I’m Feeling All Creative…..And I Love It

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I’ve just moved house. I’ll spare you the details, but it was horrendous! I’m almost unpacked and the broadband is up-and-running. It’s starting to feel like home. I used to live on a busy, main road. I now live on a quiet side street, overlooking the hills. I’m sleeping better already.

Every so often, a voice in my head says ” why don’t you write a book?” I have a few ideas, which I’ve pondered over the years, but I’ve never actually written a word. I’m not 100% sure I’ve got the talent or the imagination, but then again, I’ve read books that have been distinctly average. Could I be “average” too – and still get a book published?!

I love stories. I always have done. When I was younger, I’d devour books. One after another. I’d stay awake until the early hours, just to read the last page. I’d lost that love. Especially since I had my youngest child. His sleep habits (or lack of sleep habits) have definitely affected my cognitive abilities. Sometimes, I’d struggle to read a few sentences. I gave up reading for pleasure.

Perhaps it’s my new positive ‘vibe’ or maybe it’s just the passage of time but I can read again! Ok, I’ve not got hours to spend now, but it’s enough to just sneak ten minutes when I can.

So, writing. I’ve sketched-out a few characters and the plot. I know where it’s based and I’d say it’s a story of lives weaving together. A few events are based on stories I’ve heard from my family. Nothing contoversial. Just stories of life, love and fun. It could be absolute drivel. But, at least I’ll have created it myself.

Perhaps this house move is the fresh start that I’ve needed, without realising that I needed it. Who knows, I could be painting in my garden next! Well, that would be an event. Those that know me well are aware of my complete lack of artistic skills. I wasn’t allowed to do GCSE Art. That’s how bad things are!

I might have a book within me. Who knows? Let’s see.

 

Sarah x

 

Seriously, Stop It!

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I didn’t ” win” a client last week. A training client. Instead of learning with me, they’ve gone elsewhere. Shock, horror, ” get over it!” I hear you say…. I am over it. I am, but it’s got me thinking.

The client justified their decision clearly. Why should they pay me, when they can get training for free? Indeed. I offer primarily one-to-one and small group training. It’s bespoke. I listen to your needs and develop a plan around it. I have years of training experience too. This is why I charge a fee. My competitor is offering free group training. Generic training on ‘ social media for business.’

I understand the dilemma for a small business on ‘free vs fee’ but you need to consider what you’re trying to achieve. This competitor (god, it sounds like I’m seriously miffed!) is not running a digital marketing business. They offer social media management as a service. One look at their own social media tells me that they don’t have a grasp on the basics. Posts without images (come on!) Generic sales posts, repeatedly – no value for their followers. Offering training on social media for business shouldn’t be in their remit. My concern is that people receive their training, not get value from it and either walk away demoralised or then pursue other training options, having wasted time.

I know a fair bit about SEO and can put together a WordPress website. Would I offer training? No chance. I believe that a trainer has a responsibility to their client and also to the industry that we work in. There are enough charlatans about, believe me! Whether it’s offering free training (unless subsidised, what’s the motive?) social media management for dirt cheap prices, or ‘free’ websites – that aren’t free at all, there needs to be a shake-up. There is enough crap for a small business to navigate, without wasting time with poor marketing advice and services.

Is this a rant? Sort of. Am I perfect? Of course not. But, I wouldn’t dream of offering a service that I can’t deliver on.

 

 

 

When The Summer Holidays Are Just A Guilt-Fest

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I’m writing this in our lounge, laptop on my knee. Number one child is playing with her ‘little life pets’ whilst number two child is binge-watching CBeebies. It’s only a matter of time before one of them needs my attention. Hopefully, I’ll get 20 minutes or so to finish this blog! So far today, I’ve answered emails, taken two phone calls from clients, sent a proposal to a potential client and ensured that everyone whose social media accounts I manage, has had content go out.

I no longer do video calls when the kids are around. I did, but after the occasion when one kid accidentally turned off the TV and all hell broke loose, followed by the time when my youngest could be heard shouting ” mummy, wipe my bum” from the bathroom, I ditched that plan.

I can’t afford to pay for full-time childcare over the holidays for both children, so I’m managing with a combination of favours, late nights and just winging it. It’s not fun. I try and give the kids a few hours each day of undivided attention. No work, out of the house, 100% mummy but I’m struggling. I miss calls, respond late to emails and it all just makes me feel crap.

Being self-employed gives me so much freedom and most of the time, I love it. But currently, I wish I was out of the house each day. Earning a defined salary, having that comfort.  I wish that there was cheaper childcare available. A flexible workspace with a pay-as-you-go creche would be amazeballs! I wish I didn’t have this constant guilt hanging over me.

I re-launched my business in June and it’s been fab. This is my first real challenge. I’m not writing this to gain sympathy. I know so many people in this situation. I know there are people struggling more than I am. I just wanted to say that if you’re in the same pickle as I am, I hear you.