- Quick Chat with Hannah Brady, the founder of The Brady Creative
- Quick Chat with the founder of Umwuga, Nasi Rwigema
- Quick Chat with the founder of BrainBar, Maxi Hristov
Today we have Hannah Brady, the founder of The Brady Creative on the show with us.
What made you start a business in the year 2020?
Hannah Brady 00:18
I’ve always been one of those people that have like, lists of things I want to do. So like when I turned 20, I had a list of things that I wanted to do by the time I was 30. I’ve just turned 30. I’ve now got a list of things I want to do by the time I’m 40. So on the list that I wrote, when I was 20 one of the things was, I’ve always wanted to be either a director in business or director of my own business. And it’s always been something that’s niggled away at me, and I’ve never quite known what I’ve wanted to do and what I’ve wanted that business to look like. And then over the last, I would say, three years, maybe three or four years, I’ve become increasingly frustrated with being an employee. And I’ve just not enjoyed being an employee anymore. And I know a lot of people will relate to it, because I just found it hard, not being able to just take control and just really have the freedom to do the things that I felt might be right for the marketing of that business. Because, you know, there are lots of layers of management that has to go through depending on the size of the company. So I just got increasingly frustrated, and then an opportunity came up due to my mum being made redundant, and my mum’s a graphic designer, so we started having a few conversations. And to be honest, it’s been in the pipeline for a little while. So we were planning on launching the business last year anyway, it wasn’t something that we just quickly decided on, and then COVID hit and it was a bit too late, really. But yeah, it’s just one of those. I was already going to do it, and then the pandemic hit and just had to roll our sleeves up and get on with it really.
How would you explain what you do to your grandparents?
Hannah Brady 02:02
We’ve still got one grandparent in the family, and she’s pretty tech-savvy, to be honest. So I’ll discount her for a second. And I’ll use my other grandma who’s not with us anymore, and she wouldn’t have a clue. I think she’d just think that I spend a lot of time on my phone, and on my laptop. But basically, in a nutshell, the business is called The Brady Creative and we are a marketing agency. And in its simplest form, I say to people, we help businesses add personality into their marketing. And they go “Yeah, okay, that’s great, but like how?” So there are three sorts of main areas that we focus on for people, we look at marketing strategy, we look at branding and graphic designs of how your actual content looks, and how you’re physically presenting your brand to the world. And then we look at content management. So a lot of businesses really struggle with consistency of content and just sticking to a plan. So we come in and act like a bolt-on to their marketing team and just make sure they get it done, basically. So we do, there’s, there’s a couple of options, some, some of our clients have nicely named us their “Marketing Police”, which is interesting. So that’s where we would handhold and we just basically go in once a month and keep them accountable and make sure that they’re sticking to the strategy that we’ve created. For other clients, we fully manage their content for them. So we write all the copy, we do all of the graphics, we build the strategy, and we map out the content calendars with them. But it’s us that’s leading it for them so that they don’t have to worry about it so much. So it’s all collaborative, we basically just sort of become a part of your team.
When starting up, what hurdles did you face?
Hannah Brady 03:42
For me personally, I can’t speak on behalf of my mom and anybody else that works with us. But for me personally, one of the biggest things I’ve struggled with since starting and I’m still struggling with it is, “am I good enough to be running my own business?” Like, “am I good enough at what I do to be doing this?” and like that imposter syndrome sort of mindset where you’re like, “do I belong here? Is this right?” Like when I say, or if I have to introduce myself, “I’m Hannah director”, the reality of that still feels quite unreal to me. And I’m doing a lot of work on it. I’m working with a coach and a lady with Lucy who’s brilliant, and she’s sort of helping coach me through that mindset. Because I am still in my head, I’m still an employee. And I’m really having to try and navigate my way out and become, you know, the owner of a business and one of the things that sort of comes down from that is just delegating and trusting other people with the work that needs to be done because I’ve always worked in really small marketing teams, where you have to be very proactive and everyone has to be very efficient at what they do and a bit like a school, you have to have like five jobs. You don’t just have your one job. So, I’m struggling to get out of that mindset, you know, I physically can’t do everything, neither can my mom, who’s my business partner, and neither can the guys that are working with us. We all have to stick to our strengths and do the bits we can do. So I think the main challenge for me has been self-confidence, trying to get my head out of that imposter syndrome world, and just sort of believing that I am good at what I do and I can do it. And I am in the right place. So it’s all good. You need that belief. Like anybody out there who is feeling like that, or is thinking of starting a business up and is struggling with their confidence, there’s a really great, she’s actually a social worker by trade and she’s become quite well known from the TED talk that she did- a lady called Brene Brown. And she talks a lot about the power of being vulnerable and, you know, all of the best things we do in our lives come from a place of vulnerability, you just sort of have to learn to lean into it rather than walk away from it. So if anybody out there struggling and have a look at Brene Brown, she’s sort of been my, she’s not my coach but, she is like another coach, if you listen to her a content.
On a scale of 1-10, how weird are you?
Hannah Brady 06:17
I’d say I’m probably about a six out of 10. And the only reason I say that is don’t think anyone’s ever described me as ‘weird’. But I have had one person in the last sort of six months of my life did say to me, “you’re one of the most intriguing people I’ve ever met”, which I don’t know whether that was because I was weird, or I don’t know. But I think I’m one of those people that doesn’t, I don’t have many filters. So people have always said to me just sort of take a second to think before it comes out Hannah and I’m not very good at that. So sometimes, I might say things that are a bit weird, because I’ve not filtered them. There might be people watching this going, “you’re easily an eight out of 10 Hannah”. But I’ll go with six! You need people like that in business, though don’t you, you do need people that are a bit more eccentric, a bit more out there. I would say my mum, she might hate me for this, but being the creative, the more like a physical creative person in the business, she probably is a bit more weird and wacky than I am in terms of she thinks very visually. So she is that person that’s like, “what if we did this?” And “what if we did that? And I’m like, “aw, I don’t know”, and I’m a bit more process strategy, the storytelling side of things. So I’ll ask my mom that question. And I’ll let you know what she thinks. My role in the business is, we’re both very proactively involved with the clients, but mums is very much the graphics, the physical design side of things, and making the brands look amazing. My role is more behind the scenes with “what’s their tone of voice like, what does their copy sound like? What’s the actual personality that we’re trying to get across? And what are the different characteristics within the business?” So I look at the strategy and I help them build the right content plan and the right overall marketing plan that’s going to help them get out to the right people in the right way. So my role is to pull it all together, and then work with them to get it out there. From an internal point of view with our business, I do a lot of the networking and the chatting and the sort of business development side of things because I’m the chatterbox out of the team.
What is your main role within the company? What would you do with £100,000?
Hannah Brady 08:29
I don’t think I would necessarily buy, I mean I might buy myself a foghorn just for the banter, but I think the first thing for me would be to bring in a, like an online paid ads specialist. So someone who specialises in pay per click, but more on the social side. So someone who specialises in like LinkedIn ad campaigns, Facebook ad campaigns. I know how to do them and I know how it runs and works but it’s actually not an area that I enjoy managing and looking after. So I’d want to bring someone in who can own it and actually would be better at it than me, like someone that’s extremely specialist in that area because it’s a big area of growth in marketing at the moment. I’d also then invest a fair chunk of that money in our own SEO, and then our own like retargeting and online advertising. I think it would be predominantly focused on just building skillsets within the team and spending a bit more money that we don’t currently have on our own proactive marketing. Because a lot of what we’re doing at the moment is just me talking and social media and PR, and the stuff that doesn’t actually cost huge amounts of money. We work with a couple of charities as well. We proactively work with a charity called Kids Aid in Northampton and they help children and young adults who’ve experienced trauma so they do like creative therapies and things like that. So we help with their social media but I’ve always said I’d really love to be able to actually give them some money that can, you know, tangibly help people. So we’d probably do a bit of that as well because that’s important to us as well. It’s not all about putting it back in the business, there is an element of wanting to give to the local communities.
What has been one of your biggest failures so far?
Hannah Brady 10:20
To be honest, in the business, I wouldn’t say… I’m gonna have to touch, touch my head, touch everything in the vicinity, that’s lucky! But we haven’t had any, I wouldn’t say we’ve had any major failures as a business yet. But I think that’s down to the fact that we have, we very much taken the approach of slow and steady. So I would rather the business grows at a steady rate that we can cope with. We’ve definitely had pinch points where it started to get very busy and we’re going “right, okay, we need additional resource, we need help here”. But we can just pull that in, it’s not a problem. Again, it sort of sits with me, personally and the reason I keep referring to my own personal things is because if there are people listening to this, who are looking at setting your business up, I want them to get my personal experience. Because they’re going to be looking at it through their own lens. I got to just before Christmas, and I’d, if I’m really honest, I’d let myself burn out. And it’s something that I’ve always been a bit of a workaholic because I really enjoy work. And I really enjoy what I do, and I’m looking at what I do as actually fun, in my opinion. And even when I was an employee, the hours I put in were ridiculous at times, and it was unnecessary. But I just, it’s in me to do it naturally part of who I am. And then a couple of years ago, I got really burnt out and I said to myself, “I’m not letting this happen. Like I need to prioritise my well being, my physical well being, my mental well being because actually, I’m not doing a very good job in this state.” So I really sort of focused on my fitness, focused on doing a bit more yoga and tried meditating, but I’m not very good at it. Approaching Christmas last year, I just let all of those things go out the window, because we were so busy, and I was very much of the mindset that “I don’t have a choice. This is a business that I’m trying to build. I don’t have a choice to, I can’t go for a run, I haven’t got time. I can’t do yoga, I haven’t got time”. And actually, there’s always time for those things. So I did a little bit of a reset over Christmas and New Year. And I think we’re what 15 days into the new year so far and so far, we’re doing good. We’re back on, we’re back on that bus! But yeah, letting myself get burnout was my biggest failure of last year for sure. What area of business are you researching right now? I wouldn’t say I’m researching it, but I would love to! I might if I get a few more people in to help with the workload I’ll maybe take a bit of time to go and do this. But for me, an area that I’ve always been fascinated with is Business TouchPoints, and people are going to go “oh my goodness, that sounds so boring!” But basically a touchpoint in your business is any instance where someone connects with your business. So it might be over the phone, it might be when they walk into your building, it might be on your website and your social media channels, in the packaging when you send your products out, and it’s everywhere! Touchpoints for your business everywhere! And one thing that I’ve noticed when working in businesses and now for businesses is there’s massive neglect of consistency across those touchpoints that people things like, you might put a Happy New Year banner on your email signature- it’s still there in March because you’ve just forgotten to take it off. That’s a touchpoint. Or, you’ve put a blog on the website and then you’ve not updated your blog for months and months and months. That’s a touchpoint, or you pick your phone up and you’re like, “what d’ya want?” It just trickles through all areas of your business and it’s not something that people think of in the front of their mind. I think it’s, from my point of view, it’s something that absolutely should be front of mind, like are all of the touchpoints in your business, giving off the same message? Generally speaking, the answer is no.
Have you got any words of wisdom for us?
Hannah Brady 14:26
If I can run a business, genuinely… I ran the marathon a few years ago in London. And I remember saying to people, “if I can run a marathon, genuinely anybody can.” And if I can run a business, I think anybody can do it. If you’ve got something you’re passionate about, if you’ve got a purpose that you’re trying to move towards, and if you are driven and you’re willing to work hard, you can do it. You can do it! It goes back to Brene Brown talking about leaning into vulnerability, like setting up a business is a very vulnerable place to be. But if you don’t try, you’ll never know! So my just Golden Nugget is, just do it, folks! Just do it!