Change the game in your career by becoming a visible expert

March 11, 2015

How I transformed my career from lawyer to ESPN reporter to sports marketing consultant by becoming a ‘visible expert’

476720863On Wednesday, March 11, I’m honored to be a panelist at the Jacksonville Women’s Leadership Forum on a panel entitled “Game Changers: Career-Defining Moments.” At just 33, why was I chosen for a panel on career-defining moments? It was probably because of that big career switch I made four years ago when I left my law practice and became ESPN’s sports business reporter on my way to becoming a nationally recognized expert on the business of college sports.

As I’ve prepared for my panel the past few weeks, I’ve been struggling to pinpoint the exact moment that changed my career.

My gut reaction was to say it was when I got my first book deal. Except, I wouldn’t have gotten that first book deal if I hadn’t written a legal journal article on the same subject or blogged about it for months afterwards. So was one of those my game-changing moment?

It took me a few weeks, but I finally figured it out. All those things — my legal journal article, my blogging, my book deal, my eventual invitation to write for Forbes and appear on television for Comcast Sports Southeast — they were all stairsteps on my way to my true game-changing moment: when I became a “visible expert” on the business of college sports.

What is a visible expert?

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Why every blog needs an editorial calendar

February 25, 2015

GettyImages_488499107Many of the clients we work with understand the benefits of having a blog. Most, however, haven’t embraced developing an editorial calendar. That’s a huge mistake.

Assigning bloggers to specific days, thereby creating an editorial calendar, makes many bloggers nervous. You want the freedom and flexibility to write when it’s convenient for you – we understand that. However, an editorial calendar has benefits that cannot be overlooked.

Ensure frequency

An editorial calendar ensures you have a minimum number of posts per week. According to a study by HubSpot, companies that post more than 15 blogs per month receive five times more traffic on their website than companies that don’t blog at all. If you have a smaller team of writers — or maybe it’s just you — 15 posts per month might not be a reasonable goal. However, the same study showed companies that increase blogging from three to five times per month to six to eight times per month almost double their leads.

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Blog topic ideas: nine ways to beat blogger’s block

September 11, 2014

wall of post-it notes and ideas

Stuck in a rut when trying to find blog topics? Once you’ve been doing this content marketing thing for a while, you may feel like you’re running out of things to talk about. Much like writer’s block, blogger’s block is a real epidemic. There’s a time and place for repurposing, but where do you turn when you want to churn out new topics? Here are nine sources of inspiration:

1. LinkedIn groups – what are your prospects discussing with their peers? How can you help? 

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8 common mistakes lawyers make on their blogs

July 10, 2014

187551774I’m an attorney, and I’ve been blogging for more than 10 years. I’ve started several blogs over the years, including ones on law school, the Atlanta Braves, the business of baseball, career advice for aspiring sports professionals and the business of college sports. Now I work with attorneys and law firms on blogging and social media strategy as part of my job as a content marketer, and I find many legal blogs have the same common mistakes.

You aren’t writing for a specific audience

I have a law degree, and I practiced law for four years, yet I still don’t understand many of the law blogs I read. For most of you, your audience is clients and potential clients. No matter how sophisticated you think your clients are, if they’re not attorneys they aren’t going to understand legalese. In fact, even if they are attorneys, if they don’t practice in your area they likely still won’t understand you.

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Want media coverage? Four reasons to start blogging today

May 6, 2014

JournalistI’ve been doing PR for nearly two decades. DECADES. That’s a long time to be in an industry that’s somewhat young. And boy has it changed since I started out. My first job out of college was in London (long story), working for a tech PR firm during the early days of the dotcom boom. Back then, we would wine and dine journalists. A big part of my job was to invite journalists at major tech magazines to lunch at some of the nicest restaurants in London (nice gig, huh?).

At lunch, I would introduce the journalist and the client (having previously briefed each one on the other) and let them talk, randomly interspersing some commentary or questions meant to ensure the conversation went in the right direction. A bottle (or two) of wine and a really expensive meal later, and we were nearly always guaranteed a story in the publication.

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Does your content live up to your headline?

March 20, 2014

creating content that lives up to your headline

Ever clicked on a headline only to be sorely disappointed when the content didn’t live up to your expectations? It’s kind of like connecting with someone online, then being jarred into the horrible realization that they’re a Photoshop ninja upon the first date.

Yes, intriguing headlines are highly effective. And since the average attention span is only eight seconds, what’s the big deal if you lose momentum after your blog post is clicked? If open rates were the end game, you’d be golden. But you’re trying to build credibility that leads to a relationship with your readers. Here’s how to skip the bait-and-snooze while knocking your headlines out of the park:

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