By now, you probably have received a few or a few too many emails asking you to confirm that you still like to hear from this or that company.
On 25th May 2018, a new EU directive, called GDPR, comes into place that more heavily regulates how we as businesses store information about people. For Swedish businesses, it isn't much more stringent than the current data protection legislation BUT it comes with heavy fines as penalties.
The directive is long and extremely hard to read (we had to read it....zzzzzz....) to to try to help you all so you don't need 400+ pages of legalese bedtime reading, here is a small snippet of it in as easy language as we could manage, that outlines the specific reasons you can store information about someone and contact them.
The directive provides six reasons that you need to choose from if you want to store someone's personal information (and if their email address has their name in it, that counts):
(a) the person has specifically given consent to the processing of their personal data for one or more specific purposes;
(b) you need to keep their details and contact them in relation to work you are doing for or in relation to them or in order to do something that they have asked for before entering into a contract;
(c) you need to keep their details because the law says you must;
(d) you need to keep their details in order to protect their or someone else's vital interests;
(e) you need to keep their details so you can carry out a task in the public interest or for official authority;
(f) you need to keep their details for the purposes of the legitimate interests by you or by a third party, except where they are overridden by the fundamental rights and freedoms of the person which require protection of personal data, in particular where the person is a child.
Many companies are focusing on getting the consent of their contacts to continue sending them marketing emails, for example. However, the GDPR clearly states that direct marketing is an allowable 'legitimate interest' for choosing reason (f) above and therefore you don't actually need a person's explicit consent to email them something salesy. You do, however, need to make it very easy for them to ask you to stop emailing them and, if they do, stop immediately. You also must delete old contact information - if you aren't actively marketing to a contact and can't show any other reason from the list above that you should keep their details, get rid of them
What does your contacts list look like? Do you use a CRM system? If a contact asked you to provide all the information they can soon ask for to show how you are handling their information, could you?
If you need help with any GDPR issues or have questions, get in touch with us at My Own Marketing Coach here and/or contact Shadi Amundin, Special Counsel at Cederwalls International Law Firm on Shadi (AT) cederwalls.com or +46 (0)707 75 63 55.
The growing social media wave isn’t ending anytime soon and most business owners know they need to be online and social to remain visible. What isn’t so well understood is that:
Yes, 3 years…
You should get your social media accounts set up from the inception of your business. Or, if possible, well in advance of launching. Pre-launch marketing is often more successful than launch marketing, as people love to feel they know about something before most other people! Your target audience is hanging around in one or more of the popular social networks – work out which ones they are and get your profiles up and running so you can start to:
1. Connect with your target audience
Social media provides a way for you to have an open two-way channel for communication with your prospects and customers. Whether you are there or not, your prospective customers are looking to social media first to connect with you. So be there.
3. Improve client retention
The open communication and convenience of social media is extremely conducive to building deeper relationships with your clients. When people have an opportunity to connect with you or provide feedback, it makes them feel like they have a voice and when you respond in a prompt and professional manner, you boost customer loyalty, which means better client retention.
4. Increase traffic and conversions on your website
Each time you include a link to your website in a social media post, you’re creating new points of entry for viewers to get to your website. The more time they spend in contact with you, via social media and then via the website, the more likely they are to convert into a customer.
5. Open up opportunities for sharing
If you have a marketing message that you want to convey to your audience as quickly as possible, all you have to do is post it to your social media account. The benefit here is that your followers see you as a person just like them, making you stand out more in their minds and you can get the message out too them quickly. If there is a blog post you just wrote - post it. If something has gone really well – post it. If your operational hours have changed – post that too!
6. Keep track of your competitors
Watching your competitors’ activities might should a little creepy but it not only keeps you up to speed on what they’re doing, it provides extra insight into your business’ advancements. Having access to this information, you can compare your competitors’ business actions to yours and use that knowledge to improve your business strategies to stay ahead of the curve.
If you’re already in business and think you could be getting sales from social media, get started. At whatever stage you are at, create a social media plan, get your profiles set up and get posting!
We hear from so many small businesses that they have amazing products and services and now just need people to buy them. With limited budgets, paying a marketing agency or sales staff can be out of the question so we coach you to help grow your small business into the business you want.
We have three levels of coaching packages so you don't need to commit to regular coaching (though you can do that too!). Check them all out here.
Would you like more customers for your small business?
Our workshops are designed for small and start-up businesses and people turning hobbies into businesses. They take place at our office in Danderyd, north of Stockholm and help you grow your business. Below are the sessions we are running this coming autumn:
The cost of these two-hour sessions is 490 kr inc MOMS per person in advance by SWISH to 0709247260. For more information or booking, please get in touch with us at www.myownmarketingcoach.com or email email@example.com.
Instagram masterclass - using your existing Instagram account to bring in sales – Spring/Autumn 2018
The session will suit you if you are:
Wednesday 18th April - 12:30-2:30pm (5 spaces)
Wednesday 10th Oct 12:30-14:30 (6 spaces)
Wednesday 14th Nov 12:30-14:30 (5 spaces)
490kr inc MOMS per person in advance by SWISH to 0709247260
To book, please fill in the form here or email firstname.lastname@example.org, stating which session you would like to join and, if you know it already, your goal (including your website and social media profiles if possible).
What is SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and how can I use it to reach clients and grow my business?
Why can’t people find your business website/blog on the internet? Why are there no visitors on your business website/blog?
Maybe Search Engine Optimisation is your answer.
If you have a business website or blog, you need to know what SEO is all about. SEO is one of the most fundamental and powerful methods to increase your business website/blog’s visibility on the internet and help you reach out to your clients online.
Is it free?
Yes, it is. In this post, we will focus on the effective-yet-free methods for small business to improve their SEO but there are plenty of services (including from Google) and software on the market to improve your company website’s SEO if you have the budget.
What is SEO?
Let’s break it down into two words: ’Search Engine’ and ’Optimisation’. ‘Search Engine‘ basically means Google, since more than 90% people use Google as their main search engine in Sweden, although there are others too. ‘Optimisation’ means to make your website most appealing and easy to use so the search engines like it and maximise the visibility of your business website or blog on the search results page list.
In simple terms, SEO is a method of getting your business website/blog link to appear on Google search results page as high on the list as possible when people type in any search words that are related to your business.
It’s like a digital yellow pages and all websites/blogs are fighting to be on the front page for their website/blog to be seen by their customers.
Why does Google need us to do SEO?
We can think of the process of how Google determines the ranking of a search result as an audition itself. In this audition, Google use more than 200 factors to decide the order of the ranking shown on the search result page.
So what is our business website/blog auditioning for? We are auditioning to prove to Google that our business website/blog is:
How do we meet those crazy 200+ unclear factors from Google to get high ranking for our business website/blog?
Luckily, lots of research and experiments have been done so there are many tips and rules discovered for how to improve the SEO for Google’s sake. By actively working to improve them, they can essentially guarantee an improvement in your website’s ranking in Google.
Is it a one-off job?
We do need to work on improving our website/blog’s SEO continuously and relentlessly. As Google is constantly reviewing, adjusting and updating its search results, there is no time limit, it means this ’audition’ with Google is an on-going process and its never too late to get the ball rolling!
What happens if we do a good job of optimising our website for search engines?
If our business website/blog’s SEO is well-taken-cared of, it means it will get more visibility on Google search. More exposure helps us to achieve the following:
Last but not least:
Now you know what all the fuss about SEO is for and how it can help to grow your business.
Are you ready to get the ball rolling but don’t know how?
We will unearth more secrets of SEO in future posts. If you want to get more free tips, pop your email address in the box on the right to get our blog posts by email.
Is SEO something you have yet to look into for your business? Get started with SEO with us on 21st March 2018, a two-hour training session costing only 450kr per person. We also have an autumn session on 3rd Oct 2018. Click here for more information.
Need individual help? Learn more here - see how we can help you to grow your business.
So… you get the idea, so many merits for all the effort of blogging for your business.
Did we mention that it is really cost effective? It is almost free!
This doesn’t mean it is easy. In fact, many people easily fail to grasp the core concept of blogging for business, as it is more complex than blogging for your own hobby/personal blog. Here are seven fundamental points for business blogging for you to focus on in 2018;
1. Have a plan – just writing out your latest thoughts or recent visit to Starbucks no longer works (not sure that ever did!). A business blog should be well-planned and become a good story that helps potential customers through their customer journey. Think it through before you post anything on your business website.
2. Time – when and how often is also crucial. Imagine yourself that your post is fighting for attention with other posts, news and ads across all sorts of channels that we come across everyday. Planning when and how often to post helps potential clients see, read and interact with your ongoing story.
3. Content – from headline to the last sentence, every word should be useful and in line with the message you want to carry through to your clients. It should either be creative, interesting or inspiring and a well-mixed balance of different formats.
4. Engaging your public or industry influencers – you can hugely increase the effectiveness of a blog post if you see it as the start to a ripple effect. By engaging one or several potential clients, current clients or influencers in a post, you speed up the spreading of the post immensely. It could be as simple as a reference and link to a website, an article or a post with another individual, social media profile or company.
5. Visual – ‘a picture says a thousand words’ cannot be truer than in the case of blogging. Although by visual we mean everything from the choice of colour scheme, the font, the size of the typing, the proportion of the images and everything that we should consider most important to grasp the eye of our readers, we also mean that you must, must, must use one good image that represents the content of the post. It is this image that reaches a whole extra target group.
6. Competition – do you know who your competitions are out there? What do they post on their blog? What topics are on trend right now? What are they missing that could be your ‘in’, in the discussion/conversation?
7. Research – in order to maximise the effect of the business blogging, research is needed. Why? Knowledge is the powerful tool in the vast internet sea; it can help you to stay ahead of the game, sense what direction the market is shifting to and give you inspiration. It can also help you to build authority in your business field – making a more loyal client base and steady sales. You can see who has read which blog posts and topics and understand more about your target market from that.
Are you ready to start but don’t know how?
We will dig deeper into the art of blogging in future posts, would you like to be kept posted (pun intended!)? Pop your email address in the box on the right to get our blog posts by email.
Is blogging for business something you would like to know more about? Kick start your business blogging with us on 14th March 2018, a two-hour training session costing only 450kr per person. We also have autumn sessions on 26th Sept and 24th Oct 2018. Click here for more information.
Our job is to help you get more customers for your business, especially small and new businesses in Sweden and we've got some great ways to do that. Come and join us at our office in Danderyd this spring if you would like to know lots about the following topics:
Most of us can and do use social media but does it bring you new clients or is it just your friends (and family...) that like your posts?
In this two-hour session, we'll work through techniques to find prospective clients and turn them into leads (giving you their contact details) so you can turn them into clients. We'll look at two different methods - content and conversation - and how to use them both.
Blogging for business is a training session we run to help you get your blog up, running and promoting your business fast.
In the two-hour session on 14th March 2018, we'll work through blogging techniques you can use to get the search engines sending you lots of lovely visitors and the right type of visitors at that. We'll look at the content on your website, talk about what to blog and take a good look at the technical stuff to make sure you get it right.
You've got a great website. Or great enough. If you leave it sitting on the web, will people find it? There are more than 1 billion websites on the net. Are people finding yours?
Don't worry! We are holding a 2-hour training session on SEO - getting your website found and shown by the search engines - on Wed 21st March 2018, We'll work through techniques you can use to get the search engines sending you lots of lovely visitors and the right type of visitors at that. We'll look at the content on your website and at the technical stuff, to help you get started.
Our two-hour training sessions run from 12.30-2.30pm and cost 350kr each.
Ask us anything! If you would like some help with a topic not covered in March, please get in touch. We may already have a workshop planned or can help you specifically with your business.
For those of you who use Instagram for your businesses, do you feel your effort is delivering potential new clients to you or is nothing much happening?
It is absolutely possible to use Instagram to build sales but you must spend your energy on the right things. You might think that is posting great photos every day but, for most businesses, that isn't what you should be doing.
Find our thoughts on everything to do with small business marketing here.