workshops for business leaders in Cardiff

Join us at our workshops for business leaders on April 17

workshops in Cardiff

Everyone who writes has an audience in mind – whether that’s journalists, bloggers, novelists, poets, or business leaders.

So, when it comes to creating the content you need for your website, social media, or print products such as brochures, you need a clear picture of who you’re speaking to, what they care about, what their problems are, and how you solve them.

That’s why we’re hosting workshops for business leaders on April 17 to help you define your ideal clients and come up with a strategy to communicate with them.

This isn’t about prettying up your content, it’s about making it useful and helping you to get more customers.

As the best-selling author and marketer Andrew Davis says: “Content builds relationships. Relationships are built on trust. Trust drives revenue.”

And, as the content marketer David Beebe adds: “Content marketing is like a first date. If you only talk about yourself, there won’t be a second one.”

There are just five people in each of our three-hour workshops in Cardiff. So, you’ll get plenty of help and the practical tools you need to really connect with your clients. The prices start at £47.

You can book a place here.

We hope to see you there!

Do you have a content marketing subject you’d like to see us tackle in a workshop? Please feel free to leave a comment below or to contact us on maria@wordsyoucanuse.co.uk.

 

 

outsource your blog

Looking to outsource your blog? Here are 5 effective tips

When you decide to outsource your blog, you do it for very good reasons.

outsource your blog

Tips to help you outsource your blog…

You outsource your blog and bring in an expert writer who can craft your posts because they have both the time and experience to do so. That frees up your time to work on other areas of the business.

Finding a great professional blogger is a major boost for your marketing campaign. A good blogger will be able to understand your company, know the style in which you’d like them to write, and do their research about your ideal customers.

They can write you social media headlines to maximise your SEO when sharing your posts, and emails to help you share your new post with your database.

If you’ve never used a professional blogger before, here are some tips to get the most from that relationship:

Be specific.

If you want something done a certain way, be as specific as possible with your blogger. They want to give you content you’ll love, and which gives you a great return on investment. The more detail you give them the better.

Embrace their creativity.

If you’re not sure what to do with a post, ask your blogger as they may have tried and tested ways of delivering something great which you hadn’t thought about. A good blogger will be able to come to you with ideas, and you can agree with them what you’d like them to work on.

Copy them in on your calendar.

That helps them spark off ideas for new posts around events you’re attending, sales, product launches, or new directions you’re taking in the business. Blogging calendars will also contain major events like film launches and holidays such as Easter and Christmas, but the more relevant the blogger can make it to your individual business, the better.

Let them mix it up when it comes to length.

Statistically, posts which are between 1,200 and 1,700 words get the best engagement but shorter posts are also excellent ways of getting information across quickly. The best way forward when you outsource your blog could be having a longer read every month or two.

Images are important.

Most bloggers have good sources of stock images and the best ones have good contacts with freelance photographers. Most social media platforms have far better engagement when pictures or video is used, so take any opportunity you can to embed them into your blog.

Here’s to a fruitful relationship between you and your pro blogger!

small business

Want a Star Wars wedding? Former registrar’s business will help you celebrate

small business

Fancy a Star Wars wedding? You’ll need the right celebrant…

Would you like a hand-fasting, a zombie-themed wedding, or a non-religious funeral?

Then you need a celebrant who will help make your day reflect your personality.

Former registrar Jane Grayer set up her small business Create Ceremonies because of the desire to give people the individual ceremonies they need.

Monmouthshire-based Jane, 52, carries out weddings and commitment ceremonies, funerals, and naming and family ceremonies.

Recently, she created a special ceremony to mark the adoption of a child.

“It was a lovely day,” says the former stage manager and charity worker.

“I haven’t heard of anyone else creating ceremonies like that for when adoption becomes legal and the process in the courts has ended.

“The ceremony marked a welcoming of the child into the family.”

Supportive adults, a non-religious version of god-parents, were chosen. They help and support a child throughout their life.

“I thoroughly enjoyed my four years as a registrar, but registrars are bound by the law. They can only carry out a ceremony in a permanent structure with walls and a roof,” Jane says.

“I can offer ceremonies outdoors, or in places which haven’t been licensed for marriage such as a number of castles in Wales.

“The couple would have to legally have a Register Office ceremony too, but some people like to have their own ceremonies afterwards in places which are special to them. They can write their own vows, and make their commitment in their own way.”

Non-traditional ceremonies can also create special roles for people such as step-parents and step-siblings.

People feel increasingly confident to ask for something different for their family ceremonies, Jane says. Her clients come from all faiths and no faith.

Some of the commitment ceremonies she offers are perfect for those who want to show their commitment without having a legal marriage. They include hand-fasting and broom jumping.

What’s behind the business?

business

Jane Grayer

Jane is a member of the UK Society of Celebrants. She gets to know her clients and their personalities and offers them a bespoke and personalised service.

More people are asking for non-religious funerals so Jane works with the families to create ceremonies which reflect the life of the person they have lost.

She also creates non-religious baby naming ceremonies for parents who prefer to welcome their child into their family without a traditional christening ceremony.

Jane, who lives with her husband and two teenage sons in Monmouthshire, carries out ceremonies across South Wales.

To find out more about Jane’s work, go to www.createceremonies.co.uk. Or you can call 07733 201158.

Do you have an unusual business you’d like us to feature on this blog? Email maria@wordsyoucanuse.co.uk

60 second

Is it time for your 60 second make-over?

60 second

Get ready for your 60 second presentation…

Some people love them and some people hate them. Those 60 second slots to introduce ourselves at networking sessions are business Marmite.

However you feel about them, they can be important when it comes to making the right impression on would-be customers.

Do well, and you might make a lasting business-client relationship, but do badly, and you pass up a chance to impress.

Here are our top 5 tips to ensure you communicate well and make the right impression:

1. Say who you are and what you do.
You’d be amazed how many people forget this. It’s worth saying it up front and reminding people quickly at the end.

2. Talk about what you can do for potential customers.
So many people talk about themselves and list their products. Would-be customers want to know how you can help them – sell the benefits.

3. Create a way to be remembered.
Taking something visual along is a good tip. Will you be the bloke with the hi-vis vest or the woman with the hula hoop? You’ll stand out from the crowd. Creating a verbal hook for the end of your speech is also a good technique – something which plays on words in your industry always goes down well.

4. Write it down.
Don’t write down the whole 60-second speech, write bullet points. It’s useful to have something to pull you back into the flow if you feel yourself getting lost, but not something that makes you read aloud instead of interacting with the room.

5. React to things around you.
Think about the audience, the location, or if something funny has just happened. Don’t be afraid to work a little of that in at the last minute – it’ll make your 60 seconds seem fresh.

Don’t worry if giving that 60 seconds feels daunting as most of us felt like that until we became used to doing it.

We certainly did!
Practise makes perfect. So even if you have a few stumbles on the first few occasions you speak, you will improve.
Remember, there’s always someone new at these events who won’t have seen your 60 seconds before.
You can make a great first impression on them, and change the way the rest of the group sees you, too.

It’s time for your 60-second make-over!

 

ideal customers

How can I speak to my ideal customers online? Here’s how you find Mr or Ms Right…

ideal customers

Find your ideal customers

Sometimes, we feel like there’s a deluge of information on the internet. It can be off-putting, confusing, and so difficult to find our ideal customers.

There’s so much content out there right now. The thing you have to remember is that most of it isn’t useful to your target audience.

You need to be different and to speak directly to them.

That’s why you need to find your Mr and Ms Right.

Building a profile of your ideal customer/s is the starting point.

It all starts with data.

ideal customers

Get your head around your data…

Your data will show you who is buying your products or services, and who is interacting with your social media posts. That’s not to say all of them are your ideal customers, but it must be your starting point.

Here are your sources of data:

Google Analytics – If you haven’t got this activated on your website, activate it now. It’s still the gold standard when it comes to seeing website visitor numbers and the levels of engagement. Its demographics function also gives you a great deal of information about your website visitors.

Twitter Analytics – Twitter gives you a great deal of information about those who view and interact with your posts. It tells you what interests your followers (business, news, sport, comedy), the age range and gender breakdown, what sort of devices they use, and even which mobile phone/broadband service they use. Twitter has shown me that a growing number of people are viewing my tweets via iPhones and iPads, and Android phones, continuing the trend towards mobile.

Facebook and other social media – Facebook can show you a great deal about those who engage with your posts including locality, age range, friendship networks, interests (via your followers’ likes), and other social media you use regularly can also give you good insights into who is interacting with you.

Your sales records – It’s amazing how many people overlook this. Your own records have great insights into who is buying your products or services, and how they are using them. It’s an excellent starting point. If you don’t know how old they are, what brought them to you, etc, why not consider a customer questionnaire to help you improve your service?

So, what do you do next?

Take a few days to plough through all of this information. Pick out the age range, gender balance, locality, their interests, where they ‘hang out’ on social media, whether they are professionals.

Now, you have a basic profile and you should know whether you are targeting women in their 40s or professional 20-somethings.

Most people would stop there. Don’t. Your ideal customer profile has to be very detailed. If you’d like to learn how to do that, why not book onto one of our courses?

From all of this data and information you’ve gathered, you should now have a feel for where you’re going with your profile. At some point, the data has to be supplemented by your intuition about those who will buy from your business, and why.

How will your target audience find you on the web?

What kind of keywords could you use? There are a number of keyword finder tools – both paid for and free – which you could use in your research. They include:

http://keywordtool.io/

http://www.wordstream.com/keyword-tools

http://www.internetmarketingninjas.com/search/

http://tools.seobook.com/keyword-tools/seobook/

http://www.keyworddiscovery.com/search.html

http://ubersuggest.org/

http://www.bing.com/toolbox/webmaster/

Need help with blogging for your business? Email maria@wordsyoucanuse.co.uk. Check out what my company does here

 

blogging for business

How can I write a killer blog headline?

Want to know the secret? Write your blog headline like the media industry headline writers…

blogging for business

Take a lesson from the media…

News media headline writing is an art, something taught to sub-editors over many years. A great headline makes you smile, think, stop in your tracks. Your blog headline will be shared on social media, so if you get it right it could be the reason thousands of people read on.

The reason news media do headlines so well is simple: they write it at the end of the process, not at the beginning. They know the story.

In the same vein, never write your blog headline until you have typed the last full stop on your post.

Here are the basic blog headline rules:

Use short, active words – A punchy headline grabs the attention. Cut out unnecessary words, especially adverbs.

It must contain a verb – Making the headline active means using a verb, even if that verb’s ‘is’.

Use figures – Don’t write them out as words. Studies have also shown that using figures in a headline makes it more attractive to the reader. Round monetary figures up, or down.

Make it accurate – Don’t write a sensational but inaccurate headline to suck readers into the post. They’ll feel cheated.

Reflect your content – Throwing in a celebrity name to the headline, for example, without backing that up in the post will backfire on you.

Don’t use tortuous puns – No matter how tempted you feel, just don’t do it. This isn’t about showing how cleverly you can write, it’s about communicating with your target audience.

Don’t over-use exclamation marks – They are called ‘screamers’ in newsrooms because they are often over-used to scream out content.

Read it aloud – If it sounds convoluted, or ridiculous, delete and start again. If you can’t say it easily, they won’t read it easily.

Will it appeal to your target audience? – Ask yourself how, and why they would read on. Think about their problems, how they like to spend their time when you’re making this decision.

Blog writing for SEO

Get the right keywords for your business…

Don’t forget SEO: Search engine optimisation is still very important in blog headlines and your keyword research should help you. Which words appeal to your ideal customers and how can you incorporate them in an organic way?

Some headline power words: There are some words which people find innately attractive. “Discover”, “Find”, and “Secrets” arouse our curiosity and make us want to find out more.

“Powerful”, “effective”, and “hacks” make us feel the content we’re about to read is hitting our usefulness sweet spot and so does the word “useful”.

Too busy to blog yourself? Drop me an email on maria@wordsyoucanuse.co.uk.