Why you need to avoid tenuous links in your messages

TenuousWhy storytelling is one of the biggest skills you need to progress your business.-7 links suck in messages.  Like really suck. If you’re writing a message about your kids and then randomly connecting that story to why someone should work with you or a tip you want to share, makes your message really confusing.

First. This is not about whether you include your family or any other subject in your messages. Because I do that.  All the time.

It’s about making sure that when you’re writing about something it genuinely connects to the real message you want your audience to hear.

I’ve seen a tonne of messages recently where I read and think wtf?

It’s a nice story but how on earth does that make a difference to my eating habits/niche/ideal client/fitness/mindset. Which is kind of what you wanted to talk about.

All it’s done is make me read your message three times and I still don’t get it (and that’s me being nice as most people will just scroll passed).  I don’t get what you want me to know. It doesn’t make me want to comment or find out more about you. And that’s a damn shame because you may have exactly what I want and need right now.

To write a message that is engaging, that connects, that positions you as the expert is damn important because it helps people see who you really are.   Through building these emotional connections, trust and subsequent deep relationships you can easily attract clients. Connecting all parts of your message, without tenuous links, but natural progression, so that your audience gets it and gets you really is the best and only way to write.

 

So cut the tenuous links – tell your message so that it flows and connects, fueled with passion and emotion. I think you’ll be surprised by the difference you receive!

Why you should stop selling and start talking to attract paying clients

 

Why storytelling is one of the biggest skills you need to progress your business.-8It’s perfectly possible to attract paying clients without a hard sell.

There is a way of adding value through content and messaging in order to build a great relationship, to build trust and connections.  They find out who you are as a person, they get to see your authentic self.  You create these high level connections so people will want to work with you.

Our audience is going on a journey.  Think about going and buying a car.  You do research, you look at different brands and models.  You think about what is it you want in a car and who can provide you with the right car for your needs, wants, desires.  You may have been triggered by an advert or a change in your circumstances.

The same process can be translated for us, as online service based entrepreneurs.  Everyone one our ideal clients is going on a journey.  In the very first stage they may have only just recognised they need ‘X’, or it could be that they haven’t yet recognised they need it.  At this point they are never going to stick their hands in their pockets and pull out cash and purchase.  They need to understand why.  They need to understand how you have experienced the same, they need to emotionally connect with you to understand that you are the expert.  And at this stage it is all about awareness. You are making them aware that they’re not on their own and that you are the expert in ‘X’, and you do it through your story, your authentic messages that talk to them and connect.

You then build on that intrigue – they want to know more and you provide this by continuing to add value.  To consistently show up with help, advise and support.  They see you and connect with you. They’ve gone from being aware to engaged.  This is what you may know as a warm lead or a prospect.

And the more value you add, the greater the connections, the warmer that lead.  And at that point and only that point, you promote your offer.  You talk about your packages.  And these warm, engaged, intrigued prospects are an instant ‘yes’.

But remember.  Your prospects will be at different stages of this buying journey.  So your messages need to cover the full spectrum or aware – engage – promote. So that you’re always reaching out to them at the right point.

And what’s even better about this is that you don’t ever have to have those icky conversations where you ask for the sale.  You don’t have to ask them to sign on that dotted line.  That awkward, uncomfortable silence doesn’t exist because your conversations with them are just them asking how they join, how they sign up, how they get started.

Because you’ve spoken to their desires, wants, needs and aspirations in the right way at the right time.  They have connected with you, they  know you are the expert.  They can’t and won’t work with anyone else, but you.

So stop selling and start talking. And attract clients easily.

 

 

 

 

 

Why I give you permission to forget grammar

Why storytelling is one of the biggest skills you need to progress your business.-6When I was 11 I really struggled with words that sound similar but are written differently and have a different meaning … you know your/you’re; too/to/two; by/buy/bye etc. My dad would spend hours trying to teach me the right way but I just couldn’t get it.  My homework would still come home corrected. Corrected but with comments such as ‘Becky has grasped the meaning perfectly‘ and ‘Becky has told this in a way that really stands out‘.

So here’s the thing. It does not matter if you make mistakes in your messages (unless maybe you’re selling a copywriting service) Why? Because your ideal client will be noticing the deeper meaning to your message.  And to be frank, if they do notice and it bugs them – who cares. They’re not your ideal client anyway.

And that’s coming from someone who went from making those mistakes to working in marketing and communications for 16 years.

Don’t get hung up on being grammatically correct get hung up on whether your message is connecting you with your audience.  Write your messages from the heart, full of passion and emotion. That’s what will get you noticed. Not if you write it grammatically correct!

 

 

5 ways to find inspiration to write messages that sell

Why storytelling is one of the biggest skills you need to progress your business.-5You’ve just checked your daily planner and it screams at you ‘it’s time to write a blog/email/ newsletter/post…’.  And so you grab your pen and your notebook (or if you’re new school, your tablet or laptop) and you sit down pen poised, fingers ready and nothing happens. Your mind goes blank.  And the next time your brain clicks in you’re watching kittens do the funniest things on YouTube.

And as the sun sets and you realize that you actually have to get something out as you’ve not published anything ages.  So you quickly throw a few words on a page, fumble your way through and hit publish.  With fingers, toes and everything crossed in the hope that, just this once, you get noticed.

 

How many times have you done this? Hand on heart. Honestly?

I know I am not the only one that has. And yes sometimes finding the inspiration to write messages is hard.  But it’s also ridiculously important.  Because writing posts, blogs, newsletters or emails that grab your audience’s attention, that makes them feel an emotional connection is the only way you will get noticed.  It’s how you grow an engaged following.  A following who are waiting to work with you.

It’s not about being a natural writer.  It’s not about whether you are creative.  We all have the potential to write amazing messages that sell.  We just need to find the inspiration.

To help you, I have pulled together my top 5 ways to find exactly that.  Inspiration to write messages that sell.

  1. Why. Why. Why.

Before you start writing a thing you should be clear on why.  What are you trying to achieve with that message?  It should always come back to your purpose, your passion.  (But remember it’s never about you.  It’s always about what your ideal client wants, needs, aspires).  When we think about the why, we get fueled up with our passion which creates inspiration and that starts pouring out of us, onto paper, into videos.  And it is one of the easiest ways to find inspiration.

  1. Stay educated.

Spend time every day learning.  When we invest in learning (whether financially or with time), you will find information that triggers you.  And it doesn’t matter if you agree or disagree with the information because either way it will give you the inspiration to write your own version of your truth.  And it’s not about re-using other people’s material.  It’s about being triggered and voicing your opinion in your own unique and authentic way.

  1. Meditate – and always have pen and paper to hand

I actively encourage meditation as part of anyone’s writing process.  When we go into a mindful, meditative state (which is one where we are not thinking about the past or the future, we are just present in the moment) we are at our most open and receptive.  And when we are open and receptive we can find inspiration.  This is exactly why many people say their best ideas or biggest revelations come to them when they are in the shower.  Because when you’re in the shower, you tend to switch off.  In switching off your mind, you become mindful, open, receptive.

And it’s important to always have pen and paper to hand.  Because inspiration can come at any time.  When you’re in the shower, gym or out on a walk.  There are pens and bits of paper everywhere in my house, in my car, in jacket pockets.  So that when inspiration comes, I can scribble it down and then pin it to my board to come back to at a later date.

  1. Know your bodyclock.

Too often we look at tasks the wrong way round.  And when it comes to writing and creating content, whether that’s emails, blogs, social media posts or video, it’s really important to find the best time of day when you are motivated and inspired to write the most authentic, emotional, powerful messages.  To ensure that you reach directly into the emotions of your audience.

So if you’re working through your to do list and your next task is to write a blog and you’re just not feeling it.  It could be because the time isn’t right on your body clock.

Your body clock influences your ability to perform tasks throughout the day.  So it is really common to feel ebbs and flows in your energy levels.  It’s important to recognize when you’re at your energetic peak as this is when you should deal with any complex tasks.  You’re at your most alert.  For me, this is first thing in the morning.  So last night when I was asked to provide feedback on a highly complex, technical piece of copy I put it off till this morning.  Because last night I wouldn’t have given it 100%,  the time was wrong on my bodyclock.  Instead I did it this morning, at 7am, when I was at my most energetic. I was alert.

Creative tasks are really great to do when you experience a rise in energy, because as your energy levels rise it sparks creativity.  It’s so important to recognize how your energy levels flow in order to find the write time to create.

  1. Fight the fear

If you’re doing all of the above, but find you’re still struggling then you need to look deeper at why.

Not long ago, my husband, who’s a volunteer medical first responder got called out very early one morning.  I lay in bed thinking about all the content I needed to write.  And realised I was procrastinating.  I even convinced myself it would be better to go back to sleep.  But I forced myself to ask why.  It wasn’t in doing the task – because I love writing.  It was in whether my message was good enough.  Whether it was worthy of being told.  I was afraid of being judged, criticized, ignored.

So I meditated to get myself back to a neutral, balanced state.  I visualized myself on stage speaking to hundreds of people, all who were hanging off every word, as I was their expert.  And I journaled writing down my fear and everything I could think that disproved it.  These three thing, helped my find the inspiration I needed.  I ended up writing five blogs, which I was able to rework to provide me with over a month’s content across all channels.

There is no excuse to not find inspiration.  Writing content, writing authentic messages that position you as the expert, that speaks to your audience, to their exact needs, challenges, desires is the only way to build an engaged following.  And it makes converting clients easy.  So go and get inspired.  And put that pen to paper, fingers to keyboard and go…

 

 

 

 

Why knowing your ideal client is crucial in attracting paying clients

Why storytelling is one of the biggest skills you need to progress your business.-4Last Friday, I went to visit a good friend who is in the process of buying her own home.  My friend is a commuter, working in the city of London but wants to live outside of London.  Her biggest hobby is shopping.  She works to shop!  She doesn’t currently have a partner or children and her life is all about socialising, prosecco, dining out, her job and shopping!

There we are, flicking through these beautiful, glossy brochures showing perfectly finished homes in beautiful new build estates with well-kept gardens and grounds.  Whilst I am going ga ga over soft furnishings she spots one paragraph that grabs her attention like a flashing neon sign.

Included within the purchase price of a property with this particular builder, in this particular estate, they provide a complimentary shuttle bus between the estate and the train station and the local shopping centre (which just happens to be the biggest shopping centre in the south-east of England).

What would this mean for my friend? That she never has to worry about finding or paying for a parking space at the station ever again.  That she could enjoy long prosecco filled lunches whilst out shopping.  That she wouldn’t have to fight for a car parking space in the run up to Christmas.

Her eyes literally popped out of her head.  She was sold.

This weekend she went and reserved a house in that exact estate. For no other reason than the offer of that shuttle bus.  That company spoke to her exact needs, her exact wants.

Know your client inside out and back to front and then write your messages speaking to their exact needs, wants, challenges.  Because when you do, attracting paying clients is an absolute breeze.  A walk in the park.  As easy as pie.

5 things you need to do to build a following

Why storytelling is one of the biggest skills you need to progress your business.-2I remember sitting at my desk, with my dog at my feet.  I was finally a business owner.  Something I had longed to be for as long as… forever.  Owner of my own empire.

Although my business, this empire had no clients.  Not one, nada, zilch.

I would spend all day everyday sending out sales letters, emails, posting on social media.  I was networking. I was blogging, tweeting, pinning.  I had created a website.

I was spending money, lots of money, marketing and trying to build my business.  But I saw no return.

My social media posts were quiet.  My emails and letters went unanswered. At networking events I received polite nods and smiles.  I blended into the background.  I was beige in a sea of beige.  I clung to the hope that, given time, someone would hear me. Because I knew I could make a difference, I knew I could help if only someone would respond.  Someone would notice.

I was wrong.  No one heard. No one listened.  No one answered.  I had failed.

Actually, I hadn’t failed, all I had done was not listen to the advice I had given out over the past 16 years.  I thought I was being professional.  But actually I was being a cold, stark business woman.  I wasn’t authentic.  I wasn’t open.  My prospects, my ideal clients weren’t able to get close to me.  They weren’t able to get to know me or my capabilities.  And because of that they didn’t trust me.  They saw through me or just plain ignored my boring, emotionless posts.  They deleted my emails before the even read them.  They tuned out when I spoke.

I wasn’t captivating them with my story.  I wasn’t talking to them in a way that made them feel like they were the most important person in the world.  I wasn’t telling them I knew ho they felt and what they were thinking.

I was just… nothing.

And I longed to be their trusted adviser, the expert I knew I was inside.

So.  I started talking, properly.  Telling my story.  And when I talked and wrote to my ideal clients using words they understood, speaking to their exact needs, their questions, challenges – they listened.  They became intrigued.  They engaged and interacted, asking more from me.  They spoke to their family and friends and in some cases complete strangers about what I had written.  They helped me grow my following.  They trusted me as their adviser.

And they became my tribe, my supporters, my gang.  And all because I had captivated them with my story.  They got to know me and what I am capable of doing.  They were excited to hear what I had to say next.

I did not have a business until I had my story.

Now I sit here as a business owner.  Now I am building my empire.  Now I help female entrepreneurs who coach or mentor to find the confidence and capability to uncover your voice, write with clarity and tell your messages consistently and emotionally.  Because when you do this you speak to the exact needs and challenges of your ideal client, you become their expert and you grow an engaged and intrigued following who easily convert into paying clients.

I did it.  I have helped corporate business men and women do it for the last 16 years.  You can do it.  Are you ready to get started?  My five top tips….

  1. Get clear on your ideal client and their exact needs and challenges.
  2. Talk to them like they are the most important people in the world.
  3. Talk to them using words and values that they relate to.
  4. Give them value.
  5. Be emotional, be brave enough to be a little vulnerable and let them see the real you. Be authentic, be open, be honest.

At the end of the day it’s just words right?  But used in the right way, they can take you from nothing to being the expert you know you are.  To having an engaged following who convert.  Who trust you and turn to you for help.  And after all, that’s what we want right?

 

 

 

 

Why storytelling is one of the biggest skills you need to progress your business.

 

Why storytelling is one of the biggest skills you need to progress your business.If you want to get what you truly desire, which is a book full of your ideal clients, being known as an expert in your field and an income that supports the life you want to live, then you need to be able to tell your story.

Stories have a way of making us think and feel.  They stick in our minds and help us remember ideas and concepts in a way that numbers and text alone can’t.  But many of us have forgotten about or don’t recognise the real power of a good story and what it can do for our businesses.

To be successful we have to be able to not just throw out content, but create compelling stories.  With a compelling story you will build a following, a tribe.  Your ideal clients will resonate with you in a way that makes them feel you are talking directly to them and no-one else. It will help them understand that you are the expert and that you are the only person they can work with.  With a story you can inspire and motivate others; you can change the way someone thinks and feels.

There’s a native American proverb that says ‘Those who tell stories, rule the world’.  And one of my favourite entrepreneurs, Richard Branson, says ‘entrepreneurs who cannot tell a story, cannot be successful’.

They’re both, ultimately saying the same thing right?

If you truly want to succeed you have to be able to tell a story authentically.  Speaking to the desires and challenges of your reader. Don’t just push content and information out, pull your clients in with a story.