Inspiring Businesses: Helen Bowman

by | Jul 1, 2024

Next up in my inspiring businesswomen series is Helen Bowman from In the Detail. Helen is a social media content specialist and copywriter.

What was your first job? Did you enjoy it?

If we’re talking about when I was really young I had several waitressing jobs in my hometown. Eventually, I settled into a shop job at my local post office and sweet shop which I loved and hated in equal measure.

My first ‘proper’ job out of university was as an administrator in a regional college down in East Anglia. I enjoyed it mainly but it did get quite boring because I was stuck in a broom cupboard with no-one to talk to all day. The work was repetitive and not what I wanted to do in the long term.

The best thing to come out of that job, other than knowing I wanted to get away from admin, was that I taught myself to touch type – an invaluable skill I’ve used just about every day since!

Following on from that job I went on to retrain in marketing and explored the worlds of business marketing and PR.

Headshot of Helen Bowman from In the Detail

What do you do now?

I started my own business in 2006 when I came home to the North East. I had been working in PR but knew I didn’t want to pursue that path again. So I cherry-picked my favourite parts – proofreading, editing and copywriting and started In The Detail providing copywriting services to my clients.

In recent years, though, I’ve found the support needed by my clients is in the area of social media support. I’ve been writing social media content for a few years now and, having initially resisted calling myself a content specialist, it’s what I do for 90% of my clients now so I’m embracing the change. So, I’m a social media content specialist and copywriter and I’m very happy in my work!

My original marketing training was much more traditional and before the days of social media so I’ve recently done some social media training to back up my experience. As nerdy as it sounds, social media content creation is my happy place!

You can follow me on Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok.

How do your services help small business owners?

I know, because I’ve been told, that so many small and medium-sized businesses struggle with social media. It’s time-consuming, frustrating, ever-changing and is easily dropped to the bottom of the priority list during the day-to-day operation of their businesses.

And yet, they also know that it’s crucial for visibility, brand awareness and relationship building with their audiences. That’s where I help. I take the onus off them and make it a top priority while they work on aspects of the business they actually enjoy. I save them time, energy, frustration and the inevitable headaches of being consistently visible online.

What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve been given? How did it help you?

I was always told to underpromise and over-deliver. I’m a true believer in great customer service because, without happy and satisfied clients, my business is nothing. And so, I’m always careful to set expectations early on in my relationship with clients and then I build from there. Showing up on time, being consistently reliable and helpful and going the extra mile to help my clients on their good and bad days.

I have some very happy clients so yes, I think it has helped!

If you could give your 20-year-old self, one piece of career advice, what would it be?

Be confident in your own skills, ask more questions and be kind to yourself when you make mistakes.

Mistakes are a fact of life but it’s how you treat yourself afterwards that’s important. It’s easy to be one’s own worst critic, but I’ve learned to talk to myself like I’m talking to my friend or a family member.

Which do you prefer, tea or coffee? Beach or pool? Seaside or countryside?

Tea, every day – my tagline for my business is ‘The home of tea and copy’. It runs in my veins!

I love the beach because I was brought up on the coast.

Seaside again because of where I live.

What’s your dream job or client?

I’d love to be able to write books for a living. I edit other people’s books in between all the content writing, which I do love – as an avid reader, getting paid to read books has got to be good, don’t you think?

But I’ve also made a tentative start on writing my own thriller. I’d love to be discovered by a publishing house and get paid to write books full time!

In the Detail logo with two pens and the words "The home of tea & copy"

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