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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.

IF YOU WANT TO KEEP READING MY BLOG POSTS YOU NEED TO CLICK HERE AND SUBSCRIBE
TO THE BLOG ON MY OWN WEBSITE

Thanks for reading

x

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.

http://www.lindawildideas.co.uk/blog

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. http://www.lindawildideas.co.uk/blog

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

http://www.lindawildideas.co.uk/blog

http://www.lindawildideas.co.uk

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 www.mdbclassicguitar.co.uk – 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

http://www.lindawildideas.co.uk

http://www.lindawildideas.co.uk
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

http://www.lindawildideas.co.uk

http://www.lindawildideas.co.uk

Last month I also joined Nigel Botterills Entrepreneur Circle. (EC)

Nigel is a Solihull guy with 8 separate million pound businesses who runs his EC to help other business owners get to where he is.

Out of all the advice I read and watched on the internet, he was for me the most likeable and the fact that they were offering 2 months membership for just £20 was a no brainer really. While regular monthly membership fees of £80 will not be sustainable so I am never planning to continue, I have already learned loads of stuff and the welcome pack contains free stuff well above even the standard fee.

Anyway so this weeks day out was a trip to Botty Towers (EC HQ) in Solihull for a new members marketing training day.

When I found out about it my heart skipped a beat – I could go, couldn’t I, its half term no picking the kids up from school………. but then who would look after them……….Its a Tuesday my mum often comes over……….but its a long day……..Derek could book the day off work………Oops but its a holiday week probably too short notice………. Oh what to do who to ask.

Derek asked at work but to no avail, too many other staff already off. So in desperation I asked my mum for a really big favour if the boys could come to her for the day ………….. And she said yes.

Fantastic.

So all booked, and paid for (a £99 commitment fee – refunded if you attend – so free really) I settled back into my week..

Designing the logo for local heating engineer John Garde – almost done so I will upload it on Facebook and Pinterest when finalised.

Tweaking my own website, with little improvements – if you keep checking you could play your own game of spot the differences as they unfold over the coming months.

Then we had a fantastic holiday weekend with the weather, and hubby painting the shed and me and the boys playing in the garden. (thats me and the boys playing, NOT hubby painting the shed and me)….  then the big day out arrived.

With military precision, if not speed, I prepared the day before.
Google mapping my journey and street viewing the important bits (See my last blog on the lack of Sat Nav).

Packing clothing bags for the boys who were to be out of bed and in the car in PJ’s for a full day and 3 square meals at Grandmas in Nottingham.

So bright and early Tuesday morning my eldest son is up at 6.30 after insisting on an alarm clock, he jumps straight out of bed and starts getting dressed – completely forgetting the PJ travel plan, and getting in my way!

Funny how he never does this on a school day when he is still in bed at 8am.
So back in his PJ’s, car packed and little brother beside him we set off from Fradley.

7am depart in the rain
7.45 arrive grandmas in Nottingham in the rain
8am depart, Nottingham child free, in the rain

Drive down the M1, in more horrendous rain, miss junction 23a onto the A42 – curse and swear unmentionables and reflect on the advantages of Sat nav.
Exit at junction 22 with half an idea to go back and try again but spot a sign for M42 via A512 Ashby and breath a sigh of relief and carry on.
With extra careful driving concentration, in the heavy rain, I finally arrived in plenty of time and settled down at Botty Towers for my day of learning.

Needless to say it was a grand day out – if a little tiring by the end – I have 10 pages of notes, a to do list and the satisfaction that I had already started to implement a few of the marketing strategies recommended for all round business improvement.

the journey home – in the ever persistent rain was quicker than on the way, and my fantastic mum had dinner ready when I arrived a 6pm to collect the boys.

then my brilliant hubby also had dinner ready when we arrived home at 7.45pm.

2 dinners prepared for me in one day – now thats something you don’t get much of.

I could go on, but my original promise not to waffle seems to have come close to being broken.

http://www.lindawildideas.co.uk

http://www.lindawildideas.co.uk

Last month I joined the Federation of Small businesses, after a meeting with the very nice, but very “call a spade a spade” Mr Eddie Wright.

Who after I spoke to him at my house I felt that indeed he was Mr. Right.

Right in the fact that I was not working hard enough at getting my business to the next step.
Right in the fact that I was sitting on the fence and waiting for the work to come to me.
Right in his deduction that unless I went go getting then I would still be a mum with a hobby business in another 5 years.

Last week, Thursday evening to be precise I went to my first FSB event which was Networking Skills at The National Brewery Centre Burton- on -Trent. http://www.nationalbrewerycentre.co.uk/

Now for all of you other mums who really don’t go out much, you will know that:
1. This requires a bit of negotiating with dad who is not all that good at putting the kids to bed by himself.
(I do normally have a Tesco food delivery on a Thursday evening, but dad said he really could not handle opening the door to a delivery driver, accepting the weekly shop AND handling 2 boys – so I had to sacrifice my Thursday morning to actually venture into Tesco myself)
2. As you really really don’t go out much then this is a rare treat to be enjoyed as you can actually be yourself – (which depending on how old your kids are and how often you go out, may take a bit of remembering)
3. Deciding what to wear can become a bit of a trauma, when you normally do jeans and a hoodie for the school run. I decided to be fairly casual but wear my favourite semi smart red cardigan that is bright enough to get me noticed and hopefully remembered (for the fight reasons) in a room full of people.

So off I went, a little apprehensive – but I had phoned the national brewery centre first, to get the low down on the parking situation, and got my google map printed out (don’t do sat nav, too many horror stories, never been able to justify the expense) – but excited and looking forward to meeting some new business contacts.

Everyone was friendly, and I spoke to a nice lady Diane Pagett whom I sat next to at a table at the back and to my right was the very friendly Kathryn Adams of Cardz4u whom I chatted to at great length towards the end of the evening.

The speaker was Christine Thomas, networker extraordinaire, who was there to speak about the hows and whys of networking successfully for your business. AND she asked us to look at and analise each others business cards, so we could think about whether they were doing us an injustice and we needed to get them re-designed.

Well, as the only graphic designer in the room, this was like a gift, and Diane even commented on it.
So it was a great evening with lots of tips and learning, and some nice food, to boot. (and did I mention the whole thing was free to FSB members – so the best kind of going out when you have not had to spend any money either. Win Win all round really.

Then finally at the end, whilst chatting to Diane and Kay, I was interupted by Richrd and Paul from Pryanet with a direct offer of possibly becoming their new graphic design freelancer for all the websites they code up. Another gift horse.(apparently they just can’t get reliable designers who don’t let them down)

My week seems to be going from good to great. I had an initial meeting with Paul yesterday and we are doing a follow up next week………….watch this space.

http://www.lindawildideas.co.uk

http://www.lindawildideas.co.uk

Well I hardly know where to start. Wild Ideas is back with a bang this week.

Sunday was the mother-in-laws 75th birthday meal at Littleover Lodge, and true to form my hubby decided that last minute shopping on Saturday was fine for a birthday present, (especially as we only had a couple of hours to get back for my 3 year old to get to a party at Wacky Warehouse and then get all the way to Wolverhampton by 4 to pick up the 7 year old from a beaver sleepover camp)

So there we are in Lichfield with the drizzle and we walk past the guildhall. There’s a craft fair on and it looks inviting – at least its inside and dry, and should be good for a pressie.

Upstairs we went, and chatty old me got chatting and immediately spotted the opportunity for some impromptu networking with some stall holders.

Got a super free goody bag and beauty advice from Kate Mcgeary skincare at https://uk.nyrorganic.com/shop/katemcgeary.

Got a great necklace for my lovely mother-in-law from Tina Kelsall – designs by tina who unfortunately does not have any website info on her card.

The necklace buying took a bit of time trying to choose and my 3 year old spiderman got very bored. “Come ON mummy” is the general phrase in a very authoritative tone accompanied by hanging on my let and pulling hard enough to almost tackle me to the ground.

Fortunately there was a nice tea and cake stall and dad saved the day with a chocolate cornflake cake.

With a promise to be quick with my hellos to some other stall holders, dad and spidey waited – but in the end they left me – and I was still there 30 mins later when they returned.

I successfully networked with Gina’s Jewellery – no website to tell you

and Marion Wignall with her great scarves at http://www.facebook.com/Accentuations2011

Then there was Cari Brewer and her Butterfly bracelets at http://www.facebook.com/butterflybracelets2012.

then last but by no means least Vicki Suzuki with her jewellery and her lovely angels and fairies – these are really pretty. http://folksy.com/shops/urchin

Finally I had to let spidey and dad drag me away – so we did not miss the wacky party http://www.wackywarehouse.co.uk/locations/all/15/ which went very well. After all with soft play with your fiends fish fingers and a silly man making you laugh what more does a 3 year old need.

And this was all at the beginning of the week…….

there no room for more now, and I did promise not to waffle

so I will have to tell you about the rest of my week next time….
…….. my evening at my first FSB event……my discount trial membership of
entrepreneurscircle.co.uk and what I have already learned from @nigelbotterill

but if you follow me on twitter @lindawildideas of keep up with me on facebook
http://www.facebook.com/lindawildideas then there are a few snippets.