Tag Archives: marketing

Lady drinking hot chocolate from a Santa mug

Cosy conversation over a steaming cup of hot chocolate

Wow, I wanna be just like her.

That’s what I thought when I read the website of a colleague of mine, Barbara Peters. She works in the PR and marketing of food products for the German-speaking market and it shows. You read her website and feel like you’re having a conversation right there and then – with an actual person, not a company. And it gives you an insight into the type of work she could do for you, how she could help you.

Write as you speak is one of the fundamentals of good marketing and interesting writing.

Maybe it’s the first draft that your brain splurges out on the page, maybe it’s close to the final version. But at some point you really need to do away with the templates, stock phrases and corporate speak, and start having a conversation with your reader.

Because that’s what they want.

Nobody wants to be sold to. Nobody wants to read that your company was founded in 1836 at the start of a long and detailed timeline (you can weave that information in your text in a much more appealing way, trust me).

Your reader is a potential buyer who’s reading your website to see if you understand their problem.

If they feel you do, they’ll be drawn in to your welcoming arms as you explain what you can do to make that problem disappear. Then buying your product or service becomes a happy by-product.

My website needs an overhaul like so many others I see and it will be done. There’s a bit of preparation to do first though before it becomes the online equivalent of a comforting conversation over a steaming cup of hot chocolate. Marshmallows and sprinkles optional.

If you’ve got plans for your website next year, it pays to start thinking about it early on. Find out what your clients are really looking for and what they’re not getting right now.

And in the meantime, practice blurting your thoughts out on the page.

I’ll help you tidy it up into appealing English for your English-speaking readers and buyers.

Grab a mug of your favourite comfort drink and head over here to  boost your business in the British market. Small Island, Big Business, The Insider’s Guide to Success in the British Market is filled with valuable tips and insights to get your 2018 off to a great start. It’s the perfect read to motivate you in the New Year. Go to www.chemicaltranslator.com/book for more details.

Silhouettes of zombies next to the text “Ghoulish English scares your clients away”

Ghoulish English Scares Your Clients Away

In advance of Hallowe’en I joined a freaky quiz night on Friday the 13th. The perfect day in Western superstition for some ghoulish games.

The questions were all Hallowe’en related and sooooo hard. It was like Trivial Pursuit, professors edition.

Do you know the name of the narrator in Michael Jackson’s Thriller video? Step away from Google!

Luckily we had wine and snacks so the quiz answers became incidental to the evening’s enjoyment and possibly more ridiculous as time went on.

Our best round was the anagrams, making sense of something already there. Once we knew the theme you can unpick the puzzle. Without the theme and a few heads working together, our willpower would have been severely drained.

The problem is though, I see so many businesses testing their potential buyer’s willpower and intelligence.

Complicated phrases known only to industry insiders, a maze of a website with no clear structure – the visitor is left in confusion. Where do they go? What’s the next step? Why on earth were they here in the first place?

If you’re doing the same, you’re scaring your customers away like a wailing banshee on a dark night.

Bad writing is one way that your message gets distorted, sending your prospective customers running into the arms of a more coherent competitor.

And to a British visitor, bad writing often equates to that common variant of foreign English. Denglish, Franglais, Svenglish, whichever language it’s mixed with the result is the same.

At best the meaning is clear despite the awkward phrasing.

At worst it’s insulting and confusing.

So let’s unpick the message and guide your British buyers to their first purchase. I’ll unravel the anagrams and create the safe space they need from all the ghoulish English floating about on the web.

Click here to sign up for language, culture and marketing tips to win more English-speaking clients.

Around the world with a dash of envy

eenie-meenie-miney-moe   A friend of mine posted a picture yesterday of her and her entire life, packed into two suitcases. She’s Australian, gets itchy feet if she spends too long in one place and lives to travel. Luckily her husband’s pretty much the same so they’re off around the world, restricted only by locations with broadband (still gotta work).

Does that make you envious? It does me.

I’d be both excited and yet terrified by the prospect of packing up my life and having no fixed abode. Theoretically it’s possible. My work as a translator needs just an internet connection, I could make it pretty much a paperless operation. Truthfully, I wouldn’t do it. I feel like I’ve done a milder version of it, 7 months with a backpack shows you just how little you actually need. Now, I like stability in my life and would always have a fixed address to come home to. Not to mention if we took off around the world we’d have to homeschool our kids, yikes!

Noticing those feelings though gives you some useful pointers. Envious of travel, look at ways you can introduce that next year – for me, it’s booking a holiday, speaking at a conference in Wales, planning a couple of trips to Germany for business. Envious of the freedom, how can you feel more free? I don’t know what that means for you but for me it’d probably be making sure I had ample time in my diary to do whatever the hell I wanted. Not possible all the time, sure, but an hour a week, one day a fortnight or a couple of nights out with friends when I’m usually at home on my own with sleeping kids. All possible.

So that’s a way of noticing what you might like more of in life. How about at work? Well, work is still where you spend most of your time so see if you can incorporate more of what you’d like there too.

Also: think about how you can make your prospective clients envious. What do they really, really want or need in their life? How does your product or service give them that?

An artist might paint caricatures – reminds people of a fun time, maybe they need to lighten up and take themselves less seriously, what a great reminder to have on your wall. What a good idea as entertainment for a stuffy, corporate event.

Sales staff for an engineering company – you might provide a customised solution to a sticky problem. Your clients want an easier life, fewer people to deal with, reliable suppliers that can suggest ways to make improvements to their process. Make them envious of the easy life your current clients have because of you. Maybe you provide multiple products so they can come to you for everything and your products improve efficiency, boost profits and pave the way for a promotion for your contact.

I’m sure there are better examples. You know your company and its products. Have a think about your clients though. You might be absolutely certain that you’re the best option for your client, but they need a bit more convincing. Make them want, desire, envy your product and it all  becomes a little easier.