Sarah is a Marketing Strategist and Facebook Ads, specialist. Having spent over 25 years in Advertising, Sales and Marketing for companies such as EMAP and Capital Radio, she has a wealth of experience in helping to get companies visible. Sarah lives in South West London with her husband and three children.
Tell us a bit about you as a mum…
I wasn’t sure I would ever be a mum as I started 2003 age 34 and single. But just before the end of January and a week before my 35th birthday I met my (now) husband. He was only 28 but he already had a daughter, Issey. I met her when she was 18-months-old and I loved her from the minute I saw her. After six months we were living together and we started trying for a baby quite quickly. I had my son Sam, when I was 36 and my daughter Jess at 40. I didn’t really think about my age, I was just so happy to have them all and we have always had a lot of fun. Issey decided to move in with us five years ago, but I’ve always felt as though I had three children. We got married in 2017, with all of the children there; it was a fantastic day and very special.
Tell us about your current job…
I love helping people grow their business through great Marketing Strategy and Social Media. I set up Marketing Matters as a Consultancy in 2015 with just one client at a time, but now I’m really going for it, new branding, website etc. My background was Sales, Marketing and Advertising, I think what Facebook Ads offer along with the specific targeting, is the stuff of advertising dreams. I also decided to share what I know about Facebook Advertising and came up with the Facebook Ads Formula. Social Media is all around us and so useful for businesses, but there is also a lot of competition and I aim to help people stand out from the crowd.
How easy have you found being a working mum?
When I had my son I was working for myself as an Interior Designer (having gone back to college and re-trained). I thought this would be a great job to have with kids; I could manage my own time and it would be ideal. It wasn’t. Clients wanted me to be available almost 24/7 and builders had to be closely managed from 8am when they started. So I just did a bit of property development and smaller projects for friends. When my youngest started school I went back into Marketing, doing only 10 hours a week. I kept it very low key as my husband’s job is very demanding and I really just wanted to be around for the kids. Now the children are older I can work from 9-3ish and then again in the evenings if I need to.
How have you found trying to balance being a mum with your current role?
It’s quite tough at the moment, as there are so many things that are high on my priority list. But I’m a planner and list maker and I try to ‘time block’. This means that I work on specific tasks for a set amount of time, rather than jumping from one thing to the next. Plus, I’ve got Helen, my secret weapon and fabulous ‘Balance Coach’, who suggested time blocking and lots of other things, to ensure I’m keeping a good balance of work and home life.
I also get up earlier than anyone else now and being set up and focused for the day by 7am most mornings is definitely the way forward. I like to make sure I have enough time to go to the gym two to three times a week as that keeps me fit (and sane) and I usually stop working at 3pm ish when I go into Mum mode.
What has kept you going throughout your journey so far?
I always try to focus on the good stuff and that has definitely got easier with age. My coach says I’m always so positive, even when I have lots of plates spinning! I just don’t really have the time or inclination to be negative. I also want to be a positive role model for the kids and let them see first hand that you can do things you didn’t think possible with time, effort and commitment. I tried selling books through parties when Jess was a baby. I worked on the PTA for years and I’m always busy. If you have a passion for something, I think you should go for it and if it doesn’t work, use it as a learning experience and move on to the next idea.
What advice would you offer anyone who is about to return to work after having a child?
Children are adaptable when they are younger and accepting of others, so if you need help to make things work then go for it. I haven’t always been great at asking for help, but you simply can’t do everything yourself. Get a cleaner, get good childcare, have a network of friends and most of all be realistic about how many hours there are in a day!
Also I would say treasure the time you have now, right at this moment, as you will never get it back. Try and give each of your children some 1:1 Mummy time and make some memories. Children don’t remember how expensive the holiday was they remember how they felt, what they did and how much fun they had. It’s all about the fun and the memories.
What’s the best piece of advice someone gave you about combining motherhood with a job?
A great friend who has children a few years older than mine, said that the older they get, the more your children really need you and it’s so true. When my stepdaughter moved in with us at 13, I put my work on hold and was there for her. Not just emotionally but physically at the end of the day when she came home. If you can be around for your children after school, it really is great for everyone. All the kids come and have a little chat before going off to do their own thing. Most nights we all sit down for dinner together too, including my husband if he’s working from home. We have a chat and a laugh and phones are not allowed at the table.
Anything else you would like our members to know about you?
I believe in giving children a voice and an opinion. It’s so important they feel like they are being heard. You don’t always have to agree and you can tell them why, but just discussing things with them and allowing them an input, gives them such a sense of validation and helps them on the path to being really nice, rounded people who you actually want to be around.
Motherhood is hard but hopefully, there are always cuddles at the end of the day, which makes it all worthwhile, and then your children will say something hilarious, which also helps!
For any Marketing Matters or my Facebook Ads Formula, please get in touch at marketingmatters.london