The founder of social media and branding agency NT Media shares her career journey
Having started her career in media when she was 15 years old, Nissy Tee is now an award-winning content creator, speaker, digital strategist, and founder of social media and branding agency NT Media. With a following of more than 140,000 people across all her platforms and more than 61.1k YouTube subscribers, Nissy has taken the social media world by storm. She’s also worked with brands such as The BBC, Amazon, Coca-cola, Boohoo, and Dell. We chatted to her about setting up your own business, the importance of diversity and inclusion and her predictions for 2022 social media trends.
What inspired you to launch your own business?
I set up NT Media in the middle of the pandemic. I was working for a very corporate company which wasn’t very creative. I was doing their social media and marketing, and after a while, I understood that it wasn’t for me – that’s when I quit. In 2019, things started to take off for me. But of course, when the pandemic hit, that had to stop and my income stopped. I had to think about how I could pivot. I was getting loads of questions about how I could help people on social media – that’s when the idea came about that I should build an agency. I can make money from this because people are now starting to realise how important social media is when building an online brand.
You started in the media industry at 15 years old – how did that come about?
I was part of a beauty pageant called Miss East London. I kind of threw myself into the pageant and I didn't win, I came fourth or something. I was really upset and I sat down with myself and thought: I want to do something that I can win at. I asked myself: What can I do that I’m bloody good at so that I never experience this feeling again? I always knew I was a good speaker and I could communicate with a lot of different people. I started to research different people – I looked at Oprah Winfrey, Les Brown and other speakers, presenters and hosts. That’s when I realised that I wanted to be a speaker and a presenter. I wanted to be an entertainer and to be on TV. So I decided to start a radio show. I presented and produced programs – it was run by an amazing organisation called Break London. It all started to spiral from there.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to start an online radio show or podcast but isn’t sure where to start?
I don’t think there is a right way or just one way to do it. Personally, the thing I would say to people is to just start. Some people want to achieve their big goals straight away but it takes time to get there. When you start something, of course you want it to grow, do well and win awards, but before you can get there, you just need to start. The second thing I would say is to plan and prepare yourself so you don’t feel overwhelmed. Sometimes people lose creativity or don't know what to do because they haven't planned or prepared.
Before you set up your own company, you worked at a big corporation. What inspired you to make that big career change?
I got to a place where I just wasn’t happy. I started losing my confidence. I remember one day so clearly – I went for my lunch break in a local park near my office. I was just sitting there and I didn’t feel like this bubbly, confident person anymore. I also started to feel like I was getting anxiety every time I was getting ready for work. I knew that wasn’t me and I wasn’t happy. The crazy thing is that it wasn’t anything to do with the company I was working for. The company was incredible, my boss was amazing and my team were amazing. I knew I needed to leave because I was losing who I was – and I never want to lose who I am.
You’re passionate about diversity and inclusion, how can companies improve when it comes to these issues?
Companies and organisations need to speak to people in different communities and do the work to connect with people who they may not otherwise necessarily connect with. For me, people can champion diversity and inclusion by opening more spaces for people to show their worth and show that they deserve to be in those positions. What I mean by that is having events that target people from different backgrounds. However, when it comes to bringing those people into your business, make sure they have the skills and will do the work. This has nothing to do with feeling sorry for anybody – it’s about giving people what they are due because of their hard work, commitment and capabilities.
What advice would you give your 16-year-old self, about starting a business?
Don’t rush and calm down! I don’t know what it is about being young, but you feel like rushing so much. The older I get, I’m like: damn, I wish I slowed down. Don’t feel like you have to do everything all at one time.
What do you think are the biggest marketing and social trends we’ll see in 2022?
I am starting to see this already but longer forms of content are definitely going to be back in. Everyone jumped on reels on Instagram and Instagram extended the time from 15 seconds to 30 seconds to 60 seconds. People are starting to create mini vlogs on their Instagram through reels which shows there’s still a desire for people to connect with stories, rather than just small snippets like what you see on TikTok. That said, TikTok will carry on dominating the market. You can do whatever you want on TikTok, whether that’s teaching someone how to make a hat or debating about current affairs. It’s not about perfection. Facebook aka Meta will become a big player in the game. Facebook is linked to Instagram and Whatsapp, so you’ll continue to see Meta (Facebook) around. When you look at the stats, it’s mainly older people using Facebook, but I think what the company is doing with Meta will attract a whole new range of young people who will want to get involved.
What’s been your biggest career highlight so far?
There are so many, but the biggest highlight was when I went to Ireland in 2018 to be a keynote speaker at an event for women. I remember the energy and love I felt in that room – it was amazing. I’lll always remember that day.
What advice would you give to young people who want to start their own business?
Planning is so important. Plan out what you want to do, plan your goals and make them massive! I also think it can help to have a mentor who has done the things you want to do. You can message people online and on social media, email people or meet people at networking events and connect.
What’s your favourite quote and why?
I am a quote and affirmation type of girl, so I don’t have a favourite quote – it always changes. But right now I would say: ‘Whether you believe you can or believe you can’t, you are right.’ That just speaks to my mindset right now.
Check out Nissy Tee’s website here.