Vanessa Geraghty McGann has more than 15 years experience in marketing. She is a highly skilled and knowledgeable marketer and has worked for numerous global brands such as Coca-Cola, Nestle, BP, and Cadbury. She moved to Perth in 2009 from her home town of Dublin, Ireland, where she met and married her husband Jamie who is a Chiropractor. They have one daughter who is nearly 3.
In July 2017 Vanessa launched her Marketing Consultancy and Marketing Coaching business, Vivacity Marketing, which helps business owners in the health, wellness, beauty, travel and finance industries, who are feeling overwhelmed and don’t know where to start with their marketing efforts. Vanessa is passionate about helping these businesses because their brands either improve your health or improve your lifestyle.
Vanessa also runs a personal training business, PTV Personal Training part time as she is really passionate about breaking the cycle of obesity and educating and empowering women to live a healthier lifestyle.
Can you please give us an overview of your business?
Vivacity Marketing helps small business owners in the health, wellness, beauty, travel and finance industries, who want to grow their business, but are feeling overwhelmed, as they do not know where to start with their marketing efforts!
So we help these businesses to implements a proven marketing system that puts marketing strategy before tactics, to attract visitors to your website, and convert them into long term loyal repeat customers.
Vivacity Marketing is certified by the market leader, HubSpot. This means that we are able to implement an Inbound Marketing Plan for your business, which has been proven to be the best way to:
- Align your business offerings
- To the way your ideal customer wants to research and buy.
Life as a business owner is hectic! So you can outsource marketing activities to us, and we will make your marketing strategy and plan happen! One less thing for you to worry about!
Vivacity Marketing also offers 1 on 1 Marketing Coaching for start up businesses, as it can be really confusing as to where to start when you first launch your business. We will coach you to build your marketing strategy and plan, and how to implement it using Inbound Marketing.
What ignited the spark in you to start a new business venture or to make significant changes in an existing business?
I went back to work in 2016 after taking a year maternity leave to have my baby daughter. So I started working in a marketing role 3 days per week right at the time when my daughter was going through teething, I was dragging myself into work on about 3 hours sleep each night, I was exhausted and I knew I couldn’t do this anymore. I was burnt out and had zero passion for what I was doing. So be careful what you wish for, because I was then made redundant from my job Christmas 2016!
But I was delighted as it meant I take on more clients in my personal training business that summer while I was going to figure out what I was going to do next.
Then through a twist of fate I met a lady through a mutual friend, who was running a marketing consultancy and she needed someone to help her out, so I was hired as a contractor to do 10 hours a week for her consultancy. After 7 weeks of working for her, she informed me she was taking a job elsewhere and winding down the business, so she offered me the opportunity of a lifetime and asked me if I wanted to take over the business.
So I rebranded and in July 2017 Vivacity Marketing was born!
What did you want to be when you left school? Did you study?
I studied a Bachelor of Arts (Sociology, French, Greek & Roman Civilization!), and a Postgraduate Diploma in Communications. I wanted to be a radio producer. But instead I headed off traveling to Australia and Thailand for a year or so. I came back to Ireland, got a job as a trainee Computer Programmer (I don’t know what I was thinking!) I left that after 3 months as I hated it.
And then through a twist of fate I interviewed for a temp job at an online recruitment website. The Marketing Manager interviewed me, saw something in me, and told me I was way over qualified for the job I was applying for, and offered me my first job in marketing as a Marketing Executive instead! I was in shock as I had not marketing experience, and I didn’t have a marketing qualification! And the company then paid for me to do a Marketing Degree by night and I also did a basic web design course. So that’s how I started out in my marketing career at the age of 24!
Was there a significant turning point when you decided to become an entrepreneur?
Yes I think definitely once I had my baby I knew I didn’t want to work for someone else. I wanted to build something that I could be proud of and that my daughter will be proud of when she is older, and maybe even take over the business! I wanted to have flexibility with the hours I worked so that I didn’t miss out on key milestones in my daughter’s life.
Was your entrepreneurial journey linked to your personal one?
I suppose it was. I found it really hard having a baby at 40 years of age. I had been a corporate high flyer for many years previously, and I’d lived and travelled in lots of different countries (New Zealand, UK, America, Germany, France, and Spain to name a few!)
Then I had my first baby in Australia away from my family and friends in Ireland and I found that really hard. I used to cry every day onto the phone to my Mum as I just wasn’t coping as I had a colic baby that woke several times through the night.
I spent a lot of time by myself with my baby thinking that there had to be more to life than being an employee and building someone else’s dream.
So in 2016 after going back to work I did a few personal development courses to find who I was after having a baby, I felt lost. But after doing a 3 day intensive course I had a massive break through and I knew the old me was back, I felt invincible and I was going to build a business, I just didn’t know what it was yet!
What do you think was the biggest mistake you made in business?
Cash flow in the first few months! I have suppliers that I pay each month as I am partners with a digital agency and I used free lance designers etc. So I made the mistake of paying my suppliers before clients had paid me. So that taught me a hard lesson in managing my cash flow better and waiting until I am paid by my clients! It’s a huge learning curve!
What do you believe was the best decision you made in business?
Saying yes to take over the marketing business! And to offer Marketing Coaching as well as my other services, as this means I can help those just starting out in their entrepreneurial journey, share my knowledge and help them succeed. That to me is so rewarding.
Looking back is there a piece of advice you wish to pass onto someone starting out their entrepreneurial journey?
Trust your gut and if something doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. There are highs and lows and some really hard times, but you just have to wake up every day and know that you are moving forward, and building something amazing.
What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
- Active listener.
- Problem solver.
Who do you look up to in business? Who inspires you?
I’d have to say my mentor John Jantsch who developed the Duct Tape Marketing system, for marketing consultants. As he provides so much value, knowledge and insights to his network of marketing consultants, to help us develop and grow.
What do you think your key to success has been?
I am very determined, passionate, helpful and I work really hard! And I make sure I have a healthy mind and body.
How have you personally measured your success?
I think I measure it by the impact I am making in the lives of the business owners I am helping via my coaching, outsourced services, and the free tips and advice I give in my Facebook group, newsletter and social accounts. The more businesses I help to grow and succeed the bigger the impact I will make!
How do you make the most of your day?
I set my alarm at 4.30am every morning, I do a guided meditation, then I get up at 5am. I exercise; practice gratitude, then get ready for my day ahead, and get my daughter organized for her day at daycare. I time block my day with tasks/meetings so that I know exactly what I need to do each do. And I have a daily to do list. At the end of the day I do a guided meditation to calm my mind before bed, to help me sleep.
Do you have any tips for those struggling to gain a successful work life balance?
Make time for your family and friends and exercise! I am not sure if have found that work life balance yet, I tend to work like a maniac during the week, but I have quality family time at the weekends. Although I tend to do some work at the weekends too!
How have your kids impacted the way you structure your day?
I get up super early so that I can have some me time before I have to organise my daughter. It’s so important to have that time at the start of the day so that I can really set my intention for the day, and start the day calmly.
When you think of your journey, what is the thing you are most proud of?
I am so grateful for the two opportunities that I have been given: 1. Started my marketing career with no experience, but my manager at the time saw potential in me and hired me anyhow. 2. That I took over a marketing consultancy even though I was scared of failing. So I am proud that I said yes to both opportunities and learnt how to do them both after I said yes!
What is your favourite thing to do in your downtime?
I love to go to the beach! I live in Scarborough the beach is on my doorstep, so going to the beach with my family makes me really happy. And exercise of course!
What is your favourite app?
Zoom I used it with my coaching clients as I have clients in Australia and Ireland!