Two sets of eyes on your business prize

Cheesy headline — I know!

It did grab your attention, right? Now is the time to grab your favorite writing tool or dictation app and do a brain dump.

What went well for your business this year? What areas need some love? What specific steps can you take to improve your business this year? Goal-setting, anyone?

To help with this process, I’m highly recommending a free download from Michael Hyatt. You can get this by visiting http://www.bestyearever.me

The free ebook is called:

Achieve What Matters in 2017: 8 Strategies Super-Successful People Are Using Now to Accomplish More This Year.

I hope to reread this before 2017 begins.  I have some huge goals this year. I may post a few of them just to hold my feet to the fire. Not today, though! This post is for you.

Suggested business goal number 1: Take a close look at your web copy and business marketing materials!

Everyone, every business needs a website! Just look around. Every handyman’s van, every delivery truck, every service vehicle almost without exception has a website listed on it. Just because you have one doesn’t mean it’s a good one, though.

Let’s run through a little checklist here:

~Is your unique business value as clear as a glass of purified water?

Short sentences. White space. Uncluttered webpage. Not a huge bunch of ads and affiliate links.

~Is your business message client-focused? Who wants just a bragging-rights list of wonderful you? The bottom line for your clients is what you can do for them.

Your massive list of credentials may be impressive. Ask yourself this question. Does it focus clearly on how you can help your client succeed with their business needs? If, so, good. It’s okay to state what you’re good at if it helps others. If not, cut it down to what matters most to your client.

~Do you have a clear call-to-action?

Your web visitors need a clear nudge to try out your product or services. The digital marketplace is noisy and crowded. Your website needs to be warm, friendly, and inviting. You also need a compelling reason for them to click and try what you have to offer.

~ Speaking of warm and friendly, what do others say about you?  Do you highlight this on your website?

Folks are looking for social proof these days. Ever read Amazon reviews before you buy? Recently we tried out the auto maintenance services of a local shop because of the awesome reviews!

 Make sure you highlight happy clients or character references on your website. Consider hiring someone to ghostwrite these so you don’t have a sloppy success story that fails to showcase your best business solutions!

If you sell a more complex product or service, an in-depth case study or success story complete with a professional interview by a writer will grab your client’s attention.  Reviews are great, but a success story clearly focused on your business solution is even better.

Suggested business goal number 2: Have a second set of eyes look at your web copy and marketing materials.

This year I spoke to a highly frustrated business co-owner of a consulting service. Her partner had hired a marketing manager who wrote web copy that was full of errors and wildly disorganized.

I had to ask, what exactly is it that you do, after reading their website.

The same held true of the marketing materials and business emails being distributed. Their target market is highly skilled professionals! Epic business fail! This consultant firm was in serious need of a second set of eyes.

Maybe your website looks sharp. However, fresh web copy could boost your web traffic and SEO.  Your content copywriter may even suggest a new marketing theme or strategy. Two pairs of eyes are better than one.

Suggested business goal number 3: Invest in building client connections through a regular email newsletter.

Oops! That is my business goal, too. Let the cat out of the bag, didn’t I?

Providing free, helpful information through a blog or an email newsletter is a great way for your target audience to get to know you.

The consistent “drip effect” is a proven marketing strategy.

Along the way you may find yourself reaping the kindness you have sowed by gaining new clients.

I would love to help you meet your business goals this year. Second set of eyes, anyone? I respond to email at  julia@b2bsuccesscopy.com. Leave a phone message for me at 443-362-8789.

GRATITUDE — a best business practice

www.b2bsuccesscopy.com

You always know when a business gets too big for its britches.

It’s the burning smell coming from a series of unhappy clients. Paying clients, not deadbeats.

  • Complaint letters never get a personal response.

  • Contracts get broken in spite of the “punishment fees”.

  • Worst of all, there is no acknowledgement of an unhappy client who has always paid their bill on time. Now the smoke is pouring out of the kitchen.

 

Failure to delight clients is a business failure.

 

  • On a personal level, I’ve been a client of a growing number of large businesses that have failed to follow the “pillars of delight” as a business model.

  • They have so many clients that they take them for granted. Clients feel like bugs to be squashed when trying to address a real problem or concern.

Customer satisfaction and appreciation is a number one best-seller.

Here are some ways to clearly express appreciation:

  • Offer a reward system for loyal customers. The small gifts are a surprisingly effective way of saying thank you. This could be an extra product or an extra service. Serve the extra five minutes, say, as the extra mile.

  • Take the heat gracefully. Mistakes and misunderstandings happen. Figure out a fair way to compensate your client. This is far less costly than “reverse referrals”.

  • Simply say the words “thank you for your business”. In a world of constant negativity, these words are a day-brightener when spoken warmly and sincerely.

    Take a page from Chick-fil-a. Little things like, my pleasure, create a crowd of loyal fans.

    Thank you for reading this, by the way.

    Perhaps you already have a grateful fan club? Spotlight your happy client stories to breed a circle of gratitude!

    Now that’s a smell that’s warm, spicy, and very attractive.

 

3 ways to warm up your chilly b2b content

b2b case studies, white papers, and success stories

Ever wonder if your web content, white papers, and case studies even get read?

I’ve been browsing through some technical and mechanical white papers and case studies from a variety of companies lately. Surprisingly, sometimes it’s like chewing on that dried up corn you see in my photo. Unsalted. Bland. Hurts the teeth.

Even an engineer might get bored stiff reading some of this cold, dry material.

Now companies need to offer content about detailed technology systems. You offer expensive and specialized equipment.  Your buyers want and need to read this content to make their informed decisions for the good of their company.

So if you offer a great solution, you need to grab their attention, and make your solution shine!

What makes for downloadable, readable content? Here are three tips for readable case studies and white papers.

  1. Add bold headings. Simple, really.

    The company’s decision makers will want the details in a format they can skim. They are super busy people! What are the key features or benefits for the buyer? Make them pop! Then the readers can home in on the details that truly matter to them.

  2. Leave white space. Crowded pages with all the same font size is hypnotizing. Boring!

  3. Use infographics and pictures. Show off that shiny piece of equipment. Give close-ups of the bells and whistles.

    Investing in some graphic design is sure to net you more business. More content read, more buyers move into your sales funnel. Infographics are eye candy to an educated reader. Put your data to good use and dress it up to sell!

Here’s an extra tip for good measure. Insert a mini case study into your white paper.

Use client quotes in bold print highlighted. A “pull quote”!

Highlight their remarks about the problems they were facing. Then bring out the rest of the story. Here’s where your solution can soft sell your client.

No sales pitch. Just a satisfied, happy client story. Don’t make bury it so deep you have to be a super sleuth to find the solution, though.

Keep the detailed, quality content, but highlight the goodies.

Make your content warm and tasty.

You’ll have readers coming in to cozy up in front of your ten page white paper in no time.

What B2B marketing shares with Eddie the Eagle

eddie-the-eagle-screening-header

When you need marketing inspiration, watching a great movie is just the ticket. #RayEdwards

Who doesn’t love a great underdog story? Spoiler alert! In case you haven’t yet watched Eddie the Eagle — you may want to pause here and go watch the movie first. There’s some inspiration for all ages here.

So what I did find for marketers? Let’s jump off a cliff together with some Eddie pointers.

  • Eddie set a firm goal. He wanted to be an Olympian. Clearly-defined goals remind me of the acronym FOCUS: Follow One Course Until Success. 

  • When Eddie narrowly missed qualifying for downhill skiing, he pivoted his focus. Successful businesses will find themselves pivoting their marketing strategies. 

  • Eddie found an untapped niche. Britain in the 1980’s had no one competing in ski-jumping.  Focus on an unmet need and dominate your market.

  • Eddie was refused funding by the British Ski Federation. He resourcefully found a way to fund his dreams with an old camper van, used equipment, and whatever he could cobble together to make things work until success! Resourcefulness is key to success.

  • Inertia did not hold Eddie back! I cringed as I watched him take the 40m jump with NO proper training. Bruised and battered, he was not beaten. But he did get a mentor. Sometimes the most valuable lessons are learned by jumping in with both feet and getting out of the comfort zone. 

  • His celebrated his personal success. Never mind that he came in last. He did his personal best. Everyone around was attracted to his joy! Celebrate the business stepping stones! Positive client? Highlight that.

  • Eddie called a press conference. He knew how to leverage his moment of success. Seize the opportunities. No regrets, right?

Which marketing cliff should you attempt  today?

 

Why the sunflower logo?

I know, really! It isn’t your ordinary business theme, is it?

Sunflowers rank high with me.

Sunflowers, to me, equal uncommon, high-value success.

From one lone packet of seeds planted in 2007, I have had an ongoing crop of sunflowers. Every. Single. Year.

They grew and thrived in sandy soil many other plants could not endure. Optimistic persistence!

The year my husband’s beloved grandmother died, my sunflowers generously supplied a full, lush bouquet for her.

Their shining faces reminded us of the beautiful gift of life.

Sunflowers create warmth and connections with others. I cannot tell you how many blooms I have given away.

Sunflowers naturally dominate their whole landscape with great generosity and beauty.

Little creatures are fed.

Toxins are cleaned up.

From the Farmer’s Almanac (farmersalmanac.com, June 11th, 2012), Sherie Blumenthal states:

“The sunflower is one of many plants that are now known to aid in “phytoremediation,” a process that employs various types of plants to remove, transfer, stabilize, and/or destroy contaminants in the our soil, water and air. Compared to other cleanup methods, such as soil excavation or pumping polluted groundwater, phytoremediation has become a clean, cost-effective and environmentally-friendly way to reclaim and reuse land that has been tainted by poisonous chemicals and heavy metals.”

Business can be a highly toxic environment. Stress induced by a high-pressure atmosphere. Negativity. Poor economic performance. Chaos caused by disorganization. Terrible customer service.

Sunflowers always give back.

Copywriter, sunflowers — what’s the point here?

Benefit-focused copywriting!

  • Serve up success to others with your powerful communications — web copy that grabs your readers’ attention.
  • Shine the light on how you can help your client with the best possible words. Clearly state the value you offer.
  • Warm up and brighten your business atmosphere by creating personal connections. Regular email communications with your current clients build long-term relationships. I still read emails from companies that have served me well in the past!
  • Grow some love for your company by cleaning up communication toxins. Don’t leave your clients unsupported. If you tantalize but don’t deliver the promise…Well, that’s some business poison.
  • Give them clear-cut, reliable information about your product or service.
  • Share your success stories — true stories of real people and specific ways you solved their problems. Someone is certain to need your business solution.

Communicate clearly. Grow. Give. Succeed.

Sunflowers = Success

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Attention Professional Service Providers, Solo Professionals,  and Marketing Directors!

Can your potential clients see what you have to offer in three seconds or less?

If not, you need a copy makeover!

Words with focus and clarity will grab your reader’s attention and keep them on your website. Great graphics help but powerful words win the day.

Maybe you just have ONE too many projects on your desk right now.

You need a copywriter who is timely and dependable — something my clients love about me!

Need to grow those client connections?

A weekly or monthly email communication builds relationships.

Whether you need original emails or would like to write the first draft yourself, I will be happy to help with the writing process.

Speaking of building relationships with your clients

If your clients are over the moon about your products or services, let me ghostwrite their testimonials, success stories, and case studies. Happy client stories do the selling for you!