Write an engaging blog post, write to engage readers, professional business writer, professional writer, write to impress clients

How to Write to Engage your Readers

Whether you’re writing marketing materials, blog posts or a company profile to promote your business, one of the first things to consider is … Who is your audience? Who will read what you’re writing?

While your message may be the most important thing you wish to convey, unless you think about how you can engage readers, your message may not hit its intended target.

Identify your audience

Think about who you are writing the information for and then tailor the content to your intended audience. Get to know and understand the group of people you’re targeting. What are their fears, desires and aspirations in terms of your product or service? Your text needs to appeal to these aspects.

What does your audience need to know? What do they already know?

Once you’re clear on who you’re targeting with your message, you need to be more specific. Firstly, identify the knowledge levels your intended audience has on the topic you’re presenting … are they beginners, intermediate or advanced? This will determine the level of information to be conveyed in the document.

What’s your message?

Exactly what is the message you wish to convey and what is the outcome you require? If you clearly identify this upfront, your document or post will have a clear direction. It will also be much easier to outline the content you need to include.

Create useful content

Whatever your message is, the content you create MUST be interesting and useful to your target audience without sounding too “salesy”.  It’s important to focus on your audience’s needs, yet craft the words in a way which also helps achieve the outcome you require.

Which communication channel should you use?

Consider where your intended audience gathers their information from. Are they more likely to read a printed publication, a blog post on your site, a guest post on a well-known industry website, a social media post, advertising or marketing materials, company profile or any other message which represents you and your business to the marketplace? You’ll get more people to read your information if it’s easy for them to find it in the first place. You’re also more likely to connect with your ideal client if you turn up in the right place.

Formatting

Most people are time-poor and many of us scan rather than reading every word. Make your document or post easy to read.

Wherever possible, use headings, paragraphs, bullet points or numbered lists to break things up. Bold text or CAPITALS are great for emphasising an important point. Colour can also be used to highlight particular sections or points of interest to your audience. Or you can use formatting to Highlight some text in a blog post.

Use visuals!

Think about it – do you look at the pictures, video or graphics when you read an article or document? Use images which the reader can relate to and which support the point you’re making, such as the picture below. Visuals are really helpful in illustrating your point and can help solidify the message in the reader’s mind.

Engage readers, use visuals, professional writing tips, professional writer,

Edit, edit, edit

This might sound like really basic advice, but we all make mistakes! Before you publish, be sure to edit your article or document. This includes spellcheck, scanning for typos and correcting any grammatical errors. These can easily be overlooked, particularly when you spend quite a bit of time on a document. Ask a colleague, friend or family member to read your document before you hit that publish button.

Does your document engage readers?

Before uploading, read back over your document or post again to check that you’ve included all the relevant information. Is it in a logical order? Is the document is easy to read? It’s easy to overlook small details, especially when you’ve been working on a document for a while and you may have rearranged the order of the information.

Does the document or post achieve the outcome you stated at the beginning?

Be sure to make the final tweaks, then PUBLISH!

I hope you’ve found these writing tips useful in helping to engage readers and connect with your intended audience.

You may also enjoy these topics:

How website content helps generate sales

Tips on creating an Ideal Client Profile

Becoming known online

The Professional Writer - Lyndall

Hi, I’m Lyndall Guinery-Smith, The Professional Writer. I write copy dedicated to attracting and engaging your ideal clients … and improving your bottom line. I happily work with clients all over Australia. Email me to arrange an obligation-free discussion about your latest project.  

Blog post ideas, Blog post mistakes, help writing blog posts, professional writer, Lyndall Guinery-Smith

Are you making these mistakes when writing blog posts?

Writing blog posts is something many people enjoy, while others just don’t know how to get started and would rather do anything but write a blog post.

When it’s done well, blogging is a great way to build your profile and be seen as an expert in your industry. However, you can so easily detract from the way your business is perceived if you get it wrong – and that’s not the outcome anyone wants.

If writing blog posts is challenging for you, it may be because you’re making some classic mistakes. Below, you’ll find an outline of the most common mistakes – and how to fix them.

The top 10 mistakes people make when writing blog posts are:

1. Failing to plan and outline before writing

Rather than staring at a blank screen, waiting for inspiration, it’s a good idea to plan out your topic and the main points you want to make before you start writing. Some people find this easier to do with pen and paper, rather than on a screen – just do what works for you.

Not sure where to start with your outline? Once you have a topic in mind, try writing it in the middle of the page, then draw 6 lines coming out from the central topic and write one of the following headings on each line: Who, what, where, when, why and how. Then explore each of these and write notes next to the headings. This will give you an outline.

2. Not thinking about your reader

The most important thing for you to consider is – who is my reader? This is one of the first things to think about when planning your blog post. After all, you’re writing the post for them, aren’t you? What level of understanding of the topic does the reader have? What questions do you need to answer for them?

3. Using jargon or buzz words

Readers may not be familiar with your industry terms and the jargon you use. Unless your article will only be read by those working in your industry, don’t use jargon or buzz words unless you explain them. Use language the everyday person will understand.

4. Not correcting spelling, punctuation and grammar mistakes

While spelling, punctuation and grammar might seem like boring topics, they’re important if you want to make a good impression on your reader. Mistakes not only make a blog post difficult to read, they can make you look unprofessional and inefficient. It’s often difficult to see your own errors, so be sure to ask another person to read your blog post before you submit it or hit the publish button.

5. Not correcting typos

Typographical errors, or typos, as they are more commonly known, are another avoidable issue which can make you look unprofessional. Again, it can be difficult to see your own typos, so ask a colleague to check your work before sending it out.

6. Posting paragraph after paragraph of text

  • Keep paragraphs short, sharp and straight to the point
  • Use headings, bullet points or numbered lists to break up text
  • Insert images where appropriate
  • Use numbering or bullet points to break up big chunks of text

7. Using too many different fonts

Using a larger font for headings and sub-headings is fine, but try not to use more than two different fonts throughout your blog post if you want to make a good impression on your reader.

8. Rambling on 

Everyone is time-poor. If you can convey your message in fewer words, do it! Your readers will thank you for it. If you think readers will have further questions at the end of the blog post, add a link or your email address. A call to action at the bottom of your post invites readers to contact you and provides a further opportunity to engage them in a conversation and potentially do business together.

9. Forgetting to use images or diagrams

Some readers are visual, so images and diagrams can enhance the reader’s understanding of your topic. Visuals also help to break up large chunks of text. It’s a good idea to use at least one image or diagram per blog post.

10. Not tying into your brand

Every blog post is an opportunity to reinforce your brand by portraying your company’s approach to business or your “brand essence”. Be sure the topic and your post are in alignment with the way you do business.

 

I hope these tips are helpful to those struggling with writing blog posts. You may also enjoy – 5 ways to generate blog post ideasHow to set up a simple blogging schedule21 blog post ideas for small business owners

Hi, I’m Lyndall Guinery-Smith, The Professional Writer. I write copy dedicated to attracting and engaging your ideal clients … and improving your bottom line. I happily work with clients all over 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.

Top 5 ways to generate blog post ideas for business, blogging for business, attracting business with your blog, professional writer, business blog writing, blog article ideas, Lyndall Guinery-Smith

Top 5 ways to generate blog post ideas for your business

Are you wondering how to generate blog post ideas for your business site?

If you’re thinking about it from the business owner’s perspective, you’re doing it wrong…. Here’s why. Your blog posts should be all about your customer and how you can add value for them, not just about your business. Blog posts offer the opportunity to help customers get to know, like and trust you … then buy from you.

Put yourself in your potential customers’ shoes. You have a problem to solve or there’s something you need to find. Where do you look for a solution? Most people will type their query into Google or a similar search engine. If we’re looking for a new rug for the living room, some people will type “Living room rugs”. Others may be more specific and type something like, “Traditional living room rugs” or “Beige living room rugs” for example. Others might type in, “How to choose the right rug for your living room”- this is asking for an answer to their problem.

Once you focus on the needs of your customers and potential customers, it becomes a lot easier to generate blog post ideas for your website.

1. What do your customers want to know? 

Think about the questions your customers regularly ask you during the initial stages of your relationship.

  • Find out what keeps them awake at night – and offer a solution
  • What is the “big problem” you can solve for them?
  • What knowledge do you have which can be shared to build trust?

Don’t worry about giving away “trade secrets” or your competitors reading/copying your posts. Just use the information you’d normally talk to customers about in a face-to-face situation.

2. Explain how your product or service works – How does it solve their problem

Outline one or more of your products or services. Explain in detail how the product or service works. Every customer has a problem, be sure to tell them how your product solves their problem. For example, if you sell fishing lures, you may be able to provide information about the techniques using to cast the line so that the lure is more appealing to the fish. Sharing this information will help customers to know, like and trust you, as well as demonstrating your authority.

3. Elaborate on testimonials or feedback from clients – what you’ve done well

What do your customers appreciate about you? What positive feedback have you received? This is not about “tooting your horn”, it’s more about expanding on the positives and letting prospective customers know that others have had a great experience with you. It may be along the lines of “87% of our customers got a positive result”, or “We’ve helped 2,125 people get a better night’s sleep” or something similar.

People will always believe a third party endorsement over something you say about yourself, so take the opportunity to share the positive feedback you receive (with the permission of those who gave you the feedback of course).

4. Profile a customer, detail their journey with a case study

Add to the authenticity of your business brand by writing a profile of one of your valued customers. Tell the customer’s story, it helps to humanise your business. A case study shows the before, during and after of your product or service. It clearly details what the customer’s initial problem was, the alternatives they considered and why they chose you. You have the opportunity to demonstrate the way you went about helping the customer and how their life has been changed by your product or service. If possible, ask your customer for a brief video testimonial to include in the post and share on social media – video is very powerful.

5. Tell your story

There is a multitude of ways you can tell the story of your business and share your experiences. You might like to tell your customers how you came to be in business, share some important lessons you’ve learned or detail how your industry is changing. Profiling your staff members can also help build trust, demonstrate your knowledge and detail your industry experience. All this helps build your authority and influences your potential customers to buy from you.

 

This article has outlined just a few ways you can generate blog post ideas for your business. Adding regular fresh content to your website can help attract more business. If you need help to ensure you maintain a regular blog posting schedule, this article may help.

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 over 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.

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.

 

 

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 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.

 

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. 

Page 1 of 212