Writing articles and re-purposing them is one of the highest payoff activities you can use in your marketing mix. Yet many business owners don’t take advantage of this relatively simple strategy and write articles consistently.

Why not?

The problem arises though when you feel you have exhausted your repertoire and begin to struggle for topics to write about. This approach certainly doesn’t help the creative juices flow so here’s a few tips that will keep you eagerly cranking out articles that your clients will not only want to read but they will want to share with their peers and colleagues.

Use a template

Templates simplify and speed up the process of writing articles. Find one that suits your purpose and work with that. For instance, the How-To article is a little different in structure from the informative article and is often used on websites and blogs as typically these articles are easy to read and teach a specific skill in a very clear way – all excellent points for effective web writing or article marketing.

Get into the mood

Writing articles can become a chore if you’re not in the mood. And it would be great if you could write when the mood strikes you but often you’ll have a deadline to meet so knowing how to create the mood will serve you well.

Where and when you write articles and how you are feeling at the time will be reflected in the words that flow or don’t! So, set yourself up for success. Perhaps it’s a walk or meditation or maybe a workout at the gym before you commence. Music soft or loud or complete silence? A cold glass of water or a hot tea or coffee? Find whatever works for you and build that into your article writing routine.

Get clear about your audience

Remember, you’re not writing articles for everyone! Who is your ideal client/audience? Write articles for them. Better still, picture a specific individual within that audience and imagine you’re having a conversation or explaining your topic to them. This will enable you to zero in and the words will flow more easily.

Get clear about your topic

Now that you know exactly who you are writing to. What is it you want to share with them? What do you want them to know or do as a result of what you share?

This will help you get clear about your topic which will in turn make sure your content delivers relevant and interesting information your clients will want to read.

Identify several main themes and chunk down to smaller aspects of the topic

Say you’re a travel agent and your topic is Cruising

Think of all the different aspects you can and make a list. Imagine you are looking at a large framed painting and you write about what you see. For instance, it could be a painting of an ocean cruise ship leaving port.

Now imagine looking at each aspect of that painting and creating smaller frames within the larger scene and write articles about them.  This could be the ship itself, the on board activities, the wharf and surrounds, the luggage, the passengers, the crew, the food, mountains or buildings in the background and so on.

Once you’ve exhausted this you can pick another topic and repeat the process.

If you take this approach you will never run out of interesting articles your clients want to read.

 

We all know the clients – they give you a big headache and they make you wonder whether you really enjoy your job anymore. Dealing with them makes you want to tear your hair out and pack it all in, once and for all.

Do you have a toxic client?

Just like personal relationships, it can be difficult to recognise if you’re in a toxic professional relationship. Each and every client that walks through your doors is different from the last, so it won’t always be easy to spot a client who is causing you trouble – but there are some obvious signs to be look out for:

  • Does the client always try to get extra perks that aren’t outlined in the contract or agreement?
  • Do they ask for extra services without expecting to pay for them?
  • Do they constantly make late payments?
  • Do they ignore your professional advice?
  • Do they ask you to do things that you consider being immoral or unethical – perhaps even illegal?

Most people would agree that these kind of behaviours are out of line and yet you may have certain clients coming to mind as you read those questions – so how do these clients even come about?

As business owners we always want to go that extra mile to make sure our client walks away from the experience raving about us, but this might be getting us into a little trouble; it’s that old adage of giving them an inch and them thinking they can take a mile.

Perhaps you’re also in the habit of accepting every single client that walks through your door. Many people have this issue and it actually comes back to your relationship with money – are you so anxious about the state of your accounts that you’ll put yourself through anxiety and stress, even for a small job?

Do you really need to get rid of them?

Yes!

If you’re in one of these toxic client relationships, you are spending far too much time in your day dealing with them. Not only is this a waste of your time and energy, it’s also time that you could be spending on acquiring new clients or making another job spectacular.

So, how do you say no?

Saying no isn’t easy but it’s important to always be kind. You won’t always be able to nip these relationships in the bud but it’s crucial to be on the lookout for the signs of a toxic client early on, so you can have an easier ‘break up’ and part with no hard feelings.

Always be as honest as you can be, so that they know why you won’t be a good fit for the work that they need done. Give solid reasons – after all, the client is emotionally invested in some way, so you don’t want them to walk away feeling as though they were rejected with no good reason.

If you tell your client that there is a problem, you also need to give them a solution. Maybe you can provide the solution yourself or you can refer them to someone else who can better help them. Either way, you need to know that the client will walk away feeling as though you care about them, rather than just trying to palm them off and get rid of them.

Remember to always be on the lookout for toxic behaviour from your clients – don’t waste your precious time, resources and energy on clients who might be better dealing with someone else.