The saga of how Kraken Marketing was spawned
I’ve had a pretty awesome career working as an in-house marketer for a number of rad organizations. But I’ve always wanted to run my own business. I just knew that was where I would shine and have the ultimate job satisfaction.
It can be hard to make that leap, to take a chance on yourself and fully commit to going it alone. I’m a single mother and I have a mortgage which are pretty big responsibilities! Being employed felt like it offered more job security, but that feeling of security turned out to be false!
I did some freelancing on the side, but during my last in-house role I was managing a team in multiple time zones across different continents, and I was working a lot of hours, so I decided to drop the freelance side hustle. I was going to burn out if I didn’t slow down a bit.
Well, then the universe told me to really slow down when, like so many other people, I found myself shockingly unemployed in April 2020. With the world in an unprecedented lockdown due to COVID-19, the job market was non-existent. At the time, this felt awful. I was so worried that I wouldn’t find another awesome job, and I had bills to pay. That’s when the idea came to me. Now was the time to really make a go of it working for myself. Now was the time to finally, officially launch Kraken Marketing. I am so glad I did! 🦑
I’m a massive perfectionist. I hate putting things out that aren’t refined and up to my ridiculously high standards. I’m also an Agile Marketer and know the importance of launching MVPs (Minumum Viable Products) so you can start earning revenue and feedback quickly! Being an Agile perfectionist can be a struggle sometimes! 🤣 Normally, when I launch products, brands, websites, etc. I like to do it with a bang! I love sharing well thought-out campaigns that people will want to engage with.
Do you know how I launched Kraken Marketing? I chucked a quick post out on my personal Facebook. No, seriously! You can’t get any more MVP than that right? 🤣
This is where all the networking I’ve done during my career came into play!
A business contact I knew messaged me immediately saying she needed a second pair of hands on a really cool AI healthcare project. It is now 2 years later, and I still love working with this client!
The next step was to set up my social media accounts and start engaging with potential clients and other important connections. I didn’t have my branding sorted out, but did the best I could to create unoffensive graphics and cool captions. I started building a community and had a pretty decent engagement.
I then reached out to a designer friend who I’d been working with for the last couple of years. She really understood me and my personal brand, and I knew she’d nail the Kraken Marketing brand. I was right! She totally knocked it out of the park!
I firmly believe in the awesomeness of websites. Websites really need to showcase your brand and unique point of view. If you could drop copy from another website into yours and it wouldn’t look out of place, you’re not standing out enough.
I knew I wanted my website to stand out, be different, and fully embody the brand. The brief definitely contained the phrase “gothic mermaid” and I think it really embodies that vibe!
It was June when I finally launched my website – a few months after I started working for myself. Boy, was it worth the wait!
It has been a really interesting experiment for me.
In my marketing career, I normally get everything ready prior to launch. With Kraken Marketing, I just put myself out there with MVPs and it totally worked!
It’s now been 2 years since I whacked that first post up on Facebook. Kraken Marketing is now a VAT registered Limited company. We’ve been finalists for a couple of awards – but more importantly, we’ve worked with some badass people on some incredible projects.
We’re based in Cornwall, England which is the most southerly point and it’s pretty rural, I live in a little coastal village called St Agnes. But from here I’ve worked with clients all over the UK, in the USA, and Israel. I’ve got to tell their stories about important research into long COVID and Endometriosis. I’ve helped them promote live captioning software to help make meetings and lectures more accessible. And I’ve helped Truro Town Deal communicate their plan for the £23.6 million awarded from the Governments Towns Fund.
I’ve met so many amazing people in some impressive businesses, and I’ve loved sharing their stories. It’s kind of fun to share my own for once. 🤘 Thanks Octane for inviting me to tell my story.
If you’re thinking of starting your own business and are looking for advice?
I’d say just freaking do it!
I love the flexibility I have around my schedule now. I work bloody hard, but I get to be a much more engaged parent now. I can collect the spawn from school and go to sports days.
I’ve spent most of my career feeling like my motherhood was a dirty secret. I couldn’t admit that it changed things or ask for “special treatment”. Now, this is probably scar tissue from experiencing pretty grim maternity discrimination 10 years ago. I’ve also experienced my fair share of career discrimination from being a woman. I was a finalist for a business award years ago, and my boss at the time told me I didn’t deserve it and it was just because I was a woman. Gross. 🤦
I let these voices seep into my psyche and tell me that my motherhood and womanhood made me less than and that I should never draw attention to it. That’s total bollocks.
I’m a mother, I’m a woman, and I’m a total freaking badass who is thriving in business.
I’ve built Kraken Marketing around the foundations of inclusivity and accessibility.
Everyone deserves to be seen, heard, and represented. And I’m going to continue to use my platform to make sure everyone bloody knows it!
I don’t want there to be other Lyssa’s out there dimming their light, because white middle-class men told her to. Be your own unique weird self, decide what you want to do, then go out there and do it.
And if I can give you one more piece of advice? Find your people. Being able to speak to others who are out there doing it has been amazing for me. I know some remarkable women who are running their own businesses and our conversations have been so incredibly helpful and important to me. Sometimes you need someone else in your corner to hear your ideas, give you words of encouragement, and share experiences with. It’s inspiring to know other badass women are out there doing it!
Random final thought: have you ever seen the film First Wives Club? I loved it when I was a kid – potentially a weird choice for a child. 🤣 I recently watched it again and it really holds up! Sisterhood, encouragement, and empowerment = that’s life-changing stuff right there and I wish I’d realised that years ago!
Let’s lift each other up!
Lyssa-Fêe Crump is the founder and chief cephalopod wrangler at Kraken Marketing, a badass marketing agency that specializes in working with tech companies and helping brands find their unique voices. She wants to help people SAY NO TO VANILLA! She’s also a gif obsessed massive nerd. 🤘