Opinions on business,
marketing and related technologies.

Back Her Business crowdfunding from NatWest

Interesting idea from NatWest to support women in businesses.

We’re here to help you to turn your idea into a side-hustle and your side-hustle into your main-hustle. It’s time to close the gender gap in business, for good.

Not only do we have money for some of you (and we all know that helps), we also have mentoring, workshops, crowdfunding coaching and events in your community.

Apart from using the word ‘hustle’ – which I don’t think a business should ever be doing – I support this idea and it’s positive bias to support women. It’s crazy that ‘the system’ has worked any other way and a balancing of renumeration and authority is the only way forward.

Genevieve from Writability brought this scheme to my attention with her project.

I’d like to reach more of the UK’s plucky but under-resourced SMEs and help them succeed with better sales and marketing copy.

Check out the project and see if you can support Genevieve or one of the other projects in the scheme with as little as £1.

51: Jonathan Mahan, Video promotion and tips to get comfortable on camera

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Ben talks with Jonathan Mahan from Bombbomb on how video improves business and gathers some tips on how to get comfortable on camera.

The sponsor for this episode is 34SP. A Fast, Secure and Managed WordPress host based in the UK. Visit 34sp.com and use the code WPINVENTIVE at checkout to get your first three months of hosting completely free.


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The social pendulum swings back

Tweet from Andy McIlwain

The 2010s were about radically open social media platforms — a gigantic, unmanageable mess.

Next 10 years? Pendulum swings back. Niche communities of interest & purpose.

Like a falling tide, I feel that there is a pull back to smaller interest groups and communities. As a lapsed forum user (I spend much of my 20s in Macromedia Flash forums) and advocate of the WordPress Community, it feels more wholesome and personally connected to me.

Sure, we’ll still have the trolls and attention seekers but they won’t have as much impact or power often gained from retweeting.

In Andy’s Twitter thread he goes on to talk about how brands need to move from wooing an audience to building a community.

Break em out. Round tables so they’re facing and sharing and talking to each other.

Guide to managing your WordPress website

Happy robot with overlay text #LoveYourSite

Advice and guidance on how to maintain, develop and drive more traffic to your WordPress website.

Save tears and backup your site before making any changes. If you don’t feel confident about making any of the recommended changes yourself, consult with your web developer, techie friends or get in touch, we’d be happy help.

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50: Clare and Ben take a look back at 2019

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I join Ben and some listen submissions to take a look back at our favourite interviews from 2019.

The sponsor for this episode is 34SP. A Fast, Secure and Managed WordPress host based in the UK. Visit 34sp.comand use the code WPINVENTIVE at checkout to get your first three months of hosting completely free.

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Why proofreading is important; your guide to spotless written communication

Red pencil demonstrating proofreading services matchstick

Are you annoyed when you see a glaring error in an email, newsletter or any other correspondence? You’d be surprised how many people take exception to a technical booboo. There are too many social media groups dedicated to this little life annoyance for it to be insignificant. But for some people – particularly those who don’t deal with words and punctuation every single day – these things are just not relevant. They should be. 

If you care about the quality of your words. Head over to Inventive People to buy my proofreading service for Word docs, PDFs or PowerPoint files from £35.

Sign up to my free Marketing Boost webinar
to kickstart your marketing for 2020.

We’re all guilty of focusing on the stuff that has little impact – vanity metrics such as Facebook Likes, website visits, or Youtube subscribers – without paying attention to the things that really matter. Customer experience.

Join me to learn how to find the right customers, create great content
and a develop a sustainable approach to marketing.

Why use a proofreading service?

“I’ll just use Spellcheck”, I hear you say. “I did GCSE English at school; I can proofread it myself. It’s just checking for spelling mistakes.” Or other variations on the theme.

Yes, you can do it yourself. But here are two reasons why you shouldn’t;

  • You are too closely attached to your work, and your eyes will gloss over the mistakes because you have written them. It happens to us all. No, it’s not a matter of reading it several times, because no matter how many times you read it, you will miss tiny, distinct errors.
  • Spellcheck is only as good as your knowledge of the English language. It will not pick up any words that you’ve spelt correctly, but is the wrong word, like from/form, to/too/two or there/their/they’re. 

A proofreader has been trained to read differently – they spot these errors every day. 

Whether you are writing a blog post, a magazine article, a university essay or an email to a client, getting your text free of mistakes is critical if you want readers to make sense of your words. 

If you do decide to do it yourself, here’s a little guide to help you;

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49: Ben Wheeler, Changing state of websites in marketing

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Ben discusses with Ben Wheeler the role of websites in current marketing, diminishing in favour of social business pages.

The sponsor for this episode is 34SP. A Fast, Secure and Managed WordPress host based in the UK. Visit 34sp.com and use the code WPINVENTIVE at checkout to get your first three months of hosting completely free.

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48: Lubna Forzley-Badr, Storytelling

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Based in the United Arab Emirates, Lubna Forzley-Badr shares how she disrupts corporate businesses through the art of storytelling and creative a business narrative.

The sponsor for this episode is 34SP. A Fast, Secure and Managed WordPress host based in the UK. Visit 34sp.com and use the code WPINVENTIVE at checkout to get your first three months of hosting completely free.

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47: Bath Digital Festival 2019 roundup

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After spending three days, attending 12 talks and walking over 20,000 steps, I’m back from Bath Digital Festival. I was lucky enough to interview some of the speakers and attendees to bring you a flavour of the state of technology and marketing in 2019.

It’s a fully packed episode and I hope you enjoy it.

The sponsor for this episode is 34SP. A Fast, Secure and Managed WordPress host based in the UK. Visit 34sp.com and use the code WPINVENTIVE at checkout to get your first three months of hosting completely free.

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Business ethics – why should you care?

Your business ethics are the moral principles that guide your business – take your eye off the ball for one moment and you could be in a world of trouble.

Ethics in business are slippery fish with many business leaders not realising the impact one wrong decision can have. Just ask Uber, H&M and Pret a Manger – Just three examples where leaders have chosen not to see what’s really going on and suffered the consequences – bad publicity. So what can you do to ensure your business ethics are sound?

You might think that you’d know if you were faced with an ethically dubious choice to make – sexual harassment, blatant environmental damage, or misleading packaging for instance – clearly the wrong choices – and not sustainable for long. Yet, every day we read about deceiving CEOs embezzling millions or other dishonest dealings, which could lead us into thinking that ethics is clear cut and those who are responsible were bad apples all along.

But can you be so sure? And are you willing to stake your business on it? With concrete definitions of good ethical practice, beyond the laws and regulations that businesses currently live by, becoming more difficult to identify, there are increasing numbers of scandals hitting the news recently. As ethical scandals go, few are harder to beat than the Cambridge Analytica scandal of 2018, whereby the harvesting of the personal data of millions of Facebook profiles without consent was used for political advertising purposes. This one example shows just how careful businesses need to be in our present social environment.

But it isn’t just the big media-worthy scandals. Ethics is increasingly becoming an issue for the smaller business. So connected are we by social media that one wrong move can have the world banging on the door demanding retribution. Any infraction will swiftly gain bad exposure, followed by circulation by those who are happy to disfigure your business reputation. You don’t want to be at the receiving end of that kind of publicity. So, how do you ensure you’re not sitting on an ethical time bomb;

  • Be aware of euphemistic language – ‘Pretexting’ was used to disguise phone record hacking and to lie in the Hewlett-Packard spying scandal. This example of euphemistic language masked the true nature of the misconduct until it was brought to light most disparagingly.
  • Be aware of ethical numbing – In an environment where we are repeatedly exposed to certain behaviours, these can seem to be acceptable. The S. Postal Service Pro Cycling Team began to adopt the unethical behaviour of doping, although when testifying they admitted it was wrong.
  • Be aware of routinisation – We may try to justify our behaviour by claiming that ‘this is the way we’ve always done it’ and therefore it seems normal. Perhaps behaviour has changed incrementally until eventually a completely different behaviour emerged – this is likely what happened with Carillion.
  • Be aware of shifting responsibility –By omitting information and putting the responsibility onto the consumer to discover information that might influence their decision to buy, you could be inadvertently acting unethically.

With world environmental issues in the news every day it is expected of business to do its part in reducing the impact we have. If your business is blatantly flouting that expectation then expect to, sooner or later be hauled across the coals for it. Younger people in particular are becoming more knowledgeable about ethical practices and their hyper-connectivity means hyper awareness. On the other hand, even the smallest change made for the health of the environment will have public support – by way of example, my LinkedIn feed revealed recently that Waitrose introduced its new plastic-free section in one of its branches in London – a positive endorsement for Waitrose and one that received many views and likes.

Leaders need to be aware that ethical challenges can come from unforeseen directions and be so complex as to be almost unidentifiable. However, the most astute enemy of the business may just identify and expose any dubious ethical conduct, especially those businesses who try to justify or ignore behaviours that could be construed as unethical.

You may think that you’re immune from ethical responsibility, but ethics is about more than following the rules, it is about being responsible and identifying potential ethical issues before they come and bite you on the rear end. As business leaders we are all vulnerable to the rules of ethics, and complexity, lack of understanding or self-deception will not be acceptable excuses.

Identifying any new and complex ethical issues is vital for the success and endurance of your business. Your ethical behaviours are increasingly under scrutiny and have greater consequences than ever before.

Image by Pixabay

44: Get more out of Linkedin

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Join Ben on episode 4 of the IMC to discuss how you can get more out of your Linkedin account and nurture a following.

The sponsor for this episode is Inventive People. Get 20% off first order with the code INVENTIVEPODCAST.

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43: Marketing strategy and nurturing leads

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Ben speaks with Martin Dugan from Double Tap Marketing about his approach on managing outbound marketing and cold calling through to nurturing.

The sponsor for this episode is Inventive People. Get 20% off first order with the code INVENTIVEPODCAST.

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42: The art of problem solving with Ben Everard

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Ben speaks with Ben Everard from The Ideas Bureau on his approach to problem solving and the steps he uses to overcome them.

The sponsor for this episode is Inventive People. Get 20% off first order with the code INVENTIVEPODCAST.

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41: How to get Five Star Reviews

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In this summer holiday special Ben shares an episode from the monthly IMC Marketing Webinar where he discusses the best ways and practices on how to get reviews for your business.

The sponsor for this episode is Inventive People. Get 20% off first order with the code INVENTIVEPODCAST.

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40: Working with WordPress Gutenberg

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Kimb Jones from Make Do joins Ben to discuss embracing the Gutenberg editor along with a demo of some of the rather handy features built into it.

The sponsor for this episode is Inventive People. Get 20% off first order with the code INVENTIVEPODCAST.

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38: Content Planning and Mind Mapping

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In this episode Ben is joined by Tess Coughlan-Allen, Marketing Manager at Mind Doodle to talk about content planning, mind mapping and minidoodle.com.

The sponsor for this episode is Inventive People. Get 20% off first order with the code INVENTIVEPODCAST.

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Witley Jones – Growing a family business

In this episode Ben interviews several members of Witley Jones a UK based manufacture bespoke furniture primarily for the education market.

It’s a family business that’s been going for over 20 years and he wanted to find out how it started, how it differs from a regular business and how they are managing succession.

You’ll be hearing from Chris & Jane Jones (dad, mum, and the original entrepreneurs), Matt Jones (director and eventual successor), Lucy Jones (who manages finance) and Simon Downes (current managing director) in that order.

This interview is a slightly different style from normal which we hope you’ll enjoy.

Episode sponsored by our laser focused SEO report. If you need to build up your traffic then this report is for you! Mention our podcast when your order and get 10% off.

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