So that’s what Marketing is!

So yes, I haven’t posted for a few weeks and that’s because I lost my mojo with this whole blogging malarkey and to be frank I needed to have a bit of a rethink about what this was all for and the whole darn point of it really.

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I thought I’d talk about something I learnt this week that has been really helpful for my small business.

This week I went to a business networking meeting called The Oxfordshire Project.They have fantastic speakers as well as being a great business community.I had seen that there was a speaker talking about Marketing and it was like a gift from the business gods.

“I’m going “,I told myself.Marketing has been a growing, confusing concern with me recently as I go from being totally clueless to being a bit less clueless and aware of what I don’t think is working for me in my business.

My problem is that my brain is like a magpie and as I meander (mindlessly scroll) through my various social media platforms, I see lots of people and brands that I admire and think “ooh- that’s cool- maybe my stuff should look this way or that way” .What happens next is I get very confused as does my social media and then unfortunately so does my message and no-one has a clue of what it is I do,who I am or what I am about.

So off I went to listen  and it was like 10 million lightbulbs going off in my head.I got to hear, what marketing is and what it isn’t and  most importantly was shown some basic tools to get thinking on forming a realistic  strategy.

The advice, don’t spend money on anything until you have a strategy, put down those social media tools until you have an actual plan about who you are talking to, don’t try and speak to everyone, all sounded like common sense but goodness that common sense had totally passed me by the last few months as I half heartedly tried to work out ” leaflets” without really understanding what I was doing.

So like any decent bit of learning it helped clarify where I had been going wrong, cleared up some of my messy confusion and gave me a way to move forward.

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This week I will mostly be working on a marketing strategy with this new insight and reminding myself that being a bit humble and able to recognise where my weaknesses are in this whole thing will hopefully be one of the keys to my success.

Have you found any aspects of your small business difficult to master? Do you have any free genius marketing advice to give me? I’d love to hear about it in the comments..

 

 

Can you get your imagination insured?

This week I have been stoking up my positivity engines. Building my resilience and ability to be positive has become a really important part of my journey this year. There is a lot of “being a learner “that I have had to embrace which can come along with things not always going exactly how I have planned. Building my resilience and staying positive about my ability to navigate issues and the future of my small business has a big impact on my ability to stay focused and motivated.

Sometimes “being positive” is easier said than done, but  much like exercise,consistently worth the effort.My work is dependant on my imagination and creativity, so looking after this element of myself is as important as, taking care of my back or eating the right things.If my creativity dries up and my imagination goes on holiday, no more creative small business.It’s that simple.

 

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When my creative engines are in full flow, it is because my head is not full of barriers and in that moment, I really believe that anything is possible. This is when I try to make my plans, articulate my goals and create new designs.

I wonder if you could have your imagination valued and insured? That would be hilarious.

I wonder if an elephant could fly?I wonder who would win in a race between a banana with AI or a tortoise,I have no idea ,imagine the answer,if you wanna.

Amy xx

All that glitters is covered in glitter.

One of the driving forces behind my business is my love of sharing creative fun with the world and a belief that playing and enjoying things like paint,glitter and pens is so beneficial.My feeling is that anything I can do to encourage people to experiment and enjoy the process as opposed to worrying about drawing a masterpiece is time well spent.

So I came across this cool quote by Albert Einstein about creativity,there are in fact many take a look on the inter web information cloud if you wanna, but here is the one that resonated today…

 

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In that vein, I would like to invite you all to make something out of a wooden spoon this weekend.Me and my sister made talking sticks ,(great gift for a new couple or chatterbox family) and we also made magic wands (great for creative play with kids and office silliness).

We bought wooden spoons from hobby craft,which were mega cheap and we decorated them with all those weird leftover craft bits that are hard to use and make into anything oh and felt tip pens and of course lots of glitter glue which makes everything look awesome.

Method: use your imagination and stick stuff on if in doubt,roll in glitter.

 

When was the last time you made something for no reason,what other ways do you use to express your creativity,how many times has your dog woofed at people passing the window today (mine has woofed 5 times so far), do you have a goldfish,what number am i thinking of?

Tell me in the comments if you wanna.

Lots of  Love

 

Amy xx

Unplug,smile and relax,the internet is not going anywhere.

 

So here I am committing the cardinal sin of blogging and missing a week, but hey better late than never.

I had a short few days off and unplugged and down in deepest darkest Cornwall and it was fabulous. Foggy but fabulous and very much needed.I didn’t realise how much of my brain is taken up on a daily basis with my business ginger rainbow, developing it and trying to grow it into something awesome.My brain was tired and it was good to just “be” ,relax and enjoy some fun with my husband.

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I finally got around to doing some “proper”reading,which was AMAZING as the only reading I have been doing recently has been on social media,it was great to curl up with a book and lose myself for a few hours.Bliss.Interesting though how it took some time to get into it again.I’m so used to scrolling through a screen that “reading properly” initially felt like when you go back to the gym after a really long break!The lovely feeling of leaving my social media and emails alone for a few days was also wonderful,I highly recommend it.I won’t bore you with the details, but in short,it was great.

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This week it was back into work with a bang. I had a face painting job on Saturday, ran a couple of art and craft sessions for kids in the week and made a start on a wedding invite commission, my very first one which is super exciting!

My big news however is that finally everything came together and I have been able to launch “Pillowcases with Love”.A greetings card with a difference it is designed with military families in mind.In short, kids and parent at home, colour in the pillowcase, write messages,draw pictures etc.Seal the colour on with an iron,wash dry and then send out in the next parcel out. The recipient gets some love from home and a nice bedding item to use in their sleeping area.I am hoping that they will bring some smiles to faces ,both in the making and the receiving!

I also figured out how to add all my links to my blog……better late than never..

What have you finally got around to doing recently,do you find too much social media makes it hard to concentrate on proper reading,I have 15 tomatoes how many do you have,when was the last time you hugged a tree? Let me know in the comments if you wanna..

 

Amy xx

 

 

Good advice and a nice quote.

My dad gave me some great advice years ago when I asked him how he had gone about learning to make acoustic guitars,in the garage (man cave).I couldn’t get my head around how he had mastered such a complex craft in what felt to be a relatively short amount of time. He had always been good at DIY but this was quite different from “making  a nice set of shelves”.

I paraphrase him here, but it was along these lines…”I just went to the Library and got a book.The thing is kid, people love to mystify things and make them sound more complicated than they really are.I just like to go and find out and have a go and see what happens”.

The point being, don’t get put off by things that may on the outside seem “too hard or complicated”,similarly anyone who “mystifies” the process of something you are potentially interested in trying out.

Go and find out for yourself,make your own opinion,don’t be scared to get amongst it.

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I have been reminded of these sensible words again and again over the last few months.If I haven’t known, I have found out .The key thing being, just because I don’t know how right now, that doesn’t mean I won’t know how forever. Tax returns,Networking,Social Media,approaching potential customers,costs,you name it,i’m finding out and going for it and finding the people with the information I need.

I have had so many positive experiences where people have shared their knowledge with me, offered encouragement or pointed me in the right direction.

I think the process is making me braver and helping me see myself in a different more positive light in all kinds of areas of my life,not just work.It has also reminded me of how generous people can be , which can easily be forgotten with what is happening in the world at the moment.

“Happiness is not something ready made.It comes from your own actions”.

-Dalai Lama.(XIV)

 

What actions are you taking to be happier in your life? What’s the best advice you ever had? Do you listen to advice? do you know what number I am thinking of, right now?

Let me know in the comments, if you wanna.

Amy xx

 

 

A Luxury period?

So this is not one of the things I would normally post about but I genuinely think it’s a very cool company, so I thought I’d spread the word.Wouldn’t want anyone to miss out!!

I know this is old news and all but I remember when I heard that women’s sanitary products were classed as a  “Non essential luxury product’ or words to that effect. I wondered if I had been doing my periods wrong, were other people buying a brand of tampon that came with free bottles of perfume in the box and not telling me?

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Periods, a luxury? As if!!

I was incensed and outraged for a while and then wound my neck in and kept on buying my monthly ” luxury “tampons whilst wearing my “luxury” diamond encrusted giant pants.

A few months later I came across this article online from The Independent

 

In a nutshell it talked about condoms being given out free of charge in Homeless shelters but sanitary pads not being freely available due to cost etc.Again I was initially pretty shocked,mostly because  the challenges of being homeless and having your period had not even crossed my mind.However, as before I scrolled on  to the next thing and this worthy issue was replaced by about a million others.

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Bear with me I am getting to the point,I promise..

Skip forward about a year to last month  and I am scrolling through the Twittersphere when I come across this company called “Sanitary Owl”.

It’s a box scheme where you pick your different sanitary products in the amount that you want, mix and match for £3.99 a month.They post it to you for free, you can cancel at any time and you choose the date it gets to you. You can also add extras such as chocolate and ibuprofen,heat pads etc.The box is nice and discreet and designed to fit or’fly through”a standard letterbox.

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It gets better, if you refer a friend they get their first box for 99p and you get your next one for free (does not include extras).

The website is amazing and also has lots of friendly women’s health type advice and special friendly boxes for teenage girls who are starting their period.But even better than that they  are then able to provide free sanitary pads to vulnerable women in homeless shelters in the UK because of your support.

In summary I feel that if I must pay VAT on my non essential luxury item,then I may as well buy some convenience and a bit of helping others thrown in for good measure!

I was delighted with my “Owl”and it’s a pleasure to buy from a company who actually  care about their customer and do their bit in helping out other ladies having a challenging time.Check them out!!

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Amy xx