Wednesday, 16 September 2015
2Inspire Inspirational Woman: Victoria Lee of Socialee Media
In this 2inspire Interview we meet Victoria Lee. At 24, she become the founder and Managing Director of a successful London-based social media and content marketing agency, Socialee Media. Initially starting her business at 23 she had been recovering from her 3rd spinal surgery.
You can read Victoria's extraordinary story and the breakthrough challenges she faced while managing her business.
Please tell us what is a typical business day for you?
Head stuck in my laptop wishing there were more hours in the day! I work from home mostly and occasionally coffee shops for a break. About once a week I have meetings in central London with current or potential clients. My typical work day involves creating social marketing strategies, analysing data and responding to client requests or phone calls.
What made you start the business and how did you get started?
I started my business by accident while recovering from back surgery. A few months previously, I'd left my job as a Digital Journalist and Producer at the Daily Mirror to go travelling. For someone with a life-long dodgy back this turned out to be a bad decision and I quickly found myself back home on an NHS operating table.
Jobless and recovering from major surgery I emailed everyone I had ever worked for, explained my situation and asked if there was any work they could throw my way to keep me busy while I recovered.
I got lots of encouraging replies, the game-changing one from a lovely ex-employer; her marketing department was lost when it came to social media and desperately needed someone with digital marketing know-how to generate and put into action a social media and content marketing strategy.
I gratefully accepted the challenge. Within one month of starting on the project, my ex / new employer's blog traffic had increased by 235%. Within two months their Twitter engagement had increased by 2,532%. Needless to say she was pretty chuffed!
Just as I was getting back on my feet post-op, ready to look for a 'real job', two new clients popped up - both on the back of word-of-mouth recommendations. I took them on.
It wasn't long before I realised I was making almost as much money as I would if I went back to a 'real job’. It was then that I decided to stick with my new ‘business’ and see if I could make something of it long-term. So far it’s paying off!
What would you say has been your greatest accomplishment in the business world to date?
Establishing a business from my sickbed!
What has been your biggest challenge in business so far?
Finding the right people to hire and creating smooth communication channels within our ‘virtual office’.
What are your future plans for the business?
To grow in size and to become an established name within the digital marketing industry.
If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently?
Nothing - every step has been an amazing learning curve.
Why is it so important to inspire young women in particular to follow their dreams?
There are not enough women in business - especially the tech industry, and especially in senior roles. It’s easy to be deterred from male dominated industries or to aim lower because of the lack of female role models in senior positions.
But the workplace is changing - flexible working hours, for example, are now compulsory. With the influx of Startup businesses which are predominantly run by young people, young women must understand that the workplace is rapidly changing from a traditional middle-aged male-dominated arena to a place where talent outweighs social class or gender.
With focus and determination you can achieve anything. We need more organisations like the 2Inspire network to instil this message in young women and to help them feel empowered.
What advice would you give to somebody who wants to start a business in your industry?
Find a mentor in a similar industry who can help out with questions or when you get stuck, and then… start! There is only so much prep you can do; you will learn the most important lessons as you go.
What or who inspires you in business and why?
Steve Jobs quotes always give me a boost when I’m not sure about something! I’m also inspired by women who run similar (but more advanced) businesses to me. I’m lucky to be able to interact with them via social media and pick their brains!
What is your favourite inspirational quote?
"Half of what separates successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.” — Steve Jobs