Category: News

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!