Sophie Bowman is an Entrepreneur.com and Forbes contributor, multi-award-winning entrepreneur, best-selling author, and is Miss Bikini Fitness UK. Sophie launched her first business venture online a decade ago so that she could travel the world and work from anywhere without pants.
Check out more interviews with entrepreneurs here.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO GET FEATURED?
All interviews are 100% FREE OF CHARGE
Table of Contents
Before we begin, our readers are interested to know about how you got started in the first place. Did you always want to be where you are today or was it something you were led to? Share with us your journey.
Sophie Bowman: Turning thirty was a turning point. I found myself teaching violent special needs kids and engaged in London without having ‘lived.’ I started branding, marketing, social media services, and copywriting as a side hustle a few months before, then built my online creative agency around these skills so that I could travel and experience different cultures. I relocated to Marrakech, Morocco for two years so that I could travel and live well at low expense. WiFi has really changed the way we live and work.
I lived in Australia for a while too before finally relocating to Miami five years ago. I’d always dabbled with PR & media, had my own column in a leading UK magazine for years, and curated album launch parties for artists such as Kanye West and John Legend which built up to me most recently handling social media campaigns for Fat Joe and DJ Khaled.
Tell us a bit about your current focus. What is the most important thing that you’re working on and how do you plan on doing it?
Sophie Bowman: During COVID I was shocked to discover that small businesses and even brand powerhouses had no strategy in place to convert their social media followers to customers. This is why I launched convertYourFollowers.com – Your online fans should be considered hot leads because that’s exactly what they are. I’m focusing on this brainchild for now, but have a patented swimwear and lingerie line coming out next year.
Some argue that punctuality is a strength. Others say punctuality is a weakness. How do you feel about it, please explain.
Sophie Bowman: Punctuality is strength. Arriving early to meetings before your associate gives you time to prepare and communicate you as organized; cool, calm, and collected. Arriving late makes you look like a disorganized hot mess, and it’s also not respectful of others’ time.
How important is having good timing in your line of work and in the industry that your organization operates in?
Sophie Bowman: Timing is everything to everyone in all industries. I timed launching convertyourfollowers.com perfectly as it was during the beginning of lock down. A lot of businesses were caught with their proverbial pants down, and needed help to both shift their services/products online and convert customers to boost sales while their bricks and mortar doors were closed.
Founder of Virgin Group, Richard Branson, states “Timing is everything in life, and it’s particularly crucial in entrepreneurship. People often equate success with luck, but it usually comes down to impeccable (and carefully mapped out) timing”. Do you agree with this statement? Please answer in as much detail as necessary.
Sophie Bowman: Richard is my biggest business idol, and I agree with him wholeheartedly. Timing is everything. For example, jumping on the hand sanitizer and mask wagon now would not be as beneficial as had you already been selling such items prior to the quarantine kick-off, or early on during lockdown. You have to time launching products and services to market at a time when there is demand.
As a leader/entrepreneur/CEO, how do you decide when to put the pedal to the metal and when to take a break? How do you time the key moments in your career?
Sophie Bowman: When multiple opportunities are there for the taking, I go full force. During quieter times, I travel or take time out to recharge. I go with the flow.
Branson also states “If you’re starting to feel like you’re just going through the motions and losing sight of why you started, it might be time to take a break”. But how do you decide when to take a break?
Sophie Bowman: When you feel overwhelmed, bored, or lack motivation, it’s time to unplug. When I get to that point, I crave being alone somewhere on the water where I can be alone and think in peace. Most of my best ideas and problem-solving solutions were generated in or around water. A lot of people don’t realize that the largest quantities of negative ions can be found around moving water. Negative ions can be thought of as nature’s Prozac, as they produce biochemical reactions. The increased levels of the mood chemical serotonin help alleviate depression and stress and boost energy.
“Timing can be everything when starting up. It can be the difference between building a thriving business and not” How has good timing helped you achieve success in your career or business? Are there any particular examples from your career that you would like to share?
Sophie Bowman: When I start a business venture for myself or a client, I always plan years ahead. For example, I started selling my online course 2 months before lockdown. The timing was perfect. You have to think ahead to out-think your competition. Set Google alerts for your industry, keep an eye on market trends, and figure out what the next big thing is within your industry then go forth and do that.
I launched my first creative agency online over seven years ago to reap the benefits of working from anywhere, so I was way ahead of a lot of other businesses. Being ahead of the competition allowed me to breeze through quarantine and help a lot of brands increase their conversions via proven methods I’d already tried and tested methods.
“When you’re thinking of starting up, ask yourself: ‘Is the community I want to serve ready for this idea?’ It could make all the difference!” Would you like to add anything to this piece of advice for all the aspiring entrepreneurs?
Sophie Bowman: Survey Monkey allows you to easily create surveys that you can share with your target market. Receiving real-life problems shared by your audience will give you insight into what they need and will allow you to sell your products or services as a solution to their problem. Customers will invest more in a brand that promises to solve their problems.
COVID forced many businesses to adapt fast, some did so successfully, others failed, it was a lot due to good or poor timing. What are some of the big lessons you’ve learned during the pandemic?
Sophie Bowman: The biggest lesson during COVID was that I read the market wrong. During the early lockdown days, I thought marketing budgets would be the first to be cut based on usual trends of how things work. I was completely wrong. Digital marketing became a survival line for brands who had no option but to shift everything online to survive and stand out from the online crowd.
The second lesson I learned is that the majority of business owners, influencers, and brands have no strategy in place to convert their social media followers to customers. As a social media marketing expert published contributor to Forbes and Entrepreneur.com, I assume everyone shares the same knowledge, but that was a big assumption to make. My packages start at $3000 a month, so I wanted to create an affordable alternative for start-ups and small business owners. My book will be giving away all of the conversion secrets that business owners can implement themselves, and it will cost less than $20.
Your insight has been incredibly valuable and our readers thank you for your generosity. We do have a couple of other bold questions to ask. What fictional world would you want to start a business in and what would you sell?
Sophie Bowman: What a cool and different question, love it. I would start a business in Never-Never Land so that no one ever gets old, and I would sell happiness in a bottle. Self-love too.
Before we finish things off, we would love to know, when you have some time away from business, what is one hobby that you wish you could spend more time on?
Sophie Bowman: I always laugh when I get this question because it makes me realize how boring I am. My time off is spent at the beach with my latest read, traveling, or watching movies. I’m a major book nerd, so I guess reading could be considered a hobby. I tried to get into scuba diving after being certified, but it’s so much prep. I prefer snorkeling.
Jed Morley, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Sophie Bowman for taking the time to do this interview and share her knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Sophie Bowman or her company, you can do it through her – Linkedin Page
Did you enjoy this article? Check out similar stories:
Disclaimer: The ValiantCEO Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.