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I Have Been a Little Remiss

May 4, 2012

It’s been a while since my last blog post – there has been so much going on in the last four months.

I’m always kicking myself  for not getting enough done, but  then I stop and think “It’s actually amazing how much we DO get done”.

My husband and I own two businesses – The Best of Norwich (promoting recommended businesses) and Bright Yellow Marketing (social media training) and in the last four months we have:

Run social media training – this has included the creation of two bespoke courses – one for a big local charity and one for PR professionals (managing your metrics), open workshops, one to one training and free talks on social media for local businesses – one of which took place  in the Mad Hatter’s Tea Shop!

Run bestofnorwich networking events, Norfolk Netwalking events and co-run Coffee at Caistor (a ladies networking group)

Partnered in running Norwich’s first Social Media Week – we were invited by Julie Bishop and Bridget Greenwood  to get involved as one of four social media businesses. This involved meetings, photoshoots, Google Hangouts, setting up of social media platforms, writing blogs and delivering workshops – and we had great fun running a Quiz Night.

Social Media Week overlapped with our huge national bestof campaignthe 14 Days of Love, where we ask people to “show some love” for local businesses by writing testimonials for them. I found myself at one point dressed in a huge red heart as we visited clients in Norwich to hand out testimonial cards!

In the weeks leading up to Social Media Week Norwich and thebestof 14 Days of Love campaign we found ourselves on video shoots, doing radio interviews, doing photoshoots, doing more videos,  blogging, posting on social media, visiting clients to make sure they had enough testimonial cards, picking up completed cards and adding their testimonials to our bestofnorwich website, and organising the events.

The 14 Days of Love Campaign hashtag resulted in 60, 810 twitter impressions in Norwich  just 7 days and 1,930,155 nationally. Norwich targeted You Tube ads run by OPL Productions resulted in 18,573 impressions (here’s their video of Juliette Love and Mattressman). Nationally, thebestof had 1,029,748 page views over the 13 days.

Once this was all over we then had a netwalk to organise – business networking with a difference – start at a pub, go for a walk, and then back to the pub for food. This walk was extremely popular and brought in some well-needed extra customers for the Ribs of Beef pub. This was followed the next month by a tour of the Epic Studios.

Then it was preparation for the All About Business Exhibition which took place last week (26th April)

This was the 5th exhibition organised by All About Business – and we only ever intended to run one!

The first one came about in the middle of the recession when events were being cancelled or postponed.

We teamed up with Martin Lake of Copyprint, who is active in the local FSB group, and Richard Kerrison, who now runs PIN.

Having been told by a (now defunct) business support organisation “We don’t have any money, and there’s no way you’ll do it” we funded the first exhibition from our private money – and here we are 3 years later, with 5 exhibitions under our belt.

At the same time as doing all of this, I have set up autoresponders on my crm, which will save me loads of time in following up enquiries, kept up to date with blogs and the ever changing world of social media and have spent time meeting with some of my bestofnorwich clients to spend an hour or so brainstorming with them, and helping them with their marketing.

I have also taken on new clients to run their twitter accounts for them.

One of these clients is an author, and we can track book sales against tweets, so it’s giving me a great example to use of how twitter can work very successfully.

We don’t want to become huge – we want to bring in enough money for a comfortable lifestyle, provide a quality service and to enjoy what we do.

At the moment we outsource certain elements of admin, use a telephone answering company, and then use technology to help with the rest.

For example, after the exhibition I scanned all the new business cards using my iphone Shoeboxed app and within 24 hours I had a spreadsheet containing all the data of my new contacts, which I could then import into my crm.

We use various e-mail platforms to promote our clients and events and to keep in touch with people.

We partner with other businesses to run events such as the ladies networking group, (Coffee at Caistor) the All About Business exhibitions and Social Media Week.

We use dropbox to share documents with our partners, I use Evernote to file away useful blogs and information, Zite to read different articles and then tweet them, buffer to spread out my tweets, partnered with Social Bro to find the best times to tweet, Hootsuite to schedule tweets and manage numerous social media accounts and I dabble with Sprout Social, Crowdbooster and any other shiny new  tools that I can’t resist playing with. I used to use Tweetdeck all the time but hate the new layout and have stopped using it.

My only problem is that in being involved with so many things, people don’t see our core business, thebestofnorwich.

We hand pick people to feature on thebestofnorwich and turn people down if they are too close geographically to an existing client, if we have more than  5 people in their category already, or if we feel that we can’t recommend them.  Many of the things that we have done in the past 4 months have been done to promote our clients.

I am currently looking for 25 more businesses to feature on thebestofnorwich, so if you know any business owner who is passionate about what they do and runs a great local business, please put them in touch.

We do business the nice way and meet people for a coffee and a chat to see whether they are right for the bestof and whether thebestof is right for them.

So, do you fancy a coffee?

Sara Greenfield

The Best of Norwich

Bright Yellow Marketing

01603 605530

norwich@thebestof.co.uk

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