So, the first week of my apprenticeship with Strategy Plus is over, but just what exactly did the first layer unravel for me?

I guess it’s best to start with a brief intro…  hi, I’m Stacey and I have lived in Birmingham my entire life, well when I say entire life I mean 29 glorious years. I applied for an apprenticeship with Strategy Plus (an online marketing agency in the Midlands).

I will be working on the marketing side for the Jewellery Quarter website – attracting people to the area and keeping the Jewellery Quarter on the map. Personally, I myself am quite the traveller, you’ll see my name and credentials next to the phrase, “I was born here, but I don’t live in here.”

I have literally dived in at the deep end, completely immersing myself in the world of the Jewellery Quarter. The Jewellery Quarter was always the place I’d heard of but never ventured into. So, little naïve me thought that I would just be learning about a few renowned jewellers who produce some of the most beautifully crafted instruments a person can wear, as well as a few local restaurants, cafes and museums that have a lot to offer, but I just didn’t know how wrong I was.

Over 800 businesses

100 specialist retailers

50 contemporary designer makers

and arguably many more on the uprise. I guess English Heritage don’t call it “a national treasure… a place of unique character” for no reason. I am literally a spec in what appears to be an ever-growing UK centre for jewellery, independent retailers and creativity.

What a mammoth task. At times even I think, “what have I got myself into?” Clearly, learning the ropes of online marketing and the area which is the Jewellery Quarter won’t be easy, like they say, “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” but it is achievable over time.

To start off my quest, Strategy Plus eased me in with a workshop on ‘Inbound Marketing.’ Not only was my mind was blown with stacks of information about a world that I had not yet had the pleasure of shaking hands with, but I was internally excited about how to apply this to the Jewellery Quarter project I would be working on. I learned about:

Girl typing

  • What inbound marketing is.
  • The differences between inbound and interruption marketing.
  • The processes involved in marketing and content creation.
  • Buyer personas and the buying process.
  • Online marketing tools.

Ok ok, I think that’s enough spoilers for now. I then took a quick tour of the Jewellery Quarter website and social media pages– I got to check out the competition too! Unfortunately, I am yet to possess the guru knowledge of Dan who can literally map out the Jewellery Quarter with his mind and distinguish shop from shop (literally), so I took a walk…

Well a marathon really. My walk turned into a two-hour marathon of familiarising myself with the street names and thriving businesses of the Jewellery Quarter. I didn’t realise how big the Jewellery Quarter was – I’m still daily amazed by this. The ‘Faces of the Jewellery Quarter’ videos really helped me understand some of the local businesses too – always great to fit a name to a face.

I then re-routed back to social media. I’m not the biggest social media fanatic on the planet, but I do know how to be ‘down with the kids’ one might say. I got to create a social media post about the Rose Villa Tavern pub – ask if anyone had been there, or may like to try it after work in the sun – who turns down a pint and bite to eat in the sun?

For the first time ever I used Hootsuite (social media platform that integrates and help manages all your social media posts at once). I created a short post which was published on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – and hey I didn’t do too bad either.

Social Media

I also got shown how to create a newsletter on MailChimp (automation marketing tool and email marketing service). Literally creating/adding people to mailing lists and then creating an email/newsletter to send out to them about services/products available.

All this was just in my first week… quite a week aye. I wonder what next week will hold on my quest into ‘hellooo Jewellery Quarter.’