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Young Entrepreneur Hails Tech Manchester Mentor Scheme

Article date: Tue, 16 Jan 2018 09:38 GMT

Waterloo Road actor Reece Douglas

Just a year after setting up in business former Waterloo Road actor Reece Douglas is making waves in the world of influencer marketing, having helped one client increase month-on-month revenue by 1500 percent.

Douglas' firm, Brand Endorsement, is supported by Tech Manchester, a not-for-profit initiative that connects digital start-ups with entrepreneurs in a mentoring scheme.

The 23-year-old from Bramhall, Cheshire, hit on the idea for his business during long days waiting in the green room on the set of the school drama. He used his large Twitter following and influence as an actor to ask companies for clothing and products.

Reece said: “I began making cheeky requests and to my surprise brands sent me products. I received all sorts of things including a drone and expensive clothing.

“Companies were prepared to give away products with no relevance to my acting career or to any of my followers. That’s when I realised brands needed help to connect with the right social media influencer.”

Brand Endorsement connects brands with influencers who resonate with their target market to increase engagement on social media platforms. The company has already run a successful campaign with Manchester based jewellers, Fiyah. Following a strategically targeted campaign on social media with a carefully matched influencer it received over 50,000 likes and comments, over 5,000 unique website hits and a 1,786% Instagram revenue increase.

The young entrepreneur is now taking steps to use tech to grow the business. He is currently looking for investment to create a platform that is a one-stop-shop for content creation campaigns, influencer campaigns and events.

Reece said: “The biggest thing in influencer marketing right now is data. A brand needs to be able to assess the analytics of a campaign to understand their return-on-investment.

“The platform makes the process clearer for brands, marketers and influencers. It also makes sure the influencers Brand Endorsement is collaborating with are genuine.”

Reece says the impact of his Tech Manchester mentor has been invaluable: “I knew having a mentor could really fast-track my business. I went to Tech Manchester's Meet the Mentor event and haven’t looked back.

“The opportunity’s been invaluable; it’s brought so much clarity to the objectives I have for the business and the decisions that need to be made in order to get there.”

Tech Manchester’s primary goal is to make Manchester the number one tech city in the UK and is backed by a number of high profile entrepreneurs including UKFast CEO Lawrence Jones MBE.

Tech Manchester Project Lead Patricia Keating said: “It’s great to see the energy and focus that the Tech Manchester mentoring scheme is generating. We have some fantastic mentors who are making a real difference to start-ups on the ground in Greater Manchester. The first wave of this project is already delivering incredible results, helping to further accelerate the region’s thriving tech scene.

Tech Manchester recently announced that it is to head up a new incubator project at UKFast Campus, with tech businesses offered subsidised space.


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