50 Ideas on using Twitter for Business

Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook are all social media products that didn’t exist a few years ago. Business was simple then, marketing media was straight forward, understood and had been like that for years.

New marketing required
Stormy skies ahead for all of us

The digital age has changed all that, digital natives ‘shop’ in a whole new way, and if your products are not in the windows that they look at, sales will suffer …

Came across this article: ’50 ideas on using Twitter for business’ by Chris Brogan which gets straight to the point as to why using these new media products are so important to sales as businesses grow and develop.

If you want to stimulate new business, get better ratings with search engines, improve your search engine optimisation skills,  then make contact – drop me a line  – A little help can go a long way!

A 7 step – 1 day marketing plan

Yes it is possible to develop a marketing plan in 1 day.  Working with  The National Centre for Micro Business we have developed a 7 step plan …

Sometimes being over protected can hold you back.
Sometimes being over protected can hold you back.

Step 1 – Understand your market and competition

Step 2 – Understand your customer

Step 3 – Pick a niche

Step 4 – Develop your marketing message

Step 5 – Determine your marketing media

Step 6 – Set sales and marketing goals

Goals are critical to your success. A ‘wish’ is a goal that hasn’t been written down.If you haven’t written down your goals, you’re still just wishing for success. When creating your goals use the smart formula. Ensure that your goals are:

  • Sensible
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Time-specific

Your goals should include financial details, such as annual sales revenue, gross profit, sales per salesperson, and so on. Your goals should also include non-financial elements such as units sold, contracts signed, clients acquired, and articles published.

Step 7 – Develop your marketing budget

 

General Hints and tips – for more help contact The National Centre for Micro Business

  • Market research will form a major part of your business and marketing plans, so keep your research to refer back to when you are developing your plans in the future.
  • Make time to do your research properly. It’s one of the most important things you will need to do, and getting the right information now will help avoid problems later.
  • Be realistic with your research findings, and be sensible with your assumptions and market predictions.
  • Be careful when asking friends or family for their input as potential customers; they may want to encourage or discourage you unduly, so might offer biased views.
  • If you use a market research agency, ensure that they are members of a reputable trade association. The Market Research Society provides information about research agencies and consultants in its ‘Research Buyer’s Guide’. (www.rbg.org.uk). Consult this guide to find out about reputable and experienced agencies and consultants.
  • Trade magazines or journals can provide useful market information so it may be worth taking out a subscription. If you’re just after a particular piece of information try your city or central library as it may keep back issues.
  • Trade associations can also provide useful research and statistics although you will usually need to be a member.
  • Several national newspapers have dedicated supplements for particular industries on a specific day each week.
  • Before you spend any money check your local central library as it will often have access to a wealth of business information.  (Ask a librarian).
  • If you’re doing a questionnaire, limit the number of questions – as too many questions may affect the response rate. Ensure that the meaning of the questions is easily understood.
  • If postal questionnaires are used, it is a good idea to give the respondent an incentive to return it – for example, a prize draw or a chance to influence product design. A return rate of 10% of the questionnaires mailed is good.

If you want to stimulate new business, get better ratings with search engines, improve your search engine optimisation skills,  then make contact – drop me a line  – A little help can go a long way!

What you need to know about Hashtags

Came across this fab article on Hashtags in Entrepreneur online magazine.  It’s really worth looking at.  If you would like to find out more about how to use twitter in your business or how the web can help your business …

If you want to stimulate new business, get better ratings with search engines, improve your search engine optimisation skills,  then make contact – drop me a line  – A little help can go a long way!

Top Tips for Media Success

Some thoughts regarding social media and how to make a success of your web presence:

  • Be more popular– capitalise on your existing base of customers, they want to engage and participate, they are just waiting for you to contact them …

    Take a new look from a different perspective
  • Engage proactively – anyone out in the big wide world can be an influencer on social media, you never know who could be re-tweeting or for that matter looking at your tweets, so give complements and make your followers feel good …
  • Get noticed – do some keyword research, use YouTube, Google, etc, start typing a phrase you might like to use into YouTube or Google, the auto feature will cut in to try and guess what you’re typing and that’s how you can find those popular search phrase terms …
  • Be credible – if you’re serious about using social media invest in it, don’t let the intern or apprentice be your blogger, it should be someone who is very experienced …

Now get working and see what you can find.

More ideas to follow soon …

If you want to stimulate new business, get better ratings with search engines, improve your search engine optimisation skills,  then make contact – drop me a line  – A little help can go a long way!

Social Media vs Your Business Goals

Any social media strategy you design must help you achieve your business goals.  This makes the assumption you have clear business goals in the first place, which in the case of small businesses might not be as high priority as keeping the work coming in … However, putting this aside, here are 3 simple business goals (there are many more) that relate to social media and which will apply to most small businesses, as you read them give yourself a current score from 1 to 5 where 1 is the most important and 5 the least.

Sometimes you need to start small and grow
  1. Increase online presence
  2. Attract more traffic to your website
  3. Grow online sales

Add up your scores at the end – if you scored more than 7 you need to pay more attention to using social media as a marketing tool in your business …

If you want to stimulate new business, get better ratings with search engines, improve your search engine optimisation skills,  then make contact – drop me a line  – A little help can go a long way!

10 Blogging Mistakes

Came across this interesting article in an old copy of the FSB magazine, some good stuff here, well worth sharing.

Blogging can be a rewarding way to make an online living.  Building up your own community who listen to you, follow you, and discuss your ideas is the ideal we all strive for.  As your blog grows your online traffic goes up, and you don’t need to spend anything on advertising and then you get invited to speak at conferences … well that’s the dream, unfortunately not everyone makes it to a dream life.

So if you’re starting out in the blog-a-sphere avoid these simple mistakes:

  1. Blogging irregularly

    Try to avoid the common mistakes – now which rope did I let go?
  2. Writing for search engines
  3. Not analysing your blog stats carefully
  4. Not have a reserve post up your sleeve
  5. Using pre designed templates – as is
  6. Not moderating comments quickly
  7. Not responding to comments
  8. Ignoring other social media – they all link!
  9. Not using multi media – video
  10. Not building a mailing list

Now if you understood what all this means and can then avoid these common mistakes – you might have a good chance of getting noticed.  If NOT we need to talk …

If you want to stimulate new business, get better ratings with search engines, improve your search engine optimisation skills,  then make contact – drop me a line  – A little help can go a long way!

 

Search Engine Optimisation

Most people are going to find your site because of its listings in search engines or directories and therefore search engine optimisation is crucial for anyone who wants people to visit their Web site.

Search engine optimisation is just the simple process of making web pages attractive to search engines, no magic involved, just straightforward logic.

It is important to constantly trim sails to maintain efficiency. Web sites also need to be tended.
It is important to constantly trim sails to maintain efficiency. Web sites also need to be tended.

It’s a fact that most people who use search engines only look at the first one or two page of search listings. Your goal in trying to achieve effective search engine optimisation is to get your pages listed on those critical first few pages for particular key search terms. (My thanks to “Small Business in Canada” for help with the following tips.)

So how do you do this? Here are 5 simple rules to help.

1) Remember that each page of your site is a viewed by search engines as a separate entity. It is therefore important to apply basic search engine optimisation techniques to each and every page.

2) Your choice of appropriate key words or phrases for each page is crucial. Choose your phrasing carefully.  Many more people search for the term “effective search engine optimization” than for “effectively optimizing for search engines”.

“To find out which key words or phrases are more popular than others, you can use a tool such as Google AdWords Keyword Tool; enter your chosen phrases and you’ll see how many people searched for that term recently.”

3) Give each page an appropriate title that includes the key word or phrase at least once. Don’t fall into the simple mistake of using your business name as the title of all your pages.  Is every page of your site the same? Probably not.

4) Put the key words or phrase that you’ve chosen in the page’s title tag, meta keywords, and meta description.

5) Be sure your chosen key words or phrase is repeated carefully throughout the content of the page. Don’t overdo it, or your page may be rejected as spam.

These are just the bare bones of effective search engine optimisation.

If you want to stimulate new business, get better ratings with search engines, improve your search engine optimisation skills,  then make contact – drop me a line  – A little help can go a long way!

Round the Island Race 2014

2011-11-02 09.41.39I was lucky enough to have the time to enter the Round the Island race on 21st June.  Along with 1500+ entries we started from Cowes and sailed around the Isle of Wight to finish back at Cowes some 11 hours later.  This year the weather gave us light winds, so the start proved tricky as the ebb tide was pushing many boats over the start line before the gun even had gone! After a successful beat to the Needles, we rounded before the tide changed, which gave us a good advantage in the light airs, once past St Catherines point the wind died completely, but luckily we had the tide with us and managed to drift on toward Bembridge Ledge, where the wind picked up and we again tacked up to the finish line.

photo 4

photo

 

To our great surprise, we crossed the line to win our division, came 4th in the group and 22nd overall.

Many thanks to the Island Sailing Club for organising the event – quite a task with so many competitors.

It just goes to show that with some perseverance anyone can achieve successful results – now get out and apply this to your business!  We all have the potential to be a winner, especially with the right help, and careful planning.

If you want to stimulate new business, get better ratings with search engines, improve your search engine optimisation skills,  then make contact – drop me a line  – A little help can go a long way!

Social Media Strategy

Whatever your business, you need to start thinking about social media and capitalising on it as a force for benefiting your business sales.

Watch this short video if you have any doubts …

Using The Centre for Micro Businesses  and our business links and mentors, we can help form a strategy that will work for you.

If you want to stimulate new business, get better ratings with search engines, improve your search engine optimisation skills,  then make contact – drop me a line  – A little help can go a long way!
 

Marketing using U-Tube

Came across this on a LinkedIn feed … Is this the best start up Video Ever?

Well worth taking the time to analyse this, and if you start to look behind the comedic approach there is some serious marketing going on.  Makes you wonder how this could be applied to your business?  Is it appropriate?

If you want to stimulate new business, get better ratings with search engines, improve your search engine optimisation skills,  then make contact – drop me a line  – A little help can go a long way!