Behind the business is the series where we bring you a different founder to share their experience of starting and running a business. This month, we’re shining the spotlight on LGBTQ+ owned companies. At Juno, we’re committed to representing diverse businesses, so if you would like to be featured, get in touch via [email protected] or Twitter.
We recently sat down with Jessica Blissett, founder of Sporting Her. Sporting Her is a sports media and commercial management agency focused on supporting and promoting women in sport by creating sponsorship packages and meaningful content.
What inspired you to get up and set up Sporting Her?
I love sports and I love business. At Sporting Her I combine my two passions to help businesses grow through marketing and make a difference by supporting sports clubs. We do everything in our power to help with getting new kit or funds to get them through the season. I also believe that women in sport deserve more support, not just with sponsorship and media but in all aspects. By supporting them, they can focus on what matters: their clubs and the game.
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
Pushing through my introverted ways has been one of the biggest challenges. I’ve had a lot of calls and zooms over the past few months and it’s definitely played on my emotions. Don’t get me wrong, I love meeting new people and sometimes I don’t know when to be quiet, but the run-up to a call is the worst. I plan the conversation in my head and I get worried that I’ll get my words jumbled or I’ll forget what I want to say. Then I come off the phone and laugh because I worked myself up over nothing.
Another challenge is the lack of funding. We are currently self-funded, and whilst I don’t need to spend a lot, having more funds would allow me to do so much more. I’m hoping to secure investment through partnerships to support our growth.
How have you navigated the pandemic so far?
It’s been tough, but that’s expected when your whole world is flipped upside down. Like everyone else, I’ve had to get used to a new way of life. But for me, it’s played an important role in making me the person I am today.
During lockdown, I completed my bachelor’s degree, decided to work in sport, started my master’s in sports business, and launched my business. Amongst all the uncertainty I got the opportunity to take a step back and figure my life out. I don’t think I would be where I am today if it wasn’t for the pandemic.
How has Sporting Her changed since you started and what’s next?
I’ve spent the past few months building Sporting Her, bringing people on board, and networking. Now it’s time to create content, get clubs sponsored, and work with communities around the world.
I have big plans for Sporting Her over the next few years. I plan to launch our YouTube channel full of content this summer, alongside a podcast. I’m also hoping to run community projects to support women and girls in sport around the world. We recently partnered with an incredible organisation in Kenya. The future’s looking bright!
How has your daily life changed (for the better and/or the worse) since being your own boss?
It has its ups and downs. I love what I do and I love being my own boss. Sporting Her is something I’m very passionate about and the progress so far has made me so happy and proud. But on the flip side… it’s a lot of stress. I’m always working, even when I’m not. It’s very hard to switch off as I’m always thinking of what needs to be done, scrolling on Twitter for inspiration, or thinking of new ideas.
How do you avoid burnout, maintain a work-life balance and sustain your mental health?
Learn to switch off. Don’t feel guilty if you’re not constantly managing social media accounts or responding to emails. Set personal time for yourself. Whether that’s an evening with your phone off or setting an out-of-office, time off is crucial.
What lessons have you learned and what advice do you have?
Growing your social media following takes time. So does networking, creating content, and receiving impressions you’re happy with. It can be hard when things don’t go your way and it sucks when things take longer than you wanted. But you have to keep going. If you want your business to be successful, it will be.
What do you do to ensure Sporting Her contributors and customers feel accepted?
I like to make sure that any Sporting Her content contributors feel welcome because they are. I have an open working environment where I will happily allow them the freedom to express themselves both in their work and their feedback. It can be difficult when we’re all working remotely, but I have so much appreciation for them and always let them know.