Stephanie, can you introduce yourself to our listeners?
Hey Jaz, thank you so much for having me. My name is Stephanie Melodia. I am the founder and director of a startup marketing agency called bloom, which is responsible for the growth of some of the country’s best startups, including one of the UKs top five. Our work has been featured in countless publications, which is amazing. I’m very humbled to be voted one of the UK Top 20 most influential female founders. On top of that, I’ve got a few side bits and bobs going on because running an agency doesn’t keep me busy enough, apparently.
Congratulations on making that list. I’ve watched your company grow over the last two years. Why did it all begin?
It began on the 24th of November 2017. It was a rainy, cold afternoon. No, so actually, the day that we incorporated was the 24th of November, and it has stuck in my mind for two main reasons. One is that it’s of course, exactly one month before Christmas Eve, and it’s also the day after my best friend’s birthday. So the date stuck. The company is also my baby, so I will always remember the day we launched.
There was lots of activity happening behind the scenes in the run up. When I cast my mind back to when I started, there was no indecisiveness at all. I knew the name, the feel, the value propositions – it was very decisive. I taught myself how to navigate a template base, build a website, and started getting the wheels in motion. We then secured our first client in the first two weeks.
What did you learn when launching your business?
I’m gonna hit you with the number one mistake that most people make in sales. And by the way in sales, everyone needs to be a salesperson. Lead sales has become dirty because of bad sales people but the number one thing that you need to do is realize that it is not about you, it has nothing to do with you when you’re in business. Some people want to know how you can help them reach their goals and that’s it – they don’t care about the business story or you as a founder.
People tend to lead with their story – but it’s not always what the client wants to hear. So for anyone listening, regardless of whether you’re in marketing, creative coaching – whatever field you’re in, there’s an element of people buying into you, but fundamentally, they need to know how you can help them, what are their problems that you’re solving? Why should they choose you over everyone else? That’s when good marketing comes into play.
Also having a good money mindset and being able to level up. There’s so much basic business that’s been forgotten about because people have been lured by the appeal of entrepreneurship. People see it as a modern-day version of being a rock star, but It’s bloody hard work. I’ve always been quite careful with my money and I think that comes down to never living beyond my means. I only got a credit card in my late 20s because I needed a credit score for my mortgage.
Tell us about your marketing agency and how you got into it
It was important to me to build up the business from scratch. The team, the partners – I didn’t poach any clients from previous roles – I can categorically say everything was100% me. And without that coming across as sounding too narcissistic, I’m very aware of the fact that you can only go so far on your own. I’ve been extremely lucky with the people around me, my accountant, the team that we have now is phenomenal. There’s a quote that always resonates with me, which is, if you want to go somewhere quickly go alone, if you want to go far, go with other people. When we launched, I felt like I needed to stretch my legs and see how far I could take it before levelling up and that is definitely the phase we’ve been in for the past couple of years.
You have a necklace that says bloom. Can you tell us a little about it?
If you think about big brands such as Coca Cola – you think of the logo, there are instant associations. What comes to mind whether that’s a person, a place or an object – there are emotional relationships there. All businesses are trying to personify themselves and inject that personality so that they can attract you and secure that brand loyalty.
It’s the same with humans. You cross those learnings, you take what you can from them. You ask yourself what is it that I want people to think of? Whether it’s your own personal brand, or your business’s brand – sometimes it’s interchangeable. So for me, I wear my girly power suits, my blue necklace that I never take off because it’s about those visual cues. I want to be calm and synonymous with the business and the brand.
What’s your career teaching you right now?
What my career is teaching me now is the importance of self-care and I feel as though it’s so topical right now. I’ve burnt out twice since starting the business, and especially now with COVID, we’re all online, we’re not taking holidays or even taking breaks – we’re at home, laptop open.
I’ve been through some self-development programmes and a bit of coaching and actually what was really eye-opening for me was, and this is something I highly recommend to anyone, is doing the Clifton Strengths Assessment as I now run my business by it.
Okay, this is my thing.
You’ve done it? What are your top strengths?
My top strengths are communication, strategic, futuristic input and positivity.
For anyone who’s not already aware – It is an online assessment paid for tool. It is astounding as you learn so much about yourself.
Where can the readers find you?
I would love to connect with anyone who’s interested in having a chat. Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn – these are the two main places where I hang out. So Instagram and LinkedIn, I’m Steph Melodia. I am the only Stephanie Melodia in the world so you shouldn’t get any other results popping up.