Category Archives: Internet Marketing

Sign in or Sign up?

sign in sign up for sites

Sign in sign up

Sign in and Sign Up can look as though they are interchangeable and mean the same thing.

Sign In

In fact Sign In is the instruction found on many websites and indicates you already have an account and have registered with them.  So this is where you go back to add in your email address and password.

You could also see the expression Log In which effectively means the same thing.

I was with a client yesterday who was slightly apprehensive online and confused the two words which were very close together on the screen and hard to distinguish.  She went for Sign In and in fact meant to go forSsign up.

Sign Up

Sign up is where you arrive on a site and decide to register.  No money has to change hands but they may want to have your email address and a password you generate in order to use their service.  You could also see the word “Register” which means the same thing.

If you have to create your own password it is important to remember it.  Do you know what the most popular password was found to be? Yes, the word ” Password!”

A good password is eight letters long, and includes letters and numbers and to make it even safer an additional symbol.  This could be something like !, @ .&, $, ( + #.

If you are a paper person and trust a notebook more than the web just write it down… and keep the notebook safe.  Unless your password is very memorable the chances are you might forget it.  Some sites you may decide are less important and so you create a more generic and easy to remember password.

Any site that represents you to the world might get hacked and effectively you could have your identity threatened so on these sites you want to make sure you have a good one.  You also might want to change the passwords occasionally to prevent the danger of getting hacked which would be big problem for you and your business. You can also keep your passwords in a spreadsheet online but buried deep and probably with a different name than Passwords. Some browsers remember your passwords if you give them permission (Google Chrome for instance) but it is better to keep a record as well in case your settings are altered and the memory is lost.


Looking back on the year ask yourself this question

Looking back on the year is the first important step in creating what happens in the New Year.

This was recorded by Jean Wolfe for the Biz Buzz show on Marlow FM 97.5 .

Reproduced by kind permission of MarlowFM.

EU changes affecting UK small business VAT for digital products

Small businesses who are under the VAT threshold in the UK and sell digital products may have a problem in 2015.

Digital products sold in Europe could attract VAT which will then be charged on all products and services.

To find out more go to and if you feel motivated to take action sign the petition.

From 1 Jan 2015, the new ruling means that should you make a sale to the EU (how one can prevent that with online services is not clear) from the first £1 of revenue your business earns you will need to be VAT registered in the UK and under the VAT MOSS Europe-wide scheme – meaning that you will immediately have to apply VAT to all your services, including those in the UK.

Digital products are the solution for small businesses to expand and make more difference.

Kindle sales boost biggest online sale day in UK

96 million UK Internet visits to online retailers totalled 13 million hours shopping online on Boxing Day 2011.

This was a sales record for online retail in the UK, according to Experian Hitwise.

kindle sales record

Kindle in more women's hands

Sales of Kindles and iPads were the most searched-for items:

  • According to YouGov stats, roughly 1.2m Kindles were given as gifts in the UK this Christmas, meaning 1 in 40 adults either gave or received the e-readers as a gift.
  • In total 1.33m e-readers were given away, with Kindles swallowing up 92% of the market share.
  • 61% of Kindles were received by women, with over 55 year olds twice as likely as 18-24 year olds to receive one.
  • 640,000 tablets were given as gifts to adults, with the iPad dominating the market with 72% of sales.

What does this mean for your business?  If ipads and Kindles are being bought in large quantities there must be money available.  The second question is what is being read and are you in a position to benefit?

Advertising standards on websites – Trip Advisor

Advertising Standards Authority London Undergr...

Image by Annie Mole via Flickr

The ASA (Advertising Standards Authority) is investigating Trip Advisor.  This is a well-known UK website which features comments on the quality of hotels and places to stay.

Comments in question are both negative and almost malicious, while others are too fulsome in their praise to be from impartial consumers.

The ASA has only had responsibility for websites since April 2011.  Whatever the result it is a strong message to website owners to check the validity of their sites.

Comments on most small business websites are likely to be testimonials.  Of course these should always be authentic, but now there is a legal watchdog some businesses might do well to adhere to best practice and make sure they are verified.

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Biz Buzz radio show on marlow fm – using video

Biz Buzz is a radio show featuring business which goes out on the air every week day from 2:00 pm to 3:30.  It is usually presented by me Jean Wolfe on a Friday.  We have an excellent team of presenters who know and love business and who interview interesting guests.

In the Marlow Bucks  area you can listen in on 97.5 FM or through the internet from elsewhere in Buckinghamshire, the UKand anywhere in the world.  It is a community radio station spearheaded by Tim Ashburner using volunteers. So as a presenter you have to handle the technology.

My second programme was all about using video.

Guests in the studio were Jay Blake a local videographer and Sarah Liveing who was looking for some tips on using video in her business.

Video has become so much easier to create in recent years as the technology has developed, that the previous financial barriers no longer apply.  Additionally You Tube has grown massively in popularity and videos are viewed millions of times.  You Tube which is owned by Google is now used as a search engine in its own right.

Jay advised that recent iphones and new equipment is just as powerful as larger more professional equipment.  The major drawback of doing it yourself is in getting the sound and the sound balance right, and the limitations of doing a piece to camera rather than having cameras filming from different angles. Jay’s company Icthus Video films business products and processes and helps to put business owners at their ease when in front of the camera.

Sarah Liveing had recently climbed to the top of Kilimanjairo and did indeed take video of herself and her companions at the summit.  She is planning on using video of herself when walking outdoors, and we discussed the importance of having a suitable  supporter to hold the camera.

Sarah’s  business is Walking for Weightloss and she helps people take the first steps towards losing weight simply by walking.  Unlike the regular payments for a gym, walking is free and virtually no equipment is needed.  Sarah is herself an inspiration as she lost 8 stone simply by walking and has helped hundreds of people walk their way to a better healthier life.

We had a good conversation also about the beauty of the view from the top of the world after the exhausting climb up Kilimanjairo…and the peace gained from getting away from it all for a while.


Blogging Workshop on International Women’s Day 2010

Image by orangeacid via Flickr

Blogging Workshop on International Women’s Day

Blogging is such a great way to build company reputation, and leads to more money, and more happiness through self expression.  Many small business owners find writing their website difficult, but have no problem talking about what really matters to them in a blog.

Women are natural bloggers, and can get more spark into their marketing more easily with a blog.

International Women’s Day 8 March 2010 is the date for a blogging workshop led by Jean Wolfe

The workshop will help you gain fluency as well as understanding the interactive benefits of blogging

  • What to do before you get started
  • How to grab your reader’s attention
  • How to write for the other audience – the search engines
  • Which blog platform to choose and why
  • Where to find stuff to write about and make it relevant
  • 7 Principles of Copy-writing which should be obeyed
  • How to fit blogging with email, twitter and social media

In honour of National Women’s Day we will also have a look at what women have had to do to get their work read.  They have not always had it so easy …

You will go away with more spark for your business and a clear plan of blogging action – with work done already.  Make the most of this unfair advantage in your blogging career.

Date: Monday March 8th International Women’s Day

Place Berkshire / Buckinghamshire border UK

Time: 10 am – 2: 30 with an additional hour for personal questions 2:30 – 3;30

Cost: £ 99 which includes three weekly follow up blogging newsletters and an online session on March 29th. Open to men as well as women.

Bloggers Are Us! will breathe new life into all your communications – even one to one meetings..  But if you have not doubled your investment of £ 100 within six months I will happily refund your ticket.

“It’s your enthusiasm which makes all the difference” KN

“Jean you are a natural-born motivator” AS

“You are always a breath of fresh air and I think in a different way. I also feel better about myself and would like you on tap, please, every day!” PH

Jean Wolfe is a champion of independent businesses and communication that builds business wealth. Ex-drama teacher, ex-publicist for authors, ex-creator of solar powered product markets internationally.

To reserve your place please get in touch via the contact form or the comments below.

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The perfect marketing (and internet marketing) conference or event

Marketing and internet marketing conferences are part of the product offering of many gurus and would-be gurus.

Unlike professional qualifications there are no requirements for  continuing professional development in marketing a business, but those attending hope that their business will increase significantly.

From the viewpoint of the conference organiser there may be additional money to the entrance fee to be made through his or her own sales offer, or through offers made by other speakers.  A “multi-speaker” event is becoming more common these days, and sometimes the entrance is free as money will be made on the speaker’s offers where organiser and speaker share revenue.

Having been to a number of conferences and seminars this year I have found it interesting how very differently they are run.   The perfect conference, to be honest, would be where I leave the conference and magically new customers are already begging to work with me, or simply rushing for their credit cards so they can pay me money.

While I am waiting for that to happen (!) my wish list as an attendee is in this order:

1.  Helpful atmosphere with guru (s) available to actually talk to you in the breaks about your issues without selling hard. (Very rare and precious.)

2.  One or two big ideas that change perception and the sense of what is possible.

3.  Likeable people to sit next to and meet. (JV partners of the future/friends  starting as neighbours)

4.  Some form of development during the event which moves action forward.  We are all responsible for our own action but where it is integrated into the seminar it takes place more quickly and easily.

5.  A list of tactics or a planned programme so that the doing takes place afterwards.  A clear “next step”.

6.  Some variety of speakers and presentation styles, but not too many.

7.  One sales pitch made honestly and confidently.  Not an over-hyped pitch-fest which contributes to overwhelm and makes the organisers look indecisive or greedy.  Seeing a pitch made authentically and persuasively in the flesh can be empowering for an audience looking to develop their marketing.

8.  Energy proactively managed. This doesn’t have to be massages and roof-raising shrieks but sitting still for three days is not normal.

9.  A way of knowing who else is present. There will be natural alliances to be made.

Optional extras:

10.  An organised  follow-up group to work with to encourage implementation

11.  An exotic location so simply getting there is a good experience

12.  A beautiful notebook

13.  Manual to take away.

None of the events I have attended have had all these elements.  However, I can vouch for the fact that the non-critical (my optional points) were certainly an incentive to me to attend one of these seminars! While it had the optional extras in plenty it certainly lacked the very first option of being able to talk to the “guru/s”.

Twitter or not to twitter for small business marketing

Twitter is often treated as a double edged sword.  It has kudos in the media for its newness, strangeness and rapid growth.  These same qualities can often put off a small business owner.  Many an internet-savvy marketer has confessed that they didn’t “get” it for a long time.  So what is the average small business person to think?  Even though Twitter is free, their most valuable currency is usually time and they want to know where the money is.

Big brands are using twitter as a lightning strike form of customer service and pouncing on complaints, magically creating confidence.  If you complain about a product or service you may find the washing machine or the computer replaced, and even airline tickets available where none existed before.  Banks with serious reputation issues in the past year particularly have a chance to be seen as human and helpful for a change.

Small businesses don’t have the customer service issue.  Most have a good relationship with their customers and handle problems personally.  So why use twitter?

The usual reasons given are about creating a community, finding out what prospects think, connecting with peers which can lead to joint ventures or collaborations, and of course being the helpful person solving the relevant problems.  All of which can lead to clients and money.

In the twitter workshops I have been running for a while I have noticed that a great deal of clarity and confidence is gained by looking at the world according to twitter.  By making twitter part of the plan in fact the plan gets clearer, the spark gets more sparky, and the next actions are easily identified.

The participants have learned about their business and themselves, as well as about twitter.

In a small business where one person carries out many different roles, this can provide the edge that leads to greater profitability. Unlike the lengthy soul searching that usually accompanies a business plan or marketing plan getting things right for twitter can be achieved quickly and easily.  That is the first piece of return on time invested, and the second is that the follow up action is usually clear.

Once people have a handle on twitter (in every sense of the word) it becomes a really valuable tool

National Women’s Enterprise Day – women marketing naturally

National Women’s Enterprise Day on Wednesday 17 November reminds us that women in business is no longer the exception.  A more feminine business model has been vividly handed on as a legacy by Anita Roddick and Laura Ashley to every woman dreaming at the kitchen table.  The number of inspiring examples of women doing business that really matters has expanded exponentially.

Having a great business is the aim but not at the expense of lonliness, of missing bathtime, the late night teenage conversation, or the quality time with husband, partner, friends and family.

Modern marketing which plays to women’s natural strengths has made the goal more achievable.

The increasing importance of networking face to face suits women’s natural way of doing business.  Dr Ivan Misner has spearheaded this change through BNI over the last 10 years internationally followed by many networking groups for women only including Athena.  BNI’s motto:  ” Givers Gain” (if I give you business you will want to give me business in return) has made a big change in the way men do business, but is part of how most women operate.

When we meet up for one to one meetings we ask about each other.  We want to find links between us, and help each other.  We are just as likely to give a compliment about shoes or a jacket as a laptop presentation, and we are just as likely to choose to work with somebody based on their past or their personal style.  After all, it is the so-called non-critical variables that often end up being the most important.

The shoe or handbag compliment is not fundamentally about shoes or handbags but about values, about style, and the way of seeing the world.  When we respond positively to something about somebody else, we  are more receptive to developing a business relationship, to working together, recommending each other and investing our hard-earned money.

As women we have many many ways of demonstrating our brand values, and helping others to know like and trust us.  Face to face networking where we are our own brochure, direct mail letter and exhibition provides a powerful marketing tool.  Many businesses find all their clients through face to face networking.

The internet marketing explosion of recent times also suits women.  Women in their late thirties are the most frequent users of facebook.  which only a few years ago was simply the place for university students.  To be trusted these days, and have an authentic brand,  you have to reveal something about yourself.  This comes naturally to women – even online – but in my experience men find it much harder.

Women are still responsible for more of the domestic tasks in the home, so working at home reduces the hassle-factor.  No more travelling out to work which involves military-precision organisation for childcare.  The washing machine can be filled, or the family meal prepared without having to replace yourself at the heart of the home.  Setting up a sequence of emails for an autoresponder for your information product can be more satisfying than coping with lengthy meetings and office politics.

Even better – blogging about your day and the ups and downs of home life can be turned into a business.  The office becomes redundant in every sense.  Heather Armstrong of Dooce in the US was one of the first examples of mommy blogging.  She genuinely and naturally wrote about her day – which was of interest to women in a similar situation – leading to massive traffic on her site.  Advertisers lured by the size and responsiveness of her audience appeared bearing gifts with monetary value.

As women we enjoy relationships and getting to know people and it is refreshing that we can now build a business from this place.  Perhaps it will be the unsung heroines who will be the real contributors to the economy in the coming year.

Old business is dead.  Long live new business and national women’s enterprise day!