Suzanne Chadwick

Speaker Coach

Suz Chadwick’s a BOLD Business, Branding and Speaker Coach. Who takes your brand from basic biscuits to delectable ‘got to have’ goodness.

She’s got over ten years as a brand consultant working with global brands and solopreneurs. Suz knows what works when it comes to creating a brand that connects and stands out.

A corporate escapee, she’s been recognised as a Top 10 Branding Coach by Yahoo!. She’s an award-winning author of Play Big, Brand Bold and host of the highly ranked Brand Builder’s Lab podcast. And the creator of Brand Builder’s Academy.

She now works with savvy women in business. To create confidently bold brands and profitable businesses through thinking bigger, going bolder and stepping up as the CEO in their business to make a real impact.

BY Podcast Covers Issue 2_Clare

Suz’s Podcast: Being a bold and powerful voice

  • What impact having a bold brand can have

  • Speaking up: building your confidence in public speaking
  • Step up and own it. The power of being yourself in your business
  • Colour as a love language


Rowena 0:01
If you can tell us a little bit about you and what it is that you do, because you have a lot of notches on that belt.

Suz 0:11
That sounds funny, doesn’t it? So hi, I’m Suz Chadwick. So I am a bold business branding and speaker coach. So how that breaks down is that I’m a business coach, I help women to create profitable businesses. Without the burnout. I also come from a brand background. So I’ve been in brand strategy for about 10 years now and have worked with large global corporates as well as small businesses. And then I’m a speaker coach as well. So I’ve been a speaker, since I was 16 years old, where I started on the debate team. I’ve spoken at conferences and events for years, and I started speaker coaching, probably about five or six years ago now helping others to really become more confident, get clear on their message, find their voice, which I kind of feel like I do anyway, as a brand strategist, because that’s one of the key things is really having a message that connects with your audience and lands the way that you want it to.

Rowena 1:11
Now today, we’re definitely gonna touch on that as a specialist area, because I feel like it’s something that so many people struggle with, it can be saying the right thing at the right time is probably more important than babbling away to strangers, correct?

Suz 1:25
Yeah, you know, I think that I think what I find is that when a client comes to me, they know what they do. So you know, I’m a web designer, I’m a copywriter, I’m a graphic designer, whatever it is that they do. And they know what they want to do for their clients, they just find it hard to say it in a really sexy way, basically, in a way that’s concise. Succinct. Impactful, and really reflects the benefit and outcome to the client, and also speaks to the client’s needs. So a really good brand message needs to do a lot of different things in a really short space of time, words, etc. So I think that’s really why people come to me is so that they can have that clarity of message and also feel really confident with saying it so that it’s them

Rowena 2:21
Feel like practice makes perfect. Definitely in a speaker space. Yeah?

Suz 2:25
Yes. So I always tell the story where I went to a workshop quite a while ago, a few years ago now. And the speaker said, it was a Storytelling Workshop. And he said, your message can only be honed when it’s witnessed. And it’s only when we continue to share our message, tell our story, see how people react and respond and engage that we start to really see what lands and what doesn’t. So you know, you could, sometimes I’ll be like, ah, when I say this, it’s gonna go off. And then, like, you hear crickets and other times, you’ll flippantly just say something, there’ll be a comment or a quote or something. And people will just be like, Oh, my gosh, that’s gold. And so it’s only through actually sharing that message on an ongoing basis and sharing your stories that you can really see, what resonates with people because I think, what we think is powerful, you need to test if that is powerful for your audience, as well. I was talking a while ago about stepping up as the CEO in your business and, you know, really taking responsibility and not kind of being like, I’m not very good with numbers, or I don’t really understand the finances or, you know, that’s not really something I do, I’m just going to do what I do in my business. And I’m sort of like, you know, something, if you want to have a profitable business, you kind of got to make that decision to step up. And when I started talking about that, the response I got was so incredible, that I ended up making that an additional chapter in my book. And so that’s what I mean by the more that you talk about things, the way that you know how you gauge that response that you get, can really then help you take your message in different directions, and decide what you maybe spend more time on and how you develop that message a bit more. Because that’s what’s getting a lot of traction for you. So I think listening is really important when you put those messages out there.

Rowena 4:16
It sounds like you experience a lot of what I do as a graphic designer, a lot of people come to me and assume that having a brand, it’s set in stone. And that’s it done. It’s a tick on the list. But the realisation is is as it is, it’s this organic living organism that needs to constantly be adaptable.

Suz 4:36
Yeah, I totally agree. And I think that also, it is something that over time, the more confident you become in something, the more it will evolve and change and you’re kind of it like, ease into it as well. Because when I think about what I started with and where I am now, people always say “Oh, did your visual brand always look this amazing?” And I’m like, “No, it was rubbish”. Like it was, I think I was using Picmonkey, at the time. It was a side hustle, when I started. I had some, you know, photos done that were a bit glamour shot type thing. Like, obviously, it wasn’t in my underwear. But it was very, like it was a, it was a no, I don’t like that. But it was a bit like I kind of had a saucy face. And, you know, like, it was just not what I am now or who I am now. And so I think that you kind of start where you start. I think nowadays, like, if you were starting a business today, I think there’s a lot more amazing resources at your disposal, like Canva, or just accessing professional designers, etc. It’s more accessible, I feel now than it used to be when I first started. So you’d kind of just make do at the beginning. And it was pretty average, you know. So I just think, yeah, your message evolves, your visual brand evolves your confidence in what you’re doing evolves. And it is a living, breathing part of your business. And it should be.

Rowena 6:02
By stepping up and being the CEO of your business, as soon as you think CEO you think of people actually speak the other head of the organisation. They’re the person that actually has to verbalise that message to people. And as you were saying, a lot of people go, “No, I don’t do that”. How do you get people from that point of an absolute note to taking those steps into being confident speaking about their brand?

Suz 6:25
I’m going to be honest with you, there are going to be two camps here with this, you can either make a decision to stay behind your brand. And there’ll be a lot of people that do that, yeah, that’s totally fine. That’s up to you. And you’ll continue just to do the work for your clients. There are other people that want to make a bigger impact and have a bolder voice in the market because they’re on a mission. Yes, some people will just be like, do the work, and others will live their purpose, have a voice, want to have a bigger impact. And I think both are fine. I always say not everybody can be the leader. And so I just want to say that it’s your choice, what you want to do. But if you want to have a bigger impact in the world, if you have a message and a belief that you feel you really want to share, then finding the courage and perfecting the craft of being a public speaker. And when I say I’m not even going to use the word public speaker, just to speaker, I think is really important. The other thing I’d say with this is that it’s not always about speaking in front of large audiences, it’s not about speaking in front of 100 people or whatever, you know, sometimes it’s the power of that one on one conversation. And just really knowing your own mind, knowing your own message, knowing what you’re here to do, really living into your values as well and sharing those. And I just think this year, which is 2020, when we’re recording this is and even the last couple of years with the Me Too movement, and what’s been happening in the US and Black Lives Matter and what’s happening with our Indigenous people here in Australia, there are so many organisations and people that want to stand up and say something. And it’s been really interesting to say how they integrate that with their business brand. Because I think a lot of times, we feel like I don’t want to talk about politics, religion, anything that’s outside of my business. And I think that that’s really a melting pot now. And so once again, it’s a choice. But I feel like a lot of people are making a decision that I want to speak up for what I believe in, whether it’s to do with what I think you need to do in business, or whether it’s what I believe and want to stand by in the world. And so I think that being confident with how you share that. And sometimes it can take time, I feel like this year, I’ve really had to step back and think about what do I think about this? And how am I going to articulate it? And what does this look like for me in my business, with my brand with my community. And so I think that all of that comes into play, which is not an easy thing sometimes. But I think that if you want to get more confident with how you’re speaking, whether it’s to one person or too many, I think you’ve got to put that message out there and continue to put that message out there. until it becomes something that you’re really crystal clear on how you talk about things. What are the key points you really want to share? And I guess what’s the impact that you want to have as well so that you can decide where you share that message and how you share it.

Rowena 9:30
It’s a very good point that you don’t want to spread yourself too thin. You see it all the time people jumping on a bandwagon, you know, just for the sake of it, it shines through is really in-genuine by actually realising that all those small decisions, all those small choices like you were talking about. They shaped this really unique brand that becomes very you.

Suz 9:49
Yeah, and I think that people have to decide what that is as well, you know, because all of these things do become part of your brand. And so you do have to make a decision. Do I want that be part of my brand, or will I fight that fight elsewhere? If it’s something that’s more personal,. I don’t have a standard answer for this is how you should do it. I think it’s so personal to people how they decide to operate their business, what they decide to talk about, and how much that melting pot brings personal and business in together as well.

Rowena 10:22
Now, over the last year or so I’ve laid some really solid foundations for my business. And I know for a fact that the next few steps are going to involve a lot more speaking, a lot more showing up.

Suz 10:35
That’s exciting.

Rowena 10:37
You know, everything from Instagram story to I would really like to be putting out some workshops locally, or I would like to be speaking on topics that I’m really passionate about to the right people. But I feel like such a big sticking point. I know, this is something that I’ve had to overcome gradually, when people come to you with that level of fear in the eyes, but they know it’s something they genuinely want, what kinds of things can they start to do to build that confidence up to step into that space? Because they’ve got that knowledge that that’s the thing that they want to do advance in that direction?

Suz 11:09
Yeah, I mean, I think at the end of the day, it is a build, like anything. So for example, if you’ve never really spoken before, but you want to, then maybe start doing two or three minute Facebook Lives, or pre record videos, and then put it on your Instagram, or decide that you’re going to speak at like a local event where you know that it’s quite a small group or get on somebody’s podcast that you feel really comfortable talking to, because it’s never live like you know, we’re recording now. And it can be edited if if we totally stuffed something up, or if I say something I don’t want to say. And so that can bring a lot of security and comfort to people as well. Like, let’s record it, let’s see how it goes. Let’s just have a conversation. We need to we can change things. And so I think there’s so many options for us now. And what I would say is just start to take small steps, really you can start in your comfort zone with people that you feel comfortable with. Other thing I’d say is that I do even when I’m doing a webinar, or I’m writing a new presentation or something, that content might be new to me. And so I’ll practice. Yes, so I’ve got a webinar that’s happening soon. And so if there’s new content in there, or it’s a new presentation, I will practice and I’ll see how it feels. And I’ll make sure that that story is the right story to make that point and, and so I just want to say that when you look at somebody who you think is a confident speaker, can I just tell you that isn’t always just something that happened. Like they practiced and they showed up. And they did little things to start with before they were doing the much bigger things. So just know that that is where you want to start

Rowena 12:54
And practice is something that I feel is so undervalued, especially, I used to have to work with a lot of PowerPoint presentations, all of these things would come to me an hour before e. And it’s like we haven’t had a chance to practice this, this makes me so nervous. And we use to follow this rule, however long you spend putting into the presentation, that’s how long you should be spending practicing the presentation. So it’s not 90/10 it should be 50/50.

Suz 13:24
I mean, I think you know, especially in in like when we talk about webinars, and even presenting at conferences and things like that, and the corporate world. I feel like the corporate world and the entrepreneurial world are very, very different, as well. But you know, even I was sharing on one of my reels on Instagram the other day, just some speaking tips. And there is like a highlight section on my Instagram at Suz Chadwick, where you can take a look at speaking tips there too. I’m very like, you know, something, create slides that are very visual, like all have 100 slides for a 45 or 60 minute presentation, because I want to keep you interested, like I want to keep the pace moving forward. You know, I might have six bullet points on a slide. But then the next slide will just be an image or a single sentence, those sorts of things. And so if you are presenting as well, the other thing that I would say is that yet don’t put too much on your slides, because what happens is that you end up relying on looking at what’s on that slide and maybe reading it. And I also always say when I’m speaker coaching is that if somebody is reading your slide, they’re not listening to you, we can only do one thing at a time. When you are creating a presentation. What I’d really recommend you do as well is just think about simple flow. So maybe you’ve got four or five key points in my 40 minute or you’ve got three key points in a 20 minute presentation, just so that you’re not overloading and that you’re able to really spend time on things. If you’ve got three points in 20 minutes, you can tell a story, you can share some tips, you can say why this is important. And you’re not like rushing through things as well. So I think that practice is one of the most important things. When I get up on a stage and I don’t have notes, and I’m not looking at the slides, I can tell you now, especially if it’s at a conference, and it’s like a 45 minute presentation, I normally have my presentation finished at least two to three weeks before that event. And then I’ll practice at least two or three times a week for three weeks in the lead up to that event. So that when I get up there, I’m almost on autopilot. But it looks and sounds effortless. And people are like, “Oh, my gosh”, I’m like, you have no idea how much time that took me to make it look effortless.

Rowena 15:48
And one of the things that I also noticed, and it links back to what you were saying that if people are reading, they’re not listening, one of my favourite tips in this situation, I feel like often when you go into a training session that can apply across anything that you’re actually, you know, either speaking to or teaching people things, one of my favourite things to do is say, you don’t need to worry, I have a comprehensive notes form coming to you at the end that summarises everything we’ve spoken about. So just sit back and relax, and absorb. And you can visually tell the difference and how people are listening. Like they’re much more active listeners when they’re not distracted.

Suz 16:26
You know what’s so funny. People just take lots of photos now. Like every time a new slide comes up that’s got like key points, whenever I’m speaking at a conference with like, click, and then they listen, they take some notes. But I just think that’s so funny, like the cameras are always out now. I do it when I go like if there’s like a model or a graph or something like that, that I think all that’s really good. Just take a quick photo. I’m like, I’ll just take a quick photo of that. Yeah, how things change. But yeah, it’s really I think it’s just really interesting how the world of speaking has changed. And now, webinars and online summits and podcasting. And you know, something, I am a big believer that if you do want to make a big impact, and you’ve got a message, you’ve got to become a confident speaker, because there’s so many opportunities for you to reach a global audience, that it’s just like, why wouldn’t you? It’s such a missed opportunity, if you decide not to do it.

Rowena 17:26
What sort of outcomes do you see from this? Whether it be, a personal or professional outcome?

Suz 17:33
Yeah, I mean, I think speaking for me, one, it’s much easier for me. So some people just find speaking easier than writing and all the rest of it. And so if it’s a natural talent of yours, where you can basically talk underwater, then I think that you need to learn the art of how you harness that, and you use it in your business in a really conscious way. Because when you do what I found, personally, is that when people join, say, Brand Builders Academy, or they work with me one on one, I’ll always ask like, where do you know me from, and nine times out of 10. It’s the podcast, and Instagram stories, which are both obviously, me talking, there you go, you’re saying you too. And also, when I’m coming up to say Brand Builders Academy or anything, when I speak at events, a lot of times people who have never met me before will buy something as well. So it just kind of cuts out that middle time of somebody needing to get to know you like all of a sudden I’ve spent 45 minutes with you. You see my personality, you’ve seen me deliver, you’ve seen my content and, and my message and how passionate I am about it, etc. And I’ve had so many people that I just I spoke at events, and they joined like Brand Builders Academy or something else immediately after that, and we had never met before. So the power is speaking is amazing. The other thing is, is I’ve got people that are like, and I got a message on Instagram today actually, it’s like I’ve just discovered your podcast, and I’m listening to like everything. And I had somebody a while ago that’s like this is day four of me listening to you. And I was like put the phone down immediately. Like that cannot be good for anybody. And so I just think that when you speak and somebody hears your voice in whatever forum you decide to do it, it builds rapport, it builds trust and it builds a relationship in such a big wave. Like I said, it’s such a missed opportunity if you don’t do it, because we’re in such an audio world now in a video world now those are being the benefits is more customers, more connection, more cash, all the C’s. It’s fine. I think that wants to you, if you do have fear and anxiety and things like that about it, once you start to build that, like that confidence, it becomes fun because you get so much great feedback back to you that it’s like, this is awesome. Like, why wouldn’t I do this?

Rowena 20:16
Speaking can be one of those things that helps you to stand out in your industry, and means that you become the go to. And you’ve already sort of touched on that just by you know, people signing up to your program afterwards, what other sorts of things have you seen maybe from your clients, that that has had that effect for them?

Suz 20:33
Once again, quite a few of my clients and started doing webinars. And that’s really helped them attract more clients to them too. Because when you start obviously put it out there that you’re running it, you do get that brand awareness and exposure. So I always say to my clients, if they are running like a sales webinar, then do ads to it. So it can really build your audience and brand awareness. Once again, you know, like I said, it is sort of that connection, and then the follow on of conversion, that it’s really helped them. But I also think that for clients who are really passionate about getting their message out there, having that confidence and actually going, I’m going to go after these speaking gigs. So whether it’s pitching to podcast, letting somebody know, like a council, or an event organiser, or a community leader, that this is what I speak about, if you’re interested, let me know, I think that just that confidence to start stepping up. And going after being really proactive, has been amazing. It’s gotten them opportunities that they may not have ever had before. I think once you get really clear on your message and you feel confident with delivering, then you can go after things because you like, if I get that I’m totally gonna nail it like it’s gonna be fine. And so that’s definitely been something that’s really interesting to see as well. And I also think that it’s given them the confidence to speak about things outside of their business. So we were sort of talking about, you know, things that are going on in the world. Those are definitely, you know, benefits that they’ve seen in their business.

Rowena 22:10
Now, not only do you do speaking and teach people how to speak well and step up in the businesses in that space, you have a book.

Suz 22:19
I do.

Rowena 22:20
I think you soon have a second book as well. Yeah.

Suz 22:23
I do. I do. I’ve written the first draft of it. And now I’m going to go back over things. And I have to be honest, that is not my favourite thing to do. I’m like, I like to write something. And then I’m like, Ta Da, but it’s definitely not done. I’ve got to go back over it and like finesse and you know, edit and all the rest of it. So I am hoping that will probably be out, I would probably say mid next year.

Rowena 22:47
Well, I’ll be definitely booking in for it. I actually got handed on a copy from a friend and I followed you and I hadn’t purchased the book. And they’re like, Oh, my gosh, I read this book, and handed it to me. And I was just like, I know her.

Suz 23:00
That’s so nice. I love that my book gets handed around.

Rowena 23:04
It’s one of those ones that one I love the fact that it’s written by a fellow Ozzy, and well, I’m a kiwi but you know, I’m adopted by now.

Suz 23:13
Yeah. So we’re kind of one. Yeah. We’re trying to claim Jacinda. I’m like we want Jacinda, can we have Jacinda?

Rowena 23:23
I hear that so often. And honestly, like, she gives me confidence she gives me hope.

Suz 23:29
She’s amazing.

Rowena 23:30
So on my list of people I always wanted to see you know, living or dead have dinner with I always had Obama on there. And I don’t really follow politics, I find it gives me huge anxiety, but he’s just so charismatic. And I feel like I would love to have her at that table. I can just imagine they would do.

Suz 23:48
So I’d have Obama and Michelle, I love Michelle. I’d have Oprah. I’d have Jacinda, I’d have The Rock. I love The Rock, I follow him on Instagram and I love him. I’d have Ryan Reynolds, because I think he’s hilarious. And he’s just beautiful to look at as well. So yeah, maybe that I feel like I need some more women on there but I’ll have to have a big I’m just suck I’m just going for all the charismatic sexy men.

Rowena 24:15
I would love to have Pink I reckon like I’ve idolised her from like way back in the day and I love the way she uses her voice and how she writes songs that kind of have this…

Suz 24:27
Yeah, deep meaning.

Rowena 24:28
Really like unique. It feels like a unique message and perspective. But it’s so easy to connect to it whether it’s talking about being a rock star or Dear Mr. President, like there was just such a huge scope to that impact I feel like she can have. Aw, chuck Channing in there, maybe without a shirt on though. He doesn’t need to say anything, he could just sit there pretty.

Suz 24:50
He might be very intelligent, you don’t know.

Rowena 24:53
Well, it’s an added bonus, but still without the shirt. So you know. Your first book is called Play Big, Brand Bold. What made you go haha, I’m going to write a book!

Suz 25:04
Yes, you know something when something feels like such a long time ago, and you can’t really remember. So basically, about three years before the book came out. So I started my business in kind of 2014. It officially launched in 2015, really, because I was just like, I’m going to start a business. And then I kind of did bits and pieces, but didn’t really like put effort in until 2015. And then, as a brand strategist, I was like, I’m gonna write a book, that’s gonna be great for my brand. But I don’t really feel like I had a purpose. I don’t really feel like I had landed on the purpose. So anyway, I started writing it. And I was like a bull out of a gate, I wrote, I don’t know, like, 20,000 words in one sitting, I’m like this, I’m so doing this, this is amazing. And then I just stopped. I was like, I just, I’m not sure where this is going. I’m not sure why I’m doing it. And so sort of three years later, two years later, I feel like I had really landed on my message. I knew what I was about, I knew what I was here to do. And I feel like it took some of that time for me to really kind of stand with confidence in that and just be like, this is where I’m going. When I really got to that place. I was taking a walk one morning, and I have listened to Big Magic about a billion times on Audible. It’s kind of a book that I listen to maybe once or twice a year, because every time I listen to it, I get something new out of it. And I love the stories so I could listen to tell a story all day long. Elizabeth Gilbert. When I was listening to her book, it just said, you’re not responsible for how people receive your work. The only responsibility you have is to create and put things out there. And if you don’t, then you’ve missed an opportunity. Like she goes on about all of this for a while. But that particular sentence, I am going to put this out there and it’s just something I’m going to create. And whether it’s good or not, doesn’t really matter. Obviously, I’ll try and make it the best I can. But I’m just going to put it out there. And that’s it. And so, basically, within five weeks from that time I finished the book, I gave it over to my book consultant, Linda Diggle who is amazing. And I was just like, I’ve got this Word document, I want it to be a book. And so she, you know, basically took this Word document. And she gave me a beautiful book that was mine. And she did everything else with it with it as well. Like she put it on Amazon, and she got it online for ordering and we you know, ordered physical copies. And for me, I’m just like, Let’s have a party. So I’m like, you know, it’s not a launch unless there’s a party, I ended up having a book launch party in November 2019. It was awesome. And then in March of 2020, or February, I was like, I think I’ve got another one in me. And so I sat and I wrote it. I finished the first draft I there’s still I’m in working name at the moment, as in, I haven’t titled it. But I need to go back over I need to read through it. And I need to develop it more. There’s always, you know, crappy first draft, and then you kind of got to dive back into it. So that’s where I’m at at the moment. I’ve got a book writers retreat that I’m hosting next weekend that’s sold out. And I’m like, Okay, next, like next week, I cannot like commit to diving back into the book again and having it finished by you know, by the end of Christmas or by January. So yeah.

Rowena 28:46
What you said about that one line that spoke to you in that particular listening of Big Magic that perfectly sums up how Brand You Magazine came about, there was a part of me that just it was in me, I hadn’t done something for myself and created for myself in so long. Yes, I’m creating for all the amazing women that are out there. And, and yes, you know, I want to do it to the best of my ability, but it’s just something I had to do. And I love it. I’m not responsible for how people like you know, consume it, and everyone’s loved it. It speaks so true. I feel like so often we get so busy creating for others and taking those moments to step into reflection and really take that moment and again at links full circle about what we were talking to in the beginning by actually realising that you’re a person that’s developing and growing and getting older and all of those things as well. So actually stopping and reassessing is powerful. Let’s be honest, you know, 2021 coming up. There’s gonna be a lot of that going on after the year that was.

Suz 29:50
That message from Elizabeth Gilbert, which still it just landed for me in such a massive way. And even when we were talking about, speaking and re-recording stories and things like that. And I said to my clients before, I want you to record a story and press send and walk away, like don’t even watch it back, just press send and walk away. Because I think we spend so much of our time critiquing ourselves, what we say, how we say it, how we look, all the time, like stick a cat filter on, I have built my business with a cat filter, you know what I mean, like, if you got something to say, say it. The other thing is, is that sometimes the least important thing is the most powerful. What I mean by that, people send me messages and just say, Suz, I always come to your stories, because I know you’re gonna say good morning to me. And sometimes it just doesn’t make me feel as alone. Sometimes we think that we need to be profound. And sometimes I just think you just need to be human, and you just need to be you. And you need to be imperfect. And you need to know that your intention for putting what you put out there is with good intention. And it’s not for others to think you’re amazing or beautiful or perfect or anything else. That’s not what people are looking for. So why are you expecting that of yourself when nobody else is expecting that of you. So I think if you are looking to become more confident, stop thinking about yourself, and start looking at the people who you’re trying and wanting to connect with,

Rowena 31:27
Find your people, I haven’t grown either of my Instagram pages, fast. I know there’s ways to do that. But I’ve had to take those moments to realise how it’s going to work for me, what I want from it. I’m going to be honest, I’ve gone on massive hiatuses because I’ve become completely disenchanted with social media. But it was because I was loaded down with shoulds and coulds and have tos. And when I came back and just admitted that, you know, I literally almost hit burnout. And this has happened and this happened. The messages I got flooded with told me that my people were okay with it. It’s okay to be human in this space. And I think we so often forget that a powerful thing that I did recently was I actually went through and the people that were making me feel less than on those spaces, I actually deleted them and stopped following people. You actually have a choice you have the power. If there’s a person that’s making you feel like “Oh, am I not professional enough” just to unfollow them or just mute them

Suz 32:23
100% responsible for your own headspace and your own social space. And yeah, if it doesn’t help, if it hinders, then get rid of it.

Rowena 32:33
As a graphic designer, I hear the term brand bandied about so often. And I know that everyone has a different definition of it. What does it mean to you, for someone to have a strong brand?

Suz 32:47
I always talk about brand being the emotional connection and the invitation to an emotional connection that you give your audience. And there’s a lot of things that come into that. So you’ve got your visual brand, you’ve got your brand experience, you’ve got brand loyalty, there’s so many different things that come under a brand. Does the message, do what it needs to do? But at the end of the day, it’s really about how I feel about a business. And people say it’s the reputation which is absolutely true. For me as like one person to that brand, it’s how I feel about it. Do I feel excited about it? Does the visual brand attract me and draw me in? Does the message really connect with me? Does the brand experience made me feel special and make me want to come back? All of those things is about my connection to that brand. And so there are a lot of elements to it. But that’s how I describe it.

Rowena 33:42
I think that’s the perfect way of summing it up, because like you said, people can get bogged down on those checklists lists of you know, oh, I have to do all these things. And that’s what a brand is. But ultimately, I also say this to business owners a lot. It’s not just how your clients feel about it, but you have to feel it as well. You know, a lot of people will be like, Oh, you know, they really try to separate two things out. But I’m a firm believer that professional brand and personal brands so often come together. And it’s ultimately just a big ball of emotion.

Suz 34:11
And this was right from the beginning of when I started working with women in business like five or six years ago, one of the big things was they weren’t putting themselves out there. And the more that I spoke to women and I’ve interviewed over 100 now is they weren’t proud, they either weren’t proud of the way their visual brand looked. They weren’t clear on their message. They didn’t have the confidence to put it out there because of those things. And it’s because of how they felt about it. I always say you know, you do have to love what you’re putting out there. And that’s what playing big and branding bold is about. Playing big is about making the decision to do things that are uncomfortable so that you can start to grow yourself in your business. And branding bold is about loving what you’re putting out there and being so confident and clear and connected to it that you want to stand on the rooftops and be like, this is what I’m here to do. And so that is for me, that’s really what I’m here to do is to help women to have that confidence and build confidently bold brands, so that they can be those bold and powerful voices, and claim their space in the world. That’s where I sit every day. It’s why I show up every day. And it’s why I do what I do. And it’s just so important.

Rowena 35:28
And it’s so freeing to have that level of confidence and a brand. Yeah, and your brand. Because it makes things so much easier. It makes it so much clearer, there’s a lot less grey areas, there’s a lot less doubt. Because when you have that level of belief, and what you doing and how it looks and how it feels, and all of those things, there’s a whole realm of worry and stress and questioning that just disappears.

Suz 35:56

Rowena 35:57
Blinding light just comes down and shows the path because you’re really clear, it’s really clear where you’re heading.

Suz 36:03
Yeah, and you don’t have to worry about it anymore. And you can get on and do the things that are so much more important. You need to love what you’re putting out there and what you’re doing. I can I just say if you don’t you will get there. It is an evolution. And we all start with our crappy first draft just so that you know you’ll find your confidence in it as you continue to evolve it.

Rowena 36:25
Even as a graphic designer, I hated my first logo. I was a branding designer with brand shame. Like seriously, if that isn’t an oxymoron. I don’t know what it is. So moving into the final section of this interview and this is what this issue is all about. Colour. So what does colour mean to you? What How does it feature in your life?

Suz 36:44
It is my life. To me colour brings me joy. It is something I surround myself with, you know, if you’re listening to this podcast, you can’t see my office. But basically every time I see something that’s colourful, I’m like, oh, where can I fit that in my office? Colour is important to me personally in my personal life as well as in my business. And it just makes me happy if I’m honest, like that’s really the reason why. And it was so beautiful, I had somebody sent me a message the other day and she said whenever I feel sad or low, I always come to your Instagram feed because it just makes me feel happy with all the colour that you have. And I’m just like, that’s awesome. I’m glad I can make you happy. Yeah.

Rowena 37:30
One of my favourite quotes that I pulled from your Instagram was that colour is your love language.

Suz 37:36
It is. It gives me all the feels. I always joke about the retail brands that I buy from which are like Gorman and Mr Zimi and stuff like that. I definitely have a chemical reaction in my brain. When I say something that is a colour explosion. I’m just like, I need to wrap myself in that and like live in full colour. That’s how I want to be. The dress I’ve got today is beautiful, but it doesn’t have pockets which is definitely a downside. That’s definitely something I want to do is live my life in full colour as much as I can.

Rowena 38:12
Well your brand definitely does that. Your business is definitely colourful is no denying that. I’m going to say it brings me joy as well. Your feed is just sunshine.

Oh, thank you. It does, it makes me happy. I just think that’s why I live on Instagram so much. A lot of the accounts I follow a very colourful and great quotes and colourful people. It’s a happy place for me. And it’s funny I did a big cull on Instagram the other day because I was just like if it’s not bringing me joy or I don’t have a connection, then I’m just gonna unfollow because when I’m scrolling in my feed, I want to feel the joy as I do that and the connection for people that I know and I love and all the rest of it.

So this next question is my absolute favourite that I’ve been asking as part of this issue. Honestly, the answers are some of my absolute favourite, no pressure or anything.

Suz 39:00
I know I’m like what is this question?

Rowena 39:03
What’s your first colour memory?

Suz 39:05
Oh wow. I probably say my first colour memory. A little pink puff sleeve dress with three tiers is in the skirt. I probably was about four or five. And my mum used to dress my sister and I, she’s three years older than me. She used to dress us in the same Christmas dresses. So every Christmas we would buy a fancy new dress and they were always beautiful. But there was this one dress that I really love and there’s a photo of me actually with headphones on big headphones and me singing into the jack and I’m in this pink puffy Christmas dress which I just thought was the bomb. I totally rocked that when I was five.

What is your favourite colour?

I’d say this is like, it changes. But I would say coral is probably my favourite colour at the moment, it’s like it’s really a mix between pink and coral. It’s somewhere in between and and my nails are that colour at the moment and when I put got them to do my nails, I was like I have to write down that colour. Because that’s like my favourite colour. So yes, so sort of a pinky coral is my favourite colour at the moment.

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