In a world where an estimated 3.5 billion Google searches take place each day, it can be difficult to get your voice heard. Wanting to help people rise above the crowded internet noise, Cécile started her business journey with #BackHerBusiness.
After reading that in order to give better meaning to our lives we need to find a way to use our passion and talents to serve the world, Cécile Dhour started thinking about her own life. After working in Digital Marketing for four years, she started to wonder if she could do more to help her clients make an impact on the world.
It was this thought that inspired her to start her own Mindful Marketing Consultancy business so she could help the cause-driven and the change-makers to find their voice online through content marketing.
She explained, “As my passion for digital marketing grew, I started to follow a lot of marketers online – on blogs and on YouTube. Several of these marketers were also online entrepreneurs or “infopreneurs”, meaning that they were monetising their knowledge through their blogs and YouTube channel selling online courses. I found out that many people in many industries were creating content online about their passion and were monetising their communities. I wanted to do the same so I started blogging in 2017.”
She continued, “I also have a mentor who helped me mature my ideas. Working with my mentor confirmed that I wanted to develop the freelance part of my project over the online part. However, I didn’t want to just be a digital marketing consultant. I was in search for a deeper meaning and I wanted to help cause-driven businesses have a greater impact through my services. I have a strong desire to contribute and I wish to help businesses with a purpose to achieve their mission. The whole focus around purpose made me call myself ‘Mindful Marketing Consultant.’”
Taking the plunge with Back Her Business
In order to take her business to the next level, Cécile needed to invest in high-quality software which would allow her to manage her clients, sustain her website, and move into a co-working space.
After seeing a post on LinkedIn from Crowdfunder’s Creative Director, Simon Deverell, Cécile knew that the Back Her Business programme was perfect for her. This programme has been designed to help close the gender gap in business by offering women coaching from Crowdfunder’s expert coaches, funding grants, and opportunities to meet like-minded women.
She said, “I thought, ‘Well I am a female entrepreneur and these people want to support us so let’s do it!’”
In July 2019, she set up her crowdfunding project with an aim to raise £1,000.
After 28 days, she had exceeded her original target and raised £1,485 from 17 supporters. This included a grant of £500 from us as part of the programme.
“[The Back Her Business programme] helped me raise over £1,400 and it showed me that I had people behind me. I felt great.”
She continued, “I felt very grateful to receive the grant from NatWest. When you start a business as a consultant, everything is about the network. And event if I got a couple of clients quite early, projects were small and payments not regular. The funding gave me time and piece of mind.”
Where is she now?
Since crowdfunding, Cécile visits her co-working space twice a week. She explained, “I love it. I can be very focused, productive, meet people and feel that I belong somewhere. This is less isolating. I now contract other freelancers to help with my missions. I’m also working with a web developer at the moment.”
In the future, Cécile hopes to build a team around her and aims to begin offering internships.
When asked what advice she would give to someone thinking about starting their own business, she said, “Don’t be afraid to ask and ask again. I was scared to “nudge” people but if we don’t ask then we don’t get. Believe in yourself and don’t stay alone. Use Facebook and LinkedIn to join groups of other entrepreneurs. Ask for an accountability partner or a mentor. Know it is going to be hard sometimes, expect it, accept it and go over it. Be ok with taking risks and know that nothing is set in stone. You can always change your mind later or amend your plan to do something else. That’s part of life!”
Feeling inspired by Cécile’s story? Check out our Back Her Business programme and take your first steps in making your dream a reality!