In the spirit of full disclosure on my business life, there have been many deadline looming days, when I’ve been spotted in Asda, unwashed, in my slippers and no bra under an enormous baggy jumper.

Oh the joy of freelance life…


So… this is me.

The most important thing to know is that I’m a prolific tea drinker (black Earl Grey, if you’re asking). Cake and Tunnocks Caramel Wafers are a regular feature of my life too. But I’ve had to reign that in a bit on account of the fact that I no longer have the strength to wrestle my way into my favourite jeans and I’ve had to buy a larger size. But such is life!

Anyway….. I’m an experienced marketing consultant, coach, mentor, blogger, writer and amateur photographer. I live in Kendal, on the edge of the Lake District National Park with my husband, Darren. We moved to the lakes for a simpler existence. I could give you a load of guff about the ‘inspiring landscape’, but honestly, I was pig sick of travelling to work on the London tube every day with my face crammed into the armpit of a sweaty stranger. I did it for 20 years. Enough already!

Surely there was a better way?

My story is not unique. I was one of those uptight and snarky career women, knackered from working 60+ hour weeks in a corporate environment promoting the wares of giant IT companies. I was very good at it and was paid ‘silly money’ which I spent on very silly things. But really, who the f**ck cares about ‘high availability server architectures that can be deployed in private or hybrid cloud environments’ - it was no wonder I was going doo-lally.

Over the years the stress got so bad, that I would have lines of eczema up my arms and I ended up with a clapped-out adrenal system, an underactive thyroid and a marriage that was on seriously dodgy ground. Something had to give.

The Lake District was our salvation

One day, while on holiday in the Lake District, Darren and I turned to each other and said ‘why don’t we just move and try something new?’ So to cut a long story short, we packed up, bought a huge stone barn conversion in the middle of nowhere, and never looked back. We are surrounded by sheep, mountains, fresh air, non-scummy water (London water is sludge by comparison) and dark starry skies. I can now tell you everything you need to know about septic tanks, and how to coax a stubborn sheep from the middle of the road (and for future reference, a cow pat that looks like it’s dried out and safe to step on, is actually a portal to a leg full of bovine diarrhoea - be warned).

From industry giants to teeny-tiny businesses

I was used to working with clients such as IBM, BT, HP and other massive tech companies (some even had proper names). I specialised in media and analyst relations but I quickly realised that small businesses in the Lake Distract had very little need for the corporate stuff. So I had to adapt my ‘offering’ to suit the needs the local area and started a little company called Brightspark Marketing which specialses in marketing strategy, creating digital marketing content and copywriting.

Mentoring, accountability (and a kick up the bum)

Over recent years I’ve been asked to mentor, coach and teach small business owners (particularly b2b services and other marketing people) who want to do their own marketing in a competent, professional and affordable way. This has been through workshops, online courses, 1-2-1 sessions and ‘kick up the bum’ phone calls to keep my clients on track.

So now I help amazing people like you to find the right kind of clients, create and grow a personal brand, get to grips with digital marketing and promote yourself without feeling like a sleazebag.

Jackie Harris: Marketing, social media & content marketing specialist

Jackie Harris: Marketing, social media & content marketing specialist