Maddy Shine is a coach who helps ambitious female entrepreneurs get more sales by increasing visibility. Known as the SEO & Visibility Queen, she has helped hundreds of clients get to page one of Google, as she teaches no-fluff strategies that focus on business growth. In 2020 she launched the High Vis podcast, your biz bestie for visibility and has used lockdown to help thousands of entrepreneurs with her training, courses and community.
She firmly believes that life is literally full of opportunity, and it’s up to us to find and get booked by those who want to work with us.
Specialising in the creative industries, Maddy has been featured on many industry stages, podcasts and events in the UK and around the world. Based in London, Maddy is easily spotted by her ever-changing hair and large and colourful earrings. Her love of naming inanimate objects (Gladys is her hair and Penelope is her drinks trolley) entertains people daily over on Instagram and Sandi Toksvig once called her a clever girl, a fact she cherishes daily.
You are an SEO and visibility expert - what does this job entail and what do you enjoy about it most?
I help female entrepreneurs grow their businesses through being more visible so whether that’s knowing how to make their website content more attractive, how to create content with blogging and social media, how to show up on social media at all, anything to do with being seen more by your ideal clients because I believe confidence + clarity = clients. I teach online courses, I host the Visibiliyay membership community, this year I launched the High Vis podcast - your biz bestie for visibility and I work 1:1 with my clients too. I love teaching and empowering womxn with the skills they need, helping them see the wins and I love to get to know them.
Lately I’ve been trying new ways of marketing including making a ton of fun and useful GIFs (37 million views and counting). What I enjoy most about it is making womxn motivated to get the wins they deserve so they lead happier, more fulfilling lives. Or as my future BFF Jonathan from Queer Eye says “Living their best life henny!"
You never made a secret of having been made redundant 8 years ago - how has this experience shaped your business and where you are today?
Oh yes! So, 10 years ago I was in a marketing manager role I loved completely. When I was made redundant I was devastated, made worse by the fact that I was crippled by debt so had to move out of my lovely flat. It was the recession and there were no jobs left at my level, and it was soul crushing. On top of that, I lost my last remaining grandparent and suffered from depression and anxiety. I decided to tackle one problem at a time, and got a temping job in the City, where I was actually promoted twice, got paid twice more than the job I was made redundant from, paid my way out of debt and went travelling to India. It was whilst I was travelling that I realised I didn’t have to go back to a permanent job ever again, so I didn’t and from there I started freelancing as well as temping whenever I was back in the UK and this worked well as I gathered my confidence again.
8 years ago I happened to get married and started working in the wedding industry supporting bloggers and suppliers with marketing support. From there word quickly spread that I was unique and got results and I started speaking at events, teaching bigger groups and absolutely loving life. In a previous life I had wanted to be a teacher, and I think that has enabled me to become a better educator as I take a great interest in upgrading my skills, whilst my love of finding opportunities in the most unlikeliest of places has led me to be a forever optimist and all of this stemming from a place where I truly thought I had hit rock bottom. I don’t take anything for granted, I make sure I have people around me who will both support me and call me out on my BS and I work hard for every penny I earn.
I never stop learning and I think that is vital to being a quality adult and entrepreneur. I know what it’s like to lose everything and start over (more than once - I got divorced 5 years ago too!) and I know that makes me better at my job now as a visibility coach.
Can you share your biggest successes to date with us as well as some of the things that didn’t turn out as well as you’d hoped since starting your business?
Yes! My biggest successes to date have included:
1. Realising what success means to me
2. Hitting my first 10K month in 2019 and taking myself on holiday on my own to Mexico to celebrate (I have never done a solo holiday, it was so much fun, I will do more once it’s safe to travel again for sure!)
3. Launching the High Vis podcast this year with my neon branding (launching a podcast is something I never thought I could do but it’s fun!) - https://business-shine.co.uk/the-high-vis-podcast/
4. 2020 being the year that I moved into a place living on my own for the first time and am now VAT registered, a milestone I put off for so many years because I stuck to the belief that I hated all things to do with numbers which meant I was ‘bad with money’ I’ve done a lot of work on myself and my mindset over the past 18 months and it’s paying off. Truly though, helping so many people through lockdown has truly been an honour (honestly I’m not just saying it, it’s really helped me see the impact of what I do, and I dearly love it)
Things that didn’t turn out so well: When I try something new I make mistakes every time. The first time I tried Facebook advertising I spent over £1000 and it failed miserably. These days Facebook ads work really well for me, because I’ve learned so much each time (plus I’ve hired the right people to help me!) In fact, I make many mistakes every time I do something new, but I always learn a lot from it, whether it’s getting the messaging wrong on an email campaign, or saying the wrong thing in a Live which sends people away from me, I know better for next time. I used to take mistakes very personally but the more I launch the more I see I can’t take it personally including unfollows + unsubscribes. It would be great if we could control everything and everyone wouldn’t it? But then also wouldn’t it be so very boring! What other people think of us is none of our business, instead I focus on who does want to hear from me, and deliver value to them.
So many women are stuck in unfulfilling 9 to 5 jobs even though they would love to start their own business - what advice would you give a woman who is keen on making the jump into the world of entrepreneurship?
Do it. Do it. Do it. When I jumped into the world of freelancing I kept reading about how you need to have savings and a backup plan. I did not have savings. I did not have a back up plan. To quote Phoebe from Friends I didn’t even have a pla-‘. But I am a strong advocate for women in entrepreneurship and in particular what is possible when women are encouraged to launch their own businesses. I know what has been possible for me as a result and my peers and clients and community, and it is breathtaking. I think about how it was only my grandmother’s generation where women had to give up their jobs when they got married. I believe by encouraging entrepreneurship, it is how we will truly find our voice, that is how we will truly be independent, that is how we will find our way in the world.
But whatever you want to do, you must be prepared to put in the work. You’ll spend 80% on the business and 20% delivering the work and it will be like that for a long time. It isn’t an easy path, but then you have so much more control over your schedule, over your life! I now don’t work Monday mornings and Friday afternoons and it’s wonderful!
When friends tell me they’re jealous of my life, of my business I tell them it’s fine to be safe in their jobs but how do they really want to spend their days? Is it slogging away for a promotion that might never come? Is it trying to impress a boss you spend your evenings + weekends complaining about? That’s no way to live.
So where to start? Figure out what you’re good at. What do people comment on? What do you love to do? (No, drinking wine and watching Netflix isn’t a job, I checked)
Start investigating what’s out there. Look at business coaches on Instagram and see what they’re talking about. Look at who is commenting. See what they need. Look at what you could make way better than the cute indie store down the street. Look at what you can make that’s way more delicious (because your friends tell you so) than the local restaurant. Just start. And of course, sign up to my Visibiliyay membership to learn how to be more visible with it, to grow your business ;) https://business-shine.co.uk/membership-waiting-list/
You can always pivot and evolve later. Many of the most successful people you know have pivoted many times. Including me lol!
Is it more important to be liked or respected?
Respected! I know I have fallen into the trap of chasing the desire to be liked, but it’s so fickle and easy to attach your self worth to people hitting like on social media. What I really think we need to be doing more is respecting ourselves and respecting others. Respecting the fact that others have different ways of doing things, and respecting ourselves enough to try things out, see if they work for us and then taking on board the successes and failures and seeing what we can learn from each other.
You always come across as upbeat and full of energy on your social media channels - does self-doubt ever creep in and if so how do you stay positive and motivated?
Oh, all the time! Years ago, I used to really resent the whole idea of having to show up at all, then I realised the benefits far outweighed the fear I was experiencing and I began to really have fun with it, being genuine. I began to sew together the idea that the reason people hired me was yes, because I know my stuff, but also because of my personality. I love speaking to people and as I got more client wins the more confidence I had in finding more clients.
I love what I do, and I see that I have a choice. I can choose to show up and complain which only brings me down and others who listen, or I can show up and choose to boost myself and others, and I don’t see any point in showing up to market yourself at any less than 100%. People buy into the energy you put out there. I stay positive by taking care of myself and for the past 9 years I’ve been studying with a Dzogchen guru - it’s an ancient Tibetan meditation teaching that teaches mental and emotional stability which means I’m able to show up completely uncontrived and be myself.
If 2020 has taught us anything it’s that the best laid plans don’t always work out and that we have to be flexible in business as well as in life in general. Do you have a 10 year plan or do you think it’s an outdated concept?
Yes, flexibility is the hardest lesson to learn as an entrepreneur isn’t it! I do indeed have a 10 year plan that involves owning a home abroad with a seaview. I’ll have a team of people working for me, and I’ll be writing books, travelling, teaching courses and hosting retreats for womxn, hopefully with my niece travelling with me on her school hols!
How do you unwind and how important is self-care to you?
Self care is perhaps the most important thing in my life to me and I am extremely passionate about talking about it! Saying no and setting boundaries is the biggest form of self care I’ve had to learn. Getting support in as many areas of your life and business as you can prioritise is also a huge form of self care. I’ve started sending out my bed sheets to be washed and ironed and it’s the best £20 I could spend so I get a better night’s sleep! I don’t care if it makes me look like a diva, I love it! I’m always learning new ways that I can take care of my time, get better sleep (I’ve recently been seeing a sleep hypnotherapist, it was brilliant), eat better (I’m a lazy cook, so I’m constantly looking for ways to be healthy lazily), and I take myself on meditation retreats in the Swedish countryside as much as I can with the Dzogchen guru I mentioned earlier. Of course I do all the usual stuff to unwind like going to the pub for a pint with my mates, watching a lot of strong female led dramas and comedies on Netflix and spending time with my family and my glorious 3 year old niece.
You seem to love music and dancing - what are your favourite tunes to dance to and what are you listening to when you’re enjoying a quiet night in?
Yes, I certainly do love to dance and play music. Don’t make me choose my favourite tunes! I was saying to a friend the other day how when I was in my twenties I went to a lot of live gigs, and was really into new music. Nowadays, I listen to a lot of 70s stuff but also Miley Cyrus newer stuff is amazing - Midnight Sky is on repeat a lot in my home at the moment, but so are the Beatles, Fleetwood Mac for a quiet cosy night in with Penelope (she’s my golden gin trolley)
If you could invite any 5 people (dead or alive) to a dinner party, who would you invite?
Michelle Obama, Bette Midler, Meryl Streep, Candice Rinpoche, Gillian Anderson, Jane Fonda & Lily Tomlin. I know that’s seven, but don’t make me choose!