Social Media for Humans

Canva-crastination and chronic illness with Kate Browning

August 12, 2022 Alexis Bushnell Season 2 Episode 22
Social Media for Humans
Canva-crastination and chronic illness with Kate Browning
Show Notes Transcript

As many of us in the UK struggle to work through another heatwave, I'm thrilled to share this chat with Kate Browning (she/her) of Cherry Blossom Management about incorporating self care into your business so your business supports you, whether you have a chronic illness like she does or you just want a happier work life.

Kate is the founder and owner Cherry Blossom Management. She genuinely loves to support people, to see them grow, to empower them and witness that transformation that comes with outsourcing and delegating. She believes in doing business your way and incorporating self care into your daily routine.

Using Canva for small business, Kate's guest post: https://socialmediaforhumans.club/using-canva-for-small-businesses/

The Duck Pond Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/theduckpondcommunity

Kate's links.
Website: https://cherryblossommanagement.co.uk/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cherryblossommanagement/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cherryblossommangement
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/katebrowningcbm/

Alexis' links.
I hang out on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/alexisbushnell/​
Find me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SocialMediaForHumans
Join the club to learn more about ethical and effective social media marketing: https://socialmediaforhumans.club/

Voice over by Hawke Wood: https://www.spotlight.com/3490-9081-8844

Support the show
Hawke:

Hello and welcome to Social Media for Humans,  the podcast that empowers you to do social   differently. Your host, Alexis Bushnell, and her  guests discuss their experience of social media as   business owners, users, and ultimately humans, with  insights and advice to help you find an effective   and ethical strategy that works for you. Grab  yourself a drink and join the conversation.

Alexis:

Hello, hello I am here with wonderful Kate, do introduce yourself, tell us who you are and what you do.

Kate:

Hi, thank you for having me. So I am Kate Browning,  I am the founder of Cherry Blossom Management   and we are a virtual assistant support company. We  are also Canva experts and I am a Canva trainer,   andI I am a mentor to new online businesses. Alexis: Very exciting, I'm gonna start with Canva because   Canva is. People have opinions one way or the. Canva is the Marmite of apps,   social media tech, that kind of thing. I'm a Canva fan, you are obviously a Canva fan,  can you tell me why you love Canva? Kate: Canva is my favorite piece of software that I use by far   because I think even if you're not using the paid  version which I obviously do because the in depth   and the way I use it, but even the free version, the  value it gives you, they give so much away for free.  It's one of the most user-friendly pieces of  design software where you can use it to market   your business and share your voice and your  own quirky personality and your uniqueness,   and Canva is so user-friendly and easy to use, I've  used lots of other design softwares and by far   Canva is the easiest to use because I'm all about  if you want to do it yourself I'll give you the   tools to be able to teach you to do it yourself,  or if you want to delegate it and outsource it   then I can do that too.

Alexis:

Yeah I do agree it is it is one of those things that is really really easy   to use which is partly why I love it and partly  why I recommend it to people as well, because it   is one of those things that it can be really  difficult to create like interesting images   and get your personality across and make  things look how you want with things like   Photoshop or things like that, like there is  a massive learning curve on those tools,   it is not easy and, especially if you are a  freelancer or you are a one person business,   like you don't have the time, unless you already  have the skills because you're doing it for your   actual job, you can't spend all that time trying  to figure out this new, very expensive, software,   it's not feasible. I will say the big problem  that I know a lot of people have with Canva   is losing so much time trying to find the  perfect photo in their selection, do you   have any sort of suggestions to kind  of avoid that Canva as procrastination?  

Kate:

Canva is, so it's very easy to  lose yourself in a hole of social media, you   know this, it's the same with Canva, if you are a  creative person that enjoys to use it you can lose   hours and hours on Canva, I know I did at  the beginning and I'm now very controlled   with how I spend my time. One of the things  I love with Canva that tends to save a lot   of time is you have access to photos and you have access to   elements and different things, like little hearts  or stars or something that's relevant to your   branding and if you are really good at using  folders within Canva and so when you're   creating some graphics and you see four or five  different images that you think "they're great I'd   love to use them," rather than having to scroll  through if you use your folders you can save   all of your favorite elements and all of your  favorite photos in those folders so that when   you come to create next time they're already  there, rather than you spending hours scrolling   through trying to find the perfect one. So I am  obsessively organised when it comes to the folders,   I think they've renamed it projects now, exactly  the same thing, they changed it about a month ago   didn't they, but if you are smart from the start  with putting stuff into these folders it saves   you masses of time.

Alexis:

That is that is a good tip. I  will say I'm not amazing at the folders, I tend to   just have folders for like different clients and that's it. I am gonna try that.  

Kate:

Even my photos, so I have one for my branded  headshots, I have one for my own photos I've   taken on my phone, they all have their own folders  so I can be really quick when I want something.  

Alexis:

That is a top tip! Okay I challenge  everyone go, while you're listening to the rest   of this podcast, go on to your Canva and start  organising everything into folders. Fabulous! One of the other things that you are very  big on is like self-care. 

Kate:

Massive yeah. Alexis: And I am going to make the argument that Canva kind of ties into that because if it's quick and it's easy   that counts as self-care for me that's like make it easy. Why are you passionate about self care? I think self-care is so, so important  and the further I've got into my business the more   passionate I am and the more I try and almost drum it into people because I have a chronic illness,   so I have fibromyalgia so if I don't listen  to my body and I don't incorporate self-care my   body will punish me for that, so I've been almost  forced into incorporating self-care, but then as   part of including it in my daily routine and my  weekly routine I've seen an   increase in my productivity, I've seen an increase  in the amount of work I get done, I get more done   in a short space of time, my attention to detail  is much higher, and my general well-being and   happiness is just better, it's at a higher level  by incorporating the self-care, and when I work   with clients on this I've seen a change in their  business. So I've worked with clients and they've   managed to drop a day a week but they're still  doing the same amount of work, they're still   earning the same money, but they're working  less because they're prioritising themselves.  

Alexis:

Yeah yeah, I think it's one of those weird things  that we all, when we do it we all go oh this really does make a difference, if I take care  of myself I'm just so much more productive,   so much more focused, I feel so much  better, I also have time to like   do stuff that I actually love that isn't just  work on my business, and yet we then still   get caught up in this, I think especially when  something like there's a big project on or   with we have some kind of external stressor, the immediate thought process is like   well I have to stop doing the self-care  because I have to spend the time doing this   even though we know that doing the self-care  will help to do the other stuff. Have you sort of found anything that helped maybe  readjust your own mindset, or has helped with   clients to sort of shift that and and help them go  no, I am going to stick to the self-care anyway?  

Kate:

Yeah so it's as you said, it's so easy to  fall in, especially if you're really busy   or you're doing something you love doing, it's  very easy to just get hyper focused and forget yourself. One of the best ways that I  manage to still incorporate my self-care is I   am hot on boundaries, like I am on it, if you ask  any of my clients they're like yeah,   all my associates within my team, they're  like "you're super strict on your boundaries."   The boundaries for me not only protect me but they  manage my clients expectations. I'm   all about clarity and being completely open and  transparent whether it's in communication, pricing,   whatever, I believe in complete transparency,  so for me even when I'm getting super busy I   will always have my boundaries. For example I don't  work Fridays anymore, I decided to give up Fridays   about six months ago and even if I'm super busy  I won't work that Friday to make it up because   that's part of my boundaries, part of protecting  me. I always take a break away from my computer   every day and that's one of the hardest things to  make myself do, I actually love being outdoors, I'm   an outdoor person, but to peel yourself away  from a computer can be really challenging,   but even that 30 minute break away from your  computer will refresh your brain, it'll re-energise you. Go to have something to  eat, go and stick your head out the window and get   some fresh air, go and have a cuddle with your dog  or your cat, just something to just refresh you. So   although some of the other self-care aspects  when I get super busy may not be as strong, I'm   always super on it with my boundaries and they  help protect that aspect of self-care.

Alexis:

Yeah, boundaries is definitely a big one and again I think that's something that small businesses   really struggle with and I think a lot  of it is kind of the attitude of like oh but if   if my client went with a big corporation  then they would get immediate responses   because they would have a team replying to  their problems and dealing with their stuff,   but they chose not to go with a corporation, you  know, if they wanted that, if that was top of their   list of priorities they wouldn't have gone with  you would they? Like they don't need   you to reply to their email within three seconds, they probably don't think that's that important.

Kate:

And it's one thing as well I think, a  lot of it as well is about perspective, because our business is our baby, most of the business owners I know genuinely love and care,   you know, give a shiz about their business, so  when you feel like you're not doing something as   good as you should you think the world's gonna end,  the business is gonna, the world is gonna end, your   business is gonna crumble and fall apart, but it's  about having that perspective, you know. If you   take 24 hours to respond to an email I guarantee  your client's world is not going to fall apart,   I guarantee that's not going to happen, it's just  sometimes about bringing that perspective back in.  

Alexis:

Yeah, yeah, yeah, definitely, definitely and I think  we also forget because we're so passionate about   what we're doing and also about our clients it's  so easy to think that the client is sat there,   like they've sent this email and now they are just  sat waiting for us to reply to it, and in reality   they probably have a very long to do list of  50 other things that they are now working on   and they have forgotten that they are waiting  for your email until they get around the next   day and they're like "oh I wonder if I had  a reply to that," you know, and I think it's   very easy to forget that like other people, the  people we're working with in any capacity,   like they are just as busy with other stuff as we  are and they're probably not just hanging on   our email, or our phone call, or whatever it is. Kate: Yeah, again it's that perspective aspect isn't it,   your business is your world so it's very easy to  kind of make everything center of that, but it's   just about trying to keep the perspective and  protecting yourself, because if you do protect   yourself. So by me setting these boundaries  it protects me, it encourages me to incorporate   self-care, but it manages my clients  expectations so they know if they email me at six   o'clock on a Thursday they won't get a response  til Monday because there's nothing I can do in   those days which is going to make a significant  difference anyway, and it's the same for my clients,   so if they have working hours or boundaries,  all these things that work better for them,   then I work within their boundaries as well and  it protects them, and I found that by having such   strong boundaries, because I think a lot of  people are afraid they'll scare people away   by having certain boundaries, but by me having  these and enforcing them and sticking to them not   only does it encourage my associates to take care  of themselves, because that's really important to   me, but also you start seeing my clients thinking  that's a great idea, I'm gonna do that, and they   start making these positive changes for their  business as well which, I love seeing that.   Yeah, yeah it is so true, there are sort of a very small percentage of people,   I think, in the world who are people who are  happy to make those changes and do the thing   without seeing it represented anywhere, but  most of us need to see it, we need to see somebody   else doing it to go "oh that's okay, their  business did not fall apart when they decided to   stop working Fridays, maybe it doable," you know? And so I do think it is really   really powerful to lead by example basically.  I kind of want to ask you because i think one   thing that can be a stumbling block initially when  people are thinking about boundaries and self-care   is where do I put the boundary?  What are my boundaries? How do I figure out   what, like do I actually want to stop working  Fridays or do I want to finish earlier or do I   want to you know start later? How do you  kind of recommend or, what, I guess how did you   figure out where your boundaries were? Kate: So for me it was looking at my why. Why did I start my business?   It was what drives me and, for me, one of  the drivers for setting up my business was to   empower other people to be able to make positive  changes in their life, and it was about being   able to focus more on self-care and have more  time away from a working environment because,   before I went self-employed I worked 70-80 hours  a week, and then when I went self-employed I worked   70 to 80 hours a week when I started, so it was  like I was trying to escape one thing and went   straight into the exact same thing, and one of  my main drivers was because of my fibromyalgia   I have limitations to what my body will let  me do and what my mind will let me do because   when the brain fog kicks in there's no  point trying because it's not going to happen,   and for me, I've learned to be able to listen  to my body, my body tells me when it needs a rest   and a lot of people it's exactly the same,  your body will tell you when you need to rest   but it's whether you choose to listen to it or  whether you choose to push through. I used to   be one of the people that pushed through and then  I'd suffer for it later because I've done that, so for me it was going back to my why, and my why  was I didn't want to work myself to the bone, I   didn't want to be exhausted all the time, I wanted  time to do the fun stuff that I like doing that's   not within my business, my business is fun but  the stuff outside of it I love doing like going   for walks and being in nature and stuff like that.  So it was going back to my original why and that then helped me work out where I needed to set  my boundaries. So for me my biggest protections   in my business are how I spend my time and how I  spend my energy and who I spend those two things   with. I am super super protective of those two  things, they are the things I value most and I   think when you start to value your time and energy  you start to think very carefully about how you   spend it and who you spend it with, so that  helped me kind of align and set the boundaries.   Yeah yeah, I think that's and you're right, people's bodies do tell them I think and so   often we feel tired, we feel like the  brain is fuzzy, we can't really focus the same,   we're not feeling as motivated, and instead of going okay I'm gonna have a slow morning, I'm gonna   have a nice coffee and sit and read  or listen to the birds or whatever   we go no, I have this long to-do list, I'm going to  put on a motivational podcast that's going to like   yell at me and tell me to just, you know, mind over  matter, get on with it, hustle hard, and then I'm   going to just do the thing and generally  yeah sure, you might actually do the thing   but long term I feel like that's a bad solution,  like that's probably not doing you a lot   of good physically or mentally to actively try to ignore your body signals   instead of going okay, right what do you need right now? Do we need to sit down? Do we need to take a day off? Do we need to phone a  friend? Do we need to see a doctor? Do we, you know,   what do we actually need? And I do think that is  something that people struggle with and I think   when people go freelance as well it kind of gets  worse, like you say when you first went freelance,   that you were still working all  those hours and I think because we   feel that pressure of if I don't do the thing then  my business is not a business it's just nothing,   and it can be really really hard I think to sort  of switch out of that and go okay, I can take a day   off and my business still exists, you know, I can   take a slow morning and it will still be okay.  

Kate:

Yeah and I guarantee that say, I don't know, say the  thing you needed to do was to publish a newsletter,   and I guarantee if you push through when you  are tired and exhausted and not in the right   frame of mind and you push yourself and you force  yourself to do that newsletter and you get it out   that's great, but if you were to step away, take  a break and do that newsletter tomorrow when   you're relaxed, you've had a good night's  sleep, you've got the energy, you're motivated,   I guarantee the content and the quality of what  you're sending out is going to be so much better   if you step back and listen and do it when you're  in the right mindset.

Alexis:

Yeah yeah and I say this all the time about social media content because   obviously a lot of the advice about social media  is like you need more content, you just need to do  more content, you just need to do more content, and   so when I say to people like "you could just do  like less content," the resistance is so massive and   just like "oh but but but," and I'm like yeah, but  if you do one post a week but actually   you care about it, you've thought about it, you've  put some of you into it because you've been able   to, because you've had the time instead of thinking  oh I've got to smash out seven posts or whatever,   the response is always better. Like  without fail clients say to me like   "yeah yeah, the posts that I've like put some thought  into and that I've really put a bit of myself   into, that came from the heart, those are the  ones that do the best," and I'm like uh, yeah, yeah,  that's because there's humans on the other side  of that post going oh wow, this is   written by a real human not an algorithm, fabulous!  Kate: Yeah absolutely, I totally agree with you,   I'm all about quality over quantity any day and  I think one of the things that really helps with   self care regards to protecting your mindset  and your wellness and your mental health is, well one I'm very against is perfectionism, I  think perfectionism is procrastination's best mate.   Done is better than perfect, stop being a  perfectionist, stop procrastinating. But the other   thing for me that I found popping up time and time  again, especially with my clients, is comparison.    I had this conversation last week with someone and  she was comparing herself to another business   owner that I know and I know that both of them  compare themselves to each other, but they both   put each on a pedestal thinking they're  both amazing and they want to strive to be as   good as the other person, they're both amazing  people, amazing business owners, super talented,   but because we've always got it in our head to  try and compare yourself to someone else because   I don't know, they earn a certain income, they  have a certain amount of followers, or they have   a certain amount of clients, and I just think no, no,  no, balls to that! Don't compare yourself. I stopped   comparing myself about a year into my business and  I've been going over two and a half years now and   the difference it made to, my business has grown,  it's flourished, I'm different from others in my   industry, we all have our own unique selling point  and it's the human aspect of the business   isn't it, and once you stop comparing yourself the  the difference it will make in your mental health,   I think that's part of a self-care routine  is actively stop comparing yourself to people.   Yeah no I do, I agree and I think you are  so right about perfectionism, that is one of the   big things I see in clients so much.  So I actually have a thread in my Facebook group   that goes up every now and again that's like  "perfectionism busting thread; just do something,"   I don't care what it is, just do it! Because  it really is something that people struggle   with and people use, and I think the other  that's like the flip side of that that kind   of fuels it is very much this idea that people  care about what they're doing, they want   to produce the best work and there is this kind  of infuriating brain gremlin that's like "ah but   if you abandon perfectionism then you won't create  your best work," and like spoilers, not true!    If you care about what you're doing you will  create your best work whether you are trying to   make it perfect or not. Bbut the comparison  like it's definitely a big thing   with social media especially, because it is  so easy to look at what everybody else is doing   and make up your own story about why they're  successful, or how successful they are and stuff   like that, and two things I have found  that help me and also other people is one, don't   follow those people, you know, you don't  need to follow them, it's fine. And two, ask to   collaborate with them, because it can be genuinely  stunning when you message someone who you think   is this massive, super amazing person and you're  like wow they are incredible, I will never be as   famous, or as successful, or as popular, or as whatever as them and you message them like   could you write me a guest post, could you be on my  podcast, could we do a live together, and   they freak out and they're like "oh thank you so  much for asking, that's so exciting," and you're like   "you don't even know who I am," but they're like "yeah,  I follow you, you're amazing, I love your content!"   That can be such a weird experience but it can  help to kind of shift your brain because you   you see this person who's like wow, you are so  successful, and actually they do know who you   are, or they're really excited because they don't  see themselves the way you see them, and it   can really help just to kind of rejig your  brain so that when you look at other people   you're not just looking at them and going wow you  are just way up there on this pedestal where I   will never reach.

Kate:

Yeah yeah and I think when you  reach out and you collaborate, I've done exactly   that, there was a business owner I followed  and there were certain services we did that   overlapped and I looked and thought wow, she's  amazing, I'm never going to be as good as her.   Reached out to her, she's now a client  of mine, we're accountability buddies, and   we go out for lunch socially once a month  because we've ended up turning into like   best mates because she was doing the same thing  with me, and we collaborate on certain projects   and do training on camera and all sorts of  stuff now, but you don't know until you try.   The likelihood of someone turning around going  "no, bugger off," is, I mean it's never happened yet,   it might do at some point, you never know, but I'm  a big believer in take a jump, take a leap and see   what happens because you don't know. I hate the  question "what if," so give it a go, see what happens.  

Alexis:

Yeah yeah, that's true and it can be  hard, it's definitely hard, and it is   one of those things that, irritatingly, like the  more you do it the easier it gets, because   you start to learn that actually, you know, other  people aren't seeing you the way you see you, and   maybe aren't as quote successful, or whatever, as you're seeing them as, and that maybe that   their driving force is different, or they've got  a different business set up and that's what's   making them quote better, or whatever, which  is another reason I think why collaboration is so   so helpful for, especially, small businesses but  just generally, is to see more of the reality   of the business owners and like what   they're going through.  

Kate:

And you see that they are in fact human the same as you are, they're not this magical, they are a magical   being, but not in the elusive sense that you may  be looking at them.

Alexis:

Yes definitely definitely. You now work with sort of other  VAs, you have a little team situation,   I'm interested as to was that your long-term goal  always, was that sort of your plan from the start?   Or did that kind of happen organically? Like how did that happen?

Kate:

It was a bit of both.  So it was always a plan when I started my business that I wanted to have a team, I wasn't sure if I wanted   associates or whether I wanted employees, I didn't  know what route I wanted to go down, I just know   I wanted a team and I wanted to be able to give  others in the industry an opportunity to learn and   for me to be able to support them and give them  that learning opportunity, because I do a lot of   training with my associates as well as bringing  on skilled ones, I also train them in new skills so   that they can go on and flourish and offer these  services themselves. So my business actually   grew really fast, unexpectedly fast, when I  first launched, so within six months I needed to   take on my first team member because I was working  seven days a week which is not sustainable, and then COVID hit and I lost 70% of my client  base in about two weeks, so I then didn't need,    I was literally drawing up the contracts as COVID hit, so my business got really quiet but I used that   time to, I rebranded my business, I had a new  website built, I changed my marketing strategy,    I worked on my onboarding processes, I really worked  on my business so that when I got busy again   I had all my ducks in a row, because before I'd  grown so quickly I hadn't had time to put those   processes in place, so it was kind of scrambling  and doing it as I go which is a rubbish way to   do things, don't do it that way, don't, I learnt  the hard way, don't do it that way! Whereas   now I have a team of three associates and I'm  about to start recruiting for a fourth associate   and part of that is because, as I said, I wanted  to give others an opportunity to learn and to grow,   but also part of it was my self-care because I  knew that I wanted to grow my business and doing   the services that I do if it was only me, I was  only going to be able to get to a certain point   and my goal was to always be able to go down  to part-time hours because sometimes my body   just can't cope, but most of the time I'm okay  and I can re-jig and I can do things, but like for   example if I have, my last migraine lasted two  weeks and put me in A&E, and that's part of   my fibro, the last two migraines I've had  have put me in hospital because they're that bad,   so if I have a team around me to support me  because I genuinely care, I know my clients   are looked after and I'm not sat there when I'm  poorly and I can't do anything worrying about   what's going to happen, because that's going to  make my migraine worse, it's going to make my body   flare up, it's going to make everything worse if  I'm stressed, so part of it was to give them the   opportunity but part of it it helps me focus  on my self-care because I know my clients are   still taken care of and my business, if I need  two weeks out, which is very rare, but if I do   I can take that time out and my business is still  going to function, it's still going to tick along   because I've spent the time building a really good  team around me that share the same values as me.  

Alexis:

Yeah yeah and I think that's actually a really good way to look at stuff   because so many people are like "self-care  is selfish, self-care is selfish," but actually   self-care can, depending on what it is, self-care  can give you the opportunity to help other people,   and that might look like hiring someone else, or  working with a team and building things like that,   and so I think that is a really important point  to realise that, I mean even if it's not helping   other people directly self-care isn't selfish, but also it can give you the opportunity to help out other people.

Kate:

Yep it can absolutely give you the  opportunity, and the VA's that come work   for me, they all run their own businesses but  it may be their business is quiet so they need   some extra work, but when I work with associates  and bring them into the team I ask them to commit   on a longer term basis because I want them to  build that relationship with the clients. So   my business is slightly different from other. Many  virtual assistants that take on associates won't   introduce their associates to their customers, so  the main founder will be the point of contact and   they will manage, but for me that's just creating  more work for me, that's just I'm playing piggy in   the middle, like communicate no, Chinese Whispers  and all that, so I introduce my associates, I trust   them wholeheartedly and I introduce them to the  clients directly and I am there in the middle if   they need me but they communicate directly and  therefore they get that experience of building   a client relationship, as well as the work  they're doing as well, and I think it's part   of my mentoring, because I do the mentoring and  I mentor my associates at the same time. I love   being able to support other people and giving  them opportunities, I'm in the wrong industry   if I don't, let's face it, but yeah, it gives  me an opportunity to be able to provide those   opportunities to other associates because everyone knows when you first start your business   bringing your first set of clients, unless  you're really well networked in that industry,   is really it can be really tough, and knowing where  to start it can be super tough, so if you then do   associate work, because I did associate work when  I started, if you do it for someone else it gives   you the opportunity to build up your experience, it  builds up your confidence and your knowledge, and   I love being able to do that, and it protects my  self-care, I mean win-win!  

Alexis:

It really is, it really is. Yeah, yeah, and I think it's also a really good way  for people earlier on in their business to start   understanding the importance of collaboration.  Because I do think it can be really easy   when you first start, whether you go freelance  or you're trying to build a business yourself,   it's so easy to fall into that trap of like I have  to do everything, everybody else is my competition,   and that kind of really unhelpful and  not especially healthy way of thinking,   so to immediately sort of reach out and be  like "hey, I'd like to work with you,   can you mentor me? Can you do whatever?"  That can be a really really good way to kind of   hit the ground running from that way and gain the experience in working with other business   owners as well.

Kate:

Yeah I think being able to build  that supportive community around you is super   important, like that's one of the biggest things  I wish I'd learned quicker when I set   up my business, was having that massive community  and support network around you, it makes such a   massive difference to your business having people  you can go to to ask for advice and questions and   support, and people that have been there, done it,  got the t-shirt. I always   learn the hard way, so you know if you come to me  and you ask me a question I've made that mistake   myself so I can definitely give you advice  from experience on what to do and what not to do.  

Alexis:

Yeah yeah and I think as well another mistake  people make when it comes to sort of that   community aspect is thinking well you know, I have  friends, I have family, I have maybe ex-colleagues,  you know like I can ask those people, you know,  but it is so so different if they have never   run a business or they don't work in your  industry. Like I know if I speak to my   friends who don't work in social media about  you know algorithms, about creating content,   about just running a business on social media,  their eyes glaze over and they're just like,    "I don't okay, I don't, you're gonna have to explain  that to me, can you, like why is that a big deal?"   Whereas if I go to like a community of social  media managers and I'm like "oh this   happened," and they're like "yeah, okay, we get it,  we get it, been there," and that in itself makes it so much easier because you can just,  you can offload, you can get advice and support   from people who actually know what's going on,  who've been there like you say, and that is so invaluable in a business.

Kate:

It's the aspect of knowing you're not alone, because when you set up   a business it can be a really lonely place. I know  I've got lonely in business because I'm a social   person, I like to be around people and now I work  in my home office so one of the ways I try and   combat that is I go to a co-working space once  a week just to see other humans. But I think   when you first set out it can feel really lonely  and when something goes wrong, which it always will   because you're human, stuff happens and it's okay  to make mistakes, it's okay, we think it's not okay   because it's that perfectionism side but when we  make these mistakes we feel like oh we're the only   one in the world that this has happened to and  it's absolute rubbish, it's happened to thousands,   tens of thousands of business owners have gone  through this and experienced it, but if you don't   have that community around you you're gonna feel  so alone. So yeah building that community is super   super important.

Alexis:

Yeah, yeah, definitely, definitely.  I'm interested then, are there any like, which   communities have you found online, or in person but  I guess online would be easier for wherever people   are listening, are there any communities that  you've found that have been especially supportive   for you that you found maybe early on and were  like "oh yeah, these people really helped me."  

Kate:

I think for me I spent a lot of time networking,  I still do now, networking is super important   for my business because people buy people, so how  else are they going to get to know you? And I tend   to focus, I don't tend to go to the ones that where you sit there and you pitch yourself for 60 seconds   and you listen to 30 people and you glaze over  because it's 6:30 in the morning and I can't   cope at that time of day, I'm not a morning person  at all, don't talk to me before 9 30, I'm just not a functioning human being! I tend to go to the ones  where you go in and it's a similar group of people   that already share your values and share, you know,  your type of business culture, and you go in and   you have one-to-ones or perhaps in a breakout  room with just two or three people where you   can have a one-on-one conversation and actually  get to know the person properly, because I'm all   about when I work with clients it's not just about  they come to me for a skill set, personality match   is equally as important as skill set for me, I  genuinely, this may sound naive but it works for me,   if I like you, I want to work with you, and if I  like you, I want to go above and beyond to help   you succeed and help your business grow and you  achieve your dreams, if I don't like you it's just   not going to happen for me, it's just it's not, and  if you're a nice person I genuinely like you but   it's the networking side is super important,  and then also for me because my business is a   purpose-led business, it's a heart-led business, I'm  an empathetic person so I don't just want to make   a profit, I want to make a positive difference and   a positive change in this world, so there's lots of   little things we do to reduce our carbon footprint  and to, you know help, charities and mentor new   businesses, there's so much, this is cheesy  and I'm not a cheesy person but I want to make   a difference, it matters to me, if i'm not i'm not  satisfied in what I'm doing. I was in the charity   sector before I set my business up, it's ingrained  in me to want to do it, so to find a community of   people like how I met you through, you know, Little  Green Duck and The Duck Pond and all of the   people that are in that community of purpose led  genuinely want to make a difference and genuinely care about not just profits in their business but  about their impact on the world and the people.   Finding that community for me made such a  massive difference because I felt so alone   when I didn't know these businesses and these  people, I was like I want to make a difference, surely   others want to too, but finding those people  with the same values made such a difference.  

Alexis:

Yeah yeah and I think especially when it  comes to like ethical business, and trying to   be greener in your business, and more sort of aware  of social issues and whatever it is, because so   much of the generic advice about business is not  like that, and a lot of the very big support   groups around businesses and entrepreneurs is so  not about that, it can be really really hard when   you're first starting out to find information, just  simple information on like what if I need to print   stuff, what is the most eco-friendly way to print  stuff? Just really small things like that that are   important to you and that you want to build into  your business, and if you don't have somewhere   to go and ask. A lot of people like "well you know,  you can Google," it's just not the same is it, like   it's not the same as being able to open a discussion and go has anybody got really   great review recommendations for an eco-friendly  printer, I need to print this amount of things   in this way, what would you recommend> And  just sharing information like that because I think   as well that's another way to support other  small business owners, because in those groups   a lot of the recommendations you'll get will be  people who are not ranking on major search engines   because they're local businesses, they're  very small businesses, and isn't it great to   support those people! Kate: Yeah yeah absolutely, so yeah it's about finding your community and it's finding your tribe isn't it, it makes such a difference. Yeah it really really does it really does. This has been such a fabulous chat, it's been  lovely, thank you. If people would like to join your   tribe, where can they find you on the internet?  Kate: So my favorite platform is Instagram by far   because I am a visual and creative person so  shiny things, pretty things, I love Instagram and I   absolutely and utterly adore my website as well so  they can find me at CherryBlossomManagement.co.uk Very good I will put all of  the links in the show notes   of course. I will also pop a fabulous blog  post which Kate wrote for the Social Media   for Humans blog in the show notes as well  so you can check that out all about Canva.   Thank you very much for being here it's been an  absolute pleasure.  

Kate:

Thank you for having me.

Hawke:

If you want more regular reminders to find your own way to use social media follow Alexis on your   social platform of choice, all the links will  be in the show notes. Until next time, be a human.