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Lisa Creffield

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Member Since November 2012

Roseville, NSW, 2069

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I'm a business writer and videographer with over a decade of experience in online video. Originally from the UK, I first came to Australia in 1998 and also worked for several years in the Middle East.

Lisa Creffield answered this question

Official FAQ
Official FAQ, Inquisitor at SavvySME

Sales and Marketing

Are newsletters dead in email marketing?

Newsletters can be a useful reminder or "nudge" to a current or former client, and valuable if you're providing interesting, engaging, relevant and well-curated content.The key is to not send them too often. Anything more than once a month is overkill, and I would personally recommend quarterly. 

Lisa Creffield answered this question

Ananda Raj Pandey
Ananda Raj Pandey, Developer at SavvySME

Branding

Is content syndication good idea, if it is then how to find best fit?

The era of personal blogs as a destination is pretty much over (unless you're super famous): you can't just leave it up on a site and hope to get clicks or even subscribers. You have several options for distribution, one of which is simply sharing on social media which can be effective if you have a wide network.Then there are services such as Taboola and Outbrain which will display a link to your blog on different sites, and charge in different ways, sometimes based on views, sometimes impressions. My sense is that users are starting to get wary of these as commercial links, they're not longer taken in by the "Other stories around the web" or "Stories you may like" as a random thing: there's a growing awareness these are promoted stories. However I personally stick click on them, I think there's just a danger of someone clicking through to many poor quality promoted article and subconsciously learning to ignore that box (as people have learned to ignore banner ads). For now though, depending on your budget, they may be effective. Obviously in your case, you're an individual not a business, so the budget may be smaller.The third option is offering your content directly to other sites, whether one-way or as a blog swap. Some sites are "pay to play", others accept content for free. The issues here are:picking the right destinationsensuring there are link-backs to your own site/profiledeciding who gets first bite: a "high level" site such as a News Ltd site would want first publication (ie to run the article/blog before it has been on your own website). Even many minor sites want first publication, however in my view they should not be charging in such a circumstanceOne idea is to target upcoming sites and become a regular expert contributor. You'll often find people starting new websites and portals for different niches (Sourcebottle.com sometimes has callouts) who are requesting content. They won't pay you, and they will want previously unpublished content, but if and when these sites "take off" it can be a big advantage to have got in at the start.

Lisa Creffield answered this question

William S
William S, Digital Marketing and Junior SEO Consultant at Pixel Capital

Website

Your opinion on sites like Wix, Square Space, BigCommerce

I have used Wix.com to set up a couple of sites. I find its interface very slow, and the blogging aspect of it (currently anyway) not easy or responsive, nor particularly intuitive. I don't have experience with a commercial/etail site on there, so possibly it's great for that. It also seems to be pushing video/the use of video on sites quite heavily.I've since set up a site on Wordpress using a default template, and I also help manage another (externally hosted) Wordpress site for a small business. Based on my experience, what I would recommend is:Go with Wix.com if:you want to get a smart looking site up quicklyyou have zero html skillsyou want a lot of video on your siteyour site will be quite "static", more of a portfolio or showcaseGo with Wordpress if:you want full power and controlyou want to do a lot of bloggingyou want access to a very wide skills and user communityyou have some html skills (I find Wordpress's WYSISWYG interface very poor and inconsistent: with Wix.com you literally get what you see)

Lisa Creffield answered this question

Wilson Lui
Wilson Lui, Business Owner at Sonley Stonegrill & Bar

Sales and Marketing

How do you promote a restaurant located away from the main road?

Just thinking as a customer, three routes tend to get me to try out a new restaurant:1. Hearing about it word of mouth or in a review, and being able to check its menu online2. Driving or walking past and seeing a board with interesting specials or themed nights on it (eg buffet, free dessert, not live music though, that's a turn off).3. If there's a flyer or a menu put in my mailbox. This is probably one of the main ways I discover and try restaurants in my area

Copywriting and Content Marketing

How to edit your own copy

Editing your own writing is tough.  It's almost impossible to pick out your own errors, because you know what you wrote so you read it differently than another person would. These are the steps you can take to try and get your copy flawless and publication-ready. 1. Spellcheck it Amazingly, many people still don't use the in-built spellchecker in Microsoft Word and other applications, at leas...

Lisa Creffield answered this question

Neil Steggall
Neil Steggall, Partner at Wardour Capital Partners

Social Media

How important is grammar and syntax in social media?

It is incredibly important.  Writing well is a reflection of your intelligence and professionalism.  Social media is also public media.

If you want to use colloquial "text speak" among your close friends and family by all means do so, but make sure it cannot be accessed by anyone in the business world. 

Even with Twitter, and its tight character limit, it's still possible to write tweets without contractions ("u"/"ur"/"4") and it looks far better.

I'm always staggered how many people have errors of spelling, punctuation and grammar in their LinkedIn profile summaries. Including people who work in communications-related fields, from media to PR & marketing. There is absolutely no excuse for that.

Copywriting and Content Marketing

5 lessons to learn from NaNoWriMo

It's already November, which means NaNoWriMo - or National Novel Writing Month - is upon us. Worldwide, over 200,000 amateur novelists (and some professional) begin a race against the clock to complete a 50,000 word novel by the end of November.  Having taken part three times, and now starting for a fourth time, these are some of the insights I've gained: 1. You can always find the time ...

Social Media

5 observations about Facebook's decline

This recent Forbes article on Why Facebook is in Decline should be a wake-up call to businesses and marketers using social media.  Five observations: 1. Facebook is not a social media strategy Facebook is only part of a social media strategy. Too many companies do "Facebook only" campaigns and loyalty offers.  That means your target audience is not even just people-with-Facebook-accounts but...

Lisa Creffield answered this question

George Siosi Samuels
George Siosi Samuels, Creative Director & Founder at Siosism

Digital Marketing

Do you use video in your online marketing? Why or why not?

Video is powerful but it can be expensive, so you need a clear reason and strategy for it.

Also, no video should be untranscribed. It costs just a few dollars for an (outsourced) transcription and you should always get one done, whether the video is an interview or a visual presentation of data.  Link to the transcription by the video, to give people the option of reading, just as the ABC does with its programming.

Reasons why:

many people prefer to read than watch
someone's internet connection might be slow (or expensive if they're on mobile data)
people often want to scan content quickly, or skip to a particular part, or re-read that part
more people than you realise have hearing difficulties
people may be in an office where watching video is frowned upon or even banned (believe it or not, there are still companies that block YouTube)
So always offer an alternative.  It's also easier for people, including media, to quote from a written transcript.

Lisa Creffield answered this question

Will paywalls across Fairfax change media consumption habits?

It's harsh because we really should be paying for quality journalism.

But the reality is that unless a title has a really defined niche, like The Economist, it's easy for readers to find similar content elsewhere, for free.  That's a major disincentive to subscribe.

I also anticipate that the arrival of The Guardian Australia is the death knell for Fairfax's paywall plans.  Even without that there's the ABC, which provides reasonably comprehensive and impartial news (and presumably will always do so for free, being a public service).

And for as long as Google is able to grab and republish headlines, Google News acts as a free at-a-glance aggregation of major news stories.

Video Production

How to make love to the camera

Getting into video but don’t have the looks of a Hollywood star or the physique of Sports Illustrated?  Never fear, with these seven simple tricks you can make yourself light years more attractive and dynamic on camera. 1. Wear a jacket It’s hard to over stress the importance of this. Particularly for men, the sharp lines of a classic suit jacket give you broad shoulders, straightness and ...

Video Production

7 clever ways to create video for free

Many businesses are keen to get into video these days, but cost can be a barrier.  Here are seven smart alternatives to create a video or video-like effect without needing a professional video shoot: 1. 3D panoramas For businesses that need to show off locations, such as the real estate or hospitality industries, a 3D panorama can work more effectively than a video. Microsoft makes a great fre...

Copywriting and Content Marketing

How to edit your own copy

Editing your own writing is tough.  It's almost impossible to pick out your own errors, because you know what you wrote so you read it differently than another person would. These are the steps you can take to try and get your copy flawless and publication-ready. 1. Spellcheck it Amazingly, many people still don't use the in-built spellchecker in Microsoft Word and other applications, at leas...

Copywriting and Content Marketing

5 lessons to learn from NaNoWriMo

It's already November, which means NaNoWriMo - or National Novel Writing Month - is upon us. Worldwide, over 200,000 amateur novelists (and some professional) begin a race against the clock to complete a 50,000 word novel by the end of November.  Having taken part three times, and now starting for a fourth time, these are some of the insights I've gained: 1. You can always find the time ...

Social Media

5 observations about Facebook's decline

This recent Forbes article on Why Facebook is in Decline should be a wake-up call to businesses and marketers using social media.  Five observations: 1. Facebook is not a social media strategy Facebook is only part of a social media strategy. Too many companies do "Facebook only" campaigns and loyalty offers.  That means your target audience is not even just people-with-Facebook-accounts but...

Video Production

How to make love to the camera

Getting into video but don’t have the looks of a Hollywood star or the physique of Sports Illustrated?  Never fear, with these seven simple tricks you can make yourself light years more attractive and dynamic on camera. 1. Wear a jacket It’s hard to over stress the importance of this. Particularly for men, the sharp lines of a classic suit jacket give you broad shoulders, straightness and ...

Video Production

7 clever ways to create video for free

Many businesses are keen to get into video these days, but cost can be a barrier.  Here are seven smart alternatives to create a video or video-like effect without needing a professional video shoot: 1. 3D panoramas For businesses that need to show off locations, such as the real estate or hospitality industries, a 3D panorama can work more effectively than a video. Microsoft makes a great fre...

Lisa Creffield answered this question

Official FAQ
Official FAQ, Inquisitor at SavvySME

Sales and Marketing

Are newsletters dead in email marketing?

Newsletters can be a useful reminder or "nudge" to a current or former client, and valuable if you're providing interesting, engaging, relevant and well-curated content.The key is to not send them too often. Anything more than once a month is overkill, and I would personally recommend quarterly. 

Lisa Creffield answered this question

Ananda Raj Pandey
Ananda Raj Pandey, Developer at SavvySME

Branding

Is content syndication good idea, if it is then how to find best fit?

The era of personal blogs as a destination is pretty much over (unless you're super famous): you can't just leave it up on a site and hope to get clicks or even subscribers. You have several options for distribution, one of which is simply sharing on social media which can be effective if you have a wide network.Then there are services such as Taboola and Outbrain which will display a link to your blog on different sites, and charge in different ways, sometimes based on views, sometimes impressions. My sense is that users are starting to get wary of these as commercial links, they're not longer taken in by the "Other stories around the web" or "Stories you may like" as a random thing: there's a growing awareness these are promoted stories. However I personally stick click on them, I think there's just a danger of someone clicking through to many poor quality promoted article and subconsciously learning to ignore that box (as people have learned to ignore banner ads). For now though, depending on your budget, they may be effective. Obviously in your case, you're an individual not a business, so the budget may be smaller.The third option is offering your content directly to other sites, whether one-way or as a blog swap. Some sites are "pay to play", others accept content for free. The issues here are:picking the right destinationsensuring there are link-backs to your own site/profiledeciding who gets first bite: a "high level" site such as a News Ltd site would want first publication (ie to run the article/blog before it has been on your own website). Even many minor sites want first publication, however in my view they should not be charging in such a circumstanceOne idea is to target upcoming sites and become a regular expert contributor. You'll often find people starting new websites and portals for different niches (Sourcebottle.com sometimes has callouts) who are requesting content. They won't pay you, and they will want previously unpublished content, but if and when these sites "take off" it can be a big advantage to have got in at the start.

Lisa Creffield answered this question

William S
William S, Digital Marketing and Junior SEO Consultant at Pixel Capital

Website

Your opinion on sites like Wix, Square Space, BigCommerce

I have used Wix.com to set up a couple of sites. I find its interface very slow, and the blogging aspect of it (currently anyway) not easy or responsive, nor particularly intuitive. I don't have experience with a commercial/etail site on there, so possibly it's great for that. It also seems to be pushing video/the use of video on sites quite heavily.I've since set up a site on Wordpress using a default template, and I also help manage another (externally hosted) Wordpress site for a small business. Based on my experience, what I would recommend is:Go with Wix.com if:you want to get a smart looking site up quicklyyou have zero html skillsyou want a lot of video on your siteyour site will be quite "static", more of a portfolio or showcaseGo with Wordpress if:you want full power and controlyou want to do a lot of bloggingyou want access to a very wide skills and user communityyou have some html skills (I find Wordpress's WYSISWYG interface very poor and inconsistent: with Wix.com you literally get what you see)

Lisa Creffield answered this question

Wilson Lui
Wilson Lui, Business Owner at Sonley Stonegrill & Bar

Sales and Marketing

How do you promote a restaurant located away from the main road?

Just thinking as a customer, three routes tend to get me to try out a new restaurant:1. Hearing about it word of mouth or in a review, and being able to check its menu online2. Driving or walking past and seeing a board with interesting specials or themed nights on it (eg buffet, free dessert, not live music though, that's a turn off).3. If there's a flyer or a menu put in my mailbox. This is probably one of the main ways I discover and try restaurants in my area

Lisa Creffield answered this question

Neil Steggall
Neil Steggall, Partner at Wardour Capital Partners

Social Media

How important is grammar and syntax in social media?

It is incredibly important.  Writing well is a reflection of your intelligence and professionalism.  Social media is also public media.

If you want to use colloquial "text speak" among your close friends and family by all means do so, but make sure it cannot be accessed by anyone in the business world. 

Even with Twitter, and its tight character limit, it's still possible to write tweets without contractions ("u"/"ur"/"4") and it looks far better.

I'm always staggered how many people have errors of spelling, punctuation and grammar in their LinkedIn profile summaries. Including people who work in communications-related fields, from media to PR & marketing. There is absolutely no excuse for that.

Lisa Creffield answered this question

George Siosi Samuels
George Siosi Samuels, Creative Director & Founder at Siosism

Digital Marketing

Do you use video in your online marketing? Why or why not?

Video is powerful but it can be expensive, so you need a clear reason and strategy for it.

Also, no video should be untranscribed. It costs just a few dollars for an (outsourced) transcription and you should always get one done, whether the video is an interview or a visual presentation of data.  Link to the transcription by the video, to give people the option of reading, just as the ABC does with its programming.

Reasons why:

many people prefer to read than watch
someone's internet connection might be slow (or expensive if they're on mobile data)
people often want to scan content quickly, or skip to a particular part, or re-read that part
more people than you realise have hearing difficulties
people may be in an office where watching video is frowned upon or even banned (believe it or not, there are still companies that block YouTube)
So always offer an alternative.  It's also easier for people, including media, to quote from a written transcript.

Lisa Creffield answered this question

Will paywalls across Fairfax change media consumption habits?

It's harsh because we really should be paying for quality journalism.

But the reality is that unless a title has a really defined niche, like The Economist, it's easy for readers to find similar content elsewhere, for free.  That's a major disincentive to subscribe.

I also anticipate that the arrival of The Guardian Australia is the death knell for Fairfax's paywall plans.  Even without that there's the ABC, which provides reasonably comprehensive and impartial news (and presumably will always do so for free, being a public service).

And for as long as Google is able to grab and republish headlines, Google News acts as a free at-a-glance aggregation of major news stories.

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