After graduating from the MA Media & Creative Enterprise course in 2008, Marina Ibrahim developed and launched bizz buzz in 2010. Marina explains her two businesses:
I am coach, trainer, and managing director of bizz buzz Ltd, a company for cross-cultural projects and for people development in cultural leadership and management.
I am also the owner of Cooking like Cleopatra – my latest cookery venture launched in 2012. With my ‘Tasting Culture Workshops’ I introduce Egyptian Mezze recipes to food lovers, recipe explorers and Egypt aficionados. I also offer Tasting Culture team-building workshops and activities for businesses.
So with two businesses to run, I asked Marina how she keeps herself motivated.
Trying new ideas, being creative when it comes to developing my business further. Talking to people, who like what I am doing, asking for encouragement, support and feedback. Learning and being aware about how to improve, helps you with keeping on track and reassure that you are on the right path. Celebrate achievement and success, enjoy the journey, take time out, relax and reflect. Have fun!
With a background in marketing, Marina is well placed to offer advice for anyone starting in business.
Get your first paid contract/Get your first paying client – it is the difference that makes the difference: You are in business! When you market yourself/your business and you talk about your client/contract it makes you authentic and real, gives you confidence. It helps you positioning yourself with your marketing message:
- When doing your elevator pitch
- When talking about client’s needs
- How you helped your clients and
- It evidences that your skills and your offer is relevant, it matters on the market.
- It is also an ideal anchor for you to do more research about existing and profiling potential future clients: Asking for feedback, undertaking surveys, networking, peer-to-peer exchange, studying sector trends, etc.
Continuously reflecting and adapting your business offer accordingly is the process of niching and fine-tuning your niche. In my opinion self-awareness and knowing how to strike the balance between creativity and management are both the key factors for a successful career in the media/when starting a creative business.
Marina is very strategic and focused in her approach. She suggests that when it comes to running a business, especially as micro-entrepreneur, freelancer, you got to be focused because you are the epicenter of your business. You’ve got to focus on your target market, your target clients, trust and apply your core skills, talents and strengths. To be able to do this, it is crucial to develop a plan. This plan works like a roadmap that helps you identify gaps, milestones and filling stations all along your journey.
So what’s next for Marina?
Having my business feet in at least three camps: media, training and food & drink, I am keeping a close eye on all three sectors. There are overlaps as well as convergence opportunities which I will be exploiting for both my businesses, whether they still run parallel or merge into something different, I shall see. For ‘Cooking like Cleopatra’ I have created my marketing plan to stage the development of my business in three phases: the launching phase, the establishing phase and the growing phase: I will be using the next 6 months to build my brand and to develop my target audience by running cookery workshops and giving a series of “Tasting Egyptian Culture” presentations on food festivals throughout the season. This is to build my client base and target audience, using social media to build business presence and to build my brand. I am already in the process of writing a book and I have already got some fabulous ideas around leveraging my business by developing some products I will sell. So, watch the space!
Indeed, and if you want more information about Marina and her various ventures, check her out on LinkedIn or twitter @bizzbuzz_coach and @Like_Cleopatra
Thanks for the insights and good luck Marina!