A Head Shot or a Brand Portrait. Are you ready to be found Online?

A Head Shot or a Brand Portrait. Are you ready to be found Online?

As a business owner it’s so important to have professional photographs taken, so we asked; “A Head Shot or a Brand Portrait. Are you ready to be found Online?” to the lovely Jan Hawksworth, one-half of the fabulous husband and wife team at Essential Images. Here is what Jan had to say….

 A brand portrait

A Head Shot or a Brand Portrait. Are you ready to be found Online?

This is all about you and your brand, what you do and how you do it. Giving a clear idea on who you are and what you do. I would suggest a brand portrait for your website or blog, or on your ‘About Me’ page, maybe? 



A head shot

A Head Shot or a Brand Portrait. Are you ready to be found Online?


This is a clear uncluttered image with you looking straight at the camera gaining trust and a connection with potential clients. Possibly a great head shot would be used for LinkedIn.

Authentic and honest

Most importantly whether it be a head shot or brand portrait, it is vital that it’s honest, authentic and the real you, compelling your audience to want to know more about you and what you do or sell.

Get some feedback

We all look at other profiles on websites, blogs and LinkedIn and think ‘that’s a good idea’ or ‘that’s a great thing to say’ ‘that’s a great idea for a head shot’. 

Stop! Is it you?

Be true to yourself and your clients. Sit down and think about it. Ask friends and family about the real you. The good you, the funny you, the ‘you’ they all know.  That’s who you need to portray online.


So, a head shot or a brand portrait?  Whichever you choose, great photographs are of the utmost importance online.  After all, that’s the first thing people see when visiting. 

Once you have feedback on the style of photo required you can choose your photographer.  Get to know them prior to your portrait shoot.  Ensure you have plenty of time, feel relaxed and they make you feel comfortable in front of the camera.   

Now, ask yourself ‘are you ready to be found online’?

A little about me…

A Head Shot or a Brand Portrait. Are you ready to be found Online?Photography is a passion and I’m rarely more relaxed that when I have a camera in my hand. Get ready to laugh and have fun.   

My philosophy is about keeping things real and finding beauty in everything and everyone. Portraying life the way you live it.


If you would like to have an informal chat to find out more then I would be delighted to hear from you.  

You can reach me on 01590 610549 or email:jan@essentialimages.co.uk or follow me on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest


A huge thank you to Jan Hawksworth of Essential Images for featuring as our Guest Blogger and sharing some fantastic business owner tips on “A Head Shot or a Brand Portrait. Are you ready to be found Online?”

As you can see by the photos used in this Blog – Jan is very talented and able to bring out the best in all her subjects and deliver business owners that perfect, professional photo to support our brand – us!


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Didn’t you hit your 90-Day Goals Either? Well nor did I!

Didn't you hit your 90-Day Goals Either? Well nor did I!Over the last 18-months of running my own business, I’ve learnt it doesn’t matter if you didn’t hit your 90-Day Goals either. Goals and circumstances change, life gets in the way, and sometimes hourly!  So when we set our goals each 90-Day’s, we really shouldn’t beat ourselves up over it should we not achieve them.

Didn’t you hit your 90-Day Goals Either? Well nor did I!

Yes, that is right, nor did I….!

Some goals I totally blasted through, others have been carried over into this quarter and as for the rest of them, well they have been removed!  Why?  Because they were no longer going to add value to me, my business and therefore to my clients and my journey.

Didn't you hit your 90 Day Goals Either? Well nor did I!How can your goals change?

Each day, as individuals and as business owners we are open to the latest news or perhaps social media and/or technology.  Therefore, we have to change what is important to us, our business and our clients to ensure we stay on track.

This means that we can evolve in the right way and move with the times and adjust to our audience i.e. our clients and their needs.

For example, I was going to learn to use a certain CRM system for a client but upon holding a client review and delving deeper it turned out the CRM system the client thought would benefit their business was not going to be the right one from my experience.  This meant I changed my goal to a different CRM system.  Did I fail?  Not really, as the goal was still achieved just not the original one!

How do I stay on track?

I track my analytics through Google, I use Cyfe for my summary dashboard overview, I have two success buddies and I carry out my own monthly and quarterly review for my business and for my clients.

This allows all parties to understand where their business is and where it needs to be. After all, we all want to progress and move forward.


I hope you enjoyed reading

“Didn’t you hit your 90-Day Goals Either? Well nor did I!”

Please comment below or if you would like to find out more about goal setting and accountability, please drop me an email.

I’d love to have a chat with you.



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5 Quick Exercises for Time-Poor Business Owners


My name is Samantha Robinson and I’m the founder of Phoenix Sports Injuries and I’m going to share my ‘5 Quick Exercises for Time-Poor Business Owners.’

I have over 15 years experience in the fitness industry and have both personal and professional experience from various life challenges ranging from; battling cancer, weight issues, joint problems and pregnancy-related back and pelvic pain.

I have worked in private and commercial gyms and been running this business for the last 18 months and love it! I’m working with a mix of people that have been referred from their doctors and also running children’s fitness classes.

In a world where most of us spend a lot of time working at our desks or on social media, today I would like to share with you some of my top tips, for when you are sat in front of a computer screen or hunched over your mobile phone. 

No. 1 – Try and move every half an hour

And before you ask, I don’t mean the sitting at your desk and giving it a shimmy shake! What I mean is physically standing up and moving. Go and get a drink, go and walk to a window to see if it’s still the same weather as when you started working, walk from one side of the room to the other side, up and down the stairs. This helps your body to Increase the blood circulation in your legs so they don’t feel like such dead weights when you do eventually move.

No. 2 – It’s all about Posture!

Most computer chairs provide you with additional back support these days.  If this is not the case you will probably find you will experience a backache. There are a couple of ways you can help this area;

  • Look at putting a cushion on your lower back to support you when sat on your chair.
  • Check the height of your monitor as you should be looking straight ahead not down or up.
  • You can roll your shoulders backwards and forward releasing some tension that you will gain in your shoulders and neck from sitting for long periods of time.

No. 3 – Releasing your Upper Body

So you have released your shoulder tension by doing the above exercise but what about the rest of your upper body? Well, that is simple just by doing a simple torso twist using your chair. Sit up straight, take a deep breath in and when you let out the breath turn to the right and hold the chair arm with your left hand, hold for a few seconds (30secs) then slowly turn back around. Repeat this the other way.

Sit up straight, take a deep breath in and when you let out the breath turn to the right and hold the chair arm with your left hand, hold for 30 seconds then slowly turn back around. Repeat this the other way.

No. 4: – Pelvic Floor

Now ladies we always get told to complete these but I would say these are just as good for men as they are for us! Pelvic Floor is the muscles that are in the pelvic area without getting too technical! This can be quite tricky as you need to keep relaxed your legs, abdominals and bum (deep muscles) so to do this you need to tense your inner muscles for 30 seconds then release – repeat this 10 times, every day.

No. 5 – Drink plenty of Water

Whilst your working I’m going to try and encourage you to rehydrate by drinking plenty of water.  This will get you into good health habits but also it will give you the excuse to get up and start moving, go to the kitchen and refill your glass or bottle up, go to the toilet, walk down your garden – go and stretch those legs!

May I also add….

Being constantly sat down at your desk you are more likely to increase your chances of getting certain ailments. This is not to scare you as some can be related to other health issues, hereditary, weight or lifestyle choices but being too sedentary won’t help: –

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart Disease
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Obesity
  • Cancer
  • Dementia



These can develop over a long period of time so please don’t start worrying now!

The KEY is to keep yourself moving during your working day and don’t spend too long at your desk if you can help it!

In addition to healthy eating and other regular exercises, always visit your GP first, prior to taking on any new exercise or if you have any health concerns. 

Actually, I have one last tip – so make that six!

To create your optimum work area you need to evaluate your office set up.  Take a look at your chair (if you’re anything like me, this is your dining room chair!), see if you need a screen for monitor glare, a vertical mouse to alleviate or prevent RSI, buy a mouse mat with added support for your wrist joint.  You can also get yourself a Swiss Ball (the ones you might have used during Labour, or your wife did – if you’re a man reading this!) as a replacement for your chair this way you can keep you lower back moving and keep your core engaged.

I hope my ‘5 Quick Exercises for Time-Poor Business Owners’ and other tips and advice helps?  

If you would like to ask me any specific questions feel free to call 07732 761048 or if you live in or around Hull and would like to look at my classes – click here. I’d be delighted to welcome you along to see if they are the right fit for you! 

Samantha – Phoenix Sports Injuries

5_Quick_Exercises_for_Busy_Business_Owners_Phoenix_Sports_InjuriesThank you so much, Samantha for sharing your valuable top tips.  I, for one, will be following these exercises on a daily basis now.  Although I do get out and about with my dog at least three times a day – I still spend far too much time on my laptop and on my mobile looking at social media!

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Why Business Owners Should Use A Financial Adviser

Why Business Owners Should Use a Financial Adviser

Hello, I am Stacey Gulliver from Moneysprite and I am a Financial Adviser specialising in Mortgages and Protection Insurance and I firmly believe in the value of personalised advice.  Today, I am delighted to be a guest blogger for Your Virtual Assistant and share an insight to me, my passion and Why Business Owners should use a Financial Adviser.

I love my job as I help to make people’s mortgage dreams come true and, in turn, protect those dreams with the right insurance.  


So why choose me?

My aim is to work together with my clients to understand their circumstances and establish their financial needs, priorities and financial goals.  I then research, find and deliver the most suitable solutions and help you by implementing them and giving you the right mortgage advice that you can depend on.

Most of my clients are busy business owners and are time poor, so I save my clients time whether they’re buying a first home, re-mortgaging or purchasing an investment property. I use my expert knowledge and our database with access to several thousand mortgages.  I will find the deal that best suits their needs as a business owner; be it a Sole Trader or a Limited Company.

I am an appointed representative of Openwork Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, a qualified Level 4 DipMAP – most Financial Advisers are CeMAP level. However, I am very proud to be part of a UK elite group of about 400 advisers who have invested extra time and money to gain the best accreditation for their clients.

Time-poor Business Owners

As a Financial Adviser, I liaise with the Lenders, Solicitors and Estate Agents completing the circle and keeping my clients informed of the processes to go through, issues to tackle and important decisions to make.  I understand life is busy so let me take the stress and strain of the mortgage process and make it easy for you.  Let me do the leg work whilst you stay happy in the knowledge that you are obtaining great deals on mortgages and protection with well-known partner brands you can trust, from an ethical company that puts their clients at the heart of everything they do.

Did you know?

I have a lot of clients who are Sole Traders looking to either remortgage or move home, it’s a minefield out there with all the different lenders all quoting different lending criteria.  Did you know, if this year’s figures are better than last years some lenders will use your latest figures which could enable you to achieve more on affordability, this is a major benefit of using my services and knowledge base?

Did you know, if this year’s figures are better than last year some lenders will use your latest figures which could enable you to achieve more on affordability, this is a major benefit of using my services and knowledge base’?

As I mentioned, I love my job which I believe shows when I am working with my clients by going that extra mile and explaining each stage highlighting benefits of each deal. Such as;

Do I fix for 2, 3, 5 or 10 years? I look at your financial goals and aims for the future and I recommend a product that will suit your needs.  If you go directly to a high street bank they are only offering their deal so no comparisons, they only give you their options and you have to decide which deal you want.  I always recommend and explain why this would suit your needs and objectives saving you time.

So, if you are a busy business owner and looking for qualified advice and support on your next mortgage & protection insurance I would love to hear from you.

I am a one stop shop also able to help with personal insurance, House & Contents Insurance and Solicitors.

I am the whole package why look any further?


Call me today and let me find you the right mortgage for you
to buy your dream home!

0238 0284 908 or 07932 572776

Email: stacey.gulliver@moneysprite.com

Connect with me on LinkedInFollow Me On Twitter or Facebook

A huge Thank You to Stacey for being our Guest Blogger and sharing some really informative Financial Adviser advice for busy Business Owners.

We hope you enjoyed it and please feel free to comment below or get in touch with Stacey direct. 


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My Top Tips On Why Business Owners Should Attend Events


This time last week I’d just come back from Office* 2017 and it made me want to share my top tips on why business owners should attend events.

My Top Tips On Why Business Owners Should Attend Events

Yes, it was a whirlwind two days and effectively three days out of my office, so is a business cost, right?  But we all know how we should invest in ourselves and our businesses, too – don’t we?

My Top Tips On Why Business Owners Should Attend Events

Here is why – not only have I had the most fabulous time meeting up with fellow VAs and business owners, stayed in a great hotel, eaten some wonderful food and shared some fizz!  I have also come back refreshed, buzzing with new ideas and confidence to take my business to the next level.  You cannot put a price on that.

It started with meeting one of my success buddies, (I am greedy and have two!), fellow VACT graduate and business owner, Judith Andrews of Hidden Gem Associates.  We met for lunch (and fizz!) and to review our first quarter 90-day goals that we set at our last meeting in December.  We also discussed those not achieved, carried some forward and set the next 90-days.  Oh and we also celebrated our first 90-Day wins and successes – there have been a few!

We then met up with several other VAs from our VACT group for dinner. It was there that I also had the fabulous opportunity to meet my other success buddy, Imogen Allen of Umbrella Digital Media. Imogen and I connected 10 months ago in an online Mastermind group and had never met until now but have shared plenty of supportive posts to each other and have monthly Skype calls – all rather surreal really. But without the event, we may not have actually had the opportunity to meet up – another good reason to attend events.  The opportunity to put names to the faces of the social media world we now live in and meet those that are supportive of you and your journey. 

This put me in the right mindset to attend the VA Conference at the Office Show, the next day.

At most events, there are a number of seminars that you can book into that suit your required learning, business or perhaps, something new you’ve been thinking of learning to take your business to the next level or to see what your competition are up to. Not that I believe in competition, by the way, but more collaboration but that’s a Blog for another day!

Events are a great opportunity to network, often with like-minded business owners and often in the same industry as you.

I was fortunate enough to book two seminars and both were brilliant.  The first by fellow VA, Joanna Hawkins who spoke about ‘The Networking Jungle’ and the second, ‘From Home Office to Global Recognition’ by Aimee Bateman. Both were full of golden nuggets. I love learning, as I am passionate about growing my business and as an individual.  It’s the only way, whether it’s reading a book, watching a webinar or attending a seminar at an event like the VA Conference – like I did!

So I return from the event, full of happy memories, of new names to faces from social media, new learnings, tips, tricks and ideas and fully inspired to attend the next event.

On that note, next on my ‘2017 Event Agenda’ is a two-day Success Retreat with the amazing Laura Phillips; Digital Strategy Coach and Success Mentor and 25 other business owners.  It’s being held at the luxurious Coombe Abbey Hotel, Warwickshire and will be a mix of learning, hard work, fun and fine dining – I cannot wait.

So, if you are looking to learn from some of the best business influencers out there and spend two days with like-minded business owners wanting to take their business to the next level in 2017 – then come and join us!  

Find out more and book your ticket, here.


How many events have you booked this year as part of your business growth? 

Are attending events in your 90-Day goals? 

I’d love to hear about your thoughts and comments below.



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