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.

If you found these tips helpful, please like and/or share with your business associates or LinkedIn connections.

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.

 

Lyndall Guinery-Smith, owner of The Professional Writer, business writerHi, 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 found these tips helpful, please like and/or share with your business associates or LinkedIn connections.

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. 

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.

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.

Generate content, Content ideas, blog post ideas, professional writer

Generate content your readers will love – 5 tips

Not sure how to generate content for your blog posts? Are you one of those small business owners who doesn’t write blog posts or post updates to social media because you’re not sure what to write?

Are you one of those small business owners who doesn’t write blog posts or post updates to social media because you’re not sure what to write?

You know how much good website content can help your Google ranking and how social media can influence people to buy from you, yet you still don’t post because you don’t feel confident your posts will be read …

Here are 5 ways you can generate content your readers and customers will love.

  1. Start a conversation with your customers. Ask them:

  • What do they like about your products or service?
  • Why do they come to you?
  • What problem do you solve for them?
  • What helps them make their buying decisions?
  • Think about your FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions. What are you asked regularly?
  • If you already have a Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest page, ask readers what they like, what they don’t like and what they want more of
  1. Ask your suppliers for information you can share

Your readers want to know, like and trust you and your products before they will commit to buying. What information can you share with them which will build confidence in you and the brands you sell? Suppliers and manufacturers are often a mine of information regarding their products and services, including photos, case studies and other various types of information. Be sure to let the supplier know what you want the information for and get their permission to share it.

  1. Brainstorm content ideas

Get together with your staff, business associates or a group of friends. Take care to include people who are similar to your target audience so that the information is more relevant to your customers. Have a list of questions ready before the session, so that you can get the discussion flowing. Make a list of issues they raise, questions they ask and this will result in topics which you can write about.

  1. Check out what your competition is doing, and do it better

One good thing about websites and social media is that they make it easy to stalk your competition. Why not check out what they’re doing – they will probably do the same to you. Make sure you don’t just copy their tactics – work out how you can offer something better or capitalise on your point of difference.

  1. Remember the 80/20 rule when it comes to generating content

80% of your content needs to be light-hearted – informative, case studies, story-telling, amusing and/or confidence building. ONLY 20% of your posts should be directly selling a product or making an offer to your readers. Social media needs to be just that – SOCIAL. It’s not SELLING media. Readers get turned off very quickly if all you post are BUY FROM ME messages. Remember they’re only a click away from unfollowing you.

I hope these tips have given you some ideas on how to generate content your readers will love.

 

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.

Real estate headlines that work

How to write Real Estate headlines that work

Want more buyers at your Open Homes? Yes? If you want to get more buyers through the door, you may need to work on your ad writing skills, particularly your headlines. Headline writing is a critical skill for all Real Estate agents.

The headline is vital in engaging the buyer’s interest in a property. You only have a few seconds to capture the reader’s attention and the headline makes that all-important first impression.

Don’t underestimate the power of the headline. In fact, up to 80% of people won’t read past the headline – unless it grabs their attention!

These days, most Australian Real Estate advertising is placed online on portals such as RealEstate.com and Domain.com, as well as agent’s websites. With time-poor readers and a vast range of other properties drawing the reader’s attention, you must ensure your headlines are captivating, effective and clickable.

The purpose of your headline is to clearly communicate the main benefit of the property, while establishing an emotional connection to the home. Your headline should help readers visualise what it’s like to live in this home, which can establish their emotional attachment to the property.

Here are 7 top tips for writing Real Estate headlines that work: 

Know your audience

Who are you trying to attract? What type of lifestyle do they aspire to? Write the headline (and the body copy) with these buyers in mind.

Marry your headline with your photo

There’s no point in using a shot of the front of the house if the outdoor area and pool is the main selling point. A great lifestyle shot of the outdoor area/pool will do much more to attract a prospective buyer. Some agents even write their ad first, then have the photos taken to match their copy.

Keep it brief

The most effective headlines are 8 words or less, and you’re often limited with space on Real Estate websites. Use the KISS principle – Keep it Short and Simple!

Don’t try to be clever

Unless you were a professional copywriter in your previous life, don’t try to be clever or play on words, it rarely works. Readers will scan your headline, so it needs to convey your message clearly and simply. If they scan it and don’t “get it” on the first read, they may not bother to read it a second time.

Ask a question

You may wish to pose a question in your headline, but only use one which you know your prospects will say YES to!

Write more than one headline

Try writing at least five different headlines, then ask someone else which one they think works best – show them the photo if you already have it.

Keep a swipe file

Study the headlines that work for you and others. Make a note of them and keep a file just for headline ideas. This can provide future inspiration, and save you loads of time – and money!

 

Try these professional tips. They’ll help you write better headlines and draw more attention to the properties you have for sale or the article you’re writing.

If you’d like more tips on Real Estate copywriting, try this article – Top 5 Real Estate copywriting tips from a property copywriting veteran.

If you have any questions, please email me via my Contact Page.

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