In this blog series, we discuss some of our customers and tell you a bit more about the cooperation. Read more about Market Over.
Anke Bongaerts, manager of Market Over, breathes marketing and social media. As a marketing consultant she supports growth companies in professionalising their marketing approach. Strategy and implementation support go hand in hand.
The focus of Market Over is on upskilling juniors and "all-round" employees responsible for marketing. This way, clients avoid the cost of recruiting a senior employee and they get more efficient, faster training of their employees.
We sat down with Anke to talk about her entrepreneurial journey, how she ended up at Wodan & Co and what the future of Market Over looks like.
How did Market Over come to be?
Anke Bongaerts: I started as a social media agency in 2018, mainly implementation oriented. Gradually I started to realise that social media management is not quite what I wanted to do and started looking for a new direction. Partly thanks to the collaboration with Wodan & Co, my operation then grew in the direction of marketing consultancy projects, with more focus on the strategic part. In the meantime, I have switched from exclusively social media to broader marketing consultancy.
What else do you do?
I still provide social media coaching in collaboration with The Coaching Collective, more specifically for the cities of Antwerp and Leuven. In a subsidised programme, I coach traders on their social media and how to optimise it. These are very pleasant and rewarding programmes. Retailers can really use some help, but do not always have the means to hire a coach themselves. Thanks to the support of the cities, this coaching is now accessible to them.
I also have a number of clients for whom I still manage social media channels, simply because it has always been a pleasure to work with them.
Finally, I also teach Digital Marketing at the Thomas More Hogeschool in Mechelen. I have only recently started, but it is already a lot of fun. On the one hand, I teach students how to draw up a social media plan, but on the other hand, we extend that and I look with them at building a marketing funnel, e-mail marketing, working with Canva, and so on.
What are the key milestones of Market Over?
Starting is still an important milestone, after all, it wasn't that long ago. I also think about the first time that I had to make choices about 'Which customers do I want?', 'What do I want to achieve effectively?',... Jumping into self-employment forces you far out of your comfort zone and you soon start looking for something to hold on to. As a result, you sometimes come across certain clients with whom you do not want to work, or of whom you gradually realise that it is not an ideal client for you. Daring to make those choices, that was a milestone for me.
Jumping into self-employment forces you far out of your comfort zone and you soon start looking for something to hold on to.
The other major milestones are also moving towards those choices. I think many entrepreneurs, myself included, love those 'shiny new objects'. With everything that is new, I often let my enthusiasm lead the way. As a result, I came into contact with many different projects and I had to make choices all the time. Maintaining focus was not always easy.
And finally, I started on 25 April 2018. Soon it will be 25 April 2022, so I can celebrate the fourth anniversary of Market Over. That is also a great milestone.
How did you end up at Wodan & Co? What did your track look like?
I met Wouter for the first time at BNI. Nothing came of it, until I ran into him at our coworking Hotel Ragnarok, where he was giving a workshop on convincing entrepreneurship. During that workshop, he talked about mission and vision, based on the United Nations guidelines. That was around the beginning of the first lockdown. In that period I went completely into overdrive with the idea that I would put Market Over on point and go in a new direction. The problem was that I didn't know what direction that was. Based on what Wouter had told me about mission and vision, I started hammering away at it.
At a certain point, Hotel Ragnarok decided to set up a collaboration with Wodan & Co and develop a programme for starting entrepreneurs. I decided to join that programme and was coached for the next year, both as an entrepreneur and as a company. That really appealed to me.
The focus of tracks I knew at the time was very much on the business, I feel. But I can make rational decisions. It is the emotional side of the story, the entrepreneur itself, that I often struggle with. Rationally speaking, I had a very good business model, but it did not fit me as a person. I noticed that, as a 'one woman' entrepreneur, I was my own biggest obstacle. Entrepreneurship involves a lot of confrontations and questions, which are easier to deal with with a sounding board of other entrepreneurs and a firm one-to-one coach at your side. After the programme at Ragnarok Start, the one-to-one coaching continued in a programme at Wodan & Co.
Have you experienced any tangible results yet?
Certainly. I'm not here to preach the good news show, it wasn't always easy and I cursed at times. I had to choose a focus, and that was not easy. At one point, I thought of going more in the direction of social media management and building a team, but after a while I realised that this was not the direction I wanted to go.
It has been very confronting at times to get results, but it has helped me grow enormously and I have always had a sounding board to help me make those important choices.
It has been very confronting at times to get results, but it has helped me grow enormously and I have always had a sounding board to help me make those important choices. As a result, I now have a completely new direction and a clear pitch that allows me to go to the right customers and be more confident.
What does the future look like for Market Over?
At the moment, I am mainly looking for stability. I know that I want to evolve into a company with several employees, but today I mainly want to develop the new focus step by step. So, first of all, I want to create a stable basis for further expansion.
How did you experience the cooperation?
As I said earlier, it was not always the good news show. At times, I was very heavily confronted with situations that I actually had to face. That is positive, even though it is not pleasant at the time. You are really held up to the light, but it is precisely because of this that you start to take effective growth steps, and you can always count on the backbone of Wodan & Co to guide you and act as a sounding board that thinks along with you. I sometimes notice that business coaching remains rather brief or general, but Wodan & Co always thinks along with you from a certain experience and knowledge. They think more in depth and this ensures that the solutions provided are fully in line with you and your company.
At times, I was very heavily confronted with situations that I actually had to face. That is positive, even though it is not pleasant at the time. You are really held up to the light, but it is precisely because of this that you start to take effective growth steps.
One final question: what is, for you, the essence of entrepreneurship?
For me, the essence of entrepreneurship is impact. Impact on your environment, on yourself, your clients,... I think that entrepreneurship is an really good way to grow on a personal level. It is confronting, but also pleasant and adventurous to get to know yourself better. You also notice that the people around you go along with this and that you can also have an impact on them, just like on the customers you help.
In that sense, it is very much in line with the vision of Wodan & Co, which is also about convincing entrepreneurship. I think that if you put all the entrepreneurs together, they can achieve a lot, which hopefully will make the world a better place at some point.
Thanks Anke for your trust, for being the first client to go in front of the camera and tell your story, and for guiding us through our social media and marketing challenges!