It’s all about the stories! Back stories, social stories, story telling …

When I am working with clients, I am getting asked more and more about social media posts and feeds and stories. What are they? What is the difference? Why do one and not the other?

So here is a brief overview for you.

Facebook

According to a Facebook help post, stories on Facebook allow you to share photos and videos with your friends and followers that will only be available to your selected audience for 24 hours. After 24 hours, you can keep the stories you’ve shared in your story archive, which will only be visible to you.

A BT.com article says stories is effectively another News Feed, but one that relies on visual rather than written information. It requires you to select the Stories section, rather than just posting to Facebook as you normally would. Stories can be shared with friends and to groups.

Instagram

Instagram Stories is a feature that lets users post photos and videos that vanish after 24 hours. The feature feels much like Snapchat Stories according to this article I read. And like Snapchat, the photos and videos shared can’t be viewed once 24 hours have elapsed.

Instagram Stories appear in a bar at the top of your feed — and all Instagram accounts will be able to share stories, from your best friends to your favorite popular accounts. When there’s something new to see, their profile photo will have a colorful ring around it. This article is also a guide on “how to”.

There are some key considerations of note – for example, did you know that most users scrolling through their Instagram feed watch videos without sound, yet around 70% of Stories are watched with the sound turned on. The subtle differences in behavior and presentation can make be significant within your posting strategy. Look at this cheat sheet.

Here at Pinpoint Marketing, we use news feeds rather than stories. We feel this way is more established and more in keeping with our brand, our message and the service we sell. However, each to their own and it is always worth considering other options.

Get more social media advice here or ask me for trainer/workshop recommendations.

Knowing your why, in theory and in reality!

We all have our reasons why we became self employed or why we chose our career path, which is our why? So what is yours?

I have a few whys. 1 was initially to try and achieve the elusive work life balance whilst raising a young family which I could then work around around. Some days and weeks I achieve this and some I don’t but that’s the pitfalls and highs of being a working mum and female entrepreneur. At the end of the day though the family and the clients never go without and they are always both a priority.

2 and probably the main or biggest driver/reason s to provide small business with a large business service. Eg I want them to think big and have what big companies have without needing the large departments and large budget. I want to make a difference and support small businesses to achieve and succeed, through simple yet clever marketing. With careful planning and strategy and all important analysing, this is very achievable and that’s where I come into my own.

3 is the variety! I couldn’t have a job or run a business where I did the same thing day in day out. For me as the owner of Pinpoint Marketing every day varies in terms of the client I work with, my location or office for the day, the campaign work I am doing and so on. For example, next week I have a new client/new business meeting with a local restaurant chain which I am looking forward to, then sports day with my daughter, then a radio interview with my local station on my recent #WOW award win, then an all female networking event and finally I am starting to record some podcasts and book my autumn workshop series. Plus I will be fitting in the day to day client calls, content writing, creating, planning and analysing and more.

What is your why? Is it a why for you or for others or both? What is your back story behind you and your business or job? Find more about me.

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Have a good working week!

High Wycombe entrepreneur receives #WOW award from Jacqueline Gold CBE

In May, Nicole Martin of Pinpoint Marketing, from Great Kingshill, was recognised by British businesswoman, Jacqueline Gold CBE, for her success as a female entrepreneur, and awarded with a prestigious #WOW badge.

Pinpoint Marketing was one of three winners selected by Jacqueline after she entered ‘Women on Wednesday’ – a competition launched by Jacqueline in 2011 to celebrate the growing number of UK female entrepreneurs and businesswomen.

Women on Wednesday (#WOW) takes place every week and is run through Jacqueline’s Twitter page.  When selecting the winners, Jacqueline looks for businesses that are interesting, that have strong brand values and that she thinks have potential to grow and succeed in their industry. She looks for quality products and services, well designed websites and entrepreneurs who demonstrate good business acumen and who have spotted a gap in the market that meets the consumer’s needs.

Pinpoint Marketing’s ethos is to make marketing simple and to add value and support to local, small businesses looking to grow their business through cost effect marketing ideas and campaigns. We have been trading for 11 years and have helped many businesses in this time with strategy, planning, content, social media and much more. We genuinely love helping through our network of associates.

Jacqueline Gold says:Pinpoint Marketing specialises in working with small businesses to provide realistic but effective marketing strategies to help companies grow. Nicole’s passion for providing an easy and simple marketing service and her friendly and personable demeanour sets her apart. I wish her every success in the future.

For me, #WOW is all about inspiring and celebrating female entrepreneurs. My vision is for women in the UK to come together, celebrate their strengths, skills and fantastic businesses, and do all that they can to inspire other women to realise their potential.  

The WOW community is a fantastic network which offers female entrepreneurs the opportunity to share advice, support each other, trade and most importantly celebrate their successes!” 

For more information about Women on Wednesday, please visit the website

Can anyone be an entrepreneur?

According to the online dictionary I used, the word or concept of “entrepreneur” means “a person who sets up a business or businesses, taking on financial risks in the hope of profit” and the synonyms include businessman and businesswoman.

So can anyone be an entrepreneur? Are you one?

As a businesswoman myself, so I guess an entrepreneur (although for some reason I don’t often refer to myself as this! I mainly use the term business owner or small business) I have recently been learning about the world of business to empower and improve myself and I have been getting motivated by listening to podcasts from Karren Brady and Paul McKenna and the subject of being an entrepreneur or entrepreneurialism has come up a lot.

Our brains have a left and a right sides. The left side is responsible for controlling the right side of the body. The left also performs tasks that have to do with logic and the right performs tasks that have do with creativity and the arts.

So are all entrepreneurs creative only?

Is the typical or average entrepreneur reliant on their right side then? A lot of what I heard and read seems that the average entrepreneur is creative on their ideas, visualisation and so on but they don’t do detail. They use others/teams who are more left sided to make things happen like the strategy, the processes and so on. It makes sense to play to ones strengths.

This is of course just an observation and I’m sure there are many business woman and men who can and will be able to manage both. I think I am both in parts, but my predominant side is the left, logical side.

So when I say entrepreneur, who do you think of? Simon Cowell, Lord Sugar and Theo Paphitis? Jo Malone, Karren Brady and Kelly Hoppen? They may well call themselves shop keepers or TV execs or chair woman but essentially they all show and share the entrepreneurialism traits.

Listening to the podcasts I mentioned, other personality traits also seem to be shared by such business people and these include focus and determination, positive, driven and bright. They listen to others and take advice but don’t get put off or knocked back. They are go getters and the business world needs such people with such traits. Interestingly, I don’t think they are very money driven either. Money is the result yes, but not the why or the main reason they do what they do.

Entrepreneurs can work solo but also in teams. They make things happen using their teams, their ambition and their experience. After all we cannot be good at everything even if we are business owners/self employed so why not admit that and use others to help and support us and learn from.

How would you describe yourself? Is entrepreneur an overused word or one that should be used more?

Hope you enjoyed reading this …

10 Marketing mistakes not to make with your business …

I have been in marketing a long time now and I have been self employed for almost 11 years too, so I have had plenty of times and occasions to see simple and common mistakes made time after time. I will just hop up on my soap box and tell you some silly mistakes that I have seen made, and corrected, that once addresses and fixed, can make a difference to you, your business and your customers in a positive way.

  1. Setting up social media profiles (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin, Google my Business) and then leaving them dorment with no regular posts, photos, videos and so on
  2. Having a newsletter sign-up box on your website but never sending an email newsletter out
  3. Creating and printing marketing material that lacks important content eg phone number, special code, url, call to action and so on
  4. Jumping head first into campaigns and starting up ideas but never completing anything or following up. Scattergun approach to marketing as it is known.
  5. Creating and implementing campaigns without knowing the basics of why you are doing this, who you re aiming the messaging at and so on. This is like guesswork and assuming the client will put everything together
  6. Not being organised and working on your marketing randomly or whenever there is time. No consistency or continuity will not lead to results and success
  7. Not following up. If a potential new customer calls you or emails you or submits a form via your website and you do not follow up, this is a real wasted opportunity. It sounds crazy but it has happened. To the customer, it is like you can’t be bothered with them and they will simply go elsewhere to buy
  8. Receiving some good news eg a new project, company anniversary, award win etc and then not telling anyone about it! No press release, no social media post, no radio interview, nothing! It is ok to be proud and shout about your achievements. If you don’t, no one else will
  9. Not going networking. Staying in your home office or office and not getting there amongst suppliers or customers/potential customers can be fatal. Networking can help you grow, train and learn, but it can also get your name/your businesses name out there to those in the room and all their contacts! I recommended you Google #GirardsLawof250
  10. Not having a content plan to showcase all of your products/services across all your marketing channels. To ensure all services are marketed equally and to enable content to be written and recycled for blog, website, minutes, social media, your monthly content plan will contain, for each medium, a template outlining ideas and draft wording.

Whereas these mistakes are not gravely serious, in the grand scheme of things, they are still mistakes that need addressing in order to maintain professionalism and to keep up your brand and personal brand appearance. If you need help in correcting your mistakes or not making them in the first place, get in touch.