This week on Perch Coworking ‘Up-Close-and-Personal’ we talk to Iulia Costinescu, founder and owner of the newly formed marketing agency, ‘Golden Branch VA‘. Iulia has been a full time member of the Perch Coworking Community since the start of 2020 and uses the space on a regular basis.
Here, she shares with us her hints and tips on what’s working for her, during these unprecedented times.
I’m a COVID new business driven by the end of my last job in events in April.
Last year in June I attended an online business start-up course from PopUp Business School that changed everything and kickstarted my small business idea; by the end of the course, Golden Branch VA was officially online and on social media.
After constantly looking for my niche both in the employed and the self-employed journey, I zoned in on what I was great at and enjoyed doing, and explored my passion for technology and online tools and assisting creative and impact-driven businesses with their marketing and growth. Not only did my business see a ton of success but my clients have been really successful too, which is so important for the longevity of their own businesses!
At the beginning of 2020, being self-employed wasn’t even in my pipeline; yet, I have had 6 different projects and clients in my first 6 months of being in business. This not only showed me that it was ALWAYS possible for me to work for myself and to do it well, but that so much more is possible for me in 2021.
I have three ongoing projects at the moment, all very different, but one that particularly stands out is an innovative, collaborative programme between Oxford University and Cambridge University, called RisingWISE. Enterprising STEM female researchers are supported in working closely with industry to build mutual relationships, achieve success and leadership roles. The whole team of around 50 participants, facilitators and delivery team which included myself, has been planning lots of online sessions over 3 weekends starting at the end of February from personal values to making an impact to entrepreneurship which have all been immensely energising and inspiring to coordinate and take part in.
I’m a one-woman team and Chief Executive of Everything, so there’s constantly something to do for my business!
Must have tools that have made my business roll smoothly so far: Facebook Creator Studio for scheduling my social media content on Facebook and Instagram, absolutely free; Appointedd for booking client calls; Trello, – an efficient task manager – it’s like sticky notes on steroids (and it’s free as well!); ClickUp – an easy-to-use team management and client management system; Canva for creating beautiful graphics; creative heads this is perfect for you (I recommend signing up to the Canva Pro option especially if you’re working as part of a team and you want access to lots of design elements and stock photos).
I try to follow a routine with a designated time block for Netflix and chilling (yes you read it right) which is helped by setting specific work hours for my projects and clients. I use a task management tool like ClickUp to keep me organised in tracking my projects and tasks and use a written notebook for taking ad-hoc notes and brainstorming creative ideas.
This also enables me to have my ‘deep focus’ time which makes me efficient with my work and also enjoy my free time for everything I want to do afterwards. The more I schedule, the more progress I tend to make, especially as with my office being my living room and my boundaries between work and home easily blurred.
Definitely plan your down time – as a freelancer it can be so easy to feel like being busy makes us feel productive when it’s the opposite.
I’d love to have had a pet during lockdown as I’m a big pet lover! In the absence of one and while waiting for the arrival of my first baby in April, my main ‘hobbies’/past times have been pastry eating, online yoga, meditating, walking/cycling locally and reading.
Feel free to ask any questions you may have regarding my services/packages or, equally, about online tools to remove any overwhelm in your business and help with your growth!
Thank you, Iulia…some valuable information in there that I’m sure others will find inspiring. We’ll look forward to welcoming you back to Perch very soon!
If you would like to learn more about Iulia and the services that Golden Branch VA offer, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and connect on https://linktr.ee/goldenbranchva where you will find all her social media links.
And, if you would like to discover your coworking community in the heart of Bicester, Oxfordshire, with memberships to suit all, then visit Perch Coworking or call 01869 690126 for an informal chat or to arrange a virtual tour of the space.