Long Eaton based business owner, Caron-Jane Lyon, has worked in the entertainment industry her whole career. From stage manager to social media expert for the live performance sector of the industry, Caron talked to us recently about her start-up journey and how NBV’s mentoring support through The Big House has helped her maintain focus as her creative business grows.
Can you tell us a little more about your business?
I run a Boutique Social Media Agency located in Long Eaton called PCM Creative Digital Media. PCM’s field of expertise is the live performance sector of the Entertainment Industry. IMDB, Mandy, Spotlight, The Equity Directory, Wikipedia, as well as Facebook, Foursquare, Twitter and LinkedIn, are amongst the platforms we facilitate.
PCM’s primary clients are personalities (actors, agents and creatives trading as themselves). I also help startups and SMEs who want to start social the right way and those who began with the best of intentions but over the years ‘social’ just got away from them. This all comes under the Social Web Assistance Programme.
In the Projects arm of the business, PCM specialises in sustainable strategies and tactical online campaigns to stimulate audience engagement, conversation and lead generation for sales.
I help clients with Social Media Reputation, Digital Asset Recovery, Audience & B2C Community Management, Internet Strategy as well as audio and video content creation, offering phased consulting and training programmes to encourage autonomy with achievable targets and measurable results.
Lastly, and where my real passion lays in terms of my theatre background, is PCM Events and Extending Audiences Service. It is comprised of a Screen Media event production facility which specialises in on-site, mobile, low profile, eco-friendly, live streaming and capture service for online-meetings, conferences, remote working collaboration, remote audience access and performance webcasts.
Why did you decide to start your own business?
I have been self-employed for tax purposed my entire career since graduating from Bretton Hall in 1994. I worked extensively in the entertainments industry as a theatre stage manager before attending the IT Learning Centre and creating my own business as a sole trader. Following the Brexit vote, I was forced to re-establish a UK client based after working for 6 years with Audiences Europe Network in cities across Europe which included Rome, Rotterdam, Ghent, Belfast and Reykjavic. With NBV’s help my business, PCM Creative Digital Media emerged from the ashes of the Brexit vote as a boutique digital media agency.
How did you find out about the support on offer from NBV?
Early in my business career, I secured a £2,000 National Entrepreneurial Scholarship, and a place on NBV’s ‘Starting in Business Programme’ where I wrote my first business plan.
Most recently I have been mentored by Filomena Rodriguez who I had met at Derby’s Friar Gate Studios. I attended a 1 Day ‘How to be a Mentor’ workshop and attended a ‘meet the mentors’ event in Blend, Sneinton Market hosted by Creative Quarter. I did successfully mentor one artist. I also attended an SEO/Google Analytics workshop in 2018.
How has the support you’ve accessed help you?
Filomena not only provided expertise in the field as a creative in her own right but has the business strategy and insight to push forward the most eclectic and forward-looking practitioners.
Ambition and aspiration need focus, and Filomena has time and time again help me with this.
Programmes such as the Big House means that creative entrepreneurs not always selling services led by demand but rising trends often don’t have the start-up capital to engage consulting mentors or strategist.
Filomena stabilises my bottom line and holds me accountable for my time in a way that no other colleague around me is capable of. Without Filomena’s time paid for by NBV I would probably have had to let my business dreams go, or compromise them in a way that would be less fulfilling. In any case, my business is more stable as a result of the sessions we have had.
What are your plans for the business?
I am currently exploring and developing a company portfolio as a theatre producer. The aim is to establish a £100k venture capital fund for emerging performing arts professionals using digital technology inventively, adopting immersive audience and participatory thinking into their performance work.
PCM will continue to develop its Extending Audiences Service, pursuing new ways to engage remote audiences meaningfully. In Oct 2019 I will be producing and facilitating an extended audience experience for EquityUK’s ArtsMinds Symposium at the Bristol Old Vic as well as capturing the event for the archive.
If you’d like to follow in Caron’s footsteps, contact NBV today to see how we can help your business grow: register or call us on 0844 887 2568*