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My Podium Moment

podium

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?

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

 

 

Our Top 5 Reasons Why Blogs Convert into Sales

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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.

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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.

Investing in Words is Not an Option, it’s a Necessity

Investing in Words is Not an Option,

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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.

Words captivate

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.

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Scibbles by Liz Ackerley

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?

 

10 Rules from writing first drafts #infographic

10 Rules for Writing First Drafts
Like this infographic? Get more content marketing tips from Copyblogger.

The Post-it Wall of Fear

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Last night, as I sat at my desk looking at the wall of Post-it notes in front of me, I began to get scared.  I felt as though this black cloud was hovering over me, the weight pressing on my slumped shoulders.  I felt overwhelmed.  Each Post-it represented a piece of work I needed to do, emails to send, blog posts to write, projects to complete.  They were staring at me as if calling my name, haunting me with their presence and draining my energy.

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It’s hard to start a business, and even harder when you are still employed.  Every second is so precious as though it was a rare jewel for the taking.  I balance my life between work, family and business my supportive husband encouraging my every step.

Stepping-stones

I have so many things I want to do for my blog, my business and my writing.  I have a mystery story constantly itching to spill out on a page, ideas for my blog and vision for my business.  I will get there, I have a plan, and every day I am moving closer to this dream.

I took a deep breath.

I the looked at the wall again.  This wall didn’t represent fear, it was magical, inspirational and rewarding.  Who would have thought when I started Citrus Content I would have been contracted for such a variety of projects and with fantastic companies.

* Writing articles for print and online
* Social media campaigns
* Marketing a websites
* Writing website content

I am loving every minute of it.

This is my wall

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My wall represents by business, my future, my dream.

 

Am I a writer?

Writer citrus

I was reading a blog post today by Jeff Goins about following his dream and being a writer. And this part of the post got me thinking.

A few years ago, a friend asked me an important question:
“What’s your dream?”
“Don’t have one,” I said.
“Sure you do. Everyone has a dream.”
“Ah, I dunno… I’m living it, I guess.”
“Really? Hrmph.” And then a long pause — “Because, well, I would’ve thought your dream was to be a writer.”
As soon as I heard those words, something in me stirred. Something that had been there all along.
“Well, uh, yeah…” I gulped, “I guess I’d like to be a writer… some day. But that’ll never happen.”
I sounded so sure, so certain that at 28 years old, I knew where the rest of my life was headed. Shaking his head, my friend smiled.
“Jeff… You don’t have to want to be a writer…”
And then he said nine words that changed me life:
“You are a writer; you just need to write.”

This got me thinking of my own journey and the right to use the term ‘writer’. Do you have to earn the right? Or can you just be one?

It all boils down to that feeling we all have from time to time of being a fraud. Even the most successful people have a ‘fraud’ moment from time to time. I recently read the book by Sheryl Sandburg, Lean In. She speaks openly and honestly about her ‘fraud’ experience. She then talks about whether you lean in to the moment or lean out. Reading her experience gave me confidence, why? It demonstrates that we are all human, you could be the COO of Facebook or me and still have the same emotions in similar situations.

Julian Smith in his book Flinch, states “The flinch is the moment when every doubt you’ve had comes back and hits you, hard. It’s when your whole body feels tense. It’s an instinct that tells you to run. It’s a moment of tension that happens in the body and the brain, and it stops everything cold.”

Whether you ‘Lean In’ or face the ‘Flinch’ both require you to have faith and confidence in your ability.

Writing is something I love to do, it’s so expressive, creative and true. There is something scary and liberating about putting pen to paper and sending it out into the world. Citrus Content is still in its early days but my passion for writing is growing. I am constantly armed with a notebook frightened of missing a line, a story or any kind of inspiration that magically appears in my mind.

In many ways starting Citrus Content is like unlocking a door or even flood gates. What has been held deep inside me is now racing to get out. Words are like drops of water forming together into a dramatic waterfall. I feel alive.

So instead if feeling a fraud and flinching, I am now going to embrace the four words and proudly state “I am a writer“.

Resources

Jeff Godins expert via
How I Stopped Waiting to Become a Writer, Quit My Job & Launched My Dream

Julien Smith, Flinch

Sheyl Sandberg, Lean In