Author: kelly_seaside

How Good is your LinkedIn Company Page? We recently delivered a training session on LinkedIn Company pages and received a surprising response for more info. So we thought why not put it into a blog and share it with as many people as possible. The key difference between a LinkedIn profile and a company page is that one highlights your personal career achievements, while the other highlights your company or employer. This can be hard to get to grips with if you’re the owner of your own firm and used to talking about your company in the first person. Create distinction between your profile and your company page It is important to use the first person on your profile page - ‘I am proud to have achieved…’ etc. However, a company page needs to be written in the third person - ‘ACME Ltd is pleased to announce a new client win…’ etc. Note: Please do remember that ‘a’ company is a single entity too (a personal grammar bugbear of this writer!) eg: ‘the company has won’ (not ‘have won’) Once a distinction in voice has been created between a company page and a personal profile then it’s much easier to use your company as a ‘hub’ for all company news. No matter what size the business is, this ‘hub’ can then be followed and shared by all those who are interested parties, such as employees, clients and business contacts etc. The top 5 things to include when creating your company page The following list should be fairly obvious to most seasoned LinkedIn users, but it still amazes us just how many pages (and personal profiles for that matter) we see that are missing key information or contain irrelevant - even inappropriate - content. As with most things in life, get the basics right and a good starting point will be had by all. Company Name This should be clear and correct! Referring to various brands and products is fine, just get the name of who is supplying them right. Images Make them look as professional as possible. Yes, professional photography is always best (we would say that) BUT mobile phones are brilliant these days. See what you can do! Don’t forget your header and find a template for the correct page header size. Try something like Canva, which is an amazing design resource and really affordable too. There is also loads of free help for this online. Also don’t forget that you can update it to reflect different messages.When taking pictures and using them, think ‘what do you want it to say about your company?’ Logo Use the company page thumbnail as your logo - you can change this to promote different brands if you have them. Tagline Many company pages are missing this. You only have 120 characters, so keep it short and refresh it every now and then if you want to. Web links Make sure you include a link to your website, or choose a key landing page if you want to promote something specific such as a new product or service. The main thing is that the LinkedIn company page is a free resource that, if used properly, can really showcase the best of what a company has to offer. Why wouldn’t you want to do that? Of course, if this is another thing on top of an already time-consuming social media schedule, then maybe think about getting help to run it. Dormant social media feeds are almost worse than having none at all! We offer some really cost effective packages at Seaside Creative and are happy to help with training team members too. Just ask If you've enjoyed this post, and would like to receive more useful advice and tips from us you can sign up to our newsletter. It comes out monthly and you can unsubscribe at any time....

We have been taking pictures and filming all over the place this month. We have been in fields, at schools, in rooms full of people and even inside metal containers - yep we get all the glamorous locations! It doesn't matter where we are or what we take pictures of, there are some factors that we always consider and we thought you'd like to know some of them: Think about your framing.  Landscape (or view), Portrait (or upright) or now, if you're an Instagramer, square. We see so many people using their smartphone camera in the upright mode in situations landscape would work better. Upright photography Or does the landscape work better? Think about photo bombers Taking group photos can throw up a lot of small issues, most of which can be rectified before the image is taken. However; photo bombing is one that gets noticed in the post production stage.   Innocent group photo Or is it? Think about the exposure   OK, most smartphones have an auto exposure mode, which means users don't get much of a chance to alter the settings. What's important in this photograph, the corridor? or the light through the window? Try taping the screen to the area in the frame that matters most.   The dark area or the light area and the camera will usually readjust the exposure to where you have just touched.  With newer smartphones, there is a setting known as HDR - High Dynamic Range where the camera will try to blend the high lights (white areas) and low lights (the dark areas) to create a more even exposure. The cloister corridor leading from the dining room to the school building of Lancing College.   Think about how the image will be cropped, if at all Cropping the images can be a good idea to create impact and cut the clutter from an image. Going back to the first photograph and editing the image to square can be good.  There are loads of apps to use if your smartphone doesn't do what you want it to do with the photo.  One particular favourite of ours is SnapSeed (now taken over by Google and is available for both Android and iPhone).  This enables users to enhance photos and apply digital filters.   Think about if text will be over the image Text over the image is a popular for business -  it's gets the message across very quickly.  Snapseed has a good range of text overlays otherwise another useful app for this is Over  - Fast and effective with some simple templates to use.   If you want help with your photography and post capture work, we regularly run training courses in conjunction with the Worthing and Adur Chamber of Commerce. Check out what's coming up soon on their website. We'll also include details in our monthly newsletter which you can sign up for here. Alternatively, you can contact us to see how we can help you today....

Warning - this blog may blow our own trumpet! Last November we were biting our nails as we had four clients shortlisted for eight awards at a business awards ceremony. On the night we we over the moon to see our clients win five of of the eight awards and be highly recommended in two others. One of our clients was even named 'Company of the Year'! Fast forward to this year and we are once again biting our nails as we ourselves are shortlisted for two awards and also have two clients shortlisted in four separate categories. Furthermore, we have another client shortlisted for a completely separate industry award. Understandably, various limbs are being crossed at nearly all times. Why enter business awards? Business awards are a great thing to win - who doesn't want to be known as 'award-winning'? The positive publicity to be garnered from winning such a thing can last for years and we always recommend to clients that they look at entering either local business awards or industry relevant ones. Over the past six years, we have worked in the background supporting clients with their award entries and we have been quite successful at it. Until last month we had achieved 17 finalists, resulting in ten winners, four highly commended and three regional winners in the Adur & Worthing and also the Southern Business Awards. Pretty good stats, even if we do say so ourselves. This success has built up a bit of a reputation for us locally - and we are now approached by companies to help them with entries. We usually turn away any that clash in categories as we don't feel it is right to have clients competing for exactly the same award. Of course, there's never any guarantee of winning - but when success is achieved - we are still chuffed to bits with that for our clients. Judging panels often take hours and hours going through finer details on entries that interest them, so all you can do is include as much relevant detail as possible and hope they like your entry the most. Top Tips So what is our process when writing award entries? We discuss, encourage and research what we think will work for that particular award/category. We then produce written and visual content, there is always straight text involved, but more often than not entries now include, photography, infographics, maps and even video too. Draft and draft again! Finally we put it all together in a concise entry that fits the brief. It's not an easy thing to do. Quite often the client wants to win a certain category and doesn't see that perhaps their story is more relevant for a different one. Some clients don't even see how they could even enter - let alone win! So do wish us and our clients luck and if you need any help with award entries then we would love to help you too #keepingeverythingcrossed Contact us for a chat, and sign up for our newsletter so you can keep in touch with our news as well as our marketing advice....

Well after just over a 3 month break from college, I am going back. Except this time to a higher education college instead of a sixth form so it’ll be a new experience for me. I’m excited to meet loads of new people who are also on the same course and hopefully share the same passion for the subject. From speaking to my new tutor, I understand that GBMet College has a relaxed approach to delivering the course. Being a more independent learner that appreciates having freedom, this is an approach that I feel will benefit me more. Especially since I am doing a course that I have great ambition to be successful in. The Digital Marketing apprenticeship framework itself has both mandatory and optional units, some based in the workplace and others in the college, which I’ll be keen to utilise to my full advantage by making sure I learn about the key elements that apply to my role at Seaside Creative. During the introductory meeting at my workplace, my new tutor gave me a full folder with all the units within the framework. Many of which interest me and I am looking forward to studying - which is a good start! There are a diverse range of students currently on the apprenticeship scheme, all from completely different companies from website developers to garden tool suppliers. There will be lots of interesting people to meet and talk to regarding their experiences in their work placement- there are two apprentices actually in the same building as me. Many of the people on the course have made more progress than me so this will mean I’ll have the opportunity to seek help from my peers - something that my tutor appears keen for me to do as he has said that he likes to build a sense of community within his classroom.   So what have I been up to? I’ve been getting increasingly involved in the design side of the agency, working with one of our designers to provide a restaurant client with new menu designs for the festive period… yes we really are thinking about Christmas! The process of going from an idea to an actual menu that a restaurant can use is very interesting and all new to me so I am thoroughly enjoying getting involved in this project. Instruction manuals have been at the forefront of our minds this last couple of weeks, with our Director of photography and video, Martin working hard on creating multiple manuals and video tutorials for an outside storage space client. Watching projects like this unfold make me realise that products like manuals also go through an extensive process to make, something I never considered before. Manuals and leaflets are all pieces of print media that many of us just pick up and read without any thought about how they were made or even who made them. Worthing and Adur Chamber of Commerce held a Business Awards talk which myself and Martin attended. It was the first time I had gone along to an event with my camera to snap some photos and actually had someone ask me for my photos and even took our business details down. Working with Seaside Creative means that I get to really look at the production of these kind of products and start appreciating where they are from and the skill that goes into creating them. I’ve kept a weekly development log since my first week at Seaside Creative and I would highly recommend doing that as it really helps you keep track of how much progress you’ve made. Jotting down everything from, a big project you helped with or a small task you completed on your own, means that you can get a holistic view on the progress you’ve made and how much you’ve developed since starting the log. Sometimes the smaller, more seemingly pointless things at the time, become the bigger achievements in the long run and develop into more useful skills later on. I’m excited about the next few weeks and what they hold for me in terms of starting college and progressing even more with my skills and knowledge surrounding  Digital Marketing. Everyday presents new challenges and people to meet so I look forward to the ever-growing experience I am gaining with Seaside Creative. If you'd like to hear updates from the Seaside Creative team in general (including news, useful information and training events), sign up for our newsletter.  ...

I’ve been at Seaside Creative for over a month now and I have to say that is feels like yesterday that I walked through the scary double doors of the office building and waited to be interviewed. Now I’m sat at my own desk in that same office building, busy working on various tasks to help the running of multiple clients’ social media pages among other things such as blog writing, database handling and working towards completing my Google Digital Garage course online. Being an apprentice in a small, fast growing agency allows me to work closely with the Directors who have a combined 50 years of marketing experience on the photography, video and content writing and PR side of things. With such a huge amount of experience around me I feel I am developing a holistic view of marketing which I would not be getting if I had a placement in a narrow-fielded agency or business. Seaside Creative deals with a wide range of clients who all have different needs – I could be looking at magazine writing one minute and photo editing the next, or anything in-between. Being exposed to so much diversity everyday truly opens my eyes, allowing me to take in so much information about so many different types of marketing campaigns and how an agency goes about running them to make them efficient for that specific client. It’s surprising to see how each client is completely different in how they want things run, even booking ads with a magazine can be executed completely differently depending on the different targets and goals of the client. I have learnt that marketing is unique to every business and in order for an agency to be effective in delivering a campaign, they have to be able to fully understand what a client wants and what their goals are. This has increased my appreciation of all the experience I’m surrounded by on a daily basis and how long it takes to get to that level of knowledge and professionalism. I feel that I am in good hands with the Seaside Creative team, who always point me in the right direction and encourage me to learn in active and practical ways. What have I been up to? One thing I’ve been reading up on this past couple of weeks is the algorithms behind every social media platform. Algorithms are mathematical equations and the ones on social media sites are based on two factors; algorithmic quality (so the quality of the content in question) and the previous history of the user (actions and reactions users have had to specific content before).  The infamous Facebook algorithm considers over 100,000 factors. All in those few seconds it takes to load your feed, how crazy is that! These algorithms determine what users see on their feeds when they first open the social media app, or website.  There are different algorithms taking care of different aspects of the social media experience, but the most influential kind of algorithm is one that controls the flow of information people receive as it helps shape their thinking and understanding of news and events. Research carried out by the Pew Research Centre found that in 2017, two thirds of American adults (about 166 million people) said they get at least ‘some of their news’ from social media. Understanding these algorithms is fundamental to a social marketer, who’s main aim is to get engaging content seen by as many relevant people as possible and build up a following. Which is why when I have some spare time in between my usual duties, I feel that it is vital for me to read up on topics that are ever-changing, such as social media algorithms, to expand my knowledge. The better my social marketing skills are, the more I can improve my contribution to the Seaside Creative team. If you'd like to receive updates and marketing advice from Seaside Creative, sign up for our newsletter. It'll come to you every month and will include all sorts of information you'll find useful.  ...

Do you really have time for all those networking meetings? Or could you be winning business some other way instead? Well, yes, you could be using many different techniques such as retargeting where those who leave your website are retargetted through Google Ads appearing on other sites they browse (we run just such campaigns for clients). However, as an agency, we would always advocate promoting your strengths through a variety of targeted media - as a complement to the personal touch. No matter how virtual life gets, people will still always buy people - which is why we now see lots of chat boxes from 'real people' on things like holiday and insurance sites. So, in business, making time for face to face networking is still vitally important. We do a lot of networking in our local area and have attended all sorts of groups and meetings at various times of day. We often joke that we could become the size of a house and have no time to do any work if we attended all the meetings to which we were invited, so how do you pick the right ones and then make them work for you? Here's our top tips: Prioritise meetings according to your current business goals. Who are you aiming at when finding new business? What geographical area are you looking at? (and does it matter in these days?) If the meeting does not fit within your new business goals then don't waste your time attending. Who is going to be there? Don't know? Ask the organiser! Find out if the other people attending are worth 2 hours of your working day (plus travel time etc). We often find that lunches take the longest working chunk out of the day, so we tend to go for breakfasts and evenings. Everyone is different however and sometimes the attendee list really does make it worth attending whatever the time of day. You will fit into some groups better than others. Some groups (a bit like the ones on LinkedIn) will be a better fit for you. We have walked into some networking groups and almost seen the tumbleweed blow across the floor as we introduced ourselves. Whereas others we've been made very welcome at. Don't be disheartened if you don't get a great feel from one group - there are lots of different types to try and you will find one that suits you. Manage your expectations. As with all marketing, you will not achieve much from just one try. Networking is about building relationships with people, which happens over time. Maintaining relationships takes effort - so we return to your new business goals - is this meeting really worth it? Make your elevator pitch relevant. If there is just one person in that room with whom you'd love to do business, aim your pitch at their needs. Make it short - many groups do a 60 seconds round but some only allow 10 second introductions - so have a couple up your sleeve ready to go and practice them. Don't forget to practice them. Oh, and did I say about practising them? Take stuff with you. This might be an obvious statement, but you would not believe how many people we've met when networking who have run out of business cards! If you have any merchandising or other marketing collateral, then check with the organiser to see if it's OK to bring along and if so you can leave it out for people to take too. Everyone still loves a freebie and if it's got your company name on it then so much the better - but do check with the organiser first. Relax and enjoy it. This might be hard to do if you've had to get up at stupid o'clock in the morning or if you're worrying about a deadline when you know you might be out of the office for 3 hours. Don't go if the work is more important, there will always be next time. When you're out there 'being your business' you have to be on top of your game. You can't do that if you're stressed. You have nothing to lose when attending networking meetings, so just go and enjoy it.   There are many helpful, friendly and positive business groups out there you can join. One of the best places to start is with your local Chamber of Commerce. If, like us, you're based in Worthing and Adur you can find the Chamber here and if not, you can find a list of where different branches are here.  We are also members of the FSB and other local independent networking groups too - each organisation offers different benefits but we would say that all of them have been positive for us so far. We hope these few points are helpful, and maybe we'll see you out networking soon! In the meantime, sign up for our newsletter so we can keep you updated with more useful advice like this.  ...

As part of our growth plan we recently welcomed a new team member to the fold. Alison Thomas has joined us as our new Digital Marketing Apprentice and will be studying and working for us for the next 18 months before qualifying. We asked her to introduce herself...