If you’re part of the SA Woman fold, chances are you’ve already met Katharine Crane. Not only is she the founder of creative agency, Crane Creative, but she’s also an SA Woman connector, a proud Barossan, and a mum. She was also our 2018 Member of the Year.
Last week Katharine also discovered she’s a finalist in the Ausmumpreneur awards in the category for South Australian Business Excellence, so there’s a chance she’ll be adding this award to the SA Woman of the Year Award she received. (Congratulations Katharine!)
Lauren Zwaans from KIS Communications caught up with Katharine to chat about starting her agency – and turning her side hustle into a serious business, finding her tribe at SA Woman, and her top tips for getting started on social media.
Thanks for being our July Business Partner! Tell us more about Crane Creative.
I started Crane Creative 2 years ago. After working for an agency, I was ready to go out on my own – and go big! I’d been doing bits and pieces on my own as a side project, but I decided to formalise it, and Crane Creative was born. Part of the motivation was also to spend more time with my daughter, although in reality things have escalated so quickly that it’s not really worked out that way!
Our services include social media management, training courses, graphic design and community engagement and advertising.
Your business is growing! Are you amazed that what started as a side project has grown so much?
Once I made the decision to go out on my own, it grew fast. From one year to the next the business grew 110%. At the moment I have a VA, Natasha from ZIGGY Solutions, and I’m looking at scaling up at the moment.
We see the success story, but how much work has there been behind the scenes to get your business to this point?
There’s a lot, especially when you’re growing so quickly. However, this year I’m also making more time for looking after my own health, which I had neglected, so I’ve been seeing a personal trainer and a naturopath (both SA Woman members).
We try to make weekends exclusively for family time. There are times where I work at night, but for the most part in the evening when I’m with my daughter, computers are off and phone are down, or she will tell you to put it away. It’s a constant work in progress; there’s no such thing as having it all.
There’s a lot to love about small business life. But what are some of the challenges?
How to grow and how to let go! When you’ve been doing it all it’s hard to relinquish control and question, will it be done “my way”. Maybe, maybe not, it might be done better. I’ve recently started outsourcing some of my blog pieces to Jess McEachen Copywriting. She’s managed to figure out what I’m about and my voice, which is very important to me. I believe in adding value and building relationships and want people to come to me organically.
You’re very open about the fact that you’re a mum and a small business owner. How do you manage the juggle?
Always have wine! *laughs*. There’s no easy way of doing things; it’s always going to be harder than you think. People paint this picture of working from home being easy and flexible, but the reality is not that. So my advice would be to utilise childcare, or family if you have it, or you’ll burn out way too quick.
If you need to work at night every night, you’re working yourself too hard. So my answer is childcare and wine.
For some of our members who aren’t digital natives, what advice would you offer them when starting out on social media?
Don’t be afraid. There’s a lot of people that are really tentative. Just do you. If you have a brand, work out your brand persona, but also remember to show who’s behind the brand. Don’t be afraid to show you. You don’t have to give away your whole heart, just a little piece of it into the social-scape.
You’re very embedded in the SA Woman community as our Barossa Connector! Why did you decide to get involved?
SA Woman started at a similar time to when I start my business. I work for myself and I’m in a rural area, so it can be quite isolating. I joined a few different groups since starting Crane Creative, however SA Woman was the one where I felt at home. When you find your tribe you know. The moment Carly started paid memberships I was one of the first women to jump on board because I could see the value in it.
What do you love most about SA Woman?
It adds value, it creates connections; it does all the things it says it does.
SA Woman’s grown and a lot of the members have grown with it. It felt like a natural progression for me to give back to others who are feeling isolation as a connector so they know they have people to connect with.
Our Barossa members are such an active bunch! What do you attribute this to?
I don’t think there’s a lot of communities like SA Woman in the Barossa. I space out the events enough that people want to come along. It also helps when you can pick from amazing venues. We’ve been to Em’s Cookie Jar, El Estanco in Greenock, and Vino Lokal, where we had Kym Brown from Getaways SA as a guest speaker.
When we’re next in the Barossa, where should we visit?
Katharine has a series of workshops coming up. Follow Crane Creative on social media to stay in the loop.
Find out More about Crane Creative: