New Workshop – PicMonkey & Canva

Use PicMonkey & Canva?

A Canva Collage made in PicMonkey (shocking I know)If you’re on any social media platforms, do you use PicMonkey & Canva? I’ve been using both of these platforms for about three or four years now I think.

While I don’t profess to be the greatest designer, by any stretch, both of these sites do make my online efforts infinitely better.

They are a perfect way to make collages, to add URLs to photos, create business cards, marketing materials or cover header photos for the various channels. Some people have a preference for these tools but I love them equally – for different things.

Creating Killer Graphics in Picmonkey & Canva

Last Fall, after delivering the blogging course in Kilmarnock (for Business Gateway Ayrshire), I was asked to create a workshop to use these tools. Only too delighted to this one, I’ve been watching countless hours of tutorials. Even though, as I already said, I use these every day…I learn something new each time I do it.

Today I did something I’ve never done before, I created what I call a cool “cut out graphic” of the word Scotland. I took an image I used from last year’s Route 500 trip (taken in Ullapool) as the image in the background. While it’s not perfect by any means, I did find that I really liked the idea and effect. What do you think?

Scotland Cut out using Picmonkey

Other BG Training Courses

While it is my intention to segue into a different career this year, I am grateful for a number of dates I’ve been asked to cover for Business Gateway in both Ayrshire and Renfrewshire. These are in addition to my one-to-one training – which is my preferred work, to be honest. This week all my work is that one-to-one work, starting with a trip to Biggar tomorrow.

If you’re in Scotland and in business (or considering starting a business) it’s well worth taking advantage of the FREE Business Gateway courses and Events.

Wisely or not, I always tend to recommend the FREE courses before anyone actually pays me for training. Unless someone specifically ones the one to one tuition, which I am always happy to do!

February 2017 – Southsiders in Business & More

There are a number of great and noteworthy events on the horizon for anyone who’s interested in Networking in Glasgow.

First up, there is the Southsiders in Business event at the Village (first Wed of every month).

After that, there is Collabor8te’s Communic8te morning event (Valentine’s Day).

Also on the horizon is a MadeBrave event in Glasgow.

For those venturing East – there are a few for your diary. The first Communic8te in the Capital and Digital Transformations too. If you would like any more info on any of those or more, feel free to leave a comment here or tweet me!

Next time I’ll hopefully write about my experience in Collabor8te, the co-working space in Glasgow. I highly recommend it,…

Linkedin Perceptions Across Scotland

Linkedin Love

If you have ever met me, or read anything I’ve ever written here or on Social Media, you’ll know that I love Linkedin. (Well most of the time. Except when people are posting lame stuff that at best belongs on Facebook, but that’s a topic for another day.)

“Linkedin is the de facto place for business people globally to connect with one another, to find jobs, to look for employees, and increasingly to consume content” – said by “David”, on a video on AOL SEE: LinkedIn just moved into a new skyscraper in San Francisco and the offices are unlike anything we’ve ever seen before

New Linkedin rooftop SF
Pic: Tony Chung, Linkedin, Click to view this and many more on AOL

It’s been a busy month or two training in Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Edinburgh. Aberdeen, Campbeltown and before that Uist. Most recently was some “Digital Boost” training in Kirkwall, the Orkney Islands. Each audience is a little different. There are some things however that are universal. This post will talk about the similarities and the differences I’ve been encountering as I’ve been traveling the length and breadth of Scotland delivering some “Digital Boost” courses.

Social Media Training - Benbecula Uist

Regional Variations of LIKEDIN IN SCOTLAND

What is most interesting to me about doing all of these courses are the regional variations. What do I mean by that? Well, on Uist, a few weeks ago, the group of delegates on my “Advanced Social Media” course (pictured above) were very interested in learning more about Linkedin, and how they could utilise it to grow their network and promote their businesses.

Earlier this week, however, on Orkney it was a case of Linkedin was perceived to be a place for “boring suits”. I am not sure how Linkedin will go about changing that perception or if it will even try. Last month, as I previously blogged about, I trained students across Scotland in it. So students are now starting to see its merits. They’ve lowered the age to join Linkedin to 14!

Another person on one of my Glasgow, Business Gateway  training courses also had the perception of Linkedin not being relevant for her business. The girl was a dog walker. Really? Not relevant? “Who runs businesses?” I asked? People. People run businesses. People have dogs. People who work and run businesses would need her services!

So yeah, it’s time that Scotland woke up and changed some of its perceptions. Linkedin is useful and not really just “a bunch of boring suits”.

Frankly, I am neither boring or a suit, and I am active on Linkedin daily.

What I Do on Linkedin, Daily? I:

  • post pictures – some I’ve taken, some I find, and some I actually create in picmonkey or canva
  • ask for advice, feedback or recommendations from my network
  • add new connections to my network
  • share helpful, interesting, relevant content I source or share other people’s content or posts
  • message, congratulate or like my connections activities on Linkedin
  • offer tips on how to use it
  • write/publish updates and long form blog posts
  • respond to people’s postings, questions,  comments – basically have conversations

How much time does all that take?

Another question I get is how much time does all of this take. The main complaint that all business I train seem to have is the time factor. There are not enough hours in the day to run our businesses, keep our books, market our business, etc. I know. I get that. The amount of time I can spend on Linkedin might be a few minutes or it could be hours.

The fact is today, pretty much EVERY BUSINESS has to be somewhere online. You don’t have to be on every channel but you need to be somewhere.

Pick one and “own it”. By that I mean do it well. Make sure it’s where your customers actually are. If you’re target demographic is tweens – then you will want to be on SnapChat or Instagram – probably not Linkedin. So before embarking on setting up any Social Media channels – make sure you know who you’re marketing to and where they are online.

Use Tools

I often advise people use a tool like HootSuite to schedule posts across the week, but I haven’t always done that myself, for Linkedin anyway.  I have for Twitter for years…

Use tools like HootSuite to schedule Linkedin posts

Only recently did I think it would be good to start to schedule my posts on Linkedin, in addition to some of my “of the moment posts”. Using tools will allow you to schedule posts across the week consistently – should you choose.

Tap Into Your Network

Picture of Calmac Ferry - Thea Newcomb 2004How do I use my network? Well, this morning I was booked to deliver some more training in Bute. I’ve never been to Bute, so one of the first places I went was to Linkedin to ask my network for advice on how to get there (specifically should I take my car on the ferry) and where to stay once I get to Rothesay.

Sure I could “Google it” – but I like to hear from my own network, whom I trust to share their feedback. When it comes to online success, it’s “trust” that is the name of the game. People do business with people they “know, like and trust” – so you need to use your Social Media activities to build it. Linkedin, in my opinion, is a great place to do just that.

If you need some help with Linkedin, then feel free to get in touch. Connect with me there or tweet me!

Another area that most regions seem to be interested in is blogging. After Linkedin, that’s arguably my next favourite training to deliver…Perhaps blog about blogging next time! Until then….

Linkedin Across Scotland 2016


It seems that 2016 has kicked off with a ton of varied Linkedin training for me. It’s taking me from Ayr all the way up to Aberdeen and honestly I can’t wait. Though it’s not the sexiest of all the social media platforms it is actually the one that benefits me most in all of my businesses, so I can’t help but be excited about teaching the merits to other SMEs.

Last month I was invited down to the Ayrshire Business Woman’s AGM. I gave three 20-minute lightning fast Linkedin sessions to the ladies there. It was a blast. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and got some flowers and a lovely meal in return.


Linkedin Training - Business Gateway

This month I covered for Stephen Whitelaw at Hillington for Business Gateway. I love doing that course so was grateful when I was asked to cover it for him. We had a good group of people across many sectors so the engagement in the room was fantastic. The delegates can make or break the course for me (and I suppose I for them). I highly encourage anyone in Scotland and in business to take advantage of the FREE courses that Business Gateway provides. If not my classes than my many colleagues who deliver training across the entire country.


What’s different about this month is that I’ve been asked to speak at four Scottish universities to teach some CMI students about the merits of Linkedin now too.

The first university, of the four, that I have visited was Paisley. It’s been a long time since I was on the Paisley UWS campus and boy, has it changed!

What was interesting for me was hearing from these graduates about what they’re hoping to achieve from the platform.  Many are looking for their first jobs or internships and they’re just at the beginning of building their networks and getting endorsements and recommendations.

Linkedin is the perfect place for all those goals – jobs, internships, endorsements, recommendations and building a network.

In addition to the Business Gateway training, in Hillington, and the various universities in Scotland, I’ve also been delivering some one to one training with SMEs, across Lanarkshire. That is fast becoming one of my favourite types of training because I can sit with the individual companies and work on their personal strategies. There are a few more companies to receive the one-to-one (or two) training this month and I for one couldn’t be happier.

So if you need some help with getting to grips with Linkedin – feel free to reach out to me on 0141 416 1492 or leave a comment on the board and I’ll come back to you. Otherwise do sign up for the Linkedin course that Business Gateway offers. It probably woo’t be me but I am sure it will be invaluable to you just the same!

Put Your Contact Details on Linkedin

Linkedin Training

It’s not the most sexy social media channel, I’ll grant you, but I love Linkedin. I use the site daily, why? Well, I’ve made amazing connections, scored a funded trip to Cannes, and recruited more than a dozen people to my Younique team – all through using it.

This month and next, I have the benefit of delivering several Linkedin training courses across across Scotland from Ayrshire to Aberdeen. Some of the audiences will be students and some SME (Small to Medium Enterprises). Some of the information will be tailored and some will be general – aimed at anyone who is on linkedin.

It’s among my favourite courses to teach so I update presentation regularly. Today I decided to take a survey of my own connections to see how many had actually put their contact details in. Many of whom had not made the effort.

Linkedin is a Professional Network

Because Linkedin is a professional network, you’re more than likely on there (if you are on there and you should be on there) to get work, get customers or recruit talent. If you don’t take the time to fill out your profile with your various details – website, phone number, email address – then you may be missing out on some warm leads.

Are your relevant details on Linkedin?

Of those connections that I surveyed, less than half had put in their phone number. You have the options to have it public or available to just your connections. If you don’t want to give your mobile then do what I do and invest in a SkypeIn number. I have an 0141 number for the UK and a silicon valley 408 number for the USA (all for the price of a pub meal each month). It’s so worth it.

Add your website details to linkedinFew connections had take the time to put in their website/s information. Many when they did, just left “Company Website”, “Personal Website”, “Portfolio” or “Blog”.

Most of us have some website that we can put and therefor potentially drive traffic to – even if that’s a social media channel.

To edit these details – edit your profile, go to your contact details and where the website details are select the option called ‘Other’. It will then allow you to type in the name of your various websites. It’s good for SEO so be sure to do that.

In summary, if you’re on Linkedin now, then please go and check what contact details are available in your profile. Make sure you’re giving a profile viewer a variety of options to reach out to connect with and do business with you or you may be missing out!

You’re welcome.

Hello November – What’s on the Horizon?

Hello November from’s been a fairly busy time in the life of Thea this past month, but nothing like what November will hold in store (if all that’s in the diary goes to plan). This month is filled with training, workshops, networking, and a conference or two as well.

Glasgow, Southsiders in Business


This week kicks it all off with the Southsiders in Business. It’s a networking group in Glasgow that I believe was started by my colleague Liam Bonthron and ran for several years. It stopped for Summer 2014 and didn’t get a reboot until I’d finally badgered him so hard, for so long, he relented and we relaunched it last month in its new location. The new venue is now the Village Hotel which is opposite the BBC & Science Centre at Pacific Quay. It was always on a Tuesday but conflicted with another event and thus has now been moved to Wednesdays. For the first one of 2015 – over thirty-five businesses popped in for some informal networking. For this one eighty have already RSVPd. I wrote a wee post on Linkedin with more details if you’re interested.

Linkedin in the Capital

Speaking of Linkedin, (I do love that platform), I’ll be giving a big talk for one of the Chartered Institutes in Edinburgh on that very subject.

It was both a pleasure and surprise to be asked to speak by someone who attended one of my talks at Thrive Networking in the Corinthian some two years ago.

So when it comes to giving talks – and doing networking – you never know where things could lead to. It can take time before anything comes of it.

As a result of the upcoming talk, I’ve been watching all kinds of Linkedin videos, interviews, webinars and blabs on the subject. The talk is being updated as we speak and I am looking forward to the challenge of appearing in the capital in front a bunch of travel industry professionals.

Back to the Borders

After last month’s workshops down in the Borders for Dumfries and Galloway’s Business Gateway – it seems I did well enough to be asked to do more. The last time was ‘Etail for Retail” and “Introduction to Facebook” but this time it’s “Intro to Social Media”. These intro courses are always a bit of a challenge because invariably you have people at all skillsets showing up and it can be a bit of a “dance” to pitch the content right. Still, will do my best.

Global Entrepreneurship Week

Have also been asked to deliver a talk, “Getting Your First Website” for Business Gateway Renfrewshire. It’s part of a the global event GEW. Their Twitter bio:

“The world’s largest festival of entrepreneurship! Turn your ideas into something amazing and make it happen #GEWmakeit”.

It should be an interesting and thought-provoking week. I hope to see some of the speakers and follow the hashtag for valuable updates. It will be strange as I am effectively given someone else’s talk to do. Hoping I can sort of “make it my own” before the day.

Also for Business Gateway Renfrewshire – I’ll be resuming the eBusiness series of courses run in conjunction with NSDesign. Before anyone wants to actually pay me for training, I tend to recommend they take all the FREE courses that Business Gateway has to offer.

There are some fantastic courses for websites, social media, and other business related topics offered all over Scotland.

New Start Scotland

November also sees the return of New Start Scotland.  I can’t remember if I was even asked by NSDesign to speak this year (I think so) – but I am already training elsewhere on one of the two days (for them!) – so I couldn’t anyway. However, I will go to cheer on my friends that are giving talks. You can find out more about the general New Start workshops here and all my aforementioned friends (and colleagues) giving Social Media talks here.

My Year in Younique

My year in Younique - so far

One week ago I celebrated my one-year anniversary joining up as a Younique Presenter and Sponsor.

I wrote a long, detailed blog about it over on the website, but what I am not sure I really articulated was the fact that I took a chance on something that seemed a bit out of left field for me and it’s become life-changing. Today, November 1, 2015 is the first day we started selling in the UK. About to go on a shopping spree to celebrate. We launched a two new products. I’ll no doubt update that over on my Younique blog in my series “My Week in Younique”.

As I often say, with regards to Younique, I was never a makeupy sort of person. Definitely would never be accused of being glam by any means, and yet I’ve taken to this business and its products like a duck to water. So you see, people can and do change!

It’s a perfect time to #jointheAteam to sell Younique products and make a bit of extra money in time for the holidays or to put toward something you’re saving up for! It’s a fun business in my opinion but it’s not for everyone…as I say  often.

Business Woman Scotland Awards Ceremony

thea-and-ann-mareeAlso this past week my friend Ann-Maree Morrison invited me along to the Business Woman Scotland Awards which were held at the Glasgow Fruitmarket. It was a pretty fun night. Lots of of people there to celebrate women rocking businesses. I had a few friends up for the awards (three nominees at my table in fact). Ann-Maree was up for the first award for digital business but lost out to our table mate Jennifer Hallwood (TEFL UK Org). In any event I’m still proud of Ann-Maree for even being nominated. That’s very cool. If you have kids, why not check out her website –

The overall night was fun. Had some great chats with some fab friends and associates…but I was the very last person in the room to be served and I got violently ill in the middle of the night. No idea what that was about but let’s just say I am not a fan of these group dinners and that’s not the first time that’s happened after an awards dinner! Ugh!

Anyway was still delighted to spend the evening hanging out with such a successful friend and Aussie. We had a great time at an unusual night.

Well I need to close this update. There’s tidying to be done, tea to be drunk, laps to be swum, and I might take a walk with my new smartphone. It’s been a long time since I was excited by a new phone (or any technology really). This new Moto G has a 13mp camera so you know I am in heaven with that!

Oh one more thing that’s happened this week is that I’ve been playing about with Facebook “Boost” on this SYBD FB post here about “Ghosting” an Ex. It’s been interesting results. Lots of clicks, likes etc but not many comments on the blog which was the aim. There may be a post about this coming soon. We’ll see.