Simple blog post schedule, tips on blogging for business, blogging, business writing, professional writer, business writing help, small business marketing, Lyndall Guinery-Smith

How to set up a simple blog post schedule

Coming up with a simple blog post schedule has helped me to be more productive with my blogging.

One thing that’s always been a challenge for me is blogging on a regular basis – I know I’m not alone in this. I have all good intentions of publishing a post every week but life and business often take over and my posts aren’t always as regular as I’d like them to be.

I’m determined to publish more regular posts after what I learned at the recent Problogger conference. I know how important the posts are for establishing authority and maintaining my Google ranking for the keywords I wish to rank for. In order to establish a simple blog post schedule which is workable for me personally, I’ve come up with the following steps.

7 steps to developing a simple blog post schedule:

  1. Determine your blogging goal

    What are you trying to achieve with your blog posts? Are you trying to establish your authority on your topic of choice, build your email list, get new consulting clients or persuade people to buy your product or service? Or are you writing and posting articles simply to boost your search ranking? Before starting, it’s important to clearly identify what you’re trying to achieve, just like everything else in business. An ad hoc approach will most likely provide lacklustre results.

  2. Brainstorm your topics/categories

    Make a list of all the topics you cover or want to cover on your blog. These will also be the categories you use on your blog posts. This list will provide you with an overview of the direction of your blog. A mind map can be very useful for getting ideas down on paper.

  3. Identify your niche

    Most blogs and websites cover one particular niche, such as business, home, family etc. If you’re a small business owner, your blog won’t necessarily be about business, it needs to be about your product, service or whatever it is that interests your customers. Do you have a niche? Having a particular niche can help provide some direction and shape the strategy for your blog.

  4. Identify your target audience

    Before you start writing it’s also important to know as much as possible about your audience. Who are you “speaking to” with your posts? Do you know the age group and gender of your readers? What are they interested in? What problem do they have that your product or service can solve? If you can gather this vital information, it will really help you to write the posts in a way which targets your ideal customer and makes them think you’re speaking only to them.

  5. How often and when will you post?

    Consistency is key. If you think you can write and post daily, then go for it, but don’t post daily for a week or two, then stop posting as this can make you appear unprofessional. It’s better to commit to posting weekly, fortnightly or several times per week and be consistent about it. Post on the same day each time and share your post to your social media pages to generate interest.

  6. Monitor and measure on a regular basis

    Install Google Analytics on your site and use it to monitor and measure the traffic that’s coming to your site and where it’s coming from.

  7. Use tools to help track what and when you will post

    It’s a great idea to keep a file of post ideas either in a notebook or in Word, Evernote or a similar online note taking tool. Once you’ve mapped out your posts for the next weeks or months you can use a plugin called WordPress Editorial Calendar to plan out which posts will appear on particular dates.

I hope these tips for developing a simple blog post schedule help increase your productivity.

Can’t find the time to write blog posts? This article has some great tips.

Looking for some fresh ideas for blog posts? This article has a list of them.

Want to know how to write to engage your audience? This article has a range of tips for you.

 

Hi, I’m Lyndall Guinery-Smith, The Professional Writer. I write copy dedicated to attracting and engaging your customers – and improving your bottom line. I happily work with clients all 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.

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.

Find time to write blog posts, writing blog posts, blogging, blogging hacks and tips, Professional writer

Find time to write blog posts – 5 top tips

Do you struggle to find time to write blog posts? If you do, you’re not alone.

In a recent survey of small business owners, 68% of respondents said the number 1 reason they don’t write blog posts is because they don’t have the time.

So, why is it important to write blog posts anyway? Here are 5 reasons:

  1. Adding fresh content to your website will help improve your Google ranking – when you include keywords relevant to your business
  2. Publishing quality content establishes and builds your authority
  3. Blog articles have the potential to help people know, like and trust you
  4. Generate more traffic to your site by sharing links to your blog articles on social media or other websites
  5. You can repurpose your blog posts into content for your client newsletter, use them as the basis for an eBook, short course or podcast

Now that you know some of the ways blog posts can help to drive traffic to your site and boost your authority, let’s share a few time-saving tips so you can get more posts written.

5 tips to help you find time to write blog posts:

  1. Keep an ideas file

    Every time you see something that may be relevant to your audience, file it. Keep your ideas in a plastic or cardboard folder if you’re a paper lover, or use an app such as Evernote, OneNote, Google Keep or SimpleNote. You’ll never have to stare at a blank page hoping for ideas again. You’ll have a ready-made list of topics, just waiting to be written up.

  2. Create a Blogging Schedule

    This is simple a timetable of your upcoming blog post topics. The schedule details when posts will be published and who will write them. By committing to publishing a post on a certain day or days of the week, fortnight or month, you’re more likely to actually get the posts written and published. Your audience also knows when to expect to see the content and this helps increase your credibility.

  3. Batch your writing

    Try writing once a month. Allocated a chunk of time to write and write 2 posts, 4 posts or 10 posts – however many you need for the month. Sit down with your list of topics and plan out the posts and you’ll be halfway there in no time. Writing the posts is much easier once you have a clear topic and plan in place.

  4. Schedule your postsWhen you write your posts in advance, you can schedule them to be published at any time or date in the future using WordPress. This is particularly handy if you wish to maintain the same time and day for publication of each post, but you’re not always available at that time. Posts can be scheduled as far in advance as you like.
  5. MAKE the time to write

    Allocate a chunk of time in your schedule for writing. Make it non-negotiable and just use the time to write. Turn off email and social media. Switch your phone to silent. Ask not to be interrupted. Use a timer to set a deadline if that helps. Do whatever works to get the writing done!

 

The above tips are just a few suggestions to help you find time to write blog posts. If you have any other tips, tricks, hacks or suggestions, please feel free to let me know via info@ProfessionalWriter.com.au and I’ll add them to the list.

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

 

How to write an outstanding About Us page, How to write website copy, About Us page help, professional writer, business copywriter, small business help, small business marketing, Lyndall Guinery-Smith

How to write an outstanding About Us Page

We’d all love to have an outstanding About Us page on our website, wouldn’t we?

So what is it that makes one About Us page outstanding, while others are so dry? A captivating About Us Page holds the reader’s attention as it tells our story and outlines how we help our customers. In order to achieve this, it’s important to know the difference between content which tells your story in a way which draws your audience in closer, and information which bores them and has them clicking away.

Following are 7 top tips for writing an outstanding About Us page:

1. It’s not really about you, it’s about your audience

While the title of the page is “About Us”, the content needs to portray your story in relation to your customers and how you help them, so it’s really about you AND them.

It can be tempting to write a chronological company history to show how long your business has been established, and this can be helpful in building trust, but it needs to be done in a way which is relevant to your audience.

Whatever your story is, make it interesting and authentic.

2. Know your audience

Who are your target audience? Who will read your website? It’s important to know who you’re aiming your message towards. What are their problems? How can you help solve their problems? Where do they live? What’s their family /marital status, etc.

3. Tell them how you help solve their problem

The reader has come to your site because they have some kind of problem they think you can solve. Firstly, you need to know what that problem is. Then you must outline how you can assist in solving that problem. Detail your approach to business – such as your values, vision and mission. Tell your readers how you solve their problem and why you’re the best choice for them.

4. Reinforce the outcomes with social proof

People like to hear about others who’ve used your product or service and how successful it’s been for them. Use brief testimonials or links to them to show social proof and reinforce the outcomes you’ve achieved for others. Include the client’s name and a photo if possible to increase credibility.

Case studies are another great way to demonstrate the results you’ve achieved for your clients. Be sure to use photos included before and after shots to show the outcomes.

5. Don’t write a boring chronological company history

We’ve all seen them – the dry, boring chronological company history on an About Us page. While this information may establish some trust and respect by showing how long you’ve been in business and where you’ve come from, your readers are more likely to be interested in where you’re going. The bottom line is that a detailed and lengthy company history often isn’t relevant to what you can do for the customer today – keep it short and sweet!

6. Show who you are

Remember, your audience may never have interacted with your business prior to landing on your website. They’ve clicked on your About Us page because they want to know more about you – they want to get to know, like and trust you. It’s ideal if you can include at least a team photo, and hopefully individual headshots too. Photos humanise you and help people put a face to the name. It certainly helps to promote the trust factor.

7. Include a Call to Action

Be clear about what you want your readers to do after they’ve read your page. Invite them to connect with you on social media, sign up for your newsletter, phone you or offer an alternative way to establish trust with them.

When you set out to write your About Us page, the most important thing to understand is what your audience is looking for. The information on your About Us page must be authentic and capture the unique essence of your business, but it must clearly state the benefits you provide to your customers.

The above tips are simply a guideline to assist you with writing an outstanding About Us page. If you need professional help with writing your website copy, feel free to contact me via: info@ProfessionalWriter.com.au.

Hi, I’m Lyndall Guinery-Smith, The Professional Writer. I love to write copy dedicated to attracting and engaging your customers – and improving your bottom line. If you’d like to know more about writing to connect with your readers, sign up for my mailing list and you’ll receive regular doses of marketing inspiration in your mailbox. You’ll find the signup box at the base of my home page on www.ProfessionalWriter.com.au. 

 

Writing engage reader, Engage your reader, writing tips, writing for the web, professional writer, business writing tips, business writing help, small business marketing, Professional writer Australia, Lyndall Guinery-Smith

7 tips to engage the reader online

Have you ever noticed how some blog posts and websites engage the reader, holding your interest, while others are so boring that you want to click away?

Once your prospective customer has found your website, you want to pique their interest. Then you can form some level of connection with them, so they may get to know, like and trust you… and then buy from you! You can engage the reader through your static content (Home, Services, Products and About Us pages). You can also engage through blog posts, which add fresh content to your site, boosting your authority and your Google ranking.

So, how do you write to engage the reader?

Instead of writing from your own perspective, you need to look at the topic from the reader’s point of view. You need to essentially write with the reader in mind, tailoring your content to the intended reader.

Following are 7 tips for writing to engage the reader

  1. Who are your readers?

A lot of people who write website copy don’t know who their audience is, let alone consider their perspective when writing. It’s important to know who is in your audience – are they clients, potential customers, potential investors, joint venture partners or suppliers? Your answer may be “all of the above”, and that’s OK, as long as you know who you’re aiming at. If however, you’re aiming solely at one audience, you need to focus solely on those people.

Other aspects to consider are demographics such as age, sex, location, marital status, career, etc. Of course, every reader will be different, but you need to think about the IDEAL type of person you’d like to attract. What do they know, i.e. what level of knowledge do they have? Are they beginners, intermediate or more advanced in the understanding of the topic you’re presenting?

What do they know, i.e. what level of knowledge do they have? Are they beginners, intermediate or more advanced in the understanding of the topic you’re presenting?

What do they need to know, i.e. what information do you need to share to influence their buying decision?

Established business owners should pay close attention to the questions customers ask. Do your customers frequently ask the same questions? If so, write down the answers and ensure your website contains most of this information (you may want to withhold a certain piece of material to share with them in person). Including information from your most commonly asked questions on your website will save time for you and build trust with your readers.

  1. What tone will work for your readers?

Will you project a more formal, business-like tone? Or will you use a more friendly, relaxed and approachable voice in your website copy? This is something that is determined by the type of business you’re in, as well as your audience. For example, if you’re running a professional services business, you may need to use a more formal tone than say a family-run small business, as the expectations of the readers and clients of these two businesses would be vastly different.

  1. What type of language will you use?

Most website content is now written in everyday language. Think about how you would present an idea to a client. For blog posts, it’s advisable to write as you speak as a general rule, as if you’re speaking to the reader, one-on-one.

  1. Structure your post or page

Reader attention spans are short when it comes to reading web copy.

  • Come up with a strong headline that captures the topic and your reader’s attention
  • Use sub-headings to break up long sections of text
  • Bullet points or numbered lists make the text easier to read
  • Use short, well-structured sentences
  • Avoid jargon and technical speak as your readers often don’t understand it and will click away
  • Use a photo, illustration or diagram to display ideas and complement the text
  1. Think about the reader’s problem – and how you solve it

What is it that you do? If you’re a fashion retailer, you don’t just sell clothing, you give people the confidence to step out in their new outfit and make people feel great. You need to show them how you do this! The reader comes to your site with an underlying problem and they’re looking for a solution. Think about what you need to tell them that will reinforce your ability to help them? Be sure to clearly demonstrate how you can easily solve their problem and why you’re the best choice.

You can use testimonials, product reviews and case studies to reinforce the results you’ve already achieved for existing clients.

  1. Fake it till you make it

If you’re not an authority on the topic you’re writing about, you can still demonstrate authority by quoting the opinion of a known authority or using statistics to back up your statements. This is a useful way to reinforce your statements while demonstrating that you’ve done your research… and it still makes you look authoritative.

  1. Check, Check, Chek … see what I did there?

Before you publish, always get a third person to read and check your web copy or article for any typographical errors, spelling mistakes or incorrect grammar. Ask them to give you their interpretation of what the copy is about – which is very valuable feedback. You may need to adjust one or two sentences based on this feedback. Don’t be embarrassed if your reader picks up a mistake – just own it, correct it and move on. Even the best of us can make mistakes – including me! 🙂

 

I hope these tips have helped you think about how you can engage your readers online. If you have any further tips on how to write to engage the reader, please feel free to let me know via email – info@ProfessionalWriter.com.au.  If you need any professional help with your website copy, check out my website copywriting services. Email me to discuss your requirements.

Hi, I’m Lyndall Guinery-Smith, The Professional Writer. I love to write copy dedicated to attracting and engaging your customers – and improving your bottom line. If you’d like to know more about writing to connect with your readers, sign up for my mailing list and you’ll receive regular doses of marketing inspiration in your mailbox. You’ll find the signup box at the base of my home page on www.ProfessionalWriter.com.au. 

blog post ideas for small business, blogging for business, professional writer, business writer, writing for business, blog writing help, Professional Writer Australia, Lyndall Guinery-Smith

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.

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.

Build trust, professional writer, website content, how to get people to buy, small business marketing, Lyndall Guinery-Smith

7 ways to build trust with your readers

Want to know how to build trust with your readers – and get them to buy?

If you want people to buy from you, they need to first know, like and trust you. A good website will provide enough information for interested readers to get to know and like you, but influencing a reader to trust you is a much bigger step.

In the past, you’d meet people face-to-face and have the opportunity to form a connection and build the “know, like and trust factor” through things like your conversation, body language, tone, rapport and your follow up afterwards.

Now that so much business is done online, we need to establish that connection, build rapport and engage customers quickly – so it’s essential that you have the right type of content on our website. Even if they know and like you, most people won’t part with their hard-earned dollars until they trust you.

Here are 7 ways to build trust with your readers…

1. It’s about them NOT you

This may seem counterintuitive, but the first and most important thing to understand is that the message needs to be about the reader, not about you. A lot of business owners are passionate about what they do and want to tell everyone how good they are at it, but unless you tell the story in a way which quickly and clearly illustrates, “What’s-In-It-For-Me?” to the reader, then you’re likely to lose them.

You need to tell the reader what you can do for them or how your product or service will improve their lives before they care about who you are. Of course, credentials are important, but in terms of capturing the reader’s attention, they are secondary to addressing the needs of the reader.

2.  Know who you’re talking to

So, exactly who is it you’re trying to attract? Who is your target audience? Do you have an ideal customer? It’s important to know who you are targeting with your message. You cannot possibly target everyone with one message. What’s important to one may not be relevant to another. Get clear on who your target audience is – and write the message as though you are speaking directly and personally to them.

3.  Know what their pain points are and address them

A good way to build rapport is to talk about an issue which causes your target reader pain or stress and let them know how you solve their problem. For example, if you’re a fashion company targeting the mature woman, their pain points might be that they want clothes which fit and flatter their body, which are comfortable.  Find your readers’ pain point/s.

4.  Answer questions your current customers ask

What are some of the questions your customers ask you? Take these questions and expand upon them, providing comprehensive information about each answer, so that there are less questions in your reader’s mind.

5.  Offer the reader something useful for nothing

You can also build trust with your readers by clearly demonstrating your knowledge and experience – and then giving it away. One good way to do this is by offering a free eBook or short online course which contains helpful or useful information. If you’ve given your reader something of value for nothing up front, you establish a relationship and they get to know you and what you offer. They are then more likely to buy from you.

6.  Use a case study to illustrate and tell a story

A great way to demonstrate your skills and experience is to use case studies. Showing before and after photos if possible, mapping out the issue and how you solved it, to show that you can actually do what you say you can do.

Use a testimonial from the previous customer if possible – this will reinforce your offering, especially if it’s a video testimonial or links to the person’s website. Use a photo or the company’s logo to reinforce the validity of the testimonial.

Case studies show that you can be the solution to the reader’s problem.

7.  Build authority by demonstrating you know what you’re talking about

Make use of your site’s blog section (or get one added if you don’t already have one). Write and post regular content with a variety of topics to educate and engage your readers – and build authority. Not only will this information help the reader, it will also show how you can help solve their problem and that you can be trusted.

 

Hopefully, the above information has provided some tips you can use to build trust with your readers. What do you already do to build trust on your website? Do you have any additional tips to add? 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.