Melissa Roberts

Company: Beanie Media

Sector: Web design and digital marketing

Case study summary: Melissa is currently the Managing Director at Beanie Media, a web design and digital marketing agency, located in Huddersfield. Melissa set the company up in June 2018 with a school friend when she was 18 years old. Over the last 18 months the business has gone from strength to strength, with six retained clients and a team of four marketing and e-commerce professionals.

How did you get into your current role?

I’d always wanted to start my own business, but knew that A-Levels weren’t necessarily for me, so I chose to study a BTEC in business studies after finishing school. While I was studying, I had a part-time job at a local marketing agency, which later led me to working at a PR firm as a digital marketing assistant after I finished my studies.

These opportunities and experiences gave me the confidence to set up Beanie Media with a school friend. I knew it was a big risk as we were both relatively new to the industry, and still very young, but the risk also motivated me to make sure that it paid off.

What personal skills do you think helped you achieve your current role?

Communication is definitely key. When we were starting out, we identified the need to do a lot of networking in order to get our name out there and make sure that Beanie stuck in people’s minds.

Through networking, we were exposed to the wealth of opportunities available within the Leeds City Region, specifically in the digital sector, which is growing at a rapid rate. Being introduced to successful SMEs within this sector, as well as seeing the wide variety of roles on offer, made us feel more confident that we could make the business succeed.

I also think that organisation has played a big part, which is a skill I developed while at college, when I had to juggle my further studies alongside working part-time in a marketing agency. I have a lot of different responsibilities within the business, such as meeting clients, HR, and business development, so I’ve had to be good at organising my time to make sure that I can meet these responsibilities.

What has been the highlight of your career so far?

Starting out in the first place! The business is still only 18 months old but seeing how we’ve already grown makes me very proud, especially now that we have retained clients and a sustainable business model.

Due to our growth over the last six months, we’ve been able to hire two more team members, which has been amazing.

What advice would you give to someone looking to get into the digital industry?

Identify the skills that you have and work out how you can use these to your benefit. There are so many opportunities within the digital sector, whether you’re just starting out or wanting to change your career completely, it’s just a matter of seizing those opportunities.

There is a lot of advice and support on offer to help you figure out the next step. This doesn’t have to mean starting your own business. The resources are there to help you, no matter what stage of your career you’re at.

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