Our Social Mum of the week is the inspirational Lisa who is a member of our Social Mums West Kent Facebook Group. She tells us how she has overcome her disability to create a business helping other small businesses.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family.
I’m Lisa Beaumont, now aged 51 and mother of two remarkable, teenage daughters. I survived a catastrophic brain haemorrhage in January 2011, which has left me left-side paralysed, partially–sighted and wheelchair-enabled and unable to punctuate correctly!
This is particularly irritating for me, because my first degree 1986-1989 was in English Literature from Durham University. I moved to Tunbridge Wells in 1999 when I married my amazing husband who was working in the town at that time. I commuted to London until I had my first daughter, after which I found employment locally until I was hospitalised in 2011. I am now the co-ordinator of a local, peer-support group for working-age stroke survivors.
What is your business and what inspired you to start?
I began my business out of necessity, having returned home from 13 months in hospitals. I knew that I am a highly-qualified, experienced marketing practitioner. It was difficult to apply for jobs because of the limitations of my continuing physical disabilities, I decided to employ myself, instead of persuading an employer to take me on. Which has the benefit that I can structure the day to fit around my schedule with my full-time carer.
I spent a long time examining my experience and skills until I realised that my experience working for Trinity Theatre had allowed me to develop my marketing ability in the context of there being no budget to spend. I had helped to save Trinity Theatre by applying pure marketing theory to attract more customers, that’s the same predicament which faces most small businesses and sole traders, so Lisa Beaumont Marketing was born offering thrifty marketing solutions for cash- strapped business owners. My thesis is that, if I can establish my own venture successfully? My prospective clients will see that I have grown because I practice what I preach. I share my determination for overcoming setbacks with my clients, to help them to succeed too.
What social media platforms do you use and why?
Twitter is my go-to platform I value its potential for extensive reach and its potential to deliver a specific target audience, by field of interest and geography. I use it as a research tool. I also use Facebook as that’s where many of my small business clients are active.
What do you find most challenging about marketing your business on social media?
People, tend to buy people, not services or ideas, I promote myself best, in person. It can be tricky on social media to present an authentic personality, with the correct tone of voice, without compromising the privacy of family members.
I expect that most of the Social Mums might share my bugbear that because the social media landscape expands and changes, daily. You never feel that you’ve truly got to grips with it. Despite being the Social Media Ambassador for my professional body, Chartered Institute of Marketing South East. I continue to develop new social media skills every day. I have recently begun to make a foray into YouTube, having read that SEO algorithms are now giving weight to YouTube search results.
What is the best social media tip you have picked up for your business?
I would say that the best social media platform for generating clients for my own business, has been Facebook, thanks to its facility for bringing like-minded people together in groups, like the Social Mums West Kent group.
I help sole trader tradesmen to build stronger businesses. For them, I find that the Nextdoor network is ideal for matching customers with suppliers, that’s when marketing becomes akin to a dating agency!
I’ve also learnt that Twitter is for listening, not speaking.
What have you found most useful about being part of a Social Mums Facebook Group?
Most useful thing about the Social Mums Facebook group, has been discovering the fabulous business women who are in the group with me. I have been able to purchase from several of them already.
Where can we find you on social media?
You can find me on Twitter here.
You can find me on Facebook here.
Find out more about our local Facebook Support Groups here.