Blog & Thoughts

Why 90% of business is just turning up!

When I first launched my own business I did many of the usual things – website, networking, guest blogging, partnerships etc. But it was networking that amazed me. As I joined more groups and met more people one thing started to become obvious…most of them weren’t very good at what they did. Amazingly though, sometimes […]

What the frack?

Fracking is making the news in lots of countries at the moment. It is being heralded as a fantastic new energy resource which, is easy to access and plentiful. America, the UK and many other countries seem to be jumping on the fracking bandwagon as a solution to their energy needs. But…surely there’s a problem? […]

How to take your subscribers and move them

Gary Vaynerchuck can be a bit of a marmite sort of character…you either love him or hate him. I…I love him. The reason that I think he’s worth tuning in to is because he has a real knack of cutting to the chase and giving the answers…and giving it straight. Here’s a great example of […]

Sometimes I’m ashamed to be a human!

Since Russell Brand had his rant with Jeremy Paxman the other week it seems that more and more examples are coming out of the woodwork which substantiate his viewpoint. We have Nestle draining groundwater in Pakistan to produce mineral water…which they then sell to the villages from which they’ve stolen it , we’ve had […]

there and back again

I’m sorry that things have been a bit (understatement) quiet on the blogging front of late. Final re-reading and proofing on the book monopolised my time in the run-up to the summer break, then I spent as much time as possible chilling-out with the kids, then the last month has been frantically busy with the […]

How Facebook will change us

As we see Facebook starts to roll-out Graphsearch across its one billion members the benefits of contextual search will become more obvious to everyone. Since Google ‘invented’ search as we know it today, results have been ranked according to a predetermined series of criteria. These criteria change from time to time in order to keep […]

Top 10 iPhone apps that perhaps you’ve not seen

Mailbox – still drip feeding this service to people on a first-come first-served basis. Promises to be a brilliant way of managing your inbox based on reading/deleting/dealing with later. Looks like a lovely simple elegant interface too.         Dropbox – if you’re a dropbox user from your Mac/PC then this app is […]

FAB everyday design and the power of ‘social’

Have you heard of FAB? No? You will soon. FAB “everyday design” is a website that sells really funky designer products at (for the most part) inexpensive prices. I remember when I was first married, we had terrible trouble buying anything cool. There were one or two ‘designer’ shops in Tottenham Court

The Count

Gary Hayes’ fantastic “The Count” a tool which shows you exactly what’s going on in real time in the social media world! Thanks Gary!

Sacred of our shadows?

Last night I went to a talk on ‘internet security’, particularly with respect to social media, at my son’s primary school, and whilst well intentioned I was both disappointed and annoyed at the premise of the whole talk, which was “the internet and social media are DANGEROUS”. Clearly, children (and in a lot of cases […]

Managing expectations

I’ve just encountered the “Larklife” wrist band, it’s kind of like the Nike Fuelband…only good! Or so it seems. The problem with all of these fitness aids, Fitbit, Fuelband, Larklife and even the brilliant (but faulty) Jawbone Up is that there’s a huge gulf between the hype and the reality. This is a crucial business […]

Why you don’t need a social media agency

Over the last few years we have seen a proliferation of social media agencies (and of marketing/design agencies that offer a social media service) but I’m sceptical (or worse) as to whether that are adding value to anyone (except the agencies themselves). The other day a friend of mine called me for a bit of […]

Facebook reaches 1bn users

Isn’t that just amazing, Facebook has today passed the 1,000,000,000 user mark. In February 2004 Mark Zuckerberg and a couple of friends created Facebook for use by the students at Harvard. A visionary he undoubtedly is, but I’m sure even he couldn’t have foreseen what a massive impact his project would have on the world. […]

What’s going wrong with your website? (and therefore your digital marketing)

What’s going wrong with your wesbsite?  – Do you know what the purpose of your website is? yes/no  – Is your website doing a good job for your business? yes/no  – Are you happy with the amount of traffic that your website gets? yes/no I should imagine that most people would answer yes, yes and […]

Herts Advertiser

Well there you go…I guess I’m now more famous in Hertfordshire than I was when I lived there…not that that’s saying much!

Why networking groups hardly ever work…

Firstly let me say that I’m a fan of networking groups. They’re a great place to meet (local) businesses. They’re brilliant for making friends (in a business context) and getting that moral support, because running a business can be a very lonely affair. And, if the group is a good one you can learn loads […]

Why your digital marketing is broken!

I’m a social media man. I love it and I think it’s the most effective of the digital marketing channels there is, but it’s seldom an end to end solution and, I fear, many businesses get little or no concrete benefit from investing their time in it…let me explain. These days the website is the […]

5 SEO Myths De-bunked

Many businesses are unaware of search engine optimisation (SEO) and the benefits it can deliver for online growth. Those who are aware often believe it is an industry cloaked in mystery. Below we have tried to breakdown fact from fiction to give you a clearer view on the world of SEO with 5 SEO myth […]

Why Facebook, Google and Twitter are abusing you!

You know, I’m sick of hearing comments about how Google is abusing its position as the largest search engine and how Facebook wants to use your personal photos and name in its marketing. At least once each month I get a posting on Facebook from one of my friends saying how to change my security […]

Survival of the fitting

A great expression (sadly Brian Solis’s rather than mine) but it absolutely sums-up the era that we’re now heading in to. Markets are being disrupted by younger fitter entrants and EVERY business and market is now vulnerable to rapid, and potentially devastating, changes. So, if all markets are going to come under attack from businesses […]

A warning about your SEO

Last Friday the SEO company iAcquire got itself delisted for supposedly trying to spiv the system. Companies that specialise in offering SEO services should know better than trying to cheat the system, and now iAcquire is totally invisible – which is of course not good news for an SEO agency! But this should perhaps be […]

Is Google upping its game?

Yesterday saw a big change inGoogle – what might this mean to their competitors? Google places has gone to be replaced by Google+ places…a tighter integration between G+ and the location based service which your business could very well be using (or listed in). Does this mean that Google is upping its game…and possibly going […]

Digital Darwinism

Is one of the most gorgeous expressions I’ve heard in the last few years. It is defined as “the evolution of consumer behaviour when society and technology evolve faster than some companies’ ability to adapt.” I think that it’s going to be a phrase we’re going to be hearing much more of over the coming […]

You’re confusing me…

…and everyone else. Nowadays we are all a sophisticated audience. We all have an eye for creativity. We all recognise the difference between good and bad…in everything. So why do so many companies have awful marketing material? Are you good at what you do? (You are probably thinking “yes”) Do you think that your company […]

Don’t sell like Tony Robbins

I love Tony Robbins. Well, perhaps that’s a bit strong. But I do really respect him. He is perhaps the greatest self-help guru in the world and a man that I think is a genuinely good guy. I’ve been to a couple of his sessions and for a whole day he had me eating out […]

So why a new website?

Up until April I had a lovely website…so why change? In short…pay-back! Well, people come and visit my site and (I hope) read the content on it from time to time. I get about 650 unique visitors each month, each one spending about 6 minutes on the site (on average) and viewing 4-6 pages. That […]

Go outside your comfort zone

Earlier this week I was asked to be the MC at business event in Bury St Edmunds called StartUP Suffolk. A conference for start up businesses where they could hear from established businesses what works and what doesn’t. It was a great event but it was an entirely new experience for me. I am now […]

Which department should control your social media

Social media is about using web and mobile tools to have an interactive dialogue with people, is is simultaneously a tool for listening and talking, for  understanding customer needs and promoting your message, for spreading good (and bad) news…so who should look after it internally. For most businesses it is a marketing tool. Clearly the […]

Why there are only two ways to win business

Being found and being recommended. Being recommended is all about social media. Social media leverages the power of third party recommendations because your happy customers will find it easier than ever before to share their good experiences of working with you…and because it’s easy, there’s so much more of a chance that they will. To […]

Why Social Media can deliver in ALL areas

For many businesses social media is becoming a must do activity, but for many they’re not quite sure why! Often social media is viewed as a cheap advertising channel (which of course it can be if you’re careful) but it can be so much more. Social media can help with;

Why do I need a social media consultant?

Surely there’s no point in using a social media consultant is there? After all, 900,000,000 people know how to use Facebook so it’s not that hard is it? Well, I suppose at one level that’s right. Everyone can use social media – in fact the social platforms have spent millions developing them exactly so everyone […]

For the English pedants…

…or do do I mean pedants of English? An old friend of mine pointed me at this fantastic info graphic…well worth a read.              

Blackberry Playbook

As you all know…I am an Apple fan…G3s, G4s, G5s, iMacs, Macbooks, iPhones and an iPad…but the other day I bought (or do I mean iBought) a Blackberry Playbook – mostly because it’s small and loads of places seem to be selling them for £169. I got it home, unboxed it and fell in love […]

Monitoring platforms

Earlier today I was trying to help a client choose which Social Media Monitoring platform they should decide on. To be honest I thought it seemed pretty confusing (and i’m supposed to know what I’m doing!). So I thought perhaps I should write a little guide book to what’s available, what each offers and to […]

Ludicrous URLs

The other day I was driving along and stopped behind a van which had company name and contact details on it and this made me think about how we expect customers to find un online… Now, we all have different ways of guessing company URLs – but in each case the basic common sense rules […]

LinkedIn connections cull!

I don’t know about you, but when I look at my “All Updates” stream on LinkedIn it seems to be split 50/50 between people who add value, and those who…well, talk s^%t. The thing about LinkedIn and in fact social media as a whole is that it’s a world where you can form new friendships, […]

Laughed out loud!

I can’t remember where I saw this, but it did make me chuckle…and whilst it’s a cynical view of social media it does have more than a few grains of truth in it! (click to enlarge)

The Eurozone Crisis

Is it just me or do other people think that this bloody madness. Currently Greece is undergoing all sorts of national trauma becasue they need a bail out from members of the IMF. They need this money for what? Infrastructure? Health service? Education|? Military?…no, because they can’t pay their outstanding debts.

JK Voldemort

My kids are really in to Harry Potter. Replica wands, loads of lego, books, DVDs, props…most recently tickets for a tour of the studios…oh they love it! But whether you love it or hate it, I think there’s a lesson here for all of us about a) a structured and coherent marketing campaign and b) […]

Jony Ive

Apple’s design supremo has finally got what he deserves…a knighthood! For the best part of two decades Jony (an Essex boy) has been working for apple creating some of their most iconic designs…the iPod, the MacBook and of course the iPhone.  For many years he has been one of a very small band of people […]

Introducing some great apps (mostly free)

Over the last year I have been asked many times for my thought on free online, cloud based apps and low cost tools to help small businesses appear to be profession without having to invest huge sums in software. So I’ve written a little guide which you can see here!

iTunes Match

I’ve just started using the iTunes Match service, that is to say that I subscribed and it is currently churning through all of my albums and uploading all of the ones which aren’t on the iTunes library…which seems to be about 6,000. There seem to have been a plethora of teething troubles with getting the […]

How to grow your network the smart way!

Are you familiar with TED talks? If so, great, if not google it and have a look. Inspirational, educational, informative and thought provoking. Everything that good talks should be. I think that for most people, there will be several talks that are helpful…for me there are many. At present, one of the things that is […]