The Social Media Fairy
Picture this: You're sitting at your desk, staring down at tasks you've been postponing for the past few weeks, you have zero motivation, hate your job and you wish you could just quit your job, fly to a tropical island and enjoy the good life. Such a yummy thought but impossible, right? WRONG! Allow us to introduce Nadine Burton, also known as the blonde_seashell on Instagram who did just that: quit her job, travelled all around the world settled down in Bali and created her dream life. She started out managing Instagram accounts for little boutique cafes and is now running her own company where she helps women transform their life and become freelance social media managers. Keep on reading if this is something you aspire to do. It might give you that little kick you didn't know you needed. Nadine is such a go-getter, we love her can-do mentality and that she's always willing to go the extra mile and work hard at making her dreams come true. Such an inspiration.
For our readers who don’t know you yet, tell us a little bit about yourself, where you’re from and what got you here?
I am originally from Switzerland and was living a “normal” life here for about 28 years. I have worked in social media and online marketing for several companies including radio energy in Zürich and at the same time was getting my bachelors degree in business communications, but I always felt something was missing.
I wanted adventure, I wanted freedom and most of all I didn’t want a boss telling me what to do. So one day I quit my job and went travelling without a clear plan. After traveling to Bali, Thailand and Australia I went back to Bali and stayed there - something magical about this island drew me there.
However after a few months I ran out of money, lol - like I said I didn’t have a plan. I noticed that a lot of people were working on their laptops in cafes and I couldn't help but wonder how they were making money and how I could do that too. That was more than seven years ago when the term “digital nomads” wasn’t well known.
While I was there I focused on growing my Instagram and started a travel blog, but that wasn’t making me any money. I just got a free bikini. A friend of mine suggested offering social media management for other companies especially here in Switzerland and in the US. So that’s what I did and within a few weeks I was fully booked and was a digital nomad myself. I stayed in Bali for over five years but also kept traveling around the world!
Tell us a little bit about Social Shells? Why the name and when did you first start putting the wheels into motion for your business?
So after I had been working as a successful freelancer myself people started to ask me how I was making money and how I was able to travel for five years in a row. That’s when I came up with the idea to start a coaching business where I help other women to do the same thing I was doing. My Instagram account was named blonde_seashell and I was working in social media so I called my new business the social shells. This is a platform where I transform women into freelance social media managers so they can work from anywhere in the world - even if it’s just their couch they get to choose.
What is something about your work that people don’t know or that surprises them?
The amount of knowledge a social media manager has and that in order to be successful you need to stay up to date every single day. People think a social media manager is just posting a picture on Instagram and that’s it. Sometimes it's even ridiculed - well only by those who have no clue about online marketing. As a digital marketer you have to know how all the different Algorithms work and how the future might look like so you can take the correct steps for your clients. You need to know what platforms to be on and what messaging to be on. Social media is like being active in different countries. You need to speak all the languages in order to be successful. A good social media manager is not just creating content for a business but can literally bring in money. With social media you get to connect with your customer directly not just in an abstract way like a tv commercial you get to talk to them and turn a potential client into a paying client so a good social media manager is also bringing in leads and paying clients.
As you mentioned, Social Media is constantly changing, Algorithms are f*ck!ng with us and new platforms seem to come and go but Instagram seems to be sticking around. Or is that a wrong interpretation? What do you see happening in the near future and how do you stay on top of your game?
Instagram has reached its peak in my opinion while I don’t think it will go anywhere anytime soon. I do believe that other platforms will become more popular. Platforms where people can connect and talk like clubhouse for example. The most important thing for any company is to remember that all social media platforms are just rented space. You don’t own anything and it could be gone tomorrow no matter how many followers you might have. So how are you as a business converting your followers into email subscribers that you actually own. And like mentioned above it doesn’t matter whether the Algorithm changes or not if you understand the landscape. It's like being on the stock market if you are inexperienced you will lose money and if you are not playing the long game you will also lose money - similar with social media.
Covid-19 hit really hard, and a lot of influencers are struggling. What is your take on this situation and what is really important now for anyone who wants to get started in this world?
Well Covid hit everybody not just influencers but there is a difference to me in being an influencer or actually running a business. If you run a business you know that there will always be ups and downs so you need to learn how to pivot and not pause and like mentioned above your business is relying on your followers then you are always at risk because basically Mark Zuckerberg owns you haha.
What’s one thing you’ve done in your career that helped you succeed, and that very few other people do?
Going the extra mile. I keep investing in myself, my education and my business. There hasn’t been a year where I didn’t invest in a coach, a course or a mastermind that will help me expand my knowledge or make me a better person. Not just in business but also in personal development. While I am not a huge fan of Gary V there is one thing where I completely agree. If you want to achieve extraordinary things you need to be willing to do what 99% of other people are not willing to do. When I first started out as a social media manager people were not waiting for me. I would send a hundred cold pitch emails and get one client out of it but I just kept going and going until I did reach my goals. When I first started my coaching business I stayed up late night to answer every single question and make sure all my clients were happy. And well let’s be honest - I still do.
Can anyone live a life of freedom and if so, what is the best way to get started?
Yesss anyone can! That’s exactly why I’ve created my social media manager course The Social Shells. The best strategy is to start the course while you are still working, then get a few clients on the side and then quit your job - or you can do the extreme route like I did, but most prefer a less radical way lol.
Even during Covid I had so many women in my course who quit their jobs and went full time and they are booking in clients left and right. Two of my Swiss clients currently live in Costa Rica and Mexico and they both started with The Social Shells program and are now self-employed as freelance social media managers living their dream life and that just makes me so happy!
Zodiac sign: Cancer
Favorite Quote: Don’t ask for directions from people who have never been where you're going
Currently listening to: Binaural beats for work, country music while I cook and latino music for my work-outs - probably the most random mix on the planet
How to unwind after a long day at work: Breathwork
Mornings or evenings? Evenings but I am committed to be more of a morning person!
Tiktok or Instagram? Instagram for sure
Fav Instagram account to follow? changes constantly currently loving: @wordsofvibrations and for laugh: @influencersinthewild
Most used emojis: 😂💕🙏
Most overrated word: “Girl” The way it’s used in marketing like “hey girl” I honestly can not tell you how much I hate getting messages like this 😂
Perfect food day; where and what would you eat: Well basically everyday when I am in Bali. Going to one of my favorite cafes having a smashed avocado toast with eggs and a flat white then for lunch getting a healthy green salad delivered with a bulletproof coffee for dinner Italian because l like to have it balanced ;)