My new retainer model of business- why it is a good idea for you.

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Each year, as a business, you should look at your processes find what works, what doesn’t. You find the gaps and strategies to fill them. You make goals and targets and put in place strategies to achieve them. One of my strategies to add value and build relationships with my clients, and to have a steady monthly budget from which to work from, is to introduce a retainer system of working with me.

There are many positives to this system of working with a freelancer. I looked at the pros and cons before making the leap, and I would like to share them with you. Read more »

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Is conformity holding your business back?

Photo by Ethan Weil on Unsplash

In business we want to have a point of difference, stand out from the crowd, that special something which will have people buying from us rather than our competition. And we may have that special product, the super piece of service which makes us stand out, but in the bigger scheme of things, are we more alike our competition than we think? Are we practicing a herd behaviour which is making it actually harder to stand out and make ourselves shine above the rest?

My book for this month is ‘Nudge’, written by Thaler and Sunstein. I have only just scratched the surface but it already has those creative juices in me swirling and whirling. Read more »

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Belonging to a tribe is good for you and your business

This idea of a sense of belonging became rather clear and focussed for me this month. I have had a number of conversations about TRIBE, and how as a marketer, as a small business you need to build your TRIBE! And that you need to bring together a community of people who will talk about you, spread your message through word of mouth referrals. Which is true, and is a good thing to have to sell your stuff. But what about the Tribe, or community, to which you personally belong?

According to psychologists, there are 5 main fears we all share as a human species: Read more »

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5 tips to help break through creative blocks

In the past couple of weeks, I have been presented with people who don’t know what to write, don’t know how to get ideas, or haven’t written anything in some time because they just haven’t been inspired. Whilst I understand this feeling and have also waited for the spark of creativity, I also believe that turning up to work is the best way to be inspired. As a professional writer, I have to turn up and write every day, even when I don’t feel like it. So here are some tips, collected from writing groups and business groups, to help when you’re just not in the mood. Read more »

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Social Media made Simple part 3 – LinkedIn

In part 1 I wrote about scheduling your posts and finding time to create posts. In the second article I showed you how overwhelming it can be with all the social media channels and how starting with just two –Facebook and Instagram is a good idea.

Now you’ve got your head around these two channels let’s have a look at the professional’s social media- LinkedIn

Launched in 2003, born from people from SocialNet and Paypal, growth was slow to begin with. It now boasts over 467 million users. 2 new members join every second and 40% of those users check LinkedIn every day. That is a lot of people power right there. Read more »

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Social Media made Simple part 2- What channels are the right ones for me?

There is a lot of Social Media out there and a lot of noise about Social Media too. The number of guides to using all of the Social Media for your marketing, to make money, to meet your soul mate, it is incredible. And yes, I realise the irony of saying that and writing this, a guide to simple social media. So when you, and your business, decide they’re going to hop on this crazy train of Social Media, which carriage do you get on? How many channels do you use? Which one is right for you?

Asking the question- how many Social Media Channels are there, is like asking how many hairs on a cat. There are enough hairs on the cat to both keep it warm and to shed upon all your black business suits. There is a Social Media Channel out there to suit anyone and anything. Goodreads for writers and readers; Academia.edu, social media for Academics. Biip.no is a Norwegian Social Media Community. And while I tell my students to never reference Wikipedia for their assignments, in this case, if you want to see how many different social media channels there are, then look at this Wikipedia page- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_social_networking_websites. Read more »

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Blogging exercise- Cookies are Awesome

One of my roles is as a teacher to Business and Marketing Students at the Swinburne Institute of Technology. Today we were talking about blogs for their websites. The subject I am teaching them includes building a simple 3 page + Blog website in WordPress, and today was about website security and blogging.

I have introduced them to my blogging worksheet, which you can download HERE. They were slowly working their way through it, but there was a bit of a disconnect. They weren’t thinking like clients, which is what the worksheet if for. So, I challenged them to give me a topic to blog about. They gave me Cookies.

So, I filled in the worksheet with dot points, SEO words, and a call to action. I then did some research about cookies and biscuits and wrote the blog then and there in class. I saved the worksheet to the network drive and will have to collect that in a couple of days time to show you, but below is the resulting blog, written in class to show my students how to write a simple blog from the worksheet. Enjoy!

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Social Media Made Simple Part 1- Time and Schedules

Time to scheu

You can spend time in cafes doing your social media

Every business and their dog is on Social media, or so it seems. According to the Australian Sensis data , 48% of Small businesses use Social Media, an increase of 17% from the last check, and 79% of large businesses use Social Media.

It seems if you’re in business, you should be on Social Media.

I do Social Media, but you would be surprised how I do it. I am a writer, I wield the words. And it has been through curiosity and necessity that I now use Social Media for my own ends, and for those of my clients. I tell my clients that for me, Social Media Marketing begins with your website, and your blog. Have awesome content, and use Social Media to bring people from there, to your website. Read more »

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The Writer’s Journal

A writer’s journal helps me keep connected and focused on being a writer and all that entails

At the start of the year I began some self-examination of who I am and what I do. Not so much a New Years’ Revolution, but an assessment of 2016, what this year could be, and a look at some of the feelings I have around being a writer. One of the things I have picked up through this process is the Writer’s Journal. This is helping me focus on what I find important in writing, reminding me to be a writer, and keeping me aware of when I am falling back into the traps I set up for myself as a writer in the past year or two.

I am not a journaling kind of person. I don’t have piles of notebooks full of my innermost thoughts and feelings. I have been told time and again that I should, but it just isn’t me. Strange, considering that I like to write so much anyway.

During the first week of January when I was looking at ways to write, to consistently write, to BE a writer, one of the suggested items was a Writer’s Journal. This was not a journal where I pour out my feelings and thoughts and demons and stuff. This was a journal where I talk about myself as a writer. That might not sound like a huge distinction, but for me, I am okay being a writer, I am okay with telling people I am a writer, and all the trials and turmoils, highs and celebrations of being so. Hence, having a personal journal about being a writer was a little stretch, but still within my comfort zone. Or rather, it was just outside my comfort zone enough that if I got scared I could come back at any time. Read more »

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You need more than a free hour of your time to land clients

Getting new clients can be difficult. Competition is so tight that you need to find a way to give a new client something which shows them how awesome you are, but won’t cost too much for them. Classic Sales Funnel techniques, where you offer a little bit, and then a bit more, all the way to the bottom of the funnel where they get massive value for the biggest bang for their buck. It’s that first step into the funnel which you need to think about things.

I have heard many businesses offering a free one-hour consult, or a free catch up to see if what they offer is what you need. For me, I call this the ‘Free Measure and Quote’. It should not be seen as something magical and fantastic that you’re offering. This free consult? It should not be THE THING which gets a new client on board. You really need to be giving this free meeting as standard for anyone, and have something different, something unique to you, which grabs the attention of a potential new client.

So, if the ‘free measure and quote’ is going to be complimentary and a part of the standard sales funnel, what can you do to wow your new leads? Read more »

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