Tanvi Jain
Creative Connect Consultancy

How I Quit My Job To Go Full Time With My Creative Business

Industries:

Welcome! Tell us who you are and a quick overview of your business/brand.

Hey, I’m Tanvi Jain, the founder of Creative Connect Consultancy.

Specialising in creative content ideation and strategy, I work with ambitious business owners that are looking to scale their business to the next level by helping them stand out through out-of-the-box content.

Though I’m based in London, I have had the pleasure of working with clients around the globe across different industries and niches which makes each project more bespoke and exciting!

With multiple businesses in the same industry, differentiating your product or service tends to become difficult. How do you then effectively stand out and communicate with your audience in a way that engages them?

The answer’s simple, it’s through your content!

Content is the number one reason people come to view your page.

It’s your first impression with new audiences that don’t know you and it’s your way of building trust and a relationship with your community and clients.

Your CONTENT, Your VISION and Your STORY are what set you apart from your competition.

That’s why having content that reflects your vision and your story while resonating with your audience can make all the difference when it comes to generating successful leads.

We all need unique content to stand out and sometimes you just need a fresh perspective, a soundboard, some motivation and guidance. That’s why I help businesses create a roadmap to achieving their goals through their content strategy!

How did you come up with your concept?

The idea of starting my creative business was born from three things! The first, struggling to find a job as a fresh graduate during a worldwide pandemic (keeping it real!), the second, my love for out-of-the-box content, and the third, a passion for bridging the gap between creativity and strategy; hence, the name ‘Creative Connect’.

Let’s backtrack a little, for as long as I can remember, I have been in love with the entertainment industry, and in awe of how one could string together a very powerful story that resonates with a mass audience.

All it takes is the power of one relatable moment, evoking one emotion, and having one idea stand out. Now, I obviously didn’t make it to Bollywood but the closest alternative I saw was in the business world - the field of marketing and advertising!

I started off small with creative ideas, slogans, and copy, then by helping family and friends with their business marketing, and over time, it became bigger projects and social media that I turned to. That’s when I knew I would always end up here, some way or another!

When presented with the opportunity, I knew I wanted to share my creative talents to help other business owners, because there are only so many ideas I can act on myself and for some reason, people always think it’s either/or. You’re either creative or strategic - which personally, I don’t agree with!

Through my consultancy, I am actively bridging that gap, and helping ambitious business owners scale online through an important consumer touchpoint, which is mostly overlooked - their CONTENT!

How did you actually launch? How were those early days?

While the idea for Creative Connect was born early in the year, I only started consistently posting on Instagram in September 2020.

This was due to many challenges but in hindsight, launching during a worldwide pandemic was a blessing in disguise! I won’t say it was easy, but it did push me, both personally and professionally.

I knew I had to build experience and this allowed me to experiment, build my portfolio and at the same time escape from the heavy loss I experienced during that time. I used this project as a way out, I channelled all my energy into it, something I knew would be mine, that couldn’t be taken away.

Turning an idea into reality at the surface seems fairly simple but the technicalities are what make it a long journey! With the concept and name set, I started mapping out my vision, brand values and content pillars but to gain clarity with my brand I needed clarity around what my ideal client looks like.

Thinking about who I was communicating with, and how my services could help them. After collating research from family, friends, and my network, I had a good idea of what people were struggling with, and what they were looking for. That’s how I positioned Creative Connect to be the guiding light and solution to their problems.

The next step was creating a vision board for all the elements that captured the essence of Creative Connect and then it was time to bring my unique content ideas to life through capturing, designing and posting on Instagram.

Don’t be fooled by how structured it all sounds though, imposter syndrome was a very real challenge for me!

I believed in what I was trying to create but I didn’t have confidence in myself at the time. I wasn’t sure where I would get my first client from, how I was planning on building this experience or if anyone would even want to listen to a 22-year-old nobody. I took on many clients free of charge at first to hone my skills and validate if my services were worth charging. I have worked on my mindset since then, and truth be told at the time, mentally I was using work as an escape.

So even though I had those ‘What am I really doing here?!’ moments, I would dive right back into work to avoid the overwhelming emotional state I was in. Not the healthiest coping mechanism I will admit and not one I advocate for but the consistency from being so focused on one goal did pay off.

It was a relief to gain that validation, see the end results, and after 5-months of consistent work, I finally had my first two paying clients, but to make things even better, I also landed a corporate role as Paid Search Executive at EssenceMediacom.

From then on, it all changed for me!

What strategies have you used to attract customers or followers?

Offline marketing and building my network through networking events!

From featuring in articles and magazines to listening and learning from people's experiences.

Having a network that genuinely supports and shares in your vision is such a powerful feeling.

Not to mention, word of mouth from clients and my network is how I land the vast majority of successful leads.

Being relatable and humanising my page!

Far too many people online are inconsistent with their content because they burn out from trying to be someone they are not.

Showing up authentically and understanding what’s holding you back in business will allow you to be present and create better content in the long run. You make genuine connections and can nurture these relationships more easily by simply being you.

My experiences and expertise also play a huge part in people relating to me and how I can effectively help them. Leveraging that to show people, I’ve been where they’ve been and that I understand the stress and feelings they are going through, allows me to show up for my clients and guide them through it.  

Focusing on 3-4 content pillars at a time allows me to stay on track and focus on my niche. Anything more than this, and it gets too complicated for the end reader. From a customer perspective, it gets harder to pinpoint what your page is really about and what benefits they gain from following you (online!).

Online marketing through social media, my main tool being Instagram as I knew this is where my ideal client would be and where my first paying client found and approached me.

Now, I am slowly branching out to include LinkedIn and Facebook in my strategy.

Being on Instagram allowed me to showcase in real time my creative perspective, my expertise, and previous testimonials for social proof. It’s like a mini portfolio in itself!

What has been your biggest hurdle? How have you dealt with it?

For me, it was not letting my thoughts get in the way of what I was building. It’s so easy to spiral when you’re the only driving force in your business because there’s no one to calm you down or snap you out of it.

You are your own hype woman, your own photographer, content creator, sales representative, strategist/consultant, social media manager, bookkeeper, customer service, packaging department and so much more.

It’s a lot to take on and in those moments, you must reaffirm and walk yourself through to the other side.

All it takes is one difficult client, one hard conversation, or falling into the pressure of ‘are you doing enough’.

I deal with this by going back to my roots, my “Why?” and re-affirming my plan of action. If I’m not where I want to be then let’s talk about it (having to talk to yourself does seem weird but it’s the truth!), what can I change or what needs to be done to get me there?

There will always be a reason behind every thought you have. I found my thoughts were either driven by fear or the need to overcompensate, along the way I was trying to prove myself rather than enjoy the process.

You get to choose whether you turn those thoughts into a positive or if you let them weigh you down.

My process to deal with this is to recognise, reflect and return. I recognise how I’m feeling at that moment, and I sit with it and reflect on what I can do with this insight.

I’ll often focus on my roadmap and what steps I have in place for me to reach what I’m thinking about and then I’ll return and get on with work.

What were you doing before this?

Before going full-time with Creative Connect Consultancy, I was also working as a Paid Search Executive at EssenceMediacom on two big accounts, Reebok and Adidas.

Having that balance between a creative role for my consultancy and a more data-driven corporate role gave me a lot to experiment with, learn from and transfer in terms of the application of those skills in both of my roles. I loved working there, my team was so supportive and nurturing but the entire time I knew I was meant for more.

The moment I felt that I wasn’t getting in return the amount that I was giving into the account was when I knew it didn’t feel right. I was constantly exhausted, I was stretching myself thin between both of my roles, not giving 100% to either and I could see a dip in motivation.

I found myself needing to decide at this point. I could either stay, feeling miserable and waiting for that promotion I had been working towards since day 1, with no guarantee of when it would come OR I could make a change and put in all that effort and time into growing my consultancy which was scalable.

Traditionally, the thought behind quitting is: there must have been an incident or turning point which led to taking that step, but truthfully, it was more of a feeling. I genuinely believe it was an amazing place to work and start my career, but I decided to choose what would make me happier, and I chose my creative business.

I knew I made the right decision but receiving the validation and support from my team after quitting confirmed that their belief in me was as strong as my own. It simply felt right!

What are your competitive advantages?

We’re all unique, we have our experiences that shape our personality and that’s what I consider to be my biggest competitive advantage. I have been told my personality is one of my best qualities, as bubbly, positive influence tends to rub off on people.

Having travelled a lot from an early age, and having lived in London and Delhi for a lengthy time, I have been exposed to different cultures, people and situations and that allows me to connect with and understand the way most people think, it also means I can adapt pretty quickly to any situation!

I will say the fact that I’m very chatty does make this much easier and it helps when you could be thrown into any situation.

This has helped me nurture and build relationships with my clients, pitch presentations and even network at events.

Being able to truly listen is another competitive advantage! Most businesses provide ideas without a strategy or give you what you want to hear.

However, providing a tailored service means meeting your client's vision while providing honest feedback and opinion from a business perspective.

People come to me for my creative talents, yes, but also because I can sort through their thoughts, filter down to the best viable option and provide them with a plan of action after understanding if what they are truly looking for even matches what they are currently doing.

Often, the answer is, it doesn’t - that’s why they are looking for help!

Lastly, my attention to detail really makes my service what it is. The level of thought that goes into each stage, each resource, and each project show clients 100% of the energy and effort that goes into everything created. That’s what they want, it’s the value they deserve and it’s what encourages them to take action and put back into their business.

I strongly believe with the service I provide, business owners should feel inspired and be excited to action the creative ideas. If not, then there is a problem that needs attention!

Where are you today and what are you most excited about in the future?

I’m at the start of a new chapter, having taken Creative Connect Consultancy full-time less than 2 weeks ago.

There is so much to achieve, improve and celebrate but what I’m most excited about is having more time to take on even more clients and work on the projects that actually make a difference. These are what can cost-effectively help more small business owners.

Currently, I am working on introducing a workshop-style component, covering everything one needs to know about the power of content and social media strategy across different industries.

The idea is to have the option for a more interactive, learning style approach as opposed to a done-for-you model.

This ensures you can learn at your own pace and understand how you too can transform your brand through your content without needing to invest a lot of money. It’s an option or preference between investment of your time or investment of your money!

What are your three top tips for others looking to follow in your footsteps?

  1. Don’t be afraid to change direction or re-route, it’s completely normal to evolve in taste, style and vision. Ask yourself frequently whether you are still aligned with your initial vision and see what steps you need to take or change to get there!
  2. Allow yourself to move past your fear and doubt, and don’t tunnel vision on what’s going wrong as that will lead to more negative outcomes. Everyone fails at some point, everyone has setbacks, and no one becomes an expert instantly. One can only learn from their experiences and improve from the lessons learned. Hold that belief that you are capable and show up as the person you aspire to be every day!
  3. If you have some form of value to provide, a talent or something unique, then there is space for you! Many people don’t even start or try because they think the markets are too saturated, or they’ll find some excuse to stay in their comfort zone. It’s not about if you’ll make it, it’s how you show people they need what you’re providing. Remember you will never know if you don’t try and the worst-case scenario that could happen really isn’t that bad at all.

What platforms/tools do you use behind the scenes?

There are so many to mention but here are some life-saving tools that help me day to day:

  • Calendly for leads to book in their discovery calls
  • Canva to create social media content and promotional materials for the website
  • Answer the public to collate research on my ideal consumer and turn their questions into content
  • Trello to manage ongoing projects, client work, and creative connect’s admin
  • Zoom for conducting 1:1 private consultations
  • Whatsapp for Business is handy in labelling chats and keeping easy contact with clients away from my personal life to strike a balance
  • Grammarly to ensure no slip-ups before posting!
  • Shopify found this easiest to build my website and for its analytic abilities

What resources have helped you the most?

Books

  • Atomic Habits

Podcasts

  • Creator Club - useful tips and techniques for common challenges and up to date with trends
  • The BAE HQ - learning from the journey of successful entrepreneurs and gaining a new perspective on business challenges, pitfalls and successes

Blogs and Newsletters

  • HubSpot
  • Social Media Examiner
  • Phoebe Parke

YouTube

  • Jade Beason
  • Katie Steckly

Building my network and connections has been my biggest resource! Learning from people's experiences and being able to land clients through word of mouth has helped build my client portfolio. Now any successful referral coming through a known lead earns them some money back!

Do you have any open job positions or partnership opportunities?

We’re always open to collaborating with like-minded people just drop us a line!

Currently also looking for interns and people to join the team with design and/or creative skills. If you want to build your portfolio and experience and feel you could add value then please drop us an email at creativeconnectconsultancy@gmail.com with your relevant skills :)

Where can people find out more?

Read more stories: