Meet Hay There Social Media INsider: Leyla Bolho-Garlatti
Leyla Bolho-Garlatti is a seasoned PR and communications professional with experience working on global beauty and fashion brands. She is fluent in French, has lived abroad and currently calls NYC home. Leyla is also a mom and has a story like many women do: How to go back to work when you’ve been out of the workforce (and need to brush up on your skills) but still maintain flexibility while raising kids?
Luckily for Leyla, she is talented and resourceful and never gave up on her search for the answer, which led her to starting her own social media business.
“And of course I like getting the money,” Leyla said. “It’s a good add-on!”
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Two years ago, Leyla (who’s kids are ages 5 and 9) decided it was time to go back to work. Then Covid happened. Though Leyla had been working in Public Relations before, she knew the difficult task ahead of her in finding a job after nine years out of the workforce while her kids weren’t going to school in person because of Covid.
Plus, she wanted to brush up on her social media skills – because social media wasn’t as a dynamic part of public relations when she took a step back from work.
Being the determined self-starter she is, Leyla searched for a way to learn all she needed to know about social media for businesses. And she happened upon Hay There Social Media’s INsider Training.
“At first I went to start my own business, because I wanted to go back to work as a PR freelancer,” Leyla said. “But through the training I realized this is a good business to do from home, and it can be separate from the PR business I’m working on.”
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In realizing that, Leyla had to learn the ins and outs of running her own business – and she did. The training not only taught her the skills she needed to update her resume, but also allowed her the ability to get her own clients for her new social media business while juggling her PR freelancing gig.
“About four months after the course I got my first clients,” Leyla said. And since then, she’s added a few while being selective with the projects and brands she aligns with. Leyla has translated skills that were once reserved for “PR-only” into effective social media tactics for her clients including community management and storytelling.
Even though Leyla had all the marketing aspects down pat, she said the parts that made her most nervous about having her own social media business was finding clients and all the administrative aspects of having a business.
“I have to think about multiple things – invoicing, taxes and everything accounting in general are very time-consuming for me,” Leyla said.
But, she said, thanks to the INsiders (that’s the team of women who’ve completed the Hay There Social Media Core Training, and the Hay There Social Media founder Emily A. Hay, and the team who have been part of Hay There Social Media since its inception in 2010), she’s gotten all the help she’s needed to figure things out.
How to Learn Social Media Freelance
But, like many women, Leyla is still learning as she goes. And that’s a good thing!
“I question myself every day,” Leyla said.
When we question, we learn – and we push ourselves to higher places that we may have limited ourselves from before. And it’s because Leyla knows she’s got others in her corner through the INsiders, which is a benefit she wouldn’t have just starting a business otherwise.
“It’s the community,” Leyla said. “I always post something on Slack, so I don’t have to do too much research. I know I can always ask someone in the group, that everyone is always willing to help.”
The Flexibility of Work Life Integration
Plus it helps that Leyla has complete control over her day in and out of the “office” now that she has her own social media marketing business.
“I like the flexibility of it, I like being able to still pick up my kids from school, and still be there when the school calls me – that anxiety when the school calls, it’s very reassuring,” Leyla said. “I love the fact that I get to choose the brands I work on.”
But Leyla poses the one question we all have: “We know about the flexibility now, and after the past two years, who would want to go back in the office?”
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