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.

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

Hi, I’m Lyndall Guinery-Smith, The Professional Writer. I write copy dedicated to attracting and engaging your customers – and improving your bottom line. I happily work with clients all 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. Use these Company Profile tips to map out your profile

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.

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

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

 

 

If you enjoyed this article, you may also like:

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

7 tips to engage your readers 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

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.

 

Outstanding Company Profile, company profile contents, company profile template, company profile tips, professional writer, small business marketing, Lyndall Guinery-Smith

How to write an outstanding Company Profile

Are you wondering how to create an outstanding Company Profile that will win more business? You’re not alone! It’s a process I’ve often been asked about in my career as a professional writer.

You may already have a Company Profile, but perhaps it’s not getting the response you require. Or maybe you’re at the starting gates, ready to write and wondering what makes an outstanding Company Profile?

Many of my clients have asked what the perfect Company Profile should contain and the best format to use. The short answer is: There is NO perfect content or format – only the content and format which is ideal for YOUR CLIENTS. If the profile doesn’t appeal directly to your target audience, you’re wasting your time.

The best and most outstanding Company Profiles are always client-focused. Sadly, too many companies write their profile from their own perspective and make assumptions about what the reader wants to know. Sometimes these assumptions are correct, but what if they’re wrong?

If you want to write an outstanding Company Profile, you first need to consider:

Your Clients

It’s important to establish your target audience before you start the process of writing. Exactly who are you aiming the document toward? Who are your clients? What is their level of education?

The answers to these questions will determine the type of information you need to include and the tone and language you use.

What do your clients want to know about your business? When it comes to your products and services, what do they need to know? What are the primary influences in their buying decision?

The best people to ask these questions are … your clients! Do a brief survey. Tell them you’re writing a new, client-focused Company Profile and you’d like their input. If you’ve already been in business for a while, check your clients’ most frequently asked questions – they will tell you the information people are looking for.

Your Company

Please don’t just write a boring Company History. While your story is important, it needs to be brief and interesting. Basically, the reader doesn’t really need to know about your business until you’ve convinced them you can help them first. To do that, you need to outline what you offer them. How do you help clients? It’s more than just your products or services, it’s how you detail their problem and the solution you offer. What problem do you solve for them?

After you’ve offered a viable solution, you can then tell some of your story. Readers often want to know how the business started, who founded the company and why. They also want to know what you’re good at, and what your mission and values are. Often a purchase decision will be made when their values align with those of your business.

You also need to provide some details of your products and services, the industries and sectors you serve, any qualifications your team possesses, specialist training and the geographic area you cover.

Your Competition

While you obviously don’t want to mention your competition directly, you do need to consider them when writing your Company Profile. Let’s say you’re submitting a tender for a project you wish to secure. The reader will be looking at your competitor’s information as well as yours, so you need to have a more compelling story which shows you are the number one choice.

Consider your organisation’s strengths. What do you do best? Demonstrate how and why you’re the best, don’t just make empty statements – anyone can say they’re the best, you have to show how you’re the best.

What’s your point of difference, your Unique Selling Proposition? Why would a client choose your business over your competitors? Again, you need to provide details and demonstrate how you’re better or different. Testimonials and case studies are sometimes used to reinforce these points.

 

So, how can you produce an outstanding Company Profile that will win more business? Make it client-focused. This may seem counter-intuitive, after all it’s YOUR company profile, but believe me, it works.

 

For more outstanding Company Profile tips, you may enjoy reading these posts:

7 top tips for a winning Company Profile – from a professional writer

How to write an engaging Company Profile

How to write a Company Profile that wins more business

 

Hi, I’m Lyndall Guinery-Smith, The Professional Writer, and an experienced Company Profile writer. I have a strong background in small business management and actually enjoy writing an engaging Company Profile for my clients … as crazy as that sounds!. Yes, I ask a lot of questions! Rest assured, I will work with you to create an engaging Company Profile your clients will want to read.

I love to write copy dedicated to attracting and engaging your clients, 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.

 

Attract more business, Grow your business in 2017, professional writer, website content, website writer, copywriter, small business marketing, Lyndall Guinery-Smith

Attract more business in 2017

Want to attract more business in the New Year? Yes? How’s your website looking? Will your site help or hinder your business growth?

For most people, the first point of contact is Google. Have you tried a web search on your business name? What does your digital footprint say about your business? What do your potential customers find when they land on your website?

Perception is reality, until proven otherwise.

How do your prospective customers perceive you?

Did you know, that up to 75% of a new customer’s buying decision is already made by the time you speak with them or meet them? Their position is based on their perception of you which comes from the information about you online and what they know about your brand.

The content on your website has the power to either engage the reader and influence them to do business with you. Alternatively, it can make your competitors look good! The good news is, it’s your website, so you have the power to change and update the information and the way your brand is portrayed.

Following are 9 ways your website content can help attract more business:

  1. Make information easy to find

When people land on your site, they’re usually seeking specific information, such as an answer to their problem or they simply want to know more about you. Make it easy for readers to find the information and ensure it’s clear and concise – we’re all busy and it’s so easy to click away from boring content.

  1. Express yourself in a genuine, authentic way

For the majority of businesses, the days of stuffy, jargon-filled website content are long gone. Portraying your authentic brand and showcasing the way you do business goes a long way towards making your brand stand out. We all prefer to do business with people we know, like and trust. Ensure your website helps readers to know, like and trust YOU.

  1. Building relationships is key

Offer the opportunity for readers to engage with you by joining your email list or interacting on social media. It’s best to offer more than one option to get more engagement.

  1. Demonstrate you have the skills they need

If someone is looking for a particular skill, they need to feel assured that you’re great at what you do. Just some of the ways you can demonstrate your skill are: show samples of your work, photos, video, before/after shots, case studies and blog posts.

  1. Consistency is vital for top of mind awareness

Posting regularly is important, whether that is daily, weekly or fortnightly. Make it regular so your readers know what to expect and when to expect to see it. Posting regularly also creates a perception that you’re reliable and you actually turn up when you say you will.

  1. Position yourself as an industry expert

Website content and regular blog posts on specific topics can help to cement your position as an expert in your field. We like to deal with those who know what they’re talking about. Share useful information that your readers can put into practice. People love getting something for free. Remember, you’re building trust so that they will be ready and willing to buy in the future. This is an important step to attract more business.

  1. Outline the key features and benefits of buying your products and choosing your services

A lot of websites assume the reader already has an in-depth knowledge of the products and services on offer. It’s always best to provide at least the key features and benefits – this is your sales spiel. Providing this information, expressed in a convincing tone, could easily sway the buyer in your favour. Ask yourself: What would I say to the reader if I were face-to-face with them?

  1. Establish rapport with your prospective clients

Your website is an ideal way to introduce yourself and offer your readers an insight into your business. It takes time to build a relationship, but if you treat visitors well and provide them with quality information, you do build rapport and establish trust.

  1. Show your customers why you’re better than your competitors

You can use your website to demonstrate your competitive advantage. What makes you different to your competitors? Of course, you don’t want to sound boastful about your own accomplishments or negative about your competitors, but it’s important to outline your strengths too.

Updating your website content or setting a regular blog posting schedule can definitely enhance the way your business is portrayed in your potential customer’s eyes.

If you’re looking to attract more business in 2017, now is the time to review and update your website.  Should you need assistance with writing fresh content or regular blog posts for your site, please feel free to contact me for a chat.

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

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

Become known as an industry expert, show your expert status, brand recognition, professional writer, small business marketing, Lyndall Guinery-Smith

How to become known as an industry expert

Want to become known as an industry expert?

Being known for your expertise can enable you to charge more for your products or services, it can help you to land premium clients and bring a constant flow of business your way. The following tips will set you on the right path.

Get to know your customers first

Who are your customers? What are they looking for? What problems do they have that you can solve? Do some research to find out as much as you possibly can about your customers. Check out demographics such as age, gender, marital status, occupation, income bracket, place of residence, hobbies and interests. All this information can help you to build Client Profiles, which are very useful in targeting a particular audience.

Get your brand message right by having a compelling story

Do you have a personal brand or a business brand? Whichever it is, shape your story into one which clearly demonstrates your or your company’s achievements, skills and expertise. This will go a long way in helping people relate to you and see you as an industry leader.

Become the expert

Before you can be known as an expert, you must first become the expert. Study, research, get to know what’s important in your industry, what the emerging trends are and how they can be addressed. Gathering this knowledge is a very important step in helping to build your status as an industry expert. You’ll need to be prepared to answer questions, so gathering as much knowledge as possible will definitely work in your favour.

Become a specialist

In order to attract premium offers, you need to have specialised knowledge of your subject. Take every opportunity to learn as much as you possibly can about your subject. People will pay more for a specialist over a generalist every time.

Write a blog

If you don’t already have a website – get one now! Use your website and/or blog to educate your audience. Write and share great content – and you’ll soon be noticed.

You can write blog posts about industry developments, issues your customers may have, case studies demonstrating how you’ve solved issues for your customers (present the problem followed by your solution), product reviews and comparisons, how-to articles and anything else that’s relevant to your readers or in your industry.

Call yourself an industry expert

Once you feel confident in your knowledge, call yourself an expert. Include your expert status in your social media profile and your About Us page on your website.

Write for publications

Find out the most widely-read publications in your industry – whether they’re magazines, online newsletters or other industry publications. Enquire about submitting an article to the publication. Editors are often open to accepting articles from industry experts. You probably won’t receive payment, but your priority is to have your name and possibly your headshot on the article. This gets your name out there to your peers and potential customers.

Write a book

Once you’ve written a few blog posts and/or articles for publication, use website analytics to monitor which articles and subjects are most popular with your audience. Consider combining a number of posts together and shaping them into a book or eBook.

Becoming a published author brings instant credibility and may become another income stream for you too.

Polish up your Public Speaking

If you’re a public speaking novice or you’re lacking in confidence, do a course in confident speaking.

Conducting a workshop or giving a presentation also gives you instant expert status. You may need to start with a smaller audience and build up into presenting at trade shows and the like.

If you’ve published your book (see above), you can sell the book at your presentations.

Make yourself available for interviews

Editors and programmers are always looking for new people to interview, whether it’s on radio, n the newspaper or on a podcast.

Check out sites such as Source Bottle, where callouts are posted for experts on a daily basis.

Network online and face-to-face

Participating in online forums and groups can be a great way get your name out there and become known in your industry. It’s important to answer questions honestly and provide advice wherever you can so that people get to know, like and trust you.

Leverage social media

Post regularly on social media – this means daily or at least 3-5 times per week. Posts can be scheduled ahead of time using a variety of apps such as HootSuite, CoSchedule, SproutSocial or Meet Edgar, just to name a few. Facebook allows you to schedule posts to a business page too.

You may also consider starting your own group on social media, based around a certain issue your customers have, which you can solve. When you’re the administrator of the group, you have more control over the conversation. By posting good advice and helpful hints, you’ll continue to build your profile.

I hope these tips have been helpful for you in building your personal or business brand and will assist you to become known as an industry expert.

If you have any further hints or tips on how to become known as an industry expert, please feel free to email me and let me know.

 

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

 

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

If you enjoyed this article you might also like to read:

Finding time to write blog posts – 5 tips from an expert

Writing to engage your readers online

How to attract premium clients

 

Business plan mistakes to avoid, business planning, writing for business, professional writer, how to write a business plan, business plan help, professional writing, small business marketing, Lyndall Guinery-Smith

17 Business Plan Mistakes To Avoid

If you’re about to write or rewrite the framework for your business, you might want to read over these business plan mistakes to avoid first.

Compiling a business plan can be a daunting task, but knowing some of the pitfalls and business plan mistakes to avoid can make your job  easier. Whether you’re applying for finance, a franchise or you want to become a supplier for a particular brand or product, your business plan can make or break your chances of securing a positive outcome.

Here is a list of business plan mistakes to avoid:

  1. Procrastinating over starting

    While the thought of writing a business plan can be overwhelming, the plan won’t write itself. If you’re passionate about your business, you need to portray that in your business plan. Start by mapping out an outline of the plan, listing the contents (the order can be changed as you go), then research the information you need and fill in the gaps.

  2. Too much information

    Although a business plan needs to contain a lot of information, try to avoid overloading the reader with too much information. People are time-poor and most of us just want the short version wherever possible.

  3. Being too vague

    When information is missing from the business plan, it can sometimes look suspicious or as though you haven’t done your research. If an investor or interested party thinks your business isn’t ready for the next step, they’re unlikely to approve your application. You information really needs to be specific and precise.

  4. Poor researchTake the time to find the correct information for your business plan. Research your market or potential market. You may need to engage a professional research firm if you’re unable to do this yourself – think of it as an investment in the future of your business.
  5. Making it all about figures

    Of course, figures are an essential component of your business plan. However, the reader will want an explanation of what the figures mean in terms of overall business growth and how you plan to produce the projected results, so you must ensure you have the wording to cover this.

  6. Not including people

    Figures don’t sell ideas, people do. It’s the people behind the business who have the power to make or break it, so it’s really important to include a brief profile of the key players in your business. Your readers will want to know what qualifications and experience you have and what your team is capable of achieving.

  7. Faking your figures or using unrealistic projections

    If you falsify any figures, you will be found out at some point. The same applies to using unrealistic expectations. If you do manage to secure finance based on your falsified figures, you will be doing yourself a great disservice when you’re unable to generate the business required to produce the projected figures. #NobodyWins

  8. Glossing over your marketing

    A marketing plan is undoubtedly one of the most important components of your business plan. Having a clear marketing strategy in place is vital. Your plan must outline how you plan to advertise and promote your business, as well as your sales strategy and distribution channels.

  9. Not knowing who your customers are

    You must know exactly who you are going to sell your product or service to. Do as much research as you can on this topic. If possible, it’s a great idea to compile Ideal Client Profiles so that you know who you’re addressing in your marketing copy.

  10. Not proofreading

    If your plan contains typos, spelling mistakes and errors in grammar or punctuation, it makes you appear sloppy and the reader may conclude you have a sloppy approach to your overall business – this is not the impression you want to make, is it?

  11. Not accurately portraying your brand

    What sets you apart and makes you stand out? What makes your brand different from your competitors? You need to capture the essence of your brand and tell the story of your business in a way that makes the reader want to become involved in bringing your business plan into fruition.

  12. Talking yourself up too much

    While it’s important to outline what makes you and your business idea great, it’s important to be realistic and not exaggerate the facts.

  13. Not admitting your weaknesses

    Every person and every business has weaknesses. While you don’t want to place too much emphasis on these, it’s important to state what your weaknesses are and outline how you can improve on them. Doing this is realistic and expected.

  14. Claiming you have no competition

    Every business has competition of some kind. It may not be direct competition, but there will always be some competition for your customer’s business. You may need to think about the issue from the customer’s perspective – what other options to they have?

  15. Not using confident, concise and clear copy

    Your tone needs to be confident and business-like without sounding cold and unapproachable. Getting your point across in as few words as possible is also important. Being too wordy makes the business plan too difficult to read. Make it easy for your reader!

  16. Inconsistent presentation

    This makes you appear unprofessional. It’s important to have a professionally-presented document which displays a consistent font, margin settings and headings. It’s also very helpful to have page numbers and an index which directs readers.

  17. Not including an Executive Summary

    The purpose of the Executive Summary is to provide a brief explanation of the contents of the business plan. While the summary usually appears in the first few pages, it’s best to write it after the remainder of the business plan, as things often change during the writing process.

 

There are probably more Business Plan mistakes you could make, but I’ll stop there for now!

If you’re completely overwhelmed at the thought of writing a Business Plan, I can help. I work with you, acting as a Project Manager to pull the most relevant information together. I’ll help write your plan and presenting it in a polished and professional way.

Email me for a confidential chat about your Business Plan requirements.

If you enjoyed this article on Business Plan mistakes to avoid you might also like to read:

How to Write a Winning Business Plan 

How to Attract Premium Clients

and How to Work with a Professional Writer

 

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.

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21 blog post ideas for small business

Are you looking for some blog post inspiration? Here’s a list of blog post ideas for small business owners who need some help getting started …

When I talk to small business owners about their website, many of them admit to having a blog which they rarely use. By posting regular articles on your blog, you can help establish your authority and build credibility with your clients. Incorporate the keywords you wish to rank for and you can also improve your Google ranking!

A blog post can help you provide information your clients can use, promote a new product or help clients learn more about your business. However, coming up with post ideas on a regular basis can be challenging. I hope the following tips will get you started on a list of potential posts for your business blog.

21 blog post ideas for small business

  1. How to …. (something related to your business or knowledge/experience)
  2. Handy tips and tricks
  3. Explode an industry myth or misconception
  4. Describe mistakes clients make and how they can be fixed
  5. Detail lessons you’ve learned in business
  6. Think about the questions your clients frequently ask – and answer them
  7. Show a case study of how you helped a client, with before and after photos
  8. Describe your ideal customer
  9. Write a post on how to choose a …. (product or service you sell)
  10. Discuss local community events
  11. Talk about what you learned at a recent training event or conference
  12. Review products
  13. Do a comparison between one product and another
  14. Interview a client and ask them to talk about your product or service – including a photo or video is very powerful
  15. Interview an industry expert
  16. Profile a staff member
  17. Share pictures or videos of your products being used
  18. Publish seasonal posts, e.g. Christmas cooking or Easter craft etc.
  19. Explain your company’s mission
  20. Discuss the latest industry trends
  21. Discuss local news and how it affects your industry

There are many more blog post ideas for small business – these are just the start. Please feel free to share your own ideas in the comments below.

Hi, I’m Lyndall Guinery-Smith, The Professional Writer. I love to write copy dedicated to attracting and engaging your customers – and improving your bottom line. I happily work with clients all around Australia. Email me to arrange an obligation-free discussion about your latest project. Or if you’d like to receive regular marketing updates in your mailbox that will help put your small business in the spotlight, sign up for our mailing list.

Business Plan writer, Business plan help, how to write a business plan, business plan template, professional writer australia, Business plan expert, small business marketing, Lyndall Guinery-Smith

How to write a winning Business Plan

Do you know how to write a winning Business Plan? Does your Business Plan provide strategy, direction and a roadmap of how you’re going to achieve your business goals?

A Business Plan is no longer a bulky bound document that you prepare to secure finance and then use as a doorstop! Today’s Business Plans are dynamic, continually evolving and can take many forms. While you’ll need one version for obtaining finance, you may choose to edit the plan and display a variation to your customers or employees.

Preparing a Business Plan is a necessary and very rewarding part of planning for business success. Gathering and collating the information can sometimes seem like an insurmountable task at first, but the preparation process also forces you to think about some aspects of your business which you may not have considered.

Why do you need to write a winning Business Plan?

What is the purpose of writing a business plan? Will it be used as an internal or external document – or both?

Many business plans are written to secure financial backing for the business, or to win clients. Some of the other common uses for a business plan are to:

  • Shape strategy and direction for the business
  • Become a franchisee
  • Secure a supplier for products
  • Secure contracts with major clients
  • Monitor the ongoing performance of your business
  • Attract outstanding team members
  • Secure a business partner or joint venture partnership
  • Facilitate the lease of business premises

Whatever the reason for writing your plan, it’s important to consider the purpose if you want the plan to achieve your desired outcome.

Consider your audience

Who will be reading the business plan? Who is your audience? You may need a different approach for an external audience and your team. It’s important to tailor your message to suit your reader.

What type of language do you need to use to engage, persuade and convince the reader that your business is viable and profitable? Sure, figures are important, but the language you use has the power to influence the reader one way or the other.

A lot of people start out using a template as a guideline to help them gather information – this is a good place to start. However, it’s important to use engaging words and appropriate terms that will resonate with your audience. These cannot be found in a template.

What does your audience need to know about you and your business?

A bank or financial institution may primarily look at the financial section of your plan, as well as your marketing plan. What they really want to know is how you plan to generate the income to repay their loan. They will also be interested in many other aspects of your business such as your team, your location, and your unique selling proposition.

As the business owner, it’s important to outline your own personal attributes, skills and industry experience. This is because the person behind the business is often the key to its sucess or failure. If you know you have the necessary skills to succeed, be sure to highlight them.

If you were to share your plan with prospective clients or potential employees, you may wish to leave the financial section out. This information is confidential and could be detrimental if shared with the wrong people.

Do your research & gather your information

Before you start to write your business plan, gather as much relevant information as you possibly can. Anything you don’t need can be discarded later. If you haven’t already done so, now is a good time to consult a good accountant and a solicitor/lawyer regarding your business structure. You’ll also need to consider your marketing strategy and the finance side of your business before commencing the plan. A great business plan requires a fair amount of analysis and forecasting.

Analyse your business idea and your own capabilities

Your accountant may be able to assist you with analysing the viability of your business idea from a financial perspective. They will also be able to guide you in preparing the financial analysis and projected figures required for your business plan. Professional advice is a sound investment in the future of your business.

Besides the financials, some other aspects of the business which you’ll need to consider are:

  • What your business does for clients
  • Your product or service
  • The market for your product or service
  • Your location and accessibility
  • Current and future developments which may affect your business
  • Your mission, vision and unique selling proposition
  • A SWOT analysis
  • Customer analysis
  • Customer service standards and company culture
  • Competitor analysis
  • Marketing, advertising and social media strategies
  • Sales techniques and strategy
  • Distribution channels
  • Budgets for income and expenditure
  • Management policies and procedures
  • Your own personal skills and relevant experience
  • Your team’s skills and industry experience
  • Financial projections
  • Bank and/or personal references

Write the summary last

An Executive Summary usually appears at the beginning of the Business Plan. The purpose of this summary is to provide an overview for the reader – and to sell your business plan to them. While you want to portray your business or idea in its best light, you also need to be realistic with your wording, so don’t overdo the sales pitch.

The Executive Summary should always be written last, as it may change during the writing process and needs to be an accurate reflection of the plan’s contents.

Review and edit

The last step is to review and edit your business plan. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP – it’s important. If you really want to make a good impression, it’s essential to have error-free text which is easy to read. It’s a great idea to ask an impartial third party to proof-read your business plan BEFORE you submit it. Ask the proof-reader to point out anything that doesn’t immediately make sense to them, as well as any typographical errors or formatting issues.

Don’t be afraid to ask for professional help

Investing in professional advice at the outset is smart and strategic. As stated above, your accountant is the best person to advise you on the financial side of things. A solicitor or lawyer is the best person to consult regarding business structure. Getting the structure and financial projections right can save you time, money and set you on the path to business success. Without this advice, you may be destined to join the significant number of small businesses who fail within their first five years.

If you feel overwhelmed at how to collate all the information you’ve gathered, you may need to consult a professional business plan writer. Our role is to assist you in pulling together your information and writing the text to present your business in its best light… in essence, to write a winning business plan.

 

Hi, I’m Lyndall Guinery-Smith, The Professional Writer. I’m passionate about helping Australian small business owners like you to attract and engage customers – improving your bottom line. I will work in partnership with you, to facilitate and co-ordinate a winning business plan for your current business or new business idea.  I happily work with clients all around Australia. Email me to arrange an obligation-free chat about how we can work together to write a winning business plan.

 

Capture ideal customers attention, marketing, target customers, professional writer, Professional writer Australia, Lyndall Guinery-Smith

5 tips to capture your ideal customers attention

Does your marketing capture your ideal customers’ attention? Or are you attracting the wrong people?

These tips will help you focus your marketing on the right people to get better results.

  1. It’s not about you, it’s about THEM

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… Your marketing is about your customers and what you can offer them. Too many small businesses design ads promoting themselves and their product or service when the stark reality is that nobody really cares about WHO you are until you tell the how you can help THEM.

If you truly want to capture your ideal customer’s attention, your message needs to be about them and what you can do for them.

  1. Who are your customers?

Exactly who makes up your target market? Please don’t say anybody and everybody, because that’s usually not true. Take the time to identify an ideal customer for each of your products or services or at least a range of them. Identify this person’s age, gender, income, personality type, personal preferences, hobbies and interests, likes and dislikes, etc.

Compile an “Ideal Customer Profile” or avatar of this person, give them a name and use a stock photo to get an idea of the type of person you’re targeting. This ICP or avatar can be very helpful when you are designing your marketing.

For example, let’s say you’re a florist. Your customers would be wide-ranging, but let’s choose one major segment in your local market. We identify Dave, who is in a relationship, income $80,000-150,000, he’s a romantic at heart and isn’t afraid to show it, he enjoys playing golf with his mates on the weekend, barbecues with friends and bushwalking.

  1. What’s their problem?

What are your customers looking for? What problem do they have that your product or service helps solve? Take the time to find out because this is the key to your marketing success!

So, what’s Dave’s problem? Maybe he spent too long at golf on the weekend and his partner or wife is upset or annoyed. Targeting him with a message like, “There’s no better way to say you’re sorry” or “

  1. Offer a solution to their problem

What’s a problem your customers are having which you could address? The best way to determine the actual problem your customers are experiencing is by asking them. But for the purpose of this exercise, let’s use the example of the florist and finding a gift for Mother’s Day.

Which headline do you think is more likely to get a response from people with this problem?

  1. Smith’s Florist is your no. 1 local supplier of beautiful bouquets
  2. Nothing says “I love you” like a beautiful bouquet from Smith’s Florist
  3. Show Mum how much you love her with flowers this Mother’s Day

Notice how both B & C are offering the reader a solution, but in this case, C is specifically targeted at people looking for a gift for Mother’s Day. Using words like, “Show Mum how much you love her” are designed to trigger an emotional response in the reader as well.  Notice how the heading doesn’t mention the business name? Your name should never be at the top of the ad. Remember to tell them how you’re going to help them, then tell them who you are.

How do you apply this?

Let’s talk about a blog post related to this issue. If you were writing a post, you might write about “The 5 most popular Mother’s Day gifts – as rated by Mums” or “What Mums really want for Mother’s Day” or “Mother’s Day: The best way to honour and thank the first woman who ever loved you” or something  along those lines. Notice how all these headlines offer a solution to the problem of looking for a Mother’s Day gift. Obviously, the post would talk about more than just flowers, but there’s definitely scope to weave flowers into each of the stories.

  1. Always include a call to action

In any piece of marketing, advertising or blog post, you need to provide a reason for the reader to contact you. Be sure to clearly spell out how you want that to happen, whether it’s clicking a link to a sales page on your website, asking them to email an enquiry or a “Call Now” message with the phone number in big bold numerals.

Including your contact details may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how often this is forgotten. Think about how your customers want to contact you – what’s easiest for them? Don’t just automatically use the method that suits you best if it doesn’t work for your customers, as you may not get the results you’re seeking.

 

I hope these tips have been helpful in capturing your ideal customer’s attention. If you have any hints or tips you’d like to share, please leave them in the comments box below.

If you enjoyed this article you may also like to read:

How to attract premium clients and

How to connect with your customers

 

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.