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Create your brand #3

 6 easy steps

a step at a time

Six ideas to help you build your own unique copy reference library:

If you’ve read the first two posts in this short series

(1) Thinking about your business and brand in bite size pieces.

(2) Defining your own copy library

You should now be ready to get to the fun bit, preparing your own unique copy reference library.
The 6 six simple steps for doing this follow below:-

Build your own unique copy reference library
Discovering more about your prospective competitors and customers is probably one of the more pleasurable aspects of researching and preparing your marketing copy. You can create an easy to maintain and sustainable resource using 6 simple steps.

1. Articulating your services
Are your services geared up to provide not only the immediate needs of your customers, but also what they will need to sustain their business in the future? Identify the politics, social impact, technological developments, history, and trends of the service you provide. Learn to articulate, in your own way, how your services offer unique benefits and remember to be true to your own voice and be “specific” about what you are offering.

2. Gather information
Subscribe to user groups, buy magazines and books so that you can build up a library of material that you can refer to when preparing your own copy. Which writing techniques impress you and which make you turn the page quickly? Ask your clients (potential clients) what magazines and books they read and what influences them?

3. Meet people – make friends
It’s one thing having a library of material to refer to and build on, but it’s even more important that you spend time with your clients and competitors. Be sure that you are connected to the reality of events and trends that will affect the service you provide. Listen to the language style used to describe those services. Does it resonate and mean something? Or is it dry as dust jargon that makes you yawn?

4. Mix it up
Pull it all together. Use your own personal information sources together with your day-to-day interactions and start keeping a daily journal about how your specific service will provide a solution now and in the future.

5. Share it
Using this journal as your source material, write articles and blogs about your research, your reference sources and your interactions and encourage feedback so you can discover how effective your personal articulation of your service is.

6. Don’t let it gather dust
It’s important that you don’t let your ideas or interactions stagnate. Competitive markets mean your service effectiveness needs continual reassessment, as does the copy that sells your services. In other words, are you providing sustainable support for your current customer base and continuing to grow and expand your own business? If you don’t stay fresh, your competitors will.

KISS – that old chestnut (Keep It Simple ‘n’ Specific)

I can’t stress enough how important it is to spend time clearly identifying your marketing strategy and expanding on this research so you can succinctly articulate your services and the solutions you offer. Make sure that the words that sell you and your services reflect your core positioning statement, your competitive analysis and truly represent you and your brand. Keeping things simple, sharp and easy to understand cuts down the noise for the prospective client and makes you more accessible to them.
I hope this helps but if you do need help with preparing your own unique copy reference library please feel free to contact me, Maggie Baldry, via my blog TaTUM research https://triedandtestedusermanuals.wordpress.com/. Or if you wish to follow my tweets on Twitter, please use the link here or on the sidebar. Tweets are work and personal interest related,

Copyright Maggie Baldry © 2011 Tried and Tested User Manuals (TaTUM) All Rights Reserved.

Who is Maggie Baldry?

Maggie Baldry trained as a technical author, writing instructions manuals, for a global supplier of household electrical appliances, the Electrolux Group. Maggie was also the founder of Virtual-e-perfection, a virtual assistance service, that helped many people develop their writing skills and build their brands. Building on these solid skills, TaTUM was created to help support others with their marketing and CRM strategy.

 
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Posted by on May 22, 2011 in TaTUM

 

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Looking back to look forward

After sifting through some files and backups the other day I came across this picture.

Widget Widget Web

It was a graphic prepared to accompany a very insightful article by Ajit Jaokar.

Preparing the collage and learning about the concepts in Ajit’s article was a series of small steps in a very busy daily work schedule.

Being totally honest, at the time I didn’t fully understand the full implication of Ajit’s article and how ubiquitous the impact of the Widget Widget Web would be. After all I was only asked to prepare an image and proof read some text.

With hindsight you can see that it was a big leap forward in grasping the growth of an emerging technology.

This image will always remind me of those busy and happy times.

Images were sourced from Yahoo Widgets and Opera Widgets. Image created by Maggie Baldry.

 
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Posted by on May 15, 2011 in TaTUM

 

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Create your brand #2

Thinking about your business and brand one slice at a time

slice

one slice at a time

To recap from the last post

1. Define your product or service; 2. Describe your market; 3. Perform market needs analysis; 4. Perform competitive analysis; 5. Know your positioning. So you now know exactly what you and your products/services are about and who would be interested in what you have to offer.

It is important to stay focused on the strategy you’ve put in place and that you are sure the content of your marketing collateral – web site, brochures, advertising, social media and networking strategies – continue to reinforce your brand. Many people go through the strategic exercise in create your brand #1 only to ignore their core market position when producing their marketing copy. Or they get so caught up in their competitors copy that they become “just another face in the crowd” and lose their own unique voice. This can be avoided by creating your own copy library.

What is a copy library?

A copy library is your own selection of personalised written material or ‘marketing content’ that you can use for your web site, brochures, biographies, articles, networking, elevator speeches etc. You can start your library as a personal journal and develop your marketing collateral from that source.

Why do I need one?

By having all of your copy in an organised format you will always have consistent messages about your brand and services. It also means that as your business and your clients grow, it will be easier to update and to keep fresh so that your messages don’t sound dated or out of touch with your readers’ needs.

Why must I do all of the marketing strategy stuff first and why can’t I get someone else to write all of this “copy” for me?

Your copy library is less likely to be effective in communicating your marketing messages if it is not based on a sound marketing strategy. As your marketing strategy evolves, your copy library should therefore evolve alongside it.

For example, if you spend time researching your market position and the statements that support it, it would not make sense to go off on a tangent with a highly specialised journalistic style copy. This “copy” really isn’t your words or your perceptions, but the words of a copy editor that doesn’t really know your business as well as you do because they haven’t been through the pain barrier of the marketing process with you. A professional writer/editor can help you organise your words and ideas and be “fresh eyes” on your text but if you lose your own unique voice, you lose congruence and sound phoney.

The next post in this short series will give you the 6 easy steps needed to build your own unique copy reference library.

It is hoped that you find these posts useful. Your feedback would be very welcome.

one slice at a time
 
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Posted by on May 8, 2011 in TaTUM

 

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Create your brand #1

Thinking about your business and brand in bite size pieces

Source google images

One bite of the apple

Most marketing professionals would recommend the following steps for creating your marketing and brand strategy:

  1. Service/product definition :
    For example: you create exclusive silk scarves.
  2. Market description:
    For example: your ideal client is more influenced by Sarah Burton than Vivienne Westwood.
  3. Market needs analysis:
    For example: your exclusive handmade silk scarves are the finishing touch to your clients’ designer clothes collection.
  4. Competitive analysis:
    For example: try Googling “exclusive silk scarves” and see how your competitors sell their products.
  5. Positioning.
    For example: What is unique about your silk scarves? Why should your potential clients buy from you rather a chain store?

Once you have completed this process, you have a sound foundation to build a strong brand that truly reflects you, your business and your services.

The next post will look at identifying the unique voice for your brand.

 
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Posted by on May 2, 2011 in TaTUM

 

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Good Tips from Art of Blog

Article Title :  Errors in Copy and How to Avoid Them

Brief extract “Texts riddled with errors erode trust, and that in turn reduces the likelihood of a conversion.  Therefore, it is in your best interest to figure out which mistakes you are making and how to rectify them as quickly as possible.”

Full article here

 
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Posted by on April 22, 2011 in TaTUM

 

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Gallery

Why call this TaTUM?

Why call this TaTUM?

Tried and Tested User Manuals (TaTUM)
The name was created to reflect the founder’s, Maggie Baldry, proofreading, editing and writing skills. The service was created to help authors, businesses, creative teams, basically anyone who needs a skillful eye to check their work.

What skills does Maggie have that might help me with my writing?

  • 20 years experience as a Technical Author with the Electrolux Group.

  •  Proofreading, editing and writing services offered to a wider audience since 2003.

  • A familiar name to the futuretext publishing company as she has edited and developed their books from conception to launch.

  • Worked directly with Ajit Jaokar, the founder of the London-based publishing and research company futuretext since 2003.

  • Helped with the preparation of the original OpenGardens manuscript and then followed on with Mobile Strategies and more recently Mobile Web 2.0.
 
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Posted by on April 3, 2011 in TaTUM

 

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