This week on the blog, we’re joined by Sue from Thrive Publishing, a design and publishing company specialising in design, branding, marketing and social media. Specifically, Thrive focuses on food and drink, natural health and fitness and wellbeing and lifestyle. Sue talks about her goals in helping healthy brands launch and her hope to see the food industry become more natural, healthy and ethical. She also gives some great advice on using social media for business!
Can you tell me about your business? How did you get into it?
In 2013, I jumped from my corporate job as a brand manager and designer and went free range. I had already been interested in health and nutrition for some time after a period of ill health myself. I’d turned to food and began looking deeply into our food systems and what ingredients were in different foods. I retrained in Holistic Nutrition in 2014 and launched Thrive Magazine – a print and digital magazine focused on health, nutrition, fitness and mindset. My intention then and still is to this day is to ‘clear up the confusion when it comes to health and nutrition’.
Since 2014 the magazine and brand have grown to a worldwide audience and world-wide subscriber list. I work with some of the top brands in food and health and also with some of the most exciting new comers to the food, health and nutrition industry. I just love helping new brands to launch and grow. As the Thrive brand grew, many brands come to me asking for my help to grow and launch their own brands in the digital space and I am grateful and proud to have worked with some of the top brands in the industry, including; River Cottage, Nuffield Health, Bupa, Champney’s Spa, Danone and many more…
What are your goals, aims and mission?
My goal is to help as many ethical, healthy brands launch and grow as possible. I want to see the food industry change radically – to a place full of natural, healthy, ethical consumer choices. It’s already happening, and the momentum is growing – fast.
Do you have any advice for start-ups and small businesses?
1 – Don’t think that you can do it all yourself, this inhibits growth. I did this and learnt the hard way. Find your supporters and lean on them, but help them to grow too.
2 – Learn about marketing! If you have an amazing product but just don’t know how to get it out there then you’re going to be relying on luck! Or get in touch and I’ll help you to find your tribe.
3 – ‘Skate to where the puck will be.’ This piece of advice has always stuck with me. To be successful as an entrepreneur you need to be able to fail fast and change and pivot quickly too. Know your industry like the back of your hand and if you see opportunity then create your product, course or business focused around that.
What drives and motivates you?
Seeing new, ethical brands launch and grow and succeed. Seeing positive change within the food industry. Learning motivates me too- you should never stop learning.
Did you face any struggles in your journey to entrepreneurship? How did you overcome them?
Self-financing, I started off with a 1-month salary to fall back on- looking back that wasn’t being prepared at all. Know where your finances will come from or have the backing ready. Be prepared to put in the long hours up front too and when you get tired, rest – don’t quit!
Also, be open enough to share, but guarded enough with your ideas to be first out of the gates with an idea. I made this mistake early days- I shared a few great business ideas only to see competitors launching then months later. But, you’ve got to suck it up and move on. Sometimes an idea might come your way but if you don’t act quick enough then it belongs with someone else. And if that idea brings positive change to the world as a whole then it doesn’t matter who brought it forward.
One of your specialities is social media- do you have any top tips on how to use social media as a business?
Ah social media! I remember being on Twitter from the very first week it went live. I didn’t know what it was, how it’d work but I just knew that it would change the face of the planet – digitally and in real life too. Social media is a playground, you’ve got to be there daily or your fans and followers will find new friends. Be open, be honest, be authentic and share behind the scenes posts about you and your brand. Remember that most people are on social media to connect and learn.
A few tips on the main 3 channels we use at Thrive:
Twitter – the best place to connect openly with amazing people who would have been hard to reach pre-2006! Don’t be afraid to ask.
Facebook – Such a changing platform! Facebook groups are a gold mine and the future of Facebook in my opinion.
Instagram – People just want to see beautiful things! Create them, be original and put in the time to connect and your brand will grow.
I hope this helps your readers. If you’ve got a great idea for a product, brand or business, there has never been an easier time in the history of communication to launch and grow.
Thank you, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, – the internet rocks!