Interview with Sophie Davies

Tracey: Today, I'm interviewing the fabulous Sophie Davies of Your Marketing Department.

I’ll give Sophie a minute to introduce herself and tell you a little bit about what she does. We’ll then talk about the biggest success that she’s had over the last 12 months, and her biggest challenge.

At the end, Sophie is going to share one or two pieces of advice with you as a fellow business owner.

So, Sophie, tell us a bit about who you are and what you do.

Sophie: - I am Sophie Davies from Your Marketing Department, and I'm all about helping you get control of your marketing. And that is on three levels.  

The first level is to do with your messaging and your customer persona. Those are absolutely critical to all marketing, and often you’re focused on doing your website, doing any type of marketing, but you don't focus on your customer or what the messages they want to hear are.  

The second one is making sure that you're doing the right marketing for your customers and for your business, and not wasting money. There's quite a lot of money wasted through marketing and you can get very confused about what you need to do. So, I also help by looking at your marketing, how it's working, and help you work out what the best is for you, so that you can reach your business objectives.  

The third one is to be a mentor for any marketing managers that you have within your business. I have huge experience in managing teams and I have a real passion for helping young marketing managers who need a marketing mentor that they can just chat to and get advice from. I've been in the business 20 years, so I really want to help those guys.  

Tracey: - Love that, thanks Sophie.  

Tell us, what's the biggest success that you've had over the last 12 months? I know you're not going to follow the rules, so I know it's not just one, but tell me, what's your success over the last 12 months? 

Sophie: - So, there are two areas I always talk about. There's one of my own business growth, and one within marketing.  

The biggest thing for me is helping my clients, and the most exciting thing at the moment has been seeing my clients achieve stuff. It takes a long while to get my marketing working. The strategies that I do can take a year to bed in, and I'm starting to see clients see real successes. One of my clients has managed to get two really big projects that they wouldn't have got without this marketing strategy. And another, he launched in May. Okay, it was helped by COVID, but it's also really, really thrived by having consistent messaging.  

But the other one is probably that it's now a year since I joined BBB, and I have to say that it has been incredible for my business growth. It's really given me focus. I've managed to persuade George that marketing isn't such a bad thing, which, to me, is a massive achievement. 

Tracey: - It's a huge deal. George is not a fan of marketing. 

Sophie: - No, he actually hates marketing. But that has been an absolute blessing because it helps me to understand why people hate marketing and helps me to sell. My business has turned around, and that, for me, has been the biggest achievement.  

I was at the point of needing a job. And by the end of this year, my husband will not be talking to me at all about getting a job. He is super-excited about where I'm going. So that's probably the biggest achievement. 

Tracey: - I think that's lovely, in fact I had a phone call just before this with a business owner that just doesn't have that kind of support. There's a lot of pressure, obviously, to bring money in, and running a business is not easy. And you have to prove yourself to yourself and your market, and then the people around you as well. And it is really hard.  

Sophie: - Yes. I had two years of not making huge amounts of traction. There was no traction. And this has completely changed everything from a business-owner point of view. I’ve got so much more focus and everything. 

Tracey: - Right, so, what's the biggest challenge that you've had to handle this year? 

Sophie: - As you know, I have a husband who works away, so he's not here most of the year. And when we had COVID I was on my own, homeschooling, trying to really push a successful business, and that in itself was a challenge, trying to juggle everything on my own. And then I had a breast cancer diagnosis, which just added to things and made things even more complicated, apart from anything else, because I was desperate for the business to work and I wanted to keep my clients.  

When I get my clients, I'm passionate about making it work for them. And the breast cancer diagnosis was a massive challenge, but I have to say again that BBB helped me in that. I had goals and I had something else to focus on apart from thinking, "I've got this horrible thing that's going to happen, and what's the unknown."  

I had pure focus for my goals. And I had the support to know what to say to my clients. And I have to say that it's meant that, now I've had the all-clear, thank goodness, I can grow.  

But also, because I had BBB and the structure behind it, what it also gave me was the ability to think, "Right, okay, I've still got targets to meet. How am I going to do that if I have to go through chemotherapy?"  

I was fortunate enough not to have to go through chemotherapy. I’m having to go through hormone therapy, which may be fairly hideous, but I didn't have to go through the worst treatment. I had focus and I think that, for me, was a challenge that was given to me.  

My husband came home so I had support for my homeschooling, and so I could park that bit and focus on the breast cancer. But now I'm going forward. I've always felt that I can go forward. I've always felt that I can keep going because I've got goals, I've got something to focus on in my business, rather than dying under the depression of what I've got.  

Tracey: - It's been incredible, Soph.  

You know, number one, it's been an absolute privilege to have been part of that journey with you and for you to have trusted us to be part of that. But on the other side, it's been so inspirational. To hear somebody going through what you're going through and having the conversation with me, to say, "Right, okay, so this has got to happen, but I'm a hundred percent of every single goal."  

And this is something that you guys listening need to know, that Sophie has set hundreds of goals so far this year and achieved 100% of absolutely everything that she set out to do so far. She's on track to hit a hundred percent of a full year, and only a handful of people in the history of BBB have ever done that. So, it's pretty phenomenal.  

But it's been so inspiring to watch your dedication to what you're looking to achieve in the face of such adversity. And I particularly wanted to do this interview because of that, because it's been unbelievable just watching you on this journey. It's incredible. And you're inspiring other people to really buck themselves up and do what needs to be done to achieve their goals. And it's not just about goal achievement, these are meaningful goals. This is stuff that is really helping people move towards what they want to achieve. It's phenomenal to watch, Soph, really. 

Sophie: - Yes. And actually, you know what, on the COVID side I found it really fun! COVID has provided a real challenge of helping people understand what they need to do to get their marketing done. And it's been fascinating. Recession marketing - what do you do?  

It's been a real learning. The breast cancer thing has been there, and I am inspiring people, but you almost feel everyone supporting you, pushing you forwards, going, "Please do it, please do it." And, you know, it's made me really like, "Yay!"  

Tracey: - Good for you! I Love a bit of “yay”.  

And finally, what's the one piece of advice that you would give business owners?  

Sophie: - From a marketing point of view, I have a real passion that you've got to get your messaging right. And this is really important as we come out of COVID and into recession. We can't ignore the fact we're coming into recession.  

You've got to look at your messaging and your avatar and work out the touchy-feely stuff, not just the, "they are this person, a small business with X amount of turnover." It's got to be looking at the touch-feely.  

My biggest piece of advice for people who are growing in their business is to find a group that works for you. BBB works fantastically for me. There is no shying away from the fact that it's up to you to do the work. If you don't do the work, you won't succeed. That's the type of thing that really works for me. If it doesn't work for you, find something else. But definitely, definitely find a group that you can work with that can help you to get your business to grow.  

For me, BBB works, because it's a group of people and you learn from everyone. You work with different people. They all have different perspectives. They all come from different businesses. And I've always found that, in marketing, having a wider knowledge means you open your mind. And for me, that's what BBB is really good for. I know it doesn't always work for everyone, but I would definitely recommend having (?), and having goals and accountability.  

I committed to the one hundred percent club within BBB. I'm not failing at that because that's what I committed to do. And that's what I'm paying my money for! 

Tracey: - Yes! 

Sophie: - I think the other thing is that if you do do something like a success group, which I really believe in, you're committing money to that, so therefore you will commit to growing. My husband said, "What, how much?!" Not that much in the grand scheme of things, but at the time when I did it, he just went, "Really, seriously?"  

But because you're paying that money, you're committed to it, and you go for it. And if you're an extrovert like me, then a group is brilliant because you get to know other people and you get to network as well and learn so much. So that's my biggest piece of advice. 

Tracey: - Lovely. Thank you, I really appreciate that. That's very sweet of you to say all those things.  

Sophie Davies, you're amazing, very inspirational. It's been an absolute pleasure. I really wanted to do this interview, so thanks for taking the time today. 

Get in touch with Sophie Davies

Sophie Davies Your Marketing Director



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