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Leave it with me

New direction reaps rewards              

Jennifer Brosnan is a godsend for people who are too busy to develop and manage their business’s social media.

Leave it with me helps small to medium companies share, support and connect through social media by building their brand awareness and connecting and engaging with experts and other influencers in their market.

It offers packages for people who need to set up social media accounts or need someone to run them. Jennifer visits clients to provide one-one-one training and/or an ongoing service tailored to their needs.

The business is going well, but had its challenges early on. When Jennifer started Leave it with me in 2012, she intended to help families with elderly members complete the complicated paperwork required for life changes such as entering an aged care facility.

While there was demand for such a service, she found few people were prepared to pay for it.

Leave it with me 

After struggling to create a client base, Jennifer attended a six-month Women in Business Program hosted by The City of Whitehorse. The State Government funded program consisted of six workshops covering topics including:

• Defining your purpose, business planning, goal setting
• Finance
• Offline marketing
• Online marketing
• Management
• Creating a business plan

Each four-hour workshop was followed by a session with an SBMS mentor. Jennifer met with two mentors during the program and had three later sessions with Bruce Hall after it finished. Bruce also provided support via phone and email.

Bruce is a Small Business Institute director and has been a small business mentor for more than eight years, during which time he has worked with more than 1100 businesses. His specialities include personal development, marketing and e-marketing.

SBMS is a non-government, non-profit organisation of volunteer expert mentors who give their time and experience to help small business.  It is supported by Small Business Victoria, which refers clients to it. 

Bruce says Jennifer worked exceptionally hard to establish her business throughout the program.

“Her own experience and research confirmed there was a real need for the business, however she simply couldn't seem to get any traction,” he says. “It certainly wasn't through a lack of effort on her part.”

Bruce says Jennifer was doing everything right. She had built a new website, created quality promotional material and marketed the business, calling on aged care providers, doing presentations and “leaving no stone unturned”.

With a background in project management and administration, Jennifer also completed dual diplomas in Business and Management, certificates in Virtual Business Administration and a Social Media Specialist Certificate.

As part of her efforts, Jennifer became active online, blogging and using social media. She really enjoyed this and used the skills she learned in the business program to improve her effectiveness in this area.

Busy business owners then began to ask her to manage their online presence, so she switched her focus to social media coaching and management.

Bruce advised Jennifer on how to successfully make the change. He said whether or not she changed her business name, which she didn’t, she had to focus all future marketing on the new direction.

While Jennifer retained several clients of her earlier services, she revamped her website to reflect the changes. Bruce helped with how much to charge to ensure the business could become viable.

She now has clients from a range of industries and hopes to build the business up to full-time, while still allowing her to spend time with her three young children.

Leave it with me 

Among other things, Leave it with me’s services now include:

  • Setting up business Facebook pages and Linkedin personal and company profiles
  • Researching and managing ongoing content for social media posts
  • Responding and interacting on business Facebook pages
  • Creating, setting up and managing Facebook ad updates or changing social media profiles
  • Writing blogs with targeted SEO key words on a chosen subject
  • Designing, setting up and distributing a business email campaign.

Bruce says the success of Jennifer’s new direction is a good lesson for business owners who may find things difficult. “This is a great story of persistence and how skills learned in one business can be used in an entirely different field,” he says.

“Given the effort she put into the administrative support business, it would have been very easy for Jennifer to give up and simply go out and get a job. However the fact she made the effort to learn about blogging and social media - and crucially apply it - has led to an entirely different direction.”

Jennifer says Bruce knew exactly what she needed to do and conveyed it well. “With a mentor you have to really click,” she says. “They just have to get what you’re doing. I always walk away from him feeling ‘wow’. He really gives you that clear, strategic direction.”

The course was also helpful and taught Jennifer the importance of having a balanced private life to successfully run a business. “We were all quite blown away by it,” she says. “It was fantastic.”

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