To showcase the personalities of the people behind the media and marketing sector, The Drum speaks to individuals who are bringing something a little different to the industry and talks to them about what insights and life experience they can offer the rest of us. This week's 10 Questions are put to Sedge Beswick, founder and managing director of influencer marketing agency, Seen Connects.
What was your first ever job?
The first job I ever had was at 16, working as an experiential-promo-girl. I dressed up as an anime character at a Monster Truck event, got free converse out of it and was given McDonalds for lunch. It was glorious – you could argue it’s the best job I’ve ever had! In terms of my first industry job, I worked as a social media co-ordinator at Three UK (after coming second in a Facebook competition they ran!)
Which industry buzzword annoys you most?
Honestly, it’s hard to choose just one – I hate jargon, our tone of voice deck at Connects explicitly bans it. This is more of a collection of words, but I can’t stand it when in meetings people say ‘let’s bottom this out’– what does that even mean? It’s literally fingers down a chalkboard for me.
Who do you find most interesting to follow on social media?
Depends on the platform! LinkedIn would be SocialChain – their updates are ahead of the game, concise and give a top-line overview to get you thinking about what a piece of news might mean for you or your business. On Instagram, it’s Sophia Amoruso, Founder of NastyGal and CEO at GirlBoss. I’m there for the honesty of what happens in business, and how you rise up from going bust, to empowering thousands of women globally. Also, her captions are genius – quick witted and smart.
Highlight of your career (so far?)
Being asked to contribute to The Drum, of course! But also finishing last year was pretty epic; we were 40% up on our target for the year, and I really felt like we offered something unique in a busy market with campaigns that actually drove ROI for our clients. I have been banging the influencer drum (see what I did there) for years, and there are so many cowboys out there, but I feel brands are finally waking up and looking to do influencer marketing properly.
What piece of tech can you not live without?
This is such a boring answer, but my iPhone. And for bonus points, if you want to know the go-to app on my iPhone, it’s Kapten – way more efficient than Uber! Whenever I’m sat in the car I take calls, scurry through emails and have 20 minutes peace and quiet to actually think.
Who or what did you have posters of on your bedroom wall as a teenager?
I never had posters to be honest, but I did have some epic Jimi Hendrix art, which have stuck around… I never grew out of my grunge/rock phase. Catch me in black every day of the week, listening to Metallica on repeat.
In advertising, what needs to change soon?
From an influencer point of view, clarity on the compliances. The ASA are doing a brilliant job, but ultimately there is still a huge mountain to climb to ensure that the talent, the agencies and the brands understand the parameters to which we are working within. So that we can collectively safeguard the industry.
What is (in your opinion) the greatest film/album/book of your life?
Easy one! Gang Leader For A Day, by Sudhir Venkatesh. It’s a brilliant book about a sociology student who involves himself with gangs in Chicago, and then uses his CEO and negotiation skills to create an unlikely bond with the gang leader. You should all get it, read it and thank me later.
Which industry event can you not afford to miss each year and why?
I’ve been involved in The Social Buzz Awards since it started – during its first year I was asked to judge. They gave me deep fried pizza in Glasgow, so it was an easy win for me. I have then either judged or entered every single year since, so it’s an event I’ve been involved in for 6-7 years in a row now, and it’s firmly blocked out in my social calendar for 2020 and beyond.
What's the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
Hire people better than you. There is always this fear of imposter syndrome, or being overshadowed by your peers, but that’s complete and utter BS. If your team is made up of highly competent people with diverse talents, you’ll be covering all the bases, instead of just one, and that way, you can achieve anything. Corny, but true.