Tag Archives: Business Inspiration

To Blog or Not to Blog {The 4 Different Types of Blogs, and Whether you Need One for Your Business}

Blogging for Business

Many clients have been asking me lately “Should I Blog?” The truth is, yes and no. There is no right or wrong answer. Blogging has to be “right” for your business and could actually be terribly wrong for you. So because the answer to this question is multi-layered, I thought I would outline here the 4 different types of blogs, the favourite blogs that I follow religiously in each category, the reasons why you should (or shouldn’t) blog, and the 4 main free blog platforms that are available to you right now….

1. You May Consider Blogging to Share your Writing….

My favourite blogger that blogs to share her writing, is Danielle Colley in her blog  “Keeping up with the Holsby’s”. As a writer, and an incredibly funny one, she is busy in her studio writing cookbooks at the moment. And blogging to her heart’s content. Dani shares her world through her blog, and since I have the privilege to mentor Dani as well, and therefore seeing some insights into her life, I cannot imagine Dani living in a world without blogging.

 Business Blogging

Dani creates original recipes and in creating these unique creations, she either reminisces on stories about individual ingredients or she takes us vividly to a memory about the recipe. If you read her blog, it is clear that Danielle loves to write, therefore blogging gives her a perfect platform to launch her writing and with her 3rd cookbook coming out soon, blogging has been good for her. If you love to write, and you have a burning desire to share your ideas with the world, then a “written” blog could be good for your business.

So if you are an author, comedian, actor, chef, inventor, world traveller….. then starting a written blog sharing your own original short pieces, could be a place where your business could flourish online, as it would help you get visibility in your craft.

2. You May Consider Blogging to Share your Pictures….

My favourite “visual” blog is Suzy McLeod’s photography blog. I had the pleasure of meeting Suzi at one of the “Tweet-ups” I organised in Bangalow (a piss-up for Tweeters), and then again at my Social Media Club recently. But before then, I was already an avid follower of her photography blog. Man, Suzi can photograph! I am generally not interested in wedding photography, or upcycled tables that one may have their eye on at a local recycling store, but the way that Suzi captures the pictures that catch her eye and the people and stories that she encounters, is truly inspirational to me.

Business Blogging

Suzi has recently setup a new photography studio in Bangalow called “Down Bangalow Road” and you see many of her photography adventures posted via her Facebook Page. Yes Facebook is like a mini-blog, but if you always have loads of photos to post, or you have a story to share along with them, then a visual blog could help you.

So any photographer, designer, decorator, artist, tourist or anyone with a steady stream of their own original photos or artwork in their business, would benefit from starting a visual blog, by helping you share your portfolio.

3. You May Consider Blogging to Share Facts & Wisdom….

My favourite “factual” blog is Nikki’s from “Styling You“. This blog won “Best Australian Blogger of 2011, and one look at her blog and you can see why.

Blogging for Business

Nikki posts a steady stream of “tips” to help women style themselves if personal styling is not their natural forte. Now I am no fashionista by a long-stretch, but I love that each “fact” that Nikki posts is also accompanied with a little story about what’s happening in her life right now. She also posts lots of links to other articles and other pages which may be helpful on a particular topic.

So if you are a stylist, scientist, naturopath, lawyer, accountant, counsellor, mentor, trainer or coach, or anyone that is in a business of sharing “advice” or “inspiration”, then a factual blog could support your business to flourish online by helping you share your wisdom.

4. You May Consider Blogging to Share your Story or Cause….

Some bloggers simply blog to stir up controversy, to trigger a dialogue about current socio-ecnomic topics, just for the hell of it or because society desperately needs it. These are all good reasons to blog and I love blogs like this. And my favourite blog in this genre is “Edenland” by Eden Riley.

Blogging for Business

Eden won “Best Australian Blog” in 2012, and deservedly so. She shares everything in her life, and I mean everything. There is nothing too random or too intimate for this infamous mummy-blogger. So much so, that Mrs. Riley has gone on to become somewhat of a celebrity in the blogoshpere, now being booked for speaking gigs and other media appearances. So revealing her personality through her blogging has really been core to launching her new career as an online-rockstar.

If you are an activist of any sort, if you run a charity or you have a voice you need to share with the world on any topic that you are passionate about, be it random or organised, charitable or anarchist, a story blog could be the key to raising mega-awareness or visibility for your cause, NPO or business. A blog could get you the attention you are looking for and raise your profile  both online and offline.

Business Blogging

So if any of these stories pique your interest and you are keen to nurture your ideas online through the format of a blog, then here are the top 4 blogging platforms you could try (all are free)….

The Top 4 Blogging Platforms at the moment……..

  1. WordPress.com – this is the blog platform I use – It is the best, hands down (in my opinion) and is also a powerful and flexible website builder
  2. Blogger.com – one of the original and well-known blogging platforms, run by Google
  3. Tumblr – this is more of a “micro-blogging” platform, not a full-blown blog service, but allows sharing & posting
  4. Weebly – another blogging and website building platform available

Blogging is a wonderful way to create an embryo to nurture your ideas, business and stories. However if none of these blogs types above catch your fancy, then alas, blogging may not be for you.

There is no point starting a blog if you don’t like to write, photograph, paint, spin a yarn, share articles or kick up some dust. You start a blog to share your voice online and to start a conversation about a topic you are passionate about. If you force yourself to start a blog but you don’t really want to share your ideas, then it will be a frustrating waste-of-time for you….

But don’t despair, for all those non-bloggers out there, a Facebook Business Page is like a mini-blog anyway. You can upload photos and snippets of your business onto Facebook at any time. Provided it’s not a novella, then Facebook is a great platform to share your thoughts and wisdom about your business. However if you have more than a paragraph to write, you will lose most people’s interest on Facebook and you’d better consider starting a blog STAT.

And that’s a wrap.

If any of these tips have helped you, I would be as chuffed as an award-winning blogger in a wet dream about winning best blogger of the year, if you shared this blog post in your favourite online playground.

Cheers for now!  Thank you for reading. And here are the buttons to share with….

Read reviews about the awesome work I do, here Buy “Novice2Ninja – Facebook for Business” , eBook or Printed, here Request a Call-Back to chat about a 1-on-1 Session with Francesca Grab your seat to the upcoming Facebook Business Workshop here Join us at “The Social Media Club” here

With Gratitude
Francesca Esposito-Rose B.Inf.Tech.
Business Mentor, Online Strategist, Author, Speaker & Social Media Business Specialist

{All Photos Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net except blogger home page banners are from the bloggers blogs themselves and are their own copyright}

 

The Mighty Hullabaloo (over the Changing Facebook Algorithms and the new Pay-to-Promote)

Facebook businessI don’t normally take a stand on issues that are flying around, I tend to park  in neutral, but I’m going to voice my opinion on this current controversy, which I’m sure will kick up some dust.

What I’m talking about here is the DRAMA over the changing Facebook Algorithms the last few weeks and the furore over the new “Pay-to-Promote” feature that Facebook has recently introduced. There’s lots of folks complaining about having to pay for posts and how Facebook “is supposed to be free”. Let’s get this into perspective because I think the controversy has been a little unbalanced and one-sided lately…..

The facts….

  1. Facebook Business Pages have been around since 2007. That’s a full five years that businesses have had the remarkable opportunity to promote their businesses online  FOR FREE
  2. Facebook Advertising has only been around the last few years. THIS IS OPTIONAL. No-one is holding a gun to your head to advertise on Facebook. You can still operate your Facebook for Business Page FOR FREE, no-one is forcing you to advertise.
  3. The Facebook “Pay to Promote” feature has been around for a couple of months now. Again, THIS IS OPTIONAL. You can take it or leave it.
  4. The statistics I’ve seen flying around this week is that only between 10-25% of your Fans are seeing your Business Posts. Guess what, the “average” number of Fans that saw your business posts before the promotion feature started, was only 17% anyway. THIS IS NOT NEW. It’s called EDGERANK and it has been around since the start of Facebook Business Pages. It is vital that you understand how EdgeRank works and how it affects your Page, and how/when your Fans see your Posts. I have a blog post about this here if you want to read more (I highly recommended that you understand EdgeRank if you want to get some results from your Facebook Business Page!)….
  5. There are 1 Billion people sitting on Facebook every month, and 3 Billion posts a day. I have been asking my clients this week, “Do you want a piece of this?” and “Hell Yeah!” has been the resounding cry! Facebook is the 3rd largest population in the world, why wouldn’t you want a piece of this action for your business!

My approach to all things Social Media….

  1. My approach is to UNDERSTAND the rules and work within them
  2. Rather than get upset about Facebook moving the furniture around, I simply work out WHAT’S NEW, WHAT’S CHANGED, WHAT’S GONE and work out a plan for how I am going to use the new or changed features from there
  3. For MISSING features, I simply work out WHAT I NEED TO CHANGE IN MY OWN BUSINESS PLAN to compensate for the missing features
  4. I say, be grateful as a business that you do have acces to a  FREE PLATFORM like Facebook to advertise your business with, online
  5. BE AWARE of the Paid features that are AVAILABLE to you, and make choices in your business about when to pay for a service. Base this choice on your specific needs and remember there is nobody forcing you to pay for advertising or promoted posts. Make a plan for what you will pay for, and what you won’t and stick to it.
  6. BE DISCERNING. Don’t pay for a promoted post just to spread your latest blog post. Use the PAID features wisely. Set a clear budget for promoted posts and stick to it. For example, if you have an event coming up, why not use a PROMOTED POST to ensure that you get a wider spread of Fans that will see (and come to) your event? Makes sense to me! A “promoted” post on Facebook is typically $5 or $10. This is a damn sight cheaper than a newspaper advertisement to promote your event?!?!!?

marketing Facebook business

My advice to all Small Businesses using Facebook….

The advice to my clients this week will be the same as the advice to my clients last week, and that is, that nothing has changed from a Strategy point of view. It just means that you have to ensure that you are taking these steps below…..

  1. Be clear about your CONTENT. Make sure it’s relevant and specific to your Fans
  2. Work on your ENGAGEMENT. This will elevate the position of your posts further to the top of the News Feed of your Fans so that they actually see your business and click on your posts more often. This will help to “spread” your business throughout the community of Facebook. There are loads of ways that you can improve your Engagement
  3. Have a strategy to build up your FANBASE. If your Following is steadily increasing, then the number of people that will see, share, like and comment on your posts, will snowball and will help you gather more Fans and attract a larger Following to your Page (this is the viral nature of Social Media).

My book Novice2Ninja – Facebook for Business is dedicated to these 3 x topics above of CONTENT, ENGAGEMENT + FANBASE. My book is based on 3 years of dedicated research on these subjects areas where my overall aim of the book was to help small business owners feel….

  1. Empowered to run their business their way, and no longer be at the mercy of Marketing Companies or PR departments
  2. Knowledgeable about what they need to do, and the steps they need to take, to get the most out of Facebook for their Business as a FREE ONLINE MARKETING TOOL
  3. Aware of the various PAID OPTIONS available to them within Facebook
  4. Skilled with the tools they need to make a choice between the various FREE and PAID options that Facebook is making available to all businesses, as it best suits their mission, aims, purpose and intentions of their business.

Bottom line is, Facebook has leveled the playing field for all businesses. Online marketing is no longer confined to the big businesses with the big marketing budget. Small business now has the ability to make a big splash online if they treat Facebook as their online marketing partner and learn how to best utilise the tools available to them

So for my 2 cents worth on this topic folks, it’s not about what Facebook can do for you FOR FREE, it’s about how you can BEST USE the features that Facebook is offering you, to maximise the benefits for your business. This is how I see it. In other words, get this into perspective people, let’s get our big pants on and let’s get on with dealing with the changes at hand. Did we complain when floppy discs went to CD? And when CD’s went to DVD? No, we just evolved. So let’s evolve what we need to do, rather than whinge about it….

Oh, and another thing, Facebook (and all of Social Media), is also primarily about building community and sharing your knowledge, love and wisdom with your customers. It is about creating an opportunity for your clients to connect with you on a “Social” platform. Let’s not forget that it’s not just about making a dollar. These other “touchy-feely” aspects of Facebook are just as important as any other reason to use Facebook to promote your business.

Overall folks, let’s keep positive about this! We couldn’t expect ALL the Facebook features to STAY FREE FOREVER right? Seriously? We forget that Facebook is a  PRIVATE COMPANY, and they need to MAKE MONEY too, just like you and I. Can we really blame them for adding some EXTRA PAID OPTIONS in an effort to make money and elevate their share price? Can we begrudge them this? I don’t see any other company that is publicly-listed on the Global Stock Exchange, come under this much scrutiny because of their efforts to try to make some cashola and bring home some bacon….

It would have been really nice for Facebook to have stayed completely 100% free forever, but this is a fantasy. The true reality is that we live in a world of business, driven by cash, and the need to generate it. Facebook is no different in this desire and need to make a profit

I would love to hear your thoughts on this very hot topic Peeps? Leave me a comment on my Facebook Page, and let’s have a good pow-wow….

PS. And for the cynics out there, I am not paid, reimbursed or compensated in any way shape or form, by the  Facebook Corporation, to say anything favourable or positive about them. These opinions are my own and are completely unsolicited. Yep, I truly believe that Facebook Business Pages are  the best thing for small business since sliced bread. But then, I fully embrace the best of all the online tools available for my business, free, almost free or totally unfree.

Buy “Novice2Ninja – Facebook for Business” , eBook or Printed, here

Request a Call-Back to chat about a 1-on-1 Session with Francesca

Grab your seat to the upcoming Facebook Business Workshop here

Join us at “The Social Media Club” here

And I would be totally over the moon if you shared this post with your friends in your favourite online playground. Thank you xx

With Gratitude
Francesca Esposito-Rose B.Inf.Tech.
Business Mentor, Online Specialist, Author, Speaker & FaceBook Business Specialist

{Photos Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net}

 

Optimism for Business is UP (lessons we can all learn from Walt Disney)

coaching small businessesMy friend who trades the stock market tells me that the Australian Stock Market hit rock bottom last week and that the economy is on the way up. Bear in mind that I am not a financial advisor, however I can certainly feel a signficant shift in market sentiment over the last few weeks. Everyone is alot more positive about their businesses, customers are spending, and willing to spend more.  It’s like the fear of potential world meltdown is over or the grief and shock of the stock market crash a few years ago has been processed into our psyches and we are now feeling “it’s okay, it had to happen, the bubble had to burst for us to all experience a rude reality wake up call“.

Maybe I’m overthinking this, perhaps  it’s just the happiness of Spring to complement a delightfully dry and delicate August after a long long long wet season in Australia (36 months, on and off, but who’s counting). Maybe everyone’s just happy that the sun is shining again, at every level, economically and psychologically.

Either way, OPTIMISM FOR BUSINESS IS DEFINITELY UP. So whenever my clients are feeling down about the outlook for their businesses (we’ve all been there right?) I remind them about this little quote that I have stuck to my PC….

Mickey Mouse® popped out of my mind onto a drawing pad . . . when the business fortunes of my brother Roy and myself were at their lowest ebb and disaster seemed right around the corner.
- Walt Disney®. Producer. Director

Yes I coach business strategy (after 24 years of running businesses, I’ve got a few tools under my  belt), yes I share my online business acumen and secrets (after 15 years online, I’ve learnt a thing or three), but most importantly, what I do is to help my clients work out what their super-powers are. Yes, that’s not a typo, and I’m not getting all hippie-dippie on you. Getting clear on what your strengths are is at the core of what I do and is at the core of your business success. And guess what, “owning” what you are good at is also going to help you survive the next few years in business as we navigate a new economic landscape, both online and offline….

So if you feel you’ve hit rock-bottom in your business, or not sure where to go or where to start in your business, reach out to me, because I’ve been there too, and it’s time we got you off the negative downward spiral and onto a positive trajectory… sound good? Here’s some reviews from some of my happy clients….

For more business inspiration and other great ways to optimise your Facebook for Business Page to help your business achieve success, get my book. Or if 1-on-1 is more your style, I am available for personal business coaching sessions in person, over the phone, over email or let’s chat over skype in our summer t-shirts (that’s how serious business is done these days)….

Buy Book Now “Novice2Ninja” Book a Session with Francesca

If you found this information useful, please share this post to your favourite online playground. I would be as happy as Walt Disney with appreciation for helping me share the knowledge and the love (I am a small business too)…

 

With Gratitude

Francesca Esposito-Rose B.Inf.Tech.

Business Mentor, Online Specialist, Author, Speaker & FaceBook Business Specialist

[Photo copyright en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mickey_Mouse.svg]

Finding Your Kill-Switch: Saved by Daggy-Dancing

business longevity

This morning I did a Zumba class with the wicked Janie (instructor). Yup, I’m a self-confessed daggy-dancer. I love the 80′s disco/pop music, it transports me to a place in my 20′s when life was footloose and fancy-free. I love the hall that we dance in, an old 1900′s church in the ecclectic Byron hinterland village of Federal. I love reconnecting with my little girl energy, the freedom to “dance like nobody is watching”. I love the instructor, she’s a gentle and kind soul that woops your arse (into shape) without hesitation. I love the drive home with the party still going on in my head, feeling like I have super-charged my spare-battery, quite literally.

I have been doing Zumba for 18 months now and it has changed me. It’s not just the physical exercise, it’s my way of mentally switching off, letting go and finding the space between my brain cells. In short, it’s my (IKS) Instant Kill-Switch and my weekly saviour.

It’s so important as a business owner to have a regular way to release your Fu-Fu valve, a way to reconnect with your Mojo, a way to rewitness your true essence, a way to let go and jump out of any negative spiral you may have been caught up in that week. Finding your Kill-Switch is crucial to staying on an even keel mentally, the first step to the longevity of your business and essential for your success. If you are not taking active steps to release your pressure valve on a regular basis, you are in the express lane to burn-out, unhappiness and loss.

Do you have an Insant Kill-Switch? What do you do to MENTALLY switch off and save your sanity? Not just physical exercise, what activity do you do to pause the constant barrage of thoughts, tasks and technology that can easily drop you into a state of overwhelm and panic if left to run rampant? 

So that other small business owners may also discover ways to stay strong, clear and focussed, leave a comment below and share what you do to save your sanity? Do I hear you screaming “Sanity for Small Business?”  Like, Share and Comment if you agree?

Francesca Esposito-Rose

Self-Confessed Daggy-Dancer saved by Zumba

How to Find the Voice of Your Business

business coaching

It’s no surprise that Virgin mogul Richard Branson (one of my business heroes) has a cheeky brand. And unashamedly so, he makes no excuses for letting his cheekiness seep into all of his businesses. From cheeky taglines in all of the Virgin advertisements to Facebook campaigns that are always fresh and a little bit left-of-centre. I love them.

Here’s a campaign that just came out a few days ago, for the “Virgin Produced” company…..

business facebook(c) Virgin Produced

And, here’s another cheeky Virgin post on Facebook from just the other day! Love it!

business mentoring(c) Virgin

So why is Sir Dick’s brand so unconventional? It’s because Richard Branson is himself cheeky. His personality therefore seeps through all of his business dealings including the marketing of all of his companies.

And of course, even the name of Branson’s whole empire “Virgin”, still lies somewhere between avant garde and shocking. We are all quite used to it by now, but I remember when “Virgin Music” first burst onto the scene in the 80′s, we were all a little taken aback. His style and attitude, even in business circles, was definitely “progressive” back then.

Branson is brash, a risk taker, and therefore, so are his companies, in every aspect. And so I bring you to my point that the “Voice” of any business follows the personaility of its’ owner. “The Voice” of a company starts at the top. It’s the only place it can start, really.

Following a presentation I gave last week at the Stella Group in Lismore, NSW, my inbox was flooded with lotsa folks asking me questions like….

How do I find the Voice of my Facebook Page? How do I find the Voice of my business? What is the process to do this?

You see, the topic of my talk was….

How to find The Voice of Your Business on Facebook

When I am coaching my clients, my advice is that the “Voice” of your Facebook Page actually starts with the Voice of your business. The Voice of your business stems from the business owner themselves, and this starts with your own story.

I always believe in leading by example, so I am happy to share my story with you. If you’re interested in reading a tale of what drives me, here’s my full story or a short bio here. If not, let’s push on so I can explain where I’m going with this post…..

But suffice to say, my bottom line is…. I was born to help. Some of my clients affectionately nickname me Dr. Francesca. If you’ve had the time to read my story, you’ll understand why….

If you don’t have the time to read my full story, here’s a brief snippet….

I wrote my first “computer program” when I was 14 years old, almost 30 years ago. This was a decade before the Internet was even invented. It was a high school assignment (I was lucky to be at a progressive school for the times)  and we were asked to program the rules of Snakes&Ladders with a 1 player and 2 player option. I remember being mesmerised by how you could join the dots together and how you could make the pieces of a concept fit beautifully, almost like composing notes on a page into a song. And I remember feeling equally distraught when the whole game fell apart when the structure wasn’t programmed right.

I was fascinated by this new phenomena called “Information Technology”, and I could see, even 30 years ago, that this “Technology” was no passing fad.

I could see that if we could program these machines called “computers” to do tasks for us automatically, that the whole of humanity could perform every task more efficiently. I knew this had to be a good thing, and something of a revolution in the way we did things. This was in the early 80′s after all, when things just clunked along pretty uncohesively, compared to the level of automation and ease we have now with iPhones, iPads, internet banking, WiFi, the list goes on!

So let me explain where I’m going with this post…. (stay with me on this one, I am telling you these stories for a reason, but stick with me because in a minute I’ll step you through a powerful exercise that will help You find The Voice of Your Business too)….

From that process of programming a simple Snakes&Ladders game, I became fascinated with automation. I was in awe of processes that linked together. I went on to learn about this new way of thinking in the IT degree that I later studied at University.

Combine this fascination with my inner “doctor” drive, I would have to say, that my heart and my story can be summed up as….

I’m passionate about helping people. I’m excited about connecting the dots. I’m driven to putting the systems and processes together that make life and business easier. I was born to do this job. I was cut out to mentor business people and to help them join their own dots between business and technology

So here’s how I coach my clients to “tune in” to “The Voice” of their own businesses…

First Step, you need to write your story. Yep, I mean on paper.

  • write what first sparked you to start your business
  • what captures your curiosity now
  • what still excites you in your business
  • what drove you to where you are now
  • ask yourself, “what am I passionate about in my business?”

This is Step 1 on Day 1 of a seven-day exercise. You see, over the course of the next week, you are going to do a little exercise that will help you tune in to “The Voice” of your business. It is simple yet powerful. And by the end of 7 days, you will understand exactly what your Voice feels like, looks like and sounds like. So why are we doing this over 7 days? Because this gets the best results, and I will tell you why it does, at the end of this post…oooh, a little surprise is in stall for you :) No peaking!

Step Two is to paint a picture. Yup, with paints, coloured pencils, watercolour, oils, crayons (I’m not joking by the way). Take a fresh piece of paper. It can be anything, butchers paper, a paper napkin, a proper stretched canvas or a lined scrap-pad. Whatever you have lying around. And….

  • draw what your ideal business looks like
  • what the heck, draw what your ideal life looks like
  • be sure to include as many details as you can, go nuts, truly, don’t be shy, the more details you can fill in, the more powerful this exercise will be for you and the more benefit for your business
  • have some fun with this, this is your time to shine baby
  • remember, no-one is watching and there’s no-one marking this, so pour your little heart out into this drawing. This exercise is more about the ideas and the content so don’t worry one iota about the quality of the artwork
  • draw what your ideal customer looks like
  • draw it all and get this all out of your head

And see how good it feels to have….

  1. your story written down, and
  2. your dream business and life drawn into a picture

Remember you don’t need to paint like Rembrant or write verse like Keats. This is not your Masterpiece or your Manifesto. This is part of your overall Business Masterplan, so let it flow, and let it take any shape or form. There is no right or wrong answer, though the only requirement here is to be real, honest and authentic with yourself.

Now you need to mull over what you have written and drawn for a few days, let it wash over you, and come back to this process in 3 days time. It’s really important not to skip this “mulling” step. So perhaps print this post and place it into your diary 3 days forward as a reminder to pick this exercise up again in a few days time. But to give this your best shot, I recommend not doing all these steps at once….

[3 days have passed now and we're ready to move onto Step Three....]

Step Three is to write the sensory values of your business. Whether you have a new or existing business, write down (on a separate piece of paper), what you want your business to

  • look like (is there a white or orange glowing lamp in your B&B foyeur? or do you want your cabins to feel like a Hawaiian cabana by the sea? or a black and white old fashioned photo? sepia maybe?)
  • feel like (do you want to walk into your restaurant and feel like you have bitten into a slice of watermelon or do you want to feel like you’re walking into a cafe in a Rue in Paris?)
  • smell like (is there a vanilla scented candle burning in your shop or can you smell freshly roasted coffee wafting in the background?)
  • sound like (is your business fast and racy with contemporary music playing eg a DJ or Zumba class, or does your business sound calm and peaceful with quieteness or birdsong eg a Yoga class or a quiet retreat)
  • write down all the sensory values of your ideal business, how it looks, feels, smells and sounds like
  • whether you have a shop-front or online business, home-based business or separate office, whether you are selling professional services or tangible goods, everyone can identify the look, feel, smell and sound of their business and their products. This is an important step in order to identify the voice of your business.

You see, what I want you to be doing here is to be connecting with the emotion of your business. How you feel about your business is how your customer is going to feel about your business. And this single factor, how your customer feels about your business, is one of the most significant factors that determines whether a customer will buy from you….

Step Four. Unique Selling Point or UPS. You need to write down on another piece of paper….

  • what is different about your business compared to your competitors
  • what is different about your products compared to businesses similar to yours
  • what is different about the service that you offer compared to other businesses in your industry

They key here is to understand that what you are selling is not the product itself. What you are selling is what is unique about your business. For example, if you sell handbags with detachable covers, the fact that your handbags have a detachable front cover is your unique selling point, not the fact that you are a seller of handbags.

Step Five. Solve a problem. Write this down on another piece of paper….

  • identify what problem your product solves. This is what you are selling. Hint. You are not selling stilettos, you are selling longer, sexier legs.

Step Six. Let this all wash over you for 3 more days. Let the voice of your business simmer, bubble and brew for a little while.

Step Seven. It’s Day 7 and you have now mulled over this for a week, in the background, while you have gone about your regular activities. And if you have done every step in this exercise, you should now be able to lay out in front of you, five bits of paper with these ingredients on them….

  1. your story
  2. your dream life/dream business
  3. the sensory values of your business
  4. your unique selling point
  5. what problem your business is solving

You now have the ingredients of the voice of your business in front of you, and more importantly, out of your head. And this all stems from your own personality, your passion and what drives you, what you are curious about and what you are most excited about in your business. THIS is The Voice of your business.

All the subtleties and nuances of the voice of your Facebook Page lay in the ingredients above. And now that you have let all these ingredients simmer and brew over the last 7 days, it’s time to serve up your beautiful soup. Your dinner party guests are arriving now, and they are arriving in the form of your customers. So go make them something delicious and memorable, go make them a meal they’ll never forget :) And I’ll be here cheering for you xx

PS. Oh, so why do we do this exercise over the course of a week? It’s because by allowing your subconsious to bubble up over a period of time, you are more likely to bypass your thinking brain and connect emotionally with your heart. Once you access how you feel about your business (not what you think about it), only then can you access the true heart and passion of your business. And it is this heart and passion that your customers will be connecting with too, the instant before they buy from you. It is this heart and passion that will open the door to The Voice of your business :)   And if you need a l’il help to find the authentic voice of your business, click here, I’m born to help :) Or if you’re more into DIY, my book “Novice2Ninja” was birthed to help too :)

Cheers

Francesca Esposito-Rose

Helping You find the Voice of Your Business Online

For more posts similar to this, check these out….

The Juice in Your Business

The Voice Feature on Facebook

 

 

 

The new “Voice” feature on Facebook rocks!

Facebook has been copping alot of flack lately about all their changes, however this latest change is one I really love. The “Voice” feature has arrived. If you can’t see it yet, it’s because Facebook tends to roll out new features in stages, so don’t panic, you’ll get your “Voice” feature soon. Here is a snapshot of this feature on my Facebook Business Page….

The new "Voice" feature on Facebook Business Pages

The new "Voice" feature on Facebook Business Pages

Defining “the Voice” of your business is one of the most important steps of setting up a successful Facebook Business Page. I see so many Facebook Business pages that flop around with no meaning at all and no direction in their content. Then there are the Facebook Pages that seem to have nothing much to say at all.

I feel very sad when someone says they have nothing to say about their business. I don’t mean this to sound like a cliché, but every business is special. Every business has a voice. It may get a bit lost in the day-to-day running of your rent-roll; the things that first inspired you to start your business may have become a bit laced with cobwebs. However Facebook is now giving you a new chance to re-discover that excitement. Facebook gives you the opportunity for a new lease of passion for your business.” Page 55, “Novice2Ninja – Facebook for Business”

Really tuning into what your business is all about is the first place to start if you want a successful Facebook Business Page, a page that really rocks and kicks arse. In my business as a mentor, I would never progress past this point with a client unless we really zoomed into what the real message of their business was.

So why take the time to define the voice of your business? This is one of the most crucial steps of this book. I know it may seem a bit touchy-feely but we do need to reveal this stuff to know where the heart of your business lies.” Page 56, “Novice2Ninja – Facebook for Business”

I actually cover this vital step in great detail in “Step 2″ of my 10-step Action plan in my eBook “Novice2Ninja – Facebook for Business”. My book guides you through this whole process and holds your hand through the scary, unknown and new bits. It also covers a 10-step method to plan your complete Facebook strategy. Planning is essential, however knowing what-to-do, and more importantly, what-not-to-do, is even more crucial. I found it absolutely imperative therefore to guide other businesses around the pitfalls and to share proven methods that work.

Buy eBook Now “Novice2Ninja” Only $39.95

As for the Facebook new “Voice” feature, it is a handy way to “switch” from your Personal Profile to your Business Page. To do this, simply click the “change to” button which appears at the top middle of your screen.

The benefit is that you now don’t have to click the “down arrow” to “switch” between your Business Page and Personal Profile which was always a bit tedious. It’s the simple things….

Cheers

Francesca Esposito-Rose

Helping Businesses find their Voice

 

For related blog posts read….

The “Juice” in your Business

The New “Offer” Feature on Facebook

Facebook New Timeline Changes

The 7 Vital Tweaks your Facebook Business Page must have

10 Compelling Reasons why your Business needs Facebook

Facebook is not Dead

 



 

 

 

Top 10 Compelling Reasons Why Small Business Needs Facebook

Fact 1: According to Social Bakers, about 60% of the Australian population are using the Internet in one way or another

Fact 2: and about 50% of the Australian population are using Facebook Personal to connect with their family and friends

Fact 3: but the number of small businesses using Facebook for Business is only around 14% according to Sensis statistics.

Business FacebookPhoto © Francesca Esposito-Rose

Businesses that are not using Social Media in their businesses risk being left behind in the 90′s. Here’s my Top 10 reasons why you need to “get social” in your business….

  1. Your customers are already online – you need to meet them there. There are almost 1 Billion people across the globe using Facebook. You need these eyeballs on your business. Treat Facebook as a new market you never had access to before.
  2. The traditional way we trade is said to be in decline – you need to get out of the 90′s and look towards the new era of online economics. We are entering the “Social Media Era”. Embrace it.
  3. All the big companies are on Facebook – your small business needs to get on board the Social Media train to stay competitive.
  4. “Getting Social” is a great way to connect with your current and new customers. Having a Facebook Fan Page says “I’m listening” to your customers and allows you to have a two-way open conversation. Treat Facebook as one big subscriber list, but with pictures.
  5. “Being Social” as a business makes you transparent and shows that you care about your customers; it shows that you are authentic. Facebook allows you to reveal the people behind your brand and allows you to be more human. Facebook allows you to reveal the human voice of your business. Read: personality.
  6. Facebook provides the most powerful marketing tools available on this blue planet and is the most targeted and cost-effective advertising you can ever lay your hands on.
  7. Everybody is equal on Facebook – Social Media is not run by the big boys. On Facebook, small companies can be big too. The playing field for business has just been levelled - everyone now has an equal chance of being found.
  8. Facebook is not going away any time soon. Users are committed. You need to get with it and make Facebook your friend and add Social Media to your current marketing activities. My ebook “Facebook Business Success in 10 minutes a day” will teach you exactly how to do this quickly and effectively. My easy 10-step method is designed to get your business kicking arse on Facebook in no time at all.
  9. Facebook is rivalling Google as a search engine. You need these eyeballs on your business.
  10. The viral potential of Facebook is ginormous. The ability for friends-of-friends to refer and talk about your business is huge.  You need to tap into the magic of this. The potential for your brand to be exposed on Facebook is phenomenal. Get on this.

For a full discussion of why getting your business onto Facebook is the smartest move you will make this decade, get my eBook Buy eBook Now Only $39.95

Can you think of more reasons for businesses to be on Facebook? Leave a comment in the box below or Like our Facebook page and join the conversation….. Let’s connect :)

Cheers Francesca

The Juice in Your Business

Today I answered a “Burning Question” on one of my favourite blogs DanielleLaPorte.com

The burning question was…

How do you say what you do? (Give your self credit.)

And my answer was…

I mentor businesses to find their voice online, establish client relationships and find the juice in what they do. I have developed a successful 10-step method to help businesses “get social”. I subscribe to grass-roots simplicity; half of what I do is marketing and methodology, the other half is focus. Half is science and strategy, the other half is inspiration. You can’t have the creative hand without the willing arm to move it. I help businesses connect with their passion and their customers….

This got me thinking about a major renovation we did a few years ago to support our re-branding of “SummerHills Resort-Style Accommodation” to SummerHills Retreat Byron Bay. This upgrade did 2 things. It immediately gave the juice of what we were offering (a quiet retreat to get away from the hustle and bustle of busy life) rather than just calling our place “resort style accommodation” (this could be anywhere and any type of accommodation). Secondly, it converted the guesthouse to self contained villas which was in keeping with the Tuscany feel of our Byron Bay retreat.

Our builder Dave, was installing the new Tuscany windows on the last day of a long 4 month project. We had the whole renovation beautifully planned which had all gone according to schedule. So far. What could possibly go wrong on day 120 of a 120-day build, right? Well, we hit a major speed bump we didn’t see coming. The “wind-proof” window arms I had imported from the US to hold the windows open and in place without banging even with the slightest breeze, were the wrong size. These levers had taken 3 months to arrive and were ordered from the only place on the planet that sold these special gadgets to do this particular job.

I had guests arriving the next day into our brand new beautiful villas. They had prepaid for the accommodation and the last job was simply to install these windows! I thought we were home and hosed. {Aargh!} Imagine my panic! Within minutes I kicked into backup-plan-mode and started to envisage places I could ring to relocate these guests into different accommodation. Problem was, it was a music festival weekend and we were all booked out months in advance.

I sat on the step with my head in my hands. I knew there was no back-up plan coming to the rescue, when Dave found me and sat next to me. He said…

Francesca, I don’t believe in building problems, I only believe in building solutions.

Th reason why I’m sharing this story with you is to show you that your customers are not buying your products. They are buying your energy. They are not buying your services. They are buying the message behind your brand. In this one statement, Dave gave me comfort and also confidence that the job would be completed on time. Those few kind words reminded me why I had engaged him as a contractor to begin with – because I believed in him as a capable person, not as a capable builder. His exemplary building skills were secondary to my decision in choosing him. The juice he gave me was strong confidence, clear committment and unwavering vision to do whatever was needed to get the job done. And that’s what he did. He put his tricky Ninja builder-brain to work,  burnt the midnight oil to weld and modify the levers for the windows to go in and the guests were checked in the next day. {Phew!}

So my question to you is….

 What is the juice you give to your customers? Do you build houses or create dreams? Do you mow lawns or manifest beauty? Do you take photos or capture joy? Do you massage bodies or nurture souls? Do you counsel patients’ problems or offer wellbeing solutions?  What is the essence of what you give in your business?

Business Mentor

Answering this question is a stepping-stone to your Facebook Business Success   and also the first step we cover in the 10-step strategy in my book. Getting clear on the essence of what you do is your first step to kicking arse with your Facebook for Business Page.

So I’d love to know, what is The Juice in your Business? I’d love for you to leave a comment in the box below and share your thoughts or go to www.facebook.com/TheLikeEffect and join the conversation…. See you there !