Three Resolutions Your Business Needs to Keep in 2019

It’s the start of January - and you’re probably full of good intentions and big ideas. I love the motivation the start of a new year gives me; what about you?

A new year marks a new start – a clean slate where we can forget the bad habits we accumulated over the past 12 months and dive into a year where we never forget to respond to an email, never eat chocolate for breakfast and never, ever forget our business cards.

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While some resolutions are doomed to fail (I’ll eat chocolate for breakfast if I want to, thank you very much) there are some great new year’s resolutions for your business that if you keep up, will help your enterprise grow and succeed. Here are some of the best new year’s resolutions you can make that’ll keep you motivated, bring in new customers and push your business to the next level.

Regularly Update Your Business Blog

Your company blog is vital to your success in 2019. Keeping your website updated with fresh content is essential for your search ranking, and it’s the perfect opportunity to talk about your new products, shout about your success and reveal new information about exciting plans that may be afoot.

Start off small. Setting aside half an hour twice a week to research, write and edit your blog posts means you’ll easily manage one blog post per week. Feel that achievement!

Of course, if you really don’t have the time, or you need a little support, contact me. Helping businesses out with their content is what I do best.

Keep Your Social Media Ticking Over

How’s your Twitter account doing? Are you answering all your Facebook messages?

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Ignoring your social media accounts can seem like the only way to deal with them when you’re busy but honestly, in 2019, your customers will be reaching out to you via social media more than ever. Making your accounts a priority will make them far less scary and gain you new business. I promise.

Take a look at Buffer’s useful tips on using social media to your advantage, and while you’re at it, have a gander at their post scheduling tool. I use it, and honestly, it saves me so much time.

Carry Out A Web Audit Twice a Year

Ever wondered what your customers think when they reach your website?

Take some time to walk in their shoes by carrying out a web audit. If you’re not sure what one is, don’t worry, I’ve written about them before in my blog. A full web audit means talking a deeper look at the content on your website, and running through it with a fine-tooth comb to see what needs to be amended, what needs to be removed and what could be enhanced to make your website earn its keep.

Trust me, it’s well worth doing.

Want some help getting that new year’s motivation going? I’ve got plenty to go around. Get in touch today and let’s talk about how a freelance copywriter like me can help you make the best possible start to 2019.

Until next time..

 

 

Five Reasons Your eShot Isn't Being Opened

Using eShots - to create interest for your products, announce news or even shout about special offers - has become second nature to us in 2018.

Need a boost in sales? Send out an eShot. Want to share some amazing new lines with your best customers? Ping them an email. Got a surprise sale going on because of a larger-than-usual shipment? Get the message out quickly using an email newsletter.

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But what happens when your eShot open rate…well…takes a nosedive?

Overcoming eShot Fatigue

It’s time to look at why your emails are starting to be ignored. Take a look at your metrics and have a think through these top five reasons your eshot is being left in the spam folder compost heap.

  1. You’re sending too many emails

 Subscribers want to hear from you, but there’s a limit to their love. If you’re sending out emails more than once a week, you need to think about whether each of these are relevant to all of the addresses you’re sending them to.Consider all the emails you’re sending and who they’re going out to, and answer the following questions:

●     Does every recipient on your list need to get every email?

●     Why are you sending so many emails?

●     Could you say less and save your emails for really important or exciting news?

If you really feel that you need to be sending more than one eShot a week, it’s wise to make sure each of these emails are visibly different from each other and contain totally unique content each time.

A customer can forgive oversharing if it involves useful nuggets each time. What they can’t forgive is being bombarded with the same old stories over and over again.

2. You’re emailing the wrong people

You might have a long list of email subscribers, but how many of them are active? And how many of those email addresses have ever given you any sort of reciprocal attention?

Take a deep breath and count to 10. Yes, you’re going to have to scout through your subscribers to check their validity. It might take some time. Luckily, if you’re using an email service like Mailchimp, in-built stats and other shortcuts can make this a lot easier than trawling your way through a long list of emails manually.


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Maybe they’re not interested in what you have to say anymore. Maybe they only signed up for an offer that’s now expired. Maybe, just maybe, they bought something from you in a previous role, but months later they just aren’t a relevant customer anymore and will never buy any of your products again.

Check for the number of eShots they open, and start getting ruthless. It also pays to check the types of emails they’re opening - move onto our next tip to find out why:

3. You’re giving the right content to the wrong people

Eh? What?

Yes. There’s every chance that your email subscribers are perfect for you, but you’re feeding them info they’re just not interested in. But as they say, “one man’s spam is another woman’s ribeye.”

 Take a look at the types of emails your subscribers are actually opening. It will almost definitely vary.

Now it’s time to separate your followers into relevant lists so you can make sure you’re only sending certain types of emails to the customers who could benefit from them. Here are some list ideas to help you shuffle them around:

●     Special Offer Snoopers: Only interested in sales, discount codes and offer

●     Blog Readers: Only opens emails that promise interesting content, or links to blogs

●     Hype-Hunters: Only wants to know about new and upcoming products

●     Forgetful Customers: Usually clicks on emails that remind them to complete purchases.

4. Your emails are boring

Sorry to say it, but you just might not be making an impact.

It could be a case of the subject-line snoozies, or it could be that your customers have become accustomed to opening your emails and immediately regretting it. Either way, they’ve taken to avoiding you at all costs to quell the boredom.


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Your company might not easily lend itself to fun, bright and breezy emails, but even the driest of subjects can be interesting to a customer who’s invested in what you do.

Take the time to think about how you could be putting yourself across in more attention-grabbing ways.

5. It isn’t clear what you’re selling

If you’ve sent a few emails out recently that have fallen flat, take another look at the content.

 How many times do you actively tell your readers to ‘click here’ or ‘do this’ or ‘go there?

People who are quickly scanning an email need a prompt to hook them in. Being able to passively read through an email to get everything they need might be convenient for your customers, but it isn’t doing you any favours.

Drag them through to your website at all costs, where they can easily find products to buy, more information to read and even more ways to be reeled in by your marketing.

 Putting it All to Work

After you’ve worked out what your customers are avoiding and you’ve learned how to get around it, it’s time to get working on improving your emails.

Figuring out what will catch their attention is one thing, but making sure you continue to offer them frequent mailings that keep them hooked and ready to buy from you is another kettle of fish.

●    Check your statistics regularly to make sure you’re getting the opens you need and work with the information you find out to guide your content moving forward

●    Don’t send out emails you wouldn’t read yourself. Stick to one or two important points and keep it snappy.

Still struggling? I’m an email marketing expert with more than 10 years’ experience under my belt. Give me a call or drop me an email today and http://www.laurenholden.co.uk/contact/about how we can collaborate to get your emails working hard for you.

 

 

Marketing with Clout! Give Yourself (and Your Work) a Kick Up the Backside in January

Regarding this headline on this post, I bet you didn't know you could give your work a kick up the rear end, did you?! Well you can - and here are a few handy instructions:

  • Gather all important paperwork
  • Hold it out in front of you
  • Now, swing back your leg (the right one is usually the best), before forcefully swinging it forward again, catching the edge of said paperwork and sending it flying.

Et voila; you've showed your paperwork - and your projects - who's boss.

But the clue here is: don't take my advice literally. All you'll wind up with is an office covered in paper, and an even more miffed you.

So, this January, aim to give your work - and yourself - a kick up the backside in the metaphorical fashion. And here's how to do that...

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Create a Content Marketing Plan

The best way to hold yourself accountable when it comes to ticking things off your marketing to-do list, is to...err..write a list. Or better yet, create a content plan.

Excel will be your go-to tool for this, and with a little bit of consideration, you should be able to put one together that works for you. Whether you're a full-time staff member for one client, or you work for multiple companies, your content marketing plan should help you achieve all your goals - month-by-month, and longer-term - with ease. Plus, when you write things down you're more likely to do them in the first place - and that's a fact.

Want another tip? Find out how and why 'working in threes' will help you get more stuff done, by reading this blog from the Lauren Holden Freelance archives.

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Start Small

The problem with to-do lists is that you can feel like you're getting nowhere with them. But that's if you choose the bigger tasks first. After all, why opt to tackle a job that's likely to take you all day, when you can cross three or four items off your list in the same time?

Providing none of your tasks are urgent, start with the smaller ones. That way, you'll be able to enjoy a sense of achievement straight away, which will probably spur you on to rattle through your list that bit quicker.

Fake a Deadline

'What is she going on about here, then?' Well, imagine your client has given you a deadline of February 20. I say, ignore that; pretend he/she never uttered those words. Instead, trick your brain into thinking the deadline was actually February 12. Now, get your thinking cap on and crack on with that work.

This has two benefits and one is the fact that procrastination won't pop into your day; you'll simply soldier on and get the work done - more than a week ahead of time. The bonus? Your client will no doubt be chuffed that the work's in his or her inbox earlier than planned.

Reward Yourself

So, unless it's Christmas, the only reward you can probably expect from your boss - or your client - is a 'thank you very much for your hard work'. And that's absolutely good enough.

So, if you want to push yourself to get that project done ahead of time, allow yourself a reward at the end of it. A huge slab of cake, perhaps, or even a little jaunt to the cinema. Whatever works for you, do it - and I promise January will be all the better for it.

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A Problem Shared...

You've heard that old adage: 'a problem shared is a problem halved'. Well, stew on this one; I made it up myself: 'a project shared, is a project halved'.

Okay, so I ain't telling you to delegate your work and put your feet up, but what I am saying is see if you can pool your thoughts and ideas with colleagues. Or, if you're self-employed, a fellow business owner. After all, when you're struggling on a concept or campaign, who better to test it out on than someone who may well be in your target market?

Do you have your own tips when it comes to achieving your goals in 2018? Don't forget to comment on this blog, or say hello if you've enjoyed this piece.

Until next time...

 

 

 

 

Did Someone Say Cake...?

Yesterday (Friday, January 23) marked my ninth year as a freelance copywriter. And how do I know this? Good old LinkedIn. Its helpful reminder had me reaching for the cake (any excuse to celebrate, eh?) and wondering where on earth the best part of a decade has gone.

Need a Hand with Your Next Copywriting Project?

So, what does my nine years' experience mean to you? Assurance. I'd like to think it takes away any reservations you may have about choosing me for your next copywriting project - big or small. After all, I've been crafting copy for businesses like yours for round about 3287 days, give or take weekends. And yes, I had to Google that - there was a reason I chose a career with words, not numbers.

In terms of experience, nine years has seen me put my creative copywriting skills to everything from email marketing, printed advertising, web copy, press releases, and social media updates. I've worked with brands as diverse as QVC's shopping channel to Fosters Beer, Flowers Direct, and Denby Dale's Yummy Yorkshire ice cream parlour - and I can't wait to take on my next big assignment!

How has the last nine years panned out for you? Perhaps you'd like to give your business the boost it deserves, but you're not sure where to start?

Yorkshire-based Freelance Copywriter - Available for Hire

Need a copywriter? I'm a Yorkshire-based freelance copywriter working from my home in Huddersfield. But don't let that put you off; the fact I work remotely means I can lend a hand to your brand and its communications, wherever you are.

Fancy a chat about your next project? Simply send me a note over here and we'll go from there.

You Know You're a Freelancer When...

... despite the short commute from the shower to the study, no less than two cups of coffee are required before computer switch on commences

... you find yourself wondering if it's socially acceptable to invite the postie in for a cuppa and chat. All work and no interaction makes Lauren a very dull copywriter

... you convince yourself that 90-minute lunch break is actually conducive to a more productive afternoon...

...ditto that sugar-laced slice of Vicky sponge cake

... the prospect of slipping on yet another pair of well-worn (but oh so comfy) jogging bottoms is more appealing than it probably should be

... your parents still don't understand what you do day-to-day...

...and sometimes, you're not 100% sure you do either: SEO, ROI, B2B, GA, PPC. Acronyms are the new black, apparently.

...you start the day with great intentions (early morning gym session, anyone?), before deciding you'll go 'after you've smashed that deadline'. Only to abandon the idea in favour of Dinner Date and a second slice of sponge cake.