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Something Inventive 25: I’ll get back to you in a minute

Al and Ben talk about the importance of being a fast responder and our thoughts on the WXG 2018 conference.

If you have any feedback, ideas or topics you’d like covered on our podcast we’d love to hear from you. Please get in touch via our contact page, leave a voicemail on 0800 881 5805 or mention @RatherInventive on Twitter.

Listen on Apple Podcasts app

Something Inventive is an entertaining and lively podcast on creativity and the web. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts or search for ‘Something Inventive’ in your favourite podcast player.


Episode sponsored by Ticked-off.com

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Show notes

 

The Hosts

Al Osmond (@inventiveal) – An unusual mix of logical thinker with a creative eye
Ben Kinnaird (@benkinnaird) – Knower of Social media, SEO and ‘the Web’

Be part of the show

Tweet a service or product you’d like to promote, mentioning @RatherInventive and the hashtag #podvert and we’ll read it out over the coming episodes.

If you like the show please give us a rating in iTunes and we’ll read out your comment. You can do this from the podcast player on Apple.

Thanks for listening!


Audio edited by Donalize – ‘Goofy Vocal Groove‘ intro music by Dave Girtsman – Image Credit: Waiting by Aurimas

5 ways to be memorable

Man with beard wearing a suit and tie

There are plenty of reasons why brands and businesses fail, don’t let a lack of differentiation be your failure. Make yourself memorable and you will stand out.

The last thing you want is to be forgotten as soon as you’ve met a potential client. You want to remain in their head for as long as possible so that if they ever need your service or product, you’ll be the first to mind.

Whether you’re simply networking or actively selling something, you want to know that you won’t be forgotten as soon as you walk away. So, how can you be memorable?

1.   Don’t try to be better, be different

There’s little point trying to be better. Everyone is trying to be better. Whether it’s being more efficient, more sophisticated or more professional, there will always be someone who does this better than you. It’s just too difficult to make an impact this way.

Instead, do what you can to stand out from the crowd – do things differently to what everyone else is doing.

How do you make car parts interesting and different? I hear you ask. Or personal finance? Just take a look at Brittney Castro, who raps about her niche – personal finance! If she can do something different with a subject as dry as personal finance, then you can certainly put an interesting spin on your photography, website development or kitchen design business.

Think Apple. They don’t do anything particularly better, but they do things differently. They don’t do what every other mobile device company does. They forge their own path, and people love them for it.

You may think it a bit risky to try to do things differently with your business. After all, you may put people off with an off-the-wall approach, right? But, in a world where an abundance of choice is available for everything we could possibly need or want, the only way to stand out is to do things differently.

2.   Don’t follow the herd

Closely related to ‘doing things differently’ rule is to show your individuality. We’re all unique. We have different lives, different backgrounds and different connections. So, when we create a business around our unique experiences, skills, and values, our brand or business should be unique too. Yet, there are so many doing the same things. They’re scared of showing their real selves.

Trying to hide the traits that make you unique will not make you memorable. Yet, we do it to blend in, much as we did at school, where to show our uniqueness meant certain harassment. But if we want to be memorable we can no longer think this way.

Richard Branson is one for showing his uniqueness. His many crazy publicity stunts, such as attempting to fly around the world in a hot air balloon or drive across the English Channel in an amphibious car wearing a tuxedo, as well as his non-conventional approach to business, has earned him the name of being one of the world’s best-known entrepreneurs.

We must strive to celebrate our uniqueness. Do crazy stunts, wear colourful stripy socks to work, grow a perfectly trimmed beard if that’s what you want to do. Wear flowery dresses rather than a neat boring suit. Share what makes you different, unique and human and you will be remembered.

3.   Show your passion

Show the love you have for your work. Positivity and passion speaks volumes and if you have a real, honest enthusiasm for your work, you will not easily be forgotten.

Showing passion is a huge advantage for a business competing in a crowded market. If you’re passionate about what you do, and you show confidence in how you express it – you’ll stand out.

4.   Be synonymous with a niche

I used to call myself a copywriter, which encompasses many different types of work. People would glaze over, either with boredom or with a lack of understanding of what a copywriter actually does. But for the last year I’ve been predominantly doing business blogging, which is what I love doing most of all. So, I now tell people this is what I do. It gets me a lot more attention because it’s so specific. It doesn’t mean I won’t do general copywriting but I specialise in blogging – and have lots of enthusiasm for it.

When you’re telling people what you do, be specific. Be synonymous with one thing in your field. Be a champion for a niche category in your industry. So instead of being a photographer, be a newborn baby photographer. What you call yourself defines how people will remember you. Don’t tell people you work in marketing, that’s a very broad subject. Tell them you are a branding expert. To stand out from all the other marketing people you have to define yourself by your area of expertise.  Put yourself in a different box to everyone else in your industry and you will be more memorable.

5.   Be a good listener

Your customers crave attention, we all do, and we all want to feel like we matter. By showing your interest in learning about them and their lives, hearing their aspirations and their ideas, you are telling them that they matter, and you will stand out from the crowd as someone who really listens.

People can smell a fake a mile off so if you’re pretending to listen, when in fact you’re just waiting for the next opportunity to speak, you are like the majority of people – and therefore will not be memorable. Show an interest in what others are saying and think about your response. People appreciate sincere conversation.

These days the key to getting attention in the business world is to be remembered.  You want to be the name at the front of people’s minds and on the tip of their tongues. So, distinguish yourself from the crowd, make a powerful impression and stick in the memories of people you meet. Present yourselves in such a way as to be unforgettable.

Image credit: Pixabay

Value of Visual content

Scattered polaroids on a table

All content has to have a visual element and the reason being is far more than simply catching someones attention.

There has been a shift to providing value and having purpose to your visual content, with photos and videos featuring heavily in digital marketing strategies.

Photos and video hold more weight than text, they are remembered easily and encourage audiences to interact.

We all see posts using stock images on social media and in blog posts that are only there to fill a blank space. Don’t get me wrong – there will be instances when there is no other option to use some sort of stock photo.

Taking the time to consider the value of images to best reflect your brand and have the desired impression is time well spent. Imagery should feature in all of the content that you post online, therefore using photos, videos or infographics that help you to tell the story are essential. It may take a little time to plan and gather the right images that you require.

So, what is the best visual content?

Building a bank of photographs across all of your activities will help to make life easier. You will then have a series of images you can select when you need to.

Here are a few things you can should have photos of:

  • Your team
  • Meeting with clients
  • Products or delivering a service
  • Events / expos
  • Seminars that you deliver

Authenticity is key with everything online, helping to build credibility around your team and brand so it is important that images are yours. Grabbing the attention of your audience and leave a lasting impression should be your objective.

Moving away from the staged corporate imagery helps to bring personality to your marketing.

When thinking about the type of visual content that will work best for you consider these areas:

  • Can you demonstrate what it is like to work with you.
  • Provide an insight into the environment you have created.

Think bigger than photographs – infographics are an ideal way of communicating hard hitting topics in an easily digestible format. Piktochart is great tool to use to create your own infographics.

Image credit: Polaroids by Minidigi Kadorin on Flickr

Something Inventive 24: I’ve just bought a wheelbarrow

Al and Ben discuss the Scandals Facebook, GDPR begging emails, The important of review sites, Email response times and who we’re looking forward to see at WXG 2018.

If you have any feedback, ideas or topics you’d like covered on our podcast we’d love to hear from you. Please get in touch via our contact page, leave a voicemail on 0800 881 5805 or mention @RatherInventive on Twitter.

Listen on Apple Podcasts app

Something Inventive is an entertaining and lively podcast on creativity and the web. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts or search for ‘Something Inventive’ in your favourite podcast player.


Episode sponsored by Our Newsletter

Grab a free copy of our social media strategy book Be Sociable when you subscribe to our marketing ideas newsletter just scroll to the bottom of this site and pop in your email!

Show notes

 

The Hosts

Al Osmond (@inventiveal) – An unusual mix of logical thinker with a creative eye
Ben Kinnaird (@benkinnaird) – Knower of Social media, SEO and ‘the Web’

Be part of the show

Tweet a service or product you’d like to promote, mentioning @RatherInventive and the hashtag #podvert and we’ll read it out over the coming episodes.

If you like the show please give us a rating in iTunes and we’ll read out your comment. You can do this from the podcast player on Apple.

Thanks for listening!


Audio edited by Donalize – ‘Goofy Vocal Groove‘ intro music by Dave Girtsman – Image Credit: The Wheelbarrow Run by Dana

Take a deep breath – How to come across well on camera

Take a big breath and step in front of the camera

We aren’t all made for the red carpet and in fact, I don’t think you need to be.  With the ever-growing pressure for more visual and personal marketing capturing testimonials and standing in front of the camera to show off your business and wares has grown increasingly popular and is something every business should be considering seriously. People invest in people and as long as you are clear and genuine about what you are trying to say I think you will be surprised at how well you will come across.

Even the most seemingly confident person can feel the pressure when the camera lens is pointing at them so here are my tips on getting the best out of them.

The trick is not to rush

Where possible take your time and make it as pressure-free as possible. If you are against the clock don’t let the person in front of the camera feel it as it will only put them off and increase their mistakes.

Forewarn them that you would like to interview/film them. Email your questions/themes of discussion the day before to give them a chance to mentally prepare their answers but don’t rehearse or stage their responses let them respond naturally and in their own way.

Be confident

When filming your staff or a customer testimonial be confident for them, keep calm and keep smiling if they are fluffing it up and panicking – respond with encouragement and guidance – always start with a positive and tell them that they are doing well but you would just like to take one more take and if they could just XYZ will make them feel they are doing ok.

Only have the people there which are necessary. It’s not helpful having fellow staff members grinning in the background and smirking at them if they are stumbling over their lines.

Warm-up

Before you start ask your subject a few warm-up questions to get them comfortable in front of the camera. This will allow you see whether your set up needs any adjustment or if they move out of frame. Rather than stand in front of the camera a lot of people will feel more comfortable being seated and are less likely to step out of the frame and wave their arms around when they talk.

For really nervous subjects remind them to breathe and to relax their shoulders if they are hunched and tense. Literally, ask them to raise and drop their shoulders a few times and take big breaths. Do it with them and they are more likely to mimic you and be less self conscious. If their mind goes blank on a certain phrase change tack and break it up. Don’t expect them to monologue long scripts.

Questions

When you ask your subject the question, ensure they say the question in their answer to make sure what they are saying makes sense when you come to edit it. For example: “What impressed you particularly about our ABC product?” Their answer would be: “I was particularly impressed by the quality and efficiency of the ABC product.”

When answering your questions ask your subject to look and speak towards the top of the camera and to look past the lens. Make sure the person who is asking the questions is stood directly behind the camera to ensure their eyes and body language doesn’t instinctively gravitate towards them and away from the camera.

Take one more take

Don’t be afraid to take a couple of shots of the important stuff to ensure you definitely have it. There is no harm in asking them to repeat what they said as it is better to spend a few minutes refining and re-recording a question than having to come back and shoot it all again. If in doubt, capture it one more time.

Be sneaky

Last of all don’t always let them know you are filming or pretend you are capturing a dummy run – you’ll be amazed at how many times people can do it on the cuff without the pressure of thinking they are being recorded!

 

Image Credit: Camera Operator Setting Up Video Camera by jsawkins Flickr

Interview: Into the Dragon’s Den with Sophia from Tickle Tots

I catch up with Sophia Ferguson, the founder of Tickle Tots Cloth Nappies, about the journey she’s been on over the past 4 years from product development to getting investment.

If you would like to find out more get in touch with Sophia on Twitter, Facebook or visit www.tickle-tots.com.

Image Credit: Sophia Ferguson, Tickle Tots

Something Inventive 23: From Audio Books to Zero Reach

Al and Ben discuss the benefit of audio in learning, Some advice on GDPR, and my interview with Sophia who entered the Dragons Den.

If you have any feedback, ideas or topics you’d like covered on our podcast we’d love to hear from you. Please get in touch via our contact page, leave a voicemail on 0800 881 5805 or mention @RatherInventive on Twitter.

Listen on Apple Podcasts app

Something Inventive is an entertaining and lively podcast on creativity and the web. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts or search for ‘Something Inventive’ in your favourite podcast player.


Episode sponsored by Ticked Off Marketing Checklist

Simple marketing tasks to act on right away. Each task includes examples, downloads or the steps needed to complete it, plus a big button to tick it off when you’re done. Sign up for a free 7 day trial at ticked-off.com with just your email and no credit card.

Show notes

 

The Hosts

Al Osmond (@inventiveal) – An unusual mix of logical thinker with a creative eye
Ben Kinnaird (@benkinnaird) – Knower of Social media, SEO and ‘the Web’

Be part of the show

Tweet a service or product you’d like to promote, mentioning @RatherInventive and the hashtag #podvert and we’ll read it out over the coming episodes.

If you like the show please give us a rating in iTunes and we’ll read out your comment. You can do this from the podcast player on Apple.

Thanks for listening!


Audio edited by Donalize – ‘Goofy Vocal Groove‘ intro music by Dave Girtsman – Image Credit: Listen by Jim Simonson

Educate to compete

Jon is a kitchen designer and he is struggling. There are so many other kitchen design businesses in his area that he is finding it difficult to compete.

There are few industries these days that aren’t saturated with new businesses. In 2017, there was a total of 5.7 million businesses in the UK. With so many businesses in operation, a good many of them are likely to be in your sector or industry. So, what can you do to get you noticed?

Unless you are a big fish in your ocean then you won’t have the means to advertise enough to be noticed among all the other businesses. Small firms like yours will not have the resources to out spend the bigger businesses in promoting itself. But, what you can do is out educate them by creating useful and practical content.

Why teach?

When readers learn something new, their brain recognises the content as rewarding and their dopamine levels increase. This makes them want to seek out more content in the future to repeat these feelings of pleasure, and if it’s your content they’re reading they’ll appreciate you for it. It also makes them want to share this valuable resource with others.

Teaching helps your customers

Jon is good at what he does, building quality kitchens, using only the best sustainable materials. He has noticed recently that some of the clients that come to him have little idea about where to start choosing their dream kitchen. He decides to offer them some tips and guidelines in the form of blogposts. He writes about where customers can find out about the different options available to them, he creates case studies of previous clients and how they created their dream kitchen, and he writes about the best materials to use as well as many other topics that he thinks his readers might want to learn about.

By educating his readers about kitchens, Jon benefits in two ways. Firstly people are interested in what he has to teach them so they keep coming back, and they share Jon’s website with all their friends. Secondly, customers have a better idea of what they want when they come to him because his blog posts have given them the guidance they need.

Teaching helps your business

By teaching others about your industry, you show yourself to be knowledgeable; an authority in your subject. Nothing brings more respect than being considered an expert. To teach what you know to your readers, and offer some practical utility puts you at the forefront of your industry and gives you a distinct advantage.

Tileflair are tiling experts – they know everything there is to know about tiles and tiling. Every month they publish blog posts about how to install tiles, how to use them in décor and they give ideas for interior styling using floor and wall tiles. People visit their website because they offer this service for free. This bring them respect in their industry and among their customers, but it also inspires their readers to buy tiles from them.

The more you become known as a business that teaches, the more people will see you as an expert, and a resource, the more opportunities you’ll get for exposure. It is this exposure that helps lift your head up above the crowds of other businesses identical to yours and will nurture those all-important relationships with your business community.

Teaching shows you as an expert

Readers want actionable advice. Once they know you can offer this, they will come to you to learn, and if you deliver again and again your business will benefit.  Some of those people may sign up for your service or email list because they want to repay you for the content that helped them, or they’ll want to share your practical advice with others. Either way, you win.

At Rather Inventive we are practicing what we preach. We’ve create many blog posts that inform and teach readers the vital parts of marketing. So, how can you educate your audience? How can you share your knowledge and experience so that they’ll want to visit you again?

Image Credit: Cea+ Art Rotterdam

Elevenerife! Let your testimonials sweep your customers away

I am sure you have encountered them, people who brashly sell themselves and tell you how great they are… at everything! If you have been to Tenerife they have undoubtedly been yachting at Elevenerife!

It is incredible how some people still get swept away with this but if you look closely and listen carefully, it’s usually nothing more than overcooked fluff. Over time, their initial supporters learn the hard way and will eventually notice they are not quite what they have projected themselves to be.

For some people, it comes easily to shout about how awesome they are but if you are like me, then you might struggle with doing that convincingly. What if you could get someone else to promote you instead?

Reconnect with your customer

Gathering customer testimonials not only allows you to reconnect and stay fresh in your consumer’s mind but creates more credibility for you and your business. Being able to peruse other customer feedback and evaluate your company and product automatically increases the confidence of your audience and instils a stronger chance of investment when they do make contact with you.

The following testimonial was collected as part of our project feedback request with the client.

“I felt totally supported by RI throughout the [web] project and I thought we worked really well as a team to achieve the final result. The overall knowledge, skills and experience that RI has is impressive and I was delighted with the high level of customer service throughout the project from all members of the team.”
Abbots Hill School for Girls

Text is good but video is better

Text-based testimonials are good but in a generation who are skimming through the lines and reading less, you are more likely to get noticed with a video. Having real people in your testimonials and not airbrushed stock images is more likely to draw in and immerse your audience. By being able to see the person reviewing your service humanises your business and helps create that personal connection. By indirectly showing them how you can help their business, solve their problems and hear why other people thought you were the best choice will only strengthen your allure.

Testimonial video from Matt at Witley Jones

There is virtually no cost in posting a testimonial online, whether in text form on LinkedIn or on a video platform like YouTube. With the click of a button your videos can be easily shared and within seconds you can appeal to a multitude of your customer segments. Remember, what goes on the internet stays on the internet and your testimonial will be working around the clock reaching out across the continents to viewers from all walks of life.

Why not contact one of your customers to see if they would like to share their thoughts with you?

Find out how we can help you use video effectively in your business.

Image Credit: Win by Lisa Risager

Something Inventive 22: Bad Interfaces – Snapchat, Facebook and Big Brands

Jonathan Pollinger (stepping in for Al) joins Ben to discuss Snapchat’s recent design change, Facebook’s news feed favouring ‘meaningful social interactions’ and big brands on social media.

If you have any feedback, ideas or topics you’d like covered on our podcast we’d love to hear from you. Please get in touch via our contact page, leave a voicemail on 0800 881 5805 or mention @RatherInventive on Twitter.

Listen on Apple Podcasts app

Something Inventive is an entertaining and lively podcast on creativity and the web. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts or search for ‘Something Inventive’ in your favourite podcast player.


Episode sponsored by Ticked Off Marketing Checklist

Simple marketing tasks to act on right away. Each task includes examples, downloads or the steps needed to complete it, plus a big button to tick it off when you’re done. Sign up for a free 7 day trial at ticked-off.com with just your email and no credit card.

Show notes

The Hosts

Jonathan Pollinger (@intranetfuture) – Social Media Specialist at Intranet Future
Ben Kinnaird (@benkinnaird) – Knower of Social media, SEO and ‘the Web’

Be part of the show

Tweet a service or product you’d like to promote, mentioning @RatherInventive and the hashtag #podvert and we’ll read it out over the coming episodes

Thanks for listening!


Audio edited by Donalize – ‘Goofy Vocal Groove‘ intro music by Dave Girtsman – Image Credit: Classroom Laptops Computers Boy.jpg by R. Nial Bradshaw