win your customer's trust, win trust, win clients, client attraction, website content, professional writer

How to win your customer’s trust

So, you want to know how to get customers to trust you and your business? Here are the details …

As you probably already know, people buy from businesses they know, like and trust. Once they get to know and like your business, you’ll need to understand how to win your customer’s trust. It’s often a step-by-step process, and it can take time to build trust. Of course, the level of trust required by customers sometimes depends on the value of the purchase. For a small purchase at a low price, the required level of trust is low, whereas it’s usually high when it comes to more expensive items such as furniture, cars, travel and houses.

Your website is most often the first point of contact for prospective customers and a valuable resource in building your “know, like and trust factor”.

This is the third article in a three-part series which will help you boost your “Know, like and trust factor”. Click on the following links to read about how to get customers to know and like you.

9 ways to win your customer’s trust through your website…

 1. Address Your Audience

Know who is reading your information and write with your audience in mind.  Think about their level of understanding of your products and services, and clearly explain what they need to know to make a purchasing decision.

2.  Be Clear

Make sure the information on your website is easy to navigate and clearly written. Use everyday language rather than jargon.

3.  Show Customers How You Help Them

If a prospective customer lands on your site, they’re most likely looking for information about your company or your products and services. They have a problem and you need to clearly demonstrate how you’re going to solve it for them.

4.  Have a page for FAQs

Answer every frequently asked question so that your buyers have all the information they need to make an informed buying decision. If you really want to win your customer’s trust, you need to make sure all the information they need is readily available.

5.  Be Authentic

Be yourself, stick to your brand message – don’t try to be something you’re not. Your prospective customers will quickly lose interest if they feel you’re not being authentic.

It’s also important to humanise your content, making it simple and easy for readers. Don’t be too formal and staid. Remember to keep your audience in mind.

6.  Be Generous

Where appropriate, give something away for free. This may be a free trial, a sample of your product or an information product which shares valuable information and educates them about your products or shares industry information.

Industry experts often advise us to “give away some of our best stuff” in order to build trust.

7.  Be Consistent

If you make a promise, keep it. Do you have an email newsletter or a blog? This applies to your schedule for sending out newsletters or posting blog articles. If you say you’re going to post daily, post daily, or if it’s weekly, fortnightly or monthly, ensure you follow through on this. While it might seem minor to you, the recipient can feel let down if you don’t deliver what you say you will.

Consistency is also important when it comes to the quality of your posts.

Updating your blog and social media can be time-consuming, so it sometimes falls through the cracks. Try not to let this happen. If a prospective customer goes to your Facebook page, will they find any recent posts?  If you’re busy, you can schedule your posts to appear daily or as often as you like.

8.  Leverage Social Proof

Ask for testimonials from your clients and display them on your website – tap into the power of third party endorsements.

Provide case studies showing the process and outcomes your product or service provides. Before and after photos can have a big impact.

9.  Make it easy to contact you

Make it clear how you can be contacted, whether it’s by phone, email or an online enquiry form. If you want prospects to phone you, be sure to include your phone number in big bold letters or have a separate button in the sidebar which clearly shows your phone number.

If you have an online enquiry form, ensure your system is set up to receive an email immediately and make sure that email address is monitored. On the form, you need to inform prospects of the period in which they can expect a reply, for example, within 24 hours, 48 hours or whatever is appropriate. Follow through and ensure they receive a reply within that time or you may break their trust before you even establish a relationship with them.

These tips have outlined how to win your customer’s trust through your website content. If you’d like assistance with writing website content for your specific audience, please feel free to contact me to arrange a chat.

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

 

How to get customers to like you, small business marketing, Professional Writer, Know like and trust factor, Getting known online, Building rapport online, Lyndall Guinery-Smith

Get customers to like you – 7 top tips

So, you want to know how to get customers to like you and your business? Here’s the lowdown…

These days, every business should have an online presence, because the first thing a prospective customer does is Google you! The purpose of your company’s website is to introduce your business, your products or services and to influence prospects to know, like and trust you … then they will be more likely to buy from you. This process can be somewhat challenging – but don’t worry, this post is here to help you!

This is the second article in a three-part series which will help you boost your “Know, like and trust factor”.

Once your prospective customers or current customers have found you online, your site’s content provides the opportunity to get to know all about you. It should also influence readers or prospective customers to like you and your business. I’m not just talking Social Media “likes” here, I’m talking about your prospects having an affection for you and/or your business. People buy from those they know, like and trust.

Here are 7 tips to get customers to LIKE you and your business:

  1. Be human, be real, be authentic

    This is the most important part of building a positive relationship with prospective customers. Treat people the way you’d like to be treated. Be nice! Most people can spot a fake, and that just turns them off, causing them to click away faster than lightning, so make sure everything you post or write online is what you’d say to your customers face-to-face. Don’t try to copy what others are doing if it doesn’t portray the true essence of your own brand identity.

  2. Tell your story

    Take the time to explain how your business started, where you’ve come from, and where you’re headed. This will help you build rapport with readers and lay the foundations for a relationship of trust. The About Us page is the second most clicked page on most sites, after the Home Page. It’s important to fill your About Us page with your story, telling it in a succinct yet interesting way that demonstrates your passion. Be sure to include photos of your premises and/or team members where appropriate.

  3. Be seen

    Most people like to know the face behind the name. Use photos to show who you are and portray a friendly and approachable image. Use video to allow people to get to know you better, and to demonstrate your products, services and expertise.

  4. Listen

    Ask questions and deliver answers to your customers as a great way to build rapport with them. Always aim to add value. Social media can be a brilliant way to interact with prospects and answer their queries in a helpful and polite manner.

  5. Contribute to the conversation

    Share content and promote other people, then they will be more likely to share yours. Sharing also helps promote your profile and expertise.

  6. Show your genuine appreciation

    Monitor your online accounts. Responding to comments and thanking those who share your posts also goes a long way towards influencing people to like your business. If a prospect takes the time to comment on your post or ask a question, this offers you the opportunity to start a relationship with them. If you don’t respond to comments, the customer may feel that you are simply disinterested in them and their business.

  7. DON’T SELL

    Nobody likes to be sold to, particularly straight up. Focus on providing value to build relationships before asking for a sale online. We are less likely to commit to buying from someone we don’t know, so take your time building rapport first and earn the right to ask for the sale. Remember that social media is SOCIAL, not selling media!!

    Sure, everyone likes to know if you’re offering discounts or a special promotion, but please don’t spam your prospects with constant BUY! BUY! BUY! messages.

    I’ve seen a variety of ratios, which are either 80/20 or 90/10. This means 90% of your content and posts should be adding value and sharing knowledge, with only 10% of content asking prospects to buy. If you’re clever (or you have a good writer!), your posts will clearly demonstrate the value of your product or service so that people will be lining up to buy as soon as they finish reading your post.

These are just a few tips to get you to help you get customers to like you and your business. The next post in this series will explore “How to build trust online”.

Hi, I’m Lyndall Guinery-Smith, The Professional Writer. I have a strong background in small business management and helping businesses to build their “Know, like and trust” factor.

I love to write copy dedicated to attracting and engaging your clients, and improving your bottom line, and I happily work with clients all around Australia. Email me to arrange an obligation-free discussion about your latest project.

 

 

Know like and trust factor, The Professional Writer, getting known online, building customer relationships, how to get customers to know like & trust you

How to become known online – 7 top tips

Want to become known online?

Attracting prospective customers and getting them to buy from you online can be challenging. The first step in successfully cultivating a great relationship with your customers is to get them to know, like and trust you. This post is the first in a three-part series I will be publishing on this topic.

How do prospective customers find you if? You need to become known online.

Customers will usually do an internet search for either your company, if they’ve already heard of you, or the problem they’re searching for a solution to. Either way, you want your website to be found by those you’re trying to impress, and this is where the content of your website can help.

Once they’ve found your site, what does the information say about you? Your content needs to be clear, easy to navigate and easy to read.

Getting known online is a process. It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen … if you start with the right tools.

Here are 7 tips to help you become known online:

  1. Know who you’re talking to

You can’t be all things to all people. Who is your target market? Who is your ideal customer? You may benefit from preparing a buyer persona or ideal client profile which details the personal details, occupation, interests, income and habits of the person you’re aiming to attract. You can source a photo and give them a name.

Once you have a good idea of who your target audience is, you need to write your copy with your ideal customer in mind.  Write as though you are speaking to your ideal customer.

  1. Demonstrate your knowledge

If you’re in business, especially if you’ve been established for a while, you’ll have accumulated a substantial amount of knowledge. By sharing your insights and knowledge with readers, it builds your credibility and helps you work towards the coveted “know, like and trust” factor.

Think of the problems you regularly solve for customers and write content which addresses that issue. Always aim to add value to your reader and be as helpful as possible, as this helps in the next phases of the process, which are the LIKE and TRUST factors. Think about what keeps them awake at night and address those issues – offer a solution to their problems.

  1. Create great content

What will you post on your website? What do your customers want to know? Remember they’ve come to your site because they’re seeking an answer to a question or a solution to a problem they are experiencing. By getting to know your customers and asking what they’re looking for, you can create content which addresses their issue.

You can’t make assumptions here. Answering frequently asked questions is a great place to start. If you already have existing customers, survey them to find out what they’d like to know about your products or services.

Know your business, know your core topics and write content which focuses on your core business.

  1. Write and share a free product that adds value to your target market

Creating a free product which people want to share is a popular way to grow your audience and become known online. This could be an eBook, cheat sheet, planner or digital recording, for example. These are relatively simple to create and offer on your site.

Not sure what to write about? Ask your customers what their biggest concerns are and design your product to address one of those issues or concerns.

  1. Create a blog and post regularly

Most websites have a Blog page, many of which are empty. This is one of the greatest untapped resources small business owners can capitalise on. A blog is a prime opportunity for you to communicate with your clients on a regular basis. Blogging is a great way to help your business become known online, and it can help your search ranking too, which is a bonus!

Not sure where to start with your blog? Make a list of questions you’re asked on a regular basis, ask your readers what they want more of, be interesting, be creative and generously share your knowledge. Your blog is one of the best opportunities you have to build your status as an industry expert.

  1. Share an expert’s knowledge – interview them

If you don’t feel confident in your own experience, or you’ve run out of topics to blog about, you may choose to interview an industry expert. Most people are pretty forthcoming if you ask to interview them. You could do a written post or an audio post for this.

Tapping into the expertise of an authority underpins your own credibility. You may even be lucky enough to have the interviewee share your post with their audience – always ask, they can only say no!

  1. Network, network, network!

Get active on social media. Post regularly and build your profile. Be sure to complete your profile with:

  • All the pertinent details about you and what you do
  • A recent photo where you look friendly and approachable
  • Be sure to include your contact information

Join social media groups which cover your industry. Local buy swap and sell pages can also be helpful in getting known in your own area. Answer people’s questions and be as helpful as possible. Ensure you have a link to your business website in your personal profile, so that people can click through and find out more about your business.

 

These are just a few tips to get you started in becoming known online. The next post in this series will explore “How to get customers to like you online”.

Hi, I’m Lyndall Guinery-Smith, The Professional Writer. I have a strong background in small business management and helping businesses to build their “Know, like and trust” factor.

I love to write copy dedicated to attracting and engaging your clients, and improving your bottom line, and I happily work with clients all around Australia. Email me to arrange an obligation-free discussion about your latest project.

Outstanding Company Profile, company profile contents, company profile template, company profile tips, professional writer, small business marketing, Lyndall Guinery-Smith

How to write an outstanding Company Profile

Are you wondering how to create an outstanding Company Profile that will win more business? You’re not alone! It’s a process I’ve often been asked about in my career as a professional writer.

You may already have a Company Profile, but perhaps it’s not getting the response you require. Or maybe you’re at the starting gates, ready to write and wondering what makes an outstanding Company Profile?

Many of my clients have asked what the perfect Company Profile should contain and the best format to use. The short answer is: There is NO perfect content or format – only the content and format which is ideal for YOUR CLIENTS. If the profile doesn’t appeal directly to your target audience, you’re wasting your time.

The best and most outstanding Company Profiles are always client-focused. Sadly, too many companies write their profile from their own perspective and make assumptions about what the reader wants to know. Sometimes these assumptions are correct, but what if they’re wrong?

If you want to write an outstanding Company Profile, you first need to consider:

Your Clients

It’s important to establish your target audience before you start the process of writing. Exactly who are you aiming the document toward? Who are your clients? What is their level of education?

The answers to these questions will determine the type of information you need to include and the tone and language you use.

What do your clients want to know about your business? When it comes to your products and services, what do they need to know? What are the primary influences in their buying decision?

The best people to ask these questions are … your clients! Do a brief survey. Tell them you’re writing a new, client-focused Company Profile and you’d like their input. If you’ve already been in business for a while, check your clients’ most frequently asked questions – they will tell you the information people are looking for.

Your Company

Please don’t just write a boring Company History. While your story is important, it needs to be brief and interesting. Basically, the reader doesn’t really need to know about your business until you’ve convinced them you can help them first. To do that, you need to outline what you offer them. How do you help clients? It’s more than just your products or services, it’s how you detail their problem and the solution you offer. What problem do you solve for them?

After you’ve offered a viable solution, you can then tell some of your story. Readers often want to know how the business started, who founded the company and why. They also want to know what you’re good at, and what your mission and values are. Often a purchase decision will be made when their values align with those of your business.

You also need to provide some details of your products and services, the industries and sectors you serve, any qualifications your team possesses, specialist training and the geographic area you cover.

Your Competition

While you obviously don’t want to mention your competition directly, you do need to consider them when writing your Company Profile. Let’s say you’re submitting a tender for a project you wish to secure. The reader will be looking at your competitor’s information as well as yours, so you need to have a more compelling story which shows you are the number one choice.

Consider your organisation’s strengths. What do you do best? Demonstrate how and why you’re the best, don’t just make empty statements – anyone can say they’re the best, you have to show how you’re the best.

What’s your point of difference, your Unique Selling Proposition? Why would a client choose your business over your competitors? Again, you need to provide details and demonstrate how you’re better or different. Testimonials and case studies are sometimes used to reinforce these points.

 

So, how can you produce an outstanding Company Profile that will win more business? Make it client-focused. This may seem counter-intuitive, after all it’s YOUR company profile, but believe me, it works.

 

For more outstanding Company Profile tips, you may enjoy reading these posts:

7 top tips for a winning Company Profile – from a professional writer

How to write an engaging Company Profile

How to write a Company Profile that wins more business

 

Hi, I’m Lyndall Guinery-Smith, The Professional Writer, and an experienced Company Profile writer. I have a strong background in small business management and actually enjoy writing an engaging Company Profile for my clients … as crazy as that sounds!. Yes, I ask a lot of questions! Rest assured, I will work with you to create an engaging Company Profile your clients will want to read.

I love to write copy dedicated to attracting and engaging your clients, and improving your bottom line. I happily work with clients all around Australia. Email me to arrange an obligation-free discussion about your latest project.

 

Attract more business, Grow your business in 2017, professional writer, website content, website writer, copywriter, small business marketing, Lyndall Guinery-Smith

Attract more business in 2017

Want to attract more business in the New Year? Yes? How’s your website looking? Will your site help or hinder your business growth?

For most people, the first point of contact is Google. Have you tried a web search on your business name? What does your digital footprint say about your business? What do your potential customers find when they land on your website?

Perception is reality, until proven otherwise.

How do your prospective customers perceive you?

Did you know, that up to 75% of a new customer’s buying decision is already made by the time you speak with them or meet them? Their position is based on their perception of you which comes from the information about you online and what they know about your brand.

The content on your website has the power to either engage the reader and influence them to do business with you. Alternatively, it can make your competitors look good! The good news is, it’s your website, so you have the power to change and update the information and the way your brand is portrayed.

Following are 9 ways your website content can help attract more business:

  1. Make information easy to find

When people land on your site, they’re usually seeking specific information, such as an answer to their problem or they simply want to know more about you. Make it easy for readers to find the information and ensure it’s clear and concise – we’re all busy and it’s so easy to click away from boring content.

  1. Express yourself in a genuine, authentic way

For the majority of businesses, the days of stuffy, jargon-filled website content are long gone. Portraying your authentic brand and showcasing the way you do business goes a long way towards making your brand stand out. We all prefer to do business with people we know, like and trust. Ensure your website helps readers to know, like and trust YOU.

  1. Building relationships is key

Offer the opportunity for readers to engage with you by joining your email list or interacting on social media. It’s best to offer more than one option to get more engagement.

  1. Demonstrate you have the skills they need

If someone is looking for a particular skill, they need to feel assured that you’re great at what you do. Just some of the ways you can demonstrate your skill are: show samples of your work, photos, video, before/after shots, case studies and blog posts.

  1. Consistency is vital for top of mind awareness

Posting regularly is important, whether that is daily, weekly or fortnightly. Make it regular so your readers know what to expect and when to expect to see it. Posting regularly also creates a perception that you’re reliable and you actually turn up when you say you will.

  1. Position yourself as an industry expert

Website content and regular blog posts on specific topics can help to cement your position as an expert in your field. We like to deal with those who know what they’re talking about. Share useful information that your readers can put into practice. People love getting something for free. Remember, you’re building trust so that they will be ready and willing to buy in the future. This is an important step to attract more business.

  1. Outline the key features and benefits of buying your products and choosing your services

A lot of websites assume the reader already has an in-depth knowledge of the products and services on offer. It’s always best to provide at least the key features and benefits – this is your sales spiel. Providing this information, expressed in a convincing tone, could easily sway the buyer in your favour. Ask yourself: What would I say to the reader if I were face-to-face with them?

  1. Establish rapport with your prospective clients

Your website is an ideal way to introduce yourself and offer your readers an insight into your business. It takes time to build a relationship, but if you treat visitors well and provide them with quality information, you do build rapport and establish trust.

  1. Show your customers why you’re better than your competitors

You can use your website to demonstrate your competitive advantage. What makes you different to your competitors? Of course, you don’t want to sound boastful about your own accomplishments or negative about your competitors, but it’s important to outline your strengths too.

Updating your website content or setting a regular blog posting schedule can definitely enhance the way your business is portrayed in your potential customer’s eyes.

If you’re looking to attract more business in 2017, now is the time to review and update your website.  Should you need assistance with writing fresh content or regular blog posts for your site, please feel free to contact me for a chat.

Hi, I’m Lyndall Guinery-Smith, The Professional Writer. I write copy dedicated to attracting and engaging your customers – and improving your bottom line. I happily work with clients all around Australia. Email me to arrange an obligation-free discussion about your latest project. Or if you’d like to learn how to connect with your audience and build your business, why not input your email address and receive my regular marketing updates in your mailbox? You can sign up for our mailing list at the base of the Home Page on www.ProfessionalWriter.com.au.

Simple blog post schedule, tips on blogging for business, blogging, business writing, professional writer, business writing help, small business marketing, Lyndall Guinery-Smith

How to set up a simple blog post schedule

Coming up with a simple blog post schedule has helped me to be more productive with my blogging.

One thing that’s always been a challenge for me is blogging on a regular basis – I know I’m not alone in this. I have all good intentions of publishing a post every week but life and business often take over and my posts aren’t always as regular as I’d like them to be.

I’m determined to publish more regular posts after what I learned at the recent Problogger conference. I know how important the posts are for establishing authority and maintaining my Google ranking for the keywords I wish to rank for. In order to establish a simple blog post schedule which is workable for me personally, I’ve come up with the following steps.

7 steps to developing a simple blog post schedule:

  1. Determine your blogging goal

    What are you trying to achieve with your blog posts? Are you trying to establish your authority on your topic of choice, build your email list, get new consulting clients or persuade people to buy your product or service? Or are you writing and posting articles simply to boost your search ranking? Before starting, it’s important to clearly identify what you’re trying to achieve, just like everything else in business. An ad hoc approach will most likely provide lacklustre results.

  2. Brainstorm your topics/categories

    Make a list of all the topics you cover or want to cover on your blog. These will also be the categories you use on your blog posts. This list will provide you with an overview of the direction of your blog. A mind map can be very useful for getting ideas down on paper.

  3. Identify your niche

    Most blogs and websites cover one particular niche, such as business, home, family etc. If you’re a small business owner, your blog won’t necessarily be about business, it needs to be about your product, service or whatever it is that interests your customers. Do you have a niche? Having a particular niche can help provide some direction and shape the strategy for your blog.

  4. Identify your target audience

    Before you start writing it’s also important to know as much as possible about your audience. Who are you “speaking to” with your posts? Do you know the age group and gender of your readers? What are they interested in? What problem do they have that your product or service can solve? If you can gather this vital information, it will really help you to write the posts in a way which targets your ideal customer and makes them think you’re speaking only to them.

  5. How often and when will you post?

    Consistency is key. If you think you can write and post daily, then go for it, but don’t post daily for a week or two, then stop posting as this can make you appear unprofessional. It’s better to commit to posting weekly, fortnightly or several times per week and be consistent about it. Post on the same day each time and share your post to your social media pages to generate interest.

  6. Monitor and measure on a regular basis

    Install Google Analytics on your site and use it to monitor and measure the traffic that’s coming to your site and where it’s coming from.

  7. Use tools to help track what and when you will post

    It’s a great idea to keep a file of post ideas either in a notebook or in Word, Evernote or a similar online note taking tool. Once you’ve mapped out your posts for the next weeks or months you can use a plugin called WordPress Editorial Calendar to plan out which posts will appear on particular dates.

I hope these tips for developing a simple blog post schedule help increase your productivity.

Can’t find the time to write blog posts? This article has some great tips.

Looking for some fresh ideas for blog posts? This article has a list of them.

Want to know how to write to engage your audience? This article has a range of tips for you.

 

Hi, I’m Lyndall Guinery-Smith, The Professional Writer. I write copy dedicated to attracting and engaging your customers – and improving your bottom line. I happily work with clients all around Australia. Email me to arrange an obligation-free discussion about your latest project. Or if you’d like to learn how to connect with your audience and build your business, why not input your email address and receive my regular marketing updates in your mailbox? You can sign up for our mailing list at the base of the Home Page on www.ProfessionalWriter.com.au.

Become known as an industry expert, show your expert status, brand recognition, professional writer, small business marketing, Lyndall Guinery-Smith

How to become known as an industry expert

Want to become known as an industry expert?

Being known for your expertise can enable you to charge more for your products or services, it can help you to land premium clients and bring a constant flow of business your way. The following tips will set you on the right path.

Get to know your customers first

Who are your customers? What are they looking for? What problems do they have that you can solve? Do some research to find out as much as you possibly can about your customers. Check out demographics such as age, gender, marital status, occupation, income bracket, place of residence, hobbies and interests. All this information can help you to build Client Profiles, which are very useful in targeting a particular audience.

Get your brand message right by having a compelling story

Do you have a personal brand or a business brand? Whichever it is, shape your story into one which clearly demonstrates your or your company’s achievements, skills and expertise. This will go a long way in helping people relate to you and see you as an industry leader.

Become the expert

Before you can be known as an expert, you must first become the expert. Study, research, get to know what’s important in your industry, what the emerging trends are and how they can be addressed. Gathering this knowledge is a very important step in helping to build your status as an industry expert. You’ll need to be prepared to answer questions, so gathering as much knowledge as possible will definitely work in your favour.

Become a specialist

In order to attract premium offers, you need to have specialised knowledge of your subject. Take every opportunity to learn as much as you possibly can about your subject. People will pay more for a specialist over a generalist every time.

Write a blog

If you don’t already have a website – get one now! Use your website and/or blog to educate your audience. Write and share great content – and you’ll soon be noticed.

You can write blog posts about industry developments, issues your customers may have, case studies demonstrating how you’ve solved issues for your customers (present the problem followed by your solution), product reviews and comparisons, how-to articles and anything else that’s relevant to your readers or in your industry.

Call yourself an industry expert

Once you feel confident in your knowledge, call yourself an expert. Include your expert status in your social media profile and your About Us page on your website.

Write for publications

Find out the most widely-read publications in your industry – whether they’re magazines, online newsletters or other industry publications. Enquire about submitting an article to the publication. Editors are often open to accepting articles from industry experts. You probably won’t receive payment, but your priority is to have your name and possibly your headshot on the article. This gets your name out there to your peers and potential customers.

Write a book

Once you’ve written a few blog posts and/or articles for publication, use website analytics to monitor which articles and subjects are most popular with your audience. Consider combining a number of posts together and shaping them into a book or eBook.

Becoming a published author brings instant credibility and may become another income stream for you too.

Polish up your Public Speaking

If you’re a public speaking novice or you’re lacking in confidence, do a course in confident speaking.

Conducting a workshop or giving a presentation also gives you instant expert status. You may need to start with a smaller audience and build up into presenting at trade shows and the like.

If you’ve published your book (see above), you can sell the book at your presentations.

Make yourself available for interviews

Editors and programmers are always looking for new people to interview, whether it’s on radio, n the newspaper or on a podcast.

Check out sites such as Source Bottle, where callouts are posted for experts on a daily basis.

Network online and face-to-face

Participating in online forums and groups can be a great way get your name out there and become known in your industry. It’s important to answer questions honestly and provide advice wherever you can so that people get to know, like and trust you.

Leverage social media

Post regularly on social media – this means daily or at least 3-5 times per week. Posts can be scheduled ahead of time using a variety of apps such as HootSuite, CoSchedule, SproutSocial or Meet Edgar, just to name a few. Facebook allows you to schedule posts to a business page too.

You may also consider starting your own group on social media, based around a certain issue your customers have, which you can solve. When you’re the administrator of the group, you have more control over the conversation. By posting good advice and helpful hints, you’ll continue to build your profile.

I hope these tips have been helpful for you in building your personal or business brand and will assist you to become known as an industry expert.

If you have any further hints or tips on how to become known as an industry expert, please feel free to email me and let me know.

 

Hi, I’m Lyndall Guinery-Smith, The Professional Writer. I write copy dedicated to attracting and engaging your customers – and improving your bottom line. I happily work with clients all around Australia. Email me to arrange an obligation-free discussion about your latest project. Or if you’d like to learn how to connect with your audience and build your business, why not input your email address and receive my regular marketing updates in your mailbox? You can sign up for our mailing list at the base of the Home Page on www.ProfessionalWriter.com.au.

 

If you enjoyed this article you might also like to read:

Finding time to write blog posts – 5 tips from an expert

Writing to engage your readers online

How to attract premium clients

 

Business plan mistakes to avoid, business planning, writing for business, professional writer, how to write a business plan, business plan help, professional writing, small business marketing, Lyndall Guinery-Smith

17 Business Plan Mistakes To Avoid

If you’re about to write or rewrite the framework for your business, you might want to read over these business plan mistakes to avoid first.

Compiling a business plan can be a daunting task, but knowing some of the pitfalls and business plan mistakes to avoid can make your job  easier. Whether you’re applying for finance, a franchise or you want to become a supplier for a particular brand or product, your business plan can make or break your chances of securing a positive outcome.

Here is a list of business plan mistakes to avoid:

  1. Procrastinating over starting

    While the thought of writing a business plan can be overwhelming, the plan won’t write itself. If you’re passionate about your business, you need to portray that in your business plan. Start by mapping out an outline of the plan, listing the contents (the order can be changed as you go), then research the information you need and fill in the gaps.

  2. Too much information

    Although a business plan needs to contain a lot of information, try to avoid overloading the reader with too much information. People are time-poor and most of us just want the short version wherever possible.

  3. Being too vague

    When information is missing from the business plan, it can sometimes look suspicious or as though you haven’t done your research. If an investor or interested party thinks your business isn’t ready for the next step, they’re unlikely to approve your application. You information really needs to be specific and precise.

  4. Poor researchTake the time to find the correct information for your business plan. Research your market or potential market. You may need to engage a professional research firm if you’re unable to do this yourself – think of it as an investment in the future of your business.
  5. Making it all about figures

    Of course, figures are an essential component of your business plan. However, the reader will want an explanation of what the figures mean in terms of overall business growth and how you plan to produce the projected results, so you must ensure you have the wording to cover this.

  6. Not including people

    Figures don’t sell ideas, people do. It’s the people behind the business who have the power to make or break it, so it’s really important to include a brief profile of the key players in your business. Your readers will want to know what qualifications and experience you have and what your team is capable of achieving.

  7. Faking your figures or using unrealistic projections

    If you falsify any figures, you will be found out at some point. The same applies to using unrealistic expectations. If you do manage to secure finance based on your falsified figures, you will be doing yourself a great disservice when you’re unable to generate the business required to produce the projected figures. #NobodyWins

  8. Glossing over your marketing

    A marketing plan is undoubtedly one of the most important components of your business plan. Having a clear marketing strategy in place is vital. Your plan must outline how you plan to advertise and promote your business, as well as your sales strategy and distribution channels.

  9. Not knowing who your customers are

    You must know exactly who you are going to sell your product or service to. Do as much research as you can on this topic. If possible, it’s a great idea to compile Ideal Client Profiles so that you know who you’re addressing in your marketing copy.

  10. Not proofreading

    If your plan contains typos, spelling mistakes and errors in grammar or punctuation, it makes you appear sloppy and the reader may conclude you have a sloppy approach to your overall business – this is not the impression you want to make, is it?

  11. Not accurately portraying your brand

    What sets you apart and makes you stand out? What makes your brand different from your competitors? You need to capture the essence of your brand and tell the story of your business in a way that makes the reader want to become involved in bringing your business plan into fruition.

  12. Talking yourself up too much

    While it’s important to outline what makes you and your business idea great, it’s important to be realistic and not exaggerate the facts.

  13. Not admitting your weaknesses

    Every person and every business has weaknesses. While you don’t want to place too much emphasis on these, it’s important to state what your weaknesses are and outline how you can improve on them. Doing this is realistic and expected.

  14. Claiming you have no competition

    Every business has competition of some kind. It may not be direct competition, but there will always be some competition for your customer’s business. You may need to think about the issue from the customer’s perspective – what other options to they have?

  15. Not using confident, concise and clear copy

    Your tone needs to be confident and business-like without sounding cold and unapproachable. Getting your point across in as few words as possible is also important. Being too wordy makes the business plan too difficult to read. Make it easy for your reader!

  16. Inconsistent presentation

    This makes you appear unprofessional. It’s important to have a professionally-presented document which displays a consistent font, margin settings and headings. It’s also very helpful to have page numbers and an index which directs readers.

  17. Not including an Executive Summary

    The purpose of the Executive Summary is to provide a brief explanation of the contents of the business plan. While the summary usually appears in the first few pages, it’s best to write it after the remainder of the business plan, as things often change during the writing process.

 

There are probably more Business Plan mistakes you could make, but I’ll stop there for now!

If you’re completely overwhelmed at the thought of writing a Business Plan, I can help. I work with you, acting as a Project Manager to pull the most relevant information together. I’ll help write your plan and presenting it in a polished and professional way.

Email me for a confidential chat about your Business Plan requirements.

If you enjoyed this article on Business Plan mistakes to avoid you might also like to read:

How to Write a Winning Business Plan 

How to Attract Premium Clients

and How to Work with a Professional Writer

 

Hi, I’m Lyndall Guinery-Smith, The Professional Writer. I write copy dedicated to attracting and engaging your customers – and improving your bottom line. I happily work with clients all around Australia. Email me to arrange an obligation-free discussion about your latest project. Or if you’d like to learn how to connect with your audience and build your business, why not input your email address and receive my regular marketing updates in your mailbox? You can sign up for our mailing list at the base of the Home Page on www.ProfessionalWriter.com.au.

Business case studies, How to write a business case study, professional writer. professional writing help, small business marketing, Lyndall Guinery-Smith

How to write a business Case Study

Wondering how to write a business Case Study to show how you’ve helped a client? Not sure whether it’s the right way to go? They’re not as difficult to put together as you may think. Here are some frequently asked questions and answers about business Case Studies to help you get started.

What is a business Case Study?

In the business marketing context, a Case Study describes a real-life situation where your business has been required to provide a solution to your client’s problem. Basically, it’s a story about how you’ve solved a problem or issue for a current or past client and the outcomes you have achieved.

Why should I write a business Case Study?

In the past, if your marketing copy said, “We’ll help you get the best results”, people believed you – because businesses used to deliver on their brand promise. However in recent times, most of us have had at least some experience with a business which doesn’t fulfill its brand promise, and that makes us cynical about marketing messages. So now we look for proof of the outcomes we should expect before we commit to buying.

Your potential customers want to see some “social proof”, meaning they want to see that others have successfully used your product or service, and which outcomes you provided … and then they will choose whether to copy your subject’s behaviour. We’ve largely become a society of followers.

A Case Study is certainly one of the best ways to clearly demonstrate social proof.

What will a business Case Study help me to achieve?

Apart from the all-important social proof, a business Case Study has the ability to:

  • Demonstrate the value of your product or service
  • Reinforce the outcomes of your product or service
  • Show how you have helped your client/s and solved their problem
  • Position your business and brand as an authority in your field
  • Demonstrate the calibre of your clients
  • Offer your clients an opportunity for additional publicity
  • Has the potential to influence key decision-makers to buy from you

How should I structure my business Case Study?

It’s important to use real-life examples rather than imaginary scenarios. Try to choose an example of a problem or client your customers can easily relate to.

Of course, you’ll need to ask the permission of the client you’re profiling in the Case Study before you use their business name or example.

  • Start from the very beginning
  • Outline the issue or problem your client was experiencing before they used your product or service
  • Detail the specific needs of your client
  • List the potential solutions to the problem, together with the positives and negatives of each
  • Provide details of the option you offered and why it suited the client’s situation
  • Clearly list and demonstrate the outcomes and benefits provided by your solution
  • If you have measurable outcomes, use statistics or percentages to reinforce the difference your product or service has made to your client, for example, “This product helped XYZ Company improve their output by 50%” – obviously this must be true!

How do I make my Case Study easy to read and understand?

Try to remember that some people will understand a concept simply by reading text, while others require diagrams or pictures, or better still, a video.

Headlines are important

You need to capture the problem you’re addressing for your client in the headline, for example, “How to solve your acoustic problems” or “The best way to dress a wound”. Think about the problem you’ve solved and the issue your prospective clients will type into Google, then use it as part of your headline.

Photos and Videos

Including visuals in your Case Studies is highly effective, but it does require some forward planning. You’ll need to ask permission from your client before you take any photos of the work you’re doing and you’ll also need the permission of any people in the photos or videos. Before and after photos are ideal, but taking photos as the job progresses can help demonstrate the process you use and how through your are, so be sure to take photos as the job progresses.

Including visuals in your Case Studies is highly effective, but it does require some forward planning. You’ll need to ask permission from your client before you take any photos of the work you’re doing and you’ll also need the permission of any people in the photos or videos. Before and after photos are ideal, but taking photos as the job progresses can help demonstrate the process you use and how through your are, so be sure to take photos as the job progresses.

Infographics and diagrams

Another great way to reinforce your Case Study.  If design isn’t really your thing, you can outsource this.

Bullets and numbered lists

These can help break up the text and make it easier to scan, which is how most people read blog posts due to time constraints.

Bold or italics

These can be used to highlight headings or important points throughout the text.

You could also use a Question and Answer format similar to this one if it’s easier for you.

Use a quote from the client to reinforce your story and add to the authenticity of it.

Where should I post my Case Study?

The first place your Case Study should appear is on your blog or in the News section of your website. Make sure it’s easy for your prospective customers to find.

You can link back to your site from social media to increase the traffic to your site and reinforce your ability to problem solve for your clients.

  • If you’ve made a video, you can post it on Vimeo or YouTube. This can increase the number of people viewing your Case Study
  • Infographics can be posted to Pinterest, with a link back to your site for the full details
  • If you operate in the business-to-business space, you may benefit from posting your Case Study on LinkedIn
  • Some companies turn their Case Studies into podcasts and post them on their site, as well as iTunes, where you may also find exposure to a wider audience

How can I get more exposure for my Business Case Study?

There are dozens or possibly hundreds of different places you can publicise your Case Study, depending on your industry. However the one important thing to remember is, where are your customers looking? You need to be wherever they are searching online for a solution to their problem. Rather than spreading yourself across too many mediums, it’s a good idea to stick to 2 or 3 and consistently post to them. Spasmodically posting to too many platforms is a waste of your precious time.

A good business Case Study has the power to influence your reader in many ways. The above tips will help you get started. If you need any further help with writing your Case Studies, feel free to email me for a quote.

 

Hi, I’m Lyndall Guinery-Smith, The Professional Writer. I write copy dedicated to attracting and engaging your customers – and improving your bottom line. I happily work with clients all around Australia. Email me to arrange an obligation-free discussion about your latest project. Or if you’d like to learn how to connect with your audience and build your business, why not input your email address and receive my regular marketing updates in your mailbox? You can sign up for our mailing list at the base of the Home Page on www.ProfessionalWriter.com.au.

Find time to write blog posts, writing blog posts, blogging, blogging hacks and tips, Professional writer

Find time to write blog posts – 5 top tips

Do you struggle to find time to write blog posts? If you do, you’re not alone.

In a recent survey of small business owners, 68% of respondents said the number 1 reason they don’t write blog posts is because they don’t have the time.

So, why is it important to write blog posts anyway? Here are 5 reasons:

  1. Adding fresh content to your website will help improve your Google ranking – when you include keywords relevant to your business
  2. Publishing quality content establishes and builds your authority
  3. Blog articles have the potential to help people know, like and trust you
  4. Generate more traffic to your site by sharing links to your blog articles on social media or other websites
  5. You can repurpose your blog posts into content for your client newsletter, use them as the basis for an eBook, short course or podcast

Now that you know some of the ways blog posts can help to drive traffic to your site and boost your authority, let’s share a few time-saving tips so you can get more posts written.

5 tips to help you find time to write blog posts:

  1. Keep an ideas file

    Every time you see something that may be relevant to your audience, file it. Keep your ideas in a plastic or cardboard folder if you’re a paper lover, or use an app such as Evernote, OneNote, Google Keep or SimpleNote. You’ll never have to stare at a blank page hoping for ideas again. You’ll have a ready-made list of topics, just waiting to be written up.

  2. Create a Blogging Schedule

    This is simple a timetable of your upcoming blog post topics. The schedule details when posts will be published and who will write them. By committing to publishing a post on a certain day or days of the week, fortnight or month, you’re more likely to actually get the posts written and published. Your audience also knows when to expect to see the content and this helps increase your credibility.

  3. Batch your writing

    Try writing once a month. Allocated a chunk of time to write and write 2 posts, 4 posts or 10 posts – however many you need for the month. Sit down with your list of topics and plan out the posts and you’ll be halfway there in no time. Writing the posts is much easier once you have a clear topic and plan in place.

  4. Schedule your postsWhen you write your posts in advance, you can schedule them to be published at any time or date in the future using WordPress. This is particularly handy if you wish to maintain the same time and day for publication of each post, but you’re not always available at that time. Posts can be scheduled as far in advance as you like.
  5. MAKE the time to write

    Allocate a chunk of time in your schedule for writing. Make it non-negotiable and just use the time to write. Turn off email and social media. Switch your phone to silent. Ask not to be interrupted. Use a timer to set a deadline if that helps. Do whatever works to get the writing done!

 

The above tips are just a few suggestions to help you find time to write blog posts. If you have any other tips, tricks, hacks or suggestions, please feel free to let me know via info@ProfessionalWriter.com.au and I’ll add them to the list.

Hi, I’m Lyndall Guinery-Smith, The Professional Writer. I write copy dedicated to attracting and engaging your customers – and improving your bottom line. I happily work with clients all around Australia. Email me to arrange an obligation-free discussion about your latest project. Or if you’d like to learn how to connect with your audience and build your business, why not input your email address and receive my regular marketing updates in your mailbox? You can sign up for our mailing list at the base of the Home Page on www.ProfessionalWriter.com.au.