Teenage Mum to Mumpreneur…never let anyone dull your sparkle!

From teenage mum to mumpreneur…never let anyone dull your sparkle

Mumpreneur, victoria beckham

Mumpreneur

I read an article quite recently which talked about a famous mum as a role model AKA Posh Spice and how women in business should be a little bit more realistic when setting their goals and dreams.

I could totally see what they were saying and why they were saying it, but this really saddened me. I don’t want to be realistic with my dreams, i want to dream big, reach for the stars and believe i can achieve whatever i desire. My dreams motivate me everyday and yes in the back of my head i may have a little bit of a resounding doubt that maybe i won’t make millions and be super successful…but maybe, just maybe i actually will.

Victoria Beckham may have limitless pots of money, people falling at her feet plus a slightly handsome husband 🙂 But she was once normal like you and I, she has been knocked off her pedestal many times for singing credentials, clothing choices and then when she started her own brand, she wasn’t taken seriously and mocked. She did all of this in the public eye and each time got back up and started again, she didn’t give up and today she is a highly respected designer making a pretty penny too. Some of us daren’t even put a video on social media never mind every step monitored and discussed, so to me, actually, she’s a pretty good role model. Plus i would do pretty much anything for a VB handbag!

Barack Obama

He Had A Dream

I wonder what might have happened if someone had said those same things to Barack Obama, first African American president who grew up herding goats in a Kenyan village with a school with a little tin roof (www.history.co.uk) I think you may agree that becoming president may have been an unrealistic dream some may say, but he dreamed big and believed he could do anything, put in a lot of work and achieved his dream.

When i left school at 16, i had very few GCSE’s and by the age of 17 i was living in a council house on my own with a newborn baby boy (whom might i add, is 17 himself this year eeeeek) and i had no qualifications. I came to the realisation that i was responsible for this tiny life and i wanted to be the best mum i could be and be someone he respected, a role model. As well as have nice things and to go to nice places.

My Everything

My Everything

I dreamed big but took small steps, i worked full time and i studied pretty much non stop for 8 years. I knew there were no quick fixes and it would take time and effort. After 8 years had passed i graduated with not only a BA Hons Degree in Business with a decent 2:1 but a PGCE teaching qualification too. I bought my first home with my son with no help or handouts from anyone else. All of those things were a huge dream to someone that at times had to feed her son rather than herself, and in the beginning wasn’t sure if i would achieve my dreams, but i was going to try my damned hardest…and i did. It’s not really on the same scale as first African American President or Designer Extrodinare.
But my point is that everyone starts somewhere, as long as you understand that it will take hard work, drive and small steps to start, the World is your oyster.

Inspiring Quote

 

Success comes in many shapes and forms and only you will know when you’ve reached it, if you are happy and in a place where you want to be, then i’d say that’s pretty successful!

I now have my own business www.freya-lillie.com which i love so much and is continuing to grow, i am helping other mum’s on the road to their dreams and even looking at business number 2.

I am aiming for Victoria Beckham status in the world of entrepreneurism and i won’t be allowing anyone to dull my sparkle! Even the word impossible has the words i’m possible 🙂

Go chase your dreams!

Michelle x

If you would like some support and encouragement in your business venture, please feel free to join our Facebook networking group The CDM Group

 

How To Increase Your Facebook Reach…For Free!

IMG_00349 Steps to Increase Facebook Reach & Engagement

Worldwide, there are over 1.55 billion monthly active Facebook users (MAUs) which is a 14 percent increase year over year. 1.01 billion people log onto Facebook daily  and there are 1.39 billion mobile active users (Zephoria.com)with these statistics you can not ignore the fact Facebook is an essential tool for your brand and to let the world know you exist. It’s all good and well having a very pretty website, but if there’s no path that leads to it 🙁

The problem that occurs is that it’s sometimes like banging your head off a brick wall trying to increase your reach or engagement. I don’t for a second believe anyone has the magic answer or that each and every post is super successful, it’s all about measuring what works for you and trial and error. You won’t always get it spot on, but that’s OK. Don’t keep doing what you are doing if it’s not working, try to think outside of the box and ask yourself, who are your followers and what are their interests?

Sometimes your reach may be fabulous but you have very few likes but that’s great as people have seen your logo and your brand awareness has increased. The amount of people when i attend fairs who have said ‘Oh i’ve seen your logo somewhere’ and then have stopped to chat and look is great, so it’s not just about direct sales from posts (although they are very satisfying!)

Anyway, I’m hoping these helpful tips will improve your reach and engagement!

  1. Create visual posts that people will notice, even if you are asking a question, try canva.com free software with hundreds of free images and editing tools…it’s addictive!!! You can even create magazines/brochures and download a PDF
  2. It may make you feel a bit awkward but if your not feeling awkward and uncomfortable your not challenging yourself…posting video clips which include you!! Even Mr Zuckerberg has said that the future is very much video heavy (wired.com) so we need to get into it and quick. What short clips could you post? If you see any video’s on Facebook, save them and create a bank to use in future posts.
  3. Plan your content for the week…but not all of it. Leave room for any new trends, stories, articles that you can post, i find these are often the ones with the highest reach. If you’re one of the first to post, it will be shared hundreds if not thousands of times (make sure you are following pages who offer this information to you). Go one step further and rewrite it in your own words with your own branding (Reference your source to authenticate your info!).
  4. Think outside of the box for your content. I run an online shop selling baby and children’s clothing. I know that my customers are 25+ females (i use my insights to find this info). I have shared nostalgic posts, car seat safety videos, saving ideas and each of those have reached over 50,000 people with only 3000 followers.
  5. Not too many sales post – if Facebook recognise that you are selling they will not show it to your audience or to a very limited audience as they want to give their followers value. Sell without selling, for me flatlays of outfits or customers in outfits work great. Don’t let people forget what you do but don’t post so much of the same thing that people scroll past and ignore you.
  6. Branding – make sure your logo and website is visible. Ideally have your logo as your profile picture for brand awareness so when you are reaching thousands of people they are unconsciously seeing your logo which will stick in their brains!
  7. Facebook tools are there to help so use them. Use insights to see who your fans are so when you boost any posts you can target those who are interested and visit your page. Each week or even month if time is limited, look at your insights and find out which of your posts have worked. Use this information to make notes of similar posts you can post when planning your content, try posting them at different times to analyse if it is the post or the time you posted that caused the interaction.
  8. People sell to people – add in some posts about yourself, the face and personality behind the brand.
  9. In your insights add similar pages to your own to watch, if they are interacting well and have great results, what are they doing? Don’t copy, just get a few tips! Are they asking questions, have great images or videos, maybe competitions. How often are they posting and when?

Don’t forget that although having a business’s is 80% marketing and 20% running it, you can’t be everywhere in all social media platforms all of the time. Find out which 2 platforms work best for you and interact with them daily (10 minutes morning coffee, lunch and watching the soaps) then use your lovely planners that I know you’ll all have to pencil in time to spend on other platforms keeping them upto date and interacting, even if it’s only once per week.

Remember, there’s no secret ingredient, but if you find one…let me know 🙂

Good luck

Michelle x

If you would like to join my networking group, focussed on sharing useful tips and resources, please click here TheCDMGroup

www.facebook.com/freyalillie

How to be a Mumpreneur…and not get stressed!!!

How to be a mumpreneur…and not get stressed!

I love sitting in the car...really!

I love sitting in the car…really!

So the grey hairs have quadrupled, i’m not yet a millionaire and neither have i achieved world domination, but all good things come to those that wait…WRONG!!!!! All good things come to those that work hard, make sacrifices, make mistakes but get back up and try even harder.

I know, i’m not really selling the whole mumpreneur thing am i? Honestly, it’s bloody hard work but i get up every morning so motivated, my brain instantly switches on, well after one large latte that is, but then i’m raring to go. Move over Richard Branson (well you have to dream big).

Mumpreneurs generated over £7bn last year according to the Telegraph as well as supporting over 200,000 jobs, that’s pretty fantastic. Mum’s up and down the country just like you and I, had and have a dream along with a want and desire to be home more for their families. To do the school run, attend sports day and have something they could call their own. Sound familiar?

My first fair showcasing Freya-Lillie

My first fair showcasing Freya-Lillie

Mum to a teen and a toddler plus a 36 year old male who requires attention, a housewife, a cook, a cleaner, general dogsbody, an assessor and lecturer in business 2 days per week oh and i forgot to mention a mumpreneur trying to run a successful online clothing business and all that goes with it. The secret…time management! I know, sounds boring but it really is that simple.

Quote

The lecturer in me sets my yearly goals making sure they are realistic, achievable and i can measure them to see how i’m progressing. These are then broken down into smaller more manageable tasks and added to my weekly/monthly business to do’s which i store in my beautiful planner (i’m a stationary addict, sad i know). At the end of the week i review what has been done, what needs work and then plan for the following week. For me this is the most productive way of working, i know exactly what needs to be done and when. Tasks have even got an estimated time attached so i know when i can fit it in. It helps with direction, efficiency and productivity.

It means sometimes you have to put down the phone and ignore social media for a short while, we all know you can lose hours lost in the world that is social media. If social media plays a large part in your business, finish the task at hand and then take some time to interact/answer questions etc but don’t get lost in something that isn’t going to bring you any value. You can still be effective on social media and not spend every waking hour checking your phone, i promise!

Both of my babies

Both of my babies

So when do i get time for working on world domination? The one thing i don’t do is work through the day as it’s not fair on my little lady, she’s only little once and i won’t get that time back. Maybe a little social media updating but even that’s limited now nap time is becoming shorter. So basically it’s a couple of hours on an evening Monday to Thursday after the bedtime stories have been read and the mouths have been fed. Friday, Saturdays and Sundays are my nights off to spend with the better half, sampling a vino or two and reconnecting whilst working our way through a good box set. Then while daddy and kiddies spend some time together on Saturday and Sunday afternoon, i get time to work on my world domination. I could do more and may not get where i want to be as fast as other mum’s starting out at the same time as me. But that’s ok, it’s all about the balance.

If opportunity doesn't knock,build a door!

The morale of the story, if you are a mum with a business idea but just waiting for that eureka moment and unsure how to fit it in…stop waiting, do it now! There’s so much help out there, all you need to start is the idea and to believe in yourself. If you don’t go out and follow your dream, someone else will pay you to help build theirs.

Michelle xx

P.S. If you are a lovely lady in business and would like to join our new networking group, sharing resources, good practice and general support, click on the link! www.facebook.com/groups/thecdmgroup

 

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