"How do I get into the Industry you're in?"

I get asked a lot about how I got into social media marketing and how I started my own business so I thought I'd write a blog post on it as my first entry.

I have had a huge interest in social media platforms from a young age. Having grown up with the likes of MSN and BEBO, I quickly found myself spending a lot of time posting pictures of what me and my friends were up to and communicating with people online. My dad often made comments about me not doing enough studying for my GCSE's and would catch me on Facebook when I should've been working. He would say to me "You won't get a bloody career from sitting on Facebook all night, Hannah!" . I like to rub this in a little these days...

Working has always been something I'd looked forward to from school age. I always wanted to grow up and I was excited to see where a future career would take me although I didn't know what I wanted to do when I left school which I found pretty stressful and there was a lot of pressure to pick a pathway. I was the first year that the government introduced school leavers having to stay in education for an additional year following Year 11. I left school with 6 A-C Grades and really wanted to go into a job straight away as the idea of A Levels and College wasn't something that I particularly wanted to do.

During the end of my time at High School, I had been working as a Sunday Sales Assistant at the local Garden Centre. I was offered a position after working there for a while, as a Junior I.T Administrative Assistant at their Head Office. I started this role in June 2013 and did this until October 2015. Because of the fact I had to "stay in education" for the first year, I worked alongside completing my Level 2 & 3 Business Administration courses in the form of an apprenticeship with City College Norwich. I learnt so much about computers during this role as I was one of the point of calls for over 50 stores needing technological support.

I really enjoyed my apprenticeship and I was lucky enough to have a really good assessor called Louise Seaman who guided me tremendously. I am so grateful to her as she gave me so much confidence. I was experiencing issues with my health with Chronic Pain Syndrome and Fibromyalgia and was finding my pain really difficult to manage. Louise always understood and empathised which I felt really helped too. She knew I was trying my best with everything and how hard some days were for me. I put where I am today in my career down to the apprenticeship and the support she gave me because as a result of completing L2 & L3, I was nominated as Advanced Business Services Apprentice of the Year 2016 and Overall Apprentice of The Year 2016 and to my surprise, WON both and I feel this is what gave me the little spark to push forward and reach for more. In a way, I felt unstoppable as for me, this was a huge achievement.

As part of my role in IT, I was asked to post once a week on the Facebook Page they had (which had under 100 likes). I approached the CEO of the discount retailer and put forward a proposal about the idea of me doing social media for the business full-time including reasons why I felt the business would benefit etc, as very quickly this was something I realised I loved doing and was actually good at! I grew the page to over 30,000 likes. After a meeting, this was met with a job offer. I accepted and was totally over the moon that they had created a brand new role for me. I worked doing Social Media for QD Stores, Cherry Lane Garden Centres, Lathams and Thing-Me-Bob's stores for a year and a half before I decided that I wanted to further my experience in the field and work for a Digital Marketing Agency who could offer the chance to work with multiple brands from all industries.

I started at the agency in the start of 2017 and worked there for over a year. I gained experience working with an array of businesses - everything from pets to motorhomes to travel to fashion (and everything in between!). I met some amazing business owners and made some incredible life-long friends.

I've always wanted to own my own business. I often mentioned it to people close to me but never really knew how I would go about it. I am lucky enough to work with an agency called Kendrick PR who are based in London (previously EBWPR) who have a fantastic client base that I feel truly blessed to be working with. The agency specialises in PR for Aesthetic, Beauty and Skincare brands so we work with a lot of clinic owners, helping them to build their online presence via social media and other forms of marketing. I am their Social Media Manager and currently work on 7 brands for them.

I was offered part-time hours with the PR agency and took the opportunity with a firm grip, despite having to leave behind a full-time role, as I was eager to get the chance to work on the brands they represented. This was a risk I decided to take and since starting with them 6 months ago, my work load has been increasing at an amazing pace as their client base evolves and their current clients look to explore the opportunities social media marketing can open up for their business.

The part time hours allows me time each week to work with other businesses, should I choose to, or even to spend more time on other areas of my own business (2019, I'm coming for ya! *Watch this space*). I have the luxury of being able to work flexible hours (and wear my PJ's to do it!) which I've always dreamed of and I feel so much happier in myself since starting this because despite the late nights I've had, the all-nighters I've pulled when work load has got stressful and the teething problems that have arisen along the way. I have more time at home, with my family and my dog but most of all, with myself.

Despite previously falling in love with the 9-5 routine - I know that may sound strange to some people - I actually really liked routine and it was good for me because the weekends were mine to do what I wanted, I now love this life even more. I am the kind of personality that can become addicted to work and I find it very hard to switch off completely from it when trying to take time to relax but I am learning - slowly the importance of taking time for myself and my mind.

Working at home can be extremely isolating at times and I do miss working in an office amongst people but it's definitely a case of rough with the smooth when you own your own business. It has massive advantages too and for me, these outweigh the niggles.

Anyone who wants to start their own business, take a risk if it's what you really, really want. Starting your own business can be daunting but the feeling of the success you get with it, is indescribable. I think celebrating small victories is important especially when you work on your own. I give myself pep talks daily for motivation, pick-me-ups and for re-assurance that I am doing all I can and that that is all that can be asked of me.

It's very easy to find yourself being your own worst nightmare of a boss! I am my biggest critique but I think this does me some favours too in some ways.

You don't need a degree to go into social media marketing. I am just a young person with a huge passion. I am driven by results and I love the work I do. I spend time creating good working relationships with my clients and work extremely hard. I ensure I keep up with social media trends and read a lot of articles on what's 'hot' and what's 'not'! Don't let anybody tell you that you cannot do something. I like this quote - "If someone else can do it, there's absolutely no reason why you can't do it too" COMPLETELY TRUE! The world is your damn oyster.......

I hope this answers some questions on how I'm doing what I'm doing. Feel free to contact me via my social media or leave a comment with any other questions about what I do. I don't mind sharing - it's a cool career after all! PS. I am always looking for people to join my team so please email me at hello@jermedia.com if this is of interest to you.

Love, Hannah x

#socialmedia #social #socialmediamanagement #norwich #norfolk #apprenticeship