"Don’t dwell on mistakes, learn from them!"

In this week’s episode of MOVE, Ed and Jamie interview Ben Jeffries, co-founder and CEO of the social media marketing platform: Influencer. Ben has always had an entrepreneurial flair, and at 19 decided to drop out of Bath University and take the risk of starting up his own business with co-founder Caspar Lee. The risk definitely paid off as Influencer is now one of the UK’s most successful influencer marketing agencies. 

At age 16 Ben caught the bug for entrepreneurship, inspired by brands such as Hype, he decided to start his own clothing brand ‘Breeze’. He made T-shirts with his branding on and started selling them online and to friends. Ben knew he wanted to grow his business and being young and savvy, knew the best way to do this would be to reach out to influencers. He started contacting the Chelsea Football Club reserve players and asked if they’d tweet about his shirts if he paid them £100, as Twitter was the most powerful social platform at this time. Ben started noticing a buzz around his clothing company and so continued to reach out to more and more sports clubs around the UK, and quickly found the benefits of utilising influencers to create content promoting his brand. 

Ben quickly became aware that influencer marketing was a huge opportunity that he wanted to grasp a hold of before anyone else. In the early days of Influencer, Ben admits he faced some difficulties starting up his own company due to his age, he was constantly being fed the line ‘you’re doing so well for your age’, but wanted to be recognised purely for the companies success in it’s own right. If you’re in the same position, Ben recommends steering your conversations towards your experience and working with people older than you to help build an image that will negate from potential conceptions surrounding your business due to your age. 

Though Ben was only 19 when he left University to start up Influencer, he never let his age hold him back, but used it to his advantage. Ben tells Jamie and Ed that he found being young only ever helped him in a positive way! He had the passion, drive, energy and time to commit to his company without any distractions.  Though he made many mistakes along the way, he focuses on learning from them, not dwelling on them. Ben believes the only way to grow as a company and as a person is to embrace any faults you make and move forward. 

To find out more about Ben’s journey, influencer marketing, growth hacking, crowd funding and digital marketing head over to the MOVE podcast here. 

Here’s Ben’s 5 top facts about his business journey:

  • Ben dropped out of Bath University after his first year to focus on Influencer. A huge decision to make at 19 but it paid off! 
  • His first business venture was at the age of 16: clothing brand called Breeze.
  • Ben met Caspar and co-founder of Influencer through Tinder.
  • Ben raised his first round of investment in under 24 hours/£3 Million Series A announcement
  • There’s some exciting expansions upcoming for the business in New York and Kiev.

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