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What marketing training do you need for your team?

marketing training teamIf you’re a larger organisation it can be easy to think of marketing as part of someone else’s job description. It’s easy to understand why. If your business has invested in employing marketing professionals why not rely on them to do the heavy lifting? Leave the marketing training sessions to small business, sole traders and network marketing companies. The truth is that even when marketing isn’t your primary responsibility it doesn’t mean that you can’t play your part. After all, as far as your customers are concerned, every employee represents your brand. The question is, what do you need your team to do and what marketing training do they need?

Social media

You might justifiably think that this is one to leave to the marketing team. When it comes to posting to official business accounts, you’d be right. However, you’d still be wise to consider what your team are doing on their own social media. If your employee is making offensive comments or acting in a way that could reflect badly on your business, it’s best to know about it sooner rather than later. Of course, some people make it easy. The annals of internet history are littered with stories of people who were sacked because they forgot they were Facebook friends with their boss.

The kind of training you’ll need to provide here is probably best lead by HR as it’ll need to be in line with company policies. It’s also a fine balancing act between protecting your business reputation and preventing your employees from posting anything vaguely interesting.


Personally, I love business expos. I get to wander round chatting to people and they’re also an excellent source of free stationery. However, I say this as someone who has never had to spend an entire day standing at a stall. Engaging with potentially hundreds of people to create the right first impression over the course of a day takes stamina.

You might think that it’s just a matter of sending the right people. However, even your most loquacious employees might need help. An expo is no different from any other marketing platform in that your message needs to focus on your customer. A monologue about your services isn’t going to help anyone. I’d suggest that a workshop style briefing session would be the ideal pre-expo training. Firstly, the team develop questions to get visitors talking. Then they think about potential answers and how your services would be of benefit. Your staff sound knowledgeable and visitors get to hear about stuff they’re actually interested in.


Depending on your business you might already have members of your team writing articles for various platforms. This may have lead you to believe that you don’t need to blog. The truth is that they’re not exactly the same thing. (For more on why, read this.)

Blogging is one of the most effective ways of humanising your business. People often see corporate businesses as remote and think that you might blind them with science. A business blog can, on one level, demonstrate your expertise if you let the marketing team do it. However, if you delegate some of the blogging to employees you get a unique perspective each time. It shows your customers that you’re approachable and not just a corporate stone edifice.

If your teams (even your marketing team) have never blogged before, there are some great workshops available that will take you through the basics from choosing topics to editing. It probably won’t surprise you to learn that I offer one and will bring it to you – sign up using the form below to find out more.

However you market your business it’s always worth getting your employees involved by offering them the right training support.

Further reading

Even your marketing team might need training – these social media horrors were created by professionals.

A more comprehensive expo survival guide

Finally, for details of my training sessions, sign up to my mailing list here.

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Why you need to know the difference between articles and blogs

difference between articles and blogsBusinesses come in all shapes and sizes, from the sole trader working at home to massive multinationals. The main differences in their marketing strategies tend to come down to budget. If you’re a one person business you’re unlikely to be able to afford to plaster your message on a city centre billboard or nab an ad slot in the middle of ‘Coronation Street’. On the other hand, creating written content is accessible to everyone. Any business can create a blog, but a lot of the people I talk to tell me that they don’t need to as they’re already writing articles. The fact is, while there are similarities they aren’t the same thing. Here’s why.

Articles are on someone else’s platform

For the purposes of this blog I’m lumping all articles together. In reality, there are hundreds of different outlets for articles. You could be featured in a local magazine or in a professional journal that’s targeted at a specific industry. Finding the right outlet is crucial to raising your profile. When I was a solicitor one of our partners used to write articles about legal issues for food industry journals to showcase his expertise. If you’re offering a service that’s accessible to the general public a local magazine could help you to reach potential customers.

The big difference between these kinds of articles and your own blog is that the articles are all on someone else’s platform. You don’t get to choose how they’re promoted or if you get to publish them at all. An editor has to think about what message will appeal to their readers and it might not be the one you want to send.

Different tones

In marketing it’s important to tailor the tone of voice you use to the platform as well as your audience. If you write articles for a local magazine your tone might be quite similar to that of a blog. By contrast, the difference in tone between a blog and a professional journal article is going to be pretty big.

I find that a lot of professional people shy away from writing blogs because they think it looks unprofessional. A serious article enhances their reputation but a blog might make them look frivolous. I’m generalising here, of course – some of my blog writing clients are very serious businesses. The key difference is that whilst articles make you look professional, a blog makes you look human. They can both win you clients but for very different reasons.

Your audience

When you write an article for a magazine, do you know who is going to read it? You might have been given information about circulation so you know where it’s distributed or who the audience is. It doesn’t tell you who puts it straight in the bin. Even regular readers might stick to their favourite articles and ignore yours completely. The only way you’ll know if your articles have been an effective marketing tool is if someone mentions it when they get in touch.

Now I know that you might have the same issue with your blog. You can’t control who visits your website or whether Facebook shows your post sharing the link to anyone useful. But you can see the data on how many people are reading and where they’re based. You can also run adverts promoting key pieces of content and targeting them at specific people. The results might still be hit and miss but at least you have a fighting chance of discovering what worked and what didn’t.

If you’d like to learn to write blogs, or how to shift your tone from writing articles to something more customer friendly, I’m here to help. Sign up using the form below to find out more about my 1:1 and small group training.