Change is what you make it mean

“Jo – no heels?”

My friend Rachel recently asked me why I don’t wear heels much anymore.

Since moving to Somerville 6 months ago things have changed.  It’s not that I don’t love how heels make my legs look or admire the craftsmanship of a really beautiful high-heeled shoe, but I just don’t have the hankering to wear them much anymore.  It’s quite possible that I also don’t have as many occasions to don them as much as previously (although I guess I could wear them any ole day). OR perhaps it’s that when I put heels on I tend to adopt a kind of focused, powerhouse, get-shit-done kind of attitude…the attitude that accompanied me for a couple of decades in corporate land and in the early years of hardcore networking for my business.

But 6 months ago we made a change. And with it, a more relaxed state has washed over me.  Boots are now more commonly adorning my feet.
Continue reading

Please like and share this story if you found it valuable:

It’s my business birthday

5 years ago TODAY my business changed direction. The Content Coach was born! It’s my business birthday (of sorts!)

My biz had been running as a copywriting and content strategy business for almost 5 years already, under the name of How You Say It. But I had a sore neck…a sore back… and I was done. Done sitting at a desk into the wee hours of the night writing for other people. Exhausted trying to sound like other people all the time.  I wanted – needed – to do something different.

I also wanted to leverage my experience more widely, globally. I wanted to use my time better – stop trading each individual hour for $$.  I wanted to teach the man to fish (metaphorically!) – I was done fishing for him.

It was a crisis point for me.

Continue reading

Please like and share this story if you found it valuable:

Connection: there’s no better time

For a really long time (ok, 25 years) I’ve banged on about staying connected with your people, your audience.
Connection. Communication. Sharing. Inspiring. Leading.

Whether it was when I was in marketing at realestate.com.au (please Agent X, stay in touch with your potential buyers by adding real value to their search – they could turn out to be your next listing), or as a recruitment consultant at TMP Worldwide (please Client Y, communicate nicely with the candidates you have interviewed – they may not be right for you but they may know someone who is)… and in all that time, there has never been a MORE critical need than now for you to support your people with nurturing, educational content. Continue reading

Please like and share this story if you found it valuable:

Focus: answer this one question

I was talking with a client during a session yesterday about how it feels kind of like that period between Christmas and New Year when you have no idea what day it is and no inclination to find out! I honestly feel like I’m in a bit of a time warp, weirdo bubble space which is kind of nice but kind of not. I feel full of contradictions.  I’m in this place where I’m still working, but not as much as I’d like… but then I remember that it’s officially school holidays now which is when I reduce my work hours anyway… but that’s usually because I want to spend much needed time with the kids and get out and about and catch up with friends we haven’t seen all term, which we obviously can’t do now, and I’ve already spent 2 weeks at home with the kids so, well…..y’know….and then I’m relishing the time to renovate the house and garden, so I’m actually really busy and not at all bored… but then we all wish we could go somewhere else and see other people and do different things…. it’s just so darn WEIRD!

How about you?? Continue reading

Please like and share this story if you found it valuable:

UGWA Fiji Retreat – a reflection

I wanted to write a blow by blow wrap up of everything I experienced at the Ultimate Girls Week Away (UGWA) Retreat. The workshop learnings, the people I met, the wicked inspiration from Liz Gilbert. But I can’t. It’s really hard to explain it all in words adequately. So instead, I want to share this very honest personal experience with you: my UGWA Fiji Retreat – a reflection.

I love retreats. I love to plan them, host them, attend them. I love the experience of being away from home, of being away from my children (bless them!), of being away from the supermarket, the running around to activities and the myriad responsibilities. I love the deep work and productivity that happens when you remove all other distractions, when you focus, when there is accountability, and when you only have yourself to worry about. I love the incredible results I’ve been able to elicit from my participants and the exciting energy those results inject back in me. Continue reading

Please like and share this story if you found it valuable:

Keyword inclusion – before or after writing?

How to please Google…that is the ever-present thought in the mind of a good business marketer ….”how do I please Google AND give the people what they want?” Some days it seems like an impossible ask. You don’t want to sound like a robot or a weirdo, shoving all those juicy keywords into your writing wherever possible, but you DO want your words to be found and rank well in Google so you can share ideas and help more people – and that requires clever keyword inclusion.

I often get asked: “When should I insert keywords into my content? Do I do it as I create the copy or should I go back afterwards and add them in?”

I’m going to be completely unhelpful here and say that in this instance, there is no hard and fast rule. It is a rare case in the SEO space where you can do whatever you please. Meaning, keyword inclusion can happen as you write or you can do it afterwards when you’re editing your piece. Or you can do a little of both.

Either approach will work fine, and has its own advantages: Continue reading

Please like and share this story if you found it valuable:

The big secret to creating fabulous business content

Composing a piece of content for your business shouldn’t be a burden.  It shouldn’t feel difficult. Ideally it is a joy to create….because you know it has a noble purpose. Creating business content will always be joyful if you remember just one thing:  business content must fulfil a promise.

A business owner is simply a ‘purveyor of goods and services’ (isn’t that a gorgeous romantic way of viewing yourself!). The process by which you attract someone’s attention to your goods and services (versus someone else’s) is called marketing.  That marketing requires words and images to be placed together in carefully concocted ways which is widely called content.  The strategic distribution of that content is called content marketing. This process is as old as the hills. Think back to the oldest trade in the world… Ladies of the night would dress in a way that stood out, they would tease passers-by with whispers and promises, they would stand on the most highly trafficked corner, and encourage repeat business and word of mouth referrals.

The big secret to creating business content is…

Regardless of how you dress it up, business owners (and the content they create) make promises to their intended audience to make their life better.  In the business most of us are in – coaching, consulting, speaking, healing – when you write blogs or social media posts or emails or a book, you are in the business of promising to bridge a gap in the reader’s knowledge, skills or abilities… as well as possibly inspire them to do  something different with that new knowledge.  The reader believes that they will be changed by the time they turn that last page or watch that final video frame.  In fact, they are desperate for that change.  So don’t deny them that.  Ensure your content delivers on the promises of a better, more efficient, more fulfilled, easier, happier, sexier, healthier, richer life.

It’s also true that our audience asks us to make and fulfil promises.  If we listen carefully to our clients, our prospects, our peers, our industry we can find clues everywhere to what promises they want us to deliver on.  Whether it’s before or after a session with a client, or at a networking or training event, there will be conversations you have that are filled with hints and suggestions on what you should and could create.  This act in itself – careful, purposeful listening – can be a game changer for those creating business content. Continue reading

Please like and share this story if you found it valuable:

Business writing tips for more effective comms

The advent and uptake of the world wide web has shifted how we do business.  The world has shrunk overnight, meaning we can do business with whomever, whenever, we please.  We chat with strangers, we use words that didn’t exist a decade ago, and we expect responses at warp speed.  However some things haven’t changed – namely the need to communicate with others effectively in writing. In fact, the need for succinct, successful communication has stepped up! The problem is that business writing isn’t everyone’s natural forte.

When you run a small business you not only need to deliver your service to customers, you need to know how to deliver your ideas, requests, opportunities and information more broadly and in the most striking way possible.  Not only are there emails to write, but there are training documents, presentations, proposals, promotional copy, grants requests, advertising, and more to construct. The ability to deliver the right information at the right time and strike a chord with the reader is paramount. But even though writing is a huge component of our business lives,  so many people are really bad at it! Learning to write well is not, after all, why most people go into business. Continue reading

Please like and share this story if you found it valuable:

Twas the night before Christmas – my version

Twas the night before Christmas
When all through the burbs,
Laptops have closed
Writers have no more verbs.

The year has been great
Many deals won, some lost,
Ups and downs and roundabouts
Are all part of the cost…

Of running a business
That I love and cherish,
Freedom, flexibility
And clients that flourish.

I’ve loved helping those
In my studio and on retreat,
So much got done
Living on purpose is sweet.

Books, blogs and posts
Websites and speeches,
Helping you write well
Is one of my best features.

So now as the sun shines
It’s time to rest a while,
And say thank you to everyone
Who made me smile.

Merry Christmas lovelies!
I wish you all the best for the holiday season.

I’ll be taking a break from client work until mid-January, but I’ll be checking emails and messenger periodically, so reach out if you want to book a session or a chat about retreats.

Please like and share this story if you found it valuable:

Content Planning – a party or a pain?

Tis the season for planning!

Every online coach/ marketer/ consultant/strategist worth their salt is hosting a planning event of some kind. Have you noticed that??? Hard not to, right! If you hang in the same circles as me, then right about now your inbox is being hit hard with programs and online parties and webinars or planathons.

It makes sense, given we’re about ready to roll into a new year, (and new decade, btw!), but just how much planning is too much, and what actually is effective?

Continue reading

Please like and share this story if you found it valuable: