Entrepreneur Friday – Chrystal Webster
Time for another Entrepreneur Friday where we interview female business owners. This week we have the fabulous Chrystal Webster from ITY Marketing, an online marketing consultancy.
Entrepreneur Friday – Chrystal Webster
Tell us a bit about your business
ITY Marketing is an online marketing consultancy; we specialise in the tourism and hospitality sector -devising and implementing online marketing strategies for a range of clients including international hotel brand Radisson RED, luxury holiday operator Turquoise Holidays, Edinburgh based Old Town Chambers and The Edinburgh Grand and Northern Territory Australia Tourist Board.
What inspired you to start it?
My business partner and I both worked for a large agency for almost eight years, however we were both very entrepreneurial and were trying our hand at various little projects as hobbies we then realized with our combined skill set we could replicate our success at that agency (on a smaller scale) for ourselves.
What is your career background?
I studied business at Uni and always dreamed of working for myself – even from an early age I was buying and selling all sorts of things to make a profit. After Uni I worked in sales for The Times Educational Supplement at News International, I left to set up my own online rugby store which was then hit by a fraud scam and we had to close. It was this experience that fuelled my love for digital marketing so I did some research and discovered I really wanted to work for Ambergreen Internet Marketing – I literally pestered them for almost 12 months before they finally gave me a job where I worked my way up to be Account Director for some great brands; Gleneagles, Thomas Cook, Netflights, Elegant Resorts, Saga, Titan Travel to name a few!
What is your vision for your business?
My business partner and I are extremely conscientious and we love having direct input into the client strategies and tactical campaigns we devise for them, therefore we want to expand but only to a point that we do not compromise on the quality (and extent of our input) of service we offer our clients. Our aim is to grow with a smaller number of clients but be a bigger part of their team.
How do you maintain a good work/life/family balance?
This is quite a tricky question to answer, as I’m not sure I have found that balance myself! If anyone has the secret formula please let me know 😉
What was your light bulb moment? When did you realise you wanted to be an entrepreneur/business owner?
At a very early age! When I was in my last year at school I set up a thriving enterprise whereby I sourced dresses from a London designer, who was yet to have a presence in my home town, and I then hosted parties where all the girls from local schools came and bought my wares……I loved the buzz of the entire experience; from promoting my parties right through to making a sale.
What lessons have you learned along the way?
It sounds a bit cliché but if you believe in yourself and if you’re prepared to work hard enough you can make your dreams a reality. However, it does take time so be patient!
I have also learned that you cannot do everything yourself – be realistic in where your strengths lie and where you need support and surround yourself by people that not only have the skills to support you but also share your work ethic and values.
What has surprised you about owning your own business?
The importance of managing and maintaining good accountancy practices – the things we’ve learned since we started working with a really good accountant have been so useful and had such a positive impact on the overall business.
Who and what inspires you?
I love hearing success stories of people that have created something from nothing and have done so through sheer grit and determination. The notion that one day I can say ‘I did that’ really spurs me on.
Do you have a daily routine or rituals you do?
Every morning I write (not type!!) a to-do list and prioritise tasks into urgent and important and then creative and process. I then work out the best time of the day to work on them – I’m most creative in the morning so tend to focus on these tasks earlier in the day. If a task is important but not urgent I’ll block some time out in my day or even later in the week to ensure it receives the attention it deserves.
What obstacles have you had along the way?
Our industry is an extremely dynamic one with algorithm updates, social trends and new mediums evolving every single day. It’s changed massively since I started out and so the biggest challenge is ensuring that we keep abreast of the developments so we can advise each client in the most appropriate way.
Tell us your favourite tools that make your life easier (apps, websites, software etc)
Facebook business manager is a godsend – we use it daily. I’m a big Google Analytics fan and Majestic SEO provides a great insight into inbound link activity and it can be a useful source to spark ideas for content and PR.
What is your favourite quote?
Wake up with determination. Go to bed with success!
Chrystal has worked in online marketing for 12 years the majority of which has been spent agency side. Working for a reputable online marketing agency for almost seven years initially as Account Executive she was quickly promoted through the ranks to finally hold a position of Account Director. With a keen passion for understanding the why’s and how’s Chrystal provided the consumer behaviour and trend insights which shaped the online strategy for brands including Thomas Cook, Saga Holidays, Elegant Resorts, Gleneagles Hotel and The Haymarket Group.
Chrystal was also responsible for allocating and managing client budgets ensuring that the most appropriate online channels were strategically integrated to meet the client’s overall business objectives. Obsessive about detail she devised tactical implementation plans ensuring that activity was delivered on time and within budget. Working with the client to agree on the most relevant KPI and other performance metrics Chrystal translated statistics into meaningful and actionable insights for both her team and respective clients.
Find Chrystal on her websites and social media here:
Thank you for taking part in Entrepreneur Friday Chrystal!
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