I was in elementary school when Paul Simon came out with “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover.” I haven’t counted the number of ways in the song but I don’t think it was 50.
Today, business owners have almost as many ways to tell their story than Paul Simon had to leave his lover (not sure if he left her since they were sleeping on it in the last verse). Let’s just talk about 10.
- Your website. This is often the first impression you make on a customer. You can include many story-telling techniques on your site but make sure to include these pages–about, contact, homepage, landing page, etc… and make sure the pages are error free and well written.
- Blog. A blog is an easy way to share your uncensored thoughts about your company and industry (hint, you are reading one right now). The blog can help your search engine rankings. If you don’t have one, you can create one right here in WordPress and link it to your website. And if you don’t have a website, you can create one of those right here in WordPress, too.
- Press release. Newspapers are not dead and not everything is “fake news.” Your local media is a great partner in telling your story. Some newspapers, like the Kansas City Star, have a separate website for posting press releases. You can also use online distribution sites to reach a wider audience. Some of these do require a fee but some of them are free.
- Business announcement. I consider these different from press releases because you are targeting just the business section of a newspaper or magazine. These are sections that are like “Who’s Who in Business.” Do you have a new employee? Have you promoted an employee? Send in an announcement to a magazine or newspaper’s business section. It’s good for employee morale and for public relations.
- Case study. How has your company helped one of your customers? Case studies tell the story of how you met a challenge with a winning solution. A case study more than a testimonial–it’s a complete story. Companies post these on their websites and add them to their media kits.
- White papers. While case studies focus on a customer/client experience, white papers focus on the benefits of a product for customers. These are longer and are usually just used business to business. White papers require extensive research.
- Photographs. You don’t just have to tell your story with words. Instagram, Pinterest and other social media sites allow you to tell your story with pictures and captions.
- Videos. Once very expensive to make, prices have decreased for professional videos. If the video is going to be used for a recruitment or sales too, hire someone to produce it.
- Infographics. Sites like Canva have made it easy for marketers to produce graphics that are eye-catching. Make sure the infographic tells a story about your business.
- Podcasts allow you to listen anywhere–in your car, while working out, etc… If you don’t like your own voice, hire a voice-over professional.
You know you want to tell your story using one or more of these methods but you have no idea where to begin or what may work for you. That’s where I can help. If you have read this far, I will offer a 25 percent discount on my services if you sign before June 15. Click here to set up a free consultation.
I have been writing professionally for more years than I am going to admit. I want to keep up the ruse that I am 35. But I have a big birthday this month and let’s just say I am not 35.
Like some women, I have been through many hairstyles and colors. So when I referred a possible client to some samples, I noticed my hair looks totally different than it does today. I am a natural dirty blond. Through the years my hair has been dark brown, light blond and even red. So how did I describe the different look? “A few years and several hair colors ago I was a contributor to a legal blogging site.”
I haven’t heard back from my proposal. I hope the client was impressed by my cleverness!
Have a happy day!
P.S. This picture is 8 years old from my “long, brown hair” phase.
I told you when I started this blog that I have been out of the freelance writing business for a few years. I did about a dozen projects or so during my hiatus but those were mostly referrals and I was not looking for that work. I am back for several reasons. The less sexy one is we are saving and paying off bills to purchase a house. But the other reason is I do love it–even when it is hard.
I was going to tell you about a new app I started using but that can wait. I am going to do some shameless self promotion. I will use bullet points because to tell you about my skills just because I like bullet points.
- Press releases and publicity. This is probably some of my favorite work. I have been a journalist for a very long time and I will be honest, most press releases go in the trash. That’s why I work hard to write an exciting press release that may capture an editor’s eye. But writing the press release is not the only part of publicity. You have to follow-up and pitch that story idea to the editors. I have pitched a lot of stuff from murder mystery dinner shows to face cream to my favorite, nonprofits.
- Newspaper/magazine articles. These are not blogs or SEO articles. These are pieces where I do interviews, research and a lot of rewriting. I have written for trade publications, newspapers, radio, television and magazines. I love learning new things and meeting people.
- SEO articles. When I started freelancing over a decade ago, I had to adjust to using keywords in online writing. Back then clients wanted you to stuff as many keywords as you could into the copy and some of those words did not make sense. Coming from a newspaper background at the time, it was very frustrating that the keywords were more important than the quality of the content. Google and other search engines have changed their algorithms and now keyword stuffing is often penalized. I don’t do as many of these types of articles now.
- Blogs: Businesses from attorneys to stores to even your local beauty shop often have blogs. Often business owners lose interest and the blog is dormant for months, sometimes years. I help businesses keep their blogs alive. I specialize in law firms and employment agencies.
- Social media marketing: When I started freelancing, Facebook had another name and no one was tweeting yet. Now we are instagramming and snap chatting our hearts out. I love doing posts and social media management. But it means I also read a lot of websites and take at least two online classes a month to stay up to date on what the latest trend is.
- Voice overs. I am an award-winning broadcaster and from time to time I do some voice over work.
So do I have room in my schedule to help you or someone you know? Right now, yes. But like all smart freelance writers I make sure I am continually marketing myself and I do have a lot of queries and proposals out there. If you have a need, drop me a line and let’s talk about how I can help you.
And stay tuned later this week for a blog on a fun app I found that may help your business.