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.


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.


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. 


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. 

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!


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.


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.


If you’ve chatted to me at all over the last six months it’s highly likely I’ll have mentioned the Digital Garage. I first got involved in Google’s digital marketing training programme back in April 2016, with less than a week between applying and attending training, it was a fast and exciting start to what has becoming an ongoing journey.

What is the Digital Garage?

Newcastle Digital Garage

To sum up, the Digital Garage is an online training platform, a pop up mentoring hub and a touring training service, developed by Google in order to get more people (mainly SMEs, start-ups and entrepreneurs) interested and skilled in all things digital. The digital skills gap in the UK exists and Google are one of the organisations offering their knowledge and resources to try and close the gap, empowering business owners and individuals to learn the digital skills they need to be successful online.

lucy mentoring

The online learning platform is free (as is everything offered by the Garage) and is a library of short, bitesize video tutorials across a range of digital topics from starting a website, to search, to email marketing, social media, PPC and more. You can even get a digital marketing certification at the end of it.

The Garage is also a pop up hub, travelling across the UK, with stops so far being Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester, Liverpool and Newcastle. I got involved at the tail end of 5 months in Manchester. The Garage will set up camp in a public space, often a library and stay there for at least three months. A typically Google space, there are throw cushions, seating pods, hanging chairs, toolboxes and various ‘garage’ related paraphernalia – a pretty cool space to be honest.

Digital garage mentoring

A local team of digital experts are trained up to become Google mentors and trainers. Twice a week there will be a range of three digital seminars, free for anyone to attend and learn. Anyone is also free to book in for a 40 minute mentoring session to talk one to one about their business.

On top of this this Digital Garage on Tour programme runs continuously, around the UK offering digital training in the form of seminars as part of existing events.

Our Experience

Once I had a month as a Google mentor under my belt at Manchester, I could’t resist the opportunity to follow the Garage up to my home region of the North East. The Garage’s next spot was Newcastle, perfect for both me and Lucy – so we became the first sisters to work in the Digital Garage together.


Being able to help hundreds of small businesses is a great feeling! Getting an insight into all kinds of industries is really interesting, I’ve spoken to psychic mediums, social enterprises, artists, dog walkers, and bigger companies such as local bus firms, basketball teams and water companies. My skills have grown and my knowledge boosted and updated by being surrounded by some very clever colleagues day to day, and teaching myself the answer to any questions I didn’t know the answer to! Having this experience behind me is a talking point and of interest to new clients, so I can’t deny the fact that it’s helped grow my own business. Being a freelancer can be lonely sometimes so I’ve also enjoyed being part of a team and speaking to new people on a daily basis.

What’s Next?

I continue to be involved with the Digital Garage creating content and working on On Tour events. If you want to know anything more about the project or how it could benefit you or you business please just drop me a message! #DigitalGarage