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Interview with Fiona Flintham - founder of @fionaflintham

· social media,mompreneur,Online marketing

Dear Ladies,

please meet our today's #heroine_of_the_week Fiona @fionaflintham - a Social Media Strategist who's business is aimed at helping entrepreneurs to reach mums online.

Fiona has a solid track record working it high-profile global businesses in digital media and consumer marketing. After 15 years of corporate career and moving to a new country, Fiona embarked on a mission to build a business that would allow her to utilize her talents and skills, help other people and create a healthy work-life balance.

Now Fiona is an indeependent social media & online marketing consultant and helps mumpreneurs to develop, implement and optimize their online marketing strategy. Her instagram account @fionaflintham is full of helpful tips about social media and you can learn a lot of new things even if you are a pro yourself.

Read Fiona's inspiring interview below!

Fiona, you left your successful career in big renowned corporations to start your own business. Was it a step you always wanted to make?

No, not at all! I never had dreams to start my own business. I’d taken the traditional route of university to full time job, to next step on the career ladder, and kept on that path for almost 20 years. It was only when I had the opportunity to move from London to Switzerland that the thought crossed my mind. My husband was offered a new position in Zurich in 2013 and after he commuted from London for 18 months we decided to move as a family to Switzerland. It was then that I needed to find a way to fulfill my ambitions, to make a difference and to do it whilst living a colourful life with my children. I knew that another corporate job would not tick those boxes.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome on your entrepreneurial journey?
The biggest challenge was undoubtedly figuring out what to do first. Whilst I had experience launching global website projects and marketing to huge audiences, I had never run my own business. Suddenly I was on my own, doing everything. Having no-one to ask and having no support was the toughest thing for me for the first year.
You help your customers to successfully reach mums online, why did you choose such a specific market niche?
I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what business to launch. My first online business was a yoga website which I built with the goal of monetizing with affiliate revenue. After a year of working on it I had a website which was coming up top in the Google search results which was a great achievement as this brought in a good volume of visitors, but I realized that I was not actually passionate enough about yoga to keep creating the content myself. I started outsourcing that part but quickly felt that I was not using my core talents and it was not fulfilling or profitable!
I learnt quite quickly that trying to build a business around my passion was a bad idea. And over time I realized that if I changed direction and started focusing on how I could authentically help people with my existing talents and skills – I’d have more success.
Since then I set up fionaflintham.com to help small business owners get found online and on social. as this is what I’d done for global entertainment businesses in my corporate career. After a few months I decided to narrow my niche to specifically businesses targeting mums online. Over the course of my careers at Disney, BBC, and Penguin publishing, I’d worked on brands in the parenting market and had over 10 years experience in this area both online and offline. It was a market I knew a lot about and was confident about my abilities to help others.
Your website is full of free marketing tips for entrepreneurs. Why is it important to offer freebies to your audience in order to convert them into paying customers?
My daily mantra is to ask myself ‘how can I help more people every day’. It’s important to me to deliver value to others and to help them progress. And one of the important things about doing business online is that you take people through the know -> like -> trust cycle.
In the beginning you get known through your free online content, for me, as this is the first experience many people have with me, I want to provide the very best in terms of useful and thought provoking written content. I don’t believe in holding back at this stage because I want to attract the right type of readers. People with integrity and high standards. Once readers know and like you as a brand, they are more likely to want to trust you. And of course, once people trust you, it’s a more natural progression for them to work with you or buy your products/services.
Due to the art of your business you are running several projects simultaneously. How do you manage to stay on top of everything and keep every single client’s account unique and authentic?
I have a system for everything, but the help I provide others with is personalized to their business and their target niche. Early on in my business I read The Emyth by Michael Gerber. It taught me how important it is to systemize as much as possible and to spend time working on my business rather than in it. Also I plan a lot. I take time out every quarter to review the past 3 months and plan the next 3 months. This gives me space to be creative and to keep up with the latest trends in online marketing.

Do you think that one social media channel is enough for growing your business, or would you advise to use multiple channels at once? How much is enough?

It is enough to use just one channel to grow your business. However it is also highly risky to rely on just one source of traffic and leads. This applies to all sources of visitors to your website. If 90% of your traffic comes from Google or Pinterest and then they changes the algorithm, you’re at risk of losing your main source of leads. (I’ve seen this happen to businesses and it can be a brutal blow to profitability). So whilst it’s possible, it’s not a strategy I recommend.
However, when you are just staring out you have to focus on one platform at a time. You need to get really great at it and learn how to make it work for you. People give up too easily these days. They skit from Instagram to Facebook, from Twitter to Pinterest. It takes persistence and focus to get really really good on one social media channel. Only then should you move onto another channel.

You are a successful business owner and a mom, how do you find work-life balance?

When I left my corporate career in London my boss at the time asked me – “so what are you going to do with all your time Fiona”? At that moment I decided I would plan out my ideal day and enjoy every minute of it. I have a pretty structured week, which includes early mornings, meditation and yoga, some sports, time in the office mostly mornings, and three afternoons dedicated to my children who are 6 and 10 years old now. I’ve built a business that fits around my life and my priorities - so I can be there for my kids during the day, but I can also work with clients over Skype in the evenings if I choose. I often work on the weekend when my boys are playing rugby, so we mix it up and keep a flexible approach. One practice I stick to religiously is planning out my week on a Sunday night. I literally schedule every single thing that I want to get done the following week (with my @dailygreatness business planner).

We always need to work on ourselves to be successful in business. Can you recommend any Instagram accounts that help you and can help our audience to become better versions of themselves?

I consider myself a lifelong learner – in the super fast paced world of social media it’s a crucial skill to keep learning and adapting to keep ahead of consumers. And yet I also believe in adopting some of the oldest practices around to keep our heads clear and enjoy the present moment. I’m a group leader in Switzerland for the woman’s network DrivenWoman (@drivenwomannetw) and have found huge inspiration from their core values, which they share globally on Instagram. When I’m looking for motivation I’ll turn to @ted for inspiring TED talks, @mikedooleytut for his brilliant notes from the universe and @headspace for reminders to be mindful.

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