2017, The Year I Started My Third Business

I always knew I was destined to run my own business. At the age of 11, I co-founded ‘Krafty Kids’ with my 9 year old brother. We worked out that if we offered our services to wash up, cut grass or do the hoovering, we could make a little extra pocket money. Having hand drawn our business cards from inside Grandad’s shed, we were ready to take over the world. 

2017 Pinterest Rebecca Hawkes.png

Fast forward 9 years to business venture number two, an online jewellery store. I’d followed the blogging crowd for years, and had even attempted to write several of my own, and when some of the popular bloggers started creating their own online stores through Big Cartel, I thought hey, I could do that. Except I took it one step further and created my own website using wix.com

A few months into my exciting new project and I’d ordered the stock, photographed it all using my brand new light box (and the sunlight from my bathroom window!), I’d uploaded each product to the website, nailed my branding and set up my social media profiles. 

Within an hour of launching my site, I’d made my first sale. Lovingly wrapping up that first piece of jewellery in baby pink tissue paper, I signed the ‘thank you’ card (ordered from moo.com) and sent the parcel to it’s new owner. 

Shortly after I created this business, I met a boy. At 20 years old, what do you think I found more important? Yep, you guessed it. Goodbye business, hello romance. Except, after a whirlwind 3 months it ended. Abruptly. 

The most logical thing to do was to bulk sell the remaining stock and purchase a round the world ticket. Obviously. 

Travel is always the answer...

Travel is always the answer...

Two months after arriving in Thailand, I met another boy. This one wouldn’t become my boyfriend for another 18 months, despite the spark we both tried to ignore. 

When we eventually gave in to our feelings, we travelled together for a year before returning back to the UK to save for our next adventure. 

Tom had wanted to become a Scuba Instructor for years so when he asked me to join him on a trip to Central America, I jumped at the chance. 

Knowing I didn’t want to return to bar work, I decided this was the perfect opportunity for me to venture out on my own again. 

But what on earth would I do? 

In the year leading up to our next adventure, I worked as a receptionist at a shared office space. Being surrounded by entrepreneurs, small business owners and business mentors, I became more and more excited about the prospect of becoming an entrepreneur myself. 

Offering to manage their social media profiles, I decided to put into practice the knowledge I had from my previous business days and see how I could improve their online presence. 

Within a month of managing their Twitter profile, their following had increased, I’d quadrupled their impressions and they’d had 1,432 profile visits compared to just 105 the previous month. 

The results said it all, I really did know what I was doing  💃

The results said it all, I really did know what I was doing 💃

I’d not only found my passion, I’d found something I was good at. 

So I set up my own social media profiles, branding myself as a Freelance Social Media Manager & Consultant and just 3 months later, before I’d even left my job, I had my first enquiry. A company in London had found me through Facebook and wanted me to manage a launch campaign for an event they were hosting in a few months. 

A month later, 3 days into our Central American trip, I had my second enquiry. A music artist in the US had found me through my Twitter profile and wanted me to promote his album and tour launch. 

By the time we arrived to Honduras, 10 days after leaving the UK, I’d had a total of 5 enquiries. Every single one of them had found me through social media. 

Before leaving in March, I’d worked out that my savings would be gone by June so set myself the task of securing my first client by May. 

I ended up securing two. 

Since then I have worked with multiple clients in a variety of industries ranging from tech, to a jewellery designer, to a travel brand, to B2B communication, to a company producing beard oil, to a conservation company, to a Makeup Artist, to the cruise industry and have had countless enquiries from various other businesses. 

No time to relax in Belize. Not a bad view though  🌴

No time to relax in Belize. Not a bad view though 🌴

However, by September, I realised that my limit for taking on Social Media Management clients was just 3 at a time or else I’d become overwhelmed. 

Not wanting to limit my services or my ability to help hundreds of entrepreneurs, I decided to rebrand myself as a Social Media Strategist and offer one to one strategy sessions as well as a longer, 8 week Reduce Your Overwhelm programme. 

Not content with that being enough, I also created my first online course which is due to be launched in February 2018 - The Ultimate Guide to Killer Content: How to Attract your Dream Clients. 

With my experience and knowledge of social media, every client I’ve had has found me through my social media profiles. And this is what I’ll be teaching in my new course. 

I know how icky selling yourself can be so I want to teach people ways to attract their clients without having to pitch. 

In 2018, I have a lot of big plans. 

• Launching my first online course, followed by a second one 6 months later. 

• Holding my first ever, 12 week group coaching course limited to just 4 people. 

• Setting up my own Social Media Agency - I still love the Social Media Management side but need a few helpers.

• Releasing a second Social Media Advent Calendar - After the success of my Social Media Advent Calendar this year, I’ve decided to release an even bigger one next year. However, this one will be to raise money for charity, I’m aiming for £5,000. 

It’s been a hell of a year, and despite a few downs, overall it’s been full of ups. 

2017, you’ve been amazing. 

2018, I’m ready for you.