Category Archives: Professional Liverpool

Professional Liverpool – Networking Lunch with Dean Currall

Marketing is crucial for businesses in every industry. From law, digital, construction, technology, manufacturing, finance and others, it is a key role shared by everyone. However one of the common pitfalls encountered are professionals talking about themselves and their businesses first, rather than listening and learning about what potential customers want.

I had the pleasure of recently attending a networking lunch organised by Professional Liverpool, which looked at marketing. The speaker was Dean Currall of Verb Marketing, who gave a presentation about how professional services can utilise marketing techniques, to develop fruitful and productive trust-based relationships.

There was plenty that Dean talked about, that really fascinated me. From the importance of giving solutions to customers, in the form of services and structured content, I found Dean’s presentation to be tangible and relevant for businesses, entrepreneurs and professionals today. In this era of digital technology, companies need to use the capabilities provided to tailor their marketing approach, in order to attract clients and promote their services.

In addition, Dean also provided other useful nuggets of wisdom, which I have listed below.

  1. You need to have a marketing strategy and objectives that are relevant, achievable and measurable.
  2. Create and give free content that resonates with people.
  3. Promote and boost content created and shared by others (e.g. blog posts, published articles and presentations).
  4. To sell content to boost your brand, you need to offer solutions.
  5. Your content needs to include tangible information.
  6. Become a thought leader and develop a relationship of trust.
  7. Do more seminars and blogs!
  8. Sell stories, experiences, solutions and benefits.
  9. Segment your content using a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) database.

From the points listed above, I was able to relate this to my blogging work, and how I constantly strive to create relevant and useful content, that resonates with people. Listening to Dean speak about structuring content, providing relevant information and how it needs to capture the personal attention of others, was a defining moment for me.

It also made me think back to a past experience, when I wrote and published an article about learning from failure, back in June 2016. When I published and shared the article, I discovered later on to my amazement, that it was viewed 88 times that year, which I was not expecting. Therefore I was taken completely by surprise with how the article struck a chord, and resonated with many people. It still surprises me today!

I was greatly impressed with Dean as a speaker. I not only learned plenty from him, but he presented and delivered his content, with a knowledgeable yet easygoing tone, that I could easily relate to and understand. In addition, I was also impressed with his knowledge of the mechanics involved with successful marketing. This has given me a greater understanding of creating and marketing my blog content.

A delightful bonus of the event was networking with familiar and new faces. These included Paul Trickett of Bathgate Business Finance, Agnes Fitzgerald of Irish Business Enterprise, Elaine Courtney of Courtney Reid, Jon Davies of Jon Davies Accountants and Simon Robb of The Alternative Board, amongst many others. Overall it was a pleasurable event, and I sincerely hope that everyone who attended also enjoyed Dean’s presentation, and found it to be as interesting and useful as I did.

I would like to personally thank Dean for sharing his marketing wisdom, and also to Alex Clark and Emma Rittenberg of Professional Liverpool, for organising a top-notch networking lunch.

Advertisements

Professional Liverpool & LCC Annual Carol Service

Last week, I attended the annual Professional Liverpool & Liverpool and Sefton Chambers of Commerce Annual Carol Service. Held in the surroundings of St Nicholas Church, the service radiated a warm feeling of community and goodwill, heralding the start of the festive season.

When I arrived at the church after braving the freezing December weather, I immediately felt the warmth of the surroundings, followed by friendly greetings. This set the tone for a fine evening of Christmas carols and networking. In addition, I was visually struck by the architecture of St Nicholas Church, as it was beautifully pristine in appearance.

I had never attended a carol service before, so this was a new experience. Indeed I enjoyed the service, as it was rich in festive tone with carols and hymns sung in hearty voices. There were also readings from prominent Liverpool business speakers, including Julie Sankey, Bill Addy, Stephen Burrows, Paul Cherpeau and Laura Stuffins.

The service was topped off with a visit to Fazenda, for some delicious mulled wine, mince pies and the opportunity to network with new and familiar faces. It was a nice touch to end a lovely evening, which certainly helped to put me in the Christmas spirit.

Many thanks to everyone involved.

Professional Liverpool – Networking Lunch with Lawrence Kenwright

Liverpool is a city with a thriving visitor economy, that attracts thousands of tourists every year. Tourism is an extremely valuable asset, which is worth £4.3bn to the local economy, and employs over 51,000 people. The boom in tourism is reflected in the number of hotels, that have opened in Liverpool since 2008. A prime example is Signature Living, which is owned by Lawrence Kenwright. Signature Living owns four Liverpool hotels, including the Shankly Hotel and 30 James Street.

I was delighted to attend this week’s Professional Liverpool’s Networking Lunch event. Held on the sixth floor of the Shankly Hotel, I joined a packed audience in listening to Lawrence himself, talk about the story of Signature Living.

Lawrence gave an interesting insight into the origins of the business. From being broke in 2007, to building Signature Living into a successful business, is a remarkable and inspiring story. Whilst I was aware of Signature Living’s popularity, I learned that they use word-of-mouth, through harnessing the power of technology, to market and promote their brand. Having examined their social media footprint, I have since learned that Signature Living have over 280,000 Twitter followers, over 23,000 Facebook visits, and 14,700 Instagram followers. This is a powerful example of why businesses need to utilise and harness the power of the Internet, to develop their online presence and promote their services.

Lawrence also talked about how Signature’s brand is to be different from other hotel chains. This is through providing a unique feel and experience, from each of their hotels. An example is the Shankly Hotel itself, and its decorative feel and mementos that reflect Liverpool FC’s legendary manager. This helps to generate value for the customer and for the business, whilst providing a luxurious and down-to-earth feel.

In addition, Lawrence also talked about growing Signature Living as a business. This included plans to open new hotels in Belfast and a venue in the Cunard Building. Like any business, growth is required to keep ahead of the competition, but I found it refreshing to hear Lawrence speak about the importance of Signature Living growing as a business, whilst remaining true to its roots. Too often businesses become successful and grow too quickly, that their core customer base becomes neglected, causing an inevitable decline. Lawrence reiterated clearly that Signature Living must never fall into that trap.

My experience of the event was positive from start to finish. From listening to Lawrence sharing the story of Signature Living, to networking with fellow attendees, and tasting the delicious food provided, I was delighted to attend, learn and absorb the atmosphere of the afternoon. I also appreciated how Lawrence spoke briefly and concisely, before allowing the audience the opportunity to ask plenty of questions.

As well as the conversation, discussion, food and networking, I was amazed by the beautiful and stylish surroundings of the Shankly Hotel. When I arrived on the sixth floor, I marvelled at the spectacular view overlooking the city centre, the shiny white tiled floors and golden covered walls. Complimented with an excellent turnout of people (including several familiar faces), the atmosphere was ripe for a fine afternoon of networking and conversation.

Many thanks to Lawrence, the staff of the Shankly Hotel, and to Rosie Davis of Professional Liverpool for organising a first-class quality event.

Professional Liverpool – Networking Evening with Tomas Maunier

Last Wednesday, I had the pleasure of attending a networking evening, organised by Professional Liverpool and featuring Tomas Maunier from Fazenda Group. Having previously listened to Tomas speak about Fazenda, it was a pleasure to once again hear him speak about the founding, growth and success of the business.

With an excellent turnout, canapés and networking at the Cotton Exchange, the event began with a warm introduction from John Hall, the Chief Executive of Professional Liverpool. As Tomas took to the stage, a hearty applause marked the beginning of an experience, where I once again listened to Tomas’s personal journey, from his law beginnings, to moving into the hospitality industry in 2010. Listening to Tomas again, I was not to be disappointed, as I absorbed his every word from start to finish.

There was plenty that Tomas covered. From his beginnings as a solicitor, getting involved with marketing and hospitality, to explaining about the importance of having the right people, which was a reoccurring theme. In addition, Tomas also talked about the difficult challenges and setbacks, that had to be overcome, for Fazenda to be successful. An example is that working in hospitality, means the environment is incredibly fast-paced, frantic and constantly demanding, leaving minimal opportunity to stop and reflect. This means surrounding oneself with the right people is important.

Thinking about Tomas’s Fazenda journey, I found it to be an interesting insight into how the hospitality industry works. With so many restaurants competing for trade in Liverpool and other UK cities, customers have so much choice and different tastes, meaning that establishments need to provide the best possible dining experiences. Another aspect to consider is that trends will change as money gets tighter, leading to the dining out bubble bursting. Therefore restaurants will need to innovate and adapt to change, or fall by the wayside.

In conclusion, I would like to thank Alex Clark and Rosie Davis from Professional Liverpool, for putting together a fine evening of networking. I would also like to once again thank Tomas for sharing his incredible story, and providing a glimpse into the blood, sweat and tears required, to be successful in business.

Certainly provided me with food for thought!

Professional Liverpool Marketing & Communications Group Summer Social – Thursday 4th August 2016

Last Thursday, I attended a Marketing & Communications Group Summer Social event, organised by Professional Liverpool. Held at Bean Coffee & Cocktails, this was an informal event to bring together people from finance, and other professional services in Liverpool.

Apart from the usual networking opportunities, I wanted to attend the event, to show my support to Alex Clark from Professional Liverpool, and Sarah Gerard from Weightmans. Both of them did a splendid job in organising the event, and reflecting on the experience I believe it was a successful one.

So why do I believe it was successful? From my experience of attending networking events, I like to judge them on the atmosphere and surroundings. In this case, the atmosphere was informal, warm and friendly, that made me feel at ease and comfortable, whilst the choice of venue was ideal, overlooking St Paul’s Square, with a good choice of drinks and delicious canapés. I was also able to mix and interact with an interesting mix of people, which I enjoyed very much.

Sarah also talked about the Marketing & Communications Group of Professional Liverpool. I was particularly interested in how they plan to work, with the financial and professional sectors in the city, of which I am looking forward to hearing more about in the future. Learning about what is happening in the city, such as the Lord Mayor of London’s recent visit to Liverpool, is a keen interest of mine. Therefore I am aware that the incredible work of organisations such as Professional Liverpool, is vital in helping to raise the city’s profile.

I would like to personally thank Alex and Sarah, for organising a enjoyable evening, and to the staff of Bean Coffee & Cocktails, for their friendliness and hospitality. It is easy to forget the effort required to put these events together, so everyone deserves praise, in making everything possible.