Meet Olivia Hanlon, the Gen-Z with a six-figure start-up

Marketing guru Olivia Hanlon is the CEO of Girls in Marketing, a thriving business and community for like-minded individuals in the industry

24-year-old Olivia Hanlon is the founder of Girls in Marketing, which she launched as a community initiative during the summer of 2019 to meet like-minded women in the industry.

In May 2020, Olivia left her full-time SEO job and took on freelance clients to create the time to build a successful business strategy to grow and scale Girls in Marketing. 

In June 2021, she finished with her final freelance client and shortly took on Martha, the first Girls in Marketing official employee. Since, the team has grown to four full-time employees and Olivia is currently looking for a fifth member of the team.

“It makes me so proud to say that the community I started to meet other like-minded girls working in marketing has now become a 6-figure thriving female-led start-up,” Olivia says.

“Girls in Marketing empowers, supports and guides women in the marketing industry. Through up-to-date resources, community events and programmes we’re quickly creating a digital marketing revolution.”

We caught up with Olivia to see what a regular day looks like for a successful business owner.

Olivia’s positive morning routine 

I always HAVE to get at least 7 hours of sleep to function. I know that sounds so precise but I feel like my mind and body just don’t work unless I’ve had the perfect amount of sleep.

I typically wake up between 7am and 8am – it usually depends on whether I’m working from home or the office. I’ll shower and get ready then feed my puppy, Xara, and take her for a quick walk before grabbing a coffee and breakfast. I like routine, so having an easy one means every day starts out positively. I’d love to say I get up, do 50 pushups and drink a protein shake but that’s not me! Simplicity is the way to my heart when it comes to starting the day.

Credit: Girls in Marketing

A typical day at Girls in Marketing

Every day is completely different, I used to have my fingers in so many Girls in Marketing pies, but since we now have a few wonderful gals on the team, I get to focus on the nitty-gritty stuff. 

Since every day is different, I’ll talk you through my day today. 

It’s a Wednesday and this morning I’ve been working on a huge report analysis for our Digital Marketing Internship Programme, which happened at the start of September. After I’ve compiled this analysis, I will also be creating sub-analysis reports to send to the sponsors of the programme. 

I absolutely love working on projects that positively impact people’s lives, and this was one that we worked on for many months. Seeing projects come to life from being just an idea is truly magical. I find it very rewarding to talk to people about their experiences using our platform and being a part of the community – it’s always so rewarding to hear success stories. There is nothing better than a message from someone saying they’ve managed to secure a new role, a promotion or a freelance client because of the tips they’ve learnt from us. Stuff like that really makes my heart happy.

This afternoon I’ve been creating slides for our upcoming free webinar for businesses and team leaders that are focused on workplace wellbeing. 

I’m finishing my day doing some admin and replying to emails as well as having a 1:1 session with a few of our Girls in Marketing members. During these sessions, I chat with our Girls in Marketing members about anything and everything. I have individuals book sessions to go over their CVs, but equally, I join sessions in which people want some career advice or need marketing strategy planning help.

I love my days, but turning off from work mode a sufficient answer is always a challenge. I find it difficult to stop and find time to do something else. This is especially true for weekday evenings. I love what I do, so it makes it even more difficult to put whatever task I’m doing down. I’m working on it though.

Learning to ‘switch off’ after work

Reading is a huge part of my life. I used to read a lot when I was younger but when I went to university I fell out of love with it. This year, I’ve challenged myself to read at least 15 books throughout the year – I’m currently on book seven (a little behind, according to GoodReads!) So these days I tend to relax by reading a fiction book. 

I also enjoy doing my nails, I regularly try out different designs and challenge myself to draw new patterns (although I’m not sure how good I am at doing it).

Although I don’t really have an evening routine, I love to eat good food. My ultimate way to switch off is chilling with an ice cold-Pepi Max and reading a cheesy book. I also take at least one day per week to dedicate to my skincare – think facemasks and exfoliating! 

Credit: Girls in Marketing

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