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. There are a few blog post mistakes you may wish to avoid.

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

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.

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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.

 

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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!

 

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

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

 

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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.

 

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

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

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

 

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

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Top 5 ways to generate blog post ideas for your business

Are you wondering how to generate blog post ideas for your business site?

If you’re thinking about it from the business owner’s perspective, you’re doing it wrong…. Here’s why. Your blog posts should be all about your customer and how you can add value for them, not just about your business. Blog posts offer the opportunity to help customers get to know, like and trust you … then buy from you.

Put yourself in your potential customers’ shoes. You have a problem to solve or there’s something you need to find. Where do you look for a solution? Most people will type their query into Google or a similar search engine. If we’re looking for a new rug for the living room, some people will type “Living room rugs”. Others may be more specific and type something like, “Traditional living room rugs” or “Beige living room rugs” for example. Others might type in, “How to choose the right rug for your living room”- this is asking for an answer to their problem.

Once you focus on the needs of your customers and potential customers, it becomes a lot easier to generate blog post ideas for your website.

1. What do your customers want to know? 

Think about the questions your customers regularly ask you during the initial stages of your relationship.

  • Find out what keeps them awake at night – and offer a solution
  • What is the “big problem” you can solve for them?
  • What knowledge do you have which can be shared to build trust?

Don’t worry about giving away “trade secrets” or your competitors reading/copying your posts. Just use the information you’d normally talk to customers about in a face-to-face situation.

2. Explain how your product or service works – How does it solve their problem

Outline one or more of your products or services. Explain in detail how the product or service works. Every customer has a problem, be sure to tell them how your product solves their problem. For example, if you sell fishing lures, you may be able to provide information about the techniques using to cast the line so that the lure is more appealing to the fish. Sharing this information will help customers to know, like and trust you, as well as demonstrating your authority.

3. Elaborate on testimonials or feedback from clients – what you’ve done well

What do your customers appreciate about you? What positive feedback have you received? This is not about “tooting your horn”, it’s more about expanding on the positives and letting prospective customers know that others have had a great experience with you. It may be along the lines of “87% of our customers got a positive result”, or “We’ve helped 2,125 people get a better night’s sleep” or something similar.

People will always believe a third party endorsement over something you say about yourself, so take the opportunity to share the positive feedback you receive (with the permission of those who gave you the feedback of course).

4. Profile a customer, detail their journey with a case study

Add to the authenticity of your business brand by writing a profile of one of your valued customers. Tell the customer’s story, it helps to humanise your business. A case study shows the before, during and after of your product or service. It clearly details what the customer’s initial problem was, the alternatives they considered and why they chose you. You have the opportunity to demonstrate the way you went about helping the customer and how their life has been changed by your product or service. If possible, ask your customer for a brief video testimonial to include in the post and share on social media – video is very powerful.

5. Tell your story

There is a multitude of ways you can tell the story of your business and share your experiences. You might like to tell your customers how you came to be in business, share some important lessons you’ve learned or detail how your industry is changing. Profiling your staff members can also help build trust, demonstrate your knowledge and detail your industry experience. All this helps build your authority and influences your potential customers to buy from you.

 

This article has outlined just a few ways you can generate blog post ideas for your business. Adding regular fresh content to your website can help attract more business. If you need help to ensure you maintain a regular blog posting schedule, this article may help.

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

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

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How to become known online – 7 top tips

Want to become known online?

Attracting prospective customers and getting them to buy from you online can be challenging. The first step in successfully cultivating a great relationship with your customers is to get them to know, like and trust you. This post is the first in a three-part series I will be publishing on this topic.

How do prospective customers find you if? You need to become known online.

Customers will usually do an internet search for either your company, if they’ve already heard of you, or the problem they’re searching for a solution to. Either way, you want your website to be found by those you’re trying to impress, and this is where the content of your website can help.

Once they’ve found your site, what does the information say about you? Your content needs to be clear, easy to navigate and easy to read.

Getting known online is a process. It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen … if you start with the right tools.

Here are 7 tips to help you become known online:

  1. Know who you’re talking to

You can’t be all things to all people. Who is your target market? Who is your ideal customer? You may benefit from preparing a buyer persona or ideal client profile which details the personal details, occupation, interests, income and habits of the person you’re aiming to attract. You can source a photo and give them a name.

Once you have a good idea of who your target audience is, you need to write your copy with your ideal customer in mind.  Write as though you are speaking to your ideal customer.

  1. Demonstrate your knowledge

If you’re in business, especially if you’ve been established for a while, you’ll have accumulated a substantial amount of knowledge. By sharing your insights and knowledge with readers, it builds your credibility and helps you work towards the coveted “know, like and trust” factor.

Think of the problems you regularly solve for customers and write content which addresses that issue. Always aim to add value to your reader and be as helpful as possible, as this helps in the next phases of the process, which are the LIKE and TRUST factors. Think about what keeps them awake at night and address those issues – offer a solution to their problems.

  1. Create great content

What will you post on your website? What do your customers want to know? Remember they’ve come to your site because they’re seeking an answer to a question or a solution to a problem they are experiencing. By getting to know your customers and asking what they’re looking for, you can create content which addresses their issue.

You can’t make assumptions here. Answering frequently asked questions is a great place to start. If you already have existing customers, survey them to find out what they’d like to know about your products or services.

Know your business, know your core topics and write content which focuses on your core business.

  1. Write and share a free product that adds value to your target market

Creating a free product which people want to share is a popular way to grow your audience and become known online. This could be an eBook, cheat sheet, planner or digital recording, for example. These are relatively simple to create and offer on your site.

Not sure what to write about? Ask your customers what their biggest concerns are and design your product to address one of those issues or concerns.

  1. Create a blog and post regularly

Most websites have a Blog page, many of which are empty. This is one of the greatest untapped resources small business owners can capitalise on. A blog is a prime opportunity for you to communicate with your clients on a regular basis. Blogging is a great way to help your business become known online, and it can help your search ranking too, which is a bonus!

Not sure where to start with your blog? Make a list of questions you’re asked on a regular basis, ask your readers what they want more of, be interesting, be creative and generously share your knowledge. Your blog is one of the best opportunities you have to build your status as an industry expert.

  1. Share an expert’s knowledge – interview them

If you don’t feel confident in your own experience, or you’ve run out of topics to blog about, you may choose to interview an industry expert. Most people are pretty forthcoming if you ask to interview them. You could do a written post or an audio post for this.

Tapping into the expertise of an authority underpins your own credibility. You may even be lucky enough to have the interviewee share your post with their audience – always ask, they can only say no!

  1. Network, network, network!

Get active on social media. Post regularly and build your profile. Be sure to complete your profile with:

  • All the pertinent details about you and what you do
  • A recent photo where you look friendly and approachable
  • Be sure to include your contact information

Join social media groups which cover your industry. Local buy swap and sell pages can also be helpful in getting known in your own area. Answer people’s questions and be as helpful as possible. Ensure you have a link to your business website in your personal profile, so that people can click through and find out more about your business.

 

These are just a few tips to get you started in becoming known online. The next post in this series will explore “How to get customers to like you online”.

Hi, I’m Lyndall Guinery-Smith, The Professional Writer. I have a strong background in small business management and helping businesses to build their “Know, like and trust” factor.

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

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

How to write an outstanding Company Profile

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

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

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

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

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

Your Clients

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

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

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

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

Your Company

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

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

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

Your Competition

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

How to write an engaging Company Profile

How to write a Company Profile that wins more business

 

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

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

 

Business case studies, How to write a business case study, professional writer. professional writing help, small business marketing, Lyndall Guinery-Smith

How to write a business Case Study

Wondering how to write a business Case Study to show how you’ve helped a client? Not sure whether it’s the right way to go? They’re not as difficult to put together as you may think. Here are some frequently asked questions and answers about business Case Studies to help you get started.

What is a business Case Study?

In the business marketing context, a Case Study describes a real-life situation where your business has been required to provide a solution to your client’s problem. Basically, it’s a story about how you’ve solved a problem or issue for a current or past client and the outcomes you have achieved.

Why should I write a business Case Study?

In the past, if your marketing copy said, “We’ll help you get the best results”, people believed you – because businesses used to deliver on their brand promise. However in recent times, most of us have had at least some experience with a business which doesn’t fulfill its brand promise, and that makes us cynical about marketing messages. So now we look for proof of the outcomes we should expect before we commit to buying.

Your potential customers want to see some “social proof”, meaning they want to see that others have successfully used your product or service, and which outcomes you provided … and then they will choose whether to copy your subject’s behaviour. We’ve largely become a society of followers.

A Case Study is certainly one of the best ways to clearly demonstrate social proof.

What will a business Case Study help me to achieve?

Apart from the all-important social proof, a business Case Study has the ability to:

  • Demonstrate the value of your product or service
  • Reinforce the outcomes of your product or service
  • Show how you have helped your client/s and solved their problem
  • Position your business and brand as an authority in your field
  • Demonstrate the calibre of your clients
  • Offer your clients an opportunity for additional publicity
  • Has the potential to influence key decision-makers to buy from you

How should I structure my business Case Study?

It’s important to use real-life examples rather than imaginary scenarios. Try to choose an example of a problem or client your customers can easily relate to.

Of course, you’ll need to ask the permission of the client you’re profiling in the Case Study before you use their business name or example.

  • Start from the very beginning
  • Outline the issue or problem your client was experiencing before they used your product or service
  • Detail the specific needs of your client
  • List the potential solutions to the problem, together with the positives and negatives of each
  • Provide details of the option you offered and why it suited the client’s situation
  • Clearly list and demonstrate the outcomes and benefits provided by your solution
  • If you have measurable outcomes, use statistics or percentages to reinforce the difference your product or service has made to your client, for example, “This product helped XYZ Company improve their output by 50%” – obviously this must be true!

How do I make my Case Study easy to read and understand?

Try to remember that some people will understand a concept simply by reading text, while others require diagrams or pictures, or better still, a video.

Headlines are important

You need to capture the problem you’re addressing for your client in the headline, for example, “How to solve your acoustic problems” or “The best way to dress a wound”. Think about the problem you’ve solved and the issue your prospective clients will type into Google, then use it as part of your headline.

Photos and Videos

Including visuals in your Case Studies is highly effective, but it does require some forward planning. You’ll need to ask permission from your client before you take any photos of the work you’re doing and you’ll also need the permission of any people in the photos or videos. Before and after photos are ideal, but taking photos as the job progresses can help demonstrate the process you use and how through your are, so be sure to take photos as the job progresses.

Including visuals in your Case Studies is highly effective, but it does require some forward planning. You’ll need to ask permission from your client before you take any photos of the work you’re doing and you’ll also need the permission of any people in the photos or videos. Before and after photos are ideal, but taking photos as the job progresses can help demonstrate the process you use and how through your are, so be sure to take photos as the job progresses.

Infographics and diagrams

Another great way to reinforce your Case Study.  If design isn’t really your thing, you can outsource this.

Bullets and numbered lists

These can help break up the text and make it easier to scan, which is how most people read blog posts due to time constraints.

Bold or italics

These can be used to highlight headings or important points throughout the text.

You could also use a Question and Answer format similar to this one if it’s easier for you.

Use a quote from the client to reinforce your story and add to the authenticity of it.

Where should I post my Case Study?

The first place your Case Study should appear is on your blog or in the News section of your website. Make sure it’s easy for your prospective customers to find.

You can link back to your site from social media to increase the traffic to your site and reinforce your ability to problem solve for your clients.

  • If you’ve made a video, you can post it on Vimeo or YouTube. This can increase the number of people viewing your Case Study
  • Infographics can be posted to Pinterest, with a link back to your site for the full details
  • If you operate in the business-to-business space, you may benefit from posting your Case Study on LinkedIn
  • Some companies turn their Case Studies into podcasts and post them on their site, as well as iTunes, where you may also find exposure to a wider audience

How can I get more exposure for my Business Case Study?

There are dozens or possibly hundreds of different places you can publicise your Case Study, depending on your industry. However the one important thing to remember is, where are your customers looking? You need to be wherever they are searching online for a solution to their problem. Rather than spreading yourself across too many mediums, it’s a good idea to stick to 2 or 3 and consistently post to them. Spasmodically posting to too many platforms is a waste of your precious time.

A good business Case Study has the power to influence your reader in many ways. The above tips will help you get started. If you need any further help with writing your Case Studies, feel free to email me for a quote.

 

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

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

Find time to write blog posts – 5 top tips

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. Keep an ideas file

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

  2. Create a Blogging Schedule

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

  3. Batch your writing

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

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

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

 

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

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