Movers and Shakers | Pilar Nalwimba | My Social Media PA
What drove you to start your own business?
I had been made redundant. After I had finished feeling sorry for myself I figured that if I had managed to have freelance social media clients whilst doing that job, then there was no reason I couldn’t do it full-time for myself. I realised there was much more to be explored.
What was your career path prior to starting your business?
I worked in the music industry for labels such as Warner Music where I was responsible for artist relations and then Geffen Records (Universal Music) in digital marketing. I also did a lot of freelance work for artist managers utilising Social Media and Online PR.
Tell us about the business planning stage
Even though I have a degree in business management, when it came down to it I actually had no clue about business planning! I had gone straight into work from University, so the only thing I was really sure on was how to provide the service I wanted to provide.
I decided to enroll on a part-time entrepreneurship course to write my business plan and refresh my memory on the foundations of starting a business.
How far ahead do you plan and what keeps you on track and motivated?
I have a plan of where I want to take the business in the next 3 years, so when I focus on my day – to- day activity on the more immediate aims and objectives I know the importance it plays in the wider picture.
It’s a step by step process for me, but what keeps me motivated is knowing there is so much to achieve and to keep myself on track. I regularly revisit those plans and put KPI’s in place to ensure I’m moving in the right direction.
Can you describe your typical working day?
My day-to-day really varies. but it will always start with a look at my to-do list and approving any content that needs to go out.
Then I’ll spend the rest of the day between doing community management, replying to emails, attending client meetings, working on strategies, and working with members of my team to ensure we are meeting our deadlines and creating content.
How do you work on making your business grow?
Last year was a lot of word of mouth and recommendations for me. This year I plan to hone it in a bit more by putting both inbound and outbound strategies in place such as content marketing, networking, guest speaking, sales etc.
What is the best thing about being your own boss?
Knowing that opportunities are endless and also just having the opportunity to meet and work with so many different types of interesting and talented people.
What are the challenges of working for yourself and how do you tackle them?
I’ve definitely had to get my head around learning to wear many hats, even for the not so fun stuff. I tackle the challenges by taking time out to try to educate myself on anything I fall short of or getting help from people who are experts or have experience in things I find challenging.
Accounts are a big challenge for me! I hated accounts, but cashflow is the life-line of your business so I had to put new procedures in place to help me overcome it. It’s still not perfect but I have come a long way in that respect.
Who do you admire or look to for inspiration as a business owner?
Definitely some of my peers who are also in business, just a conversation with them inspires me or has me thinking of ways to improve and grow my business.
I think its important to have a network that keeps you on your toes. I also love a bit of Oprah, Richard Branson and Steve Jobs as they have all disrupted an industry.
What piece of advice has had the most impact on your business?
Have clarity of vision, know your worth and work harder on yourself than you do on your job.
What are the 3 books, websites or resources (professional or personal) that you would recommend to other business owners?
Virgin Media Pioneers for networking, it has really helped me build relationships with people who experience the same thing as me on a daily occurrence. We can share experiences and exchange ideas.
Quicksprout – is a must visit for anyone with an interest in online marketing with a real human element to it. Neil Patel who has built successful online businesses, is the founder of Kissmetrics and shares his mistakes, lessons and best practise. There’s always lots to learn from people who have been there and done that.
Jab Jab Jab, Right Hook – A new Social Media book I’m reading by Gary Vaynerchuk which I purchased after his London seminar.
What other passions do you have away from your business?
I LOVE food, I’d definitely say i’m a #foodie. I also love to travel as it keeps me inspired.