Hello again!

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Wow, time flies when you’re having fun, right?!

I realise it’s been a while since I’ve updated my blog, but I’ve been so, so busy, which can only be a good thing in terms of business! 

It’s been nearly 6 months since I set up Becky Freeman Digital, and I can hand on heart say that it’s the best thing I’ve ever done career-wise and I am loving every second.

I now have 9 lovely clients who I have been working with and getting to know, all of whom are businesses within a variety of sectors, and all of whom I’m thoroughly enjoying working with, whether it’s writing blogs for their websites or managing their social media accounts. Some are within my comfort zone and I already have a fair amount of knowledge and interest in what they do (hello, anything to do with interiors and property!) and others are totally out of my comfort zone but I’m relishing the challenge of making their social and websites work for them. 

I’m so very busy that at the moment I am currently at pretty much full capacity (depending on the request) until the New Year, when I’ll be looking to take maybe a couple more businesses on for social media management. My youngest starts pre-school after Christmas so I’ll most likely be working an extra day a week which will give me enough time to increase my workload slightly without compromising the time I want to give my existing clients. 

I’m so glad I took the leap of faith and started my own business- these past 6 months have been a real learning curve and a bit of trial and error with regards to the services I prefer to provide and the also the ones I think I do best, which I think is only natural when you are a new business and are evolving all the time.

If you do have a business or project where you’d be interested in using me for your social media and/or blog writing then get in touch and I’ll do my best to help! 

Becky

 

Small Business Social School: What’s your story?

story tellingJust a quick one from me today as I’m motoring through a load of work before I head off to Italy with the family next week!

Today’s blog is aimed at getting new business owners, or perhaps ones who haven’t done much way in the way marketing their business on social media, thinking about the following over the coming week:

What is your story?

I said in my previous post about the importance of developing a personal brand, knowing who you are and what your values are, and that people buy people. Having a ‘story’ and enabling potential followers and clients to ‘buy into them’ is a big part of building up that brand.

Have you ever actually thought about yours?

I’m not suggesting for one minute you make up a different persona, or invent a wild story about an implausible past, but I guarantee that if you have a business or brand that you’re truly passionate about and want to do well, that you’ll have a story as to how you’ve ended up where you are.

One that will more than likely appeal to the people who you also want to attract, whether it’s a conventional route to a career you knew you always wanted, or the random path of the underdog, or somewhere in between.

There can be a fine line between letting people know the real ‘you’ and ‘oversharing’, and different people will have differing parameters of comfort when it comes to this.

And I get this.

As someone who has had a largely personal blog for several years now, I know that there are some things I’m comfortable chatting about, and others I wouldn’t touch. But I do know that after all these years that the posts that are the most successful, with the most engagement and reaction are the ones that people can relate to, nod along to, and are often focused on a personal or shared experience.

When I take on a social media client now, one of the first things I do is find out the person’s, or the business’ story, and create ways to weave this within their digital fabric.

Sharing your ‘story’ on your website, via a business blog and/or on your social channels will give readers the chance to get to know you, warm to you and relate to you.

The combination of being able to schedule written content alongside live videos i.e. Instagram stories, means that there have been more opportunities to connect than ever before.

Every individual’s story is valid and unique- it’s simply finding a way of telling it digitally in the most captivating way possible….

 

“I’m writing my story so that others might see fragments of themselves.” – Lena Waithe, Screenwriter 

 

 

 

Developing a personal brand for your business

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If you’re of a similar age to myself (*cough* 35 *cough*), then hands up who was always taught to set out a CV a certain way, with your job history, education, and a ubiquitous ‘hobbies’ section where everyone seemed to enjoy reading, running and socialising with friends (Read: going to the pub) as standard.

Dull, dull, dull.

Whilst the majority of successful businesses have always had an element of branding, whether it’s a recognisable logo, strapline or themed advert, today branding is becoming just as important on a personal level and goes hand-in-hand with the professional image you showcase to the world. The old-fashioned CV is no longer enough to guarantee your place in a noisy digital world or office.

So why create a personal brand?

It’s a cliche, but a cliche for a reason: People buy people, and that’s what makes business relationships valuable.

Thinking about your personal brand can help you in a variety of work-related situations.

Maybe you feel stuck in a rut in your current job and you feel you’re not getting the credit you deserve? Maybe you’re returning to work after taking a break to be home with the children? Or maybe you’re wanting to reinvent yourself in a new career and live life on your terms?

For those of you new to the idea, personal branding evolved from people realising that the key to business success is corporate branding. When this is done well, the company is then at the forefront of our minds when we need the kind of services it offers.

Personal branding is no different to the above. However, for many people, the concept of self-promotion and ‘putting ones self out there’ feels a bit uncomfortable, and (especially us Brits) we are often too modest, a trait that whilst endearing can hinder too. So many people work hard and hope that the world will see their achievements and let their work speak for itself. The trouble is that in reality and in that noisy digital world, it often won’t get seen until you shout about it and shine a light on yourself!

That’s where personal branding comes in, and what I help my clients with if needed when it comes to designing their social feeds, website content and how they want to come across.

In a nutshell, personal branding is about giving people the words to talk about you when you’re not around. It’s how people speak about you to others, or tell them how you can help them. It’s not about becoming an obnoxious, arrogant self-promoter, but about letting others know who you are, what you do, and how you can best help and offer a service, in a memorable way:

Be Your Authentic Self

This can be a little daunting when you think about this, and it involves digging into your soul (well, maybe not quite, but you get the jist). Grab an old fashioned pen and paper and do a little self-audit exercise. What are your strengths, values, and passions? Be clear on what you do by reflecting on your expertise, experiences and leadership vision. What has your journey been to get to where you are now? People love a story, they love a journey, as long as it’s an authentic one. Once you have an idea of this you’ll find it much easier to position yourself in your chosen market because you’ll come across authentic and focused. Which leads me to…

Positioning

Once you’ve done the above, you can start creating a ‘positioning statement’. it’s what you would tell others about yourself in 2 minutes or less. Include who you are and what you do, but don’t forget to say how it helps others. Practising this in the mirror, or even filming yourself doing this until you’re statement perfect might seem like the actions of a saddo, but at least you’ll be a prepared one, confidence-filled one!

Self-presentation

Now that you have an authentic brand that feels true to you, you need to let the world know about it. Start networking and update your social media profiles, meet and connect with people who are directly involved in your industry or career, but also with people on different paths who you can learn from, and who can learn from you. Keep your profiles updated so people can follow your journey.

If they’re interested in what you have to say, and you stay true to yourself, they’ll be following you every step of the way….

 

 

Becky Freeman Digital to take on the Quo Vadis Trust

I’m really excited to announce today that Becky Freeman Digital has taken on the social media management of the Catford-based charity, the Quo Vadis Trust.

Quo Vadis Trust provides social housing, care & support for people in South East London living with mental health challenges. They have approximately 150 Clients living with them, residing across 20 different properties, whether it be in bedsits / studios, one bed flats, and shared houses.

The charity really does a fantastic job for vulnerable people, and we can’t wait to promote more of what they offer on their Twitter and Facebook social channels, and help them develop the consistent visibility Quo Vadis deserves.

Bromley Property Company

Becky Freeman Digital takes on Bromley Property Company

Bromley Property Company

I am delighted this morning to officially announce that Becky Freeman Digital has taken on the social media management of the Bromley Property Company!

Off the back of a fantastic experience selling our house recently with Lewis McKale, owner of Bromley Property Company, after a disappointing one with another high street agent, I’m excited to be championing such an innovative estate agent in the Bromley borough. Lewis knows his stuff, having worked in property as an estate agent for years, and is also in a position to really know and understand the area, having been born and bred here himself and now raising his own family locally.

What makes the Bromley Property Company different is a.) the thorough knowledge of Bromley and what buyers want, including schools, transport links etc and b.) the unique fee structure on offer to potential sellers that can’t be beaten (0.5% if you carry out viewings yourself, and still only 0.75% if Bromley Property Company carry them out for you!). The agency is also very involved within the local community, and championing local business and charities -living locally myself I really like their ethos.

As someone who is a bit of a property geek and thoroughly enjoys a nose on Rightmove, I’ve been really enjoying producing social content this past month for Lewis (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram,) and will also be writing for the new website that is launching any day now.

I’m excited to help put the Bromley Property Company on the map digitally and get people in the local area talking about such a fantastic estate agent!

 

Becky

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How I turned blogging into a career: How bloggers make money working with businesses

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I wrote a similar post to this a couple of years ago on my family lifestyle blog, but for the purpose of this business I thought it might be interesting to write something up for those who don’t know how blogging and influencer marketing works in terms of making money, and how bloggers work with brands and businesses.

I always get lots of questions about how I came to start blogging, what the point is, and what I actually do when it comes to making money from it.

Surely writing a family lifestyle blog is just a load of self-indulgent waffle?!

I’m sure it can be just that for some bloggers, and don’t get me wrong, it’s fabulous to be paid to write about exactly what you want, so in that respect it is VERY self-indulgent.

But for the past 5 years or so it’s become much, much more than that. Blogging now gives me a significant income alongside this business, and I’ve worked with some big brands and been able to give my family some fantastic experiences too.

But… *spoiler alert*

…In order to make money, bloggers and the like actually have to work very hard behind the scenes for their bread and butter. Sure, they don’t work hard in the way that, say, members of our fantastic NHS do, but there’s a lot more to it than meets the eye.

If you’re a business owner who’s curious about working with bloggers and influencers, then read on, and I can tell you how the relationship works from the other side…

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So how did you begin blogging?

I started a couple of other (thankfully, now redundant!) blogs back in 2012, as a result of discovering and reading various US family blogs. Being a nosy sort, I love to read about other people’s lives, especially ones who live in different countries. I thought what a great idea it was to record family life online, and be creative with it in the process. I had bought my first DSLR camera when I was pregnant with my eldest son (now 8), and thought it would be a good way to hone my photography skills with a purpose. Having studied for a degree in Broadcast Journalism, I’ve always loved writing and connecting with others too. At the time I was a stay-at-home-mum to a baby and toddler, and whilst I was fortunate to have the luxury of staying at home with them, after a while I missed doing something for ‘me’ and decided to start my own blog to be creative. After a couple of duff attempts at setting up a half-decent one, and anxious about ‘oversharing’, I decided to start The Spirited Puddle Jumper (hence my blog’s whimsical name that still stands today) and write mainly about crafts and activities for toddlers and preschoolers. Many of which can still be found HERE and are still some of my most popular drivers of web traffic from my Pinterest page After a while I discovered a whole UK parent blogging community, and began chatting online and commenting on other blogs on an evening, joining in with many ‘linkies’ and blog photo and writing projects.

Me, have a geeky hobby? I didn’t know myself anymore!

On my blog I included my contact email address, mainly for other bloggers who might want to get in touch, but after a while I started to get small brands contact me to collaborate.

So what happened next?

I’ll never forget the first time a small business wanted me to review something! They dropped me an email and asked us if we’d like to review a personalised wooden chopping board, in exchange for photos of the product being used and our honest opinion of it. I was absolutely delighted! A business? Wanting little old me to review something? Amazing! And I still get that feeling now when someone contacts me, big or small, and I never, ever take it for granted. 6 years on, it still gives me a real buzz. Since then, the scale of items I’ve been asked to review has gone up and I’ve had some great opportunities, such as holidays and even sofas, but the principle has stayed the same.

So how do you get all this free stuff?

Let’s get one thing straight: IT’S NOT FREE!

Never, ever free – bloggers have to put in the work for these things. And the bigger the product/item/holiday, the more work you usually have to do. This can involve 1 (often more) detailed blog posts, social sharing, maybe hosting a giveaway, hosting twitter chats, maybe filming and editing a video…whatever is agreed with the brand at the time in return for said item and/or payment. And let’s face it, if a blogger blogs just to purely get ‘things’ then it’s probably not going to work out for them long term. You have to have (and maintain) a passion for writing and photo taking that goes beyond reviewing things, and you have to work really hard to maintain a social presence and write vaguely interesting and entertaining content, alongside all the lovely self-indulgent posts.

All whilst getting heard in an ever-increasing sea of digital noise.

Okay, so forget the not-so-free-stuff, how do you earn money?

There are various ways that people earn money from their blogs and social media, and here are the main ones…

  • Sponsored Posts
    • These are essentially an advertorial on the blog with a link back to a brand or company’s website. A brand will pay a blogger to write an interesting post that is relevant to their readers, and will include a link to website or page that they want publicised. I personally only take this on if I think the brand or product would be of interest to people reading my blog, and try and be as creative as possible with these posts so they remain interesting- keeps the brain ticking over! I ALWAYS state if I’m being paid for one of these posts by using #Ad or ‘in collaboration’, so as not to mislead readers. I also have an unwritten rule when it comes to these sorts of posts, and don’t accept money for, or write about anything that I consider ethically dubious i.e. high interest loan companies or sexual drugs like viagra (believe me, I’ve been asked!)
  • Guest Posts
    • Bloggers sometimes accept paid ‘guest posts’ written by brands themselves, who then pay the blogger to host them on their blogs in return for a link to their site (helps with business’ SEO).
  • Social Sharing
    • Sometimes a brand will contact me and pay me to take a picture of something that they want advertising, and then place it on my social channels. Whilst I’m relatively small-fry when it comes to Instagram, some people now earn BIG when it comes to working with brands and showcasing services and products on this platform.
  • Long term Campaigns/Large one-off Campaigns
    • Many brands and companies have now realised the value and influence of bloggers and vloggers, and many have increased their budgets accordingly, meaning there is more money to be earned from longer-term collaborations, or larger one-off campaigns. In the past I’ve worked with a few brands on year-long contracts, and my earnings have varied depending on how many blogs, vlogs and social shares they wanted from me. You usually get paid 50% on signing, and can then expect the other 50% of earnings when the year is up and the project completed.

How do brands decide who to work with?

With my digital marketeer’s head on, brands often work with bloggers who have a decent social presence (although it’s not all about numbers) and something to say for themselves (without mouthing off about other companies and why they’re rubbish- I’ve unbelievably seen this several times from bloggers who are touting for work in the same breath).

A good DA (domain authority) is appealing although not the be-all-and-end-all, possibly a certain number of blog visitors/page views each month (although I have to say that interestingly I’ve rarely been asked for mine), a great attitude and being polite on the initial email contact will also get a blogger far.

Superficially, brands also tend to favour blogs that look ‘clean’, fairly stylish and are easy to read. And of course, different brands are also looking for totally different things when it comes to a blogger or blogging family. For example, I was one of 4 bloggers who got to sign with Little Tikes for a year in 2017, as I happened to be 4 months pregnant when they were looking for blogging mums-to-be who were at that stage of pregnancy.

I have also regularly pitched to brands for work, or if there’s something specific I’d like to review that I think would be a good fit for the company, my blog and my family. I try to offer them something worth their while in terms of a creative blog post idea or social campaign, and the more specific I am with my idea, the more success I seem to have! I pitched to The Great Little Trading Co a couple of years ago for the children to review their lovely play shop and theatre, as our cardboard one had broken after only a short amount of use. They liked my ideas, and subsequently went on to create a ‘Testing Team’ of bloggers, including our family, that is still going strong today.

So that’s it, that’s how blogging can be made into a career and how bloggers often work with businesses.

Not every blogger who earns will have had the same kind of journey as me, and there are also some other ways to make money blogging (affiliate links, side bar ads etc), but this is what’s worked for me, and how I’ve got to this point.

If you’ve got any questions about working with bloggers, vloggers or influencers please do leave me a comment and I’ll do my best to answer them!

Hey there!

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHello, and welcome to Becky Freeman Digital! I’m so happy to now be able to offer my digital marketing services to businesses, using my years of experience straddling both the influencer marketing and business digital marketing worlds, and being able to provide a unique business consultancy as a result.

Here you can see the services I have to offer, as well as regular useful blogs and updates all relevant to social media management, the world of the influencer, and the digital world.

Let’s go!