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Dawn McGruer – How I Became Known as The Queen of Digital Marketing

Part 1 – How I became known as ‘The Digital Marketing Queen’

I didn’t become the go-to woman in online marketing and social media overnight.

After being in business for SO long, you forget that not everyone knows what you do, why you do it and how it all came about, so for the coming days

I’d love you to join me in my journey!

I was born in Glasgow during a nursing strike and lived in Scotland until I was 7.

Then, due to my Dad’s job moved to England – and I have lived in Cheshire ever since (our Head Office is here too!)I have worked in digital since the internet began (over 20 years ago!)

Ironically, considering the fact that I went on to found a world-leading CIM Accredited Study Centre Business Consort – Digital and Social Media Academy (trained and certified over 30,000 clients)

I didn’t thrive in the confines of school. I left but found my own way to continue my studies whilst taking the world of work by storm.

I have always done things differently!I started my career at 18 as a computer PROGRAMMER!!!…

I then moved into something more creative and joined Volvo working in marketing.

At 19, I got my big break and started working for a large multinational (I thought I’d won the lottery at this age as I was earning 30K!!!)

Here, I developed a passion for Marketing, Business & Psychology from working across different areas of the business landing finally in marketing.

By 1999 (I was almost 20), I had completed over 12 diplomas, including Business Performance Coaching and completed my CIM – The Chartered Institute of Marketing qualification.

I’m so glad that I did go. It was the foundation that led me to where I am today.

But by 21 I was done with corporate life.

6 deaths in so many months made me reassess how I wanted to live.

Dawn McGruer – How I Became Known as The Queen of Digital Marketing
Dawn McGruer (Throw back to her 20’s!)

Part 2 – The Dawn of a New Era – The Start of My Digital Journey

I literally evolved as the digital landscape did – We were in sync!

By 2000, Google had launched (originally name ‘BackRub’ – catchy hey!!)

The internet wasn’t the fast-paced tool we see now (Anyone remember modems? these were just phasing out in 2000)

This was the year I took a massive leap and started my first business, Aurora Marketing (my agency) at the ripe old age of 21.

Maybe it was arrogance or naivety, or a bit of both but I was so excited.

I set-up an office in the old cinema in Wilmslow, Cheshire (20 years later our offices are just down the road).

I’ll be honest it wasn’t quite the vision I had in my mind.

It was feast and famine, getting clients, delivering, completing and then back on the same endless cycle.

I’d bought my first house at 19 so had bills galore to pay so the pressure was real!

It took me 12 months to realise I needed a different strategy.

That’s when everything changed and after creating a social network for a North West business exhibition (my computer programming came in handy!).

It wasn’t quite the social networks we see today but it brought members together online.

Dawn McGruer – How I Became Known as The Queen of Digital Marketing
Business Consort Networking Event in Bentley Motors

We had 50,000 members and ‘Business Consort’ was born.

Hosting lavish networking events in car showrooms such as, Ferrari, Aston Martin and Bentley with cocktail bars, chocolate fountains and driving simulators.

Sponsored by Coutts and HSBC – We had the Business Growth Club for SME’s up to £10 Million and the Platinum Club for businesses over £10m.

It was the match made in heaven bringing in clients and building my audience. We had a panel of experts across every field and the networking online and offline took off!

Finally I had found my niche and the ‘Virtual Business Partner’ programme was born offering consultancy and full business advice and support with networking too.

We were hosting events in Edinburgh, Newcastle, London, Birmingham and Manchester.This has a huge part to play in our 5 million subscriber base today.

I also published my first book Character Building with a collection of authors sharing stories of how they’d overcome adversity.

Dawn McGruer – How I Became Known as The Queen of Digital Marketing
Character Building Book

It is the only book I know of that was allowed the rights to publish Rudyard Kipling’s famous ‘If’.

Many authors didn’t live to see the published book, as well as our endorser, Sir Nigel Hawthorne.

Some comfort was drawn by their friends and families because their stories were forever preserved in the British library.

The book raised money for Cancer Research and is still available in bookshops and on Amazon today.

Philip Schofield endorsed the book and his kind words feature on the cover.

If you are a business owner or are thinking of starting my advice would always be it’s blooming hard but I would never change it!

Dawn McGruer – How I Became Known as The Queen of Digital Marketing
Business Consort Networking Event in Aston Martin

———————- ???? Did you know one of our most favourite digital tools today is over 50 years old?

In 2001, Email celebrated its 30th anniversary with virtually every business in the developed world signed on (Ray Tomlinson is credited as the inventor of email in 1971)

The first email marketing blast was sent in 1978 (Source).

The sender was a man named Gary Thuerk who worked for Digital Equipment Corp.

His email blast was sent to 400 recipients as a promotion for his company’s computers, and it actually resulted in $13 million in sales.

Part 3 – How I started really focusing on developing Digital SkillsIn 2004, I saw a real gap in digital skills which was driven by our customers through the agency and also from our networking and virtual business partner programme.

So we started training teams and then opened the doors to Business Consort – Digital and Social Media Academy in 2005, after a lengthy process to become a Chartered Institute of Marketing Accredited Study Centre.

This was the absolute BEST thing I did in business!

We saw so many clients coming to us after getting burned by people teaching concepts that were not best practice and not even proven methods that could achieve the results and goals they wanted.

Even seeing a client get disqualified from Google losing all online presence – This broke my heart so my mission was to become a certified and accredited provider to ensure we had trust from the beginning.

So I was right, confidence was key and clients came flooding in and we quickly expanded from offering digital marketing and social media courses to help our clients grow their business to adding qualifications.

The CIM Diploma In Professional Digital Marketing.

Dawn McGruer – How I Became Known as The Queen of Digital Marketing
Michelle Lee – Business Consort Academy CIM Diploma in Professional Digital Marketing Graduate

I love seeing our students (30,000 to date!!!) from all ages from early twenties through to 60’s graduate and walk on stage at the graduation ceremony wearing their cap and gowns to receive their degree-level qualification certificate.

Then proudly adding the letters after their name, levelling up and really starting to learn what they are worth with the confidence and clarity they amassed during the course.

I see 83% of our graduates accelerating their careers after graduating through pay rises, promotions and new jobs and seeing business owners and freelancers raising their prices in line with their expertise and also the results they can now achieve for their clients.

Most days I get a message from a past student telling me about what’s happened and honestly this is what brings me joy in my job.

I feel like I 100% turned my passion into a profitable sustainable business that impacts on my clients lives.

Dawn McGruer – How I Became Known as The Queen of Digital Marketing
Business Consort Academy – Trained & Certified over 30,000 Students


It’s hard, for sure, helping students through their own transformation and it brings personal issues and work into the mix.

I have always said business is not just marketing its mindset and motivation too.

These are the 3 core pillars I talk about all of the time.

This brings me onto 2011 through to 2014.

The 3 biggest years of my life, being featured on the Telegraph and hosting an event in collaboration at their offices in just 15 minutes (200 tickets))

I also received my Fellowship from the RSA Royal Society of Arts, Manufacture & Commerce (RSA) and gained the letters FRSA after my name (I have lots now including FCIM as I was also invited to become a Fellow of the CIM – The Chartered Institute of Marketing plus all my qualifications!!!).

This was HUGE because I was still only in my early thirties and by 33 became mortgage free!

Dawn McGruer – How I Became Known as The Queen of Digital Marketing
Fast Track Course – Dynamic Digital Marketing Model™

Part 4 – My First Million Pound Course & Facing My BIGGEST Fear which created something really special in 2016 and it’s definitely a year I will remember because that’s when I created my first million pound course!

Our signature Fast Track Course – Dynamic Digital Marketing Model™ which also became the structure for my book.

It’s still one of our biggest selling courses ????

I guess the popularity is around the results focused modules ‘8 Powerful Ways to Marketing Your Business Online’ not just the what but the ‘HOW’It launched and was revamped and the messaging adapted a couple of times until we nailed it.

Believe me it wasn’t just a launch and straight to success course.

It took some tweaking but within a pretty short space of time {just 17 months} it hit a million in revenue.

Dawn McGruer – How I Became Known as The Queen of Digital Marketing
Fast Track // ACADEMY

This is pretty insignificant compared to what the model itself has achieved – If I could give any advice it would be to trademark your creations.

Alongside my online presence it’s a BIG reason why I got a book deal with Wiley for best-seller ‘Dynamic Digital Marketing Book.

I also use it to pitch clients (my digital agency and freelancer clients use it too), it’s the basis of my signature talk and it’s the specific formula which enables anyone to teach my method {before it was all in my head}.

So having a unique branded solution / method has been powerful in my business and every product thereafter has gone through the same process.

In 2018, I faced a fear of speaking on huge stages (I had done lots of speaking before but not to thousands!!) but I went on to Become Best Female Speaker after Elite training in Dubai with Andy Harrington

Dawn McGruer – How I Became Known as The Queen of Digital Marketing

I was also a Finalist for CIM – The Chartered Institute of Marketing ‘Marketer of the Year’

If I wasn’t busy enough I also launched my first ever podcast ‘Digital Marketing Made Easy’ after hosting a 30-day challenge which formed my first 30 episodes.

So it was a year of wins but tough and hard work.

If you are connected to me you may know I am massive lover of LinkedIn with around 30k connections and same in followers so this positioned me perfectly for my first feature in Forbes in 2019 ‘An Expert’s Advice On Making The Most Of LinkedIn’

Dawn McGruer – How I Became Known as The Queen of Digital Marketing
Dawn McGruer FRSA FCIM – The Queen of Digital Marketing

Part 5 – The TRUTH about business {including the good, bad & ugly!}

So, I’ve shown you a glimpse of my journey over the past 20 years.

It’s easy to look online and think others are doing bigger and better things and fall into the FOMO trap but often we don’t share the pitfalls {you see only the wins!}

So, in this post I want to share some of the challenges I faced over the past 20 years too just to put things into perspective.

❌ I’ve launched courses that flopped first time

❌ I’ve had launches that didn’t perform as well as I wanted

❌ I’ve hired the wrong people

❌ I’ve spent money on things that didn’t work

❌ I’ve wasted time focusing on the wrong things

❌ I’ve listened to people’s advice that was wrong for ME


You have to fail to succeed – If I hadn’t made mistakes what would I have learned – How would I have grown and improved my skills?

Dawn McGruer – How I Became Known as The Queen of Digital Marketing

In 2020, I decided to launch my personal brand {helping to inspire entrepreneurs to rise to meet today’s challenges and be powerfully present to shine online}.

I was used to sharing my voice through training and consultancy BUT I wanted to share more about ME to really connect with my audience, build relationships and share my journey including the good, bad and ugly of starting, growing and scaling a business.

So I launched ‘Dawn of a New Era’ Podcast talking about all things Marketing, Motivation & Mindset ???? It’s now a top 5% Global Ranking Show!!!!

Then in 2021, I launched the POWERCIRCLE™ Programme featuring masterclasses from some amazing guest experts specifically for entrepreneurs and business owners who want to be seen, found and noticed quicker to turn their connections into clients whilst spending less time, effort and money on marketing.

Dawn McGruer – How I Became Known as The Queen of Digital Marketing

AND we didi some big things in Business Consort – Digital and Social Media Academy too

We launched a Digital Product ‘Marketing Made Easy Bundle’ which is the ultimate resource for marketers and includes:

✅ 100 Done for You Social Media Templates

✅ Our Signature 90-Day Planning Guide {checklists / templates]

✅ Key Dates & Awareness Days Social Media Planner

✅ My Best-Selling Book ‘Dynamic Digital Marketing

✅ Content Planning Trello Board

✅ Copywriting Swipe-fileWe have trained and certified over over 30,000 students and by 2025 I want to hit 50,000.

AND I am so proud of this achievement – We launched the ‘Certified Digital Marketing Professional Programme’ {the MOST comprehensive marketing mentorship of its kind}????

MY focus – I have some really BIG things to announce

???? This year is centred around my health and wealth focusing on my self-care

???? So far, I’ve helped my clients make more than £45 million building their businesses and I want to push that past the £100 million mark!

???? I am hosting 10 x LIVE Fast Track // ACADEMY events {ONLINE | LONDON | MANCHESTER}

???? My ‘Digital Marketing Made Easy Podcast’ is re-launching February 2022

???? I am running my POWERCIRCLE™ ELITE MASTERMIND helping my members Raise Their Authority, Grow Their Influence, so they can SCALE THEIR BUSINESS FASTER than ever before

???? I will be hosting my ‘Strategise & Energise Retreat’ with some amazing people AND as business is personal a few things about ME – I am an avid wine, alpaca and art lover {Salvador Dali & Frances Bacon are my fav artists) ????

Dawn McGruer – How I Became Known as The Queen of Digital Marketing
Strategise & Energise Retreat

????I NEED YOUR HELP WITH THIS ONE – MY MISSION IS TO FEATURE (You heard it here – keep me accountable!) is to be featured in 100 x Guest Expert Sessions on Podcasts & Groups.

My Topics – Digital Marketing & Social Media;

✅ Turn Connections into Clients

✅ Digital Marketing Made Easy Masterclass

✅ Create Killer Facebook Ads that Convert

✅ 5 Content Creation Tools You Can’t Live Without

✅ Get Visible & Get More Customers

✅ Leveraging LinkedIn for Lead Generation

✅ 7 Steps to Social Media Success

✅ 8 Powerful Ways to Market Your Business Online

I’d LOVE to know if you’d like me to come share my experience in/on your Podcasts / Groups {GET IN TOUCH}

Feel free to join the conversation in the comments and let me know if my journey resonated with you – Also we have lots of free resources to help develop your digital marketings skills and online presence 🙂

I’d love to get you know more about YOU and your journey so don’t forget to connect with ME personally

You can find me on LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook

Connect with Business Consort – Digital & Social Media Academy

Dawn McGruer FRSA FCIM 
Helping Businesses & Brands Shine Online

Multi-Award-Winning Digital Marketing Speaker, Author & Trainer
Ranked #1 Globally By LinkedIn for Digital Marketing – LinkedIn Profile
Founder of Business Consort  – Digital & Social Media Academy 
CIM Accredited Study Centre – 99% Pass Rate
Tel: 0800 334 5784

Facebook – Twitter – LinkedIn – Instagram – YouTube

Dawn McGruer – How I Became Known as The Queen of Digital Marketing



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