We are back for our second season of the #BEYOUROWN Boss Project whereby we are taking fantastic women to talk openly to us all about what it means to each of them to BE YOUR OWN Boss in the 21st century. So in the first installment of our 6 part campaign, we present Sophie Bowman a brand strategist. Sophie has helped both new start-ups and existing businesses to communicate the right brand message to their constantly evolving target audience, build brand awareness and increase market share.
Coming from a strong background in the Public Relations industry, I was heavily connected with the music world as a published music journalist, organizing album launch parties for the biggest names in music including Kanye West and John Legend.
I launched my first global entertainment business in 2002 with a £5000 investment. I had no idea what I was doing, so I jumped in head first and learned as I went along. Offering affordable PR and branding services to aspiring talent as part of my record label division, offering social media services became the next logical step. Hypeglo Ltd was nominated for three business awards in its first year of inception, including the Business Innovation Award, and was one of six businesses chosen by Sir Richard Branson to showcase in his challenging the business status quo for his back of an envelope campaign.
My social media expertise became highly in demand alongside branding and PR services under one roof, and thus Brand Branding PR LLC was born. After turning thirty in 2014 and hitting an early midlife crisis when I realized I’d never lived abroad, I made an impulsive decision to move to Marrakech. I had a number of long-term social media clients at the point, so I was still earning GBP while living in a palace for less than $500 a month.
In hindsight, relocating somewhere I didn’t speak the language wasn’t the smartest idea especially with the temperamental Moroccan WiFi, but no regrets – this kickstarted an adventure I’ve been stepping into every day for the past four years. I lived in Australia for a while, went on the Modball Car Rally around Europe, and frequently commuted back to London for client meetings. Living in a country like Morocco for 2 years trains you to be highly resilient. I found myself in some pretty nightmare scenarios, like when I was robbed at knifepoint and had my handbag stolen with my house keys in them. I lived alone three floors up – there was no way to climb up the balcony, and my puppy was home alone. Thankfully, I’d had my phone in my bra. The landlord didn’t speak a word of English, so luckily a put a call into an English-speaking concierge guy I’d met the day before at a pool party. Within 2 hours, we were in and reunited with the puppy. These experiences taught me to be less anxious and worry less in life; trust in the universe because there is always a solution!
Soon after, I met a great group of American army guys who spent some time in Marrakech to train the local Moroccan army. They reminded me how much I’d always loved America, and how much I was missing out on by living somewhere I wasn’t fluent in the language. I woke up the next morning excited to get the relocation wheels in motion again, and within six weeks I had my journalism visa and was living in Little Havanna, Miami without knowing a single soul.
As a social media expert with a background in journalism, I’ve written for various platforms including Schedugram (the largest platform allowing you to schedule posts to Instagram), Backstage interviewed me to give top tips on how their huge readership of aspiring talent can grow their social media presence organically, and soon to be published on Forbes.
2018 is the year of the woman. More women are applying to politics than ever before, we’re seeing a massive increase in female-owned businesses and celebrities are speaking out to raise awareness and close the gender gap like with the #MeToo campaign. Women are running things this year, and this trend shows no signs of slowing down.
To BE YOUR OWN Boss brings such a wealth of opportunity and complete creative freedom. I wouldn’t change my path for anything. Everything has led me to this amazing place I’m at now. Gaining social media influencer status allows me to travel the world and pampered by the best destinations in the world. Blogging is my passion, in life. I love that I was able to turn my childhood passion for writing into a career.
Where next? I’ll keep writing forever, but who knows which city I’ll end up in next time the wind blows. If you’re thinking of starting your own brand, my first and the most important piece of advice would be to create a business around your passion. Whatever you love doing, do that, and you’ll never look back. My second piece of advice is to stop listening to stupid people who haven’t walked your path. People love to give their opinions, even when they have no knowledge or experience of the business world. Be open to creative input from reputable sources who understand your industry, but be authentically you. Trust your vision and believe in yourself. A woman with goals is a force to be reckoned with.