One area a lot of small businesses struggle with is sales and marketing. I had the opportunity to speak to Shivani Chheda, the Marketing and Sales Executive at Stress Matters based in London.
About the company
Stress Matters is a wellbeing company that works with a variety of clients across different industries. In light of the pandemic there has naturally been a high demand for such services as employers realise the importance of wellbeing for their employees.
According to the Health and Safety Executive up to 55% of working days off are related to stress, depression or anxiety. There is a clear economic benefit for businesses in finding ways of improving employee wellbeing in the workplace.
Being forced to work from home has put a huge strain on people’s mental health. The current situation has created further challenges for people who were already suffering from conditions such as anxiety and depression.
Shivani’s Experience & Role
Since graduating, Shivani had two roles before landing her current role at Stress Matters. She received a First-Class Honours in Business Economics from the University of Hertfordshire. As marketing is quite different to her undergraduate degree, she wanted to upskill further. She took ‘The Fundamentals of Digital Marketing’ with the Google Digital Garage. She also had the opportunity to do the Accredited Mental Health First Aider whilst working for Stress Matters.
Shivani explains marketing and sales go hand in hand. If you invest time and conduct market research to inform your marketing strategy then that will help to boost your sales. Lead generation (the initiation of consumer interest or enquiry into products or services of a business) is one method to consider. Another way is targeted and paid ads, but this is dependent on the budget you have set aside for marketing.
Often on social media you’ll find people talking about mental health and wellbeing and these are the people they will generally try to target and engage with. Everyone talks about first aid but focuses on physical, not mental, first aid. In today’s society there is a much greater need for mental health first aid than people realise. By raising awareness of this simple fact across social media, Stress Matters is able to attract and engage with employees who are facing mental health issues in the workplace.
Tools & Software
Shivani mentions using LinkedIn as a source to find potential leads. As their target market is generally business professionals, they have found LinkedIn to be one of the best platforms to reach their target audience. They look for members of the community posting comments related to mental health within the workplace. They also share content with their audience on LinkedIn as well as across other social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
She also mentions you need to be proactive and engage with your audience. It’s not simply enough to share content on social media. People are not going to buy your product or service just because you’ve posted an article or a video. Shivani recommends engaging with your audience in the comment section and sending them informative emails about your brand. This does take quite a lot of time, but by doing so you create genuine customer relationships which helps your business in the long-term.
She does recognise if you are a small business owner you may not have the time or the funds to pay someone to engage in such activities, which is why taking a course can be a good way to understand the fundamentals. With time, as your company grows and revenue begins to increase, it is worth investing in a platform that helps organise all your tools for marketing and sales.
As delivering content is a big part of their strategy, Shivani recommends businesses to engage in email marketing. Stress Matters had been using a tool called Mailchimp but decided to switch to ActiveCampaign because the process is a lot more seamless with email automations and CRM system (two in one). Using automations within ActiveCampaign allows you to streamline your sales process. You can embed forms into your website to segment your customers and deliver content to your audience based on their preferences. You can also monitor things like open rate, click through rate (CTR), conversion rate, click-to-open rate and bounce rate. These are all important metrics when evaluating the success of your campaigns.
If you are a small business owner struggling with sales or marketing, Shivani recommends doing a course. This does not have to be a professional course, but she highly recommends a course that will increase your skills and knowledge about areas that you may not be well equipped in. For example, she completed the course she did with Google Digital Garage. She learnt a lot more about SEO, keywords, how to improve your ranking in Google searches and how to build your website to name a few.
If you don’t have a clear plan of how to accomplish those tasks you will find it quite difficult to run your business. When you have your strategy in place, it becomes a lot easier to build your website and establish your brand on social media. Shivani does highlight there is a lot of work involved but she believes we live in a world of endless opportunities and now is the time to start your new venture.