I’ve just moved into a new office in downtown Terrigal. It’s a gorgeous place to work, and I get to share the top floor of a building with a friend and colleague who is one of the best people I know. So, I’m absolutely thrilled to be here, across the road from the most beautiful beach in the world. I can’t wait to run my first workshop, facilitate my first course, hold my first consult. I’m just a little bit worried about the distractions.
We have a shower in the bathroom here, ready to jump into after lunchtime Summer swims at the beach. There must be over thirty places downstairs to buy coffee, lunch, dinner and yummies. The local business owners in Terrigal are really friendly, so plenty of opportunities to have a chat. See what I mean? I’m surrounded by distractions.
I need a schedule and self control and a determination to achieve my goals. Right now, I think I’ll go down and grab a coffee. If I sit at the beach and drink it, I’ll definitely come back to the office refreshed and ready to fire on all cylinders.
I have the flu. Not a cold, not the sniffles, not just a twenty-four hour thing. I have the sinus piercing, head spinning, lung wrenching, you get the idea flu.
I thought I’d recovered last Friday, and I did have a good day. One good day, to run my Facebook workshop. Then back down with the flu. It’s meant no good, clear writing days, no sharp, focussed business days for almost two whole weeks.
Being your own boss has a lot of benefits, like:
When you’re sick, you’re sick, so you get the day off.
If you work from home, like I do, you can take your box of tissues and shuffle into your office to check on emails or connect with Facebook clients.
You can develop good, strong relationships with your clients, and so when you call them with a croak in your voice, they won’t mind a bit.
I am really looking forward to being well again. I’m craving the ability I usually have to multitask, on multiple Social Media platforms for multiple clients. I really want to pour out the words of a delicious first draft for a web page or a press release, then go back to it and spend time massaging it into something easy to read and as clear as day to understand.
I know this post is not very deep, and it’s definitely not very clever, but it’s really just my way of poking my head out of my sick room to say Hello World… I’ll Be Back!
Sign in as your business page and then search Facebook for businesses in your local area. Like them all, not only the ones you deal with, or the ones who are in alignment with your products or services. This is one fantastic way for a business to be social on Facebook. After you’ve clicked on their Like button, write a short message on their wall to let them know you’ve been there.
Ask each of your new customers if they’re on Facebook, rather than telling them you’re on Facebook. Ask them to Like your Business Page. If they have a smart phone, they might do it there and then. This is a nice, customer focussed way to introduce the fact you’re on Facebook. It generally works much better than telling the customer that you are on Facebook. It gives new contacts the opportunity to talk about themselves, which will win them every time. Just ask Dale Carnegie!
‘Like’ businesses in other countries that are very much like yours. For example, if you sell lingerie, find five shops in the US or the UK who also sell lingerie. Watch your Wall Feed for posts by these companies, and Share their content if it aligns with your business. This achieves two things: Firstly, you’re able to share a whole lot of useful information and images with your clients and other Likers, and you will become known as a great, regular content provider. Secondly, you will only be promoting your own business and not another local company who is in direct competition with you.
Let me know if you need help using Facebook for your business!
Tell the truth. What do people want to know about you? The truth. Keep it real, and you’ll have a lot less to explain, a much smoother relationship and loyalty through the good and the bad times.
Be specific. People want to know what you’re about, what you do, how you do it. Learn to express these things concisely and accurately. You’ll be perceived as being open, transparent and worthy of trust.
Name names. If a customer, a colleague or a business partner does something really well, tell the world about it, and don’t skimp on the superlatives! Showing your appreciation by praising good work will warm people’s hearts and make them want to work with you.
Spelling and grammar count. It’s so obvious, but it must be said; spelling and grammar will make you look smart or not so smart. Even someone who is a shocking speller themselves can judge your credibility by the flow of your words. Strong messages are easy to read. They don’t make you pause at the bad grammar!
Be consistent. Practice makes perfect, or at least improves and sharpens your message. Choose the way you want to express what you do, and then don’t be afraid to use those words in all of your marketing. Consistency breeds customer confidence.
Write with an ideal customer in mind. Who is your ideal customer? A guy in his twenties? A woman with kids? Choose an ideal customer, even go as far as finding a photo of someone who looks to be that ideal customer. Every time you go to write a sales letter, a blog post, an email, look at this ideal customer and speak their language.
Be enthusiastic. Honestly, it’s okay to be enthusiastic. You don’t need to use three exclamation marks at the end of every sentence to show your excitement. Smile while you write. Hey, telemarketers are told to smile when they are on the phone because it changes the tone of their voice, and the same applies to writing. Smile and write enthusiastic words of success.
Be respectful. Your customers are real people who want to be treated with respect. They can tell when you’re talking down to them, begging them or trying to flatter them. Give yourself a head start among your competitors and be the company that speaks to their customers in the way you’d like to be spoken to.
Be brave. You can write anything. You can write better than you think you can. All it takes is a willingness to write more than one first draft, hit the save button and think you’re done. Write, rest, rewrite, polish and have the courage to create something you can be proud have represent your business in words.
Be yourself. What’s worse than someone writing a business email who sounds like a total yobbo? Someone who writes a business email using big words out of context and phrases stolen from movies or speeches. Be you. You’re good enough, I promise! You have a business, you work hard, and you will be taken seriously if you speak like yourself, not like someone you think you ought to sound like.
I hope these help you to write fantastic words for business. Did you relate to one of the points more than the others? Let me know, and I’ll expand the idea into an article of its own.
Everyone has a book in them. Some writing comes from our head and some comes from our heart.
Head Writing produces information, facts, knowledge and advice.
Heart Writing produces an emotional response, feelings of connection and it can truly inspire the reader.
The best writing is what I call Hybrid Writing; a combination of Head Writing and Heart Writing.
If you’re too much in your head, you run the risk of creating cold, factual content that has little appeal to a reader.
If you write exclusively from your heart, you risk your content becoming oversentimental, overpersonalised and selfobsessed.
There is an easy way to ensure balance in your writing: Hybrid Writing. I talk about this style of writing in my Writing Workshops and Courses and in my Author Consultations. Let me know if you’re interested.