Entrepreneur Friday – Colette Machado
Time for another Entrepreneur Friday where we interview female business owners. This week we have the lovely Colette Machado – a PR and content marketing consultant, and she runs an online magazine, Sales Mastery.
Entrepreneur Friday – Colette Machado
Tell us a bit about your business?
I am a PR and content marketing consultant, and content creator, working primarily with female business owners, entrepreneurs and thought leaders to help position themselves as the go-to experts in their industry and get featured in the media. I also publish an online magazine, Sales Mastery, which features articles written by sales experts worldwide to help sales professionals, business owners, and entrepreneurs to improve their selling skills. Articles range from how to create a first great impression, how to improve your listening skills, and how to build great rapport with a prospect.
What inspired you to start it?
When I first got started in journalism 20 years ago, I was often asked if I did PR by the contacts I made at the different events I attended. As the enquiries continued, one day I thought that maybe I should actually considering offering PR services – as there was clearly a need for it. I knew I could write well and I certainly knew what a press release was and what it consisted of as I received many of them each week. I also knew what the role of a PR consultant or agent was as I had many contact me each week to pitch their clients’ products, stories, or events to me! I decided to give it go, found that I really enjoyed it – and that I was able to achieve great results for my clients! The rest is history…
Regarding the magazine, I bought it from its former publisher in the US, late 2015. We were paired up as accountability partners for one another – which was one of the benefits offered to members as part of the online business support group we were both members of. On our first Skype call, my accountability partner shared with me that she was selling her magazine and looking for a buyer. When I told my husband about my day later that evening and a little about the conversation I had with my accountability partner, he reminded me of my long-term goal: to publish my own magazine and asked me why I didn’t tell her that I may be interested in being the buyer! We discussed it, did our due diligence and after a few sleepless nights of me deliberating whether I was even ready to be the publisher of my own magazine (and a global one too!), I decided to bite the bullet and take up the opportunity. Three weeks later after the very first conversation with my accountability partner, I signed the contract to become the new publisher and editor of the magazine!
What is your career background?
I have had a 15-year journalism career in journalism: 10 years as an online BBC journalist, five years as editor on a national newspaper aimed at a niche audience. Across these years, I worked on several publications ranging from a women’s business magazine to a Caribbean food magazine as a freelance sub-editor or business editor
What is your vision for your business?
To have a team of individuals helping clients with PR and content marketing needs and helping them position themselves as the experts in their industry in order to raise their profile and/or grow their businesses. This will be done through coaching, workshops, and more! I plan to grow the magazine so that it becomes the go-to resource for sales professionals and business owners, as well as offer a range of services to its audience, as well as enter the world of contract publishing, and publish magazines for others.
You’ve balanced being a successful business woman with raising a family. Any advice for other women?
If you haven’t got children yet, but are planning to start a family sometime in soon or in the future – my advice would be to set up a family savings account and save regularly into it, so that when you have a family and may be thinking about starting a business, you have money there that you can rely on. If you have children and want to start a business, I would recommend that all women plan ahead before taking the step towards entrepreneurship – as it is not easy as it looks! The age/s of your child/ren will determine when you can work on your business, so make sure this is thought through first. Do you want to work on your business just when they are at school and not in the school holidays? What kind of business will you run – online or one where you need to keep stock at home? Have to get the room for that.
How do you maintain a good work/life/family balance?
Once my children are home from school I do my best to switch off from work until they go to bed. Apart from the odd phone call that I need to make, which I do while they are having their free time (watching TV or playing on Playstation) I do fairly well at sticking to this. At the weekends, the computer rarely goes on if the children are around, however, when they’re out with their Dad, I make the most of the alone time and catch up with some of my to-do’s or emails that are overdue.
What was your light bulb moment? When did you realise you wanted to be an entrepreneur/business owner?
I wanted to be a business owner from my early days in journalism! As a journalist, I often received invitations to many different events, including events where inspiring business women would talk about how they started their businesses, the challenges the faced etc. The more and more I attended, the more I was inspired by these amazing women and knew that I too wanted to run my own business one day. From then on, I found myself immersing myself into the world of reading anything and everything I could about business – often staying up until the early hours of the morning reading interesting articles about women and entrepreneurship.
What lessons have you learned along the way?
You don’t have to know everything. Just enough to get started and have the willpower to do so and not give up! Surround yourself with like-minded people. Various individuals who want the best for you – my husband is my greatest supporter – and a network of even a small group of people who support what you are doing (and you them) is key to your overall success. Don’t try and be a perfectionist! Done is better – than perfect (most of the time!) Network – offline and online – and go on as many courses as you can that are relevant for you – free and paid-for ones. I have met some amazing women at networking events and workshops I have been on, who I have both learnt from and have shared my knowledge with. I have also developed friendships with several, as well as worked on projects, and developed partnerships with others too!
What has surprised you about owning your own business?
That there are so many factors that go towards succeeding in business – having the right mindset, knowing how to price your products and services, and much more! I liken running a business to doing a degree – but one that doesn’t end – as in business you are ALWAYS learning.
Who and what inspires you?
I am truly inspired by all the amazing business women whose presentations I have listened to at business women’s events, their businesses, my mother (for always encouraging me and motivating me get to where I am today), my sister for what she is achieving for herself and never giving up…as well as Oprah Winfrey, for all that she has achieved despite having a tough childhood.
Do you have a daily routine or rituals you do?
Yes, I do. Once I wake up I do a quick prayer and acknowledge the day that is ahead of me. I then make myself a cup of green tea and while drinking that I write my top three priorities for the day in my journal (from my to-do list that I have created the night before) and any thoughts at that moment. While getting the boys’ cereal, I listen to a motivational YouTube video or a podcast for 15 mins and then once back from school drop-off, I read a personal development article for about 15 mins while having my cereal, before starting my work day.
Before going to bed, I write down my to-do list for the following day and do a two-minute review of my day in my journal. I also do a 30-minute walk/run routine three times a week fitting it in either after drop-off (if not going anywhere afterwards) or I take the boys to the local park once home from school and I do it there.
What obstacles have you had along the way?
Apart from the lack of money that most start-ups face in the early stages of being in business, last Summer I was ill for a few weeks and wasn’t able to publish a magazine. I lost motivation and as the months passed it became more and more difficult to pick myself and get working on aand this taught me what every self-employed person knows– that if you are the only person that can do what you do in your business when you are forced to stop, so does your business! Yes, you can outsource, however, if you unexpectedly fall ill, it is very unlikely that you will have the energy to find someone at short notice, train them to do what you do, etc. My advice: get a contingency plan from now!
What is one thing you wish you’d known when you first started?
That unless you have money to outsource various aspects of the work needed in your business in your early stages (and most start-ups don’t), you pretty much have to do almost everything that your business requires: marketing, social media, finances, networking, business planning, seeking clients…and much more!
Tell us your favourite tools that make your life easier (apps, websites, software etc)
Evernote (for saving links and keeping everything together) and Trello (for managing some of my projects). I also love TweakMyBiz Title Generator and Headline Analyzer which I use when working on articles or blogs for myself or with clients, and Grammarly. I also use bit.ly a lot for shortening links when sharing them on social media.
You help business owners and entrepreneurs position themselves as the go-to expert within their industry. Why do they need to do this? What are the benefits?
Social media and the internet has opened up a world where running and promoting your business has never been easier. The downside to this however is that there is tons of competition, and also anyone can go on social media and state that they are an expert – and they do! Therefore if you are using social media as one of the ways to promote your business, you need to not only be visible but also stand out. So how do you do this? By positioning yourself as the go-to expert in your industry!
Apart from social media, are there any other ways in which business owners and entrepreneurs can position themselves as experts?
Tons! Being featured in the media, getting speaking engagements, delivering webinars, getting awards, getting interviewed on podcasts are all ways you can get seen as the expert in your niche and stand out. However, no-one needs to do all! They need to find out what are the best ways for them to position themselves as experts in their industry, which will be influenced by a number of factors. This is what I help my clients with, as well as how to carry out the strategies they decide on – whether that is PR or seeking engagements.
What is your favourite quote?
My number one quote is: “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve” – Napoleon Hill. It has been my favourite quote since I first came across it when at secondary school many years ago – and it still is to this day!
Colette Machado is a PR and content marketing consultant who helps business owners, entrepreneurs and thought leaders to position themselves as the go-to-expert in their niche and get featured in the media. A former BBC journalist and national newspaper editor, Colette also owns, publishes, and edits a global digital magazine and YouTube Channel, called Sales Mastery.
Using honed questioning skills, Colette has successfully helped clients to define exactly how they want to position themselves in their business and get clear on their ideal target audience. Her portfolio of services include: crafting press releases and media pitches; writing, re-writing and editing website content, blog and social media posts; newsletters, and seeking and helping her clients to secure guest blogging and speaking opportunities. Colette has also worked in a freelance editor capacity for several niche magazine titles, ranging from a women’s business magazine to a Caribbean food publication, and has gained media exposure for her clients – UK and internationally – in local newspapers, BBC radio, and on national TV.
She is the chair of a women’s charity in North London and runs a networking group for women business owners. She is a wife, mum of two boys, and lives in Chingford, north-east London.
Thank you for taking part in Entrepreneur Friday Colette!
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