Tag Archives: Blog

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

                          

The Language of Social Media

20 Sep

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 Asus Laptop & get on-line 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/clientèle 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 or individual 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, Charities and individuals who need to be in the midst of the Social Media buzz.

                          

Rocoja

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.

                          

 

 

 

 

 

Upcoming event – Celebrity Charity Football Match, Ashford

16 Mar

Thank you for the mention to WhatsOnWhere

Upcoming event – Celebrity Charity Football Match, Ashford.

Theres a CELEB FC Event in Kent this weekend – Sunday 22nd March.

CELEBRITY TEAM EXPECTED 

Charity Football Kent

Rob Lamarr – Channel 5 Supercasino – Celeb FC Goalie

DJ Pied Piper – UK Garage Legend – Celeb FC “Player/Manager”

Andy Taylor – Singdate

Mr Rootsy – X Factor

Darren Taylor – Striker / Sponsor

Mark Anthony – Radio DJ

Johny Pach – TV Presenter

Shameek Farrell – Ex Semi-Pro Footballer

Danny Page (Pagey) – Radio DJ

J_Milz – Urban Music MC

Danny Legend – UKG Producer

Josh S – Model

J-Rock – BigBrovaz

Carl Owen – Model / Actor

Simon Osborn – Ex Semi-Pro Footballer

Leo The Lion – The Streets / The Voice

Gareth Graham – Ex Semi-Pro Footballer

MC Kie – UK Garage Legend

This is a charity benefit match in aid of the new sports pavilion at Charing FC, all funds raised will be going towards the completion!!

Events on the day to include;
** CROSS BAR CHALLENGE**
** RAFFLE WITH A TOP PRIZE OF A WEEKEND BREAK IN CORNWALL**
**BBQ**
**GILLINGHAM FC CHEERLEADERS**
**BOUNCY CASTLE**
**FACE PAINTING**

And much much more!!

Tickets are £2 for an adult, £1 for children or £5 for 2 adults and 2 children!

GATES OPEN AT 1PM

**Celeb FC players don’t get paid to participate, They are all volunteers, as are the admin & support team, because of this some members of the squad might not be available, and cancel at short notice.

Please contact us, if you would like some assistance from Celeb FC.

 

Stumble Upon   Celeb FC Facebook Twitter Celeb FC  Google Plus Celeb FC

Info@CelebFC.co.uk

Is Bigger always Better?

25 Feb

Rocoja has had the pleasure of working with some lovely new businesses over the last 2 years – From cake makers who work from home & celebrities starting out in the music industry to construction & building companies; all of whom needed some direction & assistance with their marketing.

From full marketing support with Flyers & e-shots to just handling Twitter; Rocoja has helped, advised & created business plans that has afforded them a stream of marketing opportunities they didn’t know existed.

However there are still those which take the business plan we prepare (For free) after spending time with them & learning about their passions & goals; researching their products & services, learning about their history & ethics; then go with a “larger company”.

Why – Because many businesses & individuals are still caught up with the “bigger must be better” falsehood..

Bigger Better?

One of the latest companies we have helped was paying just under £1000 per calendar month for a “Full Social Media presence” to be built. However this wasn’t translating into visitors to the website (an e-commerce venture) & the reports at the end of the month from the “Agency” was showing lots of work happening so it just wasn’t making sense.

Through a referral, we carried out a full investigation & prepared a detailed report, showing that lots of tweets were indeed happening BUT with no interaction. The same was apparent on the Facebook page – lots of posts, but only 7-10 people seeing each one & then no interaction.

Worst of all The Social media platforms were not even branded & looked completely separate from each other.

There was a conveyor belt  of “blogs”, “posts” & “tweets” on behalf of the business with links to websites & news stories BUT not relevant or researched & not linked back to the company.

We know that at the start of the Twitter revolution it was seen as a FACT that you had to have as many followers as possible to be even considered successful but now we all are painfully aware that just isn’t true. A business / individual trying to build a quality profile will need concise, targeted followers who will help grow a loyal customer/fan base, engaging  & sharing information..

My point is, did the large agency spend the time to know the small business; its owners, its history? Did it post articles that the companys potential customers would like to read about? Do you think it wanted to spend that time, getting to know its client?

bad-chart.png

Or did it hope they were stuck in the Bigger is Better frame of mind & churn out analytics & charts which look good?

Yes a larger agency may have expertise & more manpower but a smaller consultancy has the expertise & flexibility they may not have (despite promising such). The smaller consultancy will also (usually) be much more accommodating with things you need actioned quickly, or invoices etc you need to defer a few days; as we understand time pressures & financial constraints of a small business much better than an “expert” in a team of people in a large business where they do not have to deal with such things.

We also feel a smaller consultancy is the best choice if you are looking for individual guidance, as well as marketing; as we are more likely to involve you if you wish & that can only be a good thing for your business.

Afterall hiring a consultancy gives you other bespoke options, such as having someone come in & help you on-site if you wish, to learn how to eventually take over the marketing yourself. Its also a great way to have the marketing completed, while you run your business but with the option to move to a larger machine if (we hope  – when) your business is big enough to warrant a bigger more impactful agency led campaign.

Unfortunately from experience of many of the small businesses we have assisted, the thing at the forefront of what the companies find when hiring a bigger agency is Bigger usually extends to the Bill at the end of the month!

Is Social media relevant to the Small Business Person?

Contact Rocoja Limited for help and advice.

Facebook Rocoja     Rocoja Google +     Rocoja linked in      Stumble upon     Twitter Rocoja

Social Media for your business?

15 Feb

You’ve been told over and over again that networking is the lifeblood of running your own business.

Social media business

You know that you have to build rapport and forge strong relationships with people in order to gain a trusted reputation within your business community and hope that you will be recommended to potential clients once this has been established. Yet, so often, you neglect the biggest networking opportunities that are constantly available via Social Media.

Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are the three most commonly used social media networks and it’s crucial for every business to use them regularly.

Creating an online brand – an identity for your business, is essential and that’s where the use of social media really comes into play. Everything you do on each of the social media networks is a glimpse into your business identity. It allows the people that interact with you to gain an image of you in their mind’s eye – everything from the logos and pictures you use, to the content shared and the way you speak; it’s all taken onboard and snap decisions made about whether they like you and want to interact with you further. It’s the interaction that takes your customer from potential to closed sale.

Twitter is perhaps the most effective social media site for gaining fresh, new customers. This is the personality driven network, the one that everyone is using and the best way of engaging quickly with large amounts of people. Interaction is the name of the game at Twitter, by sharing stories and content through tweets you can quickly identify yourself as an industry expert which builds trust amongst your audience – showing them that you know what you are talking about and therefore, must be good at what you do!

To use Twitter effectively you have to be consistent and just like at a real networking event; don’t sell to the room. People do business with people. So you want to encourage people to warm to you and trust you. Constantly selling and ignoring what others have to say will only encourage people to listen politely before walking away!

Being consistent with your posts makes you come across as reliable and being helpful will earn you instant kudos! The more you give; the more you receive. So don’t be afraid to advise people for free if you have the expertise to help them – they will remember you for it and come back to you in the future when they need your particular product or service.

Facebook is all about listening to and interacting with your audience. Facebook isn’t so much about gaining new customers, its more about keeping in touch with your existing followers / friends and showing your expertise and products, along with allowing a forum for customer service to shine through! Most page likes are from people who already know and like what you do. So treat your Facebook page as a small community built around your business – share content, special offers, ask questions, respond to feedback and learn what makes your customers tick. By understanding your customer better, you’ll instinctively adapt your business to meet their needs and requirements and thus, make more sales!

Social media doesn’t have to be difficult and you can have fun whilst using it but it is essential for every business to be using it effectively.

Just remember that your customers always come first and want to be made to feel special.

The way your business comes across on Social Media will give an instant impression of your business.

Make it a friendly, professional, consistent one.

Contact Rocoja Limited for help and advice.

We are here specifically for new and fledgling businesses.

Facebook Rocoja     Rocoja Google +     Rocoja linked in      Stumble upon     Twitter Rocoja

logo

Facebook for Small Business is Changing

4 Feb

Have you started noticing that your Page posts aren’t showing up in friends and follower’s news feeds as much anymore?

Facebook Business Page

Has your company’s engagement levels decreased on your Facebook Page?

This is because Facebook has implemented a change in 2015 intended to improve the experience for personal users. (Their official stance).

According to the recent announcement on Facebook’s blog, they are reducing the number of overly promotional page posts in users’ News Feeds.

“As part of an ongoing survey we asked hundreds of thousands of people how they feel about the content in their News Feeds. People told us they wanted to see more stories from friends and Pages they care about, and less promotional content.”

Many of us who manage our own Facebook business pages & indeed other small business pages, are more of the opinion that it has more to do with moving towards a “proper” business versus personal format on their platform. Ensuring people have to promote their business pages correctly – via paid for ads & boosts, much the same as you would if you advertised on any other platform.

The main thing we have all seen is a huge decrease in organic views on business pages & this doesn’t even depend on the amount of followers / likes you have.

However good content is still getting out there – Facebook is initially targeting “salesy” small businesses – the type that show the following:-

  • Posts that solely push people to buy a product or install an app
  • Posts that push people to enter promotions and sweepstakes with no real context
  • Posts that reuse the exact same content from ad

So great & engaging content is important – Your customers will still be on Facebook – They are not going to move away just because Facebook decides to limit businesses from appearing… BUT Facebook ads & boosted posts are extremely important.

What do these changes mean for small businesses who are unsure about Facebook advertising?

You should be doing the following immediately

  1. Evaluate your Facebook marketing strategy and create content that will be engaging.  This type of content needs to provide value to your audience—content that they can learn from, share, and want to share out.
  2. Use the correct link format when posting links on your Facebook page instead of burying links in photo captions.
  3. Run a Facebook posting test to see what kind of posts gets the most engagement. For example, One of my clients is a Haulage company, so instead of posting general stuff like “Its Valentines soon – What are you planning to buy for your partner?”  I try to post content that contains valuable advice related to the clients followers; such as:  “Did you know that during Valentines week, small businesses transport costs can double due to …”
  4. Post images and videos on Instagram and cross-post to Facebook..
  5. Use a social media content calendar to organize posts on Facebook to coincide when your target demographic is online.

However all of the above takes time & is not a quick thing to learn how to do correctly – that’s where a Social Media company such as Rocoja Limited comes in.

Overall by targeting less ads strategically, you can achieve much greater efficiency than just posting lots of content after content, which will now not be sent out.

Businesses must start to use Facebook boosts & ads to target audiences in order to increase reach. Something Rocoja is perfectly able to help with.

 Going forward

There are things you as a Business owner can do to help reach & overall market value.

Get to know your Facebook audience

Data showing what ads are most successful is useful as it gives you insight about content that resonates the most with your audience and what communication style your audience responds to the best; Any Social media company worth its salt can get this information for you. (Have a read here) 

Don’t focus on selling on Facebook
One of the main reasons why Facebook is changing its algorithm is because more and more businesses are posting sales-driven content, as opposed to resourceful content that will provide value to their audience.

Post your best content on Facebook
Facebook wants people to see only the best content on their News Feed. Which means that in order for a business to see engagement on their posts, you have to be mindful of the type of content you are posting!

Just because it’s been successful on other platforms, it may not translate onto this new, much more selective Facebook. So do your homework. Content that has the most clicks and shares is important to you & is something the new algorithm is aiming for via the paid for boosts.

With all that in mind – Don’t be tempted to forget about your Page!

In October 2014 nearly a billion people visited Facebook Pages.

Of those visits, more than 750 million happened on mobile devices.

Many businesses also use Pages as a customer service channel.

Businesses should think about their Page as a cornerstone of their online identity, not simply as a publishing service.

The businesses that are doing this well understand the discovery and communication that happens when people come to their Page.

And it’s important to note that Facebook is increasing its investment in Pages also.

We have recently seen a “Contact us” button arrive at the top of some pages & a “Menu” list arrive on restaurant pages. So they are most definitely here to stay!

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

Please contact us

Info@Rocoja.co.uk

Karin

Please join Rocoja on any of the social media platforms below.

Active-Facebook-icon

Active-Google-Plus-icon

Active-Twitter-icon

Behind The Scenes - Life as a Spoonie

The Fading Ghost / Professional Eccedentesiast

Road To Somewhere Else

the view from the dark side: politics, media, cities & culture

Streetsister

Conversations with Street People

companyformationuk

Company Formation UK|Business Start up UK|Accounting Services UK

Dennis Cardiff

Poems & Prose

The savvy bookkeeping blog

Bookkeeping tips for the small business owner.

Logical Quotes

Social Media for Small Business in Surrey & SW London

%d bloggers like this: