Shannon Winning

Shannon Winning
Known for telling it like it is, Shannon makes sure all our clients have an authentic voice without sacrificing sales strategy. She’s our crusader against unnecessary exclamation points and styler of headlines.
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Recent Posts

Why Your Boutique Design Company Isn't Going To Rank For 'Lights'

Posted by Shannon Winning

How do you tell if a keyword you’d like to use is too difficult to get you ranked on the first page of a search?

With a keen understanding of your brand and a little keyword research that you can do in a matter of minutes. Today we'll help you determine which words are a good fit for your business' ideal customer and which hit the sweet spot on the difficulty rating.

Ideally, you want a word with relatively low competition but a high search volume. This can be a tricky balance if you sell something seemingly common like wallpaper or something obscure like six fingered gloves.

Let's see how this plays out for a boutique brand trying to stake it's claim in a larger market.

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Topics: seo, keywords

Millennials Are The Worst. Right?

Posted by Shannon Winning

I hate to admit it but I've been really down on millennials. Like, REALLY down. I totally bought into all the reports I read complaining about them being whiny babies at the office. You need a participation award for showing up? Pa-lease.

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Topics: Hiring, Millennials

These Subject Lines Dared Me To Open

Posted by Shannon Winning

It’s hard to stand out in my email inbox. I stop to make tea and there are 17 new messages demanding my attention. (It’s probably happening to you right now.) A little caffeine break, or maybe even just navigating away for actual work work and I’m forced to mentally triage the damage when I return – look at it later, ignore forever, unsubscribe, oooh wait, what is THAT?

Shannon, people are looking at your LinkedIn profile.

Is this not everyone’s favorite subject line? It translates to: You are amazing. Everyone wants to know you.

What it actually means might be less spec

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Topics: Email marketing, writing

You're a Writer. Start Acting Like One.

Posted by Shannon Winning

You do it at your desk. You do it on the train. You do it in line at the DMV. Heck you probably did it while you were in bed this morning.

You write.

Whether you’re an architect or a banker, a developer or an interior designer, you my friend, are a writer.

It’s not what the man pays you for, but it’s what you do as part of your every day, in business and in life.

It’s a means to your end.

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Topics: blogging, writing

Which Keywords Attract Customers? The Painful Ones

Posted by Shannon Winning

You know what you’re doing on the back end of a blog. You’ve got meta and featured images, links and alt tags. And you don’t let a post leave your dashboard without a strong keyword focus. But is that enough?

Not if your aim is to attract your ideal customers. Because real people, like you and me, aren’t seduced by a second page Google listing. And we know a generic keyword phrase when we scroll through results. Because we are smart and savvy and really, really good looking. 

That’s why today we’re going to look at how you can better use keywords to attract customers and clients to your company’s site.

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Topics: seo, content marketing, keywords, customer pain

Put Down The Hammer: Why DIY Is Killing Your Business

Posted by Shannon Winning

The DIY game is strong in my family. This summer my husband single handedly cut in half and removed a 12 foot cast iron oil tank for our basement. And my 84 year dad just rebuilt his dishwasher. There isn’t a lot of calling in the cavalry at our place.

There’s some nice pride in DIY. (Home Depot banks it’s whole brand on it.) People will say, “Wow, you did that?” And you will say, “Why yes, yes I did.” But sometimes, DIY is a waste.

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Topics: blogging, social media, web development, DIY marketing

5 Reasons We’d Be Crazy Not To Be Thankful This Year

Posted by Shannon Winning

This has been a banner year for Jen Smiga and Shannon Winning.

We have learned, lost, worked hard, pitched our hearts out and grown beyond what we could have imagined when we partnered up officially in January. Together we have won and lost clients, produced websites, garnered press and written something like 213 blogs, email newsletters and press releases. I thought when we added it all up we’d be tired, but truly seeing the ground we’ve covered this year only leaves us with one thought: Gratitude.

We’re thankful to God for our partnership and for you who read our updates every week (or at least receive them. No one reads everything of anybody’s. Just this week I ignored a presidential tweet and a reminder from my mom to get the kids’ Christmas lists together. No shame. That’s life.)

If you’re feeling grumpy today with the holiday rush, or want to get that Friyay feeling early, allow me to throw some good will at you before you get elbow deep in that turkey (or in Jen’s case, that Tofurkey).

Go with me as I explain, listicle style, why we as a team are so thankful this year.


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Topics: Thanksgiving

Forget Facebook. Click Send.

Posted by Shannon Winning


Hop in the car kids, because today we’re heading to Boston to learn how one startup made it stupid easy for followers to give them free press (and how your company can do it too).

We’re talking about how to reengage your dormant contact database with email, the most underrated social media engagement tool.

Let’s dig in.

At some point in your marketing efforts you realized it was important to gather email addresses from visitors, maybe to deliver company news or perhaps your blog. Maybe you're even gathering them for lead tracking and nurturing (high five!).

You've amassed a fat, juicy list of contacts. Fantastic. But if you don’t use it to connect with those people socially, you are missing an opportunity.

Today I’m going to show you how Grove Labs, a Boston-based startup uses email get its supporters to promote it on social media.

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Topics: social media, Email marketing

9 Signs You're Wasting Money on Marketing

Posted by Shannon Winning

There are plenty of ways to spend your marketing dollars. Staff, software, ads, agencies. But have you ever taken a holistic view of all your marketing efforts from digital to pr?

If you haven't done it in a year (or ever), you're surely spending out of habit, rather than intentionally investing in growing your company. And I'd put money (and your pet monkey) to bet that you aren't happy with the results.

When we meet with prospective clients about digital marketing or social media, we find that mid-sized companies are facing the same challenges and pitfalls, across all industries. Marketing is often an afterthought, sometimes a revenue suck, and probably living in a silo far away from sales. If that sounds like your company, read on for nine indicators that you're wasting money on marketing.


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Topics: Marketing tips for CEOs, social PR, seo, digital marketing, Email marketing

How To Write a Mass Email Your People Will Devour

Posted by Shannon Winning

I write a LOT of emails. I know you’re thinking, Who doesn’t? But on top of my own emails to clients, colleagues and kids' teachers, I ghost write and send emails on behalf of clients every day.

If I didn’t think it would crush my writer’s soul, I’d change my business card to read Shannon Winning – Email Writer.

Crushing of creative souls aside, I love the surprised and delighted feedback I get from clients after I send out a batch.

“They think I’m talking directly to them,” is my favorite response.

Sometimes clients forward to me the responses they receive. The replies say things like,
“Thanks Marc. Appreciate you keeping us in the loop.” “This sounds great! I’d love to attend.”

My clients are always kind of astounded for two reasons:

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Topics: Insider, digital marketing, Email marketing