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Client Story: Industry Awards Submission for Accounting Provider

Dexterous Group is a progressive finance resourcing provider, focused on harnessing cutting-edge technology to help businesses grow. Established in 2015, Dexterous has grown from assisting businesses with bookkeeping and accounting services, to a fully-fledged end-to-end finance function solution that supports hundreds of businesses across Australia.  

The Situation

In 2019 and 2021, Dexterous Group aimed to submit their business as an entrant to the annual Australian Accounting Awards. As an expanding business, industry recognition is important social proof for Dexterous as it continues to establish its brand and grow its client base. 

An award submission entry requires a long-form, factual (yet persuasive) document written in a professional tone. It’s a big job. It involves a solid investment of time and focus to research, information-gather, write, edit and proofread an award entry. Dexterous, who are supreme at optimising time-efficiencies to aid growth; overcome this challenge by choosing to conquer and divide their projects. Following a comprehensive brief by the Marketing Manager, Dexterous Group engaged me as a copywriter to write the award submission on their behalf whilst they focussed on their everyday communication deliverables.

The Support

In collaboration with Sarah Driver, Dexterous Group’s Marketing Manager, I completed three award category submissions on time. Each category submission, comprising five questions each, required a total of 1,500 words to meet the award criteria. 

The project required me to:

  • Manage the award category requirements on behalf of Dexterous: Reviewing the scope of the award submission questions, diagnosing the required business data and information, and highlighting opportunities to position the business’ story for each question.
  • Copywriting factual, effective and persuasive responses to each category question in a bid to win a ‘nomination’ for the category
  • Edit and proofread the final submission for each award category before supplying to Dexterous to review the content and approve. 

Each award submission was supplied before the deadline to allow Dexterous enough time to upload their final content to the award content management system.

The Score

Outsourcing this large piece of work to an external copywriter enabled Dexterous to achieve their goal of entering the awards without sacrificing their day-to-day marketing tasks. 

“Yay! Yay! Yay! We’ve been nominated as a finalist in the Bookkeeping Firm of the Year and Boutique Firm of the Year in the Australian Accountants Awards. Well done, that was a lot of effort.”

Sarah Driver, Marketing Manager, Dexterous Group

About Copywriting Services

Lindsay Salmon
Lindsay Salmon

An ex-Marketing Manager, I help small and medium businesses create digital marketing channels that talk their language. I partner with them to conquer their content: I write websites, blogs, and emails with words that work.

Social Media | 5 everyday things you can do to nurture your business’ social account into a customer channel

Fact: Social media can give your business the unique opportunity to talk directly to potential customers. Without too much fuss you can share news, broadcast a sale or answer a customer enquiry. For free. That said, with big brands, celebrities and other influencers claiming millions of followers  — it can feel like a following of a few hundred isn’t worth it. That’s not true.

Whether you choose Facebook, Instagram, Youtube or LinkedIn to collect followers — you can nurture your little tribe into customers that’ll be meaningful for your business. Here’s how.

1. Be social

This isn’t tongue-in-cheek. This can be gold. Yes, it’s simple but it’s often overlooked. At the end of the day, your social following can be your customer base and forming relationships with your fans equates to brand loyalty, recommendation and purchase. That’s right — consumers put their dollars with the brands they know and trust. 

So, be social. Ensure you like, comment and answer your followers when they respond to your posts. It’s a small everyday action you can make that could convert to big things little by little.

2. Quality trumps quantity

Yes, reach is rewarded by engagement to accounts who post regularly. That said, there’s a danger in posting for the sake of it — you could bore or disengage the unique individual behind that very ‘impression’. 

Instead of churning out posts without much thought to keep up with the treadmill of your social media calendar, take a step back. The truth is that pushing out content of little value to your followers (read: customers) just means you’re wasting their time. Use the time you have to connect with purpose. Make every interaction a customer has with your business valuable — and that includes your social media content. 

3. Keep your goal in view

Digital marketing is data-ful. Yes, we can gain so much insight from our account analytics; but when is it too much? A fine eye on your daily results can be disheartening. A post you thought would boom, falls flat. A video you invested time in to create misses eyeballs thanks to an unfavourable algorithm. 

My advice? Don’t sweat the day-to-day stuff. Keep your overall strategic goal for social media in mind. There are so many factors at play — many out of your control — that it’s important to zoom out and watch your social results from afar. Take stock from your weekly or monthly trends and go from there.  

4. Try new things

Social media is constantly evolving. Because, as consumers, we are constantly evolving too. So, keep note of new trends and post types (the algorithm rewards these too). Research them. Review them. Do they fit your brand? Do they suit your tone of voice? If they do — have a crack and create. Remember to monitor closely after you post.

5. Run your own race

Do be aware of your competitors but do not pit yourselves against them. At the end of the day, focus your energy on creating engaging moments with your customers — using social media as the vehicle — and it’ll build to the conversion you’re seeking. Be patient. Social media momentum is a marathon, not a sprint.

Keen to rejig your social channels?

Social media marketing can be a full time job. If you find you’re too busy to focus on engaging with your followers regularly, I take care of this for businesses by supporting them with social media tasks like post writing, post optimisation, content calendars, advertising, monitoring and management, or reporting on key platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or Twitter.

Lindsay Salmon
Lindsay Salmon

An ex-Marketing Manager, I help small and medium businesses create digital marketing channels that talk their language. I partner with them to conquer their content: I write websites, blogs, and emails with words that work.

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Books I Read 2020: Delving into my bookshelf

Every New Year I make the same resolution: read more. Since dropping my daily office commute in lieu of my freelancing and parenting juggle, I struggle to carve out windows of time to keep up with my book habit. After all, “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.” says Stephen King.

So, here’s a list of the books I read in 2020. My goal this year was to turn back to my bookshelf and catch up on all the stories I had yet enjoyed. There are still many more to get to — but I am proud that I made a start. I’ve got so many great titles in my Yet To Read pile that 2021 is also looking interesting.

If you find any of these titles thrown around at Book Club or stacked by your bedside — here’s my take. Enjoy!

1. “To Shake The Sleeping Self” — Jedidiah Jenkins

I followed Jedidiah Jenkins all the while that he pedalled from Oregon to Patagonia. His posts from the road were such a highlight in my feed — thoughtful and raw, yet crafted and poetic. I hit ‘buy’ on ‘To Shake The Sleeping Self’ as soon as it hit stores. Then, I waited. Eager to relive the adventure via the book from the snippets we saw before, I didn’t want to start the story until I could read it without distraction.

So, I started it towards the end of 2019 and finished it in January 2020. Let me say, I did enjoy the book. In fact, it’s truly an eloquent and charismatic journey from ‘normalcy’ to the optimism of adventure. A South American escapade has long had my heart, so following Jedidiah and his bike was self-indulgent. Plus, throw in his pearls of wisdom and reflection into the prose and its hard to dislike this book. So yes, I did enjoy the book. A lot. But I didn’t love it (the way I jumped to the conclusion I would).

Now, it’s the end of the year and I’m still thinking about it. I see that the chasm between what I read and what I hoped to read was just my expectation: I had hoped to read a straight-up travel memoir. I love those. But what Jenkins delivers is his version of that: it’s a memoir on how travel impacts a life. Writing outside the usual lines — to make you stop and think — is truly part of his talent. His Instagram posts remain a highlight in my feed and I can’t wait to read his next book (due out February 2021).

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

2. “A Long Way Home” — Saroo Brierley

‘Everything is written’, the Hindi proverb, is the apt undertone of this unbelievable, yet humbling story. At the surface, it’s the journey of a little boy lost — yet truly it delivers a reminder that sometimes life is what it is because it was meant to be so. Even if it doesn’t seem it should be so. Right now. 

Also: what luxury we enjoy to reconnect with others around the world thanks to technology. “A Long Way Home” reminds us that it wasn’t that long ago that loading the satellite view on Google Maps was a mega data task. Not today. 

I wanna see the movie, Lion, again.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

3. “Big Little Lies” – Liane Moriarty

This was a slow starter for me. Having already seen the TV adaption, I picked the book up and put it down a few times. With each passage, I could only see Reese Witherspoon as Madeline, Zoe Kravitz as Bonnie, Nicole Kidman as Celeste. But not in Monterey, California — they were swanning about in Sydney’s “insular peninsular” in my mind. The mash of book and TV had me stuck for a bit, I think.

Once the book hooked me; it took me away and I raced through the pages. My eyes popped from my head as I hit “the twist.” (TBH, I missed said ‘twist’ during the series). My first go at Moriarty’s storytelling, Big Little Lies exceeded my expectations and I enjoyed every work and witty remark. Left wanting more, I dove into my iTunes account to watch the HBO series again and follow the characters into Season 2.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

4. ”Amnesty” – Aravind Adigo

First things first: Aravind Adigo’s rhythmic narrative style had me from the get go. His pulsing storytelling of Danny, an undocumented immigrant who cleans homes in Sydney’s inner west suburbs, is captivating at first. As I read I continued to enjoy its rhythm, though felt it was longingly pulling me to an unexpected twist … that didn’t quite happen.

Yet I found elements of “Amnesty” fulfilling. As a previous Sydneysider, Adigo’s insights into the Harbour City’s social fabric were spot on. It’s also a heartbreaking reminder about the choices illegal immigrants are forced to make and that their simplest desire it to simply live freely in a ‘fair’ and ‘safe’ society. 

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

5. “Damascus” – Christos Tsiolkas* (UNFINISHED)

An unapologetic, raw and confronting journey back in time based on the letters and gospel of St. Paul. I’m a historic literary wannabe reader — yet,  having read the slap and appreciating Chris Tsiolkas’ gifted storytelling I wanted to give Damascus a go. Plus, my Book Club set it.

Yet, I never quite finished it. I couldn’t struggle through the more violent and gory descriptions as they entered the story mid-way through. History can be unappetising for sure, but I couldn’t push through it on this occasion. As an aside, my Book Club loved it.

Rating: 1 out of 5.

*Read with my Book Club.

Hey, 2020. Here’s my word of the year.

Doomscrolling is Macquarie Dictionary’s ‘word’ of 2020. You know, the act of consuming an endless supply of bad news as unassumingly self-populates in your phone’s feed. I must admit, that is the first time I’ve used the Word of the Year in a sentence. Yet I, like many Australians, had my moments of doing it. But is it ‘my’ word of the year? Nope. I’d choose: RITUAL.

Rituals

Yes, I know it’s not a ‘new’ word to be a true ‘word of the year’. But it sums up 2020 for me. The year that was ‘unprecedented’. That we (well, most of us) never saw coming. The year where we all stopped, took pause, and re-set.   

Here in Queensland, ‘lockdown’ was just a couple of months. (Pretty lucky, against the world stage). In that time, our family started from scratch to build patterns, rhythms and momentum to scope out our days. After finessing the average day-at-home (and working) RITUAL, the pattperns grew to include local adventures and sources. We’d walk at the saerme time of day. We’d shop at the same supermarket, at the same time, on the same day. We couldn’t remember ever filling the car with petrol (but it was so cheap, we wondered if we should top up, right?).

As restrictions eased, our patterns took us to visit local parks or open spaces with low foot traffic. We’d source coffee and cakes from stores nearby where we knew the rhythms of the other customers — popping in when there was a gap. We had our RITUALs. We did our thing. Everyone else did theirs. At 1.5m or more away. 

It’s the end of the year now. Our 2020 RITUALs have grown to become new traditions. We walk to the local bakery, market or coffee shop on weekends. We take neighbourhood walks for no purpose. We stop to admire the flowers and hear the birdcalls. We spend time on everyday projects. We paint, we cook, we mend, we play. We travel close and enjoy what we have. We try not to plan. We wake up each day and follow it’s lead.

Right into 2021. 

Spotlight on Sydney: Our 8 Favourite Family Activities With A Toddler

We called Australia’s stunning Harbour City home for a total of seven years. City of Sydney calls New South Wales’ capital the ‘City of Villages’ – and it’s not wrong. You can enjoy something totally different within all the different communities and peninsulas across the city any day of the week. And we did.

Since becoming a parent, our thirst to explore continued. Sydney is stacked with family friendly fun and enjoyment. It’s beautiful in aesthetic and activity: whether you want to hit the beach, the hiking trail, or devour a fabulous meal with a Harbour vista — Sydney’s got it all. For everyone.

Without further ado, here’s our favourites. In no particular order:

A swim at Balmoral Beach

Balmoral Beach, a flat (non surf) harbour beach on the city’s Lower North Shore, would have to be one of our utmost faves for a dip with a little one. We’d come for mornings of sandcastles, seashore paddling and The Boathouse breakfasts.

Tip: Get your brekky and coffee to go and have a morning picnic if you arrive later than 8-9am. The lines for a table can be mega! It’s a stellar spot all ‘round. Other good toddler beaches: Chowder Bay, Shelly Beach, Little Bay, Camp Cove.

Breakfast at The Grounds of Alexandria

Don’t let the crowds dismay you, The Grounds is a unique food and floral experience that locals and visitors flock to. As the gardens grow, new eateries, florists, markets and more continue to sprout up in this awesome little inner city nook. There’s also a cubby house play area and a small inner city farm for the kids.

Our tip: arrive just after ’open’ for breakfast. Enjoy a lovely breakfast, delicious coffee and reasonable table service and then explore all The Grounds has to offer after. Table wait times can be lengthy (1-2 hours) which, if with kids, is a long time to entertain them before nabbing a table.

Wander Wendy Whiteley’s Secret Garden

Sydney can be sometimes referred to as The Emerald City. One of our favourite green spaces became Wendy Whiteley’s Secret Garden – a unique maze of flora nestled into a ‘hidden’ Lavender Bay hillside.

We spent many toddler-led hours roaming the many pathways, ramps and stairs that wind throughout this lush, harbourside oasis. We’d pack a picnic and when our little ones legs would tire, we’d enjoy sandwiches and fruit at one of the many available garden tables. Set just beyond the buzz of Luna Park, it’s a magically peaceful spot and unlike any other garden in the city to us.

Darling Harbour Delights

Hand on heart, I have to admit that Darling Harbour was one of our least favourite Sydney spots. We’d avoid it. Always. Then we had a kid!

So, as parents, we visited Darling Harbour. Usually, we came for our favourites: The Darling Harbour Children’s Playground and the Chinese Garden of Friendship. The playground is a free mecca of kiddo fun: there’s huge cargo nets to climb, a long flying fox and a series of slides and swings. The major attraction is the water play area: whether your little one chooses to follow the many waterways, engage with their buckets and water pumps, or dart between the fountains; there’s plenty of aqua fun. 

Just a few hundred metres away, the Chinese Garden is a great place to step away from all the concrete on show at the Harbour. Similarly to Wendy’s Secret Garden, our tiny traveller loved following all the ramps, climbing the stairs, and spotting the many fish, lizards and birds from the bridges.

Wild Play Garden, Centennial Park

Within the majestic grounds of Centennial Park in Sydney’s east is the Ian Potter Wild Play Garden. A recent addition to the park (2017), it’s an awesome little spot for kids of all ages to stretch their legs and explore in a natural environment. With Australian trees providing refreshing shade above, the garden includes pathways, tunnels, dry creek beds, sandpits, stepping stones, climbing activities and water play.

Tip: go on an overcast or dreary day and the little ones can basically have the place to themselves! Just wear gum boots (‘wellies’) and pack a change of clothes.

Taronga Zoo

Yes, many cities across the world have a zoo. But Sydney has Taronga – not only is it over 100 years old, it’s grown from just another tourist animal attraction to a wildlife conservation organisation. You can stroll the many paths and alleys to view animals from all over the world whilst simultaneously learning about how you can make decisions in your day to day life to benefit our furry and underwater friends across the world.

The zoo is also perched on the side of a hill overlooking Sydney Harbour. Everyday the animals enjoy views of the Opera House and glimpses of the Harbour Bridge. As a visitor, you can too.

Hike A Coast

It’s a pretty unique thing for a capital to have plentiful coastal access: and not only in one spot. During our time in Sydney we tackled many of the tracks on offer (baby, or toddler, strapped into a carrier). We found the quentessential Bondi to Coogee Coast Walk the one that had us returning time and time again – whether it was for the annual Sculpture by the Sea, a dose of vitamin sea air in the depths of winter, or to stretch our legs with visitors year round.

The walk is easily accessible (by bus or car) and you can boost the experience differently each time. Start with breakfast and coffee at Bondi Beach. Or, pack a picnic and sit by the sea at Tamarama when the kids need a snack. Or, finish up at Bronte to watch the nippers; or let the kids jump, run and climb all over the playground at Bronte Park.

See the icons on foot

Even as a local, you can’t not enjoy the beauty of what makes the city famous: the Sydney Opera House, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and the beautiful harbour that connects them. Our favourite way to take in the icons was a saunter along the harbour’s northside. 

Walk down the hill, through Kirribilli, towards the harbour from Milsons Point train station. You’ll find yourself directly across from the Opera House. Follow the path inland as you walk under the bridge, past Luna Park, and along the boardwalk to Lavender Bay. The views are timeless and largely uninterrupted – unless you count the myriad of boats and other vessels darting around Sydney Harbour.

Looking for the usual tourist tips?

There’s plenty more to see and do in Sydney. Learn more about the ‘top 10’ landmarks to see and other tourist attractions at Sydney.com.