The power of working with experts in their fields

Following on from my Female Start Up of the Year win back in October 2018, part of the prize was some sessions with some experts to help with areas of my business.

Knowing who to ask for help is a big challenge for a small business, especially when money is tight and you need it to stretch far and convert into tangible action. It's something I know I need more of - expert advise - but get a bit stuck and nervous for the reasons mentioned.

My first session was with Sophie Carefull, a 'Personal Branding Photographer' and to be honest I didn't know what to expect other than getting to hang out with Sophie, who is so lovely and enthusiastic! I think we could have chatted all day and we powered through my allocated time with her. Sophie is so much more than a photographer and really understands the challenges faced by small businesses and brands but also completely gets the importance of storytelling.

We decided to focus on my Instagram account and how to feel less overwhelmed and more consistent with my voice and posts. A lot of the information I had whirling around my head but together we were able to get it all down on paper, in a way it made sense. And most importantly in a way that made me feel like there were so many angles to my story, so much rich content I could share and lots of ways to break down all of the messages into small, bitesized chunks.

Sophie also introduced me to the joys of scheduling, something I hadn't got to grips with, always posting on the go and never feeling like I was getting ahead.

Since meeting with Sophie in January my Insta-confidence has grown along with my followers and I now feel like I have a clear, cohesive strategy where I feel in control and that I am able to deliver quality content every day. I now am able to put aside a few hours on a Monday to schedule for the whole week and it's like a weight has been lifted off my social media shoulders. 

I would love to work with Sophie again, and would recommend her to anyone wanting help to tell their story online.

ruth bradford headshot  Ruth Bradford colour headshot

I was lucky to get a couple of head shots from Sophie too!

My second expert session was with Natalie Sherman from Naturally Social to talk all things Facebook. Natalie is a She Means Business Facebook trainer as well as her many other social media talents so I was super keen to get her input in helping me get a Facebook strategy in place. Facebook has been an area I haven't been so sure on how to leverage, feeling like it's another channel to get lost in and potentially a money pit if you keep paying for advertising that isn't working.

It was a great morning with Natalie, we covered so much ground and I was able to offload all of my hangups in this area and all of my biggest challenges. We broke it all down into manageable chunks and all the things that 'work' on this particular platform.

As with Sophie, Natalie took the fear and the overwhelm out of Facebook for me, and suddenly it didn't seem so daunting to create engaging content for my humble following. I also left with a much better understanding of how best to us my time, the power of FB native tools and when and how to spend any marketing budget I might have.

Again, I 100% see the value in finding an expert like Natalie and would hands down work with her again when I have the budget. Talking to a real person where we can look at the data together and make sense of it is invaluable and a few hours of time together can have such a huge impact on mindset and how to approach everything going forward.

It so important to work to the strengths of each of your platforms and make sure you are engaging with your audience in the best possible way, sparking conversation and interaction. It can be really challenging and when you always feel like you're fire fighting, you need helpful person who can make you take a step back and drill down from the bigger picture.

I gained so much from both my sessions with Sophie and Natalie and really hope to be able to work with them in the future. Its made me realise that I probably need more coaching sessions as I go along but for me, the one off catch ups are what work best. It's empowering to know what works and to have a plan, and most of all to have two women in my camp that I can turn to when I need some support, advise or a new plan to keep propelling me forward.

Ruth Bradford and Natalie Sherman

Me with the lovely Natalie Sherman

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Find Sophie Carefull at https://sophiecarefull.co.uk/
And Natalie Sherman at https://naturallysocial.co.uk/

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