website

What to write on the About Us page of a website

About Us page

Your website ‘About Us’ page is the one place which can be all about you…can’t it?

Wrong! It’s still all about your potential clients.

You may be telling your story, but you need to tell it in a way which will forge strong relationships with your website visitors.

You need to make an emotional connection and show them you understand what they need.

Here are a few simple ways to do that…

Be authentic…

Take a look at the story of Gladstone Motorcycles. It’s a cracking tale told in the words and style of the company’s CEO Henry Cole, a descendant of the former Prime Minister William Gladstone and the presenter of TV shows including The Motorbike Show and Find It, Fix It, Flog It.

It’s clear about the type of client it wants to attract. In fact, it calls them “discerning hooligans”, something the business knows will make its ideal client base smile.

This story’s tone is completely authentic to this business.

How can you tell your story in an authentic fashion? What will help people see the core of your business purpose?

Be succinct…

Design studio Eight Hour Day has a mission to simplify the creative process. Its About Us page is simple, straightforward, and just a few lines long. It says this: It’s all about collaboration and passion, and we can’t wait to work with you.

Be jargon free…

No one likes industry jargon. Ditch it and keep it simple. That will keep your website visitors reading, and that’s the pint, isn’t it? Check out this jargon-free page from Apptopia.

Be specific…

Know your audience. Understand who you’re speaking to and what sort of tone and content will connect with them. Do your client personas/avatars before you write your content to ensure it cuts through the noise online. A great example is the Nike About Us page.

Its audience is those who work hard to achieve physical success, not celebrities or those who buy its products for the brand value. It shows that with the strapline “If you have a body, you’re an athlete.”

Nike is a brand which understands its roots. It also understands the need to say: “We’re still just like you”.

Be funny…

In many sectors, you can use humour to forge that connection with your potential clients.

However, never ‘punch down’. Always make fun of yourselves, rather than your clients!

The illustrator Blaze Suarez is very funny (anyone who loves The Jerk by Steve Martin will appreciate his bio). He’s also combined his About Us and Contact page – a handy tip!

Be clear…

…About what you want your potential clients to do next.

Write a strong call to action. Whether you want them to browse your shop, call your office, or send you a contact form to make an appointment, tell them.

What can you include on an About Us page alongside your story?

  • Your mission and vision
  • Team biographies
  • A pledge to clients
  • What makes you tick
  • What clients say about you

Need some help with your About Us page? Get in touch! We love telling a good tale…

 

 

blog post

How do I find ideas for my next blog post?

 

blog post

You want to write a blog post but that cursor just keeps blinking on a blank screen…

Every idea you had an hour ago seems to have evaporated…We know the feeling!

You’re in a blog post panic and you don’t know where to turn.

Fear not! We have nine useful ideas for getting that all-important inspiration – and we’re sharing them with you.

Where can I get ideas for my blog post?

  1. Ask Dr Google….

Google’s auto-complete is a hugely useful way of finding the questions people are asking the search engine.

Why not start a question relevant to your sector and let Google complete it?

Then, you have a blog post title which is already being searched for, and an idea for subject matter which is relevant to the people you’d like to attract to your website.

  1. Catch up with the news

Read news websites and watch TV news and current affairs programmes for inspiration.

That will give you timely ideas for your posts.

For example, a law firm could look at the use of ‘gagging clauses’ in non-disclosure orders, a hot topic in the wake of the Me Too movement. A cyber security business could look at the use of gated forums and invitation-only online groups by cyber thieves.

  1. Use case studies

What are the problems your ideal clients face and how do you solve them?

How could you show that in a blog post?

The obvious way is to simply say it. They way in which you connect with your clients best is to SHOW it by telling the stories of your case studies.

That allows them to see first-hand what you can do for people like them or businesses like theirs.

  1. Do a little snooping…

What are your competitors talking about?

Compile a list of those subjects and approach them in your own way. Use those subjects a few months down the line.

Whatever you do, don’t simply copy the ideas and structure of your competitors’ blog posts.

Not only will it look obvious, it could land you with a costly copyright infringement.

  1. Use an online blog topic generator

Here are eight suggestions for generators to use. You type in a word relevant to your business and it comes up with ideas for you. Flesh those ideas out yourself and expand on them.

  1. Look at what’s trending on social media

You can use online tools such as Buzzsumo, or do your own research on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

If you sign up for our monthly updates (no spam, we hate it!), you’ll get our free guide to the best 7 online social listening tools. Sign up here.

  1. Draw up a content calendar

Using seasons, holidays, awareness days, and major cultural and sporting events can help you get inspired.

If you run a restaurant, how about 7 of our meals to show your dad some love this Father’s Day?

Or, What’s the best way to fill up before watching the Rugby World Cup?

  1. Ask your clients

Ask them what they’d like to see on your blog. You can do this in an email, on social media, or by creating an online poll.

  1. Call in a professional

We would say that, wouldn’t we? However, it’s a great way to get your blog fizzing with creativity and outsourcing your content creation is a great option to save you time along with getting two heads, rather than one!

Need more advice? You can get in touch here. We love talking content, writing, coffee, and vintage typewriters!

 

bake

GP’s business bakes up special help for people in chronic pain

bake

A class at the School of Breads

The long drive home after a French skiing holiday was the inspiration for GP Rachael Watson to change her life – and set up a school teaching people to bake bread.

Having worked as a GP in surgeries since 2001, including practices in Abergavenny, Eywas Harold, and Blaenavon, and now in Ebbw Vale, Rachael became inspired by the couple she met in the bed and breakfast where she and her husband stayed.

They had given up hectic lives as a singer and singing teacher in Paris to follow their dream and buy and run the B&B.

Bake

Rachael Watson (left) teaching a student

“I thought how happy they were because they had made that decision and I knew I wanted to do something as well as being a GP,” Rachael, who lives in Abergavenny, said.

She and her husband joked about opening a health spa.

Then, she said: “I thought how wonderful it would be to teach people how to bake bread.

“I had 830 miles on the drive home to think it through. I thought about what I would need to do to run it from home – organise the kitchen, for example.

“Then, I took a course in Cardiff.”

The rest, as they say, is history.

How the School of Breads was born

Rachael held her first class on October 9, 2015, and the word soon spread on Facebook and among local groups in Abergavenny to make her artisan bread baking school a success.

People who visited the town for the food festival began booking in for classes at the Abergavenny Baker School of Artisan Breads, including visitors from as far afield as Australia.

She has now taught hundreds of people the art of making breads from around the world, from sourdough to ciabatta or focaccia.

Rachael shares her knowledge of the chemistry of breadmaking, tips on kneading, shaping, and baking fresh bread.

Her students can choose from classes in the popular Italian breads, Middle Eastern, Continental, and Great British breads. There are also seasonal classes baking breads for Christmas and Easter.

Teaching people with chronic pain to bake bread

bake

Now, the GP is combining her medical background with classes aimed at helping people in chronic pain.

She said: “The aim is to help people talk about managing their pain in a far more relaxed way than at a GP surgery. There, the doctor will have only 10 minutes for an appointment.

“The process of making bread is something which helps people take in information. It is something physical and there are smells of the ingredients and the breads which are associated with the information. It also takes place on a non-threatening environment.

“There is a primeval safety message about making and sharing food which helps our nervous system to relax.

“I use my knowledge and experience to explain the nerve pathways and risk factors for developing chronic pain. I also explain the skills and practices people can use to feel less pain and enjoy life more.”

The sessions will help people with conditions such as fibromyalgia or arthritis.

The first open session for people living with chronic pain is on May 24. Read more about the baking school here.

Find out more about us.

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!

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.