Posts tagged brand writer
3 Proven Remedies for Content Writer's Block
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Even for a full-time content creator (that's me!), writer's block is real. As I type this out, in fact, the tail end of a sinus infection and distraction of my toddler's noisy toys (anyone else SUPER sensitive to noise while they work?) are causing the wheels of inspiration to turn about as fast as a turtle on the highway. 

So if website titles and email subject lines and social captions and blog posts and product descriptions are not on your list of favorite marketing tasks, I sympathize. For a non-writer who doesn't even enjoy writing very much, the struggle with writer's block has got to be THE. WORST. And yet, for any business owner, writing is part of the gig. Can it get easier? Absolutely.

Here are my favorite tips for overcoming writer's block, fit for both pro content creators and the reluctant wordsmith who just wants to get out some decent marketing for your business. 

Find new topics in your unfinished thoughts

I'll start with my favorite way to spark inspiration, especially when I need a fresh topic or theme to unpack on a blog or email campaign. This is probably my most-used method for generating ideas. When I'm stumped for new topics to cover, I'll read back through previous blog posts, my website, social accounts, etc., for unfinished thoughts that I can turn into whole posts on their own.

Not others' stuff, just my own content, because I track best with my own ways of thinking and writing. Within a couple minutes, I can uncover a thought that I've never really unpacked. Usually it's a point in a blog post that I wrote three sentences for or a fleeting thought in a social caption.  When I see it, I'll think; bingo, there's your next topic. The best part? I've usually thought it through at least a little bit whenever I brought it up previously, so the train of thought is already tracking for a larger, deeper dive into that point. 

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Activate creativity through activity

Now, before you assume I'm going to try and turn you into a runner, here me out on this. Yes, I'm a runner, and I personally get a lot of inspiration from running. I formulate leadership teachings for work while I run. I process through topics while I run. I came up with my one and only tattoo while running. Running is my thing. When I'm doing burpees at the gym on the other hand, nope. Nada. My brain can only handle getting through those burpees. 

You have an activity that I guarantee encourages your creativity. Or maybe it would if you gave it a chance. 

Here's my challenge to you: Whether it's yoga, walking, cleaning, driving to an appointment, gardening or browsing the aisles at Target, let your creative wheels spin. Don't assume those are activities that are separate from processing through your marketing content. Many times, those are the perfect activities for getting in the brain space to create. They have to be activities you can put on auto-pilot though. So if it's a new yoga flow or an appointment you've never been to before that you need to actually pay attention to the gps to get to, this probably won't apply. 

Bonus tip: bring headphones (even for one ear if you're driving or have littles to attend to) and play some soothing music. The kind that helps you focus. This may turn a mundane chore into a set-up for your imagination to soar. 

Reverse-psychology the pressure for length

GAH, okay, I know I said my first tip was my favorite but I really love this one too. Who are we kidding, all three of these are gold to me. I would go crazy-writer-lady without them. 

Anyway, this one is gooooood because it works. every. time. Do you often face your content pieces with the nagging thought that they have to be long? Like, your next pdf download should be 8-10 pages. That blog post needs to be at least five paragraphs? Your social plans have to stretch out over a week, two weeks, a month? Shoot, that email campaign needs to cover 6 months, which means it needs to contain at least 12 emails!?

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Ladies, I am here to SET YOU FREE. What if, this time, your pdf download was simply one page? Your blog post was only a couple paragraphs? Your social plan is simply a single post? That email campaign is a strong, yet simple introduction email. Does that take the pressure off? Does that help you get past the overwhelm and into writer's mode? I bet it gets you there quicker than what you were originally telling yourself. 

There's no faster way to kill my marketing content mojo than the overwhelm of length. That voice that says I need to chain myself to the desk chair and pour over words for the next 76 hours. So I do reverse-psychology on my own brain. I tell myself; Hey, Lindsey, this time let's just do something short and sweet. Just sit and write something for a few minutes. That's all. 

And you know what happens? I sit to write something for a few minutes, which puts me in the right head space, which turns into a desire to write and create a little more, which, before I know it, turns into a lot more content than I expected from myself at first. 

Girlbosses, we can be our own worst enemy when it comes to putting pressure on ourselves. Give yourself permission to simplify, shorten, or even skip something this time around. No one works well under too much pressure. Especially when it's an assignment you don't really enjoy to begin with. 

Are you feeling freer yet? Have you found any of these to work for you? I'd love to know! Leave your comments, friend, and let me know how you get past writer's block, whether you're a content queen or a words-averse boss babe ;) 

Of course, if you could care less about ever writing another marketing word again, I am for hire, and I do offer free 15-minute consultations to help you decide what your content needs or if it's time to turn it over to a pro. 

Now it's time to go put my own tips into practice. Have a great week!

6 easy ways to grow your business in 2018
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January again. The start of a new year, chock full of new possibilities. If you're an entrepreneur like me, running a side hustle or a full-time, money-making machine, this is one of the best times of year to hit the refresh button on a few aspects of your business - not the least of which is your marketing. Need a little inspiration? I've got you covered.

Here are a few easy ways you can improve your marketing and reach bigger, better business goals in 2018.

1. Performance review

Before you assume something worked last year, or start piling up marketing ideas you're not sure will be effective, look at your analytics. If you have a website, social accounts, or an email platform you use regularly for business marketing, there should be a place you can see engagement. Even a basic understanding of what content did well can lead to improved marketing decisions in the new year. 

2. Automated email campaign

I know, I know, before you can send emails, you need email addresses. We'll get to that. BUT once you've got a list of email addresses collected, you'll want to start sending emails ASAP - and building them can take some time. Create 6 emails that are ready to go as part of an automated email campaign before you get bogged down by business demands. When your email list starts to grow, you'll have those emails ready to send. (If you're not sure why emails matter so much, comment below and I'll fill you in ;)

3. Incentivize 

Ok, so about collecting those emails. You have to give your audience good reason to give you their email address in the first place, and incentives almost always work well. Create a giveaway or come up with a way to offer free or discounted services for a limited time. An incentive that isn't asking too much of you, but is valuable to your website visitors or email readers can provide a huge boost to your email list. How to communicate your incentive? I'll cover that in a minute. 

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4. Photo update

Old photos on your website or social = neglectful, careless business owner. Fresh photos = responsible, organized, trustworthy business owner. Now, I'll admit I'm no photographer and rely a lot on stock images - but even those can get old after a while. Spend some time updating your product images, headshots or stock photography and show your new visitors you're on top of things. 

5. Repurpose content

One of my FAVORITE marketing tricks is repurposing content. Rather than always feeling like you have to create something new, go back and grab an email that performed well and turn it into a downloadable PDF to offer visitors on your website. Or, turn a great blog into an email. When you've crafted something solid, make the most of it all year long! 

6. Lead generation

If you've visited my home page, you may have noticed the cute little pop-up. This is called a lead generator. When you've created an incentive or a PDF download, you can use a pop-up to ask for email addresses in exchange for the free giveaway or service you're willing to offer. If you're not sure how to add a lead generator or pop-up on your site, look for tutorials offered by your site provider or google lead generators to find services that are compatible with your website. It's really not that difficult!

Hey, be proud of yourself. You're making progress just by reading these suggestions.

Have a fantastic, business-booming 2018!

My "stop the scroll" trick to a better business website

Hey there, biz buddy! Let's talk about a quick tip to a more effective business website and check at least one thing off our to-do list today, k? 

Here goes: stop the scroll

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One of the hardest disciplines of writing advertising content, whether it's on a website, email, social or print ad is keeping the message succinct and targeted. Not many readers these days have the attention span to read lengthy copy, especially when they're trying to make a purchase decision. They just want to know 1. who are you 2. what can you do for me.

Honestly, it's pretty basic when you boil it down and too many words overcomplicates and overwhelms your reader, resulting in one big NOPE. Are you shaking your head because this is your #1 brand writing downfall? I have a video that may help

So how do you know if you've got too much content on your website? I mean, you have to have SOME kind of message on there, don't you? Yes, and I have a great way to give yourself room for a little chat with your reader WITHOUT overextending your welcome into their world. It's all in the scroll. 

If you don't have to scroll down at all to read everything on the page (or all content is "above the fold" as they say in design world), that's great, but often impractical when you consider design templates and where to put what, etc. The good news is, readers are usually willing to give it one swipe before they decide you're asking too much.

With that in mind, give your webpages this test: On your phone AND on a laptop/desktop, open your website, go through each page and if you can swipe once and reach the bottom you've probably been pretty good about keeping your message simple and digestible. If it takes more than that, you may be losing your audience (especially on mobile - which is far and above the main web browsing platform used these days) and hurting your business potential. 

One swipe to reach the bottom, that's the space you get to craft a clear, effective message to your potential customers. 

Is this helpful? I'd love to know! Comment your thoughts and let me know what else you'd like to know about below. Now, back to business butt-kicking!