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How To Use Pinterest To Build Your Online Audience And Generate Free Website Traffic

How To Use Pinterest To Build Your Online Audience And Generate Free Website Traffic

Give Pinterest a chance

Pinterest… it’s been around since 2010 but in recent years has been swamped by the buzz over newer platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok.  However – Pinterest has never gone away and quietly, in the background, it’s growing rapidly and becoming a platform you ignore at your peril. 

Read on to discover exactly why you should be taking notice of Pinterest in 2020 and beyond.

pinterest marketing for beginners training

Pinterest Facts

Here’s a few things you may not know about Pinterest:

 

✔️It’s the second biggest search engine (after Google/YouTube)  2 billion searches per month

✔️There are 400 Million Active Monthly Users on Pinterest (50% outside US) – as of August 2020

✔️A Pinterest pin lasts around 1700 times LONGER (3.5 months) than an Instagram or Facebook (90 mins) post.

✔️ 85% access Pinterest on a mobile device

✔️ 84% of weekly users use Pinterest to help decide what to buy

✔️ 77% of users found a new brand or product via Pinterest

✔️ 40% of Pinterest users have household income over $100k

✔️ 97% of Pinterest searches are unbranded – it’s a level playing field

✔️ 48% of pinners use Pinterest for shopping (compared with 14% on Facebook)

Mindset change required!

As mentioned above, Pinterest is a search engine – not a social media platform.  That’s where people get confused, because back in 2010 Pinterest WAS considered a social media platform, meaning you had to work to build up your followers, encourage interaction and engagement, and all the other stuff required by social media –  much of which can be somewhat of a drain on energy and resources.

The important thing to remember is that Pinterest users are there to find things –  perhaps just inspiration and ideas, but often very specific answers to questions – exactly as we’d search on Google.  When you keep this in mind, you’ll begin to see why Pinterest is a valuable marketing channel, with the added bonus of being a visual search engine.  I’ve talked before about the power of visual content –  the human brain is wired to react to visual stimuli way ahead of text, and everything on Pinterest is visual (image, gif, video).  Starting to get the idea?

Repeat after me….. PINTEREST IS A SEARCH ENGINE  🤣

Pinterest and me

I first joined Pinterest in 2011 – back then it was still considered a social network, and at the time, my business was mainly focussed on social media management and training. I was active on Pinterest for 3 or 4 years but began to lose interest – until last year (2019)

Since then I’ve completely revised my Pinterest strategy in line with its search engine functionality.  I’ve learned that keywords are vitally important throughout the platform (bio, board titles/descriptions, pin titles/descriptions), as is pin design – and most importantly, that Pinterest is NOT purely for design-led businesses.

Bloggers in particular can be extremely successful on Pinterest with the right strategy.  I now get a significant amount of web traffic from Pinterest – although Facebook is still currently my primary “social” source.  I know, Pinterest isn’t social media, but Google seems to think it is – at least the Analytics platform. 

 

Will Pinterest work for my business?

There’s a very easy way to find out.  Go to Pinterest (you’ll have to create an account if you don’t have one –  or ask a Pinterest user to do the search for you)  and type a few keywords related to your business into the search.

You’ll see that the search auto-populates (as it does in Google) with related keywords;  you will also see a page of results. These are images called pins, each of which links (or should link) to a specific web page.

Are any of the pins related to your business niche?  If not, then fair enough, Pinterest may not be suitable for you –  but if there’s a reasonable number of relevant pins,  you should definitely consider getting started with a Pinterest business account.

Getting results from Pinterest

Pinterest works well for both product & service-based businesses – it’s traditionally been thought of as only appropriate for design-related and creative niches – but that’s an outdated viewpoint.  People come to Pinterest to find solutions to their problems.  They’re probably searching for the type of help that you provide…

If you’re NOT in a creative niche, now’s the time to get involved, because fewer businesses like yours have cottoned on to the power of Pinterest as yet.  It’s a golden opportunity.

To sum up, Pinterest is a brilliant way to drive traffic to your lead magnets, blog posts, podcasts, YouTube channel, product pages (if you’re an online retailer). Basically, Pinterest is a source of free, organic website traffic… with no algorithm reducing the reach of your links or pushing you way down the feed because you’re a business. (Facebook, I’m looking at you!)

Pinterest boards and pins frequently appear in Google searches – double whammy!

Pinterest can be used as a brand awareness tool and source of referral traffic for big brands and small businesses.  Remember one of the points at the top of this article?   97% of Pinterest searches are unbranded – meaning that small businesses can compete with the big guys on a level playing field.

Now, do you think it could be worth learning how to use Pinterest to promote your business?

pinning to win free guide to pinterest marketing

But I’m not a graphic designer…

Neither am I. We don’t need to be.  It’s true that Pinterest requires high quality visual content, whether that’s images, gifs or videos, but the good news is that there are plenty of easy ways to produce your own, using free (or low-cost) online tools. 

A couple of my online go-tos are Canva and Easil, but there are many others,  or of course you could use software such as PowerPoint (vastly underestimated as a design tool!)

Once you understand that Pinterest images need to be portrait format in a 2:3 ratio, you’ll be able to set up templates that you can edit over and over by simply swapping out the images, colours, and text to create new pins. 

In fact, both Canva and Easil have lots of pre-made Pinterest templates –  I’d suggest using these to begin with, (obviously changing the images etc. to match your brand) until you have enough experience to start designing your own.

Ready to get started?

I hope you’re now convinced that Pinterest is worth further investigation. I have just the thing –  my free guide “Pinning To Win” gives you a basic understanding of Pinterest as a marketing platform, and also includes a discount code for £20 off my online training “Power To The Pin” meaning you get this for £17 instead of £37.

Here’s a quick video summary of what’s included in the training:

If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed and unsure about creating your own visual content for Pinterest or elsewhere,  I’d love to welcome you to my free Facebook Group VISUAL MARKETING IDEAS FOR YOUR BUSINESS, where I share lots of tips, tutorials, free resources and more for making the most of online design tools.

Boost your Social Media Engagement with these Viral Content Templates

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free guide pinterest marketing for beginners

Keep In touch

If you’d like to receive occasional emails with useful hints and tips for your online marketing, simply add your details on the right and click SEND.
Unsubscribe at any time by clicking the ‘unsubscribe’ link at the bottom of every email. Your details will be stored in my email marketing software but will never be sold to third parties. For full information on how your data is processed, please see the Privacy Notice.

Copyright © 2019 Naomi Jane Johnson t/a Value Added Video
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Why Ignoring Visual Content Will Cost You Sales

Why Ignoring Visual Content Will Cost You Sales

Stand Out And Deliver

Lockdown may be easing now but some things haven’t changed – and aren’t likely to in the foreseeable future…

We live in an increasingly fast-paced world.  People nowadays expect instant answers and solutions to whatever they’re seeking.

Social media newsfeeds move rapidly, meaning that you have only a small window of opportunity to get your content noticed.  Equally, if someone lands on your website and doesn’t find what they want within 5 seconds or less, they’ll click away and may never return, losing you a potential sale.

If your social media updates don’t have a strong visual trigger, they’ll most likely be ignored.

You need to provide eye-catching visual content that makes people take notice – and images are a vital part of this.

Images Sell – Fact

It’s been proven in various studies that social media updates including an image generate much higher engagement rates.

Take a look at this infographic from Wishpond, showing the power of images on Facebook.

 

The Impact of Photos on Facebook Engagement

 

Studies (originally by 3M) have shown that the human eye responds up to 80,000 times faster to images than it does to text – that alone should be enough to convince you of the power of visual content.

the eye processes visual content up to 60,000 times faster than text

Visual Content Sharing

It’s no coincidence that these two visual content platforms have grown so rapidly.  Instagram is currently the fastest growing social network with over 1 billion monthly active users (MAU) – and Pinterest has 376 MAU as of Q1 2020.

Take a look at this Steamfeed article for an insight into why Instagram has become so popular.

Incidentally, don’t be misled into thinking that Pinterest is a social network.  Its primary function is as a search engine, and a very powerful one too.

Pinterest Facts

I first joined Pinterest in 2012 – back then it was still considered a social network, and at the time, my business was mainly focussed on social media management and training. I was active on Pinterest for 3 or 4 years but began to lose interest – until last year (2019)

Since then I’ve completely revised my Pinterest strategy in line with its search engine functionality.  I’ve learned that keywords are vitally important throughout the platform (bio, board titles/descriptions, pin titles/descriptions), as is pin design – and most importantly, that Pinterest is NOT purely for design-led businesses.

Bloggers in particular can be extremely successful on Pinterest with the right strategy.  I now get a significant amount of web traffic from Pinterest – although Facebook is still the primary source for me.

Content Brings Traffic

You need content (visual and written) to encourage visitors to your website, for example a Facebook page post, an Instagram image or a Pinterest pin.

An early marketing strategist coined the acronym AIDA – attention, interest, desire, action…  the crucial first step is ATTENTION –  that’s down to your visuals!

Then, you need content to let them get to know, like and trust you.

Posting regular blogs and videos will be a valuable contribution. If they like what you publish, they’ll come back for more.

It’s an ongoing process; you need to be publishing content social media updates on a daily basis, or several times a day – and blogging regularly (I’d suggest at least once a month, but find your own comfort level).

Ideally, you should be creating a range of content such as videos, gifs, slideshares, infographics, as well as static images, on a regular basis.

Don’t forget that one piece of content (e.g. a blog post) can be repurposed into other forms such as video, slideshare, downloadable checklist etc.

When you understand how to extract the maximum value from your content, it won’t seem like such hard work.

Making It Easy

You don’t need to hire a graphic designer, spend ££££s on software or hours studying YouTube videos in order to create attention-grabbing visual content.  I will add a caveat here –   I’d always recommend working with a graphic designer for something crucial such as a business logo, printed brochures etc. 

But for everyday visual content such as images, short videos and gifs that will be shared online – there is a myriad of online design tools that make it incredibly simple to produce excellent results. 

Ready To Get Started?

All types of content are essential to marketing these days but it’s time-consuming to create those images and videos if you’re new to the whole concept of content marketing.

Take a look at my Online Visibility Essentials package, your instant solution to getting noticed –  a collection of eye-catching graphics and videos to share on your website and social media. It’s designed for busy business owners just like you, to save you lots of time and effort!

If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed and unsure about creating your own visual content, I’d love to welcome you to my free Facebook Group VISUAL MARKETING IDEAS FOR YOUR BUSINESS, where I share lots of tips, tutorials, free resources and more for making the most of online design tools.

DIY Templates

I’d suggest you look at this bundle of over 100 visual content templates. Created by a viral marketing strategist, they are tested and proven to generate high engagement; having used them myself for the last 6 months, I can certainly confirm their effectiveness.

I only recommend products I’ve purchased, tested myself and been completely satisfied with – I am an affiliate for the Viral Templates so when you purchase from my link, I receive a commission.  The video below features a few of the images I have personally created using these templates.

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ignoring visual content will cost you sales

Keep In touch

If you’d like to receive occasional emails with useful hints and tips for your online marketing, simply add your details on the right and click SEND.
Unsubscribe at any time by clicking the ‘unsubscribe’ link at the bottom of every email. Your details will be stored in my email marketing software but will never be sold to third parties. For full information on how your data is processed, please see the Privacy Notice.

Copyright © 2019 Naomi Jane Johnson t/a Value Added Video
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6 Reasons You Need Content Marketing To Build Your Business

6 Reasons You Need Content Marketing To Build Your Business

Why content marketing?

You’ve probably seen the term everywhere in the last few years, but do you know what content marketing is?
The Content Marketing Institute defines it thus:

Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.

There are several ultra-important words in this sentence – my picks would be: relevant, consistent, attract, audience, profitable. 

What does content marketing actually involve?

Most small businesses with an online presence have at least a vague idea of the concept of content marketing. In practice, it’s the process of publishing e-books, videos, articles, images and any other type of content online to market a business or product.

There are a couple of problems, though. Much of the content marketing advice you’ll read online comes from digital marketing agencies, and it’s often overwhelming for a small business that doesn’t have a marketing team. How on earth are you supposed to pump out all those videos and e-books when you’ve products to sell and customers to keep happy?

In a fit of enthusiasm, you create a PDF and then post about it a little on social media. This doesn’t work, which means you don’t get the results you expected and – understandably – you now feel despondent about the whole idea of content marketing.

But the bottom line is that content marketing IS important and well worth getting to grips with. Let’s look at some of the reasons why:

Great content is valuable for SEO.

These days, search engine optimization has to start with quality content. True, you still need some keywords and backlinks to your site to do well in Google searches, but the days when just keywords and backlinks worked are long gone.

Google is pretty smart these days – it understands questions and longer phrases, so a long string of keywords at the bottom of your web page won’t help, and could actually get you penalised.  I’m amazed that some websites still have this – and “keyword stuffing” just looks so obvious and unnatural!

Google also looks at other factors such as your social media activity, and the relevance of your content. By that I mean how good you are at answering questions that people are asking – and searching for the answers – in Google.

And while we’re talking about SEO, let’s not forget Pinterest. Pinterest is actually the 2nd largest search engine (behind Google and YouTube which can be considered a single entity). Research has shown that 84% of Pinterest users have buying intent – dramatically different from social media users.  Many businesses ignore Pinterest – potentially a serious mistake! 

DOWNLOAD MY FREE GUIDE TO PINTEREST MARKETING FOR BEGINNERS 

Content brings you traffic.

You need content to encourage visitors to your website, for example a Facebook page post or an Instagram image. Then you need content to let them get to know, like and trust you. Posting regular blogs and videos will be a valuable contribution. If they like what you publish, they’ll come back for more.

It’s an ongoing process; you need to be publishing content such as social media updates on a daily basis, or several times a day – and blogging regularly (I’d suggest at least once a month, but find your own comfort level).

Ideally,you should be creating other types of content such as videos, slideshares, infographics regularly too. Don’t forget that one piece of content (e.g. a blog post) can be repurposed into other forms such as video, slideshare, downloadable checklist etc.

When you understand how to extract the maximum value from your content, it won’t seem like such hard work.

Content brings you leads.

 Once you’ve captured attention with your content you’ll need more to generate leads. You can do this by exchanging a useful checklist or guide (yes, this is content too!) for your visitors’ email addresses. Think about the questions that your clients ask you most frequently, and create a guide, checklist or cheat sheet that answers these questions – all you need is a Word document, made into a pdf and uploaded to your website.

Set up your email software to deliver this as a download when someone enters their email address, and bingo – job done and a new subscriber on your list.

Content builds trust.

There are millions of websites out there, why should anyone buy from yours? You need to make a connection with your visitors, to show you understand them and can be trusted to deliver exactly what they need.

Guess how you do that? Yes, with content – relevant content that answers their questions and addresses their concerns, making you the go-to person in your niche. When that happens, watch your business become profitable!

Content grows your brand.

If your content has a consistent message that’s congruent with the rest of your business then your content will tell the world about what you do, how and why.

People will be attracted to you because your message triggers an emotional response, making them feel “I need this”. Quite simply, emotion is the fuel for every successful marketing strategy. 

Content helps you sell.

There is an art to writing product descriptions and articles that sell. It’s all about emotion! But to make your sales content work at its best you’ll need to deliver it to your audience when they are 100% ready to buy. How do you know when that is? If you’ve been nurturing and tracking their progress using content marketing, then you’ll have all the information you need.

As you can see, there’s a bit more to content marketing than posting on social media and updating your website a couple of times per year. If done well it can bring you traffic, leads and sales. Off you go…

Questions?  Post them below!

Ready to get started?

All types of content are essential to marketing these days but it’s time-consuming to create those images and videos if you’re new to the whole concept of content marketing.

Take a look at these Viral Content Templates that help you create eye-catching, highly engaging graphics for social media. They’re designed for busy business owners just like you, to save you lots of time and effort! All you need is a free Canva account.

Why not join my Facebook group where I share lots of ideas, tips and resources to create visual content for your business?

Or, if you’re looking for an alternative to social media – with no algorithms blocking your links, and no need to worry about follower numbers or engagement – my free guide Pinning To Win (for beginners to Pinterest marketing) is definitely worth a look!

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Keep In touch

If you’d like to receive occasional emails with useful hints and tips for your online marketing, simply add your details on the right and click SEND.
Unsubscribe at any time by clicking the ‘unsubscribe’ link at the bottom of every email. Your details will be stored in my email marketing software but will never be sold to third parties. For full information on how your data is processed, please see the Privacy Notice.

Copyright © 2019 Naomi Jane Johnson t/a Value Added Video
Privacy Notice :: Terms :: Disclaimer

16 Motivational Quotes For Entrepreneurs (Free To Share)

16 Motivational Quotes For Entrepreneurs (Free To Share)

Need a bit of motivation?

Sometimes, a quote is all you need to get you motivated and in the mood to tackle something you’ve been putting off… here’s a selection that I hope you will find helpful!

You are welcome to share – all I ask is that you link back to this blog.

The images are optimised for Pinterest, but they will work on most social networks (not Instagram)

For more motivational, inspirational and confidence-boosting affirmations, quotes and worksheets, check out my CONFIDENCE BUILDERS printables bundle. 

Let me know…

Which one resonates most with you?

Please feel free to download and share, but you MUST include the following credit:
Designed by Naomi J Johnson / Value Added Video

or simply link back to this blog post.

Happy Sharing!

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Keep In touch

If you’d like to receive occasional emails with useful hints and tips for your online marketing, simply add your details on the right and click SEND.
Unsubscribe at any time by clicking the ‘unsubscribe’ link at the bottom of every email. Your details will be stored in my email marketing software but will never be sold to third parties. For full information on how your data is processed, please see the Privacy Notice.

Copyright © 2019 Naomi Jane Johnson t/a Value Added Video
Privacy Notice :: Terms :: Disclaimer

How To Get Your Blog Posts Noticed

How To Get Your Blog Posts Noticed

I wrote a blog post – what’s next?

You’ve written a blog post –  great!  It feels good doesn’t it?  Now that it’s written and published,  obviously people will be flocking to read it…?

Sorry to burst your bubble, but that’s not going to happen, unless you’re a worldwide celebrity or member of the blogging Illuminati.  For us mere mortals, the work does not stop when that blog post is published.   The world is not eagerly awaiting your latest words of wisdom.   “If you build it, they won’t come” is the truth of the matter.

I’ve previously written about the benefits of blogging for your business, how to generate ideas and write consistently.  It’s worth a reminder here that blogging is not about self-promotion. It’s about providing useful, relevant content that your target audience finds interesting – and cultivating that audience over weeks, months and even years.

Let’s look at a few ways to get your amazing blog post noticed and read by as many of your target clients as possible.

Be yourself.

We are all influenced by others – by what we read, what we watch and listen to.  You should develop your own style of writing, just as you have your own ways of speaking and interacting with family, friends and business colleagues.

Don’t try to be someone you’re not – obviously this applies in every aspect of business.  People are quick to spot a fake!

Use simple language.

Write as if you’re speaking to a friend or colleague who doesn’t have your level of specialist knowledge – think about how you’d explain something them in simple terms.

Don’t try to baffle people with technical jargon or complex descriptions (unless you are writing solely for an audience in the same industry as you).  Always make it conversational and invite feedback.

Promote other blogs and bloggers.

As I said at the start, blogging is not all about you.  If you’ve read a great post recently, and it’s relevant to the topic you’re currently writing about, include a link to that blog.

Hyperlink it with relevant keywords and you’ve given yourself an SEO boost as well as helping the other blogger. Share other blogs on social media too, if the topic is relevant to your audience.  I do this all the time.

I use Feedly, a free RSS aggregator tool, to compile lists of relevant blogs that I can easily scan and pick out interesting and relevant posts to share.  It’s not all about you!

I read a few other blog posts to help me compile this one, including “How to get your blog noticed” by Arfa at She Means Blogging.  Check it out! 

Share on social media.

This is an obvious one but many bloggers forget that sharing a post just once isn’t going to work.   Once you’ve written and published a blog post, you need to share it multiple times for as long as it’s relevant to your audience – which may well be years!

Yes there’s work involved, but there are many tools that allow you to automate social media posts. Having said that, I don’t recommend automating everything, because it looks bad and will likely reduce the reach of your posts.

I find Buffer particularly useful – if you install its Chrome extension, it’s very easy to share a snippet of your blog post – simply highlight the text you want to share, right-click and choose “share selected text”.
Choose which social network to share on and you’re done!

buffer selected text

Appropriate social networks will vary according to your business, but in general I’d recommend Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn as the best places to share.

In particular, Facebook groups are worth spending time researching and joining those where your target clients are likely to hang out.  Be aware though that each group has its own rules – don’t share blog or website links if that contravenes the group’s rules.

Just think  – if someone in a group asked a question and you happen to have a blog post that provides an answer – wouldn’t it be worthwhile replying to their question and linking to your blog post?  They’re very likely to go and read the post –  and with any luck, explore more of your website too.   I’ve used this strategy myself many times –  the majority of my clients find me via Facebook.

For many business bloggers, Pinterest is a must. You may think of Pinterest as a social network, but it’s primarily a search engine, and a very effective one.  People use Pinterest for research and they are often on there with the intent to buy.  I’ll come back to Pinterest later when I discuss images.

Repurpose your blog posts.

It would be silly not to mention this in an article about getting your blog posts noticed.   What do we mean by repurposing?

A blog post is a piece of written content –  generally 500 words or more in length.  When you’ve written a piece of that length, it gives you many shorter snippets that you can use for:

  • Tweets
  • Facebook posts
  • Instagram posts
  • LinkedIn articles or posts
  • Pinterest pins

You could also record a video of yourself talking about the content of your post –  upload it to YouTube, Facebook and LinkedIn.  Take a 60 second snippet and share to Instagram and your Stories on Facebook and Instagram –  or Instagram TV if you’ve set that up (I haven’t as yet!)

Make a slideshare presentation based on your blog post, turn that into a pdf and offer it as a free download.  The official term for this is a Content Upgrade.  You’re giving people a way to keep the blog post for reference, without having to return to read the original every time.  And of course when you offer the download in return for their email address, you go on to keep in touch with them regularly – ensuring you’re always in their mind when they need the sort of help you provide.

As an alternative video idea, use Lumen5 to produce a short slideshow-style video based o the blog post.  I’ve done that several times – here’s a video based on my post “Blog Like You Mean It”

Add eye-catching images.

This is so important.  Research has shown that the brain processes images up to 80,000 times faster than text.   A block of text looks plain and uninteresting, but add a vibrant image or video, and we’re immediately drawn to the page.

the eye processes visual content up to 60,000 times faster than text

Any old image you find on Google won’t do –  unless you want a hefty fine.  You need copyright free images, or even better, those you’ve created yourself.

We talked about Pinterest earlier –  if you plan to use it, you’ll need to take the time to create additional images because it has very specific requirements – the optimum size is 600 x 900 pixels (portrait orientation).  I make sure each of my blog posts has a “pinnable” image at the bottom – as well as a “featured” image at the top.

It’s often worth adding the title of your blog post on the image – and always make sure you use a keyworded alt tag (this helps with SEO as it shows up when the image doesn’t load for whatever reason)

And of course, don’ t forget your call to action at the end of each post.  Tell people what you want them to do next…

Email your subscribers.

You do have an email list, don’t you? People who’ve opted in to hear from you regularly…
When you publish a new blog post, it makes sense to let these people know – send them an email with a brief precis of the post and a link to read it in full.  Always invite them to reply or message you if they want further information or simply to offer feedback.

Your turn…

What do you do to promote your blog?  What works best for you? What do you need help with?
Let me know in the comments.

Not sure how to get started?  I’d love to help –  check out my blogging support packages or message me with any questions you have about blogging or creating eye-catching images and videos.

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Keep In touch

If you’d like to receive occasional emails with useful hints and tips for your online marketing, simply add your details on the right and click SEND.
Unsubscribe at any time by clicking the ‘unsubscribe’ link at the bottom of every email. Your details will be stored in my email marketing software but will never be sold to third parties. For full information on how your data is processed, please see the Privacy Notice.

Copyright © 2019 Naomi Jane Johnson t/a Value Added Video
Privacy Notice :: Terms :: Disclaimer