• Annabelle

Business with a baby face

I started my business when I was 24 years old and I always started potential client calls the same way ‘I am 24 and I know I look about 12!’

Which is funny, yeah, but it is something that I was clearly insecure about. I am confident enough in myself and my business now to tell you all that I started with limited experience. I never did a Marketing degree. I only worked in a corporate marketing job for six months before I left to start ALN Marketing. I didn’t know what a lot of terminology meant (hence why I now share a weekly jargon buster on social media). Whilst I was working really hard in the background to fill in my gaps of knowledge, I always felt no one would take a young looking business owner seriously.

I truly believed that people would jump on potential client calls with me and they’d immediately write me off. I believed that they’d link knowledge and experience to my looks and question everything I suggested. Whilst I didn’t have formal marketing training, I had been freelancing as a VA and social media manager, blog writer and transcriptionist for 5 years.

This did happen, from time to time, and I quickly learnt that some people will question you repeatedly because I was a young woman running a business and I had ideas and suggestions that maybe challenged theirs. So I tried to make myself appear more ‘business-like’ and reputable by wearing lots of make up and false eyelashes for client calls. I thought I could trick them into thinking I was older than I was and hence they may take me and my ideas on board.

How sad!!

Here are the things I have learnt running a business with a baby face:

- As a young business owner, you can have just as much knowledge (if not more)! Age does not determine ability. In fact, quite a lot of clients enjoy working with social media managers in their 20’s because they have grown up in a technical age and hence probably have a deeper understanding, without even realising it.

- Young people start businesses all the time! Now, more than ever, people are starting businesses during their time in school, college, university. They grow their freelancing gigs or side hustles into fully fledged businesses after they graduate. They create a company for themselves - because they can. Now, more than ever, young people are succeeding in the entrepreneurial world. There are fantastic examples everywhere - I mean just look at Ben Francis.

- As I mentioned above, young people have advantages. They are fresh out of the education system, hungry for success, ambitious, willing to take more risks (especially those of you like me who still live at home and have no children), are more flexible, have grown up with technology…the list is endless.

- Finally, I was the ONLY one thinking this! Most of the time, my baby face was holding me back and no one else had even thought about it. My own insecurity and perception of what others would think was changing the way I approached situations. At the end of the day, this was a ‘me issue’ and not anyone else’s. No one else cared!

If you’re about to launch a business with a baby face - then please take all of this on board. I wish I had learned all of this sooner. I now am confident enough in myself and ALN Marketing to not feel intimidated on client calls due to my age and youthful looks. Yes, I am a young business owner - and I am proud!

On the 12th July I will be opening the doors to my online group programme From Student to CEO - so if you wish to find out more information click here or get secure your place early then contact me here.

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