Member Spotlight: Gill Morris
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Member spotlight: Gill Morris

Workplace
Author since:
December, 2016
33 blog posts

Running and managing a coworking spot in Manchester means that we get the privilege of working with a variety of professionals from across the UK. Whether meeting rooms, dedicated desks or event spaces are required, you can be sure we have the facilities to cater for all occasions.

Gill Morris of Devoconnect is no stranger to hosting workshops and events from our central Manchester location. Between taking Westminster by storm and ensuring growth for Devoconnect, you can often find Gill heading up some of the most exciting training events for consultancy practitioners.

Describe your business in fewer than 15 words
DevoConnect is a communications agency that works in the new ‘metro mayor’ regions across the UK (Greater Manchester is one).

What inspired you to start/join your company?
Devolution presents an opportunity to change how politics and business works in the UK. When DevoConnect began, there weren’t any public affairs bodies doing what we do, it’s exciting.

What’s the best thing about being your own boss? (if applicable)
Bursting the Westminster bubble may be a tough job but it’s never a quiet one. I get to pursue the projects that I find interesting and have the biggest impact.

Where’s your favourite place for lunch?
Regency, Brighton. Can’t beat the fish and chips!

What’s your favourite business app, tool or website?
Twitter. It’s the bread and butter.

What’s the best piece of advice you have been given?
Don’t take it all too seriously.

What’s the one thing people should come to you for advice about?
Stay driven, stay focused but don’t forget to have fun along the way.

How can people learn more about what you’re doing?
Come along to our training in Work-Place on 3rd November! All the details are on our website.

Up Next

Five reasons why Linkedin Groups are good for business

Workplace
Author since:
December, 2016
33 blog posts

At Workplace, we are always looking for ways to develop ourselves, our business and our community through business networking groups. We are avid fans of social networking sites like LinkedIn, so we recently started to investigate Linkedin Groups, looking for communities that might be interesting to our members and our industry.

Today, there are over 2,870 LinkedIn Groups available on a huge range of different subject, but what are the benefits of marketing on LinkedIn, and why should we join LinkedIn Groups?

There are groups on absolutely any topic, but picking those in your industry, interests or target market may not necessarily be a strong enough reason to join. You don’t want to end up overloaded with information or joining groups that aren’t entirely relevant. But don’t let this put you off. Here are five reasons why they are good for business

1. Access a wider group of connections

When you join a LinkedIn Group, you have access to all the group members. You can then request to connect with anyone of interest to you. Don’t overdo this though or you will be branded a spammer.

Another, perhaps more effective, way is to browse the members through the group. You can then find people who are a more relevant connection. You can sort by location, their posts, their industry etc. The big advantage here is that you can message these people in your group without actually being connected.

2. Meet others in your industry

When we started Workplace, we knew little about the hosted workspace industry, mostly hospitality. So, we looked for relevant LinkedIn Groups, to understand what was going on in the industry. We chose groups that had plenty of members. In some cases they are smaller and more specialised, but we were looking for a broader base of professionals.

This gave us access to the industry experts’ brains. We were very impressed at how happy other founders were to help, explain what they thought about the software they were using and generally have a chat about the industry.

LinkedIn Groups are for more than research and learning, however. The platform is excellent for making connections and generating interest in your business.

Another warning here though; people are uncomfortable with being contacted through LinkedIn as a direct selling tool. Ideally, you need to give something back. Provide engaging and insightful content, get involved in the industry, and let your connections and sales grow organically.

3. Exposure for your expertise

After joining a few groups, you’ll be gaining knowledge and information from other members. Now is a good time to share your expertise and put your name out there in your group.

This is a useful and productive way to generate leads for your company, especially if you choose groups where your target market or audience regularly visit. The more content you share, the more connections, leads and discussions you’ll have.

Post your blogs, or parts of them, join in conversations, add something to your group and you will receive something back. You can directly post a blog for your LinkedIn connections specifically, making your content targeted and unique.

4. Find great content to share

I have learned so much from reading shared links and blogs — it’s a great source of information. If I read something that will be interesting to others, I’ll share it with the group.

An additional bonus here is that you’ll meet others who might invite you to guest post on their blog. Simply introduce yourself as a LinkedIn Group member and begin a conversation. You should comment on their blog posts as well, this is great for sparking conversations in the blogger network.

5. Connect with businesses in your area

With millions of users and thousands of groups, you are sure to find a group or two in your geographical area. If you don’t have many local connections in business, this is a great way to meet other business owners, help them when you can, and consider meeting up with them the next time they get together.

There are groups for local businesses in most areas, and larger areas have more specific groups like social media clubs, marketing groups, freelancers and sub-groups for smaller areas or topics. For example, there are several Manchester groups and then sub-groups for other local areas such as Stockport, Bolton, Bury etc.

Some groups that could be of interest are Manchester Digital, a group focused on digital progression in the North West, Greater Manchester Chamber a group for commerce in Manchester, and B2B Technology Marketing Community, exclusively for B2B tech marketing.

Local businesses and communities are an often overlooked opportunity for other online businesses. Seek these groups out, they are full of business owners from a variety of industries that might be willing to support other local businesses.

So, be a groupie!

LinkedIn Groups is one of the most overlooked channels by local and national businesses. Social networking sites are full of business networking groups and opportunities, if you engage members with insightful content and engaging conversations. Give them a go, they can help your business grow, get leads and build useful connections. Start with your own industry and add more LinkedIn Groups as you becoming more active.

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