We’ve started a YouTube Channel!

Yes, that’s me! and yes, I am a total poser!

But that’s actually a GOOD THING because we have started a YouTube Channel. Whoohoo!

What I have been finding recently is that different people ask me the same questions, how to set things up? why do one thing and not the other? and often times when I’m speaking to folks it turns out that they have been scared to ask for fear of looking foolish or it being a stupid question.

IT’S NOT, ask away!!!

I am THE QUEEN of “stupid” questions!

Apart from that one time when we sat in a Nintendo briefing and a member of staff asked what to do with the DS if it ran out of battery and we all sat and rolled our eyes as the trainer tried to sensitively tell her to charge it up without adding “you moron” to the end of his sentence. That was a stupid question. But no, on this occasion it wasn’t me.

So from now on, When I get asked a question, we’re going to make a video about it. Because you know what? If you’re wondering it, then other people will be as well! and we might as well be open about it. If I don’t know how to do something, I’ll find out. So we’re all learning together!

(I wont name who asked me, don’t worry!)

So if you’ve got anything to ask, fire it over….this might be fun 🙂

Where Will TMG be? – October 2017

For anyone who doesn’t know, The Marketing Geeks are HUGE believers in face to face networking, so we get out and about and try to meet as many people as possible during the working week.

Lots of the events are free or cost the same as a cup of coffee or tea, and the connections you can make can be invaluable!

So, if you would like to come along to any and either meet us there or arrange a one-2-one before or after the events we’d love to meet you!

Below are the events we will be attending this October (and their links to the tickets if you need to book!)

Wednesday 4th October

Falkirk Business Day 2017

Come along to hear speakers from business around the Falkirk area

Tuesday 10th October

Wedding Suppliers Network

All suppliers for wedding, from venues and caterers, to wedding stationers and florists

Wednesday 11th October

Scottish Networking Show (Edinburgh)

Networking on a mammoth scale at the Edinburgh Capital Hotel. Mingling, 60 second pitches, speed networking, the full shebang. If you’re there, say hello!

Thursday 12th October

Launch of the Firrenes first single

Before jetting off to Berlin to begin their first European gig The Firrenes will be launching their first single “Time & Place/Destitution Row” at the Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh.

Friday 13th October

Friday Biz, Berwick upon Tweed.

Hosted by the delightful Charlie Kenny we attend the Granary from 12noon-2pm (ish), lots of businesses and lots of interesting topics covered.

Wednesday 18th October

Coffee Connections Edinburgh

Colin McKeand’s legendary coffee connections at the Village Hotel, Edinburgh will be drawing the usual crowd of 80+ guests so get along and start connecting.

Thursday 26th October

East End Connections

Having recently bumped into Fiona who runs East End Connections and having never attended before, it’s about time we ventured through to sunny Glasgow to see what all the fuss is about!

On all other days we are free for a chinwag over a cup of tea so feel free to get in touch at contactus@themarketinggeeks.co.uk and we can arrange a suitable time

Because sometimes you have to step completely out of your comfort zone.

 

Just a selection of the technologies that were there to present

Over the past few weeks I have been chatting to a lot of customers and I felt my ideas weren’t as “outside of the box” as they usually are, this could be for a number of reasons, because I’ve been working with similar industries, because the people I work with know each other and have wanted to discover similar avenues, because of collaborations or perhaps because we are coming to that time of the year that can be restricting!

Whatever the reason I needed to give myself a kick up the jacksie.

Now, I network a LOT, so being in a room of strangers doesn’t bother me, neither does being with professionals from other industries, in fact, I rather prefer a mixed bag these days.

So, I had to go further….

I had to put myself in a room with people I didn’t know, who discussed something I knew NOTHING about.

So, I went along to the bi-annual Edinburgh Cancer Immunology Seminar to see if I could find collaboration ideas or business development avenues for clients

Challenge accepted

About three minutes into the opening presentation, the words “we all have masters or PhDs” were mentioned and I immediately regretted sitting in the second row of the auditorium. (I never went to Uni and I think I only went to fresher’s fairs when I worked in promo).

I felt dumb.

BUT the first section was on collaborations and while everyone in the room could understand the science, I was more interested in the routes to market, the processes that they took (spoiler alert, much lengthier and drawn out processes than were necessary), the costings and how they accessed the help they needed.

Unfortunately, what they discovered was the same as what many small businesses discover; that there is an awful lot more to business than your own passion for your subject.

Over the course of the day I learnt about collaborations that were going on, research and its intricacies, the challenges to be the first to develop technologies, the accessibility and barriers to collaborative efforts and the lengthy projects on which academics can sometimes base their entire careers.

As someone who moves around as much as me, that’s completely alien!

I had some incredibly interesting conversations, mostly with me asking dumb questions and them being delighted to tell me all about what they were working on! It really got the old noggin ticking!

The conversations were broken down for me so that I could understand the science and when I told them about my work, I broke it down as well, so it really made clear how to communicate things in their most simplistic ways without being patronising or assuming.

Which I think we are all guilty of to some degree.

So yes! I thoroughly recommend taking yourself out of your comfort zone and trying something completely new, be it a hobby or a seminar on something you know nothing about! It will really get you thinking and could generate some fantastic inspiration!

Freebie Hunters and Thingamijigs

There seems to be a concerning amount of people running competition offers.

Now, I know we all love a bargain! And I’m a huuuuuuuge fan of a BOGOF or a bulk buy saving, hello Costco!

BUT…

For brands, and services that are just getting started, it’s a worrying trend

(As much as I don’t agree with the methods, I’m not going to criticise how someone chooses to run their business, so let’s for the sake of the post, use Thingamijig as the item in question)

Imagine this exchange:

Customer: I have this fantastic new thingamajig I want to sell, its taken me X amount of time to design it and make it, I’ve spent Y on development and materials and its costs Z

Advisor: Sure, let’s give it away free!

NO! NO! NO! Why would you do this?

There is a temptation that in order to bring it to market, to get people to see it, to use it, and then encourage others to buy it, that a freebie would be a good idea. But here’s the thing, often you will only attract freebie hunters. And many freebie hunters will NEVER go on to buy.

We will have all seen a competition to “win a weekend at Thingami 5 star hotel”, and how many times have you seen the person who enters that competition go “oh well, I didn’t win but let’s go to Thingami 5 star hotel anyway”

Nope, they rarely do. They just enter the next competition, and then the next, and then the next.

Yes, these competitions can drive a level of engagement, but is it the right engagement for your brand? Well, not always. Will these competition winners or bargain hunters turn into repeat customers? Probably not*. Will they recommend to their friends? Possibly, but more than likely they will hold out for your next offer.

And are they engaging fully? Do they know about your brand? Did they read about it or watch your videos? Did they find out how you developed this incredible product? Does it solve a problem or want for them? Do they desire and want it?

Or did they just read the word FREE and hit the like and share?

Hmmm, I think you already know my opinion on that.

There are instances where these tactics can work, but it’s incredibly dependant on the type of thingamajig you are offering and how you are placing yourself on the market.

A good marketer will go through the options with you and work on a long term strategy that can incorporate the best methods for YOUR THINGAMIJIG!

We happen to be rather good marketers so if you want to have a chat about what direction your brand should be taking, get in touch contactus@themarketinggeeks.co.uk

Toodles!

*I say probably not here, but you could be one of the well oiled machines that have the correct methods in place to put your data into a sales funnel and then turn a “probably not” customer into a “oh my goodness YES” customer, in which case, well done! I absolutely salute you!

The Firrenes – Band


This is The Firrenes looking all moody and serious and sexy

Back in cold and gloomy February, when research for SeriousExtreme was still in its early stages and most of my time was spent actually going out to try and find the people to list on the site and promote, I bumped into an old friend who had just started a band called The Firrenes.

Everyone asks why they called themselves The Firrenes, I don’t know. I’ll get Jules on a podcast one day and pin him down to an answer, until the, we’ll just have to wonder.

Knowing that I worked in marketing and that band work was pretty different to what they had done before, we decided to work on some ideas, get them a bit more visible on their social media channels and be able to promote them as a band rather than solo artists with view to future gigs and tours!

That’s awesome right!

Big plans are afoot, with a single launch; which we’ve just completed the cover art for, thanks the The PhotoGrabber, album to be recorded next year, new material being written this summer and then gigs in Europe planned for October 2017, its all steam ahead, especially now that we are planning a gig calendar for summer of 2018.

So, watch this space.

You can listen to some sample tracks on The Firrenes website and on their YouTube Channel and why not join them at their single launch gig at Edinburgh’s Voodoo Room Ballroom.

See you there!

Follow The Firrenes @ Instagram, Facebook, Twitter & YouTube

Tickets for all gigs can be found direct from their website or on eventbrite or Skiddle

An unconventional intro to motorsport

Picture the scene…

You’ve never been on a racetrack before and a contact of yours puts you in touch with a manager at Knockhill who invites you come find out more….

The day arrives and it’s snowing. Not just a little bit either, but a FULL-ON BLIZZARD!

But that’s OK, because you’re sitting in a cosy hospitality suite listening to all the things that go on and it even sounds exciting!

So, when the invitation to go out on the track is offered, you snap it with both hands.

You whizz around the track at a crazy speed, which somehow, doesn’t adequately scare you, so you ask appropriate questions like “what’s the fatality rate?” and “is there many accidents?”

And then find out that the reason you were on the track is because they needed skilled drivers to make the call on whether it’s safe to let the drivers go out and test their vehicles.

It was not. Not safe at all.

So, everyone was sent home.

Well, that was my first experience of racing.

And it was pretty Epic!

I’m going to be honest and say that I did NOT see myself becoming a fan of the racing, being on track is fun and gets the heart racing but the thought of spending a whole day watching cars go round in circles didn’t strike me as fun.

I was wrong.

This year I was lucky enough to get to work with a team and some of their drivers; some who were racing for the first year, some who had a few seasons under their belt and some who were changing vehicles for a new challenge.

It’s incredible to watch.

Everyone on a team knows exactly what they need to do. The skills level of the mechanics is awe inspiring, you see drivers on an emotional roller-coaster throughout the day, you have numpties like me who just try and make themselves useful and comprehend all the work that’s going on to make this an entertaining day for the spectators. (most of whom are buzzing around the cars)

The 2017 season will be closing in October, they don’t race over the winter, which means now they are preparing for the 2018 start.

There will be new drivers looking for sponsors, established drivers looking to progress to the next level, new challenges and new opportunities, so if you would like to know more about the opportunities and benefits of sponsoring Motorsport get in touch contactus@themarketinggeeks.co.uk and we’ll be happy to tailor a package that could help your business thrive!

The Freedom of Saying NO

Yes, there’s a sweary in the image, Totally relevanty!!

When you are just starting out you often look for advice from peers, people you work with or family. And I say this with absolute honesty that when you do this, unless those peers have been in business for themselves for a while and are qualified to be dishing out advice, prepare yourself to hear some of the worst advice you will ever hear.

No joke!

One of the common ones, and my personal favourite is “Never turn down work”

We hear this ALL the time

Now I can see it from both sides; you want work, you want a steady income and you don’t want to disappoint people. But you also need time to work ON your business, make connections and, first and foremost, NOT be strung out by over-committing yourself

So, one of the best skills you can learn is to say NO.

(I’m not saying you should be rude, or run away, or scream, burning bridges is never a good idea)

Saying No, or rather, not immediately saying Yes, is a good habit to get into. It gives you time to step away and figure out whether you want to work with them, if the project or workload is worthwhile, whether you have the time and resources to fulfil the tasks or even just to get some headspace from stressed out clients.

You will get roped into projects or problems because the person who’s problem it is, has projected that problem ON TO you and you want to help. But that’s when its especially important to step away and realise that it’s THEIR problem, not yours.

One of the best tricks I heard about was Robert Kiyosaki (the chap who wrote rich dad, poor dad) who used to tell customers he would need to consult his business partner.

Often even just making a quick phone-call to run through the details of the deal out loud, before deciding.

On the end of the phone would be his business partner, who was in fact, his cat.

But relaying the details out loud were enough to get the clarity on whether it was something he wanted to pursue.

If you don’t have a business partner, or a cat, or perhaps consulting a person isn’t relevant, then just consult your diary. Usually a quick glance at the busy diary is enough to get me back down to earth with a bump, regardless of how much I want to get involved!

On that note,

If it’s something that’s incredibly exciting it can be especially difficult to step away. It can also be a lot harder to leave the project once it begins

So that’s when its SUPER IMPORTANT to take a step away, have a look at the diary, see what time you could commit to it and make an informed decision.

“I’m too busy” IS a valid reason

Often you will hear people saying that being too busy is just an excuse but there is NOTHING WRONG with not wanting to over-commit. You will have existing commitments, projects, work and home life responsibilities. We are all busy people now.

If you find you have extra time when you can help that’s absolutely fine, but don’t be bullied into overstretching yourself.

Being upfront and not being involved is better than resenting the project and not enjoying it because you’ve been a stressed-out ball of anxiety just to bring it to fruition.

Walk away. Decent people will appreciate the honesty.

Anyone who doesn’t is probably someone you have had a lucky escape from.

If you want to find out if working with TMG is a good idea, why don’t we have a chat? You can email us anytime at workwithus@themarketinggeeks.co.uk

What we can help you with??

Ok, so when people ask what The Marketing Geeks do, the answer is always…

“We help small businesses build their marketing strategy”

But what does that mean?

(It’s OK to be unsure, there are literally hundreds of ways of marketing)

Most people think it’s just about social media, But that’s only one of the tools in the tool kit.

So yes, we can help you build your social media.

and some other services we can provide are:

  • SEO (search engine optimisation) techniques. Paid and Free methods
  • Branding; Graphic design, Website, Logo & Imaging services
  • Brand Development
  • Niche Development
  • Customer Communication
  • Content Development
  • Off-line Marketing
  • Event Consultancy, Co-ordination and Management
  • Seasonal Campaign Implementation
  • Business to Business (B2B) & Business to Customer (B2C) relationship building
  • Promotional Marketing Campaigns
  • Socially Responsible Marketing

And many more!

(totally aware how cheesy the “and many more” bit is…..lets roll with it!)

Most of our work is developing an understanding of your customer, which techniques are the most relevant to them (and to you) and finding ways to implement these in to your business week!

And et voila!

We have a…(drum roll Please)…..Marketing Strategy!

So if you have been stuck with any of the above, lets have a chat and see how we could help your business!

Get in touch at Contactus@themarketinggeeks.co.uk

The Power of face to face networking!

Ok here’s the truth…. Most businesses have at least part of the business online, and sometimes communicating digitally can be incredibly lonely.

This is especially the case when you are starting out in business or have been in a role for a long time, but let me assure you, it happens to all of us.

Who do you ask for help? Who do you talk to about business? Is everyone doing super well and you’re the only one who’s feeling overwhelm?

That’s why you need business chums!

Luckily, recently there has been a resurgence of face to face networking events all around the UK, from the big established networks to the small seminar networking events, popping up at various businesses, more and more people are making the most of being able to go out there and meet people.

But we often shy away from networking, so let’s address a few things

You’re not going to get sold to!

It’s not about selling. You aren’t going to turn up and be expected to buy a wollop of services (unless you want to) and most people who approach it that way, don’t last long. It’s about meeting other professionals, building relationships, building connections, learning about what people want, and tailoring your services accordingly.

People really do buy from people they know and trust. (I may have stolen that tagline)

So, having that face to face contact is incredibly valuable. Everyone knows they are dealing with a human and being on the networking scene shows that you can be found and you are open to communication.

You will build connections FAST!

And you will be shocked at how quickly your network grows and how many strong relationships form in a short space of time!

Being in a room with lots of new people means you have to find common ground  quickly and you can refine your “elevator pitch” to get the most relevant information across and FAST! (I can’t tell you how much I hate the term elevator pitch, but at least you know what I mean)

Everyone was once the newbie in the room!

Networking events can seem a bit intimidating at first; the prospect of putting yourself in a room with up to 100 people and explaining your business can be scary, but you very quickly realise that everyone in that room has at some point felt the exact same.

I don’t know if I can spare the time!

They adopt several different formats; round-tables, seminars, guest speaking events, breakfast or coffee mornings, speed networking, golfing days, cocktail parties, to be honest the list is ENDLESS.

And they are held at all different times of the day, so you can go for an early morning brekkie or maybe a cocktail after work, so some educational seminars during the day. Just find the ones that work for you!

What’s in it for the organisers?

This gets asked time and time again, and the organisers are also building connections, these could be possible clients or even just possible ways to help existing clients.

Those who understand the power of networking know that building a strong network and getting yourself known (and staying known) is one of the best things you can do for your business. So what better way than by organising your own events!

Many offer free or very low cost events. Don’t be suspicious of them, embrace them!

And you’ll often find they encourage you to make those connections and meet people of interest afterwards for a one-to-one to dig a little deeper. They WANT you, as part of their network, to be successful.

The Marketing Geeks are SO passionate about networking that we are in the process of organising our own events calendar starting 2018. In the meantime, we will be publishing the events we’ll be attending on our Where Will TMG Be? Page.

So, pop along! If you’re nervous and need some moral support, let us know and we’ll be sure to introduce you to some people when you get there!

Not got our number??

What do you notice about the business card in the picture? Apart from the fact that’s its awesome, and yellow, and slick, and Cool? (OK, I’ll stop now)

Yup, you’ve guessed it, There is no number on it.

That IS intentional

We do hand these out a LOT  at various business, networking and trade events and to everyone who has emailed or contacted us to inform us that we have forgotten to put a number on, Thank you! Your concern is valued and so is the time you’ve taken out of your day to jump on that email. That shows that you are super people and definitely the type we want to be around!

So right now you are probably thinking that we have some cool, edgy reason for having no numbers, like perhaps we’re allergic of telephones? Or currently our office is guarded by fire breathing dragons who, as we all know, devour numbers for lunch, rendering them useless?

I’m afraid not

(*sad face*)

It’s actually much simpler than that…

(*Happy Face*)

When a new client comes to us, we know that your time is short, your requirements need to be met quickly, but also, in order to make your time with us worthwhile, we need to know a bit more about you.

Email gives away so much more information that you would think, firstly we can search for you, we’ll generally know your name, your workplace, where you are based and what areas you cover, the social media you use, and a multitude of other things BEFORE we’ve even read the text of your email, which gives us a fantastic baseline for when we phone you back. Which, by the way, we always do.

When we do arrange a meeting, we tailor our plans more effectively as we have done our research and can dig deeper on what is right for your business.

This might not be to everyone’s liking, and that’s OK

We hope that when you do get in touch it is the beginning of a beautiful and productive relationship, so drop us a line and let us know your goals at contactus@themarketinggeeks.co.uk and let’s see what we can do for you!