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Chicago Freelance Copywriter

Archive for February, 2011

How to Make Business Blogging Worth Your Time

how-to-make-busines-blogging-worth-your-timeI’m trying an experiment this week. I am going to try to keep both posts under 200 words and still get my point across. I want to see if shorter blog posts can still be effective. I think shorter posts will get read more because they can hold people’s attention span. Let me know what you think of short vs. long in the comments. And now here we go (these words don’t count toward the 200☺):

Blogging takes time, effort, and money (if you pay a freelancer). They’re fantastic on a website because they show visitors you’re current, you follow through on commitments, and blog posts help position you as an expert if you write about topics you know inside and out.

If you’re taking the time to write the posts, why not leverage them even further? Here are three places every blog post should be disseminated to.

1. Facebook

Create a Facebook fan page and put those blog posts on them. Even if you don’t have any followers, get in the habit of posting and then start working on building followers. Tip #1 on how to get followers? Put a link to your Facebook page on your website.

2. Twitter

Ditto on the followers. This is a great way to hit people who might not be potential customers but find your blog useful, which gives you more credibility.

3. LinkedIn

There is a WordPress plugin on LinkedIn. Add it to your profile and let everyone who views you see your blog. It will impress them.

My top three ways for making every blog post count. What do you have to add?

*196 words. What’d you think? Not in depth enough or refreshingly short?

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Copywriting is the Key to Successful Business Branding

copywriting-is-the-key-to-successful-business-brandingI realize this headline might come off as a bit controversial. There is so much that goes into branding, how can copywriting be the key to success? I’ll tell you why. Without a message, you have no brand at all. If you aren’t able to write down your message and define it, then you aren’t able to get across who your company is and what you offer.

When most businesses brand, they focus on the logo, color scheme, and tagline. I argue that a well-crafted brand is all of the above plus a website and the marketing materials that go along with it, which is where the copywrting comes into play.

A great copywriter should be able to sit down with you and ask a few simple questions about your business, take those answers and craft your message. From there, you will understand your business’s characteristics.

When I am helping to define a company’s branding message for a website or marketing materials, I ask seven important questions. I’ll share my favorite two with you:

1. What sets you apart?

2. Who is your ideal customer?

Many businesses are surprised they don’t know the answers off the top of their heads. They seem like such simple questions, but often it can be like trying to define a word that you know what it means but can’t figure out how to describe it to others. You might know the definition, but if nobody else does, what good does that do you?

How to Use Copywriting to Develop a Business Brand

When a copywriter is asked to write copy to help build a brand, here are some of the materials this may include:

1. A clear and concise few sentences or paragraph

2. Tagline or slogan

3. Product description

4. Website

5. Brochure

6. Company profiles

7. Many, many, many more

In all of the copy, the brand’s message needs to be reinforced again and again. For example, if after answering the questions and defining the message, it turns out the core concept of your doggy grooming business is offering incredible customer service and only organic products, this needs to be said again and again in the copy. Every part of the copy needs to address customer service and organic. From the CEO’s profile to the tag line that goes on the business cards.

Creating great brand identity is not just in the design, but the really important parts lie in the words that accompany the design.

Do you agree or disagree with my assertion that copy is more important than design? I’d love to know your thoughts.

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5 Ways Case Studies Can Make You Money

5-ways-case-studies-can-make-you-moneyCase studies are in high demand. With ROI being the important acronym on the market today, a case study is a sales tool that companies cannot be without.

Simply defined a case study is: “a detailed account of a company, industry, person, or project over a given amount of time. The content within a case study may include information about company objectives, strategies, challenges, results, recommendations, and more.”

Case Study Formats

I write case studies two different ways. The first is in as an article and follows this format:

1. A problem is identified. The customer looks for a solution.

2. The customer finds a new product that might help solve his problem that is offered by a company. The customer tries this product.

3. Wonderful news! The product worked and the customer is thrilled because his problem is solved. He tells everyone how wonderful this product is.

It’s a success story written in an article format, trying to pull out some of the human elements.  It’s a feel good story and is usually around a page or two in length and has a design to give it a corporate feel.

The second way to write case studies is in short form. Instead of writing a story, I identify three facts:

1. The problem

2. The solution

3. The results

These are usually only 200 words and are much more focused. They don’t go into a ton of detail, but instead work to really showcase the results.

How To Use A Case Study

If a business invests in having a case study written, there are several highly effective ways to put that case study to use to get more clients and make more money. I’m going to share a few with you below:

1. Feature the case study on your website

By having the case study on your website, any prospects who come across it will have instant proof that you have had success before and aren’t afraid to share the results. In fact, you want people to know how great your company is.

2. Provide to sales people

A case study can be used as a sales tool. Anyone going into a sales meeting armed with solid proof that the company they work for had such a happy customer, they were willing to be interviewed for a case study has a pot of gold with them. It adds credibility to the company and the meeting.

3. Turn the case study into a press release

Use the case study to generate publicity. Try getting your name in the media for your amazing results.

4. Mail it to prospects and customers

Not only is this a great way to keep in touch, but it gets you in front of potential customers again. Reminding people you exist is half the battle of gaining new clients.

5. Give it away for free

Use the case study as an added incentive. Sign up for our newsletter and we’ll give you a case study that shows how our product truly helped another company and how we can help you do the same.

In the end, a case study is basically a giant testimonial from a really happy customer. Every company should be using these as a way to sell their services or products. It’s like the best Yelp review ever.

Do you have any questions about case studies? I’d be happy to answer them and show you how a case study could help make you money.

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