Archive for the ‘Social’ Category

EP51: Raising your profile – part three | Ash Jones | Great Influence

April 6th, 2021

There are so many reasons for me wanting to do an episode on personal brand.

Let’s go back to the beginning. At the start of my agency career, I worked mostly with ad agencies. This was in the 90s and honestly – it was dazzling. The high profile exit of Maurice and Charles from Saatchi & Saatchi to set up M&C Saatchi, Dave Trott setting up Bainsfair Sharkey Trott then WCST, Trevor Beattie making waves with Wonderbra and FCUK, and so it went on. Everywhere you turned there were names.

I’ve often said that to a degree, the rise of digital and social media has evened out the playing field from an agency profile point of view, allowing everyone a share of voice if they get a good plan in place. However, there has seemed a notable lack of high profile individuals in quite the same way as we had before. With so much noise – was it just too hard for anyone to cut through?

For me, that changed when Social Chain founder Steven Bartlett catapulted on to the scene, transcending industry trade press, appearing in mainstream media and attracting over 2 million followers online. All by the age of 27. (Not to mention taking the company public).

To help me understand how that happened, and what we can learn from it, I’m joined by Ash Jones, part of the founding team at Social Chain and founder of Great Influence.

We talk about what it takes to create a personal brand, how to cut through the noise and how to manage imposter syndrome.

As always we’ll be giving away a copy of Ash’s recommended read – the newly published Happy Sexy Millionaire by Steven Bartlett.

EP50: Raising your profile – part two | Laura Hannan | Pitch121

March 8th, 2021

We’ve talked a lot on this podcast about LinkedIn over the years, and specifically the often untapped potential of Sales Navigator.

From the conversations I’ve had with my clients, I know that whilst consistent LinkedIn engagement can deliver fantastic results – for many, finding the time and focus required to create momentum can be a challenge.

Which is why I was intrigued by the service that Laura Hannan and her team at Pitch121 provide.

Laura joins me for the second episode in our mini-series exploring different techniques and resources to help raise your agency profile.

Listen in to hear a how the clever combination of tech, content and highly targeted Sales Navigator outreach is connecting agencies with their audiences, and a wealth of tips for elevating your own LinkedIn presence.

As always we’ll be giving away of Laura’s recommended read; Social Selling: Techniques to Influence Buyers and Changemakers by Tim Hughes.

EP27: LinkedIn | Alex Low | Digital Leadership Associates

April 3rd, 2019

“Whatever you do from here, even if you choose to ignore everything I’m about to tell you, please be good at LinkedIn.”


This is a phrase I have repeated many times during my engagements with agencies over the years, and one I stand by now more than ever.


LinkedIn has become an incredible tool to support new business, but in many cases, agencies are only just scratching the surface of how they can leverage the platform to expand and engage their networks, whilst showcasing expertise.


And since the introduction of Sales Navigator, I’ve been searching for a true ‘super-user’ to join me on the podcast and really get to grips with the functionality on offer. So it was fitting that through LinkedIn, I found the brilliant Alex Low, Head of Social Selling at Digital Leadership Associates.


Having spent many years working in property, recruitment, management consultancy and law, Alex now advises a wide range of professional services businesses, empowering fee earners, business development and marketing teams to leverage the power of their networks to drive better, more relevant business conversations through social.


So if you’ve been wondering how to get started with LinkedIn, or how to unlock the next level of network engagement – this episode is for you.


We’ll be giving away a copy of Alex’s recommended read: Technology vs. Humanity: The coming clash between man and machine by Gerd Leonhard just listen in to find out how to win.


Also recommended in this episode are:


Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence by Max Tegmark 


Salim Ismail on Exponential Organizations



For more information on how to make the most of LinkedIn you can see the full collection of Alex’s guides here.


EP:15 Social Media | Alex & Claire Blyth | Red Setter

April 9th, 2018

Anyone who has been to one of my talks, listened to Small Spark Theory or worked with me on increasing new business performance will know my feelings on LinkedIn by now. I stand by my well-worn edict “if you do nothing else, get to grips with LinkedIn” and will continue to do so, until such time as the platform implodes, or is superseded.

But what about the rest of the social media maze? Making the connection between social channels and new business results is troublesome for many and even when we think we should get involved, it’s easy to then lose momentum and enthusiasm.

Late last year the team at PR & new business agency Red Setter examined the social media presence of 200 agencies and interviewed 50 agency leaders and a range of experts to understand the barriers, benefits and secrets to winning at social media.

I invited Red Setter founders Alex and Claire Blyth into the Pod to find out about the results of their study, and get some top tips for our listeners.

You can download their report: The Guide to Agency Growth through Social Media here.

As always we have a competition! We’re giving away a copy of Alex’s recommended read, The Elements of Style by Strunk & White. Listen in to find out how to win.

The Gunpowder Guide to Getting Noticed: October 23rd 2014, London

September 11th, 2014

So your agency is doing some fantastic work. You have a bunch of brilliant people who have an insightful approach to client challenges. You feel as though you have something genuinely intereresting and different to say.


So far so good.


But how do you make yourselves heard? How to you get your press releases published? How do you drive more traffic to your website? How do you grow your audience and elevate your news above the agency chatter?


Gunpowder is delighted to welcome two fantastic speakers to a special breakfast event on Thursday 23rd October in London.


Carol Lewis, Commissioning Editor at The Times and Cara Whitehouse, Head of UK/Europe at Reload Digital will be sharing their thoughts, from getting coverage in the broadsheets to boosting your online profile. We’ll look at what makes good content, where you should focus your time and what on earth you should be doing with Google Plus.


Places are limited so grab a ticket at the event page here. See you there!

Changes to LinkedIn Company Pages and what it means for you

April 10th, 2014

Over the last year I have been encouraging my clients to make the most of LinkedIn, and in particular, not to overlook their Company Pages.


One useful feature of the Company Page was the Products/Services tab allowing a business to break down their offer into specific services, then for each of those services add related content, weblinks, contacts and best of all – recommendations.


However, as is the ever-changing nature of our beloved social channels, LinkedIn removed the Products/Services tab in April this year.


So what does this mean for you?


There are now two options for sharing information about your products and services:


Option one is to simply to use the company updates. These updates work the same as your individual profile updates, but posted by an administrator from the Company Page. The updates appear in the newsfeed of any page followers.


Option two, a Showcase Page, is a subsidiary of a Company Page and will allow you to post content on a particular service offering – however as the Showcase Page is essentially a newsfeed, which will have its own followers, you should have a plan for regularly uploading related posts before you commit. If this isn’t practical then I’d recommend sticking with company updates for now.


You can see an example of a Showcase Page here, and more information on the changes here.


Sound confusing?! Please get in touch if you have any questions. I’ll be happy to help.



How LinkedIn are you?

November 29th, 2013

In the decade since its launch, LinkedIn has grown to a whopping membership of 259 million. This is no flash in the pan social fad. It is now an accepted, practical and highly valuable new business tool.


So why is it that so many agency execs are still woefully negligent of their LinkedIn presence? Well I’m going to presume it is for all the same reasons as the slightly off message and search-unfriendly websites, the out of date case studies and those other  irritating tasks that get sidelined in the face of real, revenue generating client work.


Except that all of these things are revenue generating. But because they don’t represent immediate chargeable time, we kid ourselves that we will do or delegate them later, and another month, or year passes by.


Meanwhile LinkedIn continues to evolve, providing an increasing number of options for you to keep your hard won network easily engaged.


Unsure where to start? Here is Gunpowder’s checklist for pimping up your profile:


  1. Start with your company profile. Is everyone in the team connected to the right company page? You’d be surprised how many senior agency managers are linked to an altogether different business, if this is the case it’s easy to update but embarrassing if left unchecked. I recently happened across two founders of a highly creative design studio who have both inadvertently linked to the page of an IT services company by the same name. The IT company branding is so far removed from the design company aesthetic that the any new connections would be seriously misled.
  2. Update the products/services tab of the company page. This will give you the opportunity to showcase particular disciplines and link directly to corresponding pages on your website, you can add videos, images and best of all, your clients can recommend those individual services either with a simple ‘tick’ or a written testimonial.
  3. Don’t forget the branding. Company pages now have a range of image upload areas which will allow you to keep your profile visually on brand. Use the edit button to explore the options and check out company page for POSSIBLE for an example of a well optimized agency page.
  4. Make sure the social panel on your website and/or email signatures include a link to your LinkedIn company page.
  5. Now look at your individual profile. Provide a personal summary
  6. Add a professional headline. This doesn’t need to be the same as your current job title but a more descriptive headline that will help you appear in relevant search results.
  7. Ensure that your description of your current role, chimes with the agency positioning. This is particularly relevant for established businesses who have evolved their proposition over time. Keep it current and joined up.
  8. Keep up to date with your connections. Don’t be shy about connecting with people after a first meeting. It is perfectly acceptable. Just remember to add personal message where you can.
  9. Lastly, give recommendations and endorsements. You’ll be surprised how many people will automatically return the favour.


Need help managing your agency marketing? Get in touch to find out how Gunpowder can help.

Getting fit to win in 2013

January 11th, 2013

As we limber up for what promises to be another challenging 12 months, our thoughts undoubtedly stray to this year’s new business target.


Many of you will have returned to your desks last week, armed with a robust and well resourced plan, a handful of prospect meetings in the diary and a pitch or two underway. Well done, keep up the good work. But for anyone feeling a slight flutter of panic at the new business shaped hole in your revenue forecast, read on, help is at hand.


First of all it is worth remembering that there is no magic bullet. New business success comes from consistent and focussed activity based on a considered and robust plan. If you don’t have a plan, or have a plan that doesn’t work or isn’t being implemented – see me. Meanwhile there are some non-negotiable basics that you need to address to if you are to get in shape. Ask yourself these questions:


1. Your website. Can Google see it? Would someone who doesn’t know your agency be able to clearly grasp what you do within 3 clicks? Is there a blog? When was it last updated?


2. Social media. Twitter is great, but don’t beat yourself up if you haven’t cracked it yet, we’ll be talking about that in a later post, but Linked In cannot and should not be ignored. Is your personal profile up to date? What about your company page? And what about everyone else in the agency? Do you and and your team routinely connect with contacts as you meet them?


3. Case studies. Are they up to date? Does each one tell a story? Can it tell more than one story? Do you demonstrate results?


4. Phone and email. An unsolicited approach from a prospective client is a beautiful thing. However as Recommended Agency Register Director Diane Young observed in the Drum last year, a surprising number of agencies fall at this very basic first hurdle. Does everyone in the agency who could possibly answer the phone know how to to handle incoming calls and take messages? Does the email address or phone number on the website go to a human being. Fundamentally, will any new business prospect be able to have a meaningful conversation with someone at your agency within 24hrs of their enquiry?


If any of the points above leave you with more questions than answers, then do get in touch. There is no doubt that 2013 is going to challenge us all, but there is still business out there to win. You just need to stack the odds in your favour where you can.