We had a run-in with Cecily back in 2010?? at a Mashable Meetup in Philly. She was totally personable and approachable and was one of the very few people there who truly wanted to network. We think she’s a breath of fresh air.
Tell us how it all started. Why? What’s the story?
When I had my daughter, I had an excellent job at a women’s art college running a small retail art gallery. It was a very cushy job but had one problem: it meant I was away from my daughter all day. After a year of this, I began tossing out inquiries about freelance writing jobs, and lo and behold, I got an offer that was basically a full-time writing gig that could easily replace my in-house job. That was way back in 2007.
What is your biggest success so far?
Honestly? Not being homeless. Being a freelancer in 2009 and 2010 was horrible. We nearly lost everything, and the financial repercussions are just being cleared up now, five years later. It took us a long time to rebuild. My husband is also freelance, so you can imagine how that contributed to the issues.
But! Other than that, my biggest success has been how often I retain clients and how often they come back for more work from me. That makes me so happy.
What is the biggest challenge in your industry? What are you doing to deal with that?
As a social media marketing, community manager, and content creator the biggest challenge is how fast this industry evolves. It’s critically important to consistently study the industry and learn, and increase your skill set. I sign up for each new social platform right away, even the ones that fail or flail (ello, anyone?). I subscribe to over 80 different sites/platforms/magazines that are focused on this industry.
The other challenge is remaining creative within the framework of these changes. None of the work has any value if it isn’t interesting and engaging.
What advice would you give to a business owner starting out in your industry that you wish you would have known going in?
I wish, very much, that I’d focused more on what running a business means. I was completely clueless and made so many mistakes it’s a wonder I’m not working at Starbucks. I treated it like a job, not a business, and it cost me. Even today I’m still learning what it means to be the owner of a business instead of an employee.
What don’t most people realize about you or your company?
That blogging birthed it. I was a personal blogger for a decade and it gave me my writing chops. I was blogging before social media had a name, so I was learning the ropes as it evolved. I believe this gives me a unique perspective for running this business.
Teakettica's Local Spot features Interviews with Business Professionals in the Greater Delaware Area.
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