Key Advice Blog

Archive for January 2010

Many people are shy about talking in public and (understandably) feel fear when presented with a microphone and a room full of people. But, gaining the skills to present confidently can provide access to potential clients you might not otherwise have access to. But, where do you start?
Some of the key business organisations offer opportunities to speak and learn to speak in front of potential customers – the Chamber of Commerce, Federation of Small Business, adult education programmes and networking groups. There are also some great coaches out there who will help you one-on-one.
An executive friend of mine went to professional acting lessons to help her with presentation, public speaking and confidence. She said it made the world of difference.

My three presentations on social media for business at the Ulverston Business Alliance meetings, supported by the Chamber of Commerce, have given me an introduction to fellow consultants in the region, numerous opportunities for marketing, some key partnerships – like with Best of Barrow and Furness’ Helen Penny – and generated revenue. Despite the work putting the presentations together and the time, the payback has been beyond my expectations. Also, I now have the basis of workshops I can add to my service portfolio, which have been market -tested. The feedback has been invaluable.

So, if public speaking isn’t in your skill comfort zone or repertoire – put it on your 2010 ‘to do’ list, because the answer to the question is ‘Yes, talking for free can generate income’.

It’s a new year, a new decade and it’s time to get your web presence in shape for the year ahead.

Whether you are motivated by getting new clients, providing a service to existing ones or leading by example, there are some key things you can do to maximize your online impact. The first is some IT feng shui – getting rid of clutter! Then a small to-do list. You’ll feel great when it’s done.

Clutter is a known distractive and in the practice of feng shui it’s considered a negative – taking away positive energy. I am not talking about the magazines, papers and files littering your work station (but, do get them in drawers, file cabinets or book shelves); I am talking about computer file clutter. Where do you start?

Get a big cup of tea or coffee and start with your email. Delete, re-organise, back up, file all emails. Set yourself a target of how many emails really need to be sitting in the ‘in’ box! And, don’t forget to delete emails in your Sent folder. Clear out your temporary Internet files, desktop icons and update your operating system and security programmes.

Now, your websites. Smart companies update the look of their website at least once every three years. When was the last time you had a re-design done? Content needs to be updated regularly – daily if possible, weekly if not. The public want new information – and they can get it elsewhere, so it’s important for you to be the one they come to first. It is worth investing in a designer and web content developer to give your site an overhaul. Don’t forget a fresh shot of Search Engine Optimisation to get you to the top of the pile!

Your designer, SEO and web content developers should all work together to get the best results.
If you have a social media presence, sit back and ask – am I putting into it what I want and getting out of it what I need? The platforms are free, but they require people behind them to track results, update and integrate with your product, event, marketing and developments. You wouldn’t buy a car without an engine! And with the right energy driving your social media strategy, you are bound to get results.

If you are one Twitter, Tweetdeck is a must. It helps you organise and prioritise the information you get – making the ROI so much better. Set a clear goal for your Twitter activities. Are you promoting, researching, connecting, learning, networking? You choose. It is definitely a ‘you get out what you put in’ medium, and the number of people who only ever post once with ‘I don’t know why I am doing this’ and then disappear confirm Tweeting without a goal is not going to work.

Econsultancy’s guest blogger Kevin Gibbons, SEOptimize, has a top five to do list to get you started.
The team at techmarketing.com give Twitter a thorough going over.

Just think of it as a gym membership for your web presence! You’ll be in shape in no time.


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