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The Importance of Good Branding

21 Feb

When we think of “branding” we think that a brand is the design, sign, words, or a combination of these, employed in creating an image that identifies you / your product or service.  It will differentiate you from your competitors. It’s that which is brought to mind when a company name / product is mentioned or thought of and likewise It’s what you will use to identify your services / products uniquely.

However, your brand is not just the logo on the bottom of your email, it is your full on image and consequentially how you are perceived by others and the message that your business spreads.

So, to make life easier for yourself (and your target audience) it is essential that you keep the brand simple and clear. This is paramount, whoever you are; a sole trader, a singer, an event organiser, a web designer or even an accountant. The consistency of a brand is what delivers your key messaging, allows buyers to warm to you and encourages loyalty. By keeping your branding consistent you are building up trust with your target audience.

The main piece of advice Rocoja would give you is keep your brand colours the same throughout all marketing; you want someone to see a flyer or poster advertising your band, shop or business and recognise that it is your business as it is consistent. This should even carry through to your logo.

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The same goes for a visitor to your website following your link through to a social media platform, the brand, message, colours and logo need to follow through from your website to your social media presence.

A good brand should not over promise (don’t over complicate it) and should match the business it is representing. For example, if you are an accountant don’t have a cartoon style dog as your logo as this will confuse your ‘professional’ message that you want your target audience to see. Likewise, a singer /performer should really steer clear of “slang terms” and imagery as these go in and out of fashion extremely quickly.

Good branding not only needs to be relevant to your business but it needs to be relevant to your target audience too, if you sell bargain handbags at the market then an over the top foil business card with embossed writing will not fit with what you do; the same if you are a top class singer, you wouldn’t want a boring grey business card that just lists your information. A good brand will relate to you and your business, while being attractive to your target audience.

Get this right in the first place and your message will be carried out for you, thanks to your target audience trusting your branding.

The potential from the right image is great, if you know how to maximize it…

Rocoja knows how to!

Contact us for some advice info@Rocoja.co.uk

We are to help.

                          

Why Bands & Singers should use Social Media

3 Feb

The internet has opened up endless possibilities and opportunities for promotion of individuals creativity, from painters to comedians and that is one of the main reasons bands and singers should use social media to promote new material, especially if it is being released commercially. This means creating a buzz, well in advance of the actual release date!

Rocoja Marketing Performer

Of course it may seem daunting, especially when you realise how much you can actually let your creativity flow, but social media gives you a chance to explore and experiment, try what works and see what doesn’t work.

If you were a singer or band in the 1970s or even in the 1980s you wouldn’t have needed to consider the internet, either to promote your songs, worry about “memes” or to release new material but now we are in the 21st century; cultures and expectations have changed and you need to use social media to promote yourself because it is what is expected. The music industry has changed beyond recognition with people becoming famous (& rich) purely from uploading 1 song on YouTube (Andie Case & Jason Derulo Car on Youtube).

Everyone is using at least one form of social media these day, it could be Facebook, Twitter or even Instagram and if you don’t use it it’s pretty much like you don’t exist. Social media is a fantastic marketing platform which is one of the reasons bands and singers really need to be using it.
Promoting new material via social media can be really easy, but most importantly you want to make sure you don’t make it a full on sales platform as that can be boring for your audience and you will lose your connections. Instead you need to aim for 80% of posts being conversational and funny with 20% of your updates being promotional.
The balance between keeping your social media promotional and conversational is tricky and yes you can do this yourself, but we would always say get some professional help. Some of the worst mistakes involve posts with spelling / grammar errors, no tags or back-links and over indulgent self-promoting. These can be really off-putting & that can affect sales / downloads & airtime!

So here are some quick tips from Rocoja

  • Copy anything you are going to post into a Word Doc before posting & run a Grammar & Spell check before posting it!
  • When you’re recording the new material why not share short video clips, show the gang eating lunch and maybe some back stage pictures too. These are all ‘conversational updates’ but they’re promoting your new material without being obvious about it and it’s updates like this that can work really well.
  • If you’re doing a tour before the release of the new material you can tweet about the different place you are but get the potential fans / consumers involved too, share photos you take on the day and get them to do the same.
  • Tell your fans where you are going on the promotional tour and where they can see you. If worded right this isn’t obvious it’s a promotional update, instead you’re letting fans know what’s going on and where they can see you, as a friendly update.
  • Make sure you insert back links to your download sites
  • Make sure you tag in friends in the industry, who may RT / Share your status’s & don’t be “me me me” Make sure you are sharing & RT’ing other peoples updates too.
  • DON’T buy followers of fans – Fake followers on any platform act in a negative way, sometimes even causing the accounts to be sanctioned by Twitter / Facebook /Instagram. Also your true fans will feel cheated.

The potential from Social media is endless, if you know how to maximize it…

Rocoja knows how to!

Contact us for some advice info@Rocoja.co.uk

We are to help.

                          

 

New Year = Time for a revamp!

29 Dec

Your New Year Business Resolution – 5 things to do in 2016

How was 2015 for you and your small business?

January heralds a new start to a new year and that means it is an opportunity to do something to revamp your small business.

Here are 5 things you could do that on the back of what you have achieved in 2015 could bring some benefits in 2016

Update your website

Your website is your window to the world.  Giving your website an update is essential every new year. Making sure your 2016 products, services and prices are up to date is vital.  Changing a few images and bringing some freshness into the website really can make a difference. Then updating the content and ensuring your keywords are in place and just having fresh copy really lift your website and allow your business to lift off further from where you left it in 2015.

Revamp your Social Media

Along with your website your social media is important. Many companies forget that their social media also needs refreshing; a fresh image and some fresh wording describing your business just add some polish.  In 2016 make a concerted effort to use social media more, maybe spend a little time reading up and then putting an effective social media plan in place.

Re Brand

Your brand defines you. If your small business has been around while or even if it has only been operating a short time taking a look at your brand in line with your updated website (see point 5) and making a concerted effort to use social media more really is worthwhile.  A re-branding sounds hard work and sounds painful but having the right brand that conveys the right message about your business could just mean the difference between growing or standing still in 2016.

Plan your year ahead

Failing to plan is planning to fail and a new year is the perfect time to plan the next 12 months for your small business.  Whether you are a one man band or a small team, putting your goals, objectives and milestones down in writing in a formal plan gives your small business direction that is measurable. With a well-planned year and regular updates to the plan throughout the year your business is under control for the next 12 months the right strategic decisions can be made.

Get advice from someone outside your business

For many small businesses hiring a consultant seems like a crazy idea because the money can be spent better elsewhere. Yes this is true but there are plenty of people and organisations such as friends, accountants, chambers of commerce and banks who will give you valuable business advice on a variety of topics that can truly help your business for little or no charge. Nearly everyone knows someone that may be a specialist in marketing, social media, websites, planning or even trading overseas – take a look at your circle of friends, family and business associates and ask someone if they can help you. If you don’t ask you don’t get and you will be amazed at how many people will want to see you a success and who would feel proud to help you be that success.

2016 is going to be an awesome year ahead, these 5 simple tips could make it even more awesome and most of them will cost every little and each will bring outstanding returns on your investment.

We are here specifically for new and fledgling businesses, charities, performers and individuals who need to be in the midst of the Social Media buzz.

                          

Rocoja

Twitter for Business – What do I do with it

7 Sep

CrashYou’ve made yourself a Twitter for your business. Now What?

Here’s my top tips!

  1. Make your name as close to your business name as possible. (Be easily identifiable)
  2. Don’t be tempted to automate anything. (It looks lazy – Click Here)
  3. Don’t randomly follow everyone. With Business Twitter it is important to get a balance correct.
  4. Make your profile stand out. Brand to your colours etc..
  5. Realise No one has to share anything you tweet, so say thank-you if it happens.
  6. Make sure your other Social Media & most importantly your Website is connected to your Twitter profile.
  7. Make sure you have a Klout account, get connecting & keep an eye on your score.
  8. Try not to use all 140 characters. Leave space so a Re-tweet will still make sense.
  9. Don’t post hard sales / pushy tweets – no one wants to see them in their timeline. Be “nice”.
  10. Share other peoples content. Its polite!

For more info & indeed help

Info@Rocoja.co.uk

                          

Troll or concerned citizen?

24 Aug

I am sincerely hopeful I never have to revisit this subject again.

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Having to deal with “professionals” who feel trolling behaviour is not only warranted but is totally defensible if they have a “greater good” at the end of a murky tunnel, has been horrible.

In my opinion, naming someone as a perpetrator of a crime, participant in an indiscretion etc – before any evidence has been gathered, before even speaking to a that person is NEVER warranted. Especially if you are NOT a govt body investigating an issue.

Indeed, that person being named may not even be involved in whatever storm you are whipping up & here-in lies the problem.

Trolling on a “professional level” is a slippery slope to Vigilantly-ville, one which not only can ruin careers / lives, but can lead to physical harm.

Personally, with what has taken place recently, the issue for me is so much bigger than my chagrin. The issue is that self appointed guardians online have not followed the professional protocol they are vehemently spouting as a defence for their actions.

In fact, as a twisted way to justify the behaviour – I was told in so many words to “suck it up” as my personal feelings & business which may be harmed by this whirlwind of unsubstantiated gumpf are inconsequential if their trolling gets a wider message of “Don’t mess with us” out there.

Anyone who knows me – both in a professional & personal capacity, knows my blog is aimed at small business owners. It’s to explain that everyone online is a consumer. Their experience online will without doubt be affected by how they see a business / professional person behave. They also know I do what I do (marketing etc) for the people I help, as a passion not as a profitable business. I do it as I believe in connecting people. Hence the charity work also.

I just wish other professionals had contacted me prior to this past week’s shenanigans

So in a last ditch attempt at restoring some morals & ethics to a bunch of behaviour – I am listing some definitions of trolling.

I am hopeful the professionals may recognise the means does NOT justify the (very doubtful) end.

One who posts a deliberately provocative message to a newsgroup or message board with the intention of causing maximum disruption and argument.
(urbandictionary.com)
Someone who leaves an intentionally annoying message on the internet, in order to get attention or cause trouble.
(CambridgeDictionary.org)
One who hides under the bridges of topics, eagerly waiting to pounce on meek or unexpecting individuals and shower them with opposing opinions or ideas (generally derogatorily)
(Yahoo.co.uk)
Do I believe all those who have been so vocal online are trolls in the worst sense? NO
But it’s so difficult to sort the wheat from the chaff when its relentless & so damaging.
My concern is, run with the crowd & you get caught up with the crowd.
There are better ways to make yourself heard – more professional ways.
In all seriousness. YOU are out there – every time you post. Make sure the YOU that is seen, is professional and trustworthy.

The potential for good from Social media is endless, if you know how to maximize it…

                          

Reasons for good Social Media Etiquette

22 Aug

My thoughts for anyone using Social media as a way to display your knowledge, prowess, goods or services online (Which let’s be frank, should be almost everyone now as Social Media is THE way to build relationships and brands for the 21st century).

Ignore user experience and interaction at your peril.
I say this so often when giving advice to the charities and SME’s I work with. People get a very small snapshot of you on-line, make their experience a pleasant one. Yes you can tell them about yourself and the work you do, but try not to be “superior” or condescending in your output. Not everyone has the in-depth knowledge of your industry that has made you the professional you are.

Particularly, pay careful attention to your posts about fellow industry colleagues / competitors or just other businesses in general. (Be they professional or personal posts) as everyone, no matter what we do, are always first and foremost consumers.

Social M MistakeWe have all grown to expect nothing short of a delightful experience from our online interactions… Whether it’s looking for a cafe locally, booking a cab, searching a hashtag or just browsing through Twitter, we want it to be simple, easy and painless.

My own personal experience has this past week been very difficult, the posts I have been party to from a group of “professionals” in an industry which already has a horrible reputation, has been eye-wateringly painful to see.

Most shocking was that these were posts from professionals who are upon investigation, extremely well educated and seem to a have a great track record in their professions.  They seem to have an on-line vigilante group (their words on a tweet) that policies their industry and “takes out” (again verbatim) anyone they perceive to be a threat in any way. This is without any investigation by a government or regulatory body, nor any actual criminal charges in any shape or form.. BUT cross their path at your peril (actually from what I witnessed, many in their industry don’t have much chance avoiding them as they seem to spend endless hours trolling the internet for victims of their vigilantism) because your feed on Twitter and I should imagine elsewhere online (I haven’t checked) is obliterated by uninvestigated (by authorities) accusations and personal jibes.

I have been party, purely because one of these “professionals” sought me out though, I am assuming, my LinkedIn connection to one of the small businesses they were attacking this past week.

Did I get a phone call? A tweet? A message? An email? Carrier pigeon? To tell me they believed an acquaintance of mine may be not as professional as they feel they are?

Sadly no. The professionals in this industry believe that by posting a totally unrelated industry, small business details online and accusing the director of being a “little lady” “earning lots of money” “with a silly surname” is totally acceptable.

This obviously hit a nerve with me and even still 4 days later – these “Professionals” are referring to me online, despite my doing the right thing on day one. I made contact with the governing body of their industry to offer any and all support to any investigations they may be carrying out (which incidentally were none and they were not happy at what they had witnessed online). On day 2 I made contact with 2 of the people tweeting – one of whom engaged with me and I am now totally convinced they believe their tactics online are helpful for their industry; however anyone else watching, myself and all my followers included, feel it has just underlined the “Bullyboy” “Couldn’t care less” attitude that is the perception of this particular industry.

Overall it has just reaffirmed everything that Social Media is about – it gets information out super-quick, it gets your name known and a brand (if you pitch it right) out to the world. However your actions/words are there for eternity.

My advice –

  1. Everyone is a potential consumer – treat everyone with dignity. Don’t disengage a whole faction of the populace, just because they may not fit in with what you are trying to achieve.
  2. Consumers are not children – technology has enabled consumers to take care of more complicated matters on their own. Instead of relying on experts and hours of research. However we all would like advice every now and then, THAT’S your role, help and advice and build trust. Don’t badger and condescend. You will lose credibility.
  3. Compliance and the law are key – Building customer trust is essential, after all there are more than just one of you (by you I mean service/product providers in your field of expertise). Your customers will want to know that their privacy and security is paramount. Seeing you online naming other businesses/contacts negatively without any forethought makes consumers uneasy and rightly so. Their thoughts will be “what will they say if I take my business elsewhere”? “What will they say about me if I skip a payment”?
  4. Know when to admit a wrong – consumers can question businesses online immediately now. A quickly drafted placating phrase used to be enough, now people need to feel valued. So admit if you are wrong and show online what steps you are taking to amend a situation.

Personally I think the “vigilantes” I encountered this week will believe themselves to be beyond reproach. That’s ok, I can honestly say my business is my passion and I do it because I love it, not for financial gain. This is usually the crux of many issues of trolling / twitter shaming. Money (Either that or I’ve said no to a date at some point).

But in all seriousness. YOU are out there – every time you post. Make sure the YOU that is seen, is professional and trustworthy. downloadt

The potential from Social media is endless, if you know how to maximize it…

Rocoja knows how to!

Contact us for some advice info@Rocoja.co.uk

                          

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