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What’s Your ESP?

What’s Your ESP?

Not sure? Here’s how to find out…

What did you think when you saw “ESP”?  Extra-sensory perception?  That’s certainly the common use of the abbreviation.  Or did you wonder if I meant “USP” – unique selling proposition?

What I’m going to talk about has nothing to do with the supernatural (well, maybe just a little) –  and it’s definitely related to your USP – but with a clever twist.

ESP = Emotional Selling Proposition.   What on earth does that mean?

Marketing – it’s all about emotion.

Every business needs clients, customers or whatever you prefer to call them – the people that buy your products or services.   These people don’t care what you do.  All they care about is how you will solve their problems.

I’m a scientist, so I like scientific explanations –  here you go:

There are three sections to the brain:  outer (new), middle, and reptilian.

The youngest part of the brain is the outer layer. It is responsible for such things as processing the written language, complex thinking, calculating, and rationalizing your decision.

The middle section of the brain processes emotional responses.  It gives you a gut feeling on your decision.

The oldest part of the human brain is the reptilian area (known as the amygdala)

The amygdala is responsible for instinct and survival.  Its main focus is to avoid pain – you’ve heard of “fight or flight”. This area makes our decisions.

The brain accounts for only 2% of our body weight, but uses 20% of the body’s energy.  Our bodies are optimised to conserve energy – hence the brain will only activate all its regions when it’s a case of survival –  and avoiding pain…

When writing marketing copy, creating graphics or videos, we need to think about what drives a customer to buy – and crucially, what initially attracts their attention.  We need to get the reptilian brain activated!

Accentuate the…. negative??

You’d think focussing on the positive aspects of your product or service would be the best place to start, wouldn’t you?

You certainly need to do that, but NOT at the beginning of your marketing piece.  Remember “fight or flight” and the reptilian brain?

Start with a negative.  Focus on the pain – not necessarily physical pain, but the bad feelings someone might have when they NEED what you offer.

Start by asking a question like “Are you struggling with xxxxx?”

Then;  “When you work with us, you’ll feel relieved because xxxxx”  (that’s the simplified version, you’d want to flesh it out a bit!)

Negative emotions are the most powerful trigger to the reptilian brain.

Your Ideal Client

I’m sure you’ll know what I mean –  you’ve probably heard countless times that you can’t market to everyone. Try to do that, and you end up attracting no-one.

Looking at this from an emotional standpoint, it becomes a bit more straightforward than the usual method of researching and creating a very specific “avatar” –  although it’s definitely still a good idea to do that.

When you think about your prospects (potential clients), what are they struggling with right now?  What would they do anything to fix?  Crucially, what EMOTIONS are they experiencing in their current situation?

Worry? Fear? Panic? Stress? Frustration?

Identify the problem and demonstrate the solution.

Almost certainly they will be feeling one of those negative emotions – which is why they are looking for a solution.  Your job is to identify this and describe exactly why your product or service is the answer. 

The way you do this is to start by portraying the negative emotions.  Think about the questions you’re most commonly asked, and imagine the emotions that prompt those questions.   As an example, an accountant might say “Are you feeling frustrated because you’re paying too much tax?”  or “Are you confused over who you can claim as a dependent for tax purposes?”

Now, offer a bit of reassurance –  show them you understand their problem completely.   And then demonstrate how the problem will be solved when they buy your product or service, by portraying the positive emotions that will result:   relief, peace of mind, sleeping better – and so on.

Finally, tell them what to do next (the all-important Call To Action that is so often forgotten).

When you follow this process, you’ll find marketing a whole lot easier because you’ve identified your ESP!

Your prospects will feel able to trust you –  you’ve demonstrated that you understand exactly what their problem is and shown them a simple solution.   Now it’s your responsibility to follow up and close the sale.

Putting it into practice…

Here’s another thing about the amygdala… because it’s the most primitive area of the brain, it responds in a primitive way.  Our ancestors were hunters – their survival depended on quick response to any threat (that fight or flight thing again!)    Threats tend to move – think sabre-toothed tigers…

What I’m getting to is that the human brain is hard-wired to respond to movement.  What moves and can be used in our marketing?  Video of course –  and let’s not forget gif images.  There’s a lot more to gifs than those silly ones you see on social media –  they can be a great promotional tool for your business.

I hope this has given you a few ideas and ways to improve your marketing strategy.  As always, I welcome feedback so please feel free to leave a comment below.

Need Help?

Want a bit of help identifying your ESP?  Book a 15 minute free, no-obligation call with me HERE.  We’ll explore the emotions your potential clients might be feeling, and discuss your solutions.

Or ask me about a bespoke whiteboard explainer video for your business that focuses on situations and emotions, ideal for getting your prospects excited about working with you.

Here’s an example:

Did you know that gifs could be used to promote your business?   They are image files, so they’re really easy to share on social media, embed in emails or even add to your website.

is your marketing boring?  

Ask me about having one created for your business.

Why not say hello on my Facebook page too? 

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Unsubscribe at any time by clicking the ‘unsubscribe’ link at the bottom of every email. Your details will be stored in my email marketing software but will never be sold to third parties. For full information on how your data is processed, please see the Privacy Notice.

Copyright © 2019 Naomi Jane Johnson t/a Value Added Video
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6 Reasons You Need Content Marketing To Build Your Business

6 Reasons You Need Content Marketing To Build Your Business

Why content marketing?

You’ve probably seen the term everywhere in the last few years, but do you know what content marketing is?
The Content Marketing Institute defines it thus:

Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.

There are several ultra-important words in this sentence – my picks would be: relevant, consistent, attract, audience, profitable. 

What does content marketing actually involve?

Most small businesses with an online presence have at least a vague idea of the concept of content marketing. In practice, it’s the process of publishing e-books, videos, articles, images and any other type of content online to market a business or product.

There are a couple of problems, though. Much of the content marketing advice you’ll read online comes from digital marketing agencies, and it’s often overwhelming for a small business that doesn’t have a marketing team. How on earth are you supposed to pump out all those videos and e-books when you’ve products to sell and customers to keep happy?

In a fit of enthusiasm, you create a PDF and then post about it a little on social media. This doesn’t work, which means you don’t get the results you expected and – understandably – you now feel despondent about the whole idea of content marketing.

But the bottom line is that content marketing IS important and well worth getting to grips with. Let’s look at some of the reasons why:

Great content is valuable for SEO.

These days, search engine optimization has to start with quality content. True, you still need some keywords and backlinks to your site to do well in Google searches, but the days when just keywords and backlinks worked are long gone.

Google is pretty smart these days – it understands questions and longer phrases, so a long string of keywords at the bottom of your web page won’t help, and could actually get you penalised.  I’m amazed that some websites still have this – and “keyword stuffing” just looks so obvious and unnatural!

Google also looks at other factors such as your social media activity, and the relevance of your content. By that I mean how good you are at answering questions that people are asking – and searching for the answers – in Google.

Content brings you traffic.

You need content to encourage visitors to your website, for example a Facebook page post or an Instagram image. Then you need content to let them get to know, like and trust you. Posting regular blogs and videos will be a valuable contribution. If they like what you publish, they’ll come back for more.

It’s an ongoing process; you need to be publishing content such as social media updates on a daily basis, or several times a day – and blogging regularly (I’d suggest at least once a month, but find your own comfort level).

Ideally,you should be creating other types of content such as videos, slideshares, infographics regularly too. Don’t forget that one piece of content (e.g. a blog post) can be repurposed into other forms such as video, slideshare, downloadable checklist etc.

When you understand how to extract the maximum value from your content, it won’t seem like such hard work.

Content brings you leads.

 Once you’ve captured attention with your content you’ll need more to generate leads. You can do this by exchanging a useful checklist or guide (yes, this is content too!) for your visitors’ email addresses. Think about the questions that your clients ask you most frequently, and create a guide, checklist or cheat sheet that answers these questions – all you need is a Word document, made into a pdf and uploaded to your website.

Set up your email software to deliver this as a download when someone enters their email address, and bingo – job done and a new subscriber on your list.

Content builds trust.

There are millions of websites out there, why should anyone buy from yours? You need to make a connection with your visitors, to show you understand them and can be trusted to deliver exactly what they need.

Guess how you do that? Yes, with content – relevant content that answers their questions and addresses their concerns, making you the go-to person in your niche. When that happens, watch your business become profitable!

Content grows your brand.

If your content has a consistent message that’s congruent with the rest of your business then your content will tell the world about what you do, how and why.

People will be attracted to you because your message triggers an emotional response, making them feel “I need this”. Quite simply, emotion is the fuel for every successful marketing strategy. 

Content helps you sell.

There is an art to writing product descriptions and articles that sell. It’s all about emotion! But to make your sales content work at its best you’ll need to deliver it to your audience when they are 100% ready to buy. How do you know when that is? If you’ve been nurturing and tracking their progress using content marketing, then you’ll have all the information you need.

As you can see, there’s a bit more to content marketing than posting on social media and updating your website a couple of times per year. If done well it can bring you traffic, leads and sales. Are you ready to get started? 

Questions?  Post them below!

Ready to get started?

All types of content are essential to marketing these days but it’s time-consuming to create those images and videos if you’re new to the whole concept of content marketing.

Take a look at my done-for-you Brilliant Business Bundles that give you eye-catching graphics and videos for your website and social media, as well as help with setting up your Facebook Ad campaigns.  They’re designed for busy business owners just like you, to save you lots of time and effort!

Why not say hello on my Facebook page too? 

Blogging is another essential content strategy – if you’ve not started blogging yet, or maybe you’ve been blogging for a while but there are aspects you don’t understand, or you’re not happy with the way your blog looks – my blogging support package Be A Better Blogger  will definitely have something to suit your needs –  why not take a look now?

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If you’d like to receive occasional emails with useful hints and tips for your online marketing, simply add your details on the right and click SEND.
Unsubscribe at any time by clicking the ‘unsubscribe’ link at the bottom of every email. Your details will be stored in my email marketing software but will never be sold to third parties. For full information on how your data is processed, please see the Privacy Notice.

Copyright © 2019 Naomi Jane Johnson t/a Value Added Video
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16 Motivational Quotes For Entrepreneurs (Free To Share)

16 Motivational Quotes For Entrepreneurs (Free To Share)

Need a bit of motivation?

Sometimes, a quote is all you need to get you motivated and in the mood to tackle something you’ve been putting off… here’s a selection that I hope you will find helpful!

You are welcome to share – all I ask is that you link back to this blog.  

The images are optimised for Pinterest, but they will work on most social networks (not Instagram) 

Let me know…

Which one resonates most with you?

Please feel free to download and share, but you MUST include the following credit:
Designed by Naomi J Johnson / Value Added Video

or simply link back to this blog post.

Happy Sharing!

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If you’d like to receive occasional emails with useful hints and tips for your online marketing, simply add your details on the right and click SEND.
Unsubscribe at any time by clicking the ‘unsubscribe’ link at the bottom of every email. Your details will be stored in my email marketing software but will never be sold to third parties. For full information on how your data is processed, please see the Privacy Notice.

Copyright © 2019 Naomi Jane Johnson t/a Value Added Video
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How To Get Your Blog Posts Noticed

How To Get Your Blog Posts Noticed

I wrote a blog post – what’s next?

You’ve written a blog post –  great!  It feels good doesn’t it?  Now that it’s written and published,  obviously people will be flocking to read it…?

Sorry to burst your bubble, but that’s not going to happen, unless you’re a worldwide celebrity or member of the blogging Illuminati.  For us mere mortals, the work does not stop when that blog post is published.   The world is not eagerly awaiting your latest words of wisdom.   “If you build it, they won’t come” is the truth of the matter.

I’ve previously written about the benefits of blogging for your business, how to generate ideas and write consistently.  It’s worth a reminder here that blogging is not about self-promotion. It’s about providing useful, relevant content that your target audience finds interesting – and cultivating that audience over weeks, months and even years.

Let’s look at a few ways to get your amazing blog post noticed and read by as many of your target clients as possible.

Be yourself.

We are all influenced by others – by what we read, what we watch and listen to.  You should develop your own style of writing, just as you have your own ways of speaking and interacting with family, friends and business colleagues.

Don’t try to be someone you’re not – obviously this applies in every aspect of business.  People are quick to spot a fake!

Use simple language.

Write as if you’re speaking to a friend or colleague who doesn’t have your level of specialist knowledge – think about how you’d explain something them in simple terms.

Don’t try to baffle people with technical jargon or complex descriptions (unless you are writing solely for an audience in the same industry as you).  Always make it conversational and invite feedback.

Promote other blogs and bloggers.

As I said at the start, blogging is not all about you.  If you’ve read a great post recently, and it’s relevant to the topic you’re currently writing about, include a link to that blog.

Hyperlink it with relevant keywords and you’ve given yourself an SEO boost as well as helping the other blogger. Share other blogs on social media too, if the topic is relevant to your audience.  I do this all the time.

I use Feedly, a free RSS aggregator tool, to compile lists of relevant blogs that I can easily scan and pick out interesting and relevant posts to share.  It’s not all about you!

I read a few other blog posts to help me compile this one, including “How to get your blog noticed” by Arfa at She Means Blogging.  Check it out! 

Share on social media.

This is an obvious one but many bloggers forget that sharing a post just once isn’t going to work.   Once you’ve written and published a blog post, you need to share it multiple times for as long as it’s relevant to your audience – which may well be years!

Yes there’s work involved, but there are many tools that allow you to automate social media posts. Having said that, I don’t recommend automating everything, because it looks bad and will likely reduce the reach of your posts.

I find Buffer particularly useful – if you install its Chrome extension, it’s very easy to share a snippet of your blog post – simply highlight the text you want to share, right-click and choose “share selected text”.
Choose which social network to share on and you’re done!

buffer selected text

Appropriate social networks will vary according to your business, but in general I’d recommend Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn as the best places to share.

In particular, Facebook groups are worth spending time researching and joining those where your target clients are likely to hang out.  Be aware though that each group has its own rules – don’t share blog or website links if that contravenes the group’s rules.

Just think  – if someone in a group asked a question and you happen to have a blog post that provides an answer – wouldn’t it be worthwhile replying to their question and linking to your blog post?  They’re very likely to go and read the post –  and with any luck, explore more of your website too.   I’ve used this strategy myself many times –  the majority of my clients find me via Facebook.

For many business bloggers, Pinterest is a must. You may think of Pinterest as a social network, but it’s primarily a search engine, and a very effective one.  People use Pinterest for research and they are often on there with the intent to buy.  I’ll come back to Pinterest later when I discuss images.

Repurpose your blog posts.

It would be silly not to mention this in an article about getting your blog posts noticed.   What do we mean by repurposing?

A blog post is a piece of written content –  generally 500 words or more in length.  When you’ve written a piece of that length, it gives you many shorter snippets that you can use for:

  • Tweets
  • Facebook posts
  • Instagram posts
  • LinkedIn articles or posts
  • Pinterest pins

You could also record a video of yourself talking about the content of your post –  upload it to YouTube, Facebook and LinkedIn.  Take a 60 second snippet and share to Instagram and your Stories on Facebook and Instagram –  or Instagram TV if you’ve set that up (I haven’t as yet!)

Make a slideshare presentation based on your blog post, turn that into a pdf and offer it as a free download.  The official term for this is a Content Upgrade.  You’re giving people a way to keep the blog post for reference, without having to return to read the original every time.  And of course when you offer the download in return for their email address, you go on to keep in touch with them regularly – ensuring you’re always in their mind when they need the sort of help you provide.

As an alternative video idea, use Lumen5 to produce a short slideshow-style video based o the blog post.  I’ve done that several times – here’s a video based on my post “Blog Like You Mean It”

Add eye-catching images.

This is so important.  Research has shown that the brain processes images up to 80,000 times faster than text.   A block of text looks plain and uninteresting, but add a vibrant image or video, and we’re immediately drawn to the page.

the eye processes visual content up to 60,000 times faster than text

Any old image you find on Google won’t do –  unless you want a hefty fine.  You need copyright free images, or even better, those you’ve created yourself.

We talked about Pinterest earlier –  if you plan to use it, you’ll need to take the time to create additional images because it has very specific requirements – the optimum size is 600 x 900 pixels (portrait orientation).  I make sure each of my blog posts has a “pinnable” image at the bottom – as well as a “featured” image at the top.

It’s often worth adding the title of your blog post on the image – and always make sure you use a keyworded alt tag (this helps with SEO as it shows up when the image doesn’t load for whatever reason)

And of course, don’ t forget your call to action at the end of each post.  Tell people what you want them to do next…

Email your subscribers.

You do have an email list, don’t you? People who’ve opted in to hear from you regularly…
When you publish a new blog post, it makes sense to let these people know – send them an email with a brief precis of the post and a link to read it in full.  Always invite them to reply or message you if they want further information or simply to offer feedback.

Your turn…

What do you do to promote your blog?  What works best for you? What do you need help with?
Let me know in the comments.

Not sure how to get started?  I’d love to help –  check out my blogging support packages or message me with any questions you have about blogging or creating eye-catching images and videos.

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Unsubscribe at any time by clicking the ‘unsubscribe’ link at the bottom of every email. Your details will be stored in my email marketing software but will never be sold to third parties. For full information on how your data is processed, please see the Privacy Notice.

Copyright © 2019 Naomi Jane Johnson t/a Value Added Video
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Will Blogging Help My Business?

Will Blogging Help My Business?

Why do I need a blog?

By the time you’ve read to the end, you’re more likely to be asking “Why would I NOT need a blog?”

Quite simply, every business can benefit from a regularly updated blog.  There are many positives and virtually no negatives (apart from the fact that it takes time to set up and keep updated –  but every business activity takes time, doesn’t it?)

Let’s explore a few of the reasons you need a blog for your business.

Blogging boosts your search engine rankings.

SEO (search engine optimisation) is a term the majority of business owners will have heard.  Put simply, it means “getting found on Google”.

Google is by far the most popular search engine and it’s where the majority of people go nowadays when they want to find something, whether that’s a particular product, or specific information.

But here’s the thing: most people aren’t going to look beyond the first page of search results (unless they have plenty of time to spare).   If your website isn’t on that first page, chances are it won’t be found.

These days, Google is very clever – it understands far more than single keywords.  A well-written blog post that answers a specific question has a very good chance of appearing near the top of the results –  what if you’d written that post?

Also, Google pays attention to websites that are frequently updated – by its very nature, a blog is updated frequently.  Google therefore sees this as a signal that the website is trustworthy and a valuable resource.

Establish yourself as an expert in your niche.

Regular blog posts that provide information about topics relevant to your current and potential clients, and that answer frequently asked questions, go a long way towards making you a “thought leader”.

In other words, you’re positioning yourself in your clients’ eyes as someone who can be trusted to help solve those problems that keep them awake at night.  They’ll soon begin seeking you out when they need help – and maybe referring you to their colleagues too.   How beneficial would that be to your business?

You ARE an expert – you know more about solving specific problems than a potential client,  even if it’s only a little bit more!   It’s your job to make this clear throughout your marketing, and business blogging is a key strategy you need to use.

Blogging is free.

We don’t get much for free these days!  OK, you’ll need a website if you don’t already have one, but there’s no need to pay for anything other than your domain name and hosting fees.  £50 per year should easily cover everything. The horror stories I’ve heard about astronomical prices and highly unethical practices from website companies would fill an entire blog post, so let’s just leave that there…

A regularly updated blog is a free source of traffic to your website – we’ve previously mentioned that Google loves fresh content, and what could be better than getting potential clients to your website WITHOUT running pay-per-click ads or spending a fortune on SEO (lots of unethical companies in that niche too!)

Email marketing is often free, but most people don’t read marketing emails –  and with GDPR in force, it’s a bit of a minefield.

Anyone can blog.  Yes, that includes you.  If you can write, you can blog.  It’s not rocket science.

What do I blog about?

This has to be the most frequently asked question, and it seems to be a major sticking point for people even when they understand how important blogging is.

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Think about the questions your current and potential clients are always asking – write answers to those.
  • Write a case study –  how did you help a client get great results? (obviously, ask permission before doing this, and change names if required to preserve anonymity)
  • Write a list – tools or apps you couldn’t live without, blogs and websites you always visit to keep up to date – people love to read lists!
  • Write a “how to” post.  Explain comprehensively how to do something that your clients would find useful – even better if you include a video demonstration. “How To” is one of the top search terms in Google and YouTube, so this type of post is always valuable.
  • Take a look at competitors’ blogs for further ideas and inspiration.  You should never copy word-for-word, of course, but writing a similar post in your own words, with your own slant on the topic, is perfectly OK and very worthwhile.

Are you getting the idea?  Write down a few potential blog post topics now –  keep a folder specifically for this.

Ready to start blogging?

I hope you’re beginning to understand how important blogging is for your business.   If you need further inspiration, take a look at my post “Blog Like You Mean It

I’d love to read your blog –  why not share in the comments,  or message me on Facebook.

Not blogging yet and not sure about the best way to get started? Have you been blogging for a while but there are aspects you don’t understand, or you’re not happy with the way your blog looks?
Either way, my blogging support package Be A Better Blogger  has something to suit your needs –  why not take a look now?

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If you’d like to receive occasional emails with useful hints and tips for your online marketing, simply add your details on the right and click SEND.
Unsubscribe at any time by clicking the ‘unsubscribe’ link at the bottom of every email. Your details will be stored in my email marketing software but will never be sold to third parties. For full information on how your data is processed, please see the Privacy Notice.

Copyright © 2019 Naomi Jane Johnson t/a Value Added Video
Privacy Notice :: Terms :: Disclaimer