Corporate headshots help you to put your best foot forward.
I have been asked to shoot a lot of different things over my career and I don’t very often share them here for reason or another (client privilege etc) but of late I have been doing a lot of headshots for clients for their social media profile pics. When I speak to those put in from t of the camera they tell me they are tired of the “great night on town on the lash with the lads/girls” shot that is posted and then used as a profile picture. Usually that profile pic is posted from a smartphone at 4am in a McDonalds somewhere.
So I just wanted to let you know that this is something that I do in your place of work, so there is very little disruption. The shots are used for a variety of things.. Most clients use them for their online presence, so you will see the images on websites, intranets, internal employee handbooks and certainly on a persons LinkedIn profile too. Also companies will store these images in an image library on a shared network drive and use them when people get a promotion and they want to make an announcement in the papers. Always handy to have instead of bringing in a photographer in for that one shot.
Anyways just a service I offer that I haven’t made very public, until now! If you need this type of work done, I’m here for you….not too expensive either.
Digital Darwinism is a phrase that has been appearing more and more.
This simple idea basically links digital marketing with natural selection. Simply put, “Those who evolve will survive”.
Whether you like it or not digital media is here to stay and has taken over. Everything has gone digital; radio has gone digital, TV has gone digital and even print has gone digital. What this says to those who have yet to engage or those who have resisted change is that there really is no choice but to engage via these channels. Once the media channels you used to use move to a new platform, you no longer have the choice or are able to resist. Any business, whether it’s business2business or business2consumer, needs to reach their customers and potential customers.
Why you don’t have a choice:
Your customers are nto paying attention to where you currently are
Your customers cannot find you where they are looking
Your competitors are using these new(er) digital tools to sell there products and services more efficiently and in turn steal your customers.
You are probably saying, “Not in my industry”! If you are, you are wrong! Every single industry out there is being disrupted by new technologies. This applies to the way the industry works and functions and to the way they reach their customers.
What should you be doing? Here are some steps you should be taking.
If you don’t have any real estate online you’re in BIG trouble. Your website has the ability to be one of the most powerful sales tools in your arsenal. The bad news… Just being online isn’t enough. Your website from 5 years ago isn’t going to live up to the modern expectations of your customers and is most likely going to make them angry. You need to consider everything from the user experience to the functionality and especially the design.
Phonebooks are now commonplace holding open doors and propping up ‘wobbly’ tables and stuff. When people need something, they Google it. If they don’t Google, they use Bing or Yahoo!. If you haven’t put much work into optimizing your digital presence for the search engines of the world, you’ve got a lot of catching up to do. If you’re business covers a wide geographic space, you’re going to have some more intense competition. If you’re covering a small local area you have a big opportunity, but it won’t last. Simply put … The sad truth is that if you don’t show up in the first page of the search results your customers will move on.
Customer Retention Plan
This needs to be a well thought-out process involving multiple forms of media. Everybody has a shorter attention span than ever before and are a lot less patient. This means that when we need something we need it NOW and that we might easily forget about the things we like or want. There are a million options out there and the perfect plan for your company will depend on how your business operates, who your customer is, and what they need from you. A few of the options would include
Ongoing and creative newsletters or email campaigns
Digital customer service
Customer rewards program
… but there is lots more besides.
Most of the time the content on your website is static, meaning it doesn’t get updated often (if at all). This is bad for many reasons. One being that you aren’t giving your customers a reason to come back to the site. Two being that the search engines tend to favor the sites that are updated often. Another trend online right now is that brands are creating and sponsoring content that their customers will enjoy and hopefully find valuable. Instead of an advertisement trying to persuade the consumer to buy, they’re providing entertainment, insight or value through content creation. This is being done through editorial format as well as through audio, video and images. You can build a loyal following of brand followers with the right content strategy… alternatively you can waste your time with the wrong one.
There’s a lot of adapting and “evolving” for businesses to take on right now but the list above should get you started. If you have any questions or need any help, contact me.
It still amazes me today that so many businesses are — unknowingly? — running illegal contests and promotions on their Facebook fan pages.
Fan page owners don’t seem to know that you can’t just post a message on your wall and call it a contest. Facebook has put out some strict guidelines when it comes to running promotions, giveaways and sweepstakes on a fan page.
Is this the result of businesses hiring inexperienced social media managers? Or is this the result of Facebook being too shy about enforcing its guidelines? Regardless, as a fan page owner, you should know that breaching these rules can actually get you banned from the big social network. If you don’t want to risk that, keep reading.
This is what you have to remember when it comes to running legal contests/promotions on Facebook:
1. Release Facebook from Any Responsibility
This is an important one. Somewhere on your contest tab, it should clearly say: “This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. You are providing your information to [Company Name] and not to Facebook.” or something similar. This lets your users know that this promotion or contest has nothing to do with Facebook, Inc. It is only hosted by Facebook — the same way that HostGator or GoDaddy might host your website, but not necessarily endorse what you’re putting on it.
If you fail to put this phrase somewhere on your tab, you are already breaching one of the main Facebook promotion guidelines.
2. Your Contest Should NOT involve a Facebook Native Action (e.g. Like, Share, Comment)
This is the killer rule. You should not require your users to “Like”, “Comment” or “Share” your post in order to enter your contest. Similarly, you should not ask users to “Like” their favorite comment, picture or video as a voting mechanism. Finally, you should not notify winners through Facebook (e.g. by sending them a Facebook message, comment or post on their profile).
Pretty straightforward, huh? You might be thinking: “Well how the heck am I supposed to run a contest if all these actions are illegal?” This brings to our third point.
3. Run Your Contest or Promotion through a Third-Party App
It’s not a coincidence that so many third-party app providers have been popping up lately. They are well aware that Facebook forbids fan page owners from running contests through their wall. Most big facebook app developers have already developed ready-to-run apps for popular contest such as photo/video contests, sweepstakes, quizzes, trivias, etc., and if they don’t have the app you need, they can always develop it for you at an extra cost.
You can view the full Facebook guidelines for promotions here. The next time you run a contest through your fan page, make sure you’re playing by the rules.
By now you’re probably well into your your 2013 marketing budget and developing your plans for the year. As marketers and small business owners, we have a lot of things to consider when planning our efforts for the year. As you revise your 2013 plans let’s review 5 common marketing mistakes for you to avoid to save you time, money and a lot of frustration.
One of the biggest mistakes I’ve seen marketers make is overlooking mobile. Currently there are over 5.5 billion mobile device subscriptions across the globe. As a consumer, I definitely access as many websites from mobile devices as I do from a desktop or laptop. And it turns out, I’m not alone. By 2015, it is predicted that we’ll see more than 788 million mobile-only Internet users with mobile browsing (for the web) surpassing desktop browsing. A mobile-optimized website is no longer a “nice-to-have,” it’s a must. Y our customers expect you to have a mobile-friendly site. Mobile should be a critical component of your digital marketing strategy this year.
Focusing More on Acquisition than Retention
As marketers, we have to develop a strategy that focuses on both acquiring new customers and retaining existing ones. Far too often we see companies shift that focus to be too acquisition centric. Acquisition is important don’t get me wrong, but there needs to be a balance. The cost of retaining a customer is significantly less than that of acquiring one (as much as 20% less!). Another hard truth is that repeat customers spend more than new ones. Marketing is equally about retention as it is about acquisition so don’t forget to consider how you’ll deepen relationships with existing customers (particularly high value ones) in 2013.
Marketing Your Aspirations
Every company aspires to be something greater. We all have (and should have) that big hairy audacious goal. But we’re not marketing what we aspire to be, we’re marketing who we are today—in the present. Marketing your aspirations can create major problems if you can’t live up to them. Keep your aspirations in mind when planning and executing, but don’t market them to your customers.
Letting Research Dictate Plans
As a self-proclaimed data junkie, I believe strongly that data can lead to better decision making. Y ou should review data and research to keep you informed, but you shouldn’t let it entirely dictate your plans. Research is a valuable tool for marketers, but research can be misleading at times. There are just some things that research simply can’t predict. And consumers don’t always know how they are feeling or what they want. And they don’t always know how they will feel in the future. Two years ago my mom told me she would never own a tablet. She just didn’t see value in it when she had a laptop and a smartphone. Guess who bought the iPad 3 two weeks ago? It’s hard to predict how consumers will react to things in the future. Research should guide, not lead.
Playing Exactly by the Book
Plans are important. We need plans to keep us focused and on track, but at the end of the day plans are just words on paper. We should always count on plans changing course. Think of your marketing plans as a compass and not a map. Leave some room for adventure and spontaneity and use the plans as your guide.
Whether it was putting an ad in a newspaper, recording a jingle for the radio or shooting a commercial for television, marketing campaigns used to require a lot of cash. While those methods still exist, the Internet has opened new avenues for businesses to market their products and services for free.
Here are seven ways to promote your business without spending one euro.
As the most popular social networking site, Facebook gives businesses a free outlet to reach millions of potential new customers. Similarly to how individual Facebook users can create personal pages, businesses can set up their own dedicated page on Facebook to help grow their venture, build brand awareness and develop relationships with consumers. Besides providing all the business’ vitals – including name, location, phone number and Web address – the Facebook page gives businesses a forum to speak to their customers about company news, special promotions and new products. Many businesses also use their Facebook page to run contests and free giveaways as a way to attract new shoppers.
The popular micro-blogging site Twitter is also a way to reach new customers without the expense. Twitter offers businesses a platform for connecting their brand with things people care about. The social networking site bills itself as a canvas for telling engaging stories, broadcasting content, connecting directly with consumers and driving transactions. The site provides businesses with a unique opportunity to see what their customers are saying, ask them questions and respond to their concerns. Businesses can also use Twitter to run special deals and promotions.
Local Listing Services
For many consumers, the Internet is the first place they look when searching for a business. Since local search entries are often the first choices given in a search query, businesses can easily attract new customers and clients by simply making sure they are listed on the sites. The local search listings offer businesses an easy way to highlight their location, hours and contact information. The most popular local search listing sites are Google Places, Yahoo! Local and Microsoft Bing.
Press release websites
Getting a little free publicity from newspapers, radio and television stations and blogs is a great way to attract new business. One way to catch the eye of the local media is to send out releases touting new products or services, as well as company news and special promotions. In today’s digital age, many journalists search through press release websites for new and interesting story ideas. A number of websites, such as Free Press Release, PR Log, 24/7 Press Release and I-Newswire, offer the opportunity to post press releases on their site for free. In addition to exposure on the site, the releases are distributed to major search engines, making their reach even greater.
Few things create buzz for a business more than a great viral video. While not every video will become a huge hit, they do provide a more engaging way to get information to consumers. While a normal ad won’t do the trick, businesses can use creative videos to build new interest in their company. Examples include videos of company parties for those who were unable to attend, how-to videos for consumers looking for more information on using a product or service, and video confessionals of happy customers and clients. While posting videos on YouTube remains the most popular route, small businesses also can take advantage of other sites like Viddler, Vimeo, Dailymotion and Ustream.
While it is true of all social networking sites, using Pinterest successfully requires more than just cramming products and promotions down consumer’s throats. Pinterest gives users their online pin board, where they can “pin” up links and photos to things they like and are interested in. However, businesses only posting pics of their products on the site won’t find many new customers. In order to be successful on Pinterest, businesses must think about the type of content their customers would be interested in. Instead of just sharing images and links to existing product pages, blog posts and websites, businesses should share content that other users will love sharing. A bakery, for example, might use Pinterest to post cupcake recipes, frosting tips, party ideas and other topics for followers.
Similarly to Pinterest, businesses using the photo-sharing site Instagram must be more creative than just posting picture of products if they want to win customers. It requires building a following of users that want to see their point of view, whether they’re selling something or not. When posting promotional photos, they must be creative. For example, restaurants might show photos of people eating their food, while fashion retailers can post pictures of customers wearing their clothes. The site can also be used to host fun contests that involve customers posting their own photos of them using a business’ product.
Assuming you have a Twitter account dedicated to your small business, you should also be investing in hashtags as part of your social media strategy.
But let’s back up a bit, in case you’re unsure what a hashtag is. Designated by a number sign (#), the hashtag is paired with a word or phrase to perform a variety of functions. Twitter users attach hashtags to tweets as search mechanisms, categorizing tools and marketing tactics. In your small business’ case, you may choose to attach a hashtag, such as #smallbiz, or even your brand’s name itself, as #nike might do. This improves the chance that other Twitter users will find your tweet in targeted Twitter searches. But hashtags also streamline your own processes. For instance, you may ask users to include a unique hashtag in their own tweets as part of your newest Twitter marketing campaign.
Throughout your campaign, the hashtag files tweets for easy search and organization within Twitter.com. Now that you’re familiar with the basic hashtag concept, let’s apply principles specific to small businesses. Follow these five tips to improve your brand’s hashtag strategy.
1. Seek business-specific conversations. If you use Twitter for nothing else, use it to learn from others. Head to hashtags like #SMB or #smallbiz for advice, resources and current news of the small business variety (also follow along during Twitter chats). Although broad hashtags like these can generate an overwhelming number of tweets every day, tune in every so often for a quick update. A couple of scrolls down the feed could inspire your next blog post, marketing tactic or bestseller. If you seek a more specific conversation, narrow hashtags down by topic. The #marketing hashtag contains a ton of small business- related content, as does #sales. Or take a peek in the #startups or #entrepreneurs hashtag for inspirational profiles in the space. Finally, if you’re looking for tips on meeting like-minded businesspeople, try the #networking hashtag or at the very least #irishbizparty.
2. Keep it simple and consistent. When crafting hashtags for your own tweets, it’s important to keep a couple rules of thumb in mind. First, keep your tags simple and direct. In a tweet about your latest blog post, which explains your company’s use of finance apps, don’t create a long, complex hashtag. Pair the tweet with hashtags like related and #SmallBiz, versus #apps posts: #SmallBusinessAppsandTools. Overly complicated hashtags like these are neither search-friendly nor commonly used, so your “How to Use Twitter Hashtags ” tweet will get buried quickly. Secondly, don’t weigh your tweets down with excessive hashtags. If your intention is to be thorough, a thoughtful, precise for Business selection of 1-2 hashtags per tweet works. Seven hashtags reads like desperate marketing, and is a sure way to lose followers quickly.
3. Create your own hashtag. Hashtags are a great way to generate buzz around a marketing campaign. Domino’s Pizza encouraged followers to tweet with #letsdolunch. Once the number of tweets reached 85,000, Domino’s dropped prices by more than half during the hours of 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. that day. Turn to Twitter when launching a contest, another great marketing tactic for your brand. Simply ask people to tweet with a specific hashtag when they submit ideas, jokes or photos. That way, when the entry period is over, you’ll be able to easily locate submissions in one place. Events are great opportunities for creating conversation around hashtags. Award your event a unique hashtag well before the actual date; you’ll be able to generate content and discussion about the event before it even begins. (For example, Mashable created the hashtag #MashBash for one of their largest events ever, at CES 2012.) Then during the event, encourage participants to tweet with that hashtag. People in attendance both physically and via the web were then able to follow interesting activities and discussion. Finally, get creative. Use hashtags for Twitter chats and invite an industry expert to answer tweeted questions from your brand’s followers. Or begin a game on Twitter using hashtags. For instance, ask people to tweet #PastTenseSitcoms, like “Family Mattered.” It’s a clever way to get people excited to connect with your brand.
4. Organize social dashboards by hashtag. One of the most convenient ways to stay on top of relevant hashtags is to designate easily accessible columns within your social dashboard. Whether you use HootSuite or TweetDeck, you can establish columns by social network, search term, Twitter list or hashtag. Consider adding a small business-themed hashtag column to check whenever you have a moment. Add further columns as they become relevant, for example, when you launch a hashtag marketing campaign or contest. Then delete the column when the hashtag has run its course.
5. Take advantage of follow friday. In January 2009, Micah Baldwin announced on Twitter that he would suggest people to follow every week from then on. The Follow Friday trend soon took off with the hashtag #FollowFriday, but is now more commonly shortened to #FF. You can craft a #FF of your own tweet in one of two ways. Create a list of people to follow and squeeze as many Twitter handles as you can into one tweet, with the hashtag #FF, of course. Make sure this list has a theme: are these the best foodies to follow? Political analysts? Activists? Comedians? Narrow down the type of people you’re suggesting and indicate that in the tweet. Some people choose to support only one or two people per #FF tweet, which is a more personal approach. You may consider crafting a tweet for a single person if you wish to compliment or communicate with that person, be it a journalist, executive or potential business client in the future.