Blog

 RSS Feed

  1. 17333201_270019343447354_5903578920837447680_a

     

    As part of building the presentation team for this years A Day To Sparkle I came across local author Samantha Towle. Sam's story really inspired me, a local girl who had seen amazing sales of her books. It was great to have Sam as part of our day and to hear more of her story. As part of this process I started to read her contemporary romance books and I am one on many eagerly awaiting her next book. 

    I am pleased to be able to share the cover of her next book River Wild due out in January 14th 2019. 

    RiverWild.6x9_450.v11

    PURCHASE LINKS:

    Add to Goodreads âžœ https://goo.gl/NwQNKe

    River Wild will be available on Kindle Unlimited. Links will be posted on release day.

    Sign up for Samantha’s mailing list now and be the first one notified when it goes live! âžœ http://samanthatowle.co.uk/newsletter-sign-up

     

  2. Google Reverse Image search

    Why and how

     

    There has been quite a storm in the craft world recently where a stamp designer has become public villain No1 when it was revealed that some of her stamp designs are rather too closely related to some images that belong to other designs. She has had to take time out having been branded a liar and a thief. He main mistake was possibly claiming she hand drew her stamps, I think there is probably more to this story than we are hearing at the moment but a witch hunt has seen her name plastered every where with critics condemning her in quite a nasty tone. I won’t be going in to detail here as I do not know enough. I mention it only because it serves as a timely reminder about use of images.

    As the owner of Oak House Studio, I was confident about the images I used as created most of them myself. I too have been caught out though sometimes when I have trusted other people’s images especially people on my design team. I had someone submit a sample using another companies stamp as if I wouldn’t notice! So that one didn’t catch me out.

    I was caught out when under pressure to produce something new for a magazine, I was inspired by a design of a card someone had made for me, I asked their permission and created a card quite close to the one they had made. Months later I found their card was a direct lift from someone else’s card which made mine too close to that card for comfort. I was very embarrassed. It did not result in legal action but I do know of people who have been in trouble for using images without the correct permissions.

    If you use images supplied to you by someone else please take the time to check those images through something like Google image search which is simple to use.

    It doesn’t matter how well you know the person or how much you trust them. If you are involved in using the image as a social media manager, a website designer, a PA or VA, a laser cutter or stamp maker, if you are selling the image or distributing it online. If you produce your own images or design something like I did look out for people stealing your images. The stamp world is full of ripped off stamp images and I am sure other will be to. Please check!

    As a designer I would ask you to respect artists and the work they produce. There should be no need to steal from these people.

    So please use reverse image search to protect yourself and the hard working creators of images that people continue to steal from.

    Here is a Link to how to do a reverse image search with Google https://support.google.com/websearch/answer/1325808?hl=en

     

  3. Networking is like window shopping!

    Networking with Coffee and Cake at Waffle 21

    When we go shopping some times we are on a mission to get one thing from a specific shop. We maybe the stick to the list type shopper who only buys what is on our list. A few people are like this every time they go shopping, others only when they need to to.

    Shopping can much more fun and less stressful when we take time out to go window shopping, we are not actually in the market to buy anything, we might not have any money left at the end of the month or we may be out spending time with a friend, getting a coffee and having a good chat. When we go window shopping we have time to compare two or three shops all selling similar items, we can ask questions of the salesperson and consider which features are the ones we personally will benefit from most. We have time to ask our friends what they think and we can look online for more information to help us make our decision.

    All this is especially true when we are make a big buy, something expensive that is a big commitment for us.

    The beauty of this is when we are ready to buy it is a whole lot easier because we know more about what we want and who is the best person for us personally to buy that product from. This sort of shopping is something I much prefer to knowing I need something now, but I don’t know who to buy from, not knowing all the options available & who local to me is the best person to buy from.

    As someone who spent many years behind a shop counter I know the frustration of the tyre kickers who just want to see how low they can get your price, but there are also those genuine window shoppers who are not going to buy today, but they make be thinking of a friend who needs what you sell or they may be thinking of their future needs. Try to see not the person in front of you but all the people that person knows.

    This is what networking can be like. You might not want to buying a copywriter at this point in your business life, but isn’t better that when that moment comes, you know someone, someone you like and trust. Some one you know you could work with. This is someone who could really help you grow your business, you want someone who really understands who you are and what you stand for. All that networking will pay dividends in the long term. You will make more confident choices and may have had some great conversations and even eaten some cake!

    Join us at an event soon so have some great conversations sign up HERE to stay in touch

  4. What makes a good networking group?

     preview chemistry set_edited-1

    There seems to be so many groups springing up just as I am expanding my network offering and I have seen people post which are the good networking groups? And here is my advice on that subject.

    Look in the mirror

    Seriously, what I find great about one group might be something you personally hate, the business world is like the rest of the world it is full people a huge variety of people. Some like precise structure and order, some like no structure. Some people spring out of bed at 4 am ready to conquer the world some people are not worth talking to before 11 am. Are you getting the picture?

    There are many factors to consider

    Where, when and how often does the group meet.

    Where: The right venue for you in terms of distance and ease of journey and not to mention how easy it is to park or get there via public transport

    When: If you teach Yoga on a Monday night it does not matter how good The Sparkling Business Club is you probably are not going to make it.

    How often: groups could be weekly, fortnightly or monthly… How does this fit in to the rest of your work cycle?

    What commitment does the group expect?

    Do you have to commit to attending all meetings or sending a substitute? And if so how often are the meetings. Or can you just attend meeting as and when you wish?

    Financial costs?

    What are the financial implications of joining this group do you have to pay up front? For a year or 3 months? Do you just pay for what you attend?

    How is the group structured?

    Is every meeting the same? Does it have a strong structure? A formal agenda?

    Is there a group that attracts your target audience?

    Selling rubber stamps to craft shops I was very unlikely to meet a craft shop owner at a local networking event so at that time in my career there was little point in trying to find a local business network with people I could sell to. Selling Offices Supplies just about any meeting was full of potential clients. For The Sparkling Business Club I would be looking for groups that had a high proportion of women.

    Look for a group with “Like Minded” people in.

    When you think about it this is probably the KEY thing to do. IF you find the right group of people they will have already chosen a time and venue that also suits you. They will be running a meeting that suits you and it will probably have a price point that suits you too. So having created a long list of things to look for maybe just maybe all you need to do is find the right people to join! So Look in The Mirror then look for people like yourself.