Getting social: how to launch a social media business - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Getting social: how to launch a social media business

20 Sep 2018

I still remember writing the resignation letter for a job that I loved.

A stable job with a good income. A job that I’d wanted ever since I started uni.

I still remember the feeling when I walked out the doors for the last time to launch my own social media company. The knot of anxious excitement in my stomach as I stepped into the unknown.

I remember it vividly because it all happened only a few months ago – in January this year. But it feels like a lifetime away now.

Experience is key

When I graduated from USC in 2016 with a Bachelor of Public Relations, I managed to land a dream job at a national agency called the Creative Collective.

It was one agency on a ‘wishlist’ of places I knew I wanted to work. I didn’t really care in what capacity; I just knew I wanted in.

So, I started contacting them all until one of them agreed to meet with me.

The owner of The Creative Collective agreed to give me some unpaid work experience once a week. I was thrilled!

I went in and did whatever I could until one day a week turned into two, then three. It soon led to a fulltime job as a project manager.

To get promoted so quickly was amazing! But behind it was a lot of hard work.

I had to learn fast, listening to client feedback to deliver beyond what was expected in a job brief.

The agency was fast paced, with everyone working about 10 different roles. But, while I loved it there, I knew owning my own business was where my heart really sat.

A leap of faith

I didn’t work up the courage to talk with anyone about it until Christmas last year – when I asked my partner what he thought about me going out on my own. I value his opinion greatly, so when he said I should go for it, it was the push I needed to make the jump.

That’s when I wrote my resignation letter, held my breath and sent it in. It was the birth of my own social media management business, She the Social.

After pulling the brand together, I started pushing out my vision. Within weeks I had five clients who I loved working with and who gave me enough to live off while I worked on expanding.

Back yourself

About four months in, a family member of mine passed away.

I was shaken by the death, leaving to stay with my sisters for a week.

During this time, two of my biggest clients pulled out. I was devastated and started to lose faith in the business.

There was no one to pass my work on to – and I didn’t want to drop my standard – so I just kept going. By the end of the week, I was burnt out and deflated.

When I got home, I gave myself a couple of days to recover, then sat down to go back over my ideas.

My business had taken a hit, but I knew I wanted to keep going with it.

So I made sure my current clients were in a good place, then made a list of new clients I wanted to work with.

I contacted each of them individually, campaigning to win their business.

Within a week I’d scored three big projects and felt more ready than ever.

The future is bright

I now have 15 clients per month – and the business is still growing. I’ve employed my first staff member – who is amazing – along with a bookkeeper, and I have a great support network.

I remind myself daily to keep my eye on the big picture and stay focussed on my dreams.

The day-to-day is important but you can’t let it dictate everything.

I’m still fumbling my way through the process a bit, trying to push aside the doubt and fear, but I am determined.

Anyone who is scared about taking a leap should consider the worst-case scenario.

We get so caught up in needing everything to be finalised and mapped out that we forget that isn’t how life works.

Embrace the fact you don’t know what will happen tomorrow, get excited about the fact you don’t know where you will be in a year.

Each challenge that comes up in front of us is a reason to keep pushing harder because the tougher the struggle, the sweeter the victory.

Bronte Cresswell graduated from USC with a Bachelor of Public Relations. Follow her @shethesocial