Inspiring Parents: Chelle McCann from Social Sparkle Interview
Welcome to my Inspiring Parents feature. Where I interview parents that have been inspired to do something different with their lives after they have had children. Be it start their own business, tackle a huge sporting feat or change their lifestyles all for the better. You can read more about the concept here.
This week I am interviewing Chelle McCann, if you are part of the parent blogging network there’s a good chance you will know Chelle. She runs her own business as a Social Media Manager, blogs at The Mumington Post and just last month you could have seen her speaking at Britmums – which I really wish I had been there to see.
1. Tell us a bit about you. Why did you decide to start your own business?
I started my own business officially in 2010 after returning to work from maternity leave. I was blogging quite a lot and learning so much about social media so I offered to do this for a few small businesses that I had reviewed for.
2. You work as a freelance Social Media Manager, what made you decide to do that as your profession?
I don’t think there was a moment where I said this is what I have decided to do. It was more a gradual change into it. In 2012 I finally took redundancy from my job as I was enjoying freelance work so much and had enough clients to say goodbye to my old career.
3. Do you work on your own or do you have partners or employees? If so, how do you work together?
I started off working on my own, but now I work with 3 other people quite closely and have a private group on Facebook with other mums doing a similar type of work. It helps to have others to bash ideas off as well as having sickness and maternity cover.
4. What did you do before you ran your own business? Has it helped you in anyway?
I was a PA to the head of service in local government. This has helped as I answered lots of complaints and other types of enquries. It’s given me a head start into how to react to situations online and how to manage expectations of others.
5. As a parent how do you manage running your business around your family?
I write a plan every week and a check list. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t work! Generally my clients know what it is like being in a busy family environment and are more than happy as long as I am fulfilling what I’ve promised. It’s this flexibility which generally means as a team we over deliver.
6. What has been your greatest achievement to date?
Setting up as a company! That was a big change and made things feel a lot firmer! It gets very stressful at times but it is a brilliant feeling!
7. And your greatest challenge?
At the moment I don’t feel like there is one! I try to keep ahead of changes on social media but being on there all the time you get a feel for what people want. The most annoying thing is Facebook changing every 5 minutes!
8. You’re currently pregnant (congratulations), do you plan to work though your pregnancy or take a maternity leave? How do you plan to manage clients through this time?
I intend to work up until 4 weeks before as I did with my son (who arrived 4 weeks early!). I am lucky as it’s a really flexible workload and often I get bouts of energy and can do a whole lot of blog posts to cover a month at a time.I am also quite open and honest with my clients about what’s happening and have a little support team so that the clients are still seeing work being done to a high standard.
9. If you could give any advice to other people and in particular parents thinking of setting up their own business what would it be?
Do it – I think a lot of time is spent thinking about it but once you dive in you wont regret it. My second is hire an accountant! Mine is so worth it and it keeps me on top of my finances as much as I can be!
Thanks so much for your time Chelle. I’m really enjoying this series and hearing about different women have taken the plunge and given themselves more flexible careers around their family. It sounds like you have a fantastic balance.