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  • How to Optimise Your Social Media Strategy for Greater Success - UKWDA
    for B2B businesses LinkedIn has been proven to increase traffic to websites whilst for B2C businesses Facebook is superior Facebook s largest audience is the 25 34 year old category whilst Pinterest s typical user is likely to be female and in the 35 and over category Take time to consider the platforms you are currently utilising and consider experimenting with others especially if your competitors seem to favour them Choosing Your Content Making sure that you regularly post interesting and relevant information across your social media accounts is important When you consider that 70 of Facebook news consumers follow links posted by friends and family it s vital that you re posting the right information You might have an established profile already but if you are not posting the kind of content they want to comment on and share within their own networks you ll find it difficult to attract new followers When deciding on the types of content to post I d recommend focusing on your desired outcomes first Your social media objectives may include increasing brand awareness lead generation offering service and support or building a strong base of loyal advocates of your company s services Be aware of your aims when updating your status postings links to other sites and sharing blog posts and articles Each piece of information you share should reinforce the underlying core message you are relaying Engagement is Key When you re trying to build your brand through social media trust authenticity and credibility are of utmost importance Every customer and client should feel valued understood and listened to and social media is an extremely effective way of giving your business a human touch You should regularly engage with your followers and participate in real time conversations so they understand you re not just some automated bot churning out random updates Posts with images receive higher levels of engagement so why not try adding a relevant image to your next post The popularity of video posting is also increasing Incorporating video into your social media marketing strategy can allow you to simplify the delivery of your content as well as showing off your brand s personality Creating your social media personality can be challenging It is essential that your voice is kept consistent in terms of tone information etc across all of your social media accounts so that you are seen to be professional and credible by all sections of your target audience Finally if you really want to give your profile a boost it may be worth outsourcing your social media needs to an experienced social media content marketer It could free you up to create new content as well as ensuring that your online presence is consistently and professionally managed Time it Right Huge amounts of research have been carried out in order to determine the optimum times at which you should post your updates and information online One study revealed that the highest levels of traffic across social media

    Original URL path: http://www.ukwda.org/blog/how-to-optimise-your-social-media-strategy-for-greater-success (2016-02-18)
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  • Why social media should be an integral part of your marketing strategy - UKWDA
    media use increased by 356 during from 2006 2012 Over 950 million people worldwide use Facebook One in every seven minutes online is spent on Facebook As a business owner why wouldn t you want to capitalise on such a freely available and easily contactable potential customer and or client base Instant Engagement Social media is no longer restricted to certain groups it is about reaching out and connecting with potential customers and clients regardless of their demography By its very nature social media allows you to be online and engaged 24 hours a day 7 days a week 365 days a year As such social media has become a relatively low cost marketing tool that can put you in constant and direct contact with your target audience Figures suggest that people spend three times as long on blogs and social networks than on email Therefore while costly direct marketing techniques such as newsletters mass mail outs and newspaper advertising still have a place social media can arguably offer a much more immediate targeted solution for your business However social media shouldn t solely be considered as a way to create sales and conversions It s a communication tool to build your brand and gain loyal advocates of the services you offer Targeted Connections It s likely that you know your target audience and you re an expert on your ideal customer and or client right By using social media you can create a connection directly with them and feel satisfied that the right people are seeing the right information Your target audience is specific to your business and will depend on the services you offer Historically reaching specific audiences was somewhat challenging and companies spent many hours committing to in depth customer research In this respect social media has lessened this need by providing an all encompassing medium which allows you to post adverts campaigns and news to highly targeted audiences based on carefully collated data Research organisations regularly publish valuable studies that can help you determine which platforms to use to effectively reach your audience With social media you can post important news updates or your latest offers in just a few seconds and expect thousands to read it within the next few hours You can further assess your online progress and determine how people are responding to your marketing strategies by viewing charts and graphs provided by social media analytical tools Features like Facebook Insights are a free and easy way of monitoring your page s performance As with any marketing strategy your social media plan should be analysed and amended regularly Reviewing you analytics and monitoring the leads and conversions generated by your various social media accounts will help you determine which platforms work best for your business So What Now While regularly posting and creating great content is important for being found in search engines equally as important is the need to promote that content on social media to allow your followers to share it

    Original URL path: http://www.ukwda.org/blog/why-social-media-should-be-an-integral-part-of-your-marketing-strategy (2016-02-18)
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  • Google+ Authorship: Why you should set it up (and how) - UKWDA
    example What s going on here is simple the webpage is associated with the author s Google profile which means that Google can pull a headshot author name and his or her number of Google followers and incorporate it into the search results So why should you use authorship Firstly it makes it easier for people in your Google Circles to see which sites or blogs you contribute to which in turn could increase traffic to those sites Secondly it helps your pages to stand out in search results as your photograph will begin to appear alongside them helping to attract attention and create a sense of credibility and authority That sounds pretty good right But Google authorship also functions on a deeper level and it can have a drastic effect on click through rates CTR to your site from Google search results Google Click Through Rates In this recent article by Justin Briggs he discusses how sites ran tests to see how much Google authorship increased mark up In some cases it was discovered that the increase in click through rates was as high as 150 Increasing your site s CTR is an important step towards increasing readership sales and or return visitors With this in mind it s a no brainer Google authorship is something you should be taking advantage of So let s get to it Step 1 Link to Your Google Profile Page from Your Website In order for Google to verify you as the author of your own website you must create a reciprocal connection between the site and your Google profile The first thing to do is to link to your Google profile page from your website Within thesection of your website s page template add the following piece of code Substitute your own Google profile URL into the href attribute or change the long number to match your Google profile ID To find your Google profile ID simply log in to Google and click on the Profile tab to view your own profile If you look at the URL in the address bar it should look something like this The long numerical string in the URL is your Google ID The code should always be placed within the tags of the HTML document or if you are using WordPress within header php If you re not keen on altering theme files yourself you can also use a plugin such as Google Author Information in Search Results Step 2 Link to Your Website from Your Google Profile Page Whichever method you use you must then link back to your website from your Google profile by adding a text link to your website or blog homepage in the Contributor to section of your Google profile This verifies to Google that the owner of the profile is the same person attempting to claim authorship of an article or post This also helps prevent other people from putting your name on items you did not write The

    Original URL path: http://www.ukwda.org/blog/google-plus-authorship-why-you-should-set-it-up-and-how (2016-02-18)
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  • The importance of a business plan (from micro to Fortune 500) - UKWDA
    business will allow you to easily share your vision strategies and methods with other partners employees and any outsourced staff In one study the Kauffman Centre for Entrepreneurial Leadership found that companies with written business plans had 50 greater sales growth and 12 higher gross profit margins than companies without plans The conclusion Understanding your business inside out and coherently setting out a strategy for success are both key elements of progress and accomplishment Any good business plan should broadly consider these fundamental areas An analysis of your industry Who your competitors are likely to be Who will comprise your target ideal customer or client Exactly what services and or products you intend to offer How you will market your business launch and continued Any problems you may encounter and how you would deal with them By gaining an understanding of these elements you will be better placed to consider the financial components of your business plan Budgeting setting out costs and projecting profits early on will help you immensely by providing measurable and calculable figures for reference as you grow your business Seeing the Bigger Picture Many business owners often put off writing a business plan until after they have commenced operations or when they need to approach a lender potential partner or client Writing a business plan can seem like a laborious time consuming activity but having a written course of action that can be referred to as and when needed can help to keep your business on track Your business plan doesn t need to be a fifty page document filled with pie charts and graphs but setting out your goals in a clearly defined manner will give you a good idea of where you re at where you want to get to and the steps you need to take to get there Regardless of the ultimate goal most self employed people are united in the fact that they gave up regular employment to pursue a better work life balance where there s more free time for family hobbies or other interests In any type of business goal setting is important as it keeps you focused and motivated to drive your company forward Taking time to sit down and think about your overall goal and then defining it in a written format instantly makes it quantifiable achievable and real Clarifying your vision for the future of your business on paper will help organise the required plan of action in your mind You can create a series of benchmarks you want to achieve and frame them within an attainable timescale Ordering your aims and objectives into short term i e next six months and long term i e next two years goals is key Regularly revisiting your business plan to review and revise it as your business needs evolve will assure you that you re following the right path and achieving the necessary objectives required Concluding Thoughts The core value in a business plan lies in the business

    Original URL path: http://www.ukwda.org/blog/the-importance-of-a-business-plan (2016-02-18)
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  • How to optimise your landing page for increased conversions - UKWDA
    page for a while now could be a good time to do so Most people are internet savvy enough to spot something that looks outdated and as a result may align your business with being old fashioned or behind the times It is vital that your branding is kept consistent in terms of colours logos etc so that you are instantly recognisable to someone who may have clicked a link at your Facebook page or from an email or newsletter A relevant strategically placed image or a carousel slider bar can also prove effective and eye catching as well as showcasing some of your work or products Every Word Counts The content of your landing page should consist of simple straightforward copy that provides only the most important information in a clear concise way You should try to preempt any questions your visitor may have and address these points in a condensed format such as in bullet point form It should be immediately apparent what services you offer and what the visitor needs to do next Your call to action should be compelling succinct and remain consistent across all your platforms Using multiple call to action buttons or links located at various points on the page can also be effective as users can decide when they have enough information to proceed Don t assume that your visitor is an expert or already has some of the information required What might seem obvious or irrelevant to you can be the one piece of knowledge the potential customer or client is looking for Keep your tone consistent with your other branding and make it persuasive enough to encourage users to purchase register or submit a lead without giving the hard sell After all maintaining customer relations and building trust is just as important as converting leads if you want people to become repeat customers Consider Accessibility With increasing numbers of people owning tablets and smartphones it s much more likely that your target audience will access your website via their mobile devices If they arrive at a slow mobile incompatible site they will be highly likely to give up and try somewhere else In fact one study concluded that 40 of people accessing services on the go went immediately to a competitor s site after a poor mobile user experience When optimising a landing page for mobile device compatibility remember to keep it simple Consider any relevant size restrictions some mobile devices have difficulty caching files of 20kb or larger and use a button for your call to action as it will feature prominently on a mobile version Also be mindful that not all users will be of the same technical ability or be using the most up to date software or apps so keep your landing page as easy to use and access as possible Try Experimenting Sometimes there are benefits in consulting a professional who is well versed in the latest design research and methods While you may be familiar

    Original URL path: http://www.ukwda.org/blog/how-to-optimise-your-landing-page-for-increased-conversions (2016-02-18)
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  • Top 10 Reasons to use an online form - UKWDA
    give Mother Nature a break and ease up on the paper Why not give your users the freedom to share their information with you at their convenience quickly and fuss free 4 Forms are flexible Would you send a soldier into battle alone We didn t think so Don t let your forms be stand alone pages cut to the chase and embed them right into your website Do the same with your blog email newsletter or even your Facebook page 5 Forms are portable Wherever you have an Internet connection you have access to the data that your forms collect Sounds pretty great to us 6 Forms help you understand Your data is pretty useless if you have no way of organizing and understanding it If you re looking for ways to filter through entries create reports and build graphs based on your collected data then you might want to consider relying on an online form 7 Forms play nice with your website Hosting a form on your own site is important Keeping the brand and theme of your business consistent is important for a seamless user experience When considering online forms it s a good idea to choose a platform that offers easy copy paste solutions for integration with your website 8 Forms keep you organized Data normalization That s a good thing When users are filling out an online form you ll be getting standardized information as well as the feedback you need to make actionable decisions 9 Forms are responsive Businesses depend on the ability to react quickly to the leads and registrations gathered from forms but unless you have a global presence you don t always have your eyes on the computer screen Online forms can be set up so you can receive emails text

    Original URL path: http://www.ukwda.org/blog/top-10-reasons-to-use-an-online-form (2016-02-18)
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  • How to cope with work related stress - UKWDA
    and refocus your mind for the next task It may sound like an overly simple technique but try it I m sure you ll be pleasantly surprised with the results Business Administration It is remarkable how quickly administrative tasks can build up What started as a few unsent invoices can escalate to a tray full of unopened mail or an inbox crammed with unanswered queries in no time These tasks won t go away and setting aside time each day or even once a week is vital in maintaining an organised working mind set Trying to focus your mind on important jobs is very difficult with the nagging thought of two weeks of unfinished administration hanging over you If you are really struggling for time then consider outsourcing some of your more routine tasks Skilled reliable and highly affordable administration assistants can be found on freelance broker sites such as Elance and oDesk Interruptions When you work from home you re bound to get the odd distraction and disruption be it the window cleaner a delivery man or even the dog barking If you re in the middle of a project or working to a tight deadline every break in your concentration can seem huge and cause you to get wound up and stressed The best remedy here is to always make sure that you work in the quietest spot in the house even if this means alternating between your office the dining room and the loft space You can t be productive in an environment that makes you tense If you have kids work intensively while they are at school If you have a noisy neighbour or your street is undergoing construction work try some background music or using ear plugs If all else fails consider working at the library or hiring a desk at a local dedicated co working space Sickness and Absence Periods of illness and unexpected life events are guaranteed to affect you at some point Businesspeople are not superheroes we get sick and experience loss and difficulty just like everyone else What you shouldn t do in this situation is panic It will make you feel worse and will lead to unnecessary stress Instead look carefully at your schedule and cut out any non urgent tasks Prioritise deadlines and identify possibilities for pushing them back If you have someone you trust consider outsourcing some of the work to them Finally if it is likely that your absence will last more than a day or two contact your clients They are real people too and should be understanding of your situation Worrying about the Future As self employed workers we re all familiar with the rather aptly named famine and feast cycle Unless you re lucky enough to have a sufficient number of long term regular clients the stress of wondering where your next pay cheque is coming from can be immense Some of this stress can be reduced if you are careful to implement a

    Original URL path: http://www.ukwda.org/blog/how-to-cope-with-work-related-stress (2016-02-18)
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  • 5 Steps to winning better clients on Elance - UKWDA
    ability to create a portfolio where you can create a bank of work samples for potential clients to view This is great as it validates your ability and enables the client to assess whether your work is a fit for their project Step 2 Get Five Star Ratings The feedback system is integral to your success in finding better clients on Elance It demonstrates consistency quality and client satisfaction and with many clients automatically rejecting proposals from freelancers with less than a four star rating it is critical to keep your averages up One of the best ways to give your feedback rating a boost is to take on a few easy jobs and complete them before deadline to an outstanding over and above level as if you don t already This should result in a healthy crop of five star ratings and some positive comments you can add to your Profile page Step 3 Only Bid on the Right Jobs That might sound like a bit of a no brainer but you d be surprised how many people go with quantity over quality and try to boost their success by applying for anything and everything Take time to read the job advert and understand the scope of works involved Are the aims and outcome clearly defined Does the client have a grasp of what is involved It s no good bidding on a job you will assume will take two hours to complete only for it to turn into a complex six hour nightmare which leaves you severely out of pocket This leads me on to the importance of researching the client who has placed the job advert Clients on Elance have Profile pages in the same way that freelancers do Take some time to look at the kinds of jobs they are posting the feedback they are both leaving and receiving and the average amount they are paying This should help you avoid difficult clients and also save your time in bidding 40 per hour for their latest job when historically the most they ve paid is 25 per hour Step 4 Write a Killer Proposal Writing a great job proposal isn t rocket science but there are a few ways you can maximize the impact you make Your proposal should be succinct list only the skills that are relevant to the job advertised and include details of your availability If it is possible try to ask a question as it shows you ve taken time to think about what is expected of you You should always attach a resume be careful not to include personal contact details as this is against Elance policy and remind the client that examples of your previous work can be found within your portfolio Naturally your response should be tailored to each individual job advert and not just a generic response that you ve copied and pasted hundreds of times before And lastly take time to proof your proposal No one is

    Original URL path: http://www.ukwda.org/blog/5-steps-to-winning-better-clients-on-elance (2016-02-18)
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