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The Value of Personal Connections

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A couple of weeks ago I was reminded of the value of personal connections.  I love the social world, the ability to connect and build relationships online has been a powerful resource for my business.  As a writer it is so easy for me to hide away behind my pen and paper and remain in the safety and comfort of the office.  Trusting relationships can be established through many different ways, including online, but I think like many of us, I had lost sight of actually connecting in person.

When organising my trip to New York with other entrepreneurs for an event with our business mentor a small group of us decided to share an airbnb.  Honestly, my first reaction when this was suggested was to say no.  I love my privacy and personal space, but I knew if I want to get the most of this experience I needed to throw myself into it with heart and soul.  Facing my fear, I agreed to share and arrived at the Manhattan apartment to meet 5 strangers from different continents.

Facing our fears is something we have to do a lot in business, it’s what challenges us, makes us stronger and also helps us succeed.  Those 5 strangers, over our brief time together, have now become great friends and advisers.  We connected not only on a personal level but we shared a passion for business that infused our creativity for our own businesses.  Our mentor Todd Herman, likes to describe us as ‘weird’, and it’s a word we embrace. That weekend we were with like minded people who understood our workaholic nature, our desire to be challenged, and our thirst for knowledge.

But returning home it got me thinking, what if I hadn’t faced my fear?  What if I have crept into my safe bubble and got myself a hotel room on my own, would my experience have been the same?

The simple answer is no!

Meeting people in person puts a whole new dimension on a relationship, it makes it stronger and more meaningful.

Get out there

Just as I did, go and face your fear.  Get up from you comfort zone and experience something new and exciting.  You don’t have to take a trip to another country, just push yourself to do something different.  Why not have a tweet-up for your social media following and take your online relationships to the next level.

I often find doing a training programme, whether online or off-line is also a great place to build a relationship with people.  You can learn together, get frustrated together and succeed together.  Don’t fall into the trap doing the same training as your colleagues as it will be easy to just communicate with those that you know.  Remember everyone is a stranger to each other at the beginning, you may start that way, but you won’t be strangers by the time you finish.

There are thousands of networking opportunities across the globe.  I know how frightening it can be to walk into a room where you don’t know anyone.  You worry about babbling or you hide in the corner.  See every networking group as an opportunity, the people you meet may not be a direct client, but you never know who they have in the circle of connections.

Lesson Learned

I’ve learned a valuable lesson, my social connections are amazing but if I take those connections to the next level who knows where it can lead!

 

Fantastic Ticket Offer for Grand Designs Live

Kevin

As many of you may know, I have been an avid attender of Grand Designs Live, in particular the annual event in Birmingham.  Check out some of my highlights in Experience your Own Grand Designs Live.

We are honoured to be able to share a fantastic ticket offer with you!

The inspiration starts here…with a visit to Grand Designs Live
NEC Birmingham 8th – 11th October

Kevin

Grand Designs Live, the UKs top contemporary home show, returns to NEC Birmingham from 8th – 11th October for its 10th anniversary show. Presented by design guru Kevin McCloud, and based on the hugely popular Channel 4 series, the show offers visitors a unique opportunity to see all the latest trends for the home.

With areas dedicated to interiors, technology, kitchens, bathrooms, build and gardens, there’s something for every room in your home. And with over 500 exhibitors, you can shop from a great selection of brands with 100’s of items not available on the high street.
With all this and much more, make sure you plan a GRAND day out this October!

£10 tickets*
To celebrate the show’s 10th anniversary we have a great £10 ticket offer. Simply log on to www.granddesignslive.com, follow the link to book your tickets and enter the code CITRUS10 to claim. Or call the ticket hotline on 0844 854 1348.

*T&C’s – Transaction fee of £1.70 applies per order. Tickets must be booked in advance. Offer ends 07/10/2015. Offer valid on standard admission tickets only. Saving based on the door rate.

Why You Should Outsource Your Blog

Why You Should Outsource Your Blog

Great!

You have a blog page on your website, but do you use it? Everyday I come across business websites whose blog page has no recent content, or the content consists of a paragraph – or even worse it is empty.

Are you damaging your brand?

No one said maintaining a blog was easy, especially when you don’t have the skills and resources. But having no blog or a poor one is damaging your brand. It’s like someone giving you a book you really want to read, but all the pages are empty. You are left confused and disappointed; not a good first impression for any business.

Why don’t you blog?

The main reasons why companies say they don’t blog:

  • No time
  • I’m no good at writing
  • Business is boring, we have nothing to write about
  • No marketing budget

Firstly, no matter what industry you are in you have a story to tell. People and businesses are fascinating, that’s why I love what I do; everyday I get to tell stories. But these stories enable my clients to build emotional connections with their customers.

Trust

Having a blog is about building trusting relationships with your readers. They want to get to know you and your business in ways a website can’t convey.

So if you can’t do it yourself, what are the options?

Guest Posts

A guest post is when a person or a business writes content specifically for your blog. It’s a great way of ensuring you have regular content, but who should you ask? When looking for a guest blogger ideally you want:

  • Someone with knowledge of your industry
  • Who can provide relevant content for your clients
  • They are experienced in writing guest posts, and
  • They have a writing style that compliments your business

Ghost Bloggers

We fall into this category, in essence we write in the voice of your business. Why use a service such as ours?

  • Detailed industry knowledge
  • Consistent and relevant content
  • Saves you time to concentrate on your business
  • Experienced at turning your thoughts into words to tell your story
  • Creatively able to gain the trust of your clients through emotional connections
  • Provide client centric content

Not in our words

While you are continuing to think of the reasons why you should not outsource your blog, your competitors are racing ahead. Yes outsourcing is a cost, so is it worth it? I’ll let some of our clients answer that:

“Andrea of Citrus Content has been a great find and a real asset to my business. Andrea’s passion for interior design is in direct alignment with my client base, making her ideally suited to help deliver my message. I found social media marketing to be a terrifying proposition and needed considerable help and advice in order to navigate my way forward. Andrea understands the nuances of the social media landscape and has a natural ability in marketing and promotion. She has helped to raise the profile of my business and exposed my brand to a far wider audience. I’m very grateful for the work she has done for Your Space Living.”

Jo Buckerfield, Your Space Living

“Highly recommended. Andrea and her services have been the best support for my business. I have always struggled to put my thoughts into words, Andrea has been able to capture our style and tone perfectly, I no longer have to worry as I trust her to produce content relevant to my business. In addition, I have found Andrea to be extremely helpful, supportive and friendly, going out of her way to help us.”

Amalia Protheroe, Homelink Lettings

What’s holding you back?

Click here to book your strategy call and let us show you how we can add value to your business today.

 

Trust vs Traffic – What do you believe in?

Trust VS Traffic (1)

Who do you trust?

How do you measure the ROI of social media in your company, by the number of followers and likes? If you do, you are not alone, but at Citrus Content we think differently.

One of the initial questions from a prospective social media client is: ‘How many followers and likes are you going to get me?’  This is not surprising when you see so many social media companies guaranteeing:

20,000 Likes

10,000 followers

Woohoo!!


The conversation
 

Client               “How many followers and likes are you going to get me?” 

My Reply          “I’m not!”

This is not my attempt to lose business, but we firmly believe that traffic is not the way to build a following. I have personal experience on this from growing my own personal following through social media before launching Citrus Content. I noticed that when I provided content that was of quality and interest, my following grew and what’s more this following trusted my content, my opinion and me and what’s more they were loyal.

On launching Citrus Content I knew that I needed to have this consistent approach with my clients. But I’m not alone in this thinking. Social media and marketing expert Mark W. Schaefer states:

“Instead of focusing on traffic, we need to focus on TRUST”

 And this is exactly what we do!

No matter what content we are working on for a client, we focus on building trust and loyalty. Website content, company brochure, blog post or social media management our approach is always the same. Trust is two people having a connection and as we know people do business with people.

Building this trust takes time, but it is also so powerful.

The need to share

If you have a blog, you need to be populating it with powerful content, content that people will want to share.  It is no good writing your blog posts and then doing nothing with them, you need to share them with your social following, your email lists and your team.  It is only by sharing content that you start to establish a quality following built on trust.

83% of brand marketers view social sharing as the number one benefit of digital marketing (eMarketer)

Let me be clear, sharing is not traffic.  “Traffic is intoxicating as it is easy to measure” (Mark W. Scheafer)

And this is the problem; if you concentrate on the traffic you will stop the trust. 

So why is trust so powerful in the social world?  

The New York Times recently did a study and the results speak true for no matter which country you are in.

70% of people are more likely to make a purchase based on a friend’s social media updates

In other words if you saw your friend sharing a post from a particular estate agent, they are 70% more likely to ‘purchase’.  This could be inviting the estate agent for an appraisal, view a property on their books or simply sign up to their newsletter.

Surely you want a following that is actually interested in your business?

 

How do we measure the ROI for our social media clients?

  • Profile views, if someone is checking your profile, they are interested in who you are.
  • Website visits, if you’re sharing content from your website on your social media accounts and the content is of quality, they will visit your site to discover more.
  • Engagement, are your audience/following sharing and liking your posts?

There is a place for monitoring the increase in following but this has to be measured alongside the above. For example, if you have a rapid increase in following together with engagement, you know you are attracting the right audience.

So do not worry if your competitor has 1000 more followers than you, we’re striving for quality rather than quantity and so should you!

We recommend

Posts with images and links are ore likely to be engaged with in some way. If you’re struggling to find copyright free images check out our FREE Ultimate Guide.

Want to know more?

Get in touch today to find out how we can help you grow your business through Trust.

Don’t Miss our Hot Tips!

Want to write powerful content?  Check out our hot tips

 

 

The Rightmove for your Content

The Rightmove for your Content

It is essential when we start writing for an estate agency that we understand not only the company but also their clients. Your content needs to have your voice whilst speaking directly to your past, present and potential clients. It can often be a challenge to find innovative ideas for customer centric content, but we have been given a sneaky peak into a content creation haven.

MysteryShopPacks

A couple of weeks ago I attended a Rightmove seminar, where the Rightmove:Hub was introduced. The Hub is a wealth of information on your market and business that will aid you to be more targeted with your marketing as well as being an amazing resource of content ideas for your blog, website, newsletters and more.

rightmove hub logo

The hub is divided into 4 sections:

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Webinars Rightmove have a continuous series of live webinars each of which lasts 30 minutes. Full of advice and best practice from Rightmove and key partners, they are well worth a look.
Events A full list of seminars, workshops and trade events.  As we found, the seminars provide an invaluable insight into homeowners.
Workshops are a new edition, and provide you with a more classroom style of training; there are currently two workshops to choose from; digital marketing and back to basics.Events – Rightmove exhibit at a number of key tradeshows throughout the year, find out where they will be next!
Marketing Here you can:·

  • Order a range of free marketing material.
  • Watch a range of videos that will help you make the most of the tools available on Rightmove.
  • Gain insight into your market share on instructions, available stock and agreed sales in your local market on Rightmove Intel.
  • Everyone loves a stat, and in the insights section you will find many.
Mystery Shopping Find the truth about how your agency responds and handles your clients. The results will enable you to produce strategies that meet the needs of your clients.

Understanding what motivates homeowners, discovering insights and stats into the local area and your results from mystery shopping will provide you with a wealth of powerful content to drive customer engagement. Launching on 11 May, we highly recommend that you make the Hub part of your content regime.

Want a sneaky peak too? We can exclusively give you pre-launch access now to Rightmove:Hub

rightmove hub logo

Estate Agent Leaflet Drops – Sin or Success??

Estate Agent Leaflet Drops - Sin or

Yesterday I was privileged to attend a Rightmove seminar in South Wales, where on a couple of occasions when the words ‘leaflet drop’ were mentioned.  This made me twitch a little, why?  Every day we all receive a wonderful selection of ‘junk’ mail through our doors some of which could include one of your leaflets.  Now I am a little sad as I actually go through my junk mail to pick out estate agent leaflets as I want to research what you are doing.  But many of these leaflets are lost inside the numerous take-out menus that seem to decorate my door mat when I arrive home.  Unlike me, many people will be throwing this pile of unwanted mail in their recycling bin so are your leaflets going the same way?

I ask you, are leaflet drops working for you?

When is the last time you actually questioned the number of leads you received from this essentially costly form marketing?

What is the solution?  You need to create awareness of your brand and your agency services.  You want to ensure that you are in the forefront of people’s minds when they are looking to sell, so is there another way to ‘leaflet drop’ that will have a greater success rate?

The typical estate agent leaflets are a maximum of A5 with pure advertising copy.  I have even had post cards, house shaped and even scraps of paper (yes not the best first impression!).  But is it the size or the copy that is not making you stand out in the junk mail crowd?  Dare I say possibly both!  Nowadays no one wants to be sold to, and isn’t that what a leaflet drop traditionally is, selling?

So what would make your potential clients take note of what you deliver and even keep hold of it?  We work with one of our clients on a monthly newsletter that has had a real impact on his business.  This is a 4 page A4 quality ‘leaflet’ that is filled with tips, advice, seasonal information and industry news.  What’s more the newsletter has a focus on their local community, making it something that their past, present, potential clients and the community at large look forward to reading.  This community edge gives the reader the sense that they are not just based in the community but also actually part of it.  This newsletter is an investment in their business but the results speak for themselves.

Every piece of material you create for your business must serve a purpose and not just because its something that is done in the industry.  Look outside estate agency and property for ideas and inspiration as you need to make a lasting first impression.  Well who knew a meerkat could have such a dramatic impact on a price comparison site?

If you would like ideas on how your marketing material could evade the curse of junk mail, contact us today to see how we can help your business.

Andrea