Author: lisa

What To Do When Social Media Goes Down

when social media goes down

I’ve spoken many times before about the risk we often run as business owners when using social media. Time and time again I see people putting all their eggs in one basket and using social media as their only source of marketing, and worse…sales!

When social media goes down how does that affect your business? Did you sigh a breath of relief when it came back on, so you could start your marketing and sales again? What would happen if it disappeared completely?

So, what happened and is it likely to happen again?

Santosh Janardhan, Facebook’s VP of infrastructure said,

“Our engineering teams have learned that configuration changes on the backbone routers that coordinate network traffic between our data centers caused issues that interrupted this communication. This disruption to network traffic had a cascading effect on the way our data centers communicate, bringing our services to a halt,”

Phew, that’s bit techy, so in a nutshell Facebook’s systems stopped talking to the wider internet and it is always possible that these things could happen again. There is also talk that there are some internal struggles happening at Facebook to do with how they handle hate speech and using the algorithm to promote bullying and reactions of people to negative posts. This is all speculation and Facebook as a leader of social media innovation need to lead by example of how social media changes for the better in the future and who knows when it may disappear again….and for how long?

How can we ensure we have a robust marketing strategy so that if social media goes offline or disappears, we can still run our business? I’m not saying you need to think about which other social media channels you should sign up to and start making content for as the same thing could happen to them all.

What I do want you to think about is what other forms of marketing could support your business, as well as social media? Let’s face it, social media is a wonderful marketing tool, but perhaps it’s time to start thinking about what else we can do.

My top tips on how you can market your business without putting all your eggs into the social media basket are:

1 – Email marketing

I have said this time and time again, that with social media, you do not own your audience. They can unfollow you at any time. Sometimes you may spend years building up a following only to then have your page hacked or blocked and to start again. Or, like we saw this week your chosen social media channel may disappear altogether.

With email marketing, everyone who signs up to your email list are a captive, warm audience. You also own that data, so it’s not going anywhere. If you became unstuck and social media disappeared, then email marketing should be your ‘go-to’ back up plan. You have a captive audience and you can still communicate with them and sell to them. So, maybe it’s time you started thinking about how you can do this.

Check out my recent course on how to use email marketing to get you started.

2 – Website

Quite often people don’t have a website because they have a Facebook page. However, how many times do you search for things on Google? Yes, your Facebook page may show up, but again what if Facebook, or other social media platforms disappeared? Particularly if you have a product-based business, how can you continue to sell your products if you don’t have a platform to do this? You have more control of your own website and how this works and of course – your audience data. It may also be time to think of other platforms you can use such as eBay, Etsy or Amazon (if you don’t want your own website) as ways of ensuring your products continue to be sold.

3 – Traditional Marketing

There is a lot to be said for good old-fashioned marketing as well. There is nothing quite a like a piece of editorial in a paper or a magazine, networking face-to-face and making connections, sales promotions or flyers drops. This can often be seen as harder work, but there are some benefits to still be found in more traditional marketing techniques that shouldn’t be discounted.

Remember word of mouth is always the most powerful marketing tool in your tool box, so get out there and be seen.

Yes, I have a Facebook group, which you can join here and I’m on Instagram, Twitter etc, but if you want to take this opportunity to be part of my email list you can sign up here and remember if you want to know about other forms of marketing visit my courses page here.

How to Create a Marketing Strategy

create a marketing strategy

Once you know these objectives for your business, you can then start thinking about your marketing strategy. If you don’t have a business strategy it is harder to create a marketing strategy as you don’t really have an understanding of where you see the business heading and how you can then support that growth with marketing.

So, once you have established this we can then start thinking about our marketing, but what are the key areas we need to consider to create a marketing strategy? Here are three important factors to consider.

 1 – Aims

Ideally at this stage you’ve got some solid “business” aims – things like turnover, sales forecasts etc, but within the marketing strategy we need to think of specific aims for marketing. If we don’t have any aims, how do we know if our marketing has been effective?

For example, aims could be things like raising brand awareness, generating more press coverage, improving open rate for our email, getting more traffic to our website. They are all specific marketing, rather than business aims. By being really clear on your marketing aims, you are able to see clearly if your marketing is working for your business. If you don’t have these aims, you are stabbing in the dark and don’t really have anything to measure your marketing against.

2 – Target customer

Another really important area to consider is your target customer. Often people say to me my ideal customer is ‘everyone’. But it would be impossible to target everyone in the world or the country you live in – we need to be a lot more specific.

Now sometimes ‘target customer’ can be a bit confusing, so I’m going to try and make it a bit easier to understand.

Often you hear of “Ideal Client Avatar”. This is the idea of your ideal customer. Who is that one person you’d like to pick up the phone and book you, click on your website and buy a product. They may have a persona, a name, a job, hobbies etc. It gives you a really clear understanding of who your marketing should be aimed at.

Target customer is slightly different. This can be different groups of people. You may categorise people into different sets. You may have women 40+ in Cumbria, or 16-25 year olds. You may have a business-to-business customer and a consumer customer. You may have a couple of different types of customers you want to target, but your marketing would then be different for each group, as they have different wants and needs. You would tailor what marketing tactics you do for each group.

I’ve also been asked “how do I know who my target customer is”. Well, if you’re more established in business, think about who buys your products and services? What type of person are they, how old are they, where do they live? By doing this you can then perhaps identify any gaps or new areas you want to target with your marketing too.

If you are a new business, do some market research. Look at similar companies and what they are doing, who is following them, buying from them, engaging with them? Ask your audience if you have one. Think about your product and service and who it has been designed for. Then once you start, you’ll soon get an idea of who your customer is.

3 – Key Messages/Brand values

The next important area to think about is your key messages. I always think this is one of the most important things you can do as it underpins all your marketing.

I want you to think about all the things you’d want to shout from the rooftops about your business, product or service. What makes it special or different from anything else? What are the stand-out features? How do you give excellent customer service? Really delve down deep – there would be no point me saying I’m professional, organised and efficient as you would hope a Marketing Consultant would be and in fact most people could say that. Think about the things that really set you apart from the competition. Those are your key messages and should be the main messages used in all your marketing going forward.

We’ve talked about aims for your marketing, identified who your target customer is and what the messages are that will underpin your marketing. Once you have these nailed you’ve started your very own marketing strategy. Going forward your marketing should be a lot more focused and less scattergun in approach and then you can really figure out what marketing is going to work for your business.

If you want to know more about how to plan your marketing or how to implement tactics successfully, check out my courses, which are all available on demand. Click here to find out more.

How to Get More Engagement on Social Media?

More social engagement

Engagement (where people like, comment or share) is probably one of our biggest aims on social media – well, it should be anyway. If you are on social media to “sell” then you have to re-think what you are doing. It’s a place where you should be building up relationships with people for when they are ready to buy in the future. It is a great marketing tool for building up brand awareness and telling people about what you do, so here are my top tips to get people to start engaging with us.

1 – Personality

The biggest bit of advice that I can give you is that people buy people. We’re all a bit nosey at heart, we’re inquisitive and want to ask questions. We love to know about the people behind the business, why they started, what makes them tick. So, you need to let people in. Show your personality and who’s behind the account. Tell them your story, how did you end up doing what you do and what is your ‘why.’ Think about the things that will resonate with other people, that makes them stop scrolling and makes them relate to you. You’ll find with these types of posts, more people will comment and interact with you, share their story or comment on your post. Remember to engage with them, comment back and start a conversation. If they can see there is a story behind the person and the business, they will buy into you and hopefully one day when they are ready, buy from you.

2 – Questions

Another great way to get more engagement with your posts is to ask a question and start a discussion. Think about the posts you’ve written in the past, could you have added a question to the end of the post and invited people to join the conversation? Quite often posts are statement i.e ‘this is what we do’ but don’t invite the user to engage. If you add a question on to the post you are saying, I want to know what you think, let me know. Think about how you could start a discussion too – are there some topics that are relevant to what you do that you could start a discussion on?  Something in the news, something in life, something that’s happened to you, and you need help or advice. These posts are a great way to ask people to join in. However, if they reply, remember to write back to them. You are asking a question, so reply when they answer and don’t leave them hanging.

3 – Give value

The other great way to get people to engage with posts is to give them value. Show them you are the expert at what you do. How can you help them? Can you give them something that will help them, or some advice that will solve a problem they have? By giving value gives them a reason to follow you. If you just sell to them on social media all the time, they won’t read the posts as much, but if you give them something valuable as well, they have a reason to follow you, interact with your post or become an advocate for what you do.

So, when trying to get more engagement on social media, think about what they want to hear. What are the kinds of things that are going to get them to click on your post, like or comment? Think about the types of posts you engage with. Do you engage with sales posts or the ones that are more attention grabbing and interesting?

Try a few of these tips and let me know how they work for you?

If you want to know more about how to craft the perfect social media post, you can download my mini marketing masterclass on how to ‘Create Content for social media’ here.

How to Raise Visibility on Social Media Without Being a Nuisance!

raise social visibility

You don’t need to be an extrovert to be successful on social media, you just need to believe in your product or service. I know some people think that if you post too much, you’ll be seen as a bit arrogant or pushy. Perhaps you are an introvert and the thought of putting yourself out there scares you as well. I get that and I see it so much with clients too, but hopefully these tips will give you a boost in confidence and encourage you to think about how you can post more regularly on social media.

Now, there is no doubt that the more you put into social media, the more you will get out of it. Being consistent is key with social media – not posting 4 times a day, spending hours on it and dancing to silly reels (though I am partial to the odd one myself).

So, when you’re feeling a bit out of your comfort zone, or are worried about bombarding people with your posts, here are a few things to keep in mind…

1 – Not everyone sees your posts

If you think about all the people and businesses you follow on social media, how many of their posts do you actually see? If you saw all 897 friends’ posts every single day that would be loads of posts to get through. Not to mention all the posts from businesses and groups you’re in. There are over 293,000 statuses updated every single day on Facebook alone. So, realistically how many people do you think will see your post – even if they are following you? My point is, not everybody will see every single thing you post. They may see only 1 out of every 3 or 4 posts that you share. So, don’t fret about posting too much as not every single person who follows you will see every single post you share (unless they have favourited you or are stalking you!)

2 – If you don’t shout, others will

The other thing to think about is your competitors. If you are worried about posting too much and don’t want to be a nuisance, I can guarantee you someone else will be sharing their content and shouting about your business, while you are sitting feeling worried about posting. If you don’t do it, someone else will be.

3 – You don’t need to be loud, or an extrovert, to be heard

Social media is a busy, noisy place with everyone vying for your attention. However, you don’t need to be loud or an extrovert to be heard or get your business “out there.” Like I said earlier, you don’t have to do crazy dances to be seen by your ideal customer. Do something different to everyone else, engage and interact with people, be social and helpful and that will have as much impact to the people you need it to.

4 – Give your customer what they want

Leading on from this, think about what your customer needs from you. What do they want to know, what do they want to hear? Think about their pain points and how you can help them through your social media posts. If you are useful, helpful, social and engaging in your content that is much more powerful. They will want to hear from you, they will engage with you too and will keep following you.

And, just to reassure you, if people do unfollow you, don’t sweat it…they were never going to buy from you and weren’t a quality follower anyway, so who cares if they go, you don’t need them anyway.

So, with a bit of a mindset switch, and a little bit more confidence, start posting and forget about being a nuisance – you’ve got this!

Do check out my courses to help you with your marketing. I also offer a Power Hour 1-2-1 session where you can pick my brains. Find out more here.

How to Generate Ideas For Social Media

ideas for social media

Here are a few ideas to help you find some inspiration when it comes to generating ideas for social media.

1 – National Celebrations

An easy place to start is to look and see what is going on in the world. This could be a sporting event, such as Wimbledon, a royal wedding, a charity event like Children in Need. There may be things happening in the news that you can talk about or get inspiration from (and not just the bad stuff).  You may also want to research anniversaries or celebrations, such as National Chocolate Day, or mental health awareness month, don’t step on a bee day or world youth skills day. There are days for everything, so use them as content ideas for social media when you get stuck or to get inspiration.

2 – Posts to educate, inspire, discuss, sell

You can often categorise posts and this can often give you a prompt to help you plan out your social media, or at least give you some inspiration as to what to post.

Think about posts that educate people – tell them what you know and why you’re good at your role.

Posts that inspire people – everyone loves a good quote, or what about a review or case study of how you’ve helped someone.

Posts that get engagement are great and one way to do this is to create a post that will cause a discussion. Think about what you can ask your audience and get them to join in the conversation.

Lastly posts that sell are great, but a word of warning – don’t do this for every single post. Try and show your personality, tell people about who you are and what you do to start building relationships, before you start selling, but the odd one every now and then is ok.

3 – Trending

Most social media platforms show you what is popular to talk about or “trending”. This is particularly good on Twitter, but also on some of the other platforms too, like Instagram. See what other people are talking about and join in the conversation. It’s obviously a hot topic, so why not get in on some of the action and share your thoughts.

If you are still stuck you can often find inspiration on other people’s posts, see what your competitors are up to. However, a word of warning – don’t just copy them, put your own spin on things. You can also look on places like Pinterest for inspiration. I think there is inspiration on there for everything, but it may just spark an idea when you are a bit stuck.

For more top tips and inspiration join my Facebook group Marketing Made Easy with Lisa.

How to Stay Consistent on Social Media

social media scheduling

Consistency is often the key when it comes to ensuring your social media is effective, but how do we do that when we’re do busy running our businesses?

Here are a few of my top tips to help you stay more consistent on social media, which will make it easier for you to manage and more importantly get results.

1 – Plan 

Social media takes time and if you want it to be part of your marketing strategy then you need to put in time and effort. However, it doesn’t need to take over your life, where you have to think about it every day. I often find people will have a couple of good weeks, posting regularly, then get busy and find they get behind on their social media posting and before you know it a few weeks have passed.

The key to this problem is that you need to plan. Think about planning all your social media posts in advance…and if you can schedule them too, ever better. I’m not saying you need to plan a post for every day in advance. If you feel that posting 2 or 3 times a week is appropriate for you and your business, then plan those posts. You don’t need to post every single day to be effective, you just need to be consistent, so planning in advance is key. That way, when you are busy you know your social media is ready to go – even if you are not.

2 – Focus

The other way to help you stay consistent is to have a focus with your social media. Decide what you want your social media channel to be known for. What are you an expert in? What are you going to talk about in your posts or videos? Once you have identified what your social media is all about it makes it easier for you to plan, to come up with content and to know what to post.

Giving your social media platform a focus also clearly tells your customers/followers who you are and what you do.

3 – Make it Easy

The key to being consistent on social media is making it enjoyable and easy for you. No matter what I tell you to do, if you don’t enjoy it, it’s always going to feel like a chore. So, you need to find a way to make it work for you that is going to be easy and achievable. That might be deciding you are only going to post three times a week and that is what feels “do-able” for you, and you can stick to it, that’s fine. If that’s only posting video, because you find it easier to do that and you enjoy it more, then great. You may want to plan your content a month in advance and schedule it all that can work really well, or you may prefer to plan week by week. Just finding a system that works for you, that you know you can stick to will ensure you stay consistent, and your social media becomes easier to manage.

For more top tips join my Facebook Group Marketing Made Easy with Lisa

How To Get Engagement For A Mundane Business

social engagement

Here are a few of my top tips to show you how you can create social engagement that helps you overcome this barrier.

1 – Think about what your ICA wants to know

We all have an ideal customer. The person we want to pick up the phone and make an enquiry or drop us an email to book an appointment. All too often on social media people fall into the trap of just writing sales posts, or posts about things they want to talk about. However, you need to think differently. You need to think about what your ideal customer wants to know about. What is going to interest them and stop them scrolling?

2 – Give value

Leading on from this, you need to think about giving your followers value. What do I mean by this? Again, give them information about what they may want to know. Could you give them tips, information, or a freebie? What is going to resonate with them and make them go “Oh yeah”. Think about adding value to their lives and helping them.

3 – Show you’re an expert

You want to position yourself as the “go-to” expert in your industry and area. Show your followers that you know your stuff. You don’t need to baffle them and tell them loads of jargon, but break things down, make it easy for them to understand and digest. Show them why you are the authority in your area.

4 – Share your personality

You also want your followers to know, like and trust you and you can do this by showing your personality. Show them you’re the expert, give them value, tell them want they want to know and inject a bit of personality. Yes, it’s great to working weddings etc, but you have to be really innovative to stand out from the crowd and be heard above all the noise. See your “boring” business as a chance to stand out and shine. Be different, be quirky and do something different to everyone else to generate social engagement. That is what will really get you seen!

For more tips, join me in my Facebook group Marketing Made Easy with Lisa.

How to use Instagram Reels

how to use Instagram reels

Now whether those people have turned into good quality followers, is up for debate, but Instagram Reels are a fun new way of engaging with your audience and showing off your personality!

For those of you who don’t know what a reel is, let me explain. It is a video clip, up to 30 seconds in length – a bit like TikTok. You can lip sync, dance speak, give tips, tutorials – the list is endless. You don’t need to be silly to make them work.

Now, I just want to add that if the thought of doing a reel frightens the hell out of you, you don’t need to do them. Getting your content on your social media right first is what you need to concentrate on. However, if you’re ready to explore and use this new feature then, here are my top tips on how to make the most of them.

1 – Hook people in the first 3 seconds

Social media is fast paced, and with all content you want to grab people’s attention whilst they’re scrolling. With reels you want to grab people’s attention in the first 3 seconds to get them to continue watching. Once someone has watched your reel once it counts as one view, so the shorter and snappier your video the more chance it has of being seen.

2 – Use content that is going to resonate with your ideal customer

Again, like with general content, think about what your customer wants to know about you. Do they want to be entertained or do they want tips and tutorials? I started doing reels when they first came out and I’ve had to experiment to see what works. I was doing funny ones at first, but then when I started posting my top tips as reels they went crazy! So, play around with a few things and see what gets the best reaction. This will give you an indication of what your audience likes.

3 – Use trending music/sounds

If you want to grow your reach with reels, using music that is trending (i.e. popular in other reels) is a good idea. Instagram will see that the piece of music you are using is popular, so will therefore show it to more people.

Now, how do you find trending music I hear you ask? There are a few ways. First way is to open up the music tab when you are in a reel and see what comes at the top of the list as most popular.

Second, you will get a feel for this just by watching Instagram reels and seeing what other people are using.

Or you could follow TikTok trends and bring them over to Instagram. If you have a business account like me, this can be harder, so you may want to consider switching over to a creator account. Only do this if you are not planning any promotions or paid advertising in the future.

4 – Use hashtags and share away!!

Hashtags also work in reels too, so if you are using them on your posts start thinking about using them on reels too. Make sure you use all 30 and create a caption to your reel that people are going to read and be interested in. Hashtags are a great way of helping your reels be found by your ideal client, so use them wisely.

The best way to start is by just watching what other people do and get a feel for them, see what you like and you’d feel comfortable doing. Start by doing an easy one. Once you’ve built up your confidence there’ll be no stopping you. Also, when you’ve done a few you can see which got the most reach, likes, and comments and you know to do more of that kind in the future.

If you want to have a laugh, then go and follow my account and watch my reels!

How do you get more engagement?

Get more social engagement

Here are my top tips to get more engagement:

1 – Post content that will resonate with your ideal client.

It is all very well and good doing lots of work writing content for your social media platforms, but engagement isn’t going to necessarily increase just with doing that alone. One of the most important things you can do is post content that will resonate with your ideal client. Stop thinking about what you want to tell people and start thinking about what people want to know. What are the posts that are going to get people going “Oh yeah, I know how that feels”, “Oh, I didn’t know that” or “I love that idea”? Build this kind of engagement into your social plans.

2 – Create a discussion and ask questions. 

Another excellent way to get engagement on posts is to create a discussion and ask questions. Questions are fantastic as you are inviting people to have a conversation with you. You’re not just making a statement and saying this is how it is, you are actually asking them to engage with you, so it’s a sure fire way to instigate dialogue and increase engagement.

3 – Be Social.

One of the most important things you can do on social media to get more engagement is to be social. There is no point spending time creating posts, and then forgetting about things. You need to reply to comments, you need to have conversations, you need to comment on other people’s posts and share what they’re doing too. You need to be SOCIAL!

If you implement just these 3 things you will certainly see a difference in your engagement. For more top tips join my Facebook group Marketing Made Easy With Lisa.

What’s the best way to audit your marketing? 

Top Tip analytics

1 – Insights

When it comes to social media one of the best places to look to see if your efforts are working is via the Insights in the social media platform you are using. Start keeping a record of the number of followers, how many people your account has reached, how many content interactions you have (i.e. likes, comments, shares, saves). You can even break it down post by post, if you want to go into more detail. By keeping a record of your statistics it’ll give you a really good indication of how things are improving or perhaps getting worse.

2 – Analytics

Monitoring your website analytics is also a good way of auditing your marketing. Your web stats will show you how much traffic your social media drives to your website. It is also good to see if any offline activity, such as sending out a press release, or running events has had an impact of numbers to your website. Your website is a fantastic marketing tool and should be updated and used to show people who you are and what your business is all about, generate enquiries and sales, so you will be able to see with increased marketing activity your web stats improve too. This is a good indication that your marketing is performing.

3 – Leads

Sometimes one of the best ways to know if your marketing is working is because there is an increase in sales, or enquiries. All the time you spend raising brand awareness, sending out news stories, updating social media, writing emails, creating sales funnels, starts to pay off because you can see the difference in the number of enquiries you are getting or direct sales you are making through your website. These are all a good indication that your marketing is working.

Ultimately keeping a monthly or weekly record of your data – i.e. social media stats, website analytics, enquiries, leads, sales etc – can show you over time if the marketing you are doing and the effort you are putting in is paying off.

Feel free to browse my courses to get a deeper understanding of marketing to improve your business.

How To Manage Social Media More Effectively

Managing Social Media Effectively

There is an easier way and my Top Tips this week are going to show you how you can manage social media more effectively.

  1. Take away the overwhelm

There is this idea that you need to be on every social media channel going. Someone else in business will tell you how LinkedIn has done wonders for their business. Your teenager tells you that you must be seen on TikTok. You keep hearing about Reels on Instagram and think you should make an account, so you’re not missing a trick.

By doing this though, you are only adding to your workload. Each channel is very different and offers different things to different groups of people. If you try and learn each one and post engaging content on every platform you are soon going to feel very overwhelmed. You’ll need to check them, keep on top of notifications, follow people and be social.

Believe me when I say, you really don’t need to do this. Take away that overwhelm by focusing on what you can realistically achieve with social media. Find one platform, focus on it, and make it really good.

  1. Time block

Another great way to manage your social media more effectively is to ‘time block’. By this I mean carving out some dedicated time for social media (and your marketing in general). Put some time aside in your diary for scrolling – this could be whilst you’re having breakfast, or the first 30 minutes of your day, before you get stuck into real work. Avoid picking up the phone to check your social media channels every 10 minutes. Don’t keep your social media pages open on your computer. Try and switch off from social media and dedicate time for scrolling, writing comments and sharing. By doing this you can manage that feeling of always having to be on social media and blocking time where social media is your focus to that point during the day.

  1. Plan in advance

You’ve probably got sick of me telling you about planning, but this really is crucial if you want to manage your social media more effectively. When you time block for checking social media, you also need to dedicate some time to write content and planning what you’re going to share. You may prefer to do this for a week, a month, 6 months in advance, but by planning your content out in advance will ensure that you stay on top of your social media, that you are more strategic in what you post.

So, focusing on only one or two social media channels, blocking time out for being on social media (so you don’t get carried away scrolling) and planning content in advance are three of my Top Tips to ensure you manage your social media for your business more effectively.

Please join my Marketing Made Easy with Lisa Facebook Group where we chat and ask questions and generally help each other.

I also have my Spellbinding Social Media Challenge starting on 24th May – sign up here.

Where To Start With Social Media

where to start with social media

There are so many different platforms; Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, TikTok, Snapchat and more that is hard to know where to start with social media. There are different people telling you different things about where you should be seen and which platform you should be using.

I’m going to help you strip everything back and show you exactly what you need to know and where you need to start with social media.

1 – Who is your audience?

Firstly, before you do anything, you need to think about who your audience is? If you’ve thought about a business plan, or marketing plan you should have a good idea of who you are going to sell your services to. You may have different audiences for different services or products or different groups of people you want to target, but it is important to really understand who your customer is and where they hang out online.

There is no point thinking you are going to start doing TikTok videos if your audience doesn’t use that platform.

2 – What is realistic?

You need to set yourself clear goals for your social media and be realistic. There’s no point thinking you are going to get 10,000 followers if you’re only going to post a few times a week. Set simple achievable goals for yourself that gives you a really good idea of why you are using social media and what you want to get from it.

Social Media isn’t an overnight fix for your marketing as well, so you need to have a planned approach that is going to get results, rather than rushing into it and then feeling disappointed if you don’t get the outcome you hoped for.

3 – Do what you enjoy

There is often a pressure to be on lots of social media channels, but I always say to people to make a priority of what you enjoy most. If you love Instagram and you know your audience is there, then focus on that and do it really well. Don’t try to use all the social media channels, because you feel you should as you will spread yourself too thin and then won’t actually enjoy it. If you haven’t used social media much before and all you feel comfortable using is Facebook, then just use Facebook.  You don’t need to be everywhere to get results and be seen online.

So, there you have three Top Tips to help get you started on social media.

For more Top Tips visit my Facebook group Marketing Made Easy with Lisa, or to do some hands-on training, sign up to the Spellbinding Social Media Challenge starting on the 24th May here.

 

Being Made Redundant Was My Best Career Move

best career move

I’m originally from Penrith and moved away from Cumbria when I was 18, to study Fashion Promotion at the University of Central Lancashire, in Preston. I have worked in several marketing roles across the UK in a diverse range of industries, promoting anything from men’s elasticated trousers to firework displays, Beatles music to Bugs. I once even worked on the set of Coronation Street!

Life threw me a huge curve ball when I was made redundant in 2010, which inspired me to start my own marketing consultancy back home in Cumbria.

When I was made redundant, it came out of the blue. There was no consultation period, no notice to work and no redundancy package. What made it worse was that I had only been in the job for 6 weeks. At the time it was awful, and I just didn’t know what direction to take or what my future would hold. At the time I was living in Liverpool and the only thing I knew for certain was that I wanted to move back to Cumbria.

I started my job hunt in Cumbria but found that there were no positions vacant in marketing at the time. I’m not one to rest on my laurels, so I set about contacting local companies to see what opportunities were available and found that many needed assistance with outsourced marketing work.

I took this as a bit of a lightbulb moment. I’d never thought about running a business before; it was just never an option that had been explained to me at school or that I’d ever really thought about, but what did I have to lose?

Only 47% of businesses in Cumbria survive past the five-year mark according to the Cumbria Observatory*, so I am continuing to buck the trend and grow my consultancy business further. I became a Chartered Marketer in 2012 and have worked with hundreds of organisations since starting my business, from sole traders, start-ups and charities to FTSE 250 companies, but I am on a mission to help even more small business owners across the UK.

When I started Acorn Marketing, my core aim was to help small businesses understand marketing tactics that I had learnt whilst working in the industry.  As my business has grown, so too have the types of clients that I work with.  However, I am still passionate about helping the start-ups, sole traders and micro businesses across the UK.  I know what it is like to be a small business owner, juggling all the roles yourself, with the frustrations of running a business, but trying to understand how to do your marketing, social media, accounts, IT, admin, often with a limited budget.  So, I am still very passionate about helping those businesses who do not have a lot of support, to understand marketing and social media and thrive.

As a result, I have developed a series of monthly online Mini Marketing Masterclasses, designed to give small business owners an insight into marketing and social media and the opportunity to have a marketing expert on hand for support and guidance through my Facebook group ‘Marketing Made Easy with Lisa’ which has members from across the UK and even Italy and the USA.

To celebrate the 10-year anniversary of Acorn Marketing, I will also be launching the ‘Marketing Mastery Programme’ which is for those business owners who are serious about developing their marketing to support their business growth.

I want to help business owners go from feeling overwhelmed with their marketing to being more confident, understanding exactly what they need to do and see results.

The programme will run over 8 weeks and cover modules such as Marketing Strategy, Planning, Social Media, Branding, Public Relations, Email Marketing, Websites and SEO and Evaluation; giving businesses all the tools they need to really get to grips with marketing and make it work for their business.  The course begins on the 17th of June.

Being made redundant ten years ago really has been the pivotal turning point in my career.  Without this turn of events, I may have never discovered that starting a business was an option. For anyone who may be facing redundancy during these difficult times or thinking about starting their own business, I have these words of advice for you…

There is no doubt that being made redundant is hard, but it is also a time to see it as a new opportunity. I never expected I would be doing what I do now, and I love it. I encourage anyone thinking about starting their own business to jump in with both feet, be confident and make your own destiny. It really has been the best thing that ever happened to me!

Mini Marketing Masterclass information and The Marketing Mastery programme can be found at www.acorn-marketing.co.uk/courses

My Spellbinding Social Media Challenge begins on 24th May for three days. Sign up here.

How To Decide The Best Marketing For Your Business?

best marketing

This will vary depending on what kind of business you have, what you are trying to sell and who you are selling to.

Here are my top tips on things to consider when planning what marketing tactics you should choose.

1 – Your target audience

Firstly, deciding on what marketing tactics to use depends greatly on who your target customer is.  Think about the type of marketing you want to do and really think about if it would get seen or noticed by your ideal client.

For example, if you are thinking of doing some PR, which publications would your target audience be likely to read? The local paper, business magazine or business pages, or maybe a glossy magazine?

Regarding social media, are they a consumer audience and will they be on Facebook or Instagram? Or are they B2B and more likely to be on Twitter or LinkedIn? Maybe they are 16–25-year-olds and are hanging out on TiKTok or Snapchat.

Do you want to create flyers?  Where are you going to distribute them so they get seen?

Really think about your target customer demographics – age, location, interests, places they hang out, what they do and where they go. Tailor your marketing activity to this.

2 – What has and hasn’t worked in the past?

If you have been in business for a while, you will have an idea of what has and hasn’t worked in the past. You simply need to do more of what works and ditch the stuff that doesn’t.

However, if you’ve not been running your business very long or are new to your role, then you’re starting from scratch. So, think about your ideal client and how you are going to get your products and services in front of them.

Write a long list of all the types of marketing tactics you could use. From social media, websites, email, lead magnets, PR, flyers to events and networking. Really have a think about if the things you want to do are going to be worth any cost. How you can measure the ROI, if you have the resources to do them and do them well…and if that type of marketing is going to resonate with your ideal client.

3 – Depends On Your Resources

A lot of the marketing you can do often depends on the budget and resources you have. Do you even have a marketing budget? How are you going to allocate it? Think about what marketing tactics you can use for free or for little budget. What is really going to get you the most bang for your buck and get you seen by your ideal client?

Also, think about human resources too. If there is just you doing everything, can you manage all the marketing tactics that you want to employ? It will be far better spending time doing one marketing tactic really well, than trying to do everything badly.

The best answer to the question of How To Decide The Best Marketing For Your Business is to really focus on what you want to achieve, make sure that it is appropriate for your target customer and keep it simple.

Please join my next Mini Marketing Masterclass or access my previous topics to gain more marketing knowledge. My Facebook Group is also a wonderful place for likeminded business owners to ask questions, help each other and gain marketing tips. Join me here.

How to Organise Your Social Media

organise social media

By having a strategic and planned approach you can get more efficient in your posting, but also organise your social media marketing to work better for your business.

Here are my top three tips to help you get more organised…

1 – Planning

As I have mentioned planning for social media is crucial. I like to work a month in advance, so I know exactly what I need to post and when. You may prefer to plan week by week or even 6 months in advance. Find what works best for you. Block out some dedicated planning time and plot out what you are going to post and when.

2 – Content

The next thing to think about is content.

Think about any events coming up for your business, any national celebrations or anniversaries, themed days etc. Add them all into your content calendar in advance and create posts based around that. Then when you come to do your social media at least you have an idea of what to post about and this ensures you also don’t miss anything either.

People often get a bit stuck at this point knowing what to post and coming up with creative ideas.  What I like to do is create content pillars. These are 3 or 4 key areas of focus that your social media account is about. For example, I post about marketing/social media, being a mum and living in Cumbria. I don’t usually deviate from these topics. I then create posts around key areas – posts that will inspire, posts that educate, posts that create a discussion and a few selling posts.

3 – Schedule

Once you have your time carved out, your plan and content created the next thing I suggest you do is schedule your posts in advance. It depends on which social media channels you use and how many as to which scheduling tool will be best for you. Examples include Facebook publishing tools, Buffer, Hootsuite, Later, Tweetdeck and Planoly. You can then take your plans and content, add them into the scheduler on the day and time you choose, sit back and relax. Watch as your posts are shared to your desired platforms as you get on with the day job. All you need to think about then is creating the spontaneous day-to-day posts and stories.

I hope that has given you a little insight into how you can manage your social channels more effectively and organise social media to benefit your business.

If you want to find out more about how you can make the most of your social media marketing, why not join one of my Mini Marketing Masterclasses or join my Facebook Group ?

How Can I Get More Clients Or Customers?

How to gain customers

There are so many elements that can help you get new customers. There are things you need to consider like understanding the market, have you got a viable product or service, creating a good customer experience and excellent customer service. Is it easy to buy, is it sustainable, is it priced right? These are all things you need to consider before you start selling.
Once you have that nailed you can then start marketing your business.

First and foremost, you need to raise the profile of your business and increase brand awareness, so you want as many people as possible to have heard about what you are doing. This leads to increased awareness and also word of mouth marketing, which are hands down the best forms of marketing. Here are my top 3 marketing tips to help you boost your brand awareness and get more clients or customers.

1 – Social Media

Social Media is a powerful marketing tool and possibly one of the most effective ways to quickly share who you are and what you do or sell. Figuring out which social media platforms are the best ones to get in front of the correct audience is crucial. You then need to be posting valuable content consistently on your chosen platform, engaging with your audience and growing your following. Get people talking about you, sharing what you do and linking people back to your website (if you have one) to find out more or make a purchase.

2 – Public Relations

There is nothing quite as powerful as an article about you and your business in the local paper, on TV or on the radio. By drip feeding newsworthy stories to your local paper, this opens your business up to a whole new audience. People who may not be on social media, or not be aware of you are often likely to find you in the press. Remember the press is also online too and have massive audiences, so if you can get a story in the local paper, this is also a sure-fire way to raise your brand awareness, often resulting in new customers.

3 – Networking

Love it or loathe it, networking is a fantastic way to meet new people. You never know who you are going to meet at a networking event. It can lead to new connections, partnerships, a new audience and new customers. But don’t go networking thinking you’re going to get a wad full of business cards and they’re all going to buy from you straight away. Networking is much softer than that. It is about building and growing relationships that can bear fruit in the future.

A joined-up marketing strategy combining all these elements is a great way to raise brand awareness. Remember it can take time to do this and won’t happen overnight, but if you are consistent and have a plan all these elements of marketing work together to really build your business and get you those clients and customers that you desire.

If you would like more marketing advice or social media expertise, read through my blog, join my Marketing Made Easy With Lisa Facebook Group or contact me for further details about how I can help with your marketing.

How to grow your reach on Instagram

Increase Instagram Reach

Here are my top tips on how to grow your reach on Instagram.

1 – Post Engaging Content

One of the most important things you need to do is post engaging content that resonates with your ideal client. It needs to move and inspire them, educate them, grab their attention and make them stop scrolling. I’ve said it many times before that you need to think about what your customer wants to hear…not what you want to tell them. If it is a post really hits a chord they are more likely to comment, like or share what you’ve written – therefore increasing your reach.

2 – Ask Questions

A great way to get your audience to engage with you and therefore share your content to a wider audience, is to ask them a question. Get them to have a conversation with you. More people will see what you’ve written and are more likely to join in and give their opinion too. You can also use other features on Instagram such as polls on your story to get people to engage with you. There is a question feature in there too that you can use to visually ask people things. You can also mention other people or businesses in your posts too. People love being tagged into posts and will share the content you create so it’s a no brainer!

3 – Use Hashtags

Hashtags are a great way to get your post seen by a whole new audience. An audience of your ideal clients or customers. Using hashtags in posts allows your content to be found in searches and by people who may not have come across your profile before. The rule of thumb is to use hashtags that don’t have millions of people using them – you’ll just get swallowed up and lost amongst the noise.  Use smaller, more niche hashtags that are not as popular and you’ll get found by more people.

So, these are my top 3 tips of how you can effectively grow your reach on Instagram. Give them a try and let me know how you get on.

If you want to know more about how to use hashtags you can read more here.

You can find out about some of my training courses where I can help you become a master of your own marketing.

How To Do Social Media Quickly

Quick social media tips

There are, however, some tried and tested tricks to help you along the way, make it more efficient and make things a bit quicker, whilst being effective too. Here are my time saving top tips…

 1 – Strategy

One of the top things I would recommend you do is to have a strategy or a plan of action. There is no point in just sitting trying to decide what to write day in and day out. This approach will be so time consuming, you will get stuck for ideas, not really have a focus to your social media and it won’t work.

If you take a step back, think about what you are trying to achieve with your social media and how you’re going to do it, this will ultimately save you time in the long run. It’ll give you clear ideas about what your social media account is about, who you want to target and the ways in which you’re going to do it.

2 – Save ideas

We are all guilty of scrolling through social media, seeing things we like, or think would be interesting for our social media pages and then forget about it or do nothing with it. Keeping a record of these types of things are great to refer back to, especially if you get stuck for ideas.

Has you heard of a “content bucket”? A content bucket is a place where you save information, images, quotes etc, that you can refer to later. You could save them in your bookmarks on your computer, in the notes on your phone, maybe direct into Instagram or Facebook. Start filling your buckets with loads of inspiration and ideas that you see that could work for your business. Then at the times when you’re planning, or are stuck for a post, you can delve into your content bucket and a find a gem of inspiration.

3 – Schedule

My third tip is planning and scheduling. A must-do for time saving with social media activity. It is far more effective to block out some time to plan your social media, than trying to do it as and when. Pencil some time in your diary to write a plan – ideally you want to think about creating content for a month in advance and then schedule as you go. Doing this will free up your general day-to-day time to concentrate on running your business.

You can’t just do your social media in half an hour and be done. It takes planning and time but this time is a big commitment to your marketing and to developing your business, so it should be a priority.

If you want to know more about how to write your own social media strategy and why this is so important then join me on the 7th April to find out how you can write your own social media strategy here.

Do join my Marketing Made Easy With Lisa Facebook Group for tips, discussions and networking with other likeminded people.

Where Do I Start With Marketing?

Where do I start

Here are my top tips on where you need to start with your marketing.

1 – Define Your Target Customer

Let’s go right back to basics. Before you start your marketing, or even your business in fact, you need to have a really clear understanding of your target consumer.

Are they male or female, how old are they, where do they live? These are some of the key things that can really help you narrow down who you need to “talk” to with your marketing.

Identifying the needs, expectations and problems of your target audience not only helps you to understand them better, but it also ensures that you’re creating a product or service that’s going to have a real impact and that your marketing is going to be more effective as you are ‘selling’ to the right people.

2 – Key Messages

Next you need to identify your key messages. What are the most important things about your business that you need your potential customer to know? What makes your service or product different to everyone else, what makes it stand out, what are the Unique Selling Points (USP)?

Think about your customers pain points, or problems. These are the things that are going to resonate with them. Make a list of those too, then in all your marketing these are the things you want to be shouting about all the time.

3 – Look at Competitors

Looking at your competitors is always a good way to find out what other people in your industry are doing. Do they have a website, what social media channels are they on, do they appear in the newspaper, do they produce flyers, how do they sell themselves? If they are a busy thriving business, this gives you an indication that what they are doing works, so lead by example. Don’t copy…do it even better.

4 – Establish A Social Media Presence

If you have no budget, no following, no email list or background then social media is a great place to get known. Share posts that resonate with your ideal client, posts that get attention, shout about your key messages and grow your marketing organically that way.

5 – Get Networking 

One of my favourite, but often forgotten about forms of marketing is networking. It’s a little different and difficult right now but have a look online to see what online networking events there are and if your ideal client would join these events. If the answer is yes, then get networking (and even better face-to-face when we can).

Another sneaky tip I’m going to add in here is PR. Public Relations is a great way to get some free press coverage for your business. It is often really simple to get a news story in your local paper about your flourishing new business, but the key to this is thinking about what the news story is. It’s not just that you opened a business, but the reasons why you started a business, your background, your story. Sell your story to the newspaper so they want to write about you.

So, if you have zero budget and want to know where to start in marketing your business, these are some sure-fire ways to get noticed and to get marketing successfully without being overwhelmed.

Join my Facebook Group to learn more, ask questions, network and so much more.

How to be Consistent on Social Media

Consistent Social Media Tips

If this is you, then follow my top tips here to achieve consistency in your social media marketing…

1 – Show up

The most consistent thing you can do when it comes to your social media marketing is to show up. This doesn’t automatically mean showing up every day but engaging consistently when your audience knows you’re online. If you post a ‘live’ video every week, do it at the same time. If you share a blog or an email, again do it at the same time for consistency.

If you can show up every day, fantastic – you will really notice a difference in the performance of your social media. If you’re flying, post 3-4 times a day, but if that scares the living daylights out of you, then a few regular times each week will help ensure you stay consistent. A great social media strategy and plan will help with this (check out my course here to help you).

2 – Use your branding

Another great tip to ensure that your social media and marketing is consistent is to use your branding. There is nothing worse than seeing someone’s marketing materials or social posts and they have different fonts and colours. Quite frankly it looks a bit of a mess. Ensure brand consistency by sticking to one or two fonts that you use. Pick the colour palette of your business branding that you use consistently throughout your marketing. This not only gives your social media consistency; it gives you a structure and also gives a more professional look for your business.

3 – Give your audience what they want

The next tip for ensuring consistency is by giving your audience what they want. By this I mean, thinking about what your ideal client will be interested in. What do they want to know – about you, what you do, or how you can help them? Pick 3 topics or “content pillars” that you consistently talk about as this will help give structure to what you post. It will help you come up with ideas, but also lets your customer know exactly what your business or your social media accounts are about.

Do you feel you need more help with creating a plan? If so, then think about joining my Mini Marketing Masterclass on Wednesday 7th April and learn all about how to create your own social media strategy.

How to Increase Social Media Reach

Social Media Reach

1 – Create engaging content

The key to getting more engagement on your social media posts is to create good content. If you hear crickets, or tumbleweed when you post something, then there is something wrong! Take a look at the types of things you are posting about. Are they all salesy? If so, then you need to stop and re-think.  Think about what your followers would be interested in, give them value, give tips, ask questions, share something about you. Be human. People will just scroll past overly salesy posts, so stop doing it.

2 – Tag people

Another great way to increase reach on social media posts is to tag other businesses in your posts.  Now, I don’t mean this in an annoying way where you randomly tag loads of businesses in your post, but if you mention another business, or give a shout out to someone, collaborate with another business or recommend them, then tag away. Generally, they will share the post and so it will be seen by their followers too – and therefore increase the reach.

3 – Share posts

Sharing posts is another sure-fire way to increase reach. However, I don’t mean sharing other people’s posts. I mean sharing your own. On Facebook you would do this by sharing a posts that are performing well into groups where your ideal client hangs out. This is an excellent way to get your posts seen by more people. Just a word of warning though, check the group rules and don’t be spammy – don’t do it more than once or twice a week. On Instagram you can share your grid posts to your story. Stories perform really well, so if you share a new post to your story it’ll be seen by more people.

4 – Use photos and video

There is no doubt that the posts that perform best are photos and videos. Gone are the days when you can just share a post that is just text. OK, so they may work depending on the platform (Twitter and Linkedin), but for B2B clients using Facebook and Instagram, you really need to be using photos and video. With Instagram you won’t be able to post without a photo or video, but think about how you could use photos and videos. You can get really creative with them now – such as using stories, reels, IGTV, YouTube etc. Video really is a powerful tool for increasing reach and the social media algorithms will favour photos and videos, so the more of those you post, the more people will see them and then your posts will get more reach.

5 – Be social

The ultimate way to get more reach on your social media posts is to be social. Comment, like and share on other people’s posts. Create relationships, make friends online, create a community or tribe, support people and give value. By doing this interaction, they will do the same with you – more people will see your posts and you’ll get a greater reach.

So, there you have a few sure-fire ways to get more reach on your social media posts. All of the tips I share here are activities that I manage for my clients and my business on a daily basis as a marketing consultant.

For more top marketing tips and online marketing advice, check out my Facebook Group and my courses, available to all.

Top Email Database Tips

Email Database Tips

First off, depending on when you last communicated with everyone on your database, this will decide what you should do with it. If your list has been sitting dormant for a couple of years and you’ve not communicated with people, it’s worth thinking about starting from scratch.

You always need to be mindful of GDPR and whether people subscribed to your list, or you just added them in the past. If you added them, it is probably best to scrap that list and start afresh where you can be confident they actually want to be subscribed and you can document when they signed up. You can watch my GDPR session here.
Now, if you are starting your list from scratch, or you want to build your list even further, here are some ways you can do it…

1 – Freebie

A report from the Data and Marketing Association shows that 60% of users sign up for an email newsletter to receive offers and sales. So, if you have something to push or to sell then don’t be scared to be seen as pushy…people will sign up.
One great way of doing this is to create a ‘Freebie’, also known as a lead magnet. This is where you offer them a free PDF, workbook or such like as an incentive and in return they need to sign up to your email database to receive it. Think of it as an exchange.
This is great if you are like me – a consultant, or a coach, or are an expert in your field – health and beauty, childcare, food or aromatherapy. Whatever it is, you can create something to give them value that they are going to get something out of and then you can communicate with them and sell to them in the future.
The second way is to ‘hook’ people in with an incentive, such as money off, discount coupons to redeem on your website or exclusive deals etc.

2 – Make It Visible 

The next thing to do to, is to make sure your e-newsletter is visible. There is no point just having it sat there where no one can see it. Think about how people are going to find it and sign up – how are you going to tell them about it?
• Add a sign-up button to your Facebook page
• Add the sign-up option in the banner of your website, or maybe add a pop-up on the site. Somewhere where it is going to be easily seen.
• Add your sign-up option to the end of your blogs if you have them on your website
• Send traffic to your website from social media
• Tell people about it on social media and tell them what they’ll get by signing up.
Make sure you are telling people about it all the time – you can’t expect people to sign up, if you don’t tell them to.

3 – Facebook Adverts

The other thing you can do to get people to sign up to your e-newsletter is to run some Facebook adverts to encourage people to do this. You could use your freebie as an incentive to this. Really go to town promoting your freebie via a Facebook advert, increase your audience reach in the process and see people signing up.

4 – Breadcrumbing

The next tactic is known as breadcrumbing. This means being part of lots of groups on Facebook and telling them about your pages/groups/freebies and e-newsletter. You often have to be careful about what is allowed in groups and being too salesy, but if you are subtle you can get known and people will follow the links (or the breadcrumb trail) you leave behind and voila, more sign-ups

5 – Nurture Your Audience

Finally, according to the survey I mentioned earlier, 40% of respondents sign up for your newsletter because they like you or your brand. I say all the time that people buy people – they are there for a reason. Your email database has signed up because they want to know more about you, hear what you have to say, find out how they can get involved or buy your products.
But once you’ve hooked them in, you have to nurture them. Don’t just leave them hanging. If you are serious about using email as part of your marketing strategy, then use it. Put time and effort into it. Send weekly, bi-weekly emails or monthly emails (depending on your business). Do what feels right for you and your brand. I send weekly emails, where I tell people stories, tell them about me, get them to know, like and trust me. Perhaps this feels too much for you and you might try bi-monthly. Don’t leave it longer than a month to communicate with your audience as they will lose interest and unsubscribe.

I just want to add here, that the open rate of emails is usually between 20-30%, so don’t worry if people don’t read all of your emails. Try different things to see what works. The good thing about emails is that we can see what does and doesn’t work.

Also, don’t worry if people unsubscribe – it’s nothing personal. They were never going to buy from your in the first place, so it’s good to have them off your list to keep it nice and clean!

So, there you have a few marketing tips to get your email list up and running or to give it a bit of a refresh. If you want to sign up to my email list you can do here.

If you would like to know more about my forthcoming courses on various areas of marketing – or have missed a previous one, simply click here.

What is Branding and How To Do It Well?

Branding Tips

Here are 3 top tips to getting your branding right:

1 – Good design

Good design is key to the foundations of a good brand. I know a lot of people create a quick logo themselves in Canva, or on Word, or sketch out an idea, however, branding is so much more than a quick mock-up of your business name and initials. Have you thought about what colours and font to use? Have you thought how it represents your business or who you are? Do people actually ‘get it’ and understand who you are and what you do? A good brand does all that – it is not just a standalone logo.

I’d always consider asking a good designer – and I mean a good one. Even I can create a logo in Canva, but a designer with a track record will be able to help you create that brand, they will get a feel for your business and make a logo that is unique to you and accurately represent you.

I work closely with, and highly recommend, these two designers who work with you to understand your business and deliver your requirements. Feel free to get in touch. Tell them I sent you!

https://jiliallen.com/

https://www.rebeccawatsondesign.co.uk/

2 – Consistency

The next thing to consider is consistency.  When you create a brand you need to have some guidelines, which state exactly what font and colours you use within your branding to compliment your logo. If you look across all my marketing platforms – from my website to my social media, my email marketing…right down to the font I use on my emails. Everything uses the same font and colours consistently.

This gives the look and feel of a professional business – not one using random colours in strange places and one day they are using Arial and the next using a random script font.

Consistency is key for creating impact and also making your brand stand out and easily recognisable.

3 – Messaging

My next tip is all about messaging. This is where I talk to you about what you tell people and how you portray your business. You need to be clear on who you are and what you do in all your marketing material. Again, it needs to be consistent and clear.

I met someone through networking and every time I saw them, they’d changed their business name and what they did. They had no clear message about who they were and I still don’t know what they do.  It was very confusing.

So, think about your key messages – what are the top things you need to tell people about your business and what you do. Get them right and, again, use them consistently, so your messaging becomes defined, clear and so that everyone understands what you are trying to tell them.

In a nutshell, branding is how your customers see you, not only through your logo, but also the way you speak to them, the way you act and treat them and the way you tell them things through your marketing.

I found this great definition on ‘The Branding Journal’

“A product is what you sell, a brand is the perceived image of the product you sell, and branding is the strategy to create that image.”

If you would to access more Marketing help or know someone who would – feel free to join my ‘Marketing Made Easy With Lisa’ Facebook Group. We are a friendly group sharing knowledge, asking questions and helping each other. Join us!

Top Reasons Why Your Social Media Might Not be Working

Social Media Content Advice

Also, do you compare yourself with others and think they are doing a great job, they seem to know what to post and have more followers, but why isn’t your social media doing the same for you?

If you don’t feel like social media is working for you there could be a few reasons. Let me help.

1 – You’re not showing up enough

It takes a lot of time and effort to get social media right. You can’t expect to post once or twice a week and think you’re going to see vast improvements. Yes, you may see a bit of an increase in reach, but realistically you need to show up every day and sometimes more than once a day. Think about posting every day, but perhaps sharing a story, or posting a video. As with anything in marketing, you need to put the work in to get something out of it.

2 – You’re not being social

The clue is in the name of this one. Social media is all about being social. You have to shift your focus from the posts on your page, to getting off your page and interacting with your followers. Comment on their posts, like their posts, share their content. It is all about building up a community of people who know, like and trust you. Think of it like networking, but online. You don’t need to be spammy, just talk to people and get social.

3 – You’re not creating engaging content? 

The other reason you may be hearing crickets with your social media is because your posts just aren’t engaging or attractive to your audience. Think about what you’re writing in them…are they all salesy? People will just flick past them if they are. Think about asking questions, creating a discussion, show yourself and your personality so they get to know you. If you work for a business or in an industry that is typically boring, think about what your follower would want to know, how can you solve their problems, what makes the business unique or stand out from competitors and base your posts on that, instead of links to your website to sell.

If you found my advice interesting, I’m going to be doing my next mini marketing masterclass about creating content. What to write, how to find inspiration, how to find your voice and how to plan your content in advance, so you don’t have to stress about it. Join me to learn more and make a positive difference to your social media. Sign up for my Creating Content For Social Media Masterclass here.

The 5 Benefits of Facebook Advertising

Facebook Advertising Tips

If you take away one thing from this session today let it be this – the only reason you should ‘boost’ a post on Facebook is to increase the reach of a post. So, in other words, for that post to be seen by more people. However, the golden rule is that you should only boost a post that has proven popular in the past. If a post has already reached thousands of people, had lots of comments/shares etc then that shows it is a great piece of content and could be boosted. In other words, you ‘boost’ it’s popularity. That is it. Don’t think about boosting posts that you haven’t got data for or posts which aren’t working. It is not the best way to spend your money with Facebook.

This should be done through Facebook advertising.

Now, before you even think about spending any money with Facebook there are some things you need to have in place.

1 – Facebook Business Manager and a Facebook Ads account. This is different to the ‘ads manager’ you see on your page. I’ve put links to them below so you can make sure you get set up.

2 – Next you want to make sure the Facebook pixel code is on your website.  Once you’ve got business manager set up, there is a step-by-step guide in there to show you how to create the pixel.  If you’re like me once I’ve got the code give it to your website designer who will install the code for you. I’m going to tell you what is so special about the pixel later.

Once you have these you are ready to plan your Facebook adverts.

There are many benefits of advertising on Facebook. Let me explain…

1 – Audience targeting

The beauty of creating an advert from scratch in Facebook is that you can tailor it to your target audience. You can search by age, location, interests and activities. Facebook will also give you suggestions based on what you include.

You can also save different audiences within your account, so if one works really well you know to use that same audience in the future.

You can also create look-a-like audiences. So, you may want to target people who are similar to those who’ve already liked your Facebook page, or similar to people who have visited your website (and how do Facebook know who has visited your website? Through that magic little bit of code – the Facebook pixel – which tracks who visits your website and is also a Facebook user).

2 – Variety Re-marketing

Another great thing about Facebook adverts that you can’t do with boosting, is try out different types of adverts. You can set them up to drive traffic to your website, to generate leads, to convert sales. There is also a ‘re-marketing’ advert. Now here is where that little pixel code comes in again. Once you’ve run your main advert to drive traffic to your website, for example to make a conversion (i.e. sell a product, sill in a form etc), it will know who visited the site (so who was interested) and it will ‘re-market’ advert to them through a re-targeting advert.

So, you can see there is so much more scope with Facebook adverts.

3 – Fully measurable

The other great thing about Facebook adverts, is that they are fully measurable. This means you get to see live data – you can literally follow what the advert is doing and see how it is performing. You can tweak it if it is not performing, you can add additional budget to it and you can edit the content and images too.

You don’t get the full spectrum of insights if you boosted a post and you just have to sort of sit and pray that it works.

4 – Suits any budget

I have had clients who have spent as little as £3 a day on Facebook advertising and seen results.  Other clients might spend £100 a day. Big organisations may spend £100K a day. But this is the beauty of Facebook advertising, it can work really well for any size marketing budget.

The key thing to remember is to know your target audience and to get the content right.

5 – Build brand awareness

Facebook adverts are also a great way to build brand awareness of your business to people who may not like your page or see your posts. Reaching a wider target audience and getting your business in front of your ideal target customers.

So, there are lots of reasons why Facebook adverts can work well in your marketing strategy. I’d say before you start you need to have a strategy in place, know who your target audience is and what you want to tell them. Think about what would be a good return and what you hope to achieve so you can analyse the success of your adverts.

To find out more about how I can help pack a punch with your social media – why not download my top tips here

Kickstart Your Marketing in 2021

Marketing action plan 2021

Sort out your social media

So, number one, sort out your social media.

Don’t panic – just have a bit of a logical Spring clean. You don’t have to have an account on every single social media channel. It can be overwhelming and daunting thinking about posting on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn

First step – which channel do you enjoy the most? Where do you enjoy spending your time and interacting?

Personally, as a social media consultant, I love Instagram the best, but you have to think about where your potential clients are. Think about your target age group, your target customer, your ideal customer. Think about where they hang out online, where do they go and get information? Is it Pinterest?

If you’re B2B, are they on LinkedIn or Twitter? For B2B generally, the places you should be communicating are LinkedIn and Twitter. If you’re a consumer, you sell products or services to the consumer, then you should probably be on Facebook or Instagram.

For the younger generation, if that’s your target, think about Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok.

Now it’s 2021, have a clear out. There is no shame in deleting a social media account. It will probably free up your time and make you feel better and more focused.

Plan in advance

My second tip for Kickstarting your marketing in 2021 is to plan in advance.

Think about what you want to achieve with your marketing in 2021. It might be ‘I want to improve social media’. You might think ‘I want to start a blog’, ‘I want to create a weekly e-newsletter’, ‘I’m going to start using video more’, ‘I want to get some new photography for my business’.

Plan all these activities in. Actually write it down. Get a planner or a journal. I use an Excel spreadsheet, literally week by week. I have every week, and I plan out what I’m going to do week by week. Find what works for you.

Think about the things you want to achieve with your marketing, and plan in when you are going to do it, otherwise it will just end up being a thought and you’ll never get it done. Create yourself a little ‘Me Marketing Plan’ with those aims that you want to achieve this year, next year and get them written down.

The other thing to think about is what’s happening in your business? Are there any anniversaries coming up?  Are you attending any meetings?  Are there any events?  Have you hit any milestones?

This year for me, my business will have been going for ten years. It’s my ten year anniversary, so I’m definitely going to plan in some kind of promotion or celebration, something special. Maybe a course launch or who knows what. So, I’ll plan that in.

Anything that you’ve got for the year ahead – plan it in. It can be simpler to plan for each quarter of the year so plan the first three months and then progress and complete up to June.

So, think about planning.

Get Networking!

My third tip to Kickstart your marketing in 2021 is networking. I hear people going “Ohhhh! Cringe, I hate networking.”  The best marketing tool is word of mouth and the best person to do that for your business is you.

So, get out there, meet people, get networking.

Now obviously, in the middle of a global pandemic we can’t get out there and get networking; however, there are so many companies who have now gone online and do networking online. Hunt those events down, get online and get networking.

You will be amazed at the people you’ll meet. Don’t go into this with the mindset of thinking that everyone you are going to meet is going to buy from you. Be more open-minded than that. You need to think that the people you are meeting, are connections for the future.

You might not ever work with them, but they could be a great connection. For example, if you were doing a competition and you need a prize; “Oh, I could have such and such that I met networking.”

If you are looking for a new Trustee “oh, I know that person from networking.” You know, there are so many different connections you can make, you can find stakeholders for your business, you can find partners, people to collaborate with. It’s not just about selling.

And then the more people that you meet, the more people that get to know you, the more people know about your business and what you do, and then they will recommend you.

So, it’s a really, really powerful tool that people just forget about. So, don’t forget about it. It’s one of the best things you can do.  Please think about that for kickstarting your marketing. My networking has gone online over the past 10 months and I continue to build my contacts across a wide spectrum of businesses and those contacts know me as a Marketing Consultant and Social Media Coach.

So, they are my three tips. Sort out and clear out your social media, make some aims and plan what you are going to do in terms of your marketing in 2021, and also get networking, increase that word of mouth knowledge about your business. These three things really can have a massive impact and will kickstart your marketing in 2021.

If you need any more help with your marketing or social media why not join my Facebook Group ‘Marketing Made Easy With Lisa’ and sign up for my e-newsletter for my latest tips and news or send me a message.

How To Get More Visibility Online

Improve Visibility Online

I’m going to talk you through other online marketing activities that are really easy to do. Some are a little harder to do than others but, if you pick one of these things and implement it, I’m sure that you will see results from it.

Get listed on Google

One of the best things that you can do to make sure you, your business and your website is visible online is to make sure you have a Google listing.

So, what I mean by a Google listing is, if I type in your business name into Google, your website generally will always come up because you know your business name.  But think about potential customers who just write in certain words.  They are not going to write in the name of the business, unless they are specifically looking for you, they are going to type something into that search that relates to your business.

So, I make sure that all over my website it says ‘Cumbria Marketing, marketing, marketing consultant, social media marketing, digital marketing, online marketing’. It says it everywhere.

For example, if you type in ‘Marketing Cumbria’ I am always consistently on the first page of Google search results and generally at the top of that first page as well.

If you type in your business name, quite often you will see on the right-hand side, there’s a box that has business details in for whatever business you are searching for. You need to make sure you get listed there.

The way to do this is to create a Google account. It will give you a free Gmail email account; you might use it, you might not; it can come in handy sometimes for things, but don’t worry about that.  Just make sure that you drop a pin to where your address is on a map; where your business premises are on a map, adding photos and business logo and get people to leave you reviews. You can also put yourself into a business category as well, and that really helps your presence on Google.

So, that is an easy, ten-minute job to get a presence on Google. Organise your business listing.

Get people to leave you reviews. Google sees the reviews and picks them up. This helps your online presence. If anybody wanted to leave me a review on Google, I’d be most appreciative. I’ll let you finish reading this first!

Asking people to leave reviews really helps. The more reviews you have online and the higher the star rating, obviously, the more Google will see your website and your business as more popular. This will help bump you up those Google searches.

Facebook is another good place to get reviews online. We love a review. They are amazing – and extremely useful for business. If you are writing any proposals or tenders or launching something or want to put some PR out, use the testimonials and reviews you receive. Really try and get those reviews.

If you also have a restaurant or a visitor attraction, you can get reviews on Trip Advisor, that’s another good place. Also, we’ve now got Instagram Guides, that’s another good place to get reviews, so think about that too. Many options open to you.

Optimise your website

Top tip Number Two. Optimise your website – you might know it as SEO – or you might be thinking ‘what are you talking about?’.  Maybe you have heard the phrase and don’t really know what it means. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. I’m going to try and explain it as easily as I can because it can get a bit techy.

People will get a website built for their business. Once the website is built, they expect loads of traffic to come to it. Now, nobody is going to find that website if it’s not built so that search engines can see it. So, if you’re getting a website built, make sure you ask your website designer to ensure that it has been listed with Google, and also that it’s optimised.

All over your website and on every single page has what is called ‘metadata’ – descriptions, titles and keywords on that page. Now, if your website doesn’t have this information, then Google’s not going to find it. It’s going to be really difficult for any search engine to pick it up.

Here’s an example. One of my clients is a physiotherapist and was frustrated that her website didn’t show up on Google. After a quick look at her website, I could see that it had no metadata on it whatsoever. She’s based in Penrith, so if somebody is wanting a physiotherapist, they are going to type into Google ‘Physiotherapist in Penrith’ or ‘Penrith Physio’ or ‘Physiotherapy Penrith’. They are the key things. When I typed in those search terms, all her competitors were coming up and she didn’t feature.

So, what I did, and it can be quite time consuming, but I went through every page of her website, and I made sure that these specific keywords were in the content on her website and were also in the metadata.

The way that you find this information is in what’s called the ‘backend’ of your content management system of your website. Ask your web designer or your techy people if you need help to find that log-in, to see if you’ve got it.

If you use a WordPress website, there is something called ‘Yoast’. It’s a plugin that you can have on your website, and it makes it so easy to type in the keywords, put a little description for that page, and it will tell you if it’s optimised, if it’s good or if there is something not quite right. It will tell you what you need to improve.

So, I went into every page and put this keyword information, ‘physiotherapist Penrith’ and the business name on the website. Within a week, my client appeared on the first page of Google because that was all over her website and Google could find it easily.

Also, when uploading any new images to your website, be sure to name them and use your keywords, don’t use DSC001.jpg for example. Google will see all this information on your website – the keywords in the text and the names of the images.

That is basically SEO. Have a little look at your website, see where you are appearing on Google, get your Google business listing and then have a look at the SEO, and have a look at your keywords on your website. Think about what words and phrases your customers might type into a search engine if they were looking for a business like yours. If you’re appearing, then do some tweaking to try and get yourself on the first page of Google. You need your business to be on the first page, right at the top. If you’ve got your business listing and your website is optimised, and you’ve got some reviews on there, brilliant.  This is a great way to improve your online marketing and to ensure potential customers can find you online.

Blogging

The next thing I want to talk about, which is also a really good way of making your business and your website visible online, is a blog.

Now, I bet you haven’t sat, read and digested all of my blogs. I don’t expect anybody to sit and read all the blogs and articles on my website. They are there for content. The blogs on my website all consistently talk about marketing. It’s not ‘A day in the life of Lisa’ – it’s not that kind of stuff. My content is always about marketing. I repurpose information, including my Facebook Lives that I present. I turn them into a blog and put them on my website because it contains all that information, all that vital content and keywords that I want to be found on my website, and which I want to be found in searches. Search engines are going to find them through the blogs on my website.

If you have a website that just sits there, that you don’t update, Google is going to think that it’s an old website that nobody looks after, that nobody cares for and nobody visits and that nobody is interested in. However, keep your website updated – and I’m not talking about like every day or every week – once a month is fine.

Completing the SEO work on my website, and updating the blogs consistently, has ensured that I stay at number one in Google searches for people who want help with marketing, particularly in Cumbria.

When you think about writing a blog, think of a key topic to write about each month, relevant to your business. Think about the things that people are going to be searching for again, that people are interested in, that’s going to show you as an expert in the field that you work in.

Another example for you. One of my clients is the ‘BEEP Doctors’ who are a local Cumbrian charity of volunteer doctors that save lives. Nobody knows about them, but they are amazing. You are going to hear more about them because I’m working on their online marketing this year.

We write blogs about first aid, health and safety, new doctors, driving conditions and how you can stay safe on the roads, because the majority of incidents they are called out to are road traffic accidents. These topics are the things people are going to search for.

Blogs are a really good way to make sure your website is visible online. It doesn’t have to take ages.  If you can write and post twelve blogs in a year, then brilliant. Spend half an hour to an hour writing each of those blogs. They don’t have to be really long. 300 to 500 words is enough. The key is to keep making sure that your website is being visible and updated.

An important point about all of the things above is that they are free. You don’t have to pay anything for any of these. All it takes is your time.

In addition, another important thing you can do, if you are writing blogs or within your website, is add links to other people’s websites, or asking other people to link to your website.

When you type in your keywords into a search engine, you’ll find lots of directories pop up. Yell’s always one, there’s one called Cylex and many others. If you have Google Analytics, look to see what pages are sending traffic to your website. They are often little directories so make sure that you are listed on them. Put your website on as many different directories, networking directories as you can find. Cumbria Growth Hub have one. I’m sure there are others around the country. I’m part of the Pink Link networking group for ladies and so I’m on their directory. Put your website out there, as many places as you can. It’s another free way of getting your business visible online.

In addition, e-newsletters are another free way to get seen by people. Is there a way that you could write a monthly e-newsletter, just to update your clients or your followers about what is happening in your business?

Finally, of course, we have social media. I’ve recently found that joining other Facebook Groups is very beneficial. Some are local, some are in my field of business. People in the groups ask questions, share advice, knowledge and answer each other’s questions. Showing people what you are doing, who you are about and linking them back to your page or your website or things that you do, or product pages, is a positive for your business, so look into suitable groups. Feel free to join my ‘Marketing Made Easy With Lisa’ Facebook Group and invite others who would benefit from sharing hints and tips.

Now, I want to get something straight here. Don’t feel like you have to do all of these things mentioned here because life is a bit crazy at the moment. However, if you pick out one thing from here and implement that, I’m sure you will see results. It might not be overnight, but if you thought ‘That’s the one thing I’m going to do’ in addition to my social media, to try and improve my visibility online, these are the things I implement for my clients that work; they do work, it just needs a little bit of time.

If you are furloughed at the moment, if your business isn’t open and you can’t do what you’d normally do, make sure you are in control with this kind of stuff, even if you just take half an hour a day to implement some of these online marketing tips. I’m sure it will bring your rewards.

For more marketing tips and advice, join my workshops which cover a variety of topics to help you and your business. Find out more here.

How To Find Your Voice On Social Media

Find Your voice on social media

The things I want you to think about on social media are really simple, will make you stand out, will make you feel more confident in your social media and are things that will help you find your voice and get you more engaged followers as well.

1 – Be Human

Ok, Number one.  What I need you to do is to be human.

And what you really need to embrace in social media is the human touch. It’s about not taking yourself too seriously and showing off your personality.

Now I know this makes some people go a bit “Oooh, I can’t put myself out there.” If you run a business, you need to market that business, don’t you? You can’t sit in your office and hope that people are going to find you. You have to put yourself out there as a business owner – and social media is a fantastic place for you to do that.

People buy people, don’t they? Let’s be fair. People are nosy. People want to know what you’re up to and what you are doing, and behind the scenes of the business. By being human and putting yourself out there, really is the way that you can make yourself stand out on social media.

2 – Be the expert in your field

The second thing to think about is hopefully you are all experts in your field. My expertise is obviously is marketing, social media, branding and PR. You’re the expert in your field. Think about educating your audience.

Find out your customers burning questions. What are those things that people get really stuck on when it comes to what you do, whether it’s accountancy, whether it’s car fabrications, whether it’s pies? Think about how you can educate people about what you do.

Share tips, share information, share advice, educate people. You know, what’s the best kind of pastry you should use on pies and different types of pies? In accountancy, again, think about what the really interesting and unique, unusual things are abut accounting.

Tell people, educate people and tell them all about it.

3 – Inspire People

The third thing I want you to think about you, and again it’s going back to being human, is inspiring people.

Everybody has a story. I’m sure every one of you watching this has a backstory, where you’ve come from, what you’ve done, what you’ve studied, where you’ve lived, places you’ve travelled, things you’ve seen, places you’ve worked, work experience. Whatever it is, think about your back story and inspire people with that.

The reason I started my business was because I was made redundant.  I’d only been in the job six weeks, and it was only three weeks before Christmas. I tell people about that because it resonates with people. People understand it, and people get it.

Also, if you have a services type of business, take the inspiration as things of how you’ve helped people. Use case studies or share a testimonial of how you’ve helped somebody.

Inspire people with your story of who you are and what you know. These things are what make you stand out on social media.

The general posts, the selling posts, people just will blank over. You know yourself as well, from looking at social media, next time you are looking and scrolling, think about what makes you pause and read. Think about what kind of post it is, particularly on other business posts.

Those ones where they sell and are linking to the website and saying “I do this…..”  They don’t always work if they are constant.

You want to be thinking about your education posts, tell people something. You want to inspire people, tell them your back story and show them your personality.

Now, there’s also a different school of people that will say “I’m an introvert. I can’t go on social media. I’m too shy. I don’t have a big personality.” I probably come across as really confident on social media, and I probably come across to people that I’m really confident, but I was the shyest child you could ever meet.  I would hide behind my Mum, and I’d always say “I can’t, I can’t.”  I was so shy. But because this is MY business and I love it, it’s like I find a different voice on social media, where I can talk and be confident.

I’m confident in what I do and I know my stuff, so therefore I’m confident about sharing it.

It’s ok if you’re an introvert, it’s ok if you are shy. There are still things that you can do. You’ve still got a story, you still have a life, you still do things and somebody, believe me, somebody will be interested in that. You might not think that what you have to say is interesting, but it will resonate with other people because you are not a martian from another planet. We are all people, and we have all got a story to tell. We are all looking for our community online, and people will resonate with things.

It’s about finding your inner voice on social media and sharing that.

If you are still like “I still couldn’t do a live like you are doing, Lisa. I can’t put myself on Stories, It’s just not me; I don’t want to share myself.” There are other things you can do. You probably have to be more creative, actually.

Here are some examples of things you can do. Have you heard of Mrs Hinch? If you’ve not heard of her, go and have a little look on Instagram.

Mrs Hinch has got millions of followers on Instagram, that’s her platform, that’s where she feels comfortable; that’s what she likes using. However, Mrs Hinch started by just using her hands, and all her videos were of her cleaning and doing stuff with her hands, and that’s how she got famous. She was very introverted and shy.

Now, generally, she’s got more confidence, so she shows herself, but she puts a filter on of like an old granny because she doesn’t want people to see her. It’s like she’s got this mask up.

So, why not think about doing something like that, use your hands or if you are telling a story, show what you are doing? You don’t have to show your face. Show your hands, make your hands famous.

If you usually work in an office and you have a dog, think about making your dog the star of your Instagram. The dog is collecting the mail; the dog is chilling out and waiting for the next client. It could be something as random as that. You don’t actually talk about your B2B service, you are talking about what your dog is up to within your B2B service, and you can weave messages in with what they are doing. I’ve seen some people use that really effectively.

Showing your deliveries coming in, new stock arriving or all the really cool things that you can do with wood and timber, sharing what other people do, sharing what your customers do, maybe sharing what you guys do at work.

Within the world of finance, maybe you’ve got an elf on the shelf or that kind of thing.

Maybe you’ve got an avid baker within the firm, and you can like showcase their baking skills but interweave your messages within that.

If you are an introvert or you don’t want to put yourself out there, think about how you could do something alternative, yet still creative with what you do.

Another little tip, I would say, is have a little look through whatever your chosen social media platform is, whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, just have a little search for like #Accountancy, #webdesigner, #carfitter. Whatever is your field of business, and find other people’s accounts. See what other people are doing.

It doesn’t have to be local people, like it could be a company in Brighton or something that you find, that do something really cool and really interesting on their social media. Don’t completely plagiarise their work but just take influence from some of their ideas.

I found this lady on Instagram who’s an accountant and all her pictures are pink and bright, she’s always wearing pink, and it’s always really fun and girly because she wants to work with female entrepreneurs. She talks about ladies at lunch, champagne and creates really interesting content.

Should you feel confident and you are happy with your posting, think about those education posts, those inspiring posts, tell your story, show you, show your personality. Social media is social; I keep saying it. People buy from people, so really think about that.

If you don’t want to show yourself, and you are an introvert, you are going to have to be creative.  Get your thinking cap on, have a look at what other people are doing on social media and take some of those ideas, and weave some of your business messages within that social media.

That is how you can begin to find your voice on social media.

I’ve done social media for a long time, but I would say it’s probably in the last year, where I’ve really found my voice on social media. What has been the key change? I’ve shown up, and I’ve been on social media. Rather than just posting posts about my business and what I do, selling my services and adding a link to my website, I’ve been telling people about myself. I’ve been telling people about my life. I’ve been telling people about my back story; I’ve been telling people about what has happened to me that week – and what a difference I have seen in my social media.

If you can spend a bit of time, research similar companies and decide which direction you are going to choose, that will help you find your voice on social media.

You can learn more ways to market your business with my blog topics and courses. Find out more here.

How to use Instagram Reels

instagram reels

In this blog, we’re going to talk about how to use Instagram Reels for business.

What are Instagram reels I hear you say? Well, by the time you’ve read this blog you will understand.

Some of you might have heard of TikTok?  Reels are very similar, it’s just not on the TikTok platform.

There are different ways of promoting your business on Instagram, for example, posts, stories and IGTV and Reels is the new feature, which was only brought out in August 2020.

When you log into your Instagram account, stories are the little circles you see at the top with more spontaneous posts from people, businesses and brands.

IGTV, is a video more like YouTube,  From 1 minute up to 15 minutes.

Reels are a little bit different, they are 30-second mini videos that rotate; they keep playing over and over and over and are shown in searches too. If you can be clever with them, you can put some hashtags in them as well so they are seen by a wider audience.

What is the point of Reels?

Lots of influencers use Reels, but I’ve also seen lots of businesses starting to use them as well, and being really effective with them.

The point of using a Reel is it’s a really, really good way to show your personality and to show your brand off to it’s best as well.  Stories work in the sense that they’re great at showing your personality, you can chat, you can do different things, they only last twenty-four hours.

Reels are on there for a long time and if you can invest a little bit of time in doing them, they can be really effective at increasing engagement on your page.  They’re a really, really good way to promote your business, to get seen by more people, a really good way to build your audience.

Since I’ve started using Reels, I’ve seen some amazing results which have actually taken me quite by surprise and has increased my audience as well. So, it definitely increases your reach and engagement.

Do they work?

Do they work? Oh, crikey, they work!

The first Reel I created as a bit of practice had 478 views, which I was really good as a first attempt.  Once I created the reel I posted it to my story as well.  The difference I have seen is that more people were watching the Reel than watching it in my Story.  So, in my Story when it lasted about around 24 hours, it only got maybe, 50 to 60 views but the Reel got 478.

As time has moved on I’ve done a few different ones.  One of me dressing up, one of me homeworking, one of me giving tips, one doing a little happy dance because I got a new client.  However, a really spontaneous one I did on a Friday night when I was looking for a bottle of wine and the fridge was bare has over 5,500 views in just over a week.

It has lots of comments and likes and the reach on my account on that day went crazy.

The content that I posted that day, resonated with people and I think if you can show that kind of content in your social media, that’s what works really well. Then recently I’ve noticed my other Reels have started increasing in engagement too as people are then watching my other reels as well.

So, do they work? Oh yes, they do!  People remember me and I’ve had people messaging me enquiring about things because of seeing these videos, so I’m becoming more visible.  So that’s how they work really well for business.

Should I use Reels?

Should you use them in your marketing?

The reason I do Reels is that I need to know how these things work so I can tell my clients.  So I’ve got a Snapchat account, I’ve got a TikTok account, I’ve got LinkedIn, I’ve got Twitter, I’ve got YouTube, I’ve got everything because I need to know these things for my clients.

Don’t overwhelm yourself with Social Media, really think about who your target audience is, where they hang out online and concentrate on that social media platform.  If your target audience is on Instagram then go for it, have fun with it.

So I hope that has given you a good insight into how to use Instagram reels for business.  If you want to know more about how I can help you through social media coaching get in touch.

The basics of Marketing for Business

business marketing basics

Today we’re going right back to the basics of marketing for business because marketing can quite often feel overwhelming and if you don’t work in marketing, like me, it can be really scary and really daunting and you just sometimes don’t know where to start, or what to do with it.

If you’re an established business doing marketing, you can quite often come to that point where you’re doing so much, feel a bit overwhelmed and I don’t know if you’re doing the right things. It’s quite good sometimes just to take a step back, go right back to basics and take stock of what you’re doing. Just so you can make sure that you’re doing the right things at the right time and that you’re not feeling that overwhelm.

Tip 1:  Target Customer

The target customer is one of the most important things that you need to think about when you’re doing your marketing. There are two different ways to think about the target customer.

There’s an Ideal Client Avatar (ICA) and then Target Customer.

The best way to explain ICA is that if my phone was going to ring now and my ideal client was on the other end this is ICS.

So, for me it’s “Helen”, she’s come from a rags to riches story, she’s got an existing business, she’s building it, but she’s been doing everything herself and then all of a sudden she needs some marketing help.

She’s good at networking; she’s got good contacts.  She’s professional, she has a good reputation, she’s got a team that works for her. I’ve really encapsulated who I want to ring me who is the ideal person that I want to get business from. Helen is my ICA.

And then I’ve got something called target customer. Target customer is a little bit different because Helen is just that one person, the ideal person who I want to ring me and buy my product or engage and work with.

Target customer is a bit different because quite often I’ll say to people, “Who’s your target customer?” and they’ll go, “Oh, everybody, everybody”.  It could be everybody, but actually, really, it’s not everybody. Even though you might think it…I could say any business or businessperson could be my ideal target customer. But, no they’re not, we really have to hone down and think about who that is.

So, you might have lots of different people, but we need to put them in categories. So, think of little boxes, you might categorise them into gender, you might categorise them into age groups, industry for example.

It might be based on geographic location, it might be UK wide, it might be specific cities, or it might be Cumbria.

So, once you’ve really thought about those different groups of people that you’re targeting, it makes it so much easier because then you know, who you need to speak to with your marketing.

So, if my target customer is over sixty, for example, then I know that social media potentially isn’t going to be the right way to target them, e-newsletters, potentially isn’t going to be the way to target them. Then you have to think outside the box and how am I going to reach that target audience?  Could it be through, press articles in the local newspaper?  They’re more likely to buy the local newspaper.  Could it be through a flyer through their door?   So once you really think about who you’re targeting, you can then work out, if the marketing that you’re doing is appropriate to that target audience.

So, ICA is your ideal client; the person that you want to pick the phone up to.

Your target customer is different groups of people and the marketing that you do, relates specifically to each of those different groups, so you might have different messages and different things you say to those people.

So, the first thing that you need to do is think about target customer.  Really define who your target customer is.

 

Tip 2: Key Messages

The next thing you need to think about is your key messages.

Again, the things that you say to these different people are really important, and what a lot of people don’t do is think about the key things that they want to be telling their clients.

I want you to think about what makes you special? What are your ‘unique selling points’ USP?  What makes you different from everybody else? What makes me different from other marketing consultants?  What makes you different from other web designers? Or what makes you different from other care workers, or aromatherapists, whatever it is and think about what problems you solve? How can you help your client? What are the things that are issues for them?

Think about the five things that make you really stand out.

The other thing that I do, is think what makes me different and unique? What are your core values, your passions, not just about your work and the business, but about you too?

 

Tip 3: Marketing Aims

The third thing to think about is your marketing aims.

We all have a bit of an idea where our business is heading and what we want to achieve in business, but have you ever thought specifically about your marketing aims? And again, people think, ‘Ah, I just want…  I want to make more money.  I want to do more sales.’ But I want you to be a bit more specific than that.  I want you to think about what do you specifically want to achieve in marketing, and I want you to set a timescale as well.

It might be you want to improve your social media, or you want to grow your following, or you want to increase engagement and comments on social media.

You might want to raise brand awareness, so more people have heard about you. You might want to drive more traffic to your website. You might want to increase sales. You might want to get more PR in the newspaper, news stories.

When you’re a business owner, you haven’t got time to think of everything you could be doing in terms of marketing, so I want to you to pick the top three things you want to achieve with your marketing?

Raise brand awareness, so how are we going to do that? Think about the different ways that you can get your name out there.

Want to improve social media presence? So how are you going to do that? Following more people, interact with more people, get off your page, post more, turn up every day on your social media.  You know, think specifically about that.

By picking just three and not trying to do everything, can really help people that are feeling a bit overwhelmed by their marketing because let’s face it, there is so much you could do and if you try and do it all, and you try and think about doing everything you are going to feel completely overwhelmed by it.

So, just pick three things that you really, really want to do and focus on those, and that will help you really focus down, and think about what you want to achieve.

So, back to basics, have a think, Who is your target audience?  What are the key messages you are going to tell them?  And what are the three aims to help you do that?

Don’t try and do everything; we’re not superhuman, just pick three and focus on those and do them really, really well.

If you want to find out more about the basics of marketing for business and how I could help you with your marketing click here