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Shoulda Woulda Coulda
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Shoulda Woulda Coulda

What amazing weather we’ve had this past week.  What did you do last Sunday?  Beach ? Walk ? Gardening? BBQ?

I read the World Economic Forum (WEF) Report, Shaping the Future of Construction A Breakthrough in Mindset and Technology

I’m sure they mean well but I have to be honest, I’ve never read so many ‘shoulds’ in my life and this prompted me to reread many other industry reports, Construction 2025 strategy, the Sector Deal, Modernise or Die.  Have you read any of these? They are all great reports talking about how we ‘should’ be:

  • lowering costs by 33%
  • Faster delivery by 50%
  • Lower emissions by 50%
  • Improve in exports by 50%
  • Investing in technology and innovation

Action is happening too.  The Construction Leadership Council are working with government and funding has been allocated as part of the Sector Deal to invest in innovation, training, digital and off-site manufacturing to boost productivity and help solve the skills crisis but it is really advanced stuff.

The WEF report has a lot of contribution from large global organisations and academics but there is one, massive piece of the puzzle missing, SME’s and Micro-businesses.

In UK construction a fairly recent economic analysis of the sector reported that 99.9% businesses are SME’s and 83% employ no more than 1 person.

Based on my experienced working with small businesses and also monitoring what is happening in Facebook groups where thousands of these small businesses are members, a huge amount have not heard of the Construction Leadership Council and aren’t aware of the targets or the work going on to improve our industry, have you?

They also have common challenges that I’ve found which they don’t necessarily know about as they mostly works in silos.  A lot of them don’t have what could be construed as the basic technology in place to help them be more productive and profitable.  Many aren’t clear on the exact levels of profit they are making on the individual projects they are working on, they aren’t using project management technology if they are working in teams to help them improve co-ordination and share information.  There are lots of ways they could systemise activities to become more productive and in turn more profitable.

So, why aren’t they putting these systems in place?  I think it’s down to cashflow and headspace.  It’s easy to feel overwhelmed like a ‘rabbit caught in the headlights’ sometimes when thinking about what to do first (hence the picture).  This is where the value of coaching comes in as I help my clients prioritise and wherever possible I will try to connect them to where they can get further support in areas outside of my expertise.

I do know support is available via membership organisations and trade bodies but if you aren’t a member, where can you go?

I’m speaking at MIPIM in a couple of weeks which is a massive property and construction exhibition in Cannes.  The programme is all about technology, innovation, the future of the industry and I am speaking on a panel in a session entitled, Construction – Thinking Differently.

The discussion focus will be all about technology and innovation but my take on it, is that as an industry, not just in the UK but internationally we are in danger of leaving thousands of businesses behind if we don’t solve the basics and help SME’s and micro-business be more resilient, productive and profitable so they can invest in their own future and the wider industry.  This is the message I will be taking to MIPIM and this was the message I gave at a really positive meeting in London yesterday with an industry leader.

Do you agree?  Would love to know your viewpoint so please tweet or leave a comment on linked-in.  I also vlogged about this earlier this week, the link to this is here.

 

 

All you need is love
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All you need is love

If you’ve been following my blogposts so far this year you will know that it’s all about the ‘Race to the Top’.  I’ve talked about the need for change, to do things differently.  To win a race you need to have passion and determination.  It starts with you and you need to know who you are, what you want and most importantly, what you love.

I coached a new Client a couple of weeks ago.  He came over to the UK from Africa to do his masters.  He loves construction, has done since he was young and wants to be a Chartered Surveyor.

He’s had a couple of interviews recently with the same company.  The first went well.  The second one, with a different person didn’t.  He felt like the person interviewing him didn’t want to be there and that he couldn’t be himself.  He felt like he closed up and in his own words, “his light deminished”.

So, I flipped it and asked him who he really was, we talked about his childhood, his passion, his determination, his values and if I’d had a job to give him I would have done, on the spot.  He is now looking for opportunities with companies that fit with his values where he can see himself progressing to be the Director he wants to be in the future.

This theme continued with a potential Client I met on Monday.  She has recently been promoted to be a Commercial Director, a role she is loving.  She has hit the ground running, she has a clear plan that has been signed off by her boss but she’s also had some feedback recently that is impacting on her negatively.

She has been called ‘single minded’ by other Directors if she hasn’t taken on board their opinions or been influenced by them.  She currently feels like she needs to wear a mask and she is losing site of who she really is.  She also has moments of ‘imposter syndrome’ which is something I have experienced myself in the past.  It’s when you tell yourself that you’re going to get found out, that you shouldn’t be there, that you don’t have what it takes and you’ll be asked to leave.

If we work together we will look at establishing the essence of who she is and building resilience so she feels she can lead authentically and doesn’t have to be someone she isn’t.

So, my question to you this Valentine’s day, is, do you know who you are and do you love what you do?  Here’s an even deeper question, do you love yourself?

That can be a hard one.  I didn’t always love myself in my previous role, I felt that sometimes I had to be someone I wasn’t and it went against my values which did not sit comfortably with me.

What needs to happen to find your passion and do what you love on a daily basis?  Are you in the right environment for you right now? These questions can bring massive change if you’re ready.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, this week’s art is influenced by my first ever trip to Liverpool on Monday, and a certain Saint that shoots arrows…… or maybe I”ve got that one mixed up somewhere!

Have a great week and if you’re ready for change, let’s talk.

Your race to the top is all in your mind
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Your race to the top is all in your mind

Last Friday I did two back-to-back coaching sessions and in both of them I talked about the power of positive thinking and visualisation and the difference it can make to your mindset and outcomes.

Sounds a bit ‘woo woo’ but a ‘race to the top’ in our Construction industry will most definitely take a different way of thinking.

The first session was with a Client of mine who is the MD of a sub-contracting business.  His target turnover for this year is £5m.  We’ve identified there is a potential gap in March and he’s waiting to hear about a project that would fit right into that slot.  He feels confident that he will secure the other projects that are on his radar because he has the time to do it, but he feels that if he doesn’t secure the specific job that he’s waiting to hear on, he won’t be able to achieve the £5m.  There will be too big a gap to claw back.

He has a tracker and this particular line on the tracker is amber, all of the others are green.  So, I asked him to detach from the  project he thinks will fill the gap and visualise the right project slotting in to turn that amber to green.  I also asked him if he’d ever had a project land out of the blue and he said he had, so there is no reason why that couldn’t happen again.

I also shared a story about something that happened to me a few years ago.  I’d set my sights on interviewing a gold medal winning Olympian.  The opportunity to meet him at a dinner through the company I was working for at the time was there, but I didn’t have an invitation.  Cinderella at that stage, wasn’t going to the ball.  BUT, I was determined to go, so determined that I put the date in my diary, booked a hair appointment and visualised being there, meeting that person, asking for an interview and him saying yes.

It got to about 2pm on the day of the dinner and I still didn’t have an invite, and to add complexity to the matter I was nowhere near the location, I was in Norfolk having just facilitated a risk workshop at RAF Marham.  Just as I was leaving to drive home I finally caved in and rang my hairdresser to say I no longer needed the appointment, Cinderella wasn’t going to the ball.  30 minutes later I got a text and pulled over.  Someone was asking me if I was going to the dinner, when I said no, it turned out they had a spare seat at their table, did I want it?!.  I quickly rang my hairdresser back, got home, glad rags on, arranged to be picked up and went to the ball.  Met the Olympian, asked the question, got a yes and a few weeks the later I filmed an interview with him.

You may be sceptical but more and more research is being carried out into neuroscience.  It’s been proven that when athletes visualise running a race in their mind the same neurological pathways light up as if they had physically run the race.

It’s not just about visualisation, it’s about action too but if you’re stressed, it also cuts off the part of your brain that thinks creatively and in this situation my Client needs to think creatively to take action.

I’ve set him an exercise of visualising every day turning that amber line to green so lets see what comes out of that.

I’ve also seen evidence of visualisation in my life this week.  For a while now I’ve been visualising being a speaker at MIPIM and I’m delighted to say this week my vision became a reality, I’ve been given a speakers slot on Wednesday 13 March at 10am in the ‘Construction, Thinking Differently’ panel discussion.

What are you currently telling yourself is unachievable?  How would it feel if you visualised it happening?  You’ll be surprised the difference it makes to your mindset and also the ideas that could flood in to make it a reality.

You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain.

P.S, hope you like the artwork, just don’t tell my husband I got glitter glue on the carpet….!

Follow that star in your race to the top
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Follow that star in your race to the top

I’ve been getting creative again with the pastels and the glitter glue!

What does this one mean?

In my blog last week I talked about the need to move away from the ‘race to the bottom’ that contaminates our industry.  We build amazing buildings and create fantastic spaces but being all about the money has a massive, negative impact on behaviours and culture.

If you’ve had to put the lowest price in to win the work and you feel like you’re being treated unfairly, it does not motivate you to go above and beyond.  It make for starting the building on rocky foundations.

Being in business, as I’ve found myself, is hard.  I wasn’t a natural entrepreneur but my drive to bring change to the industry and do what I can to eliminate unfairness took over until I could no longer ignore it.  The voice become so loud that one day I was a Project Manager and the next day, a business owner.

Like everyone else in business I’ve had to figure it out and make mistakes but the constant driver, or my ‘North Star’ was the need for change.

Positivity unlocks productivity.  If people are happier, they are more productive, they feel they are working towards something bigger than themselves.

We all have a ‘North Star’ something that drives us, something other than money.

In my blog last week I included a testimonial from a recent client of mine who has rediscovered his passion for the industry since we started working together.  I asked him a question that really got him thinking and he realised that the recession, and having a number of clients go bust whilst owing him money had negatively impacted on his drive and motivation.  It had clouded the fact that he did actually love what he did.

His ‘North Star’ is his family and wanting to have more of a balance in the future so he can spend quality time with them, take the holidays and make the memories with his little ones.  We are looking at how he can be more strategic with his time to enable him to do this.

This year is all about the #racetothetop and I will be talking about the work I’m doing with my clients to turn the ship away from the race to the bottom.  As Michelle Obama said recently about a certain orange faced person, “when we they go low, we go high”.

So, take some time out, give yourself space to think and ask the questions,

“What is my North Star”?

“Why am I doing what I do”?

I would love it if you shared your thoughts with me on twitter and instagram.  The links are below.

@constructcoach

@construction_coach

If you’d like to work with me to uncover your own North Star then CLICK HERE

Are you ready for the race of your life?
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Are you ready for the race of your life?

First of all, do you like my picture?  I’ve felt compelled to be artistic for a while now, I’ve no idea why, but I read this quote today, “the creative adult is the child who survived” by Ursula Le Guin so I’m going with it!

So, what does my picture mean…….?!

It’s been influenced by what I’ve seen, heard and read this week and also my mission for the year.

Monday was ‘Blue Monday’ but it was also the anniversary of the collapse of Carillion.  Construction News ran a story last week about the impact it’s had on the industry 1-year on and it really cheesed me off.  When Carillon collapsed it had estimated liabilities of close to £7bn and was known to have 33,000 suppliers.

Publicly some of those that were the worst affected downplayed their exposure.  One of the reasons being that as soon as another contractor caught wind of their involvement, they started to extend the payment period from 20 or 30 days to 45 or 60 so that if any other companies effected by the collapse went under, they would have more of a cash pot to fund the works.

This really appalled me.  I work predominantly with SME’s and micro-businesses and I’ve seen first hand the stress caused by the constant worrying about cashflow.

WE HAVE TO DO BETTER THAN THIS!

The problem is, as an industry we are cost driven.  Profit margins are so low and competition is so high that it does encourage a ‘race to the bottom’ attitude which was highlighted in the Hackitt review, Building a Safer Future’, following the Grenfell tragedy.

Movement is happening at the top of the industry to bring change through the work that the Construction Leadership Council is doing around ‘procuring for value and the need to move away from the lowest cost.  However, given that the industry is predominantly made up of SME’s and micro-businesses, I don’t think they are aware of what is happening and I also don’t think that contractors are engaging with their supply network to evaluate on value rather than cost.  It’s just not filtering down.

We are surrounded by uncertainty but there are things that you can control in your business and that is why it’s time for a ‘RACE TO THE TOP’!

Rather than wait for change to come, instigate it.  This is what I’m encouraging my clients to do.  If you’re feeling deflated then it’s definitely time to get your spark back and reconnect with why you are doing what you do.  What is going to get you out of bed on a ‘Blue Monday’, (or any other bl*ody Monday for that matter!)

There are things happening on a daily basis that you can control that are impacting on your motivation, people and profit margins.  Over the next few weeks I’m going to share with you, based on my experience working with my clients what you can do to get ahead of your competitors and start your race to the top.

Hence the blue, sparkly arrow on my picture!

I was really chuffed to receive a testimonial this week from a client I started working with in November.

“Coaching with Maria has helped me become really passionate about my business again, I didn’t realise how much passion I’d lost for construction. Becoming passionate again has already starting to filter through to the rest of my team. I’m now spending a lot more time working on the business and looking outwards towards opportunities and business development. I highly recommend working with Maria at any level within the construction industry”      

If you need help getting back your mojo ready for your race then get in touch.

 

Where are you ‘burning cash’ in your business?
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Where are you ‘burning cash’ in your business?

This weekend there will be lots of bonfire nights happening all over the UK and it’s prompting me to ask the question, ‘where are you burning cash in your business’?

I asked this question yesterday in a workshop I facilitated at the FIS (Finishes and Interiors Sector) Conference in Manchester which was all about how you can be more profitable in 1 hr.  The theme of their conference was about growing your business in a changing market.

These are uncertain times we are operating in and we don’t know exactly what the impact of Brexit will be, but there are things that you can control that will make a difference to your profit margins.

The phrase ‘burning cash’ originated from one of my Clients and it’s about where you are wasting money, time and resources in your business.

The four key areas I look at when I’m working with companies are:

Purpose (which I talked about in my blog last week)

People

Productivity

Process

All of these impact on your profits.

If you don’t have a clear sense of purpose and direction it’s hard to motivate yourself, let along your employees and it should never just be about the money.

Productivity is a massive challenge in our industry.  If people feel part of something and they are working towards a common goal, they are more productive.  It’s also about having clear roles and responsibilities and being able to get the best performance out of your employees.

Not having the right processes in place can hugely impact on resources and waste time and money.  As businesses grow and expand what worked in the past may not work in the future and it is definitely worth mapping out your processes to make sure they are as efficient and effective as they can be.

Here are some of the areas I’ve helped my Clients identify where they are ‘burning cash’:

  • Employees / Sub-contractors leaving early to get cheaper trains out of London – £21k / year.
  • Lack of productivity from sub-contracted stone mason – 12k in 13 weeks.
  • Not putting together programmes and having the right contractual arrangements in place – thousands of pounds of acceleration costs.
  • Not being organised with materials – 1 day / week at the Builder’s Merchants.

Every business will be different depending on the size and type but there will definitely be areas where you are wasting money, time and resources, the question is where?

To help identify these areas I’ve devised a tool called the ‘Profit Wheel’.   I go through this in my 1hr to Change webinar below and if you want to fast forward directly to that, it’s around 42 minutes in.  I’m saving you time already!

I hope you have a great bonfire weekend and with the money you will save in your business by doing this exercise, you can spend more on fireworks next year!

Strategy-Vision

Do your clients really value you or are you just cheap?
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Do your clients really value you or are you just cheap?

I took this photo in London recently.  I’d been to a conference in the city and I got such a buzz walking to the tube station afterwards taking photographs of the fantastic architecture and the new buildings underway.

Yesterday I was in Manchester at Salford University delivering my first ever guest lecture.  I was asked to do a lecture on Corporate Strategy to their final year Construction and Project Management students.

The students have been given a project to study a large construction company to prepare a strategic appraisal of their organisation.  This includes how they compete in terms of pricing and differentiation.

Earlier this week I was at a Construction Industry Council meeting and Dame Judith Hackitt gave a presentation on her report,  ‘Building a Safer Future‘  and her recommendations following the Grenfell Disaster.  One of the things that is highlighted in the report is the “race to the bottom” stemming from a prime motivation to do things quickly and cheaply which we know happens in our industry as the profit margins are so low.

In my lecture I talked about the importance of vision, mission and values and how value and ethically driven organisations are proven to be so much more profitable.  A lot of people think this is just ‘fluffy stuff’, but it makes real business sense as well as being the right thing to do.  It also makes a difference in attracting new talent.  Young people coming into our industry want to feel part of something and they want to know why you do it and not just what you do.

This is the subject of a fantastic book and TED Talk by Simon Sinek, author of ‘Start with Why’.  He talks about how much more powerful and magnetic the ‘why’ is to a prospective client and employee rather than the ‘what’ and how that impacts on profitability and talent retention.

“Knowing your WHY is not the only way to be successful, but it is the only way to maintain a lasting success and have a greater blend of innovation and flexibility.  When a WHY goes fuzzy, it becomes much more difficult to maintain the growth, loyalty and inspiration that helped drive the original success”.

As part of my research I looked at quite a few websites of both large and small companies (including the one the students are looking at) and what I found really interesting was hardly any of them had their vision, mission or values on their home page.  There was nothing on there that really gave a snapshot of who they were and what drives them.  If I were a potential client or employee, I’d be underwhelmed.

I truly believe it’s time for a revolution in the industry and part of that revolution is for companies to really start to value themselves and really demonstrate that value in how they communicate and are perceived by the outside world.

In my lecture I talked about the importance of a ‘Value Proposition’.  This is a statement that introduces you to prospective buyers and helps you make a strong first impression.  It describes the value you promise to deliver to your customer and it’s what makes your product attractive and stand out from your competition.  It’s specific, pain-focused and exclusive.

Again, there were no value propositions on the websites I looked at.

If we are ever going to stop the race to the bottom, companies need to really look inward and pull out all of the amazing value that they bring to the table.  We build some awesome buildings, just like in this photo.

One of my clients is doing just that at the moment.  I started working with a small house building company earlier this year and they are flying.  They’ve gotten really clear on their values, which is making a positive impact on their culture and their profits as one of them is ‘zero waste’. When you look at their website their values and mission are prominent and they are really standing out from their competitors, so much so that they’ve just been awarded their biggest contract to date and their profit margin is 10%.  They were asked to reduce their costs during negotiations but refused to budge on their profit margin.  They weren’t the cheapest, but they are the best.  It can be done.

So, my questions for you now are, what is your ‘why’ and when are you going to start your own revolution?

If you want any help in getting started, click here and let’s talk.

Have a great weekend.

Maria

Do you want women in construction?
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Do you want women in construction?

Yesterday I was privileged to be asked to be on the panel at the Construction News Inspire Me event in Birmingham.

Inspire Me is the CN’s campaign to get more women into Leadership positions but yesterday it was also asking the question, ‘how do we attract more women into the industry and retain them?’

I was joined on the panel by Ann Bentley, Global Board Director of Rider Levett Bucknall, Naomi Connell, Chief Finance Officer for VokerWessels UK, Rachel Toor, Assistant Site Manager for Shaylor Group and Adelaide Forbes, HR Director for Mace Macro.  All very different, inspirational women……. and me!

As you can see it was an all female panel, we were meant to have a man join us but he couldn’t attend at the last minute.

The statistics around diversity and inclusion speak for themselves.  Reports such as, ‘Delivering Through Diversity’ from Mckinsey proves that a more diverse workforce, particularly at board level, increases profits.

There are a lot of positive initiatives happening in organisations to improve diversity and attract more women into the industry but this isn’t necessarily being filtered down the supply network.

One of the most powerful questions that was asked was, ‘do men want women to come into construction’?  The woman who asked this said she would like to see men on the panel who work on site, someone in the trades, someone further down the Contractor’s supply network answer that question.

Attitude on site is definitely a big blocker for women.  There is still a lot of misogyny going on, you certainly need a thick skin at times to put up with the ‘banter’.  So, where did this ‘special’ culture stem from?  Is it because it’s mostly men and a lot of testosterone?  Do men actually like the ‘banter’? Or deep down does it hurt their feelings but they don’t feel they can say anything?

If we want to attract more women into the industry then site needs to be a more welcoming place for them.  I believe that people feel that they just can’t be themselves in construction, would you agree?  Women sometimes feel that they have to be like men to progress and men feel like they have to be the ‘tough guy’ and put on a mask when really, they’re struggling with all sorts of emotions but they can’t let it out.

Another big takeaway for me yesterday was the blocker of inflexible working for women.  A lot of companies say they have a flexible work policy but quite often this doesn’t apply at site level.  This was certainly the case for one woman I spoke to yesterday who is really struggling to juggle getting to site and childcare, especially when her Site Manager wants to organise a meeting for 8am.

There is also the perception by men that ‘woman’s networks’ are just ‘jollies’ to get out of the office.  Because we are in the minority, women need networks like this to join together, share experiences and boost their confidence and push back more.

Women are different to men, fact.  There is more and more research being carried out about the neurological differences between us and how we think differently, this is why Diversity matters.

So, two ways we can get more women into the industry is for Contractors to work with their supply networks to change the culture at site level and to be more flexible about flexible working.

I would also recommend 3 books.  The third one, by Helena Morrissey, founder of the 30% club has one of the best quotes I’ve read recently and really sums up what needs to happen:

“It’s not about women adapting to the male environment, but about creating a new environment with men”.

The Mask of Masculinity: How Men Can Embrace Vulnerability, Create Strong Relationships and Live Their Fullest Lives

Gender Intelligence: Breakthrough Strategies for increasing Diversity and Improving Your Bottom Line

A Good Time To Be a Girl: Don’t Lean In, Change the System

How do you make a cheese sandwich?
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How do you make a cheese sandwich?

How do you make a cheese sandwich?  Seems like a random question for a construction related blog but it’s very relevant.

In January this year I had a meeting with Leanne Bonner–Cooke (now MBE) CEO and founder of Evolve Consultants.

Evolve specialise in bespoke software and product development to help companies be more efficient.  The first stage in this is process mapping.

When we had the meeting, Leanne gave me, what I think is a brilliant example of understanding the need for mapping out processes.  How do you make a cheese sandwich?

If you asked  your employees to make a cheese sandwich they would all be different.  Some would quickly butter some bread, grab a couple of slices of cheese and whack it on.  Others would grate the cheese, perhaps add some salad and mayonnaise, take a bit longer over the process.  I think you can pretty much guarantee that no two sandwiches would be the same.

This can be the case in business too.  I met a Director recently who’s consultancy has grown rapidly over a 2 year period.  They’ve added more and more people and opened a couple of new offices but what he is finding is, he doesn’t have the time to be as hands-on as he’d like and there is inconsistency of service delivery.  New people are coming into the business who can technically do the job, but they are delivering in different ways and some more efficiently than others.  This inconsistency is impacting on their profit margins.  I know from my days as a QS and PM, there is a set fee and if you take longer to deliver, it eats into the profit.

A great way that you can maximise your profits, and I do this with my Clients is to map out your processes.  Ask yourself questions such as:

  • What do you want your Client experience to be?
  • How do you set up a project for success?
  • What are the standard processes that need to be followed for the services you deliver?
  • How long should this take to deliver?

You can then identify where the inefficiencies are and you can bring these standards and processes into performance managing your teams as well.  Where are the skills gaps?  Where are the inconsistencies of service delivery in your teams?  Who needs additional support but aren’t asking for it?

There is such a lot of pressure in our industry to be perfect at everything, and we certainly are not.  It can also be a sign of weakness to ask for help.  One of the worst experiences I had as a trainee surveyor was being given a cut and fill exercise to do, I felt like I couldn’t ask for help and it took me forever.  It was so demoralising and I’ve never forgotten that experience.  In fact I quit my job not long after that and became a waitress in an Italian restaurant briefly!!

Leanne recorded a 1hr to Change webinar with us in July and I’ve put the link below.  Taking 1hr out of your business could save you thousands.

Process Mapping/ IT Solutions

How social media could solve your recruitment challenges
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How social media could solve your recruitment challenges

This week I’ve been in Manchester.  I led a strategy session with the board of a new Client on Monday and on Tuesday I was at the Inspire Summit; Women in Construction, Housing and Social Media.

One of the biggest challenges my Client has is recruiting the right people, in fact, it’s the same issue that pretty much everyone I speak to has at the moment.  One of the themes of the Inspire Summit was how we attract the next generation into the industry and there is a solution that could solve both of these problems.

SOCIAL MEDIA

This is an area that I’ve had to learn since I started my business 4 years ago but I don’t do it alone.  I have a Marketing Coach, I’ve read lots of books but I still feel like a rabbit caught in the headlights with it all sometimes! (You can’t beat a good snapchat filter!)

Snapchat-265405018

As part of the 1Hr to Change programme I hosted a webinar and recorded a podcast with Peter Watson from Distract who are the fastest growing Ad Agency in the East Midlands.  According to Peter, “we are living in a mobile-first world” and if you want to build a successful business, you have to build a brand.

What Peter means by this is using social media content to showcase who you are as a company but most importantly, what it’s like to work for you.  If you visit a company’s website they will likely have something on there about their values and what they do but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a great place to work.

According to Peter, Video is one of the best ways to build a brand.  Everyone watches videos, the majority of people reading this blog will be on Facebook, scrolling through our feeds and watching videos.  More and more people are starting to use video on Linked-in, Twitter and Instagram including your competition. This is something you can do on your phone, it doesn’t have to be perfect with a proper video camera etc which makes it cost effective for smaller businesses.

Peter’s advice is to find people in your company who are comfortable with video and start from there.  He’s doing this with his own company, by getting his team to create video content, he is getting the message across that he has a range of experts which means that Clients don’t just want to work with him.

In this webinar we also talk about the role of the Marketing Manager.  A lot of people employ Marketing Managers and think they should be able to control the social media but there is so much to learn.  Social media platform algorithims are changing all the time.  Stuff I’ve learned so far:

  • Facebook doesn’t care about hashtags but it does like video and Facebook live, although not as much as it used to because you don’t now get the same reach without paying.
  • Facebook doesn’t like you posting links to other websites in your posts and taking people off Facebook.
  • Linked-in previously wasn’t bothered about hashtags and now it likes them.
  • Linked-in doesn’t like people posting website links in the posts so put it in the comments bit.
  • Twitter likes photos and videos now where previously it was about the words but it’s still ALL about the hashtag.
  • Instagram loves hashtags but you can’t put any links to websites on there except in the bio section.
  • Instagram loves instagram stories where you can post a video or photo with captions throughout the day.

If this is double dutch to you and you feel overwhelmed just thinking about it, you might need to think about getting someone on board who knows about this.

Ultimately building a brand is about creating a positive culture that would attract people to come and work for you and using social media content to get that message out there.  If you feel overwhelmed or dislike social media then you could be missing out on a great opportunity to get the best people in your teams.

One last thing, this approach could make you more profitable.  If you are showing how you add value and Clients can see that, they will want to work with you, not because you are the lowest price but because you are the best.

The link to Peter’s webinar is below including a great giveaway at the end…….

Social Media Marketing