We can’t believe it’s already over! After a second day of incredible sessions by some of the most inspiring women in digital, it’s safe to say that Digital Growth has been a truly empowering and information-packed two days. Today, we’ve learned everything from the journey taken by Enterprise Nation’s Emma Jones to build the UK’s most trust business support marketplace, to Debbie Clarke’s top tips for embracing a ‘possibility mindset’, and Shân Millie’s journey to becoming an accidental techie alongside other empowering and incredibly successful women in digital.
Here’s some of the most exciting session highlights (by no means all of them, trust us!) from the second day of Digital Growth. Remember, you can watch back all of these sessions in more detail along with all of the other fantastic sessions from Digital Women’s 2-day upskilling event on-demand .
Emma Jones – The Journey To Build The UK’s Most Trusted Business Support Marketplace
Emma Jones of Enterprise Nation delivered a fantastic session detailing her personal journey to becoming the founder of the UK’s most trusted business support marketplace. She started by reassuring us that you can be a non-tech person and still grow a tech business as she herself is living proof of. Twenty years ago Emma started her first business at the height of the dot com boom, a time when many businesses were disrupting and taking out the friction out of whole industries by going online. Then years later came Enterprise Nation, and the rest is history!
Using her own experience, Emma gave us three key takeaways to consider when starting up and running a successful business.
Focus on your sales. Knowing where your money is going to come from is critical to building a successful business, particularly for marketplaces. It takes a long time and is very expensive to build a marketplace as you have to build the market of buyers as well as building the market of suppliers, which both of course take time and money.
Have mentors. Mentorship has changed over the years; it doesn’t have to be the traditional individual ‘mentor’ helping with all aspects of your business. In today’s modern world, academics can take a careful look at how businesses built themselves and write texts to help others follow in their footsteps, and this is a new and incredibly valuable source of mentorship, particularly for non-techies operating businesses within the tech world.
The value of a company is whatever someone is prepared to pay for it. Even if you’re not interested in selling your business, it is worth running it as if you were. Thinking about how your business would look from the outside, for example from the perspective of someone wanting to acquire it, will allow you to keep key aspects of your business at the front of your mind. Most importantly, consider your financials (make sure you show profit and understand where your revenue is coming from), the happiness of your people (if anything, overcommunicate and make sure everyone knows the direction of the business as well as having transparency in their day to day job), and ensure good governance (for instance GDPR, the modern slavery act, etc.)
The final thoughts Emma left us with? Get comfortable with being uncomfortable, keep learning, and find your tribe!
Debbie Clark – Mind your Mindset – The Sky’s the Limit
Debbie’s positive and uplifting session was just what we needed today! She kicked off by mentioning her three tips for social media:
Don’t feel like you have to be on everything all the time
You don’t own any channels
The real work begins within
Number three, ‘the real work begins within’, was the subject of Debbie’s talk and she really hammered home the importance of working on ourselves, overcoming our own inner hurdles, and transforming our mindset into one that allows us to succeed. Among the name-drops included Carol Dweck, who told us to “love challenges, be intrigued by mistakes, enjoy effort and keep on learning”, and Victor Frankl who, in the face of the most severe suffering, professed that “the last of the human freedoms [is] to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way”.
Debbie also shared her own incredible story; after overcoming cancer and becoming a single mum before she turned 30, she changed her mindset and transformed her life by looking for the positives and seeing everyday as a new opportunity. That “possibility mindset”, or “the power of ‘not yet’”, was something she emphasised to her captivated listeners, encouraging us to leave opportunity for growth and take control over the way we respond in the face of challenges and external factors.
Of course, Debbie recognised that having this mindset all the time isn’t easy; it takes extraordinary willpower (the single most important factor for success), but willpower is something limited and ever-changing. To get around this, it’s so important to build habits that will help to support that positive growth mindset consistently and these include:
Environment – declutter your space, create space aligned to your goals, identify resources, identify your role models
Behaviour – morning routine, feel the love, use a habit tracker, reward yourself
Capabilities – overwhelmed – post its, task list, ask role models, outsource, do the courses
Belief – I can because/I can’t because, create balance (set your priorities), get clear on your values
Identity – I am statements, being the future you now, affirmations
And Debbie’s key takeaways? Stay curious, keep failing and learning, be kind to yourself, and remember that you are in control!
Shân Millie – The Accidental Techie
Shân delivered an insightful session into what drives her and other inspiring women to thrive in the digital world. She stressed the importance of finding our own purpose and identifying what drives us to succeed, as well as remembering that “your then or your now don’t define your next”. Once you’ve defined what drives you, you can turn those emotions and fears into something that actually works for you.
Shân then introduced us to the stories of three incredibly inspiring women: Professor Sue Black (OBE), founder of #techmums, Joy Buolamwini, founder of the Algorithmic Justice League, and Kate Bohn, an award-winning innovation evangelist, all of whom overcame challenges to thrive in the digital world. The stories of these women were enough to empower any professional woman to be digital-savvy, whether they are a techie or self-professed ‘non-techie’.
These stories also provided us with so many other lessons as women. For example, Shân noted that women need to be in it to win it if we want technology to deliver on equality and progress. Though others will want to and try to define us, we don’t have to live by those definitions, and though we all live with imposter syndrome, we do not have to live by it. Accidental techies and deliberate techies need each other more than ever in 2020 in order to find common ground and work together in business, otherwise innovation is just a buzzword, technology strategy is someone else’s job, and securing C-level buy-in for new partners/vendors is almost impossible.
How to Implement Digital Marketing Tactics – Jade Halstead
Jade gave a brilliant quickfire guide to implementing digital marketing tactics, including how to use Reddit and messenger bots in your strategy. Before delving into the marketing tactics to implement and how to get started though, Jade stressed the importance of making sure your business plan and goals are up to date first!
Starting off with content, Jade told us that all of our content should all be: adding value, given away for free, building a relationship with your audience (trust building), where your audience is (not the platform you like most), and solving their problems, not the problems you want to solve. Next, Jade discussed community management, which is the process of building an authentic community and is the difference between a strong relationship with your audience and a poor one. We also learnt about the importance of blogs, Pinterest, and of course, Reddit. Reddit can be used as a research tool; you can see what’s trending and what your potential clients are talking about, get involved in conversations, and offer your advice and support around your niche.
Next, Jade talked us through why you should build a messenger bot: firstly, ManyChat has an 80% open rate and 25% click through rate, while 1.3 billion people use Facebook Messenger daily…that’s a huge opportunity to connect with your audience! Depending on your niche, goals and business plan, you can also tailor your ManyChat strategy to work for you.
And finally, what about email marketing? Well, it works if you do it correctly and align your strategy. The three top tips Jade gave us for email marketing were:
Be human – use it to just communicate with your audience, guide them, and build a trusted relationship with them
Think about how you can automate your email marketing – set up flows and campaigns in one hit rather than sending an email every few days
Keep it simple – you don’t need lots of images and links
Piperis Filippaios – A Beginners’ Guide to Google My Business
Google My Business (GMB) is a free and easy-to-use tool for businesses and organisations to manage their online presence across Google, including Search and Maps. Piperis talked us through why GMB is such a great opportunity to give a customer more information about your business, provide effortless ways a customer can find you and/or get in contact, and showcase trust and credibility.
Piperis clicked off by explaining how and why to claim your business’ listing from the account you use; ultimately, you want to have it under your control to be able to optimise it. So how do you optimise it? Well, Piperis’ session clearly took us through each main feature of GMB and how it can be optimised (this is just a taster; for the full list, watch the full session via HeySummit):
Name, address, phone number (NAP) – ensure this information is correct, up to date, and exactly matches that on-site
Business category – be as exact as possible and choose categories that are as specific as possible
Business description – bring in your keyword research, however ensure you are reflecting the business in an honest and clear way
Photos – include good quality photos that reflect your business. Shockingly, businesses with photos on their listings receive 42% more requests for driving directions on Google Maps and 35% more click throughs to their websites than businesses without photos!
Reviews – encourage reviews and reply to them. Reviews act as a vote of confidence for other searchers when finding your listing, increase your business’ visibility in search results, and positive reviews are going to have a positive effect on potential customers when researching your business
Piperis’ final words? Make sure to keep your GMB listing clean, concise and informative while providing as much relevant detail, communication and value for your potential customers as possible.
And that’s all for now! We hope you’ve enjoyed Digital Growth Live and leave today feeling empowered, inspired, and upskilled. Don’t forget to let us know your favourite sessions from our 2-day event and connect and network with all of the fantastic speakers and attendees on social media!
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