Communication consulting | Simply Confident Communication

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Tell people what to do with your marketing – with a strong call to action

Good marketing content is made up of several factors, we live in a busy, noisy world of marketing.

DID you know?

Depending on our job and routines, the average person is exposed to between 5000 – 10,000 ads per day, across all platforms! (this is a 2018 statistic I can only imagine this has increased)

Point is – to be heard in a marketing world you have to keep this in mind, you have to grab people’s attention in the first line – if you have got that nailed and they get to the end or even half way through, they will move on to the next shiny ad if you haven’t compelled them to take action!

You can have the best ‘first liner’ in the world, the best content, describing one of the best products, but if you don’t have a good, clear, call to action, you may lose a high percentage of your business.

CTA = Call to action = Inviting/inspiring/asking your reader to do something after reading your marketing material.

This applies to all your marketing, unless it falls into the ‘brand awareness’ camp.

If the purpose of your marketing is to get more customers or clients, then make sure your call to action is strong.


  1. Decide what you want your potential customer to do before writing your call to action, do you want them to call you? Visit your website? Email you? Fill in something?This will depend on the end objective of your marketing, which you have to work out first.
  2. Keep it simple, ask them to do ONE thing, multiple calls to action confuse or overwhelm, if you give them choices and ask them to make yet another decision, you will quite often lose them. We live in a world where people generally have decision fatigue. Sometimes people will make no choice at all rather than think about which option to take.
  3.  Make sure you make it easy for them to take that action and that it makes sense. ONE click is best. If it is a form, just ask for the information you really need in order to give them what you promise.
  4. Make sure you deliver, if you are offering a free download, make sure you have this set up to go automatically and regularly check the links and things work in the back end. Under promise, don’t say the 50 free ways to get more customers if you are only giving them 5 and asking them to pay for the rest.
  5. Make sure any embedded links work, TEST it yourself as a user.

Wording Ideas:

You can give a direction as your first few words – or you can remind them what’s in it for them, if the what’s in it for them factor is reminded it is stronger, that is telling them WHY then want to register or click or email. The examples below show different styles.

Bottom line is you know your ideal customer, you know what problems they have and how they like to solve them, use the language they would use, if you don’t then go back to the drawing board and find my other article on target audience here to help you.

Some call to action ideas:

  • For more information click here
  • Register today – click here
  • Register today – call
  • Get started now/today
  • Get your free check list – download here.
  • Join us for
  • Join us to
  • To get your XXXX join us
  • To (solve XXXX) enrol/fill in/ call/ email – now
  • Book a time to xxxx
  • Book now
  • Get in quick – book now
  • Spaces are limited – register today

TOP tip:

Make sure if you go to the trouble of leading ‘horses to water’, that there is water in the well. If you have engaged people in your marketing enough to read it, make sure they have something to do at the end that makes a connection to your service or product.

Happy content writing and remember if this is not your field of expertise be sure to engage a wizard content creator in the process. It is worth the spend to get this right.


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Tip: Hit the mark with your marketing efforts

If you want better results from your marketing you need to know your audience!

Then you can set a solid foundation to build your marketing plan and activities on.

An upside to being in business for yourself is that you can choose who you work with and for. You get to define who your target market (your ideal client or customer) and then get your marketing to reach out to those people to fill a need they have.

One of the mistakes I see business owners making time and again, is coming up with their marketing slogans, words, content and stuff because they think it is cool, they are selling features rather than benefits, talking about how great they are or their product is, instead of making their marketing all about the customer or client they are trying to reach. BIG mistake, what you think is cool, clever or ‘fun’ may be way different to how your target audience thinks, speaks or makes purchasing decisions.

TIP: Research is not asking a spouse, friend or family member what they think looks or sounds good, unless they are a marketing expert and know your product inside and out and use it themselves, even then it is one opinion only. So many try to do this stuff on the ‘cheap’ and ‘save money’

TRUTH: Business owners often waste way more money on their marketing by doing it on the fly, using guess work and on the cheap using friends and family for advice, design and content, getting it wrong costs way more!

I always start marketing planning with some key questions about the audience:

  • Who are you marketing to?
  • Who is your ideal (favourite) client? What makes them ideal or favourite?

Defining your target market – when sitting down with a multi-talented small business owner, this question is usually answered with a loud and enthusiastic, “Everyone!”

People often get really stuck here, so here is an example, some tips and a bit of myth busting for you.

Example to prove my point:

Let’s just say you are selling high performance sports watches with a GPS function, they are waterproof, smash proof, measure exercise, water depth, have a compass and some other cool sporty features.

I say: Who is your target market?

Owner says: Everyone who wears a watch! Or they think they are getting the point by saying ‘Everyone who plays sport who wears a watch’

Is this specific enough to run a marketing campaign from? Not really to be honest.

I call this ‘shot in the dark marketing’, your perceived target is so wide, that you throw your ‘dart’ (marketing efforts) at it and hope that it will hit somewhere in there. This can be costly and time consuming.

When you get specific and narrow your market down you are ensuring you get more of the clients you want.

MYTH busted: “I will miss out on business if I narrow it down”

Not true, you will still get other types of clients or customers along the way, it just won’t be your target.

The research factor:

To ensure you get results from your marketing, you need to understand some other things about your customer

TIP: The better you know them, their likes, dislikes, pains and language the more likely you are to be able to appeal to their need and solve their problem with your product or service

1. Who are they specifically, what sport do they play, at what level? (if we are sticking to the watch example but you can tailor this to suit your product or service)

2. What are their pain points, the things they can’t get from a possible current watch?

3. Where do those people look for products like yours? What are they reading, and why?

4. What language do they speak? (not necessarily about native tongue but what words to they use when they talk about their sport and lifestyle needs, what slang or acronyms might they be using)

How do you find this stuff out?

  • Ask around, ask your current customers if you have them, why they purchased from you
  • Use a cool free tool like google forms or survey monkey to help you out here, have a little fun and create a survey. Get specific in your questions, record and compare the answers and offer an incentive.
  • If you have had favourite clients before or do currently, sit down and write up why they are you favourite, what you know about them, what solutions you solve for them etc. Then just build your ideal client profile around that information.

TIP: This is also a good process to go back to and revisit for any product or service changes or editions, always come back tot his as your anchor, if your marketing gets off track or isn’t bringing results, perhaps a few tweaks in this space will help.

Marketing is about ensuring that the right audience links to the right message, links to the right timing, links to them seeing you have the solution for a problem they have, which then links them to take action to purchase your services and products.

See the links? The links are where the work needs to happen, and in order to link them to the next step on a buying journey, you need to know as much about them as possible.

TIP: When you ask, make sure you listen.

Any questions let me know in the comments section of this article, I hope you found it valuable

Happy marketing


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Productivity tip: Clarity

Lack of clarity is often at the core of most conflict and lack of productivity, not being clear on what someone means, wants from us, or wants us to do leads to confusion, mixed messages, assumptions, frustration and lack of productivity. Things either don’t get done the way we need them to, they take way longer than they should or they don’t get done at all.

Each of us has a unique way of communicating, which mixes with our own filters and perceptions of things, we all read different things in the same sentence.

For me, I am a direct communicator, If someone sends me an email, I want to know, really quickly, what they want from me, do they want action, or just to share information, what do they want me to do with that email, and by when?

If I can’t get his information in the first few lines I either go into overwhelm and frustration or I skim past it and save it for ‘later’ in my ever increasing piles of ‘starred emails’.

You don’t have to be blunt, rude or aggressive to be clear either. We can be clear, and polite in one go, it is possible.

Two sides of the coin:

1.The way we communicate with others

Making sure we are clearly understood when asking others to do things, just because you think you have been clear you are not going to know if the receiver is clear unless you…….

ASK: (just some sample questions to get you going)

  • Do you have all you need from me in order to get this done?
  • Do you have any questions that have not been answered?
  • Is the time frame realistic for you?
  • Is there anything you that is not clear about what I have asked you to do?

2. The way we like to be communicated with when others are asking us to do things

If you are not clear…ASK (some sample questions to get you going)

  • May I ask when you would like this done by ?
  • I am not 100% clear on the outcome you are after, can you explain what you are after here?
  • What are the key things you need in the time frame you have given me?
  • What is your biggest priority here?
  • If there was one thing you would like me to focus on today what would that be?

When people have all the information, time frames and tools they need to do a job, most of the time they are able to produce what you want, same goes for us, if we are clear on what is required, have the information we need, know when it is need by and in what format and have the tools we need, we can produce great work.

Extra tip: if you have team members who you manage, who are not producing great work, ask them a few key questions:

  • Are you clear on what you need to be doing, why and the time frame?
  • Do you have all the tools and information you need in order to complete the task?
  • Are there any questions you want to ask for clarity on this task?
  • Is there anything you need from me in order to carry on and get this done?

Clarity is a key to great communication


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Sales Conversations – What’s The Story?

Great sales conversations are made up of many skills, and almost all of them can be learned, but the #1 thing that needs to be addressed first is mindset.

After a coaching call today I wanted to share how I helped a young sales guy become unstuck.

The stuff going on in our heads before, during and after sales conversations directly impacts the results!

What are the negative stories you tell yourself? What did you make it mean last time someone said no or

the thing you were selling was too expensive or had objections or questions during a sales conversation?

I just had a coaching session with an awesome young sales person by phone, he had embraced his new assignment with gusto, only to have the wind knocked out of his sails by a couple of challenging calls.

He found that he just didn’t want to make the next call and had lost his confidence!

I asked him a question: “What are the stories you are telling yourself about these people you have to call?”

Some people also refer to these as ‘beliefs’ what are your limiting beliefs about that person or situation, often before you even get to ringing them. Here are a few common ones:

  • I don’t know enough, they might be too busy to take my call.
  • Who am I to ring them talk to them they are so much more …… (fill in the blank) than I am.
  • I am not (fill in the blank) enough.
  • They may ask a question I don’t know the answer to, therefore I don’t know enough (see number 1)
  • I will fail, they will know I don’t know enough, they will know I am young, new etc..

The list can go on, I call these ‘stories’, and we major in making them up! Most of the time they are just not true at all!

If you know you have some ‘stories’ that are not bringing the results you want, that you have made up in your head, then you have the power and the talent to re write those!

TIP: Write them down on a bit of paper, acknowledge them, and make a decision to re write those stories, to more positive perspectives. Try to step back from your negative story statements and ask ” is this true?” and then ” What is another way I can look at this?”

Some positive things you may choose to replace the negative ones with are:

  • They need what we have, I am trying to help them with a problem.
  • They have a problem I may have the solution.
  • I know my stuff and what I don’t know I can find out.
  • No doesn’t mean anything until I know what it means.
  • The most common story sales people tell themselves that no means is ” they don’t like me, they don’t want what I have, I am bothering them, etc”

Extra Tip: Ask Ask Ask – Powerful open ended questions are powerful in sales conversations, engage with them, ask powerful questions, be genuine and hone those listening skills.

If you can make up negative stories, you can make up positive ones too. I know you know this, Thoughts are things!

If you have stalled on your sales conversations or recently had a bad experience, take a few moments to ask yours “What are the stories I have made up about this situation?” and then “Are those stories true?” if not – re write them.

To your sales success


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Cutting Corners Can Cost You Your Brand Reputation Not Just Money

2 Key points to consider and 6 Questions to help assess risk involved in big decisions

What has building law and compliance got to do with brand reputation?

After a recent case in the news and conversations with those who’s job it is to ensure these rules are kept I have identified 2 key ways that choosing to cut corners on a business renovation, new build or building Health and Safety compliance could impact a business, brand and reputation in the community and market.

  1. Money
  2. BRAND and reputation

One is sometimes recoverable the other not so straight forward.

My background is in marketing, business development and brand management, and lately I have been reminded how cutting corners even in the building industry can impact more than just your bank account, it can also impact your brand and reputation in the community and market place.

The irony about the #1 impact, Money, which is often first looked at, is that usually, this is the primary reason for noncompliance in the first case, people wanting to SAVE money.

Let’s look at brand and reputation, a much more ‘sticky’ spot for any business to find themselves, I have chosen to pick on a recent case that was publicised in the papers. This is a big topic and I realise that not every case has the same history, details or reasons but overall I believe my principals around brand and reputation apply in all cases.

Considering the recent successful prosecution of the blueberry and ice-cream brand OOB, one of the largest publicised fines handed down for building noncompliance in a while, I got to thinking about the brand impact of those early decisions made by the business owners.

Business is successful, it grows it needs more space. Or new business needs a building or more space in an existing one. Decisions are made! Sometimes advice is sought and in all fairness not given well or with the right intentions, in some cases advice may be ignored to save the immediate costs.

Either way that series of decisions, whatever the journey to make them, has cost this business a hefty $26k fine plus legal costs in money but maybe more importantly what has it cost them in reputation.

Some consumers may not realise or think deeply about what it can mean to not comply to the government standards for safe buildings and carry on eating the ice-cream without a care. I would say this is a minority though and I would like to think that most consumers in NZ expect the companies we claim ownership of in our clean, green and proud nation are providing not only a quality product but also a safe working environment for the staff and visitors.

I opened my freezer this morning to discover that the brand of blueberries I was about to enjoy for breakfast is in fact OOB! Immediately, I thought “oh those are the silly beggars who didn’t think they needed to comply with the building laws in NZ” I ate the blueberries, but I must say that I will think twice before purchasing their brand again.

They may have taken advice that set them up for a fall, but all business owners must realise the BUCK stops with them, and so does the reputation of the brand and company, who’s picture was in the paper with the big write up? The owners.

WHY such a harsh line? I hear you say…. Well what else, let’s not sit by and wait until another building collapses in a serious earthquake or fire killing or injuring people before we realise that the building laws are there to protect us all, and our families. Bottom line is that building laws save lives, and a company or organisation that constantly ignores the safety of the people they have in their buildings gives out a deeper message to the market and community they run in, they are more concerned about profit, expense cutting and time-saving than people’s lives.

Strategically it is always good practice to think through decisions, if this is not someone’s skill set they should seek help from someone who has this ability, to think through future projections, risk factors and possible scenarios. Above all else, the person or people who the ‘buck stops with’ need to take full responsibility for understanding any laws that may apply and factor them in from the start.

6 questions a business/Organisation could go through when making expansion or moving decisions around buildings, office space, manufacturing spaces, retail spaces and more

  1. Do you (or your contractors) know what you can do in your building without building consent?
  2. With any consented work have you finished the projects with a CCC?
  3. What is the Gap assessment between what our building has now and current Code?
  4. If we have a BWOF in our building and are all our systems safely working?
  5. Do the right people in our organisation know what risks exist in our building and what we are doing to manage them in plain English
  6. Could anyone get hurt, anytime in the future because of these decisions?

From a business strategy perspective, a good old fashioned cost analysis of any project should always include building compliance laws, cost of any upgrades and getting council consent.

If the project can’t fit into the budget it is not time to cut corners and potentially risk limbs and lives, it is time to look at alternative venues, buildings, or options.

Here is to a safer NZ

Jen Tyson

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YES or NO? – Facebook and LinkedIn for small business

After spending years in the area of business development including developing marketing strategies both for online and offline results, I have learned a few things about this ‘social media’ space that I would love to share with you.

Small business owners are often bombarded by statements such as “if you are not on social media for your business no one will find you” or somebody says “You really should have a Facebook page or how will people find you” OR “EVERYONE is on Facebook, or LinkedIn”

It is easy to be swayed or even stressed into panic mode by these comments when your own knowledge and confidence in this space is low, you know there are answers but have not had the time to go find out what you actually need to do for your business.

There is other social sharing ‘channels’ but for today let’s just focus on the two biggest and most well-known ones, Facebook and LinkedIn.

My TIPS and findings:

#1 They are totally different, the people who hang out on there, what is shared and expected on there, what people are looking for on there is all different. One is very social the other very professional.

#2 You may not NEED to be on both or either, it is important that you view your business with clear eyes and really understand if this is a wise spend of your resources, time and maybe money.

#3 When getting advice/ professional help make sure the person is skilled, trained and even experienced in BOTH marketing for small business and social media, not all marketers are both and not all advise comes from a ‘qualified’ source – before responding to one of those throw away statements or others like them, as above, please ask yourself the question ‘who is giving me this advice? And do I need a second qualified opinion?”

#4 If you are going to ‘go there’ on either platform or both, set it up well, attend a webinar, read some articles and get some help! Treat it like a serious part of your marketing strategy, which needs to be consistent, measurable and bring a return.

Some questions to answer if this is a grey area for you still:

Have you defined your ‘target market’ or ideal clients?

This is vital, to know WHO they are, what their problems are and where they are looking for your solutions. If you are yet to do this ON paper with some help I would start here.

Now you know WHO your target market is, which (if any) of the main two social sharing platforms are they most likely to want to connect with you on?

Business to consumer type of businesses tend to do well on Facebook, Food outlets, swim schools, children’s clothing and supplies, things that can be marketed in a way that provokes emotion

Business to business type of businesses tend to do well on LinkedIn, this is a great place to raise awareness of you as an expert or leader in your industry, to have a resume type of profile, and to strengthen offline networking opportunities, peoples mind set is different when they are in this space.

Do you have an overall marketing strategy in place, even a basic one, that this will fit nicely into so that everything ties in well to what you are doing and wanting to achieve?

A marketing plan, is just a plan that is designed to help your business grow in the direction  you want and need it to, IF your background is in small business marketing you may write your own, but I would strongly suggest you still get another pair of expert eyes over it to make sure, marketing to the wrong market and heading in the wrong direction as a business owner can be a costly mistake, if this is not your area of expertise find help, local chambers run short workshops, find a business consultant or coach that specialises in this (not all do) this doesn’t have to be complex to be well done.

What level of help do you need in the platform you have chosen to add to your marketing strategy?

There are short workshops, online and offline that can give you just enough information to know what to do, there are small consultants now who focus on helping you get this right, FREE workshops are sometimes great and sometimes lacking so be sure to define WHAT help you need and find something that helps you achieve that.


Be aware that once you are on there, people are now watching, even when you can’t see they are, sounds creepy I know but it’s a fact, so make sure that your language, sharing, opinions, images and ‘flavour’ is in line with your brand, carrying your brand and reputation through everything you do is powerful, not always easy, but start off with good habits, and if you have a personal Facebook page with business contacts on there, try to slowing separate them.

I LOVE social media and use it as a powerful platform to share, network, encourage and extend my extended community in life and business, I have put some time into understanding it so far and figuring out what works and what doesn’t – if you don’t love it, and your business doesn’t need to be on there, then spend your time and energy elsewhere.

To your business success – as always, be awesome, be you.


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5 KEY things that successful business owners have learned to do

The idea of going into business for ourselves is sometimes exciting, giving us a dream of freedom. Freedom to express ourselves, freedom to set our own hours and perhaps even work with who we want to work with.  We are good at something, have a passion for something and perhaps others around us have said things like ‘you are so good at that, you should be in business for yourself’ or ‘you could totally do that as a business and make heaps of money’

The decision to become self-employed could be an alternative to a really oppressive or stressful employment situation OR as an answer to redundancy. I have even heard people say that they started a business because they couldn’t find work.

Whatever the motivation we all usually start out with some dreams, goals, ideals, a small amount of fear perhaps but mostly excitement and enthusiasm.

So if a percentage of small businesses survive their first 2 years and go on to succeed long term, whatever that looks like for them, then what are some of the KEY things they LEARN to do well.

  • They know their strengths, what they are good at and what they are not. They understand the VALUE in getting expert help in areas that they dislike or are not strong at so they can spend more time doing what they love and working on the things they do well. Outsourcing, delegation, and assistance doesn’t have to cost heaps, you do need the right people alongside you to free your time and energy so it is more about the RIGHT person and then what it may cost you, this is an investment and in a naturally DIY nation business owners need to be thinking more in this direction.
  • They set up a business plan. Use a business strategy coach or skilled mentor who is able to give feedback on it, and with goals that LIGHT you up from the inside. It’s a working document that gets a solid and focused review every 90 days, doesn’t have to be pages and pages, 2 can do it as long as the right questions are on there and there are ways to measure the goals and targets.
  • They either have some working capital or the ability to build some fast. Work out from day one how much MONEY you need for the first 6 months (this time frame will vary depending on the type of business) in business, including living money.

Capital injection, this can be done by going to a supportive bank that has a strong focus on assisting small and medium businesses to succeed, with tools, LIVE support, planning tools and that love their questions.

Building capital as you go: Plan to spend LESS than you bring in, pay yourself LESS than you earn, putting aside money for TAX and leaving some in the bank to build a capital ‘pillow’

ALSO watch overheads like Rent and other outgoings, keep financial commitments LOW, manageable and low risk.

  • They keep clean, clear financial records and comply with tax laws from day one. There are affordable systems out there, built to make this SIMPLE and with enough detail, Xero is my favorite and doesn’t cost a bomb! Have a separate bank account, keep receipts until you know what to do with them, get an accountant. Set aside TIME in your schedule to manage this until you are able to get someone else to.
  • They learn to employ themselves. Setting their own hours, turning up for work, pre-planning what they will do when at work, learn the art of time and energy management and the skill of focus. When you worked for someone else I bet you were a model employee, as a business owner and your own boss these habits are even more essential. There are many reasons a business owner may not stick to the plan of hours they set for themselves, it could be lack of knowledge of what to do in that time, procrastination from tasks they dislike or fear, lack of discipline, allowing distractions to take over. These are either resolved by learning some skills, getting some confidence, tweaking approach or developing new habits.

FINAL words, be open to learning for ever. Be open to setting goals that light you up and working systematically towards them YET remaining open to opportunities that come up.

Use your business plan and mentor/coach as anchors to help you make decisions that keep you on track to your optimal future rather than bogging you down and draining your time and energy resources.

Surround yourself with people that bring out the best in you, encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and grow.

Your business will only grow as much as you do.

Back yourself, believe in yourself, acknowledge you were born for a reason and you CAN create a business that serves the lifestyle you want to live

To your business success and doing more of what you LOVE.