Category: News

Top Tips For Optimising Your Website

You created an outstanding website – congrats! Now all you need to do is bring people to it. For your website to appear as one of the top results on search engines like Google and Bing, you need to understand a little bit about the world of “Search Engine Optimization” or SEO.

With so many sites on the web today, there is no guarantee that your site will rank first on Google. There are, however, plenty of simple things you can do to increase your site’s chances of ranking well.

Choose the right URL

Before your website goes live, you need to give it a name. Also known as your domain name, this is the address that visitors will type in to find your site. Like the giant sign above a shopfront window, it’s one of the first things visitors see when they come to your site.

That’s why it’s also the first place Google looks to understand what your site is about and to decide how to rank it.

With this in mind, it’s important to make sure all your pages’ URLs are clean and professional, so no special characters, no hashtags, no page ID.

Conduct a thorough keyword research

When it comes to adding posts to your website, or updating your site you need to ensure you are using effective key words.

Tools like Ubersuggest or Google Ad’s help you find keywords related to your business, when it comes to searching for keywords, think about what people might search for what they would hope to find on a page about that.

Start with a broad keyword. For instance, maybe you offer dog boarding, so you begin with a keyword like “dog kennels.”

Ubersuggest will provide you with a list of keywords that you can filter in several ways. You’re looking for long-tail keywords you can use to attract a specific audience, and repeat those words in as many pages as possible.

Use Outbound Links

Outbound links are the primary source of bringing more attention to your website. There are a lot of people who make the mistake of not including links to other websites/articles.

Outbound links show Google that the article is both valid and informative and both are vital for ranking. Therefore, make sure that if you aren’t doing so, add outbound links to as many pages as possible, even if you link to another page on your website.

Image Optimisation

Ensure that the pictures on your website have file names which include one of your keywords. Also, your target keyword should be part of your image’s Alt Text, this text helps screen-reading tools describe images to visually impaired readers and allows search engines to better crawl and rank your website.

This will improve optimisation for your article and also create a clearer picture for the search engines to the relevancy of your article/page.

Regular updates

Updating your website is a crucial step in the development of your business and its brand. It’s a way to keep your content up to date, your customers informed on new products and services, and enhance your websites SEO value.⠀

Whether your website is going through an entire rebrand or you’re simply refreshing the blog post that gets the most traffic, you may be wondering how often you should be updating your website.⠀

Of course, there’s no right or wrong answer. But try to update your website as often as you can.

It’s ideal to update a website at least monthly, that could be a minor change to the main content or adding a new blog post. Whatever the update is, it’s helpful to constantly make updates of any size to prove to Google that you are still active.

If you struggle to maintain a strong website, or maybe you don’t have the time to optimise it, please contact us by clicking here where you can send us a message directly and we would be more than happy to help you come up with a solution.

What is a landing page and how should it be used?

We’ve all been taken to one when something has caught our eye, but what are they and how should they be used?

I will explain what a landing page is, the key features that should be on all landing pages, how to make a SMART landing page, how to analyse a landing page and make sure it’s working for your business and also when not to use a landing page.

What is a landing page?

A landing page is a standalone web page which is created specifically to get the user (your customer) to do something. They are mainly used in conjunction with Pay Per Click advertising or an email marketing campaign.

You are directing your visitors to the exact place that you want them to be to do exactly what you want them to do and you don’t want them to get lost or distracted!

The different types of landing pages are:

  • Lead generation landing page
  • Click through landing page for ecommerce

So think about….

What you want to do with your landing page?

Who are your directly trying to engage?

What is the best way to get them to take notice?

What do you want them to do?

And a good way to make sure your landing page does this is by making it SMART

Make your landing page SMART

The Acronym SMART goals are used a lot in marketing, and it makes a lot of sense when your thinking about creating a landing page.

– Specific – So you are asking the user to come to the landing page and do something specific.

M – Measurable – You want to know how well this page is performing, so this may be through sales or signups from this page, these may be obvious if there is a sudden increase as soon as the page is live or may be gradual and can be analysed through Google analytics or a Facebook pixel.

A – Attainable – how many more signups/sales do you want per month and is this realistic – what are you doing to drive your traffic here?

R – Relevant – Is the landing page relevant to your business, once they get here will they want to download the ebook/sign up to your mailing list/buy your product? Now they are here make it easy for them. How does this current ‘offer’ relate to the rest of your business and how can you profit from it.  There’s no point getting lots of people to sign up if you never send out an email to them!

T – Time-bound – If a certain offer is only available for a certain time then people are more likely to do something straight away, it will also help you see what is working and what is not.  If you try a few different landing pages over a few months and see which ones work the best and why.

Here’s a great blog on hubspot for utilising SMART goals to make you a better marketer:

https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/smart-goal-examples

Key features of a landing page

  • Headline
    • They’re here so what do you want to tell them?
    • Make sure the headline talks to your audience and grabs their attention!
  • Call To Action
    • What do you want them to do?
    • Keep it simple – only get the information you need!
    •  Let them know the benefit of what you are offering!
    • Keep the form above the fold
    • Make the form stand out
  • Clear & Concise  
    • Give them key information but don’t drown them, its not a blog post after all!
    • Break up the text
    • Emphasis the important points
    • Use eye-catching and relevant imagery (Such as an ebook front page – if that’s what your offering)
  • No distractions – No navigation or other distractions we don’t want them going anywhere!
  • Easy to share
    • Add social sharing buttons so your visitors can help you reach more!
  • Reinforce your brand – so that even if your customer doesn’t convert this time they will remember your brand when something else comes up in the future.
  • Boost your credibility – A good landing page should have your customer best interests at heart and be offering them something they want (or need!)

The following is  a great post by SEO guru Neil Patel:

Beginner’s Guide to Landing Pages

How to know if your landing page is doing it job

You should know how many customers are converting through your landing pages.  This can be through Google analytics, a Facebook pixel, a particular campaign that they are signing up for.

https://unbounce.com/landing-page-analyzer/

To thoroughly test your landing page here is a guide to A/B testing, A/B testing is when you try out different versions of the same page and test how well it is doing, here is an infographic which demonstrates A/B testing:

Infographic by- Invesp

When is a landing page not needed?

Your landing page shouldn’t take you anywhere else on your site – and certainly not to your homepage (otherwise it should just be your homepage!).  If you haven’t got clear goals and a clear audience that you are targeting and a way of checking whether the page is converting it probably isn’t a landing page you need.

Landing pages can be a really useful marketing tool if used correctly and can help you gain customer and broaden your reach and make our brand more recognisable and trusted.  Get them correctly and you can hugely increase your reach!

If you need help help creating your landing page, contact Anna at Gold Nugget Designs.

Choosing the right platform to send a message.

When it comes to communicating with your clients, sending them a message on the right platform can hugely impact their reply time.

Many of us naturally send people an email when it is business related because that is seen as ‘the norm’, but what we don’t think to take into consideration is our clients most valued platform.

Like many of us know, the amount of sales emails and general spam that comes into our inbox is unimaginable, we are all guilty for just deleting the lot or completely ignoring it and letting them build up.

So, if you needed a reply from a client urgently and your email gets lost in the pile, the likelihood is that they aren’t going to see that email in time, or better yet, never even read it.

So this is where having social media as an alternative can be a life saver.

With more and more people and businesses joining the digital world, social media is now the place to be. With billions of people having an account on at least one network, checking your page is now a second nature and the average time a person spends on social media a day is 3 hours, whereas most people don’t even check their emails daily.

Sending someone a message on social media almost guarantees they will receive it and take action, even if it means going into their emails to see your original request. Instant notifications on social media make it nearly impossible to miss any activity that happens on your account, so if you are dealing with a business that has Instagram, sending them a DM might be your better option.

But don’t get me wrong, sending a client a quick email is always a good idea, even if they don’t see it straight away.

Sending an email is a lot more secure than a social media account, this means that you can relay important information without the worry of your information being hacked or received by the wrong person and have an information trail to look back on. Whereas, social media accounts have a bad reputation on being hacked, so when it comes to sending over confidential information, always use the most secure network you can.

Sending someone and email then following up with a message on social media if you haven’t got a reply could be the way forward.

But the main thing to remember when deciding on what platform to use is to take your client into consideration, whether that be their age, industry, or personality. For example, people in the beauty industry rely heavily on social media when it comes to bringing in clients, so they would constantly be replying to messages, whereas people in the legal industry would be more likely to check emails and have a more formal approach when it comes to dealing with clients.

So make sure you have a chat with all your clients about what they would prefer, because we always have to put our clients needs first.

Google My Business

Google My Business – Why it is so important to have a profile?

More and more emphasis is being placed on making sure your Google My Business profile is active and up-to-date.

Local SEO Importance

From an SEO point of view, Google My Business is extremely important for Local SEO. Taking Google as the example, most people when they search will use what is suggested to them for example ‘seo services near me’. This will then bring up the companies near to where you live.

Set up Profile correctly

By making sure you have filled in all of the details in your profile, uploading images, adding a few posts then Google will start to properly display your listing when people are searching.

What is important to remember is what is highlighted in the pie-chart. People are not necessarily looking for your company, they are looking for a category, product or service.

Bearing this in mind it is very important to have all of your products and services listed, it means that you are likely to get found within search.

Remember there are really only two ways you will be found in a search engine – someone searching for your Company by name or someone searching for a service or product that is provided by you

Listing Products is important

If you have a shop, then list some of your products so that they will appear against your Google My Business profile. If you set up tracking correctly then you will then be able to see these sales as referrals in Google Analytics

Hints and Tips

Some hints and tips that I’ve found to help you with your profile: –

– It is not good practice to set your opening hours as 24 hours – unless you are actually open 24 hours!

– In the images add your logo! This will appear in the top left of your GMB profile

– If you offer Services, list these so people can see what you do

– If you have a Shop then add some products. These can link through to your shop

Have You Got A Marketing Plan?

“A marketing plan is a comprehensive document that outlines a company’s overall marketing effort. It is a blueprint that outlines how a company will implement its marketing strategy, and use a combination of resources to achieve business objectives including sales targets or customer acquisition.” – www.syndicateroom.com

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.

To make it easier to understand and follow, we have created a One Page Marketing, that you can download for FREE here:

Mind your Mindset

Mindset is a word we are hearing thrown around a lot at the moment, but what does it actually mean?

When I ask my clients what they think Mindset is, I would say 9 times out of 10 the response is ‘positive thinking’.  Yes, positive thinking is great, but getting your mindset right is so much more.

So what is Mindset?

Mindset is essentially our attitude and the way we think.  Our mindsets determine how we experience our world and how we experience events. Carol Dweck (I love that name by the way – can’t stop saying it once I start) has been the real pioneer in this area and has defined Mindset into two categories – Growth and Fixed.

Fixed Mindset

Definition – “In a Fixed Mindset, people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. They spend their time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing them.”

Signs you are sitting in the fixed mindset seat –

  • You worry about not being seen as intelligent or are afraid of saying the “wrong” thing.
  • Challenges or difficult situations are something you avoid because you hate the possibility of failure.
  • Constructive criticism or negative feedback is something you avoid at all costs!
  • You like to play it safe.

Growth Mindset

Definition- “In a Growth Mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment.”

Signs you are sitting in the growth mindset seat

  • You’re eager to ask questions and learning from others even when that means admitting not knowing something.
  • When faced with an obstacle, you persist and may even find that it motivates you more.
  • You consider criticism to be a learning opportunity and understand how it can be constructive.
  • You embrace change.

Do I have a Fixed or Growth Mindset?

Now here is where it is time to get really honest.  I have met a lot of clients who would consider themselves to have a Growth Mindset.  Yet when we dig a little bit deeper, it becomes evident that they are realise that they are perhaps quite fixed in a lot of their attitudes.  It is also important to point out that it is not uncommon to have more of a fixed mindset in one area of your live and perhaps a more dominant growth mindset in another.

You may be reading this and perhaps struggling to admit, that you spend a large chunk of your life in the fixed chair.  This may come as a surprise to you as you may have always identified yourself as a “positive person”

There is of course no right or wrong.  If sitting in the fixed chair serves you well and brings you happiness – why would you move?

But here is the thing.  Shifting your backside into the growth chair opens up opportunities to you that you may never have even considered.  Not only that, you start to let yourself (and others) off the hook meaning that life becomes a little more enjoyable.

How do get (or super charge) a Growth Mindset?

  1. You have taken the first step already!  How easy was that!  Just understanding the difference between Fixed and Growth Mindset has opened up doors in your mind that were perhaps closed just 10 minutes ago.
  2. Believe – Having the belief that you can change the way you think is half of the battle.  I’m not saying it is necessarily quick or easy to do, but if you have the belief that you can see obstacles in life as challenges that you can overcome positively, your outcomes will change!  Adopting the belief releases the resistance and the momentum towards the Growth Mindset can really get going. 
  3. Tune in – What are you saying to yourself when life gets tough?  Yes – we all talk to ourselves and you are not the only one with a voice (sometimes several) in your head!  Are the things you are saying to yourself allowing you to see positive possibility or is it dragging you down to the depths of the worst-case scenario. Interrupting that negative voice as soon as it pipes up is the first step.  Literally shout “STOP” in your own mind and redirect your focus.  If making your new focus positive is a step too far, just make it a neutral one.
  4. There is no failure only feedback – Really get behind this! This one of the major presuppositions of NLP and I spend a lot of time discussing this with clients.  To ‘fail’ implies a blunt end to something. It also implies that we have no control – that we are powerless to the outcome.  I call BS on the word failure!  Things may not go as we had planned or hoped but how lucky are we to have the added information on what doesn’t work to use as added intelligence when we stand back up and go again!  Yes, that may be hard to swallow in the precise moment of that perceived failure, but you are the one who gets to choose what you do with a situation. Which leads me nicely to the next point…
  5. Responsibility – Take back control.  Recognise that how you respond to any given situation is a choice. Ok, so I know there will be scenarios where we can’t help but feeling angry, hurt or even devastated, but we do have a choice as to how long we sit in those emotions.  Understanding this and regaining that control has a huge impact on how you move forward and on a far greater scale, how you experience life.

There has perhaps been no bigger or more unexpected obstacle in our lives recently than the global pandemic of Coronavius.  It hit us out of left field and challenged us both personally and professionally. Whether you are aware of it or not, your Mindset has taken the spotlight!

If you want to take back control, determine your mindset and learn how to live your life to its full potential, book a free consultation with me to find out how we can work together.

Facebook Pixels: Are you targeting the right people?

First, what are Facebook Pixels?

“The Facebook pixel is code that you place on your website. It collects data that helps you track conversions from Facebook ads, optimize ads, build targeted audiences for future ads, and remarket to people who have already taken some kind of action on your website.” – Hootsuite.com

If you are wondering why you should use Facebook Pixels, our Marketing Manage, Tamzin, has created a video that explains all the reasons making sure it.

If you want to talk to us about getting Facebook Pixels on your website, please email Tamzin using the button below:

Understanding your Ideal Customer

Understanding your target audience is vital to making sure your marketing efforts are beneficial to your business, if you don’t understand who they are, you could be targetting the right people with the wrong message or vice versa.

We have created a Customer Persona template that you can use for your business to find out your ideal customers Demographics, Characteristics, Pain Points, Frustrations etc.

This template will give you a clear idea on what platform to use, what content you should be posting, and how to write your customer communications.

Google Analytics Definitions

Google Analytics is a massivly important tool for understanding your customer journey and what your customers actually want from your business.

However, it can be very confusing to understand what everything means, so we have put together some basic google analytics definitions to help you understand what data you are looking at.

AUDIENCE

Users: “Unique visitors”, or a person who has come to your website.

Sessions: “Visits”, or different times that person came to your site.

New vs Returning:

New visitors: Those who go to your site for the first time on a specific device.

Retuning Visitors: Those who have come back to the website more than once on the same device.

Frequency vs Recency:

Count of Session: How many sessions returning visitors made

Days since last session: Days between last session closed and new session opened

Average Page Per Visits: Number of pages (on average) people look at on each visit to the website (if this is low, add more call to action buttons on the pages people are most likely to visit)

Bounce Rate:Meaning a visitor enters your website and immediately exits (if this is high, check the design, the rendering on mobile, and how slow your site loads)

  • If it is low or 0% it may mean that analytics is not installed on the website correctly
  • 26% – 40% is Excellent
  • 41%-55% is Average
  • 56%-70% is Higher than Average (higher or expected if the website is a 1 page website)

Devices (Desktop, Mobile, Tablet):

  • If your visits from mobile are high, make sure the site is optimised correctly for mobile, same with desktop/tablet.

ACQUISITION

Social: Visitors who come to your website from a social network

Direct: Visitors who come to your website without a traceable referral source, such as typing your URL into their address bar or using a bookmark on their browser

Organic Search: Visitors who come to your website after searching Google.com and other search engines

Referral: Visitors who come to your website from another website by clicking on a link

Other: If you use URL parameters for custom campaign tracking (Campaign URL Builder), the traffic linked to those campaigns is listed here

Paid: Visitors who come to your website from an AdWords or other paid search ad

BEHAVIOUR

Behaviour Flow: Shows the journey of the customer from the point of entry to the point of exit

Site Content: Shows pages that have been most visited in the time period selected (Home page will most likely be the most visited page)

The Importance of Facebook Groups

There are 2.6 billion monthly active users on Facebook, and every brand is trying to cut through the noise to find their perfect clients. So, you need to find a way to interact with your target audience and a great way of doing this is using Facebook Groups.

Our video below from Ellie, talks you through all the reasons that using Facebook Groups are so important:

If you are in the St Albans or surrounding area, we have linked some of our favourite Facebook Business Groups.

If you want to discuss Facebook Groups, drop us a message using the button below:

Creating The Brand You Need

Your brand is what people recognise about your business, it’s your logo, colours, fonts, and the way you present your business.

Brand can be a hard of your business to get right, but it is essential to growing your business and reaching your audience.

So, we have put together some of our tips on creating the brand you need!

1. Vision, Mission, Values

Your vision, mission and values are the core elements of what your business is going to do, what your business stands for and where you want to the business to go.

Vision – Think of the big picture of your business. Imagine it is 5 years from now and your business is successful. What does that look like?

Mission – What do you do in your business? Who do you do it for? How do you do it? How does it help them? Now write your mission statement in one sentence!

Values – What does your business stand for? It’s time to dig deep. Ultimately, you want your branding/business to attract people with the same beliefs and values.

2. Define your brand

Defining your brand means understanding what you want the voice and tone of your business to be. Understanding what is at the heart of your brand’s style, content, and personality will help a lot in the process of creating your mood board, choosing your colours, fonts, and more.

One way to do this is use keywords, so sit back and think of ten words that come to mind when you think of your business.

3. Audience

You want your audience to feel like they belong with you and your business. In order to achieve that, you need to know exactly who they are, and everything about them.

A great way to do this is to use a Customer Persona template, to help you understand your ideal customers demographics, characteristics, interests, frustrations, and tone.

4. Mood Board

A mood board is a great way to visualise what you want your brand to look and feel like. Creating your mood board is a fundamental part of the process of creating a brand that attracts the right people to your business.

An easy way to do this is by creating a secret board on Pinterest and pinning different colours, textures, photos, logos etc (aim to get between 10 and 20 images)

5. Brand Visuals

Now you can take a deeper dive into the visuals of your brand by choosing up to 5 brand colours, made up of neutral colours, dominant colours, and one accent colour.

Then choose a font combination, make sure you chose fonts that reflect the personality of your brand.

Next, you can decide if you want any patterns, textures, illustrations or icons in you brand visuals.

Lastly, you can create your logo, aim to keep it simple and in harmony with your branding. You can use pinterest or google to have a look at logos ideas, having this clear in your mind really helps with the logo design whether you outsource or create your own logo using Canva, Photoshop etc.

Having an easily recognisable brand will make potential customers trust you more, and give a good impression of your product/service before they have brought it. If you are still struggling with this contact us and we can send you our branding workbook to enable you to really drill down and focus on exactly what your brand and business is all about.

Are you using the correct social media platforms for your target audience?

Social Media, can be a total minefield. With new platforms popping up and updates and changes to current platforms happening all the time, we can understand why people shy away from them. The common theme we find with our clients that are active on social is they use the platform they like the most, and that’s great if your client is using that platform but what if they are not? You could spend a year on Facebook promoting your business and trying to get your name out there but in actual fact, your ideal client spends the majority of their time on LinkedIn or Instagram.  

We often get ‘LinkedIn scares me’ or ‘I don’t get Instagram’ but in all honesty, if you don’t know where your dream clients are and don’t get to grips with the right platform you are indeed just wasting valuable time and energy. Which in turn will not give you the results or sales you desire. We want you to really think about where your clients are if you are B2B what are you doing on LinkedIn right now? If you are targeting the under 30’s it’s all about Instagram, YouTube, and dare we say it TikTok! 

However, it is also about considering that just because your business may be B2B it doesn’t automatically mean your client is going to be on LinkedIn, so it’s really important to understand where your clients hang out to determine which platforms you should be on! It’s also really important to work out how they communicate. For example, a lot of places like hairdressers will arrange appointments via Facebook Messenger, but we highly doubt a recruitment agency will set up an interview through Facebook Messenger. So it is about approaching your customers where they are comfortable and where you will get the most engagement from them.

We are urging you all at the minute to really think about your ideal client, what are they doing? What do they like and dislike? Where are they hanging out? And how can you create content that will resonate with them?  It will save you time in the long run and really help you to create engagement which will, in turn, increase your sales leads.  Please please don’t shy away from other platforms, and if you are struggling contact us today. We will happily guide you in the right direction, or even do it for you.

Register for our FREE webinar all about content creation here: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZcsde6grz0sHNT9NSpXabunfWjfFgcSfuwD

 

Adding Subtitles to Videos using Kapwing

Subtitles are a massively important part of using videos on your social media. Videos without subtitles are only watched 66% to completion, compared to videos with subtitles included, 80% more people watched to completion.

It isn’t always easy to add subtitles to videos, but we use a handy website called Kapwing and we wanted to show you how you can use it to add subtitles to your videos.

Steps:

  1. Head to www.kapwing.com and create an account
  2. Click into my workspace on the left-hand side, and choose new project
  3. Next click Start with Studio
  4. Then upload your video
  5. Next click subtitles just above the video
  6. Scroll down to autogenerate and change the language to English (Great Britain)

*Kapwing is great but you will definitely need to go through and check that it has picked everything up*

  • Now, click into the sentence that you want to change
  • Then click Done
  • On the top right hand-side click Publish
  • Once processed you will be able to save the video.

Top Tips for staying positive in the Corona crisis

With the majority of the world in a current state of fear and panic, Tia loves to help the Amber Mountain team with her mindset and suggests the only way we can fight this is to be positive! Don’t worry, we completely understand it’s not that simple, which is why Tia is going to share our office’s top tips of how to maintain a positive and motivated mindset! Tia is by far our biggest positivity motivator in the office so take a look at her amazing blog on keeping you going in these uncertain times.

Before you start taking on any of these tips, it’s important to remember that you need to accept the situation you’re in. It may feel a bit overwhelming but as soon as you understand what you can and can’t do to change your circumstances, the sooner you will be able to feel positive!

Tip 1 – Make weekly goals

Every week, without fail, we make weekly goals in the office. These goals are in place to ensure we have a productive week, being productive will bring up your spirits and make you feel more positive. We choose to make a business goal and a personal goal so that we feel we’re progressing in all areas of our life! Amber Mountain’s top tip is to make these goals specific, as you’re much more likely to achieve a goal if it’s specific. For example, do you want to catch up with previous clients? Write down how you will catch up with them – via email or phone call – and how many clients you will catch up with. Then at the end of the week, see if you’ve achieved your weekly goals… if you have, then a G&T is in order and if you haven’t that’s okay, look at why you didn’t achieve it and carry it on to next week.

If you’re going to try out weekly goals, find someone to do it with you because having someone else to hold you accountable to undoubtably going to make you work harder!

Tip 2 – Make daily wins

A win is something that you’ve done well or has made you happy – whether that’s writing an amazing blog or enjoying 5 minutes peace in the sun! We write down a win every day so that when we feel we’ve had a bad day we can look back and say actually I’ve done this today! Daily wins are just a small way of keeping you positive every day and then when you look at them all written down after a week or a month you realise that you’re achieving great things, which is great for a positive mindset!

Don’t limit yourself at daily wins though! Emma likes to do a win per hour advised by her business coach Jeremy Graham-Clare to keep her motivated, especially whilst working from home and teaching the kids at the minute!

Tip 3 – Plan out your day

Planning out your day in the morning is proven to save you from time wasting throughout the day. Therefore, take 15 minutes every morning to write out your to-do list and include timings. This gives you something to hold you accountable. For example, if you were meant to finish task one by 10am and it’s now 10:15am your list will give you the push you need to get it finished and move onto the next task. The feeling of seeing all your tasks ticket off is a brilliant way to switch off at the end of the day and carry your positivity through to the evening!

Our top tip is to make sure you include enough time for regular short breaks away from the desk too!

Tip 4 – Express what you’re grateful for

This task isn’t necessarily one to do daily or weekly but, whenever you’re feeling a little negative write down everything that you’re grateful for. From certain experiences to work achievements to family time, make sure you include every little thing on this list. Once you’ve written the list you will start to appreciate these things a little more which is an amazing positivity boost.

Tip 5 – Utilise your social life and support networks

Doing any of the tips above with someone else will naturally increase your positivity, whether it’s with friends, family or colleagues. As we said, we create weekly goals, discuss daily wins and plan our days together, as an office via zoom. We find this great as it means everyone is aware when someone is feeling particularly worried or stressed and they will then help out wherever possible. Socialising with others and speaking to them for support is a fantastic way of increasing positivity as it means you’re not suffering alone. So, do make sure that you bring other people along this journey to a more positive mindset with you!

Tip 6 – Exercise regularly, eat healthy and get plenty of sleep

This tip is the basic tip that you’ll find everywhere however, we wanted to include it because they are so important! A lot of our office’s personal goals consist of exercising 3-5 times a week, getting a full 8 hours sleep or drinking 2 litres of water a day because sometimes you need that nudge to look after yourself properly. Your goals don’t have to be the same straight away… you may start with aiming to go on a walk twice a week and at least getting 6 hours sleep a day, whatever works for you and your lifestyle! Without these basic rules of self-care there’s no way you’ll feel motivated to maintain a positive mindset.

We can assure you that feeding these tips into your daily or weekly routine is going to improve your productivity and your overall positivity. However, in these quite frankly mad times, we are all going to have our bad days and that’s okay!  Just don’t beat yourself up about it!  We are all human.   Try to get a good night’s sleep, ready to wake up the next day and put your positivity pants firmly back on. WE GOT THIS!!!  

Please tag us on a post on social media or let us know whenever you try any of these tips as we’d love to help you stay positive!

5 Marketing Tips to help your business in the current climate!

1. Communicate with your clients – Keep talking

Let them know you are still working and communicate any changes that are taking place in your business.  Definitely keep a positive spin on what you are doing, you need to keep upbeat for your customers.  Communication is vital when times get tough!

2. Keep posting on social media – let the world know you’re here

Be consistent and remain positive. Offer advice in your expertise – if you are an accountant what can small businesses do financially, if you work with children post and share ideas of what can parents do to keep sane?  If you can’t think of ideas for content contact us and let us help you – we can always find a positive.

3. Change your business model – Don’t fight it, feel it

If your business involves face to face contact change it up a bit.  Our lovely client Jess at Showtime Circus provides circus skills to kids so she is going online with Hometime Circus.  This could in fact make her business even bigger with more opportunity for kids not in the local area to join in.  Naomi Czuba Dance will also be doing this – we need motivational people like Naomi & Jess in our lives right now!

Think outside the box!  This is the perfect time to do your up garden.  Landscape gardeners, tree surgeons and rubbish removal companies do not even have to enter the home or make physical contact.  You can stay safe in your house whilst they work their magic.  

4. Offer free tools – share the love

Give out anything you can to help people.  We are offering free advice, our business coach Jeremy at Action Coach is offering free advice and a webinar tomorrow to help everyone. Our IT client Neil at NetSec is offering his conference call service for free, Charlotte our Invoke Finance client is offering mortgage advice calls and our Crisp Accountancy client Luke is doing a series of videos to help businesses. He’s also bucking the trend in the accountancy sector by having zoom calls with all his clients 1-2-1.  What can you offer to help everyone you can right now? If your business is events and networking we can do this online!  Thank goodness we have technology!

5. Use the groups!  There’s nothing wrong with shouting ‘look at me’

We are lucky enough to have so many good social groups on Facebook and business connections on LinkedIn.   We can all post and share our content on most of these so find them and use them.  If you don’t know what we mean contact us and we can tell you more and help you find them. 

Finally add some humour where you can – share some positivity and happiness, we have to keep that going.  

If you are really struggling to smile check out my sister Kay DJ Kayrona on Spotify she is setting up a daily positive playlist.   We have got this guys and if you are struggling just call us!!!!  We want to help!!!

Automation vs Personalisation: Have you got the balance?

With technology becoming more and more powerful the use of AI (Artificial Intelligence), is becoming a popular choice with a lot of businesses.  There is however a fine line between keeping it personal and badgering clients with constant automated emails that they can clearly see are automated too! Only leaving them to do one thing and that’s click on the Opt out button!   As much as we live in a digital world the old saying is still very much true ‘people buy from people’ and I personally hate the way the world is going with automation.

When to use automation

Automation will never replace the personal connections you should have with your clients, however, that doesn’t mean it can’t make it easier for you.

One example of this is, Birthdays. That’s right, something as simple as wishing your client/customer a Happy Birthday can be automated yet still personal. If you know when your client/customers birthday is, why not add it to your database, then automate an email to go out to them wishing them a happy birthday and maybe offering them a birthday discount, it really is that simple!!

Split your database to make it more personal

If you are automating 10 different emails to go to potential customers, that are generic, and not personalised to offer a solution to that specific business, do you think your message will stand out? Probably not.

Knowing how to segment your audience can be really tough, boring and very confusing. However, automation can do all of that for you, and not just based on age, gender and location but interests, income, buying habits, social media activity etc.

So rather than trying to sell a training package to all business owners, you can segment your audience and automate your message to go out to Business Owners who aren’t using social media, or who are using it intermittently, which is a lot more personal than a generic blanket email.

Newsletter tools such as Mailchimp are great platforms to use to segment your audience, with the option to have different audiences and tags. Plus, you can even use different segments based on birthdays, address, activity etc.

Personalisation over automisation any day.

Automation can make your processes easier, more effective and increase efficiency however it’s something you really need to think about and make as personal as possible.  We need to be human, people want a warm fuzzy feeling inside when they hear from you, and it’s not something you can do lightly and it takes huge amounts of time to perfect.  We are yet to find a series of emails that we don’t feel have been automated but please do prove us wrong and send us your automated ‘personalised’ emails. As marketers we all want that day to come!

Amber Mountain turns 2!

We can’t quite believe it’s been 2 years; it feels like only yesterday Emma had an idea and now look where we are!!!

In what feels like a whirlwind Amber Mountain not only exists but has already smashed its goal, of helping small businesses to grow and we couldn’t be prouder!

After starting the business with mentoring business owners, it soon became very apparent that some people didn’t want to do their own marketing or in fact enjoy it!  Emma then joint forces with the amazingly talented and quite frankly awesome marketer Tamzin, and phase two of the business was born.  The apprenticeship marketing package!   This allows small businesses to work with apprentices working at Amber Mountain Marketing that implement their marketing for them at a more cost-effective price.   It also gives us the opportunity to train young adults and give them an alternative to Uni after leaving school.  We have been blown away by the interest in this package and are so pleased to be able to offer small businesses a marketing service that they can afford, and so far, it delivered some amazing results!

Emma and Tamzin have worked their socks off to build the business and a team that are fun, eager to learn, and ambassadors for the clients they look after!  Our first apprentice was our amazing Tia who quite frankly blows our minds with her innovative content ideas.  She is also extremely funny (but don’t tell her we said that) and always keeps the positivity up in the office with her weekly goals setting activity.  Next into the office was Ellie, we can’t say she came in quietly but that’s why we love her!  The girl doesn’t stop and can quite often be found posting on Facebook groups for us and her clients, from her bed late at night!   No one ever goes hungry in the office anymore either.  She is a walking vending machine!  Another one that continues to make us giggle!   Next in was Adam, finally a boy!   Adams results in just 3 months have astounded us.  The financial returns his clients are seeing in such a small amount of time is just immense!  Adam sits with his head in his laptop and earphones on most of the day, working as hard as he can for his clients (and probably because he is in an office full of girls), but when he does make an appearance his one liners have us in stitches, and it’s very clear this gent has a heart of gold!

Next in was Sarah!  Emma’s knight in shining armour!   She got invoices paid, she got Emma’s work life in order, she continues to come up with genius ideas and she loves Gin!  A match made in heaven!  In such a short space of time she has become a massive part of our team and is definitely the work mum!  We love you Sarah.

Finally, but by no means least we celebrate our 2nd birthday with Ollie joining us.  Both Emma and Tamzin have worked with Ollie in past and it’s safe to say this one joining has really made our 2-year birthday celebrations!   He already knows his stuff, is incredibly techy (which helps Tamzin out massively) but is also innovative with ideas and a great communicator!  His sarcasm in on par with Tamzin’s so it could mean trouble, but in a very good way! 

Not forgetting our apprentices that have left us to follow their dreams especially our lovely Maddie who we will continue to support in her cheerleading business! Plus, the unsung heroes including Tamzin’s Mum AKA Coach & Therapist, Emma’s Dad AKA the DIY/removals man, Emma’s mum AKA Emergency childcare, and Emma’s amazing Husband Jamie AKA IT support and our biggest cheerleader (watch out Maddie).   We love you all!!!!!

What an amazing work family we have!    We really couldn’t be prouder!!!!   Sometimes you need to stop for a minute and look at your achievements!  This to Emma and Tamzin is just huge!  Roll on 2020, we are coming for you big time!!!

Gin celebrations will be commencing this month!  Watch out for the incredibly messy photos coming soon! 

Top 5 Free Tools for Small Businesses

What free tools do you use to help your business?

Starting out as a small business is tough, there are a lot of different things you want to do, but majority of the time they come with a cost.

So, we have put together a list of our clients’ Top 5 Favourite Free Tools that they use to help their business.

1. MileIQ

At Hour Hands we help busy people by taking care of their to-do list so often we’re out and about in the car – running errands, delivering items or attending client meetings. Keeping accurate mileage records is vital for billing clients and our bookkeeping, so we’re big fans of MileIQ. It’s a handy app that creates an automatic, accurate record of miles driven, so we have all the information we need at the touch of a button.

Obviously, we all drive for personal reasons as well, so the app cleverly allows us to designate which journeys are business and which are personal by swiping left or right. We can even personalise it by specifying our work hours, location, etc and it will automatically classify drives based on our schedules! Parking and tolls can also be logged. We use it on all types of devices and can download detailed reports from the desktop dashboard, although there’s a weekly report that provides much of the information we need.

Basically, it’s a really clever and simple idea that’s easy to use and saves us time and money – we highly recommend it!

Suggested By: HourHands – Virtual Assistant Services.

2. Google PageSpeed Insights

Google PageSpeed Insights is one of the best tools out there if you have a website.

Not only is it FREE but it gives you a great insight into how your website is performing and useful tips on how to make improvements.

It lets you know how your website is performing on both mobile and a laptop and is useful for both Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) – Google has made speed a ranking factor, and also for user experience, after all as users we don’t like to be kept waiting!

The insights can help you to identify what is slowing your website down and will list the main culprits. This will include all images that have not been resized and minified correctly.

There are also detailed explanations on how to improve your speed. These can be quite technical so it may mean contacting your website host or web developer. It also gives recommendations on WordPress plugins that can help you to improve your website speed.

The key thing is nobody likes a slow website so the more improvements you can make, to make sure the user can see your content, the more likely these visitors will turn into customers!

Suggested By: Gold Nugget Designs – WordPress Website Design

3. Kapwing 

My favourite free tool right now is the subtitling function of an online video editor called Kapwing. Kapwing is an awesome platform that has some great editing capabilities, however, I only really use it for the subtitles, as I already have an editing system. 

Once you get the hang of it, it’s super easy to use. You simply upload your video and then choose the Auto Caption feature. It then takes a minute or so (depending on the length of your video) to put captions to it. As with any auto-captioning system, it absolutely WILL make mistakes, so you must ALWAYS go through and check the subtitles. The clearer the audio, the fewer mistakes it makes.

Facebook and YouTube also have auto captioning features, but the difference with Kapwing, is that the subtitles will be imprinted onto your video, so you just need to do it once, and they will be seen everywhere that you post it, including your website!

Subtitles are so important on videos these days, as statistics say that up to 85% of them are watched on mute. So, if you want to make the most of your filming, they are essential!

Suggested By: Nutty Amber Videos – Corporate Video Production

4. Trello 

At Uskuri Theobald Architects there are 3 of us who run the company, Leoni, Oguz, and Ryan. As business owners, we have to wear all the different hats and we are often pulled in different directions; which can become so overwhelming.

We decided to start using Trello which has helped organise all our tasks. Trello is essentially an online platform that you can create interactive lists. It’s a really quick and simple way to assign tasks and keep track of everything between the team.

We keep track of everything on there from potential job enquires, office admin tasks down to more detailed lists of each project which keeps track of project progress. We can all view each of the lists, comment on items within the lists, assign tasks to certain team members, attach documents if needed, we can make checklists within the lists and set deadlines on the lists if required.

That’s the beauty of Trello, you can use it in a really simplistic way for straight forward tasks, or you can really delve down the Trello rabbit hole and use it as a complex and full office management tool.

Suggested By: Uskuri Theobald Architects – Architectural Services

5. Buffer

We hear so many people say ‘I know I need to do it but I don’t have the time’… So our favourite tool that we use every day and recommend to our clients too is simple, easy to use and will help you cut down on wasting time!

Buffer is a free social media scheduling tool that means you can Plan, collaborate, and publish content. Buffer has been in the scheduling space for a while and a respectable platform that allow you to manage your social media content easily.

Buffer’s free plan includes the ability to manage three social profiles, schedule up to ten posts, utilise their browser extensions and mobile apps (iOS and android) feature, create and schedule content using their image creator and GIF/video uploader, and shorten and track links.

Social media is a great way to build your brand and grow your business, but posting every now and then isn’t going to get the awareness of your brand that you want, so posting must be consistent!

Put aside an hour or two a week where you can focus solely on your social media and scheduling your posts.

Suggested by: Amber Mountain Marketing – Marketing Agency

As these tools all have a free plan, it means you can trial and test what works best for you and your business.

Let us know what Free tool you love the most!

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year”…to continue your marketing!

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 2020  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 at the forefront of their minds at the time they are thinking about it. 

Here are some ideas on how you can make this happen: 

  • Write a blog
  • Schedule posts on social media to target your audience
  • Schedule a newsletter
  • Create a competition
  • Share interesting articles

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 2020 hitting the ground running.

Don’t Get Left Behind On LinkedIn

Over the years we have seen the launch of many new Social Media platforms and we have watched them all rapidly increase and then slowly plateau in popularity. LinkedIn is one of the oldest of these social media platforms, but its more relevant now than ever. With over 500 million people on its platform, it is the perfect place for you to build a network and your business. Here are our top reasons as to why you should be active on LinkedIn:

Business Development

If you are not on LinkedIn or your LinkedIn profile is not up to date you could be missing out on your dream client! It also allows you to be approached from clients that you may of never knew existed. Making connections and posting content regularly will help to widen your audience and create more awareness.

Keeps you up to date with Industry News

Like other social networks, LinkedIn provides a timeline when you log in. There, you’ll find news updates from your connections, groups and companies you follow, and Industry updates. It’s a great way to keep you up to date with industry trends and reports.

You can build your brand

Just like businesses build their brand it’s so important for you to build your brand too. Firstly, make sure you have a professional personable headshot. Unfortunately, people will make all kinds of judgements about you within the first few seconds of seeing your picture and you won’t get a second chance to make a good first impression, so make sure that one shot counts! Ensure your experience is up to date and raise your profile and credibility, by asking people to endorse your skills and write recommendations for you. Connect with new people relevant in your industry. Share news stories relevant to your industry and give your opinions on the content. All the above helps you to become a thought leader in your industry and builds your brand.

It can help with google rankings

If you have met someone at a networking or industry event or if someone has heard about you and simply wants to get in touch – having a Profile on LinkedIn will help you to be found. Most people will put your name into a google search – and dependent on the commonality of your name – you could be quite difficult to find. However, if you have a LinkedIn Profile, this will show up on the first page of a Google search. So, make sure your profile is good enough to make them want to contact you again!

Gives you the opportunity to research companies and its employees

Many companies maintain their LinkedIn pages where they’ll update information about the company, share company news and insight, and showcase current employees. If the company knows what it’s doing, they will be able to showcase who they are, and the type of environment and culture they have. This allows you to work out which companies you might like to work with in the future. For those you like, you can start liking and sharing their content – let them know about you before you even approach them.

Helps you to build a great Network

Most people think they need to be on LinkedIn if they are just looking for a new job but that isn’t the case. Building a network is hugely important when building your business. Your network will help you to develop and improve your skill set, keep up to date with the latest trends in your industry, meet prospective mentors, partners and clients, and gain access to the necessary resources that will nurture your career development.

So, it’s not just about having a LinkedIn profile it’s about utilising it to the maximum to build both your brand and your business.

Over the years we have seen the launch of many new Social Media platforms and we have watched them all rapidly increase and then slowly plateau in popularity. LinkedIn is one of the oldest of these social media platforms, but its more relevant now than ever. With over 500 million people on its platform, it is the perfect place for you to build a network and your business.  Here are our top reasons as to why you should be active on LinkedIn:

Business Development

If you are not on LinkedIn or your LinkedIn profile is not up to date you could be missing out on your dream client!  It also gives you the opportunity to be approached from clients that you may of never knew existed. Making connections and posting content regularly will help to widen your audience and create more awareness.

Keeps you up to date with Industry News

Like other social networks, LinkedIn provides a timeline when you log in. There, you’ll find news updates from your connections, groups and companies you follow, and Industry updates. It’s a great way to keep you up to date with industry trends and reports.

You can build your brand

Just like businesses build their brand it’s so important for you to build your brand too.  Firstly, make sure you have a professional personable headshot. Unfortunately, people will make all kinds of judgements about you within the first few seconds of seeing your picture and you won’t get a second chance to make a good first impression, so make sure that one shot counts!  Ensure your experience is up to date and raise your profile and credibility, by asking people to endorse your skills and write recommendations for you.  Connect with new people relevant in your industry.   Share news stories relevant to your industry and give your opinions on the content.  All the above helps you to become a thought leader in your industry and builds your brand.

It can help with google rankings

If you have met someone at a networking or industry event or if someone has heard about you and simply wants to get in touch – having a Profile on LinkedIn will help you to be found. Most people will put your name into a google search – and dependent on the commonality of your name – you could be quite difficult to find.  However, if you have a LinkedIn Profile, this will show up on the first page of a Google search.  So, make sure your profile is good enough to make them want to contact you again!

Gives you the opportunity to research companies and its employees

Many companies maintain their own LinkedIn pages where they’ll update information about the company, share company news and insight, and showcase current employees. If the company knows what it’s doing, they will be able to showcase who they are, and the type of environment and culture they have. This allows you to work out which companies you might like to work with in the future.  For those you really like, you can start liking and sharing their content – let them know about you before you even approach them.

Helps you to build a great Network

Most people think they need to be on LinkedIn if they are just looking for a new job but that isn’t the case.  Building a network is hugely important when building your business.   Your network will help you to develop and improve your skill set, keep up to date with the latest trends in your industry, meet prospective mentors, partners and clients, and gain access to the necessary resources that will nurture your career development.

So, it’s not just about having a LinkedIn profile it’s about utilising it to the maximum to build both your brand and your business.

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!

 

The social media minefield

Social Media. Its hands down the best thing that’s happened to small/medium companies and so many people have become rich from using these tools, but trying to get started can be a total minefield! It can be so easy to get lost in how many different platforms there are to use, and you can quickly feel like its pointless because you are not getting the results you need.

If your not already on social media do not put it off any longer.  These days people lives are on their phones, and they spend majority of their free time looking at social media.  This is great news for your business.  It becomes easier for you to find your customers and connect with them. If your not interacting with your customers your competitors will be so get involved before they take a slice of your pie!

To make social media work for your business you need to think strategically. Firstly look at your business goals and make sure you are clear on what they are.  Select 3-4 primary business goals and think about social media campaigns that will help you to reach them.  Its so important to do this otherwise you can spend a lot of wasted time on social media with no results to show for it!

Pick your platform wisely

Your business goals should help you to pick the best platform to be on, but make sure its actually the same platform your customers are on!  There is no point spending lots of time on as many platforms as you can, but not actually interacting with anyone.  Be selective, pick 1-2 platforms to start with and really focus on serving your customers needs, make sure you know them inside out.  What age are they, what do they do a living, what are their interests and why would they want to buy your product or service?  You need to be proactive and consistent on your chosen social media platforms to gain trust from your customers.

If you take your time to really focus on your goals and what it is your customers want great Social Media marketing WILL bring remarkable success to your business, creating devoted brand advocates. If you stay in front of your customer base, they will buy from you.  So fight your reservations, focus on your goals and go build on  your customer base.

 

 

Great first networking event for Utility People

After many months of gaining momentum to build a Women’s Network for recruiter Utility People the launch finally happened on 25th January and was a huge success.  I have to say its amazing being part of something that brings so many rewards to women in this industry.

This company is so much more than recruitment and finally its passion for people is really being recognised in the industry.  Due to lack of diversity and many women struggling to start or build a career in Utilities, we decided that instead of just talking about the issue, something needed to be done. The network has been set up to help women build a career in the sector and we have designed future events, mentoring schemes and offer practical support to meet their needs.

I am currently working hard to build motion on the website we have created for them and lots of blogs are being written from all walks of life the industry. The support has been overwhelming and I’m excited to organise the next event in April.

 

New Year, What’s your dream?

Is your new year’s resolution is to push your business to that next level, here are some top tips to help you break it down and make 2018 your year.

REFLECT ON 2017

Take some time out to reflect on the past year – what did you achieve? Were there any low points and what could you do differently in the future?  How has your past year’s experiences helped you to develop as a company?

WHO ARE YOUR BUSINESS IDOLS?

Who in the business world motivates you because they are just so damn good at their job?  How have they earned your admiration and what can you learn from them? Check out all their social media, and really analyse how they achieved their success and how they interact with their customers, What are they doing differently to you and could you adopt any of their methods.   It’s a great way to help build your business without any cost attached.

SWOT YOUR BUSINESS REGULARY

Really analysing your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats can help you to understand what the next steps should be for your company. Are you maximising your strengths and how are you going make the best of your opportunities?  If you have weaknesses or potential threats, identify how you could turn them into strengths and opportunities.

UPDATE YOUR BUSINESS PLAN

This may sound a bit obvious, of course you have a business plan, right?  When did you write it? I quite often go into businesses and ask for this and get a blank look or they dust of one off from an old cupboard that they wrote in 2001.  Time flies, make sure you update it at least annually and set yourself goals for your plan to succeed.

COMMUNICATION

As well as attending events that will help you get your name out there, ensure you are a Social Networking Guru. Are your platforms updated regularly with useful information for your customers? Do you have customers that can continuously endorse your skills on these platforms? Secondly join community and business groups related to your business and service.  Form opinions on important industry topics and comment on discussions, start your own discussions and get your name out there as someone who knows what they are talking about.

CONTINUOUS ASSESMENT

Every month check your business plan and ensure you are on target with the goals you have set yourself.  If you are behind, set yourself more manageable targets to achieve your goals don’t forget all about them otherwise you will be setting the same goals annually and moving nowhere fast.

VISUALISE THE END RESULT

The most important part of your journey is to continuously visualise yourself this time next year when your goals are achieved. How you will feel? What will it mean to you? Remember if you work at your goals you WILL elevate your business to the next level.

According to research, visualisation works because the neurons in the brain interpret imagery as the equivalent to a real-life action. When we visualise our future, the brain generates an impulse that tells our brain to actually perform this action.  So visualise away!

Good Luck on reaching your goals this year, and if you need some help you know where I am.

Welcome to my blog page.

Welcome to the first ever Amber Mountain Marketing blog! I have had a dream of running my own business now for a long long time now. Although I knew I had the skills to do it, there has always been something holding me back. Fortunately for me I had the most supportive director who at the time said ‘Emma what are you waiting for your going to be amazing’ and it was just the push I needed to start Amber Mountain.

Having spent the past 7 years telling business owners how to build their companies to be bigger and better, I never realised how much work goes into actually starting up a business before the marketing even starts! I salute each and every business owner for pushing themselves out of their comfort zone and not turning back. Just the paperwork alone made me want to crawl under a rock and decay quietly somewhere!

But as I always tell myself good things never came from comfort zones and we need to push ourselves daily to succeed. My blog is here to provide you with help and advice so that you think strategically when marketing your business. I know marketers have a reputation of doing the fuzzy stuff, creating pretty pictures and buying stress balls, but my blog is here to show its so much more than that.  Do it correctly you will build your company and make more money. So, sign up to my mailing list today to receive your free marketing support. Here’s to an amazing 2018!