My freelance marketing career
Wednesday, May 18, 2016
Whilst trumpet blowing is certainly not my thing, there is some sense in detailing my freelance marketing career since 2000 and how I come to be running Cantaloupe. If you’re looking for marketing support on a freelance or outsourced basis, learning more about my background and experience might just help you to understand if I can make a difference to your business. For other readers, maybe it’s just quite interesting!
Back in the days
Like so many people, I personally don’t have a grand plan. I take opportunities and the glass is generally half full. My time in employment, following a rather enjoyable food marketing degree, gave me experience of large corporate retail management at Sainsbury’s in addition to marketing management roles in characterful companies such as Long Clawson Dairy. It also widened my marketing knowledge and practical experience enormously and allowed me to complete my CIM marketing diploma and attain MCIM accreditation.
My freelance marketing career began back in 2000 with a little bit of “let’s just see – I can always go and get another marketing job if need be.” Heard that one before?
One client led to another and I was soon busier than ever. The freelance world was actually less commonplace back then (in the days before broadband and social media) and so many companies were experiencing the flexible resource for the first time.
Plenty of food industry experience
Due to my food background, I’ve had my fair share of food industry clients, seeking freelance marketing for a number of different reasons. Some have been smaller businesses – wishing to grow at a pace that they could manage internally and not at the stage of employing any marketing resource in-house – perhaps they never would. They were comfortable that they could switch their marketing on and off with ease, even tackling it project by project. In reality, there was (and still is) more switching “on” than “off”. Once you have something that works, it’s hard to give it up. Plus the right freelance marketer is someone that can reliably take a project and run with it, leaving you with more time to run your business.
On the other side of the coin, I’ve carried out freelance marketing for some rather large food businesses – either on an interim marketing basis (covering key projects and activities in the absence of a marketing manager) or an ongoing basis. Even companies that enjoy the luxury of a marketing team in-house still desire the flexibility of leaning on some skilled freelance marketing from time to time. And that is surely one of the joys of freelance marketing – it can become whatever your company needs it to be; far more so than a marketing agency.
I’ve worked for more cheese companies than I can remember. Eaten more cheese samples than I care to recall. Luckily, I like cheese. The confectionery industry has also become quite a specialism in terms of my experience, whilst I’ve enjoyed much marketing work in the snack and bakery goods category too. Even gourmet meats for a period of time!
All manner of non-food businesses
We’re all allowed to have specialisms, but with freelance marketing, that doesn’t need to define you. The principles, skills and insights gained around marketing are relevant whether we’re talking garden furniture, manufacturing components, children’s toys or packaging supplies.
And so, I’ve helped an optics company set up their online business, I’ve carried out a variety of marketing communications for a private dental practice, I’ve developed and launched a website for a precision engineering company following a re-brand and I’ve enhanced the profile and awareness of a timber treatment and timber products company. The list could go on, but I think the point is made.
Cantaloupe is born
2015 saw me launch Cantaloupe, a personable marketing company with a bit of a difference. My long career in freelance marketing has not only left me with an abundance of experience, insight and skill; I’ve also met and worked with so many other interesting people – be it specialists in an area of marketing or small companies with particular strengths. I cannot clone myself but I can develop a strong network of skill that allows me to scale up or down, depending on the requirements of the client. Cantaloupe does just this with confidence, providing all of the benefits of a freelance marketing service at the core, coupled with a range of skills and additional resources as required – all designed to offer you the best and most appropriate marketing resource.
I still don’t have a grand plan. And on some days, I have been known to ponder “let’s just see.” But 16 years down the line, I think I know what I’m up to and I cannot think of a better company to be running.
If you’d like to have a chat about your freelance marketing or a requirement for an ongoing outsourced resource, please just pick up the phone or send me an email and perhaps we can help you on your journey for growth and success too.