Elene Marsden rocked it at our Marks Tey Hotel event in Colchester this January with 50+ business women left wanting more. And 2 lucky business women will be featuring in Elene’s YouTube TV Show very soon. Well done Melanie Winning and Sandra Sparrowhawk! Sandra will be presenting a 10 minute how to use scarves to make a statement and Melanie (award winninng Make Up Artist) will be sharing how to create the Audrey Hepburn look!
(Well done ladies and we look forward to seeing more!)
Elene loves the BWN so much, that Elene has signed up to be a member too! Here Elene shares how to create a successful YouTube Channel, thank you Elene!
With over 1 billion users on YouTube and viewers spending on average 40 minutes a day watching videos, isn’t it time you looked at using YouTube in your business?
What are the benefits?
Once you decide to use YouTube you’ll need to create your own channel. Follow this link to set things up https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/1646861?hl=en-GB
It’s also important to set goals, e.g. how many subscribers do you want, by when?
Follow these steps once you’ve created your YouTube channel
Creating the channel art can be tricky, here’s a link to create a template using the correct dimensions
Now it’s time to OPTIMISE YOUR CHANNEL
Divide your own content into playlists and also create playlists using videos that you’ve curated from other channels that complement your own content.
Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to our Preloved Chica Channel where you’ll see these recommendations being put into practice
“Share our Passion for Fashion.”
As scary as it may feel having your competitors in the same room as you is not bad for business. It can actually seriously improve your business success.
It’s all very well to walk into a networking event and be the only person in the room that does what you do, however real life is not like that. And we don’t want to sugar coat business, we want to help you make it really work.
And to do that, you need to be able to effectively deal with the competition.
(We also think its important that you know that we care about ALL women in business and as such although we are known as a very proactive environment to gain new business we are also about business growth and don’t want to exclude someone from the opportunity to hear one of our master class speakers just because they were not first through the door with a fat membership fee – hence the no membership ever policy!)
So how can you effectively deal with completion?
Firstly as much as Tescos or Sainsburys would love to be the only supermarket in your town they are not. And the profits rise and fall as they respect and care for their customers, suppliers and staff. (Worth noting right?)
Years ago when I lived in a one street of shops town , there was one clothes shop for ladies, Dorothy Perkins. When we heard that they were building a row of shops opposite this and one of them would be New Look, the local Chamber Commerce said it would doom the town centre.
How could a town support 2 ladies fashion stores?
The fact is it had the opposite effect. Instead of people leaving our tiny town to shop elsewhere, suddenly there was choice. It didn’t damage the town, it enhanced it and caused more shops to be built. The town, grew. (Something else worth noting right?)
Lots of business women make the mistake of assuming that because there is competition in the room, they will lose out on business opportunities, on the contrary its your chance to shine. To showcase why you.
What do you give your customers that no one else can or does?
How do you make your clients feel truly loved?
Knowing this and getting it across in your marketing strategy is imperative. And when networking the same language, words, and attitude should shine through everything you say too. Remember people buy from people, not businesses, so in the words of your happiest favourite customers why you?
How do you fix peoples woes, worries, stresses and problems?
Power up your success rate by talking about real time solutions, happy customers and top tips for a happier life and/or business.
When it comes to Value Added Marketing the end goal is not just a sale. How do you make people feel special? Do you keep in touch effectively so that they naturally only want to work with you?
The lovely Di Gilbranch (The Doggy Dinner Lady from Trophy Pet Food Colchester) makes a point of getting in touch by text (because she knows that’s easy for me) and checks up on our dog food supply. I don’t ever have to place an order. Di does the leg work and even delivers to my door. Now that is service that I am happy to pay for and I recommend. So a national store could have my custom, but you can guess who gets it!
Tell me are Mick Jagger & Madonna the best singers in the world?
Sorry Madge but there are better, however Mick and Madge are still making records (and money) because they keep up to date and in touch with their target audience. The biggest brands in the world don’t just advertise to get your business, they advertise to keep it.
If you want to deal with the competition, you accept they exist, raise your game and keep visual. And that’s not just turning up at an event. How do you keep on peoples radar between events?
Is it consistent?
Do you go on about your products and services or are you useful, relevant and interesting?
The hardest thing to deal with, when you see competition in the same room is that overwhelming thing that us women are so good at, and that is to convince yourself that they are better than you, and everyone will love them more. It’s just not true. Be really confident about your price, products and services and remember that people have already chosen you. Why shouldn’t they again? (Unless your competition is offering free Ferraris with every purchase!)
I accept that I’m not the right business coach for everyone. As I like to say there are over 66 million people in the UK and I’m not coaching all of them. Horses for courses right? So accept you are the perfect horse for the perfect client.
Meeting compeititon is also good for you in the sense that it makes you raise your game. Are you doing all you could for your clients? Do you use the latest marketing technques to ensure client retention? Do you know the state of the art technologies for your industry? By meeting my competition I get to hear what other people are doing. What they are learning about. What new techniques they’ve tried. How they deal with their business problems. I don’t see competition as a problem I see competition as an opportunity. To learn and share.
If competition was so bad for business, why does every professional body have a yearly conference? Makes you think right?
If you are really confident in the person you are, the company you own and the abilities you and you company have to be just perfect for your customers, then you could really freak the competition out and work with them. What about a joint event or venture? Some of the best opportunities and most fun I’ve had in business is when I’ve worked with someone who is considered as direct competition. I get to have a great time, learn and share. And support even more people to success. So could you go so far as to work with your competition?
Could your competition lead to new opportunities? When you have too much work on (what a lovely problem to have!) could you pass on work and take a % cut? Could you work with someone prepared to be white labelled to your company because they had to do no work to gain that client?
I get it, I understand that scary “gosh did my heart just stop moment” when you meet someone networking who does what you do. However instead of hiding your head in the sand pretending you are the only person in your county that does what you do your competition is your chance to really shine.
Get known as the thought leader.
And really get known for all the right reasons.
If there are a hundred suited business men and women in the room it is not by accident that I will wear a bright colour. I’m prepared to stand out and accept horses for courses, and boy does the competition teach me so much. Especially how to prove to customers old, new and potential that I’ m right for them and more than anyone else on the planet I genuinely care about their success.
So don’t hide from the competition, accept they exist and use The BWN events to showcase that you are ready for anything. Because let’s be honest in business you need to be.
My name is Mandie Holgate and I’m the founder of The BWN. I always want to do my very best for women in business, so if you think I’ve lost the plot by inviting the competition to events, and not having block outs, I’m very happy to hear your viewpoint (negative or positive) And of course support you to effectively deal with the competition too. See you at a BWN soon!
Meet Michelle Taylor, Essex Marks Tey Hotel member. Michelle has changed careers and you could never guess her career choice! And we do hope Michelle gets her big wish. You can meet Michelle at our Essex events, and get to know her now and hear her big ambitions! WHAT MADE YOU SET UP YOUR BUSINESS? My husband Kev, is a retired Essex Police Sgt and when he first retired he was thumb twiddling for some time, not knowing what to do with himself…He all but fell into Wedding Photography 7 years ago and is now making great inroads into the business locally. Not wanting to be in the same position when I retired from the police, I started to think about what I wanted to do post retirement, it was still over 5 years away at the time, but I knew I did not want to be one of those retired officers that took up a Civvy post just to stay employed or focused. Kev suggested I picked up a camera and followed in his footsteps, I could not think of anything worse….Just like my cake decorating skills , I could picture in my minds eye a fantastic finished product, but lacked the skills to create said product from scratch…..I said ‘Id rather marry people’……So began my research. I had heard of Humanists, but I believe in something rather than nothing so ruled them out of my equation…I stumbled by chance across the Fellowship of Professional Celebrants a small but upcoming organization, the cost of training was reasonable, so I took the plunge. I completed my Wedding and Family Celebrancy training in July 2011 and have not looked back since. I love spreading the love and joy that abounds at any family celebration and I was finally able to put my skills and creativity to good use, I can write a good story and what better story to tell of how two people met, fell in love and decided to get married. As well as Weddings I also write and conduct, Naming Ceremonies, Vow Renewals, Commitment Ceremonies and have (on one occasion only, I hasten to add) conducted a Doggy Wedding as a publicity stunt for the dogs owners. WHAT WAS THE REASON THAT YOU DECIDED TO BE A MEMBER OF THE BWN? In a word…… NETWORKING!!! I know someone who had attended a couple of meetings at the beginning of 2015 and she told me that the BWN was a great way to get myself ‘out there’ …Meet likeminded business women and to pick up some tips and contacts along the way. WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR YOUR BUSINESS? GROWTH & MORE GROWTH! I retired from the day job in October 2015 after a very hectic year, all of my spare time that year had been spent writing and conducting ceremonies. I always knew 2015 was going to be a tough year, two jobs and NO spare time, but it has been worth it. In my 1st 12 months I conducted just one ceremony, last year I did 16, this year I already have 20 booked in! I don’t want to be flat out like I was last year, I want to grow but at my pace, allowing me more time for family and friends, socializing etc, something that is very hard as a shift worker. I think I will find my work/ life balance…Finally…. As a self employed and very fulfilled Wedding Celebrant. I want to spread the word about Celebrants, not many have heard of us, I want the whole of Essex and beyond to learn that there is more to a good wedding than just the party after the ceremony. The ceremony itself should reflect each couple, their unique quirks and should be fun and laughter filled, not JUST a formality so we can say ‘We’re married’. I have had some cracking venues over the past few years, with more to come this year. I have worked and will be working with some awesome couples and families, and there is nothing the puts a cheesy grin on my face like saying at the end of a wedding ceremony, ‘Ladies and Gentlemen please make some noise and be upstanding as I introduce to you Mr and Mrs………’ WHAT WOULD BE GOOD FOR YOU TO KNOW? ‘HOW, WHY, WHAT, WHEN, WHO’ We all need a helping hand to get our businesses seen and I want to learn it all….OK that may be a bit unrealistic, but each meeting is about learning
HOW to expand your business WHY you should do certain things to make your business grow WHAT you need to know to make a success of your business WHEN is the best time to do it……NOW !! WHO’S going to do it….ME!!
I’m always on the lookout for couples who want to step outside of the ‘normal’ box . I want venues to realise the worth of a Celebrant and I want to know how best to promote myself in this expanding industry… I want to be a cut above the rest and being a member of the BWN helps me to achieve all of the above. I’m up for any challenge, and the one I’ve set for this year? …Well, that’s to find a couple as mad as me who really, really want a Harry Potter themed ceremony… I have the wand, the cape and even some props…..I just need the couple now.
The BWN is a brand of excellence as far as I am concerned, and being a member shows to the outside world that I am wanting to expand my horizons, mix with some awesome women and LEARN.
Wow! Thanks Michelle, we are so pleased to hear of the benefits you get from our events and we hope you get your dream wedding!
We like to know our members really well. And we like you all to know our memberes too. Today meet Genevieve McAllister from Crocus Connect. Who tells us why she became a member of the BWN and what her business is all about. You can meet Genevieve at our Essex events.
What made you set up your business?
Running my own business had always been at the back of my mind even whilst I was building my career first in the City and then in Corporate Communications. As my children were growing up I had progressed from working part-time to almost full-time, but I was constantly juggling childcare and trying to put the hours in at work – and feeling guilty a lot of the time. I remember going for a walk with my dog through the fields a couple of years ago and having an intense moment of clarity where I realised things needed to change. And very soon after I’d thought this, an opportunity came up at work which meant I could leave and start realising my dream.
How many years have you been in business?
I’ve been self employed for about 18 months, but it was only last summer that I decided to focus more on becoming a VA (virtual assistant). It made sense to me because the people I was meeting through networking were mainly owners of small businesses who don’t necessarily want to employ other people directly, but sometimes need to outsource office support or marketing.
What do you love most about running your own business?
I like the feeling that I’m the one who makes the decisions and can focus on whatever is most productive for me at any given moment. I don’t have to wait around on other people telling me what I can and can’t do. And the feeling I get when someone wants to hire me to do some work is brilliant!
What do you hate most about running your own business?
My tax return, definitely. I’ve been grappling with HMRC only today.
What benefits do you get from networking?
I’ve picked up work from networking and it’s a great way to get yourself in front of people and find out which of their work problems you can help solve. Also, as I spend a lot of time on my own working at home, it’s good to meet people and talk through day to day issues the way I would if I worked in a more conventional office with lots of colleagues.
What would you say your greatest skill is? (Be honest you have lots!)
I recently read a blog which resonated with me and it was asking people to identify what is their ‘thing’. It’s usually something that comes to you so naturally you barely even realise you can do it. After a bit of thought (and asking my husband, my mum, my friends…) I realised that my ‘thing’ is proofreading – I can look at a page of text and immediately pick up the typo. It shouldn’t have been news to me – after all, I’d been project managing communications and publications for several years so it was always part of my job, but like I said, often your ‘thing’ is something you find easy and don’t believe it’s a skill.
What was the reason that you decided to be a member at The BWN?
I’d heard good things about the BWN (and Mandie!) from others and decided to come along and try it for myself. I’m just finding that the women who do attend are really supportive and interested in what everybody else is doing. I always come away fired up with enthusiasm and that’s a great motivator once a month.
What do you see the future holding for your business?
I see the VA side of my business growing this year as I continue to focus my networking activity around that. There’s a direct correlation between the work I put in and how my business grows, so it’s important to keep up the momentum.
Longer term, I’d like to develop a balance between my VA work and my copywriting and proofreading. And if I can throw a little voiceover work into the mix too, that would tick all my boxes nicely!
Who would it be good to for you to know?
I’d like to meet people who run small to medium-sized businesses who need extra support but don’t want the formality of hiring extra people. Because I’m quite patient and organised I’m a good foil for whirlwind creative types – and I like working with them too.
I’d also like to meet someone who would get satisfaction from acting as a mentor. I think that having someone to act as a sounding board is invaluable and of course, it’s a two-way relationship.
Thank you Genieveve for sharing your business growth plans for 2016, who you would like to know and how you can help us. If you would like to answer these questions and get your business talked about on our blog, learn more about being a member here. It costs less than the early bird ticket!