Tag Archive

Tag Archives for " Social media "

Looking For Creative Inspiration – How To Find It!

I know that for Insiders the issue of coming up with great content and what to write comes up a lot. Have you ever found yourself sat in front of the screen and thought “I’ve got 2 hours to come up with the content here, why can’t I think of anything?”


“I only need to think of the name for this and I can crack on, why won’t my brain work!”


“Aaaaa I haven’t got a single good idea in my head!”

If you have faced any of these scenarios you will know how frustrating it is. You’ve made some space in your mega busy diary to get creative and move your business forward but your brain won’t help and before you know it you’ve commented on someone’s Facebook video of a cute dog and not wrote a single word!

But you know that right? And so you end up getting more and more frustrated, staring at the minutes wasted away and worry some more. So how can you overcome writers’ block and come up with the great ideas?

  1. Stop panicking and looking at the clock and worrying about how much time you’ve wasted. It makes you worry more. It clags up your busy brain with negative emotions which further shut down your brain to be able to think productively. If you have been at it for more than 10 minutes and achieved nothing, walk away from the location you are in for 10 minutes. Do some filing (you know you never get round to it!) phone that person you were going to just email, check your to do list for the day/week. Get your brain concentrating on something else, and let it do that for at least 10 minutes. Studies show that working on something else creates mental space. Basically your brain is shouting “I know you need the answers, give me 10 minutes and I will keep hunting okay!” Have you ever struggled to remember someone’s name only for it to come to you in the middle of the night or randomly when you are doing something else? Your brain doesn’t stop looking for the answers you want, but it does need the time to process the request.
  2. Grab a pen and paper (this is ideal for the way it makes your brain work) and list every possible idea you have already come up with. They can be the obvious ones that you have dismissed, the stupid ones, the unrealistic ones, the unaffordable ones. Write them all down. If you have 2 pages of A4 paper filled then you are letting your mind think freely. It’s highly likely the first few that you come up with you will dismiss but the longer you write the more likely you are to come up with content you know your readers will love!
  3. Don’t dismiss anything, write it all down. And not just ideas. Random words. Random thoughts that you have no idea how it could become an article or a series of posts. Just get it down. We so often dismiss thoughts without fully exploring the answers they are trying to provide.
  4. Not one for lists? Draw a picture, use a mind map, cut pictures out of a magazine and create a mood board. Allow your creative juices to flow in a way that works for you, but keep it visual. This in itself could make a great article. Remember not all content is the written word, it could be a short video of you sharing how you come up with your ideas and what you will be talking about in the coming months thanks to your mood board.
  5. Ask others. Friends and relatives are not the best people to ask for ideas from. They love and adore you and have their own agenda and viewpoint already. As I always say your Nan loves you so whatever you come up with she will say “That’s nice darling.” So ask yourself who would be good to ask? Get along to a network like The Business Womans Network. Share your thoughts on social media groups where you feel you will get useful feedback. Ask us, Insiders. Create a focus group – that’s basically a neutral place where you invite some people along to share their views. I tend to give a free half hour session to say thank you, make sure there are goodies in the middle of the room and lots of beverages! Takes up about 2 hours.
  6. Think of one client. The one that said “xxx” how were they feeling, what were the issues they told you about? How did they find you? What were they scared of? What were they looking forward to? Thinking of one client can create enough ideas for the list in Top tip 2 for months!
  7. Research online, don’t steal other people’s ideas and creativity, however, it’s a great way to see what other people do and to helps you understand your creative needs.
  8. What worked in the past? This won’t be the first time you have felt stuck. What helped in the past? How could you recreate that environment to get the results you want?
  9. CTA. Call to Action. Ask people what do they want you to write about. Make sure they know they can ask you confidentially and you will let them get access to it and that no one will ever know you wrote that just for them.
  10. Years ago everyone wanted short blogs. Now I’m asked to write longer and longer blogs. In fact the one that had 40,000 views in less than a month was 1800 words! I would still say that at the start if you have no audience keep them short, keep them top tip format, short and snappy and easy to read. As you gain a following them write longer articles and more in depth content.
  11. Structure –  A bit like the essay’s we hated as students! You want to explain what you are going to cover, why you are covering it, what you can expect if you don’t do it and if you do the results you could get. Then layout in easy short paragraphs the top tips and finish with a recap and a this is what you should see conclusion. A call to action like “let me know how you get on” or “what would you like me to cover next?” can get the conversation going. And remember your blogs are there forever, keep it relevant. I get people sending me messages to work with me from blog articles that are 5 years old.

It’s commendable to sit at your desk for hours looking to get your business seen and loved. But with some things in life it’s better to lean on others and find experts to help you get where you want to go. Just because you know what your dentist is doing you wouldn’t start sticking appliances in your mouth and doing it yourself, would you?

Sometimes it’s a good idea to outsource what is really challenging you. If you are finding this is consuming your precious time, it’s time to ask yourself how can I get the results I need faster? But remember even if you outsource it you are still going to have to tell that VA, PR company, copywriter or marketing company the following;

Who am I speaking to?

What do I want them to do?

What results do I want to get?

What do I want them to learn?

What matters to my target audience (s)?

How often do they want to hear from me?

Hope this helps. This is a confidential article for Insiders only. Please do not share this content. However please do share on the Insiders Facebook page how it helps, what you need next and your articles for us to read and review too.


  • June 9, 2018

Facebook Freshen Up For Success

Here Katie Ives from On The Button shares her top tips for cleaning up your Facebook to make it more streamlined, easier to use and get results. Katie is an Affiliate so you can also access discounts to work with Katie because you are an Insider. Just make sure you let her know. Learn more here – I asked a panel of volunteers what their biggest frustration on Facebook was.  
They all had the same reply… 

“cutting through all the noise and drama and just seeing what interests me”.

So if you fancy a good ol’ fashioned spring clean, here are 10 things you can do right now!

  1.   Put your friends into lists

Interest Lists are a simple organisational tool to keep everyone in a more effective order, giving you speedy access to only the posts you want to see.Set them up by scrolling down the left side of your home page and clicking on “Interests”. Here you can name them and set them to private. When you want to engage with a certain group or person, going to that list gives you access to JUST their posts, saving you the time of scrolling through your busy newsfeed to find them. HERE are some ways we use them on Twitter.

  1.   Use groups

Join groups of like-minded people to get involved and have meaningful discussions that interest you. Groups are a great way to show your expertise and add value but also find people like you.Search for groups by subject in the top search bar and then, to narrow down your search, click the “Group” tab across the top.If you have a group that you don’t like, sucks your energy or nothing happens in, delete it and replace with a new one. 

  1.   Unfollow, Unfriend, Categorise

Unfollow people to NOT see their posts in your feed. Why unfollow and not unfriend you ask? Some of these may be your family or close friends. People who would notice if you unfriended them, but whose posts…..well…..let’s just say we all have relatives.

Unfriend people you don’t like or don’t interact with. Every now and then you need a good clear out.

Categorise friends into close friends or acquaintances for neat and tidy lists

 You can do all of the above by visiting the person’s profile and clicking the drop down arrow next to the “Friends” button OR click on the drop-down arrow in the top right corner of someone’s post and click “Unfollow”.

  1.   Prioritise news feed preferences

Yes, it’s an actual thing!

Click the teeny tiny arrow in the top-right corner of your Facebook.

Click “News Feed Preferences”

Here you can “Prioritise who to see first” and “Unfollow people to hide their posts” and more.

  1.   Don’t let Facebook decide for you

Facebook uses an algorithm to learn your likes, dislikes and behaviours. They then use this to tailor the content they show you and present it to you in the format of “Top Stories”. To change this newsfeed default setting, find the “News Feed” drop down arrow in the top left corner of your home page and click “Most Recent”.

  1.   See your favourite people first

As well as weeding out the bad you can also fill your newsfeed with all of your favourite positive peeps. To do this go to their profile and click the “Follow” button. Then click “Show in newsfeed first”. This person’s posts will now be at the top of your feed when you log in.

  1.   Tell Facebook when something annoys you. Grrrrr.

Facebook are always tailoring your experience for you. Don’t resist it, give them a helping hand. When you see a post you don’t like simply click the drop down arrow in the top right and click “Hide post”. Facebook will now show you fewer posts like this. Be careful not to click “Report” though. Unless it is offensive or against Facebook terms you may just start upsetting people unnecessarily.

  1.   Annoying requests? Block them!

Hate the super annoying game and event requests? Have a friend that constantly adds you to groups or group messages?  Simply go to your settings, click “Blocking” and you can block pretty much anything you want from whomever you want.

  1.   Don’t interact with them

See point 5. Use the power of the Facebook algorithm to fill your feed with people you like and not the rest.Do not interact with the annoying people, only click Like, Share and Comment on the uplifting and interesting posts.

  1.   Get told about your faves

If after all this you find newsfeeds are just too annoying in general, and you have a very select few you follow, then simply ask for a notification from Facebook when that person posts. To do this go the person’s profile and from the drop-down arrow next to “Friends” click “Get Notifications”. Facebook will now tell you when your favourite people post. 

So, there you have it. Ten different ways to get that newsfeed cleaned up and tailored to your taste.       Go ahead and have a good spring clean, I’m off to do mine. 

  • February 11, 2017

How to create a successful YouTube Channel

Elene Marsden rocked it at our Marks Tey Hotel event in Colchester this January with 50+ business women left wanting more. And 2 lucky business women will be featuring in Elene’s YouTube TV Show very soon. Networking in Essex Suffolk Herts Norfolk and CambridgshireWell done Melanie Winning and Sandra Sparrowhawk! Sandra will be presenting a 10 minute how to use scarves to make a statement and Melanie (award winninng Make Up Artist) will be sharing how to create the Audrey Hepburn look!

(Well done ladies and we look forward to seeing more!)

Elene loves the BWN so much, that Elene has signed up to be a member too! Here Elene shares how to create a successful YouTube Channel, thank you Elene!

With over 1 billion users on YouTube and viewers spending on average 40 minutes a day watching videos, isn’t it time you looked at using YouTube in your business?

What are the benefits?

  • Educate customers and prospects
  • Entertain your viewers
  • Demonstrate your professionalism
  • Be a leader in your field and inspire others

Once you decide to use YouTube you’ll need to create your own channel. Follow this link to set things up https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/1646861?hl=en-GB

It’s also important to set goals, e.g. how many subscribers do you want, by when?

Follow these steps once you’ve created your YouTube channel

  • Fill out the About section
  • Upload channel art
  • Add social and blog links

Creating the channel art can be tricky, here’s a link to create a template using the correct dimensions



  • Add a channel trailer
  • Add sections
  • Consider using Featured Channels
  • Create playlists

Divide your own content into playlists and also create playlists using videos that you’ve curated from other channels that complement your own content.

Follow these steps to upload your videos to YouTubepreloved chica at The Business Womans Network

  • Edit video before uploading
  • Add title
  • Add description
  • Include links to websites and other videos
  • Add keywords
  • Watch and like your own video
  • Share on social media

Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to our Preloved Chica Channel where you’ll see these recommendations being put into practice


Best Wishes

“Share our Passion for Fashion.”


  • January 27, 2016

Do I know you from somewhere?

Do you have a picture on your LinkedIn/Twitter profile? And is it actually picture of you and not a cartoon dog?

I was trying to track down some old uni friends. Figuring that by now they should be pretty high in whatever career they had gone into I turned to LinkedIn. It is, after all, the network for the business person.

Now if you’re looking for someone with a reasonably uncommon name, it’s not too hard to find someone. And the first person has a name that’s totally unique on LinkedIn. So easy. 

But for  the second person I was looking for there were 138 results in the UK alone and in the world 450. And for some reason they hadn’t added our shared university to their profile so I couldn’t use that.

But luckily they had a photo and even though it’s a fair number of year since we left uni, they haven’t changed much. So that’s another connection made.

And for the third person there were 8,912 results. Adding our university reduced it down to 8. And again the photo came to the rescue and saved me from having to look at each profile in detail to work out which was the one I was looking for. 

So photos – handy when people want to connect with you. And connecting with people – handy if you want to do business. Bit of no brainer really!





  • May 7, 2013

Why Twitter is good for your business

Are you one of the group of sceptics who thinks that social media is a waste of time and that it has no place in business?

If so, you are going to get left behind. Using social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook can help you find new customers in a low cost way and new customers means more money.

(Note I don’t suggest it is free as there is of course a time consideration but using the tools that are out there mean that your time expense is minimised)

In my role as The IT Fairy I’ve written two articles that illustrate how two quite different businesses used Twitter to find new clients.

One is an UK based insurance company and the other is tourist attraction in the US. 

So take a read of Social Media – Good for Business! and Twitter – Yes it can bring you new clients 

And if you’d like to take your social media to the next level, then let us know as it’s something we use a lot and we’d love to teach you how you can too.

  • April 17, 2012

Why bother with Hootsuite?

Is a question I got asked today from someone new to Twitter who was yet to get to grips with how wonderful social media and social networking is for business, but then its a question I get asked a lot.

But really why bother with Hootsuite (or Tweetdeck – the choice is yours, and personally I love Hootsuite) and the reason why to bother with Hootsuite, the why I love it?


I can schedule messages – so I can share some tasty top tips, advice, ideas and pearls of wisdom while I’m busy with a client or at a BWN networking event – which if you get it right means you get targeted traffic to your website and the ping ping of people buying from you.

I can keep all my social media in one place – ensuring I comment and interact with all the fabulous business people I know on a regular basis – remember my rule – “You can’t dictate when someone is ready to buy, but you can have a say in who they buy from.”

I can follow key words and join in the important and relevant conversations to me, my target audience and people that I want to engage with.

I can schedule messages – I know I have already said this, but seriously how great is it that I can share some great ideas to motivate and inspire business women, while being out and about working in my job motivating and inspiring business women! I love that, I  know us women are notoriously good at multi tasking but Hootsuite allows you to take that to a whole new level.

And now for a word of caution (because this a blog post not an indepth how to use Hootsuite lesson – although I do offers those since I’m so in love with social media!) Hootsuite is a tool to make social media easier, to make it fit into your busy life. It is not an alternative to listening to conversations, to interacting and RT-ing what others have to say. Its an accompanient.

And those that forget that, forget at their peril. People don’t want to be sold at in your tweets – its the fastest way to turn people off of you and stop engaging with you. The days of repeating your business promo literature are long gone!

So get in there and have a go – as I often tell newbies to social media success a) you can’t break it and b) you will always be learning and c) (if you get it right) you will love it too, for what it delivers to your business success.

I run social media workshops, 1 to 1’s and a ton of other stuff along side the work I do to support business women to get more customers and grow their business, so if you would like to power up your results, say hi at a Essex BWN event or give me a call for a chat – BTW I find a lot of time when you get your marketing message clear to the right target audience things start to slot into place rather nicely!

Mandie Holgate mandie@thebusinesswomannetwork.co.uk

07989 935556

  • January 26, 2012

I Don’t Have Time To Market My Business AND Run It!

If I had a £1 for every time I had heard the above statement, I would be a very rich little bunny. However I don’t so I make sure my marketing brings in the customers.

You see an effective marketing strategy WILL deliver leads, and if you are getting quality leads then guess what that leads to?

You guessed it, more customers.

But I do appreciate it can be tricky to factor in time to market your wares as well as to make and deliver them. So what can you do to make life easier?

Before you even think of aiming to make marketing easier to manage. Do you know what works?

If you don’t know this STOP right now. You see, you need to know what is working to deliver great leads and enquiries so that you can replicate that. So first of all concentrate on researching and analysing what works.

WHEN you know this information you can then use tools such as Hootsuite or Tweetdeck to schedule your social media. Taking into account when your ideal clients have the time to read your offerings, comment, reply, etc.

Next look at the real world marketing that works for you. Picking up the phone, public speaking networking, meetings, etc. What have the biggest impact and concentrate on making them deliver MORE to you.

For instance networking can only be effective if you dedicate to it. Know what you want beforehand. Attend regularly to build relationships so that people want to do business with you and most importantly follow up after EVERY event.

This approach needs to be applied to all areas of marketing that you have and constantly consider this…

What are you doing so that people are automatically keeping up to date with you and your business?

How can other people support your marketing strategy?

Affiliations, discounts, special offers for loyalty etc.

A VA could be a great resource for you too. What areas of your marketing could you outsource to someone else to do?

At The BWN we have a number of great VA’s that attend our events that would happily produce your newsletter, look after your social media and pick up the phone for you. (You can check them out here – https://old.thebusinesswomansnetwork.co.uk/the-business-women-of-the-bwn/)

Unless you are a larger company with a lovely thing called a “marketing budget” this is going to come down to you and if you don’t find a way to create a marketing strategy that fits into your busy life you will always have dips and troughs of customers. Now wouldn’t it be nicer to just have that steady flow of new customers heading to your door?

(This blog came out of a number of conversations with business women this week and has sparked this blog so thank you for sharing. And it has also sparked the next BWN Business Clinic with me – to learn more.)






  • October 2, 2011

Why You Need Killer Headlines (As Well as Killer Heels.)

Okay so I’m no copywriter (although I did once gain a client out of a copywriter who noticed grammatical errors on my website and emailed me!)  But I do know, writing great blogs and fabulous web content is pretty pointless unless you are directing people to it.

Recently I was running a BWN workshop on Blogging For Business and this topic came up. “I am writing a blog, but no one is reading it, what do I do?”

Well here’s the thing, unless you find an effective way to market your blog, you might as well go and talk to the tree at the end of your garden. The tree will apparently feel good (he enjoys your carbon dioxide) but doubtful it’s liable to buy anything from you – if it does now THAT one would be easy to market!

You see you need to interact to the right people.

In the right way.

At the right time of day.

Saying the right kind of things that hook people in to wanting to know more.

That is useful and relevant.

And most importantly make it easy for them to find it again, and again, and again.

It could sound daunting but if you get it right, you will have people interacting with you, visiting your website regularly, appreciating you as an expert in your field and starting to love you and all that you do.

And pretty soon amazing things can happen thanks to blogging.
I personally include, new customers, speakers engagements and press opportunities but my personal fave to date, is having @StephenFry say “Great Blog” and when I DM’d him and asked if I could quote him, he said “go ahead.”

Sigh world’s best Tweeter thinks I’m great – Love it!

What could it do for you?

I am now running Business Clinics once a month at HSBC Business Banking Centre in Colchester through The Business Womans Network,  for your chance to be one of just 10 business women at that table – get in touch.

The next one in October is  be social media and a second one on Marketing- Creating & Actioning Your Plan. (24th October).



  • October 1, 2011