B2B Copywriting & Storytelling

Hi, I’m Angi, and I am a storyteller who works a lot with B2B copywriting. My job as a copywriter is actually all about storytelling. My job is also about: creating brand identity, developing a persona of credibility and authority, connecting and engaging people and communities. I do all of those things through storytelling. So, to simplify my job description: I am a B2B storyteller.

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As a creative, B2B marketing gets my gears turning in a different way–but it still revolves around the story I’m trying to sell. Image: Adobe

I recently had someone tell me, in short, that my job shouldn’t exist. Apparently, deliverables sell themselves, and storytelling is simply not needed. Especially–I surmised–in B2B. The whole point of this person’s comment seemed that B2B is simply about providing services and products from one business to another.

People buy the outcomes, it was explained to me.

B2B copywriting is not needed in this commenter’s view because the deliverables sell themselves.

Okay.

Thanks for that opinion, but as one who works in B2B copywriting, advertising, and marketing, I can tell you that… stories sell. They just do. We, as humans, are innate storytellers, and by that token–we are innate story seekers.

B2B Needs Stories, Too

Even in B2B, we need stories. The story of what your ideal business client is doing and why they need your company’s *insert valuable thing that everyone should know about* is incredibly important.

Without a marketing plan and strategy, how will people find out about your amazing product or service or magical deliverable? If I don’t tell you, you won’t know. A few might search for this thing they so obviously need, and maybe they’ll find your copy. But chances are, they won’t.

B2B copywriting is most effective when we relate the deliverable and its value as a story. Even reviews, in and of themselves, are stories. People share how a company’s deliverable did or didn’t create a solution or desirable outcome.

B2B Copywriting Has Benefits

There are many businesses who benefit from B2B copywriting. I would also dare to say B2B copywriting is not so different than client-facing copy, except that it often requires a deeper understanding of specific knowledge areas. However, humanizing B2B is a growing trend, and I am all for it.

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Knowing your target persona is just as important in B2B marketing, because ultimately businesses are still comprised of humans. Image: Pexels

Businesses are run by people, and many would tell you that businesses are built on relationships. Stories sell because people like stories, and stories help us understand everything better. Stories become a way for us to envision things and we automatically search for a way to insert our own self into the narrative. This is why, in Storybrand by Donald Miller, the big chunk of wisdom is create a story that your ideal client is the star of. Help them win the award/solve the mystery/conquer the thing. You are not the star–your client is. You are the solution, the road home, the whole plot fixer.

Storytelling for B2B vs. B2C

Storytelling as a marketing strategy is much more common in B2C, but B2B copywriting often relies on storytelling. Especially beyond plain copy: social media, content, and more can lend itself to the creation of a brand’s identity and define their authority.

B2B isn’t so different from that client-facing marketing strategy. B2B copywriting often aims to explain and educate, while also selling companies on products they may or may not need. This is why, fundamentally, storytelling is still effective in your B2B strategy. We are all, of course, humans–and that is why we need to humanize B2B.

Because B2B copywriting is written by humans, for humans, it must come from some seed of humanity, and to argue otherwise is dismissive of most anything fundamental to the basics of Marketing 101. To say that B2B copywriting is irrelevant and that stories don’t sell is ignorant. Until two days ago, I would have thought this was an obvious statement. However, the negation of my career’s value really did make me think about what I do and what value it brings.

In the search for B2B storytelling examples, you’ll find plenty of examples like this one. And so, I was able to remind myself that what I do has value, and I’m probably doing just fine in my field. I hope this blog post helped educate on B2B marketing and why it’s just as creative as any other marketing field. And I hope it perhaps offered some encouragement or validation to my peers and friends who are also creating narrative, stories, and strategies that sell (even in B2B).

 

Until next time,

 

 

 

 

How (and What) to Write for Business

In two weeks we’ll launch the first night of:

How (and What) to Write for Business

We will be covering ways you can boost your written communication and write better blogs, craft awesome emails, and communicate fo your business with brand, tone, and messaging in mind. We will be offering a lot of tips and tricks and solid info, as well as a real-world assignment that you can use in your own business endeavors. You’ll write a blog and/or email for business, applying the things we learn and discuss in class.

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Get creative. Start communicating in a whole new way with Moonphase Creative’s Writing Course. image: Adobe Stock.

The second night of class (and final class! yes, short and sweet), you’ll receive constructive feedback and ways to keep carrying your writing to the next level. We’re keeping the class small and personable in order to facilitate a COVID-19 friendly setting, and to ensure each student gets the best in personalized feedback and individualized instruction.

Teaching to Empower

I’m teaching business owners, employees, and self-employed folks how to write for business in order to empower your career journey. Learning how to write for business with marketing in mind goes beyond simple grammar mechanics. We will cover ideas surrounding Call to Action, structuring a blog post, utilizing keywords and doing market research in order to craft your message with strategy and purpose.

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Learn to create compelling written communication for your business. Image: Pexels

You’ll be doing some real world work to research, formulate, and craft writing that really responds to our discussion and the things we’ll be talking about. From content creation and content strategy, to planning your social media, we’ve got a lot in store for this class.

Wednesday, September 16th & 23rd

We plan to offer classes continually on Wednesday evenings, and the first will be held September 16th and 23rd, from 5 to 6.30 pm. The class takes place in downtown Colorado Springs at Wolf & Key Marketing, located at your 745 E. Pikes Peak Avenue

You’ll head home from the first evening with an assignment, armed with information about how to complete the writing assignment with things like

  • Blog Post Structure & How to Organize for SEO
  • How to Write with Keywords
  • Word counts
  • How to Write Effectively
  • Brand Communication & Messaging

Come prepared with a notebook and pen/pencil (required) and a laptop or iPad if you have one (not required). The cost is $60, and limited to five students, so you’ll want to get in touch ASAP to reserve your spot.

Good Writing Takes Practice

Good writing takes time, and it takes practice. I’m often hired by those who do not have the time to devote to blog writing or email marketing, and I can be a huge help to those who have the budget and bandwidth. However, I get that many small business owners and solopreneurs are wearing every hat in the business. That was my real motivation in forming this class.

I wanted to offer an affordable class that didn’t demand weeks of commitment, but offered the opportunity to learn some really helpful stuff about writing for business. How do you choose blog topics? How often should you be posting on social media? What is content strategy? How do you write a solid email campaign?

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The take home assignment will leave you with real-world application and positive feedback. Image: Pexels

My goal is to look at the writing itself, rather than tools and platforms, so while we might go over a few things like MailChimp or WordPress blogs, the overall focus of this class is writing and writing alone. I’m happy to help students go beyond and learn more, but for the purposes of this class we will focus on your writing skills, developing really clear, strong communication that is very easily plugged into the platforms so that when your writing goes live, you feel proud and confident about the messages you’re publishing.

Moonphase Creative Classes: Live, In-Person, Online

So far, this class will only be available In-Person, but I’m hoping to expand into online accessibility and various forms of recorded and live classes. I’ll be exploring platforms and options on my end, and of course you can email me with any suggestions you might have.

Want more information on this class or other opportunities to learn and connect? Please contact Moonphase Creative and let us know what your writing needs are.

COVID 19 Classroom Precautions

We are keeping the class small (Limit 5!) to be mindful of COVID 19, and to help ensure an educational experience that is personalized and meets students in a unique and direct way. We also will require masks, as per state guidelines. Probably the coolest part? Wolf & Key Marketing will have a whole wall that can be opened (weather allowing) for optimal airflow and extra ventilation.

If you have any questions or concerns about our in-person learning opportunity, again, please reach out to discuss upcoming online learning options and let us know how we can continue to develop our educational outreach to better serve our community.

Colorado Springs & Beyond

Of course, teaching in-person (let’s be honest–I MISS PEOPLE!! Which is saying something, as I’m an introvert), is only easy if you are also be in the Springs. Again, we are working on ways to connect and educate online. Innovation has never been a strong suit when it comes to technology, if I’m honest, so bear with us as Moonphase Creative once again evolves and expands to meet the evolution of this crazy universe we’re spinning through.

We hope to see you soon, in the classroom or around the blog and in the comments.

 

Until next time,

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SEO in 2020: Easy Tricks to Start Conquering Now

When I started writing copy and content in 2017, SEO was relatively new to me and it seemed like a magical locked box of tricks. The fact is, though, SEO doesn’t have to be super complicated: it takes a little ingenuity in the way you think about your structure and word-choice, but the New Google, especially, wants you to be real. Real human, that is. See, packing in the keywords nonsensically is going to lose you points, but being authentic, natural and genuine in your approach–with a little keyword savvy research–will be the ultimate winner in your web copy and content strategy.

You may ask, is SEO even worth the investment in 2020? The answer is definitely yes, and I suggest you check out that link to learn more about exactly how and why SEO in 2020 is changing and evolving, and you don’t want to be left behind.

How do you become an SEO writing guru? You research stuff, stay aware of trends, and look for places to contribute your work. Networking and being part of the communities that matter to you and your business are incredibly important, and if you’re really invested in what you do because you enjoy the work, the networking won’t feel tedious (hopefully).

I’ll cover a few tips, derived from the SEO Master himself, Neil Patel, and what he has to say about SEO in 2020.

Be People Focused

I feel like one of the main goals of Moonphase Creative is to always be people focused. Google agrees this is a hugely important aspect of conquering SEO. But, beyond SEO writing, being people focused is simply the best thing you can do for your business, brand, or company. Building a brand that is focused on the stories of your clients is a brand that will ultimately connect more authentically and this leads to the kind of real engagement you need to grow.

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Being engaged with the community around you, listening, and taking notes will pay off in the end as you build your business as a writer (or as any kind of freelance creative).

Finding ways to connect and engage in 2020 kind of through us all for a loop. In some ways, I think the flexible savvy of freelancers saved the day for a lot of companies, especially small and medium companies. I know I, as a small-time freelancer, focused on offering social media help to some local folks who owned impacted businesses like Genesis Dance Conservatory in our hometown.

But I also saw freelancers everywhere scrambling to replenish their losses when retainer clients disappeared, and the whole market shifted to a strange and unsettled place of cautious evolution. This brings me to my (or to Neil’s) next point:

Stay on Top of Trends

Staying on top of SEO trends involves a few of the points further down on Neil’s list of ten things to consider for SEO in 2020. But, basically, research and networking to stay actively connected and engaged with conversations about your niche topic. The thing about writing is, it isn’t about writing. Writing is never (rarely) about writing… this blog post is sort of an example, and, really, this entire blog/website is a strange exception. Usually, writers find themselves writing about anything but writing. I’m remembering the time I wrote all about septic tanks and also the time I wrote about auto restoration.

See, trends matter, and knowing how to research your topics and plug in the top writing trends will be absolutely key in crafting killer blog posts that help gain organic traffic and get you leads to the next thing, and the next thing, and the…

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Follow your passion. Whatever you’re writing about, make sure it’s relevant. Research the topic, research the trend, and–as every writing teacher will tell you–write what you know.

Constantly research, dig and search for content ideas that will speak to the trends but also authentically speak to the heart of your brand and brand messaging. Building your brand identity while also answering to the trends can seem like tricky terrain, but I promise as you gain experience in crafting your brand message, you’ll figure out the best way to tell your brand story, stay relevant to trends, and turn your messaging into engagement.

Contribute More Places & Plan Strategically

I’m combining a couple of SEO 2020 tips in this article, because I think building your content plan out strategically is an awesome tip. It takes some foresight and *actual planning* but it is a great way to encourage long-term engagement, and the perfect opportunity to strategically reach out to more places to guest post and contribute your knowledge elsewhere.

Planning strategically can help fill your social media calendar with links and cross-sharing opportunities to really boost your social media reach. Once I began writing web copy, then blogs, I realized how simple and smart it would be to add social media management into our offerings. Strategically building a social media plan that involves a month of curated content that moves seamlessly across platforms takes some intentional thinking, planning, and knowledge about market and trends–but the overall polish this next-level brand communication and presence adds to your company is priceless.

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Consider the trends, then go beyond to create an arc of strategic content that tells a story, pitches the sale, and connects with the audience all at once. It take a little out-of-the box thinking, but you can totally do it with a little foresight, SEO, and creative elbow grease!

My final tip is specifically for the writers, and yeah, it also comes off that list by Neil Patel about writing for SEO in 2020. But this is the one I personally love most, and is truly the bread-and-butter of Moonphase Creative:

Master the Long Form

You have probably heard me talk about writing the ideal blog post, which basically requires you to master the long form. A blog post should have a minimum of 1,000 words, contain a few great images, and some external and internal links to help your site both algorithmically and organically. I’m not a super tech-focused sort, so organic SEO is more my style. This requires that special attention be given to the long form, and I always start with my monthly blog topic ideas, and build my shorter-form social media strategy around those larger blog articles. The long form will help you assert your authority, share your value, and overall connect with your audience. So, even though the long form can be tedious, it’s one of the best ways to get your brand going.

I hope these tips helped, and I’ll be talking more about writing for the web in future posts. Moonphase Creative offers copy and content, strategy and consulting for your social media and website/blogging needs, as well as social media management. If you’re looking for a little help in those departments, please connect to see what we can do for you.

Until next time,

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Raise Your Voice: Write Louder

Writing for the web can feel like shouting off a cliff into a strong wind that carries your words absolutely nowhere. So I thought I would offer a little class on Blog Writing in an intentional way that can help boost your visibility, credibility, and overall staying-power in the world of web marketing relevance.

If that “shouting off of a cliff into a strong wind sort of feeling” sounds familiar, maybe it’s time to re-evaluate what you’re doing to put your website’s blogging endeavors out there. Increasing your visibility on the web and within social media is crucial–and one of the best ways to do that is by sharing weekly or regularly  updated blog posts.

Why?

Because Blogging Boosts your Credibility

Writing a blog gives you a chance to share on the topics you know most about. It’s a great way to share your expertise and show that you know what you’re talking about to potential customers and clients.

 

Hiring a writer to do the writing for you can save a lot of time, and a good copywriter can research and write on topics you provide with a little fact-checking and approval from you before it goes live. So, though it seems daunting and impossible, it is actually really doable if you outsource the time-consuming task of writing a great post that’s over a thousand words long on a weekly basis.

Plus, you’ll…

Have the Perfect Shareable Content

If you have a blog post that is fresh and new on a weekly basis, you have a whole new thing to share every week: the perfect shareable content created by you. Plus, you can also talk about the topic more on social media, direct people to your blog, and create more traffic and interest this way.

Especially if you feel the topic has buzzworthy interest status or will be really useful to your clients and audience, feel free to share and boost your social media posts to keep climbing that ladder of visibility, encouraging more engagement, and reaching out for more authentic connections that lead to sales and conversions.

Two Blog Posts a Week Give you Powerful Social Media Opportunities

If you can aim for two blog posts a week, that’s great. I honestly miss that mark pretty much every week, but I do have my calendar “soft-scheduled” for Monday and Wednesday. I aim for Monday and Wednesday, and having it on my calendar helps me stay committed and aware of those deadlines. Missing a day won’t be the end of it all. The end is when you decide you’ve missed three posts, so what’s the point? And you give up. That is the end, but only because you decided it is the end.

If you are having trouble coming up with content, think about your industry and what kinds of things your clients are often asking about? Do you notice certain aspects of your job that clients seem often confused by? Take blog posts as an opportunity to educate and inform. It definitely helps your business to increase your authority and trust on the subject you work with–and it will encourage people to reach out with more questions and even inspire them to hire you if it seems like your take on the matter seems particularly perfect.

Write Louder with Better Headers

Writing with strong headlines and titles is really important, and it can be an art unto itself. While I’m a creative person, I admit this is honestly not my strong suit. However, you can do as I say and not as I do (though I sometimes try), and follow these easy tips for making headlines and titles that stick:

  1. Use numbers and lists. Think of headlines you’ve seen…. “5 Tips to…” or “This List of 3 Things…”
  2. Use blazing words that spark interest. And, yeah, I know–we all know that “amazing” post is clickbait. But sometimes not…. Using buzz words like these still play well with humans and algorithms. Make sure your info and writing is on-point and true to your vision, but don’t avoid those catchy titles just because you feel a little silly.
  3. Include tight phrasing that include keywords. My keywords include writing/write/writer, so I am going to use the word write pretty often in my titles. But not always, because I do have other keywords I want to rank for as well–and sometimes it just doesn’t make sense.

Blog Posts are: Time Consuming. Fun. Necessary.

So, Class, which best describes the act of writing blog posts:

A. Time Consuming

B. Fun

C. Necessary

D. All of the Above

 

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Answer: All of the Above. Image via Pexels

Answer: All of the Above

 

Or, possibly A & C if you’re not a writer who enjoys coming up with topics, research, and ideas for blog posts. As a small business, a solopreneur, or any business model that benefits from social media marketing–you should be considering blogging one of your top five tools to boost your social media marketing.

If you’re looking for more tips on blog writing, check out these resources or contact us to find out how Moonphase Creative can help you develop a blogging schedule, a strategy, and solutions for sticking to it.

Get Your Blog On

If you aren’t sure where to start, feel free to reach out and start a conversation with Moonphase Creative. We offer blog writing services and consultation to help you meet your web marketing and communication goals. Have a story but not sure how to tell it? Have ideas but not sure how to organize it? Need blog posts but don’t have the time?

We’ve got you.

Until next time,

Angi

AngiBaker-4
Angi, Owner of Moonphase Creative.

 

 

 

 

 

Hey Solopreneurs! Are you ready to rise up?

When this morning hit, I really thought I was going to slay the day. By 9.30, I was my third diaper change, so hey–no one could say I wasn’t being productive! But I was so ready for naptime, so I could get to the keyboard and tell you all about this latest thing Moonphase Creative is offering.

Custom Package with Special Pricing for Black Owned/Female Owned Small-Business Owners

I’m offering customized writing/service packages and special pricing for black-owned and/or female owned small-business owners and solopreneurs. See, when I left my ex-husband three years ago, I was knee-deep in oppression and struggling to make my way. In a world where childcare is the cost of a mortgage and employers are more concerned about their bottomline than employee health, getting to a point of freelance freedom was absolutely crucial to the survival of me and my three girls.

So with all this political uprising and an uncomfortable zoom-in on the unjust ways of our world, I’m here to be part of the solution and extend help however I can. If you happen to be a solopreneur and happen to be black and/or female, please contact me. First consultation is always free, but I want to talk to you about how you CAN become a successful small business owner. I want to help you find a path that works for you. As a copywriter/editor and illustrator with some knowledge of content creation and strategy, I’m confident we can figure out the blueprints of a career that can grow.

LGBTQ+ Crowd Welcome, Too

Not to be exclusive, and definitely welcoming all rainbow fam–I want to welcome the LGBTQ+ crowd into this offer, too. See, when you’re struggling on the peripheral of society, you can get so caught up in daily survival, trying to make it through the trauma and societal norm navigating just to avoid panic attacks–strategizing your business can seem like an afterthought.

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Moonphase Creative is focusing on the LGBTQ Community to help LGBTQ solopreneurs slay the day. Image found at Pexels

I’m here to connect and use my skills as a solopreneur in the freelance world to help you develop your ideas, define your path, and execute a plan. Our first consultation is always free, and I know a lot can be accomplished in that initial meeting. If you’re ready for more, we have plans and packaging that can be engineered to fit your budget because right now, I’m giving back to the world that has so graciously given to me.

 

Others Lifted Me Up… Now it is MY Turn

When I left my situation a little over three years ago, I was emotionally battered, physically exhausted, and mentally stretched thin. Traditional employment quickly showed itself to be an impossibility for many reasons. I was a single mom of three, and all three were already needing tons of therapy due to the trauma we were all escaping and navigating.

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This was me holding my beautiful girls after a fruitless shift in retail. Shortly after leaving my abusive marriage, I worked for not a lot of money and it mostly complicated my situation, rather than adding value. Enter: Freelance Freedom.

Beyond that, there was a police investigation and lawyer-stuff happening on the daily… I was in no shape to be dropping my kids off at daycare and going off to work in retail or wherever else. Jumping back into teaching after a five year absence while my ex-husband degraded me and convinced me I wasn’t able or worthy wasn’t going to be so easy, either.

But I could write and I could draw/design. I held an MFA in Writing; I had studied art and animation. I had a few skills, and I knew I could sail my own ship. This was how it all began, and I registered Moonphase Creative as a writing and illustration sole proprietorship, and did my best to jump in and build my empire.

It Takes Time… but you CAN

Building your freelance career takes time, but you can definitely do it. I want to avoid telling you it’s easy and you’ll have a great income in six-months, because that wasn’t my personal experience and I’m all about transparency. I was lucky to meet a few great mentors and learn a few hard lessons right at the starting line, and this definitely helped me shape my path and achieve eventual success.

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Let’s figure out where you are and where you’re going–and if Moonphase Creative can help. Image: Andrea Piacquadio

Every day is a learning experience, and some days will be more productive, more successful than others. Due diligence will reveal results, though, and I want to help others work on the plan to get you where you want to be.

Let’s Find Your Niche

Let’s talk about your goals and interest and find your niche if you’re still wandering in search of it. And let’s see how you can start building your plan. Please contact me to get chatting, and I’m so excited to talk about what we can do for you. Or keep an eye on our website to see new posts rolling out about being a small business in the land of niches.

I’m a writer and illustrator and I’ve often said the beauty of my job is that I’m not limited to any single subject or sector. But if I’m honest, I love working with fitness peeps: exercise, bodybuilding, nutrition, and more. I also love working with woman-owned businesses that somehow relate to the service industry, motherhood, or female-centric products and services. I felt weird saying that for a while, but it’s true. And I also love working with creative out-of-the-box niches that have a place and a purpose but are sometimes hard to nail down. One of my very favorite projects to have helped launched into the world? This Sex Positive Education website.

If this sounds like we would be a good fit, let’s get together and talk about what your options might be. I can hand you some resources and ideas, and we can have a coffee chat by Zoom or by phone to go over the details of what you’re doing, where you’re headed, and how Moonphase Creative can help.

Brand Communication: Writing with Vision

I’ve been delving into branding and strategy more and more lately, simply because writing for social media is kind of inseparable from the fascinating land of Branding and Marketing. Here are a few thoughts to get you on your own path to better brand communication, on-point messaging, and a more mindful approach to tone and story.

Communicating Your Story

When you’re writing for social media, you are communicating the arc of your brand’s story over the course of social media. The catch is, though, you aren’t the hero. You are the answer to the hero’s struggle, and your mission is to show them all the ways your business, your products and/or services, make their struggle all better.

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Make your communication clear so the crowd hears you loud and clear. Image: AdobeStock

So communicating your brand’s story should be authentic and engaging, but it should also be incredibly intentional. It should focus on your client persona and really achieve a specific conversation leveraged to gain their interest and trust. This intentional appeal to your perfect client is what will ultimately win you more conversions. Because–as we’ve said before: engagements are great, but conversions are better.

Brand Communication is a Thing

I promise you, brand communication is a thing: if you ignore this important fact, your messaging will be significantly less effective. Operating within your company’s brand and vision can be an entirely different thing from communicating well and communicating effectively. You can communicate well and effectively, but if it isn’t in-line with your brand’s vision, mission, and overall image, then it is counterproductive and can damage your marketing endeavors.

Developing your branding takes time, and there are tons of creatives who dedicate their professional careers to developing brands, cultivating the looks, style, and messaging of a company. For my peeps in Colorado Springs, are just a few places to connect with if you want amazing, professional, and personal attention to brand your professional outfit.

Neon Pig Creative

Ren Creative

Copywriting & Voice

Copywriting can seem like such a stiff and boring aspect of branding and marketing, but the voice of your brand ultimately belongs in the hands of the writer. Finding the right tone and style for your brand’s professional communication pieces, blog posts, general website copy, and social media can be more challenging than you first assume. Considering written tone is harder to decipher with certainty, finding a writer who is a good fit for your brand’s voice is incredibly important.

The nuance of written communication, along with brevity and clarity, are some of the most important elements you need to consider when developing your brand’s written communication. Beyond these things, it should be consistent. When people see an Instagram post, Facebook post, or blog post from your company, the copy should read with a similar enough tone, message, and personality that your audience doesn’t feel jarred, or as though a dozen different people are talking at them through different social media platforms.

These points of consideration should be on your checklist when you set to the tasks of defining and improving your brand communication where necessary.

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Don’t get your wires crossed!    Photo: Alex Andrews

Deliver on What You Say

Consistency is key, so if you can deliver on what you’re saying–then of course your business is solid and gold. I make mention of this because when we work within the structure of Marketing, it can be easy to start making lucrative promises and painting pictures beyond what we can deliver.

Dream big, but dream realistically. Carefully consider your messaging and what you offer, to be sure you set yourself up for a successful delivery of any products, goods, or services. Charge fairly–charge enough that you can take on a comfortable load and make a comfortable living. This factor alone will give you the power to politely decline jobs that sound like they’re not a good fit. If this happens often, it may be time to revisit your strategy and take a look at your ideal client persona vs. what your business is actually attracting.

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Every part of your brand’s communication realized on words and visual cohesion. Image:AdobeStock

Communication is Key

Written communication becomes the binding thread between all of your print and web publications. Every single marketing campaign, social media platform presence, and newsletter publication will boil down to the message you send through writing.

Visual content is also important, but without strong writing to carry and lift, everything will fall flat. Poor communication and sub-par writing will leave your readers doubting you, and eventually they will move on to the more polished shop with shinier words and better communication.

If you’re looking for ways to improve your writing, or would like to outsource your writing, please contact us. And if you’re not sure where to begin as you set sail through social media, please feel free to reach out with questions or shoot me an email at

angi.baker.saunders@gmail.com

 

Until next time,

 

 

Angi

What Can Digital Marketing Do For You?

“But wait!”

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What if I told you Content Writing has EVERYTHING to do with Digital Marketing?

 

“You’re a writer.

Oh. Okay.

But what if I told you that a lot of what I offer as a Copy and Content Writer has everything to do with marketing? And, since I primarily write for web, my writing really has everything to do with digital marketing–though, no, I am definitely not a digital marketer.

What is Digital Marketing?

So, first off, what is digital marketing, actually?

HubSpot gives this definition:

Digital marketing encompasses all marketing efforts that use an electronic device or the internet. Businesses leverage digital channels such as search engines, social media, email, and other websites to connect with current and prospective customers.

And that is exactly why my job as a copy and content writer has everything to do with digital marketing. I write for every single one of these platforms. As Donald Miller, author, speaker, and creator of the StoryBrand concept says, words are the ultimate tool in storytelling.

Visual storytelling is awesome. Having clean, crisp images and a color palette that ties in a brand’s identity and helps sell a brand image and further their story is awesome. But at the end of the day, folks, it comes down to words.

What Can You Do to Tackle Digital Marketing?

Since Digital Marketing really is an umbrella term encompassing all the many ways we target, connect, and engage audiences online, tackling digital marketing can have a lot of steps. I recommend setting some doable, bite-sized goals for yourself and starting small. Perhaps this means setting up a website for your small business, and then committing to writing blog posts regularly to help boost your SEO organically.

Then, after you’ve mastered that, perhaps your next step is tackling Facebook and Instagram. Make business accounts for both of these social media powerhouses and start sharing those blog posts you’re publishing regularly, and commit to several weekly posts on Instagram showing relevant content rather than just pictures of your adorable dog cuddling a parakeet.

 

Develop Your Digital Marketing Plan

Developing your digital marketing plan can be a process that evolves overtime. But, basically, you should commit to three or four strategies and then prioritize following through. Trust me, this will be the hardest part.

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Outsourcing your digital marketing implementation might end up being a really great option for you, or you might find that utilizing a suite of nifty tools like Buffer and Hootsuite are the answers to your side-hustle prayers.

Learning about different ways to digitize your marketing and diversifying your strategy will be key to your success. Check out some of these ideas to keep growing your digital marketing strategy.

Whatever route you choose, remember that the follow-through is most important. Especially in organic SEO: consistency is key, as results can easily take six months to become noticeable.

Familiarize Yourself with Writing Techniques

In addition to learning the basics of digital marketing, familiarize yourself with writing techniques. Learn how writing for web and digital marketing works, and make an effort to identify your strengths weaknesses as a writer. This really will help your professional communication in every aspect, from emails to blog posts, to social media blurbs and bylines.

Check out my post about writing a blog post for some really basic ideas on getting started, or read up on SEO strategies in 2020.

And beyond trade-specific writing info, check out resources like Grammar Girl’s guide to writing properly (her blog is full of fascinating word-nerd info), or take a quick course to freshen your business and casual writing skills. Top-level writing will definitely help you pull of you DIY digital marketing endeavors with greater success. If that isn’t your skillset and you’re not eager to make time for it yourself, outsourcing copy and content is a viable solution that many small businesses find a huge time-saver and value-booster.

Stay Committed

Stay committed to digital marketing strategies and implementations. I’ll reiterate what I said throughout previous paragraphs about that exact thing.

Stay committed to your digital marketing plan.

Stay committed to developing your understanding of what works and what doesn’t.

Stay committed to content planning and strategic posting schedules.

And if you can’t, then commit to outsourcing the work to someone who does it for a living because it really can be that much of a game-changer for any company.

What’s your plan going to be?

So now that you know what digital marketing is, and a little bit about what it might entail, what is your plan going to be?

As always, feel free to be in touch. Email me or find us on Facebook. Moonphase Creative is always excited to help you in whatever phase you’re orbiting.

 

Until next time,

 

Angi

 

Writing for Connection: 3 Content Strategy Tips

Building an engaging web presence for your business can be a total game-changer for you business. Even if your business doesn’t operate online, building a strong web presence can help you reach new potential customers and engage with current loyal clients in a way that goes beyond plain old marketing.

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Creating engagement goes beyond analytics and requires marketing strategy and sincere, customer-centered stories that invite conversation, participation, and loyalty.

The Right Engagement Should Lead to Conversions

If you are getting engagement with the right kind of people, your social media strategy should lead to successful conversions. Engagement, in the world of SEO and Social Media Marketing, means all those comments, likes, shares and follows that make your social media presence ping with delight. But all the likes and shares in the world can’t pay your utilities bill… so how can you make sure you’re getting the right kind of engagement?

This requires a defined client that you know you’re hoping to connect with. Forget demographics–focus on the very specific individual you hope to connect with. Because, honestly, which of these following snippets describe the ideal client you desire?

Ideal Client #1

  • 18-24 demographic
  • student
  • single/casually dating
  • under $25 target budget
  • female
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What do your ideal clients look like? Image credit: mentatdgt

Ideal Client Description #2

Twenty-two year old female college student named Rachel. She majors in psychology and volunteers with her hometown chapter of the Boys & Girls Club of America on weekends, about a 45 minute drive from her college campus in the Midwest. She enjoys hanging out with her friends at local eateries and enjoys dating adventures at off the beaten path, locally-owned businesses. Rachel is all about trying out new places and attending entertainment venues when it fits in her budget (under 100 for the month, so she loves to scour for deals!), especially concerts and anything music related.

Which of these descriptions tells us more about a potential client?

When we are honing our marketing strategy, it’s important to understand your ideal client in such detail that they can be described as an actual person like Client Description #2. The more you know about who you are selling your products and services to, the more effectively you can sell them what they want and need.

This brings me to the three quick tips to keep in mind when you are putting together your content strategy.

Three Tips to Keep your Content Strategy On-Point

  1. Keep your message simple and make sure it addresses what your client wants. It’s less about you, and more about them.
  2. Invite a Conversation. Listening to your audience and letting them discuss your social media posts can be a great way to learn more about your ideal clients–it can also lead you to better marketing strategies on future posts, and those conversations can lead to genuinely loyal and invested customers who return to your brand because you are real and you listen.
  3. Small businesses are cornerstones of the community. If you are a small business, local business, or a solopreneur, capitalize on this fact and recognize that very valuable piece of truth. You are a part of your customer’s community. This sense of “we’re in this together, neighbor” is a genuine statement, but it can also increase a customer’s sense of brand loyalty and interest and commitment to following you and purchasing in the now as well as in the future.

A Simple Message with a Strong Call to Action

A message should be extremely easy to decipher, and the call to action should be clear enough that a potential client doesn’t have to pause for long to figure out what your content is talking about. See if you can distill your message into ten words, keeping your total word-count under 50, and follow that up with a clear command. This could be, “Let your wedding be a cozy, memorable event with meaning. Our wedding venue is perfect for your small crowd of besties, without overwhelming excess. Call today to book your tour and see how we can be part of your best day ever.”

The message is simple, and it asks the viewer to initiate contact in a clear and direct way, with the specific goal of scheduling a wedding venue tour. It does a couple other things I mention in the list above, too, and we’ll continue to talk about why this has potential as a strong base for social media messaging.

Invite Conversation

When you’re posting on social media, the conversation is one-sided until the potential client chooses to respond. In our example piece, the call to action is essentially an invitation to start the conversation. Once you can have a conversation with potential clients, the likelihood of making a conversion is much greater.

Inviting conversation could be something like drumming up interesting conversations and comments within the social media platform. This is useful because it raises public awareness, and you have a chance to manage and curate the image your brand has with direct customer relations.

And, of course, inviting clients to contact you directly is the most straightforward method–and it can be completely successful time after time.

Be a Cornerstone in Your Community

Be a genuinely involved leader in your community and don’t be afraid to join the conversation. React to current events, be present within local forums, and offer support and encouragement to others. There are, of course, a lot more strategies but this seems like a really simple approach to life as a small business owner or solopreneur. I’m a huge advocate of this kind of genuine marketing because, at the end of the day, we are all people serving other people. We are connecting and growing constantly, and being a well-reputed, respected, and genuine professional in your local and online communities can definitely take you farther than you might imagine.

In Summary: The Three ‘C’s of Content Creation

  1. Call to Action: Call your reader to action, and/or give them actionable items.
  2. Conversation: encourage engaging, genuine issues.
  3. Community: Whether it’s physical community or a virtual community, be an involved and visible member of the world around you.

I hope these quick tips help you if you are putting together your own social media strategy and building your online presence. Consistency and perseverance are key, always, and this can be time-consuming, but the long-term benefits are many!

Until next time,

 

Angi

 

Writing a Blog Post 101

If you’re reading this, you may be wondering how to build more exciting, engaging content for your blog. You probably know that a blog is super important for your website. And you probably understand that frequent posting (at least weekly!) is key. But what you may not be so sure about is how do I create a blog post, especially one that is interesting?!

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Be Relevant

Relevant content is an absolute must to keep your rankings up and connecting with the right crowd. Be authentic in the topics you choose, which is hopefully an easy task if you have a website and blog you’re passionate about. No sense starting a blog about airplanes if the most you know about airplanes is how to navigate the security line, stow your carry on in the overhead compartment, and nap politely until landing.

If you have a blog and website you’re truly invested in because you are super knowledgeable about your field, relevant content will be a breeze. I would say, your biggest grinding chore will be avoiding that sense of repetition. When you’re truly in your element, you’ll beItem sharing content that can truly help others. As a writer, I’m writing about–well–writing. But if your blog is about beauty, review your favorite new releases for the upcoming Summer collections. If you’re a real estate agent, make posts that are relevant to your favorite kind of client; that might mean a post about preparing your house for sale, or a checklist blog post going over the To-Do’s for buying a home.

Content creation doesn’t have to be a chore, but it can be time consuming. Picking the topic, structuring the post, and fine-tuning those paragraphs to achieve your word count and hit all the keywords can definitely eat up a couple hours. But at the end of the day, that relevant content will help your lead generation… which brings me to my next point:

Be Irresistible

Blog posts should be informative and/or entertaining. Depending on your topic and brand, the “entertaining” part could be flexibly subjective. Engaging might be a better word for it. But whatever you are writing, make it irresistibly useful and needed to your audience. How-Tos, Tips & Tricks, and other kinds of “guides” are very useful types of content that can easily be tailored to fit your niche audience.

Actionable Items

Offer your readers actionable items to apply in their own lives. One of the most successful types of blogs are recipe/cooking/baking blogs (like this one, which I discovered almost a decade ago because Google rankings had my old fiction writing name, AM Baker right there with the blog). Recipe blogs are insanely successful because they have useful recipes that people are willing to scroll through in order to carry out a useful, desirable action. When you offer how-to’s and DIY posts, it’s great to offer useful knowledge. It’s even better if you can include a specific project, recipe, or even a freebie printable for you readers to have a useful takeaway.

Photos and & Video

Finding relevant photos can be time-consuming, though I have a few go-to spots like Pexels to find free stock photos that can make my site look fresh and relevant with pictures. I use my own photography or images on occasion, but my goal is always two to three images with relevant, descriptive captions for every blog post.

Pre-Plan Your Post

Plan your post before you begin writing. Think of your topic and make some notes. Consider what points you’d like to include, and this is a really good time to remember what your English teacher taught you about Topic Sentences, Main Ideas, and Supporting Sentences. I know, you never thought you’d have to revisit that boring, tedious essay structure again…

If using a graphic organizer helps, or taking notes by hand is your thing, go for it. Blog posts will become an easier task with time, but especially at first, a little organization and time dedicated to brainstorming is a great idea.

BlogPostChecklist
Download and Print in the link below!

 

I am including this BlogPostChecklist for you. It includes reminders of important marks to hit–like a minimum of one-thousand words–and includes some space to name your blog post topic, take some notes, and define the actionable items you can include. Graphic organizers like these can be really helpful for simply getting the work done. It’s easy to stare at a blank screen when you don’t have a clear vision of what you need to write.

 

Write Your Post!

Once you’ve written your post, make sure to preview it in whatever platform you are using. I currently use WordPress, and am familiar with the way Preview works and I usually save my drafts, then schedule them ahead so that I have to edit and revise, or simply avoid the procrastinating monster.

Let me know how your blog post writing process goes. I’m curious to hear about your own process, or comments and suggestions you may have. I hope this tutorial of sorts was helpful and possibly helped you understand that writing a blog post isn’t hard–it’s just a matter of making an outline, sticking to it, and giving the audience something they can really use.

Contact Us!

We would love to hear about your process. A lot of my clients could write their own blog posts, but their businesses don’t leave a lot of time for putting together those posts once a week. This is where we can definitely help you! If you’re looking for great content written with organic SEO in mind, please contact us to find out more about our blog writing services. We offer blog writing services for many industries and can craft tailor-made posts that are meant for your audience.

I look forward to hearing about your journey in blog writing!

 

Until next time,

AngiBaker-4
Owner of Moonphase Creative, a company all about writing and design.

Angi

5 Tips for Working from Home

My work as a freelance writer and visual arts dabbler demands a more creative and dedicated approach to time-management and chunking work-blocks effectively. Like many, I have a busy family-life to balance, but not having a 9-5 job affords me many ninja skills for coping during our current pandemic, as well as a unique flexibility to innovate a work-flow that serves clients and allows me to be a more present parent and spouse.

If You Can, Choose Happy

It isn’t always a choice, but it can be an option to at least focus on the positives. I’ve gotten in the habit of keeping a gratitude journal to remind me there are always things to be grateful for. I am never one to dismiss or discount the dismal realities we may be facing–but both personally and collectively, it’s important to choose a few things to list as our Thankful Fors.

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It’s not always a choice, but often times we have the choice to focus on positives in our situation and grow them like flowers. Weed out the stuff that doesn’t work and focus on the positives.

If you’re recently transitioned to working from home, you probably are starting to refer to your house as a madhouse. If you’re not yet, congratulations. Many of us, in fact, are–and those with kids have a blessing/curse conundrum in that at least we don’t have to talk to our plants as though they are people, we do have to worry about the plants being upended by wild children struggling with the isolation and confinement.

I’ve put together a few tips, and to be honest these aren’t new. I talked about these tips last year here on the blog before Moonphase went through yet another transformation.

5 Tips For the Work-at-Home-Freelancer

  1. Treat your job like a…well…job. I’m guilty of saying, “well, I can make any appointment at any time because my schedule is flexible.” Not true. I don’t have a traditional 9-5, but I have work to fit in the day–that is valid reason to be protective of my time and realize I’m responsible for treating my work-hours as valid chunks of time.
  2. Block out FOUR HOUR work periods during your self-imposed work-week. I say FOUR with emphasis because, like me, freelance probably appeals because it isn’t strictly and eight hour work day all the time without variation. I do recommend committing to four hour chunks, though, because now you have allotted time to work productively without interruption. You will be less likely to schedule appointments or cut your day short because of other peoples’ needs if you create four hour work-blocks. Anything less, it is easier to lose productivity; anything more, you may feel it hinders the flexible appeal of freelance.
  3. Set THREE small goals. Then kill them. Kill them dead! I like the number three because it is doable; even if one of the goals is bigger, like “finish writing client’s 10 page content package,” I know I can accomplish it within my four hour work-block (with the help of the right soundtrack, that is). And usually, accomplishing three goals snowballs to five or six–depending upon the task size. It is a good number to aim for when I need help boosting a positive trajectory.
  4. Keep a journal and list notebook. As with everything on this list, modify whatever items you need in order to make it work. Discard the advice that doesn’t resonate with you. Many creative freelance types, however, may like the idea of keeping a tangible notebook with lined or unlined paper to capture their thoughts, notes, lists, and letters. I personally have a lot circulating; stationary and unique notebooks is a sort of collector’s-hobby for me at this point in my life, and I don’t like wasting so I have many notebooks dedicated to lists, doodles, work-related notes, home-related notes, personal journaling, and personal art journaling. ET CETERA.  Find something to keep near your work-desk that makes you happy and reminds you to be you. You will be happier, and this will lend itself to greater productivity.
  5. Teach others to treat your job like a job. This ties back to point number one, and it demands that you honor point number one and take it seriously. In every aspect of our lives, we essentially teach others how we want to be treated. When you work from home, are self-employed, and call yourself a freelancer, the need to define your work time and your scope of work as a real thing demanding time and space to accomplish is paramount. People will think of you as a stay-at-home-parent, a part-time dabbler, and a hobbyist if you do not teach them that your work is valuable and the time and space needed to do it is mandatory.

Recognizing your Pitfalls and Being Proactive

It’s so hard to admit where we fall short, but recognizing your pitfalls and developing solutions is the best way to proactively meet your success. Number Five in my list can be the hardest of all for me. I’ve struggled with teaching others to take me seriously, largely in part because I didn’t take my own work seriously. I can say that, in the past year or two, that has drastically changed and I have seen my own success grow exponentially as a result.

I wrote a post similar to this one almost a year ago, but now things are super different for the whole world. Suddenly, many are working from home during the unprecedented times of COVID-19. My husband is included in that newly-minted work-from-home status. Last year he responded to my frustration about working from home and balancing it all with, “I’m honestly grateful I have a desk and an office to go to, nobody questions that. If I had to work at home and see stuff piling up, I think I would lose my mind too.”

Photo by bongkarn thanyakij from Pexelswoman-in-gray-sweat-shirt-sitting-beside-window-3759080

Never underestimate the power of feeling validated. Working from home is no less of a job than one that exists in an office. Our unprecedented times are proving that. And when we shift our mindset to embrace this work-from-home setup, I see the potential for a world that is flourishing with arrangements that really do have better work-life balance and allow families to bond and have more quality time together.

I look back on my frustration that was really at an all-time-high one year ago, and I realize it was less about my personal situation and more about how the world is or isn’t built for working from home. I’m seeing people make the shift to working at home, though, and I feel like it’s a beautiful thing. COVID-19 aside, of course, because this part of the isolating, social-distancing is devastating. It’s my hope, though, that we can collectively develop a better approach to work, the economy, and business solutions so that people can create meaningful lives that don’t require such a divisive way of life.

Of course, many types of jobs require a physical place other than home. But many tech-based, customer support, and even education jobs, don’t require a physical office–or maybe simply less workplace time is required to be productive and successful. If you can work from home and make it a productive, positive experience, I’m applauding you from over here.

Working from home in the current crisis.
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Thanks for Reading!

Were these tips helpful? What tips do you have to add? I’d love to hear what works for you and what you’re doing to conquer and thrive the work-from-home challenges!

 

Until next time,

 

Angi

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