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To hire a proofreader or not to hire a proofreader? That is the question…

4 Mar
Perhaps a proofreader is needed?

Perhaps a proofreader is needed?

 

I often get asked the question of whether an organisation or an individual should hire a proofreader. In today’s day and age, budget is always the defining factor and quite frankly many small businesses can’t afford it. However, these businesses should perhaps consider reputation management.

Think about yourself as an individual, trawling the net for information on a product or service. You come across different sites that are offering the same thing, but how do you choose who to get in touch with?

As we all know, first impressions count and can be lasting. In our age of speed a business has about 10 seconds to make that impression to a potential client.

You click-through to the first site which is simple, clean, easy to understand and is well written. You keep that in your armour of potentials.

As you click-through to the next site there is a surprise waiting for you. It is simple and clean but difficult to understand and is littered with errors. How do you feel about this site? I’m guessing not too impressed. It shows a lack of attention to detail and can come across as a lack of caring as well. If their website is littered with errors what does that say about their quality of work? They are crossed off the list of potentials immediately.

Proofreading is always important to maintaining that critical first impression, so consider hiring a proofreader as part of your budget.

If you are a cash strapped small business and don’t have the budget perhaps ask a friend to cast a quick glance over your copy? It is unlikely that all errors will be caught, but it can be a cheaper way of getting a second set of eyes on your work. Not everybody can be a proofreader, but this could help you in the interim while you’re making your millions! Once you get to a point of being able to afford a service like this, it should be a critical part of your budget process.

What are your thoughts on hiring proofreaders? I would like to hear. Watch out for my next post of whether you should hire a copywriter or not.

Image copyright belongs to Mark Parisi

10 tips to keeping your head above the content marketing wave

19 Feb

Outsourcing stress

We all know that content marketing is a critical part of any marketing plan but quite frankly the sheer volume can be overwhelming. I’m currently creating a Marketing Strategy for a small business and naturally content is a large part of the plan. However, the creation of this content is time-consuming and needs to be well thought through.

The problem, especially for small businesses, is making it work and keeping your head above the content marketing wave. Here are my top 10 tips on coping. If you’ve got any tips to add, please let me know.

  1. Create a content strategy – this is a critical part of content marketing. Align the content strategy to your brand as well as your target market. Use any information that you have about your customers and potential customers. Analyse your current social media interactions and see what works and what doesn’t. Also, it is very important to set objectives for your content marketing – what do you want to achieve? Please see the infographic below, created by David Colgate, www.squaresquirrel.co.uk
  2. Decide on your content channels – you don’t have to be everywhere all at once. Understand what works for your business and stick to it. It is pointless being on Facebook, for example, if you’ve been going at it for ages and are getting nothing back. Pick your channels carefully in terms of what will deliver the best results for your business.
  3. Create a content calendar – this is a really critical step to surviving! Look at your social media channels, your competitors’ social media channels and let this guide you in creating your content calendar. This will give you some real insight into what the market craves in terms of information. A content calendar is a great planning tool. Remember quality is far more important than quantity, although of course you do need to be active in you social spaces. It is very important to remember that this plan needs to be fluid…you don’t want to stick to it like a fly and miss opportunities based on news and trends amongst others.
  4. Staff up – make sure you have the resources to be able to deal with creating the content – whether it be articles, press releases or infographics to name a few. Consider using staff and client interviews as well as testimonials for additional content that is easy to access and makes your brand more personal. If you’re able to handle the load in-house, that’s fantastic. Alternatively, hire freelance professionals to handle some of the content that you’re unable to get done.
  5. Support – follow loads of other businesses in the social media arena within your industry or for specific clients you would want to target. This is a way to get your name noticed and to encourage people to follow you on social media too.
  6. Share, share, share – this is a great way of creating content but not actually writing it yourself. If you see tweets, updates or posts that are great, share them – reblog, retweet, share on Facebook. Shares get you noticed. Share something, give credit and add a bit of your own opinion.
  7. Get guest bloggers – ask experts within your industry to guest blog for you. This is a great way of getting some excellent content out there.
  8. Join groups – join groups on LinkedIn and keep the conversation going. Ask questions, put your opinion forward and engage. This is also a fantastic way to get noticed and to position yourself as an expert
  9. Be active – don’t leave your Social Media accounts just hanging out there, keep them active, respond to comments and make sure you spend at least half an hour a day working on it
  10. Comment – always comment on various Social media platforms…get noticed.

Content Strategy

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