Wednesday, 28 October 2009

week two: funnel filling

i've just logged on to google in order to write this and adwords has shocked me. i'm now quite au fait with adwords due to using it for my website. basically you pay, via a very easy to use but complicated to understand mechanism, for your ad to appear when someone searches for a specific thing. you actually only pay if someone then clicks on your ad to see your site. when i say i'm au fait with it, i mean i know what it is meant to do, but i'm using it very, very badly. so far i've managed to elicit only three clicks from over 400 ads/impressions (note the new web-wise vocab i embrace). in fact when i last looked google advised me that i was no longer going to be included in some searches due to "negligable usage" or some such frippery. and to add insult to injury none of those three clicks have resulted in an "i'm interested in your business" email. my gut feeling is that my stated marketing budget of £30 per month may be limiting the heights to which google prioritises me when someone types in "edinburgh accountant": a wide group, granted. and probably a group with a little bit more marketing spend available. and so far i've only used 40p of that budget, step it up google!

anyway, i drift from the point. when i logged on google decided that the best advert to show me, right up there in pole position, RHS, top of the page, was one entitled "Be Naughty". it was followed up with the byline "real people, real photos, real fun. They want to be naughty tonight". well this interests me on a number of levels; none of them the level hoped for before you ask.

i) why did my search for "google" elicit that advertisment for me? what do the little cookies or other such spy vehicles watching my every finger stroke say about me to google? that i might be naughty too? that after bundling my two girls through the various 5pm - 7.30pm routine (nursery pick up, dinner, discussion on edibility (or lack thereof) of dinner, pudding bribery, gigglebiz (little britain for children), speed-bath, debate over exit of speed-bath, tears over coldness post-bath, rediscovery of toys in bedroom making pyjama wearing undesirable, tears over pyjama choice, indifference over story choice, tears over mummy's story choice, argument over milk temperature, discussion of every line of story, argument over need for wee, adherence of rigid protocol of blowing kisses and confirmation of kisses caught, CLICK of stair gate shutting, and start of evening household administration tasks) I might declare gleefully, "now i feel really naughty. where did i see that list of people who feel really naughty too? with real fun?" oh, but wait, darn. i'd forgotten that i have to do a few things first. after i've made dinner, put away the on-line shop (which i'd forgotten about and arrived just as i'd put my own pyjamas on resulting in slightly awkward backward stance so he couldn't see my peanut smuggling exercise through the t-shirt; see, maybe i am naughty: has google registered me typing that and next time adwords will pull up something even more explicit?) re-arranged the cleaning day, wrapped a pressie, written a cheque for a nursery related activity, made up the spare bed for my mum's visit, put some photos into a frame which have been waiting for 3 months for a 5 min window of opportunity, well maybe after those things i'll feel a bit naughty? or maybe i'll put on my really big dressing gown and watch an hour of tv until adam is spat out from work, chewed and regurgitated, and asking "so what did you do this evening?". if i told him i'd been a bit naughty he'd think i'd forgotten to unload the dishwasher.

ii) sorry, have gone on a bit for i) but have now come to ii) which is how??? how did that particular advertiser manage to get their advert up their on its own when my search was simply "google"? i want their slick adwords skills. that way people would type google and my website would pop up. now that would be worth £30 per month.

so, i seem to have written a lot about google and very little about the business this week. well i've had a meeting this morning and have another one this afternoon! the one this morning was with a "gate-keeper". i've decided to categorise my marketing into two types: "gate-keepers" will not use me directly but may have contact with potential clients, whereas others are just potential clients.. i haven't come up with a name for them yet. hmmm. need to focus on that; i like my groups to have headings, makes me very happy. this afternoon i'm meeting with one of the second group, maybe i'll call them "potentials". so i really need to type up my morning notes, have some lunch and prepare for the 3pm but i seem to have now typed for longer than planned and only have about half an hour so quick sarnie while re-reading their website me thinks. is hummus too garlicy pre meeting? clearly need to put back on "executive business woman" image so will stop thinking through logistics of tomorrow's pre-school/john lewis/sainsburys/glasgow activities and FOCUS. bring it on.

ps have just remember another trigger for google sending me that link. i speed-texted a new mum at nursery yesterday and as i clicked "send" i noticed i'd managed to sign it off "latex" rather than "kate x" perhaps google picked that up through the ether and nodded knowingly to its virtual self, chuckling and thinking "i know what sort of ad THIS girl will like"...

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

week one: making the break

it's the end of week one; my last day of paid work is now seven days past but despite my best (and possibly rather optimistic) efforts i don't yet have a plethora of excited and keen-to-be-paying clients for my new go-it-alone venture. adam has suggested that i keep a blog of my efforts; i've added it to the list of many suggestions that he's made and i've briskly dealt with in an efficient "i've thought of that" or "there's only so much i can achieve in week one" sort of way but this one kept buzzing around in my brain and as i feel a desperate need to do-do-do to justify the two days of nursery that we're still paying for i thought i'd give it a go. secretly. i think i will use this blog to share, probably just with myself in an external-internal sort of way, the journey of breaking the shackles of employment and starting my own business. while continuing to be a good mum, probably quite a difficult (if efficient and sometimes a bit nice) wife and all the other roles that us women in our thirties are faced with succeeding at.

i feel a bit like i've entered one of those rivers on a nature programme, where the salmon (or possibly trout?) swim upstream through seemingly unbroachable waterfalls in order to get to the ideal breeding ground. clearly i'm not looking for a breeding ground, not in the pro-creation sense of the word anyway. but i am looking for a breeding ground of clients where they all gabble excitedly about this great new concept in the business world, brought to edinburgh only recently and how it is absolutely essential to get on board now. i'd like to see myself as queen salmon, gracefully executing one of those arcing, water-glistening, leaps to the top. realistically i'm still trying to work out the route, i've got my nose up another fish's arse and am flapping around trying to find a foothold while adapting to the fact i now have fins, not feet. it's all very new and today i found myself justifying my sales activity as "filling the funnel" which felt very novel as i've never been in sales before. i was justifying it to adam. he'd called just to see what i'd been up to on this, day three of unpaid childfree working from home. i admitted i'd just got back from the hairdresser but this was a RARE treat! it had been about 4 months and as i might have a meeting next week i need to look a bit of a business laydeee and not like the mum of a four year-old and a 20 monther.

daughter #1 did say today "are you working at home today mummy, or going to the coffee shop?" she's very interested in the change; why am i no longer at the building with the blue lamp posts? where DO i work? (i fib a bit and say i work at other peoples' offices: surely this will eventually be true..) i was mildly afronted, however as i logged on from starbucks had to accept she was right. well jk rowling does her best work in there, infact i've often seen her in that very one, so as i loaded up my loyalty card in return for free wi-fi i felt it was justified.(and tax deductable?) i was a bit embarrassed about how dusty my laptop looked, and glanced furtively around wondering how all the students could afford i-books and vaios and why everything in my life looks a bit dusty and child-impacted. it really needed a good go with a wet wipe but being childfree this was sadly lacking from my bag. anyway, the coffee shop is also very close to the hairdresser so from a time management perspective it was the right way to go about the day. so now i'm blonder, have had some baked beans and forgot to not put butter on my bread (diet week three; very poor results so far), and have done my first blog entry.

from a work perspective i have also mailed the zoo, the nhs, historic scotland, edinburgh world heritage, the national galleries, scottish parliament, bonhams, lyon and turnbull, rbs: an eclectic group but a group nevertheless. linked by a) my desire to work with them b) my contacts (tenuous but there) and c) my thoughts on their available spend. so the funnel is full of possibles, but only one tenuous meeting so far. i have been granted a free annual membership to the chamber of commerce so when that is duly processed i intend to network wildly with my new executive hair.

i'm ignoring the washing up and washing machine and un-integrated integrated dishwasher sitting next to me; this is a WORK day and as such all domestics get left until the end of the day. i actually find this quite hard but realistically those things are do-able with children round (well, i can't integrate the dishwasher and despite his assurances i'm pretty sure adam can't either so that will have to wait a bit longer) so while the children have tea and refuse to eat delicious omelettes ("tastes yucky mummy" from daughter #2 yesterday) i'll slot back into speed-multitasking-mummy and do all the jobs until adam's slavemasterish employees release him from their grasp and he staggers home grey-eyed and tousle-haired at 8ish. tonight however he has leftover roast (sunday to weds, surely still ok?) and i go out on my work leaving do and probably fib a bit about my funnel.

so i'd better crack on, NOT go shopping for a chair for my new desk, not look at the cost of vaios and i-books and instead work on that graceful arc to the happy breeding lands.