Sara Tasker is a creative coach, podcaster, influencer and writer. 5 years ago Sara became a Mother for the first time and created meandorla.co.uk to tell her story of a young Mother and newborn child. 5 years on, Me & Orla has grown into a fully fledged creative lifestyle brand with over 200,000 followers on Instagram.
A creative business, grown organically
We caught up with Sara to find out how she grew her online business.
“My site started about 4 and a half years ago when my daughter was born. Since then it's really evolved to be the centre of my whole business. So I run e-courses from it, it's got my sales pages, it's got all my contact details, lots of advice and free tips for people who want to grow their own business, and it's still my blog. It's the heart of my brand.”
With a diverse creative skill base and an audience hungry for inspirational content, Sara is kept busy working across multiple creative disciplines.
“There is no such thing as a normal day for me, every day is different which is one of the things I love. There's normally a bit of photography involved, a bit of writing involved and a bit of talking to people who are in my audience. But most of the time is spent either on my phone or on my Mac Book, getting stuff done.”
“There is no such thing as a normal day for me, every day is different which is one of the things I love.”
Developing a brand
Like many new online businesses, the Me & Orla brand has matured over the years, pivoting from its initial focus of 'Mother & baby'.
“Orla is now 4 and a half, when we started it was really the story of me as a Mum with a new baby and now it's the story of me as a Mum with a new business, I suppose. So the focus has shifted from her to much more about the kind of work I do but she still very much a part of the whole enterprise. She always gets out her own little mini laptop and likes to tap away at it and tell me that she's making her website.”
Choosing the right host
With over 5 years experience running a busy website, Sara reveals why she chose to host her WordPress website with 34SP.com.
“I think it's really important right from the start to be clear about what you want from a hosting provider, and what is going to be the main priorities for you. For me, it was obviously support. I wanted to speak to people who would help me with the setup and would help me with any issues I might have along the way. 34SP.com was the right choice for exactly that reason.”
“Consistency is really important when you are trying to grown any presence on the internet, so having a website that is always there is essential. If you suddenly had a feature in the press and you've got to huge influx of new readers it can very easily send a website over it's bandwidth and you can find it disappears from the internet. But on 34SP.com I've never had problem with that, and it's been able to cope with the fluctuations in my audience.”
“I think it's really important right from the start to be clear about what you want from a hosting provider, and what is going to be the main priorities for you. For me, it was obviously support.”
Easy to use control panel
“Logging into 34SP.com and finding a control panel that's in plain English that doesn't make me feel lost and confused is a huge deal to me. As a business owner, whether that's as a solo entrepreneur or maybe you're running a small business you've always got a never ending to-do-list. For me, I never wanted running the website to be another task on that list so it's really nice to be able to set it up and just leave it.”
“I've been with 34SP.com for about 5 years and in that time I've really had very few reasons to contact them. So it means an awful lot to me that my website is reliable and I know that predictably it's going to be there day after day and I don't have to think about it too much.”
With a clear talent for inspiring creativity in others, Sara wants to share her knowledge and experiences so that her followers will be able to enjoy similarly successsful creative businesses.
“I think the thing I love most about what I do is that I get to help other people find their creativity. and start their creative journey and make some of their dreams come true because I feel so privileged that it was able to happen for me and really felt a sense of 'why had nobody told me that this was possible' and why nobody had told me that I could do this. So my mission is to get that message out to other people that its entirely possible and that they can do it, and they can feel equipped to go ahead and have a go.”