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Pioneer of the Week: Jo Booth at MyStudentStyle.co.uk

New and Networking

Pioneer of the Week: Jo Booth at MyStudentStyle.co.uk

Meet Joanne Jaeger-Booth founder of MyStudentStyle.co.uk and our Pioneer of the Week. Here she talks about how she became the social media manager for an upcoming BBC drama, her 'sweet' start to becoming an entrepreneur and her top three things every startup should know.



What are 3 important things we should know about you.


I’m VERY talkative (watch out!), I’m helpful and love business (it takes over all aspects of my life).



Tell us about MyStudentStyle.co.uk?


I founded MyStudentStyle.co.uk last year to help students gain valuable first time work experience. Since launching we have helped over 350 students across the UK. From this, we have trained many students in how to deliver social media for business and we now help brands with their social media strategies.



You mentioned on Virgin Media Pioneers that you started selling sweets at school! Where did you get that entrepreneurial spirit from?


Probably my mum. She ran her own business when I was growing up and it really inspired me to be my own boss. I also liked sweets and having money in my pocket so it was a win-win!



How did you get into social media?


Not via a linear approach to be honest. We started studying and implementing social media strategies for our own business and soon realised that figuring it all out could be a minefield for some people! We got involved with training programs, even worked directly with Facebook, until we could confidently train our students in social media strategies. We did this to help them become more employable but also to get them placements with small businesses we work with. The rest is history I guess!



You recently mentioned you were covering the social media for a new BBC drama series how did that come about?


I was talking to the Writer and Executive Producer and asked her about their social media strategies for attracting younger audiences; it's a period drama so I knew it wouldn't automatically appeal to a younger demographic.  She said that as far as she was aware there were no strategies in place to target younger audiences specifically. I suggested new avenues and approaches and was invited to put them to the Production Company. Everyone loved the ideas and they asked us to help. It’s all very exciting!



So you’ve already started working on it, what have been some of the highlights so far?


Wow, hard to say really. It’s been thrilling working with such a big, diverse and interesting team. Every day we learn something new about the industry but are also able to share ideas and create engaging and fun content. If I had to pick it would probably be doing set visits and seeing behind the scenes!



What do you love about running your own business?


The freedom of being my own boss and creating my own destiny.



You seem like a very confident person, is there anything about running your own business that you makes you nervous? How do you overcome it?


It’s funny really, I seem confident (probably because I talk a lot) but I’m actually not as confident as I look! Lots of things make me nervous, unsure and worried but the way I handle it is to ask for advice, trust my instincts and reflect on how far I’ve come already.



Share an experience that really helped you take your business forward?


There have been several moments, people and even funding opportunities that have really boosted my business. But in terms of an ‘experience’ I’d actually have to say winning a pitch with VMP. I won my pitch and was invited to Virgin Media HQ where I was given some fabulous advice and support. The day was so much fun and taught me an awful lot.



Many people start their businesses at home, tell us about your work space?


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I currently work from our home attic. I have lots of paper on the walls (notes, infographics, cash flow spread sheets) and a fair few plants (makes the place feel brighter). I love it; it’s cozy, practical and an affordable option for a young business.



What are three things you know now, that you wish someone had told you when you first started?



  1. Ask for help. More often than not people are more than willing to give you support and it makes a massive difference.

  2. Keep your eyes on the pennies! Being in business shouldn’t just be about money but without it you don’t have a business. Make sales, watch your cash flow and don’t spend on unnecessary things.

  3. Stay positive. Think big, aim high and keep smiling. Sometimes it can be hard but if you know you have a good business, stick at it.


What would be your advice to someone thinking of starting a business?


Same as above but also find a mentor. Look for someone who will give you the best advice, even when it’s not what you’d like to hear. A mentor can help you make decisions, guide you and tell you when you’re going off on a tangent.



Is there anything specific you’d like to ask or share with the Virgin Media Pioneers community?


Keep up the great work everyone. I’ve seen some great profiles on here; it’s very inspiring to see so many great ideas!



Finish the sentence: To be an entrepreneur...



...you must dream big, work hard and stay positive.



Follow Jo Booth



Are you our next Pioneer of the Week?


Virgin Media Pioneers gives entrepreneurs a space to share what they’ve been up to, achieved, discovered and learnt. The Pioneers’ community connects like-minded people – it’s a supportive place to ask for any help you need.

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