3 Key Tips to get the most out of your Business. 

I was thinking while I was walking the dog about my business and how I could grow the brand in the next few years.

I then remembered a podcast where they posed 3 questions that all business owners should know and be able to answer easily.

These three questions are:

Do you know what your Business is?

Do you know what your Product is?

Do you know who your Customer is?

Let’s look into these a little deeper!

1. Do you know what your Business is?

It sounds simple but do you actually know your business? Can you explain to a 4 year old? Do you know what your USP is? Do you know what your competitors are doing? Are you doing the same as your competitors or are you being a purple cow?

2. Do you know what your Product is?

What are your products that you sell? Do you know how they are different to your competitors? How can your products help your customers? Do you have a product hierarchy? Do you have a loss leader? Have you got a high value product?

3. Do you know who your Customer is?

Who is your ideal customer? Do you know what your current customers have in common? Do you keep in contact with your previous customers? Have you got a plan to get more customers based on your ideal customer? How can you add value to your existing customers so they can refer you?

All of these ideas are not new and they shouldn’t come as a surprise. If they are then think about them and look into them more deeply. I reckon if you can do this for your business and build a plan around this then you will be more successful than you currently are.

If you want to talk about each of the topics more then please let me know. I did this with my business and it helped with creating a strategy to help me develop my brand.

All the best and take care!

8 ways to make your social media more vibrant!

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I see a lot of mistakes happening on social media. In the past, I have made a lot of them myself (and probably more!)
This could be down to not having the skills, getting bored and falling into a rut, not having enough time so you are scheduling everything – or something else entirely.
Either way, here are 8 ways you can freshen up your social media and become more engaging which might also give you a few new ideas if you fall into any of the above (or please share this if you know anyone who does!).
Make sure your profiles are complete. 
Your profile page on social media could be the difference in making a sale and losing a sale. It is your chance to make sure whoever is looking at it sees you in the best light. This means having good quality images (is your LinkedIn profile picture professional?), up to date information in the bio sections, website links that work and a professional persona which highlights you and your business.

Top Tip – Review your profile and make sure all the fields are filled out. Ensure all your branding is the same across each of the platforms and all website links are up to date and working.

Use video and live streaming to engage with your audience. 
People buy people so video and live streaming (through Facebook Live and Periscope) is a great way to interact and share your message. It’s not as scary as it seems, you get used to doing it and it is worth it.

Top Tip –Watch a Facebook Live or a Periscope and then do one yourself. It doesn’t have to be long but give it a go!

Use photos, videos, links to websites, blogs, podcasts and GIFs to add spice to your timeline. 
We are all busy people and we have now learnt how to skim read social media. If you have a text-only post, followed by another post with just text, it will all blend into one. All you need to do is start posting photos, videos, links to websites, blog posts, podcasts and GIFs and your timeline will be so much more interesting and engaging.

Top Tip – Start posting more photos, links and all of the above you make your timeline more vibrant and spicy.

Have a variety of messages to share with your audience. 
It is great if you are passionate about something but please do not keep repeating the same message over and again. People will get bored and will either unfollow or stop engaging with your posts.

Top Tip – Have at least 5 key messages and keep rotating them. At least this way you will always have something fresh to say.

Adjust your message to suit the platform. 
Please, please, please do not send the exact same message on Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn! Each different platform allows you to have different styles of messages and it frankly looks tacky if you link all the accounts.

Top Tip – Cross pollination of content is great but change the delivery to suit the platform.

Connect with different groups on Facebook and LinkedIn. 
Groups are great for engagement and a brilliant way of building your network online. Remember, don’t just spam these with #buymystuff posts but use them to connect, engage and educate the members in your particular field.

Top Tip  Join and engage with groups and if you can, set one up for yourself! Whatever you do, don’t spam all of the groups with the same message.

Respond to messages in a quick and professional manner.
Whether it is on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, if someone sends you a question, a request in a tweet or a message, it is important for you to get back to them as soon as you can. You mustn’t ignore them and should therefore check your messages often, just in case. If you don’t respond then there is a good chance the person who sent the message isn’t going to be too happy with you and that isn’t professional.

Top Tip –if people want to engage with you by asking a question or sending a message then reply back and check your inboxes regularly!

Have fun and remember it’s social media! 
As it is called social media it is OK to talk to people online. Comment on their pictures, videos or links and share their content if you love it. It is also OK to talk about non-work related items especially if it gets the reader to know you a little more.

Top Tip – Don’t always talk about work and post #buymystuff posts. Engage with people’s posts and tell them more about you so they trust you more.

Hope you found this article OK and if you did, please share with anyone who you think might need it!

Speak to you soon.

Gary Jones

What happens to your marketing when you go on holiday? 

During this time of year, people take time off to spend with their family as the children break up and one of the first things that can stop is your marketing.

What can stop your marketing? 

This could be for a lot of reasons but these are some that I have personally experienced in the past:

  • Your staff goes away on holiday and you get swamped doing their work and yours.
  • One of your team does the social media and they don’t tell you that they haven’t done it.
  • Staff tells you they are doing it but they don’t!
  • A staff member is sick and you have to cover their roles as well as yours.

These things happen more than you think. With over 15 years of experience working in shops, I have seen this time and time again.
This can also happen in busy periods of the year (but as you know when these will be, you will plan for these better) or when people are off sick (which you can’t plan for).

What are the solutions?

You need to have a plan! It might sound simple but if you have a yearly plan that is split up into months then you know what is coming up. If you can then split the month into weekly messages then you can look at what is being sent out and know what’s coming up.

You can also keep an eye on what is going out and ask before they go on holiday if they have covered the social media? While they are away,  you should check this every day and respond to messages as they come along.

So, are you worried you can’t take any time off because the marketing will stop? 

Don’t be as I can help! If you need cover for 2 weeks or more then let me know. I can come into your business and look at the messages you are sending out and cover the social media till you need it.

The price of doing it per week will depend on how many platforms will be managed. It can start with £40 per week (cheaper than spending hours trying to do it yourself or not doing it at all!).

This can be done:

  • During the summer holidays
  • During periods of sickness
  • During peak times of the year.
  • Just because you don’t want to do it! (Your time is better spent talking to new customers and gaining more business).

If you need a hand then I’m here. Give me a call on 07866602507 or email me on gary@growmarketingandmedia.com

Speak to you soon!

If I was exhibiting at Art in the Park, What would I do on social media? 

Art in the Park will be taking over Jephson Gardens on the weekend of 4th and 5th August. With over 180 artists, performances and workshops going on, there is a lot to talk about and see at the event.

As someone who has success at events, social media is a great way of telling people you are going to be there and get them to come down.

Before the Event 

If I was exhibiting at Art in the Park, this is what I would do:

  1. Invite people down to the event.
  2. Tell them what items you will be exhibiting.
  3. Tell them about any competitions or giveaways you have at the event.
  4. Do video the day before reminding people to come down.
  5. Maybe do a mock up version of your stall post a picture of it?
  6. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter and include the hashtag #AITP2018 in your tweets.
  7. Say hello, like and see who else is using the hashtags so during the event you know people there.
  8. Do not be afraid of telling people too much. If they miss it on Facebook then they might see it on another platform.

That’s all before the event and the more shouting you do the better. I would be talking about it on social media every day from when you read this to Art in the Park.

During the Event

On the day after you set up, this is what I would during the weekend.

  1. Take a picture of your stall when it’s ready and invite people down to it.
  2. Tell people where you at the event so they can get to easily.
  3. Record a video of you talking about your pieces and post it on Facebook and Twitter.
  4. When I visit your stall taking pictures for Art in the Park, Smile and be engaging in the photos!
  5. At the end of day 1 tell people again that they should come and see you tomorrow.
  6. At the start of day 2, post a small video mentioning you are back today and people should visit.
  7. Talk and retweet other people using the hashtag #AITP2018 in quiet periods. Network among your fellow artists.
  8. If you make a sale, see if the person buying is willing to have their picture taken with your art (makes a great testimonial).
  9. Thank everyone who came and tell them which event you will be at next.
  10. Make a list of exhibitors you meet and get people who go to your stall follow you on social media.

After the event is a key time to use social media to keep in touch with people you met.

I know that it might seem like a lot of work but it won’t be. I will be walking around helping people with their social media so if you need a hand then flag me down.

The best thing to do is make noise and tell people you are there. If you do it, people might come but if you don’t then they certainly won’t.

Art in the Park is a great chance to increase your brand awareness and I hope this blog helped.

See you on Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th August!!

Gary Jones

Art in the Park Social Media Dude!

How to use a Networking Hour on Twitter!

Four years ago, I founded Leamington Hour on Twitter. This Twitter Networking Hour happens every Wednesday between 4-5pm. It regularly has over 50 businesses on it and they focus on engagement and connecting as many people as possible.

What is a Networking Hour? 

A networking hour is an hour where people meet up and talk about a particular interest or location on Twitter.

They use the symbol # to link up the tweets and to talk to other people on the hour. They are sometimes called hashtag hours as well.

The great thing about these hours are that everyone wants to connect and engage with people on there. They are all brought together over a particular location or interest. For instance you can visit #BrumHour to engage with people in and around Birmingham or #WeddingHour for contacts, information or suppliers about weddings.

There are hundred of hours available so here are a few dos and don’t s to be aware of on any Hashtag Hour.


5 things to do on a Networking Hour

Easy to join in-

  1. Find out if your interest or location has a Hashtag Hour that you want to join and make sure you know when it is. There are apps that can help you find your nearest ones.
  2. Say hello to the hour host and use their hashtag in every tweet.
  3. Then just talk to people. It’s exactly the same principal that you would do in a face to face networking meeting. Include the #Leamingtonhour (if you are on mine) and then your conversation will go into the timeline.
  4. Favourite and Retweet any messages that you like and carry on talking to people.
  5. Follow anyone who you like and talk to them after the hour. It is all about the follow up as well as being on the hour.

It’s really that easy! If your still not sure then why don’t you come along to any hour and just read the timeline for the first time.

Some hours are busy and some are fairly quiet. You can use both to your advantage just by being engaging with people and asking questions.


5 things NOT do on a Networking Hour

  1. Just sell to people and send out buy my stuff tweets.
  2. Automate every tweet and don’t engage with people.
  3. Insult people on the hour by your views, insights, prejudices or poor spelling grammar.
  4. Go on just once and never go on again. You need to invest time and talk to the hour and get to know the people on the hour over a few weeks/few months.
  5. Dismiss them on don’t give them a go in the first place. They are excellent to get to know people in a particular interest or location.

This is my guide on what to post and when to post it.

0-15 minutes- Say hello to the host and everyone on there and see how they are doing. Gifs, videos or pictures are great for getting peoples attention. Don’t forget to use the hashtag that is associated with the hour. No selling messages just conventional. This is the peak time and so start strong!

15 minutes- First Selling Post (Could be a link to an event or a website?).

15-30 minutes- Carry on talking to existing people and say hello to new people who have joined the hour. Maybe ask a question that sparks an response or a solution you can provide. For example- If you are a VA then you could create a poll or ask the question “What would you do with 2 extra hours per day?” This way the people on the hour will start thinking at some level they might that persons help.

30 minutes- Second Selling Post (Could be a picture, link or a service that you offer).

30- 45 minutes- This is where the hour will pick up new people as they might of forgotten the hour had started. For evening hours, this is the second busiest time. Organise any 1-2-1’s that you want to do with the people who you want to speak to further as they might need to go if they have been at the start

45 minutes- Third Selling Post (Could be a link to a newsletter, Free article, blog etc).

45-55 minutes- This is when the hour could get a little slower so keep with talking to people that joined in between 30-45 minutes bracket. Maybe post another a Fourth Selling Post if you want too but make it a different one from the other three.  

55 minutes- 1 hour- Thank the host and say goodbye to people, Organise any 1-2-1’s that you want to do with the people who you want to speak to further.

Hope you found this useful and if you would like to find out more information about this, come onto #LeamingtonHour on Wednesday at 4:00 till 5:00pm