Search Results for: testimonials

Good testimonials: how to make them write themselves

Back in 2011 when this article first was published, testimonials were still relatively simple to do – perhaps because most business audiences were not as cynical as they are today, so believed what was written in them unconditionally.

Sadly though in recent times we have been plagued by businesses “creating” testimonials – many based on the real thing, but not quite the real thing – and sticking them up in writing on websites. And sadly, that has given rise to testimonials having a dubious complexion.

how to get good testimonials on HTWB

If you simply ask someone to give you a testimonial without giving them any guidelines, you’re leaving it up to luck as to the quality and nature of their response. BUT, there’s a big difference between that and putting words into their mouths. 

It’s only in comparatively recent times, when advertising in most industrialised countries has been regulated, that readers know testimonials have to be genuine – or else. There may still be the odd person or two who sneers at testimonials and endorsements, but in the main people now accept them for real, and believe in their honesty. This makes them powerful.

However getting a good testimonial isn’t easy, and for a variety of reasons must not be “written” by someone other than the person giving it. Without putting words in someone’s mouth, then, how do you go about getting good testimonials for your business, website, CV/résumé, etc? [Read more…]

Writing business we-wee is bad – but what about me-mee?

As you probably know I am forever advising businesses not to write about how “we” do this and “we” do that, unless they can relate that to how they benefit customers very, very quickly.

Writing about yourself in the first person

If you’re a sole trader, should you write about yourself in the first person?

That’s largely because people writing “we-wee” are too inwardly focused and forget to share with readers what’s in it for them, which in business is critically important. But recently I have been taking a look at websites belonging to, and I assume written by, individual solopreneurs and sole traders. And I have to concede, they have a problem that is harder to solve.

We, me, him, her or who the hell does “me” write as?

[Read more…]

Why your website text is NOT about your business

No, it’s not a typo.

It’s not about you

You lose count, don’t you, of the number of websites you see that talk all about the company concerned, when it started, what it prides itself on, and all manner of other “we-wee” words.

how to write good business website text by Suzan St Maur on HTWB

It starts on the “home page” with a lot of information your customers don’t need yet, if at all.

Then you go to the “about us” page and there’s more information that’s not relevant to what your customers are looking for (do they really care where the founder went to college in the 1950s?). [Read more…]

Local advertisers: some new words to make your ads work MUCH better

In this article in the series for local advertisers, I’m putting my money where my mouth is. In other words here are suggestions for more powerful alternatives to the words and phrases which sadly have become clichés – and therefore have lost their fire power.

words and phrases that work well in local advertising HTWB

So many words you can use in local advertising … but which ones really work to get your business quality leads?

Here are the top ten that were listed in an earlier article (with a reminder in italics) along with some better ideas…

The top 10 cliché words and phrases in local ads, and what may work much harder for you

Established for XX years. This rightly suggests long-term commitment and experience, but should never get in the way of how your business is bang up to date with its products and services. The reality is that how long you’ve been established isn’t a benefit to customers [Read more…]

Local advertisers: stop writing we-wee and start getting a decent ROI

Just over three years ago we published about the we-weeing problem in marketing material, and much as most pro writers like me bang on about it, it’s still raging away.

Local advertisers we-weeing on their customers HTWB

This historic little guy, Manneken Pis, has been we-weeing on people in Brussels, Belgium for 400 years. Fortunately this is good, for his business.

The reason why I am throwing the toys out of my pram this time is because I feel sorry for the ever-constant stream of local magazines that set up in all good faith, sell advertising space to local businesses, and go out of business themselves within a couple of years.

Why? Here’s my theory and it’s not their fault … it’s the fault of the we-wee local advertisers who, because they we-wee, don’t get the results they should from their advertising and so eventually abandon the local magazines as not cost-effective. Naughty, naughty and frankly, bloody ignorant.

Local advertisers: stop writing about how wonderful you are

(NB: After my rant, you’ll find 10 Tips on how to do it right, below!) [Read more…]

Copywriting: how to write a powerful USP that attracts customers and prospects

Especially – but not only – if you run an SME business, do you know how to express your “USP?” (Unique Selling Proposition/Point?) And do you know why your USP is so important to support your brand?

how to write a powerful USP on HTWB

Is your USP about what you do, or what you can do for your customers?

Recently this topic came up at a very lively regular business networking meeting I attend and I was surprised that some members of the group hadn’t really considered either a) the importance of a USP for any business or b) what it should be based on. Here, then, are some tips on how to identify yours and make it work for your business. [Read more…]

css.php