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37 things I’ve learned from my first 2 years in business

37 things I’ve learned from my first 2 years in business

2 years ago today, I launched Blue Cliff Media. I launched the business after reading the 7 Day Startup. Oh my WORD. What a journey. I've gone from having to work in a call centre to pay the bills, to working with some dream clients. It's been a journey of ups and downs. One that'll have many more I'm sure. Here's a few things I've learned over the last couple of years: 1. Time is your most valuable asset - protect it 2. Actively disqualify prospects - only let the best through 3. Hire people...

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Building a Personal Brand Website: Why?

Building a Personal Brand Website: Why?

If you’re reading this, you’re on my new site. Thanks for stopping by! For the last couple of years, I’ve done all my writing on the Blue Cliff Media site, but it never sat well with me. Back when I first started posting on social, I went through the whole personal vs professional profiles dilemma. “Do I post on my personal twitter, my business Twitter... or both!?”. In the end I decided to go for my personal brand. I removed the Blue Cliff Media Facebook page, created a Gavin Bell one and...

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Why I’ve stopped my daily journal after 1,643 days

Why I’ve stopped my daily journal after 1,643 days

Documenting your life is one of the most satisfying things I think you can do. Not only does it give you something to look back upon, but I feel it subconsciously makes you live a better life (who wants to document a rubbish life?) On the 5th September 2012, I packed my bags and moved from the Shetland Islands down to Manchester after I was accepted into the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy. It was the start of a huge journey for me and I wanted to document what was now in hindsight the...

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How to Vlog: The Best Vlogging Equipment

How to Vlog: The Best Vlogging Equipment

Since launching my vlog in 2016, I’ve had countless people ask me what equipment I use. As much as I feel it’s not about the equipment, I still feel obliged to write this article, sharing with you all the gear I use to vlog: from filming to editing to promotion.

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Facebook Ads Guide: A List of the Best Resources

Facebook Ads Guide: A List of the Best Resources

Facebook advertising can be a complex beast. If you’re new to Facebook ads, the whole concept can look and feel really daunting. But, it’s hugely important to have at least a basic understanding of Facebook ads - even if you’re looking to outsource yours. Why? Facebook ads are one of your biggest business opportunities right now. In order to get the best results - if you’re managing them yourself - you need to know how they work. Without having a grasp on how they work, you're...

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My End of Year Review 2016

My End of Year Review 2016

As 2016 comes to an end, I’ve spent some time up in the Shetland Islands reflecting on what has been an incredible year. December is a special month for me. Things slow down, giving me time to reflect on the year gone, but even more excitingly, plan for the upcoming year. 2016 was a huge year for me. It was my first full year running a business. It was the year I took the jump to going fully self-employed. I’ve met hundreds of incredible people. I’ve spoken at events across the UK...

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World Class Communication with Marcus Sheridan

World Class Communication with Marcus Sheridan

On 28th November 2016, the way I communicate changed forever. Have you ever listened to a speaker? Or spoken to someone and felt completely captivated by them? Marcus Sheridan is one of those people. Whether he’s speaking to 5 or 500 people, he’s able to engage with people on a level I’ve never seen before. For anyone who doesn’t know about Marcus, he’s an international keynote speaker and has an inspirational story. His story involves taking his swimming pool company from near bankruptcy to...

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What Would Happen If You Vlogged Every Day for 100 Days?

What Would Happen If You Vlogged Every Day for 100 Days?

I love coming up with random ideas, challenges and experiments. My latest experiment was to create 100 vlogs in 100 days and to post them on my Facebook page to see what happened with my page growth, my post reach and various other things. There's was no real reason behind the experiment - I wasn't following anyone's idea. The idea just popped into my head randomly one day. On 1st August I filmed the first of 100. In this article I’m going to share exactly what happened. It's been such an...

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The Turing Festival 2016: My 3 Top Takeaways

The Turing Festival 2016: My 3 Top Takeaways

The Turing Festival is an annual conferenced in Edinburgh. This year was the first year I've attended and it was great. It was a two-day event, on 18-19th August. The first day was a product based day, with the second day being full stack marketing. I only made the second day. The conference was based in the fantastic Central Hall venue and had around 500 people there on the Friday. The day was packed with some great speakers and I’m sure everyone went away with a lot of great...

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Facebook Advertising Set-Up: 3 Things You Need To Do

Facebook Advertising Set-Up: 3 Things You Need To Do

Interested in running a Facebook advertising campaign but not sure where to start? In this article, I’m going to cover the three main things you need to do before you start actively advertising on Facebook. 1. Install your Facebook pixel First and foremost, we need to get the Facebook pixel installed on your site. The Facebook pixel is a piece of code (don’t panic!) that you place on your website which allows you to track what people do on your site. It also allows you to create...

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7 Things that Affect Facebook Advertising Costs

7 Things that Affect Facebook Advertising Costs

Following on from my article on how much Facebook ads cost, I wanted to talk about the different factors that affect the cost of your ads. When we run a Facebook advertising campaign, we’re charged per action: whether that’s cost per click, cost per conversion or cost per like. It's a constant process of trying to drive these costs down. In this article, I cover 7 different things that affect the cost. Firstly... Product You’ve all heard the classic quote: you can’t polish a turd....

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Pros and Cons of Outsourcing Facebook ads

Pros and Cons of Outsourcing Facebook ads

As the owner of a Facebook advertising agency, I feel it is important to outline the advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing your Facebook ads. Outsourcing Facebook ads isn’t right for every company. In this article I want to outline the pros and cons so you can decide what is best for you. Let’s jump into the advantages first... Advantages of Outsourcing Facebook Ads Expertise The majority of business owners I speak to have tried Facebook ads, but have failed to see any...

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How To Make Sales Using Facebook Advertising

How To Make Sales Using Facebook Advertising

Facebook advertising can be a complex beast. You’ve probably seen lots of 'experts' claiming to be able to make you millions, but when you go and try yourself, you struggle to reach the level of success you want? There’s a huge disconnect between the number of people trying Facebook ads and the number of people that are having success with them. In this article, I’m going to show you a basic funnel. Understanding the psychology Before thinking about Facebook funnels, it’s important...

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Facebook Advertising Cost: How Much Do Facebook Ads Cost?

Facebook Advertising Cost: How Much Do Facebook Ads Cost?

A question I always hear is: "how much do Facebook ads cost?" It’s a great question and one that everyone who is considering Facebook ads should ask. In this article, I’m going to talk about the cost of running Facebook ads, the cost of outsourcing Facebook ads and whether or not you should. Let’s dive right in... How much does it cost to run Facebook ads? This question should possibly read "how much do you want to spend on Facebook ads?”. Because you’re always in control of how...

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How to Set Up Facebook Instant Articles

How to Set Up Facebook Instant Articles

Facebook Instant articles are open to publishers of all sizes. The announcement of Instant Articles came in February 2016, but they were officially opened for all in April. In this article, I’m going to talk about what Instant Articles actually are, how they can benefit your business and also how to set them up if you have a Wordpress website. What are Facebook Instant Articles? Facebook Instant Articles were built to solve one particular problem - slow loading times on the mobile...

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How Do I Create Instagram adverts?

How Do I Create Instagram adverts?

Instagram is one of the biggest social media platforms available, with over 400 million monthly active users - more than Twitter. It’s also owned by Facebook. Instagram released their ads platform a couple of years ago now and the power of them has grown over time. They’re easier than ever to create and all businesses - large or small - can use them to their advantage. In this article, I’m going to show you how to create adverts on Instagram. You may or may not be aware that...

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Content Marketing Academy 2016: My Main Takeaways

Content Marketing Academy 2016: My Main Takeaways

The Content Marketing Academy is an annual conference hosted in Edinburgh by Chris Marr. Normally I wouldn’t write up about a conference or event I attended, but for the last 2 years, I’ve felt it’s necessary for this one. You can read my 2015 review here. The Content Marketing Academy is literally a business game-changing event. This year, the conference was hosted in The Hub on the Royal Mile, on the 2nd and 3rd of June. There was around 120 delegates there and one of the best...

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How Do You Create a Facebook Retargeting Ad?

How Do You Create a Facebook Retargeting Ad?

You may have been followed around on Facebook by an ad of me. If not, you probably will after reading this! I’ve set this ad up using Facebook’s clever retargeting function. It’s the same thing that the likes of Amazon use. Have you ever searched for something on Amazon, only for it to follow you around Facebook? That’s through retargeting. In this article, I’ll show you how I’ve set it up and how you can do the same. Here’s a screenshot of the actual ad.   1. Set up the Facebook...

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Should I buy Facebook page likes?

Should I buy Facebook page likes?

When working on Facebook advertising campaigns, we’re often asked by the client whether or not we think they should buy Facebook page likes. It’s a good question and one that we feel needs to be answered. On one hand, people don’t like to be seen with next to no likes, but on the other hand, theres an argument that states that likes don't mean anything these days due to Facebook’s algorithm. In this article I’ll talk through the different ways of buying likes, whether it’s worth it...

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The Beginners Guide to Facebook Ads

The Beginners Guide to Facebook Ads

Facebook ads are, in my opinion, the best advertising medium available today. No other advertising platform has EVER allowed you to target your message so specifically and with such accuracy before. If we look at traditional media such as television, radio or newspapers, the business case just doesn’t stack up anymore. Facebook doesn’t just allow you to target your message, it also gives you a wealth of analytics and insights on how people are engaging with those ads. Something you...

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How to target people on Facebook with the money to buy your product

How to target people on Facebook with the money to buy your product

I originally wrote this article for Business Zone. We live in a world where people give away so much information about themselves. We use Facebook and the internet daily, leaving a trace of what sites we’ve visited and what content we’ve consumed. To some, this might sound scary, but flip it on its head; as business owners and marketers, this is a huge opportunity. Using Facebook adverts, we’re able to target our ideal client. With our services, the people that we tend to work with...

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How much should I spend on Facebook ads?

How much should I spend on Facebook ads?

Interestingly, almost everyone that comes to us for Facebook advertising support has run some sort of campaign themselves in the past. They tend to have thrown a few hundred pounds towards ads but haven’t seen results they'd hoped for. The majority of businesses just don’t have the time or expertise to get real results and so they come to us. One of the questions they always ask me before we start working together is: how much should I spend on Facebook ads? This is a great...

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5 Reasons You Should Be Using Facebook Advertising

5 Reasons You Should Be Using Facebook Advertising

You’ve probably heard people talking about why you should use Facebook advertising. It makes sense. When compared to traditional media, such as radio, TV or newspaper, Facebook trumps them for a variety of reasons. In this article I’m going to discuss the top 5 reasons you should start using Facebook advertising for your business now. 1. Your potential customers are there Many businesses come to me and tell me that their customers aren't on Facebook. My reply is always "I can...

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Three Things I Learned From Meeting Gary Vaynerchuk

Three Things I Learned From Meeting Gary Vaynerchuk

Everyone who knows me will know I’m a massive Gary Vaynerchuk fan. If there’s one person that inspires me most in business and life, it’s him. Blue Cliff Media is a similar business to VaynerMedia, albeit a lot smaller and I’m obsessed with the #hustle. Yesterday, for the first time, I got the opportunity to meet Gary (and his awesome team), not just once, but twice. I was down in London for the launch of his #AskGaryVee book and despite the saying “Never meet your heroes”, Gary...

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Facebook advertising: boosted posts vs promoted posts

Facebook advertising: boosted posts vs promoted posts

We’re often approached by business owners asking for advice on Facebook advertising. One of the most common questions is: when should I boost my posts? and, when should I promote my post? These are great questions. Facebook doesn’t provide much guidance on the topic and understanding the similarities and differences between them will allow you to make better budgeting decisions. In this article I’ll explain the differences between boosted and promoted posts and I will share my tips...

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My thoughts on Joe Wicks: The Body Coach

My thoughts on Joe Wicks: The Body Coach

You may have come across Joe Wicks over the last few months. If you have, you’re not alone. Joe shot to fame last year with his 90 Day ‘Shift, shape and sustain’ diet and exercise programme. You might know him from his #leanin15 videos. I’ve been aware of Joe for quite a while now. Previous to Blue Cliff Media, I ran a health and wellbeing company and so I’ve always been big into the fitness industry. Joe has given the industry a much needed shake-up. Having a strong interest in...

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7 Day Startup – 6 months on

7 Day Startup – 6 months on

On June 29th 2015, I launched Blue Cliff Media. On the 20th June I had just finished reading a book called the 7 Day Startup, by Dan Norris and had decided that I was going to launch a business in just 7 days. On the 21st, I came up with the idea for what is now Blue Cliff Media! It’s been an absolute rollercoaster of a journey, with many highs and lows and I wanted to write an article on everything I’ve done, what’s worked and what’s not. Marketing In our original 7 Day Startup...

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The harsh realities of being a business owner

The harsh realities of being a business owner

I launched Blue Cliff Media ~5 months ago. Since then, it’s been an absolutely amazing journey. I’ve met so many great people and I’m really happy with how the business is progressing. There have been euphoric highs, but also crippling lows. I’ve always wanted to run my own business. It’s always been a goal of mine. Leaving school, I didn’t want to take the normal route of University and so instead I moved to Manchester to study at the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy. The whole mantra of the...

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