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  • Permalink attend the 2011 American Film Market - Day 3 - Panel 1 Finance Conference Current Issues in the Production, Financing and Distribution of Independant Film, held at the Fairmont Hotel on November 4, 2011 in Santa Monica, California.Gallery

    What are the Key Stages in the Development of a Successful Conference or Event? Part 1 – Topic Generation and Programme Development

What are the Key Stages in the Development of a Successful Conference or Event? Part 1 – Topic Generation and Programme Development

The identification of topics is an ongoing process and you should be constantly on the lookout for ‘hot topics’ by reading as much of the online and offline general and industry-specific business media as possible.

It is also important to sign up to daily and weekly news bulletins, blogs and industry forums on social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

You will be on the lookout for news and information relating to:

·        Key developments in technology

·        Changes in legislation and taxation

·        Government policy

·        Financial issues

Once you have an idea for a potential conference subject, you should then spend a few days finding out as much as you can about the subject and saving relevant articles and links into a file.

From this information, you should be able to pinpoint the key issues and the names of around 40 people or companies mentioned in the articles, whom you will be able to call in order to research into the feasibility of holding such an event. In addition, you should also speak to past speakers and delegates from other relevant events.

Following a polite introduction to explain the purpose of your call, you will then ask a series of ‘open questions’ relating to the potential conference subject such as:

“ I am carrying out some research into the feasibility of holding a conference on the subject of Cyber Security, and I understand that your consultancy gives advice to users of encryption devices that can be used by internet users. What do you feel are the advantages and disadvantages of this method of security?”

From this research, you should have enough information to base your decision on whether or not there is a need for such an event. You will also be able to write your […]

By |October 12th, 2017|Conference Production, Research|Comments Off on What are the Key Stages in the Development of a Successful Conference or Event? Part 1 – Topic Generation and Programme Development
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    Asking Customers for Reviews of Your Services on Google Business Listing

Asking Customers for Reviews of Your Services on Google Business Listing

Having customer reviews of your company’s products and services on your google business listing on google search and google maps will have a major impact on how you’re perceived by future customers and will also boost your google ranking.

Potential customers want to see what others have said about you before contacting you. It’s also important that you stand out from your competitors.

You may be fortunate enough to be receiving unsolicited customer reviews on a weekly basis. However, if this is not the case there is no harm in being proactive and asking for a review.

Requesting Reviews from Customers

Future customers – ask verbally if they would be happy to write a few words and follow-up by email or text to remind them.

Past customers – send an email or text to all of your repeat customers and any others that you know were happy with your services. It’s obviously not a good idea to send your request to anyone who might write something negative.

Thank them for their custom and tell them how much you value them as clients. Explain that your goal is to provide the very best service and that you’re always looking for ways to improve. Ask them for a few minutes of their time to give their feedback as it will allow you to improve your service.

Make It Easy for Them to Respond

The last thing you want is your valuable customers spending unnecessary extra time completing this request, so make it easy for them to do so. Include a hyperlink to the review section of your google business listing in your request.

You can also add a sentence to your email signature (with a hyperlink), which will automatically appear in all correspondence and act […]

By |August 24th, 2017|Digital Marketing, Marketing|Comments Off on Asking Customers for Reviews of Your Services on Google Business Listing
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    What’s the best way to make the initial contact with a prospective speaker for a business conference?

What’s the best way to make the initial contact with a prospective speaker for a business conference?

Email

This is a tried and tested means of communication and used correctly is one of the most effective means of contacting prospective conference speakers.

Keep the tone of your message personal, friendly, informative and professional. Show that you’ve done your research and that your selective in approaching them.

A short, catchy and creative subject heading that ‘grabs’ their attention and inspires them to open your message is very important. Use two to three sentence paragraphs, the first of which should summarize why you are contacting them and how you found them. This could be:

your internet research flagged them as an authority on the subject
recommended by an associate (include their name).
they had spoken at a previous event

Keep initial emails short (around 250 words) and don’t send lots of attachments. I would recommend saving your attachments in a drop box file and including the links in the body of your email.

LinkedIn

Upgrading your LinkedIn account to a premium membership offers you many advantages for prospective speaker contact and acquisition.

Firstly, it allows you unlimited searches for appropriate speaker candidates, narrowed down by geographical location, industry, company size and job titles.

Secondly, it gives you the opportunity to ‘reach out’ to people who are not part of your network, with a simple but effective message to invite them to speak at your event. You can also include hyperlinks to your programme and other reference materials.

It’s important to note that this should not be your only means of contact, as for a variety of reasons not everyone that has a LinkedIn account actually check their messages.

Although, I have personally had a great deal of success using this method, I would recommend it as part of a three-pronged approach using telephone, email and LinkedIn.

Telephone

I would also recommend that all contacts with prospective […]

By |April 17th, 2017|Conference Production|Comments Off on What’s the best way to make the initial contact with a prospective speaker for a business conference?
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    What is the best type of real estate event to attend if you are looking to buy or sell a property?

What is the best type of real estate event to attend if you are looking to buy or sell a property?

Property buyers and sellers attend seminars and exhibitions for a number of reasons. To find out about new properties, to network and research, and to meet new customers.

At a seminar or conference there will be opportunities for property buyers and sellers to network during the refreshment and lunch breaks, and possibly at a cocktail reception at the end of the day.

Exhibitors are reliant on potential customers making the effort to visit their stands, and can spend a lot of time speaking to people who may not be relevant.

A number of exhibition organisers have introduced appointment systems to try and overcome this problem. However, even if an appointment has been made there is still no guarantee that the customer will turn up, or that they will necessarily fit the buyers customer profile.

It is still very much a numbers game and if 50 people visit the stand statistics show that as little as 2% may become customers.

A matchmaking event is very different and has many advantages over the traditional property exhibition and seminar model. The organisers spend a lot of time prior to the event qualifying the relevance and credibility of both the property buyers and sellers, who will be attending, to make sure they fit each other’s chosen criteria.

This is no small undertaking and months of preparation has to take place to build a database of relevant, qualified people to make sure an appropriate match can take place.

Instead of wandering around a large exhibition hall looking for relevant property companies, the buyers are matched with developers and agents, who offer properties of the type, price range and geographical area of their choosing, for pre-arranged one-to-one meetings.

This is a valuable process that maximises the time of both […]

By |March 21st, 2016|Uncategorized|Comments Off on What is the best type of real estate event to attend if you are looking to buy or sell a property?

What makes web copywriting compelling?

Business to Business (B2B) Web Copywriting

Are you looking for a great idea or some inspiration to make your web copywriting compelling? Do you need words to move and inspire your customers? Words are powerful in any business, but only if you use and implement them in the right way.

Understand your target audience

It is important that you understand the make up and buying habits of your potential customers. Why do they buy from you? Why do they not buy from you? You can also look at the demographic profile of your existing customers. What are their job titles? Are they from any specific industry sectors or geographical areas? So that you can set the right style, tone, language and vocabulary for your copywriting.

You can also read trade magazines, periodicals and blogs from that industry sector to get a better understanding of the reader’s language. Your copy can then be tailored to make the reader feel that you are addressing them personally.

Attention grabbing headlines

Your website copywriting can be the most compelling and persuasive ever written but if you don’t have an equally powerful headline to entice your readers it won’t be read.

Short punchy sentences and paragraphs

Most readers will skim read your text as they do not have the time to read everything. So use short sentences and paragraphs, using sub headings and bullet points, to quickly and simply explain, what your product is, what it does and why it will be of interest to your readers.

It is also important to put as many benefits (not features) of your product or service in the first paragraph to hook them in. If they then decide that it is interesting enough to read more, they can then click-through to the supporting pages containing all the facts and features. […]

By |September 20th, 2013|Copywriting, Marketing, Web Copy|Comments Off on What makes web copywriting compelling?
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    What is a B2B copywriter and why do you need one for your business?

What is a B2B copywriter and why do you need one for your business?

According to Wikipedia “Copywriting is the act of writing copy (text) for the purpose of advertising or marketing a product, business, person, opinion or idea. The reader of the copy is persuaded to buy the product advertised for, or subscribe to the viewpoint the text shares”.

In the case of B2B (business to business) products and services are sold from one company to another, as opposed to being sold directly to the end-user as in B2C (business to consumer).

Essentially, a B2B copywriter is someone who specialises in writing “words that sell”, and who can turn mundane “just acceptable” words and sentences into powerful, persuasive copy that connects with readers and compels them to act. This is not a skill that is learnt overnight. It takes many years of business to business writing to perfect.

It is very easy for businesses to feel that they could and should be writing their own copy for their website, brochures and other sales materials. In fact one of my customers explained that they had spent a month writing their own copy for their first website. During this time they had focussed all of their efforts on writing copy and it had completely taken over their lives.

This meant that they were distracted from their core business activities necessary to build their business and gain new customers. At the end of the month they had finally finished their website but still had no clients.

Two months later they had only received a few enquiries through it and finally came to me through a recommendation. I was able to rewrite the copy for them and their business has now taken off. The moral of this story is that although it is tempting to think that by doing it yourself it will save you money, in the long […]

By |September 6th, 2013|Copywriting, Marketing, Web Copy|Comments Off on What is a B2B copywriter and why do you need one for your business?
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    Email marketing campaigns can be cost effective but do they get results?

Email marketing campaigns can be cost effective but do they get results?

Once you have built up a mailing list of “opted in” prospects and clients, reaching them through email marketing is extremely cost-effective, as you are cutting out the design, print, mailing house middle men, normally associated with direct mail. However, this list must be continually kept up to date with “opted out” and change of address of contacts before each use.

Even when you are emailing your own database there will still be a large percentage of recipients who will not open your email to read your offering. So what can you do to rectify this situation? What day of the week and time of day are you sending your emails? Are you using a third-party mailer?  Has you IP address been blocked by any internet service providers?
Email marketing is complex undertaking fraught with potential hurdles to overcome but done properly it can produce very positive results for very little investment of time and money.
The first and most important part of your email is the heading so getting it right is absolutely critical. You will have a second for the recipients to decide whether to open or delete it, so a short punchy sentence will have the most impact.

The body copy of the email must be attractively laid out with plenty of white space and the first sentence and paragraph should be full of benefits and hooks to compel the reader to read to the end and respond to the call to action at the bottom of the page.

Although, you will of course receive responses to your first email marketing campaign the majority will need to receive a further two or three updates and reminders before acting. Emails are a productive and lucrative way of developing your business.

By |August 23rd, 2013|Copywriting, Email Marketing, Marketing|Comments Off on Email marketing campaigns can be cost effective but do they get results?
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    What is the best way to find a B2B copywriter for your business?

What is the best way to find a B2B copywriter for your business?

Are you looking for a freelance B2B Copywriter that specializes in your industry sector and understands your language or are you more interested in someone with a general business background that could bring a fresh perspective to your business?

Have you been recommended someone in particular or are you relying on the internet? A google search for “freelance B2B Copywriter” will offer a multitude of possible people. So what criteria should you be using to narrow it down and find the perfect writer for your business?

There are a number of options including agencies, copywriting companies and freelancers. However, without the benefit of a personal referral or recommendation the internet can seem a bit like looking for a needle in a haystack. Your search can be broken down by industry specific experience or someone who specialises in websites or sales letters etc.

With only the website to go on what should you be looking for?  Essentially a well laid out website with information that helps you reach your goal as quickly as possible is a good start. The answers to these questions should also help?

Does the website contain copy that connects with you?
Is it written in simple but persuasive language?
Is it clear what services they are offering?
Is the home page full of benefits as opposed to features of their products and services?
How compelling is their offering?
What makes it stand out from the rest?
Does the home page have a powerful call to action?
Do you feel obligated to find out more by clicking to the services, portfolio and testimonials page?

As you can see seeking out a suitable freelance B2B Copywriter for your business on the internet is fraught with potential obstacles and uncertainty but a number of checks can be done to help you in your endeavours.

By |August 9th, 2013|Copywriting, Marketing, Web Copy|Comments Off on What is the best way to find a B2B copywriter for your business?

Which is the most effective print advertising or inserts?

The purpose of using a magazine or periodical to promote your product or service is to reach your prospective target audience in the most effective way possible. However, should you be looking at print advertising or inserts?

Print advertising is very effective if it is in a prime slot in the inside pages or next to relevant editorial (not your own) in a popular magazine or periodical, preferably with a paid for subscriber base. The headline and copy should be powerful and seductive enough to grab your reader’s attention and compel them to act. To achieve this your web address and telephone numbers should feature prominently in the advertisement.

A promotional flyer or brochure inserted into a magazine will normally have a greater impact, as it is something that the reader can physically interact with, although it does have some cons. For one magazines and periodicals are normally passed around an organisation, so advertising will have a higher potential readership, as inserts will normally be read and discarded by the first reader.

However, from my own personal experience of using magazines and periodicals to promote my services over the past 20 years, a promotional flyer insert has always received a higher return on my investment, second only to a promotional flyer and sales letter being mailed directly to a named prospect.

Once again copywriting is the key to the success of the flyer or brochure. The headline must have a strong hook to grab their attention and the body copy compelling and persuasive with lots of benefits and a powerful call to action.  There are of course associated charges including design, typesetting and printing, which are not necessarily relevant to an advertisement. So the costs should be looked into carefully.

Whichever you decide to use it is important that it is part of a marketing strategy, that should include placement of a series of […]

By |July 26th, 2013|Copywriting, Marketing|Comments Off on Which is the most effective print advertising or inserts?
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    Newsletter Copywriting – Keeping in touch with your customers

Newsletter Copywriting – Keeping in touch with your customers

Have you ever considered starting your own B2B newsletter to communicate with your customer base and draw new users to your website?
Is it still on the back-burner due to other work commitments?

Are you concerned about the commitment to come up with stimulating newsletter copy on a regular basis?
Newsletter copywriting can be outsourced to a B2B copywriter for a minimum fee. The cost involved will be paid back ten times over for the opportunity to keep in touch with your prospects and clients in the most unobtrusive way.

If you can give them useful information and news, which will help them to attract and convert more clients and keep them up to date with developments in their industry, they will look forward to receiving it every week. The added bonus is that it will also give you the opportunity to remind them of your existence and keep them updated on your product and services.
It’s a proven fact that prospects sometimes need three to four reminders before buying from you so this is an ideal way of keeping them in the loop.
It is very easy to set up as there are many templates available on the web. There is also software available to help you manage the subscribe and unsubscribe requests functionality, and very efficient email marketing service providers such as Mail Chimp and Aweber to manage your database and send out your e-newsletters for you.

It is also a very efficient way of capturing contact details of prospective clients. You could offer a free e-book or the chance to win something as an incentive for them to subscribe.

 

By |July 12th, 2013|Copywriting, Marketing, Web Copy|Comments Off on Newsletter Copywriting – Keeping in touch with your customers