In this series of interviews, we shine a light on the vast array of solo workers in the UK to understand everything from how they operate to how they manage their finances. We look at how they have gone solo, how they are looking to grow, and everything in between. For our first interview, we chat to the brilliant Sarah Diallo – a content creator and influencer for beauty, fashion and travel brands. Having worked with top brands such as Amazon and Disney, she has done wonders in her solo venture.
Tell us why you create content?
Having worked previously with Legal and General, I was in a low place before diving into the world of content creation. Utilising my creativity acted as a form of escapism. Prior to starting a career, I was a student ambassador for Boohoo while at university – my first partnership in the world of creativity – and it just spiralled from there! Creativity provided me peace when every other aspect of my life felt out of her control.
I graduated with a degree in English and American studies at the University of Leicester and I knew my passion involved creativity and writing. I presumed I would become a journalist or author one day. But then blogging and content creation felt natural, so as the industry grew, I learned along the way. I remember feeling shocked receiving my first pay cheque because I was making money from something I really enjoy. And as the brand deals grew, I dove further into content creation.
How did you begin working for yourself?
There were challenges trying to break into the creative industry. Months after graduating from University, I decided to follow in my mum’s footsteps and work at Legal and General – which helped fund my blogging career. I learnt some valuable skills while working there such as financing, managing documents, and administration. These have benefited me ever since and the role helped me in a way I didn’t think it would.
How do you run your solo business?
I run my business as a Limited company (set-up with GoSolo) and taught myself the different business elements of the job through research, workshops, and experience. Creators need to develop a business-focused mindset as gaining insight into the running of a business is just as important as creating content.
Knowing your worth is the most valuable wisdom you can get. It can be difficult in the beginning to realise your value and understand what you should charge clients. But you need to make sure that partnerships are mutually valuable. Free work can be harmful to creators and negatively affect communities. When creators carry out work for free, it becomes the norm, and, in turn, companies expect other creators to do the same.
How do you use the different social media platforms?
Tiktok is my largest platform, followed closely by Instagram. Creators on Tiktok have the ability to reach huge audiences and the platform behaves like a visual Google. It provides more opportunities for creators than other platforms. There are pros and cons for paid social media advertisements and how they affect audience engagement. Instagram, in particular, reduces the engagement of creators who do not pay for promotion which can make creation a challenge.
What does the future hold?
Being a young entrepreneur in the UK today is a challenge with the current UK economic situation. It seems a bit mythical to own a home for my generation, and the future can feel depressing – brand deals and partnerships are declining as companies are being more cautious.
The current economic climate is affecting everyone and we are in a cycle of doom and gloom. I am trying to keep a positive outlook amidst the mess, but I still need to be conscious of the situation. I currently omit luxury-focused content to maintain relatability with the general public as my goal is to promote sustainability and positivity.
Hopes and aspirations
I have a five-year plan with high hopes for the future. Prioritising content creation and maintaining engagement is the main objective, I would love to own a home and set up another business - possibly a clothing line or a cafe. For the time being, I want to focus my attention on creating for Tiktok to continue to build her community while encouraging positivity and sustainability across all platforms.
A GoSolo Business Account helps solo entrepreneurs and creators like Sarah manage their finances easily, pay on a Mastercard debit card, and save for taxes, invoices and potential future outgoings.
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