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Archive for the ‘communication’ Category

Frickin’ Elephants Help Effective Communication

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011


When it comes to good communication it’s not so much about sending the right message as it is getting the right response. The right message assumes you and the other person will respond in the same way. A person’s understanding shows up before you do, and that is the reality of the message you send. It’s not what you say; it’s what people hear. And, while you might not be able to control what people see or hear, you can do a better job trying to anticipate it.

I heard a story about a grandpa helping his four-year-old grandson learn to read. The boy pointed to a picture in a zoo book and said, “Look, Grandpa! It’s a frickin’ elephant.” The grandpa took a deep breath and asked, “What did you call it?”

His grandson repeated himself.

“It’s a frickin’ elephant, Grandpa! It says so on the picture!”

And, so it did. When the grandpa looked down at the picture, it read,

“A F R I C A N Elephant.”

It’s not what you say; It’s what people hear

When looking at logos and any of your marketing materials it’s importnat to ask serious questions about the message that’s being portrayed to those that will see  them.  Here’s 4 quick pointer questions for you to consider.

  • Does this graphic support or compete with the intended experience for your audience?
  • Does this logo (or any marketing material) help accomplish the desired objective or not?
  • Does it have potential to attract or repel?
  • Does it add to or take away credibility?

When it comes to your website you only have 3 seconds to communicate that right message to your visitors, that’s less time than  it takes to read this sentence.

What’s your message and how is it being heard?
Do you think about what you might say will be taken by others and how it might affect them or do you just think about what you have to say and go and do it?

I wonder what open and candid feedback you might get if you were to show your communications (whether it be your website, newsletters to clients or internal messages) to others before sending them? Would the feedback you get back match that of the desired goal of the communication?

Is the communication you’re sending actually opening doors rather than closing them?

Your comments are really welcome, please leave them below.

Get to Know Your Target Audience

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

Realising who your target audience is hugely important if your blog is to be successful.

Ask yourself who you want to read your blog posts – are they customers, local businesses etc?

Writing blogs with an audience in mind helps to refine your writing and reach out to them. If you are simply writing to attract anyone who finds your blog in a search engine, it could simply be a stab in the dark and may prove unsuccessful.

What do your audience want? What do they need?
If you’re writing a blog, it should be about giving them something. Are you skilled in a certain area that you can help them with? If they’re coming to you for advice, then they aren’t quite as skilled as you, so your knowledge can offer them a reason to keep coming back.

Writing Manner
If you are writing a technical blog, are you offering professional details and ‘how to’s’ or are you open to injecting humour into your blog? You should decide this based on your audience – they may not appreciate the humour or you might prefer to write in a more formal way because that’s what your readers want.

Length of Post
What will your readers like? A difficult one because people like both long and short posts, some posts of around 200 words could be punchy and offer just a couple of bits of information to keep your readers reading. Don’t leave it too static, change the length of your posts every so often and after posting a few, check how successful each one is.

Who ever is reading your blog make sure you keep paragraphs short so that people will read them and not skim the post.

Invite reader engagement
At the end of the post don’t forget to Invite comments from readers. most readers have opinions but often they wont leave them unless prompted to do so.

So as above, if you have a comment about this post please do leave it below.

Blogging to your target audience

Monday, November 1st, 2010

Blogs are written to target a specific audience, so its only right that we cover how to blog successfully. Bloggers want to attract traffic and to receive comments so your writing should be of interest to a certain type of person ( your target audience ).

Make it regular – blogs should look active so by writing pieces regularly, your followers will return to see new posts and in turn will start to add comments to your pieces.

To Read or to Skim
Some readers will read a whole post so keep it short, don’t be scared to use bullets and headers, and for those that only have time to skim the text add ‘action’ words that get noticed.

Blogging is an interactive project, something that lets your readers get involved so let them leave comments and ask you questions and respond quickly. You can use widgets ( add-ons ) that can let you do this, and by using one that lets readers message each other adds value and interest.

Home Page
Use your home page as an inlet to the rest of your blog. Use eye catching headers with images that attract your readers, let them read the first sentence or two. If they’re into the header and the taster sentence they’ll click through to read the rest of it, give them the option to read it or not – the text isn’t in your readers face and they have the choice to click through to the piece they ‘need’ to read.

Things to Avoid
Avoid being over opinionated – people don’t want to be told how to think. Talk with your audience and get their opinions too.

Don’t fill the post with too much information, instead spread your info out into a couple of posts. Give little pieces of good strong info and add value to it by asking for comments or opinions.

Try not to fill a page with blatant key words, search engines favour blogs which are relevant and active so focus on interesting pieces and add pages to the blog regularly.

Which page loses most visitors? Website Analytics.

Sunday, June 6th, 2010

Website analytics So you’ve got your website and with all the confidence that it will be a great success you’re sat there waiting for the phone to ring red hot, or for the email orders to pile in and…… nothing!

When you open a new shop on the high street you have the benefit of being able to see who browses in the window, see if them come in, what they look at, what they spend time on and what they say even but with a website you can’t get all this vital feedback. You don’t know if they move past the home page or what page it is that brings them to your website in the first place.

Well fortunately you don’t have to be left in the dark. There is a way to get this vital info and to analyse it and get that feedback you need. Of course you can’t see the visitors’ faces nor gauge their body language and what they say but you can see how they get to your website and what they do when they get there.

Google analytics is a fantastic tool that allows you to see important and informative statistical data about the people that come to your website. Features include (but not limited to):

  • Track how people found you including keywords and referring websites
  • See which pages are attracting visitors (landing pages) and which are turning them away (exit pages)
  • See information about the visitors themselves like geographical location, browser info, screen resolution and more
  • See visitor loyalty, returning visitors, how long they spend on each page
  • Make reports, set date ranges, set up goals

Here’s the great thing about it, it’s 100% free. You just have to add some code to every page of your website and Google Analytics does the rest. Of course this is maybe easier said than done but your website developer should be able to do this for you for a small charge.

So here’s what you need to do to start seeing where problems may lie:

  1. Get a Google Analytics account
  2. Get the code installed on your website
  3. Learn to read the data and understand where problems may lie (a subject on its own)
  4. Most importantly – act upon your findings!

More information about Google Analytics can be found here on the

What are your thoughts on this? We love to interact with our readers so please leave a comment.

An introduction to Blogging PT1

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

bloggingThere are tons of reasons that blogging is taken up by business owners, and there are just as many blogging subjects as there are reasons to do it. Traditionally, online communities were built to bring people together, so each community would usually feature a different subject, such examples might be talking small business strategies or coming together to discuss interests in finance.

The first weblog was penned around 1994 and the shorter version of the word ‘blog’ was later used as the technology improved. Later, it was able to support basic images and now design firms build blogs into websites of owners that want to move on or expand the business from their basic shop or info site to something much bigger.

Blogs get people involved.
Online discussion groups absolutely thrive nowadays; you could find a blog about any kind of subject or interest, so just how does blogging affect your business? We wrote this to bring you some info and to clear up some grey areas concerned with blogging.

So, not everyone likes the idea. Blogging is often seen as a fairly informal way to build online communities, to create an interest with like minded people. It’s also a way to announce to people exactly what might be going on within your business, how it is progressing and expanding perhaps.

How does it work?
A blog uses a simple user interface so that anyone can easily update it. You can add and amend articles and format them as you please with rich text functionality so you can bold and underline text. Adding images is easy too.

What’s really exciting and important about blogs is that they are open for comment which can keep a blog looking lively and up to date. This means you as the blog owner can engage with those who leave comments. You remain in control as you can edit and delete the comments as appropriate.

In the next part we’ll look at what to blog about in more detail giving you some ideas.