From startup to brand acquisition: Laura Hall, co-founder of Media Seed

From startup to brand acquisition: Laura Hall, co-founder of Media Seed

We talk shop with the Sydney-based PowerPlayer.

BY Business Chicks, September 20, 2017
 

We’re in an elevator and you have three floors, tell us your elevator pitch. Go. 

MediaSeed provide businesses with out of home advertising solutions at the busiest locations and venues around the country, where your messaging cannot be turned off, blocked or ignored!

What were you doing before MediaSeed? 

I have spent the last 10 years of my career working within the media sales industry. Previously from the UK, I arrived in 2005 and was lucky enough to work across some incredible events around the country, selling advertising to amazing brands on a variety of sporting and cultural events. My passion for the industry and love of sales then led on to me becoming the Sales Director of another out of home sales agency.

How did MediaSeed come about? 

It had always been a dream of mine to have my own business, so in a moment of clarity, my husband and I decided to take the leap and quit our jobs to start MediaSeed. We began in the living room of our home and built the business over a six-month period, then when we were established enough, we moved to Surry Hills where the business began to take flight.

How did you first market yourselves? 

The only way I knew how. I had a great black book of contacts so I picked up the phone and starting speaking with my network to let them know what we had to offer. I received great support and I am pleased to still be working with a number of these clients today. Without their belief in me, we certainly wouldn’t be where we are today.

Have you always had an entrepreneurial spirit? 

Yes, I would say so. After a brief stint in direct sales, I started a small business with a colleague selling products out of a suitcase on wheels at 21, which was certainly an eye opening experience! I have always treated any business I worked for as my own, putting my all into the role to make it a success. This was what eventually pushed me to go for it when I realised all that effort could go towards something of my own that I could be proud of.

How did you first fund the business? And would you do it again now?

We worked from home with just a laptop and a mobile phone so our start up costs were very minimal. I would definitely have no problem doing this again. It’s surprising how much work you can get done in the quiet of your own home with no distractions!

What’s been your favourite brand experience to work on? 

Every year we create a Tennis Fan Zone in Sydney for all the fans that can’t make it down to watch the Australian Open in Melbourne. Its a great viewing experience to come into the city and watch all the action on a big screen, with our brand partners creating incredible experiences for the fans to enjoy. 

Where’s the future of advertising going?

Consumers are becoming less receptive to traditional adverting and want more personalised content that interests them. It’s all about creating unforgettable experiences that they want to be a part of that in turn, will create brand loyalty and better awareness.

What’s the most important business lesson you’ve learned?

Trust your gut. There have been times where I’ve made decisions that deep down I knew weren’t right, but I didn’t have the courage to take a risk and trust myself. Listen to your inner voice as it’s almost always telling you the right way to go.

What’s been your biggest challenge? 

I would have to say building a successful business and a family at the same time. I had both of my children in the first three years of MediaSeed, and with no time for maternity leave, they both came to work with me every day. Surviving on little sleep, and juggling a baby while trying to run a business was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do. But equally amazing as it meant I could have the best of both worlds: looking after my baby, and building my other baby at the same time! It has certainly shown me that there are no limitations as to what you can do in life, only those you impose upon yourself.

Why did you join PowerPlayers? What does it do for your business?

I joined PowerPlayers because I really wanted to find a way to grow my business and myself personally, and I felt it would be a great platform to do this. Running a business with my husband is fantastic, but I felt it would be healthy for us to branch out and further extend our networks. It has been great for the business as it has empowered me to make decisions more confidently and I’ve learnt so much through my pack that I can take into the business and implement immediately.

What would you say to someone thinking of signing up to be a PowerPlayer?

Do it!  I joined last year and have the most phenomenal group of women supporting me now on a daily basis and I am so grateful to have them in my life. I have been through some huge changes in my business over the last eight months and being able to work through these with a group of women who have your back was just incredible. Having individuals from different industries really opens your eyes to the bigger world around you, but also shows that it doesn’t matter what your business is, we all share the same business issues at some point in our lives.

Do you have a favourite Business Chicks moment?

Yes, Movers & Breakers! I had an amazing experience at the conference last year and made some fantastic connections that I now speak and meet with regularly. The speakers were amazing and I certainly left the event feeling more focused and inspired for the months ahead.

How do you spend your downtime? 

Having two young children, Teddy 3 and Olivia 1, means I don’t get a lot of downtime to be honest! I have a lot of ‘play’ time, followed by quiet time after they go to bed where I like to relax with a glass of red in hand!

What’s next for MediaSeed?

After almost six years, we are excited to announce that the business has just been acquired by a company called Techfront Australia. I will now go on to become the GM of Media Sales and prepare for some huge growth over the next 12 months. There are some very exciting innovative new projects about to launch and we are very excited to build on the success of MediaSeed with our amazing new team. 

connect Connect with Laura here.

The PowerPlayers program is a peer-to-peer facilitated program designed for busy entrepreneurs who want real results, find out more here. 

Image: supplied.