Great Expectations

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To share or not to share, that is the question!

The high street has moved on some what from the days where you walked past your favourite little book shop just before Christmas with no idea when that window display would change.

That day when the window was newly adorned with a fresh stock of literature and pretty dressing, really was one of sheer excitement! Personally, this moment for me was a chain – Borders, York. How I loved to while away the hours in there. I once got so carried away that they closed without realising I was still there with my nose well and truly buried in a Jane Green book!

I know I am a millennial and I should embrace all of this rapid change digitally, but I cannot help but feel we are all becoming a little greedy for brands content/ news/ whatever! Whatever happened to “good things come to those who wait”, “patience is a virtue” and any other redundant saying that we at one time were brought up on!

The growth we are currently seeing in the social media and digital marketing arena is great for many reasons – brands are growing exponentially, something that wouldn’t be possible without our new platforms. However, lets all just calm down and relish and engage with content a little longer.

Good things come to those who wait. (See, I did it! Made that phrase relevant in 2017!)

 

You’ve Got Mail!

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Who remembers that very exciting moment when you got an email and the little envelope appeared or the ping noise chimed?

The film with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan exemplified that period of time when the World Wide Web was new to all of us and a very exciting place indeed!

I hear so very often “Email is dead” … absolute cobblers I respond! With most of us viewing email on our mobiles these days and enjoying that cathartic scrolling motion, emails are actually growing exponentially, some 20 years on!

Seize this moment and speak to your clients/ potential clients about something they are interested in, give them pearls they won’t get anywhere else and charge them for it! This is a sustainable revenue model which could end up being your bread and butter.

There are some really nice examples of paid for newsletters out there, including Harvard Health Publications and Gold Odyssey. But, consider:

Audience: Who are you talking to? Do you have a relationship already with them?

Content: Consider what is useful to your audience? Put yourself in their shoes.

Distribution Channel: Mail Chimp, Campaign Monitor?

Distribution Frequency and Day: Monthly, Day of the week?

Ping! Sorry my email has just chimed, toodles for now!

Do upset the apple cart

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Since time immemorial this phrase has been banded about! Whether you heard it from your mother or great grandmother; it referred to a time in which we were much more cautious in the way(s) we went about the world.

Not anymore!

We are living in a time for innovation, and doing the very opposite of keeping apple carts neatly ladened, now we must upset that cart and innovate! I’m talking about in the way that we think and create. Whether you’re selling a beauty product or selling financial services. Push the limits, – of the company, of yourself, and of the industry. Be memorable.

Here ends the lesson 😉

The day I met my Fairy Godmother

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As my budding marketing business grows, and my first public speaking date is diarised, I was keen to ensure my company and I were in sync …

I called Tessa. I don’t quite know what I expected when I enrolled the help of image consultant, Tessa Gray, but meeting my Fairy Godmother wasn’t it.

Last Tuesday morning, Tessa arrived at my Otley home ladened with mirrors, colour swatches and seamstress tapes. After an introduction to tailoring in Paris with a Balmain couturier and time in Christian Dior’s silk emporium; Tessa found her “bag”!

Tessa’s Full Day Session included a style review which interestingly discovered I leant toward a Natural Romantic style; having ascertained my lifestyle (busy and oodles of weddings); Tessa went on to do my colours. I must say this felt like indulgence personified, just like that feeling when you’re at the hairdressers, I felt completely relaxed. Having discovered my colouring worked best with Jewel tones, we stopped for lunch.

The afternoon was spent in my wardrobe; a mish mash of “Oh, that was a gift…” and “But it was my grandmothers”; Tessa was tactful and crafty as she plucked out the keepers and earmarked the no’s.

The outcomes were unexpected; after years of second guessing and cobbling outfits together (I’m five foot which means I am not always too easy to robe up!) I felt clarity about what I want to reflect to the world and how to do that, a worthwhile investment in my future self and my business.

I waved goodbye to Tessa, unbeknown to me she was heading for my local clothing boutique Jenny’s Dresser to select items for me, which were perfect!

I now have a toolbox of tips for dressing and shopping and a warm and fuzzy feeling about myself which is yet to go!

Reach the Fairy Godmother at: linkedin.com/in/tessa-gray-24951a9/

Feel-good feedback since my day with Tessa: “I love your make over…!” “You look completely different!” “A sophisticated Olivia”

Do Do Different

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It’s the year 2017 and no matter what line of business you are in, you are up against thew dreaded competition.

While others are fighting in the Google SEO boxing ring; some take a side step and attract new customers through the art of being different.

Through identifying your Unique Selling Point, only then can you build a strong marketing strategy from which to boost sales and appeal to the masses.

So, right now I task you to sit in a quiet space with a pencil (not pen!) and paper and consider what these are for your company. It could be your commitment to customer service, or your quality of product, hell it could even be that intangible essence that is your brand, whatever it is, and pick just one, write it down and then you have your building block for marketing your business. And remember, once you’ve got your USP- DO DO DIFFERENT.

To whom am I speaking?

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Gone are the years of what was called “Blitzkrieg Marketing” where you opted for a scatter gun approach, throwing as much mud on the wall (use your imagination) as possible and hoping some would stick!

Nowadays, it is all about targeting, from the person you are appealing to, at a certain time of day and so on …

I cannot stress how important it is that you:

  1. Identify your client
  2. Imagine your client

I’m talking everything from what perfume they were, where do they do their weekly shop, who do the listen to on their morning run?

For example: Katherine, aged 34, high disposable income, shops at Karen Millen, enjoys after work drinks, has a soft spot for Designer labels and likes to be seen at events like Chestertons Polo in the Park and Henley Regatta. See! Now you can visualise her!

This marketing behaviour is called Profiling and the client you identify is a Persona. This process is an essential part of your marketing activity and as such will help you to target your communications now you can see who you are talking to!

Happy profiling!

Man Vs Machine

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Back to the Future might have seen Marty McFly travel forward through time to 21st October 2015; and the script writers may have been a little hasty in their predictions; but is the future going to be here quicker than we thought now?

With futurologists predicting catastrophic affects on employment due to the fast developing technologies of this world, is now a time when we should be somehow preparing for the fight that is bound to happen … Man Versus Machine!?

After the industrial revolution the Brits had to learn new skills of how to work machinery in cotton mills and alike across the country … What’s happening now is completely different. As AI grows and machines are created to do more, we must up our skills too so as not to be taken over by the machine that man made?

Can we live in harmony with the machine and safeguard our own jobs? Discuss!

Wisteria Lane

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On a recent social media training session with my B & B client I was met with confusion as to why she should Instagram a picture of her Wisteria in full bloom …

I explained, when people are searching on the internet for Luxury B & B’s, they want to see, smell, feel and aspire to live in that very way, even for just one night!

The wisteria was beautiful, but it’s what the twining climber, spreading itself so generously over the mullioned windows symbolised more than anything else.

The point is this .. if you are selling an aspirational product or service you must convey that luxury and quality to your potential customer; from the 1,000 thread count Egyptian cotton sheets to the freshly squeezed orange juice prepared with love and care each and every morning.

This place, truly was enchanting, from Hobbes, the golden retriever who greeted me with a nuzzle to the knee, all the way through to the hobbit-like doorway which invited me in. In fact I just might book to stay there to enjoy that feeling once more!

 

Turning it on its head!

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There has over the last few months been a real tidal change when it comes to marketing… If you hark back some twenty years; brands shouted what they were to their customers and customers listened. Nowadays; most brands are much more open to being told by their customers what their brand is; with a few exceptions such as Apple who have a closed-door policy, because they can.

This trend has now reached smaller brands; our customers are feeling empowered through becoming little publishers and as such are more forthcoming with their brand feedback; telling us what we are as opposed to the other way round.

This is termed as Earned Content as opposed to Owned or Paid Content; and makes for a much more engaging and interesting brand story for you.

So here are my tips to help encourage forthcoming earned content:

  1. Incentivise customers to publish pictures/ videos or copy through competitions on social media.
  2. Remember to prompt them to tag you with your handle or a particular hashtag you might be using e.g #bestinthebusiness
  3. Applaud them for their marketing
  4. Enjoy the knock on effect!

Go have some fun with your customers and build your story together!

The End

Sheeranism : VERB : Britain’s Sweetheart

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Unless you’ve been taking refuge under a rock in recent months; you cannot fail to have missed the extraordinary adoration that is building (present continuous) for the affable Ed Sheeran.

Now, I am going to take to Science with this one .. bear with me.

What is the formula to this marvel and as such can we then replicate this across other areas of life such as business?

“Sheeranism” Formula:

Unlikely + Likeable + Talented + Contravening = Heroic

Popular culture has never met with such a refreshing amalgamation of goodness; and as such the British public are willing for him to do well. Couple this with his charity efforts and super songs, and well, you’ve got the perfect recipe.

Could we as SME’s learn from Ed and foster this “Sheeranism” ? The answer is yes. The world is a tough place, it’s harder to find a ‘nice’ person in business, and I hate using the word nice, but it is true. If we all took on a bit of his humility we could earn more clients and even engender a more loyal client culture through replicating this mentality.

What do you think ? All thoughts welcome..