excellence

Get Your Legal Ducks in a Row

What should bloggers know about copyright law?

copyright-symbolQuite a bit, it turns out.

As a blogger, content marketer, writer, designer, course creator, you are constantly generating valuable intellectual property assets as you build your business. You really want to protect your key content. Your proprietary content is found in self-published books, infographics, online courses, workshops and speeches should be protected from copyright infringement.

from copyblogger:

When you federally register your copyright, you obtain the following advantages over common law copyright:

  • You alert the world that you are the creator and owner of the work, which makes it hard for infringers to claim they didn’t know the work was yours.
  • You obtain the right to bring a federal lawsuit; registration gives you the right to file a claim of copyright infringement in federal court.
  • You get to seek statutory damages and attorney’s fees in that lawsuit — the infringer has to pay all of your lawsuit costs.
  • You have an easy and official way to sell your ownership of the work.

How to avoid this mistake
Register the copyright for all of your prized content — namely, your work that makes you the most money, like your online courses, self-published books, and award-winning copy.

Registration is fairly easy and inexpensive. You don’t even need an attorney. You can register online by submitting some basic information and uploading a copy of the content to the U.S. Copyright Office website.

The fee is either $35 or $55, depending on what you register. You can also register multiple pieces of content at once, such as all of the articles you’ve posted on your blog since 1998, or the epic writing course you launched last year.

THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE mentions other legal moves you should be aware of. Check it out and make sure you’ve got your ducks in a row!

WEB-ducks-in-a-row1

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Christmas Time Blessing to All

Advertising can indeed be a thing of beauty.

Enjoy this beautifully told tale of friendship, gifts and shared holidays:

This animated holiday ad was created for John Lewis,the UK retailer by Laurent Simon and Aidan McClure of DDB Worldwide. I highly recommend watching the Behind the Scenes video. It’s a combination of stop-motion and hand drawn animation that’s quite extraordinarily detailed.

Why You Need a Good Writer

typingYou know your business. You can probably construct a decent sentence, too, if you got this far. But there are times when you need a professional writer.

We aren’t always the best promotors of ourselves, or even our products. We hold back where we should crow the loudest, or we display proudly the details that aren’t all that meaningful to the audience. It’s hard to remember, but you are not your target market.

Also, it’s very likely that the value of your time has risen to great heights as your business has grown. The cost of a copywriter will pale in comparison to the value of you, creating product and/or business in the way that’s made you successful.

Here are five situations when you need to hire a writer:

1. You’re just no good at it. Not everyone is a great word slinger. If writing isn’t for you, hire or partner with a really good writer to make sure that part of your business is getting the attention it needs.

2. You don’t have the bandwidth Writing is a time-consuming endeavor. there’s a limit to how many words we can consistently get onto the page or screen every day.

3. You need particular expertise You might need a subject expert, or a persuasive sales writer

4.  You’re too close to the topic. The reason it’s so hard to move from features to benefits is that it can be really tough to be objective about your own business.

5. The stakes are high.  If you’ve got a big launch or an important marketing campaign, you need to make sure your copy is making a great impression.

from Copyblogger

A writer who’s focus is on engaging the customer can see from a perspective you do not have. And the copywriter’s skill as a story-teller can bring intrigue, mystery, drama: the right kind of lively interest-engaging energy by virtue of that detachment.

Would you benefit from a writing pro on your current project?

Have you used freelance writers in your business? Tell us about your experience.

 

 

Too Much Communication

manymediaAll of us wrangle ‘information overload’ but that’s not exactly what I had in mind. I was struck by a story I read this week over at Linked In’s Best Advice column, written by Jon Whitmore, CEO of ACT:

In this tale of a young dean in the mid 90’s, Jon relates this good advice he got from a seasoned mentor.

You Can Never Have Too Much Good Communication. 

This simple advice led him from his sense of overwhelm,  to graph paper, and hopefully quickly to a spreadsheet, in order to map the relationships he needed to maintain, and the channels he had available to reach them.

Constant, clear, transparent communication: it’s never easy, but it will always be critical to your success as a leader.

The secret is to take ‘Too Much’ and turn it into ‘Good’: timely, intriguing, meaningful and in the right place.

TIMELY: Catch your audience when they are receptive, and when they can make the most use of the information.
INTRIGUING: Noticeable amid all the competition, well written and well designed.
MEANINGFUL: Inspires, solves a problem, creates good will, connects ideas or people in a new way, calls the reader to action.
OPTIMUM CHANNEL: Delivered via the right platform, vehicle, media, or network, and combination there of.

I’m reaching for my mental graph paper! You can see why a coordinated strategy is necessary; in order to consistently hit the right notes, there has to be a good plan.

I’ll have more to say about how to reach our audience in the weeks to come, and I’d love to hear your ideas about how you develop and refine your communications strategy. Please, chime in!

 

 

Design Leads Business

I wanted to cheer when I read this headline, and the list of guidelines within. For my entire career as a visual creative in business I’ve championed the subliminal power of design. Here is what we know is true:

Design is Changing the way Business Operates

PIETRO MICHELI

Companies like BMW, Alessi and Apple use design to differentiate their products, but design is not just for luxury goods and elite products. There is considerable evidence for it acting as a mechanism for business growth and innovation. But how do companies utilise design to innovate and boost their business performance?

In his report, Leading Business by Design, which will form the basis of the Design Council Summit at the British Museum on February 12, Pietro Micheli, Associate Professor of Organizational Performance at Warwick Business School, has identified key practices through which organisations in various industries are using design to attain maximum impact, and has made eight recommendations for companies looking to gain a competitive advantage through design. read more