Hi, I’m Camilla Bevington.
I’m thrilled to be featured on Jayne’s website. I’ve got to know Jayne recently, and it’s not often you ‘click’ with somebody professionally and personally. We seemed to have a lot of the same values in life, from our mummy life and working life lifestyles, to our organic and health credentials and our business mindset.
When I was talking to Jayne about what I would write for her for her Wonder Woman blog post, I struggled a bit because the truth is, I don’t see myself as a wonder women.
But actually, perhaps I should do. I’ve battled a few medical hurdles, ongoing as I type, I’m the only person I know to be made redundant at 37 weeks pregnant throwing my confidence, my career and my steady income firmly out of the window and I’m now living a life of a fairly new ‘stereotype’ (ugh) this modern world is creating in the form of a flexible working self employed mama.
One day you’ll see me working in a nearby coffee shop, the next day in a Moo Music class (with my son – just to clarify!), the next I’ll be based at home utilising nap time to catch up on work and unloading an Ocado shop, the next day a visit to see a grandparent and maybe leaving my son with said grandparent so I can pop to a meeting, then the next day Henry will be at nursery and I’m logged on for 9 hours straight. Every day and every week is different.
In view of my redundancy from the world of glossy magazines, I saw no better opportunity to a) embrace and enjoy those first few months of motherhood and b) go at it alone, self employed, whilst parenting – and to focus on my overall business offering as Camilla Bevington – a marketing consultant and project manager and as a parenting and lifestyle blogger. After all, the future of print magazines is a little grey for some and I didn’t fancy battling for high demand jobs in such a field where the future is so uncertain. I’d much rather embrace the opportunity for change and put my skills and experience to good use elsewhere…
IT’S HARDER THAN I EVER IMAGINED!
Life isn’t all about those pretty squares on Instagram. Instagram for me, as well as my blog, is turning in to a visual online portfolio to show clients and potential clients who I am – my personality, my writing and creative style, my opinions and who I work with.
I don’t have a C.V. – I’ve not had one for years. I have a media pack I use when I’m speaking to brands for blog opportunities and the marketing clients I have won so far have been based on my visible online ‘touchpoints’ and a face to face conversation. When you’re self employed, people are buying in to YOU. THEN they’re buying in to the work you’re promising to deliver.
I’m incredible lucky I have the likes of HELLO! and Hearst magazines as well as tabloid newspapers on my career record, because having marketing experience in demanding media/publishing/lifestyle environments allows me to know what works, how to be creative, be forward thinking about someone’s entire marketing calendar and to be social media savvy, to have experience of working for such tight ships only makes me thicker skinned, motivated and able to meet the toughest of expectations and deadlines.
What I have learned about being self employed is a lot of fellow small businesses and self employed people I’ve met or unintentionally come across, is that there is a lot of sticking together. We’re all in this journey together of finding our own success and supporting each other. I’m also meeting people in my field with similar skills I don’t have and visa versa and it allows us to work together and refer each other.
I’m finding a flow with my new way of life. I’m not the biggest TV fan, so working a few evenings here and there doesn’t concern me if it means I can still enjoy my son during pockets of time during the day. I tend to also be really productive in the evenings too. I guess back in the day I had my 1.5 hour morning commute to allow myself to wake up properly!
Staying motivated and organised is absolute key. I have to manage my own diary, physically writing in when I’m going to be working, to ensure that I stick to a schedule, calculate my hours and to also allow time to play Mum and to really enjoy my son’s early years (he’s only 18 months) and find a healthy work/life balance. I even have to schedule when I go to the gym – which is helped by booking paid-for creche sessions as that financial commitment helps to make me go!!
Word of mouth, aka recommendation is everything. A new found level of appreciation has naturally forced me to genuinely champion small businesses and hard working individuals. If you are impressed with someone who has given you a good service, support their career (and thus success) with credit and recommendation where due.
As for my field, marketing. The world of marketing is a big one. So many people think it’s easy and just about using common sense and being able to take a few fancy photos for Instagram. Others find social media an admin headache. Some people feel that the the term marketing is a daunting, scary and expensive line on a tax return.
Marketing is so much more than Instagram, businesses succeeded before social media was even invented! My job as a consultant is to take the load off their much needed marketing execution but also to remind and recommend to businesses of other, and often more traditional means of marketing that still show proven results. I’m never forceful, but I make suitable suggestions and 9/10 I’m trusted and listened to. I’m there to provide a service to help businesses and brands meet their objectives and to generally take away the pressure away from their more important tasks of producing fantastic products and offering excellent services. It’s in my interests that my clients succeed and receive good results from my service.
If you’re looking for marketing support – whether it’s consultation, social media, events, email marketing, PR, branding or even partnerships and competitions, I’d love to hear from you.