In our next industry spotlight), we chat to Mark Davies about Manchester, marketing and the best things about working and thriving in a digital world.
Tell us about yourself, and what you do?
I am twenty nine and seventeen months old, I live on the suburbs of Manchester, and I like helping people. I think the technical term for what I do is unemployed, but I will find a way to make it! In all seriousness, I work freelance in corporate event management while trying to launch my own business looking to change the way humans engage with images by making a standard photo appear as a 3D emotive image. When I’m not doing that I am regularly trying to help people with their businesses and simply relish opportunities that lie in front of them if they look a little harder.
What do you enjoy most about what you do?
I genuinely like helping people, it’s the first line of my Twitter bio. Gratitude is massively overlooked and the things that motivate me have changed in more recent years. I am also a massive fan of human behaviour and that is why I thoroughly love social media as I find it to be human behaviour with data! I love startups and supporting the whole startup ecosystem in Manchester or wherever I can. I was brought up on initiative, so I think I naturally align myself with problems solvers.
What motivates you on a daily basis?
Legacy, I think. I don’t want to suddenly end up all old and regretting not taking an opportunity to change my future. I strongly believe we are all in charge of our own destiny and we have the ability to change the world in our own way. On a side note life is tough enough as it is, so be nice, yeah!
Talk about how social media affects your working, and personal lifestyle?
I am quite active on social media. From twitterchats, to online networking, being a content DJ or simply meeting new people (albeit virtually). I utilise social media in both a professional and personal scope, infact in the last 12 months social media has helped elevate my profile to help with job opportunities and personal branding.
How can new businesses best take advantage of social media?
By being human. It won’t be long before Pepsi are chatting to you directly and they need to sound like they aren’t a robot, even if they actually are ran by bots! Engage, add value and don’t go in to it looking to sell immediately. Social media as a sales channel is a long game and needs to be treated as such. Once your audience find value in what you are saying and believe in you they are more likely to choose you.
What are your five top tips for new businesses?
Work! If it’s your passion and your dream then put the hours in. You cannot beat hard work. There’s no one best way to use marketing, do it all. Social media to content marketing to snapchat, if you don’t have the funds to do SEO then invest your time on other platforms to add enough value that people listen.
Hire slow, but fire fast. You really need good people around you that are motivated to achieve and take ownership of a role. No one will have the same motivators as you, because its your business but understand that emotional intelligence is the most valuable tactic when you have staff. Be self-aware of what you are good at, and do that! Too many people try to manage different hats and do 5 jobs at 20% when they could do one at 100%. That being said, with the internet it is never too late to educate yourself. The best way is to become a practitioner and do it as a way of learning.
What’s do you think the biggest challenges are for start-ups now?
I think there can be a few psychological issues like asking for help that are simple barriers to a lot of people. On the flip-side, finding the right help can be tricky at times too, I would advise leveraging your own networks and mixing in meetup.com groups. Practically, issues like cashflow are always tough if you have a b2b company.
What’s next for you?
I am exploring growth-hacking more, helping a few teams with this as a method of gaining new users or customers. Turns out its what I was doing in my previous role with NACUE without actually calling it growth hacking. I will be working my business concept Adapt Creative as we test out the different factors that impact our end product. As always helping humans where I can. There’s a few useful points on my blog too that might be of interest. I also need to add to it!