Looe Music Festival. September 2016.

The Normals @ Looe Music Festival. Vanessa Williams Copywriter.

The Normals

A fantastic, friendly, folk, rock & indie inspired music festival, in the calming harbour town of Looe, Cornwall.

Looe is satisfyingly far down on the south Cornwall coast. The journey is long, but you will be rewarded. Cocooned in a bay, this small but vibrant, old harbour town is surrounded by high, lush green woodland. Many of the buildings date back to the 16th and 17th century. Its history is kept alive by way of preserved landmarks and historic buildings throughout the town and along the coast.

It’s busy now, with the festival in full tow. The setting is perfect. Cobbled streets, a sparkling river, venues to suit all genres of music, and plenty of space to amble and eat between acts. Folk, fun and frolics here we come! Looe Music Festival.

A cool, Cornish welcome.

Headline acts this year include Brian Ferry, Alabama 3, Fun Loving Criminals and Craig Charles DJ (my fave was Craig Charles), but at the heart are the smaller acts and buskers who play in various locations around the town – in old pubs, small bars, huge tents, the beach main stage, the streets, the harbour, on top of a big van..

Everyone from locals, festival goers, folk lovers, families, bearded hipsters and pirates alike, are out enjoying the music and warm September heat.

Some music highlights

Gilmore and Roberts a folk/indie duo, charmed us with storytelling tunes, seamless harmonies, gorgeous guitar and violin playing, and quirky, funny chats in-between. I liked the one with the guy with an amputated leg or arm…

I cought a rare jazz act – Louise Parker in Zute Bar. Her strong, soulful voice filled the room with some old classics and lively clap along jazz numbers. She sang to our small crowd with ease, and got everyone involved. Accompanying her was a piano playing feind. I didn’t catch his name, please do comment if you know it.

I enjoyed a captivating performance from Elliott Morris. Maybe folk, pop with a rock edge. With a strong but calming voice, each song was heartfelt and warm. His superb accoustic guitar playing added an extra dimension to his performance.

Musician-by-harbour-in-Looe

Busker on the harbour

Main-Stage-Looe

Choose if you want, to avoid the ticket cost. You could happily amber round the numerous side streets on both sides of the river, explore and catch some great buskers. There was some bellowing didgeridoo playing, a folk style ukulele Sia tribute, some mythical story telling, and a host of very good traditional folk singers, to name a few.

Food-stall-@-Looe

Enticing food around every corner

Good food is never far away. Street food vendors, venues and pubs offer an array of cuisine from classic Jamaican dishes to freshly caught seafood platters.

Sample some Cornish pasties (they are lovely), sip good quality coffee or herbal tea, or a cool beer. Eat chips, relax in a plush restaurant or chill in a pub of your choosing. I spotted some locals crab catching. They had a bucket full!

After 3 days of glorious music, exploring cobbled streets, some unexpected company from Australian Jess, and many a Cornish treat, I ended the festival on a high and made my way to the last couple of acts.

girl-writing-@-LooeOne of the best things about this festival… big enough crowds to create a great atmosphere, but small enough venues so that you can get up close, if you want. I caught the start of Fun Loving Criminals with Huey and his no pulling any punches chat, and strong rock performance. I heard good reviews of them, but with a dance head on me, I made my way to see funk and soul connoisseur Craig Charles, with his boundless energy and a funktastic funk & soul DJ set. It was superb. A good dance finale from myself and a few hundred revellers to round the festival off nicely.

Thank you Looe. I will be returning for sure. 😍

About me

I hope you enjoyed my blog.

I am a freelance copywriter. If you would like me to write for your blog, publication, or business, please do get in touch. Visit my website to find out more.

Vanessa

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Summer 2016 Music Festivals And Gigs In Pembrokeshire

Benjamin Bassford. Summer 2016 music festivals and gigs in Pembrokeshire.

Benjamin Bassford

2016 will see Pembrokeshire host some fine music. From World renowned musicians, new up-coming acts and a host of local talent.

We have a new Arts festival The Edge. A performance from the great jazz/blues musician Courtney Pine at Aberjazz, and an intimate set from ‘Welsh Tornado’ guitarist Gareth Pearson in Caffe Vista

If you’ve not ventured out in Pembrokeshire recently, you may be pleasantly surprised. Gone are the 90s, grungy, grubby, pubs (I know I miss them!). Music venues have been revamped and re-energised. More musicians are finding their way down and enjoying what’s on offer.

Cosy, friendly music cafes/bars have emerged. Try Cwtch Coffee Shop and Art Gallery in Pembroke Dock, a welcome burst of culture to the town, or Tenby’s Caffe Vista, a stones throw away from Tenby’s north beach, or the lovely French/Welsh inspired venue of Ffwrn in Fishguard, where you can enjoy a freshly baked pastry and an ale of your choice.

Go on your own, go with friends. Explore Pembrokeshire and enjoy the music.

July 2016

Tamsin Waley-Cohen. 2016 Music festivals and gigs in Pembrokeshire.

Tamsin Waley-Cohen.

The Fishguard International Music Festival Thursday 21st July to Tuesday 2nd August. 10 days of song, music and verse in some picturesque and atmospheric locations in Fishguard, St Davids and around Pembrokeshire. Acts include The Welsh National Opera Orchestra, clarinetist Michael Collins, and violinist Tamsin Waley-Cohen.

Kadia a folk inspired trio from Dorset, perform Friday 22nd July in Cwtch Coffee Shop and Art Gallery Pembroke Dock. Enjoy their unique take on some modern classics, jazz, Irish and traditional folk. Also on Friday 22nd July through Span Arts in The Queens Hall Narberth is Edd Bateman’s West African Love Affair. Influenced through his experiences touring and performing in Africa, Edd Bateman, a talented bassist, along with his all-star West African band, deliver their unique blend of rhythmic and intoxicating West African inspired music.

On Saturday 23rd July in Caffe Vista Tenby, experience an acoustic performance from Gareth Pearson.The influential and successful Welsh jazz/blues guitarist dubbed ‘The Welsh Tornado’ known for his fingerstyle guitar.

Pembs Fest Music Festival Friday 29th to Saturday 30th July is held inside the castle walls in Haverfordwest. Saturday’s headline act is Billy Bibby & The Wry Smiles fronted by former lead guitarist of the BRIT award winning Welsh indie rock band Catfish and the Bottlemen. Support acts include hip-hop reggae maestros Regime. For the ravers, on the Saturday in the castle’s ‘prison vaults’ over 28 DJ’s bring you drum & bass, dub step, house, hip-hop, electro and techno vibes. It’s hyped to be a night to remember.

Pembroke Beer and Cider Festival Friday 29th July to Sunday 31st July. In conjunction with CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) sample from over 25 ales, including brews from Pembrokeshire (there are many), Wales and beyond. Enjoy music, dancing and singing on the Friday, with duo Lighthouse on Saturday and Al Davy on Sunday.

August 2016

Monday 1st August Roxy Musique The Queens Hall Narberth. A fantastic tribute act to one of the most influential bands of all time. Go back in time and explore Roxy Music’s daring and creative repertoire from 1972-75. And of course you’ll be treated to many of their classic hits such as Virginia Plain, Love is the drug and Angel Eyes.

Friday 5th August to Sunday 7th August The Edge Festival, Solva harbour. A new event on the circuit. Inspired by the filming of ‘Under Milk Wood’ on location, an Arts festival was born. A celebration of music, literature, film, food, craft, sport, with coastal outdoor activities. Live music plays throughout including a performance from Ragsy, who’s recently collaborated with Caroline Harrison on new single My Love – Bring out the Guards. Local talent including the Pembrokeshire Ukulele Pirates, Welsh singer/songwriter Meic Stevens, and a host of local acts in a Battle of the Bands on the Saturday.

Tuesday 9th August. A live broadcast of Glyndebourne Opera:Béatrice et Bénédict by BERLIOZ in The Torch Theatre Milford HavenWith the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Glyndebourne Chorus. Sung in French with English subtitles.

The Hot Seats. Summer 2016 music festivals and gigs in Pembrokeshire

The Hot Seats

Wednesday 24th August 2016 The Hot SeatsBurnett’s Hill Chapel Martletwy, Narberth. Five hillbilly virtuosos from Richmond, USA perform in the charismatic and old chapel not far from Narberth town. (The chapel has more great acts like this throughout the summer).

Aberjazz jazz n blues festival. Thursday 25th August to Monday 29th August. Over 50 superb acts, in an array of venues around Fishguard and Goodwick. Be it traditional jazz n blues, ska, roots, country, rock, folk, gypsy jazz, dance, you are likely to find something to satisfy your ears and eyes. Venues range from art galleries to cafe/bars, to old traditional pubs. Highlights include Courtney Pine in the Theatr Gwaun on Thursday,  The Jasmine Power Quintet in Peppers on Friday, and Tipitina in Ffwrn on Saturday. Friendly and welcoming music and dance workshops are open to everyone. Try the Blues Harmonica Workshop with Rick Asherson in Ffwrn on Sunday.

Aberjazz is by far the biggest festival in Pembrokeshire. One not to be missed. The relaxed feel, the calmness of Cardigan Bay, intimate venues, the end of summer, it all adds to the good feeling Aberjazz creates. (See my reviews on this site).

Other music venues in Pembrokeshire

Food at Williams Pembroke, a warm and tastefully decorated cafe with gourmet food. Friendly hosts with a communal guitar on the wall. They occasionally have music events in their garden. Cromwells Bar and Tavern in Pembroke (opposite the castle) host music from local bands and a weekday open mike night. Pembroke Castle hold large music events in the castle grounds.

The magnificent St Davids Cathedral hold events throughout the year. Try the Castle Inn in the beautiful coastal village of Newport, North Pembrokeshire. A relaxing pub with a nice outdoor space where they often showcase local music. Narberth is slowly becoming a bit of place to be. By day it’s a foodie, craft and boutique hub, by night there is a friendly vibe with a foray of locals and musicians coming together to talk music and enjoy the creative atmosphere.

Explore and enjoy Pembrokeshire. A warm welcome and live music awaits!

*Feel free to comment, and promote your venue or music gig/event

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2016. My year ahead.

Just a little blog to let you know what I’m up to this year.

Since moving back from London I’m enjoying re-discovering Pembrokeshire with fresh eyes. I’m exploring its coast, countryside, creative workshops and the new quirky businesses that are slowly but surely emerging. This summer I’m hoping to walk the Pembrokeshire Coast. It really is stunning. All 186 miles if it! Check out my travel blog. It’s a bit thin on the ground at the moment but I’m planning on adding to it this year.

Contact me if you would like to be included in my travel blog (for free or as a sponsored post). I can promote your business, your music or yourself. I don’t mind if you’re in Pembrokeshire or further afield.

I’m also going to write more online articles. It’s what I enjoy, and it’s an effective way of promoting myself in a creative way. Keep an eye out for my marketing posts, especially if you’re a small business.

Getting out into the world inspires me. So I’m planning a couple of road trips to some small festivals, some cities, a trip to Ireland maybe… I hear the ferry every day but I haven’t visited for over 20 years! It’s about time I did. I also hope to take at least one creative workshop, maybe pottery. Anything to keep me in the moment really. If you have your own business or work in marketing it can be hard to get your head out of the future.

I’m writing this on the day of the Chinese New Year – the year of the monkey. It signifies happiness and prosperity! Good luck for your year ahead 🙂

Get in touch if you need some help with you business writing or marketing. I’ll look forward to hearing you ideas.

Vanessa

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Welsh language broadcasting needs a marketing boost.

A blog by Vanessa Williams CopywriterMonday morning and I’m getting my fix of Welsh news from The Western Mail. I come across the article ‘Broadcasting in Wales faces its greatest crisis for 30 years’.

I was born and raised in Wales. My father is a Welsh speaker, it was his first language and I’m proud to be Welsh. But like (around) 80% of the population I don’t speak it. I really wish I could. I’m fascinated by it and I regret not learning it when I was younger. And after moving to London for 7 years in my 20’s and suddenly having multilingual friends and house-mates, I realised the value and benefits of what speaking another language can offer.

I have tried to learn but failed miserably. Maybe because I’m on information overload with my job. I also feel out of the loop and removed from the Welsh community. I live in South Pembrokeshire and I rarely hear a Welsh word spoken. But I love the Welsh language and culture. I would encourage future generations to take up Welsh as a 2nd language. I don’t want to see Welsh disappear from the media.

Some new programmes to appeal to a wider demographic?

Thinking of S4C maybe the channel could do with a boost to appeal to some different demographics and not just the rural and typically Welsh communities. I put up a couple of posts on Twitter and Facebook to ask for opinions on this matter but I had no responses. Not one of my friends watch it. Even my Welsh speaking father doesn’t watch S4C anymore. But maybe people just need an incentive to tune in.

A Welsh version of Top Gear. We have some fantastic stretches of roads and open spaces. It would help with tourism and the show could be funded by sponsorship. Would I watch it? Maybe if the format was spruced up and they had a mix of men and women presenters or maybe even all Women presenters. Sexist I know! But a new take on the show would be a novelty and could attract viewers from all over the UK.

Wales does Loose Women. I would also tune in to see some savvy, smart and opinionated Welsh women from all walks of life talk on a variety of subjects such as life in Wales, TV, theatre and issues in the media and wider world. Again there would be the potential for sponsorship (of products, clothing etc.) to help fund the show. I would obviously need subtitles. Always an issue with live shows I’ve noticed but I would watch it the next day if subtitles were available. I watch a lot of TV on catch up these days.

A programme to showcase independent film and music. I recently attended the Carmarthen Bay Film Festival. It opened up my eyes to the independent film scene. It’s a thriving global scene. There is nothing on TV (nothing that I can find anyway) that showcases independent films. And everyone knows the breadth of independent music. Have a show dedicated to both with knowledgeable presenters. People from all over the UK and further afield would tune in even if they had to watch it on subtitles. And why not show independent films in Welsh and English? Everyone is getting bored of the mainstream.

A programme dedicated to job opportunities in Wales. Latest figures indicate there are 100,000 people in Wales out of work. So there’s an audience desperate for some information. I went self employed because I couldn’t find work. Pretty much everyone I talk to has problems finding work. Or if they are employed it’s often not enough hours or it’s an unsatisfying or low paid role. A regular programme that highlights opportunities and gives tips and advice on how to get into the various fields throughout Wales is much needed.

Hinterland is brilliant. I’m not a fan of the dark dramas but I was intrigued to see what this one was like as it was filmed not far from me. And of course it’s filmed in Welsh and English so I could understand it. More like this for sure.

A top notch entertainment show to compete with Graham Norton. I know the budget probably won’t allow for this but maybe the channel needs to think big.

Or something similar to TFI Friday? Start a new trend. Bring back the fun. Go out into the towns and cities of Wales. Maybe have English and Welsh speaking presenters and include sections of the show where they speak English and use subtitles for the Welsh speaking parts. And yes this will really annoy some people but it may also give people an incentive to learn.

A rebrand of S4C?

And lastly maybe a new logo and a full on marketing refresh is needed to promote S4C and all its greatness! I looked at S4C’s website and it’s pretty good. It’s modern, responsive, easy to read. The tone is friendly without being patronising, and it has all sections in Welsh and English. But the website alone is not going to convince me to tune into S4C.

A good rule of thumb in any marketing endeavour is to speak to your customers and not get too caught up in your own ideas. Get out into the field and talk to the very people who you want to attract. So maybe a survey is needed to find out what would get people to tune in.

I am not an expert in TV production and I realise there will probably be many barriers to some of my ideas like budget, the establishment and conflicting strategies. But if S4C commissioned any of the above programmes I would tune in. And maybe others would too.

As I said I love Welsh. But others need to be convinced. To many, it’s a community and culture that seems a million miles away. But maybe there is a willing market just waiting to be tapped into. Having worked in tourism it’s obvious the language is a shining star in our heritage and culture. Tourists are intrigued. It is a complex and old language but all the more reason to keep it alive through the media. It’s a unique offering that Wales should use to its advantage. Broadcasting in Welsh will no doubt help keep the language alive. So please don’t let S4C go!

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Fifty Shades of Grey. Take inspiration and get your business moving…

a blog by Vanessa WIlliams Copywriter

Earlier this week on a dreary February evening I broke my usual weekday routine to go and see movie of the moment Fifty Shades of Grey. Yes I joined the masses and sat with a few hundred fellow members of the public to watch a film that focuses on the fascinating subject of BDSM.

Despite the bad reviews I enjoyed it. It made interesting conversation and debate with my friend, her teenage son and girlfriend.

What’s the secret to this film’s success? Plain old curiosity and the focus on raw human emotion? A gap in the market? This subject matter is not often broached and used as a main story-line for a major film. And of course the build up and fan base. It was huge. Millions of books and have been sold across the globe. Love or hate it, you can’t deny that Fifty Shades of Grey is a marketing triumph.

What you can do to give your marketing campaigns a boost…

1. It’s time for a bold and noticeable campaign

For a while now the trend in marketing has focused on subtle ways to promote a business through content marketing and social media. But maybe a bold and out-there campaign is what’s needed to jolt people away from their routine and take notice.

I’m thinking real life models (in place of manikins) in clothes shop windows – it would get people looking. Or a coffee shop revamp that introduces 20 new teas and a free salsa lesson with every 20th coffee bought. Or take your standard electrical appliance store. Why not hold a weekly session where local groups perform in-store using the latest amps and speakers. Also these stores are routinely bland. So as an added attempt to shake things up you could put up some art, offer free drinks and have a couple of comfy sofas on the shop floor for those weary shoppers.  It’s time for a change. Break the mold and surprise your customers.

2. Jump on the bandwagon

As per this blog, talk about what’s current. Put your own spin on the current topics and issues and relate it to your business. Blog and use social media to express your thoughts. This will help with your content marketing. Search engines will pick up on what you’re saying, and more people and potential customers will look at your site and business. Do this regularly and your website hits and ranking will soar.

3. Go back to basics

When promoting your own business it’s easy to get side-tracked and miss out important details in promotions. Everyone is in their own world, and new customers follow you on social media. So maybe it’s time to go back to basics and remind people what you do. Appeal to your customer’s needs. If you need inspiration on what to write get out there and talk to your customers. What do your customer like about you? You could hold a workshop, event or inspirational talk, give away free samples etc. Take feedback on why people go to you, and use the answers as a basis for a blog, regular social media updates, a newsletter, email or print marketing campaign.

4. Timing

Valentine’s Day was an obvious date to release the film but, it’s also that time of year when everyone needs a boost. Thinking back to my marketing days when I promoted events, I started planning up to one year in advance. If you don’t already take some time to draw up a promotion plan for the year ahead. Think of up and coming events nationally and locally, special occasions and times of the year. Get in on the action or create a buzz yourself. You can build up the momentum with an event and offer incentives like early bird offers, pay in advance and you will receive a discount etc. A well thought-out, creative campaign can perform better than lots of one-off promotions.  Also by planning in advance you get everything done in good time and allow for distractions and delays.

About Me

I hope this blog has given you some ideas. Please comment and let me know your thoughts 🙂

I’m a freelance copywriter with a background in marketing. If you would like me to blog for you, write some articles, help with your business writing or marketing planning get in touch. Whatever your business I’d be happy to talk through your ideas.

Vanessa

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What is a copywriter?

What does a copywriter do?

What is a copywriter? A blog by Vanessa Williams Copywriter

Confused?

I recently received a call from someone who wanted me to copyright their newly written children’s book. It’s misleading but a copywriter has nothing to do with copyright law.

We have the almighty task of writing for business, to sell or persuade for you.

And we wear many hats. We could be a journalist one day, writing for print marketing the next, and then move onto writing for a website and doing all the behind the scenes work that comes with writing for online.

The exact role of a copywriter varies. Some will have a specific job within a company, or if you’re a freelancer, every job is different. Many will have a background in marketing or journalism, and some are skilled in writing for a specific audience such as the medical or law community.

It’s hard to define, but we are all writers. We aim to find the most effective way to connect with the audience and achieve the desired outcome of the job, whether it’s to sell, promote a brand or move up the pages on Google.

Today’s copywriter

Back in the day before the overtake of online marketing, a copywriter’s role was to research and creatively write for various types of media such as magazines, newspapers, flyers, posters, radio etc.

We still do the above but the role has now evolved to writing for, and competing in the digital world. 

We now

  • Write with SEO in mind. Essential to get found online and be favoured by Google.
  • Write for various online platforms such as websites, blogs, emails and social media. There are techniques, tactics and behind the scenes tasks for all.
  • Develop an all-round marketing strategy tailored to each job.
  • Effectively write for print. It’s still a good option. It will help compete with online advertising.

A copywriter and your business

It’s not just about the writing. You need to think about what you want to achieve from your promotions.

Are you business-to-business or business-to-consumer? Which online platforms are best for you, how do you attract and keep your most profitable customers, what about SEO, timings, the competition, planning promotions in advance?

It’s about knowing when less is more, where just a few words or a decisive sentence is all that’s needed, or when a lengthy blog piece will benefit, or suggesting that print marketing or an email campaign may reach out to customers who are not responding to online promotions.

A good copywriter should ask lots of questions, be up to speed in the latest SEO techniques and have experience in writing for different audiences across different platforms.

Who can benefit from hiring a copywriter?

What does a copywriter do? A blog by Vanessa Williams Copywriter.

Can you help me?

Anyone who needs some help with their business, to persuade or sell in one way or another.

If you’re struggling to find the right words, pondering on how to connect with your customers, or if you simply need some tips on how to write successfully online, a copywriter will cut through the confusion and guide you and your business in the right direction.

A marketing company or a graphic designer

A perfect combination. Copywriters can write for individual pieces or help out on large marketing projects.

Press

A copywriter writes to attract, humour, provoke, gain attention and is well suited to write for magazines and newspapers. Many copywriters are journalists.

Direct with a business

Whether you’re a small business looking to improve your marketing and draw in the customers, or a larger established company that’s looking for someone to take a new approach with campaigns and projects, a copywriter will help in a number of ways.

Do you need some help?

I’m a freelance copywriter based in Pembrokeshire. I’ve worked for all sorts of businesses in various roles on the front line direct with customers, and from behind the scenes managing and creating marketing campaigns. I look at things from the customer’s point of view and also from the business’s perspective at what needs to be achieved.

Take a look at my service for more on what I can offer. Get in touch to discuss your requirements and an obligation free quote. I’ll look forward to hearing your ideas.

 

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The small Welsh businesses doing it for themselves

A Costa coffee? Or a smoother, higher quality coffee at a slightly lower price in nicer surroundings. Or for tea lovers how about an orange and lemon rooibos tea with a luxurious handmade rose and vanilla truffle to set it off.

A tongue-in-cheek welsh humoured gift, or maybe some hand made ethical and affordable welsh jewellery. Or go vintage and pick up a one off gem of a present that will outshine the rest.

I always notice a small business and there seems to be more popping up in Pembrokeshire and throughout Wales. And with this re-emergence comes plusher, brighter stores with imaginative surroundings, strong brands, welsh produced goods, responsive websites and followings on social media that the branded giants just can’t compete with.

Here’s just a taster of the many inspiring small businesses in Wales today.

Small businesses leading the way in Wales

The Chocolate Froglet, TenbyThe Chocolate Froglet Tenby An old fishmongers in a side street of Tenby, its now transformed into a tantalising and charming chocolate shop. Watch as Karen makes the chocolates in front of you, and choose from the huge selection of truffles, chocolates, fudges, treats and hot drinks. The quality of the chocolate is superb. Flavour combinations are inspired by cuisine and ingredients from across the globe. In a nut shell, going in this shop will make you and your kids smile.

Cwtch Cafe Pembroke Dock A calm and warm haven, Cwtch Cafe is artistically decorated with doors for tables and local art on display. With friendly owners enjoy quality coffee, home made breads and flavoursome food. The odd cocktail and film night is on offer, and I hear a gallery down stairs may be in the pipeline…

Ffwrn Fishguard A new offering in Fishguard, the owners (very nice French and Welsh), have converted the old town hall into a beautiful French influenced open-plan café/bar. A long banquet style table sets the scene for social gatherings, and the large French paintings, piano, vintage TV, barrels of beer and delicious fresh pastries all help to create a lovely homely atmosphere. A perfect setting for musicians to do their thing, they recently showcased some of the best acts at jazz n blues fest Aberjazz.

More like this in Pembrokeshire please!

Vintage GoodsGigi, Fishguard Vintage is big in the cities, but the branded clothes seem to take over in the shire. So when I come across this little shop I was thrilled. It was so homely and well decorated I thought it had been there for months but it had just opened. Find old radios, one-off designer clothes and vintage accessories. The pulling power is simple, be different, stand out from the crowd and discover a new you with a classic vintage find.

No website as yet, but the shop has opened as an extension to Edelweiss Antiques, Gigi is situated at 8a Main Street, Fishguard.

Nom Nom Chocolate Founder Liam Burgess is a Carmarthenshire lad with a love for chocolate. Liam and the team use local produce to create luscious chocolate with interesting flavours such as welsh lavender or peanut butter. I sense a strong brand that appeals to the locals, the foodies and those in the know. I look forward to the website and growing popularity of Nom Nom Chocolate.

Black Dragon Crafts In the Carmarthenshire countryside, Annie Wealleans and her team create Celtic inspired, hand crafted jewellery from scratch using pure, naked pewter. This is an inspiring, ethical and environmentally friendly business. To give you a taste of how this is achieved take a look at the website, they take you through the process of the jewellery making. I hear they’ve recently enjoyed success in the US..

Cadwaladers

Cadwaladers Starting out in 1927 in Criccieth making ice cream, they’ve expanded their offerings to hot food and drink with cafes throughout Wales. Their friendly and positive nature (and delicious ice-cream) has helped to build up a huge following and compete with the branded coffee shops. They post tweets of their ice creams, welcome dogs and give a 10% discount to NHS staff. There’re onto a winner.

Llaeth y Llan Yogurts I had to include this great little co. The draw is simple, high quality yogurt produced in the lush countryside of North Wales. It’s become a familiar staple in the supermarket (along with a whole load of other welsh produce). The website is friendly and open, with their story, recipes, competitions and easy contact routes. The yogurt is delicious and its always good to hear the non welsh pronounce the ll!

I Loves The DiffI Loves The ‘Diff An innovative company selling quirky welsh humoured inspired gifts. They make everything fun and keep their business at the heart of Cardiff and Welsh goings on. Always tweeting and posting funny pics, they’ve built up a huge following. The website is the right combination of not too cluttered but with enough links and images to keep you interested, it’s also very user friendly and easy to buy from.

Confused.com They’ve made it big using their welsh roots and humour as a basis for their marketing campaigns… LandofsavingmoneyandgettingtherightdealgogoGoCompare.com.

Just a few examples of the many out there, it’s clear the small business is making a comeback. And it’s great to see the welsh brand growing outside of Wales. It seems we (the welsh) are finally starting to realise our potential!

If they can do it so can you

In future posts I will explore what it is that makes a small business successful and give you some practical ideas based on my own and others’ experiences on how you can find your unique pulling power and give yourself an edge to draw in the customers and keep them coming in.

There are so many more great small businesses out there in all shapes and sizes, which I will no doubt include in later posts. Let me know if you are one and have something to offer to small business enthusiasts, I’ll write about you in my blog.

About Me

I’m a freelance writer with a background in marketing. If you would like me to write for your website, print marketing or for your publication, then please do get in touch.

 

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Need some content?

Content for you @ vanessawmarketing.co.uk

Looking for some content?

Content marketing. A creative tool, a means to attract and engage. Great for SEO. 

Gone are the days where marketing solely involved producing a flyer, ad or newspaper article. Those easy days are gone.

I’m not discounting traditional methods, it can attract a pool of customers who are not responding to online methods, but producing informative and engaging content is the way to go. It’s the new way to attract customers.

A few things to think about

  • Where are you putting the content. Your website, a blog, a guest blog, social media, an email (not strictly online content, but an effective marketing tool). There are different tactics for each platform.
  • Is it SEO optimised. Google and other search engines favour high quality content. The right use of keywords, title tags and meta descriptions help, along with a host of other factors. It’s an on-going process defining what makes good SEO.
  • Promote it well. Social media works for all businesses. Use it to your advantage. Use good quality photos, images and GIFs to help your content get noticed. Endorsements from champions in your field can work wonders.
  • And obviously what you write is important. This is where a copywriter shines. Think about what you want to achieve, what your customers want to know, the tone, length and timing of your content.

How I can help

I can write some fresh, SEO optimised content for you. 

Through some creative and targeted copy, I’ll help you build a strong brand and customer base.

I’m an experienced copywriter with a background in marketing. I regularly blog and write my own online articles, and I’m passionate in helping out small businesses. See my BIO.

My customers vary from small businesses, creative start-ups, marketing agencies, B2B and publishing companies.

Prices start at £180 for a 1000 word article.

Contact me for an informal chat about your requirements.

Vanessa

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Love Pembrokeshire? I’ve started a new travel blog…

Summer 2014 – Pembrokeshire

OfficeGirlTravelBlog is my new project starting this summer. Since returning from London a couple of years ago, I’m re-discovering Pembrokeshire through fresh eyes, exploring coastline, countryside and town life.  My aim is to walk the full coastal path, stopping off at some quirky local haunts, cosy cafés and nice secluded spots. I’ll also be interviewing some locals and tourists – so to give you another view of Pembs.

This will very much be a novice blog. Even though I grew up here, there are many parts I haven’t explored. I’m more used to fighting my way onto the tube, rather than climbing challenging cliffs!

Follow me on my journey. You can subscribe to my travel posts, there’ll be lots of pics, some reviews of places and businesses, and interviews from the people of Pembs – visitors and tourists alike.

Please comment as much as possible and if you would like me to review any part of Pembs please let me know 🙂

Vanessa

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Marketing today and how I work

How I define marketing and what I can offer to your business. Vanessa Williams Copywriter.

Marketing and how I work.

Marketing

It’s a very wishy washy term.

To most (including myself until I worked in marketing), when you hear marketing you think of an advert, a promotional email, a sales letter, maybe a promo t-shirt. That’s just a small part of it.

Good marketing digs deep into your business. Whether you’re a sole trader or a large company, it’s about going back to your roots and starting with the basics. Defining what your business means to you and what you can offer your customer. It’s everything to do with business from building a strategy, knowing your customers needs and restrictions, building a brand, offering excellent customer service, and bringing everything together to make it run smoothly. It’s an ongoing process.

There’s a pile of definitions out there, but for me it’s about doing a lot of listening, carrying out research, talking to customers, thinking about alternative options, and making sure everything is thought out.

What I do.

Writing is what I do. For online content and in print.

I take great care in tailoring content for you. I draw from my experience of working in various job roles. Over the years I’ve worked in front line customer services in small businesses and big brand organisations, administration roles in various companies, and for the last 6 years I’ve been behind the scenes helping businesses compete in today’s marketing world.

Being creative and trying out new ideas is important to me, but I don’t lose sight of the bigger picture. It’s about doing what’s right for the customer.

SEO and working to compete online is a huge part of today’s marketing. I keep up to speed with the latest SEO techniques and I experiment with different methods.

I like a challenge. I’ll take a fresh look at your business and will take my time to get to know you, whether you’re a sole trader or a larger organisation.

Get in touch if you would like some help with your marketing. I’ll look forward to hearing your ideas.

 

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