#21days done! Now what?

Shall we keep this going?

For those who took part in the #21days challenge – well done!!!!! I hope moving forward you are now in a good enough habit to permanently make the changes you identified. At risk of sounding like a parrot, the true test is only just beginning – will you keep it going or will you pack it all in?

For those who didn’t take part – a group of us identified a change that we wanted to make to our lives and for the next 21 days we carried out activities we thought may help us achieve these changes.

Doing an activity for 21 days solid is supposed to be long enough for a permanent habit to form – we effectively took part in a group experiment to see if it worked! The original post about desire and routine is here, and the post with details of the last challenge is here.

If you took part and would like to share your #21days experience with the rest of us, feel free to leave a comment below. I have heard some people may be writing blog posts too, so make sure you leave a link so we can find it easily.

Again, a big thank you to everyone who took part. It’s been great hearing about everyone’s challenges.

What next?

I had an idea about how we could try and keep some of the momentum going and wanted to see if anyone else was up for my proposition?

From the 1st to the 21st of each month, the challenge can run for whoever wants to take part. Of course people can start before or after, but having a set timeline makes it easier for people to share their journey with others. You can make your changes together and help each other along the way, just like before.

My thinking was that there probably needs to be a gap between challenges to give people time to think about their changes and to find more people to join in, but too much of a gap and momentum may be lost. #21days has made a genuine difference to some people’s lives, so why not keep it going?

What do you think of the 1st – 21st approach?

Would you be up for taking part?

If you took part last time, how did you find your experience?

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Do you fancy taking part in the #21days challenge?

What’s stopping you?

Update – we are running another challenge from 1st November 2011. Why not take part?!

After the great response to my last blog post about how we can all find it difficult to make the changes we desire, many of us were in agreement that building small actions into our daily routine may be a way of helping us achieve these changes.

So, why don’t we all actually give it a go over the next few weeks and help each other achieve change?

What am I proposing?

If there is something you want to change in your life, however big or small, however private or personal, try and recognise the activity you need to carry out each day and do this activity for 21 days solid.

According to Don’t Tell The Bumble Bee, it takes 21 days to change a habit, so let’s all see if this method actually helps.

How can we help each other?

If you want to take part in the challenge and if you want to make your challenge public, leave a comment below with details of what you are going to do. Everyone else taking part can then connect with you and help you along the way.

When talking about the challenge on Twitter, use the hastag #21days so that others can join the conversation too.

When do we begin?

The first day will be Monday 28th June. Sunday 18th July will be the 21st day.

The mission

To stop talking the talk and start walking the walk!

Do you really want to change something? If so, then why not take part in the #21days challenge…

Those who have expressed an interest in taking part are:

@banksy6, @tristanrothwell, @sarknight, @kristensousa, @Bluegrass_IT, @jedlangdon, @OstrichIT, @martinrothwell, @acjon, @BeckySocial, @boyday, @martynhake, @robertpickstone, @ShannonBoudjema, @jon_gerrard, @DaleGMoore, @iancreek, @nibby01, @robglover_UK, @treypennington, @boxelboy, @stylishresults, @leeslivinlife, @annholman, @karinalchemy, @racheeroo, @OneLife, @albrooking, @EquanimityJT, @GetalifeUk, @crp1984 , @Xlilmissdeppx , @JrMessy , @RokkInternet , @ShaktiMatUK , @samajose @katycreates , @chrispenberthy @hevpuggles @annabelscaberet , @jasonfalls, @jenuinejen , @manningfinance , @NicolaKateAsh , @cindyosburn , @lizmoss , @rosiereflect , @TraumaCleaning , @BrockPatterson , @alcartwright , @arengrimshaw , @fionah, @megancrump2309, @celinawest , @DangerousMKting , @jonathanalder , @victoriawhitney , @AlisonHernandez , @inplymouth , @joidesign , @planetplanitbiz , @emmalannigan , @CoachPotential , @karinleadership , @anthonymull , @plymouthblog , @HillTribeMedia , @lexjt , @susanweiner , @6consulting, @acjon (72 peeps)

Lee White has also created a #21days Twitter List for us all.

Here’s a short video of me waffling a couple of days before #21days starts

Another update: Here is a list of challenges being taken.

I have taken them from comments to this blog post and tweets spotted online. It has been quite hard to keep track! I have also tried to keep them short so they’re easy to look through. Please let me know if you think I may have got yours wrong. Please leave a comment or tweet me if you want to be added to the list.

@6consulting
“Starting 2 new blogs and posting at least 4 times a week on either, and the all too common; ”Go to the Gym!” ;)”

@acjon
“I’m going to only use outlook for a maximum of 15 minutes in every hour, going to get an hour timer to make it happen!”

@annabelscabaret
“To do something new everyday”

@annholman
“I’m going to comment on other people’s blogs more”

@alisonhernandez
“To spend as little money as possible, find the cheapest product/alternative, make packed lunches and find free attractions for my little one”

@banksy6
“To make sure I’m in earlier in the morning and leaving no later than 6:30pm. I intend to change the first part of my day (the first hour before anyone else gets into work) into ‘marketing time’ – I will concentrate purely on the marketing of my business”

@brockpatterson
“I am going to run each 3 to 6 miles each day for 21 days on my quest to continued weight loss”

@chrispenberthy
“Before anything else gets done, at least 30 minutes of domestic duties. I’m also going to write something every day. You might find the results online (if so I’ll post the link) but you might not as some of it might just be for me. But to help the online stuff I will set up a blog”

@coachpotential
“I made a pact – 1 hour reading everyday”

@dangerousmkting
“My aim will be to make myself get out and walk more so I will literally be walking the walk! Any Exmouth-based #21Days-ers welcome to join me”

@equanimityJT
To exercise each day

@greeneyesclaire
“To finally get another qualification related to my business. Google Analytics (GAIQ) is covered by several members of my team but I want to finally complete it, been meaning to for so long now! On a personal level I want to go to the gym for at least an hour a week plus an hour of walking outdoors on an evening or weekend”

@hevpuggles
“I am reducing to 1 glass per night for #21days and also going to watch what I eat as well…cut down on the comfort foods lol. Also, something that will make a big difference to me is to get back behind the wheel of a car. My challenge is to get my confidence back and be able to drive on my own by the end of #21days”

@joidesign
“21 days to change my work patterns which will allow me time off on Fridays to concentrate on my artwork, something I’ve been meaning to do for years”

@manningfinance
“(1) Finish a rebranding effort for my current website/blog/etc. Intent is to consolidate multiple sites into one making it easier to build a strong viewer base. (2) Spend at least one hour a day on various writing projects I have right now and try and get one blog entry at least every other day. (3) Recommit to physical fitness once more. I need to get in a habit of making it back to the gym. Gym at least every other day – if not more during the #21days”

@iancreek
To exercise each day

@inspirationguy and @inplymouth
“For my #21days challenge I am going to make sure that I take some time each day to work on my own creative projects. This might be a blog post, generating creative ideas, or something I haven’t even thought of yet”

@jedlangdon
“I am going to start getting the train everyday (something I have tried on and off but have never been able to do consistently), so I have an extra two hours to read and write. Another side of my challenge is to stay away from Twitter on weekday evenings. I have spent far too much time being the unsociable person at home attached to my iPhone whilst everyone else is ralaxing, talking and watching TV”

@jonathanalder
“For me it’s going to be keeping my desk clear. Remove the clutter and the day to day debris I accumulate!”

@LeesLivinLife
“I’m going to be focusing on my daily schedule for one…..getting earlier nights, to enable earlier mornings & build in 30/60 mins of daily exercise while I’m at it….as opposed to my hit & miss schedule at the mo.
Additionally, I’m looking to really drive a potentially life changing opportunity that I’m involved with”

@lexjt
“Here we go: drop 1/2 stone and make my new career plan happen. There it is. Cards on the table”

@megancrump2309
“I am trying to improve my fitness and lose weight. So I guess my goal will be to lose weight but I will do this by exercising for at least half an hour everyday and not eating any bad foods”

@plymouthblog
“I want to do 15 minutes yoga every day”

@Robglover_UK
To exercise each day

@RacheeRoo
To eat fresh fruit for Breakfast every morning

@robertpickstone
“I’m going to exercise for between 30 mins and 60 mins each day”

@sarknight
“Im going to finish my work ‘to do list’ every day”

@susanweiner
No eating deserts other than fruit

@XlilmissdeppX
To run each day

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Do you want change badly enough?

Some people…

…start diets, then give in.
…embark on exercise regimes, then give in.
…stop smoking, then give in.
…start reading a book, then give in.

Professionally…

…start writing a blog, then give in.
…vow to make a difference at work, then give in.
…vow to run with their business idea, then give in.
…vow to change their career direction, then give in.

We have all done it.

We see or hear something that triggers the reaction of “right, I’m going to change this” but within a few days we become swamped in our usual daily activities and nothing changes at all.

Why is this? For me there are two reasons.

1 – we don’t want change badly enough.
2 – we just can’t get out of out of our daily routine.

(Some may argue that point two can’t be used as an excuse and in fact point one is the truth)

If you have struggled to change something, Jack Russell (author of Don’t Tell The Bumble Bee) suggests that it takes 21 days to change a positive or negative habit, so you need carry out the required activity for 21 days solid to really give yourself a real chance of change in the long term.

I see it all the time and I bet you do too. Some people change the whole direction of their lives whilst others can’t even give up the strawberry cheesecake yogurts they crave each lunchtime.

With that in mind, I ask you:

Have you ever tried the 21 days technique?
Have you ever vowed to change something but given in?
Have you got an opinion on why people give in on change so easily?

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How to make your customers feel special

“We love feeling special. We hate feeling like a number”

Chris Brogan touched upon this issue in his brilliant Likeminds speech in February. Chris is correct. I don’t know a single person who enjoys feeling like a number. I don’t know a single person who doesn’t like being made to feel special, even if they won’t admit to it!

For businesses then, if you want a long lasting relationship with a customer and you want them to be a true advocate for you in the future, there needs to be some thought and effort into what you can do to make them feel special.

Here are some ideas. Some are blindingly obvious, some you may not have thought of, some you may not agree with. Still, here they are:

Reward your customers. What for? For being customers. It doesn’t even have to be part of a reward scheme – why not just randomly surprise them?
Listen to every little detail they say. When you next speak on the phone, ask how their holiday went, ask if you thought their sports team were unlucky at the weekend, ask if they have anything planned for the weekend. Show an interest.
Cater to their every need. If you know they will require something different to what you can normally provide, make an effort for them. Show that you care.
Give them some publicity. If they are a great customer and there is an opportunity to shout about your relationship, then why not tell the world?
Let them shape your business. Rather than just leaving some feedback forms and hoping they get filled in, speak to your customers and ask them how their experience could be improved. Dig deep and ask for their advice. Let them know that your business is designed for them.
Make their experience enjoyable. Ok, even if your product is pretty boring and even if it can be matched in every department by a competitor, build something into the experience you offer which will cause an emotional reaction.
Engage when you are not trying to sell. Even when you know it is unlikely they will need your service or product again anytime soon, get in touch just to retain your relationship.
Call them by their name. I know this sounds blatantly obvious but every time you are in contact, whether in be face-to-face, phone or online, start off the conversation by recognising who they are.
Refer them onto whoever can help them. If you can’t solve their problem, pass them onto someone who can. Make solving their problem the number one aim.

These are a few of things I think should be considered if you want to make your customers feel special.

What do you think? Is there anything else that you do within your business to make your customers feel special?

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Trust

Image provided by Kevin Dooley - click on the image to visit Kevin's Photostream

Be honest now.

Do your customers trust you?
Do they trust what you are saying?
Do they trust you with their information?
Do they trust you are giving them a fair deal?
Do they trust your advertisements?
Do they trust your sales staff?
Do they trust your brand?
At the very core – do they really trust you?

You may have a fantastic product or service which customers will love for a while, but if that trust isn’t there then do you really expect them to be a long term customer?

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Directory of social media service providers across Devon, Cornwall & Somerset

A month ago I blogged about how companies and individuals across Devon, Cornwall and Somerset are confused about where to find social media support. As part of this blog I produced a survey seeking social media service providers across Devon, Cornwall and Somerset. The results are in and I am glad to share them with you.

If you’re based in this part of the South West and are reading this post, I hope you find the following list useful:
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Name of company
Aaron+Gould
Location
Exeter
Geographical areas covered
Exeter, Devon
Services provided
Social Media Strategy, Integration, Management and Measurement
Size and types of companies applicable for service
We mainly work with Agencies who use our services for the client accounts
Cost of service
Our services are small and incremental, meaning they are cost effect. Start at £500
3 examples of how your company has successfully used social media
1] I run Like Minds, which is a small but very respected conference that has international acclaim, and is mainly marketed through Social Media. 2] I have spear headed a lot of the Exeter growth in Social Media and am recognised as a thought leader. Like Minds itself has been the catalyst for a lot of growth in the local economy through Social Media. 3] My Social Media frameworks and models are used around the world by agencies, and I am respected as a pioneer by people like Chris Brogan, John Bell and Olivier Blanchard.
3 examples of how companies you have supported have successfully used social media: 1] The Church of England has been able to use Social Media to enable people-to-people collaboration in its dioceses through the work that we did. 2] The ‘Max Control’ campaign that we managed doubled its signups in 10 weeks through Social Media. 3] Nokia have been able to increase their Social Media effectiveness through our executive training.
How should a business get in touch with you?
Call 01392 425070, tweet @scottgould, or visit http://aarongouldagency.com

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Name of company
Barefoot Media
Location
St Wenn, Near Wadebridge, Cornwall
Geographical areas covered
Primarily Cornwall but with clients around the UK
Services provided
We’re an award-winning public relations, digital marketing and content creation provider based in Cornwall. We provide social media training, create and optimise account start-ups, develop the social media strategy and implement digital marketing campaigns
Size and types of companies applicable for service
Our current client list includes companies of all shapes and sizes from £50k to £15 million turnovers. We work primarily with clients in travel and tourism, food and drink, action sports and events
Cost of service 
Variable depending on whether you’re a beginner looking to learn the basics of social media or if your company is looking to run an integrated digital marketing campaign. To get you started we offer a full website and social media audit for a flat rate of £250 plus VAT.
3 examples of how companies you have supported have successfully used social media
We used SM to raise awareness of a restaurant launch. Organising a luxury raffle, we sourced prizes via social media, set up a Just Giving page and promoted it using Facebook. The raffle raised over £2,000 for Cornish charity, Shelterbox. We have worked with acclaimed chef Paul Ainsworth on developing his SM strategy. Paul said: “Working with Barefoot Media has to be one of the smartest decisions I made in how to push my business forward and really give it a 21st century presence. Jim and Sam are so down to earth and nothing is a problem. Decisions and work moves very fast with these guys, I can’t recommend them highly enough.” A full case study of our work with Paul is available on our website. We have also created and carried out a social media strategy for a Cornish bakery. Despite not holding a consumer presence, by creating interesting content and having a presence on a variety of social media platforms we have positioned the bakery as a thought leader within their market.
How should a business get in touch with you?
Through the website: http://www.barefootmedia.co.uk Email at jim@barefootmedia.co.uk Facebook http://facebook.com/barefootmedia Twitter http://twitter.com/barefootmedia

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Name of company
Bluegrass Computer Services
Location
Exeter
Geographical areas covered
Devon, Cornwall, Somerset, Dorset
Services provided
Full practical detailed training on Social Media in a business
Size and types of companies applicable for service
1 to very large
Cost of service
£190/person (includes detailed course manual, refreshments and access to a laptop during the workshop)
3 examples of how your company has successfully used social media
Generated new support contracts, significantly increased our brand awareness, gained social media speaking engagements
3 examples of how companies you have supported have successfully used social media Following training local travel company has fully implemented a SM strategy and increased revenue, marketing and PR company now able to enhance the services to their clients, specialist call centre now generating leads using social media knowledge
How should a business get in touch with you?
Phone: 01392 207194 – Ask for David Thomas, email: david@bluegrasscs.com

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Name of company
Business Link for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, Devon and Somerset
Location
Offices in Plymouth, Exeter, Taunton and Camborne
Geographical areas covered
Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, Devon and Somerset
Services provided
2 hour seminars for businesses that want to know information about social media or have just become involved.
Size and types of companies applicable for service
All
Cost of service
Free
3 examples of how your company has successfully used social media
The seminars have improved social media understanding for many members of staff, we are providing media related stories on our media twitter account and by monitoring social media activity, we have built research and engaged with companies.
3 examples of how companies you have supported have successfully used social media
Due to data protection, confidentiality and the nature of the service we deliver, we can’t disclose details of our interactions with companies but the feedback we have received from the seminars has been very good.
How should a business get in touch with you?
Phone: 0845 600 9966 Email: enquiries@blpeninsula.co.uk Web: http://www.businesslink.gov.uk/southwest

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Name of company
Cadover Creative
Location
Barn 2, Dunstone Farm, Shaugh Prior, Plymouth, Devon, PL7 5EH
Geographical areas covered
UK-wide (focussing on Devon, Cornwall & Somerset)
Services provided
Social media campaigns, adding social media features to clients’ websites
Size and types of companies applicable for service
Small and medium businesses and organisations
Cost of service
Free consultations and quotations available on request
3 examples of how your company has successfully used social media
None submitted
3 examples of how companies you have supported have successfully used social media: None submitted
How should a business get in touch with you?
Phone: 01752 729706 Website: http://www.cadovercreative.co.uk

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Name of company
Cosmic
Location
Ottery St Mary
Geographical areas covered
Devon and Somerset
Services provided
Social Media Training, Website Design and Hosting, Technical Support, Consultancy, Workshops and Training, Digital Mentoring, Leadership for Civil Society
Size and types of companies applicable for service
All sizes
Cost of service
Variable based on service and size
3 examples of how your company has successfully used social media
We have recently used social media via the medium of twitter to assist as a part of a project with DCC. Using our network of Digital Mentors we have used the range of twitter to get the message out about the Work Hub Events and engage people in the discussion that is happening. Our web team use social media as an extra channel to get increased visibility when they launch a new site, this is a positive for both the client and Cosmic. Also the majority of employees at Cosmic are using social media under the brand of Cosmic, we use social media to engage exisiting clients, as well as keeping interested parties up to date with where we are going as a company and what we are working on.
3 examples of how companies you have supported have successfully used social media: Julie CEO of Cosmic is the South West ICT Champion for the Civil Society and has supported and worked with most of the infrastructure groups in the south west on the benefits of technology and social media for the sector. This has resulted in organisations such as South West Forum using social media both to engage exisiting groups and also finding new groups that they can support through social media. Tim has been doing social media work with the Women Do Business network that has been running for just over a year, he provides a practical approach to social media that works for small and medium businesses that has been very well recieved. As a company we have also been support many organisations and companies within the South West, helping them and thier staff to get to grips with social media, and also helping the to create and follow a strategy.
How should a business get in touch with you?
Via Twitter – @cosmicuk Via Email – kate@cosmic.org.uk Via Phone – 01404 813226 Via Web – www.cosmic.org.uk

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Name of company
Design inspiration
Location
Plymouth
Geographical areas covered
Devon, Cornwall, London
Services provided
1. We advise on using Twitter for Business. 2. We integrate social media into websites that we design. 3. We help clients develop integrate social media with their online community-building practices. 4. I speak at business gatherings on using social media for business. 5. We run Using Twitter for Business training courses.
Size and types of companies applicable for service
Every size, especially micro, small and medium sized businesses.
Cost of service
Charges are typically project-based, so vary according to what is needed.
3 examples of how your company has successfully used social media
1. We have made a number of connections that have led to new websites. 2. We continue to use social media to build my personal brand (@inspirationguy) and develop brand awareness for our clients. 3. We use Twitter to promote the people, tourism and businesses of Plymouth (via @inplymouth & @plymouthblog). There are plenty more examples – buy me a coffee and I’ll tell you them all.
3 examples of how companies you have supported have successfully used social media:
1. We advise one of the UK’s leading event industry brands on the use of social media (@planetplanitbiz) and have helped them develop a significant online profile 2. We provide social media advice to the leading online community for life coaches and mentors (@coachingconnect) and have helped them establish a highly-regarded position on Twitter. 3. We helped a leading London-based Arts festival to take advantage of Twitter to reach new audiences.
How should a business get in touch with you?
Email: design@inspiration.co.uk or ring: 01752 784197 or via twitter: @inspirationguy

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Name of company
Gleave Media
Location
Exeter
Geographical areas covered
Devon, Cornwall and Somerset
Services provided
Social Media Strategy, Integration, Management and Measurement
Size and types of companies applicable for service
We generally work with SME’s who want to achieve the generation of new revenue through digital markeeting and communication channels. This includes a number of Charities as well as businesses around Devon and Somerset who recognize the value in getting a professional yet cost effective evaluation of a social media strategy for their business
Cost of service 
Free initial consultation, quotations and proposals vary on size and service
3 examples of how your company has successfully used social media

Our owner Alistair Gleave (@alpenwest) has been involved in the Internet industry since 1999 and has worked with numerous companies large and small in driving qualified traffic to their websites, he has also worked with award winning websites and local business who want to communicate better and more effectively
3 examples of how companies you have supported have successfully used social media:

For many companies we work confidentially so are unable to give direct reference, in this public forum – these can be made available on request
How should a business get in touch with you?
Through our website www.gleavemedia.co.uk, Facebook: www.facebook.com/gleavemedia or Tweet us @gleavemedia or email alistair@gleavemedia.co.uk

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Name of company
Optix Solutions Ltd
Location
Exeter
Geographical areas covered
UK
Services provided
All aspects of Social Media strategy from formulation, policy writing, implementation and measurement
Size and types of companies applicable for service
SMEs
Cost of service
Depends on size of project – From £350 per month upwards
3 examples of how your company has successfully used social media
Our own company has an integrated SM policy which sees the staff working well together in blogs/twitter/facebook and many other channels. Our director @banksy6 on Twitter is well respected in SM circles and has implemented his own blog at http://www.iambanksy.co.uk - we are in the process of setting up numerous SM strategies for clients around the UK
3 examples of how companies you have supported have successfully used social media
Currently in implementation phases for The Best Of Exeter, we’ve been heavily involved in our work with Devon Air Ambulance and their social media strategy. We introduced Devon Wildlife to SM and are working with Gearhouse Broadcast in Watford to setup and maintain their strategy. Our own strategy is very important to us and has lead to large quantities of work over the last 18 months
How should a business get in touch with you?
Phone: 01392 667766, Email: info@optixsolutions.co.uk, Twitter: @optixsolutions

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Name of company
Rokk Internet
Location
Exeter, Devon
Geographical areas covered
UK & International
Services provided
Social Media services include strategy creation, engagement etiquette, training & consultancy and campaign management
Size and types of companies applicable for service
We are able to help companies of any size
Cost of service
Cost is dependent on the scope and length of the project as some elements would be one-off and others ongoing. Ongoing would be in the region of £400 per month. Please contact us for a more accurate cost estimate based on your individual situation and requirements.
3 examples of how your company has successfully used social media
We have been able to use our twitter profile @RokkInternet to engage with many people who are now clients, partners and great network contacts to call upon in the future, but we continue to use social media as just one avenue for maintaining the relationship with clients, partners and contacts alike.
3 examples of how companies you have supported have successfully used social media
We have created social media strategies recently for a nationwide property management firm and also the Welsh Assembly surrounding an event in 2010. We consult with several clients with regards to their Social Media campaigns to ensure that campaigns are managed smoothly and that brand reputation is protected and engagement with the clients audiences are effective, useful and inspire further communication from the audiences.
How should a business get in touch with you?
Please call Claire Marshall on 01392 69 00 49 or info@rokkinternet.com or contact us via twitter: @RokkInternet
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Name of company
Social Traders
Location
St Austell
Geographical areas covered
Cornwall / Devon
Services provided
Social media consultancy and training
Size and types of companies applicable for service
SME
Cost of service
Negotiable
3 examples of how your company has successfully used social media
1 on 1 advice sessions; group training sessions using social media workbook; 500+ twitter following
3 examples of how companies you have supported have successfully used social media
Get in touch with me to discuss
How should a business get in touch with you?
bob.northey@socialtraders.org.uk

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Name of company
Tonick Media
Location
Cornwall, UK
Geographical areas covered
Main focus: South West. However, capabilities at an international level.
Services provided
Consultancy, Training, Implementation, Content Production and Strategy.
Size and types of companies applicable for service
Private, Public, Voluntary, Social and Charitable Sectors. Primary focus: Business to Business. However, regularly work with business to consumer companies. Would usually work with companies with a turnover in excess of £100kpa; however, can work with start-ups and smaller organisations in a mentoring or training capacity.
Cost of service
All work quoted upfront with fixed price and hourly rates available.
3 examples of how your company has successfully used social media
1. We use Social Media in a variety of ways to broaden the reach and engagement of our printed and online title, Business Cornwall. 2. I am currently part of a cross Atlantic collaborative book with a senior recruiter at a US based software company (original introduction through LinkedIn). 3. Have taken our brand from unknown 1 year ago to market leader in our industry across the South West.
3 examples of how companies you have supported have successfully used social media
Many of the companies and organisations I work with are still in the process of implementing their Social Media strategies. For confidentiality reasons I am unable to disclose much of what our clients are doing. However, I can point to some examples of our clients using Social Media: Talent Cornwall is a start-up based in Cornwall – they have recently launched their website with fully integrated blog and Social Media profile links. Cornish Mutual have used Social Media to broaden the reach and engagement of their ‘Dig Down SW’ campaign. Enterprise Cafe have implemented a number of actions listed within their Social Media strategy which is evident from their main website – http://enterprisecafe.tv
How should a business get in touch with you?
Email: aren@tonickmedia.com or Search ‘Aren Grimshaw’ or ‘Tonick Media’.

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If you would like to be added to the list then please complete the survey and get in touch with me too.

If you would like others to see this list and you agree with the idea behind it, please forward it on across different communication channels.

Thanks.

(If you like my posts, sign up to my RSS feed here or subscribe by email near the top right of this page)

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Plymouth Twestival 2010 – My Reaction #Plymtwest

A few days have passed since Plymouth Twestival 2010 and I am starting to regain some much needed energy. After some time for reflection, I would really like to share with you my thoughts and feelings about Thursday evening. Before I do so it would be appropriate to see the official video for the event, produced by Machine Media.

Twestival March 2010 from Sharney Adams on Vimeo.

Firstly, a massive thank you goes out to everyone who was involved. This includes guests, bands, sponsors, volunteers and even people who couldn’t make it (but still donated by buying an apology ticket or helped to spread our message) – it was a massive team effort and everyone played their part. As a group we made it happen.

There were two things that I really wanted to happen on the night: I wanted to raise lots of money for Concern and I wanted everyone to have a good time.

We certainly achieved the first. At the time of writing we have raised £5,647 and there still may be some late donations to come in! When the target figure of £4,000 was put out to the volunteer group there was a mixture of positivity and nervousness. I am so glad we reached and broke it.

I am pretty sure that most people had a good time. The bands were great, with  Francis and the Drakes and Kitty and the Lost Boys putting in some top performances. It was a shame the lead singer from The Delahays became ill during the evening but a massive thank you for commiting your time and helping so much with the preperation. Graham Barton ensured that the auction was very entertaining and he really drove up bids, the entertainment provided by Dominos Plymouth and What A Giggle was superb and very different, and there were also plenty of people mixing and really enjoying each others company. To be honest, I think there are some improvements to be made in terms of scheduling for next time. It would be dangerous to sit here and think that there is no room for improvement – there clearly is – and lessons will be learnt to ensure that the next Plymouth Twestival is not just fantastic, it is fantastically fantastic.

In terms of donations, Plymouth finished as the 3rd highest city in the UK and the 10th highest in the world. This is out of hundreds of cities that took part. This is another reason to feel proud; little old Plymouth made itself pretty big on the map.

The slogan for Twestival is ‘Social Media for Social Good’ and we have definitely used social media to make a difference. The money we raised will provide more than 100 children living in extreme poverty to access out of school learning for a year. At the recent Likeminds conference in Exeter, Jon Akwue delivered a keynote speech on how social media can change peoples lives – he was right and we have helped prove that. Without social media, our impact would not have been so large. Volunteers were found using social media, as were sponsors, the bands, and many of the guests. Social media really allowed us to spread our message and genuinly use ‘Social Media for Social Good’.

As one of the organisers, I feel very proud of what we’ve achieved.

If you were part of Plymouth Twestival 2010, you should feel very proud too. In fact, feel proud if you were involved with any of the Twestivals.

Feel free to share your Twestival experiences by commenting below.

(If you like my posts, sign up to my RSS feed here or subscribe by email near the top right of this page)

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Do you provide social media services across Devon, Cornwall and Somerset?

There seems to be an awful lot of companies that offer social media services but to the average person or business it must be confusing about where to go. Well, I know it is confusing as many individuals and businesses have already told me so. The questions I am constantly hearing include: Who works in what area? What level of support can be provided? How much does the support cost?

I am going to try and pull together the key details of those who provide social media services in Devon, Cornwall and Somerset. It is going to be the first attempt (that I know of) to provide some clarity.

There is much debate about the different stages that companies may go through when implimenting social media, and the findings of this post could be built into another model at a later stage, but first I just want to find out who is actually providing what.

Please click on the link at the bottom of this post if you would to take the survey and inlcude your service as part of the final list.

For credibility purposes, please also ask the three clients who have received your support to email robertpickstone@hotmail.com with details of their experience in no more than 200 words. You will see this question in the survey.

If you are reading this and agree with the attempt to provide some clarity, please forward this on across your different social networks.

I will then publish a list of those who provide social media support across Devon, Cornwall and Somerset as a blog post on Monday, 5th April.

Thanks.

Please click here to take the survey

(Please note: This is a personal attempt to find clarity by me, not my employer or companies I work with, but I hope the results can be used and shared by anyone who find them valuable)

(If you like my posts, sign up to my RSS feed here or subscribe by email near the top right of this page)

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What a Tramp taught me about Selling! A #BeMyGuest blog from Sue Windley

Something different has just happened to my blog! This latest post is not actually from me. It is from Sue Windley. Recently, Emily Cagle and Adam Vincenzini came up with the fabulous idea of #BeMyGuest. Click on the link for more info but in short it is a campaign for mutual blogging that allows bloggers to share their content with different audiences. I really like this idea and am delighted that Sue is my first ever guest blogger. Please read on and enjoy the work of Sue…

As part of #BeMyGuest month, I am delighted to have the opportunity to provide a guest blog for Robert Pickstone, who requested a story from my sales and marketing career.  So here is how I learned my most important lesson about selling. And yes, it is true!

What a Tramp taught me about Selling!

Early in my sales and marketing career, I sold cars. The hard way. Commission only. An English woman selling cars in Scotland!

I was taught the technicalities of selling by men whose lives had been spent in the motor trade.  But the most important lesson I ever learned about selling was taught to me by a tramp on a wet Christmas Eve.

The only people in the showroom are the 4 other salesmen and me – all looking forlornly out the window, thinking what a waste of time – no one will buy a car on Christmas Eve when it’s raining.

An old man, dressed in a dirty mac, tied up with string, walks into showroom. The other four scarper, leaving me muttering under my breath that I wasn’t quick enough to disappear with them. The tramp comes across to say hello. What the heck, it’s Christmas, why not spread some good cheer around and just take the time to have a conversation with another human being. So I spend 10 minutes talking about trivialities with a dirty, smelly stranger who obviously just wants to get out of the rain.

Then he says “I want to buy a car”.  Oh no – a tramp who’s mentally unstable too!  Buy I play along, so we discuss what type of car he would like.  I even showed him the cars in the showroom, making sure he doesn’t get in them and get the seats dirty.  I can even hear my 4 “colleagues” sniggering as they hide behind the one-way window in the service area.

Then “my” tramp picks a car – a demonstrator.  And he wants a test drive.  Well okay – let me get the seat protectors (sheets of plastic used by mechanics to avoid getting oil on customers’ car-seats). And I take him for a drive around the East Lothian countryside, all the while worrying that a real buyer might be walking into the showroom.

As we drive back into the garage, he says he likes the car and wants to buy it.  “Can I drive it away today?” he asks.  Yeah right, I thought – you won’t get finance. “Och hen, I dinna want finance. I want to trade in my old car. Look it’s over there.”

And I looked at his car – a one year old Nissan Micra. All he had wanted to do was trade up to a car with more doors. He gave me the logbook and his insurance – yes, it’s really his. Next hurdle – I price his trade-in and there’s a £2000 difference. “Nae worries, hen.  I’ve got some notes in my pocket – not sure how much tho’.  Will ya count it fer me?” and he hands me a wad of cash which turned out to be £3000.

I was the only sales person on that Christmas Eve to sell a car in the whole franchise of 15 garages. And yes, he did drive it away the same day. And the best bit of all. As he drove away: “You know hen – this was the 7th garage I’ve been to today and you’re the only person who came and said hello to me. Thank ye.”

It’s easy to make our minds up about other people without knowing anything about them. Now I never prejudge people as I know we are all unique, complete with quirks and foibles! Like the tramp, all we want is someone to notice us and say hello!

Sue Windley is the Marketing Director of the Pragmatic Performance Group, a business acceleration consultancy that supports small and medium-sized enterprises in the south west of England. She is active on Twitter as @DangerousMkting, which is also the name of her blog where you can find all sorts of news and views on all aspects of marketing.

(If you like my posts, sign up to my RSS feed here or subscribe by email near the top right of this page)

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Why I think #likeminds 2010 truly delivered

Last year I attended the inaugural Likeminds conference. I was hugely impressed with much of what I saw. There were some great speakers, great discussions and great content on show.

This year the Likeminds 2010 conference had all of the above. What took it that step further though was the people-to-people experience that guests (not customers) were part of.

Debate is bound to follow about the quality of the presentations and discussions. There will be different views on the value of what was on show and the messages that were being pushed. Saying that, the audience were invited to offer their opinions during panel discussions and not all panel members agreed with each other anyway. Like any conference, it is up to the individual to absorb everything and then make their own mind up. What Likeminds 2010 did was provide world class thought-leaders and practitioners (Chris Brogan, Olivier Blanchard, John Bell, Jonathan Akwue and Joanne Jacobs) that will hopefully inspire many others to take part in healthy, social media/online communications debates.

What I believe can’t really be debated is whether or not Likeminds 2010 delivered on what I believed to be the underlying theme of the whole experience: connecting people. They delivered big time. I don’t think I have ever attended a conference or event where talking to people has been made so easy. It might sound silly to say but it is true.

There were two stand out factors that made it easy for me to connect. Firstly, the name badges with the Twitter avatars on allowed me to spot people I have spoken to online but have never met in person. Secondly, booking lunches with speakers/panellists/guests who shared similar interests allowed me to speak to others with whom I knew I shared common ground. Along with the great hashtag feed and the willingness of most guests to mingle, an environment was created for people to connect to other people.

As Scott has said on many occasions, being part of a community is not enough. Good connections need to be made so that actions can actually follow.

I made many new connections at Likeminds 2010 and I am positive these will lead to many actions. Sure, I will enjoy debating the details of the event with many others over the coming weeks (putting on the ‘social media geek hat’ can be quite fun), but the overwhelming emotion I have right now is that Likeminds connected me to many great people and many positive outcomes are on the cards.

For this I would like to thank everyone who took part.

Do you agree? Did you find it easy to connect?

(If you like my posts, sign up to my RSS feed here or subscribe by email near the top right of this page)

@chrisbrogan and @robertpickstone

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