Mitchell Stuart discovered his passion for social media whilst still at school. Now, with support from his family, he’s celebrating his place at the forefront of content creation.
Tell us about your business, what does it do?
Inferno Media specialises in social media content and paid advertising so that we remain focused and experts in an ever-growing and exciting field of marketing. Inferno has been at the forefront of content creation, social media profile management and paid advertising during the last 3 years.
We help clients engage with existing and potential customers through their social profiles, provide valuable information about their products and be available to answer any questions and respond to feedback. As advertising platforms like Facebook have evolved we have delivered high-conversion campaigns that have driven up the sales of our clients in short time frames.
We’re excited about what Inferno Media has achieved so far and what is to come in the company’s future.
What did you do before you started this business?
I was at school when I discovered my passion for social media and I launched a Twitter account and quickly gathered a following of over a hundred thousand followers. The luxury style twitter account became very popular and experienced a high engagement rate which generated interest from brands who wanted to advertise their products and services to my followers. It was at this point I began to see the true value of social media and how I could potentially build a social media agency.
What inspired you to start up?
The world of business always interested me as both my parents ran their own companies, so entrepreneurship runs in my blood! It wasn’t until I launched the luxury Twitter profile that I saw the possibilities were realised there was a large demand from companies to be guided into social media.
It was always my intention to run my own company so when I discovered this opportunity I jumped on it quickly. I’m still very excited by my choice to start my own company and as social media changes so quickly it allows me to be at the pinnacle of technology and marketing.
How would you describe your business to your grandma?
I tell my grandma that social media is like Christmas everyday but on a computer, everyday you receive hundreds of messages from your closest friends and family!
Where do you get advice, support or help?
I’m lucky that my parents have their own companies they have been through many of the ups and downs that any business experiences and so their help has been so important as I come up against the same obstacles they have experienced. I think it’s still important to find your own way but being able to absorb their experience has allowed me to prepare or avoid scenarios they have been through.
More recently I have been mentored by Rob Pierre from Jellyfish which is the UK’s biggest digital agency. I approached Rob by sending him a video and asking if he’d meet me, I hoped that rather than sending an email or message the video would be of greater interest so I was thrilled when he agreed to meet. Rob has offered some indispensable advice which I have quickly implemented into my own company and immediately seen the positive effects.
We are also part of the Empact Ventures Growth Studio (www.empact.ventures), an ad-hoc support service that supercharges the networks of startups and SMEs by opening them up to new opportunities, resources, and expertise.
Finance is one of the most common barriers to starting up. How did you access the finance you needed?
Initially I started as a small company looking after a handful of clients which required minimal overheads but as we demonstrated strong results we needed to scale the company quickly. As we expanded as a team and therefore requiring new costs such as bigger office space, I was granted a business loan from Virgin Startup which allowed me to invest in the growth the company was experiencing.
What has been your biggest achievement so far?
Starting the company as a 17 year old and seeing it continuing to grow over the last 3 years has been of great pride when many companies with far more experience typically falter within 3 years. Along the way we have created some huge successes for companies and generated millions of pounds in revenue for them. More personally, I was very grateful to be awarded the Entrepreneur Star award two years ago at the age of 18.
How do you differentiate your business from others?
I have firsthand experience growing a large and successful social media following which many business owners have not experienced and yet sell their services as an expert in social growth and management. It has allowed me to apply and share my personal experience with companies for their own gain which has thankfully led to many successful campaigns.
It’s been important for the mission of the business to remain focused on delivery strong social media campaigns rather than dilute our service with a range of bolt ons such as SEO, web design etc. It has provided our customers with a clear understanding of who we are and the main focus of our service.
What’s it like to be your own boss?
Although running your own business requires long hours, dedication and can be highly demanding, I wouldn’t want it any other way! Ultimately the time and energy I invest into the business contributes to building a company that I have built and I’m proud to call my own.
Where do you see your business in 5 years time?
We’re currently experiencing high growth so there is no doubt that we’ll be bigger, servicing more clients and helping more companies grow through the power of social media.
Social media is a constantly changing industry and therefore it’s more than likely that while the likes of Facebook and Google dominate digital advertising today, other platforms will challenge their stronghold. I expect that as companies invest their advertising budgets into Facebook and Google today, platforms that might be Snapchat or others we don’t even know yet will become important. Inferno is always excited to see new platforms rise and we will constantly be testing and working with the latest tech to get the best results for clients.
It’s my ambition that whilst Inferno continues to work and grow with existing clients, that we also work with international brands so that we demonstrate our knowledge and expertise on a global level.
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