The best marketing is free

Over the last couple of months I have been doing something I have always wanted to do and that is working for a Professional Wrestling company. It has only been as a volunteer but I have had an absolutely awesome time doing it. The company is called Plymouth Wrestling Association and they are a fantastic group of guys.

I felt really passionately about helping a local promotion out as I want to see more quality live wrestling happening in my local area and I want more people in my area to get in to wrestling. I may not have the ability or the desire to become a performer myself but I have skills in media, PR and communications so I was determined to use those skills to help them. So many people these days either hire their own marketing staff or outsource to a marketing company but me personally I would prefer to see those funds used to improve the product and the company, not to market it.

Unfulfilled promises

When you have something you want to advertise it is tricky to know where to begin. It is so easy for companies to plough money in to advertisements, gaining email addresses for leads etc. etc. etc. but in many cases these will not lead to increased business at anywhere near the rate of investment splashed out. There are too many media organisations making promises to businesses that they can’t keep and sadly too many people getting suckered in by them.

There are so many ways to get attention to your product or business that don’t cost a single penny, which so many people are not exploiting. The best return on investment is when you see increased business from doing something that cost you nothing. So before you think about investing in marketing, why not invest some time and energy in activities that don’t cost anything and see what response you get.

Think creatively

At Plymouth Wrestling Association we had to think a bit creatively this week but because of a bit of creativity we have had a daily feature on the biggest commercial radio station in the area on their breakfast show, we have a slot on the local BBC this Saturday the day before the big show and we are all over social media and the internet. All of this activity has led to us nearing a sell out of tickets before doors open which is an incredible achievement.

Your audience has never been closer and easier to get in direct contact with so lets use these opportunities. Why pay someone to do something you can do yourself. At the end of the day that is what marketing is, I don’t know of many people on this planet who don’t have the ability to let someone else know about something.

Ideas

You don’t need to be a marketing guru to have a good idea of how to get the word out. Ideas aren’t linked to experience or intelligence. So if you are trying to promote something stop and think to yourself, who are your audience? Where are your audience? And how can I reach them?

There is nothing more rewarding than seeing your own hard work pay off and if your willing to work hard at marketing your product you will see the rewards.

Refugees

One subject I had to blog about this week is the current refugee situation happening in the world at the moment. I am not a huge fan of the word ‘immigrant’ so excuse me if I don’t use it how it is being banded about in the press but I really wanted to share my views on the situation.

I think as a global population we should be doing everything we can to help those that are risking their lives to reach safety after being forced to flee their own homes and homeland due to instability, war and safety concerns. I know for many of us in the west it is so hard to comprehend their plight, as it is something that in the current world we would never have to do, but it is so important that we do and that we help them. If you have the luxury of being able to live in safety and have your own home you are lucky and it is important that as many of us with the capacity to help – do something.

Easy for the privileged

If you have money you can buy a visa or citizenship to another country. If you have had a good education and have unique skills you can get a visa to another country because of those things. Nobody says anything bad about these people wanting to move to another country but it seems that people, who haven’t had those privileges are seen as awful for wanting that same opportunity, but for much more compelling reasons.

As the public of the western world we have to be very careful to not get desensitised to what is going on. At the moment there seems to be so much media coverage of the situation, which is a good thing but we need to be careful about how we respond to it. We can’t afford to let the news and images we see lessen what we feel or let it make us feel helpless.

Don’t hide behind social media

The other thing we have to be very careful of is hiding behind social media. Social media is a great place to share feelings about situations and news about situations but we have to be careful of not getting in to the mind-set that sharing about something on social media is enough and that it will solve the worlds problems. We have to follow it up with action.

I think as a world we need to do something to help those caught up in the current refugee situation to find safety but long term it is important that we all try and stamp out the things that lead to people seeking refuge in other countries. People should be able to live without fear in their home country. If people are to move to a new country it shouldn’t be to flee it should be because it is a decision they want to make.

The one thing we all want regardless of our situations is a better life or the best life and I wan to do all I can to help as many people obtain that.

Getting the world talking

In today’s social media age it has never been easier to get the world talking about something. Sadly we don’t call it getting the world talking any more, we call it trending. The question I want to pose today though is this: Do companies know the difference between trending and engagement?

Having millions of people posting at the same time about something, is really cool, but if no one is talking about it 12 hours later, what did it matter and what did it change? The real gauge of interest isn’t how many people post online using the right hashtag or click a link; the real gauge of interest is what action people take about something that is trending.

What to believe

The other problem we have in social media land now, is not knowing what to believe. When you see a post online you don’t know whether someone has been paid to put it up, has paid to make it more visible compared to other posts or if the person posting is a real account and not a robot or a fake alias. On social media, popularity is for sale and anyone can pay to make a topic, an event or a company trend.

When I log on to Facebook I always look at what is trending and it is a function that has made me aware of things that I hadn’t picked up on in the news. It is sad though that I think one day, what is trending will be the news and we will be more interested in what is trending, than we are traditional news. I think more and more that trending is how we find out about the stories of the world around us and I too am guilty of that, but that just shows how much of a powerful tool it can be.

Importance of Trending

Because of the importance put on getting things to trend, it ramps up the pressure. There seems to be a badge of honour that comes with getting something to trend and when it does trend, people then can’t wait to let people know that their stories trend.

The longer we digest social media in this way continues, the more competition there will be to be trending and all I can see that doing, is meaning on average that items will trend for even shorter periods than they do now, so it will turn in to a case of blink and you will miss it.

Slow down

Just because the online world moves fast, it doesn’t mean that it is always a good thing. If you are involved in putting content online you should want longevity in your content. When I look at stats for this blog, how many people view an article on the day it publishes doesn’t bother me, what I am interested in is how my posts from last year are doing, as that is the test of timeless content. The other stats I am interested in are – how many people comment, follow, like and click through to other articles after reading their first one.

My advice to the online community is – let’s stop worrying about the moment and think about the lifetime.

Why?

I think one of the greatest internal battles in life is trying to figure out ‘why’. Why you think the way you do? Why do you feel the way you do? Why things have happened to you? Why you are living where you live? `Why you enjoy the things you do? Why you do the things you do? Etc. etc.

Some of these maybe easy to answer but some you can wrestle with for a while and not come up with an answer. On the journey that is life, we make millions of decisions that get us to where we are and where we go, this is why I think it is important to understand as many of the ‘whys’ as possible. The more ‘whys’ we understand the better the decisions we can make, the less time we will waste and the more hope we can build for the future.

Understanding

The human mind is a complex thing and trying to figure it out is a daunting challenge but the more we understand our own mind the better our lives can be. It is important to understand where we can, how events that have happened to us or around us have affected us. The quicker we can work out how an event has affected us the less likely we are to make a bad or wrong decision because of it.

I think it is also important to look at why other people do the things they do. If you can get to the route and to the why, the more you can help someone and the better you can understand them. It is important that we as a world become slower to judge others and quicker to consider their life, where they come from and what they have been through.

Delve deeper

Sometimes in life we just get caught up in looking at what is happening instead of why it is happening. To understand the world around us we can’t just be headline readers, we need to delve in to the stories with that inquisitive mind-set of looking for the ‘why’ in the story.

The battle of learning the ‘whys’ is a battle of becoming less affected by the world and becoming more in control of your own life and actions. By being aware of why you do the things you do, it will hopefully make you less impulsive and help you make decisions that you truly want to make, decisions that are best for you and the people around you.

Advice

My advice this week would be – don’t let your life pass you by without asking yourself ‘why’ once in a while. A lot of the answers to questions, which begin with ‘why’, will unlock a lot of future happiness in your life. Sometimes it is a hard process to get to the route of the why and the answers you find can challenge you on many levels but going through this process is an important step in understanding your life, which is one of the most powerful things you can do.

My Book on Dementia

Just a short blog this Friday – to let all my readers know that, until the end of tomorrow, you can get my book on dementia care for free on amazon:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Unbreakable-Bond-Adam-Sibley-ebook/dp/B00UM6ATBW

I know most of you will have already got your copy, but if you haven’t for whatever reason, I implore you to get over to amazon and download it. Even if you have no time to read it now, get it and save it for later.

I have made it free for five days to coincide with “National Dementia Awareness Week.” Anything that I can do to spread awareness and help the cause I am more than willing to do.

The awareness of my book is growing, which I am very happy about, as I just want it to help as many people as possible. The book in recent weeks has topped various amazon charts, which has meant the world to me. I don’t care about being a chart topper or a best seller for me; I just care about the number of people that this book helps.

As part of “National Dementia Awareness Week” I hope the awareness of people who care for loved ones who have dementia is increased. With the growth in the number of people battling this illness, the numbers of people caring for them will grow also.

The reason why I think it is important for all people to read dementia literature, is that sadly there is a good chance that at some point in your life you will be affected by it in some way. Having the knowledge and being prepared now, will help you a lot more when the time comes, than just waiting until it happens and then trying to find things out in amongst everything you are going through. Researching it now with a level head and without personal connections to the subject might just make a huge difference in later life.

Thank you to everyone that supports my work, without the people who support me I could never impact the world.

National Dementia Awareness Week

Here in the UK it is ‘National Dementia Awareness Week” this week. Dementia is a subject very close to my heart after caring for my mum who had early onset dementia. I have seen what this illness can do to people and the affect it has on not only the people going through it, but the people around them as well.

It’s Important

There seems to be more and more special days and weeks to recognise something or other these days. I don’t think there is a day in the calendar, which isn’t a special day for something, somewhere in the world but I think this week is important.

Regular readers of my blog will know about my book I wrote about my time caring for my mum, called “Unbreakable Bond.”

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Unbreakable-Bond-Adam-Sibley-ebook/dp/B00UM6ATBW

The idea behind the book was to help raise awareness, which ties brilliantly in to the message of this week. I want to do my small bit to raise awareness, but I hope by doing my bit I encourage others to do the same. There isn’t enough awareness in this world of what life is really like for those affected by dementia and that is the type of awareness I want to help raise.

The human side

I believe the awareness of what dementia is, is already at a sky-high level. People are aware of how much of a problem it is for the modern world but I think we need more awareness of the human side behind it and not just the stats.

So this week I encourage you to actually take the time to talk to people who have been affected by dementia and take time to find out about their stories. People who have been through it will have a lot of insight to share, that will really put this illness and its effects in to perspective for you.

There are some amazing and special people in this world that have been affected by dementia and we as the human race need to do all we can to make sure that in the future less and less people are affected by dementia and not more.

Distractions

For the last two weeks I have been away with my wife having the most amazing honeymoon roadtripping across America. Instead of spending days on end in front of screens whether that be computers, phones, TV’s and the like we instead we were on the open road communicating by that old fashioned technique of speaking and listening whilst using our eyes to take in the world around us.

I think removing distractions makes you more aware of your surroundings and what is actually going on in your life. During the honeymoon we saw some amazing things, met some lovely people and ate so much delicious food but the thing I enjoyed the most was the quality time we spent together.

I think it is nearly impossible in todays day and age not to spend parts of your day looking at a screen but I think the more we can pull ourselves away from them the better our quality of life will be. I think if we did spend less time on our gadgets we would get more done and there would be less people complaining about not having enough time in the day to do everything.

I think for so many people now it’s just a force of habit to check their smartphone every few minutes with not even thinking about it. With so much available at the tips of your fingers you go on your phone to do something but somehow end up scrolling your facebook or twitter an forget why you were on the phone in the first place.

I think I am going to spend more time figuring out how phones, tablets and computers fit in to my life rather than fitting my life around them as I want to say I enjoyed life when I look back on it and that I experienced everything there was to offer around me.