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Business

New website and personal brand launch for menopause guru Maryon Stewart

By | Business, Personal branding | No Comments

I’ve loved working with author (of 26 books!), menopause guru and coach Maryon Stewart. 

Maryon, a super well known health expert in the UK, wanted a new website to relaunch her personal brand following a few years off. Using her years of knowledge and expertise, Maryon coaches women in understanding the information, tools and techniques needed to get well, to the point that they are able to be completely symptom-free during menopause.

Our project involved visual branding, content editing and website build and Maryon is now one of the students in my Blogstar Academy.

If you want to watch someone build their profile and following with huge speed and total fearlessness, then I suggest you hop over to Maryon’s Facebook where, in less than 6 weeks, Maryon has embraced Facebook Live, has had half a million views on her videos and created a community called Midlife Switch with over 3000 members.

In the Blogstar Academy, we’re working on creating guest blogs for high profile websites as well as getting Maryon publicity (Ok so PR isn’t exactly blogging but if you want to be well known, you need PR!).

I absolutely love it when clients take action over everything else and that’s exactly what Maryon is doing, putting herself out there and spreading her message despite being new to this whole online world. 

Maryon plans to sell online courses and one-to-one coaching for women going through menopause, as well as have her own audience for when she publishes new books and launches new products, and it’s totally clear already that she’s going to be a huge success.

You can see Maryon’s new website here: www.maryonstewart.com

 

How to blog for business

By | Blogging, Business | No Comments

We live in a world in which content creation equals visibility – thanks to our new rulers, Google and the giant social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

And while sometimes they can seem like monsters that need feeding, what is absolutely the case is that when you feed the monster (and feed it in the right and a consistent way), your brand grows online.

It all starts on your blog, which lives on your website, because it is here that you are ultimately trying to bring people back to, and it’s this long form content that you can edit down into social posts that are both on message and get your message across.

  • Get your content type right.

The type of content you create is closely related to what you sell, but you are trying to educate, inform and entertain potential and new customers – and in a way that makes them know you, like you and trust you. A large proportion of your efforts should go in to ‘evergreen’ content. Most business owners focus on ‘live’ content because the pressure of an upcoming event they need to sell tickets for, or a new product launch, spurs them into action. Of course live content is important, but evergreen content that has value all year round and remains relevant for the long term is too because it can be repurposed and shared out multiple times (more on that later!)

  1. Take content seriously

Content-writing is not a job that can be delegated to a part-time PA or landed on the plate of an already busy employee. It requires thought – and a schedule. Even if you only publish once each week, the week can quickly roll round with the next blog post still not written. Make it someone’s responsibility.

  1. Think about what your customers are asking you…

And then write up the answer as a blog post. Their questions are the best source of inspiration all the time, but especially when you are starting out. Using these topics, you can also extend your thinking to include what you would like your customers to know about your business or understand about the industry you operate in.

  1. Use your industry news for inspiration

All industries have their own news, and you can use developments and happenings in your industry to inspire your blog posts, and make you appear like the industry leader you are. Try to be one of the first to offer your comment or opinion on major industry developments, suggestions as to how the industry as a whole can improve. Set up Google alerts for keywords that relate to your industry and use these news stories for inspiration.

  1. Write on themes that are wider than just your business

This year, the UK Blog Awards company category finalists included a huge variety of businesses using content in an inspiring and successful way. I loved the way the finalists were writing on themes wider than just what they offer which will make their content more engaging. Take this comment by finalist Cottages & Castles self catering cottages: ‘Our blog shows another, more personal, side to our self-catering letting business. We understand that going on holiday is about the whole experience – where you can go, what you can do and how you can get the most out of your visit. We have built a library of posts which share hints, tips, advice, and inspirational stories showing Scotland off as the fantastic holiday destination it is.’

  1. Set your expectations right

The downside today is that there is an ocean of content out there. You’re not going to get visibility overnight. It might take a year, even two years, to get the attention that you want. But each post increases traffic, and if you want to spread the word about what you do, creating useful useful valuable content really works. Your other option is an expensive PR or advertising campaign. Of course, they work too, and for maximum visibility you’d have both. The brilliance of content though is you can just get on and do it. No waiting for editors, for print runs, for space, for publication dates – and it’s usually the lowest cost option.

  1. Forget what you learned at school

Good skimmability involves short paragraphs of 3 – 4 sentences with the occasional one sentence paragraph for effect, subheads, interesting bullet lists and highlighting specific texts with block quotes.

  1. Rinse your content for all it is worth.

This means finding ways to repurpose and reuse the same piece of content again and again to get maximum value from it. For example, you might pull one or even five key quotes from a blog post, change them into ‘quotable’ images, and then edit the original post into different captions. Suddenly that one blog post has given birth to five different social updates. Step two of this is loading it into a social media scheduling tool that contains a library that circulates content out again and again in a never ending cycle (good examples are Meet Edgar and Sendible).

 

Sort it out and get online! (especially if you’re a tradesperson)

By | Business, Digital strategy | No Comments

I loved this research by Nominet, which I heard about thanks to the excellent blog at domain name provider extraordinaire, 123reg, about tradespeople, and whether or not it matters if they have a website.

I know we are not all plumbers and builders but there’s lessons to be learned here.

Because based on these figures, having a website and being online will give you a clear advantage over competitors who are not online.

And I want to make a call to any tradespeoples who read this to sort their sh*t out!

According to Nominet’s research, Britain’s tech-savvy tradespeople earn an extra £16k a year and get an additional 21 jobs.  

Isn’t that interesting?

The research also found that 85% of people looking for a tradesperson go online to research local businesses before deciding who to hire – yet over 320,000 tradespeople have yet to build their own website.

Want to know more of the stats?

First up, these groups of tradespeople are pretty tech savvy and benefitting from it:

Aerial/ Network Specialists: 81% are online and they generate an extra £6,000 in leads a year from being online

Bathroom Fitters: 77% are online and they generate an extra £2,416 in leads a year.

Security Specialists: 76% are online and they generate an extra £22,000 in leads a year.

Traditional Craftsmans: 73% are online and they generate an extra £24,000 in leads a year.

Electricians: 67% are online and they generate an extra £23,000 in leads a year from being online*

So hats off to you lot.

But, at the other end of the spectrum, these guys need to sign up to WordPress or 123reg.com website builder immediately!

Painter/ Decorator:  51% aren’t online and they would generate an extra £6,600.

Gardener/ Garden Designer: 49% aren’t online and they would generate an extra £5,700 in leads.

Cleaners: 48% aren’t online and they would generate an extra £6,000 in leads a year.

Plumber: 44% aren’t online and they would generate an extra £8,000 in leads.

Builder/ Carpenter/Joiner: 41% aren’t online and they would generate an extra £20,000 in leads.

Ladies and gents: get online!

 

How much of everything is about confidence: and why you need to ‘crack on’ regardless

By | Business | One Comment

On Saturday, I gave a talk in East London alongside parenting blogger Vicki Psarias (aka Honest Mum) about innovative ways to make money online.

We covered all sorts of routes to making money online, but what struck me most was that the real issue many people face isn’t so much about the ‘hows’ as to how to use the internet to generate income. They understand all the theories and different routes to do it.

In fact, the problem many face is the confidence to actually do it.

At one point during our Q&A, a guy stood up and told us a story about how he runs a popular Youtube channel in the camping/fatherhood niche (so he has a massive targeted audience) and has recently partnered with Bear Grylls.

Vicki and I heard the words ‘camping’ and ‘fatherhood’ and ‘Bear Grylls’ and immediately thought ‘OK, so if Bear Grylls wants to partner with this guy, then he’s doing something right, right.

But he hadn’t been paid and wanted to know why not

The problem was all about positioning and confidence: that of presenting himself as a serious entrepreneur rather than just a dad having a bit of fun with his Youtube channel, and of having the confidence to make it clear that this is a business and as such he must be paid.

I’m certain Bear Grylls’ team wouldn’t walk into the offices of a men’s magazine and expect them to hand over a free ad, and they probably would have happily paid this guy too had he presented himself as a serious media brand in the same way a traditional publisher does.

This isn’t just about the online blog and vlog stars who were in the audience that day

It’s about the confidence to do so many things in life, whether that is an online course, to stand up as an expert, to grab a piece of positioning, to promote oneself, to ring up a speaking agency, to pitch a book, to launch a product.

The theories of what needs to be done are understood by so many, but not everyone manages to sum up the confidence to do it. I’m as guilty of all of this myself!

Vicki summed it up perfectly

She and I have a new motto which is about cracking on.

“You’ve just got to crack on”

If you don’t have the confidence, pretend that you do.

If you want to do something but don’t feel brave enough, do it anyway.

If you’re scared something won’t work out, continue regardless.

Just fake the confidence, fake the positioning, fake the courage, take the next step and crack on.