• The importance of getting to know your ideal customer

    One thing that will trip you up time and time again when it comes to producing content is knowing you ideal customer. You might think it is a little bit ‘out there’ but if you skip this step, you’ll always struggle to create content that converts, because you don’t know who you’re creating it for.

    Now, I know first hand that you want to rush ahead and just ‘dive in’ and create, but STOP! Taking the time to fully understand your customer base, will pay dividends.

    Who are they?

    First up, who are your ideal customers? I’m not just talking about gender & age here… Really get to know them! What hobbies do they have? Where do they hang out? Do they prefer cats, or dogs (not really, but you get my point) Immerse yourself in their World… Becomes them. Heck give them a name… Sharon!  Really get to know Sharon and how she spends her day. What are her daily, weekly or monthly issues and problems?

    What you’re looking for is the opportunity to solve her problems with your product or service. Say Sharon really struggles with getting her dog Sandra in the back of her car (because Sharon has a bad back). Your doggy ramp would solve that. But you’re not just getting Sandra in the car, you’re resolving the issue that Sharon struggles to lift Sandra in, because of her bad back… Look for these cues in your ideal customers lives. Are they time poor, have fitness struggles… Get to know them.

    How do they feel?

    Understand the language that your ideal customer uses… Pay attention to the emotional words. Is Sharon overwhelmed or stressed when said issues arise?

    What would Sharon say if you solved her issue?… Would she be ecstatic, relieved?

    Pay attention to the words they most relate to. Whether It’s emotional or desires… When you use these in your content, they act as triggers to your ideal customer. i.e Feeling overwhelmed about X? Ditch overwhelmed and feel ecstatic instead. Don’t be an stressed solopreneur, skip to relieved CEO.

    How can you use this in your content?

    No longer is your content a walking sales brochure, just talking about the benefits of the service or products… It’s starting to talk about the issues it solves, because you now fully understand enough about your customers… You know their issues. You know the first thing they think about in the morning. You know what keeps them awake at night and you know exactly where your product or service slots into the mix. You know how to talk to them in a way that resonates and stops the scroll, because ‘wow’ that caption is exactly how they’re feeling.

    So, go and get to know them. Interview existing or past customers… Listen on the shop floor, or Zoom calls, Root around in FB Groups about your niche… Even poll on Stories and find out direct from your social media followers.

    See the difference getting to know your audience really makes to the way to look at creating content for them.

    The importance of getting to know your ideal customer

  • What content should I do for my business?

    This has to be one of the most common questions I get asked. “Just what content should I be doing?”

    It’s a constant headache as more and more social media platforms are added, as well as content outlets, such as video and podcasting… It’s only natural to feel like you need to be everywhere and therefore you need to be doing everything and that’s overwhelming even for me.

    To start with, I think it’s important to pick at least 1 ‘big’ content commitment. Something meaty like a blog, YouTube/IGTV, podcast. These are what I deem the hard-working pack. They might take a little more effort than a social media post, but they last so much longer and can be referred to time and time again. Plus, they are out there waiting to be discovered via Google. So, having at least 1 is really a foundation before you even start to think about the social media platforms (which are short term immediate support).

    So, let’s just go back to basics.

    There are a few different factors to helping you decide what content is right for your business, your audience and ultimately for you.

    What do you like to create?

    Let’s start with you, as you’ll likely to be the one creating the content in the first instance. Do you like to write (blog), or have a big interest in video (YouTube/IGTV)… Or maybe you don’t like the idea of being on camera, but you like the idea of speaking, because you are comfortable with that (podcast).

    Whatever your gut and creative heart is falling for… Listen to it and make sure that is in your content plan.

    What about your business?

    I want you to think about the products & services you sell. Are they visual? This will further help you identify the type of content. Whether images would be key. So perhaps Instagram & Pinterest would play a strong part on the social media front.

    Is what you do more technical or instructional? A lot of detailed steps. Blogging might be high on the list here. But if those steps are very visual also video, if indeed you feel comfortable with that, or perhaps you could find a way to remain off camera if that was your only concern.

    What about your audience?

    If in doubt, ask! Find out what type of content they are consuming the most. Is it blogs, video or podcasts. Then what social media platforms are they spending their time on? Have a presence where most of your audience are.

    When it comes to content and social media presence, don’t spread yourself too thinly. Chances are if your audience are on Facebook, Twitter, Tik Tok and Pinterest you can be sure most of them are on Facebook, where only a handful are on Twitter (or vice versa!). So, go where most of them are.

    So there you go… Stop give yourself a hard time by over committing and being everywhere. Do a few things greatly, that you enjoy and it’ll work better for you in the long run.

    What about your audience?

  • How I edit my Instagram images

    Now that we’re all parted from our professional photographers, more than ever we need to rely on our trusted mobile phones, or cameras if you have one. So, with that in mind I wanted to run you through my go to apps for editing photos on my phone for social media.

    Now I’m an Adobe chick at heart, but if you don’t have access to Lightroom or Photoshop, then do not worry… Because when it comes to editing my images for Instagram, I like to be able to edit on the go, so I use a couple of free to use mobile apps.

    Step 1 – Snapseed

    I love Snapseed. It is up there with the level of tools Photoshop has in that it has the functions to ‘heal’ or remove anything from the background.

    You can fully adjust the tone of the image or use the auto adjust function (like I do) to get the brightness & contrast right. This is an important step to make sure that your image tone is at a certain level before you start to add filters in step 2 so you stand a better chance of keeping a consistent look. 

    I then crop and size the image in here, before going onto step 2.

    This is a great app for initial stage editing and preparing the image for adding filters.

    How I edit my Instagram images with Snapseed

    Step 2 – VSCO

    We’re now stepping into stage 2 of photo editing… The colour grading side.

    You can crop on this app, but this one is really about getting the colour right.

    If you’re one of those people who likes to hone a certain look on their insta feed (like I do), then this is the tool that will help you achieve this on the go.

    This is a free app, however there is the option to buy filter packs for a few bucks, one off, and I wholly recommend you do if you spy a filter in the paid version that will be perfect for you. As it’ll save you so much time editing in the future. I’m a big fan of H1 & H2.

    You can turn the filter transparency down or up… Which depending on how you shot the image is very handy to maintain the same overlook look for your feed without one looking overly dark or overly light.

    You can also adjust the brightness of the image, but I like to make these sort of adjustments in Snapseed first and bring my images into VSCO second. Only once I see it in VSCO and it maybe looks a smidge on the dark side, will I fiddle with brightness and contrast at this stage.

    Once I’m happy… That’s it! The image is ready to post.

    How I edit my Instagram images with VSCO

    Step 3 – The final check

    There is one final app, which I like to use to double check the image is right on the go… And that’s called Planoly.

    I’m a little bit of a perfectionist and although I’ve taken all the steps to ensure my photo will look consistent on my feed, you can’t beat a sneak peek preview of how it would actually look in situ.

    There you have it… My 3 step process for getting images insta ready for my feed. You can check out my feed @contentclarity.

    Let me know if there’s any apps you like to use.

    How I edit my Instagram images

  • How to create content that sells on auto pilot

    As a sole business owner, it can feel like you have to do it all. But what if I told you you could automate some of your sales process… Your ears would prick up, right!

    Through clever content planning, you can have your content out there doing a lot of the sales work for you. 

    First up, make sure you have a discoverable content type in your toolbox

    That’s a blog, podcast, or YouTube/IGTV. These content types are discoverable. My favourites are blogs and YouTube videos, because they can be found on Google… And where does everyone go when they want to solve a problem… Google! (Yes, I know people can discover your podcast show and episodes on Google, but Google can’t listen to your episode. Which is why I’d always recommend transcribing your podcast into a blog post and including a link to listen.)

    Make sure you plan ‘help’ content

    Help content is what’s going to get you discovered. It’s the content that people are searching for that doesn’t really date. So, say you’re a wedding planner, you could write a blog on how to budget for your big day. That will always be relevant! Even this blog post is ‘help’ content.

    The more ‘help’ content you put out there in a discoverable way, the more paths you create for people to find you and your products or services.

    So now that content is out there helping people discover you on repeat (even whilst you sleep!)

    Here’s where you take it to the next level

    So, we all know the art of selling isn’t all about people knowing you exist. It’s about showing that you really know what you’re selling. It’s telling people why they need to buy what you’re selling and that what you’re selling is trusted & proven.

    With that in mind, you’re also going to want to cover this ground too. Back to the wedding planner example… That’s an industry podcast interview (showing how respected you are), that’s a testimonial piece on someone’s big day (showing your expertise and social proof).

    Yes, this process can take month’s to build up (if you write, film or record once a week) But realistically we’re talking an hour a week, which over the space of a year REALLY fills out and covers a lot of ground in your business. By that point, it’s not just you anymore… You’ve created an entire sales army.

    Out there helping you get discovered and driving traffic to your website. Educating and warming people up to you as a business, so that when they enquire, they are toasty warm, if not HOT and ready to buy from you.

    You can find out more about how to use blogging as your discoverable content type in my ‘Blogging for Business’ course. Where I show you everything from finding content ideas in your business, how to structure a blog post to be discovered by Google and how to cover all the bases on the sales process so you get toasty warm leads.

    How to create content that sells on auto pilot

  • 5 ways to stay productive in your business when working from home

    Staying productive in your business is difficult at the best of times, but let’s throw in a global pandemic, a national lockdown and home schooling into the mix and well it’s tempting to think “what’s the (insert expletive of your choice) point?”

    But, to help you try to get to grips with your ‘new normal’, here’s some business tips I rely on to keep me focused and productive in my business.

    1. Only check emails twice a day

    I still remember the day I discovered this… I thought “are you crazy?!” But here’s the thing. If you don’t reply to an email in the first 5 minutes of it arriving… The person will just think you’re on a call, or in a meeting. People don’t expect to be able to reach you every second of the day.

    Emails are for sure one of the most distracting sources there is. So, the sooner you implement a ‘check in’ schedule and then close down the window, the better… No more ‘bing bong’ notifications pulling you away from the task at hand.

    2. Switch off your notifications

    Similar to the first tip, switch off the audible, vibrate & on-screen notifications on your phone. There’s nothing worse than picking it up to do some hashtag research and being overwhelmed at messages and notifications.

    As above, set yourself a schedule to check in with FB messenger, or Insta and keep it at that. Or if you find that hard, keep the little red circle notifications on. 

    3. Get a good ‘to do’ system

    You don’t win any points for trying to spin it all up in your head… Whether you buy a notepad, use the notes section on your phone, or my personal favourite, Trello, you need to get all that down on paper (digital or real!)

    The reason I love digital over paper, is that you can move your tasks around back and forth, add sub tasks… Pop them across to ‘waiting on Tony’, so your actual tasks for the day itself are plain to see. Even have a team board and have visibility on what everyone is up to from a glance.

    4. Create a routine

    Especially if you’re working from home… The Netflix resistance can be somewhat weak if you don’t set yourself up some ground rules!

    Whether it’s set hours, or a no tv rule… Whatever you find keeps you focused on what you’re doing. Stick to it and put it on repeat.

    5. A regular systems audit

    We can be so much more productive with the right systems around us. Regularly highlight any areas in your business where you’re doubling up, or when you identify something is a little clunky. There’s some great automation systems out there that can take the pain out of repetitive tasks. Whether it’s reconciling your accounts on Xero to setting up blocks of time for new client calls on Calendly and then allowing them to book it themselves, rather than that awful back and forth of finding a mutually suitable time. All those little timesavers will add up to a nice little extended lunch (if you build it into your routine!)

    There you have it, my tips for staying productive at home. Do you have any more tips? Hop over to my Instagram and share them with me.

    5 ways to stay productive in your business when working from home

  • What should my business post on social media during a global pandemic?

    I have been inundated with questions about what the correct protocol is for posting on social media during the current situation, so I thought I’d jot it down in a blog post for you.

    Can my business still post on social media during Covid-19?

    Yes… Depending on your business, you may still be operational. Maybe you pivoted to an online or delivery offering. People will need to be aware of what your trading situation is. Otherwise they may assume you’re closed.

    Even if you aren’t trading, you can still be posting valuable content at the moment. Think of all the restaurants that are closed but posting live cooking tutorials. Or fitness trainers doing online PT.

    What can my business post during Covid-19?

    As you can see from the examples above, now is absolutely the time to give value.

    Think about how the current situation is impacting your audience and the problems they now face. How you can help alleviate that? i.e home schooling, working from home, boredom, loneliness, financial pressure.

    Some examples I’ve seen are Joe Wicks online PE lessons. People sharing funny memes about how to dress when working from home. Martin Lewis keeping the whole UK up to date on financial support in the UK… But then accountants creating content on what support is available for sole traders, limited companies.

    My top tips for a social media presence during Covid-19

    1. If you need a break away from social… Take it! This hasn’t happened before and there is no rule book. So, take a couple of weeks to adapt to your new situation (however that may look for you) and when you can face it, come back.
    2. When you can face it, all you need to do is maintain a stripped back presence. Think stories that are typed, polls… Use this time to really get connected to your audience.
    3. Switch off auto pilot… Things are changing on a daily basis. Plan your content but stay tuned into what’s going on and use your own common sense on what you feel is appropriate to put out just now.

    We need to converse more now than ever to combat the isolation. So make sure you don’t isolate your business presence. You ultimately want to come out of this running, not crawling.

    What should my business post on social media during a global pandemic?