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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.

 

Business review, how to stay on track in business, update your business plan, review your business, Professional Writer

Is it time for a Business Review?

Your Business Review is due

What’s in focus for your business over the next 6 months? Not sure? It’s time for a business review.

Yes, we’re almost halfway through 2017! I don’t know where the first six months of this year disappeared to, but July is almost upon us.

Why undertake a Business Review?

With this in mind, I’ve recently undertaken a business review of The Professional Writer. In order to move forward effectively and strive to improve, I believe it’s important to first reflect on the year so far. This includes going over the incredible highs and a few lows of the past 6 months so I can focus on capitalising on what’s really working and come up with a strategy to address a few of the challenges I’m experiencing (we all have them, don’t we?!).

Reviewing your business performance stops you from becoming complacent or just muddling along hoping everything will be okay… yes, most of us have been there too. Sure, I review my figures and outcomes on a monthly basis, but a six monthly business review provides me with more information and a bigger picture perspective of where the business is headed.

A Business Review can set you up for success

Success in life, and in business, isn’t just about having the right skill set or certain qualifications, it’s about having the resilience to bounce back when things don’t work out as planned. A business review provides the opportunity to take a good look at what went wrong and either view it as a defeat or see it as a chance to improve.

Action is key

Business success is also based on taking action. All the planning in the world will be ineffective if no action is taken. Don’t wait for everything to be perfect, as this can result in long delays. By taking imperfect action, you’re setting the wheels in motion. You can always change direction later if what you’ve done isn’t working.

Setting your intention

What is your intention for your business in the next 6 months? What do you want to achieve? As part of my business review and business plan, I’ll be confirming my intentions by setting a number of distinct goals for myself and my business, as well as targets for my budget and statistics. If I don’t do this, I know I’ll just be muddling along, working hard in my business and suddenly, it will be December and I won’t have achieved everything I could have.

Doing a business review has the capacity to reinforce your confidence, help determine your direction while working towards achieving important outcomes –  and set you up for success.

How’s your business travelling so far this year? Is it time for you to do a business review too?

The Professional Writer - Lyndall Guinery-Smith

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.

 

 

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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.

Networking, How to grow your business through networking, networking for success, networking to win, professional writer, Lyndall Guinery-Smith

Networking tips to help grow your business

Building a strong network has proven a successful tool in growing my business. I’ve found networking to be much more effective than any advertising I’ve done, and have secured many lucrative contracts through people I’ve met at networking events.

Australia’s networking queen, Robyn Henderson of Networking to Win says, “Not only is networking an essential life skill, it’s also the most basic business tool in today’s competitive market. Networking will account for more than 87% of all business in the marketplace.”

If you need a printer, a designer, a mechanic or new hairdresser, do you think about people you know first? I know I do! I will resort to using Google or a local search only if I don’t already know someone who can do the job. So, who do you know?

I know a lot of people shy away from networking, perhaps because they themselves are shy. However, it’s important to remember that everyone is there for the same reason – to expand their network, learn and help each other, and grow their business.

Paying money to go along and eat a meal while you listen to a guest speaker is NOT effective networking! Meeting and connecting with other people is what it’s all about – so be sure to tap into your communication skills to make those connections.

Following are 9 tips for those starting out in networking:

  1. Decide why you’re networking

Are you attending to grow your network –

Would you like to meet influencers in your industry?

Do you want to get to know other business owners in your geographic area?

Are you there to learn more about business from the guest speaker?

  1. Choose the right networking event to go to

Do some research and work out which event your target audience attends, or which is most beneficial to those in your industry.

  1. Arrive early

In my experience, I’ve mingled and had the most interesting conversations at the beginning of networking events, before everyone sits down. There’s not much point in rushing in late and being flustered, so take the time to plan your day and arrange to be there early – or at least on time.

  1. Go with a positive attitude

It’s important to embrace a positive attitude towards attending the event. It’s much better to smile and be ready to meet new people than to go with the attitude that it’s simply a waste of time.

  1. Don’t be too eager

Hold off on handing out your business cards until you’ve at least had a conversation those you meet. Try asking a question about the other person’s business and listen to their answer before you launch into your own spiel. Showing interest in others can offer win their favour.

  1. Be sincere and authentic

While we all want to make a good impression, it’s important to take an interest in others, not just try to see what you can get for yourself.  People can tell when you’re being sincere – and when you’re not, so relax and be yourself. Use your best communication skills, and if you ask a question, take the time to listen to their answer with interest.

  1. Gather business cards from the people you meet

After you’ve met and chatted for a while, do ask people for their card, then offer yours in return. Make sure you take enough business cards or promotional materials to hand out so people will remember you and know how to contact you.

  1. Don’t overstep the mark

If someone gives you their business card, this does NOT give you permission to add them to your mailing list. You could send a follow up email with an invitation for them to subscribe, then it’s up to them whether they wish to opt in or not. If you add people to your mailing list without their permission, it is spamming – and certainly not a great way to win their business.

  1. Follow up

After the event, it’s important to follow up. A simple email in the days following the event (within 48 hours is ideal), allows you to touch base with those you’ve met in a non-threatening way.  So few people actually do this, so it does leave an impression and lets your new contacts know you’re interested in them. You could also offer to connect on LinkedIn or follow them on other social media.

Bonus tip:

Show up regularly! Networking is much more effective when you attend events regularly and get to know the other people who go along. Once you’ve established a relationship with other people in the group, it’s much easier for them to trust you with their business.

Whether you’re a B2B or B2C business, you may well find that networking can expand your horizons, increase your contacts and bring in more 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.

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.

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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.

 

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.

Simple Company Profile tips, Company Profile writing tips, Professional Writer, How to write a Company Profile, Company profile help, small business marketing, Lyndall Guinery-Smith

7 Simple Company Profile tips for struggling marketers

These 7 simple Company Profile tips may be helpful if you’re struggling with what to include and what to leave out of this important document. The tips are designed for a multi-page Company Profile, such as those used by many business in the construction, cleaning and real estate industries, just to name a few.

Following are 7 Simple Company Profile tips for struggling marketers

  1. Identify your ideal customer

Before you start writing your content, it’s important to know who you’re targeting and what they’re looking for. Just who is your ideal customer? Assume they know nothing about your company. You need to include some basic information about what you do, where you’re located and the cost of your products of services.

  1. Know the problem you solve

Clearly define the problem you solve for your customers (think big picture here) and outline how you solve it. For example, if you’re a portrait photographer, you don’t just take photos, you capture the essence of the person you’re photographing and help them portray their best side.

  1. Start with a benefit

Many businesses start their Company Profile with a boring company history. There’s a saying in marketing – “Nobody cares who you are until you tell them what you can do for them”. If you start with an introduction outlining what you do for your customers, and your passion for your business/products/services, you’re more likely to have an engaged audience.

  1. K.I.S.S. – Keep It Short and Simple

Most people are time poor and don’t want to read screeds of information. They just want to know a little bit about you to ascertain whether they want to do business with you. It’s important to give them the opportunity to get to know, like & trust you, but you don’t need loads and loads of information to do this. The aim of a Company Profile is to get the reader interested in doing business with you. They need the basics, written in a way which engages them and has them wanting to know more about you.

  1. Use an index and topic headings

A list of topics and page numbers at the front of the document will help your readers to quickly locate the information they’re looking for. Of course, you hope they will read the entire document. However this is rarely the case, so use topic headings to make it easy for your readers to scan.

  1. Use visuals

Use photos of yourself, your staff and your business premises if appropriate. This is another important step in your readers getting to know, like and trust you. People do business with people and using photos is a great way to form a connection with prospective clients. Using diagrams, maps and illustrations, where appropriate, can also be very helpful.

  1. Map it out

Where to start? Grab a piece of paper or a blank document and start with an outline of the topics you need to cover. It doesn’t have to be perfect, just write it all down and you can add or delete later. Then add information to expand on each of the topics.

I certainly hope these 7 simple Company Profile tips have helped you write a better profile which gets noticed by your prospective customers.  However, if you feel you’re in need of professional help with writing an outstanding Company Profile, please feel free to email me at any time.

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 may also like:

Building the Know, Like & Trust Factor: Getting Known Online

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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.

 

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