Tag Archives: marketing

Meet our new team member Nicky

As Lighthouse Virtual Assistant continues to grow we are very pleased to introduce our new team member, and graphic designer, Nicky Grant.

Nicky will be on board to help you develop your business marketing resources such as leaflets, banners and logos.

Nicky completed an HND in Computer Graphics & Design at The London College of Printing in 1998.  She started work at Cosmos Holidays in-house Graphics Department where she worked with the Marketing Department on various brochures, corporate identity, banners, posters and flyers. Here she also worked on campaigns for Avro Flights.

Nicky now works as a freelance Graphic Designer and has gained 20 years experience. Some of her clients have included Odeon Cinemas, Bank of America, The International Federation of Aromatherapists, KPMG, Hotel Organic, Churchill Insurance, Bullfrogs Clothing and Bexley Heritage Trust.

She enjoys working on a wide range of projects from business stationery, exhibition panels and flyers to signage, packaging and magazines, one of which she produces quarterly in 4 different languages.

Nicky is a creative, versatile and enthusiastic professional with a good eye for detail and a wealth of knowledge in design, print and colour management.

Meet the rest of the team.

Contact:
rachel@lighthouseva.co.uk
07794 358497

 

The Lighthouse Virtual Assistant Can I Pick Your Marketing Brain Workshop

Can I pick your marketing brain workshop

Please join me for the Lighthouse Virtual Assistant Can I Pick Your Marketing Brain Workshop.  As busy business owners, we can’t be a master of all skills but marketing is an area that, if you get it right, will really help your business grow.  All businesses, no matter how small, should have a working marketing plan that sits alongside their business plan.

The aim of this workshop is for you to be able to have your own marketing plan that you can take away and implement immediately.  I am also going to give you some fabulous social media tips and advice looking specifically at Facebook and Twitter as these are the two platforms that I get asked the most about.

So if you are just starting your business or have been up and running for a while then this workshop will give you the tools to learn how to promote your business pro-actively and bring in new clients.

The workshop will cover the following:

  • What is marketing and why is it important to your business?
  • What is the difference between marketing and advertising?
  • What is PR and branding?
  • Identifying your ideal client
  • Your unique selling point
  • Competitors
  • Your marketing tools
  • Social media (general advice)
  • How to evaluate your marketing
  • Facebook and Twitter – how to set up an account, the difference between a business and personal page, tips for when and how to post (including scheduling), hashtags, statistics and how to use them, content ideas, how often to post.

When: Wednesday 23rd May 2018

Where: Berelia Limited, 2nd Floor, Market Square, Dover, Kent, CT16 1LZ

Time: 9.30am-1.30pm

Cost: £35 per person

Please read: Places are only secure when full payment has been made and places cannot be reserved without payment. Places are non-refundable.  To book your place please click the ‘buy now’ button below:

The workshop on the 23 May has sold out.  I will be running further workshops and if you’d like to be put on the waiting list please sign up and I will send you details.

Got a question? Email rachel@lighthouseva.co.uk

Read more about Rachel’s experience.

Newsletter ideas for your small business

7 ideas for your business newsletter

Why use newsletters?

Newsletters are a great way to connect directly with your target audience. This type of e-marketing builds relationships and trust with both your current and potential clients and is a great way to keep you at the forefront of their minds should they need your service or product. Building an email list is crucial to building your small business so have a sign up link on your website and share this across your social media platforms.

There is some great software about to help you make your newsletters look professional, I personally use Mailchimp as I find it very easy to use.  It gives you templates to work with, statsistics once you’ve sent your campaign and is free up to a certain number of subscribers. It also makes sure your emails comply with the spam regulations and gives people the option to unsubscribe should they wish.

So now you undertsand why you should be sending newsletters (see my more detailed blog about this) and how certain software can help you make them look fabulous, what on earth do you write about?! This seems to be a real problem for people and they feel that people just won’t be interested in what they have to say.  If people weren’t interested they wouldn’t sign up, so don’t disappoint!  Here are just a few of my ideas to get you started writing and remember: don’t get carried away and send people a daily email as people will unsubscribe.  I only send my newsletters once a month but it will depend on the industry you work in as to how often you need to pop into people’s inboxes.

7 ideas for your newsletter topic:

  1. A how to
    Show your audience how to do something so that they gain value from your advice.  Could you tell them how to write a policy or share a video on how to make that perfect flower arrangement?
  2. Case study
    Give an example of a certain problem or task that you have solved for your client and how doing so has helped their business – have you helped them reduce their costs or brought them new customers?
  3. Employee profile
    Tell your clients about your staff members, this makes you look human and helps your customers get to know you and your team better.
  4. Business news
    A newsletter is a great way to share news about your business such as new staff, an award you have won or your new office location.
  5. Questions and Answers
    Have a Q & A newsletter. If you get asked the same questions often then chances are lots of people are wondering the same thing, address these in your E-Marketing.
  6. Giveaways
    These don’t need to break the bank but can be a great way to increase engagement and give those that have taken the time to sign up to your newsletter an exclusive little something back to say thank you.  Ideas could include a promotional discount, free product, or entry to a raffle.
  7. Testimonials
    You can’t beat a recommendation from someone else so when you get these make sure you share them via your newsletter.  If you can, use a video as there’s nothing better than actually seeing the ‘real’ person behind that testimonial.

These are just a few ideas to get you started, I’d love to hear your own suggestions so please do leave me comment below.

If you don’t have time to write your own newsletters then get in touch and I can do it for you!

Contact Rachel:
Phone: 01303 647101
Email: rachel@lighthouseva.co.uk

YouTube will help market your business

7 YouTube tips for small businesses

YouTube Background

YouTube now has one billion users with 4 billion video views per day!  Everything seems to be moving towards creating great video content and this includes in the business industry. With these figures, small businesses should be looking at including YouTube in their marketing strategy to help promote their business and build relationships with their target audience. Video is a great way of showing the face behind ‘the brand’ and your personality, after all it’s you that makes your business unique!

My tips below will help get you started:

  1.  Personalise your account with your branding
    Setting up an account is easy and once you have done this make sure you personalise your Channel so that the description and cover picture match the branding across the rest of your social media.  Canva.com is a great tool to create graphics for this and already has a template to work with.
  2. Engage
    Engage with other users, look for other small business channels in your local area or within your industry to subscribe to and interact with.

    Make sure your cover details match the rest of your branding

    Make sure your cover details match the rest of your branding

  3. Make it easy for people to find you
    When naming your video think how someone might search for that topic in Google and try to include this in the title.
  4. Describe your video clearly
    Fill out the description box for each video so that it’s clear what the subject is and use tags so that your content can be found easily.
  5. Evaluate
    I always talk about how important it is to find out if your marketing is working.  YouTube has an insights tab for each video so that you can see how people found your video as well as how many views it received.

    Promote your channel in your newsletter and across other social media platforms.

    Promote your channel in your newsletter and across other social media platforms.

  6. Content ideas
    If you’re stuck for ideas on content then here are a few ideas: try giving tips and advice, show how to do or make something, upload a video testimonial from one of your clients, showcase your product or service, interview a team member or industry leader.
  7. Promote, promote!
    Don’t forget to promote your Channel across your other social media platforms and in your e-marketing.

My YouTube Channel has lots of free marketing and business advice so pop over and subscribe.

How to promote your business locally

Marketing is not just about social media so your marketing plan should also include both on and offline promotions. If you need to attract clients that are close to where you are based then here are a few of my top tips for promoting your business locally and the good news is they are not expensive! Of course, not all of these may apply to you but will hopefully steer you in the right direction.

  • Have a Facebook business page
    It’s important that you have a business page and not a personal one as they have different tools (for example on a business page you receive insights about your customers and when they are online) and it just looks more professional. Make sure you fill in all the details (contact details, who you are etc.) and include your location so that a map can be used and people can find you easily. Doing all of the above will also help your prominence on Google.

       A business, rather than a personal, Facebook page will help                                promote your business locally

  • Write a blog and make sure it has great content
    Use keywords that your target audience will type in when searching for you so you are more likely to pop up in their search engine. Keep your blogs regular as Google likes fresh content and will rank your website higher in searches.
  • Leaflets/postcards
    Depending on the type of business you run, leaflets may be a great way of getting your message directly to your ideal client either via their letterbox, an event, networking, local shop etc. Postcards are a great alternative and a bit more unusual so may grab people’s attention.

  • Use e-marketing
    Once you have subscribers on your email list (GDPR compliant of course!) then you can send them
     information on your latest offers and give them advice and tips. This all helps to build relationships and trust with your current and potential customers.

        A press release will help raise awareness in the local media

  • Writing a press release is a great way to promote your business
    For content, you could highlight your new website, a new employee, product or service or give tips on how to do something that you specialise in.  You could also contact your local radio station and offer to give an interview in your area of expertise.
  • Offer to give a speech about your area of expertise at an event
    This is a great way to make new contacts and promote your business. It also gives you an authority in your industry.
  • Add yourself to some of the business directory sites
    Make sure you fill in all the details and include a link to your website. Examples of these sites include FreeIndex and Working Bees. These sites will also help with your Google ranking

        Networking allows you to meet other local businesses

  • Attend networking events
    Nothing beats connecting with someone regularly face-to-face. Networking helps you to build trust and relationships with potential new clients and also find businesses that can help you. Read more of my networking tips. 

If you need help with any of the ideas suggested above then contact me for your free consultation. Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook for more marketing tips or sign up for my monthly newsletter to get great advice straight to your inbox.

Digital marketing for your small business

Seven Marketing tips to help your business

I get many calls from businesses asking for help with their marketing so I thought I’d share seven of my top tips with you.

1.  Most importantly know who your customers are and where they are (are they on Facebook, LinkedIn, the radio?) – you can’t market your product to everyone and you’d be wasting money if you did so it’s absolutely crucial that you know this information so that you can target the people that are most likely to buy from you.

2. Remember that selling and marketing are not the same the same thing they are very different.  Marketing is what takes place before you get to the buying process that leads to the ‘sale.’  I have written a more detailed blog on this so have a look.

3.  If you use social media (which you should be) don’t always use promotional posts telling people about your product or service, give them advice and tips as well. This will help you to build relationships with your online community.  Of course it’s still ok to tell people about you but it’s a good idea that only 1 in 4 posts should do this.

4.  Test different marketing methods such as Google Ads, Facebook Ads or leaflets and set a goal as to want you want to achieve from them.  Track the results from this – was your objective successful?  If it wasn’t don’t be too disappointed as finding out what doesn’t work is as important as finding out what does.  Just test other methods – every business is different so what works for one doesn’t always work for another.

5.  It’s YOU that makes your business unique, use this to your advantage and let your personality shine through in marketing materials and when you’re talking to your current and potential clients.  This all helps to build trust and long term business partnerships.

6.  When preparing adverts don’t waste space.  Words perform better than graphics so choose your text carefully.  Always include a ‘call to action’ – this is what you want your audience to do (do you want them to ‘sign up’, ‘download’, visit your website).

Marketing takes time

Marketing takes time

7. Remember that marketing takes time and should be constant.  You can’t expect to carry out a weeks promotion and the world then knows about you!  It can take at the very least six months to see results of your marketing so don’t give up.

To see how I can help you with your marketing contact me for a free no obligation chat on 01303 647101 or email rachel@lighthouseva.co.uk

What’s the difference between marketing and selling?

difference between mark

I often get asked “what’s the difference between marketing and selling?” and potential clients often call asking if I can carry out sales calls and work on commission as they have seen that I specialise in marketing.  As you will see the two, although closely linked, are in fact very different processes, here I will explain why….

Selling and marketing are complex and complete books have been written on both so this is a very short explanation!

In a nutshell the marketing process is what takes place before you actually get to the buying process. For example you have seen on TV, in the paper or read on social media that Currys have a fabulous new television in store. This is part of the marketing process – it promotes the product or service. You decide to visit Currys where a sales person tells you all about the benefits of the television informing you through personal communications. You go to the checkout and purchase the TV – this is the selling process, the salesperson has persuaded you to actually buy it.

Marketing is about understanding your customer and anticipating their need and is well researched, identifying specific target audiences (i.e. the target audience for a business selling prams will include pregnant mothers and new parents). It provides strategic direction helping to attract that key customer to the business. The Chartered Institute of Marketing defines marketing as:

      “..the management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying
       customer requirements.”

Selling, on the other hand, involves a more tactical approach by finding prospects, persuading them to buy and keeping that customer happy.

As you can see there is a lot more to marketing than people think and it should be the driving force of any business. This includes having a marketing plan that dovetails with your overall business plan.

If you need help with your marketing or to write your plan then give me a call for a no obligation chat on 01303 647101 or email rachel@lighthouseva.co.uk

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