Ulrike Schulz jumped from job to job feeling like her abilities were being wasted due to not being challenged… so she decided to end the monotony and took on the challenge of starting her own business. Read our interview with the lovely Ulrike below…
What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?
I knew for a long time that I wanted to start my own thing. I just didn’t know what I could do. I also moved from Germany to London a couple of years ago and I needed to establish myself first. At least these were my thoughts. I jumped from job to job but I always felt I could do so much more. The challenges were not big enough for me. So I said to myself, let’s do it!
Tell us about your business.
My business is called The Social Hunter and I help small businesses and startups to establish themselves on social media and to grow a community. I’m a social media strategist and digital communications manager.
Where is your business based?
The Social Hunter is based in London, UK. The majority of my clients are based in London but I do have some clients around the world, too.
What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?
The first thing I did was building a simple website with WordPress. Then I started to communicate that I’m my own boss now and gave away my business card. I attended a lot of networking events, too.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?
Social media and networking are the most effective ways for me. I started cold emailing but quickly gave up on it. There’s no way I’m wasting my time on that. The best thing to do is to brand yourself. That’s why I’m running my own workshops now and I also started speaking at events with a friend.
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
Everything has been really great so far but it’s hard to earn enough money to survive. That’s my only challenge at the moment – I know it’s not a small one – but I’m confident I will solve this problem soon. Another challenge was my productivity. There was no office environment anymore, no one who told me what to do. I was my own boss and I needed to give myself the tasks. I struggled to be productive and efficient at the beginning.
How did you overcome these challenges?
I’m still working on the first challenge. But as I mentioned earlier, I’m putting more effort into self-promotion. My productivity definitely increased. I make sure to get out of the house, to co-working spaces or cafes, and it proved to be much better than working from home.
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
I just can’t imagine going back to a full-time job. That keeps me motivated to do the work and to think out of the box. I accept bad days and put all my hope into the next day. It can’t always be sunshine all the time but when it rains I cosy up at home, light some candles and drink hot chocolate. What I mean with that is that I try to make the best out of a bad situation.
How did you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
I’m very creative and I care a lot. Of course, this is something which is hard to communicate but once a client worked with me they come back for more and that’s my proof. I inspire my clients and the work I have done is sometimes beyond my business, i.e. I do much more than social media and I love it. I would never say I can’t do anything. If I can’t do it myself I will find awesome people to collaborate with.
What is the best advice you have received recently?
Just do the work. I hear it everywhere. Even if there are downtimes do something. It’s going to have a purpose at some point, even if it’s simply there to keep you from being lazy.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
Put yourself out there! No one will discover you if you don’t put yourself out there. There are so many possibilities – social media, blogging, networking, collaborations, influencer marketing, to name a few.
What is your favorite business tool or resource?
Well, I love my phone, in fact I’m getting the new iPhone 7 tomorrow. It has everything I need. The best business tool ever. I love discovering new apps, too.
What social media outlets do you use? List them below.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
It’s a new book and it’s called “Design Your Life” by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans.
What are you currently learning about for your business or looking for help with?
I’m learning a lot about running workshops and speaking at events. It’s an exciting journey.
What are your goals for the next few months and how are you striving to achieve them?
I want to organize more workshops and attend more talks as a speaker. I also want to create webinars and online workshops in the next year. Big plans!