Welcome to our second ‘Inspired’ column, where we bring you business advice and celebrate local success stories of women in business and enterprise. Every month, our readers ask their business questions and we’ll answer it the following month. If you’d like advice on growing your business, message us your question on Facebook or through our website. We’ll pick the best question to go in the following month’s column!
Using Facebook as a marketing tool
This month our burning business question is ‘How can my business build up Facebook followers?’ We asked the experts – business owners themselves – to get you the answers.
Louise Brogan of Social Bee NI, Marketer of the Year 2016, works with women entrepreneurs to market their business online.
Louise says ‘For many business owners starting out on social media, it can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking that the more followers you have, the merrier. It is far better to have 200 engaged followers on your Facebook page who have followed you because they are interested in what you have to offer, than it is to have 20,000 followers who are there because they once entered a competition to win a mini iPad.’
Aly Harte is a Belfast based artist and blogger, passionate about placing importance on the everyday.
Aly uses Facebook successfully to promote her business and says ‘Get really clear on who your target audience is. Think about what their interests are, where they eat, where they holiday, what they watch on tv. Yes! Facebook can help you target so specifically that in ads manager you can select the very box set on Netflix you know your audience love. An example of this is on own business. I am an artist with over eighty prints on my online store. I realised that the people who buy my landscape prints vary from those who buy my superhero prints. Therefore, a slight variation in interests in my ads manager means my work is in front of the right people’
Thanks so much to Louise and Aly for their insight and advice. We’d summarise their expert advice by saying – to make the most of your time on social media, make sure to stop, reflect and plan before you post!
Can Jayne Taggart help you to start your own business?
Have you got what it takes to set up your own business? Every month we meet women blazing a business trail in your local community. This month we were delighted to catch up with the inspirational Jayne Taggart, Chief Executive of the Causeway Enterprise Agency. Jayne is well known amongst female business owners for the amazing support she and her team offer to small business, so much so that she’s even been recognised by the Queen! Jayne’s networking events are legendary for the inspiration they offer to local businesswomen just like you. We asked Jayne to tell us more about her work inspiring local business
What is the Causeway Enterprise Agency all about?
We help people to realise their dream of starting in business for themselves. We offer a wraparound service – from business premises of all sizes, to startup finance, to networking events and practical business advice. We help want-to-be entrepreneurs to start and grow.
Our team at the Causeway Enterprise Agency really understands the needs of the startup business owner. When it comes to the needs of a startup, one size does not fit all. We know that women have different aspirations for their business, and we try to create an environment where women can be at their ease and can meet and learn from other like-minded female business owners.
You’re an inspiration to the many businesses that you support locally. What led you to your current role?
It’s hard to pinpoint the moment when I knew this was what I was cut out for! At school, I studied the subjects that I liked and I found myself drawn towards business. I started work at the Causeway Enterprise Agency after my postgrad in Marketing, and have grown with the organisation ever since. Right now, I think our biggest asset is our team. We are committed and flexible, and everyone takes real pride in the achievements of our client businesses.
For a new business startup, what three top tips can you offer?
- Follow your passion. You need resilience and tenacity to build and grow your business. When the going gets tough, you’ll need to feel a real passion and commitment for what it is that you do.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Someone else has always had the same problem that you’re experiencing, or has tried out the approach that you’re thinking of trying. Building up a support network will be one of the most important things that you can do.
- Network, network, network. Your network can be an important source of referrals to your business, and can also be a great source of positive ideas. Being in business for yourself can be lonely, so get connected and build up those relationships.