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Business Profile: Janet Bebb (Social Progress Ltd)

Managing Director of Social Progress Ltd

Current Job Position?  Online Social Networking Specialist,  some would say a Network Tart and MD of Social Progress Ltd.
Best thing about your job?  I love to help people shine and brim with confidence in using online platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook etc. I like the flexibility my job gives me & the very best bit is finding out all about the people I work with – from all walks of life and different businesses ranging from cake makers, NHS suppliers, solar panel suppliers, HR Consultants, Recruiters, Printers, Coaches, Trainers, Marketeers, Web Developers etc etc etc
Worst thing about your Job? Not being able to support all the new start-ups & those small traders struggling to make a crust cos those people are possibly the ones who need the most help and coaching with online social networking and face to face networking.
Favourite Restaurant in Huddersfield?  So many to choose from – Bradleys & Nosh have to be two of my most favourite restaurants but sadly I haven’t managed to get to either in a while. Bradley’s make the most amazing Crème Brulee & I love the choice and variety of dishes at Nosh – always something new to try out!
Your best achievement?  Gosh – hard to say! Feel like I’ve achieved so much on different levels. Raised a fair old bit of cash for various charities over the years by completing 11 Great North Runs, 11+ Race for Life’s, completed an Abseil down the front of the Galpharm Stadium, a Tandem Parachute Jump from 13,000 ft, did a Static Line Parachute Jump from 3,000 ft and other ‘stuff’. Renovated a derelict old barn & lived in two caravans for 4 years while we did it with Hubby & 2 small children (both under the age of 5yrs). Lost 3.5st in weight which changed my outlook on life! And setting up my own company, Social Progress Ltd after being made redundant.
Interest and Hobbies? Skipping (1200 skips per day in under 11 minutes – I challenge you!) & Running (but sadly can’t do the distances I used to) – I’m training and getting fit for a Spartan Race I’m taking part in with a group of other ladies & gents in August 2012 – (Yes I know we must be mad!!!). We’re raising money for a very worthwhile local cause – Youth Routes an organisation that helps young people to achieve outside of their academic environment.I also enjoy music a great deal. Music is constantly on all around me and get along to as many live concerts as I can. I’ve worked behind the bar at Leeds Fest for the past two years to get free passes and some time out to see band like Muse, Mumford & Sons, Biffy Clyro, Bombay Bicycle Club, Dry the River etc etc. I’ll be volunteering for Oxfam this Saturday (9th June) to raise awareness for Oxfam’s GROW campaign and see Coldplay at the same time. And my favourite band of all time are one that you won’t have heard of but hopefully one day you will – Kassidy. 4 young guys from in & around Glasgow who play guitars and have wonderful harmonies – and they don’t look half bad either!
What do you value most about being a member of a networking group? The friendships you develop and support you gain through really getting to know people at networking events. Also I love to connect people with others that can help their business grow. That might be a business contact, customer or support agency they’re not aware of. As my dear old Dad would say “give freely and expect nothing in return” – that’s what networking is for me!
Website 

Linked In 

Twitter 

Facebook

www.socialprogress.co.uk 

Janet Bebb 

@SocialProgress1 

Social Progress Ltd 

Bio:

I’ve had a checkered career from working in Financial Services for more than 25 years to Trainer, NVQ Assessor, Skills Broker for Train to Gain (government initiative if you remember it – funded training) and then this service transferred to Business Link and I was transferred with it! I’ve worked as a Customer Service Adviser, Team Leader, Change Facilitator, Business Adviser & Change Manager.

How did I get into what I do now? Well I started out using online social networks eg. Facebook to track what the kids were up to (But the kids blocked me – Tch! maybe the same for you). I found it relatively easy to navigate & soon understood it. Then when I joined Business Link, LinkedIn was seen as a useful tool to network and find out what was happening out & about. It was also a place to find new clients and build your network of useful connections.

As we approached the last 18 months of Business Link we went from just over 400 staff to just under 100 in the last 8 months. We had three rounds of redundancies and throughout this time I used LinkedIn to find and apply for jobs.  I also found jobs for my colleagues and passed these on to them. There’s lots of jobs on LinkedIn that aren’t advertised anywhere else & so by using LinkedIn you stand a better chance of getting that all important foot in the door than using more traditional routes. I did get interviews from this approach for myself & others – see my recommendations on LinkedIn.

I was asked to show others within Business Link how to get the best out of LinkedIn and then one of the external trainers asked me to show him how to use this powerful tool and said he’s pay me to do so once I left Business Link – BINGO! Lightbulb moment! I asked a few of my trusted colleagues for their honest thought/opinions (see it’s all their fault) and here I am!  Master of my own destiny J.

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Mid Yorkshire Network – May

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Thank you to all the members that came along to today’s MYnetwork meet up, there was a great energy in the room thanks to all you enthusiastic networkers. You may have noticed that there were a few photographers at today’s event, we had Anthony from AF Photography Ltd and there was also a photographer recording content for a marketing video for The Media Centre. Visit our Facebook Page to see photos taken at today’s meet up ‘MYnetwork – April’

Our next meet up will be on Wednesday 20th June and we will be holding a Jubilee themed meet up; keep your eyes peeled on the Mid Yorkshire Network Linked In group as this is where the details about this meet up will be revealed. 

This networking group is going from strength to strength it’s attracting new members all the time whilst having fantastic regular mynetworkers who help make the networking group a constant success. In addition to this, the Linked In group now has over 1,000 members who actively participate in online discussions and attend our monthly meet ups and don’t forget you can also follow MYnetwork on Twitter @MidYorkshireNET.  

First MYnetwork of 2012

Today was the first Mid Yorkshire Network meet up of 2012 at Cafe Ollo, The Media Centre. If you haven’t heard about this networking group before it’s held every 3rd Wednesday of the Month at The Media Centre and encourages business to come along and enjoy some informal and friendly networking. The group first started on Linked In  and the partners of the events are ourselves (ME Consultancy/SMileS), Ramsdens, Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce and The Media Centre.

Well this year’s first MYnework started with a bang. The attendence of the event was fantastic not only did we get to catch up with familar faces of the group but we also got to meet lots of new faces; who have either only just learnt aboutthe networking group or have only just got round to attending a meet up. As always it was great to learn about all the new projects and plans members have for the upcoming months, but it was also great to bring a new energy to the group through all the new faces. We always look forward to welcoming new members to the meet ups as it generates more propects within the group and helps develop new business relationships.

We’d like to say a big thank you to everyone that attended the meet up today and if you didn’t get chance to come along today why not try come along to the next meet up which will be held on Wednesday 15th February.

Below are a few photos taken at the meet up today; if you want to see more please head over to Facebook and hit ‘Like’ to see all photos from the album ‘First MYnetwork of 2012’.

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Infographic: Which of your social media profiles will give you the best lead generation?

Digital Media Report…What has the biggest impact on lead generation?

Infographic sourced from SearchEngineLand

As a business were very active online; we have social media profiles on Twitter, Facebook, Linked In, WordPress and a few other networking forums. Whilst our social media activity had been great to increase brand awareness, strengthen our existing relationship with contacts/customers and even start new relationships; were always looking for ways to help increase lead generation through social media. 

This Inforgraphic has helped us identify which of our social media channels is most likely to generate leads. Overall, we’ve found that Linked In is the most succesful social media channel for generating business leads but we’ve started getting more results through Twitter. However, over recent months we have develop a Facebook page and from the results of this infographic we will definitely be focusing our efforts on generating more leads through this channel as it has clearly worked for many other businesses. 

Speaking of Social Media; you can follow us Twitter @smilessms @ME_Consultancy or on our Linked In Company page, ‘like’ our page on Facebook ‘ME Consultancy Ltd’  and read our blog

Infographic ‘Digital Marketing Report’ sourced from http://www.searchengineland.com

Ladies 4 Networking Huddersfield

As a company we attend many different networking events as we find that much of our business is built on referrals and therefore, networking events are key to create new contacts. As a team we try to attend a variety of different networking groups so we can assess which works best for generating businesses. Whilst it is good to attend networking events to strengthen our relationship with existing contacts we find it just as vital to get out their and meet new people.

Therefore, when I joined the SMileS team it was the perfect opportunity for us to attend a new networking group – Ladies 4 Networking Huddersfield in Milnsbridge at Temujin. This event is specific for ladies in business only and starts with informal networking from 11.15am, then it moves on to the restaurant where we enjoy a stir fry lunch whilst 2 ladies from the group act as guest speakers. Once the speakers have finished there is a unique network shuffle which allows each person on a table chance to do a 1 minute pitch about their business and to let the ladies in the group know the type on contacts they are looking to connect with. This is a great part of the event as it ensures that everyone gets a chance to meet and helps encourage the ladies to do business.

The two guest speakers at this months meet up were Heidi Dawson from Success Unbridled and Clare Walters from Absolute Specialists & Dovetail Divorce Solutions Ltd.

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MYnetwork September Meet Up

Today’s Mid Yorkshire Network (MYnetwork) meet up was a great success drawing in lots of familar faces aswell as many new ones. The meetup started at the earlier time of 9am which we thought might reduce the number of members attending the event but there was still a great turnout, and many members even mentioned they liked the 9am time slot.

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The next MYnetwork meet up will be held at the Kirklees Business Conference at 5.30pm. This will be a great chance to wind down from a busy day of networking by having a friendly chat and drink with contacts you’ve met throughout the day and to catch up with fellow MYnetwork members.

As you may have seen in the ‘Mid Yorkshire Network’ Linked In discussion we’ve been running a MYnetwork poll looking into changing the day and venue of meet ups. The two choices were between the 3rd Friday, 12pm at Voda Bar or keep 3rd Wednesday,10am at Media Centre. The poll ended today and ended on a draw with 50% of members voting for changing to Voda Bar and 50% of members voting to keep meetups as they are. Many of the partners were also asking member today what there preference was with many saying they liked to keep the event on a Wednesday as there isn’t many other networking events in Huddersfield that run on a Wednesday. With all this in mind the partners of the MYnetwork will discuss the networking event further and we will let you know when and where the October meet up will take place through Linked In. So please make sure you look out for any MYnetwork meetup updates.

 

SMileS attend Ladies 4 Networking event @Temujin

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Yesterday, I attended a great event which was recommended to me by Jane Mellor (Efficient PA) who I met at another networking event ‘MYnetwork’ last week. I’m very new to networking as I’ve just started a marketing placement at ‘ME Consultancy Ltd’; this event was a great introduction into networking as it’s informal and friendly. It’s strictly women only and is a great way to meet ladies from the local area who either own their own business or work in various different industries. It’s also a great event for individuals wanting to network for a specific purpose as in your 1 minute slot you can inform people of what you’re looking for, for example; looking for people with contacts in the beauty industry to stock a new range of products. To follow events and to get more information about ‘Ladies 4 Networking Huddersfield) you can find them on Linked In. Please read the rest of this post if you want to know more about the format of this networking event meet up. I would also suggest anyone going along to the event to take plenty of business cards and various promotional materials they may have to help ensure that people remember your business and can get in contact with you.

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SMileS & Seabrook Crisps working together, are you doing all you can to encourage working with fellow businesses in Yorkshire?

Seabrook’s  is based in Bradford  and in the 65 years since they’ve been in business the company has grown into a £28 million brand and is still very much a family run business. SMileS setup a SMS campaign which was based on encouraging people to text in a keyword (CRISPS) to a shortcode (67777) a text response would then be received which contained a link to the Seabrook website where they could access a 50% discount code which could be used for online purchases. This is a great offer for Seabrook’s consumers as they can bulk buy online and then use their 50% discount from texting in the keyword. Seabrook’s website allows you to purchases products from their whole product portfolio and you can even mix ‘n’ match to create a customised box of crisps; each box contains 48 spaces. Packaging and Delivery is charged at £5 for your first box and then £2 for every other box in a single order. Purchase here

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The benefit of using social media as a SMB

Article sourced from ‘eMarketer digital intelligence’. Read the full article here.

Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) surveyed in April 2011 by Pitney Bowes rated social media as highly cost-effective and easy to use, rivalling email in its benefits. More than seven in 10 SMBs surveyed by social marketing platform Roost in May said social media was effective as a marketing channel, and nearly 90% thought it was at least somewhat important to their marketing efforts.

“Creating a profile on a social network” was named the most effective marketing or advertising tactic used according to the nearly 5,000 local business owners polled by Merchant Circle in June 2011. Additionally, 34% of respondents in the Deluxe Corp. study who had used social media said it helped them reach new potential customers and 15% said it increased sales.

SMileS Comment;

Me Consultancy Ltd is an example of a SMB using social media to provide us with exposure. Social marketing has been a great networking tool helping us to generating new business and strengthening our relationship with current contacts. Firstly, we developed our ‘Linked In Company profile’ account which is our primary method of networking. SMileS which is ME Consultancy sister company even generated business from an event group on ‘Linked In’ as our SMS Software was used to send out text messages reminders to inform members of group all the relevant information they would need in order to attend the event. This shows how we have used the social media site ‘Linked In’ to network with the right sort of people effectively generating business. Read the rest of this entry

MyNetwork – Mid Yorkshire Net

 ‘MYnetwork’ stands for Mid Yorkshire Net; you can find us on Twitter (http://bit.ly/ns9e7i) and Linked In (http://linkd.in/MYnetwork). MYnetwork is a friendly and informal network of business people across Calderdale, Kirklees and beyond. My network is sponsored by ‘The Media Centre’, ‘The Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce’, ‘Ramsdens Solicitors LLP’ and lastly us (ME Consultancy Ltd/Smiles). The daytime meetings are often held at Café Ollo in The Media Centre and we provide a SMS reminder service to inform members of all the relevant information people attending the event may need such as start time and date. Evening meetings will usually be held at a local business within the Kirklees or Calderdale area. For example, the next evening event will be held at the launch of the ‘Huddersfield Food Festival’ on the 11/08/11 at 5.30pm.

The overall aim of MyNetwork’ is to strenthen the business community and to get business people together. The whole ethos of the event is to have fun, chat about topics of interest and swap business cards in a friendly and informal environment. We love being a partner of MYnetwork as it helps us meet with potential new customers and it helps generate more business within the area.

 The first event, sponsored by local legal firm Ramsdens Solicitors LLP, was held at the Kirklees Business Conference at the Galpharm Stadium back in September 2010 and was an immediate success with many attendees requesting subsequent events. This prompted Sinead Sopola Marketing Manager at Ramsdens to organise an event co-opting both SMileS and The Media Centre to help and later become partner of this network. Since then the group has taken off and been a great success.  Feel free to learn more about Mynetwork and current events we have coming up via Twitter or Linked In, we always look forward to meeting new faces at the events so why not come on down and see what where all about  at our next meeting on the 20/7 at 10am at the Media Centre, Huddersfield.