Category Archive for ‘Ideas and Inspiration’

How to Build Long-Term Client Relationships through Smart Communications

Show some business-love.

Valentine’s Day is a special day set aside to show appreciation for those we love; however, most of us know it’s important to appreciate your loved ones throughout the year.

The same is true with your business clients. The secret to building and maintaining solid business relations is to be professional, personable, and to express your appreciation often.

Below are a few tips on how you can “show some business love” and strengthen the tie between your clients and your business:

Once Upon A Time: Using Story in Your Business Writing

by Hannah Comerford, Scribe Contributor

February 26 is Tell a Fairy Tale Day. You probably don’t have any celebrations lined up. In fact, you may even be wondering why we’re talking about fairy tales on a business writing blog. Are fairy tales, or storytelling in general, relevant to the modern business writer?

To answer these questions, let’s first discuss why fairy tales are popular in the first place. While fairy tales are usually associated with children, the popularity of prime time television shows that celebrate fairy tale characters suggests that maybe adults still enjoy hearing new spins on their childhood stories.

Here are just a few reasons why stories and fairy tales are so popular:

Should Your Small Business Marketing Have a Sense of Humor?

 

Let’s face it, humor makes a lasting impression. That’s why so many big companies use it in their advertising. Unfortunately, most small businesses avoid incorporating funny copy in their marketing.

Why? Perhaps some small business owners believe that to gain customer awareness and trust they must first be taken seriously. They could also be afraid of getting it wrong and offending potential customers. Or maybe because they’re wearing so many hats, like Dave from the Staples commercials, they just don’t have time to be funny.

Can you relate? If so, relax, let your hair down, and get creative! Adding a smile and a wink to your copy can increase your conversion rate and humanize your company.

A good way to start is to consider the type of humor you want to use. It should suit the product or service you offer and the type of customer you’re targeting.

Below are some types of humor that are widely used in advertising along with hypothetical examples.

Which Words Kill Your Productivity?

Here’s an interesting article from Inc.com about how the use of words ending in -ing can harm your productivity. The authors mistakenly call these words gerunds, when in fact they’re talking about the present participle, but their point is still valid. (A gerund refers to the usage of a verb as a noun.)

Here’s a snippet, written specifically to entrepreneurs, but applicable to most of us:

The path to ruin for many entrepreneurs comes from a lack of accountability. It’s easy as an entrepreneur to get caught up in what you’re doing—as opposed to what you’ve accomplished and what you plan to do next.

Read the whole article here.

If you’re reporting to a client, colleague, or supervisor, make sure you let them know what has been accomplished and what is planned next, instead of just reporting on current activities.

If you’re an entrepreneur whose only “report” may be the one to yourself—planning your day and examining what you’ve accomplished already—check your to-do list for too many present participles. Because sometimes the most important communication is the kind you have with yourself.

 

Making Your Vision Transferable

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and if you sit down with someone who is a visionary and ask them what they do, that’s probably how many words you’ll get. Entrepreneurs and other visionaries are nothing else if not passionate, and given a listening ear, they can go into elaborate detail about the new frontiers and new worlds they envision.

But if you are communicating your organization’s vision using a thousand or more words, only the most patient will stay along for the ride. Simplifying your message and making it transferable is the key to your success.

We Merchant Venturers

An article I read today on Ragan.com asked corporate communicators, “What words inspire you?” The author invited readers to share which classic writers they liked to read when they needed inspiration for their own writing.

I thought about the works of great authors that inspired me, and a passage from Louis L’Amour’s The Walking Drum stuck out most in my mind:

Lifting the Block on Creativity

How can you get writer’s block if you aren’t even a writer?

In the information age, anybody’s job description can include some kind of writing. That means anybody can suffer from writer’s block or any other kind of creative block.

Deadline is approaching. You have to be cunning, creative, even brilliant. But after a half hour of staring at the screen, the ideas just aren’t coming. What can you do?

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