Full-time student and starting a business! How is post-graduate student Juliana Geller developing her digital media consultancy?
Juliana loves challenges but she admits that being a full-time post-graduate student on the Future Media course at Birmingham City University and undertaking freelance work can be tough. She says: “One thing I have learned is that you have to make sure you have time for yourself, no matter what. Make time to exercise, make time to go eat out sometimes, whatever helps you relax and feel better.”
Originally from Brazil, Juliana came to Birmingham, UK to study and soon found herself immersed in the local creative industries community. A natural networker, Juliana has built up her freelance work which consists of two main services: developing digital marketing strategies and doing digital marketing training, but she also does content curation and community management. This experience has helped her refine her business idea:
“For the business I am setting up, the services will be researching and developing strategies and training marketing teams to deploy them, do the content curation and community management. That means I’ll make myself redundant by the end of a job. It might sound a little strange, but making myself redundant will allow me to embrace new projects. I am fuelled by challenges and the idea of having fresh starts with each project thrills me!”
So what support has Juliana had to help her develop her business? Like so many starting out, Juliana enjoys the support of business mentors. Firstly her tutor on the Future Media course, Mike Villiers-Stuart and Alison Grade, who is a NESTA Creative Enterprise trainer and the founder of Mission Accomplished. Apart from the valuable advice she gets from her mentors, Juliana explains that you have to be ambitious and determined to succeed in this industry:
“Be resilient. Driven. Focused. Try and make the most of everything, even the bad things. Face everything as a learning experience. And learn to talk about yourself and your projects, be positive and excited about them when you are talking to people. Make people believe you as much as you do. More than you do, if possible.”
The digital media sector is a fast-changing industry and staying ahead is important. Juliana monitors Social Media for the topics that interest her, and she keeps an eye on news feeds. Every morning she takes the time to read through them and shares on her Social Media channels, such as Twitter and LinkedIn: “I tweet links that are relevant to what I do and to my target audience: digital marketing, start-up life, entrepreneurship and things like that are my favourite subjects to tweet about. Using the right hashtags always helps to get the right attention too.”
Carefully managing her relationships with her social media contacts, Juliana sends them links once in a while, maintaining a friendly conversation, asking their opinions as a way of letting them know what she’s up to, and keeping an open door for future business. But it’s not all online, even budding digital media consultants have to meet people in the real world!
“Offline I try to attend events related to my industry and other sectors as well. Also, any informal chat is a networking possibility, if you are able to identify the opportunities.”