Author Archive:Katy Roberts

Your job, as a brand, is to stop the scroll.

photo credit: Anita Stafford

 

What makes you stop scrolling?

Social Scrolling: a gesture that’s become synonymous with killing time while waiting for a coffee date, or while blandly watching some sub-standard show on tv. We scroll – when we have nothing better to do.

Scrolling: The only true sport inspired by social media.

But what makes you stop?

By stop, I don’t mean to close the page you’re on and move on with something more fruitful in your life – I’m talking about the pause to read that which has just caught your attention and absorb whatever message that lies behind it.

Your job, as a brand or as someone who manages any kind of social media campaign, is to make your audience stop scrolling and read what you’re saying.

 

My scroll stop

I was recently partaking in exactly this numb-scrolling activity while waiting for the kettle to boil – and a friend of mind had shared the most amazing picture of a flower. No message, nothing profound, just something that interrupted the mundane on my wall, and hiccuped my attention to take note.

It was a picture (the one above) that she’d taken of a flower while out and about – the most beautiful and intricate design that I’ve ever seen in a bloom. It stopped me in my tracks. And for a few milliseconds, I was absorbed.  I continued scrolling, but for the rest of the day, I seemed to keep remembering what I’d stopped for.

 

What your audience looks for

Knowing how to stop the scroll comes down to a very simple thing: Understanding what your customers desire.  There is no magic recipe that translates social tactics into guaranteed winners, but there are certainly ideas that are inspired through knowing your market:

  • What turns them on?
  • What makes them feel better about themselves?
  • What upsets them?
  • What problem do you solve for them?

When you understand what your audience’s trigger points are, then you’re a huge leap ahead in understanding how to translate that into something that impacts them. And whether you choose to do that through video, imagery, promotions and deals, giveaways, access to info that others don’t have, fancy quotes or controversial comments – all of those become mediums through which you translate your customers desire into solution. And when you get it right, they’ll stop scrolling.

 


Need help re-defining your social media strategy? Get in touch and lets chat today. 


 

4 reasons why you need to show your customers who you really are.

I recently had the joy of taking photos of local business-person Kay Joy, from Kay 9 Dog Training. My remit was clear – we needed to capture some informal, yet professional, photographs of Kay and her dogs Beryl & Betty to use on various platforms – including memberships of professional bodies. And Dorset being Dorset, we headed to the beach.

Kay is no stranger to the camera – she gives her clients clear visibility into her business through regularly posting pictures and videos of her classes, tricks and tips, and more. But, she’s often behind the camera, not in front of it. Thankfully, she realised the one thing that so many businesses simply don’t:  People buy from people – and if you’re not visible, how are they going to be able to establish any sort of connection with you – before they’ve set foot in your class / office?

 

I’m amazed by how often businesses overlook the importance of having a personal visibility to what they do. And if you’ve ever been in any doubt, here are 5 reasons why you need to show your customers who you really are.

  • People buy from people

Whether you’re selling products or services – your About Us page is your opportunity to introduce yourself (or your team) to your prospective client. The way you portray yourself is the definition of your brand. Some choose to be silly, some choose to be stern. Some prefer a professional headshot, while others prefer the more relaxed. Whatever it is, and however you choose to show yourself – remember, you’re creating an impression. So make sure that the pictures match the service that matches what the client gets.  Someone who is looking for a fun-loving, creative way to do some guerrilla marketing, may not be pulled to an image of someone in a suit, in black and white, sitting in front of a bookshelf full of encyclopaedias.

Fresh Brew Marketing Corporate Photos

 

  • There are real people who work there

In a world filled with AI, Bots, Automation, Robotics – we’re at risk of losing a very crucial part of our buying process – the human interaction. I’m not saying that automation is bad, I’m saying that we’re going to have to work twice as hard to demonstrate our personal values, outlook, humanity – in a world that is filled with the immediate.  Displaying and using images of your team (even if if it’s just you) is the key to standing out from someone who does exactly what you do. People buy you – let them see you.

Fresh Brew Marketing Portrait Photography Dorset

  • You build buyer confidence before you’ve even spoken to them.

Many, especially as I’ve experienced personally in the world of dog training, are nervous about taking their first step. In a B2C service environment, and certainly from what I’ve seen industries like healthcare (joining the gym), dog training (taking your less-than-behaved cocker spaniel to a class of all-stars), or even attending just joining a community group for the first time – people are nervous to step out of their comfort zones, to be exposed, to look silly. Before committing to joining anything for the long-run, consumers do a lot of research about the group they’re joining, and the people who run it. And it’s not too dissimilar in the B2B world either. Consumers (regardless of who they are) want to know what they’re buying into – and unfortunately, a bot or a great piece of content that says lovely things, is not enough to give them the confidence they’re looking for.

Fresh Brew Marketing Business Photos Professional Dorset

  • Images (if named correctly) help you get found on the web.

Stepping away from the personality reasons for a sec – in the world of SEO – people often forget the importance of a picture. Search results from image searches bear as much importance as a good blog or a solid SEO write-up. Sharing images, and relating them back to your business, to you, to what you do – is a great way to build your search rankings in a different way.

 


If you’d like to update your staff photos – or even just build a personal portfolio of professionally taken photos, then I’d be happy to help. Whether you’re looking for studio photos, or spontaneous office shots – I can help. Just give me a holler.


 

We’re not built for this. (That’s ok, because I am).

Looking out of my London hotel room this week, I’m greeted by beautiful sunshine, blue skies, and a fan sitting on the windowsill, working overtime – but providing very little relief.

It’s a hot summer in the UK at the moment – and I love it. Coming from South Africa, the heat and sunshine is a welcome nod to outdoor living, al fresco lunches, chilled watermelon in the fridge and random, spontaneous walks on the beach. But (and there’s always a but), one thing is certain – many buildings in the UK are just not built for the heat. They’re built to keep us warm – because it’s usually chilly. And the amount of heat that most experience in the UK is minimal compared to the need for cosy, snug, insulated indoors.

 

But that’s not what this blog is about.

“We [our hotel, or us physically] are just not built for this heat”, says many, in an effort to excuse or cope in some way. And I realise that we are – we’re just not planning properly.

Or at least, we don’t have the tools we need to be able to cope. Give us a rainy day – and we have an assortment of wellies, coats and umbrellas, anti-wet dog coats and special little water-absorbing mats that we magically pull out from nowhere. We’re geared for that. Because we’re used to that.

So, how does business who is not used to something, overcome in times of challenge? Simple – they look at the tools they need.

The beauty of us as freelancers means that we have years of experience on our side – and we’re accessible.

I’ve worked with one client whose raison d’etre is to equip businesses with access to the best specialist consulting know-how. When organisations know they need help, but they have no idea how to access it – Talmix matches them to an independent consultant who has been vetted, has the experience, has the ability to step in, pick up and move on.

As a freelancer myself, we bring something that many others simply don’t: A flexibility and versatility to work according to your timeline, budget and need. It doesn’t matter if you’re not “built for that”, because we are.


Looking for help to become better? Let’s chat. 


 

DIY blogging for business

We all start out with the best intentions. Which is exactly how you should start anything. With gusto. But sometimes, and especially for those business owners who daily juggle the role of accountant vs marketer vs sales person vs customer service delivery, best intentions often get replaced all too quickly by business-of-today – the stuff that simply has to be done in order to make money.

That’s ok. It’s happened to all of us.

The only thing that’s different is how long it takes before business-of-today becomes the number 1 priority, and marketing and other “nice-to-haves” become the things we save for a rainy day.

And then we sit, when we have a lull in business, and we start to find that initial creative excitement that once ignited your business into being – and you realise that you have horribly neglected that one thing that you swore you’d never neglect.

In this instance, the blog.

For almost all my clients, the notion of creating content is daunting – which is why they use me to help them. Having a solid, consistent, regular content stream (in whatever shape or size) is essential to any business – especially if you want to

  • Help current and prospect customers get a feel for what your business is like and who you are.  (Building your brand)
  • Keep your messaging to your clients clear (Your business proposition)
  • Position your business in a certain way or within a certain market (Your value ad)
  • Share your insight and expertise without the hard sell (Business development)
  • Enable people to find your business online – especially if you don’t have the budget to advertise. (SEO development)

So, if you’re reading this and you’re feeling pretty rubbish that you’ve neglected something that you feel you should be doing more regularly, don’t feel that way. It happens to the best of us. It just means that your business has been moving – and you’ve been driving it.

Finding yourself some quiet time to get your focus back in check is the first way to get things back on track. Here are a few tips that may help.

 

Make a note of things that resonate

I am forever making notes – on my phone or on a random piece of paper – about things that resonate with me, throughout the day. I may be walking my Spaniel and have a thought about a cool blog idea, or I may be having a chat with my best friend, and realise the importance of something else – and make a note to come back to it later to explore it in a blog. I may read an interesting article in City A.M. which sparks a discussion on a client’s blog, or I may see a picture that is simply worth sharing. Whatever it is – I make a note of it (mental, or otherwise) and when I’m ready, and in the right frame of mind to turn that into an idea, I develop that (usually into a blog) into something that I can use in my marketing activity, social media or emails.

 

Schedule some time

Things don’t get done, because you let them. Yes, that does make sense. Scheduling time to get things done is one way to ensure that you get to everything on your to-do list – including blogging. So, whether it’s taking a Friday morning in your favourite coffee shop to write a blog and schedule some social activity, or whether it’s a first thing, every day, mission – whatever it is that works for you, identify 1 (or more, if it works) time in your diary, every week, where you focus on getting a piece of content together. You’ll soon see yourself looking forward to these focussed little meetings with yourself, and the excitement of getting something done.

 

Test it on a friend

It’s easier to spot mistakes in other work than our own – especially if you’ve read and re-read your content so many times. If you’re worried about grammar and spelling, or if you’re worried about simply getting your train of thought across, test your piece of content on someone that you trust – a co-worker, a friend, a business mentor. Do it for as long as it takes you to build up your confidence and start pushing out promising content that delivers even more traffic to your website.

 

Understand what the point is

If you don’t know what the point is, then how will your reader?  Often, we start out with a great idea, and then once you’ve written the opening paragraph – you’re faced with a “but what’s the point” dilemma. That’s ok too. Sometimes we (and our message) gets lost in our excitement of delivering it in a compelling way. It just means that you need to strip it back. Try this:

  • What action do I want my reader to take?
  • What point am I trying to make? (Informative: We’re launching something new? Educational: 5 ways to become better? Threat: GDPR comes into effect in May?  There are more…)

Then – break your thought down into sections.

Intro

Tip / Thought 1

Tip / Thought 2

Tip / Thought 3

Closing

CALL TO ACTION (ie: Call us to talk about your query, today / Email the team for more / Take our survey today)

 


If you need some help building a content strategy that works – and finding out the best way to get your brand echoed through your website, then get in touch.


 

Death by # tag. Stop! Please. SOS!

It makes me twitch (honestly – you can ask my husband). The frivolous and careless disarray, where incredibly powerful # tags are bandied about as if they’re leftovers from last night’s Chinese take-away supper.  I’m referring, specifically, to the over-usage phenomenon.

The following 2 tweets are exact tweets I picked up on my Twitter feed today.

Screen Shot 2018-07-03 at 14.21.27

 

What amazes me about Social Media is how confidently we use it in our personal lives, but as soon as we are asked to represent a brand, or build followers, or develop sales leads, or engage with key influencers, our understanding of normality goes out of the window, and we break more than we build, crash more than we crusade.

Here’s a tip: Stop overthinking it! 

Using Social Media is not too different to how you would act in a real-life situation.

The Social Media Cocktail Party.

During my Social Media training classes, I often talk about the Cocktail Party. Here it is in a nutshell.

  • Imagine that you’re arriving at a party.
  • There may be some people you know, but for the most part, you don’t really know anyone.
  • There are many you have heard about – and there are some who impress you so much that you’d do whatever you can, to get to know them.
  • Once you’ve settled in, with a drink in hand, you start to circulate the room. You may join a group of people who are chatting, or you may choose to hang out at the bar and just watch what’s going on.
  • For those that hangout, we call them social lurkers. They’re very much there, and they very much see what’s going on – even though they’re not engaging. They’re a silent force of opportunity that, with the right opportunity, may just come out of their shell and introduce you to something amazing.
  • You decide to join a group of chatters. That group is made up of various personalities. Those who listen. Those who agree and encourage. Those who don’t agree, and debate why not, those who talk too much (and usually about themselves and the incredible things they’re doing) and those who are genuinely interesting to talk to (who usually share great stories, insight, information).

Each of these personalities represent a social media behaviour. And just the same that you would choose to engage, or avoid, a particular personality in real-life, so too is the result of great, or poor, social media etiquette.

And the over-use of too many # tags (called “hash” tags) is just one example of poor social media behaviour.

Here’s where it gets tricky.

Instagram loves a # tag. In fact, the more you use, the wider your audience coverage. But Instagram isn’t Twitter. And Facebook isn’t Instagram. And LinkedIn isn’t Facebook (so put those dating requests and “how many likes can we get for” requests away).

To be truly effective on social media – understand your medium.

It’s a wild world out there, with lots of competition. If you hold out any hope of mastering it, make sure you know your tools!


Need some advice? Give me a call and lets get you back on the right track!


#thanks.