Natalie Hailey on content ideas for your ideal client, and inspiring future female entrepreneurs – MAF161


My guest this week is Natalie Hailey and she’s inspiring future female entrepreneurs from her base in Cumbria.

We talk about understanding how content marketing can help your business, putting together content for your ideal customer, and how she became Entrepreneur in Residence at Lancaster University.

Welcome to episode 161 of the Marketing and Finance Podcast.

Natalie Hailey on content ideas for your ideal client, and inspiring future female entrepreneurs - MAF161

What you’ll hear about in this episode

  • How to come up with content ideas for your business
  • The problems businesses have understanding content marketing
  • Why knowing your target customer is crucial
  • Why consistency is key to long term success
  • Why Natalie’s passionate about supporting female entrepreneurs
  • Becoming Entrepreneur in Residence at Lancaster University

Who is Natalie Hailey?

Natalie worked as an estate agent for 10 years. She fell into it by accident following her A-levels. After she had children, Natalie decided she wanted to work flexibly. Once finished taking an Open University degree in English Literature, she began courses in proofreading and copy editing.

She found she was regularly asked to proofread website content, often for publishers. This led to being asked to write the content. She realised that small businesses had a need to be supported in content creation. She now delivers in-house training and workshops on the topic. And she creates the content.

Summary of our chat

Natalie has put together content for a range of local businesses, from cosmetics to fuel companies. It might be hard to have ideas if your business isn’t exciting. But Natalie says when you’re addressing people’s problems and questions, you can produce lots of content. Any industry can benefit from helping people find answers.

Many businesses are uncertain about content marketing and don’t really know why or how blogs, videos or podcasts can help them. They go through the motions but don’t believe it will help. Or they’re looking for a quick fix but aren’t fully committed to putting the effort in over a period of time.

Consistency is key and lack of consistency is one of the main reasons people give up or are sporadic with their content creation. They don’t believe in what they’re doing and that it will make a difference to the business. If you don’t have faith in what you’re doing, it’s much harder to carry on.

You need to know who your audience is and why you’re marketing to them. Not being clear on that makes content creation harder. It’s a barrier to sitting down and writing blogs or recording videos. Things slot into place when you know your ideal client, and it’s much easier to create what they want.

Natalie set up a group to meet a need for female entrepreneurs in Cumbria, where she lives, to create a supportive environment. Women aren’t reaching their potential, so it’s become a mission and a passion of Natalie’s to help them achieve success in business and marketing, while still doing all the other things they have to do.

Natalie contributed to a research project into what motivates entrepreneurs and told a university professor about her women’s group. Lancaster University identified a need to support female overseas students. This led to  Natalie becoming the Entrepreneur in Residence at the university. Now, through workshops and one to one sessions, she boosts students’ confidence and inspires them to achieve more.

One thing Natalie wants people to take away from her interview

It’s important to be yourself in business. As an employee, Natalie felt that those around her were playing a game, and she felt uncomfortable, unable to be herself and that she was pretending to be someone else.

Now, running Hot Content, she’s herself and communicates with people in the same way, whether in a meeting room or in a social environment. Customers want to communicate with businesses in a personal way, and see the person behind the scenes, so they connect with them.

A marketing campaign or product Natalie loves

Natalie is impressed by the membership model for businesses and is a of three. She feels being part of an online community, and going on a journey with like-minded people, has enabled her to achieve what she has today.

It’s something she’d like to do with her women’s group, and offer training as part of a membership community of her own. There’s a need for giving people a central location to access the information they need to run a business, so it’s easy to consume and digest.

Books Natalie recommends

Marcus Sheridan’s They Ask You Answer is great for anyone who struggles with knowing what to write about and how to do it. It’s straightforward, simple and easy to digest, but nobody else has said it. The book has changed everything for lots of businesses, and gives a lot of inspiration.

Mark Schaefer’s latest book, Known, brings together the idea of personal branding with whether anyone can become ‘known’. He takes a scientific, academic approach and analyses his findings. He interviewed people who are known to find out how they did it.

Links and contact details

If you enjoyed – Natalie Hailey on content ideas for your ideal client, and inspiring future female entrepreneurs – please leave a comment or a review on iTunes.

And if you know anyone who would enjoy the show – please share it with them. You can use the buttons below to share on social media.

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Ben Amos on storytelling, strategy and production for video – MAF159


My guest this week is online video strategist and storyteller, Ben Amos.

We talk about fitting video production into your marketing strategy and how to produce videos which engage your customers and bring in business.

Welcome to episode 159 of the Marketing and Finance Podcast.

Ben Amos on storytelling, strategy and production for video - MAF159

What you’ll hear about in this episode

  • Why strategy is a vital first step for video marketing
  • The seven elements for a successful strategy
  • How to deal with fear of video
  • Why production isn’t the most important part of video
  • Why storytelling is important
  • How businesses can communicate in a memorable way

Who is Ben Amos?

Ben has always been passionate in video in any form, and his grandfather and father were both enthusiastic home video makers. He studied film where he could, and became a film and television teacher in high school, before setting up a video production company, working with a range of businesses.

As online content got bigger, clients started uploading the videos they’d had made to the web, but without seeing a good return on investment. Ben realised that they were missing a strategy, so he now helps his clients put together a plan to get more from their videos.

Ben’s also the host of the “Engage with Story” Podcast.

Summary of our chat

Strategy is like a recipe. You’re combining a range of ingredients which taste ok on their own, but if you bring them together in the right way, they’ll be amazing. Bringing Instagram stories, vlogs and sales videos together with a great strategy gets people interested and wanting more. The key is to know your end goal.

There are seven elements that make a successful video strategy: audience, goals, content, distribution, optimisation, metrics and production. When you know your audience, you align them to your goals, produce the right content and distribute appropriately. Think about the platform, and position (optimise) accordingly, and measure success. These then influence your production decisions.

People always struggle with being in front of the camera and how they’ll look, because it’s not natural. Ben’s response is: “Do you worry about that when you’re at a client meeting or networking event?” Like anything, the biggest barrier is getting started, because it gets easier the more you do it.

There’s a perception that everything requires high-quality production, and people tend to focus on that before they consider the content. You need to take into account the other elements too. Where will you be sharing your video? Platforms such as LinkedIn need professional but natural-looking videos, with quality content.

People want to buy from brands they engage with, which is why story is so important. It’s an emotional form of communication, one we grow up with. If we can tell a good story to connect with someone, they’ll pay attention and buy in to your brand.

People don’t remember facts and figures, so if you need to communicate those, wrap them in a story and make them memorable. Storytelling is a powerful way of communicating tangible ideas, so businesses should help people make a connection, remember the message and be moved to take action.

The one thing he’d like listeners to take away

Using video to market your business, particularly online, can be overwhelming and scary. Although there are a lot of possibilities, you can beat that overwhelm by starting with a strategy. Identify your audience, goals, content, distribution platform and your metrics, and then consider production.

A marketing campaign or product Ben loves

Ben talked about a specific approach for using video marketing: when brands pay attention to how they’re using native video on social media, and consider the screen ratio and video size.

A paint company in Australia did this really well. They created a video of a couple discussing home improvements, but looked like half of it was missing. The male character then reached down and pushed the lounge room setting into the video frame, which encouraged the viewer to stop and watch.

Recommended business book

Ask, by Ryan Levesque. He’s the go-to guy for customer surveys. Knowing your audience is the best way to start off planning your strategy, and the book goes into some ninja approaches to using audience surveys to help you nail your customer and get your strategy right.

Special offer for MAF Podcast listeners from Ben

Ben’s kindly set up a page for listeners of the MAF Podcast so they can find links and downloads about online video strategy – visit www.engagevideomarketing.com/maf for more details.

Links and contact details

If you enjoyed – Ben Amos on storytelling, strategy and production for video – please leave a comment or a review on iTunes.

And if you know anyone who would enjoy the show – please share it with them. You can use the buttons below to share on social media.

Don’t miss an episode of the MAF Podcast – subscribe now.

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Engaging storytelling and simple marketing – two podcast appearances

On Thursday’s I publish my latest podcast episodes

Most week’s it’s an interview with someone from the world of marketing and finance.

I love interviewing people and learn so much from them as we discuss a wide range of topics.

But I also get interviewed on other people’s podcasts too. This week I’m sharing two recent examples:

Engage with Story Podcast with Ben Amos

Ben runs an Australian company called Engage Video Marketing. He’s also a passionate advocate of storytelling in marketing. Each week on his show he examines storytelling in detail.

Engaging storytelling and simple marketing - two podcast appearances

Ben called my episode, “Taking the BS out of Business Storytelling”.

Here’s what he had to say:

“This episode is all about clearing out the BS that can so often surround story marketing. My guest is a marketing consultant and educator who helps people keep their marketing simple in a world where business BS and complexity threaten to stifle success. He is Roger Edwards, from rogeredwards.co.uk.”

You can listen using the media player below.

Hot Content Marketing Podcast with Natalie Hailey

Natalie launched the Hot Content Marketing Podcast at the start of January 2018 and I was delighted to be her first guest.

Natalie, a mum, Italiophile and foodie just happens to have an overwhelming urge to show the world that they can succeed in business, on and offline regardless of age, insecurities and industry.

Natalie called my episode: How to keep your marketing simple (which as you know is one of my favourite subjects).

We talk about:

  • The importance of jargon-free writing
  • His 3 rules of simple writing
  • A great tip for getting that dreaded first draft down ‘on paper’
  • His basic marketing strategy questions

You can listen using the media player below.

Now it’s your turn:

If you enjoyed these two great podcasts please give Ben and Natalie your support. Check out some of their other episodes on iTunes and maybe subscribe to their shows.