Tuesday, 26 June 2018

LUCY HITCHCOCK - FOUNDER OF SASSY DIGITAL


Meet Lucy Hitchcock, the founder of Sassy Digital www.sassydigital.co.uk, a digital marketing, website and branding agency for small businesses. She also runs www.sassybites.co.uk, a blog which aims to inspire young women to live their happiest life by having their dream career. The blog is full of career, lifestyle and of course - marketing tips. She is about to bring out a podcast called Winging It, and an online branding shop is also in the works.

Runako: So tell me a bit about the beginning of your journey...did you go to university?

Lucy: Yeah so I went to Bournemouth University and I did communication and media. It doesn’t feel like it was that long ago but it was.

Runako: What did you do after university?

Lucy: After uni, I moved back to London. I started working with my godfather and I was basically temping as a P.A. This was during the summer when I was looking for a job after uni and it was that time when people were finding it really difficult to get jobs. Whilst I was working for my godfather one of the people that worked in his offices said to me that his brother’s girlfriend was leaving her job and it was an entry level role, would I be interested?. The role was kind of social media and just running people’s social media so I sent this girl my CV and I started working their the following week. So they offered me a 3 month placement which at the time, doing a placement for free before working was the done thing to do.

Runako: How long were you there for? 


Lucy: I was there for about 6 months before I got made redundant. The thing is, I didn’t really have that much to do anyway because they had lost their social media clients so I kind of sat there. I remember thinking, this is amazing because I pretty much sat there and watched loads of American T.V but it got boring quite quickly. I recently saw my old boss who made me redundant. 

Runako: What a small world we live in!

Lucy: I told my mum and she responded saying, go up to him and tell him how successful you are but I was like no, he’d probably be like who are you to me.

Runako: Yeah I can see where you’re coming from there. So what did you do after you got made redundant?

Lucy: I had about 3 months off then I got a new job through a recruiter and I’d been to so many job interviews over the 3 months where I wasn’t working and they were some of the worst job interviews you’d probably ever heard of. I even cried in one, it was so bad.

Runako: Oh no. that must’ve been a nightmare.

Lucy: Yeah but I ended up getting a job at corporate comms agency and comms is basically all FTSE 100 companies. It’s do with all the stuff that gets shown to stock holders and various other management. I didn’t really know this stuff at the time because they had sold to me as more of a social media role and I thought it was great because it was what I wanted to do but to be honest, at that time, any job would’ve done for me. I also got a pay rise which I was happy about.

Runako: Kind of annoying that they weren't totally clear about the role. 

Lucy: Yeah. So, I went on holiday 3 months in and when I got back, I was pulled into a room with three men, so my line manager and then two heads of my department. They basically just shouted at me saying, you’re rubbish at this, you’re rubbish at that. I could’ve gone to HR but I didn’t really know what the HR process for complaining was. So yeah, that was the worst thing for me and after that I was like, I would never ever work for a man again. It was such a reality check for me and I knew I wanted to leave but I stayed there for a while because when you feel so low and demotivated, its difficult to come home after a long day and apply for jobs.

Runako: You must’ve felt awful. So, is this an experience that inspired Sassy Digital?

Lucy: I was doing a food blog outside of work. When I was uni, I was really into health and fitness and the other side of that was having nice meals to treat myself for being good during the week and exercising. I got really into eating out and I just thought to blog about it. So I started writing about food and helped me get experience with using the backend of a blog.  

Runako: That’s cool!

Lucy: Yeah, my friend was blogging too and she went to an event where Madeleine Shaw was who’s a nutritionist blogger. She said to my friend that, she was looking for someone to help her with her social media and marketing, part-time. Long story short, I eventually met up with her and got the job about a month later. I wasn’t actually employed by her, I was self-employed at the time and later went on to set myself up as a LTD company.

Runako: That’s interesting and how did you build up your clients?

Lucy: As soon as I started, I had friends and family saying oh I need someone to help me with my social media so I kind of built up slowly like that. I ended up working with Madeleine Shaw a few days a week and then for other people but eventually, I stopped working for Madeleine because she needed someone more full time. So I’ve been working on my own for over a year and 6 months.

Runako: So you didn’t really have any plans to start a business before?

Lucy: No, I kind of fell into this whole thing and winged it!

Runako: And how does digital marketing help small businesses?

Lucy: Everyone knows about big businesses such as Topshop because they have such a big high street presence but for people who don’t know where small businesses are, the internet is obviously the best place to find them. When I started digital marketing, I noticed that no one was really helping small businesses and I think it was a time when a lot of people were going freelance. The other thing is that small businesses can’t afford to have someone in-house to help them with their social media.

Runako: And do you do this on your own?

Lucy: I work with Jess who started with me last year and I have a graphic designer who does part time work.

Runako: So, what does a typical day look like for you?

Lucy: I don’t really have a typical day because some days are crazy busy but normally I start by clearing my inbox but then I get side tracked till about 12 o’clock sometimes. I also do my own social media, check on client social media and I also have various alarms on my phone that go off to remind me to post social media stuff for other people. If I’m building websites, I’ll block out an afternoon or a morning to just focus on that because that’s not something that you can just do little bits of and I have few of those in the pipeline.

Runako: And, what do you like most about what you do and what do you like least?

Lucy: I like freedom, I don’t like being told what to do and it’s very millennial of me. When I do things myself, I’m very good at motivating myself and telling myself what to do. Also, most people that I work with or have worked with are really nice people and they are always thankful. It’s also a nice feeling to have them say that they have had results from the things that I’ve done. The thing I like least about what I do is doing my accounts. I hate my accounts. I also don’t really like doing proposals because it can be time consuming and I normally do a bespoke proposal but that takes up at least a day to complete. If I don’t win it then I’ve wasted all that time.

Runako: Who or what inspires you?

Lucy: I mean, money is a big motivator for me and I really like handbags, having my car, my dog but someone who inspires me is Jo Malone because she has such an inspiring story. My boyfriend’s mum also inspires me because she kind of mentors me. My own mum also inspires me because she’s always there for me and knows the right thing to say.

Runako: That’s wonderful. And what advice would you give to young people starting out?
Lucy: I would say, when you’re applying for jobs try and get as much experience as possible, whether it’s a free internship or online course or you’re writing a blog – that’s all experience that you can take into an interview. It’s good to get work experience because you get to see how processes work. I learnt so much from working in a digital marketing environment. I think one of the most common mistakes people make when writing a cover letter is talking about how working at that company will help them. Instead, you should relate the attributes that are on the job description to your experience.

Runako: Great tips! And what does success mean to you?

Lucy: I don’t think you can ever reach success. I really like celebrating the small wins and I guess that’s what success is to me. Things like, when I hear from someone that they are thankful for something or I get a new client – that’s success to me and getting a deposit into my bank account, that’s success to me. In my head, if I’m picturing what success is, I don’t think you can ever reach it because once I reach one success like buying a Chanel handbag then what happens? They’ll be a new level of success to reach, you know? So for me, success is just celebrating the small things along the way. 



I hope Lucy's story inspires someone out there. 
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1 comment

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