Online shopping continues to grow in the UK.

%name Amazon

I manage other companies social media so I’m always like a ferret down a rabbit hole. I sniff out relevant engaging news daily. This week I read about the inexorable rise in online shopping in the UK and Europe, with only China and the USA bucking the trend.

It’s been clear for a while now that digital marketing is the present and future at home. If you’ve not got a digital presence, prepare to become the next Blockbuster, BHS or Woolworths as trading conditions on high streets are tough.

You don’t have to invest in a website just to sell products either, or promote your products, though it’s a no brainer. A website can sell your services, your brand and you. Mine, this website, sells me well and keeps me in a lifestyle that is great. I’m no Amazon, but I have ambitions.

I don’t have an office on some trading estate, or business park. I don’t have many visitors knock on my door to meet. My base is bedroom 3 with decent tech and fast Google WiFi with a growing reputation for excellent service from my base in Bradwell, Norfolk for local customers and others based nationally and internationally.

People are finally cottoning on too that a website is necessary to showcase your work as a freelancer or potential employee. Who would impress most in an interview? The candidate with a website who can instantly show his or her portfolio of work or the one reliant on a CV, covering letter and references?

A website can be temporary too.

I’m delighted that I’ve now done about seven websites for temporary promotion.

You may, as a property developer, want a landing page creating to avoid the expense of traditional marketing via an estate agency, who charges so much because they are in turn exploited by the obscene portal costs of Rightmove.

A stand alone domain name costs around £10 and a website with hosting and logo, Google map integration and emails, can be had from me for under £300. Much better than splashing cash on print marketing and, if you’re confident, this approach will work, cheaper than hiring an estate agent, many of whom are mediocre with several excellent ones in each area.

If you’re actively seeking employment, a personal website can make you stand out too.

A link to your LinkedIn profile is a genius way of promoting yourself and again with a cost with hosting under £300 and a WordPress site you can add to, is a cost effective solution to launching yourself for work or self employment.

If you want to know more about growing a business, ask me.

This freelance business has grown from a monthly income of £25 in 2015 to much much more 4 years later.

With almost 40 five star Google reviews, you can trust Stuart Walton, sole employee in Get Pro Copy Ltd, apart from my companion, Cassie the border collie.

Yesterday, Gorleston high street seemed so far away.

Gorleston, Gorleston-on-Sea, is a place we’ve now lived in for 11 years and quite frankly loved living in.

It’s a town that’s changed beyond recognition from when we first upped sticks. We moved initially to Jenner Road, on the Paget Estate. This was followed by a long stint on Elmgrove Road, with so many architecturally diverse properties. 

Gorleston High Street

It was a High Street 11 years ago that was ok. But wouldn’t have you picking it over a short hop to Great Yarmouth, but its development has been remarkable. There’s some very quirky independent businesses there, amongst the chains, that are doing well:

What is Hip? 

Bellyboos 

Junx Clothing 

Donnatellas 

The Palace Cinema

along with many others, who are making Gorleston quite trendy.

Bells Road

Bells Road, led by the vintage Margo’s Lounge café, is enjoying a renaissance. The seafront is still as fine a beach as you could stumble upon anywhere. 

The icing on the cake so to speak this week was the world premiere of “Yesterday” with Ed Sheeran and Danny Boyle rocking up on Gorleston High Street. If that doesn’t mark its coming of age, I don’t know what does!

Based in Bradwell

We no longer live in Gorleston, but moved to Bluebell Meadow in Bradwell to downsize 3 years ago. I still have a strong affinity with the town, having lived there for 8 years and taught at Cliff Park High School back in the day.

What hasn’t developed though, perhaps, is a business infrastructure, until recently. 

I deliberately avoided optimising this business, Get Pro Copy Ltd, for certain searches. “Copywriter Great Yarmouth, Gorleston copywriter” and “freelance web designer Great Yarmouth” were ignored. Mainly because, SEO tools told me there were zero searches per month on Google. 

What was the point, I thought?

But now, I do get regular enquiries. Enquiries for writing, social media marketing and web design from Bradwell, Belton, Caister, Gorleston, Great Yarmouth from companies who’ve found me online.

Examples of Gorleston websites:

Some examples: I designed the website for Envision CAD and David Frazer, a company based in Norwich city centre, with David living in Gorleston. 

I’m designing 3sun Group’s website for a giant offshore company who straddle Gorleston to Southtown near Harfreys.

I’ve launched a new website for the Old Hall Hotel in Caister, for Mike Gilbert. 

Social media training in Gorleston

Social media training was delivered to Pink Office Ltd on Beacon Park, Gorleston.

I’m about to start the website for a successful business based on Gorleston High Street and this week, Fairway Lakes next to Caldecott Hall was launched with a booking and payment facility, as well as three optimised news articles about the area. 

Ex pupils from Gorleston and Lowestoft have commissioned me too to design their company websites – Eco Smarthomes is underway for Elliott Burnett from Hopton, ex head boy at Cliff Park too in 2008.

A Reiki website for a good friend in Lingwood.

Gorleston is resurgent

My point is this – Gorleston is resurgent. That town centre and its fringes are on an upward trajectory – if you’re an established business, or a start up in east Norfolk, you may want to capitalise on this rising tide of interest locally.

A new website, a stronger social media presence, a content marketing strategy, could be just the things to make you current and successful. 

You don’t want to be the business of yesterday.

Contact me today for more information on making your business grow.

The new iPad Pro 12.9 – a web designer’s dream

I know I was fixated with Apple and tried, with counselling and support, to wean myself off this expensive habit, but it sucked me back in. That pesky iOS, suitable for a 3 year old or 93 year old, in its simplicity, made me return as an Apple sheep again.

Quick recap – when the iPhone XS and XS Max were released, I scoffed at that notch and their prices – £1499 for a mobile phone – and promptly, petulantly, traded in my iPhone 8 Plus for a Samsung Note 9.

The defection then saw me sell my Apple Watch, HomePod and go all Open Source with a Google Home Max and Samsung Watch.

Increasingly though, armed with an older iPad Pro and a Mac, I missed the integration. The omission of photos on phone being airdropped to Mac or iPad or stored in iCloud began to bug me and although the Note 9 took better photos, had a superior display and was excellent, I decided to divorce it and remarry an iPhone.

Now on a XS Max, I know it’s a better fit for my life as a Norwich web design freelancer, but an inferior product.

I’ve now gone the whole hog and invested in a new HomePod as I like taking iPhone calls on it and the sound quality is impressive and invested recently in a 3rd gen iPad Pro, which is lightning fast.

I had an 11 inch iPad Pro initially and despite reassurances that size didn’t matter in counselling I knew it did.

The problem is though that having invested in an 11 and 12.9, I prefer the 11 in so many ways. It’s so much a better size for surfing online and checking emails and social. It is a perfect tablet for casual use and professional.

There’s other reasons an iPad Pro in either size is great – photo editing and that pencil. I invested in a couple of low price editing apps and last year bought a low end Canon DSLR to take high res photos locally of Great Yarmouth, Gorleston and Norwich as a hobby and SEO tool. The USB C to SD card dongle makes photo transfer a doddle and editing on the iPad Pro is easier than on the iMac in Photoshop. I love it.

The pencil too is great for when I’m proofreading for clients as I can mark up documents, adverts, PDFs in Notability and send them back for changes very quickly. That app Notability has replaced my beloved Moleskine notebooks and fountain pen too (pretentious, moi?) and notes from clients, lists of things to do sync across all devices. I can add titles like Naturally Vegan Food notes and find the scribbles I made on that website design very quickly.

As for web designing on the iPad Pro, certain elements are possible like changing content, images and colours, but the precision is lacking as the iPad Pro does not support an external mouse or easy import of docs and files.

iOS 13 though is supposed to address many of these issues and though Dark Mode is its hotly anticipated feature on the Beta release, I’m hoping for improvements that will make the iPad Pro a laptop slayer.

Working on one, watching YouTube, scribbling with that pencil, is so much more satisfying than working on my MacBook Pro or iMac.

I justify spending on them as it’s my primary job – I write for businesses, design websites and manage social media.

Being locked in a comfy Apple jail makes it so much more enjoyable.

Decent website but how are you driving traffic there?

%name social media

Decent website but how are you driving traffic there?

I design websites for clients. Done pretty well at it the last year too. 150 projects completed, with more stacked up, in line. I didn’t drive business though solely through this website or blogging prolifically. I’ve built a following, a big following on social media.

LinkedIn – 5000 connections and about 100 blocked.

Facebook – 710 likes and reach that regularly exceeds 1000 and way more with paid ads.

Instagram – 2500 followers.

Twitter – similar.

Pinterest – 1.3k monthly visitors.

Pretty good for a sole trader who has been in business for under 4 years, don’t you think?

This website is no slouch either in terms of visits. 

Many blog posts, promoted on social media, can generate 1000 visits in a week. Some less. Obviously.

My point is this though – you’ve probably invested good money in a website, paid someone to add the social pages and promptly forgotten about why the website and social is there – to generate business.

A website is only a tenth of your digital marketing, in my opinion. Yes it showcases your products and services, gets you found in time on search engines but social media should account for 90% of your online revenue. Social media should make you stand out from the competition.

I’m lucky in that I can write. I’ve got a 2.1 degree in English (big I am) and a lifetime of motivating my customers – hormonal teenagers – to buy into my business, which was teaching.

I knew full well though that when I set up the business 4 years ago, it would be a slow burn to make it a success and the website that was designed for me then bears no resemblance to what it is now – and in 4 years’ time, it won’t look as it does now.

That website was to give me some online credibility, sate my creativity and a project for me to work on. I’ve expended more time working on Get Pro Copy than I ever imagined. I love it though and love the returns I see. 

Social media marketing comes naturally to me as I’m an internet whore. I know what interests me and what bores me. I know the strategies to position yourself as an expert, to walk the walk and talk the talk. 

Cut to the chase, I hear you say?

Your website is probably getting very little attention for one reason – you’re not driving traffic to it. Content marketing does that. Blogging does that. An active and engaging Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram feed does that. 

Ok, you’re too busy to be messing around on social media. You’re still pissed off that you were charged £2000 plus VAT for a website that has done little.

It doesn’t have to be like that though at all.

You outsource your social media, your blogging to someone reliable, creative and responsible.

Me.

I’m a reliable brand ambassador who won’t get pissed and start an argument on your company pages (I save passive aggression for my own channels, mainly LinkedIn, which I love and hate). 

I don’t go for the white noise of sell, sell, sell.

We all fast forward through TV ads, we skip YouTube ads after 5 seconds and mass delete sales emails and direct messages.

No one wants to be sold to. 

My network knows what I do – write, design websites, mark exams, walk the dog, and manage social. I don’t need to tell the world that every status update – 1 in 8 will suffice.

So no sell, no yawns.

I do it already for quite a few companies and those who’ve stuck with it have seen returns, big returns. It’s not guaranteed though – but your chances of being found on search, building tribes of followers in social are much higher than if you leave that website and those dusty social pages in a coma.

I have extensive experience of generating results for companies. I don’t charge daft prices or tie you in. If you think it’s not working, you stop. I may try to persuade you otherwise if I can see growth. 

I work for individuals and companies based in Norwich and locally; I work for high profile individuals in London (who presumably are too tired from commuting) and others whose websites I’ve designed, who haven’t got the time or inclination to post a daily interesting status on their once inert social channels.

Have I piqued your curiosity for blogging or social media marketing? Or have I been too salesy? Look too at the social media icons on this page and you judge if I demonstrate social media marketing prowess on a daily basis with my own business. 

If you like what you see and don’t want to become a hostage to an expensive web design or marketing agency, drop me an email: [email protected] any time. 

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