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May 2019 / Issue 3



Photo: Emma Marshall




3 tips to boost your confidence

Ruth Kidzi, Business Mentor & Mindset Coach




Finding the confidence to go solo

How to feel confident for the camera

Start your business and build a brand





















Photo: Emma Marshall

MAY 2019





lead editor

Dionne Smith

social visibility

Jennifer Corcoran


Emma Marshall


Shyla Hassan


Bernita Shaw

BrandMe! Magazine: Issue 3 May 2019

FROM THE EDITOR Let me start with a big THANK YOU! We’ve increased our readership, the members within our Facebook group and the overall interest in contributing to the magazine. So, it is definitely a big thank you from me and the rest of the team for sticking with us and allowing us to help you develop your personal brand with the articles we’ve published so far. In this issue, our focus is on confidence, which I know can affect us in many different ways. How you look, how you feel, what others think of you, relationship breakdowns, bereavement and addiction. Our confidence, or lack of it, can be a rollercoaster ride that throws us from one point to another at any given moment in our lives. I know from my own experience, that having a good support system in place or being able to seek advice and guidance from someone impartial can help you regain the confidence you’ve lost. I think sometimes as women, we’re so used to focusing on others, that sometimes we forget to look after our own emotions. When we do come together however, our shared sisterhood can have an amazing impact on helping us to address our issues and move through our challenges. Louise Redknapp spoke on her radio show last month about how challenging it was to go through such a very public divorce and what helped was having her girlfriends around to talk to. We want you to view BrandMe! as your extended group of ‘girlfriends’ who are here to help and support you through whatever life throws your way. Our personal brand feature interview this month is with business mentor, mindset coach, bestselling author and motivational speaker, Ruth Kudzi. Ruth has built a very successful and growing business since moving on from some very high-level roles in business and the educational sector. Ruth shares how she has developed her personal brand, her visibility and style and gives her advice on why your development is so important. From our lovely guest contributors, we have three fabulous confidence tips from Nicola Semple, and great advice on having the confidence to go solo from Irene Moore. With a very personal article on how confidence has affected me in my career, alongside inspiring words from Shyla, Emma and Jennifer on building your confidence through your style, visual images and online visibility, this issue it’s literally a very open book of advice and guidance for boosting your confidence. If you have any questions or would like to find out more about how you can contribute to the BrandMe! movement on Facebook, email me at

Dionne x

founder & lead editor BrandMe! Magazine: Issue 3 May 2019




Irene is a professional mindset and business coach helping female leaders package their skills and launch their freelance creative, consulting or coaching services in her online community for solopreneurs - SavvyStartupClub.

finding the confidence to go solo by irene moore

Combat three of the most common confidence killers when starting a business.

Confidence Killer 2: Being out of alignment with the real YOU.

For many the idea of going freelance or starting a service-based business (such as consultancy or coaching) is wildly appealing – you set your own schedule, spend more time with loved ones, only work with who you want to and get to take holidays without permission. Sounds idyllic right?

Combat Tip: Get clear on what you want for your bigger life.

So why do so many ambitious and experienced career women with incredible skills lack the confidence to go it alone – even if deep down they know it is what’s best for their health, wellbeing and relationships? When speaking with my clients I’ve noticed three common confidence killers that creep in when considering stepping in to solopreneurship – fear of failure (and making no sales); feeling out of alignment (and unclear what you really want); and fear of loneliness (with no team to support you.) If you’re looking to go it alone and find the above three (very valid!) concerns are killing your confidence; then my top tips to combat these fears and cultivate greater confidence in your next move will help.

Confidence Killer 1: Fear of failure. Combat Tip: Set profit driven (not just popularity!) goals to begin with. More often than not the reason why solopreneurs struggle is because they are focusing on all the wrong things when they first get started (typically the things that are tangible like branding and social media) and not spending enough time actually crafting their message and securing clients. Not only can this be hugely time consuming it can really zap your confidence too! No business – big or small – can survive without clear targets and a clear, step-by-step plan on exactly what you need to do to hit your income goals. If you’re serious about becoming your own boss and want to feel confident that you can replace your current salary, then I suggest you begin planning sooner rather than later. I have a handy Business Plan Template you can use to get you going.

Confidence comes with clarity and clarity comes from taking authentic action. The key word being ‘authentic’. Whilst many advise just getting started, this can be a dangerous (and costly!) approach if you are unsure which direction to go in. Most of us have spent years in the corporate world and, if we’re honest, have maybe lost sight of what really lights us up when it comes to work. Going solo is your chance to shape a career on your terms so it’s worth giving it a little more headspace to connect with your most authentic self so that you feel confident stepping out on the right path. It makes sense that many of us jump into doing what we know however it’s important to take the time to ensure that that is really what you want to do and, if not, what do you want instead?

Confidence Killer 3: Fear of loneliness. Combat Tip: Curate your community. Going solo doesn’t have to mean going it alone. Entrepreneurial ‘brain fog’ isn’t commonly discussed because – well it’s not very glamourous! – but the truth is, after years of perhaps working within a company, it can be a little daunting and frustrating having to make all the decisions yourself. Being part of a supportive community of people who are on the same path as you can really help combat the pangs of loneliness and confusion that sometimes come with being a solopreneur. Plus having a fresh new network of like-minded women around you can increase your confidence as you see what is possible, not to mention open you up to a whole new world of opportunities. Download your free Business Planning Template at

Find Irene online at sharing weekly mindset and business start-up business tips on her blog and running her – an online community for aspiring solopreneurs. BrandMe! Magazine: Issue 3 May 2019



Photo: Emma Marshall


Ruth works with coaches, consultants and trainers who want to build and scale successful businesses on their terms.

With a background in sales, recruitment and senior leadership in education, Ruth is an ICF accredited coach with an MA in psychology and a background in business who combines business strategy, psychology, mindset and coaching in her work. Ruth spent over a decade teaching and mentoring people to start and run businesses and has practical business experience in a variety of industries. Her approach is straight talking but supportive and combines her love of business and strategy with softer skills that showcase her love of working on your mindset alongside your strategy.

on personal development Please start with telling us more about what you do? I am a business mentor, coach and author. I help coaches, consultants and service-based business owners start and scale their businesses by working on their mindset and business strategy.

What were the biggest influences in your life that have helped shape who you are and what you do today? My gran was a huge influence on me, she lived around the corner when I was growing up and she always encouraged me to be myself and to aim high. There have been various mentors along the way as well – a lady called Zoe when I was working in recruitment who saw my potential and made me believe in myself, and a woman called Anne Barton who showed me what a great coach can do.

What are the areas of your personal development that you really had to focus on improving to help you progress in your career? I think for me it is about focusing on one thing at a time. I am an ideas person and I tend to get carried away with lots of things. Learning to simplify and focus has helped me so much in my career. I still have the tendency to over commit so have put systems in place, so I stay more focused!

What motivates you to keep doing what you do? I know that I am making a positive difference and changing people’s lives as well as being a role model to my children. I love what I do, and I love the fact that it has such a positive impact.

social visibility How has social media helped you in your business / work? Social media has enabled me to build a business from home and to work with people all over the world. It has enabled me to grow my business more quickly than I would have been able to without it.

Are there any ways in which you think social media has held you back or not supported your goals? I outsourced some of my social media pretty early on and I think that I lost control, of Instagram especially, and I regret that. I believe that social media needs to be personal but I now get help with scheduling and I am mindful about how much time I spend on there. Social media with intention rather than mindless scrolling!

Which channels do you use the most to improve your online visibility? Facebook is my go-to but I love Instagram as well and have a YouTube channel and LinkedIn account that we use as well.

I have also had to overcome confidence issues around visibility, I didn’t feel like I could do things or that I was good enough. I have done a lot of work both on my own and with coaches and therapists around this.

BrandMe! Magazine: Issue 3 May 2019


How important is social media in connecting you with your audience and building your influence? To me it has been key, it has helped me to build relationships and it has helped me to demonstrate my expertise and get people to know, like and trust me. My business has been built on social media and I am incredibly grateful for that.

personal brand image When you think about your personal brand style (fashion, beauty, body image etc), how would you describe yourself? My style has changed since I have had kids, but I have always preferred dresses and skirts to trousers. I have started to wear brighter colours and different designers rather than my staple Whistles. I have a positive body image, my weight tends to fluctuate with stress but I exercise regularly and look after myself and to me this is the most important thing to do. I don’t really care what people think about my body – I dress for me and want to look nice but it isn’t the most important thing in my life.

To be honest I think people connect most with me when I am in my everyday gear – hair up or down, some makeup and a nice top or dress.

I love beauty and I look after my skin, I have regular facials and use Elemis products mainly. I don’t wear much make up normally but get dressed up and like to have my hair and makeup done! My hair is now pretty much grey so I currently have it coloured every 4 weeks but who knows how long I will keep that up!

In terms of branding it is useful for people to see you in a variety of different ways so having the styled photos and professional videos works well alongside the more day to day pony tail and active wear.

For me; my personal brand is about being comfortable with who I am. We all want to look nice but we don’t need to aspire to look like a specific person – it is about working out what works for you.

Do you have any tips for people who are shy about putting themselves ‘out there’ and being the ‘face’ of their brand?

Is there anything about your style that you think makes you stand out and if so what would you say that is? Probably my love of dresses! I have a lot. I look like an English rose, so I have never been able to pull off anything super trendy hair and makeup wise (I have tried!) now I am happy with this. I don’t really push boundaries style wise but do love dresses!

What areas of your personal brand style do you think works for you the best in terms of your attraction and visibility (i.e., do you get more attention from your images or video or do they both work well for you)?


The person who is judging you is you. Think about what you can do to be more confident – get photos done that you like, have hair and makeup and clothes you feel comfortable in. Start with small steps such as writing a post on social media or replying to other people’s posts and then build up your confidence. You don’t need to start by doing live video – work out what works for you and be consistent. If you want to build your business, then having a personal brand makes a huge difference. If you are struggling to do this remind yourself of why you are running your business and go for it.

BrandMe! Magazine: Issue 3 May 2019

final question When you think about all of the elements that make up your personal brand (mindset, social visibility and image), why is your personal brand important for building an authentic persona with your target audience?

Follow Ruth on Social Media YouTube - Ruth Kudzi Coaching

Your personal brand is who you are, it is your public image that people connect with and build a relationship with. To me your personal brand needs to represent your core values to be authentic and to connect with people so be you, you don’t need to share everything but remember the more personal your brand the more others will connect with it.

Interview:: Dionne Smith Photography: Emma Marshall Styling: Shyla Hassan Jewellery: Jewel Tree




Nicola helps the busy, stressed and overwhelmed get clarity on their own vision of a good life well lived, supporting them to develop the unshakeable confidence they need to take action and make their vision a reality.

3 top tips

to boost your confidence by Nicola semple

Confidence. One word. Eleven Letters. An imperative if you want to build a successful business and brand. Your product or service may be world class, but the world needs to know about it. And that takes confidence. There is good news though. Whilst some people seem to be born exuding confidence. It is a skill that you can develop with practice. Here are my three top tips to help YOU boost YOUR confidence:

take action Taking action is one, if not the most powerful, way that you can increase your confidence. Talking about something is not the same as doing it. Whether you want to grow your revenue, write a book or build your network, take that first step. I call it the 1% nudge. Small actions repeated consistently will move you closer to your goal. They will also allow you to prove to yourself that you can do this and allow your confidence to grow. For example; if you want to build your network take that first step today. Do a little research and locate a networking group in your local area. Then book a ticket to one of the events. Then turn up and chat to at least three people at the event. Finally, follow up with an email or (even better) a phone call with at least one person that you met at the event. Lather, rinse, repeat and slowly but surely you will build your network.

Start before you are ready If you wait until you feel ready to take action, then you will never start. When I started The Good Life Well Lived podcast, I knew nothing about podcasting. Reflecting back, the first batch of episodes are not very good. But as Ernest Hemmingway said, ‘the first draft of anything is sh#t’. It's important to get that first draft out into the world as quickly as possible. Once I released the first few episodes of my podcast, I knew that the only way was up. The more action I took, the better I got at interviewing and producing the show and my confidence grew. The result was that I felt more comfortable approaching higher profile guests. And as the production quality improved, I promoted the podcast more and was able to gain a bigger audience. If I had waited until I was ready, then I would still be waiting to get started.

Keep your eyes in your own lane It often feels like everybody else has their act together and is doing a much better job than you. They haven’t and they aren’t. You have a full access behind the scenes pass to your own life. Yet you only get a glimpse of the edited highlight reel of other people’s lives. The easiest way to keep the faith in your own abilities is to keep you head down and block out the noise from round about you. In our world of 24/7 social media this can be challenging but it is an excellent discipline to adopt. Stop looking at what everybody else is doing. This will leave you infinitely more time to take action on the things that you want to achieve.

Attend more events, connect with more people and follow up consistently. Before you know it, you will be a consummate networker.

And remember; the more action you take, the more your confidence will grow.

It all starts with that first step.

Here’s to confident, capable business women building amazing brands. Chin, chin!

For inspiration, strategies and advice on having the confidence to build your own version of a good life well lived, Visit Nicola’s website and get your free copy of The Good Life Well Lived Playbook

BrandMe! Magazine: Issue 3 May 2019


confidence is owning and celebrating your body by shyla hassan When you are comfortable your confidence shows in how you carry yourself and the energy you put out to the world. So spending time learning about what suits your body and the styles, or clothes, that make you feel confident is one of the best gifts you can give to yourself. One of the things I encourage my clients to do is to go out and try on clothes that they feel comfortable, and look great, in. It’s really important to take the time to learn what key colours and silhouettes work best for you and are effective in making a statement for your personal style. This will give you the confidence and self-assurance to step out and feel great about how you look, because when you have no self-doubt or self-consciousness others will notice that energy. There has been a long-standing view in many high fashion magazines like Vogue as to what the perfect woman’s shape is; usually very tall, lean and with minimal curves. However, the real fact is that our bodies are all different shapes and sizes and they also change throughout our lives. To be proud of what you have it’s important to understand that different body shapes were in ‘fashion’ at one time or another and even culturally, and in other countries, the view of what makes a woman’s shape appealing can be very different.

Don’t allow trends to create wardrobe anxiety! Let's look at the history of fashion and I will explain why you do not have to adhere to those latest must-buys. A glance at artist Rubens’ paintings shows that having a voluptuous body was an ideal of beauty in the Baroque period. In the Victorian period it was an ‘hourglass’ figure, and then in the 1920s women taped up their breasts in favour of the boyish and rectangular shape. Skin tones too have had their fashionable periods and signified different things. Being pale and white was a sign of being wealthy enough to not have to work outdoors, but today having a tan suggests you’re wealthy enough to afford travelling away to an exotic location and is a sign of healthy glowing skin.

Throughout history women have seen different body types come in and out of style and fashion. Fortunately today we are going through a vast change and now it’s all about inclusion, gender and race. Every woman has her own recognisable beauty.

Be confident in your individuality You are what you tell yourself and today since the growth of selfies, the lack of body confidence in our younger generation is evident and one of the most googled questions comes from teenagers asking, ‘am I ugly?’ Confidence means that you don’t need to compare yourself to others but rather compare yourself to yourself. So if you are going to tell yourself something, why not tell yourself you are completely and perfectly who you are meant to be? Think of a time when you liked your body and felt at that moment that you appreciated it. We have all, at one point or another, felt amazing wearing clothes that made us feel confident. Whether you are the same shape or size now or not, focus on the fact that the way to build your confidence in your personal style and reignite those feelings is simply by knowing what suits you and your current body shape. When you embrace what you have, you are being the best version of yourself. The people who love and care about you never see you the way you see yourself. I say celebrate your body no matter what the era. We can’t look to a very narrow-minded media viewpoint for our stamp of approval on how we should look. So, remember to make the most of what complements your unique body shape and what makes you feel great. Then you will exude confidence from within and not because you think you need approval or to follow a fashion trend. Everyone deserves to love themselves and this is the healthy way of showing self-confidence.

Visit and subscribe to my exclusive weekly style tips to help you express your personal brand through what you wear. For a no obligation consultation, feel free to email


BrandMe! Magazine: Issue 3 May 2019

summer style confidence celebrating all body shapes I have selected some of my favourite pieces from sustainable designer Michaela Jedinak who creates beautiful, timeless made to measure dresses, jumpsuits and buildable separates, for elegant occasion and formal wear. With statement dresses and suits designed for professional women, her selection here is taken from her Spring summer 19 collection with all pieces are made to order from £150 upwards. .........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

This is a great summer dress with symmetrical hem to compliment legs and create length. The cap sleeves also creates width on top for balance, perfectly suited to hourglass or pear shaped figures.

Wearing dresses with A line silhouette is also great for a pear shape. Adding details such as this bow creates a fuller bust! Create balance by wearing a lighter colour on top and darker bottom.

The beauty of A line does create a perfect balance taking the focus away from hips. This has an added bonus of neckline that is boat shape that adds width to your upper half.

Create a slimline apple shape, using a big v neckline that skims to elongate your figure by creating a vertical line. Mix colours confidently like red and pink with a longer jacket to disguise the tummy area.


A jump suit looks contemporary with an edge to wear to the office or evening. Looks great for hourglass, pear and even apple if this is fitted to skim around the waistline.

This trouser shape is a great match to a body type that is heavy on top so again, perfect to team with lighter shade trousers and darker tops such as the navy one on the right to create balance.

This classic blouse can also be worn to balances the shoulders as they have a nice roll on the sleeve to add a slight structure. The light fabric will complement any body shape beautifully.

Another V shape that lengthens and creates a slimming effect for jackets with neckline detail. It's slimmer on the waist and designed to add vertical illusion. The shorter crop is also good for adding length to legs.

......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... Embracing the slow fashion movement, meticulous time and detail is taken in the design process. All pieces are impeccably tailored with the finest Italian fabrics. Michaela champions the capsule wardrobe, with many of her separates working together to easily take their wearer from day to night. A very conscious, sustainable brand and her unique made to order business model makes for a very low carbon footprint . Each piece is made in London from European sourced fabrics of the highest calibre. There is no waste (even fabric scraps are turned into scarves), and few returns, as all pieces are highly customisable. The fabric, colour, hemlines and sleeve-length can all be chosen, in sizes ranging from 8 to 16, to ensure a great fit. They are not only versatile, they're also made with comfort in mind, so you can sit, stand and move with confidence. Visit Michaela's website for more beautiful styles and 10% off your first order. BrandMe! Magazine: Issue 3 May 2019


having the confidence to stand up to intimidation by dionne smith

Workplace intimidation is unfortunately commonplace and something we are all likely to have experienced at some point in our career. Learning how to stand up for yourself is essential if you are to grow as an individual.

It took a long time for me to learn how to stand up for myself and express my thoughts and feelings to someone who I saw as being ‘superior’ to me because of their status or title. I really don’t like confrontation and, in the past, have reacted like a deer in the headlights when caught in those situations. It was almost as though someone had reached inside my throat and pulled out my vocal cords, only to replace them sometime later when I said to myself ‘why didn’t I stand-up to them? I wish I had said XYZ. Why did I allow them to make me feel so stupid and take away my dignity and power?’

my pit moment! I remember a time when I was working for a new boss who was obviously determined to make her mark on the business and within the team. I didn’t have a great feeling about her when we met but me being me, I smiled and did my best to continue to work hard and fulfil the expectations required of me. Having successfully run the UK department singlehandedly for a year and a half I didn’t feel that I needed to be micromanaged, but that was her style so I tried to go with it…until it started to get to the point of unnecessary nit-picking over absolutely everything.   She had her way of doing things and I had mine. Essentially as long as we came to the desired goal or result, I couldn’t understand why she had such an issue with the way I was working when nobody else ever had.   Regardless, I kept doing my best to meet her expectations, but she would just move the goalposts. Being constantly told my work wasn’t good enough I knew there was no way I would be given opportunities to progress. I felt my confidence ebbing away because I didn’t know how to deal with a boss so intent on making me feel worthless.   When it got to the point of being publicly undermined in the middle of the office, I knew things had to change. I knew I had to take back control or she would continue to make my life hell.    I told her point blank that if she wanted to speak to me then we needed to go into meeting room! I was not having the conversation with her right there and then in front of everyone. What happened next restored my pride and a little bit of my confidence.

The turning point When we got into that room it took all of my resilience to hold my emotions in check! I sat quietly allowing her to rant about the fact that she wasn’t happy with my work, how I wasn’t doing things the way she expected me to and then the straw that broke the camel’s back was her comment that she could have me sacked immediately. I knew I hadn’t done anything that would result in an immediate dismissal and I knew this was also more about her own insecurities and personal dislike of me than my work.   My response was to let her know that her expectations weren’t clear and that I didn’t need to be micromanaged. I also reminded her that I’d been running the department for a long time before she arrived with no issues.   I told her that I had worked there long enough to know the rules for being sacked and she hadn’t followed any of them. I wasn’t going anywhere, so she needed to stop threatening me.   I then quite calmly but sternly told her never to speak to me like that again. If she wanted to have a conversation like that then be professional about it and book a room!   I walked out of the room with my head held high vowing never to allow someone to make me feel that way again.

the result A trip to HR for both of us and an attempt to reconcile our differences! She eventually left and was replaced by a manager who was an inspiring leader. I gained my confidence so much to the point I was promoted three times in the space of 18 months!   It takes a huge amount of courage and confidence to stand up to someone you feel intimidated by because of their position or nature. I learnt that it’s okay to call someone out for their behaviour regardless of who they are. Fear wouldn’t define me.   Having the strength to find your voice and stand up to intimidation means you control your value and self-worth. When you confidently and rationally confront those situations, you take back the power and put the focus on their behaviour.

For more advice and support with your personal brand development, visit my website to schedule a free 90 minute brand discovery session.


BrandMe! Magazine: Issue 3 May 2019

how to be confident on camera by emma marshall

As businesswomen, being photographed is something we need to embrace. In this visual, social age, visibility, transparency and authenticity are vital ingredients in business success - and photography can be a powerful tool. It’s normal to feel nervous about being in front of the camera; we all have our insecurities. But if you can feel more confident you’ll reap multiple rewards. You’ll feel more relaxed during your photo session; you’ll be happier with the results; and you’ll get more mileage out of the images, because you’ll love using them! Here are some ways to build your confidence.

Get to know your photographer If you find being in front of the camera intimidating, you’ll feel more confident if you know the person who’s going to be behind it. Many photographers offer a free telephone consultation - take advantage of it. Check out your photographer’s bio and social media and don’t be afraid to ask questions about what makes them tick.

practice Try out some poses in front of the mirror. Which stances make you feel more confident? Do you have a ‘best side’? Have a friend or partner take photos of you on their phone to get used to the feeling of being in front of the lens. When I first started photographing people, I realised I had to get over my own insecurities about being photographed. I did it through practice; seeking out opportunities to get in front of the camera until it no longer felt like a big deal. It works!

Wear clothes that work for you and not against you Your clothing should reflect your brand and the professional image you want to convey. It should also fit well and make you feel good. Avoid anything you need to constantly adjust, that your straps escape from, or that you feel self-conscious wearing. Stick to pieces you know suit you, so you can relax about that! This isn’t the time to experiment. Clothes tips: Solid colours are great; keep patterns simple. Nothing too constricting or low cut…. You’re more likely to regret revealing too much than too little.

Consider working with a stylist who’ll be able to pick out colours, cuts and fabrics that look amazing on you and work well for the camera.

Breathe I’m a big advocate of mindfulness and sometimes use these techniques during a shoot. If you’re feeling anxious it can help to take a few slow breaths and get grounded. Feel the connection between your feet and the floor or the sensation of the breeze on your skin; when you feel more connected to the present moment, your worries naturally fade away. You’ll feel more relaxed and this will shine through in your photographs.

Communicate Make sure to tell your photographer about any physical features you don’t like. We can use posing and choose angles to de-emphasise them, but only if we know about them! Speak up if you feel uncomfortable during the shoot, if you want to ask a question or if you have an idea you’d like to try. The best shoots are collaborations, so don’t be afraid to make suggestions. Your photographer wants to deliver images you’ll love, and to work with you to achieve that. (If they don’t want to try a suggestion it’s probably for technical or stylistic reasons which they should be happy to explain.)

have fun If you’ve followed these steps you’ll already be feeling more confident being photographed. My priority is that my clients feel at ease; even formerly camera-shy people have commented that our session was surprisingly fun! Allow yourself to go with the flow and enjoy the process. Laugh about it - it’s just a photoshoot after all! The less significance you can give it, the more confident you’ll feel. Trust that you’re working with a professional who knows how to get the best from your session and let them do the worrying. No, you won’t love every single image (we take hundreds) but you’ll adore enough of them to make the whole experience worthwhile.

If you’d like to talk more about using photography in your personal brand, you can book Emma for a no-obligation chat. Book a slot here: BrandMe! Magazine: Issue 3 May 2019


the one thing that improved my confidence on LinkedIn by jennifer corcoran ‘Everything you’ve ever wanted is sitting on the other side of fear’ – George Addair I’m not quite sure why but a lot of professionals and entrepreneurs are scared of putting themselves out there on LinkedIn and lack confidence in how to connect and put their best foot forward. A lot of it stems from the fact that most people quickly set up a social media profile; they create their login, password and bio and that’s it, they’re done and they never fully investigate the security and privacy settings in the back end or the potential functionality on offer. This can consequently lead to fear and overwhelm.  In 2014, I decided to bite the bullet and I completed my first proper training on LinkedIn for Business – learning the ins and outs of the platform gave me so much more confidence and a much-needed boost.   It helped me to not overthink things and to get in the flow and truly be myself when I’m online.

knowledge is power If I can advise you all of one thing to do today that will change how you engage and present yourself on LinkedIn it will be to invest in a professional headshot. Firstly, and most importantly, if you haven’t already got a profile photo please load one up straight away! After all you wouldn’t go to a face to face networking event looking less than your best so just because you’re online there is no excuse. LinkedIn is a social networking platform and a hugely valuable business tool so if you’re not showing up, it’s like turning up at a face to face meeting with a paper bag over your head – it hardly counts towards building that all essential know, like and trust factor eh? Statistics show that LinkedIn members with a profile photo receive far more engagement; in fact 21 times more profile views and 9 times more connection requests. By investing in a professional headshot you are telling the world that you mean business whether you are a professional or a business owner. I remember getting my first headshot done – I was shy and nervous and didn’t really consider my posture.  The results were still great, and I immediately raised my personal brand online and the way people treated me changed almost instantly. 

They noticed me, they listened to me, they respected me, and they collaborated with me. What’s not to love? That new headshot gave me confidence and the power to be the real me online. I showed up in a new way.  I didn’t hide in the side-lines.  I engaged, I commented, I liked, I shared, and I gave back to my network. I started to build an online community versus a collection of ‘contacts’. There are two things that your profile headshot should be: 400 x 400 pixels. Your entire face should be visible and centred – no hiding near any corners! Humans are innately wired to make snap judgements based on appearance.  What do you want your headshot to say about you? A picture really does say a thousand words. Be honest with yourself, what is yours saying about you? Is it a selfie? Is it well-lit and professional looking? Is it current? Does it look like you? Do you look approachable? Are you dressed suitably for the profession / business you’re representing? Do the colours you’ve chosen reflect your brand and give you confidence? Would you want to do business with the person in the photo? If you’re not sure about your photo check out This site allows you to upload a photo for free and it will be ranked by your peers in terms of likeability, credibility and influence.  I tried several stances when I did mine and looking head on to the camera always scores the highest.

If you want to learn how to fully optimise your LinkedIn profile check out Jennifer’s services via Jennifer offers 1-2-1 support and group workshops.  She also has an online training course ‘LinkedIn Profile Success’ and BrandMe! readers qualify for a 20% discount with the code 20OFFLPS


BrandMe! Magazine: Issue 3 May 2019

celebrating amazing women join us on facebook

Our Focus:

Group Rules:

To share personal brand and personal development content designed to inspire, motivate and empower professional women to create an authentic, confident and visible presence within their industry or area of expertise.

No Spammy Content! At BrandMe!, we fully appreciate that sharing is caring and all that jive, however please reserve sharing your own promotional content for Freedom Thursdays. We want the group to be informative and fun, so spam content will be deleted, and consistent offenders will be removed!

Whether you own your own business, or you are developing your professional career within your industry, we are here to help you be the best you can be because YOU ARE YOUR BEST ASSET! The overall goal is to develop and grow the our following and impact as many women as possible on an international basis. We will regularly provide tips, advice and expertise on your career aspirations, your personal and professional goals, improving your visibility and developing their personal brand style. In addition, we will bring you interviews from successful professional women from all arenas who will deliver impactful and informative content in the form of Facebook Live Videos; Podcasts, blogs; eBooks; Guides and much more. We look forward to interacting with you, sharing your successes, answering your questions and helping you to create an authentic brand that’s true to you!

Respect, Kindness & Courtesy The aim of the group is to create a welcoming and respectful environment for all members. Some topics discussed may be sensitive and whilst we encourage healthy debate, by joining the group you agree to treat others as you would expect to be treated. Protection of Privacy Confidentiality and trust are a key element of the BrandMe! Facebook group promise. We want to give each of you the opportunity to share your views and feedback and we also would appreciate that any personal or sensitive information shared stays within the group. Have Fun! Last, but not least, whilst there will be some serious topics that we will discuss, the overall aim is that we develop a group that becomes like a sisterhood of like-minded professional women dedicated to supporting each other’s progress by being inspiring, motivational and empowering as well as having lots of fun along the way.

BrandMe! Magazine: Issue 3 May 2019


Start a business & build a brand you've developed years of knowledge in your career, you’ve had experiences that make you a great resource for advice and guidance and, you’ve developed skills that enable you to add valuable expertise to any role. sO, WHAT'S NEXT? For one reason or another, you’ve come to that point in your life when you want more. You enjoy helping people solve their challenges and you’re ready to control your destiny and fulfil that desire you turn all the knowledge, skills and experience you’ve gained into a business…but where do you start? How do you take all the information stored in your mind, develop it into a service and then turn it into a successful business? You know it’s scary. You know you need to step out of your comfort zone. You know there are insecurities holding you back. You also know that if you don’t do it, it may be something you regret. The great news is, it all starts with you! You have everything you need within you to become a coach, consultant, adviser, speaker, trainer or any other service-based entrepreneur. To understand how turn your knowledge, skills and experience into a saleable proposition, you need to learn;

why people are attracted to you, what you have to offer that makes you unique and, how to create a message that allows you to stand out from the crowd, build meaningful relationships with your clients and earn an uncapped income on your terms.


The only thing we all have that is truly unique is ourselves. The challenges we’ve been through that made us vulnerable, the way we’ve overcome them and the knowledge and skills we’ve developed from going through those experiences. You are the only one who’s lived your life and experienced what has shaped your own perspective. That is where your real value and, ultimately, your success comes from. The three key stages you need to focus on when becoming an entrepreneur are:Having been on this journey of self-discovery since starting my business, I know how important it is to firstly focus on your own development and learning before you run down what can be a very rocky road to starting a business. Recognising that as a service-based business owner you are the product, and therefore you are also your brand, enables you to really focus on what differentiates you from all the other competition. The three key stages you need to focus on when becoming an entrepreneur are: Developing yourself Developing your proposition Developing your business The Brand Impact Online Training & Strategy Programme has been created specifically for service-based professionals and new entrepreneurs, to enable you to shape your personal and professional journey into a business that is truly authentic to you.

BrandMe! Magazine: Issue 3 May 2019

the brand impact online training & strategy programme

This is a comprehensive programme of online training, coaching and business development support for start-up service-based entrepreneurs who want to start a business and build a successful brand. The programme includes the following online training courses:

Stepping into Your Success

A motivational, inspirational, thought-provoking and empowering course that will challenge you to step away from your fears and embrace the entrepreneur you are going to become.

the goal setting masterclass

You have a goal of becoming an entrepreneur but in order to make that goal a reality you need to develop the tenacity and determination to create a plan and take action. This training will set you on the road to mastering your goals and making them a reality.

Personal branding for success blueprint This training will help you to focus on your story; create your unique message; focus on your strengths, weaknesses, assets and challenges and to develop a strategy for kick-starting your visibility.

The Cashflow Creation Process

One of the big est causes of business failure is due to poor cash low management. This training gives you the tools and strategies to help you maintain your business cash low and ongoing growth so that you can achieve the income and success you desire.

The Brand and Marketing Bootcamp

This is your step-by-step guide to turning your business into a brand. From developing your strategy and defining your brand vision to ongoing strategies and tactics to build awareness, visibility, in luence, authority and advocacy for your business.

The programme also includes the following coaching and business development support:

Personal Brand Development Group Strategy Sessions These monthly virtual sessions are designed to help you focus on your personal and professional growth by delivering advice and guidance to support your ongoing development needs together with goals for yourself and your business.

Business Brand Development Monthly Webinars Our monthly webinar series is designed to help you maintain your knowledge on new developments in sales and marketing tactics to help you continue to innovate, adapt, grow and maintain your business successfully.

If you’re ready to start your entrepreneurial journey access The Brand Impact Online Training and Strategy Programme exclusive to the Brand Masters Online Training school and brought to you by DPS Brand Consultancy Ltd. LAUNCHING 3RD JUNE 2019


July 2019 / Issue 4


IN OUR NEXT ISSUE Photo: Emma Marshall


Profile for DPS Brand Consultany Ltd

BrandMe! Magazine Issue 3 - May 2019