After a career as a teacher, telling students to direct their focus away from social media, Anna Rump now runs her own agency, helping clients grow and manage their social accounts! Anna talks to The Industry Leaders about how and why she made the switch and tells us why social media success doesn't happen overnight.
How did you end up sitting where you are today?
Running a business was a complete accident! I was a teacher for many years, and so, naturally, I presumed I would be doing that until such time as the government let me out at about 70.
I used to spend a lot of time telling teenagers to get off social media and read a book or go outside - oh, the irony!
I started this business as a dear chum had given me some content creation work when I left teaching and told me I was very good at it. I had a new-born daughter, had quit the stress of teaching and decided to see if I could have a career in social media.
It worked! I now run a social media consultancy and love every day; I have even been shortlisted for awards!
What kind of work does your role involve?
It is never the same thing each day, and that is the great part. I write content for social media posts, blogs and articles and even profiles. This can then be handed to the client to take from there, or I then handle the scheduling of it.
A big part of my job is building the account-based marketing side of things, so my clients start to have an online relationship with their ideal client before building on that in real life. I oversee the engagement and analysis of posts and generally keep everything going so that the client can concentrate on running their business and know that their social media is running smoothly, bringing them leads and making them money.
I also set up social media accounts for businesses and even take on problem-solving and data crunching. Part of my job is going in through the back end of an account and pulling it apart to see what is working, what needs changing and how to do it.
I also write a regular column for Kitchen & Bathroom News to help those in the KBB industry utilise and improve their social media.
What gets you excited about your industry?
I learn so much every day! From the intricacies of sewing and designing luxury lingerie, to the latest developments in luxury goods, to how Russian and Ukrainian tax law differs from that in the UK.
I have clients all over the world in fields as diverse as you can imagine, and so a big part of making their social media successful is understanding their business. Add to the mix the fact that social media platforms are changing all the time, and you have a very busy day each day, but every day is different. Learning new things is essential to keeping my brain happy, so this is the ideal career path.
What's the best advice anyone ever gave you?
Believe in yourself but know when to ask for help. You cannot be everything, and you cannot know everything, so it is good to know when you need extra help. Also, take things one step at a time!
These words have served me well and will continue to do so. Social media changes all the time, and being able to adapt a client's strategy very quickly is a skill that takes time to develop, and at first, it requires a lot of assistance. Now I can do it instantly, and it feels amazing to have learned so many new skills.
Knowing it is ok to ask for help is a big thing as so many people, especially at first, are worried that if they ask for help, it will damage their credibility. I say poo to that!
Ask away and absorb as much as you can from people more experienced than yourself. The day will come when YOU are the person being asked to give advice!
What, or who inspires you?
Oof, this box is far too small to fit everyone in! My sister is a huge inspiration as she has more determination and courage than anyone I know. My little 2-year-old daughter inspires me because the reason I work is to provide for her.
Marie Fuller inspired me because it was she who suggested I did this at all! I have a network of people who are all inspirational, but one of the biggest ones is a wonderful woman called Elle Hill. She shows up EVERY day and is internationally known and respected for her business advice. It does not matter what industry you are in; her content is gold dust!
How do you keep up to speed with what's happening in your industry?
I subscribe to several industry newsletters and have built connections with people who run social media experiments to test out how things work. The rumour mill on what a platform will do next is always noisy, so being able to refer to the people who actually know is a great help. When I started out, I took a course on how the various platforms worked and what they were used for. Then covid hit, and it all changed!
What was the most challenging project or situation you've overcome?
Without a doubt, the two main challenges were running a business with a toddler to care for and Covid.
The first one is exhausting, and so you soon learn to set yourself boundaries and look after yourself. I do not work in the evenings or at weekends, and I have learned it is ok to turn down a potential client if I feel they will not be a great fit - but I can always find them another social media agency.
Covid has been a challenge as so many businesses immediately stopped all their marketing and deployed budgets elsewhere. As this eased off, the redundancies began, and so those budgets decreased again. The best way to handle this is simply to not panic. Keep showing up, keep engaging with people and building relationships, and work comes in.
You finish work today and step outside the office to find a lottery ticket that ends up winning $10 million. What would you do?
As long as I was allowed to keep the money, I would immediately have a day off. Then it would be a case of sort out the house and the school fees and carry on as usual. I genuinely love what I do, and the idea of not doing it is not a good one. I might cut back on the hours a little, but I would definitely carry on. Oh, and I would eat bread and butter pudding every day!
How do you switch off after a day at work?
I am lucky enough to live in a very pretty place, so plugging in an audiobook and heading outside for a walk is always a good idea. The sofa we have at home is huge, so it feels wonderful to curl up with my partner, watch tv, get my sewing out, or just sit and talk through our day. Once the pool opens again, I am looking forward to some long, lazy swims as well!
If you had one wish for the future of your industry, what would it be?
I wish people realised that success on social media takes a lot of time and effort. These "influencers" make it look like it happens overnight. It does not.
Also, people need to realise that what they see on social media is not necessarily the truth. Everything is made to look bigger, better, shinier. I would like to see beauty filters removed, and for people who have been paid to promote a product, actually say what they were paid and what they have to do for it. Social media can have so many wonderful and positive effects, but it has a dark side too. I would like to see light shone into that darkness, so people do not think it is a get-rich-quick scheme.
What book or podcast should everyone know about?
There are 3 books that I use ALL the time:
The 20% Rule, by Catherine Gladwyn
Social Media Pie, by Brenda Meller.
Read these three and you will be winning!
How should people connect with you?
You can connect with me via any of the following:
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