Many people think that getting publicity is difficult. That it takes a lot of time and effort and planning and writing press releases and calling journalists….
But it doesn’t have to be. You simply need to know where to look and how to respond to opportunities that arise.
Take this example I had recently.
A freelance journalist was writing an article for the Telegraph Small Business section about business values. She put out a request on Twitter using the hashtag #journorequest, saying that she needed to interview people on the subject.
So here’s what I could have done:
Here’s what I did:
Subject line: Business Values (so she would know which feature I was emailing her about)
Let's look at that a little closer:
She replied and said:
This is brill, thank you Melissa. Am hoping to include.
A few days later she sent me the text she would be including in her article, so that I could fact check it. I did. I also said this in my reply to her:
One more thing – not sure if you need an image for this piece, but I've attached two. Both were taken at my Campfire Retreat where I helped small businesses get clear on their business values while demonstrating my own values of freedom and adventure via the setting.
By offering a picture, I was potentially making her life easier. And if it was used, it would give me a bigger focus within the piece. Publications often need images to bring stories to life, so by offering one it can save the journalist and picture editor time.
A week or so later, the article appeared. You can read it here.
What's great about it?
You can get in the press very easily if you know where to find the opportunities and how to respond to them. Hopefully this post will have given you some pointers (like looking at #journorequest on Twitter for a start), but if you want more tips, I have a 75 minute online PR masterclass you can buy immediately and watch in your own time. It will tell you where you can find press opportunities (not just on Twitter), how to respond to them, what kind of stories the press want, how to create news, how to work with the press – and a whole bunch more including plenty more real life examples to learn from.
It is a content packed 75 minutes that you can put into practice immediately. And it only costs £49. Get it here. Then let me know how you get on!
Incidentally, if you want help figuring out your brand values as per the article mentioned, check out my Clarity package.
I can't wait to see you in the press.
I am often told by small businesses owners that they don't think they're big enough to get in the press. Or they're just starting up. Or they don't have clients yet. So why would a journalist want to talk to them?
Well in the last two months I've been featured in two national glossy magazines and been on BBC Radio twice. And all of that publicity happened without me having a business or single client (it was publicity about my walking group, not my normal Campfire business). But it didn't matter that my walking group was just an idea without a real plan or single client or any revenue. What I had was a story. I knew how to tell it. And I knew where to look for the press opportunities.
I want to show you how you can do this too. I have compressed what I know into a content-rich two hour online PR masterclass. This is not going to be a webinar where I spend most of it trying to sell you something, with a paltry 15 minutes of content thrown in.
This is going to be a SALES FREE online training masterclass.
It is going to cover:
It will be taking place on Thursday 30 March 2017 from 1pm - 3pm. If you can't make that time, don't worry, it will be recorded and emailed to you afterwards. But by being on the call, you will be able to ask any specific PR questions you have relevant to your business.
Because this is not a sales webinar and is a live training masterclass, there is a cost associated with it. But I've kept it super low. It is just £49. All you need to do is get one piece of press coverage and you will recover that amount about ten times over (probably more!).
I hope you can join me.
BOOK YOUR SPOT HERE.
Please do share the link with anyone else you think would benefit from learning how to get in the press.
I have just returned from climbing - and summiting - Mount Kilimanjaro, the world's highest freestanding mountain. I am not a mega fit, courageous adventurer. I'm a 40-something woman who enjoys walking, who should probably lose a stone and who far prefers a comfy bed and glass of wine to a tent and peeing in a bottle. But a friend asked me to climb it with her for charity and I said yes.
That was the sum total of my qualifications. I simply said yes. I didn't think about how I would do it or whether I could do it or how difficult would be. And that is the first learning you can apply to business:
Say yes first. Figure it out later. Don't overthink it. Don't read the fine print because it will scare you off. Just say yes.
But there are many other learnings that came out of my experience of climbing a mountain that are exactly like running a business:
Put the effort in before you start
Walking for miles in the cold while lugging a backpack, hitting the gym and spending hours researching what kit you need isn't a huge amount of fun. In fact, it's hard work. But the more effort you put into your training and preparation before you start, the easier the actual climb is. The same is true for business. If you are trying to launch something, the more effort and research you put in before you launch, the more successful you're likely to be. Don't confuse this with researching and training before saying yes. Say yes, then research and train!
Have a hard deadline to focus your mind
If I had decided to climb Kilimanjaro at some point, I wouldn't have had any pressure on me to really ramp up my fitness or get my gear together. I had a hard date I had to be ready for. Same goes for your business. Unless you set yourself a specific date you want to get something done by, you will let the deadline drift and you'll never get it done. Particularly if it's a difficult thing you have to do.
Get expert help
I paid for a personal trainer, a specialist boot fitter and spoke to numerous people who had climbed the mountain first to ensure I was prepared. I could have done it without their help, but perhaps I wouldn't have made it to the summit or perhaps I would have hated every minute of the experience, instead of enjoying it - like I did. In your business, you can probably do things for yourself without paying for an expert, but getting some guidance and expertise can make all the difference to your success and enjoyment.
A positive mindset will overcome any challenge
I was told that climbing Kilimanjaro is a physical challenge, but really it's the mental side of it that will affect you most. I was determined to maintain a positive mindset. That meant I refused to worry about what ifs. I didn't dwell on the tough bits. I stopped myself from complaining as much as possible. I tried to help others. I visualised being at the summit. I never doubted that I'd get there. I didn't compare myself to others climbing. I just remained focused and positive. Funnily, it was easier for me to do this climbing a mountain than it is running my business, where I am regularly knocked back by comparison-itis or self-doubt. I will be taking that focus and positive mental attitude from the mountain and will apply it to my business. You can too.
Being fastest doesn't always equal success. Slow and steady perseverance has a higher success rate.
On the mountain, you are told to go 'pole pole', which is Swahili for slowly slowly. People who charge ahead up the mountain are often the ones who don't reach the summit as they haven't given themselves a chance to acclimatise. In business, we see the small business superstars who seem to have overnight success and multi-million pound businesses in less than a year. It makes us feel like we should be going faster to be successful. But going pole pole can give you more sustained growth at a pace that you can manage. Perseverance really does have a higher success rate than those who strike out fast and collapse.
Just keep putting one foot in front of the other and you will get there eventually
On summit night, you walk for 9 hours in the dark before you finally reach Uhuru Peak. There are many times during those nine hours in sub zero temperatures and little oxygen where you might want to turn back. But you simply have to keep putting one foot in front of the other, and you eventually get there. A business is exactly like that. There are times when it all just feels to difficult, you want to give up or stop and cry. Just keep going. The steps don't have to be big or fast. They just need to keep you going forward and eventually you will reach the top.
Enjoy the journey - even the tough bits and take time to appreciate the view
I am a firm believer that every journey - no matter how uncomfortable - is worth taking because you see so much and learn so much. You will find pockets of elation and utter beauty right alongside your darkest moments. The important thing is to look up and around you, appreciate the view from where you are right now and embrace all you see. It's very easy when you run a business to get bogged down in how tough it is or the busy-ness of it all, that we forget to enjoy it. Stop, breathe, look around, appreciate where you are and the journey you're on - and then keep going.
Just because a challenge seems daunting doesn't mean you shouldn't do it. You may just surprise yourself at your resilience, tenacity and ability to succeed
I wasn't looking to climb a mountain. The opportunity presented itself to me. I could have said no because it seemed too much of a scary challenge. But I said yes. And I now I can say that I've stood on the roof of Africa. If an opportunity comes your way, remember to say yes. You can figure it out later. You may just surprise yourself at how capable you really are.
---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ----
If I can help you get clarity in where you want to take your business or what your brand story should be, write your copy for you, coach you in how to communicate your story to your ideal clients or help you connect with other like minded small business owners at my Campfire Retreat, please get in touch.
Now go climb that mountain!
Remember when you first got that idea for your business? It felt so exciting. The possibilities were endless. You had butterflies. It's all you could think about. It even kept you awake at night. In fact it felt very similar to the start of a new romantic relationship where you are almost giddy with the excitement of it all.
But over time, that initial passion can ease off as the reality of running your business starts to hit home, much the same way the realities of a relationship start to crop up. In a relationship, it's the way your partner chews their food, leaves their dirty coffee mugs lying around and always forgets to put the toilet seat down that takes the shine off that first flush of love. Running a business is no different. The dull admin, the clients who are no longer inspiring you, the relentless marketing that never seems to generate results.....slowly that passion you had for it can get ground down.
Much like relationships, as business owners we change. We outgrow what we were originally offering or there is a shift in who we want to work with. But often we don't recognise it. We just don't feel right. Things aren't aligned. You can soldier on feeling unfulfilled, break up with your business or you can work on it to fix it.
That's where I want to help. I offer a clarity service where we talk through where your business is now and where you want to take it. It could be the type of clients you want to work with or the services you're offering. Perhaps your web copy and images just don't reflect who you are any more. You could be casting around for a purpose or vision, something to make you feel that passion again that you used to have. Whatever your issue is, we get super clear in a one off clarity session. And if you need fresh words and images for your site, I do that for you too.
As a special Valentine's Day gift to you, I am offering 20% off my Clarity, Copy and Copy & Canvas packages if you book them before 16 February 2017. All you need to do to book is email me and tell me which package you want. We will schedule a session (to take place during March) and I will ask you to complete my Campfire Clarity Workbook to get your creative juices flowing. Payment will only be taken in March. If you go on to book a second package within March, you will get the 20% discount for that too.
So stop feeling as though your business is a relationship you want to get out of. Reignite the passion and those first flickers of excitement you felt. Let me help you create a business that makes you leap out of bed in the morning. You will be so glad you did. Here's what some previous clients I've helped have said:
I contacted Melissa about creating the copy for my website, little did I know that my experience with her would not only completely change my mindset about what my website “should” be like but she was able to also clearly articulate my unique service offering. With one conversation, she created copy and set the tone for my brand in a way that represented me a way that I never could have gotten to by myself. When she delivered her first draft, I literally sat in my car with tears of joy – she was able to articulate my value in a way that I’ve never been able to do in as succinct a manner." Carolyn Delayney
O M G!!! I've just had an initial read through while I'm sitting at the hairdresser and it is looking and sounding AMAZING! You are so talented - taken my garbled messages and woven your magic to make them sound wonderful. I almost cried when I was reading through it - it is really reflecting what my business and I are about. Thank you. " Catherine Bowyer
Had a great 1st coaching session with Melissa. It was a real eye opener! In fact just after changing a little bit of my wording around I got a new email subscriber that very afternoon! Super excited to continue working with Melissa and I definitely would recommend her to any small business owner." Brittany Hagler
Cutting through the ambiguity and finding the clarity" This is who you are. You were sitting in that lounge speaking to the women there and one after the other you were cutting through the gunk and showing them what they were doing, what they stood for, what their business is. It was like you were unveiling their confusion and offering them the gift of clarity." Misbah Khan
You are just so good at what you do, I really don't think I have come across anyone so dynamic. The way that you can translate every different type of business that you come across, and you just "get them" is really inspiring. It puts a fire in my belly.'" Ruth Harris
I feel inspired and encouraged. I also feel as if the whole business idea has expanded in one phone call."
Melissa has been incredible. She got me and what my business was about right from the start and understood what I was trying to achieve, which was empowering and refreshing! She helped my vision come alive.'' Kirsten Davis
When I started Campfire Communications, I didn't have a big plan or vision for what I wanted it to be. I didn't really know what it stood for. I knew that I wanted to help small business owners tell their stories better. I knew I was good at doing this. And I knew that campfires where a good place to tell stories. So I combined all of that, wrote some web copy, came up with some service packages and started marketing it.
Over time, it's changed and evolved, and I've spent more time thinking about what my business really stands for. And that question is bigger than just 'what problem am I solving'. It's: what do I believe in? What is important to me? What are my values?
And for me it comes down to freedom. I do what I do because I like the freedom to work the way I want to work. And I want to help other people have the same freedom. That could be freedom from a stifling job, a mean boss, financial hardship, having to stay in a crappy relationship because you can't afford to leave, to having the freedom to watch your kids grow up or spend time doing things you love. I realised that I want to help people create businesses that give them the freedom to do all of these things. And while I can't do it all for them, by helping them find, craft and share their stories, I am helping to set them on the path to freedom and living a life they love.
So what does my business stand for? Freedom. How do I demonstrate that? By the very way I work, what I wear, where I work, how I am flexible with clients, the results I get for them and how I'll go out of my way to help them and others even if they're not paying clients.
Here's a far bigger example of a company that doesn't just say what it stands for, it has evolved and is living it. And frankly, I applaud it.
Back in 2014, Airbnb went through a rebrand after having a rethink about what it really stood for. Here's how they described it:
In 2007, Joe and I opened our home up to the first Airbnb guests. They booked a place to stay, but they ended up with something more than just an airbed at a slightly messy apartment. They learned our favorite places to grab coffee, ate the best tacos in the city, and had friends to hang out with whenever they wanted. They were thousands of miles from where they lived, and yet they felt right at home. What started as a way for a few friends to pay the rent has now transformed into something bigger and more meaningful than we ever imagined. And what we realized is that the Airbnb community has outgrown the original Airbnb brand. So Joe, Nate, and I did some soul-searching over the last year. We asked ourselves, “What is our mission? What is the big idea that truly defines Airbnb?” It turns out the answer was right in front of us. For so long, people thought Airbnb was about renting houses. But really, we’re about home. You see, a house is just a space, but a home is where you belong. And what makes this global community so special is that for the very first time, you can belong anywhere. That is the idea at the core of our company: belonging.
They introduced a new logo, which they called the Belo, with the intention that it becomes a recognised symbol that represents belonging. The video below explains it.
Three years on, Airbnb has grown massively. It has had to balance this growth while maintaining its purpose-driven ethos and sense of belonging. Everything it puts out reflects its mission, its values and what it stands for. Its most recent Super Bowl ad is another example of how it is tapping into current issues facing the world and wrapping its story into it.
When you land on Airbnb's home page, this is what you see first thing:
Their mission right up front, not tucked away on an About Us page. They could have said: We let out rooms around the world. Instead it is leading with its mission statement. By having a clear vision, Airbnb has a consistent message and story. And this has led to its phenomenal growth.
So my question to you is: What does your business stand for? What is your mission? How is it reflected in your web copy, your marketing and your actions?
As a small business, you may not have the budget to create clever logos or worldwide brand relaunches like Airbnb did. But you can run a purpose-driven business, where your values and beliefs stand front and centre in all you do. People talk about 'authenticity' a great deal. But something is only authentic when you really and truly believe it yourself.
What do you believe in and how are you letting your customers know that? Feel free to share it in the comments below.
If you want help getting clarity on what your vision, mission, values, beliefs and direction your business should have, get my free Campfire Clarity workbook, or book a Clarity Session with me.
Many years ago, I worked in tech PR. My job was to get the press to write about subjects like routers, ERP systems and storage area networks. It was gripping stuff. I understood none of it. But I had to be able to translate the tech complexity and put it into words that a journalist or reader would understand. I used to sit with the tech client and ask them to explain it to me in a way that a four year old could understand. I didn't tell them that, actually, I didn't understand and I was the four year old in question...
But I didn't just used to ask how the technology worked, I'd ask why anyone should care. What problem was it solving? Who would use the tech? How would it make their life easier? What business impact did this tech have? I would ask questions until I was sure that I had at least a semi decent understanding as to what it was about. And then I would write. I would use the simplest language I could find so that I understood it. I would ask myself, 'Does the reader really need to know that widget x plugs into widget y?' If it didn't add to the reader's comprehension, I'd leave it out.
Turns out that my tech ignorance gave me the best grounding in writing for an audience anyone could hope for. I learned the acronym KISS - Keep It Simple Stupid.
I regularly have clients come to me asking for help with their web copy. Regardless of the client or what sector they are in, their copy almost always has the same problem: it's too darn long. There are a number of reasons for this:
What they end up with is reams of repetitive text that still manages to say nothing to convince a client to buy. Their mistake? They aren't keeping it simple.
Here's how I fix the problem - and how you can fix your own web copy by following the same approach. I should warn you that although the end result is simple to understand copy, the process itself takes a bit of work. But if you put the effort in, you will end up with simple, easy to read and effective copy. As someone once said, 'If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter.'
Step 1 - Get clarity of vision and general business purpose
I have a clarity session with my clients first in which I get a really clear understanding of what this business of theirs is all about. Often, this clarity session helps them get clear on this too! What they thought they wanted the business to be can end up being something entirely different by the end of the session.
Step 2 - Get into the head of your ideal clients
I ask questions. Lots of them. The same way I used to ask my tech clients about their complex products, I ask my clients all about their clients. You need to ask yourself the same questions.
Step 3 - Get clear about your offerings
It may seem obvious that you know what you do. But many of my clients get stuck when it comes to putting that down in words or structured into packages. Clients want it to be simple and clear how you can help them, so make it easy for them to understand in a logical step by step way.
Step 4 - Get your own story clear
An About page is where people turn to learn more about you the person or the back story to the company. This is where you can really inject your personality if you're a solopreneur, but be sure to back up the passion with your professional credentials and information.
Step 5 - Write
Once you've done all this thinking and clarity work with some rough writing thrown in, you need to get it into a first draft. By going through the clarity process though, it should be a lot easier. You've done the thinking bit, now it's simply a case of putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard. Some tips to write effectively:
Need an example? I worked with a lovely client who offers Free Motor Legal Insurance. I know. Legal and Insurance all in the same breath. It's hardly an excitement-fest. But it's a very valid problem that people face, so it was all about writing about a complex thing in an easy to understand way that will make people want to sign up to his free service. I took the long, detailed legal explanations of how it all worked and just kept it super simple. You can see the results here. It is now clear what people have to do and the benefits they'll get.
I did the same for a solopreneur who creates Global Mobility Policies for HR teams. Again, not an easy to understand, super sexy offering, but for the people who need this help, it's a lifesaver. I stripped back all the complexity and kept it simple. You can see the results here.
If you would like similar help, take a look at my Clarity package and my Copy & Canvas offering. I know everyone thinks writing is simple, but there are many steps to it. Sometimes having an outsider see you for who you are and translate that into words, is the best investment you can make for your business. As one recent Clarity, Copy & Canvas client said:
'O M G!!! I've just had an initial read through while I'm sitting at the hairdresser and it is looking and sounding AMAZING! You are so talented - taken my garbled messages and woven your magic to make them sound wonderful. I almost cried when I was reading through it - it is really reflecting what my business and I are about. Thank you'
And then she followed up saying:
'You are truly amazing and I'm so happy with how much you've helped me in such a short time - Clarity workbook prep prior to meeting; chat to understand my business last Tuesday; summary of discussion and ideas for moving forward on Wednesday; (major) draft copy produced by Friday. I would definitely recommend Melissa to help you gain clarity for your business - she is extremely talented. Thank you.' Catherine Bowyer.
Wow. So January then. Cold, wet, grey, no alcohol, dieting, highest divorce month, no money, lots of cold and flu bugs doing the rounds, and political earthquakes quite unlike anything seen before. You could be forgiven for wanting to find an emergency exit. Luckily, it's February tomorrow. A short month. The month of love. And one step closer to summer.
But if you need something to look forward to, I have the perfect solution. A little something to stick in the diary as a beacon of loveliness: The Campfire Storytelling Retreat.
Here's a little taster of what it's like:
Imagine walking through pretty green woods at dusk. Candles in little lanterns flicker, lighting the path that winds through the trees. In a clearing, you find a campfire crackling and a bell tent decked in sparkling lights. You grab a hot chocolate (or glass of wine), before sinking into a seat under a toasty throw as you watch the flames dance.
You are with a small group of people. They, like you, have also escaped their office to head outdoors, to listen to the wind blowing through the trees and smell the tang of woodsmoke. You've spent the day outdoors, discovering what your business really stands for, where you want to take it, what your vision is. You've learnt what stories you have in your business that you can use in all your marketing. You've had a lunchtime campfire cook out and started the day with early morning yoga. Perhaps you had a chance for a one-on-one consultation about where to take your business or some downtime in the spa. And now it's time to unwind and just let go.
One by one, the group shares what is holding them back in their business. Or what they want from their business. You can feel the release as everyone realises that it's not just them who secretly thinks they're not good enough or that they'll never make it. You can feel the sense of possibility grow as everyone realises they have the freedom and potential to create something great.
Someone passes the marshmallows around. The moon shines. Tomorrow is another day of yoga, learning, walking and networking. You feel inspired and ready to take on the world. All is good.
The Campfire Storytelling Retreat is unlike any other retreat or business event you will go to. It is entirely unique. The value of the workshops alone are worth double the price of the retreat (which includes all your meals and private accommodation.) The feedback from last year's attendees was overwhelmingly positive. Here's a sample:
'The Campfire retreat was exactly what my business and I needed. Sometimes being so busy and involved with the day to day running of my business prevents me from seeing the bigger picture and this retreat gave me the time and space to really assess and plan for the future and the direction I want to take it in. From the incredible surroundings, the workshops, the people and Melissa herself it was an incredible weekend of getting back to nature, brain storming, business planning, and connecting with incredible entrepreneurs. One of the best business decisions I have made this year. ' Joy Zarine
The next retreat is 19 - 21 May 2017. It is in Otley, Yorkshire and is very easy to get to as it's next to Leeds Bradford airport and just 20 minutes from Leeds station. I want you on this retreat.
Give yourself something to look forward to and book yourself one of limited spots available. Full details and booking here.
Know a small business owner who would love this? Share this with them or tag them.
I want to tell you a story that may just help you if you are passionate about something but aren't sure how to make it a business. Or if your current job or business isn't inspiring you and you want to pursue something else.
In 2014, I read the book Wild, by Cheryl Strayed. If you're not familiar with it, it's about a woman who walked the PCT (The Pacific Crest Trail) on her own to help her work through some life issues. I had always enjoyed walking, but had never considered doing something as epic as that. But it planted a desire to do more walks.
One weekend, both my husband and children were away. I had a choice. I could spend the weekend working or I could do something on my own. Inspired by the book, I went to an outdoors shop, bought some walking boots and a waterproof jacket and decided to go walking. The radio issued amber weather warnings about gale force winds and torrential rain as I made my way to the North Yorkshire coast, but I was undeterred.
I set off from Whitby, walked to Ravenscar and then back to a hostel near Robin Hood's Bay, a total of 14 very wet miles, before returning the next day. I loved it. I had the path to myself, the wind and rain in my face and I felt free and happy. That weekend kickstarted my love of walking.
I began to invite friends to come walking with me, and we'd do day walks or two-day walks, taking just what we needed in our packs. I took it a whole lot further when I walked 192 miles over 14 days doing the Coast to Coast. I've since walked the circumference of the Isle of Wight, will walk the West Highland Way in April and will be climbing Kilimanjaro in February for charity..
My phone is full of photos of my daily walks. My cupboard is full of walking gear. I organise walks for friends and follow walking-related companies on social media. All the signs were are there. I have a passion, a genuine love of something that makes me feel ridiculously happy without even trying.
Yet for years - as a business owner - I'd been trying to find my passion. And that's because I believed my passion had to be something that I was qualified in. I have certificates and diplomas and qualifications and years of experience in PR, Marketing and Small Business Management, but I have no such thing for walking. I have miles in my boots. That's it.
So I kept my walking as a hobby. Nothing more. I focused on my business. And while I am genuinely passionate about helping small business owners tell their stories and grow their businesses, it's a different kind of enthusiasm to the one I have for walking. It's a head-led experience, rather than a heart-felt passion.
Just before Christmas I saw a press opportunity for a magazine that wanted to talk to women who like walking. I responded and was interviewed. Being a PR person, I tried to shoehorn a mention of my business into the piece, but it wasn't a natural fit (despite having a walking element to my Campfire Retreat). And I realised that I was wasting a valuable PR opportunity. This was the kick up the backside I needed to take charge of my passion.
I'd had an idea brewing for ages but didn't know how to turn it into a business, so I ignored it. The idea was to formalise the name I'd given to the ladies I walk with and use it as some kind of walking related business. The name was Glamoraks (because we wore anoraks but were a little bit glamorous underneath the layers or Goretex). I realised that there was a gap in the market to reach out to women, probably in their 30s, 40s and 50s but could be any age, who don't see themselves as hard core hikers, but who don't want to be labelled as ramblers either.
I realised that I wanted to inspire women from around the world to get out and walk more. The benefits of walking are amazing - and so needed by women who juggle multiple stresses. I decided it was time to take my passion and turn it into something bigger that could truly make a difference in the world. Because walking makes women happy. And if women are happy, the world is a better place (ask my husband).
On Monday 9 January 2017, I set up the Glamoraks facebook group. By Tuesday I had created a website for it. Within a week the group had 220 members. They are sharing pictures of their walks, teaming up, finding walking buddies, inspiring others to get out there, getting information on kit and a whole bunch more.
I have no idea where this is going to go. I still have to figure out how to make this a business. I have a head full of ideas. And it's still a side gig to Campfire. But for now, I'm simply letting the community flourish. By embracing my passion, I know that the right ideas will present themselves to me. And one day it will become a business.
So here are some tips if you want to run a business based on your passion:
If you are a women who loves walking, please join the group. If you want to turn your passion into a business and need help getting clarity, see my Clarity package.
PS - my love of walking and Glamoraks will be featured in the April issues of Healthy Magazine and Top Sante magazine. If you want to get your business in the press like this, be sure to take up my Publicity Challenge which starts on 23 January.
If you set yourself the goal to get publicity in 2017, then this is your moment to make it happen!
PR, publicity, getting in the press - whatever you want to call it - is one of things that most small business owners would love to get. There's something about seeing your business featured in a magazine or newspaper or leading online site that makes you do a crazy happy dance. Because it reinforces that you've made it! All those hours you've poured into your business, and now it's recognised in the press. And that's just one reason getting publicity is great. Here are a few more:
- It massively boosts your credibility
- It lets a far bigger audience know about your business
- It brings in sales
- It positions you as an expert
- It opens up new avenues
- It reinforces your brand story
- It's free!
But despite all of those benefits, most small business owners don't bother trying to get in the press because they don't know how to do it and it all seems too difficult. It's not. If you know what to do.
I have created a course specifically for people like you that will:
I know that its easy to get beguiled by a course, buy it and then never do it. So I have created the Publicity Challenge. Without charging anything extra for the course, if you buy it before midnight on 22 January 2017, you will get:
So if you would like to join in the challenge, go to www.publicityforsolopreneurs.com.
Are you in? I would love to have you join me and I would love to see your business get the publicity it deserves. SIGN UP
A final note for Virtual Assistants: If you are a VA and have been looking for an additional revenue stream, offering PR as a service for your clients is a great option. Using the techniques outlined in this course, you can apply them to your clients, get them in the press and charge them for this new service. The course will pay for itself once you've got your first client signed up.
Yip. Christmas is coming. If you're busy making lists of gifts you need to buy, I am here to help you if someone on your list happens to run their own business or works on their own. In fact, if you are that person - a sole trader / solopreneur - read this and treat yourself to something you may need. Or drop heavy hints to the people doing the gift buying....
All of these gift ideas are not only for small business owners. They're also made or provided by small business owners. Many of them are Yorkshire-based but not all of them require you to be in Yorkshire. By buying a gift from a small business owner, you are putting money directly into the pocket of someone trying to support themselves, rather than a big, faceless corporation. In effect you're helping out the small business owner receiving the gift AND the small business owner selling the gift. Double the goodness.
(Click the links above each to buy online or contact the business owner)
Physical and mental well-being
Working on your own means you probably don't take enough time to look after yourself. And if you become burnt out, run down or poorly, there is no-one else to do the work for you. These gifts will help you stay physically and mentally strong.
A Complete Calm Massage Therapy treatment
Ideal for stressed, busy people who find it hard to unwind.
Cost - £45 for an hour (based in Harrogate)
A hot yoga experience with Yogabomb
Yoga helps people both physically and mentally. A hot yoga class also detoxes and helps soothe tightly knotted muscles. This is where I go and it's fab.
£25 for 20 consecutive days of yoga (based in York)
A winter DIY Retreat Kit
Hayley Gillard is an ecotherapist who uses nature to help people relax, unwind and practice mindfulness. If you can't get to a retreat, you can recreate one by buying her DIY retreat Kit that shows you how to get back to nature in winter. £24.99 (online)
Release Anxiety & Stress Power Coaching session from Emma Langton
A 75 minute power coaching session to bust through any anxieties, stress or mental blocks. Can be done face to face or via skype. For the person who need to release tension so they can move on in their business.
Business support and services
If you ask any small business owner what they'd like, they probably have a list of support they'd like to have access to but can't afford it. So buy them a gift that will help them grow their business:
The Campfire Storytelling Retreat
Yes, this one is mine, but it is an amazing weekend-long retreat in Yorkshire for a small business owner who needs time away from the office, the chance to connect and share with like-minded people all while creating a brand story, marketing content and getting clarity on where they want to take their business. It's a big gift, but the small business owner will thank you - a lot!
£697 or 4 payments of £197
(If you buy this as a gift for someone, drop me a note and I'll send you a campfire gift with printed out details of the retreat so that it can be wrapped and put under the tree).
A Retail Girl Friday
For burnt out retailers who need an extra pair of hands to help get things taken care of, from Selling, Buying, ECommerce, Stock Control, EPOS, Processes & Work Flow or just manning the shop whilst you take a holiday, someone who does the leg work on a project but lets you take the credit, or retail business development. They will particularly need this after the busy festive period.
£50 consultation fee for Yorkshire-based businesses (costs for services thereafter vary)
A personal branding photography session
Having professional headshots that capture who you are can make a massive difference to the brand image you create. Stop using happy snaps taken on your phone & get a shoot done with York-based photographer Olivia Brabbs.
A personal stylist
When out networking or at business meetings, you need a clothing style that reflects your brand personality and brings out your best. Personal stylist Caroline Higginbottom can either help you sort out your wardrobe or take you shopping for clothes that reflect you. Gift vouchers available
From £20 - £90
For the office & stocking fillers
Little gifts that will make life easier and more lovely for a business entrepreneur.
A WOW Planner
For the busy woman, this planner is jam packed with pages to keep you focussed and organised. The pages have been designed with lots of to do lists so you can ‘plan on the go’, handy check boxes for each day and personalised covers.
Hot chocolate Sticks from Foxy Chocs
Given I am all about campfires, hot chocolate and marshmallows, these little hot chocolate sticks are the perfect treat for a small business owner who needs a pick me up. Just stir into warm milk for a mid afternoon treat.
Be Still necklace from Cheerfully Given
Running a business can make you feel frazzled. This lovely pottery charm necklace with the words 'Be Still' is the perfect reminder to take time out, calm your mind and switch off.
Wall inspiration from Walter & May
Every small business owner goes through highs and lows. These framed prints will serve as daily inspirational reminders to keep going.
Funky Country Candles
Every office needs a gorgeous aroma, whether it's to uplift or relax. This range of candles is made by another Yorkshire-based small business owner.
£15 a candle