Roisin Bennett, Founder of Marketing Mentors
Roisin is on a mission to build the ultimate marketing support platform for Irish Startups and Small Business that are either overwhelmed by the challenges of modern day marketing or struggle with their business growth.
She is an award winning marketer and innovator and was inspired to develop Marketing Mentors based on both her own entrepreneurial experience and her passion for marketing.
We’re delighted to feature Róisín in today’s Q&A…
Q1. Did you always want to become a consultant or did you fall into the role?
I did fall into the role of consultant/mentor. I was living in the MiddleEast at the time and had my own Tech business that I was promoting to Airports and Visitor Attractions and received a lot of support from the Enterprise Ireland, in Qatar. They introduced me to a consultancy company that was looking for someone with my skillset to consult in marketing for a State agency. My years in regional development with Shannon Development and Shannon Airport stood to me and I was in the right place at the right time! That was how I began and continued as a freelance consultant when I returned to Ireland. I was referred to two different companies, one tech and the second a bricks and mortar business.
Q2. What makes a good consultant?
1. Having a track record as a subject matter expert
2. A great listener – listening to what the client’s needs and problems are is the most helpful way to ensure you are going to be able to solve their problem as easily or quickly as possible.
3. Being a team player – having a collaborative relationship with peers and clients is imperative to being a great consultant.
4. A good communicator : having the ability to deliver a message either written or aloud is critical to being a successful consultant. Additionally, consultants should be able to take a solution from theory to realisation and show their clients how to complete and maintain that solution in their own environment.
Q3. Do you feel you manage yourself well or is it a case of ‘the cobbler’s shoes’?
I don’t think I am the best example of personal time management. I am certainly not a nine to fiver I do business across a number of time zones with clients and suppliers so I could be on a call or webinar any time from 6am to 1am. While this has suited me over the years, juggling work/life balance, I do acknowledge that I need to be more disciplined and learn to say ‘no’ more often. I also had some life coaching recently that I found pretty powerful, taking my own medicine I suppose!
Q4. Are there enough hours in your day?
There are enough hours, it’s down to how you manage them. Reference Q3
Q5. If you could magically stop your clients from making one mistake – what would that be?
Don’t waste your time and money building a product or service that people don’t want! A big mistake I see a lot of startups and companies spending €’s on social media platforms/SEO etc, without having aligned their product offering to it’s audiences’ needs and building a business model that monetises that relationship.
Q6. What do you find is the best way to market yourself?
This is a very good question for consultants! We can be so busy working in the background for our clients, that we don’t market ourselves which is a mistake. I believe that now more than ever there is a far greater importance in having a personal brand. Having an online presence, authority, and reputation to get your job done is essential. If you’re known, and your competitors aren’t, you win. And there’s no more important time to have that edge than right now. Personally, I am comfortable on Linkedin, it’s less busy than the likes of Facebook and more importantly, it is where my audience is.
Q7. What do you do to unwind?
A good book or walking my new puppy are the extent of my unwind activities at the moment. Now that we can travel inter county again I will get to the coast as often as possible. Nothing like a swim in the Atlantic to clear the head and reboot!
Q8. What advice would you give a starting consultant?
Online Consultancy is one of the biggest growth areas in online business right now. There is great opportunity but it is also increasingly competitive. My advice:
- Think global but don’t be afraid to niche starting out.
- Build your personal brand as being the expert in that particular niche.
- Work Linkedin, by turning up consistently with content that is valuable for your target audience, ideally by video.
Q9. What’s your guilty pleasure?
During lockdown, watching episodes of ‘Call My Agent’ with a platter of French cheese (the smellier the better:) and a good Medoc. Transports me back to eight wonderful years living in Paris.
Q10. What’s your goal for next year?
My goal this year is to build the Marketing Mentors platform as a resource for Startups, to be the ‘go to’ one stop shop for Irish businesses starting out or scaling up. A year from now, I want to be reading testimonials from Irish Startups saying that ‘working with Marketing Mentors was the gamechanger, we would never have got to where we are today without them.
Find out more about Roisin Bennett at: marketingmentors.ie