Welcome to another Flourish Friday!
If you’re new to How I Flourish in Des Moines, this blog series shares the stories of local women in business. Get ready to learn more about these passionate women, how they started businesses in the Des Moines area, and advice they have to share.
Today local social media coordinator, consultant, and educator Delaney Spaid is walking us through her small business journey, from majoring in fashion in college to using her creativity and social know-how to support creative entrepreneurs and companies bring life (and greater conversions) to their Instagram accounts.
Read on to learn more about Delaney’s experience as a service-based small business owner in Des Moines.
Introducing Delaney Spaid
1. What is your business, and what do you do?
I am a Social Media Coordinator, Consultant and Educator. I help with all things Instagram! I love refining businesses and creative entrepreneur’s brand presence through Coordinating services, Bio makeovers, Hashtag kits and Thrive Sessions. In short, I love collaborating and working with busy creatives who need a extra support to pull together all of their amazing offerings, calendar of events, and discover how to best connect that information while educating clients and getting really clear messaging to attract their ideal target audience. Sometimes that looks like copywriting captions with clients. I love hearing my clients talk about their business because then I can pull together what i’m hearing and observing in captions that can help convert into engagement and building relationships with their followers. Other times it looks like organizing hashtags or educating on the most current “how-to’s” of social media.
2. How long have you been in business?
I have been actively pursuing my business for one full year from Nov. 1st, 2017 I began helping out a client with coordinating all of their amazing content across social channels. Planning posts for Instagram, blogging all of their content, and making sure all of their social channels were updated and organized.
I’ve done everything from setting up ads, to blogging galleries, to writing blogs, to preparing e-mail campaigns, to creating graphics for Pinterest and Instagram, to engaging for clients to taking photos of their products… it’s been a whirlwind of a year and I’ve been able to try out SO many aspects of social media marketing.
Since then, I’ve been able to evolve and discover my passion truly lies within branding and marketing on Instagram!
3. What sparked your interest in becoming a small business owner?
It’s always been on my heart to be in a small business in some capacity! While considering internships for the summer back at Iowa State University, I kept gravitating to smaller companies with a heart for people. I was fortunate enough to land an internship in Austin for a summer with Mitscoots Outfitters, a sock company that turned into an apparel company selling hats, scarves, blankets, bags, and so many other amazing things! Mitscoots helps transitioning homeless and is doing incredible things like employing folk’s transitioning out of homelessness and giving back with their 1 : 1 giving model.
My eyes were opened in SO many ways during that season. I recall sitting with Mitscoots’ owner, Tim, talking about why he decided to start his own business. I had a first hand look at what it took to show up for your business everyday, a glimpse into all of the decisions and accountability it took to move business forward, and also the coffee shop work sessions didn’t stink! I recall having coffee on the last day of my internship and we spent time discussing how I really wanted to eventually start something of my own – The only problem was, I didn’t quite know what field I felt called to. I did know that I was truly inspired by his passion and grit to build a company that had his own unique stamp to it, including a heart for helping others.
So, I graduated a few years later and ended up in a few jobs that I’m very grateful for. They shaped me in a lot of ways. And the best part? They were also small businesses. One, a start-up and the other a solopreneur owned local business where I got to wear many hats. I always think back on how these experiences were preparing me for this season. While it’s impossible to be fully prepped to begin a business of your own (just like any big life change) it is possible to take little nuggets of wisdom from your past experiences and apply those to where you’re at.
The opportunities all aligned for me to begin this business and I decided “why the heck not try it out?!” I felt so confident that the timing was right and believed this is what I was being called to. A lot of how I’ve been able to grow, I attribute to connecting with others via Instagram and in the creativity community locally. I’ve asked so many questions to people I know and have experienced lots of support along the way.
4. What gap does your business fill?
My business fills the gap of being able to offer very intentional 1-1 services. I’m not juggling dozens of clients at once so i’m able to be extra intentional to a client-centered approach, valuing healthy relationships. I am creative minded and strategic so I couple those things to my approach to growing social channels for my clients!
5. What do you enjoy most about operating a business in the Des Moines metro?
Honestly, it’s been incredible operating in Des Moines – something I truly never thought I’d say. I’ve had many word of mouth referrals, and have been able to support local businesses in their social media presence. I’ve also made a point to plan meet ups with other creative entrepreneurs for coffee or photo-shoot days. It’s been SO NICE connecting and relating to other people pursuing a similar path literally in my neighborhood!
6. What is the best business-related advice you’ve received?
Oh man… I could write a novel for this! I’ll keep it simple, the best business-related advice I’ve received relates to knowing your numbers. Yes, those pesky but important finances. Understanding what you need to operate, learning how to save, and pay yourself appropriately – all the advice related to this has been so valuable to learn! There’s many resources out there on blogs, through podcasts, or financial advisors. So if you feel lost or intimidated by this – there is support out there!
7. What tip do you have for other women in business?
It’s okay to grow at your own pace! Whether that’s slowly or not. I think it’s important to give yourself that permission right up front during your business journey. I felt like I needed to have my business operating at 100% right away and I drove myself bonkers trying to achieve that. I would stay up at night, constantly worry, and push my mental limits with seeing how much work I could get done in a day without any breaks or taking care of myself physically or mentally.
One single facet of your business, such as determining services or nailing your branding can take months to decipher. I’ve noticed that creative entrepreneurship is the ‘it thing’ right now. A lot of people are testing those waters out, which is AMAZING and i’m so happy to see people pursuing this. However, if you’re not ready to jump off on your own – whether that be financially, emotionally, or because you still need to determine some of those key factors in your business, then that’s perfectly okay!
Take some time to evaluate where you want to go. Create a business plan or spend time pursuing what you’re passionate about on the side, Decide how you want to live and what matters most to you. I think learning these things about yourself is so important before you devote a big chunk of your time to growing a business. I am really passionate about this because I’m learning all the time to give myself grace and remembering that my timing is unique to me.
Follow along with Delaney and her social media tips over on Instagram.