A hat trick of ‘firsts’

August 2021 blog post

This month we reached over 1,000 followers on Instagram which has been wonderful. A HUGE thank you to all our supporters and followers – and those who’ve interacted with us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

In another first this month we’ve also started to offer digital advertising on our newsletters. We had always planned to do this, but wanted to wait until we had a substantial number of subscribers before we rolled it out.

And just to make it a hat trick, we’ve also taken on a new office assistant to help with some of the admin, social media and feature planning – Isabelle has been instrumental in helping us with the daily nitty-gritty!

The rule of 7

Have you heard of the Marketing Rule of 7? There’s a theory that it takes an average of seven exposures for your marketing message to be seen before someone buys from you.

The psychology behind human behaviour is fascinating, isn’t it? Think how you yourself would behave. The first time you see a new product for example, you might be intrigued but not quite convinced to try it. The next few times you see it again, the message (or brand) subconsciously starts to make an impression on you.

And before you know it, you are comfortable with making a purchase having felt comfortable (familiar) with the product. And people feel the same way about buying from a new business. So it’s important that if you are a business owner, your brand gets seen frequently and consistently – because this is what builds trust.

We get around…

It’s the very same reason why we as a company aim to be seen in as many places as possible – and it’s why we also aim to be consistently present on social media, engaging with people, putting up posts and using those hashtags. We’re continually marketing ourselves for people to see – and being seen builds trust.

So, when you’re thinking of advertising your business with us, think more about the longevity of your brand awareness and exposure and less about being seen in a flash. Some of our longstanding advertisers are seeing great results with their advertising campaigns as they are consistent in pushing their brand – and their message – out there. You can read more about this rule here.

Other tips and tricks we’ve picked up on for advertisers include

  • Be consistent & engage on social media
  • Have a clear message you want to push out to customers
  • Offer value where possible
  • Understand your customers – ask for feedback
  • Utilise newsletters to share your news and keep you front of mind

Oh and before we forget to mention, the main picture for this month’s blog is Lauretta with Lisa from Liberty’s in Orpington. Lisa was offering outfit inspiration – and Lauretta ended up buying what Lisa was wearing! That’s also great advertising right there!

In this month’s issue….

We’re constantly on the lookout for great feature ideas and love bringing our readers articles that inspire, bring joy and celebrate everything that’s great about where we live. This month’s features include a new local hero is named, a look at the new ‘Cardening’ trend (who thought that mini gardens in cars would be a thing?!) and how to prevent WFH (work from home) burnout.

We’re also delighted to welcome new advertisers – AA Cooper, who we can personally vouch for as they installed a new bathroom for us; Priory Live Music Festival, which should be a roaring success after months in the planning; Caring Dental, a new dental practice in Petts Wood, where Chris and his team really are caring and gentle! And The British Queen in Locksbottom, who this month are offering free kids meals! Please do continue to support our local businesses where possible – research on spending by local authorities shows that for every £1 spent with a small or medium-sized business, 63p stays in the local economy – even more of a reason to support local!

As usual, we’ll leave you with an inspirational quote to ponder…

“If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way”

-Martin Luther King Jr

Until next month!

Summer lovin’

August summer lovin

There was a general feeling of optimism on the high street when we were out in the latter half of July delivering the August magazines. It felt like things were slowly getting back to normal, albeit having to wear face masks.

From a personal standpoint, we’re in the thick of the summer holidays and getting used to the idea of the kids going back to school in September. It will probably seem strange at first, but we’re both ready to get back into a routine of normality – or the ‘new normal’ as people refer to it.

During lockdown, we’ve decorated, aimed to keep fit, taken up new hobbies and side hustles and Nicky even built an assault course in her back garden! Meanwhile, Lauretta took on a different challenge by learning all the capital cities of the world, going live on social to prove she could do it.

Our working life…

We keep getting asked how the magazine is going and it continues to go from strength to strength. A huge welcome to Auto Glean and Mark’s Garden Services as new advertisers for the August issue – and, as we reported last month, it’s great to be back in print.

In fact, we’ve been lucky enough to secure a couple more places where we’ll be leaving our magazines for pick up; Valentine & Turner Funeral Directors in Orpington High Street have kindly agreed to look after our second outdoor magazine rack (the other is located at the Nugent Shopping Centre) – a huge thanks to them…the magazines will be available to pick up from there from the end of this month.

And Tesco has permitted us to leave a rack at the entrance and also a stand at its customer service desk.

It’s lovely to be able to come up with new ideas for the magazine too – we’ve got Cllr Hannah Gray writing her ‘Mayor’s Voice’ article, and we’ve got some great articles in the pipeline including ‘Meet the Locals’ and ‘Local Celebs’ will soon be back – keep your eyes peeled for the September and October issues!

Last but not least we’ll leave you with a thought for the day…

“Most people just want to be in the result and not in the process, and it’s in the process where you realise who deserves to be in the result.”

Until next month!

Nicky & Lauretta

August: Time Out

August Time Out

With any new business it’s interesting to see how the month ahead pans out.

We knew that August would be a little bit of a write-off in terms of getting the most work done (given that we had holidays and the kids off school), but we didn’t realise how much it would impact our working weeks!

So we live and learn – and will know to plan ahead for most eventualities! Of course, as our children get older and more independent, this will get easier.

Despite juggling childcare, holidays, work and everything else, the magazine has continued to go from strength to strength and we’ve had a record number of enquiries coming in, along with letters of support and messages asking us to cover news. And the craziness shows no sign of abating for September.

August Time Out
Our girls enjoying some rock art

On top of the usual workload of writing up copy, delivering magazines, designing the magazine updating the website and social media posts and designing adverts, we’ve also been busy planning for the future. We have a few opportunities in the pipeline so we’re keen to explore what we can do – and make the most of our combined skills.

We’ve also been doing our bit for the local community. Lauretta helped raise money for The Chartwell Cancer Trust (and is currently featured in the charity’s latest FUNdraising magazine), while Nicky has volunteered her time and skills to help The Primrose Centre come up with a new design for their leaflet.

New features & introductions

This month we introduced a ‘Write It, Say It, Message It’ page in Life In Orpington and had a great response with plenty of comments, letters, text messages and emails.

Our ‘Community Noticeboard’ continues to go from strength to strength – there’s been talk of expanding this section as it’s so popular, but we’d have to look at increasing the pagination of the magazine if we do so which means spending more money – not a decision to be taken lightly given that most of our pages in the magazine are editorial – which is what our readers love.

In terms of new advertisers for August, we’d like to say a huge welcome to MIYU Boutique Salon, 7 Hotel Diner, Polhill Business Centre, Remedial Pilates, Williams, Holy Innocents School, Baby Vue and Speedy Cars.

Petts Wood In Bloom!

Last but not least, we covered news of Petts Wood In Bloom in our August issue, where train station worker, Michael Gould, had been hard at work developing the station garden over several years.

We’re delighted to report that Michael’s hard work paid off and Petts Wood won the coveted Southeastern In Bloom competition!

August Time Out
Michael Gould

Michael and his team held a special party at the station recently to celebrate and we’re delighted to report that the station has had plenty of support on social media. If you haven’t seen the garden – do pop by for a visit. It’s located behind the train station, adjacent to Speedy Cars’ office in Petts Wood.

Meanwhile, If you’d like to get in touch – maybe with a suggestion, some news or information on a local event – or just to respond to something you’ve seen in the magazine, please feel free to email us – we’d love to hear from you!