Discovering your passion

Have you ever looked at the end result of someone’s life you look up too, but fail to see how to make that happen for us. I find the trouble with this approach to finding one’s passion means that when things do go the way we planned we become disappointed. There is also the possibility that we don’t really know what we want to aim for, and yet we see other people achieving levels of success in areas that we aspire to – this can leave us feeling lost and discouraged.

I loved this quote from Gary Vaynerchuk who said:

“You’re not lost in life, you’re just early in the process.” 

Perhaps, when it boils down to it what stops us more from discovering our passion is the fear of failure, but what if to fail was to pay the cost of achieve success.

“Without failure there is no achievement.” – John Maxwell

 

Got any top tips for discovering your passion? If this encouraged you, please do let me know. As always I’d love to hear your thoughts on this blog.

Much love,

Leanne xox

 

 

 

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4 trends you need to know about driving growth in 2017

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As companies begin to think more like their customers, and ideas spread across industries faster, it’s important to be aware that consumers are actively comparing and contrasting business performance when making a decision on where to spend their money. With today’s consumer now looking for control and convenience over their time, money and space companies will be challenged to react to market trends quickly and effectively. In this post, I’ve identified 4 areas that we see playing an important role in defining company strategy in 2017. This is based on findings of a white paper produced by White Space agency.

  1. New pricing and ownership models

 

Thanks to Spotify, Netflix and Zipcar who took this ownership model mainstream we are now able to purchase products that were expensive, or used infrequently on a need to want basis. Research has also shown that this of particular attraction to millennial consumers who have less space and money and can see the benefits to removing the burden of ownership. There is also a growing trend in subscription services that provide us with the basics, including; coffee, razor blades and underwear, which saves the consumer time and offers that all important convenience factor. Where it is possible to offer this kind of service companies will be able to maintain value to the customer, and nurture long-term relationships with individuals. Despite the expense of changing pricing models for an established company, I believe it’s worthwhile for companies looking to determine whether products should be marketed and sold as a service, or promote the value of ownership as identify.

 

  1. Energy Storage

 

Fully expect to see lots of changes in the area of renewable and energy storage this year. This shift comes as policy changes to the feed-in-tariff and a fall in the price of renewable energy below the level of oil and gas, contributing to the reduction in the installation of renewables throughout the UK. This being the case you may see those type of companies switch sales strategies and seek alternative revenue streams once Ofgem sets clear guidelines for ‘energy generation’ going forward. The reduction in price to energy storage has opened doors for businesses operating in this space to tackle the issue of whether energy storage units are appropriate for them, or if there is an opportunity to lease additional storage space to the National Grid to enable them to reduce peak demand.

 

  1. Customer Service Automation

 

The power of good customer service will give businesses the power to increase acquisition, retention and encourage brand loyalty. As mentioned earlier the high expectations of today’s consumer now demands an easy, effective and emotive service at their convenience. And with companies like Amazon and Uber leading the way on change, it’s not how well established you are, but how well you adopt new technologies that allow for easy and effective customer service. This means stripping back those long and complicated menu systems and replacing it with voice recognition software that can help people get where they need to go quicker.

Companies who can capitalise on this trend and look for data and ways to problem-solve in real-time, linking up different channels, through one seamless approach will reap great rewards.

 

  1. New Payment Methods

 

Don’t expect to see new technology go viral, but there is good reason to believe there will be improvements in the way payments are currently taken, and opportunities for gathering additional consumer rich data that will provide useful insight to companies looking to strengthen internal analytics functions, and be better prepared. It’s thought that this year will be one of rapid innovation, marked by increasingly sophisticated payment-based data and biometric payments.  For example, you can now confirm your identity by looking at your eyes through a camera on a mobile phone – a technology developed by ‘EyeVerify’ and already being used by early adopters such as Mastercard and Atom Bank. With these targeted payment technology options available, suppliers and retailers can now plan on how they will use the data collected from these streams to improve and add value to the customer experience and be different.

 

Conclusion
As the boundaries between different types of companies become blurred, and the consumer draws comparison from companies across sectors with keywords such as speed and convenience drawing their attention. It’s vital for the established companies including supermarkets, utilities providers and those in the financial sector to identify the trends and take action on market demands to avoid the risk of being left behind.

What’s personal branding got to do with it? 

So what about your personal brand?
I was recently asked about some thoughts on personal branding and decided to share a few more as I think it could be helpful and relevant to you. Especially if you are embarking on a new blog.

I’ve talked a little about some of the things you should think about when starting a blog, but now I want to get you thinking about your personal brand.


1. What is personal branding? It’s simply the who, what and why you do what you do.

2. Why is it important? To be able to communicate who you are and what do with a clear message on what you are trying to achieve is important for yourself and engaging your audience.

3. What can I do to nail my personal brand? Get a pen and paper and write down words that you feel describe you, your gifts, your vision. Try to keep it to 2 or 3 sentences max. If it helps just answer who, what and why.

“A picture tells 1000 words” 

Think about the images you have across your blog, and social media platforms. Are they easily identifiable? Do they communicate something linking back to the who, what and why you do you? This could be translated in the colours you choose, a logo or a corresponding image that you use across each platform.

Ok, that’s a few thoughts from me on personal branding. What’s yours? Share below or join me next Friday for more discussion on growing with your brand.

Xx

How often should I post on social media?

I get asked this question a lot, so today I thought I’d do a quick blog post on my recommendations.

*Disclaimer I am by no means saying that I have been great at sticking to this with my own blog for the past few years. Working full-time, building a business and life has got in the way of me applying my own advice with this blog. However, this is my professional opinion and best practice tip that I hope helps shed a little light for you.

Consistency is key

The true answer is I am unable to suggest what works best for you, and how often you should post. It depends on your business, your objectives, and your resource. What I will say though is that if you post sporadically every few months or weeks, then it doesn’t look good. It can also give the impression that your business has gone bust or non-extinct.

Managing social media channels is a full-time job, so if you are a small business or start-up, then I recommend choosing two social media channels that best capture the audience you are trying to reach.

For example if you are trying to reach a mother with a lifestyle product, then you might want to think about Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest. And if you are a business looking to sell to other businesses, then you might want to focus your social media efforts on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Twitter is a noisy platform, so I would recommend trying to post between 2-4 times a day if you can.

For a channel like Facebook and Instagram, I would start with once post a day. However, please note this is to maintain the profiles and not with regards to reach as this Facebook most definitely requires a level of paid social when targeting a specific audience. In addition to that, bare in mind Facebook and Instagram post require heavily on images and video content, and making it accessible to a large and growing mobile audience. This will definitely require more crafting with images, video content, and tailoring of text and call to action.

3 benefits of scheduling content

  1. You create more room to be reactive when the unexpected happens, which it always does. One of my favourite examples of this was the Oreo’s dunk in the dark twitter ad, which goes all the way back to 2013, and still relevant today.
  2. You allow yourself time to carve out an library of content that enables you to plan time-sensitive content such as events, awareness days, special events in a social media calendar.
  3. You can track what content performs best. Analysing your performance is an important part of my job as a social media manager. It’s not good enough to litter your social media profiles with content that doesn’t perform, so we must keep track and be prepared to make adjustments along the way.

There are many tools that you could use to help keep your social media profiles alive. I recently wrote a blog reviewing a few here, but there area  million more. Personally, I use Buffer it does what I need to do and it’s cost effective compared to some of the others I know of. The first two channels are free. If you have more than 2 channels, then it can cost you from $10 a month.

 

 

Boost your business with Facebook review

Last week, I had the privilege of attending an afternoon event with Facebook & Instagram on how to boost your business using Facebook and Instagram, so I thought I’d share a few snapshots and thoughts that stood out from the day.

We had some free coffee! Big thank you to the the lovely guys over a @pactcoffee and the Instagram team for that. There was cake too! I may eaten a few of those.. cringe! Oh well, back to the gym on Monday! 🙂


We heard from Olly Sewell, SMB manager for Facebook UK and Ireland. 

Tanya Beckett did a fabulous job hosting the event and below are three of the entrepreneurs that gave testimony of their success using Facebook. I thought Tricia Cusden was by far the most interesting story on the panel with her make up brand Look Fabulous Forever.

They also gave delegates the opportunity to screen print an Instagram photo of their choice. I choose to have my own brand logo, Frame Your World, which is a new range of inspiring lifestyle products that I am launching this summer.


So I know I’ve rambled on about my experience of the event itself, but from a business perspective it really is the best way to go with advertising and connecting to your target market.

I am particularly impressed by the developments of Instagram as the iconic vintage logo has now been officially facebooked! Yes, grammar police I just did that. With a new white background and a brand new logo, which doesn’t seem to have hit it off with the majority of those attend the event the powers that be defended the move as important to fit in with the Facebook brand. Fair enough! I think change is a process and we will all love the new logo in no time. I’ve got used to it already! I did however find myself reminiscing to the moment I first used Instagram and the Polaroid background that showcased my instant snaps. Ah how times have changed…

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I was rather expected by the mention of rolling out an analytical side to Instagram for business as the relatively new ad platform continues to get into its stride. Instagram is by far one of the hottest channels right now with 400 million active users.

As you all know this is my favourite channel, but incase you need another reason to be on Instagram than its connected to the market leader of social networking. A pictures speaks a 1000 words, and is a universal language. Isn’t that something? I think so.

3 top tips on producing creative content for Instagram

1. Build your content with stories and facts in mind – people remember these things.

2. Be consistent – branded content over time my brand will build. Make sure you have a clear direction, colour scheme, theme and purpose behind every post you publish.

3. Thumpstopping content – when people are sliding through make a quick impact to catch people’s eye. Research from MIT suggest that you have 3 seconds to capture people’s attention, so don’t wait till the end of your add to present the diamond to your customer. Our culture is changing once again, so it’s time to get clear the etch a sketch board and start thinking mobile.

If you need some more reasons, then check out my last post on 3 reasons why you should be on Instagram.

I honestly believe that if you want to be savvy in building and growing your business then you really should consider testify out the Facebook or Instagram ad’s. Besides the menial fact that Facebook ad targeting has a reach of 6.5 billion every month. It’s one of the most targeted and cost efficient way to reach your customer in a very noisy marketplace.

3 quick tips on getting started with Facebook Ad Manager

1. Know your goal – what do you want to get from it? Be aware that a share is much more valuable than a like, and content that is mobile friendly and video will have the greatest reach and impact.

2. Know your audience – you need to know specifics of your target market to get the most out of your campaign

3. Set aside some time aside and log onto Blueprint – Facebook have provided a great resource for help you no matter what level you are starting from that will fully equip you with what you need to know about creating ads.