This week on my pivoting entrepreneur blog series I’m featuring Beth Searle.
I absolutely loved chatting to Beth because she’s been through an entire pivot from management consulting to online retail and now video making. She has set up a new business (Beth Searle Videos) creating stop-motion animation videos, inspired by the marketing videos she was creating for her online retail store!
So if you’ve been working with me on building your brand and message and need someone to help you bring that to life in a video – Beth’s your girl!
She has had to build her brand from scratch, understanding her offer, her message, figuring out who her ideal clients are. And although she said it has been a difficult journey, she’s made it look pretty easy!
In Beth’s words…
I started my career in Management Consulting, developing brand and consumer strategies, mainly in retail.
I knew I wanted to start my own business, and thought retail would be a good place to start. It also felt like a good fit with my business partner. We developed Be So Baby, helping aunties and uncles buy gifts for their new nieces and nephews.
I started making videos partly as a creative outlet, and also as a fun way to market my baby and toddler gifts. Pretty soon I realised I preferred making videos to selling toys, and after a few video requests from other business owners, I decided to take the leap to videos full time after Christmas.
I also realised that the parts of my career in retail consulting that I really loved were developing strategies and working with business owners, rather than the retail itself!
What motivated the pivot?
The timing worked out well as my business partner at Be So Baby was also going through a transition, and wanted to head back into a corporate role. We both loved Be So Baby but felt like we didn’t have the time or capital required to really make it the success we knew it could be. So we closed the business after Christmas last year, and I started to set up Beth Searle Videos.
Starting from Scratch
The most difficult part of the transition was developing a completely new strategy and brand from scratch. It took about 6 months to figure out who my new audience is, and how best to position myself and communicate my new offer in a simple way.
I also find it really difficult to charge for something that I really love doing! It has taken many stern conversations with myself (and other people) to really figure out how much my videos are worth!
How did you create your brand offer and develop your new message?
My previous business experience gave me the confidence to be ‘me’ in my new business, rather than hide behind a corporate logo. I think I wouldn’t have been able to do that straight out of corporate life.
Chatting to other business owners and also creating videos for different brands has helped me to develop my new offer, as I realised that a lot of brands don’t just want a video made, they need help creating an idea that really fits with their brand and strategy too.
I have developed a two-stage process for creating a video – first understanding fully the brand and current messaging so that I can be consistent with that, then developing a video that actually helps with the business’ current goal – whether that’s building awareness, launching a new product, building engagement, or creating an offer / advert.
Smaller businesses often don’t have a marketing budget that will stretch to videos, so I am hoping to develop a ‘create your own’ offer to help them start their own.
Getting the message out there
My main marketing at the moment is through my own instagram feed. I let my videos show what I can do.
I have been approached by most of my customers through word of mouth or by people who have come across my instagram feed.
Going forward, I want to inject more of my personality into my brand, and be a little more strategic in showing the kind of projects I can do!
My audience is very different to my old business. Luckily I have built up a good network of other small business owners who are really helpful when it comes to testing my ideas! Reaching larger businesses is my next goal.
What advice would you give other businesses/entrepreneurs wanting to pivot?
Don’t forget what you loved about your old life, even if you are tempted to change EVERYTHING!
Also, you take both your strengths and weaknesses with you – learn everything you can from any mistakes you made so that you can keep moving forward.
What keeps you going?
I love making videos and creating something magical that really works for my customers. I love the positive feedback!
What’s the best thing about what you do?
The flexibility to work when and where I want, and also the chance to be creative every day.
You can check out Beth’s instagram feed here
If you’re looking to pivot or evolve your business and would like help getting clarity and stepping up your messaging – book a call with me here– I’m now taking bookings for January 2019 on my “Next level Messaging” programme. that will make sure your new offer, positioning, difference, and message are where you need to be to grow and evolve your business and become the obvious choice for your ideal clients.