Business TipsPosted by The Biz Expos Fri, September 08, 2017 14:45:14
The invention of the social media platform is a brilliant
thing. Not only can you now stalk your favourite celebrities from the comfort
of your own home (What?! Don’t pretend you don’t do it!), but it’s never been
easier to shout loud and proud about the businesses you’ve started, gaining
followers and attention that will most likely bring your company from the
ground to the highest point you can possibly reach.
Before you write this blog off as just another boring “hooray-for-social-media”
piece of writing, let me just stop you; because I’m about to delve into why
social media can actually be working against you if you don’t use it correctly.
The idea of social media is a simple one: a platform for you
to engage with like minded people, share what’s on your mind, memories and
photographs and ideally keep up to date with events/celebrities/businesses that
spark your interest. But over the last few years, more and more businesses have
been turning to social media in an attempt to market their products to those
with whom they may not engage with anywhere else. On Facebook, you can create an advert and for a minimal fee, Facebook will do the rest of the nitty,
gritty stuff. It will ensure your advert will be put in front of thousands of
people in your demographic. Seems foolproof really, doesn’t it? Facebook is literally doing what you’ve
been hoping to do without you doing any of the work. But the problem with this
is, there is no way to know who has actually seen your advert. Oh sure, it
gives you the statistics of people who have viewed it for longer than X amount
of time, but it doesn’t tell you who has paid any interest in it. How do you
know someone didn’t accidently click on your advert and then get distracted
doing something else? I’m not saying that Facebook
ads are a bad thing (we use them quite frequently here at the Biz Expos), but
you’d be wrong to think that once your advert is out, all you need to do is sit
back and wait for the customers to come piling in. Unfortunately, you will
never really know how successful your Facebook
ad has been unless you receive customer feedback regarding it. You cannot
rely on these ads to do your work for you. Pay for the ad space, but be
prepared to go on and continue to market yourself elsewhere.
probably my favourite social media platform. It’s far easier than Facebook to connect with people for
either personal or business relationships. The more followers you have the more
likely your content will be seen and shared with people you had no idea
existed. In terms of business, I think it makes a lot of sense for businesses
to have a Twitter account; to me, it
makes a company seem far more legitimate, and a lot easier to trust them. Plus,
it should also be noted that with the popularity of Twitter on the rise, you’re more likely to get to speak to someone
if you have a query or a complaint. It’s a remarkable platform really, isn’t
it? One of the biggest issues with Twitter
is the 140 character limit to each tweet. I mean, if you do it properly, you
won’t need more than this, but this is where arrogance of entrepreneurs can
come into play. It is okay to be proud of your company; heck, if you’re not
proud of it, what are you wasting your time for? Some people want to scream
about every minute detail of their company, which again is completely fine, but
you’re limited on Twitter in this
aspect. Only choose the most important detail you need to share, or have an
alluring line to engage with the public, otherwise you’ll miss the opportunity
to network with potential clients. It should also be noted that many people
nowadays take to Twitter to complain
about every little thing (some of it can be hilarious, but most of the time it’s
just draining). If you don’t take the time to respond promptly in a courteous manner,
all it will take is 140 characters of an angry client to tarnish the reputation
you’re trying to build. Never under estimate the power of an annoyed Tweeter.
LinkedIn is an
interesting platform. It’s been dubbed as the Entrepreneur’s Facebook. Surprisingly, not a lot of people use LinkedIn, but most people will have an
account. On LinkedIn, you can
advertise jobs, recruit new employees and project your company’s earnings in
forums full of people who are essentially there to do the same. You can do this
on all platforms, of course, but LinkedIn
is designed specifically for this. I guess it can be seen as a platform to
really show off what your company is made of, knowing that the audience who
will see it are exactly the people who you want to. That’s the biggest
difference between advertising on LinkedIn
as opposed to either Facebook or Twitter. Sounds like a dream for
Entrepreneurs really, doesn’t it? The problem is if everyone is shouting about
the same thing, who’s there to listen to you? What makes your voice standout? You
can’t rely on your popularity on LinkedIn
in order to sell your business. Just because you’re connected to over 500
people doesn’t really mean anything anymore. You need to be actively networking
on LinkedIn to get yourself heard. It
can be a really powerful tool if you use it correctly, but to be honest, most
of you will compare it to finding a needle in a haystack. The problem is; if
everyone feels this way, you shouldn’t be surprised if LinkedIn becomes the next MySpace.
Visual aids have always been popular. Who wants to read
buckets of words when you can simply glance at a colourful, eye-catching image?
Instagram has been dubbed as the Visual Twitter; update your followers
with pictures instead of words. It’s quite clever, isn’t it? Statistics show
that more people are likely to respond to visual aids rather than blocks of
texts. You can also give your clients a little bit extra than you would if you
were to just type it out. Want to see what happens behind the scenes? Want to
see who you’re talking to online? Instagram
eliminates all of the barriers that keep people from really investing in a
company because it gives faces to the names on the business card. The best part
of Instagram is you’re not just
catering to your followers. If you use the correct hash tag (# followed by words connected to your
image. E.g. #Selfie #Business etc.) people who aren’t even following you
need only click the hash tag from a different image to have yours come up on
their screens. Except, quite honestly, this is also where Instagram lets itself down. Of course, the more likes you receive
for an image and the more followers you have, the more the perception of
popularity becomes a reality, but you have no idea who likes these images. Most
of the time, they are completely irrelevant to your company and quite frankly,
they’re the wrong audience. Instagram
might actually be one of the most infuriating yet ingenious platforms in this
sense. Use it correctly and watch your company grow.
Of course, there are pros and cons to using all forms of
social media. There is no one fool-proof platform that will determine your
business’s success. Don’t assume that the attention you receive on social media
can infiltrate how you sell your product. Be smart. Do your research and don’t
forget to keep working long after you’ve sent an advert out. Only then will you
receive the results you’re looking for.
Business TipsPosted by The Biz Expos Thu, August 31, 2017 14:51:36
working with the Biz Expos for just under a year now, and I’ve gained what
could be argued as quite a reliable insight to how the Business Exhibition
World works. What I have noticed throughout my time here is that people
genuinely believe certain things regarding Business Expo shows which, to be
frank, are complete nonsense.
1. Your company will not benefit
at one of these shows.
This is one
I hear quite a lot when it comes to selling stands to potential clients, and
honestly, it makes me want to scream. It isn’t the business that wouldn’t do
well – it’s you. Let’s be honest,
your business is finite. It cannot think, act or connect on its own. You have to be face, the voice and the
soul of the company. Pretty banners will only get you so far. You need to be
willing to speak to everyone and anyone who may want to invest their time into
your business. Be the person you want to speak to you if you were visiting the
2. You’re going to get so
much business from attending this show.
one is only partially true. If you go to a Business Expo show with high hopes
that every single person you talk to is going to become a client, you are in
for a world of disappointment. Sure, you may attract people who will swap
business cards with you, but that doesn’t mean you’ve gotten their custom. To
make that happen will depend on where you go from there. Think of business
expos as a sort of introduction to your company. Once you’ve grabbed the
attention of potential clients – make
sure you stay in touch with them! Attending a show is not enough.
3. You didn’t sell anything
so it was a complete waste of time.
I don’t think I’ll ever understand this one, but it’s one
of the most used reasons why people don’t want to go back to an Expo. Just
because you haven’t sold anything doesn’t
mean your presence at a Business show was a waste of time. Like, at all. Think
of it this way; would you have had the same level exposure of having your
business in front of hundreds of people if you stayed in the office all day?
No, you wouldn’t. A common misconception people tend to have about expos is
that it’s only successful if they make a handful of sales, but honestly, this
just isn’t true. The exposure of your company is the most important thing you
can gain from exhibiting at these shows, and believe me; you’ll be exposed in
so many different ways.
4. You can only benefit
from attending if there are no similar businesses to yours there.
There was a time here at the Biz Expos where we tended to
agree with this, which is one of the reasons why a few years ago, we would only
allow two of the same kind of company to exhibit at our shows. But we’ve found
in more recent shows that this doesn’t actually make a lick of difference.
Obviously, our Expos are not sector specific, so it’s very unlikely we’d run a
show with only one type of business, so really, there are only a handful of
similar companies that exhibit with us at any one time. But why should this be
a problem? There’s nothing wrong with a bit of healthy competition. There’s
nothing stopping you from improving your image to ensure that you come out on
5. You will get the same
amount of value by just attending as a visitor, rather than an exhibitor.
I can kind of see why someone might think this, but it’s
not true. As a visitor, you are able to take your time and walk amongst the
different stands to see who you wish to network with, as well as taking part in
1-2-1 networking (or speed networking if you come to one of our shows), so you
have somewhat more control over who you speak to. But the problem will be you
won’t have enough time to speak to everyone who could be a potential
client/customer. Booking a stand at an expo show allows people to seek you out,
which will give you more prominent leads. I mean, really; what’s the point in
wasting your time with someone who has absolutely no interest in what you’re
6. Everyone who attends has
the same objective: sell, sell, sell.
One of the
biggest mistakes I think you can make at a business show, whether you’re an
exhibitor or a visitor is to assume that everyone is after the same thing.
Granted, to make a sale is probably on everyone’s list of objectives, but
honestly, most people are there to make contacts, build a larger contact list
and network with other entrepreneurs. And it should be noted that one of the
best forms of marketing is word-of-mouth. Perhaps Mrs. Printing-Company has no
interest in what you’re selling, but who’s to say that she won’t recommend you
to someone she knows?
The only way you can be sure what really goes on at a Business Expo is to sign up and go yourself! You wont know unless you get yourself out there!
Business TipsPosted by The Biz Expos Mon, August 14, 2017 09:44:22
REASONS WHY YOU NEED BUSINESS EXPOS TO HELP YOUR BUSINESS GROW.
10. People prefer to connect
This might seem like an odd one to
include, because there’s nothing really stopping you going out on
any given day and meeting with your clients. But honestly, who has
time for that? Especially if there’s no guarantee that the people
you’re going to meet will even want to invest in your company. One
of the best things about business exhibitions is that your potential
clients come to you, and there’s no limit to how many people you
can meet and build a rapport with. You’re more likely to build a
client base if the person you’re speaking to can see who’s
talking to them.
9. You can build a client base
Following on from number ten, building
a client base is much easier with a whole load of people in the room.
You’re probably thinking ‘I could just as easily build a
client base from the comfort of my office.’ But there can be
several problems with doing this. Firstly, with the new laws that
came in last year, it’s actually illegal to scrape emails from
websites without the owner’s permission. Secondly, the email
addresses you take from the internet probably have very little
interest in what you’re selling. The easiest way to build a
successful, clean client base is to do it in person. That way, you
avoid all the unpleasant emails you’re likely to receive back from
8. Meet your existing clients and
strengthen your rapport.
I think this is a rather important one
that people tend to overlook. One of the biggest issues people tend
to have is they think once they have a client, that’s it. Job’s
done. But it really isn’t. Imagine if you signed up to something
you were really interested in, and once you did, all you ever
received from it was automated emails. You’d probably feel a bit
cheated and unsurprisingly annoyed at the company you’re working
with. One of the best ways to strengthen an existing relationship
with your clients is to meet with them face to face and make them
feel like they matter to you. Why not advertise where you’re
holding a stand and get them to come and visit you? You’re killing
two birds with one stone, here. Strengthen your existing
relationships whilst building new ones at the same time.
7. Establish your brand to a
One of the best things about business
exhibitions is that you get to connect with people who had no idea
you existed. This might sound a little odd, but don’t forget, you
might be well known in your local industry for what you do, or even
known nationally on a small scale, but there will be people from all
walks of life passing through the exhibition. Chances are, you’re
bound to meet some who didn’t even realise they were looking for
you. Even if they don’t necessarily need you themselves, one of the
most effective methods of marketing is word-of-mouth. They’re more
likely to remember you at the expo if they have someone in need of
6. Scope out the competition and
find out what they’re doing that works.
There’s nothing wrong with a bit of
healthy competition. I’m not suggesting for a second that you get
your night-vision goggles on and go skulking around the bushes trying
to figure out how to one-up your competitors (although, that does
sound like fun...). But instead of pawing your way through social
media or websites trying to figure out why they’re successful, why
not go and visit them at a business exhibition? You can get to know
their business and see what ideas you can bounce off of each other.
There’s no reason it can’t be beneficial for all parties
involved, and it’s definitely better than spending hours online
creating a monster in your mind.
5. Network – meet new people
within the industry.
I think this is one that a lot of
people take for granted, and I can’t stress enough the importance
of networking if you’re going to succeed with your business.
Regular networking is what’s going to help take your business to
the next level. Get out there. Meet as many people as you can.
Exchange business cards. Tell anyone and everyone who you are and
what you do, and at the same time, get to know everyone else. The
more you network, the more the word gets out about you and before you
know it, people will be recommending you and your business will
thrive. One bit of advice I will give you about this is if you’re
going to network with people – Follow up and keep in touch!
Don’t be the one they forget.
4. Grow your team – hire new
Do you know who visits business expos?
People interested in business. Do you think this necessarily means
people who are employed? Not at all. People interested in every
aspect of business flock to expos either with the hopes of growing
their own business or perhaps to find a business they can get
involved with. Your next star employer could have no idea about you
until he or she enters the Expo, and you would have no idea about
them either. Don’t be afraid to cast a wide net during the event.
Open your mind to what people want from you and you may be surprised
at who you find.
3. Improve your product with
The danger of being happy with your
product is you run the risk of becoming blind to any faults it might
have, and you won’t know where it could need improving. Or maybe
you do notice that your product could be improved, but you don’t
know where to begin. It’s not uncommon, but it’s not ideal
either. You can send emails to your existing clients, but you might
not get much of a response if at all. At an expo, you can speak to
people who are interested in your product or those who have used it
in the past to find out what aspect of it they found most helpful and
what they found could have been improved. People are more likely to
spill the truth to you face to face rather than from behind a screen.
2. Stay up to date with/ahead of
what’s hot in your industry.
There’s nothing worse than thinking
you know what’s going on in the game of your business, only to find
out you’re just late to the party. You think you’ve got the next
best tactic to promote yourself, when in fact, not only has your idea
been done by everyone else, but it was done a while ago too! The best
way to stay up to date with what’s hot in your industry is to
surround yourself with those who are impartial to your business.
They’re not just people-pleasers who want to give you the answer
you think you want to hear.
1. Be inspired by each other’s
At most (if not all) business expos,
you’ll be surrounded by people who have been where you are, and
they are desperate to share their stories. They want you to know
their successes and even their failures; in particular, how they
overcame them. Chances are, if you find that you’re struggling with
your business for whatever reason, someone else has been there
before, and have found a way to move past it to come out stronger. Or
perhaps it’s you who has struggled in the past – someone is dying
to hear your story that may very well help them. There is nothing
quite like the feeling of knowing you’ve helped a struggling peer,
or being inspired by someone else’s success.
Business TipsPosted by The Biz Expos Fri, August 11, 2017 15:59:22
7 MAJOR MISTAKES MOST START-UP BUSINESSES MAKE AGAIN AND AGAIN.
1. Not following
up after networking.
It’s not uncommon for us here at the Biz Expos to receive
emails or calls in the weeks following a show from people commenting that the
networking they did lead nowhere, and they made no sales/contacts during the
show. It usually puts them off wanting to come back again. It’s infuriating to
hear, not because they don’t want to come back, but because they are wasting a
fantastic opportunity to build a contact list because they’re not doing the
most important part of networking – Following
up! Let’s face it, when we’re in an environment like a business expo, we
don’t really have the time to spend too long with one person; we’re trying to
meet as many as we can. Get in touch with the contacts you made at the show and
start building a relationship with them. Don’t just send them an email with a
sales pitch for your product – chances are, you’ll end up in their trash. Take
your time and get to know a little more about them and their business before
you try selling. It will be worth it!
2. Not putting the
time into marketing.
You might have a product that would put everyone within a
similar industry to shame. You could have a business plan that would make all
the Dragons on Dragon’s Den scramble over each other to invest in. But the
problem is; if no one knows about it, no one is going to miss it. You need to be constantly out there,
promoting what you have for the world to see. Attend as many expos as you can.
Go to every relevant networking event you’re invited to (you’ll miss them if
the invites stop coming).
3. Marketing at
the wrong time to the wrong people.
This is a legitimate issue that a lot of people don’t seem
to grasp. As unbelievable as it is, there are actually good times and bad times
to market on social media. It isn’t just about consistently posting on the
various platforms. In fact, statistics show that there are certain times on
Facebook, for example, that are more likely to gain attention from the right
audience than others. If you were to post on Facebook between 1pm-3pm on a
Thursday or Friday, you’ll have more success than if you post on a Monday
morning. Statistically speaking, the closer you are to the weekend, the more
likely people are going to check in on Facebook. Do your research. Find out
what times are ideal to post on your chosen social media platforms and use them
to your advantage!
4. Relying on an
existing crowd to support them.
It’s amazing how many businesses fail because of this. You
might have a large social media following and you might be well known within
the groups you’re in before you launched your business, but you really mustn’t
assume that these two factors are going to play a part in your success. Don’t
get me wrong – it might, and you might find that it helps enormously, but don’t
assume you don’t have to keep building to a more specific audience to help
steer your business towards ultimate success. By all means, ask your existing
following for referrals and help, but don’t rely on them to be the only way to
make your business succeed.
arrogance about their product.
You might think you have the best
product in the industry. In fact, it’s something of a mystery as to why anyone
wouldn’t want to buy into what you’re selling. Is there something wrong with
it? Maybe there’s a problem with how you’re marketing? If you’re stumped as to
why you’re not already buying your second home in the Bahamas, maybe the issue
is you. During my time at the Biz
Expos, I’ve met many people from all walks of life who’ve come to our shows and
demonstrated what they have to offer. Some people were a delight to talk to,
and I found myself coming back to check in on them again and again. Some,
however, thought they deserved more than everyone else because of highly they
thought of their business. There’s nothing wrong with having pride for what you
have, but can you guess how often I wanted to converse with them? Everyone is
judging not only your product, but your delivery. So make sure you know how to
present yourself in an approachable way.
6. Copying the
techniques of someone else.
Marketing isn’t everyone’s key skill when it comes to
promoting businesses. Some are just more adept at it than others. It can be
really tempting to scope out your competitors and just copy what they’re doing.
Let me tell you something – this is a bad
idea. I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve seen this happen, only to
see those who have copied another’s idea crash and burn. What works for someone
won’t necessarily work for you. You’ll only be doing more damage than good.
It’s okay to be inspired by another’s success, but to outright copy them is
only hurting your product.
7. Not delivering
You’d think this one would be a no-brainer, but honestly,
one of the most damaging things you can do to your new business is promise your
clients something that got them interested in you in the first place, just to
pull the rug out from underneath them. Don’t promise something you can’t
deliver. It’s not worth the fallout that will happen later on, and it’s not
worth damaging your reputation. Just stick to what you can guarantee people,
and not only will you find yourself with happy clients, you’ll also have loyal
clients, who will be happy to recommend you to their peers.