oday on the blog, I talk to Alice, an experienced copywriter, web designer and SEO whiz based in Cornwall, UK, who specialises in helping small business owners nail their websites.
Alice discusses the importance of having both a functional and aesthetic website, how to tackle the basics of SEO as well as share her top tips on how to make your entrepreneurial journey a little bit easier.
I like to think of myself as a ‘brand siren’. Yes, ok like the loud-hailer sense of the word but also in the sense that words can be enticing and engaging – and I Iove the sea. I’ve worked in outdoor activity centres since I was 15, so I’ve always been around people.
I made them feel safe, took them out of their comfort zone, and learnt how to teach the same principles but in a way that resonates with primary school kids, parents, retirees, young professionals, beach bums – you name it.
Coaching turned into managing and I dipped my toes into blogging to help these businesses reach more people. I loved the outdoor element of working in these incredible locations but it was seasonal, so it didn’t give me the year-round work and satisfaction I was craving. I reapplied all these same skills to helping other businesses, helping amazing brands reach more people, making them feel safe and I’m able to adapt to whoever is listening.
It’s not just a place to instate your authority, it’s a place where you have total control over what people see. Unlike social media (where you’re restricted to a certain number of characters and you don’t know what posts people see and when) you know you have someone’s undivided attention. As a result, it’s easier to engage with them and in return, encourage engagement from these website scrollers.
To use my favourite fishing analogy, having a pretty website design might lure in a future customer, but you need to land the catch in order to turn them into a paying customer (not just a prospective one). Your message is what’s going to hook them.
Your super clear navigation is going to start to reel them in. Then it’s the empathy in your words that is going to help you land the catch. So having a pretty website design might be appealing at first, but it’s not going to help move your business forwards.
The ever-changing algorithms on social media are a nightmare to navigate. It’s so easy to spend so much time on social media as you get the instant gratification of a new follower or a like, which makes you think: “Yup, I’m doing something right. Therefore I must do more of that.” But these platforms are so distracting.
Most people scroll with little thought into what they’re doing and a single post’s lifespan will last days, if not hours. On the other hand, SEO can bring you new customers years down the line.
It’s accumulative, so putting in only a little bit of work each month will increase your results. When it comes to social media, you’re often limited to content from accounts with two or three degrees of separation. However, SEO can help you reach a more global audience.
Haha, so many. The first thing I’d say is don’t give discounts. When I first started Alice Writes Copy, I thought that giving concessions would help me make friends. Yes, it did, but it got to a point where I didn’t value the work I was doing. I wasn’t getting the recognition for the long hours I was putting in.
It almost felt like these old clients weren’t fully valuing my time or energy either. Now I charge what I’m worth and stand my ground when people ask for freebies or discounts because I value my own time more and want to work with people who see the value in what I do too.
Spend time understanding what makes you different. For me, I don’t have the most logical or ‘traditional’ route to becoming a writer. However, I’ve spent time linking my past jobs and skills to what I do know: these ‘seemingly random’ skills (working at ski companies and surf schools) have enhanced my services and I make sure to shout about it. I don’t know another copywriter who has the same experience as me and that really excites me and helps me see the importance of what I’m doing versus my competition.
The easiest place to start is to get other people to link to your website. Start by brainstorming any complimetary businesses you know of, so companies who don’t do the exact same thing as you do, but who have a similar audience.
So if you’re a crafter, which other businesses does your target audience buy from? If you’re a yoga teacher, can you think of any other wellbeing or equipment companies who you share an audience with?
Reach out to these businesses and offer a little something for their website, like a tutorial, an educational piece or a little video of some kind. Make sure they credit you and, in doing so, link to your website – this is called a ‘backlink’.
It is a great technique to (1) connect with your future customers, (2) instate your authority around a topic, (3) drive more traffic to your own website for free, and (4) is a vote of confidence that your website is of value, and therefore Google (or the other search engine gods) will give you some SEO kudos for it.
Write it in a Google Doc before you start playing around with designs and templates and fancy features. It will help you stay focussed on your message. And a clear message will help you grow your biz quicker than a pretty design will.
You have an outsider’s perspective. We have our noses pressed against the ins and outs of our business that it’s hard to see the wood for the trees.
One thing I would say though is to focus on your words before you think about the design. Someone who doesn’t know your business well can help you communicate your message clearer, as they can see the gaps and the ‘golden nuggets’ (as I like to call them: they’re the bits of your biz that you might overlook as ordinary, but someone else may see them as extraordinary and worth shouting about).
The best place to find me is on my email list. I spend far more time there than on Instagram. It’s a bit more raw, so you’ll get to see more of my business wins and challenges, as well as design tips and writing ideas.
My copywriting is my bread and butter. And communication sits at the heart of my website design package and SEO too. They’re for people who have put their heart into what they do, they value the interactions they have with their customers (past, present and future) and they are wanting to build a community alongside those people.
You can connect with Alice on Instagram at @alicewritescopy and find out more about her signature copywriting package here. Be sure to visit her website for more information on Alice’s services and all things SEO, copywriting and website design.
Alice was an exclusive guest speaker in February in the Blossom membership space. Every month we host up to two guest expert sessions (including a Q&A), as well as group coaching calls, general accountability support and relaxed co-working sessions.
**Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about joining the space.**
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