Monday, 29 August 2016

Social Media Agency – The Bitter Business

Social Media Agency – The Bitter Business

Social Media Agency specialising in Business-to-Business (B2B) marketing including SaaS, Online and Small business promotion. We live and breath social media for customer acquisition, social reach, social selling, account and business development, buyer engagement, lead generation and sales revenue.
What makes us different?
We understand what it takes to grow a business. So we start with social insights. Social insights puts “the buyer” centre stage, starting with ideal customer profiles/buyer personas so we understand the context of your social relationships, communities and network reach to customers. Then we work with you to find untapped, hidden, unexpected or unspoken opportunities that can cause buyers to see the brand, product or people who work in your business differently. Our social insights are the pillars of the social ideas we develop for our clients.
How do we measure success?
Understanding how our social insights work and drive business value (qualified leads, sales,traffic, buyer engagement) for clients is at the heart to our social approach. We have a framework of metrics and KPI’s for measuring the social impact of our social media marketing plans which provides both a methodology for ensuring our activities will have the greatest impact and a transparent success measure to our customers.
A Cost Effect, sensible marketing partner.
Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube,Facebook and the many business forums can be great for attracting or engaging potential and existing customers. As a business owner we know that you require structure and the ability to accurately measure the impact of Social Media Marketing on your business. We also understand you expect results, not excuses, actions not theory. So whether it is social media training or a cost effective social media partner solution, we are here to chat over a coffee and listen to your challenges.

Wednesday, 24 August 2016



When implementing a
digital sales or social selling program, the biggest single point of failure
can be writing LinkedIn messages to buyers. Or to put it in simpler language,
the ability to craft well thought out messages that convert into offline
conversations between seller and buyer.
Every sales
strategy most likely has a multi activity approach which may include phoning,
emailing and social interaction. However, sales people who use social selling as
their primary customer acquisition channel are now getting the majority of
their leads via well crafted and well timed messages via social media platforms
such as LinkedIn.  
linkedin messages.jpg
So here are some
tips on writing LinkedIn messages (or indeed for any social media platform) to
potential buyers so sales people can generate sales pipeline quicker.

Long before a sales person ever writes “that message” whether it is for
a connection request or for conversion to pipeline, we need to take a step back
and consider how much we really understand our buyers. For example at The
Bitter Business, I target 3 ideal customer profiles (ICP’s)/buyer personas:
Sales Leaders, Marketing Leaders, and Sales Trainers.
I created these ICP’s
so I can create content that speaks and resonates with people who are
interested in using social media to drive sales. I also use these buyer personas
to gain an understanding of my target audience, their needs, wants, concerns and
business challenges within their industry.
Remember the 5 Buyer Why’s when developing Ideal Customer
Profiles and content that matches for social selling. Why listen? Why care? Why
change? Why you? Why now?

Every sales person and every sales team should sit down with
marketing and create 1, 2 or 3 ICP’s as to take targeting of buyer personas to
the next level. Use this exercise between sales and marketing to explore what
are your prospect’s biggest fears or challenges, the consequences of them maintaining
a status quo position, and the biggest win you and your business can deliver to
It may sound
simplistic but the better you understand your buyer, the better chance sales
people have of being able to move buyers out of their status quo and walk with
them on their buyers journey.


Value is the
currency for buyer connectivity. So once we understand the buyer’s position and
needs, we need to source insights (news, data, information, research) which prove
that we understand them and their industry. There are many content curation
tools such as Owler, Crunchbase, Google Alerts, Twitter Lists, and
To build value with
insights, sales people should focus on 3 areas:
The Buyer: Start by
following the buyer on LinkedIn, Twitter even Facebook. The objective is to
discover how socially active they are plus what content or conversations are they
engaging with as to ascertain what they are interested in. Also try to find out
if the prospect has been referenced in an article, has been complimented in a
conversation or writes blog posts. There are great opportunities to engage the
buyer in a starter conversation.
The Buyers Company: The level of
data or insight you can get on a company depends on their size. A good place to
start is their blog and do a Google search for news and announcements. Remember
there are 5.4 decision makers involved in a business purchase so do some
LinkedIn research on the senior players. What groups do they belong to, what
level of connectivity do they have and who are they connected to. Make sure to
follow their company page and twitter accounts. Then repeat a Google search for
these names to find out some information or news. Also look out for press
releases, newly appointed people, announcements, press mention and maybe sign
up to their company blog posts.
The Buyers Industry: Another way to
build value is to understand the industry dynamics of your buyer. What trends,
data or insights can you gleam from business research companies such as Forester,
Aberdeen Group, McKinsey and Gartner.
By focusing and
investing time on these three areas, sales people will uncover insights that:
1. Put’s themselves
in the shoes of the buyer so they can anticipate future needs; plus
2. Become valuable
to the buyer in sharing quality information while gradually positioning
themselves as a trusted source.
LinkedIn Statistics.png

Once a sales person feels they can bring value to a buyer (via understanding
and relevant insights) with content worthy of sharing or to spark a
conversation then they can proceed to the message or engaging phase. Do not
rush into this.
Regardless of whether it is a connection request, a conversation starter
or a conversion message, crafting the correct wording is critical.

So let us move on to how to construct the messages:
The Subject
Very few buyers will open a direct social media message/email/InMail
unless they are intrigued by your Subject Line. It is essentially the gateway
to opening a relationship. To increase the chances of a buyer opening the
message, make it relevant and avoid spam sounding sentences. A subject line
like “You mentioned recently” or “I noticed you”, plus include their first name
and any snippet of information that will spark an interest or curiosity.
Make it 100% Personalised: Always state your
name, and give the buyer the context into why you are reaching out. Then add in
the value exchange (what is in it for them – research/information/similarities
etc). Then maybe reference a piece of content you found from insights research.
These elements are what separate your messaging from the raft of other messages
they get every day from sales people doing a brochure dump or vanilla flavoured
Include an Impact/Value
: If this is a conversion message, then every sales person should address
the buyer WIIFM (What is in it for me). Talk about what you can do for them
referencing specific case studies, facts or clients. Include a statistic and a
Value Statement
example: “I help SaaS technology
companies who are launching a new product into the marketplace – and need it to
be successful in the short-term to achieve their sales forecast. Where I help
my clients is to generate more leads faster using social selling. As a result, my
customers are able to more easily meet projected sales targets and
significantly reduce the time to profitability.”
As Harvard
marketing professor Theodore Levitt put it: "People don't want to buy a
quarter-inch drill. They want to buy a quarter-inch hole." You must
understand why your customer wants that hole. Cultivating relationships within
that context is much more powerful.
Every message
should ideally end with a question asking them to take a specific action. If
this is a connection request, then keep it with context and zero sales pitch.
If a conversion message (moment of truth), maybe end by asking for a time to have
a chat (reference some specific times you are available).

 Subject Line: John, You mentioned you
plan to grow 250% in 2017

Hi John,
I read your quote
in the Irish Times where you mentioned you plan to growth 250% in 2017 with a
particular focus on SaaS companies and you are now putting your plans in place.
Social selling will enable your sales teams to generate additional sales pipeline
in these areas, which will enhance your company’s ability for larger deal sizes.
Companies like Dell,
Schneider, and smaller companies have leveraged our Social Selling Methodology

Increase their qualified leads pipeline by 35% plus within 12 months.
Create team revenue
(sales & marketing alignment) to accelerate revenue.
Drive sales
enablement and account development through leadership buy-in and measures.
Can I have 15
minutes of your time for me to share the digital transformation success we are
seeing across many Irish companies?
Can we set out 15 minutes
on [Date1] or [Date2]?”

Subject Line: Dave,
I noticed your interest in this article
Hi Dave,
I noticed that you looked at my profile and
commenting on the article “How to Social Sell” I shared in some LinkedIn groups.
I research and write articles on using social media to drive business, so if
you ever require information on
, feel free to use me as a resource for whitepapers
and research. Look forward to connecting with you.

Social media messages.jpg
Creating the right
message is all about creating value for the buyer at the right time, this value
has to be separated in connecting, being useful (conversations) and being
valuable (conversion into pipeline). Sales people need to understand the buyer
(ICP’s/buyer personas) from all fronts, individual, company and industry. The skill
is to do the research and craft messaging around the buyer’s journey you have

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Business Plan Template – The Bitter Business

Business Plan Template – The Bitter Business

Download these free business plan templates to help you formulate a business plan for your business.
image with business planning options

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

How to Use Social Media To Promote Your Business – The Bitter Business

How to Use Social Media To Promote Your Business – The Bitter Business

he use of social media is now the most effective way when you need to promote or launch a business or new product. The free access to social networks for prospect identification and the ability to reach a large audience of buyers via content means every marketing or sales leader has to use these channels as part of a go-to-market strategy. When launching a new product or service,   social media provides a rich media platform that with some planning can make it easy for people to share around your message.
It doesn’t seem like so long ago that promoting, marketing and launching a product whether nationally or global required a massive budget and was one of the barriers to entry the traditional multi-nationals relied upon. But the digital switch by buyers to self-educate on the social networks has re-written both the sales and marketing rules.
The following approach or any part of it can be used by anyone with the right discipline and time.
Use Facebook
Create a Facebook fan page specifically for your brand or product, then share and network with the Facebook community as it is the largest single social networking site on the web. Remember it is about engagement and then sharing. To build up your fan and advocacy base to give you that critical mass to share your stories/messages, why not offer an incentive to “like” your page, maybe by giving some merchandise or prize.
Suggested Primary Goal:
Create an incentive for people to “like” your page by providing via a free product giveaway in order to grow your fan base.
Use LinkedIn
With over 400 million business users, one of your first actions should be to create a company page, followed by joining interest groups related to what you are selling. Don’t forget to pimp up your profile with a photo and fill out as much detail in your profile as possible. Learn about “social selling” and how to use content from your blog (see below) along with other content to engage connections. You can also search and tag prospects, influencers and potential partners.
Suggested Primary Goal:
To identify potential buyers and partners for your brand or products.
Website and Blog
Thanks to WordPress, Weebly, Medium, Blogger etc it has never been easier or cheaper to create your own branded web presence and attract potential buyers (with some SEO and promotional activity). For less than €100 you can have your own domain and less than €500 can give you a fully branded website. Learn to target keywords, read up on SEO and how to share your website URL’s on sites like Plurk,, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Pinterest to name but a few, will start to give you a trickle of traffic to build upon.
Learn to write 1000 plus word blogs with titles like Tips, How to, A guide to or Top 10 so you can further use social media to attract potential buyers and improve your search engine results. Try to write a blog weekly but monthly at a minimum. Don’t forget to share and post your blog articles around the web.
Suggested Primary Goal
To make it easier for potential buyers to engage with you while finding out more about your business.
Product Reviews by Social Influencers
If possible, prior to formal launch try to get some external product reviews, even recommendations. As the trust between buyer and suppliers is at an all time low, peer recommendations instead of marketing blurb can give your business a much needed injection of interest. Maybe offer your product free in return for publishable references.  Apart from using LinkedIn there is a whole host of social tools (lots are free) that you can use to identify social influencers or connectors. Also do not forget journalists and online magazines, approaching them can be as simple as crafting an introduction letter with an invitation to review or sample your offerings. Ensure you put a unique slant on your business, what problem is it solving and why would people be interested in your personal story.
Suggest Primary Goal:
To gather independent and verifiable 3rd party authority as social proof, which you will then share with potential customers.
Have a Contest
Who doesn’t love a good ole a contest and they work well on Social media especially in the B2C space. Using your social media channels, offer up some real goodies (if not your actual product then something related to it). Keep it simple, you are not trying to snare emails, you chasing “share ability”
Suggest Primary Goal
Note: Get a fan base engaged before you officially launch your business or product so that when you do launch you have a fan base that could be ready to buy and spread your message for you whether that is on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. The combination of your regularly updated blog, website and your social media community activity can be a powerful platform for getting in revenue faster.
Try a Quiz
It is also easy to create and publish a quiz on your website and social channels. Just do a Google search for “create a quiz”. There are some free and paid options. People like to test their knowledge and if you can relate or match the quiz to your product even better.
There doesn’t have to be a prize but you could combine it with a contest as above.
Suggested Primary Goal: To engage customers and also create more buzz.
Create Infographics or Video
The rise in popularity of infographics and video content in social media cannot be ignored. Sites like Canva, Visualize, Piktochart and make it easy for anyone with some patience to create stunning graphic stories. You can even create video content online but there is a higher price to be paid here, if your product is very visual then maybe a 20-30 second video for YouTube or Vimeo maybe a must.
Suggested Primary Goal: To provide some wow media formats that could go ‘viral’.
sales motivation
You can create a PowerPoint presentation that could not serve as a key note presentation but would also publish on Slideshare to spread your message while reinforcing your professional image.
Suggested Primary Goal: Publish on the Slideshare platform to make it easy for people to
These few tips on using social media when launching a business or product are by no mean exhaustive, what else have you tried? The purpose of the article is that with a limited budget and the learning of new skills (social sellingsocial media marketing, creating infographics, writing blogs, running contests etc) most of us can achieve results beyond our expectations. Oh yeah, did I mention lots of hard work but no pain no gain.