Why it’s Ok to ask for help

I don’t know if it’s an Irish thing or just a general human thing but I’ve noticed that one of the most difficult things us Entrepreneurs seem to struggle with is asking for help.

Asking for help and reaching out can actually be the best possible thing you can do.  No one likes to feel like they are being a burden or annoying someone but what makes you think you are being a burden? Did anyone actually say that? For example, say a colleague of yours comes in and burst into tears.  What do you do? You sit them down, get them a cuppa and ask is there anything you can do to make them feel better yes?  So why can’t others do the same for you?

helping

What we think asking for help means:

I’m a failure, I can’t cope on my own.

I shouldn’t have to ask for help am grand dealing with this myself.

I’m weak somehow

Other people will look down upon me if I ask for help.

If I ask for help it means that I might have to do something about the situation – FEAR of taking action and making the decision.

Are these valid reasons not to ask for help?  During this journey of mine (Life, entrepreneurship etc) I have learned that one of the most important things I have done has been to ask for help when I needed it.

Also, I’ve learned that If I worry too much about what people think, I won’t get very far!!

success bill

Why it’s OK To ask for help:

1. You might be helping someone else out by asking – The person you call or reach out to might be having a bad day themselves and be wondering what is it all about?  The fact that you have asked them to help you means you value them and respect their opinions and admire them. This makes the person feel useful and a valuable member of the community. So you have probably just made their day by reaching out!

2. The burden is shared….you feel you are not alone.

3. They will most likely identify with what you are going through and have already found a solution to that particular issue so they will be able to share how they overcame it.. It will make them realize how far THEY have actually come.

4. When  you reach out you are actually showing that you are human and will gain respect from the person who you reach out to.  They will remember you and keep an eye out for opportunities as you are on their radar.

5. The problem you are having might actually be something that can be dealt with easily in some way you don’t know about, but the person you reach out to might have a solution for you e.g. it could be just something as simple as introducing to you the correct person.   Or letting you know about a new grant that is available. They might even be able to help you fill in the forms.

All of the above has happened to me when I reached out to another leader or Entrepreneur and said ‘You know what, I’m really struggling here, am having a really bad day’.

TEA AND HEALTH DEBATE

Sometimes just a cup of tea and a chat is all it takes.  So don’t let pride or worry stand in your way. Reach out, ask for help and learn …..I am learning every day. If I didn’t reach out to others I wouldn’t know half the stuff I know now!

 

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The Tweet, the Book, the Goddess and the Sellout

Tweet Your Way to SuccessThe release of Samantha Kelly’s début title ‘Tweet Your Way To Success’ has been a triumph for the Irish business woman, also known as the Tweeting Goddess, and now she’s using another new business tool to take the next step.

The book describes her story of how she went from 0 to 14,000 followers on Twitter and the journey from lone parent to a highly influential leader in her field, with a win in “Dragons’ Den” along the way. In the book there is a beginner’s guide to Twitter, tips on building relationships, and encouraging people to reach out and help others. The book also includes the inspiring and heart-warming stories of other people Samantha has met on her journey as the founder of voluntary groups #Irishbizparty and the Women’s Inspire Network, as well as host of her own radio show.

But “Tweet Your Way to Success” is more than a business manual.  Samantha’s own personal journey through addiction and lone parenthood to being the influencer and trailblazer she is today, through determination, talent and an innate sense of good business practice, as well as the need to survive and be a great mother to her two daughters.

Now it is time for her to listen to her own advice and reach out for help.  Not only did her book sell out at her recent conference it is now stocked on Amazon. To meet this demand and get copies into bookstores, 500 more copies need to be printed. Using crowd funding, another new business tool, Samantha says: “It’s a real chicken and egg scenario. I am only building up my business of advising others in how to be successful, and can’t afford to get another print run at the moment! However,  lots of people are buying and reviewing on Amazon, so it would be nice to be able to get the books into book shops to reach the audience that are not yet on Twitter.”

There are a couple of ways to pledge and perks are provided for those that do. A pledge of €15 will receive a signed copy of the book, and a pledge of €50 will receive a signed copy of the book as well as a mention on Samantha’s radio show ‘Goddess Hour, Twitter support (campaign?), and a free space on one of her Twitter workshops.

Pledges can be made at Indiegogo.com.  Tweet Your Way to Success by Samantha Kelly is available to purchase now from Kissed Off Creations and Amazon.

 

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What is it like to live with an Entrepreneur?

The results of our survey! So…..what IS it like to live with an Entrepreneur?

As an Entrepreneur we can spend so much time focusing on the business, striving to be successful and working that we often forget that there is a partner in the background watching us wear ourselves down, watching us deal with disappointments and wondering how your day is going.

I decided to do a survey to see what exactly is it like for the Other Half of this relationship.   As Entrepreneurs we sometimes think they don’t understand us, or what we are trying to do, but behind every great Entrepreneur is either a Wonderful supportive Woman or Man without whom we just couldn’t do it at all!!

So here are the results for you and some of the comments:

It seems to be the biggest challenge facing someone who lives with an Entrepreneur is getting your time.  TIME…..that big four letter word…..bit like LOVE ..that other four letter word.  They want time with us because they love us.   Not because they want to annoy us.  They have needs too and would love some of our attention according to the survey results.

working couple

And they have their own fears too. Like where is the next bit of income going to come from? Will you land that big contract? And if you don’t what mood will you be in?  Things to bear in mind…..what it’s like for your significant other.

living with

If you would change one thing about living with an Entrepreneur what would it be:

1.  Having more time together

2. That She would get a ‘Real’ job. (Hmmm  I hate it when my other half says this)

3.  When things don’t go according to her plan…the self doubt comes into play..she’s more than capable but after losing a business due to the recession definitely has lower self confidence

4.  A stable income every month (lack of)

5. No phone!

6. Sex life

7. Turn off the Wi Fi at night

8. Having more time to keep up with day to day life…housework etc

9. Stricter working hours–no checking google analytics right before bed time!

10. The entrepreneur not being financially dependent on me

What do you LOVE about Living with an Entrepreneur?

1. Their Drive

2. Their Bravery

3. No Two days are the same!

4. The excitement when they make progress

rabotweeties

5.  The sheer enthusiasm & determination. She was born to do this – and I get to watch the football in peace for 4 weeks!

6. Nothing (2 respondents said this)

7.  He is not absolutely bored or angry about his job, He is like more alive than ever

8.  Their mad ideas

9.  Great to see him happy when deals work out and the odd perk of getting home early or going into work a bit late!

10. Seeing him excited and loving the challenge

So after all those answers it seems evident that some of us work so hard that we forget that we have a loved one in the background watching us go through the Roller Coaster of the highs and Lows.  Someone who wants our Time….and Love.

 

 

 

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Stop linking Facebook to Twitter!

People often say to me, ‘Oh I love Facebook and find it great for business, but Twitter just doesn’t work for me.’ So I go and look at their Twitter account and see……FACEBOOK LINKS to their Twitter account and that’s it! Not a single tweet or interaction.  Er….well Twitter won’t work for you so.

Twitter is ALL about building relationships and interacting with others.  People are more likely to buy or use the service of an SME they interact with on Twitter!

I know some of you are not aware of this so that is why I’ve done this blog post.  If no one tells you then how are you supposed to know right?

There are still a lot of businesses posting links from their Facebook page to Twitter.  (Even big businesses by the way)  So I thought I should write about why I never ever ever click on these links. 

As a person who uses Twitter a lot, what does lots of Facebook links to Twitter say to me? 

‘I want to be on Social Media with my business but I just don’t have time to interact with any of you on Twitter, but sure here are some things for you to look at. Sure it’ll be grand.’

lazy employee

How would you feel as a potential customer looking at a load of Facebook posts to Twitter?

I will not follow you or Retweet you.

I know that if I ask you a question or interact with you the chances are you aren’t going to reply to me quickly.

It makes the Twitter account holder look a teeny bit lazy even.

That is just what I think when I see an account with JUST Facebook links.  Some accounts have a mixture which isn’t as obvious but I still won’t click on the link from Facebook. If I want to click on Facebook I will be on Facebook. But I like Twitter so Tweet me instead!  Unfortunately I see there are a lot of big businesses still doing just this.

Now I know that there might be a lot of you out there who aren’t aware of this so this blog post is just to give you a heads up. We are all learning every day so just undo your ‘link FB to Twitter’ on your Facebook page.

Log in to your Facebook and use this   Unlink the Twitter going from Facebook and Hey presto you are now keeping platforms separate.

Twitter is such a powerful platform for business.  Learn how to use it effectively by coming to my workshop on July 23 in Dublin! You can book here 

 

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Leader creates buzz on #irishbizparty

We had a great night last night on #irishbizparty!  Proof that networking really works….the perfect example: I met Niall at the Student Summit, we were both speakers at the event and even had to sit beside each other! So I introduced myself and made the connection. The important thing here was that now I was on his radar and he had put a face to the name.  So although I always recommend networking online, it is SO important get out there and follow up with a coffee or networking event and make sure you meet up with others offline afterwards.  Nurture the relationship, keep it going and stay in people’s heads.

So with Niall’s book launch coming up, what better way to help promote it then to get online using twitter and the best Twitter hashtag for SMEs in Ireland! #irishbizparty

Irishbizparty is a hashtag where you can come on and promote your business and connect with other SMEs on Twitter. It takes place every Wednesday night from 9-11pm.  We call it ‘Networking in your PJs’.

niall harbison

Niall Harbison was launching his book ‘Getting Sh#t Done’ (See here) So he kindly came along and offered to do Q&A with us. What an amazing experience it was! Now I am used to keeping up with the #irishbizparty hashtag but Niall was amazed at how fast it was going and was very surprised to see so many Entrepreneurs in one place at the same time!  He was great, he gave lots of mentions to some of the businesses that caught his eye and even did RTs for us! He also set up a live stream so that he could talk to them and interact that way.

He was particularly impressed with Linda of Designed for you even though he admitted he hadn’t a clue about fashion! And he gave tickets away to his launch and a copy of his book to Lynda and Rowena from VisualSense.ie 

Having someone like Niall on the hashtag encouraging SMEs and giving advice was a real boost for small business owners who took part.  Niall really enjoyed it too! There was a real buzz and positive vibe going.

 · 

Wow that was hectic and fun!!!

We also have Radio Active doing a live show during the hashtag so they give mentions to businesses and even play requests during irishbizparty. Tune into them here from 9-11pm on Wednesday nights so you can party while you tweet!

tune in

It was great to see so many people online at the same time and Thanks so much to Niall for coming along and joining in.  Think we might get some more leaders to do the same in future! (If you are a leader in your field and  interested in getting involved, email me Tweetinggoddess@gmail.com or give me a call 086 1688743)

Click here to see the stats from Last night!

You just never know who we might have on next…..

If you have something to promote e.g. an event or offer and want a chance to be in front of hundreds of SMEs at the same time and make some real connections,  contact me for info on what I can do to help!

 

 

 

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My Top Tips for Using Twitter!

Twitter has really changed my life….before Twitter I was lonely, felt unconnected and had lost a lot of confidence. But one day when my sister introduced me to twitter because I had a business, I embraced this new world and started to make new friends from all over the world.  I became really good at it, took to it like a duck to water!  And so now I have put together some tips just for you.

1. When you create your account, your username should be similar to your brand e.g. I am @Tweetinggoddess on Twitter and that is the name of my buisness!  That way, every time you tweet something, your brand is also coming up!

2, Start by following people who would be interested in what you do! For example if you are a chef and blog about food, follow people who love to cook, or who write about food! journalists are always good ones to follow I find. Or check out #foodies (this # symbol highlights groups or popular topics on twitter at the moment so always check your ‘trending subjects and see what is popular today!

3. Also, follow people or friends who you know are already on twitter and who have a reputation for Re-tweeting or supporting the work that you are doing.

4. Tweet interesting tweets, If it is a beautiful morning where you are, say it!! If you come across as positive, people will gravitate towards you. Tweet about what you do e.g. if you are a chef say something like ‘We are looking forward to cooking our new prawn special today, juicy prawns so fresh from the market!’ Get people’s attention.

5. Tweet about some personal stuff too, like if your daughter loses her tooth, say that you have the tooth fairy coming! I gaurantee you will get replies to that one, because others can identify with it. If there is something in the news, comment on it

6. Read the tweets of those who you are following and if you see something that you feel your own followers would like, then Re-tweet it! The person who put the tweet up will instantly get a notification that you have done this, so you are already getting attention from them and they will most likely RT you when you need one.

7. When commenting on things that are in the news, don’t get too controversial. You want to attract positive people who will support you not start arguing with you! Also if people are challenging you, this will be noticed by others and your brand will be associated with arguing….even if you are right, just stop commenting and leave the conversation.

8. If you wish to comment on something or say things a little more personal, use the DM or direct message section. This way only you or the other person will see it.

9. Interact Interact Interact…..for example, if you see someone is having a bad day, ask them about it, or just simply say. ‘Aw sorry to hear you are having a hard time, sending you a hug’ or something like that. (Ok Lads, I know you won’t be saying that but something similar would be something like ‘hang in there’ or ‘tomorrow is a new day). This makes the person feel like you care and makes them feel less lonely and understood. Believe me, there are a lot of people out there that just want to be heard.

10. Tweet!!! It is as simple as that!! I tweet in the morning and at lunchtime, then in the afternoons I check in to see what is happening…There are lots of Mums on Twitter in the mornings I’ve noticed and a very active group on twitter in the evenings so I tweet a lot when the kids go to bed.

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photography-fat-twitter-bird-image9169757

You will get to know which groups will be where, the more you interact and tweet. I do most of my tweeting in the evenings because to be honest I don’t have much of a social life as I am separated with two children, so twitter is now my social life!  But I can honestly say that 4 of my best friends I actually met on twitter!! So if you see #Tweetups being advertised, do go along to them. (These are meet ups for people on twitter so you actually get to meet the people you are tweeting with)

All of these tips are just how I use twitter. I am sure there are many more formal ways, but this is just how I use it. The most important things for me are interact, interact, interact and Engage, Engage, Engage!!

No one is going to be interested in what you have got to say, if you aren’t interested in them! Be genuine also, People can sense when someone is a bit false or insincere and prefer honesty. I tend to mix my business tweets with some personal stuff that is going on, and I also use humour a lot.

So what are you waiting for? There is a whole new world on Twitter waiting to meet you!

Sam x

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Offering hope at a relaxed, positive conference

Well, what a day it was.  We had a wonderful day in Whites of Wexford for the 2nd Irishbizparty conference!

Thank you to:

Castle Print  The amazing printing of the brochure, name badges etc.

Whites of Wexford (Venue and delcious food)

Holos Skincare from Nature (gorgeous goody bags)

Bridget Atkinson Accountants (our fab mugs for our tea to remind us to contact our accountants) Also Macks biz gifts who made the mugs!

Bq-2UmCIYAATny6

Premier Djs (sound)

Pinnacle Productions (video)

conf wex

Thank you to our speakers

Fred Karlsson Tony Ennis Liam O Connor Denis Coleman  Danielle Serpico  Jason O Reilly  and to Joanne Hession who dropped down to be on our panel.

jason wex

Thank you to all of our prize sponsors so many of you were really generous with prizes.  And Lizzie B  for the fun spot prizes also. Thanks to Paul Dunphy for Tweeting for us on the day.

Bq98CEhIYAEA6tZ

None of this would have been possible without our sponsors so please do give them a follow and spread the word about them.  Thanks to all of you who came along for making it all possible too! Without you we wouldn’t have had such a lovely positive vibe in the room. You were a great audience and the atmosphere came about because of you all helping each other and coming together like that.

Thanks to everyone for your support. And to all of you who bought my book, I hope it helps you on your Twitter journey!

castle brochure

Am not going to do it justice if I blog all about it  as Roz Kelly did a wonderful blog all about it here 

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Ten Pros and Cons of being an Entrepreneur

So you’ve decided to go out on your own.  You’ve sat down with your family and told them your plans.  You’ve told your boss and are ready to ride the roller coaster.

So what are the advantages:  

1. You are your own boss. You don’t have to take orders from anyone.  You decide when you work.

2. Whatever you earn is yours and you don’t have to give a percentage to your boss.

3. You’re responsible for whether you get sales in or not.  Your fate is in your hands

4. You aren’t relying on another department to get something done. You just do it.

success happy

5. You can work from home more now as lots of work can be done online so you usually won’t need an office.  Actually you won’t think of it as work sometimes as usually you are doing something you are passionate about and love doing what you do.

6.  You are in control…..and you get great satisfaction from being in control of your destiny.

7. Excitement – Being an entrepreneur is very exciting! You get a real buzz out of getting that contract or sale. A real high.  Trust me, it certainly isn’t boring!

8. Learning: You learn so much on your journey. Meet so many new people you probably never thought you would get to meet.

9. You get to do something you love and are passionate about.

10. You can put your own personal stamp on things. And you get great satisfaction from creating something that people want.

Disadvantages: 

1. Not enough hours in the day. You are the accountant, receptionist, customer service, counsellor, repair and maintenance person.  You can’t ‘pass the buck’

2. You work more than 40 hours a week (so you don’t have to end up working like a ‘normal’ 40 hour week person would do)!

3. You won’t have a regular wage for a while as you build up the business.

4. You  work from home……which also means that the kids can come in with some kind of drama during that really important conference call!

elevator success

5. Uncertainty and fear of failure can kick in.  This is where being part of a network who understand is so important.

6. If you have family, you might have to spend long hours or overnights away from them.  Planning this can be like planning a military operation!

7. You will find it hard to ‘switch off’ and youbetter get used to having a notebook beside your bed……those nights when at 2am you wake up with a great idea…(.or worry).

8. Your family and friends will be sick of hearing about your venture….be ready to lose a few ….but usually the positive and supportive ones are the best ones to have around you anyway!

9. Loneliness. Being an entrepreneur can be a lonely place.  That is why it is so important to join some groups that ‘get you’, your passion and drive.

10. You will need all your courage, determination and endless positivity to remain competitive and on the ball.

Thanks to Vanessa Mulhall, Sinead Mc Mahon, Aoife Tynan, Joanne Sweeney Burke, Helena Gilhooly, Lillian Courtney, Denis Coleman, Niamh Hogan, Ed Mc Cready. Aisling Roche all members of Irishbizparty who contributed to this. If you think of any more do comment below!  Do come along and meet us at the Irishbizparty conference June 25th you can book here 

 

 

 

 

 

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Press Release from Tweeting Goddess!

Tweet Your Way to Success

 

From 0 to 13.9k followers from her kitchen table and now Samantha Kelly (aka Tweeting Goddess) releases her first book. In the début title ‘Tweet Your Way To Success’ Samantha tells us how she started a business with no money, going from lone parent on social welfare to a highly influential leader in her field.There are sections on starting your own business, how to turn your business around, tips on  using social media and how to network and build on relationships. Samantha is a formerDragons Den applicant, most recently making her mark in social media through the creation of#Irishbizparty a place where Irish businesses can connect and network freely using both Twitter and Facebook.Tweet Your Way to Success by Samantha Kelly is available to purchase now from Kissed Off Creations for £7.99.

Samantha Kelly - Tweeting Goddess

Following the success of the first Irishbizparty conference which was held at the Green Isle hotel in Dublin last month, the brains behind this community Samantha Kelly is bringing the party to Wexford. “We have amazing speakers coming to share their stories and business tips with you so come along and get networking, learning and sharing your own stories in a Friendly and supportive environment”.

The Conference taking place in Wexford will feature talks from Jason O’ ReillyTony EnnisDanielle SerpicoManaging Director of Media Box & Digital Training Institute, Liam O Connor, and Denis Coleman.

The #Irishbizparty conference will be held at Whites of Wexford on the 25th June. There will be exhibition stands, surprises and also prizes along the way. It is a fantastic networking opportunity for any Irish Business or those thinking of starting their own business. Ticket’s are available now and can be booked - here 

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Press Release! Giving SMES a voice!

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I’ve just launched my first book! Acknowledgements

Well….I did it! My first book has just been launched! So if you want to know how I went from 0 to 13.8k followers then check it out! You can order it here 

tweet cover

Thank you to:

Gosh where do I start? Well first of all of course I want to thank my two beautiful daughters for 
their patience and understanding when I am working.  I am so proud of you both.  Thank you for 
believing in me and for the love and hugs.   Also a huge thank you to my partner Andy - Thank 
you for making me so happy and showing me the meaning of love. You are my rock and 
soulmate.  Also by the way,  without whom I wouldn’t be able to go to all those meetings and the 
house would be a mess! lol  
 
I’d like to thank my sister Roz who set me up on Twitter in the first place and has always been 
my best friend even through tough times before Twitter changed my life. 
My sister Rachel and her partner Audrey for putting me up when I had to go to Dublin for 
workshops and meetings!  
My brother David and my Mum for helping me out financially when I started my first business 
Funky Goddess. None of this would’ve been possible without their support. My Dad for teaching 
me to work hard but be kind ot others and help out when I can. Miss you so much.  
My sister Linda, brother Vinnie for understanding when I couldn’t make it to certain events due to 
workload and lack of funds. 
 
The fellowship. My wonderful friends who are also in recovery, thank you. 
 
Irishbizparty - This community is a wonderful positive community. The fact that everyone takes 
part every week is the reason it is so successful.  Thank you all for your support 
 
Locally here in Wexford, Thanks to Julie O Neill, George Lawlor, Tony Ennis and Fred Karlsson, 
Pat Mc Cormack, Damian Donlon, who listened and supported me when I couldn’t get any 
support starting off.  Thank you for believing in me. 
 
Bill Liao for being very patient and for having faith in me and telling me ‘You ARE good enough’  
 
My wonderful Twitter followers ….there are so many it’s impossible to include you all, so please 
don’t be offended if you’re not mentioned…..I love you all!! Special thanks to Barbara Scully, 
Maria Duffy, Norah B, Miriam Donohoe, Marissa Carter, Gareth O Connor, Paul Dunphy, Noel 
Cuddy, Joe Lawlor, Lilliwhiterose,  Sharon Lawless, Michelle Duffy. Susan Hayes, Chris Mc 
Gillycuddy, Linda Flynn, Aidan O Carroll, Jagdeen Saheens, Helena Tubridy, Linda Shackleford, 
Anita Whyte, Joanne Sweeney Burke, Fionnuala Mc Auley, Mark from Radio Active and Lyndon 
Wood who gave me a chance.   To all of my followers:  Some of your Tweets and messages 
have made all the difference to my life on Twitter especially during ‘Troll’ times.  
 
Thank you Dragons Den and RTE especially Alan Robinson who filmed ‘She’s the business’ and 
thanks to Independent.ie and Ailish O Hora for your support.  Also thank you Colm Hayes of 2fm 
who helped me by taking my call that day I launched Funky Goddess.  Getting on air can make 
such a difference to a start up.  Thank you also TV3 for having me on Boost my business. 
 Thank you to Natalie Ballard and Carol Faughnan who helped me put this book together. Carol I 
would be lost without you sometimes!!

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How to stay ahead of your competitors by using Twitter!

It’s simple really. So many businesses STILL haven’t copped on to how powerful Twitter is!   I was thinking after reading an article in the Journal.ie about one company taking 2 months to create a tweet It got me thinking… must do a little blog post about how to stay ahead of your competitors on Twitter.

First of all, if you have someone curating your Twitter account you need to be able to trust them to create tweets that get interaction and a response.  This means Retweets and feedback of some sort.  Pictures get Retweeted much more than Tweets without pictures so make sure they have plenty of pictures and content to work with.

If you are running the account yourself for your business here are some simple tips to help you:

Tweet about what you do.  Tell us your story …what do you do, how do you do it, show us your face – We want to connect with the human behind the business or the team.  Did one of the staff get engaged recently? Did they climb a mountain for charity? We want to see them!! We are so nosey…we want to support them and your business.

But ….What does this show? This shows that you care about your staff and you are  a good place to work.

Tweet nice pictures of your products. Or better still pictures of customers using your products or service.

Did you win an award recently? Can we see the photos?  We want to see what you wore, who was there,  the food even!!

If you are in the gardening business for example, create a blog. Give us some tips! Tweet these out so we get to know you as the expert in what you do! If you come across a giant bumble bee whilst doing the garden, take a picture and tweet it! Just like the @Wexfordgardener did!

bumble bee

You see, some of your competitors aren’t even on Twitter yet. So get ahead of them by putting up tips to help your customers. Target their customers. If your competitors aren’t tweeting, their customers will most likely follow you if you are putting up interesting content.  Put up pictures that will make them smile, interact and thus create loyalty.  People are more likely to buy from SMEs they interact with on Twitter than anyone else did you know that?

hashtags rts

Use Hashtags and Quotes to get Retweets!! This article by Dan Zarella shows us how much of a difference this can make to a business trying to get the word out there.

To stand out from your competitors if someone asks for example where is there a nice hotel in #wexford?  Make sure you are the hotel that replies first.  Keep an eye on the hashtag related to your industry.  Be consistent and tweet regularly so that you are the first business in peoples’ heads when they are asked to recommend someone.

Keep ahead of your competitors. Don’t worry if they copy you. (This WILL happen by the way)! Just be the best!!

competitor

 

 

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Look what I’ve been up to now!!

Well would you believe it? If you told me 6 years ago that I would have written a book about Twitter and starting a business I would’ve said you are just crazy!   Six years ago I was sitting at home caring for my two daughters, contemplating life and my life was unmanageable.

Since making a lot of changes in my life, I have found a whole new world on Social media and through starting my own business. I like to spread the positive message of assisting others and giving your time to help others even if it only means going for a cup of tea with someone to chat. There is always some way you can help someone out. Always.  I like to help others as when I started it was people who reached out to me and supported and listened to me that built my confidence and helped me to get to where I am today.

helping

So now is my chance to give something back. This is one of the reasons I started irishbizparty. I knew I wasn’t the only one out there who felt this way.  I was feeling lonely, frustrated and isolated due to lack of finance and help from the government etc so I started a movement where we all assist one another in business whatever way we can.

Now we have over 1,100 members on our irishbizparty Facebook group and over 7,000 followers on Twitter and an average of 700 businesses take part in the #irishbizparty hashtag every week!  We all know the road to success isn’t easy.  It is a roller Coaster but as Ronan Keating says: ‘Ya just gotta ride it’

success line

So from all of this I have now released my first ever book which is available for pre-order! Am so excited and scared and nervous all at the same time!!   So if you would like to find out a bit more about me, my tips and experiences then you can pre order my book here 

I would like to thank Natalie Ballard from Kissed off creations and Carol Faughnan for all their help in turning this dream into a reality for me.  I never thought I would be good enough….but as Bill Liao once said to me: ‘You ARE good enough!’  Thank you to all of my wonderful Twitter followers for your support

I am also organizing an Irishbizparty conference on June 25th here in Wexford. I have made the tickets affordable to start ups and SMEs so everyone can learn and be inspired.  You can book tickets here 

Just remember….Your Network is your Net worth.  And building relationships on Twitter, Interacting and engaging is the secret to Twitter working for you!

 

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My Top Ten Tips for using Twitter!

Twitter has really changed my life….before Twitter I was lonely, felt unconnected and had lost a lot of confidence. But one day when my sister introduced me to twitter because I had a business, I embraced this new world and started to make new friends from all over the world.  I became really good at it, took to it like a duck to water!  And so now I have put together some tips just for you.

1. When you create your account, your username should be similar to your brand e.g. I am @Tweetinggoddess on Twitter and that is the name of my buisness!  That way, every time you tweet something, your brand is also coming up!

2, Start by following people who would be interested in what you do! For example if you are a chef and blog about food, follow people who love to cook, or who write about food! journalists are always good ones to follow I find. Or check out #foodies (this # symbol highlights groups or popular topics on twitter at the moment so always check your ‘trending subjects and see what is popular today!

3. Also, follow people or friends who you know are already on twitter and who have a reputation for Re-tweeting or supporting the work that you are doing.

4. Tweet interesting tweets, If it is a beautiful morning where you are, say it!! If you come across as positive, people will gravitate towards you. Tweet about what you do e.g. if you are a chef say something like ‘We are looking forward to cooking our new prawn special today, juicy prawns so fresh from the market!’ Get people’s attention.

5. Tweet about some personal stuff too, like if your daughter loses her tooth, say that you have the tooth fairy coming! I gaurantee you will get replies to that one, because others can identify with it. If there is something in the news, comment on it

6. Read the tweets of those who you are following and if you see something that you feel your own followers would like, then Re-tweet it! The person who put the tweet up will instantly get a notification that you have done this, so you are already getting attention from them and they will most likely RT you when you need one.

7. When commenting on things that are in the news, don’t get too controversial. You want to attract positive people who will support you not start arguing with you! Also if people are challenging you, this will be noticed by others and your brand will be associated with arguing….even if you are right, just stop commenting and leave the conversation.

8. If you wish to comment on something or say things a little more personal, use the DM or direct message section. This way only you or the other person will see it.

9. Interact Interact Interact…..for example, if you see someone is having a bad day, ask them about it, or just simply say. ‘Aw sorry to hear you are having a hard time, sending you a hug’ or something like that. (Ok Lads, I know you won’t be saying that but something similar would be something like ‘hang in there’ or ‘tomorrow is a new day). This makes the person feel like you care and makes them feel less lonely and understood. Believe me, there are a lot of people out there that just want to be heard.

10. Tweet!!! It is as simple as that!! I tweet in the morning and at lunchtime, then in the afternoons I check in to see what is happening…There are lots of Mums on Twitter in the mornings I’ve noticed and a very active group on twitter in the evenings so I tweet a lot when the kids go to bed.

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photography-fat-twitter-bird-image9169757

You will get to know which groups will be where, the more you interact and tweet. I do most of my tweeting in the evenings because to be honest I don’t have much of a social life as I am separated with two children, so twitter is now my social life!  But I can honestly say that 4 of my best friends I actually met on twitter!! So if you see #Tweetups being advertised, do go along to them. (These are meet ups for people on twitter so you actually get to meet the people you are tweeting with)

All of these tips are just how I use twitter. I am sure there are many more formal ways, but this is just how I use it. The most important things for me are interact, interact, interact and Engage, Engage, Engage!!

No one is going to be interested in what you have got to say, if you aren’t interested in them! Be genuine also, People can sense when someone is a bit false or insincere and prefer honesty. I tend to mix my business tweets with some personal stuff that is going on, and I also use humour a lot.

So what are you waiting for? There is a whole new world on Twitter waiting to meet you!

Sam x

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Twitter Lingo and what it means

Twitter lingo and what it means

Twitter lingo and what it means

TOP TERMS YOU MUST KNOW WHEN YOU START ON TWITTER!

  • Hashtag - A hashtag or # is used to categorize topics or subjects of interest on twitter. For example if you are watching #Gameofthrones search for this hashtag and you will see all tweets that mention the program. You can join in the conversation by following the hashtag. You just say what you have to say…and then put #gameofthrones (your tweet will appear in the stream)
  • RT - This means Retweet – If someone says something that you think will be of interest to your followers then you can Retweet it to them. (A bit like forwarding an email) If you share something valuable (or need word spread about something you can ask for a RT) although it is better to get a RT without asking.
  • FF - #FollowFriday – This is a popular hashtag that you can use to recommend users to your own followers.
  • DM - Direct message. You can send messages privately to someone who is following you!
  • Tweetup - a ‘real world’ meeting of people who are on Twitter. (I highly recommend these tweet ups! It is so much fun putting a face to a name in the virtual world. They are almost always the way you expect them to be. (This goes for idiots and bores on twitter also though)! You will probably find that you aren’t following them….can make for awkward conversations.
  • Twitterati - Celebrity tweeters or well known A list tweeters.
  • Peeps/Tweeps - people on twitter!
  • Lurker: Someone who is always reading tweets and keeping an eye on things but doesn’t tweet much themselves. I have met lots of them! They seem to know everything that is going on, but don’t like to get involved. (or sometimes they are just shy)

WHAT ELSE?

You are on twitter and you see the top trends on the left hand side. What does this mean?

Well, these topics are the most popular topics right now on Twitter

 

For trending topics you will usually find out about big events that are going on in the world or active discussions. Click on them to see.
For trending topics you will usually find out about big events that are going on in the world or active discussions. Click on them to see.

You can change the location on trending topics. Mine are set to ‘Ireland’ as you can see. But if you want to see what is the most popular in Brazil you can do that or just see worldwide trends. Just click on ‘Change’

 

WHO DO I FOLLOW – WHAT DOES IT MEAN WHEN I FOLLOW SOMEONE?

A follower is someone that follows you on Twitter. This does not mean you have to follow them back - a person can follow you without you following them. However, it’s best if you follow your followers back, this way you can both engage with one another.  People like to know that you are interested in what they have to tweet about.

If someone is annoying you, Just ‘Unfollow’ or  if they are being abusive ‘block’ them.  (Just click on their profile, see where it says ‘following’ arrow down and you will see ‘block’

Twitter is fun so keep it as fun and relaxed as possible for yourself.   Go on then, enjoy!

 

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Time for some Time out! #Entrepreneurs

I had some day today! First of all my day started with a phone call from a special language school that I had applied for telling me that my hearing impaired daughter didn’t have the criteria to earn herself a place in their school.  There are only 7 places so it is a bit annoying anyway but to find out that she doesn’t fit ‘The criteria’ it kinda threw me a little.  Even though I stopped and had a cuppa and a think, sometimes it’s difficult to get back into the swing of things.


abi and me

People often tell me to keep my personal life private and just tweet about work related stuff but that is why people follow me. I let them in a little into what is going on with me.  My Daughter Abi is 7 and I often support charities to do with Special needs and anything to do with Diabetes as my other Daughter is diabetic type 1.  As I have a lot of followers I feel it is only right to do something useful and help spread the word when they need help and a RT can make all the difference to charities when raising funds etc.

But today I just put a tweet out that I was annoyed at the lack of space in the language school and I got a message from a lady in Galway who told me that she would love to give me a ring about it.  So Rine rang me and told me that she has started a business called Activate Speech 

It turns out she is a speech and language therapist  with 30yrs experience working with both children and adults who have communication problems. She designed packs and workbooks because over the years parents were always asking where could they get resources to work on at home. They are suitable for parents, teachers and therapists. 
 Parents can work on speech and language while the child is waiting for  therapy as the waiting lists are so long and resources are constantly being cut. They can sit down in the comfort of home/school and feel they are doing something in the meantime.

I couldn’t get over the kindness of her speaking to me on the phone and she offered to send me some packs to help me with Abi’s language.  Now that is kindness, compassion and networking all in one. Because now I will certainly recommend others to check her out. I am writing this blog post about her and it also shows that sometimes even though I help a lot of people out, I too need a little help sometimes.

I did my day’s work between school runs, making dinner etc but to be honest I really needed a big hug and time with my daughters.  So I’ve made a decision.  I have been working really hard lately so I am going to give the girls a day off school and take them into town to buy new shoes and have some lunch and maybe catch a movie. If it’s a nice day we will go to the park.

Time out is something I need right now because if I don’t take it, the business and what I do won’t be 100% and as most entrepreneurs will know, we like to do things 100% properly.  So am off to enjoy my day with the girls and get back on track rested and ready to rock again on Wednesday!

Thank you Rine you made my day! Yet another reason to be on Twitter!  You can connect with Rine on @Activatespeech 

 

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The dark side of Twitter

I would be lying if I didn’t let you all know that there is a dark side to Twitter. Because everything happens so fast and people are quick to jump on the bandwagon this can work both ways.  There is a dark side and there are horrible, toxic people out there (just like in real life)

On the internet, troll is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people,  by posting messages in an online community (such as a forum, or blog) with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.   (source- Wikipedia definition)

I have many experiences of this.  They didn’t really start until I had reached over 5,000 followers.  And it was when I was starting to do well.  They have said things which initially upset me and it actually made me lose sleep too.  I couldn’t understand why these ‘people’ were being so cruel.  But with Trolls there is no logic and they have no values or reasons for doing these things.  So there is no intelligent way of engaging with them.

My job and why I do it has been slagged off. (Not linking my name directly of course) I have been called a con artist (as I charge people to run their twitter accounts – which lots of agencies do) I was just an easy target as I was one Woman on my own.   Even the Irishbizparty hashtag has been slagged off and not by just anyone, by people who are actually well known with lots of followers! (mind you, the actual hashtag wasn’t tagged in the tweet of course)

I say, if you haven’t got something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.

My advice is BLOCK and IGNORE.  You can also report abuse to Twitter – Go to your settings and click on ‘help’ there are lots of sections there such as ‘Policies and Violations’ where you can report users for abuse or impersonations etc.   See here 

Some of you might remember the #SlaneGirl hashtag which was trending in Ireland. Well I saw the hashtag trending, so clicked but once I realized what was going on I decided I wouldn’t click on the ‘photos’ just as my way of doing the honorable thing.  If I clicked on the photo I felt I would be guilty of abusing this lady’s dignity.  But then I realized, the fact that I clicked on the hashtag does that make me guilty as everyone else?  I was so nosey I had to see what it was all about. Makes you think eh?

Basically I think what happened (not sure cos I didn’t continue to read or click on the pics) was there was a girl apparently giving oral sex to a man or men at a recent concert and photos were taken that were shared all over the internet.  Now don’t get me wrong, I am not a prude or innocent in any way I can assure you, but I noticed that the main hashtag that was trending was #SlaneGirl ….so what happened to the man/men who also took part in the act?

I even feel that writing about this is perhaps giving it attention that makes me guilty of ‘getting involved in some way’ but I just wanted to point out that although Twitter is wonderful in so many ways, there is a dark side. There are horrible people out there who really don’t think before they tweet. They knock people and slag people off without thinking about the person on the receiving end of their words.

Having been targeted by Trolls myself and even bullied in school I know what it feels like. And although this young lady did what she did and was unfortunate that her photo was taken, can you imagine the shame she might be feeling now? We all make mistakes, I challenge anyone to truthfully tell me that they have never ever had a regret in their life that made them feel ashamed or embarrassed.  This girl was just unlucky in that she lives in an era that everything is photographed & shared so quickly.  In my day, we didn’t even have mobiles!

I for one didn’t click on the photo as it really is none of my business and I hope she wasn’t  hurting too much over it. This is the side of twitter that can suck you in and it is easy to get involved in slagging matches.  I have to say I am guilty of it myself in the past.  Just wanted to say:

Think before you Tweet!

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Leadership and Kindness

“Webinar

IS KINDNESS AN ESSENTIAL TRAIT OF A LEADER?

During my journey into the Business world, I have met many Business leaders.  A lot of them had that ‘je ne sais quoi’ I noticed.  They would walk into a room and the place stands still…..or ….they sit quietly in the background taking everything in and noticing everything but stayed quiet.  There is a magnetic attraction (no, not that type of attraction)!!

The ones that stood out for me definitely had something ‘different’ about them….well I have finally put my finger on it.

kind leaders

Kindness and compassion.

Most leaders have something that makes them stand out from the rest.  Leaders usually take a risk by doing something different from others. Have great ideas and put them into practice. A leader will spot potential in an employee who might just need a little push or encouragement.  This patience and perseverence has kindness all over it. Like ‘giving someone a chance’.

Most leaders started from scratch. Were the ‘nerds’ in school, had to work their way to the top. Most leaders assist others to bring out their potential. I have certainly noticed this.

 

Leaders are flexible and ready for change.

Leaders communicate well and empower their employees to work to their best ability

Leaders have courage and patience.

Kindness is a virtue that I think is really important and I have seen a lot of leaders with this virtue recently.

leader

  • Leaders are mindful of the effect their actions will have on others.
  • Lead by example
  • Remove or decrease judgement of others as a motivational strategy.  This is a huge one!!
  • Are great Listeners. They actually Listen.
  • Assist others without expecting anything in return. This always comes back to them in some way anyway.
  • Humility has a place also. Acting aloof or above your employees does not make a good leader.
  • Being responsible and also handing out accolades when people deserve them is essential and shows kindness.

A kind leader will attract like minded employees who wish to learn and will be inspired to work towards the same common goal.

‘Given all we know about the need for kind, compassionate and empathetic leaders, and the apparently increasing toxic workplace, isn’t it time to value and recruit leaders that embrace and exhibit kindness and compassion?’

See more here

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/wired-success/201208/why-we-need-kind-and-compassionate-leaders

I took the last few lines from the above article in Pyschology today.

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What is a hashtag anyway?

I teach Twitter workshops and perhaps the most common question I get asked has to be ‘What is a hashtag anyway?’  So I decided to do a little blog all about hashtags and what they are for.

hashtag use

A hashtag is a word or phrase preceded by a # symbol to identify a particular topic or popular event that is taking place. e.g. If you see #Liverpool chances are there is a tweet chat going on about Liverpool or a big game on that folk are tweeting about.

See below for an example of hashtags that were ‘trending’ (most popular topics) one evening.

hibernian trending

 

The most popular hashtag was Hibernian Training as we were holding a competition on#irishbizparty that night. But see that if you click on #Juniorcert most likely this was because the Junior Cert results were out the next day and people were chatting about this.

So, if you wanted to post about the Late late show, you would include #Latelate  in your tweet to join the conversation. Click on a hashtag to see all the posts that mention the subject in real time

How can hashtags help me in business?

Use relevant hashtags to your business: See what hashtags other businesses in your field are using. If you’re promoting a wedding product I would use #Bridal #Wedding #Bride for example.  I bet if you put #Bridal in the search box you will find lots of others who are in your industry. You should follow some of these users and they could become allies especially if you are doing wedding stationery and they are doing gowns!

There are popular hashtags used by businesses also. For example #Weddinghour is on from 9-10pm and is very popular with all bridal and wedding suppliers. Follow @Weddinghour for more info.

Daily hashtags in use which help promote Business:

#FPSBS @Teamfreddiepig

#Purplebiz @Purpledognet

#Bizitalk @Bizitalk

#Tweeturbiz @Tweeturbizuk

#Womaninbiz #Wineoclock - @AwardingWomen

Weekly hashtags/Tweet chats

#Irishbizparty - @irishbizparty – Every Wednesday night from 9-11pm GMT A #Starbiz is selected each week also.  The Starbiz gets to host the hashtag the following week! They also win a mug from @Clubcolours_ie

#Twitterbrothers - @Tweeturbizuk – Mon night 9-10pm

#Mumzinbiz - @Lavenderbabies – Mon 8-9pm

#Twittersisters - Every Thursday 8.30 -9.30 pm

#Tweetursis – Tues 9pm

#Britishbizparty Every Monday 9pm (new)

#Galwayhour #Donegalhour – New hashtags….keep an eye out for them.

#GreenIre Follow @Shersustainable for more info 

Competitions:

@Theopaphitis #SBS - Between 5 -7.30 Every Sunday evening. Theo Re Tweets his favorite 6 entries! Just tweet what you do using @Theopaphitis and put #SBS in the tweet!

@Jacqueline_gold #Wow - Between 1 and 3pm every Wednesday just tweet using Jacqueline’s name and the hashtag #WOW – She will choose her favorite 3 businesses!

 

There are lots and lots of others! So if you see a hashtag being used in a tweet, click on it and check it out. There are lots of funny ones that go around too, so keep an eye out and join in!

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