Getting started with a digital course

Getting started with a digital course

“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!”

– Benjamin Franklin

If you’re thinking of creating a digital course for your business then it’s vital that you take a considered approach. After all, creating a digital course is not a five minute job; it takes time and effort to create a course that will sell.

Not only do you need to think about what you are going to teach on a broader level, you also need to plan out the specific content and structure the course so that it flows. You need to consider what the learning outcomes will be so that you can effectively communicate this through the marketing stage to convert sales.

With creating a digital course, much of the work is front-loaded which means that you will be doing a lot of work upfront before making any money. There are a lot of important decisions to be made before you dive into creating your content and to help you stay on track, I’ve created a checklist of the five most important aspects of course creation.

  1. Choosing the right topic to teach

The very first step to creating a successful digital course is to decide on your course topic. When choosing your topic, focus on a niche area (a segment of the market).

Don’t try to appeal to everyone, that approach is rarely successful. Instead focus on a core group of people that you can really help. For example, if you were going to create a digital course on social media, instead of trying to teach students all about social media (which is a huge subject), narrow the topic down to a specific area (like a specific platform, or how to get results in a certain area).

The more focused you are, the more opportunity you have to convey your expertise, and students are also more likely to get better and more effective results.

When you are thinking about your course topic, consider the following:

  • Your audience
  • What their specific challenges are
  • How you can resolve these challenges through your teaching
  1. Validating market demand

Once you have come up with your perfect course topic, the next step is to test your idea and find out if there’s market demand.  You don’t want to spend a great deal of time and energy creating digital courses that people are not prepared to pay for.

Validating your course is a very smart idea because:

  • It will prove there is market demand for your digital course
  • You can generate revenue
  • It will give you the opportunity to build your email list
  • It will give you the opportunity to talk about your course and build interest around it

There are many ways to go about testing your idea, such as:

  • Do a Google search – are people searching for your topic?
  • Interview your target audience
  • Create a focus group
  • Create a survey
  • Create a lead magnet
  • Create a poll on social media platforms
  • Run a free webinar
  • Run a pilot program
  • Check out other course websites such as Udemy and UpSkill
  • Visit Quora
  • Check out Feedly
  1. Defining your ideal audience

Your ideal customer is someone who wants to buy what you have created because it’s something they need or want. Once you have a clear idea of who your ideal customer is then you can set about creating content to wow them.

Think carefully about your course content. Is this an area in which you have a lot of experience? If so, think about past clients that you’ve worked with: were some more invested in your topic than others? For example, before I started creating digital courses I helped people with their branding and would often look at whether or not a digital course would be appropriate for my clients as part of their brand. Some of my clients were immediately excited by the idea and so I had an inkling of the kind of client I would be dealing with when I started course creation.

Looking at attributes such as age/geography/sector etc is a really good starting point for discovering your ideal audience, but it’s not the only way: in my own research I found that my ideal client could be any age and from any sector, but they had an attitude in common – a passion and a desire to grow their business that tended to manifest in things like increased social media presence, attention to branding and big business goals.

  1. Being clear on the results

What results are you looking to generate from your digital course?

Whenever you feel stuck on subject matter, ask yourself this: what will my clients get from this course? Be as specific as you can. Let’s take the idea of a social media course again – the answer to that question could be “at the end of this course my clients will be able to set up a Facebook business account and be generating regular sales from it within 6 months” Try to phrase it just like that “at the end of this course my client will…” if you can be that specific with your offering, then clients will be more likely to buy.

Once you’ve considered what results you want for your client, ask yourself what results you want for yourself. Try to be just as specific with this: “I want this course to generate x amount of revenue this year” or “I want to have sold x number of courses by Christmas” Knowing exactly what you want to achieve from your efforts will help you stay on track. Whenever you start to feel that you’re losing focus, simply refer back to your ‘results statement’ and it will put you back on track.

  1. Choosing your preferred delivery method

When it comes to delivering your digital course, there are 3 main options to choose from:

The most popular option which is a Learning Management System (LMS)… now there are quite a few different platforms to choose from and again, and the platform you select will ultimately be down to your personal preference.

This is something I look at in great detail on my own course, as there’s a lot to consider. You will be influenced in your decision by your budget, your computer skills and the amount of time you can afford to spend on course maintenance, among other things, so do your research in the first instance to avoid frustration down the line!


Creating a digital course is tremendous fun and very rewarding but, as I mentioned earlier, it’s not a five minute job. If you’re going to create a digital course then you owe it to yourself and your clients to take your time and give it your best shot. There’s a lot of work involved if you want it to be a success, but hopefully this article will help you organise your thoughts and give you a good jumping off point.

Good luck, and let me know how it goes!

If you would like to book a FREE complimentary consultation to see how I can help you grow your business then please click here.

10 Steps to Digital Course Success website graphic


10 reasons why a digital course needs to be included in your plans

10 reasons why a digital course needs to be included in your plans

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”
– Mark Twain

2020 has gone and we now have a whole year stretched out in front of us, that means it’s time to get into business planning mode for the year ahead.

Now if you’re anything like me, you’ll make a habit of reviewing the previous year come January, and I think it’s fair to say that no one expected 2020 to be quite the rollercoaster it was! 

Last year started off really well for Pink Lemon as we moved into our new office in Kent. We had just got settled and started hosting The Visibility Hub and then boom… we’re in lockdown. Those pre-planned goals became random words on a screen as we suddenly found ourselves in the midst of a global pandemic. 

I’m sure I am not alone in finding myself having to re-evaluate and make changes, but one of the benefits of being in lockdown is having more time. So with that in mind, and being at the start of a brand new year, I want to share with you my thoughts about why a digital course needs to be included in your business development plans for 2021.

Firstly, let’s talk about what a digital course is. 

A digital course (or eLearning as it’s also known) is a way of packaging up your knowledge and expertise and sharing it with the world to create a new income stream. Digital courses are growing rapidly in popularity due to the ease and accessibility of online learning platforms such as Udemy and Teachable.

It’s now commonplace for adults to ‘upskill’ and learn new things, and digital courses make that possible. Gone are the days where you would need to physically attend Adult Education classes in order to learn something new. Now you can find digital courses covering anything and everything at the touch of a button, so that you can learn from the comfort of your own home.

If there’s one thing I know about it’s adult learning, as I spent the majority of my twenties and early thirties upskilling. From the age of 22 to 27, I worked in London for various media houses, whilst attending night school to learn. I spent 5 years attending various colleges in the evenings, after long days at work. I would then commute back to Kent, which was exhausting as I wouldn’t get in until late. 

At 27, I left London to take a 3 year BA Hons Degree course at University of Creative Arts. In total I had spent 8 years in adult education before finally qualifying in my chosen field. The reality is that now I probably could have completed a lot of these courses digitally making my life an awful a lot easier. The point is that we now have access to anything we want to learn, which is incredible.

Why should you create a digital course?

I’d like to share a statistic with you that puts digital learning into context: according to market research firm Global Industry Analysts, it is estimated that the online education industry will grow from $107 billion in 2015 to $370 billion in 2026. 

That’s quite some growth! and it shows how popular digital learning has become. Trends have changed, people want to learn from the comfort of their own home, especially when we are confined to our homes in order to keep our loved ones safe, and learning new skills is a powerful safety net during a time in which our jobs are in constant jeopardy.

So why create your own digital course? Well the reasons are endless, but I’ll start with my own favourite top 10 reasons:

1. Brings more money into your business… cha-ching!

2020 has shown us that anything can happen, and so we need to be prepared.  The reality is that you only have a certain amount of hours in the day and a certain amount of energy to give, and how you spend your time and energy matters.

It’s a far smarter strategy to create something once to sell over and over again and that’s exactly what you can do with a digital course. Having a digital course alongside your 1-2-1 services and products enables you to bring in another stream of income for your business.

2. Creates financial freedom

The great thing about a digital course is that there are no limitations when it comes to where you sell it; you can sell your course to someone on the other side of the world because you are not restricted by location. You can sell whenever, wherever and to whoever will benefit from it. This means that you can literally make money whilst you sleep and who doesn’t want that?

3. Positions you as an expert

A digital course enables you to leverage your know-how and become an expert within your field.  If you facilitate a transition of any kind that makes a difference to someone then it’s worth exploring this direction. 

By positioning yourself as the ‘go-to’ person, you open yourself up to further opportunities.

4. Allows you to make a greater impact in the world

Another great benefit of creating a digital course is that it means you can have a greater impact on people’s lives. Of course, earning money is great and we all want to achieve financial freedom, but there’s nothing quite like making a difference to create job satisfaction. 

5. Elevates your brand

When I work with my clients, I talk a lot about brand strategy and how to develop a strong, meaningful and purpose-driven brand. Well what better way to achieve that than to create a digital product that makes a real difference? 

This is one of the reasons I have created my own branding course ‘Getting Started with your Branding’ because not only will it make a difference to someone in their business (who cannot afford specialised branding services) but it also makes what I do different to other branding agencies. 

This digital course demonstrates that I don’t just ‘talk the talk’ but that I am in the trenches ‘walking the walk’. I am completely committed to my subject and the fact that I have gone to a great deal of effort to create a digital product to teach others, validates my dedication.

6. Tap into a new audiences

We all know that in business it’s vital to pinpoint your ideal customer so that you can create products or services that directly meet their needs. Well the same can be said for digital courses. In order to successfully sell your digital course to the right student, you also need to know and understand their challenges and how your course can specifically solve them. 

A key benefit of creating a digital course is that you can target customers that perhaps cannot afford your one to one services. This enables you to widen your client base and tap into a whole new audience. 

This was a key driver for me creating ‘Getting Started with your Branding’ as so many entrepreneurs starting out in business need to know how to brand their business effectively but have limited funds because they are in the early stages of starting their business. 

7. Provides time freedom

In my previous blog, ‘How I survived the Pause of 2020’, I wrote about how it’s not sustainable to exchange time for money in our businesses long-term. There’s always far too much to do and we cannot be everything to everyone all of the time. 

One of the things I have also come to realise is that no one ever really pays enough for the value provided. How can they when it’s something that is difficult to quantify.

One of the ways in which we can create time freedom for ourselves is to change the way we work and our business model. Instead of exchanging time for money, what if we exchanged value for money instead? 

Achieving time freedom will give you more time to spend developing your business rather than being stuck simply trying to stay afloat. 

8. A great way to build your email list

Creating an email list for your business is one of the single most important things to do as it is a powerful way to develop a more meaningful and intimate relationship with potential customers. It’s also a great way to share your message with an audience that cares and wants to be a part of your brand.

According to the Nielsen Norman Group, when asked which medium consumers would like to receive updates from, 90% preferred an email newsletter with only a mere 10% choosing Facebook.

9. A digital asset that helps to increase the worth of your business

By creating a sellable digital course, you will be creating a valuable digital asset for your business. This becomes particularly important if you decide to sell your business in the future.

10. Differentiates you from your competition

What better way to help your business stand out, than to create a digital product that puts you head and shoulders above your competition? This will help define your USP and make the competition irrelevant.

Now you may find that there are other courses out there similar to the type of course you would want to create but that’s ok. In fact it’s actually a good thing because it proves that there is market-demand for what you have to offer.

Creating a digital course for your business will not only give you a strong competitive edge, it also proves that you are fully dedicated to achieving results for your customers. This means that you can focus your marketing efforts on tangible results, rather than competing on price.


So there you have it, my top 10 favourite reasons why you need to include a digital course in your business development plans for 2021. 

You see during those long weeks of lockdown in early 2020, I had plenty of time to consider the impact of digital courses, and the more I thought about it, the more I realised that this was the right thing for my business, and the more I realised that it was probably the right thing for a lot of other businesses as well.

The world is changing and, whether for better or worse, the internet is going to play a bigger and bigger part in our everyday lives.

We need to make sure that our businesses don’t get left behind and digital courses are one of the best ways to create passive income, reach a wider audience and realise the full potential of your business.

If you’ve been considering creating a digital course but always felt that it wasn’t the right time then I’m here to correct you.

The time is right, the time is now, and the future is ours.

If you would like to book a FREE complimentary consultation to see how I can help you grow your business then please click here.

10 Steps to Digital Course Success website graphic


Surviving the Pause of 2020

Surviving the Pause of 2020

“On the other side of a storm is the strength that comes from having navigated through it. Raise your sail and begin.” 
– Gregory S. Williams

Once again another year has past and what a crazy year it was!

Who would have thought that at the beginning of 2020, we would find ourselves in the midst of a global pandemic and facing a year of lockdowns, face masks and virtual networking? When I look back over last year, I am confronted with so many mixed emotions because it really has been a year like no other.

Here at Pink Lemon HQ, we have tried very hard to carry on as normal; even though life has been far from normal. This has been not only for our own sakes, but also so that we can provide continued support to our clients. In a world full of craziness, it was important to us that business carried on as normal, which helped to give us focus and purpose during a time of unease and disquiet.

Looking back I believe that carrying on as we did was the right thing to do, but that’s not to say that Pink Lemon has not been affected. The first few months of lockdown were difficult because clients were having to make tough decisions about their finances. Businesses at all levels, across every sector were being affected and so of course, Pink Lemon was also impacted as well.

Now I would be lying if I said it didn’t affect me emotionally because the truth is, it did. However truth be told, the lockdowns provided me with an opportunity to sit back, take stock and make significant changes to the business – changes that I didn’t have previously have time to consider.

Suddenly and unexpectedly (like a lot of people) I found myself with time on my hands, which was something that I wasn’t used to.

Since the business’s inception in 2017, Pink Lemon has become busier and busier, supporting more and more clients, and we had reached a point where we had very little time to work ‘on’ the actual business. I realised in the months that followed lockdown that I had been so caught up in trying to support our clients that I had completely lost sight of why I had created Pink Lemon in the first place.

It wasn’t just to make money; it was to create a legacy that had meaning and purpose. I loved working on projects that came our way but I soon realised during lockdown that I was constantly being reactive with regards to what I was being offered, and not proactive in making things happen. I had started Pink Lemon with a strong vision but I had not followed through on bringing that vision to life because I had got caught up in being ‘in’ my business. Now how many of you can relate to that?!

Over the past few years, the work that we have been doing at Pink Lemon has gone far beyond the realms of just branding. We have worked with so many clients, helping them to bring their brands to life online through the support of digital marketing. We have found that clients will often come to us for what they think they need and then leave with a whole lot more. We are holistic in our approach, which means that we provide a bespoke service tailored specifically to the needs of our clients. This has held Pink Lemon in good stead as the business gently moves in a new and exciting direction.

You see, I realised that trading time for money is not sustainable long-term. An illness could easily cripple a business and affect its revenue. Unless you’re fortunate enough to have a team of loyal employees that can step into your shoes during a period of absence, then there may be rocky times ahead, because the truth is that we cannot create, nurture and grow a business all on our own: it’s just too much.

As ambitious entrepreneurs, it’s important that we find a way to create a more robust business that can survive when we’re not at the helm. If the pandemic has taught me anything it’s that anything can happen. No one expected a virus to sweep in and take over the entire world and yet the unthinkable has actually happened. This is evidence enough that we must start thinking differently about how we go about our business.

Now I am not saying that you must stop what you’re doing and change everything in your business, as that wouldn’t make sense (unless it does make sense for you in which case carry on!). The point is that we all have the opportunity to build our businesses so that they are more robust.

I am talking about creating digital online courses.

So why am I talking about digital online courses?

Because not only are we launching Pink Lemon’s digital learning hub to offer digital online courses, but we are also moving into a space where we can support clients in bringing their own digital online courses to life.

Creating a digital arm to your business is a really smart move as it helps to create passive income that can be generated literally whilst you sleep. Yep that’s right; there is actually a way to make money that doesn’t involve you being chained to your desk 24/7!

The reality is, if you facilitate a transition of any kind then you can create a digital online course to support your business to sell over and over again.

Now I am not going to sell you a dream because personally I don’t buy into the idea that you can ‘create a digital course and you can become a millionaire overnight’. Instead, our new offering is all about helping clients to create quality digital courses that can be sold with confidence and that provide realistic outcomes for students.

Now you may be thinking…

“well every man and his dog seem to have a digital course so how am I going to sell mine if a course already exists?”

The simple truth is that there is room for everyone because the world is a big place. How you approach your course topic will be individual because you are individual. We all have our own take on how we talk about what we do and it’s exactly the same with a digital course.

I remember being in year 8 at school trying to learn history, which I found really dull due to the way it was being taught. Half way through the year, my history teacher left the school and so we got a replacement teacher. That new teacher poured life into a topic that had failed to interest me up until then. I suddenly developed a newfound interest because of the way it was being taught.

Gone were the long, boring, tedious lectures. Instead there were discussions, role playing and colourful books that depicted the goings on in years gone by. You see, had that teacher not put their own personal spin on what they were teaching, I would never have passed my exams. It’s not about the subject, it’s about the delivery and how it resonates and connects with the student on a level that makes a real difference.

The wonderful thing about it is that everyone learns differently and so everyone will be attracted to different teachers, different courses, and different presentation. I loved my fun and colourful history teacher, but perhaps some of my fellow students preferred to be fed their history the old fashioned way? So yes, the course you’re offering may already exist in one form or another, but your delivery will resonate with different people: people who might otherwise have chosen to avoid the subject all together.

So what’s next?

Well the next step for Pink Lemon is to start providing access to our new range of services, and I couldn’t be more excited!

Perhaps the next step for you is to consider the future of your business in a new light. One thing’s for certain: it’s going to be a quiet Christmas and, however disappointing that may be, you owe it to yourself to make the most of a bad situation. So use this time to think about where your business is going.

We’re living in a very different world to the one we left behind in the last decade and it’s up to you to ensure that your business stays the course.

***Beta testers wanted***

I am looking for beta testers who are ready to begin their digital course creation journey. I have created an extensive Programme that supports students to plan, create, deliver and launch their very own digital course.

Please note that this is an immersive 1-2-1 Programme where you have full access to me on a regular basis where I will personally guide you through this process to ensure you achieve your digital course goals.

Due to the nature of this Programme, spaces are limited. If you would like to register your interest to embark on this Programme then please click here.

If you would like to book a FREE complimentary consultation to see how I can help you grow your business then please click here.


What is it really like to be a graphic designer?

What is it really like to be a graphic designer?

“Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”

– Harriet Tubman

I was recently given the opportunity to speak at the University of the Creative Arts in Canterbury, and was sent a questionnaire about my business as a precursor to the event.

As a design graduate, the opportunity to speak to others who feel as passionately about design as I do was a great honour, and it occurred to me that there must be lots of students out there who wonder what it’s really like to run a business. I decided therefore to turn that questionnaire into a blog to give anybody interested in a career in design just a little insight into what awaits them after graduation day!

1. What do you like about your job/and what you dislike?

So this should be an easy question but actually it’s surprisingly hard because there are so many things I adore about my job!

The freedom of self-employment, the responsibility of being in charge, the people I meet… there’s so much to love! However, when I was forced to narrow it down I realised that my greatest passion is in the sheer scope and diversity of the projects I tackle. That, and making sales.

When it comes to what I dislike however, the answer’s pretty easy: I’m a designer not a mathematician, so the bit I dislike is accounts and bookkeeping! I have an accountant and a bookkeeper though, so my advice for new business owners is always to outsource the bits they hate/can’t do/don’t have time for. You have to speculate to accumulate and my ‘numbers guys’ have given me the time and head-space to really concentrate on growing my business. 

2. How/Where do you look for work/clients? 

You can spend a fortune on advertising, pay per click, billboards and the rest, but the key to getting good, quality clients through the door is word of mouth. Don’t be afraid to start slow and make sure you do lots of networking. Getting your brand known is the best way to ensure longevity for your business.

3. What would be your tip for networking? 

Always be yourself: authenticity and truth take you a lot further than trying to fit some sort of ‘ideal’. If you’re new to the game then just own it – people will respect you more for admitting your shortcomings and working on them, than for trying to bluff your way into contracts.

4. How do you promote yourself? do you think being present on social media is important for a creative?

Absolutely. Self-promotion is very important.

Creativity is a gift and it’s up to you to share it with the world. No two creatives are the same, and no two see things from the same perspective, so trust in yourself and your uniqueness.

As a creative it’s important to build a personal brand so that you get known for your craft. Social media is a powerful platform that allows us to share our story with the world. It allows us to showcase our services, but also to share a little of our personality and our drives. It can feel extremely vulnerable to put yourself out there, but at the end of the day, people buy people and social media is all about getting to know people. Embrace it.

5. What are your tips for anyone who is starting out?

Trust in yourself and your capabilities. Be brave and remember, if you don’t ask, you don’t get!

Trust that you are enough and that your skills, knowledge and craft set you apart from other creatives. The creative industry can be very competitive so believe in yourself and never compare yourself to anyone else. We all see the world differently and it’s those differences that need to be embraced. Art is subjective after all – some people will love your style, some will hate it but that’s ok because you don’t want the whole world on your books!

Also be clear on what you want. Do you want to work at a design agency or work client-side? Do you want to become a freelancer or own a creative business? Having a vision and setting goals moves you forward in both life and career, and you’d be amazed at how many established businesses stall because, even after many years, they still don’t really know what they want.

6. How do you make sure you stay true to your style/tone?

It’s taken many years to embrace who I am. It was actually becoming a mum that really helped me to understand who I am and what was important to me.

My twenties were spent trying to make sense of things and trying to understand my place in the world and what I wanted. I realised 9-5 didn’t suit me and I was better off focusing on building a career that was aligned to the person I am than to try and fit into a premade box.

My style and tone is feminine, elegant, creative with a sense of fun, and my little girls have helped me embrace that. Again, not everyone likes that style: I’m unlikely to ever get hired by a funeral home or life insurance company for example! But there are lots of brilliant designers out there who could do a much better job than me for those companies, so I just concentrate on the clients who share my vision – life and business are much more fun that way.

7. How do you know what to charge for your work? How do you stay safe/make sure you do get paid for the work you do?

I cannot emphasise this enough: research and well written contracts.

Make sure that you have a well written contract in place before you start any project. Also take a percentage upfront so that if a client decides to become difficult, you have been paid in advance.

A good client will never question paying a deposit upfront as it shows commitment. Also, a lot of our work is front-loaded so this covers our time and keeps the cash flowing.

If a client is not prepared to agree to your (reasonable) terms then walk away. Save yourself a lot of grief in the long-run!

8. Do you think you need to work for free at the beginning?

I think in the beginning it’s important to build a strong portfolio of work which can be achieved from ‘free’ projects, but I urge you to do this with caution.

Determine what you want to get out of it first.

If it is going to provide you with your desired outcome then do it for ‘free’ but make sure you still have your terms and conditions in place.

Do not do any work without having your T&C’s.

Clients often push boundaries when it comes to the scope of a project. This is called scope creep and can happen without you realising it.

From very early in my career, I would create a Scope of Works document which outlined what was included within a project. This included deliverables, edits, timeframe, responsibilities and, of course, any agreed payment terms.  This held me in good stead and often protected me from being taken advantage of.

I still experience scope creep today, but always know your worth and know that any time spent is valuable.

I would also advise that if you do work for ‘free’ then make sure you get the client’s permission to showcase the work either in your portfolio or online. Also ask them for a testimonial to accompany the work and if you can, also create a blog about it so that you can start building up your online presence. This way any ‘free’ work that you do will have a value to you. It may not be cash, but actually it’s far more valuable, because it’s given you real work experience working as a designer for a client.

9. Do you have any tips on being professional?

  • Always present yourself in the best possibly way
  • Be polite and respectful at all times
  • Always deliver on your promise
  • Always be ethical
  • Don’t over commit or take on projects that are outside your skillset
  • Be honest about where you are on your journey
  • Develop a growth mindset. No one knows everything so be prepared to learn from others who have walked before you

10. What are some of the favourite past projects?

I love working on branding projects with ambitious clients who want to build a brand. These clients are really inspiring. They come at the project open-minded, which leads to great outcomes. It can be transformational for some clients. I have had four clients win Awards because they have embraced there vision through design.

I worked on a project at a design agency for a seafood restaurant. We were all given the job of branding the restaurant and the best design was going to be presented to the client. At the time I was a student at UCA, and working there part-time for free. I was working with all these other amazing designers but it was my work that got picked! It was an amazing moment for me that showed me I was on the right path.

11. We all know the current climate is a little difficult; do you see any positives?

There are always positives to be taken from difficult situations and right now is no different.

We have been given the gift of time and we need to use it in the best possible way. We can often lead such busy lives with very little time to sit down and reflect, consider and plan for moving forward.

There is no doubt that life as we know it is going to change and that we will soon be experiencing a ‘new normal’ however where there is change there is opportunity and that needs to be embraced.

Opportunity to see things differently.

Opportunity to create new things.

Opportunity to make your mark.

None of these things can happen mind you, if you don’t know what you want; so use this time to get clear on your vision for your studies/career/business.

Leaving University and starting out in the world is scary. We are told there are no jobs, but that’s not necessarily the case, and if you don’t come across the job you want then create it!

We live in a world of possibility and I like to think that I am proof of the power of pursuing your goals.

I started a business with no business experience. I had passion, drive and a need to create. Three years later I am doing what I love. I spent 12 years prior to being at uni in jobs that made me unhappy. For so long I felt I was ‘not good enough’ and yet I had these wonderful creative skills.

As soon as I realised that I could use my gift to build something meaningful, everything changed. That can be true for you as well, so embrace what is happening now, find the positive, look for the opportunity and be fair and kind to others.

What UCA said…

Design for the Future Event

“Karen, creator or Pink- Lemon Branding and Design joined the University for the Creative Arts’ Career and Employability Adviser, Nikki Martin for a special lockdown Q&A session with UCA Students where she shared her story of being a designer and branding specialist and her journey since leaving university.

Karen gave great advice and tips on freelancing, effective networking, using social media, developing commercial awareness, and maintaining a professional image.

Students were able to ask their questions about starting out in the creative industries and the feedback was fantastic.

We look forward to working with Karen again soon!”

“Don’t limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you.

What you believe, remember, you can achieve.”

– Mary Kay Ash

The Ultimate Branding Checklist


How things can look up in a lockdown

How things can look up in a lockdown

“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more so that we may fear less.”

– Marie Curie

Ok so I’m going to be really honest with you here: I’m a little bit fearful. The country (well the world) is on lockdown, there’s a pandemic in progress and people fear for both their health and their finances.

So yes, I’m fearful, but then human beings are programmed to feel fear at times. We fear the unknown, we worry if our families are threatened, and we hate uncertainty. However, human beings are also tough, resilient and endlessly creative, and that’s why I’m choosing to acknowledge my fears and then put them to one side.

Instead, I’m going to use this unprecedented situation to do something that all business owners wish they could do but never have the time for: I’m going to work on my business instead of in it.

There are many things that can be done to develop your business during self-isolation, and it’s worth taking this opportunity to really scrutinise your online brand…

I’ve put together a few top tips for things that you can do to help you feel proactive even if work is slow:

1. Keep your business visible on social media

Post daily with uplifting, entertaining or thought-provoking content that provides value and helps your audience. We all need a little positivity right now and your customers will remember the brands that made them smile during this time.

2. Take this opportunity to work ‘ON’ your business

Make a list of all the things that you have been wanting to do but you never had time for. Now you have the time so use it wisely.

3. Stay connected with your clients & suppliers

Why not send them an email to check-in on them and make sure that they are ok – remember we are all in this together and we need to offer kindness and support at this time.

4. Host a meeting with a fellow business owner

Use Zoom or Skype to stay connected. Plan a collaboration. Provide support where possible. Remember that your colleagues are just as anxious as you so why not make plans now to keep you both motivated.

5. Attend a virtual networking meeting

Many networking groups are now online so why not show up and join in with the conversation. It will keep you talking about your business and help you to stay connected. Community is very important and we all need to feel as though we are still part of it in some way.

6. Create a new product or service

Use this time to brainstorm something new and exciting for your business. What would you like to offer your clients? How can you help them further? Business is about identifying a need and then responding to that need with something that serves a purpose, so why not identify struggles your client may be having and then create a service or product to help?

7. Audit your existing social media platforms and website

This is the perfect opportunity to look at what is working and what is not so why not take some time and audit your social media platforms and website. Be critical. Are you showing up in a way that you want to be seen? are you delivering the right message to your audience?

8. Learn a new skill through Skillshare or Udemy

Why not learn a new skill? Now’s the time to really hone in on the direction you would like your business to take, and to define what you want to create. Take this time to brush up on existing skills or learn a new one.

9. Create a 12-month content plan for your social media platforms

We all know we should do it, but hands up if you’ve kept putting it to the bottom of the to-do list! Well now you’ve got plenty of time so no more excuses!

10. Share your skills/knowledge online via a workshop or webinar
How grateful are you that there are people out there willing to do this? Well you could be one of those people! It feels wonderful to share, and it creates a great impression on your audience

11. Create an online video series to help educate your audience

Videos don’t have to be expensive affairs shot in a studio: it can be just you, your camera and your knowledge. You can even use this as an opportunity to inject some personality into your branding by introducing the audience to your pets, garden or latest creative project.

12. Create value-focused content to build your email list

Your services may be on hold for now, but this lockdown won’t last forever, and once you’re back up and running, an extended mailing list will be just the ticket.


Most of all use this time productively. I know things look dark at the moment but dwelling on the negatives won’t do anybody any good – ok so I sound like a therapist right now, but the truth is that the best way for us to get through all this with our business (and sanity) intact is to look for the silver lining: think of this as an extended exercise in marketing and your lockdown could really start to look up! 

The Ultimate Branding Checklist