Christmas is coming

Shssss did you know Christmas is coming?

Chrismas is coming

I run several businesses. My main two are  1) Wightbuzz   – a network group I set up  to connect businesses on the Isle of Wight in 2010 when I failed to find a group that fitted my needs and 2) Allthingsnetworking.com which my son and I run from opposite sides of the world – he in Sydney and me in the UK – the Isle of Wight to be precise. However, I have long since been a fan of networking marketing. I have run several networking marketing businesses working with and helping team members to grow their own businesses. For 7 years, I ran a children’s book business and enjoyed considerable success – earning many incentives along the way. 5 foreign holidays in 6 years wasn’t to be sneezed at and I have many fond memories of those days when I was called the book lady!. They were happy days but came to an end when the company moved the goal posts. However, I loved the business model and some years ago, I joined Phoenix Trading  as an Independent Phoenix Trader . I love the fact that no-one hassels me to make great sales and meet targets. I love the products, cards, ribbons, wrapping paper,

pink tissue and ribbon

beautiful stationery, bookmarks, colouring posters, games

farmyards dominoes

etc. Gone are the days when I set up big stands at shows or ran book parties (which are still options for anyone wanting to run their business that way) I prefer to run my business with catalogue sales and online sales and the opportunity to help charities with fundraising. (and for more information on this please contact me as I love helping to raise charity funds. )

Where did the time go?

Oh goodness gracious me it’s July already and I haven’t blogged since January 17. It’s time to put that right and get into a good habit of blogging regularly.  I can’t believe that half the year has gone already so now to get into  better habits, so let me tell you about recent exciting events.  As you might expect I have done much networkingrecently.  I went to the County Showground to participate in the  “inspiring tomorrow’s workforce event”. Pupils and businesses came together and businesses were able to showcase what is available and answer students questions.
It was a very lively event and I was able to inform students that there was a career in social media which some of them hadn’t realised. With my son, Tristan, I run Allthingsnetworking.com
They were very good presentations on the day and students have gone away with a lot of thought provoking ideas. I also made some excellent connections for the  future.
Two days later,  I attended two networking meetings.  First of all,  I went to Cross Print at the invitation of the chamber of commerce and we were shown round the print factory then enjoyed a networking opportunity over tea and cake. I then was lucky enough to get a lift from that networking event to the next networking event. I was extremely grateful for the lift as it had been pouring all day and I had got soaked going for the bus
The second networking event was held at Endeavour which is a B and B in Cowes.  There was a very good turnout for this Cowes Business association meeting and excellent networking opportunities as well as a wonderful display of food and drink.  Again new connections were made but of course my networking won’t be any good unless I do the follow-up.  On Thursday evening I had a Wightbuzz networking meeting of my own at Artyshakes in Shanklin which was very successful and then an early start on Friday morning with another networking event.  This time breakfast at The Garlic Farm.  The Chamber of Commerce hold a breakfastmeeting on the first Friday of every month and I rarely miss them as they are excellent opportunities for making new connections and starting to build new relationships.  Friday was no different.  I satnext to a couple of new chamber members who I had met previously and I was delighted to be able to  connect one of them with some people he’d hoped to meet and even more delighted with the compliments he paid me for doing so.  It has been an awesome week and one which I have been delighted to record on my social media.  I strive to keep my social media up-to-date especially as social media is something I teach through Allthingsnetworking.com I have been using Facebook and Twitter for years but now have profiles on Snapchat Pinterest LinkedIn Instagram and Google plus and have upskilled  my knowledge on most of these so that I can keep members of allthingsnetworking.com up to date on how to use them I also continue to upskill on a daily basis so that I could help members of both Wightbuzz and allthingsnetworking.com on all things marketing it is now my intention to become a regular blogger and feel very positive about this since I have found a way to speed it up so I hope you will keep watching and reading as I bring you lots more news and information about white bars all things networking.com and my life in general in and out of the digital world so it’s definitely time to get blogging. Where did the time go?

Click here to Reply or Forward

Periscope

So do you use Periscope? I discovered periscope and live streaming soon after periscope was launced and was introduced by my son, Tristan, who is also my business partner in Allthingsnetworking.com I love the new platform and can see the benefits of using this for business.

In September, Tristan, who lives in Sydney, joined me on an exhibition stand at the Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce business expo . Whilst there, he connected again with one of his college tutors (having trained as a chef at the Isle of Wight college years earlier) At the time, he suggested that the College should embrace live streaming.

Today, I had been in Newport for the Bus Users meeting and was just leaving when I got a notification on my phone showing me the College had gone live on periscope . Now being the proud owner of an “all you can eat data” plan – I was able to jump straight on the broadcast . I was delighted to connect with the same tutor who was actually cooking – long story short – there was a college open day and free lunch was being given . Now who says there is no such thing as a free lunch? I saw it as a golden opportunity to go and periscope the event which you can see here below

 

I was delighted to meet Aaron – the social media manager for the college and had quite a long chat with him and he was delighted when I shared with  him that he could save the periscopes via katch.me . I now looking forward to catching all their scopes either live or on replay. If I can embrace periscope at the ripe old age of 65 then I am sure anyone can. I’m now teaching our Allthingsnetworking members as I see it as such an awesome platform that increases engagement and grows an audience very quickly.  I’m loving the new platforms and apparently I’m crushing it – so I have been told.

Out with the old and in with the new

Out with the old and in with the new

image

As I saw out 2015 with friends and welcomed in 2016, I reflected on what had been quite a difficult year. I left my church, I also left a voluntary group where I helped to feed the hungry and the homeless and I left my Rotary group. These were not things I had intended to do at the beginning of the year but sadly there are those who thought it wise to try and bully me. Having spent 30 years of my life as a teacher during which time I worked very hard to discourage all bullying, there was no way I was going to succumb to adults  who should have known better – long story short – I removed myself and took my skills with me. In my church I had been holding 6 posts (not something I wanted but posts were not being filled) including social media manager. One of those organisations had others who managed the social media, but the other two didn’t and as noone came forward – those facebook pages and twitter streams now lie dormant.

 

These situations occurred during the early part of the year and as they weren’t among my happiest memories, I will not continue further discussion as it will serve no purpose. The only reason I mention them were they happened during 2015. It is so good to see them go – out with the old and in with the new.

 

On a much happier note, my son Tristan and I have continued to build our business Allthingsnetworking.com For those who don’t know, for 5 years I ran Wightbuzz – a networking and business support group and in 2014 my son. Tristan suggested we put our skills together and create a global network group – Allthingsnetworking.com

 

 

As with all businesses it hasn’t been without it’s challenges however, we ran a very successful conference in the UK in September when Tristan flew over to join me.

image

 

We had some glowing testimonials and have been asked to run another one. We continued to build the group both on and offline.

 

I am pleased to say we enter the new year, I am delighted to say we have a string of  new clients wanting to join us . I am having great fun learning all the new social media platforms – periscope, blab and now snapchat and my son amuses himself watching me – at the ripe old age of 65, teaching 20 and 30 years olds all the latest platforms. I love teaching others – it is in my blood! I used to teach little people now I am a business mentor and digital strategist teaching the bigger people. I look forward to 2016 with great excitement as my son and I plan for an awesome year helping our clients to grow their businesses. At a time when most people think of retiring – I can’t wait. – I am very much looking forward to out with the old and in with the new . Times they really are achanging – and very much for the better.

 

 

This is post 1 of the thirty day blogging challenge.

 

 

 

 

 

It’s time to celebrate our 5th birthday.

It’s time to celebrate our 5th birthday

5th birthday

5 years ago today I founded Wightbuzz - unable to find the right networking group when I started amy new business as I emerged from a long dark tunnel, I set up my own. Times were hard and life stressful but undaunted I grew my network- 5 years on I have helped well over 200 businesses to make good connections earning the title The Connection Queen along the way. They also called me Mummy Buzz as I nurtured new businesses as I buzzed around .

me with banner and atn small banner

 

Members have come and gone as their needs changed. Many have remained.The successes are many -Graham Reading Photography  has made many connections but one of the best was for the Mardi Gras. I was to be a VIP guest at the lunch before the Mardi Gras (I’m Chair of the Ryde Business association) and I was in front of my computer during the morning. I spotted a cry for help – The allotted photographer was unable to cover the event and there was an appeal opn social media. I knew Graham was covering the round the Island Yacht race from a boat in the solent but I contacted him to see if he could help. He thought he could but wasn’t sure he would be there right at the start. I put him in contact with the New Carnival Company and they engaged him. Things turned a little hairy as Graham was still in Cowes (having to negotiate very heavy traffic as the MArdi Gras started from the top of Ryde ) All was not lost as I kept him up to date with what was happening and he managed to come round a different way so he didn’t get stuck behind the procession. He managed to catch up with the parade and get pictures of the whole parade .Our service was much appreciated.

Another success story that has appreciated our networking is Neil Southwell of Oasis said  “And without you, I wouldn’t be working for Wightlink and Bestival.” What a lovely testimonial that was at our Let’s Leverage conference –

In 2014, my son Tristan (who lives in Australia), suggested we join forces with my networking skills and his social media skills and we have now become a global brand Allthingsnetworking.com – we are able to offer 24/7 support to our members – so today it is time to celebrate and its double celebrations as I have been shortlisted in the Venus awards. – influential woman category. I have just been to face the camera –

face the camera

making a one minute recording to support my entry (and I thank the 4 people who nominated me) Now it’s on to a public vote in January.

 

So here is to the next 5 years as we build our brand globally – helping businesses to grow and prosper – leading them through the social media minefield and helping them master all the latest platforms – Currently we are embracing livestreaming such as periscope and blab and now we are working on snapchat.

why not check us out on facebook and twitter ?

 

 

Masqueryde

Masqueryde is a member of the Ryde Business Association and I took a trip round it using the periscope app. It is marvellous to be able to share our Ryde Shops with the world. Sally and Julie have provided costumes for school plays, giggly grannies shows fancy dress parties and for Bestival – the Biggest dressing up party in the world probably.

So check it out at – Masqueryde – a real Alladin’s Cave

 

 

Be sure to pay a visit whether you want to buy or hire :)

 

 

It’s the little things that count.

Blog Post 5 30 day Blog challenge

So often, it’s the little things that count. This morning, before I had even got out of bed, I had a phone call from a friend, checking I was ok. I had, for various reasons, decided to take a sabbatical from one of the groups I go to.

Phone

That phone call made such a difference. Not only that but the caller also said others were asking after me too. In this instance it was a call, sometimes it might be a card

i hear a cuddle is required

but whatever it is, it makes a difference as it’s the little things that count.

Can you recount a small guesture of kindness towards you that made a BIG difference to your day?

 

Networking doesn’t have to be serious.

Day 4 – 30 day blogging challenge

I have been to many networking groups in my time, and I have to say that some of them have been pretty stiff and starchy. Until recently , I was known as the Networking Guru of the Isle of Wight but more recently , Veronica Pullen, The Social Marketing  Queen also living on the Isle of Wight – gave me the more attractive title of the Connection Queen.

Now anyone who knows me, knows that I like to have fun – a day without laughter is a day wasted.

costa coffee and ohoto frame

 

Many will also know me as one half of the Giggly Grannies and together we put the fun into fundraising. Well just like life, networking doesn’t have to be serious.

Tonight, I have had another very successful Wightbuzz, networking meeting and it was anything but serious. There was some of the regular crowd and also, along came Paul as a visitor and potential member. I do encourage folk to try before they buy, to make sure we are the right fit. Paul is the Rodfather. He rods drains, unblocks toilets etc! If only I had known him on Boxing day!!! My mum had a houseful and we had an unfortuate blockage. Little did I know the rodfather comes out on bank holidays – didnt even know him – only actualy got chatting last night on facebook.

Well true to form, my lovely members made Paul feel at home immediately. The fun and banter started almost immediately – when I got his business name wrong and called him the Codfather by mistake (we have a local fish and chip shop that go by this name – and the old brain does get overloaded from time to time as Brian or is it George recently found out!! Brian and Sandy recently joined and have still stayed even though  for some reason I called him George!!! I’ll just put it down to being a poor old pensioner!! Well that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it. But I digress – and so back to tonight. The whole evening continued with lots of laughs and a great time was had by all. I am aware that my networking group wouldn’t suit everyone but we have certainly proved that networking doesn’t have to be serious.

It was such fun I decided to make a video to share.

Do you like to have fun networking?

Can you afford not to?

30 day blog challenge post 3. Can you afford not to?

I have run a low cost networking group Wightbuzz for businesses on the Isle of Wight for 4 years.

SAMSUNG Now in its fifth year, I have linked with my son and his graduate friends to add to the local brand. We have created Allthingsnetworking.com to take our brand to a global level. As we start expanding, I have been reflecting on the past. I have been very mindful of making sure my group was affordable. Some people pay a years money up front without batting an eyelid. Others haven’t joined because they say they can’t afford it. I find this very interesting. Many of those who say they can’t afford it will happily  have coffee in local coffee shops that are part of national chains

 

Frog and snake in CostaThey think nothing of paying £3 per cup and some of them will do this several times a week – I know I have seen them (social media reveals much) I wonder why then, do they not see the value of business mentoring, networking sessions, one to ones, social media training, ferry discounts, loan of business books, plus much more as excellent value at £12.50 per month? The equivalent of just over 4 coffees a month.  It is clearly down to mindset. If they are running a business what about a marketing budget? I’m hard pushed to think of any other marketing they could get for this price (and they get me too!!) It is all about return on investment. Surely, if they gave it careful thought, they would realise that if they invested in putting in time to interact with members either in our online group or in person at meetings, took advantage of the business book loan system, or the ferry discounts etc. they couldn’t fail to benefit their business. I think I will add to my video trainings with a video about mindset.

I have to admit that recently, I was almost guilty of this (as I was in my early business days) There was a black tie, business to business event, recently with quite a high ticket price. I decided I couldn’t afford to go but after a little more careful thought, I realised I couldn’t afford NOT to go. I run a business networking group! All the attendees were connected to/ran local businesses – sheer madness not to be there. One of my members was also on the short list for an award so it was important to offer support. That was it, my mind was made up. I purchased my ticket (after a slight panic when the system told me no tickets left!! – I emailed to go on the reserve list and was rung next day – system was not correct  –  phewie!!)

I am so glad I went. My son, who works with me now (albeit from the other side of the world) asked me to trial an app which would actually put our skills in front of the attendees via the displayed twitter feed . We dominated the feed all night and it was noticed.  Result!

Suffice it to say, I am now in follow up conversations with several people who I met that night. There is much interest in Wightbuzz and our social media skills. The results will generate far more than the ticket price. I’ll make sure they do. So what do you think? Can you afford not to?

It’s a hard life!

Well, when I decided that 2015 was going to be an awesome year, I really meant it and what a start to the new year. My Wightbuzz members recently helped me celebrate  our 4th birthday with an evening full of networking and cake!! (and a lovely buffet supplied by Janine of Missy J Cafe- who kindly hosted our party too.) Photo by Wightbuzz member Graham Reading of Graham Reading Photography

4th Birthday

There was more than our birthday to celebrate. Not only had I successfully survived 4 years of networking within my own group Wightbuzz, but I was also celebrating the expansion of the business to become a global network - Allthingsnetworking.com. My son, Tristan,  wanted to help me move the business on and what an exciting time we have ahead of us as we maintain and grow Wightbuzz on the Isle of Wight but take the online networking onto a global level. Together with the expertise of 4 other graduates the scene is set for exciting times ahead.

Last night, I decided to arrange a rather impromptu meet up again in Missy J Cafe this morning. This year, on our list of things to do is lots of video marketing for the group and for the members. What better way to start than include a round up of the brilliant networking day I had with some of my members – making more connections as The Connection Queen (the name given to me by Veronica Pullen – Social Media Queen who also lives on this Royal Island ;) )

I am thrilled to see joint ventures and collaborations happening within Wightbuzz. It was a vision I had 4 years ago – to Connect lots of the Island businesses for the benefit of all – and finally – it is really starting to come together. I was taught to dream BIG by Roberta Jerram of Roberta Jerram Enterprises years ago when I joined Giant Potential. Very soon, there will be joint ventures on a national and international level. I love what I do and I love why I do it. It is such a hard life (NOT) I love that I have joined forces with my son. The dream is BIG – very BIG!!