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Want More Sales? Get Some More Introduction To Social Media Marketing!

On Wednesday 3rd September between 9am & 12pm, the Wolverhampton Business Solution Centre is hosting a free social media seminar in Wolverhampton, delivered by our old friend Phil Oakley from Outserve Web with Andy Harrison.

The venue details are at the Wolverhampton Business Solution Centre and booking can be made online here on Eventbrite - CLICK HERE

Event Description

“Social media marketing has been around for over a decade generating millions of conversations, billions of shared pictures and even more in sales for companies around the globe. Although, when asked, the majority of UK businesses say that they plan to use social media in their marketing activities.

However it is still only a minority of businesses who are are receiving significant benefits.
Millions of Twitter accounts have never sent a tweet and have no followers. Thousands of Facebook business pages are lying dormant, unloved and uncared for, engaging no-one with no conversation.

How can you maximise your social media marketing potential? What platforms are the most effective? How are you going to improve your customer relationships and increase your sales and profitability?

Attend this Introduction to social media marketing to learn how to use social media as a competitive weapon including:

  • What socialmedia platforms should I use for business?
  • How can get followers and build a community?
  • What do I say and when do should I post?
  • How do I engage prospects?
  • Learn the socialmedia do’s and don’ts”

So if you have been thinking about using social media, have dipped your toe but got stuck or want to learn new him, tips and tricks then you must TAKE ACTION & BOOK NOW to hear what the No 1 Social Media Strategist in the region – Phil Oakley - has to say!

See everyone on the 3rd

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 me via LinkedIn.

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Want More Sales? Advance Business Growth Centre Uttoxeter Networking Lunch – Tuesday 2nd September (12-2pm)

The next networking lunch put on by the Advance Business Growth Centre in Uttoxeter is being held on Tuesday 2nd September from 12-2pm..

Come along to network, make business contacts and get to know other professionals living and working in Uttoxeter and East Staffordshire in an semi-formal networking environment with a very nice buffet lunch.

There is a guest speaker – Ian Henderson of Advance Consultancy who will be on hand to give a presentation on ‘Sales Mastery’.

For more information and to confirm attendance please book via Samantha Halden-Evans  at Samantha.Halden-Evans@advance-consultancy.com or ring 01889 561510.  The address for the event is at the Advance Business Growth Centre  on Church Street, Uttoxeter, ST14 8AG

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

Look forward to meeting local business ourselves on the day.

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 me via LinkedIn.

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First Thursday Club – Stafford #Networking Group – Thursday 4 September 5-7pm

The new Stafford based open-networking club launched very successfully a few months ago 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, and highly recommended by us to attend.

The next meeting is Thursday 4 September at the Swan Hotel Café, 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 first few meetings, we personally met 8 new professionals working in Stafford and reconnected with 4 others, a great result from any open networking environment especially with follow-up 121s.

For more information and to confirm attendance on 4 September please contact:

Louise Dubber – louise.dubber@staffordshirechambers.co.uk
Debbie Streeton – deborah.j.streeton@hsbc.com
Amy Glover – amy@jobsonssolicitors.co.uk

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 night. If you want more advice or guidance on your open networking & how to get the most out of it then please get in touch via linked-in.

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 me via LinkedIn.

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Want More Sales? 5 Reasons You Will Fail At Open Networking!

“Making the right connections can make the difference between success and failure in business. The trick is doing it in a room full of strangers!”

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.

What is open networking?
There are two main types:

Firstly – Mixer Networking, where anybody and everybody can turn up. There is no set group, and no membership fee. These sorts of events do have their place (especially when you use them to enhance regular networking), but they also can be the scene of first – and last – attempts by networking novices to market themselves. Often it feels like there are too many people thrusting their business cards under your nose, and can be a rather disheartening experience.

Secondly – Regular Open Networking where a group meets weekly or fortnightly, with the aim of forming and strengthening contacts. This type of networking attracts a lot of new businesses. This is more productive than mixer networking because of the relationships that are formed but with no business sector exclusivity so you may have people in the same industry. In between the two types is speed networking, where participants have one-to-one or small group pitches to lots of other people over a short time.

Networking can be tough and a daunting task. So if your new to it, or even just loath it there are many tips out there to help you such as:
1. Stepping out of your comfort zone at introducing yourself to strangers at networking events!
2. Not prejudging someone you meet you might be that great contact or a key decision maker at another company.
3. Forget the sales pitch and remembering to build long term relationships with people you meet networking
4. Develop a thick skin and becoming used to rejection.
5. Be persistent and make sure you follow-up the people you meet at networking events.
etc etc etc

Despite all the evidence that networking works for all business (and along with referral marketing & social media should be in the low-cost marketing toolkit of every business in the UK), mountains of great tips, hints, tricks and advice, people still fail at it and often hurt their business and their reputation as serious & competent professionals.

We have looked at lots of networking failures over the last 6 years from the companies we have met and concluded on the 5 main reasons people will fail at Open Networking. These are:
-Failure to believe
-Failure to invest
-Failure to plan
-Failure to persevere
-Failure to be disciplined

Our presentation below highlights the issues on each point, and shares the common mistakes people make at Open Networking which guarantees failure.

Finally, whether you pursue networking or some other marketing strategy is up to you. If you are going to pursue networking to gains sales leads and opportunities, then approach mixer networking with caution and find a regular & professional business networking organization to join. This will help you become more successful and improve your networking skills. But beware, many of these groups are set up on being relaxed & low cost – this is a business activity that requires discipline & perseverance, and you get what you pay for – SO BEWARE.

If you are going to join a referral marketing group then make sure you can commit to their rules (which are all in place for very good and valid business reasons) and culture. Failure here will do even more lasting damage to your reputation than not turning up at a one-off mixer networking event!

We absolutely believe making networking the core of your marketing activity will be one of the best business decisions you make. And it will be fun too. But nothing is for free, hard work required at all times! Always observe the successes and failures of others’ Referral networking efforts. There is a lot to learn from them.

Lastly, don’t be afraid of making mistakes. Success is impossible without some degree of failure.
For more great Open Networking opportunities in your area – CLICK HERE

If you have any other top DOs, DONTs and MUSTs of “open networking” then please leave us a comment via Linked-in.

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 me via LinkedIn.

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Want More Sales? Get A Recommendation For Free?

There was great post recently from Sramana Mitra Founder at One Million by One Million (1M/1M) on LinkedIn – The Obsession With Free which talked about the Internet’s obsession with getting things for free and how businesses had to cope with this problem!

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Cartoon: Book by Sramana Mitra and Irina Patterson. Art by Mike Varouhas.

Here is a particularly important part of the post to read (edited for context):

“A recent Developer Economics survey offered the following observation:  50 percent of iOS developers and 47 percent of Android developers are “below the app poverty line” and making less than $500 per app per month. That means ‘the majority of app businesses are not sustainable at current revenue levels’ Developer Economics says.  Why do you think this is the case?  Because, developers are confusing ‘customer’ and ‘free user’. A free user is not a customer. Your goal is to get paying customers, not just free users.  If you have a product that customers don’t want to pay for, but they want to use for free, then you don’t have a business.  It’s a charity.”

Many of the businesses we know are not selling products even digital ones but services.  They to can be caught by giving away their expertise and time for free.  In particular in 121 situations which are often part of many networking or referral marketing systems, there is a temptation to “pick the brains” of the other party to help your business.  Now it is a perfectly good strategy to share your expertise with others in order to build your reputation e.g. by writing – CLICK HERE

But sometimes it becomes a bit much and you can feel the conversation has gone away from you in terms of giving advice.  So what to do in these circumstances – ask for the “Recommendation”.  As we said to a social media expert who felt she was giving all her secrets away in free twitter and Facebook advice to the other party in a 121 without much business in return is always ask for the Recommendation in return.

How to do it in these circumstances, then simply use the phrase “has this conversation been useful to you?”.  If the answer is yes, follow-up with “can you do me a FAVOUR, and give me a recommendation on LinkedIn, this will really help my business”.  In our experience this request is never rejected and people agree to do it.  We will assume both parties are on LinkedIn, then you need to send the recommendation request yourself (remember this only works on the desktop version of LinkedIn – the mobile version does not yet support this facility), and in most cases you will get that glowing recommendation you deserve.

That way you have something from any interaction with other business person – recommendation gold.

We have spoken to a number of businesses recently, and many of them feel grateful that they have something to give back to us given the level of advice they have been given on referral marketing and business networking.  Its a great value for value model that works for both parties – business knowledge for social proof that you are the expert that everyone should do business with (CLICK HERE).

So the next time you feel you are giving up your expertise for no return – ASK FOR THE RECOMMENDATION.  You will be glad you did, and so will the other party.  Its a game of numbers but as ROB Brown says building your recommendation is getting more people talking about you than your competitors – testimonials as we can attest are very very helpful in doing that!

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 me via linked-in.

 

 

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Want More Sales? Get Some Introduction To Social Media Marketing!

On Tuesday 2nd September between 9am & 12pm, The Staffordshire Chambers Of Commerce’s Chase Chamber is putting on a free social media seminar in Cannock, delivered by our old friend Phil Oakley from Outserve Web with Andy Harrison.

The venue details are at the Ramada Birmingham North-Cannock and booking can be made online here – CLICK HERE

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Event Description

Social media marketing has been around for over a decade generating millions of conversations, billions of shared pictures and even more in sales for companies around the globe.  Although, when asked, the majority of UK businesses say that they plan to use social media in their marketing activities, however it is still only a minority of businesses who are receiving significant benefits.  Millions of Twitter accounts have never sent a tweet and have no followers. Thousands of Facebook business pages are lying dormant, unloved and uncared for, engaging no-one with no conversation.

How can you maximise your social media marketing potential?  What platforms are the most effective?  How are you going to improve your customer relationships and increase your sales and profitability?

Attend this Introduction to social media marketing to learn how to use social media as a competitive weapon including:

  • What social media platforms should I use for business?
  • How can get followers and build a community?
  • What do I say and when do should I post?
  • How do I engage prospects?
  • Learn the social media do’s and don’ts

So if you have been thinking about using social media, have dipped your toe but got stuck or want to learn new him, tips and tricks then you must TAKE ACTION & BOOK NOW to hear what the No 1 Social Media Strategist in the region – Phil Oakley – has to say!

See everyone on the 2nd

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 me via linked-in.

 

 

 

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Want More Sales? Focus Is Spreading!

On a visit to our good friend, Paul Woodcock from PJW Accounting,  for a Staffordshire Chamber’s Of Commerce Let’s Do Mentoring session, we got a very pleasant surprise on how FOCUS is becoming the norm amongst our friends and business colleagues for the businesses they want to be referred into.

Paul had has a 121 with Martin Hall from Sandler Training, and guess what, Martin who had been on a Conspicuous CBM referral marketing training session had brought his “top-10″ hit list.  Fantastic homework for Paul to work on, and see if he can now refer Martin into the businesses he really wants to work with & a fantastic way for Martin to advance his business goals.

If you see any other of these fantastic Top 10 lists from your business contacts then please share them on Instagram or Twitter with us, and we can see the culture of FOCUS take further hold in the Staffordshire & Midlands business community.

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 me via linked-in.

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Want A Cause? Support The County Air Ambulance Trust!

We like to support worthy causes, events and institutions with our community, and highlight the good work they do.

Today we want to talk about the County Air Ambulance Trust which was founded in 1993 to help ensure the financial future of the first red air ambulance helicopter based at Cosford.

Since those early days the number of air ambulances in the region has increased to six with a total of over thirty now providing essential cover in England, Wales and Scotland.  The Trust continues to offer financial support for the four Air Ambulances in the region in a grant making capacity to fund operational costs and infrastructure projects to the Midlands Air Ambulances and Great Western Air Ambulance.  The Trust has also funded thebases at RAF Cosford and Strensham and through the HELP Appeal provides much needed helipad facilities at Major Trauma Centres and key A & E hospitals – see www.helpappeal.org.uk for the very latest details of the projects.

We would also like to promote their 10th annual charity ball which will be held at the Stafford County Show-ground on Saturday 11 October 2014 – details and booking at www.staffsairambulanceball.co.uk

In addition we have some great gifts from the County Air Ambulance Trust which we have available to give to anybody who wants to be seen supporting the Trust

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If you would like some of these items then please either contact us via email or LinkedIn.

In addition,  the Trust are looking for introductions into haulage & logistics companies in the region as well as golf clubs.  If anyone has any contacts into these organisations in Staffordshire or the Midlands please let us know via email or LinkedIn.

If you can think of anything else you could do to help the Trust or want to know more about its fantastic work then follow them on TWITTER, FACEBOOK or contact their top fundraiser – Lesley Knight

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 me via linked-in.

 

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Want More Sales? Get Yourself An App!

Here is a great promotion idea for any business – their very own smartphone app from appsme.com

Help to keep your customers coming back for more of your business, build your brand awareness and turn them into fans with your own mobile presence on the hundreds of millions of iPhones & Android phones that are out here in the word.

As with all these types of services, the feature set is restricted but given the various price levels from £0 to £40 per month, the range of what you can do for most businesses is excellent value for money – plus it is a very simple and quick task to set up for your business.

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In addition you can put in opening hours, locations of your offices and videos (ideal for your video business card) amongst many other fun and useful features.

The prices list is as follows with levels to suit all budgets:

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Signing up is a very simple process and within 20 minutes you can have your own web app on their store, and a link you can sure with your customers to ensure you are on their mobile home screens at all times.  Individual QR codes are also generated for each app to help promotion on websites or social media channels.

Our app is at http://conspicuouscbm.appsme.com which you are free to download on any type of phones.

Some of our friends have also done their own apps at http://outserveweb.appsme.com or http://allinoneaccountancy.appsme.com - explore for yourself what possibilities they might be to showcase your business in an app.

Sign-up for your own web app today, and send this to your customs as a fun an effective way to promote your business at a great price at appsme.com

Promote your app on twitter via their twitter account – @appsmecom so we can share it with the world too.

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 me via linked-in.

 

 

 

 

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Want More Sales? Do Some Writing On LinkedIn!

Ivan Meisner’s, the founder of BNI, was recently asked what his No1 Marketing Tip was.

His response on his blog was to think about it as brand building, and the best way to do so was to write, write, write in order to to stand out from the crowd and be the person who is followed by others – which in turn becomes business opportunities for you – full article CLICK HERE.

As Jeff Bullas wrote in a great article on LinkedIn recently (CLICK HERE), LinkedIn in early 2014:

“On February 20, 2014 Dan Roth, (the executive director of LinkedIn) announced its new content strategy that allows “all members” to create and publish long form content on LinkedIn. This means that as a professional you can now display your knowledge and expertise to your peers and to the world. It is easy to use and allows you to even embed images and links.

How important is this?

For Linkedin it will make it more attractive as a “go to” place for reading thought provoking insights and also possibly the latest news and trends in an industry. It will drive engagement and also potentially increase time its users spend on the platform.

Can it make a difference for you?

As a blogger or online publisher you can now create and display your content on LinkedIn. This provides another place to build thought leadership and create personal brand awareness through the power of content. For potential and current thought leaders it is an opportunity to shine on an ecosystem of over 300 million global professionals.  If you get the headline right and the topic resonates with your audience it can appear on the homepage of LinkedIn.
This is what can happen!

I was surprised when I wrote a piece titled “Why You Should Forget Facebook” on my blog and republished it on LinkedIn and then all hell broke loose! This is what happened! The article received over 160,000 views in 24 hours! Attracted 736 comments, 2,500+ Facebook likes, 7,500+ LinkedIn shares and 1,100+ retweets on Twitter.  Appeared on the homepage of LinkedIn
Became the #2 ranked post for views on LinkedIn for the day.  Ranked as the #2 article on LinkedIn globally for the week.

This for me demonstrated the new potential for writers and publishers on Linkedin. Have something to say?….. then maybe its worth crafting a LinkedIn post or repurposing one of your past top blog posts.”

Jeff’s recommendation which we wholly endorse is to publish it first on your “owned” online digital asset, such as your website or blog. Then share it on LinkedIn where it may “earn” some additional attention and drive traffic and engagement back to your site.  If Jeff, who is a blogging expert & word-press guru gives this advice, then its worth listening too!

I started this blog in May 2014, at the same time I was invited by Linked-in to start writing on this new “blogging” platform.  To date nearly 20 posts issued at about one per week with loads of people now following me, allowing me to amplify my network, and dozens of shares, likes and positive comments and many many views.  The content is replicated on this blog in a roughly sequential manner on the same timeline to keep the digital asset under my control. Plus its is a great way to link back to presentations I have previously uploaded on LinkedIn sister company Slideshare to keep a consistent visual approach.

Reputation building as Rob Brown says in his brilliant book on the subject is a key strategy for differentiating yourself on the subject and make yourself more referable than your competition.  Writing & becoming a thought leader is a key part of Rob’s advice if you can manage it.

Don’t worry if you don’t feel inspired to write all the time, do link to people you know to share their top tips and thus give them and yourself the implied endorsement to keep that regular flow of fresh new content coming on a blog and across you social media channels.  Think hints, tips and tricks and if you speak better than you write, then put the original content on YouTube for example and embed in a quick post on LinkedIn.

If a great word-press blog is too much for you, the LinkedIn magic pencil is a terrific alternative with loads of functionality and connectivity to your intended social media audience.

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I am really encouraging all my Mentees to take advantage of this free service or take their existing newsletters or tip sheets and repurpose them for LinkedIn.  As with Focus, this is a subject we won’t apologise for coming back to again & again.

If you know of any great Staffordshire or West Midlands experts we can share their written words with the world – please let us know via Linked-in or as comment on this blog.

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 me via LinkedIn.