How I Started a Social Media
Marketing Business For Small and Personal Brands
Hi! Who are you and what business did you start?
I’m Margaret, the founder and solopreneur of Style Your Socials, a social media marketing business which helps small and personal brands to strategically stand out on social media, so they can attract their dream clients.
I am an Instagram Growth Strategist and Hashtag Guru, that helps small and personal brands to step up their Instagram game, so they can stand out and attract their ideal clients. I offer Instagram audits, 1:1 Coaching, Hashtag Sets and Instagram Strategy packages.
What is your personal story and how did you come up with the idea?
It has always been an ambition of mine to travel the world full-time, and one way to fund this was to start a location-independent business. I realised I was very good at giving Instagram business tips to my friends who were just starting with their businesses, so decided this would be a perfect business that can help kick-start my long-term plan.
I played around with a lot of ideas, but was never truly happy with any of them and felt like I was just copying what everyone else was doing. Then I realised that there was a gap in the market for short-term, affordable services for those who are already familiar with social media but just need a little guidance with using it for business. There seems to be a lot of long-term social media services, like monthly management, but not everyone needs this. Some people just need one-off/short-term guidance so they can do it themselves – so this is where I decided to make my mark.
I don’t have a degree in Marketing or Business. Instead, I invested in the relevant courses and books and beta-tested my packages to perfect my craft.
I realised there was a gap in the market for short-term (and affordable) social media marketing services. Many people are already social media savvy, but just need a little guidance with using their social media platforms to help build their business. Often, they don’t want to (or can’t afford to) sign a long-term contract with a virtual assistant, because they would rather develop their social media presence themselves. This is where Style Your Socials comes in, by providing short term services such as 1:1 Strategy Sessions and audits to help small brands to tackle social media correctly themselves.
What challenges did you face when creating your product/service?
The only real issue I faced was creating my website. Social media is my forte – not web design! I decided to invest in a web designer, who is currently completing my website, and I’m absolutely happy with how it looks so far.
I have been really lucky, in the sense that I have not had any major challenges since starting my business. Starting your own business doesn’t have to cost a lot of money and you can use what you already have.
I had a minor blip with the creation of my website, as I’m not a specialist in web designing. However, I have a friend who is, so we bartered services, and she recently created a beautiful website for me, which I have just launched!
Who is your target market?
My target audience are small and/or personal brands (influencers, bloggers, YouTubers etc). My clients already have some social media knowledge from their own personal accounts, but are just now beginning to build their business via social media and wish to monetise their account. They often just need pointing the right direction so they can eventually do it themselves.
My clients are small and personal brands. I have recently worked with a micro influencer, by creating an Instagram strategy plan and doing a mini Instagram makeover. She has seen her engagement rise back up again and landed a collaboration 2 days after my services.
How do you market your business and which approaches have been the most successful?
I only began my business just two months ago and I am only using Instagram to market myself at the moment. In the first month, I offered my services for free in order to build a following, which quite grew quickly. I also aimed to gain the trust of my audience, so that when I launched my packages last month, I received a flurry of enquires of people wanting to work with me.
I am currently working with doing collaborations with influencers and others in my niche to build my business.
Since you launched, what has worked in not only attracting but retaining customers?
Definitely going above and beyond. All of my clients have been so happy with the extras I do for them i.e. answering additional questions, proof-reading their captions etc. More than half have renewed their contracts with me.
As stated earlier, there seems to be a lot of long-term social media services, like monthly Instagram/Facebook management. However, I was able to separate myself from others in my niche, but providing the opposite – short term services for those who don’t want or need someone to manage their account, but just need a little guidance with it.
I position my business as an affordable premium service. I am more expensive than others, but it’s still within the realms of what my target audience can afford. As I provide valuable content on my Instagram, my followers trust my knowledge and expertise to pay my prices for my service.
I have managed to retain customers by going the extra mile. All my clients have been so happy with the extras I do for them (I.e. answering additional questions, proofreading their captions etc..) More than half have renewed their contracts with me.
What kind of culture exists in your company, and how did you establish it?
As it’s just me, I love the fact I can choose the day/times I work. I make sure to balance work with everyday family life. Sundays are work-free for me, as that is the day I relax and prepare for the week ahead. I created a (flexible) schedule, to ensure I am able to balance work with everyday family life.
What software, services or tools do you use within your business?
Top 5 tools I use on a daily basis are Google Drive, Canva (to create beautiful designs), Dubsabo, PayPal and Slack. I also use Trello to keep track of everything, from the big picture to the minute details. I use Preview App to plan my grid and feed in advance. LastPass – to save passwords and give secure access from every computer and mobile device. Calendly – to schedule my discovery calls and coaching calls.
What are the most important lessons have you learned on your business journey?
I have learned that I should immediately outsource my weaker skills, rather than spending weeks on them and becoming frustrated and demotivated. I took this step with my website!
What is your favourite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
You are your own boss!
I am still very new to this, but I have enjoyed the freedom of having the ability to work the hours I want to work. There is also a sense of pride in myself, as I have managed to launch my own business from scratch.
What is your LEAST favourite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
Biting your tongue when prospective clients don’t value your time!
What books, podcasts or other resources have inspired and influenced your business journey?
Anything by Gary Vaynerchuk has been an amazing and eye-opening read!
As I said earlier, I do not have a degree in Marketing or Business, but learnt about Social Media Marketing through online courses. I would recommend Hubspot’s social media course, Google Digital Garage and Udemy, as they all directly helped me to build my knowledge and expertise.
Where do you see your business 2-3 years from now?
Hopefully, I will have built a small team making five figures a month. Ultimately, I hope to have a consistent flow of clients to generate a full-time income that allows me to travel the world.