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Happy 3rd Birthday to Scarletta

We are celebrating in Scarletta world.

My Dad after years and years of hard slog and graft has finally joined my Mum in retirement and Scarletta Media and I will be celebrating three years in business.

Three years that went quickly…

The last three years has flown by, some days I do wonder how on earth I ended up in the position I am in. As I may have mentioned before that it was never my intention to run my own business. It has been quite a journey so far.

So what lessons have I learned?

Earlier this week I met up with a new contact who is three months in to her new business and she asked me what lessons stood out for me, that really got me thinking.

And this is what I have learnt, there is probably an awful lot more and so in no particular order:

  1. To really look after the customers you love working with.
  2. They stick with you and then it really doesn’t feel like work.
  3. To regularly ask them for feedback, what it is about your business that works, what doesn’t and then do something about it.
  4. That you need to get out and meet other people regularly, not just have virtual relationships.
  5. There will be days when you feel uninspired, demotivated, defeated, exhausted and unable to carry on, but out of nowhere find the strength to pick yourself up and get on with it.
  6. That not everyone you meet has your best interests at heart.
  7. That there are others who will offer you amazing opportunities and support you and your business wholeheartedly. And tell their contacts about you too.
  8. That you will learn to trust your instincts, which are about 99% of the time completely spot on.
  9. That business planning often goes out the window, life often gets in the way and you have to divert onto a different course.
  10. That what people say they will do and what they actually do are two different things.
  11. That people are often in no hurry to make decisions. They work to their agenda not yours.
  12. To learn to say no, without feeling you have to offer any explanation.
  13. To learn to say yes, even if you feel you are totally out of your comfort zone.
  14. To realise that everything takes longer than you thought it would.
  15. That there is no short cut to success. You simply have to do the work.
  16. That if you don’t do the work, you don’t get paid.
  17. That you are likely to miss the security of a monthly pay cheque.
  18. To bill in advance, you get paid to do the work with minimal hassle and the majority of people are happy to do this.
  19. There will be sacrifices you have to make along the way. Including financial aspirations, friends, dreams, personal goals and holidays.
  20. To have a trusted support network around you, that includes family, loved ones, friends, associates and acquaintances. You need them all especially when the wobbles kick in. Which they do.
  21. That you will lose friends along the way. And make new ones, who share similar values, ideas and interests.
  22. That the people who mattered the most when you started, matter even more now.
  23. That you will have opportunities to meet some amazing, inspiring, creative and very talented people.
  24. That you will change and learn a lot about your character in the process.
  25. Not all the rewards and successes are financial.
  26. That it is not a 9-5 job, you rarely switch off. Ever.
  27. That unscrupulous people will take and steal your ideas, words, work, copy your LinkedIn profile and create a pretty similar website to your own. But use a girl with a horn instead of a boy image instead. Yep I noticed this and so did others.
  28. That when someone reads your blog, buys your ebook, or tells you you’ve made a difference to them and their business. This is one the best rewards.
  29. To start believing in yourself. You don’t need anyone else’s permission or approval to do what you want to do.
  30. That waiting for things to be perfect before you release them into cyber space can hold you back. Blog posts, tweets, Facebook up-dates, LinkedIn profiles will all be re-written, websites evolve and tweaks will be made constantly. But sometimes you just have to hit publish and go for it.
  31. To keep on testing, working and innovating.
  32. To invest in your own training and learning. It is money well spent.
  33. To take regular time off and try not to feel guilty about it.
  34. To get out of the home office at least once a day. Working from home can be very isolating. So isolating that there will be days when the only human you talk to is the postman. I
    have a very nice postie who even offered to help carry in my shopping.
  35. To expect the unexpected.
  36. To remember to have some fun it can all get a bit serious sometimes.
  37. To create an office space filled with things you love. My polka dot mug and notebooks are some of my faves.
  38. To be prepared that there will be some tough decisions to be made. But you get there in the end.
  39. To regularly share thanks and gratitude to everyone who supports you along the way.
  40. And to celebrate every success, however small. It keeps you going and going and going.

Time to Celebrate and say THANK YOU!

So happy retirement to my Mum and Dad. Enjoy every moment of your new chapter, you both deserve it so much.

A big thank you to all my lovely Scarletta clients, Twitter followers, Facebook Likers, Newsletter subscribers and overall lovely nice supporters.

A big, big thank you to my parents, my sister Carla, my Uncle Ray and to all my family and friends who have helped me to keep on going and like my posts on Facebook. Just because every little helps…. xxx

And an even bigger thank you to my hubby Darrin aka Mr Scarletta, none of this would have been possible without you! Thank you, thank you and for the beautiful pink Scarletta flowers. xxxx

Happy 3rd Birthday to my Scarletta, what shall we do next?!

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Do You Stand Out From The Crowd?

purplecowWhilst reading Seth Godin’s book Purple Cow , which is all about transforming your business by being remarkable, I realised there are so many online experts providing hourly hints and tips on Twitter and Facebook on how we should conduct ourselves and our businesses online, that if we all followed the same rules it makes life just a bit dull and same, same, same.

With the vast amount of content and shared information on the web, I see the same things repeated daily and often it’s nothing new, innovative or remarkable. If we were all to follow the tribes and adhere to the rules how would we differentiate and stand out from the crowd?

Remember Your Own Unique Selling Points

Surely trying to be something you are not is exhausting, it may be easier in the short-term to follow the crowds and fall in to a routine of talking about the same things with the same approach, but in the long run it is best to remember our own Unique Selling Points whether as individuals or businesses.

I read a great post on a social media discussion board about sharing our own ideas and content online means others will refresh it slightly and claim it as their own, but if you are consistent with your approach and online mannerisms people can see through it and tell it originated elsewhere can’t they?

On reflection this is what I have learnt on how to stand out from the crowd.

Be yourself

People buy from people and often it is your approach to business and your personality shown in its true light that attracts like-minded people to you and you to them. If you share ideas, values and work ethics then better all round.

We are all unique

Our views, comments on blogs, the ideas we share, and the conversations we have are all personal to us and unique. Wouldn’t it be boring if we all shared the same views and agreed on everything?

Trust your instincts

When I started looking at designs for Scarletta Media initially I thought best to stick to a uniform corporate look and not to choose anything too feminine. I soon came to realise that the designs I had shortlisted just didn’t fit my vision or me for that matter, so I went back to the beginning and asked myself the question “What did I like the most regardless if it was girlie or not”? By trusting my instinct the design was obvious.

What is your company vision and ethos?

The ethos behind Scarletta Media is about people and growing community’s so my three key factors were:

  1. The flowers represent growth.
  2. The old men represent people and a community. These men had their own community and met up at the same time, everyday to have a natter and watch the world go by. (And my husband took the picture, if anyone steals it I will know!!)
  3. The name Scarletta Media is personal to me and my husband. Scarletta’s is the name of one of our favourite restaurants, (So this name we did steal, as Scarletta’s the  restaurant is named after the owners daughter Scarletta!)

All personal and unique choices, which wasn’t intentional from the outset and I am well aware that it may not appeal to everyone but Scarletta Media isn’t the same as anyone else.

Our approach and style simply suits me and the amount of conversations I have had about my purple Scarletta business cards opposed to standard white business cards for being memorable is astonishing!

So what about you, do you dare to be different and how do you stand out from the crowd?

Need some more branding ideas?

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Tweeting the Way to Business Success

If you are brand new to the social media world, Twitter can feel like talking in a different language and after a while when you are still not quite sure what is going on you give up trying to understand.

I met a local business owner who shared her concerns with me about social media and Twitter, she was not convinced that it would benefit her or her business.

We discussed what marketing methods she has used and an advertisement was placed in Yellow Pages at an approximate cost of £1,000 for the year, which subsequently did not bring in a lot of business.

Yellow Pages make excellent door stops!

I have heard that Yellow Pages make great door stops and ours are promptly taken out for recycling, (Sorry Yellow Pages!) but times have moved on, if I want to find out anything the internet is always my first port of call and I believe this is the case for many of us.

We then got on to the subject of Twitter and I discussed why it is helping many businesses including my own and mentioned some of the benefits:

  • You can reach your target audience quickly
  • You build up a support network for you and your business
  • You can find out valuable information and resources
  • You can reduce time spent networking or cold calling
  • You can reduce your advertising spend
Don’t waste your money on in-effective advertising

If you are like me, I would definitely not want to waste £1,000 of my hard-earned cash on ineffective marketing and surely it is a no brainer to give social media a try?

Twitter is free to use and set up however it does cost time, effort and content.

Twitter needs purpose and focus for your business

Every marketing activity needs a focus and purpose, if you apply this approach, are committed, with realistic aims and in it for the long haul it won’t just be the £££’s your saving.

Here are five reasons to use Twitter for your small business:

  1. Networking, connecting and engaging in conversations
  2. News and advice
  3. Feedback
  4. Real time searching
  5. PR and marketing

If you aren’t reaping the Twitter rewards, are completely brand new to Twitter or just want to find out how to get the most out of Twitter, get in touch and I will help you create your Twitter strategy and find your way around.

So you’ll soon be tweeting your way to business success.

 

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