This is the first in a new weekly series of blog posts where we’ll get to know one member of our Social Mums Facebook Groups a little better. They will share with you their inspiration for starting their business as well as social media tips they’ve picked up along the way.
We’re starting with Christine who has been an active member of the Social Mums Tunbridge Wells group since it was launched in 2017. She tells us how she’s found a business that fits around her family life as well as a tip to ensure variety in her social media posts.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family.
My name is Christine Sharman and I own Babyprints Tunbridge Wells. I’m a single mum with 2 teenagers – now 16 and 13. Both my children were born in Hong Kong where we lived for 10 years but after separating from my ex-husband I decided to move back to the UK. I was hesitant about buying a Babyprints Franchise as I’m not particularly artistic, but realised despite that I’m very creative and my wider skill set was perfect for this business. I took a leap of faith in 2014, and I’ve never looked back.
What is your business?
My job is to capture memories for you. I am a life caster, which means I create 3d replicas of the hands and feet of your loved ones, whatever age they are. Children grow so quickly; one minute they’re your precious little newborn, and before you know it they are taking their first steps, starting school, moving to secondary school then all too quickly they’ve grown up and left home. We all want to treasure the memories of those first days, weeks and months and through a simple process I can help you to remember every wrinkle and crease of their tiny hands and feet forever.
What inspired you to start your business?
When we started a family, we were in the fortunate position that I didn’t need to work so when I moved back to the UK I wanted to find a business that allowed me to fit my work around my family life. I’d had my children’s feet cast when they were babies and I love to pick them up and remember how small they used to be. I think when you start a family it’s easy to lose your identity but my business has allowed me to be more than “just a mum” and I know my children are incredibly proud of what I’ve achieved.
What social media platforms do you use and why?
When I joined the Social Mums Group it started to make me think more carefully about my content. I used to post rather haphazardly with either pictures of raw casts or finished frames. After joining in the daily #SocialShare I realised I needed to think about my strategy and the Social Mum’s workshop was really beneficial in helping to focus my attention on the right areas. My main social media platform is Facebook, initially because that’s what I was familiar with, but I like it because my customers post reviews there, which helps with new prospects as they can read genuine positive feedback. My products have great visual appeal so Instagram is a good platform too and great for targeting a younger demographic.
What do you find most challenging about marketing your business on social media?
Having tested and measured results of various posts on social media I have a good idea which ones will do well with reach and engagement. One of the biggest frustrations is when the algorithms change and what was working well suddenly doesn’t get the results I expected.
What is the best social media tip you have picked up for your business?
My best tip is to develop a content calendar. I use a monthly one which guides me to keep my content varied between posts about products, topical dates, parenting tips, promoting other local businesses, behind the scenes, funny quotes etc. It’s really important to then engage with comments on your posts, after all social media is about being social!!
What have you found most useful about being part of a Social Mums Facebook Group?
I think the daily share is a fabulous way to help with reach and engagement on posts and to learn about other local businesses. I’ve made new friends through it and it’s enabled me to develop collaborations with other local mums. I’ve loved the mutual support that us mums give each other as virtual co-workers.
Where can we find you on social media?
You can find me on Facebook here:
And on Instagram here:
You can find out more about our local Facebook Support Groups here.