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How This Freelancer Built Her Social Media Business on Beautiful Relationships

What do you do when you have a university degree but little excitement for the qualifications you spent so much time achieving? Nia Lee took her education and put it to use, with a whole new spin, helping her beauty-centric clients to build their authentic voice online through social media. Here's her story.



Tell us, what do you do? Who do you love to work with?

I’m a freelance content creator and social media strategist, passionate about creating fun, unique, and on-brand content creation for women-owned business owners that use Instagram to market their business! I’m also passionate about educating women on creating video content that’s engaging because I truly believe video will always make you stand out. 

I truly love working with women who love what they do and want to know how they can level-up their content game. They recognize that they may not be the most versed in all things social, so they see me as someone who can help them achieve their social media dreams. Plus, they want to learn from me so they can successfully manage their social media themselves.

What's your story? What did you do before you started freelancing?

From the time I was 14-years old, I knew I wanted to be on television, but when I told my aunt that's what I wanted, she said, "no". While I was looking for universities to attend, I saw that the University of Guelph-Humber had a Media Studies program. This included image arts, journalism, photography, and public relations, which seemed to be what I wanted to do.

In my third year of university, I realized midway into a presentation my professor was conducting that I didn't want to work in PR, but I knew I had to finish my studies. Throughout my time in university, I worked and developed an interest in the beauty industry. I even dabbled in the world of makeup artistry. Once I graduated, I knew that if I was going to do anything media or communications-related, it would have to be in the beauty world.

A year after I graduated, I interned at a beauty and lifestyle PR agency - and that’s where I fell in love with content creation and social media management. I was also working part-time at a beauty company and decided to get my feet wet with doing content creation on the side for friends who worked there. 

At the time I didn't know how I was going to promote my business when the only thing I had was my Instagram account that was makeup related. So, I created an Instagram account to upload my social media knowledge and content I did in the past.

I remember when I got my first ever social media management client. I was so shocked that someone wanted to pay me to create content for them and manage their social media! 

What was your biggest learning experience?

I will admit that I did reach my breaking point with a couple of the clients I had, which made me beyond sad. That's when I decided if I was going to do this, I really had to charge my worth and not just work with anyone for money. Plus, this couldn’t compromise what I loved doing - which was creating videos and interacting with my audience on Instagram. 

When I realized this, I had the energy to start fresh and really take my work seriously. There was no more low balling myself and I finally got back to what fueled me the most.

What makes me excited to continue is knowing there are so many awesome women and businesses that need help with bettering their social media! What keeps me going is knowing people value what I have to say and what I bring to the table. I always remember that this is bigger than just money, but the actual relationship that I can have that eventually turns into serious friendship matters more to me than anything. 

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What is your biggest piece of advice for new freelancers?

I would say don’t feel too guilty or beat yourself up for making mistakes in your freelancing journey and in LIFE. You’re human! I really don't think we decide to do this because we think it's going to be an easier road; we do it because we're willing to take the road less traveled and want to actually make a difference. So ultimately, that comes with tons of learning and messing up and learning some more. Do what you love, give it your all and if you make mistakes. If you don't always get the outcome you want, that's OKAY. 

What’s the most profitable service that you currently offer?

Definitely my 1:1 monthly content planning sessions! I remember the idea came to me when and saw this huge blank calendar with colorful sticky notes on the side at the store. I thought, what if there was a way to help people actually plan their content out? I always would hear people say they aren't consistent on social media because they have no idea what to post, even though they may be sitting with tons of ideas on their laptop or in their brain. 

That's when it hit me! I tested the idea with a couple of people for free and they loved the results. I decided to promote it and was shocked by how much people were interested. Each session is 2-hours, which includes a brainstorming session with myself and the client. Then I assist them with strategizing and building out their content calendar for the next 30 days, based on the content pillars we create that are specific to their business.

One of my clients told me that after just one session and posting consistently for 2 weeks, her engagement increased by 50%. It keeps getting better because the more I do it, the more I can recognize what works for each client and I know what I want to improve on for each session. 

What does freelancing mean to you?

It means having the ultimate freedom to decide who you want to serve! It means being able to make your own rules and build relationships with human beings from all walks of life. I never would've thought my love for social media would resonate with so many people to the point where I could even THINK about doing this full-time. It has allowed me to make an impact that goes beyond a phone screen, because truly, I would rather be remembered for our relationship than how many followers or likes I was able to get for you.



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