The Making of a Lioness…

I recently attended a pipeline training course at Hubspot HQ in Dublin, the affectionately named ‘Project Lion’ boot camp was delivered by the infectiously enthusiastic Hubspot sales guru, Dan Tyre. Dan taught myself and 11 other Hubspot Agency Partners the inbound approach for populating our sales funnel with new leads and nurturing our existing leads.

This course really taught me that ‘always closing’ is a thing of the past and the Napier approach is that we are ‘always helping’.

Dan taught me three key things:

Just keep digging…

To really understand someone’s goals, you must dig at least 3 times:

  • Dig 1 - ‘what your goals are for the coming year?’ this will give you an overview of the where the company would like to see themselves.
  • Dig 2 – ‘How much are you looking to grow compared to last year?’ this will give you a more realistic figure based on the previous year.
  • Dig 3 – ‘Why is it important for you to double your business this year?’ now this is the interesting part, the why provides all the insight, where is the goal being driven from? What are the risks of not achieving this goal?

By digging at least three times, you can better identify a good fit for your business and really understand your prospects drivers and objectives.

Keep curious & listen!

‘What else?’, ‘But Why?’ curiosity comes naturally to me, just ask my colleagues & clients… I challenge most things and like to understand the what, the why and the how, although being curious can be a little irritating, it’s important to ensure you get to that third level of the dig and you really understand your client/prospect and hear what they are telling you.

Be helpful.

The crux of Project Lion is to ‘always be helping’, whether your prospect is trying to understand if they are ready for Marketing Automation, or comparing your service offering to your competitors, always be helpful, stand up & smile.

I’m looking forward to helping future clients exceed their objectives and become inbound marketing experts, if you receive a call from me in the near future, let me know how I’m doing – I’m a lioness in training!

 


A year in the life of an Apprentice Ambassador

What a year! Since completing my apprenticeship in June 2015, I have received four awards; two CIM certificates, presented on the radio, addressed over 300 apprentices at a graduation ceremony and even met the Prime minister at No.10! – how did I get so lucky?

Humble Beginnings

It all started in May 2015, myself and Mike were presenting at the local FSB Apprenticeship Event, a member of the audience suggested that I enter the National Apprentice Awards 2015 in the intermediate apprentice of the year category, with only a week until the entry closing date, we submitted my entry and hoped for the best.

Soon August arrived along with an email stating that I had been shortlisted as a Regional finalist and an invitation to the South East Region Apprentice of the Year awards. On the 21st October myself, Dave and my partner travelled to HMS President in London, where I was awarded with the South East Intermediate Apprentice of the Year Award! It took me completely by surprise, and I felt incredibly proud. The recognition from this award was amazing, I was invited to present my experience on local radio stations and an Apprenticemakers webinar as well as short news stories being written about Napier and our apprentice journey in local papers!

Shortlisted for the National Finals!

In December 2015, I received an email notifying me that a decision had been made by the national judging panel, and I had been shortlisted as a National finalist – it was now down to myself and two others out of over 12,000 original submissions. Myself and three guests (Mike, my mum and my partner) were invited to the National Finals in January at The Grosvenor Hotel, London.

Invite to Number 10

On 4th January, something crazy happened – I received a formal invite requesting my company at a drinks reception to celebrate Apprenticeships at Number 10, Downing Street! I could not believe it, of course I accepted the invite and enjoyed an unbelievable evening behind the famous black door.

Achieving Highly Commended

The National awards soon arrived in late January, and after an evening of fantastic entertainment, delicious food, and great company, I received an award and was highly commended. In recognition of my hard work and dedication to my apprenticeship I also received a Chichester College Star of the Year award, and FE Sussex Apprentice of the Year award. I also launched The Apprentice Ambassador Network, and have presented my experience to several schools in the area.

I am incredibly proud to have received such fantastic recognition of my achievements and that I have had so many opportunities to share my apprentice experience, and encourage others to join an apprenticeship programme - to think it all started with complex tea rounds and 32-bit microcontrollers two years ago!

I am now 2/3 of my way through a CIM diploma, managing accounts at Napier as well as supporting the team in a variety of ways from traditional PR through to Digital campaigns. I have attended international trade shows, written and placed articles and achieved so much more than I ever expected I could.

Most importantly, I am still learning every single day.


Elektroniikkalehti rebrands to ETN

Elektroniikkalehti, published twice a week on Wednesday's and Friday's, is a Finnish online publication focused on the electronics industry. The magazine has been covering high tech news and electronics in Finnish for more than two years and felt it was time for a refresh by announcing a name change from Elektroniikkalehti to ETN.

 

They are staying close to their roots with the name change, and want their new name ETN to reflect the essence of the new world of technology. This new name carries with it some deeper meaning with E representing Electronics being everywhere as this is an inherent part of their scope.

The T reflects the long Finnish tradition in telecommunications and the N refers to Nanotechnology. This describes the miniaturisation of devices and components and the emergence of new materials that often combine intellect with nanoscale structures.

 

Under its new name, ETN will continue to be update readers with all the latest news along with its newsletter providing a recap of the most important news twice a week.

We wish the Elektroniikkalehti team every success for the future, writing under their new name, ETN.


Webinar: Find out how apprenticeships have become a key part of our recruitment strategy

Following on from our successful presentation at the FSB's Apprentice Event back in May, Mike and I were invited to share our apprentice journey with companies that are considering recruiting a marketing apprentice, in a webinar for Apprenticemakers, a company that works with the National Apprenticeship Service to support existing and budding apprentice employers.

We started the webinar with Mike who discussed the reasons Napier first considered recruiting an apprentice; how Chichester College managed the recruitment process and the benefits that hiring an apprentice has had on Napier and our clients. I was then asked to share my experience as an apprentice; what my peers think of my decisions, what I have learnt at Napier and my aspirations for my future career at Napier.

We closed the webinar with questions and answers from the listeners, this was my favourite part of the webinar as it created a two way conversation with the individuals that had tuned in to listen to our journey. We discussed the misconceptions about apprenticeships, and how I, as an apprentice, am perceived in our industry.

I think the webinar was a great way to show others what a fantastic opportunity an apprenticeship is to both companies that are thinking about taking an apprentice on, as well as talented people that are considering starting an apprenticeship themselves.

We are currently recruiting for our third apprentice, do you know someone in the Chichester area who would like a career in marketing? You can contact us directly, or apply through Chichester College.


Apprentice To Marketing Specialist: Onto The Next Chapter

Freya600pxBlock-300x300 (1)As my apprenticeship comes to an end, I find myself reflecting on the last year and just how far I have come.

It is crazy to think that this time last year I was wondering how I was going to get my foot in the door in PR and marketing. I now have a job that I love, and will be finishing my apprenticeship with a qualification under my belt, and a career in an industry that I know I belong in.

I have been so fortunate to have learnt so much in my apprenticeship at Napier, I class my experience as more than just a route to work; the experience, skills and support that I have been provided with has allowed me to flourish in my career and establish myself as a valuable employee here at Napier.

The apprenticeship has made me set new aspirations for my career. I’ve already accepted an offer for a permanent role ay Napier and have been accepted on a level 4 Certificate in Professional Marketing course to start in September. I’m also the pioneer for a successful apprenticeship programme at Napier – they are already recruiting a third apprentice.

I have had the opportunity to work with so many different clients on various campaigns, from analysing competitors coverage and producing weekly media monitoring reports; attending networking events; managing press briefing calls and tours; creating HTML emailers and newsletters; running the ad production for several clients and pitching articles to influential journalists – to name a few of my favourite tasks. This has given me real insight into the world of PR and marketing.

I am excited to start my next chapter at Napier and the responsibility and challenges that will come with it. I’m also looking forward to gaining knowledge and skills to succeed and progress with my career in marketing.

I never thought I would get so far in just one year, I owe it all to my apprenticeship!

Freya


Napier Accepts Invitation to Present at the FSB’s Apprenticeship Event

As a supporter of apprenticeships in the PR and marketing industry, we were pleased to accept an invitation from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) to present at their recent event, aimed at encouraging local businesses to recruit apprentices.

Both our MD, Mike Maynard, and one of our current apprentices, Freya Ward, presented at the event, which was also attended by Tim Loughton, MP for Worthing East and Shoreham. While there were several high-profile speakers, Napier was the only employer chosen to present, and was able to discuss first-hand the benefits of recruiting, as well as being, an apprentice.

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Last year Napier launched their year-long marketing apprenticeship programme, recruiting Freya as the company’s first ever apprentice. Following her success, Napier have since appointed a second apprentice, Bryn Rainford, and are currently recruiting for their third apprentice to replace Freya, who will soon be joining the team permanently as an account executive.

Apprenticeships have proved to be a great way for Napier to recruit talented, enthusiastic people to our team, while providing our apprentices with invaluable on-the-job practical training, a personal mentor, industry insights, and a long term, broad and balanced vision of professional development.


Legal exams, direct marketing & mint matchmakers

Great news, I passed my Unit 2 exam!Freya600pxBlock-300x300 (1)

Unit 2 was based on Legal, Regulatory and ethical requirements in marketing. Alongside my weekly three-hour lecture at Chichester College, I have also been studying direct marketing for my work based assessment.

Direct marketing is a key part of my role at Napier. Recently I have focused a lot of my time on a mailing campaign for one of our clients.

After initial database analysis I was asked to source boxes of Matchmakers; create and assemble mailings; collate letters; apply labels; and finally send them out to the database. This campaign went on for three months and it is safe to say I am sick of the sight and smell of mint Matchmakers! Despite the queasy feeling I get when I see them, I really enjoyed this campaign, and my colleagues certainly enjoyed the spare Matchmakers!

In other news; we are taking on another apprentice! I am really looking forward to sharing the experience with someone. You have to absorb so much information in such little time and the examples given at college tend to be B2C, so they frequently don’t always relate directly into my everyday work in B2B. I think it will be really good to debrief and discuss with the new apprentice, if only for reassurance that I am on the right track!

At Napier we have changed the internal structure and started working in two teams as of Monday. This is an opportunity for me to have more responsibility, and working more closely with a set of specific accounts will help me build stronger relationships with journalists and client contacts. We’re all looking forward working in the new structure, which has been designed to help us improve the services we deliver.

Freya


Complex tea rounds, 32-bit microcontrollers & meticulous research: life as Napier’s first apprentice

Freya600pxBlock-300x300

Where have the last 3 months gone? Coming from a consumer background with very little knowledge of B2B marketing has been a challenge. My everyday tasks used to be running weekly competitions via social media, focusing on rebooks and analysing client retention, now I am happily talking about 8-bit, 16-bit and 32-bit microcontrollers!

From my very first day, both the Napier team and their clients have been so welcoming, encouraging and supportive. Being their first ever marketing apprentice, the company is learning with me, and as I settle into my role here I am slowly becoming more and more involved with live projects – which feels great!

Napier have created a great platform for me to learn and gain a better understanding of the B2B world first hand.

Alongside perfecting the tea round for the office (my colleagues have very fussy requests – half a half spoon sugar, stir it twice!), a large proportion of my time has been focused on lead generation. After some initial analysis from Mike, the Managing Director, to identify the markets in which our client were already successful, I was challenged to find similar companies within these markets and identify relevant contacts within them.

I used various tools to source new leads for our client. As well as exhibitor lists from trade shows, search engines and LinkedIn, I was also able to access some proprietary database through Napier’s subscriptions. After compiling a list of over 100 companies, I conducted more meticulous research into individual employees for each organization using these databases; as well as cold-calling business’ to verify contacts and ensure that he/she was still employed, held the required job title and matched the criteria.

Lead generation can be challenging, and sometimes unrewarding but perseverance, patience and enthusiasm are key to produce a successful and potentially business changing result.

After the success of my lead generation project I cannot wait to get my teeth stuck into my next task. I’m certainly busy in my new role and loving the variety of work I’m doing.

Thankfully, my apprenticeship with Napier hasn’t all been about making tea & coffee!