2016 will beat our previous blogging and tweeting records! Reply

blog-hits-2016-nov

We have already beaten last year and we still have 2 months to go!

So why do people read our blog?

  1. Useful Content – We learned a long time ago that if you want followers and readers you have to write about things that will interest as wider audience as possible. My blog is about Accounting and Tax, which you might think is boring but it does affect everyone, we all pay tax! and there is plenty to blog about.
  2. Accurate Content – Its important to get the content right but even if you do make a mistake you can bet your life someone will tell you. Fortunately most readers are very helpful and will also contribute suggestions.
  3. Regular Posts – you have to post regularly, we post 2 or 3 times a week, we prepare them in advance and schedule them
  4. Variety – we try cover a wide variety of topics and our audience appreciate it, we even get special requests
  5. Pictures – Blogs without pictures, charts and graphics are boring
  6. Share – Post your blogs every where on Social Media and encourage others to do the same
  7. Pick a good title – The title will be found by search engines so try to think about what someone might search for
  8. Video – You Tube has plenty and most people would love you to link to their video as it will increase their hits as well as yours
  9. Infographics – we love infographics and we try to create my own when we have time
  10. Keep it simple – Lets face it Tax is complicated, so we try not to make the blogs too complicated otherwise we will lose followers

According to Hashtagify we are now the 2nd and the 5th most influential tweeter on Self Assessment

self-ass-nov-16

steve@bicknells.net

http://www.stevejbicknell.com

Photos can be bad for Business! 1

Woman with cocktail in the beach bar during tropical vacation

Do you think photos are important? would you use a photo like this on Linked In?

What does your head shot say about you? Using a photo taken at a wedding or on holiday with a glass of wine in your hand, or one taken 20 years ago, maybe sending out the wrong message and costing you thousands in lost opportunties.

How you present yourself matters, with social media you are your own brand.

For example lets say you are an accountant.

  • Accountants love Blue, 66% of accountants will choose blue and 55% of the top accounting practices use Blue in logos
  • Accountants need to seen as experts
  • They are reliable, organised, trustworthy and accurate

So would you choose this accountant? is being funny a skill you want in an accountant?

Or this accountant? Much more professional possibly a little too serious?

Your image really matters in battle to win clients!

Here are some tips for headshots from Louise Jolley..

Having your photograph taken against a white or grey background, gives a nice clean image but how about in your work environment, telling the story about what you do? Make sure that the photograph is a high resolution (300 dpi), which will be suitable for print as well as web and if it shows your whole body, make sure that is looks great as a head and shoulders crop too.

If your business is selling products on the web, taking them yourself is not advisable. You might think you are saving money but a properly lit shot is worth it’s weight in gold. If you were opening a physical shop, then you would want the best fixtures and fittings, to show off your products, using stock photos and camera phones snaps looks cheap and doesn’t encourage prospective customers to part with their hard earned cash.

Using stock photos on your website, doesn’t tell the story of your business and makes it too generic. Having bespoke images of your business and photographs of you and your team at work, makes it more personable and people buy from people that they can relate to.

Louise takes some fantastic photos take a look at this one (more at http://www.louisejolleyphotography.com/   info@louisejolleyphotography.com)

LJ Photo 1

Good photography will make a huge difference to your business.

Don’t let bad photography cost you opportunities!

steve@bicknells.net

10 ways to maximise sales revenue 2

Value

Before you can sell you need to master the sales process, the following is a link to a 9 step process to help improve your sales process – WikiHow

Or you might prefer the 1941 Chevrolet approach

Once you are selling, how can you maximise your sales revenue…….

  1. Understand your clients needs and wants, sell products that they want, or make them want what you have to sell
  2. Keep your promises and earn your clients trust
  3. Look for opportunities to sell additional services and products
  4. Offer good value and service
  5. Get testimonials, recommendations and referrals
  6. Use your contacts and social media and tell them your success stories
  7. Credit Check your clients, a clients isn’t a client if they don’t pay and you aren’t running a charity
  8. Bad Debt Insurance could help reduce your risk but its not appropriate for all businesses
  9. Set up a customer rewards program and offer incentives
  10. Follow up leads within 24 hours

steve@bicknells.net

Crowdfunding – How Social Media is helping businesses to get funding 2

I read with interest in the August edition of Accountancy Magazine (article by Guy Rigby) how Crowdfunding is gaining popularity, here are some examples:

  • In 1997 British rock group, Marillion, raised £38,000 from its fans to pay for its US tour. They then went on to use the same method to fund several albums
  • In 2010 Hotel Chocolat offered 3 year, FSA approved ‘chocolate bonds’ to its 100,000 tasting club members. Customers were invited to invest £2,000 for a gross annual return of 6.72%, or £4,000 for a return of 7.29% which were paid in regular deliveries of chocolate. The Bonds raised an incredible £3.7m for the company.
  • In 2011 Caxtonfx (foreign exchange) raised £4m from its bond issue
  • In 2012 Mr & Mrs Smith (travel website) are in the process of raising £4m from a 4 year bond with cash interest of 7.5%, or 9.5% if the ‘Smith loyalty money’ option is taken
  • In 2012 Pebble Technology, a Palo Alto based smart watch company used Kickstarter.com to raise $10m against forward sales of its Pebble watch

According to the article, quoting Simon Dixon, to be successful in crowdfunding there is a simple formula £££ = R + SC + E

Where the money raised depend on the strength of the rewards your offer (R), how much social capital you have (SC) and the emotion attached to your story (E)

Its early days, but could this be the future for some businesses, using their fans and contacts to access funding. Social Media and the internet are definitely playing a part in moving this forward.

steve@bicknells.net