In April 2018, I was interviewed by Celinne Da Costa on how personal branding can open doors in business. The article was published in Forbes and I thought it would be great to share it with you! It discusses my personal journey and how I got into business coaching. Enjoy!
Celinne Da Costa: What is your professional background?
Chanelle Segerius-Bruce: Growing up in Durban, South Africa, I always felt an itch to travel. When I turned 19, I seized the opportunity and bought a one-way ticket to London with my then-boyfriend and now husband.
After getting my graphic design diploma in South Africa, I worked at top London ad agencies before moving into freelancing as a retoucher for high-end brands such as Vogue, D&G, Versace, and Burberry. Three years later I launched a wedding photography business which took me and my husband to far-flung destinations such as Bali, Morocco, Mauritius, and Santorini, as well as got us published in magazines 75 times!
In 2012, we accepted a position in Turks & Caicos after tweeting the words “hire us now ;)” to a photography studio owner I’d met at a wedding in the UK. I had my daughter shortly after moving to the island, and within six months I was asked to return to work full-time. At that point, I realized I never wanted to work full-time again. I longed for the freedom of having my own business again and earning unlimited income.
Da Costa: Why did you transition into business coaching?
Segerius-Bruce: Three years ago, we moved back to South Africa and launched a global social media agency with the intention of running a fast-paced, location-independent business. That first month, I signed five clients on 6-month contracts, which enabled me to grow the business and hire employees.
I then hired my first high-level business coach, and after seeing the powerful results it yielded me (e.g. five figure months, mindset growth, team development), I invested in a year-long coaching program to learn how to support those who were naturally approaching me for help with their business. I love teaching and sharing my knowledge, so transitioning into business coaching has allowed me to empower women to make fruitful changes in their businesses and overcome their fears.
It’s been so gratifying to see the ripple effect that coaching has had on my clients’ lives: one of them recently launched an $84,000 mastermind and another is now booking $6,000 packages as a photographer.
Seeing my clients retire their husbands from 9-5 jobs, book dream family holidays, or move into a bigger home is what drives me as a business coach!
Da Costa: How does personal branding help people grow their career?
Segerius-Bruce: Personal branding does some of the selling for you–it lays the foundation for the all-important “know, like, and trust” factor. When you brand yourself well, people and brands will reach out to you because they like what they’ve seen. Closing sales is a lot easier when the person on the other side is already 80% sold on you.
I carefully curated my personal brand to attract my ideal clients: specifically, people who want to brand themselves as the experts they are. Clients organically find me through social media or by coming across my website, where my story sits front and center. I believe that the more you share your quirks, beliefs, and unique perspective on your industry and life, the more the right people will come to you.
For example, I booked a dream client who wanted a full-service personal brand creation after responding to her post on Facebook. She took one look through my website, and instantly felt I was the one! She hired me after a Skype call and flew me and my family to Seychelles for a $19K personal brand creation package.
Da Costa: What did landing this $19K dream gig teach you about running an online business?
Segerius-Bruce: The world’s a small place, and we’re all hyper-connected. My location isn’t limiting at all, so don’t let yours be! You can base yourself anywhere, work remotely, and meet clients in inspiring places.
By creating a strong personal brand, you will be able to inspire others, communicate your story, and get super visible so the right people can find and connect with you. My personal brand catapulted me from being a freelancer who relied on agencies and word-of-mouth referrals, to a location-independent business owner with true freedom. The best part is, I get to work with my ideal clients!
Running my own business has allowed me to pursue dream gigs around the world, satiate my wanderlust, live in my home country, and help other creatives, influencers, and leaders create their own personal brands and thrive online.
To attract your ideal clients, it’s important to get clear on who exactly you’d like to work with. Then, speak directly to them through your channels in an authentic and genuine way (e.g. sharing stories, doing live streams, posting photos, etc).
Da Costa: How does being a mom play a role in your entrepreneurial life?
Segerius-Bruce: I’ve learned to be incredibly productive and efficient with my time. My daughter goes to pre-school at 8am and is home by 1pm, so that’s the time I have to create content, coach my clients, and develop my online courses and group programs.
My advice is to delegate as much as you can, as quickly as you can. Learn to let go and outsource, or take on team members to help you. Hire help around the house. Burn-out is real and something to be very aware of, especially if you love what you do. It can be tempting to work late into the night or weekends, but this can lead to losing passion for what you do. I always remind myself why I started my business in the first place–to have time freedom and not be glued to my laptop 24/7.
Having a little person to take care of forces you to be fully present and prioritize your time. I love that I can be home with my daughter in the afternoons, take a stroll down the beach, and let her play in the rockpools. It’s a good work/life blend.
Da Costa: What advice would you give to Millennials who are looking to launch an online business?
Segerius-Bruce: If you have zero experience, try to work for people who have the success you desire to achieve. Invest in courses, programs, and one-to-one coaching to fast-track your success as figuring everything out on your own is a much slower path.
Be prepared to hustle in the beginning: building a business is a mix of mindset, skills, talent, and action-taking, but it’ll pay off in the long run! As you scale and start outsourcing, you’ll be able to reclaim your time and work less.
Speaking of, learn what tasks to let go of as soon as possible. Every week, assess your work and ask yourself “who else could be doing this task?” You should be focusing on what only you can do, like content creation or working with clients, and delegating the rest.
As you progress, don’t compare your business to someone else’s. I see a lot of entrepreneurs beating themselves up for not being further along the path of success. Building a business is a journey, and you’ll never “arrive” as new goals constantly pop up. Learn to enjoy the process, don’t equate money to success, and find ways to celebrate the small wins every day!
Lastly, if you’re thinking about having kids and how this will impact your business, life, and ability to travel, take it from me–it’s possible to do it all with a child. The first year is the hardest, but it gets easier. Our 4-year-old daughter has already traveled all over the world!
Millennial moms are doing parenting on our own terms: working from home, taking our families with us on work trips, and being way more adventurous than generations before us. The Internet has opened a lot of doors, so embrace this new wave of parenting and working. Go out there and take action towards your dreams!
Originally published on: Forbes