Why You Should Attend Networking Events

The next article in our series of blog posts looking into the best marketing practices for small businesses is attending networking events.

Networking events are special events which are held with the intention of letting business owners meet other business owners and to encourage dialogue and the formation of new working partnerships between these people. These events can be great for small businesses with low budgets to form new partnerships and relationships.

The ability to successfully network is a crucial skill for any business owner, it is one of the main methods of gaining and meeting contacts and clients. Some of the advantages of networking are as follows:

  • Raising Your Profile

The ability to raise your profile and become more visible is a great benefit of networking events. Especially for small businesses who may have less disposable income available to spend on large scale marketing activities. Regularly attending and being active at networking events ca really help to raise the profile of your brand as you will be top of mind within a particular industry. If you get your brand and message regularly in front of the right people then it can help to raise awareness and visibility of your brand which can help to increase leads and referrals.

  • It’s About Who You Know

Another benefit of networking events harks back to the age old saying ‘it’s not what you know, its who you know’. If you want to have a really successful business, then you must have a solid foundation of relevant business contacts which you can call upon to help your business thrive. Attending networking events provides a great opportunity to connect and form strong relationships with people that you could potentially help you in your business ventures. These people that you have relationships will also have lists of contacts themselves who they can put you in contact with. These will often be people that you would not have had the chance to connect with otherwise.

  • To Stay on Trend

Attending networking events that are hosted or attended by multiple people who are in the same industry as you are or people who fit into your target market is a great way to get to know the current trends that are affecting the industry or the target market. The valuable information that you can gain at these events can give you a considerable advantage over your competition.

  • Recruitment

If you are looking for new employees, then business networking events can be a great place to search the marketplace. Often these networking events will be held exclusively for one industry and so there is a high chance that relevant potential employee will be in attendance. You will be able to strike up conversations with these people and make clear your need and understand their needs. There is a good chance that you may find the person you were looking for, if you don’t then you have gained one more business contact.

If you are looking to find a networking event that may be relevant for your business then this page is a great place to start.

 

 

Why YOU should be sending company newsletters

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Talk to people!

Quite simply, it’s all about communication!  A newsletter, like talking or emailing, is a simple way to stay in touch with your customers. It is all about building relationships with people.

As Seth Godin says in Buy Permission Marketing – it’s about “turning strangers into friends and friends into customers”.  A newsletter is a great way for companies to build relationships and begin to turn strangers into friends.

In this super-technical age newsletters might be seen as old-school! And whether it is printed and sent via post (how intriguing!), whether it is digitised and added to your website for people to download or whether it is  sent as a emailer, please don’t underestimate the power of a simple well-written news item.

There are many benefits to using newsletters. Its an opportunity to remind your customers that you are still there! It’s a non-salesy way of  offering a round-up of news and new products and services.  In an ideal world, they will see the news item on your product or service and head to your website to investigate.

Topics which can be included in your newsletter include:

  • Testimonials
  • New Products and Services added
  • Sales & special offers
  • Your updated Portfolio

Writing your newsletter

Firstly think about what you want to say (see the Topics above). Remember:  You’re busy, other people are busy, so get to the point and don’t waffle too much! You make you may feel you have no skills at writing, but there are ways to make it interesting.

  • Include a photograph
  • Keep sentences short
  • If you need to give more explanation don’t feel you have to write it all in the newsletter. Simply point people to your website where you can put up a longer article or snippet, or highlight your product so that people can have more information quickly.

How your newsletter should look

I’ve missed out the bit about the layout and design of your newsletter! This is because it largely depends on whether you get it printed or send out an emailer.  With Microsoft Publisher, you can follow the pre-set templates which give pleasing layouts. If you need help or advice in designing  and printing a newsletter, then feel free to get in touch, we can give you a price for the design, print and delivery of any printed publications you might need.

Your news as an Emailer

There are various methods of distributing a company newsletter. Nowadays, the most popular, and probably one of the cheapest, is through the use of email. You may decide to create a mailing list and then simply email each person the newsletter. However there are many online platforms which can help with the email process and will help you come across as far more professional. One of the most popular platforms is MailChimp. MailChimp lets you create templates for various emails, send them in bulk and track responses and views and this is currently FREE for up to 2000 email addresses.

Another popular platform is GetResponse, which currently has a free 30 day trial. This platform is similar to MailChimp and allows you to create audience segments to manage lists, it also lets you personalise each email rather than sending everyone a general email. There are many other emailing platforms and this article, even though it is from 2010, provides a really useful breakdown of each.

Beware about emailing your newsletter to people who have not opted in. There are rules in place for this and you must give recipients the option to opt out of receiving them which is why using an online solution makes sure you remain within the email marketing guidelines.

You may, however, choose to embed your newsletter on your website rather than emailing it out, this has the benefit that it is visible to everybody and not just people who have subscribed to receive it. It also has an advantage over emails in that some newsletters may get filtered into the spam folders of recipients so they will not see it, this cannot happen with this method. 

The Riverside Foods Company is a great example of a company who effectively use newsletters to engage and inform its audience. Riverside Foods includes a lot of the usual things you would find in a company newsletter such as product announcements, offers and company updates. It also goes further by adding things such as weekly recipe ideas using ingredients stocked by the company. This is a great example of an effective weekly newsletter offering added value to its customer base. 

You can sign up HERE (and type ‘newsletter’ into the contact box) to hear about all the latest news and goings on from the We Build Websites HQ.

The reason We Build Websites ever got off the ground

What do you mean?
Hidden extras on website build

As autumn begins to loom on the horizon and as today is the 2nd of the month, this seems a sensible time to update you on our news. You might notice that We Build Websites has had a modest facelift. This was brought about in part by the theory that ‘in marketing there isn’t just one solution’.  The good practice, that you propose a strategy, test a theory, analyse results and then tweak the strategy is a good habit to get into.  Let me explain:

The idea behind We Build Websites came from receiving many requests for advice. People would ask me for my opinion regarding their website and how it should look, and was there a way of having an online presence that would keep it in their budget? The truth is, yes, there are many affordable ways of having an online presence. If you are tech savvy – even vaguely so – you can probably pick one of the self-build options online and get started with your online website.

The result of these conversations sparked the formation of the company We Build Websites Ltd. What I wanted to avoid was all the ‘extras’ that keep getting added to the, so-called, ‘free’ website builders. You can have one page, but you get charged extra for new pages; a contact form; a gallery page and there is an additional charge if you don’t want advertising on your site or if you want your website on your own domain.

And the idea? To offer websites, professionally designed for you (rather than a DIY template) with a super easy editing function. Thus, all the technophobes and the busy people (who don’t have time to mess about) have an accessible website platform that can be updated easily and simply for a small monthly fee. The hard work is taken out of the process. You tell us what you’d like to end up with and we do the hard work. A website is designed, put online for you to add photographs and words.

We Build Websites Ltd, doesn’t only offer the simple starter-website package. In fact, most of the projects we undertake are bespoke websites. These sites have a more complicated Content Management System. This enables our customer to be in control of things like the management of a customer database or sales-lead tracker, Event booking, online shops (eCommerce) and Bookkeeping systems.

But for now, our entry-level websites offer an honest well-priced website solution. It looks good on a mobile device as well as a desktop screen and there is help when you need it for all you people who haven’t got the time to do-it-yourself. And we offer a money-back guarantee on our websites.

If any of you reading this are interested in the #smallbusinesswebsites offering you can find more information Introductory Offer.  If you are seeking a more advanced option then get in touch with me, we’ve created a variety of bespoke solutions for our clients. You’ll find that not much is beyond us!