How These Brands Use Blog Content to Attract Customers & Clients

Running a business has its own rewards and challenges. As the owner of a company, you’re able to reap the benefits of total creative freedom and scheduling your own hours. This is great for business owners who are tasked with juggling family and business responsibilities at once. However, growing a business is easier said than done. The inability to properly manage marketing can quickly derail the company. 

And one way to grow the brand is with content writing. Maintaining a blog is a very effective way to do this. Blogging boosts your SEO, expands your reach, and makes your business appear more credible. Yet many businesses struggle to maintain a blog. But it doesn’t have to be as cumbersome as you might think. 

After you create a mission statement and goals for your blog, you might want to work with a marketing agency that specializes in your field. The more niche your content, the better. For example, as a legal company, you might want to work with a team like Sutton Digital (https://suttondigitalmarketing.com/), which offers dedicated legal writers with tailored experiences. On the other hand, you might hire a freelancer on a site like UpWork. Either way, always work with your writer(s) to ensure they understand your style, tone, and voice. 

Sometimes, seeing how other brands have made money with their blogs can help you better understand how it works, and inspire you to rethink your content efforts. With that in mind, here are a few brands that continue to generate income with their blogs: 

Slack 

Slack is a business-focused messaging platforms that makes collaboration and communication easier than ever. The Slack blog not only features extensive details on how to make the most of your Slack experience (you’d be surprised at how many users don’t leverage the full tech power of a product they use on a daily basis), but also how to build teams internally. Slack also strives to be transparent in their messaging, which is extremely important in business today. 

For example, in one blog post, they detailed the entire design and thought process behind their logo rebranding. This is something many companies don’t do—they simply rebrand and push their new look to consumers. But Slack wanted readers and users to have a deeper understanding of how their company makes decisions. Not only is this level of transparency useful to readers and users, but it also helps current business owners rethink how they approach their own branding efforts. 

River Pools 

No matter what size your business is or what industry you’re in, you can push your way towards extra dollars with content. Marc Sheridan, who ran a pool company called Sheridan Pools, was able to generate $2 million from a single blog post. The blog post addressed the most frequently asked question he received: how much will my pool installation cost? 

Up until that point, many companies weren’t detailing the answer with a face-to-face consultation or phone call. Breaking down the real price was difficult, and potential customers didn’t fully understand the process or how different features and setups affected their price. With  this blog post, the company was able to boost their credibility significantly, and it results in many new pool sales. 

Shopify 

As previously mentioned, one of the best (and organic) ways to connect with potential clients and customers is to infuse value. Shopify is a great example of this. The platforms offers Ecommerce websites to business owners looking to grow their brand. 

Rather than push their own product to its users, they took a step back to analyze the needs of their target market: business owners. Of course, they are multiple segments that fall under that umbrella, and Shopify does a great job of honing in on their ideal customer persona, which tends to lean in the independent entrepreneur side. With a thorough understanding of who they’re trying to attract, they were able to craft highly tailored content around that. 

What makes Shopify especially unique is that they don’t publish cookie-cutter content. What you’ll notice in much of their blog posts is that careful attention to detail, photos, and examples to back up what they’re saying. Rather than simply list web design trends, they point you towards beautiful websites created by successful Shopify users, thereby both illustrating their point and selling the product at once. As a result, Shopify has become not just an ecommerce platform, but a fully-fledged business resource. 

Mark Schaefer

Mark Schaefer is a marketing consultant who uses his marketing blog to help attract potential clients. Consulting and speaking engagement remain Schaefer’s top earning methods, but through the power of content marketing, he’s able to attract the clients that eventually hire him. Think about it: if you’re seeking marketing services, one of the first things you’ll do is head over to Google and conduct a standard search. You might click a few links and start reading blogs on the topic to learn more. If you stumbled upon a particularly useful blog post, you might continue to explore their website. Because they were able to provide you with value, as a consumer, you naturally moved further down the sales pipeline. Now that they’ve already helped you, you’re more inclined to reach out to them for their consulting services. 

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Building Your First Team: An Entrepreneur’s Guide

The majority of start-ups begin with a single entrepreneur working alone. While in the early days a business can be run by one or two people, as the enterprise expands it will need a bigger team with a wider pool of expertise. Recruiting your first employees is exciting, but it also presents a challenge. The business has been your project for some time and the thought of inviting other personalities on board can feel uncomfortable. However, as long as you recruit your team carefully and strategically, your team will enable you to take your business to new heights of success.

Decide on Your Business Culture

Your team should be comprised of people who are aligned with your values and work ethic. Of course, they should have the relevant experience and skills, but the world’s greatest expert in your industry may not be much use to you if they are not able to work within your team. Will your workplace be casual and friendly or more formal and professional?

Find Team Members Who Fit that Culture

When you have your company culture in mind, you can start to meet with candidates and assess whether or not they are a good fit. You should look for people who are willing to go the extra mile and are not afraid of a challenge, as growing any business is bound to come with ups and downs. Many teams are put together with no thought as to how they will work alongside one another, but this can lead to a very dysfunctional team with no shared values.

Set Out Clear Expectations for Every Team Member

Every member of your team should have a high level of self-motivation and a desire to bring their best to the table. They will all have their own areas of expertise, but they should be comfortable with collaborating and supporting others when the business requires it. From the outset you need to be clear about how you will measure and track their performance and should make any limited resources or potential obstacles clear to them.

Encourage Clear and Honest Communication

There are bound to be personality clashes between team members from time to time, especially during times of pressure. This is why it’s important to encourage open communication to prevent underlying issues or frictions from festering and becoming more toxic than necessary. Regular team meetings and an honest leadership style which welcomes everyone’s opinion, whether negative or positive, will show your team their voices will be heard. Inpulse Employee Engagement provides tools to help you understand the feelings and insights of your employees so you can build a more productive team.

Inspire the Team to Share Your Vision

You started your business because you had a vision. If you can build a team who share in that same vision and are as committed as you are to its success, you have the makings of an incredible team. The next step is to break that vision down into objectives and goals with a clear plan of how each team member will contribute at each step of the journey.

How to Spend Less in 2020: Tips for the New Year

The new year is almost here, and for many of us, that means it’s time to start thinking about personal changes and new year’s resolutions. One of the most common resolutions that people make in the UK, is to spend less and save more.

Although this might seem like a simple enough goal, figuring out how to manage your finances better isn’t always as easy as it seems. The good news? We’ve put together some helpful tips that you can use to spend a little less as you move into 2020.

Make a List

Whenever you go shopping for food and everyday essentials, the best thing you can do to help yourself spend less, is to take a list. A list will keep you and your loved ones on track as you wander around the supermarket being enticed by everything you see on the shelves. If you want to go a step further, you can even use the internet to find out how much each item will cost, then take only that amount of cash with you to the shop. You’ll have a hard time spending more than you meant to if you only have a certain amount of money with you.

Make it Easier to find Discounts

Just because most people don’t clip their vouchers out of newspapers and magazines anymore, doesn’t mean that they’re not using them. The digital world is full of coupon codes and hidden savings that you might not be aware of. One easy way to find more discounts is to follow your favourite brands on social media or sign up for their email newsletters. If you don’t want to clog your inbox up with too much advertising, then you can always create a separate email address just for messages from other brands. That way, you’ll never miss out on a sale.

Do More Comparison Shopping

Rather than just accepting the first price that you see for an item online, save yourself some cash by comparing that offer with other deals from different vendors. More often than not, you’ll be able to find a cheaper version of the same product elsewhere. Comparison shopping works for everything from big-ticket purchases, like new televisions, to when you want to cut the costs of your electricity and gas bills by switching providers.

Get Paid to Spend

You’re unlikely to become an overnight millionaire when you start using cashback websites, as you only earn a very small amount of money every time you buy something. However, if you’re going to be purchasing those products anyway, then it makes sense to get a little money back wherever you can. Look into cashback websites that work with your favourite brands and sign up for a free account to start developing your savings. Some companies will even let you fill out surveys for extra cash.

Save as a Student

Did you know that you can still get a student card if you’re not in full-time education. If you’re taking certain courses online, that still counts towards getting an education. This means that you can sign up for NUS extra cards and other accounts that give you immediate discounts on everything from your music streaming services to the price of your rail travel. Have a look online at the kind of courses you can sign up for to get started. Remember, learning something new could help you to earn a better-paying job too!

Assess Purchases According to Value

When you’re deciding what to buy in 2020, don’t just focus on the immediate price tag. Ask yourself how much value you’re going to get back over time. For instance, if using your emergency savings on a £300 car is going to lead to £3000 in repairs bills, then it makes more sense to take out a £3000 loan straight away. Think about how you can get the most out of every purchase and avoid making any big-ticket buy too fast. If you’re planning on spending more than £50, give yourself at least 24 hours to think it over.

Ask for Help

Finally, visit your local citizen’s advice bureau and find out what kind of extra help you might be eligible to. There are plenty of forms of financial support available out there today, as long as you’re willing to look for them. You may be able to cut the costs of your heating bills, or reduce your council tax expenses just by filling out a form.

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Money Management Tips to Change your Life in 2020

Money management is a tough subject for a lot of people.

We all know that we should be using our money carefully and watching what we spend to improve our chances of reaching our financial goals. However, if you’re not earning as much money as you’d like, and you constantly have bills to deal with, then the concept of dealing with your cash can end up being extremely daunting.

The good news? Now is the perfect time to make a change. With the new year just around the corner, you have an opportunity to make a money management resolution that will change your life in 2020. Here’s how to get started.

Know Your Cash Priorities

Before you can start thinking about things like budgeting and saving, you’ll need to determine what matters most to you. What do you want to accomplish with your cash right now? Do you just want to maintain your existing lifestyle as much as possible and save a little back for retirement? Maybe you want to save as quickly as possible for a big goal like a new home.

Knowing your priorities will help you to decide how much money you want to dedicate to your discretionary spending and your savings. Around 50% of your income should go towards your bills, while 30 could go to recreational spending, and 20 could go to saving, or vice versa.

Spend Money to Save Money

Deciding that you want to save more money doesn’t mean committing yourself to buying the cheapest option of everything. This is a common mistake that a lot of people make when they start dealing with money management for the first time. Instead, you might have to pay a little more from time to time to make sure that you get a better deal in the long term.

For instance, borrowing a little extra cash on your personal loan when you move into your new house, so that you can afford energy efficient appliances could save you a fortune on energy in the future. Measure the cost of each item against its long term benefits.

Track your Trigger Points

We all have areas in our financial lives where we struggle more to make good decisions with our money. For some people, the problem comes whenever they see a sale on clothes in their favourite store. Other people have a hard time saying no to their friends when they’re invited to go for a night on the town or join the group for an expensive meal.

Tracking where you spend your cash over a period of a few months will help you to figure out exactly where you’re having the hardest time sticking to your budget. Once you know your trigger points, you can find ways to fight them, or avoid them. For instance, consider asking your friends to come over to your home for drinks rather than going out one night.

Don’t Bury your Head in the Sand

Good financial management means creating a plan for your cash and following that plan as carefully as possible. For instance, you might even know where every penny in your pay is going to go at the

end of each month. However, there’s always a chance that something could happen in your world that you haven’t planned for. Over time, if you’re managing your money correctly, you’ll be able to put a small amount of your cash each month aside into an emergency savings fund that you can tap into when these problems arise.

However, if you don’t have your emergency savings fund yet, don’t just bury your head in the sand when things go wrong. Sometimes you’ll need to borrow money and use other cash to fix issues, and that’s okay. It’s often better to deal with problems like a broken boiler or an issue with your roof immediately, as the problem can become much more expensive later on.

Find What Works for You

Different people have different strategies for effective money management. Some people will need to use apps on their phone where they can keep track of all their spending each month. Other people will prefer to keep notes in a notebook that they can refer to from time to time. There’s no one-size-fits-all strategy for successfully saving cash and reducing your spending. Ultimately, you’ll need to experiment until you find what works for you.

If the envelope method of budgeting where you use cash for most of your offline expenses doesn’t work for you – switch to the 80/30/20 method instead. Keep trying new strategies until you find something that you feel comfortable with. 

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How to Take Your Business to the Next Level

You didn’t spend all that time attempting to bring your business to life only to see it falter and struggle in its startup stage. You envisaged your organization exceeding its exceptions and one day reaching the very pinnacle of its market. If your company is to reach these lofty heights, you’re first going to have to ensure that it takes the next all-important step in its development.

To find out how you can take your business to the next level, make sure to check out the advice below.

Set goals

Having a number of goals to work towards over a sustained period of time will benefit your business in a number of different ways. The biggest benefits that you stand to reap when you embrace the act of goal-setting include an enhanced clarity when it comes to your overall focus, the ability to measure and track your progress, and the opportunity to push the boundaries and try something new.

Believe it or not, there’s an art to setting goals in the world of business. To effectively take on this all-important challenge, you must:

  • Define quantifiable goals that are going to be worth the effort you put into achieving them
  • Be specific with the tasks that you set yourself
  • Make sure you are willing to commit to the goals that you set
  • Go public with your goals to ensure that you account for them
  • Set yourself a strict deadline
  • Reward yourself for each goal that you achieve

Embrace demand generation

Demand generation marketing refers to the act of driving awareness in a specific product and/or service. Being somewhat of an umbrella term, it is an advertising term that encompasses all stages of the marketing campaign. Specifically, it focuses on optimizing each individual touchpoint in the customer journey — from initially being interesting to the act of upsetting.

If you want to provide the right information to the right people at highly opportunistic times, you should be learning about demand generation. More to the point, you should be seeking to run a marketing campaign that has demand generation at its core.

The fundamentals of a great demand generation marketing strategy include:

  • Brand awareness
  • Inbound marketing
  • Sales enablement
  • Client retention

Commit yourself to continuous learning

If you think you know everything there is to know about the world of business, you’re wrong. There’s always something more for you to learn about customer trends, marketing, and technology, so you might want to consider committing yourself to continuous learning if you’re serious about taking your business to the next level. Quite simply, the more you know about today’s climate, the better chance you will have of providing a service befitting of current customer expectations.

Do you want to take your business to the next level? Of course you do! If you didn’t, what would be the point in owning a business at all? If your company is to take that all-important next step, you need to be putting all of the above advice into practice.

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