Communication tips, how to connect with your ideal customer, professional writer

Top 5 attention-grabbing communication tips

Connecting with your ideal clients isn’t always as straightforward as you’d like it to be. The following communication tips will help you craft your message so it’s more likely to attract the attention of those elusive prospective customers!

Tip 1: Know your target customers

How do we get to know people? We ask questions – and REALLY listen to their answers. Find out as much as you can about exactly who your ideal customers are. Get to know their age, gender, marital status, spending habits, likes and dislikes, etc.

  • What keeps them awake at night? Identify their problem/s
  • How can you tap into their problem and offer a solution?
  • What motivates them to buy?

Tip 2: Know where to find your prospects

It’s important to know where your ideal customers hang out. If you send your message on the wrong channel, they’ll miss it and you’ll be disappointed that you’ve wasted valuable time and money investing in the wrong marketing. Take the time to get to know …

  • Where do your customers look for information?
  • Which social media channels are they active on?
  • How do they prefer to receive communication from you? Is it email, text message, newsletters, social media posts, etc.

Tip 3: Understand some people need nurturing before they buy

Not all your ideal customers will be ready to buy the first time they hear your marketing message. In fact, most people won’t buy when they first hear about your business. This is why it’s important to be persistent and consistent with our marketing messages.

One of the most important, and often overlooked, communication tips is that we need to build the “know, like and trust factor” first. This is where social media can be particularly useful.

  • Thanks to social media and email marketing, we can connect with prospects more effectively and frequently
  • Tap into these resources to form a connection with your prospects
  • Be aware of the Rule of 7 – where prospects need to see/hear your message at least 7 times before they commit to buying from you

Tip 4: Give them a reason to connect with you

Do you like being “sold to”? Most people don’t, so why would you do it to your customers? You need to give them a good reason to connect with you. Your message also needs to be tailored and clearly expressed to capture their attention.

  • Share useful content and relevant information
  • Invite them to join your community – everyone loves to belong
  • Offer loyalty discounts or special offers to your community members
  • Offer them a bonus if they introduce a friend or family member

 Tip 5: Connect, don’t sell!

You will only build a strong connection with your customers by adding value, not through selling to them. It’s important to provide information which helps them in some way, but at the same time, it can allow them to understand more about your business and why you’re the best choice for your product or service.

  • Craft stories that evoke an emotional connection with your brand
  • Share client success stories – everyone loves good news
  • Use videos of you, your team and your customers
  • Illustrate your expertise and that of your team
  • Remember it’s SOCIAL media – share, don’t be pushy or hard sell
  • Build your profile as an industry expert

If you successfully adopt these communication tips, there’s no need to sell. Your ideal customers will be lining up to buy from you!

 

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.  

 

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.  

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.

 

enter business awards, why you should enter business awards, help with business award application, professional writer, business award nomination writer

7 Awesome Reasons to Enter Business Awards

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

1. An opportunity to audit your business

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

2. Share your story

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

3. Boost your profile

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

4. Increase your credibility

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

5. Expand your opportunities

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

6. Benchmark your business

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

7. You can WIN great prizes

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

Wondering which awards to enter?

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

Australian Achiever Awards

Anthill Awards

Australian Customer Service Awards

The Australian Small Business Awards

Australian Business Awards

Family Business Australia Awards

Local Business Awards

MyBusiness Awards

Small Business Champion Awards

Smart Company Awards

SME Awards

Telstra Business Awards

Telstra Business Women’s Awards

What about local awards?

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

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

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

 

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

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

Networking tips to help grow your business

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

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

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

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

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

Following are 9 tips for those starting out in networking:

  1. Decide why you’re networking

Are you attending to grow your network –

Would you like to meet influencers in your industry?

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

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

  1. Choose the right networking event to go to

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

  1. Arrive early

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

  1. Go with a positive attitude

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

  1. Don’t be too eager

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

  1. Be sincere and authentic

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

  1. Gather business cards from the people you meet

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

  1. Don’t overstep the mark

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

  1. Follow up

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

Bonus tip:

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

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

 

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

How to connect with your ideal client, small business marketing, marketing, professional writer, Professional writer, small business marketing, Lyndall Guinery-Smith

11 ways to connect with your ideal client

If you’ve taken the time to identify your target market, you’ll want your marketing message to truly connect with your ideal client.  Whether you’re writing website copy, a blog post, article or advertisement, you must write with your reader in mind if you want to make a connection with them.

Here are some tips to help you make that connection and win more business:

  1. It’s all about relationships

Where would your business be without clients or customers? Things would be pretty quiet and you’d soon be closing the doors – that’s for sure. So, the ability to connect with your ideal client, then establish and maintain great relationships with them must be a priority – and it should be your end goal. This means being friendly and approachable right from the very beginning.

If you start out with a view to building relationships, you’re more likely to be successful. You know what they say – start with the end in mind.

 

  1. Know who your ideal clients are

Firstly, you need to get to know as much as possible about your ideal clients. Whether you have an established business or you’re just starting out, having a clear definition of your target market is essential. You can profile your market by preparing Ideal Client Profiles (ICPs) or Client Avatars. These profiles provide a precise understanding of who you’re targeting and may contain information such as your ideal client’s age group, sex, marital status, income bracket, where they live, eat, work and play, their hobbies and any other relevant information.

Talk to your current customers, ask them about their lives and what brought them into your business (instead of your competition). You can use this information to draw others in. If you’re just starting out, speak with people who are in your target market to find out more about their needs and wants. This information will provide vital clues in helping you to connect with your ideal client.

 

  1. Understand what your ideal client wants

Find out – What keeps them awake at night? What problem can you solve for them? What do they really want from you?

Don’t assume… Ask them. You may be surprised at the answers.

Use the information you gather to direct your marketing copy square at their concerns. By doing this, you will make them feel as though you are speaking directly to them and this definitely helps you to connect with your ideal client.

 

  1. Tell your story, but make it about the client too

About Us pages and Company Profiles can sometimes be dull and boring for your readers. While it’s important to provide some background details about the business, you need to find a way to weave in stories about how you help customers and the outcomes you’ve achieved on their behalf. They want to know about you, but they also want to know what you can do for them before they will commit to buying from you. Remember the old W.I.I.F.M…. What’s in it for me?

 

  1. Connect with your ideal client by being relevant and authentic

What kinds of questions do your customers regularly ask you? What’s important to them? What’s relevant to them? You may want to consider these issues before you start writing.

It’s also important to be true to your brand. Some small businesses try to replicate the style of another brand and that can sometimes come off as being inauthentic. Be careful copying…It’s rarely a good look! Spend some time working out the personality of your business, consider who you’re targeting and address the needs of your audience.

 

  1. Know how and where your customers consume content

Where do you customers find their information? Do they still read the newspaper in print? Do they read their information online? If so, where do they find information online? There’s no point in running expensive ads in a place where your target audience won’t see them.

 

  1. Use language your ideal clients can relate to

Again, think about your readers. Who are they? What’s their level of education?  Think about their expectations of your business and whether you wish to portray yourself as a polished professional organisation or a family-run, friendly and approachable local business.  The language used in your writing will be quite different in either situation.

 

  1. Offer assistance

A great way to connect with your ideal clients is to be generous in your offer to help them. Sure, there will be occasions where you help someone and get nothing out of it, but you’ll come out of it smelling like roses. Who knows, you might even get their business in the future.

Remember, people want to know, like and trust you before they will do business with you, and helping them out in a small way is often a great method of establishing a relationship quickly.

 

  1. Welcome your new clients

Thank your new clients for entrusting you with their business and be sure to make them feel welcome. It really depends on what your business is, but some companies have a “Welcome Pack” with information and/or samples for new customers to try. Think outside the box and see what you can come up with.

 

  1. Add value

Try to do that little bit extra – it will make you stand out from your competitors. As Dr. Wayne Dyer said, “It’s never crowded along the extra mile!” Deliver on your deadline a day or two early, provide a little something extra with their order or provide a discount on next order.

 

  1. Deliver on your promises and provide a great customer experience

It doesn’t matter what you say in your marketing, once you’ve secured the client, you actually have to deliver the experience you promised them. If you can’t deliver, then don’t make the promises up front!

Testimonials and endorsements from happy clients who’ve experienced your amazing product or service are a great way to demonstrate that you will deliver on your promises. Remember to ask your clients to review your products and provide testimonials about your awesome service. Most people are happy to have their say. If you’ve provided a great experience, you should get some wonderful feedback. There will always be someone who doesn’t like something you’ve done, but it’s how you react that matters. If the comment is on social media, it’s important to reply in a civil manner and offer to remedy the situation publicly.

 

I hope these tips help you to truly connect with your ideal client.

 

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