I’ve been working with a graphic designer and artist named Martyn – he does the pictures, I do the words. On Tuesday, Martyn invited me to venture out for the day into deepest darkest Essex to visit a potential client together. It was a glorious day – the sun shone brightly as we wasted time sharing secrets on a bench overlooking the estuary, the water sparkling and gulls swooping overhead. I like to think that at this point I looked professional yet maybe a little pre-Raphaelitic in my long purple silk dress and very high stilettos. (Martyn hates the pre-Raphaelites by the way, it’s one thing we disagree on.) So wandering off to our business meeting, I wasn’t quite prepared for what was to follow…
It was a farm! Marsh Farm is a super children’s day out that’s being redeveloped into a mini adventure park, complete with tractor rides and indoor skating. So I traipsed through muddy fields and cow sheds, viewing piglets and the cutest baby goats, dress trailing in pools of slop and a smell that overwhelmed even Dior. We had such fun. The farm will be promoting itself via social media, so you might see Twitter updates from them coming soon.
In stark contrast, the following night was a more conventional evening of professionalism, wine and canapés, yet full of the buzz and excitement of a day trip out. IF! Britain is an annual writing competition for young people to submit ideas for improving the country, and this was the award ceremony to celebrate its winners. So a fresh generation gave their take on social, economic and environmental improvements, with the winners receiving cash prizes and a five star holiday. For the business community attending the event in the high tech RBS offices in London, it was a chance to engage with enthusiastic, lovely young people hell bent on fast tracking change. The winner was a university student named Rebecca who hopes to work in social media, so we had a long chat and are now connected on LinkedIn, the ever-increasing portal to business success.
Funnily, my invitation to IF! Britain came via my personal Facebook page. My scrabble friend Bonny (NOT naked scrabble buddy!) noticed that I shared a Facebook friend with her daughter Yasmin, and Yasmin was arranging the event. Would I like to go? Of course I would. Networking, meeting rising business and social talent, and bubbly drinks accompanying little sun dried tomato treats and battered king prawns – no question!!
This highlights (yet again) the potency of social media. Bonny would never have connected me to her daughter’s colleague in everyday life – yet, through Facebook, our contacts are glaringly visible for people to capitalise on when making business introductions. Until now, Facebook has been the medium I use least for increasing business visibility, but this proves its worth. I met some fantastic people at IF! that I am now connected to via all manner of social media and I’m sure I’ll see again on the London business networking circuit.
I hope they’ll recognise me… You may have noticed my personal rebranding. I finally decided to update my five-year-old photo, and thank you for the many complimentary messages received about the new pic!! It was snapped by Caitlin Anderson, a gorgeous photographer who has a selection of wildlife and creative water photos for you to see on Pinterest. My new cover pic is actually a paint drop in water – it reflects how we can make a splash using social media, and even a small drop creates ripples that spread far, reaching people who wouldn’t otherwise have known we are there.
So, picture this: a sky full of thunder, picture this: my telephone number. One and one is what I’m telling you – got a pocket computer, try to do what you used to do, yeah…. If you don’t already know it, my telephone number is 0208 551 7077. Or you can find me here, as usual: @WeekendWitch.