general

11 May 2017

Saying goodbye to the bakery

I really enjoyed my time working with Meg Rivers. Julian and Liff are wonderful people and they have a really nice brand. I used to think they had great products too. When I worked for Meg Rivers I was a mere vegetarian so I didn't have any problem with their products which relied on plenty o' eggs and butter. Towards the end of 2016 Julian asked me to seek out a partnership with a shooting magazine. But the magazine endorsed a barbaric hunting competition in Scotland and I had to tell Julian I couldn't do it. Shortly after - though…

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06 May 2017

The worst marketing consultant in Guildford?

I sometimes wonder if I'm the worst marketing consultant in Guildford. Most of the time I tell people not to hire me. It's only fair really, given that I spend a lot of time telling people not to hire other marketing consultants. I accept that it's a bit of a bizarre strategy. Laura isn't particularly a fan as it doesn't put kalamata olive bread on the table. But I'm playing a long game. My clients like me (I think) because I don't push my luck. I have a terrible habit of quoting far below market rates, especially if I like a…

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20 Apr 2017

You’re the best marketer you know

Seriously. Have a bit of belief in yourself. If you have an idea, don't doubt yourself. Give it a crack. Nobody knows your business better than you and nobody knows your customers better than you so don't let the opinions of others slow you down. I'm not saying you should be that person on Dragon's Den who spunked away their kid's inheritance. But if it's not going to ruin you financially, and if it's not genuinely offensive; have at it. You're the best marketer you know. Whether you know it or not!   If you've had a great idea and you need…

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12 Apr 2017

The best content marketing advice you’re going to get (at 22.46 on a Wednesday)

... don't sweat it. Spend more time worrying about actually marketing what you're selling... Unless you are actually selling content, in which case, have at it. This doesn't mean you don't worry about SEO or performance marketing. It means you worry about using them properly. You know, to market your product or service. Cool beans, eh?      

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30 Mar 2017

3 rules for hiring a damn good digital marketer

If you're considering hiring a digital marketing expert there are only 3 things you need to check on to see if they're going to be any good. Do they own a white laptop? Have they got a succulent and a cup of fresh coffee with them at all times? Do they photograph their laptop, succulent and coffee all the time? Here's a selection of handy reference photos for you to cut out and keep to help navigate these tricky waters: Going the extra mile This is classic composition. No marketer worth their pink himalyan salt gets to work without their laptop…

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24 Mar 2017

Why did I get into this? Part 1 – Fun times

Why did you start your business? Or, if you're an employee, why did you choose to join the company? Hopefully the answer wasn't "the money" (and I say that knowing how important money is in general). I started basalt because I wanted to be independent, to choose who I worked for, when and how I worked and to make decisions that I thought would just be fun - regardless of what everyone else thinks. But more than anything I wanted to have fun. I thought about having fun while designing my invoices. Invoices are inherently boring things. Generally everyone does…

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01 Jan 2017

I don’t get it

It's a bit late in coming, but I wanted to share a clip from a favourite childhood film. My sister had this on VHS and I remember watching it loads. This clip really takes me back but I wouldn't have remembered this particular scene from way back when. It's really interesting to watch now because everyone should be brave enough or feel safe enough to say those four words "I don't get it" I can remember so many occasions when I wish I'd been confident enough to say "I don't get it". Too often things get carried forward not because…

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20 Dec 2016

You know, for kids…

I really enjoyed watching the clip of Freaks and Geeks I posted last time out so I've been thinking about other great tv shows and films that have a marketing lesson in them. Lots of them are in the same vein, like this clip from the Coen Brothers film The Hudsucker Proxy. If you've not seen the film, this clip is a bit of a spoiler so think twice before clicking. Oh, and I already know what my next film clip will be (if I can find it) because it's another board room scene that this clip reminded me of.…

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16 Dec 2016

Why?

I've been talking about "why" a lot recently and today I was learning about mavens - the influencers who are shaping the things we do and the things we buy. It reminded me of a scene in Freaks and Geeks - the awesome TV show you've probably never heard of, let alone watched - where Daniel gets invited to play Dungeons and Dragons with the geeks. It's amazing how much the exchange reflects the power of "why?". To the point that Daniel literally asks the question. Anyway, even if you don't see a marketing angle here you should see the…

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16 Dec 2016

Number Five Project: Christmas Gift Drive

This year we want to help the good folks at Number Five Project to bring a little Christmas cheer to the homeless people of our town. Number Five Project provides overnight shelter for 14 men and 2 women every night of the year. Giving them somewhere warm and safe to stay as well as dinner and breakfast. We've been given a list of things to try and get into some gift boxes and we need your help to get it done in time for us to deliver to #5 on Christmas Eve. The latest wish list is below. But before…

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