Taking a Blog Hiatus

Just a quick note to let you know that I’ll be taking some time off from my blogs and newsletter for the next several months while I concentrate on my health and a project my husband and I are working on together.

I recently added a few new diagnoses to the growing list. Last year I was diagnosed with Essential Tremors and just recently with an esophageal issue. It’s going to take me some time to find some treatments that can help, especially since my fibro has kicked up another notch.

If you’re in need of a blog article, I will be doing those. Just email me about your needs!

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There is no magic social media formula

I’ll bet you think that what’s good for one Facebook fan page is good for them all. You can think that, but you’d be wrong! While there are things that work for all Facebook pages, there are so many variables inside of those things that it can be difficult to figure out what your audience will like and respond to. Case in point:

My Facebook page for purple lovers has over 8500 fans. There are a TON of purple fan pages on Facebook. Some have more fans than I do. Many have quite a bit less. It’s probably the easiest niche to figure out because it’s not complicated. It’s just a bunch of grape nuts. ūüėÄ

So, if the idea is that purple lovers will respond to purple posts, why is it that the ones on my For the Love of Purple fan page respond differently than those on the others? For whatever reason, be it a beginning attitude that was set, a response to what was originally responded to, or an expectation of those who like the page, my audience responds differently than do the others.

It has nothing to do with the size of the group and probably not much to do with what exactly is posted. I’ve seen the very same post share on one purple fan page get a ton more shares and comments than it does on another. I’ve seen a page with 1200 fans with ten comments on that same post on the same day as a page with 9000 who got two. I’ve noticed the kinds of comments on one purple fan page be vastly different from those on mine.

It’s somehow got to do with exactly how the group came together. Whatever it is, you should follow some guidelines (which I’ll talk about in a minute), but you’ll need to experiment to find out what your fans respond well to.

I don’t like to post purple skulls and crossbones, but there is a page who gets a lot of response to those. I like to share and post simple, tasteful, and funny purple things on my page. Whether it’s photoshopped or silly, a painting or real, my folks eat up anything tasteful that is purple. Additionally, they respond most to the memes that say how much they like purple. Those posts get the most shares and comments.

Since Facebook will reward a page by showing more of their posts to more of their fans, it’s best to give Facebook what it likes. The more responses, shares, and comments, the more they will show your stuff. The way to do that is to create posts that your people respond to by asking questions, asking them to share pictures, and inspiring them enough that they want to share it with their friends and family.

If that sounds a lot like work, if that sounds like more than you’re wanting to do, I’d love to help. Contact me!

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Three reasons you should be too busy to blog

You probably left a job to start your own business because you got tired of trading your time for money. What you may not understand is that you are now spending money for time: time you want to enjoy with your kids, friends, or family which is why you started your own business in the first place.

The old saying, “it takes money to make money” is essentially true. You don’t necessarily need to take out a million dollar loan to buy a warehouse for the type of home based business you are starting, but you do need to spend “SOME” money to get yourself started.

You probably spent money on a domain name, URL, website, business cards, logo, etc. Well, now that your materials are purchased, your equipment is here, and you have a fan page on Facebook, you will need to market your products or services and that will take money. Again, not necessarily a LOT of money, but some.

If you can afford to, you can spend money on ads. If you can’t or you’d like to do more than just throw ads at your potential customers/clients, you will need to blog! Blogging not only helps you do soft selling, which is less intrusive and studies show a lot MORE beneficial, but it helps your sites SEO because it’s the least expensive way to update your site on an ongoing basis.

Here are three reasons you should be blogging:

1.If you are just starting out in business
When you first start out, you have sooo much to do. Everything has to be set up. You need to get into a rhythm, find your customer base, connect with them, and build a niche. Because you have so much to do, it’s easy to skip the blogging or do it only periodically as time allows and it never does. But blogging is the BEST way to connect with and educate your customers. It’s also the cheapest way which is perfect for start ups!

2. If you are growing your business
If you’ve been in business a little while and are already in a grove, you’ll probably notice that you’re even busier than you were when you first started out. What began as a once in a while blog post has become a never enough time for one deal.

This is the time when you have a bit of money to invest in your business, but probably don’t have the time, inclination, and/or comfort enough to do it regularly. THIS is a great time to invest in your business. Blogging now involves educating and keeping potential clients and customers entertained, educated, and coming back to consume what will likely be a steady diet of information that keeps them fed until they need to purchase what you provide.

3.If your business is running like clockwork
This is the time when your business has been well established and bringing in a goodly income. It’s at this point that you can slack off with the blogging, right? WRONG!

Your customers will only keep coming back if you have something of value to offer. Just because they have purchased from you in the past doesn’t mean their eyes won’t wander to a competitor who is busy ramping up their market share. It’s vital to keep giving your readers what they crave to keep you top of mind so they will purchase from you again. This is especially true if what you sell is readily available from other sources. However, even if what you sell is life changing and nobody else out there is selling it, people are busy. They forget easily. You could be all they talk about today, but a week from now they’re on to something else.

Keep your readers happy, entertained, and informed and they will keep thinking of you when they are again ready for what you sell. And if you don’t have the time to do it yourself, contact me!

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Why the Unique is in Unique Copywriter

Waaaay back when I was writing for Art of Eloquence, I had a few people jump in to edit for me. Some were better than others, but the big difference was the voice…MINE! An editor should enhance the writing not change the perspective of the author. Unfortunately, that’s what happened often when I had someone else edit for me.

I once made the mistake of having my husband edit for me. He writes well, but his style of writing is very professional as this is the main reason he writes. After he got done with it, my fun article teaching kids how important communication skills are sounded like one of the dry speech com books I had to read for my college courses.

Later on, my daughter edited for me. I homeschooled her and she grew up to be quite the grammar Nazi and then, creative writer. She got me and I was comfortable having her edit for me. Unfortunately, her time was not her own as she went off to college so I found myself in need of someone else to edit my work.

I tried to hire a few people, but they all made me sound like a college lecture. Then, I found a fabulous editor with a sense of humor just like mine. She made sure to keep my style. She made my work better, not sanitized and she was with me for the rest of my time writing for AoE.

Why do I share this with you? Because writing articles, booklets, and blog posts for clients is just like editing books in that respect. The idea isn’t to write an excellently formed piece of writing. The idea is to enhance the business: to tell their story in their voice. NOBODY understands this as well as I do!

So, if you’re looking to free up your time so you do less writing and more business building, make sure you find someone who will do that in YOUR voice, YOUR style, and YOUR way. It isn’t as easy as it sounds unless you’ve been there and understand how to write in someone else’s voice.

It’s a bit like acting. If you’re a true actor, you don’t say the lines as you. You say those lines as the character you are playing. The average person trying to act may not even know to do that, let alone how. The same is true with copywriting.

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Celebrating Work This Month

There are several “holidays” coming up this month that are centered around business. March 1st is both Employee Appreciation Day and National Sales Person Day. March 8th is International Working Women’s Day. The 29th is National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day and March 31st is World Back Up Day (the day you should make sure you have a back up for various electronic systems like your website and computer).

There are several ways you can choose to incorporate these into your business. Some of those ways will help your employees or business associates. Some of these can help you market your product or service. And some of these can help you spread good will. Here are a few ideas for you:

  • If you don’t have employees, send a card or email to a business associate who has gone above and beyond for you and your company.
  • Send a card or email to an affiliate who has done especially well.
  • Post a blog reminding your business customers to do one of the above.
  • Post a blog sharing about one of the people you recognized in your business.
  • Post to social media about your appreciation for a business associate.
  • Post to social media reminding them to back up their computers or websites.
  • Find a way to tie the holiday in with something your company is doing. (blog post, social media post, etc)

Looking to the conventional holidays is a good practice, but take a look at those “silly holiday” sites. They are packed with valuable information that can help you blog, connect on social media, and more!

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What is Social Selling? What You Should Know!

Last week, I shared how ads aren’t getting as much value for the money as content marketing because ad blocking is trending up.¬† This week, I want to concentrate on what you can do instead. It’s called social selling.

1. What Exactly is Social Selling?
In a nutshell, it’s just as it sounds. Selling by being social on social media. It’s posting things about your company, its process, its industry, and other related tidbits in order to stir conversation that moves the selling process along until customers are ready to buy.

2. Social Selling Statistics You Need to Know:
So many people are on social media these days. Not only do they search out products and services on social media, but many prefer to ask questions through social media.  Here are a few marketing statistics:

  • Only 29% of people want to talk to a salesperson to learn more about a product, while 62% will consult a search engine.
  • Half of revenue is influenced by social selling in 14 common industries, including computer software, healthcare, and marketing and advertising.
  • Using social selling tools can increase win rates and deal size by 5% and 35%, respectively.

3. What this Means for Your Social Media Plans
It means you’d better make some! And, you had better be available to answer the questions your social media followers have in a timely manner.

If people prefer to get their¬†information about a product or service online first, you had better be there or your competition will be! Once you establish your social media platforms as ones that bring value and elicit trust, you will have consumers asking their¬†questions. And just as they will unfollow a Facebook page that is not active, they will view unresponsive pages as a company that doesn’t deserve their business.

Don’t just establish a social media presence just to have one. Spend the time to give your¬†customers value and be responsive to their questions and concerns.

 

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What the Ad Blocking Trend Means for Your Content Marketing

A couple weeks ago, I talked about why content marketing is so important for your business.  This week, I want to go into a bit of depth as to what ad blocking is telling you about your content marketing.

1. Your articles and posts should not even resemble ads!
The number one most important thing you should learn from the ad blocking trend is not to make your content marketing look like ads! Consumers are pretty savvy. They know clickbait when they see it and they¬†can feel ads clothed in information on the information highway.¬† So, make sure to give your¬†readers the valuable information or entertainment they crave without making them feel like they’re being sold!

The idea of content marketing is to give value such that the consumer trusts your company and wishes to reciprocate when it comes time to buy.  The task is to make them feel so indebted to you that they not only think of you first when they are ready to purchase but feel bad about looking anywhere else to fill their need.

2. So what do you put in there and how do you get leads?
What you write about will, of course, depend upon your audience. Do your¬†potential customers need to know something about your industry that affects them?¬† Do they want to learn how to do something related to your industry? Are they looking to be entertained? See a need and fill it.¬† More specifically, see a “want” and fill it.¬† ¬†

I said this on a Facebook women’s business group and got some flack for it, but after years of being in sales and owning my own businesses, I can tell you that it’s true.¬† People buy what they want and not necessarily what they need.¬† There are those who will not buy something even though they need it and others that will buy what they want even if they can’t really afford it.¬†

The flack I took for that was the concept that this thinking is bad for people and takes advantage of them.¬† I disagree.¬† Taking advantage of people is almost forcing them to buy something they don’t need or can’t afford by means of trickery or deceit.¬† Recognizing that people will buy wants and not necessarily needs is smart business.¬† If you know that most people who need something won’t buy it, you probably shouldn’t sell it.¬† If you recognize that your customers want X with their Y, then you’d better make sure your Xs have Ys!

3. Give value!
I cannot emphasize this enough.¬† GIVE VALUE!¬† If your potential customers want to be entertained, entertain them!¬† If they’d appreciate knowing something, share it. If they want to be the first to have something, let them know.¬† Whatever it is they value that will help your company reach its goals, make sure you know about it and are actively giving it to them.¬†¬†

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59% Believe Better Customer Service Through Social Media

Social media should be an important part of your content marketing strategy.¬† If you’re not on social media, you should be because 59% of people who are there believe that customer service through social media makes it easier to get answers.¬† This is an important statistic to know!

1. If you’re not on social media, you should be!
If your business isn’t already on social media, you should begin to investigate what platforms would work for your industry.¬† If you are already there, you should be planning to take full advantage of the many ways social media can help your company not only in customer service but in exposure as well.

The more your company is seen, the more you’ll be top of mind when your customers are ready to buy.¬† Being on social media helps bring your message to a wider audience and it’s important that you provide value there as well.

2. Where on social media should you concentrate?
Well, that all depends upon your¬†tribe.¬† Where does your target audience spend their time? Facebook is a MUST!¬† Most people on social media are on Facebook.¬† That’s where a lot of people look for information so that’s the number one MUST social media presence.

It’s advisable to have at least two other social media platforms, but the rest really depends upon the age range and industry.¬† Your mileage may vary, but a rule of thumb is that the younger crowd isn’t on Facebook as much as they are on SnapChat and Instagram.¬† The older crowd is mainly on Facebook, but Twitter might be a good choice for you as well.¬† There are some new platforms that are up and coming as well. It’s best to do some research to discover where your target audience calls their social media home.

3. Think  about how do you do social media
By this, I mean how often and what you will post.¬† Your posts should have your goal in mind: Do you want them to subscribe to your mailing list? Click through to a sales funnel? Landing page? They should also give your¬†customers what they want: information, entertainment…

Again, you’ll want to do some research as to what they expect, want, and will respond to.¬† That means looking at your competition to see what works for them and then making your own mark.¬† Your contribution should give your customers what they are asking for and not necessarily what they are being given already.¬† What’s missing from your competition? What’s not being addressed?

The last part to this is crucial.¬† Make sure you are posting regularly and more than just once a week! Social media is consumed daily. Make sure you are not only posting, but responding to comments in a timely manner.¬† If a page sits for too long with no new content, people will quit looking for you.¬† If you don’t have the time to make this happen, I can help!

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Why You Can Get 3X the Leads with Content Marketing

The Content Marketing Institute, in 2017, reported that content marketing can get three times as many leads as paid search advertising.¬† That’s a rather bold statement, but here’s why it’s true:

1.  What IS Content Marketing
In order to understand why this is true, we need to understand what content marketing is.¬† According to¬†CMI, “Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience ‚ÄĒ and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.

The idea is to give your potential customers or clients information they value, which keeps them coming back to your site to consume.  This leads them to trust you and want to reciprocate your generosity by purchasing from your company when they are ready to buy-in to what you provide.

It makes logical sense that a person would become loyal to a company they trust who has gone out of their way to give them value, but to better understand why content marketing is far superior to ads, we need to identify one very powerful statistic.

2. Ad Blocking
You and I both know how annoying ads can be. We record our favorite shows so we can fast forward through the commercials. We ignore all the ads on social media, and we know friends who block ads on their browsers.¬† According to¬†2018 Marketing Statistics, here are some alarming ad blocking stats if you’re considering paid advertising as your main source:

  • 87% of people say there are more ads than two years ago.
  • Adblocker Plus, the most popular ad blocking app, has reached 300 million downloads worldwide.
  • 64% of ad blocker users do so because they believe ads are annoying or intrusive.
  • Ad blocking in the US has increased from 15%-30% since 2014.
  • 91% of people say ads are more intrusive today than two years ago.
  • 73% of people dislike pop-up ads.
  • 4 out of 5 of people have left a webpage because of a pop-up or autoplaying video ad.
  • 72% of consumers say they would have a lower opinion of a brand if they subjected the consumer to a pop-up ad.
  • 81% of consumers have closed a browser or exited a webpage because of a pop-up ad.
  • 70% of people dislike mobile ads. Mobile ad blocking has increased 90% year-over-year.

3. Here’s what you need to do
Knowing that there is a growing distaste for ads, why waste good money to place them where your potential customers will ignore them at best?  Why not give them value, make them trust your company, and bring you top of mind when they in the market for what you sell? Spending money on content marketing pays off!

However, to make it so, you’ll need to not only give them value, but be predictable and do so consistently or they won’t come back.¬†If you don’t want to do that yourself, contact me!

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Don’t like blogging? I have an idea!

All this month, I’ve been sharing my best blogging tips with you. I shared how important it is to keep up your blog on a consistent basis, shared a¬†post I wrote over the holidays to help you find ways to get more out of the posts you’ve already written, and shared some¬†basic blogging tips¬†to help you find topics and create your posts more efficiently. However, if you simply don’t have the time or don’t want to take the time to keep up your blog, you have on other option.

Hire me! 

Contact me either by phone or email, tell me what you’d like done, and I’ll give you a very reasonable quote!¬† Then, you can decide how you’d like to proceed: you can take the time and do it all yourself, or you can invest a small amount in your business and leave yourself enough time to actually build your¬†business BIGGER!

If you’re ready to take your business to the next level,¬†Contact¬†me today!

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