Jun 04

In A Minute Ep 2 – Video Marketing

By Kevin Anderson | In A Minute

Transcript

Welcome to In A Minute with Square Tree Marketing. Episode 2 – Video Marketing

I watch more online video than ever before.  And I’m not alone 78% of people watch videos every week, while 55% watch online videos every day. If I’m looking to learn something new, I’d much rather watch a video that shows, rather than text that simply tells. Creating videos for your own business used to require a serious budget. But not anymore. Video can now be produced at a fraction of the cost and you can do it yourself. Don’t get hung up on the quality of the video, focus on the content – that’s what you’ll be judged on. Need a more professional video? There are some wonderful videographers that don’t charge Hollywood budgets. Whatever you do, don’t discount the impact video marketing can have on your business.

There are some very handy video marketing infographics available on my Pinterest page.

Jun 02

In A Minute Ep1 – Content Marketing

By Kevin Anderson | In A Minute

Transcript

Welcome to ‘In A Minute’ with Square Tree Marketing. Episode 1 – Content Marketing.

Content Marketing is about giving away free and valuable content. Content that helps tell your story and make connections with your current and future clients. It’s about making sure that when you’re found, you’ve got content that you can be proud of. It might be a blog post or an article that helps people learn a new skill. It could be a short testimonial or a case study, that demonstrates why you’re trusted experts in your field. Or it could even be a short video to tell a story or teach a new concept. Each piece of content you create will be an asset for your business. An asset that builds relationships, trust and of course, over time – revenue.

Jun 01

The Merry Merry Month of May

By Kevin Anderson | Square Tree News

The office door was littered with Post-It notes. A colourful reminder of how far the business had come in a relatively short time. It was a simple way of managing my week, a week which would see me working on projects for five different clients. Yes it was a logisitcal challenge, yes I had tight deadlines to meet and yes at times it was a bit overwhelming. But what a buzz. What a feeling.

Merry Month May

May, our best month yet.

It was the week where it all came together. Each project was different but all were equally enjoyable. It’s only now, a few weeks later, that I understand why that week was so crticial for me and for my family.

Before starting the business, and while employed, I talked about success being measured by my ability to answer ‘yes’ to two key questions. They were –

  1. Am I adding value?
  2. Am I valued?

And the truth was, I couldn’t answer yes to either of them. It’s not to say that I didn’t work hard, I absolutely did, but I never felt that I really added the value that I could, because of the parameters of my role. And although I may have been valued by some, I was never made to feel that way.

Fast forward and now I can absolutely answer yes to both questions. How do I know I’m adding value? My clients tell me. How do I know I’m valued? My clients tell me. But more than that, I feel it. I feel what I do matters. I feel what I do is making a difference, and that it is quite a liberating experience.

Writing Image

I’m making the majority of my living as a writer.

As I reflect on the last couple of months, something else strikes me. I’m making the vast majority of my living through the act of writing. I’ve written marketing plans, social media campaigns, press releases, an awards submission, blog posts, web copy, scripts for videos and social media posts. It might not be a novel or a script for a movie that will be remembered long after I’m gone, but it’s content that has mattered to my clients and content that helped their business, and just as importantly, it’s content that I’ve really enjoyed writing.

I believe that content, like blog posts, case studies, social media posts and animated videos can make a massive difference to any business. They allow businesses, and the people that run them, to tell the stories that make them unique. Stories that make connections and that have the power to change the relationship between buyer and seller. They also have the power to surprise and entertain.

One client told me today that they had a conversation with one of their customers recently. They shared their origin story. Where they started, the struggles, the hard times, to the very successful business they are today. The customer responded by saying “I never knew that?”. That story will be one of the first pieces of content they write on the new blog section of their site. They have countless more tales to tell. Tales that they take for granted, but each one is an opportunity for them to make a connection.

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I see so many business owners investing time, effort and cold hard cash in driving people to their website. Sometimes when visitors arive at the site, the content is good, sometimes it’s awesome but mostly, it’s not. It’s bland, it’s weak and it certainly doesn’t make a connection. I should know. My own site looks fine, but the content is poor, because I’ve been so busy working on client projects and on trying to grow my own business that my website and in fact all my content has played 2nd fiddle to almist everything else. That ends now. Now is the time to create meaningful content. Content that small business owners can use. Content that makes people stop and think. And content that is valued, and adds value.

I’m creating topic lists and ideas that I’ll turn into blog posts and videos, but if anyone has any challenges they’re facing in their own business, related to sales, marketing or business development, I’ll happily tackle that as well.

Thanks again to everyone who has supported Square Tree Marketing so far. That includes my family and friends. And a special thanks to the following companies who have trusted Square Tree Marketing to help tackle their marketing challenges.

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PS – I’ve updated our Animated Video Marketing page with some examples of the work we’ve created in the merry month of May.

Mar 23

Square Tree partners with The Ad Shed

By Kevin Anderson | Square Tree News

I’m delighted to announce that Square Tree Marketing have today agreed a creative partnership with Perth based advertising & design agency, The Ad Shed Ltd. Over the last 10 years I’ve worked with Crawford Mollison (The Ad Shed Managing Director), on various projects. His approach to doing business is very similar to my own, which makes this a natural fit for both businesses. The Ad Shed will provide advertising, design, media buying and print buying services to Square Tree Marketing and our clients.

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Similarly The Ad Shed will now be able to offer their clients a broad range of marketing services including marketing planning, social media marketing, search engine marketing and content marketing.

The big winner will be our clients, as we now have the ability to package up complimentary services. This means one point of contact, one project manager, one invoice but critically, the knowledge and expertise of two advertising and marketing professionals with over 40 years combined experience. As a result many clients will now enjoy a one-stop shop marketing, advertising and design service.

The agreement is structured in such a way that neither business will mark-up the others prices – in other words you’ll get the same price if you come to me direct, or if you engage my services through Crawford at The Ad Shed. This was an important part of our discussions, as we want to be completely transparent with our clients and potential clients about how we do business.

Introducing Crawford Mollison, Managing Director, The Ad Shed Ltd.

Crawford has amassed over 25 years experience in advertising and design. During that time he’s worked for top advertising agencies both north and south of the border – including a 3 year spell with J Walter Thompson in London (part of WPP, the World’s largest advertising group) where he worked on Persil, Kellogg’s, Jaguar, Siemens, Boots and KitKat accounts to name but a few.  Having worked his way up to Creative Director level for Strathearn Advertising in Edinburgh in 2001, Crawford then launched The Ad Shed Ltd in 2003.

Cost-effective advertising, design, media buying and print buying are at the core of The Ad Shed’s philosophy and the majority of Ad Shed clients have been with Crawford for around 10 years. It just seems to work!

I’m delighted to be working with Kevin at Square Tree Marketing and see our partnership being hugely beneficial for any clients looking for honesty, experience and professionalism without the technical jargon and fluff. We’re both really looking forward to the months ahead.

(Crawford Mollison, The Ad Shed Managing Director)

 

Mar 18

Social versus Search a Local Perspective

By Kevin Anderson | Presentations

I recently created a very short survey to find out how local people found local service providers, such as plumbers and joiners. I was interested to see if people prefer to ‘Google It’ or if they use Facebook to get recommendations, because I personally am now more inclined to go to Facebook when I need any local service provider. Was I alone? Was it just me? The results were interesting and to me quite surprising.

(Thanks to everyone who took the time to fill in the survey.)
Feb 27

We Have Lift Off

By Kevin Anderson | Square Tree News

While I’ve officially been in business for a few months, the phrase that seems apt for this week is ‘We Have Lift Off’.

This week I’ve been working with my first two clients. The Water Babies franchise in Dundee and Aberdeen and Complete Cleaning Contracts, who are based in Edinburgh. The two clients couldn’t be more different. One teaches babies to swim, the other offers a range of commercial cleaning services. They have three things in common though.

1. The opportunities came from Facebook

That’s right 100% of my clients so far have found me as a result of my personal Facebook updates. At the time I was really just sharing with my friends the fact that I had left the world of the employed and was about to start the process of setting up my own business. That act created awareness.

2. Both businesses wanted Facebook marketing assistance

Ironically enough Suzie and Steve both wanted help in setting up their own Facebook Page. The motivation was the same – they want to attract leads, they want to convert them and they want to maintain healthy relationships with their client base. The customer base couldn’t be more different, yet the principle of social media marketing will work for both businesses.

Yes, the implementation will naturally vary, but many of the tactics and strategies of effective Facebook marketing can work just as well for both businesses.

3. They were both a joy to work with 

The entire project with Steve at Complete Cleaning Contracts was done remotely, while the work for Suzie at Water Babies was carried out on site, at their office in Dundee. The communication, though different, were equally successful and both Steve and Suzie were a joy to work with. I’m comfortable working from my own office, but I’m equally at home working on site.

SexyMugI admit that it was especially nice to be part of the ‘office banter’ at Water Babies and special thanks to Jill, Jenni and Liz for treating me like ‘one of the girls’. Although the choice of mugs for my morning cup of tea had me slightly worried.

In the very short history of Square Tree Marketing, the last week of February 2015 will go down as my most successful, and enjoyable yet.

What I Learned This Week

  1. I get far more satisfaction working for small to medium sized companies and I believe I can make a bigger impact on businesses of this size. Working directly with the business owner and their team is especially rewarding.
  2. I don’t have to be like ‘other consultants’. I can do it my own way, with my own personality front and centre.
  3. www.canva.com is a brilliant, free online design tool. Anyone managing a blog, website or Facebook page should check it out.
  4. I love ‘Sexy Mugs’
  5. I love working with Facebook.
  6. I know Facebook Pages and Facebook Adverts have the power to deliver for small to medium sized business owners.

Next Week

With that last point in mind, I’ll be launching a range of Facebook Marketing services next week. It’s an exciting time for the business and for me personally.

Once again, I appreciate the support of everyone who has offered me words of encouragement and helped me get to this stage.

Finally though, a big thanks to Suzie, Jill, Jenni and Liz at Water Babies and Stephen at Complete Cleaning Contracts for giving me the opportunity to work with them.

Have a great weekend folks!

Feb 23

All leads are not equal

By Kevin Anderson | Lead

The temptation when it comes to lead generation is to focus on quantity, rather than quality. Every business is different, and for some, it is very much a volume game. It’s about feeding the funnel and hoping that with so many opportunities, some of them will turn into business. In my last job I was tasked with creating new systems for generating leads for a sales force of over eighty people. Some of those sold over the phone, while others sold face-to-face.

With such a big team, operating in a difficult and competitive marketplace, it was very much about creating a volume of leads. We continually refined what we did to so that there was quality added to the quantity. We were able to get more success by focussing on the leads that had more chance of converting. I learned a lot about lead generation and while the principles are the same, the implementation as a small business owner is altogether different.

The Plumber Example

A typical plumbing firm will offer a range of services. From emergency repairs, gas central heating system installation as well as bathroom and kitchen fitting. Each service offering will have a different price range and a different profit margin. Getting a website enquiry for the fitting of an outside tap; a job that costs in the region of £100, clearly isn’t the same as getting a telephone enquiry for the fitting of a new kitchen, a job that could be worth in the £5,000 range.

You’d need to sell an awful lot of outdoor taps (50) to make as much as a single fitted kitchen. Now clearly this example is overly simplistic, it doesn’t take into account the costs involved, the time it takes or the fact that it is easier to convert a lower valued lead, than a higher one. That aside, there can be no denying that most plumbers would rather get more higher yielding and profitable opportunities.

First Steps

The thing is, that doesn’t happen by chance and it really is a case of “if you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got.” In order to get the quality of lead you want, you first have to define exactly what type of business you want to attract. So ask yourself, what are the three sales leads that would have you doing a mini-fist pump?

Once you clearly define your top 3 wish list, you can set about the task of developing your own lead generation strategies for each of them. Narrowing the focus and directing all your lead generation efforts on the opportunities that will make the biggest impact on your business can really accelerate the growth of your business.

The thing is, you’ll still get the ‘business as usual’ leads you typically get anyway, so you’ll not be losing anything by taking this approach.

In Practice

One of the by-products of narrowing your focus, is your ability to articulate more clearly exactly what it is your looking for. The simple act of telling those around you what you want can make it far easier for them to refer work to you.

If you’re our fictional plumber, and a plumb lead (sorry) is a high-end kitchen installation here are 5 practical steps you could take to attract your perfect lead.

5 Quick Tips

1. On your website

Create a dedicated landing page on your site optimised for the keywords and phrases related to the high-end kitchen installation projects you’re after. Add a link to this page on your main navigation. Consider adding a button or promotional panel as part of your sites template so that EVERY visitor, regardless of  which page they arrive on, are aware of your new focus

2. Your Tradesmen Network

Make sure any tradesmen you partner with are aware of what type of work you are after. If for example you use a specific electrician for all your installations, then it is absolutely in his best interest to help you spread the word. You might want to sweeten the deal by either offering to pay them slightly more for their services for any kitchen installation jobs that matches your specific criteria, for example installs with a total cost of over £5,000. For other tradesmen that you don’t directly partner with, you could consider offering a small referral / finders fee to encourage them to direct opportunity to you, rather than your competitor. Make sure any fee is tied to getting actual business, rather than just a lead.

3. Dedicated sales materials

It makes sense to produce some dedicated sales materials to promote your high-end kitchen install services. In particular showcasing similar kitchen installation projects you’ve completed that match the types of jobs your aiming for works really well. Go beyond the simple before and after shots. Tell the story. Make it compelling and include photographs of the happy clients. As much as possible, let them do the talking. This all might sound like hard work, but a powerful, compelling case study, rather than a weak testimonial can make the difference between you getting a strong, warm lead. Better still, produce a short video case study to really make the story come to life.

4. Facebook Page Focus

Get your Facebook page right, and it can become a key part of your lead generation strategy. Changing the focus of your page is simple and using it to share with your audience the type of work you’re looking for can drive leads. Adding one of the new Call to Action buttons to your page can be used to drive traffic to a booking form on your own site.

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Depending on the status of your page (determined my quantity of likes) you will also be able to create a dedicated offer and promotion. Add to this the ability to Boost individual posts and undertake a carefully targeted Facebook advertising campaign, then hopefully you will see that Facebook can do a whole lot more than sharing entertaining photos of grumpy cats. If you haven’t got your own Facebook Business Page I strongly recommend that you get one.

5. Make the offer compelling

Creating a strong call to action that you can consistently use on your website, on your Facebook page and in all your sales materials has to be an essential part of the lead generation process. If you think a strong call to action is something along the lines of  ‘Get a FREE no obligation quote today’, then you’re wrong. First of all, who ever pays for a tradesman to give them a quote? I’ve never done it and a free quote is now expected. So there is nothing exceptional about this. It is weak.

A much better call to action would be

  • ‘15% of all Kitchen Installations ordered today.’ or
  • ‘Free built-in TV system with all orders booked by Tuesday 24th February’.

Final thoughts

That’s just 5 small examples of how our fictional plumber could generate more of the right kind of leads for his or her business. There are hundreds of strategies and tactics they could employ, but they have to start somewhere, and just putting in place these 5 would generate the quantity of quality leads that have the power to change their business.


 

As part of my own lead generation process, I’m offering a free one hour ‘Lead-Convert-Retain’ consultancy session. These can be done in person, over Skype or over the phone. The aim of the session is to give you at least one idea that you can use to grow your business. Visit our Booking form to claim your spot or call me on 07873 110097 to find out more.