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Why inspirational mum Clare is a business ‘goddess’

Clare Clifford, owner of Rodley-based Sunshine Digital Media, has been nominated in the Business Mum of the Year run by the Women’s Business Club.

The award recognises business women who have “really stood out for [their] incredible worklife balance”. JIM CORAH chatted with Clare about her business, her nomination, and west Leeds.

“Digital marketing goddess” (according to The Branding Photographer) Clare has helped businesses improve their online presence with engaging and creative content. Sunshine Digital Media has worked on campaigns and strategies for Boots, Travelodge, and the Church of England.

Sunshine Digital Media was set up following the death of Clare’s daughter Charlotte, as something for her to be “proud of her mummy”.

Aside from helping organise strategies, Clare offers seminars on the best ways to approach social media (the most recent being on 6th November 2019 at the Loft, Farsley). Sunshine Digital Media aims to offer bespoke marketing solutions whatever the size of the business.

Question: Without using the word resilience describe your approach to work life balance when running a business and having an active family life.

Clare: Plan, plan, plan! It’s a huge juggling act and you can always count on someone getting chicken pox when you’ve got a huge work week. Embrace it, I’m grateful to have beautiful children and a thriving business that I can work round them. Good childcare and plenty of down time are essential.

How did your interaction with social media develop into helping others with their online presence?

I’m from a marketing background and social media always fell to me in a time when it was seen as something a bit nice to do but not important, which put me ahead of the pack when it became clear that social media is an integral part of any marketing strategy.

I went freelance about six years ago and have never stopped working since.

I set up my own business a few weeks after the death of my daughter as I refused to be defined by it and wanted to do something positive in her memory.

That was over two years ago and the business has gone from strength to strength, I even took 10 days off to have my son last year.

Is there a ‘magic bullet’ approach to social media success?

Simple answer – no. It takes consistent, quality content and knowing your audience. That’s where I come in, I can either save a business time and completely manage their social/digital marketing or I can teach them how to do it themselves.

If you post quality content, consistently for three months and monitor your engagement and adapt/amend your content accordingly you’ll start to gather traction and see results.

With regards to west Leeds, there are many organisations run by volunteers who may not have a great of time to run their social media. What would your advice for them to peg the basics?

Don’t post and pray! So many organisations and businesses stick any old thing up at any old time and hope for the best. Post good content when and where your audience is most likely to be looking at least twice each week.

Use scheduling tools so you’re not relying on being free at those times and then get distracted and post rushed content or not bother at all.

Which businesses and organisations in west Leeds have a good approach to social media?

Apparel Leeds is based in Stanningley and is the most wonderful clothing boutique run by Dawn Farr, go and see her and she’ll have your style sussed out in a instant and give you that personal stylist experience without the price tag.

I worked with Dawn a couple of years ago and created a social media template which she still uses to this day and she gets the mix of content spot on.

Grumpy’s in Farsley not only has some of the best pizza around they also do social media very well. Their posts are funny, engaging and their pictures are always spot on – bravo!

The award-winning Rodley Nature Reserve do a great job, they are worth a follow just for the fantastic wildlife pictures alone, but also they support the local community and give lots of tips on how we can support nature.

Voting for the Business Mum of the Year is open until 4th December 2019.

Women’s Business Club was founded in 2013 by Angela De Souza to set up a business network that she would like to attend where she felt comfortable being herself and accepted as a woman in business.

Voting for the Business Mum of the Year is open until 4th December 2019. Women’s Business Club was founded in 2013 by Angela De Souza to set up a business network that she would like to attend where she felt comfortable being herself and accepted as a woman in business.

Photos: Courtesy Clare Clifford and the Women’s Business Club

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