In the latest in a series of interviews with 2019 FHT Training Congress expert speakers, we speak to Valerie Delforge about business, branding and her forthcoming talks on producing a winning brand and attracting new customers with your digital communication strategy.
Tell us a bit of background about yourself…
I studied a commercial course for two years after my baccalauréat and then decided to perfect my English, so arrived in the UK almost 30 years ago now!
I started in the industry with an agency placing me in Harrods or Selfridges as a cover and quickly fell in love with the industry. I sent my CV to Clinique and started my career with them. Retail was in my DNA from then on and I never looked back. I loved it! After that, I joined Clarins two years later and fell in love with the spa side of the industry, which has followed me throughout my career.
Give us an insight in to your normal day to day schedule…
My days are very mixed which is what I love about my work. From an admin day in the office to having my remote coaching with clients, I also travel internationally for business coaching or public speaking.
I wake up early (around 5.30am) and now have perfected my routine as I realised that when busy, you must take time for yourself. I meditate in the morning and evening which has had an amazing impact on my life.
What interests you outside of work?
I am busy with my daughters, although to be fair they are older so I tend to be the taxi driver!
I love walking and catching up with friends as well as playing the piano J
What is your Training Congress seminar about?
I have two talks on 20 of May: ‘producing a winning brand’ at 2.30pm and ‘attract new customers with your digital strategy’ at 4pm.
As a business owner, you now have to be aware of your branding and communication to ensure you are attracting the customers that you want in your business and build your database to become a fan of your brand.
I want to take you through the tools and techniques of what to look for when creating your branding and how to ensure you are creating a strategy that is relevant to your branding.
Attracting new customers has to be thought about. Last-minute posts on social media tend to create confusion and have no real impact on building your brand. Ideally, you want to attend both seminars to focus on your communication as a whole.
What is it about your topic that appeals to you and why is it useful for therapists?
I am obsessed with branding and digital communication as I believe it creates a strong message to existing and new customers.
Since I was a dinosaur myself when it came to branding and social media, I understand the challenges that we face as business owners, as our role is to focus on the customers and the service we deliver. Having worked for leading brands and digital companies, I want to give you the tools and techniques that I have learned throughout the years and am still using now, as they are easy to implement and recreate in your business without all of the jargon that can be confusing and scary.
What will attendees of your seminar expect to come away with?
Tools and techniques as well as a thorough plan of action. What to look for and how to analyse your branding.
Are there any other seminars in the programme which look particularly interesting to you?
There are so many I want to attend! But the ones that stands out, since I am all business are: Making more money – the heart centred way with Chris and Karane Lambert-Gorwyn and 8 ways to raise your local profile (online and offline) with Jill Woods.
And because I believe meditation and mind are the heart of your mindset: How the mind works with the Hudson Mind Theory – Body Mind Workers with Nic Wood and Guided meditation – experience the power to transform with Anna-Louise Haigh.
What would be your one piece of advice for therapists wanting to grow and develop their therapy practice?
Self-development is extremely important but sometimes, I feel that there is so much information that I meet a lot of clients who are lost and unsure of where to start.
Prioritise what is essential and give yourself a time limit, as to when you want to achieve what, so you can build your dream for 2019!
Join us at the 2019 FHT Training Congress from Sunday 19 to Monday 20 May at the Holistic Health Show, NEC Birmingham.
For more details about the talks and to book, visit fht.org.uk/congress