Today I wrote up a blog for a new modelling tool that will help airports define their current and future infrastructure needs based on the optimum passenger level of service requirements. I also had a quick look over some articles I wrote yesterday that explored careers in healthcare, what you can do in your gap year and more careers stuff; and I’ve just received a bit of info to get going on a blog about flexible working requirements.
You become a bit of an off hand expert in everything and anything, and it’s amazing.
I’ve been writing about airports, for example, for about four years now. I really, really hate flying (I had to have two strong G&Ts to get on a plane on my own last week) but airports fascinate me. Talking about how passengers flow through the different areas, how the company I write for can predict when those passengers stop for coffee, where there will be a hold up if flights get delayed, even the optimum poo time for passengers about to get on their plane… All these factors are so important for airports to run efficiently, and we hardly even think about the management and planning that needs to take place just so we can get to a meeting on time, go off on a hen do, enjoy a family holiday or just get quietly smashed in Wetherspoons wondering if it’s appropriate to grab a strangers hand all the way back to London when you have to get a plane on your own (that last one is probably just me).
The researching, chatting and structuring of blogs and articles are a great part of my job. I don’t know it all. Mr Google helps a lot, as do many of the trade magazines, websites and general other bits of information people leave lying around the internet. And hopefully others are doing the same with the company blogs I write, using them to inform and educate (and promote and hopefully credit with that info…).
You can tell by my blathering and oversharing in the blog that I may be running out of content for my 30 day blogging challenge. Please, please, act like my clients and tell me what to write about! Comment below with some ideas and I will love you forever (and give you a credit)
During this 30 day blogging challenge (day 23!! Day 23!!!) I’ve got a lot more personal about what I’ve blogged about than before. I have always written about myself, what I do and my experience, but I’ve brought in a lot more about my family, my personal views and my live over the last few months.
This was an actual, proper business decision. I do have those, occasionally. Earlier this year I thought about where I wanted to take my business. I could think up a company name, a proper logo, and project myself as a small professional team. On the other side I could adjust my website and marketing communications and make it more personal to me. Aside from the fact that a really good name eluded me, what struck me with a personal approach is that the words flowed more freely.
I write very objective professional blogs every day, so it is great to get into a first person narrative once and a while and share my thoughts. It is risky, as potential customers might by put off by asking one crazy lady to manage their social media or write up a marketing strategy. I haven’t met any of those potential customers yet (and technically I never will as they will never want to contact me!). The potential clients I have met since writing my blogs and marketing myself more frequently have been remarkably unfazed by it all. Although when they say “I’ve read your blogs!”, I do cringe.
I’ve had clients go the other way, actively work to create themselves as a brand or a group rather than a person because it suits their business and that is exactly the right thing to do. But not for me. At the end of the day I’m one person, working for myself, but that gives me a great deal of flexibility and creativity which I think is pretty good for the work that I do.
However, I have to say that although this is pretty good evidence of my work ethic and the fact that I can string words together coherently, this is not representative of my work everyday. If you want to take a look at that, have a look at the blogs I have written for amazing companies such as this one, this one, and this one.
I think if I actually got word cloud to work on my blog (technical issues, I gave up), then the word ‘love’ would come up a lot more than expected for a marketing blog. It’s mainly because I’ve made this blog so personal to me, but also because of how much the world has changed since I’ve been writing. For every event, the feeling I’ve had is to keep talking and keep working towards making the world a kinder, more inclusive and loving place.
You only have to look at my Twitter feed to see which way I voted on Thursday, and yes I was shocked, disappointed and a little bit angry on Friday morning. But I don’t want to be angry at the people who voted to leave. Especially as one of them is my Nan and I really appreciate the fact that she makes me take home a bunch of food every time I visit. And she does my ironing. And obviously I love her.
So, I was actually really fortunate that Friday was also the day of the Women’s Equality Party Reading and Henley Branch planning meeting. Finding out what the Party were focusing on and what I could do to contribute made me forget the disappointment of the result. It made me feel like I could still do something positive and work towards a world where I want my little boy, and all of his friends, to grow up in.
The response from the Women’s Equality Party regarding the referendum result focused on how little both sides of the campaign took into account the issues that affect women. The EU has been the main driver for some of the vital legislation that protects women in at work and now we need to work together to preserve and expand those rights while we start to build a Britain independent of the EU.
Equal pay and opportunity at work, as well as equal parenting, representation, media treatment and education; and the end to violence against women, are the key objectives of the Women’s Equality Party. Some of these are particularly relevant to me, but I don’t think you could look at any of those positive aims and decide that they weren’t for you. Working on these areas, together, can bring equality and opportunities for everyone.
It seems like a big ask for little old me and you, but there is always something that you can do. For me, being involved in the local party and spreading the word about WEP and feminism is a small step to a bigger brighter world. It might not be like that for you, but if you are genuinely unhappy with politics whether the vote went your way or not; isn’t it time you stepped up and did something about it?
Find out more about WEP
I am, now, extremely glad I spoke to some of my clients and drafted up some responses for their social media sites either side of EU Referendum debate before the country went to the polls. It was very painful writing up the positive responses for the outcome I was going to vote against, but in these divided, unsure times people and customers need certainty and positivity and that is what we gave them.
It might be seen as a bit of a spin, but it’s really just social media management. There will be a decision, everyone’s future is invested in that decision, so you should be seen, as a company, as relevant and well-informed and invested in making your company and your clients as successful as possible.
It was a busy morning, double checking approvals and getting the responses out there, as well as checking feeds for any useful information and analysis to react against. But it was worth it. I, for one, feel like I have done something for my clients that they might not have thought about for themselves and also given them a more careful, neutral, thought-out position to start with.
What if they have been shouting the benefits of Brexit and the decision was to stay? What if they had been derogatory or critical about leaving the EU when we could all find out in a few months, years, decades that actually everything turned out fine (fingers crossed on this one). I’ve worked with lots of small businesses during my career, both as an employee and a supplier, and I know that there are some big personalities involved in starting and running your own business successfully. Sometimes these big personalities need to be reined in to ensure that customers aren’t offended either by the opinion itself, or the companies attitude to broadcasting it.
It is really unfortunate that I can’t share the best of these stories about small businesses, as some of the situations with big personalities, or family run businesses, or office politics have been hysterical, but I really like what I do and I really want to keep doing it!
Personally, I’ve been doing my own bit of management too. Although Brexit was not the outcome I wanted, more hate and division is not going to help any one. So, while I have been doing a bit of moaning I’m going to stop doing that now and push on with the changes I want to help make happen so we can all grow and develop in a better, more caring, more inclusive and lovely world. More on that in my next post!
If the EU Referendum debate and outcome has given you some worries about how your company presents itself in social media and your marketing, please contact me for a bit more information about what I do and how I can help.
You know your market, your message and your channels; now it’s time to think about some actions.
But First, Your Aims
Of course, if I had looked at any of my marketing strategies before writing these blogs, I would have remembered that first off, you need your aims. It might be to get more sales, brand awareness, convert some leads, whatever you need to do for the business. Make sure they are quantifiable or trackable in some way, so you know how your strategy is performing. That’s the main thing. Just use the tried and tested SMART criteria and go and put them on the top of your list.
You know what you want to achieve, who you’re going to target and where you’re going to do it. Now is the time to think about what you can do. I normally go through each channel and list some actions that will help achieve the goals. So, if you wanted to start a social media campaign you might need to:
Actions are all very well, but we all know how momentum can be lost and ideas evaporate because time runs away with you and suddenly it’s year end and you haven’t done anything.
So, make sure there are some dates in there. You need deadlines to work to, and make them realistic to how both you and your company work or you’ll just be disappointing yourself.
If you’re not tracking what you’re doing, you don’t know if it’s working. You don’t know how you can improve, what worked well, even which segment of your target market responded the best. So, think about your monitoring before you undertake the actions – what tracking methods can you put in place? How often should you analyse responses or effectiveness? How about a nice final report? It doesn’t have to be fancy, especially if you’re not necessarily going to be presenting it to anyone, but an excel spreadsheet somewhere in your files will be a godsend next time you’re planning similar activities or want to update your strategy.
Work on all of these elements and you’ll have a marketing strategy to work towards. You could also put all your actions in a handy chart to keep you on track and motivated (especially if you’re like me and love a To Do list).
If you need a bit of help completing your marketing strategy, or talk through any of these points, you can contact me. I love talking about all aspects of marketing and would be very happy to help, even if it’s just a brief chat to get you started. Good luck!
Freelance Marketing Consultant, especially that Social Media stuff.