Stories of Small Business New Zealand

The story of Lisa: Instagram mentor

The story of Lisa: Instagram mentor

​Let’s start with who you are?  Tell us a bit about yourself.

Hi, I'm Lisa, solo mama to two fun, happy, SUPER energetic boys who are 5 and 3.  I currently live in Auckland where I grew up and lived in London, Dublin and Sydney for many many years.  I love coffee, flowers, donuts, blue sky days, all things personal development, manifestation, podcasts, red wine, marketing, hanging with my boys and so many other things.  I am a Manifesting Generator in Human Design and if you know anything about Human Design and that type you will get what I mean.

And what is your business? Tell us more.

I am an Instagram and Marketing mentor.  I help simplify Instagram for small business owners as I know so many people, especially those new to business, or those that haven't grown up with Instagram; feel overwhelmed with all that Instagram is.  But it doesn't have to be that way!  I am here to show you how to make the most of social media for your business without it taking up all of your time or feeling stressful.  You can make Instagram work for you by having a strategy unique to you and showing up unapologetically as yourself. I'm here to show you how to make Instagram simple through 1:1 mentoring, online digital courses and eBook's.

What encouraged you to start your business?

When the first lockdown hit New Zealand in March 2020 I saw how many small business owners were feeling concerned over the future of their businesses.  As a way to support them I created the Instagram page where I could feature (for free) all the amazing small businesses of New Zealand.  The account grew quickly.  Businesses were recognising the importance of having an online presence and the support for supporting local was on the rise.  The account continues to grow with an audience of just over 17K today and almost 1,000 businesses featured.  The waitlist currently sits at just over 200 businesses and continues to grow as fast as I can post them!

With the growth of the ShopLocal page came many DM's and requests for how to use Instagram successfully for business.  Many businesses were jumping into the opportunity of social media and unsure where to start; or had started but were struggling with how to make their account effective.  

As a way to support all of these requests I created this business.  I decided to jump in full time in late August and here we are today.  There was definitely a space in the market for what I share, in the way that I share it.  I'm not like many 'Instagram coaches' and instead of feeling afraid of this, I chose to celebrate my uniqueness, which is exactly what I teach with my clients!

What did you do before creating your business?  Tell us your journey from there to here.

I've worked in marketing for over 15 years, around the world in many different industries and areas of marketing.  I completely love it!  I started in marketing with a petroleum company, then onto event companies working with prestigious and luxury properties throughout the UK; then moved onto kitchen appliances and working with celebrity chefs, cooking events and shows.  I have traveled a lot with my work, managed many events, TV campaigns, new product launches, marketing promotions, developed new products from idea to launch...all the things.  

I also literally grew up in a small business. My parents had their own business before I was born and I spent a lot of time there. I absorbed a lot, learned a lot and just have a passion for the small biz life.  It's something I am really obsessed with.

At the end of 2016 I walked away from a toxic relationship with a 1 year old and a baby in my tummy.  I moved back to New Zealand and that journey, along with being a new mum, highlighted what was most important to me in life.  From there I wanted my own business for the flexibility it would bring, I wanted an uplifting community to be part of, I wanted to support and uplift others; and I wanted to attract more calm into my life.  Everything I have now answers all those desires.  I couldn't be happier.

Knowing what you know now. What would be one piece of advice would you give your 21-year-old self?

Just keep following what lights you up.  Do what makes you happy, follow what feels good and enjoy it.  Keep collecting memories and moments as they will last a lifetime.

What are some of the highs and lows of running your business?

The biggest high is the flexibility which is my top value.  I love being able to work a schedule that suits me, around the boys.  Being able to work a few days a week during school hours only is like a dream come true.

The lows is the uncertainty of the paycheck.  Not having a guaranteed amount each month can be unsettling.  A lot of trust is involved! haha.  Mostly it's just retraining your mind from the corporate monthly pay life.

What the biggest lesson you have learnt in your small business?

I'm going to say what I have shared before......know what makes you unique, what your superpowers are and what makes you different from others - and share this.  Show up and let people get to know you.  The real magic of a successful small business is when you can stand out by being yourself.

What is one piece of advice you would share with someone just starting out?

So many that what you know is valuable to others, even if you think its simple or obvious, especially then. 

Know what makes you unique and celebrate it. 

Just start.  Taking any action is better than no action.   

What do you love most about your business?

My community!  I adore the small business community and all the wonderful amazing beautiful biz owners I have met and have got to know.

Share 5 things that bring you joy?

My boys, coffee, red wine, sunshine and days to do whatever I like with no plans.

What do you do for some time out or when you need a break from your biz?  What resets that light inside you?

Podcasts or reading (I love learning!) but mostly just time with my boys.

Coffee or Tea?

I love both.  Coffee in the morning, tea in the evening. 

How do you balance business life + motherhood?

I separate them mostly.  I work when the boys are at school or at their Dad's; and when they are with me, I spend my time with them.  The times I try to mix the two, everyone just gets annoyed and its completely ineffective!

What is one quote are you are always drawn to?

Two quotes that both happen to be attributed to Mark Twain.

You will never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore. 

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade wins in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

What can we expect from your business in the future?

Lots of the same and lots of exciting things!  I will continue with 1:1 mentoring as that is my fave part of the business.  I love that I can support someone individually about their unique business and discover little gems to help them stand out from the crowd.  There is so much benefit in having an outsider work with you on a business that is so close to your heart.

In person events - this is a big dream of mine for 2021 and am defining how this will look.

AND....I have something coming soon for those that are new to Instagram.  I think you will love it so watch this space!


You can get in touch with me via Instagram

Aug 24, 2021

Hi Lisa,
After lockdown is over I was wondering if I could book a 1:1 session with you? I would love to have your help and advice in pushing my business further. Many thanks Jo

Jo Sievwright

Leave a comment