The InspoHub Four Year Journey: An Interview with Ekaterina Blake
2022 brings the 4 year anniversary of our marketing and live video production company! And to mark the occasion, we’ve interviewed Founder and Head of Marketing, Ekaterina Blake.
This interview explores the story behind Ekaterina wanting to create a start-up, and how InspoHub has gone from strength to strength in the marketing and video world since.
What inspired you to start InspoHub? Was it a dream you always had?
My passion for entrepreneurship came when I went to study international business in Finland. All the courses were about the skills to build a business. Learning about marketing, accountancy, business planning, sales and financial statements, so that you should be able to do everything yourself. It sounded like something that one day, I will be able to do.
Originally, I started my business in Finland. At first it was difficult to build the client base. You don't have a great network of people, you don't have any portfolio and you need to build everything from scratch.
When I moved to the UK, my services were definitely much more in demand than they were in Finland. The people I was reaching out to didn't need to be told what marketing is and why they should be doing it. They were saying, “tell us how we can make our marketing better”!
How important is it to get the right people to be part of your team? Does that help create good values and a good culture?
In established businesses and in start-ups, I could see that the older generation was not managing the younger generation in an effective way. They wouldn't train or motivate them the way young people needed to be.
When I decided to start my business, I made a decision that I would be that mentor. To train and manage my people, to be open minded and to be flexible.
I would say that InspoHub is very well known for its great company culture. I hear other people talking about InspoHub and how it seems like such a great place to work. Our team is always having great fun together, the business is growing and everyone is always motivated to do whatever project comes their way.
We are not just a group of professionals who do their job, 9-5 and go home. We're really like family.
How important is it to be creative at InspoHub?
We're a creative agency, you have to be creative to be able to deliver the services that we offer. I think it’s important in team management to unleash creativity. It's a skill that needs to be developed. The only way for that to develop is to have freedom.
Does being a flexible agency help the team be creative?
We have a flexible policy at InspoHub. I've seen people who might be very creative in the evening, and some people are very good in the morning. I would never push someone to start working at 8am if they are not at their most productive then. I don't think one can be creative on demand.
How does being flexible help manage your clients?
I think it helps us develop bespoke solutions to our clients. We don't have any marketing packages and services that we strictly stick with. Businesses who do this will be stuck in their ways and it’s important to adapt to the clients you work with.
I think being flexible in an agency is important so we can actually build our services around specific needs of each business we work with.
How does InspoHub value their clients?
Whenever we start a new project, we never just say this is what we specialise in and that's all we can offer. We try to understand a client's core business, their clients and their business objectives.
When we work with clients, we're not just something external, we become part of their team and integrate into their business. With that, we always look for our service to be repurposed going forward. We are thinking about the future and the bigger picture. If they're also looking for a certain other service that we currently don't deliver, we'll go into our network and find the right people to integrate and help achieve that service.
How important is it to be consistent in that quality of service?
It's really crucial because any business owner will know that to get a new client takes so much more effort than retaining an existing client. Quite often they deliver the service and then they're on the run to find a new client and then the other clients that they have are just dragging along. For us, we have all the processes to touch base with our client to make sure that we're keeping that job consistent.
What are the long term goals for InspoHub?
We're now changing the type of clients that we want to work with, we're growing and our needs have grown. We’re now going after bigger projects and working with global clients.
It’s important to tap into this market with bigger projects, and bigger clients with bigger budgets, so we can fully unleash our creativity. There is nothing worse to kill creativity than a limited budget, when you're trying to do something truly amazing, and they simply don't have the budget for the project to reach its full potential.
So, the long term goal for us would be to grow and be able to have the ability to show our full capability.
For you personally, what is your favourite thing about running a business?
I say the best part about my job is to see the business development. It's always a great process to compare and evaluate. To see a project another company did, and then how InspoHub came on board and it's a noticeably better project.
I also hugely value seeing the difference in our team members, from when someone starts at InspoHub and then how they developed within the agency. For me, seeing progress and change is highly important. I believe that my role at InspoHub is being that enabler. Enabling people to change, to grow and to flourish.
If you want to take a look at some of the projects we've worked on click the link here! Further, if you would like to book a free consultation meeting to discuss a service we offer, click the link here!
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