We know that growing a business can be difficult and expensive. Marketing can be the difference between success and failure in a small business, but finding the right advice can be difficult and paying for it an even bigger challenge.
That’s where Friends Of comes in.
We bring a group of marketing experts, with diverse experience, to regular clinics where you can access industry-leading information for just the cost of a small donation to charity. All you have to do is pre-book a 45 minute appointment with one of the advisers and turn up ready to dive into your marketing problem.
When you book your appointment, we ask you for a donation that will be used to help refugees settle in Northern Ireland. We’re working with Barnardo’s who are a key delivery partner for the government’s programme to help the most vulnerable families flee war zones around the world. We have set a donation amount of £25 for a 45 minute consultation, but you are very welcome to donate more via our dedicated Just Giving page.
There To Support You
B2B & Video Marketing
Peter is Founder & Creative Director at BlueSky Video Marketing, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and held the role of Education Ambassador on the Board of the CIM Ireland for 3 years. He has been involved with video marketing since 2008 and is launching The Future of Marketing - an online careers platform for anyone studying for a marketing qualification.
Social Media and Content
Leanne Gannon from Smarts is an expert in digital marketing, email, content, social media and influencer marketing. Based in Belfast, she works with clients globally to produce campaigns that impact the bottom line.
Brand and Design
Sean is the owner and designer at Sean Greer Design. He specialises in brand identities built on clear, intelligent creative thinking. Sean helps clients develop and tell their story through thoughtful, engaging design that connects with their audience. Our work results in websites, packaging and print for clients all sectors.
Brand and Design
Dani is a lively, passionate and experienced creative innovator currently based in Belfast as Founder and Creative Director to her design consultancy Done and Dusted Design. With over 16 years international experience in branding, product design and UX/UI, Dani has successfully made a difference for many businesses.
Facebook, Messenger & Instagram ads
Gil has over 13 years' experience in sales, marketing and business management and has specialised in Facebook advertising since setting up his consultancy Run DMG in 2017. He has worked across a number of industries in the UK, US and Europe with client budgets ranging from a few hundred pounds a month to £150k+ and is the only official Facebook Marketing Partner for Technical Services in Ireland.
Jemma has over 8 year digital marketing experience with the last two years specialising in performance marketing and Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising with Groundswell. As a PPC expert, Jemma works with a broad range of clients - from large national brands to small local businesses with the aim of increasing revenue, brand awareness or lead generation through Google Ads, Bing & Social Media Advertising.
Social Media and Social Ads
Marc provides online marketing solutions for businesses as the owner of Bard Online. He helps companies grow their audience and market share via social media marketing, content creation, analysis and optimisation. As a Customer Experience Analyst with Concentrix, Marc also provides Brand and Social Media Analyses for some of the biggest names in the world, mapping customer journeys, providing insight and recommendations for what they need to improve and how they can go about it.
Ryan is a B2B marketing specialist with over 10 years' experience in marketing and sales, alongside a BSc Hons in Advertising. Inbound marketing and Content Strategy are at the core of his expertise - and he is passionate about sharing this enthusiasm with others. Ryan recently joined axial3D, to lead the marketing function, having previously worked at Automated Intelligence and Tesco Mobile.
Emma is currently the Web & Digital Marketing Manager with Visit Belfast and has over 10 years of experience in digital marketing, working in the beauty, tourism and e-commerce industries. Emma can help you with campaign planning, strategy development, content ideas and social media advertising.
Simon is a Solopreneur, Freelance WordPress Ninja, Graphic Guru & owner of SRH Design, based in Bangor. He's been designing & building websites since 1999 and freelancing since 2009, working with clients throughout the UK & Ireland. He helps businesses & individuals get online, market their product or service to a wide audience & grow their brand.
Andi is the Strategy Director at Eximo Marketing and originally founded Wifi Refugees, which has evolved into Friends Of. Andi focuses on marketing strategy, taking a commercial approach to marketing issues and solving the key issues that are preventing businesses from growing.
Gus Pelogia is a former journalist turned SEO, conference speaker, and once-in-a-while blogger. He is currently the SEO Lead at Teamwork, a project management SaaS used by companies like Netflix, PayPal, Disney, and more.
Laura is another one of the team that makes sure Friends Of stays on track. She keeps our planning, meetings and organisation running in military fashion... just with more fun! Laura is a freelance Project Management Consultant. She’s been delivering technology and change projects for financial services and public sector clients since 2006. When Laura hears about a new idea or strategy, her brain immediately whirs into planning mode, figuring out how to make it all happen.
Friends Of doesn't just happen by accident. Emma is one of the team of three that keeps the wheels turning and ensures a smooth delivery of events. She is a freelance Marketing and Communications Consultant, with over 20 years of experience in various roles. She has worked for BT, Age UK, Smarts and Case Corporation. Emma currently services retained clients as well as variety of ad hoc project work, inc event management, social media, stakeholder engagement, internal & external comms, dissemination, sponsorships and project management. As well as Eximo & Friends, she also volunteers for Marie Curie, Barnardo’s, Simon Community and previously for Positive Life NI, National Trust and Cinemagic.
The Story So Far
Friends Of started life as Wifi Refugees. It was set up by Andi Jarvis to provide free marketing advice to SMEs in exchange for a donation to a local refugee charity. It was originally held in coffee shops in Bangor, before spreading to other parts of Northern Ireland as more people became involved in the concept.
Over the last 18 months the concept has morphed into something still the same but slightly different! We’ve said goodbye to coffee shops and hello to events. “Friends Of” isn’t just a name, it’s a descriptor of how the event works – no longer just one expert for a few hours, but a host of experts in one place at the same time. We’ve got a new look, so the Wifi Human has been replaced by the Friends Of colour blocks.
We’ve partnered with Ulster Bank to provide clinics in their Accelerator Hub and Digital DNA, Belfast’s biggest digital technology event. And most importantly, we’re now partnered with Barnardo’s, providing funding directly to their work in Northern Ireland to help support the Independent Guardian Team.