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Bérangère 'Berry' Fond

Bérangère 'Berry' Fond

Director of Growth and Business Development at Greenpark.

  • Location: Manchester, UK but originally from Lyon 

  • Title: Director of Growth and Business Development 

  • Company: Greenpark 

  • Sector: Digital Marketing Agency 

  • Degree: BA in Business Administration from ESDES Business School, MA in Marketing Communications from both ESDES and the University of Westminster in London

How does your usual day look like?

My day usually starts at roundabout 6.30am when my dog Bruce decides that it is time for his breakfast. Sometimes 6 am when I am motivated enough to go to Hiit class. Cheeky matcha and breakfast myself and on I go with my days.

I have this thing where I need to read my emails as I listen to my French podcasts, somehow soothes me and makes me feel closer to home. A large portion of my days is dedicated to identifying potential prospects and outreaching them to engage in a conversation around Greenpark’s services based on their current content marketing challenges and activities. I also dedicated my time to working alongside my digital marketing experts to craft proposals that answers briefs we receive. I find this part quite exhilarating, as I love a bit of problem solving, especially I can rely on my team to wow the crowds with their knowledge. Of course, this entails pitching, which is another part I love. I grew up being a massive fan of musical theatre, and this is one thing that anyone learns about me within minutes of shaking my hand, and to me, this part of the job is the closest it will ever get to having my own Olivier Award.

Finally, I work closely with my (superstar) Head of Marketing, Lauren Flynn, who is also part of The Female Forum, to decide on Greenpark EMEA’s marketing activity for the year. I say “work closely” – Lauren doesn’t need me much to make these brilliant decisions, but I do love bouncing off ideas with her on how we can truly reflect our craft and our values through our communication strategy. When school’s out, I dedicate myself to all my hobbies, theatre as I already mentioned, golf, jogging, dog walking, enjoying a gin with friends and family and rarely missing an Olympique Lyonnais football game on tv.

What are the things you like the most about your job?

I’ve mentioned pitching – because I like the adrenaline, the not knowing whether you’ll win or lose. It’s a bit of a game in a way, and the competitive element can be quite thrilling. But I think what I love the most is working as a team. Sales and growth in an agency can be a somewhat lonely role if you don’t entertain the strong relationships you’ve fostered with your colleagues. I’m lucky enough that I work among an incredibly talented team who knows how to laugh as hard as they work. Combining the two is the secret to success and to happiness at work.

What are some of the skills you utilise the most in your day-to-day at work?

I would say these are not necessarily hard skills – of course my SEO background, the marketing acumen I got through my studies and by working alongside fellow marketing professionals are critical. The ability to problem-solve and craft solutions that match a prospect’s expectations (and most importantly budget) is also an art in itself. But I’d like to believe that the skill I use the most are persuasion and empathy. – I firmly believe that you can’t sell anything unless you put yourself in the shoes of the person coming to you with their challenge. You have to have the ability to get to the core of their issues, to know what makes them tick and fundamentally connect on a human level. To me this takes more than a bit of “chat” and well rehearsed line. And this is what I strive to achieve.

The second part Is of course to show that you are the one offering the best possible solution: the persuasion element. Building that trust is what often seals the deal. These are the two soft skills that I am working with and working on to improve daily. I don’t think I fully master them just yet, but let’s just say I am on my way.

What was one of your happiest days in your career and why?

Interesting question – Hard to choose. I’d say my first “pitch win” in this new role. Mostly because, this was a career shift for me, and I felt that I had something to prove. I was lucky enough that I had a lot of people believing I could do a job that was completely new to me. But I also because I felt I had something to prove to myself. Maybe stemming from the imposter syndrome? – quite possibly. I had to prove I took the right decision, and it was not made on a whim. Celebrating it with my colleagues who 100% believed I could do it was pretty special as well and confirmed I had made the right decision.

What was the toughest career decision you ever made?

I spent 12 years in the wonderful world of SEO and delivery – on the ground optimising websites, making SEO strategies, leading a team of SEO experts. And last year I decided to move to the world of Sales/Growth in a role so very different from the one that I had grown to love. The hardest part of it was leaving my SEO team and throwing myself into something I wasn’t sure I’d be able to do. But as it happened, the lovely Jon who took over my team has grown it to new heights, I am still lucky enough to work with them in a different capacity and it so happens that I am thoroughly enjoying my current role. So all in all, this decision ended up being the best I ever made.

What is something you had to learn to become better at your work?

Something I am very much still learning is the art of negotiating – I am someone who naturally wants to make everyone happy, and my job requires for me to be more firm when it comes to contractual matters. I am very much enjoying the learning curve and I feel this is also toughening me up in my personal life. Not there yet – but firmly on my way!

How did you get to become a Director of Growth?

As I mentioned before I spent a lot of time in SEO, and through that time I had the opportunity to craft proposals and pitch many a time (you win some, you lose some). I watched some of the best experts in their field pitch and learnt from them as time went on. Again, still very much on stage in my own little stagey world. And as time progressed I thought: “I want to do this full time, I want to open new doors, make new connections and help build the profile of the agency” – so I then decided to take the plunge. It only takes but one strong woman (our lovely MD, Dusica Neill) and an amazing management team to believe that I could actually do it, despite having not spent my early career in business development. I am forever grateful they gave me this opportunity. Sometimes it’s about believing you can do it, but also having the right people around who believe you can do it too.

What's the one piece of career advice you have for anyone interested in becoming a Director of Growth?

Be interested in people more so than marketing – master the art of making human connections rather than learning your sales pitch. Of course, knowing what you’re selling will obviously help a lot, especially if you are marketing something as niche as marketing services. Being bold and approachable will also help you. But if you’re naturally curious about people’s needs and behaviours, and you’re a great problem solver, then you’ll thrive.

What's your number one productivity hack / when or how are you most effective?

I sometimes walk my dog at the same time as I take calls. It work remotely most of the time so it allows me to have a breather but at the same time be productive. I feel like I recharge my batteries, whilst still working and it keeps my dog quiet and happy.

What makes you gracefullyBOLD?

Oooh hard question – I think it’s the art of remaining yourself in the job you’re in. it’s the hardest thing. Not to put on a show, or act as someone you’re not when you’re in a corporate role. To stick to your personality and your values. We’re all trying our best, and it’s hard to fall into performative roles. But I think at last I am just me professionally and personally, and that, for any woman, whoever she is, is #gracefullyBOLD.

How do you spend your weekend or downtimes?

My partner, Jenny, and I are very random, we will spend some weekend watching football, others walking, other shopping, others pulling a board game out of nowhere, others at the theatre. Never a dull day, as we are both quite active people. I am based out of Manchester but I have friends in London, Lyon, Paris, Scotland and in Spain near Valencia, so I try to see them as much as I can whenever time and money allows. It’s hard to have a piece of your heart in so many places, but it’s definitely worth it.

How do you deal with stress and build resilience?

I laugh A LOT – ask anyone who works with me, I tend to be the troublemaker and the first one at karaoke. Rest assured I am serious whenever i need to. Taking a step back through a bit of banter and a lot of giggles makes life so much more bearable, and work days go much faster. I’m lucky enough that I have some excellent mates in and out of work that keeps me entertained and that deal with my inability to spend a day without cracking a (questionable) joke.

What would have been your alternative career path or alternative University degree?

Have I mentioned theatre? I would have wanted to be a musical theatre actress. My heroes are. Some of my closest friends are too. I find this world fascinating and I am always in awe of anything that has to do with acting, and bringing an audience to tears of emotion or laughter.

What is the last thing you learnt?

How to plant a multitude of flowers in our garden based on the type of soil needed, taught by my partner, she knows everything.

One word answers & quick fire round. Let's go!

  • Your superpower: I like people.

  • Favourite restaurant: Abel Bistrot - Lyon.

  • Favourite fashion brand: On Running.

  • Favourite beauty product: L’eau prodigieuse rosee by Nuxe.

  • Favourite perfume: L’Interdit de Givenchy.

  • Book recommendation: 'A Life' – by Simone Veil.

  • Next holiday destination: Benicassim, Spain, to see my bestie and her little man.

  • Your hobby: I think I cited them all above? Let’s add one more. Netflix binging.

  • Who inspires you: My acting heroes and friends Sheridan Smith and Joanna Riding. And of course my partner and my mum, daily.

  • Your favourite musical: Legally Blonde.

Thank you Bérangère for sharing your journey & wisdom with us!

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