This week, we have the amazing Jessica, Sophia Bruno on the show. Thank you so much for joining. For those who are listening, who are you and what does your career look like right now?
I’m Jess, I am a social media coach/social media marketing consultant. I help creatives position themselves on social media in the best way possible (for their brand) and help them stay true to their virtual voice without hiding behind what’s trendy or what’s popular right now.
How long have you been doing this work?
Since March 2020. I’ve been in events and marketing for 10 years since I was 18, but I’ve only been freelancing since March.
Events and marketing for 10 years, what did that look like?
It started in Brighton. So before this, I was in a band and I was a dance teacher, but on the side of that, I was working for a popular cinema company running all of their children events. It ended up creating a small cult of mums who would come every single Saturday, and bring their friends and children.
I then moved to London and continued to work for about three or four years, really growing their internal events. I then left and started working for a company that hosted the UK’s largest brunch party, which was every other Saturday, with around 200 to 300 guests.
By the time I left, which was about two years later, it was across the nation. We had multiple events running with sometimes up to 600 people coming to brunch, which was amazing. What I learnt from that experience was how to target people online who had an interest in a certain topic.
I enjoyed it so much because it was people coming to an event that I helped run, and they all loved the vibe. But I had in my heart that I wanted to go freelance and I wanted to work more with creative types. I wanted to help people like me grow their own brands and teach them how to do it themselves. So I left and took a smaller role at a pub really close to where I lived. I did all their inhouse marketing and house events and it was fun until I got really sick.
I have something called Crohn’s disease, which flared up to the point where I just couldn’t do it. Then Coronavirus happened, and I went on furlough until March/April. During that time, I began growing my own Instagram for fun because I thought why not use my skillset.
I then decided to quit the pub job and threw myself into doing freelance marketing full time.
Kicking your business off at the beginning of a pandemic, what was that like?
I mean, I was lucky because it seemed like at the time, everyone was trying to grow on Instagram. I had tonnes of people reaching out at the beginning as I was offering free Instagram makeovers where I basically do an audit on a page.
I got loads of testimonials from that which was great. And then the work came in. So honestly, I was lucky in the beginning.
What are some myths you come up against when people want to get their social media going?
The aesthetic of a post. A photo on a grid has to be polished, clean and perfect – that’s very 2016. As long as it’s going up for a reason, It’s fine. You don’t need to have the checkerboard aesthetic, you don’t need to worry that you’ve just posted a selfie.
Whatever you do, as long as you’re posting with purpose, and you’re not posting as an influencer, you’re posting for your target audience, your audience is going to eat up.
What’s your career teaching you right now? What are you really enjoying?
All of it! I’m a workaholic. I love having time off but I love getting back to work, doing what I do best with clients who are so receptive. Seeing their results and knowing that they don’t care solely about vanity metrics, that they care more about who’s coming in and how they’re converting – it’s inspiring.
What are you finding challenging about your career at the moment?
People associate marketers with graphic designers. I’m not a graphic designer. I can only advise you on your branding. I am pretty good at Canva, but that’s it. I struggle with imposter syndrome and was a yes man for so long because I was excited and didn’t want to turn down work.
If anybody offered me money for anything, I’d offer them the world. Now, I always recommend bringing someone in who can support with the design, so I can then focus on the marketing element and copy.
What’s the most recent lesson that you’ve learned in your career?
I’ve really learnt my stress triggers. Stress is one of the reasons why I became self-employed because I found that when my boss was really stressed, that would stress me out and I’d have a Crohn’s flare-up. So it’s really listening to myself. It’s about listening to the alarm bells that go off in my head and addressing them.
It’s knowing, okay, you love this client but for some reason, on some level, they are stressing you out so you need to either have a session with them or let them go.
How can people connect with you/ follow your journey and find out more about what you’re up to?