3 Keys to Creating Engaging Content

Image credit: Shutterstock

Image credit: Shutterstock

There’s nothing more frustrating than spending hours on a piece of content that you hope shines after publication, only for its message to be overlooked by your readers. To optimize your reach and ensure that readers really connect with the messages you have to offer, your content has to be fresh and exciting to read.

Like a novel that’s hard to put down or an engaging piece published in a trendy magazine, your content should pull readers in so they want to follow through with their read to the end. Luckily, you don’t have to have any special training or experience in order to make your content exciting enough for your readers to stay engaged through the last word. Here are a few tips and tricks to consider implementing for maximized success:

1. Be conversational
Whether you are offering insight into a technical topic, providing your opinion about new software, explaining a how-to project or putting together an informational piece, it’s always best to structure the content in a conversational way so that it’s easy to absorb and retain for the average reader. Use everyday language that reads as if you were speaking to your audience in person.

Ask open ended questions of your readers that inspire them and encourage them to think outside the box. Pretend like you’re talking to a friend as you piece together your outline, and put yourself in the shoes of your audience to gain some insight into what follow-up questions might be asked so that you can address them in your initial piece.

2. Implement calls-to-action
An awesome way to create more engagement and make your content more exciting for readers is to implement calls-to-action once or twice within most of your pieces. A call-to-action doesn’t have to be treated as a sales tactic. In fact, your calls-to-action should spark thought and interest in your readers.

Asking your readers to try a specific technique at home, referring them to books they can check out at the library for extra information and offering invitations to sign up for free online seminars are all effective ways to encourage action and engagement among your audience. Don’t save your calls-to-action for the end of your content. Engage readers with actionable communication throughout to enrich the overall reading experience and ensure that those who start reading your content are enthralled enough to stay tuned and keep learning until the last word is read.

However, be sure to consider how often you steer your audience away from the basis of your content in order to find further information or complete a project, as this can actually drive potential customers away from your words. A good rule to follow is to use question-based calls-to-action throughout the heart of your content that don’t encourage readers to steer away from what they’re reading, and to use verbiage that requires taking action not associated with the article itself near the close.

3. Make use of visuals
Visuals are an extremely useful tool when it comes to making content more exciting for readers and ensuring that the whole story you’re trying to get across is thoroughly told and absorbed. Statistics say that roughly 40 percent of online users respond more positively to content with visuals as opposed to plain text, and posts with videos embedded in them receive about three times the inbound link exposure that posts without videos do.

For this reason, it’s a good idea to include at least one high quality photo in each piece of content you produce. Any videos you can find to correspond with your topic will really help to enrich the piece and establish yourself as a knowledgeable brand that knows where to find valuable information and doesn’t mind sharing it. You’ll find that you can significantly increase your profit margins by including review videos for products you are promoting within pieces too.

You should find that these techniques are easy to implement and won’t interfere too much with the fluidity or insight that you want to leave behind within each piece of content you create.

Source: 3 Keys to Creating Engaging Content

There Are Only 6 Ways to Tell a Story. Are You Using the Best One at Work?

Use this universally proven approach to tell the most powerful stories at work.

CREDIT: Getty Images

CREDIT: Getty Images


New research has found that the basic building blocks of every movie, book, and story can be distilled down to 6 emotional arcs. As reported by MIT Technology Review, a team of researchers used advanced data mining techniques to evaluate the arcs of over 1,700 plots. Amazingly, they found that all stories are foundationally based on just 6 types of narratives, or arcs.

1. “Rags to riches” (involves a steady rise)

2. “Tragedy”, or “Riches to rags” (involves a steady fall)

3. “Man in a hole” (a fall followed by a rise)

4. “Icarus” (a rise followed by a fall)

5. “Cinderella” (a rise, then a fall, then a rise)

6. “Oedipus” (a fall, then a rise, then a fall)

With each of these you can think of various stories and movies where the plot follows this flow. Quickly think of your favorite book or movie and you will likely find that it follows one of these patterns (or even multiple patterns based on the various plots).

More importantly, the researchers then assessed which of these arcs was the most effective. The emotional experience plays a large part in determining popularity and they found that the most effective way to make this connection is through using an emotional arc that involves a recovery. Thus, they found that stories that at a minimum included a fall and a rise were the best.

Consider this fact the next time you are searching for the best way to tell a story. If you are using a story at work to gain support, create inspiration, or anything else, you will want to bring both of these elements into the narrative. A steady rise or fall is interesting, but it’s only when a bouncing back or rising up against odds is introduced that you can really connect with others.

There Are Only 6 Ways to Tell a Story. Are You Using the Best One at Work?

Futures are inching higher ahead of the jobs report

Futures are inching higher ahead of the jobs report

Futures are inching higher ahead of the jobs report

US stock futures are a bit higher but little changed as markets await the big jobs report for June that will be released shortly.

At 7:18 a.m. ET, Dow futures are up 38 points (0.21%), S&P 500 futures are up 5 points (0.26%) and Nasdaq futures are up 7 points (0.17%.)

Treasurys are little changed, with the yield on the 10-year note at 1.387%.

Stocks staged a late-day rally to close slightly negative on Thursday following strong labor-market data.

This short trading week, the S&P 500 is slightly down, by 0.23%. Last week was the best for stocks this year.

Gun stocks are taking off – a move we’ve seen following various shootings that gained major media attention.

Snipers shot 11 police officers and killed five in Dallas on Thursday near the end of protests against the fatal shootings of two black men by cops earlier this week.

Smith & Wesson shares are up 5.5% and near an all-time high pre-market, while Sturm, Ruger & Company is up 3%.

Crude oil is higher, following a 4% slump on Thursday that followed a smaller-than-forecast decline in weekly inventories. West Texas Intermediate crude futures in New York are up 1% to $45.62 per barrel, still near the lowest level in two months.

At 8:30 a.m. ET, economists anticipate that the Bureau of Labor Statistics will report job gains in June that outpaced the sluggish pace of the prior month. The consensus is for 180,000 nonfarm payrolls, and it’s possible that the May print of 38,000 gets revised upwards.

Source –
Futures are inching higher ahead of the jobs report

About (Alan Gavornik)

Alan Gavornik is a business leader, innovator and entrepreneur with over 32 years of real life, hands on experience in achieving results. He helped to grown many small business.  His multi skill sets include both start-up and growth stage business development, capital formation, and exit strategies with a strong emphasis on strategic sales growth through product development, market alignment and innovative distribution strategies. Most recently, he co-founded, built, and sold the financial technology company Concord/Concord Technology Services to LPL Financial (NASDAQ LPLA). Following this success, he has turned his experience and energies to helping other entrepreneurs and companies achieve meaningful growth and bottom line results. Alan’s client engagements include consulting, business coaching, and portfolio investments.

 

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In early 2015 he further leveraged his 32 years of practical experience by establishing an elite global network of highly skilled and successful consultants, business coaches, and corporate trainers. This affiliation brings both collaborative opportunities as well as access to world class corporate training content, highly specialized consulting curriculum, and thought leadership.

Alan’s expertise is in the following areas;
• Strategic Business Development
• Sales and Revenue Growth
• Capital Financing
• Product Development and Distribution
• Exit Strategies
• Effective Leadership Skills

In addition to his practice in helping businesses and entrepreneurs, Alan is committed to the prudent application of the successful business models and principals of the private sector to those of the philanthropic and public sector markets. His consulting, coaching and training services to the non-profit community are delivered on both a discounted basis as well as through a host of pro bono engagements.

Experience

Founder, Managing Director
G5 Capital Holdings LLC
January 2014 – Present (2 years 4 months)

G5 Capital was founded to mentor growing companies and business owners through consulting and coaching engagements in the areas of start-up and growth stage business development, capital formation, strategic sales growth, and exit strategies. The company further deepens select relationships through both direct and indirect investments in targeted portfolio opportunities. Our approach to all engagements is to leverage business opportunities with our decades of experience, proven business strategies and network of seasoned business professionals.

Founder, Managing Director
Focal Point of Greater NJ
May 2015 – Present (1 year)

Established Focal Point of Greater New Jersey as an affiliation with Focal Point to leverage three decades of practical personal experience. Focal Point, an elite global network of highly skilled and successful business coaches, consultants and corporate trainers provides both collaborative opportunities as well as access to world class corporate training content, business coaching curriculum, and thought leadership.
Alan’s expertise is in the following areas;
• Strategic Business Development
• Sales and Revenue Growth
• Capital Financing
• Product Development and Distribution
• Exit Strategies
• Effective Leadership Skills

In addition to his practice in helping businesses and entrepreneurs, Alan is committed to the prudent application of the successful business models and principals of the private sector to those of the philanthropic and public sector markets. His consulting, coaching and training services to the non-profit community are delivered on both a discounted basis as well as through a host of pro bono engagements.

Experience

    Founder, Managing Director
    G5 Capital Holdings LLC
    January 2014 – Present (2 years 4 months)

G5 Capital was founded to mentor growing companies and business owners through consulting and coaching engagements in the areas of start-up and growth stage business development, capital formation, strategic sales growth, and exit strategies. The company further deepens select relationships through both direct and indirect investments in targeted portfolio opportunities. Our approach to all engagements is to leverage business opportunities with our decades of experience, proven business strategies and network of seasoned business professionals.
    Founder, Managing Director
    Focal Point of Greater NJ
    May 2015 – Present (1 year)

Established Focal Point of Greater New Jersey as an affiliation with Focal Point to leverage three decades of practical personal experience. Focal Point, an elite global network of highly skilled and successful business coaches, consultants and corporate trainers provides both collaborative opportunities as well as access to world class corporate training content, business coaching curriculum, and thought leadership.
    Co-Founder, Executive Managing Director
    American Capital Acquisition Partners LLC
    October 1996 – Present (19 years 7 months)

Co-founder of this financial holding company focused on purchasing, developing, and managing small to mid-size companies in the financial technology industry.
    LPL Financial
    Senior Vice President
    LPL Financial
    June 2011 – December 2013 (2 years 7 months)

Following the successful sale of Concord/CTS to LPL Financial, served as the Divisional Head for integrated wealth management solution development for banks, trust companies, and related bank owned investment divisions

Led corporate, sales, and training integration efforts following the acquisition of Concord-CTS by LPL Financial

Collaborated with LPL senior leadership team regarding product development and sales initiatives for banks and trust companies.

Established and lead training program of LPL personnel in the areas of integrated wealth management solutions for bank trust companies