Sunday, February 19

How to Handle Your Own Outreach as a Small Business

This is Max from Anderson Transport Edinburgh. Outreach is one aspect of online marketing that we've really struggled with since deciding to amp up our online presence. We know that people have to be talking about you online if you want to create a buzz around your business, so we've always understood the importance of outreach. Firstly, we tried to outsource it to an agency, but found that they weren't really representing our business in a way that we thought was reflective of how we operate. So we decided to do it ourselves! The only problem that we faced was that the agency had created all of the content that they were using for outreach, and we didn't have the same resources to create similar content. The type of content that they were creating were large guides and informational pieces which not only took hours to produce, but also cost money to research properly. Luckily, we found a type of content that we could produce quickly and for free. 

Infographics are so 2013, or so we were told by the agency when we asked them if they would ever want to use them as part of their outreach strategy. But after we dropped them, we decided that we would try to produce our own and use it for our own outreach efforts. We found a free online tool that allowed us to quickly produce an infographic for free, all we had to do was decide what to create the infographic about!

Whenever we're planning a website change, we always consult the Google Keyword Planner to ensure that any changes made to the site will match up with the keywords that are relevant to our business. If you're a business owner who has never used this tool then you're missing a trick! Not only is it completely free, but it can help you to learn about how people find your business online.

However, we decided that we wanted to use the data from the keyword planner to help us create an infographic which we could use for outreach purposes. We searched for keywords related to the services that we provide (like 'removals' and 'man and van'), and took note of how many people in the UK were searching for these services every month. We then organised this information into an attractive infographic, which we designed ourselves using the free tool Venngage.

It's definitely not a masterpiece, but it's something that we were able to put together in a matter of hours with a free tool and free information from Google. We then looked to see where we could promote the infographic, and the obvious place to start was Reddit, where these types of informational content pieces tend to perform very well. We quickly generated a few hundred views and lots of positive feedback.

We then looked for news websites and blogs in our niche, where we could promote our content. Using simple Google searches like 'removals news', we quickly found a good list to send our infographic to. The email wasn't too complicated, we simply told them what we had and asked if they'd be interested in using it for their site. To our delight, many of them did.

Companies will pay thousands for agencies to create and promote content for them, and it's understandable. The entire process can be very daunting. But hopefully we've proven that you can handle outreach yourself and still get good results without paying lots!

Find Anderson Transport...

Thursday, January 19

The Edinburgh Iranian Festival: A Window on Iran

Be honest – when you think of Iran, what comes to mind first? We’d love it if you said “its incredible food”, or “I hear it has an amazing cinema scene”. But let’s face it: the first thing most of you will think about is negative news headlines about the country’s politics.

And that’s where we come in.

You might be surprised to hear that Edinburgh and Glasgow have thriving Iranian communities – it’s estimated that there are 5,000 Iranians living in Scotland.

And every two years, a small team of volunteers come together to put on a festival celebrating Iran’s world-class culture – with the aim of better integrating Iranian and Scottish communities. 

The Edinburgh Iranian Festival hopes to address misconceptions about Iran by introducing Scotland to the heart and soul of the country – from its film and music, through to its food and photography.

This year's festival line-up includes:

  • Music concert at the Assembly Hall with the renowned Iranian soprano Darya Dadvar, who will be accompanied by musicians from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. The orchestral arrangements have been composed specifically for this event by Glasgow-based conductor, Amin Keshmiri. 
  • Persian cookery demonstration at the Edinburgh New Town Cookery School, with Chef Zohreh Shahrabi. Zohreh is part of the London-based Mazi Mas cooking collective. 
  • Iranian film season organised in collaboration with the Filmhouse Cinema Edinburgh Many of the films are Scottish, if not UK, premieres.
  • Talk and guided show and tell of the National Museum of Scotland’s Iranian collection. 
  • Photography exhibition on the theme of “A window on my Iran”, which will feature contemporary Iranian photographers, at the Filmhouse Cinema Cafe. 
  • Performance in collaboration with Burns for Beginners that pits the Scottish bard’s works against those of Persian poet Hafez 
  • Showing of award-winning play, Mimi’s Suitcase, on the theme of identity and homeland 
  • A day of tourism-related talks at Nomad’s Tent courtesy of Persian Pursuits and PersiaPort

So what are you waiting for? Broaden your horizons this February, and check out the festival! With so many events, many of them free, there’s something to suit everyone.

Wednesday, November 23

10 Things I’ve Learnt About Living on an Island with The Static Gypsy

I moved to the Isle of Skye in 2010 from a village just north of London. In the last few years I’ve learnt a lot about living in such a remote part of the world, and most of it is exactly what you might expect of a quiet island life. So here are ten things I’ve learnt about living on a Scottish island.
  1. It can and will snow pretty much any month in the year.
  2. Most people are known solely by nicknames.
  3. It’s socially acceptable to live in a caravan.
  4. There’s no rat race.
  5. The views!
  6. Everyone says hello when they pass you on the street.
  7. Finding work is incredibly competitive.
  8. The local supermarket is the hub of life!
  9. It’s safe enough to leave your doors unlocked.
  10. No one bats an eye to driving two hours through mountains and snow for a days’ shopping.

There’s so much more I could say about living on an island, but then I’d be going on for days and days! There are bad things, obviously, but for the most part, life on Skye is pretty idyllic. And given that it recently topped the Daily Records list of ‘Most Desirable Places To Live In The UK’, I’d say most of the UK is pretty clued up on how lucky I am to live where I do!

Find Liv...