Friday, 2 August 2019

CORRIE JONES - CEO & FOUNDER OF UNTAPPED DIGITAL

Meet Corrie Jones, founder of Untapped digital www.untappeddigital.co , a specialist social media agency helping businesses navigate social media and its power. She also has a podcast called Self-Made Women where she interviews women about their journey to where they are now. Corrie discusses not knowing what she wanted to do, to turning a side hustle into her fulltime career. 



RM: So tell me a bit about your journey, did you go to university? 


CJ: I went to the University of Southampton and I studied English. Whilst I was there, I got involved in the Charity society and I was on their committee doing social media market - I was managing their channels, thinking of ways to get new volunteers and bring people to events but I didn't even see it as marketing - It was just something fun I was doing on the side of my degree.

RM: So what did you do after graduating? Did you start thinking about possibly doing social media marketing?

CJ: When I graduated, I applied to a whole range of different things - I wasn't sure what I wanted to do and I did a couple of internships the summer before graduating and then I ended getting an interview for a marketing assistant job at the University of Southampton. So, I interviewed for that and got it - then a couple of weeks into that, the person that was managing the social media left so they gave me the responsibility of social media because I had that experience from the committee work I was doing with the charity society - It all sort of started from there really because I got really interested in social media and digital marketing and how that can be used in business. So my career isn't really directly linked to my degree but I've ended up here through the extracurricular things that I did whilst at uni.

RM: So what made you decide to start your own business?

CJ: When I was working at Southampton uni, a colleague's sister had a business and she needed some help with social media and so my colleague recommended me because he knew that I would be good at the job and this person became, a sort of client but at the time, it was just something fun that I would do in the evening and get paid a minimal amount - It was very early blueprint to what I do now but I didn't think it would lead to this at all. I then moved to Kingston University to do the same thing so I was still in higher education sector and whilst I was there, I worked with two different clients during evenings and weekends - but again, I didn't really see them as clients - I had no contracts but it was more about having something fun and varied to do outside of work.

RM: So at what point did you feel like you were ready to take the plunge and do it alone?

CJ: I got to a point where I wasn't really enjoying my job and I thought - Why don't I go fulltime working for myself and I don't think I would have given it as much thought as what other people do - I just knew that I could the social media side of things and thought - well this should work out fine. I didn't put much thought into - how do you get clients, how do you value your services, how much do you charge, how do you invoice people, how do you pay tax, how do you set up a business - All of those things you need to know. I learned it all myself as I went along.

RM: Do you think your past experience helped you in setting up your business?

CJ: I mean, I think I took the plunge in just going into working for myself but I think it helped that I had already worked with clients before when I was still working fulltime.

RM: So tell me a bit more about your business and how you work with clients?

CJ: I work with clients in three ways - Firstly Strategy, so I help clients with what their social media strategy should be - The second way is through content where I'll create content for my clients - The third way is training so I run one to one sessions to equip people with knowledge about social media.

RM:  I know the world of freelancing can get a bit lonely at times, how do you manage that side of things...

CJ: There's nothing quite like meeting someone who does what you do and having that support. Its slightly different from your friends and family - who are also great but its a different type of support because you can really ask questions that they can relate to and understand. All my freelancer friends have come through online.

RM: And who inspires you?

CJ: I have so many people who inspire me but one person is Beyonce - she's incredible for so many reasons and anyone that says their not a fan - I'm always like - hmm - why? But on a serious note, when you look deeper into how long she's been working - she started when she was like 9 or 10 and everything she does, she has complete control over - all the decisions she makes in business - she's so inspiring and so hardworking. People will see where she's at now and say, she's incredibly gifted and talented but there's more to it than that. For example, when she used to go running, she would sing at the same time to expand her lung capacity and she had this crazy regime to get her to where she is now - I feel like sometimes people only look at the end product, not just with Beyonce but with everything - people can easily ignore the hard work that's gone into getting that person to where they are now. It's really inspiring to see and understand someone's journey.

RM: Agreed, I think it's easy to miss and overlook the steps it takes for some people to get to certain places in their lives. So, knowing how far you've come in your own journey and some of the challenges you may have faced... what advice would you give to people starting out their careers?


CJ: My advice would be - You don't have to do things the way people are telling you - if you want to start a business or just have a side project or whatever it is - that's fine and you should pursue that. You don't necessarily have to get a graduate job and climb your way up the ladder if that's not something that works for you. The gig economy now means that there so many more freelancers out there so it's a great opportunity to do things that you want to do. Another piece of advice is that, whether you are at university now or just graduated - You have so much time and its easy to get bogged down in trying to do figure out what you should be doing but everything happens for a reason and you'll look back on certain experiences and realise that it can make you a better person.


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