What will the New Financial Year be like?

It’s been a crazy ride for me over the last three months since fully committing to work as a freelancer and running my own business.

I’ve hit some amazing highs but also some awful, soul-crushing lows. When I made my business goals last year in anticipation for a cracker 2020, I didn’t account for the fact that we would be hit by a worldwide pandemic. Or that I would be a cranky, sleep-deprived mum of two. Or that I had a husband, family and friends. It turns out these are pretty big factors when it comes to productivity.

So as we welcome a New Financial Year (kinda like New Years Eve for business owners!), I thought I should reflect on what I have managed to achieve and give myself a little pat on the back. And say thank you to my husband, my parents, my parents-in-law and anyone else who kept me sane and helped me build this passion of mine.

  • I’ve worked with a total of 12 different clients over 3 months.
  • This work involved capability statements, marketing brochures, social media strategies, social media management, award submissions, website content, travel itineraries and I also have a client who has me looking after ‘all things marketing’.
  • I’ve raised my rate.
  • I’ve gotten better at quoting and talking to clients and understanding each project before I start.

There were a few reasons why I wanted to run my own ship. And if I’m honest, they were fairly selfish reasons… to spend more time with my kids and not put my baby in daycare too early, to work from home, to accomplish something I’ve always wanted to do (run a business), to continue a career I’m passionate about etc…

Looking back on my Business Plan, I also had one point that said I wanted to ‘provide small business owners with affordable copywriting, social media and editing services that is true to their brand, improves their reputation and delivers results.’

It’s this point however that has become my biggest accomplishment. I have just loved working with other business owners, hearing their passion for what they do, helping them convey their message to their customer. It makes me feel like I am definitely in the right industry. I may not be saving lives or raising millions of dollars for charity, but this work has made me feel useful and purposeful.

While most days it feels like I’m pushing poo up a very, very large hill, I’ve never felt more inspired and enthusiastic to work. There are however a few improvements I would like to make:

  • Stress less
  • Be more patient with my kids
  • Work on work days only!
  • Say no to projects that aren’t valuable to my livelihood.
  • Get better at asking for reviews!

So happy New Financial Year. I hope this one is a great one for you, even with the challenges that this world is facing.

10 Reasons to use Instagram and Facebook stories

I set myself a challenge to show up on Instagram and Facebook stories every day for a month. And it was the best thing I could have done for my new business venture, as well as familiarise myself with my audience.

I picked the shortest month of the year as I was not feeling comfortable in front of the camera and I felt awkward watching myself back. But day after day, it became easier.

It was actually the best thing I could have done for my social media accounts, given I had just started out and didn’t have a large following or a very engaged audience.

You can see the February Challenge I completed on my Instagram page highlights here.

Here are 10 reasons why I found it useful showing up on Instagram and Facebook stories regularly:

  1. Creativity: It forces you to be constantly thinking about ideas and ways you can engage your audience and that is so important as a marketer. If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.
  2. Interaction: You show up in people’s feed more regularly, due to your interaction. Therefore the more stories I did, and the more often I did them, the more likely I was to be at the start of people’s feeds.
  3. Be Featured: You can tag larger accounts, and you’re generally guaranteed a mention from them, increasing your reach. I always found I got a bunch of new followers afterwards.
  4. Understand your Audience: You gain an understanding of who your audiences are, and what they like.
  5. Productivity: You become quicker at recording without making mistakes and streamline productivity.
  6. Repurpose Content: You can repurpose content quickly and easily. For example I made a blog post out of every single topic I covered over 29 days. I now intend to make them into videos to post on my YouTube account.
  7. Humanise: You humanise your brand to your audience.
  8. Behind the Scenes: You give people a ‘behind the scenes’ look at your products and services, and your areas of expertise.
  9. Gain Customers: You gain more clientele, because people feel more comfortable working or buying from someone they see regularly.
  10. Keep Up: If you’re using stories regularly, you’ll know if any new features or changes happen on social media, keeping you at the top of your game.

So once I put my fears aside, I actually felt like I was making a positive contribution to the world of social media and I am much more inclined to pick up my camera and get on stories now to share any new knowledge.

If you’re looking for tips and ideas on getting more social, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Which social media platform should I be on?

Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Youtube, Pinterest, Tik Tok, Snapchat… the list goes on and on.

As a business owner, how do you know which platform is right for you?

It all boils down to who your target market is and where your customer or ideal client hangs out. There is absolutely no sense in wasting your valuable time, resources and money on channels that your consumer doesn’t even know exists.

I’m going to break down some of the top social media channels for you in terms of audiences so you can see if your business fits in there.

Facebook:

  • Basically everyone owns Facebook and most of them have an active account
  • Women slightly more likely to use Facebook
  • Age groups from 18 – 65+
  • Percentage rates are increasing in the older demographic – THIS is a gamechanger for many businesses.

Verdict: If you are a business of any kind or size, you NEED Facebook, if only to have your contact details present. People use Facebook as a business directory and will search using your industry i.e Plumber & Location. The fact that the older demographic now have an account, and use it almost daily, is more reason for most businesses to have a Facebook page.

Instagram:

  • Slightly younger audience
  • Women more likely to use the platform than men
  • Fastest growing platform

Verdict: Instagram has been known to make small businesses a fortune, with their content and products going viral in an organic way i.e. not paying for advertising. Product based businesses should be using Instagram, with really captivating photos (and captions). Service based businesses should also be using Instagram, with really captivating captions (and photos).

Linkedin

  • LinkedIn is most popular with higher income earners and decision-makers.
  • Men are slightly more likely to be LinkedIn users than women; 31% male vs 27% female internet users are on this platform.

Verdict: Linkedin is great for making connections with the big decision makers and those in the B2B industries. Joining groups is a great way to find your target audiences, and sending personalised messages upon connecting with someone is a valuable way to engage as well.

So this is just three of MANY platforms. My advice is to make sure you have at least one of these set up well before trying to add more. Social Media is a very time-consuming and fiddly task so consider outsourcing this to someone who can help develop a strategy for your business.

If you don’t have the money to outsource, my other tip is to dedicate two hours every month to plan out a month’s worth of content and use a scheduling program to drip feed your posts over the month. That way, your social media accounts can be active even while you’re not in there. Just remember to continue to check for any comments or questions you may receive on your posts and answer them in a timely manner.

Let me know what you think. How many social media platforms do you operate on?

Do I need a blog section on my website?

Yes. Yes, you do.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a small business, large business, whether you sell products or you sell services, whether you’re a professional or a tradie.

I cannot stress enough that the more content you have on your website using the keywords and terminology that your potential customers type into Google, the more likely you are to show up in their search results. And we all know how important that is for new business.

My advice when coming up with blog post ideas is to really think about what it is your customer is typing into the search bar. What is their pain point? Why do they need your product or service? Then create content around that.

There are SO many other reasons to have a blog section:

Expertise: It positions your brand or business as an industry leader. It gives you the opportunity to prove your expertise to your customers.

Add Links: It allows you to add links within the blog, pointing to other blog posts or products on your website and basically telling your customer what to do next.

Drive Traffic: It allows you to drive your traffic from one place to another. We all know how quickly people can lose interest on social media and how quickly your post can get lost. Get them off Facebook or Instagram and to your website through an engaging blog post.

Repurpose: You can repurpose your blog posts in so many different ways. Make a video and post to YouTube, make a post and put it up on social media. Make it a topic of conversation and go live on Facebook, create a freebie information sheet and use it to grow your email list.

Feature: If you’re blog post strikes a chord with someone else, you may even get a backlink from their website which increases your status with the Google gods and pushes you further up the chain.

So then it comes down to time and resources. Is this a reason you’ve been hesitant to blog for your business?

If you’re looking to get help for blogging, or any type of marketing for your business, please don’t hesitate to contact me to discuss.

How to come up with blog post ideas for your business

Did you know that the more content you have on your website, the better your chances are of appearing in Google searches? Especially if that content is relevant to your ideal client or customer.

But how do you populate your blog with relevant and easy-to-write content that can be done quickly and easily?

I’ve put together A Year’s Worth of Blog Post Ideas (also available in a trendy downloadable PDF) that can be applied to any business. You don’t even need to be a professional writer because you are, in fact, the expert on the topic as it relates directly to your business, product or service that you offer.

To prove it works, I’m going to use these tips myself to write at least one blog post per month for the next year. Why not try it yourself?

  • Find out what your customer needs or wants to know. You wouldn’t try selling paint to a brick layer. So why guess what your customer is interested in? Ask the source themselves. Put a post on Instagram stories or Facebook asking what is the most challenging thing your client faces? Are you in financial planning? Ask your audience what they struggle with most when budgeting. Are you a landscaper? Ask your audience what questions they might have when it comes to creating a better outdoor area.
  • Write a Top 5 Blog post related to your industry i.e. ‘Top 5 Fashion Predictions for 2020’ (if you’re a fashion designer). Here you can add heaps of links to your own pieces to encourage more sales. Are you a builder? ‘Top 5 House Designs this year.
  • Opinion Piece: Is there a newsworthy topic that you can share your opinion on? Don’t be afraid, this is your blog and you are entitled to your own opinion. It may also encourage comments that will generate more engagement on your website and social media.  
  • Share your own experience: Did you have a great customer service experience recently? Tell others about it. Why was it so good? What did you learn from it?
  • Go negative: For example you own an interior design business…’10 things you shouldn’t do when decorating your living room.’
  • Go positive: This one is always fun:6 amazing ways to make your entrance area look bigger.’
  • Ask a Guest: I love the good old delegation trick! Ask someone in a related industry to answer some questions or write about a particular topic. For example if you are a real estate company, maybe you could get someone who works in finance to write about ‘How to make sure you’re financially ready before buying a home.’
  • Write about your personal failings or challenges and how you overcame it: Trust me, people love hearing from other businesses on what does and doesn’t work. Be brave and outline what has been difficult for you in your business.  
  • A Day in the Life of… This can be based on your day or someone else in your business/field. Ask an employee, or get every member of your organisation to contribute.
  • A List of Resources and Tools you use in your business: Share your greatest tips or hacks, favourite technology or programs that help you do your job. Chances are, these are going to help others improve productivity.
  • Answer the public: This is a free website which generates some of the most common questions asked on the internet https://answerthepublic.com/. Simply type in something related to your industry and pick a question to answer in a blog post.
  • Lessons learned this year: It’s a great way to reflect on the year you’ve had while also sharing tips of encouragement with others.

In another blog post, I’ll share ways you can recycle this content over and over again without sounding like a broken record.

Will you be using any of these ideas to freshen up your own blog?

If you need any help with blogging for your business, please get in contact with me.