How I’m #Bossingit – Nina Payne, SEO Lady

What’s your business?

I look after Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) for small, medium and large businesses.  That means ensuring that their website appears high in the list of results when people do an internet search, so helping to attract more visitors.

I work in North Somerset, Somerset, Bristol and nationwide.  As well as helping businesses make the most of their SEO opportunities, I advise on online selling, provide consultancy and offer SEO and social media training days either one-to one or for small groups.

What’s your background?

I worked in Sales and Marketing for the Admag and Weston Mercury for four years, then sold 12″ DJ Vinyl records on eBay which, as it turns out, is similar to optimising sales on Google!

Nina PayneHow and when did you launch?

I had been employed as an SEO specialist since 2008 and joined a freelancing website to take in odd jobs as a second income in the evenings and on weekends.  I launched my own website in 2009.  I really enjoyed the work and found that getting a website to Google page 1, as I did for Bedminster-based www.funkypigeon.com, was relatively straightforward.

So I was faced with what to do.  I was bored at work, I needed several companies to earn from and I loved the idea of working from home.  So I made SEO work for me, with my own website promoting “SEO Training Somerset” and “SEO Weston-super-Mare” attracting local clients, whilst growing my clients further afield via the freelancing website.

What inspired you?

I experienced a short period of unemployment in 2013 and thought: “this is it”.  It was definitely the inspiration to work from home in my pyjamas without having the hated daily train commute to Bristol and Bath! But I also have to be busy. My business ticks all the boxes.

How did you do it?

I asked at the jobcentre for advice on going self employed, registering a business and finding an accountant and that’s when I was put in touch with North Somerset Enterprise Agency (NSEA).

My NSEA business advisor and the team provided me with the telephone numbers I needed to set up appointments with the correct local government departments and even secured me a 6 month grant to help me face the first year of being self employed!  I wouldn’t be here without their solid advice and support.

Where are you now? 

I celebrated 5 years last month and in that time I’ve grown my client portfolio locally, nationally and internationally, as an SEO teacher and freelancer.  One day I will be talking to a client in Thailand on Skype and the next I will be working a four hour freelancing session for a client in Dublin!

I attend networking events and have presented SEO talks for NSEA, Barclay’s Networking, The Federation of Small Businesses and for an online Woman In Business magazine.

Most important lesson?

Don’t commit to any work unless you are being properly paid.  In my profession plenty of people want free advice which it isn’t possible to give if I am to run a successful business within reasonable hours.  All my consultations are now by email.  I can post links and articles in an email and save hours to work on my business.

Why do you love it?

I can eat much more healthily as I’m not buying food at lunchtime, I have sold my car so don’t need to pay for upkeep, insurance or petrol, working from home. The laundry gets done regularly! In the summer I can take the afternoon off it the weather is nice and treat myself to lunch on the seafront. I can nip into town to run errands or go to the dentist/doctor’s rather than cramming everything into the weekends.   To top it all, I enjoy the busy business I have created.

Would you recommend it?

Yes. For a while it may be scary and you may not be convinced you will ever earn enough to cover the bills, but there are many thriving and exciting small businesses like mine out there – and yours could be one of them!

Top Tip?

Create a business plan of the costs involved in launch including promotional materials and a website cost.


SEO Lady, 23 George St, Weston-super-Mare, BS23 3AT

Visit: www.seolady.co.uk