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

How to Write to Engage your Readers

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

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

Identify your audience

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

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

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

What’s your message?

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

Create useful content

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

Which communication channel should you use?

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

Formatting

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

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

Use visuals!

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

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

Edit, edit, edit

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

Does your document engage readers?

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

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

Be sure to make the final tweaks, then PUBLISH!

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

You may also enjoy these topics:

How website content helps generate sales

Tips on creating an Ideal Client Profile

Becoming known online

The Professional Writer - Lyndall

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

Staff profiles, meet the team, how to write staff profiles, website content, Professional Writer

Staff Profiles – Why your clients need to Meet the Team

Most websites have an About Us page which provides an overview of the business and what it offers, as well as a brief profile of the business owner, founder or CEO. This information is important to your readers, as people often buy or do business with those they know, like and trust. Haven’t you Googled a business before contacting them??  However, many small businesses are neglecting an opportunity to connect with readers through including staff profiles on their website. Let’s delve a little deeper into staff profiles …

Staff Profiles make a great first impression

Including staff profiles or a “Meet the Team” page on your website is a great way for potential clients to feel welcome and get to know you. It’s often the first step in the “know, like and trust” process and can help you establish and build relationships with your clients.

When potential clients take the step from reading your website to either calling or visiting your business, who will they encounter? Unless you’re a one-man-band, one of your team members will meet, greet and assist that customer. So, imagine if the reader had already been introduced to Belinda, your receptionist, or Brad in sales through their staff profiles. Do you think this would enhance their first impression of your business?

Which team members should have staff profiles?

Who in your team is client-facing? They are the ones you must profile. Depending on the size of your team, you may wish to profile only the key members who interact with clients. If you only have a few staff, it’s a great idea to profile everyone, as it makes your team appear large.

Sure, it takes a small investment of time and money to write and upload the staff profiles, but the benefits far outweigh this minimal cost.

How often should staff profiles be updated?

Keeping your website content up to date is vital. Be sure to write a fresh profile when new team members arrive and delete profiles of staff who have moved on, particularly if they’ve gone to the competition!

For long-term staff, consider updating their profiles every 1-2 years to include qualifications and experience they’ve gathered in that time.  Naturally, staff profiles need to be updated when a team member is promoted. The new profile must reflect their new position and responsibilities.

Why should we include photos?

While some people don’t enjoy having their photo taken, including a quality headshot next to each team member’s profile is a great way for clients to recognise them when they meet face-to-face.  It’s also part of the “know, like and trust” factor. Ensure the headshot you use is recent and actually looks like the person being profiled. Glamour shots are best reserved for personal social media accounts.

Staff Profiles can help boost your team’s esteem

Including your staff members in the company’s marketing can help empower them both individually and as a team. Having a staff profile of each employee on your website is a great opportunity to enhance your company’s team spirit and make each person feel they are a valuable part of your team. It also provides them with the chance to briefly tell the story of their experience, qualifications and specialities – and how they help clients.

A great way to display your team’s capacity

By including staff profiles on your website, you’re able to show the size and capacity of your team. It also allows you to demonstrate the cross-section of skills, capabilities and interests amongst your team members. Profiles can be as formal, friendly and approachable or quirky as you like – but they must truly reflect your brand.

It’s about showing your human side

Staff profiles allow each person to show their human side and to be relatable. Using a conversational tone allows the reader to get to know them, their values and what sets them apart, which helps to build a picture of the individual.

This opens the lines of communication so that people feel more comfortable to reach out, ask a question or walk into your premises. This could be the start of a fruitful long-term relationship with your client!

 

Now I’ve provided the above tips for including staff profiles on your website, I hope I’ve convinced you to introduce your team members to your clients. If you need assistance with writing your staff profiles, I can help. Simply email me and let me know what type of business you’re in and how many team members you have, then I’ll provide a quote. Or we can set up a time to chat on the phone if you prefer.

The Professional Writer - Lyndall

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

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

Are you making these mistakes when writing blog posts?

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

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

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

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

1. Failing to plan and outline before writing

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

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

2. Not thinking about your reader

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

3. Using jargon or buzz words

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

4. Not correcting spelling, punctuation and grammar mistakes

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

5. Not correcting typos

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

6. Posting paragraph after paragraph of text

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

7. Using too many different fonts

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

8. Rambling on 

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

9. Forgetting to use images or diagrams

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

10. Not tying into your brand

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

 

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

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

About Us page, How to write an About Us page, help writing About Us page, Professional Writer, About Us page tips

How your About Us Page can help win business

Did you know that on most websites, the About Us page is the second most visited page – after the Home page? There’s a good reason for this. The majority of readers want to know who is behind the business and find out who they’re dealing with before they’re willing to commit to buying your product or service.

So, what does your About Us Page say about your business? What story does it tell? Does it capture the true essence of your business and help you to engage your customers? If not, perhaps it’s time for an About Us Page makeover!

Want to tell your REAL story on your About Us page?

Who are you targeting? Who is your ideal customer?

First and foremost, it’s important to know exactly who you are trying to attract. If you think your target market is anyone reading your website, you may want to consider narrowing your audience.

For example, if you sell upmarket baby goods, your target market is not just anyone reading your website. Your primary target market could be pregnant women aged between 20-40, with an income of $75,000+. Because you sell UPMARKET baby goods, your target market would not be anyone looking for baby items – your market is much more specific than that.

Of course, not all businesses have such a narrow focus, however, having a good understanding of exactly who you are targeting is vital if you want to truly connect with your specific readers – and get them to buy!

What problem do you solve?

What product or services does your business offer which can help solve their problem?

You need to not only tell readers that your business solves their problem – but also HOW you go about it. Outline your point of difference and detail how you offer friendly advice, superior after-sales service or whatever is relevant to your offering and the reader’s needs.

What does your ideal customer want to know?

It’s important to know why a reader/potential customer has come to your site. What do they want to know about you and your business? Do they want to connect with you in some way before they buy? If so, it’s a good idea to use a friendly and approachable tone in your About Us copy and encourage them to get in touch with you via your contact page, social media channels, email or phone.

Tell your readers who you really are

A lot of business owners hide behind their company name, while readers want to know who is behind the business. Introduce yourselves, mention the names of the owners and key staff members where appropriate, so readers know who they are dealing with.

ALWAYS use photos

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – photos are important. People connect with – and BUY from – people. By adding a photo of the business owners or the whole team, and your premises or company vehicle allows the reader to gain a greater understanding of your business.

Show your personality

If you want to set your business apart from your competitors, your About Us page needs to show the true personality of your business.

  • Outline your core values, mission and vision for the business
  • Tell readers what you’re great at – without sounding too boastful
  • Detail your background, experience and areas of expertise, and that of your team
  • Outline some of the types of customers you’ve already helped in your business
  • Detail any involvement you have in the local community or with charitable organisations
  • Use a little bit of humour if it’s appropriate to your industry and business
  • All this can help readers relate to you and your business. Readers want confirmation that you are their best choice.

Tell them your WHY

If you started the business, why did you set it up? Or if you bought the business, why did you choose that particular business? What drives you? What’s your motivation?

Telling the reader WHY you do what you do demonstrates your passion and interest, and is another way to be relatable.

 

By incorporating some or all of the above information into your About Us page, you’ll increase your chances of engaging your readers and have more influence over their buying decisions.

Now that you’ve read these tips, you may want to review or rewrite your About Us page. If you need professional assistance to write an engaging About Us page which helps you win more business, feel free to contact me – I’m happy to help.

 

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

 

Educate your customers, small business marketing, engage customers, the professional writer

Educate your customers and inspire them to buy from you

Take the time to educate your customers – it will be worth it!

Every buying decision is a choice, whether it’s buying a tube of toothpaste, purchasing a pram for a newborn baby or engaging an architect to design your dream home.

Sometimes the choice is made quickly, other times, it takes time to build the “Know, Like and Trust Factor” to a point where the customer knows you are the ideal choice.  If you take the time to educate your customers, you’re well on the way to engaging them and building a relationship with them.

Offering information which is valuable during the decision-making process often leads to an influx of those “ready to buy” customers.  You can do this by posting regular informative blog posts on your website, giving out brochures or booklets containing information to assist your customers or by speaking with people face-to-face to educate them on your products or services – or something related to your business which adds value to the client.

Who are your ideal clients?

By accurately identifying who your ideal clients are, as well as what they want and need, you can target your marketing specifically to them.

What’s their problem?

Find out what your ideal customer’s problem is. Tell them that they have a problem – they may not even know it yet.

What are you really good at?

What do you do best? It’s a great idea to choose a niche and stick to it. Become the expert in your industry or a particular area of it. Tell a compelling and inspiring story.

Be sure to share your knowledge and expertise with your customers and let people know you are the industry/niche expert. That way, they’re more likely to think of you and choose you when they’re ready to buy.

Do you educate your customers?

Who are your ideal customers? What do they know? What don’t they know?

Once you’ve established their knowledge, or lack of knowledge, in your area of expertise, be sure to add value by educating them and displaying your industry expert status. Tell them an interesting story. Show them the people you’ve helped, who are just like them. 

How can you help your customers?

Clearly demonstrate how you solve their problem and how you can make their life easier. Outline the promise you make to them. Detail what’s in it for them!

By providing relevant information about how you can solve their problem and potentially improve their life, you’re adding value and inspiring them toward a buying decision.

Prove it!

By using testimonials, case studies, social media comments and any other relevant feedback you receive from your past clients, you can show your ability to produce the desired outcomes. Prove your ability to do a good job for them.

Showcase your products and services

There are many ways to showcase your products or services to your ideal clients. Perhaps you display at trade shows or expos, or your expertise is best displayed through a case study.  The way you convey your message really depends on who your ideal client is, and how they prefer to receive information. By profiling your ideal clients, you can establish the most appropriate methods to demonstrate how your products or services solve their problem.

There’s a reason this point is last on the list. It’s because your marketing will be less effective if you try to push your products or services before you show the customer what’s in it for them. Engage, educate and connect with them first. Outline how you can help them before doing the “sell job” on them. If you educate your customers very well, you won’t even need to sell to them. They will come to you with the knowledge they need to make an informed buying decision. Congratulations, you’ve inspired them to buy from 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 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.

 

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.

How to connect with your ideal client, small business marketing, marketing, professional writer, Professional writer, small business marketing, Lyndall Guinery-Smith

11 ways to connect with your ideal client

If you’ve taken the time to identify your target market, you’ll want your marketing message to truly connect with your ideal client.  Whether you’re writing website copy, a blog post, article or advertisement, you must write with your reader in mind if you want to make a connection with them.

Here are some tips to help you make that connection and win more business:

  1. It’s all about relationships

Where would your business be without clients or customers? Things would be pretty quiet and you’d soon be closing the doors – that’s for sure. So, the ability to connect with your ideal client, then establish and maintain great relationships with them must be a priority – and it should be your end goal. This means being friendly and approachable right from the very beginning.

If you start out with a view to building relationships, you’re more likely to be successful. You know what they say – start with the end in mind.

 

  1. Know who your ideal clients are

Firstly, you need to get to know as much as possible about your ideal clients. Whether you have an established business or you’re just starting out, having a clear definition of your target market is essential. You can profile your market by preparing Ideal Client Profiles (ICPs) or Client Avatars. These profiles provide a precise understanding of who you’re targeting and may contain information such as your ideal client’s age group, sex, marital status, income bracket, where they live, eat, work and play, their hobbies and any other relevant information.

Talk to your current customers, ask them about their lives and what brought them into your business (instead of your competition). You can use this information to draw others in. If you’re just starting out, speak with people who are in your target market to find out more about their needs and wants. This information will provide vital clues in helping you to connect with your ideal client.

 

  1. Understand what your ideal client wants

Find out – What keeps them awake at night? What problem can you solve for them? What do they really want from you?

Don’t assume… Ask them. You may be surprised at the answers.

Use the information you gather to direct your marketing copy square at their concerns. By doing this, you will make them feel as though you are speaking directly to them and this definitely helps you to connect with your ideal client.

 

  1. Tell your story, but make it about the client too

About Us pages and Company Profiles can sometimes be dull and boring for your readers. While it’s important to provide some background details about the business, you need to find a way to weave in stories about how you help customers and the outcomes you’ve achieved on their behalf. They want to know about you, but they also want to know what you can do for them before they will commit to buying from you. Remember the old W.I.I.F.M…. What’s in it for me?

 

  1. Connect with your ideal client by being relevant and authentic

What kinds of questions do your customers regularly ask you? What’s important to them? What’s relevant to them? You may want to consider these issues before you start writing.

It’s also important to be true to your brand. Some small businesses try to replicate the style of another brand and that can sometimes come off as being inauthentic. Be careful copying…It’s rarely a good look! Spend some time working out the personality of your business, consider who you’re targeting and address the needs of your audience.

 

  1. Know how and where your customers consume content

Where do you customers find their information? Do they still read the newspaper in print? Do they read their information online? If so, where do they find information online? There’s no point in running expensive ads in a place where your target audience won’t see them.

 

  1. Use language your ideal clients can relate to

Again, think about your readers. Who are they? What’s their level of education?  Think about their expectations of your business and whether you wish to portray yourself as a polished professional organisation or a family-run, friendly and approachable local business.  The language used in your writing will be quite different in either situation.

 

  1. Offer assistance

A great way to connect with your ideal clients is to be generous in your offer to help them. Sure, there will be occasions where you help someone and get nothing out of it, but you’ll come out of it smelling like roses. Who knows, you might even get their business in the future.

Remember, people want to know, like and trust you before they will do business with you, and helping them out in a small way is often a great method of establishing a relationship quickly.

 

  1. Welcome your new clients

Thank your new clients for entrusting you with their business and be sure to make them feel welcome. It really depends on what your business is, but some companies have a “Welcome Pack” with information and/or samples for new customers to try. Think outside the box and see what you can come up with.

 

  1. Add value

Try to do that little bit extra – it will make you stand out from your competitors. As Dr. Wayne Dyer said, “It’s never crowded along the extra mile!” Deliver on your deadline a day or two early, provide a little something extra with their order or provide a discount on next order.

 

  1. Deliver on your promises and provide a great customer experience

It doesn’t matter what you say in your marketing, once you’ve secured the client, you actually have to deliver the experience you promised them. If you can’t deliver, then don’t make the promises up front!

Testimonials and endorsements from happy clients who’ve experienced your amazing product or service are a great way to demonstrate that you will deliver on your promises. Remember to ask your clients to review your products and provide testimonials about your awesome service. Most people are happy to have their say. If you’ve provided a great experience, you should get some wonderful feedback. There will always be someone who doesn’t like something you’ve done, but it’s how you react that matters. If the comment is on social media, it’s important to reply in a civil manner and offer to remedy the situation publicly.

 

I hope these tips help you to truly connect with your ideal client.

 

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.

Ideal Client Profile, Create an ideal customer profile, client avatars, small business marketing tips, professional writer, small business marketing, Lyndall Guinery-Smith

How to create an Ideal Client Profile

Is your marketing attracting loads of new clients into your business? Would you like to get more engagement from your customers? An Ideal Client Profile may be the answer!

Do you actually know who your target market is? If you said “everyone”, you ‘re probably wasting valuable time and money. Instead of trying to market to everyone with generic messages, you’re more likely to see results if you narrow your focus and target specific clients – your most profitable clients! You can do this by addressing their pain points.

Your marketing message needs to resonate with your audience, as if you are speaking directly to the individual, which motivates them to buy from you. You want the reader to say, “Yes, that’s me… I need your help!”

By profiling your ideal clients, you will ensure you are communicating value to them, so their purchasing decision becomes less about cost and more about how you can help solve their problem.  This makes them a hot prospect, who is often ready to buy as soon as they make contact with you.

Think about who you are talking to with your marketing messages. This can be done by creating Ideal Client Profiles (ICPs) or Avatars.

An ICP is the collation of detailed information about your clients/customers, such as their wants, needs and habits.

Why create an Ideal Client Profile?

Let’s say I have a professional home cleaning business. Is everyone my ideal client? No, they’re not. Maybe we could say that all working Mums are our target market, but you can narrow it down further, as not all working Mums would want or need a cleaner on a regular basis.

If you have an existing business, base your Ideal Client Profile on one of your most profitable REAL customers, rather than a fictional character. This is important, as only real people can respond to your marketing and provide you with feedback so you know you’re on the right track.

My ideal client is Jane:

  • Married mother of 3 children
  • Works as an office manager for a professional services firm
  • Lives in a suburb my business services
  • Combined household income of $120,000 per annum
  • On weekends, the family enjoy a busy social life and children’s sport activities
  • She is a conscientious Mum who wants the best for her family
  • Jane doesn’t enjoy cleaning the house

This quick outline of my ICP shows that my ideal client is a busy working Mum who has the desired level of income and the motivation to hire my firm to do her cleaning.

You may have more than one type of ideal client, particularly if you have more than one product or service, so an number of ICPs may be required.

You can just start with a basic profile, and it can be revised and updated on an ongoing basis.

How to gather the information for your Ideal Client Profile

Some business owners put off preparing ICPs because they’re unsure where to find the right information.

For established businesses, it’s simple – ASK your customers! Talk to the, offer them an incentive to take a short survey or get them engaged with questions on social media.

If you’re launching a new business, you really need to know who your target market is up front. You could think of a friend or a number of people who epitomise the type of clients you want to work with. You can then create an imaginary person from a combination of these traits.

What to ask

There’s some basic demographics every business will need to know, then there are hundreds of behavioural variables which can come into play, depending on the market you’re targeting.

Some of the basic demographics are:
  • Age group
  • Gender
  • Occupation
  • Income bracket
  • Marital status
  • Number of children or no children
  • Life stage they are currently in
  • Academic background
  • Location
  • Holiday locations
  • Social activities
  • Sports and hobbies
  • Pet ownership status
  • What do they read? Where do they read it – online or print?
  • Which social media channels do they favour?
  • Wants and needs
  • Likes and dislikes
  • Short and long term goals
  • Motivations
  • Challenges
  • What keeps them awake at night?
If you’re an established business, it’s also important to find out:
  • How did they become your client? Referral, advertising, etc.?
  • What they bought from you
  • How often they purchase your product/s or service
  • Why do they buy from you?
  • What do they expect from your product/s or service?
  • What do they like or dislike about your product/s or service?
  • How do they use your product/s?
  • What is your point of difference in their eyes?
  • What is the basis of their purchasing decision?

Some people add a stock photo to their client profiles, so they can literally “picture” the person they are targeting in their marketing. If you’re a new business, you may need to use a stock photo, or a photo of a friend who fits your ideal client profile, until you’ve built a client base and you have a real client you can use to model your marketing on.

By taking the time to create an ICP, or a number of ICPs in this way, you’ll find you have a much more specific definition of your ideal customer. This will help you target them more effectively and gain greater return on your marketing investment.

Engaging your ideal client with your marketing

If you want your marketing to engage your ideal client, it’s vital to consider the information gathered in your Ideal Client Profile. Think about where your ideal client finds information – is it online or offline? Which publications (if any) do they read regularly? What are they searching for? What are their motivations? All these questions (and more) will determine whether your marketing message is successful.

Write as though you are speaking directly to that one particular person you’ve profiled in your ICP. By doing this, you’re aiming to form a personal connection with the prospective client and “warm them up” to buy from you.

When writing your marketing copy, it’s important to address:

  • Their pain points – what keeps them awake at night?
  • What issues do they need to overcome? Why do they need your product or service?
  • Tell them how your product or service can help solve their problem
  • Provide a clear call to action – tell them what you want them to do next

 

I hope the above tips on writing an Ideal Client Profile have been informative. The tips have been designed to help you to improve your marketing and bring more clients and customers into your business.

 

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.

ways to stay ahead in small business, small business marketing tips, small business help, professional writer, Lyndall Guinery-Smith

7 ways to stay ahead in small business

Looking to stay ahead in small business?

Being a business owner can be lots of fun, but it can also be tough. It’s easy to get into a bit of a rut when you just keep on doing what you do, day in day out. If you really want to stay ahead in small business, taking a step out of your everyday worklife can sometimes be the most beneficial thing to do.

Keep Learning

We all need to stay on a journey of continuous learning and development, or we can quickly get stale.

Taking time out to learn new skills and techniques, and to catch up on what’s new in your industry is essential to your own development and that of your business. Attending conferences, expos, seminar and industry events can be a great opportunity to bring home new ideas and tips that will be of great benefit to your bottom line.

Read industry publications and industry-related blogs to keep up-to-date with the latest news and developments.

Form a team

The most successful businesspeople gather a network of supporters around them – people who are experts in their field and who are great at what they do. If there’s a particular part of your business which causes you headaches (or heart ache), maybe it’s time to delegate that task to an employee or outsource it. Whether you’re a solo operator or head of a team, you can’t do it all – ask for help from those in the know, and then get on with doing what you’re best at.

Don’t forget the most important supporters of all – your family, friends and business associates. The people who care about you want you to succeed and will often lend their support to you and your business, whether it’s a referral or recommendation to their network, or a listening ear when you just need someone to talk to.

Share

Share your knowledge and experience with your customers and staff. This includes the information you learn at events and through reading. Facts, figures, the latest industry trends and points of interest can be shared verbally when speaking directly with customers, or through your newsletter or blog posts. This illustrates your authority and shows you have a passion for what you do.

Nurture relationships

The success or failure of your business could well depend on the quality of your relationships. The ability to attract, engage and build relationships with customers is vital, and being willing and able to listen to your stakeholders, as well as what’s going on in your industry is very important.

Of course, we’d all love a large group of raving fans, who return to our business time after time, but to do this, we need to nurture those relationships by finding a way to make customers feel appreciated and included.

Manage your time

Yes, we’re all busy, but those who are successful in business have the same number of hours in the day as those who are struggling. Formulate a plan for the day – I often do this at the end of the previous day. Prioritise your tasks and do the hardest thing (or something you really would rather not do) first thing in the morning. This makes the rest of the day a breeze!

Learn to say NO sometimes

Whether it’s the demands of clients, staff, suppliers or other people, sometimes we need to be assertive and just say “No”. You don’t have to be rude about it, and of course, you would never want to offend, but taking on too much often brings poor results and that’s worse than saying no in the first place! Saying a polite “No” can be great for your sanity.

Take a break

While it can be easy to just keep meeting the demands of your business, it’s also important to take a break, or it could lead to burnout.

Taking holidays can be particularly challenging for small business owners, particularly solo operators. You may consider getting a Virtual Assistant to manage your work while you’re away, or simply inform your clients you’re taking a week or two off.

If that seems too much, try taking a break during the day to exercise, meditate or go to lunch outside the office, take a day off, a long weekend off or a mini-break of 3-4 days away from your work – preferably somewhere quiet and relaxing. From my own personal experience, a mini-break can be very beneficial to your mental health!

If you find it difficult to switch off and relax, use the time to reflect and regroup on your business, formulate a new business plan or develop a new product or service.

 

I hope these quick and easy tips have helped you think about how you can stay ahead in small business.

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.

 

Page 1 of 41234