Fast and furious first drafts

Here are ten fast-fire rules for writing good draft copy.

  1. Get away to somewhere quiet – just you, the keyboard and a blank document, no distractions
  2. Be in a fit and ready state to write, mentally and physically – be comfortable and well-rested, no stress or worry
  3. Just write – prolifically, no restraint or censorship
  4. Indulge your creativity and explore every tempting nook and cranny of your imagination, do not limit yourself Continue reading
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Don’t forget the simple things

It doesn’t matter how great your business is, if the impression you leave with clients is that you’re too busy being great to pay attention to things like good service.

Clients who are spending money with you will want to feel like they are valued and that their business and commitment to you are worth something. If you can’t fulfil that part of the covenant between you, you may find clients migrating elsewhere. Continue reading

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The benefit of video for SEO performance

The benefit of video content might not be immediately apparent to everyone; but as soon as you consider that YouTube is the second largest search engine behind Google then the benefits become more obvious.

Video content is especially useful for businesses which have something to teach or who can develop instructional content. ‘How to do XYZ’ videos are a good example. Instructional videos seem to rank best followed by videos with funny content.

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There’s something new coming out every week – where do I start?

It is easy to get overwhelmed when you are trying to pull a marketing strategy together for your business.

You are living and breathing it and sometimes you need to take a step back and assess what’s really necessary.

Your competitors seem to be everywhere, you are nowhere! You feel that you need to be everywhere but you don’t know where to start. Well that one is easy! Forget the competition. For now at least.

Take a blank piece of paper write the thing you are trying to resolve in the middle. So if it was marketing simply write this and start to think around what is necessary to make progress with it.

You may have a few branches coming out of the centre for communications, platforms, online, offline, customers, competitors, challenges, quick wins etc but don’t analyse too much at this stage. Allow yourself to just keep populating the different branches and before you know it you have a plan! It might not look like one in its current format but everything you need to start effectively marketing your business is in there. You just need to turn it into clear actions and get started.

The two things you need to be clear on are who you are talking to and how you are going to do that.

Have you profiled your prospects? Do you know what keeps them awake at night? Can you provide a solution to those worries and issues? Assuming the answer to the last question is yes, you simply need to stand up and let them know you are here, are ready and are able to help them.

BUT. And this is a big but! Ask yourself what you enjoy doing. Be honest. If you are a writer, you may really hate talking in public so producing video will be a chore. If you are a talker, putting pen to paper may send you running for the hills. There is no point choosing to commit to marketing strategies that you are going to struggle to motivate yourself to implement. Of course you don’t have to do it yourself but I am assuming you will for the purposes of this article.

It’s common sense really. If every time you think about having to produce something in a format that makes you uncomfortable, then you feel down and gloomy. And guess what? It’ll soon be evident to whoever is reading/watching/listening to your material that you are not enjoying yourself either.

So the point of this post is you cannot possibly do everything and do everything well. I would suggest choosing three things that you can happily do consistently that you will enjoy doing and therefore be motivated to do. You can build on these as you start to increase engagement but don’t wait for things to be perfect to get started.

If you need any help with getting an action plan in place, please get in touch.

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How NOT to attract new clients!

We’ve focused on how to go about winning new clients in previous posts so thought I’d just clarify the best ways NOT to attract them – the deadly sins to avoid at all costs!

Below are the rules that will not only ensure you do NOT win new business, but probably lose the business you already have.

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Get to know your competitors

Many companies don’t gather competitor intelligence because they fail to recognise the value of doing so.  If you decide that you are going to monitor competitive activity then you must put a plan in place to make sure you have a structured method to gather material so that you don’t get sidelined with unnecessary information overload.

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Consolidate your marketing

Being busy doesn’t always mean being effective!

 

By being a business that is clear on what you offer, you will beat the competition that has a comparable offering. The company that clearly articulates what it does, why it’s relevant and how it’s different not only helps customers make better and faster buying decisions, it also (perhaps more importantly) knows where it is going and so does every member of staff.

 

As your marketing continually evolves, you will find you are doing lots of repetitive tasks and perhaps not even monitoring whether those strategies are still working for you.

 

The first thing you must do is revisit the goals and objectives for your business.  If you are not keeping those at the forefront of your mind then it is very easy to lose focus and that’s when things start to unravel.  Each activity much link to a goal and they all must work together.

 

I often say to clients that once you have produced something it can be reworked for lots of different things – for example, a press release can become social content, a case study, an article, a blog post, a PDF etc – there is no point reinventing the wheel, but content has to be appropriate for the platform you are using it on.

 

A lot of people say content is king and that is certainly the case online BUT it has to be quality first over quantity.  There is no point churning out lots of unstructured material when (a) nobody is interested and (b) it cannot be found by your prospects.

 

Insofar as consolidating your marketing, keep your messages consistent, represent your brand with integrity, integrate your marketing strategies where possible and keep your eyes open for opportunities to regurgitate work already produced.

 

If you would like help in consolidating your marketing please contact us

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“Mobilegeddon” is coming on April 21 – are you ready?

A few things get a webmaster’s attention, like waking up to a Twitter feed bombarded with news about a major algorithm update. Most algorithm updates come with vague or no warning, but Google recently announced “starting April 21, we will be expanding out use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have significant impact in our search results”.

Google is providing a timeline to encourage those who haven’t already adapted their websites to mobile to begin making this transition which means that you should work towards having a mobile-friendly website by April 21 because it’s apparent that Google intends to reward mobile-friendly websites with better rankings in mobile search. Websites that are not mobile-friendly may very well experience a dramatic decline in mobile rankings.

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Manage your social media from your desktop

If you are tired of switching between LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook to find out the latest news and what your contacts are doing think about installing a personal real-time browser on your desktop. In our office, we use HootSuite and we love it!

 

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Promotional domain names

Often we work with clients to promote new services, seminars, events or launches as part of their marketing strategy.  If we are developing a campaign-specific strategy it may be that we will purchase promotional domain names to create a more memorable hook in the prospects mind.

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