Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Formula for Solid Gold Content

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B2B customers absolutely want to know “why” they should buy your product…

And they need to understand all of the ways that your product is superior to your competitors.

But your “how” is just as important; if not more so.

After writing content for B2B SaaS companies for over ten years, I’ve learned that to convince prospects that you are their best option, you must explain all of the ways that your product will help them grow their business.

The best way to do this is to create content that is better and more informative than anything else they can find elsewhere. 

That’s where demonstrating your how, via best practices and use cases, comes into play.

While many B2B marketers will save that content for post-purchase customer journeys; demonstrating how versus why first helps to illustrate your mastery of the industry in which your prospective customers are trying to win. In turn, it shows just how useful your product will be to them.

The Solid Gold Content Equation

I’m going to let you in on my personal secret to writing content that converts for my customers.

Are you ready? Your how content should not simply consist of quick tips and tricks via short listicles; you must also show your readers all of the ways that businesses are thriving while using your product.

And I’m not just talking about generic case studies. You must start with a compelling story and introduction, add a dash of actionable steps (e.g., telling them exactly how to succeed versus just recommending a strategy), illustrate those tactics with client use cases or examples, then demonstrate the outcome of the use case with stellar metrics (where possible).

In my mind, the formula for quality content that converts looks something like this:

Solid Gold Stories = A Compelling Intro + Actionable Steps + Client Illustrations + Performance Metrics 

It’s not easy to do and it is more time consuming than the average blog post. But when well executed, the outcome is more leads and better customer engagement.

In the age of information overload, why would you waste your time and money producing average content? Your customers will most likely ignore it because they’ve seen something similar elsewhere.

It’s better to produce fewer, more meaningful posts that have a bigger impact. This post entitled The Messenger Is The Message explains exactly that.

The best piece of advice from that example is to let your customers be the heroes of your brand story and ensure that you include their voice in your narrative.

You can do so by weaving in quotes and content created by your clients that demonstrate how they get the most out of using your product, and why they are a loyal customer.

Remember: Strive for solid gold stories versus high volume and you’ll get better results.

Have a look at these two examples to see the formula at work (one of them is written by yours truly and has been extremely successful to date)…

 

This post by Sujan Patel also demonstrates the formula, even if the businesses on his list aren’t his clients.

Of course, you don’t always have to follow this formula every time you produce a blog post. There are many different reasons to create content – from announcing a new product to building brand awareness and more.

Still, if you keep these tactics in mind whenever you are writing, you’ll be sure to provide value to your customer – beyond what many of your competitors are offering to their readers. Take the time and make every story count.

 

 

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My Post-Mat Leave Plan

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Going on mat leave for the second time this past winter was bitter sweet for me. On the one hand, I was very excited to meet my new daughter and looked forward to spending time getting to know this brand new person. On the other, I was anxious to leave a business and job/clients with whom I loved to work.

Would my clients be angry that I was going on leave? Would they be willing to take me back after almost a year off? How would I cope with two kids this time around? All of these questions were swirling around in my head.

Well, it’s been almost 8 months since my daughter was born and I am so thankful that self-employed women in Canada are able to contribute to EI (employment insurance) and take mat leave just like women who work for someone else. I have truly enjoyed this time with her and with my son who is so proud to be a big brother.

So, now I’m facing another bitter sweet moment. I am planning to start working again in a few months and have a million more questions about how things will change for her and for me.

To prepare my family and my brain (which I feel like I haven’t used in a while) for what’s to come, I’ve devised a strategy to make the transition smooth for everyone.

Here it is for other self-employed moms to see:

  1. Make a plan with my child care provider for how I’d like the transition to go with my kids as I build my business back up.
  2. Reach out to clients a few months in advance of my return to work — so they have time to figure out if, how and when they’d like to begin working with me again. I’m happy to say that one of them has already confirmed that we’ll be working together again. I want to give them enough time to get budgets approved so I can hit the ground running as soon as my mat leave is over.
  3. Develop a new marketing strategy to get my name “out there” again.
  4. Work with my accountant to plan for the year ahead and develop a budget for future expenses.
  5. Build out a schedule for how I’d like my workdays to flow — knowing that things need to remain flexible because, let’s face it, life is unpredictable when you have kids.

Since this is the second time I’ve built my business back up after a mat leave, I feel more confidant this time around that I can make it work. The biggest challenge is always managing my time wisely and ensuring I build in enough of it to spend with my family and integrate my home life with my work life.

Do you have any tips for transitioning from mat leave back to work — especially as a small business owner? If so, I’d love to hear it. Please share your sage advice below.

Have a Virtual Yule That’s Cool and Cozy

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! And I can’t think of a better way to celebrate than to cozy up to a fire, read a good book and enjoy a hot cup of cocoa.

The only problem is that I don’t have a fireplace. If you’re in the same situation, don’t worry. There is always a solution to be found on the interweb.

While searching for holiday music channels on YouTube, I recently stumbled upon a treasure trove of yule log videos. So, to wish you all a very happy holiday season, I’ve compiled a list of my favourite virtual yule logs for your viewing and listening pleasure. Enjoy!

1. Michael Bublé personally wishes you happy holidays in this 30-minute yule log video which features a beautiful roaring fire, along with his easy-listening holiday tunes playing in the background.

2. I call this one “creepy cat wheezes while you relax in front of a modern fireplace.” Ok, so the cat is not that creepy. And it looks like he is really enjoying himself. But if you look away for a while and then turn back to look at the cat, you might feel like he just keeps on getting closer and closer to your screen. Well, at least that is what I observed. There is no music in this one, just the crackling of the fire and purring of the happy cat.

3. This yule log video features holiday music with fake falling snowflakes. I know, it’s a little bit on the on the cheesy side. But I do enjoy it from time to time. The faux snow gives it a more “White Christmas-ey” feel. My toddler son also really likes this one. So, it’s going on the list. Deal with it.

4. Watch a crackling fireplace for two hours non-stop. Need I say more about this one? In fact, there are lots of these videos on YouTube. Just choose your favourite one.

I hope you enjoy this compilation of virtual fireplace videos that I have shared for your viewing and listening pleasure. They won’t keep you warm. But at least you can enjoy the glow from your TV, tablet or laptop and feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside. Happy holidays and I’ll see you in the New Year!