Interview with Competition Site Owner Georgina

Interview

When I first introduced interviews to this blog I hoped to be able to share stories like Georgina’s and so it was an absolute pleasure when she approached me about discussing her experiences her at Just Geeking By. As an avid comper (someone who regularly takes part in competitions) I’ve known about Georgina’s competition site iWon-iWon.com and its sister sites since they first popped up, but I never knew that I had so much in common with the lady behind them.

I will let Georgina tell you herself how a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis led her to become a small business owner who now runs several competitions sites including a brand new one just for students. [bctt tweet=”I will let Georgina tell you herself how her MS diagnosis led her to become a small business owner who now runs several competitions sites including a brand new one just for students.” username=”justgeekingby”]

 

The Interview

Hi. Please tell us a bit about yourself!
Hi, my name is Georgina and I’m a 40 plus mum of a 16 year old son (how did that happen, one minute he was toddling around and now he’s applying for College – scary!). I’m also step-mum to 3 more teenage boys and happily married to my husband Stu – who is my rock. Thanks to all the male hormones, I decided I needed someone on my side – so I am also mummy to our 3 year old Labrador Bella __ I was diagnosed with MS after my son was born, and for years it had no impact on my life however, in 2015 my walking deteriorated and life changed.

How did you get into competition websites?

I had to give up my job in 2016 because I felt I couldn’t give my boss what she needed and in a small company that wasn’t going to work long term. Around the same time Stuart was putting a company together with his work associates, as part of that business we began looking at competition sites and that’s how iWon-iWon was born. It was a great fit for me, as not only could I work from home and around my health it made good use of my marketing skills that I had built up over the years. It just made sense.

How many years have you been doing it?

We’ve been live for 2 years now and the site has evolved into several competition sites including our latest addition – UniWins –  – it was tricky at first as lots of people think ‘scam’ but we have built up their trust over time. We have a 5* rating on TrustPilot  and on Facebook  – I am so proud of this because I work 24/7 (it definitely isn’t easy starting a company) – I wear many hats including customer service, prize sourcing, marketing and so on. Thankfully multi-tasking was always a strength of mine. [bctt tweet=”The site has evolved into several competition sites including our latest addition – UniWins – it was tricky at first as lots of people think ‘scam’ but we have built up their trust over time.” username=”justgeekingby”]

What does your work mean to you?

The great thing about the business is that it keeps my brain functioning and allows me to continue using my skills. When you become ill with a long term disease, your life changes in ways you don’t envisage. Having something to focus on is so positive for my wellbeing, without it I might sit and spend time worrying about life. I’ve always been a positive person and I do believe that attitude makes such a different to my day to day health.

What was the first time you realized that was what you wanted to do?

I’ve always been creative throughout my working years, and I’ve always imagined having my own business in some capacity. Both my dad and mum came from family businesses so it feel natural to me. I used to work the markets with my dad during my younger years and then later in their family shop. This instilled great working ethics, I truly believe if you work hard and give a great service you will do well. The feedback we received reinforces this and makes the hard work of getting the company off the ground worth it.

What is your proudest moment?

Getting to the end of year 2 and not being in debt – so many businesses fail in their first year. We are a long way from where we want to be but I am so proud of what we have achieved to date.

What was the first successful competition?

Our first competition went live in October 2016, since then we have given away almost 1000 prizes worth almost £50,000. We’ve gone from having around 20 prizes live at any time to have over 60 today. We have a new prize going live pretty much daily now which is great for our users as it keeps them coming back. [bctt tweet=”Our first competition went live in October 2016, since then we have given away almost 1000 prizes worth almost £50,000. We’ve gone from having around 20 prizes live at any time to have over 60 today.” username=”justgeekingby”]

What are your goals for the future? What do you hope to achieve?

We have lots of plans for how we can evolve the site further, but that takes time and money – so watch this space.

What was the best advice you were ever given?

Work hard, treat your customers well and you will be successful but also everything in life happens for a reason. I may well have a horrible disease but there are worse things in the world that I could have and there are people in far worse situations than me. I have so much to be thankful for, and no matter what life throws at me I will always be thinking “onwards and upwards”. [bctt tweet=”There are people in far worse situations than me. I have so much to be thankful for, and no matter what life throws at me I will always be thinking “onwards and upwards.” username=”justgeekingby”]

Any advice for others wanting to start their own business?

Don’t give up, it’s not easy and the highs and lows of running your own business is hard – worrying about money, going 3 steps forward and then 10 steps back is perfectly normal.

 

Interview with Georgina the owner of the competition website Iwon-Iwon

 

Now for some random questions…

If you were the god/goddess of anything, what would it be?

Chocolate of course, it’s my weakness.

What would your animal form be?

A cat, always loved big cats and small cats.

Do you have any fun quirks?

Clearly, I’m dull as can’t think of anything lol!! I talk a lot, and sometimes say silly things because my brain doesn’t always catch up with my mouth.

Do you collect anything?

Kindle books, I love reading and I keep downloading samples and 99p books – who knows when I will actually get to read them all as my TBR (to be read) pile just keeps growing and growing – it’s the Facebook book café group I belong to – people keep sharing great reads and it’s so easy on the Kindle to just keep downloading more books!

And finally; time for a shameless plug:

Please sign up to my website iWon iWon , it’s free and it’s so easy to use. The idea is that you enter competitions daily – the more times you enter the more times your name will be in the virtual pot. My new UniWins site is perfect for this blog! – I will keep my fingers crossed for you all to be winners in the not too distant future!

[Note from the editor 😉 – Everyone has a chance to be a winner, but you need to actually enter to have a chance! [bctt tweet=”Everyone has a chance to be a winner, but you need to actually enter to have a chance!” username=”justgeekingby”] I’ve won so much over the years, such as this amazing beauty prize, and I’m happy to discuss competitions more for anyone who has any doubts.]

My Fantastic Beauty Surprise!

My fantastic beauty surprise!

I am a self-confessed competition addict. I love entering competitions, and I also have a pretty good track record of winning things. Most of the time I’ll share them on twitter or with friends, and that’s about it. This time though I think this haul deserves a blog post of it’s own! I’m also planning to review a lot of it so it’s been a great win in terms of blogging, and has come just at the right time. It also actually made me cry, which sounds dorky, I know. I entered the competition by Beauty Base just as I was beginning to get my meditation and daily life schedule back on track at the start of May. I was feeling really happy about how I was doing, and the competition required you to answer a question; why do you deserve to win this hamper? I always answer honestly and as my ME/CFS was the first thing on my mind at that moment, that is what I answered with. It wasn’t an aim at a sob story, it was just reality. I doubt that’s why I won. Competitions are done by random generations, it wouldn’t be fair otherwise. So this win represented a personal win too, almost like the universe was giving me a small pat on the back.

Now that I’ve rambled on I guess I should actually show you the goodies? 😉

My Beauty Prize - Opening the Box!

 

As you can imagine it took a while for them to get everything together and then of course I was away in London, so I had to wait until I got back to be able to open it! Despite our train being massively delayed and us getting home really late I had to delve into it and see everything for myself. I’d seen a photo with the competition but it’s never the same as actually holding things in your hand, being able to read the labels and of course, being able to pop the lid and smell them!

 

Beauty Prize - Everything Laid Out

 

As you can see it is quite a haul! It is huge and I’m really  chuffed with it. I use face masks, scrubs and sheets regularly to help keep my skin clear which in turns helps me control my skin picking. I’ve also found that face masks are brilliant for relaxing my facial muscles when I get a particularly bad migraine. Due to the difficulties with my migraines over the last few months my supply of face masks has been depleted so this couldn’t have come at a better time!

Here are some more photos so you can get a closer look at everything!

 

Beauty Prize - Ayumi face masks and washes

Beauty Prize - Ayumi Products

Beauty Prize - Byphasse Products

Beauty Prize - Dr Pawpaw, Technic Products and Perfume

Beauty Prize - Close up of the Technic glitter me up lipgloss

Beauty Prize - Face masks, sheets and pore strips

Beauty Prize - Himalaya Face Scrubs and Toothpaste

Beauty Prize - Himalaya Face Washes

 

I’ve used a Himalaya product before (their Almond & Cucumber Peel off face mask) and I’ve been quite happy with it so it was this brand that drew me to the competition in the first place. So I am super excited to be able to try so many of their products out now! I’ve also tried some Technic products before and been really happy with those. Otherwise the only other brand I recognise is Dr PawPaw which I’ve been eager to get my mitts on as it’s been taking the beauty world by storm and quite frankly I want to see if it’s worth the hype. There’s only a about 2-3 products in the whole bunch that aren’t useful to me and that’s the wrinkle ones! I don’t think I have wrinkles? I may try them to see – maybe I do have wrinkles and I’m just oblivious 😛

Overall I am really happy with it all. Now I just need to decide what to try first! Once I’ve found a home for everything… this has prompted me to have a much needed clean out and get rid of some things I’ve been holding onto for far too long. I’ve contacted a local women’s shelter and will be handing everything viable over to them so it goes to a good cause.

 

Over to you

Have you guys tried any of these brands? Is there anything here that tickles your fancy? Let me know because I’m happy to try something sooner if you would like to read the review – plus let’s be honest, I need the help in narrowing my choices down 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Guide to Online Advent Calendar Competitions

Sharing Saturday: Online advent calendars

 

Yep, another advent calendar sharing saturday. The last one I promise and probably the most exciting one because I’m introducing you into the world of online advent calendar competitions – which are free to enter! I enter them every year and for the past couple of years have won several prizes. They’re great fun, a tad bit addictive and easy to take part in. There’s so many that I’m not going to list them, I’m just going to explain the types of competitions and then give you some sites where fabulous people have listed all the advent competitions they find.

 

Type of Advent Competitions

 

Instant Wins

Instant wins are basically competitions which involve clicking an advent window, bauble or bingo ticket and instantly winning a prize. Expect a lot of ‘sorry you have not won this time….’ messages, but wins do happen! Last year I won my Star Wars BB-8 Sphero droid from one of these 😀 I highly recommend Tombola’s advent calendar as you always win something on it.

 

Fill out a Form

Like instant wins, you have to click on the advent number for the day and instead of getting an instant notification you have to fill in your details. Sometimes you’ll need to answer a question, or count how many santa hats are on a page. A winner is the selected and notified at a later date. If you don’t want your email spammed I suggest making a new one just for competitions.

 

Treasure Hunts

Treasure Hunts require you to hunt around for an item, usually something christmassy like a santa hat, gift or candy cane. Sometimes these will be static, i.e. on a certain page/product, while others will be random. One that has a random chance is Top Cash Back which has a daily clue for a guaranteed humming bird (the treasure you need to find) and can randomly pop up on other pages as you browse the site.

 

Social Media

Social media has made it so much easier to join in competitions, especially at advent time. These take place on facebook, twitter and instagram, and I’ve seen a few using snapchat as well this year. You have to like/follow the account/page and then follow the instructions. These usually involve sharing/retweeting, answering a question or tagging friends. It’s good because you can see how many people are entering, but don’t be put off by this! I’ve had some success with social media competitions and last year also had a company send me a wee little gift in response to something I said. There are real people running these competitions so every so often surprises can happen.

 

Bloggers

Several bloggers are posting advent calendar competitions as well, and they tend to use rafflecopter or gleam which is a little widget that asks you to do things. These include commenting, following social media accounts, sharing/retweeting etc. Some of my favourite ones to watch are Tanned Beauty Addict and Thou Shall Not Covet who have amazing prizes up for grabs!

 

Pass the Parcel

One of the most popular competitions is Marks and Spencers Pass the Parcel competition, in which you use the application on Facebook and pass parcels to friends and family – they then pass them back to you. The last few years the M&S one has become insanely popular and closes within days. It is worth it if you can play it though! Another one we’ve won on in the past few years 🙂 Other companies, such as Joules, have started doing their own pass the parcel and I’m sure some others will pop up too.

 

Lists of Competitions

So, now you’ve read about them… are you ready to see what’s out there?!  Here are my favourite sites for finding advent competitions. You’re also welcome to follow me on twitter as I will be retweeting any I enter too!

Keep in mind – Some competitions have started already, while others that last for 12 days before christmas will open at a later date. So it’s worth while checking back at these sites for new competitions!

 

Loquax

The Prize Finder

Advent Competitions

Money Saving Expert

Save the Student

 

Tips & Tricks

If you’re new to comping check out Super Lucky.me’s Tips and Tricks to handle advent competitions!

Let me know if you take part in any and especially if you win something! If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask 🙂

 

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