Meet the founder of Be Distinctly Different
Lovely to meet you Jamie-Lee. Please tell me a little bit about the lady behind Be Distinctly Different?
Travel loving, marketing obsessed, mum of two under four on a mission to redefine how travel businesses find their unique space in a competitive market and achieve business success.
What is the inspiration behind Be Distinctly Different?
Honestly I have been inspired at various points throughout my life but growing up on the beautiful island of Barbados is the fundamental reason that I’m so passionate about travel. In fact, my first job was greeting new arrivals at Barbados airport and it was this job that sparked my interest in marketing and drove me to move to the UK at 21 to study marketing. I was then privileged to work with some amazing destinations and travel companies.
During my career I got to interact with these amazing boutique hotels that were completely off the beaten track but were the most amazing authentic travel experience you could imagine. Then there were these independent travel providers who were offering their clients unique travel experiences but who couldn’t connect with their ideal traveller. I wanted to provide them with solutions, strategies and tools for these brilliant brands to find their unique space in the competitive travel market.
What is the single most important decision that you made, that contributed to your success?
Hands down it has been surrounding myself with those who have reached success in their business. It makes sense to learn from those who have walked in your shoes and achieved success. Brand Partnerships and collaborations have also been a key part
How did you fund the launch of your business and what creative strategies did you use to execute a minimal cash flow?
I was able to fund the launch of my business through my family business Distinctly Different Landscapes where we provide high end landscaping services to residential and commercial developments.
In terms of creative, affordable and effective strategies we used to get business, we started with a PR strategy to build my personal brand and develop myself as a knowledge leader in my field and build brand awareness of Be Distinctly Different. We also developed social media and email marketing campaigns, and a LOT of networking!
What do you think sets your business apart from your competitors?
I think it’s the stories we have to tell! We are a collective of travel and tourism professionals, PR gurus, digital mavens and brand storytellers and we come with a wealth of experience and expertise that provides a unique blend of talents to any business. Also, the fact that we’re part of the millennial demographic means we have the ability to understand and communicate a cutting edge and savvy perspective that helps brand to find their unique space in the market…and win!
How did you conquer those moments of doubt that so often affect entrepreneurs or stop many with great ideas – what pushes you through?
I think a lot of the time we have doubt because we are fearful. Afraid of what others might think or say, afraid of hearing no, and we create all these problems in our heads. I’ve been there a few times but now I know what I have to do to push through my doubt. You need a clear understanding of your overall goal and action, however small at first, towards that goal. It means continually evolving your mind-set and taking action as you learn from your wins and losses.
Who is your target audience?
We work with small to medium sized travel brands, specifically boutique hotels, restaurants, travel agencies, tour operators, travel start ups and businesses looking to introduce a product or service to the travel industry. We occasionally work with a limited number of lifestyle businesses.
What would be your number one tip for young entrepreneurs who are ready to launch their own business?
Success in your business won’t happen overnight. It will require you to tap into key trends in your industry, evaluate how these trends will change over time, delve deep in the psyche of your target market and develop a unique positioning that will help your brand to make a positive impact.
If you could have one person record your voicemail, who would it be and why?
Oprah Winfrey, I grew up on Oprah Winfrey and as a little girl I wanted my own show and to study journalism. Today I still love Oprah, her business, attitude and advice is second to none.
What plans do you have for Be Distinctly Different over the coming 12 months?
We recently launched a subscription based PR service called the Travel Media Loop, which is a way for companies in the travel industry to generate positive, impactful press coverage for their brands. It’s cost effective and has a low monthly fee making it accessible even for travel start-ups.
We are also working on some new brand collaborations and we’ve partnered with The Voice newspaper to undertake a research project to disprove myths and stereotypes that exist about the UK black travel market, and understand decision making behaviour from this group . There is also amazing opportunity for one lucky respondent to WIN a 7 night holiday to Saint Lucia.