Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
Honestly, I fell into it from a very young age I had grown up with two parents with sickening work ethics and work rates. Graft to me came very naturally, and I excelled in making things happen and look effortless. I wanted a pony at a young age and my father a very successful auto businessman and ex rallying champion said if you want a pony you need to save up and buy yourself one. Otherwise, you will never understand the value of money. So at 15 outside of school I had 4 jobs and saved up enough to buy myself a horse.
One of these jobs was a combination of both promotional work on experiential marketing campaigns and TV extra work. It was through the experiential marketing that I built strong relationships with other promotional models and staff across the UK. I would then work as both event manager and staff booker at 16 helping book staff right across the UK and Ireland. It was during this time that I built strong relationships with the top London experiential marketing agency owners. This led them to offer me a short work experience in the offices in Wimbledon. On my second day, they offered me a job as Staff Agency Manager. I had recently completed a Masters degree in UWIC, so it was perfect timing for a move from Cardiff to London. I progressed my career further by adding my social psychology principles to staffing team dynamics. I got headhunted and diversified my skill set at the Account Manager level being strong with my business development and relationship management skill sets. After pitching and winning some remarkable multi-million-pound contracts, I kept getting offered opportunities across a high-end Marketing network of top agents in London.
I moved home due to my father getting ill, and after my father had recovered to full health I pushed forward, and I got on the first wave of social media marketing before anyone else had even considered it. Coming back to Cardiff and being one of the first helped me stay ahead of a lot of potential competitors. After a series of jobs from NHS business services center, marketing to working with a Channel 4 Secret Millionaire on his brands and businesses driving huge success with PR and Marketing campaigns. This didn’t go unnoticed, and a lot of leading businessmen said to name my price and to go and work with them. I decided the time was right to strike-out and set up a Digital Marketing Agency named after my then late father’s initials PMG Peacock Media Group. This took off rapidly to everyone’s surprise around me but most of all to my surprise https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MR0ppNiWQ1g
After losing my father, I took all of my energy and put everything I had into the business and trying to build a better future.
This, in short, is how I got into my career.
I now run my own 1:1 high-end digital marketing and PR consultancy in Cardiff called Sian Gunney Consulting.
I work with the top flyers in digital marketing and bring these individuals and companies on to support myself with more massive contracts for branding, web design, app building, SEO and Digital ads and media buying. Together we form a powerhouse which helps brands take their business to the next level and beyond.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your company?
Probably the most exciting story is about the law of attraction in how new clients come to work with me. I was in Marbella with a good friend of mine, and I met this incredible ex-emergency heart surgeon, a fabulous, intelligent and eccentric man in a bar. We got talking, and my friend sang my praises regarding my Digital Marketing and PR success in Wales. He said well my son has invented an incredible skincare drink, it’s a nutraceutical he’s a famous actor and his wife is a supermodel they have the best PR and Marketing people working on the brand in London but I know he really needs you. I thought it wouldn’t come to anything and 3 months later I’m in London as Head of Digital Marketing for Skinade. A contract that was only meant to be 6 months turned into a core client of 16 months as Head of Digital Marketing for skin made nutraceutical. I elevated the brand’s digital profile to one with over 400% increase in online sales. With celebrity gifting bringing in names such as Kate Moss, Sienna Miller, Tom Ford, Victoria Beckham, and Reese Witherspoon. Via digital PR strategies, we have gained press in British Vogue, Vogue Paris, Spanish Vogue, Raconteur with over 300 high-end publications.
Early this year the brand has won it’s 9th and 10th beauty awards as voted by the consumers for Best Beauty Supplement and Best Health Supplement. Yet I have also saved them 19K a month on PPC advertising every month.
Within the first 9 months, we had doubled the business via new professional beauty businesses, cosmetic surgeons and GP prescribers becoming stockists. Thus strengthening the backbone of the company and growing the distribution across the UK. Also enabling a launch into the USA and the UAE.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
I walked out of a multi-million-pound pitch with a major tech brand. We touch three things every day that this brand makes without even knowing it. I got a standing ovation on an annual 6 million pound contract with a potential 100,000,000 role out… After my standing ovation, I walked out of the incredible board room and walked into the cupboard rather than the exit door!
I was mortified, but I laughed it off … thankfully my digital marketing strategy and skills in delivery are much better than my sense of direction.
Learning to pause and allow others to lead the way… and to get to any meetings in the car, I live by using Waze as I accept that my sense of direction has never been great. Something that a lot of creative people often quietly admit to.
What do you think makes your company stand out?
Now as a consultant I make my company stand out. People buy into people, not brands. I refuse to do anything by half I take great pride in the work that I do for clients. I’m very persistent, and I won’t give up until I have achieved the results or obliterated the goals and milestones.
From Ed Sheeran and Lionel Richie visiting my client last years reference and a brand of over a decade that had not had excellent PR attention suddenly got global press and recognition.
Winning awards for Dominos Pizza UK accounts across social media for their creativity and engagement.
Winning innovation activation award for Marketing for Chrysler for my clients auto marketing campaign.
To getting influencers recognition across social media leading to large scale awards and honor lists.
Getting praise from Barry McGuigan MBE and the amazing McGuigan family team for my work for Cyclone Promotions last year.
Seeing my dearest friend Dilys Price OBE win special recognition in Pride Of Britain Awards after my nomination.
Watching my clients Weir Rallying UK last year their brand, car wrap and fleet wrap all come together and the launch of the rallying team break records for views, engagement, and press interest.
I like fixing things, I love joining the dots to connect people and help make amazing things happen. For me it’s easy I take great enjoyment from making other people wealthy and ultimately happy with their success. I only represent the clients that I really believe in, and I see such potential in people, and often this is only stifled by their own lack of confidence. So I do all I can so that they see what I see and gain an unwavering self -belief which helps them drive forward for a bigger and better life.
I get such a buzz from seeing clients businesses and lives transformed for the better.
There’s no greater joy for me or a sense of purpose.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
I struggle with this, so my toolkit as below is invaluable.
Train and stay fit it helps you to stop burnout and getting ill. Healthy body, healthy mind, and much more productive working. Being burnt out will lead to mediocre work and results.
I don’t want anything mediocre in my life.
Say NO without explaining … too much in my past, I have said yes to the wrong things. I’m a recovering people pleaser.
A digital detox day once a week or at least once a fortnight what some people call a zombie day, no phone, no screens, no social media.
Get outside forests, beaches, countryside life, and inspiration happens away from the screen, Walking, phone free. (My dogs are my savior’s at busy times)
Practice daily meditation and mindfulness.
Most of all what my amazing fiancé Ashley Charlton has taught me… mini breaks are everything!
Plan them carefully, so they don’t impede too much on workload. With risks come reward see the world and stay impeccably organized to make the most of these. You cannot serve from an empty vessel. Self-care and self-love is imperative to maintaining success particularly when you work for yourself.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
Wow, where do I start?
For my father my protector my best friend my love who lit up my world and showed me the way.
For my mother who has taught me bravery and courage beyond words and challenged me to try harder to do more.
Dilys Price OBE my dearest friend and matron of honor who is soul-food and has taught me so much! To face my fears so that they will never hold me back. Compassion and Love is always the answer, and we must still help those who need it the most. She reminds me it’s never too late and I’m never too much. To Enzo Calzaghe who taught me that family is bigger than just blood and always to stand my ground and to never ever doubt myself or feel sorry for myself and to never ever give up on my dreams or my fitness. To Matthew Pritchard who has shown me that we should not listen to people that tell us to talk more quietly or to be less. We should surround ourselves with people that ask us to be more, more ourselves than ever. Our uniqueness is what gives us real power. We should never dim our light in order to make other people feel more comfortable. Every client I have ever had has taught me something. I think everything is a teacher if you pay attention. There’s always more to learn.
To my fiance Ash who taught me about financial structuring and financial management and shows me how to make the smartest choices and investments with my time and energy and won’t allow people to take advantage of my good heart and intentions.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
I helped raise awareness and funds for the Red Sock Campaign raising thousands and increasing the visibility of the Red Sock Campaign on social media :
I organized an event in honor of my late father and raised thousands for City Hospice via this event and trekking the Grand Canyon:
I jumped out of a plane to conquer my fear of heights and to keep a word to my best friend Dilys Price OBE raising funds for the INCREDIBLE Touch Trust: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fa40ar86jxk
And I DID IT!
Our friendship grew, and I have helped Dilys find a literary agent, and she is working on his first book, and I’m endlessly proud of her and her continued work now in Japan and going global and for older generations in care homes :
Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story of how that was relevant to you in your life?
THIS VIDEO Will Smith talking about the Law of Attraction
I had the honor to be asked by the Director of Llamau the formidable Frances Beecher to come and speak at City Hall in Cardiff on International Women’s day and while other people quoted Eleanor Roosevelt and Maya Angelo I quoted this speech by Will Smith word for word. Which followed a talk I gave about my parents getting seriously ill while I set up my company and charities and children we had supported on their campaigns such as For Luca. I also gave everyone a gratitude rock (From the book the secret by Rhondda Byrne). I told them every morning when they woke up to hold the stone and think out loud about all the things they were grateful for and if they couldn’t think of anything … they had their hands and legs, they have their eyes they can see, their ears they can hear, their friends they can hug… the air they can breathe, another day to make a difference to someone else….
To this day I still get people messaging me about their gratitude rock and all the fantastic things that had happened since.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started my company” and why? Please share a story or example for each.
YOUR INSTINCT IS EVERYTHING that little voice inside always knows best
Your lawyer, your accountant/ bookkeeper and your bank manager should be the best friends you can find
Say NO more than you ever say yes
Look at varied and diverse income streams 7 is the magic number
The most successful people have to have the most difficult conversations
Extra bonus – Fast growth should only be built on solid ground the people you have around you are everything
Extra bonus – Remove any toxic relationships from your life both personal or professional as these are drains and have a massive impact on your future success. If something feels off it usually is, trust your instinct!
You are a person of significant influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I would do a programme so that young people visited old peoples homes weekly and could bring pets in. I would encourage them to go into care homes, and Dilys Price OBE Laban-based prescriptive awakening programme (inspired by her Touch Trust Program) of dance and movement would go into care homes for the elderly and for those profoundly disabled worldwide.
I would encourage a system in education from a young age at pre-school that was based around a daily good deed and compassion for someone in need. Those children would share what they had done each day as part of their morning reception.
I would encourage the two things we have lost in life and can’t buy back the commodity of time and community to be set as importance for millennials and 30-40-year-old groups. So that we embrace and support each other and our neighbors outside of social media that we lose the need to compare showreels on social media and instead start meeting in supportive groups and rebuilding what community really means. I would encourage a blackout day once a fortnight from social media where these groups meet and do not post or share but just be together to improve mental health and so people can build real relationships and not judge people based on superficial things that aren’t really important. Perhaps a local project where people team up to help local families in need or rebuild schools and playgrounds on this day. Or simply have coffee and cake and talk. I know how controversial for a digital marketer to state the importance of just being together. I did the Dalai Lama trek last year, and for me, it was a mighty spiritual awakening, and this has brought me to my most recent personal project where I’m starting to write books… children’s books like no others out there… watch this space!
How can our readers follow you on social media?
LinkedIn : https://www.linkedin.com/in/sianrachelgunney/
Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/SianGunney/
For business :
Twitter : https://twitter.com/SGC_Digital
Email any enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!