Q&A with Kelly Gibson
In just one year, Kelly Gibson has managed to create Brisbane's most exciting and fun fitness events. Sweat Social is here to shake up your workout routine, offering inspiring events for the body, mind and soul. We interview Kelly in today's Q&A to learn more about Sweat Social and how she managed to create this amazing community in under a year!
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1. WHERE DID YOUR PASSION FOR YOUR INDUSTRY START?
I found my passion for fitness (especially group fitness) early on. When I moved to Brisbane for uni many years ago, I joined my local gym and working out has been a big part of my life ever since. For me, movement is pure magic, it lifts my mood if I'm feeling down, clears my head when I'm feeling stressed and makes me feel strong and confident- there's really no better feeling!
2. WHY DID YOU ULTIMATELY DECIDE TO START YOUR OWN BUSINESS RATHER THAN WORK FOR SOMEONE ELSE?
I've always wanted to own my own business as being in control of how and when I work is really important to me. It's taken me 10 years to find the courage to JUST DO IT. Sometimes I wish I started earlier, however, after reflecting earlier this year, I decided that all the experiences I have had, skills I have learnt and relationships I have built over the years has led me to where I am today and enabled me to do what I am doing now.
3. WHAT'S THE MOST VALUABLE LESSON YOU HAVE LEARNT FROM STARTING YOUR BUSINESS?
Relationships are EVERYTHING. Always work together with others to create a win win situation. I learnt that from Jaryd Terkelsen, founder of Before You Speak Coffee, he posts heaps of great business insights on social media. The other one is to start your processes and systems from day one and save yourself a massive headache down the track!
4. WHAT DO YOU WISH SOMEONE HAD TOLD YOU WHEN YOU WERE JUST STARTING OUT?
I really wish someone would have told me to have a good hard look at the financial side of things. It really wasn't until over 6 months into the business that I understood my business model, cash flow, expenses etc. Even a service based business like mine has a lot of operating expenses that I didn't factor into my business model initially and I'm still fine-tuning things to make all the numbers work!
5. HAS SOCIAL MEDIA AND/OR ONLINE ADVERTISING PLAYED A PART IN YOUR GROWTH? IF SO, HOW?
Social media has played a massive role in our growth, Instagram in particular as this is where most of our target market is hanging out! We have worked really hard to build a loyal and engaged Instagram audience and building a strong and inclusive community is integral to the Sweat Social brand. We have dabbled with Facebook advertising, although will be ramping it up in the coming months as we launch other areas of the business. We've also been steadily growing our newsletter database which I think is the most valuable following. We've started a blog on our website and a fortnightly newsletter in addition to our event blasts and that's going really well.
6. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU OFFER TO OTHER BUSINESS OWNERS LOOKING TO UTILISE THESE CHANNELS?
Know your audience and understand their values and the content they want to see. Stay authentic to your brand and your vision and the right people will come to you. I would recommend any new businesses to put a subscribe form on their website straight away or have another way of collecting customer information. Having your customers contact details is so valuable as you own and control them, with social media you are at the mercy of Facebook and Instagram Gods with changing algorithms and updates.
7. WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN 5 YEARS TIME?
In 5 years Sweat Social will have expanded to include events & corporate wellness across multiple cities as well as loads of online content for our customers. I'll have a small team of dedicated health and fitness enthusiasts just like me to keep the business at the forefront of the industry.
8. ANYTHING ELSE YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE?
Something I have found really helpful and would recommend anyone getting into business to do is dedicate time to personal and professional development. I am constantly listening to podcasts, attending workshops and events and networking as much as I can. I think being in a mindset of constantly wanting to learn & grow is key to building a successful business.