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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.

                          

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

Small Business – Know your worth!

27 Oct

As small business owners, we all know the dream probably began with the tiniest spark – This spark is something you’ve carefully kindled into a flame; which we hope one day will be the roaring fire fuelling your future.

No one starts up a business with the intent of giving free hand-outs. But then again we all know that sometimes, this is exactly what happens.

Business Card

Perhaps it was easy to do the occasional favour for a friend back in the beginning, during those first steps when it was important to test the waters or when assessing the success of your ideas meant bringing them to life on a smaller scale; but as time moves on and the ideas grow, expand and become real – your time is much more precious.

The business is not just a small spark any more, it’s a lifestyle choice you live…..

It’s critical at this point, to put a value on your time, effort and skills.

Rome certainly wasn’t built in a day and neither was your empire. Equally, without support and carefully developed partnerships, the Romans would have fallen at the first hurdle.

In our digital world of instant contact, internet reviews and expedited delivery across the globe it can be difficult to pinpoint the exact moment that you make the step from ‘start-up’ to becoming a fully-fledged business. Much of that transition depends on the confidence you have in yourself and in your finished product.

Working with other small businesses can bring a sense of connection and support and establishing partnerships early on in the lifetime of a business can be incredibly rewarding.  It can seem like a good idea, once given the chance to offer your services to another business, to offer a heavily discounted rate; thereby, almost certainly guaranteeing a glowing review and endorsement of your product or service. However, just as quickly – the credibility of your work can come under the microscope. Questions can arise about shortcoming in your own sense of worth and the worth of the business.

Instead, offering your services at a price you would expect to pay for them, will ensure that there is a mutual understanding and respect. There aren’t many honest, hard-working business owners who don’t understand the difficulty of becoming and being a successful entity and therefore will accept your terms and pricing for the value that they stand for.

Remembering the ethos of being a good business owner is important when it comes to putting a price on what you do and what you hope your business will grow into.

At a certain point, these are no longer favours for a friend, and you aren’t in training any more; you are a BUSINESS providing a quality service / product & need to behave that way.

Respect for growing small-businesses is rich in our everyday lives, not just from others who have started and are starting out just as you are, but also from those consumers who are making informed choices about the people they seek out. Confidence in your product is always going to be your first tool in marketing and to undersell, even to another business can be detrimental to your business health.

Seek out other business possibilities, work out where you can both benefit from the support of one another.

www.Rocoja.co.uk

Do I need Social Media? Click here

                          

Linkedin for your Small Business

25 Jun

Linked

Linkedin has long been seen as the grown-up alternative to Facebook for professionals to link up, mainly for recruitment & social purposes.

It’s been nice to have an online place to go and connect without the drama of peoples private lives or the semi-embarrassment of having to fawn over cute kitten pictures or complement people’s cooking skills.

However, is it really any use to a small business owner?

Here’s my top tips for you, as I believe it can be a great asset – if used correctly.

1.Only post good quality content on your company Linkedin site.

Good content should be highly targeted and should be relevant to your business and that of your followers.

2. Join groups and be active in them.

Make sure you join LinkedIn groups that are relevant to your target market. Engage in conversation and listen to what the audience is talking about, take the opportunity to pitch in with advice.

3. Make your Company page interesting.

The page should be updated regularly, so the brand is active and appears to be an operating business. Post updates, Quote on other people’s updates.

4. Avoid hard selling

People don’t want to be sold to now, they want to be interacted with, valued and listened to. So try your best to be knowledgeable on LinkedIn about your product / business arena.

Overall Linkedin IS more professional but the basics still apply. Don’t “Wing it” Don’t “Automate it” & Don’t Pay for Followers/Friends /Fans Likes” ever ever ever….. All of these things smack of deception & who wants to be involved with a small business that practices deceit right at the very beginning of a business relationship?

The potential from LinkedIn 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.

                          

3) Quick Tips for your Social Media campaigns

19 Mar

You need a good Social Media strategy nowadays.

Social media business

With Consultants like us, creating great content for our clients; small businesses are now, more than ever needing to ensure their Social Media is relevant & engaging;

And while I will still maintain, employing a professional is a much better (& safer) option, here is some help for all you “go it aloners” out there.

 

1)         Pick Your platforms carefully – not every business needs to be on every social media platform.Logos

Some businesses should be on visually rich sites such as Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube, while others  are more suited to the text only “quick-info” style of Twitter. You MUST understand your audience, do some research, have a look at what they are interacting with, before making the plunge, as a badly managed Social Media account can be detrimental to how prospective clients / customers perceive you.

 

2)        Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should! aka – Avoid the hard sell!

The main thing I try to explain to my small businesses is that Social Media is not about selling.  Your followers & friends will not thank you for appearing in their timeline extolling the virtues of your business, time after time & they will “switch -off”. I know we are all proud of our business & want to shout it from the rooftops BUT your Twitter / Facebook is probably not the best place to do that over & over again. A little bit of self-promo is ok once in a while, but try to make your overall strategy about enhancing your followers experience, encouraging them to share out the information you are bringing to them. remember although you see a screen when you post your content, the recipients are human & want to be spoken to as such.

3)         Dont think its a free for all online!

This is by no means a “free” marketing tool. In fact Social media is expensive! Just ask those people or companies who have been sued or have been ruined because Tweets sent were deemed to be offensive. Some famous examples of a Social Media storm have included – Courtney Love , Marlon Wayans , US HighSchool & these cases. Be careful what you post, make sure you are being truthful.

Social Media

Some other great blogs around this subject are here:-

Is Bigger always Better?       Social Media – DIY?       The 4 Platforms I love!

Social media language.        Should I Auto It?

 

Or contact us for some advice

www.Rocoja.co.uk

We are here specifically for new and fledgling businesses.

                          

 

 

 

 

 

The language of Social Media

9 Mar

Personally, building a Social Media business means I spend as much time on my computer as many of my friends spend “at Work” in a “Proper Job”.

In fact I spend much more time now, as now instead of reaching for a milky drink when Insomnia hits at 3am, I reach for my trusty Toshiba Laptop & get online to see what’s happening & if I (or any of my clients) should be a part of it.

You see – social media NEVER sleeps… Luckily neither do I (OK, I do, but just 3 /4 hours a night).

I think my family & friends are probably a bit tired of hearing how passionate I am about Twitter, Pinterest & social media in general, however it’s very different to someone coming home from a day’s work, effervescing about the flowers in their shop, or the lovely people that came into their retail outlet. It’s different because is so hard to quantify what my job involves.

In plain terms, I write articles & blog posts, I tweet, I post updates, write reviews, in fact lately I’ve branched out into more of a “PR” role for some of my clients.

Social Media

But overall It’s  very difficult to explain how those things above translate to building a brand/clientele to someone who doesn’t understand social media yet. (Something I can help you understand if you wish).

Social media is vital for business development, marketing, customer service & building a brand!

So, I work as a “Social media consultant” – well at least that’s what the insurance company who insures me categorises it as. In my eyes I am an additional service to small businesses who want to utilise word of mouth to build their business; but have accepted that word of mouth has changed forever to “tweet & update”!

To that end I have become bi-lingual, I have to translate between two worlds — that of the social media culture and that of the people have little to no experience with it. This is exciting & frustrating at the same time, but extremely rewarding when a client gets to see their customer base increase & they themselves can understand how it’s finally happened.

This is why the Bi-lingual part of my role is so important.

My clients may be in unfamiliar territory when it comes to marketing per-se, let alone social media marketing. They may be uncomfortable with change & unable to ratify the making of on-line relationships to finding & retaining new business. Many of my clients are used to the tried & trusted way of building relationships, Trade shows, Networking meetings, Door-knocking, Telesales etc. The new language of social media is very foreign & it’s a massive bonus to be able to translate it into an easily understandable language.

Introducing social media to a small business brings me the challenge of getting people to imagine the possibilities of something they’ve never experienced & I love it.

www.Rocoja.co.uk

Do I need Social Media? Click here

We are here specifically for new and fledgling businesses.

                          

Stay Safe – Email Invoices

3 Nov

Rocoja Limited has just had the email below sent through –

Email Virus

It is appearing as an invoice from TM Group Billing with a subject of  “A new invoice has been created”.

Attached to the email, is what looks at first glance to be a Document (word doc).

This is another email scam, aiming for a click on the document as the originators of these viruses are being a little more clever now, by using what look like business email addresses and associated subjects that may entice a user to read the email and open the attachment.

A shift has recently happened, which has seen a high proportion of these scam emails, being targeted at small businesses, with the hope of getting a better response.

Practically all of these also have a password stealing component, with the aim of stealing bank, PayPal or other financial details along with your email logins.
Many of them are also designed to steal the Facebook and other social network log in details of small businesses, along with Website log ins & FTP files  (if you manage your own site).

The companies & employees who are mentioned in the emails are normally completely  innocent and have been picked at random.

Never get involved in any way, even if your “good” heart tells you to let the company involved know what’s happened; the best advice is – dont.

With regards to the aforementioned  TM Group “new invoice” email; on hovering over the attachment, it appears to be a genuine word doc attached, however it is most definitely corrupted and contains a horrible virus.

Overall – all I can say is – Be very careful with email attachments.

The basic rule is NEVER open any attachment to an email, unless you are expecting it.

Also – as great as Virus protection programs are; don’t just rely on the “Real-Time” scanning available with many of them – If you absolutely have to check the attachment – do this..

Save the document to a safe location on your computer, normally your downloads folder or your documents folder and THEN scan it with your antivirus.

Many antivirus’s do not automatically detect macro-viruses in real-time protection and you need to enable document or office protection in the settings.

Also be aware that there are a lot of dodgy word docs spreading that WILL infect you with no action from you if you are still using an outdated version of word. This is a good reason to update your office programs to a recent version and stop using office 2003 and 2007.

Many small business owners use older versions of office programs, because  they are convenient, have the functions and settings we are used to and may have never seen a need to update to the latest super-duper version.

BUT the risks in using older version are now seriously starting to outweigh the convenience, benefits and cost of keeping an old version going.

I strongly urge you to update your office suite to the latest version and stop putting yourself at risk!

For any more help / advice  or Small Business Tips & Trick

Please contact us

Info@Rocoja.co.uk 

Karin

Please join Rocoja on any of the social media platforms below

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Colours in Business

16 Oct

logo's

 

 

 

The colours you use in your business, not only reflect your personality, they can affect how people perceive your business.

Colours influence our emotions & behaviour, so its critical to understand their relationships to business, so we can affect productivity & demand.

Afterall, we all want your shoppers/customers to spend more with you than your competitors, so the right colour choices are paramount.

Lets look at a few here:-

Green

Green

This colour is great for inspiring feelings of serenity; it’s an easy colour to look at & provides an air of trust.

It’s also associated with wealth, health & longevity.

 

 

Black

Black

This is used most often to promote luxury items, giving a feeling of power & strength.

Although often seen as a colour of intelligence, to much black can feel morbid & morose. So use it wisely.

 

 

YellowYellow

Seen as optimistic & cheerful, Yellow is a great impact / statement colour.

This is great for window displays etc as it promotes a feeling of being happy to impulse.

However it’s not a great colour for large spaces, so avoid painting your premises yellow.

 

pink

Pink

A calming colour, which is really attractive to the younger market, particularly women.

Great colour of choice for a service based business or one which uses lots of conversation, such as mediators etc.

 

 

GreyGrey

Immediately symbolises practicality & stability. However it can draw out feelings of depression & nothingness.

Often used to appeal to “older” markets, it can be seen as non-committal & bland.

 

 

BlueBlue

Creating a sense of security & professionalism this is a well used colour for financial businesses.

It’s also the most commonly “liked” colour – Hence why social media companies use this colour as a base.

 

 

RedRed

This colour feels forceful & dangerous & appeals to fast paced thinking, it creates a sense of urgency & is used

a lot to promote impulse buying.

 

 

Purple

Purple

Associated with respect, loyalty & luxury, purple is often used for problem-solving businesses.

It represents creativity & passion, along with knowledge & tenacity.

 

 

This is  only a quick guide, so don’t forget that these colours can be mixed together & used in varying degrees to utilise a little or a lot of what they represent.

One of the best things you as a business can do, is research your market before making a choice on your branding colours.

Take a look at these

Facebook & Twitter – The colour they use is perfect for encouraging people to interact.

Twitter-icon

Facebook-icon

 

 

 

 

 

 

McDonald’s – The colours they use are cheerful, optimistic & aimed at impulse buying. (Remember Red  is aimed at creating a sense of urgency).

download downlocad

 

 

 

 

 

Please contact us if you are considering a new/improved/changed Logo.

We provide a bespoke branding & logo service & will contact you within 24 hours.

 

www.Rocoja.co.uk

Karin

Please join Rocoja on any of the social media platforms below

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Social Media & the Workplace

13 Sep

I’ve been involved with Social Media since it first ever appeared & long before Rocoja Limited – I could see the benefit of social media,  much to the chagrin of some of my employers;

This came to light quite prominently, when I attended board meetings aimed at trying to devise a way to eradicate the horrible “Bebo”, “MySpace” & other such like forums that were emerging & causing time to be used by staff.

Social-Media

I was seen as the Middle Manager Rebel, The one who wanted the staff to be “lazy”, “chatty”, not focused…. Which of course was NOT what I wanted. I saw the potential to harness this time for a greater purpose – which lets be honest, was going to be used, via extra “toilet breaks” etc, anyway.

I wanted to allow staff to post, as long as the posts were contained to their own, entitled scheduled breaks, I also felt we could utilise these moments, which could be enhanced with co-inciding positive things happening at work..

I also wanted adverts to be placed where these employees were dwelling online, as I saw that if this was the case, surely the demographics we were aiming at, were there too?

However one particular employer didnt see this at all & we parted ways after all internet access was blocked for staff & all use of mobile / smartphones was banned – it was considered the easiest way to ensure the staff were focused..

 

fb-faiilThis back-fired galactically as many employees took longer & longer breaks & some left the employ, citing “draconian” rules… Indeed the company didnt realise the potential of the online forums & social media hangouts until it was too late & 80% of the workforce were laid off.

NO I dont lay the folding of this company firmly at the doorstep of the stupid internet policy, BUT it had a huge impact!

Nowadays  we all know the benefit of Social Media cannot be understated & the benefit of positive use by employees MUST NOT be undervalued.

I firmly believe the relationships between employers & employees can be positivey enhanced by using social media in the right way

Lets look at some stats –

  • Over 75% of your employees use social media to connect with fellow employees.
  • Over 60% will say that it can enhance their working day.
  • Over a third use Social Media to improve their skills / work environment & most of this is done on their own volition.

However – those are positives – lets also look at what small business is doing to capture this hugely untapped resource..

  • Almost half of the businesses I speak to do nothing to encourage positive use of Social media to enhance the business,
  • With around 75% of them having no training at all in any of the usual social media outlets.
  • Many small businesses (& some larger who havent quite grasped this yet) still see this forum as a negative.

Its almost the end of 2014 &  surely we all know that social networks are an integral part of many peoples’ daily life now,  with the number of social media users around the world rising sharply over the last decade.

Consumers are ahead of the suppliers in some cases when it comes to small businesses on Social Media – So a clear branding is extremely important, a clear ethic across that brand & a concise, metered approach to your own social media advertising is imperative.

MY advice – Get some help

We know from campaigns run over the last few years, companies with successful social initiatives use outside agencies.

In contrast, those with ineffective social programs usually go it alone.
Leave it to a professional, so you can get on with running your business.. Its a lot cheaper than you think!

WELL – it should be! Read this ->  Bigger isn’t always Better

 

Please read my other blogs for some more tips & hints.

I hope the above helps.

Karin

Please join Rocoja on any of the social media platforms below

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