Archive for July, 2012

Marketing 101 (funny)

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    An oldie but still good:

    A professor explained about marketing to MBA students.

    1. You see a gorgeous girl at a party, you go to her and say I am rich, marry me. That’s direct marketing.
    2. You attend a party and your friend goes to the girl to tell her, he’s rich, marry him. That’s advertising.
    3. The same girl at the party walks to you and says, you’re rich, do you want to marry me? That’s brand recognition.
    4. You say I’m rich, marry me and she introduces you to her husband. That’s the demand and supply gap.
    5.  Before you say I’m rich, marry me, your wife arrives. That’s restriction from entering a new market.
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      Written by Chris

      July 26th, 2012 at 11:33 am

      Posted in Comical

      Change your life with Lisa Read coaching

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        Lisa Read has a passion for helping people. Based in Sheffield, she provides coaching and training all over the UK. The things that really set Lisa apart are her warmth and professionalism, as clients value the time and support Lisa offers them, knowing that she really does care.

        Lisa is a successful confidence coach with more than 10 years’ experience in personal development, education, training and coaching. Her passion is helping adults and young people to break through the barriers that a lack of confidence can bring, so they can meet their potential, make more money and have more fun!

        Lisa’s current project aims to help people pass their driving test. But she doesn’t focus on their driving skills in a practical way; she helps people with their attitudes.

        “The confident driving course is for people learning to drive who want to ensure that they are driving safely and to the best of their ability” says Lisa. I want to help people pass their driving test in the most effective and efficient way possible, saving them hours of frustration, time and money.”

        Lisa works with people that have either already failed a test, or several, or are learning to drive for the first time. She believes that the thoughts and feelings of the driver will have a direct impact on the outcome and success of their driving. Therefore, having a positive, confident mindset will enable a person to enjoy learning to drive and successfully pass their test. Lisa herself failed several tests, and by changing her mindset, she finally passed on her 6th attempt. Lisa’s experiences and her own personal development finally lead to success, and this has inspired her to help people in similar situations.

        “The course includes all that I learnt that helped me to pass my test,” says Lisa. I want to share it with people to save them some of the heartache and frustration I went through. I believe that by adopting a positive mindset and working to overcome all the obstacles that have held a person back in the past, they can pass too.”

        “Lisa is working with me as I learn to drive,” says a current client of Lisa’s. “She has really helped me with my confidence. I’ve failed my driving test three times, but since working with Lisa I really feel like I can pass this time around. She talks to me in such a positive and encouraging way, and through Lisa’s help and advice I’ve realised that the only thing that has held me back in the past has been my attitude. I’ve set this goal for myself, and with Lisa’s help, I’ll succeed and pass my test.”

        Lisa insists that setting goals is really good for you, and that consciously working towards them is rewarding and fun. “We’re designed to want to set goals for ourselves from the moment we’re born,” says Lisa. “Who reading this still needs to be fed by their mum or dad with a spoon? Who still needs to be taken to the toilet? If you’re reading this I’m guessing you once set a goal to learn to read too (and yes, you did that not your teachers or parents). We all set goals all of the time and thank goodness we do because life would be pretty dull otherwise. I truly believe setting goals is good for all of us.”

        With Lisa’s help, you can set your own goals and work towards achieving them. Whether you’re a mother and want your child to reach their full potential at school, you’re learning to drive but may be apprehensive about the process, or you’d like to achieve a goal in your life and would appreciate some guidance – Lisa can help you!  Call Lisa on 07749 791707, or visit her website at

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          Written by Chris

          July 17th, 2012 at 11:23 am

          Building a Better Business with Charlie Lawson

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            Charlie Lawson, Co-National Director of BNI UK & Ireland

            Charlie Lawson, Co-National Director of BNI UK & Ireland

            Charlie Lawson is the Co-National Director of BNI in the UK and Ireland, and the 10th July 2012 saw Charlie round up his tour of Yorkshire with a talk at the Aston Hotel, Sheffield. As a word of mouth marketing expert, Charlie has worked with thousands of BNI members since joining the business in 2004.

            Charlie’s passion is seeing BNI members get success through their BNI membership, and he believes there is nothing more inspiring than helping a BNI member and then seeing them hit their goals.

            And what is Charlie’s key to success? “Working hard and keeping a smile on my face,” he says cheerfully.

            Charlie’s Build your Business Workshop in Sheffield began with a familiar phrase. When faced with an obstacle in life, ‘go back to the basics.’ But Charlie’s advice is this: “Go forward to the basics!” He explains that re-evaluating the basics is not going backward; it’s revisiting in order to move forward positively.

            Charlie’s second piece of advice is based on a similarly familiar phrase; “When the going gets tough, it’s how you THINK that makes all the difference.” Charlie goes on to explain the reasoning behind his take on this phrase by launching into a story about the Polar explorer Earnest Shackleton, whose ship ‘The Endurance’ became trapped in ice on an expedition. After abandoning the ship, Shackleton’s crew finally set foot on solid ground 497 days after the voyage began.

            “And how do you think he coped with this?” Charlie asks the room. He nods enthusiastically as people from the audience pipe up with, “He never gave up”, “Willpower”, until a voice from the back of the room says simply, “A positive attitude”.

            “Exactly,” says Charlie, grinning as he addresses the room. “He stayed positive. Earnest Shackleton was able to instil a sense of optimism in his crew. His positive attitude and his leadership skills essentially kept his crew alive. Every one of them survived.”

            “When times are tough, you can do one of two things,” says Charlie thoughtfully. “You can either bury your head in the sand, or you can face up to the situation and do something about it.”

            Charlie goes on to make a comparison between BNI and McDonalds. There are some interested faces scattered around, obviously wondering where he is going with this. “If I buy a Big Mac from McDonald’s in Sheffield, and one from a McDonald’s restaurant on the other side of the world, what’s the difference between them?” After we have established that they ought to be pretty much the same, Charlie makes his point. “There are BNI chapters all over the world, with people following the same guidelines and getting the same results. But the people themselves, they are individuals, and that’s what makes each BNI member and each BNI chapter so special. They all have their own personalities.”

            Charlie insists that by sticking to the BNI system, you get results. “Apply these 4 things to your networking, and you will see return on investment from your BNI membership,” he says.

            1.       Members success programme training

            Charlie’s advice is simple, “Go to them! They WILL make a difference to your business.”

            2.       Tell as story in your 60 seconds

            Charlie insists that the key to a successful 60 Seconds is telling a story. “By sharing stories about your business, it makes people more likely to refer you,” says Charlie. As the audience are encouraged to share their stories, we hear about a life coach from Sheffield who has helped a 9 year old boy gain so much confidence at school that he has progressed 4 levels in one year.  And an estate agent from Doncaster who picked up her client from a phone box and her found accommodation after she was left homeless.

            “Would you be happy to refer these people after hearing their stories?” asks Charlie with satisfaction. Unsurprisingly, there is a resounding “YES” from the people in the room. “Facts tell, stories sell,” Charlie continues.



            3.       Be specific in your referral requests.

            “Asking for a specific person that you think you would benefit from speaking to in your 60 seconds is key,” explains Charlie. “Think of the industry you want to work in, think of a company, think of a department and then do some research into finding their name – whether it be a phone call or a LinkedIn search.  Your request then becomes as specific as it can be.”

            Charlie also addresses the difference between business to business referrals and business to consumer referrals. “With B2B it’s easier to request an end user, with B2C, it may be better to request a referral partner.”


            4.       Invite eligible visitors to meetings every week.

            “There are endless advantages to bringing visitors to meetings,” Charlie explains. At this point, the audience are encouraged to shout out their ideas, as Charlie nods encouragement and scribbles them down for the room to see. Among the suggestions given are;

            • Visitors can increase your network
            • They bring enthusiasm and energy to the group
            • The chapter performs better in the presence of a visitor
            • The member feels good about bringing that visitor

            There is one thing that Charlie insists mustn’t be a motivation when inviting visitors. “If you invite a visitor to the group with the intention of making them join, you are setting yourselves up for failure,” warns Charlie. “Don’t ask ‘who do I know that wants to join BNI’, ask ‘Who do I know that wants more business’ instead. And then let the meeting speak for itself.”

            Charlie ends his talk by asking members what they get from BNI, and what makes it worthwhile for them. As cries of “Confidence,” “Partnerships” and “Money” fill the room; BNI Yorkshire Director Niri Patel thanks Charlie for his time and tells the room a short story about the recent success of a particular BNI member. The member in question has established a thriving cake-making business through word of mouth marketing.

            It is a very inspiring story, and the audience are visibly captivated. As the cake maker himself makes his way to the front of the room to present Charlie within his very own BNI cake, it’s clear to the audience that Charlie is moved by the gesture. Laughter follows as a voice from the crowd shouts, “Now would be a good time for ‘givers gain’, Charlie!”

            As the evening draws to a close, the atmosphere in the room has changed. Glancing from face to face, there is determination and enthusiasm etched onto people’s faces. The room is no longer filled with anticipation, but ambition and excitement about what the next day holds for their businesses.

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              Sheffield web design agency Seven Creative. All about us!

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                We often use the Seven Creative blog to promote the businesses of fellow BNI members. But today, we’ve decided to blow our own trumpet and let our readers know a bit more about us. We are Seven Creative, a Sheffield Web Design agency.  Formed in 2005, we now have over 100 current active customers,  GREAT customer feedback and high customer retention.

                Seven Creative’s core team consists of Managing Director Chris, Client Services Director Clair and Social Media Manager Ellie. Chris previously worked for a large web design agency, moving on to set up Seven Creative web design Sheffield. With qualifications in Graphic Design and an IT degree, Chris is an integral part of the Seven Creative team.

                Previously working as a Marketing Manager in automotive industry, Clair has 15 years marketing experience. With degrees in Business Administration and Business Management, Clair achieved numerous achievement awards and was crowned top of her academic year.

                Ellie joined Seven Creative last summer after completing a BA in English Language and Literature and Masters degree in Magazine Journalism at Sheffield University. Ellie has experience and training in article writing for magazines, newspapers, blogs, and the internet; great skills to have when it comes to copywriting, press releases and newsletters. Seven Creative also have an established network of associates, freelancers and staff available too.

                With extensive qualifications, experience and high levels of customer service, Seven Creative are set apart from a lot of web design companies in Sheffield. The fact is, we care about our customers and their businesses. Whatever their budget, we endeavour to do everything we can, AND go that extra mile. We provide everyone that we build a website for with a training manual including everything they need to know about their content management system, so they can keep the site up to date with the latest information.  And of course, the team at Seven Creative are always on the end of the phone for any ongoing technical support that may be needed.

                Seven Creative offer a full range of on and offline sales and marketing services, including website design and build, email marketing and social media management. Seven Creative’s  list of services are as follows:

                • Full website design and build (brochures, ecommerce, blogs, forums, etc. from 1 page to 500+ pages)
                • Tailor-made applications and software
                • Corporate design – branding and logos
                • Graphic design (adverts, print, business cards, leaflets, corporate stationery)
                • Printing
                • Search Engine Optimisation
                • Conversion rate optimisation
                • Online marketing
                • Email marketing
                • Social Media marketing strategy & fulfilment
                • Copy writing

                Clair Day says, “As we know all too well, building websites takes experience. Many of our customers had their original website built by their ‘neighbour’s friend’s cousin who did a course in Dreamweaver’ and it turned out to be a waste of time and money. Unless your site is planned and built correctly, you’re probably just throwing money away and your site will do nothing for your business in terms of finding customers – it will simply reflect badly on your company.”

                At Seven Creative, that’s exactly what we do. From idea to launch, your website will be planned extensively and built correctly. Once it’s live, we will remain your first port of call for anything you need in the future, whether it’s technical support or a problem as simple as a lost log in password. And with our ongoing work, such as social media management and email newsletters, you can be sure that your business will be in front of the right people at the right time.

                In case you’d like some proof, here are some testimonials from happy customers!

                “I consider my website to be a credit to my business & would have no hesitation recommending Seven Creative.”

                “We would definitely recommend Seven Creative for website creation and publicity”

                “They created exactly what we were looking for with very little input from us”

                “Seven Creative actually do go that extra mile – they professionally & personally encourage you & want your business to succeed.

                “Both Clair & Chris offered fantastic help & advice, going above & beyond what I would ever have expected.”

                “Ellie has looked after the social media side of our web presence. Since then, our web introduced business has grown tremendously! We work together on ideas and Ellie finalises and organises all of our blog posts. Our success is a testament to her skill and hard work.”

                “I would highly recommend Seven Creative without hesitation!”

                “Having my website designed by Seven Creative has to rank as one of the best decisions I’ve made this year.”

                “The creative and personal service that Seven Creative have provided us with has been second to none”

                “An old phrase but very true: NICE PEOPLE TO DO BUSINESS WITH”

                Find out more about how we can help you and your business by visiting the Seven Creative website, call 0114 383 0711, or email

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                  Ikonografik Design: Architectural design in Sheffield.

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                    Ikonografik Design Ltd is a freelance architectural design company based in Sheffield. With nearly ten years commercial design and on site construction experience of almost every type of building, Ikonografik have the skills and knowledge to help create any building from inception to completion.

                    Nathan Oliver is a Chartered Architectural Technologist and Chartered Environmentalist with over 14 years experience.

                    As a Member of the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists, Nathan is qualified to lead projects of all types from inception through to completion, and has managed projects with values from £15k to £5m.

                    He is also recognised by the Council of Mortgage Lenders as a professional who is able to certify projects for release of lenders funds, and therefore must adhere to a strict code of conduct.


                    What do Ikonografik do?

                    • Architectural design and project management of domestic and commercial jobs.
                    • Relatively small scale projects, up to a value of £500, 000 maximum.
                    • Cut through the legislation associated with design and construction.
                    • Try to promote sustainability in excess of mandatory requirements wherever possible.
                    • Services are tailored to suit each specific project.

                    Such services include:

                    • Measured surveys of existing buildings.
                    • Feasibility studies and reports.
                    • Planning Permission applications.
                    • Building Regulation applications.
                    • Listed buildings / conservation area applications.
                    • Licensed premises applications.
                    • Space planning and building ergonomics.
                    • Full construction administration – inviting prices from contractors and managing contract to ensure clients best interests are served and attempting to keep prices within budget.

                    For more information about the company, visit the Ikonografik website, or contact Nathan Oliver at Ikonografik Design Ltd, 37 Millhouses Lane, Sheffield, S72HA.

                    T: 07773849386


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                      Written by Chris

                      July 10th, 2012 at 1:07 pm