It's time again for a new Central Station Blog! A blog where Studentflex speaks to interesting companies, initiatives and people with an inspiring story. In this edition of the Central Station Blog I speak with Lieke van der Plas (25). During my interview with Lieke van der Plas, she takes me along on her entrepreneurial journey.
Lieke van der Plas (25): The first business vlog agency
Central Station blog
It’s time again for a new Central Station Blog! A blog where Studentflex speaks to interesting companies, initiatives and people with an inspiring story. In this edition I speak with Lieke van der Plas (25), nominated in 2020 for Rotterdam Business Woman and Communication Talent of the year. Three years age the 25-year-old from Rotterdam started LEF Media, the first business vlogging agency in the Netherlands. Meanwhile, she works with several freelancers and her business growing quickly.
A Perfect Match
During my interview with Lieke van der Plas, her enthusiasm is immediately apparent. She shares the journey of her company and tells me how it has become so successful.
‘The idea for LEF Media came about during my role as Marketeer at the Euromast in Rotterdam. I always liked presenting and wanted to see how I could apply this to the Euromast in the first place. With the idea of vlogging, I immediately saw opportunities. I thought: if I start my own company now, it might just become a success. I wanted to be an entrepreneur and this was the perfect combination. After working for the Euromast with pleasure for more than a year, I decided to start my own business.’
Networking and connecting
During the interview, Lieke explains that “business vlogging” was not yet known in her environment. The young entrepreneur decided to test her idea in her surroundings and this led to enthusiastic and positive reactions. This gave her a boost of confidence to start her business.
‘I shared my entrepreneurial journey via the social media channels: LinkedIn and Instagram. My first vlog assignment was during a network meeting and everyone asked me: what are you doing? I noticed that there was a lot of interest and I was able to network immediately.’
Everything went very quickly. ‘My vlogs were shared by clients on LinkedIn. Because I appeared in these videos for companies, the vlogs immediately became my own marketing tool. People soon asked who the girl in the vlogs was. From that moment came in a lot of vlog assignments.’ She did assignments for big organisations as supermarket COOP en Ministerie van Defensie.
Showing Courage ensures success
Last year Lieke can, despite the known circumstances, look back on it with a positive outlook. She got her own office, her first full-time intern, reached her turnover target, was nominated for various titles and landed in the national AD.
‘2020 was certainly not a bad year for me. For the first time, I had taken on a full-time intern. The fact that I was able to keep someone working full-time and to supervise them was very cool. Another great highlight was being nominated for the business woman and communication talent of the year award. I was in the semi-final among six big names such as ProRail, the Royal Netherlands Army, NS and the Red Cross. It was very cool to be among these big names.
Achieving this at a young age and, above all, showing courage have ensured that the 25-year-old has been able and dared to realise her dreams. Her company name turned out to be spot on.
‘Last year, a nice interview was published in AD Dordrecht and this caused a snowball effect. The article was received by the national AD, which led to a very nice interview at Radio 538 and a visit to the Coen and Sander Show.
It was an enormous boost for LEF Media, says Lieke.‘LinkedIn was overloaded with nice reactions and this resulted in new and beautiful collaborations.’
Freedom and creativity
With a nice closure on 2020, Lieke is ready for the coming year. During the interview I ask about her motives and motivation.
‘As an entrepreneur, I enjoy the freedom and creativity of my work. I have the freedom to implement any ideas that come to mind. It is my company and this allow me to determine my own days off and maintain my creativity.’
‘I am involved in all kinds of different tasks and I am involved in my company in all aspects. Working with a friendly team is very important to me. The freelancers at LEF Media really are part of the team and I have daily contact with them. It is nice to work with people that I have chosen.’
Tips from Lieke
Lieke shares with the community useful tips for starting your own business. Here’s a list for you:
1. Show courage and go for it;
2. Try to look at the distinctive capacity you have;
3. Make sure you have a good story and that you can answer the “WHY” of your company well;
4. Go to network meetings;
5. Make yourself visible on social media channels.
CRITICAL, ENTERPRISING, CONNECTING AND CONTEMPORARY
Van der Plas explains that criticality is an important factor within LEF Media.‘Delivering quality is very important. LEF Media works with three business vloggers, and they required to meet certain quality standards. LEF Media must be able to offer the same quality to every client. It is important to be critical of your own work.’
The entrepreneurial aspect speaks for itself. ‘Entrepreneurship is really in you. You have to dare to take risks, show courage, be flexible, be able to adapt, don’t let yourself be swayed, believe in your strengths, dare to invest and know what your strong and weak points are.’
Lieke links the key word ‘connect’ to the vlogs, which are about connecting and establishing relationships online. ‘In addition to the vlogs, I think the internal aspect is also very important. I think it’s important that my colleagues have fun together, dare to make mistakes, are open to feedback, can learn and grow within LEF Media.’
She finds the key word ‘contemporary’ very suitable for LEF Media. LEF Media is young and innovative. I do not want the 9-to-5 mentality. I want to trust people to do their work well. That they have the guts to determine their own hours and go for the best result. I look above all at the present time in which we live and what is best for both our clients and our employees.
We like to help you further develop yourself, gain experience and find out what you like about a side job that really suits you at Studentflex.
About Lieke van der Plas
Lieke van der Plas
Study: Communication on Hogeschool Rotterdam
(Foto 1, 2, 3 – Bron: LEF Media)
Written by Farah Evers
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