Almost a month has passed since my last blog post, which was at the very start of the Covid-19 “lockdown” here in Wales. By then, Emlyn and I had already closed our office to the public and gone into voluntary isolation, but now, the whole country is in lockdown. Working from home – much to the joy of our cat, Luna.
Of course the business itself can continue – websites and digital marketing means we can work from anywhere, so we’re very lucky. One of the major changes for my line of work is a huge shift into online meetings and webinars. Conferences and meetups cancelled across the UK, meaning webinars running a huge range of topics have opened up – and it is FANTASTIC.
For the past 3 weeks I’ve been enjoying attending Facebook based training sessions with Kent FSB, which would not have happened in the usual running of the world! The Digital Women conference we all missed in March is moving online next week, and I’m also attended 3 days of webinars the week after too.
Online meetings have also been a great way to attend networking events that I usually would miss because of other committments or travel problems (Aberystwyth is far from many places afterall!). Yesterday afternoon chatting to the North Wales Tweetup folk which we advertise with and support.
And finally the push… we’ve talked about hosting our own training sessions and workshops in the past but never quite got around to it properly. This year though, we’ve launched 4 webinars so far over April and May with hopefully many more to come.
So – welcome, webinars to our world. Here’s hoping that the way we work in the future may change a little! I love going away to conferences and meeting people in real life though, so not too much!
Award season is here, and we’ve been fortunate enough in the past years to have won a handful across Wales and the UK for Gwe Cambrian Web, and for myself as an entrepreneur.
I always get asked whether or not we’ve applied for awards directly, or been nominated. Well, to be honest, it’s always a bit of both! We have amazing customers and contacts who do nominate us for awards across Wales, but I do also make a point of looking at different awards, and applying myself if I feel that the award would be useful to us as a business. In my opinon, there’s little point going in for everything (if anything, it can look a little awkward if you did get shortlisted), and I do think a measured approach to choosing which award would work well for you is the best way forward.
I really do feel though, that as businesses and entrepreneurs, we don’t celebrate awards enough. The first step of actually applying is the biggest – is it because we feel embarrassed? Awkward? Not deserving? All of those personal feelings aside, awards are an excellent marketing tool and over the years have done wonders for our business across Wales and the UK.
Why? Because it adds a great amount of credibility, and if you do your marketing well, you could end up with a lot of increased exposure. I also really enjoy award ceremonies for the networking opportunities, and one of my most influential experiences as an entrepreneur so far was attending a live judging day for an award in 2018. Sounds horrible right? I came away so inspired from that day, that even though I didn’t win the national award, I felt like I’d come away with something much more valuable.
We really do need to celebrate ourselves more. If you run a business, or you’re an entreprenur, or making waves in the charity sector or community – why not get out there and see what awards you can apply for? You never know what will happen – I ended up in the top 4 Young Entrepreneurs of the Year in the UK in 2018, mingling with a whole range of business owners and inspirational people (one of them is now training to be an Astronaut, I mean, come on!).
If you don’t try, you’ll never know what you’re missing out on!
I probably run my social media training in very different way to others in my area. I really do much prefer the 1-2-1 or small group setting, than larger workshops… but why?
I remember years ago when we first started Gwe Cambrian Web in 2013, going to a lot of workshops and events about websites and social media. One of the ones I remember vividly had around 40 in the room, and I came away learning nothing. The range of experience was so varied, it was impossible to cover all aspects for all in the room.
So, when we decided about 2 years ago to branch into digital marketing more officially, I knew that I wanted to concentrate more on the smaller, intimate workshops/groups. I also believe you can’t provide truly useful training without a good understand of the business you’re helping – its values, ethos, goals.
That’s not to say large workshops are impossible, quite the opposite. In fact, it just doesn’t strike a chord with how I’d like to provide training for social media. That’s just a personal thing.
Before I host a training session, I take time to complete a detailed audit of the social media activity for my own records. This gives me a really good basis to understand what’s already going on and where training will help. I also spend time going through the website, making sure that the message the website provides is the same as the social media – especially in terms of goals, ethos, attitude, branding.
Hosting my sessions like this means that no matter how experienced you are, if you feel like you want to come to me for training, I’ve done plenty of research to help and discuss your social media with you.
Don’t forget, training isn’t just showing you how to navigate creating a post or going back to basics. It’s boosting your social media at the moment.
Just what does a social media audit mean? It’s a service I offer, but perhaps the title itself isn’t very clear. Let’s explain…
Think of an audit as a second pair of eyes. For a social media audit, I look at the following and more:
- All of your social media platforms
- The variety of your posts
- How well you use the different post options available to you
- Your brand consistency
- Your brand language
- Use of graphics
- The variety and use of call to actions
- Use of hashtags
An audit is a great way to give you some ideas on how to boost your social media – it’s not a service I offer to critique you or pick holes in your current marketing strategy. It’s there to affirm what you are currently doing, and help you tweak and improve moving forward.
Sometimes, it does just take that second pair of eyes, from outside of your business to provide some new ideas! Nothing wrong with that at all.
Social media is the perfect way to show off your personality online, and in an age where we crave that personal touch, what could be more important?
Let’s focus on a small business perspective – a lot of my social media clients will ask me what they can post about, because quite frankly, they feel that they don’t have a lot to say.
This is where personality comes in.
Every business has its own personality, whether you meant to let it happen or not. It’ll come from the graphics you use, the content you usually share, the brand – colours, fonts. At some point, if you didn’t mean it, you’ll be able to look at your social media and brand and see a clear personality.
I have two main businesses – the first, was set up 7 years ago and is the core business for me (Gwe Cambrian Web). We focus on providing great website designs, excellent customer service, honesty and transparency and basically being very helpful whereever we can. Alongside that, the main focus is to promote the use of the Welsh language online. Our tone of voice is usually professional and informative, but we do have a bit of fun if we’re at events.
The second business, Digida Marketing, was created literally to target a younger audience who want to make an impact on social media. So what we share, and how we speak is completely different for the most part. It can be tricky, but we have two very clear personalities.
How does this help when it comes to social media?
One of the ways I try and describe this is, you have to treat your business as it’s own entity. Imagine it as a person. What sort of things would this person share and say on social media? What sort of things is the person interested in? Will your target audience be interested too? Rather than thinking “what business things can I share on social media”, you can start thinking “what is my business interested in that I can share online/what would I share online?” based on the personality.
And always a good top tip, no matter what field you business is in, your audience will always love to see those behind the scene clips. Just don’t be too repetative!