Category: News

Best Business Women Awards 2019 Finalists announced

The Best Business Women Awards have announced their finalists  for 2019. The business world is full of talented and dedicated female entrepreneurs who not only run successful businesses but, in many cases, also juggle the needs of their families. The Best Business Women Awards are designed to recognise the achievement of those women across a wide range of business categories from women across the UK.

We are pleased to announce Emma Ellis has been shortlisted as a finalist in the best new business category. Emma has worked extremely hard over the past 18 months to get Amber Mountain Marketing up and running and now has 3 employees and looking to grow this to 5 by next month.   Supporting small businesses is Emma’s passion and Amber Mountain Marketing is already supporting over 20 local businesses to grow. 10 if which are on the new apprentice package which allows small businesses to have an apprentice from as little as 1/2 a day a week to implement their marketing strategy on their behalf at a low cost to their business.

Debbie Gilbert, organiser of The Best Business Women Awards said ‘This is the 5th year of these prestigious awards. We were delighted with the number of entries this year, which came in from all over the UK. This is a tough competition judged by business experts. To be a finalist is a major achievement. Finalists have been selected for their business acumen, determination, creativity and tenacity. Well over 80% of start-ups fail in the first 3 years and all our finalists are all shining examples of being successful entrepreneurs who have proved their success to our judges.’

Emma was over the moon to be a finalist and said ‘ I am delighted to be recognised for my hard work, and am truly grateful to work with so many lovely businesses in such a short space of time.  I also have the best team in the world!  Tamzin never gets enough credit for the work she does behind the scenes and I would crumble without her.  Our apprentices Tia and Liv are just flying and have grown so much in such a short space of time and I look forward to building our business together.  It’s true what they say, find a job you love and you will never work again’

The gala final of The Best Business Women Awards will be held on 11th October 2019 at The Tower Hotel in London when the winners will be announced.  Emma, Tamzin plus fellow finalist and client Naomi Czuba will be there with their dancing shoes on.  Fingers crossed to all the finalists!  We already feel like winners, so thank you Best Business Women Awards.

And then there was 2…..

After a fantastic first year at Amber Mountain Marketing we are pleased to announce we are expanding, and Tamzin Klyen has joined the team.  Tamzin is an experienced marketing specialist skilled in social media, WordPress, LinkedIn Marketing, email marketing, websites, design, SEO, PPC and business development.   Tamzin’s skillset gives us the opportunity to expand our services including Social media management and direct marketing.  Tamzin started her career as an apprentice, which sets her in perfect stead to help guide new staff when we set up with our new marketing apprentice package launching this summer.

Welcome to the team Tamzin and if anyone is interested in hearing about our new services please contact us at emma@ambermountain.co.uk or Tamzin@ambermountain.co.uk

Don’t wind down your Marketing at Christmas.

Christmas is coming, and everyone is starting to wind down.  It’s the one time of the year when everyone takes a step back and tries to chill.  It’s not very often you get to stay in your pjs eat chocolate and watch TV all day, so let’s do it!  But that doesn’t mean you should slow down your business marketing!

Now is the perfect time to target your customers, it’s the time of the year when people think about what they want from 2019.  We all set ourselves new goals don’t we? ‘I’m going to get fitter’, ‘I’m going to build my business’, ‘I’m going to do up the house’, ‘I’m going to outsource more’ etc.

We all have a business that can help people with their new year’s resolutions, so we need to be there in the forefront of their mind at the time they are thinking about it.  See what you can do now to make this happen.  Write a blog, buffer some posts on social media to target your audience or send a newsletter.  With more time on their hands over the holidays they are more likely to take the time to look at what you are offering and interact.   Don’t take a break from Marketing when it matters the most.  Begin your year with a flurry of customers, start 2019 hitting the ground running.

What is Internal Marketing and why it is vital in building your business

 

 When I talk to people about marketing they often bring up expensive advertising, logos on average giveaways, countless campaigns and how they feel it’s a waste of money. I hear ‘waste of money’ a lot and it frustrates me no end. Mainly, because for me, it’s not all about huge advertising campaigns and logos on pens.  I know many businesses invest heavily in all the above, but this should be the last thing on your mind when you start a marketing strategy.  If you are not investing your time into the internal marketing everything else could be considered a waste of money.

At the start of any marketing audit the focus should be on Internal Marketing. But what is it?  Internal Marketing ensures everyone in the business is on the same page. Everyone understands the business objectives and why the company does what it does. If the owners are on one page and the employees are on another, everything they do within the business is going to be a constant uphill struggle.

I have gone into many a company and spoke to different people in the organisation and they all have completely different views on the business vision and its goals and objectives. These mixed messages will only filter through to your potential customers, which weakens your brand and the customer buying experience.

Internal marketing ensures your employees are happy and truly understand why they go to work every day and what impact their role has in the company’s overall vision.  Your employees should be living and breathing your company values and are the vital ingredient in building your business.  To enable this, they need to be included in every step of your journey and understand why the directors of the businesses are doing everything they do.

This isn’t a small fix and it involves team meetings, team work, training and continuous 1-2-1s, ensuring your staff are ambassadors for your business.  It is crucial in delivering the best possible customer experience.

So, think about this before you spend out on your external marketing as you may be able to find new customers, however, without your brand ambassadors delivering an outstanding service you probably won’t keep them for long.

For me the focus on Internal marketing should constantly be top of the list.  I want employees to be proud to work for their business and be shouting from the roof tops as to why they love their company.  There is no better marketing than that!

So, when you think Marketing, think about your team and how they are working for your business.  They are your biggest asset to building and sustaining your brand and need investment first.  This is in fact Marketing, and when you are investing in your people to be better and happier in their roles, Marketing should never be classed as a waste of money.

 

Are you wasting your money on your Marketing?

I have been meeting with a fair few businesses lately and I always ask them the question, “what marketing do you do?”  Quite often people feel bad when they answer “none”.  Why feel bad?  Your business is doing great and you’re not using any marketing tools!  This is actually a huge achievement.  But just think about how big your business could be if you did!

Other businesses I speak to who are using marketing tools and spending quite a bit of money, I might add, can’t answer the question ‘What’s your return on investment?’  I struggle with this answer as I hate to see businesses wasting their hard earned money.  If you are paying someone to do your social media, Adwords, SEO, Website Analytics and any other type of marketing service they should all be providing your business with results and feedback that you understand.

If you are someone who pays for a service and you do not know EXACTLY what it’s doing for your business, I want you to think about why that is?  Are you scared to ask?  Are they providing you high tech answers that makes you feel like you’re out of touch?  Or have you just paid them and hope it works?

I get it, as a business owner it’s hard to be on top of everything but it’s so important to make sure you’re reaching your potential customer base.  This is your money and your opportunity to grow. You need to be on the ball and understand exactly what it’s doing to grow your business.

So, if you are unsure pick up the phone to your provider today and ask.  I would be upset if my clients were not asking me these questions.  I want my clients to understand exactly what it is that I am doing for their business and why.  Your investment in marketing should always be bringing you more business.  Please don’t pay for a ‘finger’s crossed’ service. With so many ways to measure marketing activity these days, you should be paying for clear and measured results.

Don’t underestimate the power of networking

Until this year, I would squirm at the thought of networking.  The cringey feeling of entering a room not knowing anyone, trying to join a conversation or worse start one would make me feel physically sick.

There is also the added pressure of standing up and talking for a minute about your business at some events and people would actually time you…. Really?  I mean why put yourself through that right?  You should, you really should, and here’s why.

The first ever event I went to I was VERY late, a bit on purpose as I didn’t want to talk to people and a bit by accident as I took no instructions of how to get there.  I went to the wrong place completely and very nearly didn’t go in as I was so late, but I got into shark mode and went for it.  As I got in, I was warmly welcomed and asked to introduce myself and my business.  I bumbled my way through, I have no idea what I said to this day, and sat back down shaking all over.  However someone wanted to meet with me afterwards to discuss helping with their Marketing, so it couldn’t have been too bad, right?

It really made me think.  If I can get to an event late, unprepared, bumble and still gain contacts imagine what I can do if I actually prepped, and got used to these events!  With that, I signed up to as many events as I could and sussed out the best ones that suited my business and found a few I loved.  But most of which were monthly and I wanted to do this more frequently.

So, I looked around and found a post on Facebook about a BNI Meeting at 9.30 on a Friday. Perfect timing but it was BNI! I had heard rumours about this BNI, it was like a cult, the pressure was intense and, to put simply, you wouldn’t get out of there alive!  But the timing was perfect….and it was weekly……oh god though, what if they made me chant?

I bit the bullet and went, a lovely lady called Michelle met me at the door and introduced me to people in the room and everyone was bloody lovely. I was expecting a full on ‘clicky’ room with me in the corner being given evils by the BNI Posy.  The meeting was in fact very funny, no cult vibe that I was expecting and there was banter?  Actual banter at a BNI meeting?  People having fun?  When do we chant?

After the meeting I felt really motivated.  If I’m being honest I was expecting a full-on sales pitch and being locked in a room until I signed up.  How wrong was I!  The statement I remember clearly was ‘BNI isn’t for everyone, if it’s not for you we understand that, who wants a coffee?’

I have to say I instantly fell for the people in the room.  It was funny, motivating and I left the place totally buzzing.  Needless to say, I signed up and haven’t looked back since.  The team are insanely supportive and I feel like I’m not on my own in business anymore. You need that in business and you need to network to find a group that works like this for you.

The thing that really got me about my network was what happened this weekend. One member was having an issue, struggling to resolve it, so asked for help.  On a Sunday, her working day but most people’s day off right?   Not this group.  There were so many texts and phone calls from the team, so much so by the time I contacted her she had already physically spoken with 3 people, and had offers of help by most of the team. That right there was when I knew I had made the right decision to join.

My message to you here is to go out, network, don’t be scared because everyone else is feeling the same.  My stomach still twitches when I stand up and talk, but it works! People buy from people, they want get to know you and gain trust in you before they buy your products or service. The more often you can meet with each other the quicker that trust can be built and recommendations/purchases can be made.  Give every networking event a go.  Even the ones that you think, or have been told, you will hate. Don’t knock it until you have tried it.  It may just be the one you actually love!

Do you have a Marketing plan?

I have been banging on to everyone I meet lately about the importance of a Marketing Plan because I strongly believe it can be the difference between a struggling business and a successful one. So why is it so important?

Firstly, as a business, you have goals and targets that you want to reach and a marketing plan creates small stepping-stones to achieve this. So much time is wasted with many of us thinking ‘hmmmmm what should I post on social media this week?’ You then find yourself spending too much time thinking about it and end up settling for posts, ad hoc, in the hope that it might work but in reality, have very little reference to your overall goals and objectives.  A marketing plan helps to prevent procrastination and gives your business focus, analysing exactly what it is you need to do to elevate your business to the next level.

Benefits

Allows your business to proactively reach its goals with aligned marketing activities

Having a plan provides strategies that will focus your business, enabling it to reach its goals and objectives.  Every time you have a good idea you should ask yourself the question ‘does this align with my goals and objectives?’  Sometimes we can all go off on a tangent that, more often than not, isn’t beneficial for the business.   The plan is there as your instruction manual to provide you with a step by step guide to focus on reaching your goals.

Gives your business and staff a clear shared path

The plan ensures everyone in the business is on the same page and working towards your goals and objectives.  This direction allows them to understand their purpose in the business and gives them the daily focus to work hard, allowing your company to operate more efficiently.

Saves you time and money

When you sit down and write your marketing plan you will want to put some serious thought into it. You may hire an expert or work closely with management and thoroughly research your competition and best practices. You will analyse your past marketing activities and remove unproductive expenditure. If you don’t sit down and assess what is going to work for your business you will continue to waste money and time on ad-hoc campaigns.  Writing a plan allows you to stay on track and most importantly stay on budget.

Having a plan means your goals and objectives are measurable

Once you have a marketing plan you have a framework for your year, but the beauty of a marketing plan is it gives you an opportunity to review and measure your progress daily, weekly or monthly.  If you lose focus its there as a guide and if something isn’t working it will provide you with the opportunity to tweak your plan and re-evaluate the next steps to reach your goals.

By taking time out to develop a marketing plan you are building a strategy to grow your business and create a business set for success. If you don’t have one I urge you to make this a focus in your business. A goal without a plan is just a wish.

If your struggling with your plan give me a call for a chat about how I can help you some more.

 

Your vibe attracts your tribe……who are you attracting?

I love the saying ‘your vibe attracts your tribe.’ I believe it’s an accurate statement for life in general but also something to really think about when building your business.   If you spend a lot of time with constantly negative unhappy people, it’s going to bring you down.  I’m sure we have all been in the situation in business where we have been surrounded by constant moaning and negativity about everything and its draining on you and everyone around you.  You want to run away, and you start to think maybe your life isn’t so great.

I call these rather negative people ‘energy vampires’.  As the name suggests, they can literally suck the life out of you.  The truth is everyone can be happy and successful if we put our minds into it, so if members of your tribe are negatively affecting your vibe be ruthless and do something about it!

There is huge merit and value in placing yourself within positive environments, surrounded by people that lift your spirits, make you want to work harder and motivate you to be the best person that you can be.  Think about your life, your business and what motivates you…  Then assess the people you know that want the same and if they share those values spend more time with them.  If you are struggling to find a tribe here are some ideas to help you:

Network- Go to the events that will get you speaking to people with the same values and mind set.  There are so many to choose from these days, so try and go to as many as your can and see which groups you feel connected with. Are there any online communities that can help you find like minded people to connect with?

Be yourself – It has taken me many years to realise its fine to be me.  The time I have spent not being myself was the unhappiest time in my career.  Trying to please people that, under the surface, you don’t particularly like and disagree with their methods and values.  What’s the point?  If you pretend to be someone that you’re not, you’re going to attract a tribe that has nothing in common with the real you.

Be Vocal – Yes, I know this can be scary, but your opinions really count and will attract likeminded people to you.  Join forums and communities, share your honest views and I’m sure you will be welcomed and your input valued.  Write a blog or ‘like’ and share things that are of interest to you.  As a marketer I know you get a great sense of achievement when someone ‘likes’, comments or shares something that you have posted, I feel instantly connected with that person.

Take the time to think about what it is that you want to achieve in business and how you’re going to build ‘a tribe’ to support you and, likewise, how can you support them.  If you find someone you instantly share a connection with, ensure you stay in contact to build on your relationship.  Having people in your life that share similar career goals and values to you is invaluable. Try to meet up with these people every 6 weeks, a chat really helps to motivate you and give you that boost you need to work harder to achieve your goals.  So… be selfish and ditch the energy vampires, find your tribe and get back in your vibe, you will find yourself smiling a lot more I promise you!

Video killed the radio star

Well, actually it didn’t.  Since video came along, radio is still well and truly thriving as far as I can tell, with about a gazillion channels to choose from on digital and FM.  The stars of radio seem to be getting paid handsomely enough, so no, video just came along and shook things up a bit.

Now it looks like it’s shaking things up again, in an even bigger way.  This time, online.

In case you hadn’t noticed, online video has become MASSIVE.  Everywhere you go, whether it be a social media channel, a search engine or a website, videos are all over our screens. They are entertaining us, educating us, selling to us, anything that text can do, video can do too.  Except there is one little difference.  Video does it better.

There is a reason that video has become such a massive part of our online culture.  It’s simply because viewers like it.  In a busy world where time is short, and attention spans even shorter, where there are a million zillion things trying to grab our attention, where we take on board SO much information on a daily basis, we want, no, NEED, things to be made simple and entertaining for us.  This is what video does.  It can turn a long piece of written text into something shorter, more engaging and easier to digest.

Imagine you are in the middle of a busy working day, or at the end of one.  You grab a cup of tea and plan to spend 20 mins online, looking at……… well, whatever comes your way.   You’re flicking through your social media and you see an advert for a local gym.  You’ve been meaning to join a gym for months, but life is well, you know, kinda busy.   So you click on the advert and there are paragraphs of text, explaining how amazing the gym is, what offers they have, what classes they run.  There is also a lovely looking photo of the weights room.    Underneath that advert, is another advert for a different local gym.  This time there’s no text, but a video that is already running.  Within the space of 10 seconds you have seen the weights room, the cardio room, the spa and the cafe.  You click for sound.  Within another 10 seconds you know what classes they run and you hear their current joining offer.  Supposing these two gyms are of the same calibre, are you likely to scroll back up and read the paragraphs of text about the first one?  You’ve only got 5 minutes left before you need to go to a meeting/give the kids a bath.  Which gym are you more likely to plan your free trial with?

Now, I’m not really one for statistics, but there are a LOT of video marketing stats out there.  One which I do like, and seems to be plausible is that YouTube is the worlds second largest search engine.  Yes, only Google trumps YouTube when it comes to people who want to search for ……….anything really.  That one statistic speaks volumes.  If you want more, how about these for size:

Using the word ‘video’ in an email subject line boosts the open rate by 19% (Syndacast)

Marketers who use video grow revenue 49% faster than non video users (VidYard)

Social video generates 1200% more shares than text and image combined (Responsive Bound Marketing)

People spend on average 2.6x more time on pages with video than without (Wistia)

I could go on but like I say, I’m not a massive stats fan, especially when common sense tells you the same thing the statistics are trying to.

“Enough!!!” I hear you cry, “I get it, I need to get some video done.”    So, where to start?  Finding your video can be tricky, especially for small businesses where people are already wearing various hats for all the roles they need to fill.

There are all kinds of video that you can use within your marketing strategy.  The following are key within the business world.

  • explainers (explaining your business in a simple way)
  • how to’s (showing value)
  • product demos (establishing trust and educating)
  • testimonials (social proof)

Also, lets not forget the importance of the personal touch.  An audience likes to see the face behind the business, so get in front of the camera and build the “know, like and trust”.  Social media video is a great way to do this, and can really build connections with viewers.

A general rule of thumb for me, is that any video on your website should be of a professional standard, whereas with social media videos, you can get away with being a bit more relaxed.  (Though this could depend on your business, one size doesn’t always fit all)  I mean, if you’re going to be posting a video each week, do you want to be paying a professional to do that?  So, it’s a good move to get familiar with the video camera on your phone.  You’ll be surprised at what you can create with it!  The quality of video on the latest phones is amazing, and you can easily make great looking stuff with the help of a video editor app. (I use FilmoraGo, but there are loads of great ones to choose from).

Also, there are some great apps out there to help you create videos using stock footage, or even create animated videos.  The options seem to be increasing daily.

Whatever route you go down to create video content, remember the clue is in the name.  Content.  The audience needs to be drawn in straight away or you will lose them quickly.  Us humans are a fickle bunch, and unless you grab our attention early on, we’ll move on to the next exciting looking thing.   Don’t forget to make your video an appropriate length too.  Nobody wants to watch a 5 minute video on why they should buy your product.  On social media, you can expect people to leave between 30 – 90 seconds, even if they find your video interesting.

So there you go, there are no excuses.  If you really want people to hear your message, give it to them in a format they are more likely to use.

Don’t get left behind online, get video. 🙂

For more information from Nutty Amber  and what videos can do for your business contact:

amy@nuttyamber.com

www.nuttyamber.com

 

Naomi Czuba Dance Studio Launch

Wow, I’m still on a high from just how amazing Naomi Czuba Dance (NCD) studio launch was.  Last Saturday Naomi’s dreams came true and she opened her first studio at London Colney Biz Space.  We publicised the event well but it was just unbelievable how many people turned up to show their support and get down and dance.

Naomi has classes for everyone from age 4-104, and its great to see so many different people from all walks of life coming together and enjoying the studio.  The buzz in the room was the closest I personally have had since my Ibiza days and no alcohol had touched my lips!  You couldn’t help but want to dance, her energy just fills the room with fun and laughter.

If you haven’t been to class yet I strongly suggest you do!  There is a class for everyone and it’s fast becoming my happy place and I can’t even dance!  I am so excited to be helping Naomi build on NCD, it’s so much more than a dance studio.  This lady is a true inspiration to anyone running a business.  She jokes that she isn’t good at business, the truth is she has no idea just how good she is, and I won’t stop until everyone knows it.    We are working together on a new website, new branding, new classes and my not so cool vibe.  If we can achieve three out of four, I will be happy. Watch this space, this girl is going places!