Category: News

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!