In June, my business turned five years old. Surreal but true! I can remember the trials and tribulations from each year like it was yesterday and I also remember the year I decided to stop calling my business “just freelancing” and start to give it (and the freelance world) the respect it deserves. That was the year I commissioned a fellow freelancer to write my website copy and launched this website a year after that – that was my third and fourth year of business. 

This year marks five years of business; I said that a lot in June and I’m not even sorry about it. Running a business of any kind for any amount of time is not an easy feat and I am 100% here to celebrate the small wins! 

Five years. Five Instagram Lives. Five awesome business women.

I recruited some awesome women to help me celebrate this year too as I wanted to share some aspects of my work with you all and chat around running a business amongst that.

I talk about being a community cheerleader a lot on my Instagram and hosting a series of lives with some of that community felt like the best business-birthday treat ever.

Meet the Five awesome business women. 

Pippa Akram (aka Social Pip), fellow Freelancer and organic Social Media Specialists and my work best friend – it really isn’t a Bird and Emmy occasion without Pip! Plus Pip and I can’t talk about engagement, community building and organic social media enough.

Laura Walter of Laura Walter Personal Brand Photography; I was keen to explore how a brand photography session and personal branding fit into a digital marketing and social media strategy and get some top tips for us all on having our photos taken for our business social media platforms. 

Yekemi Otaru from Doqaru and Yo Couture – literally one of the most creative, inspiring and energetic women you can meet in the business world; but running your own business can be a lonely place and it can feel like everyone is riding high except you a lot of the time … it didn’t feel like a business birthday celebration without talking about some of those lows and sharing some tools to help get over them.

Amanda Fullerton runs Swish Swish Bish, a clothes swop shop in Aberdeen; Amanda runs her Instagram not only for her business but for purpose too! Such a tough combo to full off, but she is a superstar at it and a true community champion.

Lauren Mitchell, a Breakfast Presenter on Northsound 1, Digital Marketer and Social Media Manager – not to mention one of the best woman I know and the most generous person with her time and energy. I wanted to talk about growing your social media presence and finding content opportunities in the everyday things with one of the North East of Scotland’s biggest champions.

Words of Wisdom.

As well as talking about social media, running a business, community and content strategy; I asked each of the 5 Awesome Business Women to share some words of wisdom with us – what one thing would they say about social media, business and (or) life!

I saved all the Q&As as an IGTV series and you can access all the chats via my Instagram; but for totally easy access the Words of Wisdom are here:

Pip

Treat people how you want to be treated yourself – that works for life, for business and for social media, 

Laura

“The opposite of perfect is finished’ and “done is better than perfect” – we all get that paralysis and act too scared to do anything, but in order to get better you have to do the ugly first draft first. 

Yekemi

“Spend some time really getting to know yourself – get to know yourself as much as you can; your triggers, what is it about yourself that should be put at the forefront and do that – what are the reasons that people come to you and once you nail that then you will smash it and it will be like a hot knife through butter. 

Amanda

If you feel passionate about something; be it your design, your children’s clothes or whatever – just go for it! What’s the worst that could happen? F*k it. Just go for it. Because what is the 

worst that could happen?! Enjoy what you are doing. Enjoy your own feed. If you enjoy it, then other people will love it too! 

You can listen and watch the Birthday Live Q&A series on my Instagram, where each session was saved as an IGTV. 

Lauren

Get to know your audience, keep it fun, be authentic, be consistent and have a good time! And drink the wine. Just do it! 

For Business – be consistent.

For Social media – have fun and be authentic

For Life – drink the wine. Have a good time. Just do it! 

5 things I have learnt in 5 years of running a business.

Talking about wisdom, I picked up a few nuggets myself things along the way … now it’s true that I’m not one to throw out unsolicited advice and I say so upfront to anyone who messages me about starting or running a business; but there are a few things that are pretty non-negotiable in my opinion and the rest you can take number 6 as your lead and run with it.

  1. You cannot do all the things all the time
  2. A weekend off will not kill your business
  3. Outsource your accounts and / or sort your banking and tax from day 1
  4. It’s ok to say no and have boundaries
  5. Processes are yours to create, adapt and change as often as is necessary to run your business  – one size does not fit all
  6. Trust your gut – every time.

See you on stories! #BirdandEmmy