My Top Ten Highlights of 2018

With 2018 coming to an end, I wanted to share with you my top 10 highlights of 2018 (in no particular order).

1. 2018 was the year that I passed the Leamington Hour baton to the Cat Dutton and Kathrine Attread. They will be fantastic!

2. Carrying on working on community projects such as The Friends of The Pump Room Gardens and the free training sessions I have volunteered my time for.

3. All of the people I have met and spoken to at any networking events. You have all helped along this journey. Also all of the networking and other events I have attended (TEDx being one that springs to mind).

4. Working on different events such as Leamington Business Awards, Art in the Park and Leamington Food and Drink Festival (to name a few!).

5. Working and learning with all of my clients. Each person brings a different view, experience and knowledge which has meant that everyday has been different and exciting.

6. Building my business including various social media accounts, website and promotional items.

7. Seeing all of the new and exciting opportunities that are happening within the technology and social media industries.

8. All of the knowledge I have gained over the last year, I’m so excited about 2019!

9. All of the public speaking I have done from 4Sights, Facebook Lives and training sessions that I’ve hosted.

10. All my friends and family. Without you I wouldn’t be here!

In summary, 2018 has been the year for enhancing and bringing value to everything I do and 2019 will be the year of new opportunities, more to come shortly.

Have a Merry Christmas everyone!

How to Build a Video Series

Photo 11-09-2018, 12 00 52

Before you start you video series, there are a few things to consider that will give you better idea of what the videos will be like, who will be watching and why you are doing them in the first place. I also find it cuts the time the production time down as you will be more focused and you know what you want to achieve (and the message will be clearer which makes for a better video).

So, here are a few things to consider:

Where does it fit into your marketing plan?
Every bit of marketing you do needs to have a purpose and fit into the overall plan for your business. A video series could do one of these things:

  • Educate your viewers
  • Update you viewers on new products, services, policy changes etc
  • Showcase a particular series of products or services
  • Answer any questions that people have asked

Where will you record them?
Choosing the right location is key for any video series. It is always good to have a space where you feel comfortable and control all of the variables.

Who is your audience?
By knowing who your audience are, you can tailor the content for them and make it as valuable as possible. Also, if you are using the video to highlight new products and services, you can look at their pain points and target the benefits of your product to them.

What will the content be?
This question looks simple but before you press record, you need to know not only what that video will be about bit how it fits within the video series. This way, you can refer to other videos within the series.

Also, by working out what content you will be including within the video series, you will reduce you recording time!

How often will you be releasing them?
Choose a frequency that not only suits you but your audience. It’s better to say that you will be releasing a weekly video or a monthly video and then release extra content then committing to daily videos and not keeping up with them.

This will also depend on the content that you want to release. A company who will be using video to update their viewers with policy changes might have enough content for monthly videos whilst a retailer could have enough content for a daily videos.

Whatever the frequency, make sure you release the videos at the same time and day so people get used the content being available. Examples include 12pm everyday,  every Monday at 7am and the first Wednesday of each month at 6pm.

Where are you going to post them?
Once you know who you are going to target, you can then decided where to share the content. First, share it in places where your ideal customers will be and then anywhere else you think it will provide value. Consider having them within your website, blogs and other platforms (such as YouTube).

Where else you can do with the content?
Once you have the idea and the content, you could turn the idea for the video series into so many things.

Examples include:

  • Podcast Series
  • Live streaming series
  • Mini pieces of content (such as pictures, quotes or mini videos)
  • Talks and seminars
  • Webinars
  • Presentations to give to companies

Also, you could share the series with networking groups and collaborators so the content will reach new audiences and they will provide value from them.

Do you need anyone else to come in to support it
By deciding what the series will look like, what format they will be in and who you will be targeting, you might find that you need extra support inn making these videos.

It could be you need someone to put the videos together, to help you record them, to bring in extra equipment or you might need guests to interview. By deciding all of these now, it will make the final video series easier to record and save you time!

Good Luck and let me know how you get on! Remember, if you need a hand with building this, I am available for 1-2-1 Training Sessions and the 14 Day Video Challenge will help!

How to Manage your Twitter Account

Photo 09-11-2018, 12 04 38.png

So many people ask me how to manage their account as they do not have the time or the energy to do so. In reality, it does not take that long to manage your Twitter account effectively and you can easily get results from going onto it for 2-3 hours a week.

Here are 9 tips for you to help you do this (and this works!).

Schedule using tools like Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, Buffer or loads more.
To manage your account effectively, you need to schedule your tweets. You can do this with a third party and there are quite a few in the market. Each of the platforms works in a different way and this means that you can spend 1 hour a week scheduling all of your key messages into Twitter, this frees you up to engage with people (or if you get really busy, your messages will still get sent out).

Gives you more time to engage, reply and retweet etc.
So many people forget that social media should be SOCIAL!! This means that Tweets are another form of communication and if you schedule your main messages, this should give you more time to talk to people. This is where the magic will happen as they as the more you engage with your audience, the more they will engage with you.

Choose 20 key messages
You need to make sure that you pick at least 20 key messages to send out to your audience.

Make sure these are a mix of the following types of messages:

Broadcast- This send out a message that tells someone about something. This could be a link to a website, special offer and new product or service you are launching.
Conversational- This could be tweet between two people or a group which is just talking. This could happen in a Networking Hour, after another tweet or if you like a tweet and you reply to the sender.
Engaging- This is a message that you would like a response too This could be a poll, a question to your followers or a call to action. Either way, people engage and response to it.

If you have more than 20 then that’s great! It is always good to have more messages than you need so you can pick the ones that will give you the best returns. Also, if a message is not working but you have another that could work instead, change it and see how it goes.

Choose frequency per day that is going to get you noticed.
Sadly, if you are posting once a day or a week, Twitter will not be working for you. People are busy and their time-lines are even more so. If you do not look at your time-lime in 2 hours then you will be missing the majority of your followers messages (and this only increases the more followers you have).

Ideally you need to be tweeting at least 3 times a day to make sure your message is being seen and it is certainly OK to repeat messages after 4-5 days. If people miss the message the first time around then they might see it on the third or fourth rotation (this is especially true of blogs are people are sometimes too busy to read it the first time they see it).

Learn when your customers are on Twitter
You know your customer and their habits. This means you know when they will be on-line and on social media and you should aim to send out tweets when they are more likely to see them. If you are not sure when this is, think about when you are on social media. This could be at breakfast (7am), Lunch (12pm), Mid Afternoon (3pm) and maybe a few times after work (5pm and 7pm). Now this might change on different days or need tweaking but when you working this out, try to be as specific as possible to get the best results.

Review and Change your messages if needed.
I would personally check my key messages every week to make sure they are current and still working for me. I would be adding other key messages at different times to see if I have the timings correct and measure the effectiveness of the tweets using Twitter Analaytics (which I will be talking about in the next email) or a third party app.

Have a plan for a rolling 12 month basis
You know your customers better than anyone and what works at this time of year might not work in 4-6 months time. This is why I work on a rolling 12 month plan so I plan what messages worked ready for the next year. Also, if I missed an event this year then I can plan it in for next year.

Be Flexible and do not be afraid to change your plans
If things are not working out or you need to change the times of your tweets, the messages or the amount you are sending then do it! It is better to change something rather than let it slow you down or worst still, do damage to your business. This does go back to reviewing your messages but make sure you are proactive with this.

If you plan to be on a networking hour, make it work for you!
If you are going to be spending an hour on Twitter, make sure you plan and prepare for it and make the most out of every tweet. Time is precious so do not go onto one without knowing what your main messages are and where you want to drive traffic to.

That’s it for now but if you want to see more Top Tips about how to get the most out of Twitter, come and check out the 14 Day Twitter Challenge!

13 Quick Tips for Recording Video for Social Media

Photo 21-11-2018, 11 13 39.png

In terms of engagement with your audience, nothing can beat Live Streaming and Video on Social Media. This is the number one topic that I talk to my customers about so here are a few top tips that will start to give you a better idea!

  • Always record the video in Landscape or square so it is OK for Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram. Landscape or square for YouTube. If you are posting on Instagram/ Facebook Stories or IGTV, opt for Portrait.
  • Ideal recording length is 60- 90 seconds for social media.
  • If you are talking to the camera or interviewing someone, 5 to 30 minutes could be more suitable (although watch out as there are upper limits to how long a video can be on each platform).
  • For all of your videos, consider holding them on your own YouTube Channel and implement them on your website.
  • Make sure the lighting is good and the sound is audible.
  • Make sure the backdrop of your video is clean, tidy and professional.
  • Use a Tripod to keep the camera steady (or rest it against something stable).
  • If you have a lapel microphone, use it to get the best audio (especially if you are outside).
  • Look at the camera and not the screen (you will be then looking at the audience when they watch it back).
  • Make sure you know what you are going to say before pressing record and place notes by the camera.
  • Always watch it back if you are not sure about the content, lighting or sound is good enough to post on-line.
  • Upload at the highest quality you can (1080 HD is the recommended quality).
  • If you don’t like it, delete it and start again!

If you have any other tips that you would like to share, let me know and if you do want to improve your confidence with video, come and join us on our 14 Day Video Challenge!

7 Tips for Retailers to rocket your Social Media

retailers.PNG

As someone who has been working in a shop environment for 18 years, I understand that working in a shop is difficult. There are a lot of plates to juggle and marketing can slip down that ever growing list of jobs to do.

I have created a list of tips that could save you time and if implemented correctly will help you with your marketing.

Use quiet times in the shop to plan and schedule 

When you have a quiet few minutes or just before you open, you have a chance to create and plan your social media. One easy way of doing this is to decide on your top 20 key messages that you want to send out. These should be a mixture of Broadcasting messages (showing products, services, websites links etc) and Engaging Messages (these can be polls, questions, pictures of stock asking people’s opinions and anything else to create engagement).

Once you have these 20 key messages you can schedule these into your social media. That way even if you get busy you will have a presence on the platforms where your customers can see you.

Also, use this time to take photographs and videos to use later. This will give you content that you can use and a library of images to send out if and when you need it.

Do not link your Facebook to your Twitter Feed! 

This is a big no!! Facebook and Twitter’s timeline are different and linking to your Facebook page shows that you do not care about Twitter and your followers. It doesn’t take long to keep the original message (link, picture, video etc) and put it on Twitter or a scheduling tool to tweet later and will make a massive difference to your engagement.

Choose a product of the week at key times

This is a great way to you showcasing your products and introducing your audience to other items. To start off with these could be your best sellers, New items of stock or reduced items. The secret with this is that you can also introduce other items that could work well with that item at the same time. This means you might get the original sale but also create interest in another item!

Update your website with fresh content

All of the pages on your website can be used on your social media and in turn, your social media should drive traffic to the shop or your website. If the information on the website is outdated then you are not giving your customers up to date information and not giving you the best chance to showcase your business.

Take your most commonly asked questions and turn into Blogs

You know your business and your customers better than anyone! This means you know what they are not sure about, what they are concerned/interested about and how you can help them.

I would suggest that creating a blog with these questions would be an easy way of educating your customers and helping new customers build engagement. Make sure these go out regularly (once a week is ideal) and send that blog out to your existing database as a newsletter.

Had a new delivery, video or photograph it.

This is brilliant as it creates new content you can use and people want to see what is coming out of the box!! This helps with content creation and people will want to look at your feed just in case you post something new.

Do a countdown to a new promotion 

Make every promotion or launching an event in its own right. People love to see new and exciting products or services so tell them about it. This guide gives you a little idea of what I would do.

Before-

  • When you know the launch date, make a poster to advertise on-line
  • Make a Facebook Event and invite your following along (make sure you then update this regularly).
  • Send out a newsletter to your database and blog about it (to share on social media).

1 week out-

  • Make it the main message on your social media.
  • Send out another newsletter and blog.
  • Video yourself in the shop giving a few details of it to show how excited you are.
  • Do a daily countdown on social media.

On the day-

  • Go all out and advertise everywhere!
  • Schedule posts on social media as hopefully you will be too busy.
  • Do a video in-store to show the latest launch and the people’s reactions to it.

After the launch just keeps banging the drum and keep the excitement there! (I will do another blog about this soon and can help you 1-2-1 with this if you need a hand).

Know what events are happening in your town and see how you can get involved. 

In every City, Town or Village, there are events happening that you can get involved with. These are a great way for people to see you outside of the store and get you in front of a new audience. Some of these events could include Christmas and Summer Markets, Art and local Fairs just to give a few examples.

Include the Hashtags that work and are popular in your location. 

Hashtags are a way of getting your messages to an audience that might not be following you. This is because people search for hashtags to see who is talking about them. Every location will have 1-2 hashtags that people use but make sure you are using the ones that are popular and are being seen by people.

Hope you enjoyed these tips and if you need anything then please let me know!

Can you still see your goals?

For some people, they might not remember their goals from the start of the year whilst some will know how they are tracking.

For me, I set a number of goals at the start of the year and then made mini goals based on them. These have changed throughout the months but I know how I am doing against them and what I need to do to hit them.

Here are a few questions I would like to throw out to it today:

Can you remember your goals?
Firstly, did you write them down? If not then can you remember them? If you did write them down, how are you doing compared to them and if you can remember them, write them down NOW! This way your goals become real and not something just inside your head.

Do you need to change direction or change your goals?
If you are in the wrong direction (but can still see the goal) or have you lost it and the goals are no longer relevant or not achievable. Whatever the answer, use this time to refocus and make your goals achievable. Create mini goals and work towards these to start implementing change.

Who can you get into your business to achieve them?
If it’s a case that your goals are still achievable but you need support from others, make the decision whether to get them in. It could be the difference between you hitting the target or missing it. The short-term cost could pay dividends and kickstart you to a fabulous 2018.

How can you increase your awareness or visibility to increase sales?
Are there any events you can attend or can you increase your social media presence to improve your results? If this is something that could make or break you hitting your targets, decide whether to change this now.

Review your products and Services, are they working for you? 
This is a great time to review where your revenue is coming from and which services are bringing in the best return on investment. If you keep doing the services that are bringing you the best revenue, you will be hitting your targets quicker than focussing in what’s not.

What are your 3 goals for the rest of 2018?
So, after you have reviewed all of the points above, decide on three goals that will help you from your business. From these three goals, break these down into the next three months and work towards them. This way you will be more focused for the rest of year and finish 2018 on a high!

Good luck and speak to you soon,

10 Networking Tips (plus one more for good luck!) ​

networing tips

I have been running and attending networking events for nearly 4 years now and I have seen mistakes at these events and I have made plenty myself. I am hoping that if I share these with you, you can avoid making these or recognise the fact you do a few and stop!

Be prepared, have business cards, leaflets, roller banners and a 40-second pitch that tells people about your business and how you can help them.

All of the above are tools that you are in control of and that can help you look professional, welcoming and someone who knows what they are doing (even if inside you are a nervous wreck).

Plan what you want to get out of each meeting.

If you go into a meeting and you do not know what you want then you have not got a plan. Know what service, product, the person you need to speak to or the latest news that you want to share.

Get to know people and ask open questions.

So many people forget that people buy from people that they know, like and trust so find out about the person as well as the business. Ask questions, build a rapport with them and then find out about their business.

Add value to the interaction and have something to send or help that person which is free.

This is a great way of adding value to an interaction and giving away free advice. Yes, I said it, give away free advice. I believe that if you add value to an interaction by supplying a useful tip, sending a blog that would help or passing on a useful contact that you have then that person receiving it will be more likely to carry on interacting with you. They will also be more likely to buy from you as they trust you and you have helped them in the past.

Do not go into a sales pitch as soon as you meet someone for the first time.

This is a classic mistake where people go up to you and start selling to you straight away before they even know you. You sadly see this all the time and it destroys any hope of building any trust between the two parties involved.

Do not talk yourself out of the sale especially if you know someone well.

This is something that I am really good at! I know I can help people but I talk myself out of sales or just don’t recommend myself enough as I have always been used to recommend other people. The problem is that you are harming that person who asked as they might well need your help and also it will hinder your business.

Choose the right networking group based on your personality.

Every networking group has a different feel, formality and format and you need to choose the best one for one. This could be the best for your business or personality but I would recommend testing different groups out to see which one feels the best for you.

Use a team role, speaking slot or help out within the group to raise your profile.

At some events, you need a team to organise the events which would help raise your profile. Also, if you can become a guest speaker or have a speak that you can could then that is another way of people remembering you.

Use social media to keep in touch with people in between meetings.

This is another thing that people do not tend to think about but is very powerful. IF you meet someone at a meeting or event then start connecting with them outside of the meeting on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. This way you are continuing the conversation in between meetings so the next time you meet you will know more about them and the conversation will be warmer.

Audit your Networking to see which are working and which are not. Explore why this could be and change your approach.

If you are networking and not getting the results then you need to look at why this is. Is it the type of people at the events, is it the structure of the meetings or is it the way you are networking or something completely different. Every meeting is costing you time, money and energy so make sure that if it isn’t working for you, you know why.

And one more for a little something extra……..

Be Yourself!

This might sound daft but make sure you are being 100% at every meeting. Do not try to be someone else or have a persona as people will not buy into you as a person and therefore will certainly not buy into your business.

If you have any networking tips that you would like to share then please let me know and I hope you found this useful!

All the best and speak to you soon!

Things to do in September!

things to do

Each month, I will be sharing with you some of the best Articles, Videos, Talks and Books to help you grow yourself and your business. Here are a few highlights that I wanted to share with you this month!

Top Three Articles to Read…

  1. If you are looking to make social media more fun and challenge yourself, have a look at our  Social Media Scorecard Guide.
  2. Want to start talking to people on Twitter? Here is my guide on How to use Networking Hours on Twitter!
  3. Want to start Networking? Here are My Top Networking Tips

Top Three Ted Talks to Watch:

  1. This is both scary and funny! What your smart devices know (and share) about you
  2. Making a big decision in your life, watch this before making it. Conquering Fear 
  3. This is a classic and it works!  How to get your ideas to spread

Three books to read this month:

  1. This book is packed with marketing gold! Jab, Jab, Jab Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuck
  2. If you wondered how you can fit more into your day, The 12 Week Year by Brian P. Moran and Michael Lennington will help!
  3. Have you heard of sales funnels but you haven’t got a clue where to start? Sales Funnels Made Simple by Barry Allaway

Oooh by the way, I am launching The 14 Day Challenges his month so if you wanted to learn more about Video, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook and so many other topics, CLICK HERE  now!

Have a great September and let me know a what you thought of the articles, videos and books this month!

Photo 18-06-2018, 22 01 23

3 Things to do on Social Media NOW!

3 things to do.PNG

Every day I talk to people about social media and a few of them have asked me “what should I start doing?”. There are many things that I would recommend but the ones in this blog would have the most impact.

So, here are the top three things I would recommend people do straight away!

Stop selling and start talking!
Most people go onto social media and put posts out and not interact with people. This is forgetting the “Social” part of social media. You will gain more business and talk to more people by spending 80% of your time talking to people and the following 20% of your time selling.

The benefit of this is when they do see your selling posts, they will be more interested as they have spoken to you and like you.

Make sure you are posting consistently on the platforms that your customers are on. 
If you haven’t posted in the last day on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram or LinkedIn then write a post and send it out. Most people do not post enough and as social media moves so quickly, your new visitor might have missed your posts. Aim to post on Facebook and LinkedIn once a day, Instagram- twice a day and Twitter- five times a day.

Post a picture, video or a Facebook Live
Pictures, Videos, and Live Streaming are brilliant tools that some people love or hate. The truth is they have a few brilliant benefits for people who do them:

  1. They get better engagement than a post with just text.
  2. People will look at them for longer and more likely to interact with them.
  3. They accelerate the buying process as people feel they already know you.
  4. They actually save you time as you can use this content on each of the different platforms (just keep videos between 60-90 seconds long and they will be ok on each platform).
  5. You will get better the more you do them. In the next few years, videos are only going to get more prominent on social media and I personally want to make all my mistakes now rather than then!

If you are not sure about what to post, give the viewers a top tip, talk about a Blog, your story or where you have been today. The best bit? You don’t have to post it if you don’t want to but at least you have practiced it!

I hope you enjoyed this blog and please do not be afraid to do any of the above. The worst thing to do is not post at all!

Speak to you soon!