Video alert – can you make something negative, positive?

It’s video time! In this video I’m talking all about how you can make something negative, positive – well, how you can take negative feedback generated by a faulty product and turn into a positive. How you can turn this into a great PR opportunity? Does it sound a bit far fetched? I don’t think so…

Is it really possible?

It honestly depends on a number of factors but I think in most cases it can be IF it’s handled properly. I say most cases because it obviously does depend on the ‘damage’ something has caused, this can be a variable and can mean that your task is incredibly difficult if not impossible. However, when I created this video I was thinking more about popular products that we buy that can leave us disappointed, something like clothing or footwear. I’m not talking dodgy seatbelts here. I’m looking at the kind of products that most people sell online.

Any other caveats?

Yes. The dodgy product needs to be unusual. If all your products are substandard you’re basically firefighting and you can’t win long term because everyone is going to be peed off with you because you’ve let them down.

But what about social media?

Yep. Social media has changed the game in this area. Previously people would call the company or email them first – or even take it back to the shop they bought it from – and would follow the correct complaints procedure. Now they take to social media. If you’re lucky they’ll send you a message, but they might just post that you’re Satan on your Facebook page and that they’re bitterly disappointed/the product is cheap and rubbish/they hate you. Before you become a keyboard warrior too, just take a breath. It can be really frustrating and it makes you wonder if you should bother trying to turn this negative into a positive but you should. Honestly. Even if they don’t respond how you’d like, your other customers will see that you’re trying – in some cases they might come to your defence (I’ve seen this happen before…). Acknowledge their message and suggest they DM you or email you with additional information to try and remove the discussion from public view. This has the obvious benefit but also allows you to ask them personal details that they shouldn’t disclose in public. Be nice to them. Try and help them. Obviously you must follow your company’s complaints procedure, but do it in a nice way. If you say you’ll get back to them by a date – DO – even if you have to say you’re still waiting. Keep them informed. Be honest. Be genuine. Be understanding. If you can, send them a goodwill gesture. You’ll be amazed at how these ‘haters’ can become your biggest cheerleaders if treated kindly and respectfully by someone who wants to help them.

Of course, no one should ever be happy with selling substandard products, but sometimes things slip through the net- I’ve had clothes shrink, boots split and all manner of things as I am sure you have. These things happen and people do generally understand. And if you’re nice to them, you might have got yourself a lifelong brand ambassador too.

If you liked this, you might like this blog here – all about turning a negative or fault products into a good PR opportunity.

Blogstars- Victoria Brant aka Diary of a Wimpy Eventer

I’m incredibly honoured to be able to share a bit of the magic that goes on behind some of the blogs I love – and today it’s all about Victoria Brant – creator of the blog Diary of a Wimpy Eventer.

Why did you start blogging?

Diary of a Wimpy EventerI started my blog as a bit of a ‘self-help’ outlet.  I was merely documenting my fears, my frustrations, my highs and lows.  I wanted to vent to an audience that ‘got it’ and save my husband’s ears. 

How do you measure its success at Diary of a Wimpy Eventer?

Success for me, is measured in how many people I am touching the lives of. I tend to judge this based on the volumes that privately message me, opening their hearts and disclosing their inner most fears when it comes to horses.  I respond to around 30-40 private messages per week.  Statistics have mesmerised me recently too, each post reaches around 30,000 people, with never less than 200 interactions – Success for me isn’t just about follower numbers.

Tell us about the post you’ve most enjoyed writing/has been the best received

The posts that I dearly love to write are the ones reviewing a particular issue (usually one I am secretly dealing with inside), everything is first draft and straight from the pit of my belly. The best received post by FAR, was the hunting post from January.  Documenting my terror and then sheer elation start to finish.  This post reached 67,000 people in 48 hours.

How you promote your Diary of a Wimpy Eventer?

I spend around £20 per month page boosting to over 300 target groups that I have individually selected on FB ads. I have ensured that I guest write for some big names, that not only improves your SEO by ‘freeloading’ off a bigger company, but it gets you noticed by people you may not have reached otherwise. I ALWAYS plug it on my commentator notes when I run BE, I have Wimpy Eventer on my XC gear and make sure I give recognition to every single share that I get, even if it’s just a ‘like’, Retention is JUST as important to me as acquisition.

Any tips you’d like to pass on to first time bloggers/people who are interested in blogging?

DO NOT SPEND ANY MONEY UNLESS YOU KNOW HOW TO SPEND IT. It is a TOTAL waste of a very nice bottle of wine unless you make the money work for you. Put in the time to VERY carefully select who you want to target.

Content is King – Stop posting cr*p that doesn’t breed emotion or engagement.  If no-one can relate, no one will respond. – My BIGGEST bugbear!

Be honest – don’t try and be someone you’re not for the sake of an audience.  People appreciate authenticity, copy cats are smelly rats!

Has anything ‘good’ come out of blogging?

Wow, has it ever! I have never had a lot of money to buy nice things, I now wear brands that I could have only dreamed of before September 2016.  I love it when people come and support us at shows and the recognition you get when you’re out and about, essentially, just for being you. I have made some wonderful virtual friends that I can turn to for support, advice or just a chat.

I am writing my first book!! (It still seems so surreal) due to come out in May – this would NEVER have happened without the blog. I am finally doing something that is worthwhile, that is helping so many people and that I actually love with every inch of my person.

Find out more about Victoria here – you won’t regret it! 

www.wimpyeventer.com

www.facebook.com/diaryofawimpyeventer

www.twitter.com/wimpyeventer

www.instagram.com/wimpyeventer

A few minutes with… Ruth Chappell – Dressage Anywhere

Dressage AnywhereIn this week’s ‘a few minutes with’, I caught up with Ruth Chappell from Dressage Anywhere. Dressage Anywhere brings dressage competitions to you as you can record your test and then enter ‘proper’ competitions online. Tests and judged, prizes are awarded… and you don’t need to leave your arena. I’ve known Ruth for years and have admired Dressage Anywhere for a very long time- it’s a really lovely, professional company run by genuinely nice people. Ticks all round!

Tell us about you and your background

I’ve had a successful career in publishing. When I finished my A-levels all those many moons ago I didn’t really have a clue about what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I’d had a passion for horses most of my life and had been very lucky to work with them and have some great rides but I couldn’t see how I could turn that into a career at the time. I liked being creative and so opted for a hands-on media degree that introduced me to the world of printing, publishing and media production.

What made you want to start a business?

It wasn’t so much starting a business that was a driver, it was designing and delivering a service that would enable other people to take part in competitive dressage. I started Dressage Anywhere with two business partners and it ran alongside my main full time job. Over time I realised I had to decide about the future of Dressage Anywhere – I couldn’t continue both and so in 2015 I left my role to focus solely on Dressage Anywhere.

How is your business different?

Ruth Chappell - Dressage Anywhere

Image by Karen Bennett Pet Photography (link at the bottom of the blog!)

Dressage Anywhere is different because we’re about creating opportunities for riders to achieve their goals. We want to make competitive dressage accessible to everyone around the world and provide access to the best judges. We have great relationships with all the governing bodies, this was something that was very important to us when we set the business up.

What makes your service special?

Our service is special because we only work with BD List 1, 2 and FEI judges making sure that the feedback our riders receive is consistent and we’re the only service running online dressage competitions that enables riders to download their scoresheets. Sometimes tests are judged within hours of videos being uploaded!

If you had to sum up your business in five words, what would they be?

Ingenious, innovative, credible, reliable, evolving

Do you have a motto or ethos?

It has to be our passion to create opportunities for all kinds of riders.

If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring business owner, what would it be?

Set goals – don’t just go into business and let it bumble along, you’ll be in for some nasty surprises if you do. Have a really clear idea of where you want to get to and break it down into realistic and achievable goals that you can hold yourself accountable to.

One thing that helps you run your business more effectively 

I love all things tech related and I’m a long term user of Trello to help organise and plan so many different areas of the business, whether its planning a new marketing campaign, day to day operations or planning the next new development. A few years ago I went back to the dark side of paper and use the Ink & Volt Planner and Daily Greatness Journal Business Planner to keep me on track. There’s just something about writing things down that makes it easier to connect with your thoughts.

Best thing about running a business?

I work long hours but I love the flexibility of running my own business. I used to ride my horse after work and wouldn’t be home for dinner before 9pm. Now I take a quick break in the afternoon and get to ride in daylight all year round!

Worst thing about running a business?

Funnily enough, it has to be the flexibility! Some people assume that because you run your own business you’re a lady of leisure (I wish!) and so can squeeze in a lunch or are free to talk on the phone at any time.

Top business blog you follow

I follow a mixture of Facebook pages and blogs so I can’t pick just one out! Grant Cardone is great at motivating me to apply 10X rules, Amy Porterfield is just lovely! I often listen to her podcasts in the car and she has a really honest and sensible view of social media marketing. I’m a member of Bigger Brighter Bolder Success Groups which focusses on developing the right mindset for running a business. George Swift is an absolute legend and I love his straight-talking approach.

Top business book you’ve read

Grant Cardone’s 10X book (I’ve got the audio version) is a super no nonsense kick up the behind! I’m not a big fan of phrases like go big or go home, I much prefer to go big, learn from it and keep going and Grant Cardone’s book is all about taking ‘massive action’ and dominating.

One thing we might not know about you

I won a holiday to Tenerife in the Manchester Evening News’ Bonnie Baby Competition!

Top business achievement

I can’t talk about some of them just yet but let’s just say that this year is going to be a whopper! One memorable moment was seeing the reaction of one of our RDA Online Dressage Champions as he was called up to receive his medal and rosette at the RDA National Championships last year. He literally jumped up, was fist pumping the air and the buzz in the room was incredible. I was so proud of him and very humbled that I help make that happen. Oh, I’ve just thought of another! An invitation to the Anne Diamond Show at BBC Radio Berkshire and a fabulous interview about Dressage Anywhere.

Where can people follow you or your business online (website, social media handles, etc)

www.dressageanywhere.com

https://www.facebook.com/DressageAnywhere/

https://twitter.com/Dressage_comp

https://www.instagram.com/dressage_anywhere/

https://plus.google.com/+DressageAnywhereOnline

https://uk.pinterest.com/dressageonline/pins/

Image by Karen Bennett Pet Photography

 

How to get featured in magazines – part 1

Many magazines are suffering from a dip in circulation, but there’s no doubt about it, being featured in a magazine is ‘nice’. It’s good for the ego, it can be good for business, and some people feel that being featured in printed media has much greater clout than online. I can understand this thought process (although I don’t really subscribe to this idea myself – as in – both have value and there are a lot of variables to consider). But that aside, there are many ways to get featured in magazines. Or, at least, to put yourself in the best position to get featured in magazines. If that’s what you want. I’m going to break this into a few different blogs to allow us to explore each theme fully. So this is part one. How to get featured in magazines – part 1.

How to get featured in magazines – part 1

Features list

If you have a product, this one is for you. Actually, it’s how I have achieved a lot of media coverage over the years How to get featured in magazinesfor my clients. Each year I receive a media pack from each magazine. This includes a rate card, testimonials, facts, figures… and often a features list. Now, features lists aren’t set in stone and they can and do change, but particularly for monthly titles it gives you a good idea of what themes they’re following. Some features lists highlight buyers’ guides and product features, others show broad themes. And now it’s down to you. You need to put in the legwork.

What do I do now?

You need to speak to the magazines with relevant features and do all you can to make it as EASY as possible for them to pick your product to feature. What does this mean? This means that, when you’ve spoken to the right person at that magazines (the products editor, editorial assistant, features editor – whoever is responsible at that publication, and this varies depending on the size of the publication) you need to do all you can to make their life easy. Concise emails. Correct info in the correct format. High res images. Meeting deadlines. That kind of thing. There are no guarantees that your product will be chosen, but the best chance you have is by providing the right person with everything they need, in the right format, before/when then need it.

Sounds easy, doesn’t it?

Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Well, it is in some ways. However, what also needs to happen is the ground work – so that’s establishing connections with these magazines, it’s being able to write and provide the copy in the correct format, it’s having the high res images, it’s being on hand to help the magazine staff when they need it, to help them achieve their goals. And be a nice person. Please. Magazine staff are under a lot of pressure – deadlines, a million (I don’t know the figures!!) emails a day from PR and the like, editors, subeditors, picture editors – there’s a lot of stuff going on and, sadly, you’re not going to be their number one priority. And it won’t make you popular if you to act like you are. It’ll just (quite rightly!) annoy them. And you don’t really want to annoy people that you’re trying to form long lasting connections with, do you? That’s a pretty poor policy!

This is part one of the how to get featured in magazines series, but you can also read part 2, part 3 and part 4 by clicking on the links.

For more tips on how to promote your business (and to make sure you don’t miss a blog) – why not Like my Facebook page or sign up to my newsletter (and with the newsletter I’ll be picking one subscriber a month to win a box of goodies!!)

Who should I collaborate with?

How to pick who to collaborate withHave you heard that collaborations could be big for your business? They could, that is, they could if you pick the right person or company to collaborate with. If you pick a company that isn’t ‘right’ for you, much like a dodgy relationship, it’s not going to work out. If you’ve ever asked yourself ‘who should I collaborate with?’ – this blog is for you!

Who should I collaborate with?

There are a few things to consider when you’re working out who you should collaborate with…

  • Do you have a similar customer profile? If you sell luxury country clothing, you want someone who has customers interested in this. If you sell fine wines or spirits, a company that is pro an alcohol free lifestyle is not for you. See what I mean? In order for a collaboration to work, you need to make sure that your fan base is interested in the person/company you’re collaborating with, and visa versa.
  • Do they share your values? If you’ve ticked the first box, now you need to make sure the second aligns. So, if your customers are anti-fur, don’t work with someone who uses it in their products. If you promote the fact your products are high end and made in Britain, someone who sells bargain basement imported lines is not a good fit.
  • Do they share your brand’s ‘feel’? By this I mean all the other stuff – the customer experience, the tone, the manner – the general vibe. If you’re a happy, friendly, personable company whose customers appreciate you going to the extra mile, a big faceless corporation might not be the best person to collaborate with.
  • What do each of you bring to the arrangement? A collaboration needs to work out well for both parties. If, for example, you’re running a giveaway, you need to make sure that both parties have a useful database/following on at least one platform, in order to ensure that the offer is promoted fully. Size isn’t always important, a very engaged smaller following can have a lot more value than a HUGE following of people who don’t engage or open emails. Of course, it doesn’t stop here. If it’s a giveaway, look at the product value, who’s giving the most in terms of time, etc.
  • Will your customers/fans benefit from the collaboration? This is a must. The offer you’re providing has to appeal to them – or at the very least not offend – because you don’t want a quest to increase your reach and following to alienate your loyal fans.

Here are a few pointers to help you decide who you should collaborate with – what do you think? I’d love to see your comments below.

A few minutes with… Michelle Charman – Forelock Books

Forelock BooksMichelle Charman in the lady behind the brand Forelock Books. Forelock Books publish a range of books for children, but the beauty is that all members of the family can enjoy the stories – they’re true family books! With some fabulous authors and great stories, Forelock Books is a really great brand to look into. And Michelle is completely lovely too. Here’s a bit more about her.

Tell us about you and your background. What made you want to start a business?

I grew up in Snowdonia during the 70’s/80’s. Everyone had a pony, or a bike. I had a bike for quite some time, until I’d driven my parents mad by ‘trotting’ everywhere and answering questions in ‘neighs and whinnies’. I never really learnt to ride, I was just told to hang on by my granddad, who used to be a jockey.

By the time I was about nine, my best friend and I were spending all our spare time riding over the Welsh mountains and along the beaches, dreaming up new adventures to go on, pretending to be highwaymen, princesses, cowgirls, show-jumpers and other equestrians.

My imagination, confidence and sense of adventure grew with my love of books, I was always being told off at school for ‘daydreaming’, wishing I was out riding.

Michelle CharmanI moved to London in 1990 to study Business Studies and Print Management and eventually got my first job with Hamlyn Books. I worked for various publishers over the next 20yrs including, Octopus, Dorling Kindersley, Penguin Books but by 2013 publishing had changed so much, many of the publishing brands we all know and love had merged together, publishing was big business and great stories were passed over for celebrity authors and fashionable topics.

I’ve always encouraged ways of getting more people reading, but for me, nothing beats a great story, whatever your age.

Realising that there were very few pony stories that would appeal to and inspire today’s young riders, being published in the UK. I decided to set up Forelock Books.

How is your business different? What makes your products special?

Forelock BooksPublishers at Penguin Random House felt that equestrian fiction aimed at young riders was too niche, they wanted to appeal to a much broader market of children and young adults worldwide, whether they rode or not. I felt that there were enough riders and pony enthusiasts to warrant a brand of modern equestrian family fiction; Great stories, by the best authors, for the whole family.

I wanted to create a distinctive brand, I love physical books and still have my favourite hardback books I read as a child, some have inscriptions in them from family and friends who gave them to me as gifts. So many things these days are meant to be short lived, upgraded, thrown away, replaced, I wanted to create things that could be treasured.

If you had to sum up your business in a few words, what would they be?

Creator of Equestrian Dreams: Inspirational, Adventurous, Traditional, Reliable, Quality.

Do you have a motto or ethos?

Creating dreams for others to follow.

If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring business owner, what would it be?

Go with your gut, if you think too hard, you may never take that first step.

One thing that helps you run your business more effectively

Photoshop. It’s not cheap and I’m no expert, but it’s great for putting together interesting social media posts, memes and creating impactful images.

Best thing about running a business?

Good feedback. Just hearing that someone loved reading a story that I believed in makes all the hard work, expense and disappointment worthwhile.

Worst thing about running a business?

The quiet periods, where no money is coming in and you’re just not finding your market, or worse you’re finding your market, but failing to convince them how good your product is.

Top business blog you follow

Haynet and Sophie Callahan. I’ve only just been introduced to Sophie’s blog via Small & Supercharged and I’m amazed at how much time she spends putting together really useful supportive blogs without expecting something in return from the reader – however, I’m constantly impressed by her images, and I suppose when I need a photographer she will be at the top of my list.

Top business book you’ve read

Upping your Elvis Factor by Chris Barez Brown. I met him when I worked at Penguin and he was the person who convinced me to follow my dream.

One thing we might not know about you

I’d love to move back home to Wales. I’m on an amazing journey, but Snowdonia will always be HOME and it’s where I’ll return.

Top business achievement

Being ‘Highly Commended’ by BETA is something I’m very proud of but I consider every sale as my biggest achievement. Selling a book means that I have found the right story, produced it well, found the right market and convinced the buyer to part with money for the promise it holds and that to me is success.

Forelock Books

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram 

Five reasons people don’t blog

Do you blog? There are lots of reasons why you should blog, but also plenty of reasons why people don’t. But I’m here to help and explain five reasons people don’t blog. Well, I’m here to explain how to get around these issues, to encourage you to start blogging. It’s a game changer. Honestly. I even made an infographic to prove the point!

So – five reasons people don’t blog… (there are more, but I decided to start with five!)

‘I don’t like writing’. OK, this might seem like a big deal as blogs are written pieces of work, but actually, it isn’t. You could utilise dictation software (here’s blog about Apple’s inbuilt dictation software and how to use it), and if that doesn’t float your boat, you can record you thoughts and use a transcription service.

‘I have nothing to blog about’. I’m going to stop you right there. Do you ever run out of things to say and talk about? If the answer is no, then you have plenty to blog about. A blog doesn’t have to be like a work of Shakespeare (which is lucky, because my blogs certainly aren’t!), it’s a way to document, to share, to engage, to educate. You might not think that the things you know, that you’re passionate about, are of interest to anyone but you. But they are. Honest. If you’re lacking inspiration, have a look at this blog – what should I blog about?

‘No one wants to hear what I have to say’. They do. Ever looked at a review online? Ever used Google? The people who wrote the copy for the reviews and the pages you view could have thought the same thing. It’s only their opinion, isn’t it? But you read it. I read it. It’s how we learn and research.

‘I don’t know what the point is’. This depends on why you’re blogging. If you’re blogging to document an experience, that’s the point. If you’re blogging for your business and to increase your profile, that’s the point. If you’re blogging to help improve your SEO and make your site more searchable, that’s the point. The reason you’re blogging could be completely different to you friend’s, but both are valid. Some people just love writing and that’s the point for them. Don’t overthink it.

‘I don’t have a following’. Who does when they start? Start sharing your blog on your social platforms and you’ll start to get readers and grow the following you want. No one started with a pre-made group of fans and followers, they built these up overtime. The key is to start!

Why don’t you blog? Or what’s your reason for blogging? I’d love to hear in the comments below.

Five reasons people don't blog

Video content: How to make video work hard for you

This blog is all about how to make video content work hard for you. Because, let’s be honest, it needs to. Making a video takes time, and if you pay to have it edited, it costs your money too. And that’s what I’ve created a video and a blog post about how to make video content work hard for you.

The video is on Youtube, and if you click on the image, you can watch the video.

How to make video content work hard – eight steps

Actually, let’s use the video above as an example of how to make content work hard for you. So, the start of this is the video. I created the video on my iPhone (so, no extra cost to me), and I did pay my husband to edit it because, well, he does this as part of his job and I like to have my logo on it in the right places. That didn’t cost me a huge amount, but it’s still a cost. So, step one… the video is on Youtube. Great. The video will stay on here forever (well, until I take it down) and it’ll be getting views until that point. Great. People can find it by searching for it.

Step two, in this case, is this blog. This blog, with the video embedded in it, will sit on my blog, on my website. It’ll help my SEO (due to the blog around the video), it’ll provide useful content for people viewing my website, it’s a solid step two.

Step three, sharing. I’ll share the blog with the video on my social media. By which I mean my business Facebook page, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter. I might also share it in some of the business groups I’m involved with on Facebook.

Step four, native posting. I’ll then post the video natively to Facebook. Not the same week as I post the blog, but I will. And I’ll subtitle it so it works when people view Facebook on silent and autoplay kicks in.

Step five, I’ll share the Youtube link straight onto all my social media platforms. This won’t be in the near future, but I’ll post the link to Youtube on its own, without the blog content, so people can view it and visit my Youtube channel.

Step six, I’ll share it with my newsletter subscribers, so they get to see the blog and the video. Well, so they know it’s there. I’ll share a link to the blog for those who fancy a read, and I’ll embed the video too.

Step seven, if someone asks me a question about how to make content work hard, I’ll use this blog and my video as a resource that I can send them.

Step eight, in a few months, I could well do this all over again, when people have long forgotten about the blog. Or I might share it again when there’s a relevant news story about it.

And believe me when I say that depending on the social networks you use and the business you have, there are plenty more ways to make your content work really hard for you. Maybe you can use your video at shows you attend? Burnt onto a DVD for prospective customers? As a part of a resource pack for retailers selling your product? To help add another level of customer service, to help reduce the amount of time you spent troubleshooting or giving customers phone tutorials? Honestly, we’re just scratching the surface here.

If you’ve ever wondered how to make your video content work hard for you, but you’e still not sure how to make it work in your situation, why not drop me a line?

 

A few minutes with… Emma Dyer – Equine Careers

I’m lucky to meet a lot of fabulous small business owners and find out all about their businesses. But not everyone does. So I thought, to help more people learn about them, I’d use my blog to showcase some of Equine Careersthe businesses I love. Here’s the first one-  Emma Dyer at Equine Careers. I’ve known Emma for years and have been lucky enough to work with her too. Emma’s business has really changed recruitment in the equine and rural industry – she’s a game changer, and I’m very excited to be able to share a bit about this fabulous lady (and her business) with you…

Tell us about you and your background – I have always ridden, and worked with horses for the first few years after A Levels, but then moved into sales and more commercial roles. I found it hard when I was successful only to have managers move the goal posts on me. So maybe being self employed was always on the cards but I was used to the security of a salary. I am a people person and love being around others or part of a team.  

What made you want to start a business? I didn’t really, but my hand was forced when I was made redundant back in 2008 and I had already had the idea of Equine Careers – so it seemed it was forced upon me, that could be a good thing or Equine Careers may never have taken off.

How is your business different? Equine Careers is completely unique, it started off just as an advertising portal for commercial roles within the Equine Industry (not grooms or riders) but office jobs, Sales, Marketing, Admin etc and has grown from there. I met a few sales reps who were not horsey and felt it must be so difficult to talk the lingo if you don’t use the products – I know that I can do a better job the more passionate I am – so I wanted to promote these types of roles to those who were familiar with the products but did not want to work in a practical yard role.

What makes your service special? Our uniqueness and that I am a sole trader, I can provide a personal service. Nothing is too much trouble. I want to help whether it’s a client or a candidate. I want to provide the careers advice that was not available before in our specialist market.

If you had to sum up your business in five words, what would they be? Unique, professional, personal, efficient, trustworthy.

Do you have a motto or ethos? Honesty and professionalism above all else.  

If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring business owner, what would it be? Go for it, don’t over think – just do it. Believe in yourself and your idea.

One thing that helps you run your business more effectively  Common sense and being well organised.

Best thing about running a business? You are your own boss, there is no one to move the goal posts on you and the glory/recognition is all down to you.

BETA International Emma Dyer Equine CareersWorst thing about running a business? Being wholeheartedly responsible with no one to bounce things off , sometimes it can be lonely.

Top business blog you follow – James Caan Recruitment

One thing we might not know about you – in a previous role as sales and marketing manager for an equine surfacing company, I sold sand to the Arabs (artificial surface for a covering pen in Dubai)

Top business achievement – Won a BETA Innovation Award in 2010

Where can people follow you or your business online:

Equine Careers website

Equine Careers Facebook page

Equine Careers Twitter

How to use testimonials – Six ways to use testimonials

This blog is all about how to use testimonials, helpfully assisted by an infographic I created for Pinterest. If you click on the infographic, you’ll be whisked over to Pinterest (well, you should be!) or,How to use testimonials if not, you can follow my pins here.

What’s the obsession with testimonials?

Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about testimonials, in light of receiving three really lovely ones over recent weeks that made me smile a lot. It’s nice to have happy customers, and when they’re happy to write about you and tell the world their thoughts, well, it’s enough to make anyone feel warm and slightly fuzzy. Getting the testimonials is one things (and let’s not underestimate how nice the warm and fuzzy feeling is!), but what’s even better (for your business at least!), is utilising these testimonials properly, How to use testimonials? Well, you can use them in lots of different ways, but here are six easy ones and a crafty little tip too. Well, I say crafty. It’s not really crafty, but you’ll find it can work wonders…

How to use testimonials

  • Put them on your website. Make a special section for them (like this testimonials section) and point people to this area from your blog (see what I did there?)
  • Email signature. Want to take your testimonials to your customers? Consider including the most recent/best as part of an email signature.
  • Graphics. Who doesn’t love a graphic? Adding your testimonials to graphics is a great way to use them and, when done well, adds a nice touch to your social media mix.
  • On products. If your testimonial relates to a product, why not add it to your packaging? Or create some cards/flyers with your latest reviews and testimonials?
  • On video. Yep. Written testimonials are great, video testimonials are even better. And this actually opens a whole new door in the how to use testimonials house!
  • With credit. Always credit the person the testimonial came from. It adds more to it than you could think, and also lets you publicly thank the person who provided it.

And, if you’re really on it – why not encourage your customers to share their testimonials with their social media following? Add an incentive, thank people, be genuine, and you’ll be amazed at what you (and your customers) might be able to achieve and who they might be able to reach!