Category Archives for "Social Media"

When Social Media Overwhelms – 7 Strategies to Deal with ‘Am I Good Enough’

NSBAAHMI38 (1) womanm back to usThis was the question recently posted in our WOBS Online Facebook group by one of members – and here is a summary of the advice posted in response.

“As soon as I look at social media I feel low. And it’s not looking at my friend’s holiday snaps that do it. It’s all the biz related stuff. I am bombarded by people / ads all telling me how to be successful and how successful they are. It brings up feelings of not being enough, of failing. I know the simple solution is to not check social media but I have these same feelings when I’m in work mode. Yet I know social media is an integral part of my business. I can tell myself a million times over not to compare but I can’t help it. It just happens.

Tips on dealing with this please. I can’t not be on social media but how do I manage the negative feelings it brings up in me?”

Continue reading

How to Use LinkedIn to Promote Your Event or Webinar

LinkedIn can be an excellent social media tool for those that work with other professional people. It can also however, be a confusing tool – especially when you want to promote an event or webinar and the ‘events’ option is no longer available!

LinkedIn logoFollowing on from a recent question in the WOBS Facebook group, I thought it would be really useful to share the steps needed to promote your events and webinars on LinkedIn, as originally detailed by our very own WOBS LinkedIn trainer and marketer Judy Parsons. Continue reading

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Get past the “gate keepers” with LinkedIn

I can’t get past the gate keepers” she explained which had me jumping up and down in my seat. “Have you tried LinkedIn?” I said. No was her answer.

judy parsonsJudy Parsons is a LinkedIn Marketing Coach & Author Helping Business Owners Use LinkedIn To Get More Leads & More Clients In Less Time, as  well as the Delivery Partner in the WOBS Business Training Academy

I did my first speaking gig last week at a networking event introducing the attendees to the wonders of LinkedIn for small businesses. During the general introduction session one of the attendees was telling the group about a particular problem she had getting in front of her target audience.

I can’t get past the gate keepers” she explained which had me jumping up and down in my seat. “Have you tried LinkedIn?” I said. No was her answer.

One of the reasons I find LinkedIn so exciting is that it’s one big database – at last count there were 15 million profiles on LinkedIn in the UK alone. When I worked as a marketing manager buying in data for marketing campaigns always represented a key marketing expense.

Yet with LinkedIn, you have at your fingertips access and the tools to search this big database . . . for free! It never ceases to amaze me at the opportunities and potential LinkedIn gives us . . . if done in the right way of course.

So how can you use LinkedIn to help you get past your gatekeepers and in front of your ideal client?

First of all always keep top of mind that LinkedIn is the equivalent of face to face networking online and therefore if you wouldn’t do it face to face don’t do it on LinkedIn.

1. Start by creating a client focused LinkedIn profile – when you start being active on LinkedIn it will drive visitors back to your profile so make sure you are giving your potential prospects the right impression.

2. Build your social network by connecting with your clients, prospects, suppliers, partners, people you network with etc.

3. Use the LinkedIn Advanced Search function to find people around a particular keyword. Filter your searches to get a lovely targeted list and then save them so you don’t have to keep re-running the search. LinkedIn even tells you when you have new people in your list who meet your search criteria!

4. Leverage your connections . . . who do you already know that could introduce you to the person you want to meet? This is far and away the best way to connect and build relationships on LinkedIn

5. LinkedIn groups – a gathering of like-minded people in one place. There are over 2 million groups on LinkedIn and we can join up to 50. Use the 80/20 rule. 80% of the groups you join should be where your ideal clients hang out.

6. Drive people back to you – share your content on LinkedIn. Being active on LinkedIn helps to drive more traffic back to your profile and also your website so helps you get found online by your clients looking for solutions to problems that you can solve.

Having access to business experts like Judy is one of the benefits for members of the Business Training Academy.
More details of the Business Training Academy and how to join are here.

 

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VAT Changes in January 2015 for digital product suppliers

Helen Lindop, is the the Social Media Trainer and Strategist for the WOBS Business Training Academy has spent most of last week and this week researching this and this is what she has to say:

“For me, a good chunk of the last week has been taken up by trying to understand the EU VAT changes which will apply to me as a digital product creator from 1st January.

I’ve not blogged about this until now because I didn’t feel qualified to do it. I’m very cautious about giving any legal or financial advice because I’m not a lawyer or an accountant.

But I’ve gathered a list of good articles about this problem and I wanted to share it. So here goes.

First, here are some of the best articles I’ve found  explaining the significant problem faced by any of us micro business owners who sell ebooks, membership sites, software or any other digital product or service that could potentially be bought by anyone in the EU:

New EU VAT rules threaten to kill UK micro firms from The Telegraph

New EU VAT regulations could threaten micro-businesses from The Guardian

The horrible implications of the EU VAT “Place of Supply” change from Rachel Andrew

EU VAT Changes – What you can do by accountant to solo business owners, Rosie Slosek. HMRC claim that the vast majority of micro businesses will not be affected because we use third-party marketplaces such as app stores, which isn’t true  in my experience. Rosie’s article explains why using a marketplace isn’t straightforward as it first appears.

Advice and information from HMRC:

Guidance from HMRC about supplying digital services – if, like me, you’re planning on using a marketplace to sell your products from now on, pay close attention to HMRC’s definition of a marketplace in section 1.2

EU VAT Changes: Top tips

How you can keep up to date

Follow the #VATMOSS and #VATMESS hashtags on Twitter

I’m most active on this subject on Twitter (as @HelenLindop) but I’m also sharing info on my Facebook page

This Facebook group has some very knowledgeable members – Digital VAT 15

Follow the campaign to Uphold the VAT Exemption Threshold for businesses supplying digital products and sign the petition.

Where to get help

Talk to your accountant, if you have one.

Phone the HMRC if you don’t have an accountant, but I’ve heard that some micro businesses are sometimes being given contradictory information from the HMRC so be cautious. Write down who you spoke to and the date/time if you can.

There’s a lot of misinformation out there in Facebook groups and other forums, so be careful where and who you get your information from. This change is horribly complex with lots of grey areas that still need to be cleared up, and if we fail to comply then we could risk a big fine.

If you’re based outside the EU this still applies

The best info I’ve found if your business is based outside the EU is here.

And finally…

I will update this post as I find other good sources of information.

Despite the campaigns going on at the moment, this EU VAT change won’t go away (at best it may be made a little easier for us). So please do get informed from reliable sources so you’re ready for the change on January 1st”

Helen is a key expert  member of the WOBS Business Training Academy  more info and to join click here

Want to try us out for free then join WOBS On-Line the Free Mentoring Group for Women in Business here

How to find free photos for your website

free_photos_for_website-300x182

It’s easy to find beautiful royalty-free photos to use on your website or blog. But these often come at a price, and if you’re a tiny business or just starting up, it can get expensive.

Another fabulous post from Helen Lindop, the WOBS Delivery Partner for all things Twitter related:

So I thought a list of sites where you can get photos for free would come in handy! But…

Remember to check what you are allowed to do with the images

Please note that, although you can use the photos on these sites for free, you need to check the usage rules of each site carefully:

– Sometimes you need to credit the photographer, website or both

– Sometimes you don’t need to add a credit at all, but they would appreciate a mention on you website

– Sometimes you have to get permission to use the photos in certain ways and places (e.g. for morgueFile you need to contact the photographer if you want to use a photo in a blog post, but not if you’re a designer or illustrator using it in your own work)

– Usually, you can’t incorporate the images into your logo

– Some photos can be used for commercial use and others cannot

– Some sites allow you to modify their images, others do not

– Most allow you to use the images on your website but some don’t allow you to print them onto mugs and t-shirts etc

Here’s the list of free stock photo sites

pixabay.com

morguefile.com

freedigitalphotos.net

unsplash.com

join.deathtothestockphoto.com

freerangestock.com

publicdomainpictures.net

sxc.hu

dreamstime.com/free-photos (note: only some of the photos on this site are free)

stockvault.net

freestockphotos.com

freeimages.co.uk

freephotosbank.com

New Old Stock (New! – added  3/12/2013)

Please do let me know if I’ve missed one and I’ll add it to the list.

Finding photos you can use commercially on Flickr

Flickr is a photo sharing site and only some of the photos there can be used for business purposes. You need to make sure the photo has a Creative Commons License and can be used commercially. To do this…

1. Go to Flickr.com

2. Click  on the search magnifying glass to get the Advanced Search option

flickr1

3. Scroll to the bottom of the page

4. Tick the Creative Commons and ‘Find content to use commercially’  boxes (and if you intend to modify or adapt the photo, tick that one too)

flickr2
5. Click search an you will only be shown those photos you can use commercially with a Creative Commons license. There’s more on what Creative Commons means here.

So there you go – lots of free photos!

Our WOBS members use our Facebook group as a major part of their support and advice networks – and you too, can benefit from that help and support, by taking out a free one-month trial. Find out more & get your first month free.

Need a Social Media Strategy? (case study)

I did indeed need a Social Media Strategy – I needed to get more organised with my twitterings!

I’d had a twitter account long before I had a Facebook profile (@clairegodwin1), which I used, and still do, more for my corporate coaching & training work and a bit of campaigning for women’s rights and equality issues. I knew I needed one for my work with Women On the Business Stage (WOBS) – but you know, I just didn’t want to start over again with a new account and as it was sooo long ago I’d forgotten all that set up stuff – so I dragged my heels for a while. The day came when I said ‘come on Claire – you can do this, you’ve done it before’! – but I put my head under the covers again and when I popped up again all was clear!

Twitter account sorted – I was ready to rock @WOBSHQ

Helen Lindop

Helen Lindop

Of course, I thought ” Helen Lindop can help me”, (Helen is one of the Social Media Delivery Partner’s with a special expertise for Twitter), and of course Helen, like myself is a  trainer and has recorded many a video on this topic!

Helen's goal for her Social Media Strategy Guide

“I started with defining my goal, which was to build a list of buyers for my social media training and services.  It’s a well-known marketing fact that it’s easier to sell to existing customers than it is to strangers, so it made sense to grow a list of buyers rather than just a list of people who had downloaded a free PDF. This is the main reason why I started my product funnel with a paid product rather than a free ‘lead magnet’. I chose the fairly low price of $27 to encourage people to buy it.”
The next few bullet points take you through the process I took, leading up to the purchase of Helen’s Social Media Strategy Guide which is followed by Helen’s case study.

 

I was so impressed with how easily the process flowed, from my initial stage of reading to the point of oooh I need to buy this now that  I excitedly asked Helen if she would document this so others could copy – I mean ‘model’  and do it themselves with their low cost lead magnet.

  • I set off to stalk Helen, to see what she was doing and what I could learn; when I say ‘Stalk Helen’ I do of course mean ‘model excellence’ and apply to self!)
  • I read a few posts on Helen’s twitter feed
  • Clicked through to the links she had included
  • Watched a brief video referring to this “Social Media Strategy Guide”
  • Then spent the $27
  • Thought ‘wow we need to share this process!’

I needed what Helen offered, the price point was such that I could Buy Now without too much thought plus the value of the content to me far outweighed what I was paying and what I could do with it. And of course I knew and trusted Helen! 🙂

If you know already you need this and want more details and how to get this now – just click here
Over to Helen for  her Case Study: How I promote my Social Media Action Strategy guide using (you guessed it) social media!

Case Study: How I promote my Social Media Action Strategy guide using (you guessed it) social media!

Social Media Action Strategy is my guide to help small businesses to get more clients and sales from their social media marketing. Claire has asked me to share how I promote it using social media with the WOBS Training Academy, so here I am!

First though, let me explain the thinking behind this guide.  I noticed that many small businesses were spending a fair bit of time tweeting, Facebooking, pinning and so on but were not getting much in the way of results from it and I wanted to help. What most are missing is a solid social media strategy and although there is information online about putting one together, most of it is geared to bigger businesses. I knew many solo and micro businesses would be overwhelmed by much of this information. So I started work on my own simple, step-by-step guide.

That was how I planned to help Social Media Action Strategy’s buyers – I also needed my own strategy to promote and sell the guide itself.  Not surprisingly, I decided to follow my own advice and work through the ten-step strategy I’d developed in the guide!

So I started with defining my goal, which was to build a list of buyers for my social media training and services.  It’s a well-known marketing fact that it’s easier to sell to existing customers than it is to strangers, so it made sense to grow a list of buyers rather than just a list of people who had downloaded a free PDF. This is the main reason why I started my product funnel with a paid product rather than a free ‘lead magnet’. I chose the fairly low price of $27 to encourage people to buy it.

Another huge advantage to starting with a paid product is that I could find affiliates to promote it for me. Affiliates wouldn’t promote a free lead magnet, but if I offered a decent commission on a paid product then they would have an incentive. This was the reason why I chose Clickbank as my shopping cart – affiliates actively go there looking for products to promote.

But what if people went to my sales page and didn’t buy? Wouldn’t I be wasting the time and effort I’d spent getting them there? No, because I have a free lead magnet too. A few seconds after you visit the sales page, a pop-up box appears asking if you’d like to download my free report. My aim is that those people who are interested but not quite ready to buy yet will download the free report, which also adds them to my social media marketing e-zine list.

The e-zine is full of useful tips and advice then occasionally I explain how Social Media Action Strategy could help them, which encourages subscribers to buy it.

If you’re wondering if my affiliates might be getting a raw deal because I’m funnelling people onto my list, the answer is no. Anyone who arrives at my sales page using an affiliate link will have a cookie placed on their computer, so the affiliate will get commission if someone buys the product at any time in the 60 days after she clicks on the affiliate link.

So now I had a product, a goal and an all-important ‘buy now’ button it was finally time to start promoting. I decided to make a series of YouTube videos because I find they are the next best thing to speaking to people face-to-face. Also, they continue to get views on YouTube long after they’ve been published. I actually enjoy making videos too, which is important. If you use a social media platform that you don’t enjoy then it’s going to be really hard work.

I made a series of short videos addressing the problems experienced by people who don’t have a strong social media strategy – such as not knowing which social network to use – and made sure I mentioned my Social Media Action Strategy guide in the video. Sometimes this was within the main part of the video and sometimes just as a call to action at the end. I included a link to Social Media Action Strategy in the YouTube video description, too. Then I promoted the videos on the other social media platforms I use – Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and my blog,  HelenLindop.com.

Find Helen’s Videos here https://www.youtube.com/user/HelenLindop

I’ve used Facebook Ads to promote my free report which leads to people being subscribed to my social media ezine. Although I’ve had some success, I need to do some more testing to get the cost of my advertising down to a level that I’m happy with.

I was lucky that I was invited to join in a 30 day video challenge in July 2014 which gave me a great big push up the backside to get lots of videos made in a few weeks.  Now the challenge is over I’m looking at my results to see which pieces of content people respond to the best and my best sources of traffic to my sales page. Then I’ll do more of what’s working well and less of what isn’t.

Top tip: If you don’t already have Google Analytics set up, do it now so you can see what’s working for you, too!

So there you go, that’s my strategy for promoting my Social Media Action Strategy guide. True, it took quite a lot of work and planning, but it’s all set up now and there’s a great chance that those sales pages, buy buttons and videos will keep working for me 24 hours a day and 7 days week for a few years to come.

If you’d like to know how to create and implement your own social media marketing strategy, including how to choose your goal, your social networks and the types of content to create, grab a copy of Helen’s Social Media Action Strategy guide here.

For members of the WOBS Business Training Academy who purchase the Social Media Action Strategy guide, Helen has kindly offered a free copy of her “Business Blogging Action Strategy” (value £17)  – just mail Helen your receipt.

The Business Blogging Action Strategy is great for you if you find that blogging takes up a lot of your time (or you avoid it all together!) and you are getting very little back in return. The Business Blogging Action Strategy how to create a blog strategy that gets real results for your business.   To receive your Free Copy of Helen’s Business Blogging Action Strategy Just send your receipt of purchase to Helen at helen@helenlindop.com