How Your Business Can Benefit from a Professional Writer

You thought of everything. The right SaaS solution for your financials, a solid insurance policy. Office space? Check. You even have a rockstar assistant, and the coolest logo you’ve ever seen from that guy on Fiverr.

From IT guy to office cleaner, new and growing environmental businesses need so many things but one often overlooked member of your team that you can’t do without is a freelance writer.

Here’s Why:

WRITERS SIMPLIFY THE COMPLEX

You’ve got a million ideas in your head about what you want your readers to know, and you could probably crank that out. If you had the time, or patience. Writers are communicators. They can take the painfully complex and make them easy to understand for your readers, for consistency and for compliance.

They can take your ideas and run with them. They can speak for you, and once you build a relationship with that writer, they can think for you too.

One of my freelance clients has told me more than once about how I can take his ideas and really build them out, almost as if I am in his head. That’s what a good writer can do for you.

WRITERS SAVE YOU LEGWORK

You thought you could keep up with the blog, write the 20 emails on your list, pull together your marketing pack. After all, you did well in English, and you got the semi-colon thing down. And honestly, because you have so many other things to pay for, you want to save where you can.

Let’s face it though. That blog’s been sitting there since last October, when your last entry consumed your entire afternoon, as you illustrated the finer points of seeking out an environmental engineer and the massive amount of detail work a Phase I environmental  assessment entails.

Marketing writing is important stuff that needs to get done, but do you really have the time to do it? And if you do, will you give it your best, or just do it to get it done?

TIME IS MONEY

I see it a lot. To cut costs, many businesses will handle their communications themselves to save on the bottom line, or pass their blog off to an already busy soil specialist or biologist.

As a business owner, I get it. Why pay when you can do it yourself, or hand it off to someone already on the payroll for free?

Whether it’s in your paycheck or someone else’s, your business is still paying for that writing, and often times the blog will get done in lieu of some other more specialized, and mission critical task.

However, you wouldn’t hire a bear handler to manage your internet security, and you wouldn’t hire a chef to manage your office. Why would you leave your writing to just anyone, when a writer can do it better and faster?

YOUR REPUTATION’S ON THE LINE

From your bios, over to your About Us page, right down to your twitter posts, what you plaster up on your site and your blog is all your potential clients see. That means if you just threw something up on your web page rife with spelling errors and incomplete sentences, that is what your customers are judging you on.

It pays to spend the time and energy on making your online reputation shine.

Hands down, your dollars go further when you hire a writer to do the writing.  Reach out!  I can help you get the words out online and in print.

Make sure what they see is your best side!

Is Your Website Holding You Back?

Your site is your online face. No secret there. But are you doing all you can to showcase your company’s awesomeness, or does your site design and content take away from your real value?

Let’s explore…

Write Quality Content

When it comes to website content, it isn’t just what you say, but how you say it. Is your site too wordy or too vague, or even both? It’s very possible to use a lot of words to say very little. Make sure your content is the right mix.

Real quick – here’s some other valuable content takeaways:

Give your visitors a good scope of what you do, without boring them with too many details: Think of your home page as your elevator pitch. Short. Sweet. To the point. AND RELEVANT!

Use long-tail keywords naturally: Search engines and people can smell a keyword-stuffed page a mile away and it’s a total turnoff. Use them wisely. Not too much.

Be transparent: Unless you are Nike or American Express, state clearly what you do on your front page. Be sure to spell it out. It helps qualify your potential clients, helps the search engines rank you, and helps your readers feel satisfied that where they are is where they need to be. There’s nothing worse than wasting massive amounts of time on a site searching for the company’s specialty.

Break up your paragraphs into bite-sized sections: This makes your page easier to read both on desktop and mobile platforms, and will retain your reader’s attention longer.

Break up the rhythm of your sentences: Have some really short ones – like this. Then add in some other longer ones – but not too long.  Research shows that longer sentences just get scanned or skipped over completely.

Skip the cerebral vocabulary: You don’t need to prove your intelligence. If you can walk, don’t saunter. If you can think, don’t ponder.

Use the words you’d use chatting over coffee, unless your subject matter calls for something different. People can sense phony writing, and it makes you come off as unapproachable. No one wants to buy from the guy who’s unapproachable, so don’t be that guy.

Maintain the left margin, if you can: As western left-to-right readers, we will always look for that left starting point. If you’ve got a lot of content, keep your readers in a comfy headspace, by keeping the margin for them.

Prioritize Website Graphics

Have you ever visited a page with an overload of annoying pop-ups? Or how about those irritating ads that follow you as you scroll down the page, flashing and talking at you like a sleazy Vegas billboard? Yeah, me too. So painful.

If you’ve got a ton of pop-ups, a bunch of flash and color, or lots of ads bouncing around, unless you are selling blinking, bouncing things, you are detracting from your natural personality as a company, and worse, could be scaring off potential clients.

  • Keep movement to a minimum, and make it count: So, if you have a bouncy ad, don’t put on more bouncy things. If you have a site with a parallax scroll, don’t add in more slidey things. With our present volume of media overload, on sites these days, less is often more.
  • Showcase your unique features on your web pages: About one or two nice cameo features per page is enough for tired web-trolling eyes. So a slideshow gallery is great. But just one. A blinking ad is fine. Just not ten. A pop-up is good. If it doesn’t keep popping up over and over in your visitors’ faces.

Build Credibility with Graphics

The first thing I do before I buy anything from anyone is look for a human photo, and good graphics. I am not alone in this:

  • Your portrait adds credibility: You are a real person at a real company, and you can use that warmth and humanness to your advantage. If you post a genuine photo of yourself, your clients will trust you more. According to BrightLocal’s research in their study on images that inspire trust, 52% of respondents indicated that a photo of the business owner was the biggest trust factor, over generic images, or none at all.
  • Keep it real: Some experts advise against crowd photos because the eye has nowhere to go. I am in favor of group photos though, provided that photo is of real people in your company, and not some random stock photo of sugary-smiley people that are clearly not your When I research a company, I like to see who I might be dealing with. Do they look nice? Can I build a rapport with them? Chances are, your visitors are doing the same thing.
  • Use relevant stock photos: Don’t just post a pic to post a pic. Make it count. Make it relevant. Your readers are going to check out your visuals first, and if they detract from your message, they add zero value.
  • Give credit: If you use stock photos, or a local photographer, make sure to pay credit where it’s due – that’s just good business, and good karma.
  • Add a caption: According to Kissmetrics, in their blog post on conversions with respect to graphics, focusing on Dan Ogilvy’s commissioned research, captions underneath the images get noticed and read, an average of 300% more than the actual content.

There’s some stuff to chew on. So go forth and develop your online reputation – and when in doubt, be genuine. That will win over your ideal market every time. If you need a little help fine-tuning your website content, reach out – I am here to help!

Feel free to leave comments and tell me what you found effective for your site! I would love to hear!

Photo Credit: by Ilya Pavlov on Unsplash