an overview of what you do, how you do it, who you are, where you are and your uniqueness.
easy to read, understand and shows people an easy pathway to purchase.
an Anchor in a rough ocean of Information Overload. (Yes fluffy, but i couldn't resist).
Websites start with Design then Usability then Information Architecture then Words are added last. Being last in line, means words are not always given the importance they deserve.
Don’t let this happen to you.
And make sure they reflect ‘your voice’ and style, not a wishy-washy professionalism.
People do not trust the internet or websites. However, they want to trust you. So make it easy for them by using;
photos of you, (not models)
valuable content (hard to get elsewhere)
where you are
multiple ways you can be contacted
information about you
This last point -Information about you- can be tricky. Most people don't include enough.
This is understandable as they want to CONCENTRATE on the CUSTOMER. Although this is correct, it doesn't START with the customer. SELLING starts with YOU. Your ABOUT ME page is more popular than you think.
Because before they trust your product or service, they need to trust you.
Graphic Design - don't drown your message in design
The purpose of hiring a Graphic Designer is to help your audience understand your message. Not to win them a Graphic Design award, by building a BEAUTIFUL but hard to use website. (Yes, I learnt the hard way).
Graphics are not essential.
Design can be effective with simple formatting such as;
Telephone first then email with this subject line;
1. We just spoke. Here is…
2. I just left a phone message. Here is…
3. I just spoke to xxxxx, (coworker) Here is…
Now your Email has a better chance of being opened, read and taken seriously
You’re a Stand Out.
Beware of automation. If your gathering customer emails, just to throw words at people it could backfire.
Is the message valuable? Who is determining 'value'?
This is where Small Business can Power Up by personalizing emails (phone-then-email combo).
It’s about the message, not the tech (automation). Finding quality information to include is a difficult task. If you constantly produce ‘dodgy’ writing, it could harm your brand.
Sent by Big Businesses (and silly small businesses) that want to TALK AT you. And don’t want you to ‘talk back’. Small Businesses can excel with email, by talking WITH people and creating authentic relationships.
Newsletters were the original form of newspapers. In Ancient Rome newsletters were carved in wood or metal and posted in public places. Cool hey?
When we subscribe to a website we receive newsletters. They’re a brilliant way to stay in touch with people.
The great thing about newsletters is that most of the articles don’t have to be great. As long as the reader can scan all the Article HEADINGS, in 10 seconds or less, they won’t unsubscribe. Because they know they'll eventually get some good articles and it only 'costs' them 10 seconds a week. Brilliant !
How to do Newsletters;
Have 3 to 5 stories with scan-able HEADINGS with 3 explanatory lines under each
Fancy design is not necessary, valuable content is key
Beware. If your newsletter becomes too 'salesy', people will unsubscribe
Don't describe a product (e.g. software) as super-easy-to-use. Coffee Cups are super easy to use. Software is not
Have Fun !
Newsletters don’t only have to be about business. Subscribers know you are trying to 'sell', so don't. If you send a quality, fun-things-to-do-this-weekend newsletter, it’s value could be immense. Why? Because everyone wants to do fun things this weekend!
Every 4th Newsletter could simply be a Joke. They know who you are, they just need a reminder. But remember, the funny thing about Jokes is, umm, they have to be funny.
When 'Social' first appeared, years ago, it was seen as a real Game Changer, but the opportunity was mostly lost to;
Maximising Shares and Contacts
Annoying Copy and Paste responses to complaints
The Cult of Positivity – "Awesome!" (without substance)
Bots – “Hi, what is your email address?” Yeah right
However, the potential is still there.
Social Media could be the new ‘word of mouth’ advertising for your Business.
A place to understand and engage with your customers
A place to start a conversation, without even being there. The potential is HUGE
Your website is a place to be Professional – Social is a place to be Human
The key is not to push information (like in normal advertising) but to engage people in valuable, friendly conversations that can be seen by others.
Example – How an Accounting Practice could use Social media.
LinkedIn Posts on Tuesdays - Tax Tips for Tradies.
LinkedIn Posts on Fridays – Tax Tips for Freelancers.
Facebook Posts on Fridays – Things to do this weekend. Showcasing a condensed, scannable writing style and advanced formatting skills. (A hidden advertisement for the efficiency of your practice).
This Social Media Schedule should quietly showcase a condensed, scannable writing style and advanced formatting skills. (A hidden advertisement for the efficiency of your Accounting practice).
Why negative feedback can be good.
It's how you deal with it that counts.
If you ignore it, others customers will think you'll do the same to them.
If you argue, others customers will think you'll do the same to them.
If you Dig Deeper, seek to understand and try to make-it-up-to-them, you'll forge a deeper relationship. Everyone makes mistakes (we all do it) it's how you respond that counts.
Social Media Mistakes;
The Cult of Optimism (no substance). “I’m Super Excited to announce…”
Fluff - You get 3 lines to 'intro' your Post. Make them count
Too Self-Indulgent. It’s about your customers, not you
Inauthentic questions to get engagement
Urgency. Really!? It’s the Internet, not a hurricane alert
Advertising in Posts (that’s what Ads are for)
Form beats Content. Strange but true.
Reading online is different to reading a book.
Format is more important then content when reading online because a great article written in flowing sentences, without breaks, makes it hard to read. This 'great article', won’t get read as much as an average article, that’s easy to read…
Make it Easy to Read (because Readers ‘scan’ online, they don’t ‘read’)
Use numbers. '7 ways to...' could be better than 'How to...'
Short n Sweet. ‘Chunk’ it out
Lots of White Space
Headings and Subheadings
Be understood and useful.
Don’t get caught up in appealing to peoples emotions and impressing people.
Concentrate on the fundamentals.
Make it useful, because if you’re too Salsey or Fluffy, they’ll leave
6 problems ... and solutions
Problem - Telling customers what YOU want them to know.
Solution - Find out what THEY want to know and solve their problems.
Problem - Wishy-Washy Guarantees.
Solution - “We guarantee to respond in 2 hours (Email) and immediately (Calls) or it’s 20% off your monthly Bill.” Now THAT’S a Guarantee.
Problem - Difficult to read, endless paragraphs.
Solution - Use a number in the title. E.g. “7 ways to warm-up before a Surf.” Then the reader can scroll past the warm-ups they already know.
Problem - Corporate Speak. E.g. “Leveraging multiple vehicles of communication.” Really?! Solution - Make it Simple. “Trying different ways to contact people” sounds better.
Problem - Hype. E.g. “We are the Best / Premier / Award Winning / Exceptional”.
Solution - Make your customer feel good, instead of making yourself feel good.
Problem - Too many long words.
Solution - Assistance – Help. Frequently – Often. Constructed – Built. Demonstrate – Show.
Text or email, "I'm interested in Sales Writer services" to James