Get red hot testimonials

How to get RED HOT testimonials from your clients

I was talking to my client Robyn recently and she commented how much she enjoys getting testimonials. Heck, we all LOVE a happy client! Robyn wanted to use some testimonials in her new Company Profile, but she wanted to know how she could make her client’s testimonials sound even more RED HOT, to say more than ‘she did a great job’ or ‘she’s a lovely person’ … without ‘editing’ them herself (that’s a big no-no!).

Robyn said she wanted the words to come from her clients, but wasn’t sure how to ask them without offending them. I made the following suggestions…

  • State it upfront – When you’re romancing a new client, tell them your business is based on referrals from happy clients and that you will be asking him/her for a brief testimonial on completion of the sale or service. This puts them on notice that your service better be good because you’ll obviously be looking for a positive testimonial
  • Deliver great service under promise and over deliver – be deserving of a great testimonial
  • Invite them to be part of your tribe Everyone likes to belong and feel accepted as part of a group or tribe. Create a client club, entice them to join your email list or invite them to a client function. Ask them if you can keep them updated with regular discount/special offers – make it sound interesting and useful. That way, you’re more likely to get their repeat business.
  • Make them feel valued – Remind them that you value their feedback and ask them to be completely honest
  • Important guidelines Develop a list of questions to guide the client when writing the testimonial, for example:
    • What objections (if any) did you need to overcome before you bought this product? i.e. price, delivery, etc. (tailor this to your product/service)
    • What problem did the product/service solve for you?
    • What benefits did you find after using this product/service?
    • You’re happy to recommend us because…
  • Why the list? The most convincing testimonials demonstrate how the client’s objection was overcome or how your product/service solved their problem. Future prospects relate best to this type of statement
  • Offer a helping hand – If your client is happy to provide a testimonial but is unsure what to write, offer to write it for them. No, this is not dishonest – you must use THEIR words. Ask them some questions about the problem/s you solved for them and record their comments, then use this as your testimonial. HOWEVER, before displaying the testimonial, you MUST send it to the client and give them the opportunity to edit it as much as they like.  You may also consider asking them to sign off on the final copy and keep it on file, just to cover yourself.
  • Don’t wait On completion of the transaction, ask them for the testimonial. Don’t wait. Ask while the product or service is fresh in your client’s mind. Did I mention, don’t wait??!
  • Make them feel valued – Yes, I’m repeating this heading – because it’s so important if you want to receive a RED HOT testimonial. Try telling them, ‘We’d love to feature your testimonial on our blog!’… then they really become part of your tribe. Offer to link the testimonial to their website if they’re a business, and let them know you’re helping their Google ranking too.

I’ll be checking back with Robyn to see how many RED HOT testimonials she’s received.

Why not try this out yourself – and please email me with your success stories – I LOVE good news!!

Or, if you’d like to promote your business with a new Company Profile, I’m happy to help – please contact me for a quote.

 

Hi, I’m Lyndall Guinery-Smith, The Professional Writer. I have a strong background in Real Estate and small business management. I love to write copy dedicated to attracting and engaging your customers, and improving your bottom line.

I happily work with clients all round Australia. Email me to arrange an obligation-free discussion about your latest project.

Write About Us page, About Us pages, how to write an about us page

How to write the best About Us page for your site – Top 5 tips

Do you want to win more business? Take a close look at the About page of your website. Does the page provide the information your customers are looking for, or is it a boring re-hash of your Company History?

Whether you realise it or not, your About page isn’t really about you, it’s about your customers, and getting them to know, like and trust you. If you want to capture their attention, and their business, you first need to tell them how you can solve their problem, then back it up with the reasons why you can do this.

Following are my Top 5 tips to write a winning About Us page for your site:

1.  Before you start writing, consider your customer

Think about:

  • Who is my customer?
  • What problem do I/can I solve for them?
  • What does the customer want to know about our company/me?
  • What voice or style do they respond to? i.e. formal or more friendly/casual?

If you’re unsure of the answers to these questions, ask your customers.

2.  Tell them HOW you help solve their problem

Make a clear and concise statement about what you do for your customers. This gets their interest and provides motivation to read on.

3.  Tell them WHY you are the best choice

Here’s your opportunity to make them want to deal with you by expressing your personality, being informative and entertaining, as well as conveying your company’s culture and values. This enables you to engage them with your personal and/or company’s story and to build trust.

You can then include the qualifications and experience you have to back up your claims. Highlight your expertise – accomplishments, awards, volunteer or charity work, associations, education, passion, links to media/press articles you’ve features in, tell them why you do what you do so well.

4.  Express your point of difference

Remember your reader is most likely looking your competitor’s sites as well, so it’s important to clearly state your UVP (Unique Value Proposition – or what makes you stand out from your competitors) on your About page. Research your competitor’s sites to ensure yours stands out.

Simply expressing your story and humanising your organisation can be your point of difference too. People want to know who you are, what you stand for and why they should trust you. It’s important to be honest, authentic and real in order to be trustworthy.

5.  Show your face

Personally, I much prefer to deal with an organisation where I can see photos or video on the Home page or About page. Displaying a photo or video provides a further opportunity for people to get to know, like and trust you. Whether you use individual shots or a team picture, it is essential that you include pictures.

One more tip

Invite them to connect with you on social networking sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn or Google+. That way, they have the opportunity to get to know you before they give you their business.

Should you be feeling a little overwhelmed about writing your About Us page (or any other web page), engaging the services of a Professional Writer can often save you time, money and heartache. Feel free to email me to discuss your project – I’d be happy to assist.

If you’d like to receive more writing tips, please connect with me on Facebook or sign up to the newsletter on my Professional Writer website.

And lastly … I’d love to know – what do you think makes a great About Us page?  Please comment below.

 

Lyndall Guinery-Smith is The Professional Writer. She loves to write copy dedicated to attracting and engaging your customers, and improving your bottom line.

Lyndall has a strong background in Real Estate and is a specialist Property Copywriter. She happily works with clients all round Australia. Email her to arrange an obligation-free discussion about your latest project.

Real estate copywriting tips, How to write a real estate ad, Property Copywriting tips, professional real estate copywriter, property writer

Top 5 Real Estate Copywriting Tips – from a Property Copywriting veteran

If writing property descriptions is challenging, check out these Real Estate copywriting tips.

Writing Real Estate advertisements can be difficult, particularly for those who are new to the industry. Following are some Real Estate copywriting tips from a Professional Property Copywriter with more than 20 years of industry experience.

1. Headlines are key

You only have a split second to attract the attention of your potential buyer, so make sure your headline has impact. What’s the most attractive thing about the property? Put it in the headline.

Boring: Three bedroom family home with pool

More interesting:  “Splash into summer “ or “Cool down in the pool” or “Your kids will love the pool”

Try writing at least three potential lines and see which one works best. Swap the words around if necessary. While your headline must stand out, make sure it’s truthful.

If you’re having trouble writing a headline, try writing the ad copy first, then write your headline. Or check out this article on writing headlines that stand out.

 

2. Features or benefits?

Features are factual yet boring, while it’s the benefits which attract buyers.

A feature is: A covered outdoor area.

A benefit is: Relax and dine in the comfort of your alfresco entertaining area.

Don’t just list the property’s features, highlight the benefits of living there.

 

3. It’s all about the lifestyle

These days, lifestyle is key. Tell the buyer why they will love the property. How will living there save them money? Give them more time with their family? Allow them to appreciate nature? Provide an opportunity to work from home?

Put them in the picture – “Imagine early morning walks on the beach, followed by breakfast on your expansive ocean view terrace.”

 

4. Target your audience

Who is likely to buy the property? Don’t say ANYONE! An apartment located up three flights of stairs is unlikely to appeal to retirees. Think about your target buyers and what they’re looking for in a home – address the ad to them.

For example, if you have a top floor apartment in a three-storey walk up, highlight the views, the location, the breezes you get or the fitness aspect – “Don’t mind stairs?” Sure, this will deter some people, but it’s better to narrow down the buyers with honesty than to attract them with false promises.

 

5. Use the space wisely

Whether you’re buying newspaper ad space or an internet listing, you’ll have limited room to write about the property. Most of the time, you can’t fit EVERYTHING about the property into the ad. You definitely shouldn’t list every single feature anyway (see point no. 2!).

While it’s important to mention the highlights, it’s also good to surprise the buyer with extras when they inspect the property. In fact, hinting at extras in the ad copy gives them a reason to attend the inspection.

 

Bonus tip – Get someone else to read your ad BEFORE you publish it. Consider their opinion and perhaps make some changes if necessary.

I hope these Real Estate copywriting tips have helped you. If you need a professional to help with your property descriptions, feel free to email me with your requirements.

 

Lyndall Guinery-Smith is The Professional Writer. She loves to write copy dedicated to attracting and engaging your customers, and improving your bottom line.

Lyndall has a strong background in Real Estate and is a specialist Property Copywriter. She happily works with clients all round Australia. Email her to arrange an obligation-free discussion about your latest project.

 

Help writing business article

Top 10 ideas for writing business articles

When you sit down to write an article for your company’s newsletter or blog, do you struggle to find ideas? Stop wasting your valuable time. Try one or more of the following tips from the toolkit of a Professional Writer.

1. Look at your FAQs What are the questions most frequently asked by your customers? Make a list and answer then. If you don’t already have an FAQ section on your website, the information you gather could form the basis of an FAQ page, as well as inspire an article on one or more of the questions.

2. Tell them what they don’t know For example, you could write, “10 things you need to know before selling your home”.  A title such as this often draws attention, as most people want to be sure they know as much as they can about a particular topic – especially when selling a home!

3. “How to” articlesRelate the article to one of your most popular products or services. Share the information you usually give to customers when they purchase from you, and add a little bit more if you can. This builds confidence in your prospects and may also reinforce your relationship with current customers.

4. Tap into your testimonials Hopefully you’ll already have some statements from happy customers. You can build an article around these, for example, “How we helped Bob catch a record-breaking fish”.

5. New products or services People often enjoy reading about innovative products or services. Be sure to detail how this can improve their life, for example, “How a revolutionary new printer cartridge helped business save 50% on their stationery bill”.

6. Interviews – Profile a trusted customer or top employee, detailing what they like most about your organisation, how you’ve helped them or the importance of their role in your business.

7. Current trendsLook at what’s going on in your industry or the wider business community at the moment. Is there a trend that people want or need to know more about?

8. Think about the season Whether it’s Christmas, Easter or Valentine’s Day, you can often find a way to link a product or service to the occasion. For example, “Top 10 quick and easy Christmas lunch ideas”.

9. Link to events – There are so many events throughout the year that you could link your product or service to, for example, “Top 6 training tips for your fun run”, or “How to have the best experience at Big Day Out”. Just take care not to detract from any charity events.

10. Share your experience – Think about some of the important lessons you’ve learned during your time in business. For example, you could write about, “What I learned in my first year in business” or “What I wish I’d known before I ran a marathon”.

I hope these prompts have got you thinking about writing your next business article. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to email me.

Still got “writer’s block”? Try this.

Hi, I’m Lyndall Guinery-Smith, The Professional Writer. I love to write copy dedicated to attracting and engaging your customers, and improving your bottom line.

I have a strong background in Real Estate and I’m a specialist Property Copywriter. I also enjoy writing Company Profiles and Social Media/Blog content for all types of businesses, and happily work with clients all round Australia. Email me to arrange an obligation-free discussion about your latest project.

 

Overcome writers block

The surefire solution to blog or newsletter writer’s block

Do you struggle to come up with content for your company Blog, eNews or print newsletter? You’re not alone. Whether you produce your newsletter weekly, monthly, quarterly or occasionally, the most common complaint amongst newsletter compilers is finding inspiration or knowing what to ‘fill it up with’.

Are you guilty of simply grabbing whatever you can find at the last minute, throwing it together and just sending the newsletter out? Unfortunately, this often results in boring your customers with meaningless drivel, or worse still, with customers seeing your newsletter as irrelevant and not even reading it – which is probably not the outcome you were hoping for!

Don’t despair! There’s one secret weapon most professionals use to ensure they always have a choice of quality information ready to use in each and every newsletter…. it’s… THE SWIPE FILE!

What’s a swipe file, I hear you ask? Well, it can be an actual folder or a folder on your computer, where you keep copies of articles from magazines, newspapers and website,s as well as story ideas, pictures or any information which may inspire a future article for your newsletter. Naturally, it goes without saying that if you wish to reproduce another person’s writing, you need to check on copyright issues. You’ll find most people are happy to have their work reproduced if you include their name, a bio/snippet of info about them (often found at the base of their original article) and a link back to their site or the location of the original article, but you need to get their permission to reproduce their work first.

If you’re confident in your own writing ability, you might prefer to take one aspect of the snipped article and expand upon that point in your own article. You can quote from the first article to reinforce your point.

Providing quality articles which are of interest to your customers helps to establish trust and builds your profile in their eyes. Make Writer’s Block a thing of the past… Start your swipe file today – I’m confident it will be a big help when you compile your next newsletter. If you’re already using a swipe file – share your tips and hints with us by leaving a reply in the comment box below.

 

Lyndall Guinery-Smith is The Professional Writer. She loves to write copy dedicated to attracting and engaging your customers, and improving your bottom line.

Lyndall has a strong background in Real Estate and is a specialist Property Copywriter. She happily works with clients all round Australia. Email her to arrange an obligation-free discussion about your latest project.

Powerful story, About Us page, Writing for business, business story, Professional Writer, how to tell your business story, small business marketing, Lyndall Guinery-Smith

Inspire your customers with a powerful story

We all know how important it is to make a connection with customers in business today. Smart businesses create brand awareness and influence both prospects and customers by involving them in their story. Think about companies such as Apple computers, Boost Juice or Red Balloon Days … all have built prominent profiles based on their culture and unique story. There are thousands more companies who’ve done the same thing in their own industry or marketplace.

A powerful story:

  • creates intimacy
  • establishes relationships
  • creates a shared experience
  • provides a sense of connection
  • communicates your values

A powerful story can motivate, persuade and inspire your prospects, turning them into customers – and increasing your bottom line. If you wish to influence others, you must have a good story.

What particular chapter of your own personal story will your target market best relate to?

For example, if you’re a property marketer targeting first-time investors, you might tell your own personal story of how you bought your first property and how you went on to build a portfolio of dozens of investment properties.

Shaping your story

In order to shape your story, you need to be clear on who you are and what your purpose is.

  • What are you passionate about?
  • Why did you go into business?
  • What are your core values?
  • What do you specialise in?
  • What do you, personally, and/or your business stand for?
  • Are you connected with any charity work?
  • What common interest do you have with your customers?

You don’t have to be able to answer every one of the above questions, but answering at least some of them will give you an idea of your own unique story. If you’re unsure, you may need to work with a friend or coach to discover some answers.

Lyndall Guinery-Smith is The Professional Writer. She loves to write copy dedicated to attracting and engaging your customers, and improving your bottom line.

Lyndall has a strong background in Real Estate and is a specialist Property Copywriter. She happily works with clients all around Australia. Email her to arrange an obligation-free discussion about your latest project.

5 quick tips for article success

OK – so you’re keen to get an article published in your industry magazine, online journal or local newspaper. Most publications are happy to accept article submissions from your small business – as long as you have an interesting angle!   So, what’s the key to success?

Following are 5 quick tips to help you write an article the editor will love… and want to publish!

1 – Who’s your target market?

Let’s say you’re a freelance make-up artist. Your target market might be teenage girls who want professional makeup for their formal /graduation or young women who are potential brides, as well as their mothers.

If you coach kids after school, you’d target working parents who need help with getting their kids’ homework done or parents looking to improve their children’s academic results.

 2 – Where is your article being published?

Your story needs to capture the attention of this specific target audience. What type of publications or online media is your target market reading?  Approach these publications first.

If you’re really struggling to find an angle which fits your business, your target audience and the publication, you may need to approach a different publication.

3 – What does your audience want to know?

Consider what type of information your audience is looking for. What can you say that will elevate you to the level of expert in your field and influence them to call/email you to make an appointment or purchase your products? Think about the questions you frequently answer for your customers. Offer helpful information in your article –  they’ll want more.

4 – Keep it simple

Choose one angle per story. If your first story is of interest, there’s most likely going to be opportunities for further articles in the future, so save the other topics for later – or another publication.

5 – What’s your best angle?

Consider these potential angles as a starting point –

  • Is your business innovative or the first of its type in your community?
  • What specific problem do you solve for your clients?
  • How does your product/service help enhance client’s lives?
  • Do your products/services help clients save or make money?
  • Have you recently been nominated for, or preferably WON an award?
  • What’s your personal story/background – what led you to start the business?
  • Can you tie your business into something which is a current media issue?
  • What’s your point of difference? What’s your Unique Selling Proposition?
  • Listen to your current customers – why have they come to you and how have you helped them – Incorporate testimonials from your current and/or past clients to reinforce the point you are making. Testimonials are very powerful, but you must seek permission to publish the name and suburb of each person providing them.

7 quick & easy tips for successful eNewsletters

Producing a successful eNewsletter is easier than you think. Following are 7 key components successful newsletters have in common.

  • WHO are you actually writing your eNewsletter for? Who is your one ideal customer? You need to write your eNewsletter in a way that appeals to her and makes her feel as though you’re writing directly to her, one-on-one. It may help you to write a profile of your ideal customer, including a list of her likes and dislikes, product requirements, etc. – and give her a name.
  • Great headings capture attention. Some writers claim they spend 80% of their time writing the heading and only 20% writing the content of the article. Numbers and lists can be useful, as busy people want quick tips and checklists to solve their problems.
  • Know the purpose of your newsletter. What are you trying to achieve? Most business produce an eNewsletter to build authority and trust, keep regular contact with customers and/or provide information about their new products and services. eNewsletters are a great tool if you want to truly connect with your tribe – regular bulletins can help them to know, like and trust you.
  • Share your stories. People love to hear stories – this helps them connect with you and your business. Tell them about other customers’ experiences (with their permission of course), staff stories – especially good news, awards, travel, adventures, anything that you think they’ll be interested in, that’s topical, newsworthy, useful or that somehow relates back to your business. It’s a good idea to encourage feedback, questions and ask readers to share their stories, as this builds a sense of community and helps build further trust.
  • Watch your tone. The tone of your writing will depend on your target audience, but most readers prefer a positive, friendly, conversational tone. Your business eNewsletter is not the place to vent your anger or express negative feelings about customers, products or your spouse! (Yes, I’ve seen people do it… and you have to ask yourself, ‘What kind of impression does that make?’). Comments on industry news or an article of interst are fine.
  • Balance information and selling. There’s a variety of theories, but it seems to be generally accepted that you should provide 75% information and no more than 25% selling.  When you do include a sales offer, make sure you include a call to action, a reason to respond now, a place to find more information (if necessary)and a link to click when they’re ready to order.
  • How regular are you? If it’s not too personal a question, how often do you … send out your eNewsletter? Yes, we’ve all been guilty of letting it slide and the weeks turn into months and years. Weekly or monthly is preferable, as regularity is important! You might want to survey your readers to see what their preference is for regularity and content.

One more thing… please ensure you include your contact details. So many companies send out an eNewsletter without their logo, email address or contact phone numbers. The contact information you include may vary depending on whether your business is online or a shopfront, but you need to provide customers with an easy way to get in touch with you. Who knows, they may even want to buy something from you! ;-D

Best wishes for the success of your eNewsletter.  If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to send them to me at info@professionalwriter.com.au. I look forward to hearing from you.  Thanks!

5 powerful ways to get noticed … without breaking the bank

1.  Name tags – Do you have a name tag? Do your staff members have them? Have you noticed how people wearing name tags are often more approachable? By putting your name up front, you’re giving your customers a chance to get to know you and taking an important step towards them liking and trusting you too.  At networking events, having your own name tags can make it easier for people to remember you.

When you have the tags printed, your name needs to be in large bold type, so it’s easy to see. The tag should also include your business name, logo and/or corporate colours. Customised name tags are available at most specialty stationery shops.

2.   Uniforms – Similar to name tags, a uniform can convey your corporate image through colour and style. They can make you look more professional and also make you more memorable to customers, as well as portray a sense of unity and pride amongst your team.

Do your research and find a uniform which suits your business and personality. You don’t have to spend a fortune. Check with your accountant regarding the rules for tax deductibility on uniforms.

3.  Car stickers – Your own mobile billboard. You can choose to cover the entire vehicle in your branding, use the rear window as an advertisement, or print bumper stickers to share amongst your family, friends and customers. All are an excellent opportunity to grab the attention of potential customers and remind your existing customers to return.

4.   Brochures – Ask complementary businesses whether you can do a brochure swap, i.e. you display their brochures and they display yours. A brochure provides more information than a business card, and when written well, can influence your prospect to pick up the phone and call you!

5.   Business card with photo – Having your photo on your card helps people to remember you. A professional photo helps you look approachable too.

Got something you’d like to add to the list? If there’s a branding tip that’s worked for you, please let us know in the comments section below.

 

Lyndall Guinery-Smith is The Professional Writer. She loves to write copy dedicated to attracting and engaging your customers, and improving your bottom line.

Lyndall has a strong background in Real Estate and is a specialist Property Copywriter. She happily works with clients all round Australia. Email her to arrange an obligation-free discussion about your latest project.

7 ways to bring creative thinking alive in your business

 

Creative thinking is essential in today’s fast-paced business world. If you’re able to regularly tap into your creativity and come up with innovative new ideas, you’re likely to be streets ahead of your competition.

Here’s some suggestions to stimulate your creative thinking:

  • Teamwork – Get your team together (or gather friends and associates if you don’t have a team), take time out – away from all distractions – and brain storm! Firstly, come up with a list of issues you need to address, then one at a time, discuss each issue openly without dismissing any suggestions at first – explore every option.
  • Customer Focus – Take a close look at your current customers. Draw up a profile of your “typical” customer and assess how you serve them now. Think of ways you can serve them better – or ASK them how you can via a survey.
  • Meditate – Don’t knock it if you’ve never tried it! Get yourself a guided meditation to start. You can do just 10-15 minutes each day, focusing on one issue each time. It’s amazing what new ideas you can come up with.
  • Exercise – No, it’s not a dirty word. Exercise stimulates the body and brain, getting the blood and creative juices flowing. If you’re not into the gym or boot camp, just go for a walk in pleasant surroundings.
  • Do you have a hobby? Take time away from your business to get out into nature, do some gardening, paint, draw or take photos. These creative activities can stimulate your thinking within the business.
  • Get colourful – get out the paper and coloured pencils and draw a mind map by placing the issue in the centre of the page and exploring a range of options. Use a different colour for each option.
  • Study your competitors – Check out how they’re doing things. The idea is NOT to copy them, it’s to look closely at what they’re doing and work out how YOU can do it better, much better!

Once you’ve given any or all these ideas a try, please let me know how they helped you become more creative and bring that creativity alive in your business.

Also feel free to share an idea you have for exploring creativity in business. Happy creating!

 

Lyndall Guinery-Smith is The Professional Writer. She loves to write copy dedicated to attracting and engaging your customers, and improving your bottom line.

Lyndall has a strong background in Real Estate and is a specialist Property Copywriter. She happily works with clients all round Australia. Email her to arrange an obligation-free discussion about your latest project.