Steven Bartlett’s Social Chain impacts the online conversation of 200 million people while creating a tightly-knit millennial community on social media.
Social Chain is an influencer marketing agency and can make anything trend on Twitter in under 30 minutes – Projected to turnover £6 million in its second year since launching in November 2014.
Steven, 23, explains his reason for dropping out of university after one lecture and how his first business inspired his current venture.
“There is freedom in running your own business”
“My brothers and I were all very aspirational growing up. We’ve always competed with each other, which definitely spurred me on to set up my own business.
I enrolled at the University of Manchester to study Business Management but dropped out after just one lecture.
I thought university was a waste of time and believed that I could do it on my own, which led to the set up of Wallpark as a virtual noticeboard for students.
While looking for ways to promote Wallpark, I met Dominic McGregor who had a twitter page called ‘Student Problems‘ with loads of followers, and then found Hannah Anderson who was also running her own pages ‘Hogwarts‘ and ‘Sims Logic‘.
Together we discovered the power of social influencers and literally had a light bulb moment, where we realised that we had the potential to build a really strong social network – Social Chain was born.
Social Chain is an influencer marketing agency. We have the ability to make 200 million people see a certain message at once.
We work with some of the most successful social influencers in the UK, giving us the ability to leverage their activity to control what gets talked about online by directly targeting the millennial market.
I’m fascinated with psychology and I’ve always been interested in Marketing because of its process in understanding what makes people tick.
Growing up, my brothers and I were all very competitive in every aspect of life. Being the youngest, I was always trying to keep up and come up with a way to be better than them.
This approach became an integral part of me as a child, spurring on my entrepreneurial nature as I grew up.
There is freedom in running your own business. Freedom to wear what you want and do what you want, which is definitely the best part. I try to make my employees feel like this too and to also make the office a fun place to be.
Managing people is one of the biggest difficulties – We have a lot of employees and it can be challenging to manage your own time and also remain sensitive to everyone else’s needs.
Essentially, every problem is our problem so making time for everyone and everything else can be very difficult.
We have big ambitions for Social Chain, but to be honest it’s difficult to say. We had no idea we would be here 15 months ago, so who knows what might happen a few years down the line.
We understand that we’re working in an ever changing landscape so I guess we just have to stay responsive and see where it goes.”
Advice for others – “Just make sure you love it. Building a business is so hard that you better love it or you’ll quit when the going gets tough. If you don’t love it, you’ll also be unwilling to put in the long ground work.”