I want to help people get their creativity the attention is deservesErin Spurling
Erin Spurling provides content marketing & planning for creatives and wants to help people get their creativity the attention it deserves. Erin talks about her business journey so far…
Tell us about your content marketing & planning for creative businesses; e.g. when did you start, is it service or product based, who do you serve and why, is it online, or a local business, or both?
I started my business in mid-2017. I’m service-based and provide content marketing coaching, planning and support to creatives (graphic designers, photographers, interior / garden designers, wedding / event planners and stylists, musicians and music schools etc.).
I work with creatives because I believe creativity is incredibly valuable to society but it is often overlooked or downplayed. I want to help people get their creativity the attention it deserves. Currently I have only worked with UK-based clients but would love to do some work abroad too.
Tell us when and why you started your own business? What was going on for you at the time?
I started my business after being made redundant at the end of 2016. I took a few months out to reassess my goals in life and what I wanted to do, and decided it was now or never to take the leap and run my own business.
How did you initially get your content marketing business noticed? What were the first few steps you took to put yourself out there?
Initially it was recommendations from family and friends, then I expanded with social media and joining relevant Facebook groups etc.
What is the main social media platform you focus on to market your content marketing & planning business?
Instagram is my main platform but I recently set up my own Facebook group, so that will of course be a focus for me now too.
How do you market your content marketing & planning business?
Referrals, social media and attending co-working / networking events.
What’s the best thing about running your own business?
The flexibility and freedom to work with clients I love, and to do it when and where I want.
What is the worst thing about running your own business?
The thought of, what if suddenly I never get a client ever again and have to go back to an office job??!!!
What has been the biggest challenge so far in your business journey and how did you overcome it?
Being visible was tough. I’m great at being a cheerleader for clients and other friends in business but not so much for myself. I’m still working on my confidence to be visible but I’m much better at it now.
Taking part in a mastermind last year helped a lot, the support was fantastic. Plus I’ve joined more communities like this Creative Women’s Mastermind, where I’ve seen others feeling exactly the same as me and there’s something sort of comforting about that, knowing you’re not the only one.
What are your go to tips, tools or techniques to overcome the tough days? i.e what keeps you motivated!
I have an awesome accountability buddy who has become a great friend too. I know that if I’m ever struggling or freaking out, I can talk to her. Sometimes I also check out videos or podcasts by certain people who always have good energy and I find that gives me a boost – Carrie Green, Chris Ducker, Lisa Johnson etc.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learnt so far?
Stop waiting for the perfect time, perfect idea, perfect photo etc. Just start!!
If you started your business again with hindsight and the knowledge and experience you have gained so far, is there anything you would do differently, and if so, what?
I would definitely choose a niche sooner. My first year was so confusing, I almost gave up! Once I took the time to work out my niche and my true passion, things were so much easier to manage.
What’s your favourite way to consume content; video, audio or reading?
A combination of video and reading.
What has been the most helpful business/self-help book that you would recommend reading?
Not technically business-related but Quiet by Susan Cain is incredible. It helped me accept and understand myself so much better. I’m naturally an introvert and I initially thought I would struggle in business because I didn’t always want to be the centre of attention, speak on big stages, talk to absolutely everyone at a networking event etc. But her book made me see that I don’t have to be like that to succeed. My natural ability to listen, learn, take more considered time over things, build closer relationships etc. is what would help me stand out and succeed.
How do you make sure you achieve your weekly, monthly and quarterly goals and actions? i.e. do you use asana, have a coach, accountability buddy etc.
I’m a big fan of lists and I have an accountability partner.
Where do you hope to be this time next year in your business?
I would love it if I could expand to having some international clients.
I have lived in London my whole life but adore travelling. A big draw for me to run my own business was the potential for location freedom.
After graduating with a BSc in Marketing, I initially worked in finance, with a side-line in music journalism, before moving to an in-house content writing and editing role, which I loved. Being made redundant was tough but it gave me the push I needed to take the leap of faith with running my own business.
I say that I live vicariously through my clients, as they have the creative skills I’ve always wished I had. Working with them genuinely excites me, I love seeing what they create, hearing their plans and helping them to succeed.
When I’m not working, you’ll most likely find me at a concert or the theatre, on my yoga mat, on holiday or enjoying meals with family and friends.
Web: Erin Spurling