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How to be the Madonna of the website world

How to be the Madonna of the website world

With the advent of Content Management Systems like Joomla! and WordPress, updating your website can be as easy as buying a brand-new wardrobe. Even so, some still prefer to stick to the web equivalent of their fashion comfort zone. So in terms of your web page, are you a Barnsie or a Madge? And how can you get a bit of that pop idol flair? How to be the Madonna of the website world #business #websiteworld Click To Tweet The Jimmy Barnes approach to website maintenance You probably built your website a few years back, spending some serious time planning and working closely with a designer and copywriter to get it just right. Since then things have moved on a little. Your website still looks great, but you know there are a few modern innovations that are possibly passing you by. You might have also taken to mixing in the odd element in a desperate attempt to modernise (like shoving a Pinterest logo randomly on your home page, or embedding a YouTube video in your footer). “Be conscious that there’s a fine line between ‘trailblazer’ and ‘try-hard’.” But right now you’re not prepared to invest the time and money reworking your website. Why should you? Your business is thriving, your customers are coming back for more and you have different financial priorities. If you’re planning on taking the Barnsie approach it’s important to watch your competitors. When they suddenly update their site with lots of new features and functionality you could lose customers. Also, be aware that your existing site might not look that great on the plethora of...
The six-step business detox

The six-step business detox

Next week I’m trying something new: a Business Detox. I’m shutting my doors, turning off my phone and switching on my out-of-office message. Why? Well, I’ve been flying solo now for about three years and feel it’s time to give my business some much-needed love and attention. Things are great from a potential-client point of view. Some considered SEO techiniques have me ranking high, and the enquiries are coming in thick and fast. But while the flow of work is good, my work processes no longer seem to fit. My cash flow isn’t great, my documentation is out of date and my website could do with a spring clean. It’s time to cleanse – to clear all the muck and clutter out of my business tubes and start fresh. “Clean out old files from your computer, install software upgrades, tidy up your desktop and clean out all the biscuit crumbs from your keyboard.” Of course, if you’re thinking about detoxing you could hire a business adviser or a virtual assistant to help you out. But you know your business best, and with a little time and perspective I think you can give it the boost it needs. So here’s my advice on how to give your business a big fat colonic. The six step business detox #business #detox Click To Tweet 1. Manage expectations Explain to your existing clients that you’re taking a break. If you want to tell them it’s for a holiday rather than a business detox that’s your call, but many will respect you for taking time to refocus your business. Set your email to ‘out of office’. Record a new voicemail message....
A day in the life of working me

A day in the life of working me

My productivity highs and woes When I chat with business colleagues, or am interviewed for podcasts, these are the phrases I hear the most: “I don’t know how you do it!” “How do you get it all done?” “What’s your productivity secret?” And I get it. I’m prolific. There’s a lot of Toon spread around the interwebs. So in this post I thought I’d share my average day and week, and pass on some of my favourite productivity tools and motivational tactics. A day in the life of working me #productivity #business Click To Tweet The basics For those who don’t know me: JOB: Copywriter and SEO trainer. HOURS WORKED: 35-40 pw. INCOME: I’m doing okay (but not ‘island buying okay’) WORKING DAYS: Short days Monday, Thursday and Friday (school run both ends). Long days Tuesday and Wednesday (husband does school things). Can also work on Saturday (but try not to). My morning routine I wake up at 4am feeling refreshed. After meditating and doing an hour of yoga, I make myself a wholesome green smoothie while listening to whale music. On alternate days I jog on the beach and swim in the golden morning surf… Okay, so I’m lying. While I’d like to be ^^ that ^^ person. I am, in fact this person. I wake up at 7am feeling more tired than when I went to bed. I lurch to the bathroom with a rigid totter, my legs having seized up in the night through extreme lack of exercise. I have a swift shower and I brush my teeth. On a good day I might even brush my hair. Then...
My top 6 takeaways from Big Digital Adelaide

My top 6 takeaways from Big Digital Adelaide

Or, what you REALLY learn at business conferences “I don’t like events, and I don’t do networking.” This was me a couple of years ago. A committed business hermit whose only concession to getting out there was a rampant Facebook addiction. But recently I’ve started to do a bit more humaning—shaving my back hair, getting out of my jim jams and heading into the real world of business. In fact, I just got back from the Big Digital Adelaide event. And it’s completely changed my view of events and networking. So while I could have done a round up of the excellent digital knowledge I gleaned from the conference, I thought  I’d share some of the business lessons I learned instead. (But if you scroll to the bottom you’ll also find my downloadable notes from the event). My top 6 takeaways from Big Digital Adelaide #bigdigitalADL #business Click To Tweet Lesson 1: We all have imposter syndrome There were some big names and experienced speakers at Big Digital. But there were also a lot of first-timers and relative newbies—including me. While I’ve run countless training events for clients and my own workshops, I’ve only spoken at a few big events. I was nervous. Worried my content wasn’t pitched at the right level. Worried about overlap with other speakers. Worried I’d fluff my lines. Worried I didn’t look the part. But after talking to the other speakers, it quickly became apparent that everyone feels that way. Even the big guys get that twisty tummy feeling before they hit the stage. And although it does get easier, public speaking is never easy. I learned that...
Learning to love your own voice

Learning to love your own voice

So I’m finally a cover girl (actually I’ve been one before but not quite like this). I must say it was a little thrilling to see my head on the cover of Roooar magazine and I was thrilled that new sole owner Anna Dower picked me. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend subscribing to Rooar, it’s free and packed with great articles about business and life. A great source of inspiration and motivation. You can sign up to it here. Tell us a little about your story. What’s your background? How did you start?  Why did you start? I’d love to say I always wanted to be a writer. But the truth is I had no idea what I wanted to do. After uni I wanted to study magazine journalism, but I’d racked up too much debt and so had to get a real job. Ultimately, my journey towards writing for a living took me down a windy path of bar work, office jobs, production, gibbon keeping and massaging. I worked in advertising for many years, and enjoyed the endless beanbags and booze for a while. But it’s a hard life and, frankly, a young person’s game. After ten years, I found the environment soul-sucking and stressful. At 34ish, I was on my way to a General Manager role. I should have been happy, but instead found myself sobbing on the bus to work. Learning to love your own voice #copywriting #business Click To Tweet Thankfully I got pregnant, and had to choose between my career or mumdom. The choice was easy. I couldn’t wait to wave...
Why you should marry a copywriter

Why you should marry a copywriter

I like to keep reminding my husband how lucky he is to have married me. Yes, my cooking is less than perfect, and I’ll admit I’m not quite as pert as I used to be. But as a small-business owner himself, he did bloody well to marry a copywriter. Think about it. Every aspect of your business needs copy – from your business card to your press ads, your website to your emails. Not to mention all those pesky Facebook updates and relentless tweaks. SEO types shriek that content is king, and if you’re not spitting out a blog post every two days your ranking (and your business) is doomed to flop. When you’re married to a copywriter you get all this free. All you have to do is promise to take the recycling out and she’ll throw you a tweet or two. A dog walk buys you an email newsletter. And if you watch the small human for a few hours, a beautiful keyword-optimised post miraculously appears in your inbox. But I realise that, even though copywriters are spreading like a rash these days, not everyone will be able to marry one.* Why you should marry a copywriter #business Click To Tweet So here’s how you can at least build a solid business relationship with a copywriter (or any other supplier for that matter) and reap the benefits. Give good brief: There’s nothing us copywriters like more than a well-thought-out brief. So much so that we’ll often have a template for you to complete. Take the time to fill it out properly, and add as much detail as you can. Make time for us: Just...
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