During the second semester of the course, The Digital Scot team were lucky enough to receive a guest lecture from Steph Asher. Steph is an up and coming entrepreneur and co-founder of Aberdeen digital marketing agency Mission 10.
The aim of this new agency is to help businesses uncover and accomplish their mission by connecting the business with their ideal customer. Mission 10 can help you understand your market and customers, equip you with the tools you need to succeed and accelerate your business growth.
During her guest lecture, Steph gave an inspiring talk on how to find and secure your dream marketing job. She talked us through her career journey and gave us tips on what it’s like when you enter the real world of work.
Afterwards, The Digital Scot caught up with Steph and asked her a few questions to get to know her and her digital marketing agency a little better.
What was your first full time job?
My first full-time job was Marketing and Communications Assistant at Expro, an international oilfield service company. This was a varied role which was an ideal starting point for my career. I gained experience in PR, social media, advertising and events management.
How did you get into digital marketing?
Since studying at RGU, I knew I wanted to work in digital marketing. My dissertation was centred around how fashion brands use Instagram and from then on I knew this was the type of work I wanted to specialise in.
While I was at Expro, I started doing online courses around content marketing and digital marketing which definitely helped me gain further experience in this field and ultimately led me to where I am now. Continuous learning was key.
What area of digital marketing are you most passionate about?
Content marketing is my ultimate passion. I love creating content that will actually help people and provide value to potential customers instead of just pushing out sales messages. It’s so exciting to use content marketing tactics to pull people in, move them through each stage of the buyer’s journey – and eventually convert them into leads.
Do you prefer working in-house or in agency?
Definitely agency. I love how varied the work is as no day is ever the same. This means you get to learn all the time and have to solve such a mix of challenges. It never gets boring.
I also love the pace of agency life – it can be stressful, but it’s so exciting.
Agency work is so rewarding as you get to help so many people. I really enjoy teaching my clients about digital marketing and showing them the results that it can achieve.
What motivated you to start your own agency in Aberdeen?
I always knew I’d start my own business one day. Meeting Mark (co-founder of Mission 10) while in my last job is what set the wheels in motion. We were both very similar in terms of our ambition and passion and it just seemed to happen by itself.
Ambition was definitely key. I’ve always been extremely ambitious and I don’t think I would have managed to settle in one job for a long period of time. I just want to keep growing and learning whilst helping as many people as possible along the way. I felt that starting our own company would allow me to do that.
What struggles have you faced whilst establishing yourself as an agency?
There are so many highs and lows when starting a business and we’ve definitely experienced both.
The biggest struggle is probably related to time. We want to help everyone and deliver an amazing service to our clients but we also have a limited amount of hours in the day. Prioritisation is therefore key. Tools like Asana (a web and mobile app which helps teams organise, track and manage their work load) really help with this.
Running your own business can also involve a lot of late night and weekend work. This is obviously hard when you have social plans or want to catch up with family or friends – or if you’re trying to plan a wedding like me! It feels like a balancing act a lot of the time which is very tricky. I’m lucky that the people closest to me are very supportive which lessens the stress a wee bit.
What opportunities have arisen since you launched your agency?
We’ve been given so many opportunities to work with some amazing local companies which is very exciting. This has included working on global product launches, local events, the development of brand new websites and so much more.
We were so lucky to have the opportunity to hire our first employee in January and this has been incredible. Hiring the first person in your team can be a bit scary. However, we followed our guts and found someone that not only has the right skills but is incredibly motivated and hungry to learn.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
In five years time, if Mission 10 is strong and healthy, our team is happy and motivated and we’re still achieving positive results for clients, I’ll be over the moon.
I see us with a team of around twenty people working across the agency side of the business and developing a suite of online tools to help marketing teams too.
I also think we will have launched another company by then too. We’ve got a few ideas up our sleeves but our focus is on Mission 10 for now.
If you want to hear more from industry experts who have given talks to the MSc Digital Marketing students, why not check out our blog post The Digital Scot in Conversation With Adam Bell.