Janette Parr Consulting Services

Writing and Editing Services, Professional Learning and Development, Educational Support  

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Adding value to your business

Posted on January 20, 2016 at 12:05 AM Comments comments (0)


Most of us have written those all-important promotional letters, letting businesses and community organisations know what we can do for them. We tend to focus on how we can help them in their professional communications, web content, marketing materials, press releases and so on.


Here’s an idea that writers often overlook.


It might be worth considering the concept of building partnerships with “influencers”. This typically means that a smaller business makes a connection with a larger company that has an established client base. The connecting business might then provide services that complement those that the influencers already offer to their clients.


The key is to connect businesses that logically work together. The aim is to add value to both. Lots of businesses already do this successfully.


 Real estate agents join forces with property stylists – offering vendors the option of purchasing interior decoration and ‘staging’ services to attract buyers.


Hairdressers and manicurists recommend one another’s services and sometimes offer packaged deals.


The wedding planning industry is expert in the game – often linking with caterers, photographers, entertainers and endless others.

 


So where do professional writers fit in?

With a little lateral thinking, writers can use the same methods.


Be The ‘Added Value’ Service


If a printing business or a web-design firm, for example, can suggest your expert writing services to their clients, it will help their business as well as promote yours.


Coaching and tutoring businesses are often asked if they can recommend a good editing and proofreading service for their students. Why shouldn’t it be yours?


As a writer, you can do some cross-promotion as a quid pro quo, with the same benefits. I have frequently recommended good printing services (and tutors). Support Other Writers And Reap The Benefits


Keep a contact book and pass on any overflow work to other writers. It means that when you are too busy to provide the service yourself, you don’t have to say no. This is the key to keeping clients happy. Make sure that the services provided by your network of writers are similar to yours in terms of quality and price range. Your reputation is involved.


Your network should include writers who work in entirely different fields. If a client requires a service that is outside your area of expertise, you can recommend someone who can provide it. That’s good business. Offering this support means, of course, that your contacts will do the same for you. The benefits are obvious.


The Letter To “Influencers”


Obviously you will need to write an effective promotional letter, pointing out all the benefits of forming a partnership with another business for mutual gain.


Use it to contact potential partners for your business and build your client base.


Include it as one of the services you can offer potential clients. If you hadn’t thought of using this method before today, perhaps they haven’t either. And even if they have, you are the one with the letter-writing skills!

 


One of my first paid business writing jobs was to compose such a letter for a client who was looking for an “influencer” as a partner. It’s worth trying … and you have little to lose.


I would be interested in hearing from writers who have tried this, or similar strategies.


If you need any help with any of this, please get in touch!

Books for sale(s)

Posted on January 15, 2016 at 12:15 AM Comments comments (0)


Do you want to attract quality, potential clients to your website?


Are you keen to show them, in detail, how your expertise can benefit them?


Have you come up with an idea for a book you could sell in your market niche?


If you answered ‘Yes’ to any of these questions, then why not have a professional writer create an e-book that you can offer to potential or existing clients?


Everyone loves a free sample

You are an expert in your field. You can show your clients your expertise, rather than simply tell them about it. It’s the best type of advertisement. A free book will be a useful resource for your clients, and a ‘try before you buy’ sample of the value you can offer.


It’s a great ‘point of difference’ and a cost-effective way to put your message where it will count most – in the hands of interested potential clients.


A solution for selling your solutions

Are your knowledge, skills and experience ideal material for a ‘how-to’ book? Lots of experts, in various fields want to produce books for sale. The avenues available for self-publishing make it easier than ever before. Your valuable solutions can be offered in book form – and can create an extra income stream for you.


Not everyone is a writer

When you need work done around the house, you bring in the specialists. Writing is no different. There’s a lot of poorly written material around because people who are very skilled in their own field try D.I.Y. writing.


You don’t have to be an expert at everything. When you are ready to make your book a reality, call in the professionals.


That’s where we come in

Whether you want a free, promotional fact sheet or e-book, or a book to sell online, that’s where we can help. We will start with material from your website, and your ‘dot point’ answers to our list of questions. Then, with instructions from you about the highlights of your message, we get to work. Two or three phone calls, to check on direction and details, and we’re ready to go.


You can choose from a range of options – in terms of length, format and style. We can also give you advice about the next steps to take, when the book looks the way you want it.


If you’ve already made a start, and need some help with editing and shaping your text, we can work with you to produce a final, polished version.


Contact us for more information. We can talk about how to put your book out there.

Public Speaking ... who, me?

Posted on November 26, 2015 at 2:35 AM Comments comments (0)


 

Public speaking can be a challenge. When you are preparing for a ‘ live’ presentation before an audience, getting ready for an interview, or when you are making a video presentation – there are three basic things that you need to include in your planning.

 

Matter – what you say

Method – how you organize your material, and approach your audience

Manner – how you use your voice and your body.


I have covered all of these aspects in detail in Public Speaking … who, me?

 

Matter:

We’ll assume that you are an expert in your field. You are probably very confident that you know your subject well. There are lots of hints in the book about choosing content – getting the right level of detail, making appeals to the intellect and the emotions, and dozens of other topics.

 

Method:

The book will also give you plenty of information and handy hints about organising the content of your presentation – to achieve your purpose, and engage your audience, for the greatest effect.

 

Manner:

If your presentation and delivery don’t allow you to project the authority and confidence that you feel, what you have to offer will fail to hit the mark.

 

Public Speaking … who, me? covers the use of the voice (tone, volume pace, etc) and the body (stance, expression, gesture, etc).

 

Here are just three useful tips related to Manner. They are outlined here, and fully detailed in the book.


1. The eyes have it

So as not to give the impression of nervousness and indecision, keep your gaze steady and when you change focus, do it slowly. It signals that you are in control.

 

AVOID darting your eyes quickly around the room.

 

In a one-to-one interview, or any time you are on camera, try to blink less often.

 

AVOID any position where you are looking in the direction of the sun or very bright lighting.

 

 

2. Take a deep breath

So as to sound confident and controlled, breathe from the diaphragm. Practise by placing your hand just above your navel and noticing the rise and fall of the diaphragm.

 

AVOID breathing from the upper body. Your chest and shoulders shouldn’t move.

 

Pause briefly after each sentence; breathe in, through the nose, before beginning the next one

 

AVOID rushing from one sentence to the next until you have to stop for breath. This is the classic signal of uncertainty or nervousness. Neither inspires confidence.

 

 

3. ‘Handy’ hints

So as to look more at ease, and to encourage your audience to focus on your message, eliminate all unnecessary hand gestures.

 

Making gestures that aren’t designed to complement your words is merely hand waving (and can be extremely annoying)


Pointing can be interpreted as aggressive


Hand-clasping can appear as anxiety (or fake sincerity)


A few meaningful gestures, which add to the content or tone of your speaking, help to engage your audience. Too many make you seem theatrical or, worse, vague.


Try filming your presentation or interview. Treat it as a ‘rehearsal’. Be super-critical of your movements.


Watch your hands, but pay attention to your shoulders, as well. Many speakers unconsciously hold one higher than the other, or sit with hunched shoulders during interviews.

 

 

I have helped many professionals to improve their public speaking performance.

 

If you would like to have a copy of Public Speaking … who, me? or if you want advice or coaching before you make that important presentation, please contact me.

 

 


It's all in the editing

Posted on February 15, 2014 at 11:05 PM Comments comments (0)

 

Do you need an experienced writer and an “eagle eye” to help you to improve your written communications?


Editing is a lot more than correcting spelling and grammatical errors. A text should always have a consistent “voice” and a smooth flow in its expression.


Making sure that the style is perfectly suited to the writer’s purpose and audience is another important job for a good editor.


Some of the editing work I have been doing lately:

- fashion magazine

- travel websites

- winemaker’s website

- financial brokers' promotional materials

- music education text

- reading education manual

- food and nutrition blog

- fundraising campaign materials

- educational packages


Contact me and we can talk about how I can help.

Working with Australian businesses

Posted on March 7, 2013 at 6:35 AM Comments comments (0)


Are you presenting what you have to offer in the best possible way?


I have just finished editing the website promotional materials for the manufacturers of an exciting new Australian–made product.


If you want help with any of your professional writing needs, contact me.

French, anyone?

Posted on October 10, 2012 at 12:45 AM Comments comments (0)


Would you like to get a group together to learn French?


We have just conducted a short French course for beginners at the Port Adelaide Library. The Port Adelaide Enfield Council, which actively supports community learning, offered the five 90-minute sessions to the public.


It was an interactive course with the opportunity to learn basic grammar and vocabulary, practise pronunciation, hold simple conversations and pick up some cultural/tourist information. The sessions were accompanied by slide presentations, handouts and optional worksheets. The approach was lighthearted and designed to give participants some simple French and a desire to learn more.


Some of the topics covered were:

• Greetings and farewells

• Introducing yourself

• Countries, nationalities

• Asking questions

• Commonly used phrases

• Locating tourist spots, hotels, station, bank, shop, market, restaurant, etc

• Leisure activities

• Commonly used verbs

• Adjectives and prepositions

• Numbers

• Telling the time

• Days, months, seasons, weather


If you are interested in individual or group lessons, contact me


Ran Blake - a man in black

Posted on January 9, 2012 at 11:20 PM Comments comments (0)


I've just finished translating a great article on Ran Blake and the relationship between his music and 'film noir':

'Ran Blake - un homme en noir' by P. L. Renou; in Bibliotheque(s), #57, July 2011. ABF, Paris.


If you need translation services (French to English), contact me



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