How to Create Presentations like a Marketing Rockstar

How to Create Presentations Marketing Rockstar

[As published by the Official SlideShare LinkedIn Blog

This year fine-tune your presentation skills, learn how to create irresistible slide decks and make the most of the huge benefits SlideShare has to offer.    

I’d like to share with you what those benefits are for B2B small businesses and startups, the essential elements that make up a great presentation, how to upload your file so it can be found by your target audience, and what steps you can take to improve your presentation skills.

But first, can I ask if you ever went fruit picking as a kid?

I used to go to the strawberry fields quite regularly in Surrey and Sussex during the summer holidays: row upon row of bright red berries just waiting to be picked.

I thought I was a pretty good fruit-picker.  My general mantra was “One for the tub and one for me; one for the tub and three for me!”  However, it wasn’t until my mother suggested that some of the best strawberries could be found underneath the leaves, where nobody else had bothered looking, that I became a ‘Master Fruit-Picker’. 



Sharing interesting, fresh and engaging content with your followers is an essential part of marketing in an effort to be seen as the ‘go to expert’ in a particular field.

However, marketers tend to turn to the same old sources and expect to curate something new where others have already looked. Continue reading

UK Blog Awards 2016: Can I Have your Vote?

Virtuoso Assistant UK Blog Awards 2016


UK start-ups and small businesses are my passion, which is why I’ve entered the UK Blog Awards 2016

We’ve seen how UK entrepreneurs and small business owners have been the backbone of the economy during the recession, “making up 99.3% of all enterprises“.

Entrepreneurs in London and the South of England alone were responsible for creating 32,000 jobs with a turnover of £2.8 billion in April 2015.  [The Business Magazine]

However, being a start-up or small business owner isn’t easy.  Embracing the entrepreneurial way of life involves stepping way outside comfort zones and working long hours without any kind of guaranteed income in the first few years.  Sole traders who work from home often experience a sense of isolation, which is when self-doubt creeps in.


“Knowledge is power”

[Sir Francis Bacon]

If start-ups and small business owners know where to find the right kind of knowledge, information and support they need at the right time, they’ll stand a much better chance of success.


Virtuoso Assistant Blog & RESOURCES

My aim is to provide B2B small business owners and start-ups with up-to-date and actionable information about how best to stand out from the crowd online and market their services.

135,000 people attended Glastonbury this year.  Can you imagine how hard it would be for one person to stand out?

Now think digital.  There were estimated to be around 74,652,825 WordPress sites alone, according to figures taken last February.   The Internet is an immensely busy and competitive place and, in order to stand any chance of creating attention and generating interest in a brand, a start-up would need to have the best tools and information at their fingertips.

Fortunately, technology, digital tools and apps provide a relatively level playing field today from which a small business can generate as much interest online as some of the big brands.

Virtuoso Assistant blog teaches start-ups how to harness the power of visual content with visual marketing.  

➣  Create awareness on social media with an amusing gif, a thought-provoking quotation, or a beautiful image and then drive new traffic back to a blog or website.

➣  Write blog headlines that will compel readers to click through to your article.

➣  Hook a reader’s attention & ensure they  don’t click away by writing  expert content which provides answers to questions and solutions to problems.  Keep them coming back for more by being the ‘go to’ expert in a particular niche.

➣  Create an irresistible Call-to-Action by understanding some simple psychology and start building a winning email list with which to market your services.

This is the kind of information I aim to provide on my Virtuoso blog.


Why Do I Bother?

I’ve not been blogging for long, perhaps one and a half years or so.

Prior to setting up my business I worked as a legal PA in Civil Litigation.  I loved my job.

However, when the recession struck, being Bipolar suddenly made me rather unpopular with employers.  January and February 2013 were dark months psychologically during which I wondered whether I would ever work again.  However, I’ve always been a firm believer that unpleasant circumstances are somehow ‘meant to happen’ for a good reason.  My ‘good reason’ turned out to be Virtuoso Assistant, which I set up shortly after losing my last job.

I’ve never looked back.


Why Listen to Me?

I have the experience as a start-up, I know what it’s like.  In fact, I’m still on that rollercoaster ride called “Small Business Owner” as I approach the third year milestone in September 2016.

I can help provide you with information I know you’ll find helpful.

I’ve learnt from the best social media and marketing experts and influencers like Martin Shervington, Peg Fitzpatrick, Mike Allton from The Social Media Hat and Warren Knight.




If you trust me with your vote I’ll put it to very good use.

I don’t consider winning awards to be about me as an individual.   It’s about how I can use the publicity for your benefit.  Winning a UK Blog Award would enable me to reach more start-ups, more entrepreneurs and small businesses who may need the kind of help and information I can give them.


Here’s How You Can Help

You can vote for me until 25th January 2016  by clicking the link to my UK Blog Awards entry, or clicking on the image below

Virtuoso Assistant UK Blog Awards

Thank you all very much for your confidence in me: stay tuned and I’ll keep you updated with progress! Nicky

SlideShare: the Perfect Platform for Curating Content

SlideShare Perfect Platform Content Curation


“Finding and sharing exquisite content has never had more value than it does today.” – Buffer.


There’s no doubt about it, we’re all searching out and consuming content like a shark in a feeding frenzy.  There seems to be an unspoken race to be the first to share the most relevant and useful piece of information as soon as it’s published in order to stand out from the crowd. 

“82% of marketers curate content” – [I Make News Inc]

Curating content is part of the marketing process today. 

Ian Cleary, of Razor Social confirmed that consistently sharing the most useful and relevant content is a great way to build trust and authority in a brand, and become the ‘go to’ expert in a given field. 

“Over 50% of marketers that curate content indicate that it has increased their brand visibility, thought leadership, SEO, web traffic and buyer engagement.” – Curata

However, we’re so time-poor these days that marketers are increasingly on the lookout for one place from which to curate all their content.  As Mike Kaput suggested,  shopping for content is rather like shopping for groceries,

“Back in the day, you’d buy meat from a butcher, veggies from a grocer … Grocery shopping was a multi-stop affair.  Now, you visit a local supermarket or a big-box retailer that has everything you need in one place.”


So when marketers can visit top content ‘supermarkets’ like Feedly, Storify, Curata, Flipboard, why would they consider looking at SlideShare?  Continue reading

Storytelling for Business: Attract and Enchant your Customers

Storytelling for Business

“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” 

 Maya Angelou


Storytelling for business is very exciting as marketers are forced to find more effective and innovative ways to connect and engage with customers.   As Maya Angelou’s quotation suggests, it’s not so much what businesses say or the way they say it, it’s all about how they make their customers feel.  

Tom Gerace, Founder and CEO of Skyword, predicted that,

“Brand marketers, recognising the rapid decline in interruptive advertising, will shift an increasing share of the $600 billion they spend annually on ads toward original storytelling.”

[From the Ashes of Advertising a Creative Renaissance is Born]

I’ve never been a fan of paid ads.  It works, provided you have enough money to keep the wheels turning, but there’s no particular skill in it and it certainly doesn’t involve any creative or original thinking. 


What exactly is ‘storytelling for business’?

Continue reading

How to Use Branded Visual Content to Tantalise your Audience

Use branded visual content to tantalise audience

Images are to prospective customers what ‘amuses bouches‘ are to diners.

Images are to prospective customers what ‘amuses bouches‘ are to diners.

Those delicious, bite-sized appetisers tantalise and tease: they give just a hint of the wonderful main course ahead.

Without images small businesses will struggle to draw attention to their brand online. They will therefore go unnoticed whilst the big brands grab attention.  However, savvy entrepreneurs realise that they can leverage the power of eye-catching images to entice prospective customers into discovering more about their products or services.

Just one powerful image is enough to pique the interest of a prospective buyer and give them a hint of what your business has to offer.   Continue reading

Twitter for Business: Be Seen and Heard!

Twitter for Business be seen and heard

“No, I’m NOT going to have a Twitter account!”

This was my bold assertion back in September 2013 when I first launched my small business. One and a half years down the line I’m now a Twitter evangelist and I’d like to explain to you just why you should consider using Twitter as part of your small business marketing strategy.


Twitter is fast-moving.

Responses are almost immediate and results are fast.

To start with I was just dipping my toe in the Twitter ‘pool’ to see if it was okay to jump in.

I was amazed with the results.

Continue reading

How to Create Captivating Visual Content for Business

how to create visual content for business

Visual content is a crucial part of marketing strategies for small businesses and entrepreneurs.

Just by way of a recap, over the past few weeks I’ve explained why, as a small business or entrepreneur, it’s essential to:-

Stand out online

Get noticed by prospective customers

Build solid business relationships

Entice customers back to your website


One of the best tools with which you can achieve all these things is your business blog.  Hopefully by now you’ll have watched my series of “Bite-Sized Blogging Tips” and will be familiar with:-


Last week I started talking about visual content, specifically why it’s considered to be “jet fuel” for content marketing.

Why not refresh your memory and flick through the SlideShare that accompanied the tutorial – feel free to download the slides for your own reference.



I’d love for you to learn exactly how you can design your own images for business use.  Like most things, it’s a question of learning some basic techniques and then applying them in practice.

Before I get started, however, let me just kick one myth into the long grass!

You do NOT need to be an artist or professional designer to be able to create your own unique and branded images for business!


Right now you might be thinking to yourself,

“Why go to all this bother when I can buy an image?”

Well, that’s very true you can buy an image but, if you’re an entrepreneur or a small business, you’re going to blow your budget very quickly doing this.

I always think back to my days of commuting to work in London.  I used to stop just about every morning at my favourite coffee stand on the railway concourse to grab a cappuccino. It was only around £2.40 and it was worth every penny!   However, when I added up all those daily cappuccinos it amounted to nearly £50.00 per month.  

So save yourselves the expenses and start creating your own captivating visual content which is not only branded for your business but totally unique.  Some of the top social media and blogging experts do just this, such as Donna Moritz from Socially Sorted.  Donna was, in fact, the person who ignited my passion for visual content marketing.


FREE Video Tutorials for #Bizpreneurs

So here’s my plan for you.

Over the next few weeks I’m going to be creating a set of 4 video tutorials exclusively for my wonderful #Bizpreneurs!

➸  Each video which will be under 10 minutes long to avoid information overload

➸  You’re free to watch the videos at your own pace, whenever you have the time.

➸  There will be easy, actionable steps to take during each video which you’ll be able to put to immediate effect (I may even have a few surprises up my sleeve).

➸  By the end of the series you’ll be able to go away and start creating eyeball grabbing, attention-seeking images which will help your brand stand out online and get noticed by prospective customers.

Here’s what we’ll be covering …


Video Tutorial Schedule

Video #1:  General overview of free tools and apps for image creation and photo editing (web-based and mobile).  Where to find free stock photo resources and where to purchase beautiful images for under $3.  How to check an image or photo licence agreement to avoid infringing copyright.

Video #2:  Getting started; uploading an image; resizing; adding text and image overlays; basic editing options.

Video #3:  Branding!  This is where it get’s really interesting.  Learn how to start branding an image by adding your business logo.  Create a branded ‘look’ with a colour palette & text overlays which reflect your business image.  Add a clickable hyperlink to your business URL.

Video #4:  More advanced tips: how to optimise SEO with images and why.  Optimum image sizes for social media platforms. Best tools for scheduling images on social media.


This offer is for a limited time only  after which each video will cost £25.00 to download.  By subscribing to my #Bizpreneur network today you will receive £100.00 worth of content, actionable tips, access to resources and other goodies FREE!

Are you ready TO GET STARTED?

Sign me Up!


I hope to see you all soon, please do ask any questions by adding your comments in the box below.

Have a great week!


Social Warfare Plugin: the Ultimate Social Sharing

Social Warfare Plugin

Bite-Sized Blogging Tips: How to Hook your Readers!

Business blogging tips how to hook readers


How to hook your readers!

Remember what I told you last week about goldfish?

“Between 2000 and 2013 the average attention span dropped from 12 seconds to 8 seconds (one second less than the average attention span of a goldfish!)”


Your blog headline has done a great job and has enticed readers to click through and read your content.

Big tick in the first box!

However, it doesn’t take much for readers to leave as quickly as they’ve arrived.  What can you do to reduce the risk of this happening?

There are certain tried & tested strategies professional bloggers use to hook their readers and ensure they don’t click away.

Continue reading

Bite-Sized Blogging Tips for Business

 Business blogging tips key to titles

The key to WRITING attention-seeking blog titles

The Internet is crowded with content.

There’s information overload!

You’re a small business; how are you going to draw attention to your blog?

There are all sorts of ways you can draw attention to yourself in person.  Try singing the Marseillaise down a megaphone on a crowded railway concourse!

But you can’t do that online.

Professional bloggers rely on several tried-and-tested techniques to make sure readers sit up and take notice of their content.  I’ll go through these with you over the coming weeks but first up we need to talk about “BLOG TITLES“.


How to create attention-seeking blog titles

Just watch today’s quick, bite-sized video to discover some fairly shocking statistics first of all (Hint: it’s to do with goldfish!) and then find out which techniques the ‘pros’ use to ensure readers click through and read their content.

Let’s get started! 



As always, please leave any comments you might have in the box below or get in touch with me if you have any specific blogging difficulties you’d like help to resolve.

If you’d like to download the full set of slides from today’s presentation just click over to SlideShare.

And I’d love it if you would share the love with your business friends!

Thank you and see you next week! 


Social Warfare Plugin: the Ultimate Social Sharing

Social Warfare Plugin

Bite-Sized Blogging Tips: How to Blog for Business

Business blogging tips how to blog


“What should I write on my business blog?”

You can pretty much write anything on your blog but the key to success is to provide the right sort of information to the right person in order to generate interest in your business and ultimately increase your sales.

I’m going to answer that question today with the second of my ‘bite-sized’ video tutorials.

Here’s what we’ll cover:-

(1)  What your blog should NOT be.

(2)  What content to write in order to attract the right customers to your website.

(3)  How to segment customers into ‘buying personas‘.

(4)  How to stand out from the crowd & be the expert in your field.

(5)  Generate trust in your brand & increase sales.

Do you want to make a success of your blog & increase your sales?  Continue reading

Bite-Sized Blogging Tips for Business: Why Blog?

Business blogging tips why blog?

Writing regular content on a blog is essential if you mean business.


There are many incredible benefits to be had from writing regular content on a business blog and I’d love to start sharing them with you today with the first in my new video series.

As an entrepreneur or small business it’s essential that you create awareness and build interest in your brand.

You and I both buy from people we know and trust will deliver excellent value.  Use your blog to develop that sense of trust and set yourself up as an expert in your niche.

Easier said than done!

Unless you’re very lucky you’ll be in competition with an awful lot of other businesses doing very similar things to you.

So how will you stand out?

What makes you different?  Continue reading

6 Compelling Reasons why your Business needs Google Plus!

6 compelling reasons your business needs Google Plus

Google Plus should be an essential part of any small business’ social media or online marketing strategy.

There are irrefutable benefits to be had with regards to search engine optimisation as interaction on the Google Plus social media platform has a direct influence on how a business is ranked in Google searches.

I’ll wager you that, by the time you finish reading this article, your no. 1 priority for the coming week will be to create a Google Plus profile.

Continue reading

Email Marketing: Opt in or Lose out!

Email Marketing Strategy for Business


Last week I said that content marketing without a blog was a bit like trying to imagine Wimbledon without that bowl of strawberries and cream.

Just as a day out at Wimbledon isn’t really complete without the obligatory glass of Pimms or beer, then a marketing strategy isn’t complete without a good email marketing strategy in place.


Why Content Marketing?

By way of a quick recap content marketing is the process of creating and distributing your own case studies, guides, videos, webinars, eBooks, white papers, etc., that offer incredibly useful information for your target audience.

As we discovered, content marketing is part of the inbound marketing strategy and is an incredibly effective way of :-

  1. Generating initial interest and awareness in your brand
  2. Attracting prospective customers

So what about the last, most important steps in your marketing strategy – converting leads into customers and loyal brand followers? Continue reading

Blogging and Content Marketing: a Winning Combination!

Content Marketing Strategy and Blogging for Buisiness



A business blog and content marketing can exist as separate entities but together they make a winning combination for any digital marketing strategy.  I can’t imagine one without the other … like Wimbledon without strawberries and cream. Unheard of!

I’m going to show you how your business blog can and should be used as part of your online marketing strategy to:-

  1. Generate interest and awareness in your brand
  2. Attract and convert new business leads

Continue reading

How to Create an Effective Business Blog

Create Effective Business Blog

“Businesses that blog are 13 times more likely to see a positive ROI than those that don’t.” – HubSpot, State of Inbound 2014

Looking back on my first few blog posts I cringe with embarrassment.

What on earth was I thinking?

I was a small business blogging about … Guy Fawkes night?!

Not a great start.

So, if you’re new to blogging or if you’ve already started writing a blog for your business, this article will hopefully get you started and running in the right direction from the word go!

Continue reading

“Virtually News” Magazine for Entrepreneurs and Small Business

It’s out!

February’s FREE new-look magazine was published today {fanfare} and I’m very excited to be able to share it with you.



I have an awesome line-up for you, including:-

➣  Top business events to attend and topical business articles

➣  7 fantastic entrepreneurs showcase their skills in a special “Virtually Valentine’s Day” shop – find out what they sell and what they’re offering YOU!  Continue reading

How to Use Pinterest for Business and Target your Audience

Use Pinterest Target Audience

Are you using Pinterest for Business?

Are you in the B2B sector and sell SERVICES as opposed to products?

Would you agree with the following statement [be honest!] …

“Pinterest is too ‘fluffy’ and I don’t have any product images to share”

If yes, this article is for you!

Benefits of Using Pinterest?

➤  Did you realise that Pinterest is the second largest driver of web traffic from social media, next to Facebook?

➤  80% of all pins are shared – imagine how this increases your reach!

I don’t know about you but I couldn’t miss out on such an opportunity.

So today I’m going to show you:-  Continue reading

Virtual Assistants: Genies of the Office

Virtual assistants office support

You’ve all heard of Aladdin & the genie of the lamp?

Virtual assistants ARE THE OFFIce equivalent!

Well … they can’t really fit into an oil lamp or grant three magic wishes but they’d do an excellent job of finding perfect solutions to your business problems.

So what are the benefits to you of hiring a virtual assistant?  Continue reading

Get your Brand Noticed on Twitter in 7 Easy Steps

Get Brand Noticed on Twitter

Small businesses, start-ups and entrepreneurs often struggle to get their profile noticed on Twitter

I’m going to show you exactly how you can:-

➤   Increase your brand’s visibility on Twitter

➤   Generate the interest you need around your brand

➤   Increase brand awareness

➤   Drive new business leads to your website

As with most things “it’s easy when you know how”!  Continue reading

How to Create Eye-Popping Images

Create visual content

I think I know what you’re going to say when you read this.

“Yeah, okay.  We’ve heard this before.  It’s getting boring now.”

So I’ll spare you the often quoted line about how one image is worth 1,000 words and go straight on to telling you WHY it’s often quoted and WHAT I’m going to offer you.



If you’ve read my previous blogs you’ll know all about the importance of using images and other visual tools such as videos to promote your content.

Here’s a scenario: you’re standing in the middle of a crowd in Hyde Park and you need to grab somebody’s attention on the other side of the park.

How would you do that?

You could wave a flag or shout through a megaphone to get yourself noticed.


Now think about how you’d do that online.  It’s just as crowded and everyone’s competing with you to get noticed. Continue reading