genuine and trustworthy

Dollars Flow to the Genuine and Trustworthy

Passion is a way of life and business for me. One thing I’m very passionate about is being genuine and trustworthy as an entrepreneur.

Businesses run by honest, passionate people are the ones others want to work for and with. I only work with clients who are genuine and trustworthy and who want to make a difference in the lives of their clients or customers.

Beyond operating that way within a business, though, is marketing oneself the same way in order to move a business forward. This isn’t always the sexiest approach, because it can take time to plant roots as an unknown in a digital space, but it will ultimately bring the best return.

Once individuals know, like, and trust you, they will give you their business — it’s that simple. It’s important, however, to follow specific guidelines:

1. Make Sure You’re Marketing to the Right People

While it’s fantastic to generate engagement in the digital space, it’s meaningless if those you’re engaging with have zero desire to buy from you. Don’t fall into the trap of reaching out to an audience that ingests your content, but doesn’t need your services.

Here’s an example:

Let’s say you build websites and you’re trying to drum up business through social media. You publish tips and tricks as a way to generate engagement and, hopefully, business. The only problem is that your tips and tricks are attracting a do-it-yourself audience that loves your content, but doesn’t need your services.

If, on the other hand, you publish “10 questions to ask of your potential website developer,” you may attract a crowd looking for a website developer instead of looking to develop it themselves. And, going back to our original point, you will show that you are caring and trustworthy by helping this audience find the right fit.

2. Make Sure You’re GENERATING Enough Exposure

Just because you build it, doesn’t mean they will come. Producing fantastic content is only the first step. Next, you need to get that content in front of the right people by working with a social media specialist to dig into the nuances of each platform to get the most out of them.

Here are a few of my articles that may help:

Beyond that is a need for general SEO, or search engine optimization. Writing quality content is one thing; you also need to structure that content within your website so search engines read it and pull out relevant keywords.

One of my more popular posts is, “Stop Thinking SEO is Something You Should Save for a Rainy Day.” Basic SEO is simple and can make all the difference between potential clients finding you and finding someone else instead.

3. Make Sure You’re Saying Enough

As I mentioned before, I only work with awesome, genuine, and trustworthy clients. One of the things I do for them is connect the dots between who they are and what they’re broadcasting to the world.

Too often, amazing, talented entrepreneurs are selling themselves short by not conveying the incredible qualities they possess. These qualities are often referred to as “soft skills” and aren’t as outwardly valued in our culture as hard skills.

For consultants especially, these soft skills are everything. Even if your “it factor” has nothing to do with soft skills, the piece that will push people over the edge to want to hire you is often your engaging personality, ability to problem-solve, or genuine desire to want to help.

Make sure what makes you unique is being broadcast along with your deliverables.

Final Thoughts

Digital noise bombards potential clients and customers with endless messages and pitches. You want to be the person they turn to with their questions and — more importantly — their jobs.

Do that by conveying your genuine willingness to help and take care of their businesses, and you will be well on your way.

SEO best practices

Stop Thinking SEO is Something You Should Save for a Rainy Day

Freelance writers and entrepreneurs need to stop looking at SEO as the final ribbon to tie around a nicely-put-together website. Yes, the process can be vast and complex, but it isn’t the huge undertaking it is perceived to be. There are simple SEO practices that anyone with a website should start the very first day they go live.

Use Proper Title Tags

Using title tags isn’t just about making articles look prettier, they tell search engines how to analyze text. If, for example, you wrap a line with “h2” tags, you are telling a search engine that it is looking at a subhead. If you were to simply bold that line of text, the search engine has no idea that it should deem that line any more important than another.

Use Proper Plug-Ins

I would wager that the majority of professionals who need to implement simple SEO practices have self-hosted WordPress sites. For those professionals, installing a plug-in like Yoast SEO is a must. Through Yoast, you can customize your article to comply with best SEO practices, and Yoast even provides a score, suggestions to improve, and generates your sitemaps.

Use Keywords

If you want your website to show up in search engines, you must use keywords. If you are using a plug-in like Yoast SEO, you can enter your focus keyword into a designated field so the plug-in can analyze your work. Then you want to make sure your keyword is used in your title, subheads, meta description (the paragraph that appears under the title in search), within your body text, and as part of your alt tags.

Use Alt Tags

What is an alt tag, you ask? When you insert a photo into your article, you want to make sure you include an alt tag, which adds keywords to your pictures. Alt tags also help with screen readers, and for contextualizing a photo if it doesn’t render on the page.

Use A High-Quality Title

Not only do you want your title to include your focus keyword, you want it to draw in your readers. A tool I use every single time I write an article is the headline analyzer tool on Co-Schedule. This tool will take your headline and grade it based on powerful, emotional, common, and uncommon words. It also analyzes the length of your title. It’s a must.

Use This Practice Now

I can’t tell you how many sites I come across that are not using basic SEO. Trust me, there is plenty more to dig into when it comes to SEO, but these simple practices will make a world of difference with your website. What’s more, not using these practices can really hurt you. If your site is sloppy and doesn’t translate well with search engines, you can be penalized. You don’t want that!

So do yourself a favor and start implementing these strategies today. It will save you a lot of tedious work in the future!