Hats Off!

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If you’re anything like me, when I set up Storyteller I didn’t have a scooby doo (clue) how many different facets of the business I would need to tend to …

Being a start up, one-man-band means you are everything from the designer, to the photographer and the accountant! Wearing so many hats isn’t always easy and because these new areas aren’t necessarily our mainstay, we punish ourselves when our results aren’t perfect. Don’t.

Break the areas of the business down …

  • Marketing – There is so much help out there these days. Stay true to the brand and how you want it to look and feel. Be creative. An iPhone is a real tool for photography and Instagram’s filters are great.
  • Finance and HR – Work out if you even need an accountant? Can you do your own book keeping and year end and save the cost? If you are scared, there are some great independents who aren’t going to cost the earth to help you. Just you? If you are registered as a Sole Trader / Self Employed then you just need to do your self assessment or Limited Company and you have to do your payroll and self assessment.
  • Operations – This is where you do your thing! You are good at what you do so go do it!
  • Strategy – This is where you want your business to go. Check in with yourself often so you make sure you haven’t created a monster or are drifting from your original business plan. Business coaches are two a penny in and around Yorkshire and again reasonable, making for a great sounding board.

Which hat have you got on today?

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Destination: Philanthropy

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We live in a world where acts of terror are now nearly the norm, diseases like cancer are ever more prevalent and some heartless mega corporations make billions with very little thought for anything other than the bottom line.

Because of the latter, consumers are leaning toward the smaller, more boutique businesses which offer humility and honesty in a time with very little of either.

The local independents are beckoning us more than ever, but there is one more thing us little companies need to do to win over peoples hearts and do good at the same time..

Consider what your business’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy is? Could you donate to your local church, or a charity which is close to your heart? It not only gives you peace of mind that you are doing something positive with your company but also makes you an appealing choice for new customers.

Now, I must go and find my charity..

 

 

 

5 Reasons to Story Tell

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As we become more discerning in the way we consume, marketing has become in many ways, much harder for smaller businesses.

Although we have many more tools at our fingertips such as social media, we have to become more savvy with our content. The phrase “Content is King” is comes in to play here

Use social media channels, packaging, your website etc.. to tell your story, and here’s why!

  1. It builds memories
  2. It is a natural motivator
  3. It builds relationships
  4. It makes content exciting
  5. It makes something old, new!

P.S Don’t forget to use good imagery, a picture tells a thousand words x

Reinvention Not Necessary

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I recently attended a networking event in the metropolis city of Leeds. The event was aimed at entrepreneurs and helping them to take their idea from just that to a reality. The reason I attended? The founder of well-being brand NEOM, Nicola Elliott was speaking.

While on the panel, she was asked what her one piece of advice would be for the budding entrepreneurs? Her answer, was very interesting, don’t try to reinvent the wheel..

We are all out there trying to become successful business people, as we sit and relentlessly compare ourselves to others. The trick?

Don’t try to invent an idea or a concept that is totally new, that is hard to do, and you will be thinking on that for some time. Instead, create a better version of something that already exists, a better table or a prettier vase.

So stop putting yourself under pressure to be the next big thing, and just develop the last great thing!

Happy Hashtagging

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It’s like the air is filled with this one word today, #Hashtag and Happy 10th Birthday to you dear friend.

First created as a Tech Tool on Twitter, the creators believed it wouldn’t catch on to the masses, they believed it to be too alienating in every which way, how very wrong they were …

Twitter Royalty gave what was a rather redundant symbol on our keyboards, a fulfilling career and if it wasn’t for the hashtag, Instagram would cease to work!

For those in class who are new to the hashtag, I like to imagine you are standing in a library and the hashtag is the filing system within that library. There are two types of hashtags, #trendinghashtags – these are great for getting noticed. Examples would be; #FridayFeeling or #MondayMotivation. The second type is where you can stamp your brand, for example #StorytellerMarketing or #StoryTTips

You can also have fun with this powerful symbol.. when Ed Balls was in Strictly he searched his own name #EdBalls unbeknown to him he had actually tweeted! He never deleted the tweet, received a huge response and now every 28th April it’s #EdBallsDay

The trick is to not be scared of hashtags, but to have some fun too! Happy Hastagging!

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.