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 worked mostly with people with disabilities, Digital Marketing found me when I least expected it. I have been creating content (See my Blog Post ‘5 Things you didn’t know about me) and marketing it for 8 years now. 

In London, my Digital Marketing career involved working predominantly for large retail brands with extensive budgets, so when I moved to Leicester, my focus was always going to be on those with smaller budgets.

Spending time with small and independent business and hearing about the challenges that they face and then helping them to find solutions 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 know how to market yourself ‘ and thats where I come in! 

If you’re interested in my professional background (It’s pretty interesting), you can find me on LinkedIn here. If you want to step into my personal life, check out my Instagram @thoughtsfashionlifestyle 

1:1 Coaching: Ruby & Fi, Leiecster

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.

Social Media Workshop Leicester

Social Media Workshop Leicester

On 12th July, I host my first Social Media Workshop in Leicester. This specialist workshop is aimed at small businesses and independents based in Leicester & East Midlands who want to use social media to help grow their business. I will be sharing a number of tips and tricks based on your growth challenges (To get these I will be sending you a few questions to answer prior to the workshop) trying to help give you a little direction and ensuring you get as much value from the training session as possible. It’s a real passion of mine to see small businesses thrive, so this one off workshop has been priced at an affordable £29 for an hour and a half. If your interested in joining, get in touch by emailing me at: Renuravalia@gmail.com.

Alternatively, if your a small business or independent looking for 1:1 Coaching, drop me an email and let me see how I can help you.  Learn more about all the Digital Marketing Services I offer here.

Content Ideas: Events

Whether you’re attending an event, hosting one or just taking part as a bystander, events act as really great content and should definitely be included as a blog post on your website (as well as stories & posts on your social channels). The easiest way to explain how to do this is by sharing an event I went to myself, hopefully inspiring you to create something similar.

Blog Post: The Body Shop Blogger Event

I set up my Instagram alter ago @thoughtsfashionlifestyle back in 2016 when I lived in London. If I have to be honest, I wanted a place where I could post every aspect of my life including lots of photos of myself (without feeling vain).

As I get closer to leaving my full time job, I am seeking out more and more blogger opportunities so I can grow my following. Yesterday I was invited to my first blogger event in Leicester hosted by The Body Shop aka Highcross_beautybloggers in the Highcross Centre.

The event started at 6pm and on arrival we were given the itinerary for the evening and were invited to explore the store. I haven’t shopped at The Body Shop for many years but was pretty excited by the variety of products they had on offer especially the Ramadan gift sets, its so refreshing to see brands catering for all festivities.

Leiecster Blogger

We were then split into 2 groups and met some of the team who went through new products. The demo started with Drops of Youth range, the formulation is made of three plant stem cells: edelweiss from the Italian Alps, criste marine and sea holly from the Brittany Coast. The combination of creams, washes and lotions has been created to tackle early signs of ageing, which so many of us worry about nowadays.

Youth

Then we headed over to the make up area to look at the latest products in the world of Body Shop Make up. I particularly loved the face mists available in four different yummy flavours. The Honey Bronze Drops of Sun also really caught my eye, I love the idea of being able to bled your moisturiser with these drops to maintain a holiday glow (even when its mid winter).

Face Mist

The final demo was of the new Body Yogurts, fast absorbing and suitable for all skin types with a really nice texture, and can be applied straight on to damp skin and apparently lasts 48 hours!

Yogurt

Overall, a lovely evening and a great chance to sample some new products, get some beauty and skincare advice, meet some fellow Leicester influencers and I even left with a personalised goody bag. Win Win is what I say! Thanks Body Shop Leicester, look forward to lots more of events!

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Interested in getting more Content Ideas for your blog? Read my post: 5 Things you didn’t know…

Content Ideas: 5 things you didn’t know…

The second part of my Content Ideas (For your blog) series is focussed on the goal of drawing your customer closer to you. A really good way to do this is by helping them get to know the brand better, this will help to build a stronger connection and acts as a really interesting read, it’s also content that will be very unique to you. Finally, it gives you something to talk about and can act as a great way to build a variety of Social Media posts that will help bulk up your Social Media plan.

To help you understand what this kind of Blog Post would look like, I have done an example below.  In this case, as I am the brand, my 5 things will revolve around getting to know me.

Blog Post: 5 Things you didn’t know about Renu Ravalia

  1. I am a middle child and I have 2 sisters, one is based in London and the other in Nigeria. Therefore, I have visited Nigeria twice and I absolutely loved it!
  2. I used to write content for online fashion magazines FashionBeans and Push It. I would love to get back in the Fashion Writing and this is one of my goals for 2018.
  3. Although I work in Digital Marketing now, I actually studied psychology and spent my early career working for non profit organisations. To this day, human behaviour still fascinates me.
  4. I meditate daily, twice a day. Meditation is a massively important part of my daily routine, as is spirituality.
  5. My favourite food in the whole world is Chinese and more specifically Dim Sum, I could eat a Char Sui Pork Bun any time of the day. (although traditionally Dim Sum is only served at lunch time)

Tip: Don’t forget this is a good opportunity to also use a selection of key words related to your product/service to improve your SEO.

Content Ideas: Important issues

Throughout my digital marketing career, my job has been to come up with relevant content for blogs with the aim of build following and making the content a little more interesting to draw the consumer in as well as encourage them to build a real connection with the brand (and in the long run, loyalty). People often say to me that they don’t know what to write about and this does take some time and energy, this is why brainstorming and then having a content plan is so important. Keen to help you all get a little more familiar with what kind of topics you could be talking about, I will be sharing various content ideas starting with Important Issues…

I think it’s really important to talk about things that mean something to you. I also believe very strongly in practicing what you preach, so this week, this post will focus on an Important Issue. A great way to keep your content current is to look at whats happening in the world at the moment.

Blog Post: Mental Health Week 

I am focussing on an issue that has been ignored for a long time and is now getting a lot of attention. This week in the UK it is Mental Health Awareness Week. This years theme is focussed on stress, something that I have struggled with myself.

Recent research reported that 74% of people surveyed have felt so stressed that they have either felt overwhelmed or felt like they couldn’t cope. 4169 people in the UK undertook the survey in 2018. (Commissioned by the Mental Health Foundation and undertaken by YouGov). This percentage is scarily shocking and really highlights why it is so important to build awareness around the issue. My personal stress was triggered by work (one of the main reasons that led me to leave my full time job).

‘A staggering 70 million work days are lost each year due to mental health problems in the UK, costing employers approximately £2.4 billion per year.’ – Mental Health Foundation 

How to manage stress in the workplace?

1. Have a break
When you feel stressed at work, taking a break and leaving the environment is a good way to mentally get some respite.

2.  Talk
If things are getting really on top of you and you are struggling to cope, talk to someone about it, talking is a great form of therapy.

3. Seek Help
There are various organisations that can teach you how to manage stress. Giving you the resources to help cope. Check out Let’s Talk for more information.

If you are suffering from stress and want help on how to cope, you can get lots of great information on the Mental Health Foundation website here.

And finally a video worth watching…

 

 

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.

4 strategies to support your business growth online

There are hundreds of things you could be doing to help increase traffic and see that traffic convert into sales but if your a small company and budget is limited, it can be hard to decide which areas to focus on.

Bearing this in mind, I have wracked my brain and I have compiled a few suggestions, depending on what you want to achieve, each of the 5 suggestions is targeted at a specific goal. There are many more goals which might come up on the way but these are the ones that have worked for me.

GOAL – To build trust 
SOLUTION – Customer Reviews 
61% of customers read online reviews before making a purchase decision, and they are now essential for e-commerce sites. (Source: Econsultancy). Invest in Customer Reviews – TrustPilot and Feefo are two platforms who can help with this, in my experience Feefo was definitely more affordable and don’t forget to ask for a shorter trial period if your not 100% convinced.

GOAL – To maximise access to your loyal customers 
SOLUTION – Email Marketing 
Do you have a database of customers? Do you send them regular newsletters? The advantage of newsletters, is those people who subscribe are obviously interested in your product, so are more likely to make future purchases. Make sure the newsletters are interesting though (and varied), you don’t want to bombard people with the same thing so they end up unsubscribing. Newsletter companies I have used are: Campaign Monitor, Campaign Master & Mailchimp. All of which have analytics, so you can check CTR and Open Rates. This will help you to create a clear email marketing plan.

GOAL – To give customers everything they need in one place 
SOLUTION – Detailed Product Pages 
Once your customer has reached your website, the aim is to make them convert. A great way to encourage purchases is to ensure your product pages are as detailed as possible. A good example of this is British Brand John Lewis. But if you can’t get them to buy, at least help them to remain on the website for as long as possible by linking products to other pages on your site that might help to convince a purchase. I have often linked products to stories written in the blog section or plan stories that can be linked to products.

GOAL – To build quality content
SOLUTION – Blogs 
We all know how important is to be creative with content and having a blog will help you do this but remember, it isn’t good etiquette to talk about yourself all the time, so think outside the box. This is where your content marketing plan can also really come in handy, and remember to keep the posts regular, if you share these on your social, you can also track how many people visit your website from your social channels via the blog post – a good way to see what interests your audience and plan similar content. If you can create content that relevant and interesting, you’re also likely to see an improvement in your page location on google.