Industry Spotlight is the name of a new series of weekly interviews dedicated to sharing the inspirational stories of key individuals within the entertainment industries.
Bonjour, ca va? Bien! Hope you lovely people had a fantastic Easter break and are loving the feeling of being back at work. For those of you who were sat by your screens on Monday biting your nails in anticipation of this week’s Spotlight interview, I must apologise, but due to the bank holiday, I moved this week’s and last week’s to the Tuesday.
I have been getting some quite stupendous feedback of late in regards to these posts and so much so, I even had the pleasure of being spotlighted myself! ZOMFG!! Go check it out here.
Keeping up the consistent boy/girl rotation I have going on over here, this week I shine the light down on yet another amazing female entrepreneur. Coming by recommendation of the loovealy @iamsilverfox I am pleased to present to you, a Miss Kate Spiers, founder of Wisdom London, a creative communications consultancy (woah that’s a mouthful) based in London.
Who are you and what do you do?
I’m Kate Spiers (@wisdomlondon) and I’m the founder of Wisdom London, a creative communications consultancy. We work with large B2B brands, SMEs and start ups to provide communications support, from messaging and tone of voice to practical implementation of marketing plans, campaigns and social media programmes.
How did you get into this industry and why did you chose this path?
I’ve always worked in communications, starting in PR (I dropped out of university and worked my way up), managing business conferences throughout Europe, and latterly working as a Global Communications Manager for a worldwide IT firm. I love communications, and always have done. The decision to go it alone was driven by the desire to work with a wider range of businesses, get better at what I do and learn how to do it differently – rather than being constrained by a single set of corporate guidelines and parameters.
What do you consider to be your biggest achievement to date?
It has to be Wisdom London – now in its 17th month of trading and with around 20 clients under our belt, a good reputation and a strong brand. I started at a time when the economy was particularly unstable, and frankly, with considerably less wisdom than I now possess. But I had a passion, was determined to make it work and I still feel the same.
Was this how you had planned things to go or are you capitalising on opportunities and simply rolling with it?
You have to roll with it to a degree. Wisdom London initially had a huge focus on thought leadership and content creation, yet last year it was all about social media. That’s still in demand, but in a more content-driven and intellectual way now for many of my clients (more focus on what we say rather than the platform and format). So the focus is slowly shifting back to content marketing, across channels. I’m happy about that.
We’re in a new era where anyone can create opportunities for themselves. Do you agree?
Yes, so long as you’re realistic and prepared to listen. What I thought people needed initially was not necessarily the reality in many cases and if I’d continued blindly I would have failed. Wisdom London was a real bootstrap business – minimal set up costs and lightning quick start up period. From conception to first client project starting was 8 weeks. So yes, you can create the opportunity if you aren’t afraid to grab it and see it through.
Is who you are in reality, the same persona you represent online?
[singlepic id=81 w=320 h=240 float=right]I’d like to think so. Initially, I was very careful to separate the non-work side of me when it came to twitter and so on, but now I’m less worried about the lines. I have confidence in who I am whether online or offline – I’d never say anything online that I wouldn’t elsewhere.
What one thing can you not live without?
If you wasn’t in this field, what would you be doing?
I’d be a journalist. I’d still kind of like to be.
Name three people who have inspired you in your life.
- My mum for determination, entrepreneurial spirit and belief in me.
- And my two daughters – ultimately I do it for them. Plus, the child’s view on life is often the simple and uncomplicated aspect we need.
If you were a superhero, who would you be and why?
Wonderwoman. Purely on sartorial grounds.
If you could go on a road trip with any person, who would it be and where would you go?
I would drive around the South of France with Noel Coward (in the 1920s of course). We’d take cocktails at the Hotel Martinez in Cannes and gossip about European society.
Do you have any regrets about anything?
Hiring too soon. It wasn’t the right time for me or the business but I’ve learned. We now work with a network of freelancers to keep the business model lean and to have on-tap expertise in a variety of areas – it works well. I realise that, right now, scale is not everything.
What cool projects are you currently working on?
We’ve just been appointed by Gladstone’s Library to support their marketing and social media presences – it was William Gladstone’s private library and is now open to the public for research as well as being the most incredible event and accommodation venue. It’s an amazing place, with such historical, cultural and political significance. I’m really excited about what we can achieve for them.
What does the future have in store for you?
We’re working on our first major piece of thought leadership for Wisdom London, a study on Social Media for B2Bs and Attitudes to Risk – out in October. We’re carrying out in-depth interviews with business leaders on the challenges they face, how they manage risk in relation to social media (especially in regulated industries) and will use the findings to provide some insights for non consumer-facing businesses on how social media can be relevant and best managed. I hope that ultimately, we’ll do even more work in B2B.
Finally, if you could give one piece of advice to young creative minds, what would it be?
Don’t be afraid to ask – for advice, help, support, even funding. If you have a decent plan, can see it through and have considered the various scenarios that may present themselves, you can do it. But there’s no shame in asking for help. I see it as a sign of strength.