Category Archives: Blog

Friday Tip – Start Recording

#FridayTip

Ready to do something a little bit different in marketing your business? Follow what you’re interested in, you’re passionate about and the results will come to you.

Here’s how to make a start / take a first step in that new marketing avenue…

Have a great weekend,

Clare

Friday Tip – Selling the Feeling

#FridayTip

If you’re in business it’s likely you sell your product or service, right? Why wouldn’t you after all!? Here’s why. Try using this technique instead, a lot more powerful. I’ve been playing about with this in my head, on paper, this week and the words you use can be interchangeable 🙂

Happy weekend,

Clare

Why you need a branding specialist

My business doesn’t need a rebrand!

Often, businesses can get in a rut with this mentality. Your business may appear to be ticking along OK, without having to invest much time and money in developing your company’s image. But for how long? And what opportunities could you be missing, while your brand stagnates?

In today’s busy world, just being a great business delivering a great service is not enough. Relying on your reputation alone to generate sales will eventually become a problem, particularly if your competitors are getting ahead of the game and investing in their own brands.

Keeping your finger on the pulse with your customers, staff and suppliers, their needs and wants, and ensuring your company has the right image to reflect this, is essential in maintaining your business growth and building those relationships.

The worst outcome would be that your brand is actually working AGAINST you – putting out mixed messages can really turn potential customers off. After all, if your brand messaging is unprofessional and incoherent, someone who doesn’t know you would assume that your business is too.

A good analogy here is to think of a successful pop band. Their image is carefully crafted with their target audience in mind, from the way they dress, the way they behave, their logo and artwork for their album covers and merchandise. Image is everything, and it all has to work together to represent their core product – their music. The bands who get it right are the ones headed for stardom.

I can just do it myself, can’t I?

To an extent – but are you putting the right message out there? Are you crafting your marketing material to truly reflect your company, and how you do business? Do you understand who you are selling to, and how to create a visual identity that can really hook the right people in?

This is the time to get a branding specialist involved in your business, who can help you find the answers to these questions. With a good brand strategy in place, you can create an image for your business that is unique to you, but strategic in it’s approach to enabling your business to grow.

Isn’t it expensive?

It really doesn’t need to be. Larger corporations can spend millions on creating and developing their brand, but that doesn’t mean you have to! Using a small, local design agency means you can achieve your dream brand without having to break the bank. And, when you consider the potential uplift in your company profile, sales and profits as a result – you will very likely consider the investment a absolute bargain.

I’m anxious about making big changes

This is quite normal, and just human nature. Life is busy, and often business owners can feel that addressing their tired brand is another stress they just don’t need, or see the value in. The whole process may feel quite alien to you too, and therefore something to avoid. However, a company that can adapt and evolve will grow more successfully than one that doesn’t.

A good branding specialist will support your through the journey – one step at a time.  From understanding the character of your company and establishing your aspirations for it, to creating your ‘perfect customer’ avatar – you may be surprised by the things you discover about your own business. Using an experienced, creative agency ensures that the end result will be something that will make you feel proud, excited and confident – and you will wonder why you ever felt nervous.

What difference will it make?

Marketing your business with a unique, truly reflective brand will position you ahead of your competitors, even as the market leaders, it will attract the right kind of customers, change the way people perceive you, and it will effectively communicate what your business is all about. But more than that, it gives you, your staff and your customers something solid to buy into. Putting the vision for your business into a visual identity produces real, measurable results for businesses that take the plunge with their rebrand. As an essential ingredient for the success of a growing business wanting to move to the next level, the question is, can you afford not to?


Clare at Meta4 partners with Kate and Curry Design Studio to offer Utopia + ‘A Business in a Box’ which provides ambitious business owners a coaching programme that comes complete with a branding expert, a web designer and a virtual assistant, to turn your ideas into a fully functioning business. If you would like to book in for a strategy session to turn your dream of running a business into a reality book in here.

Three things you didn’t know about running a small business

Is this what it really takes?

For those considering embarking on being the proud owner of a small business. I know you’ve been thinking and dreaming about it for some time now. The prospect of being your own boss. Answering to no one, being able to come and go as you please, no more office politics and to top it all off – earning more money – the kind of money you know you deserve.

Whilst this is all completely true, only business owners truly understand what it takes to get a small business to this place of utopia. As an ex employee myself with a self-employed husband it wasn’t until I was in the same position did I understand the challenges, and then the mindset required to overcome them.

Here is the truth, look away if you wish to remain ignorant of the facts:

#1 You will not achieve your dream small business on your own.

“Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people.” – Steve Jobs

Running a small business requires so many different skills; marketing, copywriting, administration, accounting, PR, sales, people development, not to mention the actual delivery of the product or service your business is seeking to share with the world. Attempting to do all of this on your own would be like trying to fly a plane with no training. You are setting yourself up to crash and burn.

Seek out the right help from the outset, you will not only be saving yourself money in lost income (the income you’re not earning as you don’t know where to start first) but gaining invaluable skills and knowledge in an otherwise enormous learning curve and your first customers.

#2 Reaching your goals will always take longer than you plan for.

Many of life’s failures are people who did not realise how close they were to success when they gave up.” Thomas Edison

This is from someone who knows – Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts to invent the lightbulb – seemingly then, to others, a completely impossible and ludicrous task.

I’m not saying it will take you this long! But don’t be hard on yourself if you don’t get there straight away.

Be as clear as you can on what it is you are attempting to achieve and be doggedly passionate about getting there. With the right people surrounding you means that when you do get there (because you will!) it will be worth every ounce of sweat it took from you – you just don’t know it yet.

#3 You WILL be able to achieve so much more than you ever thought possible.

From the outside (full time employment – desperate to get out) you may feel you can’t write a blog post – you wouldn’t know where to start… you can’t go along to networking meetings – the thought may fill you with absolute horror… you can’t records Vlogs – maybe you don’t even know what they are!

Self-employment and running your own small successful business is 100% about putting yourself outside of your comfort zone, on a regular basis. This is where having your hand held, figuratively speaking, is invaluable to your personal and business development. Invest in you and your new business – whatever that looks like to you – a business coach, a marketing coach, a PR expert. Someone who will have your back and be able to give you the right guidance for building your new, amazing future.

Clare Whalley has just published her first book  ‘Do.It.Now! A practical workbook to let your business work hard, not you!’ You can purchase it here to get you and your business on the right track.

I found the book to be so comprehensive, clear, straightforward and user friendly, it covered everything and I was excited!! I am in the early stages of starting my business but I know with the help of this book I will be able to shape my business step by step, whilst ensuring I build it on a solid foundation.  I trust this book and it’s made me believe in the process, every time I pick it up I’m motivated to do something which is quite something for someone who had procrastination down to an art form.

Kiran Thiara


Clare Whalley celebrated 10 years in business in 2017. A great milestone to achieve. She graduated with an International degree in English and Education and went into corporate life to pursue a career outside of teaching. Successfully passing a rigorous graduate scheme into a blue chip company; working in several positions across team management, customer service and sales roles. A working trip to India helped her decide to resign, retrain and set up her own coaching and training business.

Clare now lives in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham with her two young children, Isabelle and James and her husband Rob.

Clare works with fellow business owners to help them create a business they love too. She uses strategies and tools which will help business owners get to the clients they love to work with, with more consistency and ease.

To find out more about my small business coaching programs click to download here or to have a chat with Clare to find out more about how coaching can help you and your business book in for a free one hour business strategy session

Friday Tip – Keep going

For the Greatest Showman and a Million Dreams fans the underlying message is right here for us business owners to take on board too.

We start out with big goals which can get dampened along the way.

Here to tell you to do this instead!

Have a great weekend,

Clare

Friday Tip – How to stop thinking about doing, and actually do

*Big Announcement* ish 

Is there one thing you really want to achieve or have been thinking about doing for some time?

Me too!

So here’s what I’m sharing with you to Make It Happen!

So follow my advice and help me out too.

Let me know you’re watching…

Friday Tip – Get your Sh*t together

Not sure how to set goals to achieve them or you just want to ‘Get your Sh*t Together’? This tip from Sarah Knight might help. 🙂 #fridaytip

Have a great weekend,

Clare

Create business success without sacrificing your soul

business owner making a deal with the devil

Getting out of overwhelm

I speak with small business owners all the time who are too busy working with clients (often who they do not love) and little to no time to focus on business development so the can get in front of the clients they want to work with, delivering what they really want to deliver.

Perhaps you’re working with a few big clients who demand lots of your attention and it’s draining your resources? You could be working with a small team but are still fire-fighting your way through the majority of client issues yourself, working long days and feel like you are giving your heart and soul without reaping any of the rewards.

You know what you need and want to be doing, but do not have the time to dedicate any real focus to making any of the changes you desire.

Carry on like this and you could see your business ebb away through demotivation and your current clients going elsewhere with your own levels of motivation seriously wavering.

Time to STOP!

There are always answers and solutions to every challenge and problem. You just can’t recognise it in the midst of all the paperwork, head fuzz, phone calls and emails. Take two minutes out to write down the question that you are seeking the answer to, ‘How can I…?’ ‘What do I need to do in order to…’ By writing it down it will turn your lovely brain on to actually finding the answer, rather than drowning in a sea of ‘what if’s…’, ‘I can’t seem to be able to…’, ‘That won’t work for me / my business…’

You never know what results will come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no results. – Mahatma Gandhi

You may need to step away from the question for a while or you may find the answers come flooding in or trickling in across the next few days and weeks. Either way you will find the answer that works best for you and your small business.

Take Action.

So, once the solution is found you take action on it. It’s likely to be bold action, too. You know as a business owner nothing big or new and exciting was ever achieved by staying small or playing it safe. The answer you have usually involves making an investment of some kind, monetary – speculating to start accumulating or investing time – the kind of time that you will reap back ten fold once the solution really pays off.

Take the leap and Do. It. Now.!


Clare Whalley celebrated 10 years in business in 2017. A great milestone to achieve. She graduated with an International degree in English and Education and went into corporate life to pursue a career outside of teaching. Successfully passing a rigorous graduate scheme into a blue chip company; working in several positions across team management, customer service and sales roles. A working trip to India helped her decide to resign, retrain and set up her own coaching and training business.

Clare now lives in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham with her two young children, Isabelle and James and her husband Rob.

Clare works with fellow business owners to help them create a business they love too. She uses strategies and tools which will help business owners get to the clients they love to work with, with more consistency and ease.

To find out more about my small business coaching programs click to download here or to have a chat with Clare to find out more about how coaching can help you and your business book in for a free one hour business strategy session

Friday Tip – What to do when a potential client says no

Business owners – what do you do when a client says no, or I’ll think about it? Rather than falling into a heap of despair or lambasting yourself for a poorly ran meeting here are some alternative solutions…

Have a great weekend,

Clare

Friday Tip – Relax and recharge over the children’s summer holidays

How to fully relax and be productive over the (children’s) summer holidays in your small business. No need for being switched on the whole time – here’s how to give your mind a well earned rest 🙂

Have a great weekend,

Clare

Friday Tip – First Steps to Tackling Resistance

Been feeling resistance to that new thing you want to do in your business? I get it. I’ve been there. I still am sometimes. Here’s what I do to overcome it 

Have a great weekend,

Clare

How to not get Distracted by your Competitors

Which camp are you in?

There are usually two camps when it comes to how small business owners see their competition.

  • There are those small business owners who view their competition as the enemy. They don’t want to connect and engage at all with one another.
  • Then there are the successful business owners who welcome collaborations. Collaborations work well in many situations: passing work that fits better with how a competitor delivers, becoming a bigger market force to be able to deliver against larger projects and sharing knowledge and expertise in a healthier way.

Ultimately, it’s always useful to connect with those who are seemingly in the same marketplace as the right clients will choose to work with you and vice versa when it’s right to do so. It’s good to know who else is out there working in a similar market. We all have our own unique and niche way of delivering and who we work with and what problems we solve with tends to be very specific anyway (although we may not always realise it from the outset).

It’s liberating as a small business owner, with choices, to have a back-up plan – when you know someone who approaches you would be better off working with a different business.

Tackling ‘Competitor Comparison’

With social media it’s very easy to follow your competitors and their every move without them even knowing. As a business coach I would encourage small business owners to find how competitors are interacting with their audience – what kind of conversations are happening – as this is where the learning starts and newcomers can listen and watch how to find their own voice on social media. There is a line that needs to be drawn on this following, checking on them and you know when this needs to be drawn…

The best way (and only way!) to stay out of the competitor comparison trap is to focus on your own approach and this being the best you can possibly make it. This involves having a plan. What do you want to achieve with social media and your marketing and how will you go about it? There is plenty of help out there on this, so go out and find it.

Usually, if you are falling in to the Competitor Comparison trap it’s because that someone else is doing what you feel you should or want to be doing but there’s something’s getting in the way. Know what that is. It’s most likely fear of failure, fear of success – yes, this is a real thing or lack of knowledge *insert your reason here*. So learn to be more of that person. It’s likely the person (your competitor) shouting about their good news, success stories has learned exactly how to overcome a *reason* and has invested in themselves – both financially and time wise. This is a good thing, right? All small business owners are on their own path and are just trying to be the best they can be with what resources available to us at the time.

We are all unique and understanding your business USP (unique selling point) goes a long way in addressing any imbalance you may be experiencing.


Clare Whalley celebrated 10 years in business in 2017. A great milestone to achieve. She graduated with an International degree in English and Education and went into corporate life to pursue a career outside of teaching. Successfully passing a rigorous graduate scheme into a blue chip company; working in several positions across team management, customer service and sales roles. A working trip to India helped her decide to resign, retrain and set up her own coaching and training business.

Clare now lives in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham with her two young children, Isabelle and James and her husband Rob.

Clare works with fellow business owners to help them create a business they love too. She uses strategies and tools which will help business owners get to the clients they love to work with, with more consistency and ease.

To find out more about my small business coaching programs click to download here or to have a chat with Clare to find out more about how coaching can help you and your business book in for a free one hour business strategy session

Friday Tip – Trust Your Intuition

Ever make a decision in your business and think later on well that was the wrong one to make or it would have been better if I’d have taken that different path?

For some reason we tend to talk ourselves out of something and into the wrong one. Perhaps it’s a busy mind or old patterns or habits getting in the way. Here’s how to change that.

Have a great weekend,

Clare

Friday Tip – Feeling Overwhelmed?

Feeling overwhelmed? Or perhaps not feeling quite like you at the moment and not sure why? Check out these 3 strategies to help you combat. Thanks to Sharon Taylor at Complete Harmony for the inspiration x

Have a great weekend,

Clare