Monthly Archives: May 2011

I Dreamed Of Living In The Sun

I am a proud Scot - but I detest the Scottish weather.

It's too cold in the winter and too wet in the summer.

Little wonder then that I dreamed of living and working in the sunshine.

I pictured myself having breakfast by the pool, working all day long under a palm tree and splashing along a sandy beach in the setting sun.

Today I have that lifestyle and it's all thanks to the internet.

It has changed my life completely. I spend my summers in the Mediterranean and my winters in the Gulf of Mexico.

As I am completely wired 24/7 (Some people would say I have always been completely wired, but that's another matter), so I'm never out of touch with my colleagues at Beattie Communications, Only Marketing, 11ten or Student Currency Exchange.

I have the perfect lifestyle and living in the sunshine has produced a crop of business benefits. No1 - it has been largely responsible for our brands breaking into new international markets.

I now spend more time on aeroplanes than I used to but with carriers like our clients easyJet it's a doddle getting about Europe.

If you have a dream of swooping the UK for a place in the sun - get in touch and I'll tell you how to do it. 

Is It Time To Raise Your Prices?

People will tell you that the middle of a recession is not the best time to put up your prices.

They say that customers buy on price and, if anything, you should drive down your prices to increase your market share during a downturn.

That's one theory but I believe it's a flawed argument as research undertaken by the biggest and most successful companies in the world shows that only 15% of customers buy on price.

The rest of us have discovered that if you pay peanuts you get monkeys.

It's an old saying, but a true one - you get what you pay for.

So if your product or service is better than the competition, don't be afraid to charge a premium.

My advice is - at the very least maintain your current prices and resist pressure to cut what you charge.

If, however, you truly believe in your product or service, I reckon there has never been a better time to increase your charges.

Your customers know that we are about to hit 5% inflation so most of them will not blink an eye if you increase your rates.

So go for it my friend and you'll see the impact on your bottom line.

Why Most People On Twitter Only Have A Handful Of Followers

Ask the question why 90% of Twitter users only have a handful of followers and you'll get 90 different answers. 

  • Your tweets are not interesting enough
  • You don't tweet often enough
  • You are not famous enough

These are only three responses so called social media experts will fire back at you like bullets out of a machine gun.

All three responses have their place.

  • The more interesting your tweets, the more RTs you will get and the more followers you will pick up
  • Increase the number of times you tweet and you can expect to add a follower or two
  • If you are in the media spotlight - for whatever reason - you will pick up followers by the barrow load

However, the No1 reason people don't have masses of followers is that they don't make the effort to follow other people.

Most of us sit back passively and wait to be followed by someone else.

If you really want to increase your Twitter headcount, go out and follow 100 people. You can expect one in every four of these people to follow you back.

If follow 100 new people each day for six weeks you will end up with 1000 followers.

It's then time to do a bit of spring cleaning and stop following those who have not followed you back. Twitter is all about two way conversations - not one way traffic. 

A Personal Website – A Must Have For Every Business Leader

What could be better than your own page on Facebook or Twitter?

Your own personal website, of course!

If you are a top business leader a personal website is not just desirable - it's essential.


Because the media has a nasty habit of putting a negative slant on everything. So an innocent aside can unexpectedly be blown into an earth shattering row.

If you don't want media spin on what you say - a personal website is the only answer.

At Beattie Communications and Only Web we have been building personal websites for a string of high profile business leaders who know the value of personal brand management.

In this day and age, it's as important for CEOs to manage their personal brands as it is to protect the corporate brand.

Former BP CEO Tony Hayward is a case in point. His company's reputation was left in tatters not just because of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill but because the media put a negative spin on everything he said and did.

Some of the grief could have been avoided, had he used his own personal website as the distribution point for his thoughts, comments, views and news. It would have given the public the opportunity to read what he actually said rather than rely on journalists who were "working an angle".

I have my own personal website at I use it to issue my news.  It's worth taking a look as it will help you figure out what your website should contain.

Stagecoach CEO Brian Souter and Willie Haughey of City Refrigeration both have good websites which may also give you some inspiration.

Personal Brand Management Tip: Always buy a .com domain name if you can. It has more international web power than any of the others.