Safe to say July has been a busy month in terms of helping people with social media, and also taking on new clients to run their social media.
I thought writing a post about this would be useful, because I feel like we do this very differently at Gwe Cambrian Web, and we offer a lot of value for money too.
Social media is, as we know, about being social. It isn’t about scheduling in a month of content and feeling chuffed when you send off your invoice. There really is a lot more to it!
So when I tell people they need to be posting consistently, I also tell people they need to be engaging and networking too. In essence, you need to be spending time on the platforms as well – watch the stories, explore the feed, interact with your followers. In fact, on Instagram, this is essential! It’s even a part of their algorithm!
I always include this allocation of time in my packages, I spend time chatting away (my favourite thing) and engaging with people in the sector and the audience. I see so many times businesses just posting and saying how much they will post per week per platform – but you could do so much better by making sure you network and engage.
So, if you are looking for someone to run or help you with your social media, make sure they will be social online. Also, make sure they understand your business! It’s essential!
How often do you offer discounts on your services or products? Do you know why?
So back in 2018 we ran a few discounts, most notably we offered all new businesses 50% off website designs – and to be honest, I don’t think we had a single enquiry based OFF that. In fact, I shot myself in the foot more than once telling enquiries we did this, afraid I’d lose them.
When I won the Forward Ladies Regional Awards, part of the next stage was a live judging day. This was held in Manchester and we were basically interviewed by 3 judges about the nomination and what we do. Part of my application had been to say how we offer these great discounts…
So, cue the interview which I felt went very well – in fact, I learned loads but that’s a blog for another day. One of the questions that will always stick with me though is why do we discount our services? We had a really good chat about it (forget Apprentice style grilling, this was very much more like a group of us understanding what my business did, while I also learned too). So my reply was of course we have to compete with our competition, other companies do this as well and new businesses will appreciate the gesture. This all seemed very legit to me, and still does in some respects.
One of the judges just came out and said it – “but you’re under-valuing everything you do”. When it comes down to it, by offering 50% it showed people that we didn’t believe in our 100% prices, we were happy to do that work at half the cost, so is that a business you want to give your money to? Right it’s different if you sell items perhaps that are now going out of fashion, but in terms of service to service type businesses, it’s a very valid point.
On my long train journey home I remember mulling this over, and contacting Emlyn. We agreed that yes, we were giving the wrong message, and there are other ways to help these businesses. We remove that discount, and can honestly say we’ve never looked back.
In fact, in the 2 years since, I’ve only ever had someone ask me for a reduction in cost once – and I said no, sorry – and they came to us anyway.
So, if you area B2B business and you’re offering a huge discount – have a rethink. Not only are you completely undercutting the market, but you are playing a part in devaluing that service too. I think discounts or freebies can be offered in certain circumstances, but shouldn’t be as a general “always available” deal. Would love to know your comments below if you have any thoughts!
At the start of the year, I always have a good think about what I want to achieve during the year. This year, I wanted to get started on hosting workshops with the business – and because of coronavirus we did this, albeit it virtually. They’ve been super popular and something we’re very keen to continue doing!
A much longer term plan would have been to speak at an event, so it certainly wasn’t something I was expecting for June 2020 at all! However, with coronavirus locking us all down, I’ve been doing a lot of networking online and wowee, has it paid off!
I’ve written a blog about the importance of networking before, and especially for those of us who are from more rural areas. I’d never have been able to go to as many events as I have during lockdown, because everything has been virtual – and that includes the hour long networking events here, there and everywhere!
All of this networking led me to becoming a founding member of the new Digital Women membership platform (which if you’re not part of, I highly, highly recommend you look at). This then led to being asked (or told, whichever way you look at it) to speak at the next digital skills summit that Digital Women have been arranging during lockdown!
FANTASTIC! I actually did a few happy dances at the thought! Then it was a case of figuring out what to talk about. With the Gwe Cambrian Web, our bread and butter is websites, but we’ve also moved hugely into social media. Thinking cap on, and knowing there would be a huge range of other amazing speakers, I decided to stick to the websites as a topic.
So, why not sign up to my talk at the Digital Skills Summit on June 30th, – level up your website. It’s a completely FREE event, with 22 speakers from 10am to 4pm, covering such a huge range of digital skills.
Back in 2019 (way back when right?!) I was on the f:entrepreneur #ialso Top 100 list. What is it? Well, something that actually keeps chiming and chiming with me in 2020 for sure.
The purpose of the #ialso campaign by the f:entrepreneur team was to highlight that generally, women in business don’t “just” do that one business. In general, there is a huge trend for women to be juggling a lot more.
So I thought, as people know me for Gwe Cambrian Web (website design and social media obsessive), why not let you know what else I’m involved in? What got me onto that list?
This is probably the biggest thing on my #ialso list. I’m the finance director for Menter Aberystwyth, which is a partnership organisation here in Aberystwyth. I volunteer my time, and help organise a range of events. Finance director is a bit of a swanky title, because I do a lot more than that! We organise 4 events in the year, and I lead on one of those. I get to be part of the Christmas Lights switch on, the Aber First Awards, Summer Fete and in 2020, the Talking Business Conference. So, lots of event organising, lots of community engagement, marketing (of course) and also asking for funding.
Co-founder of the Aberystwyth Business Hub
This is actually where our office is based, but we also rent out office spaces, hot desks, meeting rooms and virtual offices. Moving to this building was our chance for a lovely shop window, and actually daylight (we had a basement office before). I REALLY wanted to move here when the building came up, and we basically worked backwards from agreeing we wanted it, to what would we do with the whole building!
Business on the side…
I do also have another business which is completely outside of websites and digital marketing, called Discover Your Wales. I set this up back in 2015,and typically, Gwe Cambrian Web just launched itself a few levels higher than I expected! Discover Your Wales is a holiday cottage agency, and a sector I am still very passionate about. I’d love to get more time to really dedicate to this, but to be honest, it seems quite happy running itself!
Business Mentor with Business Wales
I actually applied for this after reaching the #ialso list, because I just get so excited and passionate about people and their businesses that I felt I’d be a great fit and hopefully of some use! I currently have 3 mentees and really enjoy chatting to them about their goals and objectives, learning about their passions and hopefully helping to steer them in the right direction!
Role Model for Big Ideas Wales
I was chuffed to be asked to be a role model for Big Ideas Wales in 2019. It’s all about inspiring young people that the “traditional” career paths aren’t the only options out there – as we know! I get to visit schools and colleges and inspire (hopefully) the next generation of amazing business people!
Other bits and bobs
You know with networking and spending time doing all of the things above, you inevitably end up just helping out all the time, and I love that. I love it when someone comes to me on social or in my inbox because they’ve been recommended to me for some advice or signposting. If I can help, or throw in some advice, then it’s worth it. You have to give in this life.
And it’s not all work, I’m also part of 2 choirs and a recital group, although in the run up to the Eisteddfod Genedlaethol in 2021, it’s 5 choirs…! For me, the singing and recital is a good way to make sure I don’t work 24/7. It’s also a brilliant way of expanding your network outside of your sector, and meeting new friends which can be hard, when you run your own company!
Facebook really is such a powerful tool for small businesses, and large businesses! During lockdown, I’ve delivered many webinars about social media and Facebook specifically, and it really made me realise that a lot of people do not know how powerful it is.
Even just looking at Facebook in a basic sense, it’s potential for you as a small business is a great. You can set up a specific business page which you fill with all of your business information, and you can post to your followers. You can just try and grow your page like this but it’s the networking and features that Facebook offer which is where you can really boost your social media.
Facebook has a lot of features for business, it’s really there to make promoting your business easy and dare I say it, enjoyable! The more you use and get stuck in with Facebook, the easier you’ll find growing your page and your following.
You can post in loads of different ways on Facebook, which really helps to keep your page looking diverse and interesting. I’d always recommend making sure each post looks good – that could be by using an image or video, or even a website link which pulls through a good picture. You can also use polls, background colours, you could go live, make slideshows – lots of difference features. Facebook even helps you choose them!
Facebook has a good stories feature, which works in a very similar way to Instagram – although personally, if you do have an Instagram page and post to Stories on there, I would share them directly over. The options on Instagram feel more sleek!
This is the big one for Facebook and it’s growing and growing in popularity. So there’s a two prong approach here really – the potential for joining groups and networking, and then also creating your own group around your page and business community.
On Facebook you can search and find a group for pretty much anything – the key is finding one that will be valuable to you. So, for me, I like groups that are talking about digital or helping small businesses feel empowered. I want a group that has a lot of discussion and nattering (because it’s what I like to do as well), answering questions and sharing information. I’ve joined many groups that end up just being post after post with no engagement – that’s not for me. So, find your group on Facebook and then remember – be a part of it.
I’ve honestly had a lot of business through Facebook groups and networking in them. My top tip, forget the “sell sell sell” and concentrate more on providing valuable answers and comments, and working on your repuation that way.
Did you know you can book appointments via Facebook? It seems to be a little known feature, but incredibly powerful depending on your line of work. I’m thinking especially beauticians and hairdressers. You turn on the appointments tab on your page, and set up what appointment slots you have available on what days.
Visitors to your page can then book that slot, and you can confirm and communicate with them via messenger.
Now that the new Facebook shops has rolled out in the UK, a huge new potential for anyone selling online!
First though – don’t rely on just Facebook shops, please! It’s a fickle beast, and if you put all of your energy into this and don’t look at an ecommerce website or other platforms, you might be left hanging if your page gets taken away from you – and they do!
The new Facebook Shops comes with a lot of features, and from my small amount of dabbling – you can create catelogues with collections and products, link your shop to your website or take payments via Facebook (for a small cost, of course), link products and of course link it over to Instagram too.
The beauty of a shop is, when you then post to your page, you can tag your products and promote them. Even if you’re only tagging them in the picture and not directly “sell sell sell-ing”, it just makes your page a lot more flexible, and helpful to you.
The new shops will also soon be able to link up to your websites, so if you’ve got a WordPress ecommerce shop, you can link the two and it manages your stock control. Swanky! I’m not sure yet of the full list of platforms it will work with, but I know WordPress is on the list!
Similar to the appointments tab, you can also advertise jobs on Facebook and they get brilliant reach too! Within the tool, you can set up how people apply for the job (be it through Facebook or an external website, do they send a CV or fill in some questions you can set up) and reply to them. You can tag them as making the interview or shortlist stage, you can really keep on top of the process all from within the one area.
What’s great about this is that from experience, the jobs do get a lot of local traction, so if you are a hotel or seasonal business with jobs coming and going often, Facebook is a great avenue to go down… and it’s free!
This is a fairly new feature, where you can create video rooms either on your personal profile or within a group.
Think – Zoom or Teams, it works in the same way with a maximum of 50 people. Great way to create networking sessions within the groups!