The Social Media Marketing Struggle!

milliennial struggle

Have your ever reminisced with you friends about your childhood and the fun times you had, perhaps like me, you got up to some mischief in the hopes your parents wouldn’t find out! (Mum, Dad I’m hoping you don’t read this!). Now at 38 I can look back on those times with fondness but equally with the realisation that my parents must have been worried out of their minds, and could only hope that I was where I had said I was and that I would be home that night. Throughout, these journeys down memory lane, there is one thought that resounds strongly in my mind – Thank goodness there wasn’t social media when I was a teenager!

Flick forward 20 something years and I’m grateful for social media, I can see the power it has. I’m also acutely aware of the dangers it hold for the younger generation who have been brought into a digital world knowing nothing different. The have an innate ability to use technology without questioning the hows and the whys and stare in wonder when we describe our childhoods without the pleasures of mobile phones and iPads.

With this in mind have you heard of the new buzz word in town, I’ve been talking about it lots in the last month, I wonder what it conjures up in your mind? The word is ‘Millennials‘.

Think about it for a minute, we were all around for the turn of the new millennium (well the majority of us were!),  back then I was 23 and had had a mobile phone for about 18 months and I used it for making phone calls, texting was a strange concept! The definition of a millennial in the advertising world is someone who turned 18 years old or there abouts around the millennium. They are young adults up to the age of 36, they can be married, single, divorced, have children be single, there are billions of millennials out there. Many of them will be your IC, your Ideal Customer.

But why is social media making it harder for us to market our business? Traditional marketing (newspaper ads, leaflets through the door) is being replaced by the digital world, with that there is no doubt. If people want to know more about a company they will undoubtedly use Google, Trip Advisor or Facebook to seek reviews and more knowledge about their services. The difficulty lies when your IC falls into the millennials category. Millennials are a new breed of customer who are increasingly becoming immune to targeted marketing! Research suggests that only 1% of this digital savvy generation will click on banner ad on the internet. The millennial brain has been trained to eliminate all the marketing ‘noise’ that is generated each and every minute we spend on social media. Think about it, our eyes are transferring 80,000 bits of information each and every second (i read that somewhere), and only keeps about 2000 relavant ones. Why would our brains want to keep something that it knows we aren’t going to use?

Scrolling through newsfeeds and lists we are bombarded with sales pitches, links and promotions. How many of them do you click on? How many a day? I’m unlikely to click on any if I’m honest unless I already know the company or they come highly recommended. It’s far too easy for us all to rely on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and all the other platforms to push for sales but the truth is that you have to work bloody hard to get them to pay off for you.

The customer journey is outlined in the image below and it’s important to consider this when using social media to promote your business. Thanks to McKinsey & Co for their research. They also gleaned that 78% of customers bowed out of a buying decision because customer service wasn’t up to scratch and 70% of our buying decisions are based on how they feel they are treated as a customer.


So how do we reach those pesky millennials if they are going to ‘ignore’ everything we put out there? You HAVE to stand out from the crowd, there is no getting around it. Yes you will be pushed into realms you have had no interest in entering but you once you have their attention you need to build the bond with them, this is the easy bit because good customer service should be coming naturally to you and based on the stats above customer service is what it is all about.

When looking at your analytics please don’t be all consumed about the number of followers or fans you have. You need to be looking at what worked – what people have engaged with, the posts and tweets that have gotten you the most shares / likes / comments / retweets / favourites. This is where the magic happens. Having 20000 followers who don’t interact might look good from the outside but in reality it isn’t helping your business if you aren’t engaging them with the right content.

Social media CAN help you business, you just have to be savvy about your strategy!

Digital Media has impacted my life!

Digital Media is now something you HAVE to consider in your businessDigital Media is now something you HAVE to consider in your business




Oh my word!

What a year 2015 has been so far. At the beginning of the year I said that this year would be the year of digital media, video content would become mainstream across marketing and social media. If only I could have quantified this with a bet, I could be rich by now.

I started dabbling in video marketing last year with my mobile phone and my Facebook Business Page, the results were really exciting as my reach extended into the hundreds and sometimes thousands. Then Facebook changed the algorithms and the reach wasn’t quite as impressive but still bigger than before. Next I dabbled in YouTube videos. The same principle applied, my mobile phone or my laptop for a more ‘professional’ appearance. You see, using video content in your marketing doesn’t have to be set in a studio, it’s about being real, letting the watcher get to know you. provide them with content that is interesting and related to your business.

Then in the early summer I was introduced to Periscope, duh duh duuuuuuhhhh! Guys if you have already you NEED to download this app. Periscope is a gateway to unlimited information from (currently) 15 million people from all types of industries and it’s FREE! What’s better – you can use Periscope to show your expertise in your industry and therefore spread the word of your brand, your business, your passsion. To truly understand the power of Periscope the best way is to start using it, watch a few scopes (ask me who to follow, random people may put you off) and then jump in feet first. I use Periscope to educate others on topics that interest me and also to learn. The learning curve is immense!

Sitting nicely alongside Periscope came Blab, another Live Streaming platform, however this one incorporates 4 people all having a conversation, again if you are not familiar with please go and take a peek, the connections you make on there are immediate.

What I have realised over the last month or so is that the people using both Periscope and Blab seem to all be entrepreneurs, obviously there are others in there who are there for fun but on the whole it is a hive of ideas and inspiration.

Let’s do a quick poll about how much experience you’ve had on Live Streaming:

And there’s more…once you have your videos either saved to your phone gallery or to your laptop you can then repurpose your content to be used multiple times on different social media, For example, audio can be lifted from video to be used in podcasts. Videos can be edited to only contain the highlights and then used on your blogs. The lists are endless……..

If you would like any help with the above and would like to know how they can help your business grow, please don’t hesitate to drop me a line. I’d be more than happy to help you out. Just fill in the form below.

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Do you need a coach?

Do you need acoach-

Do you know the reason business coaches, sports coaches, life coaches are called coaches? It really does stem from the mode of transport, coaches. The horse drawn coaches, way back in the ‘olden’ days were used to take people on a journey from one place to another. Can you see the connection now?

Everyone from CEOs, managers, group leaders and sportsmen benefit from having a coach. They don’t employ a coach to beat them up about what they are doing wrong or to point out their inadequacies. Coaches aren’t trained in every industry, that would be an impossibility, but what they do bring is an unwavering, determination to help others succeed.

How do they do this? The time you spend with your coach is entirely about you, your coach should be able to recognise your strengths and how to maximise them to their full potential.The most important aspects of being a coach is engaging trust and having an understanding of confidentiality of everything that is discussed during your time together. Your coach should be able to give you a custom tailored experience which is lead by YOU! Coaching is about finding out what YOUR potential is, how you can achieve new and better things that you though might have been out of your reach.

Your story should be listened to empathetically, this is important for your coach to have an understanding of how you work and reasons for your beliefs and desires. A life of disappointments will lead to an expectation of failure perhaps. Your coach should make you feel like you are really understood.

A good coach will offer effective feedback, will pay attention to your smallest gestures as to what you might actually be feeling about things rather than what you are saying. Verbal behaviours can tell us so much but using eye contact can tell us so much more. Emotional behaviours – avoiding to talk about a certain topic, but can tell a coach an enormous amount as to where that fits in with your overall story and how that can effect your business.

Coaching is a process which can change your mindset to one full of positivity and the drive to achieve your goals. Your coach will help you gain clarity on what you need to do using your skillset.

The one thing your coach can’t do it actually do your work for you, they can help you recognise what is holding you back from success and help create a list of achievable actions to get there.

Exciting Times

Sometimes life has a habit of getting in the way of our pre-planned, pre-organised schedule of events. For me, this means that life has distracted me from writing this blog for a few weeks.

But guess what? I’m not concerned. Why? Because I’ve been working on other things and as a consequence I have 3 new clients this week – which for me is so exciting. I love the thought of being able to help others strive for their dreams and putting plans in place to help that happen for them. Helping others has been proven to make you feel good about yourself, and don’t get despondent if the receiver doesn’t return the favour, it will all come back around to you in the end.

What have you done this week that has helped someone else?

What are your building block to success?


What is stopping you today from achieving what you set out to achieve?

No time? No customers? No money? Theses are the usual go-to excuses when I challenge my clients. Let’s be honest we can all think of excuses of why we aren’t achieving the success we so desperately want. If you want it bad enough, if you want to succeed to prove to yourself or to others that you can do it then the excuses will soon fall by the wayside.

Having no time is an easy excuse to diminish – it’s purely about better time management. That can be covered in a different blog. Having no money can be a tricky one but there are lots of things you can be doing that are either free or cheap to access.

No customers? Then lets look at why that might be. You have a website and it’s attracting some traffic, you are active on Facebook, you just don’t understand why you aren’t getting the sales you need for your business to grow.

Take a step back and look at the process through the customers eye’s. How are you driving traffic to your website? Are you advertising it in the best way you can to your target audience. Don’t let the word advertising (or marketing for that matter) scare you, you are probably doing it without realising – it might just need to be refined. Your ideal customer isn’t going to find you – you need to find them.

Once they have found you, how simple have you made the sales process for them? Do you have alternative payment options available for example? Try to think of all the possible reasons that customers might not be completing a sale with you.

Is your customer service consistent? Do you have a process in place – inconsistent customer service is a big block to being successful. One wrong review can hugely damage your business. You want your ideal customer to have a smooth transaction with you, receive some great customer service and then they are much more likely to refer you to friends and family.

Blocks to success are usually down to a lack of knowledge or belief or missing skills. Skills can be learnt or you can outsource that part of your business, beliefs can be re-written and knowledge can be also be learnt.

I ask you again, what is the block that is stopping you on your road to success today?

What are you worth?

How much are you worth?

Have you ever openly discussed your salary with a group of people? For some reason this is a topic that keep closely guarded and only divulge in confidence to those closest. Is there a fear that you will be judged for what you earn?

One of the hardest decisions you’ll have to make when starting out on your own is how much you want to charge people for your time and services. I’m guessing you will be swaying between wanting to offer discounts and freebies to get your brand recognised and needing to earn a decent living.

The additional problem is that everyone is out for a bargain nowadays, but the truth is that people will pay for quality every time. If you buy a curtain rail from the bargain basement shop and it breaks you wouldn’t be surprised and you’d wished you’d had spent more more on a better quality one. The same principle applies to your business. If you know that you are offering a quality product or service then you must charge accordingly.

So back to the earlier question…yes you will be judged by how much you charge. If your prices are premium then a premium service is expected, are you sure that you can match up to your high end competitors? Go in with your prices at the lower end and you risk people assuming that your product isn’t going to be of a high standard.

So how do you know how much you are worth? I did a workshop with Marketing Jumpleads who gave me this useful insight into working our how much you could be charging for your time. ( You could always work backwards from what you want to earn. Take what you want to earn in a year. Work out how many hours a week you want to work, multiply that by how many weeks you want to work. Use that figure to divide the the amount you wanted to earn and that gives you a baseline figure from which to work from. But remember that all of those hours you won’t actually be productive in so you may have to add a bit onto your new hourly rate!

So how much are you underpaying yourself right now?

The 10 ‘C’s’ of Performance Insurance

Performance Insurance

We all want our businesses to do well, we want them to succeed and for us to have a business we can be proud of. My 10 C’s listed below will insure that your business performs above and beyond what you might expect. Who knew that there were so many business related words beginning with C that will keep you focussed on your goals no matter whether they are long term or short term.

1. CONSIDER where you would like to be in 5 years time, spend 30 seconds visualising the picture. Who are you with? Where are you? What are you doing? Jot it down and contextualise it. This is what you are striving for.

2. CONSISTENCY. Whichever part of your business you are focussing on, consistency is the key. Your brand, your business has to be seen to be active in what ever it does. If you are known to email your customers 2 a month then don’t miss a month – out of sight is out of mind.

3. CLEAR COMMUNICATION Whether you are talking to your customers, your employees, your suppliers or your accountant, you must be clear about what you require. Share with them your goals and desire so they can understand why you might do certain things.

4. CHALLENGE ISSUES which arise. Sometimes our challenges feel like they come on a daily basis, sometimes we can go months plain sailing. But challenges are put there for you to learn from. Confront (another C!) them head on push through to the other side rather than letting them stop you in your tracks

5. CORE SYSTEMS AND PROCESSES are in place. Aren’t they? No? Well, start thinking about how you could work smarter by implementing them. working smarter using systems and processes saves us time in the long run.

6. CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT How often to you review your database of clients? If you haven’t heard from them for 3 years chances are they have moved on or no longer require your services. Keep your customer database up to date so that you can send relevant mailshots. Keeping your customers happy is KEY to a successful business.

7. CALCULATE your financial performance. Have you kept up to date accounts? Have you invested in a piece of equipment and not checked to see if it was money well spent (return on investment). Knowing your financial position is vital to a successful business.

8. COMPARE yourself and your business to those who are in the position you want be and see what their strengths and weaknesses are. This can give you a clear idea on what areas of your business to focus on

9 CLOSELY monitor where you are at. In the systems and processes you have created (see point 5!) you need to schedule in time to review if you are on track. Do you need to make any adjustments?

10. COACH yourself. Entrepreneurs and self employed people are on a continuous learning journey. One which will see themselves transform from one person into another and then another. As time passes our outlooks on life change as does the knowledge we have acquired. Learning new skills is possibly one the the most important weapons in your business armoury!

Start Up Britain 2014

Thank you to Start Up Britain for providing this information. Interesting to see that Nottingham is ranked number 8 for the number of new start up businesses for 2014.

Is it just me, but I wish we would see a break down by industry.

How many people do you know who started their own business last year? Are you one of them.  Do you need advice?  That’s what I’m here for.

Naming your business

what's in a

Congratulations! You have chosen to become your own boss, you have your business idea, you love it and now you have to think about creating a business name that you are happy to announce to the world.

It’s trickier than you think. Firstly, you want a business name that people won’t forget. Secondly, your business name must not be the same as an already existing business and the domain name must be available, it wouldn’t be the greatest idea to come up with an amazing name only to find that you couldn’t create a website or blog because someone has already chosen it. Thirdly, and there are many things to consider I couldn’t possibly name them all, you must have a business name that you can be confident presenting to the world. Being confident in your business name, for me, is one of the most important considerations.

Some businesses will hire companies to spend months strategising and analysing the market to come up with the perfect name to drive the company forward. I’m guessing that you don’t have the cash flow nor the time to invest in such a way to develop your business moniker so you must spend some time developing it for yourself. I’m sure you’ll be happier with the result once you’ve achieved your perfect business name.

Some simple suggestions are to brain storm alone and then with friends and family who’s opinions you trust. Try not to merge words together, they may seem like a good idea at the time but they come across as forced. Also try to avoid replacing letters for phonetically sounding alternatives – replacing a qu for a k for example. This would make it harder for your potential customers to find you.

When brain storming write down 10 descriptive words about your business, look at your competition for ideas, not to copy them but for inspiration. Did you know that there is a list of words that you can’t use? Check with Companies House for an up to date list. And don’t forget – never make your business name specific geographically. You may be based in and around your county now but who knows where you might be in 3 years time!

Essentially, you need to create a business name that is clear, easy to remember and pronounce, ideally give your customer an idea of your business and most importantly available.

There you go, you have you very own, unique business name – YOU MUST NOW REGISTER IT so that no-one else can steal it from you! Sole traders and partnerships must register through HMRC and Limited Companies must use Companies House to register.

If you need any help, just drop me a message to or tweet me on @ClairCFAR

You’re An Entrepreneur


Believe it or not, if you have started up your own business and are registered as self-employed that classes you as an Entrepreneur! There are many, new derivations of this word being brandished around in the media – solopreneur and mumpreneur to name a couple. But they all boil down to the simple fact that you rely on YOU for your income, if you take a day off sick you won’t get paid for it, you are responsible for your the success of your business.

With that in mind there is ALWAYS something you could be doing to to help your business move forward. There are innumerable tasks you could be completing, but here are some of the key activities you should be doing.

Stay Focussed – take the time either in the evening or first thing in the morning to prioritize your day and what activities you need to accomplish

The Digital Side – how often do you review your website? Do all your links work? Is all the content up to date? Put 15 minutes aside each day to check all of your social media and respond, even briefly to those who need responding to.

Be Human – it’s very easy to sit and run your business from home, behind a screen. It’s important that you remember to go out and network, meet people face to face. It’s a great way to help your business grow.

Be A Student – Stay on top of your game, learn what is new and what is happening with your competitors. You need to show your customers that you are an expert in your area.

Don’t forget to take time our for yourself too – if you don’t take time for yourself, ultimately you will burn out and your business will suffer