Totnes beats Costa Coffee

Totnes has been in the news for being in the top ten most funky places in the world to live and more recently for the blue gnome debacle. Now the little town is in the news for a battle against Coffee giant Costa. Totnes is a town that thrives on individualism and independent retailers so the prospect of putting a multi million pound giant in to the mix to compete with the plethora of small coffee houses in Totnes did not go down well.
Much debate and a petition of 5749 signatures later Costa has decided to withdraw.
Costa are claiming to be sympathetic to the feelings and needs of the town but from the point of view of a business owner I would say that they are responding to the unsolicited market research they received!
Business basics dictate that with no market there’s no business. Flogging that dead horse is a common mistake amongst entrepreneurs but apparently Costa have the wherewithal to avoid that pitfall.…

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TCL offices at Dartington Hall

Totnes Consultancy Ltd. is just settling in at new offices on the beautiful Dartington hall estate. We are now located in the Blacklers Building which is a great example of art deco architecture from the 1930s. The building was completed in 1933 and was designed by William Lescaze of US firm ‘Howe and Lescaze of America’. Lescaze was assisted by Robert Hening. Here’s a picture of the building in the summer sun…

totnes local interest

Totnes Consultancy Ltd Offices

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Radio Advertising Tips

In this article MaryEllen Tribby explains how radio advertising could be mor do-able than you thought and how to go about doing it well…

“Mommy you know this guy,” asked my seven year old daughter Delanie as she heard me comment on Tony Robbin’s new radio commercial.

“I sure do,” was my response as I went back to telling my husband the story of a recent speaking engagement in Los Angeles. I was explaining how eclectic the presenter line-up was that day. I had gone on stage right after Tony, and somewhere in the middle of the day was Paula Abdul.

But before I could finish my story, my son, Connor, chimed in with, “Well why don’t you do a radio commercial for Working Moms Only?”

That one small statement turned our three-hour drive up to Disney into a brainstorming session on wheels.

An Oldie But Goodie

After all, many companies have used radio ads to transform their businesses. Unfortunately, too many entrepreneurs and marketing professionals don’t try it because they think it is beyond their reach.

Or they try it once … and if it doesn’t produce the expected results that first time, they give up on the entire channel.

That’s too bad. Radio advertising can be a great marketing tool. It is especially useful in helping entrepreneurs reach specific demographic segments of the general population.

The cost of advertising on the radio varies, depending on the region, the reach and popularity of the radio station (its market share), the time of day, the length of the ad, how many times a day the ad is run, and other factors. But remember that cost isn’t everything. Like every other marketing channel, what matters most is return on investment, your ROI.

Therefore, you have to do your research and keep track of all the testing you do with radio advertising. Only then will you know if it is a cost-effective way to bring in customers. You also need to determine how radio fits in with your product and the other marketing channels you are using.

But before you do anything, review the checklist below to make sure you get the most out of your radio campaigns and give yourself the greatest chance of success.

Step 1. Determine Your Target Market: Figure out exactly who buys your product. What are your customers’ interests and spending habits? What do they like about your product? Through which marketing channels can you reach them? This is a no-brainer, but many companies forget this step.

Step 2. Ask Your Fellow Businesspeople about Their Experiences: If you are thinking about getting involved in radio advertising, talk to some of your friends in the business about the experiences they’ve had. Seek out their advice. Learn from their mistakes. Build on their successes.

Step 3. Hire a Pro: If you aren’t experienced in radio advertising, hire a consultant (or consultants) to walk you through the process of creating and producing an ad that will resonate with your customers. Consultants will help you write scripts, record in a professional setting, choose a proper format, and so on. Besides being money down the drain, a badly produced ad could do a lot of harm to your company image.

Step 4. The Voice of Your Product: Many times, a business owner or entrepreneur will lend their own talent and voice to their radio commercials. If the thought of being in an ad alarms you, don’t worry. Just hire someone. Voice talent is easy to find. Your consultant or the radio station will be able to help you.

Step 5. Get Bids from Different Radio Stations: Once you’ve created an ad, don’t just run it on the first radio station that pops into your head. Check out all the stations that serve your target market. Let them know you are interested in buying airtime—and then make them work to get your business. Ask for proof of their effectiveness in reaching your potential customers, a recommendation for how often your ad should run (this varies depending on your demographic), and proposed costs. All this information should help you make an informed decision.

Step 6. Check Out Sponsorships: Consider sponsoring news reports or the weather—perhaps with a short intro like this: “This Storm Tracker report brought to you by [Your Company],” followed by a quick mention of your website or 800 number.

Step 7. Remnant Space—a Low-Cost Opportunity: Remnant space is airtime that hasn’t yet been sold to advertisers. The closer they get to the air date without advertising, the more nervous radio stations get that they won’t make any money on that time. So they start offering discounts—as high as 75 percent—to advertisers willing to step in. That’s your chance to save a lot of money.


It may be hard for today’s “electronic generation”—accustomed to iphones, ipads, big-screen TVs, VHS/DVD players, computers,MP3 music players, PDAs, digital cameras, camcorders, and the like to imagine it, but when radio was introduced to the world, it had as profound an impact as the Internet did in the 1990s.

Communication changed. The relationships between countries and cultures changed. People and places were linked. The spread of information was not limited by the speed of a boat or train. News traveled at the speed of sound. Physical barriers and large distances no longer posed an obstacle.

And don’t forget, many places in the world still don’t have regular access to the Internet or even television. But radio is a constant presence, even in remote areas. For many people, it is their lifeline to the world and, thus, radio advertisers have a captive audience.

That’s why, even today, radio is a vital part of many companies’ multi-channel marketing approach, as viable as any other format or channel. With radio, you will reach those customers who may never turn on a computer and who don’t read newspapers or magazines. That said, radio is not appropriate for every business, just as e-mail marketing or direct mail might not work for everyone.

But that’s the beauty of multi-channel marketing. You do your research and testing … find the mix of advertising formats that works for you… and go with it!

If you want to get a head start on mastering the fundamentals of direct response marketing and putting your competition to shame, check out my #1 best-seller, Changing the Channel: 12 Easy Ways to Make Millions for Your Business.

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What is advertising?

Is it something to be regarded as a work of beauty or art? Is it clever slogans or amusing prose? Is it workmanship to be judged for an award or recognition?

It’s none of the above.

Advertising is salesmanship multiplied. Nothing more.

And advertising copy, or copywriting, is salesmanship in print. The purpose of a copywriter’s job is to sell. Period.

The selling is accomplished by persuasion with the written word, much like a television commercial sells (if done properly) by persuading with visuals and audio.

As Claude Hopkins wrote in his timeless classic, Scientific Advertising:

“To properly understand advertising or to learn even its rudiments one must start with the right conception. Advertising is salesmanship. Its principles are the principles of salesmanship. Successes and failures in both lines are due to like causes. Thus every advertising question should be answered by the salesman’s standards.

“Let us emphasize that point. The only purpose of advertising is to make sales. It is profitable or unprofitable according to its actual sales. “It is not for general effect. It is not to keep your name before the people. It is not primarily to aid your other salesmen. Treat it as a salesman. Force it to justify itself. Compare it with other salesmen. Figure its cost and result. Accept no excuses which good salesmen do not make. Then you will not go far wrong.

“The difference is only in degree. Advertising is multiplied salesmanship. It may appeal to thousands while the salesman talks to one. It involves a corresponding cost. Some people spend $10 per word on an average advertisement. Therefore every ad should be a super-salesman. “A salesman’s mistake may cost little. An advertiser’s mistake may cost a thousand times that much. Be more cautious, more exacting, therefore. A mediocre salesman may affect a small part of your trade. Mediocre advertising affects all of your trade.”

These points are as true today as they were when they were written nearly one hundred years ago!

So the goal then becomes: how can we make our advertising as effective as possible.

At Totnes Consultancy we specialise in making your online advertising as effective as possible at selling your product or service ensuring you get value for money. Our services are designed to be an investment giving a return rather than an expense!

Call or email to see how you could profit.



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Profits from Keywords

OK – Lets talk about the most important thing you need to consider to make money from your website…

This concept, when I explain it to people, often results in a huge AHA!

It is going to seem obvious but hardly anybody gets it until it’s explained.

My new clients, who already have a website, often say to me “I’m already on page one of Google”.

It’s often said with a kind of resignation like they think they know that being on page one won’t help their business and in one way they are right. The trouble is they never thought about what keyword they were on page 1 for.

The first question I ask is “what keyword are you on page 1 for?”. This question can be quite stunning, people look confused like the answer is some how obvious. Then they will say something like “” or whatever their website name is.

And here’s the big problem, here’s where it’s all completely wrong and the reason why their site isn’t getting any visitors and isn’t making any money.

You need to be on the first page of Google for very specific keywords to make money and the keyword is almost never the website name!

Let me explain this with an example…

One of my clients is an electrician working in and around the Plymouth area. Let’s say the name of his company is Joe’s Electrical Services. Sure enough if you type that name into Google his site comes up on page one. Sounds good right – well no actually. It’s not bad but it is of absolutely no value in increasing the profit of the business. Being number one for that keyword is useless. Why is that….

I know how to interrogate Google to find out lots and lots of valuable information about keywords.

There is absolutely nobody searching online for the keyword ‘Joe’s Electrical Services’ – none, zero, Nada.

So what are people who would actually like to hire an electrician in Plymouth searching for on Google, what keywords are these qualified leads typing in?

How about ‘Electrician Plymouth’ oh yes, How about Plymouth Electricians bingo. Now were getting somewhere.

Now search volume isn’t everything, there are lots of people searching online for the keyword ‘electricity’ but how many of these do you suppose are looking for an electrician in Plymouth – not many – the traffic is not targeted or qualified. So although we could expect lots of visitors they are unlikely to buy because they weren’t looking for an electrician and if they were it is unlikely that they would be in the Plymouth area.

So the key critical factors when targeting a keyword are:

  • Large search Volume
  • Targeted / Qualified Leads
  • Profitability

The only one of these I haven’t mentioned yet is profitability. This simply means that it shouldn’t cost more in time and effort to get the traffic we want than we get back in revenue. For example – if ‘Best Electrician in Plymouth’ was a hugely competitive keyword (it’s not by the way) then we would have to spend a huge amount of time and effort = money to beat the competition to page one. That would negate any profit.

So in summary we need – targeted, money making keywords which have a significant number of daily searches but without so much competition that our profit would be wiped out.

Think about this…

there are 300 searches per month for ‘electricians Plymouth’ if only 1% of those searchers are converted to clients that’s 3 every month and if those clients were worth an average of £100 each that’s £300 pm in extra revenue from one keyword alone!

But how does a local business owner ever find out what those keywords are??

The first thing I do free for potential clients is identify their money making keywords. Then I make them the money!

Call or email to see how you could capture local business with the world wide web!

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Finding Your Market

Gary Halbert is affectionately known as the ‘wildman’ of the copywriting profession.

He once asked a group of aspiring marketers a simple question: “Assuming,” he says, “you’ve got a hamburger stand”, he continued, “and you could have any one feature concerning your business… What would it be?”

The motivated group shouted their answers:

  • Killer advertising!
  • The best location!
  • Reliable help!
  • The best hamburger around!
  • A price lower than my competitor’s!
  • The cheapest price!

And so it went… After all the answers were out, and he’d written them all on the board, he asked everybody to review the list, to think again… ?Are you sure there isn’t something else? If you can only have one thing?” A few more things were mentioned, actually repeats or variations of things already on the board.

Then Gary, getting close, huddled with the crowd and whispered into the mic, “if I could only have ONE thing, I’d want”… A Starving Crowd!

Instantly everybody knew Gary was right. With a starving crowd you don’t need any advertising, any location will do, because they’re there, and they’re hungry. They’re MOTIVATED TO BUY! And if it takes a few minutes longer to get their burger, because you’re short one unreliable employee, they’ll wait. And nobody asks if you’re the ‘best’ burger around…

If you would like us to apply these and many other principles of marketing to help your business give us a no obligation call.

Let’s build something great together!

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Foundation for Successful Business

Seven Points You Must be Clear On for a Successful Business

If you want to build a successful business then you have to make sure that it is built on a firm foundation. One of the key elements is making sure your client acquisition and retention is well thought out. Thinking about and answering the following seven questions will certainly stand you and your business in good stead! The answers that you come up with should inform any marketing activities that you engage in whether it be online or any other media.

1) What is your Product / Service?

It seems obvious but you really need to define what it is you have to offer. It shouldn’t be ‘wooly’ in any way.

2) Who wants what you have to offer?

You need to be able to clearly define who your clients / customers are. This is known as demographics. What is your prospects’ age, gender, likes, dislikes etc. etc.

3) Where are they?

If you want to reach your prospects you are going to have to know where to find them. Not all prospects are on the internet. If you were selling a product aimed at the elderly then the internet may not be the best place to reach them. Direct mailing or newspaper ads would likely be more effective. However if you are marketing to teenagers then a newspaper would likely be useless. You are better off with the web.

4) Are You Speaking to Them?

This is really about salesmanship and particularly copywriting. You need to know how to appeal to your prospects in a way that attracts them.

5) Signature System

You need to define your signature system. For example  McDonalds have their ‘happy meal’ it’s not just called burger and fries in a box with a toy – It helps to have a snappy name. It is a proven systematic marketing strategy for driving clients to businesses through online search engines.

6) Sales Process

You need an effective sales process. In the 20th Century the old ‘hard sell’ methods no longer work. You need a process to develop a relationship of trust with your prospects. You need to provide value before you even consider trying to sell them something. You need to develop a reputation as an authority in your field. This trust + authority + total integrity leads to sales. People only want to buy from people they trust and respect. It is your job to develop that with complete integrity.

7) Faith

Seems a little out of place here but you really do need faith. Faith in your product or service and faith in the first six steps. It sounds a little ‘woo woo’ and ‘new agey’ but any good textbook on salesmanship will tell you that prospects can sense any lack of faith you have in your product or service.

Don’t forget these principles apply for any marketing whether it be online or offline such as printed materials or radio or TV ads. If you need any help with any of these foundational elements you can contact me here at Totnes Consultancy I’d Love to hear from you.

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