How my copywriting and content planning services
will help you grow your business.
Now that we are comfortably settled into the new decade (and I will continue to think of it as a new decade, despite the internet being awash with pedants insisting that the next decade is at the END of this year, not at the beginning of 2020) everyone is back into their work routines - and we are at the point where people have forgotten their commitment to “new year, new me” resolutions.
I’ve already seen a drop off in online engagement from a lot of small businesses and freelancers, who all leap into the new year determined to engage more with their audience, build that audience, build their popularity and get more sales as a result. For most, lots of planning went into this process; there are spreadsheets, diaries, to-do lists and digital reminders of those plans being quietly slid aside in place of the old habits which are hard to break, and don’t achieve much by way of effective business promotion
These new habits, the plans and consistency, the regular posts and comments, the returning again and again and again and again to just keep plugging away at it, can be very time consuming and – because it takes time to build an audience or to see sales increase as a result of all that effort - it can feel like time wasted.
It’s easy to lose enthusiasm and wish for a quick fix, and let it slide, convinced it wasn’t working, when letting it slide is precisely why it isn’t working.
I don’t know what the secret is to remaining positive and gung-ho all year through; what I very much do know is that, despite the promises you made to yourself earlier this year, you’re already struggling to keep up any momentum with a lot of the things you planned to do - including planning your content, creating that content and sharing through all of your channels consistently – never mind the extra commitment and time needed to return and reply to your comments and tag people you think would be interested, or researching which hashtags might have helped you reach more people.
Whether it’s a weekly newsletter, a daily Facebook post, a regular blog article or a stream of pretty- as-a-picture Instagram posts, your grand 2020 business plans were all about engaging with your followers and maintaining an online presence to build rapport with your audience, get more customers, sell more products or services, and get the word out there that you’re available, working hard and ready to go.
You might have made yourself a nice content planning spreadsheet. Maybe you bought a diary from someone you admire online, who seems to know exactly what they’re doing, and has a huge following?
Did you just make some notes in a notebook or diary? Did you – like me – get sucked into a rabbit hole of #BulletJournal and spend far more money and time than you could spare on getting The Perfect Notebook and decorating it with an expensive collection of washi tapes, only to realise it’s just a glorified to-do list, which you mainly ignore?!
Maybe you didn’t do any of those things, but you have put a lot of thought into how much more committed you’re going to be...only once it comes to taking action and promoting your business, you don’t actually know where to start?
Perhaps you launched into things at the beginning of January with lots of online posts, some keyword research, a focus on the trending topics and awareness days that might be relevant to your brand, then you made your plans and posted your content, only to get nothing but a deafening silence in response - so now you’re feeling a bit flat and disheartened?
We’ve all been there too!
Here’s what else I know:
Starting from scratch - or rebuilding when you’ve been quiet for a long time and your audience have drifted away - is hard.
Like, really hard.
It’s a lot of work.
It’s time consuming, and the response can take a long time to come - so it’s understandable that your enthusiasm has also dropped away, and you’re letting it drift down your to-do list as you focus on other areas of your business – or on that Friday night takeaway you can indulge in now that people have stopped talking about their New Year, New Me diets…
If you’re not working on this every day - on creating, sharing and boosting your content, investing time (and – sorry – some financial budget) on promoting your business, how can you expect to attract new enquiries, get more engagement, reach more people, build on your own experience and expertise, showcase your skills and knowledge, and connect with more of your target audience?
Here’s some (dis)heartening statistics for you; what a lot of people don’t realise is that the conversion rate for securing work, from a new-to-you audience, is only between 1 and 5%, across all industries.
That means that, even if you’re looking at the most successful conversion rate, in order to get just five sales, or secure five new clients, you need to be seen and considered by 100 people. Which means that at least 100 people need to see, read, engage with or view your content, for just five of them to click through and say: “tell me more.”
And I’m guessing that you need quite a few more than five customers this year…and don’t consistently see 100 of them engaging with your posts? And if 100 people do see your post, how many of them actually have a vested interest in what it is you’re offering?
Are they the right audience?
Another fact you might be interested in is that - conservatively - when you’ve got a nice ‘warm’ audience - people who already trust you, who have already been customers or are seriously considering being so, who engage with your business regularly, who read your content, share your links, click to read more, watch your videos, like your Instagram posts - those people who are already connected with you in some way - the conversion rate is closer to 20% - so for that same audience of 100 people, twenty of them are likely to part with their cash for the things you’re offering them, because you’ve already built rapport, earned their trust; they already like you. This IS the right audience – but they still need to be nurtured; you still need to build warmth and engagement by giving it to your audience, so they can respond with the same.
But you can’t have that warmth, and that engagement, if you haven’t gone through the slow burning, committed and consistent work that goes into building that audience in the first place.
You need to put in the ground work, and build those relationships organically, and with genuine, honest communication, and commit to it day after day after day with familiar branding, consistent messages and language, commitment to listening to their responses, and showing that you care about making their lives better with the products and services you have to offer, and showing them how you’ll do that.
How can you maintain momentum? How can you continue to come up with ideas? How can you adapt news stories or awareness days or calendar highlights to keep your business awareness alive, and how can you keep your own interest and consistency up when you’re struggling to see any engagement which justifies the investment of your time?
More importantly, if this activity - the content ideas, the content creation, sharing those posts and articles, researching the keywords which will get you the best engagement, monitoring the response from people and responding to their comments and enquiries - doesn’t come naturally to you, you’re far more likely to give up before you begin to see any significant results: you’ve already had to put in a lot of brain space and time to get the basics done, and now it’s no surprise that you’re struggling to make yourself keep doing something that’s hard, boring and time consuming - and which hasn’t even made you any money, despite the many hours you’ve given to it.
That’s where it’s worth thinking about outsourcing some of this process...
Obviously, I’m going to give you a bit of a pitch now; this is where I’ll give you the reasons to outsource those projects to me, so that you can concentrate on the parts of the business that do come naturally to you, and which you actually enjoy.
Because these are the things I enjoy - and have always enjoyed, since long before the time that I was paid to do it - or even knew that being paid to do it was a real professional option.
A brief history of how I got so good at this...
When I first left university I worked in retail; I had no idea how to make ‘chatting on the internet’ into my work, and the many hours a week I spent doing it were more likely to get me in trouble with my boss than benefit either of us!
But, as I did spend far too much time doing that, fiddling with websites, writing blogs and creating content day after day after day, simply because I couldn’t imagine a world in which I wasn’t doing so, I began to get rather good at it.
I loved playing with the way my blogs looked, creating new profiles, shaping the content to appeal to people, telling stories that hooked people in. I enjoyed using words to paint pictures and sharing what I did with my life - which wasn’t particularly thrilling, but people seemed to enjoy hearing about it.
As I got rather good at it, people began to ask me how I did it – and to talk them through the learning, practice and process so that they could also be rather good at it.
I built a pretty big audience, and after a while brands begin to approach me, offering me free products if I’d write about them, or money to write about their products or services for online audiences – a world where more traditional marketing copy was the wrong kind of language, where archaic PR jargon was scorned, where the audience were more savvy, more responsive, more human and more likely to respond directly to a brand with their feedback.
This audience – this human, living, breathing animal, a wall of voices and opinions who can make or break a brand with a trending hashtag, are who we really needed to listen to, as an industry, to make sure that we were shaping our output to meet their needs.
This is the world where my professional life was formed – hammered from the frameworks of early blogging environments, digital marketing pioneers, creative consultancies and branding experts who quickly caught on – and learning from the mistakes made by those who didn’t catch on quickly enough. As my beloved Grandmother used to say; “you can learn from other people’s mistakes too; you don’t need to make them all yourself!”
Over the years I have added further qualifications to my portfolio – digital marketing, social media marketing, professional copywriting and communications – and all of these qualifications, paired with the experience I’ve had from shaping my experience and knowledge in the field – live on the internet I have always written for – means that I’m great at telling your story too, in a way your audience want to hear.
So - what could I do for you?
I work with my clients in a few ways.
Some simply want a little guidance – and those are who I have the ‘power hour’ availability for; just book an hour of my time, let me know in advance a little about how you’ve been working with your online presence so far, and how it’s been going for you, and I’ll review your profiles and give you some feedback, some creative ideas and some quick fix changes you could make to see a significant difference in your engagement and traffic.
Just one hour of focussed discussion and planning can give you enough ideas to create content for your audience for a full month, and build your confidence in continuing to do the planning and research by yourself once you’ve been guided through the basics.
Others want to do the content for themselves, and enjoy it – but simply haven’t the time to come up with the ideas or research the relevant awareness days or topics which might be talking points relevant to their industry in the coming weeks – so I do the research and planning for them.
This takes the pressure off you, and gives you a suggested topic every day of the month to post about on your social media channels, with weekly topics for blog or newsletter articles (ideally both, if you’re creative!) and means you’re able to consistently show up on all your channels and keep building engagement with your audience; the boring part is taken care of - so you can just create fun content around the suggestions I find for you.
Some clients want me to do the bulk of the content creation – so we discuss key topics and I create a plan for the month, with suggestions for social media posts complete with keywords, hashtags and copy-and-paste content that can just be dropped into your channels when you’re ready. I also create a weekly blog article, and a newsletter introducing it, as well as social media links to that piece of longer copy so you can share it with your audience consistently.
The last main category are the ones who trust me to manage the whole process; we discuss the topics, I do the plan and create the content for them to review, and then I post it on their channels and manage the responses they get, so they can focus entirely on the parts of their job they love and leave the promotion and engagement to me.
This works best for people who know that it matters, who want to benefit from an online presence, but who are either uncomfortable with doing it themselves, unfamiliar with the ways they could do it, or simply don’t enjoy it and want to focus their energy on other things they do better and love to do.
The best part of my job is that I get to have this variety – that I can do entire days of research and planning, whole weeks of content creation, I can write, I can create graphics, I can post links and engage with an audience, and no two days are alike because I can plan my own workload to suit my client’s needs and my own interests and passions, and be flexible about what I can offer, so people can pick and choose which aspects of my skillset they want to benefit from without feeling tied to a strict arrangement.
Whichever of these methods appeals most, whether you just want a quick power hour chat to reinvigorate your enthusiasm and spark some creative ideas, or you want to book three full days a month of my time to manage your entire content creation process, including posting on your social media channels and engaging with your mailing list, or something that falls somewhere in between those measures, I’d love to help.
Give me a call on 07580 676833 – email me on firstname.lastname@example.org – or book directly here to arrange your power hour; let’s discuss how I can help you to be your brand, to live your professional messages out loud, and to build your audience and boost your sales.