Tell me a little bit about yourself. What’s your background/career path?
After finishing a degree in Illustration I managed to get a job in a Fantasy Gaming company (fantasy football etc). I designed some of the bits of the games (front end stuff) and learnt how you can use content for marketing. I then bent my degree and what I’d learnt there to angle it towards marketing. That started me down the digital marketing path.
Tell me about your agency. What is it you do and what prompted you to start up your own?
I started JooJoo in 2012. I’d been running a digital marketing agency with 3 others, but decided that I wanted to go it alone.
In truth, I handed in my notice at the end of September 2012 and wasn’t sure what I was going to do but I knew I needed a change, to learn new things, and a challenge. A few weeks later I had a plan and JooJoo was ‘born’. I officially left the agency I’d been running at the end of 2012 and started going to work in my living room. Often in my pyjamas.
JooJoo is a digital marketing agency specialising in ‘conversion optimisation’. This could be anything from web development, web design, SEO to email marketing, social media marketing and so on.
What do you think the are most important issues for developing your company culture?
Everyone that works for JooJoo is a freelancer. Whilst we will meet up to discuss projects, communication is the biggest challenge as well as creating a sense of team when we aren’t all in the same room. Because we don’t have that ‘day to day’ natural connection with the team we work with this is something that we had to digitally adopt. All freelancers are paid within 7 days too, helping everyone to feel valued, which is often missed when you are a freelancer.
What have been the biggest challenges you’ve faced as a women in business?
Being taken seriously and listened to. I’m also 5.2” which I don’t think particularly helps.
When I first started JooJoo I had a meeting with an existing client and his brother. That was the first time I really felt like my gender put me on the back foot. It rattled my confidence but made me realise that knowledge was power. Put your faith in fact and you can’t go wrong.
The Wow Company’s recent survey of 471 agency owners across the UK has the figures as Female 27% – Male 73%. Can you share your thoughts on this?
It doesn’t surprise me. The gender gap is real, even in 2017.
Do you have a mentor, or are you a member of an agency owner community?
A friend with years of experience in digital gives me advice. He’s a good listener and helps me to work out what I want and how to achieve it.
Do you feel as a female agency founder, they offer the level of support you need? Do you need additional support that isn’t currently available?
I’m not big on networking, but have often met interesting people through WiredSussex. I tend to bend the ears of friends and other agency owners.
What other female founders inspire you?
What do you think makes a great agency?
One that makes you want to get up in the morning and go in, even if it is raining.
What would be your one piece of advice to future female leaders?
Keep learning. If you’re not learning, you aren’t moving forward.