Caroline Jackson, 49, and Lisa Bonney, 55, said they knew from the day they met at a counselling training course four years ago that they would end up starting a business together. They were both working in advertising, but the paths that led them to starting Jackson Bonney Wellbeing are very different.
Lisa said: ‘It changed me forever. It gave me perspective. Four years later, I am qualified in integrative and CBT counselling. It is important to me as I want to give something back.’
Caroline had a break from her career in advertising to bring up her three daughters. When deciding what to do next, it was a speech at a wedding that changed her life.
‘It was a friend’s big day and the father of the bride was saying how proud he was of his daughter working in a job where she helped people every day. I suddenly felt quite shallow.
‘I knew I wanted to do something to give back but had no idea what that was.
‘I ended up going to couple’s counselling with my husband over some relationship distress after 22 years and I remember looking at the therapist and thinking, “yes ,this is it” – she completely inspired me.
‘So I did my research and got myself on a course. I feel so proud of myself. I understand from personal experience how difficult it is to let a complete stranger into the inner life of your relationship.
‘There is no more an effective therapist than one who has overcome their own struggles.’
Caroline and Lisa had planned to launch their counselling business Jackson-Bonney Counselling in September 2020 in Kent, but realised they would have to change tack in order to do so.
So instead of seeing clients in a therapy room, the business partners turned to video calling, and focused on individual or couple’s counselling, a change to their original plan of including corporate sessions.
Lisa said: ‘If we didn’t have video calling or the technology hadn’t existed, the business would have closed due to lockdown as we were unable to do face-to-face counselling.
‘We had to pivot and go online. You have to be a different type of person to offer counselling online in our opinion.
‘So we knew we’d have to dig deep and be resourceful to be able to manage the business online and remotely – Caroline and I couldn’t even get together.’
However, Caroline and Lisa were confident that demand for their business – especially during lockdown – would ‘go through the roof’, so they went ahead with the launch.
Caroline said: ‘We went straight online and trained ourselves to offer counselling via video calls.
‘Because of the impact of Covid on people, such as couples not getting on, teenagers who are anxious, we saw the demand for counselling rise by 400 per cent.
‘So we have survived the pandemic by being agile, and changing our focus.’
The business partners are hoping to go ahead with offering corporate counselling services in September, having been delayed for two years.
So they were keen to build their brand awareness ahead of doing so, and were keen to be one of the first SMEs to try MailMetroMedia’s new Advertising Manager.
The dynamic platform has been launched to help small and medium-size businesses thrive while coming out of lockdown.
It allows entrepreneurs to market to MailOnline, Metro and iNews’ huge audiences, while targeting potential customers by postcode, interests or life stage – all at an incredibly affordable price.
And it’s straight-forward to use. Business owners can easily create their own campaign, set the budget and the target audience – and it can be live in less than 24 hours.
Ad impressions (how many times the ads were viewed): 1,052,622 in less than a week
Huge brand awareness
Clicks to website: 869
‘The amount of exposure has been incredible.’
There’s also a friendly account manager at the other end of the phone to help you every step of the way.
Caroline said: ‘As a new business, brand awareness is really important. But it isn’t just about raising awareness for us, but about saying how it’s quite normal to go for counselling now.
‘We want to go into businesses a few days a week to offer our services, which we’re hoping to do in September.
‘We originally wanted to go into offices but because of Covid, we haven’t been able to do that, so that’s why the individual and couples counselling have grown more than we had expected or focused on.
‘So from that perspective, lockdown has held us back, but we’ve grown in different areas.’
Caroline and Lisa both praised Ad Manager – from the ease of using the system, to the website’s incredible reach.
‘The Ad Manager system was so self explanatory. I’m not fantastic with things like this, but the team were there to help me every step of the way.
‘We’ve had nearly 900 clicks to our website, which is huge. The next thing I’m going to do is put ‘MailOnline’ on our website as to be seen on such a huge website looks really good!’
Lisa added: ‘We’re really pleased with the amount of clicks from Ad Manager to our website, and we would definitely recommend advertising on MailOnline to other businesses.
‘It was about awareness of us. The amount of exposure has been incredible.’
MailMetroMedia’s new self-serve Ad Manager takes just minutes to set up a campaign. And the easy-to-use system allows you to advertise to more people in your area than your local titles can reach.
You can reach as many of MailMetroMedia’s 25 million consumers as you like – targeting by postcode, interests, and life stage.
There are no hidden fees, and you can control everything, from budget to target audience to creative design.
Here’s how you can advertise YOUR small business with MailMetroMedia:
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