EWA PIETRENIUK – A DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS EXPERT, SOCIAL MEDIA PIONEER AND FOUNDER OF BLOG, SOCIALBEAUTIFY
Tell us a little about yourself and your career background?
I am a digital communications expert, social media strategist and veteran blogger at SocialBeautify. I started blogging at a time when few people knew what blogging was, with no resources to learn how to do it best – most social media platforms, as we know them today, didn’t exist. My strong knowledge of copywriting, together with my passion for psychology, helped me to succeed and grow an online community in a competitive and fast-growing discipline.
What was the inspiration behind starting your blog?
There were two reasons. At the start, I wanted to practice my writing as I have minor dyslexia. I graduated with degrees in PR & Journalism and Politics, but never considered any jobs that required writing. But I felt that having this kind of commitment and writing something that other people would read would make sure I stayed committed and didn’t give up after a month.
I also love helping others and sharing my knowledge. I tend to say what I think, which is why having a self-hosted platform where no one could tell me what I should and shouldn’t say felt natural.
On your blog, SocialBeautify, you often refer to #mindfluencing, what is this, and how did you create this concept?
#Mindfluencing means being mindful about how you influence others. We often forget the significant impact we can have when we communicate online, so I teach this concept to my clients, and I always try to be mindful about the way I influence those who choose to read my blog or follow my social media channels.
The concept came to life when I saw the effects that communications from marketing campaigns and influencers were having on women. I have worked a lot in the beauty industry, so I had the opportunity to interact with many women. No matter what stage they were in their career and life, they had one thing in common: they felt like there was something wrong with them. I wanted to change that and make sure we talk about products and services in an empowering way.
Your career has evolved with the advent of social media, how do you see the social landscape evolving over the next few years?
I believe consumers’ preferences started slowly shifting around 2015, moving more towards authenticity. This trend is going to be growing. Authenticity is what made influencers famous. Brands can be scared of letting people in or they feel like they always have to talk about the product, which is why they are now playing catch-up.
Video is the future – so if you haven’t embraced it yet, you’d better start learning. Social platforms are actively encouraging influencers to use video to engage with their audience. The more they do it, the more natural it becomes for consumers, so they start to expect it. You’ll be falling behind your competitors if you aren’t on trend.
What has been your career highlight?
It’s the small things that make the effort worthwhile. “To know that even one life breathed easier because I have lived”, as Ralph Waldo Emerson said. Also, receiving a client’s feedback on the impact my blog has had for them, whether that was changing their communication style to better suit their business or finding new confidence in themselves.
What piece of advice would you give to others looking to start their own business?
There are three things I prioritise:
You need to know your Whys. You will have good days when you feel like you could fly and bad days when things go so wrong you feel sick. Knowing why you are doing what you have set out to do will help you bounce back from setbacks.
Ask for help, because it’ll speed up the process, though I know it’s not always easy. I love helping others because it gives me so much pleasure and fuels me with energy, yet I still struggle with asking for help. I work on it continuously.
Rest! Sleep and water are everything.
How would you advise individuals looking to build a profile online? What are easily made mistakes? And how can they be avoided?
Gain clarity on your brand and how you do business, then think about where and how you can communicate this message.
We often follow what others are doing because they might be successful, but I suggest strategising your actions and tailoring your messages to your marketing objectives. Also, take consideration of your constraints.
You can avoid mistakes by starting slowly and building your presence as you gain momentum. I specialise in working with personal brands and early-stage start-ups, where the approach to content strategy has to be different because of limited resources. I always suggest focused and purposeful communication at this stage. I like to see how my clients start to ‘breathe’ again after adopting the change.