Category Archives: – Marketing your Business

6 Things you should Know before Starting a Blog

It’s impossible to say with any certainty how many blogs – personal or corporate – are on the internet, but realistic estimates put it at around 150 million. People sure do like to share. Apparently somebody somewhere is starting a blog every half a second – that’s a sobering thought…

If you are running a small business now and particularly if you have a website for your business, you will probably have been advised at one time or another that you need a blog in order to keep content on your site fresh and to get your personal message out to your prospective customers.  But many small business owners flinch at the prospect of this.  How on earth do you even go about blogging, knowing what to write and then publicising it?

There are many articles that go into this subject in a lot more detail, but for a very quick summary please read on. I hope to show you that starting a blog does not have to be scary – you can easily do the things that you are good at and outsource the bits that you are not so confident about.

Setting up your blog

If you have a WordPress website already then setting up a blog is a piece of cake, and the person who handles your IT will probably be able to get you going in a very short time.

starting a blog

If you are starting a blog from scratch it can still be pretty easy.  i usually recommend self-hosted WordPress blogs to anybody, whether they are starting a personal blog or a business blog.  If nothing else, there is a huge community of IT specialists out there who know WordPress, and it is very easy to access technical help when you need it.

When it comes to building the blog you can use a specialist software package like  WordPress Website Builder from UK2,  If you feel like you can’t manage the software yourself, then take a look on a site like Fiverr and you will probably find somebody very reasonable that can come to your rescue.

Take a look at other people’s blogs to find the style that you like – then you have something that you can show your developer and base your blog on.  If you have a corporate style already then this will be easier – you can build your blog using the colours and fonts that you already use elsewhere.

Starting to Write

The first few weeks of a new blog can be absolutely terrifying.  You stare at the blank page and don’t really know where to begin.

Posting a couple of blog posts every day may make you feel productive, but there’s not a lot of point if there’s no engagement. You need to be focusing on relevancy to your target audience if you want your content to be shared online, and bring regular visitors to your website.

Think about the people you’re writing for – what problems do they have that your blog might be able to solve; what questions might you be able to answer? think of the products you sell or services you provide and then write How to  posts around the areas your customers might be interested in.  Study the comments people leave on your articles for future topic ideas.

Tone Of Voice

Who is going to be writing your blog posts? In some companies it is delegated to the marketing team, whereas in others people from different departments all the way up to senior management take turns. You need to have guidelines in place for the type of content that is being posted, such as maintaining a clear tone of voice, and to ensure that whoever is in charge of writing actually has the time and skills available to do so.

Type Of Content

While the majority of blogs are text-heavy, there are many different types of post that you may find better engage your visitors, or at least give your blog a bit of variety.

Unquestionably, visual content tends to have the biggest impact, whether that’s images, videos or infographics. A picture speaks a thousand words as they say, so if you have the time and resources, putting together something original, or embedding and crediting something that someone else has created, is likely to have more of an impact than a bland 1,000 word essay.

If you are going with a mainly text-based format for one of your posts or the whole blog, you need to make it punchy, humorous, and break it up with sub-headings so that it’s easy to read.

Mailing Lists

Take every opportunity to add people to your mailing list. A pop-up on each page of your site asking visitors if they’d like to provide an email address in order to receive regular updates whenever a new blog post is published is a good technique, as is requiring an email address before someone can read a full post.

starting a blog

Try creating exclusive content purely for those on your mailing list to increase the appeal. Once you have that mailing list, of course, it can be used for more than just your blog, such as to alert people to new promotions and products.

Integrated Marketing

Consider how you are going to integrate your blog into your company’s total marketing efforts.

Let’s say you have a start-up dating agency, for example.

Your blog might consist of articles on ‘How to know if she’s The One’, or ‘What your partner’s eye colour says about them’, or ‘The 15 types of men you should never introduce to your parents’.

Where will you be sharing these online, beyond your own site?  Facebook and Twitter, sure, and maybe other social media as well, depending on who you are trying to market to and where they hang out. You should also consider contributing guest posts to other blogs in related fields, or inviting guest writers onto your own site, to reach a wider audience or build authority.

Engagement With Your Audience

If you’re posting high-quality content on a regular basis, and sharing it in the right places, then after a while you should start getting comments left on your blog.

Take the time to study each comment,  and respond personally where possible, thanking people for giving their thoughts, and see if there is anything of value you can take away from them such as suggestions for new articles. Positive engagement is vital to building a loyal and involved community around your blog.


These are just a few pointers to bear in mind when you are starting a blog.  The best suggestion is to jump in and give it a try.  The worst thing that will happen is that nobody will see it at all, but on the upside, it could be the thing that launches your business to the next level.

5 Ways To Get Into Marketing

Marketing is an extremely competitive industry – but don’t let that put you off pursuing your dreams because there are several routes into it and a variety of roles available to you.


Marketing is more important now than ever before, and as a result, most businesses tend to have a marketing team. This means there is the chance to get a good job in a variety of businesses and locations.

That said, location is important and there is likely to be far more competition for a role in London than there is for an equally good role (like the ones here) in Sheffield.

Whether you are about to leave school, or simply considering a career change, here are five ways that you can get into marketing wherever you are:

  1. A Degree
    A degree is not essential – but that doesn’t mean it won’t help! Obviously Marketing and Advertising is a good choice, but the likes of Business Studies and Economics, Politics, English or History are all relevant – basically courses that require creativity and excellent communication skills.
  2. Internships and work experience
    It is not just about qualifications anymore – employers want to see real experience – so gain valuable skills and knowledge through internships or work experience. This way you can also meet the people who are doing the roles you would like to do and find out how they got into it.It is also a good idea to get experience both in-house and in-agency, in different areas of marketing, so you can get an idea of your strengths and the area you would prefer to work in, as well as being able to show an overall understanding of the marketing industry. Make yourself invaluable to the company and you could find it turns into a permanent job role!
  3. Graduate Schemes
    Although extremely competitive to get onto, a graduate scheme is a great way to get into marketing. It will enable you to continue to learn as you start to earn, so you can get real hands-on experience at a creditable company. If successful in the programme you can accelerate your career opportunities much faster than you could in a junior role.
  4. Professional entry with CIM qualifications
    The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) is the world’s largest professional body of marketers and offers the most recognised qualifications in marketing. This professional qualification often carries more value for an employer than an undergraduate degree. There are courses whatever stage you are at in your marketing career – from a foundation certificate in marketing to a chartered postgraduate diploma in marketing.
  5. Be creative and stand out from the crowd
    Marketing is a creative industry so potential employers will want to see that you are creative. Use your social media, think outside the box with your application, and set up a blog. Make sure they all show that you are up to date with the latest developments in the industry and have all the skills that are required to fill such a role.

Whether you are just leaving school and looking into potential career opportunities, or are looking to step onto a different ladder which will lead to a new and exciting career – it’s worth looking into all the above. Work out which is best for your situation and you will have a career in marketing in no time!

print media

The Power of Print Media

Books, newspapers, posters and magazines – print media have always been a major source of information for humankind. Although we have well and truly arrived in the digital age, print still plays a huge part in how we spread information in our modern society. If you know how to properly use printed media, you can reap tons of benefits as it still holds a lot of advertising power.

But why do people still like print media when digital information is often cheaper and more available?

print media

People relax and engage more with print – photo by Shutterstock

One of the major advantages of print over digital media is the fact that it offers a sensory experience. We can feel and smell a piece of paper and this is still something many people value very highly. Research has shown that it also allows for a better mental reconstruction of information.

If we can hold information in our hands, then it feels more real than when we merely read it on a computer screen. Despite the major changes in our media consumption habits over the last few decades, consumers still put more trust in printed media than their digital counterparts.

The Finnish research institute VTT conducted a pan-European survey questioning 700 people in 13 different countries about how much they trust the different media channels. Consumers gave magazines and newspapers a score of 63%, TV 41% and the Internet only 25%.

Print media is often more welcome than other types of advertising. People subscribe to their favourite magazines and look forward to receiving them in the post and flicking through the pages. Consumers invite them into their houses. A few relevant ads in a magazine also seem more personal than the many ads thrown at us online, since the publisher endorses the advertised products and services.

After a networking meeting, many people spend time looking at the business cards and information that they have been given in physical form, whereas information exchanged digitally is stored away and only referenced again when necessary.

print media

When looking at print media, the reader is more engaged. At a computer, we’re often doing several things at once and ads are just a nuisance or something that we hardly pay attention to.

When we sit down to read a magazine, we can easily spend 40 minutes absorbing the content and internalising what we’re looking at.

Additionally, you can choose how many people you want to reach with print. You can place an ad in a national paper so that it’ll reach thousands of people, or you can keep it much more personal and tailor a mailing to a specific audience. If you’re handing out business cards or investing in flyer printing from Helloprint for instance, you can ensure your message reaches potentially interested customers rather than just being another little image in a sea of online

While digital advertising is incredibly important in this day and age, businesses should not underestimate the power of print media. It still plays a huge role in how we consume information in our society.

Elevator speech

How to Write Your Elevator Speech for Your USP

Say that you meet someone in the hallway at a business conference and they ask you what you do. What will you say? They don’t want to hear a 15 minute speech on your business. They don’t even want to hear more than a couple of minutes.

Everyone needs to have a 1 minute speech prepared that explains exactly what their business is all about and why people should even listen to them. This is commonly referred to as an “elevator speech” since you should be able to say it in the space of a short elevator ride. After that, you will hopefully get into a deeper discussion.

Elevator speech


Elevator pitch by Shutterstock

Here are the main steps to creating your elevator speech (sometimes called an elevator pitch):

1. Outline your USP

What are the key points of your unique selling proposition? What’s different about you compared to your competitors? Write these down in a simple bullet point format. Then cut out irrelevant words and explanations. Pare your USP down to the bare minimum, the most basic essence of what you are offering people.

2. Write your problem/solution statement

Now put your USP description into one sentence. It helps to put it in terms of a solution to a problem, since this is the most important part of anything you are selling. It’s why people buy.

For example,” I provide ready-made solutions for people that don’t have time to write or just hate it”. This doesn’t tell someone exactly what you do, but it intrigues them to want to learn more.

3. Write your features/benefits statement

Now write another sentence that explains the key points of how you deliver that solution. Your statement should be a very brief summary of the key features and benefits of what you are selling. For example, “By writing the articles for them, I free up their time to focus on other parts of their business”.

This isn’t a sales pitch, which would just turn off someone that you met in an elevator. It’s a summary of why your solution actually works. It shouldn’t give a person all the details of your business. Instead, it should create an opening for more questions from the other person. In other words, it’s a way to get a discussion going.

4. Put it all together

Now that you’ve written the basics of your elevator speech, it’s time to put it all together. Practice saying it out loud and add other details to make your speech sound natural. Try it out on someone else and get their feedback and reaction. Make sure to time yourself to make sure your little speech doesn’t take more than about a minute. Finally, take the time revise and revisit your elevator speech frequently, especially as your business changes.

This may all sound a bit corny to you, or a little too formulaic, or perhaps a little too formal for your “little business”.  But just ask yourself what do you say currently when people ask you “what do you do?”  Do you waffle a bit, shrug your shoulders “oh well, I have a little home business which…..”

Creating your own individual elevator speech is far more important than most people realize. You never know when you will meet someone that can be a help in your business, or who is a potential customer. Having a prepared 30 second to one minute speech makes you sound confident and your business sound attractive.

Elevator speech

Hello, so what do you do?  by Shutterstock


This is the one liner you can use with friends who have no idea what you do or with business colleagues you meet at a conference “in the elevator”. It is your ticket to opening the door to a potential relationship.

Unique selling proposition

How to Define Your Unique Selling Proposition

It will be extraordinarily difficult to succeed if you don’t have something that sets you apart. This is referred to as your unique selling proposition (USP), also called your unique value proposition.


What is your USP? by Shutterstock

Why should someone buy from you vs. anyone else? What extra value can you offer? Look closely at what you want to offer to people as part of your business model. Then, you’ll need to answer the following questions from the very start of your online business. Continue reading

How to Conduct Market Research for Your Online Business

One of the biggest mistakes any internet marketer can make is to fail to understand their market. Before you start spending all your time and money dedicated to one target niche or product, you need to do some thorough market research. Don’t even begin to create a business plan until you’ve done the following: Continue reading

marketing psychology

Marketing Psychology: Do People Purchase More from Authority Figures?

Do People buy more from Authority figures?  Listen to the podcast here

Research does seem to support the theory that people will buy more from someone who is seen as an authority figure. If this is true, then how can you apply this tactic to your own business?

authority figure

First you need to understand the concept behind this. An authority figure is someone who has gained the trust and respect of others. This is not an overnight occurrence, it takes time to build this type of relationship.

Let’s look at some ways you can set yourself up to be viewed as an authority in your business. The best way to become an authority in any niche or field is to publish a book. Authors are automatically viewed as an authoritive person. With the current boom of self publishing it is really easy to publish your own book.

Another way to gain authority so people will buy from you is to be featured in interviews and articles. Start offering to do interviews with people that are related to your industry. You can then publish the links to these interviews on your blog or in your newsletter.

Video is another great way to become an authority figure, plus it allows people to form a more human bond with you. It is much easier to identify with a person that you have seen up close and had a more personal connection with.

Other ways to get your name on content in different formats is to publish whitepapers and short reports. Just ensure that everything is branded with your name and your company logo. Again, this just helps to re-enforce that you know what you are talking about.

As a business owner you should always be attempting to make yourself be seen as an authority figure. You don’t want to start doing this just as a way to draw people in. Eventually people will see that you are not really sincere and you could end up losing customers instead.

Authority figure

People are always happy to purchase from people that they know, like and trust. Work on developing this in your everyday business operations. Start sending out regular emails or newsletters with tips and information for them. Then when you do recommend a product or run a sale they will be only too happy to purchase directly from you.

Remember the best way to be viewed as an authority figure is to be seen as a respectful and honest person. Of course publishing your own books and whitepapers will help reinforce this.

This is one of a series of articles in Marketing Psychology which will be published on Motivating Mum throughout September and October. You can see a list of all the articles that have been published so far by following the tag Marketing Psychology

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marketing psychology

Marketing Psychology: The Irresistable Power of Headlines

The Irresistible Power of Headlines: Listen to the podcast of this article here


Have you ever sat through a long sales pitch and ended up not remembering any of it?

It was just too long and boring that your mind drifted off towards more pleasant thoughts. This is because it is much easier for a person to remember short pieces over much longer ones. Which is exactly why big marketing firms use effective, short headlines to sell their products and services.

power of headlines

These same principles apply to long presentations. If you were to give a seminar about book publishing. The majority of your attendees would remember that your seminar was on the topic of how to publish a book. They would not necessarily remember or recall all the details in between such as formatting a book and how to add printable graphics to it.

When it comes to marketing to your customers you want to apply the short and sweet tactic to your campaigns. The easiest way to accomplish this is by using headlines to your advantage.

Taking the time to learn how to write effective headlines can really help you create eager buyers for your products. When writing your headlines you want to try and include as much detail as possible into them.

Look for examples of headlines that attract your attention. The next time you check your email make of note of which subject lines appeal to you and think about why. You may even want to create a swipe file of headlines that you found compelling. This can help you when it comes time to write your own headlines.

Pay attention on social media and look for good headlines. Another fantastic source of headline ideas are magazines. It’s the headlines that sells their magazine each month so really pay attention to the way they are used here.

Here are some basic tips for writing compelling headlines:


  • Use actionable words – How to do something in 3 easy steps.
  • Be short – try to use around 8 to 10 words only in your headline.
  • Use keywords – this applies to using headlines on your blog. Try to incorporate any keywords you are trying to rank for in your headline.
  • Be clear – ensure that you headline is simple, clear and easily understood.
  • Imply confidence – use words such as the best you’ve ever seen.
  • Be intriguing – add an air of mystery to your headline as this will help draw the reader in and have them wanting to know.


The more you start using headlines the better you will become at writing them.


This is one of a series of articles in Marketing Psychology which will be published on Motivating Mum throughout September and October. You can see a list of all the articles that have been published so far by following the tag Marketing Psychology

If you have enjoyed this post, please sign up for a Daily Dose of Motivation – Business Building and Motivation tips delivered to your inbox every day

marketing psychology

Marketing Psychology: Do Obliged People Buy More From You?

Do Obliged People buy more from you? Listen to the podcast here

When you make a commitment to someone how often do you break your promise? Research shows that most people hate to break their promise. So why not use this in your marketing to a certain degree?

Let’s think of how you can get people to make a commitment to you, and your business, so that they will purchase your products. One example of this is if you were about to publish a brand new book on Amazon. You could offer to give your customers a big discount on the book if they sign up to your Early Bird Special Pricing List. Once they are on this list and you email them their discount they are going to feel obliged to purchase your book. You didn’t pressure them into this decision, you just made them a fantastic offer that they didn’t want to lose out on.

obliged people

Of course, this doesn’t mean that everyone will commit to purchasing your book. But you will notice that the majority of people will follow through and take you up on your offer.

Another way to create long term loyal customers is by offering them a membership deal for example. Instead of just offering a monthly option for your membership. Offer a lower price on a 12 month option. Make it so that they get one or two months for free. They will see this as value for their money and sign up for your offer.

Again you have just created a long term customer. In the meantime you keep connecting with them and offering a few bonuses here and there. Before you know this person renews their membership again for another year.

Always bear in mind that you don’t want to bribe or pressure your customers. You are simply offering them lots of wonderful options, which they feel obliged to take advantage of.

If you get creative you can probably come up with lots of ways to offer incentives to your customers and clients. Early Bird specials work well, as does offering a discount coupon.  Once the customer has the coupon in their  hand or on their computer they are more likely to actually use it.

Just don’t fall into the trap of offering too many coupons too often. Otherwise you are teaching your customers to only purchase with coupons. They will just wait patiently until you run your next sale.

Your next step is to come up with a great way to get your customers to feel obliged to buy or opt in to one of your offers, have fun!


This is one of a series of articles in Marketing Psychology which will be published on Motivating Mum throughout September and October. You can see a list of all the articles that have been published so far by following the tag Marketing Psychology

If you have enjoyed this post, please sign up for a Daily Dose of Motivation – Business Building and Motivation tips delivered to your inbox every day

marketing psychology

Marketing Psychology: Bundling Your Products Together

Bundling your Products together: Listen to the audio file here


Did you know that the majority of people can only remember seven pieces of information at any one time? If a person is presented with more than this amount they tend to cluster or bundle the information together. Have you ever written down a list of items and then tried to remember them? Chances are you didn’t fare that well.


So how can you apply this technique to your business and create more eager buyers?

First of all you want to have a look at how your website is set up. Do you have a store front on your page? If so, is it easy to find products, do you have categories set up or not?

Just by organising your store, and this can apply to a physical store as well, you make it much easier for customers to find what they want. Of course, when they know where and how to find items they will purchase them.

Keeping the short term memory idea in place, we can take this and apply it to how you actually package your products. Remember who doesn’t love a sale or special offer? Just about everyone does, it’s a great incentive to getting a great deal while stocking up on certain items.

Take a look at your products and see if you can bundle up related ones together. Then simply price these at a great discount and give your customers an offer they can’t refuse! If the price is good enough, people will still purchase even if they have one of the items or products already. The offer is just that good.

Another idea is to bundle up a couple of products and then run them as a time  limited event. Weekend special deals normally go over really well with customers.

You can also bundle up products as your stock becomes depleted. Take an older product and include with a brand new product and offer a discount on it.

It is possible to get quite creative with this bundling process. You can easily add a ton of perceived value to a certain product by including something else with it. This can be applied to physical products as well as digital ones. Put your thinking cap on and get a little creative.

Always keep in mind that buyers love a special deal and want to feel as though they are appreciated as a customer. What better way to do this than by running special offers that include more than one product?


This is one of a series of articles in Marketing Psychology which will be published on Motivating Mum throughout September and October. You can see a list of all the articles that have been published so far by following the tag Marketing Psychology

If you have enjoyed this post, please sign up for a Daily Dose of Motivation – Business Building and Motivation tips delivered to your inbox every day