Company: The Engaging Brand
Contact: Anna Farmery, Principal and Founder
Location: Bradford, UK
Industry: Marketing and Consulting, B2B, B2C
Annual revenue: Confidential
Number of employees: 1

Quick Read:

After over 20 years in the world of finance, and having served as a group HR/finance director for global FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods, aka consumer packaged goods) companies, Anna Farmery felt stifled by the corporate silo. The loss of her father cemented her decision to leave finance.

Her initial goal was to launch her own business based in branding and engagement. But Farmery faced startup costs upward of $15,000 and had a very limited budget to establish her business through more traditional marketing tools. The costs of promoting the business even via Web sites, direct mail, and other sales collateral seemed an insurmountable barrier to founding a new venture.

With only an initial $1,000, Anna was spurred by the creative challenge of realizing big dreams with little funds; she launched her business, blog, and podcast, "The Engaging Brand," in April 2006. The first podcast had only 70 downloads and the blog had five readers on the first podcast day.

Merely two years later, the podcast now boasts nearly 200,000 downloads and is included in the Ad Age Power 150 top marketing blogs. The Engaging Brand was also a nominee for Best Business Podcast in 2007.

The Challenge:

Anna Farmery's challenge was to launch a company online using social media tools, including a podcast and blog. The blogosphere boasted some 40 million blogs at that time as measured by Technorati, and Farmery's podcast was one of hundreds, with no sponsors and no budget for PR or outreach to attract a listener base. Her podcast's success, and ultimately her business's, was dependent on word-of-mouth and link-minded bloggers who thought it worthwhile to their readers.

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