On the 29th August 2013, the Knowing Your Business radio show and website went live for the first time in the new format.
It was the culmination of nearly three years of hard work, careful planning, much testing, and an incredibly exciting moment for me.
It was also the beginning of a huge amount of highs, lows, not much sleep and even more hard work! I never expected it to be easy.
I thought that now was a good time to share what I’ve learned and experienced on my journey so far. Not just because it will be interesting for me to look back on in the months and years to come, but it may help you on your own business journey.
Three years ago Knowing Your Business wasn’t even an idea!
It’s funny to think that a little over three years ago, Knowing Your Business didn’t exist. It wasn’t even an idea. It was just this strong desire I had to give businesses something they never had before and add value to their business. Create something worthy of its existence was my mantra. Or how I like to describe it, creating a digital asset for our business owner guests.
And just recently, if I hadn’t spoken with the brilliant thought bubble queen Joy McCarthy, that’s all it may ever have been, an idea.
What I set out to do
So what exactly did I set out to do? As a business owner I’ve met many different business people via networking both off and online. It struck me that we all faced the same problem – how to market ourselves in a way that’s affordable, effective, long lasting, and to be uniquely ‘us’. Not what we think people want to hear, or another way to put it is being what we wanted to be and marketing that in an authentic manner.
Most were really struggling with this concept, it didn’t take long to realise there were hundreds of thousands of business like this all around the UK.
Businesses who’d spent thousands on advertising saying (the over abused) “we’re brilliant at this” “we’re fantastic at that” but now found, this old way of marketing no longer fitted with the new way businesses could communicate with people. Or more importantly how potential buyers accepted marketing messages that they would actually believe in.
Using my own experience to help other businesses
What I found alongside the many conversations I’ve enjoyed was, the best way is simply to tell stories. The challenge was to make it authentic when it was being read, watched or listened to.
So we created a website to host the podcasts of the businesses we interviewed, so they could tell their stories live on radio, make it possible for potential customers to listen again and again, when potential customers wanted to listen, how they wanted to listen and where they wanted to listen.
We had to create on demand radio ‘brand’ broadcasting, and it’s never been done before in this context.
Live radio broadcasting is about facts and balance. It’s an honest conversation with the interviewers and the interviewee.
It’s about telling an engaging story, and the goal is to educate rather than the push advertising model that has been broken for years.
This way, listeners are informed, and they become engaged with the businesses we interview, its mission, its expertise, its values, its vulnerabilities, and its passion. And that’s what listeners wanted.
The challenge – the rewards
Of course over the past three years I’ve had ups and downs. Not everything went as I envisaged. Some things worked out amazingly better than I could ever have hoped for, and other things didn’t work. But everything – good and bad – has been a learning experience (and still is!) and most importantly, I enjoy what I do because it’s worthy of my efforts.
Two highlights of the past few months
There have been some amazing highlights over the last three years, but it’s only now I’m seeing the harvest from the seeds I planted all that time ago.
The lovely words from business owners and listeners. Probably the most rewarding part of Knowing Your Business is hearing how much businesses enjoyed the experience and the feedback some received from the interviews. Two have even gained customers minutes after coming off the interview.
All too often, I come across marketing tactics such as advertising that promise a lot, but deliver little in terms of actual added value.
I hoped our podcasted live radio interviews really do inspire our listeners – and make it easier for them in deciding their buying decisions. So it’s lovely to hear from businesses on Facebook, Twitter LinkedIn, and Google+ and in emails to know that our site and activity is actually helping.
Please don’t stop letting me know what you like and want more of, and also what doesn’t work for you.
Sharing your stories. Another big highlight is talking to all the amazing businesses we interview and watch their podcasts gain listens week after week. Every single business has an amazing story to tell.
They’ve certainly inspired me to be better and work harder! They also remind me how many different ways there are to achieve our dreams if we’re committed enough, and really demonstrate the spirit of what I’m trying to achieve. I take my hat off to all the show guests and see them all as heroes.
My deep felt thanks
I’ve also been inspired and really impressed by my many brilliant experts and contributors, Darren Coles, Judy Mansfield, Joy McCarthy, Tim Lyon, Julie Cooper and David McCarthy. I’m add adding more contributors as the story unfolds.
I am truly appreciative of their wonderful support in helping me make Knowing Your Business become much more than just an Idea but fast becoming a great resource.
Low-lights of the past few months
Just as there have been highs, pretty predictably there have been things that haven’t been absolutely perfect too.
Of course I’d like to accelerate the project but there are only so many hours in the day. I’m working on improving how effectively I manage those hours alongside my other business commitments. In the meantime it’s still long hours, and I’m loving every learning minute.
I’ve got lots of big plans for knowing Your Business and the seeds have been planted, some already beginning to sprout.
You’ll have to pop past again to see what’s been grown.
BIG credits to all the radio show guests so far – you can find their podcasts on the Knowing Your Business website. And special mentions for the following heroes;
Darren Coles from Galleon Graphics
Judy Mansfield from Cherish Ceremonies
Joy McCarthy the Oxfordshire Copywriter
David McCarthy from WEB-right
Julie Cooper from Spring Development
Thanks for reading my Knowing Your Business story so far.
My other business:
Give me, Ian Gentles, a call today to discuss how your business can win in the world of digital marketing. You don’t have to be based in Banbury or even Oxfordshire. Technology and digital marketing go hand-in-hand, so you can access my services from every corner of the globe.
We offer on-location training in the UK and remote training for the rest of the world.
Call me today on 07511 217 984. Of if you’d prefer me to call you, drop me an email with your digital marketing query and I’ll get back to you.