Leith Walk Police Box: “Even the story behind it is a little bit wacky,” with Monty Roy

Leith Walk Police Box: “Even the story behind it is a little bit wacky,” with Monty Roy

Meet Monty Roy who owns and runs the Leith Walk Police Box. Monty told us all about her journey with the police box, and how it became the wonderful community pop up space that it is now. She also shared how she uses Facebook and Instagram. And I shared some ideas about how to create exciting new content on social media – even when you’re talking about the same subjects over and over again!

Today’s episode is sponsored by the All-in-Whin Marketing Method. I’ve been working hard at updating my signature course for 2020, and it’s now open for registration! Click the big yellow button below to get all the details.

What goes on at the Leith WalkPolice Box

The Leith Walk Police Box has been used for a variety of different things. One of their longest standing pop up customers is a group called Edinburgh Tool Library. You join up, pay what you can and you borrow tools instead of buying them. It’s a really fantastic idea because you save money. You don’t have to buy a drill. You don’t have to buy a workbench. They’ve got everything from sewing machines to gardening equipment and you don’t have to worry about storing them either. The average drill is used for 13 minutes in its lifetime so Monty loves that “It’s a really great way of saving money and also saving the planet as well.”

Another regular customer is a man from Sicily, and his company is called Tipico Sicilian Confectioners. He sells nuts and dried fruits imported from Sicily, but he makes them into the most amazing sweets. It’s fantastic, the nuts are addictive They also have had a wide range of charities, for example The Woodland Trust. They’ve had local campaign groups like Save Leith Walk, which successfully managed to stop the demolition of a 1930s building on Leith walk and creatives such as artists like Stuart Bremner. He did some fantastic artwork on the side of the police box and he also sold some of his merchandise from the box. Other artists have done exhibitions in the police box and they’ve taken part in Leith Late, which is a grassroots arts festival.

 Monty’s in a little club of police box owners and compares it to owning a caravan. One of the other owners worked in the film industry previously. He helped set up a projector in the box so they could take part in some film festivals.

“One of the things that I really love about my business is that it’s very flexible. We’re absolutely open to all manner of ideas. Yeah, sometimes the crazier the better.”

How the Leith Walk Police Box started 

Having a police box and turning it into a community space is such an unusual concept, I was keen to ask how she got started. She spotted one for sale and thought “wouldn’t that be a great thing to own?” Initially she had no idea what she was going to do with it.

Monty’s family are from India and she considered selling Indian street food. After trialling it for a weekend the response was a bit mixed some people were really enthusiastic and other people were really not very receptive at all. She also wasn’t certain if she wanted to commit to this idea. There were two perfectly decent Indian restaurants on the same block, and she was aware she was competing with them. Monty felt it would be better to bring something fresh and new to the street. Not competing with local businesses, but hopefully bringing new customers to the area, increasing the footfall from outside. She decided it would be good to do different things all the time, but wasn’t sure how to make that work.

Monty started by putting a sign on the police box saying that it was a pop up space and it was available for rent and it’s flexible and affordable. Quite a lot of people are now finding them through the Leith Walk Police Box Facebook Page. She also loves going around markets to see what people are doing. She finds people who fit well with the ethos of the police box, then approaches them to see if they’re interested. They also have some charity spaces where they offer the pop up space for free because it’s something she feels really strongly about. They’re also trying to be more environmentally friendly and do business in a way that’s sustainable. I also think that’s really important; businesses have a responsibility to make sure that they are using their influence in a responsible way.

“I was really reluctant even to get onto Facebook, but now I’ve embraced it. I’ve had to embrace it, really, because that’s kind of the way the world works..”

Marketing The Leith Walk Police Box 

Building a community and connecting with existing communities is an important part of marketing and raising awareness for the police box. Monty has also made an effort on Facebook to try and find out what are other things are happening locally and promotes them. She says it’s really helped sharing posts and updates for other people, then they hopefully reciprocate for her. It’s an effective way of marketing because it doesn’t have to cost very much but also you’re reaching people that are local to you. There’s no point spending money, time and effort on targeting people that are not going to be able to use your services.

She admits struggling a lot with social media and asked for my advice on new ways to engage people when talking about the same subjects over and over. This is definitely a challenge I’ve faced too, particularly when teaching people about Instagram. Over the last couple of years, Instagram hasn’t changed very much except for the launch of Instagram TV (IGTV). My approach is to find new ways to say and teach people the same things. Maybe they haven’t heard it before, maybe it didn’t sink in, or maybe they just need a reminder. You don’t always have to have something that’s super shiny and different than everything you’ve posted before because sometimes the continuation of a theme or a topic is relevant to community.

Monty’s content can focus on the people, the relationships and the stories that happen within the community and the people using the box. That’s what’s going to be interesting. It will help potential customers to understand who goes to the box.

As well as the Facebook page, there’s a Leith Walk Police Box Instagram account, and they’re on TwitterI would say that Facebook and Instagram are where they’re going to find the businesses that are doing the things that make the most sense for what they have to offer. Instagram’s Monty’s favourite platform at the moment because you don’t have to say very much. The picture can sometimes say it all, it’s quite nice and easy. She likes using Canva as well, because there are lots of different photo templates and you can just add your text to top of it. This helps for someone scrolling through Instagram, they can very quickly see what your message is.

Monty wanted to know a bit more about IGTV. The main things to note are that videos need to be more than a minute in order for long, so the biggest barrier to using IGTV well is having the time to create more polished content, compared with what you might put up on Instagram Stories. Storytelling content works really well on IGTV and this would be ideal for the Leith Walk Police Box.

Get connected

If you would like to get in touch with Monty you can contact with her on FacebookInstagram and Twitter. Visit the Leith Walk Police Box website for details on how you could use this wonderful community space.

Find marketing strategies for your personality

Find marketing strategies for your personality

Have you ever thought about how your personality might affect the way you approach your marketing? In this podcast we’re going to figure out how to come up with marketing strategies which will suit your unique approach. First, I’ll introduce you to a model of personality created by Gretchen Rubin, and then we’ll figure out how to apply it to your marketing.

Today’s episode is sponsored by the All-in-Whin Marketing Method. I’ve been working hard at updating my signature course for 2020, and the next cohort opens in February. Click the big yellow button below to get all the details and register for early bird access.

Learning about your personality

I love talking about personality – it was one of my favourite things to learn about when I was doing my degree. Gretchen Rubin’s model of personality The Four Tendencies isn’t intended to describe all elements of a person’s character, it only looks at two specific things.

  • First, how do people respond to external expectations (obligations and tasks given to them by other people)
  • Second, how do people respond to internal expectations (the goals and projects they’ve decided on for themselves)

Gretchen has researched and written extensively about this framework, if you’re interested in learning more, she has written two great books Better than Before, and The Four Tendencies. She also has a lot of resources on her website and there are several episodes of her podcast, The Happier Podcast, which specifically address the framework as well. Upholders can check out episode 35, Questioners are covered in 36, Obligers feature in 37 and Rebels are the focus of 38.

The Four Tendencies 

In the episode, I share three questions I want you to answer about yourself. Each question is multiple choice and has four categories to choose from. Listen to the podcast and have a think about which is the best description of you. Your answers will determine which of the below categories your fall into. 

Category A – Upholders

Gretchen describes the first category as people who “respond readily to both outer expectations and inner expectations.” If you’re an upholder, you’ll be great at completing tasks assigned by others, and ones that you give to yourself. You can help make time for marketing by putting it in your diary each week and treating it like any other meeting or appointment – if it’s in the diary, you’re committed. Make sure you have committed time to focus on big picture goals and remember it’s ok to sometimes be flexible and change up your approach.

Category B – Questioners

Gretchen describes them as people who “question all expectations and will meet an expectation only if they believe it’s justified.” If you’re a questioner, you’ll be great at sticking to your own personal resolutions and goals, as long as you believe their worthwhile. As a questioner, you might be thinking you need to go away and do more research before you are ready to put stock in my recommendations. And that’s absolutely fine. Check out the links I’ve given you for Gretchen Rubin to find out more

Category C – Obligers

They do really well at responding to other people’s expectations, but have a complete block when it comes to their own. If you’re an obliger, you are really great at getting things done for other people. Obligers are wonderfully generous people, in that regard, but as a business owner, you need to find a way to spend time working ON your business, for yourself. Find a friend, a coach, or even a virtual assistant, to work with you and keep you accountable. Whenever you say YES to somebody, you have to say NO to someone else, so think about who’s losing out when you neglect to work on your marketing.

Category D – Rebels

The last of the four tendencies that Gretchen Rubin described are the Rebels. As she described it “Rebels resist all expectations, outer and inner alike.” I’ll own up to it – I seem to slot pretty firmly into this category myself. If you’re a rebel, like me, then expectations make your skin crawl. If you don’t WANT to do something, there’s a good chance it’s not going to happen. I try to focus on the Identities which I have that are important to me, and whenever I can, I think about the Consequences of my decisions. Sometimes neither of those strategies work, and I spent my afternoon reading on the sofa when I should be recording a podcast episode. That’s fine too. You’ll get there. You do you.

The Four Tendencies framework, developed by Gretchen Rubin, is a brilliant tool for business owners to help customise their approach to marketing. How do you respond differently to internal and external expectations?

Get in touch

Personality and marketing is such an interesting topic, so if you have any questions you’d like me to answer, feel free to send me a direct message. My Instagram handle is @thewhinco or you can email me if you prefer, and of course you can subscribe to Whin Big on Apple Podcasts. 

Video creation, trusting your gut and being authentic in business, with Mike McGrail

Video creation, trusting your gut and being authentic in business, with Mike McGrail

Meet Mike McGrail of Getgo Studio. On the podcast, we talked about our experiences as business owners, covering everything from choosing a name to choosing your first hire. We also talked about how to use video as a tool to connect with new and existing customers to add value and to be open and authentic. It might be my favourite conversation so far. 

Today’s episode is sponsored by the All-in-Whin Marketing Method. I’ve been working hard at updating my signature course for 2020, and the next cohort opens in February. Click the big yellow button below to get all the details and register for early bird access.

Getting started in video creation

Mike McGail is a marketer by trade, creator of Getgo Studio a video production and marketing agency based just outside of Edinburgh in Queensferry, and working right across the UK.

He worked for a variety of marketing agencies until 2012 when he started his own marketing consultancy Velocity Digital. Clients began asking him to help with video creation because it’s a huge part of marketing. He was honest about his technical skill with a camera but felt he could help his clients because he knew the brand, their audience, what they were trying to achieve and how to tell a good story – so he fell into the role of producer and director. This inspired him to try and do it on a larger basis and Getgo Studio was launched in February 2019.

Mike’s day is incredibly varied as Getgo has a variety of offerings. First is a one-day training course in video creation, helping people get started making short videos for LinkedIn and social media. I’ve been on the course and can testify that it was awesome, I learnt so much and had a great day. A lot of people were asking Mike for his advice and he enjoys teaching so the course helps him combine the two. They also offer an all inclusive studio experience in Queensferry where people turn up with their content, and they film it then edit it. The third service is location filming. Mike’s been surprised by the demand for filming on location. About 85% of what they’ve done in the last nine or 10 months has been on location. That’s been right across the UK and there’s some exciting filming coming up in Europe this year.

He’s constantly learning and is currently doing Ron Howard’s direction course. It’s a brilliant master class and Ron Howard’s big thing is that any film or piece of video is made in the editing suite. Mike agrees because on the day you film what you film but it all comes together in the editing. His day can involve everything from marketing to pre production then shooting and it involves a lot of communications with the freelances he works with and his clients.

“Literally no day is the same and that’s one of the reasons I work for myself.”

Attracting clients and trusting your gut

Mike has worked out that roughly 94% of all the work that they’ve done has come from LinkedIn. Through initial discussions, not paid campaigns, just him putting himself out there on video. I’d recommend connecting with Mike, his videos are informative and injected with humour. He told the story of Getgo’s creation on LinkedIn, going through every stage and it engaged a lot of people. They liked how honest he was and his style of video so when he launched people were quick to get in touch keen to have a chat about projects.

Getting the word out about the training courses has mainly been driven through Instagram and networking. He used Instagram Stories a lot and people who connected with him through that have tended to come on the course. The location filming and people with want to book the studio seem to come from LinkedIn.

He admits marketing Getgo has been a bit haphazard. I think that the haphazard approach can sometimes work just as well as having a really organised strategic plan. Particularly, if you’re in a position where sticking to a really organised strategic plan is challenging, then allowing yourself to take a haphazard approach can sometimes be far more beneficial. Especially since Mike’s already got such a deep background knowledge of what good marketing is, his instincts are going to be really strong.

Mike agreed that you get a good gut feel over time and in business, you should really follow your gut. That’s been one of his biggest lessons over time, your gut normally tells you the truth and it feels weird going against it. Anytime he’s gone against it has rarely worked out. For example, in the last two years, he’s said no to more Velocity Digital work than he’s said yes to, because he’s not had the right feel about the project.

“I’ve never been a fan of soft metrics – likes, shares, comments. They’re an indicator of how your content’s performing, but what is it actually returning? Has it generated sales or clients? Or is it retaining people? Don’t forget that you have to look at retention as well.”

Being authentic in business

Social media can make things look brilliant. But behind the scenes, businesses are failing or more importantly, the people in those businesses are stressed, they’re on the verge of making themselves very ill. It’s so easy in this day and age to paint a picture of success that’s actually not true. It can be a dangerous thing because it’s inauthentic and doesn’t deliver the right essence of the business. Recently Mike put a written post on LinkedIn talking about how he was having a tough time. He got a lot of positive reactions and it highlighted the supportive community he has around him.

For small businesses making videos to market themselves, Mike advises a lot of your business is built around you, your knowledge, your experience and your personality. One of the best things you can look to do is tell your story. If you’re selling a physical product, then you really need to be showing people how it solves the problem that they’re having.

Obviously, he sells professional video services, but one of the reasons he does the training courses is to inspire people who just need to get going with video. Most of us have got a good enough camera in our pocket and just need some guidance on how to make the most of that.

Lastly, I asked Mike to share his favourite marketing videos. He named Burger King as a brand that smashed it in 2019 and one of his favourite ever videos is the $1 Shave Club launch, view the videos below.

Get connected

If you would like to get in touch with Mike you can contact with him on LinkedIn. You can also find him on Instagram and Twitter. Visit the Getgo Studio website for details of the Video Creation training. Since recording, Mike has decided to close the all-inclusive studio he mentioned on the show to focus on on-location shooting. He is, however still offering a packaged service for creating short videos for social media and so on, please contact him for more information.

How to use Instagram Stories

How to use Instagram Stories

Have you ever wondered how to make the most of your Instagram Stories? Today we’re going to dive into all the details of my 6 favourite Stories strategies. We’ll be talking about everything from challenges to story telling, selfies to captions, and all sorts of things.

Looking for Instagram Stories tips for 2021? Check out our updated guide to Instagram Stories!

Today’s episode is sponsored by the All-in-Whin Marketing Method. I’ve been working hard at updating my signature course for 2020, and the next cohort opens in February. Click the big yellow button below to get all the details and register for early bird access.

Instagram Stories Challenge

I have LOVED Instagram stories ever since last June when I ran an Instagram Stories challenge for me and my followers called #Whinningit. I wrote up a prompt for each day of the month, and then went on to my stories every single day to have a chat and make sure I included the word of the day in my story.

Lots of people joined in, including a few people who posted to their feed as well as to Stories, so you can still catch up on the posts if you go to the hashtag over on Instagram.

6 ways to make the most of your Instagram Stories

I learned a lot from doing the challenge and from getting feedback from all those who joined in, and then spent the rest of last year watching what other people were doing and testing out ideas. Now I want to share with you SIX specific things for you to try which will help you make the most of your Instagram Stories.

  1. Use Stories to tell stories
  2. Put your face in your Stories
  3. Always caption your videos
  4. Talk about your business and about yourself
  5. Actively encourage people to connect and engage
  6. Check the insights for your Stories to find out what people like to watch.

Questions about Instagram Stories

Before recording this podcast I posted to find out if anyone had any questions about Instagram Stories so I could answer them during this podcast.

“I’m confused about when to use Instagram Stories and when to use the main feed – any advice?” – Lorna

I keep the feed for the pretty stuff, and the long term stuff, and use the Stories for day to day, less polished stuff, as well as chatting and asking questions. But there are so many different ways you could break it up, people do all kinds of things in both places! The key thing really is to make sure you’re measuring what works in both parts of the platform, and then try out different styles and ways of creating content to see what resonates with your audience.

“Is it worth hashtagging in Stories? No one seems to view Stories by hashtags yet?” – Jo

In short, yes, if you’re making Stories to appeal to new people. You need to choose the right hashtags in order for this to be effective.

“How many slides is too many?” – Fiona

If you use insights to check when people drop off, you can start to get a sense of what your Stories “half life” is – so for an average sequence, how many Stories do you get through before half your audience drops off? You want to keep it around that length, or a few Stories longer. Alternatively, you feel your engagement is pretty low already and you want to bring it up, try using fewer clips in a sequence, and make sure you’re squeezing as much value as you can into them.

Get in touch

Instagram is one of my favourite topics, so if you have any more questions you’d like me to answer, feel free to send me a direct message. My Instagram handle is thewhinco. I’d love to feature some listener questions in future episodes!

Feel free to email me if you prefer, and of course you can subscribe to Whin Big on Apple Podcasts. 

Online training courses, podcasting and finding the right digital marketing agency, with Rebecca Bonnington

Online training courses, podcasting and finding the right digital marketing agency, with Rebecca Bonnington

Meet Rebecca Bonnington. Rebecca is a business consultant and her company Tricres has an online platform full of training courses and support for small business owners. On the podcast today, we talk about how to get your business out there without having to become a social media expert and how Rebecca hired a digital marketing agency.

Today’s episode is sponsored by my Instagram masterclass, brand new for 2020. I’ll be delivering live master classes in Edinburgh, where you can come and learn about Instagram strategy from an expert. To find out more head to the whin.co/igmasterclass, I look forward to seeing you there.

The business owner feels they’ve got a coach in their pocket that they can consult anytime of the day or night because let’s face it as an entrepreneur, it’s usually three in the morning that you kind of want to learn about stuff.

Combine an online course with your consultancy business

Rebecca explained a bit about Tricres and what she does. They put a series of models and frameworks that can add value to businesses onto a platform. The idea is to democratise business consulting and coaching because most small to medium sized enterprises can’t afford it, but really need it. You can use their unique model every day to grow your businesses. They’ve put everything all on one platform so everybody, no matter where you are, can access it for just £17 a month.

Rebecca’s day job is very much working with businesses. She mainly works with large companies and usually works with the founders and their board or senior team. When businesses grow they’ve usually grown without much of a plan. The founders have got a vision of where they want to go and what they want to do, but they’ve not really thought about the nuts and bolts, the structure and how to get where they need to be. Rebecca goes in and does a bit of a MOT, she helps them understand how to make sure that the good positive stuff they’ve put in, keeps going as they grow and scale. She’s passionate about releasing the potential of people and business.

I was curious to find out how her insight and expertise translated to benefit people via the online platform.  She explained it was launched at the end of April 2019 and they are developing an intuitive and interactive app to go along with it. They have fantastic training courses that will walk and talk you through everything, models, lovely shiny PDFs and answers to lots of questions. You can work through everything at your own pace.  Rebecca recommends spending 10 minutes a day doing something from the platform, this will get those grey cells working in a way that means that your business works better.

Podcasting and other ways to increase brand awareness

I met Rebecca at a networking event, she was the guest speaker.  After hearing her speak I knew she’d make a wonderful guest on my podcast. I asked her what other ways she gets the message out about the training platform.

 They’ve just starting a digital marketing campaign. Before that she was doing lots of blogs and she’s going on a research trip to Silicon Valley with FutureX. They’re doing lots of publicity around that. It’s a great idea to join in with things that other people are doing, and they do lots of publicity for you. Recently she’s been reading “Start With The Why” by Simon Sinek book , and agrees what you need is the passion and you need to understand the purpose of what you’re doing. People will then begin to follow you because they believe what you believe.

She uses LinkedIn a lot and is always on the lookout for opportunities.  Through the Scottish Business Network she got to do a one minute pitch to a big audience in London. She did a free hour of coaching for Entrepreneurial Scotland for some of their members. Again, they both put publicity out there for her. Rebecca likes giving back anyway so the publicity is a bonus.

 I think it’s a great a marketing strategy that allows you to practice what you already are good at and show people that you’re awesome.

She does her own podcast called Tricres, it’s on all the platforms. She talks to very ordinary entrepreneurs who are in the thick of it, who are still building their businesses, some of whom have failed spectacularly, some of whom are succeeding, some of whom are literally in month six. It’s about their journey and what gave them the inspiration. Like me she loves doing the podcast and finds it an effective way to keep broadcasting her message.


When you know what path you’re on, those opportunities just light up like this big neon sign.

Finding a digital marketing agency

Rebecca is about to launch a digital marketing campaign for the platform, naturally I was interested in the process. They’re going to focus on LinkedIn, primarily, because that’s where their audience hangs out. Then feed it into Twitter and Instagram.

Rebecca believes people buy from people and this was important when meeting digital marketing agencies. Because of the ambitions she’s got for the business, she needed a digital marketing agency that was much bigger than her company. They’re not hugely expensive, but they’re not cheap either. She recognised it was going to be a big investment for the business but worth it. She realised last year that digital marketing is a complex science. The agency she chose has separate departments and specialists in each of the different areas and that’s why she chose them. She was really impressed with their professionalism and they didn’t promise to get a zillion subscribers. They’ve stressed it’s a learning curve that will take some experimentation to get the formula right. She knows there won’t be instant results, but they will get results and they’ll be the right results.

Get connected

If you would like to get in touch with Rebecca you can contact her on LinkedIn. You can also find her on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Find out more about her amazing platform on the Tricres website.


A behind-the-scenes look at my 2020 goal-setting journey

A behind-the-scenes look at my 2020 goal-setting journey

Need some inspiration to plan an amazing year for your business? Today I’ll be giving you a look behind the scenes at my goals for myself and for The Whin in 2020, and all the exciting things coming up.

This episode is sponsored by my Instagram Masterclass. Brand new for 2020, I’ll be delivering live masterclasses in Edinburgh, where you can come and learn about Instagram strategy from an expert. If you’ve set some Instagram-related goals for your 2020, the masterclass may be able to help. Whether you need to grow your audience, deepen your engagement, or convert your followers into paying customers, you’ll find a wealth of strategies, tactics and expert guidance to set you on your way. And there’s a whole session on content planning, and finding the right way to do it to suit your unique audience and your personality. If you’re ready to join us, or you just want to find out more, head to thewhin.co/igmasterclass for all the details you need. I look forward to seeing you there! 

 Happy new year everyone! Here we are in 2020 and still feels like the future. Before we get started, did you already set YOUR goals for the year? If not, you need to listen to episode 16, for a step by step guide to do just that. 

Re-cap of my 2019 goals

My goals for 2019 were pretty straight forward;

  1. To create a signature training course, The All-In-Whin Marketing Method, and pilot it with 6 – 8 businesses.
  2. Be an awesome bridesmaid! 
  3.  Raise my public profile. 
  4. My last goal centred around self-care.  I wanted to get more sleep, eat better, to train more regularly in power lifting (my main hobby) and to spend more time stretching/getting sports massages. 

 Generally I was really happy with how last year went and the progress I made.

My 2020 goals

  1. Make five times more revenue than in 2019
  2. Run 4 Instagram Masterclasses in person in Edinburgh
  3. Launch 4 cohorts of the new and improved All-in-Whin Marketing Method 
  4. Take my nephew swimming 2 or 3 times a month to help him learn to swim without armbands (he’s three, so maybe this is ambitious!)
  5. Grow my Instagram to over 2000 followers
  6. Grow my email list to over 2000 subscribers
  7. Grow my podcast audience to over 5000 people (that one’s a bit of a stretch!)

You can help me with goal number 7! If you enjoy listening to the Whin Big podcast, PLEASE open up Apple Podcasts and leave a review saying how much you like it! If you’re not on Apple Podcasts then I would love for you to share on Instagram or your other social media when you’re listening to the show. It would be fantastic if you could take a screenshot when you’re listening and share it with the hashtag #whinbig, and tag me @thewhinco. I’m planning to run some exciting challenges and listener giveaways this year too, so make sure you’re subscribed and following so you don’t miss out.

Get in touch

If you’ve set goals for 2020, make sure you email me, and let me know what they are. I promise to hold you accountable by checking in with you once a quarter to see how you’re getting on.  Even if you’re reading this in August, email me, tell me your goals and I’ll check in with you!   

I’d also love to feature more listener questions in the podcast. Drop me an email! And of course you can subscribe to Whin Big on Apple Podcasts. Happy New Year, wishing you all the best for 2020!