October 2014 - Kara Lambert

Monthly Archives: October 2014

Quality, heart-centred online business

Quality websites - Write to RightIn my last blog post, I wrote about how I kept my online presence whilst I was on holidays. Now, during those four weeks I not only had a marvelous time, I received a shot of clarity. See, I thought I knew what was at the heart of Write to Right, seems there is something in the Parisian air and I now know what is at the centre of the business.

I have a burning desire to help business owners make their online presence the best it can possibly be. My focus is on quality. While I have been teaching you the skills and sharing my insights in running an online business, what I wanted to do was to help you make the most out of what is inside you, what drives your business. I want to help you get that out to your customers.

I was talking to a prospective client, who was looking for a content author (something I can, but prefer not to do), and I spoke to them on how I like to focus on getting the most out of a business’ existing online resources and how they will benefit. I explained that although I write all of my own content, I don’t write for others as my experience is that business owners are best placed to write their own content. (Read my blog post on why you don’t need a copywriter) I also explained how, though web designers/builders are great for building your site – they will only put in to it what they receive from their customer (you).

Now, while I am a firm believer (now) in getting something up live and rejuvenating it, I also am a firm believer in the need to make it the best it can be at that time. Some would say that it’s advocating for polishing the proverbial dog dung, but some customer’s prefer theirs shiny and isn’t it better to show your customers what you sell on a polished turd than not letting them know at all?

I’ve read a lot recently about quality being an entry requirement to the marketplace, I’m also seeing more on how marketing is changing from a push to a pull. I don’t think they are mutually exclusive. As a consumer, I am turning away from the hard sell and I am also becoming wary of the soft sell. As a business owner, I (and others) am developing the ‘social’ part of my social media presence. (Read how you can be more social in my blog)

I believe that consumers are looking for genuine interaction when purchasing and I firmly believe that businesses find genuineness easier when they come from a place of quality.

Why? Quality, and delivering what you say, engenders trust and customers will only perceive genuineness when they trust the message and the method. (Tweet this)

Take some time to watch this TED talk from Joseph Pine. While this talk is now a decade old, I believe that we are still in the transition phase and that when businesses realise that customers are after more than just a product or service they open up another level of their business’ earning capacity.

Social media is ingrained in current culture. In fact, Facebook has an average of 1.35 billion people using the platform every month (Tweet this). While businesses might believe that they can afford not to be on a social media platform, I’m not one to ignore the potential of reaching 1.35 billion people every month. Incidentally, I am also aware that there are a number of consumers who shun social media, and as a result I maintain a website presence. The benefit of both is an increased potential client base.

I want your business to make the most of the opportunities afforded it. I want you to shine above your competitors. I want you to extend the quality you invest into your products and services to your online presence. I see benefit in moving to the experiential model and believe that a lot of this lies in your online communication.

I believe that ensuring the quality of your business’ online presence is what lies at the heart of my business. There is science behind this. Google has quality indicators in its search algorithm, customers will not buy from websites that contain spelling and grammatical errors. (read more about why I think this is important) I want to take this science, meld it with my Management and Psychology qualifications and balance it with my years of website experience to offer you ways to have the best online presence possible for your business.

So that’s the ‘why’, what about the ‘how’? Read through my blog posts, sign up to the newsletter, like my Facebook page. These are all ways in which you can find out how you can DIY a better online presence. If you are time poor check out the services I offer to do it for you.

Where to from here now that you have read, signed up and liked? I want you to watch the following TED talk by Seth Godin on Tribes. I want you to think on what is at the core of your business and how you will lead your tribe in a new direction. Think about what influence you can make in the next 24 hours and take your tribe on a new journey. Better still, when you take them on the journey, let us all join you by sharing it in the comments below.

 

1 Hints to maintain business social media while on holiday

Keep working while you play Write to RightEver wonder how you will keep your social media followers engaged whilst on holiday, while ill, during peak periods, or even when you need some time away from your devices? My family and I have just returned from a four-week overseas holiday (I feel refreshed and with a clearer direction for both of my businesses) and I maintained my Facebook post reach of 90%, engagement rate of 10% and increased my number of followers.

Even though I did have my smartphone with me, wifi connectivity was unreliable and patchy. The other issue that I had was being between 9 and 12 hours behind my regular time zone, meaning that ‘on the fly’ posting to my main follower base was not an option. I wanted a relaxing holiday, so in the four weeks leading up to my holiday I scheduled 70+ Facebook posts and four MailChimp newsletters. I did post occasionally to Instagram and used some time to increase my Twitter following.

 So how did I achieve this?

As I said earlier, I used the four weeks leading up to the break to schedule my content. I do not use a social media scheduler to post across multiple platforms, it doesn’t suit me or my business (in fact I have just read an email from Crush Social outlining why my approach is correct). In the past I have used the calendar on my phone to keep track of which day I am up to with my scheduling. This time I had a social media calendar.

 Social media calendars

There are a number of free and paid social media calendars on the internet. I have looked at a number of them and was lucky enough to receive one from Kellie O’Brien Media. It is a month-to-a-page calendar (affiliate link), BUT (and it’s a big one) the thing that stands out for me is the hints and the special dates. It is the special dates which helped me to determine posts when I had run out of my popular content (I will post later on this topic). The special dates include things like awareness weeks (or days), holidays, and sporting events. While Kellie has used Australian dates, a lot of these awareness events are international and it is these special dates that sets her calendar apart from the others available. (Note: while Kellie did provide me with the calendar, it was done so for user testing, my affiliate link was provided after)

Productivity is never an accident Write to Right

 Pinterest

I am an avid Pinner. I admit to having more than your average number of boards and a few secret ones too. While I do pin content from the internet to Pinterest, I most often repin. The key to Pinterest is to understand your ideal client & pin that. Tweet this  According to hubby, I spend too much time on there, but I see it as all valuable research time (ok, sometimes it’s like a rabbit hole).

If you are not on Pinterest, I would suggest having a look. Many businesses, including my own, use it to promote their own products. While I do not find it a good sales vehicle, it is handy for brand awareness. I would suggest starting with the ‘Popular’ pins and over time Pinterest will learn your tastes and customise your feed to suit. Follow the boards of your favourite Pinners or just follow them entirely (some people I follow entirely and others I select certain boards). The thing I like about Pinterest, is that in the main, you will be linked back to the original source. This is great for sharing the content directly and makes attribution simple.

Facebook Scheduling

I regularly schedule Facebook posts and have for a while now. I don’t like being flustered and pushed into posting content on the fly. I regularly check my Insights and I post when my followers are online (a great way to help engagement). Scheduling posts allows me to post when they are on, but I might not be.

I have found this recent video by The Stacey Harris on how to schedule a Facebook post.

MailChimp scheduling

If you have subscribed to Write to Right’s newsletter, you would have received my scheduled newsletters. (You haven’t? Head over and sign up now and receive a free set of my top social media hints) I use MailChimp as my email platform, there are dozens out there, but MailChimp is a well-known provider and integrates with my website.

Email lists are a fantastic way to reach your customers in a more personalised and direct mannerTweet this It’s also a fabulous way to offer digests of your social media content, deliver special offers and generally remind people that you are still there (let’s face it, not everyone spends as much time as I do on Facebook). So my email subscribers didn’t miss out, I scheduled my regular newsletter. Ok, so it didn’t contain new content (there’s nothing wrong with recycling and I will discuss this in another post), but it did help me to stay in front of mind whilst I was away. I found this great video from Chris Durnan, who details how to schedule a MailChimp campaign.

 

These are the main tools I used to keep my businesses running whilst I was away for four weeks. While they work for my businesses, they might not be right for yours. If you have any other tools or hints you would like to share, please leave a comment below. If you would like to learn more about writing for social media, please read my other blog posts.