Today we interview the super talented ladies who are The Digital Picnic. I can’t speak highly enough about Catherine and Cherie, they have taught me so much about social media and they are two of the nicest people I have ever met. Over to you ladies…
Why did you decide to create The Digital Picnic and where did the idea come from?
[Cherie:] The whole idea behind our TDP workshops was something as simple as multiple friends / industry professionals coming to me and asking if they could take me out for a coffee in exchange for social media help / advice / tips + tricks. At the time, I was working in social media management full-time and simply didn’t have the time to do multiple coffee’s in exchange for social media marketing advice.
I began to realise that there might be a market for workshops where small business owners, aspiring social media managers could all come together for a fun + interactive workshop where we focus on offering incredibly practical social media advice, which aims to guide our attendees on best current social media practices.
I knew I didn’t want to launch this business idea on my own, but I’d also heard some horror stories about business partnerships that had been anything other than successful. I met Catherine through a local Mother’s group, and not only were our personalities incredibly complimentary, but our skills sets were too. We just work really well together, and it all just … works.
What’s the best thing about what you do?
[Catherine] It’s meeting people in our workshops. It’s hearing them introduce themselves + their stories when we first kick off each and every one of our workshops. It’s being inspired by their stories. It’s being able to relate to their stories. It’s the realisation that hearing small business or entrepreneurial stories is exactly why you’re doing what you’re doing; they inspire you with their stories, we empower them with social media knowledge. We also love that we get to follow their journey and provide ongoing support via our Facebook group.
We feel very lucky!
What’s been your proudest moment?
[Cherie] I think it’s been kicking our business idea off and going from having to really promote our workshops heavily, to now being in the position where we are able to much more casually promote what we’re doing, courtesy of good word of mouth/feedback that currently fills our workshops.
It couldn’t be a bigger compliment, and we feel so proud of what we are doing for ourselves, … and our attendees.
Have there been any challenges?
I think the biggest challenge with small business ownership is learning how to actually say “no” to some work. When you first begin, you feel like you have to say yes to everything, because you just want to make it as a small business owner, and you think saying yes to everything will ensure that. But we are also Mothers, and we have very little people at our feet, so we have capacities as well as work/life balances we want to cultivate for ourselves.
By saying no to some potential work opportunities, we’ve actually been able to make ourselves available to even better opportunities, so for us, saying no has been an incredibly valuable lesson.
What does an average day look like for you both?
[Catherine] Most of our work-related conversation is done via Facebook private messaging between each other [currently 15k messages long since our launch in October 2014, ha!].
On an average day, we’re managing the social media accounts for the multiple clients who have engaged our social media services. We also contribute to our exclusive private Facebook groups for our workshop attendees, and our eBook purchasers. We field e-mails, generate proposals for prospective social media clients, have regular meetings with current clients, … and of course, we have our little people at our feet [x2 two year olds, and x1 almost five year old between us currently].
It’s busy, but manageable. And most importantly? Enjoyable.
What are you passions outside of your business.
[Cherie] Definitely family! Whilst travel is on the back burner for a while we both LOVE interior design and styling… we’re probably both frustrated stylists deep down 😉 I think this comes through in our brand aesthetic… perhaps we should launch an event styling arm to our business!?
What is the best tip you can give anyone for managing social media for business?
[Catherine] Plan your content and schedule! Many small business owners have no social media plan or content strategy, so they find themselves becoming a slave to their social media channels.
If you carve out some time once a week to plan your week’s content, then schedule that content at peak times for your audience, then you can spend the rest of the week engaging and responding to your audience… which is what social media is ALL about. Planning will free you up creatively to be more spontaneous and scheduling will make sure you’re posting content when your unique audience is online, and more likely to see it!
Catherine and Cherie have produced an eBook called ‘So you want to be a social media manager’ and have generously created a discount just for you. Enter the code ‘mamg5’ for $5 off [normally $24.95]. Valid until 30/09/15.
Click here for more details.