From bargains to blow-outs - the best places to eat in Bristol, Brighton and Bournemouth

From bargains to blow-outs – the best places to eat in Bristol, Brighton and Bournemouth

by Ollie Tunmore

29 September, 2017

‘Staycations’, where individuals choose to stay in the same country for a holiday rather than deal with the stresses of going abroad, are becoming increasingly popular in the UK.

City breaks in particular are among some of the more favoured destinations for those wanting a quick and a welcome break from day-to-day life.

With this in mind, I wanted to create a mini-series of entries showcasing some of the best eateries in different locations, on different budgets. What with studying in Bournemouth, working in Brighton and having just visited Bristol, this mini-series shall consist of ‘The Three B’s’. Starting, with Bristol.

Cheap Eats


¹⁄  Bristol

While strolling through the streets of Bristol a few weekends back, I stumbled across a funky little make-shift shop named ‘Cupp’. Specialising in the new rage – bubble tea, and also selling tea, coffee and light bites, the shop is in a bright Turquoise container, boldly taking position in the middle of Philadelphia Street. It’s a fun, creative little brand and they have multiple stores, however do try to make a visit to this one – as I doubt there’s many other places in the world where you can get a bubble tea made to order out the back of a blue shipping container.


²⁄  Brighton

Café Coho is a relatively new brand in Brighton, however, their cafes are popping up all over the city. With main premises on Ship Street and Queen’s Road, and a brand-new stand in the middle of Churchill Square, the brand is quickly establishing itself all over Brighton. For a damn good vanilla latté, (or any coffee for that matter…) and a delicious little treat, Café Coho is the affordable luxury go to that you need on your radar.


³⁄  Bournemouth

Although dotted all over the UK, you’ll find Coffee #1 predominantly in the South. Friendly customer service paired with nibbles of all sorts and inventive yet delicious hot drinks, Coffee #1 makes for a perfect quick stop-off, catch-up with a friend, or working lunch spot. Serving everything from a gingerbread latté to a freshly blended fruit smoothie, whatever you’re after, Coffee #1 has got you covered, for a very reasonable price too.


When the parents are paying


¹⁄  Bristol

I came across Bambalan whilst researching for affordable yet quirky, recently opened restaurants around the UK for a client. I made sure to visit this restaurant whilst visiting Bristol recently to see the creative and innovative interior design (which is all done in-house), and test out the bold cocktails and smoky mains. Having experienced incredibly attentive and friendly service from all the staff, I can guarantee you’ll be well looked after. The food is all cooked perfectly and with a smoke-house twist – from tapas-style nibbles to full-blown burgers and grills, Bamablan caters for every taste and style, in a vibrant atmosphere and uniquely styled space.


²⁄  Brighton

Tropical Sushi has only just opened its doors to its permanent Brighton premises, following a short period working out of pop-up spaces around the city. The team behind Tropical Sushi have just spread their sushi wings and set up shop halfway between Brighton and Hove on Western Road, and it’s a must-see. A colleague of mine even described it as “the best sushi” she’s ever had; which she would not say lightly… With a bring-your-own-booze policy and regular offers and deals, it’s fast becoming a mecca for all sushi lovers in the city.


³⁄  Bournemouth

It was surprisingly difficult to narrow down just one of the best medium-range restaurants from Bournemouth’s bustling restaurant scene. However, 7-Bone Burger is without a doubt one of the stand-outs for me. If you need a proper ‘dirty’ burger, then 7-Bone is your place. With inventive and downright delicious burgers, hot dogs and side dishes, the restaurant provides your perfect carb-fix for when you’re after a real treat. Popping up in Bournemouth, Reading and Southampton, they’re quickly expanding; and rightly so.


Blow the budget!


¹⁄  Bristol

Two words: San Carlo. With branches all over the UK, the chain provides delectable and authentic Italian cuisine in a lavish setting. Offering an extensive menu of delicious Italian dishes made with the finest and freshest ingredients, the flavours and combinations available at this restaurant will blow your mind. Everything is done exactly the way it should be for high-end Italian cuisine. Simple, bold, and flavoursome. With professional and prompt service, you can trust that the San Carlo team will take good care of you, and your visit will be a memorable one at that.


²⁄  Brighton

Recently reopened and ever-so-stylish Pike & Pine provides luxury-chic with a Brighton twist. With beautiful marble and glass everywhere, biophilic additions in the ceiling and inventive menus – the venue operates as ‘Red Roaster’ to serve drinks and light bites, and Pike & Pine for the full restaurant menu. With gorgeous design features and delicious options on the menu, it’s a definite go-to for a night out with friends or family, right in the heart of Kemp Town.


³⁄  Bournemouth

Situated on Bournemouth’s cosmopolitan seafront, NEO is a definite visit for those looking for a classy evening enjoying some of the finest food Bournemouth has to offer. With floor to ceiling glass facing out to the sea and pier, it’s a stunning setting for an evening dinner or late lunch. They provide an extensive menu from light lunches and drinks all through to catch of the day, grills and full dinner menus. The design and furnishings are luxurious yet relaxed, and you won’t find a better view of the sea whilst enjoying a bite to eat. Why not finish the evening too with a drink at the ever-popular Level 8 Sky Bar at the top of the Hilton, just a few minutes round the corner.

About Oliver Tunmore:

Working at Magenta Associates for a year-long industrial placement, Ollie joins us as part of his studies of Media Production at Bournemouth University. Writing as much as he can during work hours and in his free time, he enjoys reviewing food, live music, events and writing topical discussions.


How to practice active mindfulness

How to practice active mindfulness

by Guest Contributor

28 September, 2017

By Paul Joseph, Director and co-founder
Health and Fitness Travel
healthandfitnesstravel.com

When we think of mindfulness and the process of becoming self-aware of our emotions, thoughts, feelings and senses, most of us envision a method of passive meditation.

Although this may ring true when practiced by its founding Buddhists, the reality is, we do not need to be physically still and shut away from the world to find our inner-calmness. In today’s fast-paced society, where finding a spare hour (or six) is nigh on impossible, this is most certainly a good thing! Active mindfulness is concerned with maintaining an introspective state of consciousness whilst engaging in everyday activities. Still a bit confused? In the following guide, Health and Fitness Travel, the wellness holiday specialists, turn the spotlight on mindfulness, complete with key tips on how to practice and apply it to your life.

Silence is golden

In the age of communications, the power of silence is wholly underestimated, underused and often even feared. Dedicating time for solitude, even if it’s just five minutes on the train with your eyes shut and earplugs in, can be immensely beneficial to your mental health. It encourages self-reflection, and nourishes and heals the mind. Research has also shown silence to relieve stress and amplify sensitivity to sensations, sounds, emotions and thoughts; an essential principle of mindfulness.

Challenge core beliefs

Often our barriers to success, whether personal or business related, are due to a (sometimes unconscious) stubbornness to challenge our beliefs. Using a ‘thought diary’ identifies destructive thoughts by allowing you to be mindful and aware of how you would feel if these were, in fact, not your beliefs. This technique is especially helpful in challenging how we perceive ourselves, others and the world around us.

Mind(ful) of what you eat

No, this does not mean starving yourself! Take a delicious fresh orange. Eat it slowly and deliberately, paying attention to the sweet citrus taste. Notice how the segment bursts with flavour and spreads over your taste buds, and how your jaw moves as it masticates. Mindful eating not only helps us enjoy what we are consuming optimally, but also recognises our emotional and non-hunger related triggers which inevitably cause us to overeat and feel guilty.

Mindfulness meditation

To take time away from the world and reflect in peace is truly the pinnacle of mindfulness exercises. While meditation is beneficial for our well-being, the magic of this deep relaxation practice lies in how it encourages awareness of our present. Try to maintain a narrow focus to start with i.e. the air as it moves into and out of your lungs, then begin to acknowledge thoughts, feelings, senses, form and emotions. If your mind wanders return to a focus on your breath.

Be accepting

Working on acceptance helps with patience and trust that life will unfold as it’s meant to. It also supports an innate tolerance of life’s rollercoaster, allowing us to remain at peace despite emotional turbulence. Practice by naming emotions: ‘anger’, ‘elation’, ‘sadness’, feeling them and letting them pass without judgement. Understanding that our emotions are fleeting, helps limit the anxiety and worry that tends to pull us out of our present.

Listen to be heard

We have all been in that situation where, no matter what you say, you are just not being understood. Next time you feel this way, take a step back, don’t just focus on the words being said. Pay attention to the tone, examine facial expressions and body language, and no matter what, remain present in the conversation. Mindful listening exists on the premise that listening is the key to real communication.

Be mindful when exercising

Combining the tranquillity of mindfulness with the increased cognitive and physical activity of exercise seems counterproductive, yet they are inextricably linked by the associations of health and wellbeing. Pay attention to the positioning and feel of your body and its individual muscles, notice the environment, your posture and breath with each movement and physical advances will follow suit. Being mindful during exercise will aid proprioception and help you find your form.

Remember, mindfulness is a journey and if you fall off track, simply take a breath, re-centre yourself and the rest will follow. However, if you feel in need of some added motivation why not learn to practice active mindfulness in a beautiful location at one of our healthy holidays.


→ For advice, guidance and booking visit www.healthandfitnesstravel.com or call 0203 397 8891

About Paul Joseph:

Wellness Travel Specialist and Entrepreneur, Paul Joseph, is the co-founder of Health and Fitness Travel, a global leader in wellness holidays worldwide. Always ahead of the curve in pioneering new health programmes that revive the soul, boost fitness or address serious health issues, the worldwide wellness tourism industry has now become a multi-billion sector, growing faster than travel in general. Paul has a wealth of PR, Marketing, Sales and Management experience in the health and tourism industry, consulting leading hotels on their wellness strategy and contributing regularly to broadcast and media interviews.


About Health and Fitness Travel:

Health and Fitness Travel is a global luxury wellness travel company that originated in the UK in 2010 and is committed to providing healthy holidays that enhance and change lives. Created by Paul Joseph and Adam Heathcote as a result of their passion for health and fitness travel and offering bespoke holidays to improve people’s well-being to lead happier and healthier lives.

Health and Fitness Travel offers clients a tailor-made seamless service with the very best health and fitness holidays, handpicked by its expert team, together with exclusive and added value packages with the best deals. As leading specialists, Health and Fitness Travel has also created their own collection of trademark healthy holidays in various destinations which include Fusion Fitness™ BodyBreaks™ and Discover Recover™, offering clients the best value and holiday experience.


For more information visit: www.healthandfitnesstravel.com


Moving from home with a chronic illness

Moving from home with a chronic illness

by Guest Contributor

27 September, 2017

By Liam Richards

Moving away from home can be hard enough for a normal person but it can be even harder for someone suffering from a chronic illness such as chronic fatigue syndrome (this link will help you learn more about the illness).

I personally moved from home for university whilst suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome and come back in the summers, I was worried prior to this what it would do to my health so spoke to my hospital to gain advice. The tips I am going to give are both recommendations I received and things I have discovered living away from home. I am in no way a health expert and these tips may not work for you as everyone is different.

Social /

My first tip is one that helps you when you are suffering from low spells or relapses, build a support network. A support network consists of people who will be there in your time of need to give you the boost you need, advice or just someone to talk to. They could be family, friends, medical professionals, colleagues/tutors if you are at university or online such as forums. By building a support network you will know who you can talk to whilst experiencing certain issues from your health or just moving away from home in general. If you feel uncomfortable talking to those close to you, an alternative could be to use forums with other CFS sufferers such as Phoenix Rising which is one that I have used in the past.

Food /

My next tip focuses on saving your precious energy and that is to do online shopping. By doing this will be able to save your energy and be able to have a great selection of food rather than just a local corner shop. This leads onto my next tip which is to eat healthily which is easier to do online as you don’t have to worry about carrying it all home and have the option to a wide healthy range of foods.

By eating healthily, it can help to improve your some symptoms, avoiding processed foods can help your body lose less energy as it will be breaking down more natural foods. Some may find it hard to prepare healthy food so it helps to do meal preparation when you have spare time, saving precious energy when you need to cook in the evening after a long day when you will lack motivation and possibly end up ordering an unhealthy takeaway or ready meal. When the meals are prepared in advance it makes it a lot easier when you might lack the motivation as you just need to heat it up and possibly add some fresh ingredients to add variation.

Rest /

Rest is vital when you suffer from a chronic illness and the outside world can interfere with this so it is worth making purchases that can help to limit this. Earplugs or noise cancelling headphones are great if you live by a busy street or with noisy house mates/neighbours. If you suffer from photosensitivity, it helps to have black-out curtains or an eye mask to limit the light. This should help reduce the provocation of migraines, in turn allowing you to relax to the best of your ability.

Software /

There are multiple types of software that can help with both studying and working. The most helpful one I have used is Claroread, it reads highlighted text from your screen helping to reduce the fatigue on your eyes as well as helping with proofreading as you can hear what your text sounds like. This helps you to spot errors when checking over emails, assignments, or essays. Another helpful piece of software for writing on the computer is Dragon Naturally Speaking, which allows the user to talk into a microphone and it will type the words for you. This allows the user to rest but still work from the comfort of their bed if they need to. It might also be of help to use a calendar that syncs on your multiple platforms, this will help function like a second brain and help to remind you of upcoming events or create to-do lists for each day.


Hopefully, these tips can be of some help to those with a chronic illness for when they are moving or deciding whether to move from home. Most of these tips come from my experience of my first year at university but can be applied to those who are working as well.


How to stay fit and healthy while travelling for business

How to stay fit and healthy while travelling for business

by Guest Contributor

27 September, 2017

By Paul Joseph, Director and co-founder
Health and Fitness Travel
healthandfitnesstravel.com

It’s relatively easy to maintain your fitness whilst you’re in the comfort of your own surroundings, with the local gym just down the road and a schedule of weekly fitness classes. Yet, when travelling for business, the disruption of your daily routine can leave many neglecting their health and fitness whilst away.

With studies revealing the benefits of exercise for increased concentration and productivity, together with reduced stress levels and insomnia, maintaining your fitness can offer great perks when on a business trip or corporate wellness retreat. Here, Health and Fitness Travel, the wellness holiday specialists, share some helpful hints on how you can stay fit and healthy on a wellness holiday, so that you can perform at your peak whilst travelling for business.

Pack your active wear

It may seem obvious, but this is rule number one, so that you don’t use the fact that you don’t have your trainers or swimsuit as an excuse not to exercise.

Get your body and brain active

Make the most of high-tech gym facilities and on-hand personal trainers on our wellness retreats. Exercise will not only improve your fitness but it’ll also increase your energy levels and reduce stress, meaning that you’ll be able to concentrate more and perform better in meetings.

Swim for success

Swimming is full of health benefits and is a holiday staple when in a hot country, so make the most of this activity and fit in a few swift lengths in the pool or ocean before breakfast. Get your heart pumping and benefit from the relaxing effects of being in the water.

Add variety with fitness classes

Try something new to keep your body and your mind alert, with a wide range of complimentary fitness classes available. Experience everything from spinning and kickboxing to yoga and Tai Chi on one of our fitness holidays, for a physical and mental health boost.

Explore on a run or a walk

When free from business meetings, the easiest way to explore the surroundings and maintain your fitness, is to go for a jog or a walk around the area. Ask the concierge for the most picturesque route and discover the beautiful scenery whilst upping your heart rate.

Try an outdoor activity

If you have a free evening or afternoon, why not try out an outdoor activity to improve your fitness and unwind from stress. Play a game of tennis with work colleagues on an activity holiday or go for a bike ride, which will also benefit your mind with fresh air and give you time to think.

Eat healthily

Where better to embrace healthy eating than at a wellness retreat, where trained chefs can whip up both delicious and nutritious culinary delights. By fuelling your body and mind with the right nutrition, you’ll be able to perform to your best in important meetings.

Make day-to-day changes

These range from using the stairs rather than the elevator, to swapping a business meeting at the bar for a business meeting over a game of golf or tennis.


→ For advice, guidance and booking visit www.healthandfitnesstravel.com or call 0203 397 8891

About Paul Joseph:

Wellness Travel Specialist and Entrepreneur, Paul Joseph, is the co-founder of Health and Fitness Travel, a global leader in wellness holidays worldwide. Always ahead of the curve in pioneering new health programmes that revive the soul, boost fitness or address serious health issues, the worldwide wellness tourism industry has now become a multi-billion sector, growing faster than travel in general. Paul has a wealth of PR, Marketing, Sales and Management experience in the health and tourism industry, consulting leading hotels on their wellness strategy and contributing regularly to broadcast and media interviews.


About Health and Fitness Travel:

Health and Fitness Travel is a global luxury wellness travel company that originated in the UK in 2010 and is committed to providing healthy holidays that enhance and change lives. Created by Paul Joseph and Adam Heathcote as a result of their passion for health and fitness travel and offering bespoke holidays to improve people’s well-being to lead happier and healthier lives.

Health and Fitness Travel offers clients a tailor-made seamless service with the very best health and fitness holidays, handpicked by its expert team, together with exclusive and added value packages with the best deals. As leading specialists, Health and Fitness Travel has also created their own collection of trademark healthy holidays in various destinations which include Fusion Fitness™ BodyBreaks™ and Discover Recover™, offering clients the best value and holiday experience.


For more information visit: www.healthandfitnesstravel.com


Broaden your horizons during LSNW

Broaden your horizons during LSNW

by Magenta

27 September, 2017

Learn Something New Week takes place this week (25th – 29th September 2017), an annual awareness campaign that exists to stimulate a thirst for knowledge.

Aimed at working professionals who need an invigorative burst of inspiration, the goal of the week is to encourage people to broaden their horizons; both in the workplace and at home.

Research conducted by UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School ¹ reveals that 65% of millennials consider personal development as the most influential factor in a job, with 1 in 4 deeming ‘training and development’ as the biggest benefit provided by an employer.

In light of this research, and to mark Learn Something New Week, ten experts have offered their thoughts on why it’s so important to encourage learning at work:

CJ Green
Group chief people officer, Servest

“If you wish to not only attract but retain talent, you need to give your employees something to get excited about. By focusing on internal learning and development, you’re equipping your employees with the tools that will help them fulfil and harness their potential, which will help the business flourish.”

Andrew Mawson
Co-author of the Workplace Management Framework report

“For people to be emotionally engaged with the work they do, managers need to create meaning and purpose for each and every member of staff, as a company is only as good as the people it employs… and ongoing learning and development is a key part of this!”

Sara Bean
Editor, FMJ magazine

“When formal education stops, you shouldn’t stop learning, which is why I love my job. In the last week I’ve learnt about the latest tricks used by cyber hackers, the definition of a social enterprise and the impact new data legislation could have on business. Talking to experts in these areas helps stimulate my own ideas and thinking and I often find I quote them back to others in everyday life. Life long learning such as this, is what helps keep me engaged and in touch.”

Angela Love
Director, Active FM

“Encouraging learning in the workplace presents a variety of benefits to a business. Not only can it improve employee performance within their job role, but investing in additional training for your staff helps to make them feel valued within the business, leading to improved employee satisfaction and boosting morale within a team.”

Dave Kentish
Director, Kentish & Co

“For any company to grow and increase its bottom line profits, it needs to grow its staff. And by that, I mean in the skillsets necessary for them to become engaged, valued and loyal members of the team. Make sure that your people get encouragement and access to the right training, technical and leadership and management skills, so that they can develop fully and have an influential long-term positive impact on your business growth.”

Natasha Maddock
Director, Aim for the Sky

“By nurturing talent within your organisation, you can create a highly motivated and engaged workforce with the necessary skills, knowledge and expertise to do their jobs well. Staff retention rates and job satisfaction are directly affected by the relationships between staff and managers. Leadership and management training is therefore an ideal way to create a high performance culture where employees feel valued and encouraged to achieve their potential.”

Claire Huish
Colleague service manager, Bennett Hay

“Learning something new gives us a sense of fulfilment that sparks joy and positive energy, drawing the best of us. At Bennett Hay, in addition to our formal training programmes, we encourage our colleagues to live out our company values including ‘being adventurous’ and having the confidence to do things differently. This keeps our teams engaged.”

Cathy Hayward
MD, Magenta

“Regardless of your role or level, you never stop learning – as a PR agency, we find this is the best way to keep the creative juices flowing. We actively encourage all team members to go to workshops, events and conferences to hear and learn about new developments that can impact our clients and help us deliver new and better ways of communicating.”

Karen Plum
Director of development and research, AWA

“Our latest research looks at the factors that most impact our cognitive performance, so individuals and organisations can understand and adopt best practices to get everyone’s brain in peak condition. Cognitive stimulation is one of these factors. Jobs that are cognitively demanding and varied, providing the opportunity to learn new things over time, can increase mental functioning and possibly reduce the effect of age-related decline.”

Marcus Franck
Founder, Franck Energy

“Truly ambitious people never stop learning, and never get tired of improving their knowledge and performance. The nature of people’s skills may change, and so too may their emphasis on areas of learning, but great employees always seek to advance themselves.”

For inspirational content to kick-start your learning, the Learn Something New Week website is packed full of resources to encourage you to take on a new challenge and learn something new this September.

Whether you’re looking to broaden your business skills, such as social media, public speaking or copywriting, or you’re interested in learning how to write a film review or match British beer with food – perhaps even make an origami swan! – there’s something for you on the website! There are also downloadable activity sheets to help organisations spread the love of learning and fuel better ideas, collaboration and engagement.

Got a skill to shout about? Get involved and teach us all something new with the #LSNweek hashtag!



How to avoid falling out with your business partner

How to avoid falling out with your business partner

by Guest Contributor

26 September, 2017

By Anthony Bennett
bennetthay.co.uk

Myself and Robin Hay co-founded the bespoke hospitality business Bennett Hay back in 2010. We now employ just over 200 people. Robin and I have worked together for the last 20 years, which is one of the main reasons we decided to set up Bennett Hay.

We found we had very complimentary skills, which I’d argue is an extremely important factor in a successful partnership. At the beginning we spent a great deal of time independently capturing what’s important to each of us before sharing our thoughts, just to double check we had the same drivers and passions – which, thankfully, we did!

Photography on behalf of Bennett Hay © Daniel Lewis.

Here are my top tips to avoid falling out:

Rather like any relationship, you have to keep the communication open and honest. Be up front with any issues and make time for debate.


Agree decision-making processes, allowing both autonomy and combined thinking. Pre-agreeing structures and processes lessens the likelihood of a fall out at a later stage.


Plan for growth and recognise the need to adjust behaviours and job roles as the company grows. Co-founders must be prepared to adapt to the changing business landscape; pre-empting eventualities from the very outset, and meeting up monthly to discuss the proposition, can help pave the way in future.


Sleep on a big decision before making it. Jointly agree to give each other plenty of time to reach an outcome; that way, you reduce unnecessary stress.


Hear each other out. You’ve entered into business together and both partners will possess different skills and experience; tap into and use it at all times. You never know what you’ll learn and discover from each other. A business can only ever grow if it’s challenged after all.


Stay true to your vision and business integrity. Continually believe in what you are here to do and where you want to take the business.


How to buy your first DSLR

How to buy your first DSLR

by Guest Contributor

25 September, 2017

By Kalina Petkova, student
Instagram.com

So as already mentioned I like doing a bit of photography and invest a fair amount of time in it.

Add to that the fact that I am studying Media Production, which focuses a lot on video, and it really became frustrating not owning a DSLR and having to go through the tedious process of filling out risk assessments in order to borrow university equipment, if I wanted to do the tiniest of projects. At the same time, as advanced as phones are nowadays, they don’t quite hit the mark with the quality and freedom I am after. So if you’re considering buying your first DSLR, here are a couple of tips + my personal experience and opinions.

Look for an ENTRY level

If this is your very first DSLR, chances are you are not as experienced as you think you are. Even if you have the funds, don’t splash out on very pricy professional equipment, that you’ll soon feel overwhelmed with and more confused and frustrated rather than excited. Knowing what you’re doing and being in control + an entry level camera almost always leads to much better results than the latest, most amazing model with 128324 features + you not knowing what button to press. Here‘s a good list of beginner DSLR’s and a buying guide, to serve as a starting point.

Do a bit of digging

If you want a bargain, buy & sell groups on Facebook, Gumtree and similar options are your best friend. A year ago, I got a camera kit that was going for £400 on Amazon for £100 on Facebook, and it had been used no more than 10 times – you could tell it’s practically new. The guy that sold it to me was also kind enough to give me his bag, SD card and other stuff that didn’t come with the kit, for free. Important to mention here – do go and check the camera out yourself before you buy, as sometimes “too good to be true” is indeed just that.

Research and compare

If you found a bargain piece don’t just chance it because “it’s a DSLR and it’s cheap”. Go and read as many reviews as you can. Read the specifications and look at photos taken with the same model to be as sure as you can the camera suits your needs and experience. Doing a bit of research might also lead you to possibly finding a better deal for the same model.


Kalina Petkova is a media production student at Bournemouth University


How to get started with property crowdfunding

How to get started with property crowdfunding

by Guest Contributor

21 September, 2017

By Kim Collier, founder of The Resort Crowd
theresortcrowd.com

The property investment sector has been a very exclusive industry for a long time. Only a select group of people have been able to invest and successfully make money from it.

Why is this so? Some may argue that there is a certain level of eliteness within the investment sector. A common belief exists that the finance industry is plagued with language that excludes outsiders. For most people, there is very little education on investment, and how to get started.

But things are changing, and we’re here to talk you through how to get started with property crowdfunding.

How is it changing?

With the development of digital, alternative finance sources online have been revolutionising the way people invest. Since crowdfunding platforms hit the scene, the sector has been opened up considerably.

There are a few reasons for this. Not only does crowdfunding provide a platform for first time investors to get started, the internet is also home to free and readily available information on how to start investing. Example one, this article.

Who is crowdfunding for?

Anyone. The beauty of crowdfunding is that the platforms do not discriminate or exclude; any Joe Bloggs with an internet connection is able to invest. It removes so much of the jargon and complication. Today, you could search for something you’re interested in and make an investment within a couple of minutes. It’s worth noting that some investment platforms will require tests and questionnaires in order to invest, so look out for that on your hunt for investment opportunities.

Why property?

Your first step is choosing something that you want to invest in. A quick google will tell you that you can invest in a broad range, from things such as education, new apps, crazy new startups to overseas property.

The long term benefits of property investment have been observed for years. It’s been said that property doubles in value every ten years, and whilst this might not be strictly true in all circumstances, capital growth still runs parallel with property investment. So, with that in mind, let’s look at where to start.

Step 1 / Do your research

Your first step is finding a platform online that provides what you’re looking for. One of the benefits of online crowdfunding platforms is that there’s a lot more transparency. Since crowdfunding generally works on a peer-to-peer basis, you can read reviews from other investors and be sure that you are putting your money somewhere legitimate.


Step 2 / Shop around

Many crowdfunding platforms and individual campaigns will offer their own benefits should you wish to invest. Make sure the investment you choose will guarantee the return you’re looking for in your own time scale. Overseas property investment is an attractive option, offering fixed returns rates for up to five years. Consider your own needs and look at the different options available before settling on the right deal for you.


Step 3 / Make an investment

Once you’ve committed to the platform and level of investment, making the payment is as easy as filling in an online form. Depending on the platform of investment, often you can purchase property shares for as little as £10.

On platforms that specialises in overseas property investment, such as The Resort Crowd, it’s easy to browse the range of resort properties in holiday hotspots. If a property is not fully funded, your investment will be refunded, leaving you to invest it elsewhere.


Step 4 / Sit back and relax

Once you’ve made your investment, you just sit back and wait for the returns to come rolling in. It’s really as simple as that!


How to become a digital marketer

How to become a digital marketer

by Guest Contributor

20 September, 2017

By Lizzie Benton, Content manager at Datify
honestguidetodigitalmarketing.com

The world of digital marketing can appear an intriguing place. After all, not only are we marketing the latest products and innovations to those on the internet, but with the wealth of data that is now available to marketers through social media channels; digital marketing is now one the most successful industries in the UK.

In fact, in 2016, it was reported that the UK digital economy accounted for 40 percent of the UK’s economic growth between 2012 and 2015.

UK digital economy

It is a fast-moving industry, there is no doubt about that. And whether you want to add a string to your bow by learning something new, or are looking to improve your digital marketing knowledge to secure a role in the industry, this guide will reveal how to become a digital marketer.

Get on short courses

Believe it or not, you do not need a qualification in digital marketing to become a digital marketer. In fact, here at Datify, there is not one of us who have a degree or certificate in digital marketing. All of our knowledge has come from experience.

However, I personally have attended one short course and one online course in digital marketing before I came into the industry, just to help me swat up on the basics and understand some of the terminology used.

I would recommend these short courses over an expensive degree any day, as they equip you with just enough knowledge to do something, but not so much that you can’t get to grips with practical marketing and learn more from those already in the industry.

From personal experience I would recommend the following;

→ Future Learn

→ Guardian Masterclasses

Do it yourself

Digital marketing doesn’t have to be learnt in a classroom or from a text book, you can start practicing it right now.

I fell into digital marketing due to my own personal lifestyle blog, and from that I started to pick up and learn ways to increase my followers and what types of content were popular etc.

Start your own blog on any subject you feel like and see what you can learn. There are now endless tutorials on YouTube about how to start your first WordPress website, and there are many guides understanding the fundamental basics of SEO.

Set-up your own website today and see what you can teach yourself. Plus, it’s always a bonus to add to the portfolio if you’re seeking a job in the industry.

Get social

There are many people in the digital marketing industry who would be more than happy to give you advice and guidance on where to start. Plus they also publish great articles on digital marketing that can help you take your skills to the next level.

Follow these industry experts on Twitter and make an effort to read their content;

Meet the experts

Steve Rayson@steverayson

Twitter

Neil Patel@neilpatel

Twitter

Matt Cutts@mattcutts

Twitter

Rand Fishkin@randfish

Twitter

Paddy Moogan@paddymoogan

Twitter

Michael A Stelzner@Mike_Stelzner

Twitter

Larry Kim@larrykim

Twitter

Danny Sullivan@dannysullivan

Twitter

Seth Godin@ThisIsSethsBlog

Twitter

Meetup

You may have heard of Meetup.com as a way to find out about local events, but it’s also a fantastic way of finding clubs and activities that you can be a part of. Here in my area we have DPIP (Digital People in Peterborough).

It’s a local meetup for those who love anything about digital, including digital marketing. And best of all – you don’t need to have a business or be a marketing expert to attend.

Events such as this are now dotted all over the country and can help you to network in a more casual way with other enthusiasts of the digital marketing world.

Learn what people want

The biggest part of marketing is understanding what people want. After all, if you can understand what they’re searching for and the questions they are asking, you can market your product in a way that meets the needs of the people.

This is digital marketing in a nutshell, and once you start to learn what people are typing into their Google search bar you can quickly pick-up on their needs.

A really simple and fun way of doing this without any previous technical experience is by visiting Google.co.uk and start writing in a question about a topic. Google will automatically show you the most popular searches. See below in this image where I have started typing digital marketing and Google has suggested what you might be searching for. This is a great place to start.

Type in any subject and Google will help you.

This is a very basic way to start learning what people want, but once you’ve grasped the concept and why you are doing this, you will quickly pick-up the many other technical ways of doing this.

Become an investigator

The key areas you need to learn to become a digital marketer include;

  • Content Marketing
  • SEO
  • Digital PR
  • PPC
  • Social Media

Take one topic at a time and become an investigator. These are the ingredients to becoming a successful digital marketer, and will give you all the tools that you need to market a product or business online.

Once you have gained a strong understanding of digital marketing overall, you should then take the time to research each area and how it effects a marketing campaign.
As all of these areas work together it’s important to know how you should be doing each of them, as without one, an entire campaign can fall flat on its face.

For example, if you create a fantastic guide on your blog, but then don’t post it on social media or optimise the technical SEO on the page, how is anyone going to find it?

Each element holds significance and there are no short cuts.

While it may seem like there is a lot to get your teeth into, digital marketing provides one of the most varied careers, and even if you’re not looking to go into a role, it can give you business skills that are essential in all areas of work.


How to Improve Your Social Media

How to Improve Your Social Media

by Guest Contributor

19 September, 2017

By Lizzie Benton, Content manager at Datify
honestguidetodigitalmarketing.com

It doesn’t matter if you’re a business, a wannabe blogger, or simply a lover of social media; having an impactful social media presence can help you to gain customers, followers, and even help you to secure your dream job.

But as with any form of marketing, social media needs a well thought out strategy to take you to these places. Even those you think have ‘gone viral’ have had a strategy in place all along.

So, if you’re serious about upping your game and becoming a social influencer, follow these tricks and master your medium.

Pick your platform

There are more social platforms than I can shake a stick at now; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Reddit, YouTube, Snapchat, and many others attempting to emerge on a yearly basis.

But rather than spread yourself thin, pick a platform that is preferred by your target audience. I’ve detailed below the 2017 user statistics of each platform to give you a head start;

Facebook

Female 83%
Male 75%

Aged between 18 – 49 year olds – The best place to reach millennials and Generation X

YouTube

Female 45%
Male 55%

Aged between 18 – 49 year olds
Watched most in the USA than any other TV network

Instagram

Female 38%
Male 26%

90% of users are under the age of 35

Twitter

Female 15%
Male 22%

Aged between 18 – 29 year olds

Pinterest

Female 45%
Male 17%

Evenly distributed between 18 – 64 year olds

 

From this you can pick-out the platforms that means the most to you and have an audience just waiting to enjoy all the content you’re going to share.

This is by far the most important start to improving your social media. Once you know where you want to be, you can then begin investigating these platforms in more depth.

Find your niche

Whatever you want to be known for, make it the focus of your social media strategy.

 

Whether it’s foodie pics, cat memes or beauty tutorials; become the person to follow in that area.

While many are reluctant to select a niche, this can be a driving strategy in increasing followers who are interested in that subject matter, and dramatically improve the reach of your posts.

With this tip, there is no ball and chain saying that you must do it, but if you are attempting to increase followers, drive sales or just get a new job in a particular industry, this can be a winning tactic.

Profile picture – it has to be you

It is a very simple tip, but surprisingly people can forget how important their profile picture is.

Having a photograph of yourself is important across all your social platforms, because people relate to people; if they can’t see your face, how can people know it’s really you that’s putting this content out there.

If you have a stock image, a picture of your pet or a cartoon character, people can become instantly suspicious of your profile and may not follow or engage with you.

Remember that your profile image needs to represent YOU. It’s your identity in the modern online world.

Bio - who are you?

A common area that people often bypass is the bio.

Admittedly it is the most awkward thing to write about yourself, and we’re often not very good at it because we hate talking about our achievements. But your bio enables people to understand who you are, and what to expect from your profile.

These are the top things to include in your social media bio;

  1. Name
  2. Location
  3. Website / Blog
  4. What you do
  5. What you like

Remember again that people need to relate to you and what you’re doing, so have fun with it, and if you really struggle, get a friend to write about you instead. You may be surprised that they can often see the highlights about yourself that you can’t see.

Be consistent

Consistency is key for any social platform, which is why you need to be in it for the long game.

Success won’t happen overnight, and you need to be prepared to put time and energy into consistently keeping the platforms you’ve selected up-to-date.

A neglected profile won’t encourage any followers or engagement, as inactivity will signify it’s a dead profile.

Publishing content consistently not only keeps your profile looking relevant, but will encourage followers and increase engagement.

While you may be thinking, “But how do I keep it fresh without being on it ALL the time?” … well that is where scheduling tools can help.

There are a number of scheduling tools available so that you can organise all of your posts and tweets to be published at specific times.

Unfortunately, the only platform that doesn’t have this capacity at the moment is Instagram. So, if this is a significant platform for your audience, you may need to be a little more proactive with this.

The following scheduling tools are great for getting on top of your social media strategy;

  • Hootsuite
  • Tweetdeck
  • Sprout Social

You only need to spend a few hours a week organising your posts, so dedicate some time to it, and you will dramatically see the increase your profiles gain.

Be relevant

While consistency is key, don’t forget that each of your posts will always need to be relevant to your target audience.

Simply discussing what you had for lunch or what you’re doing, is probably not of interest to people. Always ask yourself before posting – would my audience be interested in this?

If it’s a no, it’s time to rethink your strategy.

Posting about significant events, sharing relevant articles and even your opinions on a subject matter will all be far more of interest than your day-to-day shenanigans.

As an example below I’ve listed some the type of posts I created for a local independent pub;

  • Funny pub quotes
  • Updates on events and live music
  • Questions – what events do you want to see us putting on
  • Feedback – what was everyone’s thought on tapas Tuesday
  • Offers
  • Updates on new breweries in the area

Analyse your niche and come-up with a list for your own social profiles. What can you post that will be of interest to your audience and engage them in a conversation?

After all, it’s called ‘social’ media for a reason.

Find your hashtags

Hashtags are essential for being found by those interested in the subject you’re posting about.

Only essential for Instagram and Twitter; without hashtags, your posts will not be seen by your target audience.

Finding hashtags isn’t hard, but again takes a little time and research.

Start by thinking about all the relevant words that might be used in your niche. Let’s take food as an example.

Words that people may use, include;

  • Yummy
  • Delish
  • Foodie
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Breakfast
  • Nom Nom

Now let’s use Instagram as a start.

Go into the Instagram search option, select Tags and start typing in food. Instagram will immediately start giving you a list with the most popular hashtags.
Select which ones are the most relevant to your post and add them in. Simple!

Embrace a theme

You can be forgiven for thinking a theme is the same as a niche, but it’s very different.

Your theme is the filter and style of your images and is most commonly used on image heavy platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest.

While many people don’t use a filter to define their profile, it can significantly help in areas where image and branding are important. For example, in blogging, fashion photography or interior design.

Learning which filter defines your brand and the composition of how your images should be photographed are all elements which need to be considered when taking your profile to the next level.

There are many image editing apps available that can enable you to improve your images without being an expert in Photoshop. This includes;

  • VSCO
  • Snapseed
  • Filterstorm
  • Enlight

When selecting a theme, think about the mood and feeling you’re looking to convey to your audience. Is it fresh and modern, or artistic?

These tips and tricks can all be done by anyone without any prior experience of social media or marketing, and once you’ve got into a routine of posting and updating your profile, followers and engagement will begin to trickle in.