How are you improving yourself this year? 

I am a big lover of self-development. I love to grow as a person and really enjoy learning and then passing on what I have learnt to others.

I use the following methods to develop but there are so much more out there:

  • Read books, E-Books and blogs
  • Listen to Podcasts whilst riding or driving
  • Watch Ted Talks and other videos.
  • Attend networking meetings and talk with others in your industry or related industry
  • Watch presentations about personal stories and insights into different professions

Everyone learns differently so it’s best to find the way that suits you the most. Once you have found the way that works, keep doing it.

Hope this has been useful and let me know how you are developing you and your business this year!

What happens to your social media when you’re ill?

Do you have days when you cannot be bothered to go onto social media?

I know I have so I thought I would write about it!

If you run a business then you need to be prepared for the days where you fall ill or, on the other extreme, get too busy to market your business. Suddenly you don’t have enough time to get everything done. When this happens normally the first thing to be dropped is social media, blogging or anything thing else that doesn’t give you an ROI straight away.

I hear this all the time as I talk to people about social media and it infuriates me.

Why? I used to hold down a full-time job and run a marketing business (before focussing on my business full time) and still used to send out more content than most people. At the peak, I was producing two blogs and newsletters, running a Networking Hour on Twitter, two radio shows, one podcast per week and running social media accounts for clients. If you do more than that, please let me know and I will buy you a drink!

If you want to do something then you will!!

Now, I get that some people can’t manage that level of content all of the time but it’s not that hard when you have a plan. That way, if something did happen, you could still manage the content that needs to be sent out to your customers.

Here are my 5 top tips for managing your content when you are ill or busy:

1. Schedule as much as you can so you know that your content will go out. This is great for blogs, podcasts and social media.

2. Have a library of content (blogs, podcasts and videos for example) that you can call upon if you need too. That way you are not panic writing when you are not feeling up to making even a cup of tea.

3. Have your key messages for social media to hand so if you need to pass it to someone, you both know the same message is being said. There are people who can help you do this from a few days to weeks. Especially when you are busy, this could really help you out.

4. Have a marketing plan for the year to anticipate busy periods. That way you won’t be in the position that you are “too busy” to create content. I am a great fan of planning in writing blocks when it is quiet and building a bank of material I can use.

5. Cross pollinate your content. Blogs can become videos or LinkedIn articles as well as newsletters to send out to mailing lists and all of these can filter down into tweets and Facebook posts.  Use what you’ve got across all your platforms. Also, if you are exhibiting or speaking at an event then you have so much content that you can use.

I hope this helps and if you have any questions then let me know.

5 Ways to get involved with Grow Marketing and Media in 2019!

At Grow Marekting and Media, we want to help as many people become confident using social media for their business or community project. This includes what to post, what content to create and giving then new and exciting skills for them and their team to use.

So, we have five simple ways you can get started with straight away to make sure 2019 will be a great year for your social media.

Free Guides and Downloads

On our website, we are including FREE guides and downloads for to you learn from. These range from different topics and are updated regularly. Topics range from Networking, Podcasting, Networking Hours, Social Media Guide to what to do at an event.

14 Day Challenges

Covering topics such as Video, Creating Content, Twitter, LinkedIn to Facebook and Instagram, we cover these topics in a 14 Day Progamm that includes daily challenges, articles, newsletters and a private Facebook Group to answer all of your questions.

Book into a 1-2-1 with Gary

If you are stuck in a rut with what to post or need to be shown something regarding your social media or website, book a 1-2-1 with Gary and we can overcome this. This includes reviewing your current content, showing you how to navigate a platform to coming up with ideas for your posts.

Join the Grow Marketing Subcription

If you would like regular marketing support but you are on a budget, come and join us! For only £25 per month, you will get access to our private Facebook Group and receive a Daily Challenge and Marketing Idea, a Weekly Article and a Monthly Review Call.

Follow us on Social Media

Grow Maketing and Media is on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube and Podcasting Platforms. Each will give you content for you to enjoy for FREE!

Also, come and join us in our FREE Facebook Group called Grow Marketing Community for regular updates and articles.

See you soon and remember, if you want to start taking action and getting results from your social media, let’s have a chat!!

In 2019, I’m excited about….

Here are 10 things that I’m excited about in 2019!

1. Starting my new podcast “A Day in the Life of….”.
2. Launching the new Grow Marketing Subscription.
3. Re-Launch of Grow Library.
4. Bringing in Contributors into the Grow Marketing and Media.
5. Getting more involved with community projects in Warwickshire.
6. Testing out new video techniques.
7. Doing more Facebook Lives and live streaming.
8. Expanding my network and public speaking skills.
9. Creating more marketing assets including radio interviews, articles in magazines and joint video and Facebook Lives.
10. Continuing to help my existing clients and growing my business.

So here are mine, now what’s yours? Let me know what you think and post them in the comments below!!

Here’s to a fantastic 2019!

Merry Christmas Everyone!!

2018 has been incredible and I would love to take this opportunity to thank everyone for your support this year! I have met some fantastic people at all of the events that I have attended, improved my digital skills, my knowledge and was able to promote people on-line and off-line in ways I did not imagine at the start of the year.

Without your help, I would not of been able to achieve half the things that I have

This month has been manic so I will be spending Christmas catching up with loved ones and relaxing so my body can rest and rebuild.

I hope you spend Christmas doing what you love to do and with the people who you want to spend it with.

So, Merry Christmas Everyone and a Happy New Year!

7 Tips for Retailers to rocket your Social Media

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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!) ​

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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!

3 Things to do on Social Media NOW!

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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!