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Want to help new customers find you? Use your blog.

Woman working on her blog to find new customers
Photo by Ivan Samkov from Pexels

Have you started a blog and are wondering how long it will be before it brings those lovely new customers to your (virtual) door? Maybe you’re just thinking of starting one but are hesitating because you don’t know whether the time and effort is worth it. Whilst a good, helpful blog that’s relevant to your customer base is a wonderful thing, there are still a few things you can do to give it a better chance of being found and read. Here are my top 5.

Optimise your blog for keywords

You might already have your SEO strategy sorted, or you might not. Whatever your situation, one of the simplest things you can do is to optimize each blog post for relevant keywords. If you’re a hairdresser with a blog post about elegant wedding hairstyles, use that as your keyword phrase. Using the right tech will really help you with this. If you have a WordPress website, Yoast have an excellent plugin that will help you to use your keywords in the right way.

Share on social media

Yes, I know this seems blindingly obvious, but it’s worth including for completeness. There are loads of ways to do this, like creating a short video summarizing the main points with a link in the comments. You can also post snippets with an image and add a link to those. Don’t be afraid to share multiple times and add a link to your Instagram bio if there’s space. You can find more ideas here.

Reuse your blog in your emails

Email marketing is a great tool for making sales, as your readers already like you enough to have signed up for your emails. If you’ve written a blog with gift ideas for an upcoming occasion, or services that will support them with a current challenge, you’re already being helpful. Add links to buy or book and they’re more likely to click through because you’ve just made their life a whole lot easier.

Write good headlines

A great headline can make the difference between someone clicking through to read your blog and scrolling on to find something more interesting. The important things to remember about headlines are that they need to be relevant to the post and your customers. Basically, avoid clickbait (it’s annoying) and show people that you understand what they need. Headlines that feel personal are more likely to be read, so using words like ‘you’ and ‘your’ work really well.

Track what’s popular

If you’ve got website analytics set up, review them once a month to see which of your blog posts got the highest number of visitors. You can also check what followers engaged with on social media. Is there a pattern in terms of the headlines you’ve written, or the type of content you’re covering? You might also have a post that didn’t get lots of readers, but which prompted people to get in touch. By working out which posts get the best results you can do more of the same.

If you want to attract more new customers by starting a blog, let’s have a chat. I offer a range of options to support you, from topic suggestions to writing it all for you. Email me or book your free discovery call here.

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Want more website visitors? You need to speak your customers’ language

Photo by EKATERINA BOLOVTSOVA from Pexels

You’ve probably gone to a lot of time and effort creating a great looking website for your business. There’s a lot of technical work you can do if you want more website visitors but one of the most important bits is the one that’s overlooked most often. The words. If your website copy (the technical term for the words) doesn’t tell your visitors that they’re in the right place within a few seconds they’ll bounce off to another site and you might have lost them forever. Then you have to work on attracting more website visitors rather than deepening the relationship with the ones you already have. The great news is that the words you use can help you to attract more visitors and impress them when they get there. How do you do it? I’m glad you asked…

Know your customer

When someone lands on your website, it’s because they were looking for something. You need to show them that they’ve found it. Say they’ve found your shop by typing ‘gifts for Mother’s Day’ into Google. The page they land on should tell them what gifts you’re offering, whether it’s jewellery, chocolates, or something else. If you offer a service, sum it up in a couple of sentences, or with a question they’ll answer yes to if they’re in the right place.

Apply the ‘so what’ test

It’s important to remember that your visitors don’t really care about you. Your credentials are important in that they help you to build trust, but your customer is only really interested in what you can do for them. If you’re an accountant helping small businesses with their tax returns, make it obvious. This can just be something like ‘Want to make your next tax return quick and easy? We can help.’ Yes, it’s really that simple.

What if your visitor isn’t ready to buy?

Sometimes you’ll get a new visitor, but they’re not ready to make a decision yet. They might just be doing some research or perhaps they need to talk to someone else before they decide. Inviting them to sign up to your mailing list or follow you on social media gives you the chance to stay in touch and remind them why they were looking for you in the first place. Then when they’re ready to buy, they’ll remember you.

Are you making it easy to buy?

If you’ve got a website visitor who’s ready to give you their money, make it easy for them. If you sell products online, you know that good photos and clear pricing are both essential, along with a quick and easy checkout. If you offer a service and need to talk to the customer before they buy, show people how to make an enquiry or book a call. Give them a button to click or a form to fill in so they don’t have to go searching.

What do you want to be found for?

If you’ve done any work on your SEO, you’ll know how important key words are. Yours might be easy to identify, particularly if you offer a service in a particular location. It’s worth thinking about the kind of terms your customers will understand. Most people know what a hairdresser does, but a copywriter like me? Not so much. My customers are more likely to look for advice on how to write a blog so I talk about that.

If you want to attract more website visitors and you think your website copy needs an update, let’s have a chat. Email me or book your free discovery call here.

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Is it ever OK to use jargon in your marketing?

Frustrated by too much jargon.
Photo by Yan from Pexels

When it comes to marketing, I’m a big fan of keeping things simple. Let people know that you understand the problem they’re experiencing and show them how you can help. Of course, there are loads of different ways to do that. That doesn’t just apply to the hundreds of platforms you could choose to share your message. It also applies to the language you use. Every business has its own jargon, no matter what industry you’re in. The real question is, how much of that jargon should you share with your customers? When you use insider language you run the risk of driving potential buyers away, simply because they don’t understand what you’re on about. Here are just a few things to think about when it comes to using jargon in your marketing.

Is it really jargon?

Firstly, let me be clear about what I mean by jargon. For me, it can be two different things. Firstly, there are technical terms that a specialist in your field would use. It could refer to a stitch you use when you’re creating something out of fabric or a silversmithing tool that’s designed to complete a gorgeous piece of jewellery. It could also be shorthand for a legal or accounting rule.

The second kind of jargon is the type that we all hear more often. They’re the kind of buzzwords that we feel we should probably understand but don’t. We might have a vague idea but not a detailed one. Some people love them, others find them annoying. If you follow me on social media, I share one of these every month to see what people think of it – I’d love you to join in if you’d like to.

Who are your audience?

There is one kind of audience where using jargon is not only fine but downright useful. That’s when the people you’re talking to are in exactly the same business as you. This can also extend to well-informed amateurs too, particularly if you’re talking about cake making or selling craft supplies. When I was a lawyer, having a shared language meant that you could get straight to the issues in a case because you both understood the rules. I didn’t fully appreciate how useful this was until I encountered lay people who were representing themselves. Everything took three times longer.

If that doesn’t apply, consider whether your audience will understand the terms you’re using. Get too technical and they may feel you’re blinding them with science. That only serves to make you less relatable. Use too many irritating buzzwords and they might feel you’re downright untrustworthy.

We’ve all had enough of buzzwords

Buzzword bingo can be an entertaining way to get through a dull meeting, but I generally feel as if we’ve all had a bellyful of them this year. There seems to be a new one every week. I shared my least favourite Coronavirus buzzword a while back (unprecedented, in case you’re interested) and asked people to share theirs. There were loads and every share made me groan. There weren’t just buzzwords but whole phrases that would once have seemed caring but now just make people want to vomit.

It’s made me question every single ‘I hope you’re well’ and come up with new alternatives to ‘in these strange times’. If I’m honest, I haven’t found one I’m completely happy with. It’s become even more important to use straightforward language that helps us to be understood.

If you need no-nonsense marketing copy that speaks your customers’ language, get in touch! Or sign up to my mailing list for handy hints and tips straight to your inbox every month.

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Are you speaking your customers’ language?

Speaking your customers' language helps you have really interesting conversations.
Photo by Anastasiya Gepp from Pexels

Have you ever read something that was so far above your head it might as well have been an aeroplane? Did you look at the opening sentences and realise that it meant absolutely nothing to you? Believe it or not, this can be a good thing. I know a lot of small business owners get worried about using language that will exclude potential customers. The truth is, if you’re specific about who is most likely to buy you can talk to them in a way that will resonate. They’ll read your stuff and think ‘this person really understands me’. That’s when they become a customer. If you read something that really isn’t for you, you can move on. Hopefully that’s what it was designed to do. But if you’re not speaking your customers’ language it means you’re not reaching them in your marketing. Here’s how to put that right.

Is your customers’ language formal or informal?

The first thing to work out is how you want to talk to your audience. Your brand identity will be a big part of this. Do you need to be taken seriously or can you have a bit of a laugh? Of course, there are no absolutes. Even professionals like accountants or lawyers are allowed a sense of humour. You might be an expert who’s trusted because you use straightforward language and don’t try to bamboozle clients with loads of jargon.

Think about how you’d talk to a customer if you met them face to face and take it from there.

Are your customers experts?

I ask this because speaking your customers’ language means meeting them where they are. If you’re a physiotherapist writing something for other medical professionals you can assume they’ve got a fair bit of pre-existing knowledge. A beginner’s guide to human anatomy would just come off as condescending. If, on the other hand, you’re talking to people who don’t know anything about what you do, using industry jargon will just lose them.

It’s all about finding the right level for the audience you want to attract.

Which platform are you using?

The language you use should stay consistent across all of your platforms – up to a point. If the way you come across on your website is totally different from how you are on social media or in person, you’re only going to create a massive disconnect. Doing that means that your customers don’t know which version of you to expect. You end up losing the trust you’ve taken time building.

However, there are different ways to express your personality. Your website should be professional but you can still show the same sense of humour that you have on social media. It’s just more relaxed on social.

What are you trying to achieve?

This is the really important bit. When you talk to your audience, what are you trying to achieve? How do you want them to see you? Professional but approachable, friendly, fun, trustworthy? Do you want them to respect your expertise but still feel they can talk to you as a friend? I suppose the real key is to think about what your audience needs from you. What do they need to know about you to take the step from social media follower to customer?

When you learn to speak your customers’ language that’s really what you’re doing.

Do you need help speaking your customers’ language? Whether you’re looking for sparkling web copy, product descriptions and blogs to promote your business this Christmas, or new marketing for the New Year, I’m here to help. Book your discovery call to find out how refreshing your copy can help you communicate with your audience. Or just sign up using the form below to receive copywriting tips and advice straight to your inbox every month.

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How you can write product descriptions that sell

Product descriptions
Photo by Ylanite Koppens from Pexels

When you sell products online you might think that the images you use are the most important thing. Of course, if your images are rubbish you won’t sell much. Your customers need to be able to see what they’re buying and imagine themselves using it. The thing is, the photos are only one part of that. Your product descriptions take it to the next level. The words you use allow your customers to create their own mental images. They take the photos you’ve used and imagine themselves using your products or handing them over as a gift. It doesn’t just show them what they could have, it allows them to see themselves as if they’ve got it already. When you use product descriptions that conjure up the feelings your customers will experience when they’ve bought something from you, that’s the magic that persuades them to buy. Here’s how to do it.

Include the basics

I shouldn’t need to say this, but a high street retailer recently lost an online sale because their kids’ shoe sizing didn’t tell me whether the shoes would fit my child. I know. Don’t let that happen to you. Include basics like price, size and the materials or ingredients used. Some customers will message you to ask, but most won’t. They’ll just go somewhere that has clearer information.

Talk about benefits

Pretty much every sale ever made happens because the person buying the product can see how it will solve a problem or improve their life. Think about how each product will help your customer. It could give them a tidier house, entertain their children or save them time when they’re trying to get out of the house in the morning. Show them what it would be like if they had this product in their life and they’ll bite your hands off to buy.

Engage their senses

This can be a tricky one, but it’s another element that engages your customer’s imagination. Help them to experience a physical sensation or an emotion. How will that gorgeously soft scarf feel when they wrap it around their neck? Let them imagine the joy on their child’s face when they open the perfect gift on Christmas morning. (Or possibly the early hours if we’re honest.) Letting people see what life will be like when they’ve bought a product increases the chance that they’ll actually buy.

Make it scannable

Some bits of your product descriptions work best as a short paragraph. For others, make a list. If your products have features that are likely to be really important to your customers, make them easy to spot.  You might want to highlight safety features, eco-friendly credentials or high quality ingredients. It also makes your product descriptions shorter and easier to read. No-one wants ‘War and Peace’ when they’re just doing a bit of shopping.

Tell a mini story

Telling a mini story isn’t essential to good product descriptions, but it can work really well. For example, if you use materials that have an interesting back story, why not mention it? Talk about the tweed you bought from a family who’ve been making it for a hundred years and how you brought it home to create a handcrafted bag that will hold every working day essential. Tell your customers about the people who create your favourite wine or that extra special cheese. If it taps into something your audience cares about it can work really well.

Do you need help writing your product descriptions? For a limited time only, I’ll write them for you! Get ready for Christmas with brilliant product descriptions that you can use on your website, in your social media posts, emails… pretty much anywhere you like. Click here to book your discovery call to find out more. Or sign up to my mailing list for hints and tips straight to your inbox every month.

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Are you taking your customers on a journey?

Take your customers on a journey.

I know, I know, I sound like I’m about to start banging on about the X Factor or something. Not a chance. My Saturday nights are currently spent watching the Marvel movies with the kids. (There’s also the fact that watching Chris Hemsworth unleash lightning is much more my idea of fun.) When I say journey I mean the one that takes new people from finding out about your business to becoming a customer. It’s always important to get this right, but when your customers are already gearing up to buy their Christmas presents it’s absolutely essential. So, here’s my guide to getting it right.

Are they ready to buy?

The first time someone lands on your website they’re probably not going to be ready to hand over their hard earned cash. There could be any number of reasons for that. They might be in the research phase, looking for ideas so they’ve got a few options to consider. Maybe it’s not a decision they can make on their own or perhaps they’re just waiting for payday.

Your website copy needs to tell them they’re in the right place, but what then? How do you prevent them from wandering off and never returning? Encouraging them to sign up to your email list or follow you on social media means you get to stay in touch.

What if they have questions?

So, you have a potential customer looking at a product they really like but they need to know more before they buy. Put as much information as you possibly can in your product descriptions (along with a bit of personality). Don’t be the person that loses a sale because you didn’t display the price or because you were vague about sizing. (That sounds obvious, but even major retailers get it wrong.)

There will always be customers with questions so make it easy for them to ask. Have a contact form on every page or make sure your Messenger button is clearly displayed. Part of a successful journey is making it simple to answer queries.

Making it easy

This might sound obvious, but if you want customers to buy you need to make it as simple as possible. The last thing you want is for their customer journey to end because they can’t find the ‘add to cart’ button or don’t understand how to order. If you offer a standard product, this should be relatively easy. Where there are different options on a single product you can include a drop down menu on the order form. If it’s something truly bespoke, is it simple for customers to start a conversation?

It’s simple really. If it’s easy for your customers to place an order, you’ll get more customers.

What next?

Once people have bought from you, what then? Do you want them to wander off into the ether, never to be seen again? The truth is that it’s easier to convince someone who’s already bought from you to do it again than it is to find a whole new customer. You’ve already taken them on the journey, built the trust, wowed them with your service and sent them a product they love. If they’ve already signed up to your mailing list or follow you on social it’s easy to stay in touch. Tell them about other stuff you think they’ll like. (How to do that without being cheesy is a whole other conversation, but if you need help with it get in touch.)

Is your website ready for Christmas? If your product descriptions could do with some extra shine book your discovery call to find out how I can help. Or sign up to my mailing list for writing hints and tips straight to your inbox every month.

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Why your website copy matters

Getting started writing website copy.
Image by Bongkarn Thanyakij via Pexels

Creating a website for your small business can be pretty daunting. If you’re doing it yourself you need to decide which platform to use and how to make it all look great. If you’re not, there are loads of different professionals out there who will build it for you, but which do you choose? Even businesses who employ web designers to create their site for them often decide to write the website copy themselves. After all, how hard can it be? Or how important is it really? Here’s why your website copy matters and why you need to get it right.

You need to talk to your ideal customers

When a new visitor lands on your site you have less than 15 seconds to show them they’re in the right place because you have what they need. That means it isn’t about you. It also means that you need to use language and images that speak directly to the kind of customer you can help. I know that small business owners are sometimes reluctant to do this. They worry that they’re excluding people. The truth is, if your website tries to talk to everyone you don’t hit the mark with anyone. When you’re specific about who your products and services are for you’ll get customers who love what you do and that you’ll enjoy working with.

You need to sound like you

Your website copy will work better if it’s in your voice. OK, maybe a polished version of your voice. Your personality might be the difference between a website visitor choosing you or someone else. The way you do this in practice depends on how you work. You might want to sound professional and approachable, completely down to earth or a total eccentric. It all depends on your brand and how you want to come across. It’s especially important if your service means they’ll deal with you one to one. If there’s a massive disconnect between how you come across on your website and the way you are in person you can lose the trust you’ve spent time building.

Using keywords well

I know we’ve all heard about SEO and the importance of targeting the right keywords so you get found in searches. The thing is, the way you use keywords in your writing is really important. There’s no point using all the right keywords to bring people to your website if the site itself is unreadable twaddle. There used to be a school of thought that website traffic was the only important thing. It resulted in lots of blog posts and website pages that made no sense. Thankfully, times have changed and Google now prioritises content that’s actually useful. Your website copy should include keywords but the most important thing is that it’s easy to read and helpful.

Focus on what’s important

As I said before, your website isn’t about you. It’s really about your customers. You might be incredibly excited about the new product or service you’ve created and want to tell everyone. That’s great, but you need to pause. Ask yourself what your customer will get out of this. What are the benefits? How will it help them go from having a problem to an easy life? Your copy needs to show them that. It needs to take their aspirations, values and beliefs about themselves and wrap it all up in one clear message. When you can do that, you show them that you understand them on a personal level. That’s what turns them into customers.

Does that sound complicated? If you need some help, get in touch. I can help you edit what you already have or write your website copy for you. Alternatively, sign up to my mailing list for handy hints and tips straight to your inbox every month.