What did you do before Twitter came along?
I used to sell medical products to the NHS. Did that for many years. It taught me a top lesson which is stop selling. Train more, educate more, be helpful, add value, and the client will buy more of your products. After that, I became a mortgage broker until everyone was hanging outside the Northern Rock Building Society one day – that really was the end of the mortgage broking industry. It was then April 2008 that I found Twitter.
Like most people I did not get why anyone would want to know why I was having a cup of tea. Unlike most people, I spent hours trying, testing, measuring, getting it wrong and learning what you could do with Twitter.
You provide a number of services – public speaking, group training, Twitter courses, TV and Radio – which is your favourite?
My favourite is public speaking. I love a big crowd, the bigger the better. Very close behind though is training. I seem to have a good knack for explaining things in a way that most people can understand it and then making it relevant to them so they can then execute that point in their own business.
Do you cover any other Social Media platforms or are you just focussed on Twitter?
I took the decision right at the beginning to have a very tight niche. That is Twitter. I wanted to be a specialist. I wanted to make it easy for people to advocate and refer me as they knew exactly what I did.
Which Twitter tools do you recommend for businesses on Twitter?
People far too often get hung up with the tools and forget that Twitter is all about the conversation. So I don’t advocate many. I do suggest that you should use Hootsuite.com or Tweetdeck.com to run your twitter life. Both offer excellent dashboards. I also suggest that you have an app on your mobile phone. I use Ubersocial on my Blackberry, but there is also Hootsuite and Echofon if you have an iPhone. The main thing is that you find something that works for you.
Who would be your Twitter idol?
Great question. That would have to be @garyvee – Gary Vaynerchuck. He says it how it is, is passionate, honest, opinionated, and is always on the money with his views.
Can you give us 5 Twitter Tips for a business?
Easy.. it’s the 5 B’s… Be Committed, Be Consistent, Be Interested , Be Interesting and Be Social
Which companies do you think are doing well on Twitter?
I have two – @jamesmillman & @katiemillman of Jam Call Answering Service and @swbroadband who are really on the ball
How long do you spend each day on Twitter?
I spend during the course of the day and whilst out on my mobile approx 2-3 hours.. but then its my business.. so I need to be up on new things, breaking stories, business leads for my clients.
Tell me a bit about your new venture “My Secret Venue”
The idea is very simple. Twitter is awash with business leads for people. I find those leads and then text them to subscribing businesses. The main benefit is that businesses don’t have to be at their pc or mac looking or searching for leads. Checking and vetting the leads to see if they are suitable. I do that all for them. The leads come through as a text message to their phone. All they then need to do is reply to the person if they want to.
Since I launched My Secret Venue, I have added My Secret Tradesmen. That finds leads for tradesmen.
A huge thank you to Mark Shaw for taking the time out to answer my questions. I’m sure he will be happy to answer any further questions you may have below.
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