Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Ava Beilke, a Social Media Coach, and Consultant, based in Minneapolis, MN, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I am a heart-centered social media coach and consultant with 12 years of industry expertise. I believe that self-love is the foundation of all things in life, including marketing, and I fuse the energetics of self-love with the strategy and tactics of social media marketing together in my practice. As a social media coach, I work with entrepreneurs, service-based business owners, and creators who desire to build authentic personal brands on social media so they can get seen and grow through 1:1 coaching and online courses. As a strategic consultant, I work with premium lifestyle brands to build social media strategies and programs rooted in authenticity and storytelling that educates, entertains, and connects on a human level.
Tell us about yourself
Prior to starting my own business, I spent 10 years as a social media marketer inside of the corporate structure, having entered that world as a social media intern and exited as a social media director. It gave me the opportunity to hold every social media job imaginable while constantly learning and adapting to the industry along the way. One big shift I noticed was that ten years ago, social media was expansive, exciting, and big, but over time got increasingly condensed, technical, and small. What was once a tool to connect people, places, and ideas was condensed down to a formula? While formulas and strategies are important, they don’t set any person or business apart from the next. Through personal and professional experiences, I learned that the only way to stand out is by showing up as your most authentic self, and that’s what’s missing from social platforms today. Somewhere along the way, social media lost its heart, and I want to bring that back, so in 2020 I took the leap to start my own heart-centered social media consultancy.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Starting my own business has allowed me time freedom and location freedom to pursue my dream of working remotely from anywhere in the world. I spent last summer working from London, which was a major pinch-me moment, and I am currently scoping out my next nomadic destination.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
While being a business owner is incredibly rewarding, I don’t think there’s anything particularly easy about it. Work-life balance is something I’m working through right now. Switching work on and off was easy for me as a corporate employee, but the work-life balance rule book got thrown out the window when I became an entrepreneur. Having a business that’s mine means the world to me, and over the last two years, I’ve given it everything I have to make it work – which has definitely resulted in burnout. Finding balance and carving out personal time to recharge is an ongoing learning curve for me.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Start your business around something that you love. Don’t chase what’s popular or trendy. Make sure you’re doing something that will sustain your passion and initial desires to start a business when the novelty and adrenaline wear off.
- Create an elevator pitch for your personal brand and business, and practice sharing it 24/7. So much of growing a business depends on word of mouth and being able to easily communicate what you do and how you can help other people.
- Use social media to drive awareness of your personal brand and business. Social media is still the most powerful marketing tool at our disposal, and anyone can use it! Social media gets overwhelmingly fast, so I often suggest that my clients choose just one or two social media platforms to focus on. If you love creating videos, focus on TikTok and YouTube. If you love photography, use Instagram. Always follow what feels most fun.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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