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In Conversation With… Steven Bartlett

In Conversation, our regular series of breakfast events, continued on Tuesday 28th February as we met Steven Bartlett, CEO of influencer marketing agency Social Chain.

Steven took the time to speak with us on his life, his business and just what makes an entrepreneur. Watch the video below or read to find out what happened.

The making of Steven Bartlett

We started the conversation, hosted by Business Cloud’s Chris Maguire, by discussing Steven’s childhood, gaining a unique insight into the making of this incredibly successful 24-year-old.
The youngest of four children, Steven told us how he had much more freedom than the average child. With his parents constantly working, he regularly went to stay with friends for days at a time at just 13, simply texting his parents to let them know where he was. Naturally, this resulted in him developing into a bit of a free spirit.

Although he didn’t enjoy school – only turning up to lessons he was interested in and skipping/sleeping through the rest – he was instilled with an incredible work-ethic from his mum, who still chooses to sleep on her shop floor rather than go home so she can continue working.
After dropping out of university after just one lecture, Steven decided to continue a path he started at 14 when he negotiated free vending machines for his school and pursue the life of an entrepreneur.

The start of Social Chain

When asked ‘what makes an entrepreneur?’, Steven told us it was a combination of “self-belief, determination, and ability to sell”, three qualities he possesses in abundance. He initially started as a consultant, travelling the world whilst helping businesses with their social-media marketing. Despite how great this life sounds, he always had a desire to “build something”.

Social Chain began after Steven and his co-founder got a game called ‘Tippy Tap’ to the top of the Apple app store in a few hours. It was at this point they realised how powerful social media could be as a tool to connect people and brands. They continued slowly building the business this way until accepting a £300,000 investment from an old client of Steven’s, at which point Social Chain began to morph into what it is today.

Attributing much of the success of Social Chain to their ability to change, Steven likens to change to a bulldozer and says “we chose to drive the bulldozer instead of standing in front of it scared of what might happen”.

Building a brand

Alongside the ability to change, Steven highlighted the importance of his personal brand in the growth of his business, stating that over 50% of Social Chain’s leads come from his talks and personal content. Giving us an insight into his day-to-day life, Steven informed the audience that he is followed with a camera all day five days a week, these videos are then edited down into a 10-minute daily vlog.

Steven also discussed how he was approached by multiple television channels to produce a Social Chain documentary, all of whom he rejected, highlighting that by making the show himself he was able to own and control the content.

The future of social media

At the end of the conversation, Steven also discussed a few thoughts on the future of social media. Talking about trends, something which Social Chain are famous for being able to make happen in just 10-minutes, Steven said that the fact something is trending no longer matters, and that what really matters moving into the future is what causes the trend and gets people to engage with it.

Steven also made a bold prediction on the future of Facebook, saying that all of the news content we consume will be within Facebook within the next five years, transforming the media landscape as we know it.

We really enjoyed meeting Steven, it was an illuminating and entertaining chat. We’d like to thank Steven and everyone else for coming along. We’ll see you next time for our next In Conversation With…