Momentum Rather Than Firefighting

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the 9 years I’ve been working for myself it’s that firefighting doesn’t lead to success.

I’m sure we’ve all been there as a business owner at some point.  We’ve had a good bit of work in, then suddenly it dries up.  And we go a bit crazy trying to fill the gap.  We release mad offers.  We start discounting quotes we haven’t had a positive response from.  We stop sleeping and start wondering how we’re going to pay next month’s bills.

We firefight.

And it is stressful!!!!

Over the last few years, I haven’t done any firefighting.  I’ve realised the big difference comes instead from momentum.

But momentum takes planning.  It takes thought.  It takes looking to the future (as in months in the future, rather than next week).  It takes doing stuff now that will lead to work later, and carrying on doing that stuff even when we’re doing that work.

Social media is a prime example.

We jump in all guns blazing when we have no customers to serve.  But when we get busy, we stop.  Stop posting, stop being present.  Complete the work, and back to firefighting by posting constant content.

Instead, if you continue your online activity, the momentum carries you on.

This means thought through content, pre-planning and a schedule to help you achieve this.  Or potentially outsourcing some areas of it.

I’m busy working on something now that I won’t be releasing until February.  It’s taking me a lot of willpower to not bring forward that release date.  But I know, for this to be a success, I need time.  And then I can ride that wave of momentum, because I will have a plan and programme in place after release.

There’ll be no firefighting.  Only momentum.

How do you ride the momentum wave rather than putting out weekly fires?

7 Ways To Win New Business On Social Media Today

Social media can be a bit of a slow burner when it comes to generating business.  Generally, you’ll be far more successful on social media if you work at building relationships with your audience.  Which does take time.  But it pays off in the long run, when those relationships start to convert.  If you’re getting a little bored with waiting, there are some ways you can speed things up a little!

7 Ways To Win New Business On Social Media TODAY!

1. Run A Flash Sale

Having a really good offer that is only available for a very short time period, such as 24 hours, is a good way of generating sales quickly on social media.  You can talk about the flash sale on all your social media channels, lead up to it before the day, share numerous updates about it on the day, pay to promote those posts, and countdown to the flash sale being over in your updates.  It will have to be tempting enough to make people want to buy.  Think 50% off instead of 10%!

2. Ask For Meetings

One thing we often find difficult to do is ask people to meet up.  Yes, some people will say no.  But imagine if you asked 10 people every day if they wanted to have a meeting, and one came back and said yes.  That’s 9 no’s.  But it’s one yes!!  That’s a meeting every day.  You could do this via LinkedIn message to your connections or via direct message on Twitter.

3. Chase Prospects

Social media can offer a way to keep in the awareness of people and businesses you’ve supplied quotes to.  If you are struggling to get an answer via email, or they’re not available to chat to on the phone, have a go on social media!  You could simply reply to their updates to remind them of your business.  Or you could get straight to the point and ask them via social media if they’d had any further thoughts.

4. Find Your Targets and Speak To Them

Highlight 50 targets that you’d like to become customers.  Then go and find them on social media.  Connect with them on LinkedIn.  Follow them on Twitter.  Wherever you can find them on social media, follow them!  Then start talking to them.  Build the conversation to the point where you suggest meeting up.

5. Run A Competition

Competitions typically generate larger audiences, due to participation increasing reach.  On Facebook, you can ask people to comment on your post to be entered in to a draw.  This will lead to more of their friends seeing your post too.  You can’t ask to share though, in line with the Facebook competition guidelines.  But you can ask people to retweet on Twitter!  Follow your competition up with a fab offer for all those who didn’t win the prize (which will be one of your products or services!).

6. Run A Twitter Search

Twitter is often a go-to for recommendations.  “Can anyone recommend the best hair salon in Nuffield?”, “I could do with getting some business cards printed in the next 24 hours!”, “Any good suggestions for a decent accountant in Manchester?”, and so on!  Are people using Twitter to ask for your products or services?  Think of the keywords people may be using to ask for your product or service, then search for it, filtering to be close to your location if you are location-specific.  Then respond to those needs!

7. Go Viral

Easier said than done, right?!  But if you put enough effort in, you can go viral, or at least dramatically increase the reach of your posts.  More people seeing your post is likely to lead to more business.  So, what usually goes viral?  Humour works really well.  Or thought-provoking posts.  But the main thing is something that is completely different to anything that has been seen before.  So, get your thinking cap on!!!

Yes, these all take a little time commitment.  And some may feel a little forward.  But if you pick even one to do once a month, it may have a big impact on your business.  Good luck!

Shaking Up My Marketing [VIDEO]

I’m going to be doing quite a bit of shake up when it comes to marketing, trying things I haven’t before, and doing things I’ve previously done a little bit differently!

The main reason is that my target market is shifting slightly with my new approach for next year, and so my marketing has to shift with it. I need to focus on what that target market want!

Watch the video to find out more!

The Only Marketing Steps You Need This Year!

We all know that Marketing is something every business strives for.

To achieve the best Marketing for your business this year, follow these easy steps to Marketing heaven!

The use of Marketing has established itself as one of the most dominant ways to increase customer population in today’s market.

Here are the steps you need to incorporate into your marketing campaigns this year; how many are you already using?

Document your strategy
If you want to be more effective at content marketing, document your marketing strategy!

Having a verbal strategy is a great first step. However, as the research shows, it pays to take the time to write it down: 60% of those who have a documented strategy rate themselves highly in terms of marketing effectiveness, compared with 32% of those who have a verbal strategy.”

Time to invest in visual content

For Marketing content to be truly “creative” and successful it’s important that it’s visually arresting, not just pleasing.  Every day consumers are handed with well-designed marketing offerings, with good colour schemes, professional imagery, and nice fonts. All the pieces truley break through to the consumer as well as introducing something unexpected.

Stick with The Big Three
The Big Three of social media are LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Quality content posted on these three is paying bigger dividends than ever before. Everything else on the social network is basically chump change. But, keep an eye on the up-and-coming venues like Vine and Snapchat. These upstarts are becoming more and more valuable as their audience becomes more dependent on mobile devices like smartphones.

Focus on using Information that is Informative and useful
Customers don’t want to be force fed advertising copy anymore. They are looking for information that is both informative and useful. You, as a marketer, need to find ways to locate and curate information that your clients both want and need.

Always remember, your marketing is only as good as your content — so invest in your content!

 

 

Your Social Media Story

This weeks Vlog is all about you and your social media story.  The power of your story is what sets us apart from our competitors.

Social Media is a perfect way to express your story with your customers with more than just words!

The dos and don’ts of using social media for your business

I came across this article a few days ago during my morning browse on the internet! If you use social media to promote your business these tips are going to be lifesaving for you and your business! A relatable situation is what we all need when changing something within our business. I hope you find these tips useful, putting them into practice is going to be easier than you think!

Social media is one of the best ways to engage with your target audience and increase your brand visibility.
One of the main reasons companies adore using social media for their business is because it’s extremely cost effective! Which business wouldn’t want to increase their brand following by using a range of affordable platforms?
DO: React to any posts
It is important to remember that social media is interactive and reactive, to gain a bigger brand following you must interact with current and potential customers. Each reaction from a customer could lead to a site visit, an enquiry and eventfully a connection.
DON’T: Ignore any interactions
You should never ignore any interactions from customers or potential customers, or even worse respond to a customer and ignore another! If a customer has directly connected you on social media they will be awaiting your response, if they see you have responded to someone else and not them, well you’ll have one very unhappy customer which may lead to one less customer.
Responding to every customer’s interactivity will promote the brands customer service and put trust in outside customers who may be viewing the conversation via their time line.

DO: Post at the right times
Scheduling is key to making your posts reach more people, you can easily find out what time customers are viewing your pages via analytics and then schedule your posts to fit in with the customers.
DON’T: Post too much
Each platform will have its own trends in terms of peak times to post, find out these times and stick to them! Don’t over post, this disengages customers and may lead to negative feedback.

DO: Think about what your audience wants to see
Your audience may not want to see what you want to see. You have to alter your posts to suit their needs! It’s all about building relationships online with your customers, this strengthens the foundation to your business relationship which eventually leads to more sales. Find out what your target audience wants to see and post it!
DON’T: Mix your personal and professional accounts
The worse thing that can happen is you posting a picture of irrelevant content to your feed. This could negatively impact the reputation of your business. Your customers won’t want to see how cute your new puppy is and they certainly won’t want to read about how much you love him.
DO: Keep thinking of ways to build your audience
One of the easiest ways to connect with a wider audience is to find out what they like and create a promotional factor which will engage them into your business. Create a customer incentive which gets the customer to “like” or “follow” your business who otherwise may not have engaged with you.
DON’T: Forget to post
The main purpose of having a range of social media platforms is to post and engage with your customers. If you’re not posting you’re not engaging! This will lead to less followers and a negative opinion towards your business. Always delete social media pages until you have time to update them daily.
DO: Maintain a loyal audience
To keep a loyal audience, all businesses need to do is keep giving the customers what they want to see! Nobody ever complained about getting what they wanted! Remember to analyse competitor’s social media, if what they’re doing is working…Do it too!

 

 

How to Make the Most of Social Selling with Instagram

Word of mouth is the most effective way of getting your brand out there.

Why? Here are 3 reasons:

  1. It’s quick
  2. Everyone does it
  3. It’s trusted.

It’s the same on social media. Brands get shared, mentioned, re-tweeted and liked all over the internet. But it’s not foolproof, this word of mouth stuff. Here’s a pretty telling statistic from BrandWatch;

Engagement with brands is 84 x higher on Instagram than on Twitter.

That’s huge. So what is it that we can take away from this fact?

Firstly, two reasons why engagement is an important insight to monitor:

  • It helps foster strong relationships with customers based on trust and value
  • It helps us to listen in to what our customers really want, so we can; solve problems before they have them, offer humour/distraction/value to their day.

According to Brandwatch, these conversations don’t stand alone; “driving the conversation means focusing on every customer touch point”, and they include in this list social media, website, POS experience, customer service and advertising.

I think we can go further than this by making sure that we’re not massing social media together as one monolithic asset to your business or brand, but as separate assets to be valued for what they bring to your social media presence.

So, on Twitter, word of beak (heh) is apparently not cutting it when it comes to social selling.

Think of this as a sign – Stop trying to sell on Twitter. They don’t like it.

Instead,  consider using Twitter to provide light relief, humour, distraction and knowledge; use it to solve customer service problems by tracking mentions and utilising the speed of the platform. Let them know it’s you, your brand, with your own brandonality by using consistent profile images and tone in your tweets.

Then STEP AWAY! And go somewhere else where your adverts and brand related signposting will be appreciated. Instagram is one place, especially in the retail market where users are willing to share and mention brands and spending habits with their followers. It’s just more acceptable. How do I know this? I use Instagram; I listen to my followers; I look at who else they follow and what they like, re-gram, and share with their audiences. It’s work! But it’s worth it!

But the bottom line is – for real brand equity, it’s time to start seeing your social media as not just ONE asset to your business strategy, but as MULTIPLE ASSETS – platforms for specific focuses of social selling.

I suppose it’s a case of not putting all of your eggs in one basket, but it’s more than that – it’s about truly assessing what it is that you get out of an asset and making it do more work for you.

Wondering if online video can really help your business?

Please welcome guest blogger Helen Nurse from Capture 1 and the 60 Second Pitch! Helen lets us know how online video can help you!!

When I think about what I spend most time doing online, it is engaging with people – through social networking, Linked In, email conversations, You tube videos. Other than shopping, most of my activity is connecting and interaction. Which makes me think, why aren’t more people who are selling, trying to connect on a more personal level too?

Our DNA is programmed to recognize people and faces more than anything else. So in our virtual world we need to be even more personable than ever before. There is so much ‘noise’ on the internet, the competition for us to grab peoples attention span has never been greater and so we need to cut through this and engage people in who we are again.

In my opinion, no amount of sophisticated technology will take the place of a live person – where you can see their energy, make real eye contact, read their body language, shake their hand. So when you are online and wanting to engage with someone, surely the next best way to do it is with a video – you can look into camera and still connect and make contact with that person.

Video is fast becoming the crown jewel of content marketing because people can both see and hear your message and they can be moved and called to action in ways rarely possible with other forms of content. Essentially video is all the other forms of content rolled into one.
So, it is a proven way to engage people faster. How does video help you improve your visibility on the web and peoples ability to find you in the first place?

One of the ways that Google and other search engines rank your site is how rich your content is – therefore video will always rank high as it is considered a very ‘rich content’ medium. Therefore if you have video on your site then you will have more chance of being on the first page of the search than a text based site.

“Whoever has the right kind of content, good for them. If you don’t have the right content, bad for you. If your competition has a video and you don’t, the competition wins. So I think we’re going to see video on almost every site that at least wants to rank.”
Source: Video Changed Search Results & Became Must-Have Content: Bruce Clay http://www.reelseo.com/video-changed-search-results/#ixzz1QfheYW00
©2008-2011 ReelSEO Video Marketing

A recent survey published on www.reelseo.com revealed that videos in universal search results have a 41% higher click through rate than their plain text counterparts. Yikes. Most of us knew those high places were coveted spots, but I’m not sure we knew exactly how much attention they command from the average search user.

One thing to realise is that in order for your video to rank highly in a universal search, it will most likely have to rank well on its own video platform first. i.e. If your video is on YouTube, it will need to come up high for your search within the You Tube platform before it will come up on the universal search for the same term. In other words if it doesn’t rank on your own platform it is unlikely to rank on Google, Bing or other general search engines.

When trying to rank well consider what you write as your keywords. A survey done in 2011 by aimClear found that videos optimised for transactional keywords ( those including words like “cheap”, “free”, “sale”, “buy”) perform poorly as a search term on Google and other universal search engines. Informational keywords do perform well however. So this would be phrases that comprise instructional (“learn” or “how to”), educational (“what is or “history of”) or comparative (this versus that).

Video online is no longer being dismissed by businesses as something for personal entertainment on You Tube. Nor is it confined to a ‘stuffy ‘corporate’ video, which is only pulled out and played once a year for an event, presentation or meeting. Improvements in technology as well as audience participation and familiarity have made it a true platform for business which easily integrates with websites and blogs and across major social networkings.

For this reason, even something as simple as having your 60 Second Pitch about how you help people can be hugely effective and a cost effective way of taking advantage of all these huge benefits that video can give. Not just that but this gives you a way of engaging personally through a virtual platform. Imagine if, when looking at your website, Facebook page or Linked In profile, people could see a 60 second video clip of you talking to them about how you can help. You are conveying your personality, your skills, your experience and most importantly your credibility. Why have a black and white profile when you can be in colour?

What if when people searched online for your products or service, your 60 second pitch video came up and they were immediately able to see how you can be he right person for them to connect with.

Ultimately this is what it is all about – connecting and engaging with people. People don’t buy from a company logo, they buy from a person.
So with greater engagement, more profile and visibility, better search results and the fact that by 2014 90% of all global internet traffic will be video (source Discover Magazine) shouldn’t you be discovering the power of online video for your business?

Helen Nurse
Co-founder of Capture 1 Video, video producer and director

http://www.capture1.co.uk

http://www.60secondpitch.co.uk

It’s Not All About Social Media!

Social media is a fantastic form of marketing, there’s no doubt about that! Just this week I’ve had a client sign up who I connected with on Twitter and a meeting with a potential client who found me on LinkedIn.

But, what a lot of people forget is that marketing is all about reinforcing a message. Social media can indeed win you business. But, you need to be supporting it with a great marketing strategy to ensure your potential customers and clients are hearing about you in several different forms. Remember, it takes several exposures (not indecent ones!) before a customer takes the plunge and buys from you.

So don’t just focus on social media. Use it to connect with people you meet at networking events and those on your database. If you create a great connection on Twitter, follow it up with a phone call. Creating a great following through social media? Think about where else those people are. Do they listen to the radio? Read local papers? Attend trade events?

Those that are achieving the greatest success through social media are doing so as they are using it as part of their marketing campaign and not the be-all-and-end-all.