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This is the start of daily actionable Lockdown Tips that you can easily implement to improve your business over lockdown

We’re releasing these 1 day at a time over Lockdown 2.0 so bookmark this page and keep checking back each day

First Up – a real boost to start Lockdown ::: Ask For Reviews

1. Grab a piece of paper or open up Word / Notes files
2. Write down a list of 6 happy customers who haven’t left a review yet
3. Now either request a LinkedIn Recommendations or email them and ask for a google review
4. Explain in the email you are using lockdown to improve your business and that their review will really help
5. In the review set out a structure to help people (ours is include below)

“In the testimonial please leave 6-10 lines on
– Your social media skill set before the training
– What you took away from the session
– Our presentation style
– How you feel it will help your business”

6. Once you get a review – don’t forget to amplify it by posting it as a LinkedIn / Social Media Status update

Hope this helps

Let us know when you get your 1st review

PS. If you see this update and we’ve requested a review that you’ve not got around to just yet – please do. It really helps a small business like outs

Extra! Extra! Read All About It!!!!

I am of course talking about headlines

LinkedIn Headlines in this case (and if you use them – the mini-bios you’ll see on Twitter and Instagram)

After your profile photos and cover photos the headline is the 1st thing your potential customers will see on your profile

Most people go for job title at company name

Put your best foot forward in your headline and be more American and less English

Don’t be shy about what makes you unique

Don’t hide the very thing that makes you great

My LinkedIn headline is

“Social Media Trainer – Ranked Number 1 For Social Media Marketing in the UK on Freeindex / 480+ testimonials on LinkedIn”

It sounds a lot better than

“Social Media Trainer @ Altrincham HQ”

Tell me what makes you unique in the comments and then re-read your headline and see if your headline communicates your uniqueness

If it doesn’t – go change it


Support the underdogs

At Altrincham HQ we built our business supporting the underdogs – the businesses that has super strong foundations and were great, but were ignored by the press and the council walkabouts

We still do that to this day. We still feel like the underdogs ourselves. We know what it’s like to be ignored (despite what you may see on social media)

So how can you do this?

1. Comment on the businesses on social media that get zero or 1 comment at most
2. Shout about those businesses you love that never get enough PR or social media love
3. If they’re not social media or marketing savvy tell the business owner “You’re too f**king good to be a hidden gem, you need to be on the tip of everyone’s lip”

You will win eyeballs if you comment on a popular social media accounts post

But you will win eyeballs and hearts if you comment on a less popular social media accounts post

All of these people will appreciate you more for it

Support the underdog – it’s what us Brits are supposed to do well


Show off your personality

People like to get to know the person behind the business

If you talk about what you do in your spare time or your interests, you’ll often find there is common ground

Next time you have a conversation with a connection try and find 3 points you have in common with each other

I’m vegan, a runner and love music – you probably know those 3 things from my social media, but if you chat to me there’s more to be than those 3 headlines

I talk more about my interests on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram than I do LinkedIn, but the point remains the same

The photo that you see beneath this post was taken this weekend. One of my favourite parts about running is pounding the streets of Greater Manchester to interesting places across the city Yesterday I did a half marathon from Altrincham to Withington (and back) to see the new Marcus Rashford Mural. Over the years I’ve done themed runs based around Brookside, Pink Floyd, Oasis, Richard Beckinsale, The Smiths, Sid Vicious and much more. They’re my fun runs inbetween official races where I get a little more competitive on times

Tell me in the comments what you do when you’re not working


Be Kind (Always)

One of the worst quotes I’ve ever heard in my life is …

“Nice guys finish last”

When I look back at the last 11 years in this business and the 20 years I’ve been working for myself the truth is

“Nice guys are still around and the people that were unkind, screwed others over are nowhere to be seen”

Be Kind Always is something I try and live by and sure I might have the odd bad day or a moan, but I’m generally a positive person

Be Kind in person

Be Kind online

What you say to someone can make or break someone’s day and as we live in a world where people pick up their mobile phones 150 times a day – make social media a place where people feel happy and empower

Maeri Howard posted this in a Facebook Group today after the host welcomed me to the group

“I met Alex McCann at the last “in person” event that, you were part of, before lockdown in March. He took the brave move not many people do and came up, with an outstretched hand, and said “Hi, I’m Alex”. And that sums him up in my book-he’s genuine, caring and wants people/businesses to succeed. 👍”


Reintroduce yourself

Once a month make a point of reintroducing yourself to your audience

There will be existing connections that won’t be aware of exactly what you do

There will be new connections that maybe haven’t looked at your profile and just connected / followed

Each time we post our re-introduction message on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram we get work from it

Here is an example of what I post …

My name is Alex. That’s important because you get a human touch on this feed. I don’t do automation

We offer Social Media Training on
* LinkedIn
* Instagram
* Facebook
* Blogging
* Twitter

We can do this
* 121
* Corporate Workshops
* Group Workshops
* Via Zoom until end of lockdown

We also offer Outsourced Social Media Management for those
* Without time
* Without the Inclination
* Or who would simply rather leave it to professionals

* We’ve been voted the Best Social Media Company in #Manchester
* We’ve been Small Business Of The Year x 2 for #Altrincham Chamber
* We have 470 Testimonials on #LinkedIn
* We’re a local business that’s worked with the BBC, Manchester City, NHS, Selfridges, United Utilities, Costa Coffee and 1000’s of small businesses and individuals

If you wish to discuss this or simply require further information please email me on or call 07806 774279


Interview your clients for your blog

And keep them as Q&A’s or write them up into Case Studies

Show off the whole journey about why clients decided to work with you, how they found the experience and what they got out the experience

It’s a great way to show off the results and impact of what you do

We have a host of Case Studies on our website for our Social Media Management service and are actually working on more for the training side of what we do this week

Have you ever interviewed your clients before?


Do you struggle with photos of yourself for social media?

Maybe you need a stop gap with your LinkedIn profile pic until you can get to a professional photographer

Quick tip

1. Take a photo yourself
2. Go to
3. Upload your photo
5. Remove the background to plain white or edit and have a colour / background on like I have here

We can’t always get out to beautiful scenery to take photos

We can’t always have the perfect backdrop in the office

And this really helps

Let us know in the comments if you’ve heard of and if this tip is helpful for you

Bonus tip: Use wordswag to put text on the photo as well


Start / Grow Your Email List

An oldie, but a goodie

Our email list has around 900 business owners signed up to it and it plays a huge part in the success of our business

It puts us front of mind at least once a week and in terms of ROI we generally make sales out of each of mail outs (despite not being salesly)

As much as I love social media, not everybody tends to be as active as ourselves and we usually find the people who aren’t quite as active on social media access our latest blogs through the mailouts

Whilst we have a formula to what we send out, we always try and throw something new in every so often to keep people reading

And there are often opportunities to get featured on our social media or mailing list if you’re signed up

1. Use Mailchimp (or similar email system)
2. Decide what lead magnet you’re going to offer to get people to sign up
3. Decide what value you’re doing to offer each week for those that sign up
4. Market it

We’re guilty of not doing number 4 enough so if you’re reading this please sign up here or scan the QR Code


Batch Produce Your Content

Treat your content like a production line and set aside time specifically for content productions days

I’m all for musical reference points and the Motown songwriters and the Beach Boys treated songwriting like a job. They sat down at 9am and finished at 5pm and did nothing but songwriting between those hours

If you’re stopping and starting with your content then it will take longer for it to get done

In the last week alone I’ve published 7 blogs for our website, 3 additional interviews for our Facebook page and about 7 images for future use on Instagram

Everything got shut down (email / social media) whilst I was in production mode and I concentrated solely on those jobs this week

Just imagine if you could produce content at scale

The reality is you can, you just have to step away from any distractions

Do you have a system for content production such as videos / images / blogs?


Care Every Day – not just when you can get something out of a person or scenario

I’ve always said the 1st rule of social media is being a decent and reasonable human being

I’ve always treated people well whether they own a business or not. Whether they’re a decision maker or not

People will always remember how you make them feel

And every post your put out on social media and every interaction you have on email or face 2 face networking meetings can impact your brand positively or negatively

3 quotes to leave you with on this thought

“The Difference Is, We Care!”- The Window Company

“You can’t be a hero if you only care about yourself” Lego Batman

“I met Alex McCann at the last “in person” event that, you were part of, before lockdown in March. He took the brave move not many people do and came up, with an outstretched hand, and said “Hi, I’m Alex”. And that sums him up in my book-he’s genuine, caring and wants people/businesses to succeed. 👍” Maeri Howard on our good selves

Does your audience know you truly care?


Go Deep With Your Connections

For each Social Media platform have a list of 25 People / Accounts you have deep engagement with

They might be your
– Networking Group
– Ideal Clients
– Suppliers

Or simply nice people you want to support, encourage and motivate

And go deep with them

Engage frequently and meaningfully with them

It’s easier on Twitter if you use Twitter lists – but on LinkedIn and Instagram you might need to have a word file, pen and paper (or CRM of course)

Outside of that, cast the net wise and engage with others

It’s far too easy on social media to just approach engagement in a random manner, but this us business and it’s built on relationships

You need to be focused and intentioned with who you engage with


Dive into other active communities

By other communities I mean
– Facebook Groups
– LinkedIn / Instagram / Facebook Lives
– Webinars
– Peer Groups
– Trade / Industry Organisations

You have to have a relationship with the person to start with, but look for opportunities where you can speak to new groups of people and show off your expertise

If you’re a great speaker it’s an opportunity to give a taster of what you do to a group outside of your regular networking group

If you’re not the best public speaker work out ways and new formats where you invite great speakers into your world to assist your clients and offer added value

You’re not looking for active communities to do a thinly veiled sales pitch. You’re looking to add so much value that people go wow

Value is the key here – both parties have to get something out of it

With that in mind if you have a group of people you’d like us to speak to – please email

We’re always happy to speak to groups about social media and have a wide range of talks as well as bespoke content to specific groups / industries


Nostalgia is a biggie on social media

If you’re my type of person you’ll know what the photo below is a reference to

If it’s not clear

“Mr. Sifter sold me songs when I was just sixteen
Now he stops at traffic lights, but only when they’re green
Ah, shake along with me”

I did a 24k run from Altrincham to Burnage and back

It was a year today myself and 2 friends travelled to Sheffield to see Liam Gallagher. So the run was soundtracked by the same setlist we heard that night

I do these things for fun, but they nostalgia can be great for business

In the last few days MySpace and Friends Reunited have been trending on Twitter – I was on both of them as I’ve been marketing for 20 years

And think about it – Peter Kay has made a career out of Nostalgia

People are looking to the past and the future right now and trying to avoid the present – Which nostalgic elements can you reference in your business?

Tell your audience something nostalgic about your life, passions or your business


Is your LinkedIn activity a bit A*se about Face?

Are you active on LinkedIn in terms of connecting and engaging …

… but you haven’t got your LinkedIn Profile Perfected?

If I told you around 70% of the people that connect with me on a weekly basis have something major they could improve on their LinkedIn Profile would you be surprised?

That’s 70% of people that driving people towards a profile that has
– A poor profile photo
– A poor professional headline
– A poor About Us Section
– A profile with no recommendations

Or many other things

That is why when it comes to our LinkedIn Training the 1st part of the session we cover what is called LinkedIn Profile Perfection

It’s important to sort your LinkedIn Profile before you drive eyeballs to it

Are you doing things in the right order on LinkedIn … or are you in the 70%?



Ask your existing clients why they bought from you

You might remember Lockdown Tip Number 7 was about interviewing your clients

If you’re not ready do full interviews just yet, then a simply way to understand what is working in terms of your marketing and messaging is to ask people who have already bought from you

When we did this recently it was revealing

There was the obvious stuff we expected: “You walk the talk on what you train on” and “I’d heard you speak so many times I know you were an expert” and “I’d read all your reviews”

But there was less obvious stuff I didn’t expect “You loved music so much that I knew we’d get on”

The latter is surprising because I often an unsure about whether I put too much Alex into my businesses social media

You may be surprised about why people buy from you and be able to adjust your marketing accordingly

Social Media Agony Uncle

Learning How To Present Will Set You Up For Life

Everything is a performance whether it’s 121 or 1 to Many

Presenting is a skill that comes with practice and although it’s not something we train on we are highly experience with over 11 years experience of successful presentations to large audiences at venues such as Birmingham NEC, Birmingham NEC, Manchester Conference Centre and many more

What makes for a great presenter

1. Someone who knows their subject inside out
2. Is a true expert rather than a dabbler
3. And someone who entertains as much as they educate

The latter point is one that so many miss out

Learning how to present will win you more business and in 2020 learning how to present online is just as important as face 2 face

Can you hold an audiences attention via zoom as well as in a conference hall?


Focus on the Social Media platforms that suit your business (and your personality)

We were asked today by a business owner about where they should focus their time on social media

Everything really isn’t an option unless you have a full-time social media marketer to dedicate 40 hours per week to content production

The 1st question is – are you customers?

The 2nd question is – does this platform suit your personality type?

We always say choose the 2 most relevant platforms for your business

It’s often about personality type and playing to strengths as it is technical ability on the platforms

Technical ability can be taught, but natural personality types often lend themselves to certain areas

Key considerations are
– Blogging – Are you a natural writer, do words excite you and your audience and do you have 2 hours a week spare?
– LinkedIn – How many of your clients are corporate types? I.e white collar workers as opposed to blue collar. Do you like networking and relationship building?
– Instagram – Do you have a bank of images together or could you get a bank of images together? Does the camera feel natural to you?
– Youtube – Are you a natural presenter?
– Twitter – Do you like talking to people and expressing your opinion?
– Facebook – Is your brand / personality strong enough to stand out amongst holidays / birthday / baby photos

There’s obviously a lot more to the above (we spend hours training on each platform) – but which sounds like you out of the above?


Spend 10% of the time on the problem and 90% of your time on the opportunity

There’s always an opportunity to help your idea customers

These 30 Lockdown Tips are an opportunity to educate you all

My ideal customers will be reading these lockdown tips because they’re smart business owners who want to improve their business – the people that aren’t my ideal customers will be listening to Jeremy Vine or Loose Women and wishing this whole thing will go away

When faced with a problem the vast majority of business owners will spend their time thinking about the problem or being inactive because of the problem

Face the problem head on. Brainstorm solutions. Act as fast as possible

2020 has been a year of problem after problem, but those that are surviving are the people taking action

When the next announcement comes from Boris / Rishi ask

– How do I adapt to this problem?
– What do my audience need from me / need to hear right now?

Be the solution – not the problem


Think Of The Bigger Picture

Remember every piece of content you put out doesn’t have be directly related to what you do

From day 1 of Altrincham HQ we’ve always been 50% Business and 50% Community

The last thing I ever wanted to be was the social media bore at the social media party

The reason I’ve built up an audience of 35,000 followers on social media is because I see that social media is part of the bigger picture

Whatever you do in business is part of the bigger picture

Some of our best content that’s drawn new eyes to our business has been the areas of business that compliment social media

2020 one of most popular pieces of content was about Zoom Etiquette

This month one of our most popular pieces of content was a Find Your Own Joy Advent Calendar

We solved a problem. I am more than Mr Social Media. I’m a business owner with 20 years experience

Can you drill down on your business and life experience to better serve your customers?


Old works as well as new

People love shiny new stuff

Our brains are wired to see something new and try something new

But, to use a football analogy, what are you set pieces that work time and time again

Our Interviewing Clients Tip we mentioned above aren’t technically a new thing for Altrincham HQ. It’s something we did way back in 2011-12, got distracted, forgot about it and then all these years later realised how bloody good they were at showcasing what we do and actually driving business

Sometimes the best marketing you did was 12 months ago, 3 years ago or 10 years

Write a list down now of what your most effective marketing has been at key stages of your business


Ask for the Sale

You’d be surprised at how effective this is

Don’t ask. Don’t get

A local business mentioned recently that LinkedIn was an area they needed to improve on

I simply said back a week later “I’ve been thinking about what you said last week and do you think LinkedIn training would be helpful for your staff”

We’ve booked in a workshop now with 20 people simply because we asked for it

If we wouldn’t have asked
– We wouldn’t have got the sale
– They wouldn’t have improved

Are there people you know that have come to you for help and are simply waiting for you to ask?


Don’t forget to use your Featured / Pinned Posts

Yesterday on LinkedIn I posted this

“Every so often try something different on LinkedIn

– A different style of update
– A different way of engaging
– A different way of doing things

Today I’m doing something a little different

Which do you think are the most important posts on someone’s LinkedIn Profile?

Well their featured posts of course

So today my area of deep engagement is on people’s featured posts and shining and spotlight and what they want spotlight

Let’s amplify each others greatness”

About 5 posts in, I realised I’d have an issue. Maybe 60% of people don’t use featured posts

And the same applies to Twitter and Facebook pinned posts as well

They’re prime retail estate at the top of your page

Are you using them?


Add Sector Specific Pages To Your Website

There’s often the advice that “Everyone is not your customer” and for some industries that’s not simply not true

It’s the sort of advice that business coaches throw out there because it sounds good and ends up with ridiculous client avatars like

“I work with women aged 40-42, not younger, not older who only every wear yellow dresses and blue shoes and like Ed Sheeran but not James Blunt … and own an accountancy firm where the office number is always an even number”

I joke of course – but I’ve seen some nearly as ridiculous examples on LinkedIn

If you’re an Accountant, Printer, Graphic Designer, Videographer … even a social media marketer like us … it’s likely you work with a variety of customers in different sectors

You can literally work with anyone, but in order to speak to your customers think of the 5 or 6 sectors you work with regular and produce service pages on your website that speak directly to their needs, wants and desires

As well as the Social Media Training / Marketing pages you’d expect for the different social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Blogging. We also have Social Media Training for Restaurants, Solicitors, Accountants, PT’s, Hotels, Musicians. Each of those pages goes deep into those customers pain points with social media

So yes – you can go wide and appeal to the masses and then niche and appeal to the specific industries you work with


You don’t get more by doing less

I’ve seen a lot of businesses step away from social media or put less effort into content / engagement during lockdown

Sure you can work smarter – but you still need to work. Work is the key word here

Those of you follow us on social media know that I’m into my fitness and running

Think about this for a while

If you used the services of a PT on the basis you wanted to lose weight

All other things being equal such as diet, sleep and so on. Would you get better weight loss results from exercising for 1 hour 3x a week or 1 hour 1x a week?”

You get out what you put in with Social Media

You can’t expect results from 10 minutes a day


Leave your bias at the door

When it comes to marketing it isn’t about whether you like
– Twitter
– LinkedIn
– Instagram
– Facebook
– Blogging

It’s whether your customers use and are active on
– Twitter
– LinkedIn
– Instagram
– Facebook
– Blogging

I hear so many business owners say I don’t go on XXX because I really hate it

Remember when you were younger and your parents said you can’t have your dessert until you eat your veg

Well – you’re an adult now and you can’t have your sales / profit / lifestyle until you do the thing that are good for your business

PS. If you really really hate the above we offer outsourced social media marketing on all the above apart from LinkedIn – you really have to manage that yourself


Schedule “Some” Of Your Content

Use tools such as Hootsuite and Buffer to schedule up your foundation content

The reason we’re able to step away from social media to produce 5000 word mega blogs like this is because some of our content is scheduled to allows us an hour or 2 away from social media

There’s a difference between using social media and letting social media use you

The social media platforms are designed to be addictive – to draw you in to check it and be there for 2 hours

Schedule, engage, step away and do some work. Dip back in later for more engagement

Scheduling makes your consistent rather than flipping between a flood and a drought of posts


Be Inspired By Those Outside Of Your Industry

Honesty – you don’t want to sound the same as everyone in the industry, do you?

The reason everyone in your industry sounds exactly the same is because they have a very limited set of influences

You don’t want to blend in with the pack and follower the leader …or to use a 2020 phrase “Be a Sheeple”

Some of the influences for our business or social media posts actually come from fitness influencers, sports stars musicians, counsellors

I’ve even been known to see a post from accountants before and find a marketing spin on it

Of course, we soak up marketing content, but try and make our influences a little more varied than most

Who outside your industry could inspire you to produce better content?


Hero Your Clients

I love seeing our clients do well

What I love doing after that is heroing and shouting about the great work they do

For us it’s not just about getting clients through the door, taking their money and waving them on their way

If there’s a way we can help them after they’ve bought from us then we do

Some business owners are proactive enough to get in touch with us and say how about this for a story

Others we see something on social media and reach out to them

A Twitter retweet, Facebook Share, LinkedIn comment, Instagram Story share takes seconds

I hope you’re doing it


And the last tip of lockdown are 7 apps you might now be aware of

* Chirpty – produce a visual representation of who engages with you on Twitter
* Snapseed – I rarely post a photo on Instagram without editing them on this
* Remix – An app to turn your Tweets / Links into instagram images (think an easier to use Canva – we don’t recommend Death By Canva, but this is what VA’s are charging you for)
* Clips – for subtitles on your videos
* Castbox – where we listen to all our podcasts
* Shapr – think Tindr but for business rather than dating
* Wordswag – it’s what we produce our testimonial instagram images on

Chat to us about Social Media Marketing for YOUR organisation , so we can better understand YOU and what will grow your organisation

We can only find out what is unique to your business by chatting with you

Look at our Social Media Training and Social Media Management services

We offer Social Media Training on
* LinkedIn
* Instagram
* Facebook
* Twitter
* Blogging

We can do this
* 121
* Corporate Workshops
* Group Workshops
* Face to Face or Via Zoom / Skype

Please call Alex on 07806774279 or email


Alex McCann

Author Alex McCann

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