DO’s and DON’Ts for your website homepage

Some essential Do’s and Don’ts from web copywriting specialist Jackie Barrie.

Contact us for Jackie’s next ‘Write Your Own Website” course at AMP House in Croydon, from 10.00 am to 4.00 pm just email the team

Why your Facebook page isn’t working (and what you can do about it)

Why your Facebook page isn't working picBy Jackie Barrie, copywriter, trainer, speaker and author at 

Do you have a Facebook page for your business? Lots of people do. But they are not all getting the results they want.

Recently, I have been invited to review the Facebook pages for a number of clients. They seem to have the same missed opportunities in common. I’ve collated the main issues in this article, in case they apply to you too.

These common-sense tips are the kind of thing you will learn on Jackie’s ‘Write your own website’ course in Croydon on 18 September 2013. Click here for more details.

Your Facebook Page

  1. Facebook have changed their rules about what you can include in your cover image. You can now add a call to action, contact details and pricing details as long as text takes up no more than 20% of the image area. It’s wise to include your key message and URL (web address) plus an arrow pointing to the Like button saying, for example, “Please like our page for great gift ideas and more”. That’s because your objective for people landing on the page is (a) to capture them as likers so they see future updates in their newsfeed (b) to drive them to your website.
  2. Ensure your profile picture fits the square format and is simple enough to reproduce well at the small size used in updates (30 x 30px). If your logo is not square to start with, use a photo-editing tool to add white space in the background.
  3.  Change your app images and text to make them work harder for you. To do this, click the down-pointing arrow to the right of the apps, click the edit pencil, click edit settings, click add custom tab image (111 x 74px), click save, click okay.

If you have an update that you really don’t want page visitors to miss, such as a “Welcome” message, you can ‘pin it’ to the top of the page. Click the edit pencil and click ‘pin’. This lasts for a week. If you want the update to remain at the top of the page, just re-pin it weekly.

If you have a striking landscape image, or perhaps a graphic showing a special offer you are running, you can click to ‘highlight’ it. It will then appear across both columns and be unmissable to your page visitors.

Those are the main elements that people will see when they visit your page. But it’s a fact that most likers will never go back to your page! Rather, they will see your updates in their newsfeed, as long as they are online at the right time. For maximum chance of being noticed, it’s important to post regularly.

Your Facebook Updates

Note that Facebook has become highly visual (like the rest of the Internet). As you may have noticed, the first app will always be photos, whether you like it or not! What’s more, it is said that videos on Facebook get shared 30% more than anything else. So, ideally, you should post images and video updates more than text.

Remember, most likers won’t see your whole page, but will see your updates in their newsfeed, so your objective on status updates is to get people to click like, comment or share. That way, their friends see your updates too (and you hopefully get more likes on your page, and so it goes on). Occasionally, so you don’t annoy people, you want to add calls to action in your updates, such as: “Please like if you agree”, “Click share if you like cake”, or “What do you think? Add a comment below” etc.

Ensure your updates are not too sales-y. People on Facebook are not generally in the mood to buy. They are in the mood to share interesting stuff with their friends. Look at the updates on your page and analyse those that have had the most engagement. In future, do more of the same. Also, mix up the content so there is social stuff along with the sales-y stuff.

Many people check their social media during their commute home, or during the ad breaks on TV, not during the working day. That doesn’t mean that you have to be online at those times too. Note that you can schedule updates to go out at the time of day when your audience is online. You can also backdate updates, which can be specially useful when setting up a new page.

To extend your reach, you can pay for promoted posts (prices start at only around £4). That means that friends of friends will see your updates for three days. The downside is that it might annoy them to see your unsolicited posts in their newsfeed, and it might attract unwanted comments that you need to moderate.

You can also pay for Facebook advertising to promote your page. Just click the ‘Create an ad’ button and work through the steps. If you do this, ensure you choose ‘Pay for clicks’ not ‘Pay for impressions’, otherwise it costs you money every time Facebook shows the ad in someone’s sidebar, not just when they click the link.


To summarise, Facebook is a numbers game. At page level, you need as many likes as possible so more people will see your updates. At update level you need as much engagement as possible so more people see your updates. Overall, you are trying to generate clicks back to your blog and/or your website, which is where you convert traffic into sales.

Disclaimer: Facebook has announced that it is changing the two-column timeline page design and removing apps, but I don’t know when, and I don’t yet know what the new page design will look like.

These common-sense tips are the kind of thing you will learn on Jackie’s ‘Write your own website’ course in Croydon on 18 September 2013. Click here for more details.

We hope you found these ideas useful. Please add your comments below.

3 Things not to Write in Your Website

You might think you already know how to write. But you may not know what web copy will get your site found on search engines, nor how to convert site visitors into customers.

There are certain tips, tricks and techniques that will help get your site get found in search engines. And there are psychological triggers you need to include to get site visitors to take the action you want them to take.

SEO web copywriting helps your site get found on search, while web copywriting is the art of writing website copy that influences behaviour. (Another acronym in case you don’t already know it: SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation.)

Jackie Barrie is the leading expert on Copy writing at1230 Business School and here she shares some useful copy writing tips.

10 things you should be doing with your marketing

10 things you should do with your marketingIf you are in business then you are in marketing too, it’s as simple as that and it has nothing to do with whether you like marketing or not or whether you have a natural aptitude for it or not, it’s simply that in order to make more sales you need to do more marketing.

Along with the wonderful and inspiring definitions of marketing, think of it as finding a way to build a relationship with someone who doesn’t know you yet. On that wonderful and less scientific premise here are 10 things you should be doing right now with your marketing.

  1. Know Your Customer – sounds cliché but it’s true. Think about trying to have a meaningful conversation with someone you don’t know, you will have to skirt around a range of subjects before you hit on the one that is relevant to them but, if you know who they are and know about them the conversation will flow so much easier. The more you really understand your customer – who they are and what they are about- the more you can present your products/services to meet their needs.
  2. Know Your Product – okay another obvious one, but how much do you really look at your products and services with fresh eyes? Are you looking at your product or service only through your eyes or have you stopped to look at it from your customer’s perspective. Whilst your opinion is important the customer’s perspective has so much more value, as we all know that customers only buy when they have a need (or believe that they need).
  3. Know Your Message – what are you saying to your customers? How are you a solution to their problems?
  4. Be Consistent and congruent – From the moment you set up shop, everything you are and everything you do represents your business and your ‘brand’. Are you being consistent and clear with your message? Is it congruent with how you would like to be known and remembered?
  5. Segment – I know that your product or service could probably benefit everyone but (sorry to be the bearer of bad news) there is no such market as “everyone”. The everyone market is a series of someones and you get to choose. Segment your market and then you can have the right conversations with the right people.
  6. Use multiple Methods – Think of your job as building marketing muscles and just like going to the gym, no one activity is going to get you the level of fitness you desire – in addition to that your customers are being bombarded with messages from your competition and you need to repeat yourself to be heard.
  7. Be Consistent – Never stop your marketing. Everyone adult in the Western world must have heard of McDonald’s and Apple (not the fruit variety) but do these business stop marketing of course not. You need to be getting your message out there to your target market at least every 30 days. Remember point 6.
  8. Think outside of the box – Test New Things – Don’t get complacent just because it worked yesterday or because everyone else is doing it.  Try new methods, develop new products. Be innovative, be creative , don’t get stale.
  9. Existing Clients – It costs less to get your existing clients to buy from you again. Don’t neglect them in your marketing and conversations.
  10. Create a swipe file – Everytime you come across something that makes you go wow or ah-mazing store it for a later date. Some of your best ideas and solutions will come from adopting and adapting something that someone else has done. The wheel has already been invented and all you have to do is refine it.
  11. Evaluate  – You need to measure and evaluate what you are doing. What works do more of, what doesn’t stop – simple!

OK, 11 things you should be doing with your marketing!

Are you in a Relationship?

In a business relationshipFor your business, that is.

It is often said in business that success is determined not by what you know, but by who you know.  Relationship building in business is essential.

Word of mouth referral is responsible for 70% of business taking place! 70% of business activity is down to people who get to know you, like you and trust you, whether or not they have bought your products or used your services, they feel comfortable in recommending or referring you.

So that would seem a pretty fool-proof and economical way to grow your business; to make money.

Yes, but it doesn’t happen overnight – it takes time and effort – by you!

Effective and successful networking isn’t just about “the money”.

It’s about learning from your peers, sharing experiences and support, which in turn all add to your well-being and that of your business!

If you are going to be successful in business, face-to-face networking is an essential part of your business’s marketing strategy.

So here are 10 Relationship Building Rules (RBR) to make networking work for you:-

  1. Regular Attendance
    Networking is about developing trust and relationships over time – so you need to attend regularly
  2. Give and Help Others
    Be prepared to give and help others – what you give will come back three-fold – see where you can make connections for others
  3. Genuine Interest and Listen
    Show a genuine interest in people and really listen – you never know who they know!
  4. Follow up
    Always follow up contacts, by phone or email
  5. 1:1s
    Arrange 1:1s – to find out more about each other and business opportunities – so always take your diary, whether paper or electronic, with you
  6. Invitations
    Invite business contacts to experience a networking meeting – spreading the word extends opportunities for everyone
  7. Circulate
    Circulate – don’t stay in your comfort zone
  8. Preparation
    Be prepared – have plenty of business cards, perhaps an A5 flier, and certainly have a 1 minute talk prepared – you can “wing-it” much later on! (let me  know if you’d like a copy of the 1230 TWC 1 Minute guide) Remember “Today’s preparation determines tomorrow’s achievement” anon
  9. Information Networking
    Never go anywhere without your business cards; that includes supermarket, hairdressers, dentist, school gates, etc….  These are your informal networking opportunities.
  10. Gold
    Treat your network, your relationships, like gold – don’t abuse your contacts

Networking is not about selling, it’s about building the relationship.  Follow the above RBRs consistently and it will work for you.

 I would love to hear from you about your networking experiences and please share your own networking tips