Month: December 2021

My Big Wins From 2021

big wins for 2021

I have no airs and graces and there are no filters on what I do, so I am going to share with you the reality of my year. I hope you get some gems of wisdom from it, or some inspiration.

As a business owner I still need to invest time and energy into my marketing to make my business work. I love marketing, so I’m probably more equipped to understand what I need to do in my business and the creative ideas flow. However, it still takes time and effort for me to do this. If I didn’t do any marketing, then my business wouldn’t be successful.

1 – Even when I’m busy I do marketing

I am probably the busiest I’ve ever been in my business, but that doesn’t mean I need to take my foot off the gas and relax thinking everything is hunky dory. It is really important when you’re in business to keep going. When you are busy and successful you need to keep on going with your marketing, as perhaps in a few months’ time things will quieten down again and you’ll be back to square one. So, when you are busy you still need to find time to update your website, to schedule your social media posts or attend that networking as this is the key to business growth. If you stop shouting about yourself and your business, then you can guarantee a competitor will fill that gap.

2 – Word of mouth is key

By far, the best piece of marketing comes through word of mouth. I’ve always known this, but I’ve really seen it in action in 2021. Many people have joined this group or made enquiries because someone told them about me. By continually marketing, building up a good reputation and doing a good job really is the best form of marketing as people love recommendations and will tell other about you if you do a god job for them.

3 – I do my own social media

Before the pandemic hit I used to outsource my social media. I had a marketing assistant who used to help me write posts and share them. However, I was so out of touch with what was going on. I didn’t really engage with others and it was a bit of an afterthought. It wasn’t until we went into lockdown and I sadly had to say goodbye to my assistant that I started really embracing it for myself.  I had always focused on other people’s social media and had neglected my own. This made me take a step back and really look at what I was doing for others and as a result I stopped managing other people’s social media.

Now, I’m not saying don’t use someone to look after it for you, as there are some great social media managers out there, but the true genius and what prompted me to start this group, is what you add to social media personally. Social media is all about being social and showing your personality. Social media has developed so much over the last few years and you need to put your own personal stamp on it. This has dramatically changed my social media and it’s so much more powerful than it was before.

4 – Let go of what is not working

I’ve had a couple of years of changing things up and experimenting and sometimes had to look at the things I’m doing (like social media management) and let go of what is not working for me. As a result I’ve changed how I run training and courses, I’ve let some clients go and I’ve dropped some social media channels (which has been the biggest challenge for me).

I’ve tried to focus on what services me best and put everything into that. I’ve learnt to accept that not everything works, but to let go of the baggage when it doesn’t.

5 – I’ve learnt to understand what success is

There are so many people shouting for attention online and one thing I’ve noticed is that there are so many people telling me how to get X number of followers or to make X amount of money. I felt like I was getting sucked into this vacuum that I needed to do more and make more money and in reality, lost sight of what success meant to me.

After a strategy and planning session with my husband I truly realised that success to me is not about how many followers I have or how much money I make. It’s about making enough money to pay the bills and afford nice things, to know I have a financially secure future, to love doing what I do and work with some amazing clients, to build up a good reputation and to have the flexibility and freedom to take time for me, my family and my kids. I couldn’t do that in a 9-5 job.

My Dad has been poorly recently and I’ve had to take on a lot of care for him, but my business allows me to do that.

So, success is already what I have achieved and anything on top of that is a bonus! I don’t need to be a millionaire, have a huge following or be “known” it’s just to carry on doing what I do and my word that is being successful already!

 

Top Marketing Tips for 2022

Marketing tips for 2022

Top Tip 1 – Own Your Audience

Think about owning your audience. What do I mean by that? Well, you may have thousands of followers on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, but you don’t own that data. If you start collecting emails and data directly it means that you can message your audience whenever you want without relying on a social media platform’s algorithm. Social media is becoming more competitive and noisier, so if you are not keen on social media, perhaps interacting with people more directly could be for you.  Also, we saw a social media outage earlier in the year – if you rely on social media for your business you need to future proof for outages and think about other ways to communicate with your audience.

Top Tip 2 – Personalised Content

Content marketing is big business, not only that, but personalised content. So, all the content you share on social media, blogs, website, emails etc is content marketing. However, it is no good just churning out the same old same old anymore, you really need to think about personalising your content marketing. Really make it relevant to you and your business, tell stories, share personal information be real. People are more selective in who they follow and their expectations are going to increase, so you need to think about if your content really appeals to your target audience. Put yourself in their shoes, or even ask them what they think and what they want to know from you.

Top Tip 3 – Brand Image

Building a strong brand image is key in 2022. We live in a world where image is everything, so how your brand appears in your marketing and social media, online and offline really counts. People look at that and if it looks a bit shabby, or inconsistent it may get by passed. Brand can be your visual identity, but it is also your values as a brand. Think about creating an experience, great customer service, beautiful packages, personal touches to get brand loyalty, word of mouth recommendations and great reviews.

Top Tip 4 – Be The Expert

People have become immune to the hard sell on social media and in other marketing platforms. You know yourself if you see something that is overtly ‘sell sell sell’ constantly from a brand (unless you love that brand) you switch off. So, think about giving value, be an expert and educate your audience.  We are all experts at what we do, so show your audience why you are an expert, help them, give advice, give tips, show you care and forget the hard sell as it just won’t cut it anymore.

Top Tip 5 – Make Connections

One of the most important things you can do in marketing is to make connections and be social. It is great to see so many of you here today, but how many of us are guilty of forgetting to connect with people afterwards, making relationships and growing our community. Networking is so important – in person, on a webinar or on social media, but it is even more important about continuing to develop those relationships afterwards. Word of mouth is undoubtedly the most important marketing tactic that you have, so make sure you nurture it.

Top Tip 6 – Become A Storyteller

Become a storyteller. Stories are big in marketing now. It’s not always about why your product is the best, but how your product helped someone. Did you product help achieve a goal – tell it? Did your service increase productivity – tell us? Have you helped someone overcome a fear – showcase it? So, instead of direct selling, think about showing results, how you’ve helped people, showcase customers or clients. Also, think about telling stories about you – why you are passionate about what you do, how you’ve helped people, how things that you did in the past got you to where you are now, or have influenced you? These stories may not sell directly, but they may make someone think ‘ohhh maybe I need to do that/buy that?”

Top Tip 7 – Automation

We’re all busy right, 100 jobs a day to do, run a business, run a home, keep the kids alive and everything else rolled into that. So, we want to make running our business and doing our marketing as easy as possible. Then think automation. Think about automating any sales funnels you have, any emails you send out. If someone signs up to an e-newsletter, automate the responses they receive.  Also think about scheduling social media posts. Plan your content in advance and schedule posts to save time, so you can get on with running your business. Look at talking to a virtual assistant in how they can streamline your business and your marketing.

Top Tip 8 – Video

We have seen a rapid growth of short form video over the past year or so with Tik Tok leading the way and Instagram following suit with Reels and YouTube shorts. Video (love it or loathe it) is a fantastic way to really get your brand out there and seen by a new audience. Video is a great way to raise brand awareness, advertise products and increase revenue. Video will be a key trend for 2022, so think about how you can incorporate it into your marketing strategy. Even if you hate showing your face, being filmed, are an introvert or feel awkward, there are ways you can incorporate video into your marketing.  It’s time to embrace it people because it’s not going to go away!

In addition to video content becoming more popular in 2022, so too will audio. There has been a boom in people using audio marketing, with the launch of Clubhouse (not a fan btw) and also podcasts (which I love). Video is still going to be really powerful, but audio marketing is creeping in too, so perhaps this could be something to think about for your marketing in 2022 too. Maybe audio fits better with you, as well if you really can’t stand being videoed.

Top Tip 9 – Social Responsibility

Social responsibility is becoming even more important to consumers. In light of COVID and COP26 as well, people are very aware of brand’s social responsibility to the community, the public and the environment. So, think about how you as a business owner, or a brand can use social responsibility in your marketing and not just for marketing’s sake, but to actually make a difference. Think about the issues that are important to you, whether that is helping the homeless, reducing your carbon footprint, or volunteering – show that you mean business, but that your business can help others too.

Top Tip 10 – Think Outside The Box

We also need to think outside the box. Marketing changes constantly and what we did 2 years ago may not work as well now. I know this may be a pain for many of you as you start getting to grips with social media for example, then the algorithm changes and what you were doing worked and now it’s not doing much at all. But this is the changing landscape of marketing and in marketing we always need to be aware of exploring new techniques and ideas.

So, take a step back and really look to see if what you have been doing is still delivering results?  If not, it may be time to change. I know change is scary, but the marketing landscape has really changed over the past couple of years, people are buying differently, engaging differently and brands need to change and keep up with this too.

So, hopefully that’s not scared you off too much. Marketing should be challenging and fun and exciting, take a leap of faith, try new things and embrace change as it could be the making of you and your business.

Now to help anyone that struggles with social media and needs a bit of creative wisdom now and then when you’re planning content, I have created “A Day for Everything” calendar for 2022 with all the key dates, anniversaries and celebrations.  You can download this from my website here.

In addition, I am offering £20 off my ‘How to create content for social media’ course, which you can download on my website using the code 2022TREAT – so if you really want to kickstart your marketing in 2022 you will be equipped with lots of tools there to help!