Shattering my assumptions by using LinkedIn for local marketing

At the same time that Bredemarket helps other firms to market themselves, Bredemarket has to market ITSELF, including social media marketing. And for the past year I’ve subscribed to the following formula:

  • Use LinkedIn for professional marketing to biometric/identity and technology clients.
  • Use Twitter as a supplement to this.
  • Use Facebook as a supplement to this, and also use Facebook as Bredemarket’s sole foray into “general business” marketing.

It sounded like a good formula at the time…but now I’m questioning the assumptions behind it. And I’m hoping that I can prove one of my assumptions wrong.

My initial assumptions about marketing to local businesses

As I write this, Bredemarket has no clients in my hometown of Ontario, California, or in any of the nearby cities. In fact, my closest clients are located in Orange County, where I worked for 25 years.

It’s no secret that I’ve been working to rectify that gap and drum up more local business.

So this was an opportune time for me to encounter Jay Clouse’s September 2021 New Client Challenge. (It’s similar to a challenge Clouse ran in August 2020. Repurposing is good.) Clouse’s first question to all participants asked which market we would be targeting, and in my case the local small business market seemed an obvious choice.

And this dialogue played in my mind…

So when I market to local businesses, I’ll want to do that via relevant Facebook Groups. Obviously I won’t market the local services via LinkedIn or Twitter, because those services are not tailored to local service marketing.

Questioning my assumptions

Then I realized that I was wrong, for two reasons.

  1. First, there are LinkedIn groups that concentrate on my local area, just as there are LinkedIn groups that concentrate on biometrics. I had already quit a number of the dormant Inland Empire LinkedIn groups, but I was still a member of two such groups and could (tastefully) market there.
  2. If LinkedIn doesn’t provide an opportunity for me to do something, why don’t I tailor my use of LinkedIn and provide myself the opportunity?

Specifically, some of you may recall that I only have two LinkedIn showcase pages, but I have three Facebook groups.

  • “Bredemarket Identity Firm Services” is present on both LinkedIn and Facebook.
  • “Bredemarket Technology Firm Services” is present on both LinkedIn and Facebook.
  • “Bredemarket General Business Services” is only present on Facebook.

I explained the rationale for the lack of a third LinkedIn showcase page in a nice neat summary:

Using myself as an example, I have segmented my customers into markets: the identity (biometrics / secure documents) specific market (my primary market), the general technology market, and the general business market. I don’t even target the general business market on LinkedIn (I do on Facebook), but I’ve created showcase pages for the other two.

If you consider that “local business services” is a subset of “general business services,” some of you can see where this is going.


But it took a while for the thought to pound its way into my brain:

Why DON’T you target the (local) general business market on LinkedIn?

I could just create a new showcase page, a process that would only take a few minutes. I wouldn’t even have to create any new artwork, since I could simply repurpose the Facebook general business artwork and use it for a LinkedIn local business showcase page. (Repurposing is good.)

(As an aside, my approach to artwork for Bredemarket’s marketing segments was dictated by LinkedIn Stories. Which is now disappearing. Oh well.)

So anyway, LinkedIn is now the home of Bredemarket Local Firm Services.

Now I just have to populate the showcase page with content (and continue to do so), invite people to follow the new showcase page, and proceed on my plan for world domination, one loft at a time.

Call to action time

And if you’re a small business in the Ontario, California area, here’s some information on the services I can provide to you.

And if you want more detailed information, please visit (Read to the end.)

And if you want even more detailed information, contact me.

So which assumption will I shatter next?

I’d like to prove THIS assumption wrong:

(Still waiting for that $10,000 per hour client.)

Bredemarket content marketing services for small businesses in and around Ontario, California (The September 1 iteration)

There’s a sentence on the home page for Bredemarket that you may have glossed over, but it’s one that’s been on my mind for the past year.

Bredemarket presently offers its services to identity/biometrics, technology, and general business firms, as well as to nonprofits.

In this post, I’m going to zero in on a small subset of the third market, “general business firms,” and see how Bredemarket can help them.

Read on if you own a small, arty business in the Emporia Arts District of Ontario, or perhaps a larger, less arty business north of Holt in Ontario, or perhaps even a business in Upland or Montclair.

Identity/biometrics and technology are good to go

These markets are intentionally expressed in a particular order.

  • It’s no surprise to anyone that reads my content that I’ve listed identity/biometrics first. After all, I’ve spent over 25 years in the identity/biometrics space, and therefore feel justified to self-reference as the biometric content marketing expert and the biometric proposal writing expert.
  • Technology is second on the list. As a matter of fact, Bredemarket’s first customer was a technology firm. And while I can’t necessarily speak to technology in the same depth that I can devote to identity and biometrics, I can clearly help technology clients with their content marketing and their proposals.

Getting more specific about “general business”

Which brings us to general business firms. (This post won’t even touch the fourth market, nonprofits.) This is obviously a broad category. Even if you don’t count sole proprietors (such as myself) or freelancers, there are somewhere around 7.7 million businesses in the United States. (This figure is from 2016; I’m not sure if it’s gone up or gone down in the last five years.) Now if you include sole proprietors in the total, then you’re talking about 32 million businesses. (This particular number may have actually increased over time.)

And the vast majority of those millions of businesses aren’t working in identity, biometrics, or even technology.

Obviously I can’t target them all. Well, I could try, but it would be a little ridiculous.

So what if I took a subset of those 32 million businesses and tried to see if Bredemarket could serve that subset?

The local small business persona

When you want to market to a particular group, you develop a persona that represents that group. You can then develop a profile of that persona: the persona’s needs, aspirations, and expectations; the persona’s underlying goals and values; and perhaps some other elements. The persona may be developed via extensive research, or perhaps via…a little less quantification.

So I began musing about a small business owner in my hometown of Ontario, California. Perhaps someone whose business is located here.

For those who aren’t from around here, the Emporia Arts District is in downtown Ontario, California, west of Euclid and south of Holt. While much of the activity is concentrated in the set of lofts/working spaces whose entrance is pictured here, there are also surrounding businesses that can be considered part of the district. And of course you can walk east of Euclid and north of Holt and find a wider variety of businesses.

But I concentrated on the businesses in the Emporia Arts District, noting that they’re…well, they’re arty. Let’s put it this way: my stick figures would not be attractive to them.

I did not draw this myself. Originally created by Jleedev using Inkscape and GIMP. Redrawn as SVG by Ben Liblit using Inkscape. – Own work, Public Domain,

Looking at my two general offerings, proposal services and content marketing, it’s fairly unlikely that my proposal services would interest this crowd. If these business ARE submitting proposals, they are most likely applying for federal, state, or local grants, and that’s somewhat outside of my area of expertise.

(Tangential comment to those who click on links: having fun is good.)

But can my content marketing services provide value to the businesses in the Emporia Arts District (and elsewhere in Ontario and the surrounding cities)?

I realized that I DID have something to offer here.

What if your local business needs a short text piece?

After all, my writing services can be fairly flexible. While I originally envisioned that my Bredemarket 400 Short Writing Service could apply to content such as blog posts or LinkedIn posts, it could just as easily apply to a general brochure of 400 to 600 words with customer-provided pictures of artwork, classes, clothing, haircuts, or whatever.

Chances are it will be a little more exciting than this.

Or maybe not. (The story behind the piece of content above, developed when my business card order got delayed, is told here. Storytelling is good.)

The same overall process can apply to a small craft brochure just as it can apply to a discussion of the benefits of using an Adobe-trained marketing systems consultant. In either case, the engagement would start with a series of questions:

  • What is the topic of the content?
  • What is the goal that you want to achieve with the content?
  • What are the benefits (not features, but benefits) that your end customers can realize by using your product or service?
  • What is the target audience for the content? (I’m not the only one who’s establishing personas.)
  • There are other questions that I may ask, but you can see the whole process here.

Once these major items are established (starting off a project correctly is good), I can get writing, you can get reviewing, and I can provide you with the final product. You can then post an electronic version of the content on your website, or you can hand it out to people who stop by your business or loft or farmer’s market stall or whatever. (Intangible and tangible content are BOTH good.)

What if your local business needs a longer text piece?

Maybe 400 to 600 words isn’t enough. Maybe you want a longer piece, such as an entire product/service catalog, or a catalog listing a whole slew of businesses (maybe all the businesses at a farmer’s market).

I can help with that too. My Bredemarket 2800 Medium Writing Service, originally intended for longer white papers, can be repurposed for other types of content.

As you can guess, the target number of words for my service is 2800 words, or up to 3200 words.

The process can be a little more intricate also. Because there is more text to review, the review cycles can be longer. And I may ask a few more questions at the beginning. But in essence it’s similar to the process for the shorter writing service, with basic questions about the topic, goal, benefits, and target audience. You can see the entire process here.

What if you want more than 600 words, but less than 2800 words?

I’ll work with you. (Flexibility is good.)

If you can use one of my content marketing services, what are the next steps?

The next step is to contact me.

So what is Bredemarket going to do next?

Share this online in places where you may see it. (Targeted content distribution is good.)

After that, repurpose (repurposing is good) this long, meandering blog post into some other type of content that I can distribute to businesses in the Emporia Arts District…or north of Holt…or in Upland or Montclair. Blog posts are transitory, and I’ll often express something in blog form and then pin it down in another format later.

Perhaps you can do the same, once I’ve created content for you.

Why is Kaye Putnam happy that I’m IGNORING her marketing advice?

This is the cover art for the album Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme by the artist Simon & Garfunkel. The cover art can be obtained from Columbia. Fair use,

A few hours after finishing my revision of Bredemarket’s work process, I attended this month’s Orange County (California) Freelancers Union SPARK webinar. I’ve shared some things from SPARK meetings in the past (July’s happy hour, May’s AB2257 discussion), and I’m going to share some things from the August meeting also.

Jung and the restless

This meeting (which also happened to be the national Freelancers Union meeting for the month; our chapter rules!) was led by Cara Raffele, who spoke about “The Power of Storytelling.”

From–monthly-theme, although it might have changed by the time you read this.

I’m not going to talk about the ENTIRE meeting, but will focus on the last part of the meeting, during which Raffele discussed “understanding your brand for maximum impact,” or brand archetypes.

The idea of archetypes started with Carl Jung, who defined them as images and themes that derive from the collective unconscious.

Jung claimed to identify a large number of archetypes but paid special attention to four. Jung labeled these archetypes the Self, the Persona, the Shadow and the Anima/Animus.

In modern-day marketing, this “large number of archetypes” has been boiled down to twelve, and it was these twelve that Raffele referenced in her presentation.

Twelve archetypes. From More about Kaye Putnam later.

Raffele encouraged all of us freelancers to listen to all twelve, and then to select multiple archetypes (not just one) that seemed to reflect our freelance brands. So I iterated a first cut at the archetypes that I believed applied to Bredemarket; my preliminary list included Sage, Creator, and Explorer.

Why Sage? That particular one resonated with me because of my experiences with my clients (educating on benefits vs. features, expanding the understanding of law enforcement agency stakeholders), and because of the way I’ve been marketing myself anyway. After all, when I self-reference as the biometric content marketing expert and the biometric proposal writing expert, then it’s obvious that I can add the sage to my clients’ parsley, rosemary, and thyme. (Sorry, couldn’t resist, even though I know it’s bad.)

But after guessing that Bredemarket is Sage with a pinch of Creator and Explorer, I realized that I might not know myself as well as I thought, so I asked if there were some type of online “archetypes test,” similar to the online Meyers-Briggs personality tests, that could help you semi-independently discern your archetypes.

Raffele responded by pointing us to Kaye Putnam and her online Brand Personality Quiz.

(One aside before moving on to Putnam’s test. A few of you realize that I did not come up with the section title “Jung and the restless” on my own. Yes, I stole it from a Steve Taylor song title (and he stole it from a soap opera). I used the title even though Taylor is frankly not that positive about secular psychology. But he did say “some of my best friends are shrinks.” Oh, and that’s obviously Gym Nicholson of Undercover fame on guitar.)


My “Brand Personality Quiz” results, and Kaye Putnam’s recommendations

If you’ve taken an online Meyers-Briggs personality test, or any other similar online test, the process of the Brand Personality Quiz will seem familiar to you. Putnam’s quiz asks you a series of independent questions, some of which have as many as twelve options. It then tabulates your answers against attributes of the twelve brand archetypes, and produces a final result listing a primary brand archetype and some secondary archetypes.

Here are my results.

So if you take Putnam’s quiz as gospel, I was somewhat accurate in my initial self-assessment.

  • Note that “Sage” came first and “Explorer” came second in the quiz results, and those were two of the archetypes I initially tweeted about before taking the quiz.
  • Considering the personal writing style I use in my blog, tweets, and elsewhere, “Entertainer” wasn’t much of a surprise either.
  • Upon further personal reflection, “Royalty” makes sense also. (So bow before me, serfs.)

And after reading Putnam’s description of “Creator” and its emphasis on visual presentation (rather than textual presentation), I can see why this was NOT on the list.

I did not draw this myself. Originally created by Jleedev using Inkscape and GIMP. Redrawn as SVG by Ben Liblit using Inkscape. – Own work, Public Domain,

Along with my results, Putnam provided a link that allowed me to download a brief description of my primary archetype, Sage. Now this brief description doesn’t include all of the detail found in Putnam’s 12 Brandfluency courses (one for each archetype), but it does include many actionable items.

The “Sage Inspiration Kit” provides useful tips for Sage businesspeople to include in their brand marketing. The kit asserts that if the tips are followed, the results will produce emotional responses in potential clients that will increase brand attractiveness, thus allowing businesspeople to win more business (and win better business).

Tips are provided on the following:

  • Color.
  • Typography.
  • Words.

Obviously that’s a lot of stuff to absorb, even in this brief kit. (The paid course offers tips in additional areas.) And even if I wanted to, I couldn’t change all the colors and fonts in my marketing overnight.

But I could look at Putnam’s word suggestions.

Ignoring the expert

Now Kaye Putnam’s word suggestions are freely available to anyone, but I’m not going to just copy all of them and reproduce them here. Request them yourself. (The link is for the Sage archetype)

But I’ll offer comments on a few of the 18 words and phrases in the kit.

From Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.5).

First off, I’m NOT going to use “think tank” in Bredemarket’s marketing. Perhaps this phrase may resonate for a larger firm, or even for a smaller firm with a team of people addressing their clients’ needs. But it would take a lot of stretching to describer a solopreneur think tank.

Another term that DOESN’T make sense for Bredemarket is “engineering.” Now obviously engineering is a good thing, although I’ve seen cases where engineering is overemphasized. But it doesn’t really make sense for my business, in which I make a point of emphasizing my ability to communicate engineering concepts to non-engineers. The same issues apply with the phrase “the code.”

I won’t go into all of my concerns, but there are several “Sage words” in the list that I would never use for Bredemarket, or would use very sparingly.

And that’s…OK

Remember, of course, that Stuart Smalley is not a licensed practitioner. By, Fair use,

When someone gives you advice, whether it’s Kaye Putnam or John Bredehoft, you have to judge whether the advice is good for YOU.

Even if you narrow a brand down to one archetype, there are innumerable differences between individuals who align with this archetype. One size does not fit all, and I personally may love the term “experiment” but hate the terms listed above.

Now perhaps I may be wrong in rejecting Putnam’s advice. Perhaps there’s a really, really good reason why I should sprinkle the phrase “think tank” through all of my marketing materials.

But in the end it’s up to the recipient to decide whether or not to follow the advice of the expert. That applies to people giving advice to me, and that also applies to the advice that I give to my clients. (If a client insists on using the phrase “best of breed,” I can’t stop the client from doing so.)

But several of those words and phrases DO seem like good ideas, and I’ll probably make a concerted effort to sprinkle the GOOD words and phrases throughout Bredemarket’s website, social media channels, proposals, and other marketing.

Even though this might require me to re-revise the content creation process that I just revised.

Oh well. It’s good to…experiment with things. After all, Bredemarket is in effect a laboratory in which I like to try solutions out myself before I try to make a case for them with my clients. It’s easier to speak to research-based proven solutions than ones with which I have no experience at all.

By Rembrandt – The Yorck Project (2002) 10.000 Meisterwerke der Malerei (DVD-ROM), distributed by DIRECTMEDIA Publishing GmbH. ISBN: 3936122202., Public Domain,

Did that paragraph sound sage-like? I got six of the words/phrases into that paragraph!

Oh, and if you’re looking for a Royally Entertaining and Exploring Sage…

Bredemarket offers clients deep experience in content marketing, proposals, and strategy. I can offer expert advice to biometrics firms, since (as noted above) I am a biometric content marketing expert and a biometric proposal writing expert. However, this expert advice can also be provided to other technology firms, and to general business.

You can read here about how my content creation process ensures that the final written content (a) advances your GOAL, (b) communicates your BENEFITS, and (c) speaks to your TARGET AUDIENCE.

If Bredemarket can fill a gap in your company’s needs (NOTE TO SELF: DO NOT MENTION PARSLEY. DO NOT MENTION PARSLEY. DO NOT MENTION PARSLEY.), then feel free to contact me and we can discuss your needs and possible solutions.

Revising Bredemarket’s content creation process

This post is a follow-up to a prior post. In that post, I looked at the different ways in which I described Bredemarket’s content creation process, compared that to other content creation processes, and decided what I would like to include in Bredemarket’s new content creation process.

Jean Miélot, a European author and scribe at work. By Jean Le Tavernier – [1], Public Domain,

But I didn’t actually publish my new content creation process in that post, because I wanted to think about it. Oh, and there was another reason. (Hint: 4.5X.)

Well, I’ve slept on it, thought about it, wrote it, and rewrote it.

So let’s see the (probably not) final result. It’s longer than I’d like, but at least it’s (hopefully) thorough. And yes, I left out “accelerate,” but I included just about everything else.

Now that I’ve posted it here, I’ll roll it out to the rest of the Bredemarket website.

Bredemarket’s content creation process as of August 4, 2021

Bredemarket’s content creation process ensures that the final written content (a) advances your GOAL, (b) communicates your BENEFITS, and (c) speaks to your TARGET AUDIENCE. It is both iterative and collaborative.

Here is the general content creation process (which may vary depending upon content complexity and your preferences):

  • You and Bredemarket agree upon the topic, goal, benefits, and target audience (and, if necessary, outline, section sub-goals, relevant examples, and relevant key words/hashtags, and interim and final due dates).
  • For complex content requiring input and approval of multiple subject matter experts, you and Bredemarket agree on a preliminary list of tasks, assigned persons, and due dates.
  • For content that must be incorporated into your content management system, you and Bredemarket agree on the necessary format and other parameters. Otherwise, the final copy will be provided in Microsoft Word docx format, including (as appropriate) callout indicators, hyperlinks, key words, and/or hashtags.
  • For projects requiring multiple related pieces of content, you and Bredemarket agree upon the desired frequency of content.
  • You provide relevant technical details (and, for selected longer content, access to the end customer for a 30 minute interview).
  • Bredemarket conducts any necessary research (or interviews).
  • Bredemarket iteratively provides the specified number of review copies of the draft content within the specified number of days per review. (The number of review cycles and review time must agree with any due dates.) The draft content advances your goal, communicates your benefits, and speaks to your target audience in your preferred tone of voice. Relevant examples and key words/hashtags are included.
  • You return comments on each review copy within the specified number of days. For longer content, you may provide the draft formatted copy for the final review.
  • After all reviews and comments, Bredemarket provides the final copy.

Accelerating robust content creation (re-examining Bredemarket’s content creation process)

As Bredemarket passes its one-year anniversary, I’m intentionally trying to re-evaluate what I do in order to improve my services to you.

When I say “you,” by the way, I’m speaking of clients or potential clients of Bredemarket. If you’re not interested in Bredemarket’s services, but are instead reading this hoping for a discussion of fingerprint third-level detail, this is NOT the post for you.

Back to my re-evaluation of my services. One thing that I’m doing is re-examining Bredemarket’s content creation process.

Jean Miélot, a European author and scribe at work. By Jean Le Tavernier – [1], Public Domain,

What is my current content creation process?

How do others create robust content?

What can I learn from them, and from you, to improve my own content creation process?

Bredemarket’s current content creation process

I’ve stated my content creation process in several separate areas of my website. One of my, um, goals is to make sure that my content creation process is consistently stated throughout the site.

First, let’s look at my elevator pitch, taken from my page “The benefits of benefits for identity firms.”

I work with you. Bredemarket uses an iterative, collaborative process with multiple reviews to make sure that your needs are expressed in what I write, and that the writing reflects your firm’s tone of voice. The final product needs to make me happy, it needs to make you happy, and it needs to make your potential client(s) happy.

That page was created just a few months ago, but it’s a rewrite of the specific processes that I created almost a year ago. While these vary from offering to offering (and from client to client), here’s how I stated my “iterative, collaborative process” in my description of the Bredemarket 2800 Medium Writing Service.

  • Agree upon topic (and, if necessary, outline) with client.
  • Client provides relevant technical details.
  • Bredemarket conducts any necessary research and provides the first review copy within seven (7) calendar days.
  • Client provides changes and any additional requested detail within seven (7) calendar days.
  • Bredemarket provides the second review copy within seven (7) calendar days.
  • Client provides changes and any requested detail within seven (7) calendar days.
  • Bredemarket provides the third review copy within seven (7) calendar days.
  • Client prepares the final formatted copy and provides any post-formatting comments within seven (7) calendar days.
  • Bredemarket provides the final version within seven (7) calendar days.

In addition to the words “iterative” and “collaborative,” I think that the two other words that are implicitly associated with my content creation process are “benefits” and “goals.”

Actually, I’m pretty explicit on benefits, as the previously-cited page and other writings indicate.

I haven’t been so explicit on goals (other than my own goals for Bredemarket), but that has become more important to me as Bredemarket has acquired experience.

  • While goals have been implicit with some of my clients—we all assume that the content that I have created will win more business in some generic way—my work with other clients has required me to be more explicit about the goals the content must achieve.
  • These goals not only affect the final call to action, but also affect the entire content creation and placement process.
  • For example, if the goal of a piece of content is to move an end customer to request a proposal from my client, where does that content have to be placed to elicit that request? In my line of work, it’s not Instagram.

So I concluded that I probably need to iterate my descriptions of my process to ensure that all aspects of the Bredemarket website, as well as all external communications, provide a concise and unified description of the benefits of how I work with you.

But before I did that rewrite, I wanted to see how others described a content creation process, to see what I could steal…I mean appropriate from those other descriptions.

The content creation processes of others

Obviously, I’m not the only entity that has communicated a process for content creation. Here are some others.

So if I add 4 plus 6 plus 6 plus 17, the resulting 33 step content creation process will be perfect, right?

Actually, I scanned these disparate processes to see what I’m missing in my iterative, collaborative, benefit-oriented, goal-oriented current process. These things came to mind.

Sub-goals. GatherContent makes a point of talking about multiple goals, one for “each piece of your content” or each topic addressed by your content. While this may be overkill for a tweet, it makes sense for longer content, such as a multi-section blog post.

Audience. This is an implicit thing that should be addressed explicitly, as ClearVoice and HubSpot suggest. There are a number of stakeholders who may potentially see your content, and you need to figure out which stakeholder(s) are the intended audiences for your content and plan accordingly. For example, this very post uses the word “you” to refer to an existing or potential client of Bredemarket, and I have had to shape this content to ensure that this is clear, and to warn other potential readers in advance that this post might not interest them.

When I say “you,” by the way, I’m speaking of clients or potential clients of Bredemarket. If you’re not interested in Bredemarket’s services, but are instead reading this hoping for a discussion of fingerprint third-level detail, this is not the post for you

Voice. HubSpot also suggests that the voice used in content creation is important. I happen to use a specific voice when I write these blog posts for Bredemarket, but you better believe I use a different voice when rewriting a chapter for a scientific book.

Frequency. If creating a series of content pieces, it’s wise to settle upon the frequency with which these pieces will appear. ClearVoice cites a HubSpot study in this regard.

HubSpot study of blogging data accumulated from 13,500+ of their customers found, “companies that published 16+ blog posts per month got about 4.5X more leads than companies that published between 0 – 4 monthly posts.”

Now this is only one study, and it may not apply to content other than blog posts; do your customers really want to get 16+ emails per month from you?

Frequency of course affects multiple aspects of the content creation process, including the review cycle. If you are only able to review my draft content once every two weeks, then perhaps a daily content release cycle isn’t good for you.

(One more thing. Bear in mind that I as a consultant have a financial interest in creating content as frequently as possible, since this increases the consulting rate. So if I propose something outrageous that exceeds your budget without providing tangible benefits, feel free to push back.)

Search Needs. Steps 5 and 6 in Orbit Media’s 17 step process, as well as HubSpot’s process, ask if people will search for the content in question. If so, it’s important to make sure that people will find it. The…um, goal is to “plan to make it the best page on the web for the topic.” (If people won’t search for it, then content distribution via the regular social media outlets is satisfactory.)

Tasks. GatherContent puts great emphasis on the tasks needed to produce the final content. This is NOT relevant for some of the content that I create with you, but it was EXTREMELY relevant when I managed the RFI response for a client a couple of months ago. Even though the response had a 20-page limit, a lot of information was packed into those 20 pages, and I had to work with a lot of subject matter experts to pull everything together and get it approved.

Examples. Orbit Media Studios discusses a number of items that are outside of the scope of textual content creation, and thus outside of my (current) scope (although I have suggested visual content that can be created by more talented people). One thing that does fall within my scope is to support the content with examples. Of course, a case study is just one big example, but in other cases some examples may be beneficial.

Promotional Considerations. No, I’m not talking about the game show language in which Montgomery Ward provides money and/or goods to a game show in exchange for a mention at the end of the show. Here, Orbit Media Studios is talking about how the content will be promoted once it is created. I address these questions all the time in my own self-promotion. If I’m re-sharing a link to content on social media, what excerpt should I include, and what hashtags should I use?

Due Dates. GatherContent also talks about due dates and how they affect the content creation process. Some of my clients don’t have due dates at all. Some have very vague due dates (“we’d like to go live with the content next month”). Other dates are very explicit; when you’re dealing with RFP and RFI responses, the end customer has a specific due date and time.

Content Inventory. GatherContent also talks about this. My content is often not stand-alone. It needs to integrate with other client content. The client’s content inventory needs not only affect the delivery of the final content, but may affect the format of the content itself. For example, if something is only going to be available in hardcopy, I can do away with the hyperlinks.

In addition to the information that I appropriated from these sources, perhaps it’s worthwhile to fit the whole thing into a needs / solution / results framework. Although in this case, the “results” would be “expected results.”

Oh, and there’s one more word that I’d like to work in there somewhere. Did you see that the title of this post started with the word “accelerating”? I, um, appropriate that from a source that I cannot discuss publicly, but it may make sense here also. If not for accelerating the content creation, at least for accelerating the expected results.

Bredemarket’s new and improved content creation process is…

Wow, that’s a lot of stuff.

Some of it is too detailed to include in a succinct statement of Bredemarket’s content creation process, and some of it should be included, even if I only include a single word.

So after that review, I can announce that Bredemarket’s new content creation process is…


I still need to think through this, write up a new succinct version, iterate it, and share the new version in a future post.

After all, a higher frequency of blog posts DOES lead to a greater number of leads. See “Frequency,” above.

Stay tuned.

Agile content

I purposely chose the title “Agile content” for this post, because for some of you “scrummy” individuals it will easily convey what I want to say: content can be tweaked as needed.

Pair programming, an agile development technique used by XP. By Lisamarie Babik – Ted & IanUploaded by Edward, CC BY 2.0,

But I could have chosen a title that did not resonate as well with modern audiences: “Newer weblog content.”

By Valleyhollandman –, CC BY-SA 3.0,

After all, some of you remember what blog (weblog) posts were back in the day. They were not conceived as permanent, immovable statements, but were more transitory (akin to diaries) and could be adapted over time.

Changing my message

Even today, I’ve practiced adaptation with two versions (so far) of Bredemarket’s goals for 2021. (Perhaps it’s time for me to look at them and see if they need revision.) And others have done the same thing, recycling and updating content.

We can practice “Agile content,” regardless of whether or not we have a good idea of what we want to say.

  • Sometimes we know what we want to communicate. We set our goal, create content that meets our goal, and share it. Back in December, I had a pretty good idea of the goals that I wanted to set for 2021, so I shared them. The subsequent tweak that I made was relatively minor.
  • But sometimes we DON’T know what we want to communicate. Perhaps you’re entering a new market or pitching a new product, and you don’t know how the potential customers are going to react. Perhaps your initial idea is COMPLETELY wrong and will need to be COMPLETELY revised.

In the latter case, rather than waiting for all the focus groups and scientific studies and everything else (which can kill productivity), one option is to put something up NOW. And if the customers don’t like parts of it, adapt the content.

Or perhaps you keep on building new content that effectively supersedes the old.

  • For example, last year I created a page here that described the Bredemarket 400E Short Editing Service. Just between you and me, I have NEVER sold this particular service, and this is the first time in months that I have mentioned it. But I never pulled the “400E” page down, because for all I know I may be contacted tomorrow by someone who has content and needs me to edit it.
  • At the same time, all of the newer content that I have created on this website and elsewhere emphasizes my writing services rather than my editing services.

Changing YOUR message

The same thing that applies to my business can also apply to yours.

Maybe you want to test some content, either broadly (by linking to the content on the main page of your website and/or on your social media) or in a limited fashion (by only selectively sharing the link to the content). As you gather feedback about the content you have created, you can either leave it as it, tweak it, make wholesale changes to it, or delete it entirely.

Of course you need to remember that past content can still hang around somewhere, because the Internet never forgets. But in some cases it’s better to try some content out NOW, rather than waiting for all the facts.

As one of my clients likes to remind me, the perfect is the enemy of the good.

Which is why that same client had me create some content several months ago, and revise and expand on it as needed and as needs change. The client could have waited until now to release the content, which includes an important new product feature that couldn’t have been communicated several months ago. But then the client would have missed out on months of sales, as well as feedback on the original iteration of the content.

I’ll confess an ulterior motive: as a consultant, I get paid more to create and update content than I do to create content and do nothing with it afterwards. But the client benefits also because it starts using the content more quickly, leading to more sales.

My earlier calls to action didn’t communicate all of these options

Do you need Bredemarket’s help in content creation? Contact me.

How the APMP Body of Knowledge (BOK) benefits Bredemarket’s NON-proposal clients

(Updated 4/16/2022 with additional benefits information.)

Presumably you saw my earlier post, “I just re-rejoined the Association of Proposal Management Professionals. So what?” This post is a follow-up to the “So what?” part, specifically addressing clients of my consulting firm Bredemarket (marketing and writing services for biometric, technology, and general business firms) who DON’T use me for proposal services.

I said the following in that prior post:

But there are benefits for my Bredemarket clients who DON’T depend upon me for proposal support, but instead depend upon me for content marketing or other marketing and writing services. The same strategies and tactics that contribute to a more effective proposal can be extrapolated to apply to other areas, thus contributing to better white papers, better case studies, better blog posts, better social media posts, better marketing plans, etc., etc., etc. Again, this can help my clients win business.

(Yes, I intentionally used the words “win business.”)

Of course, now I’m in the initial process of making use of my new/old APMP membership by soaking in APMP things (while ALSO hopefully contributing things) that will benefit me and my clients.

I’ll talk about live webinars, the APMP Body of Knowledge, and the benefits for Bredemarket’s non-proposal clients.

Live webinars! Well, sometimes

My first opportunity to obtain value from my APMP membership came on Wednesday July 28, when the Western Chapter (a merger of the California Chapter and other chapters) scheduled a webinar entitled “Persuasion Through Page Architecture.” The presenter, Nancy Webb, offers over 30 years of design expertise. I recall the name, so I’ve probably attended a previous presentation of hers during my second (or perhaps even my first) stint in APMP.

Sadly, I was unable to learn from Nancy Webb on July 28. A major requirement for a webinar is the ability to access the web, and when we all logged into the webinar on Wednesday, we learned that Webb’s Internet connection was out and that the meeting would have to be rescheduled.

By Monoklon – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Ah, technology.

The APMP Body of Knowledge

But MY Internet connection is working, so on Thursday afternoon I was able to visit the APMP website and poke around some more.

Which led me to the page describing the APMP Body of Knowledge (BOK).

Not a body OF KNOWLEDGE, but this illustration was created by Leonardo da Vinci, so the SMA folks will like it. By Leonardo da Vinci –, Public Domain,

And yes, I’m going to call the Body of Knowledge the BOK from now on. Bok bok bok.

By Andrei Niemimäki from Turku, Finland – Friends, CC BY-SA 2.0,

It’s no surprise that the proposals world has a slew of acronyms (more on that later).

One important thing you need to know about the APMP BOK; it’s only for APMP members.

The APMP Body of Knowledge (BOK) is available to all APMP members in good standing.

Well, I haven’t done anything to lose my good standing yet, although if I were to log in to the BOK, copy all of the content, and post it here in the Bredemarket blog, I would obviously get in a heap of trouble. For one thing, Wordman would come after me.

Wordman. From Fair use. NOT created by Leonardo da Vinci; Wordman avatar created by Sean Jones (

As it turns out, Wordman could come after me in multiple ways. In addition to his superhero status, Wordman (Richard “Dick” Eassom) chairs the APMP Western Chapter, and is also an executive with SMA, Inc. (which I previously joined). I could get kicked out of the APMP AND SMA in one fell swoop!

(I could go off on a tangent and say why Moses was the most evil man in the Bible, but I really shouldn’t.)

(Moses broke all Ten Commandments at once.)

Um, John, let’s get back to the BOK

So I’m NOT going to go behind the firewall and redistribute the internal content of the APMP BOK.

But I CAN note what the APMP publicly says about the BOK.

TL;DR: as I’ve noted when talking about the brouhaha, the BOK and the APMP itself talk about topics that have applicability far beyond the creation of a proposal.

The topics are grouped into seven categories, which represent key practice areas for improving an organization’s business development focus:

Understand business development

Focus on the customer

Create deliverables

Lead a team

Manage processes

Train staff

Use tools and systems

Obviously, all seven of these categories apply to the creation of a proposal.

Benefits for my NON-proposal clients

And all seven of those categories just as easily apply to the creation of a blog post, case study, white paper, corporate strategy, or ANY deliverable for a customer-facing firm.

(4/16/2022: For additional information on benefits, click here.)

Again, I can’t speak about BOK specifics, but I spent part of Thursday afternoon reading about a topic which would have benefited me greatly in one of my NON-proposal positions with IDEMIA/MorphoTrak/Motorola/Printrak. Well, better late than never.

There are a number of helpful pieces of content in the APMP BOK, including…a list of common proposal acronyms. (CPAs??? No.)

For those who don’t know this, the major purpose of acronyms is to allow people of a small group to exchange secret communications in the presence of the non-initiated. “When you complete the response to the RFP for DoD, ensure that the collected KPIs align with the BD-CMM.” (In truth, many of these acronyms are used outside of the proposal profession, but the acronym list collects some of the important ones in one place.)

So I anticipate that I’ll be spending some significant time in the future reviewing the APMP BOK. And if all goes well, I’ll actually RETAIN something from these BOK content reviews that will result in better written content for ALL Bredemarket clients.

(And yes, Dick, I know that there’s also an SMA body of knowledge to which I have access…)

Another acronym is CTA

Incidentally, if you are a biometric (identity) or technology firm that needs a proposal (or content) consultant, feel free to contact Bredemarket.

How and why a company should use LinkedIn showcase pages

This post explains what LinkedIn showcase pages are, how Bredemarket uses LinkedIn showcase pages, and (a little more importantly) how YOUR company can use LinkedIn showcase pages.

What are LinkedIn showcase pages?

LinkedIn offers a variety of ways to share information. Two of those ways are as follows:

  • A personal LinkedIn page. This allows an individual to share their job history and other information. Here’s an example.
  • A company LinkedIn page, which contains information about a company, including “about” details, jobs, employees, and other facts. Here’s another example.

A third method is a LinkedIn showcase page. This is tied to a company page, but rather than telling EVERYTHING about the company, a showcase page allows the company to zero in on a PARTICULAR aspect of the company’s product/service offering.

How Bredemarket uses LinkedIn showcase pages

Most companies, even very small ones like Bredemarket, can segment their products and services in various ways. In Bredemarket’s case, the company offers some prepackaged services, such as a “short writing service” and a “medium writing service.”

However, it didn’t make sense for me to segment my services in this way. The people who are interested in 400 word written content are not dramatically different from the people who are interested in 2800 word written content. So instead of segmenting by service, I chose to segment by market.

I started by addressing one of my potential markets, the identity market (biometrics, secure documents, and other identity modalities). Back in November, I created a Bredemarket Identity Firm Services showcase page on LinkedIn, which eventually became a place for me to share information about the identity industry, both content generated by me and content generated by others.

Bredemarket Identity Firm Services on LinkedIn.

Since then I’ve expanded my offerings. On LinkedIn, I presently have TWO showcase pages, one concentrated on the identity market, and one concentrated on the more general technology market.

Bredemarket Technology Firm Services on LinkedIn.

These concentrations made the most sense to me, although I could segment even further if I chose to do so (separate showcase pages for fingers and palms, anyone?).

An aside for Facebook users

Incidentally, you can perform similar segmentation in Facebook. In Facebook terms, you can have a page associated with a particular company, and then (rather than showcase pages) you can have groups that link to the company page and delve into topics in more detail.

So Bredemarket (which is committed to disseminating information via multiple communication streams; see my goal number 3 here) has Facebook groups that are somewhat similar to the Bredemarket LinkedIn showcase pages. One difference is that I have three groups on Facebook. In addition to the identity and technology groups, I also have a general business group. At this point it didn’t make sense to create a LinkedIn showcase page for general business, but it did make sense for Bredemarket to have such a group on Facebook.

Enough about me. What about you?

Obviously Bredemarket is an unusual case, although for some of you it may make sense to segment based on markets.

Most companies, however, will choose to segment based upon products or product lines. This especially makes sense for multinational companies that offer a slew of products. However, even smaller companies with multiple product lines may benefit from showcase page segmentation. If a potential customer is only interested in your square blue widgets, but doesn’t care about your other widgets, a showcase page allows the customer to read about blue widgets without having to wade through everything else.

Some of you may have received a pitch from me suggesting how a showcase page can help you highlight one product or product line in this way.

Perhaps it’s best to show an example. I’ve previously highlighted Adobe as an example of a company with showcase pages, but for now I’d like to highlight another company with a similar issue.

Let’s look at Microsoft, which has an obvious interest in using LinkedIn to its fullest potential. Microsoft’s product and service lines have expanded over the years, and while some Microsoft entities (such as LinkedIn itself) have their own regular LinkedIn pages, Microsoft uses showcase pages for other entities, products, and services.

For example, Microsoft has a showcase page for Microsoft Dynamics 365.

But here’s a showcase page that has nothing to do with a product, service, or market: “Microsoft On the Issues.”

So there are a variety of ways that a company can slice and dice its communications, and LinkedIn showcase pages provide an ideal way to do that.

Does this interest you?

Of course, setting up a LinkedIn showcase page is only the beginning of the battle. If you set up a showcase page and don’t publish anything to it, your efforts are wasted. Potential customers look at your company’s online presence, after all.

If your company has established a showcase page, has set goals for how the showcase page will benefit the company, and now needs to generate content at a regular clip, Bredemarket can assist with the creation of the content, working with internal company subject matter experts as needed. If this service interests you, contact me. We will collaborate to ensure that your LinkedIn showcase page includes the best possible content.

Even Apple is moving to a service model. Biometric identity vendors are moving also.

Remember when you bought a big old hunk of hardware…and you owned it?

With cloud computing, significant portions of hardware were no longer owned by companies and people, but were instead provided as a service. And the companies moved from getting revenue from selling physical items to getting revenue from selling services.

From Apple Computer to Apple

Apple is one of those companies, as its formal name change from “Apple Computer” signifies.

Then “Apple Computer” circa 1978. From Fair use.

Yet even as iTunes and “the” App Store become more prominent, Apple still made a mint out of selling new smartphone hardware to users as frequently as possible.

But Apple is making a change later in 2021, and Adrian Kingsley-Hughes noted the significance of that change.

The change?

So, it turns out that come the release of iOS 15 (and iPadOS 15) later this year, users will get a choice.

Quite an important choice.

iPhone users can choose to hit the update button and go down the iOS 15 route, or play it safe and stick with iOS 14.

Why is Apple supporting older hardware?

So Apple is no longer encouraging users to dump their old phones to keep up with new operating systems like the forthcoming iOS 15?

There’s a reason.

By sticking with iOS 14, iPhone users will continue to get security updates, which keeps their devices safe, and Apple gets to keep those users in the ecosystem.

They can continue to buy content and apps and pay for services such as iCloud.

Although Kingsley-Hughes doesn’t explicitly say it, there is a real danger when you force users to abandon your current product and choose another. (Trust me; I know this can happen.)

In Apple’s case, the danger is that the users could instead adopt a SAMSUNG product.

And these days, that not only means that you lose the sale of the hardware, but you also lose the sale of the services.

It’s important for Apple to support old hardware and retain the service revenue, because not only is its services business growing, but services are more profitable than hardware.

In the fiscal year 2019, Apple’s services business posted gross margins of 63.7%, approaching double the 32.2% gross margin of the company’s product sector. 

If current trends continue, Apple’s services (iCloud, Apple Music, AppleCare, Apple Card, Apple TV+, etc.) will continue to become relatively more important to the company.

The biometric identity industry is moving to a service model also

Incidentally, we’re seeing this in other industries, for example as the biometric identity industry also moves from an on-premise model to a software as a service (SaaS) model. One benefit of cloud-based hosting of biometric identity services is that both software and the underlying hardware can be easily upgraded without having to go to a site, deploying a brand new set of hardware, transferring the data from one set of hardware to the other, and hauling away the old hardware. Instead, all of those activities take place at Amazon, Microsoft, or other data centers with little or no on-premise fuss.

(And, as an added benefit, it’s easier for biometric vendors to keep their current customers because obsolescence becomes less of an issue.)

Is your biometric identity company ready to sell SaaS solutions?

But perhaps your company is just beginning to navigate from on-premise to SaaS. I’ve been through that myself, and can contract with you to provide advice and content. I can wear my biometric content marketing expert hat, or my biometric proposal writing expert hat as needed.

The “T” stands for technology. Or something. By Elred at English Wikipedia – Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons by Moe_Epsilon., Public Domain,

Obviously this involves more than just saying “we’re cloud-ready.” Customers don’t care if you’re cloud-ready. Customers only care about the benefits that being cloud-ready provides. And I can help communicate those benefits.

If I can help you communicate the benefits of a cloud-ready biometric identity system, contact me (email, phone message, online form, appointment for a content needs assessment, even snail mail).

Make sure your social media channels have current AND CONSISTENT content

A few months ago, I suggested that businesses should make sure that their social media channels have CURRENT content.

This does NOT count as current content.

But that’s only part of the battle.

It also helps if the social media channels of a business exhibit CONSISTENT content.

Because of my years of competitive analysis experience, I engage in some competitive analysis for one of my Bredemarket clients. This includes regular visits to competitor social media channels. I won’t mention the name of the competitor (after all, I don’t want to promote a company that competes with one of my clients), but one competitor is very good at social media channel consistency. The competitor uses four major social media outlets, and generally ensures that content on one outlet is also available on another outlet, in a format appropriate to that outlet.

Some companies…don’t do so well.

I’ve run across several companies with multiple social media outlets that fail to take advantage of them.

  • In one case, a company published a very good video on its YouTube channel, but failed to share a link to the YouTube video on any of its other outlets, missing a golden content sharing opportunity.
  • In another case, a company had created two Twitter accounts over the years, but never let the followers of the old Twitter account know about the new Twitter account. Sadly, the new Twitter account had FEWER followers than the old one, again missing a golden content sharing opportunity.
  • In a third case, a social media consultant created accounts on multiple social media outlets, but NEVER posted to one of the social media platforms. (And this is a social media consultant!) It would have been best to have NEVER created that dormant account at all, rather than creating an account with NO content.

I’m struggling with this myself at Bredemarket, since I have multiple accounts devoted to the Bredemarket business itself, and other accounts devoted to me in a professional or personal capacity. For example, I’m probably going to share this blog post after I publish it. Where should I share it? Why? How?

If only there were a service that could help me analyze my web/social media content…oh yeah, I offer one: Bredemarket 404 Web/Social Media Checkup.

If you’d like me to perform an unbiased third-party social media checkup, contact me. (I can analyze your competitors also.)