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Become Famous Locally … outdoors

become famous locally

Will your greatest outdoors help you become famous locally?

Could your business soon be spilling out onto pavements, patios, terraces and rooftops to optimise your outdoor space?

Whether it’s branded signage, shelter, or seating, contact us. We can help you do more in your greatest outdoors.



Quickly transform spaces into an alfresco setting, direct footfall, or section off outdoor areas.



Perfect come rain or shine. Our parasols are printed with fade-resistant inks on a resilient tent fabric to help protect your punters from the elements and create custom spaces.




Use fluttering fabric flags to show you’re open for business. Display your offers and control visitor flow. Signpost collection points, entrances and exits.



We can’t always count on the sun to make an appearance but we can be prepared. Keep guests dry with custom branded umbrellas showcasing your logo.




Create branded outdoor breakout spaces with little hassle. Our range of seats, deckchairs, bean-bags and cubes can be curated to make any space inviting and suitably distanced.



Article from Nettl

printing.com web screen shot

#1 Embrace e-commerce


No one will ever buy shoes online.

Or at least they didn’t, until Nick Swinmurn, founder of Zappos, believed they would. Free delivery, free returns, unparalleled customer service and 12 years later the Amazon acquisition boast annual revenues of over $2 billion.

So how do you feel about buying a car? Do you enjoy perusing the forecourts? Trying the seats for size? The free coffee, a test drive? (Even if you do have to put up with the ever-so-attentive sales assistant). Let’s face it, once you’re driving the thing around you’re sold, right? Hmm, maybe the thought of the sales process is enough to put some people off, but how can anyone resist that new car smell?

Well, it appears that smell is surplus to pre-sales requirements, as thousands flock to buy their next car online. No fuss, no haggling, no test drive. Just next day delivery. It’s a game-changer.

If you can buy shoes online, and cars online, you can sell your thing online too. Not just ‘can sell’. Must sell.


The relentless march online has been underway for years. £3 of every £10 is now spent online. 50% more than before the pandemic. Ecommerce was already growing substantially. The pandemic simply accelerated things. New online shoppers were forced to try it. And they liked it. Once habits form, behaviour changes forever. It seems certain more sales will happen online. And not just consumers. Because behind every B2B transaction is a human.

And even if you don’t sell products, you should be offering online bookings. Webinars, demos, or free trials. All smoothly transacted online. The successful churches we mentioned earlier all signed up to enable online donations. E-commerce isn’t just essential, it’s a post-pandemic survival skill.

A bonus 4th – Embrace adaptability

Overall, embrace adaptability. Creativity. Persistence.

Where there’s a will there’s a way. While there’s demand, a route exists to make it happen. And if demand has dwindled, then new opportunities will arise.

Don’t give up. We’re here for you now and we’ll be here for you on the other side.


Article from Nettl

Midweek Wealden screen shot

#2 Embrace virtual


This is about doing the next best thing. About being there, even when you’re not there.

Where virtual sermons transformed sofas into pews, estate agents globally have taken to virtual to bring your next home into your existing one. Virtual tours are nothing new and yet perhaps just timely, as people become accustomed to a new way of doing things.

Virtual house tours and 3D walkthroughs have all but seen the end of open houses, at least for the time being, and with no sign of this move being detrimental. Quite the opposite in fact, as the technology supports an unexpected backdrop of record property prices and new home sales. A trend observed on both sides of the Atlantic.

Our very own Nettl studios across the globe have continued to offer virtual meetings throughout the last year. Even when physical stores were forced to stay closed, you could arrange a video chat or call back online.


Adam Whitehouse, studio manager at Nettl of Birmingham in the UK, is happy to vouch for the importance of virtual meetings.

“You can’t underestimate the human factor when working with a business on their marketing or website. Being able to have honest face to face meetings, albeit virtually, has been so important when it comes to maintaining that chemistry. Of course, we look forward to meeting again in person, over a coffee. But the convenience factor of virtual makes me think it’s an option that’s here to stay.”

But Adam believes just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look the business. “We make the most of our fabric backdropslanyards and fashion-fit workwear to add some professional whoosh to our Zooms”.

 Here are Hailsham Creative, we have made the most of using Streamyard – spending time in advance adding graphics, banners and logos. Animated opening and closing credits with a soundtrack helps to engage viewers.

Ask us if you’d like to discuss some graphics for virtual events or backdrops.

Tomorrow –

#3 Embrace e-commerce


Article from Nettl

Even the most acclaimed tasseographer would admit it’s a little early to gauge the full economic impact of the global covid outbreak. But we can confidently say the effect on trade has been substantial. Quite likely the most challenging circumstances many current business owners will have ever experienced.

clarinet player on stage

Some will have been hit harder than others. ‘Non-essential’ retail, leisure and tourism, events and hospitality: The sectors that appear to have been affected the most severely, for the longest period of time. Others, such as local and professional service providers, have weathered the storm a little better, proving resilient in uncertain times. A benefactor of their workplace environment, or necessity.


Everyone will have needed to adapt of course. But according to Yelp, most local service providers tend to find a way to push through the crisis. Especially plumbers, despite search terms related to unblocking a toilet rather comically up 400%.


Elsewhere, some industries appear to be made for this situation. Major players in software, home improvement, medical supplies, home-cooking subscriptions, gaming, home entertainment, lip-syncing video-sharing social apps…just to rattle off a few.

For a comprehensive list of the corporate giants making the big gains, check out this report of stock market winners. If you can stomach it.

But what can we find that’s beyond circumstance?


Bridging industries, regardless of product or service offered?


What are the attitudes that stay-afloat businesses have adopted? What are the strategies any business can implement? Many have nimbly adapted to not just see the pandemic through, but even dare to thrive.

In a time when hugs are out of the question, let’s look at 3 of the common habits successful businesses and organisations during his time have embraced…

1. Community
2. Virtual presence
3. E-commerce


Nothing epitomises these factors more eloquently than the plight of a church today. This article writes in detail about how the pandemic has affected American churches in different ways.  The author highlights a great divide that perhaps mirrors the wider landscape.

Specifically, organisations that have gotten ahead digitally have nurtured their community and continued to oil economic wheels. In contrast, groups more reliant on traditional methods have struggled to cope. A microcosm for how each and every business and organisation has also coped (or failed to).

#1 Embrace community


At the heart of every church is its community. Gatherings, service, places of worship. All clearly affected by attendance. Depending on where you are in the world, there could be restrictions on groups getting together. But you will always find people reluctant to meet in person, due to fear, responsibility or a combination of the two.

No pastor wants to deliver his sermon via zoom. Even if they are tempted by the cat filter. But for many, it has become the only way to survive, whilst showing ‘love for thy neighbour’. The road to digital has been easier for some churches than others. Well funded larger churches have been quick to adopt new processes. Progressive church groups with perhaps a younger demographic have already been publishing their content online for around a decade. But some more remote, smaller or traditional groups remain either less keen on the idea or simply lack the resources.


It makes a difference though. Churches with YouTube channels, Instagram pages, and prominent websites saw 533% more donations than those without. It’s not just about delivering content online. With community, just like with all good networking, you reap what you sow.

Similar examples can be found in the world of business. Local businesses and brands with a strong digital presence are the ones staying top of mind throughout tough times. Growing awareness and brand loyalty even when doors are closed. Business groups and local towns have even come together to support each other. Like poet John Donne almost said, ’no business is an island’.

If you’re interested to see how local entrepreneurs have used support sites to bring the business community together, have a gander at this article on driving local sales.

Tomorrow – 

#2 Embrace virtual

February Midweek Wealden

We were delighted to welcome our first Midweek Wealden guest, Bev Toogood on 17th February.

Bev talked about her 2 businesses, Almost Off Grid and ScrawnyGoat.com and how she sees the future of our High Streets and retail in general. Watch our interview and stay til the end to see the video of The last Encore. This beautiful track was written for Gary Penalver by mark Bruce and is performed by The Coastal Collective. If you’d like to downlaod the track or make a donation to Macmillan Cancer Support, the links are below.





Join us again LIVE on the 17th March, 12.30pm for half an hour on Facebook or Youtube.

Drive local sales for your business

Driving local sales


approx 8 minute read

From ethics to aesthetics, shopping local comes with a bounty of benefits. Local restrictions, working from home and a growing preference for digital transactions have catapulted our shift to online shopping. In some instances, this has made it really difficult for small business owners to compete. Luckily, shopping local has also come to the forefront of our minds and hearts. With nationwide campaigns and local initiatives calling consumers to keep it in the community, hope remains strong for shopping small and shopping local. As the owner or leader of a local business, how can you sell more to your local audience? Focus on these 3 areas right now to help drive local sales as a business owner.

  1. Sell more locally by looking the part

With 63% of shopping occasions beginning online, it’s not enough to simply be local anymore. Even in instances where your customers buy in-store, they will have, more often  than not, researched the purchase online first. Take these simple steps to make sure you’re present and found, no matter where they are looking.

Solseed website

A website for your local business

Create your own online storefront with a website that represents your business and offering. This doesn’t necessarily require e-commerce functionality. We’ll discuss alternatives to selling on your website next month, but step 1 is to get that presence.

Build authenticity and credibility with a website that looks and feels as much like your offline experience as possible. Invest time and effort into making sure your imagery feels like your store, and your content sounds like your voice behind the counter.

How can you emulate this interaction and close relationship online? Ask us to help you create an online presence for your business that will have your customers feeling at home.

Remember to keep your ear to the ground for local and national initiatives like the Digital High Street Fund that offer financial support to businesses building their online presence and functionality.

Welcome to the SEO Academy
SEO and PPC to drive local sales

You’ve built a beautiful website. It looks and feels more like the real thing than you would have ever dreamed! Your customers who go direct (type your web address into the url bar) are loving it! How can you grow, though? On the high-street, passers-by see your shop window. Online, you need to be found on Search Engine Result pages.

SEO and PPC can gain presence on the results page of your potential customers’ Google searches for you. Feel free to watch some of our free SEO webinars to learn more!

SEO is all about methodically and intentionally implementing best practices according to Google’s ever-growing algorithm to build its trust and authority in your website. That way, they’ll rank your site more preferably in relevant searches. Read more about SEO for small businesses and how you can do more to grow your online presence in this article.

PPC is like SEO’s cousin, they’re related, but pretty different. It stands for pay-per-click. A really popular method of PPC marketing is Google Adwords. You bid on search terms where you want your website to appear in the ads section of the results (usually the first 3 results on the page with a small ‘ad’ beside them)Use PPC to get your website present among the search results relevant to your offering quickly. Beware that because of the bidding nature of this, PPC ads tend to increase in cost year-on-year as you, and your competitors, out-bid one another.

Chat to us about SEO & PPC to get ranking for local search terms!

google Hailsham Creative

Google my business

This free tool is invaluable to your business when trying to sell to local audiences. Once Google identifies that you offer the service or product being searched for in a consumer’s local area, you’ll appear right up near the top of search results in that Google business section. Keep your account accurate and up-to-date with frequent improvements, to build and maintain this trust. Get your customers to leave reviews and make sure you’re publishing posts and engaging with questions to have an elevated presence in the search engine results page, all for free!

social media insights

Social media; strategy, content, shop on social

We mentioned above that the majority of shopping occasions now begin online. Consumers check social media to get a feel for a business, see their product and understand their brand and values. Create a consistent posting schedule to show you’re open and active. Plan your posts in advance to improve the flow of your feed and continuity of design and themes across your marketing. Join Facebook or LinkedIn groups for your community and engage with the other members to meet more of your local consumers, all whilst growing your share of voice.

Plugins like Facebook for Woo-commerce can enable you to take your online offering to platforms like Facebook and Instagram too. We’ll chat more about this next month!

Shop local social media tip; Create a series in which you shout-out local businesses on a weekly basis, share news local to your area or run a competition to get everyone involved!

  1. Get your local community talking about your business

Whether it’s a chat with the postman or dropping by the neighbouring businesses, in-person, you are always networking with your local community. Getting involved with your local BID or networking group is a fantastic way for small business owners to spread their reach. That’s no different when trying to sell more online, especially when trying to sell online to local audiences. Make sure you’re doing something to grow activity in the 3 areas below in order to get your business in front of your local community online.

Responsive Websites

    Online directories and support sites

    Directories are a valuable platform to reach local consumers. Make sure you’re featured and your details are all up-to-date and accurate across online directories for your area. Support Sites are one example of combining a directory of businesses with a networking platform and support community. From Breda in the Netherlands to Cuyahoga Falls in Ohio, Dublin to ExeterBirmingham to Liverpool and back to Wealden, Nettl studios have created Support sites across the globe to drive local business in their local areas. Make sure your business is listed on your local Support Site.

    recommend a friend

      Guest blog and ask for referrals

      Even more importantly than simply adding your listing to directories, ensure you’re really getting involved with initiatives, like your local Support Site, and other community-based events like small business Saturday.

      • Share advice around how your product or service can benefit local consumers.
      • Ask your local networking group to share your blogs or feature your advice in their newsletter.
      • Create a guest blog for other local businesses to feature on their site where the partnership will benefit both of your customer bases.
      • Ask for support and referrals from your customers and neighbouring businesses.

      The beauty of cultivating an appreciation for local commerce is that you all have a huge common interest, more often than not you have many mutual contacts, and each have a common goal of making your local community better than it otherwise would be. A shift online, when embraced correctly, can amplify this even more.

      google reviews

        GMB reviews

        Have you created your free Google my Business account yet? Go do that, now! Then, maintain and update it. This online version of your local storefront, featured high in Google search results, is a really impressive tool. Ensure you’re asking customers to leave reviews; this builds an online reputation and brand image that potential customers can explore when they’re deciding whether or not to do business with you. Having up-to-date, positive reviews, and plenty of them, also shows Google you’re a trustworthy and credible business (or err… website) and will help improve the trust they place in your site and, with that, the position they rank you in relevant searches.


        1.  Blend your approach to reach audiences near and far

        There may be fewer people in your local area, or perhaps you’ve had to close your bricks-and-mortar business. That means you need to work twice as hard to get out there and reach your local consumers, both existing and new.


        offer leaflet

        Reach out to local consumers

        Remember to blend progression with tradition. Sending a card to a client or a pamphlet to a prospect can seriously bolster the impression you make. Interactions with direct mail have increased 11% versus the same time last year and door drops 15%When you’re planning to connect with your clients, remember print makes us feelThis offers a huge opportunity for you to reach your customers when they’re not strolling your street.

        Make an impact by teaming up with us to design and produce printed vouchers or gift guides to mail or drop to local residential areas. The brand awareness you would reap from creating a beautiful piece of marketing and sharing it with homes across your local community is immeasurable. However, include a QR code linking to your website on there, to help track the clicks and conversions.

        Remember to make your marketing compelling! Brainstorm ideas with us that will hit your local community in the feels.


        shop front

        Make use of your space

        This year has seen you having to open, and close, and create a covid-secure environment to open again, and then close again. One thing that’s not changed throughout is the valuable piece of real estate you call your shop front. Particularly for anyone in a street-facing store (please, I beg you) make sure you have some intriguing, fun and interactive signage on your shopfront and across your windows. Even when you are open, your shopfront is your next potential customer’s very first impression of your business, make sure it’s a great one!


        In conclusion, shopping local and supporting your community has never been more important, nor has it ever been more topical. There are many things you can do and support you can avail of in order to make an impression on your local audiences and to sell more to local consumers online. When you are ready to start selling more to your local community, reach out to us to help you get started.