Category Archives: Social Media for Business

30 Day Challenge: The Power Coach

On Thursday 16th May 2013, at the Basingstoke Entrepreneurs Roadshow, Agnes Cserhati of AC Power Coaching set a challenge to meet 30 people in 30 days.

You can read about the challenge here.

Tuesday 28th May: Day 10, Meeting 3

Agnes Cserhati, The Power Coach

agnes cserhati

 

Today I met Agnes.

Agnes Cserhati is a business coach, mentor, entrepreneur. You can find her on Twitter, and via AC Power Coaching.

 

The story of how I met Agnes is a great example of how Social Media has changed our lives.

One Saturday morning a few months ago I was having a lie-in with a big mug of tea, browsing my Twitter Timeline, and I noticed a HashTag #SatChatUK. It seemed to be a group of people, mainly small businesses, chatting about their week. So I joined in and said hello, and one of the people chatting was Agnes.

Agnes mentioned she was setting up an office in Germany, in Bonn. About 5 years earlier, I had spent a lot of time in Bonn, when I worked for T-Mobile, so we had a bit of a chat about Bonn, and started to build a little rapport, as you do, over Twitter.

Over the next few weeks we exchanged a few “Hello”s, and some views on putting the world right, and it came out that Agnes was speaking at an Entrepreneur’s Roadshow in a few weeks in Basingstoke. So I decided to go along.

At the Roadshow I met Agnes IRL…[ In Real Life :o)  ] and during her talk, she gave us all the 30 Day Challenge. I decided to take it on, and as I am currently looking for a business mentor, I asked Agnes if we could meet for a coffee to discuss it. She could be one of my Thirty!

….and here we are. I wouldn’t be here, if it wasn’t for Twitter networking.

So, to business today.

Agnes told me about her businesses, and specifically the services she offers as a business coach. I liked her approach. She suggested we structured the coaching sessions with more time, and more intensity at the beginning, when she is understanding what I want, and I am implementing the first changes, and then gradually reducing the sessions as we monitor what impact the changes have made, and fine tune them.

I explained to her what I was looking for, and the 2 specific issues I am looking for help with. One is a decision relating to Cashflow management, and one a recruiting issue.

I wanted someone who is flexible, someone I could talk to whenever I had an issue I was struggling with.

I also wanted someone who would hold me accountable for actions I promised to take. I often find that I know what I should be doing, but I find reasons for not doing it.

I’ll speak to Agnes again in the coming days, and I hope we can work together.

Lessons Learnt – I knew this anyway, but it is important to spend time with people outside of your usual day to day business community and work colleagues. You get new ideas, new enthusiasm, and people who can point out to you any false assumptions you might be making.

 

chris smith

Bye for Now.

Chris Smith

You can follow Chris Smith on Twitter.

 

 

Manage your Twitter Timeline with Lists

Twitter Lists

If you have built up a reasonable number of Tweeps (Twitter users) that you follow, say more than 500, and they are active – i.e. they tweet quite a lot – then it can be hard work to keep track of what they are talking about. Your Twitter Timeline can get very busy.

This is where Twitter Lists come in handy.

 

Here is a 60-second video about Twitter Lists, or you can skip it and read the info below…

Twitter Lists

A List is a collection of Tweeps that have something in common.

Lists are yours to create and name as you want – and you can make each list private, or public.

 

The name of the List should be something that makes sense to you. Why did you start following that person?

For example –

  • They follow the same football team as you;
  • They have a similar interest to you.
  • Their tweets are humorous, and you enjoy a good giggle;
  • They have a business that you want to keep track of,
  • …and so on.

 

So your lists might be called…

  • StockportFans
  • RockClimbing
  • Comedians
  • Apple
  • …for example

 

Create a List

Next, go into your Twitter application of choice and create your lists.

In Twitter.com it is really easy:

  1. Login to your twitter account
  2. Go to your Profile Page
  3. Click on the Menu Option “Lists”
  4. Click on “Create List”
  5. Enter the List name, a description, and whether you want the list to be public or private.
  6. Repeat for each List you want to create.

 

Your next job is to allocate each Tweep that you follow to the relevant List. This can be a bit of a long winded exercise if you already follow thousands of people. So you could do it over a period of time.

 

One tool that I found really helpful is TwitListManager.

twitlistmanager

TwitListManager is a great way to go through all of the people you follow, and see if you have already allocated them to a list, and if not, you can choose a list to allocate them to.

You can also revisit it monthly to make sure you haven’t missed someone out.

 

When your lists are set up, then get into the discipline so that, every time you follow a new Tweep, you allocate them to a list. If you start to follow someone, but there isn’t a relevant list, create a new list!

 

View a List

So – now you have lists, with your followers allocated to one, or more, lists, what next?

Well next time you are reading your Twitter Timeline you can choose to..

Scan your normal Timeline with the tweets of all of the people you follow all mixed together , OR…

Go to one of your lists, to view…

  • What people are saying about Stockport County FC
  • What’s going on down the local Climbing Wall
  • Some funny tweets to cheer you up
  • The latest Apple design stuff
  • … and so on

In Twitter.com you do this in the same way as you created your lists…

Go to your profile page

Select Lists from the Menu option

Then click on one of your new Lists

Now, you get a timeline exactly the same as your main Twitter Timeline, but just with the tweets of those people in that list.

Now if you want to use one of the more advanced Twitter Apps like HootSuite, you can view several lists at once, but that5 is a subject for another day.

 

I hope you found that useful.

 

Here are some of my other posts about Twitter.

Bye for Now

Chris Smith

chris smith

 

Use Twitter Hashtags to create a local business community

#Biz

Have you notices loads of tweets with #Biz type Hashtags?

For example #Bizitalk #NewForestBiz

Ever wondered what they are? They are a way of attracting the attention of twitter users to businesses that they may be interested in.

 

Here is a quick summary…

60 seconds on… Twitter Hashtags

 

So if you are trying to promote your business with Twitter, it can be hard on your own, but if you promote other businesses, and they promote yours, Together Everyone Achieves More (That’s TEAM. See what I did there? :o)

so – here’s a quick plan…

  • Decide on your hashtag
  • Search on Twitter for associated businesses, maybe local to you.
  • Retweet their tweets, but add your hashtag.
  • Tweet regularly something like… “Do you have a business in or around xxxx? Promote it with hashtag #XXXXBiz, then RT others to promote each other. “
  • Everytime you put out a promoting tweet of your own, add the Hashtag to it.
  • … and repeat

 

Soon, people who you are ReTweeting will start to thank you, and ReTweet your tweets, and those of other businesses using the hashtag.

 

Bingo! You have your own Online Business Support Community. Long may you grow and prosper.

 

Bye for Now.

Chris Smith

chris smith

 

 

 

 

Engage your followers with Twylah

Why do you use Twitter?

Social Media for Business

 

 

 

 

 

In my experience, there are 2 main types of Twitter users:

  • Fun users
  • Business Users

 

Fun users are people that like to tweet for fun – to their friends, and anyone who follows them. They don’t really mind who follows them, but they like lots of followers. They often have some area of interest that links many of their followers, for example their football team.

Business Users are people that use Twitter, and other Social Media, with a specific goal in mind. That is usually to attract followers to their website, or other place of business. Once their, they hope to engage the reader with the hope to generate a sale, or some sort of business.

 

…and of course there are many other types, and many twitter users who combine both types.

 

If you are a Business User, then I hope this post is of interest to you.

With Twitter – you have just 140 characters – maybe 1.5 seconds – to arouse the curiousity of your followers, and get them to find out more about you, maybe visit your website.

twylah

But there is a new tool now – Twylah – which helps engage your followers for a little longer.

 

Twylah is a free application that creates a website with menus, based on your Twitter topics.

It analyses the words that you use, and groups together the common topics.

Twylah page

You can also manage these topics, so if there is a topic that you don’t want to include, you can exclude it. If there are topics that you always want to include aty the top of your Twulah page, even when you haven’t been Tweeting about it, you can do that too.

 

So how does this help?

Well: On one page you can give your followers a visual impression of what you’re about, without having to spend anymore time on it. Twylah does all of it for you!

… and it is always up to date with your latest thoughts!

Have a look at my Twylah page here, and then set yours up! Really – it takes 2 minutes.

 

Spend a little time working ON your business, not just IN your business.

 

Bye for Now

Chris Smith

chris smith

 

 

 

 

 

Other posts about Twitter:

Is your business Invisible to your Twitter Followers?

Have you hit the Twitter 2000 Limit?

Use Buffer to increase your Twitter visibility

If you’re in business, and you use Twitter, then you should take a look at Buffer too.

Buffer is a very easy to use tool that helps you schedule tweets, and analyse your follower engagement of those tweets.

 

I love it because it is so easy to use, and I love the layout….

 

But first – what is your opinion of scheduled, automated tweets?

If you are anti – then stop now, because that is what Buffer does. However, if you are in business, then stick with me for a moment…

 

Buffer does not replace your personal engagement with followers. You must still engage with your followers by ReTweeting their interesting or helpful tweets, by replying to them, by posting your topical, informative tweets on a regular, frequent basis.

However – it is unlikely that you can do this 24 hours a day. Your average Twitter timeline has hundreds and thousands of tweets an hour. If you are not in there while your followers are looking, you might as well be invisible!

Therefore, to keep you visible, to keep you in the eye of your followers, you can schedule tweets to be posted on your behalf by Buffer, at certain times throughout the day.

 

I use it to send tweets about my popular blog posts. These don’t change very often, so I can send a tweet out automatically and anyone who sees it and clicks on the link will see my (hopefully!) useful, informative, and engaging blog post.

 

I also send out regular quotes that are relevant to my business. I use the quotes of Jim Rohn, Zig Ziglar, and Winston Churchill, aswell as those of many other authors I like.

 

You can start with Buffer for FREE. If you go for this option, you get 10 slots in your Buffer. This means that you can load up 10 tweets that Buffer will post on your behalf, at the times you select.

 

If you wish, you can upgrade to the paid version to:

  • get unlimited room in your Buffer,
  • post to more social profiles, and
  • allow team members to post on your behalf.

Personally, I use the free one, simply because it does everything I want.

 

You CAN get extra spaces in your Buffer by introducing other people to Buffer. When you sign up for Buffer you get an affiliate link. Send this link to your Twitter friends, and for everyone that signs up to Buffer, you get an extra space.

If you like this Blog Post, and you’d like to try Buffer – feel free to use my Affiliate link – I promise to love you forever in return :o)

 

Getting Started

So – you’ve signed up to Buffer. What next?

First, go to the Settings page and decide what times of the day you want Buffer to post your tweets.

 

 

You can spread them out across 24 hours, or concentrate them on the busy times for your business, whichever you prefer.

 

Next, go to your Dashboard, and load up your first tweets (up to 10, remember) that you want Buffer to post for you.

Then sit back and let Buffer do its stuff.

I do this daily, every morning.

I have a text document where I keep all of my tweets that I want to use. Every time I come across a new quote, or I write a blog post, or something I want to tweet about regularly, I simply add it tjhe tweet to this text document.

Then in the morning I open up Buffer, open up my text document, and just add then next 10 tweets (or however many spaces you have in your Buffer).

 

Analytics

I love the simple analysis that Buffer gives you. It shows you your recent tweets (those that Buffer has posted for you), and how many followers potentially saw the tweet. However, if the tweet was ReTweeted, then it includes the followers of each person who ReTweeted it. You also see who did this ReTweeting – so you can see people who have an interest in your tweets, and start to engage with them.

You can also see how many people clicked on any links in your tweets – again to see which of your Twitter Posts are arousing the most curiosity.

So while you are going about your daily business, Buffer is keeping your audience entertained, and you can look at the results when you have the time.

Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy!

 

Want to know one of the reasons that I wrote this post? (Apart from the fact that I love Buffer).

It was because Buffer Analytics told me that of all of the tweets it had posted for me, the Tweet that got the most clicks (by a long way!) was this…

 

.
… and so I wanted to have some more interesting Twitter-Related content for those people. By having related content on your blog, you can keep people reading your stuff, (which is presumably why you have a blog!)
.
So what drove you here? Please send me a comment below, I’d love to know what made you come to this post.
Best Wishes
Chris Smith
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
Other posts about Twitter:

 Engage your followers with Twylah

 Have you hit the Twitter 2000 Limit?

.

Are you using Pinterest to promote your business yet?

Pinterest:

A great way to promote your business.

Social media for Business

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have you got your Pinterest account set up yet?

NO? Do it now, you’ll love it!

 

What is Pinterest?

Pinterest is a social media network – a way of sharing things with other people. It is like a set of virtual pinboards.

Do you have a pinboard in your kitchen with postcards of memorable holidays, pictures of the kids, favourite recipes etc?

Well it’s like that, but you can have as many pinboards as you want, and pin as many pictures to a board as you want.

 

 

This picture is an example of my old Goal Board, a pin board I used to hold pictures of my goals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

… and this is one of my Pinterest Goal Boards.

I feel a lot more organised. I have boards for short- medium- and long term goals, and I can add comments to them, to help keep me on track and motivated.

 

 

Why does Pinterest attract attention?

Pinterest is attracting attention because it is SO VISUAL.

 

How many times have you logged on to a blog, or a website, and found pages and pages of text. It may be really interesting or useful, but you just can’t face working your way through it.

 

 

With Pinterest, you can just browse the many fantastic images, and if you find one that you like, you can repin it to one of your own boards.

There are mouthwatering images with great recipes, fantastic ideas for interior design, beautiful images of your favourite city, all just waiting for you to feast your eyes on.

art, food, travel

You can search for areas that you’re interested in, to find people with similar interests, or just to find fantastic images to repin to your boards.

 

Business or Pleasure?

There seem to be two main groups of people using Pinterest, those doing it purely for pleasure, and those doing it to promote their business, and there is some crossover too.

Those doing it purely for pleasure have a great way to collect and organise beautiful images that they love – you will find boards with names like…

  • Places I love
  • My favourite recipes
  • Beautiful Clothes
  • My favourite fashions
  • Gorgeous beaches
  • …and so on

You will also find people promoting businesses. this works especially well if your business has a strong visual component. Not so great for accountants, but they sky is the limit?

If you are a maker of beautiful things, then Pinterest is perfect for you…

For example…

  • Mosaics
  • Clothes
  • Shoes
  • Jewellery

Hints and tips

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So if you are promoting your business, here are some great hints and tips….

Collect your images into related Boards. Don’t just have one big board with everything on.

Give each pin a meaningful name – remember people will be searching!

Give each board a meaningful name! – people will want to follow the whole board

Do you have a website? Then ensure each PIN points it to your website. There are two ways to do this.

  1. If you have Pinned it from your website, then it will point back to your website by default.
  2. If you have uploaded it yourself, then do this…
  • Log onto Pinterest
  • Hover over your profile (top right hand corner)
  • Select Boards
  • Click on the board containing your new pin, or the ojne you want to change
  • Hover over the pin you want to change, and click EDIT.
  • In the LINK field, enter the url of your website, or the page on your website that you want people to go to.
  • Save the PIN.

Now, whenever anyone looks at your PIN, and clicks on it to find more information, they will be taken to your fantastic website with all of your other products, your online shop, and other ways they can engage with you. Cool huh?

 

You can pin images to your pinterest boards from…

  • Other Pinterest boards
  • Elsewhere on the web
  • Your own photos
  • Images on your own website

 

Getting started


  1. Create an account
  2. Search Pinterest for keywords you might be interested in
  3. Repin your favourites onto a board of your own.
  4. upload your own images
  5. Follow people or boards that have images that inspire you.
  6. Engage with them – comment on their pictures. This is Social Media, so they will look at your boards and if you inspiure them, they will follow you, and comment on your images and so on.

 

Hey Presto – your images get exposure across the PinterestVerse!

 

To see the Pinterest boards of a complete amateur…

Take a look at my Pinterest Boards.

Bye for Now

Chris Smith

How To Start Your Own Business From Scratch

How to start your own business from scratch

Start a business from scratch

 

It seems like every week now, there is a new headline in the news about the number of unemployed people, the number of people made redundant, a company making some job cuts etc.

 

Long gone are the days of a job for life, or even being able to move between jobs and stay employed for life.

 

So I want to suggest an alternative to you:

If you cannot find someone to employ you – employ yourself!

employ yourself

By that, I mean start your own business. It is so easy to do this today. People used to say the British are a Nation of Shopkeepers. Now we are a nation of entrepreneurs. Self-Employment is the new “Job for Life”

 

There are some big advantages to being self-employed:

  • For one, you get more sunshine.
  • You have no boss, except maybe your other half).
  • If you want a payrise you can simply take on extra work.

 

So – how do you do start your own business? Here’s a quick checklist, and I’ll go through them in some detail later.

  • Decide on the product or service
  • Advertise
  • Earn Money

OK, that may seem a bit silly, but I wanted to make a point – it doesn’t have to be complicated.

 

Decide on the Product or Service

This is where you need to look at yourself, and decide what you can do, and look at the marketplace, and decide if there is a demand for it. This could really be anything – From dog walking, car washing, gardening, handyman. Can you do these things? You probably don’t need to invest in loads of equipment to get you started.

There are other, home-based businesses, where you have the support of a national or international company. Examples are Home-Shopping businesses, such as my personal favourite, Kleeneze. If you want to find some information about that, just visit my Kleeneze Information Site.

 

Find your customers

This is where the Internet, and Social Media in particular has changed the ball game. It used to be that when you start your own business, you rely on friends and family, and then word of mouth. Then you have to place some (expensive) adverts in local papers every week and so on.

Expensive adverts

 

Still, Friends and Family and Word Of Mouth is the best place to start, but in parallel with that there are loads of Social media applications that are free, easy to use, and have MILLIONS of people out there that you can reach out to.

To start off with I am going to assume that your business is aimed at your local population. However, if you are, for example, a website designer, then that service can be provided for a customer anywhere in the world, so this would not apply to you.

Over the next few days I will write posts, each of which will give you a quick guide on how to market your local business using…

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Instagram
  • Google+
  • LinkedIn

 

 

 

 

 

Each one of these will connect you with a different group of people who may, or may know someone who does, want your product or service.

Each of these Social Media will be covered in a new blog post in the next few days.

The basic strategy that you use for all of these Social Media is as follows:

  • Brand Yourself
  • Identify potential customers
  • Engage with them
  • Look for opportunities

DO NOT simply create an account and blast loads of adverts at all and sundry. That will get you no business at all.

I will expand on the details of this strategy in another post in the next few days.

 

Oh, and last but not least…

Earn Money

If you have a product or service for which there is a demand, and you have found some customers, then you should complete the final step – Earn Money.

 

I hope that has sown the seeds of some ideas for you. I will write the next posts for you in the next few days, so please watch this space.

 

Bye for Now

 

Chris Smith

Chris Smith