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Why do we find it so difficult to show the person behind the business?

I'm almost showing the person behind the business while having a cup of tea.
Photo by Amber Gosden

There are days when I sit down to write and it all just works. Today isn’t one of them. There are two sets of circumstances that allow me to just open a new document and get going. Firstly, there are the times that I have a plan. I’m either writing something for a client, where we’ve had a chat and I’ve got loads of notes, or it’s something I’ve written into my marketing planner because I think you’ll find it useful. Secondly, there are the days when I’ve got something to get off my chest. This is the stuff that sometimes doesn’t make it into print. It just feels good to write it down. When I’m wearing my fiction writing hat those words sometimes come back to me. They might not go into a finished piece, but it helps me get into the mindset of a character who’s thoroughly hacked off.

What’s the plan?

Today, I sat down with no idea what to write about. I’m a big believer in showing the person behind the business and being honest, but it’s not easy. I get frustrated at the way other people’s social media posts either pretend that everything in their life is perfect or exaggerate the misery. It’s the same in business. We feel as if we have to present a front that pretends business is easy and wonderful 100% of the time. Truth is, it isn’t. It’s frequently tough. It leads to those 3am crises of confidence where we sob and tell ourselves that we’ve made a horrible mistake. That doesn’t mean it isn’t worth it. I’d rather deal with the self-doubt than go back to having a boss. But does reminding you all that there’s a real person behind the business make me look weak?

Why am I telling you this?

You may be reading this (or perhaps you’ve given up) wondering what on earth I’m going on about. What’s the point? The point of the story is that we all struggle to know what to talk about in our marketing. What do we share and what do we leave out? It’s partly for me, to help me work out why I find it difficult to write when I don’t have a plan. I hope that it helps you to know that you’re not the only one who struggles. Most of us don’t tell the truth on social media (I know that isn’t a profound insight, but there you go). A lot of us leave out anything negative. If times are bad we don’t post at all. Some people just lie. Or exaggerate to add some drama.

What next?

If we want to show the person behind the business, where do we start? Do we post warts and all accounts of the doubts and fears along with the wins? Probably not. We all have things we can justifiably keep private. But maybe we can start sharing some of the eye roll moments, or the times when things don’t go to plan. Or when the plan didn’t exist in the first place.

As for me, I’m going to go back to my planner and think of more stories like this one. I might even look at ideas for strategies to use when your mind goes completely blank!

If you’d like regular tips and inspiration straight to your inbox, you can sign up for my emails using the form below. I won’t spam you or share your information with anyone else. Alternatively, book your slot here for a chat about how I can help you to create marketing content that tells your story and speaks your customers’ language.

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Can what you eat build Resilience?

Guest blog from Sue Wappett - can what you eat build resilience?

What is Resilience?

Resilience is defined as:

“the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties”

The past 18 months have given most people more than their fair share of difficulties.

Those lacking resilience can become easily overwhelmed.

These feelings can lead to unhealthy coping mechanisms.

Self-comfort rather than self-care.

Resilience gives us the strength to protect ourselves.

It protects us from mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression and helps us maintain a healthy balance.

How to build Resilience

We build resilience by becoming self-aware and prioritising self-care.

Self-care doesn’t have to involve a bubble bath and candles. It’s about being mindful of your needs, checking in with your feelings and making your needs a high priority.

This can be easier said than done. The good news is that resilience is a characteristic you can build.

Some ideas:

  • Make connections – Accept help and support from those who care about you.
  • Learn to relax
  • Practice thought awareness
  • Maintain perspective – accept that change is part of living
  • Take decisive action – face a situation rather than avoiding it.
  • What are your goals? – Do one little thing towards them every day, if possible, get this done first as it will add to your feeling of accomplishment.
  • Develop a positive outlook – use positive daily affirmations that resonate with you.

Here’s an example:

You’ve had a shit day where nothing seemed to go right. You meet a friend for a chat and you moan and laugh. When you leave you feel recharged. You’ve seen things from another perspective or made a plan of action to make tomorrow easier…

Your connection to someone you care about has built resilience to overcome your bad day.

Building good, positive relationships is an important part of our resilience.

Nutrition for resilience

Good nutrition is part of self-care.

It is within our control and can have a positive effect quickly.

Good nutrition will make your body resilient to disease. A healthy body is less stressed, anxious and depressed. It can also help reduce the effects of:

  • Sleep issues
  • Inflammation
  • Excess weight

Fresh fruit, vegetables and whole grains supply our body with essential vitamins and minerals which improve our body’s function and reduce cellular damage, which contributes to disease and the ageing process.

What if you are struggling with stress, anxiety or depression and the thought of spending hours in the kitchen preparing healthy meals just adds to the overwhelm?

You don’t have to be a kitchen goddess.

If you don’t want to cook grab a rotisserie chicken from the supermarket along with a bag of veg to steam and a packet of rice or a jacket potato. This will give you a balanced meal that will nourish you more than something fried or overly processed.

This is not a time to go on a diet. Learn to listen to your body and honour its needs. This is how I start teaching intuitive eating.

What next?

Start small.

Make small changes to your habits that can set you on the right path.

Once you start taking care of yourself consistently you will soon gain momentum and see the effects.

I highly recommend a book I read a few years ago, How full is your bucket? There is also a children’s book called, Have you filled a bucket today: A guide to daily happiness for kids.

If you would like to chat further about this subject or anything else to do with creating a healthy balanced lifestyle book a virtual cuppa and a chat and we can discuss your individual needs further.

About the author

https://linktr.ee/suewappett

www.instagram.com/nutritionnaturallyforever

www.facebook.com/nutritionnaturallyforever

I am a nutritional therapist, helping women to stop dieting, learn to trust themselves around food and treat the cause of symptoms such as hormonal imbalance, weight gain and lack of energy.

I do this through my 1-1 coaching and online courses, teaching intuitive eating and living and learning how to tune into the ebb and flow of your own natural cycles and build habits that support your individual lifestyle.

If you’d like to know more about Sue and the services she offers, you can find her online here:

https://linktr.ee/suewappett

www.instagram.com/nutritionnaturallyforever

www.facebook.com/nutritionnaturallyforever

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How you can use your blog in your email marketing

A woman being happy because she's using her blog in her email marketing.
Photo by Vlada Karpovich from Pexels

When you’ve gone to the effort of writing a blog, I’m willing to bet that you don’t want it to just sit there on your website. You want it to be out in the world, being read by your ideal customers. At least, I hope you do. If you’re just writing for fun and a creative outlet, I salute you, but this blog isn’t really for you. (If you haven’t started a blog because you don’t know where to start, read this.) If you’ve spent time on writing a brilliant blog post and are wondering what else you can do with it, I have two words for you. Email marketing. It’s a wonderful thing to send to your list if you have one. Your blog can also help you to build a list if you need to. Here are my top 5 tips to get you started.

Create a calendar

A content calendar helps you to get organised. It also makes your marketing more coherent overall. When you choose a focus for each month you can plan all your blogs, emails and social media posts around that one topic. It makes things easier for you because you can repurpose your content by sharing your blog in your emails and breaking it down for social media posts. It also makes things clearer for your customers.

Use your blog in your email marketing

Have you ever stopped sending emails to your list because something had to give? We’ve all been there. It’s more likely to happen if you’re creating fresh content for every marketing channel. If you use your blog as a central part of your emails, you make everything quicker and easier. Then all you need to do is top and tail the email with a bit of news and your latest offers and you’ve saved yourself loads of time.

Add a sign-up form

If you don’t have an email marketing list, or you want to attract more subscribers, add a sign-up form to the bottom of your posts. (I have a widget from Thrive Themes that does mine.) It’s the perfect way to attract the right audience because people only sign up if they’re interested in what you have to say. It’s a good idea to offer people something useful as a thank you for signing up. Which brings me to…

Use older blogs as lead magnets

Firstly, a note of caution. GDPR includes rules about offering freebies to new subscribers. Please make sure you’re up to speed before you follow this tip. If you’ve already written a whole load of useful blogs, you can repurpose them to send out to your subscribers. Tips posts are particularly good if they have advice readers can put into action straight away. Just format the post as a PDF with images and you’re ready to go.

Blog series = email marketing sequence

If you’re new to blogging this is a good one to bear in mind for the future. A blog series works well for topics that are too big to cover in one post. For example, I wrote a series on how to start writing a blog. You can read it on my website or get it straight to your inbox. (Just complete the form below – see what I did there?!) What topics could you write a series about?

Are you ready to start writing a blog that you can use throughout your marketing? I can help with that. Click here to book a chat with me and find out more about your options. Or sign up to receive my series on how to start your business blog using the form below.

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How storytelling can make your email marketing better

Typewriter showing that stories matter in your email marketing.
Photo by Suzy Hazelwood from Pexels

Once upon time, there was a brave warrior princess who decided to start a business. She told lots of stories in her email marketing so her customers would love her and her business was a great success. The end.

Don’t worry, I haven’t lost the plot. I’m just telling you a story. What sprang to mind when you read ‘once upon a time’? Did it feel familiar and maybe a bit comforting? That’s what stories do. They don’t all have to start like a fairytale though. Telling a story is a really effective way to market your business, especially when you use it in your email marketing. Here’s why it works and how you can use it for yourself.

Why storytelling works

When a story comes in a format you recognise it feels comforting. You know what to expect and feel as if you’re in safe hands. A story doesn’t have to be a fairytale. It could sound like a chat you’d have with a friend. The point is, it doesn’t feel as if you’re being sold something. You’re just listening to someone else’s experience. When you use this in your marketing, it builds trust and helps you to connect with your audience. Simple.

When to use it in your email marketing

Storytelling works particularly well in email marketing. You’ve come straight to your reader’s inbox and now you’re going to share a story with them. There are, as you might expect, a few different ways to do this. You could tell one long story and relate it to your business at the end, or you could drop in snippets of story here and there. Here are a few ways that you can start using storytelling in your email marketing.

Nurture sequences

Nurture sequences are those emails that you send to new subscribers. They let new people know what to expect. It’s also your opportunity to introduce yourself. You can use a sequence to show your subscribers who you are and how you help. Let them see the person behind the business and you’ll build trust. You can also share useful stuff, like links to your best blog posts and handy tips.

Case studies

You might not think of a case study as a story, but it is. It starts out with someone facing a challenge, looking for a solution and ending up in a better place than they were before. It’s the real-life equivalent of a hero going on a quest. The only differences are that there aren’t any dragons and the princess saves herself. Case studies are also brilliant because they show your audience that you know what you’re doing and have got results for other people.

Email marketing introductions

If nurture sequences and case studies sound a bit long winded, don’t panic. There are simpler ways to use storytelling in your emails. You can start with your opening paragraph. That bit where you say hello before you share your latest blog post and current offers. You might decide to share your latest business news, but you can also tell a personal story. I work with lots of business owning mums so will often talk about the school holidays or something funny my kids have said. It’s a small thing that reminds my readers that we’re all dealing with the same stuff.

Do you want to start using storytelling in your marketing? I can help with that. Click here to book a chat with me and find out more about your options.