Pete Walter: From TV producer and media consultant to marketing services provider – MAF178

My guest this week is Pete Walter, one time TV producer now a media consultant who recently set up his own marketing services company.

We talk about how Pete set up BuzzRamp and the challenges he faced, and how his subscription model works and differs from traditional marketing agencies.

Welcome to episode 178 of the Marketing and Finance Podcast.

Pete Walter: From TV producer and media consultant to marketing services provider - MAF178

What you’ll hear about in this episode

  • What a TV producer does
  • How to deal with difficult media questions
  • Why Pete decided to launch a marketing business
  • How Pete’s company helps small businesses
  • Where it fits in with other agency solutions
  • The biggest challenge Pete faced setting up BuzzRamp

Who is Pete Walter?

After university Pete wanted to be an author and to run nightclub events for under 16s. When he failed at both of these, he worked his way up in television. Pete was a BBC producer for a range of politics, comedy and detective shows.

Moving between TV genres, Pete realised he didn’t enjoy his job. He was briefly a singer/songwriter and hosted a cabaret night. He became a media trainer and still runs that business. This led him to marketing and PR, and he now runs a marketing agency helping people produce content. He loves making ideas happen and says that’s what drives him.

Summary of our chat

Pete explains that a TV producer is essentially the project manager of the show. He has responsibility for one episode, working alongside the series producer. He says the role played to his strengths as he’s interested in a variety of things. It allowed him to get involved in bringing the whole project together.

We talked about handling difficult media conversations, for example an appearance on a Watchdog type programme. Pete says if you manage to convey one of your business messages in a media interview, that’s good. The trick is to turn any question you’re asked into an answer to express a message elegantly. It’s a useful skill to have, as you can avoid certain topics and put your point across.

While running a media training business, Pete created an eLearning course which forms part of the package he offers to big clients. He tried to sell it to small businesses, assuming they’d be preparing for media appearances. However, this wasn’t a priority for them, but the basics of PR and social media were.

Pete’s company is designed for small businesses doing their own marketing who can’t afford an agency. His solution makes their marketing as effective as possible, especially when they don’t have enough time for it. The platform provides support for a range of marketing needs, giving suggested tasks for each.

BuzzRamp fits in between people who are trying to do it all themselves and those who can afford an agency. If people can build their social media, have hits with PR and grow their business through the support on the BuzzRamp website, that’s a success story for the business.

Pete says his biggest mistake was not creating enough of an audience before he launched. He found it challenging being in the software world, because he doesn’t speak developers’ language. Focusing on the technical side meant that building an audience fell by the wayside. It’s important not to neglect that.

One Thing Pete Would Like Listeners to Take Away

Pete recommends concentrating on one platform to market yourself, and doing that to the very best of your abilities. It’s fine to be across different social media platforms, but if you’re a solopreneur or have a small team, it’s about choosing the one where your audience is.

People can often get caught up with the latest feature on a platform and don’t produce content consistently, which is the key to communicating effectively with your customers.

A marketing campaign or product that grabbed Pete’s attention

Pete said he recently saw an advert for Greggs Bakers where they attended a foodie event. They rebranded themselves as Gregory and Gregory and set up a stall with grey branding.

They gave out samples of the new Greggs summer menu, and all the foodies compliment the food. When they ask who the company is the staff turn the signs around to show that they’re actually Greggs.

Pete loves a good publicity stunt and is trying to come up with one for BuzzRamp – possibly giving someone free lifetime subscription if they have the initials PR. He wants to do something that makes people sit up and take notice.

Pete’s book recommendation

Pete says he’s a big fan of Contagious by Jonah Berger, which is quite a famous marketing book. He thinks it’s fantastic for anyone who wants to learn about what makes things go viral and why publicity stunts work, or don’t work.

Links and contact details

If you enjoyed – Pete Walter: From TV producer and media consultant to marketing services provider – please leave a comment or a review on iTunes.

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Zero knowledge and the key to simple marketing communications – MAF172

The key to simple marketing is to assume your customer knows nothing.

And bizarrely enough the latest revamp of TV’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire provided a perfect example of this.

Welcome to episode 172 of the Marketing and Finance Podcast.

Zero knowledge and the key to simple marketing communications – MAF172

What you’ll hear about in this episode

  • How your own knowledge can stop you keeping things simple
  • The three rules for simple marketing communications
  • Why assuming your customer knows nothing is key
  • Where on Earth is Mallorca?

If you enjoyed – Zero knowledge and the key to simple marketing communications – please leave a comment or a review on iTunes.

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Andrew Wibberley on going back to big corporate and lessons from self-employment – MAF171

My guest on the show this week is Andrew Wibberley, back on the Marketing and Finance Podcast for the second time.

Like me, Andrew decided to leave big corporate and set up his own business. After several successful years he’s decided to accept a role which takes him back into a corporate environment. We reflect upon the lessons Andrew learned from launching his own business, and how he can take those lessons into his new job.

Welcome to episode 171 of the Marketing and Finance Podcast.

Andrew Wibberley on going back to big corporate and lessons from self-employment - MAF171

What you’ll hear about in this episode

  • Why Andrew set up his own business
  • The ups and downs of self-employment
  • The importance of learning from mistakes
  • The marketing challenges Andrew faced
  • How being self-employed allows you to stretch yourself
  • Taking self-employment lessons back into big corporate

Who is Andrew Wibberley?

Andrew’s background is in life assurance underwriting, starting when he was 21. He’s worked for several reinsurers. He set up his own company three years ago. He’s is about to go back into “big corporate’”

Andrew says we found self-employment challenging because of the blurring between his personal and his professional lives. He enjoyed being able to spend more time with his children. He’s keen to make protection insurance easy and simple, and to make underwriting fairer and more accessible for people who have interesting lives.

Summary of our chat

Andrew was Head of Underwriting at his former job, with a big team to manage. But he found it hard to get things done quickly in a large company. He also wasn’t keen to change roles, which employees in his company had to do every few years. So took a leap into the unknown to try something new and started his own business.

When he became self-employed, Andrew found he enjoyed some aspects and others he didn’t. He found some were unexpected. He enjoyed the sense of freedom and liberation. But it was three months before he got his first client. Then the work started to snowball.

Andrew says he followed advice from colleagues who’d also made the leap. They recommended always teeing up a new piece of work  before finishing the current one. The reality of self-employment is that, while people offer suggestions, you have to make the mistakes yourself. The key is not to make them more than once. And you need to move on quickly.

It was a struggle for Andrew to see the difference between marketing and sales, and to realise it’s not straightforward to identify what brings in clients. Blogging, marketing and social media takes time. When life gets busy, it’s easy for these to fall by the wayside.

Being self-employed, Andrew found he could speak frankly to his clients about projects. He realised that people came to him not only for his expertise, but for his flexibility and the different skills he had to solve their problems. He says it’s been a lot of fun.

A new employer has offered Andrew a role which was an opportunity too good to turn down. He realised he wanted to make many changes that were too hard to bring about from the outside. But as an employee he could find ways of improving the insurance industry.

A marketing campaign or product that grabbed Andrew’s attention

Andrew is a fan of the videos produced by Cura Financial Services (The Special Risks Bureau). They feature Marketing Director, Kathryn, on her sofa with a coffee. She talks about how her business helps people who struggle to find insurance. Andrew feels that the more the industry does to share real-life stories, the better.

Andrew’s book recommendation

Andrew said he’s thinking about how he can use his train time, so he’s reading mindfulness books to help make his commute as calming as possible. He’s been reading Ruby Wax’s ‘A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled’, which he’s really enjoyed.

Links and contact details

If you enjoyed – Andrew Wibberley on going back to big corporate and lessons from self-employment – please leave a comment or a review on iTunes.

And if you know anyone who would enjoy the show – please share it with them. You can use the buttons below to share on social media.

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