Collaboration is the key for business growth

CollaborationEntrepreneurs all strive for business growth. And when you’re a startup, or you’re an established small to medium sized company it seems like a massive task when your workforce is minimal. So how do we solve it?

Collaboration.

I love collaboration. It brings many different talents, skills and personalities to the table. And you can have different teams for different projects. It means we can create anything we want to as long as we have the right team. Have a vision? Go find the right people to make it happen.

Website designers collaborate with website developers, they are not always one and the same person.

Business Coaches collaborate with marketing experts to provide a rounded service to their clients depending on their needs.

Bookkeepers collaborate with accountants to provide a seamless service and crucial financial reporting and understanding to their customers.

Just a few of my collaborations in the past – Jennings, The Entrepreneurs Circle and a business coach to put on business expos around Oxfordshire to support SMEs with networking, exhibitors and talks from experts to share vital information and enable business development.

Let me share with you two collaborations I currently have the pleasure to be involved with…

Collaboration 1 is with Activate Learning. We teamed up to bid for a tender with Oxfordshire County Council. We won part of the contract and I will be delivering complimentary Social Media for Business Workshops around Oxfordshire starting 20th October 2015. Exciting stuff! For dates and information jump over to that blog.

Collaboration 2 is with Hilda Stearn and The Ministry for Growth. Don’t you just love that name? Makes me think of the Ministry of Magic in Harry Potter (very appropriate when we create Social Media Magic!).

Hilda and I totally gel because we are passionate about YOUR business success. So what have we done? Let me fill you in…

Whilst chatting it because clear that many businesses don’t align their social media strategy with their plan for business growth. OMG! You’re kidding I hear you say! No, I’m not.

We all know that harnessed properly, Social Media can deliver some serious results. With a solid business plan and company strategy you can generate top and bottom line benefits to your business.

Hilda and I put our heads together and we have designed the Get A Strategy, Boost Your Social Media, See Exceptional Business Growth workshop.

You all know I love a lot of interaction and talking, so this workshop is going to be FULL ON! We have so much information for you, no snoozing for you in the back row on this one. We want to generate results and that needs your undivided attention and participation.

Are you a Business Owner dedicated to serious growth in 2016? If yes, take a look at the workshop details. We want to work with business owners with a big vision.

You are going to get:

  • Insights into your business growth strategy
  • Essential super social media stuff you need to know
  • How to design your dynamic social media strategy
  • Dedicated brainstorming session on creating awesome content

High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire is the place to be on Thursday 11th February 2016. Book your place now and I look forward to seeing you there!

See how amazing collaboration can be? Who can you collaborate with to produce something really cool?

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Are you being YOU? Authentic branding attracts the right attention

Mr Seuss Youer than YouSerious, fun, corporate, informal, expensive, cost effective, reliable, off the shelf, tailored solutions, quick fix, long term, local, virtual…is your brand and online personality consistent and reflecting who you really are?

  • Are the people and companies you are currently attracting the ones you genuinely want to work with?
  • Do you stand out from your competition with your personality and unique selling point?

Look at your marketing communications – website, brochures, business cards, emails, social media, and interactions with you and your team. Every business has a personality, and it needs to come across consistently.

The first action I always recommend businesses take before committing to social media marketing is take the time to think. Think about your values and ethics.

  • How do you want to be perceived?
  • How do you want your community and clients to feel when they think about you?
  • What do you want to be known for?
  • What makes you different?

Everything you do has to be authentic because it’s very hard to maintain a ‘front’, people will feel if it’s not truly what is at the heart of a business.

Having this in place is even more important if you are delegating to a team member or outsourcing. Those responsible need to fully understand and embrace it and your way of interacting. This is key to your business growth.


Serious about business growth? Know that harnessing the power of Social Media is key to it?

If it’s time to understand the real benefits of targeted social media activities within the context of business growth then invest just ONE day. 

Wednesday 14th October 2015 – check out the details here. Book your place to be on track for serious business growth.

This workshop is the result of collaborating with Ministry for Growth. The only way is bigger and better!

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Dipping a toe in doesn’t get results!

Dipping a toe in the water is fine, but you have to fully commit to get results!It can be a sensible idea to test the water first before fully jumping in.

You started doing social media for the business a few months ago. You or a team member are dabbling with Twitter to see how it goes, your LinkedIn profiles are half done and there are a few blog ideas floating around but nothing has hit the screen yet.

It’s a challenge because it’s not an area you are knowledgeable about. You haven’t got around to planning it out properly, time, as always, is at a premium…

OK, stop, breathe, let’s get serious.

Dipping a toe in to begin with is fine, but until you fully commit, nothing great will be achieved.

Committing to a plan of action to grow the business takes an investment of both time and money, regardless if it’s a new IT system to enhance your workflow, taking on a new employee, or moving your marketing into the 21st century by harnessing social media.

Make that decision, then JUMP IN and DO IT. Properly.

Look at your business growth strategy; your social media strategy needs to reinforce it, work alongside it, and make it happen!

If you haven’t got the knowledge within your team, find it. Identify what’s missing and decide – do you want your team to be in control or to keep them free to focus on other areas of the business? Then you have another decision – do you employ your social media expert or find an outside source to work with you to achieve this?

Dedicate time to finding the perfect Social Media support for your business. Don’t view it as just outsourcing, you want to find a person or company that will become a business partner and work closely with you understanding the objectives. Whether you need training and mentoring for your team, or a full management service, discover the best solution and use it.


Serious about business growth?

If it’s time to understand the real benefits of targeted social media activities within the context of business growth then invest just ONE day. 

Wednesday 14th October 2015 – all the details are here. Book your place to be on track for serious business growth.

This workshop is the result of collaborating with Ministry for Growth. The only way is bigger and better!

 

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“My son said I can buy Facebook Likes…?”

Facebook LikesI nearly had a seizure!

But it was an extremely sensible question as the person this came from hasn’t done any social media for business, but it made me suddenly realise WHY this sounds tempting to people!

Why put all that effort into designing a dynamic social media strategy and brainstorming awesome social media content when you can spend just $10 on 10,000 likes for your Facebook page or followers for your Twitter account?

Because those likes or followers will not bring any value to your social media community. Those people (if they are real people and not fake accounts) will not care what your business is, they will not engage with you, and they are certainly not potential customers. After a few months they will also start to drop off.

You want people who are specifically interested in you and your product or service. People who will like and share what you have to say, who might (are you ready for this) TALK BACK! Give you feedback, comment with an opinion, or tag their friends in it.

The only way to build a community that will do this is through time, sharing great content and interaction to build relationships. Unfortunately that will cost more than $10 but the value that comes back out of it is far more valuable.

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Maximising the value of your Social Media content

Social Media Content UsesCreate it once – use it many times! One effort, multiple uses! Doesn’t that sound great?

But how do you do that? Let me share…

Social Media is perfect for repetition (I wouldn’t recommend the same thing every day!) as everyone logs in at different times every day.

There is content that you can create that will be ‘evergreen’. It will never get stale, it is not time sensitive. It will still be great advice tomorrow, next month and in 6 months time.

My content lives in a spreadsheet. I have a hundred tabs – all with different subject names and my posts and tweets are saved in according to those subjects. It makes life a whole lot easier to keep track of them. Also it means as you create new stuff your library of content grows giving you more to share with your community which will keep them interested and engaged.

The best bit is if you write a Blog that can then turned into an Ebook, a YouTube Video, maybe a podcast and be broken down into tweets, posts for Facebook , LinkedIn and Google+, infographics and other visuals. Don’t ever use your content once only and just in one format – what a waste!

Creating awesome social media content takes time – make that time a great investment!

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Celebrating achievements is important! Do you?

2015-06-02 09.12.48I climbed a mountain! Hell yes!

Not something my friends or family (or me) ever thought would happen.

Since I was tiny I’ve always hated walking long distances. There are reasons for it, my left leg wasn’t as it should be when I was born and lets just say there were/are challenges that come with it. However my mum and dad thought it was hilarious when I appeared one day and said ‘I’m going up Snowdon’. And everyone else asked if I was going to dance up instead of walking.

In January it popped up as an event some of my friends were doing at the end of May. It caught my eye and much as I’m not a fan of walking long distances I really loved the idea of doing a challenge I generally wouldn’t even consider (but you will not get me bungee jumping!). So I signed up, bought a pair of walking boots and got walking!

It wasn’t plain sailing by any means. I went through a lot of plasters, ibuprofen and Forever Heat Lotion to get me there!

The morning of Saturday 30th May came and we (14 of us) were raring to go. I still didn’t really know what to expect. For anyone who knows Snowdon the plan was up Pyg and back down Miners, I didn’t have a clue what that meant!

The strip of lovely flat black tarmac at the beginning of Pyg was obviously to lull us into a false sense of security. All those people who told me they had walked it in flip flops, with a school trip, or on spur of the moment – I’m hoping you used an easier path or I’m truly a wimp. Suddenly there were massive rock steps followed by just big rocks to climb up, over, and down, that was just the beginning of the fun.

Three and a half hours later we reached the top. WOW! We were lucky – the weather was clear and sunny. We could see everything. I would have done a little victory dance, except I needed a sit down and lunch before thinking of more movement.

Snowdon rock climbingComing down was going to be fun, the last part of the track of Pyg is the first part of Miners. Which involves climbing back down the steep rocks we had just come up. Some of the group weren’t happy about it so we split into two groups – the hardcore for Miners (yes that’s where I was),  the rest went for an easier path.

We all did it, that’s what matters. Met back up at the bottom and celebrated with dinner and vino that night.

Do you celebrate your achievements? Whether in business or your personal life? You don’t have to climb a mountain to do that. I’ve realised I don’t give myself recognition for the smaller things. Give ourselves a pat on the back for them and use the motivation to go on and find the next reason to celebrate.

2015-06-02 09.13.16

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Are you giving them what they NEED?

No one cares what matters to YOU, it’s about what matters to THEM!

Harsh but true when building a social media community. However if the two match up – you’re home and dry!

So what is it that your community need from you?

Gold StarYour community is looking for honest, open and interactive communication that delivers relevant and up-to-the-minute information about you and your products and services.

Gold Star They want to know they can trust you and that you have the solution to their (or other’s close to them) challenges.

Gold Star They want to feel part of something. As humans we are programmed to want to be involved and included. Being part of a community makes us feel special. We like to work alongside an organisation we have a relationship with.

Gold Star When a person is emotionally invested in a brand, they want to be able to support you, interact with you and talk about you to others. They are loyal, so you have to give them something to be loyal to! Check out the big brands out there – Nike, Gucci, Jamie Oliver – look at their social media accounts, their fans are heavily invested in sharing and interacting.

Gold StarBe personal.
Talk like a real person and have a personality.  Chat, help and share great content. Give some behind the scenes excitement. Highlight interesting information about your fabulous team. Show the amazing people that you help with your service. Everyone loves a story of what’s going on. What this boils down to is we’re nosey! We want access to behind the closed doors…

Creating and building a social media community, in fact ANY community, is a big responsibility. People join with expectations. You need to be ready to deliver the goods.

What your social media community needs from you Mushroom Souffle

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