New year, new content?

What can you do to make 2018 the best year as far as content marketing is concerned?

Make a plan, stick to it

One of the hardest things about content writing is doing it consistently.  For many people it’s easy to get started, but after a few weeks they find they’re posting when they find the time. This sort of approach means that it won’t be long before you realise you haven’t posted anything new for months!

The best thing you can do is come up with a content schedule.  How in depth this is, is up to you; however, it’s better to have something rather than nothing.  Perhaps you want to push company news on a Tuesday, or specific services on a Thursday. Maybe you’ll only blog once a week, in which case you can start to think about what might be topical and relevant to your audience.

Making a content schedule is a lot like having a work out plan – it’s no good if you have too many cheat days.  You certainly won’t see any of the benefits! The reality is the more you post, the more visible you become and this gives you, your business and your site more credibility.  Try to post at least once a week!

Do something different

If you’ve never embraced content before, now might well be the time to think about.

On the other hand, if you have and even use a content schedule to good effect, 2017 is the year for you to start thinking about spicing things up.  Adding the occasional infographic, or even video might encourage your audience to interact.  Could you even add a few free eBooks for people to download that help them with a particular issue or subject?

Promotion, promotion, promotion

It’s all well and good ensuring you have great content on your site, but how are you getting people to see it?  You need to make sure you’re getting it out there, otherwise what’s the point?

Not only do you need to make sure you have a schedule for creating and uploading content, but you need one to promote it too.  It doesn’t matter what social media platforms you use, or whether you completely automate the process, the key again is consistency.

The great thing with content, especially if it’s evergreen, is that you can use it so many times.  Play around with what works for your audience, and start tracking what days or times you get the most hits.  You can then work this in to your scheduling plan.

 

How much should a call handling service cost?

How much a call handling service costs you will depend largely on what sort of service you’re hoping to receive. Not all offerings are created equal.

 

Human Voicemail

There are some organisations that will only provide you with a human voicemail option. This essentially means that whilst a real-live person will answer your calls, they will do nothing more than simply take a message. These messages may then be emailed to you, or sent over via SMS or even WhatsApp; all depending on your preferences.

This is the most basic option and will usually cost in the region of £30 per month. You might then have additional charges depending on the number of calls you receive, and if you want any add on services, such as customer call back.

 

Customer Service

Other companies, such as Time Saving Heroes, offer a more customer service focussed answering solution. With this option your calls are answered by an individual, or team, who have been trained to understand how your business operates. They act as though they are part of your business, rather than an outsourced entity.

This is essential because it allows them to provide a better level of service to your customer – able to answer questions, deal with queries, handle complaints, make appointments, check order status and even upsell.

Prices for this level of service vary greatly; however, you should never expect to pay less then £50 per month. This ensures that staff are fully trained and able to best represent your company professionally. You may also have additional charges to pay if you exceed your call limits.

 

Virtual Reception

Larger call handling and answering services often have their own office space, and use this to be able to offer a full virtual reception package. This will include not only the customer service element of call handling, but will also allow you to direct any post to their office buildings, which will they will handle on your behalf. They may also have conferencing facilities for you to use, or hot desk options if you require some different to work for any reason.

Again, charges will vary, but virtual reception prices tend to be in the region of £5 per month alone, so expect to pay towards £60 per month for the full package (depending on location, of course).
If you want to find out more about the services we offer here at Time Saving Heroes, please give us a call on 0161 883 2024.

Social Media Resolutions for 2018

You’d be hard pressed to find a blog post or article that didn’t contain some reference to resolutions this week, and I’m sorry to say this one’s going to be no different. The start of a new year automatically brings with it the promise of fresh starts and new challenges, and so it should.

Many articles are going to focus around your personal resolutions; how to lose weight, achieve work-life balance or even further your career in 2018. But what if you run your own business? Can you still make career-based resolutions to propel you forward over the next 12 months?

Of course you can, and you most certainly should!

What you decide to focus on will depend on what it is you’re hoping to achieve by the end of the year, but here are my top five tips for things you should resolve to do with social media throughout 2018.

#1 – Automate

Let’s not waste time by discussing whether or not you should be using social media as part of your marketing mix (you should, there is no argument). Instead, let’s look at how to take the hassle out of it.

Many people worry they don’t have a consistent time where they can be online to publish content, and that’s a fair enough comment. However, you can use a wide variety of online tools to help you manage your social media accounts, and allow you to schedule your posts in advance.

Buffer is a great option, which will also help you source interesting content online, and then schedule it for a time that suits. Alternatively, my personal favourite is Hootsuite, as this will allow you to manage multiple social media accounts in one place.

Depending on your requirements (i.e. how many accounts you want to add) you may not even have to pay anything to use it!

#2 – Time Limits

I love social media, both personally and professionally, but it has a dark side – a side that means you can “pop” on for a five minute break, and then realise three hours later you’re still flicky-wooshing and commenting on pictures of other people’s meals! If I get stuck in a YouTube cycle of funny animals, I can be lost for days!

The key to managing your social media is therefore to set strict time limits, so you don’t get sucked in. Whether you want to go on every day to respond and post new content, or you want to schedule everything once a week or month, it doesn’t matter. Pick a time to do it, and decide, beforehand, how long you are going to complete the task you need to. Use a physical timer if necessary or even an alarm clock.

#3 – Reuse content

If you follow tip #2 hopefully locating or creating content to use in your social media posts won’t take up too much of your time; however, any time it does take up is not being used to its full potential if you only use that content once.

Some people hold the view that it’s “wrong” to share content more than once, certainly on the same platform, but that’s simply not true. I assure you, the social media police are not going to come looking for you!

I always try to produce “evergreen” content for my clients. This means it’s not tied to a specific one-off event, and can be useful days, weeks, months and even years in to the future. This way the content can be shared on multiple occasions.

Remember, not everyone on your Facebook page might have seen your original post at 12pm on a Monday, but they might catch it at 7pm the following Thursday.

#4 – Accept not everything works for you

As I said in point one, using social media as part of your marketing isn’t negotiable (not if you want to make any form of meaningful impact). However, what channels you use, is. Just because you have decided to embrace social media doesn’t mean you have to use every network going. Some simply won’t be of any use to you.

The important thing to remember here is what works for one business, may not work for another (even if they are in the same industry). It is vital you find out what does work for you, and you can do this either by trusting your gut or looking at analytics. Don’t be afraid to get rid of a social media account/page if you feel it’s zapping too much of your time for absolutely no return.

Remember, social media is meant to be social, if you find yourself posting content but no one is liking, sharing or interacting with it, then it’s serving no purpose whatsoever. Either see if you are doing something wrong which is impacting on your success, or accept it’s not the right choice for you and try something different.

#5 – Share it and outsource it

While it’s great to have original content, it’s not always possible or practical to create it on a regular basis. That means you have to find content from other people to share. This in itself is no bad thing, as it can still help you establish yourself as an authority in your field.

However, every so often you should create your own content to help express your own knowledge and opinions on a particular industry topic. For some, this might come easily; for others, less so. If you find that writing a 500 word blog is taking up a large part of your day, it may be worth paying a professional writer a fee to produce content on your behalf. It probably won’t take them much more than an hour and will be well worth whatever you have to pay for it, especially if you can keep reusing it.

Social Media Review

To get off to the best possible start with your social media marketing why not grab a FREE review from Time Saving Heroes?

New Year, New Job

With the start of a new year, many of us are feeling a renewed sense of optimism for the future. As a result, the new year often sees many people dust off their old CVs and start the hunt for a new job.
The good news is many employers will be looking to take on new staff in the new year, and may even have increased budgets to be able to fund this.
The bad news (there’s always some, isn’t there?) is that competition for positions is likely to increase at this time of year, as candidates flood the market.
How then, can you ensure you stand out from the crowd?
#1 – Update your CV
Rather than simply reusing the same tried and tired CV, take the time to fully update it now, even if you’ve not officially started your job hunting yet.
Take the time to think about what your responsibilities, duties and achievements have been in your current position. Add everything that’s likely to be relevant.
#2 – Think about why you want to change roles
Stop and analyse why you want to move positions, or employer. Is the commute getting you down? Do you think you deserve a larger salary? Have you exhausted all your options for career progression where you are now?
Whatever the reasons, write them down, and see which ones you can use to show your enthusiasm for a new career.
#3 – Tailor your application
When you do find a role that’s perfect for you, make sure your CV is tailored specifically to it. You should never just send out a standard CV, no matter how good you think it might be. One size does not fit all in this situation.
Look at what the job description or person specification is actually looking for, and make sure your CV demonstrates how you meet those requirements.
#4 – Send a cover letter
Start preparing your cover letter now, so you don’t have to sit staring at a blank page for hours on end as the deadline for applications looms.
Cover letters, like CVs, tend to follow a similar format, so you can get many of your thoughts and selling points down on paper long before you find the perfect role. As with a CV however, you will need to ensure you tailor it to meet the objectives of the position.
#5 – Do some research
If you’re serious about getting out of your current position, start doing some research for companies you might want to work for. See if they’re hiring, and even if they aren’t, consider sending a speculative application. At worst, they will no doubt keep your details on record for when they do start hiring again.
Keep an eye on the employers that interest you, so you will be in the best position to know when they do open their doors for the next recruitment drive.

 

Remember, here at Time Saving Heroes we offer CV and Cover Letter writing services, as well as full reviews of your current CV so you can make sure you’re putting your best foot forward. Give us a call on 0161 883 2024, follow us on Facebook or Twitter, or just drop us an email to hello@timesavingheroes.co.uk