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Facebook – it’s not me, it’s you (breaking up with Facebook the quick and easy way)

By on Apr 17, 2014 in Copywriting and marketing | 4 comments

It was bound to happen Today, me and Facebook are breaking up. It won’t be a tearful break up, in fact, I know that the other half of this relationship won’t even notice me gone as I am but a blip on their radar. In other words, I’m a small business with a small Facebook following who wanted to just use Facebook as a way of communicating with my customers and prospects. Facebook for Business says “show me the money” Forbes has said it and Ad Age pointed out that Facebook themselves have said it: as a small business, getting your Business Page posts seen by your fans is going to involve cold, hard cash. As a small business, buying loyalty is not something I have any ethical interest in at.all. I want people to come to me because they’ve read testimonials about me, asked around about me, met me and anything else that doesn’t involve the greasy...

Look before you leap into the world of social media

By on Mar 19, 2014 in Business skills, Copywriting and marketing | 2 comments

As a freelance writer and marketing bod, I get asked these questions on a regular basis: “Should I be on LinkedIn?” “Isn’t Twitter just for teenagers and celebrities?” “I don’t get Facebook, can you explain to me?” What is really behind all of these questions and many more like them is the deep-rooted fear of not belonging. We all want to be liked, we all want to be acknowledged and having a consistent social media presence gives us the sense that people must like us. Business owners see their competitors on social media and worry that they’re behind the times by not following the crowd. Where followers, likes and pluses start, customers follow (just not instantly!). This sends some business owners into a panicky state and can lead to some pretty embarrassing mistakes on social media. So, if your business isn’t on any social...

How to avoid costly marketing mistakes

By on Feb 21, 2014 in Business skills, Copywriting and marketing | 0 comments

Let’s start with a fairytale Once upon a time, there was a girl called Cinders. Cinders always worked hard and thought herself practically perfect in every way. One night, Cinders found herself surrounded by boxes and boxes of brochures. Earlier that day, very angry people had called her, wanting to know why their information was all horribly wrong and what  was she going to do about it! Cinders did her very best to calm the angry people and set to work righting the mistake. She toiled long into the night, adding a corrections sheet to every single copy of the 5000 brochures, wearing her manicure down and wiping away her tears of frustration. Cinders learned a great lesson that night. Never again would she boast about being practically perfect in every way. She would always check her work properly.* Meanwhile, in real life, it is so easy to make mistakes in your business...

Seven ways to screw up a press release

By on Feb 7, 2014 in Business skills, Copywriting and marketing | 2 comments

Your business has some great news or an event you want to publicise. Whether or not you agree that the newspaper industry is dying, the public need for news is bigger than ever. With streaming sites and constant updates, websites need more news content than your local newspaper could ever contain in their daily or weekly edition. So, how best to get your company’s news into websites, newspapers and magazines? The press release (aka the media release or the news release if it’s feeling fancy (fair warning, I’m about to use all three terms as I like to keep you on your toes!)) still reigns no matter where the news will eventually be displayed. Some PR agencies will have you thinking that creating a press release is some kind of dark art that takes them thousands of hours to toil over so they can happily charge you a fortune. When I first started freelancing, I asked...

Nine website mistakes that turn off potential customers

By on Jan 5, 2014 in Copywriting and marketing, Website tech | 0 comments

Always a good idea to start off the new year with a rant! I’ve asked around so these aren’t just things that bug the heck out of me but they will all make me hulk out! A landing page that feels like a cheap car sales ad Whether you’re advertising your latest product, ebook or just trying to get more email sign-ups, you need to make sure your offer is worthwhile for your potential customers and easy to get rid of (nothing more annoying than not being able to find that little ‘x’ to close the window). Unbounce has a great critique page to give you some ideas for what you should include on your landing page and what to avoid at all costs! A Home page that doesn’t tell me What.You.Do. Just like an essay or college paper, state what your site is all about! Don’t jam a ton of keywords in there, just tell me what you can do for me and what you do...

This week’s rant: Facebook and the art of Plain English

By on Nov 22, 2012 in Copywriting and marketing | 0 comments

Did you get that email, suspiciously sent during the Thanksgiving holiday, asking Facebookers to read the proposed privacy policy and data use policies and comment on them? I dutifully clicked on the link and took a gander at the documents. What have I learned? Not a thing about their proposed changes but an awful lot about language and Facebook’s inability to communicate well with their users. Here is a lesson in bombarding your users with unfriendly English. I opened the proposed Data Usage Policy and ran it through some diagnostics. Here are the results to provide some food for thought for you all about how Facebook communicates with us. Readability statistics in MS Word This one document is 9,111 words long! Who has the time to read it?! Just before I checked out Facebook’s email, I just happened to have read Good Copy, Bad Copy’s blog post on tools for better...