Lights! Camera! Action! We’re in the movie business

Fantastic news Weltch Media!

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cinemaWe have long been renowned for our excellent work in the worlds of sport, education and business; but now we’re in the movies too!

While we continue to work across a range of sectors, helping clients develop and communicate their messages through publications, social media, event management, PR and more, film is our newest and fastest-growing field.

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How to Kick Start Your Social Media Presence



When I think about my social media day, it always starts with wondering how I can reach the maximum number of people with my brand message.  As a consequence, I’m always working on novel ways to promote myself, my brand and my personal product to my social media communities and I urge you to do the same.

From a wacky YouTube video to a great new online find, to clever sourcing of content curation, the quest to find new and improved ways to reach out to my audience is forever buzzing inside.   As part of this ongoing search, I have encountered what can only be described as heavenly online assistants; those Cross Platform Promotion (or CPP) tools such as HootSuite and TweetDeck that allow me to literally sweep the social media universe with a single brush stroke (or perhaps that should be mouse-click!). 

CPP, a term that my husband Dean and I coined in our book, Zero to 100,000, is the action of utilising social media so as to enable it to spread content across various platforms simultaneously.  It is truly a holistic approach to social media adoption and one that saves both precious time and resources, meaning that it’s something every one of us needs to understand and harness.

CPP enables those in the ‘know’ to appear ever-present in the social media universe, but this doesn’t mean its users can switch off.  In fact, if exploited and abused, CPP can prove to be your worst social media enemy.  Yes, your messages are broadcast across all the platforms and hopefully positively acknowledged through retweets, reposts, links and so on, but this is the time when you need to stop basking in the glory of your CPP-enabled efforts and instead focus upon engaging and building upon the rewards you have reaped. 

Remember that engagement is key to your long-term success and never allow yourself to grow too big for your social media boots!  It’s that age old tale (told in numerous pre-social media realms) of self-gratification and narcissism bred from achieving great adulation from afar.  It’s a fairy-tale, but it’s also a cautionary tale.  CPP is like a Pandora’s box of easily squandered opportunity.  If you choose to open it be sure to understand that, with your new popularity comes a new responsibility.

But it’s not all doom and gloom – far from it in fact.  CPP is a blessing to those who choose to embrace all that social media has to offer and are willing to give as much as they get on the social circuit.

CPP is, in essence, a saving grace for those of us who rely on social media as a route to promotion and, let’s face it, who doesn’t these days?  The applications that enable it are allies in a crowded new universe and they make our voyage into it just that little bit easier.

Five Great Tools to Keep your Content Fresh on Facebook

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAI8AAAAJGM3OTE5NWEzLTJmMmEtNGIxYy05N2YxLTUwOTFjNTExNWMyZQSometimes it’s hard to know what to post to keep your Facebook followers entertained on a regular basis so, with this in mind, here are my top five tools for sourcing content that has the Wow Factor.

  1. Post Planner

This tool isn’t free, although the basic version starts at just $7 a month, so if you want a helping hand in cherry picking-content that is pretty much guaranteed to grab your followers’ attention, then this is a great place to start. Post Planner covers everything from self-proclaimed ‘scientifically proven to go viral’ images through to random status ideas and a wide range of articles curated from your key words.  If you’re new to Facebook or if want to quickly create a buzz around your profile, I highly recommend you give Post Planner a try.


  1. DrumUp

Another great tool that’s free to download and start using is DrumUp, which uses clever algorithms to curate content based upon your personal preferences.  It’s quick and easy to use and claims to save you up to 90% of the time you would normally spend on searching for and scheduling your social media content across platforms. Social media pros can upgrade to add multiple accounts and there’s also an option that allows you to instantly cross-platform promote your blog content.


  1. Pinterest

Incredibly easy and equally addictive to use, Pinterest is a great tool for finding and sharing images that make an impact and, what’s more, it allows you to discover some amazing websites in the process.  Just login and use the search tool to find thousands of images that match your mood. It’s completely free and lots of fun!


  1. Buzzsumo

A free to use search tool that quickly shows you the viral posts related to your topics of interest. More of a business tool than a personal search option, you can still use Buzzsumo to generate some great ideas for content of your own – great for those caffeine-deficient mornings when you have a copy deadline to meet.


  1. Flipboard

An absolute favourite of mine and a veritable smorgasbord of content from a vast collection of both mainstream and personalised magazines.  Content can be easily re-flipped or shared onto your social media platforms with just a click. It’s incredibly fun to use and might even inspire you to start up a magazine of your own.





What You Can Learn from an Older Intern


Andrew Brill wanted a career in sports reporting. He pounded the pavement to find his first opportunity. In 2008, he  joined the sports desk at WABC-TV New York when the news director decided to give him a shot.

But here’s the thing: Brill wasn’t your typical, wet-behind-the-ears intern. He was 42 years old.

Several days a week, he’d go to the station after working all day at another job. The long hours didn’t bother him a bit. “I was watching sports at work,” he said.

After the internship, he moved on. Eventually, he became the sole sportscaster for a TV station in Albany, New York. This spring, he received an offer from ESPN Radio, one of sports’ biggest and most revered news outlets.

Brill’s story isn’t like others that you’ll read on this blog. He didn’t start a business later in life. To the contrary, he left a family business because he didn’t enjoy it. “When you wake up and dread going to work, thinking, ‘I can’t do this for another second,’ it’s time to change,” he told Men’s Fitness in this profile piece.

His story is worth reading because it has some lessons and reminders:

1)  A business owner needs passion to be successful. Brill recognized this — and got out since the passion wasn’t there.

2)  A career change later in life has its advantages. Years of life experience as well as business experience helped Brill identify a path toward his dream job.

3) Sometimes you have to start at the bottom when you start over.  At age 42, Brill had to do grunt work — and learn the nuts and bolts of his new profession. His age gave him a good perspective on this.

4) Family support is critical for career transitions. Brill’s wife and three children knew he had been miserable before — and could see how much he enjoyed his new career. Their willingness to endure long separations, make sacrifices and support him along the way made all the difference.

5) You never know when an opportunity will turn out to be “the big one.”Jump at every chance you’re given. That’s what Andrew Brill did.  And it paid off — in spades.

Source: Late Blooming Entrepreneurs

The Modern Psychology of Halloween

The Social Skillet


It’s that time of the year again; where witches, ghosts and ghouls roam the streets in search of candy.  No longer just a throw back to the Celtic Festival of Samhain, where the end of the Celtic year was thought to be associated with death, today Halloween means holiday; a time for dressing up, having fun, eating candy and watching scary movies!

And it’s not just for the kids.  There’s something so timelessly magical in the golden colors of fall that’s annually reflected in the glowing flames of our Jack O’Lantern smiles.  Rather than feeling a creepy chill in the air, instead, many of us today associate a sense of warmth and togetherness with the date October 31st.  The past associations with all things evil have today been replaced by the amusing notion of ‘a good scare’ , meaning that it’s time once again to party in ‘Halloweenland’.

The Roots…

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How to Get Your Product or Service to Sell

The Social Skillet


“I want it and I want it now” – this is the mantra of today’s society. And our cry is getting louder.

The need for instant gratification in all aspects of our lives has never been better illustrated than in our growing love affair with the many gadgets and gizmos offering to give us just that. It might be considered something of a paradox that the world we live in today generates its own need for speed by the constant reinvention the very products we were all perfectly content with before another faster, younger model began to ‘strut its stuff’. On the flip side of the coin, the world has never been better connected. As a result of today’s technological advances in all forms of communication, distances seem to melt away to nothing at the touch of an icon, making the world considerably smaller and our RAMS considerably larger as…

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Bill’s – The Humble King of Fresh Produce Dining

Bills at Night

My first experience of eating at the new Bill’s in Peterborough was something of a revelation. With a plethora of new-age, new-dining choice on every street corner, it was refreshing to experience a grass-roots philosophy of bringing fresh produce to the table in an unpretentious and uncomplicated way that focused fully on celebrating the marriage of great flavours.

I had the opportunity to speak to manager Ben Litchfield, a man filled with passion for the brand and a deep admiration for the original ‘Bill’, its founder. “He [Bill] hasn’t forgotten where he came from and what all this is about” said Ben. And I have to agree that there are little touches everywhere that speak of a brand that has its roots firmly in fresh produce. From the jovial barrel of locally grown apples greeting guests at the doorway and encouraging passers-by to take one (a clever marketing move by the way) to the array of Bill’s own-label goods enticingly displayed in a delicatessen-like area, this is a business that has managed to stay humble, despite its dramatic growth within the UK – there are now 55 Bills nationwide I’m told.

Peterborough Manager, Ben Litchfield talks with pride about the history and philosophy behind Bill’s

The menus arrived and my husband Dean and I decided to try a few small plates including the crispy crumbed halloumi with chili mayo, the chicken in a jar and the avocado, bacon and spinach salad. Our waiter was keen to explain how he and the other staff had tasted everything on the menu prior to the opening and assured us we would not be disappointed. Indeed, we were not! Fresh, vibrant flavours that resonated with a care and attention to “keeping it real” were presented in unison with proud smiles from the servers as they set them down before us.

Bills1bills interior

It was the second day of opening – a Tuesday and not even midday, yet the place was already buzzing. An eclectic mix of tables, chairs and seating options, from the rustic farmhouse casual booth to the intimate corner setting, complete with chandelier overhead; touches of whimsical decorating genius that delighted yet didn’t intrude.

This, I knew, was a place I would be returning to often.

The Art of Mastering a Year Round Successful Beauty Business

A guest post by Claire Pitts, Co-owner of Business for Beauty

Successful Beauty Business

There’s an air of mystery surrounding successful beauty businesses.  We look at their owners and wonder what it is that they know that we don’t.

  •  Is it that they work harder than we do?
  • Is it that they had more money to start with?
  • Is it that they’re just that ‘sort of person’ that you have to be to be successful?

The answer is maybe, maybe they do work harder than you, maybe they did start out with more money and maybe you do need to be a certain type of person.

But what if the answer was much, much simpler than that?  What if the thing that made the difference was something you could get, a tool you could use?

I’m convinced that the reason businesses are successful is down to a basic understanding of how businesses work and that’s what I’m going to share with you now.

Imagine your business is a bucket and you’re pouring water into the top.  At some point the bucket will be full and water would start spilling out all over the place.

This is how most people see their business.  They believe that if they just keep adding enough new clients then one day their business will ‘overflow’ with clients.

But the reality is much different.

You see, that bucket has a hole in it (the desire to break out into song is so strong!).  And water is leaking out of the bucket.  Depending how big the hole is, will depend how quickly the water drains away.  If the hole is too big, then the bucket will never get to even a quarter full.

And just like that bucket, your business has a hole in it.  You are leaking clients everyday.  The truth is, you may be leaking more clients than you are adding.  It may be that it wouldn’t matter how many clients you added, you’d be forever searching for new clients, desperate to add some more into the bucket.

So, in my opinion, the answer to what makes a business successful or not is whether the owner understands the bucket principle.

And while this seems so simple, the art of plugging that hole and keeping clients in the bucket isn’t as we’re about to find out.

I want you to really grasp what I’m saying here and how it impacts on your business.  It’s such a simple principle that, when I talk to people, they have a tendency to say that it’s obvious.  It’s not until you really understand this, that you realise your business is dying, no matter how busy you were today.

The only way to demonstrate this is to have a look at some numbers.

It’s April 2014.  You have 50 clients booked for appointments this month.  A small number of these are existing, regular clients, lets say 10 and the other 40 have come from a fantastic marketing campaign you’ve just run.  You’re busy, busy, busy and the money is flowing.

Fast forward a month to May and, because you’ve been so busy, you’ve stopped promoting your business.  After all you’ve had 40 new clients come through the door.

Things aren’t quite as busy as they were in May, but the money is still coming in and you end up seeing 21 clients that month.

Here comes June, and blimey it’s gone quiet.  You only see 18 clients this month…

July is soon with you and it’s just 16 clients.  Maybe it’s the summer holidays….

August is a hot and very, very quiet month.  You see just 16 clients

September is notoriously bad anyway and you only see 15 clients.

October, the weather is changing and you’re down to 15 clients, November is dark and it’s 14 clients and December you are down to 13 client, you’ve lost 74% of the original 50 clients over 8 months.

In reality, this isn’t what happens because you are constantly attracting, or trying to attract new clients, but it is what exactly what would happen if you stopped promoting your business.  Maybe you wouldn’t get down to just 1 client because you’ve got 4 or 5 or even 10 clients that absolutely love you and what you do.

What am I basing these reductions in numbers on?  The fact that between 50 and 65% (if not more) clients never return after their first appointment.  Sound high?  Maybe, but this is what research has shown me.

You see, I’m geeky.  I love figures and databases and getting information.  It gives me control and helps me make decisions.  And what I’ve done is produce a database that analyses beauty therapists businesses so that they can see exactly what is going on with their business.  If we ran your figures through the database, I would put money on the fact that, unless you are already aware of this fact, you’ll be losing a similar amount.

Sobering thought eh?  Over half of all the people who come to you, never return….

Business for Beauty

It’s All About Boxes

One of the lies I hear told to me over and over again is the number of clients ‘on the books’.  People parade this number, boast about it as if it’s something to be really proud of.  I think they’ve actually got this completely wrong and the higher the number, the more ‘wrong’ they’ve got it.

The number that you should be showing off is the number of active clients on your books.  What do I mean by this?  Well, let’s go back to how things were done before computers…

Every time you get a new client you fill out a record card for them.  You probably store these in a folder alphabetically, but in ‘olden days’ these would be filled in date order, in different boxes.  The first box would be all those who have had appointments recently.  For beauty therapists, this would be a 5 or 6 week period.

Then, there would be a second box which would have all those who have had appointments between 5 weeks ago and, let’s say 3 months.

Then there’d be a 3rd box.  These clients are those that haven’t been between 3 months and 6 months.

And then there’s the last box.  This is the box of death.  It’s those clients who came so long ago, you can’t remember them.

Those that boast about the number of clients on their books are talking about the total number of names in all 4 boxes or, if they think they’re being realistic, those in the first 3 boxes.

The truth is, the only clients who are ‘Active Clients’ are those in the first box.  And I’m guessing that’s probably about 20% of all the clients in the first 3 boxes for your business.

Every week that passes by, more clients in your business are moving between boxes, working their way out of your business and into box 4 – the box of death.

The aim of the game is to keep as many people in the first box and stop them moving from box 1 to box 2 to box 3 and ultimately to box 4.

So where are we?

We know that about 60% of your clients are coming back after their first appointment.

We know that only 20% of clients that you’ve seen over the course of your business are ‘active’ clients.

So what’s the answer?

Well, there’s actually 2 answers.  The first, and most important, is to plug that hole in your bucket.  There is no point spending money on attracting new clients if 60% of them are not going to stick around.

Priority 1 has to be get them to come back.

How do you do this?  You start by understanding just how much a client costs you to come to you in the first place.  Even if a client comes to you via Facebook, for example, it has cost you money.  Whether this is just the ‘cost’ of your time, every new client will cost you money.

So, how much does it cost to attract a new client?  Let’s use a simple figure of £10.  Why £10?  Because everyday you spend an hour on Facebook, updating statuses and promoting your business.  And everyday you get 1 client for your efforts.  And let’s say £10 an hour is what profit you would have made had you been providing beauty treatments (it’s probably more).

To get that first client, you have spent £10.

If that client is one of the 60% who come for one appointment and disappear, never to return, you’ve got to spend another £10 to get another client to replace them.

The question is – how much are you prepared to do and spend to get that client to come back.

All to often we think that once clients come to us they are going to stay with us, because they love us and the treatments we provide.  It’s a hard fact to face, but they just don’t.

And so, whatever profit you made from the one treatment they had, also has to fund the £10 that you spent (whether real money or ‘your time’).  Take a moment and look back at the last 4 weeks and the new clients you’ve had through the door and take this figure from the profit you made.  What’s left is potentially all you’ve made from that client.

Now, what if you spent some money getting these 1 appointment clients to come back for a second appointment?

The good news is that, once they come back for a second appointment, you will keep them for a third, if not fourth appointment at least.

So you’ve got another chance to recoup the cost of attracting them in the first place, another chance to introduce new treatments and products, another chance to develop your relationship with them, find out what makes them tick etc.

So you’re number 1 priority is to work out how to get them to come back for that second appointment.

Priority No 2

The heat isn’t off those existing clients, you need to watch and work out what’s happening with your clients.  You need to figure out when they should be coming (remember those boxes) and do all that you can to keep them from going into that 4th box, the box of death.

And this takes work.  It takes an understanding of what’s happening in your clients lives and reacting quickly when they don’t book appointments.

Look at it this way.  If a client has a manicure every 2 weeks regularly and then suddenly doesn’t come there’s only a few possible reasons why:

  1. They’re on holiday – you should know this
  2. They’re ill – you should find out
  3. They’ve gone somewhere else

If they’re not away, if they’re not ill then they’ve gone somewhere else (or are about to).  Someone who has their nails done every fortnight is not going to suddenly stop having them done.  So where have they gone?

And it’s part of your job to find out.  Like I said above, if they’re on holiday then you should have known this – it should have come up in conversation, you should have done extra treatments like spray tans, waxing, you get the idea.

Maybe they’re ill and can’t get to you.  How could you find out?

But the worst case is they’ve gone somewhere else.  Now it maybe they’ve been incredibly busy during the week they should have come but this is the ‘danger’ time.  It’s when they’ll ‘pop’ in somewhere else and have the treatment and, once they’ve done that, there’s every chance they wont come back to you.

So priority number 2 is to work out the average number of days between appointments for each of your clients and take action if they don’t come when they are scheduled to.

Priority Number 3 – Get new clients

It might surprise you that I’ve put ‘get new clients’ at the very end of this list.  When we did a survey here at Business for Beauty among Beauty Therapists, the number one thing they all wanted help with was getting new clients.

I’m hoping that, by now, you understand that more new clients isn’t going to fix your business, not while you’ve got that huge hole in your bucket 🙂

New clients is actually relatively easy to do.  You need to market your business properly using targeted marketing that pays for itself.  I’m actually not going to spend a lot of time on how you do this here, but needless to say, we have tested direct marketing (letters through the door), Facebook Adverts and all sorts of other campaigns to attract new clients.  Some have worked amazingly well and others, well, let’s not talk about those eh?!

And I don’t want to give you 100 ways to get more clients because, to be honest, I don’t want you to do this until you’ve sorted Priority 1 and Priority 2 out.

 Where my being geeky really helps you out!

I’m going to confess, I’m not a beauty therapist.  Not at all.  Like I said I’m geeky and proud of it.

But I work with Teresa who is a beauty therapist.  And what we’ve done together is create a database for her business, one that gives her all the answers she needs to plug the hole in her business.  And it’s working.

Her returns for 2nd appointments are increasing, the number of active clients is going up.  People aren’t slipping away quietly unnoticed.  She’s able to see who is supposed to be coming in the next 2 weeks and who hasn’t come.  So she can react quickly and get in touch with those clients and get them to come back.

She can see whose birthday it is this month and next so she can send out birthday cards with offers and/or presents.

She can see what treatments someone has to work out what offers to give them.

And, as I say, it’s working.

And you can have this too.  The database is hosted on the Business for Beauty Website.  It’s available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  You can look at it whenever you want to and get the information you need.

The most important thing this database does is puts you in control.  It allows you to make decisions about marketing and clients quickly and easily.  There’s no need for you to sort your records into boxes, it does that for you.

And this is just the start.

You see, Teresa and I have created a whole host of marketing materials and strategies to get not just new clients, but to get people to come back again and again and again.

It’s time for you to take control. Visit the Business for Beauty website to get started and make 2015 a beautiful year for your beauty business.  Follow Business for Beauty on Twitter @Biz4Beauty

Download  The Beauty Business Formula free here.

Social Media Predictions for 2015

2015predictionsIt’s that time of year again! The time when marketers around the world attempt to make sense of all the ‘social noise’ from the year gone by. For, in amongst all that static, lie key indicators of what did and didn’t work, from which we can draw conclusions and make predictions about what to expect in 2015. My own experiences this year have inspired me to write this feature about the key trends to watch out and plan for in the year ahead.

Augmented Reality

ARIt’s been around for a while, sitting at the back on the cheap seats, but now it’s ready to strut its stuff and start a whole new interactive revolution. The proliferation of powerful, wearable technology finally presents augmented reality with the right vehicle to take centre stage in enterprise and consumer mobility. As a result, there is a huge interest in investing in enterprise-level app development using augmented reality, with adoption numbers expected to be mammoth. A study by Juniper research predicts enterprise applications with augmented reality elements to account for the third-largest proportion of revenues by end of 2015. Couple its interactive potential with the immediacy of social media sharing and yes, this could well be the ‘love affair of the year’.

Proximity Marketing

proximity marketingAn interesting report from Google in 2014 stated that 71% of shoppers found that digital marketing enhanced their retail experience. This made my ears ‘prick up’ as I have suspected for a while that proximity marketing is set to rocket over the next couple of years. Leading retailers have already begun to endorse geo-location based mobile beacons as the way to keep the in-store shopping experience from becoming antiquated. “Personalised, location-based offers will be served to consumers via their mobile devices based on what and where they’re shopping.” (Entrepreneur Magazine 2014). And the same goes for online shopping to combat the dreaded “abandoned shopping cart.” Consumers will be re-targeted on social media channels for products they put in their cart to edge them closer to clicking that all important “Checkout” button.


newsThe widespread success of digital publications has taken curation to a whole new interactive level and I believe that this is set to continue into 2015 with the creation of mini-digital newsrooms offering both mainstream and niche content to subscribers who, of course, will be sharing as they consume. Look out for opportunities that combine streaming video content and you’re on the right tracks.

Pinterest and Instagram will evolve

instagrampinterestPinterest and Instagram are establishing themselves as the ultimate B2C marketing tools, based on the power of imagery in instantly conveying brand sentiment. I see 2015 as the year in which both platforms evolve further and allow for deeper interaction with their follower base. Such evolution could include editing and responsive overlays that allow for inside app purchases.


FBWorkThis is very much a ‘wildcard’ prediction, as I do still have some doubts and much of what is being discussed is shrouded in rumour. However, given the research funding allowed by team Zuckerberg, I anticipate LinkedIn being given a run for their money in the months following its launch. LinkedIn does need some healthy competition so this may well benefit both users of FB@Work and LinkedIn.  My guess is that FB@Work will be invite-only upon launch to add to the hysteria and hype surrounding Facebook’s new baby.

Why the Fresh Produce Industry Needs to Embrace Twitter


What I aim to show the fresh produce industry is that, if used as it can and should be, Twitter is the most intelligent and powerful marketing tool out there and, what’s more, it’s free!

Those of you who attended my recent social media seminar for the FPC will know that I use people’s initial reactions to Twitter as a kind of IQ test. If you get it straight away you fail miserably. On the other hand, if you think it’s stupid and pointless you pass with flying colours! Because, let’s face it, who wants to read about what you had for breakfast or what colour socks you’re wearing?

Yes, on first-impressions Twitter seems stupid and, for many, it carries on being stupid if not used correctly. What I aim to show the fresh produce industry is that, if used as it can and should be, Twitter is the most intelligent and powerful marketing tool out there and, what’s more, it’s free!

So why is it that so much of the Fresh Produce industry has been slow to take up the reigns of social media? Well, it’s a traditional industry and, as everyone who’s seen Fiddler on the Roof will know, ‘Tradition’ is a hard thing to shake! Having said that, no industry understands the power of the crowd better than the fresh produce industry. For the growers, distributors and retailers, their very existence relies upon it so, for them, it’s the natural evolution of things – it just takes a little courage and a small leap of faith.

“But there just aren’t enough hours in the day” I hear you cry. True, but social media takes very little time if implemented correctly. In fact, my methods mean that you can create your very own social media brand show in as little as 30 minutes a day. Yes really!

So, if you’re interested in finding out more then please take a look at what the FPC has to offer and the response from my latest fresh produce related social media seminar. The courses are completely free to FPC members and are supported by downloadable publications that will take you by the hand and guide you step by step into a new and exciting social sphere of business potential.

I hope you take the step and I look forward to seeing you soon.