I’ve always shown a bit of a creative flair. And I’ve always been really interested in people – their lives, their talents, their successes, their challenges – and their problems. ‘Agony aunt’ is my default.
It wasn’t surprising therefore that I was able to turn my passion for finding creative solutions to human needs into a career in marketing and advertising.
Along the way I found myself in a fairly unique role in a creative advertising agency, heading up marketing and new business. The role was incredibly varied: I was brand guardian for the agency, organised marketing output – from events to PR, thought leadership, website rebuilds, sales collateral, strategies, pitching, etc. – as well as helping fine-tune the agency positioning and brand to become more credible and stand out in a very competitive landscape. I was also in charge of developing a strong agency culture that everyone in the team could live and breathe by.
Then there were the business-development responsibilities: attracting, establishing and nurturing new business opportunities, coordinating the right people to respond to briefs, building a response and pitching. This tapped into a whole host of other skills required to manage the process, and the people involved – many of whom shuddered at the idea of a pitch and thought 'sales' was a dirty word. They were already incredibly busy and had to work on pitches on top of their normal workload. I noticed they were generally quite stressed and not entirely confident about the process. They needed a lot of encouragement and hand holding.
It was a real juggling act, not just because of the varied workload and constant pressure to put your best foot forward, but also to inspire a team of people to have the energy and drive they needed for success.
The role was pure Marmite – I loved it and I hated it in equal measure. Looking back, I wish I’d had a mentor who had been there, done that and got the t-shirt; someone to help me refocus, feel empowered, energetic and confident about my goals. Because if I had, I think there would have been less trial and error and more success – for me, and the team. Don't get me wrong, there are huge learnings (and successes) to be gained from trying and experimenting, and sometimes failing. I don't see failure as a negative. I see it as a learning curve, but one that can feel isolating, stressful and pressured at times. Whereas with some support, that learning curve can be a much more enjoyable and fulfilling experience.
Fast forward through some late-20s wobbles and a brush with burnout, travelling the world, and then coming home to set up my own business as a marketing and new biz consultant, I have now worked with several other agencies, supporting them with their business growth (spoiler alert – everyone is struggling with the same issues!), as well as taking the lead on a number of client / brand campaigns, to help promote, launch and sell big brands.
There aren’t many roles within an agency that I haven’t turned my hand to – which has finally led me to really understand what brings me joy in my career, and that is helping others to find their success, in business and on a personal level. Which is why I am currently working towards a diploma in coaching, to bring together all my experience, to support fellow lone rangers through the scary and sometimes challenging process of marketing and sales and to have the right mindset to lead this process, whether you’re flying solo, or are part of a creative services business.
And I would love to help you with your journey, so let’s chat!