We caught up with Jennifer, social media expert to answer some of our burning questions around her business and get her expert advice on starting off.
Can you tell us a little bit about what you do? What is unique about your business?
I’m the Founder and CEO of My Super Connector which is a social media consultancy. In a nutshell I help people to polish up their online profiles and connect with finesse. I cover LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Blogging.
The key differential for My Super Connector is that I perform social media strategy audits and 121 consulting and help people to do their own social media versus performing the role of Social Media Manager. A lot of people have a fear of being online and this is mainly from a lack of knowledge or training. I nurture and handhold my clients and help them to attain their goals.
In my previous life I won the title of the most networked PA in London. In general, I find that people are either a great networker in person or online and rarely both which is really my USP. I love connecting good people and see myself as a business match maker!
How did you get your idea or concept for the business?
In my previous role as an Office Manager I was the ultimate fixer and had to connect with a lot of people professionally both in person and online. Over time I turned to LinkedIn and began to use this fantastic platform to link up with colleagues, clients, suppliers, thought leaders and influencers.
Gradually I begun to realise that not everyone felt comfortable in the online space and likewise they were not adept at putting their best foot forward online. I took this for granted as it was something I enjoyed and was good at.
I’ve always been a massive believer in personal branding and as an Executive Assistant I was not only representing myself, I was an ambassador for my boss, my team, the company and my industry at large. Ironically, I was the gate keeper but I now teach people how to bypass the gatekeeper in the world of social media. This is a fantastic opportunity not to be scoffed at.
So, I’m still a ‘fixer’ helping people to shine from the sidelines – I’ve managed to win 4 awards to date (regional, national and global) and have finally found my sweet spot.
What keeps you awake at night?
As an entrepreneur my mind is constantly whirring and thinking of the next event, project, client, task etc. so at times it can be hard to switch off. I’m constantly pushing myself through my comfort zone as an introvert so typical niggles may be having to speak at an event, workshop or producing a webinar or video. I’m a chatty introvert which people often mistake for extroversion as I’m a good networker but public speaking is really my bugbear – it is however necessary if you want to be perceived as an expert / thought leader in your industry.
What is the biggest lesson you have learned from founding your own company?
Outsource, outsource, outsource! If you don’t enjoy something or it’s not your natural talent you need to delegate and focus on your business and not spend 100% of the time working in it. Delegation does not mean failure – it’s actually the smart thing to do.
What does success mean to you and what is it that motivates you?
Success to me is happiness. Being happy in my own skin and making a positive impact in the world and helping others. I’ve always been a fixer in all of my previous corporate roles but now I’m helping others to tweak their content, communication and personal branding which is really an honour. I’m helping others to get their message out in the world which is very exciting.
How do you stay productive and motivated? Any amazing content planner or app tips?
App wise I love Wunderlist. As you can imagine I’m a big lover of ticking off checklists so this is the perfect app for me. Regarding motivation I try to go to the gym as often as I can to do aqua aerobics and Pilates. I fully subscribe to the saying ‘healthy body healthy mind’ and I find that my motivation dips when I start lagging on the diet or exercise.
Running your own business has so many challenges. Have you had any career defining moments, or hurdles that shaped who you are and where you are right now? How did you overcome these?
My biggest hurdle was back surgery in early 2016. Funnily enough this was probably the best thing that ever happened to me. I was forced to step away from my corporate role for a few months and this allowed me to reflect on what truly made me happy. My conclusion was to step away from financial services and now I focus on people over profit. I’ve given up my golden handcuffs (annual bonus) but can honestly say that I’ve never been happier.
If you had one piece of advice for someone who is just starting out, what would it be?
As a new business owner, you can often procrastinate in search of perfection. Don’t! Go out there and make mistakes and own them. This is how you will learn and progress. You will never be perfect so just fight your fear and do it. On a practical note realise that your business may take a few months, if not a year to take off so have some savings to tide you over or seek out a small business loan. It’s not a failure to temp / contract on the side if you need to.
‘The most effective way to do it, is to do it’. (Amelia Earhart)
Do you have a particular life motto that you live by?
I have a few if I’m honest such as ‘if you don’t ask, you don’t get’ or ‘if you believe you can, you are half way there’. I’m a massive fan of positive affirmations as the biggest struggle for me as an entrepreneur is mindset. I try to surround myself with positive people at all times and likewise only work with positive clients who are making an impact in the world.
Finally, which women inspire you?
Wow this is a tricky one as so many amazing women inspire me.
My mother who is a bipolar sufferer is a huge inspiration – she is never shy in coming forward and always speaks her mind. She has been to hell and back and is still standing strong. Likewise, my mother-in-law Lorena who has beat cancer is a true survivor, my sister Susan who is a single mother, my niece Eden who has battled dyslexia, my step mum June who took on 4 teenage children… I’ve been blessed to meet so many amazing women in both my personal and professional life.
Business women like Vanessa Vallely (CEO of WeAreTheCity) and Emma Jones (CEO of Enterprise Nation) are doing great things for women below the pipeline and entrepreneurs. They have both given me some fantastic opportunities which I’m forever grateful for.
On a global scale I couldn’t leave out Sheryl Sandberg – I’m currently an accredited She Means Business Trainer with Facebook and Enterprise Nation and am helping female entrepreneurs to get comfortable with both Facebook and Instagram for business. I firmly believe in community over competition and co-host a monthly mastermind for female founders called Collective Minds. All of the attendees inspire me! I take my hat off to anyone who has the nerve, grit and resilience to set up in business. It’s not easy!
We couldn't agree with you more! If you liked reading this interview as much as we loved writing it, you can read more from our Community of amazing women below, or check out the Squirrel Sisters' feature on The Merit Club