Name (s): Mitchell Stuart
Where’s home? Bournemouth
Profession: Founder & MD of Inferno Media
Company Name: Inferno Media
Did you go to university? No, I actually left school at 16. Having made a parody luxury Twitter account that accumulated 150,000 followers in a very short space of time I realised that my strengths lay in social media and this was perhaps something to pursue seriously. Of course my family want the best for me, so there was some opposition against my decision to leave school. Our generation have grown up amongst the digital era and have been enveloped in social media- for me it was the natural market to tap into, but understandably for our parent’s generation the concept is somewhat foreign. However, my ambition over ruled and I’m glad it did…
Was there hesitation in not going? Not at all, I was very adamant that traditional education didn’t work for me. Sitting in a classroom being taught about things that I’d never need to know or use again in my life, and that were being taught in the most orthodox, uncreative ways, did nothing for me.
What is Inferno Media? Inferno Media is a social media marketing company based in Bournemouth & London. We run social media profiles and exciting campaigns for a number of different industries, for example a restaurant or a hotel.
How did the idea for Inferno Media come about? When I was 17 I became really interested in the ever growing world of social media. After doing a lot of research, I successfully grew a Twitter account to a following of around 150,000 people. It all took off from there really. I knew I had a flare for it and I wanted to utilise this ability and share it with others.
What have been the challenges in setting up Inferno Media? I would say some of the biggest challenges in the beginning were building a strong client base, as well as the financial side of building a business. It’s always hard getting your feet off the ground in terms of money.
What were the first steps you took in order to get the ball rolling for Inferno Media? Market research was crucial. I spent a long time researching the industry, target markets etc at the beginning. I also spent a long time speaking to friends, family and fellow people in the industry.
Who did you seek advice from and who really helped you in the early stages? The internet actually helped me a lot when it came to discovering more about the industry. Even now, I still dedicate a lot of my time to reading articles online that are going to help me along my journey in this business. Friends and family also really helped me get to where I am today, in terms of both business and simply just having someone there when you need a chat!
What pressures do you think many twenty-somethings are faced with? At 18,19,20 and so on, budding entrepreneurs are bound to worry about failing or embarrassing themselves. They think that because they are young that they don’t have the knowledge or experience to run a business… but you can’t think like that.
Did you ever doubt yourselves that you could do it? No. I never gave myself that mindset where I thought I couldn’t do it. I have always been very positive about life and I’ve always just done everything in my power to strive for success.
How do you market yourselves ? We’re a young, dynamic company and we want potential clients to know this – we like working with like minded clients who have a fresh outlook on their business. We’re always thinking outside of the box, creating new concepts and staying at the forefront of the digital revolution.
What sets you apart from your competition? Alongside being a young, fresh company? Many of our competitors offer full service solutions to their clients. We’re different because we only offer social media services to clients. This means that we focus on doing one aspect of marketing really well, rather than understanding a few different aspects to a mediocre level.
What do you wish you had known then that you know now? I think it’s the little things that can only be perfected with experience. For example, the day to day runnings of business, and how to manage teams and clients. I wish I knew how to ace them back then, but these managerial skills come with time!
Any personality traits you have discovered about yourself along the way? After two years of business, and facing several bumps along the way, I have realised I’m completely determined. I’ve also always had a lot of drive and ambition.
Any mishaps in pursuing your Inferno Media journey? I think one of the worst things to happen to us as a business was renting an office space that simply didn’t work for us. We began renting the office when the company was expanding rapidly, and we ended up outgrowing it very quickly – the small space just didn’t do anything for creativity and productivity. This meant we had to go through the long process of finding another office space, moving, disrupting staff members, and coming up with the money to complete it all! It was definitely one of the most stressful times since starting the business, but we pushed through and now have a simply awesome office space, with creativity flowing better than ever!
What has been your best moment so far? That’s a tough one, I’d struggle to choose between winning the Entrepreneur Star award in 2015 and being ranked number 1 for ‘Social Media Agency Bournemouth’ on Google… they are both huge achievements for me!
What advice would you give other twenty-something’s who are thinking of pursuing a career in the same industry as you? Work hard, always plan, dream big, achieve bigger… and always remember that age is just a number!
What do you think the next steps are for you this year? I’m working towards building a bigger team, and I’m also looking to secure some really exciting new clients. There’s a lot of great things in the pipeline… so watch this space!
What’s the dream/end goal? Who knows, I’m only 20!
Check out Inferno Media’s website here