KayeBooth – MD of SocialMyna – Social Media Training & Management & Consultancy.
Kaye Booth is a Derbyshire businesswoman who left her old job to set up her own social media training and management company.
We’ve been following the progress of her company SocialMyna, for a few years, and decided she’d be a great subject for an interview on the Peak District SEO blog.
Kaye, can you tell us a little about how you came to launch SocialMyna, and what motivated you to do that?
A number of factors led me to launch SocialMyna back in 2011, a run of unsatisfying employed roles and a long-held desire to be self-employed with a successful business.
I began by working from home, like many startups, it was a case of utilising the back bedroom. I did that for about 18 months and at the time I didn’t really enjoy it. The set up wasn’t quite right and there we too many distractions.
I took up a then shared office in the Belper Business Centre. We shared with a web design company and after a year we moved to our own offices had for 3 years. Now we have modernised again coming full circle. Today I work from home again, it’s more flexible and I have the experience of setting up a proper working environment at home, where we can easily travel out to clients to deliver training.
How old were you at the time of launch and do you think there were any benefits/pitfalls of doing it when you did?
Asking a woman her age, how very dare you! (joking) I was 47 years young. For me it was the perfect time to launch my business, I feel that the
life experience gained up to that time served me well. The hardest part was the self-doubt that new business owners feel about whether they are professional enough. Also as the boss of your own company you have to learn to work smarter, and not be a “busy fool”, The work you do has to add real value to the business, as opposed to just marking time for the sake of revenue generation.
Did you seek any financing to launch the business?
I had no financial backing and this was actually important to me personally as I wanted to be successful and independent. I had saved up enough money to give myself a buffer whilst getting started. Initially, I didn’t need a huge outlay, but as any business owner will tell you, it was hard at first.
Was it difficult to launch a Social media business, given that many businesses in Derbyshire are rural?
No not at all, it did take time to gain trust and build our community but the nature of social media means that I could approach anyone, anywhere.
Most of our work comes in via referral, which shows that we are doing a good job. Luckily that meant that we don’t have to spend huge sums of money on advertising as our good reputation brings in the work. Transparency is key for building trust and retaining customers. If you can demonstrate that your services are value for money, then your customers will stay and happily recommend you.
Tell us about your first client, (they can remain anonymous) and how did you land them…any other details?
Hard to remember, but our first contract client if I can recount their story is actually still a managed profile client today.
They enquired about social media training via LinkedIn and after an email response plus an impromptu cold call, simply because I was in the area they signed SocialMyna up to deliver a group training session for their MD and Sales Team.
Within a month of the training, they decided that to have a dedicated social media team who were remote was the way forward and we took over their content creation and delivery with immediate effect.
What do you love about your work? Why…what motivates you, do you have any exciting plans for the future?
I love the flexibility that my work gives me, and since growing my team of ‘Chicks’ with their support, I am able to choose how, when and where I work.
Motivation comes in many forms, client satisfaction and word of mouth recommendation make me strive to deliver a service which exceeds expectations. A supportive team motivates me to encourage their personal growth and the future looks very bright as we continue to evolve and grow as a company.
How has social media training changed since you started working in the industry and what are the big challenges that you face in 2018?
The spotlight is really on social media compared to when we set up SocialMyna back in 2011, with high profile press representation it’s important that we encourage clients to represent their businesses in a positive light.
Educating our clients about social media promotion is an important part of our daily work, platforms change and evolve so quickly these days that we need to keep an eye on these changes so that we can be at the forefront of all the new social media innovations.
What do you think is the best innovation in your sector, how has it helped or hindered your business?
The pace of change online is hard to keep up with. Platforms are constantly changing and evolving and our team has to keep up with that. We have regular online meetings to share knowledge and keep each other in the loop with regard to platform changes and new features on the various social channels.
How has collaboration with other digitals helped your business to grow?
When collaborated with the web designer form, through online networking, this gave me the confidence to know that we could offer e more complete and supported service and add that extra layer of support if needed. These days we regularly work with videographers and photographers, and SEO’s of course.
If you could give one piece of advice to anyone starting a digital services company in 2018, what would it be?
Just to be honest and transparent, represent your business in a true light and be ready to evolve and grow to ensure that you are recognised as a responsible and trustworthy business. The killer things to watch for is that you stay humble, take it slowly and assess as you go. It’s too easy to get carried away with growth whilst forgetting to nurture your existing customers.
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