The ninth company to take part in our “making an impact online” guest blog series is Labels4Kids. I’ve been an admirer of managing director Ann-Maree Morrison for years now, so I’m honoured she has written this guest post. The chartered accountant has an amazing story (I must interview her for Scottishentrepreneur.com!) and a fantastic business based on the simple idea of creating children’s name labels. Her online strategy is extremely sophisticated – we could all learn a lot from her, starting with the secrets she shares here…
“I was delighted when Kim asked me if I would write a blog for her on how Labels4Kids has used online tricks to grow the business. Labels4Kids is very active on social media and is forever revamping and rebuilding www.labels4kids.com.
Having an online presence is not enough. What’s the point of having made all the effort of doing a website to find that it is nowhere to be seen on the search engines, primarily Google.
Also social media plays a massive part in your online presence and should be continually updated in order to convert a sale, educate or build followers. What you do depends on the purpose of your business. Think of your online presence as like writing a school project…
What are you selling, or do you just want to educate? If you have a trading site then it’s vital to get the goods in front of the customer in as few clicks as possible and as easy to navigate as possible. However, if you have a site that is there to educate and encourage an enquiry then you want more content that is readable, downloadable or educates primarily and the layout of your site will be very different.
Where are you selling to (which country?) and where do these customers expect to find things on the website? The layout of the site will vary by country ideally and this is much more difficult to do as an SME.
Who is your target audience, what sex and age and who do they hang out with? This will determine where you promote your site online, via which portals and which companies you work with to get inbound links to your website.
Why are you providing your product and service? Get the BENEFITS obvious to the customer to convert them to buy, subscribe, or download. No one buys from features. People act when they understand the BENEFIT of what you are giving them.
How do your customers communicate? Are they on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Linkedin, Instragram, YouTube? This depends on their age and sex and interests. Mothers are more likely to be on Facebook and Pinterest. Business people will more likely be on Twitter and Linkedin. Younger people will be on Instagram and YouTube. Posts have to be regular, relevant and interesting.
- Jazz it up
People like to watch videos and want INSTANT satisfaction. Video and photos are much more interesting and also help your site optimize well on Google and on Facebook. Use these to target your audience but keep video short at 2-3 minutes and photos high resolution.
- Stay on the fence
Anyone who comments on anything controversial like religion, politics or race will get a pile of feedback that can seriously backfire. Stay clear of it at all costs. And if you get a bad comment or review, answer it immediately with a helpful response and solution. A customer who is happy may tell six people but one that is unhappy will tell ten times that.”
Who is Ann-Maree?
I have dual nationality, having been born and brought up near Melbourne, Australia. I studied business and then became a Chartered Accountant as my family were in retail and I was interested in having my own dress shops at some stage. As it worked out I ended up staying in Chartered Accounting in everything from Audit to Investigations. I moved to a film and post-production start-up as Head of Finance in London then after moving to Scotland in 1995 and doing Management Consulting I had a major car accident.
After time in intensive care and during seven years out I had a moment of inspiration. My son came out of school with one missing black school shoe and no one could find it. Two years later Labels4Kids was born. For 10 years we operated from the house and then a home extension. In 2014 we bought business premises and have grown further since. We are name label supplier to John Lewis Partnership and have provided labels to everyone from famous footballer’s families to Lighterlife and superyachts.
I give talks on e-commerce and business startups. I am a non-executive director and business mentor and a great believer in encouraging confidence in our youth so they are able to succeed in business and believe in entrepreneurship. I also chair the British Association of Women Entrepreneurs in Scotland.
Award-winning Labels4Kids has won Online Retailer of the Year for four years and a number of other prestigious awards including Nectar Small Business of the Year from Karren Brady of The Apprentice. Labels4Kids helps solve the lost property dilemma for parents worldwide in order that they save money not having to replace things. We also have a new personalised gift range with Disney Frozen Fever and Star Wars personalized books and more. Labels4Kids is now 11 years old.
Enjoyed this post? Check out the other stars of the series: