Blogger, Business Coach & Online Educator
WHO OR WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START YOUR BUSINESS?
In 2016 I was working in London as private banker and was feeling uninspired by my corporate role. I had been in this world for 10 years and I could see the next 20 years mapped out, I was yearning for a more creative career but I was not entirely sure how to make that happen, or how to get the confidence to leave the steady paycheque!
It finally happened when I met my now husband and we spontaneously decided to quit our jobs and travel through South America together. The trip gave me the space, time and opportunity to think about business ideas and what was important to me to make me happy.
Prior to the trip I had been searching for female travel communities and couldn’t find anything that catered to my demographic. So when I returned to England, I set about starting a travel community of my own to fill the gap in the market that I had seen — from there We Are Travel Girls and Travel Girls Getaways were born!
Our community and blog quickly became popular, so in 2017 I decided to run educational blogging retreats. These retreats motivated me to not only work on the travel business but also build a consulting, education and online course business under my own name BeckyvanDijk.com.
Today I run both businesses full time, and offer online courses including my signature course The Blog Elevation Program where I teach other women how they can turn their passions into profitable blogs and businesses.
WHAT WAS YOUR BIGGEST STRUGGLE WHEN STARTING OUT?
It was feeling confident in what I was creating and telling people about it! I had a very traditional career in finance where I was a successful senior female banker, I was at the height of my career having just been promoted so it was easy to tell people what I did for a job and feel proud of my achievements.
When I first started my travel business, before we started group trips, a lot of what we were creating was online on social media and the blog, so I thought it looked like more of a hobby than a business to anyone on the outside. This led me to really struggle with telling people what I did, and I always began my response with “I used to work in banking, and now I….” to validate myself!
“I see this a lot with my students and women in the community, they struggle with confidence, worrying about what their friends and family will think of them if they start a blog or their own business. So in addition to teaching women the strategies and techniques to grow their blogs and launch their businesses, I also work with them 1:1 to help overcome these confidence obstacles.”
WHAT’S THE NUMBER ONE THING YOU ATTRIBUTE TO GROWING YOUR BUSINESS?
Perseverance! When you start your own business success is not a straight line and you don’t wake up one day to find your business is suddenly thriving. There are forks in the road where you need to decide what to focus on or how to move forward, there are unexpected roadblocks you need to overcome, there are times when you are not making the money or seeing the results you want to and these are often the times when many people feel like giving up because it’s too hard.
Over the years I have had my fair share of each of these moments, but my perseverance and readiness to pivot and change the direction of my businesses to answer my communities needs has helped to grow to where it is today!
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE MUSIC TO LISTEN TO WHEN YOU’RE CREATING GRAPHICS?
I listen to relaxed music like Ludovico Enaudi, or The XX. Or sometimes I use it as an excuse to switch on a reality TV program that I would otherwise feel guilty watching!
How do you decide on what images to use for your brand?
“Typically I look for images that will fit cohesively with images that I have of my own. I use a lot of Haute Stock images on my website, but I also have photos of myself so I will select based on the colours and tones that match with the other images on my website and social media.”
What’s your favorite Haute Stock collection?
The collection that I come back to time and again is Earthy Office which I have used on my website, in eBooks and in my courses. I also really love Dreamer/Doer, Fall Mood and Bookstagram which all work really well with my branding!
How has Haute Stock helped you in your business?
Haute Stock has been an invaluable resource for me, for use on my social media channels, in blog posts and to add cohesive branding across my entire business.
I love that new collections are released regularly that I can use in my blog posts so I am not repeating the same images time and again. I also really love the graphics, templates and tutorials available in the Member Hub which I have found very helpful.
“Overall the huge benefit to me is that I have access to images and templates that are beautifully branded and save me a lot of time! I already run multiple businesses, so I don’t have the time to create my own stock imagery and knowing I can log in to Haute Stock and find something perfect for my latest project is great!”
What has been your biggest business lesson learned?
To be intentional and define your ideal customer as soon as possible. When I first started my business I just dived in with an idea and didn’t step back to think about who my ideal audience was and how to attract them into my community. I started creating tonnes of content, blog posts, events, even international retreats and trips without my exact target customer in mind or a plan for how that piece of content might be monetised.
When you know who your ideal customer is, you will find it much easier to reach this person and create content, products, solutions and services that they want and need. As I have progressed in my business I have honed in on this person and every time I come up with a new idea to create I ask myself if this product or piece of content serves that person.
I also ask myself the question “how will this move my business forward towards my goals?” for everything I do. In doing this I have become far more intentional with what I create and I believe being intentional with everything that you create, publish, or share will fast track your success as a business owner!
Becky van Dijk
is a British-born, tea-loving small business owner and recovering banker based in sunny California. In 2016 Becky quit corporate to start a female travel community, We Are Travel Girls and Travel Girls Getaways, a bespoke affordable luxury women’s group trip company. She’s also set out to help other ambitious women nail the art of profitable blogging through no-fluff strategies and proven methods that she had employed in her own business when first starting out.