Tag Archives: Creative Writing

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

                          

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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.

                          

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.

                          

 

 

 

 

 

Social Media Mistakes

1 Mar

One of the things I come across a lot in my line of work, is the questioning of how a company can obtain actual results or return on investment (ROI) through social media marketing.

The truth is that in the start of the social media revolution; to “appear online” was just enough and there were few companies on Facebook (and even less on Twitter), so it was easy to get attention.

With the popular adoption of social media, it is now even harder to keep companies prominent in this social standing wave. Moreover, social media is very different from traditional marketing.

Social M Mistake

These difficulties, adding to the fact that social media marketing is relatively new, cause small companies inevitable mistakes and costly missteps can happen.

Below there is a list of the top five mistakes (or gaffes) small companies can find themselves making..

Mistake 1: Speaking/Selling TO people instead of engaging with them

Many small companies see social media as another way to spread information, such as a website or news feed. Then they wonder why no one talks to them.

Example: “We continue following the people, but they do not follow us back! Why don’t they talk to us?”

The answer to this question in social networks is the same as the real world. Would you spend time with someone who just kept pushing their own agenda every time you met with them?

Start a conversation based on a mutual interest. You know that Just talking non stop about yourself, even if you move from group to group, will not engage people. They will become bored & “switch-off”.

Join the conversation, and add VALUE to the dialogues.

Instead of seeing social media as another place where you can disseminate promotional messages (offers, releases, new product announcements, etc.), businesses get better results by engaging with the online community by actively participating.

Mistake 2: The mentality of “If you build, they will come”.

Most small companies are excited when they enter Twitter and Facebook and then they look around and ask, “Where is everybody?”

Absolutely everyone is busy on the Internet connecting with friends, family and people who enjoy subjects of common interest. People do not have the time, interest, or simply ability to connect with each company or brand that tries to contact them.

As an example, consider that on average a person on Facebook is connected to 130 people and 80 pages, add to that groups and events. If each of these upload 5 publications in day, there will be more than 1,000 updates in one day to be seen by each individual.

Your company should have a plan to promote your accounts on social media with VALUE to those with whom you connect. Not simply create an account and consider that the world will interact!

Mistake 3: Obsession with having the largest number of fans / friends / followers.

A study done last July showed that only 3% to 7.5% of your Facebook fans actually see your posts.

Thus, rather than focusing on the amount of “likes” that your page has, you should focus on creating quality and relevant content so that you can build engagement with your followers.  Add to this, the new algorithms introduced by Facebook recently, aimed at enhancing the individuals experience by cutting down “spammy” advertising posts. You really have to know how to write & enhance your post.

Mistake 4: Not being prepared for questions or problems.

When small companies enter the world of social media, they should be prepared to answer basic questions from time to time. Consumers expect companies that are active in social networks to be able to respond as if they were a customer service desk; this means that if your company has constant problems, they are likely to appear on social networks.

This should not be a surprise to anyone, but unfortunately, many small companies are not prepared. Make a list of the 10 most frequently asked questions you are getting by phone or email and be prepared to deal with those in social networks.

Mistake 5: Lack of a clear plan.

The biggest root cause for not having satisfactory results in social networks is the lack of a plan. Since accounts on social media networks can be created free, it is common that most companies create and start publishing “things”.

The problem is that without a plan, some “things” that are posted are most likely to be of no interest to your target audience. Even if your audience is interested in “things” that you post, it may be difficult to create a link between social media interactions and the real value you are looking for. Example: engagement with the brand, brand building, brand association, orders, sales, conversions, etc. Without goals and a defined plan, it will be very difficult to measure any kind of success.

It may sound daunting – BUT Social Media is an absolute must for any business now.

However it 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.

                          

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?

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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.

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Social Media for Small Business – Why Wait?

15 Dec

The Importance Of Social Media In Business 

As a business, no matter the size or industry, you have to consider one thing very seriously: where do you get your customers from?

social-circle

Chances are in most cases, and certainly in the more traditional or manual based industries such as plumbers, builders or mechanics, your customers come from repeat business and referrals.  So if you have one happy customer who then refers one friend to your business that is a real bonus. Now consider this the: the 500 million people on Facebook have an average of 336 ‘Friends’ to share content with.  If that same customer goes on to their Facebook page and recommends you, ‘Likes’ your business page and shares it with their ‘Friends’ you have effectively been given a personal recommendation to 336 new potential warm leads without spending any money and without lifting a finger!  Next thing to think about is that your customer in question will on average check his or her Facebook page on their Smart phone around 14 times a day.  This gives you the incredible benefit of being able to remain at the forefront of their mind next time they require your services or a friend requests a recommendation.

Putting The ‘Social’ In Social Media Comes In. 

When you create a social media account you are not there to sell your services.  Alison Evans from F.E.W. Waterproofing says: “You have to provide information and…be prepared to share your knowledge. It’s a different mindset for small business…you must make yourself the authority figure of your field”.  

So yes you can throw in the occasional deal or offer within your posts, but generally you are there to build and develop a relationship with your current and potential customers whilst simultaneously building a database of people who know about you and may need your business.  So update your business pages with easy, fun and relevant content such as:

  • Blogs or news articles relevant to the local area or your business
  • Infographics
  • New technology or techniques in your field of expertise
  • Tips and tricks
  • Photos of you ‘on the job’
  • Videos of you to help create the feeling that you are the ‘go to’ authority in your industry
  • The occasional offer in return for a subscription to your email database

Update your social media accounts every day, or at the very least every other day, so that at least once during those 14 visits your customer will see your post and be reminded of you and the fantastic job you did, even if it is only subconsciously!  blog-writting

Creating an interesting, relevant ‘guru-like’ status is easier and quicker to do on social media than it is on a website or in person, and by adding in the local news or interesting blogs and infographic posts too you are opening up your relevancy, interest and customer potential far more than by simply posting your website link and price list every day.

The Social Media Platforms For Business 

The key social media platforms to use for business are Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Youtube (due to the current surge in popularity of videos on social media at the moment) and your own website blog.  You can occasionally run paid ads on Facebook, but don’t waste your time paying for ‘Likes’ as you get far more return from ‘organic’ Likers such as the ones from your customer and their friends than strangers who happened to see your advert and clicked Like.  For example, that stranger may live on the other side of the world and so by default they are no ‘use’ to you as a business and you have therefore wasted your advertising spend.

If the concept of using social media every day is daunting to you, or else you are far too busy to put the necessary time in to build your followers, fans and likes, then contact a company like Rocoja; Any social media management company, aimed at looking after small businesses  should be able to give you an appraisal of your existing online presence & an overview of what they can do & how. This should be a free service…..

The main issue for many small, fledgling or even well established businesses who attempt to use social media is that they set up basic websites and social media platforms filled only with poor content and then (unsurprisingly) get little or no return.

Having someone to help you, who knows the “arena” is invaluable.

So don’t worry, it takes a little while to build your online persona, but once you have the right help on board, you will wonder why you waited so long!

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

Please contact us

contactus

Info@Rocoja.co.uk 

Karin

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