3 reasons to join the blogging revolution

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Are you wondering why so many small business owners are blogging? Don’t really understand the benefits?

Here are three great reasons why you should join the blogging revolution:

  1. Blogs help you convert your page viewers into customers.

They educate your potential customers about your products or services and how you answer their problems.

If your ideal customers are time-poor, cash-rich small business owners, you need to show them how you can alleviate their pain and take away some of their burdens.

Notice the word used – show. You can tell someone you’re what they need until you’re blue in the face, it won’t make half the impact of someone else in a similar position to them saying the same thing.

Case studies are king. Testimonials from real people – preferably with pictures – give you gravitas.

Educate your potential customers in a fun way, engage them, and they become part of your team.

Be authentic, and they’ll choose to stay within that team and you’ll build goodwill.

Once they’re in your tribe, they’re more likely to make the leap towards purchasing what you offer.

  1. They help your SEO.

Regular blogging on your website, and sharing on social media, drives more people to your site.

That helps your SEO and the way you rank in search engine results.

It becomes a virtuous circle.

Use clever links between your blog and key, relevant pages on your site and you’ll help keep your bounce rate (the number of visitors who go to one page and ‘bounce’ straight back off the site) down to a healthy level too.

  1. They build your brand.

Being visible on social media helps you to spread your brand values. Blogs give you content which you can sculpt to those values to share regularly on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Pinterest.

You can embed video, images, or audio to make your blogs a rich experience.

Blogs are useful as part of your overall brand marketing including promotional products, visual branding like logos, your website, and even branded car wraps.

Too busy to blog?

If you need help with your blogging, give us a call on 07790 654274 or email maria@wordsyoucanuse.co.uk

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How the Pokémon Go phenomenon could work for you

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There’s no doubt that Pokémon Go is the world’s most successful mobile app.

In Germany, it hit the number one spot on the iPhone chart which measures app revenue within three hours of its launch in the country.

It took just 13 hours to reach the top of the US sales chart last week.Industry experts are saying it’s making $2 million a day in the USA. Its launch in the UK today mean thousands and thousands of UK players are about to follow in the footsteps of people around the world.

The augmented reality (AR) app shows Pokémon characters in cartoon versions of real-world locations. Players have to use the app to throw balls at them and catch them. Some Pokémon characters are much rarer – and more valuable in the game – than others.

This isn’t just for children. People in their twenties have grown up with Pokémon characters and many are playing the game.

Why am I telling you all this?

The answer’s simple – savvy business people in the retail and leisure industries can use this phenomenon to drive sales.

Find out where the Pokémon characters are near your shop, cafe, bar, restaurant, or leisure outlet, and tell your potential customers on social media. Encourage them to visit your place with special offers. You could even encourage group ‘hang-outs’ for people searching for characters to collect – to swap ideas and suggestions.

Players will be looking to collect different characters and hunting for the rarer ones – you will be building your brand on social media by helping them. You could also be driving up the footfall at your premises.

Pikachu and his pals could end up helping your sales – if you make the most of the opportunity.

MARIA WILLIAMS IS A PR, COPYWRITER, AND BLOGGER FOR SMALL BUSINESS. VISIT www.wordsyoucanuse.co.uk.

 

 

 

4 of the best on Brexit, Euro 2016, and small businesses

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Brexit, Euro 2016, and the day-to-day challenges of running a small business have been on the minds of our blogging customers this summer.

In case you missed them, here are four  of the blogs we’ve written for some of our clients in the past few weeks:

3 compelling reasons you should buy silver now – read more.

The 10 commandments of business networking – read more.

7 ways to find the right finance for your business – read more.

How your business can survive a summer of sport – read more.

Need someone to bring expertise and creativity to your blog? Call us on 07790 654274. Check out our affordable blogging packages here.

Time for your 60-second make-over

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Some people love them. Some people hate them. Those 60-second slots  to introduce ourselves at networking sessions are business Marmite.
However you feel about them, they can be important when it comes to making the right impression on would-be customers.
Do well, and you might make a lasting business-client relationship.
Do badly, and you pass up a chance to impress.
Here are my top 5 tips to ensure you make the right impression:

1. Say who you are and what you do.
You’d be amazed how many people forget this. It’s worth saying it up front, and reminding people quickly at the end.

2. Talk about what you can do for potential customers.
So many people talk about themselves and list their products. Would-be customers want to know how you can help them – sell the benefits.

3. Create a way to be remembered.
Taking something visual along is a good tip. Will you be the bloke with the hi-vis vest or the woman with the hula hoop? You’ll stand out from the crowd.
Creating a verbal hook for the end of your speech is also a good technique – something which plays on words in your industry always goes down well.

4. Write it down.
If you don’t want to write down the whole 60-second speech, write bullet points. You will forget things, otherwise. It’s useful to have something to pull you back into the flow if you feel yourself getting lost.

5. React to things around you.
Think about the audience, the location, or if something funny has just happened. Don’t be afraid to work a little of that in at the last minute – it’ll make your 60 seconds seem fresh.

Don’t worry if it feels daunting – most of us felt like that until we became used to doing it. I certainly did!
Practise makes perfect. So even if you have a few stumbles on the first few occasions you speak, you will improve.
Remember, there’s always someone new at these events who won’t have seen your 60 seconds before.
You can make a great first impression on them, and change the way the rest of the group sees you, too.
It’s time for your 60-second make-over!

Maria Williams is a copywriter, professional blogger, and PR for small business. Visit www.wordsyoucanuse.co.uk.

Want a Star Wars wedding? Former registrar’s new business will help you celebrate

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If you’d like a hand-fasting, a zombie-themed wedding, a non-religious naming ceremony, or a non-religious funeral, you need a celebrant who will help make your day reflect your personality.

For former registrar Jane Grayer (pictured above), the desire to give people the individual ceremonies they need is the reason she set up her small business, Create Ceremonies.

Monmouthshire-based Jane, 50, carries out weddings and commitment ceremonies, funerals, and naming and family ceremonies.

Recently, she created a special ceremony to mark the adoption of a child.

“It was a lovely day,” says the former stage manager and charity worker.

“I haven’t heard of anyone else creating ceremonies like that for when adoption becomes legal and the process in the courts has ended.

“The ceremony marked a welcoming of the child into the family.”

Supportive adults were chosen – a non-religious version of god-parents. They help and support a child throughout their life.

“I thoroughly enjoyed my four years as a registrar, but registrars are bound by the law. For example, they can only carry out a ceremony in a permanent structure with walls and a roof,” Jane says.

“Now, I can offer ceremonies outdoors, or in places which haven’t been licensed for marriage such as a number of castles in Wales.

“The couple would have to legally have a Register Office ceremony too, but some people like to have their own ceremonies afterwards in places which are special to them, or in different ways. They can write their own vows, and make their commitment in their own way.”

In an era of blended families, non-traditional ceremonies can help create special roles for those who would not necessarily take a major role in a traditional wedding, like step-parents and step-siblings.

People feel increasingly confident to ask for something different for their family ceremonies, Jane says. Her clients come from all faiths and no faith.

Some of the commitment ceremonies she offers are perfect for those who want to show their commitment without having a legal marriage – such as hand-fasting and broom jumping.

Jane, a member of the UK Society of Celebrants, gets to know her clients and their personalities and offers them a bespoke and personalized service.

As more people ask for non-religious funerals, Jane also works with the families to create ceremonies which reflect the life of the person they have lost.

She also creates non-religious baby naming ceremonies for parents who prefer to welcome their child into their family without a traditional christening ceremony.

Jane, who lives with her husband and two teenage sons in Monmouthshire, carries out ceremonies across South Wales.

To find out more about Jane’s work, go to www.createceremonies.co.uk. Or you can call 07733 201158.

Do you have an unusual business you’d like us to feature on this blog? Email maria@wordsyoucanuse.co.uk

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How to share the buzz on Record Store Day

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Hundreds of independent shops will take part in the UK’s Record Store Day 2016.

This year’s event is set to be the biggest ever seen with more than 200 stores taking part and tens of thousands of music fans attending live events to mark the day.

There will also be 500 limited edition vinyl releases on Saturday from artists like Florence and the Machine, Primal Scream and David Bowie.

A number of the events have a strong Bowie theme to mark the passing of the music legend three months ago.

Record Store Day began in the USA nine years ago and is coordinated by the Entertainment Retailers Association in the UK. This year, the day is staged in partnership with BBC Music.

Recent years have seen a resurgence in vinyl sales, fueled by events like Record Store Day. In 2008, there were just over 75,000 vinyl albums sold in the UK. Sales reached 2.2 million records in 2015. In 2016, LP sales are already up 67% on last year’s figures.

If you’re taking part, make the most of your marketing opportunity.

Use the official hashtag #RSD16 when posting your events on social media and copy in Record Store Day’s official feeds for Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. That will give your posts a wider audience.

USEFUL SITES:

www.recordstoreday.co.uk
www.facebook.com/rsdayuk
www.twitter.com/RSDUK
www.instagram.com/recordstoreday

Share the buzz

Let local media know what you’re doing. Here’s the official press kit: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/nw7b3b6vlvc1aqw/AADKhN8jAYtLyTu_WV8v_6bla?dl=0 – if they can’t attend send them video and pictures during the day for their websites, and after the day for their print editions.

Here’s The Wonderstuff’s Miles Hunt at last year’s event in Swordfish Records:

Plug your events on their sites and your own channels before the day.

Share your images and social media posts throughout the day – people will spot them and decide to come into your store. Retweet and re-post images your customers have taken during your events.

Create a year-round Facebook page for your Record Store Day events and encourage followers to share their stories and images with you. Keep it going so you can use it again in the run-up to next year’s event.

 Here are just some of the events on offer:

  • Rough Trade in East London will be hosting Irish singer- songwriter Glen Hansard, multi-instrumentalist Georgia and Benjamin John Power’s solo project Blanck Massplus.
  • The Museum of Soho will be screening three Bowie-related documentaries from the BBC Arena archive on Saturday.
  • In Newport, Gwent, Newport Rises and Newport City Radio have organised a ‘pop up’ vinyl sale in the foyer of Newport Market and a showcase of the best live music in three locations around the city centre. Kriminal Records based in Newport Market is donating records to sell in order to raise money for Maes Ebbw School. The ‘Kriminal Records pop up shop’ will be open in the foyer of Newport Market during the day.  Newport City Radio will host local music acts across three sites:  at the vinyl sale; at Slipping Jimmy’s bar and grill on High Street; and The Ivy Bush in Clarence Place, from 2pm. Diverse Records on Skinner Street will also have exclusive vinyl releases.
  • The British Record Shop Archive is hosting an exclusive pop-up curated by the Museum of Soho from April 14 to 21 on Beak Street, Carnaby.
  • Pie & Vinyl in Southsea is hosting an outside music festival with Band of Skulls taking the headline spot
  • Hannah Peel is touring the South East Coast with her music box. She will be attempting to perform nine live in-store performances in one day. She starts off in Brighton.
  • Piccadilly Records in Manchester is hosting DJ sets from Mary Anne Hobbs and Domino’s Higher Authorities. Face painters will transform staff and customers into their favourite David Bowie incarnation.
  • Container Records host an all-day DJ party at Pop Brixton.
  • Rough Trade in Nottingham hosts soul star Charles Bradley.
  • The first vinyl playback of Ian Brown’s Solarized LP will take place at London’s Soho Hotel in conjunction with Sister Ray – in total darkness.
  • Inspiral Carpets’ Tom Hingley will be performing an acoustic set for the crowds at Vinyl Revival in Manchester.
  • Jumbo Records in Leeds is staging performances in store by C Duncan and Allusondrugs.
  • VOD Music in Mold (which measures 67 sq ft and is said to be the smallest record shop in the UK) has limited edition vinyl releases and festivities.
  • Vox Box in Glasgow has 15 bands lined up to play in store including 2016 RSD artist Pinact and Emma Pollock.

Find your local record shops using Record Store Day’s store locator here: http://recordstoreday.co.uk/participating-stores/

Maria Williams is a copywriter, professional blogger, and PR for small business. Visit www.wordsyoucanuse.co.uk

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Business coaching event planned at Celtic Manor Resort

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The five-star Celtic Manor Resort in Newport (pictured) will host a ‘growth club’ helping business owners focus on making their companies flourish .

The day-long event on April 29 is organised by Action Coach for businesses from across south Wales.

Coaches Simon Buck, Cassandra Bodington, Nigel Jew, and Chris Gibbons will help each entrepreneur come up with the one key thing they can do to make their businesses a success in the coming quarter.

Business consulting firm Action Coach holds the day-long sessions quarterly, and they involve reviewing a business’ goals, brainstorming solutions to problems, and meeting other business owners.

Anyone not already a member of Action Coach’s network can try out a day-long session including a one-to-one coaching meeting for £595 plus VAT, while members attend free.

Find out more or book a place here. The Celtic Manor, which hosted the Ryder Cup in 2010, is owned by billionaire businessman Sir Terry Matthews.