Nicole Hill works as a social media manager and graphic designer and loves helping clients make their mark in the ever-changing social media world. Her company Social Hoodie was created almost 2 years ago after being laid off from her job and seeing how many business owners struggle with engaging people online. With little money and certainty of would happen in the future, Nicole started freelancing and eventually made her lifelong dream of working from home a reality. Read our interview with the lovely Nicole below…
What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?
I wanted to have the freedom to make my own schedule and work from home. I wanted to get away from the employee world because it was unstable and soul crushing. It just didn’t fit my dreams.
Tell us about your business.
Social Hoodie is a social media management company that focuses on getting the most engagement for other businesses and entrepreneurs while helping them make their mark on the online world. I as the owner and social media manager save my clients time and headaches trying to “figure out this social media stuff”, which allows them to be able to run their businesses.
Are you currently running any promos/contests/giveaways that you would like our readers to know about?
Not at this time but I do plan on coming up with one soon to attract new business and even create new “packages” for clients to choose from based on their budget.
Where is your business based?
Currently, my business is based in Cleveland, OH but I have plans to move it to Florida next year.
What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?
I started simply freelancing online with no business name or business structure and offered my service to anyone who needed it. I later set up a website, domain name, and EIN for my newly created business after seeing the huge demand for social media management. I then began telling others online about my business to gain more clients and that was it.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?
Definitely online but in person can work too. All of my clients I work with now and have previously worked with, I met through some site online and none of them lived in my state. That’s the beauty of the internet. You can literally do business with the whole world!
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
My biggest challenge in the beginning was staying focused and not getting discouraged through the hard times. Being a business owner is very much a “mental” sport. Now my biggest challenge is finding time to keep growing while also relaxing and also keeping up with the changing tides of social media.
How did you overcome these challenges?
Honestly, it’s still a battle sometimes. I don’t think anyone really gets it down 100%. I just try to remember what’s important and allow myself a break when I need it.
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
I try to think about why I started and what my strengths are. I also think of how hard I worked to get to where I am now and if I could get through the junk of the past, then I can handle whatever comes my way in the future!
How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
In reality, I don’t focus on any competitors in my industry because I know success is going to different for them and me. I simply focus on my strengths which is my incredible attention to detail, pleasant personality, and creative brain. Every client that I have worked with (past and present) has said to me how glad that they were to have found me and part of it may be the good work that I do, but I also believe that part of it is the way I treat my clients. Customer service really does go a long way.
What is the best advice you have received recently?
Don’t get mixed up in the negativity. This advice was actually given for a specific non-work related situation on Facebook but I apply it to everything. It’s easy to get sucked into other people’s negative energy, even if you’re trying to help them. The best thing is to simply not join the pity party. The refreshments suck anyway.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
Play to your strengths and try many strategies. You never know which “thing” could land you in the winners’ circle. Also, the more you fail, the more you learn so don’t be afraid to fail. You cannot win without doing so.
What is your favorite business tool or resource?
For my social media work I like to use Buffer to help me schedule posts and track engagement. For my design work, I mainly use Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator and sometimes Canva.
What social media outlets do you use? List them below.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
Funny you should mention that because I have some books I actually need to finish! I do read articles too from time to time. Many of them come from Addicted2success.com and Lifehack.org which are AWESOME sites. I can’t remember the last thing I read but I love reading things that can help me with investing, running a business, becoming a better human being, or practical hacks I can do around the house.
What are you currently learning about for your business or looking for help with?
Right now I’m trying to stay on top of changing trends and new things that different social media sites do. I’m also always thinking of ways I can help more people without burning myself out. Lol.
What are your goals for the next few months and how are you striving to achieve them?
My goal is to improve my time management and gain some new clients. I’m in the process of raising my standards, disciplining myself, and staying balanced in everything whether it’s work, my personal life, or my health. To be the best entrepreneur I can be, I must tend to all “sections” of my life and not just work.