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Hilary O’Dwyer is a Virtual CFO. She is a numbers ninja and is founder of Titian Consulting and in mid 2020, Hilary realised that if she wanted to grow her business and her brand to extend beyond her natural network, she was going to need to do some marketing.

At this point, Hilary had already secured some great client retainer work and was receiving some word-of-mouth referrals from this work as well as her existing business network. However, Hilary’s plans for her business were to increase the work she was getting so that she could perhaps look at employing one or two more team members.

The problem was, when it came to marketing, she just didn’t know where to start. When she started to think about the idea of getting herself out there using social media, she became quite overwhelmed at the thought.

Fortunately for us both, Hilary attended the Marketing Masterclass that I presented to the Business Chicks network and within a week, she had signed up to my How to do Marketing Academy.

So for the past 9 months, Hilary has been planning and implementing the marketing for her business, and listeners, she is absolutely rocking it!

With a small budget and limited time to spend on her marketing, Hilary has been focusing on the marketing activity that will help her to become more visible online, including some killer content marketing which she is publishing out via LinkedIn…

If you would like to get in touch with Hilary, you can find her here:

Website: https://titian.consulting/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/hilary-o-dwyer-85b35913/


Episode Transcript:

Jane:

Hi Hilary, and welcome to the How to do Marketing Show.

Hilary:

Hi, Jane. Great to be here. Thanks for having me.

Jane:

Oh, thanks for being part of it. I’m so looking forward to a discussion and before we kick that off, before I start asking you all the questions I would love to get you to tell our listeners a little bit about your business tissue and consulting. Tell us what is it that you do?

Hilary:

Thanks, Jane. So Hilary Dwyer, I’m founder of Titian Consulting, and I work as a virtual CFO or chief financial officer. So I think that numbers tell a compelling story and I help business owners interpret their numbers. So I’m that bridge between your basic data entry and your tax accountant. So we look at business plans, we look at forecasting, we look at how to grow the business. I’m going to report back against those plans and see where things go right or wrong. So that’s a little overview of what we do.

Jane:

Oh, it’s a brilliant overview of what you do, Hillary. That’s amazing. And I think what you do is so important for small businesses because not only does it help kind of plan from a financial perspective, but I just love anyone in this world that helps us as small business owners, better understand our numbers because even from a marketing perspective, without understanding your financial position, not only now, but you know how decisions in the past have affected your financial situation so that you can learn from those, but also for the future understanding. What happens from a revenue perspective, from a profit perspective, from a break even perspective when I do this. So having that person to be able to interpret that in plain language to kind of break it down to the main numbers and be that kind of conduit, as you say, between the accountant and say the bookkeeper I think that’s such a brilliant spot to be in.

Jane:

And I know the work that you do is amazing. So thank you very much for introducing yourself. And as I was going to say from the marketing perspective unless you actually understand where it is you want to go financially and how much money you have to spend, you know, because at the end of the day, marketing is an investment. You will have to spend money at least time someone’s resources, but money at some point so understanding how you’re actually going to have that investment fit into your business is absolutely integral. So why did you start your business in the first place, Hillary? What was the catalyst for you starting Titian?

Hilary:

I never expected to be a business owner or to run my own gig at all, but after my second child maternity leave, I was just going, I cannot go back to the corporate world. I just didn’t feel our family could support the two of us having busy jobs. I’m that kind of thing. I just was looking for a change. So, but I didn’t know what that change was going to be. So someone approached me during my maternity leave and asked me what to do the books for his bookshop in new tab. And I said, yeah, sure, no problem, easy peasy. My eyes closed. And it grew from there. But what I realized was that like my skill set of when I was working in the corporate world, I was able to parlay that into small businesses. So I quickly left the bookkeeping behind, but I was obviously grateful for my very first client and started to work with business owners to do that whole strategy piece of the puzzle and making sense of the zero file and just demystifying finance for people. So all the big skills that I learned for big corporations is exactly the same for small businesses. And that’s what drove me. It was just, I needed flexibility in my home life basically. And I haven’t looked back.

Jane:

I’m the same and there’s so many small business owners and entrepreneurs who I think, would say exactly the same once you actually start and go down that path, it’s hard to actually see yourself ever working for someone again. And I think even with all of the challenges and all of the uncertainty that sometimes having your own business can, can bring, you know, it’s still so rewarding having that you know, having your own business and working towards your own success. So do you think you would ever go back to that corporate world? Do you think small business is now for you?

Hilary:

I think so. Someone asked me recently, would I, cause you know, some of my clients are looking for full-time me’s, so it could be kind of an option. But the thoughts of having to go back and ask someone to sign off on my annual leave, just kills me.

Jane:

Yeah, a hundred percent. And I think it’s parents as well. We were just discussing before we dumped on, on this call, you know, having kids home sick and all the rest, when you run your own gig that’s something that you can just go, oh, okay, no problems, you know, say at home, I can look after you and I can still do an honest day’s work.

Hilary:

Exactly. It’s easy to roll with the punches because there’s just so much more flexibility built in.

Jane:

Yeah. Completely agree. So you started the business, you’re loving it. You’re plugged away for a little while, got some more clients on board, started building up those kind of regular gigs. And then at some point you decided that, okay, I’ve got it to this far now. I think I need to start looking at, at doing some marketing. Can you talk us through some of the factors that led you to seek out some marketing assistance? Like what, what was that transition? Talk us through that transition of just kind of running the business to then go actually, no, I’ve got to go next level now.

Hilary:

So it was, a lot of my business comes through word of mouth and I had gotten to the point where it was, it was kind of new clients were kind of drying up and I always had my mind that I made just to be doing marketing and I had to be trying to drive the business forward and not rely on simply getting recommended or referred to someone. I want it to be kind of, you know, master of my own destiny a bit. So that’s what the thing was, is going, right. I’ve got to just not be passive. I’ve got to be just much more out there and doing some things. So that was kind of the key. There’s a natural law, which happens in businesses and I get that, but is that natural things weren’t coming down the line to me, I was going right. I’ve got to take control of this because I don’t want to just be simply sitting around waiting for something to happen.

Jane:

Yes. Absolutely. And that’s such a great way of putting it is because a lot of the time when I, when I first start working with small business owners and it, and it’s true, you know, word of mouth and referral will always be a big component of our business. If we’re good at what we do, of course, we’re going to get that word of mouth and referral. And that’s something that we will always welcome, having said that, that is a very passive way of just kind of waiting for things to happen. And you know, if those word of mouth or referrals kind of dry up a bit then what are you doing to actually make sure that you’ve got that steady stream of leads? And I loved your description of okay. Yeah. I could sit there and be passive and just kind of wait for those word of mouth and referrals to keep going, or I can be more proactive and I loved your words; master of my own destiny. And so actually go out and start seeking new networks of customers and potential clients that I can actually start getting in front of to drive more leads and more clients because ultimately if you do want to scale the business, you’re going to have to do that at some point. Did you have any hesitations about investing in marketing to achieve this business growth?

Hilary:

It was just nerves. It was fear. Fear of the unknown, to be honest, because marketing for me, terrifies me right. Where some people might go, I just don’t want to know about numbers that terrifies that book for me, it’s just not my natural thing. So that was my hesitation. I just simply didn’t know where to start. I just was very overwhelmed by it all and I was dabbling a bit in LinkedIn and this, that and the other, but nothing significant, but I just didn’t know where to start.

Jane:

Yeah. So you didn’t know where to start. You felt that there was some overwhelmed and when you say it just wasn’t my thing. Like, it’s just not something that comes naturally to me. What were some of those fears, like in terms of that kind of uncertainty and I guess getting out of your comfort zone, what was it that kind of really worried you there? What was that fear do you think?

Hilary:

I think I wondered was it going to be a management I couldn’t climb? I think I thought if I start to look into too much, would it just be bigger than her and I would just then go cause I’m a micro-business myself. It’s just made the mode and I don’t have a team behind me doing content or anything else like that. And I just go, oh my God, if I start this well, it just wouldn’t even make a dent in it. I just, it was too much for me. Do you know what I mean?

Jane:

Yeah. Yeah. You don’t want to start something that you can’t finish and you don’t want to invest in something that then you waste because you can’t get it done.

Hilary:

Do it badly. And then it’s not giving you the returns that you expect or whatever else, but it’s just sort of this whole, where do I even start?

Jane:

Yeah. And that’s such a common I guess, place of starting for a lot of small businesses. That is generally where they will come to me or even to other marketers and go, you know, I want to do it and you know, I get some of it, like there’s some stuff that I kind of understand the principles of, but I just don’t know what I’m doing or I don’t know where to start, as you said, or how often do I do it or I don’t even know what kind of, what to say or, you know, how do I know that the stuff I’m saying is going to the right people and all of that sort of stuff. So I think that’s a really familiar story there. So Hillary is one of my, How to do Marketing Academy members and she’s been on the program since July last year, so, eight months or something now, can you remember back to before you started, what did you think? I mean, you mentioned LinkedIn, you said you were kind of doing a little bit with LinkedIn. What did you think your marketing might involve? I mean, you also mentioned that you thought it might involve a lot, you know, a lot of content. What did you think at a rough guess that your marketing might involve?

Hilary:

So I think I knew there’d be a bit of LinkedIn action happening. And then after that, I really didn’t know because I just don’t know what kind of thing. There’s, I mean, all the terms and all the phrase it’s like on our cheeses. Like, and I had turned, you know, and then when we looked into, it turns out that my link, my website wasn’t even linked to Google, so it couldn’t be found and there was all sorts of nonsense going on. But yeah, I didn’t, I didn’t really know, but it was the great thing about it was that we got, I got the building blocks from you and we chumped everything down into, into small pieces, which was really good because it took away that quail, you know, it’s like, okay, I can manage that. I can, I can do an article on LinkedIn or, or whatever it was. It was just, it was demystified for me, I think, as I do for my own clients, I think that’s what you did. You’re just saying, okay, well, here’s what we’re going to look at.

Jane:

Yeah. Which is awesome. And that’s it like as a small business owner when you’re actually doing the work, particularly in the professional services industry, when you’re actually doing the work for your clients, so that that’s a good portion of your week, let alone all the hats that you have to wear for your own business, the operations and the finance and you know, the professional development. And then to add another one, which is marketing, you don’t have, you know, two days in your week to just slot the marketing stuff in, you know, it, it has to be a realistic approach for anything, for anything that you add to your belly because as a, as a small business owner. So you mentioned before that, that some of your perceptions around marketing was that there was this kind of unknown that it was potentially a big box of overwhelmed, just waiting to, to, to grab hold of you. What was some of your other perceptions about marketing before you actually started to do it?

Hilary:

I never really knew how effective it was to be quite honest. So I used to, through all my various corporate roles, you know, I’d be sitting in meetings with the marketing teams and they’d be talking about their campaigns or what they’d be doing. And I think was more just maybe my lack of understanding, but I found it very hard to get those tangible results of what they were doing. So when I’m then going into look at my own marketing, I’m going, okay, I can do this by one of the results, but that’s not changed for me because I can now I see the results, whether it’s through, Google analytics telling me something or Facebook analytics, but I can not see what it is, what the impact of what I’m doing. So that makes it much more meaningful for me.

Jane:

Yeah. And that’s huge because I think that’s exactly if marketing is like this dark art to a lot of people and it seems to be the one thing that’s in some businesses optional, like if there’s an economic downturn or if there’s a downturn in revenue or whatever, we’ll just drop marketing because you know, who knows what they’re doing anyway, like it’s the coloring in department or it’s all the bullshit and the fluff and they just carry on with a lot of and I’m not sure what, how that actually affects the bottom line. And so that’s a really common perception as well. But I think your point around when you can actually see a lot of those tangible results it changes everything.

Cause you’re like, okay, this is something to kind of get your head around. But if I can actually see the results of the actions that I’m taking, then this makes sense. And you don’t have to understand every nuance. You don’t have to have the degree in marketing and understand the theory, you know, the theoretical side in any depth to understand, well, it’s a cause and effect thing. If I do this, I get this result. And that’s something that digital marketing has made very apparent. And it’s wonderful. And you mentioned Google analytics, but there’s also all your social media insights. When you send email, you can use email software that gives you breakdowns as to how many people have opened this and how many people have clicked through how many people have unsubscribed, all of that sort of stuff.

Jane:

So that’s this brilliant paper trail of how people are actually reacting to your content that you can then marry against your kind of overall bottom line reporting or your overall financial reporting. And you can build in measurements to the degree. I think where the marketing, the dark art came from is generally, you know, with things that build in the longer term. So things like brand and building a brand and that’s really, really hard to measure, but it’s something that’s really, really important to do. From a value point of view. If you’re building  a business that you actually want to sell, at some point, if you’re building a business where you want to acquire customers at a cheaper rate, if your brand is well-known, if you’ve got credibility in your brand if people are familiar with your brand and your values and everything you stand for, it actually makes it a lot easier for you to be able to kind of get customers.

There’s so many benefits to brand, but that’s the kind of thing that’s so hard to measure. And for large organizations, for corporate organizations where they can afford to engage big research houses and those sorts of things, of course there’s ways and means of measuring that brand, but for small business, typically, there’s not that kind of really obvious I guess paper trail of how those branding activities kind of affect your long term growth. And also things like when organizations used to advertise with outdoor or advertise on TV or on radio, unless they actually put a specific promotional code, which again was pretty clunky and unreliable saying, if you saw this, if you heard this out on the radio quote, this code and you’ll get $10 off or whatever, it’s clunky and it’s gross, you know. It’s really not something that we like to work with, but so there was kind of these really clunky measurements, but overall it was just try and make sure that you’ve done the research in the first place to know that if we stick a billboard here, or if we stick an ad on this radio station, that our customers are hopefully going to be listening to that.

Jane:

So I think that dark art and the unknown is coming from a kind of logical place. But now with digital marketing, there’s so much more that you can track. And it’s amazing because even things like outdoor advertising is now becoming so much more trackable because it’s kind of moving into that digital realm and with artificial intelligence and all that sort of stuff, which is still really in that space where it’s kind of just relevant for larger businesses, because a lot of that’s kind of quite expensive technology now, but that that will come back and reducing price so that it’s more accessible to smaller businesses. But I think that’s a really good point around that measurement and with small businesses, most of the marketing that you are doing is through digital channels.

So those measurements are definitely there. So, yeah, that’s a really good point. So the first thing we did with you and you touched on this before and we do this with all our clients, no matter how we are kind of helping them out, but we developed that the strategic marketing plan for your business. So rather than go, okay, let’s just jump into LinkedIn because you’re a business to business. And we know that that’s typically a business to business platform. We took it back a step and went right. Let’s do the actual strategic thinking first and foremost, before we work out what we need to do at a tactical point of view. Can you remember some of the aha moments or the realizations that dropped out of that strategic planning process for you?

Hilary:

I think the key thing for me was identifying my ideal customers. It was this sort of stuff that gave me the heebie-jeebies to go on. Like, I don’t know, but we worked through it. So you were asking all the right questions. It was making me think it wasn’t that what ends up not being as hard as I thought it was going to be. And what I’ve done since then is I now have three ideal clients, not just the world, because I was kind of giving all the attributes of everybody I have in my portfolio into one person, well no I can have multiple. So I’ve really honed that now. And when I redid the website, I had that available for me to say, right, okay. I’m taking a three clients and I’ve given them all Irish names and we’re able to talk about the different ones. That was my real, aha, I want to go, actually, I can do this and I can identify what I’m offering and be who I want to offer it to.

Jane:

Yeah. And you mentioned that you were able to take that to the website developer and the copywriter so that when you’re actually putting together your new website, they had an understanding of who they were talking to, who they were developing the messaging to, which is exactly why we do this. Not only is it important for you to know who you’re actually targeting with your messaging and who your ideal client is, but then the other stakeholders that you engage for your marketing kind of need to understand that as well. So if you’ve got that information all in kind of one little document, you can just share that really easily that’s the key. In terms of that target audience identification, and you’ve got three, which is awesome. I love it. And I love that you’ve given them the names because when we actually put a name to our target audience segments, we start to think of them as people. And when we start to think of people, as people, we start to make human centric decisions. Decisions that affect real people, as opposed to thinking of numbers or a group of people, or, you know, a group of the community we’re starting to think of. And what’s one of your target audiences names?

Hilary:

Bridget.

Jane:

Bridget. Okay. So we start to think of, okay, and it’s not just in your marketing, it’s in your operations, you know, like if I’m developing or if I’m going to add this service, for example, or if I’m going to change the pricing of something, or if I’m going to you know, decide to deliver, these features that belong with this services, what would Bridget think? You know, if I think about Bridget and if I think of her in her business, and I think of all the struggles that she has and the aspirations that she has, how will this decision that I’m making affect Bridget. And then you can really start understanding that from human to human level, have there been any other benefits that you’ve really noticed by just that simple fact of identifying who those target audiences are? I mean, apart from being able to communicate that with your copywriter and web developer.

Hilary:

It found for me what my offering is because I’ve been spending years fluffing around trying to describe what I do. Right. And I’ve been read that out and I haven’t had the right words. I haven’t had like the right visualizations of it, but by doing that basic work with you, I’m like really crucial work. It just gave me more clarity around what I do. Right. And therefore, I get to then say that more clearly to someone else and go with, this is what I do. And that’s been a massive gain for me.

Jane:

And as noted in your introduction where you articulated it perfectly, that, that, that was like the perfect introduction. I understood exactly what you did and who it is. You helped with that. So that’s, that’s brilliant. That’s, that’s a really good plus. So the plan, once the plan was done and we’d gone, okay, what is it? And in the plan we look at well, what is it that you’re trying to achieve over the next 12 months? And in the longer term, you know, who is it that we are trying to talk to? We do have a bit of a look at the competitive market and go, okay, well, if you’re Bridget, you know, what other choices do you have when you’re looking to solve your problem of getting across your, your numbers? And we look at, you know, what makes you different and some of your key messaging, et cetera, but once that’s kind of all in place, that’s when we actually put your marketing ecosystem together. And that’s where we go, okay, given that we’re going to try and achieve this as a business. And we’re when we’re targeting this type of person with our marketing, what are the marketing activities that we need to do over the next 12 months to get that done? So can you run us through some of the things just, even in the last eight months, what are some of the marketing activities that you’ve worked on to help you kind of achieve these objectives?

Hilary:

I think one of the key things was that it was content, right? So by content creation and what channels was going to put it on apart form, was it going to take, and I think the most successful and I’ve been doing has been little videos, which I just do these little 10 minute videos called two-minute takeaways. But just talk quite briefly and at a high level about something. So for example, my latest one I did on debt. So what kind of debt do you have in your balance sheet? Is it a credit card? Is it the ATO? What is it? So it was identifying that as a great thing to do, and then putting our heads together about subjects to actually talk about and then going in and creating them. And it’s not something I thought I’d ever do, but now I just find it so much easier to do.

And I actually quite enjoyed. And they go off like seeing the response to them is great. So it was all put down the street the other day that I know, and she’s like, oh, I love the latest one. I was like, oh, that’s great. So it was getting that direction from you to say, right, this is what we have to try and get across. And this is going to be a really good way to do it you know, in addition to writing blogs and that kind of thing as well, but then that’s been a real gold thing.

Jane:

Yeah. Yep. And you’re sharing those videos out by LinkedIn, but you’re also sharing them on Facebook as well. Aren’t you?

Hilary:

Yeah, I am. So I ended up creating a business page for my business because we realized that I was going to be able to access my target markets through there. So I put that on there and then I also put it on my website. So you can also see on the blog page, all the latest bits. So I have them all on those three on those three channels

Jane:

Facebook website and, and LinkedIn. So it’s a business page on Facebook. And then a lot of your videos you actually share out by your Hilary O’Dwyer page on LinkedIn, right?

Hilary:

Yeah, I do to my personal page rather than my business page, because it just

Jane:

Because your personal page gets more traction. Yeah. And then on your website as well, and you mentioned your website before, because as you said, when we looked at your website and that was a website that you’d built yourself, was it on Wix?

Hilary:

Yeah, it was on Wix and my husband did it. God bless him. So we weren’t spending any money. Right. We’re just going through this as cheap as possible. And I think we needed a presence because I’d spent years backwards because I was just getting all my work through word of mouth. So when you had to look at it you made some frank and open comments. It was like, okay. But it was good, you know, you’re going, no, it’s fine but we need to develop this. And it was that. So that was one of my quarter two goals. So we went live with a bit just before Christmas. So I spent the last quarter then just working on that in terms of the copy and the photography and everything else. So, yeah, it’s a much better product now for sure.

Jane:

Yeah. And as you said, you know, now it’s all linked to Google analytics, so you can actually see, because yeah. When we were looking at the Google analytics that was tied to your original site, it just wasn’t getting any back track. And look, I don’t know why, but it just wasn’t for whatever reason it wasn’t. And I think from memory, I think my comments around it was, cause I remember it was, it was a good looking site. And I think you had a beautiful image of yourself on there. Like it was, it was a professional and credible, but it was, I think from memory, it was just like one page. And so we said, we need to give more context as to what it is you do and who it is you help.

Jane:

We did get some new photography done. And I think we probably just put some additional navigation on that so that we could take people on a kind of logical flow journey through the website, one thing which I commend you for as well. And look, I think we all start off by either building our own website or own kind of digital assets. We all start off in that kind of organic way of just doing whatever we can to kind of get it up and running. But I think the great thing that you did there too, was in this next iteration of the website, you did invest in the web developer and you did invest in the copywriter. So rather than sit there and trying to spend all that time, writing that copy yourself, you just went, you know what, there’s someone else that can do this in a far more efficient manner.

And with the web developer as well the fact that we weren’t getting any traction on Google, when you employ a web developer, they’ll optimize the site so that your website is more easily found. They understand the navigational rules, they understand how Google works, they understand the flow, the templates, like it’s so easy for them to do it. And your website is one of those kinds of foundation investments that whatever marketing campaigns you do, so, whatever you do on LinkedIn and Facebook and or anything else, even if you went out and ran some industry print ads, even if you go out and speak at events, and do some speaking, inevitably, a lot of the people that see your content, wherever that is, are going to come back to your website at some point. But what you want your website to do is convince them to take the next step.

Whether that’s just even, reading a few more of your blog articles to get to know a little bit more about you while they work out, whether this is something that they want to do, whether if it’s just pick up the phone to find out more about you or whether it’s just to kind of send you an email and say, look, I need your help. You know, let’s talk about rates and all that sort of stuff. Your website is that key point where all of that can happen. And if you provide the right information, then you help your customer essentially purchase from you. And if you go out and spend a whole bunch on advertising or content marketing or whatever it is, and you’re driving people back to a website that doesn’t convert, then you could largely stand to lose a lot of that traffic that you’ve just spent time and effort driving back to your website. So you’d made such a good decision by getting that help from a copywriter and a web developer to actually make what is now a fantastic website. So what are some of the challenges that you’ve faced along the way? So in the last kind of eight months in this marketing journey, what are some of the things that have thrown up a bit of a spanner in the works that you’ve gone, oh gosh, that’s a bit difficult?

Hilary:

I mean, it’s probably an old Chestnut and I’m sure a lot of people feel the same, but it’s about content creation. I think that for me is just the… now I’m much more disciplined at it. Now, what I love about the academy is I just want to be given a list of things to do. I respond well to, to do lists, right. So, you set me off, you say, right, here’s what you’re doing for the next course, or this is what you go on. I go, okay. Right. Well, that’s what I’ve got to do. So I’ve come back now after the Christmas break, very much of the whole, no, I’ve got X number of marketing hours a week I’m going to do, and that’s going into my time sheets and it’s going right in, but this is all completely valid work at us.

Right. Okay. What’s the content. Now, it doesn’t work for me to sit down and spend two days filming all the videos that just doesn’t work because I like to be responsive to what stuff is going on at the time. Like I did one last year about, little COVID update about what’s all the relief. Everybody could get that kind of thing. So me doing a whole bunch of the year in advance, isn’t going to work. So it is about going right. Okay. Well, I’ve done that now. And then looking forward for the next one at the end of February going well, what’s that going to be? So it’s just that constant kind of being open to what’s going on around me. And can I do something with that because I don’t have the team. Right.

Jane:

That’s exactly right. I don’t have the team writing my content for me. And that’s where I think we have to be realistic with what we sign up for. And yes, content marketing is really important, but be realistic with what you can actually sign yourself up for. And as you mentioned, there are some efficiencies. If you know scheduling and batching your videos works for you, and you can do that to kind of just plan out the next six weeks or six months of content. Great. I’m a bit like you, I actually like to create that content on the fly. I’ve just got to make sure that I have got enough time to make sure that I do create that content on the fly. You know, cause sometimes that means that you’ll hit a busy week and you’ll go, oh crap.

You know, I’ve actually due for a podcast or a blog post. I’ve got to fit that into my week as well. But you learn your rhythm, you learn what works and then you just go with that. And I think too, it’s important to forgive yourself to that if there is one week that you miss along the way, or a couple of weeks that you miss the world’s not going to end.  But don’t just stop because you’ve missed that couple of weeks, you know, just get back on the horse in a couple of weeks time. And the likelihood is that no one’s probably noticed that it’s been two weeks rather than whatever.

Hilary:

Exactly. But I think this is where something that you and I are discussing a couple of weeks ago, I think as I’m going to get busier with this year, I don’t want to lose that discipline either. I want to stick with the plan from know, I’m continuing to keep my presence out there and doing like thought leadership and that kind of thing. And just having that commitment to saying, no, I’m continuing with this. It doesn’t matter that there’s loads more new clients coming in. It’s like we say we still have to stick with it.

Jane:

That’s right. Because hopefully the reason why there are more clients coming in is because you have done the work and you have done the content marketing piece. And that’s something that if, once you understand that’s the correlation, you see that it is important to keep that kind of content marketing up. So what are some of the benefits that you’ve experienced in the last eight months? What are some of the things that you go, yeah that’s worked,

Hilary:

Meeting lot’s of different people, whether it’s people through, they can be with you or through listen to your podcasts and things like that. But just generally, I mean more people it’s not necessarily climbing peak. People are going to compliance in mind. It’s just been growing my network and just being open to that stuff that’s out there and reading the different things and also not feeling crap. When you say, when you see someone doing an amazing job and going, I’m not doing that. It’s going, oh, that’s great. That’s usually mean, so it’s just one of my goals is I got to, you know, have more connections on LinkedIn, which is what you set me, but I’m actually really enjoying that because you just meet with some great people. So I’ve been doing a few walk and talks with people that we’ve, that I’ve met over LinkedIn, but that’s been really enjoyable. So the people that you know, happened to be kind of close to where I am in Sydney is great. Well, let’s catch up for a walk and talk. And then we find out about each other’s businesses and on we go and that’s been great.

Jane:

Yeah. That is brilliant. And that opportunity. And I think that’s where a lot of people kind of, if you go into LinkedIn with narrow with kind of your blinkers on of I’m not going to connect with anyone unless there’s a lead, or unless they’re actually a potential client of mine, or unless I know them directly, you miss the opportunity to expand your network. Like that’s the benefits of a networking event, that’s exactly how you’re using it, as opposed to going to the actual physical network event and physically shaking someone’s hand getting their business card and kind of then organizing your walk and talk. I love that you’re doing that. It’s just that you’re doing the exact thing, but online using LinkedIn. And you’re not just what I love about that too, is that you’re not just making passive connections and just kind of connecting with people, willy-nilly. Cause that was never, ever the objective to do that. But you’re actually making meaningful business connections and building meaningful relationships and that’s right. There’s potentially partnership or referral opportunities down the track. The more people that know about you, the more people that can actually tell other people about it. You know, what it is that you do, which is brilliant and vice versa. You can actually do that for other people as well.

Hilary:

Exactly. Right. Cause I love making recommendations to my clients because you never know what they’re going to need or whatever, and, I refer to an it company to one of my clients because he needed to change his provider and I’d met someone on LinkedIn and they seemed like a great crowd and we’d had a call and that kind of thing. So it’s that little ecosystem. Yes.

Jane:

Yeah. That’s brilliant. And that’s exactly the way to use LinkedIn. So that’s awesome. Okay. So part of the academy, we show you how to take monthly measurements of your activity. And these are mostly digital marketing measurements because they’re the ones that we can access easily. So depending on what your marketing activity is, we might be looking at your Facebook activity, your LinkedIn activity, your Google analytics activity, and we haven’t started on your email campaigns yet. So that might be one for the future. But I think in a nutshell, it’s LinkedIn, Facebook and Google, and maybe Google my business as well. We’re looking at as well for you. So what have you learned from keeping a note and, taking these marketing measurements and noting them down every month, what’s been the biggest learning from that?

Hilary:

Well, firstly it’s numbers, so I love it. Right. We always have to remind each other, it’s time to take the measurements and take the snapshot at that point in time at the end of the month. So I was looking back on from July to January that January was a bit of a boast because of the month that was in it, but just seeing the numbers grow, it’s really interesting. Just going right. Okay. Well, no hits on your website in July to whatever there’s loads at the end of December after the launch of the new website, is it, and it gives you a real bullets and actually makes you realize, I think it’s working because I’m growing the brand from growing the presence. And it’s actually, it’s a tangible result, which is what I like. That’s how I have that intangibility around brand. And everything is so hard and so difficult to define, but you see the numbers tracking upwards and you go, okay, you know, it’s a little bit of a pat on the back. It’s kind of like getting your homework marked, not going to lie the back.

Jane:

I love that. And I think too, because the numbers don’t lie, as you would know. And I think too, it kind of demonstrates, A, when you’ve actually been putting the effort in and B what happens when there is a month that for some reason you don’t get online, you know, and you see, oh yeah, the reach is down. The engagement is down. The clicks through to my website are down, you know, everything goes down when I’m not there. And I noticed that. I mean, obviously I keep these monthly measurements for me as, well. And so I noticed that as well, and it’s quite significant, the drops that I will see if I haven’t been really active for a month on social media. And then that, I actually noticed that in terms of the leads that will drop as well. So, you know, I generally have a pretty consistent lot of leads that come into my inbox  or give me a call each week. And I noticed if there’s been a couple of months where I’ve really died down, or if there’s just been a time, like it’s been Christmas or whatever, you’ll see that dip down as well. Okay. So what advice would you give personally to another small business owner who might be thinking about investing in marketing?

Hilary:

I’d say do it like a hundred percent. It’s just, sometimes it’s worse to like, not be doing something, cause it’s just driving you mad and it’s giving you the nervous pains in the middle of the night. You know what I mean? You wake up 3:00 AM and you worry about not having enough super and not doing any marketing. So it was like terrible, terrible nights it’s taking action is just better than doing nothing. And what I’ve loved about the academy is it’s just, getting easy doable tasks. Yes. And it’s breaking down things into different areas and I’ve been learning so much more because I’ve been chatting to my own clients about their marketing and that kind of thing. I kind of like a bit more of an expert than I was in the past. And I’m kind of looking at how you can do that, but you’re not doing it all. Like go get yourself a consultant, get someone to help you. Do you know what I mean? Give you the guidance.

Jane:

Totally. And I noticed that when I started working with my accountant five years ago or whatever, it was five or six years ago when he actually broke down the numbers for me, the key numbers for me. And I actually started learning about the key numbers in my business. I could show up as a much better marketer as you said, because the two and two go, they are linked, the two and two are definitely linked. You will use your marketing to grow your numbers, and you need to understand your numbers to understand how much you invest in your marketing. So by having those two pillars operating with in parallel, but also in conjunction with one another is really, really good knowledge. So, for you to be able to understand that marketing side of things and look at someone’s revenue, or look at their profit or whatever, and be able to go, well, you know, have you considered this?

That’s awesome. Now thank you, your so generous to share that journey with us. And I mean, I’ve just loved working with you on the academy, but also watching some of the results that you’re getting. I love your videos and your content, and they do get such a great response because they are just so fantastic. So congratulations for all the work that you’re doing, you’re not finished yet. You go home, you’ve got a few months to go, so we’re still going to get you working, but you have been doing such an amazing job. I’m just so impressed with everything that you’ve done so far. Now, if any of our listeners would like to follow you and see some of this great marketing that you produce seeing, where can they find you?

Hilary:

So you can find me on LinkedIn under Hillary O’Dwyer, or you can jump onto my website, which is @titian.consulting. And you can have a look at some of the blogs on there as well. And there’s an email you can reach me on from there as well.

Jane:

Yeah. Brilliant. And I must say they are such, you know, if anyone is looking for some guidance around understanding the numbers and as you said, your content is so topical, it’s really easy. It’s really brief. So you’re not, signing up to a 60 minute tutorial about debt as you were talking about. But it’s really designed to make you think. So I highly recommend that you go and visit Hillary in those in those links. And I’ll actually include those links in the show notes as well. So you can just click straight through. Thank you so much, Hillary. It’s been such a wonderful chat with you. I really appreciate you sharing your journey. Thanks so

Hilary:

Much for having me on Jane. It’s been great.

 

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