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One of the many perks for working for Citrus Content is that we get to go to various trade shows/exhibits related to the businesses that we write for. This takes me back to May ’15, where we all attended The Business Showcase South West together. The first key note speaker to grace the Colston Hall stage was Levi Roots; musician, TV personality, and multi-millionaire businessman. A great storyteller, he described his journey from his impoverished upbringing on the harsh (but vibrant) streets of Jamaica and Brixton to his music career (befriending such musical legends as Bob Marley along the way!) and then onto his appearance on Dragons Den – where he would become world renowned a second time, all thanks to his ‘Reggae Reggae Sauce’ family recipe. What an inspirational man, and funny too!
But the message that most rang true for me was from the second key note speaker to inspire us; ‘Millionaires’ Mentor’ Bev James. She began telling us about her business journey and then went onto revealing her 5 steps for a successful personal upgrade:
1) Update your skills
2) Get ready for success
3) Trade old habits
* Eradicate negative thinking
* Value your achievements so far
* Open yourself up to your vision of success
* Live the dream in your imagination
* Vow a commitment to change
* Execute your plan – one step at a time
4) Consider Coaching
5) Imagine your podium moments
Before joining the Citrus Team I was desperately looking for a way to create an ‘upgraded version’ of myself. As Bev explained, a voice surfaces within you and says ‘Do you want to upgrade?’ So I visualised new opportunities coming my way, and then just happened to stumble upon the fated Citrus job vacancy. Once I had joined I then shrugged off old habits and negative thinking for facing my fears and positive thinking, which has now ultimately changed my whole outlook on life. But it was only after hearing Bev explain her story I then took her advice and thought about my podium moments. These are the moments you can celebrate reaching your goal, where your skills have become familiar, you’re in your stride and you feel a sense of accomplishment knowing you’ve made it. This is exactly how I feel today, working with Andrea and Vicky at Citrus Content.
At Citrus we are encouraged and pushed to face our fears and do things we wouldn’t normally do or feel comfortable doing. This opens up so many new and intriguing avenues for us all, that we’re constantly pushing our boundaries and we all benefit from this sort of environment. Every day welcomes new clients and new experiences. And on the verge of our company rebranding, it’s really exciting to imagine what the next chapter has in store for us!
Here are just a few favourite quotes that I took away from her #BSSW2015 seminar, which I think we can all use throughout our working week:
* ‘Turn ideas into action and make decisions that count.’
* ‘Do or Don’t Do – There is no try.’
* ‘Keep doing things you’re scared of.’
* ‘Turn someday into today.’
So what steps have you taken to upgrade yourself in the last few months?
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.
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!
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.
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?
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
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.
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.
At Citrus Content we pride ourselves on the blog service we give our clients. Each blog post is written exclusively for the client and we ensure that their voice shines through. Working with our clients we cover a multitude of issues, news and inspiration within the property and interior sector.
1. The Facts
We know why blog posts are powerful for your business and therefore we would like to share with you some facts.
2. More Facts
It’s all in the name: Citrus Content
We are proud that our blog post service has won awards for our clients. Recently one of our clients disclosed that using Citrus Content has provided increased traffic to their site by 400%. In addition, our clients are part of the 62% of companies who outsource their marketing – the facts and figures speak for themselves.
- Blogs can assist you with the effective promotion of a service or product. (Convertwithcontent)
- Websites with Blogs have 434% more indexed pages (helps search engines & SEO efforts) and 97 % more inbound links. (U.addresstwo)
- 84% of inbound marketers – compared to only 9% of outbound marketers – cite organic sources (blogging, SEO, social media) as rising in importance. (HubSpot State of Inbound, 2014)
- Blogs can give you credibility and authority. (Convertwithcontent)
- 46% of people read blogs more than once a day. (HubSpot Science of Blogging, 2010)
- SEO is out. Blogging is in. (Convertwithcontent)
3. Show Your Expertise
Blogs are an effective way of showcasing your expertise. As a leader within your organisation you have a wealth of knowledge that should be shared with your clients. Clients like to do business with experts, they want to know they are in safe hands. Telling your story is a way of connecting with them on another level. We help you put your thoughts into words.
4. To Have a Voice
Every business has a voice, it encompasses your USP’s, your ethos and your personality. Every piece of content you produce should speak in your voice as clients can connect with a voice rather than a corporate image. We know how to find your voice and ensure it’s consistent in everything you produce.
5. To Engage with your Clients
Being engaging is about showing a piece of you and your personality. Engaging content not only creates sharable content that will increase awareness of your company but it will also encourage loyalty. We make sure you engage.
Why Blogs Convert into Sales
The facts speak for themselves and through your expertise, voice and engagement and instead of chasing sales, sales will come to you.
If you are thinking of outsourcing your blog and are interested in how we can benefit your company then get in touch today.
Someone once said ‘words are cheap’, but I completely disagree. Words are powerful they can make someone laugh, cry and stir emotions we never knew existed.
Remember the last time you read a book that completely enthralled you as though taking you to another place. You were invested in the characters, there was a relationship that evolved as the book developed.
So why is it different when it comes to business?
I recently read a couple of major estate agents ‘new and improved’ brochures. The design was beautiful, the images were gorgeous, it really was a wonderful first impression. But when I started to read the content I felt uninspired. I wanted to feel a connection with the company, I wanted to understand their ethos, their passion and what their services could offer me as a client. Sadly I walked away disappointed as though I had been given a wonderful gift that was exquisitely wrapped, that just breathed luxury. You start to open with in-trepidation, wondering what wonders await you, only to be greeted by an empty box.
I have loved following the journey of my friend, Liz Ackerley, as she has started sharing some of her sketches on Facebook. Now this is something you would never catch me doing, why? because I can’t draw, doodle yes! I do a mean doodle a flower and square box – wow I’m talented! My point is not everyone can draw and not everyone can write.
Like drawing, writing is a skill.
Over the last couple of weeks I have been putting together the content for my brochure (which should be available soon). Even as a content writer I found this a difficult process. It is hard when you are immersed within something to be able to turn your thoughts into words. All my clients are experts in their field, they are award winners, are highly respected and extremely sort after, but one thing they have in common is admitting when they need help in an area of their business. Even though they are the best at what they do, they know that they are unable to express it creatively, passionately and expertly into words. They know by investing in someone to turn their thoughts into valuable content, they have made a valuable investment in their business.
Every piece of content you deliver, whether its your website, brochure or blog post it is a reflection of your company. Does your content reflect who you really are? Is it engaging your clients? And more importantly is it engaging potential clients?
My Top 5 Reasons why you should Invest in Content
- It can have a real impact on your customer loyalty. Customers are far more likely to remain loyal to a company that they feel they have a relationship with.
- You become the expert, ahead of your competition. To be seen as an expert you need valuable content that people want to share. The more sharing you have, the more you are seen as a person of influence in the field and the more people will want to listen, thus you become the expert. This sets you ahead of your competition.
- Customer Engagement. Content has the potential to engage your customers at every step of process.
- Your Image. How do you want your client audience to perceive you? The words you choose will create an immediate opinion in the minds of your clients.
- Because it works! There is a direct correlation from valuable content to increased client engagement and in turn into sales.
Are you making the right first impression with your content?