First Thursday Club – Stafford Networking Group – Thursday 5 March

The Finest Stafford First Thursday Networking Group

Finest Stafford Networking Event

Finest Stafford Networking Event

The new Stafford based open-networking club launched very successfully in 2014 by local professionals & businesses in conjunction with the Staffordshire Chamber Of Commerce’s FINEST sub-group for professionals in the County will be meeting again next month.  It is highly recommended by us to attend.

The next meeting is Thursday 5 March at the Slaters Ales, Stafford, from 5-7pm and every first Thursday of each month thereafter.

Come along to network, make business contacts and get to know other professionals living and working in Stafford in an informal environment. Over the last few meetings, we have personally met many new professionals working in Stafford and reconnected with others.  This is a great result from any open networking environment especially with follow-up 121s.

To book on the Chamber Of Commerce Website – CLICK HERE

Why Go Networking At Slater’s Ales This Thursday

Slaters Ales Where This Thurday's Networking Is Taking Place

Slaters Ales Where This Thurday’s Networking Is Taking Place

Go behind the scenes at Slater’s Ales and sample some of the micro-brewery’s award-winning real ales.

Slater’s Ales are a family run micro-brewery based in Stafford. The company has been brewing their award winning ales for over 20 years. This Brewery Tour will allow you to sample the tastes of the beers produced at Slater’s.

The tour will see you find out about the story of the brewery’s success, which has seen them increase their staff from four to eight in the past 12 months. You will also see the brewing process, from beginning to end.

The brewery has received numerous awards over the years, including West Midlands Beer of the Year three times winner with Bitter and Supreme, SIBA Midlands Gold for ‘Top Totty’ beer in the Speciality Beer category and Bronze overall.

The tour will conclude with a light buffet and opportunity to network.

To book on the Chamber Of Commerce Website – CLICK HERE

 What Do Next For More Great Networking?

For more information and to confirm attendance on 5 March 2015 please contact:

To book on the Chamber Of Commerce Website – CLICK HERE

Please let all your friends and business acquaintances know through the normal social media channels by reposting this wherever you find it – Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook or Google+.  Look forward to meeting local business ourselves on the day.

The Conspicuous CBM Call To Action

If you know of any great Staffordshire / West Midlands business networking or referral marketing events we can share with the world – let us know via LinkedIn.

If you want to discuss your referral marketing, social media, business networking needs & how to get the most out of them, then please do get in touch with us via LinkedIn. Feel free to connect with us LinkedIn, subscribe to our newsletter or our Superstars of Networking tips series via this website.

New in business then come along to the One2Three Club – a brilliant new networking concept aimed specifically at you – CLICK HERE FOR MORE DETAILS

Read what our customers say about us on our Testimonials Page – CLICK HERE TO READ

Don’t forget the social media challenge for a great free prize from us – DO THE CHALLENGE

Staffordshire Chambers Bring You Great Networking Sales Training & Mentoring Events!

Start-ups? Want More Business? Next Stafford One2Three Club – 17th March 2015!

What Is The Stafford ONE2THREE Club

One2Three Club Logo - Stafford Networking For Startups

One2Three Club Logo – Stafford Networking For Startups

CLICK HERE TO BOOK ON CHAMBER WEBSITE TO ATTEND

Building on the huge success of its Ready for Business programmeStaffordshire Chambers of Commerce has created a business support service for all new and young Staffordshire businesses called the One2Three Club.

Acting as a support hub for young businesses from any sector, this service will provide post-start support for businesses that are up to 3 years old with 3 employees or less, helping them in the early stages to ensure a prosperous future across the County.

The One2Three Club provides access to mentoring and invaluable workshops as well as offering advice, support and expertise.  The aim is to help you create a network for your business through regular networking opportunities with other businesses in a similar position.

Who Needs To Come To Stafford

  • Are You A Graduate Of The Chamber’s Ready For Business Programme?
  • Are you currently being mentored by the Chamber’s Let’s Do Mentoring Programme?
  • Are you a start-up business?
  • Need help and support from other experienced business people who can help you grow your business?
  • Have you been less than three years in business?
  • Have you less than 3 employees?
  • Are you passionate about helping start-ups and new businesses?
  • Are start-ups an important part of your market and marketing plan?

If you answered YES to any of these questions then you need to be at the next One2Three Club meetings at Stafford College – The Riverside Restaurant on 17 March 2015 (the other 2015 dates are below) – starting 7.00am & ending 9.00am – CLICK HERE TO BOOK ON CHAMBER WEBSITE TO ATTEND

What Is It You Are Going To See At The Stafford One2Three Club

  • Other great local businesses that you can create significant long-lasting relationships with!
Organised Networking In Stafford Is Fun!

Organised Networking In Stafford Is Fun!

  • A structured agenda that will help you get the most out of the meeting designed by the foremost expert in referral marketing & business networking in the region – Stuart Walton
  • A great spotlight from one of the local businesses like Paul Woodcock that are members of the One2Three Club where you get to know more about them and what business they are looking for!

  • A top local expert like Stuart Walton speaking on a topic that is guaranteed to inspire you, help you and leave you with actions that you can do after the meeting to help grow and improve your business.  The guest speaker on 17th March is top social media expert Philip Oakley giving his top social media tips for start-up businesses.

 

  • The support of a fantastic team of business people willing to help you and others out.
  • And finally the support of the best Chamber Of Commerce in the region!  The Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce!

CLICK HERE TO BOOK ON CHAMBER WEBSITE TO ATTEND

 

When Are We Meeting In Stafford During 2015

Stafford College - The Riverside Restaurant - Home Of One2Three Club - Networking For Startups

Stafford College – The Riverside Restaurant – Home Of One2Three Club – Networking For Startups

All meetings will be held on the third Tuesday of each month at Stafford College – The Riverside Restaurant – Each meeting starts at 7.00am and will finish by 9.00am.  The meeting fee cost is £12 – CLICK HERE TO BOOK ON CHAMBER WEBSITE TO ATTEND – The next meeting 17th March.  The other 2015 dates are:

  • 21st April
  • 19th May
  • 16th June
  • 21st July
  • 18th August
  • 15th September
  • 20th October
  • 17th November
  • 15th December

Put these dates in your diary today! CLICK HERE TO BOOK ON CHAMBER WEBSITE TO ATTEND

Want to Know More?

For further information about the Ready for Business programme or the One2Three Club visit the organisation’s website at CLICK HERE

To find out how to become a member of the One2Three Club, contact Stuart Walton on 01785 244411 or email him at stuart@conspicuous-cbm.com – Special rates for existing Chamber Members make this one of the most cost effective networking groups in the region.

Look forward to meeting great startups and new businesses in 2015 One2Three Club in Stafford. Please do let your fiends and colleagues know about the meetings through all social media channels – Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+.

The Conspicuous CBM Call To Action

If you know of any other great events in Staffordshire or the WestMidlands which we should share with all our readers then please let us know via the comments or via LinkedIn.

If you want to discuss your referral marketing, social media, business networking needs & how to get the most out of them, then please do get in touch with us via LinkedIn. Feel free to connect with us LinkedIn, subscribe to our newsletter or our Superstars of Networking tips series via this website.

New in business then come along to the One2Three Club – a brilliant new networking concept aimed specifically at you – CLICK HERE FOR MORE DETAILS

Read what our customers say about us on our Testimonials Page – CLICK HERE TO READ

Don’t forget the social media challenge for a great free prize from us – DO THE CHALLENGE

Sandler Sales Training

Want More Sales Success In 2015? Learn The Best Techniques From Sandler Training!

Who Are Sandler Sales Training?

Sandler‘s non-traditional sales selling system plus innovative reinforcement training has made them the global leader in sales training.

David H. Sandler, founder of the Sandler Sales Institute, began sales training and development of the Sandler Selling System in the late 1960s and early 1970s. He created a proven sales training programme for small- and mid-sized companies and Fortune 500 corporations.

Sandler Training, as we are known today, has grown from its original foundation to be the leader in sales training and management training. We have more than 35 years experience, and more than 220 training centres in major cities around the world….

We champion honest, no-nonsense consultative sales and management techniques that get results while preserving the individual team member’s self-respect. Our philosophy embodies a comprehensive approach to selling, an entirely new attitude toward the sales and management processes.

Sandler not only provides the initial and advanced selling strategies and tactics needed to excel, but our training enables people to develop the attitudes and implement the behaviour necessary to reach the highest levels of success.

What Is This Sales Training Event?

Chase Chamber Supports Sales Mentoring In Staffordshire

Chase Chamber Supports Sales Mentoring In Staffordshire

  • Sponsored by – Chase Chamber Of Commerce
  • Delivered by Sandler Training
  • Title – Discover the Formula for Sales Success in 2015
  • Date – Wednesday 25th March 2015
  • Time – 09:30am- 11:30am
  • Location – Rodbaston Hall, Penkridge, Staffordshire, ST19 5BH
  • Cost – £12.50 + VAT

Who Should Attend This Sales Masterclass?

Let’s face it, sales is the lifeline for most companies and organisations, yet it’s the last thing we work on improving for ourselves or our team.  Join Sandler Training for a eye-opening look at the deficiencies of modern-day selling and Sandler Training’s tactics to manage it. Come ready to discuss current sales obstacles and discover no-nonsense approaches to growing your business in the coming year.

This Workshop is an engaging two hour training session where you can see first-hand how we tackle the same sales issues that your sales people deal with every day. Invest two hours of your time and discover why more than 86% of Sandler Training clients report higher closing ratios & increased profits per sale!

Discover compelling executive actions you can take immediately to:

  • Create that slight edge sales advantage
  • Take un-intentional waste of time and resources out of your sales cycle
  • Eliminate forecast volatility
  • Improving prospecting results
  • Increase close ratios on bids and quotes
  • Encourage Sales Efforts That Get Results For 2015!

Who Is Delivering This Sandler Sales Training?

Martin Hall - Sales Training Genius

Martin Hall – Sales Training Genius

This sales training event is being delivered by our old friend Martin Hall, who really is an expert in sales and sales management dedicated to helping Staffordshire and West Midlands businesses.  Go along next week to find out how Martin and the Sandler Training team can help you and your team grow your sales fast and consistently!

How Do I Book Onto This Sales Training Event?

The Conspicuous CBM Call To Action

If you know of any other great events in Staffordshire or the WestMidlands which we should share with all our readers then please let us know via the comments or via LinkedIn.

If you want to discuss your referral marketing, social media, business networking needs & how to get the most out of them, then please do get in touch with us via LinkedIn. Feel free to connect with us LinkedIn, subscribe to our newsletter or our Superstars of Networking tips series via this website.

New in business then come along to the One2Three Club – a brilliant new networking concept aimed specifically at you – CLICK HERE FOR MORE DETAILS

Read what our customers say about us on our Testimonials Page – CLICK HERE TO READ

Don’t forget the social media challenge for a great free prize from us – DO THE CHALLENGE

FSB Networking

Want More Sales? North Staffs FSB Networking Meeting – 3 March 2015 6pm

North Staffs FSB Networking Meeting – 3 March 2015

The next networking event put on by the North Staffs FSB Branch in Newcastle-under-Lyme is being held on 3rd March 2015 at 6pm – CLICK THIS EVENTBRITE LINK TO BOOK YOU PLACE NOW

Come along to network, make business contacts and get to know other professionals living and working in North Staffordshire.

There are two guest speakers – Marek Hornak – Enterprise Business Manager & Kathy England – Employment Engagement Officer from Keele University

A Typical FSB Networking Event

A Typical FSB Networking Event

What Will You Hear At This Networking Event

Tonight's FSB Networking Speakers - Marek & Kathy from Keele University

Tonight’s FSB Networking Speakers – Marek &
Kathy from Keele University

Along with graduate interns Charlotte Monk-Chapman and Sam Shephard from TSB Supply Chain, Kathy England and Marek Hornak from Keele University will detail and demonstrate how North Staffordshire businesses can make the most of local graduate talent.

During the talk, Kathy who is Employer Engagement Officer at Keele University will explain the benefits of graduate internships along with the funding available to assist in offsetting the initial wage cost for each intern.

Following this, Marek who is an Enterprise Business Manager at Keele University will help your business understand how to best access high calibre graduates to spearhead your innovation and growth projects, under the supervision of an expert academic.

A quote from Martin Bose of Flat Vision Products, Newcastle-under-Lyme: “I see interns as ‘diamonds in the rough’ – I like their fresh ideas, they have come with an open mind, and they do sometimes challenge what or how we do things, which can be useful for the team”.

Book your place now – we keep selling out – so get in quick! – CLICK THIS EVENTBRITE LINK TO BOOK YOU PLACE NOW

New To FSB North Staffs Monthly Networking

Join us on March 3rd at the Borough Arms Hotel, Newcastle-under-Lyme & the schedule is as follows:

  • 6PM – 6:30PM Registration, Open Networking and Refreshments
  • 6:30PM – 6:35PM Welcome from your FSB Team
  • 6:35PM – 7:10PM Introduce your Business
  • 7:10PM – 7:45PM Speakers: Kathy England and Marek Hornak
  • 7:45PM – 8PM onwards Q&A / Open Networking

Cost is FSB Members – FREE; Guests – £10

We have limited spaces available. To avoid disappointment please book your place in advance by clicking the button below.  Free car parking in the Hotel Car Park ( at the rear of the hotel ) or in the Adjacent Municipal Car Park.

How To Book For The Networking

For more information and to confirm attendance please book via the CLICK THIS EVENTBRITE LINK TO BOOK YOU PLACE NOW.

If you have any questions please contact – Karen Hays- secretary@nsfsb.co.uk

The address for the event is at the Borough Arms Hotel, Newcastle-under-Lyme, ST5 1HX

Let all your friends and business acquaintances know through the normal social media channels.

Look forward to meeting local business ourselves on the day.

The Conspicuous CBM Call To Action

If you know of any great Staffordshire / West Midlands business networking or referral marketing events we can share with the world – let us know via LinkedIn.

If you want to discuss your referral marketing, social media, business networking needs & how to get the most out of them, then please do get in touch with us via LinkedIn. Feel free to connect with us LinkedIn, subscribe to our newsletter or our Superstars of Networking tips series via this website.

New in business then come along to the One2Three Club – a brilliant new networking concept aimed specifically at you – CLICK HERE FOR MORE DETAILS

Read what our customers say about us on our Testimonials Page – CLICK HERE TO READ

Don’t forget the social media challenge for a great free prize from us – DO THE CHALLENGE

The Burton Business Club BIG Business Networking Event

Want More Sales? Burton Business Club Networking Meeting – 10 March 2015 @6.30pm

Burton Business Club Networking Meeting – 10 March 2015

The next networking event put on by the Burton Business Club in Burton-upon-Trent is being held on 10th March 2015 at 6.30pm – CLICK THIS EVENTBRITE LINK TO BOOK YOU PLACE NOW

Come along to network, make business contacts and get to know other professionals living and working in Burton-upon-Trent and the A38 Corridor between Staffordshire & Derbyshire in an semi-formal networking environment with a very nice evening meal to boot.

There is a guest speaker – Sheila McMahon – A Comedienne, Singer and Qualified Mental Health Counsellor who will be talking about how to “Manage your Mind and Emotions”:

A typical Burton Business Club Networking Meeting

A typical Burton Business Club Networking Meeting

Burton Business Club Networking Event Guest Speaker – Sheila McMahon – Talking about how to “Manage your Mind and Emotions

This Month's Networking Event Speaker - Sheila McMahon - Comedian / Singer  / Counsellor

This Month’s Networking Event Speaker – Sheila McMahon – Comedian / Singer / Counsellor

This month we are pleased to have Sheila McMahon.  Sheila is a Qualified Counsellor with 4 and half years of training. She runs a private practice in Birmingham. During her counselling training she realized that the only thing stopping her from achieving her goals were her own negative thoughts. She has broken through this cycle and teaches her techniques to others who want to make positive changes to their life.

She is also a stand-up Comedienne and is performing a Mental Health Show at The Garrick Theatre on the 13th March. She has written and is about to publish a book about Mental Health and Human behaviour.

For the presentation Sheila will be sharing with you some of her experiences, showing you techniques on how to Manage your Mind and Emotions using Mindfulness and CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Technique) and show you why life is too serious to be taken seriously – besides no-one gets out alive anyway!

She is very passionate about people breaking through their own limitations and having a great Work-Life Balance. She believes no matter what age you are, who you are, you have the potential to feel fantastic about yourself and to live an amazing life.

Book your place now – we keep selling out – so get in quick! – CLICK THIS EVENTBRITE LINK TO BOOK YOU PLACE NOW

New To Burton Business Club Networking

If you’ve never been to a BBC event, or any networking event before, this will be a great event to find out what it’s all about. All visitors are able to attend a monthly event twice before committing to joining the club and at the same members price of £13.50 too! This gives them the opportunity to see first-hand how we manage the club and how we can help them with both their personal development and business growth.

We will be collecting money for Burton YMCA food bank via the Club’s food booking system. This money will then be used to buy food needed for the parcels.

How To Book For The Networking

For more information and to confirm attendance please book via events@burtonbusinessclub.co.uk or use the CLICK THIS EVENTBRITE LINK TO BOOK YOU PLACE NOW.

The address for the event is at the Branston Golf & Country Club, Burton Road, Branston, Staffordshire DE14 3DP

Let all your friends and business acquaintances know through the normal social media channels.

Look forward to meeting local business ourselves on the day.

The Conspicuous CBM Call To Action

If you know of any great Staffordshire / West Midlands business networking or referral marketing events we can share with the world – let us know via LinkedIn.

If you want to discuss your referral marketing, social media, business networking needs & how to get the most out of them, then please do get in touch with us via LinkedIn. Feel free to connect with us LinkedIn, subscribe to our newsletter or our Superstars of Networking tips series via this website.

New in business then come along to the One2Three Club – a brilliant new networking concept aimed specifically at you – CLICK HERE FOR MORE DETAILS

Read what our customers say about us on our Testimonials Page – CLICK HERE TO READ

Don’t forget the social media challenge for a great free prize from us – DO THE CHALLENGE

Coffee Connects Networking

Want More Sales? Cake & Business Networking Group Stoke – Tuesday 3 March 6.30-8.30pm

What Is The Coffee Lounge Connects Networking Group?

A Stoke based open-networking club has launched very successfully through the efforts of local businesses in conjunction with the Coffee Lounge in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent will be meeting again in March, and highly recommended by us to attend.

When Is It?

The next meeting is Tuesday 3rd March at the Coffee Lounge, Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, ST6 2AA from 6.30-8.30pm and every first Tuesday of each month thereafter.

Come along to network, listen to the guest speaker, make business contacts and get to know other professionals living and working in Stoke and Staffordshire in an informal environment + enjoy some great food and coffee from the Coffee Lounge itself.

Where Is The Networking Taking Place!

Where Is The Networking Taking Place!

Who’s The Guest Speaker?

This Month's Coffee Connect Networking Speaker

This Month’s Coffee Connect Networking Speaker

“We’re pleased to have joining us Fiona Wallace, Executive Director of the New Vic Theatre as our guest speaker this month. The New Vic Theatre is acknowledged to be a national beacon for the way they make the widest contribution to the wellbeing of the local community.

How Do I Book?

For more information and to confirm attendance on 3rd March 2015 please contact:

connects@thecoffeelounge.org.uk by email or via www.thecoffeelounge.org.uk

“There will be your normal opportunity to meet and network with other business’s in the area, find out about interesting projects that are happening in and around Stoke-on-Trent and importantly to inform people about what it is you do and the services you offer, and all for just £10.”

Please let all your friends and business acquaintances know through the normal social media channels by reposting this wherever you find it – Twitter, Linked-in, Facebook or Google+ – just ask them to confirm attendance with the team.

Peter, Russell, Dave, Jez and Ellie from the Coffee Connect team look forward to meeting local business on the day.

The Conspicuous CBM Call To Action

If you know of any great Staffordshire / West Midlands business networking or referral marketing events we can share with the world – let us know via LinkedIn.

If you want to discuss your referral marketing, social media, business networking needs & how to get the most out of them, then please do get in touch with us via LinkedIn. Feel free to connect with us LinkedIn, subscribe to our newsletter or our Superstars of Networking tips series via this website.

New in business then come along to the One2Three Club – a brilliant new networking concept aimed specifically at you – CLICK HERE FOR MORE DETAILS

Read what our customers say about us on our Testimonials Page – CLICK HERE TO READ

Don’t forget the social media challenge for a great free prize from us – DO THE CHALLENGE

Ted Loves Wordpress For Blogging

Want The Most From Your WordPress Website? Listen To The Rugeley Wizzards On Security!

 We Are Still Loving WordPress!

We love wordpress for blogging

We love wordpress for blogging

As you know we are big fans of WordPress for all your blogging and content marketing needs to help you promote your business, grow your reputation and generate sales leads and business opportunities.

We have also warned you about WordPress security in recent blogs, and have shared a great infographic on the subject from Wizzard Technical Design in Rugeley.

Wordpress Security Infographics

WordPress Security Infographics

We Are Still Loving Video Too!

Video is something we have been promoting on the pages of this blog over the last few weeks as a great way of both creating content, distributing content, and helping the SEO on your website.  It is also a very effective tool for learning for your customers and potential customers to understand what you do or offer.

Creating video content is something which not everyone feels comfortable in doing (despite the proliferation in iPhones and other smartphones) as the post processing and the proliferation of formats makes it hard.  What could be one solution – the Google Hangout!

Our Hangout On WordPress

We decided to try Google Hangouts with local experts we know to see how easy it is to do, and share some great conversations and information on topics of interest to our readers.

Warning - setting up google hangouts so it records straight into YouTube is not for the technically faint-hearted on both sides (compared to Skype) and it requires great bandwidth and cameras.  Don't forget that it is also a public forum so watch what you say, and be prepared to do some post editing afterwards in YouTube to make it watchable.

Our first hangout was with Osmond Maguire from Wizzard Technical Designs on our current favourite topic – WordPress security – enjoy:

Look out for more great videos with advice from local businesses we love to work with to help your business flourish on future Hangouts we post to out new YouTube playlist where these will be listed under.

The Conspicuous CBM Call To Action

If you know of any other great experts on any subject in Staffordshire or the WestMidlands who we should share with all our readers then please let us know via the comments or via LinkedIn.

If you want to discuss your referral marketing, social media, business networking needs & how to get the most out of them, then please do get in touch with us via LinkedIn. Feel free to connect with us LinkedIn, subscribe to our newsletter or our Superstars of Networking tips series via this website.

New in business then come along to the One2Three Club – a brilliant new networking concept aimed specifically at you – CLICK HERE FOR MORE DETAILS

Read what our customers say about us on our Testimonials Page – CLICK HERE TO READ

Don’t forget the social media challenge for a great free prize from us – DO THE CHALLENGE

Elaine Clark - Accounting's Twitter Queen

Learning From Accounting’s Twitter Queen – Our Interview with Elaine Clark!

 Accounting’s Twitter Queen Talks To Us About Her Success

Accounting's Twitter Royalty

Accounting’s Twitter Royalty

We have had the pleasure to talk again to Elaine Clark from Cheap Accounting, the eponymous “Twitter Queen Of Accountancy” who we have had the pleasure to have known for several years.

Who Are Cheap Accounting?

To quote their own blog:

CheapAccounting.co.uk were one of the first firms to deliver accountancy services purely online at a time when online cloud accountancy systems didn’t exist, so we wrote our own. We use cloud technology in a way that brings an ease of collaboration between client and accountant; clients can be in better control of company finances with less mistakes and worry. Our low fees mean that start-up businesses that were priced out of using traditional high street accountant can use our services.

The biggest cultural change to operating in the online world is the way in which credibility and rapport with the clients is established and maintained without physically meeting.

Our media presence establishes the credentials of CheapAccounting.co.uk as a professional firm; our accountants establish their credibility with clients by the immediacy of response to communications, dealing promptly with queries, being responsive and demonstrating knowledge. This is helped by using a number of communication channels such as Skype and sign posting our online guides, blogs and tools. Gone are the days of letters in an in-tray waiting days or weeks for a response; that approach wouldn’t survive online.

How Does Cheap Accounting Market Itself?

To quote their own blog again:

We do not throw money at buying leads and clients – in fact we do not spend a penny on Outbound Marketing. Nevertheless we continue to grow and our brand is becoming known by both clients and the accounting community alike. We believe that organic growth delivered through firmly established reputation and recommendation is the best way to grow CheapAccounting.co.uk.

You may have seen us mentioned in articles on the following sites and publications amongst many others ….

Accountancy Age, Daily Mail, The Telegraph, The Times, Evening Standard, Start up Donut, IoD briefings, HSBC Small Business Newsletter, Economia, Wire and Accounting Web.

Our CheapAccounting Blog receives nearly 100,000 hits per month and @CheapAccounting (twitter account) has over 4,000 twitter followers achieved through organic growth and not robots. The CheapAccounting.co.uk web site receives 750,000 hits per month from 21,000 unique visitors.

As a result of social media alone and in particular twitter, Managing Director, Elaine Clark and has become a regular on BBC Radio 4’s Money Box with her most recent appearance generating feedback from listeners of “Great show I always listen but today’s experts are really a joy to listen to – clear concise and answering the questions directly” and “Big thanks to Elaine from @CheapAccounting. Superb service following from tax advice given with @paullewismoney on Wednesday”.

Elaine has also been featured on 378 local radio station new bulletins.

Networking via social media has achieved an unprecedented national reach that could not have been dreamt of 10 years ago.

 What More Does The Twitter Queen Have To Say?

Here is our interview with Elaine Clark on 12 February 2015 which we have summarised below:

What do you think of other accountants competing against you?

Our competition has validated our approach and whilst imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, slavish copying is not appreciated.  Your success is not about riding on our coat-tails but working hard to achieve it for yourself.

Not many other accountants ask for our advice as to how we have built the business, most of them simply don’t believe how we operate.

Who are you target market?

They are micro businesses (0-9 employees) which make up the majority of businesses in the UK.    They deserve a a great standard of service which they often don’t get from a traditional high street accountant.  Our difference is the use of technology to reduce costs and provide a great service at the same time.

What does the client of tomorrow look like?  We have seen an increase in self-employment in the last few years, and many of them are much more tech savvy compared to those we saw a few years ago.  We believe that if we look after the start-ups from the start they remain with us for a long time.  Cloud computing is “cracked” if you can do it both on-line and off-line with your clients, but speed of response from the original enquiry to ongoing work is pivotal to keeping the client satisfied and costs down.  By having the pricing structure on the website, the enquiry has already qualified itself when they get in contact which keeps cost-of-sales low and the conversion rates high.

What are the plans for Cheap Accounting?

We have been going for 8 years now.  We have 30 Franchisees and over 2500 clients.  We continue to grow with over 220 new client enquiries in January alone.  This does not even represent a fraction of 1% of the market so we have room to grow which is only limited by finding great qualified franchisees and our imagination and willingness to grow.

The biggest job currently for us is on boarding new franchisees who don’t have to be good at marketing (that’s our job) but great at their professional work.  Finding suitable qualified accountants is the biggest challenge to growth for the franchise.  The future is very exciting, but the key is to keep flexible and open-minded.  Building the right foundation for the business is the best start we can make to have a long term and sustainable future.

Why is Twitter And Social Media Good For Your Marketing?

We don’t allocate any money to spend on marketing, just time and “ingenuity” to capture the attention of the public.  Social media is good for introverts especially us accountants, who often behave like wallflowers at a school disco when it comes to traditional business networking.

Accountants are afraid to change and make a mistake.  I don’t mind making a fool of myself trying to change.

To reach our target market, a plan is key to any sales & marketing activity.  It does not need to be written down in some major way, but the key milestones which signal success need to be understood by everyone in the organisation.  It is very important for people to remind themselves that opportunities present themselves through serendipity, and to not let any plan stop them from taking these as they present themselves.  There is too much going in the world (which seems to be in constant change) to plan for these opportunities with any meaningful purpose.

Twitter has an incredible reach.  Where else can you can be talking to the equivalent of “Twitterham” each and every day, than other traditional forms of marketing at very low cost.  Its so easy to reach an audience and interact with them.  The key to remember is that there is a silent majority which will not converse with you but know who you are, and might talk about you positively to send you even more referrals and enquiries.  You have to remember that perseverance is key to using Twitter – Don’t give up as the referrals will come.

Twitter has brought us the Radio 4 opportunity with Paul Lewis allowing us to demonstrate our skills to a massive accessible audience we could not have reached before, and many radio appearances later (both local and national) has helped our reputation and credibility no end.  Unlike big firms, all this comes from me which means that I have to be accessible to journalists and have a fast speed of response (unlike bigger firms) which reflects our ethos as a company.

How Much Time Do You Spend Marketing The Business?

For the last 3 years, I have been full time on business development to grow the franchise and acting as “chief cheerleader” for Cheap Accounting.  Before that being on Twitter took a significant part of my time and was a massive investment and hard work, but the rewards of consistent effort has been fantastic.

Your Twitter Call To Action!

If you have found what Elaine Clark has said of interest to you as a potential client or potential Franchisee then please get in touch with her via her website Cheap Accounting where she blogs on a regular basis.  Of course if you are Twitter do follow an interact with her at @CheapAccounting and of course look out for her on her many radio and press interviews where she always has something to say of interest or controversial, or both!

Elaine is especially keen to hear from accountants who want to reach for the Cloud but don’t know where to start or who are afraid of any fee erosion they may (incorrectly) perceive as a result of reaching for the Cloud.

After reading all this and you as an accountant are still not convinced that social media can grow your business then please contact us for our many examples of local firms in Staffordshire which have conquered Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ to grow their reputation, leads, opportunities and sales in a short time frame.  Interestingly all of them are massive proponents of cloud computing solutions such as Xero.  If you are not not top of modern marketing techniques and cloud computing like Elaine & Cheap Accounting then you will be left behind as they eat your proverbial lunch!

Look out for more interviews with other great businesses who have used social media to great effect to grow their businesses faster than their competitors!

The Conspicuous CBM Call To Action

If you know of any other great experts on any subject in Staffordshire or the WestMidlands who we should share with all our readers then please let us know via the comments or via LinkedIn.

If you want to discuss your referral marketing, social media, business networking needs & how to get the most out of them, then please do get in touch with us via LinkedIn. Feel free to connect with us LinkedIn, subscribe to our newsletter or our Superstars of Networking tips series via this website.

New in business then come along to the One2Three Club – a brilliant new networking concept aimed specifically at you – CLICK HERE FOR MORE DETAILS

Read what our customers say about us on our Testimonials Page – CLICK HERE TO READ

Don’t forget the social media challenge for a great free prize from us – DO THE CHALLENGE

Ted Loves Networking

Want More Business From Networking? Sorry Networkers There Are Rules You Need To Study & Remember Now!

We Love Networking

Organised Networking Is Fun!

Organised Networking Is Fun!

Occasionally we like to share information and tips on other topics from experts around the world especially about Networking, one of the 4 key tools for low-cost marketing we recommend to all small and new businesses.

Networking Advice

Networking Sucks!

Networking Sucks!

There is lots of networking advice out there and there is the odd nugget in this blog from time to time.  A lot of it is centred around what we call open networking, which represents the majority of the systems that exists for new and small companies to attend, and probably the entirety of networking which larger companies engage in.

We came across a tongue-in-cheek piece of advice in a collum written by Anum Hussain on Hubspot, called BLAH BLAH BLAH … 19 NETWORKING TIPS I’M SICK OF HEARING.

It gives 19 pieces of advice that the author has heard hundreds of time before and collected into this list with amusing video vignettes to illustrate each point from well known US sitcom dramas:

  • Step 1: Research a few people you want to connect with prior to the event.
  • Step 2: Eat a proper meal to avoid chatting fatigue.
  • Step 3: Learn big, fancy words to impress people with.
  • Step 4: Take a moment to boost your self-esteem before working a room.
  • Step 5: Don’t be afraid to enter the room. You went there to network afterall.
  • Step 6: Approach someone new and say hello.
  • Step 7: Give them a firm handshake so they know you mean business.
  • Step 8: Then employ the buddy system to divide and conquer.
  • Step 9: Keep your introductions brief and to-the-point.
  • Step 10: Look really interested even when you have no idea what someone is saying.
  • Step 11: If that doesn’t work, just sprinkle in pop culture references.
  • Step 12: If all else fails, say something super inspirational to sound super smart.
  • Step 13: Just make sure you’re not the jerk on the phone the whole time.
  • Step 14: Don’t be afraid to admit when a conversation isn’t benefiting you.
  • Step 15: Know when to end the conversation.
  • Step 16: Hand out your perfectly polished business cards to stay in touch.
  • Step 17: Send professionally-written follow up notes to everyone you meet.
  • Step 18: If they ignore you, keep following up. Don’t stop until they respond.
  • Step 19: And of course, dress to impress for post-conference parties.

Some of these points are a little mute like the pop-culture references to help a conversation move along but doing your homework before an event, talking to new people, and following up are axiomatic pieces of advice for any sales or marketing system one might engage in.

Clearly Step 5 is the essential part of going networking – for many of the new and startup businesses we meet, overcoming that fear and getting out of your comfort some zone to go networking has been their no1 problem.  If they come from “the world of work” they will not have had experience of any form of business networking, and come from a place which is all transactions – they in effect swap time for employment and pay.  The idea of investing in long term relationships for no immediate gain is simply either an anathema or something they will not comprehend at first.

Even the ones that are mute are about being able to build rapport in a networking situation to enable you to build long term relationships that lead to opportunities and then eventually to sales.

It is not that much of the networking tips such as we see above are wrong, they simply don’t go far enough or put it in the proper context as to what you need to do to build relationships if networking or referral marketing is going to be an integral part of your work activity to generate leads and sales.

Your 2015 Networking Call To Action

  • Fact – Networking brings companies a rich stream of new contacts and business that can make them more successful & profitable.
  • Fact – Networking help them to understand their customers and the marketplace better whilst testing their message and its effectiveness.
  • Fact – Many people who do network or referral marketing make mistakes which can cost them winning new business & damage their reputation.
  • Fact – We all make mistakes. But what can you do to maximize your networking activities by avoiding these costly errors?

So once you have got over your networking fears and get out to promote your business to build long term relationships, then do take the time to study not just the “how to network” as the articles above but the “why to network” so that the hard work, discipline, perseverance and planning required to do any marketing systems correctly don’t seem that a like a waste a time when you first start.

The Conspicuous CBM Call To Action

If you know of any other great experts on any subject in Staffordshire or the WestMidlands who we should share with all our readers then please let us know via the comments or via LinkedIn.

If you want to discuss your referral marketing, social media, business networking needs & how to get the most out of them, then please do get in touch with us via LinkedIn. Feel free to connect with us LinkedIn, subscribe to our newsletter or our Superstars of Networking tips series via this website.

New in business then come along to the One2Three Club – a brilliant new networking concept aimed specifically at you – CLICK HERE FOR MORE DETAILS

Read what our customers say about us on our Testimonials Page – CLICK HERE TO READ

Don’t forget the social media challenge for a great free prize from us – DO THE CHALLENGE

Ted Loves Wordpress For Blogging

Got Yourself A WordPress Website? Make Sure Your Web Designer Gets It Right!

We Love WordPress

Wordpress

We Love WordPress

Occasionally we like to share information and tips on other topics from top local experts especially on social media, and our favourite blogging tool – WordPress – HERE HERE & HERE

23% of the web is running WordPress according to their latest presentation from their founder:

 

There is a reason why 23% of the web runs on WordPress – easy to set-up, plugins and you’re in control of those critical updates and social media shares which helps discoverability and SEO!

As you can see WordPress is a powerful and so easy an weapon in building your reputation through blogging which if you need more convincing about read what worldwide authority Jeff Bullas has to say on the subject HERE on how easy it’s is to get going and start building trust and deepening relationships with your connections!

But Why Why Why WordPress?

Still not convinced here is what our Staffordshire friends WT Designs shared recently on Twitter via Steve Watson – 7 Benefits of Using WordPress For Your Website

WordPress is a blogging platform that is open source, meaning it is free! Once installed you are ready to start adding content. You see it is not just a blogging platform, you can add pages (as many as you like) to create an excellent “Content Management System” or “CMS” as it is known.

Here are 7 benefits to using the WordPress platform

  1. Quick and easy installation
  2. Massive choice of themes
  3. Fantastic functionality
  4. Extendibility with thousands of plug ins
  5. Automatic updating
  6. SEO friendly
  7. Security

No excuses – get on WordPress today!

Watchout For These WordPress Mistakes

But we have seen a number of WordPress installations over the last few weeks which make us wonder question the professionalism of the web designers who put them in for their clients.  These issues include:

  • Poorly designed or implemented themes
  • Security updates not applied
  • No back-up strategy
  • Social media sharing poorly or not implemented
  • Blogging / News updates poorly explained to clients or even implemented
  • Google crawlers banned from indexing the website
  • Commenting protection like Askimet not implemented
  • No SEO optimisation plugins like Yoast installed or great free plugins from WordPress such as Jetpack to help you manage your website more effectively.
  • Poor username or passwords to the /wp-admin/ account

Want some more WordPress security tips then we are all very lucky that our old friends WT Design has just hired a very talented graphic designer Megan Cashmore who has produced a WordPress security infographics here below:

Wordpress Security

WordPress Security

  • etc etc etc

So even if someone has a yearn to Blog to grow their reputation they are often doing so with one hand tied behind their back.  This is where a truly good and professional website designer would ensure the website fitted into an overall marketing strategy, was safe and secure, the client properly trained, SEO optimised, and not just looking pretty.

Your 2015 WordPress Call To Action

There are many great Staffordshire based web developers who we have talked about and recommended on this blog, so if you are looking for someone to double-check your WordPress installation then let us know via the comments or LinkedIn.

If you want to make sure you are OK with your WordPress website then ask your developer whether the observations above apply to your website.  If any of them do, then ask them a lot more hard questions about the work they have done to date or about any of the ongoing fees they are charging you.

For more great WordPress tips then always look out for great Infographics from our friends RED WEBSITE DESIGN BLOG who publish all sorts go great advice blogs every day on digital marketing and social media, or keep up to date with evangelists like Jeff Bullas.

Your website is a prime digital marketing asset – it is your responsibility to make sure it is working properly, secured, doing its job to help your business grow, and you are top of technology and trends.

The Conspicuous CBM Call To Action

If you know of any other great experts on any subject in Staffordshire or the WestMidlands who we should share with all our readers then please let us know via the comments or via LinkedIn.

If you want to discuss your referral marketing, social media, business networking needs & how to get the most out of them, then please do get in touch with us via LinkedIn. Feel free to connect with us LinkedIn, subscribe to our newsletter or our Superstars of Networking tips series via this website.

New in business then come along to the One2Three Club – a brilliant new networking concept aimed specifically at you – CLICK HERE FOR MORE DETAILS

Read what our customers say about us on our Testimonials Page – CLICK HERE TO READ

Don’t forget the social media challenge for a great free prize from us – DO THE CHALLENGE