016 - How to work with vegan influencers to promote your business

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How do you find, approach and work with a vegan influencer to promote your business? And what will they want in return? An influencer is just someone who has brought together an audience of people who are interested in a specific topic, and if you find the right influencer, they may be the conduit to a perfect ready-made audience for your business. Influencers aren’t just YouTubers or Instagram stars. They may have email lists, blogs, podcasts or run live events.

So let’s take a look at how vegan influencers operate, how you can find them, how to contact them and what they will want in return. And if you DO want to work with influencers to promote your business, it’s important to understand not only how they earn a living, but also how they built up their audience in the first place.

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015 - Are you sure your product is 100% vegan?

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How do you make sure that your product, and business, is 100% vegan? Ever wondered why apples are so shiny? Ever wondered what alcohol is filtered through? Ever thought about how they get refined sugar so white? Animal-derived products and ingredients have permeated every corner of our world. They are cheap, they are gruesome and often they are hidden – and it’s your duty to make sure they don’t get into your products.

And if your business doesn’t make a product, there are still lots of ways you can embrace your vegan credentials – from the handwash in your washrooms through to the suppliers your business buys from.

014 - We need to talk about 'imposter syndrome'

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Do you feel like a fraud in business? Are you worried someone is going to find you out? Do you have an internal voice like this always questioning if you’re good enough? If so, this is something we really need to talk about. Because it’s not something that is unique to you – it’s called ‘Imposter Syndrome’.

Not only do we need to talk about it – but we need to talk about how to overcome it because it will always hold you back. EVERYONE has it, in fact a 2007 study showed that 70% of us will suffer from impostor syndrome. So how do you get over it? Well, the answer might not be what you are expecting!

013 - Live: How to fund a vegan business (part two)

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(Part two) Recorded live at VegfestUK, we bring together three experts in funding vegan businesses in this special two-part episode.  

In part one we heard from Nick Mayhew of VFin, who compares both the traditional and modern ways of raising money, and Claire Smith, founder of Beyond Animal and Beyond Investing who is herself an impact investor.  In part two, David speaks with Mike Hill, co-founder of One Planet Pizza who talks about his first-hand experience of raising money as the company grew. Finally, after the interviews, we then bring all the experts together to answer questions that were submitted by members of Vegan Business Tribe which you really don’t want to miss, because there is just as much information in the Q&A session at the end as the individual interviews.

012 - Live: How to fund a vegan business (part one)

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Recorded live at VegfestUK, we bring together three experts in funding vegan businesses in this special two-part episode.  The money IS out there. If you have a really keen idea for a vegan business, or even better if you’ve already proven a vegan business and now need more funds to scale it up, then there is a lot of interest in backing vegan and plant-based businesses right now.

But it might be if you don’t have the contacts, or you’ve never tried to go out and find money before that you don’t know where to start. So in this panel, I interview three experts in vegan funding: Nick Mayhew of VFin, who compares both the traditional and modern ways of raising money; Claire Smith, founder of Beyond Animal and Beyond Investing who is herself an impact investor; and Mike Hill, co-founder of One Planet Pizza who talks about his first-hand experience of raising money as the company grew. Finally, after the interviews, we then bring all the experts together to answer questions that were submitted by members of Vegan Business Tribe which you really don’t want to miss, because there is just as much information in the Q&A session at the end as the individual interviews.

011 - How to use LinkedIn to connect with your dream vegan contacts

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Did you know there’s a secret code that vegans use on LinkedIn to find each other? In this episode I’m going to convince you why you need to be on LinkedIn as a vegan business owner or vegan professional. You might already have a LinkedIn profile, and it sits there not really doing anything and you don’t see the point to it. But since Microsoft bought LinkedIn in 2016, the platform has started to become more appealing and accessible to a wider range of users. Yes, you still have your big boardroom executives using LinkedIn, but now you also have more smaller business owners and mid-level professionals. And this is where the magic of LinkedIn can happen: those decision-makers and people in senior roles who you are unable to contact through other methods, there’s a good chance that you can connect with them on LinkedIn.

So today’s we take a look at Linkedin, why you should be on it and how you can use it make better quality connections. We also look at the secret code that vegans use to identify and connect with each other which will hugely increase the number of connections you make.

010 - How big is the marketplace for a vegan business?

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You may have been told that vegan is too much of a niche or a fad to launch a new product into, or it’s too small a marketplace to grow a successful business. But what’s the truth about that, and if that’s the case why are so many vegan businesses growing so quickly right now?

David takes a look at the statistics and answers the questions: 1. Just how many vegans are there right now and are there enough to sell to? And 2. If your company sells to other companies, how many vegan businesses are there that will want to buy your services?

009 - Why vegan businesses fail

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The reason why some businesses fail and others succeed often comes down to one simple common element: the attitude and determination of the person running it.

To learn why businesses fail, what you ACTUALLY have to learn is why successful businesses succeed and identify what’s missing compared to those that don’t.  In today’s episode, we look at why building a successful business is like running an obstacle course, with each obstacle just being another problem you need to overcome.  But if you don’t have the right mental attitude to learn HOW to overcome each obstacle as you hit it, then you will join the majority of the population who get stuck or just give up.  David explains how you can build an unshakable faith in your ability to learn, and why your attitude to overcoming problems dictates your chance of having a successful vegan business.

008 - Future vegan product trends (Part 2)

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(Part 2) What’s going to be the next big thing in vegan, and what are the future trends you should be aware of if you have a vegan business?

In part two of this two-part podcast recorded live at VegfestUK Online, I continue my discussion with Louisianna Waring, The Vegan Society’s Insight & Commercial Policy Officer, and Dan Strettle owner of Alternative Stores (and vegan himself for over 5 decades) about vegan product trends.

In part one, we talked about what’s hot right now and where this demand in plant-based products and services is coming from – and in part two we now go on to talk about what the next BIG THING in vegan is going to be.

007 - Future vegan product trends (Part 1)

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(Part 1) What’s going to be the next big thing in vegan, and what are the future trends you should be aware of if you have a vegan business?

In part one of a two-part podcast, we’re going to answer a REALLY big question. And that is: what’s going to come next? What’s going to be the next big thing in vegan? To answer this I am joined by Louisianna Waring, The Vegan Society’s Insight & Commercial Policy Officer, and Dan Strettle who is the owner of Alternative Stores (who are based at Heather Mill’s Plant-based Valley, just outside of Newcastle in the UK) and who has been vegan himself for over 5 decades.

We recorded this discussion live as part of VegfestUK’s Summerfest Online. In the first half, Louisianna, Dan and myself uncover where all this demand for vegan and plant-based products has come from and what’s really hot right now. Then in part two (in the next episode), we look at what the growth areas are for vegan businesses, products and services and give our own tips for where the market is heading.

006 - Every successful vegan business needs to build a tribe

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To build a successful business, you need a group of followers who absolutely cannot live without your product or who believe in your vegan mission.

These people will help you spread your message and attract more people who also love what you are doing. They will become your brand ambassadors. They will become your ‘tribe’.

In this episode we look at why when you create a vegan company, you shouldn’t just launch a business, you should start a movement. Because having 10 customers who are absolute champions for you business and believe 100% in your company’s mission is better than 100 customers who just buy from you once and you never see again. And once you’ve found and built your tribe, David explains how to keep them and use your tribe to help you grow a more successful business.

Episode 005 - Get your vegan business ready for Veganuary

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Veganuary can be an amazing time for your vegan business. Here are the four steps to get ready for it.

In January HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of people will be signing up for the Veganuary challenge. Veganuary is a worldwide movement to get people to try being vegan for 31 days every January – and although it started out small (in 2014 they had just over 3,000 people take up the challenge) it has grown every year with a staggering 400,000 people signing up through the Veganuary website in 2020. BUT, the Veganuary organisation estimate that ten times as many take on the challenge without officially signing up.

What does this mean for your company? It means there is a big spike in interest for vegan and plant-based products every January. So if you have a vegan company or you sell a plant-based product or service, it means you too can tap into this rise in consumer interest in vegan every year – and leverage the publicity the campaign brings.

In this episode, David walks you through the 4 steps to put together your own marketing plan for Veganuary, shows you how to get your company involved so you can support the campaign and gives some tips for things you might want to do to make the most of Veganuary.

Episode 004 - How to get your vegan business in the news (with Eden Green PR)

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Join us for our vegan PR masterclass with Caroline from Eden Green PR.

Today’s episode is a little longer than usual because I’m sharing a masterclass that we recorded for Vegan Business Tribe with Caroline Burgess-Pike from Eden Green PR on ‘how to get your vegan business in the news’. Now, one of the biggest questions we get asked at VBT is ‘How do I get my business OUT THERE?’ Because when you first start a vegan business, you spend a lot of time focusing on your product and your service but you don’t always have those skills in place to then get your product in the news. If this is you, then we’re going to change all that in this episode.

So first we look at how to work out what’s actually newsworthy about your business – and the truth is, your company JUST BEING VEGAN is no longer a news story.  Once you’ve worked out what that newsworthy hook is, we then go on to talk about the practical side of getting your business in the news: how to approach editors of magazines and online news outlets, how to connect with influencers on Instagram and YouTube, all the really hands-on practical stuff.  This is really one to listen to with your notebook nearby!

Episode 003 - How to find more customers for your vegan business.

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How do you REALLY find more customers for your vegan business? Let’s go right back to basics and find out.  In this episode we are looking at something which is the LIFEBLOOD of any vegan business, and that is finding customers. 

And it doesn’t matter if you sell a physical product, or if you offer a vegan service, or even if you are a charity looking for donations – you RELY on people giving you their money. And this is where many vegan businesses falter. Because, and I’ve said it before, vegans don’t seem to be comfortable making money! But we all need customers and, usually, we all need more of them.

So – we’re going to get right back to basics. You might be wondering about the best way to find customers, should you be using Instagram, should you be doing PR, or should you try some appointment-making telemarketing or Google Pay Per Click advertising – and the reality is, if this is where you are starting when trying to work out how to get more customers then you need to just STOP. Because do you know what is completely missing from your planning? UNDERSTANDING THE CUSTOMER.

If you don’t, then all you’re doing is guessing what will work, and you hit nothing by shooting in the dark.

Episode 002 - Should you call your company or product 'Vegan'?

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Should you call your company or product vegan, plant-based or something else?  In today’s episode we’re going to start with one of the main questions we get asked at Vegan Business Tribe, and it’s all about how you should refer to your business or product.

If you have a vegan business, should you actually CALL it a vegan business – or if you are selling a product that is vegan, will LABELLING it ‘vegan’ put people off from buying it? 

It’s an interesting question because, as you know, us vegans are never shy about letting people know about it! But why do Beyond Meat, Meatless Farm and even Oatly rarely use the term vegan? David looks at when you SHOULD use the term vegan for what you sell, and when you should use plant-based, or even something else entirely.

Episode 001 - Why have a vegan business?

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In this first episode, I’m going to start by answering a really fundamental question for anyone who has a vegan business (or is thinking about starting one) and that is – WHY?

Why are you doing this?  Why are we ALL doing this?  Why should you have a vegan business?  You might already have a great product, service, or idea for a vegan business, but maybe you’ve not got all the business skills or experience that you wish you had – and right now, that doesn’t matter.  Because what you DO have, that other business owners don’t, is a burning passion to make the world a better, fairer and cruelty-free place.  And no matter what else, that’s an AMAZING place to start.

In this episode, I take a look at the plant-based market as a whole and answer the question: who is really buying all these vegan products if vegans only make up one or two percent of the marketplace?  And I also ask: why do vegans have such a reluctance to make money from what they do – because let me tell you right now, you can do a lot more good in the world with a profit than with a loss!

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