Meet Emma Saldanha, founder of Written By Ems; the female-led business offering high-calibre business support in marketing, copywriting and content strategy. From SMEs to multinational organisations, Emma is proud to have worked with business owners and marketing teams nationwide, devising highly effective, tailored campaigns through keyword rich content, email marketing and social media.
With over 10 years in-house marketing and content creation experience, Emma decided to change tact in 2017, and took a leap of faith to start her own freelance business, Written By Ems, and she hasn’t looked back since! Since starting Emma has had countless huge successes and has helped an extensive range of businesses; from accountants, to business coaches, to recruitment businesses and tech start-ups. All of her work is compiled in a copywriting portfolio and available to view online.
As part of our #WomenInSMEs we chatted with Emma about how she came to become a successful female entrepreneur:
What’s the story behind Written By Ems?
I had worked in various marketing positions for over 10 years, making my way up through the ranks, as they say. In 2016, I thought I had found the ‘perfect job’, it was a part-time marketing role with a local family-owned business. Sadly, just over a year in and I was made redundant.
This was very scary as it was the first time it had happened to me and I was let go with one days’ notice! I had the choice of either trying to find another role that offered flexibility, or I could go out on my own and have the freedom to choose who I work with. I chose the latter, and nearly two years on I’m still doing it.
Wow, that must have been a shock, but great that it prompted you to be your own boss! What would you has been your greatest success and challenge to date?
Oh, there have been lots of successes. Personally, the biggest has to be getting the business up and running. There are so many ‘behind-the-scene’ type things to think about, such as registering with HMRC, opening a business account, planning your taxes, understanding how to issue invoices …these are just a few. If you’ve never set up and run a business, like I hadn’t these come as a shock. And, you can’t underestimate how much time and energy, particularly in the beginning they take up.
On a client perspective, it has to be working with a business coach, who approached me with an idea and wanted me to help him communicate his business’ offering through branding, a fresh and clean website, active social media campaigns and email marketing. It’s been great to work with him over the last year and see how his business has grown and how he is helping other businesses to thrive.
I think one of the biggest challenges for many small start-up businesses is finding clients. You soon realise that clients aren’t going to come to you, and that you have to go out and find them yourself. I use a combination of methods, in-person networking, online networking, speculatively contacting companies and agencies and blogging – but I’ve been a bit slack with this lately.
It’s important that you find the route that works best for you and that you keep up with it, so you have a regular source of work coming in. When you’re busy it can be very tempting to let this slide, but things can change quickly with business, and the next week you may find yourself with no work at all.
That all sounds really positive! So, what would be your biggest piece of advice to female entrepreneurs just starting out in business?
My biggest piece of advice is to listen to your gut – as it is nearly always right.
Early on when you’re trying to get the business off the ground, get your name known and make money, it’s tempting to take on everything that comes your way. But, if your gut instinct is telling you that something doesn’t feel right, it’s probably true. I’ve learnt the hard-way that ignoring your gut instinct is a bad idea, and it’s caused me hours of stress.
I’d also say don’t see other businesses as the competition. There are always ways for you to collaborate, which could lead to you both working on bigger projects. Plus, working with other businesses is a great way to swap skills or learn new ones.
Finally, why were you drawn to the campaign, can you offer a comment on why you think it's important?
I’ve been aware for some time that there is a lack of owner-managed businesses that are run by women, and it’s great that this campaign will raise the awareness that even though there may be obstacles to setting up and running your own business, that it is still possible. And, it’s incredibly awarding to know that you are building something for yourself.
I’m also really looking forward to reading all the other ladies’ stories and being inspired by their journeys into business.