Starting your own business and doing something you love is something that many of us aspire to. We spoke to Col Skinner, a digital marketing consultant and strategist who trades as Profoundry, about his journey from university to 9-5 to successful and happy business owner.
Could you give us a brief outline of what you do as a freelancer?
Essentially I consult brands on how to improve their digital marketing and then, where applicable, deliver the setup and management of their campaigns.
So far, what has been your freelancing highlight?
Finding myself training a room of car dealership staff all the way over in Dubai was certainly a moment I realised how far I have come from starting my Manchester based business in early 2014.
How have you dealt with any adversity you’ve faced as a consequence of being a freelancer (if any)?
I think every self-employed person or freelancer is going to face adversity. After all, we are the “Davids” in Goliath filled industries. We must always convince clients that we offer a viable alternative to multi person agencies and that we can deliver what we, personally, say we can.
What are your aspirations for the future?
To be honest I feel like I have discovered a secret formula to a working life that makes me happy and stress-free. I simply want to continue doing what I do until someone pinches me and I wake up. I don’t have grand aspirations to grow a multi person business or something bigger than myself. I am happy staying in control of my own working life.
Did you always want to work for yourself whilst you were at University?
Short answer: No. When I left university with a year placement in an agency under my belt I figured I would just work my way up the corporate ladder until I have lots of money and a team underneath me to order around. It was only when I started to get a taste of both of those goals that I realised they didn’t motivate me at all.
You worked a 9-5 prior to starting as a freelancer, what influenced the decision to start your business?
Whilst in my 9-5 management role at an agency I decided to start a creative business producing laser engraved wooden business cards, iPhone skins etc. After 18 months of running this business I had learnt the benefits of having something that is solely yours. I ended up selling my half of that business and then quit my full-time job to start Profoundry.
Find out more about Col and his business on his website, Profoundry.