Is it time to change from Stay at Home Mum to Mumpreneur

Being a stay at home Mum can be great, you’re there for all of the milestones, you don’t have to worry about finding (not to mention paying for) childcare and there’s no commute to worry about. However it can get a bit lonely, and dare I say it, a little bit boring!

Your brain feels numb from overexposure to Cbeebies

Talking to/about toddlers all day can get a bit mind numbing after a while. If you feel like you need an intellectual challenge then starting a business can provide you with that. Even if you’re still suffering from a bit of baby brain (my kids are 4 and 6 and I’m still using that excuse!) getting the brain cells working again can help you shake it off.

You’re worried that you’re not keeping up with workplace skills

Taking a career break to care for your children can have an effect on your long term career. Keeping your skills up to date is one way to mitigate the effect and running a business is a great way to do it. Running my business I’ve developed my IT skills, research skills, communications skills, writing skills. I’ve even learnt web development and marketing from scratch.

You need something that’s just for you

Having children is great but it’s easy to lose your sense of self when they take over your world. Running a business can give you back your sense of identity. It means that for some of the week you’ll get called by your own name instead of so and so’s Mummy. Starting a business helped me to avoid a repeat experience of postnatal depression after my second child was born.

You aren’t comfortable relying on your partner for money

Let’s be clear, being a stay at home Mum is of equal value to going out to work. You are entitled to a share of the household income. Knowing this still doesn’t mean we always feel comfortable about it. Earning your own money can be very satisfying. There’s nothing quite like treating your family to a meal out with money you’ve earned from your own business.

You want to set a good example for your children

Following your dreams is a great example to set for your children. If you want to run your own business, doing so can help show your children that you can achieve whatever you want in life if you work hard.

If you’re feeling inspired to swap being a stay at home mum for being a Mumpreneur check out our 10 Great Business Ideas for Mums.

5 signs it’s time to change from stay at home mum to mumpreneur

Mum typing with baby in arms

Signs it’s time to quit your job and become a Mumpreneur

Being a working Mum can be great. With the right employer, the right childcare and the right support it can work and lead to happy Mum and happy children. If it doesn’t seem to be quite working for you, check out these signs that it’s time to become a Mumpreneur.

Your Sunday is ruined by the thought of Mondays

If you spend your Sundays dreading Monday, worrying about everything you have to get done, it’s time to reevaluate. When your work is having a negative effect on your free time then something needs to change. When my husband was unhappy at work, Sundays always felt a bit off because he was worrying about king back to work the next day.

You aren’t happy with your childcare

Some children run in to nursery without a backwards glance but others have to be pried off you. It’s normal for children to have trouble separating from you and most will settle as soon as you’ve gone but if part of you is worried that they aren’t happy their then launching a business where you can keep them with you might be the answer.

You feel like you’re missing out

First words, first steps, first supermarket tantrum. All parent want to be around for (most) of these milestones but the benefits of working can be a fair trade off for missing them. If you feel like you’re losing more than your gaining then it’s time to become a mumpreneur.

You hate your job

If your job makes you miserable then you’ll definitely want to consider a change. Your children will pick up on your unhappiness and happy Mum=happy baby. As they get older they’ll be aware that you’re staying in a job that makes you unhappy. This may give them the wrong impression of work is like. My Mum hated her job as a legal secretary when I was growing up but carried on because they let her work from home. It certainly effected how I imagined my working life would be. I dreaded starting work and was actually pleasantly surprised to find it wasn’t as bad as I expected. (Although no where near as good as being self employed!)

You need something for yourself

Between looking after children, working, cleaning and general life admin, it’s hard to fit in any time for yourself. Running a business can mean that you can combine working, with doing something you love. This has certainly been the case for me. Once I became a Mum I wanted my time away from my son to mean something other than just earning money.

You want to become a mumpreneur!

Of course the biggest sign is that you want to start a business. If you’re showing signs that it’s time to become a Mumpreneur, check out our Ten Great Business Ideas for Mums.

5 signs it’s time to quite your job and become a mumpreneur

Mums Business Inspiration: Where does it Come From?

Mums Business Inspiration can come from many places. On Business for Mums we’re shared the stories of hundreds of Mums who have started their own business. They all answered the questions “What inspired you” and we’ve used their answers to look for recurring themes.

Mums Business Inspiration: Why Mums want to start a business

I had a always known that I wanted to start a my own business but I had never known exactly what I wanted to do. It took until the maternity leave of my second pregnancy for me to take the leap. The stories shared on Business for Mums suggest I wasn’t alone in knowing that self employment was the direction I wanted to take.

“When my youngest was a year I started watching out for ideas. I wanted to do something that worked around my three young kids (they were 1, 3, 4 when I started) and also something I am passionate about.” Lisa from A Fine Choice

It can also be the experience of motherhood that inspires the Starting of a business. Grace from Beauty by Grace was inspired to start her business by the need for a sense of self “Even though I absolutely loved being a mum, I felt like I had lost myself, I felt like I had no identity.” Keeping hold of your personal identity can also help with postnatal depression.
Many life changes are inspired by a significant life event and that’s no different for Mothers, Suzanne started working as a virtual assistant as it offered a way to work that suited her circumstances.

“I was in a car accident and as a result of the injuries, I was off work sick for a few months, which I hated. I was desperate to get back to work but needed a role that was flexible as I was still recovering, so I decided to hand in my notice and began building up my own Virtual PA business.” Suzanne from Pink Diamonds Office Support

For Ethne from Wood Street Books, it was a personal tragedy that led her to reassess her priorities and become self employed.

“I disliked my job intensely and had long had the desire to become self employed. I had a miscarriage in March 2013 which made me reassess my work/life priorities and I promptly handed in my notice at work. Fast forward 12 months and I had finally completed my long overdue accountancy qualifications and done all the leg work involved in becoming a self employed accountant just in time for Erin’s arrival. Then there was only the small matter of managing a start up as well as a new born baby!”

Mums Business Inspiration Ian often triggered by the thought of leaving their children to return to the work place. That then pushes them to start a business.

“I was feeding my youngest in Chessington World of Adventures and looking through a parenting forum. It was about 6 months from my return to work and I was having that wobble….”I can’t possibly go back to work, my babies need me at home!”. I saw a post on a forum from another Mother with the same dilemma and someone had mentioned Pink Spaghetti Virtual PA’s.” Laura, Pink Spaghetti Franchisee

It can be important for Mums to both be their for their children and retain a sense of self. For a lot of women to best way to achieve that is through self employment.

“I made an active choice that being a Mum was more important than financial success, but having the mental stimulation that work provided was still important to my own well being. Becoming self employed seemed the best answer. As the children have grown, it has allowed me to be the Mum I want to be but fit in the work commitments to allow me to still be ‘me’ and keep a platform from which to grow as my children’s needs change.” Caroline from Added Zest Ltd

There are also less positive circumstances that push Mums in to self employment:

“What inspired me was not being able to get a job! Previous to 2012, the last time I’d been applying for jobs was 2001 and things had changed A LOT! I wanted something well-paid and part-time but I wasn’t getting anywhere so essentially I was forced into the position of finding freelance work – and it grew from there.” Tanya from How to become a Virtual Assistant

Mums Business Inspiration: Where Mums ideas come from

So, we know why Mums want to start a business, but how do they come up with their ideas? A lot if Mums take their inspiration from a skill they already have:

“I was approached by my son’s headteacher to give French classes in the curriculum from Year 2 to Year 6 last year. Then I also set up Spanish breakfast and after-school clubs there. I was then approached by another school to do the same. Next I started looking into ways of expanding without compromising my life-work balance and came across Kidslingo.” Jill from Kidslingo

It can also be reigniting a previous passion that leads to a business:

“Initially, after having my first son in 2012 I became a little frustrated at the lack of time I had to concentrate on my art. But then one day I drew him – nothing radical! – bit it was a breakthrough…I showed some family & friends, who really liked them & said that they could relate to them & so I decided to make them into more finished pieces in order to produce limited edition prints to sell. So, my family is a huge inspiration!” Anne-Marie Rickus Arts

For other Mums, a new business means a completely new direction:

“I found a book online about how to become a VA. All you needed was internet connection and you could work with people online. This was a totally new way of looking at things for me and I realised that I could be doing this and working with people all over the world.” Chichi Eruchalu

People often imagine that all businesses are inspired by a gap in the market or finding the solution to a problem. Evidence from the stories on Business for Mums suggest that this is the case for only a small proportion of Mums. Here are a couple of examples:

“I had always enjoyed making and sewing but didn’t have time or resources to make more ambitious things such as clothes and, speaking to peers it appeared that there are many people in the same boat. When I looked around crafting shops or haberdashery departments in the larger stores they were full of kits, aiming to simplify a particular craft, but none contained kits to make actual clothing.” Kate from The Pretty Lovely Company

Businesses can also be inspired by a childhood experience:

“I’d had a bad experience as a child learning to swim and I swore my kids wouldn’t be afraid of water…I looked around for children’s swimming classes but was disappointed with what I found. Eventually, I found classes in London and I used to go all the way to London once a week from Buckingham! The owner of that particular swim school asked if I would like to be a teacher so I qualified and became a swimming teacher. I started teaching locally and I was in the pool one day and a lovely little baby was sick on me – and that was my lightbulb moment! I thought, I need to be doing something for myself…” Tamsin from Water Babies

You can read more about my personal Buisness journey on the About Us page. You can also read about my two business stories, Tots Tales and Mum2mum Market Nearly New Sales.

Which Business is Right for You?

When you were little, it seemed so simple. You wanted to be a firefighter, a nurse, a teacher or, in my daughters case, a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. Once you’re a bit older it’s a bit more complicated (you realise you’re never going to be a turtle, green isn’t really your colour after all) and you have to take decisions that will effect your future, weather that’s to carry on studying to follow a career path or to find a job and start earning. When you go on maternity leave for many women it’s a bit like going back to that question of “what do you want to be when you grow up” except it’s “what do you want to be now you’re a Mum”. For some it’s to be a stay at home Mum, for some it’s to be a working Mum and for others it’s to become self employed and work around their family. If it’s self employment, then you need to decide which business is right for you.

So you want to run a business

You’re then back to the question of what do you want to do?  I knew for a long time, even before I had children, that I wanted to be self employed but just kept waiting for the right idea to come along. I had no idea which business was right for me, I imagined that one day I’d have my eureka moment. I’d come up with some great product to solve an everyday problem or think of a service that I could turn in to an international franchise. It didn’t happen and eventually, after having my second child, I realised it wasn’t going to. I needed to make it happen by picking an idea and going with it.

Which Business?

In reality, only a small number of businesses start with eureka moment. When I look at the stories shared on the Mumpreneur Inspiration website it’s clear that inspiration for which business to start comes from a whole host of places. Many Mums have turned a hobby into a business. Lots have become self employed doing something they’ve done when employed. Some have built a business around selling a product they love or teaching something they’re good at.

Starting a business is a huge commitment, even if your start up costs are low, the time and emotional energy required are massive. It’s really important to find the one that will give you the rewards you’re looking for. Both in terms of both finances and satisfaction.

Finding the right idea for you

To help you do this I’ve created the course “Mums Starting in Business: Finding the right idea for you”. The course takes you step by step through the process of deciding if self employment is right for you. How you’ll manage to work around your children, getting to know what you need from a business, generating business ideas and how to evaluate those ideas to see if the business will meet your needs.

It’s really how hard to fit a course around family life. That’s why this one’s online, the lectures are short so that you can slot them in when you have time. There are also exercises that you’ll need to complete. These are where you’ll make the real progress towards your goal of choosing a business idea.

To find out more just visit the course homepage

Which business is right for you

The mum and Working Academy and Awards.

Yesterday I spent the day at the Mum and Working Academy and Awards. Mumpreneur Inspiration was nominated in the working parent blogger of the year category,  we didn’t win but still had a great day.

There were excellent speakers at the Mum and Working Academy on topics like social media, Finance and funding, search engine optimisation,  team-building PR, legal advice and vlogging.

NatWest were the event sponsors and their regional enterprise manager gave a great session on funding and finance. As well as talking about bank finance he told us about the many great resources that can be found in the city business library. He also discussed alternative funding routes, for example grants, sweat equity, crowdfunding, government start up loans, peer-to-peer lending, pitching competitions and crowdfunding.

Natwest small business funding presentation

Natwest small business funding presentation

There was an excellent session called 42 great SEO tips for small businesses, they focused on how good the search engine optimisation was really about helping users find what they want rather than tricking Google. My key takeaway from this was to think about what people might be googling and use those phrases to make my posts easier to find.

Sarah Cressall

Sarah Cressall

Claire Jones-Hughes from Claritaco Media led the session on social media she talked about limiting the number of platforms that you use, many people agreed that four was overwhelming so she suggested starting with one of them and when you feel confident with it add another. She talked about the importance of making a commitment to your social media and linking in your social media goals with your business goals.

I particularly enjoyed Sarah Cressall’s closing remarks, her enthusiasm is really contagious and she left me feeling inspired.

 

The awards part of the day began with a keynote address from Caroline Dinenage MP who talked about the importance of women in the economy. The working parent blogger of the year category was quite early in the program. Tired daddy received a highly commended award and the winner was honeymumster, the blog of Sarah-Jane Honeywell, who also spoke later at the awards. These are both fantastic bloggers and deserving winners as were  the many other amazing award winners.

All of the finalists received a framed certificate and everyone got a fantastic goody bag. If you’re considering attending next years event I highly recommend it.

8 inspiring reads for Mums in Business

As a former librarian I love reading, whenever I have a new idea the first thing I do is read about it so of course I have read lots of books on Mums in business, here’s a run down of my 8 favourites.

(Contains Affiliate links)

Mumpreneur: The complete guide to starting and running a successful business image
Annabel Karmel

This is a good all round starter book for any Mums considering self employment from one of the country’s most famous Mumpreneurs. It has a useful chapter on developing your confidence as well as keeping the importance of work life balance in focus.

 

imageA Woman’s guide to working for herself
Sarah Hewett

This book has a section specifically about Mumpreneurs as well as a range of case studies to illustrate the advice it offers which make it a more interesting read. It also has some great advice on deciding if being self employed is right for you, something lots of people never really consider.

 

The Girl who Refused to quitimage
Cassie Farren

This is the story of one Mumprenenur’s journey, it highlights the fact that it isn’t always a straight road and the importent thing is to keep going. Cassie was involved in network marketing before finding her true calling helping people to achieve their potential.

 

imageStaying at Home with the kids
Nicola Semple

While this isn’t specifically about running a business it’s a great book for a mums who are trying to decide if they should go back to work or become self employed. It’s also great for anyone struggling with being at home with small children all day, it recognises that just because we love our children it doesn’t mean we find being at home with them all day easy.

 

Start your Dream Businessimage
Emma Wade and Carol Ann Rice

This book is a lovely combination of inspirational stories and down to earth advice, while the stories don’t focus solely on Mumprenenur’s there are some great stories to read. Lots of the businesses are quite big but it’s great to dream big!

 

imageThe Mumpreneur Guide
Antonio Chitty

Although this one is getting a bit old now it’s still a good introductory guide for Mums who are thinking about self employment for the first time. It includes a useful section on finding the right business idea.

 

 

imageWhat should I do with my life
Po Bronson

While this is about neither being a Mum or being self employed it is a great book on discovering the right path. Po spoke to hundreds of people who have achieved happiness about how they did it and why it made them happy. Brilliantly written and very easy to read.

 

If you’re looking for more inspiration check out “Business For Mums”

Looking for Mum’s business inspiration? Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

8 inspiring reads for mums in business

Mum making Money from home with Matched betting

Mums who Can – Running Events that Support Mumpreneurs

image

Tell us a bit about your family?

I am happily married to a serving police officer and between the two of us we have three children!
My son has just turned 12 years old, my step daughter is 5 years old and our daughter is 18 months old! They all keep me on my toes and there are days when I despair but I love them all with everything I have!

What’s your business called?

Mums Who Can

Can you describe it in one sentence?

Mumpreneur events and opportunities to show case the talents of local mum-owned businesses.

When did you start it and what inspired you?

When my 12 year old was born, the term Mumpreneur was rarely used. Given the fact that social media sites like Facebook and Twitter had yet to be launched and mobile phones were only just starting to allow internet access, it’s not really surprising.
Fast forward to my daughter being born, Mumpreneur is now a well-known description of mums taking the leap of faith and setting up their own businesses whilst juggling every day activities like breastfeeding, teething, toddler groups, school runs, and, of course, tantrums!
It was rude not to follow suit and in February 2015, Mums Who Can was born.
I wanted a business that allowed me to grow, create a brand and forge relationships that lasted. Mums Who Can is just that!

How did you fund your start up?

The great thing about setting up my business was the fact that I did not have to fund anything until I started getting payments in from mums who wanted to exhibit at our events!

How do you manage working around your children?

By sticking to a strict routine! Social media updates get done first thing in the morning before everyone wakes ups and I generally plan my week so I know what I need to get done. I am lucky that my hubby works various shifts including lates and nights so I get time in the evenings to work when he does – it also means that when he is at home I can afford to take some time away from the laptop. My daughter goes to nursery twice a week and with great technology like the iPhone, I am able to answer emails and Facebook messages throughout the day when she naps or plays.

Can you describe a typical day, what tasks do you have to get done, how do you manage your time?

My typical day depends greatly on how far from an event I am! If I am in the lead up to an event with only a few weeks to go, my day is spent checking and re-checking arrangements, sending regular updates and ensuring all advertising is done as much as it can be. If, however, I have a few months to go before the event I tend to use this time to update the database of mums who wish to exhibit, send confirmation packs, chase invoices, and advertise on a more general level like taking part in radio interviews or press articles.

What challenges have you faced in your business and how have you overcome them?

The biggest challenge I have had to overcome is the fear of “asking”! In my personal life I find it very difficult to ask for help or ask for something to be free etc. but I have overcome this with my business as I have realised that if “you don’t ask, you don’t get” and it is so true! Everyone is always so responsive to what I do that they never mind helping out or offering their services.

What’s the best thing about being self-employed?

For me it’s watching the business grow into a well-known and respected company. Mums Who Can has quickly become a brand that is recognised and trusted. I have met the most amazing mums and developed friendships that will be long lasting. The testimonials on my website are all from mums that have exhibited at the events and reading them always makes me proud!

What are your plans for the future?

Over the next 5 years, I plan is to offer either Franchised Area’s or Area Manager roles that will allow Mums Who Can to grow into the rest of the UK and internationally.

What advice would you give for someone just starting out?

Find something that you feel a passion for. You will be spending an awful lot of time on the business when you start out and if you have no passion for it, it will fail quickly because you will find it a chore.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

It is very easy to be tempted to offer friends and family “freebies” but it’s important to remember that you are running a business and therefore should never feel bad about sticking to your normal prices etc. when dealing with people you know.

Website: www.mumswhocan.co.uk
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mums-Who-Can/451442821683412
Twitter: Lisa@mumswhocan

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Mumpreneur working

Taking the plunge into self-employment

Lots of people dream of self-employment but most will never actually take that step. I’ve known I wanted to work for myself since I was a student and did a business degree at university but it wasn’t until I had my children that I finally took the plunge. I think the reason that I, and many other mothers, took the plunge after having children are that the factors both pushing me and pulling me towards self-employment increased and the barriers to it became lower.

Factors pushing towards Self-employment

There are a number of factors that push people towards self-employment. Redundancy is an obvious one but for me, while I did take voluntary redundancy, it wasn’t offered until I’d already decided to start my business and was well on the road to doing so (logo designed, website launched, venues booked). The main factor pushing me towards it was something along the lines of work life balance, a factor for many, but it wasn’t just having time with my children, it was also about the time I spent away from them being more rewarding. With small children, work can be the only “me time” you get and I wanted to enjoy it. For many people the cost of childcare for inflexible working hours pushes them towards self employment. As does being unable to find work that fits in around family life, or indeed any work at all.

Factors pulling you towards self-employment

There are also factors that pull you towards self-employment. These are the more positive things that you hope to get from it. For many people it’s about following a passion. You have an idea you just know is brilliant. You have a hobby that you want to spend all of your time on. That’s what drives them to start. While I was passionate when I started, my passion was for running a business itself rather than a specific business idea. That’s why it took me a while to find what was right for me.

Despite that I’ve loved being my own boss from day one. I love the independence and ability to make my own decisions without answering to anyone. For me and many others that is a huge pull factor. The other big pull for some is money. We may not always like to admit it but that is what running a business is all aboout. It can be the earning potential of being self employed that really motivates you.

 

What stops us?

So with all these factors pushing and pulling us towards self-employment, what stops us taking the leap? For me the number one reason was fear, specifically fear of failing in such a public way. When I was still employed I spent years trying to get promoted and failed many times but it never stopped me trying. I developed great resilience from the experience and it helped me overcome that fear when it came to starting my own business.

Ultimately my first business did fail and I learnt that, actually, it’s really not so bad. I had fun, learnt lots and applied it all to my next business. There are also other types of fear that stop people, finances are always a big issue. What if you lose money? Can’t pay your bills? Can’t put food on the table? There is also the fear of letting down those around you, your partner, your parents and of course, your children.

Self belief

Much of the fear we experience comes from our own lack of confidence. It takes great self belief to invest time and money in your own success. Even more so if you are giving up a steady job with a good salary in a profession that contributes to your sense of identity. I was a librarian, I loved being a librarian. I loved telling people I was a librarian, I’d spent years studying to be able to do it, it was hard to let go of that. Often mothers will have already stepped away from their careers, if only for maternity leave. This can make the loss a little easier to handle.

the practicalities

Practical issues can stop us too. Money rears its head again, if the idea we have needs money, how do we find it? We all need some support, this might be childcare from family, support from a business network. It might just be moral support from a partner or friend. You may also need knowledge, of running a business in general, specific things like getting prototypes made, technical knowledge or just knowing the right people. Finally, and most importantly, you need an idea. I have a little book full of every wacky business idea I’ve ever thought of over the years. Choosing an idea that I could realistically implement was the really challenging bit. I still believe that a milkshake shop would be really successful in my town however the start up costs would be more than I could afford and the working hours not at all family friendly.

What’s Stopping you?

If you’re one of those people who dream of being self employed think about how all this applies to you. Even if you conclude now isn’t the time to take the leap, at least you will know if there are genuine reasons to hold fire or if it’s just the fear that stops you. If that’s the case you can start thinking of ways to overcome it.

Want to take baby steps? Why not check out some of these great ways to earn money part time? They’re great to either keep the cash flowing while you get started or to work alongside your main job to test the self employment waters.

Ready to take the plunge but struggling to find the right business? “Business for Mums” can help you find the right idea.

Want to read about Mums who have taken the leap? Check out our stories.

Looking for Mum’s business inspiration? Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Taking the leap into self employment

start up 2016

Start Up 2016 – An Inspiring Day

On Saturday I spent the day at Start up 2016 in Canary Wharf, luckily I booked my
ticket early as the event was sold out with a waiting list of 2000 people. It was run by Enterprise Nation and as well as the Canary Wharf event, partner events were also running around the country making it accessible to everyone. There were a great range of sessions to attend from Instagram advice to packaging design and subscription businesses to trend watching.
It was the first time I’d attended an event like this so I wasn’t sure what to expect. It’s easy to think that your business isn’t important enough for you attend events like this but, although some of what went on was aimed at large start ups who were looking for funding, there was plenty that was relevant to my “micro business”.

The first session I attended was “Make or break: How I’ve built my start up” which was a panel interview with Darren Rook of the London Distillery, Penny Power OBE, founder of The Business Cafe and Esther Thompson of Tea Huggers. The panel was chaired by Gary Turner of Xero, his company has recently commissioned research in to success factors for start ups and the findings of this research steered the direction of the interview. The research found that businesses who don’t seek support and advice were much less likely to succeed than those who did and what really came from the panel was that you need to be open to accepting help which can be difficult when the business is “your baby”. Other key points were that it’s really important to be familiar with the numbers and to maintain some kind of work life balance, the main tip for achieving this was to automate wherever possible so that you can focus on growth.

The next session I attended was “Boost your Business on Facebook” which was run by someone from Facebook. The main message here was mobile, mobile, mobile, of the 28 million people in the UK who use Facebook daily, 25 million do it on a mobile device. This means that advertisers need to focus on catching attention quickly (or “thumb stopping”) and she explained that we have just 3 seconds to do that. She also talked about the new carousel ads which have been recently launched highlighting they’ve seen a 30-50% decrease in the cost per click on these ads.

One of the main reasons I wanted to attend was for the session on offline events run by EventBrite (as running events is my business) and it did not disappoint. It was run by EventBrite’s content manager who started off by discussing why events are still relevant today before moving on to the before, during and after of event marketing. He shared a great deal of information and if events are your thing then I would recommend checking out the EventBrite blog but I’ll just cover the key points here. The overarching theme for me was really the use of Hashtags, he suggested that they should be memorable, unique, short and evergreen, for me evergreen really struck a chord, it refers to keeping the hashtag the same for each event in a series (for example with annual events or for me with monthly events) as this keeps up momentum. The site keyhole.co was recommended as a way to check out the reach of your event using the hashtag and this is certainly something I’ll be trying out. He also talked about creating shareable content before the event, my favourite example was for conference type events and involved asking all the panellists the same three questions and then using the answers to create a blog post which can then be shared with the hashtag. I was also really interested in the statistic that drop out rates for free events are often over 50%, definitely worth baring in mind if you are deciding weather to charge for an event or not.

I had a very enjoyable day and there were plenty more sessions I’d have loved to attend if I’d had time and it’s an event I’ll certainly be looking out for next year, especially since it was completely free. My main takeaways were to be clear on the outcome you’re trying to achieve, look for and accept help and keep a close eye on your numbers.

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