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Are You Writing To Suit Your Audience?

Writing To Suit Your Audience

Whether you are speaking with your clients through social media, blog posts, emails, websites or other forms of media, you want to be able to make a connection.

There’s various ways you can do that, but the most important thing is to speak with them in a way they can understand. Don’t complicate your message with big words that make you sound impressive or with technical jargon that’s not relevant to your readers.

Here’s how you can do this in a way that will compel them to act by following a few simple steps:

1. Who do you want to read what you are writing?

Knowing who you want to read your tweet, blog post, book, email or whatever it is you’re writing will determine what voice you convey and which information you share. If you are writing to women who are in their mid-40s and want to change careers you will need a much different conversation than you would with those in their 20s who want to make a career change.

In a similar way, you’re writing style for holiday travel ideas for students will need to be different to how you’d write – or communicate in general – with a group of science professors interested in the latest industry technology.

So understanding who you’re communicating with is the first step.

2. Where are you publishing this?

This focuses your writing on where you will be publishing your work. Will it be published in a periodical, online, in an email, as a blog post, or as a social media post?

Will there be a possibility that a potential client or potential peer will see the article or visit the site?

Knowing how and where it will be published will help you find the voice of the writing more precisely and help you connect with the correct audience.

Before you begin writing you also want to know what the concerns or problems are that your audience is facing and what you want them to do as a result of reading the article or post. This allows you to speak directly to your intended audience when you focus on solving one problem or concern.

Once you know the who, how, and what of your writing you need to begin building a connection by grabbing their attention, engaging them and entertaining them all while maintaining your professionalism. Use vivid imagery wherever possible and allow your personality to show.

It may seem like a lot, but as you practise you will find that these aspects are all found naturally in your writing.

Grab their attention

You need to grab attention as soon as possible so that your readers will continue reading.

Having life changing information in your writing will not matter if your intended audience doesn’t read it. Use a title that catches their attention and causes them to want more.

Where appropriate, include images or videos too.

Engage Them

After you have gained your readers’ attention, engage them in the writing. This is going to differ depending on what you’re writing. The general concept here though is to create a scenario where they answer questions and begin to relate the material to themselves.

Keep them Entertained

Now that you have their attention and they are engaging with your content, entertain them. Unless your audience is looking for only facts and numbers, giving them the information in an entertaining way will keep them from falling asleep.

Stay on topic and use vivid, descriptive words – where that’s appropriate to do so.

Remain Professional

Although you are connecting with your audience and working on building a relationship, you still need to remain professional. You want them to see you as an expert in your field and trust that you can help them. One of the quickest ways to lose trust is through poor grammar and spelling.

So make sure you double check or have someone else check your work before publishing. You want your audience to easily read your material and get the meaning and answer they need.

That said, I wouldn’t be too concerned if there are one or two minor errors once in a while.

Yes, I know this is going to upset some people but hey, nobody’s perfect! 😉

Mostly, readers will forgive the odd typo, especially if the content is worthwhile. But content that is full of errors doesn’t exactly scream professionalism.

I also recommend keeping yourself professional if someone posts something you don’t like in reply to your content. Sometimes misunderstandings happen … and sometimes you’ll come across someone who’s just downright nasty! Either way, you can address their statements or complaints without getting into an online slanging match.

There are ways to disagree with people in a polite, adult way and you should always make sure you don’t let your emotions take over and start saying things you may later regret.

Show Your Personality

One way to keep from boring and losing your audience is to let your personality through. Your readers will be able to build a deeper connection with you when they feel they know you. If you are a bit quirky, let that show through. If you are more serious, let that come through in your writing.

Your audience can feel your honesty in your writing. When they feel you are not being honest, they will lose their trust and connection with you.

Not everyone is going to like you or appreciate seeing your personality shine through in your content. That’s perfectly okay! You will attract more people who DO like you and feel they connect with you and these are the people you want around you.

The most important thing to remember is to get to know your intended audience and to write directly to them.

I know a lady who curses constantly throughout her marketing and makes no apologies for it. She’s also very spiritual (which is just a little too ‘woowoo’ for many). Some people are offended by this or thinks she’s off her rocker and don’t want anything to do with her.

But for others interested in her area of expertise – particularly others who curse a lot and are more spiritual – they absolutely LOVE her. Where some had felt they didn’t fit the stereo-typical “professional” within their niche, they see her as an example that they can be successful without having to change who they are or how they behave.

This lady has built a huge following and has earnt millions from being herself and connecting with others like her. These are the people she focuses on, not those who don’t like her or think she should change her behaviour.

It can take a little practise to get this right. Over time though, you’ll find it easier and easier to write in a way that best suits your particular audience(s). Following the guidelines above will help you to be able to build a solid connection and understanding with readers. With this, those people will keep coming back to hear more of what you have to say.

5 Simple Ways To Get More Customers Without Being Pushy

get more customers without being pushy

Image courtesy of PresenterMedia.com

Do you ever worry that you sound too pushy or salesy when trying to convert a potential client into a paying client?

Don’t be afraid to admit it …

It’s one of the biggest fears that many small business owners share so if this is you, you’re certainly not alone.

The fear of sounding salesy and pushy is very real.  However, there are many ways that you can gain new clients and customers without being pushy.

Nobody wants to buy from an annoying salesperson, so you want to make sure you are approaching your potential clients with a connection.  You want them to connect to you, your services, or your products.

The following are 5 top ways to get more customers without being pushy.

1. Focus on solving your potential customer’s problems rather than on you and your product/service.

Unless you are the owner, nobody cares about your company.  Perhaps not nobody, but pretty close to it. This may sound harsh, but it is true.  At least when it comes to your customers.  If they are coming to your business it is generally because of what it can offer them.

People care about finding answers to their problems.  They will find a company that shows they can do this.  Unfortunately, most small business owners make this mistake over and over again.  They are so excited about the potential new customer that they jump right in with the sales pitch.

Instead, take time to find out what pain points and problems your potential customer is facing.  This approach may take a bit more time than simply making a sales pitch, but you will be able to explain your product or service in a way that shows it solves that person’s problem.

They will be much more likely to purchase from you if they know what they are spending their money on will really help them.

2. Tell a story.

Everyone likes a good story.  You can truly make an impact with your potential customer by telling your story.  You are most likely in the business you are because you once had a need, desire, or interest in the services and products you are now selling.  (You may even still have those needs, desires and interests…if not, you may want to rekindle that flame.)

Telling a story also allows your potential client to make a connection with you or your service.  They will get to know more about you and see how your service or product can really help them solve their problem.

3. Connect with your audience and show that you genuinely care about them and in helping them.

People buy from people they can trust.  Building a connection with your potential customer will help them trust you more and believe that you genuinely care about helping them.

There are many ways to connect with your potential customer – you can share your story, ask them questions, and allow them to feel as though they are the only one in the world at the moment they are speaking or working with you.

Finding out what will help them the best will show that you care about them and are not going to simply offer your newest, shiniest product or service.

4. Where possible, let your potential customers talk more than you do.

get more customers without being pushy

Image courtesy of PresenterMedia.com

You can cut back on a lot of the pushiness by letting your potential customer do the talking.  You will find that this approach is much easier for both you and your prospect.

As they talk, ask them questions.  You will find out more information about them so you can honestly offer them the best solution  You will have more wins for you.

You do want to be careful about the questions you ask, though.  Make sure you are asking open ended questions so they can give you a complete response rather than a quick and simple yes or no.

Getting your prospect to talk more will also let you know if you and your product/service are the best option for them.  If not, tell them. They’ll appreciate your honesty and possibly become a potential reference for their friends who do fit your service.

5. Give great service, focus on building relationships with your customers (yes, even after the sale) and then to recommend you to their friends.

Always provide what you promised and a little more.  That little bit more can be a huge difference between a good service and a great service.  The little more can simply be showing that you want to build a relationship with them.

Having a client who feels they can trust you to solve their problems will help you serve them better and get even more customers.  After you have solved the problem for your customer, ask them to recommend you and write a testimonial.  Then, continue the relationship.  You can help them find the next product for their next problem or keep updated on their success after they have used your product.

Building a genuine connection with your client will help prevent you coming across as pushy.  You want them to have a connection with you or your product/service.  Using the five methods above will give you ultimate selling power without being salesy.

7 Reasons Your Sales Page Isn’t Working

website traffic magnetised

When you set up your website you no doubt expected it to bring in more business. If you haven’t seen that success yet you may well be disappointed and wondering what is keeping it from being successful. After all, the internet is full of stories about people who made their fortune from their websites.

 

Here are seven reasons why your website may not be working, focusing on your sales page in this article. See which ones apply to your business to get your website back on track.

1. Not enough traffic.

This is a common problem with new websites and new sales pages. People simply don’t know you have a web presence, or don’t know that they can buy from your page.

To help change this, be certain that your website address is included in all correspondence, social media and advertising, being sure to include the fact that they can purchase from your page. Even your email signature should direct readers to your site.

You may also want to include some content on your website that contains keywords related to your industry to help increase your search engine rankings. This can easily done by way of adding articles and specifically a ‘blog’ to your site.

With a little consistent time and attention, you can increase traffic to your site to boost your sales. Although there are dozens of different ways you can market your site, you probably don’t have time to do everything. So begin by choosing 3 marketing strategies and focus on doing those well.

2. Marketing to the wrong people.

It is critical to know your target audience, and to direct your advertising to that market.

For example, if you work for a business that sells athletic shoes, you wouldn’t advertise in a magazine for seniors. This is an obvious example, but it is important to examine where you’ve spent your advertising dollars as well as your social media strategy and your other marketing efforts to be certain you’re targeting the demographic that is looking for the product or service you offer.

3. No clear call to action.

Are you asking people to buy when they visit your site? Is it clear to them that ordering online is simple, and even easier than purchasing in person?

Make sure you compel people to buy and make certain that your online transaction instructions are clear and simple. Don’t assume that people know what to do, where to click or that they understand exactly what it is you’re offering them.

4. Too many calls to action.

Your website shouldn’t scream at people to buy from you. “Buy Now” appearing all over the place can really turn buyers off, and can even confuse people about which pages are meant as purchase pages.

In addition to being able to buy, perhaps you’re offering a number of products and/or services that can be purchased, as well as free downloads, resources and a newsletter (or other list of some sort) that readers can subscribe to.

It’s fine to make multiple products or offers available, but don’t make everything available from the one page. Spread things out. Have opt-in pages separate to your sales pages.

Typically, the more opportunity a person has to “click here”, the less likely they are to buy.

5. Poor Design.

It pays to use a professional web designer to ensure that your page is easy to understand and that choosing a product and checking out is clear and simple. Or if a professional web designer is out of your budget, use a good quality template of some sort so the main part of the design is taken care of for you.

For WordPress sites, I absolutely love the Thrive Themes and in particular, the Thrive Content Builder plug-in. It makes it so easy to create attractive, well-designed pages. (Note: These are affiliate links so if you make a Thrive purchase via one of these links I may receive a referral fee. There’s no obligation for you to purchase this product but if you do and it leads to me receiving a referral fee, Thank You in advance. This helps me to continue to provide great content and training while keeping costs to readers and students as low as possible!)

Make it easy to find the right product on your site and don’t create a lot of screens that a customer must navigate through in order to buy. If the site is cluttered or purchasing is difficult, many people will navigate away without completing a transaction.

6. Technical Issues.

Be certain that your site works well and works quickly. If the site is slow, times out, or has other technical issues, you will lose customers.

If you’re not sure what to do here, hire a web professional to test your site and see what can be done to optimise the site or the server it’s hosted on.

7. Poor Copywriting.

Wherever possible, hire a professional copywriter to write your web copy. Your site should be easy to read and understand… and written with your ideal customer in mind.

Instructions should be clear and simple to follow, without too much verbiage. If too much reading is involved, or if it’s not formatted appropriately many people will simply navigate away.

sales page isn't workingIt’s possible that your product isn’t what your market is looking for however before giving up on the product completely, make sure you examine each of the 7 common mistakes above. Test and measure your results as you go so you know what’s working and what isn’t.

Following these guidelines will give your products their best chance of being successful.