Lucy Goes Vegan – Week 3

D is for Disneyland.. but also for Disaster !

That just about sums up my week.

Being half term and my daughters 10th birthday, we took her (and my oldest daughter, I’m not that cruel ha ha) on a surprise trip to Disneyland.  We were under the impression we couldn’t take in our own food, this is not the case for anyone keen to go and so I had the worry of finding vegan food.

I gave up after around 90 minutes.

Honestly? I haven’t got the internal desire to fulfil a plant only diet and all I could think about was having a good time with my family. So I well and truly fell off the wagon.  Instead of beating myself up, it really made me realise how bloody hard I am finding this and truthfully I have had enough (insert childish whine).

Compounding my lack of enthusiasm, looking in the mirror this week, I feel crap.  I thought being vegan almost guaranteed weight loss? Oh well not for a smarty pants like me, who has lived off of peanut butter, park chocolate, avocados and rice and pasta!

My stats don’t disagree..

Lucy Doyle Goes Vegan Diet SFN EXPO SFN Sisterhood

It is not me missing meat and dairy so much thats the issue, its the checking of every.. single.. label. If you aren’t having to check labels you are preparing everything from fresh and unless your whole family are doing the same – what a chore!

Don’t even get me started on My Fitness Pal! Logging every random concoction I come up with has become arduous and so of course i gave that up.  This means I am not tracking calories… I WANT MY LIFE BACK.

Yep. Random outbursts like that above have occurred, a lot. So if my husband is reading this I am sorry .  There I said and possibly my hand slipped on the font size, but its the intention that counts?

I am ready physically to return to the gym after surgery, but telling you all on the hush hush. Its not happening until my diet returns to some level of Lucy normality.

Originally, I set out to do these challenges because I wanted to see what each approach was like, myself, but I also wondered what an honest account would really read like. I am not invested in any approach and so thought I could give a fair and realistic review, with a dash of reality.

What I am, is in total support of those who choose a plant based diet, ok if I m honest I am pretty in awe of those who dedicate themselves.  Dedication is what is required and time, oh and did I mention a strong belief system.

I have no doubt that this challenge will shape my future and how I eat, vegan meals will 100% be incorporated into my life.  However using it as a method of weight loss or to improve my health (did I mention that my skin conditions have deteriorated and I have had a horrible virus) it is not the answer for me.

Its important to remember through all of this that each person is different, each experience unique and what “works” for one, may not “work” for another.

I am going to be honest and admit that i am already winding down week 4, because I have simply hit my threshold.  I will still continue to prepare and explore vegan meals but cannot promise I will continue a 100% vegan diet.

PS… Disneyland was AWESOME, yep I am a big kid!

Don’t forget, if you haven’t already joined our Facebook group www.facebook.com/groups/sfnsisterhood 

Creating a Community

Over the last 2 years, I have gone from working with 30 clients in isolation to creating a business with 400 people travelling in the same direction for a common purpose.

To my mind, it wasn’t content or results that have created the LTB movement, it is something far bigger, far more important and ultimately something far more powerful for business – I have created a community.

Over the next few minutes, I am going to try my best to help you understand how to create a community of people who love your brand and want to go on a journey with you and everyone else in it.

People want to feel like they matter but it’s better when they know they do.

Showing people that they matter is a really tough, but I would suggest that it’s the primary goal every community should aspire towards.

It’s very easy to tell people that they matter, but actually proving it is a different game

By following a few basic rules you can make sure everyone inside your community feels valued individually and for their contribution to the group.

Building a community – First impressions

You only get 1 chance to make a first impression, use it wisely.

Welcome every new member into your community and help them understand the process from getting the very most from using the group.

Then privately send them a message thanking them for being a part of it, and show them how they can ask questions privately and publicly.

Building a community – competence

People want to feel competent.

We only know what we know, and ensuring every member knows what you stand for will allow people security in knowing when they can ask for support without being made to feel incompetent.

So set the ground rules for your community

.

What you expect from members and what they can expect in return. Show them that asking any question will be met with support and encouragement but also have alternative ways of members being able to ask a question anonymously.

If you use the community as a way to check up on accountability, make sure you celebrate success in public and feedback anything people need to improve on privately.

By showing flaws in a members performance you’ll take away their feeling of competence within the group, and no matter who you are – how you appear to your peers will always impact the way you behave inside a community.

Building a community – Over Deliver

Overdeliver.

Ok so this is a buzzword in our industry (and all service industries) at the moment and now people are slowly learning to expect over delivery – so if it’s expected then you’ve already got your work cut out.

This doesn’t always have to be delivery related to your service, an action as small and seemingly as insignificant as a text, a call or a method of communication you wouldn’t usually use for someone to simply tell them they are in your thoughts, they are appreciated, and delivering a little bit of praise can change the way someone sees the world.

To me that delivers value beyond compare yet so few people do it.

Over delivery to me is making everyone in the group feel better than they would have ever expected. Whether that comes in the form of content or compliments, make sure you over deliver every single day.

Building a community – Autonomy

People feel like they matter most when they aren’t pigeon-holed and made to feel like they have no control. I’m pretty sure that’s the world’s most middle-class rap, but we’ll leave it in

Autonomy is probably the biggest gift we can give to people. People don’t like feeling controlled and want to find their own way of achieving success, but of course, they are paying you to be the guide that keeps them on the right course, but equally they want to know that you have amazing ideas for them to choose from.

I think we are moving towards a place where we are so afraid of NOT giving autonomy that we forget to make helpful, practical suggestions that form a pool of potential choices – especially for people who don’t want to think too hard about how to make progress.

I think we are moving towards a place where we are so afraid of NOT giving autonomy that we forget to make helpful, practical suggestions that form a pool of potential choices – especially for people who don’t want to think too hard about how to make progress.

Building a Community – Belong

And now we move onto the one that needs the most amount of work.

Making someone feel like they belong – it’s the ultimate way of creating super fans.

Think about it, every weekend millions of football fans pack stadiums around the UK to belong. The view is worse than TV, the weather is worse than at home, the tickets are scandalously expensive. Add to that a good potential for your team to lose and you wonder why people do it.

But look at things another way, If all week you spend time with people who don’t “get it”, don’t share the same values and beliefs as you, then that 90 minutes per week might be the only time you feel a common connection to other people.

They cheer, laugh, cry and sing together. Of course, it all goes too far sometimes, and making sure that your positive group never gets a mob mentality is vital. I’ll touch more on that later.

So how do we create our own fans? The ones who turn up to events wearing our kit, the ones who post about us on social media, the ones who feel that what you have created is a reflection of their identity and who they want to be seen as?

First up, you need to get them together often.

Whether your community is mostly online or mostly in-person, you need to schedule regular events away from their normal interaction with each other.

If your service is an in-person service, run a webinar or create a Facebook group

If your service is online, book a meal out or host an event someone. 

One of the first things I did with my online community was to create a training event in person so that we could shake hands, high 5, learn together, laugh together, eat together and just enjoyed being in the company of people who shared the love of getting better at training clients

You could see friendships form immediately and people left the event feeling uplifted but also a bit sad that the day was over. That’s where the real magic in service standards is formed.

Of the 28 people who attended that day, 27 are still in LTB. Make of that what you will in relation to how great community is for retention.

Another way of creating super fans is by showing them that no matter how busy you are, they never stop being important to you.

Knowing your customers nicknames, birthdays, kids birthdays, upcoming family events, stresses and having a gauge for when they seem to be a bit quiet is utterly vital to creating a community of people who feel hugely valued as individuals.

Someone’s child has been taken ill? Sending a card to the child, and a handwritten note to the customer is about as classy as it gets.

Interesting fact for you, I have over 400 paying customers and I know at least 3 facts about each of them off the top of my head that doesn’t relate to their job.

What this shows you, I hope, is that I have over 400 people who matter to me, who I trust and believe in, who I share the same values as, who I will move mountains to see succeed.

Avoiding pitfalls:

The biggest worries I have in my communities are always related to how my group is viewed by the outside world and as a result of that, I have strict measures in place to ensure the values that we hold dear are never betrayed.

People will always know what to expect when they know what you stand for, but you will be equally as likely to get respect when people know what you won’t stand for.

In my group, we don’t accept talking negatively about anyone. We can disagree with beliefs, we can disagree with systems, but I will never accept people talking ill of others. Our focus is on what does work, and who is legit rather than what doesn’t and who isn’t.

As soon as you let one bitch-fest take place, it’s open season on everyone and in my opinion, there is enough negativity on the internet in the fitness field without letting it come into our house.

If you want to create a community that inspires people, that connects people, that helps you build an amazing business – focus on who you are, what you stand for, and who you represent.

If you want to learn more about building an online community, visit Lift the Bar

Thank you to Chris Burgess for writing this blog for SFN EXPO

How iposture could be damaging your sales

As we discussed in Cathy Macdonald’s blog on communication (Click here to view) first impressions do matter. We make quick opinions based on how people look so how can we use this to our advantage?

Harvard Professor Amy Cuddy who you may recognise from her famous Ted TALK (Click here to view) discusses the benefits of positive postures. We all know that using an iPhone on a stand looks unprofessional but there is also another negative, your bodies chemical reaction to it.

Subjects of a study who used smaller devices decreased in assertiveness and increased the loading on their neck (leading to eventual pain and headache.) The study showed people who were staring at iPhones were 50% assertive compared to 94% of people who used desktop computers. We contract our bodies with inward posture making us feel less powerful when using smaller devices.

We all want to be more productive and efficient yet using small objects even for a short period of time may be reducing our assertiveness and reducing our productivity.

So, what’s the upside? The studies show having a good posture and opening our bodies can have a 19% increase in how confident we feel. This also reduces our cortisol levels meaning we are more relaxed and can think clearer when communicating with customers. Having an open posture means you are more welcoming to customers making your exhibition a lot more successful.

To find out more about how posture can improve your performance, check out Amy Cuddy’s book PRESENCE: BRINGING YOUR BOLDEST SELF TO YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGES.

If you want to see testimonials from SFN EXPO, click here

Lucy Goes Vegan – Week 2

It was never going to be plain sailing for this foodie..

One topic I have failed to cover in my previous blogs in this series, is exercise. I had major surgery in the latter part of last year that ruled out exercise for 8-10 weeks and so exercise for me has just been walking, walking and more walking!

Naturally it has been hard staying away from the gym and whilst I couldn’t test fully, the effects of a vegetarian diet whilst exercising. I am happy that I have pretty much maintained my weight without fully tracking my calorie intake.

Lucy Doyle SFN Sisterhood Vegan

NOTE: Week 5 and Week 6 are Week 1 and Week 2 of the Vegan Diet. The 4 weeks of vegetarian diet can be found here: Lucy Goes Vegetarian

I am due to start can exercising in a weeks time and I am really apprehensive training on a vegan diet. I am not keen on the vegan protein powders I have tried so far and I cant say I feel overly energised! Thank goodness I will only have a week to go.

Fast forward to week 2 of the vegan challenge and whilst physically I feel okay (and I really could not say better than okay) mentally I am struggling.

It has not taken even two weeks to come the conclusion that you have to be utterly devoted to the core reasons that cause you to chose a fully plant based diet.

Oh by the way, “plant based” seems to be the popular term for a diet free of any animal produce.

I am learning so much doing this challenge and it has given me so much food for thought, (sure I’ve milked this pun previously and there I go again!) especially about how I want to approach my nutrition long term.  What I know right now is, a full time plant based diet is not for me. I will continue the challenge because I committed to it, but I would be lying if I said I could get to the end of the four weeks being a dedicated vegan.

Time.

Time is the first obstacle and I have a complete lack of it.  I feel like unless I research every single ingredient in depth, then I have to rule out any packaged foods. Unless you live in a hip urban area or in a busy city, you haven’t got access to shops like Wholefoods. Supermarkets where I live have such a limited range and then foods that are suitable for vegans are not labelled to say so.

Of the meals I have had most have been enjoyable and I have not felt unfulfilled, but thats probably due to the amount of bread, rice and pasta I have been eating! My surprise comes in me missing the eggs that I didn’t miss when I was vegetarian.

Quinoa has featured heavily and I have continued to enjoy nut milks. Breakfast remains based around oats, oat bran, fresh fruit, seeds and the occasional dollop of Alpo soya yoghurt, coconut yoghurt is too high in fat for me to eat regularly.

Stirfries have been great as I can include rice noodles, but I do wonder how much I am accidentally   eating, that I shouldn’t. For instance valentines we had a bottle of Cava and if I am honest it didn’t even cross my mind that it wasn’t vegan friendly. Then I research and find that “fining agents” are used to filter the grapes and these are often animal derived i.e. bone marrow and blood.

So yep, I messed up there. However it does make me question, is that really necessary?

Whilst I am in no way a devout plant based eater in two weeks, I do want to eat more consciously and with a planet that is struggling with the burden we place on it, there are more than suitable non animal alternatives.

As I move into week three the only thing keeping me sane is an invite to an Urban Kitchen Vegan Workshop, being held by the talented Toral Shah!

Dont forget, if you haven’t already joined our Facebook group www.facebook.com/groups/sfnsisterhood 

Lucy Goes Vegan – Week 1 (What No One Tells You about Going Vegan)

You’d be forgiven for thinking that I cowardly deserted the start of vegan month, or maybe just went into denial that I had accepted this challenge, in the first place.

Fear not! I just got the flu.

Then daughter 1 got the flu and then daughter 2 got a tummy bug, then… Are you getting the picture here?

I joke not with my longstanding tagline “An ordinary girl on an extraordinary (and often bumpy) journey”.

So I am here, albeit a few days late and I have heaps I want to share with you.

Vegan week one began and I quite honestly didn’t know what to expect.

Could I honestly enjoy a plant based diet? Let alone survive healthily?

Lucy Doyle SFN Sisterhood Vegan

It was something I was quite nervous and worried about, mainly because vegetarian month had exposed my disorganised flaws, my dislike for prepping food and my distorted beliefs that “tomorrow I will start being on the ball”. I never found the ball, let alone roll the damn thing!

So entering the week in trepidation, I was immediately struck by how hideous it is, looking for cupboard staples which were vegan friendly. Sure, I could find plenty of vegetarian approved foods, but when I read the ingredients they appeared to be vegan friendly, but didn’t actually state it.

Jeez this was stressful.  Did this mean there was something in there, I had not realised did not constitute suitable for vegans?  Or is it just not common place to stamp it as an “ok product”.

I have been watching Sex & the City for the first time ever with a girlfriend of mine. We have a marathon night every Monday and I had to miss this weeks because I was poorly, totally gutted as even though I consider myself a tomboy – I am hooked.

I love the way Carrie talks about her articles and for several days I dreamed I was The Sisterhood version of her.  Minus the pretty dresses and the meals and the men and.. Well anyway, a girl can daydream?

 

Lucy Doyle SFN Sisterhood Vegan

Back To The Topic: My Vegan Diet

The first day I browsed supermarkets, buying anything and everything that was vegan friendly and that my sisters, was not much.

It rapidly dawned on me that if you want to be a great veganista – you have got to be ready to go whole and by that I mean preparing everything from scratch with whole ingredients.

If you don’t, you’ll find your entire free time consumed, with market research and waving good bye to your life savings that will be spent on niche sauces and dare I say it coconut yoghurt that costs £2 for a small tub and contains a staggering 25 grams of fat! That is over a third of my fat intake for a single day, in 3 mouthfuls of dairy free yoghurt. The next option is soya yoghurt and there lay my next issue.

The purpose of this blog is to give an insight into everyday life and so I don’t want to start delving into the science here, which can happen somewhere else. Last week I had a comment in the Facebook group on a picture of my scrambled tofu and baked beans brekkie, served with sough dough toast. I for one was pretty impressed by my creation, but the comment was that, the tofu was bad for me and what ensued, was quite a debate.

Tofu in moderation is not bad for you and is a great source of protein for vegans and vegetarians alike and so it was a non-issue. However I did say moderation and it feels like after one week of being vegan, soya is everywhere.

I mean absolutely everywhere.

Soya spread, soya cheese, soya yogurt, soya milk, soya sauces – At the end of this week, I am all soya’d out!

This most definitely bothers me that so many vegan products are soya based and if they aren’t soya based then they are coconut based and load with fat that just doesn’t fit my macros or comfort level (my gallbladder will start screaming at me).

Next up is the varying palatability of these products.  I tried one cream cheese spread and I started chuckling to myself, it was awesome and I really mean that. Even if I return to being non vegan I would by it.  You can check it out here and guess what soya free – http://www.violife.gr/#!violife-creamy/cpxp

I quickly snatched up everything else I could find from this company and they products, whilst not as wow as the cream cheese, did not disappoint.

Unfortunately for cocky old me, I was then brought crashing down to earth with a few other brands that left me gargling salt water, trying to get the hideous taste and residue out of my mouth.

Am I going to spend the next 4 weeks eating Violife Cream Cheese??

I found some pasta that I thought I could eat and got excited, only to read up about fatty acids that could potentially come from animals.  Ok this is tricky business, read here –http://www.veggieglobal.com/nutrition/non-vegetarian-food-additives-no-e.htm

I then continued to info dump myself with what vitamins I needed to worry about and even though I had already begun a course of good quality multivitamins, I still wanted to make sure I was getting the best out of my food.  Getting enough iron was one important thing.  Getting enough vitamin C, at the same time to ensure iron absorption, was an added worry and I began to realise how little I know –http://www.veggieglobal.com/nutrition/notalot.htm

The panic quickly passed as I found that many normal dried types of pasta were fine and I settled into a routine. I even created some dishes that would become a family favourite even for a non-vegan lifestyle.

Oat bran remains my staple brekkie and I just switched to almond milk, added chia seeds and fresh fruits, flaxseeds and when I wanted a protein boost, added Sun Warrior Protein powder.

I did seek comfort on more than one occasion, in this little beauty of a recipe I made up –

Vegan Peanut Butter & Chocolate Pudding Recipe

50g Oat bran

25g Dark chocolate (smashed into pieces)

1 tbsp. Peanut Butter

200ml Almond Milk

Place oat bran and milk in a microwavable dish and heat for 2 minutes remove and stir then add the nut butter. Heat for another minute and then remove and add the chocolate. Only stir a few times and then leave to stand for 5 minutes.  This will keep some of the chocolate in melted pockets.

Check back for week two of my Veganista attempts!

In the meantime join me in our Facebook community www.facebook.com/groups/sfnsisterhood

ADCC Announce 5 Nations Championships at SFN EXPO 2016

It is with great delight that ADCC UK announces its partnership with SFN EXPO: Scotland’s biggest Sport, Fitness and Nutrition Exhibition.

This collaboration means athletes get to compete in Glasgow’s SECC Arena Halls, showing off the art of submission wrestling in front of not just their peers but some of the industries’ biggest companies, speakers, fans and over 10’000 people happy to be entertained.



ADCC UK secretary Paul Williams Crossley said:

“We are so pleased to have put this together. The SFN guys are amazing to work with and have personal passion for Martial Arts which makes this partnership the perfect way to bring ADCC’s exciting rule sets to Scotland.”

The ADCC is the world’s biggest name for No Gi grappling or submission wrestling as it is also known. The rules make for a dynamic, action packed crowd pleasing event and more level playing field across the various grappling & wrestling disciplines. This means you see competitors from sports such as Sambo, BJJ (Brazilian Jiu Jitsu), Traditional wrestling, Judo & MMA.

ADCC Scottish Open 5 Nations Championships SFN EXPO 2016

At SFN EXPO 2016 you will see competitors split in 3 major categories with slight tweaks to the rules to maintain the highest levels of safety) these are beginners, intermediates and Professional. These are then subdivided by Juniors/Male/Female and weight classifications.

ADCC UK have put together something very special for the Scottish Open Championships. In Glasgow, competitors will not only earn points for their clubs but will also earn points for their respective nations! Athletes from Scotland, Wales & England will be joined by our family from across the Irish Sea taking on all comers competing for a world coalition. The home nations all have strong, rich combat histories, national pride is at stake, who will reign victorious. The 5 Nations Challenge awaits… Compete or support, see you on August 28th.

Want to be first to know when the limited entries are available?



Pre-Workout Espresso & Almond Chocolate Protein Cups Recipe

These Protein Chocolate Cups are absolute madness! So so so tasty – a perfect (polygamous?) marriage between almonds, coffee…. and dark chocolate. If you like almond butter cups, you’re in for a treat! Literally. A perfect pre-workout bite of POW.

I’m calling them ‘mini’ because I made them inside truffle cases instead of muffin cases. So they’re tiny. Properly bite-sized. They’re delicious and perfect before the gym, alongside an espresso – for that kick of karakaPOW! They take about two minutes to assemble, 30 in the fridge, and use only five ingredients. One of the ingredients is our brand new Whey Protein Pow Mix.

Before the Recipe – Have You Seen The Protein Pow Mixes?

I’ve been screaming about my mixes all over social media these last few days and what I’ve noticed is that a lot of people still don’t know what the mixes are – or what exactly they are for. Let me tell you why that is:

Protein Pow Cooking Mixes

It’s because there is NOTHING like them out there.

This is seriously the height of innovation in the world of protein foods! Trust me on this, there is no one with more protein cooking experience out there. The mixes are completely in a league of their own. They are 100% all-purpose and designed to make cooking with protein quick, convenient, and EASY. I created them not to launch another protein product in the market, no. I created them because I just couldn’t sit back any longer, write books, create original content, write for magazines, consult with big businesses, and not get involved in bringing into the world the ONE product that I have ALWAYS dreamt of finding on store shelves. And in my kitchen.

So I did it. I created these mixes after years and years of cooking with protein and hearing what your primary issues and concerns: e.g. dry foods, hard-to-find ingredients, too many proteins to choose from, etc. My goal from the beginning was simple: to create the absolute BEST product to make protein foods with. It took me a long time to find the right ingredients! But eventually I did, to make easy for you guys to follow all my recipes and get them right EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. No matter what your cooking experience, background, or location (because I’ll ship you our mixes globally – see Note below if you’re outside Europe).

You know what I mean? It HAD to be done.

What the mixes do is take away the need for you guys to buy protein powders to cook with and scout out special ingredients. They make creating your own protein bars, truffles, pancakes, and baked goods CHILD’S PLAY. Effortless. Simple. Easy Peasy! And I cannot WAIT until you get your hands on them because you’ll see what I mean the second you use them to create your own recipes and follow the ones I post here at Pow. Recipes like the ones I wrote for the back of our packaging. Or like the ones I’ll be regularly posting here. Recipes like this one, for Espresso & Almond Mini Chocolate Protein Cups! Check it out:

Protein Pow recipes Protein Cups

Pre-Workout Espresso & Almond Chocolate Protein Cups Recipe

Ingredients
1/4 cup (28g) Whey Protein Pow mix
2 tbsp (32g) almond butter
1 tbsp (10g) of your sweetener of choice (I used Sukrin’s granulated erythitol but coconut sugar or granulated stevia would work really well too)
Freshly-brewed espresso to bind (I used 20ml)

Coating
3 squares (30g) 70-90% dark chocolate (I used 85%)

Directions

1. Melt your chocolate in a bain marie (i.e. a glass bowl on top of a pot of boiling wohrah).

2. As the chocolate melts, make the filling of your cups by mixing the rest of the ingredients together, adding a tiny bit of coffee at a time, until you get a thick batter. Taste the batter for nomms. But try not to eat it all! You’ll be tempted, trust me. But mobilize some restraint, OK? Because the cups, I promise you, they’re worth it.

3. When the chocolate has melted, pour half of it between 6 truffle paper cups. Then, add a dollop of the filling on top and cover them with the rest of the melted chocolate.

4. Put them in the fridge for 40 minutes and then just ‘unmold’ them (check out the video I uploaded a few months ago to see how it’s done). You can use paper or silicone mini cups. This time I used paper truffle cup. Please bear in mid that, if you want to make them bigger, all you need is to use regular-sized muffin cups.

5. After unmolding… they’re all yours, baby! Enjoy 🙂

Macros per cup (out of the six you get from the mix above): 78kcals, 4g carbs (out of which 0.8g is fiber so net carbs = 3.2g), 3.5g protein, 5.7g fat (mostly from the nut butter!)Protein bakery recipes Protein Cups

Note: To be one of the first to get our mixes, you can pre-order them mixes here today. They will ship out on the 14th of October so, in two days! If you live outside Europe – in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand or beyond – this week we will unveil brand new and much improved shipping rates at shop.proteinpow.com so please wait until you receive our International Protein Pow Newsletter (sign up here) before you place your order!

UK Exhibitions Digital Marketing Tips

Josh Quigley was the founder and Zookeeper at SharkDog, a social media agency based in Edinburgh. Josh delivered his own workshops and presentations on social media and also spoke at many events in Scotland which helped people understand social media and how they could use it to market their business. Josh is also known as the Tartan Explorer and recently won Young Entrepreneur of he Year. Here are Josh’s Digital Marketing Tips for UK Exhibitions:

1. What’s your biggest tip for Digital Marketing and why?

Get on Snapchat!

Snapchat is massive in social media marketing at the moment and rightly so. Recently revealed stats show that Snapchat is amassing 7 billion daily views. You can’t dismiss these numbers and not understand that this is where people’s attention is at the moment.

Snapchat is a great tool to build your personal brand or add a real human touch to your company brand. The beauty of Snapchat is that everyone is on a level playing field in terms of content production. Everyone is using the same camera to capture images and video and it doesn’t matter what editing software or production equipment you have.

Your ability to succeed on Snapchat comes down to how creative you can get within the app and this gives you a real opportunity do dominate Snapchat in your industry.

Use Snapchat to show the behind the scenes of what you do and your daily grind to really connect with your audience.

2. What’s the biggest mistake you’ve seen with Digital Marketing and why?

The biggest mistake is people just constantly talking about themselves and are always going in for the kill.

You need to use social media to be social. Use it to bring real value to people and educate or entertain them as a way of connecting with them.

Too many people only post updates about themselves and are constantly trying to sell at the first point of contact.

You need to use social media to build relationships with people and add real value to their life instead of constantly trying to sell your product or service.

3. If you had £100 to spend on digital marketing for UK Exhibitions, how would you spend it?

Facebook advertising. No question about it.

Facebook has an incredible amount of data on us that makes it the most effective marketing platform of all time.

The way you can target people on Facebook is truly amazing.

Let’s say you are a Yoga instructor who runs classes in Motherwell. If you are targeting woman who are 30-50, live in Motherwell, are interested in Yoga and like to keep fit. You can then create a 60 second video that shows off the benefits of your class and why people should attend and then run an ad on Facebook that only goes to woman in Motherwell, who are 30-50 and have expressed an interest in Yoga on Facebook already.

The targeting options are incredible and you need to use them to your advantage.

4. If someone was starting a business, what would be the first social media platform to learn and why?

I think rather than learning individual platforms it’s far more important to understand the psychology behind social media. Understand how you market to people and the principles behind it before you start learning any of the platforms.

Understand why people use social media, what they’re looking for when they do and then how you can use it to tap into this and market your business.

Once you understand the psychology then you can start to master the platforms.

5. If you could recommend one book, podcast, youtube video etc on Digital Marketing, what would it be?

Gary Vaynerchuk!!

Anything and everything from Gary Vaynerchuk. If you are marketing on social media and aren’t following Gary then you are missing out big time. Gary puts out a ton of free content with his daily Vlog, Ask Gary Vee show and countless articles and youtube videos. Gary is also massive on Snapchat.

He also has a must-read book called Jab, Jab, Jab Right Hook.

To learn more about Josh and his travels across the world to raise awareness for mental health awareness, visit his Facebook page.

Lucy Goes Veggie – Week 4

My 4 weeks of vegetarian eating has reached the end, but am I relieved? 

If you asked me at the beginning, how I thought I would feel at the end of four weeks of eating no meat or fish? I am pretty sure I would have said terrified.  Now that the end is here, if it wasn’t for the fact I am about to embark on four weeks on vegan eating, then I would have almost felt disappointed returning to meat.

Being honest I didn’t have much belief in myself, that I could do the challenge. Whilst I have slipped up a few times, on the whole I feel quite chuffed at how well I adapted. It has given me a lot to think about for the future as to how I rely on meat for my protein sources.

This final week I asked a few friends what they would like to know about my meat free month; here is a selection of some of the questions;

Have you lost weight?

Ha! As women we are obsessed with a diet that promotes weight loss and I’m sorry to say that pretty much, no, I haven’t lost any weight and nor did I expect to. As much as I enjoyed the meat free time, I never once had it in my mind that removing meat would equal weight loss.  Why would it? I simply replaced the lost calories with other foods, rather than ate less. Weight loss occurs from less calories going in and/or more calories going out.

Did being vegetarian affect your sleep?

At first yes there was some disruption.  There were quite a few days that I went to bed with this hungry feeling, although I had technically eaten enough. However after around 10 days it settled down and my sleeping returned to my “normal”.

Did it cost you more or less money?

It was quite hard to work out, since I shop for a whole family (who are not vegetarian) but I would say that it cost less overall.  This was one aspect I was very happy about.

Did you find it difficult to eat out?  

Surprisingly, not at all. Even at restaurants that specialised in meat, they had good vegetarian options.

Over the four weeks, what is the best nugget of advice that you would pass forward?

I would say that even if you do not plan to eliminate meat from your diet, trying a few weeks meat free not only shows you how much meat you perhaps eat, but it could encourage you to increase your fruit and vegetable intake.

My final week’s stats

Lucy Doyle Goes Veggie Vegetarian Diet

Next week sees me venture into plant based eating. I am slightly anxious because the idea of giving up milk and butter terrifies me! However I am also curious enough to still be approaching it enthusiastically. Look out for my blog next week to find out if I survived the first week.