Where are you based?
What job do you do?
Founder of Smoothie PR
How did you get into marketing/communications?
I’ve been a digital marketing copywriter for 12 years working for brands big and small, and then niched down into Social Media when I joined Tesco. After three and a half years there I felt it was time for a change as I had no passion for Tesco as a brand, and knew I wanted to work with food start-ups in some capacity. After a year of doing social media and copy-writing for food and drink businesses with my first business, I had a light-bulb moment that led me to launch Smoothie PR in October 2016.
What are you most proud of in your career as a marketing/communications professional?
I’m incredibly proud of the fact that I’ve created a small business that helps other small food and drink businesses thrive. Start-ups have the least amount of time and money but need the most amount of help, so in The Smoothie Bar monthly membership club, I teach them how to do their own responsive PR in 10 minutes a day using only Twitter and email. This means they can easily create their own brand awareness without the need to hire expensive PR agencies or write hundreds of boring press releases that take up so much time. I’m always honest about the opportunities when responsive PR is a great fit for your business as in some instances, traditional PR works better. I offer a 10-day free trial to anyone that’s interested so that they can try it out for themselves and understand how easy PR can be, while never making any unrealistic promises about what can be achieved.
How has marketing/communications helped the organisations you’ve worked for?
My Smoothies are absolutely rocking their own PR! They’ve been featured in big names like the Independent, Metro, Telegraph, BBC Good Food, Huff Post, magazines, radio and TV, just by investing 10 minutes a day in their PR. PR can seem really daunting when you’ve never done it before, so I break it down into bite-sized chunks using videos, blog posts and emails to make it totally manageable for every beginner in The Smoothie Bar.
What challenges have you overcome on your professional journey to where you are today?
Running your own business is incredibly difficult because there’s so much that you don’t know that you need to learn along the way. I found it really difficult to get a constant stream of copy-writing clients when I first started out which meant that I was constantly under financial pressure, but this also taught me that I needed to change things when I started Smoothie PR. I now use a monthly membership model to create a more stable level of income which has made a huge difference. I’ve also learned that keeping the everyday stresses of business life to yourself can only lead to a huge meltdown at some point. Fortunately, I have a small pool of really good business buddies that I can turn to whenever I need to let off steam, have a moan or celebrate a win. You face problems that you don’t even think about as a paid employee, so it can be difficult for family and friends to understand exactly what you’re going through. That’s when it’s comforting to know that other business owners have experienced the same thing and can help to get you back on track.
Do you have any words of wisdom for someone starting out in the marketing/communications industry?
Prioritise and focus. There are so many channels and platforms available for communicating your messages that it can seem quite overwhelming knowing what to concentrate on first. Make a list of all of your priorities, put them in order of importance and then spend time focusing on creating great content for each one to really make your messages shine.
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