Tag Archives: Bruce PR

Finding the “net” in “networking”: reflections on the first BNI Expo

Has it been a week already?

The inaugural BNI Expo took place one week ago, on 9 March, and the response to this new local networking event and exhibition was tremendous.

But first a bit of background. Thirty-four local businesses make up BNI Highland, which is the Inverness-area chapter of BNI. The organisation is a worldwide networking and business referral organisation, and members of BNI Highland meet weekly.

The BNI Expo at Eden Court was an opportunity to showcase our businesses to the wider community, and we each invited our contacts to come along, meet the other BNI members, and find out more about our businesses. I spoke to more than 100 people that day, and thoroughly enjoyed myself. We also used the day to launch our new “Online Profile Builder” and are delighted at the response!

Each week at our Thursday morning breakfast meetings, BNI members each have a 60-second slot to share a bit of information about our business and request a specific referral from the other members. More often than not, someone around the table will be in a position to help make an introduction on our behalf.

I was a founder member of the BNI Highland chapter, and have been the Education Coordinator since we launch all those months ago. In my role, I introduce the weekly education slot, where a member shares a 4-minute presentation on a topic to help others in the room do business better. Sometimes, like today, the assigned member isn’t able to present their slot, so it has been a great boon to my impromptu speaking skills! Recent education topics have included how to make the most of your 60-second slot, what makes a good referral, and how to make the most of your 1-to-1 meetings with other members.

“One-to-ones” [121s] are the core of BNI; these one-hour meetings with another member enable each of us to learn more about our colleague’s business, and the types of referrals they are looking for. We learn to recognise opportunities where a referral would be suitable. And best of all, we get to know each other better.

Beyond the business passed, BNI has been the source of many new friendships for me and for my colleagues in the room.

Today, we got heartfelt thanks from one of our members, who credited the support he received from all of us, for helping him get through a difficult time personally and professionally.

Which was a helpful reminder: the ‘net’ impact of networking isn’t always just evident in the bottom line.

If you’d like more information about BNI, or how Bruce PR can help you to raise the profile of your business, ring me on 01462 216 226 or drop me a line. I’d be happy to chat.

Goldfish attention span? No problem! Just get your copy right

According to research published recently in The Telegraph newspaper, human attention span has dropped to only 8 seconds today, from 12 seconds in 2000. Apparently, we have the “smartphone” to blame for our appallingly-short attention span. It seems the humble goldfish — long the butt of jokes about its short attention span, now  — at nine seconds — has us beaten.

Apparently, goldfish now have longer attention spans than humans.

Apparently, goldfish now have longer attention spans than humans.

What does this mean for you? Well, one of the ways this will impact is on your website. You may have a whizz-bang design, but if your copy fails to grab your visitors’ attention — and damn quickly, I might add! —  then they will click off your site. . . and likely onto your competitor’s.

Writing good copy is an art. And like art, it’s not something everyone can do.

Here are my three tips to capturing — and captivating! — visitors who land on your site:

  1. Tell people what you do. Enigmatic business names are the flavour du jour, but they don’t do a lot to help people find you. If you have had the chutzpah to create some unrecognisable name for your company, at least have the decency to follow that name with something to identify the product or service you provide. And don’t make people hunt for it.
  2. Be friendly — avoid jargon. Nothing puts me off than a website full of technical terminology that has no business on a website. If you want customers to come calling, reserve the jargon for your techie meet-ups, and use clear language in the  places your [potential] customers visit.
  3. Know when you are out of your depth. If writing a few clear sentences is not something you are comfortable with, pay someone to do it for you. I mean, you don’t wire your own house, do you? There are reasons to get in a professional, and writing your website is a good example. If you need help, contact a PR firm. This is a place where writing skills tend to be in abundance. You’ll pay a bit, but you’ll likely get a far better result than your DIY approach.

If good copy is something your site is crying out for, or if you simply feel you site’s content is a bit dated, contact Laura at Bruce Public Relations in Inverness. We’ll give you a bit of whizz-bang, without breaking the bank.