Hello, my dear readers! As some of you know I am a digital marketing professional by day and Independent Consultant outside business hours, as well as an avid supporter of women empowerment. Social marketing happened to become a vehicle or platform for me to start my own business. In this blog I’m going to share my experience of being a professional social marketer, starting my own business, and some facts I didn’t know about this industry before I started my own business.
1. Networking is Networking. Period.
People react to social marketing in different ways – some see it as an opportunity and are ready to launch on the spot, some call it a “thing” (e.g. “I’m not interested in getting into such a thing”), some say they don’t have time for it (“it’s definitely an appealing business model, but I don’t think it would be doable for me”), and some are sceptical about the business model and want to research more before jumping at opportunity. Like any other business, social marketing requires going out there and network, build relationships, and talk about the company, value proposition and products. So, if you’re thinking to start your own business regardless of your industry or already own a business and want to set yourself up to success, put your CEO hat on and network with confidence!
2. Only You are Accountable for Your Own Success
To set yourself up to success, look for workshops, support groups, trainings and meetups available in your industry. Be prepared to invest time and energy in meetings, calls, admin tasks, marketing, and everything else that comes with entrepreneurship you didn’t know about before but will need to learn. Owning your business comes with responsibilities and having to learn the unknown, going outside of your comfort zone and being open to new ideas, tools, and concepts. I started this business knowing absolutely NOTHING about social marketing. Now I can clearly make a connection between my experience working in the corporate world and social marketing. From lead generation to sales, customer service to retention, every single business regardless of its size goes through these stages. When looking at social marketing or any other businesses from the corporate lens you will see that they have a lot in common.
3. When your Friend or Family Member Will Start a Business, You Will Most Likely Hear About It
Why? Because they trust you and need your support. Why? Because close circles are like safe harbours where you can test and try things before you do the BIG reveal. Also, your friends can help get the word out there. I was very fortunate to have my family and friends at my launch parties because I know these are the people whom I trust the most. Many businesses started from a small circle of close friends and family. It’s okay if your business will as well!
4. But My Business Idea is Not Unique!
That’s OK! Think about what makes you stay with the same yoga studio or hairdresser, skincare brand or internet provider for years. Some businesses offer great discounts or customer service, other businesses sell products with better quality or provide fast shipping. So, what makes us Independent Consultants unique? Just like your tax accountant or hairdresser, we build relationships and we cater to your needs.
5. It’s an MBA without a Degree
You will learn business hands-on from the ground level. It’s the best experience you could possibly get regardless of your success or failure. Social marketing has become a leap for me – an action, a simple act of entrepreneurship that gets my adrenaline flowing, and puts me in contact with the people I want to reach even though I feel uncomfortable and scared at times. Learning business from different angles also makes me a better marketer in my daily job.
Starting your own business can be anything from uncomfortable to scary (“I better get a degree in it first”, “I’m not an expert at that”*). You will find yourself thinking about dozens of excuses and delaying tactics. But unless you try and put yourself in an unknown vulnerable position, you won’t know whether your passion is the next BIG thing.
- Tara Mohr “Playing Big: Find Your Voice, Your Mission, Your Message”