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By Fi or Becs, May 16 2017 06:00AM

If you watched The Apprentice last year, you may remember that Becs was as useful as a chocolate teapot on the programme... (mmm chocolate, mmmm tea).


We are the first people to admit that Becs was NOT in her element in the cut-throat, hard-nosed environment of The Apprentice... however, she was lucky enough to meet some genuinely lovely people whilst filming in Lord Sugar's boardroom, one of whom actually WON the show!


So... Becs was VERY excited when back in January Alana (the winner!) asked her to write the wording for her new website launching Ridiculously Rich by Alana (a 50-50 partnership with Lord Sugar himself).


Armed with cake (copious product testing was required during the writing of this copy) and tea (obvs) Becs set to work crafting some cake-related copy to bring Alana's devourable cakes, awesome business and lovely personality to life.


This copy was SO MUCH FUN to write.


Alana wanted her wording to be cute, young, fun and distinctive... music to our ears. One of Becs' favourite moments was an afternoon WhatsApp chat with Alana which went:


Becs: "Do you like the words 'our sticky toffee flapjack is an oaterly indulgent treat...' It made me smirk... But I wasn't sure if it was too random?"


Alana: "Oaterly indulgent is the best thing I have heard all day."


Hehehe. It only got better from there.


Here's some of the website copy:


"Brownie lover - you have met your match. Our Crème Brûlée Brownies begin with a gooey chocolate brownie base, get smothered in a vanilla and white chocolate topping and are finished with a sprinkle of homemade butterscotch. Utterly unique and marvellously melty."


"No description can adequately explain the ludicrously awesome taste of our Belgian Chocolate Rocky Road slices. Imagine a mouth-watering combination of crunchy biscuit complementing sweet, gooey GIANT marshmallows and decadent Belgian chocolate."


"Our cake subscriptions are perfect for people committed to trying amazing cake. Whether you're a flapjack fanatic, a caramel connoisseur or you're devoted to devouring brownies - there is something for everyone."


Here are some of our favourite headlines on the website:



Let's just take a moment to drool over how amazing Alana's cakes are:


Here are some nice words from Alana!


"I didn’t realise the power of wording until Becs at Fi & Becs helped me with my website. The wonderful thing is that she totally got my personality but pushed it to the max to get the most out of all the website pages. She made it fun and personal (exactly as I asked) I couldn’t be more happy - thank you Apprentice buddy!”


So, if you LOVE cake and you want to try the most utterly delicious cake-based treats (you can even sign up to a monthly subscription!) get on over to Alana's website and order yourself some moreish morsels of amazingness!


Visit the website: www.ridiculouslyrichbyalana.co.uk



By Fi or Becs, May 11 2017 08:47AM


Unsurprisingly, public speaking is one of Becs' favourite things. Whether she's the keynote speaker at a business show, guest lecturing to undergraduates or talking at an awards ceremony - she's guaranteed to be interesting, amusing and full of energy. She just likes to talk. A lot.


Because Becs loves talking SO much, we've just added her public speaking info onto our website.


Here she is prattling on about it:


I can craft a talk around your chosen topics, tell the story of my successful start-up business or focus on marketing, branding and copywriting (plus weaving in some experiences from my time on The Apprentice!) - whatever you need.


My approach is fun, engaging and honest. I believe in sharing values, inspiring people to believe in themselves and being sincere, lively and approachable.


I worked in corporate marketing teams for years so I understand the right tone for business conferences, I pitch to big brands regularly for Fi & Becs and I'm a Mum so I know how to talk to kids or students!


Some people even said nice things about her:


“What a breath of fresh air! Becs kept our students entranced with her energy, anecdotes and detailed knowledge of branding and digital marketing. Her passion for marketing and ability to capture a business’ essence through spot on branding was addictive.”


- Fiona Syson, Programme Leader of Marketing at Edge Hill University



“I really enjoyed Becs' guest lecture on Friday. She was so nice and down to earth and she is a true inspiration. She made me feel excited about finishing my degree and I'm actually looking forward to gaining a graduate scheme if I'm lucky enough. I was quite nervous and was unsure of my future but she made feel at ease and excited for my future now :-) She proved that anything is capable if you put your mind to it!"


- Lisa Newall, Marketing Undergraduate



“A super-engaging speaker with an incredibly inspiring story. Your enthusiasm really rubbed off on me and I didn't sleep much afterwards as my brain was buzzing (with ideas, not the Amaretto). Thoroughly recommended to anyone keen to learn how to make their entrepreneurial dreams happen while remaining down-to-earth and honest."


- Lucy van Biljon, attended Becs' Storytelling Masterclass



So... if you're looking for a refreshing conference speaker or someone to inspire students about business then get in touch!



By Fi or Becs, Apr 26 2017 07:59PM

Okay lovely people of the internet, we need your help! Usually in Fi & Becs land we agree on things. Our sister-based-mind-reading-powers allow us to think in unison and we exist in world of merry agreement... however WE HAVE FOUND SOMETHING WE DO NOT AGREE ON.


The item causing all the trouble is the first video in a short series we are launching called One Minute Videos. Basically, we're doing a video for each service we offer (branding, copywriting, graphic design... you get the jist) where Fi talks for 30 seconds... then Becs talks for 30 seconds.


We have recorded our first video about branding and now we can't decide whether to have the video WITH or WITHOUT music! Bah!


Fi prefers our One Minute Video on Branding with NO MUSIC...


Becs prefers our One Minute Video on Branding WITH MUSIC



Place your votes now!


Tell us which version you like better and we'll (probably) delete the rejected video from our Fi & Becs YouTube channel!


You can tell us by:


Adding your thoughts at the bottom of this page.


Commenting on the post on our Facebook page.


Tweeting Fi


Tweeting Becs


Or you can email us on chatter@fiandbecs.com


Thank you to the awesome Lewis Robinson for letting us borrow his music for the video! Just to point out, Fi does actually love Lewis' music, she just isn't sure about having any on the videos at all!



By Fi or Becs, Apr 24 2017 01:45PM

As you might know (if you follow us on our social media stuff) we love Cumbria and we love clothes. So, when Cumbrian based Amy from Little Ted Clothing asked us to help with a website for her kidswear brand we were pretty damn excitable.


We had both been following Amy on Facebook for a while because:


1) Her reversible handmade children's clothing is super cute (seriously, we heart the mustard bird pinafores).


2) Her social media is fun and her posts make us laugh.


3) Amy actually grew up in the same TINY village as us (well, it's more of a hamlet) in rural West Cumbria!



In true Fi & Becs style, we chatted to Amy all about her business and her brand and the first thing we actually ended up helping with was a brand refresh. Amy loved the Little-Ted-bear-on-a-red-tractor-design and she didn't want to lose his personality so we gave him a nice scrubbing up - softening his edges and giving him handmade vibe.




Once we had refreshed the logo we moved onto the website and the wording. Amy's wanted her website to feel "simple, friendly and fun" so we created a clean, fresh and giggle-filled website design with kid-inspired wording.


Here is an example of the design and wording we used on the Home page banners:


We LOVED the photography that Amy gave us to build the site as it really brought her clothing to life and gave us the inspiration for all of the copywriting and product descriptions!


For example...


"Little Ted Clothing make kid-friendly, fun and adventuresome clothing for little girls and boys. Inspired by farm yards, playtime and fresh air (after all - we're based in Cumbria!) we believe in letting children be whoever they want to be."


"Pop her into a versatile Pinafore with this stunning on-trend mustard print dress. Perfect for grubby afternoons or super cute party-wear, these quirky birds in wellingtons are guaranteed to make her (and you) grin."



So it is with pure glee that we announce the launch of Little Ted Clothing's FIRST EVER website today! Hoooray!


Have a nosey around Amy's amazing, reversible clothing for yourself:


www.littletedclothing.co.uk


P.S. Amy also makes totally bespoke designs so don't be surprised if you see Becs wearing one of her 'Pinafore Meet Mustard Birds' dresses at some point in the near future.



By Fi or Becs, Apr 23 2017 08:00AM



Chatter from Becs:


When I was a teenager I used to draw cartoons all the time. I was one of those people who wrote a daily diary (SO awesome yet hugely cringeworthy to flick through now that I'm a grown up) and I would always mark the day out of ten (yep!) and draw a cartoon about what had happened.


Now that I'm 32 I've decided to start doing cartoons again about the stuff that is in my head... I do get a lot of stuff in my head.


So, here is the first one - it's about public speaking. I've been doing loads of public speaking lately (things like conferences, business shows, lectures, black tie events etc.) and this is my tip for getting rid of those evil tummy butterflies that you might experience. (I used this trick on The Apprentice too and it TOTALLY worked.)


If you have to speak in front of people and you get those nasty, worried, anxious, stomach churning, vomit inducing nerves... just think solidly about something that you love. Really concentrate on the happy-love-feelings and ignore the doom laden ones. It's amazing how the happy-love-feelings can cancel out the evil butterflies and turn them into something positive and useful. It's a bit like consuming mouthfuls of love-based Gaviscon to cure your evil butterfly heartburn.


My thing is to think about my little boy. I concentrate on thoughts about his swimming lessons or daydream about us playing in the garden... surprisingly that stops me feeling nervous in front of 300 strangers. Hoorah.


Good luck banishing the evil butterflies!


By Fi or Becs, Apr 21 2017 12:41PM

Even though it's been the Easter holidays... and we've spent our days hanging out with our small people (instead of working as hard as normal), behind the scenes we've also been creating a shiny new website for the awesome Violet & Charlie!


Any company who has the tag line of: "sign up & say f**k it to the rest!" TOTALLY has our vote.


We've loved working with Violet & Charlie (whose real names are Jodie and Chloe) on this project (they are such a laugh!) and we're super proud of their branding which we also designed for them.


The awesome photography on the Violet & Charlie website was done by Ailsa Bee Photography who we recommended to Jodie and Chloe the start of the year. Alisa's such an awesome photographer - using her photos on website builds is bloody great. It brings businesses to life!


Yay Violet & Charlie said some lovely stuff about us!


"It's been an absolute pleasure doing business with Fi & Becs. Not only have they built us a brand and website that we're super proud of and is getting amazing feedback, they have been fun, engaging and made the whole experience easy peasy which is exactly what we were looking for. The icing on the cake is that they don't charge you the earth either and Fi has the patience of a saint with all of our tooing and froing over page changes for the website. We love you guys and you're ace! x"


So, if you think a 'funky, no shit behavioural change development programme for women' would be good for you, head on over and sign up to their FREE programme! We've already signed up!


http://www.violetandcharlie.com



By Fi or Becs, Apr 3 2017 07:00AM


Ah we love it when a national business magazine uses a swear word (albeit censored) in their article headline...


We LOVE it even more when the article is about us - heh heh.


Earlier this year Becs met with Maria McGeoghan, an Editor from BQ Magazine for an interview (aka chatter) and cup of tea in Manchester city centre. Followed by a brilliantly random photo shoot which included an unexpected space hopper (!) - we have been waiting eagerly for the feature to appear in printed format.


We have not been disappointed. Complete with laptops, notepads, mugs, hysterical bouncing and loads of honesty the interview was published this week. Hooray!




Here's a quick taster of the interview in case you're interested:


"Apprentice candidates come and go – but you’ll remember Rebecca Jeffery. As she departed Lord Sugar’s HQ in a taxi after being fired in week six of the BBC reality show, her musings on why her adventure was at an end were frank and funny."


“At the end, I think I went because I’m not a tw*t,” she told the camera in the taxi. “I think that’s my downfall. Haven’t been enough of a tw*t.”


“I don’t even remember saying it,” admits Jeffery, 32, one half of Fi & Becs, a successful copywriting and design company she runs with her sister, Fiona. “It was just one of those throwaway remarks that I never, ever thought would be used.”


Warm, friendly and fizzing with energy, Jeffery applied for one of the toughest TV challenges on a whim. “I always used to shout at the telly when The Apprentice was on – I love it,” she explains. “My brother-in-law is a brain surgeon and one New Year’s Eve we were egging each other on to apply – ‘You do it’, ‘No, you do it’.


“The application was relatively easy and then I went to the first lot of auditions in Manchester with around 3,000 other people. It was fun but exhausting. You have one minute to sell yourself and I think I said nice people get on in business."


You can read the full article using the link below. We think it's excellent but we're biased... obvs.


http://www.bqlive.co.uk/north-west/2017/04/03/news/im-not-a-tw-t-25399/



By Fi or Becs, Feb 16 2017 10:00AM

The lovely Nottingham University (where Becs went to uni!) asked her to put together a video about how to get into marketing with an arts degree... so here it is!



Here is the transcript for the video... in case you prefer to read it!


Tip one: Consistently create content


One of the best things you can do whilst you're at university is to show that you can consistently create content. Content could be a blog that you've written for the last two years about how you love walking, it could be an Instagram account, it could be Twitter or Snapchat... it could even be YouTube videos. If you can show that you have original thoughts, you have ideas and you are creative (whether that's with photography, video or writing) that will actually really appeal to an employer because it shows that you can stick at something.


Tip two: Get business experience


If you want to work in marketing you don't actually have to go straight into working in marketing when you graduate, it's more important that you get business experience. My first role was actually in an HR department where I looked after internal recruitment for a B2B telecoms company. A lot of my role was writing job descriptions, writing adverts, looking after the employer brand and working out how that was attracting candidates. There is a real crossover between HR teams and marketing teams when you think about things like internal communications. So... don't just think about marketing, think about how you can get business experience and how you can USE that business experience to get you to your end goal... which is working in marketing (obviously).


Tip three: Use your interests to build a portfolio of work


If you're part of a society at university, think about how you can USE that society to give you examples to go into a portfolio of work. Whether you're part of a sports society or the radio station, think about how you could design their posters to go into your graphic design portfolio. You could run their social media accounts to show how you can build a following or to promote a particular event. Or maybe even think about their photography or how you could put together some videos to give an example on YouTube of what your society does. All of those things show employers that you have practical skills that you would be able to use if you had a role in marketing... and I imagine your society would be quite pleased about it as well!


Tip four: You can still apply to graduate schemes after a couple of years


If you really want to get on to a graduate scheme to do marketing, remember that you don't actually have to apply to schemes the second that you graduate. You can actually apply to them after a couple of years once you have some experience under your belt. That's exactly what I did, I worked for 18 months and then I applied to the graduate scheme at The Co-operative Group. It means that while you're working you're getting business experience, you're learning email etiquette, you're learning about how businesses work and it gives you a better chance of actually getting a graduate scheme that you really want... because you've got experience but also because you have a better idea of what career path you want to do.



Tip five: Show loads of enthusiasm


Show loads and loads of enthusiasm. Whether you're going for a job interview, you're writing a cover letter or you're at an assessment centre, show that you have ideas, show your creativity, show that you're enthusiastic, show that you're inventive - all of those things are brilliant in marketing teams. Have ideas and just try it as you never know what's going to work and you never know what could become the next brilliant campaign.



By Fi or Becs, Feb 10 2017 06:02PM


Over the last three years we have designed SO MANY logos and brands for businesses. From nervous start-ups to huge corporate re-brands, we love creating memorable brands which give businesses a personality. It's our fave.


We both believe that beautiful brands make the world go round. (No really - they do.) Logos should be clever little visual wizards… making customers fall in love with your products, encouraging clients to trust your credibility and giving people an instant glimpse into your business’ personality.


That's why when we usually design branding for a client we sculpt our ideas around their story, their products and their business’ identity. In fact - you can take a peek at our branding page of examples of our bespoke branding work.


However… for the last 18 months we have had an increasing number of clients (usually small and start-up businesses) asking us for last minute logos. Some of them literally need logos designed THAT DAY... Argh! Although we are fast little workers, we cannot design logos instantly (we do sometimes need to sleep, complete our other work and feed our children), so… we came up with the idea of the Quick Logo Lab!


The Quick Logo Lab is our quick pit stop for people who need a logo INSTANTLY (aka within 48 hours).


Here is some more info about our Quick Logo Lab:


All of the logos in our Lab have been designed by us and are only sold once. The designs are creative and inventively designed around current trends or ideas we've had.


Simply pick your fave and pay your deposit online using our secure payment portal. Colours, wording and icons (if applicable) can be adjusted to suit your business. The prices reflect the how speedily we will have to work to produce your logo quickity-split!


We are so excited! For the last six months this idea has been rattling around in our heads and now it is finally launched. We hope it will be a really useful service for our clients and we're both wondering which logo will sell first...


If you have any questions about our Quick Logo Lab please get in touch with us!


By Fi or Becs, Feb 2 2017 10:00AM



Chatter from Becs:


When I was a kid I adored visits to Maryport. Growing up in Asby (a tiny hamlet near Lamplugh) I thought my Nan’s house in Maryport was the bees-knees. We could WALK into town to do some shopping, I could rollerblade along the endless pavements and Allonby was only 10 minutes away for ice-cream and paddling in the Solway Firth. To my seven-year-old self, Maryport was a huge place.


Once I got older and I ventured further afield, I realised that Maryport was actually pretty small compared to cities like Manchester. When I found myself in The Apprentice house last year with a chap who actually manufactured his sausages in Maryport I was pretty flabbergasted! The world really is a small place.


Oliver Nohl-Oser, or ‘Sausage Man’ as the press affectionately nicknamed him, grew up near Penrith. His company The Cumbrian Sausage Company has been producing sausages in Maryport since 2009. Bonding over our Cumbrian connection, our preference for sausages served with chips and egg (NOT mash and gravy) and the immensely random coincidence that we both own sausage dogs (!) – Oliver and I became firm friends. When he suggested that I visited him in Maryport to see his sausage manufacturing in progress I was FRANKLY delighted (get it?).


So, last week my thirty-two-year-old self was back in Maryport to learn about Cumberland sausages from Oliver the Sausage Man. I was educated about all things sausage related (did you know that Traditional Cumberland Sausage HAS to be made in Cumbria? It is the UK’s 44th protected food product under EU law!), then we popped to my parent’s house in Seaton for a cuppa and some of Ollie’s delicious sausages for tea (of course). It just goes to show that Maryport actually IS the bees-knees, particularly from a superior sausage point of view – my Nan would have definitely approved.



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