First off, apologies for being a bit absent over the last couple of weeks. As expected, the day job (I run a busy wholesale bakery) is getting busier as we get further into the year, and as it pays the bills, it's my main priority.
One of the reasons I love my job is that I start between 12am and 1am and I'm often finished by about half past eight, leaving me plenty of time to work on my side projects. My day usually looks something like this:
0010 : Alarm goes off
0020: Sit down in the home office with a coffee and figure out the nights production schedule. We get a lot of last minute orders so it can't be done earlier.
0030: At work. Get the machines fired up, brief the team.
0100 - 0700: Main production run.
0700-0745: Getting the drivers out of the door with the right orders for the right customers.
0745 - 0830/0900: Admin etc.
0900/0930: Breakfast and bed.
1130 - 1530: Up again ready to push on with Admin/Growth Rocket/Uni work until the kids get home. Then it's family time
1900/1930: Asleep ready to start the next day.
I do this four days a week. On a Friday night I go in to work for another production run in the evening that usually finishers about 1am.
The only trouble with this routine is that as I start to work longer shifts at the bakery (10-12 hours through the summer!) it reduces the time I have to get stuff done. It also leaves me feeling very drained and less inclined to want to do any extra stuff. Although we're not at that point yet, it's certainly getting busier. We've also picked up a new regular customer in the last few weeks who's helping us to keep busy.
On top of all the day job stuff, I've had a gruelling couple of weeks with my Open University course. I'm not complaining because I LOVE to be busy, but if I go quiet for a while, this is the reason.
I might try and experiment with creating content and scheduling posts at the weekend. That way, at least I'll be putting out something.
In other news, I recently signed up for a few trial of LinkedIn Sales Navigator. It was a 30 day free trial that would revert to £50 a month when the trial ended. Although I was dubious about having to enter my details prior to the trial, there were plenty of times that the onboarding process reassured me that I would be given plenty of notice when the trial was about to end. Unfortunately, as a Gmail user, these messages went into my social folder, which is a bit like spam and I don't ever check it. The emails that go in there don't appear in your regular inbox so they often get missed. So yesterday I had a paypal notification to say that LinkedIn had taken £600 from my account for a years subscription.
I understand that there are plenty of people who may use all of the features that this offers but I'm definitely not one of them.
Luckily, despite plenty of warnings that LinkedIn never refund subscription fees, I was able to get the full amount refunded after getting in touch with customer service. I felt the whole process was a little shady for a company of their size. I wonder how many people don't bother contacting them?
Recently, I've been thinking a lot about affiliation. For anyone that doesn't know, put simply, affiliate marketing is making use of someone else's audience to sell your products or services. You then give that person a commission based on the value of sales that they make. That's it. A simple idea, right? If you ask many successful companies, they will tell you that affiliate marketing is one of their biggest sources of revenue. Then why don't more smaller brands do it?
I've been talking to a few people about the subject and the reasons for not having an affiliate campaign were all roughly the same. I've put the main reasons below.
1. Technical - You would need to create affiliate links and put a system in place to track the sales that they generate.
2. Time - You would need to find affiliates to promote your brand.
3. Control - You would lose some control over your brand identity as affiliates would be marketing your products.
4. Margin - You would need to have a large enough margin to cover the affiliate commission.
Reasons 1,2 and 3 genuinely seem like something that I could help with (time constraints aside of course!). Reason number 4 is out of my hands. In an ideal world, the sale price of any product should include a small amount towards marketing, so this would be allocated to commission instead of advertising or discounting etc. But I know from personal experience that some brands work on very tight margins!
It's only an idea but something that's worth playing around with. There aren't many upcoming brands that would turn down the opportunity to make more sales!
That's it for this week. Keep your eyes peeled for some pretty cool interviews that I've got coming up, and something special that I've been working on which I'm hoping to share in the next couple of months.
Have a great weekend!