Sunday, January 12, 2014

Content Marketing: My Recommended Reading List

Content, Permission, and Social Media Marketing: 
What You Need to Know to 
Market Your Legal Services More Effectively

As promised in an earlier posting, here is my list of recommended reading on content marketing.  

  • Brogan explores this newer platform that allows you to follow influences (unlike Facebook where people must give you permission to follow them).   I joined it because I figure the Google bots were paying attention to the content (like my blog postings) that I reposted there. 
  • I also follow Brogan through his website,, which is very stylishly designed and includes an example of a “Valuable Free Offer” opt-in page.  By opting in, you get on his “list,” which then serves as permission for him to continue to engage with you. 
  • He also has a podcast (available in iTunes) and blog.
Kelby Carr, Pinterest Marketing for Dummies (2012).
  • I love this platform because of its visual orientation and the ability to generate strong emotions through the boards you create.  This book provides a great introduction that I would use in conjunction with Gary Vaynerchuck’s most recent book (see below).
  • For a look at the Pinterest account I created for ASL, see here. You need to have a Pinterest account to access it. 
Andrew J. Dagys, Podcasting Now! (2006).
  • I don’t know that I will become a podcaster, but I was curious how to use this media to provide high-quality content to potential consumers of products and services.
  • I also like the podcast: This Old Marketing, by Joe Pulizzi and Robert Rose (available on iTunes).  It covers content marketing, brand storytelling, and social media marketing. 
  • I have read everything in Godin’s ouvre. Most of Godin's books seems to be a collection of edited blog posts.  Even so, I love his work and he has helped me make important shifts in my thinking. 
  • This prolific and well-known thinker, author, and trend-spotter (if not creator), -- whom Tom Peters called an Internet Marketing Guru -- wrote one of the first books on permission marketing.  It makes the distinction between push marketing and pull marketing.  My business coach introduced me to the concept from a practical perspective.  This book helped me understand the theory, psychology, emotions, and technology behind this huge cultural shift made possible by the Internet. 
  • For me, it provided a huge shift in my thinking about how to interact with clients, customers, potential students, and other people who came into my life. 
  • This short book to explain that the key to success is to standout (like a purple cow in a field full of brown cows) in a noisier and nosier marketplace.   “[B]oring always leads to failure.” It builds on his permission marketing book.  
  • He calls on us to take risks and do amazing things.
Seth Godin, Free Prize Inside! The Next Big Marketing Idea (2004).
  • This book is more eclectic (again a collection of blog posts, I’m guessing), but the focus is on marketing philosophy and strategies given the shift to social media platforms.  He preaches about connection, being remarkable, leading the way, and creating a conversation about your product or service.  He invites readers to create a product or service worth talking about.
Seth Godin, Tribes: We Need You to Lead (2008).
  • I talked about this book in an earlier posting.
  • Godin asks us to consider three questions as marketers:
    • What's your story?
    • Will the people who need to hear this story believe it?
    • Is it true?
  • He argues that great marketers do not talk about features and their benefits.  Instead, the tell us with stories why we should buy expensive wine or expensive cars. 
Susan Gunelius, Blogging All-in-One for Dummies (2010).
  • Very good book that will teach you how to create, design, start, promote, and maintain a blog on any of the leading platforms.   I used it to create The Red Velvet Lawyer, and if I can do that, anyone can create a blog.
  • This series offers book with particular blogging focuses. So check the other publications, too.
  • P.S. If I had to do it over, I’d be sure to use a blogging platform that allows me to archive posts by topic.  Blogger only archives by date, but it was a good starter platform because of its template choices and ease of use.
  • Another author’s look at building relationships with consumers through social media marketing and permission marketing.  He makes the distinction between blasting consumers with you marketing message and building relationships with consumer through high-touch, valuable content that draws them to your product or service.  It argues that consumers are smarter than ever and connected in a way that a smart businesses can use, but only by providing a high-quality customer experience from beginning to their next purchase (and then some).
  • This is a good introductory book, like Seth Godin’s Permission Marketing (see above) or Gary Vaynerchuck’s The Thank You Economy (see below).
Kyle Lacy, Twitter Marketing for Dummies (2011).
  • I have not read this book yet.  I have just started playing with Twitter with intention to market me or the law school.  I would be sure to combine its advice with that of Gary Vaynerchuk in his new book, described below.
  • This book helped me understand the theory behind Google SEO (search engine optimization),  advised whether to pay for search page priority placement or “earn” it organically, suggested many ways to earn organic optimization, and covered topics on why Google placements are important to your business and personal brand.  It also covered the ethics of optimization and the penalties for trying to outsmart Google’s algorithm (which changes frequently).
  • Even though this book is only a year old, Google is an ever-changing world.
  • My business coach recommended this older, but durable, book on the challenges any business faces in marketing a product or service.  My business coach put this on her required reading list for her students in her Gold Mastermind program.
  • Marketing is brand building.  The brand differentiates you from competitors.  Branding pre-sells the product or service by creating a strong (you hope, positive) association in a buyer’s mind.  This book offers laws of branding, as the title suggests, and has added 11 laws of Internet branding.
Tim Templeton, The Referral of a Lifetime: The Networking System that Produces Bottom-Line Results Every Day (2005).
  • My business coach recommended this book.  The writing style irritated me a bit.  It was written as an extended conversation among several players, but the advice and strategies are solid.  They would be especially helpful for lawyers, who must rely, in part, on referrals to build a successful law practice.
  • I especially like the idea of providing regular gifts of appreciation to your better referral sources.
  • Here's the publisher's description of the book:
In The Referral of a Lifetime, author Tim Templeton frames a powerful plan for cultivating clients and customers in a fable about businesswoman Susie McCumber, who feels increasingly like a failure. A friend refers her to the mysterious Mr. Highground, who introduces her to four successful people. They show her how they transformed their businesses and their lives by determining how others view them and how they view themselves as both human beings and businesspeople. Each of the four represents a "type" in this schema - from the "relational/business" type who puts the relationship first but thinks strategically when the talk turns to business, to the "business/business" type, who avoids relationships unless they work to a business advantage. Templeton shows how understanding one's type allows one to showcase strengths while improving weak areas in this simple, easy-to-use guide to success in business and in life.
Gary Vaynerchuk, Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World (2013).
  • Explains how to use the existing and developing social media platforms by describing each platform, explaining its “native” communication style, describing its primary audience, and offering good and bad examples of the use of each platform.  Beautifully illustrated and well-written.  Includes discussions of Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Pinterest, Vine, and Snapchat.
Gary Vaynerchuk, The Thank You Economy (2011).
  • My business coach recommended this good summary of why you should be using social media to market your product or service.  Very engaging writing.  I finished the book in a couple of days. 
  • He says:
I believe that we are living through the early days of a dramatic cultural shift that is bringing us back full circle, and that the world we live and work in now operates in a way that is surprisingly similar to the one our great-grandparents knew.  Social media has transformed our world into one great big small town, dominated, as all vibrant towns used to be, by the strength of relationships, the currency of caring, and the power of word of mouth.  In order to succeed now and in the future, it’s going to be imperative that we remember what worked in the past. 

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