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.

 

Startup About us page, about us page for startups, Professional Writer, About Us page help

How to write an awesome Startup About Us page

Wondering how to write an awesome startup About Us page? Never fear, help is here!

Did you know that the About Us page is the second most visited page on most websites? The Home page is no. 1. The content of your About Us page is really important in helping to build your credibility. People do business with those they know, like and trust. If a prospective buyer is looking for your product or service, and they land on your site, most often they want to know something about you and learn why they should trust you before they click the BUY icon.

Your startup About Us page should tell your story and build a relationship with your audience, but it must be written with the reader in mind. Most business owners are great at what they do, but it can be quite challenging to be able to look at the business from an outsider’s perspective. I like to tell my clients that the About Us page isn’t just about them, it’s about the partnership between them and their customers and what the business can offer the customer.

Who Are Your Customers?

Before you start writing, you need to have a clear idea of who your ideal customer is. It’s a good idea to set up one or more Ideal Customer Personas or Avatars, each of which describes a type of customer. The profile includes their needs, wants and likes, their demographics – age, sex, education, where they live, their job, their income levels, interests, hobbies, etc. It’s  a good idea to give each one a name and even use a stock photo on their profile so that you can really identify with this “person”. When you’re writing your marketing materials and website copy, you must keep this target person in mind and write to address their needs.

What makes your startup About Us page different from other About Us pages?

Writing a startup About Us page can be a little challenging and some people find themselves wondering where to start. Take out a note pad or open a blank document on your computer and start noting down points you may want to make. Think about your reader – What they will want to know about your business?

Consider telling people you’re new. Being new isn’t necessarily a disadvantage – it can be fresh and exciting. A lot of people are happy to deal with a small home-based business or a startup, as long as you prove you are a credible option.

One good thing about being a startup is, you can’t write a dull and boring company history as your About Us page! Nobody really wants to read those company history documents unless there’s information in there that is directly relevant to them. Try writing your About Us page as more of a story than a chronological list. This will make the page more interesting for your reader and therefore more likely to engage them, make them want to find out more about your company and then do business with you.

Tell Your Story

Introduce yourself as the owner of the business, tell people why you love what you do, why you’re passionate about your industry and how you came to be in the business you’re in. Be sure to detail your credentials and experience, including the most relevant information that will help people get to know, like and trust you. If you’re involved in any volunteer or charity work, include that if it’s relevant to your audience too.

Using a friendly and approachable tone is a good way to engage your reader. This doesn’t mean using too much slang, bad spelling or grammar, just writing the way you speak when you’re face-to-face.

Include A Photo

While some people don’t like having their photo taken, including a photo on your About Us page is really important for building the trust factor with prospective customers. A photo can also help to nurture relationships with those you may already do business with. Most people want to know exactly who is behind the business and what you look like. If possible, it’s a good idea to use a professional photographer to capture you in your best light. If you don’t want to use individual headshots, you could also use a group shot. Wearing your company colours and including a background of your building or vehicles can also look impressive, but isn’t essential.

Let Them Know What Makes You Different

Put an emphasis on your values, your mission and what you’ve set out to achieve. What innovations do you offer? Can you offer more flexibility in delivery, customisation or quality than your competitors?

What’s your USP (Unique Value Proposition)? What can you offer that others can’t?

Is there a gap in the market that your startup is filling? If so, tell the world about it!

Tell Them What You’ll Do For Them

People want you to solve their problems. What service do you offer? How do you solve your customer’s problem? Tell them exactly what you will do for them.

For example, let’s say you sell security products. What problem do you solve for your customers? Your product keeps them and their families safe (it’s not about the hardware itself, it’s about the outcome it achieves).

Or if you’re a hairdresser, you help your customers to look and feel their very best (you don’t simply cut hair).

Boost Your Credibility

You need to prove that you’re a credible option over and above your competition. If you’re brand new to business, consider giving some free or low-cost products or services to family and friends or potential customers in exchange for a testimonial or review. The social proof which comes with a third party endorsement cannot be overstated. People will buy based on positive reviews and testimonials. Post as many testimonials on your site as you possibly can (include a photo where possible) and ask your customers to post reviews on Google, Facebook or a third party site which is relevant to your industry.

Another great way to boost credibility is through the use of case studies, including before and after photos. This is basically a longer version of a testimonial, where you show the “before” photo and tell the reader what problem the customer was having. You then detail the process you went through to solve the problem, before showing the “after” photo which highlights the great outcome and results you’ve achieved. A brief comment from the happy customer further endorses your credibility.

 

I hope these tips have been helpful and will assist you in writing an awesome startup About Us page. If you have any hints or tips you’d like to share, please leave them in the comments box below. Or if you need any professional help with writing your About Us page, check out my website copywriting services and email me to discuss your requirements.

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

How to write an engaging About Us page and

How to write the best About Us page for your website

 

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

 

How to attract premium clients, small business marketing, professional writer Australia, Lyndall Guinery-Smith

How to attract premium clients

Do you want to know how to attract premium clients who are willing to pay more?

When I ask, “Who is your ideal client?”, a lot of small business owners reply, “Anyone who wants to buy X,” referring to their product or service. In a way, this is true. However if you want to attract clients who are willing to pay a premium price for your products or services, you’ll need to sharpen your focus.

If you’ve already been in business for a while, you’ll know there are some clients who are more profitable than others, and some who are willing to pay more to secure your product or services. Of course, we all want to attract premium clients and focus on them, don’t we? Quite simply, these clients can clearly see that you demonstrate VALUE to them.

People buy value and are more likely to pay a premium price when that value is clearly demonstrated.

There’s an old adage in writing – “Show, don’t tell”, and as such, the secret to demonstrating value in order to attract premium clients is not telling people how you add value, but in showing them.

Without a doubt, everyone in small business solves some kind of problem. If you want to display your value proposition to a broader audience, you need to show them how you solve their problem.

For example, if you sell cleaning products, you could demonstrate how you help people to clean their homes or business premises faster, easier or more economically. If you’re a graphic designer, you could show businesses how you help them to brand themselves with the professional presentation on their website, business cards, printed materials, etc. You get my drift! Show your clients how you add value and solve their issues.

At this point, it’s important to remember who you are targeting – i.e. who your ideal clients are. You need to specifically target this audience, addressing their particular needs and problems, and showing how you solve those issues for them.

7 ways to attract premium clients by demonstrating how you add value:

  1. Before & After shots

    This type of visual tool provides the reader with an understanding of the results which can be achieved through your product or service. For example, let’s say you do lawn and garden maintenance. Imagine the power of using before and after photos to show the outcome of your hard work?

  2. Case Studies 

    A very powerful tool which give a brief overview of a completed project. Case studies demonstrate how you solved a client’s problem and the outcomes you were able to achieve for them. It’s a great idea to include some step-by-step photos in the case study and demonstrate your process, particularly when it is complex. Share these stories on social media for added exposure, and include people in the photos to humanise the case study. Adding a testimonial provides even more oomph to your case study.

  3. Testimonials 

    There’s nothing as powerful as the testimony of past and present clients who attest to your skills and expertise. As a third party, their words are much more powerful in persuading potential clients than yours will be. Your testimonials need to explain how you solved the client’s problem and the outcome you achieved on their behalf. Readers will identify with the problem and the testimonial demonstrates how you’ve already confidently and capably dealt with the issue for others.

  4. Video

    Using video to demonstrate your product and how it works is a great way to demonstrate value. If you offer a service, you could use the power of video to walk your viewers through the process you use. Perhaps you could even feature a brief video testimonial from a happy client.

  5. Offer free quality content 

    Demonstrate your authority and expertise in your chosen field by offering free quality content on your website. Free content shows that you know your stuff and you’re happy to share your knowledge. Readers enjoy free articles, infographics and downloads which enhance their understanding of your product, service, industry or current issues.

  6. Build and nurture a community

    Establishing a community around you is a great way to demonstrate value. Setting up a Facebook group is free, simple and a great way to interact with people interested in your industry. Interact with people in your group on a regular basis, encouraging questions and comments from them. By answering questions in your group or other online forums, or by publishing a regular online newsletter or blog posts, you’re able to further demonstrate your knowledge and help your clients at the same time. Once you establish rapport, people are more likely to buy from you. When you showcase your authority, they are more willing to pay a premium price.

  7. Host an event

    A great way to gather like-minded individuals and potential customers is to host an event. You could focus purely on networking, which provides people with the opportunity to meet and work with others in the community. You could run it as an information sharing event where you educate clients on a topic related to your industry. Or you could show your community spirit by hosting a fundraiser for your nominated charity. All these events put you front and centre, helping to build your brand and establish you as an authority figure who people want to buy from.

Be patient, it’s a process and you won’t see results overnight. However it’s certainly worth putting some time and effort into these methods as part of your marketing strategy.

A combination of these tips will attract a wide range of clients and assist in demonstrating how you add value. Those clients will then get to know, like and trust you. Once you’ve established trust and capability, clients are definitely more willing to buy and will also step up to a premium price range.

Have you tried any of these methods to attract premium clients? How do you successfully attract premium clients? 

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.

 

Unique selling proposition, small business marketing strategy, Professional Writer

Unique Selling Proposition – Why every small business must have one

Do you know what your Unique Selling Proposition is? As a small business owner, have you really thought about what sets your business apart from its competitors?

In the crowded, busy and sometimes overwhelming business world, we all need to find a way to stand out from the crowd.  When your target customer experiences more than 10,000 marketing messages each day, getting them to notice you and your product or service can be quite a challenge.

The essential first step to getting noticed is to identify what makes your business unique, what sets you apart? Knowing your Unique Selling Proposition, or USP, is perhaps the most essential part of the marketing process, as it forms the foundation of your marketing strategy.

What exactly is your Unique Selling Proposition?

  • It’s something you offer that your competitors don’t offer
  • It is your competitive advantage
  • It defines your position in the market
  • It’s a remarkable benefit that no other company can claim
  • It’s the reason why your customers decide to buy from you

Some examples of a USP are:

M&Ms – The milk chocolate melts in your mouth, not in your hand

Disneyland – The happiest place on earth

Porsche – There is no substitute

Hallmark – When you care enough to send the very best

Subway – Eat Fresh

While these slogans from big business are all relatively simple, each one conveys a message and a brand promise to the audience, which is what motivates the customer to buy. I’ve used examples from big business because they are household names. Think about each one’s message and the connotations it has. The same principles apply to small business.

What is the purpose of your USP?

  • The USP differentiates you from your competition
  • It can help you formulate your brand message
  • It helps you to effectively target your marketing towards the people who want to buy from you

Your USP must be more than a meaningless slogan – it’s the reason you’re in business, it embodies your values and what you deliver – that is, your brand promise. When you tell people your USP, if their reaction is “who cares?”, then you need to go back to the drawing board. Your USP needs to generate interest, intrigue and motivation in your customers.

Once you know what your USP is, you can convey it to your prospective customers. In fact, it should form the foundation of your content marketing, including your website copy and all social media content, advertising and promotions.

You may already know what sets you apart from your competitors. Are you communicating this effectively to your customers?

Identifying your USP

The first thing you need to do is to let go of any assumptions, beliefs or preconceived ideas you have about your USP, and ask your customers. Identifying your USP from your customer’s perspective allows you to confirm exactly what they want, need and desire – and how that links into your product or service.

Ask your customers what’s important to them. Is it a quality product or a cheap price? Great customer service or fast self-service? A product which fixes their issue long term or a cheaper quick fix? Ask them what motivates their buying decisions, what outcome are they looking for? What features or benefits do they seek out? Why do they buy from you?

Take the feedback your customers provide and write a list of all the reasons people buy from you. Once you have the list, try to narrow it down to say, 3 potential factors, then choose the one which you feel is the biggest factor in motivating people to buy from you. Now you have your USP.

Why you need to know your Unique Selling Proposition

The major advantage of defining and using your USP in your marketing is that it allows you to compete on your own strengths and avoid the price war.

Too many small businesses default to competing in a price war, with their competitive advantage based on being the cheapest. While this may win business in the short term, competing based solely on price may not be a good business strategy in the long term. If you keep trying to outdo your competitor’s prices, all you’re doing is lowering your profitability (and theirs!). Price wars are often called “The race to the bottom”. This refers to the race to have the lowest prices, where “winning” is not necessarily in the best interests of your bottom line or the growth of your business. Of course, this does depend on your target market.

There are plenty of other ways for your business to stand out, such as delivery time, customer service, longevity of the product, convenience, and so on. Particularly if you’re competing against big businesses, you’ll never win if you base your strategy solely on cheap prices – their buying power will outstrip yours every time. Highlighting your Unique Selling Proposition allows you to market your business in a much more sustainable way.

Identifying and using your Unique Selling Proposition as an integral part of your marketing strategy is an important step if you want to run a profitable business, now and in the years to come.

 

Hopefully, the above information has provided some tips you can use to understand the importance of a Unique Selling Proposition. Have you already identified your USP? Have you seen an example of an outstanding USP? Please leave your comments in the box below, thank you.

 

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

Engaging About Us page, website copywriting, web writer, how to write an about us page

How to write an engaging About Us page that wins business

Do you have an engaging About Us page? Does it entice your readers and generate interest amongst your customers and prospective customers? Does it accurately portray your brand? If not, read on.

Did you know the About Us page is the second most clicked page on a website, after the Home page?

In this digital age, your customers want to know, like and trust you before they will commit to doing business with you. People do business with people they connect with, so your website needs to help make a connection with your readers.

It’s a little bit like dating. First-time readers come to your site to be wooed. Even if they’ve already met you, they want to find out more about you before they commit. You really want to make a good impression, because this relationship could be going places!

And what do readers find when they click on your About Us page? Is it an engaging story that helps them to know, like and trust you – or is it a dry company history that has them clicking away in seconds out of sheer boredom? Or worse still, is your About Us page blank?

If you want to know how to write an engaging About Us page that people actually want to read, here are a few key points that those great About Us pages address:

Building relationships is key

People do business with people they know, like & trust. It’s important to make a good first impression, establish a connection, build the relationship and back it up with social proof, then you can ask for their business. Your website needs to be an accurate portrayal of your brand and what you stand for. Your About Us page is the ideal place to express this.

It’s about them, not you

Even though it’s your About Us page, the story actually needs to be about your customer and what you do for them – it has to be customer-focused. Basically, they want to know how you solve their problem. Some companies break their page into headings like About Us/Me and About You, which outlines who their customers are and what outcomes they’ve achieved for those customers.

Craft your story

Make it interesting and easy to read. Try writing down 25 random things about your company – this can be done while brainstorming with your staff or associates – the pick out the most relevant of those items and include them in your story.
PLEASE only briefly mention your Company History. We know it’s important to explain how long you’ve been in business, but nobody really wants to know all the nitty-gritty, they’re just looking for proof that you’ll produce the goods.

Watch your tone

“It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it!” We all know that tone is important when we’re speaking with someone face-to-face or on the phone, but what about non-verbal tone?
With the rapid increase in social media, much of what’s written online now has a more conversational tone. Many websites speak to the reader as though the business owner is telling their story face-to-face, which is wonderful. However, you do also need to be careful to sound professional so that you’re taken seriously when it comes to doing business.

Think about your brand. Is your organisation fun-loving, friendly and just a little bit cheeky? Go with an informal, friendly tone. Do you operate in the corporate sector, doing business with government organisations and large corporations? Your tone may need to be more business-like and formal, but you can still show your personality and not be too stuffy, while also being professional.

Ready to start writing your engaging About Us page?

Ask yourself the following questions:

• Who is our ideal customer?
• What does our ideal customer want from us?
• What outcomes do we achieve for our customers?
• How do we deliver our product or service to customers?
• What experience do we have that’s relevant to our customers?
• What is our point of difference and what does it mean to our customers?
• How do we help customers? Solve their problem? Address their pain points?
• Do we change/improve our customers’ lives? How?

Did you notice that every one of the above questions is focused on the customer? That’s what I mean about your About Us page being customer-focused.

If you can write down the answers to most of the above questions, the information can be used to demonstrate what you do and the outcomes you achieve, which the reader will then want for themselves!

Your readers are looking for something that will engage them and help form a connection with you. Remember to be authentic, be human and be relatable in your writing. Your readers will love you for it!

If you have any queries about writing an engaging About Us page, or you’d like some professional help with writing your page, please check out my website copywriting services and feel free to contact me via email and I’ll be happy to answer your questions.

 

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

 

How to connect with your customers, Professional writer Australia, Lyndall Guinery-Smith

How To Connect With Your Customers

As a small business owner, are you unsure how to connect with your customers?

Establishing a strong connection with prospects and existing customers is a vital part of the sales and marketing process.

I’m often asked, “What’s the secret to building strong connections with our customers?” The answer is that there are a variety of approaches to relationship building, but perhaps the most important one is the Know, Like & Trust Factor.

As you’re probably aware, most people prefer to buy from those they know, like and trust. This is why we need to use tools such as social media to tell our story and provide an opportunity for people to get to know and like us, and hopefully build the relationship to a point where they trust us enough to buy from us.

The Know, Like & Trust Factor is a key part of building brand awareness. This is a process and not something you’ll necessarily see an instant return on investment for.  It’s important to remember that marketing is about building those relationships and establishing your brand, whereas advertising is about getting an instant response from your prospect.

How to get your customers to KNOW you

  • Do your research – find out who your prospects are, what do they care about? What problem can you solve for them?
  • Have a distinctive theme, style and branding – use it across all your marketing
  • Be visible – Develop a social media strategy and set up a posting schedule so that you’re appearing in your prospects newsfeeds on a regular basis
  • Post valuable and relevant content that your audience will love
  • Share your blog posts with online publications that your prospects read in return for a byline and link back to your website at the bottom of the post
  • Attend networking functions or events where your prospects hang out and chat to them
  • Find ways to add value without asking for anything in return – give them something worth keeping or sharing

How to get your customers to LIKE you

  • Have an engaging About Us page on your website, tell a story and form a connection with them
  • Use your photo on your profile or About Us page – it allows people to put a face to the name
  • Remember to always write for the reader, not for yourself – it’s about THEM, not you!
  • Be personal, write for that one ideal customer as though you were speaking directly to them
  • Show your authenticity – don’t try to be something you’re not
  • Be generous – offer free advice or a free initial consultation
  • Hang out where your tribe hangs out online, contribute to the conversation, interact and be helpful and you’re more likely to be remembered
  • Share and promote others on social media or your blog
  • Remember, social media is about building relationships, not selling, so you should be aiming for 95% useful and engaging content, 5% selling

How to get your customers to TRUST you

  • Keep your promises – if you say you’ll deliver, then deliver – on time, every time
  • Be consistent with social media posts, newsletters, quotes or anything you send out
  • Share quality content, be helpful
  • Ask prospects or readers to share their pain points with you and address those issues in your posts so that they feel you genuinely care about them (no names mentioned, of course)
  • Gather and share testimonials and case studies – these are very powerful
  • Have a compelling and consistent message

I hope this post has given you some ideas on 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.

 

Company profile, Professional Writer, Company profile writer, company profile template, Professional Writer Australia, Lyndall Guinery-Smith

How to write an Engaging Company Profile

An engaging Company Profile has the power to attract and inspire your potential customers. Have you read your Company Profile lately? Is yours a dry tale which simply recounts your organisation’s history? Do you think it entices readers to buy from you?

If you want to attract more customers, your Company Profile needs to detail more than just your history. It needs to explain the story behind what you do and why you do it. This story should inspire the reader and make them feel that they want to be a part of your story – that is, to buy your product or service.

While your Company Profile naturally needs to be about your company, it needs to be equally as much about your customers and what you do for them.

How do you engage your potential customers and make them feel part of your story?

Try these 5 ingredients for an engaging Company Profile:

  1. WHY you do what you do

If you haven’t seen the Simon Sinek TED talk about the Power of Why, I strongly suggest you take 5 minutes to watch it now. His message is very powerful. Sinek says, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” This is a fact.

When purchasers are faced with a choice between one product or service and another, they tend to buy the item that “feels right”. This is often due to the story which is told in their marketing message.

While I personally think it’s important to include your “why” into your Company Profile, you don’t always need to start with it, just so long as you include it in your story.

  1. What you do

Surprisingly, some Company Profiles don’t clearly state what the organisation does – what you produce, the service you provide or what you specialise in.

When outlining the contents you wish to include, it’s important to view the organisation from the perspective of a person who has never encountered your company before. It’s also important not to make assumptions. All the details must be laid out clearly and concisely.

  1. How you do it

While detailing every step of your production process is quite unnecessary, you should discuss how you go about doing what you do, especially if your process is different from your competitors. Do you pay more attention to detail? Is your product or service tailored to the customer? Do you provide more personalised service or a different end result due to your process? If so, be sure to share this with your readers.

  1. The problem you solve for your customers

You’ve probably heard the acronym WIIFM – which means “What’s in it for me?”. When your prospective customer is reading your Company Profile, they might want to know what you do, how you do it and why you do it, but ultimately, they want to know what you can do for them.

Your customer has a problem and your role is to solve it, so be sure to tell them how you solve that problem. Make them want to get in touch with you right away.

  1. Reasons why your current and past customers choose you

This continues on from addressing the problem you solve for your customers. You need to include some details about the outcomes you’ve achieved for current and past customers. Chances are, the reasons your prospective customers may choose to buy your product or service are the same as those who’ve chosen you in the past, so clearly explain those reasons. This can also set you apart from your competitors.

Another great way to reinforce this message is through the use of Testimonials. These third party endorsements are an essential inclusion on your website and in a full-scale Company Profile (i.e. 4 or more pages, not a single page profile).

 

For more Company Profile tips, check out the following posts. How to make your Company Profile stand out and 7 top tips for a winning Company Profile – from a professional and 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 customers will want to read.

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

Professional Business Writing Services, Know your clients, Professional Writer, small business marketing

How getting to know your clients can help you win more business

Does your marketing help bring in truckloads of new clients? Would you like to get more engagement from your customers and win more business?

Think about your marketing messages: Do you actually know who you are targeting? If you said “everyone”, you ‘re probably wasting valuable time and money chasing the wrong crowd. Instead of trying to market to everyone with generic messages, you’re more likely to see results if you narrow your focus and target a specific group of clients. To achieve this, 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 your prospect to read your marketing and say “Yes, that’s me you’re talking to. I need your help. I’m ready to buy from you!”

Why Identify your Ideal Clients?

By getting clear on who your ideal clients are, you can communicate value to them, making their purchasing decision less about price and more about how you can help solve their problem. This makes them a hot prospect, who is more likely to be ready to buy.

So, who is your ideal client and how do you target them? You can start by creating an Ideal Client Profile (ICP).

What is an Ideal Client Profile?

An ICP is the collation of detailed information about your ideal clients, such as their wants, needs and habits. This information will help you to address the clients “pain points”, with the aim of increasing engagement and sales. It can also enable you to identify and work with a specific group of people who you want to work with, and can help you to develop future products or services which directly serve their needs.

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

How to gather the information

If you have an established business, you can ask your customers for their information through a survey – either in person or online. There are several free online tools, such as Survey Monkey or Survey Planet, which are ideal for this purpose.

You can also take a close look at your top 10 clients – the ones who bring in the most income and/or who you prefer to deal with. Do they share common attributes, such as location, profession, interests or marital status? How did they become your client – did you pursue them, did they come to you or were they referred to you?

If your business is new, think of a friend or a number of people who epitomise the type of clients you want to work with. Create an imaginary person from a combination of these traits.

What you may need to ask

The information you need to know will vary between businesses. Make a list of things you believe are important to you and your interaction with clients from the prompts below.

  • What are their wants, needs, interests, fears, concerns, desires, hopes, dreams, motivations, short and long term goals, challenges, problem to solve?
  • What keeps them awake at night?
  • What do they expect from your company and your product or service?
  • How are they using your product?
  • What do they like/dislike about your product or service?
  • What is your point of difference in their eyes?
  • What influences their buying decisions?
  • What influences them to favour one product or service over another?
  • How much time do they have available to research and make a purchasing decision?
  • What are their demographics? Age, gender, income, marital status, job, level of education, life stage, etc.
  • Describe their behaviour – likes, dislikes, sports, hobbies, etc.
  • Location – where do they live, work, spend weekends
  • What do they read – online / offline
  • What do they search online?

Include any other questions or information which is relevant to your business.

Once you’ve gathered all the information, you can compile your ICP. Depending on your range of products or services, you may need multiple ICPs. Set out an individual profile for each of them, giving them a fictitious name, together with a profile photo (online photo libraries are ideal for this), and a detailed description.

Targeting your Ideal Clients

Now that you know who you’re targeting, you can create a specific marketing initiative which addresses the needs of your ideal client. This will have a stronger impact than any generic campaign ever could.

Your new marketing message could address the ICP’s pain points or a problem they wish to solve, it can express how your product or service can help the client and provide a specific call to action which speaks directly to them.

Ideally, your ideal clients will have common interests, problems and challenges to overcome. When this is the case, your business is able to be very precise in addressing the customer’s needs and can quickly become known as an expert in your particular niche.

By targeting your ideal clients, you’re much more likely to engage with them and, in turn, you greatly increase your chances to win more business!

 

Hi, I’m Lyndall Guinery-Smith, The Professional Writer. I have a strong background in small business management and I love to write copy which attracts and engages your customers – improving your bottom line. I happily work with clients all round Australia. Email me to arrange an obligation-free discussion about your latest project.

Winning Company profile, professional writer, company profile writer

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

Your Company Profile doesn’t have to be a boring document that people don’t read. It can be a vibrant and interesting introduction to your organisation which helps you win more business.

The following 7 tips from a professional Company Profile writer can guide you in writing the best possible document, which will help sell your business to your prospective customers. Some of the tips may seem basic or logical, but you’d be surprised how many people make simple mistakes – and it can cost you dearly.

  1. Plan your content first

Use a blank sheet of paper or a new Word document. List all the items you want to include in your Company Profile.  Don’t worry about order at this stage – you can work that out later, just write down your ideas.

A mind map can be helpful in this process too – get out your coloured pencils and get busy!

Once you’ve done a rough plan, then go back and fill in some more content and ideas before you start writing.

  1. Tell the reader about your company

Yes, this is the whole purpose of the Company Profile, however, some profiles do everything BUT talk about the company and who is behind it.

Using a Mission Statement, stating Core Values and detailing your Vision can provide an outline of the company for your readers. Or, you may choose to be informal and simply write a couple of paragraphs about your business, where it came from and where it’s going in the future. Be careful not to use a generic company history which you’ve used for years – they can be SO boring. Keep the “where we came from” section short and simple.

Be sure to include some details about who is behind the company. People connect with people, not a faceless organisation. Include a profile on the key people in your business. It’s a good idea to include the staff members who deal with your customers, either face-to-face, on the phone or over the internet. This helps establish good customer relationships.

  1. Explain how you help the customer

Whether you’re dealing with individual consumers or businesses, it’s important to explain in a concise manner, exactly how you help the customer.

What “problem” do you solve for them?  How do you solve it?

This is a good place to emphasize your point of difference. Give the potential customer plenty of reasons to say “Yes” when you ask for their business.

  1. Make it easy to find information

Use an index or Table of Contents to ensure your readers can find the information they need quickly and easily. This is often best left until the end, as page numbers can change if you add or delete information.

Another way you can ensure the document is reader-friendly is to use headings for each section. If you map out the content and make it easier for the reader to find what they’re looking for, the more likely you are to make a positive impression.

  1. Use photos

People relate to people. Be sure to use a good head shot of the key people in your organisation next to their profile.

Other photos you may like to include:

  • Samples of your past work
  • Illustrations of your products and how they work – perhaps before/after shots
  • Your company premises – this is particularly helpful for those who are coming to visit you in the future
  • Company vehicles
  • A team photo which depicts the size of your organisation, if this is relevant

Ensure your photos are good quality with the best lighting available at the time. You may want to invest in using a professional photographer to enhance your company’s image.

  1. Include testimonials

No matter how much you sell yourself, nothing says more than an endorsement from a third party.

Ask your testimonial writers to place an emphasis on how you helped solve their problem – that way readers get more of an idea about the specifics of what you do and how well you do it.

  1. Make it easy to read

Print out your draft Company Profile and get several different people to read it. Ask them to be sure to point out any typographical errors, spelling mistakes, incorrect grammar or any text which doesn’t read well. This is an important step, as you often don’t see your own mistakes. The best person to read it is actually someone who knows nothing about your company. After they’ve read it, ask them to tell you what your company does, how you do it and whether they would buy from you.

If you want to make a great first impression and land the business, you need to look professional and be professional.

 

The above tips should guide you on your way to writing a winning Company Profile. However, if you’d like professional help to put forward your most powerful presentation, contact me – The Professional Writer – for an obligation-free discussion. Let’s talk!

 

Or, if you’d like to find out more Company Profile tips – check out these articles: How to write a Company Profile that wins more business and How to make your Company Profile stand out on this blog.

Do you have any Company Profile tips which have worked for you or your company? Please feel free to share via the comment box below.

 

Hi, I’m Lyndall Guinery-Smith, The Professional Writer. I have a strong background in small business management and I’m a Professional Company Profile writer.

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