Meet Our Tribe: Ellen Cole


At Tribe, we often get asked about our members: who they are, what they do, and how their skills can help you grow your business. So, in this blog series, we’ll be interviewing our Premium Members so you can learn a little more about them and what they offer.

Next up, Ellen Cole of Little Seed Group.

Tell us a little about your business.

I run the Little Seed Group which helps organisations to grow, thrive and blossom by providing them with an award-winning Marketing, PR and Social Media service.

Many of my clients stay with me long-term as I generate results, achieve business objectives, enhance sales and, more importantly, bring in cake!  

Although the majority of my work is based on retainer contracts, I firmly believe Marketing, PR and Social Media services should be accessible for all, which is why I also offer consultancy and training sessions which have been a huge success, especially with sole-traders and SMEs.

I work with several businesses across the UK, including a handful of independent restaurants and bars, Sports Venue, York-based children’s charity, STEM organisation, a national vegan drink supplier, festivals plus more.

What were you doing before you started your business?

I have always worked in Marketing, PR and Social Media since graduating with a master’s degree at the University of York (cough cough) many years ago (cough cough).

I accidentally fell into Marketing, PR and Social Media after university and it was love at first sight.

Becoming self-employed was the last thing I wanted to do, I wanted stability, a regular income and to be happy. Being employed offered me stability and an income, however, I wasn’t happy.

After taking voluntary redundancy from my last full-time role, I took on a part time retail job and then slowly begun building up my freelance work, whilst at the same time undertaking a business mentoring scheme for dyslexic entrepreneurs. The scheme set up the foundations of my business and I will be eternally grateful to them for helping me set up - sadly the scheme is no longer around.

Although I never expected to leave my shop job to go full-time freelance, but I did just that in 2017 and haven’t looked back.

What does a typical business day look like?

There are never two days the same in my business, from meeting up with regional and national Journalists and Editors, to offering digital marketing training to a group of entrepreneurs, or from making the Tribe York team green with envy as I doll up in my “glamorous” gear to….. row boats, attempt to run 10k or jump for nearly 12 hours straight in a trampoline park and all to document it for social media posts.

It is a lot of hard-work and you have to be really open-minded in my line of business, however, it is also a lot of fun and you always feel a sense of pride when you achieve client objectives and then look at ways to further grow and develop them (if required).

What is your favourite thing about running your own business?

I feel empowered and proud to be running my own business. Being self-employed allows me greater flexibility so that I can go and run an errand or go to the doctors or dentist without feeling rushed or pressured to get back to the office for a particular time.

Working for myself also provides me with the opportunity to meet other business owners and professionals who I would not have met if I was still an employed individual. I love learning from others, sharing expertise and helping one another grow.

What’s the biggest challenge?

The number of roles you have to take on as a business owner is the biggest challenge. I am not just a Marketing, PR and Social Media Professional, but I am also a bookkeeper, finance director, administrator, business operator, receptionist, tea maker plus more.

What made you decide to join our Tribe?

Since becoming self-employed, I have always worked from home, but it got to the point where I felt quite isolated so I started working from cafes, hotels and libraries until I could find the perfect co-working space.

I visited several spaces across York, however, I didn’t feel that they had a sense of community spirit, so never signed up for co-working space.

I had heard of Tribe York but never visited as I assumed it would be the same as the others - but I was so wrong. When I visited Tribe, I felt an instant connection to the place and the people who worked there. Everyone is really friendly, we share ideas and the space is really peaceful to work in. We also have the luxury of being able to access meeting rooms, printing facilities and more importantly, get free biscuits!

Do you have any advice for individuals who may be thinking of starting their own business?

Get a mentor, do your research and be confident, open-minded and positive about your business. I have had my fair share of knock backs, however, if you believe in your business and you feel it is worth fighting for, then keep going. When I started my business, I was left with hardly any money after paying my bills, mortgage and food from my shop job wage. It worked out at just under a tenner a month, so one month, I printed out a load of personalised letters and headed off into town to hand-deliver them to business owners who I wanted to work with, and I haven’t looked back since.

round blue background.png

Find out more about Ellen and her business on her website:

Ellen Cole photo copyrighted to Chris Marriott.