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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, 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, 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 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.



By Fi or Becs, Jan 22 2017 05:00PM


Chatter from Becs:


At the start of January Alex from Altrincham HQ asked me a question for a blog he was writing. The question was:


“What Is The Best Business Advice You Ever Received?”


When I sat down to write an answer, I started mulling over the various pieces of excellent advice I had recieved over the years. There were a few contenders.


Contender Number 1: "No one will ever complain at you for doing things."

Source: David Hendry, a previous Managing Director of The Co-operative Funeralcare - an absolutely amazing man.


Contender Number 2: "If you want to do something, just do it."

Source: Howard Bouch (aka my Dad). This was engrained into my head from an early age and I apply the sentiment to all aspects of my life.


But the winner was... a particular conversation from around 7 years ago that has always lurked around in my head. Here's what I wrote for Alex's blog:


"The best piece of business advice I have ever received was from a previous boss at The Co-operative Group. Actually… I’m not sure whether it was a piece of advice, or just a conversation that has always stuck in my head.


During a monthly 1-2-1, my boss casually mentioned the ‘ambition worm’ in my belly which drove my relentless enthusiasm, nudged me to keep striving and demanded that I succeeded. I loved this metaphor and I adopted it in my life. My boss was right – I have a worm.


My ambition worm continually eats at me. It makes me ambitious, energetic, excited and passionate. Sometimes living with an ambition worm can be tiring. They never let you rest, they are always goading you to keep trying and they require regular feeding with new ideas and new successes; but I love that worm.


My worm is responsible for many of my wonderful career moments, it insisted that I started my own business and it made me apply to The Apprentice last year. I genuinely hope that my worm never disappears."


You can read the full blog post by Alex on the Altrincham HQ website, there are some great (much more sensible) answers on there too from other business people!


Amusingly (and brilliantly) my ambition worm answer got quite a lot of comments when it was posted on social media! I have a feeling that I might be writing more about ambition worms in the future...



By Fi or Becs, Dec 7 2016 04:21PM

Who doesn't love some naughty novelty items during the season of silliness...


Following on from the popularity of our Fi & Becs client lollies last Christmas, this year we decided to order some slightly different lollipop designs. Amusing ourselves by deciding to print 'NOT A TWAT' onto 100 lollies (and 100 less offensive 'Merry Christmas' designs too) we were delighted to suddenly get flooded by tweets, emails and messages from people asking to buy our NOT A TWAT lollies online!


So... on Sunday afternoon Fi sat with a cup of tea and we launched an online shop on our website! (closed now!) Alongside the tasty, apple flavoured NOT A TWAT lollies she added some splendid novelty mugs and her wonderful series of children's books (obvs). Online shop - ta da!


NOT A TWAT Lollipops


PRICE: 1 Lollipop £3.50 / 5 Lollipops £15.00


Delight your twat-free friends, family or colleagues with these exceptionally tasty NOT A TWAT lollies.


Each lolly is 5cm in diameter, apple flavoured and handmade in the UK. Available as a single lolly or in a collection of five, every lolly is individually wrapped and presented with a bow. Enjoy 5cm of deliciously tasty, apple flavoured non-twattish delight.


NOT A TWAT Mugs

PRICE: £9.50


Prove to your family, friends and colleagues that you're NOT A TWAT by drinking your cuppa from one of these amusing mugs. These mugs make a great gift (especially for those annoying work-based Secret Santas) or you can treat yourself for amusing brew moments all day long. Perfect for boring board meetings or conversation starters over a cuppa.



By Fi or Becs, Dec 1 2016 04:28PM

Becs' old university (the lovely University of Nottingham) asked her to put together a 'Day in the Life' vlog for them... and here it is!


Becs did a degree in American and Canadian Studies at Nottingham University and she bloody loved it. She spent four years studying American history, US politics and reading fascinating novels. She even got to spend a year studying at Toronto University in Canada which was pretty amazing - although very very cold.


Becs firmly believes that all the researching, reading and writing she did during her degree led to her copywriting career... so sod all of those people who think arts degrees don't lead to jobs in business!


Enjoy watching the video!




By Fi or Becs, Nov 21 2016 05:26PM

Unless you've been living under a rock for the last couple of weeks, you may have noticed that Becs has just been fired on The Apprentice. Drat.


Becs lost every task, her performance was pretty useless, she got fired in week six and then (much to our amusement) in the famous apprentice black cab she managed to say the word 'twat' twice... on the BBC.


We've mentioned the 'twat thing' a couple of times (okay, maybe a few dozen times...) on our social media, she's been on TV and radio chattering about it and there have been some pretty good articles about twattishness in the press.


One of our favourite t-word articles so far is this one written by Loaded.co.uk. We loved it so much that we thought we would post it onto our website...



Twats. We’ve all met them and, in some unfortunate cases, we’ve even ended up working alongside them.


But have you ever wondered what makes a co-worker a twat and how best to avoid the same dreaded four-letter label? The Apprentice’s Rebecca Jeffery has.


The latest casualty in Lord Sugar’s search for a business partner, the freelance copywriter and co-founder of Fi & Becs Design & Marketing signed off from the show with the admission that she probably would have got further “if she had been a twat”.


Now a little less flustered and, as she admits, “slightly relieved” to be out of the process (“it shows people at their worst,” Rebecca reflects) the marketing maestro tried to explain to loaded what makes someone a twat in the modern business world.


“When I think of the word twat, I think of the word obnoxious. Someone that is a bit argumentative and a little bit grumpy,” she explains.


“I was never specifically calling anyone on the show a twat – I’m aware a lot of people will have sat on their sofas and called people on the show twats before – but I did leave feeling like I might have got further if I had been one.”


So how do you avoid being a twat in the workplace? Well, Jeffery offered a few helpful pointers actually…


Twat Avoidance Tip Number 1 - Don’t Shout

“I’m not a shouter and behaving like that will only get you so far in the Apprentice and in life.”


Twat Avoidance Tip Number 2 - Stay Calm

"Lord Sugar likes people who are level headed. That’s probably stayed in the process as long as I did. Try to remember that it’s work and not life or death.”


Twat Avoidance Tip Number 3 - Don't Take It Personally

“In The Apprentice, as in the workplace, you are trying to make friends and develop relationships. The problem is that in the boardroom you have to pull each other apart.The key on the show was to leave those arguments at the door. Don’t harbor bad feelings and try to support each other.”


Twat Avoidance Tip Number 4 - Be Nice

“Remember that people like you if you are nice. We as humans, in life, like people that are nice. We’re British. We like politeness, we like queues and we like niceness.”


Twat Avoidance Tip Number 5 - Avoid Buzzwords

“Never use terms like ‘thinking outside the box’ or ‘I’d like to touch base’ and avoid that ‘important’ tag on your email – that big red tag at says something is very important – it’s annoying.”


Twat Avoidance Tip Number 6 - Client Care

“Never refer to a person or potential client as a “Warm” lead or a “hot” lead they are not a ‘lead’ they are a client or a person.”



By Fi or Becs, Oct 13 2016 09:00AM

Well... we've always known that Becs wasn't really a hard-nosed business type...


It's slightly worrying that this is how Becs describes herself at the start of THE APPRENTICE. We all know that this programme is famous for tough business people, back-stabbing and shouty behaviour... how is our friendly little Becs going to survive?!


Hmmmm.... hard-nosed? More like wet-nosed (hah!) uh oh. It's going to be a rocky ride over the next 12 weeks everyone... Enjoy watching!



By Fi or Becs, Oct 2 2016 06:00AM

Becs looking a bit intense... she normally smiles more than this.
Becs looking a bit intense... she normally smiles more than this.

So… we have some slightly exciting news today.


Some of you may have noticed that we've been crazily busy this year (which we have!) but we've also had something HUGE rumbling along which we haven’t been able to tell you all about.


The cat is now FINALLY out of the bag… Becs is a candidate on the 2016 series of The Apprentice on BBC One! (Yep, it's true - we're not just pulling your leg!)


It’s so nice to be able to announce it, the secret has been killing us!


The first episode airs on BBC One at 9pm on Thursday the 6th October so tune in and enjoy watching Becs running around London with the other candidates, standing up for herself in the Boardroom (!) and trying not to talk too much in front of Lord Sugar. Gulp.




Everything at Fi & Becs will continue as normal for the next few months, so if you have any projects or on-going work with us please don’t worry. We do have some other plans afoot including launching our Partner Page on our website and working with some talented freelance designers, copywriters and marketing people.


Enjoy watching!



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