An introduction to Trusted Wills & Probate Ltd – My Journey, by Natalie Chapman

My name is Natalie Chapman and I am the company director of Trusted Wills & Probate Ltd plus a ‘stay at home’ mum to my twins and wife to Darren.

Where it all began

Prior to the twins arriving, my life was pretty ‘normal’ (whatever that is!) I worked for a big international law firm, I was studying towards my Legal Executive qualification and my career was progressing steadily. I always thought that I would work within law firms, being a ‘working mum’ when I did eventually have children, and steadily work my way up the ranks – I didn’t really know any different. Once I fell pregnant with the twins, my views didn’t really change and I even booked them a place at the local nursery when I was still pregnant.

But, as soon as the twins arrived everything changed!

I no longer wanted to work long hours in the office away from my babies. So the decision was made that I would be a ‘stay at home mum’ but on the provision that finish my Legal Executive qualification, so I had something to fall back on.

I remember starting my studies when the twins were around 4 months old and I sat my final exam about 16 months later – that was the hardest time of my life!! I basically studied every minute that the twins slept, the house was a mess and poor Darren hardly saw me at all!

Once my study was behind me, and yes, I passed all my exams, I was enjoying the time off with the twins but it didn’t take long for me to realise that I was missing working – there is only such many nursery rhymes, abc’s, 123’s and park visits I can handle before realising I needed something more challenging.

Trusted-Wills.co.uk was born

After a little bit of research, I discovered a Consultancy role with a sister company of The Society of Will Writers and soon realised that I could possibly have my cake and eat it – I could stay at home with the twins to watch them grow and help them develop, and work on a career in an area that I have actually qualified and trained in.

One year later I was given the opportunity to set up my own business and become a member of the Society of Will Writers; this is when Trusted-Wills.co.uk was born.

The ‘big’ move

We moved back to Norfolk in August 2014 and it was time for me to build the business here in Norfolk. After settling the twins into nursery and the new area, I had to dedicate some time to establishing Trusted-Wills in the local area.

I realised quite quickly that Norfolk businesses were very keen on networking and most Norfolk people like to ‘buy local’. I attended some networking events, met some awesome people, gained some wonderful clients and Trusted-Wills started to take shape.

I have successfully helped a number of clients, all with varying backgrounds and a variety of needs, with services including Will Writing, preparing Lasting Power of Attorney and setting up Trusts.

I personally visited each of these clients and enjoyed my time getting to know each of them, including listening to their tales and stories.

Trusted Wills & Probate Ltd – the expansion

The twins have now started school which has enabled me a little bit more time to grow the business.

After helping so many clients with their Will Writing and Estate Planning needs, I have now re-trained to offer Probate services as part of my business; Trusted Wills & Probate Ltd was born.

So as you can see my life has completely changed since having the twins.

I have gone from working at a big international law firm Monday-Friday (plus overtime!) to being a ‘stay at home mum’ and having my own business to develop and grow.

Setting up ‘Trusted Wills’ has enabled me to stay at home to look after my twins and continue with my legal career. It has been, and continues to be, extremely hard work (and a struggle at times!) but I am enjoying the whole experience. I have always enjoyed meeting and getting to know new people so this seems like the perfect combination.

Thank you for reading my journey!

Natalie Chapman

About the author:

Natalie is the director of Trusted Wills & Probate Ltd, which provides a full range of Will Writing and Estate Planning services in the Norfolk Area; including Wills, Trusts, Lasting Power of Attorney and Probate services.
They offer a wide range of services to protect your loved ones and your assets, providing you with much needed peace of mind. The team take the time to get to know you, your family and your wishes to ensure that they are providing you with the right service. No matter how complicated your situation may be, they will work with you to find the right solution.
They offer appointments that are convenient for you, in the comfort of your own home and at a time to suit you – including evenings and weekends!

 

6 steps to creating a super powerful direct mail campaign

Despite the growth of online marketing and social media, direct mail campaigns are still a vital part of the content marketing mix. Particularly for local bricks and mortar businesses with an audience limited to a certain geographical area.

In fact, for some of my locally based clients I’ve found a simple leaflet campaign to be several more times effective than online marketing or advertising.

From raising awareness with potential new customers to informing your regular clientele of new products and services or advertising an exclusive discount or special offer, a direct mail campaign offers one-to-one contact with potential customers and – done right – can result in some pretty impressive conversion rates.

Here’s how to get it right.

  1. Plan at least a few weeks ahead

When it comes to creating and running direct mail, it pays to plan ahead. The further the better!

The needs and wants of your customers vary throughout the year and you’ll achieve a better response rate if you connect with their immediate requirements. Planning also gives you more time to create the look and feel of your campaign with your design and content team.

For example, if you’re a beauty business, there’s not much point in offering a spray tan discount in the middle of winter. But a skin rejuvenating facial or a January pamper and products discount might be much better received.

Theme your campaigns with the seasonal needs of your customers, offering a discount on your most relevant services.

  1. Keep it super simple

If you’re mailing out a postcard or flyer, then your creative space will be limited. Less is definitely more for a direct mail campaign; in fact, trying to oversell a product can often have the opposite effect.

Your mailing should communicate what is necessary to compel the customer to buy, nothing more. A great headline, a brief explanation of your news, services or offer, a client quote to boost credibility and contact details are usually all you need.

  1. Consider your branding

Online or off, your brand should always be at the centre of your communications. A direct mail campaign should be eye-catching – it needs to stand out in a crowded post box – but the design should always reflect your wider brand strategy.

  1. Include a sample

People LOVE free stuff! Selling products over the Internet can be challenging as consumers are often unable to touch and feel the product before buying. A direct mail campaign provides you with the opportunity to get your product right into the customer’s hands. Include a small sample with your campaign so the customer can try before they buy.

  1. Think green – because your customers might!

Many consumers are now conscious of environmental issues. Most people recycle and they expect companies they do business with to take a responsible view on how their day-to-day business affects the world around them. Developing an eye-catching flyer that is also environmentally friendly could boost your campaign conversion rate.

  1. Consider your direct mail campaign an investment

When it comes to content creation there’s a lot you can DIY these days. Canva and PicMonkey allow entrepreneurs to create their own flyers, posters and rack cards for free or at minimal cost and provide a PDF download option that can then be passed onto a printer. Investing in a good quality print service will appeal to consumers’ belief that they are buying something of value.

Remember, your campaign represents your brand and business, so if the perceived value is low based on how the communication looks, consumers are unlikely to make a purchase. If you need help, bring in the experts. A professional designer or copywriter may require an initial outlay, but you’ve got a much better chance of making your money back (and then some) with a first-class campaign.

Kerry Brind

About the author:

Kerry Brind is a Content Marketing Coach and SEO Stylist. Founder of Write to Win Business, she works with fabulous female entrepreneurs, teaching them how to attract, compel and convert more clients with amazing content and SEO. A frequent HBB speaker, Kerry can be found dispensing daily content advice in her free Facebook Group: She Writes to Win Business.

 

Professional Photography Tips for Great Website Images

Hi, I am Jess a mother too two gorgeous children and lucky enough to own and run my own business as a newborn and family photographer.

I wanted to share some tips for improving your photographs, perfect if you are new to the self-employment world or if you need a few new images for your website to keep it fresh.

Here are my top tips to achieving good photos for your website…
Light is the most important factor

The word photography comes from the Greek language and means drawing with light. If you are shooting indoors its best to pick the time of day where it is not too dark. But also perhaps avoid midday where the light maybe too bright & blinding. Watch the time of day in the place you wish to shoot in, make a note of what time of day works best

Declutter

Look around the subject you wish to photograph, ensure there is nothing that distract the eye away from it

Backdrop

If you sell products it is worth investing in a backdrop that you can use over and over again, this makes it identifiable to you and your brand. it can be a paper roll from creativity or school supplies . A plain block colour like grey or white are great options – it should fit with your brand and styling though. Also look around you. Can you use a wall, or flooring? – think outside the box

Composing

Ensure what you are photographing is in frame clearly, crop in if needs be. If its a product take images from different angles this gives you an opportunity to show more detail

Size matters

When uploading images to your website check the settings for the optimal size they should be. You do not want people to be squinting nor do you want the page to take ages to load because of a giant sized image. (my website and images look best around 1800 × 1440)

Invest

When it comes to headshots I would highly recommend hiring a professional for this part, look for commercial photographers with good reputations. If this is not an option for a while, dress in clothes that represent you but are not distracting avoid patterns/spots choose simple colours (avoid white). Make sure you are not shooting up your nose, and easier said than done – keep relaxed. Try breathing out a deep breath just before smiling

If you have a baby related business in need of some photographs please get in touch. I offer discounts to businesses who cater for babies (Just quote SFPS)

Jess Wilkins Photography

About the author:

Jess is a newborn and family photographer based in Norwich. She captures beautiful images of babies & children, focusing on emotions and the little details. If you would like natural and timeless portraits of your bump, baby, toddler or family, visit her website, Facebook page, or email her on info@jesswilkinsphotography.co.uk to book in.