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Blog Posts

Our latest blog entries

What’s in a name?

May 22, 2017
Business
Written by
Esther Lawson

Naming your company can be one of the most difficult things a startup has to do. Not only do you have to make sure no one else has the same name, but you may also have to deal with confusions over spelling, pronunciation or even translation if you choose a “foreign” name for your business, or if you intend to expand your business into other countries later.

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Is the End Neigh for Printed Material?

May 16, 2017
Design
Written by
Esther Lawson

How many times have you searched online for a product you’re interested in (whether it be via a search engine, or social media)? How many times have you seen an advert for what you’re looking for in a newspaper recently? I’d venture to guess that it’s fewer.

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Why cowork?

May 12, 2017
Entrepreneurship
Written by
Esther Lawson

I’m not going to bore you with the dictionary definition of coworking, so here’s mine instead: coworking is a great way for SMEs, freelancers and other self employed individuals to work “together” (in the same space) without necessarily “working together” (collaborating).

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Networking is important

May 8, 2017
Business
Written by
Esther Lawson

I am a member of The Business Network, Banbridge, which comprises of a group of business owners, freelancers and employees, who meet on the last Thursday of every month to network, learn more about topics of interest to local businesses and to eat breakfast (we meet from 7.30-9am, so a bacon butty is very welcome!). I really enjoy my time at these meetings each month, and even though there are familiar faces there, we’re pleased to welcome visitors and guests every month too.

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Face to face vs online networking

May 3, 2017
Social Media
Written by
Esther Lawson

Networking is essential to building your business. These days there are many different networking opportunities available to you and your business. They may be local or international, but how you take advantage of them can make all the difference.

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Time Management

April 28, 2017
Entrepreneurship
Written by
Esther Lawson

When you work for yourself it can be difficult to stick to a schedule. Life happens, family necessities raise their heads, “urgent” queries need to be answered… The list is endless of things that draw us away from our to-do list and carefully thought out schedule. So how can we fit it all in? I mentioned some ideas in a previous post about how to avoid losing time on Social Media, but I thought you might like some more tips and suggestions for other areas of your business.

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What your website says about you

April 18, 2017
Web Design
Written by
Esther Lawson

Your website is your shop window. When you open it, are you pleased with what you see? What was your first impression of it? Is that still your impression today? Look at it through a fresh pair of eyes and assess it like you were your own customer. Would you buy from you?

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Support Local

April 10, 2017
Business
Written by
Esther Lawson

I’m a farmer’s daughter. I was brought up to appreciate the hard work that manual labourers do every day. I was raised to support other local vendors. It’s in my blood, so to speak. So, when it comes to local produce and supporting local suppliers, it’s my first priority as a consumer.

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Running a family business

April 4, 2017
Entrepreneurship
Written by
Esther Lawson

IPA Group is a family business. The heads are husband and wife team, Aaron and Esther. The sales team is family. The editor is family. The designer, although not a blood relative, is now family! Even the new addition to our team, the SEO guy, is quickly fitting right into our family. We believe in working together for the betterment of our family, both nuclear and extended. If we have any more openings and have family members with the ability to fill those slots, we’ll look there first. Why? Well, because we already know how each another thinks, so if we’re having an “off” day, the others will (normally) understand; more so than complete strangers anyway.

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Are your products being shown off in the best light?

March 28, 2017
Photography
Written by
Esther Lawson

Your products are the life and soul of your business. They are what generate your income. If you are solely a product-based business, selling what you make, then people base their buying decisions on what they can see. This is where the old adage “A picture speaks a thousand words” comes in.

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10 Healthy habits in business

March 22, 2017
Business
Written by
Esther Lawson

Business can be stressful, entrepreneurship is tough, solopreneurs can be lonely. What are some healthy habits you can acquire for you and your business?

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Email Marketing

March 14, 2017
Marketing
Written by
Esther Lawson

Email marketing is an important part of your business strategy. It helps your clients keep up to date with your news and offers, but more than that, it is the only piece of data regarding your clients that you “own”. Sure, you may have contacts through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc. but you could lose all of them overnight if the “Powers That Be” decide. Only if people have signed up to receive your correspondence can you actually reach out to them on a regular basis.

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Health & Safety in the Digital Workplace

March 6, 2017
Social Media
Written by
Esther Lawson

Workplaces are changing. Every day there are businesses being established virtually, “on the cloud”, freelancers working from home, others in coworking spaces, but each and every business, new or established, has the ability to now work with anyone in the world at the touch of a button. This great new way of getting clients and broadening your reach has many benefits. Conference calls are done via Skype, zoom or appear.in (to name just a few), contacts are made via social media, networking sessions are Twitter Chats,… the list is endless. The need for travel is practically nil.

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What's the best time to post on social media?

February 28, 2017
Social Media
Written by
Esther Lawson

This is the age-old question, isn’t it! When can I post to social media and have the most impact? When are more people on social media at any given time? What’s the secret to having more people see my content on social media? Well, the answer is simple – it depends!

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Mobile and Responsive Websites

February 21, 2017
Web Design
Written by
Esther Lawson

Your website is a very important part of your business. It is the shop front - the first place people get a real idea of who you are, what you do and how you can help them. People nowadays are constantly on their phones. You see it all around you, walking down the street, sitting on trains, buses etc. They just can’t seem to put them away! So, imagine they are on their phones and come across your website. What will they see? Will they be able to navigate around your site easily and comfortably on their mobile devices? Or will they have to resize the page, swipe left and right to see the content etc.?

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Tourism and Social Media

February 13, 2017
Tourism
Written by
Esther Lawson

Tourism is an important sector for every country, no matter how big or small. When people are deciding which place to visit next, they search the Internet, ask their friends, and more and more are taking to social media to get the answers directly from the source. So, is the tourism sector delivering the answers they’re looking for? Unfortunately, in many cases, the answer is no.

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Health & Safety in the Digital Workplace

February 3, 2017
Business
Written by
Esther Lawson

Workplaces are changing. Every day there are businesses being established virtually, “on the cloud”, freelancers working from home, others in coworking spaces, but each and every business, new or established, has the ability to now work with anyone in the world at the touch of a button. This great new way of getting clients and broadening your reach has many benefits. Conference calls are done via Skype, zoom or appear.in (to name just a few), contacts are made via social media, networking sessions are Twitter Chats,… the list is endless. The need for travel is practically nil.

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Blogging to help your business

January 27, 2017
Marketing
Written by
Esther Lawson

It’s been two years since we started IPA Group, and in those two years we have been blogging (writing articles) about the industry we are in. Why should you blog? It’s simple:

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Video Marketing

January 20, 2017
Marketing
Written by
Esther Lawson

Last year, 2016, we saw video starting to take over the marketing world, and it’s obvious that in 2017 we will be even more inundated with videos, especially now that we have the opportunity to use video at the drop of a hat (or the push of a button) with Facebook Live, Twitter Live, Periscope, Snapchat and many others. So, why use it? Surely everyone else will be using it, so you would just be another drop in the ocean? But it’s precisely because everyone else is using it that you need to embrace the power of video in your marketing also.

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Marketing terms explained

January 16, 2017
Marketing
Written by
Esther Lawson

You’ve probably seen a lot of acronyms, abbreviations and random words that might be going over your head. I’m here to take away the mystery from a few.

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Design goals you can fulfill

January 10, 2017
Entrepreneurship
Written by
Esther Lawson

It’s a new year, although with already being into the second week it doesn’t seem so new anymore! To kick you off in 2017 we want to give you some advice so your goals, aims and objectives are more reachable.

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Out with the old, in with the new

December 13, 2016
Motivational
Written by
Esther Lawson

At the beginning of every year we take time to think back over the past 12 months, wonder where the time has gone, and start making plans for the next 12 months. Most of the time we reminisce with fondness about past events, although for some of us there are some sad memories in that time also. It’s also a time that the old adage “Out with the old, in with the new” is mentioned by many.

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Social Media Isn’t Free

December 8, 2016
Business
Written by
Esther Lawson

We’ve been told for years that advertising on social media is free, but it’s a myth. You’ve heard of the old saying “Nothing in life is free”, well, it’s true. Sure, you might be running your own social media accounts and not paying to boost your posts etc., but that still doesn’t make it free, unless of course your time is worth nothing?

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5 Reasons to Hire a Social Media Consultant

November 25, 2016
Social Media
Written by
Esther Lawson

There are many reasons to hire a Social Media Consultant (also known as a Social Media Manager, Social Media Curator among other things), but here are the top 5, in my opinion.

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Is your address correct?

November 11, 2016
Marketing
Written by
Esther Lawson

You know what it’s like these days – you need to go somewhere new, so you turn on your navigation system (like Google Maps) and you depend on it to get you to where you want/need to go. Well, recently I’ve noticed that a number of businesses haven’t updated their details and I end up lost, and even worse, late.

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What do we do?

October 22, 2016
Social Media
Written by
Esther Lawson

The short answer is: we do all things digital! Now, what exactly does that mean? Here comes the long answer… Our services include website design and development, social media management, graphic design, photography, motion graphics, email marketing, app development etc etc.

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Why Hire a Social Media Manager

October 18, 2016
Social Media
Written by
Esther Lawson

“Life is so fast-paced these days, we can’t keep up”. “There aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything”. “I don’t get this Twitter stuff”. “There are so many people on Facebook is there even any point joining?” These are just some of the comments we’ve heard from businesses struggling with their online presence. And this is why we are here to help.

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The Need for a Social Media Strategy

October 18, 2016
Social Media
Written by
Esther Lawson

“Social Media is easy, right? I mean, all you need to do is post a few things on Facebook or Twitter and wait for people to comment on it.” Wrong. Social Media is a series of complex, algorithm driven platforms which, when used correctly, can increase your chances of being seen by the “right people” and in turn lead to more prospects, clients and sales.

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Upskilling

October 6, 2016
Motivational
Written by
Esther Lawson

How often do you set aside every day, week, month or year to improve your business, grow your knowledge, and learn new skills? Recently I’ve been listening to various webinars and receiving training thanks to Marketing Success Summit, Shaw Academy, The Girls Mean Business, Anna Scheller etc. and through all of them I have learnt more about different areas that are important to growing my business.

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Serial Entrepreneur

October 6, 2016
Entrepreneurship
Written by
Esther Lawson

If you live in the UK or Ireland, you’ll know who Del Boy is. If you don’t, then make sure you find out! He’s the best-known “serial entrepreneur” who never quite made it.

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St Andrews

September 29, 2016
Tourism
Written by
Esther Lawson

Known as the “Home of Golf”, and home to the oldest university in Scotland, St Andrews, located in the East Neuk of the Kingdom of Fife in Scotland is just 40 minutes from Edinburgh airport, 25 from Dundee and central to other points of interest including beautiful coastal areas like Anstruther Largo and other small quaint places.

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The Mourne Mountains

September 29, 2016
Tourism
Written by
Esther Lawson

In Co. Down, we have many beautiful sights including the mountains of Mourne. Slieve Donard is the highest of the range at 850 metres (2,790 ft). It is also the highest mountain in Northern Ireland and the province of Ulster.

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The Giant’s Causeway

September 28, 2016
Tourism
Written by
Esther Lawson

The story goes that the Irish giant Fionn mac Cumhaill (Finn MacCool), was challenged to a fight by the Scottish giant Benandonner.

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Twitter is changing

September 21, 2016
Social Media
Written by
Esther Lawson

This news has been around for a while now, Twitter are extending their 140 character limit, but what exactly is going to happen, and how will it affect you (and your Twitter account)?

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The ROI of Social Media

September 20, 2016
Social Media
Written by
Esther Lawson

The ROI (Return on Investment) of Social Media has been a contentious issue ever since social media started being used by businesses.

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So much to do, so little time!

September 13, 2016
Entrepreneurship
Written by
Esther Lawson

It’s a normal day at the office. Check emails, social media, reply, engage and “poof” it’s lunchtime! So much to do and so little time.

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