Scheduling Time Off for the Holidays

If you’re anything like me, you struggle with taking time off for the holidays and wanting to be there for your clients/customers.  It’s a difficult balance come this time of year.  Here are a few guidelines that can help:

1. If your business isn’t busy during the holidays, you may want to close up shop for a week or two.  My Art of Eloquence site isn’t very busy except for just prior to each semester as we mostly sell speech communication curricula for homeschoolers.  Nobody says, “All I want for Christmas is a debate book.”  Well, I did have that one boy who told his mom that, but the point still stands.

2. If your business is VERY busy during the holidays, you’ll want to make sure you set your sales, promos, blog posts, etc up in advance so you only need to do a minimum of work during the time you’d really want to be with family!

3. DON’T let emails go unanswered! Most of your customers will understand if you don’t reply on or right before or right after Christmas, but they won’t understand if you allow that question to go unanswered for a week!  So make sure you still set aside time to respond to customers calls/emails in a timely manner even during the holidays.

4. Don’t neglect your blog and social media!  If you can’t schedule things ahead of time, you may want to hire someone (raises hand!) to write blog posts and take care of social media for you during the holidays.  There are DIRE consequences for not being regular with your social media and your blog. You need to be consistent even through the holidays.

NOTE: If you need a blog post to come out, but you don’t really have time, I’ll have some tips for you in next week’s blog post.  Stay tuned.

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Gearing up for the Christmas rush?

It’s the end of November and we are coming to the close of 2018. I pray you have had a blessed year in your small business.

For those of you who have a service or product line that doesn’t lend itself to the Christmas rush, it’s a time of slowing down and enjoying the family events.

For those of you who have a business that depends upon the Christmas buying season, this is your busy time!  I actually have both.  My purple product line over on Grape Stuff is open for the Christmas rush this year after I revamped the site to Go Purple! ROFL  However, my Unique Copywriter business here is slowing down for the holidays.

If you’d like a last-minute holiday blog post or video, I have the time to do that for you. Just contact me and I can probably have the turn around time expedited for you.

Merry Christmas from JoJo, the Unique Copywriter.

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Happy Thanksgiving

Not much business gets done during the holidays so I’m taking this week just to wish all of my clients, blog readers, and Facebook fans a very happy Thanksgiving.

I pray you are making memories with your family this week as we head into the holiday rush.  If your business is like one of mine that provides gifts, you’ll be busy filling orders, but if your small business is like this one (Unique Copywriter), you’ll be taking time just to build memories and goodwill with your clients and customers.

So, before you head off to spend time with your family and friends this holiday season, may I take this time to remind you small business owners to create a blog post, fan page post, video, or meme that shares with your customers and potential clients your sincere holiday greetings to them.

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Is it Time to Fire Yourself?

I once received a junk mailer that said: “Is it Time to Fire Your Maid Service?”  My response was, “I’ve been meaning to have a talk with me about that!

You see, I was my maid. I did my own housework.  Was it because I loved cleaning toilets? Was it because I thought only I could clean my toilets well? Then, why?

It was because I didn’t think the value of paying someone else to do the things I didn’t want to do (or didn’t have time to do) would be of greater benefit to me than the money I would have to pay someone else to do it.

However…having said that, consider this:

There are dire consequences for not keeping up with your blog and social media fans!

If you don’t clean your house on a regular basis, what’s the worst that could happen? It may get a bit dusty and a tad dirty.

What happens if you don’t regularly post to your company’s blog or manage your social media accounts for your business on a regular basis? You don’t grow your customer base! You don’t make as much money!!  You have to work harder for each sale or client!!!

Two things happen when you don’t manage your blog and social media well:

1. Readers and fans will go away!
All that work you put into your blog and social media presence will be for naught.  Do you know how much effort it takes to build momentum? Once you have it, it doesn’t necessarily stick with you when you ignore them.  If they don’t see you posting, fans figure you’re no longer active and unsubscribe.  Once you miss a few weeks of blog posts, readers conclude your company isn’t feeding their interest and stop going back to your site.

What happens when readers no longer find value in your site and fans no longer find value on social media?

2. They don’t purchase from you because you are no longer Top of Mind!
Customers are a fickle bunch. Studies show that 96% of customers don’t buy the first time they encounter a company.  The internet is CHOCK FULL of information, so to keep their interest, companies MUST continue to be Top of Mind by offering value to their audience both on their site and on social media.

* Did you know that 56% of people feel more inclined to buy from a company if they have seen a recommendation on social media?

* Did you also know that it takes between three and six (3-6) times for the average customer to purchase from a company?  

Information Overload is rampant in the Information Age.

Your company needs to keep offering your potential customers value if you expect them to keep you on the top of their mind when they need what you offer and are ready to purchase!

So, what you really need to ask yourself is this:

Is the small investment of hiring a unique copywriter, who LIVES to write and LOVES social media, worth it if it frees you up to do the things that will make you even MORE money?

If you answered yes, contact me!

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Ghostwriting Blog Articles Half Off!

It’s that time of year again. Whether or not you have ghosts in residence for the festivities later this month, I thought you would all appreciate my ghostwriting special offer!

If you’ve been thinking about freeing up your time to do more business in your company, I have a fabulous offer for you!  For the first ten people, I’ll write your blog article or create a social media meme for you HALF PRICE!

But in order to stand a ghost of a chance, you’ll need to contact me soon! If the spirit moves you and you’re one of the first ten people this month, I’ll write if for you half price! No tricksJust treats!!

Contact me today!

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Does your blog need a personality?

Blah blah blah…

That’s what your customers will think when they read a dry post every once in a while whenever you get around to writing it.

Your blog is an extension of your business!  It should function as a sales rep for your company, one who takes the time to bring prospective clients the information they need until they know they need your services.

Unfortunately, most blogs (or rather, blahgs) bore the reader to tears until he clicks off your site.  To be top of mind, you need to give your customers value, so they keep coming back to your site until they know they need YOUR products.

But it’s not only the value you bring to your reader; it’s the experience they have while reading your company’s blog.  Ideally, your blog article should inform in a way that brings a smile to your reader’s face.  For that to happen, you need to give your blog a little personality.

The words you use, images you share, and stories you tell should all reflect your business and your customer’s expectations.  Here are a few examples:

1. Humor
Life can be a solemn road filled with financial issues, health problems, and loss.  Tragedy can bring doom and gloom to your customer who is looking for a reason to feel good again.  If your product/service and ideal customer works for this approach, it can be such fun!

2. Integrity
Honesty and integrity may be something lacking in your industry. Taking on this characteristic may be a fresh perspective for your blog. It can draw in customers who are tired of being treated with sleazy sales pitches and tired slogans.

3. News
Some people are looking to be the first to know. If you can deliver your industry’s news items, they’ll come back again and again.  And they’ll be more likely to share your posts to inform their friends and be counted as the first in the know.

There are many others, but you get the idea.  Pick a personality for your blog and write from that perspective.  And if you don’t have time, call me!

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Marketing Myths Part 1

I’ve been around a long time and have heard some incredible marketing myths told by the Gurus over the years.  I’m going to talk about them periodically on the blog here so stay tuned.  You might want to subscribe. <WINK> It’ll keep you from some monster marketing faux pas!

The first one in the series is something I heard a while back.  While it’s not as popular to do intentionally, it is done by accident and through laziness ALL the time. Especially on social media!

Several years ago, a few Marketing Moguls made it a practice to intentionally spell words incorrectly.  The idea was to appear as if the owner of the business was just “one of the guys.”  Marketing materials can often come across as slick, “hypey,” or even sleazy.  So, to sound more down to Earth, the sales copy was peppered with some misspelled words and grammar errors.

At one point, I was convinced this was done as a way to avoid having to spell check all those long sales copy squeeze pages that were so popular at the time. However, whether you are doing it in an effort to come off as honest, to avoid hiring a copywriter, or because you’re just lazy, it’s not a good practice.  Here’s why:

1. Language Nerds
They are everywhere and in every market.  What’s more, they will NOT purchase from a company that spels words incorrectly, insert’s appostrophe’s where they don’t belong, and doesn’t corect typos!

2. Grammar Nazis
There are is a large customer base out there that has a problem with those social media memes that share how LOL Cats has poor grammar. They don’t think it’s cute, they are actually annoyed.

3. Sophisticated Buyers
If your company sells to a more sophisticated clientele, they’ll notice, and it probably won’t give them the warm fuzzies. It will, more likely, make them highly suspect of the quality of your service and the integrity of your company.

Your sales copy should reflect not only your customers’ expectations but your company’s image. If you’re not sure you want to take the time to write it all yourself, call me!

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Three ways your business is probably sabotaging your company’s image!

Does your business rely upon emails as a way to correspond with customers or clients? If it does, here are three ways you may be sabotaging your relationship with your customers, and you don’t even know it.

Almost all businesses use email as one of the primary ways to interact with customers.  Here are three of the most important things companies do that can destroy your company’s image or relationship with your client/customer:

1. Not reading before you answer
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sent an email off into the interwebs and was disappointed to find that the answer that came back didn’t address the issue I had raised. It was obvious that the company’s representative read only as far as the first sentence before pasting in the canned response.

Don’t be that company! Make sure to read the customer’s entire email before you answer to make sure you understand their exact problem.  It may take you more time now, but it will save your company time in the long run as well as your image and customer service reputation.

2. Not answering each question
Before you hit that send button, make sure you have answered each one of your customer’s questions.  It has become common practice to answer one or two questions and leave the customer wondering about the other two.

It takes more time in the long run for you to play email tag with your customer.  In addition to taking more time to answer two or three emails where there should have only been one, the emails will become longer and more hostile should the need arise.  Make sure you get all their questions answered the first time!

3. Not reading between the lines
Most of your customers won’t know enough to ask you the right questions.  Make sure you are reading between the lines and anticipating what your customer or client is REALLY asking.

It goes without saying that NOT ANSWERING a customer email for a long while is a huge no-no. Most customers will understand if they don’t get a reply for a day or so (or over the weekend), but please don’t make them wait a week or longer to hear from you…or you’ll be hearing from them!

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11 Hidden Reasons Why Business Owners Need Excellent Communication Skills

At the corner of Marketing Street and Strategy Avenue, there is communication, and it’s either working for your company…or it isn’t!

You might never have to make a speech, but there are 11 ways in which your communication skills, and that of your employees, play a vital role in your business!  Why? Because business is about relationships and relationships are built on communication.

Whether you are developing your company’s relationship with a customer, a supplier, or its employees, here are 11 ways in which your communication can either make or break your company:

1) How to save time and money on your supplies
Before you ever have your first customer, you’ll need to develop a relationship with your suppliers.  Building good relationships with them will give you an advantage when it comes to price and problems.  It is worth some time and effort to get to know the companies who supply your business.  It’s also worth your time to do little things for them.

While most large businesses have the money and staff to do this with relative ease, small to medium size companies often justify not doing so by saying they don’t have the time or money to do it.  I’m here to tell you that it will cost you more in the long run if you don’t.

2) Creating a communication package for your business
Think long and hard about what kind of image you want your company to have and then make your communication congruent with that image.  You don’t want your logo saying that you are the company who cares if your customer service says you don’t.

3) How to present yourself as an expert in your field
How you present yourself is important, but not only because of the suit of clothing you wear or the logo on your website.  How you position yourself in the marketplace with your website, blog, and social media will either reflect your company as an industry expert or not.  Be careful not only in your sales copy but in what you blog or tweet about!

4) How to effectively handle customer service, complaints, and returns
How you handle customer issues can make or break your company.  If you don’t answer the phone quickly, allow the customer to run circles in your phone tree, or make it easy for the customer’s issue to go unresolved, word will get around.  An upset customer is much more likely to tweet how upset they are than is a happy customer to post how much they love your product.

5) How to make contacts
It goes without saying that the better you are at communicating, the better those contacts will be.

6) Effective use of social networking groups
Making effective use of social networking groups is also all about how you come across.  Effective communication comes in handy when you’re at a social event representing your company.

7) Balancing family and business
How you tell your spouse about a last minute business meeting is just as important as having to broach the subject of postponing a meeting with your client.  If you aren’t precise and gracious with your family, they won’t be as supportive.  If you aren’t clear and respectful to your boss or client, well…

8) How/when to share your faith or talk about politics in business
There may be times when it is necessary for you to share issues of faith or politics with a client, a customer, or your employee.  How and when it’s done can be crucial.  Not something we usually think about, but something that is important.

9) How to gain support from family and friends
If you are starting a business, it is important to gain the support of family and even friends.  They are usually your biggest supporters and, without them, you can’t build it big.

10) How to motivate your employees
Most business people don’t think much about motivating their employees, but the biggest growing companies do.  You should too.  What would keep them working when things get difficult?  What would keep them loyal?

11) How to train your customer service staff
Customer service almost doesn’t exist anymore.  With the invention of the phone tree, a customer can be busy for an hour trying to reach the right party to get their issue resolved.  When customer service staff is hired, almost no training goes into them.  They are given a script and good luck!  Make it a point to train your customer service staff to respond to the customers as individuals instead of problems.  Give them some leeway to get the customer the help they need.  Keeping the employees loyal can help here too.

There are many situations in business when good communication can either fix the issue or avoid it altogether.

 

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