If you’ve ever tried to write anything, you know the feeling. You have to put words together for whatever project you’re working on and nothing inspiring is coming to your mind. It’s blank… or your thoughts are bouncing off the walls in any direction other than writing what you need to write. You sit and stare at a blank document, maybe typing and deleting a phrase over and over. Eventually you just get frustrated and do something else.
The truth is, everyone who tries to write will experience writer’s block from time to time. The real problem is when you let frustration win and you stop trying.
If you’re waiting for the stars to align and every perfectly formed word to descend from the heavens into your fingertips, well, it’s just not going to happen.
We recommend every business owner run a blog on their website. This is such an invaluable place to get to know your audience and let them get to know, like, and trust you.
In order to beat writer’s block and prepare for blog posting, I recommend:
Scheduling a time and a place to work.
I’ll admit, it is really hard for me to get work done when I haven’t dedicated a time and space to it. My cute dog will try to get my attention, I’ll realize the dishes need doing, and creative workflow is the last thing going on in my head. But when I block out 4-5 hours to spend with my laptop in a cafe or library, I tend to get much more content churned out. Usually I will plan something rewarding for after the work session, which makes the whole process a little more fun.
If the juices are flowing, let them flow
Every once in awhile something majestic happens and it actually does feel like perfectly formed sentences are flowing through your fingertips. When this happens, take full advantage! Don’t stop at one blog post if you’re still in the groove. Maybe the blog post you just wrote reminded you of another possible blog topic. Draft it up! “Mega Batching” is a term we borrow from Amy Porterfield. This is a concept where you come up with a “batch” of blog ideas and pump them all out at once. Then you can draw from the batch down the road and you don’t feel like you constantly have to create content.
Review previous successes
Looking back on past projects is a great idea for many reasons. Sometimes the reason a writer struggles to produce content is because they don’t believe in themselves at that moment. They feel like they can’t write because there is something wrong with them and their writing ability. It’s good to look back at older, successful blogs (or other projects) to remind yourself you can do it! This will also refresh your memory as to how you wrote the other projects and will trigger the same thought processes.
Producing a blog on your website is essential. You’ll face obstacles including writer’s block, but remember to push forward and keep blogging. Test out different locations and times of day to get work done. Keep track of when and where you are most successful. Remember that everyone gets stuck; it’s not just you!
Make sure you have all the website essentials in addition to a blog. Download our Website Cheatsheet, which will guide you through building a website that sells. Join our KRose Marketing Community on Facebook where like-minded entrepreneurs gather to share insights, ask questions, and support one another.
First impressions are important. Often your website is one of the first places a potential customer will go to “meet” your business. Before you start designing your homepage, you have to decide exactly what you want the page to do. When a customer pulls up your website, what do you want them to do next? For most businesses, the goal is to guide readers down the path toward purchasing.
Very briefly introduce yourself, including your company name and mission statement.
Identify the problem or problems you can solve for the future customer and clearly list the solutions (your products/services). Each product or service should lead to another page providing more detail. But keep the homepage information short and to the point.
The first thing you see on our homepage is a simple statement, “We are so glad you found us.”
You should also include social media integration — meaning, you need to make it easy for visitors to find you on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, YouTube, and/or Twitter. Include your contact information, logo, navigation bar, and search option. And that’s pretty much it as far as copy goes. We will go into design and the visual aesthetics down the road.
Download this Website Cheatsheet, which is a checklist for all crucial website components that every successful business has and join the KRose Marketing Group Facebook Community to stay in the loop with other supportive entrepreneurs.
Your website is the home base your followers can go to in order to find out anything and everything they want to know about you. It’s very important to have all this information displayed in an easy-to-navigate fashion.
Here are the six most important web pages your site needs
This is your sales page and should provide customers information about how you can best serve them. It should give an overview of what can be found throughout the site. A big headline should be front and center, making it obvious where the user should go and what to do next. Use calls-to-action here and make them large and clickable. The navigation menu should also be very clear.
This is where you tell the customer who you are and why they should do business with you. You can feature business hours if you have a brick and mortar store. The About Us page is where your mission statement and details about the staff belong. This can include pictures, biographies, descriptions, etc. You should use at least one call-to-action on this page.
Services or Products
Within the services/products page, you should have individual pages detailing each product/service specifically. Each page should begin with a short summary. This is where you want to turn followers into customers. Keep it simple and avoid clutter. Make things like “add to cart” or “proceed to checkout” very clickable and easy to find. Use as many calls-to-action as you want here.
Success Stories/ Testimonials
In order to show potential customers they can trust you, give them examples of previous good work. Never fabricate testimonials. You should provide contact details of the person who gave the testimonial (with their approval). If you don’t have any testimonials, ask for them! Email your customers asking for feedback on your service and/or business. You can provide them an incentive, even if it’s simply giving them credit.
The blog is where the heart of your company lies. Be super clear about who you are talking to and how you are going to talk to them. Find a problem, create a solution, and get the solution in front of your audience. Make sure your blog is thoroughly organized and satisfies the reason a user visited your blog in the first place. It should be easy to go through older blog posts. Provide a search option and categorize your archived posts.
Your contact information should be in more places than just the contact page. But if someone is looking for your contact info directly, they should be able to find it quickly and easily. Include your business name, the physical address, mailing address, contact telephone numbers, email, and social media profile links.
Let’s face it: social media is borrowed space. With the future of each platform uncertain, it is ever-important to have a solid website that leads customers to purchase and is a one-stop-shop to find information about your company. There are a lot of web hosting and web platform options available. We wanted to break down the programs we use to help you decide what will work best for you.
We love WordPress for the endless options it offers. There are thousands of free and premium themes available that are fully customizable to fit your business’ needs. There is a reason WordPress is one of the most popular web platforms out there. It covers a broad spectrum of features and designs to most suit whatever vision you have in mind.
We use GoDaddy for our web hosting needs. It is an affordable option for setting up WordPress websites simply. It only costs a few dollars a month and allows us to host our website, renew our domain and use our company email.
SquareSpace is the go-to option for a quick and simple professional website. They offer attractive and clean templates that are very user-friendly for laying out content. There are some limitations, but SquareSpace makes creating a professional website simple enough for anyone.
Of course there are many other options out there, and it’s up to you to find what fits best. We definitely recommend testing these three out as you get started. They are simple and easy-to-use, but also have more complex options once you’ve mastered the basics.
Be sure to join the KRose Marketing Group on Facebook where we share insights, ask questions, provide support, and much more.
A look into developing clean copy from our team writer
We are breaking the fourth wall with this post and it makes me a little nervous. You see, often writers prefer being behind-the-scenes away from the spotlight. One of the many great things about working for KRose Marketing & Consulting is that our boss (Karoline Rose) pushes us to try things outside our comfort zone.
So here we go…
My name is Natasha Bodily and I’m the writing assistant for KRose Marketing & Consulting. I write the majority of the content you read on this blog, but it comes straight from the spoken words of Karoline and represents her knowledge. For this post, I decided to get a little more personal to explain briefly how I have learned to write great copy and a few quick tips.
Initially this blog post was going to be another “How-To” type list. We decided to switch from that model — at least for this post — in order to give you a deeper look into some of the ways to develop your copywriting skills.
If you are a business owner in a position to hire someone skilled in writing — do it! You can learn some basics to writing copy even if it doesn’t come naturally to you. But it’s definitely easier and more efficient to hire someone who is an experienced writer.
As with any skill, the best way to get better is to do it often. For me, writing has always been my #1 passion. When someone asks who I am or what I do, I’ll include “writer” in the description. I started writing short stories and poetry in elementary school. I further developed creative writing skills in high school and eventually got a bachelor’s degree in Journalism. While I was in college, I worked at my university’s newspaper, where I gained the bulk of my copywriting skills. When you have to meet a deadline and fill space on a page, you just do it. You write what needs to be written and learn how to most effectively communicate a message.
After college, I worked at a local newspaper for a couple years, but eventually moved out of state and realized I didn’t want to go back to the newspaper industry. Serendipitously I found this opportunity to write creatively for KRose and jumped on it. Although the content and style of writing is quite different, my background prepared me to be able to take loads of information and organize it in a way that will make sense to readers.
Headlines used to be one of the most difficult parts of writing for me. You have to make a short statement that clearly describes what the reader is about to see. When you are working on a blog post or an email headline, consider the U’s. A headline needs to be: Useful, Urgent, Unique, and Ultra-Specific. Ask yourself: What is this piece about? Who is it speaking to? What makes it newsworthy? How can you describe it in less than 70 characters?
I rarely write a headline before completing the piece. Often what I am writing will evolve and take different form based on how the workflow maps out. It’s much easier to answer the above questions when you have a finished article. There is only one reason someone will click your link and read any of the copy. That reason is a well-written headline. You should spend more of your time considering the headline than writing the piece.
Headlines are super important, but only one aspect of writing copy. We will be tackling websites and copy in April, so stay tuned for even more insights into how you can create great copy for you business’s blog, website, emails, and social media posts. You will learn how to beat writer’s block, how to prepare for a blog post, and much more. Organization is key to all of these topics. Check out our blog about Becoming an Organization Master and use the advice as you develop your copywriting plans. Join the KRose Marketing Community on Facebook to share insights, tips, questions, answers and offer support with like-minded entrepreneurs.
Your company’s brand story is more than just a narrative, but a complete picture composed of feelings, facts, and interpretations. Part of your story isn’t told just by you, but by your followers and customers. There is more to your brand than your logo and mission statement. From the colors and style of your packaging and business cards, to the staff members you hire, your brand story should reflect the truth about you to your audience.
You Need to Tell a Story
Differentiate yourself from other businesses. Creating a brand story isn’t just about standing out, though. You should be telling a story people care about that helps them grow to know, like, and trust you. Your audience should know exactly who you are and how you can serve them. Human connection is the core to business.
You have to define your message. When people come to your website, you have 5 seconds for them to realize who you are and how you can serve them. Don’t get caught up telling your personal background story. I hate to break it to you, but most people don’t really care where you graduated from or what awards you have won. What your audience cares about is how you can help them move forward in their industry. Check out our blog post on understanding your audience.
Explain who you are simply and relevantly, allowing you to be tied into a specific subject. For instance, I want people to think of Karoline Rose and KRose Marketing & Consulting when they have a question about social media or email marketing. There are other services we offer, but this is my area of expertise highlighted in our brand story.
A potential customer who visits your website and/or social media page(s) should be able to identify your message quickly and easily. It should be easy to repeat. If you have a team working with you, each member should be able to explain the company message in a clean and concise manner.
Capture your unique voice. You have to know how to talk to your customers, but your customers have to know you. One of the fundamentals to achieving this is to have a strong, unique voice. Your customers become lifers – they sign up for everything, attend every event, buy lots of product/services, when you have served them really well.
If you were to hide your name and logo, you want to have a signature style of writing that is easily recognizable to your customer. It should be so distinct, people can read your email/blog and know it’s you without branding.
Voice takes some time and experimenting to sharpen, but once it is defined, make sure to stick to that style. For example, I don’t type any of the blogs or emails, I do everything through voice recording. The KRose team knows my voice so well, they’ve nailed down exactly how I communicate. The closer you work with them, the better.
Talk Directly to your Ideal Customer
In the process of talking directly to your ideal customers, you will repel some people. Remember this is more than OK! If you’re talking specifically enough, only your ideal customer will be receptive to your message. Put the customer first always. When you’ve built a business from the ground up, it makes sense to feel like the headline of the company. But your ideal customer should be your top priority. Focus on them, once you’ve identified who they are.
The marketplace can get a little noisy with what is being offered, rather than pinpointing our customers problems and solving them. Don’t get caught up thinking about your competition. Save your attention for your customers wants and needs. We are firm believers in community over competition. One way to really build your business is to refer people out. If you can’t serve them, then it’s really important that you are willing to share your customers with others in the industry. It’s better to have that customer served well than have them served just by you.
Hire a Web Designer with Sales Experience
A well-designed website is essential & often the first impression a potential customer will have of you. Consider finding a web designer with experience in sales, marketing, advertising, and/or other business areas. If you notice a lot of people are coming to your website, but you aren’t getting any sales, the website isn’t designed properly. A good website needs to get people to click and take action.
Although the look of your website is essential, a pretty website that is difficult to navigate or doesn’t direct a customer to purchase isn’t going to do you much good.
Here’s a quick assignment for you. Think of 5 things that make your brand unique and write them down. Write down your brand’s goals, motivation and objectives. Finally write down what you are learning and working on. This exercise is a great way to get started in defining your brand story.
Check out our Hashtag List for a one stop, copy & paste spot for business owners, agriculturists, and MLM hustlers.