What ‘Amuse Bouche’ taught me about microblogging!

26 July

First of all… ‘Amuse bouche’ are tiny starters designed to amuse your mouth! I was invited to a dinner party where each guest was asked to create one. The only rule was that it should fit on a spoon. This post is about my obsession with the word micro and how it equates with blogging. I’ll show you how to start small when it comes to sharing your ideas.

Micro food and micro blogging

First though, I want to talk about the joy of creating small things…

We all live in a world that can feel overwhelming.
Too much noise
way too much choice
and an obsession with how quickly time passes.

As a business owner, I know that you feel this too! “How can I run a business and still find time to write a blog?” This is a question that I am constantly asked as a trainer.
What if I showed you a way that allowed you to experiment on a smaller scale?

Doing things on a small scale gives us time to breathe. And it allows us to have fun. If writing a blog becomes a chore, why would you keep it up? And what sort of content will you create if you’re working to a formula?

So let’s get back to miniature cooking for a few minutes.

For this delicious project, I could choose any mix of flavours, colours and textures. That’s what made it exciting and tricky. If was going to be one mouthful, it had to have impact. I had to simplify, yet magnify the experience, because that is exactly what it was! I chose a savoury panna cotta – pea and lemon. I served them in a lime with crème fraîche and individually plucked lavender flowers. I spent magical hours creating a tiny piece of food art. There was an aha moment too; the power in small, well considered things. That could be a spoonful of food or a great idea shared.

Amuse Bouche

The word that has inspired me most this year is Micro.

One man in particular has changed the way I view the world.

Allastair Humphreys is a world adventurer who goes on epic trips around the globe. He wanted to make ‘adventure’ accessible to everyone (especially those with a 9 to 5 mindset). So he coined the phrase #microadventure. He shows how it’s possible for anyone to have regular, small adventures. This idea translates perfectly to blogging. Start small. Dip your toe in and get comfortable owning and sharing your ideas!

Today I want to focus on how you can use Instagram for micro blogging.

Microblogging is the practice of posting small pieces of digital content – text, pictures, links, short videos, or other media on the Internet. Microblogging helps you to get comfortable sharing your ideas publicly.

Who is telling great business stories on instagram?

Here are three examples – Instead of using the clichéd Insta-description formula – they are using the space to publish longer form paragraphs. These are still shorter than traditional blog articles but they invite two way conversations. What stories could you tell?

 

Neil Shea – photographic journalist with National Geographic (among other things)

Neil Shea

Neil takes powerful images and helps us to understand what we’re looking at.
From Neil’s website bio – “Since 2014 Neil has been a leading voice in social media storytelling, and with National Geographic and other clients he has pioneered the use of Instagram as narrative platform. He was among the first writers to take longform narrative techniques to the new “shortform” word+picture environment of Instagram.
 

Artist, Patricia Murphy

Patricia Murphy artist

Patricia has taken some of my workshops and was considering starting a blog. I encouraged her to experiment with Instagram first to get used to sharing her process and inspiration. She is starting conversations about her art and she is having fun in the process. In this post, Patricia describes how the recession inspired her to focus on creating something more positive. This insight adds meaning to the artwork and helps us connect emotionally with the person behind the business.
 

School for social entrepreneurs – providing training courses to help social entrepreneurs solve complex social problems

School for social entrepreneurs
Their tagline is ‘Doing learning differently’, so it’s not surprising that they use Instagram differently! A grid photo app splits one image into a series (as seen above). As you scroll through the 3 or 6 image sequence, they share different excerpts from a blog post. This makes an interesting story series. Instagram doesn’t allow live links in your text. The way around this is to update your bio link, every time you’d like to direct people somewhere else. Just mention that the ‘link is in bio today’.

Have I got you excited?

The aim of this post (and what drives me daily) is to help people to value, own and share their own ideas. By starting small, you can learn a process that suits you. Let me know if you’d like help with that.

PS, my amuse bouche didn’t sit on a spoon in the end and didn’t taste quite as good as it looked. But I learned heaps by having constraints. We had *so* much fun that we’re having another party next month!


Links to explore:

Neil Shea – website and Instagram account.
Patricia Murphy – website and instagram account
The School for Social Entrepreneurs – website and Instagram account
Allastair Humphreys – Website and Instagram account.

What is your six word business story?

27 May

Last week, I was at a Creative Mornings Dublin talk. The worldwide theme was ‘Reality’ and the speaker was Bob Gray from Red & Grey Design. Bob talked about their design process and how they help clients to get really clear on what they actually do. He then talked about the power of writing a six word business story. I use this technique with clients too.

Six word business story

Ernest Hemingway was challenged to write the six word story above; “For sale. Baby shoes. Never worn.” It’s amazing how much emotion this tiny story evokes. We want to know why the shoes are for sale – and more importantly, what happened to the baby. The reason this exercise is so powerful for businesses is twofold – if you are crystal clear about how you can help customers, it makes it easy for them to understand too. It’s a prerequisite to a sale!

What is your six word business story?

Some of my clients find it tricky to sum up what they do in a few words. Here are some tips that will help you:

Capture lots of words that describe what you do
Put yourself in your customers’ shoes and choose words that will mean something to them
Edit it down to six words that sum up how you can make someone else’s life better

Irish company ‘Strong Roots’ say more with less words!

Strong roots - Irish frozen vegetable food company

I came across a new Irish business called Strong Roots yesterday. Their website communicates what they do in simple and meaningful language. They are on a mission ‘to revolutionise frozen food’. And they have a great six word mission statement –

“Honesty in food from underground flavours”

Here’s the truth

It’s refreshing (and surprising) to come across a business that has a clear brand message. I don’t need a dictionary to understand what ‘Strong Roots’ do. They value my time by explaining succinctly how they can help me. If I’m interested in quality, frozen sweet potatoes, I’m in the right place! If not, I’m off.

Strong Roots

Business is about people and it’s about communication. Do your customers understand what you do when they visit your website or blog? Have a go at creating your own short story. Then ask for some feedback from people who don’t know you!

I help businesses to be more human on the web. I offer a range of training and services – Check out my current offerings or give me a call on 087 635 5655.

Related posts
How minimalism can help you simplify your life and your business – I’ve discovered that less works best – less words, less goals, less obsessively reading online content!
Chop your words; the skill of editing. Language is an art – how to be selective in your word choice and word count.

The best of 2015 – the ideas I learned and shared this year

13 January

Three Thought Bubbles popular blog posts 2015

I write this blog to help you and to help myself.
I tease out ideas, I share knowledge and skills and I play with words.
I reach out to new people who excite me (mostly Tweeters!) and we have blind dates over strong coffee. There is electric energy in many of these conversations. Ideas collide and grow new limbs! Unexpected collaborations and strong friendships have developed too.

If you are in business, you must emotionally connect with people. This is something I can help you with. This blog post introduces you to the skills and values that underpin my training.

Here are the most popular posts from 2015 – they all focus on authentic ways for you to market what you do.

I tell my clients that a blog becomes a living business plan. Over time, it reveals the ideas, people and values that matter to you. It’s your choice to invest in mattering or write for SEO robots.

In 2015, I wrote about self confidence in business, telling your story and the art of writing, human marketing, visual storytelling, living your brand and face to face networking with people who excite you. What drives me most is finding ways to make business more human. Of course we need to market what we do but there are authentic and meaningful ways to do this.

Learning new skills – how to be kind to yourself

As business owners, we can be very tough on ourselves. I find this is especially true when people are learning new social media skills. My advice is to take baby steps and be kind to yourself! These posts might help you with this:

How to set ‘sane, humane and reasonable goals!
How to give yourself a break. It’s all about taking small, achievable steps.

Blogging – how do you feel about learning a new skill?
Do you expect to master new skills in an instant? Could you change that mind-set?

How minimalism can help you simplify your life and your business

I’ve discovered that less works best – less words, less goals, less obsessively reading online content!

Writing tips

When did you learn to write? Probably at school or college. Now it’s time to lose some of the formal structure and learn to write like you speak. This takes time and commitment but it’s an enjoyable journey. Here are some tips on writing skills and styles:

Chop your words; the skill of editing
Language is an art – how to be selective in your word choice and word count.

Why blogging is not about finding your voice
It’s in the doing; the magic happens as you learn.

Is the feeling of having to ‘create content’ killing your creativity?
Are you writing for SEO robots or because you have something interesting to say?

Human Marketing

When I first heard this phrase, it rang true with me. Sometimes, perceived opposites can work harmoniously together. The reason I set up Three Thought Bubbles was because I believe there are authentic ways to market a business. The second reason is that I know this technique is proven to be effective. People buy from people they like and trust. That is what human marketing is all about; understanding what people want help with. These posts will get you out of your own head and into the mind of your ideal customers:

Brand tone; what do your customers really hear?
Your brand is the conversation that your customers have when you leave the room! How do people ‘experience’ your brand?

Invest in mattering…
What if you focused on how what you do matters to other people? Would it change how you approach your business?

Stop, think, post – how to do social media with intention
Stop and ask yourself ‘what is my intention?’

Tips on how to tell your business story visually

Humans make sense of the world through images and stories. Images are powerful for reinforcing your written ideas. There are lots of ways for you to tell visual business stories:

How to use Instagram to tell your business story
Instagram is a powerful micro blogging platform – see how other businesses are effectively using it.

Visual tips to bring your business stories alive
Simple tips to tell powerful visual stories.

How can you ‘Live our brand’?

We might fight it but each of us is a brand. We’re selling ourselves on a daily basis! We now have the chance to create our online identity:

How much thought do you give to your personal brand?
What do you find when you Google your name? It’s time to own and develop your online reputation.

Connect with people on and off the web

And finally, I encourage you to connect with others and always ask for help!
Find interesting people on the web and invite them out for coffee. See what happens next!

The reason we are in business is to connect with people on an emotional level. Most of us never learned how to do this is in a business context. I can help you by offering you training, support and strategies. Give me a call on 087 635 5655 if you’d like to discuss some options.

Aisling

Chop your words; the skill of editing

29 October

Spend 20% of your time writing and 80% editing. This is one of the best writing tips I have heard. The reason it’s so effective is because most of us love to ramble! We believe that more words make a better story. The opposite is true.

Austin Kleon - Blackout poems


A Newspaper Blackout Poem by Austin Kleon


Austin Kleon is a writer and artist who inspires us to see things differently. For personal entertainment, he began creating ‘newspaper blackout poems‘.
This involves taking a newspaper article and black marker. He scans the piece for a handful of words to string together. He literally edits the text to create short punchy stories. He boxes his chosen words and edits the rest away with his black marker.

This makes so much sense; Why use 100 words if 15 will suffice? Especially if those 15 words now have more impact.

Here’s a humorous quote from The Minimalists on how to declutter your writing –

Avoid throat-clearing. Blogs, books and social media posts are littered with unnecessary intros, solipsistic digressions and avoidable drivel. Ditch the nonsense and state your points. When in doubt, delete your fist two paragraphs and see whether the writing improves.

My writing tips to help you throw away lots of your words:

Step one

What is your key idea for your article? Throw out all ideas on paper or screen. Resist the temptation to edit or structure your text.

Step two

What are the key points that support your idea? Now it’s time to position and piece these together like a jigsaw. How do your ideas flow? Is there a logical progression and clear conclusion?

Step three

How many sentences or words can you remove while retaining the meaning? Choose short active verbs over flowery adjectives. Be ruthless. Come back to the article the next day. Read it aloud. Edit it again.

Clear concise copy is essential for businesses today. Time is a valued commodity – let’s not waste it writing fluffy, stuffy communication! You’ll find an archive of writing advice here on my blog. I am also a communication trainer and consultant. Get in touch if you’d like to chat about my training courses.

Further reading:
An article explaining Austin Kleon’s Newspaper Blackout Poems.
Inormation on Austin’s new book – Newspaper Blackout

How to use Instagram to tell your business story

19 October

Have you considered Instagram for your business? Instagram is a powerful platform for connecting with customers. Think of it as micro blogging – sharing small pieces of carefully curated content that can help you connect with your audience.

Last week I was training a group of business owners about different social platforms and how to use them. The fears we have about sharing online content usually boil down to two things: I don’t know what to say and I’m scared that no-one will be interested in listening. It makes sense to name these issues as clarity and confidence. I know that clarity is the key to social media marketing. If you know exactly what you do, it makes it much easier to share that message on the web. Take time to do that first. Your confidence naturally grows when you can communicate clearly.

I’ll share some key statistics at the end of the post. First though, lets look at examples of businesses who are using instagram well. I want to highlight the importance of combining images with brand language. The ‘voice’ of your brand is important here.

Dirty Fabulous – Living their brand

Sisters Caroline and Kathy own vintage clothing store, Dirty Fabulous. I’ve known these two for years and admire their huge passion and commitment to their business. One of the things that makes this business a success is that they live their brand every day. Vintage is their life and fancy dress is part of their everyday world! Kathy, seen on the right is “Twirling in my 50’s dress at our friends wedding in France.”

Dirthy Fabulous sisters

Balyvolane House – We are professional and personable

We tell our business story in different ways on different platforms. Ballyvolane house is a luxury, historic, Irish Country House. If you visit their website, you will get a sense of their high standards and attention to detail. On other platforms like Facebook and Instagram they show more of the human side of their business. The message is clear; ‘We are professional and personable. We understand our guests and want to make their stay with us memorable and fun.’

Ballyvolane House

Juniper Ridge – Taking you on the journey

Juniper Ridge make ‘Wilderness Perfume’ by distilling and extracting fragrance from wildflowers and plants. “Our company is built on the simple idea that nothing smells better than the forest and that the only way to bring this beauty home is to first strap on your boots and go there.” You get the sense that the business was set up to allow them to earn a living doing what they love; being out in nature. Whatever their reasons, they want to bring you on the journey. Their instagram feed takes you trekking with them. It activates your sense of smell. And it makes you feel part of a community. There is no hard sell here – if you are part of this niche market, you will want to sample their products. This account makes you feel part of the Juniper Ridge team.

Juniper Ridge, wilderness perfumes

Sugru – enabling you to fix things and have fun in the process!

I’m a big fan of Sugru because they are making the world a happier and better place. Most of us want to feel like we can do this too, even in tiny ways. Jane Ní Dhulchaointigh developed a new kind of silicone rubber to fix things. She was tired of buying stuff and wanted to improve and re-imagine the things she already had. In the process, she sparked the imagination of millions of people. Sugru uses their Instagram account to promote and inspire their worldwide community. The attention is firmly on the users of the product. Watch one of their fun videos below –


Kathryn Davey – Sharing sneak peaks into her creative world

Kathryn designs serenely beautiful, hand-crafted dolls. She has a huge following of loyal fans who are interested in getting a sneak peak into her creative world. We get glimpses into Kathryn’s indigo and linen world. Times slows down as we imagine how many tiny stitches have go into creating each piece. “I grew up in a creative household in Dublin, Ireland with very resourceful & talented parents. I came from Grandmothers who lived through wars & rations. Whites were boiled and socks were darned & if you needed a dress for a special occasion it was made from what was available. Although I am self-taught in my craft of doll making & indigo dying, I am grateful to the women of my family for the creative resourcefulness that they taught me.” Kathryn sells her products online – Instagram helps her to make an emotional connection with people who she can’t meet in person.

Kathryn Davey

Video Meals – showing you how to do something {in easy steps}

OK, I followed this guy on Instagram because he was doing something very different and he has a huge following because of that. I find him irritating but that is beside the point; I am not his target audience! This guy has found a way to solve a problem for people. He shows you how to cook recipes that are quick and simple to follow. He saves you time and inspires you to give cooking a go. ‘How to’ content is very valuable because it enables people to do things for themselves. In 15 seconds he will show you how to make chocolate and banana muffins.


Anthony Claffey – creating a memorable series that tells a story

Anthony Claffey is a movement coach and works with Andy Myers at ‘Always Move’. Part of the skill of being a coach is to inspire and motivate people to make change. Anthony gives Handstand Workshops with Andy and has used his instagram feed to illustrate a 365 day challenge he has set for himself. In addition to publicly recording his challenge, he chooses interesting historical locations, which he tells us more about. Instagram allows you to build up a sense of trust with the people behind a business. If they’re popping into your feed every day, you feel like you’ve established some sort or relationship with them.


Here are some interesting Instagram statistics:

  • Instagram’s per-follower engagement rate for top brands is 58 times higher than on Facebook and 120 times higher than on Twitter
  • Instagram is more effective for ‘business to customer’ than ‘business to business’.
  • The average engagement per Instagram post has grown by 416 percent over two years

    * Stats via a Hootesuite More information contained in the full article.

    To sum up this post – Instagram can be a great platform to build trust and engagement with your target audience. It’s not just about pretty pictures. First of all let’s find out if your target audience use this platform. Then we can create a strategy with clear goals for your business. I help businesses to get clear on what they are offering and to whom. From there, I can train you to communicate that message on the web. Let me know if you’d like some help with that!

    On a personal note, I’ve been invited to curate the ‘Picture This Dublin’ instagram account. I’m sharing images that tell the story of my city. I’d love your company over there. (I’ll be posting from 19th to 25th October).

    Instagram Links to explore:
    Dirty Fabulous
    Ballyvolane House
    Juniper Ridge
    Sugru
    Kathryn Davey
    Video Meals
    Anthony Claffey

  • Why blogging is not about finding your voice

    18 August

    New bloggers are encouraged to find their voice but what does that mean exactly? I take a different approach to this metaphor when I train owners how to write a business blog. I believe that creating engaging content is about developing, rather than finding your voice. There is a subtle difference which I’d like to discuss with you today.

    Develop your brand voice through business blogging

    What if you approached your online business communication in a different way? If you allow yourself to relax a little, you will realise something important – The goal isn’t to have the loudest voice on the internet. It’s to have a voice: your voice.

    Publishing content online is not purely for other people to read. It’s about developing a relationship with your own voice and ideas. Blogging helps you to find ways to express your ideas to yourself first and then to others.

    Creating valuable content is not about seeking validation from customers and peers (although you need to be aware of their needs). It’s about exploring ideas that excite you from start to finish. Sometimes that can be a messy process! So much of what we share online is tightly edited. Ideas need space to develop and grow. Today I am encouraging you to use this online platform to own and voice your ideas publicly.

    Over time, your blog can become a living business plan as you actively explore new directions. Interactive feedback is a great way to pitch new ideas or products and make sure you are on track. Clear patterns will show up which might have otherwise gone unnoticed.

    Whether you are a sole trader or a larger company, it is your job to make your business ‘findable’. How are you helping search engines — and most importantly, people, to find your business on the web?

     

    Visual tips to bring your business stories alive

    29 June

    I’m here to tell you that you ARE creative. And with a bit of practice and consideration, you can choose vivid words and images to communicate your business story on the web. Admittedly, this is a skill which requires practice but today I am going to show you some examples of how other businesses are using words and imagery in memorable ways.

    First up is the cafe Love Supreme in Stoneybatter. This image is so incredibly simple; some hand drawn text scribbled beside a freshly brewed espresso. I believe them when they say that this coffee is lovely. In fact it makes me want to peddle across the city to sip one myself. No fancy cameras and lighting here – just a simple mobile phone photo.

    Love Supreme
    Next up is Sugru, a company that sells a silicon rubber that can be used to fix and adapt any object you can imagine! “Sugru is mouldable glue. Stick it, shape it and it will turn into rubber. We invented it to make fixing and making easy and fun.” Sugru have built a thriving community of users who share their repair and creation stories. Sugru help people to find better ways to do things, with or without their product. This is an example of a visual link to a ‘how-to’ post – Sharpen scissors with aluminium foli. The image, when seen on Twitter or Facebook, immediately lets the reader know what to expect. They can see at a glance if it is of interest to them.

    How to tips from Sugru

    And finally, Copyblogger are well aware of the power of text and images combined. They teach people how to successfully promote their businesses on the web! Here they use an image of a speeding train to illustrate the idea of the power of showing up daily in the world.

    Copy Blogger image

    Once you get this concept, it’s a matter of considering your key idea every time you communicate an idea or article.

    What image will help you illustrate your point and make it memorable? It’s great to stretch the imagination here. Get playful with your words. Literal translations can be boring. A great piece of advice I heard is to think of words and images as design elements. Have fun combining them in new ways. The web TV is a blur of constant choice – think about it; we all want to be surprised or jolted into doing something that will make our lives better!

    So where can you find eye-catching images if you can’t create your own? I wrote a previous post with a link to some great free stock image resources. Today I’m adding two great new websites that are bursting with quality visuals.

    The first is Pexels.com
    All images here are licensed under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license. This means you can copy, modify, distribute and perform the photos. The pictures are free for personal and even for commercial use. All without asking for permission or setting a link to the source. So that attribution is not required. All in all the photos are completely free to be used for any legal purpose.

    Pexels.com

    And the second resource is StockSnap.io. Again, all photos on StockSnap fall under the Creative Commons CC0 license. That means you can copy, modify, distribute any photo on the site, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission!

    Stocksnap.io

    I’ll be showing you how to add text to your images in a follow-up post. Here’s how you can get started – search for images to illustrate your written ideas. Name and save images that you can use in your social conversations. We’ll get creative with words in the next post! If you would like some one to one tuition, I can help you learn this skill. Let’s have a chat first!

    Further resources:
    Read my blog post with links to other free stock photos websites.

    How much thought do you give to your personal brand?

    11 June

    Most of us find it hard to place the word human and brand within the same sentence! We think of brands as larger corporate entities or perfectly packaged products. We recoil from the idea of presenting ourselves as a brand. Think about this though; whether you are a sole trader or team player, you now have an amazing opportunity to create and grow your identity on the web.

    Your personal brand lets you own and edit your reputation
    .

    What is your personal brand?

    All of my training and consultancy work is based around the idea of humanising business. That’s because people need to trust and make connections with people before they decide to do business with them. Showing up in a professional and human way on the web is no longer an option! But it’s not difficult either, once you have a clear idea what you want to say.

    Creating and owning your personal brand is about consciously defining who you are and what you are good at. It’s also about sharing your personal values and giving examples of how you show up in the world.

    What do you want to be known for?

    This is a great question for helping you pinpoint your area of expertise. A good example of this is author and speaker Brené Brown. Brené has become known as an expert on the topics of vulnerability and shame. You will often hear her quoting the same stories and ideas in her talks and interviews. These are the topics that she wants to be known for. There is a consistency when she writes or speaks. I wrote a post on this topic called ‘Invest in mattering‘.

    Find ways to write and talk about ‘your key things’; the things you want to be known for.

    We now have the chance to publish our own content. We don’t need permission from an editor to share our ideas. Here are a few suggestions:

    Blogging
    A blog is a place you own and can fill with interesting content that supports your areas of passion and expertise. Combine your human essence with your skills and passions. Share these articles across different platforms and consider writing guest posts so that you can reach a new and wider audience.

    Twitter
    Use your Twitter bio (all all of your bios) to concisely tell the world what you want to be known for. Back this up by sharing useful content that helps other people. Start and get involved in conversations that support your ‘personal brand’.

    Public speaking

    A great piece of advice I received is to own and value your own ideas. Public speaking can start with going to a specialist meet-up and voicing your opinions with other people. As you get braver, you could consider presenting to a group in a work situation, offer to speak at a business network or put yourself forward for a radio interview. Taking small steps is the way forward!

    Podcasting
    If you have a particular area of interest, you might enjoy recording some interviews with other experts in your field. Or you might find that recording yourself talking on a topic comes easier to you than writing. Give people a variety of ways to listen to what you have to say!

    {Really} connect with new people

    Connecting online is a great start but I believe that the best connections are made when we look each other in the eye! Read about the 33 coffee dates I’ve had in the last 18 months. Those amazing conversations have lead to supportive friendships and collaborations. More importantly, they have helped me to articulate what my areas of skill and passion are.

    We all have a personal brand – maybe it’s time you gave more thought to yours? Start by asking yourself what you want be known for. Once you know that, the follow-up steps become much easier! I offer a variety of training around web communication and brand vision. Get in touch if you’d like help or advice on something specific.

    *Edited to say that I removed the Nike logos from the red runners because they don’t support my personal brand!

    Learn how to use your DSLR camera for business + fun

    2 June

    Do you own a DSLR camera? Are you scared to use it?!

    I got a camera for Xmas

    I’m taking a one day workshop in Dublin on 27th. It’s called ‘I got a camera for Xmas‘. Maybe you’d like to join me? Mostly I use my mobile for taking photos. But now it’s time to dig out my Cannon and learn some new tricks. Aga Maru gives workshops to help you to understand your camera better. She knows that there are lots of us who are a bit intimidated by our multi-setting cameras. Here’s how Aga describes her workshop –

    “This course is for everyone who would like to get to know their camera settings better. Designed to let you take creative control of your images – even if you are a novice. You will get to love your camera as much as you love your favourite lipstick. Course will include; a fun theoretical presentation, lunch, some practical exercises and a Q&A session in which Aga will reveal it all.”

    Here are a few of my favourite photos by Aga! She captures weddings and portraits and shoots commercial, editorial and Fine Art photography. You’ll find the details for Aga’s workshop below, along with links to book your place –

    Photographs by White Tea Photography
    Beginners DSLR workshop
    Saturday, June 27, 2015
    1:30pm 6:30pm
    Venue: MVP, Clanbrassil Street, Dublin 8.
    Price: €125

    Find out more about Aga’s workshops and book your place

    Aga has three websites for you to check out:
    White Tea bridal and portrait website
    Aga Maru – website for personal work
    I got a camera for Xmas – training and workshops and Instagram account.

    Knowing Aga, this will be really informative + a lot of fun! Please share the link with everyone you know who got a new camera for Xmas…

     

    How to blog for your Irish wedding business

    7 April

    How to write a blog for your Irish wedding business

    Are you an Irish wedding business owner who would like to connect better with your customers on the web? I can help you to humanise your business by training you how to write an authentic blog. You already know who your ideal clients are – and you love working with them. I can show you how to translate your face to face personality online so that your clients get a sense of who you are and how you do business.

    I have a new training course specifically designed for wedding industry professionals. Here’s how I can help you – First up, I know how many of you are petrified by the whole idea of social media! I used to be like that too until I discovered a new way of communicating. Blogging completely changed the way I thought about marketing. I found a genuine and effective way to connect with my customers before we met in person. And the feedback from clients was amazing.

    We each have different ways of connecting. Some people are great on stage or at a networking event. Others do really well telling stories or relating one-to-one. But business happens online now, so we must make an emotional connection here first. I have fifteen years experience working in the wedding industry and seven years blogging – here is my story:

    Before launching Three Thought Bubbles, I owned Rangoli Jewellery. Working one to one with clients every day made me understand how important this human connection is. I had a professional website but I realised that it didn’t show my personality or convey what it was like to do business with me. So, I started writing a business blog in 2008. My customers loved getting a behind the scenes glimpse into my business. I found ways to share content that excited and inspired them. My blog helped me to build trust before a face-to-face meeting. It also gave me huge clarity on what I wanted from my business. It helped me to seek the kind of work I wanted more of.

    Rangoli Jewellery website

    My blog was twice a finalist in Blog Awards Ireland for ‘Best blog of a SME’. Blogging made me realise that I could chat and connect in a natural way online. My customers got a sense of what it was like to do business with me. They trusted that I could help them.

    I understand your industry and the personal relationships that you build with your couples. Bridal specialists are brilliant at listening and interpreting ideas for their clients. I also understand the pressures of running a successful business and all the juggling that is involved. I can give you the confidence and skills to translate what you do so well, to the web!

  • I’ll help you know what to write about – together, we’ll create a content strategy and calendar.
  • I’ll teach you how to find your voice – really it’s about writing in a conversational style and using language that you use in real life.
  • I help you understand how people read content online and how to write for this audience.
  • I’ll support you and hold you accountable! I’ll give you practical tips and tools to get you started.
  • I’ll show you how to make blogging a regular and valuable part of your business.

    Learn how to write a blog for your wedding business

    Here’s some feedback from Aine Teahan from ‘And Baby Makes Three‘, formerly Allegria Wedding Photography.

    I am now blogging consistently on a weekly basis and I can see huge benefits for our business – more that 80% of our business comes as a result of the blog! If you’re on the fence about blogging or have lost your way, Aisling will get you on track. She is enthusiastic, full of great ideas and she will inspire you to get your story out there. It will be the best investment you could possibly make for your business.

    New bloggers always have some questions and I’m happy to answer them. Please give me a call on 087 635 5655 and we can have a chat! Otherwise you can send me an email. Read more about my one-to-one training and pricing. If you’d like me to help you tell your story, we can discuss that too.

    Image credit: Rangoli bride Aisling – (read her wedding story). Photographer: Peter Gordan of ExploreLight