7 ways to grow your Small Business online!

Everything seems online these days and why not? It is relatively cheap and easy to set up and use and it is often used regularly by your customers and potential customers. Pinpoint Marketing is a fan, so hence this blog on ways you can grow your small business for this festive season and beyond.

  1. Which social media channel should you use?

There is no right or wrong answer here and it will depend on who you are targeting, whether your business is image based and so on.

More thoughts on this here https://pinpointmarketingconsultancy.co.uk/how-to-make-the-most-of-social-media/

  1. What are your competitors doing?

This doesn’t mean copy them or do the exact opposite, but instead be conscious of their niche and their messaging. You need to differentiate rather than follow the crowd. Read more here https://mailchi.mp/f1eaa891dcd0/how-much-do-you-know-about-your-competition-november-newsletter

  1. be consistent!

Whether you are on Facebook or Linkedin, make sure your branding is accurate and consistent and carry through your logo, colours and so on through everything you do marketing wise.

4. Know your USP!

This follows on from point 2 about standing out from the crowd.

Many companies make the mistake of thinking their usp can be generic like great customer service and they try to appeal to the masses. A generic usp is too vague and not strong enough and it won’t make you memorable. So why find out your usp? You are unique! You have something worth offering. A usp gives you a competitive advantage. It tells your customers what is special about you. A clear USP saves customers and potential customers when choosing between you and another. How to use your usp once you have found it? Use it in your marketing messaging – your posts, website, strapline, branding, articles, monthly minutes, on your material and more. Use it when talking and networking and as with all marketing, review your USP regularly. Your USP should define what you want to be famous for! Eg the go to person for subject xx.

  1. Be trendy!

Keep up to speed with the latest changes and nuances of the all the major social media channels and online offerings.

Follow the sites and profiles of experts as one way to learn.

6. Be creative

Liven up posts with images and videos. Use royalty free images and not fall foul of copyright. Use apps like Wordswag and Canva to personalise and brand stock images

7. plan ahead

Plan your content and recycle!
Ensure your marketing messaging is consistent
across all marketing, collateral and social media.

Get a comprehensive content plan for the year covering:

  • market and industry news
  • products and services
  • company news
  • awareness days
  • staff news
  • general updates

Don’t forget to analyse, track progress, measure and know your ROI.

 

 

Buckinghamshire based Pinpoint Marketing gets a Twitter Boost from Theo Paphitis.

A Bucks based firm has received a business boost from Retail Entrepreneur Theo Paphitis. Last week, Nicole Martin, owner of Pinpoint Marketing, tweeted Theo about her business during ‘Small Business Sunday’ and was one of weekly winners to gain a retweet by Theo to his 500,000 Twitter followers.  The weekly initiative, set up by Theo in 2010, now has over 2200 #SBS winners and supports small businesses in the UK.

Business and retail entrepreneur and self-confessed Shopkeeper, Theo re‐tweeted Pinpoint Marketing’s message to his almost 500,000 followers and as a result, Pinpoint’s Twitter accounts has almost 100 more followers and increased social media presence. They are also profiled on the #SBS website (www.theopaphitissbs.com) that is exclusive to all Small Business Sunday winners.

Nicole of Pinpoint Marketing said, “I am so excited and proud to be one of the winners. We have been in business for 10 years now. It is great to have support from Theo because it can be hard to raise our profile and Theo has recognised our hard work and helped spread the word about what we do to his following.”

Small business champion and Ryman Stationery, Robert Dyas and Boux Avenue Chairman, Theo Paphitis, said: “We are thrilled to welcome new #SBS members every week and highlight just how important it is to support our small businesses here in the UK.  My vision is that everyone who has ever won an #SBS re-tweet from me becomes part of a friendly club; like-minded individuals who can share successes and learnings. The website will also give a valuable profile to the winners chosen and I wish Pinpoint Marketing every success.”

Anyone looking for a re‐tweet from Theo should tweet him about their business on Sunday between 5 PM and 7.30 PM and include the hashtag #SBS. Six lucky businesses are re‐tweeted every Monday at 8 PM and then invited to enter their profile on the new website, attend the annual #SBS networking event and take advantage of the networking opportunities.

For further information about Small Business Sunday please visit www.theopaphitissbs.com.

Having celebrated 10 years, what lessons have been learnt?

As you may know, Pinpoint Marketing (and me, Nicole), celebrated 10 years of trading back in May of this year. This is something I am very proud of.

It hasn’t all been easy and plain sailing and there were times in the early days that I thought about getting a job. But, as I am a determined women and because I wanted to get away from the corporate world and work with small businesses to offer “proper” marketing, I never gave up.

I have worked in all sorts of markets, during the day and weekends/evenings and made mistakes. I have also had many successes and learnt an awful lot.  I have also understood the possibility of the elusive work life balance whilst being self employed. I now also respect the fact that if I don’t get the work in or do it, it won’t get done unless I ask for help, paid or otherwise.  Self employment can be the harder option for sure, but then the results and the wins, is all yours!

So what or who has helped me? I cannot make a list of people as it would crash the website, but in general, areas that have helped and supported me are:

  • friends and family
  • the Athena network – for training, support, new business and advice
  • clients who took a chance on me initially
  • training courses and social media pages
  • business books and programmes

As with everthing, lessons are always learned when doing something new or something out of your comfort zone. Lessons I particularly recall are:

  • you cannot be all things to all people
  • be honest and know your limits eg don’t overpromise and then under deliver
  • grow and learn and take on different viewpoints
  • outsource what you cannot do or things that you alway put off
  • experiment, try and track
  • review, review and review …

So that has been my last 10 years in a very short summary. Here is to the next 10 …

Thank you to everyone who has been on this rollercoaster with me.

Yes, it IS possible to keep your marketing going over the summer holidays

Already panicking about the school summer holidays? Find out how to keep your marketing ticking over this summer AND enjoy time out with your family.

As the days get warmer, the prospect of the school summer holidays looms – and with it comes that annual dilemma of managing your business and spending time with your family.

You see, as much as you look forward to long, sunny days spent with your children, if you’re a freelancer or small business owner, you can’t help feel a twinge of panic too. Who’s going to be running your business or work while you’re enjoying picnics with your kids? How can you keep things ticking over so you have a business left to return to come September?

Thankfully, with a bit of clever planning, there are lots of ways you cam find a workable balance over the summer – and enjoy some precious time with your children AND keep working on your business.

How to keep your marketing going over the summer holidays

To help you find that balance, Nicole Martin from Pinpoint Marketing shares her advice on how to keep your marketing going over the summer holidays.

Do you have a marketing plan?

If you already have a marketing plan, fantastic! It will help act as a reminder of what needs doing, when and by whom. It also helps to focus your mind and act as a checklist to make that nothing gets forgotten or missed out regardless of the day of the week.

If you don’t have a marketing plan, then it isn’t too late. You can introduce a marketing plan into your business at any time. A plan will make you accountable as well as creating processes to streamline and manage your marketing. (You can read why you need a marketing plan and how to get started on one here.)

Plan, plan and plan

Planning is key to keeping your marketing going over the summer holidays. Many of your regular marketing activity and campaigns can be written and designed in advance and then scheduled. This ensures your content is regular and consistent and also not rushed when you panic at the end of term when the holidays are looming.

For example, you can write and schedule your newsletters and email marketing in advance use online tools like Mailchimp. You can also write and schedule social media posts to Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Google+ using Hootsuite.

Recycle and reuse

Have you spent hours slaving over a blog before, only to post it once on your blog? Then, just as the relief of finishing a job washes over you, the dread at starting the next one begins again?

There’s no need to recreate your content time after time! If the first draft was worthy enough of going on your blog page, why not use it on social media, in your newsletter, on your webpage or in your monthly networking pitch? The wording or word count may need tweaking to meet the audience’s needs or to fit the spec for the press or character restrictions on social media, but don’t let good content go to waste.

Don’t try to be a hero

As working mums it’s all too easy to fall into the trap of guilt tripping ourselves with the whole work-life balance thing. And as business owners we are often trying to be all things and take on all roles, from tea boy and phone answerer, to accountant, marketing department and PA.

Sometimes in order to achieve our goals and work ahead of ourselves and our customers, we need to bring in some help. So consider outsourcing. Yes, it may require an investment up front, but if it means your time is freed up to earn more money on areas of your business only you can do, or look after the children then it will be money well spent.

Manage your diary

When you take on new clients or projects, or get asked to be involved in new things, then be aware of the dates. Will they fit in with the school holidays? Will you have childcare? Can you work flexibly in the evenings if you need to sometimes?

There is no right or wrong way to manage your diary and you must do what you feel is best for you, your business and your family. But by staying organised and on top of everything you need to to, you’ll feel less panicked and you’ll find it much easier to create a balance of work and play – so you can keep your business ticking over AND enjoy your summer.

Enjoy the Summer!

Has your database taken a recent hit? It’s ok, but what next?

Firstly, all is not lost, but it may be a case of needing to be more savvy and clever with your marketing campaigns.

Regarding the database you have, if some haven’t given consent and if you haven’t deleted it yet, there is the possibility of keeping and using some of the data under the guide of “legitimate interest”. Please ask me for details or seek guidance online from the ICO. https://ico.org.uk/

So, what else can you do?

  • Get more sign-ups to your database and bring in new blood. How? Set up a sign-up form in Mailchimp. This will generate a url. Use this url on your social media pages, email signature, distribute this at networking events and so on
  • Use trade and industry publications to send solus/emails on your behalf. You design and write the email and they send it as a third party to their database
  • You can buy in data. Be careful with this option and make sure you are clear on what data you would be getting and how you can use it.
  • Use telemarketing (again with a reputable agency) to build and validate a database. Pinpoint Marketing can recommend options for you.
  • Get out there and starting networking or go to more networking events. This can be done face to face with excellent groups like Athena as well as by joining Facebook and Linkedin groups
  • Work on your Social media activity – use Facebook, Twitter and/or Linkedin to connect with your old or current database. Send connection requests or follow them and use this route to make contact through posts, messages and so on
    • Make sure you also keep up your content and regular posting to keep you front of mind to your potential customers and prospects
    • Also ensure this content is rich, engaging, enticing and include keywords and clear calls to action
    • Consider ads and boosts of posts to attract more attention and get more sign-ups

These are just a few ideas and this list is by no means exhaustive. If you need more advice or have any questions, just get in touch.

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