Posts tagged ‘Niche’

Blogging and social media is a regular topic of interest at The Business Club Cambridge.  In May, Chris Markham, Neil Hamilton-Meikle and I hosted a blogging workshop aimed at members who have often considered starting a blog but have procrastinated for too long.

Neil covered the basics of getting started such as choosing a platform, I discussed content generation and Chris gave some insights in to getting your blog noticed and generating meaningful business leads.

I thought it would be useful to share with you, the outline of my presentation.

Your Style…

Before you can generate constuctive ideas or devise a plan/strategy for your blog, you need to be clear about the style of your blog.

Your own personality and goals should determine this, but take time to consider:

  1. Your target audience.  Professionals? Niche? Mums at home? Young People?  What will they be interested in? How much time/money do they have to spend? What kind of language/grammer is appropriate?  Also, consider that readers may be your current client base, sharing knowledge is a great tool for client retention so don’t just think of it as a lead generation exercise.
  2. What “calls to action” need to be included to achieve your objectives.  For example, are you hoping for a call, a newsletter sign up or SEO for your main website?  Then ASK, be clear about what you want your readers to do.  Are there “key words” that you need to incorporate for SEO?
  3. How you will promote interaction (comments, social media sharing, bookmarking etc)  Blogging is all about sharing information to build trust amongst your peers and clients.
  4. How often will you post a blog?  And what time of the day/week/month is best for you and your audience?  To build rapport you need to blog regularly, but that doesn’t necessarily mean frequently.  Quality definitely overrules quantity.
  5. What are your competitors doing?  How will you differentiate yourself?
  6. What format will you use?  Short paragraphs, full articles, infographics, links, video…..
  7. Will you actively seek guest authors?  This is a great way to share readership, build alliances and double the social media impact, but be careful not to confuse your audience, the posts must be relevant to them and contribute to your overall strategy.

Once you have these issues clearly documented, you will find ideas for content everywhere you look and there is not enough time in the day to cover them, so a structured plan is essential.

Part 2 will look at what to write and how to generate ideas that will work.

 

The information provided in this blog illustrates my opinions and experiences, it does not constitute advice and I do not accept responsibility for any actions taken or refrained from as a result of reading this post.

If you found this post interesting/useful please share it with your social network and/or bookmark it.  Also, your comments are always valued and will help me to write new posts that are relevant to readers of this blog.

This is a guest post from Heather Townsend, an amazing twitterbuddy (It is unlikely I would have met her otherwise) of mine, who has helped me both on and offline with her friendly but focused approach.   She has several business hats, including The Efficiency Coach and Executive Village and is a mum to two gorgeous ‘little guys’ as they are affectionately known.  Follow her tweets for useful business tips and benefit from her sociable nature.

9 top tips for business efficiency

keep an eye on your goals..

keep an eye on your goals..

Whilst small is seen to be beautiful (and believe me, at 5 ft 2” high, I fully subscribe to this view!), SMEs are also assumed to be more flexible and nimble than the large corporations. An accusation often levelled at SMEs is that they don’t have the resource to implement large scale changes quickly, and will therefore, struggle to significantly improve their productivity levels, and therefore, efficiency. I wonder whether you find this to be the case?

Regardless of where you stand on this debate, here are my nine top tips for any size of company to improve its efficiency:

1. Think simple

Simple ideas and methods generally save time and help a business become more efficient.

2. Outsource non-critical processes

If someone can run a process better than you, for the same or cheaper cost for the appropriate level of quality, outsource it. For example, on the 1st October I will be handing over all my books to my accountant’s book keeper. This is a non-critical process which someone else can do better than me, and for less cost.

3. Help your customers and clients become more efficient

Let’s illustrate this point with a real live example, my IT man, David of Contact Consultants, supports my IT machine for free – unless I really manage to tie it up in knots. Every time I speak to David, he educates me in some way so that I am more self-sufficient and less reliant on him for support. How can you educate your clients or customers so that your ability to service their needs is more efficient or effective?

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4. Set yourself goals

If you set goals around improving your company’s efficiency then you are more likely to work towards creating a more efficient business.

 

5. Invest in automation

Whether you are a people hungry business like retail or a niche consultancy your largest monthly outgoing will be your wage bill. The greater the level of automation which reduces the amount of input by people, the more efficient your business. Compare and contrast the car factory of Henry Ford’s day to the modern production line in a mainstream car manufacturer.

6. Have a safety-conscious workforce

Accidents create down-time and extra costs. If you have ever had a claim brought against you for an accident at work, you will testify to this!

7. Look after, appreciate, and train your workforce

Happy, engaged, appreciated employees generally work harder and are more productive than unmotivated un-engaged employees. Think how much harder you work when you want to work somewhere rather than feeling as if you have to work somewhere. A skilled, motivated workforce is a must for good business efficiency.

8. Look at your product/service mix

If you can sell a higher-value product to your target market, you will normally improve your business efficiency. For example, if you currently sell homemade iced cupcakes, how much more could you sell a range of dairy or gluten free iced cupcakes?

9. Attract the right kind of employee

As efficient as your business may be, you are still reliant on having good quality employees to run your business processes. By attracting the right employee into the right role, you will build good business efficiency, one new hire at a time.

In your view, which of these nine tips for business efficiency should every company, regardless of it’s size, invest time and resource in implementing?

The information provided in this blog illustrates my opinions and experiences, it does not constitute advice and I do not accept responsibility for any actions taken or refrained from as a result of reading this post.