WHo am i and who is miss evans?
It is the thing that will differentiate you from anyone else. Forget thinking about competition, it is your story has the ability to establish connections and build relationships with you, your brand, your employees and ultimately build the bridge that in turn creates meaningful relationships, produces sales and delivers success.
Why am I telling you this? because I am about to tell you mine (In the briefest way possible) If you are going to work with me, It’s important you know what got me here and why I am the person who will deliver success for your brand.
That’s Me …
That’s where it all began.
“What shall we draw today Victoria?” a health visitor said to 2 year old me.
“How about a duck?” I replied (much to the amusement of my mum and health visitor).
I have been a conversationalist and explorer of people since I entered into this world. I had an exceptionally nurturing family who encouraged me to explore my abilities and strong personality, my talkative nature and zest for life by ‘doing things differently’ from the moment I was born. I’ll be forever grateful for those very early years before education tried to shape me into being ‘the same as everyone else’.
I was ‘that one’ in school who was discouraged from exploring difference and I was challenged when I suggested anything that disrupted the status quo or went against convention, in majority, my talents and ambitions were squashed.
But the thing is, particularly in todays world of technology, multiple communication channels, variety, choice and consumerism, nothing and I repeat nothing is conventional. Even if a product is conventional and the most simplistic easy to explain product, the route to it’s purchase for you and I will be entirely different. There is not one conventional route or customer journey.
If I could go back to those teachers now and give them a lesson or ten, I would tell them to empower todays children to explore possibility, to challenge the norm and to be empowered to explore their ideas and thoughts because that would prepare them far more for this unconventional world than a curriculum.
People are different and complex beings. I have travelled the world for the past decade exploring cultures, different ideas, methods, communications and one thing for sure that I can guarantee you is that there are no two people in this world that are the same.
How we buy is complex and how we feel empowered is complex. Trust me, for someone who was crushed every time she tried to pursue her differences I know only too well that I did not feel empowered at many points during my early days in education.
Why does this relate to you?
Well because all of these decades later, I took a very valuable lesson from those days. The main lesson was this; when I felt empowered by someone, I felt like I mattered and in turn I felt positive. When you empower people they feel positive and if they make a positive association with you (and your brand) It doesn’t matter about competition or anything else that exists externally, that positive connection is between you and them. You created that, no competitor can take that away.
You have to empower people to feel positive towards your brand.
Does that mean you need to motivate them for every moment of the day? No, of course not. It does mean you need to take time to understand people as individuals, to know what matters to them and to show them that they matter to you by creating individual moments and experiences so they feel empowered by you.
So, back to my story.
It is a part of my story that is fuelled by a lot of sadness and loss. As much as I realise it now by looking back retrospectively, had this loss not happened, I would not be who am or doing what I do so intently, today.
A very dear teacher of mine, Miss Evans really DID empower me. She was a music teacher and she sat at the piano with me for hours on end, encouraging ‘my talent’ as she so kindly said. Miss Evans had very kind eyes and a huge kind heart to go with it. She saw my ability and encouraged me to do what was important to me, she helped me to express myself. She breathed life into my soul (that I didn’t even realise I needed at that young age) but she gave me a spark that no other teacher was prepared to encourage. She made me feel like I mattered and impacted the course of my life forever.
Devastatingly, at a school Christmas concert, she was playing the piano and I was stood on stage singing in the choir. We watched her collapse doing the thing she loved most, playing the piano. She suffered a brain haemorrhage and passed away. I was devastated. I can’t tell you how that impacted me as a child but I do know that her passing made the lesson stronger. People, Matter, Most.
She left a legacy behind for me and that legacy was to make every individual feel like they mattered.
From this moment, I promised myself that I wanted to spend the rest of my life empowering people and encouraging them to express themselves. Are there times when I failed, sure there are, we all have ‘off’ days.
I also decided that I wanted to help other people do this too.
Good Teacher, Bad Teacher > Good Brand, Bad Brand
I think of brands now like ‘good teachers and ‘bad teachers’ (Like Miss Evans and like all of those other teachers), of course, there are those in-between and they tend to be the ones who are adding to the social media noise and cluttering up digital space with things that don’t really make much of an impact.
Now of course, building a brand identity and a product or service that people need, want, come to like, know, love and eventually trust is crucial to a brand’s success. All brands are striving for this. Notice though how most meetings are around ‘Brand Message’ ‘Brand Development’ ‘Campaign X’ ‘Campaign Y’ or the majority of things that revolve around ‘Brand’ or ‘Customer’.
How about if you held meetings that were about simply ‘making people matter’ by delivering the best experience, at every moment, for every individual? But hang on, where is the list of deliverables there? the KPI’s the ROI, the time versus reward? YES all of those deliverables are crucial to the success of a business but add in ‘making people matter’ and you have the ability to achieve the extraordinary.
The brand who cares enough to learn about people individually by empowering each and every person to feel like they matter will be the brand that not only sells products today and tomorrow and next week and next year, but they will be the brand who doesn’t just survive but thrive. A brand that people feel good to be a part of, not just consume from. THAT is how you achieve success, that is how you build a brand with a solid foundation. THAT is how you leave a legacy.
I guess summed up, I want to empower all brands to be Miss Evans. This is what I have been doing my entire life in all of my different roles and capacities.
If Miss Evans had a shop full of items, I would be buying them today, three decades after her passing.
Make people matter and you will matter to them.
That’s me in a nutshell. It is the the heartbeat of my soul and it sums up my life, right there.
WAIT FOR IT …
I can throw in my list of experience which ranges from my degree in consumerism and media marketing with continued growth, study and practical application to my now 15 years experience (with 7 of these in my own consultancy) of understanding, providing solutions and creating success for start ups, SME’s, global leading brands and Fortune 500 companies from around the world. I can also include my success of being topsalesperson for both global leading travel and media companies and the subsequent success that I had through building and developing UK sales and business development teams and channels. I can throw in my ability to create strategies that deliver beyond the expectations of revenue delivery KPI’s and metrics set. I deliver to achieve success and connect people to brands so they come back time and time again.
I can also include proven sales success and development of business growth strategies at country management level in the UK. A diverse skillset and the ability to be able to adapt to work in multiple environments, from hands on with sales teams to working at boardroom level with C-Suite and management. I am no stranger to global practice and knowledge of cultural differences of consumerism through my diverse and global client base. I have the latest knowledge on travel, hospitality trends, technology and digital media developments as an international speaker who travels the world to speak at multiple events, across different sectors. I also offer a highly connected network that frequently benefits and connects opportunities for those I work with. I have an outstanding knowledge and success delivering digital media strategies and campaigns in the UK, Ireland, Europe, Australia and the USA. I can offer you diverse knowledge around what works for different mediums with my experience of working in multiple media industries: traditional press, radio, television, digital media and public relations and finally my specialism of working in the travel, tourism, hospitality and entertainment industries having developed customer experience and digital media strategies for both boutique hotels and chains up to global travel brands.
Do you notice how those last couple of paragraphs (the ones that list my achievements and accolades) are actually probably the most boring of them all?
Aren’t those the paragraphs that you are probably used to seeing the most when you scroll through Linkedin? We are inundated with achievement and skill and awards and all the headlines used to impress, but these really are simply additions to the superpowers that underline everything. Who we are, and what drives us to be the best and deliver the best, those things, they are our story.
My driving force? making people matter.
What do I bring? Me.
So there you have it, that’s my story and story matters. How are we going to write yours?