June 2017 - Small business consultant

Monthly Archives: June 2017

Australian Social Media Use

Last year was my first reviewing the Sensis report of Australian Internet and Social Media use. If you have never heard of it, they interview 800 consumers and 1100 businesses. Consumers are equally split by age and gender and proportionate by State. In this report, I want to split the report in two. I first of all want to give you the tools to explain why being on social media is important for marketing and then I want to give you an insight into how Australians use social media and how you can leverage that knowledge in business. These will be written as two separate reports to keep them more manageable for you; feedback from last year was that my report was too long and I want to avoid that. So let’s get on with it!

What does Australian internet and social media use look like?

It’s no surprise to those in the industry that Australians are long time early and avid adopters of technology. In the Sensis report, respondents reported that 80% of them owned a smartphone and that 84% of Australians access the internet at least daily and <1% reported never accessing the internet. With 3km to each Aussie (Census 2016), it’s no surprise that there was no significant difference on internet access between Regional and Metropolitan Aussies (81% & 86% respectively).

But what does that mean? It means that regardless of age or location, most Australians access the internet at least once a day. This means that if you are not online with your business, you cut your access to these people. Not to mention that <1% said that they didn’t access the internet at all. You need some form of internet presence. But where?

Many businesses ask me website or social media (or both) and if social media then where. I have to tell them to go where their clients hang out and this is where this research comes into its own. 79% of Australians who access the internet use social media. Yes, that means that 21% access the internet without using social media. Let’s look at the numbers:

59% of all people who use social media look at it daily.

35% of people access social media 5+ times a day.

Age groups who are most likely to look at social media at least once a day: 18-64

Say what now? What about the 65+ age group? Well, 53% of them NEVER look at social media (yes that included YouTube) and 23% (the next largest proportion of this age group) looked at social media at least once a day.

So what does that mean?

If you’re going to be on social media, be prepared to be posting daily, because your followers are on there AT LEAST once a day.

So what social media do Australians use?

This one is going to shock you. Researchers asked which of the following social media sites participants used: Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Google+, Twitter, Snapchat, & YouTube.

90-99% of all Australian age groups surveyed use Facebook. The lowest group being the 40-49 year olds and the highest the 30-39 year olds. Facebook was by far the most popular social media platform for the over 65s. Here are the top 3 by age group and in descending popularity.

18-29 30-39 40-49 50-64 65+
Social media Platform Facebook Facebook Facebook Facebook Facebook
Instagram Instagram YouTube YouTube YouTube
Snapchat Snapchat Instagram LinkedIn Twitter (13%)


This table is interesting to consider when looking at where to put your efforts depending on the age of your target audience.

It is interesting to compare the data for the top 3 social media platforms by gender:

% Men % Women
Facebook 91 97
YouTube 60 43
Instagram 50 41


I find this interesting in so far that there really is little difference in women’s use of YouTube and Instagram and that men are actually more likely to use Instagram than women. Anecdotally business owners tend to believe that women dominate Instagram use, this is not the case.

Further to the high usage of Facebook, respondents were asked about their use of social media messaging services. With the exception of those aged 65+, 78-92% used Facebook Messenger.

So what do these Australian Social Media Use statistics mean for business?

In short, it means that not only can you not ignore having an online presence, if you’re looking to get on social media then you’re best starting with Facebook.

It means that you need to stop worrying that your clients are in regional Australia, because that is actually an advantage for you online. The internet helps them access the world and they love it.

It means that just because your target audience is over 65 doesn’t mean that they’re not online, not using Facebook and not using a smartphone. It’s just not the case – they are.

Businesses will benefit from engaging the Facebook followers through Facebook Messenger.

Next up I look into how Australians use social media and how that can benefit your business. In the meantime, if you want to know more please book a time to chat with me or come over and join the discussion in the free Facebook Group. Need something to take to the boss? Then send them a link to this report and put the following following Infographic on their desk.


Business Growth

Last week I took off for a few days on a business retreat. You see, 2016 while earmarked as my growth year really wasn’t (and for good reason). So 2017 is my year for business growth and I had wanted to go on a business retreat for a while. I know it seems odd a business coach heading off for business coaching but this was more about giving myself clear space to work on my business.

So what do I mean by working on my business?

I suppose it will be easier to tell you what dedicating time to business growth is not:

  • Paying bills
  • Doing marketing, Facebook, answering emails
  • Coffee chats with friends (sorry, it’s just not)
  • Planning your coming week/month/year

These things are the nuts and bolts (well coffee dates are for me) of getting the daily grind done. Growing your business is at a ‘higher’ and more objective level.

What does working on your business look like?

Growing your business is that blue ocean, pie in the sky, if only thing where you look to where you want to be and you nut out what you need and how you’re going to get there. When I was driving a corporate desk we called it Strategic Planning and it used to elicit groans of dread and snores of boredom from around the room.

Why do people shy from business growth?

As growing businesses is what I do, it’s not something I shy from. In fact, I was the one who enjoyed the strategic planning, lining up goals through the levels of the Agency right the way down to what my staff were required to do. I loved writing papers on how to make the business unit more efficient, in fact I once wrote a paper on how they didn’t need my position and five years on the position is still vacant.

I admit, it takes a certain mindshift and mindset to move from the everyday nuts and bolts of getting the job done to the level of ‘where do I want this thing to head’.  The other issue is that it can be draining to constantly think at that level over extended periods of time.

Our brains are hardwired to find solutions, so when you spend extended periods of time looking at the broader aims, direction, & objectives; our mind is tempted to keep coming back to trying to work out the ‘how’.

What gets in our way of business growth?

We do. That’s the reason why I had to go away for a few days. I will always put my clients’ needs first and so I had to make it clear that I was out of action for a few days so I could dedicate time to my business.

Did it work? Yes & no.  I still took calls and checked emails, but in the main I achieved what I set out to.

Outside of our innate ability to think strategically, sorry some people just have it and others have to get support or work at it, the main issue I find its time. We just don’t make business growth a priority. How ironic! We want to grow our businesses but we just don’t make the act of sitting down to nut it out a priority.

How to grow your business

I give you permission to carve out time from your week to dedicate to business growth.

You read it right, sometimes we just need someone else to tell us it’s ok to do it. But here is a tip on it.

Get out of your usual working space to do it and leave social media and other distractions behind.

You can’t do something different by doing what you always do. Let’s face it, it might even be sitting in a different chair, going to a café, you don’t have to up and go halfway across the country like I did. Disrupt your normal working pattern and JFDI.

I admit that it was difficult, but I also left my phone in a different spot. My phone was not within arm’s reach of me while I was away. Why? I am easily distracted and if I am disengaged I will pick up my phone.

Get a buddy to strategise with. While I am available to mentor you through the process, I understand that that is not always feasible. However, see if you can pair up with a business buddy to work on your businesses together. It’s amazing how different someone else’s perspective can be. Sometimes you need someone else to show you the forest for the trees.

Remember that this is not a once off. Nor is it a set and forget. Like any good food, there is a recipe and procedure to get from the raw ingredients to the decadent meal. You will have to work at it. I for one have decided that I will set aside a day per week for working on my business and getting it t where I want it to be. You may or may not like that, all I can say is make an appointment in your diary & stick to it, but try to make it once a month.

So if you have no idea of where to start then I have a few tools on how to get you there:

Dreaming your ideal business

Tips on making time to grow your business

Putting ideas into action

A safe place to ask questions

Make a time to have me help you out


Gary Vaynerchuk’s guide to attention

The other week I was listening to Gary Vaynerchuk’s 2016 Sales Machine Keynote. In this presentation he spoke of his lemonade stand days. He had a collection of them and he had his friends staff them. He would then ride between them and as he did he would observe the traffic. He would watch where they were coming from and where they were headed. He would watch the cars and look around the intersections. What was he looking for? The perfect spot to place his advertising to grab their attention. He knew that too soon or too late and he had lost them, but pitching at the right time, place, and style had them.

In this age of digital bombardment it’s hard to get attention. Well that’s what it feels like. All this chatter we need to compete with. All those tweets, posts, and grams flying through the feed. Messenger messages and chat bots chirping away. Ads, sponsored posts, offers, optins, pixels, adwords, tracking codes. All of these are ways we try to gain our client’s attention. Do they work?

Well there’s an art to getting their attention.

Gary mentioned that part of the issue in gaining their attention came down to location and another to copy, he didn’t mention motivators or influencers.

Location and attention

I’m a firm believer in that you can not convert unless you are in the right place at the right time with the right thing. So how do you know you’re in the right place?

There are two ways you can do it. You can go to where your fans hang out or you can pull them towards you. Going where your fans hang out may narrow the field but it can stack the deck in your favour. Pulling them to you, cold, from across the internet is a tough gig.

I’m a fan of gathering, and keeping your fans, where they like to hang out. Why? They’re comfortable and you’re less likely to lose them there.  Though you do have competing distractions, they’re comfortable & generally happy. Done well, you won’t even seem like an interference.

In this example, Gary watched where the drivers looked and placed his posters on the trees they looked at the most. Perhaps it was mechanics, perhaps it was something else distracting them, but it was where they were drawn.

If we use Facebook as an example, there is a lot competing for our attention. This is precisely where Gary said the copy on his poster came into play.

How copy grabs attention

Now I am not going to go into some long winded discussion on the perfect copy and copy formula. I can write copy, but I don’t teach it. It’s just not my passion. What I do know is this… too many small businesses and sole traders write copy with the wrong intention. They think that they have the answer. Wrong! Your client has the problem.  I understand that that might seem backwards so let me explain.

Want to get someone’s attention and diffuse an argument, repeat their issue back to them so that they realise that you heard them and you get them. I don’t just know this from some text book, this comes from speaking to injured Veterans, their spouses, and their lawyers for five years. They didn’t want my pity or placation, they wanted to be heard. Your client is no different. They have a problem they want fixed and they want you to hear that.

The easiest way to grab someone’s attention, and even buy in is to repeat their words back to them. So you don’t necessarily have that luxury, but with a little research you can.

To grab attention in copy you need to:
– tell them their problem (and actually do)
– use their language
– speak to their values.

Too often businesses are stuck in the old push, ‘buy my shit’, mentality and they forget that the audience is flooded with messages and signals to buy someone’s ‘shit’. What they don’t get is someone who genuinely gets where they’re coming from and where they want to be.

So the attention getter for them it’s their motivators/influencers

So Gary didn’t get into the copy but he spends a ridiculous amount of time talking and listening to people and working out what their motivators are. When he speaks to people, he pins their motivator and problem and spits it back at them and they buy it.

So how do you understand their motivators and influencers? They tell you. They tell you in their feedback, in their reviews, their friend s tell you. If you don’t have this then you ask and research, you go to other sources and competitors and see what is being said. In one way or another, you listen. You listen to the emotions they use, the feelings they have, the problems you solve. You pay attention and then you grab theirs.

Connection as the service edge

So I’ve recently returned to the gym and I’ve started back listening to podcasts. I have recently been listening to Gary Vaynerchuk on SoundCloud. He had an incredible example of showing that you truly care, understanding your client, going that extra mile, and the power of word of mouth. The thing these all have in common is connection. I don’t know about you but I’m seeing a lot of people feeling incredibly disconnected regardless of how digitally interconnected our world has become.

Listen to the story

Here’s the thing, I highly doubt that Wine Library does that for every $117 order. I’m also fairly confident that for a while there they were questioning the practice altogether.  And then it paid off!

So what can we learn from this example?

Connections take time

I have to admit, a 3-6 month turn around on such an action and connection is quite short. Most businesses I know have a 12-24 month turnaround time. That means that it will take 12-24 months before making a connection will pay off.

I have mentioned in the past that it takes 7-12 touches to convert someone to buy from you. As you can imagine, those touches can be quite some time apart.

Connections need trust to convert

I’ve previously spoken about how we need to like, know & trust a person before we commit to connecting and purchasing. In this example, Gary Vaynerchuk was able to bypass a lot of this by leveraging the connection between the two clients.

‘But I can’t predict that Kara!’

No you can’t predict who is going to talk to whom and lead to a big sale, in part that’s why you treat all connections as if they will, but there’s a short cut. Testimonials!

A testimonial is a way that you can short cut a connection. You can do that because of the network of friends the giver has and relying on them seeing their testimonial, the other is the psychology of testimonials.

There is a body of psychology which sits behind testimonials, driving us to imply a connection and trust in the giver and thereby the service they are giving the testimony of.

The connection has to be genuine and meaningful

As Gary Vaynerchuk mentions, while a fruit basket or note is nice, it does not replace a researched and concerted smaller effort directly relevant to the receiver. What these more concerted efforts do is show true interest and concern for the receiver, not merely ticking some box because it is expected.

One way you can quickly develop a genuine connection is by livestreaming. I know I go on about it and that it can be intimidating for some, however it is the fastest way to build a genuine connection. Not only do people see you live, hear you , and watch your reactions, they can interact with you. Now that is a powerful tool.

Here’s a hint, I understand that livestreaming is intimidating, which is why I encourage members of my group to go live in the group to practice.

Value external connections

The more I stop and think, the more I feel that we have been lead to believe that word of mouth is a dirty way to grow a business and that leads are the best way. I have to be honest, I struggle to think of a business who would be better off turning their back on word of mouth in preference for new leads, unless of course, they are that bad that they lose their customers more often than they retain them!

A word of mouth client may have taken longer to come about, but it might not have, the thing is that you didn’t have to do any direct work with that client to win them over. Now consider a cold lead and the relationship building you have to do to move them into a place to buy. That can take a while.

A client gained through word of mouth can, in fact, strengthen two bonds and done well you will find you can have an exponential growth through networks rather than a linear growth through a list.

In the end

In this digital age, we have forgotten this. We have forgotten that there is a person on the other side of the screen. (That’s how we get keyboard warriors & trolls) We have forgotten that that person booking our service or buying our product online is actually a person. Hey, sometimes they even forget that we are real. We have lost that personal connection.

In the end we all have this need to feel connected to others, we all want to feel valued, we all like to feel special.