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A new way to manage social media posts

November 14, 2017  |   Marketing tips,Social media   |     |   0 Comment
A new way to manage social media posts

I am currently trialling a new social media tool that enables you to schedule posts across the various different platforms. There are of course several tools such as Hootsuite which already do that, but what I like about this one is it’s attractive and user-friendly visual appeal. You can also schedule posts ready for approval if somebody else needs to see them before they go live.

  • It has visually appealing calendar format so you can clearly see what’s been posted for when, and on what platforms
  • You can move a post simply by dragging it to another day, so it’s easy to organise
  • You can preview a post as it will appear on the platform
  • It’s easy to ‘re-use’ a post – handy for those evergreen ones

I have yet to find a tool that does everything I want, all in one place (that would be a miracle!) but this is close, and they are continually developing it. For instance, when it started out you could only schedule a week at a time. You can now do it months ahead!

If you want to give it a go, it’s called ContentCal – you can create a free trial account here http://www.contentcal.io/

 

 

How far should you take the humour?

October 31, 2017  |   Branding and Personality   |     |   0 Comment
How far should you take the humour?

If you ever travel by train you may have come across a quirky coffee shop called Puccino’s. In fact, they have high street café’s too. I love the fact that they aim to brighten up a commuters’ journey with a fun and informal approach.

Waiting for a train into London one evening, I noticed the sandwich and cake display was pretty sparse, but had a sign up saying “This item has disappeared. It will re-appear soon”

The font they use is casual and friendly. Every item has a cheeky message instead of a brand message. For instance, brightly coloured coffee cups feature the message ‘can I get a receipt with that’ and sugar packets say ‘use as small pillow’

Silly stuff that can put a smile on your face when you’re least expecting it.

Are you familiar with your sales funnel?

October 31, 2017  |   Sales   |     |   0 Comment
Are you familiar with your sales funnel?

Dictionary definition of a funnel: a tube or pipe that is wide at the top and narrow at the bottom, used for guiding liquid or powder into a small opening.

Imagine a funnel that guides your customers, rather than liquid or powder. At the wide opening there will be lots of potential customers. As the process goes on, and the conditions are satisfied (or not) people will drop out until you narrow it down the ones that will make a purchase.

If you’re selling a corporate software solution your sales funnel will be very different to somebody selling chocolate bars. A long, carefully thought through decision likely involving many individuals over a few months compared to an instant purchase by one person requires a very different approach.

Which is why it’s important to think about your sales funnel. In other words, the process your buyer goes through in order to reach the point of sale.

How to choose your customers

September 26, 2017  |   Marketing tips,Target Market   |     |   0 Comment
How to choose your customers

It can be difficult to narrow down your target market, perhaps because you’re worried that you might miss an opportunity. The problem is, you simply can’t be all things to all people. And when you’re promoting your product, it has to talk to somebody. Somebody has to look at it and think ‘that’s just what I need’ or ‘that looks interesting, I’d like to know more’.

Facebook done military style – with a twist!

Facebook done military style – with a twist!

I’m always a bit dubious about facebook for business, as it’s a bit of a hit and miss environment. Most people are on facebook for a bit of light entertainment, and don’t really want to see work-related stuff. 

But where facebook comes into its own is when it involves a group or community, so it’s perfect for a business that relies on a group of people interacting. 

One in particular stands out for me as actively engaging everybody, being genuinely informative and most of all fun. 

It’s for a military fitness club and it manages to do all of the following: 

  • Provide information 
  • Provide entertainment 
  • Impart a sense of fun and belonging 
  • Encourage members to turn up to the classes and participate 

The pitfalls of writing a sales letter

The pitfalls of writing a sales letter

It’s no easy task, putting together a letter to a prospect. You don’t know their personality or their current situation so you are making a lot of assumptions. But if you make assumptions about people and get it wrong, it can backfire. 

There are always several schools of thought on the ‘right’ approach, but in my view you should imagine yourself receiving that email and how you would respond to it.  

This was forwarded to me recently  

“Joe Bloggs our CEO asked me to introduce myself should you require any assistance with *our service* in the future. I have also signed you up for our alert service to assist with any needs you have in the future. You will not receive any junk mail or sales calls on the back of this, it is just a service offering which Joe thought you might find useful. Please do let me know if there is anything I can help with in the future.  

Have a great week,  

Fred Smith, Head of Sales” 

… which prompted the response below  

Business people are also family people

July 05, 2017  |   Business Networking   |     |   0 Comment
Business people are also family people

Last year a friend of mine was leaving the country with her family for a new life overseas. There was a family BBQ held in her honour, and at it I got chatting to one of the neighbours.

We discovered that we had complementary businesses and to cut a long story short, have now been working regularly together for 9 months.

This reminded me of a number of other occasions where I have done business with somebody that I initially met in a completely non-business environment. Talking to people in the school playground, the stables and even a fitness class have all resulted in lucrative business opportunities over the years.

If you get on in a social environment, it’s likely that you will work well together too. So be curious, ask people about what they do and you never know. It might be an opportunity for both of you. 

From Slough to Milan

From Slough to Milan

Several years ago, I was a guest speaker at a business event in Slough. There was a sign-up sheet for my newsletter and I collected quite a few contacts that got added to my mailing list. One of them was Abhi, a video producer, and she has received this newsletter ever since.

About 18 months ago, she invited me to join her networking group as a guest. As we had met so briefly years before, I couldn’t remember her and it was an early morning slot and I was unable to go for some time. For some reason though (perhaps because she was gently persistent) I did end up going along and was quite taken with her brief presentation about a video she had just finished filming. It was a sensitive but fun promotional video for the Great British Skinny Dip and it was her sense of fun but also responsibility that appealed. 

What’s the magic ingredient for this successful café?

What’s the magic ingredient for this successful café?

Whilst travelling to the Cotswolds on business recently, I drove past a café on the side of the road – it was set off the road, perpendicular to it but it had a large ‘headerboard’ sign in nice grey and lilac colours with an attractive typeface. There were chairs and tables outside, and potted plants around a nicely tended patio. It looked like somewhere worth going back to. So I did! When I got inside, I found reserved signs on most of the tables – unusual for a café, but a good sign that it was a popular spot. The WiFi code was clearly displayed on the blackboard along with the specials. A waitress found me a table with a plug so I could charge my phone and laptop, and I spent a happy couple of hours watching the comings and goings, fuelled by their delicious cake and coffee. 

Bloomin’ marvellous!

June 05, 2017  |   Advertising,Marketing tips   |     |   0 Comment
Bloomin’ marvellous!

An innovative and carefully thought through solution to avoid common problems with fresh flower deliveries.

If you order flowers for somebody, it’s often done as a nice surprise which is kind of spoiled when you have to check if they’ll be in to receive them. Alternatively, you risk causing inconvenience for the recipient of having to track down an undelivered bouquet. This company have cottoned onto the problem and have devised a clever solution.

Their package is designed to fit through letterbox. What? Fresh flowers in a package? Yes indeed! 

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