10 things any business can blog about

I cannot tell you the amount of times I am excited to find a blog page on a company’s website. If I’m on their website, chances are I want to discover more about them. So imagine my feeling when this blog area is just their latest offer or the times they’re open that week. Cue snore fest.

So what’s the secret to turning your own blog into an engaging place to entice readers to opt-in to your freebies, consume your advice and even buy from you?

Most people still think that keeping a business blog going is telling the world what you’re doing but really it goes deeper than that. You need to be showcasing the expertise of you and your team, creating content that resonates with your ideal clients and write in a style that connects with readers.

If you have a personal blog then by all means be personal and share your family photos etc but those that are looking to blog for their businesses need to think about what their readers want to hear and be strategic with how they use their time. Will people subscribe to your biyearly posts about a job you worked on? Probably not. What readers will tune into is informative and interactive pieces where they may also be able to take something away from it even if they do not opt-in to your mailing list or choose to buy from you.

Creating great blog posts can seem an overwhelming task at first but once you nail it your readers will soon enough become raving fans.

Here’s a list of 10 things that any business can blog about right now…

 

1. Get to know you

This could be describing your typical work day, how and why your business started, the history of your team or another personal piece. Readers love getting to know the blogs creators and business founders and are more likely to subscribe for your later updates once they get to know you better.

2. Review something

Visited some amazing websites recently? Just finished a training course? An e-book? Found an app you think your industry cannot live without? Write a review about it. Tag the other business or author in your social media posts about your blog too as they can then easily share your post with their audience.

3. Topical piece

Has something happened in the news this week that affects your industry? Do you have an opinion on a news story that has just broken affecting your business? Host a live stream, prerecord a video or audio and create a blog post from it.

Click here to find out how to use video content in ‘Facebook Lives and social media content 101’

4. Your favourites

Share a bunch of links or a roundup of your favourite websites or blogs. It gives readers a feel for what makes you tick but also shares content that will be of interest to them too.

5. Product launch

Launched a new product or service? Tell your audience about it telling them about the benefits to them, not just what it does or what it includes. Even if you are launching a new opt-in freebie, be sure to create blog posts on similar topics to promote them.

Click hear for more content ideas to support your launch ‘The ultimate guide to sell out your programs and e-courses (without using Facebook ads)

6. Testimonials and case studies

There’s nothing quite like a raving review or social media love for your business to help sell your products. Ask past clients to write a review for you or better yet, record an on-camera interview of how your products or services has helped them and put together a mini case study. This content shows readers the real results they could expect to see should they take the next step and work with you.

7. How to’s & top tips

If in doubt, always go for a ‘how to’ or ‘top tips’ style blog post. These blog posts get shared on social media a lot and allow you to showcase your expertise on topics within your Zone of Genius.

Chose a title that will grab attention, potentially based on a popular issue you know your clients have and the title is the answer. For example, ‘How to lose 10lbs before the Christmas party without going to the gym or giving up cake’.

8. Q&A

What do your customers ask you a lot that you are perhaps surprised more people don’t know? Brainstorm some common questions you get asked by your community and clients and answer them in a long Q&A post, a series of posts or depending on how many popular questions you have they could each have their own blog post.

9. Ask a question yourself

Posting a poll is a great way to start to engage with your readers. Social media is a great place to start the conversation or you can host this in your website in a sidebar or a blog post. You can then make blog posts and future content out of the results you find too.

10. Something juicy

If you have a real meaty subject that you could write for hours on then consider creating a 3-part blog series on the topic instead. It makes 3 pieces of content so you don’t need to come up with additional ideas plus keeps the reader excited for the next part and you couldn’t ask for more!

Fancy some more ideas for your business blog or content?

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The importance of adding personality into your marketing

Organisations spend a lot of money on their branding, brand guidelines, logos and websites yet really there needs to be an emphasis made on creating a brand personality within all of this for you to stand out.

 

Whilst looking pretty is nice, it’s not all about choosing the colours. Companies must differentiate themselves from competitors in ways other than just their logo and their brand values.

 

In order to identify and create your company’s personality you need to consider how you want your customers to feel when they connect with you and after buying your products. Maybe even consider buzzwords you’d love to be associated to your product or company. This emotional connection your audience will have with your brand is crucial.

 

As well as enticing potential customers to your company all promises must be delivered. If your product promises to deliver a certain lifestyle then it has to stand up to the task. Equally, if you promise customers something incredible will happen to them once they join your family and become a customer, it should then happen.

If customers are let down and do not feel the way they intended (how your marketing told them they would feel) then they will undoubtedly start to look elsewhere… to your competitors.

The most effective way to keep your customers loyal and not disappear to competitors is to offer them what they want in a way that appeals to them. Having this knowledge is key to retaining consumers and finding new ones. Consider strategies that make customers return to your brand again and again.

 

While it’s great to attract new customers we must never forget to reward (and interest) those that are already loyal. It is much easier to get another purchase from someone who is already a customer rather than finding a new one, so always keep your current client base in mind.

 

The user experience throughout a customer’s journey is imperative to get right. Your website, your social media, your offices, your store and anywhere you sell your products and engage with your customers are all part of your customers experience of your brand.

 

As well as considering how a customer will feel when engaging with your brand, the experience customers take away from doing business with you is also vital. From online carts, terms and conditions right through to customer service, it is all part of the user experience.

 

Consistency is one of my favourite words when it comes to marketing and it is so relevant when we talk about adding personality into your brand. Your messaging should be consistent across all channels. Your social media, your website, your printed press material, your product packaging, all needs to stay consistent.

 

You will have a greater impact on your audience when you see that it is continuity and repeating your efforts and messaging that will make any marketing campaign a huge success.

 

Here’s other industry experts on how important adding personality is to your brand…

Anna McLoughlinInkspiller

When you sell a service, such as coaching, consulting or therapy, there’s nothing more important than bottling your brilliance and articulating it in words. This is because your clients are actually buying YOU.
Your personality, spirit and way of doing doings. The windows you open up in their minds. Your vision of the world. Your vision of them. They buy possibility. They buy that truth they need to hear. They buy your why, your belief, your struggle. They buy to be a part of your journey, to walk alongside you and to be guided by you.
But unless you’re able to share who you are and why you matter, then there’s nothing for them to buy.
Going online opens up a world of opportunity to business owners from every corner, and that is both empowering and frustrating. Empowering because it gives us all a voice, frustrating because so many people use their voice to say the same thing.
We’re taught marketing tricks that involve following magic formulas, using specific buzzwords, and piggybacking trends… but do you know what that leads to? Nothing. Nothing of note. Nothing of interest. Entrepreneurs with real potential blending into the sea of sameness.
Instead, use your platform for something worth saying. Show your intuitive approach, or your creative strategy, or your penchant for pop culture references. Be brave enough to be a person, as well as a brand. Stand for something. Have an opinion. Have a voice. Have a human side. That’s what will attract the clients, and customers, and opportunities. It always does.

Jon OrchardLocal Buzz Marketing

Being brave enough to add your own personality to your brand makes you stand out at the crucial moments.
In those micro moments when a potential client is reading about your business, it’s a beautiful thing to just be you.

Ready to add personality into your marketing? You don't want to miss this...

Discover how the Spotlight Mastermind adds exposure without the advertising spend right here

Champagne marketing lemonade budget

As a Marketing and PR Specialist I get asked a lot about how to do DIY marketing at low or no cost at all.

I often dislike using the terms ‘DIY’, ‘budget marketing’ and ‘free’ because of the association of those words. They can often read as if it cheapens what you’re doing and trying to achieve.

BUT stick with me and I will show you how to do your own marketing (and PR) without losing any class. If anything, my advice will set you above your competitors who paid to advertise and who threw loads of money into their marketing efforts.

It doesn’t have to be that way and I’m going to show you how.

For the love of all that is DIY…

Firstly, just to set the scene and tell you where my love of elegant DIY tips started. Well, straight out of University I was a wedding coordinator in a beautiful 4* country hotel.

I loved spending time with my brides and I would pick up tips from the money conscious ones. One couple I remember had a fake wedding cake on the huge stand in front of guests… it literally was just iced cardboard. Imagine that!

When 7pm came the staff took it out the back to pretend to cut it but we had supermarket fruit cake on trays for the guests. I mean, how amazing is that!

It was my favourite incredible-wedding-on-a-budget tip of all time so I used to tell all my brides about it and had I not moved out the area I potentially would have put all local cake makers out of business.

This then started my obsession for elegant DIY or classy ways to have first class experiences while keeping the spending to a minimum.

Side note: If you’re planning a wedding please feel free to use the awesome cake tip above… this will easily save you £500. You’re welcome!

 

Here’s my top ways to have champagne marketing on a lemonade budget…

  • Host a Facebook Live series or challenge. This could be daily live videos from Monday through to Friday on a chosen theme your audience will love, where the first four days is pre thought out content and the last day as an open Q&A session.

  • Pitch an article idea to magazines. Find publications your ideal clients read and think about what problems they have that you could solve with a how-to article. 

    Find out how to write your email pitch here

  • Invite some awesome people to contribute a guest blog post or comment on one of your blog posts (they will then tell their audience about it and it gets more visitors to your site and you in front of more people).

  • Reach out to event organisers near you and offer to speak at their events. Ensure you do some research to ensure potential customers will be there or people who will benefit from your talk.

  • Host a ‘buy me a coffee and I’ll give you twenty minutes of advice’ at your local cafe. This is great to get your name out there and practice talking to people about your business if you’re just starting out or moved to a new area.

Only do the activities that you adore doing!

You do not have to do everything to become more visible. Just pick out the activities that are right for you, that are aligned to what you’re comfortable with and where you’re business is heading.

If you hate public speaking, don’t do public speaking.

If you don’t like writing, don’t write for magazines.

If you love talking on camera as a coach, get on Periscope or start adding videos to your blog posts.

If you are a people person and own a brick and mortar business then get out there and exhibit at a local business show, or one that is relevant to what you do, maybe negotiate a complimentary exhibition stand in exchange for hosting a workshop or speaking at the event.

Decide what you’re comfortable with and just go with that, never do things you don’t enjoy because it just isn’t worth it and won’t be done as well as things you love doing.

There are visibility boosting activities for all personality types, you just have to find what’s right for you!

Want more ideas to become more visible and get more clients? You do not want to miss this...

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Case study: Rosie and City AM

I thought it was about time I started sharing case studies of my clients and business owners who have achieved fantastic gain media coverage and really raised their business profile from taking the advice from my free content, my Facebook community and my 1:1 coaching.

Today we’re kicking off the case studies with Rosie Slosek’s massive win. Rosie mentors women to get clear on their business finances allowing their business to grow. She lives in London with her partner and practically lives down her allotment in the summer. You can find out about Rosie on her website here.

Rosie landed a newspaper article that took her minutes to proactively find and the have confirmed by editors. I love her story because it shows how easy media exposure can be to get and how it is absolutely relevant to all business owners.

Here’s Rosie’s story about how she landed BIG media coverage just from one tiny piece of action…

“I knew I wanted to write a piece for the newspaper serving the City in London. I’d read it since it started and I loved the fresh style of the journalism and it was a window into another world. It added another level of interest for me when I moved to London to an area where a lot of people work in the City.

 

But the big question was how. As my business isn’t a multi billion global corporation nor even the standardly defined small business as that’s a business with a turnover of less than £2m. That’s not me – yet! I’m in the one person business who isn’t required to register for VAT category.

 

So how was I going to get into City AM?”

And how Rosie got media exposure from the well known media outlet was rather spectacular and a strategy I regularly recommend to clients.

Here’s how she did it and how easy it was as easy as pie…

“One morning, like any other morning, I was sitting at my favourite cafe by the Tube station, watching the commuters hustle past on their way to work. I too would soon get up and walk back through the wood to my own desk and start my own work day.

 

This day was different as I read the lead article in City AM about what the Chancellor of the Exchequer had said the day before. I knew immediately this was my chance and I had a perfect angle for a follow up piece for the newspaper.

 

So I did something I can’t believe now I did so easily. I went back to my home office and rang the City AM switchboard for the Business Editor… and was put through!”

 

Read how you can get media coverage from someone else’s news by ‘newsjacking’ here.

Rosie continues…

“I pitched my idea and it was accepted. I was given a word count and a generous 2 day deadline. I wrote the piece, emailed it in, confirmed the edits and it was published.

 

It was THAT easy. The whole thing took 2 hours, including the call, writing the piece, the emails and edits.

 

I’m not going to say my life forever changed and my business was immediately inundated with clients because it wasn’t. City AM readers aren’t my audience as a rule. That wasn’t the point.

 

It was an ambition much like my ambition to have a feature in Vogue (that one is really terrifying as I am not a fashion model and once spent summer with bare legs, skirts and no waxing. Try it, it’s surprising how many don’t notice you have hairy legs).

 

And I tell you what, the feeling of scoring an ambition and having a 2/3 page feature in the top publication for one of the world’s financial centre’s? That’s pretty damn cool. So if I can do it, so can you!”

 

I absolutely love this story from Rosie and she’s right, you can absolutely do it too! All you need is the mindset that you are ready to see and open to receiving your opportunity… and it will be there for you!

Want to be like Rosie and know how to jump on news stories and get media coverage from a REALLY simple strategy? You won’t want to miss this...

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Guide to getting your business media-ready (even if you haven’t ‘made it’ yet)

It’s easy to think that media coverage isn’t for you. We’ve all been there, even the people we deem super successful no doubt had moments of questioning themselves and if they would have anything newsworthy to share with the world.

I have created a guide to show you exactly how you can get your business media-ready, even if you do not think you have ‘made it’ yet.

In this guide you will discover how to;

  • Create a simple marketing plan
  • Find your audience
  • Check yourself out online
  • Get in the right mindset
  • Pull out newsworthy stories
  • Become an authority in your niche
  • Think like a journalist
  • Take inspired action


So let’s dive in…

Put your plan in place

Creating a plan to strategically set out your marketing and PR activities does not need to be a scary or daunting process.

You can keep your planning simple and present it in a way that is easy to follow and,more importantly, encourages you to refer back to it regularly and actually take action to implement it.

Having a plan in place allows you to set out your goals and any objectives. Every good plan starts with an end goal. From this you can work backwards to assign tasks into your diary to make it happen.

Here’s a few ideas to get started…

Find out how to plan your marketing and PR with my free template here

3 things to do before you embark on PR

Marketing vs Advertising: what is the real difference

Know your audience

What’s newsworthy will depend on your audience too. So what a 20 year old finds interesting will most likely be different from someone at 70. And the same with someone who lives in the country or in the city perhaps.

Once you have your ideal clients and the group you want to target you then need to consider what they read, watch or listen to.

If you’re unsure you can use tools like Survey Monkey to share a survey with them or easily do a poll on social media. This will give you valuable information to then know which exact media outlets you need to pitch to for you to get right in front of prospective buyers.

Here’s how to get started…

7 steps to turn your audience into a client wait list

Mrs Wobble The Entrepreneur

Check yourself out (online!)

Once you are getting on the radar of the media they will start to find you online, whether by accident, by searching for people or to check you out after you pitch something to them.

It’s a good idea to regularly Google yourself to check what comes up. That goes for your personal name as well as your business name if they are different. See what pages come up in Google and ensure all those links work and the information is up-to-date.

Revisit your social media profiles and make sure all your information is relevant, the pictures reflect your business well and all your profiles look wonderful.

Then make a note in your diary to do this again in 2-3 months time.

Also have a visit to your website to ensure the homepage immediately shows visitors what you do, who you are and who your business serves. Create a media alluring website by ensuring all your contact information is easy to find and they can very quickly find out what topics you love talking or writing about.

If you’re unsure or need a fresh set of eyes on your website, ask a business pal to give you their feedback. This is good practice to do regularly anyway to ensure clients are having a good experience in your website too.

Discover how to get started by reading…

The ultimate beginner’s guide to PR

Get in the right mindset

When raising your business profile and becoming more visible, mindset is huge. It is easy to get in our own way and self-sabotage opportunities through fear.

A good way to start to tackle this is considering what the worst case scenario is. Often the outcomes we believe are frightening don’t seem to scary when we write them down.

If you are blocked around pitching yourself to the media, it could be that you are not scared of writing an email to introduce yourself or getting a no… it could be that you are scared of the YES. Hone in on these mental triggers and become self-aware of them so you can work through them and become confident to become more visible.

Start becoming more comfortable with your growing visibility by reading this…

How to become confident putting yourself ‘out there’

Pull out your stories

Sharing your news and stories with the media needs to come from a place of serving your audience, not a pushy sales tactic.

Often we know we should promote our business but we’re not sure how or if anyone will want to read what we have to say.

Finding an interesting story to tell may sound really obvious, but it’s surprising how many people get it wrong and in reality no one outside their business would really want to hear about what they have to say.

Yes it’s interesting to you if you have just bought a new piece of equipment for your business, but will someone really want to read about that? Or perhaps you’ve just hired a new member of staff?

Again, is this exciting enough to get someone in the media to write about it?

What you can do is use all the normal business news you have already, we don’t want to make things up, but try and find a twist or a different way of telling the same story.

So, I just used the example of a new member of staff. Now, did you hire them because you are designing a new product, or launching a new service? Are they an intern or a graduate because you really want to give something back and spend time training someone. Those are all really interesting ways to tell exactly the same story.

Find out how to start getting media attention by jumping on other people’s news stories here…

How to use other people’s news to get in the media

Become an authority

To become a go-to person in your field, you need to consider commenting on news stories and industry issues. It’s an exciting opportunity to put your opinion into the world for your audience to see. Journalists will always be writing about topics relating to or directly affecting your industry or services and when they do, you can become the person they want to talk to.

When you stop following everyone else’s opinions and voice your own, this is when you become a thought leader.

If you’re not ready to be named as an expert in your niche then that is totally fine. What you can do is position yourself as an authority. You won’t need to be completely in the spotlight as THE expert but you will still be seen as an influence and one to watch.

Here’s how you can start to become known for what you know…

Why I’m handing my crown over to you

Why you should consider becoming an expert in your field

Conquer your hidden fear and take life to the next level with The Big Leap book

Put yourself in the mind of a journalist

Would a journalist want to publish what you have to say? It’s important to keep this in mind when writing anything to promote your business whether the media or considering prospective clients.

When you start going off on a tangent in your press release or article, keep reminding yourself if it will still be relevant and of interest to a journalist as well as prospective readers.

Create a headline for your story. Think if a newsreader was reading your story on the ten o’clock news, how they would introduce it in an enticing title. You can then play with this and decide how to jazz your news up to make it more appealing to the media.

A journalist is kind of like a receptionist at your doctor’s surgery. You have to get through them to get to the doctor, win them over on the phone, even word your problem in a way that will make them realise you really need that appointment.

The journalist is the gatekeeper to your story getting ‘out there’ to your potential audience so do yourself justice and get them on board and they can have the power to help you get your message or story into the world.

Here’s how to step into the spotlight as a business owner…

How to step into the spotlight – part 1

How to step into the spotlight – part 2

Take action

The magic happens when you take action. It’s all very well having a plan but unless you assign tasks into your diary and actually make a commitment to make your dreams a reality, chances are it won’t happen.

Consider your goals and where you want to take your business and then work backwards to create a manageable and achievable plan to make it happen.

Put yourself forward for opportunities and get your name and your business ‘out there’. Pitch yourself for expert comments, articles, guest blog posts, podcast interviews, newspaper opinion pieces… it’s all for the taking!

Here’s how to take inspired action and make BIG things happen for your business…

10 minimal effort PR ideas for maximum gain

4 ways to raise your business profile today ALL within 1 hour

50 PR ideas for your small business

If you loved this and are ready to get your business media-ready I have something you do not want to miss…

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