Do you feel uncomfortable selling? Do you squirm when you think about promoting yourself or being visible on your marketing channels?
Despite being an experienced digital marketer, I feel like I'm learning more about digital marketing and social media management every day. It's ever-evolving and changing; there are new features and new tools you can add all the time to show off your skills.
It's exciting and creative, but it can be pretty overwhelming for businesses out there, how do you make time and know what to do when it comes to your marketing?
Some of the big things my customers say to me are either, "I can learn the platforms - I just don't know what to say" or "I'm a marketer, but I'm too close to my own business to promote myself and do my marketing".
It's a massive block for many, so what do you say and how do you stand out?
Many online are either:
I want to share with you the advice that I wish I'd received when I first set myself up as a sole trader ten years ago. I hope this saves you a lot of time and you can fast forward to being prepared and ready for attracting your ideal customers.
Here are the best pieces of advice I got when I started my business:
The short answer is if you want to be a social media manager then yes I would look at social media management training, but do lots of research first. Take the time to understand what being a social media manager is, as it’s not for everyone.
I trained to be a social media manager back in 2015, I really loved the course and I learnt loads. However, I wish I’d asked myself these questions before I embarked on a career in social media management.
For me, the biggest decision was based around options, I didn’t think I had many in 2015, and I made a big career decision without really exploring what I wanted to do. I was desperate to find something that I could do between school runs.
Imagine what we could do if we had the confidence?
If we shut out that inner critic?
No one likes to be told they can’t do something, but most of the time it’s actually ourselves telling us we can’t do something.
The criticism that we believe about ourselves is the one that hurts the most.
It’s taking a lot of work. I’m still a work in progress. This has got me thinking about the way I handle criticism and feedback, or how I have handled it in the past.
In the past, if someone said: “you’re not ready to do that Ruth”. Or “you don’t have enough experience” it would set me off on a very determined path. A path to prove the naysayers and myself wrong.
I’d do a course, I’d get more experience or I’d go ahead and do what they had said I...
It has been proven that successful people set goals and have a clear plan of action. Many books have been written about this, with case studies and evidence all backing it up.
It really boils down to basic human psychology. Without a focus, we’re not aiming for anything, which means we’re not motivated to get there. Some people summarise their goals onto 3 lines, print them out and stick them on a door or fridge to remind them of their focus.
Some people write daily goals, 90-day goals or annual goals.
The key thing is to find what works for you.
“The difference between how successful people and aspirers navigate their careers is not brainpower or circumstance. (Although it helps to have both.) The major difference is planning”. Brian De Haff.
Start with your goals and your business plan. Make sure you go back to them regularly, review them, and set bigger goals...
Do you find yourself going round in circles deciding whether you should retrain or change careers?
I searched for years (literally) from 2011 until 2015 to find something I could start as a business that I could do from home.
It was a complete shock to me that the options were so limited, or at that point, I “thought” they were limited.
Back in 2012, someone suggested I inquire about a job in Sainsbury’s so I could “find something part-time”.
Absolutely no disrespect to anyone who works in Sainsbury’s but I’d been in sales and marketing for 15 years at that point, managed large teams, helped businesses scale and worked on multimillion pound projects.
How the F**k did this happen?
This isn’t just a problem for mothers. But being a new Mum did massively contribute to the limits of what I could do.
In 2015 I retrained so that I could work from home and juggle motherhood (or at least attempt to)! At...
2 years ago I didn’t know the answer to this question! Knowing the answer to this question would have helped me decide what kind of support I needed and what to expect when I embarked on being coached or mentored.
Many people are still really not clear on what the differences are between a coach or a mentor (which is understandable) and what problem they can solve. I’m going to explain the differences to help decide which is best for you.
Here’s how I would describe what I offer using some example questions my customers ask me:
“Can you help with my marketing and business strategy?”
If you want advice and something implemented, then I would offer my digital marketing consultant and business mentor services.
“I’m terrified of putting myself out there? What if my business fails? I haven’t got the confidence to raise my prices?”
You’re feeling stuck, you can’t move forward with your business, and...
The old “what should I charge” question?
It worries me when I see posts like this in groups asking for advice on what we should charge.
My firm belief is: others can’t advise you on what you should charge, because your experience and how you feel towards the value add is unique.
I also believe that if we don’t set our prices right, we can end up not just devaluing ourselves, but also others in the same sector.
Let me give you an example of why I think it’s dangerous to ask others to advise you on your pricing.
I was advised back in 2015 what I should charge as a newly qualified social media manager. I took this as gospel when I started. Literally, within weeks of charging this rate, I was miserable with the price I was receiving. Ok, I was newly qualified, but I realised I was using the other 20 years experience I had as well, so why should I be on such a low rate? I think the positioning of what I was offering was wrong;...
Do you shudder when people tell you to find a niche? It's not an easy thing to do for many of us. I couldn't find my niche without a lot of help and self-development.
So many of us deliberate over whether we should specialise in a specific skill or sector, and then struggle defining who our ideal client is.
Defining what your niche is might fill you with dread, bringing up memories of being asked when you were a kid: "what do you want to be when you grow up?"
We all need to pay the bills first so often look for something that pays us, rather than something we love, and by doing this, we can often overlook what we're passionate about doing.
Many of us are still trying to find our specialism or "niche" however; there are many factors at play that stop us from seeing it.
Now in 2019, I feel there are so many more options out there for business owners. There are so many more case studies of people launching successful businesses. However, I still...
Are you looking for some inspirational books to read?
Are you thinking about the next steps in your business or career?
I’ve created a list of my current favourite non-fiction books and compiled a list of recommendations for you.
One of my 2019 resolutions was to read every day. There were 3 reasons why I started reading more, and it’s now part of my daily routine: