Words With Caroline

Caroline Phillips is CEO of her own digital marketing business, specialising in assisting people get the most of their websites.  It’s an area about which more and more of us have questions, so here she talks about how she made the transition from scientist to IT specialist – and what it all entails…

What’s your connection to the Lothians?

I’ve lived and worked in Edinburgh for the last 20 or so years and before that I was a student here. So although I’m a Glaswegian by birth, my heart lies in Edinburgh.

What’s the best thing about living in the Lothians?

The best thing about living in Edinburgh is the huge range of cultural and sporting activities on my doorstep. There’s so much to do and see. It’s such a beautiful city and on a lovely summer’s day there’s very few places beat it. I love the growing coffee culture in Edinburgh and finding and trying out new coffee shops is a past-time of mine! As regards a favourite place, I love Carlton Hill on a sunny blue sky day. The view is amazing and there’s also great coffee up there!

Are you a ‘gloomy-fog-over-the-castle’ or a ‘summer-on-Princes Street-gardens’ type?

A bit of both.  I like the dreary dreicht days which are so typical of Edinburgh, but I also like those days where the sun shines in a cloudless sky and everything looks sharp and focussed. It doesn’t even need to be warm, just the clear blue skies with sunshine in winter is lovely too.

How would you introduce us to your working life?

I’m a scientist essentially. In my early days this was the stereotypical white lab coat boffin writing scientific papers, but I retrained in IT a few years after University and got a job in large bank. Now, in the business I own and run, I still adhere to the scientific training I had – but just in a different way. My digital marketing business essentially helps people achieve more with their website. The best challenges personally are when a business comes to me with a website which isn’t working for them, it isn’t providing them with leads, and I have to work out what is wrong with it. It is a passion now and I have learned so much since starting the business 4 years ago.  But there is always something new to learn- and that’s what I like.

Is there a typical day?  What does it involve?

There isn’t really a typical day but essentially a lot of it is spent at the computer! I work on client’s accounts, chase up leads, do some admin and perhaps meet a client for a chat about how things are progressing. Because I’m stuck at a desk for long periods, I always find time for a run or walk. Running my own business has given me a lot of freedom and I can fit my life around it to a certain extent. I do find myself working sometimes in the evenings and weekends but this is balanced by having time off during the week.

What’s your greatest achievement so far – personally or professionally?

Up until the age of 30 I would have said that gaining a PhD was a huge professional achievement for me. In my 30’s juggling a new job in IT and becoming a mum was an immense challenge and a great personal achievement.  And now in my 40’s I think that starting a business has been both a huge personal and professional achievement for me. A lot of businesses fold in the early days but I’ve somehow managed to keep going and growing which I am so pleased about.  You never know what will happen in my 50’s!

Read more about Caroline’s work and contact her via:





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