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31 ways to improve your marketing in less than 10 minutes

We often come up with big goals for our small businesses, like growing our social media accounts, starting a newsletter or even going viral on TikTok.

But after a few days our motivation drops and it gets harder and harder to convince ourselves to do the work that's needed to market our businesses.

This month on my Instagram page I've been sharing a daily #TeaBreakTip, something that you can do in the time it takes to drink a cup of tea to improve your marketing.

It might only take 10 minutes but small steps every day can lead to big results!

Tip 1. While you’re sitting watching Netflix and drinking your tea today, think about your aims for your marketing this year. You might want to post more consistently, be better at planning, reach a certain number (followers, readers, views) or even shift the focus from social media and move onto something else completely.

Get an idea in your mind of what you want promoting your business to look and feel like in 2021. Write it down somewhere you’ll see it!

Tip 2. I’ve made a note on my phone, a page in my journal and a Google Doc just for IDEAS. Whenever I think of an idea for a client, a social media post or a topic for a blog I write it in my IDEAS folder for later. It might be a word or a sentence or even the rough start of a full post, but it stops it leaving my brain forever and never working on it.

If you’re sitting there reading this with your cup of tea then quickly set up a note on your phone for ideas. Every time a client mentions a problem or you hear something that sparks an idea for a post, pop it in here. Bonus points if you’ve got some to add to it today!

Tip 3. When you’re thinking about PR for your business I find it helps me to start at the beginning, where do you want to be featured? In my first year of HI Communications I wanted to have an article published in the Huffington Post, so I focused on getting in there. Last year my house renovation story was in Fabulous online and Women’s Own which helped me get more people reading my blog and Instagram account.

Today’s #TeaBreakTip is to make a list of the places you want your business to be featured and aim high! It could be your local newspaper, favourite radio station, a magazine for your industry or a publication that you know your target audience loves to read.

Tip 4. First check your website and social media accounts are still there (if they’ve gone, stop the 10 minute timer because we’re going to be here awhile!) Remove anything unrelated like banners, posting dates, opening times and Christmas/Seasonal offers. If you’re ready to change them, go for it, but if not just take them down for now. Make sure everything is accurate and ready for a new month.

Tip 5. This evening while you’ve got a nice cup of tea in hand, have a look at your Instagram story highlights and see if you can update them. You might want to add some info about you, your website, new opening times or new products coming in. Have a look at your archive and see what you could add and of course make sure it all matches your branding too!

Tip 6. Blogging - there are so many benefits! Firstly it’s brilliant for helping you get to the top of Google, especially if you spend time thinking about what your target audience want to read. It also helps to show you as an expert in your industry, so make sure you add your own views and opinions.

It gives you links to share on Pinterest and last but not least, it helps us get to know you, your personality and style of writing! Your #TeaBreakTip for today is to write a blog! But instead of starting from scratch, find an old post that did well that you can update and add to. This should be fun and easy, it doesn’t have to be thousands of words. Have a go this week and let me know how you get on!

Tip 7. Do you have business cards? Or leaflets? Flyers? Loyalty cards? Posters? Receipts? Postcards? Gather up all your marketing materials and check they are still accurate. You might have rebranded, changed your phone number or updated your Instagram handle, there are lots of things that could have changed in your business since you first created them. Make sure they are all up to date ready to get back to business soon (hopefully!)

Tip 8. Your #TeaBreakTip for today is to start planning a newsletter. I know it will take more than 10 minutes to do so just start planning what topics you’d cover and how you’d say it. There will always be things stopping us but if we can make a tiny step forward we’ll probably find they aren’t as scary as they are in our head!

Tip 9. This challenge is all about taking small 10 minute steps to improve your marketing, but what happens if all your marketing is amazing, your customer gets to your website and then *ahhh* it doesn’t work and they can’t make a purchase?! Unless there’s someone kind who can tell you, you might never know.

My tip today is to ask a nice but honest friend to go through all the steps to make a purchase on your website and give you some feedback. What works well, what could be easier, buttons and links that don’t lead anywhere. Make a big list of priorities and work through them over the next week to get your website ready for the rest of the year!

Tip 10. Restarting my newsletter reminded me of something important for today’s #TeaBreakTip! Check that all of your newsletter sign up forms are working and GDPR compliant too. If you haven’t set up your newsletter yet put a sign up form on your website and start collecting those emails! It will give you a ready made audience for when you start sending them out.

Tip 11. Finishing off some websites gave me the idea today’s #TeaBreakTip because SEO is something that (rightfully so) usually comes up. But rather than rush in and throw everything at it, let’s start from the beginning and research some keywords.

There is sooo much free SEO help online but it all comes down to thinking about your customers. Remember that the way customers describe what you do might be totally different to how you would. So how are they finding you online? Keep in mind these keywords and start building on them!

Tip 12. Today’s #TeaBreakTip is to chat over your ideas with someone you trust. It could be your friend, an expert, your family, me! But get your thoughts out of your head and find a different point of view. I promise you it will help, if only to think ‘well there’s no way I’m doing it like that....’

Tip 13. Pick some of the hashtags you use regularly and take a look at the top posts. What are people sharing? What topics are they talking about that you have an opinion on too? This is absolutely not permission to copy, if you’re inspired by someone else then credit them in the post! But by looking at the TOP posts you can see what’s doing well and how you add something new for your own business!

Tip 14. If you’ve got some time in your day then here’s a challenge, take 5 new pictures for your Facebook or Instagram. They might not be used, but start getting in the habit of documenting parts of your day.

Taking photos is something I always procrastinate on because I worry they need to be taken on the camera, set up perfectly and edited before I can post them. But the truth is your phone works just as well and I’m a firm believer in keeping things simple and not putting barriers in your way. If it’s stopping you posting, it isn’t working!

Tip 15. A lot of my clients have been too nervous to try, but you CAN make your own graphics for social media. Share your news, quotes, memes, testimonials, anything you can think of in a simple branded graphic for your business. We use Illustrator but you could use Canva which is easy to get the hang of and I’m sure there are loads of others out there to try.

Tip 16. Make sure that the posts you do this weekend have enough information that even an alien could buy from you 👽 Put your website in your Facebook posts or your address on your Instagram. Make it so easy that even though we’re all busy we can still quickly order with you, because as much as your customers love you, I bet they probably don’t know your number by heart!

Tip 17. Treat your Pinterest like it’s your ideal customer’s favourite magazine. What sort of thing would they want to see and read? You could literally look at a magazine that you think your audience would read and get some inspiration from there! Have some fun with it and set aside some time this weekend to work on your Pinterest.

Tip 18. My #TeaBreakTip for you today is to share who your product or service is for. You might have a service for small businesses, a gift that is perfect for Valentine’s Day or even a product that helps with homeschooling. Tell us who it can help and why!

Tip 19. Get a giant piece of paper, start with one idea and see how many different posts, newsletter, blogs and Pinterest posts you can get out of it. You don’t have to put them up today but I want to show you how far you can take just one simple idea. Don’t forget, all your followers don’t see everything you post so you’re helping your audience by giving them more chance to see what you’re sharing.

Tip 20. Do something out of your comfort zone! I really didn’t want to speak on my stories or show you the intimate details of my sandwich making (although I did used to be a Sandwich Artist at Subway) but here we are and now I have a reel! Go on, do something scary today!

Tip 21. Your #TeaBreakTip for today is to WRITE A BLOG! Set a timer for 10 minutes and write a blog. It won’t be perfect and it might not even be long, but pick a topic, set the timer and focus on that just for 10 minutes. The aim is to get out of your own way and start writing without worry about the end result. I bet you can find 10 minutes!

Tip 22. Spend next week noticing when things don’t feel easy and what’s stopping it? Try and get rid of anything getting in the way of you enjoying your business! And honestly, is anyone actually working 9-5 at the moment? We’re all just doing the best we can!

Tip 23. If you already have a newsletter take a look at the ones that have done well and if you don’t have a newsletter (I hope you’re getting ready to!) then look at the emails you do sign up to. What made you sign up? What makes you open different newsletters? Sign up for mine in the link below!

Tip 24. Create 5 pins for your Pinterest account. If you get into it and make more then that’s amazing! A few basics I’ve learnt are…

✨ Vertical pins are best, so have a look at your portrait photos or try a template where you can use more than one image

✨ Images with text tend to do better in my experience, so add some text about what you’re linking to

✨ Have something great to link the images to. It could be your website, a blog, a product or even your Instagram page

✨ Create boards that your customers and clients will be interested and pin other people’s images too

Tip 25. Research 10 new hashtags for your account. I like to look at some of the hashtags I’ve already got, take a look at the top posts and see what other hashtags they’re using. Keep clicking through, writing down the best ones as you go until you’ve built your bank. Don’t forget less is more for hashtags, I like to aim for ones that have been used less than 100k times. If you need abit of extra help there’s lots of hashtag advice in my Be Your Own Social Media Manager eBook!

Tip 26. Today I’ve asked my friend @hannahcopywriter to bring the goods instead! Thanks Han, amazing advice 🧡 Nailing your elevator pitch...

Whether you need to pitch yourself in an email to a new client or to a room full of strangers at a networking event, these tips will help you nail it every time:

✅ Don’t tell your life story. Keep your pitch brief - three or four sentences, tops.

✅ Be chatty. If you’re writing it, write as you would speak. Use contractions (that’s ‘I’m’ instead of ‘I am’, for instance). Show some personality. You want to sound like a human, not a robot.

✅ Follow a three-step formula:

1️⃣ Start with your name (sounds obvious, but easy to forget when you’re nervous)

2️⃣ Summarise the problems you solve - and for who.

3️⃣ Tell ‘em why you’re awesome.

Tip 27. Your #TeaBreakTip for today is to set up a Pinterest account! It won’t take long and you can get started right away. If you’re not sure if it will be right for you send me a message and let’s have a chat about it 🧡

Tip 28. Treat yourself... with a product from your own website! Buy a product on your website and be critical about the process. Is there anything you could improve?

📍What worked well📍What didn’t work at all📍Is there a typo in your emails? 📍Was it easy to choose your payment method? 📍 Did it make you want to fill your basket, buy everything, spend all your money and return every month? If not maybe it’s time for some website updates?

Tip 29. Stop what you’re doing and turn on two factor authentication on Instagram. It’s not a total guarantee to protect your account, but it does put in one extra barrier to try and stop hackers sneaking their way in and ruining all your hard work. There’s no point in us working really hard to grow our accounts if we don’t try to protect them from being taken away!

Tip 30. Get your diary, planner or phone calendar out and write down all of the key dates that are coming up this year. It shouldn’t take too long and you can continue adding to it later, but it’s a great way to plan ahead for your PR and social media accounts. Launches, business birthdays, events (fingers crossed!), awareness days and dates to remember can all be added to the list. Even if you aren’t sure if they will happen, get them down so we can all be hopeful, start to prepare and think in advance.

Tip 31. My final #TeaBreakTip for this month (but definitely not the last) is to find some time today, even just 10 minutes, to think about what went well for your business, and what your plans for next month are. Here’s mine to give you some inspiration…

Things that went well

- Did all 31 days of the #TeaBreakTips! Finally spoke on Instagram stories. Restarted The Social Sunday. Worked with some lovely new one to one clients. Made a reel of me making a sandwich.

Plans for next month

- Tomorrow morning launch my new thing and tell you the name! Finally share the podcasts I recorded a thousand years ago. Keep popping my head up and being visible here.

There's my top 31 Tea Break Tips! If you'd like some extra social media help download my Be Your Own Social Media Manager eBook here.


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