How a business coach nearly ruined a business

I was talking to a client of mine who was in a spot of bother. She wanted me to help her rewrite most of the pages on her website. Why? Because her business coach had helped her with some extra content, but once it was uploaded, her SEO (Search Engine Optimization) guy told her…

She’s on Google’s hitlist
Why? It turns out that this ‘business coach’ had just copied content from a whole stack of other websites. Copied! Straight out copied! Word for word! I was gob-smacked. In case you didn’t know, Google is hot on plagiarism. Hotter than your fussiest highschool teacher. Hotter than Year 12 examiners. Google knows if you have content on your site that’s the same as another site.

Your rankings will be affected
Chances are, you won’t list anywhere near page 10 let alone page 1. And, just like an ex, Google has a very good memory and takes a long time to forgive. Fixing up the mess is a long and arduous process.

Make sure your web content is unique
One of the first and most important — and most overlooked — steps in creating a good website is by creating good content. The best way to do this is by writing it from scratch. In your own words. Because Google loves original content. Well-written, relevant content. Good grammar. With no spelling mistakes. Yes, seriously, Google really is that fussy.

Need some help with content?
If you need some tips creating good content, give me a call. If you have no money, check out my eBook. 17 bucks and a few hours of your hard work could make a massive difference to your website rankings. As for ripping off content from other websites? Don’t take the chance. You might have got away with having a look over your classmate’s shoulder in highschool, but Google is like Big Brother. Always watching.

Oh, and that business coach?
I told my client she had a case for getting her money back. Sorry. No. Turns out he ‘has a disclaimer…’ Wow. Hope he sleeps well at night, ripping off content and ripping off his clients.



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Three ways to double your sales

Berocca has been around for decades, well-known for making you feel better after you’ve had a big night out on the town. I’m sure most of us have popped a Berocca into a glass of water and watched it fizz then drunk it down in an attempt to get rid of a hangover… more than once. But have you noticed the new Berocca ads on TV?

They very cleverly reposition the product completely
Someone smart at Berocca Headquarters (or their ad agency) has decided to market Berocca as something you need — not after a big night — but in preparation for a big day. Most of us would say that we’ve many more big days than big nights, so sales would probably more than double. Because according to them, you now need a Berocca every day.

How they doubled shampoo sales
Many years ago, someone decided to tell us that one shampoo is not enough to get your hair clean. We need two. Really? You be the judge. Necessary or a clever con?

How they doubled toothpaste sales
According to Todd Sampson of Gruen Transfer, their agency came up with a very simple idea to double toothpaste sales. Make the hole bigger so people automatically squeeze more out. Amazing the things we consumers fall for!

So, how can you double your sales?
If you need help working out how to get more of your product or service out there, contact me and book in for a brainstorming session.


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Nice sign. Where is it?

If you’re a regular reader of my blogs, you’d know that I tend to like to take a lot of pictures of signage. The good, the bad and the ugly. I would have thought that it would be obvious that the placement of the sign is as important as the sign itself. I guess I have commented on this when I talk about not putting the whole story on the back of your vehicle. See this blog to read more on that…

Blog — Vehicle signage is tricky

But anyway. The other day, I parked my car across the road from Westfield Shopping Centre, Marion, in a carpark behind the row of shops. Parking here can be difficult at the best of times, and I try and be mindful of doing the right thing and parking in a spot that is offered to the customers of the shop/s I am going into. However, despite the best of my intentions, I failed dismally.

The carpark my little red car was in was for Barker Dry Cleaners, but I only saw the sign when I went back to my car. Can you really blame me? It was on the ground, behind the concrete guard that stopped you going into the fence! Where all the other signs were.


Clearly, they were waiting for someone with a pop rivet gun to come along and put the sign up where you can see it. Anyway, while I’m here, I just thought I’d mention that if you’re a business, make sure you get some good advice from your signage guys about not only the design and size of your signage but the placement of your sign as well.


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The Impossible Triangle

UnknownI was consulting with a client of mine, Gary Edwards, and we were chatting about client expectations. I mentioned something that I call ‘The Impossible Triangle’. I can’t remember who told me about it, and it was years ago, but I have since found that it occasionally comes in very handy.

So what exactly is The Impossible Triangle? Here’s how I show my clients. I draw a triangle (not a tricky one like this) and at each corner I write one word. Good. Quick. Cheap. I then explain that you can have 2 out of 3, but you can’t have 3 out of 3. Which one would you prefer to miss out on?

The shoe repairer who asked their customers to choose
Gary then shared a story with me. He told me about a shoe repairer who, on the back of their docket, had 3 boxes printed, each box with one word next to it. Quicker. Cheaper. Better. He then got the customer to tick 2 of the boxes. That way, the shoe repairer got the customer to decide — before their job was done — what the most important things were to them.

What a very simple but effective way to find out exactly what your customer’s expectations are! I can’t help but think that if we all did a version of this, there would be far fewer disputes having to be taken to Consumer and Business Services or the law courts…


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Kenny the perfect choice for IGA

I’ve written recently about choosing the right person to front your advertising campaigns, and the mistakes made by choosing Dr Karl to front the government’s Challenge of Change campaign.

Dr Karl’s own Challenge

The new TV ads for IGA encouraging us to shop independent are a wonderful example of choosing the perfect front man. Everyone loved the movie Kenny, the Aussie battler with the big heart who wins out in the end. Just like Muriel’s Wedding, it’s a real Australian feel-good story. So, it’s very clever of IGA (or rather, their advertising agency) to choose actor Shane Jacobson to be the face of the new IGA campaign, encouraging Aussies to support the locals and shop IGA. His very ‘everyman’ persona makes Kenny the perfect choice for IGA.

IGA ad with Kenny

With Shane’s shopping trolley trip from country through suburbs to city, they’ve cleverly managed to show just about every single target market there is. Just about everybody who sees the ad should be able to relate to someone they see on the screen. And if not, Kenny should be enough to convince you anyway.


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The Sunshine Store brings art to the Adelaide hills

SunshineStoreSignLast Friday, I was taking a water-bag trip from the beach up into ‘them thar’ hills on the invitation of Gordon Kay to visit his Adelaide Hills Business Hub at Woodside. On the way, I spotted a cute little church with a sign out the front saying Art and Treasures. How could I resist?

The Sunshine Store at Verdun
The Sunshine Store is only a few weeks old. It’s an artists collective and according to René, there are 35 artists involved. The little church at Verdun is chockers with beautiful things everywhere you look. Fabulous pieces of art to put on your walls or in your garden, plus gifts, cards, clothes, jewellery and so much more. I only intended to go in for a look but of course, I couldn’t resist buying a few little things for myself and my friends. Quite a few things as a matter of fact.

What I really liked was their advertisingSunshineStoreChurch
Art and Treasures. Great words to use. Because who can resist a treasure hunt? Yellow and black are the colour combination that stands out the most — which is why hazard road signs are in those colours. René’s business card says she’s Lucky Owner of the Sunshine Van & Ambassador for Creativity. Clearly, René doesn’t need a copywriter, that’s just fabulous!!!



The Sunshine Van is really cute
They take it to markets (or they will when it gets a bit warmer) and René told me they are currently looking for a pop-up shop. Check them out at the link below.


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Business directory a Bright idea

My local MP is David Speirs, Member for Bright who is championing small business in his electorate. He’s very proactively come up with the idea of a business directory for the local shop, professional, tradie etc. and is calling for expressions of interest from business owners who would be interested in placing an ad in the directory.


It’s a great way for us all to support local business
While it’s not the place for me to advertise (nobody’s going to be looking for a copywriter in a directory, they will be looking on Google) I think it’s a fantastic idea for the type of business whose customers are locals.

Very good value for money
The directory is going to be distributed to 13,000 local households in Bright. That’s a lot of potential customers! And it’s the kind of thing that people will hang onto for quite a while. Which means longer life for your ad. There’s only room for 100 businesses in the Bright business directory, so if you or anyone you know lives in the area and wants some great value for their advertising dollar, register your interest soon.


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Music as part of branding

When most people think of what constitutes ‘branding’, they think of a logo and the ‘look’ of the website, marketing material, business cards, etc. But branding is so much more than that.

It’s everything from the way the store is laid out, the way a company’s staff interact with customers, the way the phone is answered (or not) the clothes that staff wear, their policies and procedures (or lack of them!), how they deal with complaints. And then of course it’s their products or services, their vehicles (how they are driven, are they clean?) and their advertising. Which brings me to music.

Which TV commercials do you recognise from the music?
I was watching a program on TV and ducked out of the room during a commercial break (as you do) but kept an ear out so I could hear when the program resumed. I could hear the music of a particular ad, which is still relatively new but I could identify it immediately. AirBnB. Their music is quite distinctive and you know that it’s their ad even before you hear the woman speaking or they say the name of the company. The melody is kind of light and breezy, perfect for taking you away. Which is what AirBnB is all about. That’s good branding.

Shops use music as branding all the time
Retail clothing stores at my local shopping centre all have their own music. Sometimes I see something interesting in the window and wander in, only to be assaulted by extremely loud doof-doof ‘noise-pollution’ (as my dad used to call it) which immediately sends the message… ‘Lady, you are WAY too OLD to shop here!’ And I’m out the door.

If you have a shop, it’s worthwhile asking the question: What message does your music send to your customers?


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Kochie delivered at Adelaide Convention Centre

When I was invited to go to the Convention Centre for Tuesday 23 June to hear Kochie speak about small business, I said yes. There was a wait list but I eventually got in. Now, as a small business person I have gone to a million talks, networking events, etc over the years. Some memorable, most not, many a big big waste of time. So I was curious to see which category this one would fit into.

All the speakers were brilliant
Kochie spoke about the challenges to small business. He had a lot of good things to say and case studies to talk about, and from the photos being taken of the screens and the notes being written down, I am sure that everybody there took away some great ideas. The main takeaway messages for me were about having a mentor and about staying open to continuous learning.

Argo is much more than just a coffee shop
This was a theme that was reinforced by Daniel Milky from Argo on The Parade, another speaker at the event. I really liked his saying… ‘When you’re green, you’re growing… when you’re ripe, you rot.” Daniel’s approach to creating much more than a coffee shop was really inspiring. If you aren’t familiar with Argo, google them and check out what they’re up to.

Edible Blooms owner leaves ego at the door
Edible Blooms owner Kelly Baker-Jamieson spoke about out-of-the-box marketing ideas and how she dressed up as a strawberry to hand out flyers. Actually, she spoke about a lot more than that, but as someone who works in advertising and is constantly trying to push my clients out of their comfort zone to help them stand out from the crowd, I just loved hearing those stories.

6 hours for only $55 — save over $800!
If you’re interested in out-of-the-box ideas to help your business stand apart from the rest, contact me. I’d love to help you. Right now, you can get up to 6 hours of my time for $55 — and save over $800. Click here to find out how.

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Who says tyre ads have to be boring?

This ad is not new and maybe it’s only showing online but I think this ad for Bridgestone Tyres is a real work of art. It has probably won some awards and I think it should work its butt off as well. Because what it does so cleverly is put emotion into a commercial for something that is usually pretty bland and boring. Tyres.

The advertisement is very interesting visually and stands out dramatically from the usual ads you see on TV. Shadow puppetry is used in a really clever way — and the movement of the hands makes you pay close attention, so you can try to see how exactly the images are created. Sure, we’ve all done the bunny rabbit, but this takes it to a whole new level!

But it’s not just about making pretty pictures for the sake of it

What makes it really clever is that the use of the hands in the commercial has real relevance — based on good research and one very interesting fact about tyres, which I was really surprised to learn.

The overall message is very strong, and the stark black and white simplicity tells the story beautifully. Because it’s not really about tyres at all — it’s about the safety of you and your loved ones. Nice work.


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