Virginia: Brand Builder & Storyteller

Name: Virginia Beard

Age: 29

City: Charleston, SC

Main Hustle: Freelance writer and marketer. Yoga teacher.

My work shows up in all different forms—from social media strategy and blog posts to press releases and website work. I’m the Director of Communications at Launch Pad and Marketing Lead/Yoga Teacher at Charleston Power Yoga. So…I wear a lot of hats (and yoga pants).

Side Hustle: Brand Builder and Storyteller. Maybe you’re thinking, “So…what exactly does that mean?” It’s cool. I’m still figuring it out too.

Since hitting the real world after college, I’ve had a lot of different jobs and a lot of different side hustles. In my ripe old age of almost 30, I’ve found that the intersection between what I love and what I’m good at is helping people tell their stories—helping people get really clear on the mission and core of their work. Right now, this is my side hustle. I help people build their websites, write their brand copy, create customer/client-facing language and informational tools, and create social media content and imagery. Helping people infuse their brands with their personalities and passion is what lights me up!

How did you get started?: Both my main hustle and side hustle have evolved over the years into what they are now. I’ve been an unpaid intern. I’ve written many a blog post for free. I’ve worked at a desk job that didn’t do it for me. I’ve worked for publications that paid in peanuts. All of these jobs pushed me in the direction of my work now. In the middle of all that, I did my yoga teacher training.

Becoming a yoga teacher was a huge catalyst in this evolution. About 5 years ago, after finishing teacher training, I started to get really serious about saying no to work that only financially fulfilled me and yes to work that I could get excited about. It was my small side hustle-y jobs where I met the most awesome people and awesome brands that then snowballed into freelance clients who, eventually, made it possible for me to go freelance full-time.

When/where do you work on your Side Hustle?: At my little desk nook at home or in a coffee shop (preferably Muddy Waters, Collective Coffee, or Harbinger Cafe in Charleston).

What are the challenges of your Side Hustle?: Staying motivated to keep going when the results aren’t immediate or super perfect.

In this Instagram-heavy and like-button world, it’s hard not to get bummed when other people seem to be sitting at their beautiful desks in their all white homes with their impeccable wardrobes cranking out amazing work that looks tidy and on-brand and perfect. And here I am with messy hair in yoga pants trying to get things done on a deadline. I came across a quote recently (no idea who said it first) and it said, “I’m learning to love the parts of myself that no one claps for.” I’m trying to live like that. To love myself and my work for what they are—messy and imperfect and also awesome. Because the important part is the doing of the work.

What are the rewards of your Side Hustle?: Working for yourself and by yourself is really hard, but it makes the wins that much more rewarding.

When I launch something, or finish a project, or make someone happy, I can step back and be like, “Whoa, I did that on my own!” And that is really cool and worth all of the hustle.

Who is your greatest supporter?: My husband, Boykin, is the greatest human on the planet. Every slightly scary decision I’ve ever made, especially with my work, he’s been there to listen and really hear me and give me the push I need to actually do the thing.

Who/what is your greatest source of inspiration?: All my fellow yoga teachers at Charleston Power Yoga constantly inspire me. Especially recently, Sarah Frick, one of the owners of CPY, has been a huge source of inspiration for me. She started her own personal brand and style of classes called The Works, and she really walks the walk (or works The Works)! She’s real and raw and open and vulnerable, and that inspires me to show up and do the work every single day.

What is your dream for your Side Hustle?: I would love to see my side hustle evolve into more robust freelance offerings. I’m in the process of researching graphic design certifications, so I can handle both the design and the writing for client websites, etc. I want to eventually be someone’s one-stop-shop for building their brand.

Do you have any advice for others working on a Side Hustle?:
Find other people with side hustles that inspire you to keep at it. Talk to them. Get coffee with them. Ask them questions. Be side hustle buddies.

Unfollow people on social media who make you feel like you aren’t doing enough or aren’t cool enough or aren’t fill-in-the-blank enough. You’re awesome and your work matters, so don’t let Instagram make you think differently about your work.

If you work from home: put on a bra, put on some mascara, and sit in a real chair at a real desk. These are my three work-from-home rules, and they help me feel more pulled together and ready to take on the day.

Reach out to Virginia via email to connect or collaborate, visit her website to learn more about her branding techniques, or follow her on Instagram to see what she’s up to in Charleston!

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