Entries from June 2012 ↓

How to Use Facebook for Your Business

Thankfully, no two businesses are the same. Could you imagine how boring that would be?

But because every business is different, their marketing strategies will also be different.

Take Facebook for example, just because you find it helps your business doesn’t mean it will help the guy next door. That’s why it’s imperative you take a good look at your business before diving into marketing. You must think about how Facebook would be best used in order for you to get the most out of it.

Before you hang your head in despair, take a few minutes to read through this very useful post I found on SocialMediaExaminer.com that takes a look at 4 different ways you can use Facebook for your business.

So, grab a coffee while you read 4 Unique Ways to Use Facebook for Your Business and kick start your social media marketing the right way.

Sally Ormond – Copywriter

Building Your Business Through LinkedIn

Most business people you speak with will be on LinkedIn.

Some will actively use its forums and groups, others just set up their profiles, but do nothing else.

I was interested to read an article recently on SocialMediaExaminer.com that takes a look at how you can use LinkedIn to build your business, become more visible and become more engaged with business intelligence. The 10 tips it covers are:

  1. Using keywords and phrases
  2. Mirroring your online and offline business networks
  3. Tag your skills and expertise
  4. Link to your website with anchor text links
  5. Taking the time to welcome new connections
  6. Adding video
  7. Note important details and opportunities
  8. Tag and filter connections
  9. Use context to gather business intelligence
  10. Update your CRM with data from LinkedIn

If you’re on LinkedIn this is a really valuable post so I would urge you to take 5 minutes out of your day to have a read of: 10 LinkedIn Tips for Building Your Business.

Effective Business Writing – Be Natural

Have you noticed that when companies write brochures, web copy and other marketing materials, they produce text that’s very jargonated (yes, I made that word up), corporate and downright boring?effective business writing

There seems to be a misconception that sales writing has to be that way.


Do they think it makes them sound important? Interesting? Intelligent?

Well, it doesn’t. In fact it’s a complete turn-off.

The way you write reflects the type of company you are. For example, something as simple as the salutation in a letter can speak volumes about your company:

  • Dear customer – we are a company that really doesn’t care about you, we just want your money
  • Dear Mrs Jones – at least me know your name, but we’re very formal and not very approachable
  • Hello Mary – we want to talk to you, you’re a real person and we want to build a relationship with you
  • Hi Mary – we love our customers because they make us the company we are. Come and talk to us, we want to hear from you

How you structure your brochures, web copy and sales letters is also very important. Writing these in-house can lead to stuffy writing. Company employees very quickly become indoctrinated to communication through ‘company jargon’ and therefore, when they write, that’s what they write.

A better way would be to imagine yourself with a friend and think about how you would explain the concept you’re writing about to them.

The chances are you won’t use ‘corporate’ words and phrases like obtain, retain, further to, in the event that and instead use simple words you’d use in everyday speech like get, keep, following and if.

In other words write as you would speak. And before you go getting on your high horse and start ranting about professionalism in business, let me ask you this – is it better to get your message across simply and effectively, or appear ‘professional’ by using complex words and sentence structures that complete baffle your reader?

To me, and just about every other marketer under the sun, it is professional to understand your reader and to address them in simple language that effectively communicates your message.

If you ignore your reader and their needs, they are not going to want to do business with you. Why should they?

So, in a nutshell:

  • Write what you mean and say it clearly
  • Write to your reader (i.e. in the second person)
  • Cut out any jargon, business buzzwords or anything formal
  • Use verbs as much as possible rather than nouns
  • Use the active voice (i.e. the subject of the sentence ‘acts’ e.g. ‘I threw the ball’, ‘Dave stroked the cat’)

By following those simple steps, your writing will become more effective, punchier and clearer.

Give it a try – find a piece of writing you’ve done before and write it again using these tips.

Sally Ormond – Copywriter

Businesses Should Blog – Fact

OK, that’s nothing new. I’m guessing you’ve been told by umpteen marketers that you should be blogging.why businesses should blog

But how much does blogging really help?

Well, according to Hubspot, companies that blog get:

  • 55% more visitors
  • 97% more inbound links
  • 434% more indexed pages

Not only that, but 57% of companies with a blog have acquired a customer from it.

Still think you don’t need one?

Getting started

Now you’ve been convinced to start blogging, you have to decide a few things:

  • The niche you’ll blog about
  • The type of articles you’ll write
  • Who will blog
  • How often you’ll blog
  • How you’ll promote it

Your niche

Before you put finger to keyboard, you need to give some thought about the topics you’ll cover. Obviously, it makes sense for you to write about your business activities. So, as I’m a copywriter my blog focuses on copywriting, marketing and social media.

Always stick with what you know, after all, that’s want you’re an expert in.

Type of articles

It’s good to add a variety of articles such as top tips, opinion pieces, how to guides, reporting on industry news etc.

As your blog grows your analytics will show you which articles are the best received. Using that information, you can hone your blogs to draw in more readers.

Who will blog?

If you run a company with several staff, why leave the blog writing to one person when you can ask everyone to contribute.

Just make sure they understand how their posts are to be written (i.e. in the second person with a conversational style and absolutely no jargon) and which keywords they should include. It’s a great idea to add an author’s bio too, that way you readers can put a face to the name.

How often is too often?

The frequency you decide on has to be achievable. If you are the only person in your business, setting a goal of a blog a day is probably not going to happen. I blog 3 times a week, which is manageable.

Set yourself a realistic target and stick to it. People will get used to your posting frequency very quickly so if you suddenly stop, they’ll wander off elsewhere.


Many companies make the mistake of thinking that just because they have a blog people will read it. That’s not always the case; you will also have to show them it’s there. Social media tools such as Twitter are a great way to promote your blog and widen its readership.

Over to you

Have you been convinced to blog?

Perhaps you’ve been blogging for a while – if so, leave a comment below and let us hear your blogging success stories.

A Freelancer’s Life – Who Are You?

For many, working for yourself is a dream come true:Freelancing dreams

  • No more annoying bosses calling the shots
  • You can work the hours that suit you
  • You only work for the people you want to work with

Within reason, you can do what you want, when you want.

Of course, there is always a flip side in that you also have to be Jack of all trades – Managing Director, Finance Director, Operations Director, Customer Service, Sales Director etc.

But all that aside, there is one very important thing you have to do when starting out as a freelancer, and that’s deciding who you are.

Finding your niche

When you start your business, it’s vital you understand what you are and what you offer.

It’s very tempting to say…

 “I am a copywriter. Design? Sure, I can put something together for you. Run your social media accounts? Sure, no problem”

…because you don’t want to appear inflexible, but that could be your downfall.

Defining yourself and what you offer will help you focus your marketing activities to make sure you get in front of the right clients.

 Think marketing

Even though you’d probably love to be able to say ‘yes, I can do that’ to any job that comes along, just think for a moment about how you would marketing yourself.

If your materials and website listed umpteen different skills you could be watering down the effectiveness of your sales campaigns.

When I started out in 2007, I decided I would market myself as a copywriter. To some, even that was too wide and I was advised to specialise in a particular industry.

But I knew that wasn’t for me.


Well, the main skills of a copywriter are to put yourself in the shoes of your client’s customers to discover what it is they need to know to make them buy. Then you have to learn enough about the business to be able to sell its products or services. And you have to adapt your writing style to fit in with their existing brand and tone of voice.

To me, they aren’t industry specific skills.

And it worked. I knew who I was, how I was going to position myself in the market, and, 5 years down the line, business is great.

Where to start

So, if you’re about to head out into the world of freelance, here are a few things to think about:

  • What are your main strengths?
  • Are your skills niche?
  • Who would be your ideal client?
  • What will be your primary service?

Did you notice I mentioned primary service there?

Once you’ve established yourself and have been in business a while, there’s nothing from stopping you realigning your skills to your market. Perhaps it will become apparent that your clients also need another skill you offer (perhaps PR)? In which case, there’s nothing stopping you from adding that to your services list and marketing it to your new and existing clients.

What it all boils down to is that you must work out what you are – once you know that, shout about it.

Over to you

If you’re already freelancing, what was your experience when starting out?

If you’re just thinking about it, what are your plans?