I’ve spent most of the last 3 months of my career building my digital marketing consulting business in Sydney, and I’m loving it!

So as to cement myself as a sought after Digital Marketing Consultant and strategist in Sydney, I’ve been:

  • creating packages for website strategy and email marketing and social media marketing etc (because people want to know what we do even though they don’t want to buy a package, they think they do)
  • developing case studies and success stories to show how I deliver my clients a 500% return on their marketing investment
  • designing infographics that present a visual snapshot of what Parachute Digital does (because people think and take in information differently depending on their preference – being visual, auditory or kinaesthetic)
  • building relationships and partnerships and databases
  • writing eBooks and blogs and articles
  • joined a networking group that meets at 6.30am every Thursday (now that’s commitment, right!)
  • speaking at conferences about digital marketing, user experience website planning, fundraising online
  • and I’ve kicked off a business growth accelerator course to help me productise my intellectual property and reach a wider audience.


So I’m feeling pretty chuffed with myself and the right type of clients, the clients that I want to work with and can add the most value to, are starting to knock down my door. Parachute Digital Marketing specialises in creating awesome online experiences for not for profit organisations who are trying to make the world a better place. Because this is what I’m passionate about. When I was working at Toyota I found out that I don’t like marketing products and services that I don’t care about. And I’ve been to many personal development and business development seminars and I hear people talk about “Do what you love and success will follow” and now that I’m living my values, at work and in my personal life, it’s true – the rewards are truly bountiful.


So I wanted to reward myself for my success with a new tattoo. I love tattoos, I find them very sexy and despite the fact that I’ve never been passed over for a promotion or rejected because of my tattoos, I had a self-limiting belief that if I went forth with what I really wanted, a half sleeve, that as a woman, it would/ could be a career blunder. I have been thinking about this tattoo for several years. I knew the elements I wanted and I wanted it to represent my experiences, my memories, my emotions and I wanted to be able to see it, because it was for me. I was counselled to put it on my back, so that I could hide it, but I already have tattoos on my back and I never see them, I can’t even remember what side they’re on when I go to show people. This tattoo was for me, so I wanted to be able to see it every day. So I decided I was going to do it, put it right out there, front and centre, on my left upper arm. But I’ve been dragging my feet in booking in the ink session – because I was still concerned that this was going to possibly cost me some credibility. Perhaps that’s unfair of me to assume people will judge my skills as less than they are because I am a woman with large tattoos, but this seems to be a concern held by many.


So I was talking to my business coach about something completely unrelated – a new office space I was looking into and was concerned that it didn’t make a great first impression when you walked in and there was no reception area. He told me to stop being silly as any client would have met and spoken to me several times because they may visit my office and they would have already formed an opinion of who I am, what Parachute Digital does and whether we’re good or not. And then he made the comment that made my head spin around. He said “for god’s sake Shanelle, people already know your’e a big different, that you’re a maverick. Your tatt’s are on display, your blog is open and honest and your results are outstanding.” And for the first time, it occured to me that my tattoo’s can help me build my brand, for Parachute Digital and for my personal brand. My tattoos set me apart from the masses and they make a statement that I am a little bolder, I am a little bit of a maverick and I will guide you down a path that will push the boundaries and make you think differently, about your pre-conceived notions as well as how your business can be perceived, online and offline.


I share this little thought bubble with you because the blog posts where I share my personal life are always the most popular. They get the most likes, tweets, follows and they let my audience, and potential clients know, that I bring all of my life emotions, passions and experiences to my digital marketing consulting work. It makes me a better rounded strategist and person. It proves that who we are impacts on our professional lives and the decisions that we make in our careers and my focus on website user experience and putting the customer first comes out of studying how people think, feel and behave online for over 10 years. Analysing their actions through data and audience interviews and talking to people at parties and conferences and I can’t quite believe that this little personal brand epiphany has only just occurred to me. But I’m glad it has.


And I booked in my tattoo today – this is what its going to look like. I’ll update this post with the finished product in a few weeks.

Shanelle Newton Clapham's skeleton tattoo

This is the mock up drawing of the tattoo I want for my tattoo artist to draw up and make wonderful