winning business awards, how to write a business award application, how to win a business award, professional writer, help writing award application, business award writer, business award application writer

Winning Business Awards – Top Professional Tips

There’s no doubt that winning business awards can do wonders for your business. Winning can boost morale amongst yourself and your employees – plus it can be fabulous for publicity, brand awareness and your profile. There’s a range of reasons you should enter.

A lot of businesses have the capacity to win an award. However, most business owners will never complete the entry process. If, as the saying goes, “80% of success in life is just showing up”, entering a business award can be your way of showing up!

A winning business awards entry tells the story of your business and how it evolved, without doing the “hard sell”. Answering the questions can sometimes be quite tricky. See the process as an opportunity to undertake a mini audit of your business.

Following are 11 professional tips for winning business awards:

  • Check the website and download all the questions and information you’ll need to complete your application
  • Carefully check whether your business qualifies for the awards. Which category best applies to your business?
  • Keep it clear, concise and ensure you answer the question being asked – don’t ramble on with unrelated information, no matter how great you think it sounds!
  • It’s important to let the judges know about your achievements and milestones – be sure the highlight them in the application
  • Note the word limit. Most online forms will cut off after you reach the word limit
  • Some sections of the application may be split up between judges, so don’t assume you’ve already covered a particular subject if the question is asking for the information again
  • In a winning business awards application, your financial records will need to show increasing profits which prove your financial success
  • Showcase your innovation and explain how you’ve offered something new to the market or your customers
  • Community involvement and charity work is often high on the judge’s agenda – include details on all your activities in this area
  • Don’t just copy and paste from your website or marketing materials – tailor your answers to suit the question being asked
  • DON’T complete your application at the last minute!

Perhaps most importantly …

Your application will require time and effort – be prepared to spend time on it. Try chunking the application down into sections and do it over time. Try drafting your answers, then add further information to them later. It may help to know that some substantial award applications take between 10 and 30 hours to complete in full.

What to do next …

If you’re lucky enough to become a finalist, always attend the awards ceremony. It’s a great excuse for a new outfit and a night out, plus a fabulous networking opportunity with potential collaborators.

If you win, be sure to promote the win on your website, on social media, in the local print press and in your marketing. Display the award in your business premises and let your customers know how and why you won the award. You could even put it on your business card or letterhead!

Even being a finalist is a promotional opportunity, as you can use the phrase, “Finalist, XYZ Business Awards 2017” in your marketing. A button can be added to your website, which always looks impressive.

Do you need help?

I hope these tips on winning business awards have inspired you to at least consider entering either local, national or international business awards. For the relatively small amount of effort required to complete the application, the publicity and marketing opportunities you may gain are boundless.

Maybe you’re great at what you do and you’ve achieved some amazing milestones in your business, but writing isn’t your thing. Perhaps you just don’t have the time it takes to complete the award application? I’ve assisted dozens of small businesses in completing business awards applications, several of whom have won those awards! Please feel free to get in touch if I can help you write an awesome award application. I love to see my clients winning business awards!

 

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.

 

enter business awards, why you should enter business awards, help with business award application, professional writer, business award nomination writer

7 Awesome Reasons to Enter Business Awards

If you’ve been in business for at least a year or more, and you’ve experienced growth and success during that time, there are a few good reasons why you should enter business awards…

1. An opportunity to audit your business

The application process itself can be a wonderful opportunity for carrying out a critical analysis of your business. By carrying out the information gathering and evaluation required to complete the application, you may well highlight some areas you excel in or may need to work on.

2. Share your story

As part of the process to enter business awards, you’ll need to tell the story of how your started the business, the essence/soul of your business, the products or services you offer, the market/s you cater to, and your “Why”. Your story should be one which others can relate to and which draws the interest and attention of the judges AND your target customers. The awards provide a platform where you can share this story, so you need to make it as compelling as possible while sticking to the truth.

3. Boost your profile

If you’re looking to raise your profile within your industry, your local community, nationally or possibly internationally, entering a business award is a great way to achieve this. Those businesses who become winners will receive the greatest recognition and subsequent promotion, but the only way to reach that point is to enter! Even if you don’t win, you can leverage the benefit of being able to call yourself a nominee, a finalist or “short-listed for..” in your marketing.

4. Increase your credibility

It’s well known that customers buy from people they know, like and trust. If you want to increase the number of people who know, like and trust you, the awards are a great vehicle, as they show that a third party (the judges) have scrutinised your business and deemed it to be credible and successful.

5. Expand your opportunities

Those who enter business awards have a greater chance of increasing the opportunities available to them. These may include new business, mentoring or forming mastermind groups among contestants. By networking at award events, you may meet other like-minded individuals with whom you can form a strategic alliance or potential customers, suppliers and distributors for your business.

6. Benchmark your business

When you enter business awards, you have the opportunity to benchmark your business against others in your industry, providing valuable information to assist with future direction and potential growth strategies.

7. You can WIN great prizes

There are often fabulous prizes on offer when you enter business awards. These can vary from cash to grants, business services, hampers, wine, other quality products and sometimes even a holiday. Who wouldn’t want to win a holiday?!

Wondering which awards to enter?

There are quite a few awards to choose from. Choosing which one to enter may depend on your industry, and the products or services you offer. Here’s a sample of some national awards which are available to Australian businesses:

Australian Achiever Awards

Anthill Awards

Australian Customer Service Awards

The Australian Small Business Awards

Australian Business Awards

Family Business Australia Awards

Local Business Awards

MyBusiness Awards

Small Business Champion Awards

Smart Company Awards

SME Awards

Telstra Business Awards

Telstra Business Women’s Awards

What about local awards?

Of course, there’s also a range of regional awards run by associations. These include the NSW Business Chamber or your local Chamber of Commerce or your local Business Enterprise Centre.

I hope this information has prompted you to think about how you can enter your organisation in business awards.

Should you require any assistance with answering questions in the application, or writing about your business to portray it in its best light, feel free to drop me a line.

 

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.

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.

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

How to win your customer’s trust

How to win your customer’s trust

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

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

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

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

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

 1. Address Your Audience

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

2.  Be Clear

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

3.  Show Customers How You Help Them

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

4.  Have a page for FAQs

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

5.  Be Authentic

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

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

6.  Be Generous

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

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

7.  Be Consistent

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

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

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

8.  Leverage Social Proof

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

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

9.  Make it easy to contact you

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

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

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

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

 

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

Get customers to like you – 7 top tips

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

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

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

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

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

  1. Be human, be real, be authentic

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

  2. Tell your story

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

  3. Be seen

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

  4. Listen

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

  5. Contribute to the conversation

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

  6. Show your genuine appreciation

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

  7. DON’T SELL

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

How to become known online – 7 top tips

Want to become known online?

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

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

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

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

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

Here are 7 tips to help you become known online:

  1. Know who you’re talking to

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

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

  1. Demonstrate your knowledge

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

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

  1. Create great content

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. Create a blog and post regularly

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

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

  1. Share an expert’s knowledge – interview them

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

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

  1. Network, network, network!

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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 41234