Little Metal Heath post that no one will read, because I was working late and got carried away.
SDMarketing is without a doubt one of the greatest achievements of my life. However, no one ever talks about working 19 hour days, this shit is brutal.
Its great don't get me wrong, it has its perks, but it will age you faster than smoking meth on a sun-bed.
I'm 37, I have the most beautiful partner Jenny that has always embraced my chaos, I have my family, my nieces, my nephew, my two arsehole sisters Jenny & Chloe, two incredible Mums and a fantastic Dad. I don't have my own children though, and if I did in the future I won't make a great goalkeeper or dancing coach let's be honest, the reality is they will lose their farther in their late teens at best!!
So whats the purpose of this tale??
Work, in whatever capacity you do it, flipping burgers, washing cars, lawyer, nurse, doctor, pulling pints, dentist, dream liver or dream assistant, (a great friend of mine Tom once said, "you can live your own dream, or help someone else live theirs"). The founding values of SDM has always been to do both "Help people live THEIR dream" but he most important thing you can ever do is take care of you, look after your mind.
Nobody will be able to look after you the way you can, they can only assist, but you control your destiny, and thats amazing, just make sure you do, the things i've learnt that I think are important to remember, that I doubt anyone will care about are these.
1. If you died (or tried to die) you'll be replaced in under a week, so take that sick day when you feel down, you're worth it. Lets be honest somedays you just feel like shit, and that perfectly okay.
I always say to my team, if you need a day off, take a day off; A mental health day is just as important as a week off with the flu. Its more productive to have team member have a day off and then come back twice as strong the next day, than have team member on half charge all week. So if you need time, take the time!
2. If you love something, I mean really love something, you can make that into a business.
I alway drew pictures, I sat with my cousin Chris for HOURS as a kid at our Grans and drew pictures. So as an adult I became obsessed with websites, design, graphics, I was already heavily involved in Marketing, you know the rest, if not...
3. Everything is hard so make the hard shit worth it, Monday is savage if you're going to a job thats just paying your bills. Make that stress a positive and channel it towards what you want to do, try this, every Saturday take an hour and learn something you want to do, something that gets you closer to you dream, sites like www.qintil.com have thousands of courses that can help you reach the you you want to be, for free.
4. If you ever thought about punching your boss they almost definitely deserves it, I'm not saying do it, but they certainly deserves that big karma slap in the face, and, if experience is anything to go by, karma will deliver in time :) - The old saying is so true, people don't quit bad jobs, they quit bad bosses. They'll get whats coming in time, so you concentrate on you!
5. You're infinitely better than you have allowed yourself to believe.
In the UK especially, we are led to engage in the narrative of our parental phycological projections, School, Uni, Job (YOU HATE), promotion (to a role YOU HATE), partner, engagement, dog/cat, marriage, children, promotion (to a role YOU HATE) via photos of children (no one wants to see) retire, grandkids, death.
Thats the grim reality, so make your life a story you'd want to read!!
The truth is that things are fucking hard, people blast millennials for being soft or a "snowflake generation" but really anyone born post 1986 has dived into a structure of study, work, dinner, bed and struggling. Very few of us own a house, NONE of us that have done it without financial help in some form, so we're all in the same boat..
I guess what I'm saying here, which I could have said in maybe 3 paragraphs, but here we are, is this...
Our lives are like trip to the toilet when you're sat at a bar, you just want it to be simple, most of the time you just want toilet roll to get rid of the shit and soap to walk away fresh until the next shit comes.
You deserve better than what you expect, a marble sink maybe, silk toilet roll, a Dyson hand drier.
You deserve what you think about in the shower, like Tom said, you can live you own dream, or you can help someone else live theirs..
So if your jobs shite and the toilet roll is running out, open your own bar!!!
#stayhumble #metalhealth #wellbeing
When it comes to marketing these days Social Media is an absolute must for almost all industries but where and when to engage can be a tricky art to master.
Which platform to use?
You would think that this would be pretty straightforward right, wrong. I once had a conversation with someone in which we discussed a social media strategy and the opinions of the top 3 were as follows.
LinkedIn - "Its just for people to steal your staff, its pointless"
Twitter - "No one uses twitter"
Facebook - "might be worth looking but I can't promote my business there can I"
This seems crazy for anyone in marketing but you have to remember this was a discussion with a successful businessman that had built a medium sized business that functioned essentially as a cold call centre, and it had worked. You also need to bear in mind that many CEO's of business are of a generation before social media and have little if any interaction on social media.
LinkedIn is different from any other social media because it's where you can tell everyone exactly what you want them to know about your business.
You can customise anything you put on LinkedIn - whether it's in networking groups, job posts or even promotions.
You have all the tools you need to target any audience, and let them know exactly what your business is about at the click of a button.
As business owners, we all want to establish our credibility, develop a relationship with our clients, and be influential, right?
When it comes to LinkedIn, you have the added capacity to position yourself among the most influential people within your industry.
The sharing power is tremendous - making connections with top industry leaders and networking in groups to gain trust among your peers has never been easier. This enables you to associate yourself, and your business, with a high level of expertise and credibility that you just can't gain from any other social media site.
Keeping connections you recently met warm
The first thing you do at a networking event or when meeting someone is to get his or her business card, right? LinkedIn is basically your social media, online business card.
People can forget they have business cards, not return a phone call or an email that's listed. But when you connect with LinkedIn, you can ensure you're not forgotten. You can connect immediately and reach out to whomever you want.
Go ahead, endorse them, recommend them, and connect with them on a more professional level to build that relationship. It's that easy, and all without having to meet face-to-face - which, let's be honest, is pretty hard to find time to do these days.
Fastest path to your next client
Let's face it, the entire world has gone digital. LinkedIn is the one digital platform that helps you reach your next client quickly.
People are on LinkedIn to look for jobs, post jobs, look for business help, and so much more. With just a little bit of research and promotion, your business can attract top clients, and let you into their world so you know you're recruiting the best.
Connecting with your customers
Sending a potential customer a personal message after they’ve followed you is a great way to increase the trust and appreciation a customer has for your business. One other benefit is that you are able to listen to what your customers are saying.
This feedback is extremely valuable if you have plans to expand your business (or at least, improve the quality of it).
Keeping customers updated
If you’re running a business, you definitely understand the importance of keeping your customers updated. Twitter is a great tool to keep them posted on the latest information, promotion and sales your business is having.
When you use Twitter, you can share valuable information with your customers at times that matter most; weekend sales, black Friday deals etc.
Marketing on Twitter
Yes, Twitter is a great marketing tool. Don’t forget, tweets are indexed by Google and therefore, it’s also useful in terms of search engine optimization.
Twitter marketing allows you to reach your followers from around the world and alleviate the distance barrier. Influencers are great examples when it comes to Twitter marketing done right. They not only use Twitter to promote their products and articles, they also use it to share valuable content from around the web.
Making the Most of Your Facebook Business Page
A Facebook page is a great free marketing tool for businesses. These pages let businesses identify themselves – not just through listing product offerings and services, but also by sharing links, images, and posts on a customizable page to give a better sense of a business’s personality and character.
Your Facebook business page is a great spot to develop your brand identity and show your human side. Facebook is where you can loosen the tie a bit – don’t be afraid to be funny.
Ultimately you should consider what your key audience would want to see. Share social media images, links, videos, anything, as long as it is connected to your business and it seems like something your target audience would enjoy.
In addition to hilarious videos of dogs walking in tiny shoes, a store specialising in footwear might also post an article about how to measure your foot size accurately, what kind of shoe inserts are best for different sore feet woes, etc. A nice mix of humour, educational resources, and posts about your store updates is ideal.
Sponsored StoriesSponsored Stories are a type of Facebook ad that shows a user’s interactions, such as a Facebook like, to the user’s friends.
Sponsored Stories seeks to capitalise on the "word of mouth" concept. If a user sees that three of his friends like a certain page, he is more inclined to pay attention. The goal of Sponsored Stories is to have a user take the same action as their friends. Advertisers can choose to show friends “likes” if they want more page likes, show friends who have “claimed this offer” if a business wants more users to claim offers, etc.
Social Media is as individual as the business itself and every platform can offer something to your business, finding the right approach and platform for you is a mixture of trial and error at the beginning, but its also one of the best ways to seek out the correct audience that works for you. With time and the right team behind you, utilising social media is one for the best marketing tool out there.
As a spritely 16 year old, I was a semi successful skateboarder. I had a few sponsors and was paving my way in competitions and doing okay. The routine was school during the day, and the evenings and weekends were consumed with skateboarding. Rain, shine, snow or hurricane I found a way to skate, be it in a underpass or garage I practiced and practiced because I was in love with everything about it.
You may be asking yourself what this has to do with small business? Well, at that time you didn't see skateboarding on the TV, you didn't have gameshows dedicated to it and it certainly wasn't being considered for the Olympics. If you wanted to skate you did it on the street, there wasn't skateparks everywhere and you had to make do with what you had. The same story was being narrated by the companies that were producing skateboarding products.
99% of companies involved with skateboarding were owned by SKATEBOARDERS. They were so passionate about the scene that they got involved in making their passion their business and the result at the time was incredible. The quality of the products and the attention to detail was impeccable as skateboards were being made to unbelievable standards in peoples workshops by teams of 10, and the industry grew from strength to strength because of it. Skateparks started to open but they were also owned by skateboarders and they had a charm that you will not find these days. They were rugged, they were raw and the owners were involved and cared about the scene. They nurtured it and helped it grow.
You could hangout all day at a local skate shop or park and chat to the OWNER. They would help you with their knowledge, they would point you in the direction of spots if you were visiting or new to the area and if you needed help with products they knew everything inside out, because they were as passionate about it as you were.
Fast forward to the early 2000's and big businesses started to notice the passion within the scene and they jumped on the bandwagon. Nike and Adidas got involved, supermarkets started selling skateboard products, meeting rooms rallied together with shareholders discussing the profit margins to be made on opening a chain of skate shops and huge factories in China started churning out skateboards in the millions.
The passion and soul of skateboarding is still there but its not for the love as much as the potential paycheque from Nike, or a board sponsorship form some "World Industries" subsidiary.
My point here is that things were better before shareholders had a say, and choices were made by a board of people that have never held a skateboard. And that rule works the same for any business or industry.
Small businesses are vital in modern society. If you would rather drink coffee in a Starbucks than a small batch coffee shop owned by a local you're crazy. Not only will the coffee be infinitely better but the owner will almost certainly be there; they will able to speak to you about the beans, and the farmer in country that they came from who they almost certainly went to meet before they bought the coffee. Not only will their passion come through in their shop but you will help support the local business in the coffee plantation, who will be paid a fair price for the coffee you're drinking, as opposed to being completely exploited by the corporation coffee shops that are lining a shareholders pockets making millions from well documented exploitation of coffee farmers.
The same can be said for pubs & restaurants; would you rather sit next a warmly lit fireplace with a great beer in your hand in a locally owned pub? Or would you prefer the sticky floors, bright lights and cheap warm beer at Wetherspoons?
This is why small businesses are so important to us at SDM. We are as passionate about your business as you are, we understand the effort you put into your business and we are absolutely committed to make sure your digital presence is as passionately created and as beautiful as the worlds small enterprises.
Keep the passion, support your local whatever it may be and never drink bad coffee :)
Some basic advice on ensuring that you fall into the digital campaign trap
1 - Be a digital Stalker
We all know that you have analytics, we know you can track our movements on your site and we know that you use this information for your marketing. If you are trying to capture my attention though I would suggest you don't throw it in my face "Hi Steve, I notice you have been on our site again this morning at 9:37am is there anyway we can help with etc etc" is the digital equivalent of " Hi Steve, I notice you always take your bins out around 8am while i'm hiding in the bush near your shed, would you like me to come and make your cup of tea for you, I already know you have one sugar?!". Its creepy and its unnecessary. Stop it!
2 - Insult me
Another surefire way to find your email a fast track to my junk folder, insult what I am working on "We noticed your website is underperforming" - Is it? news to me!. Think about what is is you're trying to do, if you're an SEO wizard thats great, maybe I do have time to discuss a business site with you and i'm sure the Webinar you're doing is going to be very informative, but i'll never find out if your opening gambit is an insult.
3 - Send a dissertation to my inbox
The best emails are short, to the point and allow me to make a choice and action quickly. I don't need, want or have time to read a 500 word email about your ground breaking energy solutions, keep it short, keep it simple and give me a CTA that lets me delve deeper.