What do teaching and social media have in common? In Leeann Bassett’s case a lot.
The former teacher has taken the strategic planning and organisational skills she gained from teaching around the world to develop a unique social media consultancy business.
After teaching for 23 years, Leeann did an eCommerce course and opened two online shops, selling to people in the US with the use of Facebook and Instagram Ads. After a few years, she found this approach didn’t use her strengths effectively or have any personal contact with her customers, so started teaching people how to use Facebook and Instagram for their business growth.
Face Up Now tackles two key barriers for many businesses: Face up to the fact that you should be doing social media for your business (and it’s not too scary) and face up to the fact that as a business owner you need to be the face of your business.
“In New Zealand, people do business with people. They won’t buy from a faceless logo. They will buy from a person they like and trust.”
As a small business owner herself, Leeann is certainly finding that to be true, and has grown Face Up Now over the past four years through word of mouth and referrals alone.
“It started when I helped a few friends set up Facebook pages, then I started helping a friend of mine who had opened a shop, to help them create content because they didn’t know what to do. I have been doing this ever since.”
When she first started, Leeann was operating social media on behalf of her clients – a ‘done for you model’ – but over the years, as she has realised where her strengths lie, Leeann has evolved the business to match her skills and better serve her clients.
“I felt like I was just churning out content, but wasn’t using my teaching background,” she explains. “I realised I’m good at strategy, planning and looking at a business from an outside perspective to guide people to the right outcomes. So now I do a ‘done with you’ approach.”
Leeann will sit down and develop unique social media plans for clients for up to a year, breaking it down into months and then into more regular bite-size pieces, but when it comes to doing the doing, it’s her clients that take front and centre.
“I feel social media is so much better when the business owner is involved. You want that personal interaction and it’s harder to get people to know, like and trust you if you’re removed from it.”
Leeann is supported by two Virtual Assistants in Cambridge and Timaru, who ‘do the doing’ – uploading, scheduling and running content across multiple channels – while Leeann can meet with clients as little or as often as they like to plan and execute the content.
“For example, with a client in New Plymouth, I’ll send them a topic that we have pre-agreed on, they will record a video for it, send it to me, and then we repurpose the video into a blog post and publish on their website, plus make any social media content we can from what the client says on the video.
“Repurposing is a smart way to work and change the content across different platforms with different images and text, so the business owner spends 10 minutes recording that video, but we make the most of it and it has a bigger impact.”
One of the advantages of owning and operating her own business has been the flexibility to make it what she wants and having the ability to be the key decision maker. With a husband and two teen sons, she also enjoys the flexibility of being able to work when it suits.
But on the flip side, one of the biggest challenges has been running the business.
“I reckon in the first year I was earning about $10 an hour because I didn’t know how to run and maintain a business. I have had to do lots of training on how to manage hours. I got a business coach and that has helped me fast track the business too and keep me on track.”
If you’d like help getting your social media on track, contact Leeann for a chat. She runs workshops around the region and can create bespoke workshops to train teams within an organisation.
Leeann also offers one-to-one coaching and mentoring to learn everything you need for your business to be successful on social media.