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Are you winning at email marketing?

Woman with a cup of coffee checking her email marketing on a laptop.

Email marketing is officially still alive (and if you don’t believe me, read this). But how do you get it right? There are (of course) lots of different approaches you could take. Some of my favourite emails are written like letters, giving you an insight into the writer’s life. They always make a point but there’s usually a personal story behind the advice. Others have a mixture of behind the scenes insight and advice. As with any other kind of content, the most important thing is to offer something useful that fits with your brand and that your audience will enjoy. There are also a few best practice rules that you should pay attention to. Here are just a few.

Be helpful

Before you send any email marketing, ask yourself why you’re sending it. Yes, I know you want to sell stuff but that shouldn’t be your only focus. People are much more likely to buy from you if they know you want to help them rather than just rake in the cash. So, you could explain why a particular service might help them, or talk about ways to do it themselves. You could talk about practical steps to take – I’ve seen some great ones from accountants covering the Covid-19 financial support. I always view it as offering my services but enabling people to do it themselves if they need to.

Show behind the scenes

There are some emails that don’t feel like email marketing. It’s more like an update about what’s happening in their life before mentioning something you might want to buy at the end. Laura Belgray (aka Talking Shrimp) is great at this. Of course, that might not suit your style. I show glimpses of my life but don’t talk about every detail. Showing your customers what goes on behind the scenes doesn’t have to involve sharing personal details. You could tell them what events you’ve been to or where they can meet you in person. That said, the more they see you as a human being, the more likely they are to trust you.

Create a good subject line

A good subject line can mean your email gets opened rather than deleted. Just like good headlines, a good subject line should be relevant to the subject and have good emotional resonance. Even the most conservative audience will respond to it. It can also be a good idea to personalise your subject line using the recipient’s name. I’m hearing some suggestions that using emojis in your subject line can increase open rates. I think this probably depends on your audience and their views on emojis generally. I like them but not everyone does.

Whatever approach you take at first, it isn’t set in stone. Experiment and change things to see what works for you.

Get the basics right

Good design is important but doesn’t have to be complicated. Have you ever been put off reading an email because the design was so fussy it made it hard to read? Kind of defeats the point. Keep your design simple but with some appealing images – basically the same approach you’d take to the rest of your marketing. Most email marketing platforms allow you to check how your email looks on mobiles. A lot of people will read on their phones so check it doesn’t get scrambled.

Also, one final note. Pay attention to GDPR. There is loads of guidance out there, especially from the ICO, so make sure you follow it.

Further reading

Test your headlines for emotional resonance with the Advanced Marketing Institute’s headline analyser.

Power words to use in your subject lines.

If you’d like to receive fabulous marketing tips straight to your inbox, including hints on email marketing, blogging and much more, you can subscribe using the form below. You’ll also receive a copy of my free guide helping you to get your business seen online.

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Content marketing: what are you posting?

Content marketing

Content marketing can get overwhelming at the best of times. Even when you’ve got a clear idea of who your customer is and what kind of content they’ll like, there are still lots of decisions to be made. Your marketing could be a full time job, but you haven’t got time for that (even I haven’t). I’m a big believer in repurposing the content you’ve already created. It’s a bit like recycling except it won’t have any significant impact on climate change. Here’s how I approach getting as much use out of my content as I can.

Write a blog

Writing a blog can seem like a massive effort, particularly when you’re struggling with it. If you’ve ever sat down and tried to write a blog only to end up with something you’re not happy with, you’re not alone. However, it is worth persevering. (Or getting someone like me to write one for you.)

A blog is a big, chunky piece of content in comparison to virtually anything else you’ll create. You can take the topics you’ve chosen and use them to inspire other posts. You can even lift phrases straight out of your blog and use them on social media.

Sharing tips

One of the best things you can do in your blog is to share tips and advice with your audience. These will vary depending on what you’re talking about. For example, I write about reasons why you might want to blog and what the benefits are. I’ll also talk about ways to get started or come up with topics.

If you’ve written a blog with multiple tips, separate them and create images with one tip on each. You can share these on multiple platforms so they go further. You can also create videos – and no, you don’t have to be in them if you don’t want to! Facebook lives tend to get better reach than other types of video so I’d recommend doing some if you can. However, you don’t have to go face to face with the camera. You could just show your hands demonstrating a tip or use computer screen capture. I also create tip videos using images with overlaid text.

Motivational content

Unless you’re in the habit of writing motivational quotes or meme-worthy copy in your blog, this one will involve going off on a bit of a tangent. Take your blog topic and use it to search for related quotes. You don’t necessarily have to stick exactly to the topic if you find something that will resonate with your audience. For instance, I wrote a blog about finding time to blog and one of the quotes I found was this:

Not directly relevant to the topic, but certainly something that would get lots of us nodding our heads. You can use the same approach with memes, particularly if you search on Pinterest. I post a fair bit of stuff that isn’t directly related to writing but which I know my audience will enjoy. However, I often find this type of content when I’m just doing my own social media scrolling so don’t worry if the repurposing/search approach doesn’t work well for you here.

There’s also a different kind of motivation you can offer. Helping your audience to gain expertise (or realise that they know more than they thought) is really worthwhile. You can do this by sharing useful resources or by asking questions about their experiences. This helps them to share their knowledge and also helps you get to know them better.

Further resources

If you’d like some hints and tips on writing your blog, start here.

My favourite video capture tools:

Screencast-o-matic for screen capture videos.

Ripl to animate your images with overlaid text.

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What is content creation?

What is content creation?

You’ve probably heard a lot about how important content creation is when you’re marketing your business. The trouble is, it’s such a generic term it can be tough to work out what the flipping heck it means in relation to your business. There’s such a bewildering array of options and platforms out there no-one (least of all me) would blame you for feeling a bit bewildered. So, I decided to go back to basics and help you negotiate the content creation maze a bit more easily.

What is content creation?

I don’t believe in reinventing the wheel, so here’s Hubspot’s definition (they know a thing or two about creating great marketing content).

“Content creation is the process of generating topic ideas that appeal to your buyer persona, creating written or visual content around those ideas, and making that information accessible to your audience as a blog, video, infographic, or other format.”

Hubspot

Basically, it can be anything you like. Writing, images, videos – anything you can put online or give physical form to offline. Of course, there’s more to it than that. It’s utterly pointless if it doesn’t get in front of the people you can help.  It’s even more futile if it gets in front of them but doesn’t tell them how you can
help them. Which leads me on to the next thing…

How do you get started?

I feel as if I’ve been banging on about getting to know your customer for about a hundred years (I know, I’ve told myself a million times not to exaggerate). The truth is, it’s the key to getting your content creation right. You can read more about knowing your customer here but the first step is to work out what their life is like and how you could help to make it better. That could be by solving a problem or enhancing their everyday life in some way.

Then, think about how (and where) you can tell them about it. Do they love watching videos or do they prefer something they can read? What images or memes will lift their spirits or make them laugh?

What do you want to create?

The next step is to think about what will play to your strengths. For me, a blog was a no brainer. It lets potential clients get to know me and shows them I can string a sentence together. If you create something beautiful, you’ll need images that show it off, but that doesn’t have to be all you create.

Ask yourself what you’ll enjoy creating, whether it’s words, pictures or video. Then think about how that fits with what your customers will love and whether you can share it somewhere they’ll see it. I’m not saying that you’ll never need to push out of your comfort zone (you will). But if you can start off creating content in an enjoyable way you’re more likely to do it consistently.

What next?

Once you’ve gathered your ideas, it’s time to start posting. One key thing to keep in mind from the start is what you want you want people to do when they see your posts. Social media is a fickle beast so how can you encourage people to stay in touch with you? Sign up for updates on Messenger or via email? Join your group? Share your post so you reach more people? A good call to action will encourage people to take the next step, so you need to know what the next step is. As the saying goes, if you don’t ask, you don’t get.

Resources

Claire Mitchell of The Girls Mean Business has loads of brilliant marketing advice – you can join her free Facebook group here.

Read more about creating a call to action here.

You can join my free Facebook group ‘Blogging Brilliance’ here or just complete the form below to sign up to my email list for blogging and marketing hints and tips straight to your inbox every month.

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Is your blog too serious?

Is your blog too serious?
Does your blog need to smile more?

When you first write a blog for your business it can be hard to get the tone right. Too serious and your potential customers will stop reading (unless it’s so dry you’ve actually caused them to nod off mid-sentence). On the other hand, if it’s completely off the wall you run the risk of looking unprofessional. So what do you do? Here are a few ideas from me.

What’s your personality?

I feel as if most of the blogs I’ve written start with knowing your customer. While this is still true, when you’re writing a blog you need to show your personality. The subjects that you talk about need to be ones that are important to your customers. That way you share your expertise and show them that you can help. But what if there are hundreds of other businesses sharing the same sort of content?

If you offer a service that needs to be delivered in person you’ll be competing with other businesses in your area. Go online and the pool is even bigger. Skills, experience and price are important but your customers will often choose to work with you because they like you. You don’t have to pretend to be something you’re not. I know two fantastic marketing experts. One is in your face and bold, the other is calm and quiet. They both get results and their clients love them. You can do the same.

How do you talk to your customers?

If you’re wondering how you get your personality into your blog while still sounding professional, the answer is pretty simple. Think about how you talk to your clients face to face. When it comes to marketing, consistency is key. You build trust by sharing your knowledge and showing your customers how it helps them, but that’s not all. When you write a blog you’re giving them insight into your personality and what you stand for. If the way you come across is at odds with how you are in real life, the trust will be lost.

In practice, this means developing an awareness of the way you naturally speak to your customers. It’s also worth thinking about how you present yourself in other ways. If you’ve blogged about your green business credentials it’s not going to go over too well if your client arrives at your office to find you dressed head to toe in endangered animal skin. OK, I’m exaggerating, but you get the idea.

Blog in your voice

Most of us shift quite naturally between the tone of voice we use with business contacts and the way we speak to our friends. You might not even notice the shift. If you’ve found yourself wondering how you actually sound, start with your emails. They’ll give you a flavour of the way you communicate in writing in a business context. I often suggest recording yourself talking about your business when you’re trying to blog. This can be problematic as voice to text generally needs quite a bit of editing. Plus, if you’re talking to clients they might not want you to record them.

The best emails to look at are ones that you’ve written to people you’ve worked with for a while as you’ve already built a rapport. The way you write to them is likely to be on the informal end of the spectrum, while still being professional. When you write your blog in the same style you’ll give potential customers an insight into the kind of relationship you could ultimately develop.

If you’d like to start writing blogs that sound like you, I can help. Email me at info@kirstyfrancewrites.co.uk to find out how you can outsource your blog writing or get training that helps you to write your own.

Otherwise, sign up to my mailing list for monthly hints and tips on blogging and lots of other useful marketing stuff.

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Social Media: Why outsource when you can do it yourself?

Guest blog - Anita Popat social media

As business owners, we wear lots of different hats to fulfil a variety of roles required to run a successful business.

Social media is usually one of the things that keeps dropping to the bottom of the to-do list. This could be because you need to prioritise more important tasks or just because you don’t give it the attention it deserves.

Let’s be honest; it takes time to constantly think of fresh content ideas to stay ahead of your competition and be interesting, relevant and engaging on top of that!

To be successful on social media you need to be consistent to build that “know, like and trust” with your audience. If your efforts are haphazard then you’re probably not going to achieve this effectively.

Networking events are the perfect analogy for this. When you attend a group regularly, you’re likely to form good relationships and will eventually make a judgement as to whether you like and trust them based on your conversations with them. Guess what, it’s EXACTLY how it works on social media.

Nowadays, potential customers will do their research before getting in touch with you. They will most likely check out your social media profiles before your website, so it’s important that your channels are consistently updated, showcase your company values, your business expertise, what problems you solve, your team and why someone would want to work with you…in a subtle way of course!

On top of this bear in mind that the algorithms (the rules which affect your post reach) can change on a monthly basis. You could have learnt something last month and be ready to put it into action this month only to learn that the algorithm has changed again, so you need to relearn…do you really have the time to keep doing this?

If the thought of this already sounds overwhelming, then outsourcing is probably your best option.

So, here are some reasons why it makes sense to outsource your social media if it keeps falling to the bottom of your to-do list:

  • Let the expert(s) stay up to date with industry trends, news and algorithms so you can take advantage of what’s working right now.
  • You will have a more consistent presence to build that know, like and trust.
  • You won’t have to constantly think about what to post as it will be done for you.
  • You will have more brand awareness and potential clients recognising you when you’re out and about.
  • You won’t have the expenses of full time staff or need to spend time recruiting and training them to get them up to the required standards to make an impact on your business.
  • Most importantly, you can spend your valuable time growing other areas of the business.

It’s worth considering where your strengths lie and what you could outsource, as you’ll be saving time, money and sanity in the long run!

Anita Popat

www.anitapopat.com

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When not to blog for your business

When not to blog
Don’t give yourself a blogging headache

I know, I know. I’ve been urging you on to write a blog for your business since the last decade (feels weird to be able to say that) and now I’m telling you not to?! Well, no. Mostly, a blog is still a really good idea for most businesses. If you need a quick primer on why that is, here you go. Despite that, there are times when a blog just won’t be the right choice for you, either because of the industry you’re in or just because it’s the wrong time. If you’re thinking of writing a blog but any of the following apply to you, think again…

A blog won’t work for your industry

There aren’t many businesses that I would actively advise against blogging, but there are a few. If your business is scientific or sells something technical that’s on sale to the general public, a blog can be great. It helps you to demystify your product or service and make it more accessible. If, on the other hand, you only deal with other members of the scientific community a blog is pretty pointless. Blogs are chatty and conversational. If your audience is already very well informed and your articles need to set out technical data, a blog is just the wrong format.

It should (hopefully) go without saying that the same applies if your work is subject to a blanket NDA or national security level secrecy. If you want a blog to work you need to be able to share something about your background or life in general. If you can’t do that, a blog probably isn’t for you.

You don’t have time

Lack of time is one of the main reasons people tell me that they haven’t started a blog. It’s understandable. When your blog isn’t a core part of your business it’s one of those things that you can easily put to one side. While it’s great for marketing it doesn’t earn you anything on its own. Focusing on activities that generate income is far more important and I know you’ll have your own list of tasks that take priority over writing.

If you think you haven’t time to blog, this gives you some ideas for fitting it in. But what if you really haven’t got time? Either hand it over to someone like me or don’t do it. If you don’t have time to commit to writing and publishing a blog at least once a month, it will fizzle out before long. It won’t help your SEO and if potential customers come across it they might even think you’ve stopped trading.

It won’t be any good

This might sound a bit harsh. One of the advantages of writing a business blog is that anyone can write one. Of course, this also means that absolutely anyone can write one. For yours to work you need to put a bit of effort into making it good. Otherwise, it’s just going to disappear into the mass of boring, badly written blogs out there.  The good news is there is lots of advice and guidance out there to help you. (Including mine.) You just have to make time to
absorb it and put it into practice.

To put it bluntly, there’s no point writing a blog that no-one wants to read. If you’re already struggling for time, put the effort into creating something that your audience will find useful.

Do you need some help?

Sign up using the form below for monthly blogging tips (and lots of other useful stuff) straight to your inbox. Or, if you’d rather get some personalised help from me, whether that’s blog writing training or outsourcing, please get in touch.

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You can find the time to blog (honest!)

Time zone clocks

OK, I know that’s a sweeping generalisation. There will be plenty of you who really can’t find the time. If adding another thing into your week means giving up sleep or spending time with anyone you care about, don’t do it. Maybe you don’t even want to blog, and that’s fine. That’s what I’m here for. Writing a business blog isn’t right for every business. There’ll be more on that in a future post, but if you’re a small or micro business a blog is still a great marketing tool for most businesses.

The problem, in most cases, is that you think you need to find masses of time all at once. You will need to sit down in front of a screen at some point, but that’s the most time consuming bit. With the right approach everything else can be fitted in around your other daily tasks and will even make the writing part easier. Here’s how I break everything down.

Preparation

Nothing kills inspiration faster than sitting down in front of a blank screen and wondering what to write about. Having your topic ready to go before you start is a major time saver and you can think of ideas while you’re doing other things. You can write answers to your frequently asked questions, share insights on your services and learn about your customers’ struggles at networking events.

After that, create a quick outline plan by breaking the topic down into smaller sections and giving each one a subheading. I often do this when I’m making my lunch. Then when I start writing there’s a guide ready to go.

Writing

I can’t lie, this is the most time consuming bit, but there are ways to make it easier. When you make your plan, if any key phrases spring to mind, write them down. Make voice notes if you like. Recording yourself can also work really well if you find it easier to talk through your topic. Even just talking to yourself could help you to get the words flowing. 

Once you start writing, keep going. Your blog will be better if it sounds like you and that will come more easily if you aren’t constantly worrying about your grammar. That’s what the next stage is for…

Editing

The editing stage is every writer’s best friend. My mantra is ‘you can edit a bad page but you can’t edit a blank one.’ When you’ve written your post, leave it for at least a day then go back with fresh eyes. Run it through a spelling and grammar checker if you like (or visit Grammarly.com). Then, read to see if it makes sense. The best time for this is when you’re (relatively) relaxed. If you’re not already in the habit of taking proper meal breaks or stopping for an afternoon cuppa, this is the perfect excuse.

If you’re feeling brave give your blog to a friend and ask them if it makes sense.

Time for the finishing touches

The finishing touches on your blog are actually a series of tiny tasks that become much more straightforward when you break them down. Finding a good header image, on page SEO and sharing to social media can all be done separately when you have a few minutes. I put an appointment in the diary to find images for future posts, but do what works for you.

It can be a bit of a shift but when you stop viewing a blog post as one solid chunk of work and think of it as a series of smaller tasks, it makes it much easier to work out where you can fit it into your working week.

This is a lightning run through the things that go into a good blog post. If you’d like a bit more detail, sign up to my mailing list for monthly hints and tips on blog writing and all manner of other business marketing stuff. You’ll also receive a copy of my free guide ‘Stop hiding your business’ as a thank you from me.

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Is your marketing plan ready to go for the New Year?

Marketing plan

When you’re a small business owner the fact that you make your own marketing plan can be both a blessing and a curse. It’s always a good idea to give a new marketing plan a few months to bed in before you look back and assess whether it’s working. When you’re the one looking at the figures (you are looking at them, aren’t you?) it’s easy to tell what people are responding to and what they’re ignoring. Then you can change things quickly if you want to try something new.

The problem is, when you’re doing your own marketing as well as wearing every other hat in your business, you start to run out of time. Where does your marketing plan come on your list of priorities? If you’re reading this without a clear plan for your marketing in the New Year, here’s where to start. I know you’re probably busy right now but I promise that creating your marketing plan won’t take too long.

Do the groundwork

The first principle of marketing is knowing who your customer is. Who is most likely to buy from you and where will you find them? (If you need a bit more help here, read this). Focusing on your ideal customer helps you to decide which online platforms to post on and what offline marketing you can do.

Next, think about what products or services you want to promote. This can be seasonal but it isn’t always. I can write blogs all year round, but if you’re a florist there are likely to be key periods when people are thinking about wedding flowers. Think about the seasonal elements in your business and use those as a focus. Keeping your message consistent means it’s much more likely to sink in with your customers.

Choose your blog topics

I’m a big advocate of blogging when it comes to making a small business marketing plan. A blog helps you to talk to your customers about the things that are important to them and tell them how you can help. This isn’t the only benefit, there are loads – here are just a few of them.

You don’t need to write loads of blogs (I do, but that’s because it’s what I do). One a month is absolutely fine for most businesses. If you want an outline marketing plan with blog topics for the whole year that’s great. If not, choose three topics to take you through the first quarter. What’s your marketing focus and what questions do people ask about it? A good blog topic can be as simple as answering an FAQ or giving a brief introduction.

Build the rest of your marketing plan around it

One of the reasons that I love blogs is that you can use them to inspire the rest of your content for the month. After all, if you want to make sure that your message is consistent why not talk about the same thing in different ways? You might think that it’ll get monotonous but it won’t. For one thing you don’t have to use exactly the same language and you can vary the types of post you use. It’s also worth remembering that no-one will see absolutely everything. (Unless you have a stalker.)

To make it even easier to create your marketing plan you can come up with themes for each day (for example #MotivationMonday or #WisdomWednesday). There’s also no harm in throwing in something fun but off topic to get your audience talking.

Do you need some guidance on creating your New Year marketing plan? Email me: info@kirstyfrancewrites.co.uk. I’ve opened up a few 20 minute slots in my diary to support busy business owners with their end of year content creation and New Year planning. Let’s jump on a call and see what I can do to help you.

Further reading

If you’d like some ideas for ways to reuse and recycle your blog, this is for you.

For more help on coming up with topics, read this.

Or this perennial classic from Orbit Media.

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5 business Christmas gifts that will feed your entrepreneurial spirit

Business Christmas gift

Have you made a Christmas list? When you run a business,
Christmas gifts can start to shift towards practicality, or even become completely
intangible. For most of the small business owners I know, the list goes
something like this:

  1. More sleep.
  2. Even more sleep.
  3. Snacks.
  4. Financial security.
  5. Wine.

Does that look familiar? Now obviously that list is only
useful if you’re happy to drown in snacks and wine. Actually, now I write it
down that doesn’t sound too bad. But what if your loved ones would like to get
you something that will really help your business? I promise that business Christmas
gifts don’t have to be boring. So, if you’re being asked for suggestions (or if
you’re reading this looking for ideas for the business owner in your life),
here are my top 5 ideas.

1. A Kindle

I resisted getting one of these
for years, mainly because I love actual books. Then when my husband suggested a
Kindle for my birthday I remembered how many times I’ve run out of books on
holiday and jumped at the chance. In business there is always something new to
learn and loads of business books to teach you virtually anything. An e-reader
is the perfect business Christmas gift because you can take it anywhere and
learn on the go.

2. Stationery

Stationery addiction is real and
occasionally necessary. I get through notebooks and pens at a ridiculous rate
so tend to shop at the budget end of the market. (Or go to expos and get them
for free.) However, one of my favourite gifts was the beautiful (boxed) pen and
pencil set that sits on my desk and gets used every day. It’s a small thing
that makes life better. You could opt for lovely pens or a classic Moleskine
notebook. You can even get fab digital notebooks if you prefer.

3. Some business support

No-one can buy time, but if you’re
struggling you can buy help.  If you want
to work with a particular VA/graphic designer/writer but can’t afford it, you
can drop some heavy hints. Like sharing this post on Facebook and say ‘if
anyone wants to buy me a Christmas present, Kirsty does gift vouchers for her
blogging packages [or other service of your choice]’.

It might sound like a bit of an
odd present, but by buying you help for Christmas they’ll get to spend stress
free time with you, so everyone wins.

4. Useful gadgets

When it comes to gadgets, the
world is your lobster. They’re often the easiest business Christmas gifts to
buy because they’re more in the realm of traditional presents. If you’re
thinking of buying tech for a business owner, think about what they’ll actually
use. Maybe they need a portable phone charger because their phone is always
running out of juice. Perhaps a coffee maker will help them get going in the
morning. If they work in cafes or a co-working space a pair of noise cancelling
headphones could be just the ticket.

5. Time off

I started my business because I wanted
to work flexibly around my children. In practice this often means shoehorning
everything in, or being unable to switch off at night because my brain is always
‘on’. Some business owners subscribe to the hustle culture where you don’t take
any time off until you’ve ‘made it’. To me, that’s a recipe for burnout. If you
feel as if you haven’t had a proper conversation with your partner recently, or
if your interactions with your kids consist of homework and shouting, ask for a
present that helps you to change that.  A
voucher for a meal, a family ticket for a day out or even a couple of hours
free babysitting could all help.

What do you want to ask for this Christmas? Leave a comment and let me (or your family) know!

Further reading

For more specific ideas, have a look at this post from B Plans

Or, to get your 2020 marketing off to a flying start, sign up to my mailing list and receive your free guide to getting your business seen online.

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Christmas blog: Can you write one when your business has nothing to do with Christmas?

Firstly, an apology. I know that now we’re past Halloween the floodgates have opened and your social media feeds are full of Christmas. I can’t be helping with my Christmas blog posts and festive marketing tips either. To be perfectly honest, I should be talking to you about Easter marketing by now. I’ve spoken to two people who are already working on Christmas 2020.

If you’re fed up of Christmas marketing because your business isn’t Christmassy, I’m actually here to help. You might not think that your business has anything to do with Christmas, but you’d be surprised. Even if you don’t sell gifts, decorations or Christmas food, you can still write a Christmas blog. It’s the season of goodwill and you can raise your business profile by joining in. Without further ado, here are 5 ideas for your Christmas blog.

1.  Family focus

Christmas with our loved ones can create both warm fuzzy feelings and total panic and your Christmas blog posts can tap into both. I once wrote a Christmas blog for a bathroom company about stress free ways to share your bathroom with guests. Do you have some house sharing wisdom to offer?

If you’re a counsellor, a tips post would be perfect. Show people how they can minimise stress or avoid arguments. After all, even families who get on well can feel the strain at Christmas.

2.  Looking forward to New Year

If you help people to transform their lives long term, why not encourage their friends and family to support them? You might think that a voucher is a bit naff at Christmas, but what if it’s for personal training that could improve their health? A blog post about Christmas gifts that could change your life gets people thinking – plus they’ll remember you when they make their New Year’s resolutions.

If you help small businesses*, a blog with gifts for business owners could help you find a new audience.

3.  Christmas emergencies

If you can help with an emergency that doesn’t need a 999 call, tell your customers. Your Christmas blog post could show people how to avoid emergencies. Can you advise on home security or fire safety checks? If you run a garage, talk about vehicle maintenance so they won’t break down on a Christmas road trip.

Oh, and if you’re open on Christmas Day, put it on Facebook. Our local garage saved our roast potatoes when we ran out of cooking oil and didn’t notice until Christmas morning!

4.  Wellbeing in your Christmas blog

My self-care is a bit hit and miss generally and goes completely out of the window in the run up to Christmas. If you have a wellbeing business, your Christmas blog can offer people ways to look after themselves when they don’t have time.

You could even take a different approach. I love supporting small businesses and hate city centre shopping so I’ve had a shopping party at home and am going to a couple of local fairs. Could your Christmas blog talk about ways to shop stress free?

5.  Christmas preparations (or the aftermath)

Professional cleaning tips go down well all year round, but especially at Christmas when you’re expecting guests. You could also write about the benefits of a professional clean at Christmas.  When I planned this blog I mentioned it to my cleaner, who was hoovering near my desk. She told me that it’s a sign of a good cleaner if they can clean properly without disturbing your decorations.

Use your Christmas blog to tell your customers how you can help them get ready and throw in a few surprises if you can.

*Like I do with great value blog packages. (If you’d like to buy the small business owner in your life a month’s worth of blog posts from me, I sell gift vouchers. Click here to find out about my packages or email me if you’d just like to send them a few quid to use as they like.)

If you want some ideas for posts to take you through December and up to Christmas Eve, sign up for my mailing list using the form below. You’ll get a copy of my free guide to creating your ultimate Christmas marketing plan.

Further reading

If your business does have something to do with Christmas and you’ve missed my earlier blogs, here they are:

This one is for you if you sell great Christmas gifts.

This one is for those of you who help your customers to create the perfect Christmas celebration.

Here’s another take on blog post ideas for a non-Christmassy business from www.business2community.com