Happy Valentine’s Day!

February 10, 2016 in Uncategorized by lizbygrave

Did you play the Valentine Day Card to attract more clicks?

or

How to ‘Harness a Trend’ and generate more visits to your site

I’m not a big fan of gimmicks, in fact I often advise my clients to steer clear of falling into the ‘gimmicks’ trap when it comes to social media marketing and writing blogs.

However there is no doubt that whatever business you are in your clients will be aware that very soon it’s Valentine’s Day.

Did you play the Valentine’s Day Card to find new clients?

Both men and women may be:

  • hoping to receive a valentine’s card/gift
  • considering sending a valentine’s card/gift
  • dreading the idea of Valentine’s day

Most of the UK and US society, whether in love, in a relationship or just out and about will be aware of what February 14th stands for.

You may be thinking “So what!” what has valentine’s day got to do with my social media marketing and content writing and how does it do anything to improve my click throughs.

Well even if you are not a dating site or a florist … read on and find out how any business can benefit from harnessing a popular social event to generate more interest in their own business.

Don’t miss the opportunity to use trending subjects to hook your customers interest.

Well here’s the reason you should pay attention to this and every other fixed calendar event that your potential clients will be aware of.

As these calendar events come around and the day gets closer your clients will begin to focus on the wants, needs and issues that may surround these dates.

Also because the media in general will have been ‘Priming’ your clients for weeks before the event, so this year I think Valentine’s Day cards and gifts began to appear on the shelves of my local Marks & Spencer and Waitrose stores in the second week of January, the words ‘Valentine’, ‘Love’, ‘Gifts’ will all be more heightened in your clients consciousness.

This all leads them to being more attuned to the ‘Titles’ and ‘Headings’ and ‘Calls to Action’ that contain these words.

“OK, so what?” I here you say again

Well the thing here is to take advantage of this heightened awareness and make it work for you.

Let me give you two different examples of how a business might do this.

Business A is a psychotherapist and Business B a Boutique Hotel.

You’ll agree that they are both very different businesses and there is no reason to think that they will share the same client demographics, yet they could both benefit from focusing on Valentine’s day to create great content that commands attention and is shareable on social media.

Business A the Psychotherapist.

Many people find this time of the year tough.

They are single or perhaps in a relationship that isn’t working for them. Valentine’s Day is a big deal for many in this situation and so thoughts of ‘love’, ‘relationships’, ‘perfect partners’, ’emotional issues’ may well be more heightened for these potential clients.

A psychotherapists who might be looking for a suitable issue to blog, podcast or write about could successfully use the focus of Valentine’s Day to write something that might be of interest to their prospective clients:

  • The Valentine Date Do’s and Don’ts –Top tips to cope with that date (list style piece)
  • The Valentine Blues – How to cope with that sinking feeling (article style piece)
  • Being someone’s ‘Valentine’ isn’t always a bed of roses – coping with an obsessive lover

The list could go on and on. You could even do a series to cover different issues that surround love, rejection, obsessive natures, unrequited love, the male perspective, the female perspective etc.

Business B the Boutique Hotel

Many people want to do something romantic at this time of the year. Well let’s just say that those people who might want to do more than send their love in a card might want to splash out and take the object of their affection away on a surprise mini break.

This year Valentine’s Day falls on the weekend and so I imagine that many people might consider a romantic weekend away would fit the bill.

A boutique hotel might want to focus on this to write an article or series of articles in the preceding weeks. The articles might be about how to organise that perfect romantic break, all the things that lovers can do in X (x being whichever city or location the hotel is). It might be about a famous lover who stayed in the area or perhaps a romantic novel based in the area.

  • Perfect Valentine’s Weekend breaks with a romantic  dinner and leisurely breakfast – Ideas to surprise your partner on their weekend away (info piece)
  • Top Spa Tips – Pamper your Valentine on the Spa Break weekend (list style piece)
  • Making the most of Valentine’s weekend in Bath (or where ever the Boutique Hotel is) – Ideas to make your valentine swoon.

Or perhaps you see your target market as those wanting to escape from everything Valentine.

  • The Total Anti Valentine Weekend – Ways to pamper yourself and forget about hearts, chocolates or flowers.

The point is that this one date in the diary can give you many topics of ‘relevant’, ‘shareable’ content to help you build your following and more ways to find your business.

And for those who say love has nothing to do with their business?

  • Insurance
  • Health & Fitness
  • Interior Designers

There is always an angle that you might find that can be used to hang a message on.

Insurance – “Sending chocolates and flowers is romantic, but insuring your life shows them how much you love them. It may not be the most romantic gesture but insuring that your loved ones are provided for shows just how much you care.”

Health & Fitness – “If Valentine’s Day is all about love then show your body how much you care … Make a date with me and well start a fitness love affair that will make your heart happy”

Interior Designers – “Valentine’s Day Boutique Chic – ten tips to quickly turn your home into the perfect love nest, without a single chocolate on the pillow!”

Writing an article and blog should always start with having something valuable (that’s valuable to your potential audience) to say.

If you are going to the effort of writing regular pieces for your website, blog, Facebook or Google plus page, then harness the power of what’s trending and boost your chances of increasing your traffic as a result.

So what will be trending?

Calendar Events:

New Year, Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, Fathers Day, Summer Holidays, New School Year, Halloween, Bon Fire Night, Thanks Giving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Divali, Lent, Ramadan

But what about:

Big cultural and sporting events

Grand National, Wimbledon, The Proms, Cup Final, Crufts, The London Marathon, The Oxford and Cambridge boat race, The Chelsea Flower Show, The opening of Parliament,

Big TV Events

Great British Bake Off, Children in Need, The Apprentice, Strictly Come Dancing, I’m a Celebrity, The X Factor, Dr Who Christmas Special, The next big TV drama e.g. Broadchurch or Sherlock,

Natural Occurrences

Spring, Summer, Winter, Autumn, Snow, Sunshine, Harvest,

Not all of these will appeal to you.

Not all will appeal to your intended audience.

But I guarantee that all will be trending at some point just before or during their cycle and that many more searches will involve those important keywords and phrases.

I hope that I have encouraged you to play your own ‘Valentine’s Day Card’ and harness what’s popular and trending to craft a great article or blog around.

Boiler Plate

Brian Cotsen | WebtimeVA.com
Web Consultant for Small Business
Make your web presence more effective
brian@webtimeva.com
07484 266 124

The Power of Your Face

January 28, 2016 in Uncategorized by lizbygrave

safe_imageWhat do YOU look at first? – by Henrietta Garden

What’s the first thing you look at when you open a magazine?  If you’re anything like me you’ll go straight to the photo andIF it hooks you in might then go to read the article.  If there isn’t a pic you may very well skip the page and turn straight to the next one that does.

Now think what it’s like for all those prospective clients trawling that world-wide web looking for someone just like you to do a job you’d be perfect for.  With so much competition on-line it’s never been so important to grab attention and despite your best intentions with all that wonderful text you’re only going to hook those clients in if there’s a great pic there for them to see.  We’re still all human (despite our reliance on techie tools) and all want to work with someone we feel we can connect with.  Clients are swayed by a photo of someone warm, appealing and professional so if you still have that holiday pic with your partner’s arm still in frame or worse still have no photo at all, those lovely clients will soon be turning the page and clicking on the web-site of a competitor who has.  Don’t lose the gig because of something so simple!

You may have spent days, weeks or even months writing out those testimonials and composing your ‘About Me’ page but if there’s no you on there it’ll all be wasted.  You are your business and your business is you….EMBRACE YOUR FACE!! by Henrietta Garden of  www.henriettaphotography.com/

safe_image (1)

Christmas Tills A-Ringing

December 24, 2014 in Uncategorized by lizbygrave

December sees businesses everywhere, of all shapes and sizes, rushing to capitalise on the supposed spirit of goodwill, and, more particularly, the mad rush by all but the most Scrooge-like to buy gifts for their nearest and dearest. In the run-up to Christmas, people generally seem more prepared to spend money: how many times have you yourself arranged to go out with friends ‘for Christmas’, spending much more than you normally would and often with people you haven’t seen since…um…last Christmas?

Large retailers obviously look on Christmas as a cash cow and plan their seasonal campaigns long in advance. But what about small businesses? What can small business owners do? What should they do to grab a part of the buying frenzy that seems to exist at this time of year?
Read the rest of this entry →

When Do You Call It A Day?

July 28, 2014 in Uncategorized by lizbygrave

You’ve nurtured it, marketed it, laboured over it, had sleepless nights because of it, borrowed too much for it, and possibly caused family rows because of it. But still the passion burns and you know – you just know – that your unique idea for your new small business will be a success. But will it? How do you just know? And what if it isn’t?

Read the rest of this entry →

Small Business Network Muswell Hill Meeting Report June 2013

July 31, 2013 in Uncategorized by lizbygrave

Four new members joined 17 other networkers at the Small Business Network’s June meeting, held on Monday, the 17th 2013, at Sable D’Or, Muswell Hill Broadway. Not surprisingly, Nicola Zuliana had a queue of small business owners waiting to talk to him after the one-minute go-round, and I bet few of them had their small businesses in mind – for Nicola sells organic Italian wines, as well as a few other Italian goodies.

If you have too much of Nicola’s wine, you might need to turn to Costas Chaniotis, who is training to become a metamorphic technician; he hopes to qualify by the end of the year, so he can help small business owners suffering from too much work-related tension.

Colin Durban’s service was more related to the needs of small businesses: he is a video producer specialising in marketing videos, ideal for showing local groups of prospective clients a little about what your business can offer. Read the rest of this entry →

Blogging For Small Businesses

April 15, 2013 in Blogging, Uncategorized by lizbygrave

I’m doing what many of you do: writing a blog. Those who don’t already put fingers to keyboard are probably thinking about it, because everywhere you look, blogs seem to be the fashionable way to tell people what you’re thinking and to put you and your business in the public eye. In fact, many marketing gurus insist that blogs are the best way for small business owners to create greater awareness of the products and services they offer.

But with such a huge proliferation of blogs over the past 12 months or so – and growing with every click of the mouse – does anyone have time to read them? Who? When? What do you have to do to make your blog stand out from the hundreds of thousands of other blogs floating in cyberspace? How often should you add a new blog to your web site? Should you write blogs for anyone else? And what do you have to put in a blog to ensure that it benefits your small business, rather than put people off? Read the rest of this entry →

Small Business Network West Hampstead Meeting Report March 2012

March 8, 2012 in g+, Google+, Online Marketing, Search Engine Optimisation, seo, Uncategorized, West Hampstead Meetings by lizbygrave

There were eight of us at this meeting, so it was a small, but very enjoyable and productive, event.

Some potentially very productive connections were made, for instance between SBN member Eileen MacCallum, a copywriter who specialises in writing/editing web content (amongst other things) and Ciaran Ryan who does Website MOTs for £99.00.

Also present were Melanie Oakley who provides virtual support, Katharine Locke – herbalist and iridologist, accountant Michael Gainey, Marcia MacLeod, copywriter and owner/creator of Your Allotment magazine, Paul Melnick, a representative from Barclays Bank, and yours truly, Liz Bygrave, my other hat (aside from SBN) being raw chocolate.

Our themed discussion, How To Drive More Traffic To Your Website, was really lively and interesting although naturally, we were barely able to scratch the surface of this vast subject in just 30 minutes! It was great to have Ciaran there as SEO is his area of expertise and he was able to give us some fab tips on the topics we did manage to cover: whether it’s still worth doing ‘reciprocal links’; google (how could one have a discussion about seo and not talk about google?!); and how blogging can help to drive more traffic to your site, including how to set up a blog site that will actually help the seo of your website (more on this at the April Muswell Hill meeting – see below).

Read the rest of this entry →

KICKSTART Your Autumn with SBN!

September 14, 2011 in Uncategorized by liz_bygrave

So you’re back from your summer break and…hopefully…raring to go!

September and October are traditionally a time of new beginnings, whether it’s a completely new business, a new project within your existing business, or simply taking some time to re-assess your direction.

The work you do now on your business will have a big affect on the next few months. And as you are most probably feeling quite energised after the summer (do I hear a few ‘I wishes’?!) then now is a good time to really make some progress whilst you have the impetus.

With this in mind SBN has a number of offerings to make your autumn one to remember:

Read the rest of this entry →