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Experiential Learning

With the aim to gain greater insight into running a small business and prepare for my own entrepreneurial venture, I have taken steps towards starting my own consulting business. This has provided me with an invaluable opportunity to build empathy with fellow entrepreneurs and explore both challenges and rewards that come along this journey. All of these experiences are certainly going to be beneficial as I continue through part three on the path towards entrepreneurship success. and thankfully some initial set-up steps have created more momentum for this endeavor!

Welcome to Tilt Shift Consulting 

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In pursuit of my Master's degree, I sought to gain a deeper understanding of setting up and launching an organization. The plans outlined here provide some portions for the next steps of making the business operational; however, they have yet to be implemented. 

To ensure future sustainability and growth potential for any possible new ventures down the line such as consulting with other professionals or bringing on my husband into different projects - I chose to brand myself under Tilt Shift Consulting instead of utilizing solely my personal name. This is aimed to provide greater possibilities and not make the business reliant on me so there can be benefits for both my current business goals now and also expand its longevity further along this journey!

I have also purchased a domain name that I have been using for my other website and created my own domain email address via google. 

Website Development

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For part one I created a website that detailed the project and a little about myself and house my Blog. The purpose of this was to start building my personal profile and to entice people to be interviewed by sharing a little about myself and my kaupapa, and providing some koha in the form of giving something back. 

 

I wanted to continue to develop my skills and understanding of building a website. I want to keep building my own personal platform to keep blogging, and also potentially provide a platform for wider engagement post my Master's. I was discussing this with Paula, and she suggested that I write my report via a website. This way I can develop my web skills and platform thinking, and experiment with different ways of engagement. It also provides a more engaging platform for me to share the output of my Master's if I choose to. For example, being able to share the page where I discuss the tools I have used for my masters with other cohorts. 

I started by researching how to build a wireframe for a website. I created an overall page plan via postits on my wall  I then did a number of WIX tutorials on building a website which made this much easier to do than last time when I just fumbled through without doing this.

 

 

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I considered engaging someone to build it for me. However, I really wanted to learn more myself, and the site has continually evolved as I have developed my report so I felt this option would not work. I would definitely engage someone in the future, especially to help with the overall architecture and look and feel/design. 

So this site may not be pretty and have all the bells and whistles - but it is definitely serving the purpose for which I wanted to achieve. 

Blog

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I started a blog in part one and initially posted these via Linkedin as well to drive traffic to the blogs. These were not initially specifically targeted at my key persona as I was still early on in my research. Interestingly in reviewing my initial blogs not I have completed the persona they do align relatively well.

 

I will continue with my blog. This is for a range of reasons. I see this as a key way to build up my profile with people either subscribing to the blog or posting via social channels once they are more established. I will use the persona I have built to target topics that will be engaging and relevant for this target market. 

Blogs provide more depth than social media and are a good repository of the value you can share. It is also a good way to drive people to your website which will be valuable as I look to build a platform post-Master's. 

We are also intending to take some time off to travel next year and I would like to write travel family blogs. These could either add to the existing site I have, or I could create a separate blog site for this and engage a wider audience. 

Plus I really enjoy writing blogs. It helps me develop my writing style, and it is a good way to explore my own thoughts and concepts. This has also been made faster and easier by using Jasper.ai. This is an AI copywriting tool. You can direct it with commands regarding the type of content you want to write and it can help create a base blog you can work within approximately 5 minutes. Instead of spending a day writing a blog (as I did initially), I can now do it in around one hour. 

Social Media and Marketing Coaching

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I wanted to learn about social media and branding. In particular, how to create content that my target audience would have positive engagement with. I wanted to understand how the various platforms work and integrate, and how they use algorithms to rank and raise content. I wanted to understand more about best practices for building social media posts and plan out my scheduling of posts. Also, how I should brand myself to be attractive to my audience. 

 

I found it quite overwhelming to work out where to start, so I decided to engage a social media and marketing coach rather than researching this myself.

 

I thought learning from an expert would be a great way to do this. I also wanted to see how this experience differed from trying to research and learn myself. Having experienced this, I can definitely say I learned a large volume of information much faster than I ever would have if I tried to do this myself. 

Working with her we defined my goals as follows: 

  • To create an audience to leverage for long-term business goals

  • Create a platform to share learnings on business, innovation, technology, optimisation, sustainability 

  • To build a personal brand in the professional community 

  • Build a community of female business owners

The tables below are the elements that I want to focus my content on. 

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​​I left the session having covered the following which I have been able to feed into my work

  • Reviewed my set-up - Meta Business Manager/Suite 

  • Platform discussion for different tools 

  • FB profile & Instagram bio set up and optimised to get started

  • How the algorithms work at the moment

  • How to create engagement 

  • Defining my Content Pillars & Key Messages for social media  

  • Content Creation and scheduling

Social Media Planning and Engagement 

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My coach and other people I have spoken to in social media and comms roles recommended I use Trello to plan my social media content. This worked well for me as I have been using Trello for a number of years for personal and professional planning.  I decided it would be better that Miro as well given it is an easier tool to collaborate with others on if I ever want to engage a content writer. 

Here is a drive-through of my board and how I use it. This is something I will continue to do post my Master's. 

My social media engagement and blog has also been part of my autoethnographic research method. You can read more about that here in my learning journey section.  

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