Insight, advice, news and chit chat

linked-in-marketing

Before we start this I feel it’s important to define marketing.

I like to explain it using the 3 Ms fo Marketing – Message, Medium and Market.

  1. Message – the beliefs you want people to have about you and the business you are in
  2. Medium- the channels you will be using to get your message across (Social networks, email marketing, direct mail, blogging, content marketing)
  3. Market – who you want to get your message to – usually your prospects, strategic partners, stakeholders, clients and people who would give you referrals
whycontentmarketing

To define this quickly – Content Marketing is basically creating unique content (written and visual) that sits on your site, blog and online profile and then can be shared on social media and via email marketing.

What websites used to be for

A website’s purpose used to be to inform people who you are in your business, what your services are, why your business exists, and how to get in touch. A truly great site would communicate directly to your audience in a way that makes them feel you really understand them. And it would never be confusing or cluttered or out of date.

At TLD we have been ensuring our websites are easy to navigate, clear, relevant.

But now there is so much more. In the last few years, almost all our sites have been designed with a blog, which is seamlessly integrated into the site. This allows our clients to update their own stories, team news, case studies and advice posts.

clients-linkedin

I was asked recently to outline the answers to a very specific question. When it comes to clients or potential clients – what is it they want to see on your LinkedIn profile?

Of course this depends on the person they are. Some of them will want to see you have 500+ connections. Some check out how many recommendations you have.

And these are things you can build up over time.

But here are things you can work on right now, on your own profile, and this works for anyone.

fundraising-marketing-strategy

I recently had a meeting with a lovely independent film producer who had produced a fantastic film which he was looking to raise money for. The film was borne out of true passion and a whole lot of hard work – and it is at the stage where the film can be watched (I went to a preview of it – amazing movie) and needs financial boost to get the film finished and out there.

Film fundraising is a lot of effort and it feels like you are hitting a brick wall – when the creating of the project in itself was such a big task, people can feel they are running out of steam and their efforts are meaningless if they cant get together that final funding.

strategic-networking-events

So why are you going to that networking event?

Sometimes it’s because it’s in your calendar. You thought to yourself “I should do some networking” or even more likely, you saw an invitation to an event that looked good enough for you to spend your valuable time. Factors that may have affected your decision to choose this one:

  • You can write this off as an expense
  • A colleague of yours suggested you go along
  • You know people who are going and you want to catchup with them
  • There should be some good people there
  • It’s at a venue you wanted to go to or that looks good anyway
  • There are free drinks or food
  • You see there is a speaker there who you think you can learn from
  • Or, my favourite (and the main reason I go to networking events nowadays): You are the speaker at the event.

So, what can you do to prepare?

Take an hour. Go on, take an extra hour. Not to choose the best clothes (or do makeup and hair) but an extra hour. Where is this hour going to come from – I hear you cry! – I don’t know, wake up at 5am like Robin Sharma says!

Ok, I have fought for you to do this hour, not here’s how we are going to fill it.

Let’s prepare for this event, I promise you it will be worth it. Want to be even more time efficient? Do this for the next 3 networking events you are attending, I bet you can still use the same hour!

Your 6 point researching a networking event checklist:

  • See who the speaker is, and look them up on Twitter and LinkedIn
  • Check the event page online and see whether you can see anything about the other attendees. For example, events which have been put onto Eventbrite or Meetup actually show the people who are attending (with Eventbrite it’s just people you are friends with on Facebook who happen to say they are coming)
  • Check out the profiles of anything else interesting on LinkedIn
  • See if there is a LinkedIn group for the event and if it’s an open one, join it, if you like!
  • Tell your online network you are going! Yes, use Twitter and include the hashtag for the event, and the organiser’s Twitter handle – for example “I am really excited to be going to the #EpicNetworking event at the @LondonENC next Thursday. If you’re coming too, tweet me!”

Whew!

Now you are ready, and I promise this event will mean so much more to you. Because you have put the time in to preparing, you will have the right mindset, you will bring the right energy to the event, and you will do your follow up!

Follow up – even more important than preparation

I find that for every networking event I go to, even those which aren’t “the best use of my time” and which I attended for the wrong reason (my friend was going and asked me along) still meet people who are valuable to me. The people you end up having a meaningful conversation with.

If you can hold a conversation with someone for 20 minutes at an event, then you have SOMEthings in common. And, you’d be surprised, we are more alike than youd think. So, this new connection you have, or these few new connections you have – what do you do with them?

Time for the follow up checklist!

  • You can immediately connect with them on LinkedIn – and write a personalised connection message.
  • If you promised them at the event you would send them a link to a book/event/more information/an introduction to someone, then do this too – it will make you seem thoughtful and reliable (and people like those qualities)
  • If you use Twitter, as a quick follow up, send a group tweet to the people you met who you know also use Twitter
  • You can also add them to a Twitter list (eg – “People I met while networking” or similar)
  • Check out their LinkedIn profile and if they are on Twitter, their tweets (and follow them and say hi there)
  • Once you have done this – decide – are they someone you want to meet again in the next 3 months? 6 months? Decide, and either ask them for a coffee/lunch/drinks/another event now, or make a note to do so in future.
  • My advice though – strike while the iron is hot – after all – why did you go to that event if it wasn’t to meet new people?
  • You can ask yourself if you think there is potential there for a fruitful business relationship – and hopefully friendship. If you are on the same wavelength, then why not add them to your life? I have many friends now who started out as people I met at networking events, or who I initially met on Twitter.

It is so much easier if you can say you are friends with someone as well. If you enjoy their company, you make more of an effort with meeting up with them, and that’s what makes business fun!

So, that’s it. Useful tips so you make the most of your networking time. Waste less time networking, spend more time connecting, and let me know how it goes!

2014-websites-have-do

It’s time to make those website changes that have been weighing on your conscience. They will take thought, planning, and time, but the longer you procrastinate, the harder it will be. 2013 is history, and now we are full speed ahead in 2014. Here at TLD we are committing to helping people get up to date and ensure they are fully equipped for reaping the rewards only a certain type of website can give them.

Extra! Extra! Headlines sell papers and blogs. Headlines are the first thing people see before deciding to read your blog. Get it wrong and you risk having all your carefully created content overlooked! This being said, I cannot overstress the importance of a snappy headline. If you’re struggling for ideas, here are 7 archetypes of headlines that can help you.

butterflytablet

So, you want people to read your blog posts?

Of course you do! Hopefully, put time and care into crafting every word on your post. Checking that there are no mistakes. Putting your punctuation and capital letters where they should be, and not where they shouldn’t be. Good!

So, you want whoever reads the post to read it carefully, word for word.

But not everyone who sees your post will.

In fact, some people will only spend a split second on it.

That’s not necessarily bad.

The fact is, people are time poor, and when they are online, they get all sorts of information coming at them from all sides.

3 ways to make your blog posts more appealing to readers

hallloween

It’s normal to be afraid. And at this time of year – Halloween – it’s encouraged! Why else would people deliberately smear their faces with blood, wear fangs and carry daggers and broomsticks around with them?

Or, like in the picture above, why else would I sit for four hours in make up to look like a Roy Lichtenstein painting – and give people a little bit of a scare?

But is fear holding you back? YES! Let’s look at the different types of fear in marketing. Hold my hand, let’s jump in together.