With over 20 years’ experience in fitness, Laurel is an expert in Personal Training and Pilates, an NHS endorsed Ante/Post-Natal trainer and Nutritionist for Weight Loss. She has shared her expertise through her fitness columns for The Jewish Chronicle and other contributions to Woman, Woman’s Weekly, Reveal, PT Magazine, Woman and Home, High 50, Sportsister and BT Online – not to mention a stint as the fitness advisor on the X Factor. You’ll still see her fitness, food and wellbeing contributions in various magazines.
Laurel now dedicates her time to promoting small businesses, running the business directory, Facebook group and hosting the Laurel Leaf monthly networking events. It is a full-time passion and she cherishes each and every member.
Laurel offers a consultancy service for small businesses on how to market your business effectively and successfully network. To arrange your personal consultation with Laurel, please email here.
About the Facebook Group
When Facebook took the world by storm, it passed me by…..I was just that bit older and didn’t see the point of it……boy, how things have changed! Along came Facebook business pages and groups and they gave us all an opportunity to advertise our businesses. I would reguarly post my business credentials in groups to promote my fitness services but soon realised that posts quickly disappear from view as other members posted and it was a bit like travelling on the tube, no-one spoke to one another, no interaction between members. I searched for a professional networking and business group in North West London (looking for one in my neck of the woods) but the search proved fruitless. So, in August 2014, I set one up myself and called it North West London Network and Recommendations.
The aim was to moderate the posts, not allow spammers, and encourage members to engage and support one another instead of just dumping links and hoping for the best. I set up a daily pinned post so members could add their business links and varied it each day and boom! People were requesting to join every day, in their hundreds and now we stand at 12K members. As time has gone by members have got to know one another, they have and continue to build long-lasting connections and pass referrals. We re-branded when we created the business directory to Laurel Leaf Networking and now our directory covers all of London and anyone who can service London clients.
In those early days, someone suggested that we all meet up so I opened my home up to all the members who wanted to network and it was so much fun, so relaxed and everyone just connected. We’ve moved on since those days and now hold our events at established venues every month, but our ethos remains the same, social and relaxed networking in an inviting environment with promoting business at the very heart of our endeavours.
Don’t ever give up on your dreams! Running the group and directory allows me to chat, network, interact and help people connect and has enriched my own personal development too. I couldn’t have dreamt up a more fulfilling and fun career and I’ve met the most extraordinary and fascinating people along the way.
About the Laurel Leaf Directory
As members continued to grow and maintain business connections, the Facebook group soon expanded and the first networking event was held in October 2014. With membership of the Facebook group rising to 6,000 in just one year, it is no surprise that the first event completely sold out – as has every event since. In July 2015, the group held its 1st anniversary networking event celebration, with over 75 attendees.
It became time to take the Facebook group forward and give the members an even bigger platform to advertise and promote their businesses. And so our business directory was borne.