What is it you do?

Have you asked people this question when networking or out and about? Has anyone asked you this question? If you run your own business then I imagine the answer is yes to both occasions. I certainly have.

Until reading the Go-Givers Sell More book my response to this question would be “marketing consultancy” or “marketing consultancy for small business”. Now I have read this book by Bob Burg and John David Mann, my response will be something along the lines of “I add value to small businesses and help them grow through marketing planning and campaigns”. Or perhaps include “saving time and money …”. Why this change of tact, according to the book sales are more about giving than selling. It is more about influencing, impacting and giving.

Another area that resonated with me, and something I told my pre-teen son about was the fact we cannot make a sale eg we cannot make a person do something. They can lead us, we can lead them but at the end of the day “people will do what people will do.” A simple yet powerful message don’t you think?

As you may know, as a long standing member and now chair of the Athena Network, I cannot praise and recommend networking enough to grow yourself and your business and to build a network and meet people. Not clients or prospects, but people. Don’t oversell and overpitch (read more about MacGuffin) but take time to listen and always always follow up. Networking is also a fabulous way to build up your reputation (the law of 250 by Joe Girard), especially if you ask an open and giving/value adding question like “How can I help you?”

The book also emphasises the giving aspect a lot. This is something I try to do, no actually I do DO this, for my clients. A recent testimonial I received echoed this and it said “Nicole is exceptional marketer outweighed only by her desire and willingness to refer within The Athena Network. She is always the first to follow up after meetings and is very much appreciated by all members. Everyone loves to work with Nicole and she treats every client as if they were her only client.” We can create value ourselves as the authors elude no and we don’t need to rely on others or external forces to do this for us. The aim is to PULL people in and not PUSH yourself out there to them, noy easy but do-able.

The 5 words to add value in this book are:

  1. excellence
  2. consistency
  3. attention
  4. empathy
  5. appreciation

I am recommending wholely the Go-Giver sells more. Find out more here

Introducing William’s Fund – a local charity for you/your business to consider supporting. Find out more …

William’s Fund has so far raised over £900,000 for Childhood cancer research and has set itself a target to reach £1 million by 2020!  William was only 2 years old when he was diagnosed with cancer, it was given various names, but his parents never found out the exact type of cancer William had.  He died aged 4yrs. Achieving the target of £1million will raise the team to the next level of research funding from larger bodies, which is why we need to reach it as soon as possible to secure our research team’s future.

The key to treatment of cancer, especially childhood cancer, lies in the diagnosis and without that the prognosis is poor. Childhood cancers behave in very different way to adult cancers; they respond differently to treatment and can be unpredictable in both positive and negative ways.  According to Cancer Research UK, there were 1756 new cases and 257 deaths from children’s cancers per year 2012-2014.

Where the money goes. Less than 4% of the National cancer research budget is spent on Childhood Cancer, a real poor relative to the big cancer research projects. We know radiotherapy & chemotherapy have a poor track record & nothing has changed in the treatment of childhood cancers in over 50yrs! We at William’s Fund now have forward thinking, innovative and highly respected researchers working to change this. The future does not lie with more chemotherapy but with newer less harmful and more successful treatments. William inspired us to start the fund raising in 2000 and we see this as a fitting tribute to him.

About Williams Fund. William’s Fund is a fundraising organisation based in GX, raising money for Childhood Cancer Research in Oxford. There are no administration costs, these are met by Johanna and Peter Dodd, there are no expenses paid out and the charity does not have any paid employees!

William’s Fund were established in 2000 as a home run organisation. Most of the monies raised to date has come from local residents, businesses and the community. William’s Fund has secured a place in the hearts of the local community. We are aware that to keep up with growth of the research facility going forward, we need to attract guaranteed funding on a larger scale in a shorter time frame. This will secure the momentum of this ground-breaking research and Dr Helen Townley’s future in Childhood Cancer Research. Despite being a skilled and highly sought-after researcher, Dr Townley is keen to stay within the Childhood Cancer sphere, she does however spend increasing amounts of valuable time seeking grants and funding. Annual running costs are in excess of £70k pa. with more investment needed. At our current rate of fundraising we are likely to have a shortfall of £50k against our target, as we reach 2020. Sponsorship and funding going forward would be most welcome to secure the future of this vital facility, one of very few researching Childhood Cancers.

It is not sufficient to assume that therapies for adults can simply be translated to paediatric cancers. Adults and children are known to have different tolerance and response to treatments. Cancer still remains the leading cause of death in children.

Please see the website www.williamsfund.co.uk

William025.jpg                                            Johanna photo


What I have learnt from reading The Go-Giver: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea

Last week at my The Athena Network meeting (High Wycombe, held at Adams Park, home of Wycombe Wanderers FC), the regional director and owner of Melting Pot Communications (Emma Rundle) told us about the book, the Go Giver. I like to learn and learn tips for me, my business and also for my clients, so I went online and bought a copy. I read it last night in one sitting! It isn’t a long book, but it is one full of value. Its message is simple yet effective. It is about a businessman called Joe and the lessons he learns from a business guru he meets. One of the characters/business gurus is also called Nicole Martin, so it was definately meant to be. And thanks to a RT from one of the book’s author, Bob Burg, he has jokingly named me the “Nicole Martin from across the pond!”

So what did the book teach me that I can share with you? Here are just some of the pearls of wisdom, but I don’t want to give everything away as I urge you to go and buy yourselves a copy.

The book/authors/the story taught me to exceed people’s expectations, give value and serve. I do hope that I do this already with my clients, but I shall endeavour to keep doing so. The story also looks at making an impact on others with passion and having  good balance of serving and receiving.

One area that also resonated with me is that of being a good connector and building a network of personal walking ambassadors. This is where groups like Athena and #SBS that I am a part come into play. And funnily enough, I received a great testimonial on Linkedin at the weekend from The Athena Network founder, Jacqueline Rogers, which eluded to just this. She said “I’ve seen Nicole not only excel at the core elements of her profession, supporting business owners to create and implement effective marketing strategies, but also witnessed how much she supports other women to excel in business. Nicole is exceptional marketer outweighed only by her desire and willingness to refer within The Athena Network. She is always the first to follow up after meetings and is very much appreciated by all members. Everyone loves to work with Nicole and she treats every client as if they were her only client. It is not unusual to find an email, a post on LinkedIn a tag where you are referenced.”

And finally, give yourself! You are your most valuable asset.

go giver

Where were you on Tuesday 12th Feb? Birmingham with the SBS crew? You and your small business missed out if not and here is why …

So last Tuesday was a very special day for me, Nicole, and for Pinpoint Marketing. As an SBS winner (SBS is the brainchild of successful businessman and philanthropist Theo Paphitis, Dragons’ Den star), a guest (my friend and website business associate Jo Dickie) and I were invited to the ICC in Birmingham for a jam packed day of networking, learning, celebrating and making plans. I won my #SBS award back in October this annual event was my first one. I had heard so many great things about the event from the previous winners on Twitter and Facebook and they were not overselling it at all I since found out.

From the Google talk, which was full of tips, to the Cyber Security advice, to the networking, catering, headshot photo area by HP, goody bags, exhibition stands, sponsor session and all the breakouts (hosted by winners, including me, but more on that later – Simply Bows and Graffiti Life), it was so educational, inspiring and it genuinely made me proud to be a winner but to also be a business owner of a UK based small business. The highlight, apart from meeting the man himself and getting my photo taken with him as he presented my winners certificate, was the conversation on stage between Theo Paphitis and Sir Tom Hunter. The take home message from this session as a business owner was definately to keep dreaming. To hear from inspiring business gurus who had been there and done it was very very motivational.

So onto my workshop! In January, the SBS crew asked for winners who would consider giving one of the breakout sessions. I put my hand up, whilst panicking slightly, and a few emails and chats later, they liked my idea of presenting what is marketing, how to plan it and how to measure as a workshop with handouts, advice, tips and stories. They kindly promoted the session for me as part of the agenda and event build up and it was really well attended. I couldn’t of been more proud of myself and thrilled I was able to help the people and the businesses in the room with my experience. The feedback to the session included the word fabulous and I have seen posts saying some of the attendees/winners had already started putting the tips to create a marketing plan into place! Wow! So thanks to the crew for allowing little old me to be part of such a prestigious and high calibre agenda and to all those who came to listen to me on the day. I have emailed out the handout to some winners who couldn’t make the marketing workshop session on the day.

I urge all the small businesses out there to get on board the SBS train, keep dreaming and enter just like I did. You have to be in it to win it as they say.  The increase in Twitter followers, the support, the networking, the opportunities and the learning journey are just a few of the reasons why you must go for it from this Sunday onwards! Find out more about #SBS here

SBS is celebrating its 8th birthday and there have been 2500 winners and around 700 were there on the. With over 370,000 applications, us worthy winners account for less than 1% of the entrants. Wow, wow, wow! Thank you Theo, your crew and SBS!


Many of us will be using Valentines Day to improve our relationships.

I see the marketing services I offer very much like engagement and marriage. Once I have find a client or a client finds me through engaging content and putting myself out there, we then move the relationship on.

So why should you engage a marketing expert like me to support you and your business?

  • We are cheaper than a platinum rock
  • We don’t leave mess lying around
  • We don’t hog the remote control

But we do ask you for

  • Your time and involvement
  • Your input and action
  • Answer our calls and emails
  • Commit yourselves to our relationship for the time it lasts

My call to action is to ask you to engage with Pinpoint the website. Go online, look around and see everything that we have to offer. If you see something you like, ask us for a date and we chat all things marketing.

Please also share the love and connect with us on social media.

Thank you.


Nicole Martin of Pinpoint Marketing