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 @thoughtsfashionlifestyle

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

 

Tips to gain following on Instagram

Instagram is THE channel at the moment, it was recently reported it had 300 million monthly active users. To put that figure into context, this was compared to Facebook’s 228 million and Twitter’s 9 million. So basically what I am trying to say is,  it’s the channel you need to be on. Many people I work with come to me with the burning question ‘How do I grow following’ and I spend a lot of time working with them to build a strategy and develop original content ideas.

If this is a question that has been on your lips for a while, there are a few things you can do to help grow the channel which I would like to share with you:

  1. Post Consistently – The best results come from those who post often. Personally, if you can create a strategy that includes unique content, you’ll also be able to stand out of the crowd.
  2. Use quality hashtags – I did a post about hashtags a little while back. It is definitely worth spending some time researching the best hashtags to use. Need to know how and where to use them? Check out my recent article here.
  3. Engage – Engaging with your audience is so important. Engagement is one of the top determinators of whether a post will be showed or not. However, don’t worry, you don’t need to spend hours messaging every follower, simply engage your followers by liking or replying to their comments to your posts.

Need more tips to help grow your Instagram? Get in touch by email at renuravalia@gmail.com and let’s work together!

How you should be using LinkedIn to grow your business

I can’t tell you how important it is to have an updated LinkedIn profile. So many individuals and small businesses I work with don’t always realise how they can use this channel to grow their business and if that’s you, here are a few ways you can use LinkedIn to grow your business:

  • Write and share articles – If you want your connections to see you as an expert in your area. You can use LinkedIn to showcase your experience by writing valuable articles.
  • Create a great summary – The summary is the first thing your connections will see. This is your main selling tool. Writing a killer summary about yourself will help to sell your skills and allow people to learn more about your business.
  • Join groups – Groups are a great place to share those articles you are writing as well as an opportunity to contribute to conversations relevant to your industry.
  • Link your Blog Posts – If your regularly writing blog posts and posting these on your website, in the experience section, you have the option to link projects. This is a great way to encourage people to see what you are doing.

Let’s Connect

If you want to take a look at my LinkedIn for some inspiration on how to create your profile, feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn here. If you have any questions or require some coaching to help build your own LinkedIn profile. Email me on renuravalia@gmail.com 

Behind the logo design: Guest Post

I am very excited to announce that I have just finalised my new logo. Created by the talented Jen from Fuzzy Flamingo and based on a design I saw while out in London, I thought it would be really helpful for you to understand more about the process, so I asked her to do a short post about the journey from start to finish…

Guest Post by Jen Parker, Fuzzy Flamingo 

One of the toughest but most important aspects of graphic design is getting inside your client’s head. It is particularly important when it comes to logo design and branding.

There are several ways of approaching this challenge, and at Fuzzy Flamingo I like to start with the all-important initial conversation. Whether this is over a coffee face-to-face, over messages, or over the phone, it is really useful to get an insight into the client’s personality. A bit of social media stalking doesn’t go amiss either, particularly with visual platforms such as Instagram! It might be something simple like a colour preference, for example they might favour a particular colour choice with clothes or with the images they post; or it might be something big, maybe something bordering on obsession. For example, if I were to meet up with myself I wouldn’t be able to miss my love of flamingos, so how could I not include that in my branding?!

The next stage would be to ask more focused questions. Often this is in the form of a questionnaire for my clients, asking questions about passions, colour preference, etc., but also encouraging their eyes to open and look around at different brands and finding what they like or don’t like, not just within their field but elsewhere too. One client sent me a picture of a box of tea and it worked really well for her logo inspiration!

If you are considering a designer for your artwork, particularly when it comes to logo design and branding, then make sure you choose a company that is prepared to get inside your head and get to know you as well as your company, as that way you will get a brand you are happy to showcase and represent in all aspects of your life. You are the best representation of your brand, so ensure your brand is the best representation of you and you’ll be onto a winner.

Need some branding help? Contact Jennifer Parker from Fuzzy Flamingo on Contact@fuzzyflamingo.co.uk

The Unveiling

And here it is, so extremely excited about this new addition to my business.

InstaProfilePic(R)

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

1:1 Coaching, Baby Clothes Direct

Baby Clothes Direct approached me for some expert advice on their brand. The business who specialise in garment manufacturing have existed since 1994 but have only recently started growing their business with the UK. This company is a new venture, so they were keen to get some insights before focussing on growing their Social Media Channels.

The session took place with two members of the Baby Clothes Direct Team. They wanted advice on the below:

  • What content should be posted for a businesses like ours?
  • What do people respond to most – discounts, new products etc?
  • How to broaden our reach?
  • To understand who to follow and what statistics we should be focusing on.

During the 2 hours, we focussed on a variety of areas including website content, discussing ways this could be improved to help SEO. We also looked at ways to grow Instagram following, USPs and content ideas & inspiration. We also looked at ways to grow the business using various offline channels.

Sessions always end up offering much more information then clients expect and I understand how overwhelming it can be, so my email follow ups include a clear action plan that help give direction and priorities. Want to see what Baby Clothes Direct had to say about the session. Read the testimonial 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, why not get in touch to find out how you can help your business grow.

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.

1:1 Coaching: Coffee Ethic, Leicester

Tasneem from ethical coffee house Coffee Ethic approached me because she was looking for content inspiration, although she had a good knowledge of Facebook, she wanted more guidance on how to target the relevant audience and raise the business’s profile on both Facebook and Instagram, a channel that she was still very much getting the grips of. Her main reason for having this session was to promote the vegan teas she hosts on a monthly basis.

My role was very much to show her how she could be projecting her brand better. We looked at targeted advertising, content inspiration and strategy. We spoke about how to use instagram stories to grow the business and how she could use Facebook Groups to increase awareness. We also discussed creative ways she could grow the brand offline. Finally, I  gave her a tutorial on how to use IGTV, Instagrams take on You Tube. Growing a brand takes dedication but I understand how time consuming it can also be and isn’t always a priority, so I also showed her a content plan template which she could use to help organise her posts and save time. You can see Tasneem’s testimonial 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 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.