Business Writing Tips: For Easy and Effective Results

Sometimes a book falls in your lap just at the perfect moment. This is what has happened with Business Writing Tips by Robert Bullard. I’m finding I’m having to do quite a bit of writing at the moment – new content for our revamped business website (including a blog), proposals for new projects, and I’ve got a top secret writing project in the works (hopefully not top secret for too much longer). So, a book about writing for business is exactly what I need right now.

Robert’s book is a highly practical guide to writing for business, giving tips on preparation, the writing itself, and the nitty gritty of grammar and punctuation. If you ever find yourself wondering what the difference between a colon and semi-colon is, then this is the book for you!

1. Am I interested?
Absolutely. I like to think that I can string a sentence or two together, but some tips on how to improve are definitely welcome. I can find myself being quite pedantic about things like punctuation so the detail in the book very much appealed to me.

2. Did I enjoy reading it?
Very much so. The book is well laid out into easily-digestible sections and is absolutely packed full of practical advice.

3. Will it help my business?
It already has! I particularly enjoyed the section on Writing for Particular Outputs – the ‘Improve your Website’ chapter has tips I can apply not only to my own websites, but also to our clients’ websites. I feel added confidence in advising clients on their website content and will definitely be referring back to this section for a reminder. And I went straight to the chapter on ‘Securing Media Interest’ when I found myself writing a press release last week – something I’ve only done a handful of times before. In fact I’ve already seen a couple of instances of the press release being used with only a couple of changes to the wording, so Robert’s guidelines were obviously very good!

If you run a business you can’t get away from a certain amount of writing – you can’t go wrong if you’ve got a copy of this great guide on hand for those moments when you need a bit of extra help.

Rating: ★★★★★

Buy “Business Writing Tips: For Easy and Effective Results” from Amazon >

Managing Online Reputation

Managing Online Reputation is a book about how social media can impact businesses and how they can handle crises online.

I was worried initially that is was going to be another Great Brand Blunders, store i.e. endless tales of things going wrong. Indeed the first section of the book is very much examples of business crises being handled online. However, I’m glad I stuck with it as the advice really kicks in for the second half of the book. It turned out to be a very intelligent discussion of the types of problems you can encounter and how they can be handled through social media. Yes, there are plenty of horror stories, but in this case they are used as examples to back up the theory.

As a small business owner I wouldn’t necessarily rush out to buy this book to help manage my social media. The examples are all very much big corporation crises, so it will need some translation to apply it to a small business. But if you’re interested in the subject then it’s a very interesting read and if you are particularly active in the world of social media you could well get some good tips from the book.

Personally I didn’t get massively enthusiastic about the content of the book and had to make an effort to read it through to the end, but that’s more a reflection of my focus on small business rather than big. It’s intelligently written, well structured and Charlie very much knows his stuff.

Rating: ★★★★☆

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Great Brand Blunders

To start with a summary I would say that this book is an interesting read but strangely energy-draining. Looking at the reviews on Amazon, viagra usa people do seem to love the book so maybe it’s me being overly sensitive.

The premise of the book is to give examples of how businesses have had big marketing disasters so that you can learn from their mistakes and avoid doing the same yourself. Sounds interesting right? And it is but for me it was too bam, bam, bam. The examples are at first entertaining but there is something strangely energy-draining about repeated examples of businesses getting it wrong. The purpose of the book is to give examples of how it can go badly wrong, so you can learn from others’ mistakes and not make the same error. However, instead of feeling educational it felt instead like I was supposed to glory in the blunders. I guess I feel the same way about this that I do about gossip – a bit of gossip can be fun but if all you do is gossip and take pleasure in other people’s troubles it can really bring you down.

There is definitely interest in the tales of woe and you can learn from them, but I think that instead of compiling them together in a book they would be better presented in a blog format. Each example could be treated as a case study – describe what went wrong and then take the time to explain how it could be avoided or handled better. Reading one of these a week could then be an enjoyable and educational experience, instead of what to me actually became a bit of a slog.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

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Business Networking: The Survival Guide

Another stonkingly good book. If you are involved in business networking or are thinking of giving a try then you would definitely benefit from this book.

Will Kintish takes you through his eight-step networking pipeline, medicine explaining the process and giving you tips for how to approach each stage. What I loved about this book is that it described exactly how I feel about networking so I completely identified with it, buy cialis and then gave me ways of addressing my fears and insecurities. I’ve finished the book feeling much more confident about networking and actually feeling enthusiastic about getting out there again.

I’ve done a reasonable amount of networking myself and tend to enjoy the smaller gatherings, I guess because they are more in my comfort zone. However, with the techniques described in this book I feel equipped to approach even the big ‘men in suits’ events.

Actually, what has really given me a good feeling about this book is a sense of ‘ah, I was right!’. I tend to feel a bit inadequate when it comes to networking because what I’ve read before is very targeted – you must talk to x number of people and make x number of contacts. It all felt very sales-driven, which I’m definitely uncomfortable with. I’ve always felt I’ve got more out of networking in a relationship-building way. Will’s approach is all about relationship-building and he repeatedly warns you about not going in with a sales pitch. Now, that’s something that I can definitely cope with and I don’t have to feel inadequate next to all the hard-sellers.

The only thing I wasn’t so keen on was the last chapter about “Understanding how to network with the opposite sex”. Let’s just say I found this challenging. I’m uncomfortable at the idea of having a different approach for men and women. And I really groaned at the suggestion that as a woman, if I arrive at an event where I don’t know anyone I should head for the loo because I’ll probably get chatting to someone there. Eurgh! Sorry, Will, I’m probably taking it the wrong way but that could feel a bit patronising… OK, am stepping away from that subject now.

One more positive thing before I shut up. The author also specialises in using LinkedIn for networking so there are some useful tips on that thrown in as well. Having recently read Brilliant Social Media it was great to come across LinkedIn again. I wasn’t expecting a book about in-person networking to include a social media site but it was a real added bonus that it did. Now I’ve got no excuse not to spruce up my LinkedIn profile, darn it!

A brilliant book for anyone involved (or who should be involved) in business networking – if you’re already out there you will pick up some tips to help you make the best out of it, and if you’ve so far been too nervous to try this will give you the confidence to give it a shot.

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy “Business Networking – The Survival Guide: How to make networking less about stress and more about success” from Amazon >

Brilliant Social Media

When reading a business book I always try to find something I like and something to take away … And then every now and then I come across a book that I absolutely love and is a joy to read. Brilliant Social Media is one of those.

Before going any further I will mention a couple of criticisms. I know that the author was giving an overview of social media sites and not going into masses of detail but I did find in one or two places that I questioned the accuracy of the information given. For example when discussing Facebook he suggests that it is easy as posting to your page and it appearing in all your followers feeds. However, viagra buy as I understand it it’s no longer that straightforward – that your followers need to interact with your page for Facebook to show your posts to them. I think what this might come down to, malady which is my other slight criticism, is that the author was very much about declaring the positives of using social media and making it seem as trouble-free as possible. Which might have resulted in some trickier stuff being brushed under the carpet.

But having said that, it didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the book. Actually, I found the positivity very refreshing. Yes, social media does have its less than fluffy moments, but I found it inspiring to look at how it could be used in such a positive way.

The book introduces social media generally and gives an overview of all the main sites:

This in itself is incredibly useful if you’re trying to decide which sites to use or aren’t sure how a particular site could be useful for your business. The author also gives some tips on how to make the most out of your social media strategy and discusses some tools you can use to help you streamline how you use it.

If you’re thinking of dipping your toe into the world of social media or are looking for a refresher and some tips, then this is an excellent place to start. The book is a great read and easy to dip into. I’ve been shamefully neglecting my social media presence and this book could be just what I need to kickstart it again.

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy” Brilliant Social Media: How to Start, Refine and Improve Your Social Business Media Strategy” from Amazon >

How To Generate Massive Business Profits

I will confess that I’ve been sitting on this one for a little while because I’m not sure what to make of it. Sometimes you can’t get excited about a book even though you can’t find anything specifically wrong with it. Do you know what I mean? It makes writing a review quite tricky.  So, check let’s see how I go, cure maybe if I start the review will write itself.

The advice in the book applies very much to trade businesses (i.e. electricians, plumbers etc.). When I first started reading it I thought “hang on I thought this was for small businesses generally” and then looked again at the cover, which describes it as “The Ultimate ‘No-Nonsense’ Profit Making Toolkit for Tradesmen and Small Business Owners”. Aha! So let’s take from this that the book is mostly for trade but the advice can also be applied to any small business – that sits much more comfortably. So, if you are a tradesman (or tradeswoman, let’s not be sexist here) you could pick this book up and start applying the tips straight away – they really do apply directly to you. But if you’re doing something else (like me) then you will have to work a bit harder to apply the advice to your business. It can be done, it will just take a bit more effort.

Maybe that’s where I’m struggling. I want it all laid out on a plate for me without having to think too much. Maybe I don’t want to make the effort. On the one hand I shouldn’t let that put me off the book, if I did I could possibly miss some gems. That’s for me to wrestle with.

But, if you are following a trade then do consider taking a look at it. After all you could be thinking that there aren’t enough books out there tailored to your type of business, so you would probably be on to a winner. What you can expect to find are practical suggestions to help you get more of the type of business that you want. The tips are very precise and to the point. The author says they are based on experience so I will take his word on that.

So that’s where I am with the book – I’m sitting on the fence between “don’t really like it in the context of applying it to my own business” and “could be useful for the right type of business”. I’ll let you decide which side you land on.

Buy “How to Generate Massive Business Profits” from Amazon >

Rating: ★★½☆☆

Write a Business Book and Create an Authority Platform

This is a very apt follow on from the last book. I mentioned in my last review that we have the potential problem that our earnings are tied to the hours we work. Write a Business Book and Create an Authority Platform could be one approach to solving this problem.

The idea is that you write a business book on your specialist subject, pharm demonstrating that you are an expert in your field, generic viagra and using this as a means to increase your earning potential. It’s a very interesting and well-argued concept, and one that I hadn’t seriously considered before. But it of course makes complete sense.

I wasn’t hooked the whole way through the book. Although I appreciated the overall message I didn’t find the execution completely to my taste. Some of it was a little clumsy. For example the introduction starts with “The fact that you’ve taken the decision to read this book demonstrates that something in the book title, or the chapter headings within the book, have caught your attention.” Hmmm, the table of contents reads “Introduction, Question One, Question Two … etc”. Nope, the chapter headings definitely haven’t caught my attention. There is a section where the importance of good editing is extremely important, and I have to say I’m very pedantic about such things – sadly, this book would benefit from another round of proofreading. And maybe a little more structure to how it’s laid out, particularly with clear and meaningful headings. But that’s just me, I thrive on structure.

The other thing that I struggled a little with is that the book is blatantly an advert for their services. I get that the authors have written it to prove their expertise with a view to attracting clients, but they don’t have to be quite so obvious about it. I have an aversion to being sold to (and I know I’m not the only one) and this definitely feels like I’m being sold to, to the extent that doesn’t quite feel right in a publication that you pay money for. Personally I would prefer it if they took out the selling stuff and stuck to explaining the idea, and then simply put a sentence at the end ‘to find out about our writing programme please see…’ – trust me, I would have looked!

And why would I have looked? Because despite my quibbles, by the end of the book I was completely inspired. I have completely bought into the idea of writing a business book and am seriously thinking about it. I can definitely see how it could work for me. And it isn’t just successful in that message. The authors also make a really good case for concentrating on a niche market (I think that’s the best explanation of that I’ve come across) and for describing what you do in a way which will engage people. So, even if you don’t want to write a book there is still some excellent stuff in there.

Buy “Write a Business Book and Create an Authority Platform” from Amazon >

Rating: ★★★½☆

13 Ways to Increase Your Profits – With Just Your Current Customers!

What a gem of a book. When reading about marketing I often come across the idea that it’s easier to sell to existing customers than to find new ones. An idea that makes complete sense, help but you don’t always know exactly how to go about it. Until now.

This short book contains thirteen clearly and succinctly explained ways to approach marketing to your existing customers. Each one is practical and makes complete sense. I quite often find with marketing books that you get a lot of good theory from them but they don’t get into the nitty gritty of how you go about it – this book definitely fills that gap. I like nitty gritty!

But this isn’t just about marketing to existing customers, ampoule it’s about how you can increase your profits by doing so. I run a business where the amount of money we can make is very much tied to how many hours we work, and it can be difficult to see how we can make more unless we work more hours (and as we all know there are only a limited number of those in a day). It’s really refreshing to be given an approach which will impact our profits.

What I also really liked about this book is that each idea came with a suggestion for further reading and there is a Book List section at the back with more recommendations – all of which sounded like they were worth a read.

I definitely recommend taking a look at this book. It doesn’t take much time to read through but I’d be amazed if you didn’t come away with some ideas and a good dose of inspiration to give them a go.

Buy “13 Ways to Increase Your Profits – With Just Your Current Customers!” from Amazon >

Rating: ★★★★★

The Insider’s Guide to Ecommerce

I was interested to get a copy of this book. I thought it would give me a look at setting up an ecommerce business from the point of view of a business owner, sildenafil rather than the technical (ok I admit it – geeky) side that I’m used to. It also sounded like it would be an easy read and something that could be dipped in and out of. I was mistaken.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure there is a lot of sound advice in the book. But I found the tip after tip after tip approach incredibly hard going and at times pretty soul destroying. It felt like I was being told ‘do this, do that, don’t do this, do that’ without enough detail to know how to apply the advice. I know a lot of books could be accused of containing too much fluff, but trust me – there’s a definite place in the world for fluff. Strip out all the fluff and you find yourself in a very boring place, and one in which your points fall completely flat.

Sorry, I tried, but I really didn’t enjoy this one. My requirements for a brilliant business book include it being a pleasure to read and inspiring – this fails on both counts for me.

Buy “The Insider’s Guide To Ecommerce” from Amazon >

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

Free Google

Every business wants to get the best results they can on Google don’t they? To be honest when you think of search engine optimisation on the whole you think of Google, illness isn’t that right? Yes, there is Bing (which definitely isn’t to be ignored) but Google is still the first one that pops into your mind when you think search engine.

And with Google it’s not just the search engine itself, they offer a whole host of resources that help you make the most of your website. It had never occurred to me before but it is actually very hard to find a definitive list of the resources available to a small business … until now that is. What you need is Free Google: Free SEO, Social Media, and AdWords Resources from Google for Small Business Marketing. This short publication brings together all you need in one highly-readable place and points you in the direction of where to find out more. Brilliant!

This is the perfect starting point for finding out exactly what’s available to you – I’ll certainly be keeping a copy handy when working on optimising and marketing websites. It explains what the various resources are, how you can use them, and where to go to learn more. You can find exactly what you need without wading through hundreds of websites – a real time saver.

I highly recommend that you grab yourself a copy and find out what you’ve been missing from the Googleplex.

Buy “FREE GOOGLE: Free SEO, Social Media, and AdWords Resources from Google for Small Business Marketing” from Amazon >

Rating: ★★★★☆

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