Archive for the ‘Business & Marketing’ Category

Online Mindfulness School opens

Thursday, December 31st, 2020 | Business & Marketing, News

Four years ago I launched Worfolk Anxiety and since then I’ve trained tens of thousands of students via my online mental health courses. Worfolk Anxiety Management is still a key brand but of course, there is much more to mental health and wellbeing than anxiety and my current range of courses reflects that.

To reflect this wider focus on mental wellbeing, I’ve launched a new brand, Online Mindfulness School. The doors are now open with our mindfulness teacher, mental health ambassador and mindfulness for productivity courses and lots more on the way.

Worfolk Media in the green

Thursday, August 27th, 2020 | Business & Marketing

Back in 2013, I started a publishing company to publish my fledging restaurant guide. What originally started as a side hustle alongside my IT consultancy company has since expanded into a digital publishing and after years of work, has finally turned a profit in the 2019/2020 accounting year. Who says 2020 is nothing but misery?

The digital clinic

Sunday, March 29th, 2020 | Business & Marketing

They say that the necessity is the mother of all invention. With the impending COVID-19 crisis looming, we decided it was finally time to make virtual appointments part of Leeds Anxiety Clinic’s offerings.

That was easier said than done. Because of the social distancing recommendations already in effect, and Amazon having halted warehouse shipments, the few webcams that were available had all been panic-bought by other people. Luckily, we were able to beg and borrow the equipment we needed until we could get our own.

We’re still playing around with how to produce the best quality experience, both in terms of the technical setup and the differences between delivering therapy face-to-face, where you can easily scribble a diagram or analyse holistic body movements, and delivering it digitally. Early efforts are working well, though.

Facebook Ads with Chris

Monday, April 22nd, 2019 | Business & Marketing, News

I’ve launched a new course on creating Facebook ads. Here is the blurb:

Do you want to master Facebook Ads? Maybe you’re an entrepreneur or small business owner looking to reach new customers. A marketer looking for new audiences. Or maybe you’re new to digital marketing and want to find out what it can do for you.

This is a complete beginner to advanced course: we’ll cover the basics from setting up your account and creating your first campaign to advanced topics like split testing, retargeting and instant experiences.

It’s a big course: three and a half hours of full HD video showing you exactly how to create ads as you follow my screen. You can check it out on Udemy here.

Scaling Scrum to a 30 person team

Friday, January 11th, 2019 | Business & Marketing, Tech

What do you do if you need to scale your Scrum team? Ideally, have multiple teams and use one of the many fine methods for scaling with multiple teams. But what if you want to scale a single team? To say, 30 people?

This was the situation I ran into with a recent client. They had an important project and lots of money to throw at it, and they wanted it all to be one team.

You might think “but there is no way that could possibly work”. And you would be correct. It didn’t work that well. But, having no other option, we did find some hacks that made it easier. I’ll present these below.

Kim’s Corners

Doing a stand-up with 30 people is tough. You might think it took ages. But it didn’t. We got done in 15 minutes. There were so many people (in a special meeting room we had to book every day) that people kept it short and sweet. From that point of view, it was a good learning experience.

But it wasn’t useful. There was so much stuff going on that nobody could remember what everyone else has said. Most people did not even try. They just tuned out for most of it.

So, we moved to Kim’s Corners. Each workstream had a corner and we went around one corner at a time. The people in that corner listened to each other intently, while only taking a high-level overview of what the other corners said.

Goldfish Bowl

Having a retro was also challenging because there were so many people wanting to weight in. To solve this, we used the Goldfish Bowl technique.

This involves having five chairs in the middle of the room. Four people sit on them, with one empty chair. Everyone else sits around in a big circle. Only the people in the inner chairs are allowed to talk on the topic at hand, and the discussions are time-boxed to five minutes. The group can vote to allow another five minutes if required.

What if you are sat on the outside? You go into the circle and claim the empty chair. At which point, someone from the inner circle is obliged to get up and go back to the outer circle, freeing up a chair to be the new empty chair. Anyone who has a strong opinion can take a chair, but without too many people talking at once.

Refinement Lucky Dip

30 people were too many people to have sat around looking at a Jira board and pointing stories up. So, we used a lucky dip system in which five people were randomly selected to attend backlog refinement sessions.

Anyone else that particularly wanted to be involved, perhaps because they had the a specific knowledge or interest in a piece of work that was upcoming, was also welcome to attend. But they were not required or expected to attend otherwise.

Get captions working on Facebooks ads

Thursday, December 27th, 2018 | Business & Marketing

If you’ve tried uploading an SRT file to a video on Facebook, you may encounter an error like this:

The captions file you selected is in a format that we don’t support.

What’s wrong? You cry, not that you’re using the standard format for SRT files. It could be that Facebook is throwing an unnecessary hissy fit because you’re using zero-indexing in the blocks, but more likely to be something even simpler: the filename.

Facebook insists that the files are named filename.en_GB.srt, or whatever language combination you are using (for example, filename.en_US.srt. If you don’t include the “.en_GB” bit, Facebook will reject the file, even though it’s a valid SRT file.

As soon as you add that the filename, it works!

Happy advertising.

Digital Marketing for Therapists

Wednesday, December 12th, 2018 | Business & Marketing, News

In June, I launched my course Digital Marketing for Restaurants to help restaurant owners and managers access new customers via digital media. Since then over a thousand people have enrolled on it and it has achieved a 5-star rating.

I’m now pleased to announce that I have launched a brand new digital marketing course, this time for therapists and counsellors.

It covers building websites, using Google Ads, using Google My Business, Facebook pages, posts and ads, and using Eventbrite. It’s available now on Udemy and you can preview it here.

Here’s the preview video:

Become a Mental Health Ambassador

Friday, November 30th, 2018 | Business & Marketing, News

Last week, I launched my new course Mental Health Ambassador Certificate. It offers you the chance to become a qualified Mental Health Ambassador, allowing us to improve mental health across society and help those in need.

My previous courses in mental health have predominantly been around self-help, so I’m excited to launch something that can help people help others. It teaches the fundamentals of a range of conditions, how to assist others using the Real Support Framework (REAL-SF) and how to speak confidentially about mental health.

So far, over 600 people have enrolled and the first wave has already begun to earn their certificates.

You can find the course on Udemy.

Facebook ad fails #6

Tuesday, October 30th, 2018 | Business & Marketing

Recently, I tried to set my targetting on a Facebook ad and the update failed. I didn’t notice and my ad went out to a much wider audience than intended. Luckily, this ended really well. But you’re not always that lucky.

Here are two examples of ads that (I presume) have missed their targeting.

Here is a company selling tights. You would imagine that you would want to target these ads at women. Sure, you might want to sell to men as a gift for their partners. But you would write totally different ad copy for that.

Here is another example. My guess is that it is a scam because of the username and 70% discount. But, even so, it’s advertising an Australian bike shop even though I’m in the UK.

Do take the time to set your targetting and to check that it is correct.

Facebook ad fails #5

Thursday, August 30th, 2018 | Business & Marketing

Here is someone selling a “Default Description” chain.

This one is an interesting one. You can see what they are getting out trying to pique your curiosity. But they don’t even hint at what it is. And it’s for both runners and people who go outdoors, so how specific or interesting can it be? I didn’t request their free download.

This company did include a description. But it’s mostly HTML tags.

This one isn’t an ad, but while we’re on the topic of including code, here is an Instant Article from The Independent.

This advert for Bar Soba looks fine. However, as soon as you click it you get a “page not found” error on their website.