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How to easily boost your app’s ranking and sales

How to easily boost your app’s ranking and sales

Creating an app can take hundreds of hours. What may start out as a simple idea, can turn into hours of coding, testing, and reimagining. We all appreciate a well-designed app, but most of the time developers aren’t paid enough for the actual work involved. Why is that?

You may have noticed that a lot of great apps are buried at the bottom of searches while poorly built apps dominate the category. This isn’t because people want low-quality apps, so what’s the deal?

The problem is discovery. A lot of genuinely useful apps are hard to find or might be presented in a “sketchy” way. This will obviously reduce downloads, which leads to a lower app store ranking and even fewer downloads. That means that you could earn less than minimum wage for hundreds of hours of work. Is there any way to turn this around?

The key is ASO (App Store Optimization). When your app’s title, description, and icon follow a few simple guidelines you can quickly turn an app with a falling ranking into a best-seller, or at the very least earn a decent wage. Let’s find out how!

 The problem with creating a new app is discovery

Create a Keyword List

Unsurprisingly, the main way that users discover and download new apps is through searches on the app store (up to 63% of apps are downloaded this way). This is good news because you can do things to improve your search ranking, but it’s harder to create word-of-mouth.

If you have any experience with search engines then you already know how important keywords are. Keywords are words or phrases that match your app description. For example, your app might teach people English grammar, in that case, related keywords might include: grammar lessons, grammar trainer, English tests, etc.

The easiest way to find what keywords to use is by doing research with Google Adwords. To use this service simply sign up for an account (this is totally free, you only pay for the ads purchased). Once you have your account, go to Tools and select Keyword Planner. Then all you need to do is enter in keywords that you think would be related to your app and check the search volume.

For example, let’s say you have a free app for tracking calories. So, you put “free calorie tracker” into the keyword planning tool. You would get results like:

Keyword    Avg. Monthly Searches
Free calorie counter    2,400
Calorie tracker    6,600
Calorie calculator    110,000
Calorie counter    201,000

This gives you a good idea of what search terms are most common on Google, but now you need to see how they do in the app store. Try searching for the terms with the highest monthly search volume and see whether your app would fit in with the search results.

Based on these tests, you might decide that instead of calling your app a “calorie tracker” you’ll use the term “calorie counter” since it has a higher search volume and still matches your app. This simple step will ensure that app appears as a result in as many relevant searches as possible.

 Target keywords that have better search volume

Choose a Title

Next, you need to choose the right title for your app. You probably have a cool ultra-modern one-word title that perfectly encapsulates the essence of your app. Maybe you planned on calling your calorie counter “fi”, which is obviously short for fitness. Would this be a smart choice? Not really.

You see, your app’s title is part of ASO too and not taking advantage of it to optimize your ranking is a waste. So, how can you keep your cool name while optimizing?

Let’s take a page from one of the most popular calorie-counting apps MyFitnessPal. Does this massively popular brand rely on its name alone? Nope. It optimizes its title for the best ranking. Currently, it appears in the Play Store as “Calorie Counter – MyFitnessPal.”

So, what can you do with your ultra-chic name? Why not try something like “Calorie Counter by fi”? By including keywords in the title you can increase your app’s downloads by 10.3%.

 Your title should help people find your app

Write a Great Description

Now that you’ve gotten your app to pop up in the search results and your amazing name has drawn people in, you need to work on an app description. What are the keys to a great description? Just follow this not so secret formula:

  • Start off with an elevator pitch, this is one or two short sentences that sum up your app
  • Once they click to read more there should be a more extensive paragraph describing it
  • Now create subheadings to logically divide the information on your app
  • Use bullet points instead of paragraphs at this point
  • Keep them short
  • Show off your Unique Value Proposition
  • Focus on the benefits for the user
  • Include excerpts from positive reviews
  • Include a call to action

The description’s purpose is to explain your app to potential users in just a few seconds and get them to download it. So, keep it short and snappy. Users appreciate clear, concise communication.

A good example of this is the MyFitnessPal:

 MyFitnessPal does a great job of optimizing their app for the app store

Check that out! This is a great example of the elements we listed. If you implement this format on your app you’ll be able to quickly show it off and boost sales!

Ensure that your app gets great reviews

Finally, you need to make sure that your app gets great reviews. Now, you may think that this is out of your control, but there you can do a lot right now to get more positive reviews.

  • Be responsive: When your app receives a negative review, respond to it and try to resolve the issue.
  • Listen: If you notice that a lot of reviewers would like to see a certain feature then add it in an update. This will ensure that users will stick with you instead of going to the competition.
  • Promote quality: Your app’s perceived quality doesn’t just depend on how good your code is, its logo, description, content, reliability, versatility, and innovativeness work together to create a high-quality app. To get good reviews you need to make sure that all of these elements come together.
  • Be accurate: The simplest way to avoid negative reviews is to accurately describe your app. Some negative reviews are simply the result of people downloading an app that was advertised as a meal planner but is actually a calorie counter.

 Get rave reviews by listening and responding to your users

Your app is only as good as its content

Remember that no matter how good your app is, without the right content it can still fail. The easiest way to ensure that your app succeeds is to put the above suggestions into practice or get a professional to do it for you.

We offer specialized editing and writing services to help app developers like you to get more downloads and boost their income. To learn more about how we can make your app a best-seller, talk to us today. We look forward to hearing from you!

Local business spotlight: Interview with Nate Allen, managing partner of Gries Lenhardt Allen, P.L.L.P.

Local business spotlight: Interview with Nate Allen, managing partner of Gries Lenhardt Allen, P.L.L.P.

What you’ll learn: the challenges of targeting the right customers, how to expand your client base through referrals, and why golf is Nate’s new favorite sport.

For this feature of Local Business Spotlight we sat down with Nate Allen, the managing partner of Gries Lenhardt Allen, P.L.L.P. They’re a fully-staffed law firm located in St. Michael, Minnesota that handles a variety of legal matters in the areas of corporate law, real estate, estate planning, elder law, construction law and sports law, to name a few.

Some of their guiding principles include one-on-one client meetings, community support, and a high standard of service.

Now that we know a little about the firm, let’s take an inside look with Nate Allen.

Tell us a little bit about what you do.

Nate: My practice is focused on representing small to medium-sized closely held companies, non-profit organizations, and sports organizations. I work on a variety of legal issues for these clients, from setting up new businesses to helping business owners buy and sell their companies. I also assist a lot of them with employment-related matters, such as employment agreements and other key-executive related issues.  I also do a lot of commercial real estate work, particularly in the areas of land acquisition, project development, and leasing. I represent both buyers and sellers, as well as, landlords and tenants.

Why did you decide to focus on the commercial sector?

Nate: I worked in-house for Dayton-Hudson Corporation during law school as it was transitioning into being recognized as Target (Dayton Hudson was the parent of Target), so it was a very exciting time. I realized then that I wanted to be involved in representing businesses with their legal issues. However, what I missed while I was in-house was the opportunity to work with a variety of different clients; in-house, the client was always the same – it was the company. Working in the commercial sector in private practice gives me the opportunity to work with a variety of dynamic people, business owners, and entrepreneurs.  Plus, those people are a lot like me.  I‘m also running a business and working with other business owners gives me a chance to see (and talk to them) about the challenges we face.

How did your family influence/support your decision to become an attorney?

Nate: They’ve always supported me, which is great.  They’ve been a tremendous influence on the type of practice that I’ve tried to develop. I got married in the first few weeks of law school and my wife and I wanted children.  So, I knew family would be a priority of mine and I wanted to create a practice that would give me the flexibility to be present in their lives. Having the ability to take time off during the day to go see my kids’ school concerts or leave early to go watch one of their athletic events has been priceless.  I also live very close to the office, so I don’t waste time commuting, which allows me to maximize the time I can spend with my family.  Knowing what I wanted out of my family life really influenced my decision to go into private practice and build what I’m doing now.

Elisha: That’s a great motivation. A lot of people you hear are like, “Career, career, career”. They don’t really think about their family.

Nate: Yep. I was the other way around. I started with the family and built my practice around it.

What habits helped make you successful?

Nate: First, I think goal setting is important.  In fact, I think it’s critical. I’ve always been a firm believer in setting goals for myself, whether they’re daily, monthly, quarterly, annual, or 5-years out.  Also, since sports were a big part of my upbringing, I learned the value of hard work and preparation.  I know that if I work hard and plan strategically, I maximize my chances of accomplishing my goals.  Finally, I’ve embraced the concept of work-life integration instead of fighting the pursuit of work-life balance.

What’s the biggest marketing challenge you face?

Nate: This is a great question, but for us, the answer is pretty simple: trying to reach the right prospective client. I’ll give you an example. We recently converted from a very static webpage that we had for many years to one that is more dynamic. In the process, we broadened our marketing exposure and tried to expand our reach online to generate more leads. What we found very quickly was that we were getting more calls and inquiries, but the callers were not always the right type of client for us.  Although we handle a variety of legal matters, we don’t do everything, such as family law.  With all the attorneys we have, that’s one area we don’t practice.  Believe it or not, even though we don’t advertise in this area on our website, one out of every six or seven inquiries we get through our website is from somebody who wants assistance in family law.  So, our attempt to broaden the reach of our prospective clients has taught us that we have to be more focused on the specific client we are trying to reach.  With that said, the website has generated some additional leads and new clients for some of our practice areas, such as estate planning, but it has been difficult to attract small to medium-sized business owner who really wants value-based legal counsel in running and operating their company. Getting to them has been a challenge.

Elisha: One thing that we’ve seen that helps with that is buyer personas. That’s where you create a fictional persona based on your ideal client. Then you target all of your writing and marketing towards that person. What was the percentage of traffic increase that you had?

Alex: It increases site traffic by 210% according to some studies. It can increase sales by 94%, that’s e-commerce. So, it’s probably different with a law firm, but you get good results across the board.

Nate: Yeah, it’s great to know that, because not all the attorneys at our firm represent small businesses. We have 4 attorneys who do estate planning, probate and trust administration. They’re not necessarily looking for the small business owner either. So, we have to be careful in how we’re writing to reach each segment of the various practice areas we have while trying to exclude the clients we can’t help.

Elisha: I see, so your website needs to be multifaceted so that you’re targeting different people at the same time. I recently wrote an article about Red Hat’s content strategy and how they target their customers, their partners, and also the developers. But they have a different approach for each person, so this is where the buyer persona comes in. You would need one for one type of attorney, another for high standard attorney…

Nate: Exactly. Or at least one for each of our practice groups.

What has been your biggest marketing success?

Nate: This sounds cliché, but it’s so true for what we do, and that is providing consistent, top-quality legal advice and great customer service to our clients. Hands down, personal referrals are our best source of marketing. Historically, our firm has not done a lot of traditional marketing.  For example, we’ve never had a billboard or TV commercial. We’ve done some small radio ads, but those were mainly to support our local sports teams that go to State. Our number one marketing strategy is to do good work, take care of people, and hope that they tell their friends, family, neighbors, and colleagues about us.

Elisha: Referrals are the best. You have the highest return on investment with referrals. When somebody comes on a referral, they’re usually going to hire you.

Nate: That’s exactly right and to piggyback on what I just said about the challenges we face in finding the right client, referrals are usually the type of client we’re looking for.  If I do good work for a business owner client of mine, it dramatically increases the chances that if that client is at a breakfast meeting or a networking seminar, he or she might refer someone they meet to me who’s looking for a new lawyer. By far the best marketing success we’ve had is consistently doing good work.

What’s one thing you find to be true that most people would disagree with?

Nate: This is an interesting question.  Let me answer it two ways.  From a purely legal perspective, it’s that the court system is broken. Although it serves a vital role in our society, it doesn’t serve the general population of citizens or small business owners the way it should. It’s become too much of an expensive, time-consuming procedural game amongst lawyers, rather than a fact-finding institution to resolve conflicts.

Outside of the legal world, I would say that the focus of businesses should be on adding value.  I think a lot of people in business would disagree and say that making money should be the focus.  For them, making money is the barometer of their success, but I don’t approach work that way. I try to focus more on adding value – to my clients, my staff, our community, etc.

If you could time travel back to day one of your career to tell yourself lessons you’ve learned that would save a lot of problems, what would you tell yourself?

Nate: Focus on doing what you enjoy. I say that because I think ultimately that’s what you’re going to find that you’re the best at. And, in our industry, I’ve learned that people can spend countless hours, days, months and even years working on certain legal matters, even though they don’t like it.  Our industry is competitive and young attorneys are frequently entering the workforce with significant debt from student loans.  So, there is a lot of pressure to simply find a job.  There are a lot of different areas to practice law. Find one that you really like and stick with it, regardless of how lucrative it might be. If you’re going to do this for a long time, you better like what you do. Find something you are passionate about, chase it, and you can be great at it.

What sport do you enjoy playing the most and why?

I am a bit of a sports enthusiast.  I grew up playing sports and for the record, soccer is by far my favorite sport. However, I can’t play it as competitively as I used to, so the answer to your question is golf.  A lot of my clients play and I’ve met a lot of new clients on the golf course. Golf gives me an opportunity to interact with my clients, referral sources and prospective clients on a more personal level. I truly believe that I can better serve my clients if I know them as individuals and human beings.  I can learn about what motivates them, how they approach business, and what their goals are, in life and at work.  I love spending 4 or 5 hours with a client, referral source or prospective client – just getting to know them on an individual level. And, you know what, you can learn a lot about someone’s character while playing golf.

Elisha: Yeah, I love golf but I’m really bad at it. (Laughing)

Nate: It’s hard! People don’t realize how hard it is. I didn’t grow up playing golf. I started playing during law school and didn’t really get the bug until after law school. Despite how hard it is though, it’s a lot of fun.

Takeaway

Nate has seen from personal experience that providing a great customer experience is invaluable to the success of his firm. He believes that when you consistently do quality work, word of mouth will sell for you. He believes in building personal relationships, and not viewing his clients as a means to making money. To quote him, “If you can add value to your clients, you’ll enjoy your work more and create a relationship for life.”

If you’d like some help with your business’ legal concerns, you can contact Nate here.

Did you enjoy this interview, and want to tell the world more about what you do? Contact us and we’ll feature you in an upcoming Small Business Spotlight.

Content strategy is the key to marketing success

Content strategy is the key to marketing success

Content strategy, door to door sales, cold calls, cold emails, blah blah blah. While running your business I’m sure you’ve heard of all of them. You have marketers contacting you day and night. They tell you that their method is the best. Who do you believe?

I’m a believer in the facts. So let’s look at a strategy that smart, rich companies are using every day to get more leads which they turn into customers and partners.

What is content strategy?

Moz defines it like this: Content strategy concerns itself with the vision—the ins and outs of how and why your content will be created, managed, and eventually archived or updated. It looks at all of the content your customers ever encounter.

Companies like Red Hat rely on content strategy for new customers. Why should you care about their example? Red Hat is a multi-billion dollar tech company that thrives on its innovation, values and yes, its sticky marketing strategy.

How Red Hat uses content strategy?

 Case study from HubSpot

A case study from HubSpot 

“All content is not created equal. Some content will go viral, generating tons of hot traffic to your blog, while other content will be lost in the archives. If you want more of the first kind, you’ve got to put your readers first.”
Neil Patel

Great content strategy takes what you learn from your customers and uses it to focus your writing on your customers wants and needs. To do this you need to ask questions like, what do my customers care about? Why do they care about it? How can I give it to them in the most emotional way possible?

Why is Red Hat a great example?

Red Hat doesn’t choose one type of content and offer that to everyone whether they like it or not. Why not? Have you ever read an article that was so impersonal that it irritated you to the point of closing the website as fast as possible? I know I have.

Red Hat realized the danger of this. So, their content strategy involves showing a personal interest in their readers and satisfying their needs. Let’s look at 3 examples:

Developers

 Red Hat focuses on the ease and speed with which you can learn their products.

Red Hat focuses on the ease and speed with which you can learn their products.

What does a developer want to see when going to the Red Hat website?

A developer wants to learn the system in the easiest manner possible. A product that’s a pain to work with or lacks training materials is something a developer hates.

Red Hat knows this and they work hard to create a supportive atmosphere. Their content strategy includes the creation of free guides, trial downloads and even free ebooks to get people started. They have so many resources that even non-developers feel like they can get started.

Customers

Customers are very different. They want you to provide the solution, and they need to trust you to get the job done.

 Red Hat uses social proof to build trust with their audience.

Red Hat uses social proof to build trust with their audience.

How do you get people to trust you? One way is to give them social proof. In his book Influence, Dr. Robert Cialdini proves that people will do things that they see other people are doing. It’s important for customers to know that these solutions work for people in their industry.

Red Hat strikes again. They have tons of customer success stories, that are broken down by industry and product line. You can read case studies or watch videos that bring these stories to life.

Customers have the peace of mind of a product that’s heavily trusted in their industry.

Partners

So far we’ve seen how developers need support and customers need trust. But, what about partners?

The answer is in the name. A partner is someone you work with. It doesn’t feel like a partnership if both parties aren’t benefiting. Then it’s more like a leech on your foot. Who wants that?

 Red Hat shows how partnering with them will mean you make decisions like the titans of industry.

Red Hat shows how partnering with them will mean you make decisions like the titans of industry.

So what’s Red Hat’s message?

“Let’s do something great. Together.”
– Red Hat

Their partner page is focused on partner benefits. Again we see them use social proof to build trust. Big companies like Microsoft, HP, and IBM are all partners. What technology company doesn’t want to experience the same success as these juggernauts?

Instead of a me, me, me experience Red Hat consistently focuses on its audience.

What does this mean for you?

 How does content strategy affect your business?

How does content strategy affect your business?

You don’t have to be a big company to create a great content strategy, but you can learn from what big companies are doing right.

Red Hat personalizes content for its audience and you can too. You don’t need large databases or a massive research team. In fact, the best research even from big companies is found when collecting data 1 on 1. For example, in the book The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg uses the example of Febreze. The company Proctor & Gamble only learn how to target their customers when they go into a customer’s home and observe how they use the product.

As a small business owner, you have the opportunity to work with your customers on a more personal level than the corporate giants. This gives you an opportunity to ask questions and learn what makes them choose you over the rest.

Use these opportunities to put together a buyer persona, or a fictional persona that represents your ideal customer. Knowing your customers is fundamental to creating a successful content strategy. Whenever you create something you’ll be able to answer, how will my customer feel about this?

Then like Red Hat, you can create content that doesn’t irritate or annoy your readers into running to the competition.

Ok, so maybe this won’t turn you into a million dollar company overnight. This isn’t a miracle drug. What it is, is a proven method for creating reliable growth. Growth that given time will help you achieve success over and over again.

If you’d like to chat about your content strategy, schedule a 15-min phone call here.

Following a process for content marketing success

Following a process for content marketing success

Back in the 60s computers were big. Really big. Usually, they’d take up entire rooms or even buildings.

How did computers go from building-sized monsters down to pocket-sized companions? The answer is a process.

In 1971 Intel used the process of integrating circuits to build the first commercially available microprocessor. This revolutionary process caught on and gained speed. Every year microprocessors become smaller and faster thanks to this process.

In 2017, your smartphone is far more powerful than Nasa’s computers were in the 60s and the thing that made it possible was following a process.

Content marketing needs a process too

When you first start exploring content marketing, it might feel as big and expansive as one of those 60s style computers. It can be clunky, difficult to understand, and hard to get it to work. You have to integrate blog posts, lead magnets, sales funnels, emails, and traditional advertising into a single marketing effort.

It’s overwhelming.

Following a process can be all it takes to revolutionize your content marketing. It can make it as simple as answering a call to your phone.

The Content Reactor has worked hard to develop a process to help you. We’ve combined our experience, industry best practices, and feedback from business owners like you to create our own process. Hopefully, it will revolutionize your content marketing.

Let’s look at an overview of each step in this process.

Step 1: Research

Before you do any content marketing, you need to do your research. This will be the basis for every decision you make in subsequent steps of the process. Just like you follow instructions from your GPS to get to your destination, you need to listen to your research to create successful content marketing.

What do you need to research? There are three main categories that we recommend:

  1. Your audience. Learn their challenges, needs, how they prefer to learn, and what they expect from a company in your space. The easiest way to learn this is by using HubSpot’s buyer persona process.
  2. Your company. You need to understand your company’s core values, goals, and motivation to communicate in a way that’s genuine and relatable. Do a brand sprint and use the golden circle to learn more about your company.
  3. Your competitors. The final piece of the puzzle is understanding your competitive landscape. You need to know how the competition is communicating and marketing themselves to find opportunities to stand out and be different. Your brand sprint will reveal a lot of this to you, but also consider doing a SWOT analysis to deepen your understanding of the market.

This basic research will take you at least a week to complete. But, it will save you massive amounts of time later on and it will ensure the success of your content marketing.

Step 2: Strategy

Your research isn’t meant to live in a doc collecting dust. It should drive your business decisions and lead your marketing. This requires you to create a content strategy.

A content strategy is a plan for getting the right content in front of the right people at the right time. Your research has told you who your audience is, what content they want to read, and when/where they read it. How do you turn that into a plan?

  1. Choose KPIs for your content that will help you to reach your business goals. For example, you may want to double the number of visitors to your site and increase your conversion rate to hit your target sales numbers.
  2. Create a plan for the types of content you will produce and the format you’ll present it in.
  3. Outline the steps for amplifying the content to the right visitors.
  4. Put this into a publishing calendar.

Your content strategy is the roadmap that helps your business reach its goals.

Step 3: Production

Once your content strategy is in place, the next step is content marketing, or actually producing the content. This is where many campaigns fail since writing is hard and people aren’t always consistent.

There are a few essential things you need to keep your content marketing efforts on track. They will keep you organized, ahead of schedule, in line with your plan. Here they are:

  • Create a content calendar to help you keep track of due dates, authors, links to files, keywords, and social media posts.
  • Start your content efforts early to build up a few week’s worth of content before starting to publish it.
  • Have a solid writing process, every piece of content should have a writer, editor, and final reviewer.
  • Create a style guide for your project to ensure everyone uses the same voice, structure, writing style, and tone.
  • Set hard deadlines and have someone enforce them, make writers feel accountable for delivering on time.

Producing content in a consistent, deliberate way is a must if you want it to be effective. Just like you need to take your full course of antibiotics to get healthy, you need to execute your entire marketing plan to see results.

Step 4: Refinement

This step starts a few minutes after you produce your first piece of content. Your research has given you an idea of what might work, but now’s the time to see if it actually did.

During the refinement phase, you want to look at cold hard data. How many visits is each piece of content getting, how long do those visitors stay on the site, are they converting into marketing qualified leads?

You also need to take into account the human side of it. What do the comments or social media posts say about the content? Is it striking a chord? Reaching a small, passionate audience can sometimes be better than casting a wide net.

Here are a few refinements that can be made during this phase:

  • You notice that one type of title receives more clicks and more time on site, for example, “10 content marketing tips.” Based on this, you update other titles to use this same formula and track results to see if there’s any improvement.
  • You notice that users share your content strategy articles more often than they share content marketing offers. This prompts you to promote content strategy articles more heavily on social media.
  • You notice that one of your lead magnets is performing twice as well as the others. Based on this, you use the high-performing lead magnet more often than the others to see if it increases leads.

The refinement stage is all about seeing what’s working and doing more of that while eliminating the things that don’t work. This is done on the fly to help you adjust future content or refine content that’s already been published.

Having a process is the key

A process is what made it possible for a giant computer to be sized down to manageable proportions. This has revolutionized countless industries and made dream technology possible in the real world.

Applying a process to your content marketing is key to making it successful. This success can revolutionize your business, bring a stable income, and create loyalty among your customers.

If you’re ready to try content marketing, then please contact us. We’d be happy to help you set up the right plan and process for you.

How much should I charge to create a brand voice?

How much should I charge to create a brand voice?

With brand voices gaining popularity, content strategists, copywriters, and marketing consultants are encouraging their clients to create a unique voice. But, this can be hard for a client to do. So, why not earn more and give your clients long-term value?

If you have a good understanding of writing, communications, or marketing, then creating a brand voice can be dead simple. This gives your client practical guidelines that they can use themselves and simplifies their content creation process. The big question though is: how much should you charge to create a brand voice?

That answer isn’t so simple. There’s a lot of variables and since brand voices are fairly new, there aren’t very many resources online either. Fortunately, our designer friends can provide a little bit of guidance.

Taking a page from brand identities

The goal of a brand identity is similar to the goal of a brand voice, they both make a brand unique and consistent. The difference is the medium, brand identities are focused on visuals and brand voices are focused on words, tone, and style.

There are loads of similarities between the two processes. For example, both require intense research into the client, their target market, and their competitors, and both require extensive testing, revisions, and guidelines.

Because of these similarities, it’s safe to use brand identity pricing as a starting point for brand voice creation. Ianvadas.com provides a nice pricing structure based on organizaton size that you can base your brand voice creation pricing on. He lays out the pricing like so:

“Solopreneur (100k – 500k annual revenue) $5,500 – $15,500

Small Business (500k – 1M annual revenue) $15,500 – $35,000

Medium Sized Business (1M – 250M annual revenue) $35,000 – $75,000

Enterprise (250M+ annual revenue) $75,000 – $250,000”

This gives us an idea of what different organizations are willing to pay for branding. Now, let’s make some educated guesses.

Brand Identity vs. Brand Voice

Time to make the adjustments. First, we need to figure out the differences between design work and writing. Design work requires specialized tools, knowledge that few have, talent, and an understanding of best practices. Writing isn’t viewed as a specialized skill, doesn’t require special tools, and many people feel capable of doing it themselves. Because of this, some may perceive a brand voice to be less costly than a brand identity. This is our big hurdle.

At this point, we need to remind the client that this is a specialized service. We need them to understand the impact it can have as well. Visuals are extremely valuable to a business, but they’re limited in what they can communicate. A brand voice allows businesses to communicate any idea in a way that’s unique and appealing.

Both are important to success, and neither one really trespassed on the other’s territory. We need the client to understand this fully for them to understand the logic behind our pricing.

Finally, the client should be aware of the work that goes into creating a brand voice. It’s not as simple as creating a document. Just look at this basic schema for creating a brand voice:

  • Research
    • Determine your client’s core values
    • What are their strategic goals?
    • How does your client differ from the competition?
    • Who is their target market?
    • Who does that target market look up to?
  • Verify
    • Interview SMEs, clients, and content producers
    • Send out surveys to the client’s email list
    • Test various styles to see which one can be consistently applied
  • Drafting
    • Create the first draft of brand voice guidelines
    • Draft a style guide and glossary as needed
    • Request feedback from various content producers
    • Implement feedback and start the whole process again until you have a final draft
  • Implementation
    • Help your client to implement the new guidelines everywhere
    • Train their employees to use the guidelines
    • Ensure that there are review processes in place
  • Track
    • Is the content meeting the strategic goals?
    • What improvements and tweaks can be made to the brand voice?
    • Are the guidelines being implemented?
  • Update
    • Revise all brand voice documents and retrain the employees as needed

Yes, creating a brand voice is no small task and you need to make sure that your client knows it too. This process may shrink or grow depending on the client, but it gives us a general idea of what’s involved.

Pricing brand voice services

When it comes to brand voices, charging by the project is better than charging by the hour. Having a project cost is more transparent since your client knows exactly what they’ll pay. It can also benefit you, since the more quickly you complete the project, the more you’ll earn per hour.

Based on everything we’ve discussed, what should you be charging to create a brand voice for your clients? Here are some rough guidelines that you can start from:

  • Solopreneur: $3,000-$5,000
  • Small business: $5,000-15,000
  • Mid-size business: $20,000-35,000
  • Large business: $40,000-80,000
  • Multi-national corporations: $100,000+

These number could go up if you’re highly specialized, run a large team, or have the guts to charge what you want. Or, they might go down if your clients don’t recognize the value of a brand voice, you’re just starting out, or if you’re a one-man show. It’s best to test and adjust frequently until you nail down the right number.

Bump up your income now

Creating a brand voice is the best thing you can do for yourself and your clients. It allows for long-term strategy, increased customer loyalty, simpler content production, and a better experience for everyone involved.

If you’d like to learn how to create brand voices quickly and easily, then check out our course. It’ll give you all the skills you need to increase your income and stay on the cutting-edge of marketing.

Ready to get paid?

What Brian Johnson of AC/DC Can Teach You About Going Over the Top

What Brian Johnson of AC/DC Can Teach You About Going Over the Top

AC/DC is the essence of rock and roll. But, it looked like their career would be cut short by the death of their lead singer Bon Scott. Instead of giving up and moving on, they persevered and sought out a new singer.

Imagine how competitive auditioning for AC/DC would be. They were already a famous act and surely had thousands of singers wanting to take over the mic. How could anyone stand out in that crowd?

Enter Brian Johnson

This singer from an early 70s glam rock band was top of mind as AC/DC chose a new singer. He had a good reputation and had been highly praised by the late Bon Scott. Why? Johnson’s performance style was over the top and made him stand out. Here’s the story straight from Wikipedia:

AC/DC lead guitarist and co-founder Angus Young recalled: “I remember Bon playing me Little Richard, and then telling me the story of when he saw Brian singing [with Geordie].” He says about that night: “There’s this guy up there screaming at the top of his lungs and then the next thing you know he hits the deck. He’s on the floor, rolling around and screaming. I thought it was great, and then to top it off – you couldn’t get a better encore – they came in and wheeled the guy off!'” Johnson was diagnosed with appendicitis later that night, which was the cause of his writhing around on stage.[2] The band agreed immediately that Johnson’s performing style fit AC/DC’s music.

This guy was an insane performer. Even though some of this insanity was the result of appendicitis, his story shows that standing out is the key to success.

How Can You Stand Out?

We can’t all be as lucky as Brian Johnson and get appendicitis at just the right moment. But, you can stand out by implementing these simple ideas:

  • Look at the standard way of doing what you’re working on. What do people expect you to do? Instead of doing it that way, find your own path or solution. For example, instead of making cold calls and offering people a free consultation, call and say, “can you help me by letting me guest post on your blog?” This shift from the norm will throw them off and make you stand out.
  • Forget about making people happy and do what you want to do. If musicians tried to make everyone happy all the time, then there would never be new tunes. Focusing on your vision and being passionate about it will help you do things that only you could think of.
  • Never make big promises and always exceed expectations. When you go above and beyond, you make other people feel good. Whether you’re dealing with a friend, family member, or client, they’ll be impressed by your added effort. By keeping your promises small and consistently over-delivering, you’ll stand out more than those that promise big things and barely fulfill them.

Standing Out Will Get You There

Being part of the crowd makes it tough to get anywhere. If you have 15 options, and 14 are exactly the same and 1 is better, then you’ll go with the one that stands out. Similarly, when you stand out from the crowd it’s easier to convince others of your value and be the chosen one.

Brian Johnson got to front one of the coolest rock bands of all time just because he got appendicitis at the right time…and he’s an amazing singer. What will you achieve if you stand out from the crowd? Just try and see.