My Little Secret- Shhhhh

So I announced on Facebook that I’d be sharing a secret of mine on the blog today. Most wouldn’t find it that intriguing or exciting but as it’s a weight busting my shoulders to pieces, I thought I’d share.

As my followers would know, I’m a copywriter and Mum. What you might not know (unless you read my very early posts quite thoroughly) is that I’m also a Registered Nurse. I started nursing in 2001 and in that time, have gained a wealth of experience. I always felt drawn to nursing, in the same way that I love writing and what it does for my soul.

So my secret is, I think I’m at a crossroads and want to give Nursing away. I studied so hard to get where I ended up and I’m getting down on myself about that. But I think I’ve lost a bit of love for the profession that once I only had eyes and a heart for. 

I want to write full time until I finish my current Masters program and then beyond. How do I do that?! Do I have the guts to take that leap and work for myself? Scary. Very scary.

That’s my secret. I’m scared and I’m confused but for pretty exciting reasons.

Can you give me any tips on how I come to make the right decision for me and for my family? Do I listen to my brain which tells me to go back to Oncology or my heart, which tells me that writing is it and a bit…… help!

100 Cures for Blogger’s Block- Part 3! Finale from Little Red Writing Solutions

Finale!

Click the above link to download your copy of the finale to my mini series- 100 Cures for Blogger’s Block

Thanks for all of your supportive comments, I appreciate the love you share!

Lauren Jeffery

Little Red Writing Solutions

10 Questions You MUST Answer as a Small Business Owner- Don’t Leave It Too Late

I’ve been contemplating how to move my small business forward in the last few days. Not just daydreaming about it, but putting pen to paper and working hard on a plan of action. I had to ask myself how I was going to move forward and what I needed to do it. I’m sure many of you are accomplished in your field, the highest of pedigree in your industry, but for little old me, I’ve started small and want to grow as much as I can and hopefully help other business owners along the way.

I started writing because I could. I love writing as much as I love being alive. It gives me a confidence and a sense of purpose that, other than my children, nothing else has.

So if you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place, you’re looking to grow but you’re not sure where to start planning, these are the 10 questions I really believe you need to answer before you can start to kick ass on a grander scale.

 

  1. Why should people use my service- how am I providing the best solutions around town?
  2. What problems do I need to solve in working with others?
  3. What solution do I have for the business problems of others?
  4. What do I want from my business?
  5. What do I want to give to others and “who” are those people?
  6. What are my long term priorities and goals?
  7. What are the best ways to project my messages and my service?
  8. What resources do I need to reach my short and long term goals? What are these goals? BE SPECIFIC
  9. Do I need to outsource- to whom, why, how and what?
  10. How and what do I need to develop my personal brand? Don’t get in way over your head here, know WHAT A BRAND IS!

 

 

Tomorrow on the blog, I’ll go into detail about these 10 questions and how I’ve used them to shape my business development strategy.

What else should we as small business owners be honing in on? How do we get better at knowing who we are and what we do?

 

Lauren Jeffery

Little Red Writing Solutions

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Drop me a Line: lauren@littleredwritingsolutions.com.au

Little Red’s Top 5 Content Marketing Infographics for March 2014- Implement a Strategy TODAY!

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(Image courtesy of http://visual.ly/dos-and-donts-content-marketing?_from=homepage)

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(Image courtesy of http://betterdealsmarketing.com/infographic-content-marketing-traditional-advertisings-new-rival/)

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(Image courtesy of http://www.digitalinformationworld.com/2013/11/6-top-infographics-to-understand-content-marketing-world.html)

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(Image courtesy of http://www.marketingtechblog.com/7-steps-optimized-content-strategy/)

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(image courtesy of http://www.womma.org/posts/2013/01/infographic-why-content-marketing-works)

Brochures- From Old World to New Age: 10 Top Tips from Little Red

Evening all,

I’ve been fiddling with my Little Red brochures for months: adjusting, simplifying, correcting, adding and subtracting. Now that I think I got it pretty much right, I want to share with you how I got there. Sometimes it takes a few drafts, sometimes not. Simple fact is, it’s gotta be damn good, a lot of people don’t read brochures. They collect them at expos or in the mail and then bin them. These are my tips on getting yours to work for you.

  1. CLEAN- focus on colour (3 maximum), font (2 maximum) and a simple, effective layout. If people wanted clutter, they could come and look in my Tupperware cupboard. Make your graphic designer work hard for their payment so working on your business brochure pays off for you.
  2. QUALITY PRINTING- Having a husband who works in printing, I know good and bad printing when I squint at it. Watch for irregular bleed, general fuzziness. Find a top-notch printing agency (stick with small business yeah?) who can produce high-resolution images on sleek pages. Now brochures can’t be sexy, but you get my drift. Make them look damn impressive.
  3. BRANDING- Is your brand easily identifiable? Make sure your brochure logos/images make all the other business material you are producing. Having your brand recognised by others is a difficult task to achieve but you can make it work when you work hard on your brand image.
  4. APPROPRIATE IMAGES- Do the images match your content? This isn’t a trick question. I completed a brochure for a client who asked for pictures of puppies on their brochure when they wanted to show off their jewellery range. Puppies don’t usually wear jewellery (in Melbourne they don’t anyway) so use images to support your content. Don’t just throw them in there because “every brochure needs pictures”.
  5. SAY NO TO CHUNKS- Make sure your brochure isn’t wordy. No huge paragraphs or people won’t read them, or take your brand seriously. Using more words can  often be misconstrued as not knowing what you are talking about. The layout won’t be as impressive if words take up all the useable space.
  6. KNOW ITS VALUE- Do you know how important brochures are? Do you know their purpose? Approximately 20% of people in the US have never searched for a business listing online (which means they’d need one of your brochures to get in contact with you again). The principle behind a brochure may seem old-school in this grand (new) digital age we reside in, but they never go out of style in business if they are created and used correctly.
  7. THINK STRATEGICALLY- Where are you going to send/hand out/ leave these brochures? This needs to be worked into your layout. You might not be with your brochure when people are seeing it for the first time. So it needs to be  targeted to the appropriate audience and easy to read.
  8. CONTACT INFO- Make sure your contact details are clearly defined and UP TO DATE. You are creating a brochure to turn readers into buyers so the readers are at some point going to want to know how to get a hold of you.
  9. CTA INCLUDED- Related to #8, include a call-to-action. Provide value and information which entices your readers to want to know more and to act on what they discover in your brilliant layout.
  10. MOST IMPORTANT!!!! Your HEADLINE will be the decider. Five times more people read the headline than the body of any article of text. If the headline doesn’t attract them to read on, the time you spent on your brochure will be useless. Don’t get cheesy, be concise and clever.

Do you have any more tips to add to my list? I’d love to see what kind of brochures your businesses are producing. Remember that less is more in this case.