• Learnings

    Best laid plans…

    Sometimes, one just pulls a doozy. This week has been one of those times for me in my little world. Keen to try something new, I decided to have a go at a mailing campaign. A kick-ass offer I’d send to suppliers I love to raise awareness of what I do and get them on board. Fun idea: check Designed print: check Envelopes: check Gimmicky gift: check Stamps: check   I spent hours lovingly hand addressing envelopes to my selected few. Stuffing envelopes, sticking on stamps and lugging the whole lot to the post box. Imagine my horror when my phone rang, one of my lovely recipients at the end…

  • Learnings

    Business tools I just can’t live without

    I’m a systems girl. I like processes and programs and ways to keep everything in order. There are a handful of business tools I just couldn’t live without and figured it might be useful to share, so here goes…   Freeagent This one covers the accounting side of things. I can invoice which is nothing new, but it also allows me to set up direct debits, and automate invoices and payment collection which is awesome. It also syncs up to your bank account, provides handy accounting reports and does some kind of magic link to HMRC for tax returns too but I haven’t used that feature yet. Cost – £9.50 /month + VAT for…

  • Learnings

    Do what makes you happy

    This is a post I wrote for Pasties & Petticoats a couple of years ago, but it felt like it might be a good fit here too, so I’ve updated it just for you. It’s a post about following my heart and taking the leap to turn my dreams into reality. Life by design.  I very much hope that this will inspire you and make you feel that the impossible is rarely so.   It was 2011. I’d been working for the Council for 11 years, as well as running a part time photography business. I had big love for wedding blogs, and felt Cornwall really needed one of its…

  • Learnings,  Social Media

    Secrets to instagram success…

      OK, maybe not secrets, but these are just some of the things I think are important if you’re trying to build your instagram following…   ONE Make your profile/bio work for you Having a half-completed bio is a sure-fire way to send people away (or miss out on people finding your account in the first place). Your name and bio are both searchable, so make sure they’re not only completed, but that you’ve included some of your top keywords in there too. Make sure you add your location, even if it’s a generic county or town. If you have a bride looking for a local supplier, and your feed…

  • Learnings

    Why I don’t give stats.

    My blog is not Argos, or the Yellow Pages. My readers don’t come to my site to search for a supplier, find one they want then click and buy, directly quoting me as the referral source. That isn’t the strength or purpose of a blog. For a wedding supplier, working with my blog is a HUGE content marketing opportunity, and actually in terms of what’s around locally, it’s pretty unique. It’s about consistent exposure to a relevant audience through a medium they know, like and trust. That’s why bloggers are called influencers in the marketing world. And THAT, my friends, is worth it’s weight in gold. For the past year…

  • Learnings

    Feeling proud.

    There’s a thing with us Brits that we have this innate need to be modest. To celebrate our successes is seen as gauche. But we SHOULD celebrate our successes. Kids are the first to come running and share their achievements, and we don’t shun them away – at what point did we lose that? Why can us grown ups not high five ourselves when we do something great? So let me say this. I am SO proud of what I’ve achieved. At the age of 18 I left home to go to university – the only person in my family to do that. Then I moved to London where I…

  • Learnings

    Challenges of self-employment (and how to deal with them!)

    I’m a realist. I knew that leaving behind a 16 year corporate career to become self-employed would bring it’s challenges, and I was OK with that. But what surprised me was some of the challenges that I just did NOT expect!   CHALLENGES I EXPECTED   I knew I’d have to work on fitting everything in – I have kids and commitments, I say yes to everything and always seem to cram my diary until it’s fit to burst. I also knew that accounting wouldn’t be a strong point. I have always hated maths, tax returns make me want to cry and don’t even ask me to ring the HMRC,…