Reacting to digital challenges: Bdaily talks to Chloe Hall, MD of Bumble and Bloom
In a new series exploring digital business growth in the North East, we caught up with Chloe Hall - MD at digital marketing consultancy Bumble & Bloom Media.
Following our interview with Paul Slater, CEO of Newcastle’s Fit Gurus, we’re talking to entrepreneurs from across the region to uncover their journeys to digital success.
25 year old Chloe launched Bumble & Bloom in October 2013, at the age of 23.
“I set up the business with little more than a desire to help others and a need to do something creative as a career that would enable me to write, think creatively and work alongside others who could teach me things”, explains Chloe.
Hired to plan, design and develop creative concepts, the firm markets and promotes products for brands.
“Digital marketing strategies for growth are our speciality”, says Chloe.
“Our area of expertise lies in providing creative ideas and solutions to some of the most common problems businesses face.”
A month shy of its third anniversary, the firm has worked with a number of UK-based SMEs and large retailers such as Lindt, Jacobs Creek, Crew Clothing, Gü Puds and The Cambridge Satchel Company. Impressive work for such a short space of time.
Yet the award-winning consultancy hasn’t been without its challenges, as Chloe explains.
“I used to feel conscious about putting too much of my personality and style into Bumble & Bloom Media.
“Even though it felt right at the time and there’s no way I could physically sign off on brand visuals or a brand identity that I didn’t like or connect with, I did worry that my branding or marketing communications didn’t fit the status quo and consequently my target clients wouldn’t take me seriously.
“We’re told to be creative and try to stand out, but doing so involves a degree of risk and the risky option isn’t always the easiest option is it?”
Bumble & Bloom is very much Chloe’s baby. The young creative has nurtured it from an early age to seeing it blossom into a reputable firm entrenched in opportunity.
Like most business owners, the buck stops with Chloe and her alone. Consequently, she admits that such a strong affinity for her work was actually one of her biggest challenges.
She continues: “In the early years of my entrepreneurial journey I lived and breathed my business to a point where I worked 7 days a week from the moment I woke up until the moment I couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer.
“I struggled to switch off from work because I care very much about what I put my name to, but I knew something had to give when I hadn’t enjoyed so much as a long weekend in five years and became an absent friend, girlfriend and daughter.”
With so much responsibility attached to a startup owner’s shoulders, many would attest that a founder’s greatest asset in fact lies in the way in which he or she reacts to the difficulties faced.
“Meltdowns in the office with my lovely business mentor Janice Ross now and then have definitely helped!
“She ‘got me’ immediately and thanks to her and several others, I have been able to share my frustrations, ideas, ambitions and challenges along the way and these people have been kind enough to listen and share their experiences with me.
“I’ve also since discovered that working on other projects, travelling and enjoying time off actually complements my work very well, providing me with inspiration and new ideas.
“I’ve made up for lost time and enjoyed trips to New York, Barcelona, Turkey and Nice already this year, which have been such refreshing and energising experiences. I now make time off and research trips an essential part of my week/month/year.”
Indeed growing a business, digital or otherwise, is a learning curve. The work/life balance must be addressed and refined, whilst a mentor, whether a founder is in their 20s or 60s, can be just as comforting.
“Oh, and a bottle of wine and hours of binge watching Netflix helps too”, jokes Chloe.
So what next for Chloe and her growing consultancy?
“Growing a digital business is tough especially when you consider that the digital industry is a relatively new, fast-paced industry with little history and an enormous, unknown future.
“Anything could happen, it doesn’t matter how old or young you are in this industry, all that matters is integrity, creativity and how open minded you are to change and adopting new technology.”
Interestingly, like many enterprising millennials, Chloe is a keen advocate of correctly applying and practising social media when traversing the digital landscape.
“Social media can be a research tool, it connects me to so many interesting people and potential clients, it helps me find PR opportunities for both clients and the business – it’s enormously important and has been essential for business growth and establishing brand reputation for Bumble & Bloom Media.
“People come up to me and say they’ve heard of me, or they’ve seen my bumblebee and lavender logo ‘somewhere’ before which I love to hear!
“Probably the best example I can give that demonstrates the value social media has had for me is a PR opportunity I spotted on twitter A lady called Joanne Mallon put a call out to speak to writers to better understand out how they used LinkedIn for business.
“I tweeted her back and fast forward several emails and a couple of weeks a signed copy of her latest book interviewing social media experts landed on my doorstep, featuring none other than yours truly with a link to my website and social media. I still display it proudly on my bookshelf today!”
Engagement and learning are two of Chloe’s key assets, with the two forming the basis of her business ethos.
“Our next milestone is to collaborate with organisations globally”, she adds.
“There are so many interesting and exciting organisations out there, its too good an opportunity not to explore!
“I never want to stop learning and am always on the lookout for likeminded people who match my values and ambitions to collaborate with and together we can achieve great things.”
To find out more and speak to Chloe first hand, get in touch via her website.
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