I empower ambitious female founders to create a stand-out brand and powerful strategy to go next level and beyond.
How did it all begin?
I was made redundant back in 2005. Having had a successful copywriting side hustle I knew it was my opportunity to finally go freelance as a marketing consultant. I then grew a marketing agency over the next 16 years before having my two babies and pivoting into working specifically with female founders and creating my powerful Brand Builder process.
What sets your business apart?
I think my passion for all things marketing and a strong calling to support women in business shines through in everything I do.
What is the concept behind your business or the problem you’re solving?
Providing the marketing know-how and personalised strategies to help female founders to get out of their own way and be successful, whatever that means to them.
Where to next/What is your brand vision?
This is such an exciting question. I would love to become internationally recognised as a brand expert and in demand by well-known organisations, as well as grow the digital side of my business to support millions of women across the world.
Natalie Montagnani Business & Brand Strategist
What do you feel passionate about/what drives you?
Empowering female founders to turn their passion into profit.
Share an example of early life that has shaped you?
Seeing the lifestyle my grandparents had was a huge inspiration. My parents had jobs they hated, worked incredibly long hours, were never paid their worth and were constantly hoping Friday would come. Whereas my Grandad ran his own company which he loved, grew a fantastic pension pot, sold his company and retired early to travel the world with his beloved wife (my wonderful Nan), buy a second home in Spain and spend his days living on the golf course and out for dinner at fabulous restaurants every night. It was an easy choice which lifestyle I wanted to create for myself when I grew up!
Highlights of your business journey so far?
When my marketing agency hit 6 figures and I was only working 2-3 days a week. When I helped a client double their turnover in 2 years from £2 to £4 million and beyond. Volunteering for the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, helping female entrepreneurs in emerging and developing countries. It’s an honour to give back and it really makes you appreciate the education and access to support and funding we have in this country.
Key lessons you have learned along the way?
To believe in myself, my abilities, my passion, my intuition and to enjoy all that this amazing life has to offer. The only limitations are those we place on ourselves. Mindset is everything. Always have contracts for clients and suppliers. Even though most will act honorably, unfortunately there are some who will let you down.
Best piece of advice you have received?
Get comfortable feeling uncomfortable.
Advice to an aspiring entrepreneur or woman just starting her career?
Listen to your intuition, not other people’s opinions and do things your way.
What funding route have you chosen for your business and why?
Self-funded, reinvesting as I go.
Some of the challenges you have faced and how you overcame them?
Losing clients in a recession was a big one. I was a fledgling business and only had 3 main clients. When 2 cancelled, I was in trouble. I’ve never put all my eggs in one basket since, and ensure I have multiple streams of income. Clients not paying on time (or at all) – Always have new clients pay in advance and don’t let on-going clients get into arrears. Money stops, work stops, you have to be tough on this. There was a situation where a business didn’t pay, went into liquidation, but set up a new business the next day, leaving me and many others in the lurch. Some people just don’t have a moral compass. Bullying – From other women, sadly not all women got the memo about supporting eachother. One was a business consultant who heckled me when I was giving my first talk at an event as a new entrepreneur at the tender age of 27! Thankfully the audience told her to button it. And another woman was a fellow marketeer I was doing a joint radio interview with. She kept putting down every comment I made, I simply ignored her, kept calm and gave a great interview – whereas the host afterwards said she came across badly.
Why is it important to support women-led business?
I regularly see incredibly talented women let self-doubt and imposter syndrome cripple them or their family life and commitments consume their ability to move their business forward. Female entrepreneurs need support and encouragement.
My inspiration is...
My two girls, Serafina and Aurelia. It’s my mission to inspire them to be, do or have whatever they want in life.
My greatest fear is...
Letting fear hold me back from realising my full potential.
The most courageous thing I’ve ever done is...
It has to be giving birth! I mean seriously, any woman who goes through it is a warrior!
Afternoon naps! Not that I get to have them very often thanks to my toddlers!
Mantra you live by?
Want more, get more.
Female role model?
Oprah, Anita Roddick, Gwyneth Paltrow, Mel Robbins and Brene Brown and two friends of mine, Elizabeth Lovell for her fearless work and bravery as a policewoman, and Elena Edwards who despite living in constant pain surviving cancer, continues to strive to support others, educate and inspire.
Women-led brand you love?
Spanx – I literally don’t know what I’d do without them!
Top productivity tool?
Oh it’s got to be Canva – I LOVE IT!
Natalie Montagnani Business & Brand Strategist has created a SPECIAL OFFER exclusively for Women's Chapter Members