Monthly Archives

July 2018


Self-promotional lookbooks — steps to consider when creating one

July 28, 2018

If you’re new to an industry or taking the initial steps to launch a fresh brand and hope to get customers on board as quickly as you can, a self-promotional lookbook can certainly prove an incredibly effective resource.

While fashion models and designers have been making use of lookbooks for years, those in various other professional sectors are now also seeing them as a great tool to advertise a brand and its services. A reason for this is that content is kept short and minimal, with eye-catching images taking centre stage so that ranges can be showcased in a sleek, professional and stylish manner.

If you’re struggling to know where to begin when creating a self-promotional lookbook for the first time though, design specialists Precision Printing, which provides personalised wallpaper among many other printing services, offers the following tips:

Five key elements to have in every lookbook

To ensure you’re not wasting money on pages which don’t need to go into your lookbook, here are the five essential elements of these resources — followed by an explanation on why they’re each important:

  • The cover page.
  • Sensible navigation.
  • High-quality images.
  • Enticing product/service descriptions.
  • Key brand details (including contact information and social media addresses).

1. The cover page

Never rush when creating the cover page of your lookbook, as it will be the only section where you can make a first impression. The objective of the front cover is to grab attention, which means you need to think: attractive image, excellent use of colour, and an appealing title to compel the reader to want to know more. Cover pages typically detail the month and year and, if it’s not in the title, you need to have your brand name and logo somewhere here, too.

2. Sensible navigation

There will be more of a chance that your lookbook will achieve success if it’s got a nice flow. You want to create a good experience for your potential customer when they’re reading your lookbook, and making sure it flows without interruption is essential.

One tip here is to collect ranges of products which tie into each other and make them sections of your lookbook. That way, readers aren’t having to flick backwards and forwards through your lookbook to find the items that interest them. If you offer both goods and services, keep these separate, and try to section off connected articles into clear categories to deliver consistency and avoid making your lookbook appear disjointed.

3. High-quality images

As we’ve already mentioned, images should take centre stage of every lookbook. Make sure the photos you put into your lookbook are professionally-taken and of the highest quality then, which may mean considering props, lighting, colour, setting, and image resolution for each shot. If this is one of your first print marketing campaigns, you don’t want any mistakes.

Whitespace can also be so effective in lookbooks. Not every image needs to run border to border and whitespace is a modern photography technique used to create a focus point and highlight a particular part of the page — use it sparingly.

Don’t underestimate the value that a professional photographic can have when creating images for your lookbook too. However, you can do these yourself if you prefer, but just remember to check that you have exclusive rights for everything you include if they aren’t all original images.

4. Enticing product/service descriptions

While images will take centre stage in a lookbook, copy should accompany them to inform readers just what they’re looking at on each page. Essentially, a lookbook will feature product/service descriptions and — if you’re a start-up — perhaps a brief brand description so everyone knows what you’re about.

To write high-quality and effective copy in a lookbook…

  • Make copy concise: no unnecessary words or details.
  • Make copy informative: don’t leave your reader asking questions.
  • Make copy interesting: grab your audience’s attention and keep it.
  • Make copy enticing: make them want to give you their custom.

Another reason for using content in a lookbook is that it can help to build a relationship between the resource’s creator and potential customers of a brand. Use professional language to convey your reliability, but try and adopt a chatty tone to come across as approachable. Try to avoid using very long words and sentences — these sound stuffy and clumsy — and keep your product descriptions between 30 and 60 words in length to avoid taking focus from your lookbook’s images.

5. Key brand details

Addresses of interest and contact details should be inputted at the back of a lookback. This positioning doesn’t mean these elements aren’t important. If you’re a new company on the scene, you’re going to have to shout about where new customers can get in touch with you. Make sure you include:

  • Shop address.
  • Phone number.
  • Email address.
  • Social media addresses.

Advice when printing a lookbook and some final pointers

Have you finished creating your first self-promotional lookbook? The next step will be to print out the resource. Have a chat to your printing specialist about the type of paper stock and finishes that might look good and ask to see a few samples to get a better idea. The worst scenario would be to put so much time, money and effort into designing the perfect lookbook, only to have it ruined by opting for a cheap paper or poor finish.

Before sending it from print though, check every element of your lookbook to make sure there are no errors present. Proofread your copy, scan photos for anomalies and verify product names and prices. Then once it’s printed, get your lookbook out to as many potential customers as you can!



What You Need to Do to Become a Healthcare Administrator

July 26, 2018

If you’re ambitious, you’ll be familiar with the feeling of needing to progress within your career. This is no different in the healthcare industry, where nurses, doctors and even hospital technicians are looking for their next step forward. With so many avenues to consider, which one is best for you? Becoming a healthcare administrator is one logical step up your career ladder. Like every job, however, you may need to undergo extra training, become qualified and, most importantly, know what is expected of you.

Know what is expected of you

Being a healthcare administrator is completely different to being a healthcare provider. While you may know what the job loosely entails, you will need to undergo more in-depth research so that you’re 100% sure of your decision.

First of all, you should know that your patient interaction will be diminished, sometimes completely. As a provider, you work alongside patients day in, day out; as an administrator, you might never come into contact with a patient again. This is because your job will be to manage the business operations of specific medical organizations, and not to treat every patient that walks into the organization you are managing. Doing so would distract you from the job you are being paid and expected to do, and so this may be a huge change you may not be willing to make.

Learn how to manage

If you’re not a born manager, then you need to learn to be one if you want to stand any chance of becoming a healthcare administrator. Specifically, you need to learn how to manage doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals — and these types of professionals are not your average employee. They are educated, clever and astute enough to know how to do their jobs, and telling them what to do can and will prove tricky at times. What’s more, with the healthcare job outlook forecasting a massive growth in the industry, you should expect to have to manage more and more of these types of professionals over the coming years. So, don’t just learn how to manage, learn how to manage people that will not always be happy to heed your commands.

Get qualified

Of course, becoming a healthcare administrator is not just about making sure you are up to the task, as you also need to obtain a number of essential qualifications even to be considered for your desired role. This may mean that you need to obtain a degree above your bachelor’s degree.

You’re going to have to go down the postgrad route, specifically by getting yourself a Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) degree. Plus, if you want to make yourself truly stand out when headhunters look to fill administrative roles, you should think about taking a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree too, to showcase your ability to lead and manage an organization.

Becoming a healthcare administrator is the next logical step for you if you feel your time as a healthcare provider has come to an end. Be sure to get the right qualificatons so that you can start your new career strongly.


Five unbeatable road trips in the UK

July 24, 2018

When you hear the words ‘road trip’, you could be forgiven for automatically thinking of America’s Route 66, or Australia’s East coast. However, we shouldn’t forget the amazing offerings on our own shores.

So, with the music on and windows down — or the roof if you can and the weather permits — here are some of the best road trips the UK has to offer:

Scotland’s North Coast

Let’s start at the top. While the Proclaimers may believe in walking 500 miles, this route of the same distance is more suited to the car. The circular route takes in some of Scotland’s finest countryside, offering up an array of ruins, rugged fairways, castles and beaches for your viewing pleasure along the way.

The isolated route is an amazing way to escape the urban life and traffic congestions, skirting the coast from Inverness towards Bealach na Bà. With the trip recommended to take between four and seven days, a wise word of warning is it only offers sparse accommodation options, so be sure to plan your pit stops accordingly.

Northern Ireland’s coastal route

Journey across the Irish Sea and, while not as long as it’s Scottish counterpart, Northern Ireland’s coastal route is a must for scenery lovers. Offering bustling towns, peaceful lakelands, forests and cliffs, it’s no wonder Lonely Planet labelled the ‘wee country’ a must-visit destination.

As part of a five-day adventure, be sure to take the Causeway coastal route for exquisite views over the Mull of Kintyre, before taking a break to venture across the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge which hangs tentatively over an 80ft chasm. Bushmills, home to the world’s oldest licensed distillery, is also along the route, before you head towards one of nature’s wonders — the Giant’s Causeway. Make sure you ask the locals about the mythological Finn McCool!

Other hotspots worth visiting include the Ulster American Folk Park just outside of Omagh, which details why two million people left Ulster for America in the 18th and 19th centuries, and the ruins of medieval Dunluce Caste which teeters on the edge of the ocean.  Northern Ireland really is a green dream.

Black Mountain Pass, Wales

Being only 22 miles long, it’s simple to complete the Welsh route and head home after a day, but it’s certainly worth spending more time here. The epic mountain road takes in the amazing scenery of the Brecon Beacons and unrivalled views of the Tywi Valley.

Fans of Top Gear have labelled this the ‘Top Gear road’, thanks to Jeremy Clarkson’s journeys on the route, and you’ll be likely to spot rustic farmhouses, farmers and the odd sheep. Its windy roads allow you to test your driving skills as you sweep through the twists and turns down in the valleys. It’s recommended you tackle the route from north to south.

The Atlantic Highway

On the North Cornwall coast, this 76-mile stretch begins in Barnstaple and finishes up in Newquay. It takes in some of the most breath-taking coastlines that the UK has to offer. Constantine Bay and Bedruthan Steps are both visible along the route, giving any budding photographers an opportunity to capture the perfect snap.

With access to some of the county’s prettiest fishing villages, as well as being the setting for Doc Martin, the route also known as the A39 leads to a mass of impressive beaches and the picturesque clifftop castle at Tintagel.

The Lake District

Would a list of UK destinations really be complete without a mention for the Lake District? Arguably the most scenic location in Britain, there are as many as 15 wonderful driving routes to take in all it has to offer and bask in its awesomeness. Home of Beatrix Potter and William Wordsworth, the North West’s idyllic location offers up an array of stunning landscapes, mountains and pretty towns in which to have a pit stop.

Highlights that are a necessity include the quintessential scenery on show around Keswick, Borrowdale and Buttermere — you’ll be sure to fall in love with the area come rain or shine. Try to take in Lake Windermere for a play about on the water and Coniston Water, where Donald Campbell set many of his water speed records.

And, of course, key to any road trip is having a car worthy of spending your time in. The Vauxhall Corsa could be just that car. Twenty-five years on from the first model, the surprisingly spacious vehicle is suitable for the long roads and offers a budget-friendly option for you to hit the road in.


Everyone knows about Route 66 in the US or touring the East coast of Australia, but what does the UK have

to offer? This article will look at the most scenic and pleasurable drives on our shores. It will also link to Vauxhall via an end section which states cars which are best suited to road trips in terms of comfort and affordability.


3 Ways to Eliminate the Threat of Cyber Security

July 18, 2018

The Internet is full of cybercriminals constantly hanging around in the darkest comers of the web, just waiting for the perfect opportunity to pounce on businesses like yours. It’s true, today, your cyber security is always under threat, and so you need to put the correct measures in place when it comes to protecting your business.

You can eliminate these threats, however. In fact, you should be eliminating them right now! To see just how to do so, make sure to check out the three useful tips in this article.

Educate your employees

They may not mean to, but your employees pose the biggest, most harmful threat to your cyber security. The apps they use and the websites they visit while connected to your company Wi-Fi put your business at danger every time they are accessed, and it is for this reason why they need educating.

First of all, you should make them aware of the fact that they may allow a third-party access to your connection, and subsequently your data, without even realising. The rise of Pokémon Go in 2016, for instance, saw a distinct rise in office-based connection hacking, simply because employees were playing the game on company hours. Second, you should make sure your employees know what constitutes as a strong and reliable password. Teach them not to duplicate, have both upper and lower case and even the inclusion of numbers. For added security, have them change their passwords once every month.

Accept professional help

Unless you are an IT technician yourself or your business provides its own IT support, you’re going to need to source and then accept external assistance when it comes to boosting your cyber security. Doing so is the only way to be sure that your business’s online guards are up at all times and that the risks posed to it are as controlled as they can be.

Torix, found at, are one provider of such assistance. Offering complete support when it comes to the solutions needed to tackle hacking, phishing and other forms of cyber security, they, and services of the like, are what you need to turn to when looking for a reliable hosting company and support for anything cybercrime-related. You should also consider hiring a threat analyst, too, as this type of professional will work closely with you to source all the upcoming risks that you are liable to face.

Stay updated

Service and software providers don’t just release new products to make themselves more money, you know. They do so because the products that they offer are always bettering themselves and providing different levels of protection, and their latest product is guaranteed to offer the best cyber security that that particular company has ever produced. So, it’s key that you stay updated when it comes to network and data protection technology, no matter how much it might cost you, as your current, outdated package might not be up to the task of fighting the most modern hacking techniques.

Eliminating the threat of cybersecurity is vital — if you don’t, you put your business in just about as much danger as it can be in.


The Top 5 SEO Best Practices in 2018

July 10, 2018

Due to rapid shifts in the world, SEO techniques change often and sometimes you may not even know about it. In the world of SEO, hacks that would help you a front page result a year ago might hurt your website rankings because they are obsolete. If you’re having trouble optimizing your website or just want to make sure you’re doing it right, you should consult with professionals like who specialize in search marketing.

To help you stay on top of the SEO game, here are the top five SEO best practices in 2018.

5. Write Compelling Meta Description And Data

Over the years, a lot of marketers focused on keyword stuffing in their meta descriptions and titles in an effort to manipulate Google search results. Even though it is important to keep your focused keywords in your descriptions and titles, you should do with your focus on the users. If you have relevant meta descriptions and titles, users will be enticed to choose your site over the competitors.

4. Make Your Website Mobile Friendly

In 2017, Google announced there would be a change at the end of the year. That change ended up being Google’s Mobile-First Indexing, which means the company is now prioritizing your site’s mobile version over the desktop version. With Google prioritizing mobile sites more, you can’t afford to have a site that isn’t mobile-friendly.

To capitalize on the changes, you need to do three things.

– Make sure your site is designed with mobile users in mind.

– Reduce the size of the images on your site to optimize images and load them more quickly.

– Make a very fast website that helps people with slower mobile connections.

3. Join The HTTPS Wave

When it comes to buying and selling online, customers want to feel safe, and the best way to do that is to make sure your website is secure. Having an HTTPS website means your site has an SSL certificate, which means every transaction done through your server is encrypted. Since Google Chrome now notifies users when a site doesn’t have an SSL certificate, it makes sense to have an SSL certificate. The fact that it gives you a small SEO boost is a bonus.

2. Have Plenty of Content

The reason people use search engines is to find information about something they are interested in. However, some people use their website as an online business card, with barely any information other than the service they provide and their contact information. If you want to be successful, making sure your website is optimized is only half of the problem. You also need to have a lot of content on your site to endure you get first-page ranking.

1. Be Trustworthy

When you sell something or provide a service, there is always the temptation to oversell or exaggerate a few things. If you want clients to keep coming back, you have to make sure you are transparent with your clients. If what you are providing is more expensive than other sites, let the customers know why. You should also stay active on social media because it allows you to interact directly with your clients.


The importance of marketing and generating a ROI

July 9, 2018

Details released in Google’s Car Purchasing UK Report in 2017 found that £115.9 million was filtered into online display and direct mail by automotive dealers across Britain in 2016 alone.

You could probably name some automotive marketing campaigns from the top of your head — and this is because they have a large enough budget to make them extremely memorable. With increased interest in online platforms, digital visibility doesn’t come cheap — but is it worth the cost?

Investments in the automotive industry

Shopping for a new car is always a fun experience, especially with the digital capabilities we now have — Google’s Drive To Decide Report suggested that 65% use their smartphone as their preferred device to browse the internet. These figures show that for car dealers to keep their head in the game, a digital transition is vital.

On top of this, automotive shoppers like to know what they’re buying and 90% of them carry out research online. 51% of buyers starting their auto research online, with 41% of those using a search engine. To capture those shoppers beginning their research online, car dealers must think in terms of the customer’s micro moments of influence, which could include online display ads – one marketing method that currently occupies a significant proportion of car dealers’ marketing budgets.

The automotive aren’t shy of investing great amounts into their advertisements, which actually accounted for 11% of the total ad spend here in the UK. The automotive industry is forecast to see a further 9.5% increase in ad spending in 2018.

People like to see what they’re buying, especially when it is expensive; so how are online strategies helping automotive manufacturers? 41% of shoppers who research online find their smartphone research ‘very valuable’. 60% said they were influenced by what they saw in the media, of which 22% were influenced by marketing promotions – proving online investment is working.

Digital spend in the automotive industry increased from fifth-most invested in area to third, witnessing a 10.6% increase in budget. However, it must be known that TV and radio advertisements continue to dominate.

Investments in the fashion industry

The online shopping experience has become a core focus for many fashion retailers, especially as digital spend grew to £16.2 billion in 2017. This figure is expected to continue to grow by a huge 79% by 2022. So where are fashion retailers investing their marketing budgets? Has online marketing become a priority?

ASOS and Boohoo are just two online shopping companies that are driving exception results for their business; especially when 15% of sales were ecommerce-led. ASOS experienced an 18% UK sales growth in the final four months of 2017, whilst Boohoo saw a 31% increase in sales throughout the same period.

Bigger brands are beginning to invest more into their digital strategies in a bid to drive sales. John Lewis announced that 40% of its Christmas sales came from online shoppers, and whilst Next struggled to keep up with the sales growth of its competitors, it has announced it will invest £10 million into its online marketing and operations.

The shopping experience has well and truly been enhanced, as consumers begin to shop at a time that suits them — whether this is on their way to work or late in the evening when some physical stores could be closed.

Influencer marketing is becoming recognised throughout the marketing industry too, with 59% of retailers increasing their budget for this form of advertisement. In fact, 75% of global fashion brands collaborate with social media influencers as part of their marketing strategy.

22% of consumers are thought to be gained through influencer marketing, which backs up the reasoning behind higher investment from fashion companies.

Investments in the utilities industry

Choosing the right utilities supplier for your home can be a big decision to make, this has led consumers to take a more informative approach by using comparison websites to outweigh the benefits and negatives of each potential company.

Comparison websites are also great for exposure, as many of them spend millions on TV marketing campaigns meaning that it’s crucial for you to adopt a space on their website to offer your competitive edge.

Advertising is a competitive approach, but four of the largest comparison websites are listed within the top 100 highest spending companies in Britain. Comparison sites can be the difference between a high rate of customer retention for one supplier and a high rate of customer acquisition for another. If you don’t beat your competitors, then what is to stop your existing and potential new customers choosing your competitors over you?

However, British Gas has been one of the first companies to switch up their strategy and now look to retain their current customers rather than adopt new ones. Whilst the company recognise that this approach to marketing will be a slower process to yield measurable results, they firmly believe that retention will in turn lead to acquisition. The Gas company hope that by marketing a wider range of tailored products and services to their existing customers, they will be able to improve customer retention.

Not only that, they are offering discounted energy and services to valued customers after a £100 million loyalty scheme was introduced. The utilities sector is incredibly competitive, so it is vital that companies invest in their existing customers before looking for new customers.

The Google Public Utilities Report in December 2017 found that 40% of searches in Q3 and 45% of ad impressions were on a smartphone device. As mobile usage continues to soar, companies need to consider content created specifically for mobile users as they account for a large proportion of the market now.

Investments in the healthcare industry

Unlike other sectors investing in marketing campaigns, regulations are more tough in the healthcare sector which sometimes makes objectives more restrictive. The same ROI methods that have been adopted by other sectors simply don’t work for the healthcare market. Despite nearly 74% of all healthcare marketing emails remaining unopened, you’ll be surprised to learn that email marketing is essential for the healthcare industry’s marketing strategy.

More people are using email as a main funnel of communication, which is something marketers are taking advantage of — especially with numbers suggesting that 2.5 million are using it. This means email marketing is targeting a large audience. For this reason, 62% of physicians and other healthcare providers prefer communication via email – and now that smartphone devices allow users to check their emails on their device, email marketing puts companies at the fingertips of their audience.

Online strategy is something that marketers could be focusing on more; especially as one in 20 Google searches are health-related queries. This could be attributed to the fact that many people turn to a search engine for medical answer before calling the GP.

72% of internet users have said that they have used the tool to look for health information over the past 12 months; which sounds about right with 77% of health enquires starting at the search engine. Furthermore, 52% of smartphone users have used their device to look up the medical information they require. Statistics estimate that marketing spend for online marketing accounts for 35% of the overall budget.

Social media marketing is something that should be taken more seriously too, especially with an increase in users. Whilst the healthcare industry is restricted to how they market their services and products, that doesn’t mean social media should be neglected. In fact, an effective social media campaign could be a crucial investment for organisations, with 41% of people choosing a healthcare provider based on their social media reputation! And the reason? The success of social campaigns is usually attributed to the fact audiences can engage with the content on familiar platforms.

Should your industry be making investments?

Evidently the fashion and automotive sector must continue to invest in online marketing. With a clear increase in online demand in both sectors that is changing the purchase process, some game players could find themselves out of the game before it has even begun if they neglect digital.

Although some businesses feel the need to make their own marketing campaign, utility companies should be looking at the bigger picture with comparison websites. Without the correct marketing, advertising or listing on comparison sites, you could fall behind.

Marketing budgets are set to change this year, with 41% going entirely to online methods which is expected to increase to 45% by 2020. Social media advertising investments is expected to represent 25% of total online spending and search engine banner ads are also expected to grow significantly too – all presumably as a result of more mobile and online usage.

Is online alternatives the way forward for your business? If mobile and online usage continues to grow year on year at the rate it has done in the past few years, we forecast the investment to be not only worthwhile but essential.

This article was researched by VW service providers, Vindis.



Tips For Resettling In the Middle East

July 1, 2018

Uprooting ones life to move to the Middle East is often a decision taken by the demands of work: with international offices opening up in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and the UAE – a useful middle-ground for business between East and West – plenty of jobs are relocating to the shining metropolis in the desert sands in the modern era. Its nothing to be daunted about – youll lead a comparatively luxurious and enjoyable lifestyle to that which you lived at home – but there are some tips thatll be useful to take over with you for your exciting new move.

Cultural Awareness

As with any move to any new area of the world, the expat should make a huge effort to understand the culture theyll be living inside and to get at least a basic grasp of the language spoken there. The international language of business remains English, but thats not to say a little Arabic wont get you a long way. When it comes to Middle Eastern culture, research their customs and pleasantries, so you are familiar with their customs and their views on alcohol, sexuality, and gender, so youre not caught out while away.


Many successful states in the Middle East have built gleaming and impressive cities. For some, this translates into believing countries such as Qatar have little more to offer than urban life. This isn’t the case, however, as there are Bedouin communities as well as plenty of desert exploration to enjoy in these countries which may involve surfing down sand dunes or hopping over them on a dune buggy. Look up all tourism activities so that you make the very most out of your time exploring there.


Middle Eastern cuisine is very much unique – and delicious – and one of the main objectives anyone living there should hold close is to learn how to make the many mouth-watering dishes that have pleased the Arab palette for centuries. Theres fusion food too, of course, in the international centres of commerce, trade, and business, but sometimes its the smaller local eateries on the edge of town that pack the most authentic punch of spice, herbs, and flavours you simply wont find anywhere else in the world. Cooking classes are offered in every city; get stuck in your free time.


Alongside the business side of these cities is their huge shopping districts and new-build malls – constructed to dazzle and amaze. Do check these out while staying in places such as Abu Dhabi, but remember also that the prices at these malls are many times inflated. With a little local knowledge, you can check out the online shopping in UAE, meaning you’ll save money and have your very own speedy service for furnishing your house, supplying your hobbies, or finding clothes and other fashion items without having to leave your home. A move away from your home country doesnt mean a move away from valuable commodities.

A move to the Middle East can be incredibly exciting, and bearing the above tips in mind will make your stay that bit more comfortable and special.