I’ve caused a lot of confusion over the years as I’ve embraced my self-employed, work from home life.
I’m not the person who dreamt of a laptop lifestyle, so worked until I’d saved enough to ‘go it alone’ like so many of the stories out there. No, my story is a little different.
I was a full-time student at University, studying Commercial Interior Design, I loved it, but I was 26, and a Mum to 2 young girls, (my youngest was born 6 weeks into the first year, crazy!).
My relationship ended Christmas 2013, I was caring for my Granddad, who was starting to lose his fight with cancer, and trying to be there for my Nan who was in extreme denial about losing the love of her life.
All of a sudden, I was a single mum with one kid just into full-time school, a toddler, and I needed to be in 3 places at once, but one of them was 25 miles away. University had to go.
So I quit, with all my project work in hand.
It hadn’t been the intention for that day at all!! I was on my way to a lecture, ready to hand in assignments, and when my course leader said “Morning Debbie, How you doing?” as I grabbed my morning coffee and him, his diet coke, the words “I need to quit” just fell out of my mouth.
They were as shocking for me to say, as they were for him to hear.
I gave him my reasons, left, then cried a bit in the car before driving home.
I looked for jobs, applied, but the hours I was available to work didn’t work for employment, or I’d be earning less than I needed for childcare, so I decided it was time to set up on my own. That way I could work around my kids, school hours, and my Grandparents needs (which were increasing)
I signed up to be a Stampin’ Up! Demonstrator and had a lot of fun making craft projects, discussing ideas with my Granddad, but I didn’t have time to create enough to promote regularly. I sold some bits that I’d made but was struggling.
I added a jewellery company to the mix, South Hill Designs, that went great until the business announced they were closing, then merging with another company, but didn’t know what that meant for the UK market – not fun times!
My Granddad finally gave up his fight in November 2015, which was a hard blow for our very close family, even worse for my Nan, the pain culminated in her suffering a severe stroke a few months later, which meant all hands on deck to help her through recovery.
I let my craft business go.
Sat beside her hospital bed, with a notebook, I laid out all my skills to see what I could use, what could be useful enough to create a business that I would be able to work despite my ever-changing family needs.
My youngest was also now in full-time school too, so I decided to use that to its full advantage, rather than the 3 hour nursery hours we’d had for 18 months, where I barely got a thing done.
I decided my years of admin experience and skills could be put to use as a Virtual Assistant, supporting people on their journeys and in their businesses. I helped with various types of research projects, customer service, a few small design projects, email marketing, webinar support, but mostly Pinterest management and setup.
Pinterest had been a theme throughout my entire journey, from using it at University when tasked with hosting a blog (“I don’t have time for that, but I can do this instead…” which led to a change in the course structure)
I’d used Pinterest to collect ideas for my craft projects, then to share my own projects, and jewellery… because if it works for me finding things out, I can use it to share my own…
Then the VA world got a little hectic. I didn’t have enough hours or brainpower to function effectively on so many different things, it started to impact on my time with my girls, and I didn’t want that. The whole point of me doing this was to be with my girls!
So I evaluated; something we should all do often in our businesses, and realised I enjoyed the Pinterest side of things.
I slowly removed the other services I offered from my VA business, deciding that I was only going to focus on Pinterest, then I eventually gave up my management clients, instead, focusing on strategy
That felt like a great move at the time, but I realised months later, that yes, my strategy would work, but people wouldn’t necessarily implement. But that’s where the magic lies, so I opened up a setup and management slot for someone who had been referred to me.
I designed a 3-month strategy and management package because I knew getting back into the management model permanently would start to take over my life again. I decided to test it out, and we had great results.
I took my clients’ new e-commerce business, opened a Pinterest account, and within 6-weeks she’d gained 12 followers, reached over 12,000 people and had her first sale. You couldn’t really ask for more!
Now I had my mentors and coaches (yes, I have a few! Did you know Oprah has 5?) telling me I should be shouting this information from the rooftops, and promoting myself and what I do all over the place. Yes, I agree, but there’s an introverted part of me that says “NOPE!” every time I start to. Heck, it took me nearly 2 years to put it on the homepage of my website! (Don’t even get me started on how much effort it took to get a picture of myself on there!)
Then I noticed a pattern in my family and friends; they just see me as being home all day “lucky you!” and I’ve even had arguments about what I do, because “I’m just sat at that computer all the time” or scrolling my phone. And it’s weird that I can just go for coffee whenever I feel like it… If the people closest to me don’t know what I do, and people in my online communities don’t know, then it’s time I did something about it…
So, let me introduce myself…
Hey, I’m Debbie Bradley, I offer Pinterest strategy, training and (occasionally) management for people wanting to start growing their small businesses on Pinterest, and have increased reach with Zero ad spend.
Here’s how you can work with me…
Firstly, you can book a call with me to see how Pinterest could work for your business.
These calls are free and are usually for around an hour. I love these calls, getting to know you and your business, and what you want to get out of it all at the end of the day. I’m often told I “give too much away” on these calls, but I pay no attention to that, I like to share what I know. (p.s. my calendar’s open again here: debbiebradley.co.uk/calendar)
Pinterest Strategy is when we spend up to a couple of hours, usually via Zoom (a bit like Skype) discussing what you do in further detail, then we’ll talk about the different ways you can use Pinterest; How to set up your account, what boards to set up, how to distribute and repurpose your content to make sure it works for you by appealing to your audience.
I’ll also send you a debrief after the call so you don’t miss anything, these can be intense 😉
Pinterest Training is a little different, this is great if you have a team or course attendees/signups, and they’re not sure what Pinterest is or how to get started promoting on Pinterest. I record a presentation for your audience discussing how they can promote using Pinterest. It’s not as specific as the individual strategy sessions, but the process I use is discussed. (This has worked brilliantly for people in various industries; from the wedding industry, even baby sleep coaches – who even knew that was a thing?)
Pinterest Management– I only offer a few spaces for this now, and they’re sold as a 3-month bundle to start, with the option at the end of those three months to continue with management or continue yourself with the strategy I’ve laid out. Most people who continue using the strategy continue to see improvements over the long term, and that’s the goal with this package.
I also have some ‘ready-made’ options available, that have been a lot of fun, so I kept them around.
There’s also “Discover Your Personal Style Using Pinterest”, that I hosted in collaboration with my dear friend Janette Miller, who is an AMAZING personal stylist based in London.
Janette and I got our heads together and decided what better way to empower women while having some fun with Pinterest than to put together a workshop looking for clothes!
It’s great for anyone feeling like they’re in a bit of a style rut and wanting to figure out their next move, even if they don’t like clothes shopping – which is exactly how I described myself to Janette when we first met.
So there you have it!!
That’s a little about me, what I do, and how you can work with me.
As we’re rolling out of 2018, I’ve had 3 Pinterest management spaces open up, which is perfect timing to get started on your Q1 marketing, where we can get a strategy together for January sales, Valentines Day, Mothers Day, and even make a start on Easter, WOW! It’s a busy period coming up (and I thought Christmas was crazy)
So if you wanna talk some more about how Pinterest can work for you (in whichever capacity), let’s book in a call
I’ll speak to you soon!