NCCC – Bush food farming on offer at new training facility

Barefruit was engaged by North Coast Community College to assist with creating media buzz about the opening event of their new Primary Industries Training Centre. Our PR strategy involved sending out a press release to the media before and after the event. As such, our efforts were recognised, with most of our local publications writing about and attending the event. One of the articles from the media came from the Northern Star.

Our for creating media buzz involved a new approach to sending out a Press Release. Instead of a blanket email to all journalists and editors, we hand-picked the publications we wanted this story to run in - there were about 8-10 publications. We then sent out our Press Release to those journalists and editors, and a few hours later, followed up our email with a call. Doing so, helped us to ensure the journalists had seen our Press Release and gave us the opportunity to summarise it quickly over the hone. We were also able to convey our excitement and a few extra details in conversation to hype up the story too. This approach was successful for 90% of the publications we reached out to - huge win!

You can read more this project here.

 

 

North Coast Community College – PR and Event Management

North Coast Community College

PR and Event Management

the brief

Eight weeks out from the launch date, Barefruit was engaged by Kate Kempshall, CEO of North Coast Community College (NCCC) to assist with the PR and Event Management of the official opening of North Coast Community College Primary Industries Training Facility - a collaboration between NCCC and the Department of Primary Industries. The aim was to manufacture as much free publicity as we could about the new training centre and its new qualifications, as well as help organise an opening event to attract dignitaries, community guests and the media.

our response

The team at Barefruit worked closely with Kate and her team at NCCC, as well as the Department of Primary Industries on a part-pro bono basis, to produce a Press Release about the uniqueness and future potential of the training centre and qualifications for the local community and beyond. In the lead up to the official opening date, Barefruit played a major role in the organisation of the event, including managing invitations and RSVPs, catering, website updates, speech writing and more! Barefruit were also very much involved in creating email invitations, a course booklet and an illustrated map of the training facility. In the current climate of COVID-19, special consideration was taken in planning an event that would be safe for attendees. 

the fruits

The press release written by Barefruit was picked up by the Northern Star, the Ballina Advocate, ABC North Coast and NBN News, who all published stories about NCCC Primary Industries Training Centre. Paradise FM held a radio interview with Kate the day before the event too. The event was a great success, with media representatives from most local publications and television channels present, as well as dignitaries and special guests. Through this initial project, NCCC has awarded Barefruit as their marketing agency n a retainer basis, which is very exciting for the whole team. 

NCCC Booklet, featuring Illustrated Map
Illustrated Map for NCCC Primary Industries Training Centre

Articles from the Media

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Take Amazing Photos for your Brand at Home

This is for all the small business owners who have their fingers in many pies; who are the finance, the marketing, the logistics, the production and the sales team all in one. When it comes to professional, and sleek branding, ensuring your products are photographed professionally is a biggie. You want your product to look as desirable to the consumer as possible, while providing them with an opportunity to evaluate the material, quality, design and features of your product.

It’s expensive to get have your products photographed by a professional, especially if you’re a small business. So, let’s take a look at how to take amazing product photos yourself, at home.

Plan your photo shoot

As you would do if you were planning anything, you need to do your research. Spend an hour or so looking at competitors, brands you aspire to and, of course, Pinterest to get some inspo. Save it the images you love so you have something to reference when you are behind the camera. Make sure you take a good look at your inspo photography, noting how someone has used light, what sort of light it is (warm or cool), and how they have laid out their studio space.

Set up your studio

Find an area with the best natural light in your home. This where you are going to set up. Usually having a blank wall behind you is ideal, although you can easily hang up a sheet to create a plain, yet soft background. Then you’ll need to decide how you’re going to display your product. Do you have a nice desk you can move into your studio space? Or maybe a rustic stool? Or maybe you need a model? Anything that will give you a nice aesthetic, that matches you branding of course! We can’t forget about props. These are especially important to communicate your brand aesthetic and for zhooshing up your shot. Leafy greens always go down well. Try experimenting with mirrors and flowers too. Have a friend wear, hold and/or use your product – this helps the others see themselves with your product.

Your smartphone is all you need

iPhone or Android, today’s phones have incredible cameras and, when you know your stuff, you can take some gorgeous photographs. First step is to check the settings of your phone. We highly recommend iPhone’s Portrait mode when photographing products and details up.

Now you’re all set to get stuck into it. Snap away, reviewing your photos as you go to see what works, what doesn’t and where you could improve. It might be handing to have a lamp nearby. You can experiment with this by holding it above your studio space at different angles. Don’t forget to keep referring back to your inspo photography as you go too!

 

Photo credit: @goldentimetay

Blogging for Search Engine Optimisation

Search Engine Optimisation. It opens up a whole can of worms. There are so many ways you can approach an SEO strategy, but let’s talk about Blogging. This is one of the easiest ways to boost your website’s SEO quality and the best bit, you can do it right now…for free!

A bit of Background for your first

Let’s start with a bit of background to get the bigger picture. Google’s number one priority is providing the people performing searches with the most relevant and up-to-date information to answer their questions. This ensures people using Google have a good experience and come back again (Google is a business, afterall). So, in order to get your website to the top of a search result page, you need to work with Google’s main goal. And having a regularly updated blog on your website certainly helps achieve this.

Why Google loves blogs

Now that we understand Google’s purpose and goal, let’s take a look into how blogging will work wonders for your website’s SEO quality. Search engines love websites that are updated frequently – this shows that the website’s information is relevant and up-to-date for people searching. You probably won’t be regularly updating your home page, which is why having a blog on your website is highly recommended. The more content you post on your blog, the more pages your website will have for Google to index, which helps the search engine better understand your business offering. Putting it simply, imagine if you spoke a lot about your business, going into detail about your products or services. People would have a good understanding of what it is you do. Now, imagine if you spoke about your business all the time, as well. People would not forget about your business and its offerings. This is essentially how your blog posts communicate with Google – giving the search engine more information about you (and doing it frequently) helps Google understand who you are and ensures it doesn’t forget about you.

What to write about

Yes, you need to write content for your blog. But it shouldn’t be about anything and everything. We are talking SEO, so we need to make sure blog posts are optimised for keywords. And these need to the same keywords that you have used to optimise your website pages. Optimising blog posts for keywords is not about incorporating as many keywords into your posts as possible. Nowadays, this is actually harmful for your SEO quality as Google picked up on this little trick. Plus, it doesn’t make for a great reading experience for the audience which is also important for SEO quality. Google isn’t going to recommend a website a reader won’t understand easily.

The perks of long-tail keywords

Having a blog on your website also gives you the opportunity to start implementing long-tail keywords into your content. These are longer and more specific keyword phrases that people use when they are closer to a point-of-purchase (also very effective for people using voice search!). For example, our Barefruit Marketing website is optimised for keywords such as ‘advertising agency, and ‘marketing agency ballina’. However, by having a blog we are able to optimise posts for keywords such as ‘organic and paid SEO services in ballina’ and ‘newspaper advertising in northern rivers’. By doing so, we boost the SEO quality of our website and in turn, Google is able to rank our website much higher on the search results page. In turn, we have visitors to our website who are more interested, more focused and more committed to purchasing our services.

Backlinks are important

Lastly, we’ll touch on using social media to create backlinks to your website. Backlinks are links from other places on the internet that refer readers to your site. Google sees backlinks as a measurement of credibility and authority. If people are referring others to your website, then they must have found your content helpful and so, your SEO is boosted and Google improves the ranking your website. Use your social media profiles to post about your blog posts, informing your audience, creating backlinks and boosting your website’s SEO quality all at once.

Well, if you aren’t thinking about setting up a blog on your website after reading this, you’re crazy! The benefits blogging can bring to your website’s SEO quality and thus, ranking in Google, are invaluable. And you can get started right now. Or, if you are feeling a bit lost, drop us a line and we’ll get in touch to talk about how we can help you in your journey to boosting your website’s SEO and, in turn, attracting more online visitors searching for your product or service..

It’s time to talk Search Engine Marketing

Spring has sprung! While we’re relieved that the Northern Rivers hasn’t experienced a second wave in terms of increasing COVID cases, it’s hard to hear that local businesses are still copping the brunt of the economic slow-down. It’s time to put on your "adapt to survive” hat and look for opportunities in places where business is growing. And one of those places is online!

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is one of the most important marketing channels to generate web traffic to your website. It’s the process of increasing website visibility on search engine results pages though paid search advertising. If Google Ads, previously known as AdWords, rings a bell, this is what we are talking about. With millions of businesses out there vying for the same eyeballs, online advertising to promote your products or services has never been so crucial.

Bidding on keywords

Google Ads is a platform which allows you to bid on keywords to have your ads shown when people are doing searches on Google. You bid against other advertisers for the right to have your ad shown in several places on the Google Search results page. You only pay, however, when a user clicks on your ad. By setting a daily budget, you can cap the amount that you spend each day. You could set a budget of $5 or $10 per day and know that you are only paying for those who click on your ad (and hence visit your website).

More than just search

While SEM is great for attracting those who are searching for particular keywords, Google Ads also provides the opportunity to show your ads on other platforms. Advertising on the Google Display Network means your ads have the opportunity to be shown on millions of sites such as YouTube, eBay, Amazon and Gumtree.

Catch them looking

Everybody knows the experience of looking at a product and then suddenly getting those ads shown to you again.  This is a technique called remarketing that allows Google to show your ads to people who have previously shown an interest in your brand.  This works on the old marketing “rule of seven” that people need to be exposed to your message 7 times before they take action. 

SEM is focused on converting

While traditional advertising works to grow your brand awareness, SEM reaches people actively searching, people who are ready to buy. When someone clicks on your ad your landing page should guide them through the sales process… and voila! You’ve made a sale, gathered new leads, subscribers or sign-ups.

Now that you’ve got an idea of the potential for online advertising, set up your Google Ads account. There are heaps of tutorials on YouTube to help you get going. Google even has a free online course on Google Skillshop to get you started.

Testing positive to a brighter outlook

The COVID-19 pandemic has no doubt affected every country around the world in ways no one could have ever imagined. It shows the extent and importance we put on globalisation and being connected to other places around the world, especially as isolated as we are in Australia. But that’s all be put on hold and consumer behaviour has changed because of it. They say it takes 28 days to turn action into a habit and now that we have been living with restrictions for about six months, these habits are here to stay.

But change is not bad. Change is good; it keeps us on our toes. And so, we’re flipping our mindset and taking a look at how Australian consumer behaviour has changed and what opportunities are emerging from it.

Consumers are supporting local businesses

Restrictions on free movement around the country began to impact the supply of products most Australian took for granted. In addition, the closure of many Australian businesses due to social and economic impact of the pandemic was felt very personally on a local level. With ‘mateship’ at the core of our cultural DNA, Australians have turned to support local and ‘Australian Made’. It is the feeling of “we’re all in this together” that has compelled consumers to actively switch their spending to prioritise buying from local businesses. This is an opportunity for like no other. Your locals want to support you, they want to buy your products and use your services. They are even willing to pay more than what they usually would, knowing they are helping another family put dinner on the table.

Everyone is online, a whole lot more

People have not been able to connect with others physically, but that hasn’t stopped anyone. The internet and social media have been intrinsic to human connection over the past six months. Previously, social media and digital technologies were seen as a distraction, however now, they are far more significant as they offer modes for human connection, channels for consumer experiences, entertainment, brand awareness and voice, customer conversions and information and news. This newfound dependence on the internet and social media is an opportunity. You know where your consumers are and with a bit of research, you’ll know what they like. You can create content to get their attention and inspire them from, literally, the palm of their hand. And what’s better, is that they can purchase from you right then and there. Make sure you’ve got your online shop up and going! While pretty much all categories of spending has seen a declined, online shopping has actually had a boost.

People are actively looking for new hobbies

Australians have hit the pause button on their normal lives. No more commuting, no more sport, no more gym sessions or dance lessons. No more weekend trips away (or even planning holidays, for a fact). This has given people time to get back to basics. There was a surge in the demand for baking ingredients, people have loved local bars’ cocktail kits, veggie garden sets and seedlings sold out and everyone has bought a puzzle. How can you adapt your product or service in a way that consumers can engage with from their home or within their local surrounds? If you are a yoga studio, start online class subscriptions. This can run adjacent to classes held in-person. All you need is a device with Zoom set up and you are good to go. What an awesome way to extend the accessibility of your studio space and gain new members. If you sell a product, maybe think about how you can turn that into more of an experience for the consumer. For example, the make-at-home cookie kits from local bakeries and cake shops have been a hit, especially with kids and families.  Now is the time to adapt, so go for it!

With all this negative, it’s hard to keep your head above water. But sometimes the best thing you can do is flip your mindset to see the glass half-full. Change is always a good, it’s challenging, but it’s good.

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Electric Kombi Land

As part of our PR campaign for EV Classic, we sent out a Press Release to local newspapers. It was exciting to see the story picked up by The Northern Star. You can read more about this project here.

Byron Bay based EV Classic, run by Alex Bosin, is a sister company to Byron Bay Kombis and is in partnership with Retro Campervans. Recently, EV Classic launched their first 100% electric VW Kombi.

German-born engineer, Alex, first visited Byron in 1998 and ten years later found himself settling down in the area. In 2008, he began to capitalise his skill with German cars and love for modern technology and nature.  Alex goes on to say, "if you have a classic car that you want to preserve, with little or no maintenance costs, and like the idea of helping the environment, then an EV conversion might be a great solution!".

How new business owner is being resilient after tough start

At Barefruit, we are proud to have Westlawn Finance as one of our amazing clients. In a recent campaign, Westlawn has featured success stories of some of their own financial clients. These stories have been appearing in print media, as well as in video-format on Television and YouTube. A story of Georgie King, owner of the fashion boutique, Arum, in Casino was written published in The Northern Star.

Georgie has had a rough start as a business owner since purchasing the fashion boutique, Arum in 2019. One week after re-opening the store, devastating bushfires broke out across the Richmond Valley region and then the coronavirus pandemic shut down commence across Australia-wide. However, Georgie has remained positive and has started an online store in the meantime.

As a 27-year-old, Georgie purchased the store from the previous owner, Margie George. Georgie "was thrilled to be able to purchase her own business despite her age, and credits Westlawn Casino branch for helping her achieve her dream".

Secrets to success of Tweed Coast holiday parks

As always, it's so great to see articles about our client, Tweed Holiday Parks, in the media. The Northern Star wrote this article on Tweed Holiday Parks recent and ongoing success.

The location, modern facilities and drive of staff to go the extra mile is what keeps attracting visitors to the park. According to Tweed Holiday Parks Business Development manager, Lisa Mcrae, "those are the key elements to keep tourists coming back to the Tweed with a smile on their face." Lisa went on to say, "I think the location in Tweed is definitely a selling point for our customers. Five of our parks are located on the beachfront," she said.

Excitingly for the business, of the seven council-owned parks, four have been given the TripAdvisor Travellers Choice Award based on customer feedback in the most recent awards.

Tweed Holiday Parks initially approached Barefruit to guide them through a rebrand project. We have continued this relationship and now assist them with their SEO, social media, digital advertising and more. You can read more this project here.

C&M Garage Doors

C&M Garage Doors

Brand Refresh

C&M garage Doors business cards mock up

the brief

C&M Garage Doors has been part of the Ballina community since 1994 and is very well-known in the Northern Rivers as a leader in customer service and quality products. The team at Barefruit were very excited when C&M approached us with a brief for a brand refresh. C&M Garage Doors were looking to give some fresh air to their current branding, without disrupting their brand identity the public is so familiar with already. 

 Garage Doors Old logo
 Garage Doors new logo

our response

Our response began by updating the C&M Garage Doors' logo to something more fresh and current. It was crucial for us to maintain C&M's brand identity in the refreshed logo as the business already has high brand awareness within the Northern Rivers community. Once the new logo was approved, we rolled out the branding across all marketing collateral, including online collateral, car wraps, and business cards.

 C&M Garage Doors car wrap
 C&M Garage Doors newspaper ad

the fruits

C&M Garage Doors received as modern look and feel refresh to their existing branding, which both teams are very happy with. The community welcomed the refreshed logo and marketing collateral, and no disruption was made to the business's existing brand awareness (if anything it was boosted by the change, cutting through marketing clutter). Stay tuned for new outdoor signage at their showroom and service centre in the industrial estate which is coming soon. 

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