About Me

So, where to start…

Creative  minded. Spiritually inclined. 30 Something…

I was born and brought up in the city of London but I relocated to Leicester (for love) back in 2016. 

A Psychology graduate who in my early career worked predominantly in schools and in the community to empower and offer support to people with disabilities, Digital Marketing found me back in 2009, when I least expected it, and I have been creating content (See my Blog Post ‘5 Things you didn’t know about me) and marketing it online ever since.

In London, my Digital Marketing role involved working for large retail brands with extensive funds, so when I moved to Leicester, my attention moved to those with smaller budgets.

Spending time with a variety of businesses and hearing about the challenges that they face and then encouraging and motivating them to find creative solutions to their Marketing blocks is what drives me. My passion for Digital Marketing is based on the theory that ‘You don’t need to be a big brand to succeed in business, you just need to be a little creative and think outside the box’ and thats where I come in! 

Since leaving my full time job, I have conducted a number of 1:1 Coaching sessions (See my Blog Post ‘1:1 Coaching, Ruby & Fi, Leicester) and small group workshops, which was actually more like fun (See my Blog Post: Social Media Work(Fun)shop’)

Ok enough about me…

But if you are itching to learn more, you can find out about my professional background (It’s pretty interesting) via LinkedIn here. And if you want to step into my personal life, check out the Instagram page located in the menu and follow me @thoughtsmarketinglifestyle

For questions or enquiries, email me on renuravalia@gmail.com for more information.

 

Free Social Media Apps I love!

There are a few apps I absolutely love to use on a regular basis, these really help me to create my Social Media posts and also help me to organise my feed, below are three of them that I believe are 100% worth downloading and playing around with.

  1. Planoly Absolutely love Planoly, this app allows you to plan, manage and schedule your Instagram posts. I use the free version which allows you a limited amount of uploads each month and 1 user but as I grow, I would 100% pay for this app. It is brilliant! Alternative app: Later
  2. Adobe Spark – My second favourite app and great if you are in the service industry like me. I use this to create my own image content which allows me to keep my content unique and fun. Alternative app: Canva
  3. Moldiv – Moldiv is another firm fav! For my business, I choose not to do collages but if you are a brand that sells multi products, moldiv is really handy photo editor app and something I used when I worked for my last employer.

3 Social Media Content Ideas

When I conduct a session one of the things I always focus on is content ideas, I constantly  find people getting stuck with what to post and my job is to be the fly on the wall and give them some inspiration, I often use themes to base content plans around as I feel this helps give some clear direction.

Here are 3 examples of things you could be posting from my own Instagram account. Follow me here for lots more content inspiration and social media tips –  https://www.instagram.com/thoughtsmarketinglifestyle/ 

  1. ABOUT YOURSELF – whether your a brand or an individual, this is something that helps people to learn more about you!
    Screen Shot 2018-11-21 at 17.36.55

  2. MOTIVATIONAL QUOTES – who doesn’t love a bit of motivation
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  3. EVENTS – If you are attending relevant events then what better place to show case them then on your Social Media 

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1:1 Coaching, The Pretty Box London

Anila Ahmed founded luxury gift box company The Pretty Box in 2016 and came to me looking for some direction. The areas she wanted to focus on were as follows:

How to create a proven social media strategy?
How to build a following?
How to build a blog to support the business?

When a client comes to me with clear goals, it makes it a lot easier to tailor the session. We looked at primarily at Instagram. The session included tips on how to grow brand awareness and content inspiration (Including Instagram & Blog ideas). Another area we covered extensively is how to use Instagram Stories for brands. We also spent a little time looking at the website content and best practice.

Anilas’ feedback is below:

‘I found the 1to1 session really helpful, it gave me much needed clarity, motivation and a plan of action going forward.  There is so much to do when running your own business, Renu really helped me to prioritise what to focus on.  Thanks so much will definitely be recommending your sessions to others.’

About 1:1 Coaching

Each session and content is tailored around the individuals needs giving a really bespoke service. I cover a number of Digital Marketing services including Social Media, Blog Inspiration, Content Planning, SEO and Marketing Strategy. The sessions have been created to be affordable with maximum value. Whether its a skype call you need or face to face interaction, why not get in touch to find out more. Contact me on renuravalia@gmail.com to find out more.

4 Business Tips every entrepreneur should learn

A few weeks ago, I took to the road to attend an event in Loughborough hosted by the Leicestershire & Rutland Property & Lifestyle magazine The Whistle. The talk was centred around ‘Building a brand in a Social World’ and featured three entrepreneurs talking about their brands: Made in Chelsea celebrity Jamie Laing & his business partner Ed Williams discussing their confectionary brand Candy Kittens. Owner of local Leicester based clothing brand Just Hype Liam Green & Peter Watson, public speaker & owner of Digital Marketing Agency Distract.

When I lived in London, I rarely attended events like this but since working for myself, they drive me and inspire me, so I am always excited to see what advice I can get from other entrepreneurs. The event was brilliant and very insightful (it also included free Pizza & drinks) and left me with quite a bit of food for thought (Literally). Although I can’t recreate every aspect of the fantastic event, I did want to share a few business tips from the evening with you all. So here goes…

‘Keep lots of lists’ – Liam Green

When Just Hype owner was asked how he manages his time, his advice was to keep lots of lists. It sounds pretty simple but when you are running your own business, everything becomes a priority so its important to keep lists to avoid getting overwhelmed.

Follow Just Hype on Instagram here
Follow entrepreneur Liam Green here

‘Talk about what you are going to do because people will slowly understand your brand’ – Jamie Laing

Before Candy Kittens launched, Jamie had already visualised where the brand would go and was talking about it like it already existed. The more you talk about your brand, the more people will be able to connect to it and understand it. I have realised this through personal experience too, it’s ultimately about believing in the brand.

Follow Candy Kittens on Instagram here 
Follow entrepreneur Jamie Laing here

 

‘If you help someone, they will buy from you. If you sell to them, they will ignore you’ – Peter Watson

It was Peter Watson from Distract that said this and what this really comes down to is adding value. If you can include helping in your business strategy, the likelihood is, you will remembered, appreciated and are more likely to be recommended which in the long run will lead to sales and of course positive business growth.

Follow Distract on Instagram here
Follow Entrepreneur Peter Watson on Instagram here

 

‘Attention to detail. Make the brand stand out’ – Ed Williams

‘Think big. Persistency is key’ – Edward Williams

Candy Kittens was created to challenge the big brands in the confectionary world. Gourmet sweets made with quality ingredients in beautiful packaging. Neither Jamie nor Edward were put off by the competition.

The above two business tips were mentioned by Edward Williams and having my own business, I think they are essential to remember. If you can do something better than the others and you are confident in your abilities, then there is no competition and success is inevitable, just make sure you pay attention to detail and think big!

Follow Candy Kittens on Instagram here 
Follow entrepreneur Edward Williams  here

Let’s talk Facebook Groups

Facebook groups are brilliant, during my 1:1 sessions its something I always suggest using to help grow businesses and also build general brand awareness. They have become relatively more popular in recent years and the managers of these groups are becoming more and more creative in the way they curate posts to ensure they are adding value and helping others, which I totally love. Not using Facebook groups? Here are 3 reason why you should start.

  1. Many groups allow you to do an introduction when you first join which is fantastic for brand awareness. If you follow these groups on a regular basis, they may also share posts that allow you to share your Instagram and Facebook pages, yet again, a great way to build your following, business and grow awareness.
  2. If you’re a start up, new to an industry or just in need of a supplier, groups are a great way to find people and build great relationships!
  3. Another great way to grow your business is to collaborate with others but how do you find people to collaborate with, well via groups of course. I recently saw an amazing suggestion for a review swap and we all know how important good reviews are for your business right?

 

3 ways with Hashtags on Instagram

Social Media Marketing

One of the best ways to increase your following on Instagram is to be savvy with your Hashtags but what’s the most effective way to use them? Here are 3 ways to help you create a successful hashtag strategy for Instagram and see a positive increase in your following:

1. In your post description

A 2014 Instagram study by Simply Measured reported: Posts with at least one hashtag average 12.6% more engagement.

Instagram allows you to use 30 hashtags, although I wouldn’t advise using all 30, making sure you utilise hashtags is massively important if you want to grow your following on Instagram, just remember to strategic about the hashtags you use to ensure you are attracting the right audience!

2. In your stories

I love stories, a place where I can post everything about myself as a brand. Unless you make them an Instagram Highlight, stories only last 24 hours so to make sure these are seen, don’t forget to add hashtags. You will be surprised how many more views you can get if you remember to always hashtag your stories.

3. To find like minded people

Part of your strategy should always be to connect with like minded brands but where to start? If you search for hashtags relevant to your industry and the follow them (another new addition for 2018), you’ll be surprised what you might find, not only inspiration but also an easy way to see what others within your space are doing.

 

 

 

1:1 Coaching: Ruby & Fi, Leicester

Thursday last week, I conducted my first Social Media Coaching Session with Hetal from Ruby & Fi – Events with Style 

Hetal had a number of challenges she wanted to address including help with content ideas for her blog and rules around posting on Social Media Channels especially Facebook & Instagram. I spent time preparing a handout giving her lots of advice and tips which we worked through, the session was really relaxed and also included a little tutorial on how she could be using more Facebook and Instagram stories to market herself and the business.

You can read her view on the session here

About 1:1 Coaching

Each session and content is tailored around the individuals needs giving a really bespoke service. I cover a number of Digital Marketing services including Social Media, Blog Inspiration, Content Planning, SEO and Marketing Strategy. The initial chat is completely free and the sessions have been created to be affordable with maximum value. Whether its a skype call you need or face to face interaction, an hour you’re looking for or longer, why not get in touch to find out more.

SEO: The Basics

I have spent a lot of my time working on Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). With a small budget, it can really be the driving force for bringing traffic to your website, so it is 100% worth spending a little time working on SEO. If this is something you are not familiar with, here is a very brief explanation of SEO.

SEO is the process of optimizing your website to ‘rank’ higher in search engine results pages, therefore increasing the amount of organic (or free) traffic that your website receives. 

There are two types of SEO: On page/Onsite SEO and Off Page/Offsite SEO.

ON PAGE SEO

On page refers to your page copy i.e. Meta Description. Page Title. Alt Text. Heading Texts. Before looking at working on this type of SEO think about what key words you want to be optimised for. This should always be the first step to creating your SEO Strategy.

To win on page, make sure your pages are well structured (Making sure you use Headings H1 and subheadings H2) and use specific keywords (to avoid google getting confused about where to send traffic to). Also ensure every single page has:

  • Alt text
  • H1 & H2 (heading texts)
  • Page title
  • Meta description
  • Keyword within the content

OFF PAGE SEO

Off page refers to creating an online and offline footprint away from your website. This is done through creating back links to your website from Social Media, Articles, Blog Posts, Discussion Boards etc. If you have valuable back links, google will know that you have great content that will add value to your audience, so you’ll rank higher.

To win off page you want  to link internal pages using the keyword that best defines that page and remember, the more relevant or legitimate the website your back links come from, the better you are likely to be ranked. If your ready to take the next step and build a strategy around your SEO, then Moz have a great article with lots more detail. You can read it here.

To Summarise

SEO is an ongoing process and requires time, so remember to be patient. And a few final words…

1. The first part of your SEO strategy is to decide which keywords to rank for, be specific, start with a broad list, and then whittle it down using Google Keyword Planner.

2. Once you have your list, keep a record of the keywords you are optimising for and where you rank and keep visiting these keywords so you have visibility of your position.

2. To remain at the top of the page, make sure your also use these keywords within the content on your website including in your blog.

3. Also work on getting quality inbound links. For example: By Guest Blogging for a website or working with trusted digital influencers.

4. Analyse and monitor. Monthly analysing will help you to change your strategy if things aren’t working, so stay open to change.

3 Questions you should be asking yourself when creating content

The days have gone on Instagram when you can post a photo, put a short description, a few hashtags and see your engagement flurry, well unless you are a big brand with thousands of followers.

Apart from things like timing which is of course an important thing to think about and using certain # to help target your audience.  You need to be thinking about what you are posting and ways in which you can be adding value to your audience if you want to see positive growth.

There are 3 questions I believe you should be asking yourself when you are about to post an image but firstly, I think the process of sharing an image should start by putting yourself in your customers position, would you like this post?

– Are your posts adding value 

– Are your posts sharing your personal opinion 

– Are you solving problems for your customer 

Still need some help with content creation? Need some inspiration and yo understand how to create a clear strategy with some good exmaples? Get in touch and let’s have a chat!

 

 

 

1:1 Coaching, Aura By Sidhi

Sidhi from ethnic jewellery brand Aura by Sidhi came to me with a desire to improve her Social Media Marketing knowledge. Launching her business in mid 2018, she knew there was more she could be doing to market herself better but was confused about creating a good strategy and also ensuring she was targeting the right client profiles.

Her main goals for the session were based around growing following on Facebook & Instagram and grow her brand awareness. After an audit of her channels, we did some brainstorming and looked at ways techniques for growing following, content inspiration and did some extensive work on Hashtags. She left with a clear strategy and a plan for immediate action.

Sidhi expressed how much she enjoyed the session and you can find her feedback below:

‘Thank you so much for the wonderful session yesterday. Before have a 1:1 session with you, I was really confused about my jewellery brand and the effort I have been putting into building my brand name, if it was right for the business or not. Before our session, you had done some good research about my brand and what I needed to improve to build brand awareness and reach my ideal clients, you guided me in the best way. The words like strategy and ideal clients always confused me and you me me understand them really well. Whatever confusion I had related to social media you made all my queries easy to understand. I am very happy I took this session with you and am really excited to work with you on my brand. Thanks for you help. You are really good at your job. PS. I should have come for a 1:1 session before starting my brand.’

About 1:1 Coaching

Each session and content is tailored around the individuals needs giving a really bespoke service. I cover a number of Digital Marketing services including Social Media, Blog Inspiration, Content Planning, SEO and Marketing Strategy. All content is received by the business so they can refer back to it at anytime and they are sent a clear action plan to help them prioritise. The sessions have been created to be affordable with maximum value. Whether its a skype call you need or face to face interaction, why not get in touch. Contact me on renuravalia@gmail.com to find out more.

Distract share 3 Business Growth Trends for 2019

2019 is literally around the corner, so it’s a great time to think about what to expect from the Digital Marketing world.

I asked Peter Watson, MD of Ditsract – Award-winning advertising agency to share his 3 top ways to grow your business in 2019 and here is what he had to say.

Summary: 3 Ways to grow your business

  1. Google Advertising – Still the the easiest way to get leads
  2. Personal Branding – People buy people, remember this when you are marketing yourself.
  3. Instagram Stories – The power of scrolling across as opposed to down

The Future of SEO Part 2, Guest Post

A few weeks ago, we shared 3 tips about the future of SEO from Leicester Digital Marketing Agency, Marketing Voice. This included:

 

  1. Matching personalities
    Matching personalities is where branding counts.
  2. It pays to be the first
    Use emerging and trending words to get a head start on future SEO.

  3. You are stronger in a gang
    Instead of picking random terms, group your SEO terms together and have a conversation about your topics.

You can read more about Part 1 here. If you have any questions, you can contact Marketing Voice by email on hello@marketingvoice.co.uk 

Guest Post Continued…Written by Harmeet Singh, Marketing Voice, Digital Marketing Agency

4) Don’t be a one-shot pony

Provide videos or audio voice clips, as a complement to your writing. Remember to transcribe the content, so customers have the option of reading or listening to your material.

Doing so also gives you the opportunity of utilising your future SEO keyword solutions. You don’t have to do everything at the same time, introduce added elements to your website over time and keep the content fresh (Like us).

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5) It’s not what you know but who you know

When you focus on obtaining backlinks to your site and link with related sites that have high domain authority and related keyword phrases, Google will rank you higher.

This is because, Google measures your credibility by the association principle – if you know businesses with credibility, your credibility rises too. As simple as that.

6) Leopards don’t lose their spots

Google will always favour speed and loading times. Therefore, ensure that your images are optimised, your codes run, and everything works smooth for your future SEO to work.

By following the simple speed principle, your website will rank higher and continue growing, as long as you put the effort.

About Marketing Voice

Marketing Voice, a Digital Marketing Agency in Leicester specialises in future SEO, CRO, Content Marketing, and much more. Get in touch to find out more – https://marketingvoice.co.uk