Content marketing: Telling Meaningful Stories

Don’t fake it until you make it but grow into it 

During a 2016 speech at a marketing conference I shared the story of a football coach who told me to appear confident even if I wasn’t. If other players didn’t think I was confident of my call as a center, they may lose trust. A valid concern. After I shared that story somebody said: “it […]

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Why I won’t be doing roundup posts

Roundup posts are a bit of the rage right now in the content marketing world. Bloggers interview real and perceived experts and people who have large followings. They will then publish a post with all their opinions, link to the experts and most of the experts will also link back to the post and even […]

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Why your website content needs to be specific

Web content needs specificity. Every once in a while, people say to me: Why do we need to be so specific? We didn’t do that previously? We just shared the typical stuff. And that’s the problem, many people are sharing the typical things. These are the facts. In the case of healthcare you can easily […]

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How to make the most out of event apps!


September 5, 2016


I’m very protective of my iPhone storage – mostly because I constantly run out of space. Like all the time. So, when people ask me to download yet another app, especially, when I don’t see the immediate value, I scoff and usually decline. But, downloading event apps, especially if those apps are well designed actually […]

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The No. 1 trick to grab (and keep) people’s attention in content marketing [EXAMPLES]


September 4, 2016


“Daddy, look at that skywalk,” hollered my eight-year-old at me as we were strolling through the streets of downtown for the Cedar Rapids Farmers’ Market. Of course, she wouldn’t point out any old skywalk. Something had to be different. Different things catch our eyes and attention. This skywalk was displaying some colorful art on it and, […]

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Why some content marketing strategies fail: They are too safe


August 28, 2016


And I’m not talking about always going for the sensational headlines and topics. But a lot of content marketing strategies, including blogs and social media, are just too safe. They share stuff that was approved by 59 people and is so watered down that there’s virtually no relevance or usefulness to the end audience. Recommended […]

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Why news media and content marketers can’t just publish what everyone else is publishing 

News publishing and content marketing publishing have a lot in common and here’s another one to add to the list: Publishing what everyone else is publishing won’t set you apart.  Let’s start with content marketing in health care. February is Heart Month and many healthcare organizations publish healthy heart tips or how to spot a […]

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Once you have an audience, don’t exploit it, but offer even more value!

Social media, blogging, really anything online (and offline, too) is really a numbers game.  The more relevant audience members (aka interested community members) you connect with the more impact your content can make and that ultimately leads to more meaningful connections and also business conversions.  More things to read:  How to find your organization’s content […]

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Why production time isn’t always the best way to measure content marketing effectiveness 

I solve problems and mentally write blog posts while getting gas, going on a run and sometimes while taking a shower. That, of course, happens because our brains are freed up to think about those problems and stories without artificial pressures. That’s why some of us – me, too – wake up at 2 a.m. […]

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How to avoid having unrealistic expectations in content marketing

Let’s publish and go for 1 million viewers… by tomorrow.  That sounds like a good dream but not a realistic  goal for many brands and organizations who are just getting started in content marketing.  We all start at zero audience though some of us have an existing audience that helps us start a bit higher. […]

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[PUBLIC SPEAKING] What to do with the podium during a talk


August 4, 2016


I don’t need a podium to hold myself up when giving a keynote, workshop or any talk really. It hasn’t always been this way. When I first started public speaking I would cling onto the thing. My hands sweating at the end. Heck, I was lucky not to have pushed it over.  Those are the […]

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How to add a CONTACT button to your Instagram account in seconds 

Helpful social media tips emailed to you: As of late July 2016, you can  add a contact button to your Instagram account. That’s great news because it makes it so much easier to be contacted by our Instagram community. Of course, there can be downfalls, too. What if trolls call or email? Block them, would […]

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Why every strategist needs a team to execute content marketing strategies

As I’m continuing to help  hospitals and health plans coast to coast start and implement their content marketing, content creation, social media and eNewsletter strategies one thing has become super clear in the last 5-10 years: Content marketing and storytelling is a team effort. I notice this especially when I hear some speakers at conferences […]

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What I’ve learned from the blog-to-book strategy

Now that my first book is out and available on Amazon, it’s a good time to reflect on what worked well and what I have learned for my next books’ productions. During the summer of 2015, I publicly announced that I was writing that book. Yes, that helped and even though nobody was officially checking in on me […]

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Honored to be listed in Top 5 of top healthcare social media people


July 11, 2016


Healthcare IT News published the Top 5 of the annual HIT100 list of top healthcare social media participants on July 11. There were 2,700 nominations and I’m honored to be listed at No. 2. It’s great to continue helping healthcare organizations coast to coast share better stories. Thanks to everyone that voted. Read more here.

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[FITNESS BLOG] Does competition or peer pressure help us be more active?

I like to think I’m in charge of my own life and decisions so without any data my answer would be: No. I don’t need tracked competition to be more active. I got it! #boom After all, I’ve been getting close to 10,000 steps per day, lost 130 pounds in recent years and bulked up […]

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Join me at Next Page Books in Cedar Rapids on July 23


July 8, 2016


Next Page Books, the independent bookstore at 1105 Third St. SE, Cedar Rapids, is celebrating four years on July 23, 2016, and as one of the local authors whose book they carry, they invited me to stop by. I’ll be at the store from 10-11 a.m. that day. I appreciate that Next Page Books has […]

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What value-based healthcare means to me – the patient


June 10, 2016

Health, Strategies

I’ve been reading some pretty interesting books on patient experience and value-based healthcare. In addition, I keynoted at the Population Health Forum in Boston in May 2016 and discussed how storytelling can help people be healthier. Also, in May, I keynoted at the Cleveland Clinic Patient Experience Summit and was able to catch up with […]

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How to scale content marketing (or any) strategies 

One person presents a new idea, concept or technique to a group of people (dare I say committee members?). Another person – often one with a fancy title – chimes in: “But, but, but how do we scale that?” “Um, I don’t know. I was just coming up with an idea.” And with that the […]

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[STORYTELLING] How to get access to the people with the good stories

It’s virtually impossible to share good and meaningful stories if we don’t have access to the people who lived and participated in those stories. That’s why personal storytelling is so much easier than organizational storytelling. We already have access to the person who lived the story – us. When we work in an organization’s communications […]

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How to take better selfies [SOCIAL MEDIA]

Some selfies are better than others. Leaving aside that some people are better looking than others, all of us can do a few things to make our own selfies look as good as possible.  Here are my top tips that I’ve tested by taking hundreds of selfies:  Find something interesting for a background. Selfie after […]

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Organizational storytelling: Should we check the background of people whose stories we are sharing?

Storytelling strategies can be full of reasons why not to publish something. In fact, if we want to find a reason to not publish a story that can be a super easy task: We don’t have the time. We don’t want to. I’m not a good writer. Somebody, somewhere may potentially be offended by something in the […]

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[Content marketing] What to do when not everyone loves us

Not everyone loves us. I just learned that the other day. Ha. If we share our knowledge, value proposition and authentic stories correctly some people will not love us for it. But others will. It’s a sign of participating correctly and authentically.  Recommended for you:  We are defined by what we constantly talk about  Defining […]

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[EMAIL MARKETING] Picture-only emails aren’t user-friendly, mostly because they might not be readable 

In the last few months or so, I’ve noticed something new in email marketing land: Emails that appear to be blank. Some have even been sent by brands I love, trust and want to read content from. On a mobile device, they look like this:    You can see the outline of an image if […]

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How to decide which online reviews to respond to

Businesses, products, even doctors are reviewed online now. Everyone has license to be a critic is one way to look at it. Another way is that people have the right to participate, share their experiences and help others in our communities make better decisions about those things being reviewed. Of course with people sharing their […]

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[Storytelling] Why it’s harder than it should be to share your story in your own words and voice 

  We all have a voice and can share our own authentic stories. Whether it’s through a podcast, blog post or Periscope, there are plenty of channels to share our stories.  But that doesn’t necessarily make the actual sharing easier. Many people still focus on how they think others think they should sound as opposed to […]

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[CULTURE] When and why it’s important to stop “vetting” stories

This article discusses when stories should be vetted and when we should focus more on production and sharing.

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[EMPLOYEE ADVOCACY] How to get employees to share stories without feeling like braggarts 

Some people don’t share any of their authentic stories – good and bad – and they have reasons for that.  Good stories – they don’t want to come off as bragging about themselves.  Not so good stories – they are embarrassed and don’t want to feel vulnerable publicly.  These are valid reasons and we should […]

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