I build a really great rapport with my clients and they end up most of the time becoming friends. I want to be a lifelong trusted person in their lives.

As a marketing consultant and coach, Vanessa Geraghty (Vivacity Marketing) spends a lot of time online.

It has never been a problem – until someone intentionally made it a problem.

This person set up a fake Facebook account and started sending me disgusting private messages which I blocked. And then they started writing defamatory comments on the photos on my business Facebook page which were horrendous.

Vanessa’s ‘other office’ turned into a place of torment.

And as all targets of cyberbullying know, the accessibility of the online world can soon turn into its worst feature because it can go with us wherever we go.

Into our homes, living spaces, downtime. Bullying is all-pervasive when it’s cyber.

So Vanessa did what people with courage and smarts do – she flipped the problem.

I did a post about it on Facebook so that people knew what was going on in case they had seen the horrible comments on my page. And I did a video on LinkedIn too, which got over 6000 views and so many comments of support and positivity that I was blown away! Just knowing I had so many people in my corner supporting me has really helped me to get through it.

When I saw Vanessa’s video I was struck by her composure and her strong, authentic voice.

I worked in the corporate world from the age of 23 – 42 and during that time you need to fit into a mould and I always found that mould really unauthentic and stifling. I knew it wasn’t for me, but I never thought I was the kind of person that would run a business. Then after I had my child at 40, I realised (probably quite late in life!) that I could really do anything I put my mind to. I stopped caring what others thought and after being made redundant when I came back from maternity leave, I just went for it and started my business.

Vanessa in red and smiling at the camera

I started to develop my voice when I was in corporate marketing, but it changed to being more playful when it was my own business. While the blogs, videos, social media posts I put out are factual and aim to educate my audience, I also mix in a flavour of who I am, which is really how I am able to build trust with my audience.

The strength of being a successful communicator lies in knowing who you are, what’s important to you and how that comes across to an audience.

I think I am definitely an optimist. I always like to find the positive in every situation and learn from negative things that happen. I start each day writing down six things that I am grateful for and then do some exercise which I find helps to get me into that positive mindset.

Mindset is what lets many business owners down. I work with business coaches and I have a strong business community of friends that I can lean on and vent to. I think having a great support crew in business and family to lean on when times are tough is vital too.

I give back a percentage of the profits that I earn to Opportunity International Australia, which provides microloans to women living in poverty, so they can start a small business and provide a better future for their kids. I have been very blessed, so I wanted to give back. And what better way than to support a woman who wants to start her own business?

This cyberbully has disappeared – he failed miserably at undermining Vanessa’s self-identity. Instead, the support she got shows that her voice in the world matters.

Knowing what Vanessa knows – who you are, what matters to you and why that matters – gives a rock-solid foundation for writing and communicating with an audience.

If you want to develop your own rock solid foundation, I’ve got a few spots for 1:1 coaching right now. Call me on 0419 254500 or email sherene@sherenestrahan.com