Eight indisputable reasons why you need to hire a social media marketing professional right this second
Nine out of ten businesses are now using social media marketing. Is yours?
Here's a statistic that should ALONE convince you why you need to uplevel your social media marketing immediately.
Customers 20-40% spend more money on companies who engage with them on social media, CoSchedule tells us.
A survey conducted by Market Force in 2012, revealed that 74 per cent of people encouraged their friends to try new products via social media and a whopping 81 per cent tried things based on their friends’ suggestions via social media*. If someone were to visit any of your social media platforms right now, would it convince them to purchase your product or engage in your service? And tell their friends about you?
‘Ever since engaging the services of Vanessa Jones to be yogafusion's social media manager, I feel more confident and at ease knowing that yogafusion's social media presence will be maintained, more informative, educational and inspiring. In as little two weeks our likes on Facebook went up and general engagement improved. Her skills as a talented writer and passion for writing means that not only are posts well thought out and written but provides a source of nourishing content that our clients can easily access and savour.
Vanessa's approach is personalised and friendly where she meets with you to discuss your needs, goals and intentions in relation to your business and then formulates a strategy that suits you and your budget.’ Sue C, Director, yogafusion
Although these Youtube videos aren't all directly related to copywriting, sometimes you need a little visual and audio inspo to get you motivated to achieve the marketing success in your business that you truly desire. This used to be a blog post of five inspiring videos but I have chosen to remove Tony Robbins due to his deplorable recent minimisation of the #MeToo movement and I don't want to support his work any longer.
SEO for beginners with Neil Patel
Neil Patel is one of the world’s leading experts on SEO and his friendly, unassuming vibe makes it easy to understand all things SEO. Here he explains some basic tips to keep up with algorithmic changes in 2018. I highly recommend giving over ten minutes to learn these SEO fundamentals. Don't forget that I have some SEO steps here too.
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
If you’re interested in increasing income (who isn’t, right?) and improving work performance, there is a little timeless classic call Think and Grow Rich written by Napoleon Hill, first published in 1937. Thankfully, it can be found as the complete audio book (all ten hours of it) on Youtube, so it makes for great listening. Warning: there’s some parts that you might want to tune out of that may not align with today’s social values.
How to Write Copy That Turns Website Visitors into Customers by Marie Forleo
This is a very simple video on copywriting that provides one very clear tip which I abide by in all copywriting pursuits. It’s a short video, has a bit of waffle and is broken down quite simply for those who are new to marketing but the tip and concept is priceless. And it reminds us of that age old copywriting technique of eliciting empathy.
How To Price Design Services and Make More Money with Chris Do
I really like this video and I find it particularly educational for those who work in creative services and are unsure (or more specifically, undervaluing) their skills, expertise and talent. Chris Do’s straight talking logic is quite inspiring and he is very transparent and generous with this knowledge about value, worth and pricing strategies.
You may also like... Eight reasons why you should hire a copywriter
This post includes one affiliate partner link, which means if you sign up to their product, I'll get a modest kickback at no cost to you.
Do you know me in real life? Or have you thoroughly investigated my site? Then it’s guaranteed that you know that creative writing is my lifelong fixation.
The techniques that I have learnt from creative writing via studying and applying the art are, thankfully, transferrable to my copywriting and professional writing career, which is a boon, as creative writing feels as if it’s some kind of special magic that I am privy to.
Here are a number of practices that were developed from my creative writing that I now regularly apply to my client writing.
I have learnt a lot about the art of storytelling and how that can be applied to copywriting. Copy needs a beginning, middle and an end and it’s critical that when I put something out into the world, whether it be via this blog, one of my other sites, as part of social media marketing or for my clients (especially for my clients) that I hook the reader (that’s you) in from the absolute start. For an extra challenge, I have to keep them hooked in along the entire journey of the piece until the end. And then… the end isn’t even the end. From there the reader must take action.
Openings, first sentences, headings, first chapters… these are all make or break. I spend the most time on these important factors because without an intriguing hook or heading and emotional connection, you’ve already lost the audience before you’ve begun. And people always “buy” emotion.
Tip: if you’re about to write something, put down three headings: beginning, middle and end and then flesh out appropriately.
I am a walking thesaurus! I have learnt a lot of new words that are out of the ordinary vernacular and that adds flavour to writing. There is, however, a precarious balance between writing “too clever” (to the point of repulsion) and peppering interesting words into the mix.
The draft is just that! It’s a draft and it’s vital that I do not to get too hung up on the shape of that draft because the end result is often much different, smoother and has much more intention and clarity than the random jotting of notes that it begins its life as.
Writing inspiration can evolve from anywhere. Often inspiration comes from the smallest and seemingly tiniest thing such as a picture, a leaf I see outside my house or it could be erratic noise (I once wrote a short story inspired entirely from a constant beeping noise I heard from a neighbour). All it takes is one little spark and then an avalanche of ideas and inspiration come together. Mining inspiration is not the tricky part for me, it’s the refining of the ideas and sifting through the possibilities to choose the right one to pursue and develop.
I have learnt that the Pomodoro Technique is your absolute best friend when writing. If you can trick your mind that you are merely writing for half an hour to forty five minutes and that all you need to do is get words on the page then something miraculous happens and it starts to unleash a tiny bit of genius and immense productivity. If you tell yourself that you have to write a website or an ebook or other big projects then your mind freezes up with overwhelm. Give the Pomodoro Technique a go!
'... all you need to do is get words on the page then something miraculous happens and it starts to unleash a tiny bit of genius and immense productivity.'
I have learnt that just because I clearly understand and visualise imagery and concepts in my mind and there’s a wonderful imaginative world that exists in my head, certainly doesn’t mean that other people (or in fact, anyone) is on the same page. This means that I have to really choose the correct word every single time and pen (I mean… type) a description and vision as clearly as possible so that I can invite other people to get a glimpse of this incredible world within and conceive the scenario as I intend. I focus on the details and setting up the scene very determinedly so that the reader will automatically put themselves in the scenario without much effort and so they are willing to follow the journey.
Pointing out the extraordinary in the ordinary is a great way to do this.
Perfect the piece
One of the steps that can never be skipped, no matter how tempting is the final copy stage. I practice editing and proofreading over and over again until it drives me a bit batty. Each piece of writing is privy to at least three “read throughs” and edits. My final read through is read out aloud as this helps pick up inconsistencies that I may not have noticed on the screen. My neighbours must be curious why I’m always talking to myself!
To save time, I use Grammarly to help me identify any glaring errors in syntax, spelling and grammar. It’s worth upgrading to a premium account for advanced checking, suggestions and a plagiarism detector.
A lesson which has helped me become a better writer and, perhaps more importantly, a better business person is that the clients’ writing, product, service or company is not about me and what I want. It’s about a very specific demographic which the client has identified and researched and who I write specifically to, almost as if I they were in the room and I am talking directly to them.
The art of planning
Just like any wise person would do (not always me) planning is one of those time saving techniques over the long term is laying out a meticulous plan before commencing writing. This helps with productivity, despite the initial outlay of time. Devising a set of templates, even as basic headings, helps me know where I’m writing to and what gaps need filling.
Start broad and pare back
Let the imagination and writing flow stream wild and free and unfettered in the initial drafting or note taking process. Go as wide and bold as you possibly can, to the point where it feels uncomfortable and you blush as you commit it to paper, knowing that you’d be embarrassed if someone read it in its raw form. Only once you have dumped the grandest of concepts and meandering storylines can you taper it back and edit it to become cohesive, clear and share main palatable points that your reader will want to absorb. If you’re like me, you’ll find it much easier to “calm the farm” in your outrageous ideas than to stretch a watered down, half formed concept into something that is worth publishing.
Not everything has to be shared on the page at once. As you eek out your writing from one seed of an idea, you may discover many estuaries start to form. A novice writer will be desperate to get across every smart thought they have, which may confuse and addle your customer and your writing will lose its effectiveness. Pluck out your main ideas and stick to a consistent theme or niche (for example, I’ve focussed on copywriting, marketing, SEO etc) and keep a record or file of all your other ideas, knowing they will find their place in your writing, website, blog or work at some point in time and if they don’t… che sera!
And as with most things the more you do and the more you learn about it, the better it will improve.
'Not everything has to be shared on the page at once.'
You probably have a website or blog and are wondering how to increase your followers or website traffic, as we've looked at here, your website is the hub of your communications.
My website is currently averaging around 12 000 views per month, which is exponentially growing each month. But it’s not just the amount of views and their growth that are important, it’s the good quality of leads– I get nearly 40% of my potential clients from organic searches who discover my website. And ZERO potential clients come to me before checking out my website.
Unfortunately, I lost most of my website data prior to September last year but I know it’s generously increased and my next six months will see a focus on increasing it even more. I’ll be sure to let you know the results.
Here are some of the basic strategies and fundamental ways that I increased my website traffic during 2017 that you can easily replicate.
I started answering questions on Quora, which is an online community where people answer one anothers’ questions on any topic.
Answering topic specific questions on Quora is fun, engaging and although it doesn't involve most of my direct corporate clientele (some copyediting quotes and potential leads have come from there, however) it has increased site views particularly to relevant blog posts. And as we are well versed by now, if more people visit your site, Google is going to recognise that it is a site of value.
I constantly and consistently proactively market myself on social media. Mainly because I really enjoy it. I will absolutely concede that my socials could be done better in terms of aesthetic and branding but I consistently have lots of high quality content to share that I create.
Social media brings in nearly 40 per cent of my traffic and nearly 80 per cent of that comes from Facebook (page and personal profile), followed by LinkedIn at 10.49 per cent.
I have nearly six hundred email subscribers that I send out a enews every few weeks, sometimes once a week when I have a special or discount or there has been an important social media announcement that I need to share. I am unsatisfied with this number of subscribers so will be devoting time in 2018 to increasing this number to at least 3000. I should probably take some of my own advice over at my increasing your enews subscribers.
Email marketing is still an effective way of bringing readers back to your blog or website as well as to creating and maintain a subscriber list. Having your own email marketing list is important because you can sell your products and services directly to your list. By using an auto responder or automated email marketing (which most platforms have), you can send emails to your list every time you post new content or have special offers or announcements.
If you want to sign up to my database, please do so here.
I hired a SEO consultant for some one on one training to amplify my site and increase leads a year ago. Within THREE DAYS (I am being literal and not exaggerating) my website ranked from second page to third place (in Australia) for some of my chosen keywords which included:
This was not magic, it did take a lot of work but the payoffs were more than worth it. During the past year, nearly 40 per cent of the people I have sent copywriting quotes to have found my website via Google.
Nearly 40 per cent of the people I have sent copywriting quotes to have found me via Google.
I wrote a lot of content in line with my SEO strategy. I have at least a hundred posts currently, which is easy for me to do as this is what I do for a living. My content articles are filled with practical information, advice and backed up by statistics, quotes and are linked to other resources. My aim is that anyone (even from a non marketing background) can read one of my articles and get genuine takeaways that they can do straight away that improves their marketing.
It’s important to me to have high quality posts that aren’t just regurgitating what other people have said.
I advertised in a business magazine in July and received no known leads from that and I was featured in a glossy magazine late last year, again no known leads. Whilst I do genuinely think traditional PR and media coverage is terrific for your brand and really useful for generating sales for a lot of businesses (industry dependent), it hasn’t proved fruitful in meeting my objectives this year.
If you want more website traffic, take a look at my content writing strategy.
Do you run your own business and want to set yourself apart from your competitors? Do you want your future clients to see you as leading the way? Then it’s time to consider positioning your business, yourself and your services as industry leaders.
Have you always fancied yourself to be a thought leader or subject matter expert but not quite ready to do that TED talk? Then here is a way to make that happen. This, by no means, may be easy and you will need to invest in professional support but the rewards will be endless, particularly if you are enthusiastic to grow your business.
‘Thought leaders are the informed opinion leaders and the go-to people in their field of expertise. They are trusted sources who move and inspire people with innovative ideas; turn ideas into reality, and know and show how to replicate their success,' Thought Leadership Lab.
Below I’ve outlined a three phase plan for your marketing to ensure you are positioning yourself as either a thought leader, subject matter expert or your company is the “go to” in your industry.
Phase one: client case studies
I have broken this phase down into four simple steps.
Collate and collect the data to write up some impressive client case studies. You can use my case study template here.
Write and edit the case studies so they read well and contain the right storytelling element. My recommendation is to start with three to six. Make sure they feature on a dedicated page on your website, where people can find them. If you work with clients in various sectors, be sure to capture a range of ways you have successfully helped clients.
Pluck out testimonials from the case studies to splash across your website and design graphics to use across your social media channels. Remember: people love social proof.
Share your case studies far and wide. Include them in any tender material, quote and award submissions, digital marketing strategies and talk about them when you meet people.
Phase two: annual content strategy
Devise a complete annual or six month content strategy, tailored specifically for the needs and goals of your business.
Your twelve month content marketing strategy will provide overarching content goals, themes, ways to implement marketing activities to support the reach and promotion of the content and the content will be in alignment with SEO research and other analytical research to meet business goals and objectives in align with your overall strategic business plan.
A great content marketing strategy will undertake an audit and look at and review the existing and potential challenges and provide practical recommendations to overcome them. Try using this content strategy template.
Don’t forget to include your target demographic in your strategy. Find out how to keep your content fresh here.
If you have a book or an ebook or are planning to write one this is the perfect phase to include it in and start promoting it. Here’s why you should write (or get someone to ghost write) a book if you are an entrepreneur.
Phase three: public relations campaign
The third phase focusses on spreading your message far and wide via the media. Having a third party confirm your leadership, especially the media, boosts your credibility and encourages people to believe that you are as you say you are.
A traditional statewide and national public relations campaign to position the business owner or senior executives as thought leaders and industry experts, whilst concurrently positioning your organisation as the “go to” business for the core services that you offer. If you service overseas clients, you might like to consider an international public relations campaign too.
So that’s your three phase plan to position your business as experts in your field and make sure that when people think of your industry, your brand name is at the forefront of your mind. Drop any questions in the comments below!
It's a Jones-iversary!
The 31 October was exactly a year since I took the plunge and made my copywriting business, Jones the Writer, fulltime (after playing with it on the side for more than six years). Happy Jones day (and Halloween) to me!
I was working in a job that was near perfect for me. I was surrounded by writers all day, I worked in marketing in a role that I partially created to suit my strengths, it was a fun role, a relaxed and flexible working environment and everyone supported my writing because that was the aim of the organisation. o leaving was not only a huge risk but a confusing time.
I didn't really know if it was the right decision for me but I felt so compelled to and my client load just kept increasing, so a lot of it made sense. One evening I encouraged myself to make a firm decision and I asked the beach I was walking on to tell me what I should do and a dolphin literally shot up out of the water and tumbled forward. So that was a sign enough for me!
And here I am a year later, working with some of the most impressive brands including Alisa and Lysandra, Australian Institute of Business, Southern Cross Care, Rivergum Homes, Flinders University and so many more!
I want my next twelve months to be similar and I want my clients to have a lot of success. I also want to finish writing my second novel. Here... we... go!
In other exciting news, I have launched another creative project about my one true love: TELEVISION. Take a look at She Watched here.
Putting a case study on your website is such a valuable thing to do. As we've looked at, social proof is a powerful technique to help get new clients and customers over the line.
Case studies help potential clients put themselves in the place of your existing clients and visualise how you can successfully help them overcome similar challenges with your product or service. Here are five reasons why case studies should be on your website.
To make your life easier, I have created a useful case study template which you can download and fill in to help you write the perfect case study to tell the story of client success!
Don't forget to include a glowing testimonial. Here's an example of a case study that I have written for a client.
You may also like... How to make the most of your LinkedIn profile
Three years ago, Jen Evison of Jennifer Evison Consulting, took it upon herself to see that Adelaide’s social media community were armed with the same developmental opportunities that the rest of the world were privy to. So she implemented Adelaide’s own social media marketing day, alongside Rubina Carlson and Ryan Jones, a full day of insightful and educational seminars specifically to educate those working in the industry in a consulting or inhouse capacity.
True to form, it’s known as #SMDayADL and this year saw a crowd of not only high calibre but dedicated industry professionals, fill the Bradley Forum in the Hawke Building at UniSA on 28 July 2017.
The program consisted of the following industry leaders:
There was a significant amount of information imparted and it’s well worth the day spent away from the desk and in a room filled with fellow hashtaggers.
'A point of view can be a dangerous luxury when substituted for insight and understanding,' Marshall McLuhan, Canadian Communications Professor.
Fantastic Metrics and Where to Find Them with Erica Stacey
Erica is a self confessed analytics nerd. And we wouldn’t have her any other way. Her enthusiasm for great reporting is infectious and every time I hear her speak, I feel the urge to up my reporting game. Whilst Erica had A LOT of information to share, some of the key takeaways I found pertinent include:
Why we must be doing thorough reporting
Reporting not only avoids assumptions and justifies our roles as marketers and industry professionals but importantly it really drives strategy and validates each and every marketing activity that we undertake. Reporting is fundamental to better results; how else do we know where to point if we don’t know where we are?
‘I never guess. It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts,' Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes.
Whilst your clients or organisation may have quite broad and common goals as part of the overall marketing and business plan (which might look like brand awareness, brand loyalty, increase enquiries and increase sales), it’s worthwhile incorporating some really specific goals to hang your marketing activities on. Examples of specific goals might include, reaching a totally new demographic or 5% sales increase over three months in a new city etc. When you identify your specific goals, you know exactly what marketing activities to implement and save money and time from using a scattergun approach and hoping for the best.
Make tracking specific to your strategy
Once you have got your data tracking in place you may like to incorporate your specific minimum metrics that you keep an eye on. This could include:
Reporting this to your clients or managers/employers will demonstrate that you are measuring more than just vanity metrics and that the real value comes from interpreting what they mean and what actions you should take.
Erica’s cheat sheet advice card:
Influencers with Hayley Kroon
Following Erica, Hayley Kroon, Social Media Manager from KWP, one of Adelaide’s leading marketing agencies, offered us a valuable overview of social media influencers.
'An influencer is someone who has a substantial following and can command an audience. They have specialized knowledge about a certain subject. They are all experts at building a brand,’ Agnes Kozera, cofounder of FameBit, an influencer-marketing platform.
Identify and start connecting to your influencers as early on in the piece as you can. This will require some degree of foresight and long term planning as you engage with influencer types well before you require them for a campaign or activity, so that you are not approaching them cold. Build a relationship as early as possible. Comment, create conversation and lay the groundwork for when you do reach out to them, even if you think you might not.
It’s beneficial to use an influencer to amplify any existing sponsorships or partnerships and sharing the message.
What is important to look for when thinking about using an influencer?
The engagement from followers and online audience needs to be relative, not only to their content and branding but also your campaign and branding. Their engagement should be organic and varied and there should be significant new engagement which is evidence that their audience is growing and hasn’t been paid for.
Quality of followers
Bots are of no use to anyone when it comes to end sales, so make sure their followers are actual people that you can cross promote to. Use SocialBlade to help you ascertain whether someone’s audience is real and interactive.
Quality of content
Think about whether their content is something that you would like to align to your brand. Check out their main topics, relevancy, industry and suitability of their content. Check for language they use, events they attend, values they hold, other brands they have shared or talked about.
Don’t forget the important obligation that as of 1 March this year, influencers must reveal where their posts and placements are sponsored. Check out the AANA guidelines for influencers and brands that use influencers here.
Planning Your Social Media with Jen Evison
(undertaking Paul Goodsell’s presentation due to illness)
Jen stole the show with her caffeine fuelled effervesce and natural enthusiasm for the digital space was contagious.
She reminded us that rather than creating content for content’s sake (which can be frustrating, time consuming and exhausting), it’s crucial to discover— and do the necessary research— your customers’ pain points and then address them via content.
Social media is the cheapest form of advertising as opposed to direct mail, television, radio and print advertising in terms of reach. The cost for 1000 users is $2.50 whereas avenues such as direct mail is $57 for 1000 users (via Lyfe). In terms of ROI, social media is low cost and effective and should be a key consideration in your advertising strategy.
Content Hacks, Apps and Tools with Ryan Jones
In a very short amount of time, Ryan let us in on some industry secrets, apps and platforms that makes our jobs as a social media managers much, much easier. Since we’re constantly against the clock with the need to produce and disseminate content within a microsecond, some of these tools are handy for “on the go” content. He also shared with us some helpful tips on how to do great live content (hint: it’s all about great lighting!)
Make your images and quotes pop:
Whip together a quick video on the go:
More to play with:
Q and A with Mal Chia
After a fascinating insight into Mal’s time with Uber and the PR crisis that no one could have predicted during the time of the Sydney siege, Mal gave us some no nonsense advice on running your social media channels.
He reminded us of the rule of reciprocity and that social media is very much a two way street with genuine opportunity to humanise your brand and communication channels. This is particularly useful when communicating in times of crisis. Use empathy and a more human (as opposed to corporate) response to convey urgent and crucial messages during these intense and highly charged times.
Understanding your audiences is the key to social media success and targeting everyone simply does not work. Ensure you define and narrow your target audience to suit your niche and speak directly to them. Really invest time in those people who do care about your brand, not those that don’t.
Finally, test, analyse and optimise. Magic words!
‘It’s really f*cking time consuming to do it right, which is why so many people don’t do it right,' Mal Chia.
Social Media and the Law with Paul Gordon
If you’ve never heard Paul speak and you work in communications, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Paul is an Adelaide lawyer known to work closely with social media marketers and has specialised knowledge in the industry. Due to the newness of the industry, there are not many “Pauls” around and we are extra lucky that he is unendingly generous with this time and knowledge.
Copyright infringement can occur via social media livestreaming and most of the time, regramming through Instagram is contravening Copyright. Instagram has even stated this in their terms and conditions. To avoid this, you need to seek explicit written permission from the content creator or create your own content. The bad news? Yes, all memes not made by you are infringing copyright.
You’re generally okay with re-sharing content on Facebook and Twitter as they have inbuilt functions for sharing. If you’re unsure – just make your own content!
NB: obviously this is not legal advice, silly. But Paul is very approachable and knowledgeable, so don’t hesitate to get in touch if you need some legal help.
Feel like you missed out on a whole lot of job saving information? You probably did. Nevermind, there’s always next year! See you there.
'As a solo business owner, you often face stress alone. Here are seven techniques to help you master that stress when things get tense. '
Check out my article on Flying Solo that includes tips and techniques to stay calm when it comes to stress in business.
Let me know what you think below!
You may also like... What is mindfulness?
'Australia’s housing prices rose as much as 10.7 per cent over 2016 and are predicted to hike up an average of five per cent over 2017. Despite that, many homeowning retirees are still...'
Read more of my article on WYZA.
You may also like... 7 ways to be the calmest person you know.