Creating Valuable Content for Your Clients

Let’s talk about something really important—creating valuable, usable content that your clients actually want to read. I’m not alone in saying that I hate the sales pitches all over social media and blogs these days. People don’t want to read that, and if they get the impression you’re just trying to sell them something, they’ll leave. But if you can provide valuable content and keep them around, well, that’s how you get attention from potential clients and ultimately build your SEO!

How to Bring Valuable Content to Your Clients & Readers

reading valuable content on a blog

Creating genuine content has a few advantages. First and foremost, it builds interest in what you post. If you actually provide information that people want to read or can benefit from reading, then you’ll gain their attention. They’ll come back. They might refer other people to your site because they know you deliver quality content.

Secondly, your SEO will improve. The increased client traffic, coupled with organic keywords and relevant content, will boost you up in Google searches leading even more people to start appreciating your great content.

So, how do you create that useful, client-building, SEO-boosting content? Here are some of my best tips for constructing valuable content for your business.

Think of questions people ask you everyday… and answer them

answering questions for clients

What do you get asked a lot in your line of work? What does everybody who comes to you want to know? Make a list of some of the most frequent questions you hear, then answer them. Address these concerns just like you would if you were speaking to an actual client. By providing genuine information, no strings attached, you gain client trust and confidence.

For example, we manage all the social media for The Walk at East Village, an Active Adult community in Clayton, NC. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we created a response plan, which we then implemented and communicated to all agents and buyers associated with East Village.

Share some of your favorite tools/tips of the trade

a beautifully renovated home

There are a couple of ways you can spin this. You might offer some tips for a DIY project in your line of work (like easy home improvements), show off some of your favorite organizational or trade tools, or even just provide some advice for those who want to learn a little more—some things you had to learn the hard way and wish someone had told you when you were first starting out!

For example, my team does a lot of behind-the-scenes blogs for Raleigh Woodworks. We delve into the company’s active projects, provide tips for updating or maintaining a personal home, and sprinkle in some cool before-and-after shots, too.

Solve a typical area or industry problem

taking pictures on a city tour

Think of some things a typical client in your industry might want to know. In construction, maybe eco-friendly features are a trendy topic. In real estate, it might be nice to highlight the local community. In salon services, maybe hot new hairdos would make a great read.

For example, my team works with The Elite Builders Group, a new construction real estate team in the Johnston County area of NC. Every month, we put out a Favorite Things blog that explores industry-relevant news and highlights local businesses, restaurants, events, and organizations.

Brainstorm some work-relevant topics

What do you share with your clients and friends about your business? What (industry-related) topics do you talk about with your coworkers or employees? What kinds of industry-specific things do you wish you’d known starting out? The answers to these questions could all be topics for your next blog post, Tik Tok video, or content page.

Ready to Start Producing Great Content?

If all this sounds a little overwhelming, we get it. This “valuable content” stuff… it’s kinda what we do (in case you didn’t pick up on that). You have better things to do with your time—like running your business! Let us worry about your content so you can focus on delivering 5-star client service. Get in touch and tell us a little more about your company, and we’ll help you get some bookmark-worthy content out to your will-be clients.

5 Low-Cost (or Free) Construction Marketing Strategies

Launching a business—and actually making money—is all about finding clients. And finding clients comes down to your marketing strategy. The thing about marketing, though, is that it differs from industry to industry, business to business; it pays to know the tricks of the trade. So, let’s talk about marketing for construction.

Niche Marketing for Construction & Contracting

construction marketing tips

My husband and I recently launched our own construction company, Raleigh WoodWorks, and so far, we’ve had no problem finding clients. My experience in construction management, paired with my marketing knowledge and strategy, has allowed clients to find us very quickly—we’re definitely off the ground running! Here are some of my best tried-and-true marketing tips for the construction industry.

Take pictures of everything

a beautiful new kitchen

Construction is all about the finished project, the before and after shots that make you go, WOW! And you can’t get that wow factor without pictures! So invest in a good camera, and learn how to use it. Seriously. Good photos pay off.

Taking pictures allows you to build a professional portfolio of real-life examples designed to both impress and inform potential clients. And they definitely dress up your website and social media accounts!

Stay active on social media

posting on facebook

Speaking of social media, it’s a good idea to keep friends and potential clients in the loop! Share pictures, tips, and even behind-the-scenes action about 3 – 4 times a week on at least a couple of different platforms. The idea is to provide helpful or engaging information that encourages people to interact, dig deeper, or even share or promote.

If you don’t already have business accounts set up, you’ll want to get those up and running first and foremost. Make sure to include plenty of business-specific information, including your logo and other branding, contact information, and links to your site. Then, hop on and start posting. Here’s how.

Facebook Business

Join neighborhood and community groups in your area; you’d be surprised at the number of people who search out contractors via Facebook. And don’t be afraid to share to your personal Facebook page to let friends and family know about your business—you never know who’s looking!

Instagram

Get that business account up and running, then start sharing! Photos are great, but videos get even more views—IGTV videos especially. Share stories to grow your audience and get viewers engaged.

Pinterest

Did you know that Pinterest is the only platform with an outstanding organic lifetime of shares? That basically means you can pin something today that keeps getting shared… for weeks or months to come! And unlike on other social media platforms, which typically only show you the posts of friends or groups you already follow, Pinterest allows for a much more widespread audience. So people you’ve never met can see—and share—your posts.

Update your website frequently

updating a website for construction marketing

It might be tempting to set up your website, then forget about it. However, it actually benefits you to update your site regularly—frequent updates tell Google that you’re still active and relevant, which can help improve your SEO and bump you up in Google’s search results. So if you want clients to find your business in their searches, make sure you’re keeping your site up to date, even if that just means adding a few pictures here and there.

Ask for reviews

asking clients for reviews

Nothing promotes a business like a great review. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your clients after the job is done to ask for feedback. We send an email to each customer after every project we finish; reviews are one of the top reasons other clients decide to call us!

A happy client should be more than willing to share their experience and help you promote your business.

Run ads

google ads

While there’s a lot of free marketing and advertising you can do, running ads is a fast and efficient way to get eyes on your business. You don’t have to spend a ton of money to start getting leads or followers quickly, either. Google’s search ads are hands-down the fastest way to be found when trying to get your name out there to clients.

However, I do NOT recommend attempting Google Ads on your own if you’re unfamiliar with how it works. You can easily waste a lot of money without seeing any returns—this is where it pays to work with a marketing expert!

Facebook ads are another way to get eyes on your business by giving your social media presence a little bit of a boost. Facebook ads can be leveraged to build your social media following, which allows you to be seen by more potential clients and continue to capitalize on that initial investment.

… Or Just Let Someone to Handle That for You!

Sound like a lot of work and time you’d be better spending on actual client projects? I hear you! Your expertise is out there bringing visions to reality, and mine is here, bringing clients to you! If you’re ready to launch or grow your business, I’m here to help. Contact me today to learn more about how my services can get your business booming.

5 Things You Can Do (From Home!) to Build Your Brand

This past year has been a bit of a roller coaster (or maybe a game of dodgeball?)—major shutdowns, sky-high unemployment, social distancing measures, nationwide protests, talks of a recession… it’s a tough time to be a small business! But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep doing what you love; you just might need to work a little harder to build your brand. Here’s what I mean.

Wait… What Does “Building a Brand” Mean?

a woman building her brand

First things first. What exactly do I mean when I talk about building a brand? In a nutshell, I mean that when people (i.e., your potential clients) search for your name, or better yet, your service or product, they find exactly what they’re looking for—your business! It’s not something that happens automatically; it takes building a brand.

Here are four things you can do—right now—to kickstart your brand.

Design a logo

designing a logo

Having a logo is vitally important to establishing a brand and a “look” for your company. Logos might not seem like a big deal, but they actually do a lot for attracting potential clients. Your logo is sort of like your “curb appeal”, that first glimpse of your business you give would-be clients to decide if you’re the right fit for their needs.

Logos do a couple of things—for you, and for your clients. Firstly, they establish your company’s identity. Are you formal and professional? A little fun and funky? Artsy and flowy? They can also show your clients that you’re a serious, established company, not just some newbie taking a whack at running a business.

Build a website

designing a website

This one’s critical, you guys! The internet is literally the gateway to information. Think about it; if you want a haircut/new house/contractor/pizza/Netflix show, where do you turn? Google! So, guess what your potential clients are probably doing when they need a new [insert-your-product/service-here]? Yeah, they’re Googling it. If you don’t have a website, how the heck is that potential client going to find you?

Building a website doesn’t have to be super hard, either. You can actually do it with essentially zero knowledge of web design, thanks to user-friendly sites like Squarespace, Wix, Weebly, and WordPress. I would, however, recommend choosing a unique domain name (none of that your-biz123.wordpress.com) to make you look legitimate, professional, and established.

Get on social media

setting up a business account on facebook

All right, now you’ve got your website (with your beautiful logo on it, of course), let’s take that internet presence one step further with a little social media marketing. Creating some business social media profiles is a great way to connect with potential clients and show them who you are as a business—and as a person. Unlike your website, which offers a more static view of your company, social media allows you to actively interact with your community.

Business social media is a little different from personal social media. You probably want to start with some graphics that flow with your logo and overall business feel. Then, invite all your personal Facebook/Instagram/Twitter friends to like your business pages. Create events. Allow clients to check in to your business and leave reviews. Repurpose relevant posts. Just be sure to keep it evergreen, fresh, upbeat, and professional.

A note on current events: Many businesses (myself included) have used social media as a way to support local and national activist groups, to spread awareness and education, or to encourage others to get involved. You can, too!

Write a good bio and use it everywhere

writing a persona biography

We’ve all read those cheesy, salesy, cut-from-a-mold bios that boast “years of experience” and “unrivaled skills” and blah blah blah… long story short it’s a long-winded and fancy way of not really saying anything or of covering up that you don’t really have any experience or skills! Eek!

Instead, take some time to craft a bio that actually says something about you as a business person and as a human being. Talk about your work experience. Talk about your hobbies. Talk about your passions. Talk about what made you want to start the business you’re running now. Talk to your clients, person to person, and give them a glimpse of what makes you NOT just another robot promising the moon to push a product or service.

Get on Google My Business

woman on a computer

One last tip… join Google My Business! It’s FREE, and it’s an invaluable tool for getting your business out there to be found by potential clients. Joining Google My Business allows you to be found in Google searches and on Google Maps. It allows you to post photos and offers, provide several contact methods for clients, and even see how your clients engage with your profile. Yup; you can view clicks, follows, bookings, and more. And did I say free?

Need Help Building Your Brand?

Eager to get started building your brand and reaching clients? It takes a lot to do it all on your own, which is why I’m here! Marketing, brands, websites, social media… it’s kinda my thing. If you need help getting all those details sorted, Corridor Consulting is here to help. Just give me a shout.

Charity Donations and Community Support: Be the Solution

There’s a lot going on in the world these days. People of all ages and from all walks of life have felt the ramifications of economic instability, widespread political unrest, and cries for social justice. Millions across our nation have been directly impacted by today’s issues, and it’s time we stood together as a community to support one another, to spread love and kindness, and to affect change for the better.

Here’s what I’m doing… and what you can do. Together we stand. In solidarity.

How I’m Supporting My Community Through Charity

helping classroom children

Community support and love has never been more important than it is today. My goal is to target the source of the problem by providing money in underprivileged areas. I’ll start by donating a portion of my company’s proceeds to an incredible organization, Public Schools First NC.

I’d love to get other businesses and individuals to join in, too. Because together, we can make a BIG difference in a LOT of lives. Need ideas? Let me know.

Meet Public Schools First NC

Public Schools First NC is a nonprofit organization focused on preK – 12 public education issues. The group collaborates with parents, teachers, and community leaders to spread awareness of problems within the education system, then advocate for solutions to bring about change. Some of the causes they support include racial integration, adequate funding, programs that protect minorities and at-risk youth, and more.

Want more information on how you can help? They have an amazing website filled with resources that range from voter information on candidates to current legislative actions in the works to reports on segregation in Wake County Schools. Even if you aren’t able to make a donation, I strongly urge you to check out their site to see other ways you can help.

My petitions, donations, and contacts

In addition to my donations to Public Schools First NC, I’ve also signed a few petitions directly calling for specific courses of action and made donations to organizations advocating for social justice and racial equality.

Petitions I’ve signed: #JusticeforBre demands the immediate firing of the police officers involved in the killing of Breonna Taylor. Demand Racial Data on Coronavirus requests that the government collect and release demographic data on the coronavirus, which has disproportionately affected Black communities. Justice for George Floyd demands that charges be filed against the officers involved in the death of George Floyd.

Donations I’ve made: I made donations to the above three organizations, as well as The Bail Project, which helps the underprivileged make bail and return to their lives as they await trial.

Authorities I’ve contacted: I also reached out to the governor of North Carolina, Roy Cooper, and I’d encourage you to do the same.

Other Charitable Organizations at Work in Our Communities

working together to support community

While I regularly support Public Schools First NC, I want to give a shout out to some other charitable programs and organizations at work in our community, a few of which I’ve also supported.

Did I miss any charities or organizations you believe can make a difference in the world? Please let me know—I’d love to spread the word!

Black Youth Project 100

Black Youth Project 100 is an organization of activists between the ages of 18 and 35 focused on building a network of transformative leadership, spreading education and awareness, and advocating for minorities. The organization has chapters in Washington, DC, Detroit, Chicago, New Orleans, Jackson, and our own Durham.

BYP-100 recently organized a successful and peaceful protest in Durham. They’ll be sitting down with Durham PD on Friday to talk and discuss demands.

NC Bail Fund of Durham

Located in Durham, NC Bail Fund of Durham is actually part of a nationwide effort to help the underprivileged make bail in order to return to jobs, families, and daily lives. Crime and poverty too often go hand in hand, creating a perpetuating cycle of hopelessness and desperation.

NC Bail Fund seeks to break the cycle by posting low-cost bail for people who cannot otherwise afford it, thereby helping them return to their homes as they await trial. Pre-trial detentions (which is what happens when the accused is unable to post bail) increase the likelihood of a trial that results in a prison sentence, as well as longer overall sentence terms.

Fight for Breonna

On March 13, 2020, 26-year-old Louisville EMT Breonna Taylor was killed in her bed when police entered her home looking for drugs that were never found. Her boyfriend, who attempted to defend their home against what he thought was a break-in, was arrested and charged with the attempted murder of a police officer. He was held under house arrest for several weeks until charges were (only recently) dismissed.

Now, Breonna’s family calls for justice for her untimely and tragic death. Donating will help them pay for lawyers in their plea for justice. The family has also made several demands of the City of Louisville, calling for the arrest of the officers involved in Breonna’s death, as well as increased transparency in the investigation of law enforcement misconduct.

Ben Crump: The Lawyer for Justice

Ben Crump is the lawyer involved in the #GeorgeFloyd legal case, but his work is much bigger than seeking justice for one man’s unjust death. He’s spoken on national platforms to advocate for the families of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd, and calls for social justice on a national level.

Supporting the work of Ben and his team will help them to campaign for the creation of new federal legislation to prevent tragic injustices such as these from happening with such frightening and saddening regularity.

NAACP

The NAACP has long been the name at the forefront of racial justice and civil rights movements. Through litigation, advocacy, and public education, this nonprofit organization works to create a society that fulfills its promise of equality for all its people. The group also works to protect the rights of the Black community gained over the last 75 years while addressing ongoing issues, such as police brutality, inequality in education, and an unfair criminal justice system.

The NAACP offers an immense variety of resources and programs, from educational events to scholarships to assistance in particular criminal justice cases. Their website is a great way to learn more about the issues too many Black Americans face in today’s world, as well as ways you can make a difference to spur social change.

Education Is Critical for Instigating Social Change

learning about charity organizations

Educating yourself is incredibly important for creating social change. Education serves two purposes—to help us understand how issues in our world affect our fellow community members and to enable us to find ways to create peaceful and long-lasting change. By learning all we can about our society, our government, and our laws, we can better advocate for concrete and sustainable change.

Not sure where to turn? The Movement for Black Lives is hosting a series this week that might be a good starting point. Black Lives Matter also has a list of ways you can learn, donate, and support your community.

Remember, it’s never too late to start learning, to open yourself up to the world, to make a difference. Change is coming; better to meet it prepared and be a part of the solution!

Together, We Can Make a Difference

I truly believe that standing together, working together, learning and growing and advocating for equality together, we can make a difference that will forever transform the world. Together, we can change our country, our community, and the lives of all our brothers and sisters—for the better. Sending love to all. #InSolidarity.

Everyday Heroes: Thank You Delivery Drivers!

For the majority of us, stay-at-home orders have meant, well, staying at home. But for thousands of people across the country, these past few months have instead meant risking their own health and safety to ensure that the rest of the community can still get food and water, can turn on lights, can sign in to Instagram or binge Netflix for nine straight hours… and can buy just about anything online.

Whether you have groceries delivered, order essentials off Amazon, or spend a little too much time keeping your wardrobe up to date, you’ve got a delivery driver to thank for saving you a trip to the store.

Have You Thanked Your Delivery Driver Lately?

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been keeping my delivery driver pretty busy lately. Our drivers are kind of like silent heroes, driving up, dropping off packages, riding off into the sunset… And I wanted a way to say, “Thank you” that was equally as unimposing.

So I set out a tub of snacks and drinks—I figured it was the least I could do!

Want to show your appreciation?

Share the love! Please feel free to use; just click on the image below to open the full-size JPEG. Then right-click to Save Image As so you can print and use! And share with your friends, too. Let’s show those delivery drivers how much we appreciate them!

FREE Thank you letter for delivery drivers.

Keep On Surviving Shut Downs!

Hey, it’s been a long couple of months, but we’re nearing the end. It’ll likely take us a while to get fully back into the swing of things, so now is a great time to make a plan for getting back on your feet, crushing goals, and taking your business to a whole new level.

Need ideas? I can help. It’s kinda what I do. Just reach out to me if you need any ideas. Let’s get your business ready to rock and roll!

Set Yourself Up for Success (Yes, Now) From Your Couch!

So you’re stuck at home. Maybe business is quiet, or you’ve been forced to close up shop all together. But that doesn’t mean it’s time to slack off! On the contrary—this is your chance to set yourself up to come back swinging. While your competition is zoned out on their seventh straight hour of Tiger King, you could be building up your client base—and preparing to open back up stronger than ever. It all starts with a little marketing.

Here’s what I mean.

Build Your Biz with Social Media Marketing

social media marketing on facebook

Millions of people are out of work, and even more are stuck at home, distanced from friends, family, and their normal busy lives. Guess what? That means a whole lot of opportunity for you—to turn bored social-media-surfers into future clients! It’s actually pretty darn simple.

Get some video rolling

social media marketing video

One of the easiest ways to get your name out there and connect with clients? Video. Think about what you have to offer—industry-related tips? Self-care advice? Fun videos? A little much-needed humor?—and roll with it (literally). Break out your phone, put it in selfie mode, and get the camera rolling.

If you can make it industry-specific, that’s great. If not, that’s fine too; it’s really just about producing interesting, unique, valuable content—even if that’s something goofy or entertaining (hey, we need that right now!). Just be sure you’re not trying to sell anything on social media.

Set up a business account

using a social media business account

Press pause before you post that hair-care or massage therapy video to your personal Facebook page, and get yourself a business account. Not only does having a business account make you look more credible and professional, it also helps to keep your personal life separate from your work life, and vice versa. Your business clients don’t want to know about your personal stuff, and hey, your friends might not want the biz details, either.

There are some other nice benefits to business accounts, too, like being able to check analytics and run ads. Plus, some social media platforms, like Facebook, can limit the number of friends or followers you’re allowed.

Get Motivated & Work That Marketing

If your business is closed or clients are quiet, you might be feeling a tad unmotivated, especially if you’ve been relocated from your normal office or workspace into what’s trying to pass for a home office. If you expect to reopen with booming business, you’ve got to get over that procrastination, get motivated, and get working!

Here are some tips for making the non-work from home work for you.

Get organized

a desk organized for social media marketing

First things first; work isn’t going to get done unless you’ve got an organized workspace. The dining room table doesn’t count, nor does the living room coffee table or that corner of the kitchen counter where paperwork has started to grow faster than your roots since the salon closed. You need to designate a space that’s just for work, a place where you can focus and not be distracted by personal life.

Once you’ve got your spot, get it work-ready with a few low-cost office supplies, like desk organizers or file folders, to keep paperwork, pencils, and other materials from piling up.

Make a plan

weekly planner with coffee

Okay, you’re organized. You have a lovely workspace and plenty of color-coded file folders. But… how do you make yourself actually, you know, do stuff? Hate to break it you sister, but you gotta stop procrastinating, put your big-girl panties on, and just do it!

Okay, all kidding aside, it helps to start with a plan. Try a task management program. These are super useful, as they allow you to create individual projects and to-dos, then check them off as you go. Make yourself some goals, projects, and tasks. Then, assign some hard due dates.

Now, it’s time to work.

Start with the hard stuff

working hard on a business idea

Motivation tends to be highest at the start of a project or the beginning of the day. (Kind of like how it gets harder and harder to resist that leftover birthday cake as the day goes on… No, really. There’s an actual study about this). As the day wears on, you get tired, you lose focus, you start to get distracted… so try this: start with those hard tasks first.

Starting with the “icky” stuff lets you tackle those dreaded projects when you’re fresh (when motivation and willpower are at their peak), AND lets you get the hard part done with—so you’re less likely to put it off at the end of the day.

Take breaks

taking a coffee break

If you try to sit down and bang out eight hours of work without a break, you’re going to burn yourself out! In about five hours, you’ll be feeling antsy. Seven and you’ll be hating the wall your desk faces and cursing your paint color choices. Eight and your housemates will be considering alternate living options.

Don’t turn into work-from-home-zilla! Take breaks when you need to to stay fresh, motivated, and in good spirits. (And if you can, get outside at least once a day!)

Reward yourself!

enjoying the end of the day

At the end of a day, look back on everything you’ve accomplished… and give yourself a pat on the back. That’s one day down and one day closer to manifesting the business of your dreams! You can do it!

Need More Marketing Tips?

Hey, I get it. Not everybody’s a marketing pro.. which is good or I probably wouldn’t have a job! If you need more tips and ideas—well, I bet you can guess where you might find some handy social media videos (hint: check my Facebook and TikTok)! Or you can just, you know, shoot me an email or pick up the phone. Human contact, people! Let’s not be shy while we’re social distancing.