The Citrus Journey

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My Podium Moment

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One of the many perks for working for Citrus Content is that we get to go to various trade shows/exhibits related to the businesses that we write for. This takes me back to May ’15, where we all attended The Business Showcase South West together. The first key note speaker to grace the Colston Hall stage was Levi Roots; musician, TV personality, and multi-millionaire businessman. A great storyteller, he described his journey from his impoverished upbringing on the harsh (but vibrant) streets of Jamaica and Brixton to his music career (befriending such musical legends as Bob Marley along the way!) and then onto his appearance on Dragons Den – where he would become world renowned a second time, all thanks to his ‘Reggae Reggae Sauce’ family recipe. What an inspirational man, and funny too!

But the message that most rang true for me was from the second key note speaker to inspire us; ‘Millionaires’ Mentor’ Bev James. She began telling us about her business journey and then went onto revealing her 5 steps for a successful personal upgrade:

1) Update your skills

2) Get ready for success

3) Trade old habits

* Eradicate negative thinking

* Value your achievements so far

* Open yourself up to your vision of success

* Live the dream in your imagination

* Vow a commitment to change

* Execute your plan – one step at a time

4) Consider Coaching

5) Imagine your podium moments

Before joining the Citrus Team I was desperately looking for a way to create an ‘upgraded version’ of myself. As Bev explained, a voice surfaces within you and says ‘Do you want to upgrade?’ So I visualised new opportunities coming my way, and then just happened to stumble upon the fated Citrus job vacancy. Once I had joined I then shrugged off old habits and negative thinking for facing my fears and positive thinking, which has now ultimately changed my whole outlook on life. But it was only after hearing Bev explain her story I then took her advice and thought about my podium moments. These are the moments you can celebrate reaching your goal, where your skills have become familiar, you’re in your stride and you feel a sense of accomplishment knowing you’ve made it. This is exactly how I feel today, working with Andrea and Vicky at Citrus Content.

At Citrus we are encouraged and pushed to face our fears and do things we wouldn’t normally do or feel comfortable doing. This opens up so many new and intriguing avenues for us all, that we’re constantly pushing our boundaries and we all benefit from this sort of environment. Every day welcomes new clients and new experiences. And on the verge of our company rebranding, it’s really exciting to imagine what the next chapter has in store for us!

Here are just a few favourite quotes that I took away from her #BSSW2015 seminar, which I think we can all use throughout our working week:

* ‘Turn ideas into action and make decisions that count.’

* ‘Do or Don’t Do – There is no try.’

* ‘Keep doing things you’re scared of.’

* ‘Turn someday into today.’

So what steps have you taken to upgrade yourself in the last few months?

The Value of Personal Connections

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A couple of weeks ago I was reminded of the value of personal connections.  I love the social world, the ability to connect and build relationships online has been a powerful resource for my business.  As a writer it is so easy for me to hide away behind my pen and paper and remain in the safety and comfort of the office.  Trusting relationships can be established through many different ways, including online, but I think like many of us, I had lost sight of actually connecting in person.

When organising my trip to New York with other entrepreneurs for an event with our business mentor a small group of us decided to share an airbnb.  Honestly, my first reaction when this was suggested was to say no.  I love my privacy and personal space, but I knew if I want to get the most of this experience I needed to throw myself into it with heart and soul.  Facing my fear, I agreed to share and arrived at the Manhattan apartment to meet 5 strangers from different continents.

Facing our fears is something we have to do a lot in business, it’s what challenges us, makes us stronger and also helps us succeed.  Those 5 strangers, over our brief time together, have now become great friends and advisers.  We connected not only on a personal level but we shared a passion for business that infused our creativity for our own businesses.  Our mentor Todd Herman, likes to describe us as ‘weird’, and it’s a word we embrace. That weekend we were with like minded people who understood our workaholic nature, our desire to be challenged, and our thirst for knowledge.

But returning home it got me thinking, what if I hadn’t faced my fear?  What if I have crept into my safe bubble and got myself a hotel room on my own, would my experience have been the same?

The simple answer is no!

Meeting people in person puts a whole new dimension on a relationship, it makes it stronger and more meaningful.

Get out there

Just as I did, go and face your fear.  Get up from you comfort zone and experience something new and exciting.  You don’t have to take a trip to another country, just push yourself to do something different.  Why not have a tweet-up for your social media following and take your online relationships to the next level.

I often find doing a training programme, whether online or off-line is also a great place to build a relationship with people.  You can learn together, get frustrated together and succeed together.  Don’t fall into the trap doing the same training as your colleagues as it will be easy to just communicate with those that you know.  Remember everyone is a stranger to each other at the beginning, you may start that way, but you won’t be strangers by the time you finish.

There are thousands of networking opportunities across the globe.  I know how frightening it can be to walk into a room where you don’t know anyone.  You worry about babbling or you hide in the corner.  See every networking group as an opportunity, the people you meet may not be a direct client, but you never know who they have in the circle of connections.

Lesson Learned

I’ve learned a valuable lesson, my social connections are amazing but if I take those connections to the next level who knows where it can lead!

 

Get to know RightmoveAddict

Getting to know @RightmoveAddict

Did you know that @Rightmoveaddicts’ alter ego is actually Andrea Morgan who founded Citrus Content?  Like most super hero’s Andrea has her day job but she isn’t a journalist for the Daily Planet or a photographer for a local newspaper Andrea founded her own company and writes content for property and interior companies all over the UK.  Unlike Superman we share Andrea’s superhero talents through our work but there are still some fun facts about @RightmoveAddict.

Would you rather…

Enjoy a houseboat or speedboat?  Has to be a houseboat as I suffer from motion sickness.  I absolutely love water and the idea of being on any boat really appeals, but sadly my heart and my body don’t think alike.

Go to a play or musical?  Now that is tricky as I used to work in theatre, but I guess I would say musical.  I performed in an amateur dramatics group as a child and so grew up in musicals.  In my adult life musicals played a huge part in the theatres’ I managed, especially Wicked.  When I worked in London, this was the last show that I worked on and was privileged to have been there from the beginning.  The opening night of this production was something the like I have never seen.  Idina Menzel was playing Elphaba when Wicked opened and as she walked on stage, before she opened her mouth, there was a standing ovation for about 20 minutes.

Use Facebook or Twitter?  Ummm now my whole RightmoveAddict journey started on Twitter and the platform changed my life, so I would have to say Twitter.  Although recently I have been doing a lot of work in Facebook at the moment due to some very active groups I am a member of.

Go to a comedy club or dance club? Dance club I think, it would depend what type of dance club as I’m not into the whole ‘clubbing’ scene.  I guess I am a geek at heart!

Who would you want with you if you were stranded on a deserted island?  Patrick Dempsey, and Kevin Bacon doing the voice over, he has such a distinctive voice like Morgan Freeman.  I am sure I was supposed to say some deep thinking, but if you’re stranded you want to have some fun in the sun! (Whoops, sorry hubby!)

If money was no object, what would you do all day?  I would still work as I love what I do.  But I would guess it would give me the freedom to also travel more, indulge in a spa day more often of course go house hunting.

Where do you most want to travel, but have never been?   There are many places I would like to see, at the moment I think Australia.  It is not somewhere I fancied before, but over the last couple of years I have made some great connections with people over there and I would love to meet them and also explore their contrasting landscape.

What is your favorite memory?  My Sammy (my five year old son) every day we have many special moments.  He is a mummy’s boy and I love the time we spend together, it’s precious, weird and very crazy.

What does your perfect day look like?  In my dream world – Morning cuddles with Sammy, a few hours working on my business, being pampered at a spa, dinner with my hubby, reading Sammy a bedtime story.

If you could go back in time, what year would you travel to?  I am a costume drama queen; there is nothing I like more than reading Jane Austen or watching Downtown Abbey.  But I do think it would be the Regency Period, I love the poetic language, but of course I would be a woman of means.

What’s the #1 most played song on your iPod?  I really wasn’t sure what would come up and I was surprised.  Alison Krauss – Forget about it

What is one of your favorite quotes? Things happen for a reason

If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would you meet?  History fascinates me. I would love to do a ‘Who do you think you are?’ and go and meet my ancestors as far as I could go.

Have you ever had a nickname? What is it?  If you ask my sister it is Half Pint.

And finally if you had a super power what would it be?  Now that I’m over my fear of heights following our zip-wire off the Newport Transporter Bridge for our charity Ieuan The Lion Memorial Fund, I would like to be able to fly!

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So it seems that even superheroes have a normal life too.  Get to know @RightmoveAddict aka Andrea and her team at Citrus Content and let them show you their super powers.

Are you a faceless company?

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Social media is everywhere these days, especially in the news. I mean, have you heard the latest about Wimbledon visitors being banned from bringing in selfie sticks and livestreaming this year’s competition with the Periscope app?

Did you know the Citrus Content website is currently undergoing a complete rebrand, so preparing for my new job title (watch this space!!) I’ve been undertaking research on a variety of websites, what I found was a lack of a ‘face’. What I mean is that there was no sign of the people within the business, but isn’t the property and interior industry about people so why are you being faceless?

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A couple of weeks ago Andrea and I attended Lettings Live 2015. These photos are of us taking part in their Selfie Competition in London, social media even allowed Vicky to take part from back at the Citrus office in Newport!

Isn’t that what social media is meant to be? Being social and putting a name to a face. The name Facebook didn’t come about by accident, it literally is a book of faces! And when people think about your business, you want to appear trustworthy and transparent, but above all personable.

A current example of the power of social media comes from a personal experience, back in February 2015. Birnbeck Pier in Weston-super-Mare was featured on the BBC’s Inside Out program; ‘Is there a future for Birnbeck Pier?’ Actor Timothy West spoke about his love for Birnbeck Pier and wanting to see it saved, having been closed to the public for 21 years now.

I went to Westcliff Art College, which overlooked Birnbeck Pier (now luxury apartments) and I have really fond memories of going out on photography assignments and always being drawn back to the mysterious and beautiful derelict Birnbeck. So seeing her in that sad state, I felt I needed to do something about it and help the cause in some way.

So I vowed from that day on that I would tweet one photo a day until Birnbeck was saved!

So 142 tweets later, I truly believe that their Facebook and Twitter accounts have played a significant part in providing constant awareness to this cause. Of course, not forgetting the many Friends of the Old Pier (FOTOP) who have been working tirelessly over the years to resurrect Birnbeck. But back when this campaign first started the likes of facebook, twitter and Instagram didn’t even exist! Furthermore, having Justin Lee Collins’ backing (originally contacted through Twitter) helps provide a well-known face to a virtually-unknown historical building. Therefore, I really think the Birnbeck Regeneration Trust campaign is well on its way to going viral; all thanks to the power of YOU.

So by engaging your customers with frequent, relevant content you can add a whole new dimension to customer service, but you’d be surprised how many estate and lettings agents still aren’t using it to their full advantage.

It’s easy and cost efficient to build your brand through social media, and it shows that you and your business are embracing new ways customer interaction.

So have a look at your website right now and ask yourself; are you a faceless company? If the answer is yes, then please get in touch with the Citrus team today!

Are you embracing the modern way of working?

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I’ve always loved the idea of working from home but whenever I Googled terms like ‘work from home’ or ‘be your own boss’ it would always cough-up the same dodgy looking websites, offering an unobtainable pipe-dream; when in fact all they want to do is rob you blind!!

And then a couple of years ago Yahoo slapped a big ban on their employees working from home, which (for many) was seen as the first ‘nail in the coffin’ for home-workers. CEO, Marissa Mayer, left hundreds of her staff facing a tough choice between relocating from home to Yahoo’s nearest office or quitting, as part of her vision of a ‘new era of collaboration’. However Richard Branson has recently spoken out about Yahoo’s controversial decision, branding it a big mistake. The Virgin Group founder believes that companies who forbid their employees from working from home put pressure on families, whilst limiting opportunities for women.

Branson: “Unless you have a technical job like flying a plane, you can probably do it from home.”

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I know working from home isn’t everyone’s cup-of-tea, especially for those of you who need continual guidance and have a short attention span, but when I saw a (rare) opportunity to work as a remote personal assistant I jumped at the chance. Fortunately (!!) the position had already been filled, and not long after I was offered an even better role working from home with Citrus Content, and since then I haven’t looked back!

Why do I like working from home? … Well:

  1. There’s no commute (I don’t drive!)
  2. Work via my own initiative (This is how I work best!)
  3. No formalities to adhere to (e.g. I can dye my hair whatever colour I like!)

Our approach to content writing is equally as refreshing as Andrea’s approach to business. This is because at Citrus we aren’t confined by stuffy offices or corporate nonsense, as our main focus is finding and creating the voice of your business.

The general consensus of those who don’t work from home seem to think it must take a phenomenal amount of self-discipline, if you don’t have to be there at a set time or have any outside pressure to be continually busy and motivated. But I don’t agree, as I believe if you’re truly passionate, enjoy the work that you do and respect and get on well with your co-workers and boss; the drive to excel and work hard will come naturally.

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There are lots of ways to keep on track from home, and as a company we use Bitrix24; a free social enterprise platform for small businesses. Offering a complete suite of social collaboration, communication and management tools, it allows me to still feel part of the office event though I’m not based there. It helps me to stay on target with deadlines, store helpful dates, keep in contact with the Citrus team via in-built video chat and much, much more.

Citrus Content as a company embraces flexible working, believing that a happy workforce is a productive one. So as a business, what with recent and continual advances in technology, why wouldn’t you embrace the modern way of working?

Ask yourself this: are you limiting your work forces productivity by doing so? …

- Samii.

Our Top 5 Reasons Why Blogs Convert into Sales

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At Citrus Content we pride ourselves on the blog service we give our clients.  Each blog post is written exclusively for the client and we ensure that their voice shines through.  Working with our clients we cover a multitude of issues, news and inspiration within the property and interior sector.

1. The Facts

We know why blog posts are powerful for your business and therefore we would like to share with you some facts.

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2. More Facts

It’s all in the name: Citrus Content

We are proud that our blog post service has won awards for our clients.  Recently one of our clients disclosed that using Citrus Content has provided increased traffic to their site by 400%.  In addition, our clients are part of the 62% of companies who outsource their marketing – the facts and figures speak for themselves.

  • Blogs can assist you with the effective promotion of a service or product. (Convertwithcontent)
  • Websites with Blogs have 434% more indexed pages (helps search engines & SEO efforts) and 97 % more inbound links. (U.addresstwo)
  • 84% of inbound marketers – compared to only 9% of outbound marketers – cite organic sources (blogging, SEO, social media) as rising in importance. (HubSpot State of Inbound, 2014)
  • Blogs can give you credibility and authority. (Convertwithcontent)
  • 46% of people read blogs more than once a day. (HubSpot Science of Blogging, 2010)
  • SEO is out. Blogging is in. (Convertwithcontent)

3. Show Your Expertise

Blogs are an effective way of showcasing your expertise.  As a leader within your organisation you have a wealth of knowledge that should be shared with your clients.  Clients like to do business with experts, they want to know they are in safe hands.  Telling your story is a way of connecting with them on another level.  We help you put your thoughts into words.

4. To Have a Voice

Every business has a voice, it encompasses your USP’s, your ethos and your personality.  Every piece of content you produce should speak in your voice as clients can connect with a voice rather than a corporate image.  We know how to find your voice and ensure it’s consistent in everything you produce.

5. To Engage with your Clients

Being engaging is about showing a piece of you and your personality.  Engaging content not only creates sharable content that will increase awareness of your company but it will also encourage loyalty.  We make sure you engage.

Why Blogs Convert into Sales

The facts speak for themselves and through your expertise, voice and engagement and instead of chasing sales, sales will come to you.

If you are thinking of outsourcing your blog and are interested in how we can benefit your company then get in touch today.

My new Citrus beginnings

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Letting you in, opening up, talking to myself…all facts and fears about writing my first blog! To imagine someone who is the class clown but would never read aloud, who loves to sing but can’t find her voice is completely me.  My new found confidence has been thrust upon me by my “pushy mother” style boss lady Andrea Morgan suggesting I write a blog so here goes…

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So far 2014 has been a year for all things “new”.  New baby, new house, new job. All positives you would think but they have also come with new fears, new pressure and new worries. My aim of the year is to turn the few negatives, which will never get their air time in my blog, in to more and more positives! My beautiful new baby, a constant positive who makes me smile and be silly every day. My new house, a home for my family, transformed by my fiancé and never to be completed. My new job, an unexpected encounter with endless opportunities.

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Citrus Content so far has been refreshing, inspiring and exciting! In the space of a month I have gone from working with dreary CXO’s to the interior design and content writing industry. The splash of colour has been a huge welcome to my new life and every day I am learning and smiling; both as refreshing as Citrus Content aims to be!

Working at home and in our new office gives me a balanced work life although some of my work doesn’t feel like “work”! Each client has their own needs and my work allows me to help them in various ways of never ending content and sharing all with an aim to grow their business and ours. “Our business” Andrea has encouraged me to use “our” and “we” which has made me feel so at home in a company which was her baby. This has all added to my continued passion for the job and eagerness to grow together and with whoever else wants to join us on this ride to the top!

At Citrus work never stops, finding great websites and products, sharing our work and stories on social media and working with interesting clients! I have 3 aims for my future here:

Never stop learning. Never stop growing. Never stop smiling.

Lessons from my Double Life

Lessons from my Double Life

Twelve months ago I started Citrus Content, I had no idea about what to expect but knew I could make it successful.  At the time I was working full time and like most families in the UK we needed two incomes to pay the mortgage so I began leading a double life.  By day I would go through the motions of the employed, rush home and spend some family time, then off to my office to start work on my business.  No matter what people tell you about leading a double life, the facts are it is exhausting, exciting, stressful and yet so much fun.  As of the 1 August, I ended my double life and now focusing solely on Citrus Content, I just feel like a huge weight has been lifted.  For those of you taking the tentative steps into a double life I hope that these tips will help.

Sacrifices

Your family and friends will suffer no matter how much you try and organise your work round them.  It is impossible to dedicate 100% to your business and still give your family the amount of time they need and deserve.  I virtually became a hermit for 12 months trying to juggle everything.  Set one time in the week that you set aside for family time.  I used to set Sunday day as our family day, I would make sure we did something special on that day even if the day could only be for 3-4 hours.  I found it more difficult as we have had serious illnesses in the family which have also been emotionally stressful to add to the mix.

Sleep

You think you have felt tiredness before? Think again.  Yes you sacrifice that completely, when I did get to bed around 1am, I would restlessly be thinking of all the things that needed doing and how was I going to squeeze them round everything else?  Sleep when you know you really need it.  You will get to a point when you know you need to sleep, I would sometimes have a siesta when I got home from work, just to recharge.  When you finish work, you will sleep better than you have slept in a long time trust me.

You will let people down

Unfortunately this was my biggest bug bear.  With my personal blog Trying to Balance the Madness, I had some many good intentions to showcase people and companies. I was asked to write a number of guest blogs which I wanted to do,  but if my client work took all my ‘free’ time this got pushed back.  I’m ashamed to admit that a lot of work I intended to do for other people is yet to be done.  To those people this affected I am truly sorry!  Learn to say NO! yes OK I was rubbish at this, but since leaving work I am more careful on what I accept unless I can honestly work it into my schedule, the last thing I want to do is let down a paying client.

Growth will be stunted

I am not being harsh it’s just that you will spend all your ‘free’ time working on your client work, it is hard to put in the hours required to strategically grow your business.  You also need to think about whether you can manage any growth.  I reached a point where I knew I couldn’t accept any new clients as I physically didn’t have the hours in the day to achieve anything more.  Know how much growth you can realistically manage, once you have stopped your double life, this question doesn’t go away but the way you are able to manage growth changes.

Should your clients know?

This is only a question you can answer, you know your clients.  I never promoted the fact that I was employed, but some of my clients knew my situation and some didn’t.  I didn’t want any client thinking that their work was being affected as I was working full time.  You will be surprised to know how many business owners are leading a double life – many that you don’t even expect. 

I know that the last 12 months of my double life has been one of the hardest things I have ever had to do but wow was it worth it.  In just 12 months I have managed to build a business I am proud of, that is successful and I can see so much in it’s future.  Thank you to all my amazing clients that have made my first year in business so pleasurable.

If you are thinking of leading a double life, remember like in most things, you only get out of it what you put into it.

 

Happy Christmas

Dear All

Wishing you a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year.

With best wishes

Andrea x

The Post-it Wall of Fear

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Last night, as I sat at my desk looking at the wall of Post-it notes in front of me, I began to get scared.  I felt as though this black cloud was hovering over me, the weight pressing on my slumped shoulders.  I felt overwhelmed.  Each Post-it represented a piece of work I needed to do, emails to send, blog posts to write, projects to complete.  They were staring at me as if calling my name, haunting me with their presence and draining my energy.

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It’s hard to start a business, and even harder when you are still employed.  Every second is so precious as though it was a rare jewel for the taking.  I balance my life between work, family and business my supportive husband encouraging my every step.

Stepping-stones

I have so many things I want to do for my blog, my business and my writing.  I have a mystery story constantly itching to spill out on a page, ideas for my blog and vision for my business.  I will get there, I have a plan, and every day I am moving closer to this dream.

I took a deep breath.

I the looked at the wall again.  This wall didn’t represent fear, it was magical, inspirational and rewarding.  Who would have thought when I started Citrus Content I would have been contracted for such a variety of projects and with fantastic companies.

* Writing articles for print and online
* Social media campaigns
* Marketing a websites
* Writing website content

I am loving every minute of it.

This is my wall

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My wall represents by business, my future, my dream.