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.


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


The Visibility Hub: A great start!

The Visibility Hub: A great start!

“Don’t wait for opportunity. Create it.”

Hello and welcome to the latest Pink Lemon blog.

I wanted to take this opportunity to tell you more about my new venture: The Visibility Hub.

We recently held the first Visibility Hub meeting and it was amazing!

So much so that I wanted you guys out in internet-land to be able share in the content I presented. Hopefully after reading this you’ll consider joining us for the next meeting, but if you can’t make it then you’ll at least have a better understanding of what we’re trying to achieve.

First of all, the purpose of the meeting was to help attendees gain clarity and focus with regards to their marketing efforts for the coming year.

Personally, I love this time of year and think it’s the very best time for making plans. Essentially it’s a brand new page on which to write.

The Visibility Hub
So why The Visibility Hub?

This is actually something that has been on my mind for a good year or so and, whilst I always felt there was a need for it, I just didn’t take the necessary action required to bring it to life until very recently.

Basically I find that I come across the same questions and challenges when speaking to other business owners:

There is so much noise and chatter out there about the things that we should be doing to grow our businesses, but for many the problem is often time and know-how. How do you get started doing what needs to be done to get your business seen?

Often when you attend networking groups there’s a speaker from whom you may learn something. Alternatively, if you want to know something specific then you can attend a workshop (although these can work out quite costly). I wanted to create something that bridged that gap. A place where you can ask the questions that you want answered.

Each month at the Visibility Hub meetings there will be a different topic designed to help you move forward with your brand building efforts, and for our first meeting the discussion revolved around determining our goals.

The Visibility Hub
For our first meeting, Kathy Hayman, who is The Loving Life Coach, had kindly agreed to be ‘chairperson’. I’d asked her to do this because I love Kathy’s approach to goal setting; as it’s very holistic. It’s not just thinking about everything we want to achieve, but it’s also about connecting to it on a deeper level so that we place our focus where it needs to be to make great things happen.

The attendees got a great deal out of Kathy’s approach and were able to start some amazing discussions – which ultimately led to them finding solutions for some of their business queries. Additionally they each got a chance to introduce themselves and their businesses, giving them extra exposure and making great connections with like-minded individuals.

The Visibility Hub

About Pink Lemon

As part of our introductory meeting, I shared my own story with the group, so I thought I’d outline it here for those who missed this session (after all you don’t want me waffling on at the start of every meeting!).

So for those of you who may not know, my name is Karen and I am the owner of Pink Lemon Branding & Design, a brand agency that I’ve been running for a little over 2 years.

I’m based at Kestrel House in Maidstone. I moved in at the start of this year, which has been very exciting!

I’ve been working for over 22 years but graduated from UCA as a Graphic/Web Designer in 2011 aged 31, after a 12 year career in London.

My journey from employee to business owner has not been particularly easy or straight-forward, but I have always been focused on achieving my goals. I’ve always been someone with a vision even if I couldn’t pin it down! Looking back, I just followed my heart – that’s what’s led me to this point and I couldn’t be more grateful.

I know first-hand the power of goal-setting and what can be achieved when you put your mind to it and so I encourage everyone who joins the Visibility Hub to dig deep and be really honest about what they want, because anything is possible – I’m proof of that!

What do I do and why do I do it?

Outside of the Visibility Hub, I work with clients of all sizes helping them to either create or develop their brand.

Now I’ve a tendency to talk a lot about brand, which can be quite overwhelming for some, but I firmly believe that as small business owners we need to be investing our efforts into growing a sustainable brand rather than getting caught up in growing a business.

By this I mean that growing a business is placing focus on increasing revenue, converting leads, growing a team, improving systems and processes, developing services etc. Of course this is extremely important to us, but that’s not what is important to our prospective customers.

What customers care about is how we show up, how we do what we do, and how we can best serve them.

Our customers buy into our brand not our business and so we need to pour our efforts into creating an authentic and compelling brand that is not only going to attract our ideal audience but also drive customer loyalty.

Our brand is our reputation and so I believe that this is where we should place our focus.

Put simply: We should strive to be customer-centric and not profit driven.

Pink Lemon is all about helping people to drive their brand; satisfy their customers and grow a business organically so that this momentum can be sustained.

With The Visibility Hub I hope to help local business people on the path to achieving their business dreams by focusing on their brand and, judging from the feedback I’ve received so far – it looks like I’m going to do just that!

To find out more about The Visibility Hub and future masterclasses, click here.

The Ultimate Branding Checklist


How to define your ideal customer

How to define your ideal customer

In last week’s blog I told you that one of the most important things you can do when creating or defining your brand is to ask yourself “who are my audience”

This week I’m going to explain why this is so vital and how to go about answering that question.

Why does it matter?

Remember the saying “Jack of all trades, master of none”? If you market yourself to ‘anyone and everyone’ the chances are you won’t catch anyone’s attention.

Take Barbie, for example: If Mattel had launched Barbie whilst trying to appeal to ‘everyone’, what sort of product would they have had? In truth Barbie could have appealed to any number of people: male, female, young, old etc. but in 1959 there was a very obvious demographic:  white females between the ages of 4 and 12 (or thereabouts), who were being brought up to be homemakers. With this in mind, they marketed to that group (in fact they had a secret secondary market: the mothers of those girls, who were the ones who would actually splash the cash). By drastically cutting the numbers of people they could appeal to, they actually improved the chances of selling units.

Now Barbie may seem like an odd example to use here, but I do so because Mattel is a company which has recognised the need to reassess their target audience: they are now working hard to create dolls that appeal to boys and girls of all races, body types and interests. If ‘perky blonde Barbie’ had been their only offering, the company would have done very poorly in the 21st century, but Mattel have recognised the importance of demographics.

So when it comes to your audience it really is better to be a specialist rather than a generalist.

I’ll give you another example: I’m a regular at networking events, and very often participants are given the opportunity to tell a room full of potential referral partners what sort of customer they’re looking for. The majority of new business people, desperate not to exclude anyone, will hedge their bets – “I’m a skincare specialist looking for anybody with skin!” “I’m an accountant and I want to talk to people with a bank account” people generally smile, nod….and then walk away and forget them, because they’re simply being too general. It’s not targeted and it certainly isn’t memorable. I know hundreds of people with skin…who do I talk to?

However, if I was told that somebody offered treatment for liver spots – that they were looking for women between the ages of 60 and 90, who took pride in their appearance and wanted to slow down the aging process – suddenly I’m picturing specific people in my life.

If you know that much about your target audience then you can use colours, images, even fonts that you know would appeal to them. you can place your ads in the right magazine, or go to the places they’re likely to go. Suddenly you’re not just another voice among the noise: you’re the company that catches their attention.

How to define your target audience

In order to target your ideal clients however, you need to have a clear picture of them in your head. The best advice I can give you is this: create an ‘avatar’ of your ideal client. Picture your perfect customer in your head and then put them onto paper: What’s their age? Where do they live? What social media do they use (more on that next week), what problems do they have? How can you solve those problems?

Once you have a clear picture in your head, you can start to think about how best to appeal to them. Suddenly your marketing becomes focused, clear and so much easier!

To help make this process a little easier (because let’s face it, it’s one of those tasks that can be quite difficult to know where to start), we have created a The Ultimate Ideal Customer Profiling Workbook to help you get really clear on who your ideal customer is.

Download the FREE 20-page workbook here.


How to create an effective brand strategy

How to create an effective brand strategy

“So what do you do?” asks the lady at the networking meeting

“I’m a branding specialist” I reply


I watch as the all too familiar glazed expression descends on her face and I can see the words forming before she even opens her mouth:

“So…logos right?”

…Ok, I get it, somebody says brand and you immediately think logo. If you’re not familiar with marketing then why wouldn’t you? But to me, a specialist with 20 years’ design and business experience, this assumption is endlessly frustrating. Apart from anything else, a lifetime of ‘logos right?’ simply wouldn’t be enough to keep me interested! However, much more important is the fact that business owners pay so little attention to the nuances of marketing.

You see at the end of the day, branding IS business. I’m not trying to inflate my own importance here, I’m simply stating fact. Without a strong brand identity (and I can’t emphasise this enough) YOU HAVE NO BUSINESS.

Would McDonalds have invaded every corner of the globe if all they’d had going for them was a cut price menu and a brightly coloured logo? No, the golden arches earned their reputation through a careful and extended marketing campaign built upon a solid brand identity. The way they write, the people they target, the ads they put out, the colours they decorate their restaurants – whether you’re lovin’ it or hatin’ it, you have to admit that good old Maccies is a success and that big yellow M wouldn’t be nearly as recognisable if it hadn’t been for all the other branding measures put in place behind it.

So that, in a nutshell, is what branding is – it’s your logo, your colours, your fonts, your demographics, your tone of voice, your copy, your staff, your ethos, your marketing, and a 1001 other things that make up who you are as a business.

The important question (and one that applies to established businesses as well as start-ups) is how do you go about creating and/or cementing your brand?

My mission is to raise awareness of the importance of branding and to help businesses of all shapes and sizes become successful through the careful application of theirs.

Creating your brand is a long and constantly evolving process, and if you check back with my blog regularly you’ll find tons of hints and tips to help you develop yours.

For now I’ll give you my top 3 questions that every business owner should ask themselves when creating their branding:

  • What is my company mission/ethos?
    For example, do you want to educate people? Raise awareness of a product or service? What ‘solutions’ does your company offer to your customers? What sort of business person do you want to be?
  • What is my company aesthetic?
    What colours/images suit your brand? What kind of feelings are you trying to evoke? Which businesses do you admire and why?
  • Who are my audience?
    This is one of the most important questions you can ask yourself and I’ll be covering this in detail in next week’s blog…

In the meantime, why not download our FREE download… ‘The Ultimate Branding Checklist’.

If you would like to discuss how we can help you develop a winning brand strategy then click here.

The Ultimate Branding Checklist