Celebrating Two Years in Business
Today marks my two years in business.
In some ways I feel like these last two years have flown right by. In others I feel like I’ve been in business for five years, not because I feel like an expert who’s got this whole entrepreneurship thing down pat, but because I’ve experienced so many different things as a business owner and it’s hard to believe they’ve all taken place in only two years.
When I first started Strategic Charm Boutique back in 2016, the three service areas I offered were event planning, social media marketing, and traditional marketing. For the first few months my main focus was on event planning services. At the time I started my business I was working as an event planner for my day job, and had a few additional years of event planning experience under my belt so I figured an emphasis on this skill would make the most sense.
I was living in a small town where I knew my event services wouldn’t be needed. My plan was to coordinate events for clients across Canada and the US. I would assist them remotely with planning event logistics, coming up with themes and entertainment ideas, and booking all of the necessary vendors. If clients also needed help with day of coordination, I would fly to wherever they were located.
For those first few months, most of my social media marketing was all about event planning. I hopped on Periscope (back when it was lit) quite frequently and gave tons of tips and tricks for how viewers could coordinate their own event, and most of my Instagram posts and tweets were all about that event planning life. I quickly created my first digital product which was a DIY event planning workbook sold for $18.
One person inquired about it. No one bought it.
Finally I decided it was time to shift my focus to social media marketing and social media marketing alone.
I created Instagram challenges to build my audience and position myself as an expert, started Stories from the Boutique – a newsletter sent out weekly with social media tips and special offers, and ensured I was highly active on all platforms including Periscope (now focused on social media tips), Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. I can’t exactly pinpoint when I decided Instagram was going to be my jam, but it happened.
Now remember, I was doing all this jazz while still working a full-time job. And because I was an event planner, I also had to work a fair bit of evenings and weekends because, well…that’s when galas and other special events typically take place.
It wasn’t until September of 2016 that I got my first paying client. I’ll save you the trouble of doing math…it took me seven months to get my first paying client! And you know what, she was my only paying client in 2016.
I left my day job at the end of September 2016 and moved back to Winnipeg. I went back and forth trying to decide if I wanted to apply for another 9-5 or of I was ready to run my business full-time. I went with the latter.
***Fun fact – I recently accepted a 5-month part-time term position as an event coordinator***
Right at the beginning of 2017 (I’m talking January 2) I booked my first client of the year, second client overall. 2017 was the year I finally got the ball rolling and after booking that first client, I was and am able to consistently book in new clients every month. Whoop whoop!
Sure this isn’t the whole story, but the short of it is that I didn’t get to where I currently am in my business over night. Not to say that “where I am” is some magical place of getting hundreds of inquiries each day and making millions. “Where I am” simply refers to a place where I know I’ll be taking on at least one new client per month, a place where I have a body of work to highlight my skills as a social media specialist, and a place where I have both an online and in-person community of people who value my expertise.
I still have a long way to go, but man am I excited for round three!