It may or may not surprise you to know (if you watch my Instagram Stories here) that I enjoy the occasional gin of an evening. Whilst having my gin, I have a few chats with lovely people in my DMs about personal business stories recently and this got me thinking that whilst my About page is all spruced up and sparkling and ta-dahhh, I haven’t actually shared my business story here on my blog. I do LOVE reading other people’s stories because y'know #nosey, and so I thought it might be fun to share my own almost entirely in GIFs. It's important for me to inject humour as much as possible into what I do because it's a crazy world and I think kindness and humour are key.
I have always loved weddings. When I was a little girl I had an alter ego. Her name? Mrs Wedding.
I went to a convent school which I kinda loved actually.
I grew up by the seaside in Devon....
....where I watched Splash a lot indoors on VHS....
I actually won certificates at school for smiling so much. Whilst others got them for doing well in geography or achievement in maths, I got awarded for being a happy bunny.
I learned to code in HTML in 1999 when I was 16 - my dad gave me a subdomain on his business website! The masterpiece was all about Ace Ventura.....
I went to university in Bristol and studied business, and left for London and expected this.
But it was more like this...
But as a side job, I worked in rowing PR...as you do. There were quite a few perks...
Oh, and I used to organise a LOT of fancy dress parties in London.
I got very, very tired and needed a break. It was the recession and I lost my job.
My partner at the time loved India and encouraged me to go...so off I went. I very much expected this....
and instead got this...
Having all that space to think about life made me realise....
After six months, I came back to England to live on a houseboat, engaged.
I read about 100+ wedding blogs regularly. I entered all the competitions. I won my wedding photographer in a competition on a blog!
I started interning for the blog, and then, dear reader, I got married.
Meanwhile, because I like to keep busy (LOLZ) I led an international media campaign in 2010-2012 to save my houseboat community from extinction (side note: they're still there)
In that time, I also qualified as an English teacher so I could work abroad. After travelling for 18 months, I was ready to come back to England
I started to network (read: fangirl the shiz out of) the wedding world. And things started to happen....
The wedding blog where I won my wedding photographer offered me a job where I wrote and shared my adventures.
I helped organise a networking event and met Nu Bride who hired me as an assistant researcher. She sent me to John Nassari’s masterclass at the Savoy later that year where I met Laura Babb (who I totally fangirled over and she forgave me) as well as Nicola at Propose PR.
I was then involved as a model in a photoshoot where Fiona Kelly was the photographer Fiona became my first real SEO client. Apparently it was this photo that led her to hire me....
That was 2014. In December that year I finished my last ever temping job and had my first logo and was officially madeleinenoblejones.com (my married name).
Having gathered a lovely group of clients (turns out nice people talk about useful people in their lives!), I went off to Goa again for a few months but this time came back single.
Pouring all my energy into the business, I started getting speaking gigs.
(this is actually how much I talk with my arms...)
I had to change my name and therefore updated my brand, fully embracing my love of pink and became Madeleinejones.co and hired two assistants - Bex & Emily, so now we were 3.
I was asked to run 1:1 SEO reviews with attendees at Snap Photography Festival which went down a treat, it was here I was crowned the Queen of SEO by the fantastic Snap community, so much so that I was asked back again for a second year in 2017. (I gush publicly fairly often about the wonder that is Laura Babb but I'm not going to stop now!)
In the winter that year I made the brave decision not to go to Goa and stayed in England.
The gamble paid off and 2017 was the biggest year yet!
I rebranded the business with the amazing talents of Becky Lord.
We completed over 70 client projects and countless internal projects! I travelled all over the country sharing more SEO goodness, Pinterest fun and drank gin with wonderful people.
In 2018, I launched my free Facebook community for women in business
And I started dancing on my Instagram Stories
(Yes, that's right I'm now on GIPHY for the world to use!)
I launched my first group course - Let's Get You Found
With this newfound confidence, I moved back to London this time NORTH OF THE RIVER. After a six year break I had decided that a change was needed (Londoners, you know what I'm talking about)
I also completed a massive load of mindset work, and continued to head to Sweden for regular meditation retreats
2019 was also the year I launched my YouTube channel Gin and Magic chatting to strong creative women about how they make their lives work!
By the end of 2019 I had come to the conclusion that whilst I love talking about SEO, what people really wanted to talk to me about was the bigger picture of online visibility.
This is one of the most common questions I get asked along with...
"What are keywords anyway? Is blogging dead? Where do I even start?"
My goal is and has always been to make you more visible to more of the right people so you get more bookings.
Thanks so much for reading! I’d love to know your business story, so send me a link to yours!