Interview with a career change mum - Charlotte Sharrock
My interview this week is with Charlotte Sharrock who is a web and content designer. Charlotte found her first two clients for her business on career change mums so she is someone who I feel a real affinity with.
I wish that I had known about Charlotte when I was looking for my web design and would recommend you all check out her creations as she really knows her stuff. Charlotte is unique in that she not only designs your website but helps you with your content as well so you get two services in one.
1) What gave you the idea to start up your business?
I wanted a change from commuting into London. Whilst I was pregnant I decided I wanted to do something different. (Charlotte lives in Brighton)
Joining the career change mums group on Facebook gave me a lightbulb moment as people were asking for a service that I could provide. I am a web and content designer, I look at the copy and layout and the flow of the site as well as designing and building the site.
I offer a niche service that is more personal & bespoke than others. I like to get a feel for what the person is about and what the person is offering and I want to create the best website they can afford.
2) What did you do to prepare to start up your business?
My background is heavily in web having worked for a number of well known corporates (British Airways, Royal Mail) and digital agencies (Ogilvy), and I have expertise with lots of different content management systems.
I looked at different platforms for people to use to build websites and decided that Squarespace is the best for most of my clients. This is because it is easy to use for clients once I have done the initial build and handed control over to them. I want the whole process to be really simple for people so they feel confident in taking the reigns.
3) Which aspects of your business did you need help with? Where did you get that help?
I haven’t needed as any help as yet; I am still working on certain elements. At the moment I am offering a lot for not very much so in the future I will be working on structuring what I offer and being clearer with deadlines and what I need my clients to provide. Basically I need to streamline my processes, but I have plans in place now and I’ve learnt so much already.
I have used career change mums for some feedback on my logo and branding so I understand what my target market is looking for. It’s great seeing things from the client’s perspective, as ultimately the business is all about catering to their needs.
4) Describe what your business does and who you target it at / your ideal client
My ideal clients are career change mums or individuals who would like an online presence. They are people that want to do something new and don’t necessarily have the confidence or the time to put a site together. They want help from someone who has been in a similar situation to them and is empathetic to their needs, but also has the technical skills and experience that they lack.
Starting a brand new venture is scary enough, but then to try and learn how to build a website in order to launch online can be a little daunting when you don’t know where to start. I also offer a full web service, which you can pick and choose from, such as copy writing, image sourcing and SEO.
5) What is the most rewarding thing about having your own business?
I love seeing what I have created and people being happy with what I have done. When clients are open to suggestion we then create beautiful collaborations together. I love the process of working with my clients and sound boarding ideas.
It’s so rewarding to help another launch themselves on to a path that will ultimately make them happier and create a better work-life balance.
6) What has been the biggest challenge?
Despite having 15 years experience working in digital, making the leap in to starting my own business was a big test of confidence. I knew I could do it, I just didn’t know how or where to start. Then I was invited to join this group! It showed me that everyone starts off in the same way, but it is a brilliant support group to share knowledge and skills. I took the plunge and offered my skills to a lovely lady asking for help or recommendations and we have had a brilliant time building her site together, which will be launching this month.
7) If you could go back and give yourself some advice what would it be?
Be confident in what you are doing as you do know what you are talking about and you can provide something unique.
You can find Charlotte at http://www.brightlittlepixel.com