Taryn Rule, founder of Umundu, the UK distributor of Africology skincare products, got in touch with Digital Mums in April 2015. We matched her with Jill Harris with some amazing results.
"It’s the smartest business decision I’ve ever made
While Africology is an established brand in South Africa, we were virtually unknown in the UK six months ago. I knew our skincare, with its luxury and eco-friendly credentials, would be a hit here but there was very little money for marketing. Everyone kept telling me social media was the way to go. Bringing Jill on board meant I had someone totally dedicated to setting that up for me. Twitter and Facebook were started from scratch and thanks to Jill’s hard work we now have a huge fan base.
Mumpreneurs need Digital Mums
I’m one of the army of UK Mumpreneurs, working from home and juggling children. While I want to be able to do everything for my business I have to be realistic that some things need outsourcing. Some people think you can just tinker around on social media but I was aware it needed a much more strategic approach. Plus it felt like a very tangible area to get help with. Jill was learning cutting edge techniques at Digital Mums and she was also able to pass on her knowledge to me.
We’ve never actually met each other
Despite Jill being an integral part of my business we’ve never actually been in the same room as each other. I’m a huge advocate of remote working; I work from home too so having someone else in a similar position made sense. I knew that Jill was doing a fantastic job as it was being played out in front of me on the channels. It felt great that we could achieve this synergy working remotely. Skype is our best friend!
Working with another Mum was crucial
The fact Jill was a fellow Mum and recognised the struggles of juggling work and family life was really important to me. My three children are only six, three and two, so like many Mums, life can often be chaotic! As Jill has teenage children and has been there herself, I appreciated our mutual understanding. Digital Mums take a lot of time matching the right Digital Mum to each business to ensure they really suit each other. Our mutual concern for the environment, passion for healthy living and eco-friendly lifestyle felt just the right fit.
A Digital Mum thinks outside the box
I was impressed how Jill, even though she was doing intensive learning, was able to come up with so many creative ideas. She has over 20 years communications experience so really is a wealth of knowledge. Last August Jill spotted an opportunity for reduced cost advertising on the London Underground with charity MicroLoan. She gave me the heads up and suddenly our tiny company was being advertised on the Tube. It was due to her quick thinking that we got such a result for brand awareness.
Social media savvy led to real world opportunities
Thanks to the relationships that Jill has carefully built up on Twitter I am now being invited to important industry events. These include beauty blogger events; a community that is crucial to the success of Africology. Such exposure feels fairly rare for such a new brand. I may not have known about these if it wasn’t for Jill. With my Digital Mum by my side, I am excited about what the future holds."
"If I were to design a job that used my skills perfectly and gave me real job satisfaction it would be what I do now. It’s not an understatement to say I jump out of bed in the morning to see what’s going on in the social media world. I just love being the voice of Africology on their channels.
It helps I really believe in the products. I get to sample them and they're honestly the best skincare I've ever used. Taryn and I have forged an incredible partnership and we have some exciting plans ahead. I feel so privileged to be lucky enough to have found work that has that kind of hold on me.”
Follow Africology on Twitter and Facebook here.