As the Managing Director at Eighty-Eight, a creative communications agency, Erin Bury knows how to make a brand stand out. In an interview with BetaKit, an online magazine for Canadian startup news and tech innovation, she shared lessons learned from growing her small business from a social media management arm of a real estate company to an online marketing and PR hub for tech clients.
Below is a round-up of her top lessons learned. Read the whole article here.
- Find your sweet spot. Erin identified a gap between startup experts and big business marketing and set-up budget minimums that were much friendlier for smaller organizations.
You have this network of large agencies that have $25,000 a month minimum retainers and they’re just not able to work with startups because it doesn’t work with their business model, and that doesn’t work with the startup business model.
- Speak the language of your clients. Coming from a startup and tech background, Erin knew how to speak and work with her clients on their level.
I’ve talked to people in startups who have worked with the big agencies and [the big agencies] don’t use Google Docs and they don’t understand the difference between seed funding and Series A funding. We’ve found our sweet spot because we speak the language; we understand it.
- Create a culture based on your employees’ values. Eighty-Eight is an office of millennials and she tried to create a culture based on what millennials care about: flexibility, work from home days, Summer Fridays, no set office hours, vacation-matching fund, and more.
I think our culture is also based on this idea that we treat people like adults. I think a lot of the trouble that people get into is when they try to manage their employees really closely. What time did they get to their desk? How many hours did they log in our time tracking system? And people don’t want to feel like they’re under someone’s thumb. Our motto is work until the work is done…
- Build a support network.
To me, being an entrepreneur is all about learning from other people’s mistakes so you don’t make the same ones. And a lot of people make the same mistakes over, and over again because they haven’t necessarily gone outside their bubble and talked to people. They just think, I’m going to forge through this alone. For me, I have a therapist, I have an agency coach who’s an amazing business coach, I have my mentors. And I would not be able to run the business without them.
Erin was named one of Marketing Magazine’s “Top 30 Under 30”, and, as a monthly columnist for the Financial Post and a tech commentator on CTV News, often shares her expertise on entrepreneurship, marketing to millennials, creating a killer personal brand, and harnessing the latest digital trends.
Interested in learning more about Erin and what she can bring to your next event? Email [email protected].