Look before you leap into the world of social media

social media crayons photoAs a freelance writer and marketing bod, I get asked these questions on a regular basis:

“Should I be on LinkedIn?”

“Isn’t Twitter just for teenagers and celebrities?”

“I don’t get Facebook, can you explain to me?”

What is really behind all of these questions and many more like them is the deep-rooted fear of not belonging. We all want to be liked, we all want to be acknowledged and having a consistent social media presence gives us the sense that people must like us. Business owners see their competitors on social media and worry that they’re behind the times by not following the crowd. Where followers, likes and pluses start, customers follow (just not instantly!). This sends some business owners into a panicky state and can lead to some pretty embarrassing mistakes on social media.

So, if your business isn’t on any social media networks yet, take a big breath, take a step back from the judgmental looks of the virtual schoolyard and ask yourself a bigger question,

“why does my business need to be on social media?” Continue reading

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Seven ways to screw up a press release

Your business has some great news or an event you want to publicise. Whether or not you agree that the newspaper industry is dying, the public need for news is bigger than ever. With streaming sites and constant updates, websites need more news content than your local newspaper could ever contain in their daily or weekly edition. So, how best to get your company’s news into websites, newspapers and magazines? The press release (aka the media release or the news release if it’s feeling fancy (fair warning, I’m about to use all three terms as I like to keep you on your toes!)) still reigns no matter where the news will eventually be displayed.photo of newspaper stand

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Who are you and what do you do?

Hello my name is sticker

Business people of Great Britain – speak up!

In the last couple of months, I’ve been to a range of conferences and events where audience members were encouraged to participate and ask questions of the panel.

At the beginning of the sessions, everyone gets told the same thing, that if they have a question or comment to:

  • wait for the microphone
  • tell everyone your name and your business
  • ask your question or give your short comment.

Simple, right? At every event, just about everyone fell down on the second point and, as this has happened at every event I’ve been to, I’ve gotten more and more infuriated by it! Continue reading

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Changing the world five people at a time

Recently, I interviewed a fellow ethical business owner, Danni Craker of Craker Business Solutions. Danni strives to run a sustainable business and we discussed how she does it and what her green aims are for her business.

If you’re interested in sustainable business and how to be more ethical in your business, do pop over to the Brighton & Hove Chamber of Commerce website and take a look at the interview. The Chamber’s website is being revamped but that means you currently can’t leave comments on guest posts there.

So, if you like the post or just want to comment on sustainable business and all things green, come back here and comment below.

If you’re part of the Brighton & Hove Chamber of Commerce, you can also be part of their Green Chamber Collective. Already a member and want to create a Statement of Aspiration? Get in touch with the Chamber.

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How your guts can save you time, money and your sanity

This is the year of listening to my gut! Growing up with a mum who’s got Crohns Disease and Colitis (and who’s worked tirelessly over the years to remove the stigma from those illnesses, yes, you’re fab, Mum!), I’ve been surrounded by discussions on guts for what feels like forever. But I’m not talking about biology now, I’m talking about something that feels so amorphous that you can’t always believe it exists. Your gut instincts.

Not sure about a prospective client? Going back and forth on whether to work with someone? The answer’s in you!

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This week’s rant: Facebook and the art of Plain English

Did you get that email, suspiciously sent during the Thanksgiving holiday, asking Facebookers to read the proposed privacy policy and data use policies and comment on them? I dutifully clicked on the link and took a gander at the documents. What have I learned? Not a thing about their proposed changes but an awful lot about language and Facebook’s inability to communicate well with their users. Continue reading

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What cats can teach us about freelancing

photo of cat2This is Pukey the Cat (aka Max). Like Garfield, he doesn’t leave the
cul de sac so I’ve spent a lot of time with him in my new freelancing life. So far, he hasn’t inspired me to draw a world famous cartoon strip but he has taught me a few things about freelancing and working from home.

Warning – adorkable cat pics follow! Continue reading

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Are your emails duller than a bag of butter knives?

Rant of the week!

In the last week, I’ve read a number of supposedly sales emails that made me want to fall asleep/whack my head against the wall repeatedly.  How do these people survive in  the real world?  Fifty buck words, long paragraphs of rambling sentences, never.getting.to.the.point. It’s infuriating!

Now, most people will instantly delete these types of emails.  Not me, these are an education for me in how not to engage your audience.  So, here’s:

How to write a sales email that doesn’t make your reader want to whack their head against the nearest wall! Continue reading

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Thinking about video for your business? Read this first!

Having worked in corporate video, I’ve seen a lot of business videos, some great, some awful.  One of the worst?  Any with me in them!  See that picture?  I’m notoriously camera shy, preferring to be the one taking the pictures rather than being in the spotlight.  I know what I look and sound like on video and it ain’t pretty!  Think Essex, UK fishwife with a dash of laconic NoCal.  So, you won’t ever see videos of me on my website.
But, everyone‘s doing video these days, you cry.  We need to have a Youtube presence, you screech!  True, but not everyone needs to put themselves in the spotlight to help their business shine (corny line, I know, it’s been a long week!).

If you’re determined to use video to publicise your business, new service or system, here’s some advice before you go any further! Continue reading

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