Next up in this series of interviews with the amazing members of The Best 90 Days Ever is Emily from Content by Emily.
Emily is a Content & Brand Strategist and Writer and helps small businesses build the foundations for their marketing. She very recently had a business birthday and I love her advice in this blog post. I hope you enjoy reading it!
Tell us about you and your business
Hi! I’m Emily, I’m a Content & Brand Strategist and Writer. This means I help small businesses build the foundations for their marketing (their brand), and then help them with creating the content strategy and delivery for getting their business out there, to the right customers.
I have a range of services to help businesses of all sizes work with me:
Marketing Mentoring – an ongoing, lower-cost package where I help give small businesses marketing strategy, advice, coaching and accountability when they can’t afford to outsource their marketing fully, but need that extra pair of eyes or strategic advice.
Content & Brand Strategy Creation – running a workshop with you to determine your brand story, messaging, tone of voice, audience, and how to market effectively to your audiences.
Content Marketing Delivery – You can also hire me to do the whole delivery. This means writing your content – be that website copy, blogs, brochures, lead magnets, email marketing, or press releases.
Why did you start your small business?
I started my business in June 2022 (it’s almost it’s birthday!) as I was finishing my second maternity leave. I’d had my first child in 2019 – just before the pandemic – and then my identical twin girls arrived in August 2021.
With the cost of childcare, I knew I wouldn’t be able to go back to the old routine of driving over to York to work a full day in the office. But, also, I didn’t want to! I didn’t want to waste 2 hours every day driving over to an office for a job I didn’t enjoy anymore. I set up my business whilst looking after the twins full time – working early mornings, late nights, and during naps to establish my business. In September 2022 I got my first chunky retainer client – a start-up that needed someone to create their full marketing strategy for launch, and then help them with delivering the launch campaign. This meant I could start sending them to childcare.
How long have you been a member of The Best 90 Days Ever and what made you sign up?
I started The Best 90 Days Ever in April 2023 after doing the one-off Morning of Marketing. I know how to market myself generally, but I find it so much easier to promote other businesses rather than talking about myself. It’s given me the prompts, confidence and additional knowledge that I was lacking to be able to put more personality and structure to the way I talk about myself and my business.
I’m also a huge fan of gamifying jobs that you don’t love. As my time is pretty limited, I can find it easy to ignore my own marketing and just concentrate on my client work – but if my marketing is gamified, or if I feel as though I’m not keeping up with the membership then it gives me that extra push and motivation.
What has been your favourite prompt from The Best 90 Days Ever so far?
I think it’s been this collaboration week. It’s really hooked me in, as I haven’t done any collaborations yet – but I see so many other small businesses doing it really well. I’ve got some ideas lined up for next month when my client work calms down and I can really focus on my own stuff. I never would have put this much time and thought into collaborative stuff without this prompt.
The video stories prompts was also good too, it gave me the confidence to go on my Instagram and talk to the camera for the first time – which got a lot of engagement.
What do you enjoy the most about your business?
I love the freedom of running my own marketing business. I’m definitely still finding my feet – the chunky retainer client I mentioned in an earlier question was great, but I realised that it’s not just about having a steady income for me – it’s more about meaningful work. So, that’s when I set up the marketing mentor service, which I am really enjoying. Whatever your budget, I can work out a way of helping you – I now have 5 mentoring clients, with varying budgets and the way I help them is different each time, which I find really exciting and rewarding.
Aside from the work, running my own business has also meant that I am working on something for myself, whilst also having the flexibility to always be there for my daughters. I want them all to see that you can have a family and still be successful in your career – whilst also being happy. I think I have a responsibility to really represent that with 3 girls, especially in a world where having family and a successful career is still so bloody hard. I want them all to be able to achieve whatever they put their mind to – and that’s my biggest motivation.
What is your favourite and least favourite way to market your business?
I do love Instagram, it’s my favourite way to put myself out there. It’s definitely not top-of-the-funnel marketing – I don’t get many quality leads from there, but it really helps to communicate who I am and what my business is about – so I think it works by nurturing the leads that I do have and building relationships with my clients.
Most of my leads come from LinkedIn or cold emailing – both of which I find quite draining but are necessary. I’ve just downloaded a new email template to help with cold emailing – so will see if that helps my approach.
What is the best piece of advice you would give to another business owner?
Just Do It.
Whatever ideas pop into your mind, give them a go. If you’re thinking about going freelance, try it on the side for a little to test the water. If you see a particular job that you’re not 100% qualified for it, just go for it anyway. We won’t achieve if we hold ourselves back, so crack on and think positively.
What would be your dream project/client or what is one of your big goals?
I would love to do more work for businesses that help premature or sick babies. My twins were in hospital for just over a month after being born small and premature, and I also had a really terrible pregnancy with my first – there just isn’t enough support, accurate information, and advice out there for people going through these situations – especially my rough pregnancy time. I’ve been working with the Twins Trust on a few content projects which is really rewarding, and I would love to build on that.
Give us your favourite recommendation for another independent business!
So many awesome people to recommend! But, for now I would like to give a shout out to Mela – a design studio that is now setting up her community for other independent creative businesses.
It’s currently in beta stage, but I think it’s going to grow to be something really useful for anyone in a role that is creative – designers, illustrators, videographers, photographers, copywriters, or marketers. It’s a bit more than a place to chat, it will have useful resources in there too.
I started working with Angharad on a client project, but now we have regular chats to check in and run ideas past each other. She’s been a really great person to know when I’ve been a newbie to the world of being self-employed.
What is something exciting coming up that you want to shout about?
As weird as it might sound, I don’t have as many big client projects booked in from June onwards – I have my marketing mentoring clients which are growing and I’m excited about pushing that more and taking on more varied jobs. It’s also going to give me more space to focus internally at my own business, so I want to create some helpful resources, grow my subscriber list, and get my teeth into more chunky content for myself.
To find out more visit Emily's website - www.contentbyemily.co.uk