Becoming unstoppable: Seven things I wish I’d always known

It’s a tough world for young people today: so much pressure to succeed, against narrow definitions of success that quite frankly just aren’t all that relevant to the world they’re growing up into. That’s why I’m really delighted to have been invited to go to our local High School tomorrow to talk to 200 14 and 15-year-olds about life, careers and everything, and share some of what I’ve learned about what matters – and what Read more…

6 common barriers to Content Strategy success (and why it’s time to get over them)

Happy customers: you’ll find them at the heart of every successful marketing campaign ever. But they’re not daft. That means they won’t waste their precious time reading, watching (and certainly not sharing or engaging with) anything that doesn’t genuinely interest them. What’s more, their attention span is short: if your content is not compelling, they’ll be gone. However – and this is the good bit – your absolute hottest prospects, best clients and future advocates of your Read more…

Your Personal Manifesto: What It Is and Why You Need It

Want to focus on building your Personal Brand, but not sure where to start? Then perhaps it’s time to work on your personal Manifesto. Your Manifesto can do for your personal brand, what vision, values and brand objectives do for traditional business brands: it can ground you and guide you, by verbalising the core of what it is that you stand for. So far so good. But what exactly is it? Let’s start with the Read more…

Participative Business Strategy: Will it work for you? These five questions will help you decide

Post-it notes at the ready. Felt tips poised; flip charts ahoy. Who doesn’t love a business strategy workshop? As a veteran of many such workshops – each one a different cocktail of group-work; blue-sky thinking; dot-voting and backward-planning (a particular favourite) – I have to confess, I love a bit of Participative Strategy. Working collaboratively on a strategic level can do for your business what a day at the spa does for your body and Read more…

Personal branding: smart investment or needless narcissism?

If you run a business in today’s competitive environment, the chances are that: You are not the only one out there who does the things you do. You do not do everything quantifiably better than everyone else in your field. You’re not better qualified than every one of your competitors. Your pricing (probably) does not set your product or service apart as the cheapest, nor the most expensive, that money can buy. You’re not Coca Read more…

"Own Your Story" - a content marketing workshop at ESpark's Glasgow hatchery

Own Your Story: using content marketing to maximise your PR

“But once you’ve got the press coverage, how can you control the narrative?” It’s a good question. I’m sitting in front of a group of super-savvy entrepreneurs at E-Spark’s Glasgow Hatchery, and we’re talking media relations. My talented colleague and co-presenter Jill Brown has been sharing a host of invaluable insights into “what makes a media story”, and how exactly to grab the media’s attention in a world where journalists fend off thousands of press Read more…

Fast and light: 5 low-cost productivity hacks for small businesses

“Soaring ridges, exposed traverses and precipitous drops. Fast and light over technical terrain.” That’s a description of the UK’s most extreme footrace series, Skyline Scotland [pictured]. It also sums up exactly how I visualise those first few bewildering weeks of going it alone as a small business or entrepreneur. In those early days, the work itself is the straightforward, ‘easy’ bit. The scary bit is the onslaught of stuff that comes with it: getting to grips Read more…

“Stop. Innovate. Collaborate.” – How we can all learn from the success of This Girl Can

The Outdoor Industries Association annual conference in Harrogate this March was two days of pure outdoor industry immersion, packed with opportunities to network and connect – but the true highlight was the chance to hear from communications genius Kate Bosomworth, Sport England board member and the brains behind This Girl Can. Launched in 2015, This Girl Can is the most extraordinary communications campaign of our age. When Phase 1 launched in 2015, it broke all Read more…

“Just do it scared”: 5 inspirational quotes from Banff Film Festival

Banff Film Festival: it’s the ultimate movie night for adventure junkies and lovers of the outdoors. But it’s more than just a sensory overload of breathtaking landscapes and extreme endurance: it’s also a treasure trove of real-life lessons in what it takes to “feel the fear and do it anyway”. In life and in business, I draw endless inspiration from all those who dare to defy the odds; to snatch defeat from the jaws of Read more…