Tag Archives: Small Business

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.

Changes to the Facebook newsfeed

What the changes to the Facebook news-feed mean for your small business

Over the last month, you will have seen online that changes are being made to the Facebook news-feed.  In a nutshell, the plan is to fill your personal newsfeed with more content from family and friends and less with public content.

This is great as a personal user but not so great for us as small businesses. However, there are things that you can do to make sure your page is still seen as much as possible in people’s newsfeeds.  Watch my video or read below for advice on how to overcome the changes:

  1. Make your content engaging
    Make sure that your content is engaging (you should be doing this anyway).  So rather than posting ‘salesy‘ posts think about what you can give your followers that will help them.  This way they will be more likely to like, comment and share your post.
  2. Set aside a budget for adverts
    You will need to put aside some funds for Facebook advertising in your marketing budget. This is not all bad news as the adverts are reasonable price wise and you can really drill down to target your ideal client with criteria such as age, gender, location, behaviours etc.
  3. Plan your content
    Schedule your content in advance, this way your content will naturally be more engaging and structured
  4. Use Facebook Live
    Live videos are great as people really seem to like interacting in ‘real time.’ Just make sure you have great wi-fi and remember it doesn’t need to be a Steven Speilberg production!
  5. Join other social media platforms
    Get out there on other platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn so that your business can be found easily – if you need help with these platforms pop me an email as I offer one-to-one tutorials
  6. Set up a Facebook group
    Depending on the type of business you have a Facebook group may work well and is a great way to interact with tips and advice
  7. Check your statistics
    Keep an eye on your Facebook statistics so you can see which times and days your followers are online and gage any drop in interaction from the new changes
  8. Set up the ‘see ‘first’ notification
    On your personal newsfeed set up the pages you enjoy the most so that you see them first in your newsfeed.  For example I have Sky News so I can see their content first when I log in (watch my video to show you how to do this)
  9. Help out other small businesses
    And finally don’t forget to help other small bsuinesses by liking, sharing and commenting on their posts so that it helps them to get seen in the newsfeed.If you would like help with any aspect of your social media then pop me an email for a free, no obligation, consultation to see how I can help.

    You can also follow my Facebook page for free marketing and business tips.

Jennifer has joined the LVA team

Meet our new team member Jennifer

Lighthouse Virtual Assistant is four years old this year and is growing rapidly with lots of lovely clients. The time has therefore come to expand the team and I’m very pleased to be able to introduce you to my new colleague Jennifer Roording.

As an example of how wonderful networking can be, I met Jennifer at a local Ladies Who Latte group and when I said I was looking for someone to help with the growing workload Jennifer got in touch.

Jennifer, originally from Pennsylvania, USA, moved here to the UK in 1999 and completed a degree in business administration. Over the next 15 years she held various sales, marketing and business development positions in Kent and London based companies within the technology, publishing, newspaper and education sectors.

Jennifer is now enjoying spending time with her young family and running a small business of her own, and is very much looking forward to joining a team again. I have no doubt that she will be a great asset to the LVA team and I’m very much looking forward to working with her. Welcome to the team Jennifer.

Find out more about Jennifer. 

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

Surviving the school summer holidays

Don’t stress during the school holiday

The summer holidays are almost here again and when you run your own business the thought of the holidays looming can fill you with dread wondering how you’re going to juggle everything. You have work to manage and possibly more than one small person demanding your full attention which can all lead to a rather stressful time.

Survive the school holidays

           Plan well to avoid stress

Let’s face it most of us started our own business so that we can manage our work/life balance better so this should also apply to the holidays.  With a careful bit of planning, you can have the best of both worlds and keep your clients and your children happy. Below I share some of my tips for a stress-free holiday…

  1. Plan ahead by scheduling
    Schedule all you can before the holiday starts such as newsletters, social media and blogs. HootSuite is great for social media and for newsletters I highly recommend Mailchimp’s own scheduling system
  2. Delegate
    Outsource and/or delegate where you can to other members of staff or to a virtual assistant
  3. Communicate
    Let your clients know in advance if you’re going away on holiday and ask them to send you any work in advance so you can complete it in time

    Plan ahead for the school holiday

               Plan ahead for the school holiday

  4. Be flexible with your hours
    If you can, occasionally work in the evenings to catch up, but don’t overdo it
  5. Prioritise
    Prioritise any important work so that it’s done early and leaves you less stressed
  6. Use your out of office
    Use your email and phone out of office to inform people when you’ll be available. Point people to your website and in particular your FAQs to keep inquiries to a minimum.  Don’t forget to remove your out of office messages when you return after the holidays
  7. Don’t be proud
    If you have friends and family that have offered to help with childcare then don’t be too proud to accept it
  8. Keep an eye on your workload
    If you’re able to afford it try not to take on any new clients until the holidays are over
  9. Spend time with your family
    Lastly and most importantly make time for yourself and enjoy the precious time with your family. Remember, everyone is entitled to a holiday even when you run your own business so don’t feel guilty about some downtime. 
    Have a wonderful Summer

    Get more of my business tips over on my Facebook page. 

    Need a hand with your business so you can have a stress free holiday?  See how I can help

 

 

PR tips for small businesses

The reputation of your business is key to your success and ultimately its longevity.  If your company is seen as reputable it will make you stand out amongst your competitors.  If you’re not sure what PR actually is, then have a read of my other blog first.

Below I give you some tips on how to use Public Relations (PR) to help you increase the brand, profile and reputation of your business:

  1. Know your target audience
    Know your target audience so that your PR campaign is directed at the right people. For example, if you’re launching a new product who is most likely to buy it and where will you find them:  TV, radio, magazines?
  2. Send pictures with your press release
    A press release is a great way to let the public know, via the media, about your business, product or launch.  A press release is written in a certain format with a journalistic tone.  Send pictures with your release to make it more appealing.  Read my blog about writing a press release for more tips.

    Use an interesting angle

                   Use an interesting angle

  3. Send the PR to correct contact
    Send any information to the correct media for your service, if you don’t you’re wasting your time and money.  A little tip, if you are promoting a new product, is to send it to the journalist for free so they can test it (obviously only do this if the product doesn’t cost a fortune!)
  4. Meet deadlines
    Make sure you work to media deadlines.  Most have a cut off point for when they will run your story so make sure you don’t miss it.
  5. Stand out from others
    Have an angle to your story that makes you stand out and connects with your audience as well as the journalist.  Don’t make a sales pitch as the media will be unlikely to run your story.
  6. Being a small business can be an advantage
    Just because you’re a small business it doesn’t mean the media won’t use your story. Local media love a local angle and being smaller makes your story more personal so don’t be afraid to get out there and promote yourself!

    Know the correct media to contact for your business

       Know the correct media to      contact for your business

    Good luck if you’re launching a PR campaign soon. I offer PR services to help promote your business so if you need advice and support then please contact me