Ted Loves Networking

Want More From Your Networking Group? Don’t Commit These 21 Errors!

 The South Cheshire Business Networking Group

 

South Cheshire Business Club Networking Group

South Cheshire Business Club Networking Group

Today at the Yours Cafe in Nantwich – Stuart Walton from Conspicuous CBM Ltd, Staffordshire’s leading referral marketing consultancy talked about the errors that stop networking groups from prospering” to an audience South Cheshire & North Staffordshire business owners who attend the South Cheshire Business Club  entitled “21 Errors Stopping Your Networking Group From Growing!

Stuart presented the 21 Errors he has seen over his long career with networking that impact a group’s ability to get the most out of Business Networking.  These are:

  • EMBARRASSING ERROR 1 – So are you joining us then? …. Over the table
  • EMBARRASSING ERROR 2 – Passing referrals to guests
  • EMBARRASSING ERROR 3 – Guests arriving before the exec team & members arrive
  • EMBARRASSING ERROR 4 – Not having a group goal or flag to rally round
  • EMBARRASSING ERROR 5 – Not keeping track of business generated & reporting results
  • EMBARRASSING ERROR 6 – No understanding of the Club rules
  • EMBARRASSING ERROR 7 – Accepting the wrong applicant
  • EMBARRASSING ERROR 8 – I’ll give you this business if you join…
  • EMBARRASSING ERROR 9 – Inviting people to a networking event!
  • EMBARRASSING ERROR 10 – Butting in, being funny, etc. when people doing their 60 secs
  • EMBARRASSING ERROR 11 – No one assigned to look after a specific Guest
  • EMBARRASSING ERROR 12 – All telling & selling and no asking & listening
  • EMBARRASSING ERROR 13 – Saying to a Guest – “oh we do that”
  • EMBARRASSING ERROR 14 – Superficial networking with Little or No follow-up
  • EMBARRASSING ERROR 15 – Not contributing – “I’m too busy”
  • EMBARRASSING ERROR 16 – Giving apologies, excuses etc
  • EMBARRASSING ERROR 17 – Too many quick fix merchants as Members…
  • EMBARRASSING ERROR 18 – It’s not what’s said – it’s all about the behaviours
  • EMBARRASSING ERROR 19 – I’m not a morning person
  • EMBARRASSING ERROR 20 – Quality guest from influential company & all sell to them
  • EMBARRASSING ERROR 21 – What are your Embarrassing Error?????

What Stuart did not cover in this presentation but highlighted to the audience has guaranteed “Networking Group Killers” from any members if not done properly were:

9 Guaranteed Steps You Will Fail At Networking!

9 Guaranteed Steps You Will Fail At Networking!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The original presentation with extra discussion and explanation points has been uploaded to Slideshare 

 

Following the presentation, members discussed with Stuart Walton what errors the group was committing and how to get the most out of networking for their businesses.  The feedback from the attendees from the questions at the meeting and afterwards on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn was incredibly positive – many thanks for all the kind comments and testimonials.

Many thanks to the executive team and past Chairman Tom Parry for inviting us to speak.  Look out for the South Cheshire Business Club online and get yourself invited to the next meeting to meet local businesses through networking in the region.

If you want to book us to speak at an event in Staffordshire and surrounding counties to speak about networking, referral marketing, reputation and social media the please get in contact via LinkedIn.

The Conspicuous CBM Call To Action

If you know of any other great experts from Staffordshire, the West Midlands or beyond whose ideas 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 Social Media & Hashtags

Want More Business? No More Excuses About Doing Social Media Please!

No More Excuses About Doing Social Media Please!

Social media is one of the most exciting set of free tools and techniques available to all start-ups, new and small businesses that is essentially free, and allows them to amplify their networking, referral marketing and reputation building.

They provide great tools for:

  • creating and distributing content like Instagram;
  • is one of the key drivers in organic SEO in making that expensive website be found;
  • and if you use LinkedIn or even Facebook, they allow you to prospect all about your future customers.
  • etc etc

Yet despite the relative maturity of all the tools – Facebook, LinkedIn, Youtube, Twitter etc. we are consistently shocked as to how few new start-ups we come across in Staffordshire have this as a key part of their sales and marketing plan.  We assisted at a seminar today for new start-up businesses put on by the Chamber Of Commerce, and the vast majority of the attendees were simply ignorant of social media and its power to help them generate leads – their immediate No1 priority.  This attitude is not rare, it is the norm!

The why of this observation can be debated and requires more empiric evidence, but our feeling based on our anecdotal evidence is that the majority of businesses created here in 2015 in Staffordshire and beyond are by people coming from the world of work i.e. they were employees.  They have had no need to engage in social media as part of their work activities (let alone created themselves a LinkedIn profile to “sell” themselves on the job market) and are simply ignorant of the need to engage in sales activity to grow their business.

Most are shocked by the need to spent any time selling themselves as they think their time will be mostly be spent doing the work – allocating time to marketing and admin is an anathema to many of the new start-ups we meet.

The thought of promoting themselves through networking is a hideous shock to the majority of them (hence the creation of the One2Three Club in Staffordshire to ease them into this activity).  hey can’t conceive of the hard work it takes to start of a business and the sacrifice it takes to do so by doing new unfamiliar activities like social media.

One person we met today said – “if I check Twitter once per week that should be enough should it not?”.  The answer is a resounding no.  This is a daily activity along with all the other marketing and sales activities that you need to do (especially at the beginning when you have no sales, no customers and no track record).

So if you need a daily plan to get your social media activity going and stop the excuses – where do you go to?

No Excuses: The Social Media Marketing Schedule ANY Business Can Follow!

So are you a new business or a startup?  Still making excuses as to why social media will not work for your business or don’t know what to do?

We have met 15 new start-up businesses in the past 3 weeks – some of them have thought about blogging & social media but don’t know how to start or what to say or why this will really help them succeed in business against tough odds – See HERE.

In the past few weeks you have read our Blogging ROI, basics & ideas posts to stop those set of excuses – see HERE HERE HERE and HERE.

But somehow that nagging doubt as to why you need to social media remains – you are so focused on your work that you do that the thought of spending time marketing frightens you.  If  this is still you then read this infographic brought to us thanks again to RED WEBSITE DESIGN BLOG based in Cheshire on this topic – your can do social media schedule that no amount of excuses can make you avoid!

Originally published January 2015 as a blog post on their website, this excellent essay on why no more excuses  was titled – “No Excuses: A 3 Day Social Media Marketing Schedule ANY Business Can Follow” which we think gives some great thought provoking ideas on simply managing your social media time to a set schedule in 2015.

So you don’t do social media because you haven’t got the time? And social media wouldn’t help your business anyway, right?

We’ve heard these excuses (and plenty more) hundreds of times before and continue to see people not taking advantage of a relatively simple and FREE way to market their business. Now you can leave those excuses behind with this easy to follow 3 day social media guide.

Big thanks to Crackerjack Scribe for creating the infographic.

No Excuses: A 3 Day Social Media Marketing Schedule ANY Business Can Follow

No Excuses: A 3 Day Social Media Marketing Schedule ANY Business Can Follow

Go to the main blog post by RED WEBSITE DESIGN BLOG to see the original infographic in its original size to learn more on how to simply schedule your social media to stop the excuses.  This is a simple schedule anyone can maintain and stop them feeling worried that they will lose focus on their business.  Once you start with this schedule and feel free to substitute one channel for another to suit your business, you can measure the benefits and the impact on your bottom line through social media activity.

Follow RED WEBSITE DESIGN BLOG on TWITTER for many more great digital marketing tips on a host of topics.  If you need an infographic doing then why not ask RED WEBSITE DESIGN INFOGRAPHIC for help.

Your Social Media Call To Action!

Now that you have studied this infographic – you have no more excuses – start doing your social media activities each and every day!

Do you have any other great ideas to manage social media activity or know of any other great articles or resources to help small businesses do this, that we all could learn from? Then hit the comments below to let us know or tell us via LinkedIn!

Also don’t be scared – dip your toe in the water and see how much fun you will have doing this.

The Conspicuous CBM Call To Action

If you know of any other great experts from Staffordshire, the West Midlands or beyond whose ideas 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 Instagram

Want More Business? Get Serious About Instagram In 2015! (Update)

Last Sunday we reported on the results of our first week on our new approach - CLICK HERE TO READ.

We Love Instagram!

Instagram

Instagram

As you know we are big fans of social media to help you enhance your networking, referral marketing and reputation as the cornerstones for small business and start-ups to market themselves cost effectively.  Read what we have said HERE HERE & HERE among many articles we have written on the subject to urge you all to do it actively and consistently.

One of the challenges for any business wanting to use content marketing as a means of promoting themselves and building an audience etc is to find something to say and way of distributing this content.  One tool we love to do this is Instagram.

What Is Instagram?

Thanks to wikipedia:

Instagram is an online mobile photo-sharing, video-sharing and social networking service that enables its users to take pictures and videos, and share them on a variety of social networking platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Flickr.  Photos are confined to a square shape. Users can also apply digital filters to their images.

Instagram was launched in October 2010. The service rapidly gained popularity, with over 300 million as of December 2014.  In 2013, Instagram grew by 23%, while Facebook only grew by 3%.

Our Instagram Workflow

We have been using Instagram for the last 4 years.  We have had great fun using our iPhone to take photos of us interacting and having fun with the local business community – see HERE for our older account.

Our current workflow is helped through using IFTTT to share our photos to our social media channels.  This provides a fantastic & easy to use internet plumbing service to allow you to use the event of taking a photo on Instagram to perform a number of secondary posting actions – see our diagram below:

Instagram / IFTTT Flowchart for CCBM by Lucy Walton

Instagram / IFTTT Flowchart for CCBM by Lucy Walton

So functionally this is working well for us to create content, but are we being getting the most “bang for our Instagram buck”?

10 Ways To Treble Your Instagram Followers Infographic!

So are you not getting the Instagram bang for your buck you were expecting?  If not, then read this info-graphic brought to us thanks again to RED WEBSITE DESIGN BLOG.  Originally published November 2014 as a blog post on their website, this excellent essay on the topic of Instagram and what to do to make it better, was entitled – “10 Awesome Tips to Treble Your Instagram Followers in Double Quick Time” which we think gives some great hints as to how to get more traction from Instagram.

Instagram is one of the hottest places to be marketing your business right now – with over 200 million users worldwide it provides a huge platform to help get your business noticed.  How do you make best use of it to build followers and get your brand message across though? Take a look at these 10 tips from Set up a Blog Today.

10 Awesome Tips to Treble Your Instagram Followers in Double Quick Time

10 Awesome Tips to Treble Your Instagram Followers in Double Quick Time

Go to the main blog post by RED WEBSITE DESIGN BLOG to see their great original infographic in original size to learn more about how to ensure you doing what is necessary to grow your Instagram followers – more quickly and more effectively.  All the tips are fantastic ideas to treble your followers.

Our New Instagram Approach

Last Sunday we reported on the results of our first week on our new approach - CLICK HERE TO READ.

Over the last two weeks we have been conducting an experiment based on the above infographic’s advice and therefore changing our approach to see if we can get some more Instagram traction without changing our workflow that radically.

We created the new Instagram account – See HERE – two weeks ago.  We have continued to post each day something relevant to the audience of the Blog using the IFTTT workflow above.

As we said last week:

Part of the issue in the way we have used Instagram in the past is the lack of hashtags we have used in order not to overwhelm Twitter.  Hashtags are an important part of the Instagram way (there are users who follow hashtags religiously).  Not using them means that unless you are very famous, your posts won’t get much traction.  With new changes in Instagram you can now do some post editing of the photo’s description.  This then for a couple of more minutes more effort, you can add a substantial number of hashtags to your photo which should allow it to be seen by the other active Instagram users.

What have the results been to date with our Instagram experiment after two weeks.  Over the 4 previous years we posted 687 photos which generated a 2-3 likes on average, which some of them garnering no interest what so ever – the social media equivalent of tumbleweed.

So after 2 weeks in 21 posts we continue to generate over 30 likes on average per photo with one photo gaining over 60 likes just from adopting this new approach.  We continue to have a lot of comments and followers too – see graphic below.

 

Our Instagram Scorecard

Our Instagram Scorecard

It is true that many of the followers, comments and likes we see do come from Instagram’s wild-west.  But if you get through this issue and you can see the tentative signs of better engagement and ROI from our efforts continue on an upward path.

We are still experimenting with which Hashtags do well, but we note that there is a long tail of likes i.e. People are clearly looking through them days after we have posted the original photo.  Apart from Sunday every day is a good time to post.  Given the US centric nature of the audience there appears to a premium to post around breakfast time – perfect for UK networking!

Your Instagram Call To Action

So as you can see in our very short experiment above over two weeks, that following the infographic’s advice does bring better results in terms of Instagram engagement and relationships.  Instagram is a great tool to create content for all your other social media channels and with a bit of effort and an iPhone you can use it to post something relevant every day to help your business with its 200M and growing number of users too.

As Instagram matures and it appears to be getting more popular than Twitter, then ignoring this content generation platform to populate your social networks will be a big mistake for anyone serious about growing their business.

The Conspicuous CBM Call To Action

If you know of any other great experts from Staffordshire, the West Midlands or beyond whose ideas 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

Skylark Training

Want More Business? Then Learn To Manage Your Time With Skylark Training!

Introducing Time Management Guru – Sally McMahon

Sally McMahon - Time Management Guru

Sally McMahon – Time Management Guru

We have had the pleasure of knowing award-wining customer service and time management expert Sally McMahon from Skylark Training for a number of months.  She is one of the top management training & development coaches who has companies of all sorts and sizes.  We have had the pleasure of sharing some of her top tips and thoughts on customer service – CLICK HERE.

So we are vert pleased to share her latest project for local businesses in Staffordshire on March 10th.

Managing Your Time

Sally Knows All About Time!

Sally Knows All About Time!

CLICK HERE TO BOOK AND ATTEND ON EVENTBRITE

What Will You Learn About Managing Time?

  • Struggling to find time to work on your business?
  • Finding your days long and busy?
  • Missing deadlines?
  • Not sure which job to do first?

 Come and learn about:

  •  The challenges of managing time!
  •  What makes us behave as we do when planning, organizing and getting     things done.
  •  What steals your time
  •  Ways of planning, prioritising and organising the things we do.
  •  Dealing with the unexpected.
  •  Goal setting
  •  The importance of communication in managing yourself.

 

CLICK HERE TO BOOK AND ATTEND ON EVENTBRITE

Where To Go To Manage Your Time?

East Staffs Citizens Advice Bureau
Anson Court
Horninglow St
DE14 1NG Burton On Trent
United Kingdom

CLICK HERE TO BOOK AND ATTEND ON EVENTBRITE

When To Go To Manage Your Time?

Tuesday, 10 March 2015 from 09:00 to 12:30 (GMT)

CLICK HERE TO BOOK AND ATTEND ON EVENTBRITE

Your Call To Action – Why Go To Learn To Manage Your Time?

So still not sure why you should go and invest time and a very reasonable amount of money to learn how to manage time then please don’t about it any more.  Book now to be there.  Through our mentoring of many businesses in the region, time management is one of the main Achilles heel of many of our mentees who can’t balance the time need to prospect for work, do the work and account the work, have issues in delegation and don’t know how to grow a team. Going along to hear Sally give you some her real wisdom on the subject will be one of the best investments you will make this year!

CLICK HERE TO BOOK AND ATTEND ON EVENTBRITE

If you want to talk to Sally on more top customer service or time management tips to help your business make more money by treating customers better on an ongoing basis or be more effective in your work then please contact her via LinkedIn, email her at sally@skylarktraining.co.uk or call her on 07813 745495.

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 (or other great local experts) 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

BforB Networking Event

Want More Fun From Your Networking? Go Bowling With BforB In Staffordshire!

BforB Bowling Social Networking Event

BforB Bowling Networking Event Friday 30th January 2015

BforB Bowling Networking Event Friday 30th January 2015

BOOK HERE TO ATTEND

Hello – Do you have your diary for next week at hand?  Do you know the Tenpin Stoke on Festival Park?

This is a great fun and social gathering for BforB members and their partners and business contacts for everyone to meet each other and across the groups and go networking in sporting style!

This event is by Invitation only – Invitations are sent via email or via Facebook.  Please contact sarah.white@bforb.co.uk for further information or to book your place!

Event Details:

  • Friday 30th January – 8pm
  • £15.99 for 2 Games of Bowling & Burger and fries!

This is a great opportunity to grow your network, build relationships with the wider BforB community and to strengthen existing relationships through networking in a fun and social environment!  What is there not to love!

So that date for your diary is Friday 30th January 2015 – BOOK HERE TO ATTEND

For more information about this BforB Bowling Networking Event on Friday 30th January 2015 at Tenpin Stoke on Festival Park please contact Sarah White at  sarah.white@bforb.co.uk

CLICK HERE TO BOOK ON FACEBOOK

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.

Advanced Warning – Men Allowed BforB Ladies Networking Event – Stoke – Tuesday 17th February

Men Allowed Networking Event

Men Allowed Networking Event

BOOK HERE TO ATTEND TO EVENTBRITE

Hello – Do you have your diary for February 2015 at hand?  Do you know the The Moat House (Best Western) Festival Park Hotel?

Looking to gain new business leads and contacts?

Just set up a new business and looking for the right support to build your confidence and order book?

We have just the solution for you…

Our vibrant Stoke Ladies Group are holding an Open Day on 17th February. Anyone can join us, no matter where the stage of your business lies, to sample the proven referral marketing platform that is Business for Breakfast.

We’re even allowing the men to join us!

** A Little About BforB **

Business for Breakfast is an extremely successful referral marketing organisation across the UK with Staffordshire being the most successful region. We’re looking to spice things up a little and extend the visitor invitation to existing members of the mixed BforB Groups and men who want to sample a meeting for the first time.

** Ladies BforB **

Our BforB Ladies referral marketing groups are aimed at female business owners and professional ladies who are responsible for generating sales within their business. But these one day only events are gender neutral and we are encouraging all to come along to our structured business growth platform.

You’ll enjoy a delicious networking lunch in a business generating environment with a great bit of banter thrown in!

Our groups are keen to welcome new female members. And gents, we would love you to bring a lady in tow to sample the lead generation opportunities they could benefit from within our groups.

So that date for your diary is Tuesday 17th February 2015 – BOOK HERE TO ATTEND TO EVENTBRITE

To accept the invitation use the Eventbrite link to book this great event (and also enjoy a great lunch) at there The Moat House (Best Western) Festival Park Hotel – so please book your places now – BOOK HERE TO ATTEND TO EVENTBRITE

Let Sarah White and the rest of the BforB Ladies team know if you are coming so that they can connect you with some appropriate people they rate as being the best in their business sectors to make your networking on the day even more productive.

For more information about this BforB Ladies Men Invited Open Meeting on Tuesday 17th February 2015 at The Moat House (Best Western) Festival Park Hotel please contact Sarah White at  sarah.white@bforb.co.uk

BOOK HERE TO ATTEND TO EVENTBRITE

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

titanic-brewery networking

Want More Sales? Beer For Breakfast Networking Group Stoke – 4 Feb

Titanic Brewery - New Networking Group

Titanic Brewery – New Networking Group

What Is The “Beer For Breakfast” Networking Group?

“Breakfast At The Brewery” is a new networking group is being served up for North Staffordshire businesses by Titanic Brewery in Burslem and highly recommended by us to attend.

Launch meeting was Wednesday 14th January and many local businesses attended at the invitation of Nigel Howle to hear elevator pitches, network, enjoy convivial company and some opening remarks from Stuart Walton on the importance of networking for all businesses.

BOOK HERE TO ATTEND ON EVENTBRITE

BOOK HERE TO ATTEND ON EVENTBRITE

When Is The Networking Taking Place?

The second meeting is Wednesday 5th February at the Sample Room At Titanic’s main Burslem Brewery.  The address Callender Place, Lingard Street, Burslem, Stoke-On-Trent, ST6 1JL and every first Wednesday of each month thereafter.

The Sample Room opened at the brewery in late October. Alongside use by the brewery for hospitality and brewery tours, the well-equipped facilities are being marketed to local business as a venue for meetings and workshops.

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 maybe some beer from the Brewery itself.

BOOK HERE TO ATTEND ON EVENTBRITE

Who Should Come Networking?

The group is being organised by Sam Warrilow, marketing manager at the brewery and Nigel Howle who handles Titanic’s PR.  Nigel said:

“As the owner of a small business I recognise the importance of networking and keeping business local. Breakfast at the Brewery attendees will be encouraged to refer business opportunities to each other and to work together to create jobs and growth in North Staffordshire.  Titanic Brewery is a Staffordshire success story and it’s growth is an inspiring story for local small business.  We will also be inviting speakers in to the meeting to give delegates a valuable learning point at each meeting.”

BOOK HERE TO ATTEND ON EVENTBRITE

How Do I Book For The Networking?

The first meeting will be held at 7am on Wednesday, January 14th. Please call Nigel Howle on 0776 2043436, or email him at nigel.howle@howlecom.co.uk if you are interested in attending.

BOOK HERE TO ATTEND ON EVENTBRITE

The Conspicuous CBM Call To Action

If you know of any other great networking events in Staffordshire, the WestMidlands or beyond that 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 Really Loves Blogging

Still Not Convinced About Blogging? Don’t Take Our Word For It – Read This!

You Know By Know That We Really Love Blogging!

Blogging Is Fun

Blogging Is Fun

So in 2015 we have written about Blogging – 4 times – HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE.

Why – because we really believe that this activity really helps you enhance your reputation (& authority), is fun and you want some great original content for your website for great SEO etc. why not do it yourself.

We believe that building your reputation along with networking, referral marketing and active social media are the cornerstones for all small business and start-ups to market themselves in a cost effective manner.

Read what we have said previously in 2014 about Blogging HERE HERE & HERE among the many articles we have written on the subject last year urging everyone to start today.

Don’t believe us as to why Blogging, then listen to the “Power Of The Higher Authority”.  Read what super blogger and WordPress expert Jeff Bullas from JEFFBULLAS.COM in Australia has to say in 7 Good Reasons to start Blogging.

There are now for many of two ways to blog in 2015 – LinkedIn with the new posts facility which we love (see HERE) and via a website.  Our favourite platform for blogging is of course WordPress (see HERE) which we reviewed recently – see HERE.

We have been updating our website everyday with news and opinion pieces since the site went live on 24 May.  As we said earlier this week, nearly 235 days later, we have published 225 daily pieces – a hit rate of 96% which is quite a commitment.  But we believe it is worth it, as it allows us to “write once – publish often” across our social media channels, especially LinkedIn and Twitter, which are our number one sources for “referrals” to the website helping to build our perceived authority and reputation.

Sounds great but even in 2015 we come across many businesses that are still hesitating about blogging, not commuting themselves fully to it despite knowing this would be good for them.  What else can we say to convert thought into action.

How Blogging Can Massively Improve Your Bottom Line?

So are you a new business or a startup?  Still unsure as how to make blogging help you prosper in 2015?  We have met 10 new start-up businesses in the past 2 weeks – many of them have thought about blogging but don’t know how to start or what to say or why this will really help them succeed in business against tough odds – See HERE.

So in the past few days you have read our Blogging basics post – see HERE.  You have read our previous posts with very big lists of blogging ideas for you to do each day – see HERE and HERE.

But somehow that nagging doubt as to why you need to Blog remains – you are so focused on your bottom line.  If so then read this infographic brought to us thanks again to RED WEBSITE DESIGN BLOG based in Cheshire on this topic – why do blogging.

Originally published January 2015 as a blog post on their website, this excellent essay on the why do blogging for your for the bottom line was titled – “How Blogging Can Massively Improve Your Bottom Line” which we think gives some great thought provoking facts as to why go for blogging in a big way in 2015.

Are you wondering what blogging can do for your business? Are you unsure how it can affect your bottom line?

Blogging is not only a great way to increase website traffic and generate social shares and backlinks (which improve your SEO), they can also affect consumer buying behaviour which can result in lots of juicy sales leads.

For a more detailed look at how blogging can improve your bottom line take a look at this infographic from QuickSprout.

Why Blogging Makes You More Money By QUICKSPROUT

How Blogging Can Massively Improve Your Bottom Line

How Blogging Can Massively Improve Your Bottom Line

Some of the facts that really stand out to us as to why go for blogging in 2015:

  • 57% of companies with a blog have had a customer with a blog – so blog more for more customers
  • 61% of US customers have brought something after reading a blog.
  • 70% of customers learn about companies through articles rather than ads.
  • 80% new visits for companies that blog
  • 500% more traffic if you have blogged more than 200 times compared to 20 times
  • 126% more leads generated for small businesses that blog
  • And many more important facts and figures….

Go to the main blog post by RED WEBSITE DESIGN BLOG to see the original infographic in its original size to learn more why blog for the bottom line now.

Follow RED WEBSITE DESIGN BLOG on TWITTER for many more great digital marketing tips on a host of topics.  If you need an infographic doing then why not ask RED WEBSITE DESIGN INFOGRAPHIC for help.

Some of the 16 ideas we very much endorse:

  • Happy Customers – Nothing better to give people confidence than to talk about your customer successes or testimonials.
  • Statistics – We love these and some of best successes include plenty of numerate details.
  • The Good You are doing – shows that you are part of the local business community and part of the discussion.

Your Blogging Call To Action!

Now that you have studied this infographic – you have no more excuses – start thinking about blogging today to give more oomph for all your marketing and social media activities!

Do you have any other great ideas to blog about in order to market your business that we all could learn from? Then hit the comments below to let us know or tell us via LinkedIn!

Also don’t be scared – dip your toe in the water and see how much fun you will have doing this.  So still worried about blogging?  Don’t – it will help your business as it has our business since May 2014 to help build our reputation as the authority and expert in our field.

It’s so simple with WordPress and with Jetpack switched on as a plugging you will get all the stats you will ever need to see how your content is doing to complement Google Analytics.

Don’t delay – get blogging tomorrow for 2015!  We are looking forward to seeing all our blogging reports at the end of 2015!

The Conspicuous CBM Call To Action

If you know of any other great experts from Staffordshire, the West Midlands or beyond whose ideas 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

Charity County Air Ambulance Trust

Support @HelipadHelp & Get Fit Too. Charity Bike Ride Cannock Chase May 16th

Why We Love @HelipadHelp Charity?

We like to support worthy causes, events and institutions with our community, and highlight the good work the charity or organisation does.

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 Charity 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 the bases 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.

The Charity Bike Ride 16th May

Where: Marquis Drive, Hednesford, Cannock, Staffordshire WS12 4PW

Date: Saturday May 16th

Times: 10.00am – 3.00pm with safety and information briefing between 10.00-11.00

Family Fun Charity Bike Ride For @HelipadHelp

For more information contact – Lesley Knight Fundraising Executive, County Air Ambulance Trust at Lesley.k@helpappeal.org.uk or phone – 07931793738

To register for the ride please contact Karl Lehmann on karl.lehmann@sjpp.co.uk

Please like and interact with the Facebook fan page set up to support this fantastic event and register yourself – CLICK HERE FOR FACEBOOK

The Justgiving page has been set-up – CLICK HERE TO DONATE.

You Charity Call To Action

So clear you diary for Saturday 16th May and get fit for this bide ride.  Let Karl or Lesley know that you can be there to support this fantastic cause, get fit and get yourself sponsored.

In addition,  the County Air Ambulance Trust are looking for introductions into West Midlands based football clubs, haulage & logistics companies in the region, and golf clubs.  If anyone has any contacts into these organisations in Staffordshire or the Midlands please let us know via stuart@conspicuous-cbm.com 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 TWITTERFACEBOOK or contact their top fundraiser – Lesley Knight

The Conspicuous CBM Call To Action

If you know of any other great charity, causes or local events in Staffordshire and beyond that we can promote 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 Blogging

Want More From Your Blogging? More Ideas To Implement In 2015!

You Know We Love Blogging!

Blogging Is Fun

Blogging Is Fun

As you know by now we are big fans of blogging.  This activity really helps you enhance your reputation.  Building your reputation along with networking, referral marketing and active social media are the cornerstones for all small business and start-ups to market themselves in a cost effective manner.  Read what we have said previously HERE HERE & HERE among the many articles we have written on the subject urging you all to do it today.

Don’t believe us as to why Blogging.  Then read what super blogger and WordPress expert Jeff Bullas from JEFFBULLAS.COM in Australia has to say in 7 Good Reasons to start Blogging.

We have been updating our website everyday with news and opinion pieces since the site went live on 24 May.  Nearly 235 days later, we have published 225 daily pieces – a hit rate of 96% which is quite a commitment.  But we believe it is worth it, as it allows us to “write once – publish often” across our social media channels, especially LinkedIn and Twitter, which are our number one sources for “referrals” to the website helping to build our perceived authority and reputation.

There are now for many of two ways to blog in 2015 – LinkedIn with the new posts facility which we love (see HERE) and via a website.  Our favourite platform for blogging is of course WordPress (see HERE) which we reviewed recently – see HERE.

What Are Your Blogging Topics For 2015?

So are you a new business or a startup?  Still unsure as how to make blogging help you prosper in 2015?  We have met 10 new start-up businesses in the past 2 weeks – many of them have thought about blogging but don’t know how to start or what to say.

So you have read our Blogging basics – see HERE – and you have read our previous big list of blogging ideas – see HERE.  But somehow that nagging doubt as to what to write on a regular basis still remains.  If so then read this infographic brought to us thanks again to RED WEBSITE DESIGN BLOG based in Cheshire on this topic – Ideas for blogging.

Originally published January 2015 as a blog post on their website, this excellent essay on the topic of blogging ideas for when you have run out of inspiration was titled – “16 Blog Content Ideas For Those Who Don’t Know What to Blog About” which we think gives some great ideas for blogging when you are feeling completely uninspired in 2015.

Are you thinking of starting a new business blog but aren’t sure what to write about? Or perhaps you need some inspiration to keep your current blog brimming with fresh content?

We recently shared an article by Bernadette Coleman TWITTER on Social Media Today which shared 16 blog content ideas for your company website. We thought it was so helpful that we decided to stick it into an infographic for you guys to take a look at.

Here it is below, let us know on TWITTER if any of those work for you.

The 16 Steps To Blogging Heaven By Red Website Design

16 Blogging Ideas For Your Inspiration

16 Blogging Ideas For Your Inspiration

Go to the main blog post by RED WEBSITE DESIGN BLOG to see their great original infographic in its original size to learn more about 16 blogging ideas.

Follow RED WEBSITE DESIGN BLOG on TWITTER for many more great digital marketing tips on a host of topics.  If you need an infographic doing then why not ask RED WEBSITE DESIGN INFOGRAPHIC for help.

The Original 16 Blogging Ideas Article

Original full article by on socialmediatoday.com is HERE which gives loads of great detail on top of the infographic above:

If you use your website to market your company, you should be blogging. If you’re not blogging, make it a point in 2015 to at least give it a try….

Many business owners don’t blog because writing is a difficult discipline to work into your routine. Plus, it’s pretty hard to think of a steady stream of topics to write about if you’re not used to writing. The good news is that there are ideas all around you; you just have to know where to look.  Blog About:

  1. Your New Employee
  2. Your New Equipment
  3. Local Events
  4. Common Myths or Misunderstandings in Your Industry
  5. Other Blogs in Your Industry
  6. Happy Customers
  7. Famous People
  8. How the Times Have Changed
  9. How Things Could Be Better
  10. The Good You’re Doing
  11. A Problem Your Company Solves
  12. Something Unique to Your Industry
  13. A Day in the Life of Your Industry
  14. Getting a Job in Your Industry
  15. Frequently Asked Questions
  16. Statistics

Whether or not your business is seasonal, don’t forget that you can use seasonal themes to create relevant, interesting content. This could include writing about subjects or celebrities that are in the news. You can also write about an upcoming holiday…

But Most Importantly, Just Blog!  A company blog is a great way to bring new potential customers to your site. Blogging is also great for SEO because it provides your site with unique, fresh content at regular intervals. Blogging is an excellent investment of your time and it can pay off in big ways if your readers find your blog engaging, informative, and insightful.

Use these blog ideas to get yours rolling in 2015 and discover the benefits of giving good information to people who want to know what’s going on in your industry.

By the way, did you notice, I just blogged about blogging?

Some of the 16 ideas we very much endorse:

  • Happy Customers – Nothing better to give people confidence than to talk about your customer successes or testimonials.
  • Statistics – We love these and some of best successes include plenty of numerate details.
  • The Good You are doing – shows that you are part of the local business community and part of the discussion.

Your Blogging Call To Action!

Now that you have studied this infographic – you have no more excuses – start thinking about blogging today to give more oomph for all your marketing and social media activities!  Do you have any other great ideas to blog about in order to market your business that we all could learn from? Then hit the comments below to let us know or tell us via LinkedIn!

Also don’t be scared – dip your toe in the water and see how much fun you will have doing this.  So still worried about blogging?  Don’t – it will help your business as it has our business since May 2014 to help build our reputation as the authority and expert in our field.

It’s so simple with WordPress and with Jetpack switched on as a plugging you will get all the stats you will ever need to see how your content is doing to complement Google Analytics.

Don’t delay – get blogging tomorrow for 2015!  We are looking forward to seeing all our blogging reports at the end of 2015!

The Conspicuous CBM Call To Action

If you know of any other great experts from Staffordshire, the West Midlands or beyond whose ideas 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

Instagram

Want More Business? Get Serious About Instagram In 2015!

What Is Instagram?

Thanks to wikipedia:

Instagram is an online mobile photo-sharing, video-sharing and social networking service that enables its users to take pictures and videos, and share them on a variety of social networking platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Flickr.  A distinctive feature is that it confines photos to a square shape, similar to Polaroid images, in contrast to the 4:3 aspect ratio typically used by mobile device cameras. Users can also apply digital filters to their images.

Instagram was launched in October 2010. The service rapidly gained popularity, with over 300 million as of December 2014.  Support for the app is available for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, and Android handsets.  The service was acquired by Facebook in April 2012.  In 2013, Instagram grew by 23%, while Facebook only grew by 3%.

We Love Instagram!

Ted Loves Instagram

Ted Loves Instagram

As you know we are big fans of social media to help you enhance your networking, referral marketing and reputation as the cornerstones for small business and start-ups to market themselves cost effectively.  Read what we have said HERE HERE & HERE among many articles we have written on the subject to urge you all to do it actively and consistently.

One of the challenges for any business wanting to use content marketing as a means of promoting themselves and building an audience etc is to find something to say and way of distributing this content.  One tool we love to do this is Instagram.

We have been using Instagram for the last 4 years.  We have had great fun using our iPhone to take photos of us interacting and having fun with the local business community – see HERE for our older account.

Our current workflow is helped through using IFTTT to share our photos to our social media channels.  This provides a fantastic & easy to use internet plumbing service to allow you to use the event of taking a photo on Instagram to perform a number of secondary posting actions – see our diagram below:

Instagram / IFTTT Flowchart for CCBM by Lucy Walton

Instagram / IFTTT Flowchart for CCBM by Lucy Walton

So functionally this is working well for us to create content, but are we being getting the most “bang for our Instagram buck”?

But Is Your Instagram Going Well?

So are you not getting the Instagram bang for your buck you were expecting?  If not, then read this info-graphic brought to us thanks again to RED WEBSITE DESIGN BLOG based in Cheshire about this most important topic.  They are a fantastic digital resource of great hints, tips and tricks on digital marketing that you can also follow on TWITTER.

Originally published November 2014 as a blog post on their website, this excellent essay on the topic of Instagram and what to do to make it better, was entitled – “10 Awesome Tips to Treble Your Instagram Followers in Double Quick Time” which we think gives some great hints as to how to get more traction from Instagram.

Instagram is one of the hottest places to be marketing your business right now – with over 200 million users worldwide it provides a huge platform to help get your business noticed.

How do you make best use of it to build followers and get your brand message across though? Take a look at these 10 tips from Set up a Blog Today.

10 Ways To Treble Your Instagram Followers Infographic!

10 Awesome Tips to Treble Your Instagram Followers in Double Quick Time

10 Awesome Tips to Treble Your Instagram Followers in Double Quick Time

The 10 ways suggested include:

  • Using Hashtags – one of the defining features of Instagram
  • Interact and Connect
  • Know “What’s Hot” topic wise
  • Use Geo Tags

Go to the main blog post by RED WEBSITE DESIGN BLOG to see their great original infographic in original size to learn more about how to ensure you doing what is necessary to grow your Instagram followers – more quickly and more effectively.

Our New Instagram Approach

Over the last week we have been conducting an experiment based on the above infographic and changing our approach to see if we can get some more traction without changing our workflow that radically.

We created a new Instagram account – See HERE – last week.  We have posted each day something relevant to the audience of the Blog using the IFTTT workflow above.  Part of the issue in the way we have used Instagram in the past is the lack of hashtags we have used in order not to overwhelm Twitter.  Hashtags are an important part of the Instagram way (there are users who follow hashtags religiously).  Not using them means that unless you are very famous, your posts won’t get much traction.

With new changes in Instagram you can now do some post editing of the photo’s description.  This then for a couple of more minutes more effort, you can add a substantial number of hashtags to your photo which should allow it to be seen by the other active Instagram users.

What have the results been to date with our experiment.  Over the 4 previous years we have posted 687 photos.  These have generated a 2-3 likes on average, which some of them garnering no interest what so ever – the social media equivalent of tumbleweed.

So far in 14 posts we have generated over 30 likes on average per photo with one photo gaining over 60 likes just from adopting this new approach.  We have had a lot of comments and followers too – see graphic below.

 

CCBM Instagram Snapshot

CCBM Instagram Snapshot

It is true that many of the followers, comments and likes comes from Instagram’s wild-west.  But if you get through this issue and you can see the tentative signs of better engagement and ROI from our efforts.

Your Instagram Call To Action

So as you can see in our very short experiment above, that following the infographic’s advice does bring better results in terms of Instagram engagement and relationships.  Instagram is a great tool to create content for all your other social media channels and with a bit of effort and an iPhone you can use it to post something relevant every day to help your business with its 200M and growing number of users too.

The Conspicuous CBM Call To Action

If you know of any other great experts from Staffordshire, the West Midlands or beyond whose ideas 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