Jennifer Corcoran is the Director and Founder of My Super Connector. My Super Connector helps female founders, introverts and busy business owners to polish up their social media profiles and connect with finesse. She believes that you don’t need to be the loudest in the room to make an impact, you just have to be effective, which is where she comes in to help you shine online.
She is originally from Dublin, Ireland and moved to London almost 16 years ago.
What was your childhood like?
I grew up the eldest of 4 children in Dublin (2 boys and 2 girls). My father was a photographic engineer for the Independent Newspapers and my mother was a housewife. During my childhood my mother developed both epilepsy and manic depression. Frustratingly, the medication for both condition was at odds with each other so she spent many years trying to keep her manic depression or bi-polar as it’s now known under control. All that being said, I had a happy childhood and always felt loved. I loved reading books, writing and watching movies – a form of escapism I guess so I would say that writers like Sue Townsend made me giggle with Adrian Mole and his escapades and directors like Stephen Spielberg blew my mind. I’ve always enjoying daydreaming and living in my head. When I was about 10 I had about 50 pen pals from around the world, these days this is mirrored with my LinkedIn connections and my passion for social media and helping others to find their voice online.
What did you enjoy the most travelling with work?
The great thing about working abroad is that you get to explore various cultures and see how the other half live. I’ve been a child minder in Belgium, a hotel / hostel rep in Holland, I worked in a restaurant in the States and in Ireland, England and Australia I’ve worked in administration as a PA/EA. I’m currently a Social Media Consultant and Virtual Assistant which gives me the flexibility to work anywhere. I can put all of my training to good use and give business owners the kick-start they need to take their business to the next level and get social and connected online.
If you could live anywhere other than England where would you live?
Wow this is a tough one, I’m a natural explorer but my husband is a bit of a home bird so I think our next move will be to the South West of England as we love Bristol, Devon and Cornwall. I lived in Australia for a year before I moved to the UK and I really loved the culture and weather – the only negative was the distance from family and friends so I don’t think I’ll be moving to the other side of the world any time soon. To date I’ve lived and worked in Ireland, England, Belgium, Holland, Australia and The States so I’ve got a lot of the travelling bug out of my system. I love Dublin but it’s the bad weather that gets to me – as much as we moan about London weather it’s almost tropical in comparison.
How did you transition from being employed to having your own business?
I had a back operation in early 2016 and that was really the main driver. Having time off allowed me to work out what I wanted to do with my life going forward and being my own boss after having supported others for 20 years was my natural conclusion. Being my own boss gives me flexibility and also allows me to look after my back and health better. The elusive work/health life balance! I’m really enjoying working locally and throwing myself into the Croydon tech scene. Croydon is currently listed as the fastest growing economy in the UK so it’s exciting to be based here as it goes through this tech renaissance.
How do you stand out in a room?
I’m a natural introvert albeit a chatty one so I guess I stand out by being chatty and personable. I think most Irish people are natural networkers as we like talking and engaging. I don’t ‘work the room’ I focus on a few and try to establish genuine relationships. My top tip is to SHINE – smile, handshake, ‘eye’ contact, name (yours and theirs) and to enthuse.
What is the one thing that holds businesses back when it comes to social media?
I think that a lot of business owners feel that they need to be on all of the platforms because other people are when they only really need to be on the platforms where their target audience are. A lot of people adopt a spray and pray technique where they post ad hoc and sit back and hope for results. Social media is a form of marketing communication and to be successful with marketing you need to have a fixed strategy in place so that you have a fixed target/goal in place and can establish your brand online. So many business owners put little thought into their personal branding when they are on social media which is a big mistake. I help people to be more focused and targeted. It’s far better to be on 2 social media platforms and doing them well and maybe even ‘rocking’ one then to be on 4 and not doing any of them particularly well. There is nothing sadder than a Facebook page which hasn’t been updated in years – it’s like a ghost town and never gives a good impression. Consistency is really the key to success.
What 3 tips would you give the readers to help them attract and increase revenue?
- Invest in your LinkedIn profile – this is your mini website and ranks very highly in terms of SEO. People on LinkedIn are in a business mind-set so are ready to buy. Put your best foot forward online and it will lead to multiple opportunities and increased ROI. I’ve personally won 4 awards because of my interaction online and I attribute this mainly to LinkedIn usage. Your LinkedIn profile is one of the first things that pops up when someone googles you. Are you giving out the right message?
- Follow the 80/20 rule with all social media activity. 80% of the time you need to educate, inspire and motivate. Add value and give people a reason for following you. 20% of the time can be your push but 10% should be a soft push for e.g. a blog post, podcast, offer etc. A lot of people get this the other way around and promote themselves all the time – which is very boring and a real turn-off. Engage with others, GIVE GIVE GIVE and the law of reciprocity will come back to you!
- Know where your target audience are? Are they on LinkedIn? In Facebook Groups? Can you attract them in a Twitter tweet chat? Once you know where they hang out, be mindful of timings too. There is no point posting to a platform during the middle of the night when nobody is online. Track your analytics and work on this. In relation to LinkedIn you can check your SSI score which will rank you according to your profession and network. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. all have their own analytics which are free to use. Be mindful that all of the platforms differ. In Twitter it’s common to use 2 or 3 hashtags but in Instagram it’s preferable to use 30 to get traction. Measure and monitor.
Tell us about My Super Connector and who is its target audience?
My Super Connector is a social media consultancy. In a nutshell, I help female founders, introverts and busy business owners to polish their online profiles and connect with finesse. I offer social media health checks and coaching on various platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Blogging. My audits are primarily for people who are already on social media but are feeling stagnant. They are not quite sure if they are doing things right and I follow up with a written improvement plan of what ‘to do’ what ‘not to do’ and why. Most importantly I help them measure it. I also offer on-site and off-site event support and bespoke Virtual Assistance. I’m loving the mix of on and off-site and YES, a ‘virtual’ assistant can work on-site.
What advice would you give women who are starting or have just started their business?
- Invest in your branding and photography. I see so many people start off with a website but with no real concept of what their personal brand is. People buy people and when people buy a product or service it can often boil down to the brand. What is your USP and puts you in a category of one? A brand is not just a logo – think of it as the foundation for your entire business.
- Ensure that you have a great support network around you. Being an entrepreneur can be lonely and the first year is undoubtedly a rollercoaster with many ups and downs. You need people who will have your back and motivate and support you. I work out of a co-working space once a week and I find that hugely motivating. I also have some great mentors who I can turn to for advice.
- Be prepared to network – both in person and online. People buy people and all of my clients to date have booked me after either meeting me in person, a referral or speaking on the phone. It’s unlikely that you will get a lot of warm leads just from your website initially. You may however find clients in LinkedIn and Facebook groups so if you are an online business it’s worthwhile joining a few groups where your target audience hang out.
- ‘Serve’ don’t sell – so many people over promote and think they need to be selling all the time. Don’t worry about being ‘perfect’ the main thing to worry about is being consistent. If you can’t do something well or it stresses you – outsource. I outsource my bookkeeping as it’s not one of my natural strengths. This frees me up to spend time doing what I enjoy!
- Have some savings to support you during the early months – it can be tough and I know many entrepreneurs who freelance or temp on the side to support their business during slow periods. Doing this does not make you a failure – it’s smart actually and makes perfect business sense.
- Do your research and invest in training – I learned how to become a Virtual Assistant by doing an online course with VIP VA. I also invested in some sales training with The Entrepreneur’s Godmother. There is no point in having a fantastic product or service if you don’t know how to sell it!
- You also need to market your services – if you don’t it’s a bit like a boy winking at a girl in the dark. Do people know you exist? How will you market your products and services?
- It is relatively easy to set up as a business owner – it’s what follows which is the hard part. You will need to be resilient – look after your diet and health. Going to Pilates and aqua several times a week keeps me in check. Get yourself a good desk and sit up straight!
- Know your worth and don’t undersell or give away your services for free – that being said I’ve recently done some pro-bono work for a local homelessness charity and that has been very rewarding.
- Incorporate your core values into your brand – my brand promise is connect, collaborate and thrive!
What do you do to unwind and relax?
I love going to the beauticians or a spa to relax – a deep tissue massage, facial, nails, hair – all of these things make me feel better. Especially a massage as being a business owner can be quite stressful as you know. I also enjoy spending time travelling with my husband and visiting cute villages / towns and even chilling out in a National Trust Park always makes me feel quite centered and calm.
What’s your favourite holiday spot?
This is a tricky one – in the UK it’s got to be Devon/Cornwall and the Lakes.
I also love anywhere with sunshine and really loved Thailand when I visited it on honeymoon.
What is next for Jennifer?
I’ve exciting plans in the pipeline – I’m currently co-hosting a new Mastermind called Collective Minds which is for female founders and I look forward to seeing that develop and grow in 2018. The Mastermind will give myself and the other attendees some accountability in our business development and we hope to incorporate a buddy system.
I’ve also been approached by Enterprise Nation to help Facebook with their She Means Business campaign. The campaign is to help as many female business owners in the UK get to grips with managing their Facebook and Instagram for business. I’m hoping to become an accredited Facebook trainer and this will help me with my 121 service and audits for clients so it’s a win/win. You can follow the action via the hashtag #SheMeansBusiness. In 2017, they managed to reach 10,000 business owners which is fantastic!
I want to help as many introverts and female founders find their voice online in 2018. I believe that you don’t need to be the loudest in the room to make an impact and that’s where I come in to help my clients shine online. Exciting times ahead!