October’s Hot Five Business Tips

Summer is over and 2019 is just three months away – so buckle up… here’s October’s Hot Five  Business Tips.

Since the start of 2018, I have been working regularly with marketing guru and business mentor Nicola Cairncross and I’d like to share some of the valuable “golden nuggets” from our combined 40+ years in marketing, PR and communications.

1. Do something to move your business forward every day

This is one of the most valuable lessons I have learned since starting my own business. From meeting a business contact, sharing a story in a relevant social media post, networking, working on a new business proposal and regularly updating your website – investing time and money in your business on an ongoing basis is important and it pays off if done properly.

Make sure you are open to the next opportunity.  Keep your shopfront (website and social media) bang up to date and relevant. Take the buying journey that a prospective customer would and check that it is seamless.

Things are always evolving, so investing and moving with the changes is part of the rollercoaster of running your own business.  It never ends!

Don’t let yourself off the hook – if you have a weekly call with your mentor – do what you need to do before the call – be accountable.

2. Build your team

Whether it’s working with other experts or asking a business contact or trusted friend for their input into a new idea, it’s important to feel part of a team and to collaborate.

This year, due to my brilliant former colleague, Lyndall, having new commitments, I have delegated differently. As well as existing contacts, I have worked with several different people who each have very specific experience and skills. Some I discovered via sites like People Per Hour.  In addition, a friend shot my videos and a contact of a contact edited them.

This has resulted in additional expertise to the business and it’s also freed me up to do other things. I’ve given talks to other businesses, started writing a regular magazine column and it’s allowed me to devote more time to finding new business.

Because I have been able to stop focusing solely on the job in hand and to ‘look up’, I have a better grasp of the business landscape and what I need to do next.

3. Step outside your comfort zone

At the start of 2018 I said to myself I would be braver and bolder in my business. So I faced some of my demons and made a series of little videos addressing some of the “business pains” that organisations often face.

Making the videos benefited me and my business in so many ways and it also taught me what I suspected – that helping others to achieve their goals is what gives me the ultimate satisfaction.

I also ventured into the world of Facebook advertising and thanks to my mentor, learnt a whole lot about that. I also worked with a talented web developer who has run several businesses. I have applied some of his vast knowledge, not only to my business, but also to my clients’ organisations.

I’ve come to the conclusion that many of us fear the unknown and that often stops us taking that next step. Don’t let it – just prepare thoroughly.

4. Invest in your business

Early in 2018, when business was quieter, I spent time making the videos, advertising and rewriting and updating my website so it was easier to use and more informative.

It took a lot of time and some money, but ultimately it has paid dividends as my website is my shopfront and it subsequently attracted new clients.

I learnt a lot from the process. I found stepping out of my comfort zone on an almost daily basis and having to learn various Apps from scratch REALLY difficult and it often felt uncomfortable having to admit I knew very little when I was used to knowing what I was doing. But it was ultimately worth it. I adopted new ways of working and new skills that benefited both my own and my clients’ businesses.

If you are time poor, you can delegate these types of tasks – just don’t NOT do them.

5. Build credibility

It’s simple really. You have to be consistently good at whatever you do and then find a way to communicate that – by sharing your expertise with others.

Whether it’s through publicity and editorial pieces, Instagram, Twitter or video using YouTube and forums like TED Talks, raising your business profile and credibility through good public relations can help to increase your reach without paying for advertising space.

Editorial space is deemed to be worth 2.5 times more than paid for space as it carries more weight, authority and credibility, so it’s worth thinking about ways that you can share what you know.

Go where your audience is watching/listening/reading and share your information there. Don’t sell – offer help and advice.

If you’re a person who prefers to watch rather than read – you can watch the short video on Building Credibility.















October’s Hot Five Business Tips

Which social media platform is right for you?

Social media Hootsuite, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn logos - Catherine Kelly Public RelationsSocial media can be highly effective and more organisations are using it as part of their daily PR and marketing mix. It is also time consuming and knowing which platform is right for you and your audience is increasingly important as more and more platforms vie for our time and attention.

All social media platforms have their own demographics, but as well as a bit of number crunching, it’s just as important that you reach out to your audience as a ‘person’ and not as a faceless organisation. It’s OK to have personality and to be informal on social media – in fact it’s essential.

After all – that’s why it’s called SOCIAL MEDIA!

Social media options open to you

I’ve picked out some of the favourites and highlighted some useful demographics to help you make up your mind:


The mega social media giant Facebook, is still regarded as ‘THE’ social media platform of choice and not just for staying in touch with friends and family. In the UK it boasts 31 million users, with almost the same number of men as women using it. It’s so popular, that around 60% of us now have a Facebook account in the UK.

The age group of users is older – with 26 per cent in the 25-34 age group.

Although not all the younger generation will be active Facebook users, there are still 2.5 million 13-17 year-olds who use the site – a statistic not to be sneezed at.


The business networking site not surprising has a slightly older demographic with just 21 per cent under the age of 35. Men make up 58 per cent of the user share of its 60 million views each month in the UK. Its search functions are useful for seeking out potential customers and business partners as well as for recruitment. Who doesn’t check out their job candidates regularly on LinkedIn?!


With around half the users of Facebook, Twitter’s microblogging site still pulls in an impressive 15 million UK users – with two thirds under the age of 34. Nearly 80 per cent of people use their smartphones to access it – with an almost even split in the battle of the sexes. It’s not used as widely by teens with just 26 per cent citing it as their favourite social media platform.


Pinterest is one of the fastest growing platforms since being launched in 2010. And it’s popular with women – very popular – with around 80% of UK users being female. As well as ‘pinning’ users can send messages with infographics and photos – the most popular ‘pins’ are around food and drink, although a wide number of subjects and topics feature from motivation to friendship.

Google +

In complete contrast to its female dominated rival, Google + mainly appeals to men – 63 per cent of its 400 million worldwide users are male. Over a third live in America and have an above average salary. In the UK, users are mainly in the younger age groups – 41 per cent are between 18-24 and 29 per cent are aged 25-34. Nearly half haven’t tied the knot and are still single – not surprising, given the younger age of most users.