gift voucher

Marketing withMichelle

The next withMichelle marketing training programme kicks off at Create98 on Thursday 16 January. A great way to see in the new year! Michelle Passfield has been running her withMichelle marketing training programme, based here at Create98, since September 2019. She finds our creative backdrop of Studio 1, the perfect venue for attendees to learn about marketing in a relaxed environment, share ideas and work together collaboratively. As well as the withMichelle marketing training programme, Michelle hosts other events here, including photo shoots, networking events and her official business launch last June. withMichelle also provides a marketing consultancy service, specifically for small businesses in Essex.

We have got to know Michelle rather well. We are so pleased that she is an official Create98 tutor and features on our website. With the new training programme starting less than a couple of weeks away, we thought our readers might be interested to find out a little more about Michelle and her business withMichelle.

Tell us a bit about your time in London, and what led you to move to Westcliff-on-Sea?

I’ve been working in marketing for over twenty years. Mostly in London for international corporate law firms. I also worked for a marketing agency where I was contracted out to clients, Milton Keynes, Bristol and Berlin. My career progressed to becoming a senior business development manager, managing a team of 15. Whilst in London, I set up a networking group for high-calibre and senior marketing professionals, that was known as the must-go-to marketing event for business referrals and recruitment.

I worked with the most wonderful and inspirational people, mentors and peers whilst working in London. I was always challenged, which progressed my career and brought out the best in me. Plus, I made so many strong friendships. I learnt that the most important marketing is research, target audiences and managing relationships. In business, I learnt the importance of adapting to your environment, effective communications and networking. This experience and these skills impact on my business every day.

In 2013 I left the city for good due to poor mental health, brought on by stress. I then worked for Southend-on-Sea Borough Council in a unique role as a senior marketing and communications advisor. Two and a half years later, I set up my own business, withMichelle.

Describe the marketing campaign that you have been most proud of, and why? 

I am proud of what I have achieved within only six months, since I launched withMichelle in June, particularly filling all the places on my first training programme. My style of training is to bring out the best in everyone. By the end of the training, attendees produced a Chartered Institute of Marketing integrated plan ready to implement. I ensured the training was an enjoyable experience, with lots of collaboration, group exercises and creative thinking.

I am doing a course with Michelle and I am finding it a great help to progressing my business. Michelle is very knowledgeable and teaches in a way that is easy to understand. I am being trained by the best.” Wendy Archer

My proudest achievement is the FREE 40 minute withMichelle marketing consultations that I have hosted for 48 small business owners in Essex. It is important to me that I provide advice and guidance to help businesses who are really struggling with their marketing. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Further consultations are already booked in for this month.

“After my consultation with Michelle, I felt motivated and ready to take action on her advice. She made me feel at ease from the start and even though she is highly qualified, her advice is incredibly easy to follow and realistically attainable.  I guess that’s because she understands each unique situation and crafts a solution specifically for every client.  She doesn’t do ‘one type fits all’. I now have the confidence to raise my profile to the next level.” Dolly Clarke, Productivity Software Training Specialist

What is a typical day for withMichelle?

There is no such thing as a typical day for withMichelle! I work flexibly during the day, evening and at the weekends. I am typing this now on a flight to Portugal on Christmas Eve! As a marketing professional I work that much harder with the marketing for my business!! I am a creative thinker so am always coming up with new marketing ideas. Usually whilst in the shower!

My focus for 2020 is to run three marketing training programmes with some additional specialist workshops, including event management. Plus, to continue with hosting my marketing networking events for which I have received overwhelmingly positive feedback. Also, continuing to provide my marketing consultancy service for small businesses, ranging from managing all their marketing, stop-gap marketing for when staff are on leave or specific major projects. I am expanding to take on a freelance marketing consultant.

A lot of my time is spent attending various networking events within Southend, South East and mid Essex. I genuinely like meeting people, getting to know them and discussing how I can help their business. Connecting with people and meaningful conversations has led to many invaluable opportunities for withMichelle. The Southend and Essex business communities have been incredibly supportive of me.

We understand that mental health advocacy is important to you, and you set up the not-for-profit mental health peer support group WellbeingMatters in 2018. Can you tell us a bit more about how WellbeingMatters?

In 2018 I set up WellbeingMatters, a ground-breaking mental health peer support group in Southend for those in the workplace. The purpose was to bring people together to speak freely about the challenges they face both in their professional and personal lives and listen to and support each other. Though the group has not been active for the last twelve months, I am still invited to deliver presentations about the reality of living with a mental illness, based on my own experiences.

On World Mental Health Day 2018 I launched a WellbeingMatters mental health short film about the importance of peer support. The film was shot in different locations throughout Southend, features 17 individuals who speak freely and honestly. I hosted a launch reception at the Focal Point Gallery with a large attendance, which included its premier on the Big Screen. You can view the film here on YouTube,

I will forever be proud of my voluntary contribution to the Southend mental health community. I have met some of the most incredible, generous and honest people and will always be grateful to those who supported me then and continue to do so now.

The withMichelle marketing training programme could be the best start to your new year. The programme starts on 16 January. Please book via the withMichelle website or email,

What People Say…

“Lovely place with friendly staff. I was amazed at how good my painting turned out!”

Bex Harper -

“Great idea. Wonderful workshops to do something different . Already booked up six workshops for next three months.😀”

Alison Pollard -

“Thoroughly enjoyed the 'Celebrating Chelsea' flower school special today, helping to create the floral installation outside the shop, together with other designs internally. Christine and her team were relaxed and helpful as were the other participants. Will be returning regularly to experience other creative courses. Thank you Create 98.”

Patsy Wiggins -

“Wanted to thank you, your team and Mark for an absolutely brilliant afternoon/evening. Everything was perfect, from the life drawing lesson to the fabulous vegan supper, eaten off of a stunningly beautifully decorated table. A lovely time had by all.”

Karen Baker - Private Party Host

“Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed the flower morning on Saturday. Thank you. You have created an amazing space for a real mix of activities.”

Zena Coleman -

“I just love everything about the place! From the friendliness that immediately puts you at ease, the excellent equipment/tools for the course, the generosity of the host when prosecco is included! I really enjoy anytime I spend there.”


“Great teacher! Thank you so much! Looking forward to seeing you again xxx”

AC Millbank -

“My son is loving the A to Z classes. As a parent it is wo derful seeing his new creations after each session. A fantastic opportunity for budding artists”

Kate Williams -

“Great idea. Wonderful workshops to do something different . Already booked up six workshops for next three months.?”

Alison Pollard - Workshop participant

“EVERYTHING is spot on. This is the most fantastic place and I cannot wait to book in for more events. You really have nailed it with the content, the staff, the venue, the refreshments. Thankyou!”

Maddie - Benfleet