Bloxham Marketing momentous events Work


I blogged last week about @fionawb. Well, in our catchup last Thursday, we realised that we would both be attending Balls on Saturday night just gone – she to the Caboolture Hospital do, me to the St James Lutheran ZehnBall in Hervey Bay.

Saturday then became a day of to be remembered! I had been trying to organise an UpStyle for a couple of days, however with the Torbanlea Races, the Xavier Ball and the Star of the Sea ball ALL on Saturday, getting an appointment had been impossible. Even the incredible Jenny Venier had been trying for me, without any success (she tried at least a dozen!) because everyone was just so busy. So early Saturday morning, I received an email with the number of yet another salon to try. And, of course, they were booked out, but they suggested yet another place – Summer Jade, in Pialba – which I called at 9.49am.

They said that yes, if I could be there by 1pm, they could squeeze me in. And here’s me, on the Sunshine Coast, a good 3 hours drive away, not even packed!!! I said ‘yes’ as quickly as I could, threw some clothes in a bag, kissed the kids and Hubby and ran out the door. Jumped in the car, started speeding away – and had gotten 8 k or so when I realised that I’d left the dress at home. Arrggh!!! Screaming u turn (yes, I *did* contemplate just buying another dress up there in Hervey Bay, but quickly killed that idea off as divorce-worthy when Hubby found out) and I was on my way home again, calling mum (who was staying to mind the kids) and getting her to get the dress and wait out by the gate for me.

On my way once again, it was now 10.24am and I knew that I wouldn’t make it by 1pm. So this time I did *not* stop to tweet what an idiot I had been (Ghylene, are you reading this?! LOL) and just drove. Fast. Very fast.

The girl in the salon had asked me to call her at midday, and just let her know how far away I was. I called her at 12.03 and said “yes, I’m coming as quickly as I can! According to my iPhone, I’m 65 km away and it should take me 57 minutes to get there!” I think she was rather surprised at my intensity – but that was because I’d just seen roadworks up ahead. She told me to ‘not speed’ (Ha! I’m quite a lead foot…) and I continued my nervous, excited, “I hope I get there!!!” race.

The minutes ticked away; I got closer. And I refreshed my iPhone maps and realised that I might make it after all. In fact, I probably *would* make it after all. In fact, that I would probably make it with a minute or two to spare! LOL! By now, it was 12.45 and I was about 10 minutes away.

So now my attention turned to the directions, seeing as I’d never been there before. And then my phone died – I’d forgotten to charge it before I left, and for some reason the car charger seems to have disappeared…

Long story short, yes, I made it. And was up styled, and then made it to the Silver Sands Apartments (via Subway, because by now it was well past 2 and I hadn’t eaten since 6.30am) and got to sit. And tweet. And laugh at all the #rollonourballs tweets that @fionawb was sending!

6pm arrived before I knew it and it was time to frock up and head out. Like any good girl, I had planned on visiting the bathroom prior to leaving, however that was curtailed when I opened the door and discovered my visitor!

Quick phonecall to management, and a quick decision to ‘visit the ladies when I got there’ and I was off.

And the ball was a blast!!!!!

(Me – after. – Yeah, I know. I’m awful at talking selfies… but  LOOK!!! I have CURLY HAIR!!!!!)

Bloxham Marketing Life

Good times!

Today I am over the moon to be spending a goodly part of my day with the amazing, the brilliant, the irreplaceable Mrs Jenny Venier, making a virtual tour of the fantastic St Paul’s Lutheran Primary School. Roll on, happiness!!!

Bloxham Marketing family anecdotes More about me Technology Work

Looking backward, looking forward…

So I mentioned recently that my cousin from England was coming out to Oz, to stay with us for a few days. Well, the few days turned into almost-a-week, which was even better – plus, he left just as my family decided to come down with a vomiting bug, so he and his family left at just the right time, I think!

During his stay, we visited my parents at the retirement village where they live. Here’s my cousin Phil with my dad. A strong family resemblance, wouldn’t you say?

It was lovely to also meet and spend time with his fiancé, Jo, and her daughters, Darcy and Hope. My kids loved them to bits and were quite upset when they left. In fact, Mr 3 unfortunately ‘dropped’ my iPod onto concrete in his distress – chalk up two devices, now, with newly cracked screens. I’m seriously going to have to look into stronger cases for them, I think!

Here Phil and the family are laughing because Mr 3 is ‘copying’ me, taking photos on the iPod while I take them on my iPhone. They thought it was hilarious, that he was pretending to take photos – until I showed them that he actually *was* taking photos! They were amazed that he could navigate to the camera all by himself. I mentioned that he’d being doing taking both photos and videos for about a year now…

So that was last week. And it ended with me being sick all weekend. By Sunday I felt ready to die. I was SOOOOOOO overwhelmingly nauseous that I swiped one of Hubby’s Phenergen tablets – which knocked me out for a good few hours. When I did eventually wake up, it was like trying to move through thick, cloying mud. It was incredible!!! I’d never been like that before – ever! (Well, the mud yes – at Emu Gully some years back now, but that’s another story!) And the nausea was gone, which was great. What was not so great was the realisation that the nausea had been masking three very distinct stabbing pinpoints of pain in my stomach. Which was not so much fun.

But it’s Monday now. Hubby and Miss 7 have just left for school, and I’m heading off soon to meet with a potential client; then later head down to Caboolture for a ‘Round Table Discussion’ of three schools. It should be an enlightening day. Hopefully my still very tender stomach will be able to handle it all…!

Have a great day, dear readers!!!

Bloxham Marketing Life Random thoughts Technology Work

Full to the brim

That’s how my life feels right now. It’s just so jam-packed… and I love it! Okay – I’m up again, on my computer, posting at 5.52 am, after settling Mr 3 at 2.48am and again at 3.52am, and then deciding to just stay up because I’ve got so much to do anyway…

So the weekend before last, Hubby and I spent Saturday together. No kids. (Yes, this is actually rare enough that it rates a mention. Sad, really…!) and we visited IKEA. We’ve been married almost 18 years, and only now am I learning that his dislike of ‘clutter’ means that he dislikes bookshelves. He prefers furniture with doors – cupboards, wardrobes, buffets, etc etc). Rather a revelation for a wife who loves books (yes, @jobeaz, the physical variety! I haven’t really warmed to the whole idea of eBooks yet!) and who has lots and lots… and lots of them.

Never mind; I’m adaptable. So I started planning how to ‘de-clutter’ (without spending too much money, of course!) and this meant that yesterday was furniture-moving day. I re-worked the girl’s bedroom (Miss 7 got the shock of her life when she got home from school!), Mr 3’s bedroom, our bedroom, the dining room, and have started on the lounge room. This Saturday will see two large pieces of lounge room furniture moved to my in-laws, to make room for the new TV/entertainment unit (not yet purchased, but it’ll be coming from IKEA) and the new lounge (again, not yet ordered, but this will be from Fantastic Furniture because I really like their ‘storage’ lounges) – oh, and the orientation of the furniture in the lounge will also change 90%. So it’ll be (eventually) like a whole new house. (And maybe that’s why it’s been over 15 years since I visited IKEA!)

So that was yesterday. On the work front, I discovered last night that a tweet I sent got retweeted by three people.
One of these accounts has over 19,000 followers! And a reply tweet I got form another of these people (in South Africa, by the way) said that she loved my link; and that her friends were currently sharing it around on Facebook. So how COOL is social media!!!

Bloxham Marketing Random thoughts Technology Work

Being lazy…

It’s Monday. It’s 4.54am. I’ve been up since 2.30, courtesy Mr 3 and a couple of nightmares. I’ve just finished my weekly blog entry for Bloxham Marketing, and I’m pretty proud of it (considering the time of day, and the lack of sleep, I’m quite impressed with myself) but right now I’m feeling too lazy to think up another post for “Hmmm…” for my regular Monday entry… so I’m going to cheat and re-post the same content here. Sorry! (Actually, I choose to think of it as sharing my granule of wisdom with my ‘personal blog’ audience as well as my ‘work’ one… LOL) Plus there’s a bonus – it won’t be posted there until 8.30am today. So – those of you who are up early – get to read it first. Yay! (LOL again) Here tis:


The ‘Survivor’ Guide to tweeting for your business

Survivor: Outwit. Outplay. Outlast. It’s exactly these three ideas that you probably want for your own business, right? To stay ahead of your competitors; to remain viable in your marketplace? Me too! So – what can the Reality TV show Survivor, the creator of this phrase “Outwit. Outplay. Outlast.” teach us about using twitter for our businesses? Read on!

1. Form alliances

From that very first season, the importance of ‘alliances’ was obvious. Those in an alliance, got to the final tribal council. And the strongest member of the alliance, won. It was as simple as that. On twitter, we need to do the same. Form alliances. Follow others. Engage with them (retweet their good stuff; reply; converse) and respond genuinely when your followers retweet, reply to, or engage with, you.

And the idea here is to be genuine. People don’t readily ‘form an alliance’ with automated tweets. Okay – I admit it – I used an auto-responder on my @BloxhamMkting account for a while back there, which automated ‘Thanks for the RT” and “Thanks for the mention” and “Thanks for the follow” – until I realised just how quickly this was turning off the exact sort of people I wanted to engage with. The genuine ones; the leaders in the fields I was seeking to be a part of; and (of course) my own followers. I also realised how much I hate automated responses filling up my own @mention stream – even worse, my DM inbox. This convinced me. Now I use auto-responders only for the tweets I send (and no, not to just send the identical content to Facebook as well!) Want strong ‘alliances’? Engaging with others is the best way to form them.

2. Honesty – always the best policy

On “Survivor”, it’s always easy for the audience to spot the fake. Watching the show then becomes more interesting, as we’re waiting to see when the double-crossing character finally gets ‘caught out’ in their lies and deception. Often it’s those who’ve been the most ‘honest’ who get the fartherest. Likewise on twitter. If you’re tweeting for your business, realise that there are people out there who don’t like your business (especially if you’re a big company!) and that you’re going to probably get some flack for things that you have, or haven’t, done. So be honest when people tweet that negative stuff. Acknowledge that something’s gone wrong. Use the instantaneous nature of twitter to try to rectify the problem. Your community will appreciate the honesty.

3. Loyalty will get you further

Loyalty. Let’s face it – in business, that’s what we want, right? A loyal customer base. But there’s only one way to get their loyalty – be loyal to them. Be dependable. Be consistent. Be the brand that they know that they can rely on. On Survivor, those who remained consistent throughout, engendered the most respect – and that’s whether they were consistently ‘nice’ or consistently ‘evil’ (to use ‘Survivor’ terminology, here) – wholly and solely because they were consistent. The people who formed alliances with them, respected them because they were dependable. Those characters who (again, using ‘Survivor’ terminology) flip-flopped, back and forth between different choices or different strategies? They lost the respect of the other players extremely quickly. When you’re tweeting for your business, this is the last thing we want! We want the respect of our customer base, right? So be loyal. Be consistent. Be dependable.

4. Have a strategy

Think ahead. Know your business plan. And – sparingly, and where appropriate – share parts of that plan with your followers. Use your strategy to inspire your loyal customer base, just as those who were the leaders in their tribes shared their vision of the next strategic move with their allies. On twitter, use the functionality to reward those most loyal; and also to get your message out and extend your reach. New eBook? First mention of a new product release? Just a thought – let your loyal followers be the first to know! Whatever your strategy; devise it, and follow it!

5. Adapt to the situation

Some of those ‘Survivor’ challenges are absolutely crazy. But that’s what makes the show so entertaining. Likewise, some situations in business are going to see you doing things that you never would have expected. Three years ago, you never would have been reading a blog post about how to use twitter for your business – and what tips a reality TV show can give you on the topic!!! But you’ve adapted, you’ve changed, as the world has changed. Kudos to you! Just don’t stop now. The world *is* changing – faster than we can even realise it – so we need to adapt. Yes, today we need to ensure that we’re tweeting for our businesses; retweeting, replying, and genuinely engaging with others, however… who knows what may lie around the corner? We’ll need to rise to conquer these new challenges. If we don’t, we’ll end up in the business equivalent of Tribal Council, where the real world equivalent will snuff out the remnants of all of our hard work and say “The Marketplace has Spoken”. And none of us wants to be there, so we?!

So – five ideas that ‘Survivor’ can teach us about tweeting for our businesses. What did you think? Did I miss any? I’d love to hear your thoughts!


Well, that’s been my thinking over the past couple of hours (in between settling my little man from his night-time horrors). Sorry again that I’m not feeling up to writing a whole heap here. But I’d love to hear what you thought of my BloxhamMarketing post!

And have a great day, dear readers! (I think I might head back to bed now. It’s cold out here and it may (please, God!) remain dark and quiet for another hour or so yet…)

#blogjune Bloxham Marketing Life Random thoughts Work


Do all parents second-guess themselves? Or is it just me?

I started this #blogjune challenge intending to explore the journey I’m on as a mum of a newly diagnosed autistic son. But today, I spent close to an hour in the emergency waiting room of Caboolture Hospital with Miss 4. She’d been at family day care with Mr 3, playing on one of their scooters, had fallen off and sliced open a deep gash just below her mouth. So she and I spent time at the hospital, while Mr 3 played back at Day Care, and my work continued to pile up back at St Paul’s, where I had decided to have a rare, kid-free day, to catch up on the mountain of work not yet completed.
And that’s when I started thinking about the whole ‘mother guilt’ thing again.

Miss 4 is with me 7 days a week, with the exception of ‘grandma playgroup’ when she’s not allowed to come to Mr 3’s ECDP. It’s very very very rare for me to organize a day of childcare for her (and Mr 3) because not only is it rather expensive, but also because Mr 3, being autistic, doesn’t like changes to his routine.
So when I do, and she gets hurt, I wonder ‘would that have happened if she had been with me?’ (No, because I don’t like scooters because they’re dangerous, so we don’t have any here at home… but that’s not to say that she could have hurt herself some other way…) I wonder ‘should I have put her in care today, or just kept her with me… seeing as I didn’t get the work done that I wanted to, anyway’. I wonder ‘what sort of mother puts her child in care when, really, she doesn’t absolutely *have* to?’ I wonder ‘this is the second time in the space of a few months that Miss 4 has ended up in Emergency… is this coincidence, or an indicator of something deeper, that I should be aware of but am not due to my busyness?’ I wonder how I’m going to catch up on the work I’m missing out on doing. I wonder if by some strange turn of events, @fionawb might just so happen to wander down to Emergency, and we might meet IRL. I wonder why the Caboolture Emergency is so drastically different to Nambour Emergency; where we were late last year… or Caloundra Emergency; where I’ve been with Miss 7… and Mr 3. I wonder if other mums visit Emergencies as much as I seem to; or if my kids are just clumsier than average; or if I’m one of those hypochondriac mothers who’s always imagining medical conditions on her kids.
And (as an aside) I wonder where the St Paul’s ad is, that we’ve been paying for for over a year now, that is meant to be playing in the Caboolture Hospital Emergency waiting room…)

Anyway… that was my afternoon. I want to thank my online friends for their messages and tweets wishing Miss 4 well. Your support means so much to me!!! It’s unexpected, and therefore all the more treasured. Thanks for being there for me! You guys rock!!!
So now, it’s late, and my inbox is still beckoning. I love my work… but can see that the day is coming where I’m going to need some staff…

Bloxham Marketing momentous events Technology Work

Wish me luck!

Today is the day! This afternoon, I’m live on LEQ TV. 2 1/2 hours, explaining how to harness the power of digital marketing. Wish me luck!

Bloxham Marketing family anecdotes Technology


Earlier this year, I waited, impatiently, for a week while Pinterest processed my request to join them. Once accepted, I was an avid user. Several times daily I would hop on and browse. I loved the embedding feature, and used it both here on Hmmm… and on my work blog. But the growing number of tweets regarding Pinterest’s dodgy Terms of Service concerned me, and I finally made the decision to cancel my account after reading this blog post. It was a very sad day.

On the upside though, I was inspired by many images I saw in my time there. One such image inspired me to experiment in the kitchen. My kids were delighted with their dessert the other night, as it ‘drove’ out of the fridge and ‘parked’ next to their plates! Here was my first attempt…


… and, in case you’re interested, they’re not that difficult to make – even for #notagoodcook like me!

Have a great day, dear readers!

Bloxham Marketing More about me Work

You know you love your job when…

Yesterday, Hubby commented that, “What if we had won Gold Lotto on Saturday? We wouldn’t have to go back to work this week.” He then added, that we could just laze around at home, go to the beach, going shopping, or do whatever we wanted to.

It made me stop and think for a minute . And then I realised something awesome. That even if I *had* won Gold Lotto, that I still would spend my time doing exactly what I’m doing right now. That I, strangely enough, I *want* to work at my job. Because I love my job. No, really. I truly am, in love with, my job!

Yes, I realise just how wacky that sounds. I mean, who would *want* to work, if they didn’t have to?!!

But I love it. The infinite variety. The challenge, after challenge, after challenge. The exhilaration of doing an excellent job, and having that job appreciated by those who know how hard it was. The conviction of knowing that I am doing something that few others do. And that I love it. And that my clients pay me for it.

Wow. That understanding is so liberating!

That’s said, it’s a huge responsibility as well. When I stuff up, the only person to blame is the person who looks back at me from the mirror. And that can be humiliating. That’s a failure is a part of life, and one which I hope I learn from. Only time will tell, I guess!

CC image courtesy 401K at

Bloxham Marketing Life teaching Work

Where I’ve been

Okay, so I’ve been absent from this blog for what feels like months, but is only, in fact, 10 days. It’s now Monday 2 April, and it’s officially the ‘first day’ of school holidays. But while Miss 7 might sleep in this morning, Hubby will still have to drive in to work, and I’m in front of the screen already, getting work done while it’s quiet and still. Our work continues while schools have their break – and there’s always work to be done.

Last week was incredibly intense for me. Not only was I teaching a pretty full-on Prep class Monday through Thursday, I was also keeping the marketing of my clients ticking along. On Monday, for example, St Paul’s had a branding photo event with the brilliant photographer Greg Parsons. At the same time, the School Captain and Primary Head of School from Caloundra Christian College were being interviewed by Steve Dunster of Radio Rhema, to promote the Bike-a-thon that they ran on Friday, to raise money for the charity Reach-an-Orphan.

Tuesday and Wednesday was ‘quickly-interview-sources-and-take-photos-in-between-classes’ days, in preparation for the news story deadlines that always come around far too quickly. Thursday was ‘book the bus half-backs’ that I’ll be creating the skin designs for this week. And Friday was ‘finish the stories and submit by midday, then collapse’. And in between I was updating Facebook accounts – with photos of Firey’s visits and Cross Country carnivals – twitter accounts, and websites. Oh. And teaching Prep.

Man! No wonder I’m tired! Conclusion: I need a holiday.