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By Willem Knibbe | Monday, July 07, 2014

Introducing the lynda.com Marketing Segment

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Ever since people have been trying to sell, people have been trying to market (I love the peek at early soap opera ads in our Content Marketing and the Art of Storytelling documentary).

The rise of the Internet provided an exciting new marketing channel, and now businesses are spending $7.3 billion on online advertising alone in an attempt to reach the 245 million people using the Internet. Social media and self-service tools like AdWords have also helped level the playing field such that businesses of all sizes can (and must!) leverage these channels to be competitive in today’s hyperconnected world.

lynda.com introduced our first marketing courses in 2010, and now—with more than 50 courses and plenty more in the works—the subject is leaving the Business nest to soar on its own as the new Marketing segment.

By Lorrie Thomas Ross | Sunday, May 11, 2014

The Power of Modern Press Releases

The power of the modern press (releases)

Press releases are essential to effective public relations, but they’re not written for the press alone. Press releases are emerging as a critical component of content marketing, social media marketing, earned media, and search marketing strategies.

Modern-day press release writers need to know what to write about, understand formatting, and have a strategic distribution plan.

By Chelsea Adams | Monday, April 14, 2014

How to Install Google Analytics to WordPress in 5 Minutes

Install Google Analytics into WordPress in 5 minutes

If you can copy and paste text, you can install Google Analytics to WordPress. All you need is an established self-hosted WordPress.org website or blog, a Google Analytics account, and five minutes or less.

Note: You can only install Google Analytics on self-hosted WordPress.org sites and blogs. WordPress-hosted WordPress.com blogs won’t let you alter your header file or otherwise make low-level changes to your website infrastructure.

By Starshine Roshell | Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Q&A With Best-Selling Author Jonah Berger

Jonah Berger

Jonah Berger spent a decade studying what makes products and ideas go viral. Now the research behind his New York Times best-selling book Contagious: Why Things Catch On is available in a lynda.com course.

In the example-rich, one-hour course Viral Marketing: Crafting Shareable Content, the Wharton School marketing professor shares the six steps to crafting messages and information that get people talking.

In a recent Q&A, Berger revealed some surprises in his own research, corrected a common misconception about viral marketing—and told us about the one product he loves to share.

By Lorrie Thomas Ross | Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Building Your Personal Brand in 2014

Build your personal brand in 2014

Branding is not just for organizations. For individuals, personal branding is about managing the way you want to be perceived. A personal brand is the sum of all experiences that people have when they engage with you. In today’s web-driven world, the personal brand experience goes well beyond live interactions.

Just like products and services need differentiation to help set them apart, people need to think about how to position their experience and expertise so they put their best professional foot forward.

In my Personal Branding Basics course, I cover three main components to managing a personal brand:

By Matt Bailey | Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Investing In Social Media For Your Business

Create an Integrated Online Marketing Plan

Explore this course at lynda.com.

How much time and money should I spend on social media?

This frequently asked question sums up the frustration of countless business owners and website publishers. Many social media experts say it’s essential to have a social presence. But not all businesses are the same, nor do they all make money the same way, so it’s critical to first develop an integrated online marketing plan before executing a successful social media strategy to promote it.

Define your messaging Start with your marketing message and strategy, and clearly define the unique value proposition of your business. What do you bring to the table that sets you apart from your competitors, or solves your customers’ problems more efficiently? Once your message aligns with your business goals and reflects your strengths, you’ll need to assess how and where to communicate it.

By Christopher Matthew Spencer | Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Naming Your Small Business: Brand Your New Company For Success

In the past, you could discover a brand just by searching through the Yellow Pages. Entrepreneurs started their companies’ names with “A” or “AA” just so they’d come first in each category. Today, a company name must do more than appear first alphabetically; it must convey a powerful and memorable image. Creating a fantastic business name is a crucial step toward building and growing your brand. A memorable name connects with customers and sticks with them.

Here’s the dilemma for small business owners: hiring a pricey business-naming firm or branding company isn’t realistic. We have to figure out the perfect name for our company without the help of a big-budget advertising agency. And even if you spend a mint to develop a company name, there’s no assurance that customers will embrace it. FedEx is a terrific example of crowd-sourced branding. Founded in 1973, the goal of this powerful and respected brand was to provide a service that was needed in the pre-fax business community: overnight document delivery. Originally named Federal Express, the company was not affiliated in any way with the government. Perhaps its original intent was to suggest that it was an arm of the post office and somehow “federally” associated. This may have been its first naming error. Customers eventually found it easier to simply call it “Fed Ex.” The name stuck. In 2000, the company bowed to its customers’ higher wisdom and made the nickname the new brand name. Smart move for FedEx, which did over $42 billion in 2012 and has 300,000 employees. It’s a true success story. Do you think it would have dominated the market with a name like “AAA Shippers”?

In my lynda.com course Sales Skills Fundamentals, I show how creating customer value—and embracing your customers’ values—will be the most powerful drivers to selling. But how do you prompt someone to stop by your store, call you up, send you an email, or fill out your website contact form? The company name you create influences whether or not customers connect with you.

By Lisa Cron | Monday, March 04, 2013

How to Hook Your Reader From The Very First Page

Think stories are just for entertainment? They’re not. Stories are simulations that allow us to vicariously experience problems we might someday face. Think of them as the world’s first virtual reality—minus the geeky visor. Story was more crucial to our evolution than opposable thumbs. All opposable thumbs did was let us hang on. Story told us what to hang on to.

The great feeling of enjoyment we get when a story grabs us is nature’s way of making sure we pay attention to the story. It’s a survival mechanism. Do you know what that feeling is? A rush of the neurotransmitter dopamine. It’s your brain’s way of rewarding you for following your curiosity and finding out how the story’s problem is solved.

That’s why, when it comes to writing, the most important thing to master is the craft of story. Because it turns out that the brain is far less picky about beautiful writing than writers have been taught to believe.

Yes, writing well is a good thing—only a fool would deny that. But what matters most is that the story hooks the reader from the first sentence. How? By igniting the brain’s hardwired desire to find out what happens next. That’s what gives all those beautiful words all their power in the first place.

Lisa Cron explains how story captivates the brain.

So, how do you ignite the reader’s curiosity on that crucial first page? There are three things readers innately hunt for as a story begins.

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