The dream for many is a double page spread in a national magazine or newspaper, all about you or your products or services. A glossy photo shoot that shows you from your best side, with your website address and logo emblazoned all over it, with a shareable digital version to match.
And that really can happen. But first you need to get all your communications matching up, and, most importantly, aligning with your personal or business brand. Business cards, website, blog, newsletter – all of them need to match, to convey the same message in the same recognisable way.
Most of us find it a struggle to blow our own trumpet, to convey our message in a clear and concise way – so when you’ve written your home page, get friends or fellow entrepreneurs to give you feedback on how it comes across. Or even get them to write it for you, or find a reliable copywriter.
Don’t feel like you have to include everything you’ve ever done on there, writing reams and reams on your background. Focus on what’s important for your customers to know, i.e. how you can offer them solutions.
When you’re writing your website copy don’t get caught up in describing the process of what you do – stick to the benefits. How will your customers benefit from working with you? If you want to talk about your ‘why’, the impetus behind your business, do that in your blog or ‘about me’ section, not on the home page.
Don’t be over formal unless your profession requires it. Make your website a pleasure to visit, with great visuals and inspiring testimonials. A relaxed, conversational tone works well as it shows the human behind the brand. Avoid being boring at all costs.
Remember to focus on what’s unique about you that clients won’t get from someone else in your market.
The great thing about blogging is that spreading the word is no longer something only achieved through getting in the media or advertising. Now anyone can do it, so take full advantage of that fact.
Write a blog that demands to be read. A good blog that offers a genuinely different perspective or insight will bring you to the attention of journalists when they are researching a subject and generally create a buzz around you.
Follow key journalists on Twitter, commenting on their latest articles and drawing their attention to your blog, so you get on their radar for future use. Use Twitter to spread the word. Offer to write guest blog posts on websites that will increase your kudos.
Blogs aren’t meant to be worthy and dull. They’re meant to be a chance to show off and make people love you. Or at least love what you do and come back for more.
Blogs are about passion. What are you passionate about? If you dread writing your blog you may be barking up the wrong tree.
Think about what you know – what is your expertise? What do people always ask you when you tell them what you do? What insider information always surprises people about your line of work? What intrigues and mystifies? Blog about that – it’s what you know and that has enormous value to potential customers.
Other things to blog about are:
Newsy angles – use what’s going on in the news or in the world or just your area as a ‘hook’ for your blog.
Latest products or offers
Solving client problems – you can write about this without identifying the client
Your best advice
What you’re working on at the moment
What you’ve learnt and how
Funny or illuminating stories that relate to what you do
Keep it short and make it funny, different, opinionated – just not boring. And add some great pictures. People love something great to look at, and it makes them associate you and your blog with feeling happy, amused or inspired.
Article authored by Marina Gask, Press & Copywriting Resident Expert at The Outsourcing Way.