Each month we’ll be featuring one of the amazing entrepreneurs who are members at The Common – sharing the story of their entrepreneurial journey and getting their top tips for running a business.
‘In her blood’ is how Jam Mayer, founder of social media agency Conversologie, describes being in business. Growing up in a family of entrepreneurs, she was slaving away 12-18 hour days in the corporate world when she decided it was about time she too ‘joined the family business’, so to speak! Enter Conversologie.
Although Jam had been in the digital marketing space since the early 2000s (before Facebook was even a thing!), she’d always worked for others. From blogging to web design to graphic design, her digital marketing skills ran the gamut. After moving to New Zealand from the Philippines six years ago, she realised pretty quickly that the demand for digital skills wasn’t nearly as high here, but the thought of going out on her own still stuck with her.
Finally, in 2016, she was ready to take the plunge.
Working with the big guns
And plunge it was! Focusing quickly on becoming a Hootsuite digital services partner, it didn’t take long before Jam was working with some of the biggest corporates in the market – providing them ongoing social media support, and helping marketing professionals to ‘level up’ in their social media skills.
Instead of trying to be a ‘one-stop shop’ and doing everything averagely, Jam’s focused Conversologie on three key pillars: Hootsuite and the accompanying support to help clients make the most of the software; Social imageries, a solution for small businesses who don’t know how to design or create social media content; and Facebook messaging chat bots, which help to automate clients’ processes and are surprisingly human when engaging with customers. Operating on the idea that ‘every click moves you forward’, she focuses on being customer-centric – both for her own clients and for their customers.
Staying ahead of the curve
For Jam, the fun part of being in the social media industry is getting to keep up with new tools, technology, and tricks. Uninterested in just being a production machine and pumping lots of work through, Jam and her team would rather find innovative solutions for clients by utilising this new technology – which can sometimes prove a difficult sell to people.
“Because I’m so forward-thinking, my lightbulb moment is when I find a new technology or process and can see exactly how we’ll use it – even if the market isn’t ready yet!”
Always ready to push the limits, Jam insists that as long as you’re a stickler to processes and actually know your stuff, then trying out new technologies or processes can only be a good thing – you’ll know fairly quickly if it will work for your business or not, and end up well ahead of the curve if it does!
Learning to let go
Of course, every business comes with its challenges, and Conversologie has been no exception. “The most challenging part was definitely doing everything on my own,” shares Jam.
“Call it a domino effect – I was too busy doing sales, doing everything, and wearing all the hats that I lost opportunities and cashflow was awful. I started thinking to myself, ‘Why don’t you just get another job? Go home and go on holiday!’”
But giving up wasn’t ever really an option for Jam – after all, she’d always wanted to own her own business and she was pretty bloody passionate about educating people.
You can’t do everything
Jam was so overwhelmed and had so much going on that she knew she needed help; so she brought business coach Debra Chantry (who, funnily enough, also started The Common) on board to help. “It was all me until I started working with Debra, who said you need people if you want to scale your business.”
She already had a virtual assistant taking care of some of the admin, but quickly brought others on board to deliver work to clients, and is loving being able to share her knowledge and experience not just with clients, but also others in the business.
Now, she’s working alongside Debra and fellow coach Dave Rouse to scale and grow Conversologie, as well as joining The Common as one of the many amazing female entrepreneurs who are members. “Debra’s vision of a community that showcases us as entrepreneurs, and lets us network and learn more about other entrepreneurs is so cool,” shares Jam. “The vibe of the space was perfect for our Hootsuite official launch too.”
Jam’s advice for other entrepreneurs (both emerging and more advanced) is simple: “Don’t be afraid to ask for help.” Believing firmly that you can’t do everything, Jam’s relieved that she realised fairly early that she needed help and got a mentor.
“Sometimes it makes you feel like it makes you look weak, but my mistake was not realising that everyone needs help – even the most successful entrepreneurs have mentors!”
Become part of an exclusive community of entrepreneurs & CEOs that enables you to step outside of your normal work environment and allows you to meet other entrepreneurs like Jam, share experiences and let ideas grow – join The Common today.