How to become a thought leader, what is a thought leader, blog post writer, award nominations writer, The Professional Writer, Lyndall Guinery-Smith

How to Become a Thought Leader

Are you seen as a thought leader or a business trailblazer in your industry or niche? Or are you happy to be just one of the crowd?

Thought leaders are those we recognise as a foremost authority in their area of expertise, whose views are seen as authoritative and influential, making them the go-to person for comments, interviews and, of course, business. A thought leader has a powerful and visible personal brand, often built over time.

9 tips on how to become a Thought Leader

1. Become an authority

Select a particular topic or niche. Ideally, you will already have some experience in this area. Be well informed by reading everything you can about the topic and stay constantly up to date on it – BE THE EXPERT.

2. Love your topic and truly believe in it

Demonstrate your passion for your area of expertise by writing, speaking, doing interviews and making videos about it. Always be looking for new ideas related to your area of expertise. Your passion and belief will shine through if you’re truly authentic with your message. Most of us can spot a fake at twenty paces – don’t be that fake!

3. Engage with people

Whether you’re speaking at an event, doing face-to-face networking, interacting on social media or meeting a potential new client – be pleasant, be present and take the time to show an interest in other people, not just yourself. Once you’ve established rapport with the other person, they’re much more likely to show an interest in what you have to offer.

4. Share your expertise

Thought leaders into their experience and share it – you can do this too. Why not write social media posts, articles, fact sheets, guides, ebooks, books – or record videos if you prefer that medium?

5. Write a blog

Blog posts are the ideal platform to share your expertise, thoughts and ideas while positioning yourself as a thought leader. As the content is kept on your own website, you have total control over it, unlike what you post to social media.

Consistency is the key. If you say you’re going to post weekly, do it. If you think you can only manage one post per month, commit to it, choose a date and ensure that blog post is live on that day.

Blog posts can be repurposed as content for your client newsletter or as a guest post on another website or in on industry blog. A blog post which receives a lot of attention is the ideal topic to expand into an eBook, lead magnet or perhaps a complete book on the topic. If you’re not a writer, this task can be outsourced to a professional.

6. Leverage social media

Choose no more than 3 social media platforms and focus on being active on them. Choose your social media channels according to your audience – be where your people are.

Plan your posts and topics ahead of time. Be sure to post regularly and consistently. Be active in groups where your followers hang out and add value by answering questions. Interact with other leaders in your industry, as well as social media influencers and thought leaders.

7. Harness the media

Media and the public look to thought leaders for their input on changes, updates and fresh ideas. Offer to provide your expert commentary to media outlets – they love a great story and are constantly seeking the advice of experts in their field.

8. Nominate for awards

Winning an award is a fantastic way to boost your profile and become known in your local area, your industry, across the country or even worldwide. There are a multitude of industry awards, those run by your local business networking organisations or Chamber of Commerce, or high profile national awards. Using the services of an established awards nomination writer can assist in presenting the best possible submission and boost your chances of standing out from your competition.

9. Form your tribe

Surround yourself with people who complement your strengths, inspire you and support your efforts. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from others, most people are happy to assist where they can. You can do it all alone – it takes a support team behind you.

One final tip … be patient. Becoming a thought leader takes hard work, dedication and creativity – and time. All the effort will be worthwhile when it pays off with huge benefits for those who are willing to stay the course.

The Professional Writer - Lyndall

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

Winning business awards, how to write a winning awards entry, business awards writer, The Professional Writer, Lyndall Guinery Smith

How to write a winning business awards entry

Writing a winning business awards entry can be challenging, but the payoff in the form of promotion for your business can be extremely rewarding, taking your business to a new level.
As an experienced business awards nominations writer, I’m often asked what it takes to write a winning award entry. Make no mistake, it is a project and will require the investment of time and energy – it cannot be a last minute decision.

Following are some helpful tips for writing a winning business awards entry

Before you start writing…

  • Carefully read through the award terms and conditions to check your business is eligible to enter;
  • Take time to consider which categories you should enter. Think about how you could leverage the award once you’ve won, and which category would best help you engage with your target market.
  • If you find any “gaps” in your entry, consider waiting until the following year to enter, and take appropriate action to ensure you can cover that particular topic in future.
  • Note the tips in the guidelines – they are there for a reason!
  • Read and re-read each question, then make notes on your answer
  • Think carefully about each answer. Judges want to see evidence of your performance, so be specific with figures, give clear examples and use graphs or charts to complement your text where possible.
  • Don’t just mention what you’ve achieved, include the outcomes for your clients, how you’ve contributed to your industry or the part you play in your local community

When you start writing your winning business awards entry …

  • Ensure you actually ANSWER the question. This might sound basic, but you’d be surprised how many businesses write a fluffy answer that doesn’t actually address the topic!
  •  Include the achievements of your team members where possible. This is a great way to acknowledge their input into the business and it makes you look like a great boss.
  • Where there’s been a problem that you’ve overcome, don’t be afraid to mention it. All businesses have issues from time-to-time and demonstrating how you’ve overcome those problems shows your resilience and how you’ve grown as an organisation.
  • Where possible, include social proof to add credibility to your entry.
  • Use brief case studies or stories about customers’ success with your product or service to demonstrate the outcomes you’re able to achieve. Tell a story if possible.
  • Before uploading your entry to the awards portal, ask someone independent to proofread your entry. We all make typos and grammatical errors and we rarely see them ourselves, particularly when we’ve read and re-read the same text many times over.
  • Watch the word limit on each answer. If you exceed it, the end of your answer will be cut off!

Entering and winning business awards can be a fabulous way to boost your business. Winning helps raise your profile in your local community, with your clients and potential clients. However, if the awards you enter have state or national levels, and you’re successful in reaching those stages, your profile gets an even bigger boost!

Winning an award demonstrates that you’ve been judged as exemplary by a third party, portraying you as an industry leader. After you’ve entered, give some thought to how you can publicise your win and gain more business from it. You may utilise social media, print media or your local business networks to spread the word about your win. Have a plan of action in place and ready to go once your win is announced.

I hope this brief post has provided you with some useful tips on winning business awards. Should you require any assistance with writing your entry, please feel free to drop me a line.

Lyndall Guinery-Smith, The Professional Writer, Business Writer, Award Nominations Writer

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

 

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

How to Write to Engage your Readers

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

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

Identify your audience

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

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

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

What’s your message?

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

Create useful content

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

Which communication channel should you use?

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

Formatting

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

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

Use visuals!

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

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

Edit, edit, edit

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

Does your document engage readers?

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

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

Be sure to make the final tweaks, then PUBLISH!

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

You may also enjoy these topics:

How website content helps generate sales

Tips on creating an Ideal Client Profile

Becoming known online

The Professional Writer - Lyndall

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

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

Staff Profiles – Why your clients need to Meet the Team

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

Staff Profiles make a great first impression

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

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

Which team members should have staff profiles?

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

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

How often should staff profiles be updated?

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

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

Why should we include photos?

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

Staff Profiles can help boost your team’s esteem

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

A great way to display your team’s capacity

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

It’s about showing your human side

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

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

 

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

The Professional Writer - Lyndall

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

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

Are you making these mistakes when writing blog posts?

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

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

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

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

1. Failing to plan and outline before writing

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

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

2. Not thinking about your reader

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

3. Using jargon or buzz words

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

4. Not correcting spelling, punctuation and grammar mistakes

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

5. Not correcting typos

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

6. Posting paragraph after paragraph of text

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

7. Using too many different fonts

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

8. Rambling on 

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

9. Forgetting to use images or diagrams

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

10. Not tying into your brand

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

 

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

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

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

How your About Us Page can help win business

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

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

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

Who are you targeting? Who is your ideal customer?

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

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

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

What problem do you solve?

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

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

What does your ideal customer want to know?

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

Tell your readers who you really are

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

ALWAYS use photos

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

Show your personality

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

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

Tell them your WHY

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

How to use website content to generate sales, web content, professional writer for web content

10 ways your website content can generate sales

Your website content has the power to make sales. Yes indeed, it does!

Did you know that up to 75% of a new customer’s buying decision is already made by the time you speak with them or interact with them? The customer’s perception of your business, which is most often based on either word-of-mouth or a Google search, is a major influence on their buying decision.

While the quality of your product or service and your relationship with current customers will influence word-of-mouth, your online presence, and the way it shapes your customers’ perception of your business, is more important than ever. Prospective customers want to know what they’re buying and who they’re buying from. Buyers are more educated than ever before, so your website content must inform, educate and guide them in their buying decision.

Go ahead, cast a critical eye over your website content, and ask yourself:

  • What do our readers want to know? What are they looking for on our site?
  • Is this information easy for them to find?
  • What does our About Us page say about us?
  • Is our website content interesting, informative and educational?
  • Does our content guide and influence customers to buy from us?
  • Could we be making more sales from our website?
  • Does our website appeal to customers or does it make them click away?

Here are 10 ways your website content can help generate sales:

  1. Your customers want to know about you

Your website content offers the opportunity for reader to know, like and trust you. This is vital in establishing a business relationship. Does your About Us page accurately portray the essence of your brand?

  1. Tell your story

Does your About Us page accurately portray your brand story and help you stand out? The About Us page is an opportunity to use your story to connect with your ideal clients. When you express yourself in a genuine, authentic way, customers will learn your story and brand personality, and this forms a connection with those ideal customers.

  1. Building a foundation

Your website content is often the first step in building relationships with your customers. Great content provides the opportunity to provide customers with great information about what you do and how you do it, and give them a reason to buy from you or return.

  1. Show what you can do

Your website content allows you to clearly demonstrate that you have the skills, products and services your customers require. Your navigation clearly laid out, so readers can find the information they require with ease – and come to you, ready to buy.

  1. Show the benefits of doing business with your organisation

Use your website’s blog is the ideal way to profile case studies, product reviews and to outline the features and benefits of buying your products or choosing your services. It’s a great idea to reinforce this with testimonials from past customers which outline the results you’ve achieved for them. Third party endorsements are highly influential in the buying decision.

  1. Demonstrate your knowledge

Building a library of informative articles helps you position yourself as an industry expert and the go-to person in your field. People want to buy from people to “know their stuff”.

  1. Educate and inform

Your website content can help educate customers about your industry, products, services, how you operate, and reinforce your position as an industry expert. You can also use case studies to demonstrate how you’ve addressed another client’s issue and the outcomes you were able to achieve for them.

  1. Build relationships

You can use your posts as a basis for a regular customer newsletter. This helps to further inform and educate customers, to keep in contact for top-of-mind awareness, and keep them coming back.

  1. Demonstrate your Unique Selling Proposition

Your website content must outline your competitive edge and demonstrate why you’re better than your competitors. That way, the reader feels that you are the only choice.

  1. Consistency pays

Top-of-mind awareness is vital. The only way to maintain this is to post quality content on a regular basis. Building a library of quality, informative articles not only informs and educates your prospective customers, it will contribute to your Google ranking!

 

While social media is a great influencer, we don’t control it, and the ever-changing algorithms can adversely affect our brand’s visibility. However, you DO control your own website and its content. Your site is your greatest marketing asset.

If you’ve invested in setting up a website, you need to add content on a regular basis to make the site work for you. Adding quality content increases brand awareness and helps build your online profile. A link to your posts can be shared on social media, sending traffic to your site. It’s also a great idea to link to related articles you’ve previously published, leading the reader to further explore your library of articles and increasing your influence.

Your website content has the power to engage the reader and persuade them to do business with you… or it can make your competitors look good! The choice is yours.

 

If you found this article of interest, please like, comment and/or share with your business associates or LinkedIn connections.

You may also enjoy: Attract more business through website content, How to write an outstanding About Us page  and 21 blog post ideas for small business.

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

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

Educate your customers and inspire them to buy from you

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

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

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

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

Who are your ideal clients?

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

What’s their problem?

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

What are you really good at?

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

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

Do you educate your customers?

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

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

How can you help your customers?

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

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

Prove it!

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

Showcase your products and services

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

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

 

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

 

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Winning Business Awards – Top Professional Tips

There’s no doubt that winning business awards can do wonders for your business. Winning can boost morale amongst yourself and your employees – plus it can be fabulous for publicity, brand awareness and your profile. There’s a range of reasons you should enter.

A lot of businesses have the capacity to win an award. However, most business owners will never complete the entry process. If, as the saying goes, “80% of success in life is just showing up”, entering a business award can be your way of showing up!

A winning business awards entry tells the story of your business and how it evolved, without doing the “hard sell”. Answering the questions can sometimes be quite tricky. See the process as an opportunity to undertake a mini audit of your business.

Following are 11 professional tips for winning business awards:

  • Check the website and download all the questions and information you’ll need to complete your application
  • Carefully check whether your business qualifies for the awards. Which category best applies to your business?
  • Keep it clear, concise and ensure you answer the question being asked – don’t ramble on with unrelated information, no matter how great you think it sounds!
  • It’s important to let the judges know about your achievements and milestones – be sure the highlight them in the application
  • Note the word limit. Most online forms will cut off after you reach the word limit
  • Some sections of the application may be split up between judges, so don’t assume you’ve already covered a particular subject if the question is asking for the information again
  • In a winning business awards application, your financial records will need to show increasing profits which prove your financial success
  • Showcase your innovation and explain how you’ve offered something new to the market or your customers
  • Community involvement and charity work is often high on the judge’s agenda – include details on all your activities in this area
  • Don’t just copy and paste from your website or marketing materials – tailor your answers to suit the question being asked
  • DON’T complete your application at the last minute!

Perhaps most importantly …

Your application will require time and effort – be prepared to spend time on it. Try chunking the application down into sections and do it over time. Try drafting your answers, then add further information to them later. It may help to know that some substantial award applications take between 10 and 30 hours to complete in full.

What to do next …

If you’re lucky enough to become a finalist, always attend the awards ceremony. It’s a great excuse for a new outfit and a night out, plus a fabulous networking opportunity with potential collaborators.

If you win, be sure to promote the win on your website, on social media, in the local print press and in your marketing. Display the award in your business premises and let your customers know how and why you won the award. You could even put it on your business card or letterhead!

Even being a finalist is a promotional opportunity, as you can use the phrase, “Finalist, XYZ Business Awards 2017” in your marketing. A button can be added to your website, which always looks impressive.

Do you need help?

I hope these tips on winning business awards have inspired you to at least consider entering either local, national or international business awards. For the relatively small amount of effort required to complete the application, the publicity and marketing opportunities you may gain are boundless.

Maybe you’re great at what you do and you’ve achieved some amazing milestones in your business, but writing isn’t your thing. Perhaps you just don’t have the time it takes to complete the award application? I’ve assisted dozens of small businesses in completing business awards applications, several of whom have won those awards! Please feel free to get in touch if I can help you write an awesome award application. I love to see my clients winning business awards!

 

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

 

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7 Awesome Reasons to Enter Business Awards

If you’ve been in business for at least a year or more, and you’ve experienced growth and success during that time, there are a few good reasons why you should enter business awards…

1. An opportunity to audit your business

The application process itself can be a wonderful opportunity for carrying out a critical analysis of your business. By carrying out the information gathering and evaluation required to complete the application, you may well highlight some areas you excel in or may need to work on.

2. Share your story

As part of the process to enter business awards, you’ll need to tell the story of how your started the business, the essence/soul of your business, the products or services you offer, the market/s you cater to, and your “Why”. Your story should be one which others can relate to and which draws the interest and attention of the judges AND your target customers. The awards provide a platform where you can share this story, so you need to make it as compelling as possible while sticking to the truth.

3. Boost your profile

If you’re looking to raise your profile within your industry, your local community, nationally or possibly internationally, entering a business award is a great way to achieve this. Those businesses who become winners will receive the greatest recognition and subsequent promotion, but the only way to reach that point is to enter! Even if you don’t win, you can leverage the benefit of being able to call yourself a nominee, a finalist or “short-listed for..” in your marketing.

4. Increase your credibility

It’s well known that customers buy from people they know, like and trust. If you want to increase the number of people who know, like and trust you, the awards are a great vehicle, as they show that a third party (the judges) have scrutinised your business and deemed it to be credible and successful.

5. Expand your opportunities

Those who enter business awards have a greater chance of increasing the opportunities available to them. These may include new business, mentoring or forming mastermind groups among contestants. By networking at award events, you may meet other like-minded individuals with whom you can form a strategic alliance or potential customers, suppliers and distributors for your business.

6. Benchmark your business

When you enter business awards, you have the opportunity to benchmark your business against others in your industry, providing valuable information to assist with future direction and potential growth strategies.

7. You can WIN great prizes

There are often fabulous prizes on offer when you enter business awards. These can vary from cash to grants, business services, hampers, wine, other quality products and sometimes even a holiday. Who wouldn’t want to win a holiday?!

Wondering which awards to enter?

There are quite a few awards to choose from. Choosing which one to enter may depend on your industry, and the products or services you offer. Here’s a sample of some national awards which are available to Australian businesses:

Australian Achiever Awards

Anthill Awards

Australian Customer Service Awards

The Australian Small Business Awards

Australian Business Awards

Family Business Australia Awards

Local Business Awards

MyBusiness Awards

Small Business Champion Awards

Smart Company Awards

SME Awards

Telstra Business Awards

Telstra Business Women’s Awards

What about local awards?

Of course, there’s also a range of regional awards run by associations. These include the NSW Business Chamber or your local Chamber of Commerce or your local Business Enterprise Centre.

I hope this information has prompted you to think about how you can enter your organisation in business awards.

Should you require any assistance with answering questions in the application, or writing about your business to portray it in its best light, feel free to drop me a line.

 

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