How To Write For Your Website To Make It Rain (Money)

Write to RainWhether you’re launching a brand-new website or revamping an existing one, the writing on your website can be the difference between a website that rains (revenue) and one that doesn’t.

The most common mistake business owners make is the failure to answer one simple question for your audience.

Failing to answer this one question means your future customers will leave your website and move on to your competitor’s websites.

(Image credit Meme Generator & Copyright Little Wayne.)

What’s In It For Me?

This is the silent question every website visitor is asking when they land on your website.

If you don’t answer your visitor’s questions, relate to their situation, intrigue your visitor or provide value in some way, they will leave your website.

A common mistake…

Many businesses writing text for their websites focus on themselves and their business, instead of putting themselves in the shoes of their prospective customers.

You’ve been to these websites, they go on and on about their products, services and qualifications, but not in a way that meets you where you are or feels relevant to your situation.

Do You Feel My Pain?

Put yourself in your customer’s shoes.

Prior to a visitor landing on your website, they’ll often be on Google, searching for a solution to a problem they’re having.

Generally their problem will be causing them discomfort, if not pain, otherwise they wouldn’t be trying to solve it.

When you’re writing the text for your website ask yourself:

  • What discomfort or pain do my customers have ?
  • What language do they use to describe their pain?
  • When and how does this problem show up for them?

Write your website text in the language your customers use, that reflects their pain or discomfort, describing a moment in their life.

On the topic of pain…let’s compare two approaches

Consider the product ibuprofen.

If you were writing the text for the website designed to sell more ibuprofen, you could discuss the features of the product: how it lasts a certain amount of time, and it comes in a bottle filled with 80 capsules is more affordable than aspirin etc.

All pretty boring stuff, right?

Or you could paint a picture….describe a beautiful sunny Sunday, and you’d love to go out for a run with your friends, but you can’t because your knees are hurting you again, and you’re just sick of this, and you’re gaining weight, and you’re feeling like a big lump, and your life quality has gone downhill.

Writing from your customer’s perspective can create a compelling emotional reaction.

Really get into the discomfort or the pain points that your future customers are suffering, try and paint a picture of a moment in time, in a day in the life of your customer.

Then from there describe the transformation they can experience once they utilize what you sell.

An example of a transformation:

Now I’ve taken ibuprofen, and now I am limber, I can go and play with my grandkids, (if I had grandkids) and I am training for my first triathlon and I feel more confident in my body and I have a better quality of life.

Wow. That is powerful stuff.

That’s the difference between crappy copywriting that alienates or bores people and copywriting that engages your audience.

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What The Heck To Post on Social Media (For Business)

“What should I post on social media?”

The lady asking this question isn’t personally on social media all that much.

She was asking for work and she hadn’t posted to any of the business’ social media accounts for six months or so.
This is much more common than you might think.

If you’re in the same situation, I’m going to help walk you through creating a document that’s going to completely answer that question for you – for the rest of this year.

You will never have to think “Oh Jeez, What do I post on social media?” again!

What we’re going to create is what I call an editorial calendar.

It’s a plan for the year and days of the week we’re going to create in advance, so you stay up to date and have a record of what you’re going to post.
I usually create it as an Excel sheet and I put columns for every single month and have another tab for theme days of the week – like “Sneak a Peek Sundays”

If you don’t have an editorial calendar, following this plan, it will take you, I would say probably, 15 to 20 minutes to sit down and create that calendar.

The 15-20 minutes you spend today will pay off in dividends. Trust me on this one!

Get Festive!

First thing you want to do is grab a calendar, whether it’s paper or electronic, and take a look at all the holidays that happen every single year.

I mean, we all know the obvious ones around a typical holiday season. There’s smaller ones like St. Patrick’s Day that you might want to incorporate.

Once you populate your Excel spreadsheet with all the holidays that are happening in every single year, you’re already going to have so many more things that you could possibly post about on social media!

What’s Happening?

Then, I want you to take it a step further and take a look at the news and events that are happening internally within your company.

Perhaps you would attend a trade show every single year at the same time.
Perhaps it’s your really busy season every single year at the same time.
Perhaps there’s deadlines that your customers need to know about every single year at the same time.
Again, put these events in your editorial calendar so that way next time you take a look at it you know, “Oh. This is what’s coming up this month.”

Channel Your Inner Photographer

Second thing I want you to do, is start thinking about taking behind the scenes photos.

Put it in your calendar once a week to spend a few minutes taking pictures. People love photos of other people so take photos of your staff, your customers if they’ll let you. Post it on social and just do a little introduction as to who we’re looking at here.
This helps people to know, like and trust your business by providing a little bit behind the scenes.

Similarly, if you can’t get anyone to pose for a photo you can also just take pictures about what’s going on around the office. Perhaps someone dropped of donuts or perhaps your parking lot is icy. Seems again, like a little bit of an overshare, but this is the type of stuff that happens on social media, and again, will get people to know, like and trust you.

Change Your Perspective

Then, I want you to put yourself in the shoes of your prospective customers.

What do they care about?
What are they interested in?

In the case of, say for example, you are a contractor, your customers care about making their homes look good.

Perhaps you could share tips and trends about interior decorating or landscaping tips or trends in lighting. Stuff that’s going to be valuable for your customers.

Prove It!

Another thing that is really super powerful to share on social media is what I call “social proof.”

Social proof is the phenomenon where people make decisions based on the decisions that other people have made. By sharing testimonials and reviews on social media, you convince other people that you’re a trustworthy business to do business with.
Even if people are not posting these reviews on social media, you can go into your email and screencap those awesome comments you’re getting and share those on social as well.

Put it in your calendar once a week to spend a few minutes gathering and posting testimonials.

Educate & Influence:

Say, for example, you’re a drywall company, you can share educational things like, what people need to know before they shop for a drywall contractor.

Perhaps any safety information or certification that’s updated and going on. Things like that will really help you to fill up that content calendar with thoughtful, themed content each month.
Once you go through this process once, I promise you will have an editorial calendar that will be fantastic and work for you perfectly.

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Anywhere with WIFI

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Imagine if you could work anywhere with wifi. Your office could be your local coffee shop, a favourite park or even a new city each week. This general concept is exactly how The New Media Group operates. Every single team member is ENCOURAGED to work anywhere with wifi. Now you’re probably wondering, how is it possible for a team of people to accomplish this while also fulfilling clients needs and actively collaborating on projects? The answer is very simple and in this blog post, I’m going to explain the three main ways.

1. Project Management and Collaboration Tool

Holding team members accountable and meeting deadlines is so important for every single business. Without a robust cloud software for project management and collaboration we would never be able to achieve our mobile work goals. Our team’s software of choice is Basecamp! We love the ease of use when it comes to creating and assigning projects and tasks as well as the ability for team members to communicate within the software, lessoning our daily email intake and allowing us to focus more time on our amazing clients.

2. Google Hangouts

Technically, you don’t have to wear pants to our team meetings. Not only because pants are over rated but because every meeting is conducted online through Google Hangouts. This allows team members to create their own space for meeting, in the comfort of their own office. We begin by sharing how our week has been and then briefly share updates about our current projects or any information that clients have passed along. Once everyone has shared their updates, we generally talk briefly about the unique cool things we will be doing that weekend in the city where we live. This may be one of the coolest parts of working for The New Media Group, always hearing about the exciting things going on in and around Western Canada.

3. A Progressive Leader

The only way ANY of this mobile work environment would be possible, is with a progressive leader. President Laurel Lindsay always encourages a work life balance that is rare to find anywhere but at the most progressive tech companies in a place such as Silicon Valley. Having worked at Hootsuite in Vancouver (equipped with nap rooms, quiet working spaces, and a full gym) it did not seem possible to find another work environment that whole heartedly supported team members work-life balance, that was until my New Media Group position. Another thing to consider is that Laurel can hire anyone, from any city, allowing her to optimize her talent level and ensure she’s working with the experts she most admires. We feel that more businesses should embrace this progressive mobile work concept and consider some of the benefits for their business. For tips on how your business can become more mobile work friendly, don’t hesitate to ping Laurel today.

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Embracing the Art of “Not Knowing” in Business

in-the-unknownBusiness is a funny thing. It’s a space where knowledge, expertise, and excellence are revered more so than any other facet of our lives. We all strive to become the experts in our industries, the “thought leader.” But what happens when our know-it-all attitude becomes stale and we find ourselves bored in our work? What happens when we no longer feel challenged? It’s a dangerous position to find ourselves because when we are no longer challenged, we also lose motivation for creativity and innovation. Finding yourself in that place is certainly bad for business.

Ask yourself, what is more important – knowing or not knowing? The answer certainly isn’t black and white. Of course, when you are selling a product or service it pays to have a great amount of knowledge about that product or service. It helps maintain your reputation and your credibility that you know what you’re talking about, and that your advice can be trusted. However, we don’t need to take that to the extreme where we pretend to know everything. Products and services should always be changing, evolving, and with that so should your knowledge be ever changing and evolving. Admitting you don’t know something is a vulnerable place, but it’s also the catalyst for growth. It’s also the perfect opportunity to display your human side and be relatable – “I don’t know the answer to that, but I’ll find out for you.”

Business, learning, and growth should all go hand in hand. It should be encouraged to ask questions and challenge your existing products. Strive to make your business agile so that you and your employees can create and innovate as you go along. It is about creating a business culture that encourages what Liz Wiseman calls “The Perpetual Rookie”, which means embracing curiosity, humility, playfulness, and being deliberate in everything you do. In rookie mode, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

It’s been proven that being challenged at work increases employee satisfaction. That goes for yourself, as well. Embracing the “I don’t know” of a situation takes you back to square one, but it also will instill in you a feeling of challenge and excitement in figuring the problem out. It will also lead to greater product innovation and creativity, which I think we all can agree, is very good for business.

How “Busy” Can Ruin Your Business

busy-ruins-businessWhen running your own business it is easy to get caught up in the day-to-day management, operation, and tedious tasks. Entrepreneurs generally love to create. This is why they are drawn to creating and running their own business in the first place. Unfortunately, far too often they find themselves working “in” the business instead of working “on” the business.

This is an easy trap to fall into. When starting up one’s own business, entrepreneurs take on a sink or swim mentality. They have to go from zero to sixty in no time flat so that the bills are paid and food is on the table. Unfortunately, this is how the trap begins. Entrepreneurs take on more and more work so that they swim and not sink, but eventually the tide turns and all of a sudden they are drowning. This is where a lot of entrepreneurs find themselves, if they’re lucky, in that they have too much business and not enough time.

Now, this may sound like a great problem to have. They’re making money and doing well. However, eventually something will begin to nag at them. It’s that old feeling of wanting to create, wanting to improve, that they will find missing again. Busy-ness robs them of their creative time and energy, which is why they started their own business in the first place. And this is exactly why it needs to be avoided.

Here are four additional reasons why we need to avoid busy:

No Time for Reflection

Sometimes we need to take a step back and ask ourselves what has been working and what hasn’t? What tasks in your business have you grown to love, and which ones do you avoid at all costs? Are there areas in your business to improve or change?

If you don’t take the time to reflect you can’t answer these questions, and you can’t adjust your path accordingly. Time for reflection is necessary to ensure you and your business stay successful.

No Time for Experimentation

Have you ever taken the time to ask yourself what you can do to be more efficient? What skills do you want to expand on? What one thing could you do to add value to your company?

Making time to adjust, experiment, and record results is imperative to innovation and growth. Without it you and your business become stale. Give yourself time to experiment with new ideas and exercise that creativity.

No Time for Learning

When was the last time you were able to sit down and read that latest news on your industry? Or read the latest book or publication by someone in the business that you admire? What about taking an online or in-person course to expand your skills? Or even reaching out to a mentor to meet for a coffee?

Taking time to learn is critical for all human beings, not just entrepreneurs. It expands our world, allowing new thoughts, new ideas, new skills to enter our atmosphere. This, in turn, leads to innovation and experimentation. Both of which have already been mentioned for their importance to our business.

No Time for Implementing New Efficiencies

Have you ever wanted to improve your internal processes? What about offering new products and services to your client base? Or even keeping time open for yourself so that you can learn, experiment, create, go to the gym, or spend time with your family?

If we’re so caught up in the day-to-day operation of our business we forget about making time for these things. We forget about the importance of continuous improvement and quality of life. Shouldn’t these two things hold priority in our lives? It’s a good question to ask yourself.

Being too busy is a problem. It drains your energy and takes you back to a place of surviving the grind instead of creating your life. All entrepreneurs and business owners need to make sure they are creating space for themselves. This is how their business will grow and improve.

Pro Tips to Using Pinterest for Business

Today in your one minute tip we are going to be talking about how you can use Pinterest to promote your small business.

Pinterest is a social media marketing tool that is free to use and really easy because its basically about collecting images and pinning them.

So why can this work for small business?

First, pins on Pinterest last a really long time on the newsfeed.

so if you pinned something 3 months ago that has the ability to stay in the news feed and get promoted, seen or shared for up to 3 months from the time you posted it.

That is a long time compared to other social media sites. For each pin that you are pinning, you get a lot of longevity out of that.

Secondly, it is really easy to build community on Pinterest.

All you need to do is go and re-pin others content, share it to your own boards and like it and comment on it. Its that easy!

There is lots of fantastic stuff that people are talking about on Pinterest. They’re talking about holidays, food, all kinds of stuff.

You don’t need to necessarily pin anything business related, just go and network with the people that you already know. You can go and sync your existing contacts into Pinterest and just begin with your community and go from there.

Third, you can use Pinterest to drive more traffic to your website.

If you re-pin images from your website, IE your blog, onto Pinterest that allows you to drive traffic back to your website and position yourself as an expert in your field.

So its a triple whammy, using Pinterest to start driving business to your site.

That’s your one minute tip and if you found this valuable, please remember to share!

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