Category Archives: - Marketing your Business

Win 1 month of Social Media management from Social Exposure

socialexposure

 

Today on Motivating Mum, I am giving away one month’s free social media management from Social Exposure, the social media experts.

Here is what they have to say about themselves:

Here at Social Exposure, we have a fabulous team of qualified social media professionals who will create, manage and develop your social presence to give your business a constant return on investment.

Our ambition was always to redefine the way companies promote themselves online. With so many agencies out there talking about brand awareness and search engine optimisation, we wanted to create something that was much more focused on that all important return on investment and not just creating a big hola!

It wasn’t easy, though it did work, we started the service with 5 test clients and within the first 12 months we were helping over 50 businesses to make a return from social media.

This number has continued to increase every month since the launch yet our founding principles of not tying clients into contracts, not charging setup fees and never setting minimum terms have remained exactly the same.

We are an ever growing business that prides itself on delivering value for money, continually pushing ourselves through training and internal investment, along with a clear understanding that if our clients are successful then so too will we be.

If you would like to see what Social Exposure could do for your business in a month, then please enter the Rafflecopter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

Get your Business Idea off the Ground with the Fast Start Up Course

The Fast Start Up Course is a new video course which will give you everything you need to launch your home business successfully. Sign up using my link, and get some extra freebies from Motivating Mum and Mum’s the Boss (see below)…

The Fast Start Up Course and Community

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Epic Adverts That Went Viral in 2013

It’s a given that any serious advertising campaign today aspires to ‘go viral’. When a video has ‘gone viral’, this means that the advert has become massively popular through online proliferation and sharing in a very short space of time, usually through various social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube: you don’t need TV packages from Virgin Media to watch them.

While the concept of viral content has existed for a while, it has only been properly utilised to spread brand awareness relatively recently. With the imminent release of high-efficiency video coding for high-resolution video streaming, it’s clear that we’re yet to see the real scope of viral adverts. As for 2013 though, here are the best so far. Continue reading

How to Get Traffic

Driving traffic to your website – it’s what we are all looking for.  Here are some ideas to help you get started.

Which method of traffic generation works best for you?  Please leave some comments below…

For regular tips on traffic generation, social media and other online marketing topics, please sign up to our Daily Dose of Motivation newsletter

 

Motivating Mum

 

Save 10% on Rebecca Jones’ 5-Week Business Breakthrough Bootcamp

Business in Red Shoes

At this time of year may of you are taking a long hard look at your businesses.  There are a lot of business coaching programs out there which promise to get you back on track.  I’ve been thinking of running one myself, but haven’t really go the time to design it at the moment.

So instead, I’ve been on the lookout for the best business events and training to recommend to you, and this is one of the best out there. It is being run by Rebecca Jones, (the Red Shoe Biz woman), and she promises to give you a long hard look at your business over 5 weeks. Continue reading

Marketing with Christmas Cards

Is it near enough to the end of October that I can say the C-word without being hissed at?

Merry Christmas

Yes, like it or hate it, Christmas is just around the corner – once your children go back to school after half term you will need to start thinking about it, like it or not.

As a business owner, you have to figure out, not just how you and your family will celebrate Christmas (if you do), but how your business will celebrate Christmas (which it probably should if you live in the UK).

Are you the kind of business who sells Christmas related items?  If so you probably started planning for Christmas months ago and should be deep into your preparations by now…

Are you the kind of business which goes quiet at this time of the year, either coming down after a summer rush, or building up to a January rush?  In which case – enjoy your well deserved rest….

And then – the million dollar question….  How does your business greet and treat its clients and customers over Christmas?  Do you send cards? presents?  What exactly do you say in order to give your colleagues and customers that warm fuzzy feeling that will have them coming straight back to you the next time they need your services?

Used wisely and well, the corporate Christmas card can be a source of immense goodwill for your business.  But it is a tricky marketing dilemma with many pitfalls, and the potential to upset or annoy your clients rather than make them happy.

Marketing with Christmas cards

Yael Biran of wishawish has written a great free guide to Marketing with Christmas cards.  The guide is full of advice on what to do and more importantly what not to do, to make your Christmas greeting go with a bang.

The guide covers:

- ecard or paper card?

- Merry Christmas or Seasons Greetings?

- how to commission and customise an ecard?

and all sorts of other questions besides – some of which you may have thought of already, and a good few which I’m sure you haven’t.

I’m going to take a good look at my Christmas card sending strategy this year based on what I have read.  I can see huge scope for improvement and it might bring me some business too!

You can get hold of this 25 page report on Marketing with Christmas cards by clicking the attached link.  The report is completely free and well worth the read.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image by duron123 http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

Why Your Business Needs PR

PR is an invaluable marketing tool that offers free positive publicity for your business.

It can be described as the process of taking charge of when, how and what you communicate. By using PR effectively, you can influence the behaviours, attitude and perception of your customers and potential customers.

All businesses automatically passively give off signals which others will pick up on but there is no need to just be a bystander – PR enables you to proactively communicate the messages you want consumers to hear.

You can already see that the media is full of stories about other businesses. So why not take action to get your company in the spotlight and influence the way you are viewed by others?  Notice that here I’ve used the word ‘stories.’  Having something to say in terms of your personal history or experiences is what attracts the media to publishing your Press Releases or articles. They also need ‘expertise’ pieces and specialists to interview about current issues and to give opinions. PR is about telling a story or giving advice and information. It is not about just advertising your latest product and trying to dress this up as a Press Release to avoid paying hefty advertising costs. PR is about communicating, creating a positive image and building relationships with those that are important to you.

Coverage in the media can help raise awareness about your business and significantly increase your company’s credibility. It is part of a whole suite of marketing tools and can be used in tandem with others such as advertising. How impressed will others be if they see you in the Newspaper or hear you on A Radio Programme? Media Coverage will help customers and potential customers see your knowledge and expertise and will influence attitudes. Those important to you will understand more about your business through PR and many will determine that if the Newspaper or Radio Show was happy to feature you then you must be a trustworthy business which they can have confidence in. Coverage effectively gives you third party endorsement.  Some describe PR as ‘earned’ media whilst advertising is ‘paid’ media.  Consumers are much more likely to make a purchase based on the recommendation of others including the media rather than just by looking at an advert. PR isn’t just you saying how great you are, which is what an advert does, it is the media saying how great you are.

The current climate is in fact excellent for PR. Many publications have reduced their permanent staff and without salaried journalists and writers they need even more input from others including PR agencies and publicists to generate content and fill space. They still have the same column inches to fill but fewer reporters to do this with, so they need and usually welcome our help.

In addition the Internet and dot.com era mean that there are huge opportunities to secure online publicity. The Internet offers unparalleled opportunities for communicating, influencing and keeping communities and stakeholders informed of your brand, business or organisation. The goal of this newer form of PR, much like traditional PR is identifying, understanding and communicating with those communities or stakeholders that are affected by or have an effect on you or your organisation. The differentiator of this new approach however lies in engaging communities, customers, etc in conversations directly.

Further, when potential customers carry out searches about products or services they want to buy, if they discover links to features about you in newspapers and magazines these will have a positive influence on their perception of your credibility and make you stand apart from others. In these articles you will also be telling them much more about your company and perhaps yourself than can be conveyed on a business card or in an advertisement and this will help to differentiate you from your competition.

You may have an excellent website or premises and that’s important, but you need to attract people to come and look  and getting some key messages and stories out about you in the media, will help to drive traffic to your website or shop etc and help grow your  business faster.

Indeed a sustained PR campaign can give you visibility which makes your company appear larger and more established than it may be. This can help secure partnerships, customers and funding because peoples perception of your business is heightened.

So what are the advantages of hiring a PR professional instead of trying to do your own PR?

PR professionals have established contacts, know what the media is looking for and can strategically seek out opportunities for your company. They can work in a cost effective manner to achieve the best results. PR is time consuming and involves a lot of follow up with contacts on a regular basis. Business owners trying to do their own PR can find that they just don’t have the time to do it themselves and indeed that it’s not best use of their skills and time. Hiring a PR specialist allows a business owner to use their valuable time to focus on running their business and generating a profit, while the PR agent can work on media.

PR is generally less expensive than advertising and is certainly a sound investment if you choose to work with a professional who has a high level of expertise and low overheads. If you do not think you will have regular news flows then it is more likely to be cost effective to work with a consultant or sole proprietor than a large agency. Look at their past record and the type of clients they have represented or currently work with and consider whether this aligns with your business. If you choose the right PR partner, you can build your brand effectively and enjoy growth while keeping your focus on the operational needs of your business.

Bio:
Susan Brookes-Morris (www.positivepublicity.biz) is passionate about raising the profile of individuals and businesses that make a positive difference to our lives. She offers a full range of PR services and works with all forms of media to obtain publicity for her clients.

This blog is part of our Mummy Mentoring Month series – Mums helping mums helping mums. To find out more about the Mummy mentoring month initiative and how you could get involved please go to Mummy Mentoring Month.  Please share this blog widely on facebook and twitter.

How FAB are You?

by Georgina Walsh

Georgina Walsh

I suspect you and your business are pretty fab, but here are some pointers to help you make your business even more fab!

There are many facets of creating a strong brand which in turns helps you to deliver strong sales. My favourite part is the FAB part. As you may know, in branding terms FAB stands for Features and Benefits.

Thinking through what your Features And Benefits are can often help your small business and brand take a big leap forward.

So, let’s look at each in turn:

Features: This is about clearly identifying the functionality of a product or service – what exactly does it do or deliver for your customers? For example in choosing a toothpaste for your family you would want something that you know will clean teeth well and prevent decay. In choosing toothpaste for yourself you might want something that whitens teeth or protects gums.

Benefits: This is about the emotional benefits of your product or service – and these are the real secret to increasing your sales. For example, the emotional benefit of buying a good brand of family toothpaste would be that you feel like a good mother in helping to protect your children’s teeth. The emotional benefit of a whitening toothpaste for you would be greater confidence through a bright smile.

If we look at my own business as another example, where I coach small business owners, a functional benefit for my clients is that they create a path to take their business forward. Whilst an emotional benefit would be that they feel more energised about their business, they feel supported and not so alone.

People buy on emotion – This is a really important point to remember and I do spend quite a bit of time with some of my clients helping them make that switch to thinking of both the emotional and functional benefits of their products / services and not just the functional.   It is really important if you want to differentiate your brand and build your business to be very clear on both your Functional and Emotional benefits.

So, take a bit of time right now – to jot down your top 5 Functional and Emotional benefits. Really dig deep to think about all the benefits that you bring to people.

Research and On-going Thoughts: Keep in mind FAB all the time, when a client thanks you and says how your product or service has helped them ensure you note down any extra FABs they may have mentioned – you might be delivering an emotional benefit you didn’t know about!  Also, take time to conduct some research with existing or old clients to find out their perspective about the benefits you have delivered to them.

Reasons to Believe: Lastly, another element of building a brand that goes very well with your Features and Benefits are your Reasons to Believe. Customers like to have confidence that what they are buying will deliver the benefits it claims; you need to give them the confidence (a key emotion when deciding to buy!) that they are making a good decision.

So if we go  back to our toothpaste example, reasons to believe could be that it is a world-wide brand with a certain percentage of the market, it has a particular active ingredient, it is endorsed by a dental association, or it performs well in clinical trials etc.  For my clients reasons to believe include previous client testimonials and results, my coach and business psychology qualifications and my years of consultancy work. I hope you get the idea of how to marry your FABs with Reasons to believe?

I hope you have found this article useful and that it helps you to become even more FAB than you are already!

Georgina Walsh is an experienced and accredited coach who helps small business owners unleash their business genius through a blend of branding, business psychology and coaching. Find out more at www.Georginawalsh.com or www.twitter.com/georginawalsh or www.facebook.com/GeorginaWalshCoaching

This blog is part of our Mummy Mentoring Month series – Mums helping mums helping mums. To find out more about the Mummy mentoring month initiative and how you could get involved please go to Mummy Mentoring Month.  Please share this blog widely on facebook and twitter.

 

Is Cinderella the key to Creating a Great Brand for Your Small Business?

Did you know that Cinderella is one of the most well-known stories around the world?  It comes in hundreds of forms and guises, but it is not always the same Cinderella.  The main thrust of the story is however similar; a poorly treated girl who wins the heart of a rich and powerful man.

How can Cinderella help you create a brilliant brand for your business?

Cinderella helps us see the power of archetypes. These are hard wired into all of us, into our psyches. Carl Jung, the psychologist, saw them as collectively inherited data that we all carry with us.  For example we all carry within us an idea of a ‘mother’ archetype or an ‘evil’ archetype. How many teenage girls have an anguished ‘Cinderella’ moment when they feel hard done by, and wish that their Prince Charming would come and find them and whisk them away from it all?

A Gift for Your Business

There are 12 to 15 archetypes which are used repeatedly in marketing and advertising.  I see these archetypes as a gift for small business owners who don’t have a big marketing budget. You can harness the archetype that best fit your business and use it to speak to your customers in a way that instantly connects with them at a deep level. This can help you cut down on marketing spend and effort, whilst at the same time delivering increased sales.

Here are some of the most common archetypes used in advertising. Is your brand any of these?

  • Is it The Sage whose experience and wisdom shows people a path to success?

  • Is it The Magician who can transform customers either inside or out?

  • The Innocent who offers something that makes you feel wholesome and pure?

  • The Maverick who is shaking up the market and doing something different for the common good?

  • The Jester who surprises and jokes to bring a smile to your face and at times communicate a serious message?

  • Or The Nurturer who cares and protects?

All of these archetypes strike a chord with customers. Identifying which archetype your brand relates to can really help you to create a clear and compelling brand and message.

For example, if you have a Magician archetype your brand values could be around surprise, positive change, being a catalyst.  You can develop a clear brand strategy that helps you stand out from your competitors.  Your website and marketing material then all fall into line. Most importantly you have a story to tell around this archetype…..and as the oft repeated tale of Cinderalla shows, we all love a good story.

Georgina Walsh is an experienced and accredited small business coach who uses a blend of coaching, branding and business psychology to help small business owners to unleash their business genius. 

Want to find out more about branding your business? Join Georgina for a FREE Brand Archetype Webinar on Wednesday 2nd October at 11am BST.

Click here http://georginawalsh.com/branding-webinar/ for more details and to grab your place. All attendees will be offered a discount on the Business Brilliance course  a discount on my Business Brilliance Course

Georgina will also be running a special webinar for Motivating Mum readers as part of Mummy Mentoring month

How Can Social Media Impact Your Business?

The way consumers interact and buy products or services from businesses has changed drastically in recent years. We no longer rely upon the drivel spouted out by corporate robots via direct mail, television adverts, flyers and telesales to inform us about products, as we’re able to do the research ourselves.

The internet has completely revolutionised advertising and marketing campaigns, with a real focus on social media. No doubt you’ve heard of Facebook and Twitter, they’re mentioned everywhere these days – TV shows, small businesses, customer service departments, bloggers – they’re not just used by teenagers communicating in text speak – LOL.

It’s not just Facebook and Twitter that are important for businesses though, social media spans a whole host of websites and platforms, including Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, YouTube, Vine and Foursquare.

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Social media influences buying behaviour
If you’re a small or home-based business looking to increase brand recognition, social media is a great way to go. Here are a few statistics from industry leaders that should give you an idea of just how much it can impact your business.

  • -More than 15 million consumers go to social media channels before making purchase decisions
  • -74% of consumers rely on social networks to guide purchase decisions
  • -79% of consumers like a Facebook company page because it offers discounts and incentives
  • -78% of respondents said that companies’ social media posts impact their purchases
  • -44% of social media savvy women said their trusted/favourite blogger influences their purchasing decision

Benefit from increased website traffic
My Favourite Voucher Codes has experienced the positive impact of social media first hand. This relatively small indie website gives away 20% of all net profits to charity, with a different recipient each month and visitors can choose which charity benefits in a poll on the home page.

When the charities get involved through their social media channels, My Favourite Voucher Codes benefits from a huge surge in website traffic and votes in the poll. Just last month, the deafblind charity, SENSE tweeted about their chance to win the donation and received overwhelming support from their followers. In this case, social media didn’t just benefit the company in question, but also helped raise hundreds of pounds for a good cause.

Stay up to date
If you’re looking to get started on social media, or update those profiles you created months ago, keep a couple of things in mind: listen and engage. If you have a social profile, your customers will expect it to be updated with useful content – not a load of bumph about how amazing your company is.

Remember that social media will brand your business – this can be negative as well as positive, so it’s important to only create accounts that you can realistically manage. If you don’t update your contact details or reply back to customers, you could soon be labelled as lazy and inconsiderate.

However, by listening to consumers and engaging with them, you should start to see the benefits social media can have, such as improvement in website traffic and sales.

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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