So if cash is king and content is queen does that makes promotion the heir to the throne?
We're starting to create some really good content. We're not there by any means, but we're well on our way. So what? So is everyone. Your content might be amazing. Your products and service life changing but no one really cares. Actually that's the easy bit.
The difficult bit is to interrupt your customer's day and reach out with amazing content which grabs them by the nose hairs and leads them to your website and doesn't let go until they do whatever it is you want them to do. i.e. buy now, leave their email, subscribe etc.
Here's how you do it:
Check out this - good tips in here. Look out for Henry (not the hoover).
Leave your comments and questions below, we will reply as soon as we can!
Alternatively you can tweet us or join our Facebook group for some in depth discussion and help from other start-ups.
A guest blog post by Matt Jackson for PopUp Business School
"Social selling" is one of the biggest buzz words at the moment. Companies, employees and entrepreneurs are all talking about how to use social media to increase their sales. Many of the companies are getting it wrong by broadcasting and shouting about their wares and turning people off online.
I am so excited to have Matt Jackson on our blog this week talking to us about social selling with a practical example of exactly how it should be done to increase revenue and engagement. Matt runs social media accounts for some of the world's biggest brands as well as local micro businesses. He spends his days listening and engaging online and I have learnt so much from talking to him.
Entre Matt Jackson:
I was thrilled when Alan asked me if I’d like to write a guest blog for the PopUp Business School, as I’ve always enjoyed working with the team and love the energy and positivity that comes from just spending five minutes with them. But when he asked me to write about Social Selling, I was a little confused as to why he’d asked me. You see, I’ve always been against brands that bombard people with advertising or marketing agencies that just broadcast material on social media with little or no real engagement with people. Little did I know when I sat down to begin researching and writing my article, that the PopUp Business School was about to teach me another lesson.
For those of you already wondering, the idea of social selling is basically using social media channels to sell something, a product, a service, anything. Social selling is when salespeople use social media to interact directly with their prospects or potential customers. Sales people provide information and value by answering questions and offering thoughtful content around their product until a potential customer is ready to buy. There are hundreds of courses online which funnily enough are also being sold through social platforms for anywhere between £100 and £4,000 offering you the latest secrets to success and guaranteed sales funnels, metrics and conversions. Sounds complicated, doesn’t it? Well, that’s what they want you to believe.
I’m going to let you in on a little secret; social selling is nothing new. Whilst social media is around 10 years old now, social selling existed for a long time before Mark Zuckerberg ever started his college’s online address book, before he started school, before his parents were even born. Human beings by our very nature are social creatures and every culture around the world has a firm social story-telling tradition. There’s evidence from some of the most ancient cultures that barter, trade, selling and story-telling have always been the foundations of civilisation. Think back to before Linked-In, before Twitter and Facebook and you’ll find that we’ve always sold products and services socially. From market traders shouting their offers and extolling the virtues of their wares over anyone else’s, to discussing potential purchases with your friends, family and neighbours, selling has deep roots in our social circles, communities relationships and conversations.
Today those conversations have been amplified by the internet and social media channels. Customers now have all the information at their fingertips, businesses have grown up in reviewing products and services for consumers and social media has allowed that collective experience to be shared across the world. So how do you start down the path of social selling for your product or service? My advice? Start listening. Conversations about brands, services and products are already taking place across the internet on a daily if not up-to-the-minute basis. Find those that are similar to what you’re offering and listen. You’ll be surprised how much you’ll find out about what customers want, what they expect in terms of service and how vociferously they complain when companies get it wrong. Customers no longer come to you, you have to go and find them and listen to what they want. You have to join the conversation.
There are any number of free and premium tools that can help you to listen and monitor mentions of your business, industry, products or even competitors. I personally prefer to use Tweetdeck to watch column upon column of Twitter mentions about my area of work, competitors and the latest news. For example, a customer of mine based in London began offering an afternoon tea service around 6 months ago and asked me to do some work on social to help promote it. My first step was to set up some very basic monitoring of the terms ‘afternoon tea’ and ‘London’. That initial search still runs today and on average every 27 seconds someone on Twitter mentions afternoon tea and London in the same tweet.
So what do I do with this overload of tweets about afternoon tea in London? I specifically look for people asking their friends and followers where they should go for afternoon tea in London. I look for bloggers who review afternoon tea services, or people that talk about afternoon tea a lot. And then I ask them politely if they’ve ever tried the afternoon tea at my customer’s establishment. I talk to them about what’s on offer, what makes this tea different from anyone else’s. I tell them honestly what I think of it, why I think they might like it and once they’re interested I tweet them a link where they can book on my customer’s website. To date, that link has been clicked 485 times and 71% of all people that clicked through, booked an afternoon tea for two.
That’s how simple social selling can be, and in writing this the PopUp Business School has taught me that it’s something I already do on a daily basis and that you can do just by listening first.
Ask me anything!
Follow me on twitter and tweet me your questions. Find me online at socially-m.weebly.com
After being told to get a score of 70 or more on @klout to win a piece of business I have become fascinated by increasing my @Klout Score.
Here are my initial findings of what has increased my score the most of the last two weeks. I have managed to increase my score from 59 to 64 (a 6 point bump) in 2 weeks and most of the increase happened in the last 5 days.
I am headed to #Klout70 so will write another article when I have completed the challenge.
The obvious things to do:
The biggest thing I have learnt so far with my online networking experience is that online networking should be just like real life networking.
Act as if you are talking to a real life person; because you are.
Act as you would if other people are watching; because they are.
Have fun, because people like to have fun and they will talk to you if it is enjoyable!
Send me a message @alandonegan or @popupbusiness or tell me about how you have gone about increasing your @klout score in the comments below.
Happy social networking!
Tweet me at @AlanDonegan
After an interesting experience where I was told I needed a @Klout Score of 70 to get some business (read about it here) I have become interested in online Scoring and how this might change in the future.
I was sat in the @henleycareers Henley Business School Careers office having a fascinating chat with the fabulous team there and we talked about @Klout and its potential impact on getting a job, getting the right job or growing your business.
For those of you who don't know, @Klout measures your online influence. It simply takes the retweets, mentions, likes and comments you get online and with an algorithm gives you a score between 1- 100 that lets' you know how influential you are online. I go more in-depth in our last blog.
For example @BarackObama has a score of 99 and my wife, who never uses Twitter is on 16 @wickwok.
So as a business person you can see who has influence online and who doesn't and make decisions about who to spend your time connecting with. Sound a bit mercenary? Or is it real business?
So what is the natural conclusion of this?
What if a new service started measuring more than just your social influence?
What if it took in your credit rating and coupled that with you social influence and then weighted your job title, your bank information, the car you drive and more?
Where are we going with this social scoring of people to rank whether or not we should be talking to them?
Is this a game we should even be involved in?
What do you think about the future of online scoring and should we be engaging with websites such as @Klout?
Or is it just an online version of what we always did implicitly with the class system in England for many years?
I'm interested to read your thoughts below!
Tweet me at @AlanDonegan
Have you heard of Klout.com? Do you know what your Klout score is? Do you care what you Klout Score is?
Two weeks ago I had a conversation that changed the direction of my business overnight and re-focused me on something I knew was important but had stopped doing.
I was compering at The Social Media Summit for @NickyKriel in Guildford and opening the day, having fun with the fabulous audience and warming things up for the Keynote Speaker of the day @ThomasPower.
Thomas gave a warm, inspirational and emotional talk about his journey with 'Ecadamey' and how he built a huge business, lost it and then bounced back. I loved listening to him.
After the Panel session with Q&A on Social Media and I got a chance to talk to @ThomasPower. He complimented me on my compering skills and speaking skills and then asked me what my Klout score was. I had not checked for a while but I knew it was around 60-ish.
He smiled and said "get it to 70 and I can get you work."
I was intrigued, fascinated and a little bit stunned because a number generated by an American Website about my social media influence has no bearing on my ability to run workshops, educate and inspire whilst talking.
I returned home and went to meet @socially_Matt for a coffee. Matt runs a social media business and I always ask for his advice on all matter social. He told me that he had a similar experience this week where he had been told the reason why some of the senior people in a company he was working for had not replied to his tweets was because he was not #klout70!
That day we started a competition to see who could get to #klout70 the quickest to see the side effects, the smart strategies and the bottom line effect of this within our businesses!
The benefits so far have been:
If you want to find out your Klout score check here: www.klout.com
What does Klout measure?
Here is what Klout say they measure:
"Klout measures your influence online. We measure influence primarily as the ability to drive others to action. When you produce content online, we look at how your network responds to that content. Klout takes in data from social networks and gives you an overall Score based on your online influence."
See their blog for more details: What does Klout Measure?
Why should you bother with Klout?
I think there are some simple reasons:
If you post your @Klout Score below I promise to write you a tweet and help you increase it!
Good luck with your online networking!
Tweet me at @AlanDonegan
So you start a new business. You make a decision to get going.
You work on the website, you work on the branding, you work on the product, you have funky new business cards printed, you beaver away tirelessly.
But there is one thing that all new businesses forget to do enough of...........
And it tends to be the bit that most of us are scared of............
And yet it is the single most important activity as a start up business.......
Have you guessed what it is yet?
What are you doing everyday to sell your product or service?
I speak to small businesses every day and when I ask them what they are doing each day to sell their service or product the answer is almost universally a blank look.
Ask yourself the question what I am doing every single day to sell my product or services?
Here are some ideas to get you started, that you can do every day:
The important thing is that you do something every single day that moves you in the direction of new business and customers. If you do this every single day then you will build up momentum and amazing things will start to happen!
Just don't get impatient, it won't always happen overnight. it might take time but persevere, keep going, keep taking action every single day and I promise you that the next sale will come.
I would love to know what is working for you at the moment. What sales methods are working for you to get customers at the moment? Leave a comment below.
Or for help with your sales and building your business come along to one of our up coming events.
Leave a comment below and tell us what sales methods are working for you
In Borehamwood we have been learning how to start a business for free - these are our top 10 tips (+3 bonus)
1 - Google - Top 10 Tips to make money for free
2 - CafePress
3 - Set up a free website
4 - Lulu - Write your own book and publish
5 - Take pictures of things and sell them to sites such as advertising firms and weebly.
6 - Upload pictures to screensaver sites such as webshots
7 - Promote your business on YouTube
8 - Twitter
9 - Register for sites such as skills pages, people per hour
10 - Share your skills on Linkedin
11 - Engage with multi-media (podcasts, video, pinterest)
12 - Guest blogging and regularly blog on your own website
13 - Create an online forum to promote your business
To find out if we are popping up in an area near you, click here.
10 things you need to do with your Facebook page.............
1. Write relevant and regular content
We already know that content is king and that it is incredibly important to open a dialogue with your audience. This rule doesn't just apply to Facebook either, so whether you're on Twitter, your website or your blog, get in the habit of starting conversations with your followers on a regular basis. When you start writing, think about what message you're trying to get across, who's going to read it and what your audience is going to want to hear from you.
Start creating useful, meaningful, interesting, or entertaining content that your target audience wants to read and see. This includes photos and posts (be sure to tag people in both). Enter milestones and add content to apps used on your page such as events, videos, and so on. A page without content is one that no one will like.
The internet is one big social conversation. Your Facebook page is just one way of joining the conversation. But like any conversation, you've got to keep it going.
2. Choose a great username
The username you choose for your Facebook Page will also appear in the URL for your page. There are already a lot of Facebook Pages, so your first choice might not be available.
That’s why it’s critical that you create a Facebook Page and get your username as soon as possible. Even if you don’t plan to aggressively use Facebook today, you might want to in the future. Get your username now, so you’ll have it when you need it.
3. Make sure you fill in the 'About' section
Your Facebook Page includes a small 'About' section where you can include a couple of sentences about your business or organization. Make sure you include the most important information about what you offer to your audience, so they instantly understand why your page should matter to them.
It’s extremely important that you include your website URL in this section of your page. Otherwise, it gets buried in the full description that’s not visible unless a person clicks on the 'About' link on your Facebook Page. Make it easy for people to learn more about your business or organization by making sure your URL is visible in the top-level 'About' section.
4. Use a fantastic cover photo
Choose a cover photo that is visually appealing, captures people's attention and lures them in to take a closer look at your page and it's content. Don't forget that you can include a message in your cover photo.
Just be sure that you follow Facebook's guidelines that relate to cover photos. You can find the guidelines in the Facebook Page Help section.
Your profile photo should accurately reflect your brand and business, because the more people see it, the more they'll recognise it and associate it with your service or products. It's especially important for when you start commenting on other people's pages and joining in to other conversations.
5. Allow sharing and promote your page
Use Facebook social plugins to enable people to like your page directly from your website and blog or to like your website or blog content and share it on their own Facebook profiles with a single click.
There are also social plugins that enable you to show your Facebook Page updates on your blog or website.
You created your page, so make sure you get someone to read it. Start by inviting friends and family who have an interest in your brand; invite current customers or add a call to action to your receipts.
6. Offer something extra on Facebook
There is little incentive for people to like your Facebook page or return to it after their first visit if you don’t offer useful, meaningful, interesting, or entertaining content and experiences. Not only should your posts be useful, but you should also create content and experiences that visitors can’t get anywhere else. For example, offer a discount for your Page fans or hold a contest and give away a great prize to one of your Page fans. Get creative and find ways to acknowledge your fans and reward them for their loyalty.
7. Enjoy it
Interacting with your potential customers needs to be a natural and regular process. Get in the habit of posting content several times a day. The more effort you put in, the more engagement you'll get back from your followers. Don't be afraid to encourage your followers to ask you questions or spark the conversation with you either.
When you're enjoying writing, it will come across in your posts which in turn, makes your followers want to listen to what you have to say.
8. Think visually
Writing posts and sharing links are great, but followers are more likely to 'like' or share videos and photos. The vast majority of brands on Facebook today still post written content and links to websites which are less and less likely to be shared. Photos are five times more likely to be shared than a written link and videos more than ten times more likely to be shared.
9. Optimize for search engines
Everyone knows that to be successful with a website, you need to optimize it for search engines. Yet, it seems no one considers it when building their Facebook page. All Facebook pages are indexed by Google. You need to load the description with keywords, just as you do your website.
10. Network with other pages
A great way to build your
network is by building relationships with other brands. You can start this easily by commenting directly on their pages or by sharing their content with your followers. If you read an article by someone else which you know will be of interest to your audience, share it. Make sure you tag the source by typing @[page name] to tag them and credit their work.
Make sure it's natural, not
forced. Don't demand or expect replies or collaboration or any type of response, but doing nice things like this will get you noticed and will eventually be of benefit to you when they start returning the favour.
Alan from @popupbusiness: When starting a business it is critical to start talking to your customers immediately. In this guest blog posting we are lucky to have Daniel Owens from communications specialists @orangejuicePR talking about how to use social media to engage your customers and telling us about a competition you can enter.
Starting up in business is a daunting prospect. We know, we did it ourselves not so long ago.
In a competitive marketplace it's more important than ever to stand out from the crowd and let people know you exist. The days of just opening up and letting the crowds flock to your door are long gone, it's up to the business to get creative and draw in the customers.
One particularly effective way of doing this is to harness the limitless power of social media. Like it or lump it, social networks are a huge part of people's lives these days. You may not want to use Facebook on a personal basis to tell the world what you got up to on Saturday, and you perhaps aren't keen on taking to Twitter to let your followers know what your cat had for tea, but there's really no excuse for shunning social media in the corporate world.
It's free and it works. What's not to like?
Whatever your business, you should have a Twitter account. It's a fantastic way to network and grow your audience. You can use it to follow your suppliers, target your markets, keep tabs on competitors and get new ideas to help grow your business.
Position yourself as the go-to expert in your industry
More importantly than anything, it allows you to establish and cultivate relationships with the people that matter most, your customers. Never before has it been so easy to chat to your customers, any time of the day, no matter where you (or indeed they) are.
Humans are pretty simple creatures really. Be nice, be friendly and people are more likely to like you. Any buy from you.
Once you've set up your Twitter account and got yourself a decent following (200 or so is easily done) you will have the chance to establish these relationships, getting to know your customers and forming a potentially long-lasting bond.
Tweet about your industry, position yourself as the go-to expert - but remain humble throughout. Nobody knows everything, but prove that when it comes to your particular industry, you know your onions (very useful if you happen to be a greengrocer).
Use the tools at your disposal to make your product look the best it possibly can. That may be through pictures (set up an Instagram account to add cool filters to your images) or video (Twitter's own Vine app is a great way of using six-second clips to advertise yourself). Pinterest is a wonderful community for creative and design types while LinkedIn is an essential network in the business world.
Content is king! Get them interested and once you've got their attention, get involved.
Whatever apps/networks you decide to use, remember the age-old mantra, content is king. make sure your tweets and updates are interesting. There's a lot of needless 'noise' on social media and people will often just flick through timelines paying scant regard to what's before them. Make your content stand out, make it leap off the page.
Get them interested and once you've got their attention, get involved. Follow those who follow you if you feel they can add something to your business. Talk to them, welcome them, make them feel valued. Establish that early relationship and build on it, you'll be amazed how that can pay dividend in the long term.
As you've probably guessed, we love social media. We think it's the single biggest change in the way companies and customers interact in a generation and we are now rewarding those firms who have done more than most to embrace it and use it to grow their business.
Enter your business is the Citrus Social Media Awards
Here at @OrangeJuicePR, we have teamed up with our friends from @ZestComms to launch the Citrus Social Media Awards (see what we did there?) - championing innovation and success among small businesses who are big on social media.
It's a national awards scheme and are looking forward to hearing some inspiring tales of how Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+ etc has helped revolutionise small firms from across the UK.
We've got a big night planned for the awards themselves. You should be a part of it.
Follow us on twitter @socialmediaawds and check out www.citrussocialmediaawards.com for details of how to enter.
So what did we achieve?
We invested about three hours of work, and then nothing more than the normal tweeting we would do anyway. We achieved:
Have fun and make sure you follow us here:
Most important thing when writing your twitter bio is to have fun and let your personality shine through!