On April 16th we have our next Zoom meeting with the usual format giving everyone the opportunity of having a 1 minute pitch to tell us what they do, what they are up to and maybe who they are looking to do business with.
Then we have our short presentations from Olly and Matt – always useful and informative. I’m looking forward to finding out and reporting back later on what is being discussed.
In my experience, Case Studies are the single most effective piece of marketing – they are unique, compelling and have longevity.
Unfortunately, the Powerpoint presentation is too large to upload here (click on this link here to access it via the Nobleword website), so here are the edited highlights:
Interview your client first…then interview your customer
Know the message/USP for each Case Study and stick to it!
Remember the 5 W’s – Who, What, Where, When, Why
Ask open questions – you’re looking for the customer to be creative and emotive in order to create memorable content, e.g.
How did the product/service you received make you feel?
What 3 words would you use to describe the product/service
What challenge was your business facing…which the product/service helped you to overcome?
Catchy titles – think like a newspaper/magazine and draw your readers in
Pull-out quotes: break-up the text and help to isolate key USPs
Testimonial quotes: scatter these liberally!
Note that getting hold of the customer to approve the Case Study can be the most time-consuming part of the process…but it’s absolutely essential that they are comfortable with what is being sent out in their name.
The advantages of this stage of the process are:
Polish quotes: tell them you’ve reworded certain sections/quotes to make it flow better – as long as people know, they are almost always content to sound good
Time to rethink: often the customer gets off the phone with you and suddenly realises something they’ve left out, or a quote they’d like to add – this is the ideal time for a ‘second bite of the cherry’.
Sign off: you want the customer to agree that they’re happy with the Case Study, so that you’ve got an audit trail and a reference point if there are any issues further down the line (very unlikely, but I have known it!)
A professional pdf is something to be proud of…so don’t skimp on your Case Study at this stage – make it look fantastic!
Nobleword uses InDesign and graphic designers to create both online and hard print Case Studies.
For any more information, please contact Matt Wright at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Did you know that 81% of data breaches are due to poor passwords?
The most common passwords are not always that sophisticated according to research undertaken by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC):
123456 [23.2m victim accounts worldwide]
123456789 [7.7m – cunningly adding 3 numbers only makes this the 2nd most commonly hacked password!]
qwerty [3.8m – so letters aren’t that much safer than numbers…]
password [3.6m – ah the old classic – all lower case mind you!]
1111111 [3.1m – cunning…but not quite cunning enough]
Interestingly, the NCSC also published the 5 most common passwords involving premier league football team name (‘liverpool’ champions again with 0.28m), musicians (‘blink182′ 0.29m – never heard of ’em) and fictional characters (‘superman’ 0.33m easily defeated ‘batman’ 0.2m in this particular face-off).
Practise good password hygiene
“Recognising the passwords that are most likely to result in a successful account takeover is an important first step in helping people create a more secure online presence.”
Troy Hunt, international web security expert
Identify whether your password is weak: Troy Hunt’s list – Have I Been Pwned – can be used to check breached usernames and passwords.
Create a strong password: the NSCS recommends three random words.
Store passwords securely: this means not on a post-it note, but using professional software such as Password manager (as recommended by IT Trouble Free – this will only offer to fill in passwords for accredited sites) or other reputable programmes such as LastPass.
“Using hard-to-guess passwords is a strong first step and we recommend combining three random but memorable words. Be creative and use words memorable to you, so people can’t guess your password.”
Dr Ian Levy, NCSC Technical Director
The NSCS has published a paper on UK Cyber Security [see below] which is well worth a read if you’d like to educate yourself further about password protection.
Alternatively, call in the experts at IT Trouble Free and let them take the worry off your hands!
As ever was great to see the members even if it was in the virtual world.
We had a talk from Karen of Take One Media showing us some of the recent work they have done with some great examples of videos that show off businesses in different inventive ways, from an accountancy company that wants to show more about “who” they are as opposed to “what” they do.
We also had a great story from Charles of Longmore Solicitors showing an amusing legal story that highlighted what can happen from the most innocent of beginnings! His in depth grilling from the group on wills was also enlightening and we found out that a will should be reviewed every 5 years or when situations change – he also does this for FREE!
In these ever-changing times when social distancing and remote working have become the norm, the advantages of VAs (Virtual Assistants = online) over PAs (Personal Assistants = physical) has become even more pronounced.
As a reminder, here are 3 key benefits a VA can offer your business:
1. PAYG (Pay as You Go)
With cashflow and workflow proving more difficult to predict, a traditional PA represents a fixed cost and commitment for your business.
By comparison, VAs work flexibly as & when you require their services.
That means no recruitment, tax or National Insurance costs.
2. Social Distancing
The notion of a physical office for all employees was already being challenged pre-COVID 19.
In this ‘new world’, being able to work remotely and at a distance has become mandatory
VAs are accustomed to managing dynamic workflows and working from their own premises
3. Outsource & upskill
VAs usually have their own unique set of skills, aside from the usual word processing, spreadsheeting and presentation competencies; e.g. invoicing, expenses and purchase ledger management
Also, VAs are usually great networkers with an extensive book of contacts, so if there is a particular job you need, a VA should probably be your first port of call!
Having worked as a PA across a wide range of industries (financial, retail, pharmaceutical) I understand what businesspeople need and how to deliver it effectively.
There isn’t a one size fits all – everybody’s requirements and ways of working are different, which is where a VA such as myself fit in nicely!