Once Upon A Time 6 – the story continues

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Spurred on by own desire to share more about the work I do and the things I learn along the way, plus the fact that I was at an event recently which is all about sharing your great content with your network, I’ve taken some time out to write up my notes and a few tips from that event to share here.

Once Upon A Time’ is a regular event in Bournemouth, focussed on storytelling, hosted by Mark Masters from the ID group. It’s always a good event, great speakers and nice guests. What’s not to like? I went to the first event and this sixth one. They just keep coming with fantastic speakers and opportunities to meet good people.

Four speakers took turns to share their ‘stories’ about why they do what they do and how their businesses have come to be.

Ernest Capbert, Who Buys Your Stuff?

First up Ernest Capbert, of Who Buys Your Stuff? What a great proposition and clear name for this start-up which finds out exactly that, who buys your stuff. The purpose of this business is so simple, yet so desirable for any SME, that sitting there listening to Ernest, I just can’t believe that no one else is not doing this already. And it appears they’re not, sure there’s market research organisations and the like but they have almost created an industry out of their own complex and drawn out approaches to understanding customers.

Who buys your stuff takes a different approach that is totally refreshing, straightforward (although the tech is clearly very complex, bordering on voodoo magic) and compelling for any business. Being able to hone your budgets and efforts to focus clearly on your lead customer persona has to be better than second guessing or using ABCs that have little or no meaning in today’s society. From my point of view as a communicator I always try to imagine who’s reading my content for my clients and what we need them to do as a result. Who buys your stuff takes away the guess-work for any business that needs to communicate – that’s every business….

Damien Lee, Mr Lee’s Noodles

Next it was Mr Lee’s Noodles that we heard all about, from creator and owner Damien Lee. I was a little distracted during this talk. I had missed lunch, the talk of noodles just made my tummy rumble. Mr Lee’s story was compelling.  His colourful work life came to an abrupt pause when he faced a diagnosis of stage four cancer and he was given just weeks to live. It all got a bit serious.

But it’s clear Damien doesn’t just accept stuff and he didn’t sit back and take the diagnosis lying down. He took the chemo, took charge of his own diet and against the odds he has recovered. The experience meant he passionately cares about food and what people eat, Mr Lee’s Noodles was born. With some big contracts in the bag you can expect to see this super-healthy, nasties-free, tasty and hot convenience food in a place near you soon. Universities and airlines are just the start.


Mark Walker, Eventbrite

After a short break and the chance to try Mr Lee’s noodles (which were delicious), Mark Walker, from Eventbrite UK took to the stage and shared his tips on creating and sharing great content.

Mark has publishing to the Brite Blog for Eventbrite UK down to a tee. Consistently creating and publishing great content for event managers that enable them to solve their own problems has proved to be hugely popular and drives traffic and customers to the business.

They publish two pieces of great content each day Monday to Thursday all with the aim to help people to make amazing events.

Mark shared his three top tips

  1. Planning – being prepared and planning your content in advance is essential
  2. Passion – really caring about what you do, or what you are is vital to bring your audience something that stands out. Do it because you believe in it, not because you think you should do it…
  3. Progress – Know where you are and where you want to be, track your progress with data. Not data for vanity sake but real metrics that show the difference your content is making.

Mark told us, When people share it’s because they identify with the content – it’s about who they are and what they believe. Some of the Brite Blog’s most viewed and shared content is the ‘How to’ pieces. Note to self and everyone – do more on ‘How to’.  Plus ‘epic fails’ are also great reads – when stuff goes wrong people love to read about it. Show the world it’s ok to fail. Reach out to people and share with them.

The great news for events is that despite our social networks and connected world, we still love nothing more than getting together in person and events are of course the opportunity to make that happen.

Mark Cribb, Urban Guild

Local entrepreneur and owner of the Urban Guild group of businesses, Mark Cribb was last to share his story but certainly not least. Mark is brimming with enthusiasm for his business and firmly believes in great, honest hospitality.

From the iconic pineapple design used across the Urban Guild brand and how the pineapple has been used for 800 plus years to symbolise hospitality, to the very honest story of how Mark has mortgaged and borrowed to build his dream, reinvesting every penny in profit back into the business and the hard work he, his wife and his teams have invested to make Urban Guild work.

Mark used a quote from Danny Meyer: “In our first 30 seconds on earth we get… eye contact, a smile, a hug and some food.” This epitomises the approach to service and business at Urban Guild.

With the Urban Beach hotel, Urban Reef restaurant on the seafront, Urban Renaissance café in the Russell Cotes museum and Jenkins and Sons bar and restaurant, Mark is not planning to stop there. But neither is he planning a chain of Urbans… but rather a host of unique and friendly places to meet, eat, drink and have a ‘hug’ (check out their website about the hug club). He’s one to watch as the Urban Guild continues to capture the hearts of foodies and beer buffs in Bournemouth and Poole.

What struck me was the passion and energy for the brand and how that is maintained through the culture of the business. With a growing enterprise it can be hard for entrepreneurs to keep a steer on the culture inside the business. I arranged to grab a coffee with Mark to find out and there will be a post about that soon.


My top takeaways from this event

  1. Ernest Capbert (@ecapbert), Co Founder of Who Buys Your Stuff? – Know your customer and connect with that persona. Go beyond the classic groupings and stereotypes – they don’t fit the modern world.
  2. Damien Lee (@damienleelee) Founder of Mr Lee’s Noodles – Never give up on your big ideas. Tenacity and purpose pays off.
  3. Mark Walker (@jfdimark) UK Head of Content Marketing for Eventbrite  – Planned and purposeful content does really work – jfdi (see Mark’s twitter name)
  1. Mark Cribb (@markcribb) Founder of Urban Guild – Be human – every business is about people, but few more so than the business of hospitality – At Urban Guild you get a hug of human kindness.

I can’t help but love this

Thanks for stopping by, here are some other posts on Once Upon A Time six

Ernest Capbert, Co Founder Who Buys Your Stuff?

Darren Slade, Daily Echo, Bournemouth

Kherrin Wade Digital Strategist at Adido





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