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30 November 2014

5 Brilliant Tools to Help You Build Better Messages

As you get busy putting the finishing touches on this year and planning for the next, it’s easy to get lost in the numbers. Yes, it’s critical to measure wins, losses, margins and profits so you can build budgets and projections, but don’t forget to spend some time planning the sales messages you’ll communicate to develop your audience.

By committing to a regular form of communication, you’re delivering insight and building your influence so you’re in front of people when, where and how they need you. We are always working on our Audience Development strategies at The Selling Agency – both for our own growth as well as for our clients.

Whether you’re the CEO of a non profit starting a blog, planning on rolling out a new website for your business, or a Sales Executive upping your game by using Social Selling, if you’re planning on ramping up your communication methods in this next year, test out some of our favorite resources that we deploy in our Audience Development campaigns.

5 Tools to help you build your blog, your business and your client base.

Linked In Publisher
If you’re not quite ready for a blog, or even if you have one, Linked In’s publisher feature is free and accessible to everyone now.  Connect with your potential customers, employees, donors and advocates through Linked In and leverage those connections. Create posts and share them with your connections to build context around your expertise – your posts are shared with all your connections so you have a great built in following from the start. This is a great resource if you’re just starting out or even if you have a blog and website, you can create shorter, powerful posts here that are more about your personal perspective than about your business. {And if you’re not on Linked In yet – YOU SHOULD BE!}

Canva
One of the most incredible tools we’ve come across is this design tool, Canva. The ease of drag and drop like Power Point but with the high end out put of Photoshop, Canva helps us create our graphics for blogs, tweets and web pages. It’s free to use – you can upload all your own photos, use their templates and graphic elements and they have thousand of high resolution Stock Photo images that are only $1.00 to use. Their tutorials are easy and their customer service is phenomenal. Easily add powerful and memorable visuals to your posts with Canva and look like a graphic design pro.

Hello Bar
How do you grab readers’ attention and get them to come back to read more? Blog pages have sign up forms but they’re not as bold or as flexible as using this feature, Hello Bar. You can customize the sign up text and where and how the bar appears on your blog/website {We use on our home page to invite you to sing up for The Pipeline Newsletter}. People who sign up for your blog or newsletter or even an opt in offer are compiled in a list you can export. This tool is also free to use and you can create A/B tests to understand which text, location or offer compels the most people to sign up for your insight. There is an upgraded version for a nominal monthly fee that gives you additional options as you grow too.

CoSchedule
A stumbling block for many in delivering their critical sales messages is Consistency. Getting blogs finished or posts completed takes time and commitment. Audience Development is a long term strategy and consistency is key to leveraging your expertise with connections and engagement opportunities. Create an editorial calendar and work out ahead of when you commit to post. There are many editorial calendar products out there. You can even just use a calendar or a white board but we like CoSchedule as it works really well for multiple blog contributors and it has corresponding WordPress Plug Ins for social media such as the Click to Tweet feature used on our blogs at The Selling Agency.  

Edgar
And saving the best for last, meet Edgar, a social media scheduler unlike the others. There are great tools to schedule social media for you such as Hootsuite and Buffer, but if you’re going to create meaningful content for your audience, Edgar circulates your entire library of content onto your Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter feeds. The half life of a Tweet or post is incredibly short. The odds of your brilliant expertise being seen if it’s posted only once is slim. Since we’ve been using this tool, our visibility, engagement and influence has increased by 15 – 20%! We explain Edgar more in depth in our review here.

With such proliferation of brilliant tools to help you get started, be consistent and look great, NOW is always the best time to start introducing people to your expertise and point of view. It will take time to fine tune your methods and grow your audience. The most difficult part is figuring out “what” to say. Don’t underestimate how powerful your perspective is. Build your strategy around the value you offer to people or customers and measure what they find useful.

If you need help with your Audience Development strategies – to leverage the right resources, scale and grow your business – check out our video here on the Top 6 Methods to build your Audience Development.

Until next time, keep kickin’ butt!

-sks