Just a quickie here.

If you read last week you will know that my blog has moved to my own website:

The next post from this can be found here

Unfortunately I think I confused some people when I explained about subscribing as I got a burst of new subscribers to this wordpress dot com blog.
and this will be the last post on here.


Thanks for reading



2b or not to 2b!

This blog is moving, and this is the last post on this wordpress dot com site

if you have been subscribed to my posts on this site and you want to continue to read my blog then you may need to log onto my new blog and re-subscribe, to make sure you get my auto updates.

Anyone who has done anything about marketing recently will know that we are being told on the benefits of the internet, and social media.
Regular updates and interactions with your audience, snippets of info on what you have been up to and how you are feeling.

Incidentally, over the weekend we have all been feeling lousy taking it in turns with a tummy bug.
Glad to say that we still managed to get on with the planned decorating of Lucas bedroom, in bouts of feeling OK.

And this morning the boys are fine – think about the calpol advert – where one dose and chaos returns – I think the sickness was almost preferable!
I am feeling much better too now – hopefully will get to the supermarket later before we all die of starvation

Anyway social media I really struggle with it. Dipping in and out, with random comments, but it is on my 2b better list.
But the thing I hope I am already achieving on my 2b done list is my blog, that I started last year , which is a better kind of social media for me. A way to tell the whole story.

Apparently, we all love a good story, and anyone who knows me will also know I can talk for England, and often do. Please feel free to cut me off when you are in a rush – I will not be offended.

The b in the tile – b for blog – To use a common cliched reference – To blog or not to blog, that is the question. Do you do it? . . . should you do it?  . . . is there any point?

Well, I first started blogging as a way to connect with my audience, and I do find it enjoyable, once I have a subject.
And I am spurred on by the friends and acquaintances who read it, and enjoy it. And it was easy to set up on the wordpress site, so no issues to getting started.

But then I spoke to my yell (hibu) account handler, Azeem about the SEO benefits. One of his friends has got his website very high in the google rankings, purely by having a blog on it.

Let me explain . . . .
Google loves websites that are current, and always changing with new and relevant information. Every time it scans the internet, and finds the same old sites with the same old information on it leaves them where they are, in its index list.

Well folks will have read all that last month, nothing new to add so no point listing it in the prominent headline position is there?

But wait a minute, here is a site which has new information, that may not have been seen much, move it up the rankings, make it a bit easier for people to find.
And the next week, even more new info, well better move it up some more then, folks won’t have read all this.

So, after having my blog on the wordpress website for almost a year, I am pleased to say that together with my web developer, at DBN web design (probably 90% him and 10% me) my blog is moving to my own website.

I am hoping that google is going 2b my new best friend, and that all you readers will continue to enjoy reading.
Nice and short this week, Maybe I’ll make up for it next time!

Ask your own web developer about adding a blog to your own site – and get google 2b your new friend too!
thanks for reading

if you have been subscribed to my posts on this site and you want to continue to read my blog then you may need to log onto my new blog and re-subscribe. to make sure you get my new updates

With so much going on around us, and seemingly so little time to fit everything in, then we tend to be quick to dismiss things that don’t have real power  . . . .

It has to be something big, or extremely relevant, or intensely shocking perhaps, or a teaser to evoke our curiosity,
but the words have to be just right

That is the challenge of the marketer – What grabs your attention?

Part of my job, as a designer is to help people understand what they need to include in their design. . . .
You can’t make something out of nothing, the ingredients have to be right.

Why did you open the blog this week?
Do you always just like to read anyway? – well Thank you

Maybe you sometimes read – if you have nothing better to do?

Or if the title sounds interesting?

What about todays headline? – did it grab you more than usual?
are you curious about the scandal that gets my approval?

*Well that is exactly it!

. . . . .So  I do my social networking a little half heartedly, to be honest, I am aware that I should be doing more,
but it’s back to that time versus priority thing, but anyway, an emailed Facebook post this week really stopped me in my tracks. . .

This Young Mom Is Giving Up On Her Kids. Sounds Terrible…But I Think She’s Right.
Stephanie is a mom of two kids and recently had enough. She wrote an eye-opening public confession on her blog…
after I saw it, I totally agree with her. She writes:

As a mother myself, it instantly grabbed my attention, because it was, 1. relevant,
but then I clicked on and read it also because it was, 2. shocking . . . 3. excited my curiosity. . ..

The whole blog, is not nearly as dramatic as the headline would have us believe – but I did not discover that until I had read it –
so then its done, the headline has achieved its aim.

And then I even could not resist reading a couple more, the first one being:
This Man Is Dating Someone Even Though He’s Married. Sounds So Wrong…But I’m On His Side. –

Are you desperate to read these too, are you wondering why I have not added the links? (like I usually do)
well be patient – I want you to read this first.

If you are feeling like this, then I hope you will be starting to realise the point which is

In order to get your marketing to work, you need to grab the attention of your potential customers, YOU NEED TO WRITE A FANTASTIC HEADLINE.

A headline that is or contains, at least one of these:

1. Emotive
2. Relevant
3. Exciting and curious
4. Shocking
5. Scandal
5. Price Offer / Saving

If you can go one step further and be very clever (as the dating man article) is above

If you can write the truth in such a way, that our minds will read between the lines and jump to the obvious “shocking” conclusion – then you have truly grabbed attention. . . .

. . . . This is the scandalous part, that we (well some of us*) are tuned in to want to read anything that appears shocking, the newspapers do it all the time, dramatise and exaggerate for effect.

This tactic will not work for everyone –

*My husband for example, just cannot be bothered with gossip mongering tittle tattle, and this stuff just does not work on him.
So you need to know what is going to tear the heart strings, or the wallet, or the curiosity of your target audience to get results.

Of course once you have got the attention, with a great headline
you need to keep it with the rest of the information your marketing / article / flyer provides, and make sure your product and service are up to scratch too.

And wherever possible keep the same headline on all your stuff – when you run a campaign make sure you repeat the headline from your flyer on your web page too . . . . .

. . . . . so people landing on your site recognise it, and know they are in the right place and stay there.

So the second of the couple more articles / blogs I read was:

This Man Is Getting A Divorce In 2014. Sounds So Wrong…But I’m Totally With Him On This.

I did rather like this one, particularly as it relates to a similar subject I talked about in my own blog
of last summer “Great! no internet” – read again here.

And if you do still want to read these blogs . . .

(not so) Bad mother –
(very nice) Cheating husband –
2014 Divorce –

Read what other people write – be constantly aware of what works on you, and ask your friends to be brutally honest and critical
before you commit to a headline on your own marketing – if no-one reads it – its not going to sell anything for you.

PS – Its not easy, and there are no magic answers – A thesaurus and dictionary helps – so give it your best shot.
paying a copywriter could be worth its weight in ROI (return on investment).
thanks for reading

Have you heard the news this week?
to be fair you probably heard much more than I did, as my snippet usually consists of
Radio 2, 6.30am headline bulletin, when I am still half asleep . . .

. . . . then backed up by the repeat 7am bulletin, when I am in the kitchen – but the radio is in
the lounge. (open plan house helps to facilitate a chance at hearing at least some of this)

Then maybe  – if we get the TV on at breakfast time early enough – and the boys don’t moan all over
it – I get the kids version on CBBC Newsround at 8.15.

Anyway, the news – did I not only say 3 weeks ago about the 9 a day fruit and veg thing
– Have you heard that news this morning?   –   eat your heart out BBC, you heard it here first!

More news this week – major milestone moment afoot, with the legalisation of gay marriage. . . .
(this is not a debate on gay marriage, merely a reference to a Legal Milestone)

My first and last opinion on the subject is, just because you have been born
with a genetic makeup that means you are attracted to persons of the same sex, by no fault
of your own, you should still be entitled to have your feelings for another human being
recognised and declared by law.

In previous years when, unmarried mothers, had to cover the shame by having their children
adopted, and OMG couples were “living in sin”  . . . . 

. . . .then anyone who is willing and happy to proclaim their love and devotion to another person
for the long haul, (particularly against so much negativity) deserves the right to do so.
One Life – Let them Live it!

Moving on . . . .
The next Milestone, is a business one, this week the first of our DBN and Wild Ideas
FREE website offer, for all design orders of £50. went live.

The website is for a very nice man, by the name of Miles D Beddows, who I met
when a friend of his contacted me to buy him “business card designs” as a christmas present. . . .

His friend was so impressed by the beautiful guitar and lute playing that he had done
at her daughters wedding, and a few other venues and events,
that she felt he could be making more of his talent and promoting himself properly.

Great idea if you are looking for an unusual gift.

I met with them both, at Miles home, and had a thorough detailed meeting
chatting over what ideas he had for his cards . . .

I listened carefully as he talked about his passion for music,  I made notes of his likes and dislikes,
talked about styles and colours and typefaces, took photographs and mental images of
curtain fabric and decoration. . . .

All these things to build up an understanding of the personality of the client, in order to
translate these things into his business card – which is a printed personality. . .

Various emailed design submissions, tweaks and adjustments
followed by much deliberation and careful decision making, by the client . . .

. . .and the business cards were finally printed in March, and I designed the
FREE website, to follow on with the branding and style.

It is important, that when a prospective client lands on your website, they can instantly recognise
the same branding from whichever piece of marketing literature you have handed them –
then they are 100% certain that they are in the right place.

Establish your brand and stick with it – don’t have a blue logo and flyer and then orange
and yellow on your website – folk may think they have come to the wrong place
– then one click and they are gone!

So Miles got his Stone when his site went live this week, you can read about him and what he does
at – he has achieved a small goal, set his first milestone and progressed
his hobby into the first rung of a business.

The wedding season is getting closer, do you know anyone getting married soon . .

. . . if you are interested in some beautiful classical and elegant acoustic sounds
to accompany you up the aisle, and / or create a perfect ambience to the surroundings
at your reception, then you can’t go far wrong here.

There are a few more sites progressing in the pipeline
but I have a limitless supply of stones available, even if you’re not called Miles,
you can read all about how the design process works on my website, then just give me a call.

thanks for reading
I would imagine, that most people who run their own businesses, do something that they enjoy – I hope this is as true as it seems obvious,
you do end up putting a lot of time and effort in – so you had better enjoy it – you only get one life.

Something that you enjoy, then often starts out as a hobby, and then you end up getting really quite good at it.

I feel fortunate, that I have always been creative, and as a child I loved to draw things. My son Lewis is the same, and when he is not drawing . . . .

He is a master builder (lego movie reference here). Our weekend trip to Legoland, Windsor was a great success. Both boys were amazed particularly by Mini-land, and all the models built (almost) entirely from lego.

My father was creative too, and so is my husband – so its all around me.

My artiness, led me naturally to a career in the arts and design, and was therefore a natural follow on to just swap my employed graphic design career to a self employed design business, after I had my first child.

However, I never really planned to go into business by myself, and ultimately did it with some hesitation and trepidation, only after so many friends and acquaintances kept on asking me why I didn’t “Just go freelance” . . . . .

. . . . you know like it was the easiest thing ever. It may well have been the logical thing to do, but that does not make it “easy”.

But in fact, one stage at a time, with no high expectations, or deadlines, I just plodded on and picked up some work and did a few Free business courses, and set up my business. . . .

Brilliant you might say, and it was an achievement, but, then it petered off and kept on plodding, just like little donkey, up the dusty road, on my own merry little way. . . .

. . . with not much more achievement.
Oct 2007, I originally registered my business with HMRC. . . paid my voluntary NI, so I would qualify (without question or proof of earnings) for Full Maternity benefit, on the birth of my second son, (Sept 09).

The maternity money paid for brand new computer and software – making me legal and independent, as previously my very nice neighbour, In Sawmills Derbys, and owner at Just 30 Ltd, had lent me a computer, (from a sadly departed acquaintance), when he took pity on me using my 2000 model imac that was getting a bit “past it”.

So fast forward to April 2013, 5 and a half years after registering Wild Ideas, and I was, plodding.

Bit of money in, the odd job here and there, and still surviving on my husbands salary. Not making enough to take anything out. . .

There was money in my business account, and indeed, it was all earned money – I had never put one little bit of my own money in at all. I had got a couple of grants and earned the rest – but there was no steady reliable income that allowed for steady reliable salary!

That 5 year thing was a bit of a niggle, people always ask you – “where do you see yourself in 5 years”, and I think I was a bit conscious of that, but what to do? . . . .
My youngest was still not at school . . . .excuse? . . . . – just keep on plodding.

Then came the bolt from the blue, phone call from the FSB (Federation of small businesses) and a visit from Mr Eddie Wright. ( See blog – Mr Right)

This was my defining moment . . . .
When I got off the fence and kick started my business.

I made a decision about what my business was and where I wanted it to be – and chose to start letting people help me
get on and make things happen.

I scoured the internet, read everything I could, listened and learned.
I joined the EC(Entrepreneur circle) on their 2 month trial membership, and did a training day, and read Botty’s Rules book. (you get this FREE).

It also coincided with my cousin Dennis at DBN web design, contacting me, with the idea of collaborative work
Reminder – FREE website offer, for all design orders of £50.

I realised that I needed to put in a bit of investment, spend some of that money on marketing, and improving my website, and getting some flyers, and new business cards, and doing lots of networking, and paying for a bit of PR.

And I have not looked back. – 2013/14 – I quadrupled my turnover from the previous year, and actually paid myself a little bit!

Previous to my defining moment I was like a lot of other people that I come across now – nervous and full of trepidation . . .

” Its just a bit of a hobby, I am not really ready to spend any money yet, I just get bits of work from my friends”

Do you recognise yourself? – That was me too, and you know what –
It is so great that you can turn something you love into something that people will pay you for . . . but

How long are you going to wait for your defining moment?

I am here to help . . . . . If you want to just have a chat, see a friendly face, get a few ideas, talk a few things through . . . .
Maybe ask an embarrassing design / business question, without feeling embarrassed, then please get in touch. . . .

You can download my FREE, how to create a marketing flyer design planner, straight from my homepage,
to get you on the way to that all important step of promoting yourself.

And once you are ready (tick-tock . . . .)

if you want to spend a little and bag yourself a FREE website in the process there is my
FREE website offer, for all design orders of £50.

thanks for reading

Knowledge is power, and technology is running away with itself at an infinite speed. This week the news has been full of robotics, and all I keep seeing in my head is snippets from the iRobot movie.

Hollywood is guilty of great feats of escapism, taking us completely out of ourselves to levels of intense emotion and insane thrills of entertainment . . .

So when the real world comes sneaking in the back door with a suggestion of encroaching on those levels it all becomes a tad unnerving

Am I being a drama queen – maybe . . . . but I am a little uncomfortable with talk of robots doing so many things.

Anyway workwise, after chasing all my leads, and following up on quotations, while I am waiting for people to get back to me I have been making good use of my time . . .

The postcards I designed for the ongoing FREE website offer with DBN web design came this week, and I had a trip round Fradley and Alrewas, distributing them to local businesses, and public places so anyone who may be interested gets to hear about it

Reminder – FREE website offer, for all design orders of £50.

And with websites quite high in my mind, I took the time to listen to an online video recording, that I came across, ( this guy is a marketing guru who has appeared on TV etc etc,

Anyway, I have listened to various people and when you realise that they are all saying pretty much the same things then you start to be convinced, that there is obviously some truth. . .

What is rather nice more recently, that after the past year of listening and implementing things on my website, I do tend to smile a little when I listen and read the advice, because instead of wincing and saying “Oh heck – I have not got that on my website”

I can in fact say, “Yep, I’ve done that”

and when I get telephoned by various marketing sales people, they do more recently actually compliment my site, and agree that its pretty good and ticks a lot of boxes . . .

My yell account Handler, ran my site through their website analysis recently, and it scores 8 out of 10,  . . . .

. . . . and that was it, there was no sales pitch telling me how they could amend and improve it ” for a really good price”.    Well that was a nice surprise.

So back to the Chris Cardell video I watched, which listed some important things about making your marketing successful:

1. The eight second website test – is yours engaging enough to keep people past 8 seconds?
make sure each page has a specific purpose, and is clear.

2. Use Video on your website
(Chris says: “Video is revolutionizing the internet and those who are embracing its power are reaping the rewards.”)

3. Use social media / facebook- interact and update and inform.

4. Build relationships with people – blog and engage and inform.

5. Give People Free Material. – valuable downloads and information.
(Chris says: “Don’t hold back. If the purpose of your business is to add real value to peoples’ lives – start now)

6. Test Pay Per Click Advertising
(Chris says: “Pay per Click propels you to the top of the search engines without spending months on search engine optimization that probably won’t work anyway.”)

7. Email marketing – update and engage and inform –
(Chris says: “One of the reasons that Email Marketing is so powerful is because if you set it up properly, your entire email operation can be automated.”)

So, which one are you?

A “Oh heck – I have not got that on my website” . . . . B   “Yep, I’ve done that”

This is just the tip of the iceberg, and I am not the expert, but if knowledge is power, and my own site scores 8 out of 10, then I am getting somewhere.

If you want to learn a whole lot more, then have a listen to Chris and draw your own conclusions.

When you are self employed then the workloads fluctuate, and after almost a whole year of being busy with client work or plenty of internal updates and changes to my own website and marketing, I finally seemed to have caught up, and last Friday had a quiet day.

I spent some time working on my Mail chimp account, with the plan to produce a regular email newsletter, to showcase my latest work each month.

There are a few potential jobs in the pipeline, one job designed but waiting for the artwork information, and some quotes I am waiting back on, plus 2  free websites to finish, but am currently waiting on clients for feedback.

So, after a good steady flow and a peak of invoicing a couple of weeks ago I find myself in a bit of a trough.

That’s the nature of the beast, I know, I have read it enough times. And although from experience I know that next job is undoubtably just around the corner, you can’t buy carrots and bananas on just around the corner.

Well not if you want to get the best value for money. Just around the corner buying, means using that magic 20th Century plastic card, called credit. Which means that you have to go to the big supermarkets……..

You will all obviously be aware that the whole county is still in a financial trough at the moment too, and I for one have not seen too much evidence of us climbing out of it, despite what you hear on the news.

. . . .  so, here we all are, but still needing our carrots and bananas, so which way to turn. – Which indeed – Which best supermarket of the year 2 years running!

So I have finally jumped on the ALDI bandwagon, particularly after my sister-in-law, who often would mention the lovely treats she enjoyed from Waitrose, spoke to me of being an ADLI convert.

And the other thing that tipped the balance, was the appallingly ridiculous price of my favourite conference pears, in Tesco, which are two-fifths of the price in ALDI! – yes for the same thing!

So I am now on my third week of buying my essential 5 a day from Aldi, (but there is potential for more) before scooting across the car park  to Tesco for the rest.

And what is particularly nice, is the fact that I don’t need to be selective in my choice of vegetables, its not this OR that, now I can have my cake AND eat it. I can have this AND that, AND IT IS STILL CHEAPER!!!

And the bonus. . . .

Niggling previously at the back of my mind was always the fact that actually Five a day was not really the true amount of fruit and veg required to be properly healthy.

I read, on a few occasions, that it was indeed closer to Nine, but guess what, I can now have my nine, because an ALDI nine still costs less than a Tesco Five, and just as good quality as far as I can see too.

So there you have it, a bit of a work trough, but all is not lost, I am now on a healthier peak.

I was also particularly aware on Sunday morning that Aldi was extremely busy, and the car park noticeably fuller week on week. . . .

. . . . while Tesco was alarmingly quiet, while I did notice they had suddenly reduced the price of their milk to a “going down and staying down” price.

Too little too late may be the case for a lot of people I am afraid. . . .

Incidentally, as my workload is slower at the moment, then it’s a great time if you need something in a hurry. . .

AND being the unique and helpful person I am, I can offer you the option of paying just around the corner, with monthly interest free credit.

Can’t say fairer than that . . . .

Reminder – FREE website offer, for all design orders of £50.