“A year ago I had been in business as a copywriter for a couple of months and had just bought MySMB. I’d been using social media for years but it was Nigel’s MySMB training that brought the first of many of my light bulb moments where I realised that social media could be a business – my business! Then I joined the EC and studied all the content that EC delivered to me and began what seems to have been a huge learning curve on how to market my business effectively and grow it to where I want to be!
We were featured on ITV1…
“Nige talks a lot about stories and so when I got married I saw an opportunity to create a social media story by live tweeting the whole day and sharing the tweets with all our guests on a large screen. News of what we were doing piqued a lot of interest and we were featured on ITV1 Daybreak programme on the morning of the wedding after I told the show’s producer on Twitter the night before.
“We received hundreds of messages including some from celebrities such as Duncan Bannatyne and Al Murray and made front page of Surrey Mirror Midweek!
“I was one of six people chosen by Theo Paphitis as his favourite small business in his weekly Twitter competition – Small Business Sunday (#SBS) which was brilliant as it gave me another Twitter story and some more social media credibility too. I had won SBS based on the way I use Twitter after all!
“Since I the age of 12 I have had rheumatoid arthritis which affects most joints in my body and has got progressively worse since my twenties. It limits my mobility and means I have to wake up a minimum of 2 hours before going out so the painkillers have time to take effect – hence a 3.50am alarm each week to get to BNI at 6am! I also have retinitis pigmentosa which affects my eyesight and my hearing and means I’m disqualified from driving (I like telling people I’m a disqualified driver without quantifying the reasons why – never fails to get a reaction! LOL) and two years ago I discovered I have Aspergers Syndrome too.
I had a ‘light bulb’ moment…
“All of these impact my day to day life and to be honest, there are enough reasons why I can’t or shouldn’t do anything with my life beyond being a ‘sicknote’. But very rarely do I even talk about what’s wrong and it certainly doesn’t mean the world owes me any favours either. I can’t control what life has dealt me but I can control how I deal with it all and the one thing I’ve always had is determination. If I want to achieve anything in life it’s down to me to make it happen or at least to create the opportunities.
“I had another ‘light bulb moment’ when I realised that having Aspergers means I notice the minor details that others often overlook and I started realising that I interpreted the interactions on social media differently to other people. This led me to my new training offering which teaches business owners how by understanding how people think on social media; they are able to use this information to find their targeted prospects and make more sales. It’s a process I’ve unconsciously been practising with my clients and it is pretty powerful stuff!
“ I run a FB page for the Reigate area where business and charities can post what they are up to and I share their post with others who have liked the page – it’s free promotion for the businesses and helps them get more exposure. Longer term, once it has legs I plan to offer sponsorship opportunities for local business owners to be the ‘Face of Reigate Local’ for a month. For now it is all about goodwill and building networks.
Three local newspapers turned up…
“I am one of the organisers of local Tweetups – in October I organised it alone, in a pub which had recently joined Twitter and 40 people turned up including journalists from three local newspapers/magazines who asked me if they could come along.
People will buy premium…
“I started building a mailing list in the summer and send regular email newsletters. I sold over half the stands to members of my mailing list! I offered two packages for exhibitors – gold and silver. The difference between the two was that the silver stand was two thirds the size of the gold – the difference in cost was the same – 33%. 75% of the stands sold were gold packages – as Nigel says, offer premium and people will buy premium.The email newsletter went out on Sunday afternoon with two time-limited bonuses very visual in the copy – first nine gold packages booked would be featured on the reverse of the promotional flyers and also exhibitors will be able to choose their stands based on the order of bookings – first come first served! By Sunday evening three people had bought and paid. The ninth gold stand was sold at 11am on Monday and I had to close to new bookings at 4pm on Wednesday after selling 28 stands! I have a long waiting list now and am in the process of talking to the venue about whether we can take more space to fit them all in!
You can’t do everything yourself…
“Another big lesson I got from EC is that I implemented is that if you want to be super successful you can’t do everything yourself. I have a call answering service who answers all my calls so I can schedule call backs when it suits me. Other events are co-ordinated by my virtual assistant – a free VoIP number means that calls about the events go to her and I receive a spreadsheet every day summarising what she has done for the event that day.
“On the topic of growing the business, I manage social media for ten clients right now and run training sessions at least weekly for others. I work with another person to whom I outsource some of the management work to so they get more clients and I get more time – so we can take on even more clients while still delivering a high standard of expertise. I oversee the work and prepare the campaign strategy so I’m still massively involved with every client we work with – but the outsourcer takes care of the physical posts to my standards.
A dream come true…
“I recently achieved a dream I’ve held for as long as I can remember – I’ve become a newspaper columnist – in Surrey Mirror! I pitched for it and because the editor was aware of whom I am and had heard of my skills, she accepted me as their monthly social media columnist – each column includes a paragraph on who I am and what my business offers – with a link to my website! It’s a free gig and a couple of people have poured scorn on me working for free. However, I see the value in the promotion because it is like a monthly advert for my business which would cost me £££s. It takes me half an hour maximum to write it too, so no effort but it increases my profile. The way I see it is that one can criticise or one can do; which is more effective?
“I’m being asked to speak at events now and I went along to a Mastermind group of trainers and coaches to talk to them for 90 minutes about social media. The client was so impressed with my knowledge that he has asked me to get involved with managing the social media for some of his projects now, too.
The three best kept secrets…
“I now receive loads of new enquiries every week and have delivered training all over the UK, Australia and New Zealand via Skype.
“I launched an eBook sharing some of the secrets of generating more business from Twitter. It’s a free download to build my mailing list further and the copy secrets webinar was the inspiration for the power title I chose for the book “Unlock The 3 Best Kept Secrets and Skyrocket Your Sales From Twitter”. I was told the headline is “too Nigel Botterill” by someone so I figured I got it right! Another EC tip – I had the eBook cover designed on Fiverr.com and had the formatting done on Fiverr.com too! Total cost = £6.60!
“My car is branded and I never go out anywhere for work without wearing one of my branded t shirts either – being incognito is a waste of promotion time.”