#BEYOUROWN MEETS LILY OSBORNE
Lemon Drop is digital marketing consultancy that helps small businesses navigate their way through the world of digital marketing. Believe it or not, digital marketing can be broken down to many different categories: social media, content marketing, paid search, web optimisation etc. which can be daunting for business, especially those new to the arena of digital marketing. What Lily does, is help you understand what these areas mean (in ways you understand) and how your business can benefit from them.
This doesn’t necessarily mean you use all of them- just because you can, does not necessarily mean you should. Lemon Drop Consultancy find what suits your business best- and how they can optimise that to the best of their fabulous ability.
Hey Lily, can you introduce yourself to us?
My name is Lily Osborne founder and owner of Lemon Drop Consultancy. I help small businesses navigate through the realm of digital marketing- specialising and managing social media platforms.
Can you take us through your journey to where you are now?
So I started Lemon Drop in my final year of university, and I use ‘started’ in a very loose term. It evolved naturally into ‘the business’ but started off as a hobby. I originally began running Instagram and Facebook for my mum’s salon she works with (Wink Lash Bars) in exchange for free lash extensions (no girl can turn that down, right?). So I set up their social media platforms and managed them. Other salons then started to show interest in what I was doing, which is when I started to think of what this could become. With the end of university in sight, it was time to decide whether to continue with this or not. Once I made my mind up, I enrolled in a digital marketing course with the Digital Marketing Institute and I have really thrown myself into my work. I now work with some incredible companies and I find myself with opportunities that I could only dream of.
What is a day in the life of you like?
Work! I wake up and work. It sounds boring, but digital marketing is very time-consuming. So my days right now are fairly similar in the sense I just sit down and crack on with it. Depending what clients I’m working with that day really depict how the day goes, but it varies from a multitude of tasks including – creating/curating content, helping form a brand identity, educating and advising in other areas of digital, brainstorming possible campaigns to optimise reach and interaction, analysing data and preparing future campaigns. I thoroughly love the creative aspect of my work because it’s the area in which I naturally thrive, but I can honestly say I enjoy it all because I’m constantly learning how I can adapt my creativity to fit different brands identities.
What was the concept behind launching Lemon Drop Consultancy?
The concept behind Lemon Drop is to help small businesses understand and navigate their way through and around digital marketing. Being a small business myself I understand that you’re not only the head honcho, but you’re also the accountant, the talent, the photographer, the website developer etc. Many of the businesses that come to me know they need a social media presence, but don’t have the time or ability to do it. That’s where I come in, taking that stress away and also helping them understand it.
How is Lemon Drop Consultancy funded, is it bootstrapped, self-funded ect?
It is self-funded.
Can you tell us more about your brand DNA and ethos at Lemon Drop Consultancy?
Lemon Drop is a sassy, creative space delivering cutting-edge media content to help grow a business. Ethos: take every opportunity you can, don’t be afraid of failure. Lemon Drop is sassy, creative and it’s a team effort. My client’s passion drives my passion to deliver cutting-edge media content.
Can you tell us how you are on a mission to be your clients’ business secret weapon in creating killer content and driving social media interaction through your methods?
It really means being a chameleon. Although it would be Lemon Drop managing your platforms for you- it is not my brand shining through. It’s my job to make sure your brand is at the core. Then through the content, I design for you and with you, we drive that message home to your customers and viewers.
Can you highlight 3 tips to landing big clients on your portfolio books?
- I think the most important tip is to do your research. For me it’s having a deeper understanding of the brand: it’s the presence on social media (if any) and it’s a presence on digital as a whole (website, email).
- This leads to my next tip, give your insight, tell possible clients what you think. I’ve recently had a successful client approach me, and who am I to tell them what they’re doing is wrong? They have a team of 30+ years experience dedicated to their digital marketing strategy- what does my opinion matter? Fresh eyes can be the difference between a campaign running successfully and failing, no matter what business you’re in, never be afraid to give your opinion. And finally be honest with what you can provide, there is a line between faking it till you make it and lying. Don’t cross it.
- Never be afraid to accept a challenge, but in my experience, there is no shame in saying it’s a challenge. It gives the client a belief in who I am, what I can do and makes sure our expectations are inlined.
Who does the team involve behind you at Lemon Drop Consultancy?
Me myself and I!
Where can you see yourself within the next 3-5 years?
This may sound corny, but I don’t like looking at where I’ll ‘be’ but more on how I’ll ‘feel’. Just because so much can change, looking at the past year of my life, I’m in a position and going down a career path I never thought was possible. So in 3-5 years I’d like to feel secure in my job, happy, and optimistic for the future, but overall I still want to have this hunger for success, and if I can be doing this all on a yacht then I definitely won’t be complaining.
What strategies do you have in place when looking at the expansion of Lemon Drop Consultancy?
First and foremost, get some more people on the team! I love working with people and in my few freelance jobs, where I’ve been working alongside others, it has just solidified that feeling. But it is a lot easier said than done. In the long term, I’d like to see Lemon Drop expand to all areas of digital marketing.
Can you tell us what areas you have struggled in professionally?
Loneliness has been a big struggle- and yes this is a professional problem. Working for and with myself, I lack the ability to bounce ideas off people. This can be a real struggle when dealing with a difficult client or hitting creative writer’s block when strategising for a client. Not having someone in the business with you makes it hard to be sure what you’re doing is right. That’s why I have to get very good at asking for advice and talking about my problems (to those who want to hear them). A big part of the loneliness is you have little reassurance in your business choices- and being young, with limited experience for my age I’d be lying if I said I didn’t doubt myself (occasionally). But it’s got to be done- and I think everyone goes through it
Have you ever had any other mentor? If so how has this benefitted you to grow?
Let’s just say without my mentors I would not be here. A very dear friend has been my core mentor (Nicola Jane Herbert). She has been there for me through the ups and downs of everything- and through everything has given me really sound advice while also letting me find my own voice in the business. She has helped me organise my business, my life, and has been that person I can go to when dealing with a problem. She has an extensive background in business management from Hong Kong and has really been my guiding light. She is also one of my clients which allows me to get honest feedback on how I run my business from a client’s perspective.
What do you believe are the common misconceptions about social media engagement and how are you using your platform and voice to educate people more?
A lot of my clients see social media as the quick fix option and often mistake it to be all of the digital marketing, instead of just an aspect. I think it’s important to note that social media is a wonderful (and fairly cheap) tool to help grow your business- but to mistake it as the only place to have your business can be detrimental. Social media is where I started so I have a soft spot for it, but it’s important to remember it should be a driving tool to other platforms and your overall business goal. Many of the business I work with see the superficial changes as the things they want (followers, likes) so will want to buy followers or buy likes. But really what you want are meaningful actions to happen (sharing, comments, sale, recurring customer). Through analytics I can start to show them how the more meaningful actions actually impact the growth of the business- and although it’s nice to have billions of followers- paying for them is not the way to go.
What would you like to see changed for millennials in business?
I would like to see the stigma around what ‘business’ is to change. Growing up I had a very clear idea that business required a stuffy office and a wardrobe full of grey, navy, and black suits. Never did I think business could be the experience it is and I wish I did when I was younger because I would have probably focused on it more! And what it means to start your own.
What is the best piece of business advice you have received to date?
Work hard and be kind.
What is the number 1 critical lesson you have learned in your career so far?
You have to be straight with people and tackle things head on, no beating around the bush. I always viewed this as a blunt and rude way of handling things, but it doesn’t have to be. The way you word things and approach things is vital to how your business relationships function- it is imperative to be straightforward and know in detail where you stand.
How do you create an evenly balanced work and personal life?
I don’t, right now I am more work! I try and find useful ways to spend my free time, like going to the gym and eating kale- but honestly, that sometimes consists of staring at the wall for half an hour, and then getting back to work. It’ll all be worth it when I’m relaxing on that yacht sipping a martini though.
A seminal point in your career so far?
Honestly, there hasn’t been one significant moment that has shifted my career. Instead, it has been a collection of little things and at random times. When driving down to see a friend on the other side of the country- I can do that because I work for myself. Or getting some lovely feedback from a client on work I’ve provided. It’s a collection of little things that make me look back and think ‘wow’ I’m actually doing this, and it’s in those moments I’m thinking ‘yay me!’.
What gives you ultimate career satisfaction?
Seeing my clients thrive, is the ultimate prize because I’ve played a part in it. It’s a privilege to work with clients who are passionate and deserve the success they get. One of my clients, Samantha Rose Salon, in the time I’ve worked for her, she has launched a new skincare line and her salon keeps going from strength to strength. Working with businesses and people who are passionate and driven, and then to see them succeed, makes me feel proud to be working with them.
What challenges have you seen to have been presented during the growth of Lemon Drop Consultancy?
Knowing my worth, as a business but also as a woman in business. Standing my ground and being comfortable with saying no to people. When I started I was like the bloody ‘yes’ girl- if I couldn’t do it I would find a way. Don’t get me wrong it, that had its benefits, but I now have a more stable understanding of who I am and what I bring to the table. I’m still learning and it’s still a challenge. I know that the challenges will always be there, but I also feel confident in myself to know I’ll find a way to solve them.
Which other leading entrepreneurs and pioneering game changers do you also admire and why?
Dawn Karen: Fashion Psychologist. Well, she’s fabulous, but she is leading the way in fashion psychology, and it was her, who made me start to think outside the box when it came to my future and career.
Sarah Wood- co-founder of Unruly. She’s a successful woman in the tech industry.
My Mum (is that allowed)- without her starting Wink Lash Bars I firstly wouldn’t have had the opportunity to even be here. But also seeing her do something like this- start her own business- on her terms. It made me realise you really can do what you want. Seeing her gain a life that she designed is a great inspiration for me.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
‘The Book Theif’ by Markus Zusak.
Top 3 go-to Podcast channels?
- ‘No Such Thing As A Fish ‘(great info for pub quizzes.)
- ‘Natwest: Women In business’ (great for inspiration.)
- ‘My Dad Wrote A Porno’ (great laugh- but don’t listen out loud!)
How do you define success?
I would define success by having a choice, whether that be time or financial. Being able to choose how you spend your time or being able to choose what you do with your money. I’ve watched too many people live to work and by having the choice to work makes me feel successful in its own right.
What does #BEYOUROWN mean to you?
It means you do you!
Finally, What can we expect from you and Lemon Drop Consultancy?
God knows, but something fabulous!