This year at Craftcation one of the most talked about panels was Confessions Of An Entrepreneur, moderated by Tiffany Han. Unfortunately, I was taking a nap in my hotel room and missed the whole thing. Boo. Luckily, one of the panelists, Elise Blaha Cripe, shared her answers on her blog. You can read more about Elise's entrepreneur confessions right here. Elise's post got me thinking about my own business journey. Little Farm Media had its first birthday in March and I want to share some of my reflections on entrepreneurship with you today.
1. Anything is possible. When I started Little Farm Media, I was 34 years old and had just spent the last two years as a stay at home mom. Before I became Mommy, I was an elementary teacher for 8 years. I ran the blog and social media for our teacher’s union at night while I taught kids to read during the day. After I had my daughter, I knew I wanted to take a break from teaching elementary school and wanted to pursue a career in social media. While I had loads of experience doing this for my teacher’s union, I knew I still had a lot to learn. So, I started working…for free. It’s true. Since I wasn’t pulling in a paycheck, we couldn’t afford daycare. As soon as my daughter went to sleep at night I was working at my computer. She stopped taking naps really early, so my only time to work was during the evenings. As my skills improved, so did my rates. As my income increased, we put my daughter in daycare a few mornings a week. This REALLY freed up my time and gave me the space I needed to focus on work. TAKEAWAY: You are never too old or too inexperienced to start. Just start.
2. Be targeted. The best thing I did when I started my business was to be laser focused on my target market. At the time, I wanted to provide social media management services for interior designers and makers in the home space. I did a ton of research on what they read, cared about, and which Twitter chats they participated in. I began to have a really good understanding of what their needs were and how I could be helpful to them. If I tried to be everything to everyone, my growth would have been MUCH slower. TAKEAWAY: Know EVERYTHING about your target market. Everything.
3. Don’t get hung up on rejection. Toughen up, ladies and dudes. You will get rejected. People turned down my pitches, but I kept pitching. I paid more attention to why people were hiring me than worrying about why they didn't. Sometimes I offered packages and services that nobody was interested in, so I got rid of them. I could have cried myself to sleep in a puddle of wine, but I didn't...mostly. Okay, maybe I did that once or twice. TAKEAWAY: Focus on what's working and stop worrying about what isn't.
4. Be flexible. Your business will go through many changes and you just need to go with it. I started Little Farm Media with the intention of being a social media management business. I successfully managed Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest accounts for multiple clients at once. Initially I found it incredibly exciting, then I did not. Like most creative people, feeling bored is the kiss of death. I love to strategize, but over time I became less interested in managing the accounts of others on a daily basis. Plus, I was spending all my energy on growing the followings for others and spent zero time doing it for myself. I didn't start working on my own social media in earnest until December 2014. I knew if I was going to start moving my business into consulting and away from management, this had to change. TAKEAWAY: You have permission to change your mind.
5. Be original. Do you know how many social media consultants are out there? Approximately one gajillion. My challenge was to figure out a way to stand out in a sea of noisy tweeters. I noticed that no one was successfully marketing their social media services directly to creative business owners in a way that was both informative AND fun. I was able to draw on my years of teaching experience to take a complicated task and break it down into simple steps. Do you know what got me through eight years of teaching a class full of 30 five year olds how to read? Humor. I use humor to make a stressful task seem fun and less daunting. TAKEAWAY: Use your individuality to make yourself stand out in a crowded marketplace.
If you are feeling stumped for what how to make your business stand out on social media, then schedule a One On One Brainstorming Session with me today. You will walk away with a clear understanding of how to grow your following and increase sales.
Can't wait for a One On One? Start increasing sales right away with my social media marketing e-course, Bossy Biz Ladies. If you are a busy creative biz owner then you need this course. You will love it.