Sharon Latour : a Driving Force on Her Own Steam
The young businesswoman is a well-known rising figure in Australia. Charming and passionate, Sharon has surely conquered the marketing world with her charisma and dedication. She is the founder of the award winning agency Marketing Bee.
30-year-old Sharon has been living in Sydney since twelve years now. She left Mauritius for her studies when she was only 19. She studied in Melbourne and after spending a few years in the corporate world, she decided to set up her own venture. She explains taking this decision after she saw a social media/digital bubble in the marketplace and decided to create Marketing Bee. “I started as a solo consultant, and through hard work and dedication, we grew to become a well respected agency in Australia, we have since then been listed in the Top 25 under 25 Startups in Australia (2013) and last year, I won an award as Top 30 Under 30 Founders in Australia.”
She reveals that back in 2012, the social media bubble was starting to point itself out in the marketplace. “Social media networks were no longer the hangout corner of teenagers; businesses were starting to take it seriously. Design was starting to become more and more important online. I was working at a mid-tier firm and I realized that design wise, they were lagging behind. This is when the idea of working on my own thing emerged. I spent nights creating the concept and with very little savings, I quit and started working at Marketing Bee from coffee shops.”
Now when she looks back, she realizes that entrepreneurship was always waiting for her. “At school, I used to participate in all the pitching competitions and fundraising activities whilst finding it really hard to stick to a routine or expectations. I think I had it in me. Entrepreneurs are misfits in many ways; our creativity drives us.”
Companies that master social media and do it well are able to tap into networks of clients that will increase their profits and boost their sales. This is valid for B2B and product-based companies alike."
Today, her business serves clients in Europe, Australia, New Caledonia and Mauritius. “We take care of all their digital needs that include graphic design, content production, web development and marketing strategy. We work on several sectors such as food and beverages, pet industry, TV and media, B2B and lifestyle products.”
Life in Australia
Talking about life in Australia, she underlines that the sheer size of Australia is a bit of a shock when someone first lands in the country for the first time, especially a person coming from a small country like Mauritius. It took her time to adapt to the country’s vastness, pace of life and make a place for herself. “Now I can say that I appreciate the practicality and beauty of Australia and what it has offered to me as a migrant. I was 24-years-old when I started my business, and Australians always respected my merit regardless of my age. I love the feeling of driving three hours and finding a beach where I am the only person.”
Moreover, the entrepreneur did experience difficulties in setting up the business. She reveals that she has seen everything from having no funds to the fear of losing clients. “I have faced everything from having only $4.00 in my bank account to losing major customers when you first start, you have to go through it all to grow. Being a migrant makes the whole gig extra hard, with no funds, no network, no family, you become the definition of 'starting from scratch'.”
As a settled young entrepreneur, she aims at helping as many people as possible, in making a safe choice for their needs or by just putting a smile on their faces. She also wants her work to touch as many businesses in Australia. “We are expanding; so you can follow all our progress online; we also have another company opening soon. I want to know that in ten years, I will be able to look back and say, ‘we did a good job’. On the personal level, I need to find time to travel more.” She thanks all her friends and Mauritian followers who have rooted for her.
Adopting Social Media strategy
Sharon explains that Social Media can give access to consumers, prospects and stakeholders in the most direct and leveraged way that has ever been seen. “There is no medium besides the phone which has ever given businesses so much access to people.
Companies that master social media and do it well are able to tap into networks of clients that will increase their profits and boost their sales. This is valid for B2B and product-based companies alike.”
She underlines that in an ever more visual world where the written word mixes up with beautifully crafted graphics and videos to create brands, SMEs now need to focus a lot more on their image and marketing strategy to capture the customer's attention. “Mobile phones are now the equivalent of television, and clients carry them 24/7; so it is essential that brands keep up with mobile technology, effective graphic design and web technology to get maximum results. An SME can improve its marketing strategy if the business is willing to face the truth about its efforts and to evolve to offer a better experience to stakeholders.”