Great to see one of my Shetland copywriting clients on prime time TV

Ben Fogle New Livesd in the Wild UK Episode 5 on Fair Isle

 

 

 

 

 

I love a bit of travelling. Occasionally even something a bit adventurous like spending a week with a Swiss heli-logging crew or flitting around the Adamants Range in British Columbia in helicopters while researching a novel. But I must admit that my sense of adventure can’t match that of Ben Fogle, who is making a name for himself discovering new lives in the wild on Channel 5. He started with some of the world’s wildest locations, then brought the concept closer to home with interesting people and places in the UK. And that was what brought him to Fair Isle, off Shetland…

Episode 5 of the first series of New Lives in the Wild UK aired a few weeks ago and I happened to catch it. This time, Ben travelled to the remote island of Fair Isle (63 inhabitants!) just off Shetland. During his week on the windswept rocky outpost, Fogle stayed with American Tommy H. Hyndman who moved to the UK 10 years ago to start a new life on Fair Isle.

Ben Fogle meets Mati Ventrillon

At the time of writing, the episode is still available online and there’s more information about making the programme on the Fair Isle Blogspot.  What I was particularly excited about was that Ben’s show featured my client Mati Ventrillon while he was on the island. Oh what a small world it is…

Flying back from Shetland with Fair Isle in the background

Shetland connections

Anyone who follows me will know that I have family connections with Uradale croft near Scalloway on mainland Shetland. It was through Sue and Ronnie at Uradale (as seen on Countryfile and heard on Radio 4’s On your Farm) that I was introduced to Mati a couple of years ago when she needed help with her website copywriting. You see, Mati, who is actually a French-Venezuelan architect, is also passionate about all-things Fair Isle and has single-handedly revitalised the island’s knitwear industry with her Mati Ventrillon Fair Isle knitwear brand.  She also sends her cow to visit Sue and Ronnie for its annual service.

Not only does she now sell her amuradale farm blogazing clothes around the world (apparently, Ben Fogle’s wife gave him one of her sweaters as a Christmas gift), but she has featured on a banner above Oxford Street during London Fashion Week. This is a lady with a brand that is going places – amazing when you think that she is doing it from a small crofter’s cottage powered by a wind turbine on one of the UK’s remotest outposts. And she does her share of fire duty at the island’s dirt-strip airfield too!

Helping Mati promote her brand online

Mati has always had a strong vision for her brand, for promoting the tradition of knitwear on Fair Isle and for telling the story of Mati Ventrillon Fair Isle Knitwear in just the right way. So it was that, after several thorough fact-finding interviews over a sometimes-dodgy phone connection, I crafted the words that define and differentiate her business – with, I hope, the same craft skill and passion that she knits her fishermen’s sweaters and caps.

A joy to work with her

By her own admission, writing in English, and copywriting for the web in particular, isn”t Mati’s greatest strength. Although her English is actually very good, it isn’t her first language and she was wise enough to allow a skilled copywriter to capture her brand in words. It was a joy to work with her and you can see the results of our collaboration on her website. If you find yourself in a similar position, we should have a chat.

MAti Ventrillon website – copywriting by Al Hidden Copywriter

Back to Ben’s Fair Isle

But enough about copywriting for Shetland and back to Ben Fogle’s week with Tommy. During the episode we see the Fair Isle fire engine just after he has landed. That was when I started to wonder whether Mati would be featured. And indeed she was when there’s a lovely segment of the show where she is fitting Tommy with a sweater – perfect for his extreme golfing activities (but that’s another story and you’ll need to watch the programme for that).

mati-on-channel-5

If you find your way to Fair Isle, say hello to Mati and Tommy. And in the meantime, how about treating yourself or someone special to one of Mati’s lovely pieces of Fair Isle knitwear? Ben Fogle’s wife did!

 

Al Hidden is an experienced Gloucestershire based copywriter specialising in Marketing, Web/SEO, technical, PR and article copywriting. Visit his Shetland Copywriter page

Choosing a copywriting practice

Al Hidden Copywriter: owner-copywriter of a small Cheltenham, Gloucestershire copywriting agency

 

 

 

 

 

Choosing a copywriting practice

Someone recently told me that Cheltenham has the highest concentration of creative businesses outside London. Put all those design agencies, web designers, copywriting agencies, graphic designers, photographers, app designers and other creative consultancies together and it’s guaranteed to be a challenge to find the one that’s perfect for your next creative project.

More on choosing a copywriting practice

So what are you seeking from your copywriting practice? Will it be large and (probably) expensive? That’s fine if you’re a major global brand, but maybe not such a good fit if you’re a micro business or startup SME in Cheltenham, Stroud or Cirencester.

Alternatively, maybe a small, professional, owner copywriter would best fit your organisation; if you’re planning a major pan-European campaign, perhaps not. But if you need a website, a brochure, a few case studies and the occasional press release, the low overheads and corresponding pricing structure of a good one-man (or woman) band is likely to be perfect.

Let’s look at both for a minute. Read more here

 

Al Hidden is an experienced Gloucestershire based copywriter specialising in Marketing, Web/SEO, technical, PR and article copywriting.

Blogging for chauffeurs – 7 top tips for a better blog

Blogging for chauffeurs
– 7 top tips for a better blog

A Bluetooth keyboard is a great tool for a blogging chauffeur

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are you like many of your chauffeur peers? Do you tweet regular status updates and use LinkedIn for professional networking and building business? Maybe you have a Google+ profile and Facebook too. Banter about just arriving at Heathrow or Gatwick for another pickup is all good and well (but be careful about the confidentiality of what you announce).

But to really engage with your target audience and the search engines takes something a bit more substantial. In this article, I’ll share some of the professional blogging tips and tricks that I use. I’ll encourage you to make more of your blogging and I’ve even included suggested topics to inspire you…

chauffeurs can blog whenever they have  few minutes

Professional chauffeuring gives you all the source material – and the opportunities – for inspired blog posts that prospects and search engines will love!

Are you giving prospects (and search engines) the
content they want to read?

How are you taking advantage of your prospects’ and Google’s insatiable hunger for useful, relevant content? Forget the cheap and cheerful, keyword-stuffed SEO articles of yore. Instead, think about creating articles, posts and updates that offer relevant, timely and useful information to your followers. Information that executive PAs will share and holidaymakers will keep until they need a chauffeur. Information that will set you apart from your competitors.

Chauffeurs blog at airports such as Heathrow

Got a few minutes before your next airport pick-up? Capture a few ideas for your next blog post…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Above all, content that will gain you points in the world of sementic web search where sharable content is indeed King, and potentially the Ace up your sleeve, when it comes to promoting your services. Here are seven pro-copywriter tips to help you get started.

 

Al Hidden is an experienced Cheltenham based copywriter specialising in Marketing, blogging, Web/SEO, technical, PR and article copywriting – including copy for several executive chauffeurs

‘Mr Facebook’ gets me thinking about content marketing books

‘Mr Facebook’ gets me thinking
about content marketing books

Content marketing books

I was catching up on a bit of BBC Radio 4 comedy  recently. The Now Show is another great piece of BBC radio satire that I usually listen to while driving up the M5 on a Friday evening. This was an episode that I’d missed, but as usual from Steve Punt and Hugh Dennis, it was hilarious – especially when they referenced Mark ‘Facebook’ Zuckerberg’s recent blog confession by saying that Zuckerberg had ‘discovered a new piece of analogue technology – books’.  It got me thinking about the content marketing books that I’ve been reading recently and I thought I’d share: Read more here

Al Hidden is an experienced Gloucestershire based copywriter specialising in Marketing, Web/SEO, technical, PR and article copywriting.

7 steps to your better Meet the Team page

Meet the Team page for Cheltenham-based Elliot Oliver Sales & letting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s easy to write a boring Meet the Team page on your website. Just drag some random information from employee job descriptions, throw it together on your About Us page and drop in pictures snapped by the office’s amateur David Bailey!

Alternatively, follow these tips for creating a Meet the Team page that really engages site visitors, shows your team’s skills and personalities to the full, and speaks volumes about your brand…

1. Before you begin

Before you interview, write and photograph, think carefully about what you want your employee profile page(s) to achieve and the messages you want to convey about your people and your organisation. The best Meet the Team pages are carefully planned and created.

2. Interview the team

Interview the team: talk about their business motivations; greatest successes; interests; likes and dislikes; and get a quote or two.

Then comes the really clever stuff! Read more

 

Al Hidden is an experienced Gloucestershire based copywriter specialising in Marketing, Web/SEO, technical, PR and article copywriting.

7 top tips for article writing

Article writing and the inverted pyramid

 

 

 

 

 

Engaging articles delight customers, prospects and internet search engines alike. Based on many years of article writing, here are 7 pro-tips to help you when you decide to have a go at article writing yourself. It really isn’t as hard to create valuable content and engage with your audience as you might imagine.

  1. Remember the inverted pyramid. Load your contact so the Who, What, Why, Where, Which, When and How of the piece are included in the first paragraphs. Journalists call it the ‘inverted pyramid’ because it puts the substance of the story at the top. Online, it is important because ‘front loading’ catches your reader’s attention quickly and appears ‘above the fold’ on the first screen of an online page. In print it is equally important. More
Al Hidden is an experienced Gloucestershire based copywriter specialising in Marketing, Web/SEO, technical, PR and article copywriting.

A must-read if you send or receive CVs…

I was given this inspired Christmas gift by Mrs H. Even after a quick flick through Crap CVs by Jenny Crompton (I’m still reading the excellent Speak Human by Eric Karjaluoto), I can see what a gem it is and the hours of amusement it promises to deliver.

 

 

 

 

The dedication ‘ To all the hopelessly unemployed’ says it all: the contents, so lovingly curated by Ms Crompton, range from the brief (‘HERE ARE MY RESUME AND IM NOT SO INTEREST IN YOUR JOB THANKS MO’) to the hilariously verbose.

I’m excited already, not just because I write military to civilian CVs professionally, but because it’s just hilariously funny. I challenge anyone not to laugh (and laugh, and laugh) and learn.

Have you read Crap CVs? What did you think of it? What’s the funniest CV blooper you’ve ever come across?

Al Hidden is an experienced Gloucestershire based copywriter specialising in Marketing, Web/SEO, technical and PR copywriting.