Mike's blog

Buyers - It's Actually Your Job To Talk To Potential Suppliers

I’ve had an intensely frustrating time over the last few weeks. For a specific project, I’ve been trying to speak to or email some buyers in large companies.

And they are the hardest people in the world to get through to!


I’ve never done this before, so it might not even be a new phenomenon, but these guys seem to employ every trick in the book to avoid speaking to potential suppliers. And I simply don’t understand it!

Surely it’s their job to be contactable?

Surely it’s a major part of their role to be available to hear about new products?

How many fantastic opportunities to be first to market with some hot new product  are they squandering for their companies?  read more »

Should You Be Using A Virtual Assistant?

For those of us who work online in small businesses, we face a perennial problem. We end up doing everything ourselves!

And that’s because we don’t generally have a team of people to delegate tasks to, and we either can’t afford, or don’t want to take on staff to take away some of the workload.

Many of the people I work with now employ virtual assistants – the beauty is they are there when you need them, but you’re not paying for them when you don’t.

The thing to consider is the value of your own time, and the fact that it’s limited. I’m sure, like me, that you have a whole list of jobs on your to-do list that need doing, and which you’re perfectly capable of doing, but that you keep putting off, because you know you’ll earn more income another way.

Using a VA to do those tasks enables you to focus on doing the things that are most effective for you.

Some friends of mine – Ceri and Jen are running a VA business based in the UK, and I thought it would be a good time to ask them to share what they do, how they do it, and how they can help you and I to be more efficient in our work.

Ceri  Jen

These are the questions I asked them:

 read more »

All Your Key Statistics In One Place

If you work online, or even if your business has a significant online presence, chances are you spend a lot of time looking at your statistics:

  • How much traffic did we get?
  • How much money did we make?
  • How many new sign ups to the newsletter?
  • How many new Facebook likes?
  • How are we doing in search?
  • Where is our web traffic coming from?


The wealth of data you can get about your business these days is amazing.

But it’s also a pain!  read more »

The Different Types of Social Media Followers

One of the hardest things in using social media as a marketing tool is to understand the behaviour of the people who are fans or friends of your brand online.

I like this infographic, because it helps you to do just that, and also gives you a way to start to identify and segment those people.

Via: Vocus

Recognise some of those?

Which one are you?

Please Cut The Crap

Do you get the emails from LinkedIn titled “Jobs you may be interested in?”

It’s clever, isn’t it? Using the data and skills you’ve mentioned in your profile, the system selects you for likely jobs and then tells you about them. I always go and have a look – there’s a frisson of excitement each time I click the link. One day the €480,000 job running the marketing for a Formula 1 team will be advertised on there. I’m sure of it.


But in the meantime, back to the jobs. I clicked the first one in today’s email and I read through it.  read more »

A Template For A Facebook Business Page

“What I need, Mike” said my friend “Is some guidelines, a template if you like, of the things I should be saying on my business page for Facebook. Can you do that for me?”

Social Media

I paused for a moment.  read more »

Change Your World With A Positive Attitude

I’ve always felt strongly that a positive attitude combined with hard work leads to success in most things – your job, business, or sport, for example.


And it used to be easy to insulate yourself from negative stuff. At work you could simply ignore the whinger in the corner who was going nowhere, and friends who wanted to whine all the time were relatively easy to drop.

But social media has given a huge and depressing voice to life’s negative people.  read more »

Road Test - Lexus RX450H

I’m a recent convert to SUV’s. I never really understood them, but having run a Land Rover Freelander now for over a year, I’ve grown to love the space and comfort of these vehicles, and to understand the huge safety benefits in sitting above the traffic.

So it was with real interest that I tested a Lexus RX450H recently over ten days. The promise of this hybrid SUV is that you get petrol V8 performance and diesel economy from it’s unique hybrid drive train.

Lexus 1  Lexus 2

I’ve never thought of the big Lexus as an attractive car – the lines at the rear have always somehow looked awkward, but the addition of the Lexus “Spindle grill” to the new model gives it real presence on the road, and the F Sport trim, which includes black wheels, turns the RX into a striking machine, particularly when teamed with pearl white paintwork.

Engine, performance and economy  read more »

Get Personal With Your Potential Customers To Win Their Business

Most people are all over the web these days. Check the social media platforms, look for a Google profile and sometimes for a personal blog, and you can find out tons of information about them:

  • How many kids they have
  • Where they go on holiday
  • Where they work
  • What hobbies they have
  • What sports they like
  • What their partner’s name is


Social media has made researching people an absolute doddle. Within 5 minutes, you can find out pretty much all you need to know about what makes a particular person “tick.”  read more »

How To Get Links That Google Loves

I’m aware of several fairly high profile bloggers who have come unstuck with the recent changes to Google’s algorithms. Here are some tips from guest writer Dana Viktor which may prevent the same happening to you.

Several updates to the Google algorithm have left bloggers scrambling to re-evaluate their link-building strategies as their sites lost rank for seemingly spammy practices. The Google Penguin update penalized sites that had backlinks from low-quality sources such as link farms and article directories.

Links  read more »

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"Mike's Life is where you can stay current with the life, thoughts, successes and failures of Mike Cliffe-Jones. Never knowingly ordinary, Mike shares as much as possible about his work as a marketer and in business, as well as his enviable lifestyle on and in the oceans around The Canary Islands."

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