Writing engage reader, Engage your reader, writing tips, writing for the web, professional writer, business writing tips, business writing help, small business marketing, Professional writer Australia, Lyndall Guinery-Smith

7 tips to engage the reader online

Have you ever noticed how some blog posts and websites engage the reader, holding your interest, while others are so boring that you want to click away?

Once your prospective customer has found your website, you want to pique their interest. Then you can form some level of connection with them, so they may get to know, like and trust you… and then buy from you! You can engage the reader through your static content (Home, Services, Products and About Us pages). You can also engage through blog posts, which add fresh content to your site, boosting your authority and your Google ranking.

So, how do you write to engage the reader?

Instead of writing from your own perspective, you need to look at the topic from the reader’s point of view. You need to essentially write with the reader in mind, tailoring your content to the intended reader.

Following are 7 tips for writing to engage the reader

  1. Who are your readers?

A lot of people who write website copy don’t know who their audience is, let alone consider their perspective when writing. It’s important to know who is in your audience – are they clients, potential customers, potential investors, joint venture partners or suppliers? Your answer may be “all of the above”, and that’s OK, as long as you know who you’re aiming at. If however, you’re aiming solely at one audience, you need to focus solely on those people.

Other aspects to consider are demographics such as age, sex, location, marital status, career, etc. Of course, every reader will be different, but you need to think about the IDEAL type of person you’d like to attract. What do they know, i.e. what level of knowledge do they have? Are they beginners, intermediate or more advanced in the understanding of the topic you’re presenting?

What do they know, i.e. what level of knowledge do they have? Are they beginners, intermediate or more advanced in the understanding of the topic you’re presenting?

What do they need to know, i.e. what information do you need to share to influence their buying decision?

Established business owners should pay close attention to the questions customers ask. Do your customers frequently ask the same questions? If so, write down the answers and ensure your website contains most of this information (you may want to withhold a certain piece of material to share with them in person). Including information from your most commonly asked questions on your website will save time for you and build trust with your readers.

  1. What tone will work for your readers?

Will you project a more formal, business-like tone? Or will you use a more friendly, relaxed and approachable voice in your website copy? This is something that is determined by the type of business you’re in, as well as your audience. For example, if you’re running a professional services business, you may need to use a more formal tone than say a family-run small business, as the expectations of the readers and clients of these two businesses would be vastly different.

  1. What type of language will you use?

Most website content is now written in everyday language. Think about how you would present an idea to a client. For blog posts, it’s advisable to write as you speak as a general rule, as if you’re speaking to the reader, one-on-one.

  1. Structure your post or page

Reader attention spans are short when it comes to reading web copy.

  • Come up with a strong headline that captures the topic and your reader’s attention
  • Use sub-headings to break up long sections of text
  • Bullet points or numbered lists make the text easier to read
  • Use short, well-structured sentences
  • Avoid jargon and technical speak as your readers often don’t understand it and will click away
  • Use a photo, illustration or diagram to display ideas and complement the text
  1. Think about the reader’s problem – and how you solve it

What is it that you do? If you’re a fashion retailer, you don’t just sell clothing, you give people the confidence to step out in their new outfit and make people feel great. You need to show them how you do this! The reader comes to your site with an underlying problem and they’re looking for a solution. Think about what you need to tell them that will reinforce your ability to help them? Be sure to clearly demonstrate how you can easily solve their problem and why you’re the best choice.

You can use testimonials, product reviews and case studies to reinforce the results you’ve already achieved for existing clients.

  1. Fake it till you make it

If you’re not an authority on the topic you’re writing about, you can still demonstrate authority by quoting the opinion of a known authority or using statistics to back up your statements. This is a useful way to reinforce your statements while demonstrating that you’ve done your research… and it still makes you look authoritative.

  1. Check, Check, Chek … see what I did there?

Before you publish, always get a third person to read and check your web copy or article for any typographical errors, spelling mistakes or incorrect grammar. Ask them to give you their interpretation of what the copy is about – which is very valuable feedback. You may need to adjust one or two sentences based on this feedback. Don’t be embarrassed if your reader picks up a mistake – just own it, correct it and move on. Even the best of us can make mistakes – including me! 🙂

 

I hope these tips have helped you think about how you can engage your readers online. If you have any further tips on how to write to engage the reader, please feel free to let me know via email – info@ProfessionalWriter.com.au.  If you need any professional help with your website copy, check out my website copywriting services. Email me to discuss your requirements.

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. If you’d like to know more about writing to connect with your readers, sign up for my mailing list and you’ll receive regular doses of marketing inspiration in your mailbox. You’ll find the signup box at the base of my home page on www.ProfessionalWriter.com.au. 

blog post ideas for small business, blogging for business, professional writer, business writer, writing for business, blog writing help, Professional Writer Australia, Lyndall Guinery-Smith

21 blog post ideas for small business

Are you looking for some blog post inspiration? Here’s a list of blog post ideas for small business owners who need some help getting started …

When I talk to small business owners about their website, many of them admit to having a blog which they rarely use. By posting regular articles on your blog, you can help establish your authority and build credibility with your clients. Incorporate the keywords you wish to rank for and you can also improve your Google ranking!

A blog post can help you provide information your clients can use, promote a new product or help clients learn more about your business. However, coming up with post ideas on a regular basis can be challenging. I hope the following tips will get you started on a list of potential posts for your business blog.

21 blog post ideas for small business

  1. How to …. (something related to your business or knowledge/experience)
  2. Handy tips and tricks
  3. Explode an industry myth or misconception
  4. Describe mistakes clients make and how they can be fixed
  5. Detail lessons you’ve learned in business
  6. Think about the questions your clients frequently ask – and answer them
  7. Show a case study of how you helped a client, with before and after photos
  8. Describe your ideal customer
  9. Write a post on how to choose a …. (product or service you sell)
  10. Discuss local community events
  11. Talk about what you learned at a recent training event or conference
  12. Review products
  13. Do a comparison between one product and another
  14. Interview a client and ask them to talk about your product or service – including a photo or video is very powerful
  15. Interview an industry expert
  16. Profile a staff member
  17. Share pictures or videos of your products being used
  18. Publish seasonal posts, e.g. Christmas cooking or Easter craft etc.
  19. Explain your company’s mission
  20. Discuss the latest industry trends
  21. Discuss local news and how it affects your industry

There are many more blog post ideas for small business – these are just the start. Please feel free to share your own ideas in the comments below.

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. Or if you’d like to receive regular marketing updates in your mailbox that will help put your small business in the spotlight, sign up for our mailing list.

Business Plan writer, Business plan help, how to write a business plan, business plan template, professional writer australia, Business plan expert, small business marketing, Lyndall Guinery-Smith

How to write a winning Business Plan

Do you know how to write a winning Business Plan? Does your Business Plan provide strategy, direction and a roadmap of how you’re going to achieve your business goals?

A Business Plan is no longer a bulky bound document that you prepare to secure finance and then use as a doorstop! Today’s Business Plans are dynamic, continually evolving and can take many forms. While you’ll need one version for obtaining finance, you may choose to edit the plan and display a variation to your customers or employees.

Preparing a Business Plan is a necessary and very rewarding part of planning for business success. Gathering and collating the information can sometimes seem like an insurmountable task at first, but the preparation process also forces you to think about some aspects of your business which you may not have considered.

Why do you need to write a winning Business Plan?

What is the purpose of writing a business plan? Will it be used as an internal or external document – or both?

Many business plans are written to secure financial backing for the business, or to win clients. Some of the other common uses for a business plan are to:

  • Shape strategy and direction for the business
  • Become a franchisee
  • Secure a supplier for products
  • Secure contracts with major clients
  • Monitor the ongoing performance of your business
  • Attract outstanding team members
  • Secure a business partner or joint venture partnership
  • Facilitate the lease of business premises

Whatever the reason for writing your plan, it’s important to consider the purpose if you want the plan to achieve your desired outcome.

Consider your audience

Who will be reading the business plan? Who is your audience? You may need a different approach for an external audience and your team. It’s important to tailor your message to suit your reader.

What type of language do you need to use to engage, persuade and convince the reader that your business is viable and profitable? Sure, figures are important, but the language you use has the power to influence the reader one way or the other.

A lot of people start out using a template as a guideline to help them gather information – this is a good place to start. However, it’s important to use engaging words and appropriate terms that will resonate with your audience. These cannot be found in a template.

What does your audience need to know about you and your business?

A bank or financial institution may primarily look at the financial section of your plan, as well as your marketing plan. What they really want to know is how you plan to generate the income to repay their loan. They will also be interested in many other aspects of your business such as your team, your location, and your unique selling proposition.

As the business owner, it’s important to outline your own personal attributes, skills and industry experience. This is because the person behind the business is often the key to its sucess or failure. If you know you have the necessary skills to succeed, be sure to highlight them.

If you were to share your plan with prospective clients or potential employees, you may wish to leave the financial section out. This information is confidential and could be detrimental if shared with the wrong people.

Do your research & gather your information

Before you start to write your business plan, gather as much relevant information as you possibly can. Anything you don’t need can be discarded later. If you haven’t already done so, now is a good time to consult a good accountant and a solicitor/lawyer regarding your business structure. You’ll also need to consider your marketing strategy and the finance side of your business before commencing the plan. A great business plan requires a fair amount of analysis and forecasting.

Analyse your business idea and your own capabilities

Your accountant may be able to assist you with analysing the viability of your business idea from a financial perspective. They will also be able to guide you in preparing the financial analysis and projected figures required for your business plan. Professional advice is a sound investment in the future of your business.

Besides the financials, some other aspects of the business which you’ll need to consider are:

  • What your business does for clients
  • Your product or service
  • The market for your product or service
  • Your location and accessibility
  • Current and future developments which may affect your business
  • Your mission, vision and unique selling proposition
  • A SWOT analysis
  • Customer analysis
  • Customer service standards and company culture
  • Competitor analysis
  • Marketing, advertising and social media strategies
  • Sales techniques and strategy
  • Distribution channels
  • Budgets for income and expenditure
  • Management policies and procedures
  • Your own personal skills and relevant experience
  • Your team’s skills and industry experience
  • Financial projections
  • Bank and/or personal references

Write the summary last

An Executive Summary usually appears at the beginning of the Business Plan. The purpose of this summary is to provide an overview for the reader – and to sell your business plan to them. While you want to portray your business or idea in its best light, you also need to be realistic with your wording, so don’t overdo the sales pitch.

The Executive Summary should always be written last, as it may change during the writing process and needs to be an accurate reflection of the plan’s contents.

Review and edit

The last step is to review and edit your business plan. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP – it’s important. If you really want to make a good impression, it’s essential to have error-free text which is easy to read. It’s a great idea to ask an impartial third party to proof-read your business plan BEFORE you submit it. Ask the proof-reader to point out anything that doesn’t immediately make sense to them, as well as any typographical errors or formatting issues.

Don’t be afraid to ask for professional help

Investing in professional advice at the outset is smart and strategic. As stated above, your accountant is the best person to advise you on the financial side of things. A solicitor or lawyer is the best person to consult regarding business structure. Getting the structure and financial projections right can save you time, money and set you on the path to business success. Without this advice, you may be destined to join the significant number of small businesses who fail within their first five years.

If you feel overwhelmed at how to collate all the information you’ve gathered, you may need to consult a professional business plan writer. Our role is to assist you in pulling together your information and writing the text to present your business in its best light… in essence, to write a winning business plan.

 

Hi, I’m Lyndall Guinery-Smith, The Professional Writer. I’m passionate about helping Australian small business owners like you to attract and engage customers – improving your bottom line. I will work in partnership with you, to facilitate and co-ordinate a winning business plan for your current business or new business idea.  I happily work with clients all around Australia. Email me to arrange an obligation-free chat about how we can work together to write a winning business plan.

 

Capture ideal customers attention, marketing, target customers, professional writer, Professional writer Australia, Lyndall Guinery-Smith

5 tips to capture your ideal customers attention

Does your marketing capture your ideal customers’ attention? Or are you attracting the wrong people?

These tips will help you focus your marketing on the right people to get better results.

  1. It’s not about you, it’s about THEM

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… Your marketing is about your customers and what you can offer them. Too many small businesses design ads promoting themselves and their product or service when the stark reality is that nobody really cares about WHO you are until you tell the how you can help THEM.

If you truly want to capture your ideal customer’s attention, your message needs to be about them and what you can do for them.

  1. Who are your customers?

Exactly who makes up your target market? Please don’t say anybody and everybody, because that’s usually not true. Take the time to identify an ideal customer for each of your products or services or at least a range of them. Identify this person’s age, gender, income, personality type, personal preferences, hobbies and interests, likes and dislikes, etc.

Compile an “Ideal Customer Profile” or avatar of this person, give them a name and use a stock photo to get an idea of the type of person you’re targeting. This ICP or avatar can be very helpful when you are designing your marketing.

For example, let’s say you’re a florist. Your customers would be wide-ranging, but let’s choose one major segment in your local market. We identify Dave, who is in a relationship, income $80,000-150,000, he’s a romantic at heart and isn’t afraid to show it, he enjoys playing golf with his mates on the weekend, barbecues with friends and bushwalking.

  1. What’s their problem?

What are your customers looking for? What problem do they have that your product or service helps solve? Take the time to find out because this is the key to your marketing success!

So, what’s Dave’s problem? Maybe he spent too long at golf on the weekend and his partner or wife is upset or annoyed. Targeting him with a message like, “There’s no better way to say you’re sorry” or “

  1. Offer a solution to their problem

What’s a problem your customers are having which you could address? The best way to determine the actual problem your customers are experiencing is by asking them. But for the purpose of this exercise, let’s use the example of the florist and finding a gift for Mother’s Day.

Which headline do you think is more likely to get a response from people with this problem?

  1. Smith’s Florist is your no. 1 local supplier of beautiful bouquets
  2. Nothing says “I love you” like a beautiful bouquet from Smith’s Florist
  3. Show Mum how much you love her with flowers this Mother’s Day

Notice how both B & C are offering the reader a solution, but in this case, C is specifically targeted at people looking for a gift for Mother’s Day. Using words like, “Show Mum how much you love her” are designed to trigger an emotional response in the reader as well.  Notice how the heading doesn’t mention the business name? Your name should never be at the top of the ad. Remember to tell them how you’re going to help them, then tell them who you are.

How do you apply this?

Let’s talk about a blog post related to this issue. If you were writing a post, you might write about “The 5 most popular Mother’s Day gifts – as rated by Mums” or “What Mums really want for Mother’s Day” or “Mother’s Day: The best way to honour and thank the first woman who ever loved you” or something  along those lines. Notice how all these headlines offer a solution to the problem of looking for a Mother’s Day gift. Obviously, the post would talk about more than just flowers, but there’s definitely scope to weave flowers into each of the stories.

  1. Always include a call to action

In any piece of marketing, advertising or blog post, you need to provide a reason for the reader to contact you. Be sure to clearly spell out how you want that to happen, whether it’s clicking a link to a sales page on your website, asking them to email an enquiry or a “Call Now” message with the phone number in big bold numerals.

Including your contact details may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how often this is forgotten. Think about how your customers want to contact you – what’s easiest for them? Don’t just automatically use the method that suits you best if it doesn’t work for your customers, as you may not get the results you’re seeking.

 

I hope these tips have been helpful in capturing your ideal customer’s attention. If you have any hints or tips you’d like to share, please leave them in the comments box below.

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

How to attract premium clients and

How to connect with your customers

 

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.

 

Startup About us page, about us page for startups, Professional Writer, About Us page help

How to write an awesome Startup About Us page

Wondering how to write an awesome startup About Us page? Never fear, help is here!

Did you know that the About Us page is the second most visited page on most websites? The Home page is no. 1. The content of your About Us page is really important in helping to build your credibility. People do business with those they know, like and trust. If a prospective buyer is looking for your product or service, and they land on your site, most often they want to know something about you and learn why they should trust you before they click the BUY icon.

Your startup About Us page should tell your story and build a relationship with your audience, but it must be written with the reader in mind. Most business owners are great at what they do, but it can be quite challenging to be able to look at the business from an outsider’s perspective. I like to tell my clients that the About Us page isn’t just about them, it’s about the partnership between them and their customers and what the business can offer the customer.

Who Are Your Customers?

Before you start writing, you need to have a clear idea of who your ideal customer is. It’s a good idea to set up one or more Ideal Customer Personas or Avatars, each of which describes a type of customer. The profile includes their needs, wants and likes, their demographics – age, sex, education, where they live, their job, their income levels, interests, hobbies, etc. It’s  a good idea to give each one a name and even use a stock photo on their profile so that you can really identify with this “person”. When you’re writing your marketing materials and website copy, you must keep this target person in mind and write to address their needs.

What makes your startup About Us page different from other About Us pages?

Writing a startup About Us page can be a little challenging and some people find themselves wondering where to start. Take out a note pad or open a blank document on your computer and start noting down points you may want to make. Think about your reader – What they will want to know about your business?

Consider telling people you’re new. Being new isn’t necessarily a disadvantage – it can be fresh and exciting. A lot of people are happy to deal with a small home-based business or a startup, as long as you prove you are a credible option.

One good thing about being a startup is, you can’t write a dull and boring company history as your About Us page! Nobody really wants to read those company history documents unless there’s information in there that is directly relevant to them. Try writing your About Us page as more of a story than a chronological list. This will make the page more interesting for your reader and therefore more likely to engage them, make them want to find out more about your company and then do business with you.

Tell Your Story

Introduce yourself as the owner of the business, tell people why you love what you do, why you’re passionate about your industry and how you came to be in the business you’re in. Be sure to detail your credentials and experience, including the most relevant information that will help people get to know, like and trust you. If you’re involved in any volunteer or charity work, include that if it’s relevant to your audience too.

Using a friendly and approachable tone is a good way to engage your reader. This doesn’t mean using too much slang, bad spelling or grammar, just writing the way you speak when you’re face-to-face.

Include A Photo

While some people don’t like having their photo taken, including a photo on your About Us page is really important for building the trust factor with prospective customers. A photo can also help to nurture relationships with those you may already do business with. Most people want to know exactly who is behind the business and what you look like. If possible, it’s a good idea to use a professional photographer to capture you in your best light. If you don’t want to use individual headshots, you could also use a group shot. Wearing your company colours and including a background of your building or vehicles can also look impressive, but isn’t essential.

Let Them Know What Makes You Different

Put an emphasis on your values, your mission and what you’ve set out to achieve. What innovations do you offer? Can you offer more flexibility in delivery, customisation or quality than your competitors?

What’s your USP (Unique Value Proposition)? What can you offer that others can’t?

Is there a gap in the market that your startup is filling? If so, tell the world about it!

Tell Them What You’ll Do For Them

People want you to solve their problems. What service do you offer? How do you solve your customer’s problem? Tell them exactly what you will do for them.

For example, let’s say you sell security products. What problem do you solve for your customers? Your product keeps them and their families safe (it’s not about the hardware itself, it’s about the outcome it achieves).

Or if you’re a hairdresser, you help your customers to look and feel their very best (you don’t simply cut hair).

Boost Your Credibility

You need to prove that you’re a credible option over and above your competition. If you’re brand new to business, consider giving some free or low-cost products or services to family and friends or potential customers in exchange for a testimonial or review. The social proof which comes with a third party endorsement cannot be overstated. People will buy based on positive reviews and testimonials. Post as many testimonials on your site as you possibly can (include a photo where possible) and ask your customers to post reviews on Google, Facebook or a third party site which is relevant to your industry.

Another great way to boost credibility is through the use of case studies, including before and after photos. This is basically a longer version of a testimonial, where you show the “before” photo and tell the reader what problem the customer was having. You then detail the process you went through to solve the problem, before showing the “after” photo which highlights the great outcome and results you’ve achieved. A brief comment from the happy customer further endorses your credibility.

 

I hope these tips have been helpful and will assist you in writing an awesome startup About Us page. If you have any hints or tips you’d like to share, please leave them in the comments box below. Or if you need any professional help with writing your About Us page, check out my website copywriting services and email me to discuss your requirements.

If you enjoyed this article, you may also like to read:

How to write an engaging About Us page and

How to write the best About Us page for your website

 

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 attract premium clients, small business marketing, professional writer Australia, Lyndall Guinery-Smith

How to attract premium clients

Do you want to know how to attract premium clients who are willing to pay more?

When I ask, “Who is your ideal client?”, a lot of small business owners reply, “Anyone who wants to buy X,” referring to their product or service. In a way, this is true. However if you want to attract clients who are willing to pay a premium price for your products or services, you’ll need to sharpen your focus.

If you’ve already been in business for a while, you’ll know there are some clients who are more profitable than others, and some who are willing to pay more to secure your product or services. Of course, we all want to attract premium clients and focus on them, don’t we? Quite simply, these clients can clearly see that you demonstrate VALUE to them.

People buy value and are more likely to pay a premium price when that value is clearly demonstrated.

There’s an old adage in writing – “Show, don’t tell”, and as such, the secret to demonstrating value in order to attract premium clients is not telling people how you add value, but in showing them.

Without a doubt, everyone in small business solves some kind of problem. If you want to display your value proposition to a broader audience, you need to show them how you solve their problem.

For example, if you sell cleaning products, you could demonstrate how you help people to clean their homes or business premises faster, easier or more economically. If you’re a graphic designer, you could show businesses how you help them to brand themselves with the professional presentation on their website, business cards, printed materials, etc. You get my drift! Show your clients how you add value and solve their issues.

At this point, it’s important to remember who you are targeting – i.e. who your ideal clients are. You need to specifically target this audience, addressing their particular needs and problems, and showing how you solve those issues for them.

7 ways to attract premium clients by demonstrating how you add value:

  1. Before & After shots

    This type of visual tool provides the reader with an understanding of the results which can be achieved through your product or service. For example, let’s say you do lawn and garden maintenance. Imagine the power of using before and after photos to show the outcome of your hard work?

  2. Case Studies 

    A very powerful tool which give a brief overview of a completed project. Case studies demonstrate how you solved a client’s problem and the outcomes you were able to achieve for them. It’s a great idea to include some step-by-step photos in the case study and demonstrate your process, particularly when it is complex. Share these stories on social media for added exposure, and include people in the photos to humanise the case study. Adding a testimonial provides even more oomph to your case study.

  3. Testimonials 

    There’s nothing as powerful as the testimony of past and present clients who attest to your skills and expertise. As a third party, their words are much more powerful in persuading potential clients than yours will be. Your testimonials need to explain how you solved the client’s problem and the outcome you achieved on their behalf. Readers will identify with the problem and the testimonial demonstrates how you’ve already confidently and capably dealt with the issue for others.

  4. Video

    Using video to demonstrate your product and how it works is a great way to demonstrate value. If you offer a service, you could use the power of video to walk your viewers through the process you use. Perhaps you could even feature a brief video testimonial from a happy client.

  5. Offer free quality content 

    Demonstrate your authority and expertise in your chosen field by offering free quality content on your website. Free content shows that you know your stuff and you’re happy to share your knowledge. Readers enjoy free articles, infographics and downloads which enhance their understanding of your product, service, industry or current issues.

  6. Build and nurture a community

    Establishing a community around you is a great way to demonstrate value. Setting up a Facebook group is free, simple and a great way to interact with people interested in your industry. Interact with people in your group on a regular basis, encouraging questions and comments from them. By answering questions in your group or other online forums, or by publishing a regular online newsletter or blog posts, you’re able to further demonstrate your knowledge and help your clients at the same time. Once you establish rapport, people are more likely to buy from you. When you showcase your authority, they are more willing to pay a premium price.

  7. Host an event

    A great way to gather like-minded individuals and potential customers is to host an event. You could focus purely on networking, which provides people with the opportunity to meet and work with others in the community. You could run it as an information sharing event where you educate clients on a topic related to your industry. Or you could show your community spirit by hosting a fundraiser for your nominated charity. All these events put you front and centre, helping to build your brand and establish you as an authority figure who people want to buy from.

Be patient, it’s a process and you won’t see results overnight. However it’s certainly worth putting some time and effort into these methods as part of your marketing strategy.

A combination of these tips will attract a wide range of clients and assist in demonstrating how you add value. Those clients will then get to know, like and trust you. Once you’ve established trust and capability, clients are definitely more willing to buy and will also step up to a premium price range.

Have you tried any of these methods to attract premium clients? How do you successfully attract premium clients? 

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.

 

Unique selling proposition, small business marketing strategy, Professional Writer

Unique Selling Proposition – Why every small business must have one

Do you know what your Unique Selling Proposition is? As a small business owner, have you really thought about what sets your business apart from its competitors?

In the crowded, busy and sometimes overwhelming business world, we all need to find a way to stand out from the crowd.  When your target customer experiences more than 10,000 marketing messages each day, getting them to notice you and your product or service can be quite a challenge.

The essential first step to getting noticed is to identify what makes your business unique, what sets you apart? Knowing your Unique Selling Proposition, or USP, is perhaps the most essential part of the marketing process, as it forms the foundation of your marketing strategy.

What exactly is your Unique Selling Proposition?

  • It’s something you offer that your competitors don’t offer
  • It is your competitive advantage
  • It defines your position in the market
  • It’s a remarkable benefit that no other company can claim
  • It’s the reason why your customers decide to buy from you

Some examples of a USP are:

M&Ms – The milk chocolate melts in your mouth, not in your hand

Disneyland – The happiest place on earth

Porsche – There is no substitute

Hallmark – When you care enough to send the very best

Subway – Eat Fresh

While these slogans from big business are all relatively simple, each one conveys a message and a brand promise to the audience, which is what motivates the customer to buy. I’ve used examples from big business because they are household names. Think about each one’s message and the connotations it has. The same principles apply to small business.

What is the purpose of your USP?

  • The USP differentiates you from your competition
  • It can help you formulate your brand message
  • It helps you to effectively target your marketing towards the people who want to buy from you

Your USP must be more than a meaningless slogan – it’s the reason you’re in business, it embodies your values and what you deliver – that is, your brand promise. When you tell people your USP, if their reaction is “who cares?”, then you need to go back to the drawing board. Your USP needs to generate interest, intrigue and motivation in your customers.

Once you know what your USP is, you can convey it to your prospective customers. In fact, it should form the foundation of your content marketing, including your website copy and all social media content, advertising and promotions.

You may already know what sets you apart from your competitors. Are you communicating this effectively to your customers?

Identifying your USP

The first thing you need to do is to let go of any assumptions, beliefs or preconceived ideas you have about your USP, and ask your customers. Identifying your USP from your customer’s perspective allows you to confirm exactly what they want, need and desire – and how that links into your product or service.

Ask your customers what’s important to them. Is it a quality product or a cheap price? Great customer service or fast self-service? A product which fixes their issue long term or a cheaper quick fix? Ask them what motivates their buying decisions, what outcome are they looking for? What features or benefits do they seek out? Why do they buy from you?

Take the feedback your customers provide and write a list of all the reasons people buy from you. Once you have the list, try to narrow it down to say, 3 potential factors, then choose the one which you feel is the biggest factor in motivating people to buy from you. Now you have your USP.

Why you need to know your Unique Selling Proposition

The major advantage of defining and using your USP in your marketing is that it allows you to compete on your own strengths and avoid the price war.

Too many small businesses default to competing in a price war, with their competitive advantage based on being the cheapest. While this may win business in the short term, competing based solely on price may not be a good business strategy in the long term. If you keep trying to outdo your competitor’s prices, all you’re doing is lowering your profitability (and theirs!). Price wars are often called “The race to the bottom”. This refers to the race to have the lowest prices, where “winning” is not necessarily in the best interests of your bottom line or the growth of your business. Of course, this does depend on your target market.

There are plenty of other ways for your business to stand out, such as delivery time, customer service, longevity of the product, convenience, and so on. Particularly if you’re competing against big businesses, you’ll never win if you base your strategy solely on cheap prices – their buying power will outstrip yours every time. Highlighting your Unique Selling Proposition allows you to market your business in a much more sustainable way.

Identifying and using your Unique Selling Proposition as an integral part of your marketing strategy is an important step if you want to run a profitable business, now and in the years to come.

 

Hopefully, the above information has provided some tips you can use to understand the importance of a Unique Selling Proposition. Have you already identified your USP? Have you seen an example of an outstanding USP? Please leave your comments in the box below, thank you.

 

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.

Build trust, professional writer, website content, how to get people to buy, small business marketing, Lyndall Guinery-Smith

7 ways to build trust with your readers

Want to know how to build trust with your readers – and get them to buy?

If you want people to buy from you, they need to first know, like and trust you. A good website will provide enough information for interested readers to get to know and like you, but influencing a reader to trust you is a much bigger step.

In the past, you’d meet people face-to-face and have the opportunity to form a connection and build the “know, like and trust factor” through things like your conversation, body language, tone, rapport and your follow up afterwards.

Now that so much business is done online, we need to establish that connection, build rapport and engage customers quickly – so it’s essential that you have the right type of content on our website. Even if they know and like you, most people won’t part with their hard-earned dollars until they trust you.

Here are 7 ways to build trust with your readers…

1. It’s about them NOT you

This may seem counterintuitive, but the first and most important thing to understand is that the message needs to be about the reader, not about you. A lot of business owners are passionate about what they do and want to tell everyone how good they are at it, but unless you tell the story in a way which quickly and clearly illustrates, “What’s-In-It-For-Me?” to the reader, then you’re likely to lose them.

You need to tell the reader what you can do for them or how your product or service will improve their lives before they care about who you are. Of course, credentials are important, but in terms of capturing the reader’s attention, they are secondary to addressing the needs of the reader.

2.  Know who you’re talking to

So, exactly who is it you’re trying to attract? Who is your target audience? Do you have an ideal customer? It’s important to know who you are targeting with your message. You cannot possibly target everyone with one message. What’s important to one may not be relevant to another. Get clear on who your target audience is – and write the message as though you are speaking directly and personally to them.

3.  Know what their pain points are and address them

A good way to build rapport is to talk about an issue which causes your target reader pain or stress and let them know how you solve their problem. For example, if you’re a fashion company targeting the mature woman, their pain points might be that they want clothes which fit and flatter their body, which are comfortable.  Find your readers’ pain point/s.

4.  Answer questions your current customers ask

What are some of the questions your customers ask you? Take these questions and expand upon them, providing comprehensive information about each answer, so that there are less questions in your reader’s mind.

5.  Offer the reader something useful for nothing

You can also build trust with your readers by clearly demonstrating your knowledge and experience – and then giving it away. One good way to do this is by offering a free eBook or short online course which contains helpful or useful information. If you’ve given your reader something of value for nothing up front, you establish a relationship and they get to know you and what you offer. They are then more likely to buy from you.

6.  Use a case study to illustrate and tell a story

A great way to demonstrate your skills and experience is to use case studies. Showing before and after photos if possible, mapping out the issue and how you solved it, to show that you can actually do what you say you can do.

Use a testimonial from the previous customer if possible – this will reinforce your offering, especially if it’s a video testimonial or links to the person’s website. Use a photo or the company’s logo to reinforce the validity of the testimonial.

Case studies show that you can be the solution to the reader’s problem.

7.  Build authority by demonstrating you know what you’re talking about

Make use of your site’s blog section (or get one added if you don’t already have one). Write and post regular content with a variety of topics to educate and engage your readers – and build authority. Not only will this information help the reader, it will also show how you can help solve their problem and that you can be trusted.

 

Hopefully, the above information has provided some tips you can use to build trust with your readers. What do you already do to build trust on your website? Do you have any additional tips to add? Please leave your comments in the box below, thank you.

 

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.

Communication, art of conversation, conversation skills, Professional writer, communication skiills

Is the Art of Conversation dying?

With the increased use of email and text messages, the art of having a good conversation may well be dying out. It’s possible that the next generation of children may be unable to even have a true face-to-face conversation…

This TED talk provides some very informative and useful tips on How to have better conversations. Conversation skills are fast disappearing from the business landscape, diminishing interpersonal relationships and the opportunity to build rapport with your clients.

Whether you’re an adult, a teen or you have small children, it’s worth taking 10 minutes to listen to this presentation.

Engaging About Us page, website copywriting, web writer, how to write an about us page

How to write an engaging About Us page that wins business

Do you have an engaging About Us page? Does it entice your readers and generate interest amongst your customers and prospective customers? Does it accurately portray your brand? If not, read on.

Did you know the About Us page is the second most clicked page on a website, after the Home page?

In this digital age, your customers want to know, like and trust you before they will commit to doing business with you. People do business with people they connect with, so your website needs to help make a connection with your readers.

It’s a little bit like dating. First-time readers come to your site to be wooed. Even if they’ve already met you, they want to find out more about you before they commit. You really want to make a good impression, because this relationship could be going places!

And what do readers find when they click on your About Us page? Is it an engaging story that helps them to know, like and trust you – or is it a dry company history that has them clicking away in seconds out of sheer boredom? Or worse still, is your About Us page blank?

If you want to know how to write an engaging About Us page that people actually want to read, here are a few key points that those great About Us pages address:

Building relationships is key

People do business with people they know, like & trust. It’s important to make a good first impression, establish a connection, build the relationship and back it up with social proof, then you can ask for their business. Your website needs to be an accurate portrayal of your brand and what you stand for. Your About Us page is the ideal place to express this.

It’s about them, not you

Even though it’s your About Us page, the story actually needs to be about your customer and what you do for them – it has to be customer-focused. Basically, they want to know how you solve their problem. Some companies break their page into headings like About Us/Me and About You, which outlines who their customers are and what outcomes they’ve achieved for those customers.

Craft your story

Make it interesting and easy to read. Try writing down 25 random things about your company – this can be done while brainstorming with your staff or associates – the pick out the most relevant of those items and include them in your story.
PLEASE only briefly mention your Company History. We know it’s important to explain how long you’ve been in business, but nobody really wants to know all the nitty-gritty, they’re just looking for proof that you’ll produce the goods.

Watch your tone

“It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it!” We all know that tone is important when we’re speaking with someone face-to-face or on the phone, but what about non-verbal tone?
With the rapid increase in social media, much of what’s written online now has a more conversational tone. Many websites speak to the reader as though the business owner is telling their story face-to-face, which is wonderful. However, you do also need to be careful to sound professional so that you’re taken seriously when it comes to doing business.

Think about your brand. Is your organisation fun-loving, friendly and just a little bit cheeky? Go with an informal, friendly tone. Do you operate in the corporate sector, doing business with government organisations and large corporations? Your tone may need to be more business-like and formal, but you can still show your personality and not be too stuffy, while also being professional.

Ready to start writing your engaging About Us page?

Ask yourself the following questions:

• Who is our ideal customer?
• What does our ideal customer want from us?
• What outcomes do we achieve for our customers?
• How do we deliver our product or service to customers?
• What experience do we have that’s relevant to our customers?
• What is our point of difference and what does it mean to our customers?
• How do we help customers? Solve their problem? Address their pain points?
• Do we change/improve our customers’ lives? How?

Did you notice that every one of the above questions is focused on the customer? That’s what I mean about your About Us page being customer-focused.

If you can write down the answers to most of the above questions, the information can be used to demonstrate what you do and the outcomes you achieve, which the reader will then want for themselves!

Your readers are looking for something that will engage them and help form a connection with you. Remember to be authentic, be human and be relatable in your writing. Your readers will love you for it!

If you have any queries about writing an engaging About Us page, or you’d like some professional help with writing your page, please check out my website copywriting services and feel free to contact me via email and I’ll be happy to answer your questions.

 

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.