Category Archives: Business Skills

#GDPR stupidity and a masterclass you won’t want to miss

GDPR compliance isn’t rocket science. We can help you learn how to use email marketing post-GDPR.

Last night, just a few hours before the world-ending aka 25th May deadline for GDPR compliance ticked over, I got an email from a graphic designer. And when I say “I” got an email, what I mean is, “we” got an email.

The designer had put at least 500 names in the “To” field of the email address. This irritated me for two main reasons. One, I had never joined his email list or consented to received mail from him. I was not a client or customer of his. Secondly, and rather obviously, by putting several hundred email addresses in the “To” field, he had obviously inadvertently — but nevertheless irresponsibly — shared reams and reams of data.

I saw the email on my phone around 8.30pm. I wrote back, “Do you realise what you have done?”

This morning, a reply:

It was a user error but lesson learned! I don’t even hold data and was just trying to do the right thing!!! [bolding mine]

[“A user error”?? How about, “I’m sorry”?! But anyway.]

Here’s the rub: if he doesn’t “hold any data”, how was he able to email me ?? This crucial component of ’cause and effect’ seemed not to come into consideration.

Later last night, another [I presume “mass”] email, this time, thankfully, with no visible addresses in the “To” field. This one apologising for getting it wrong,

But he still doesn’t get it! Listen to this:

While we don’t keep any data here, we have your email address on file so that you may be contacted with regard to quotes, print deliveries, invoicing or payments and general advice.

It’s hard to imagine, that after all this #GDPR hysteria, this graphic designer simply hasn’t a clue.

And in mentioning contacting you about deliveries etc, he also seems not to grasp the key issue of “legitimate interest”.

A solution: Direct Marketing in the post-GDPR landscape

We’re holding a masterclass in GDPR-compliant direct marketing. If you’re a fan of ethical marketing and want to ensure not only that you stay on the right side of the regulations, but that you also ensure you make the most of the best way to generate business, you won’t want to miss our upcoming masterclass.

If you would be interested in learning how to use direct mail post-GDPR, drop me a line. We’re putting together a masterclass on using email the right way, the compliant way, and most of all, the profitable way. Email me to get on the list. 

PS: If you’d like to read some facts about GDPR, here’s a helpful feature from The Guardian. Good luck! And if you want help with email marketing post-GDPR, sign up for our masterclass.

How a start-up can nail their pitch

If you’re a start-up, chances are you are going to have to get out there and tell people about your new venture. What you say, and how you say it, is a lot more important than you may realise.

When it comes to communicating what you do, you don’t want to make a rookie error, just because your business is new. And the last place you want to miss the mark is when it comes to your pitch.

Preparing a powerful presentation is one of the best ways to communicate your start-up’s mission and vision. Deliver it well and you’ll earn a reputation as “one to watch”. Nail it, and your chances of success will increase exponentially. Using the “Power of Three” will help you to do just that.

Let’s say you’ve been invited to present at a crowd-funding event. This is a golden opportunity to shine in front of an audience of key influencers. Get it right, and you are on the road to funding your start-up. Get it wrong, and, well… you may not get another opportunity.

woman doing a presentation

Being asked to do a presentation need not strike panic – a structure will get you started

“Start with the end in mind”

In the words of Dr Steven Covey, “Start with the end in mind.” Deciding what to include in your presentation is crucial. There may be a hundred things you want this audience to know, but you have to be realistic – you can only say so much. Besides, they don’t need to know every detail about you, your partners, or your business.

For your presentation to be successful, it really helps to “start with the end in mind”. What must your audience know before they leave? This will enable you to narrow down the “hundred random things” to a handful of key points.

In identifying which elements are key, you will want to consider answering questions such as: What is your product or service? Are you already trading, or still in development? What expertise do you bring to the table? Do you have any competitors? What makes your start-up unique? How much money are you looking to raise, and how do you propose to get it?

Work out which are the most important points

Once you have got this down on paper – and I do recommend you start on paper – it’s time to decide which points are the most important. You may have five or six things, but there may be some overlap. Work hard to narrow it down, perhaps by grouping related items. Then, decide which are the three most important elements. Be ruthless. These three points will form the body of your presentation.

This is where the “power of three” comes in. It’s the reason there are three wise men, three little pigs, and three Musketeers! Three seems to be the perfect number of items of new information to take in. With your three most important points clearly identified, it’s time to start to construct your presentation.

Use the ‘Power of Three’ to give your pitch a fail-proof structure

The ‘power of three’ gives you a fail-proof structure. Think of a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich. It’s made up of three key ingredients – the filling – wrapped between two slices of bread. Those three key ingredients are the three main points that you must convey to your audience for your presentation to be a success.

When assembling your presentation “sandwich” don’t forget the bread! In our sandwich analogy, the “bread” is the introduction and conclusion, and each slice performs an important function. Together, they package your presentation in a format that your audience is familiar with.

When you are introduced, open your presentation by stating your structure. Tell your audience you have three main points, which you will deal with in turn. Knowing what to expect, your audience will relax. Your introduction has let them know they are in safe hands.

Paint clear pictures with facts and examples

Now, tell them your first main point. Support it with facts, or examples. You may want to tell them about your product and what makes it unique. Or you may want to tell the story of how you came to be in this business.

Then, transition to your second main point. For a start-up, it may be your understanding of a gap in the market that your product or service is poised to exploit. Detail this to provide support for your point. Consider sharing an anecdote which is related to this point.

Once you have done this, transition to your third and final point. Remember, you have to support each point with logic and examples. If you are speaking at a crowd-funding event, your third point may be your opportunity to make a compelling case for investment.

With you final point communicated, it’s time for your ‘other slice of bread’ – your conclusion. The best way to wrap up your presentation – both literally, and figuratively – is to use a tried and tested format. Signal to your audience that you are wrapping up by saying, “In conclusion. . .” and then repeat your three key points, briefly.

Make sure you issue a ‘call to action’ to your audience

If you are hoping that your audience takes some action based on your presentation, don’t leave the final step to chance. Ensure that before you conclude, you issue a ‘call to action’: tell your audience what you want them to do. Whether it’s to sign up for your newsletter, or visit your facility for a VIP tour – make it clear what their next step should be. And make it easy for them to comply.

If you want their contact details, collect business cards at the door. If you want them to visit your site, hand out invitations. Either way, ending with a call to action will ensure that your audience not only leaves with a sense of what your start-up is about, but importantly, what they should do with the information they have acquired.

When a business pitch is crucial to the success of your business, you can rely on the “power of three” because it gives your presentation a structure that is robust and flexible.

You can adapt this formula for a presentation of any duration. Just select your three main points – whatever “fillings” you fancy – and wrap your contents in the two metaphorical “slices of bread” that are your introduction and conclusion. Whatever you want to say, the power of three will ensure you say it well.

If you need help crafting a make-or-break presentation, get professional help. It will be the best money you spend this year. Contact Bruce Public Relations for expert advice.

This article was written by Laura Bruce for Bytestart