I may be a little late to the podcasting craze, but I’m hooked. I recently got a new phone because mine jumped off a cliff (figuratively, not literally). When I got my fancy-dancy new phone, I got a free pair of Beats Wireless headphones (sadly, not sponsored!). New gadgets = revolutionized morning routine.
The truth of the matter is that some of us started blogging because someone told us we had to, and others started because they wanted to talk about their products and services. But those are not the right reasons to blog.
Watch our most recent video clip and learn about the top three blogging mistakes we encourage you not to make! Businesses who make these three mistakes are simply adding to the mountains of irrelevant content online and disappointing their customers by not offering the solutions they so desperately want.
What’s your home page saying about you? As the most viewed page on your website, your homepage should leave your audience intrigued and informed. What they should not be is bored, confused, or unsatisfied. If you don’t capture your current and potential customers’ attention quickly, they will leave. Seems like common knowledge, and yet, we come across poorly executed homepages every day!
What you include on your homepage sends your audience a message about what you think is most important for them to know, your approach to customer relationships, and why they should do business with you. Your homepage should direct your audience to where they should go next on your website and how they can get more information.
Your homepage is your 24/7 sales tool. Don’t screw it up.
Love it or hate it, blogging is here to stay. Every week I meet business owners who ask me about whether or not they should be blogging. Most times, my answer is yes, but under one condition.
Don’t be a dummy.
Okay, that may not be quite what I say, but if you’re going to write a blog you need to follow some house-rules. The rules aren’t complicated, in fact, they aren’t too different from what your 7th grade English teacher taught you in regards to writing a paper.
Awhile back, we made this blog writing checklist for a training session we did with one of our clients. This checklist is a quick and easy way to make sure you cover all the bases before you publish your blog post. Use this checklist as you get started writing and before you know it, blog writing will become second nature.
If you published a powerful piece of content without your name on it, would your customers know it is from you? If you're not sure, you've got some work to do.
One of the most important things you can do when it comes to marketing is to create a business voice that stands out and is easy to connect with. Remember, we've gotten away from just selling our products through content and are now focused on producing value and telling stories. To do this effectively you must create a style and tone for your business that can be used across all platforms and documents.
Remember, your customers probably won’t acknowledge that you have a set style in place because they will be too caught up in effortlessly reading your content (and that is what you want!). And often, if they do notice your writing style and tone it's when something is off and your cadence/approach/perspective doesn't match what they are familiar with.
Let's dig into why you need to establish your business voice (more specifically, your writing style and tone) sooner than later and lay out exactly how you're going to do that.
When it comes to blogging, one crucial and often, overlooked aspects of blogging is finding the time to do it! The idea of having a thriving, popular blog sounds fantastic, but making it happen is another story. You may have a plethora of blog topics you want to publish, but it’s tricky to find the time to blog when you have a hectic schedule.
Today, I will give you tips that can help you thoughtfully plan your time and dismiss the overwhelming stresses, so you can bring your blog ideas to life.
Does your business send a newsletter to its customers? Or have you been thinking about starting a newsletter but don’t know where to begin? The debate of whether to send a newsletter or not is a common one.
The biggest challenge is the thought of writing something your customers may or may not read. No one wants to “waste time” on something that isn’t guaranteed to be profitable. And while many companies are doing newsletters completely wrong, there are a few things you can do to improve the readability of your content and utilize a newsletter to your business’s advantage.
Content developers and website designers go hand-in-hand. Whether your website designer is building you a brand new website, or if you’re going through a website refresh, it’s important that your website tells your story. So what does your web designer really want from you? Content.
When it comes to website content, we’re talking more than simply text and pictures. For Klimb Creative, we want to know the nitty gritty details so we know how to build and structure your website. Here are a few basic elements we want to know:
While you may not want to accept the fact that your brochures are a bit boring and ugly, don’t be too discouraged. You don’t need to be a professional designer in order to create a polished piece. However, before you go all DIY crazy, there are 5 major mistakes you need to avoid.
We are excited to welcome back our guest bloggers content strategist, Allison Spooner and tech enthusiast, Jesse Flores. In today’s blog post, they will explain the steps your business should take to create a customer persona. This is an important step to take to not only improve your business and marketing strategies, but to also truly get in touch with your customers needs.
We are confident Allison and Jesse will help you master the process of creating the perfect persona for your business! Read on!
Are you still debating whether or not your business should have a blog? We think it’s time to make up your mind - and to start blogging!
Maybe you’re hesitant to start a blog because you think “No one will read it,” or “I have nothing to say…” Don’t worry, you’re not alone in this thinking. But you are wrong! We are fairly certain that you have a lot to share in your realm of expertise - and trust us, if it is unique, valuable content, people will read it!
Before I started working for Rough Draft Solutions, I had written one… maybe two blog posts ever. Now, I write one or two posts per week! Turning a blank screen into a page filled with high-quality, appealing, and informative content hasn’t been easy, but it has been beneficial to RDS, our clients, and myself as a professional.
After writing blogs on a consistent basis for almost a year, I have learned A TON about blogging. In part 1 of Business Blogging , I will cover the 6 things your company is missing out on by not blogging and what you need to do to get started. Writing blog posts consistently is not always an easy thing to do, but the benefits blogging brings to a business makes it worth it.
Owning a business can offer the most rewarding and most stressful experiences of your life - sometimes all in the same day! There are days where you ask yourself, why did I wait so long to do this?! And others, where you wonder, what in the world was I thinking?! The beauty of business ownership is that it is a constant learning experience, and you have the power to make the experience what you want. You have the ability to positively influence others, to make a difference for your customers, and ultimately, make your dream job a reality.
While I am all about positivity and looking on the bright side, I also value being frank and realistic. I thought it may be helpful for other entrepreneurs or aspiring business owners to hear a peer’s perspective on the good, the bad, and the ugly of owning a business. Hopefully, we can lift one another up and remember that the hard days aren’t so bad, and the good days are worth working for!
Building an effective social media strategy is far from a cakewalk. When you’re challenged to navigate confusing algorithms and develop engaging content, you’d be crazy trying to tackle it alone. You need someone (or something!) to keep you accountable, to make you look good, and to keep you on track.
Here is a list of tools to help you build your team and begin streamlining your social strategy.
Turning a blank page into a piece of engaging and sophisticated content is a tough task. There are some days where the amount of creativity spilling out of you is utterly ridiculous, and your swift typing fingers can hardly keep up with your ideas. And then there are days where you can’t seem to think of a solid concept, let alone write it down.
Being a writer for Rough Draft Solutions has been so much fun and such a blessing, but believe me - there are days where writer’s block gets the best of me, and I stare at my laptop for probably way too long. Every writer experiences writer’s block at some point, and each person handles it differently.
Before throwing in the towel or overstressing and freaking out that you can’t get over your writer’s block, here are some tips on ways you can cope, manage, and beat writer’s block when writing for your business. Some methods may work for you and some may not, but there are plenty of different efforts you can try to beat writer’s block and make creativity your friend again.
I know your secret… You don’t have a marketing department, and you’re kind of embarrassed about it.
It’s okay, I promise. You’re not alone. In fact, there are more businesses than you can imagine that don’t have a marketing department. These include businesses that employ as few as five people and companies with more than 500. And it’s not necessarily because they don’t want to have a marketing team. It’s simply a result of not having the resources to put one in place, not realizing the need, or more commonly, not realizing the opportunities you’re missing.
As a social media manager, my creative work is subject to be judged by an entire online community who will either love it, ignore it, or reject it (I’m stiiiill trying to decide which of the last two is worse). Being emotionally attached to my work, I became increasingly discouraged when carefully thought-out posts performed poorly. However, taking this rejection personally wasn’t doing much to advance my strategy, and over time I’ve come to no longer fear flopped posts and failed strategies.
Since grade school, we are taught to use “Well” instead of “Good,” “I’ instead of “Me,” and “May I” instead of “Can I.” When people correct us, does our grammar become perfect? Do we implement everything we’ve ever been corrected on? No, of course not.
As a young 8-year-old, I was a patient student and a sharp listener. While my classmates were fond of math and science, I was focused on perfecting every spelling test and became fascinated by the new world of commas. My class fell silent when we discussed grammar and spelling, but I was always eager to show off my knowledge. The teacher would finally ask, “Emily, where should the comma go?” “Before the conjunction,” I would say, keeping my reserved character, of course, so my friends wouldn’t think I was annoying.
Do you ever feel like you’ve lost your voice? That somehow in the rush of it all, you’ve lost track of your unique ideas, opinions, or perspective? As a small business owner, a writer, and a consultant, I feel like somewhere along the way I got so caught up in “building a business” that I forgot that at the heart and soul of this business was one single person…. Me.
Uffda. Losing your voice as a writer is a hard thing to admit, but I think it is important that I do. To take ownership of Rough Draft Solutions, to get back on my own two feet, and to feel proud of what I am doing, I have some owning-up to do.
Tunnel vision, messy desks, overbooked schedules… Does that sound familiar as a business owner? Since starting my business I’ve found that I rarely have time to reflect on the whole journey. Because if I’m not working, I’m not making money, right?
But we all know the importance of reflection. So when 2nd Brain Collective reached out and asked if they could interview me on my experiences as a business owner and the world of marketing, I eagerly agreed. There have been many highs and lows in this experience, and I figured there wasn't a better time than now to take stock of the last two years. This new podcast is all about business and marketing in the digital age. Thanks 2BC for having me!
I highly encourage you to listen to the podcast (and all of the other interesting 2BC interviews!). I promise you'll learn something new about RDS and may even laugh. ;) And if you'd like, keep reading to discover more about how I started Rough Draft Solutions.
Before I get into the nitty gritty of this post, I have an important question for you.
Do you have a personal brand?
If you answered yes, great! Keep reading, I have included several powerful tools for you to ramp up your brand!
If you answered, no, I’ve got some earth-shattering news for you. You already have a brand, whether you know it or not. And if you aren’t actively managing it, your brand is most likely working against you, instead of for you. I know, I know. You don’t need one more thing to add to your to-do list. But trust me, personal branding needs to be on your list. If it isn’t, you could quickly lose control of your personal and professional identities and find yourself in the category of wishy-washy has-been.