New beginnings

The closing of a chapter

I started this blog almost 4 years ago because I felt I needed an outlet for the thoughts I had on the topics I’m passionate about; marketing, management and the things that motivate me. It’s helped me grow as a marketer and as a person, given me a means of shaping my online presence and taught me a thing or two about how to blog successfully.

This blog was birthed at  a pivotal point in my career when I had just begun my first senior management role as UK Head of Marketing for one of the biggest web hosting companies in the world. I’m closing it as I embark on the next phase in my career – business ownership!

The beginning of a new season

One of the reasons I’ve been able to enjoy my corporate career so much is because it’s never been my life, I’ve always viewed it as a strategic step on my journey to a bigger and more significant vision; training ground that would equip me to do what was really in my heart to do. While I was preparing to make my vision a reality, I was helping others fulfil theirs and I’ve had a blast doing so.

I’ve always known that business ownership was the end goal, one of the first things I did when I left university was write a business plan for the business that I would one day have – that one day has arrived!

New website, new business

Find my new business here

You can also connect with me on Twitter LinkedIn and Facebook.

Speak soon!


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Get carried away with life

So this past Friday I took my children to the British Museum, it’s one of my favourite places in London and thankfully they’ve caught the bug too. When we arrived I gave them a map each, so they could decide which exhibits they wanted to see and I simply followed. Like most parents I find my kids and their quirks quite fascinating, so I quite enjoy just watching them as they explore and seeing their reactions to the richness that the museum contains. Anyway as we approached the East Staircase (pictured below) I started expressing my excitement about how awesome it was, and my 7 year old comes out with; “mummy, I think you’re getting a bit carried away” lol.

Umm, yes I’m getting carried away…

There’s a lot in life to get carried away with! I found this definition of ‘carried away’: “made very emotional or enthusiastic, swept away”. I quite like the notion of getting ‘swept away’, because we often live such constrained lives; constrained by expectations, constrained by jobs, constrained by what we perceive as our own limitations. Now don’t get me wrong, I think we have to be careful about getting carried away on a wave of emotion, because it can often cloud our judgement. But what my daughter witnessed was me fully embracing and enjoying the moment, not in a rush to move on to the next thing, just completely embracing what was in front of me at that moment. What she witnessed was mindfulness. Mindfulness according to Ellen Langer, a famous researcher on the topic, is defined as:

“The ordinary everyday capacity each of us has to notice new things”

On the contrary she defines mindlessness as:

“Characterised by an entrapment in old categories; by automatic behaviour that precludes attending to new signals; and by action that operates from a single perspective”

Most of us live mindlessly most of the time, rarely present in the moment just in a hurry to move on to the next. I am a type A personality, so honestly living mindlessly comes very natural to me. I’m in the process of training myself to live mindfully and it really began this year when I decided to do away with the plan, it’s exhilarating.

Life is all about perspective

I guess it’s that glass half full analogy. We live in a society that is obsessed with everything they don’t have. I just invite you to take a minute to fully embrace what you do have, in this moment. One thing that we all have is life – that alone is cause for excitement! So yes, in answer to my daughter’s statement, I’m getting carried away, and I invite you to do the same :) PS: I’m currently reading this book on mindfulness that is pretty good, A Book of Sparks: A Study in Christian Mindfullness.

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3 invaluable traits of a fierce marketer

traits of a fierce marketer

Hello! It’s been a while I’ve been busy blogging elsewhere and putting the world to rights as you do :) but I’m back and hoping to get back into the rhythm of blogging at least once a fortnight.

How are you? (do feel free to comment below, I really am interested in the answer)

So I’m in a reflective season at the moment, and in my musings about what lies ahead I began to think about the important traits of a marketer and those I look for in the marketers I mentor and lead. I thought I’d share them with you.

Why ‘Fierce’?

Firstly, let me explain my use of the word ‘fierce’ because the choice was very deliberately. The simple truth is, if you aren’t ‘fierce’ that is relentless and incredibly committed to success as a marketer, you just won’t succeed.

Marketing is one of those fields we’re there is no hard and fast formula, it’s not like maths we’re 1+1 will always equal 2.

Marketing success depends on a number of variables, these include: the strength of the message, awareness and credibility of the brand, target audience, timing, competitive landscape to name a few. Successful marketers are relentless and resilient; if a campaign doesn’t pan out as intended we tweak and test until it does, if a particular activity is successful we don’t rest on our laurels, we build on that success.

Contrary to what many may think, fierceness requires humility as well as confidence, because you need to be alert and in a constant state of learning in order to remain effective. The fierce marketer has to be teachable; constantly evaluating, assessing the data, keeping an eye on the external environment, no matter how great you think you are there is always more to learn. This is particular true in a dynamic industry like marketing where things are constantly changing and developing.

Traits of a successful marketer


Confidence as defined in the Merriam Webster dictionary is:

The feeling or belief that you can do something well or succeed at something.

Real confidence comes from a high degree of competence, you simply cannot be confident if you don’t know what you’re doing. The lesson here is study to show yourself approved; read broadly, study the market, study the competition, study the successes and failures of others in your industry. It also takes practice, the more you put what you’ve learned into practice and see it work, is the more confident you’ll be in your decision making moving forward.

Marketing decisions are often riddled with uncertainty, you often have to part with large sums of money with no absolute guarantee that what you’re investing in will actually work. Here’s where it’s imperative that you believe in your ability and have the confidence to make tough decisions when called for.

They key is to be confident enough to make hard decisions and humble enough to make adjustments when necessary.


Learning about what others have done and are doing is great, but there comes a point where you have to make what you’ve learnt your own. You have to get creative with your marketing tactics because more often than not it isn’t the marketing channel that makes the difference, but how you use it.

If you take a look at these recent campaigns that have proved very successful, you’ll see that it wasn’t the channel or tactic that made them a success but the idea behind them.

  • Schedule thinking time: plan time to do nothing but think, find a scenic spot and just chill. It’s amazing what the mind comes up with when it has time to rest
  • Carry a notepad with you everywhere you go (a still like paper, but I’m also a fan of the Evernote app if you prefer digital): this enables you to capture ideas as they come, you never know when a good idea will come in handy
  • Think about how you can use new channels like Periscope
  • Think about using old channels differently
  • Brainstorm and collect ideas from those around you. True innovation lies in teams not individuals
  • Learn from the kids

Marketers have to be master communicators. We have to know how to speak well, write well and listen well. You can have the best idea in the world but if you don’t know how to communicate it in a way that convinces peers and management, attracts an audience, helps convert prospects to customers etc. your idea has very little value. The ability to communicate well can literally be the difference between success and failure.

Invest time in learning how to communicate well:

  • Get honest feedback from colleagues and friends regarding ways that you communicate well and where you might need improvement.
  • Practice writing whenever you have the opportunity, writing has become an essential skill for the modern marketer; start a blog, even if it’s for your eye’s only at first, help the PR team with content etc.
  • Practice your negotiation skills whenever you have the opportunity. Negotiation skills are important not just in relation to money but for things such as getting buy-in from colleagues and c-level management for ideas, enlisting support from other departments to make a project happen etc.

I hope you’ve found this useful, if you need help developing these skills, feel free to contact me or comment below.

Speak soon :)

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4 tips for choosing the right domain

One of the first things people do when they’re considering launching a business is purchase a domain name, given that it isn’t always easy to find the right domain name it makes sense to secure it as soon as possible, before someone else does. However, it’s important not to choose your web address too hastily, bare in mind that it will most likely stick with you for the life of your business which could be a very long time – and you’d do well to avoid faux pas like these.

Choosing the right domain is important for a few reasons:
  • Your domain is your address on the web. As such it is a central part of your online brand identity and the impression people have of your business.
  • It can have a significant impact on how easy your business is to find online. Domain addresses that are short and simple will be found online more often than those that are not simply because they are easy to remember.
  • It has an impact on how visible your website is to find on search engines

Moz put it this way:

“Ideally, webmasters should strike a balance between finding a catchy, unique, brand-friendly domain name and having a domain that contains keywords they are trying to target. The benefit of a keyword-rich domain is two-fold. First, the domain name itself is a ranking factor that the engines consider when calculating ranking order. Second, having relevant keywords in a domain name is beneficial because the domain name is the text that other Internet users will use as anchor text when linking. Since keywords in anchor text are an important ranking factor, having these keywords in a domain name can have a positive impact on ranking.”

With that said here are my 4 top tips:

1.  Consider what top level domain is best for your business

A top level domain (TLD) is the part in your web address that comes after the dot e.g. .com. Up until a years or so ago the choice was relatively limited now you have hundreds of TLDs to choose from that match your industry, business activity and geographic location, such as .london, .marketing, .football and many many more.

2.  Keep your domain name as short and simple as possible

This ensures that website visitors can remember your web address easily and therefore return to your website without difficulties if they wish to do so at a later date.

3. Buy your domain from a reputable provider

The best domain providers will have other features included with the name such as:

  • Email addresses to match your web address
  • WhoIs Privacy as an option. When you register a domain name, the registration details are available to anyone who searches a public database online, this information could include your name, address and telephone number. WhoIs Privacy removes your information from this database and many domain providers will provide this as aoption
  • Subdomains. These are variants of your main domain, an example of a subdomain for might be

4.   Build a domain portfolio to safe-guard your brand

I recommend buying a few related domains if you can, to safe guard your brand. At the very least I always buy the and .com and increasingly some of the new TLDs like .marketing. I recommend buying the TLD related to your industry. For example if you are a restaurant or a mechanic you might consider buying a .rest or .car domain and setting them up to redirect to your main web address.

I recently discussed the topic of domains at The Business Show in London, see a snippet here.

Speak soon,

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Don’t Wait to Get Stuck in a Rut to Find a New Route


One day about 3 months ago I was driving to work and about to get on the motorway when I realised that there was a tailback for miles and traffic was not moving. Now, normally I would simply sigh and get in line because as far as I knew there wasn’t an alternative route to my job. For some reason that morning I decided to get my phone out, find Google maps and ask it to navigate to my place of work, to my surprise it identified a route that completely avoided the traffic and I arrived at work in probably half the time I would have, had I sat in the traffic. Bear in mind that I have been commuting an average of 3 hours a day to and from work for almost 4 years, traffic jams are a regular occurrence and yet this is the first time it occurred to me to look for an alternative route hmm.

I was struck by this self-assessment, because I have always considered myself to be quite open to change. In fact in both my personal and work life I often lead change, but this experience showed me that I’m actually not as receptive to change as I thought I was. It took me being in a situation we’re I was ‘stuck’ to look for an alternative route. There was no reason why I couldn’t have looked for alternative routes prior to this and saved myself an abundance of time over the years, except my self-imposed boundaries that seem to have appeared out of nowhere. It reminded me that we are indeed creatures of habit, when we’ve been doing things for a while we often forget why we started doing them in the first place and stop asking ourselves why, even when it stops making sense.

It turns out I was given a life lesson that morning and I realised a few things:

1. There is always an alternative route, even if it’s really hidden

We’re often fooled into thinking there is no other way, so instead we settle and tolerate things that can be changed. In actual fact there is always another way, the question is whether or not we’re motivated enough to find it.

2. You have more options in life than you probably think

Truth be told we often impose boundaries and limitations on ourselves that need not exist, remedying this is normally just a matter of changing our thinking and expanding our vision. Proverbs 23:7 says; “As a man thinks in his heart so is he…”

3. Taking risks doesn’t always pay off but sometimes it does and when it does, it’s worth it

It’s such a travesty that so many of us live life fearfully, scared to take a chance and venture into new territory. I don’t advocate taking foolish and unnecessary risks, but I do believe a certain amount of risk taking does enrich our lives.

4. Change really is as good as a rest

Change can be rejuvenating, if you’ve ever moved house or changed jobs there is a feeling of new beginnings and a fresh start (despite the hard work and stress that comes with it).

5. Exploring can be fun and fun is important

As children we explore instinctively, it’s an innate part of playing and having fun, but as adults we forget this simple joy. Let’s regress a little!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, this year I’m living more freely than I ever had, I’m not sure where this year will take me but I know it’s going to be good :)

So I encourage you to live freely, every now again take a new route, you may be positively surprised by where it takes you.

Speak soon,

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Your Small Business Needs Web Analytics

Small Business Dilemma one

The number one question I get asked by small business owners is how do I start marketing my business? There seems to be a certain mystique about marketing and people are often unsure where to start and therefore start in the wrong place. Most people start with a website when in actual fact they should start with a strategy and a plan.

Small Business Dilemma two

Once a small business owner does start marketing their products and services the next question is then, how do I know what’s working? If you already have a website you probably already have the answers to these questions, the answers will often be held in the data behind your website. This data includes things such as how many people visit your website, where they visit your website from, what they look at on your website and what they do on your website. The process of accessing and evaluation this data is called web analytics.

The data you hold in your website is a hidden gem

It often remains hidden to small businesses for 3 reasons:

    1. They don’t know that they can access this data
    2. They equate data with difficulty and don’t feel skilled enough to access and utilise the information their website holds
    3. If they have accessed the data behind their website they don’t know what to do with it

At The Business Show in London last November I presented a workshop entitled ‘Reveal and understand your web audience’. In which I provided an intro to what web analytics is, an overview of how to get started and solutions to all the dilemma’s I’ve raised above. Here it is:

In case you’re still in two minds whether to delve a little deeper into the data behind your website I’ll leave you with a few reasons that I hope will convince you:

  1. Marketing is expensive when you don’t know what’s working       Web analytics will help identify what marketing investments are achieving the desired results, without data it’s guesswork
  2. It will make decision making easier                                                                It will become clearer what you should be focusing on e.g. if website visitors are fewer than expected then it might make sense to vion increase the number of website visitors. If people are visiting your website and not buying the focus may be on converting visitors to customers.
  3. It will help you provide a better level of service                                        You’ll have insight into what your customers are most interested in and you can provide more of it
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What is a balanced life really?

life balance

We hear  a lot about work life balance and there is much talk in the media about the importance of it and how to achieve it. Having been a mother and wife for my entire working life, balancing career and family has always been an important topic for me. I’ve always felt strongly about not confining myself to one particular role i.e. I am not just a mother, I am not just a wife, I am not just a business women I am all of these things and more, and it’s always been important to me to grow in all these areas simultaneously. It occured to me recently that my notion of a balanced life has changed. I used to think of balance in terms of putting equal effort in to all the respective areas of my life. After all, a common definition of balance is:

“An even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady”

But in actual fact I’ve found that maintaining balance in my own life very rarely means that. Life is not neat and tidy, at every stage in life there will be one or two areas that require more of your time, effort and focus than others. Therefore in life, balance never means equal.  I’m reminded of Ecclessiastes 3:1

“For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.”

Sometimes the  season and where the focus is needed is obvious, and it will be dictated by circumstances e.g. if your family is having a hard time financially it will be obvious that you need to focus on increasing your income and earning potential. Or if your child is having a hard time at school then the focus will be more on family.

However, often the change in season is not that obvious, in fact we would do well not to wait until circumstances dictate a change in focus. Quite often there are signs way before we reach this point which indicate that we need to adjust our priorities. Therefore maintaining balance for me,  means that I am aware enough and mindful enough to gauge where I need to apply the most focus in my life at any given time.

Right now in my own life I sense a change in season. From the outside looking in,  it all looks good and to be honest it is. I’m at a very good place in life and yet change is on the horizon because in my heart I know it’s time. No one can detect the times and seasons in your life better than you, you can read all you want to on maintaining a healthy work life balance, but none of it will tell you what is right for you.

So I leave you with a question, what season are you in and as we enter a New Year where do  you need to apply the most focus?


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Traditional Marketing is Alive and Well!

Above is a quote from the weekly content marketing twitter chat that I participated in yesterday and pretty much sums up the topic of this blog post. It’s not about the platform it’s about the content, and in that context there is a place for traditional marketing.

Although I am proficient in digital marketing I don’t describe myself as a digital marketer because I don’t like to be confined by channels. I consider myself to be a strategic marketer, I’m governed by strategy and goals and will always opt for the channels and tactics that satisfy the objectives best – sometimes this will be print and other times Pinterest.

It get’s to me when I hear fellow marketers completely disregard traditional marketing (print, broadcast, direct mail, telemarketing etc.) in favour of more modern marketing methods (social media, content marketing, affiliate marketing etc.) because I don’t think the channels were ever the problem it was more the way they were used and the marketing mindset behind their use.

Both traditional and modern marketing can co-exist, they aren’t mutually exclusive. In fact quite the opposite – they often add value to a campaign when used together as part of an integrated multichannel marketing approach.

I demonstrated how well direct marketing could work as part of modern marketing campaign in a previous post. Don’t get me wrong I’m a big fan of digital marketing and social media, but I continue to bang the drum for traditional marketig because I know there’s life in it yet. So when I saw that yesterday’s weekly Content marketing twitterchat topic was this… 

…I knew I had to chime in. I mean I love the weekly #CMWorld chat in general and attend often (If you haven’t you really should :) but this topic in particular really resonated with me. It was indeed a great chat with some great points raised, so good in fact that I wanted to share some of them with you in this week’s post:

Q1: How has traditional media become less effective? Where can content marketing fill the gap? #CMWorld

— Content Marketing (@CMIContent) January 20, 2015

When used in isolation, without context and content that creates a brand story that connects with an audience, tradtional media like broadcast and print advertising become less effective.


Some sound advice was given:  

If you want to drive a high volume of traffic to your business in a relatively short space of time, advertising is still the best way to do it.

Events can be the catalyst for a wealth of content such as video, blog posts, customer testimonials, Slideshare presentations, webinars and more.

There are still a wealth of opportunities in print:

They key is to adopt an integrted multi-channelapproach:


I really like this idea:

This pretty much hits the nail on the head:

My top tip:

So very true:

This is worth remembering:

Q6: Content is used in traditional ads. Is this content marketing? Does it even matter? #CMWorld

My view on this is simple:

So as you can see traditional marketing is very much alive and well. Don’t rule it out!

Speak soon,

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5 top tips for learning on the go

Learning is a life long process and as I’ve mentioned many times before, the more you know is the more you realise that you don’t know. Like many of you, my life is busy but I’ve always made learning and acquiring new knowledge a priority, because I believe it’s the most important investment you can make in yourself and it will always pay dividends. As the saying goes, you can always find time for the things that are important to you, so if learning is a priority for you too, here are a few top tips that work for me:

1.  Sign-up to Audible

The number one way to acquire knowledge is through books, yep not even the Internet can replace the value of a good book. My absolute favourite pass time is to find somewhere secluded, preferably with a nice view and a cup of tea and just read for hours. Unfortunately life rarely affords such luxuries, so the next best thing is Audible. Audible is Amazon’s audio book division, there are various subscription options available and a great mobile app that allows you to download and listen to books whenever and wherever you are. I subscribed to Audible in 2010 and can’t recommend it enough, I’m one of those people that can’t bare to waste time so it’s a great way for me to utilise the three hours a day I spend commuting to and from work, and provides a great companion while doing the housework.

2.  Use mobile apps to capture your thoughts

Yes we can learn a lot from others but we can also learn a lot from ourselves. Many ideas come to our minds each day and we often fail to acknowledge them, simply dismiss them or forget them. You never know when a good idea will come in handy so I recommend capturing your thougts and ideas whenever you feel that they’ll be worth recollecting at some point in the future. The main app I use for this is Evernote it allows you to quickly type, and store notes, record voice notes, capture pictures, screen grabs and more on the go. The clip below pretty much demonstrates how I use the app regularly, if you only have one app on your phone to boost productivity it should probably be Evernote.

3.  Always have a book in your bag ( or a Kindle)

I’m a little bit obsessed with books so I tend to have a few paperbacks in my car and my Kindle in my bag at all times (I know my husband thinks it’s over kill too lol). But the thing is you never know when you’re going to have an inbetween moment and a few free minutes e.g. waiting in a queue or arriving early for a meeting, and as I mentioned earlier I hate to waste time and a good book is a great time filler.

4.  Listen to podcasts

A podcast is a digital audio file made available on the Internet for downloading to a computer or portable media player, typically available as a series, new instalments of which can be received by subscribers automatically.

Podcasts are a great wat to keep up to date with authors, speakers and thought leaders that are prominent in your industry and beyond. Stitcher is my latest, favourite app.

It’s great for making sure I never miss an episode of my favourite podcasts which include:

5.  Become a professional listener

You can learn something from everyone and anyone, we often miss nuggets of wisdom imparted by others in our daily lives because we’re more interested in expressing our own opinions as opposed to listening to those of others. Much can be gained from listening keenly to what others have to say.

I hope you’ve found theses tips for learning on the go useful and I’d love to hear if there are others you’d like to recommend so feel free to comment below.

Speak soon,

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Assess Opportunities Wisely

assess opportunities wisely

As we begin a new year many of us will be looking for and assessing new opportunities,  I know from experience that when a new opportunity crops up, excitement kicks in and sound judgement and wisdom can sometimes fly out the window.  There are a few things I’ve learnt on the matter along the way (sometimes the hard way) that I thought I’d share with you.

When I was just starting out in my career I used to grasp at every opportunity that came my way with zeal, I was beginning at ground zero and felt that I needed to take and make the best of every opportunity that came my way. A few years later, I’m equally as grateful for the opportunities I’m given, just a lot more cautious about those I pursue. As the saying goes I’ve gotten a little older and wiser, and I’ve come to realise the following:

1.  Not every opportunity is a legitimate opportunity

There is a way which seems right to a man and appears straight before him, but at the end of it is the way of death
- Proverbs 14:12 Amplified Bible (AMP)

Some opportunities sound great on the surface but if you dig a little deeper you’ll soon fnd out that they’re not quite the opportunities they’re made out to be. Here are a few examples that come to mind;

  • Ponzi schemes that are often presented as a great way to get rich quick
  • 100% mortgages that were all the rage in the early 2000′s
  • That job that looked so great on paper but turned out to be a living nightmare

2.  A good opportunity may not be good for you

Sometimes good opportunities may come your way that sound great and really are great, but they’re just not right for you. Perhaps the timing is wrong e.g. maybe you get a great job offer just as you decide to start a family. Or a great investment comes your way, but as good as it is, raisng the capital would put your family under a great deal of pressure.

3.  Not every opportunity will come to fruition

People will offer you opportunities sometimes with the best of intentions but for one reason or another they just dont happen. Perhaps people pull  out, circumstances change or the opportunity just disappears, so best not to count those chickens before they hatch.

Like I said in a previous post, I think 2015 will be a year of amazing opportunities that will be worth pursuing, but I also believe wisdom and prudence are always necessary. So here are some tips I’ve found useful when it comes to assessing opportunities wisely:

1.  Assess the opportunity objectively

Make sure you know all the facts and  that you have a complete picture of the opportunity at hand. Ask as many questions as possible, some that come to mind include:

  • Who are the people / who is the organisation behind the opportunity? Are they credible?
  • What is required of you – e.g. time, money?
  • What are they offerring you (in detail)?
  • How will it impact your image, reputation and credibility?

Always be sure to request information in writing so that there is a paper trail of some kind.

2.  Consider how it fit’s into your own vision

Too often we let opportunities dictate the vision and we go wherever the wind blows. In fact you should already have a vision for your life and sense of the direction you want your life to take. That vision should be the benchmark upon which you assess the opportunities that come your way.  This is linked to my third point above.

3.  Seek advice and counsel

Where no wise guidance is, the people fall, but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.
- Proverbs 11:14 Amplified Bible (AMP)

Before making an important decision it’s always wise to seek advice from those you trust and or have more experience than you do. They often have a more objective perspective and often have experience to pull from that you may not.

As a Christian, for me assessing opportunities wisely also means prayer and delving into the Bible, as it is most definitely my guide book for life.

I hope you find these tips useful and here’s to pursuing some great opportunities this year, with wisdom and sound judgement.

Speak soon,

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Marketing, Management and Motivation