Announcement - after three years together



After three years together, including some ups and downs, Zebra and I would like to announce that this week Zebra Consulting Group became a limited company.

Nothing is really changing about our relationship except for a few things financially and legally.  Effectively it’s just a piece of paper that offers me some protection financially.

We’re both changing our names – I’m changing from Owner to Managing Director and Zebra is simply adding Ltd to the end of his / her name.

The practicalities of the ceremony only took about 10 minutes online with gov.uk (it was done privately, with no flashy ceremony, just as I wished).  I like to think that Zebra and I have had a long and relatively happy engagement.

Being with Zebra has let me do other things which working full time for others couldn’t give me, such as flexibility in hours, time to work on other projects, the ability to prioritise my children and to have greater say over my working hours and pay: Zebra understands I want to see friends and have hobbies.  Zebra has allowed me to change and grow and yet still be there.  We’ve grown together.

I’d like to thank all our friends and family who have been very supportive of me and the black and white one.  We look forward to a long and happy future together.

The brick wall of content creation


Ever felt like this when it comes to content creation?



I've heard people responsible for marketing and content creation admit to the following feelings:

“It’s 4pm and I think sh** I haven’t posted on social media today and I have no idea what to write!”

“My manager thinks I can just produce stuff to post on social media out of thin air but some days I’m just not feeling it. I have 20 emails to work through, someone knocking at my door and a to do list as long as my arm. Social media is the last thing on my mind.”

“The last time I took a photo to post on social media no one smiled. I can’t post this, it will make us look ridiculous."

"Everyone expects you to post happy positive upbeat stuff on social media, but it's not reality to be like that every part of every day. I can't get the words out to sound right."



STOP!

Relax. Let's think and plan.

We all have off days and too many days when we’re too busy to plan out what on earth to post on social media. In the meantime we're comparing ourselves to other businesses and brands who are nailing it online and posting live videos about how their crushing their business goals, which makes us feel even more like we're failing.

That’s when you need a stock of go-to-happy-sounding posts that will go out and do the work for you whilst you carry on with the humdrum of every day.

There's also huge value in planning your content in advance so that you know you have a stock of decent photos, key messages and your regular calls to action going out even when you're not in the mood to post something original.

If you've hit a brick wall when it comes to your content creation, strategy and scheduling for social media, I can help.  It might be advice or someone to listen and chew over the problem with you to get a strategy sorted, or you may need more practical help with creating a good block of content that can go out while you concentrate on other things that don't involve brick walls.

Simple Ways to Increase Quality Followers on Twitter




Right from the off with Zebra, I was posting about the perils of fake followers and I've talked about it for 3 years relentlessly.

Even during the very early start-up phase of business I was already being asked by more than 1 client (no naming and shaming here) to remove their followers who are not genuine.  Groan – me thinking why did you DO THAT in the first place?

Purchasing “fake followers” and “phoney likes”.  Because these companies have painfully worked out that despite it being extremely cheap to buy thousands of followers, you get zero return on your ‘investment’.  Spammy accounts can even make your business look bad too which is the opposite of what you’re trying to achieve.  Oh and did I mention you can get your social media account closed down for this?  Just ask Paul Hollywood.

Whilst it might be tempting to grow your follower list by buying in the thousands at a time, stop and think.  Followers for the sake of followers doesn’t bring in money and CANNOT achieve your business objectives.  Today I’m sharing some realistic thoughts on how to increase ‘quality’ followers.

How to Increase Quality Followers:

1.       Set your goals for who you want to follow you and why.  Do you want more exposure, or to connect with people who can provide you with information, or do you want to connect with like-minded people in your field? Or do you simply want to reach out to more potential customers i.e. the ultimate business goal of profit?  Do some research on the types of profiles that exist.  Write it down.  Be clear.

2.       Make sure your Twitter profile stacks up with what your business does. A good quality profile picture and banner are essential.  They must be consistent with your other graphics across your website and other social media platforms.  Your bio needs to quickly and simply convey what you do and / or what you stand for.

3.       Go to the accounts of the people or companies you want to connect with and check out who they are following. You can quickly build up your follower list with the right people by connecting with these active accounts

4.       Create lists – this way you organise the accounts you follow which will later help you target the right people / companies.  Also, people tend to be flattered when you add them to your list – and they may be more inclined to follow you back (as long as your profile stacks up)

5.       Add links to your website – people are looking on Twitter for information – always - so by giving them something else to click on you are giving your audience what they want

6.       Write articles and post items that are interesting, error free and inspiring – many folks are looking for information for learning or simply to retweet

7.       Polite and appropriate engagement with your followers and those whom you follow (thanking new followers, thanking those who share your articles)

8.       Got an interesting article or news topic or burning question that you’d love to share? Good! Twitter is the place. Make sure to mention someone appropriate in your tweet which goes a long way to building the all-important engagement and interaction

You’ll want to increase the flow of money coming into your organisation, make valuable connections with the right influencers, forge long term partnerships and build a solid, credible reputation.
Fake followers are not paying customers.  Better to have a small following of people who will follow you back, read your posts, read your blogs, get to know you and ultimately, buy something from you or recommend your company and its services to someone else.