Welcome to Interview with a #GirlBoss, a monthly series around inspirational women who are forging their own futures.
Blogging is hard y’all, especially when you’re relatively new to the scene. More than 3 billion people are using the internet right now and if having your footprint seen given those odds isn’t the very definition of competitive, I don’t know what is.
Whether you’re a business or an individual, but almost certainly if you’re reading this, you have a presence in this online, digital world of ours. Your footprint may be small, medium or massive, but at the end of day, each and every one of us experiences the digital world in some way, shape or form every day – we’re part of that 3 billion.
If you’re a business, then you’ll know the importance of managing that footprint, of ensuring your brand and yours business is curated online so that the message you want to be read is being read. This digital world being what it is though, it can be difficult to navigate the never ending streams of interconnectivity.
As a blogger, influence or content creator, you’ll know how difficult it can be to have your voice heard amongst the general hubbub that is the internet, especially when you’re still new to the industry.
It can seem impossible, if not exhausting to ensure your content is seen when algorithms are constantly changing (for the worse, Instagram, but that’s another post), and people’s feeds are overflowing with information and advertising.
Confusing, exhausting and overwhelming, it can be tempting to give up altogether. But, just like the days of print media, there are always ways to be heard, to be seen, and to convert that next customer.
Enter digital agencies.
Digital agencies take away the fuss, the confusion, and help create a cohesive message across your chosen digital platforms. Even the largest of brands use digital agencies these days as a way to enhance and communicate their message, and are now an integral part of any organisations media strategy.
That’s why for this month’s Interview with a #GirlBoss I sat down (digitally) with Charlotte Dougall of Content by Charlotte, to learn more about this industry, her inspirations, and how she sees the future of media management progressing in the ever changing landscape of the digital world.
Please note, all photos have been supplied by Charlotte.
Charlotte Dougall of Content by Charlotte
Hi Charlotte, thank you so much for taking the time out of your hectic schedule!
Thank you very much for inviting me to be on your blog – I’m flattered!
You’ve been a part of the digital world for almost a decade with a social media presence, and a hugely popular blog. What was the inspiration behind taking the leap, and creating your own digital agency? Was there an “Aha!” moment?
Yes and no. I’ve always loved social media but didn’t really realise it was a viable business option for me until about six or seven years into my blog. I’d been toying with the idea of starting up my own business for a while, roughly a year or so, but I was scared to take the leap. Last year, I was in a car accident, which started a chain of events that culminated in me leaving my retail job and giving freelance a go.
It takes a certain personality to not only start their own business but build it into an empire, which you are well on your way to doing! Do you have a mentor? Who would you say inspires you on a daily basis to keep on going and growing professionally?
I can’t think of one specific person I’d say is my mentor, instead I have a really solid group of strong women around me who are constantly inspiring me and helping me out when I need it most. There are so many brilliant women out there achieving incredible things, which really helps fuel my motivation.
Everyone has their own definition of success. What’s yours? What do you put your professional successes in life down to – luck or hard work?
I think it’s a bit of both! Timing has played a part for me, I was lucky in that I didn’t have a lot of commitments or responsibilities when I decided to make the move to a freelance career, so I didn’t need to worry too much. But I also know that I’ve worked so hard to build what I have today, and I can’t discredit those years of work on my part, either!
The digital world is not free from drama, and it’s unfortunately inevitable that we are all exposed to it from time to time. How do you handle this aspect of the job? Do you ignore it, or use it to your advantage?
Drama is a funny old thing. In the blogosphere you can barely avoid it these days, but I do try to be more of an observer than a participant. Sometimes I can use it to my advantage, as more often than not it will give a glimpse into what the blogosphere is collectively thinking at any one point in time, which I can then use to fuel content ideas for my own blog, my business blog or use to adapt the way that I work with bloggers for my clients.
What would you say are the biggest challenges of creating and managing your own digital agency? What piece of advice would you give to a person interested in a similar career?
I struggle a lot with knowing when to switch off and knowing how much to take on. When I have an idea I like to run with it, so I end up with a lot on my plate at times, leaving me a bit burnt out. I’m trying to get better at it, but it’s not going well so far! I think to work for yourself you need to have really strong organisational skills, as they come into play so much.
With so many projects, time management is essential. How do you find the time and manage your time in order to ensure what needs to be done, gets done?
I honestly do not know. When it comes to work, I tend to be a bit of a morning person, so I’ll get up early and get a couple of hours of work in whilst it’s still peaceful. I have a lot of diaries and lists on hand to keep me on track, which helps massively. I don’t stick to traditional hours and work whenever I see fit, so I tend to be more motivated to get a good chunk done when I actually sit down to work, instead of just procrastinating and online shopping!
Both digital and marketing have always been considered a male dominated industries – is this changing due to the ever growing digital landscape? How did you find your voice?
I think it is changing, particularly with the growth of blogging which seems to be a primarily female-dominated industry. It’s something I’ve struggled with a lot, and those ever so familiar feelings associated with impostor syndrome do creep in from time to time, but then I look at what I’ve achieved off of my own back in the years I’ve been doing this and remind myself that I know my shit.
Women have more opportunity now than ever, however equality still seems out of reach for many. What do you think is the biggest barrier for female business owners to overcome? What’s your advice for any woman wanting to start her own business?
I’d go back to the impostor syndrome thing here again because I know it’s been really prevalent for me. Personally, I struggle with self-confidence, but going solo has worked wonders for me in terms of knowing my worth and finding my voice. I think the best thing to remember is that no moment will ever be perfect when it comes to starting your own business, and if you keep waiting for the right time you’ll be waiting forever. Sometimes, you’ve just got to go for it.
What are your plans for the future – where do you see digital content in ten years’ time, and where do you see yourself and your business within that world?
I honestly have no clue! The digital landscape is forever changing and it’s so hard to predict where we’ll be in a years time, let alone ten. I personally would love to be in a position where I’m running my own agency with a team of coworkers, preferably with a cute office space and lots of dogs…
Finally, Instagram or Twitter?
Ugh that’s so hard. I’m loving Instagram stories right now but I think Twitter will always be my favourite!
Again, thank you for taking the time to answer these!
Thank you so much for having me!