Posted on Leave a comment

How you can write great marketing content

A woman enjoying great marketing content.

How many times have you heard that ‘content is king’ and that you need to create great marketing content if you want your business to grow? If I had a pound for each one, I’d be a much richer woman by now. If you’ve ever heard one of these hopelessly general statements and wondered where to start without spending a fortune, I have good news. Here are my top 5 tips for creating marketing content that speaks your customers’ language.

Know your customer

If you’ve read my blog before you’ll know this is a common theme. Creating good content starts with understanding who you want to talk to. At its simplest this means working out who you help and where you’ll find them. If you could (theoretically) help anyone, start by thinking about who you most enjoy working with. I could work with any business but prefer small business owners. They’re often also business owning mums – maybe we just speak the same language?! You can find out more about getting to know your customer here.

Show your personality

The difference between you and every other business that does the same thing as you is – drum roll please – you. This is particularly true if you’re a one-person business. Your character, values and the way that feeds through into your business is incredibly important. Your customers might choose you over your competitors simply because they like the way you come across. That could be because you share the same values. It could equally be because they feel as if they’re chatting to an old friend when they read your social media posts.

Find your content focus

Good content has a clear focus and sticks to the point. If your blog posts meanders off on multiple tangents you’ll lose your audience, especially if they only have time for something short, sweet and helpful. Of course, if you’re offering up the ultimate guide to something then it’s going to need to be long. There’s nothing wrong with that. The important thing is that you bring everything back to one central thread. If you find yourself sticking to the point and still writing loads your topic could be too big.

Do your research

Research doesn’t just prevent you from going over old ground. It can help you to find your own angle on an existing topic. One of the biggest obstacles to creating great content (or any content at all) is the thought that somebody, somewhere, has already written about it all. They probably have, but they haven’t written your take on it. Research allows you to potentially find a gap, but it could also give you something to respond to. If you read advice that you disagree with, write your own.

Edit at the end

The best content has writing that sounds like you. It helps your audience to imagine that they’re sitting down having a chat with you. That doesn’t happen if you’re overthinking every sentence, worrying about grammar or whether you should use a more sophisticated word. Plan your blog post then sit down and write. You can also dictate into Word if that works better for you. Let the words come out naturally and tidy it all up later. There will be more on this in a future blog, so watch this space!

Do you need to create great marketing content? I can help with that. Click here to book a chat with me about your options or find out more about my blog writing packages here.

Posted on Leave a comment

What are you looking forward to?

What are you looking forward to?
Photo by Sebastian Voortman from Pexels

In the midst of all the lockdowns there’s a theme that I keep seeing. The one thing that everyone seems to have struggled with at some point is not having anything to look forward to. There’s been a huge emphasis on learning to live in the moment because that’s all we can do. It’s a great idea – if you’re constantly looking back or planning for the future are you really living? At the same time, studies have shown that anticipation can be even more pleasurable than reward. I think it’s why I love crime fiction so much. I know there’s going to be a resolution and can spend a whole book looking forward to it. My main frustration at the moment is not knowing when change is going to happen. All I can do right now is to think about the things I’m looking forward to getting back to. Lots of us are thinking about the lockdown changes that are worth keeping. I’ve started thinking about the things I can’t wait to add back in. Here’s my list of things I’m looking forward to. What’s on yours?

Hugs

Yep, I’m a hugger. Even socially distanced meet ups were hard because I just wanted to run over and hug people. I know I’m lucky because I live with people I love and my kids are huggers too. Thing is, I’m looking forward to having a bit of variety again. There are some absolutely amazing people in my life that I haven’t hugged in nearly a year. I’m really looking forward to having that again. Just an advance warning – it might get awkward. Sorry about that.

Rugby

I’m a massive rugby fan and Leicester Tigers season ticket holder. Watching them with my friends has been a massive part of my life for the last 20 years. I my rugby family, some of whom I met on the terrace. We’ve bonded over drinking, cake and trips to matches from Twickenham to Rome. There’s nothing quite like the atmosphere at a live game. That said, when England won the World Cup in 2003 I was in the bar at the Tigers ground, standing on a chair and cheering my head off. I’m looking forward to having that back.

New entertainment

TV box sets and new films on Netflix has kept a lot of us sane through lockdown. We’ve had virtual tours of museums and galleries. Truth is, I’m missing the sense of occasion that comes with a proper outing. I’m looking forward to heading to the cinema, getting my popcorn and settling in as the house lights go down. My kids will probably want to see the new Spiderman movie (who am I kidding, I can’t wait either). Plus, they’ve got to release the new Bond eventually – haven’t they?!

Pottering about

If you’d told me the rules of lockdown a year ago, I’d have made a few solid predictions about things I’d miss. Simply pottering wouldn’t have been one of them. Pre-lockdown I had pockets of time when everyone was out and I could do whatever I felt like. Even if I chose to do something mundane, like folding laundry, I could always accompany it with the TV show that no-one else likes. I used to have solo trips to London where I’d decide what to do when I got there. I’m looking forward to the day I can get on a train and just head out.

What’s on your list? Let me know in the comments.

Posted on Leave a comment

Are you mixing business with home school?

Stressed mum mixing business with home school
Image from Pixabay via Pexels.com

So, here we are again. Just when we all thought we’d put the whole home school thing behind us, we’re back into it. Except, this time it feels different. Proper school is still happening for key worker children and there seem to be more of them now. The government is expecting schools (and, by extension, us) to provide real learning as opposed to just child care and things to keep kids going through a crisis. There’s a sense of worry that children at home will fall behind. In the meantime, we all still have to keep earning a living. January is traditionally quieter for me so I’m not panicking – yet. I took stock of how things were going at the end of last year but I find myself doing it again. Here are the things I’m struggling with about home school and what I’m learning to appreciate. I’d love to hear yours too.

I want to be alone

I’ve come over all Greta Garbo. Before my two started school Fridays used to be Mum and son days. When my youngest started in reception I found myself at a loose end. I soon adapted, of course. I mostly just luxuriated in having the house to myself. The same applied to weekends when the husband took them to the park so I could fold laundry whilst watching TV shows that no-one else likes. It’s such a small thing, but I really miss that. I know we can still go for a walk but it’s just not the same.

Changing the routine

During the first lockdown I tried to do actual work alongside home school work. Big mistake. This time I’m saving myself the stress and focusing on one thing at a time. Unfortunately my kids take after me and concentrate best in the morning. If we’re not into school mode by 10am, I’ve lost them. It means that I’ve shifted my working day so it starts at 3pm. My brain has normally shut up shop by 5pm so I don’t get as much done, but it’s enough. It demands focus and I’m adapting my usual habits so it doesn’t feel too odd starting work when I’d normally be stopping.

What are they doing now?!

I find myself saying that sentence a lot, normally because a child has vanished. It makes me laugh when I hear other parents long for virtual lessons so they can get work done. I consider it a full time job getting mine to sit still for more than 30 seconds. At the same time, seeing the work that they’re getting has given me a whole new insight into how they learn. I’ve been to phonics and maths workshops where teachers explain how everything’s changed since I was at school, but hearing my kids explain the solution to a problem has deepened my understanding and I’m really grateful for that.

My clients are brilliant

I have amazing clients and that’s been a huge plus in all of this. I’m still working is and every single client understands that things have had to change. In fact, I talked to a new client the other day and we spent the first 20 minutes discussing how lockdown had affected us and what the impact on family life had been. Even when you’re on a discovery call, those details are still important. I sometimes get frustrated when marketing feels like a slow burn, but at times like this I appreciate the fact that it leads to the best clients I could have.

If you need a bit of support to help get you through home schooling and keep your business visible, I’m currently offering 10% off your first month on my regular, growth, executive and VIP blog packages. Visit my website to find out more or book a no obligation discovery call.

Posted on Leave a comment

How I broke out of my sales comfort zone

Sales comfort zone
Actual footage of me hiding from my fear of being too salesy

I know I’m not alone in having a squeamish relationship with sales. It’s bizarre when you think about it. We’re in business. If we don’t sell stuff, we don’t make money. Then we have to go back to having what’s generally known as a ‘proper job’. Picture me shuddering as I write that. As much as the security of a salary and a pension would be lovely, I don’t want a boss. And I’ve had some perfectly lovely bosses in my time. (There have been some fairly hideous ones too, but that’s a story for another day.)

Yet when you get into marketing and networking, it almost feels as if you need to apologise for wanting to sell. No-one wants to be seen as ‘salesy’. This is particularly true in women’s networking groups. I don’t like to generalise and (of course) there are always exceptions. It just feels as if we’re generally more apologetic. I took part in a challenge recently that aimed to help female business owners increase their leads and get more sales. It got me thinking about my own attitude to selling and why it makes so many of us feel uncomfortable. Here’s what I came up with.

Why am I like this?

The obvious answer to my sales aversion is that I hate the hard sell, but is there anyone who actually likes it? That’s too simplistic an answer. I realised that most of my earlier jobs were in businesses where sales were someone else’s department. As a lawyer I had to convince people to take a particular course of action but I never had to persuade them to work with me in the first place. I’ve also worked in environments where women in charge were treated differently. Behaviour that would have been perfectly acceptable from a man was seen as ‘bossy’ or ‘pushy’ in a woman. These issues have deep roots but it
certainly feels as if we’re expected to be quiet and not bother anyone.

How my attitude to sales changed

I recently took part in a challenge run by the lovely Gemma Gilbert, who supports mums with service based businesses and helps them to make consistent sales. Her take on selling firmly stomps on the idea that we’re bothering people. We’re in business because we offer a service that will help people. Telling people how we can help them should be, well, helpful. It isn’t diving straight in with a sales pitch. That’s like proposing marriage on the first date. Sales start with telling people what we do and how we help them in our marketing. We build trust so that when we finally say ‘if you’d like me to do x for you, this is how it works’, they decide to buy because they know us.

What now?

Part of the challenge was to post on our personal Facebook page telling people what we do. It felt odd as I’d always been told that Facebook actively discouraged business posts on personal profiles. I’d always assumed that people know what I do – turns out a lot of them didn’t. Ultimately, it wasn’t a business post. It was just telling people what I do so that they can support me if they want to. It’s definitely made me more open to talking about work on
my personal social media and in life generally. I need to remember that my network goes beyond business contacts. It’s also taught me that my marketing is
on the right track, I just need to take it a bit further sometimes.

If you’d like to know more about how I can help you, sign up for my mailing list or email me at info@kirstyfrancewrites.co.uk  for a chat.

Posted on Leave a comment

Hallowe’en: what’s your story?

Hallowe'en skull, book and bottle.

I know that there are lot of different views out there about Hallowe’en. Lots of you love it, others think it’s over commercialised rubbish. Take to Twitter and you’ll find a growing movement of evangelists who see it as Satan worshipping. They clearly haven’t done their research. Hallowe’en grew out of Samhain, the old Celtic New Year celebrated by Pagans. The last time I checked, Pagans didn’t actually believe in the devil.

Of course, it’s easy to suggest that views on Hallowe’en are all black and white. Really, it’s far more complicated than that. That’s why I decided to give you my perspective on Hallowe’en.

The fun bits

As regular readers will know, I have two young children. They’ve been excited about Hallowe’en since the end of September and are both incredibly disappointed that their school won’t let them wear costumes instead of uniform.

As I write this, debate in our house is still raging about whether we’re going out trick or treating or just getting a big tub of sweets to hand out to anyone who calls. Trick or treating is mostly fairly good natured near us so I suspect the final decision will be made by the weather. I know that a lot of people regard it as an American tradition that we’ve had foisted onto us. Personally, I enjoy it. It makes me feel part of a community and its fun trying to guess whether a child we know is hiding behind that mask.

Hallowe’en horror

Of course, I know that Hallowe’en in general, and trick or treating in particular, isn’t fun for everyone. We’ve always observed the rule that you only knock at doors that have a pumpkin on display. Last year a house near us put sweets by the front door with a note asking that we didn’t ring the bell as they were trying to get their baby to sleep. If that had been me, any interruptions would have ended in a real horror story!

Unfortunately not everyone behaves well. Every year we hear stories about people being terrorised or having their property vandalised because they didn’t answer the door. The playground heard tales of little kids in tears because someone had smashed their pumpkin for fun or chased them down the road with an axe. Those stories make me wonder what goes on in people’s heads (and have inspired a few ideas for crime stories – watch this space).

The memorial

For me, Hallowe’en isn’t just about pumpkins and scary stories. It’s a memorial too. There’s a Pagan concept which says that the veil between the living and the dead is at its thinnest on Hallowe’en. That’s why it’s become associated with ghosts and spirits, as it was thought to offer the best chance of communicating with your departed loved ones.

It’s a different kind of remembrance for me. We always celebrated Hallowe’en when I was growing, with a carved pumpkin and lots of sweets. Oh, and a birthday cake. I know that’s not traditional, but my Dad was born on Hallowe’en. That was the main reason for the party.  He died a few years ago so the meaning of Hallowe’en has changed for me. It’s a tough day because I miss him, but it also gives me the chance to look back and be grateful for his life.

Why am I telling you all this? The truth is, our stories are important. They help us to find our people, in business and life in general. That’s why we should never be afraid to share. Thanks for reading.

Posted on Leave a comment

Is blogging dead?

blogging deadEvery so often you get a little flurry of articles about blogging and they all ask a variation on the same question. Yup, you guessed it. ‘Is blogging dead?’ Now, obviously I have a bit of a vested interest here. Writing blogs is a core part of my business so if everyone suddenly decides that blogs aren’t worth bothering with I might have a bit of a panic. Only a small one though. My granny was a farmer’s daughter and always taught me never to put all my eggs in one basket, so I do other stuff too.

So, is blogging dead? I don’t think so. Here’s why.

Blogging has changed

When blogging first emerged as a marketing tool it was easy to stand out because there weren’t that many people doing it. Audiences who were tired of hard sell marketing loved the fact that blogging offered useful information without the pressure. Since then it feels as if everyone and their budgie has a blog. The market is saturated and it’s harder to stand out.

The good news is that ‘harder’ is very different from ‘impossible’. These days, the key to building a successful blog is to treat it as part of a larger strategy. Frankly, if you want to succeed in business it’s exactly what you should be doing anyway. If all of your marketing posts have the same focus your blog can be a central piece of content that helps your audience get to know you and builds your reputation.

Video isn’t for everyone

If you really don’t like the idea of a written blog you can still do a video version. Even Facebook were taken by surprise at how quickly video has taken off and it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere just get. The issue with a video blog is that you can’t say as much. Videos on social media are generally better in bite size form. You’ll probably be able to read this blog in about 5 minutes but if I sat in front of a camera and read it out to you then you’d swiftly nod off. I’ll generally do a video that gives a quick summary of a topic with a link to the blog if they want more detail, so they have a choice.

There’s also the fact that some people still prefer to read things. One of the main advantages for me is that I can read something while the kids build a Lego fortress around my feet. Try that with an unmuted video and I’ll suddenly have a 5 year old on my shoulder asking for YouTube. The point is that presenting your content in different ways means that you’re more likely to get the message across.

People are still searching

I keep hearing that SEO is dead, with keywords coming in for particular abuse. If you suspect that might be true, here’s a statistic for you – at the last count there were just over 63,000 searches on Google every second. That’s around 2 trillion searches a year. Google is still using its search algorithms to rank websites and individual pages into order of importance. That makes SEO important in my book.

What has changed are the techniques you need to use. Writing SEO content used to mean stuffing your blogs and website full of as many keywords as possible, regardless of whether they made any sense. When you’re blogging now it’s more important to create useful content that people will want to read. That way, when someone asks Google a question they’re more likely to find you as the answer.

If you’d like to find out more about how to use blogging as part of your marketing strategy, sign up to my mailing list. You’ll receive a copy of my free guide ‘Stop hiding your business’.

Further reading

If you’d like to read some interesting stats about blogging, here you go

Posted on Leave a comment

It’s lonely at the top (or bottom)

lonely at the topThere have been a few times recently where I’ve started to feel that no-one else gets it. Logically I know it isn’t true but there’s no accounting for the wobbles a human brain is capable of having. As I write this my mood has improved considerably and I feel much less isolated, but I still think it’s worth talking about the time where I felt really lonely. That’s the only word I can use to describe it.

When you start a business lots of people give you advice, whether you want it or not. When I told people I was going to be self-employed I got lots of responses. Everything from a heartfelt good luck to ‘oh well, you can always go back to the law if it doesn’t work out.’ Of all the responses I got, no-one talked about loneliness.

Working on your own

Most weekdays I sit at a desk, on my own. Don’t speak to another living soul from 9 until 3, or sometimes later. It varies depending on when I’m picking the kids up that day. I’m frequently thankful for the school run. That sounds like madness, doesn’t it? For some people it means running the clique ridden gauntlet of the other parents who won’t speak to you. To me it’s the opportunity to see other humans that I didn’t marry or give birth to. The only downside is that most of them aren’t business owners either. They don’t understand what it’s like to be by yourself all the time.

Lonely at the top

Working on your own has its own challenges, but so does being the boss. I’ve spoken to more than one business owner who feels lonely, even when they’ve got a team of employees. It’s easy to feel isolated even when, or perhaps especially when you’ve got other people relying on you. The decisions all rest with you which means the stress does too.

I’ve no doubt that being in the middle of a crowd can feel even lonelier than being on your own, especially when that crowd are all looking to you for leadership. Even Margaret Thatcher admitted that being Prime Minister was a lonely job as you can’t lead from the crowd.

Social media is a double edged sword

Facebook has tried to improve its’ image recently by emphasising the ways the platform can build communities. I’ve found lots of groups that are useful to me in different ways, including a few business groups. They’re full of people who run businesses so should understand the challenges. Yet somehow, when I was feeling isolated, they didn’t do the trick. Every post I came across was from someone happy and positive, or who was having a major crisis. If I’d had a specific problem I wanted solving I probably could have asked a question to find a solution. Somehow ‘I’m feeling a bit down and I don’t know why’ felt ridiculous.

What really helped?

Two things really helped me to get out of the doldrums. Firstly, constructive time alone. Ironic, really. I realised that I felt lonely because all of the decisions are down to me and I really wanted someone else to tell me what to do. Then I remembered that I hate being told what to do. I spent a morning with my notepad and pen looking at the plan I made last year and what I need to do to implement it. My head felt much clearer after that.

I also went to my networking group. It helped, even though I didn’t talk about how I’d been feeling. Just spending time, in person, with women who understand the life put things into perspective. It also reminded me that I have a network out there when I need them.

If any of this resonates with you, please don’t suffer in silence. Seek support wherever you can, whether that’s from a friend, family member or somewhere else. The Samaritans offer 24/7 support, without judgment, to anyone who’s struggling. They’re on the end of the phone at 116 123 or online.

Posted on Leave a comment

Does your content marketing strategy match your goals?

content marketing match goalsBelieve it or not, there are those who think that people who talk about strategy are out of touch with their clients’ lives.  They probably think that a strategy is created somewhere off in cloud cuckoo land. I disagree.  You can use whatever word you like for it, but a strategy is basically a plan.  You’ll probably have seen a meme that says something like “a goal is a dream with a deadline”.  If you have a goal, you need a plan to make it happen.  That’s all a strategy is.  So the question is, does your strategy match your goals?  If not, here’s how to make it happen.

What are your goals?

Goal setting can be a tricky beast.  Even when you have an amazing vision of what your life could be with a successful business your own brain can start getting in the way.  It doesn’t help that there are eleventy billion gurus out there chucking around terms like ‘6 or 7 figure businesses’ as if it’s commonplace.  Some people have no problem visualising themselves there.  Others feel that they’re somehow unworthy.

I struggle with the ‘6 figure’ talk because it isn’t specific enough.  To me, achievable goals need to have meaning.  I don’t want a mansion in the middle of nowhere because I’m part of a great community where I am.  Plus, I like being able to walk the kids to school.  I base my goals on what’s going to make life better for my family.  If you need some help with this bit I’d highly recommend talking to a good coach.  I’ve worked with an amazing coach who somehow took my vague waffle and helped me turn it into a plan.

goals quote Napoleon Hill

Get specific

Once you’ve set some goals, it’s time to get down to the nitty gritty.  If you want to earn £x per month to get the house you want or afford a holiday, what do you need to do?  Do you need to sell a certain number of products or sign up new clients? What’s the easiest way to do that?  If you have a high ticket item or service you might only need to sell one or two. Conversely if high ticket is hard to shift is there something smaller that you can sell more of?

You might decide that you’re going to focus on one product for a month or two then switch.  If you’ve read my last blog you’ll know that focusing on one thing is great because it helps people to get to know you. Once you’ve worked that out you’re ready to plan your marketing strategy so that it aligns with your goals.

Find your focus

If you want to hit your goals you don’t just need to get specific with your business aims.  You need to apply it to your marketing too.  For example, say you’ve decided to focus on selling smaller items in January.  People are feeling a bit skint after Christmas but want to cheer themselves up.  Equally, lots of people are making New Year’s resolutions and are willing to spend money on the right help.

Work out what is going to appeal to them about the service you’re offering.  Is it a fresh start or something inexpensive to make January bearable?  When you’ve worked that out you can start planning your content.  But that’s a subject for another blog.

Does your content strategy match your goals? If you need some help developing a strategy that you can implement yourself, click here to find out more about my content planning and strategy service.

Posted on Leave a comment

Why you need a content marketing strategy

Content marketing strategyI’ve found that there are two types of business owner.  The ones who love strategy and planning and actively seek out tools to help and, well, the other kind.  To be fair even they could be split into two camps.  People who know they need a strategy but just can’t quite bring themselves to do it and the ones who would happily wing it forever.  Ultimately, guess which businesses have greater success long term? Yep, the ones with a plan.  So why do you need a content marketing strategy? It’s an important piece of the overall puzzle. Here’s why.

A focused message = better results

When you plan your content marketing strategy in advance you can work out which products or services you want to focus on.  I’ve talked before (a lot) about focusing on your ideal customer and your content strategy planning should be an extension of that. The TL;DR version is – trying to market to everyone just makes your content bland and boring. Equally, you could sell any product or service at any time, but it’s better to focus on one.

If you’re building a relationship with your customers, focusing on one service helps them to get to know you. Your posts and blogs over a couple of weeks or a month can give them in depth knowledge of that service and what it can do for them.  They might not need that particular thing but it helps them to get to know you and keep following.  If you jump about that trust could be lost.  If you’d like some help identifying where your focus should be, I can help.

Less stress for you

Have you ever sat in front of your computer and thought ‘I need to post something today’. Or ‘I should get a blog out there this week’, without the faintest idea about what you want to say?  A content marketing strategy helps you to overcome that.  You’ll have a theme or product to focus on and you can get everything planned in advance.  Rather than panicking and posting something random, you’ll have time to really think about what you want to say.

It also means that you can get blogs written and social media posts planned and scheduled during quiet periods. Then they’re there and ready to go when you get busier.

A consistent content marketing strategy

I’ll be talking more about aligning your content marketing strategy with your goals in a future blog post, but identifying which products or services you want to focus on is a good first step.  By doing this you can get relevant marketing out there when people are most likely to be looking for it.  It’s why you see loads of holiday adverts on Boxing Day and wedding industry promotions around Valentine’s Day.  Timing is key.

Of course, it’s also important to have a consistent message.  When your content marketing strategy is planned in advance you can ensure it all makes sense.  You can have a theme running through each month’s marketing like a golden thread.  It shouldn’t be exactly the same message every time, but it should all tie together.  As you might have guessed, this month I’m mostly talking about strategy and planning. It’s a good way to start the year. I’ll be writing blogs like this one and sharing tools and resources that have helped me to plan so you can use them if you want to.

Do you have a plan for this year? If you don’t and you need some help, click here to find out more about my content planning and strategy sessions.

Further reading

If you’re wondering why you need content marketing anyway, here’s a great piece from marketing legend Neil Patel.

Posted on Leave a comment

Why do Christmas stories resonate with us?

Christmas stories resonateAs I write this we’re heading towards Christmas and I know that a lot of you are starting to wind down.  I’m always reluctant to write off the end of a year but I understand the impulse.  This year seems to have flown by.  There’s political turmoil that’s making everyone feel tired. There have been a lot of changes in my personal life this year too.  I’m ready for some time off.  But that doesn’t mean I’m switching off altogether.  This is a good time for reflection and thinking about the year to come.  So I thought I’d give you some Christmas themed food for thought.  There’s something about Christmas stories that really hit a nerve and I think it’s something we can learn from and carry through our marketing for the rest of the year.  So I asked myself a question. Why do Christmas stories resonate with us?

Here’s what I think lies behind it.

We’re tired and emotional

Yes, I know that has another meaning.  Come on, I’m a writer.  Maybe we will all be tired and emotional after a few Sherries on Christmas Day, but that’s not the point.  By the time we get to the end of the year we’re exhausted.  Not just by the things happening in our own lives, but everyone else’s too.  The news is grim and we’re constantly bombarded by social media messages making other people’s lives look better than they actually are.  I’m about ready to gather my family around me and snuggle under a blanket, hoping it all goes away.

To me, it explains why Christmas stories with a bit of magic in them are so appealing.  It’s comforting to believe that there is help out there if you need it.  Of course, I’m a pragmatic sort so still take the view that if you want help you need to ask for it. But Christmas stories help us to tap into the idea that the world isn’t all bad.

Family time

Trying to achieve a good work life balance has been at the top of a lot of priority lists for a while now.  It seems as if everyone has their own definition but when you have children time with them is always in there somewhere.  This year’s BBC One short, ‘Wonderland’ capitalises on this beautifully.  The idea of a stressed mum and son desperately needing time together is incredibly powerful.

It’s easy to feel that we’re short changing our children sometimes. Running a business can consume every waking minute if we let it.  We’re often told that we ‘should’ want more time with the family, but that misses the point for me. The Christmas stories that celebrate the true meaning of the season tend to be about putting people first. Even Scrooge learned to be charitable.

How Christmas stories help us throughout the year

Christmas stories tap into some pretty powerful concepts. Things like helping those in need and spending time with the people you love. They’re ideas that your marketing can evoke all year round.  You might not believe in magic, but encouraging people to ask for help is no bad thing, especially if you’re the one making your living by offering it.  It can be hard for a small business to build trust with their customers, but people love the idea that they’re supporting the little guy.  Those memes that talk about small business owners doing a happy dance when they get a new order are popular for a reason.

These themes might resonate more strongly at Christmas, but they’re there all year round. How can you use them in your business?

This is my last blog post for 2018. Whatever you’re doing I hope you have a happy and peaceful Christmas and I’ll see you again in 2019!  If you’d like to start the New Year with a new marketing strategy, visit my website to find out more.