Launched in early 2019 #MoneyHacks is a not-for-profit project with the aim of delivering financial education to young people in Leeds in the form of face to face group training sessions. I was approached by project lead, Karol Thornton, to get involved while he was busy securing the funding. 

His words perfectly explain the need for this kind of education and why it’s so relevant for young people right now…

“Promoting positive financial habits is more important than ever for our young people. Our project talks to children and teenagers about good saving and spending habits, budgeting, money management and lots more. Giving kids the power to make informed decisions is one step towards preventing the kind of financial issues we see growing in society right now like excessive debt and poverty.”

We’ve been working with Karol and the team to devise a number of modules for the project that cover budgeting, cost of living, saving and borrowing and fraud and scams, gambling and social gaming, all relevant to our target age group of 11 – 18 year olds. All the content we create is branded for the project and each module includes a slide deck, activities, activity sheets, trainer guides and additional resources. 

There is a small but perfectly formed team of experienced trainers and educators who deliver the training across Leeds (they also train up teachers and educators to deliver the training themselves.) We support the trainers with updating content, training resources and collecting and promoting feedback. 

The project has launched first in Leeds supported by Chapeltown Citizens Advice Bureau, Leeds Community Foundation and Lowell Giving Community Fund. We are currently helping to build relationships with schools and youth groups across the region in order to deliver this training to their young people.

To find out more visit moneyhacks.org.uk


While working with Chesamel on the Google Digital Garage project, I had the pleasure of line managing up to six Team Leaders. These leaders were based in three Google stores across the UK and between them managed up to around 60 coaches who worked in these stores.

The very first highstreet Digital Garage store was in Sheffield (I wrote about a blog about its launch here) and since then Google opened stores in Birmingham, Manchester and Edinburgh, each opening for about 12 months and getting a little bigger and better each time.

The stores are in popular city centre locations, open to the public to offer completely free digital advice in the form of seminars, workshops and one to ones (check out some of the #DigitalGarage activity here.)

Chesamel, the agency I work with are involved in the process from start to finish – beginning by recruiting local digital experts to work in-store and being heavily involved throughout.

leadership

Each store has two Team Leaders, onsite every day to manage their team on a daily basis. My role was to line manage the Team Leader’s performance and ensure strong two-way conversation between stores, agency, Google and other partners.

Communication | This involved lots of visits to store, spending time with Team Leaders, the wider team and customers. Plenty of video calls also allowed us to stay in contact remotely. I made it my priority to be open and honest with the teams I managed, filtering down information from agency and client. I took the responsibility seriously to filter back the great work the teams did back to the agency and client in the same way.

KPIs and Objectives | I met individually with each Team Leader each month – a time to discuss personal and store progress. We set objectives and KIPs together. We reviewed store numbers, the performance of the wider teams as well as personal goals. Good performance was rewarded with monthly incentives and group recognition.

Being Accessible | The stores I managed were open long hours, every day. There were also many events running alongside the stores in different venues around the UK. Being on call to support was key to being able to manage such a large and dispersed team. Setting expectations for how I could be reached and when was important to this working well.

I was lucky enough to work with and manage some highly talented and inspirational professionals on this project. Sharing knowledge and respect was imperative to the success of our working relationships, as well as promoting learning and opportunities for development.

 


I recently took on a more personal project after finding out about the work of non-for-profit Yorkshire Mentoring. Mentoring and coaching small businesses and start-ups has been part of my work as a digital marketer since I’ve been a freelancer. I was interested in doing some voluntary work to build up my experience but also to be involved in something more impactful and worthwhile.

Yorkshire Mentoring run a number of projects, one of which is ‘Youth in Mind’ a project run across the Bradford district matching mentors with young people with mental health issues.

After some initial training and meeting some fellow mentors, I was paired quite quickly with my young person. We had regular meetings (once a week or fortnight) for six months.

mentoring training

The pairing was a good one… a great one in fact and luckily we hit it off straight away. The sessions involved chatting, planning, brainstorming and discussing coping strategies. We had some serious conversations but we also took trips out and had a lot of fun.

For the young person, the benefit was confidence building, someone different to speak to and hopefully receiving new or alternative inputs and ideas.  For me the benefit was huge… I genuinely enjoyed the experience and learned to slow things down, listen more and how to plan sessions for this kind of mentoring.

To find out more about the work Yorkshire mentoring do visit their website www.yorkshirementoring.org.uk

 


Back in April 17, we joined local co-working space, Assembly Bradford. A space for freelancers, creatives and professionals founded by four Bradford based entrepreneurs.  We were asked if we’d like to take on the first networking event for the space, our answer was of course yes.

breakfast networking

The aim was to showcase the Assembly space, its freelancers and their offerings, whilst also offering a relaxed environment to network and learn – “Morning Assembly” was born.

Our workshop session, “Digital Mentoring and Knowledge Sharing” covered the importance and benefits of knowledge sharing and mentoring in a digital capacity. 

mentoring event

With an early start, the ping pong table was moved aside and our presentation corner was ready to go for an early 7:45 start! (It is Morning Assembly after all!)

Tea, coffee, juice and a little breakfast soon got bodies woken and mouths chatting for a bit of pre-workshop networking. We had people who knew Assembly well, some who had heard of it and some complete newbies, everyone was welcome and everyone was active throughout the workshop which we loved!  Questions were raised and answers were offered, discussions throughout the group showed how keen the Morning Assembly audience were to share their knowledge, brilliant, just what we’d hoped for!

morning assembly

There was plenty of time following the workshop section of the event for another coffee and a good chat with other attendees, some detail swapping and great discussion around business questions and issues carried on from the workshop before heading on to work filled days.

This was the first of a series of networking events hosted in Assembly Bradford, keep an eye out for future events on Assembly’s Twitter page. With a community of designers, publishers, architects, writers and many other creatives, there’ll be plenty to see, hear and learn.

 


We love writing content and appreciate a chance to mix things up, so when our proptech client Letproof asked us to grow their social media following, our #DecoratingMonth campaign was born. 

#DecoratingMonth

This specific startup’s focus was property related, targeting both landlords and tenants.  We felt that we might be missing out on certain audiences that the startup would be relevant to, but weren’t being reached while we focused our efforts around the property topic alone. We wanted to tap into potential user interests from a slightly different angle.

We became aware of #DecoratingMonth taking place in April and celebrated and encouraged all things DIY and decorating. We set out a specific content calendar for the month and allocated some social advertising budget. We research the audience and popular trends around decorating, property and interiors. 

Here’s a how we executed #Decoratingmonth:

We wanted to get a little creative with our social media activity and the content we were sharing for this campaign, so we made sure we were sharing plenty of content and a good variety too, plus #DecoratingMonth was great for eye-catching visuals and lots of colour!

Decorating Tips – fresh social content

We created a #decoratingtip for each day of the month and shared these across our social media platforms, providing useful content.  Most of these tips were written to be useful for any of our target audience, however, we targeted some towards landlords and others towards tenants, ensuring our useful tips were specific to our audience.  We shared articles, images, video demonstrations and gifs, linked to articles and tagged authors or bloggers where we could.

These posts went out alongside our usual line of social media activity, keeping our previous reach while we rolled out this new campaign.

Competitions – incentivising 

We rolled out three competitions over the month to get new people engaged. We worked with My Paintbrush and Rose and Grey to offer a £50 gift vouchers and we asked followers for their favourite decorating tips, offering a book as the prize for the most creative.

Guest Blog – influencer marketing

We created a blog for stylish interiors blog Topology – a fun quiz with famous interiors from some well-loved films. Topology have a strong blog following and also shared our guest blog on their social channels. Recognise either of these famous film interiors? (Answers below.)

     

Blogs – building a brand

We created some blogs of our own directly on the property platform, around tenant friendly decorating in rented homes.  This offered useful advice and some inspirational images, whilst also adding some lovely new content and visuals to the platform.

Mixing up our approach through this social campaign was successful in generating new followers, particularly on Twitter. We saw engagement on both Facebook and Twitter peak considerably during the month, and ultimately we could report that the campaign influenced visits to the website and sign-ups. Plus we can certainly say that as two homeowners and crafty individuals, we really enjoyed celebrating #DecoratingMonth!

 

Quiz Answers: Rosehill Cottage, The Holiday and Regina George’s bedroom, Mean Girls. 


Everyone Needs Digital Skills

This is very much the sentiment of Google’s Digital Garage project, and always has been, but with the brand new launch of a new look Garage (down the road) in Sheffield there’s even more focus on the ‘everyone.’

Since April 2016 we (Lucy and I) have been involved in Google’s Digital Garage project, starting off as digital mentors on site in Manchester and then in Newcastle. Since then we’ve worked with Google’s Digital Garage delivery partner Chesamel to create content, partnerships and help facilitate the launch and management of successive Garages. I am now excited to be working with the Sheffield team on a regular basis as Campaign Manager.

Last week (28th April) the Digital Garage returned to Yorkshire (following a stint in Leeds in 2015 right at the beginning of the Digital Garage project in the UK) and this time we’re in Sheffield.

The space is a very cool city centre ‘store’ environment where anyone (from a business owner wanting in-depth website advice to an individual wanting to learn how to get online for the first time) can drop in for a free workshop, masterclass or one to one session.

If you’re close to South Yorkshire and feel you could do with a bit of a digital skills boost it’s definitely worth a visit. And if you’re familiar with the Digital Garage you’ll find some new content to keep you right up to date with the fast moving digital world.

Find out more about the Digital Garage project here and how to book into the Sheffield Garage (open until October 2017) here.

*Edit – 2018* Since writing this post Google opened stores in Birmingham, Manchester and Edinburgh, each open for 12 months. The project has been continuing to grow in what it offers and we are pleased to continue our involvement.

 


This March I was invited to present one of this year’s industry awards at Property Wire‘s inaugural award ceremony. On the 17th floor of Shoreditch’s M by Montcalm Tech City Hotel, the awards this year had a focus on buy to let. Online property news portal Property Wire aim to recognise those who are embracing the changes in the property industry with their annual awards.

Our client and property technology start-up letproof.com were event sponsors, sponsoring one if the 19 awards. I was delighted to announce The National Landlords Association as winners of ‘best trade association.’

property wire awards

Property Wire said about their event; “Currently, one of the biggest growth areas in the property industry is buy to let, so our 2017 awards will focus on this evolving sector. It is an opportunity to look at what industry professionals are doing in a year that is likely to see even more change as the UK starts the official process of leaving the European Union. It is also a chance to celebrate the hard work that has been going on in the industry, rewarding excellence and looking at the champions of the industry today and in the future.”

Check out letproof.com’s Twitter moment for more on winners and who was involved.

 

 


Ant Brown is a private chef based in the North East. With a focus on high quality but minimum fuss Ant and his team cater for a range private dinners and events.

We worked with Ant to style his current website and create the content for it. We have also supported with blog and social media content.

Food and hospitality is an area we’re experienced in, and one we’re passionate about. Being able to work closely with Ant has given us real insight into the industry and even taught us a thing or two about cooking!

marketing for private chef ant brown

catering

Ant cooks and caterers at a number of country estates during the shooting seasons, making game something of a signature ingredient. Cooking outdoors on the moors as well as for high-profile guests is all within a day’s work.

marketing for private chef

marketing for ant brown chef

ant brown private chef

Ant also caters for private dinner parties across the UK, and has built up many strong relationships with clients and other chefs. Ant often welcomes the chefs of Nobu, the world’s most renowned Japanese restaurant, to cook with him on site.

nobu ant brown

ant brown

Here’s what Ant had to say about Lucy and her work…

Lucy has an innate ability to not only understand a business and its principles, but more importantly how her skills and creativity can help to effectively communicate those principles through vibrant, attractive and stimulating digital content. I can’t recommend her highly enough.”

To find out more about our experience and past projects view our portfolio here or get in touch for a chat.

 


Video is a key component of content marketing. Including a video on a landing page is said to increase conversion by 80% – and there are lots more stats to back up the use of video from Hubspot right here.

Letproof.com are one of our exciting new projects; a #proptech startup looking to disrupt the property letting market. Since their new website launched we’ve been creating a range of content and blogs for Letproof.com. However, in order to quickly and effectively get the message out there about this new concept, we knew a video would make a considerable difference.

To begin with we considered what we wanted to say and why. What were the key messages we wanted to get across and how could we do this visually? We then drafted a script that would portray the brand as well as clearly deliver the key messages and benefits.

We enlisted the help of a friend and professional videographer to film and edit the video, and once the logistics, resources and actors were arranged we were able to finalise the scenes and storyboard.

Our prep ensured filming ran smoothly. Here are a few shots of the team in action…

video content

video content marketing

video content marketing

Some professional editing and producing later and our video was complete and ready to share. The Letproof.com team were delighted with the finished video and now have a fantastic way to quickly explain their new brand to the world. As well as bringing a brand to life, video helps keeps users engaged on your website and particularly on social media.

We would always encourage our clients to try and incorporate some kind of video into their content strategy. If you’d like to find out more, get in touch with us for a chat.


Earlier in October I was delighted to be part of a one off digital event in my homeland of the North East. Grow Your Business Online was created by the BICP and a group of talented colleagues, who I met during my time at the Newcastle Digital Garage with Google. As a group of Digital Marketing professionals, working with a range of SMEs, start-ups and entrepreneurs we understand how difficult it can be for businesses to tackle digital marketing, or find the time to do it right.

grow your business

Simplifying the technical and making online marketing more accessible, and hopefully fun, is what we aim to do day to day. In a condensed form, that’s what we did during this one day event. During the day’s six sessions, we covered marketing strategy, organic search, paid search, content marketing and social media. An outstanding group of digital marketers, I’ve learned so much since meeting this group and it was a pleasure to work with them once again!

me2

My topic covered ‘sharing your content online’ where we discussed using social media, email marketing and collaborating with others to ensure the content you create is noticed and helps you reach your goals and objectives.

There was lots of opportunity for networking on the day, sharing tips and advice, asking questions, making new connections and business opportunities. The success of our event showed that there is an appetite for this kind of digital training. Digital is alive and well in Newcastle and there is a wealth of inspiring start-up talent in the North East.

networking

About my colleagues: On the day Kathy Allen spoke about marketing strategy, Dave Ray about search, Michael Knowles (ROAR Digital Marketing) about PPC and Zoe Hartill about content marketing and writing.