build buzz.

Trust your own instincts when it comes to marketing your book. Whatever mode or hopefully combinations of marketing tools you decide to invest in….success comes from the old tried and true concepts.  It is ALWAYS about working your market to gain real readership.  But before your start working that market…know it.  Know who is reading the subject of your books.

ChapterSee is an important tool in getting your book cover seen and your content read. Join us.

 

 

Discover Your True Value as an Author

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A nexus of cross-purposes is a ghostly presence that haunts all writers. It is their commonality.

True and accurate quantification of bookmakers is rare. How do you estimate the real value of an author’s abilities? Nevertheless, creating fiction or nonfiction is a needful requirement in every industry. Gifts of “word-smithing” create new worlds and can reshape common values. Faced with the dichotomy between marketing their works at true value while acknowledging the mediocrity of economic realities… authors must choose. There needs be food on the table, rent and mortgages to be paid, and lifestyles to maintain.

I read an article recently about acknowledging contributions of writers’ to the actual return of investment in marketing. Considered more a liability than an asset, rarely are writers valued in their support to successful campaigns.

An author’s talent for conveying ideas in words is a promotional asset. Their contributions should not appear as a liability on an accounting ledger. It is a necessary tool in achieving successful marketing outcomes. The same holds true in how an author places value on his/her own work. No one can properly compensate a gift. Nevertheless, everyone should place the highest value possible on novelists, and that starts with you the author.

Achieving the proper return on your investment of time and creativity is a needful challenge, one you should never ignore. Social network sites like ChapterSee are not only a smart ROI (Return of Investment). It is a common sense approach to achieving a writer’s or publishers’ literary success.

When mentioning ROI I am referring to not only the actual monetary investment in marketing and promoting, but also the economic term “opportunity costs”. This takes into consideration the hidden expenditures of time spent in researching material, editing and efforts taken away from employment pursuits. Authoring a book contains great intrinsic values. Nevertheless, recognition of your work can only become a revelation to readers by way of aggressive promotion and smart pricing.

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This nascent digital era can garner respectful fans from all over the world. Only through proper channels and funnels of high traffic sites, can you achieve fair compensation for your undiscovered abilities. They help in creating your brand.

Amazon makes 83,000 online sales every 60 seconds. YouTube users upload 72 hours of new video every minute. A remarkable social network dedicated to the magic of imagery and a wonderful space to advertise book covers. Pinterest users repin over 3,000 images per 60 seconds. To throw another impressive number in the mix, daily global usage of the internet has grown to 2.4 billion people. Note the word “grow”, because internet usage is developing into an organic medium for communication.

Claim your market share.

Over the top exposure of your book cover, will garner sales. Book promoting social networks help in personalizing the author and his work. ChapterSee can help you grow in reader popularity while creating your own niche. It expands the opportunities to sell your work at its true market value. Hawking your titles at a fraction of their worth has unintended consequences.

Lowering costs for books have a ripple effect that flows throughout the literary community. It reduces the compensation point for all writers, especially those who have yet to attain recognition. There are avenues to self-promotion that require meager to none marketing dollars for independent writers and publishers. It requires your own creative input and attention to details. Author and publisher niche sites attract readers.

ChapterSee

Website networking communities like ChapterSee can offer a huge helping hand to achieving literary recognition. Marketing budget or no, it takes time to build a dedicated customer base. This is where social media and network communities specific to authoring can save a lot of money and time. ChapterSee tracks web traffic, mimics larger digital marketing giants and brings them to you, then directs your readers to the sales link.

It is a very needful thing to post your work on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, and the like. Nevertheless, when you add your literary treasure to their pile of millions, it becomes impossible to be noticed in a sea of images. You MUST put niche social networks first in your marketing toolbox.

Displaying your cover on author and publishers’ social networks like ChapterSee increases your exposure to potential buyers that become repeat consumers and subscribers to your brand.

Why Creating Tasty Website Content is more tempting than a Cinnamon bun

canstockphoto20468862The time it takes for you to sip on that delicious latte’ and munch a warm sweet buttery cinnamon bun, your website business can generate new leads…new business associates. All of the hype about SEOs, the power of clicks and the traffic generated on iDevices is all-true. Yet the reaping of success is when that truth results in a burgeoning client base. Your patrons will instantly respond to your verbal outreach…” Give us your tribulations and we can make whole your business needs.”

We all toss and turn at night, get up early and ruminate on what magic source will bring our businesses to the light and the masses…or clients to our website door. Once conveyed that offer to help can be as tempting to your new and old customers as a warm Cinnamon bun. Express that promise through well-worded inbound marketing, and you have a winning formula. It is important that your potential fan base understands how you intend to help them. In doing this, you are creating that important business reputation currency.

A concise well-written email campaign in conjunction with social network sites is important to achieving success. In today’s world of constant 24/7 information streaming. Web content and targeted email streaming must be instantly engaging and information loaded. Word count…counts. Keep the details of your premise short and sweet. The concept of information over load is a thing that has passed. Commerce movers are looking for ideas and solutions that come rapidly with sound data to support the deeds of their business.

An inbound marketing campaign pointing the way to a well-constructed landing page should contain well-placed CTAs or call to action words. This wins immediate attention. Find your proper niche by running your own small marketing campaigns using social media sites. Get analysis of what colors and graphics garner the most clicks and how many of those clicks prove actionable. Learn how to use winning affects for a website button to gather a favorable audience reaction. The subtleties in using page tints when posting content will bespeak your innate ability to understand the needs of your reader. No static page to land on rather beef it up with sliding graphics. It draws the eye while engaging readership to an important message. Reinforce your bona fetes as source expert with statistical numbers and source links.

Just as you study the data analysis of your marketing campaigns, your appreciative customers peruse then use that analysis for their businesses as well. With simplified numbers and graphs, it serves as actionable proof. This translates into instant gratification.