The Secret Life of Testimonials

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You’ve seen résumés, haven’t you?

What’s common to all the résumés on the planet?

Yup, they’re all created to make the candidate look wonderful. So what’s the first thing a company does when you present them with a résumé?

They go back and do some digging. They check the details. The smarter the company, and the more important the job, the more the company digs.

So you have to ask yourself: Why does the company check back on the résumé? And the obvious answer is: Because they want to see the complete picture. They don’t want the one-sided résumé view.

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The Houdini Guide to Getting
Noticed Online

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Have you ever planned what you thought would be a brilliant, jaw-dropping week on your blog?

You pour your heart and soul into an ingenious post (or series) then sit back and wait for the praises to come pouring in.

But instead, you hear from just your usual readers, commenting politely and moving on.

Where are the trumpets? The fireworks? The millions of raving reviews and incoming links?

I know how you feel. And so did the legendary magician and “escapist” Harry Houdini.

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How I Became a Better Writer Thanks to Distracted, Hungover College Kids

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Writing is difficult.

So is teaching it to distracted, hungover college students whose cultural touchstones are TMZ and the Twilight series.

But after years spent writing in professional newsrooms, I was surprised to discover how teaching college students actually helped make me a better student of the craft of writing.

And it’s not (just) because I now have a mile-long list of what-not-to-do examples.

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Johnny’s Copyblogger Wrap-Up:
Week of March 22, 2010

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I know what you’re thinking. Here you thought it was Saturday, and yet there’s a new post on Copyblogger.

So either you’re drunk, or it’s actually a weekday and you stayed home by mistake and now you’re going to get fired and lose the family farm.

Or maybe this is a new feature. Maybe each Saturday, I’m going to run down the week’s posts for you in my own inimitable style so you can see what you may have missed in concise little blurbs.

Think of it as the Readers’ Digest or Cliff’s Notes version of copywriting and content marketing . . . on crack.

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The Difference Between Salad and Garbage

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There are worse things in life than death. Have you ever spent an evening with an insurance salesman? ~Woody Allen

You’ve got to feel for insurance salesmen.

They actually rank below used-car salesmen and bloggers on the list of people no one wants to hang out with. With only a slight edge over politicians . . . maybe.

Pushy pitches, cheesy glad-handing, clumsy attempts to build rapport. And all those lame rehearsed messages to move the sale forward. The worst, right?

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The Bobby McFerrin Plan for
Creating a Remarkable Business

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I just returned from a Bobby McFerrin concert, and now I know how to run my new business. No, this post isn’t about “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.” Bobby McFerrin is much more than that.

You see, I’m a little nervous. For 23 years, I’ve made my income the same way — in a service business, as a graphic designer. A client comes to me for design work. I create something for them, and bill for my time. Rinse, repeat, rinse, repeat for 23 years, and you have a career as a successful designer.

But that’s all about to change.

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