Monday, December 26, 2016

HB Publishing’s Top 6 Posts of 2016

*** Will you be podcasting in 2017? Take our InstaPoll and see you stack up to your peers.

From Trump’s surprise election victory to the Chicago Cubs’ World Series victory (ending a 108 year drought), 2016 was anything but a boring, predictable year. One thing we learned from your reaction to our weekly blog Online Marketing B2Beat, is that your desire to keep abreast with the constantly changing landscape in your working lives never strayed far from your subconscious. Your reading patterns revealed strong interest in content marketing strategies, such as incorporating video clips into your articles and posts and using Slideshare to expand the audience for your presentations. From a strategic standpoint, you expressed concern about disruptive factors in the marketplace, building trust within your team, having more work/life balance and turning worry from a negative to a positive. If you missed a popular post, here they are again with a quick summary:

1. Incorporating Video into Articles and Posts (and vice versa).
As far back as 2014, we explained how adding video to your written content can substantially improve engagement and recall. On the flip side, a concise text-based summary that accompanies your video will greatly increase viewership. Our client, Coyle Financial Counsel found that viewership of its twice weekly video blogs increased substantially when it started offering a text-based summary right below its video player. The text summary always includes snappy “Key Takeaways.”

2. Does Your Trust Battery Need a Charge? Tobi Lutke, CEO of the e-commerce software provider, Shopify, described how every new employee starts at Shopify with their “trust battery” charged at the 50 percent level. As time goes on, the charge level goes up (or down) based on interactions with managers and whether the employee becomes more or less trustworthy and whether or not he or she delivers on what they promise.

3. Successful Professionals Use SlideShare If you’re not familiar with Slideshare (now owned by LinkedIn/Microsoft), think of it as a YouTube for professional presentations.
The sharing site gets an estimated 70 million unique visitors per month and an estimated 400,000 new presentations are uploaded daily. Unlike YouTube, SlideShare gives you quality eyeballs, rather than quantity. SlideShare is a favorite hunting ground for journalists, speaker bureaus and conference organizers. Learn why.

4. Not Worried? Maybe You Should Be. 
As a former boxer and wrestler, I’d rather have my guard up all the time than take a haymaker to the chin from seemingly out of nowhere. That’s not negativity or pessimism—that’s good old fashioned pragmatism and one of the most important ingredients for business survival. Some worry is actually good for you,” according to Simon Rego, a cognitive behavioral psychologist. Learn more.

5. Working Out the Changing Nature of Our Work.  Sally Krawcheck, CEO of Ellevest outlined five keys for success in the new world of work. She said businesses are changing, pivoting and being disrupted at lightning speed, thanks to “the forces of technology and globalization.” What that means she said is that “what worked for decades won’t be a given any longer.” She believes successful leaders will ditch corner offices, encourage more collaboration, give people time to think things through, embrace intellectual discomfort and a willingness to fail.” What do you think?

6. Is Free Time Overrated? A
Stanford University professor argues that time is a “network good.” In other words, free time is only valuable if others in your schedule also have that time free as well. As Young observed, “We face a problem, of coordination. Work-life balance is not something that you can solve on your own.” Same goes for telecommuting, flex-time, job-sharing, etc. We’re freer than ever to work where we want to work, how we want to work and when we want to work. But if you can’t enjoy that time with others, how much is it really worth? Do you fall into that trap of “bowling alone” or in my case skiing alone?

From all of us here at HB Publishing, have a great 2017. You can work smarter without having to work harder.

Our blog has more as does the FREE Resources page of our website.


Tags: Top posts of 2016, time management, workplace trust, Slideshare, Video with articles, Sally Krawcheck

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Can You Afford NOT to Be Podcasting?

Podcasts. “Sure, I know what they are….I think.” Sound familiar?

Podcasts have been around for over a dozen years, and while adoption is growing by double digits, they’re often overshadowed by social media, videos, infographics and search engine optimization. That said, podcasts are quietly and steadily gaining traction and businesses and financial professionals like you. "The popularity of podcasting for business makes perfect sense,” according to Daryl Plotke, of the Gainesville, Florida-based creative agency DDP. “Not only do podcasts allow the brand to have complete control over its content, but they offer an intimacy that few other media channels provide.”

See how we’re turning our own blog posts into podcasts.
It’s surprisingly simple and effective and so can you.
More than one in five Americans over age 12 (21%) have listened to a podcast in the past month and that “ear-share” has increased by about 25 percent in the past year alone. That’s about 57 million people listening to podcasts regularly--about the same number of folks who are tweeting.

Mobile devices are one of the key drivers of podcast growth as 64 percent of podcasts are now listened to on a smartphone or tablet, according to
Edison Research.
Americans spend about 2 percent of their daily share of audio consumption listening to podcasts. That might not seem like much, but that 2 percent accounts for about 15 minutes each day, or one hour and 45 minutes a week. With global smartphone use surpassing the 2 billion mark this year, listening patterns are expected to change as more and more people subscribe to podcasts.

While some media companies are frustrated by the paltry share of the U.S. advertising pie that podcasts attract ($34 million according to Pew Research), that’s part of the appeal—minimal commercial interruption compared to often-annoying commercial radio.

Business professionals and entrepreneurs rank high among podcast aficionados
Time-pressed, information-hungry people who are anxious to get a variety of perspectives and ideas from experts in different business fields are an ideal audience for podcasts. But, they’ll only do so if it’s easy and convenient. You can listen to podcasts as you sit in traffic, exercise, walk your dog or cook dinner. As podcast guru Jay Baer explained, “Increasingly, business people (especially marketers) are using podcasts to stay on top of trends because it’s the most time-efficient way to get educated. You can multi-task your podcast listening in ways you simply cannot with other forms of content.”

Podcasts are easily consumable because they don’t require the listener’s undivided attention like video, TV or books do. For podcasters, the ability to speak to your audience directly, in your own voice, at a time when it’s most convenient for them to listen to you, podcasts help you connect with your audience on a deeper and more personal level.   

Also, podcasts aren’t just for one-way communication with your audience. You can invite an expert or thought leader to be a guest on your “show.” You can interview experts, and even consumers. Podcasting is a great way to put forth the views of people your audience is most likely to trust -- experts, and their peers.

You can distribute podcasts through multiple channels.
While the most common thing to do is to broadcast your podcasts on your website or blog, you can spread their reach across the global audience through services like iTunes, Stitcher and SoundCloud. You can also use social channels to share your podcasts with your audience.
Ease of creation.

From a technical and cost perspective, podcasts are much easier to create than video and webinars. You don’t need to worry about hair, lighting, makeup, tele-prompters, slides or “freezing up” when the red light goes on. Just get a decent microphone and recording device and read your script calmly (or bring in a narrator to do it for you). OK, there’s a bit more to it, but podcasting should not be one of your 10 biggest tech challenges of 2017. As with writing, blogging, tweeting and video, Plotke said producing
podcasts on a regular and consistent basis do far more for you than just posting sporadic episodes. That takes a little discipline, and there are reasonably-priced professionals who can help you sound great without “dragging your feet into the weeds on every detail.”

Our own blog has more as does the FREE Resources page of our website.


To that end, HB Publishing & Marketing Company now has podcasting expertise on call. Just let us know when you’re ready to stick your toe into this burgeoning thought leadership content platform and we’ll help you connect with a larger audience than you ever thought possible.


Podcasting, Edison Research, Daryl Plotke, Stitcher, SoundCloud

Sunday, December 11, 2016

It’s Great You’re Blogging—Are You Blogging Efficiently?

Many of you are now publishing blogs. That’s great because blogging—if done well—is one of the most impactful thought leadership tools that professionals and businesses can use. According to the 2016 Blogger Research Study from Orbit Media Studios, the typical blogger publishes several posts per week with a typical post averaging 800 words in length. Bloggers write both in the office and at home after work. According to researchers, a typical blog post takes about 2.5 hours to create, with 46 percent of bloggers spending more than two hours per post and only one in six (17.4%) getting their posts done in one hour or less.  

Our Take? 150 minutes is WAY too long to be spending on a short-form post and if you’re running 800 to 1,000 words, you might be spending too much time “clearing your throat” and struggling to get to the point. If you’re not getting your posts done in roughly 60 minutes and getting your thoughts together in 500-600 words, then maybe you should review your thought processes or your internal bench strength.

Three in five bloggers (61%) are writing posts averaging 500 to 1000 words, which according to researchers makes 800 words “seem like an unstated, but agreed-upon standard length for blog posts.” Again, we’ve found you are better off writing on the briefer end of that 500-1,000 word scale.

Length Of A Typical Blog Post
Length of Post
% of Respondents
Less than 500 words
500-1,000 words
2,000+ words
Source: Orbitmedia, November 2016

How long it takes to write a typical blog post?

  Time to Write
% of Respondents
Less than 1 hour
1-2 hours
6+ hours
Source: Orbitmedia, November 2016

Part of the reason that blogs are taking many so long to write is that three in four bloggers (73%) act as their own editors, according to the Orbitmedia survey. Only 15 percent of bloggers use a formal editorial process. Nine in ten (90.6%) survey respondents said they either edit their own work or use an informal process. What’s more, researchers found that most blog posts have never been seen by anyone but the author before they go live. Ouch!

Bloggers Use Of Editors
Use Of Editor
% of Respondents
Edit own work
“Show it to a person or two”
Formal editor
More than one editor
Source: Orbitmedia, November 2016

Researchers also found that social media is by far the most common promotion tactic, typically used by 94 percent of bloggers since it’s fast and easy for most bloggers. The Orbit folks also note that best practices for SEO are so well known that most bloggers now produce search optimized content, adding that only 5 percent of bloggers are paying to drive traffic to their posts.

How Bloggers Are Driving Traffic To Their Posts
Traffic Acquisition
% of Respondents
Social media marketing
Search engine optimization
Email marketing
Influencer outreach
Paid services
Source: Orbitmedia, November 2016

Our own blog has more as does the FREE Resources page of our website.


Credit: The New York Times
On a personal note, I wanted to mention the recent passing of John Glenn, American astronaut, U.S. senator and all-around hero who died on Thursday at the age of 95. I never met Glenn personally, flew or served in the military, but I have long since felt a special affinity for Glenn. Here is an iconic photo from the New York Times on the day after I was born, March 1, 1962. You see Glenn, the first American astronaut to orbit the earth 9 days earlier—basking in the glow of the first of his two Canyon of Heroes parades in New York City. I learned many years later that my parents almost gave me the first name of “John” or “Glenn” but that decision was later nixed for reasons to lengthy to discuss here. Now scroll down the page to the side by side photos of the front page of the Times on 3/2/62.

For most Americans, Glenn’s ticker tape parade overshadowed an unfolding tragedy just 16 miles away in what is now known as JFK International Airport. That same morning (March 1, 1962), American Airlines Flight 1 crashed in Jamaica Bay, killing all 87 passengers and eight crew members. It was the deadliest commercial airline crash in United States history at that point.

As so often happens in life, exhilarating highs are mixed with agonizing lows. Give The Times credit for devoting equal space to both stories in 1962—in today’s media environment by contrast, that ratio would probably have been 90 percent tragedy/10 percent celebration. I’m sure many miss those days.


Tags: Blogging, thought leadership, John Glenn, Orbit Media Studios, blog length

Sunday, December 04, 2016

So You Think You Know LinkedIn?

Whether you’re a sole practitioner or a partner in a global firm, it’s no secret that your online presence matters more than ever today. And since most of you are experienced professionals, nowhere else does your online presence matter more than LinkedIn. It’s not just for job seekers and recruiters.

According to Sandra Long, a longtime Pitney Bowes executive and now a trainer, entrepreneur and author of the new book, LinkedIn for Personal Branding: The Ultimate Guide, many professionals make the common mistakes of:

  • Taking a set-it and forget-it approach to their LinkedIn profiles.
  • Having too many endorsements for their less-than-core skills.
  • Listing their job title at the top of their profile rather their personal brand and unique value proposition.
  • Not synching their personal brand with their firm’s or company’s brand.
  • Not having a professional headshot—“If you don’t have a headshot, you’re not in the game.”
  • Listing every single job and responsibility they’ve had during their career, rather than “weaving together common themes.”
  • Repurposing their resume online rather than being a “story teller.”
I spoke with Long after her presentation last week at the Fairfield County, CT chapter of the American Marketing Association. She told me that for experienced professionals, one of the most important things you can use the platform for is establishing yourself as a thought leader. Sharing content, uploading presentations to Slideshare (now owned by LinkedIn) and publishing articles and blog posts on LinkedIn’s new publishing tool will give you “very high authority” on Google and other search engines.

“Your business is all about your career, your brand and your network,” said Long. “The No. 1 activity on LinkedIn is look at profiles. Take the time to think about what’s unique about you professionally, personally and what makes you a thought leader.”

Long's book provides a comprehensive view of personal branding using LinkedIn's profile, content sharing, and thought leadership capabilities. Additionally, Long has assembled a useful set of "How To" advice links that are available on a companion website. The website provides many resource pages and links related to each chapter.

Our blog has more as well as the FREE Resources page of our website.


Many of you preach the importance of regularly updating your portfolio, estate plan, business plan and IT procedures. Those are not one-and-done exercises. Same goes for your online presence, particularly your LinkedIn profile (and your organization’s).


Tags: LinkedIn tips, Sandra Long, LinkedIn for Personal Branding, Slideshare, thought leadership