Ania Barycka: Social Media Manager with a Law Degree

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Ania studied law, got a Juris Doctorate and worked at a law firm and also for the government before she transitioned into a full-time entrepreneur and coach. However, she had another passion: social media. After years of hard work, she finally decided to start her own business Ask Ania Media and work for herself.

She set up her business in the midst of a pandemic and is now doing what she finds most enjoyable: social media coaching and management. Her parents strongly support her and she is thrilled to be making them proud of her and her business!

ask ania media founder

1- Can you tell our readers about your background?

Sure! I started my social media management business as a “side hustle” in March 2020 while I was working a 9-5 job. I always loved social media and over the years I managed a few accounts and I was even a raw vegan influencer for a good few years.

I love to be creative and come up with strategies and help businesses grow online. I am actually trained to be a lawyer and have a Juris Doctorate. But instead of that…I love being an entrepreneur and my new career as a social media manager and coach has given me the flexibility to live the life I want to live: no boss, no financial ceilings, and I can work from anywhere!

2- What inspired you to start your business?

I know how hard I worked in law school, then at a law firm, and then for my most recent boss(es)…and I always wondered what I could achieve if I worked as hard for MYSELF.

And that’s exactly what is happening, I started working for myself, was hired by amazing clients, hired amazing contractors, and incorporated my business. In my business there really are NO limits and that’s why I love it so much.

“It was hard for my friends and family to understand why I would leave a comfortable job with great benefits for the unknown: entrepreneurship.”

3- Where is your business based?

My business is based in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada.

4- How did you start your business? What were the first steps you took?

In March 2020 when Covid-19 hit…I think most of the world started to feel unstable. I felt I would start a “side hustle” and earn extra income for myself by being a social media manager. I signed up as a sole proprietor with the government and off I went on Instagram to try to find clients. Little did I know…I turned this little “side hustle” into a full-time business with an income to sustain me financially. I ended up incorporating my business in March 2021…exactly a year after I launched!

5- What has been the most effective way of raising awareness for your business?

Instagram is my “money maker.” That’s where I give the most value to my audience and that is also where people find my social media management and coaching services, and also get to know me.

I show up in my Stories, I make Reels, I have a cute website, I have a 24/7 lead generation system that works while I sleep…that’s all you need these days!

6- What have been your biggest challenges and how did you overcome them?

It was hard for my friends and family to understand why I would leave a comfortable job with great benefits for the unknown: entrepreneurship. I think that many people struggle with this.

So I started this business without telling most of my friends and family and just did my thing. Now they are finding out about it through social media on their own!

ask ania media feature on yahoo finance
Ask Ania Media on Yahoo Finance

7- How do you stay focused?

I once had my calculus teacher in high school tell me to “stay in my own lane” because I was always comparing myself to other kids who were great at math and I wasn’t.

Not to mention both of my parents are engineers and it was hard for them to see me struggle with math all my life.

I have really taken the “stay in your lane” approach in my business. There will always be someone smarter, faster, better than me. But they are not me. So I’m going to stay in my lane and keep moving forward no matter what (with the help of coffee!)

8- How do you differentiate your business from the competition?

There are many social media managers to choose from. What sets me apart is my personality, my laid back but diligent approach to social media management.

My law degree taught me so many transferable skills. I know I write well. I know I communicate well. I am not afraid of a negotiation or a tough conversation. What sets me apart is my approach, my perseverance, and my law background.

“My dad and my mom don’t necessarily understand what I do but they recently took part in a webinar that I hosted and they had tears in their eyes.”

9- What’s your best piece of advice for aspiring and new entrepreneurs?

If you’re thinking about starting your own social media management business, I’d encourage you to

a) start it as a part-time business so it’s not your main income and you’re less stressed about money (and it gives you the opportunity to learn)

b) take courses in social media, on confidence and mindset, learn as much as you can about your craft and never stop investing in yourself.

10- What’s the best work-related advice you’ve ever received?

Start before you’re ready.

I sold my “Hashtag Webinar” even before I filmed it. I didn’t even know how to film a webinar, get the automation going, or how to collect emails.

Under pressure, I figured it all out. I did the same with my 1:1 coaching program. I took on a beta client and just built the program as I ran it. Start before you’re ready because you’ll never feel ready.

11- How do you manage self-doubt?

Imposter syndrome never goes away. When it shows up, I acknowledge it, put it in my back pocket and take a break from work or whatever is overwhelming me. I get up the next day and just let myself start over.

12- What’s your favourite app, blog, and book? Why?

My favourite apps are Canva, Later, Ingramer, IG export, ClickUp, Shopify, VideoAsk, Calendly, Typeform, Voxer to name a few.

All these apps help me streamline my business!

13- What’s your favourite business tool or resource? Why?

Business besties so people I have made friends with via Instagram who are and are not in my niche and I can honestly talk with. Entrepreneurship is lonely. Building your tribe is critical because we all need help sometimes.

14- Could you name a woman who’s inspired you the most?

Mom. She doesn’t really understand what I do and how I do it but she knows what “Instagram” is and every time I’m telling her something is hard or not working out..she says, “don’t worry, keep going.” So simple yet so hard to do. My dad and my mom don’t necessarily understand what I do but they recently took part in a webinar that I hosted and they had tears in their eyes. They were so proud. Not fully understanding what I do but being fully supportive means the world to me and keeps me going!

15- How do you balance work and life?

For me, everything in life is better since I started my business, Ask Ania Media. All my relationships improved, my health improved, my mental health improved, and my happiness is back.

Everything in life is better when you love your job and with me being happy all of my relationships improved.

16- How do you unplug from work?

I like hiking, long drives on my favourite road (Mississauga Road), and Ru Paul’s drag race. I also like a glass of dry red or white wine!

17- What do you have planned for the next six months?

In the next six months, I will be releasing more great content, I am launching a course and potentially my first Mastermind.

I have a lot planned but I also am not going to stress myself out too much over the summer. Last summer (2020) I worked 7 days a week almost every single week and I’d like this summer (2021) to be more about taking breaks and spending time with my family and loved ones!

Feel free to connect with Ania:

Follow her on Instagram: @askaniamedia

Listen to her social media podcast by clicking here

Visit her website by clicking here

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Social Influence

Damla is the founder of Social Influence. She has spent over a decade working and leading digital marketing positions for some of the world’s most exciting and forward-thinking brands. She writes about digital marketing, websites, entrepreneurship and more.

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