Tag Archives: business

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.

12734207_1079492778738336_2156281720297397163_n

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.

                          

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

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

                          

Cyber Bullying – A change of demographic – gone away or did it just get OLDER?

20 Aug

After a few days of witnessing an eye watering display of online bullying, I felt the need to write a paragraph or two in support of other small businesses who may be suffering this new phenomenon.

Bullying statistics have shown that cyberbullying is a serious problem among teens and can take many forms.

Below are the most common complained about forms of cyberbullying (by adolescents)

  • Sending mean messages or threats to a person’s email account or cell phone
  • Spreading rumours online or through texts
  • Posting hurtful or threatening messages on social networking sites or web pages
  • Pretending to be someone else online to hurt another person
  • Taking unflattering pictures of a person and spreading them through cell phones or the Internet

It has been proven to lead to anxiety, depression, and even suicide as, sadly once things are circulated on the Internet, they may never disappear, resurfacing at later times to renew the pain of cyber bullying.

Many Cyber bullies admit to feeling superior and even worse, some do not even realise what they are doing is harmful or hurtful. They may not think about the effects their behaviour has.

The worst effect has been shown to be suicide amongst teens / children who have been victim to this behaviour.

So why is Rocoja posting about Cyberbullying?

I have witnessed over 2 days this week one of the worst cases of cyberbullying I have ever seen. If it had been children or young adults on Twitter for all to see, it would’ve been easy to deal with. A quick phone call to the police and a quick “report” to Twitter & hopefully Job-done. BUT this was instigated & whipped to fever pitch by a group of supposedly “professional” adults.

My involvement? Why did I see it…? I have helped a small business this month, I have set up a Twitter account for them & they proudly have a whole 50 followers (achieved in 2 weeks).

However let’s be clear, this is not a thriving conglomerate, contributing to world collapse. This is a small business in a niche industry starting out on Social Media.

On Wednesday, out of no-where, a group of professionals in the same business arena as the SME began to take screenshots of their new website, picking at grammar & wording.

They began to post it on Twitter with quotes such as

“You Are NOT regulated” – Which is correct & the business never purported to be.

“Young Director – Rolls eyes” – How is age relevant?

“This company is enticing people to them” – Well yes, that’s what all companies do.

“Are they even legal, Shouldn’t they be authorised or something” – ????

“Dick Turpin Outfit” – ???

“Shut down now” -????

“Post your qualifications” -???

All of which is designed to engender mistrust & angst.

I responded (to help the company out, as I was appalled) maintaining a pleasant and professional manner, asking the obviously concerned writers to contact the company Director to discuss any issues – I also asked for advice on what exactly the perpetrators had an issue with. Which was declined.

Overall on Wednesday there were over 120 Tweets naming the small business & adding in phrases designed to engender mistrust from anyone who could see this.

Also the 6-7 Tweeters were copying in the regulatory body for their profession & were even saying things like “SME X is being investigated” etc. etc.

Overall, Wednesday was a very sad day….. But it finished & I went to bed after my physio session feeling exhausted just from re-reading the whole thing, in case there was anything the SME could’ve done differently..

This morning, I popped on my computer, but I am faced with more abuse… some of which is aimed at ME personally.

Somehow these “professionals” have found my personal Linked in profile & felt they have a right to name me & post my profile online again with tweets worded to engender mistrust.

Gems such as

“Bless her – she’s earned her money today” – Condescending & very wrong.

“I’ve trawled LinkedIn & I can see her Flower name & Football expertise????” – Condescending & rude.

“This “lovely” looks after their Twitter” (and Posted my personal profile) – Totally uncalled for.

“Where does she stand on this – is she Dupe or Accomplice” – To what?????

Now I’m a big brave girl, I’ve been through the wars (Not a story I share so don’t ask) and no one scares me. However rudeness and people being unsupportive & downright bullying makes my blood boil.

Again the regulatory body for their profession was copied in on the tweets aimed at “Twitter shaming” & cyber-bullying me personally.  Again the inference was the SME & myself are now under some sort of investigation thanks to these Superhero Twitter Battle-forces of good & righteousness……

So, me being me, I meet this head on & picked up the telephone – something these “professionals” seem to be unable to do as all the keyboard warrioring has obviously affected that ability!

I call their regulatory body & speak to the department running their Twitter.

I speak immediately to a very professional lady.

SHOCK – NO this body of true professionals HAS NOT engaged with any of the Super-Hero Battle Forces & indeed has been watching these events in a very saddened state as their industry already has an awful reputation & to see so called professionals rip into a SME without a thought of a kind word of advice or helping hand has just underlined everything that’s wrong with it.

She also stated that at NO point in the 2 days of Tweets have they replied, mentioned, engaged at all with any of it – as it is so unprofessional & indeed the naming & mickey taking of my personal details was a very low low!

This regulatory body cannot stop being tagged in Tweets but has assured me they have taken a very dim view of what’s been happening & if I wanted to take it further, they have taken copies of the whole engagement.

As I stated when this started (on behalf of the SME) the gang of 6-7 could have contacted the governing body & raised a complaint if they had real misgivings, or they could have issued advice to a new business on social media, helpfully assisting the UK economy by amending grammar & wording instead of completely trashing their industry by belittling not only a new business but a disabled woman who runs a charity from her home.

I deliberately haven’t mentioned any of the people involved as

  1. It’s so low & unprofessional I cannot bring myself to do it.
  2. I’m doing a massive Charity event in 3 weeks for the Armed Forces and I know some of the Twitter Super-Hero gang were ex-military & I am sure my friends in the forces would be very vocal if they think I’ve been upset.
  3. At least 2 of the perpetrators were women & I am so very upset by this fact alone, as we need more women in senior positions in industry & business. BUT all the while some ladies feel the only way they can look better is by taking the micky out of another female’s name I despair that we will ever be treated as anything more than a joke in the workplace.

Bullying is never right – not at home, not at school & most definitely not online.

Just because the screen offers you protection from being seen, it doesn’t give you carte blanche to trawl and troll.

Its also extremely worrying that the bunch I have jokingly labelled the “Super-Hero Twitter Battle Force” are actually Tweeting  (and I quote verbatim) “This is the future. A small band of Twitter vigilantes taking down unregulated scammers”.

It would also appear from that, they have appointed themselves judge, jury & executioners on small businesses encroaching on their “twitter turf”. I know this not only from my own rather horrible experience, but because a very quick peek into their timelines shows myriads of such viciously worded tweets – all judging & lambasting other businesses & individuals.

Such gems as (again all verbatim) – “If I get a sidearm & licence to kill, I’m in!”; “implies the possibility of competition. I feel no such insecurity”; “Quiet in the cheap seats. The Royal Air Force has it covered old man”; we are “The Terminators!” &  “He does exist. This is the man 👍🏽👍🏽” (the last one is particularly businesslike as it accompanies a picture of portly naked gentleman, which Im assuming the 5 people in the Twitter gangare inferring is the owner of the small business they are annihilating online for sport.

This experience has worried me that far from addressing the issues of online bullies, we have just pushed it further up the age range / business ladder.

Prove me wrong?

Next time you see a small business starting out and you are not happy with something they say or do & you are up the ladder further than them, don’t kick them off – reach down & help them.

Hand_Up2

Can you? Are you that person?

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

Image  Image  Image  Image  Image  Image

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.

                          

Social Media for Musicians

26 May

Rocoja Marketing Performer

We all know Social Media has become a big part of people’s lives; it’s now a business and some people (myself included) have crafted it to an art – creating a Job market / employment opportunity that wasnt even around a decade ago.

Even as far back as Myspace (I fear I’m showing my age a bit here) it was a platform for singers and bands to use as a jump off point, posting information about gigs & songs but the world moved on rapidly to Instagram, Facebook and YouTube, with their endless media rich possibilities, bringing with it an abundance of marketing opportunities for up and coming artists.

Social media business

For you – Those starting out in the media / music arena, the fact that a month of great marketing via this awesome platform could potentially cost no more than the cost of a few coffee’s is invaluable.

I’m often astounded that more people are not making great use of the mediums available…

Notice I said “great use”, as I know many singers / performers do use social media, creating and posting on accounts themselves…. Sadly as the world has moved on quickly, so has the way we have to maintain the momentum online. The days of just posting content & hoping for the best are long gone.. BUT as said, for the cost of a few coffee’s a month, you can still get a great campaign from a smaller social media business.

A boutique business will make sure only the most most relevant photo’s (not just the one you like) are posted, they will ensure you have some very carefully placed hashtags, that your contact info is up & visible and that your new video is on YouTube and is shared in relevant groups. This is us taking the time to research & learn about your target audience & aiming you at them!

SM MusicianTake Andie Case for example. She’s recently entered the UK top 40 with a cover of Jason Derulo mixed with a Cheap Trick song, all thanks to it being shared to a car fan page (the only relevance of the car being that the music video is filmed in a car) it managed to reach a wide audience, and now the very talented Andie is building quite the fan base. She took a chance at sharing a video outside of the normal pathways, and it brought her to a lot of people’s attention.

Twitter and Instagram are brilliant tools for social media marketing in general, but as I said previously, the right hashtag can truly open doors.  With Instagram being one of the easiest platforms to build a following on, it attracts the audience and the introduction of video on Instagram can draw someone’s attention from that 15 second clip to tracking down someone on YouTube.

However the followers HAVE TO BE REAL!

Fake followers on any platform act in a negative way, sometimes even causing the accounts to be sanctioned by Twitter / Facebook /Instagram.

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.

                          

Mobile Geddon – Google Algorithm change

21 Apr

This month, Google is implementing a major update to its algorithm that will change the order in which websites are ranked when users search for something from their phone.

The algorithm will start favouring mobile-friendly websites i.e: those that have been optimised to look better & react better on Mobile devices, utilising effect such as larger text & resized images etc.

Google will now be ranking them higher in searches with a “mobile-friendly” note on them.

Rocoja Mobile friendly

Websites that aren’t mobile-friendly will not be ranked as high as they usually were.

This has happened as more & more people are utilising mobile devices to access online content – that includes, shopping & service providers. Therefore Google wants to ensure the user still has a pleasurable experience & only wants the sites that are easy to use ranked highly..

These changes were announced at the beginning of the year, giving businesses ample opportunity to get cracking on updating their sites, making the changes that are necessary to keep their sites from disappearing from results lists.

However many small businesses may be adversely affected purely because they do not have a “webmaster” or a company managing their site & the algorithm change may have bypassed the MD’s / owners completely..

This is where the new buzzword “Mobile-geddon” has come from, as it may have a catastrophic effect on businesses that haven’t caught up with these changes.

I think the businesses most at risk will be the smaller ones, who rely on specific area searches – for instance a member of the public searching for a restaurant in their area, will now NOT see a local restaurant if it hasn’t updated its site & made the changes Google requested.

MobilegeddonOverall Google is making the user experience key. It’s no good if they point them to your site & they cannot actually see it as it hasn’t been optimized for mobile viewing, so here in lies the reason for Mobile-geddon.

If YOU are worried by this or need a fast, effective & reasonably priced solution for your website please contact us for some advice info@Rocoja.co.uk

www.Rocoja.co.uk

                          

Marketing for Performers

6 Apr

Everyone knows that nowadays it is vital to have social media campaigns running alongside every business, project, or creative venture.

However, sometimes musicians and performers can overlook this aspect of promotion in favour of creating and performing.

Thankfully this social media marketing work can be handed over to a professional company who will run your social media campaigns for you – ensuring consistent and beneficial delivery.

As a creative, your focus should be and usually is, dedicated toward your music; be that writing or performing. To become bogged down in all the extras that go along with promoting yourself can seriously take away from your time working as a performer, and your art is likely to suffer as a consequence.

Having a website is no longer enough, people expect to engage with you on a host of social media platforms be it Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram or other. To do this well is a full time job and doing it well will really get you the exposure that you desire to move your career as an artist forward.

However, It is not just a case of interacting with fans via these channels either – think business’s who want to know more, radio shows, venues who may wish to hire you and so on – a professional company handling your social media will be interacting and networking on your behalf to take you to the next level.

PR Is important on 2 levels – Public Relations – Bringing you to your potential fans attention, as well as Page Rank on search engines are both extremely important and planning your social media posts around ranking in search engines is imperative & should be all part of the service your Social Media Company provides.

A dedicated company working for you will know that at least 12 weeks before you launch a new single you need to be posting on a certain topic in a certain way, building up momentum. Then they will know how to correctly follow up the release of a single to prolong the hype and encourage sales.

Having a professional marketing company manage your social media can really make the world of difference to your exposure and therefore your career, leaving you to concentrate on what you do best, make music.

Or contact us for some advice info@Rocoja.co.uk

We are to help, can provide references and will happily give you a free review of any marketing you have at present..

                          

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.

                          

 

 

 

 

 

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: