Creating Awareness

Creating Awareness

Marketing isn’t everything but everything is marketing. Making your target audience aware of your business is key so, in this category, we explore ways to become more visible to potential clients from traditional methods through to digital marketing.

YBC Academy : 7 Content Tips to Maximise Your Reach on LinkedIn

Creating engaging content has become a priority for businesses as it is one of the most effective ways to educate your audience, strengthen your brand and raise your ranking on Google. It’s important for building and maintaining your brand image, as behind every great brand is a wealth of valuable and relevant content that helps connect you with your audience.

LinkedIn is an amazing platform not only for job seekers but also for entrepreneurs, marketers & content creators. Its professional and user-friendly platform is the perfect place to engage with potential customers and partners. In this short guide we will discuss the advantages of adding LinkedIn as one of your content channels and 7 handy tips to power-up your content marketing whilst making the writing process more efficient and impactful.

Understanding the advantages that content can bring to your business.

Build trust with your audience
Good content will help you build trust and a relationship with your customers, as they read your content they will start to connect with your brand. For example, if they find your content educational and valuable, they will think the same about your brand.

Drive traffic to your website
Your latest LinkedIn articles and posts can also double up as traffic generators for your website. Social media is one of the top 3 ways to generate traffic for your website, you can easily reference other content on your website or include links for viewers to “learn more”. It only takes a minute to see how many visitors your website has received from any of your social media channels in Google Analytics, giving you a deeper insight on your customer journey and letting you know how effective your content has been.

Insightful content can greatly improve your ranking on Google (SEO)
Content should never just sit on one platform… don’t forget to maximise your content by repurposing it on every channel, including your website. Informative and helpful writing will not only be noticed by your customers, Google is constantly indexing every article on the internet in the hope of giving its users the most relevant and detailed answers to their questions.

Note if you spend a little time writing with your audience in mind and remember to share it on your website and Google Business profile as well as LinkedIn then you should start ranking on search for the topics you cover.

It allows you to get to know your customers and start meaningful conversations
Content delivered through social media such as LinkedIn allows for feedback, discussion and creates 2 way conversations that are not possible through other marketing channels. Giving you a deeper insight of your audience and their views, which can help to build a stronger marketing funnel and create highly targeted content in the future.

Learn how to build your brand on LinkedIn with these 7 handy tips:

Creating engaging content has become a priority for businesses as it is one of the most effective ways to educate your audience, strengthen your brand and raise your ranking on Google. It’s important for building and maintaining your brand image, as behind every great brand is a wealth of valuable and relevant content that helps connect you with your audience.

LinkedIn is an amazing platform not only for job seekers but also for entrepreneurs, marketers & content creators. Its professional and user-friendly platform is the perfect place to engage with potential customers and partners. In this short guide we will discuss the advantages of adding LinkedIn as one of your content channels and 7 handy tips to power-up your content marketing whilst making the writing process more efficient and impactful.

Understanding the advantages that content can bring to your business.

Build trust with your audience
Good content will help you build trust and a relationship with your customers, as they read your content they will start to connect with your brand. For example, if they find your content educational and valuable, they will think the same about your brand.

Drive traffic to your website
Your latest LinkedIn articles and posts can also double up as traffic generators for your website. Social media is one of the top 3 ways to generate traffic for your website, you can easily reference other content on your website or include links for viewers to “learn more”. It only takes a minute to see how many visitors your website has received from any of your social media channels in Google Analytics, giving you a deeper insight on your customer journey and letting you know how effective your content has been.

Insightful content can greatly improve your ranking on Google (SEO)
Content should never just sit on one platform… don’t forget to maximise your content by repurposing it on every channel, including your website. Informative and helpful writing will not only be noticed by your customers, Google is constantly indexing every article on the internet in the hope of giving its users the most relevant and detailed answers to their questions.

Note if you spend a little time writing with your audience in mind and remember to share it on your website and Google Business profile as well as LinkedIn then you should start ranking on search for the topics you cover.

It allows you to get to know your customers and start meaningful conversations
Content delivered through social media such as LinkedIn allows for feedback, discussion and creates 2 way conversations that are not possible through other marketing channels. Giving you a deeper insight of your audience and their views, which can help to build a stronger marketing funnel and create highly targeted content in the future.

Learn how to build your brand on LinkedIn with these 7 handy tips:
1. Create a buyer persona
To reach your audience effectively you need to know them inside out, where to find them and the conversation style that resonates with them and breaks through the noise on social media.

The key to successful content marketing is making each reader feel like you’re speaking directly to them by getting personal and making sure you know them well, know their challenges, pain points and fears, as well as their biggest fantasies and best possible outcome.

Always remember that you are marketing to humans that want to feel understood and inspired by your writing. In an ideal world we would know every single customer personally and have the time to connect with them individually. Unfortunately, that level of interaction is only feasible with the most high-end property and investment businesses.

Fortunately, you can achieve a similar connection with a much larger audience by defining your buyer persona. This outlines the type of person you want to reach with your content and provides a clear representation of your target audience. Creating your buyer persona takes research but the end picture is your ideal customer who will consume your content.

2. Tell stories – Share your success AND failures
There is no better way to connect with people than by telling stories. By exposing ourselves, we open-up to our audience and share our experiences which builds trust and creates an organic following on LinkedIn.

Give people a step-by-step account of how your business has formed and what allowed you to be where you are today. Avoid bragging and share lessons you have learned along the way, where you started and how your business has grown.

Also don’t forget to showcase your failures, write about the biggest challenges you have overcome and what you learned from them. Realise that sharing your story can help others and will enable your audience to get to know you and build a connection with you and your brand.

3. Consume more content
The more content you consume, the more content you will be able to create as it will naturally spark inspiration. Read more articles related to your industry, listen to podcasts, or read books that are relevant to your niche. For each podcast that you listen to there will be at least 5-10 different ideas for content and you will begin to see there are ideas for content everywhere.

www.getpocket.com is a great tool for storing and categorising content for later use. It works across all ofyour devices and makes it quick and easy to save any webpage or article so that you can recall it at any time as a reference point when writing new content for your audience.

4. Curate content from inspiring leaders
Build a list of content creators who provide valuable, succinct articles that will benefit your writing as well as your audience. Aim to spend at least 20 minutes each day engaging in their posts, leaving thoughtful comments, and adding these articles to your own database.

Then, save those comments in same place where you capture your ideas. When you are looking for inspiration you can quickly refer to these comments and use this to inspire you for your content. Create a new hook, and then break down your thoughts by expanding on each point and adding supporting information. Continuously think about your buyer persona throughout the creation process is the tone, length and purpose clearly defined and have you given them a clear call to action that is in line with your own goals.

This is a double win, as you are becoming that thought leader putting time and effort into engaging in other people’s posts, whilst repurposing that comment and reutilizing it for your own audience. If you created something in one format, try to think of all the other ways that you could reuse and consume that information that might be just as effective.

5. Give your point of view.
Once you have an engaged audience you might find yourself wanting to tell them about an inspiring product or service. It could be something that has benefited you personally or made your life easier at work. People are continuously looking for ways to enrich their life and it’s likely that you will naturally build a list of reccomendations for your niche.

The Bitesize Marketing Guides include countless reccomendations for tools to save you time. Nothing mentioned in the guides is sponsored in any way, they simply stand out as effective tools to boost productivity that are worth sharing! Canva, Trello, Pocket, Google My Business, HubSpot and all the tools that help small businesses to grow and are worth sharing.

Start by picking a product or service and write what you like/dislike about it. This can be anything from podcasts, books, articles. Make sure you focus it on your audience. Rather than saying “I recently listened to”, start off with a quote from the specific content that will be inspiring, or the biggest takeaway that will bring value to your audience.

6. Capture your ideas
Make sure you have a means of tracking the ideas you have, whether it’s as simple as using pen and paper or the notes app, Trello, Evernote or Notion. These are free apps you can use on your phone to jot down ideas to come back to later when you require content. Everyone has their own way of retaining information and these can evolve over time so don’t be afraid to try new methods to find your own style.

7. Always ask yourself “So what?”
Social media is cleverly designed to keep us engaged with an endless stream of media and the “noise” created is making it more difficult than ever for content creators to be heard. The best way to build a trusted audience is to validate each piece of content before it goes public.

Simply ask yourself “So what?”. Try to understand the value that you are providing and if the content provides new, insightful, or detailed information that goes above and beyond what’s easily accessible to your audience. It’s more than likely that the topic has been covered before but what makes yours unique.

For example, the concepts in this article are not revolutionary and can surely be found elsewhere online. However, they are carefully pieced together to support small business owners and offer valuable, practical advice. Each article focuses on a pain-point faced by marketers / business owners and is supported by references with the aim of building a content hub you’ll return to regularly for inspiration.

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YBC Academy : Cyber Security for Home workers

This presentation was part of the YBC Virtual Networking event – 12th February 2021

More information on the events here: https://yourbusinesscommunity.co.uk/events

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YBC Academy : Lead Generation

HOW TO FILL YOUR SALES PIPELINE

CONSTANTLY LOOKING FOR NEW CLIENTS?
Would you like more prospects to contact you when they are ready to buy? Would you like prospects to contact you before they call your competition? Wouldn’t it be great if these prospects were almost pre-sold as well?
The good news is that all of this ‘is’ more than possible.
I’m sure that you are asking yourself how, and how soon?
While it’s not really that hard to achieve, most people won’t take the time out to learn how to do it or put the effort into making it happen, which means that ‘if’ you do take the time out to learn how and put the effort in you will be in a whole different league to ‘most’ of your competitors…

Over the last week, how many people have you spoken too, who do not need your products and services immediately?
They may need them at some stage in the future, but you feel there is no point in talking to them right now.
What have you done with these ‘prospects in waiting’? Have you made a note in your diary to call them back in 6 months or whenever they have told you to?
You probably concluded that at that future time, the prospect might finally have a need for what you are offering which is what most sales people do on a regular basis.

The thing is, when you do get around to contacting them 6 months or so down the line, you’ll be calling them back at the exact same time as everyone else they’ve talked to about your offering, worse still someone else may even pick up the telephone before you.

If you don’t have a regular contact strategy chances are you’ll also be smack bang back at the beginning of the sales process and will have to start from scratch building trust and a relationship while competing with everyone else for face time.
Alternatively, suppose that you have already pre-qualified the ‘prospect in waiting’ – and that they definitely have a ‘need’ for your offering at some stage in the future.

Now you don’t wait 6 months to call them back – you start immediately to build a TRAC record with them.
A personalised contact record of Trust, Relationship, Awareness, and Credibility.
If you build a TRAC record with them starting right now, chances are very high that they’ll remember and contact you as soon as they do need your products and services. Even if they don’t, you’ll be in contact enough that you’ll pick up when the time is right.

When they do need your products and services, they’ll immediately think of you because you already have Trust, a Relationship, Awareness of how you operate before being a customer and solid Credibility with them, the sales cycle will move much faster since you have already gone past these steps in the usual process.

So how can you build this miraculous TRAC record with a minimum amount of effort?
You obviously can’t spend too much time on it as you need to focus your selling time mainly on those prospects who are ready to buy now.
To build a TRAC record with ‘prospects in waiting’, you must put in place your own contact system which will build the relationship over time using a variety of communication methods – some technology based and some that are more personal.

Your system can include things like a newsletter, emails, Google alert tracking, phone calls, events, and appreciation cards.
Automate your system as much as possible and in the most personalized way you can.
If you don’t automate it, you simply won’t pop up on their radar on a frequent and consistent enough basis to be at the forefront of a prospective customers mind when they are ready to buy..

Personalise it or you won’t connect as you should with the target person. Our primary mission as professional business people is to develop a strong relationship with people on a personal level, as well as with them in their business role. It’s amazing how many tools and systems are now available that will enable you to automate your hi-tech and hi-touch client communications.
The time that you invest in setting up your contact system to build a TRAC record will pay off in a flow of prospects into your pipeline who are already predisposed to buying from you.

The continued use of your fully automated and personalised connection system will expand your TRAC record with all of your connections and pay you a double dividend in repeat business and larger opportunities with every passing year.

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YBC Academy : LinkedIn Training

Are you a predominantly B2B business leader who is trying to build your business reputation, engage strategic network contacts and leverage potential business opportunities?
Then LinkedIn is the main social channel for you and you can start seeing results in days not weeks.

As with all social media channels, it is easy to ‘post’ – but to generate engagement with others and ultimately a return on investment from your time, effort and content requires skill and a strategic approach.

In the training course I have recorded, exclusively free (normally £150) for YBC Academy Members, I share the key techniques that I apply for my own business and my customers.
That has generated c.80% of all my B2B revenues in the last 5 years.

Strategy and Planning

Targeting Planning and Sales Navigator

All Star Profile Language and Privacy

Nurturing and Campaigns

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YBC Academy : Marketing

What is Marketing?
A Marketing Plan is essential to prepare your marketing budget, measure effectiveness and adjust which channels you use.

The theory of marketing is often over looked resulting in disappointing results and low returns on investment. Often leaving the business owner to feel ‘it doesnʼt workʼ.
Whereas going back to basics, focussing on ‘where your customers are/ behaviours they haveʼ and creating a ‘test and learnʼ plan based upon your business objectives will provide the answers to ‘what does workʼ and ‘what doesnʼt workʼ. Meaning your investment and efforts can be placed in the right channels to attract your customers and drive up profitability.

In marketing it is totally true that you ‘cannot manage what you cannot measureʼ and ‘fail to plan, plan to failʼ are key mantras to bear in mind at all times. With a breadth of analytics, more powerful than ever before available to you to provide key customer and marketing insights, used correctly, they can boost your return on investment dramatically.

download the accompanying PDF factsheet.

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YBC Academy : Promotional Merchandise

What is promotional merchandise – when should you use it and how can it help you create brand awareness for your product or brand.

Promotional branded merchandise is nothing new and in fact has been around since 1789 when a button was produced to celebrate George Washington becoming the first President of the United States. In 1886 Jasper Meek, a printer from Ohio, convinced a local shoe shop to supply bags with their name on to a local school and from there the promotional products industry was born. However it was not until the mid 1950’s that merchandise started to be used in corporate marketing and by the 1970’s companies really began realising the importance and benefits. During the 1990’s and 2000’s the industry continued to grow and companies have become ever more inventive with their use of branded products to support promotion of events, new products, gift giving and brand awareness.

What is branded promotional merchandise, – very simply, it is anything at all that you print your brand or company name onto and that gets you noticed.

Promotional Merchandise

Whilst there will be costs involved – choose your item carefully and think of how many times your logo/brand/message is going to be seen.

Other than being a superb way of improving customer and business relations promotional merchandise.
– It’s an excellent way of getting the recipients attention
– You can use the product to demonstrate brand attributes that you want to get across
– It builds relationships and goodwill
– Gets your logo (brand) known and recognised
– It’s inoffensive and quite literally in the face of your target audience

Research shows that people that receive promotional gifts feel happy, appreciated and special and they are generally impressed – think, especially as you are starting out, are they not things that you want to achieve for your brand/company?
Will you achieve that by adverts and social media alone or do you still need to have in your arsenal of weapons carefully selected promotional products?

Why is an investment in branded merchandise so important in the advertising/marketing/brand awareness mix – according to research it makes almost 80% of people feel appreciated – the reason for that is because it enables you to target your customers (staff/potential customers) effectively and because of its ability to create loyalty (and I will show you some examples of how this can be done below).

One of the most common reasons that promotional merchandise is used is: To reward your customers and say THANK YOU – but if you think about it there are a lot of ways and reasons to do this which include:

  • Saying thank you to a sponsor and giving them a gift
  • Saying thank you for the business
  • Thank you for your support
  • Thank you for your loyalty and here is a gift
  • Thank you for gong beyond the call of duty
  • Thank you for speaking at our event
  • Thank you for attending our event
  • Thank you for joining our company and here is a welcome gift
  • Thank you for a referral
  • Thank you for stopping at our stand

Traditionally promotional merchandise is primarily used for
Tradeshow giveaway

  • In the current period we are not meeting people face to face but businesses still need to connect with current and potential customers and offer us the chance to be creative – offer your item on your social media pages and offer to send a gift for liking/following/commenting on your page – run a competition asking for pictures or captions with your gift in.

Customer engagement

  • Let your existing clients know you are thinking of them – even when they are not ordering (especially in these difficult times). Remember studies reveal that acquiring a new customer costs anywhere from 5 to 25 times as much as retaining an existing one – so let them know they are important to you

Sales incentive

  • Sales incentive – sell/buy this and get this – you choose what is suitable for your industry and budget

Employee engagement

  • Show you care and value your staff – the more you do that the more they will enjoy working for you and give the best representation of your brand to your clients

And of course as a Thank you as mentioned above

Decide what to achieve

  • Obviously you want to increase visibility – but to what end in particular and for how long?
  • Make sure you send a product that is targeting your audience – ie, there is no point sending a desk item if your target audience are kitchen staff
  • Think about your budget and how many times the product will be used/seen
  • Use the print area to get your message across & target that message
  • Use different products at different times and for different reasons
  • Talk to a promotional products supplier – give them your requirements and let them come up with ideas for you – you do not have to do it all yourself

Finally I just want to share with you some creative ways to market your business using branded merchandise:
Match promotions and products with major events – plan around an event that you can link your brand to with the right promotional products. It could be an anniversary, it could be a major sporting event, a solar eclipse – you decide but my advice would be to plan ahead.
Connect with niche interests – you know your target audience. If you have a guitar shop why give a pen or a notepad (useful items) would your audience not prefer a branded guitar pick?
Reach out to influencers – don’t wait for people to come to you – reach out in a positive pro active way – start the conversation by sending them a branded item to let them know who you are and that you want to work with them – especially if you are a new business
Exchange your products for referrals – ask people for leads (check they are real) and send a branded product
Promote your branded products on social media – share pictures – print your social media links on the product – send them out and it can help drive people to your pages

My parting message to you is that I cannot stress to you enough the impact of having your brand or company name printed on a relevant and usable everyday object, quite literally in the face of your target audience – an item that will provide a constant visual reminder of your business in a friendly, inoffensive manner that helps to promote positive trust in your organisation.

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YBC Academy : Website Maintenance

You’ve just spent a huge amount of time and money, or just the weekend and gone for as much free stuff as possible, to build your business website and it’s looking good.

The thing is, just like your car, your business or even your own body, if you don’t look after it problems can start to arise.
When it comes to website maintenance, you have two options – do it yourself or get a company to maintain your website for you.

Besides your time, doing it yourself will cost less, but, of course, how much is your time worth, is changing the oil something you really want to be doing and have you the skillset to do it properly?

Presuming you want to do this yourself, here are three areas you should definitely concentrate on regularly to keep your website running as sweet as a Veyron Super Sport.

Security:
No matter who you are or how your website was built, it’s online therefore it can be hacked.
That said, there are steps you can take to minimise that risk.

Monitor your website for hack attempts
If you are using a CMS (WordPress, Joomla or similar), there are a few plugins you can install to let you know when some dirty oik is trying to break in through your back door – for this you’ll need to check through the platform’s plugin repository.

Of course, never simply install the plugin and sit back, it needs configuring for maximum effect and regularly checking up on any issues that arise.

If you’re not using a CMS, it might be best to speak with your web host to see if they can recommend a monitoring tool.

Back-ups:
As mentioned before, if you have a website, it can be hacked into, also files can become corrupted or, human error leads to files being deleted or overwritten.
The best route to take, when it comes to backing up your website, is to regularly, manually download all the files and database but, of course, that takes time and effort.
If you can and want to go this route, I totally recommend it BUT don’t just download to your work laptop – that can be stolen, the hard drive gives up the ghost or, like your wedding video, can be overwritten.

If you have a decent web host they should offer a back-up service, sometimes free, but you should only use this as part of your overall back-up strategy.

There are plenty of companies offering website maintenance but always ask your associates for personal recommendations.
Also, backing up the core and theme files is fine, but pay particular attention to the CMS database as without this you have nothing.

Uptime monitoring:
Like calling the operator to check your phone line is working, is your website actually still online?
If not, it could be hours, weeks or more before you realise and then you have a panic on to drop everything and deal with it immediately – how much business have you lost because you didn’t realise?

You can use various online services and methods that tie into either messaging services, txt or email but one online service I recommend is Uptime Robot.
Uptime Robot can be set up to ping you if your website is offline for at least 5 minutes – it could be a simple bottleneck in the traffic, it could be that your server has melted, but either way you will be alerted.

If you do get a ping, the next steps would be to check your website is actually reachable via your browser and use DFEOJM – https://downforeveryoneorjustme.com

So, these are crucial tasks to start you off maintaining your website, but, of course, we’re only just skimming the service – there’s a whole mass of other areas that need to be considered to get yourself fully secured.

If you prefer, you can download this article as a PDF.

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