Expert advice: Tips on how to be a successful consultant

I recently wrote a feature for New Business magazine – grab a copy and check it out.

Being a consultant offers you the chance to work for yourself while passing on the benefits of your experience to others. Ebony Gayle author of ‘How to Become a Consultant’, offers some tips on how to make a success of it.


In life we have good and bad days but no matter what, you must not give up on yourself, keep on moving and pushing forward. ~Ebony Gayle

10 Tips for networking success

Networking can feel daunting for many. The idea of walking up to strangers at an event to spark up a conversation may fill the average person with panic, anxiety and could give them clammy hands.

Here are some tips to help you along your way:

Take a deep breath and relax. Remember if you’re at a networking event everyone present is there for the same reason as you: to network and make connections. Try doing some deep breathing exercises to help you calm down: breathe in on the count of four, hold for the count of four and slowly release your breath for the count of four.

Attend events
There are events for every industry, be it tradeshows, meet-up events, conferences, breakfast seminars or lunch events. They all provide great networking opportunities. Make sure you are researching and attending relevant events to make new contacts.

Interact online
Don’t forget there are plenty of opportunities to network online via social platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook where you can find various groups with which to engage. There is also Instagram and Twitter, where you can participate in chats such as ‘#Bizhour’ which provide an opportunity to network with others from around the world.

Be visible
There’s no point going to a networking event and then hiding in the corner. Let your presence be known –go and introduce yourself and don’t forget to take your business cards. Remember to note down your new contacts.
I wrote this article for MBA World and you can read more here:

Press Release: Emma Mattress founder Max Laarmann honoured as one of Europe’s most talented young entrepreneurs by Forbes Magazine



Max Laarmann, founder and CEO of Emma Mattresses, has made it onto the European Forbes “30 under 30” list.


25 January

Max Laarmann, founder and CEO of Emma Mattresses, one of the most successful bed-in-a-box mattress brands in Europe, has been named one of Europe’s most talented young entrepreneurs by Forbes magazine. In its publication “30 under 30”, the renowned US business magazine distinguishes the company founders in ten categories, who have particular success in innovation or influence in their respective industries. Out of thousands of nominations, Max Laarmann made it into the Top 30 in the “Retail & E-Commerce” sector this year. He is considered one of the 30 exceptional talents in his industry. “This is a great award and a great tribute to me and the entire Emma team. I’m really happy and honoured to make it into the top 30, “said Laarmann.

At the end of 2015, Max Laarmann and his team developed the Emma mattress, a bed-in-a-box mattress suitable for a variety of body and sleep types. “With Emma, ​​we have simplified the complex and previously unclear mattress market,” explains Laarmann. “The mattress purchase is a completely new experience through us,” said the 24-year-old. Since its inception Emma Mattress has been on the road to success. After just two years, the mattress is already available online in twelve countries.

With more than 100,000 mattresses sold, it is one of the most popular bed-in-a-box mattresses in Europe and was rated best mattress by consumer organisations in six countries, including here in the UK where it won the coveted Which? Best Buy 2017 Award.

Emma mattress continue to grow and expand, it has now introduced its new pillow constructed to make you sleep better to the UK market and will soon be introducing accessories, including blanket, bed linen and baby mattress already available in Europe to the UK market this year.

About Emma Mattress: Emma Mattress offers one of the best-selling bed-in-a-box mattresses. The company has developed a high-quality, pressure-relieving mattress suitable for a variety of body and sleep types. For this, the developers worldwide have analysed the best mattresses and designed the structure of Emma. Customers can test them at home without any risk for 100 days.


Notes to editors:

1.     More information is available at

2.     Emma Mattresses was founded at the end of 2015 by Max Laarmann as a subsidiary of Bettzeit GmbH. In addition to Emma, ​​Bettzeit GmbH also combines other business areas under its umbrella: Dormando (, an online retailer established since 2013, a stationary specialist retailer in Frankfurt am Main, and the traditional brand Dunlopillo, with whom the group has been operating since Build up B2B area. The Bettzeit Group employs over 100 people in two locations.

3.     Press Contact: Ebony Gayle – PR consultant for Emma Mattress UK     

















Is all publicity good publicity?

I’ve had this conversation on many occasions, is all publicity good publicity? I watched a show recently and a group of women were talking about the fact that one of them had been in the media and she wasn’t concerned about the fact that the publicity wasn’t favourable or positive it was entirely negative but to her all that mattered was that her name is out there.  That is something I hear often, people think as long as they’re being spoken about is all that matters.

Well as a professional in the business that has had to manage crisis communications on behalf of clients I don’t agree with this statement at all. Think about it, I’ve said it before if you’re a restaurant owner and you get a huge amount of negative media attention for food poisoning and rodent infestation how do you think that would impact your sales? I think it’s fair to say that your restaurant might look like a ghost town depending on the severity of the coverage.

That’s a hypothetical example so let us take a brief look at some real crisis that has taken place. Look at the BP Oil spill in the Gulf in 2010. BP understandably received a significant amount of negative press with images of the oil gushing out, animals covered in oil and news that 11 workers died in the explosion. I’m pretty certain that bosses at BP didn’t think oh well all publicity is good when they had people boycotting their fuel stations and a media frenzy covering the incident.

Or we could look at the UK supermarket horsemeat scandal in 2013 which resulted in a whole host of jokes, info-graphics and memes be circulated across the internet. Showing just how influential social media channels can be when it comes to the public’s perception. The scandal affected bottom line sales as well as loosing trust from consumers.

Another example is the video featuring two Dominos employees doing disgusting things to pizzas that amassed almost one million hits on YouTube! As you would expect it was extremely damaging for the brand.

These are loads of examples to illustrate how bad publicity has hurt brands. I believe there is such a thing as bad publicity and while most do recover from the crisis if handled openly and transparently the bad publicity they’ve received has done some serious reputational damage for at least the short term….. and maybe longer.

Now you’ve heard from me, but what do you think? Do you believe that all publicity is good publicity?  Feel free to leave a comment!