Spotlight: Building A Brand With #Girlboss Kate Jenkins
Earlier this year I had the absolute pleasure of meeting #girlboss Kate Jenkins at a networking event and was truly inspired by what she has achieved. Kate is the Founder and Director of BE YOUR BRAND and has more than 15 years experience leading award-winning campaigns for iconic brands including Singapore Airlines, British Airways and the Sydney Opera House.
This girl knows the world of branding better than most and now applies what she's learned from working on some of the world's biggest brands to building personal brand and brands for organisations.
We talk to Kate about startups, creating meaningful brands and how to maintain a healthy lifestyle whilst running a successful business…
1. Do you have a morning routine? What’s involved?
I’m a big fan of having a morning routine to set me up for the day. My alarm goes off at 5.30 every weekday morning and I start my day with either a group training session with Breathe Fitness on Bondi Beach or yoga at Body Mind Life.
Coffee is an essential ingredient of my morning. If I don’t have an early meeting, I’ll go for a coffee with the girls from training before I head off to start my workday.
One thing that I think is really important for my morning routine is my relationship with my phone. I make a point of not checking emails until after I’ve done my morning exercise.
2. We’re big fan of inspirational quotes. What words do you live by?
I’m a big believer in Simon Sinek, so I can’t go past one of his quotes. This one is very relevant to what I do with my clients: “Dream big. Start small. But most of all…start.”
3. We’d love to hear more about Be Your Brand - could you tell us about the company and how you got started?
Be Your Brand is a brand consultancy that helps define and build purpose-driven brands. I work with business owners and startups, either starting out or further along in their business and ready to take their business to the next level.
My expertise comes from my career in brand marketing. I spent 15 years working in brand marketing, loyalty and PR, for some of the world’s most iconic brands including; Singapore Airlines, British Airways and the Sydney Opera House. I’ve led major brand transformation projects for British Airways and the Sydney Opera House and I apply what I’ve learned from working on the big brands to help small brands (including personal brands) make a big impact.
I’m passionate about building brands that are purpose-driven. By this, I mean they have a bigger cause or belief at the centre of everything they do and their values guide how they operate and what they do. Purpose-driven brands are sustainable, impactful and connect with their customers, clients and employees.
4. What inspired you to start the company?
I was inspired to start Be Your Brand because I kept hearing the same problem over and over again. I kept hearing from friends who are business owners about how they wanted to work on their brand but didn’t know where to start and couldn’t afford to do it with big agencies. I felt this was a gap I could fill.
5. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt so far?
I’ve learned that you just have to put it out there and give it a go. All the research in the world won’t tell you what’s going to work. You just have to put your ideas into action and get started. Once you get started, you can learn, refine and keep going forward.
6. What are your top tips for other women starting a company?
- Do something you love. I know it sounds cliché but if you’re going to run a business, you need to love what you’re doing. It’s a challenge to keep motivated and hold yourself accountable, so it’s imperative to take the time to define your purpose and values at the beginning so that you can keep that focus on where you want to go.
- Surround yourself with people who can support your journey and you can learn from. It’s important to seek help when you need it including having mentors, a coach and a community of people on a similar journey.
- Work out your niche and who it’s for. Whether you’re a product or a service business or both, you need to define your audience, as you can’t be all things to all people.
7. What do you love to do when you’re not working?
I love taking advantage of all that Sydney has to offer. When I’m not working, you’ll either find me doing healthy activities like practicing yoga, bush walking or hanging out at beach or you could find me sipping on espresso martini’s with friends! I also spend a lot of time with my family.
8. Do you have any tips for maintaining a healthy lifestyle whilst running a successful business?
When you’re in your own business, you can’t afford to get sick, so your health needs to be your number one priority. For me, the best way to maintain a healthy lifestyle is to stick to my exercise routine and schedule my week around it. Having set hours for work and time out is really important. To start with, I found myself working every evening and every weekend. I could feel the burnout coming on. I now make sure I stop work at a reasonable hour so I can switch off before bed and I try to schedule just a few hours for work on the weekend. That way, I make sure I maintain the balance, see my friends and family and I can recharge for the week ahead.
9. What’s next for you and Be Your Brand?
Exciting times are ahead. I’m growing the business and looking forward to scaling it in the future to run brand definition and building programs online.
I also recently launched a new business with Victoria Jones from The Insiders. Fearless Females is a community for women who are starting a business or wanting to grow their business. We’ll be helping support, educate and empower female business owners to achieve their goals.
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