The Buzz Turns 3: A Q&A with Company Director, Leonie Cowton

It’s been three wonderful years since The Buzz was founded. We feel fortunate to have worked with so many great clients and proud to have brought together a growing collective of like-minded marketing experts.

As we celebrate this exciting milestone, we sat down with the person behind our operation, Leonie Cowton, our Company Director & Founder, for a chat about the journey so far and how The Buzz has evolved.

1: Can you share the story of what inspired you to start The Buzz three years ago?

We set up The Buzz recognising the need and opportunity for more flexibility in real estate marketing but it isn’t just limited to what we do. The world has gone flex – everything from music, movies on demand, places to stay, places to work, how to shop… So why not the way you procure your marketing? For me, it’s just smart marketing. Whether it’s to establish and set up your marketing function, deliver a specialist project or complement and support your existing resource with the skillset and experience you need.

There was also a growing desire from people to work in a more flexible way, which was only exacerbated by the events of 2020 and acted as a catalyst to shape the future of work. People want to have more choice in the way they work, where they work and who they work with.

The conception of The Buzz really came from bringing these two growing needs together – businesses and marketeers evolving to incorporate more flexibility.

2: Looking back at the past three years, what are some of the most memorable milestones or achievements for The Buzz?

The most memorable milestones have been around the people we work with – our first clients, hiring our first team member and watching the team develop. Setting up The Buzz’ first office was also a really proud moment. Even after selling office spaces for years, I’d never fully grasped how big that moment is for small businesses. The moment you put your name on the door.

Signing up to the Mental Health at Work Commitment was an important step for us too and aligns with our values – it’s a simple framework that any organisation can follow to improve and support the mental health of your people.

3: How has The Buzz evolved since its inception?

If three years ago, when I purchased a small desk to wedge into my bedroom of my small flat in Putney to set up The Buzz, I would never have imagined we’d be where we are today. We have evolved by expanding our services to meet the growing needs of our clients, and we’ve expanded our team of marketeers to cover these specialities – be it web design, branding, SEO, copywriting, strategy, photography, social media. They are all brilliant at what they do.

We have a great relationship with all our clients and we care about their businesses and the teams that drive them. A lot of our clients say that we feel part of their business, rather than an external agency, which is one of the biggest compliments they could pay. We’ve had the pleasure of working with global clients like JLL, LiquidSpace and Knight Frank and leading independent firms like Metrus, Urbanova, Savile Row Projects, PBC, and many more. I’m immensely proud of what we have achieved and the growing family of marketers that make it all possible.

4: What unique qualities do you think have set The Buzz apart?

When setting up The Buzz I was always very clear our job is to prioritize providing solutions for our clients with ease and clarity. Our agile approach suits companies of all sizes at each stage of their business lifecycle.

We can support at lots of different levels – overseeing a one-off project or taking a more advisory role looking at their strategy and their business objectives as whole. We’re able to provide cost-effective, flexible marketing resource for the period and at the level of depth you need.

5: Every journey has its challenges. What obstacles or difficulties has The Buzz faced, and how did you overcome them?

Oh so many! It’s been a wild ride, with highs, lows and everything in between. Something I’d never have predicted was learning to adapt to the new emotions and rhythms you feel with running your own business. Throughout your career, you use your frame of reference (check out Goffman’s theory if you haven’t previously – it’s fascinating) to aid all decision making that has got you to where you are, but when it’s your own business, the highs are higher, and the low’s are lower and you have to re-wire how you react in this new environment to succeed (and stay sane!). Anyone that tells you otherwise, isn’t telling the truth!

You really have to learn to (humbly) celebrate the wins when they happen (even though when they happen your mind is thinking 4 months ahead about something else!) and be prepared to withstand the lows when they happen (because they do, frequently!).

I’m passionate about what I do, the businesses we do it for and the teams that make it all tick. Creating a business with passion is emotional – learning to manage that is crucial. But that’s what drives me every day.

6: As someone with substantial experience leading a successful agency, what advice do you have for others looking to start their own business?

For any new business, keep it simple. Find the opportunity, learn how to position it, know who it’s for, and do it well.

Every anniversary is a moment to celebrate ‘the win’ – a cake, a new piece of art, but most importantly, a moment of perspective to sit back and review where we are and where we want to go.

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