Seeing Social was set in motion 1 year today. During the past year, I have worked with many wonderful organisations, all dedicated to the cause that business value is more than just about making money.

I always said from the outset that I wanted my clients to be about more than financial gain, and this week I have set up a collaboration with Work For Good, which enables my clients to donate part of their payment to charity.

The idea of Seeing Social is more than a year old however. It was 2017, and I was facing redundancy, and after a long summer of unsuccessful job hunting, I decided during mine and my husband’s third anniversary trip to the isle of Bute that going it alone was my only option. After completing the Building a Business lecture series at the University of Oxford, I saw an interesting tweet advertising the Erasmus For Young Entrepreneurs Programme (EYE).  Having just learnt how to create a business plan, I decided that that would be an excellent place to test my new skills. Little did I know that it would take me from my desk in Oxford to Berlin, the heart of Europe.

As an EYE New Entrepreneur, I was assigned to my Host Entrepreneur, C.J. Hopkins, an American author based in Berlin who needed help with his social media. 5 months of practise having a client, experiencing co-working and strengthening my Facebook & Twitter management skills went far too quickly and I returned to the UK in August 2018, feeling confident that I could do this entrepreneur thing.

I started my journey joining every networking group I could and meeting as many people, both on and offline, as possible, and I soon started to find clients. I now am a co-host for the YENA Oxford MeetUp group, which not only gives me an excuse to get out of the house (I work from home) but has also meant I’ve got some great acquaintances who are also on  the freelance journey to celebrate and commiserate with.

One thing I would love to do in the future is to be a Host Entrepreneur for Erasmus, so I can give back to the programme that gave me so much in terms of experience, confidence and knowledge. I spent 4 months in 2019 acting as a Business Adviser for a local Young Enterprise group and will be training with them to undertake an e-Business Adviser role. 

I encourage all my clients to engage with corporate social responsibility - after all 70% of consumers prefer brands that do nice things! Now they can do this via me and the connection to  Work For Good, but I also include charity research as part of my content plan offer - finding good causes that related to the client’s industry that they are happy for me to like and retweet - it is my hope that once that social connection is made, that charity will then be at the forefront of the client’s mind should they decide to do charitable giving or volunteering.

I started out on my own to tell the world about good things. And I’m doing that.


Jo Barber