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Exploring Life & Business with Audrey Buchanan of Let’s Bee Social

Today we’d like to introduce you to Audrey Buchanan.

Hi Audrey, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
Five years ago, I decided to take a chance on myself. At the time, I loved what I was doing in the digital marketing space, but I knew I wanted to do more. I wanted more control over the businesses I worked with and I saw a need for the skillset I was developing in the small business sector. So after only being a year and a half out of college, I decided to quit my job and pursue the world of freelance.

There was something about a traditional career path that didn’t appeal to me. I wanted to write my own story and find my own way. I started canvassing for opportunities and made a promise to myself that I would only work with small to medium-sized businesses and entrepreneurs who are passionate about what they do. And that’s exactly what I’ve spent the last five years doing.

While I was accepting freelance opportunities, I was quietly building my own digital marketing company behind the scenes. I worked multiple jobs, took on as much work as I can could and embraced the idea of saying yes to anything that came my way. I had passion, drive, proven success and after nearly eight months of being freelance, I still didn’t even have a website. I was so focused on helping my clients that many times my own social media pages and website were falling behind (my fellow social media and digital marketing professionals will understand).

Despite the challenges of learning how to run a business literally on the job, I started building a strong base of retainer clients and slowly but surely started building a team. My freelance operation was slowly turning into an actual business and to be honest, I had no idea what I was doing. But I knew I couldn’t stop now. Everything was growing really steadily, I was very happy with the way my team was developing and the flow of new projects was healthy.

And then…COVID hit. I had to make budget and team cuts to meet the changes of my own clients who were doing the same. My team of three turned into a team of one and I felt like I was back at square one. I spent the rest of 2020 hustling harder than I ever have in my life. Along with all the other client work, I think I helped launch four start-ups from conception to branding to websites to launch all while trying to scrape together a new team. We were, and still are, a small but mighty operation of resilient women who are committed to helping our clients find success online.

We didn’t just survive 2020, we thrived through it. On top of everything client-wise, I funded, designed and launched a lifestyle clothing brand through my company called Focused on Growth. I’m proud to say that in a year that everything looked like it was destined to fail, Focused on Growth was found.

I wrestled with the idea of having my own merchandise line for years and after the year we had last year, my decision became final. I pitched the idea, generated some funding, enlisted the help of someone who had been impacted by the pandemic and began turning this merch dream into a reality. All while stumbling my way through keeping my business and my client’s businesses afloat during a pandemic. Pretty crazy, right? But that’s exactly what seasons of adversity will make you do. It’s that sink or swim moment that pushes you out of our comfort zone and forces you to grow into a more beautiful and resilient version of yourself.

I’m now approaching my five years anniversary with owning and running my own business and it feels so surreal. Every single challenge has turned into an opportunity that has led me to where I am today. I wouldn’t change it for the world. All the ups and downs have made me stronger, more passionate and more committed than ever to keep going and keep growing no matter what.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
It’s been anything but a smooth road, but isn’t that what being an entrepreneur is all about? Choosing to navigate the road less traveled means that most of the time you’re going to end up having to clear a way to forge a path that is all your own.

In my own personal experience, freelancing and managing a few clients on my own was the fun part. Things didn’t start getting more challenging until I really started focusing on running a business rather than offering a service. The financial overhead, the management and leadership capabilities necessary to build a successful team, the systems and processes in place to run an actual business are all the things I prayed for but was so unprepared for.

2020 actually wasn’t the toughest year for my business, but 2021 has been. I’ve been faced with some difficult decisions to charge what I believe my business and team are worth and have had to make some serious investments in my infrastructure. It’s been a huge year of growth, new experiences, and new challenges in areas of business I have never been before.

Learning how to become an actual business owner has been the biggest challenge of all. Not an entrepreneur or a service provider but an actual CEO of my own company. The learning curve has been incredibly steep and I’m still working daily to get in front of it. But as with all things, I’m always up for the challenge.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
Let’s Bee Social is a digital marketing agency that focuses on helping small business owners and entrepreneurs organically grow their brand’s online presence. We specialize in social media management, content creation, online branding and website redevelopment as well as organic search engine optimization and online growth strategies. We’re known for our Instagram growth strategies, timeless social media graphics, and website transformations.

We’re passionate about what we do, and we love working with business owners and entrepreneurs who are passionate too. When you work with Let’s Bee Social, you can have the confidence in knowing that we will treat your business’s online presence as if it was our own.

I’m most proud of our uncompromising commitment to helping family-owned, small to medium-sized and start-up business ventures. You will never see Let’s Bee Social working with big business. Our heart is always with small business and helping our local community first and foremost.

Alright, so to wrap up, is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
Let’s Bee Social is also committed to educating small business owners and entrepreneurs who are navigating the digital world on their own. We have an array of small business classes available on skillshare.com and just released our 4th class, Effective Email Marketing this past October. To see our classes and start learning visit: https://www.skillshare.com/user/letsbeesocial.

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Image Credits:

Cover Image by Duran Salazar, Lifestyle Clothing Photography by Victor Hernandez

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