Lucy-Kate Burton

My Employment & Apprenticeship Story | #NAW2019

It's no secret that I struggled to find my first job. I was applying, attending emails & receiving countless rejection emails from the month I left school until I left college two years later. I studied quite a broad range of GCSEs including Performing Arts, Religious Studies, Spanish Language, Film Studies and Geography. From that, I went on to study a BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Creative Media Production (TV and Film) which I thoroughly enjoyed and recommend to anyone.
However, throughout my second year at college I did apply for a handful of apprenticeships. I got accepted by the apprenticeship agency (school?), but ultimately this never lead anywhere. I was applying for a variety of roles in the digital marketing area, from social media manager for an agency to full digital marketing roles for magazines. 

I got so close to one role, being the only one invited back for a second interview... And they handed the role to someone outside of the apprenticeship scheme who had more "experience". This disheartened me, and I found out two weeks later that the person they had took on didn't turn up for their first day. Huh. 

I took a few months out from applying for any role, got other people to read over my CV, asked for advice at college, and tried everything to find my first job. There was nothing wrong with my techniques, or my CV. At this point, people in the year below me were applying and landing their first roles easy peasy. I honestly felt like giving up completely. 

From here was the interview from hell, a potential employer grilling me and making me feel horrendous for not having any previous experience. I thought that apprenticeships were entry-level roles meaning you didn't need previous roles in the sector, they were to teach you and provide you a step into this career. Turns out they are, this guy just didn't like me. Glad I didn't get the role though, it took them 45 minutes past my interview start time to collect me from the reception area downstairs. 

Countless rejection emails rolled in from part time roles such as Primark, McDonalds, Card Factory, Select, Burger King, KFC, Starbucks, Costa, etc. You name it, I applied for it. And I've got the rejection email too. 

I applied for University as a fall-back, studying Politics & Media (imagine!) and I deferred my place for a year to give myself one last 12 month period to find a job. 

It was exactly two weeks after I finished college that I received a phone call from an apprenticeship training provider offering me an interview for my current role. I went, not expecting anything. This turned out to be the best, most assuring interview I've had (and I've had quite a few!). I was introduced to the team and the office dog, and given a written task to complete over the weekend. 

Three days after my interview I was offered the role. It was fair to say I cried. 

I have since completed a Level 2 Business Administration qualification in the Digital Marketing sector, and I'm now working towards my Level 3 Digital Marketer qualification. I'm finally doing something I love, and I cannot encourage anyone to find the right apprenticeship for them.

With an encouraging, supportive employer and a course you enjoy enough to study alongside working full time in a role you can at least tolerate, it is amazing what you can achieve. 

Throughout Business Admin I was given regular support, as well as help with coursework where needed. It's important to note that apprenticeships require you to complete and keep track of 20% off the job training. This is where your employer gives you training or learning tasks "away from your desk" which isn't completing general work tasks. This usually works out to 1 day a week.

If you're finding yourself in a apply-interview-rejection rut, I encourage you to keep going and keep trying. You will find that role out there that is perfect for you.

Why Bloggers Should Learn About The Customer Relationship Cycle

Customer Relationship Cycle

What Is The Customer Lifecycle?

In customer relationship management (CRM), customer lifecycle is a term used to describe the progression of steps a customer goes through when considering, purchasing, using, and maintaining loyalty to a product or service.

There are five distinct steps:
  1. Reach
  2. Acquisition
  3. Conversion
  4. Retention
  5. Loyalty
Simply put, this means getting a potential customer's attention, teaching them what you have to offer, turning them into a paying customer, and then keeping them as a loyal customer. Keeping someone as a loyal customer in turn can urge other people to become customers, joining the cycle themselves.

The goal of effective CRM is to get customers to flow through the cycle again and again.

For bloggers, this may mean encouraging your audience to buy from your store, to come back and read more posts, or to encourage further engagement on social media. While the customer lifecycle is a typical model to be used with marketing a product in a store or whatnot, there are many ways a blogger can apply this knowledge in order to grow their blog or their online store.

Get Customers

When a physical product is on offer to your customers, you will begin to get customers through organic and paid media & traffic. You must create demand and drive interest, as just sending your name and/or product into the media is not enough, it needs to be attached to a value proposition to drive customer interest, and customers will then begin to consider the value of your product, which will then ideally lead to them becoming customers.

Someone does not become a customer until a purchase has been made. This is the opportunity to get a customer, keep and then grow.

This is where bloggers reach out to their audience and market their 'brand'. If you're not encouraging a purchase, a person does not become a 'customer' once they have fully engaged with you online. Get your reader, keep them and grow them.

Keep Customers

Once a customer has bought the product, you must figure out how to keep them. Keeping a customer is not about providing bigger and better products, it is about building customer relationships. 
  • Customer Satisfaction Surveys
  • Loyalty Programs
  • Customer Check-in Calls
Consider your churn rate during this phase. This signifies how many clients you have lost once you have reached this point. This is important as it affects your customer’s lifetime value

Build relationships with your readers and your audience. Engage with them online, talk to them on social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram). Show your audience your personality. Some people may drop in just to read a post or two, but this is where you want to discover those who will be willing to engage further and become a loyal reader.

Grow Customers

The ultimate goal of maintaining your customers is to be able to ask them for referrals. To make it easier on the customers you already have, you should offer a product that is broken down into smaller parts.
  • Break down products into multiple offers
  • Up-sell products
  • Cross-selling products
These are opportunities to let referred customers get in without the risk and you can then offer them the full product at an ideal price. Cross-selling products means you are selling a product that is related to but not part of a product that a customer has previously purchased.

During this phase you will want to consider the following metrics:

Lifetime = 1 ÷ Churn Rate 

Lifetime Customer Value = (Average Monthly Payment x Gross Margin %) ÷ Churn Rate

As a blogger, you may want to consider:
  • Breaking down longer posts into easier to read, shorter chunks
  • 'Cross-sell' your posts by referencing them in other content and internally linking so they can easily move through your blog
  • 'Up-sell' your social media, encourage them to follow you elsewhere for more updates
  • Encourage comments, discussion or similar.
If you're using paid promotions to discover an audience, this is where you would consider the above metrics but that is completely your choice. Discovering your audience, keeping them and growing them into an engaged community is the aim - whether you do that through organic or paid promotions is completely your prerogative! 

Vocabulary

WORD/PHRASE
DEFINITION
Value Proposition
Makes a case for why a customer should pick one product over another.
Churn Rate
How many clients you have lost once you reach a certain point, meaning you have secured a sale but the customer has dropped out of the life cycle.
Customer Lifetime Value
The prediction of a net profit that is attributed to your relationship with that customer. If your customers are making a single purchase before disappearing, the lifetime value of the customer is small.

January 2019 | 1 Second Every Day

As well as my monthly scrapbook, I've been filming 1 Second Every Day. Here's what happened in January in video form.





I've enjoyed filming this, and watching it back even this early is so cool. These are memories that are likely to be forgotten. Sounds, moments, etc. which I wouldn't experience again if it wasn't for this little video. 

For February I'm trying to mix up what I film for this, but it's quite difficult as I spend a lot of time in the same 4 walls (the office). I can't wait for my life to start to get interesting as I have a lot happening this year which will just look fantastic in this. There's going to be so much happening at points that I don't think I'll be able to fit it all in. How exciting.

2019 is just getting started.

2019 Scrapbook | Chapter 1

Oh boy. January was a month and a half, wasn't it? It took a forever to get to the end but I achieved and experienced a lot of stuff. This is my January in photo form. 

I'm in two minds as to whether I should print these images out and actually scrapbook them, I may end up doing so about half way through the year. I think it might look quite nice? And also, it may be good for me to keep my memories physically as well as digitally.































Chapter 1 of 2019 was a long month, but with it being long I got a lot done and I started the year off well. I got my first tattoo of the year on a semi-whim, I took my brother to see Welcome To Night Vale Live, I started back at Boogie Bounce, my dog got spayed as well as started eating her breakfast by wrapping herself around the fridge, and all of this followed me beginning the year surrounded by horses. 

What was your January like? Are you documenting it in a similar way? Maybe you're filming One Second A Day? Let me know! I'd love to see what you got up to.

Welcome To Night Vale Live | A Review

I've been sworn to secrecy by a sentient patch of haze named Deb to not reveal any secrets about The Spy In The Desert, so this post will contain no spoilers whatsoever about the show itself. What happens in Night Vale on the regular however, that's an entire different story. 
For the uninitiated, Welcome To Night Vale is a storytelling podcast, where Carlos (the main character) hosts his radio show, which is broadcast across the town of Night Vale. Night Vale is a mysterious desert town where strange happenings occur, with my favourite being the dog park. No dogs are allowed in the dog park.

The Spy In The Desert is a standalone story which the team behind Night Vale (Night Vale Presents) are touring around the world, and I was lucky enough that they were coming to Norwich. I'm especially pleased with this as no-one, absolutely no-one knows where Norwich is. Especially if they're a small time, cult podcast. 

The show was hosted at Epic Studios by Anglia Square. I've never been there before, it's a decent enough venue but their drinks prices are a bit steep. I'd assume the venue was cold because they don't usually have heating as it's usually home to live music where the audience generate their own heat.

The concept of a podcast being performed on stage may seem strange but somehow for Welcome To Night Vale, it works. The actor behind the sentient patch of haze named Deb performed at first as a time traveller to read us the rules: photography is allowed (yes!), videos & recordings aren't (fair enough, it's the audio that's copyrighted I guess), and keep what we see and hear a secret (no spoiling the show!). 

What then happens is a short musical performance by the artist behind The Weather for the show. 'The Weather' is a segment in the podcast where an musician performs a song, and within the live show too. 

The podcast then begins and we are transported into the world of Night Vale. The actors behind the characters perform their parts with the freedom of stage acting too to help tell the story. 
I bought tickets for Welcome To Night Vale: A Spy In The Desert as a Christmas present for my brother early last year, and we both thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. It was an experience that you only really get to understand by going, so I do recommend getting tickets for the last few shows in this run, or for a future story they tour. 

It's an engaging, entertaining experience with mild audience participation which after a double vodka and coke I wasn't too worried about. I would recommend sitting relatively centre and close to the stage if possible, I was second row dead centre which was fantastic. Seats at my show were unallocated but I cannot speak for other shows.

If Welcome To Night Vale is toured in the UK again, and they come close enough to me to justify buying tickets, I definitely will be. 
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