This week, I have been helping a local holistic therapist get to grips with her brand.
The big question on her lips was how to get to the number 1 page on the big search engines. On the verge of splashing out on a fancy designer for a new website, I suggested she take a step back and consider a few ‘self-help’ options first.
Undoubtedly a successful therapist, she had lost her way a bit with her branding. I made some very simple suggestions, which I share with you now.
- Consistency. My client had 3 websites, a Twitter page, Facebook page and LinkedIn profile – with a different image of herself on each one. Sporting a different hair colour and style on each image, she was unrecognisable as the same person. She looked great on every picture but if she wanted to stick in the minds of potential clients, she needed a consistent look. I suggested she choose one picture and use that on all her branding and social media.
- Blogging. We’re all familiar with the phrase, ‘Content is King’. Blogging is big at the moment. It may feel like a chore to business owners. But a regular blog with fresh, interesting, relevant content will slowly bump your website up the search engine ratings. It takes time, thought and effort. Think about relevant keywords and weave them into your content, but don’t overdo it. Quality writing is the key – a list of reason why people should hire you is dull at best. Engage their minds – make it relevant to your area of expertise but add in the occasional wild card to shake things up a bit. A regular blog will also raise your profile and build trust with potential new clients. They may not want your services now, but build a rapport now and you will be the first person they think of when that moment arises.
- Referrals. Finally, I suggested she doesn’t become too obsessed with search engine rankings. Yes they are important, but they’re not the whole story. My client has a local practice; so much of her business comes through word of mouth. The best way to get referrals? Through satisfied customers. Treat your clients well; be honest, do a great job and keep communicating with them through regular updates on social media. Everything else will flow from that great starting point.
I love a brainstorming session; not only is it exciting to see a business person fired up with new ideas, it makes me reflect on my own goals. Blogging in particular has been a weakness of mine. Full of good intentions, the moment I get busy with a project, it goes out of the window. So I am making a commitment here to practise what I preach; please join me every Friday for a round-up of the week!
So what else have I been up to this week? One of the challenges of living the dream as a Freelance Copywriter in Milton Keynes is getting the work/life balance right. As a parent to two children, one with special needs and owner of a young Labrador, every second of my working day counts. So I decided it was time to start the process of getting some quality support in place.
So yesterday, I had a dog-walking lady visit my home to meet Z. To say he took a shine to her would be an understatement! Having introduced them, we agreed that she will take him for a trial walk next week. After that, we are going to have a regular weekly slot and then, in times of need, the relationship between them will be established. There is also talk of introducing him to her dog, which will be fabulous for his socialisation. I can’t wait to see how they get on!
It was also first week back to school for the children after half-term. I was impressed at how well they got back into the swing of things. My younger son attends a special school in Milton Keynes. I never fail to be amazed at what they achieve with the children there. One of the features of autism is high anxiety. Many children, like my son, can’t cope in mainstream school; the anxiety is too great and this interferes with learning. Barely verbal at age 5, he is now talking and reading, something I didn’t expect to happen and it’s all down to the specialist support he receives at school.
It’s amazing how much someone with communication issues can teach you about … communication! You may be tempted to think that having a child with autism would be a barrier to a career in freelance copywriting. It’s actually an asset; I’ll tell you why in a future post.
Next week I am meeting with an exciting new client, continuing the process of getting my life together (next stop: ironing service) and researching ways to increase the bond between Z and my son.
Please feel free to comment and share your own experiences.
Alison is a Freelance Copywriter in Milton Keynes offering a range of services, including blogging for small businesses. For further information visit www.mkwordstudio.co.uk