How To Work Solo Even If You’re A Sociable Person

When I left the world that was corporate banking, the one thing I missed was the people.  I’m a people kind of a person and I really missed the company.  From a psychometric, MBTI, Social Styles point of view, I have a preference for extraversion; meaning that I get my energy predominantly from being outside and among people.  So quite how I expected solo working without some kind of people-fix to work for me I’m not sure. I know for sure that I really struggled with it in the beginning.  I found it hard to be productive, and was almost constantly distracted.  I threw myself into networking, which helped a bit, but so many of them were early morning events, which isn’t the time of day that I’m at my best. So I thought I’d try a shared office.  I found one in a great location at a great price, which was unfortunately occupied by a young sales team that insisted on playing commercial pop radio while they worked.  There are only so many times a day you can listen to a One Direction song and not want to shoot yourself in the head.  So I left. My next shared office was much better, and soon there were four of us in this lovely, airy, creative space and it worked really well.  There were other creative people to bounce ideas off of, and we all had similar challenges with customers and suppliers.  It was an ideal working environment.  Unfortunately, one person left, then another, and before I knew it I was paying what felt like a substantial sum of money each month...

Three Ways To Ensure You’re Always Writing From The Right Angle

When it comes to blogging it’s vital to write from the right angle.  When you write from your own perspective, it’s all too easy to dip into sales mode and start listing features and establishing your credibility.  While these are important, their place is in your Sales and About Pages, not your blog.  Each blog post is an opportunity to show, rather than tell your prospective and existing customers why they should choose, or keep choosing, you.  How dull would it be if I spent every blog post listing the features of Blog Club, or the reasons you should hire me to ghost write your blog posts?  Instead, I think about what would be interesting or useful for you and write about that.  Then, when you want more help to blog each week, you know how I work and what I’m like. The only perspective you should be considering when you’re writing for your blog is your ideal customer’s.  Even when you’re writing about yourself.  The number of vanity lines I’ve cut from blog posts because they wouldn’t remotely interest you!   So how do you make sure you’re always writing from your customers’ perspective?  Here are three ways that I use: One: Build up a picture of one ideal customer: their circumstances, frustrations, ideal solutions, how they use what you sell, likes, dislikes.  This makes it easier to step into their shoes before you write. Two: Pretend you’re talking to them when you’re writing.  You’re more likely to consider someone else when you’re talking to them.  This is a great way to keep your blog posts in your own voice too. Three:...

How your word-prejudice is losing you business

Several of my clients don’t like the word ‘blog’.  They don’t think it sounds very professional, and as a result they’re resistant to the idea of having a blog.  Their word-prejudice is costing them business. The word ‘blog’ is a truncated version of ‘weblog’, and harks back to the early days of the internet, when early adopters revelled in becoming online journalists.  Soon blogs of all shapes and sizes were springing up, and smart businesses started to take notice.  As more and more of their customers started to spend time online, they observed the benefits of blogging, and started their own blogs.  Those businesses are actively helping their customers to choose them, while helping their sites climb the rankings in Google. So what, exactly, is a blog, and why should you have one.  A blog is simply a page on your website where you share short articles and stories.  That’s it.  You could call it something else, like ‘news’, or ‘resources’, but to be honest, most people now understand the term ‘blog’.  And they’re more likely to want to read your blog, than your news.  News suggests broadcast information about your company: blog suggests something more interesting, informative, and entertaining for them.  And your customers are infinitely more interested in themselves and how you can help them, than they are in your Company.  Sorry. Still not convinced that you’re the kind of business who needs a blog?  Perhaps you deliver professional services?  Well I’ve spoken to the partner and social media team of a prominent Edinburgh law firm, who tell me that they can attribute an increase in business, during one of our...
Why You’re Lucky To Have Your Client’s Problems

Why You’re Lucky To Have Your Client’s Problems

I don’t mean to brag, but yesterday I sat down and worked my way through the Business Bogging Toolkit, and ended up with 60+ blog post ideas and a focussed strategy.  ‘The thing’ is, I’d spent weeks making life difficult for myself, all because I’d forgotten about the tools that were right under my nose. I created the Business Blogging Toolkit for my ghost blogging clients.  To help us establish what they wanted to get out of their blog, what tone of voice to use, who to write for, what to write, and when to write it.  I also created a template to help them write their own blog posts.  The tools and templates worked so well for my ghost blogging clients that I pulled them together into a toolkit, with an explanation of how to use it, and sold it as an e-product. So you would’ve thought me crazy these last few weeks, when with Blog Club close to launching, I found myself wondering each week what to write about!  I love writing ‘in the moment’, but I wanted to be more focussed, and have greater sight of what I’m blogging about each week.  Well, duh!!  It suddenly struck me that I have a whole suite of tools and techniques to help me do just that!  As they say in Scotland ‘What a tube!’  So yesterday I sat down and worked my way through the entire toolkit.  I tightened up my focus, before getting clear on who I’d love to join me in Blog Club.  Then I started on Stories That Sell, and by the time I’d finished I...