CEO | Founder of Influencer
Ben Jeffries is a 21 year old an entrepreneur who quit the University of Bath after his second major business, Influencer, successfully secured its first pre-seed round via Crowdcube. Ben shares his journey, the lows as well as the highs, on how he got to where he is currently, and how to exploit opportunities that come your way. It is this tenacity that has landed Ben investors like the world famous YouTuber Caspar Lee.
The idea for Influencer, Ben’s current business, came when Ben was 16. After experimenting with his first venture, a clothing brand called Breeze he realised the best advertising isn’t advertising. People don’t like ads, and ad’s aren’t cool – that’s why over 15 million Brits use adblockers on their browsers. He looked for creative solutions in order to drive sales.
Ben then went on to create a student-focused Facebook page, Student Struggles, which grew to almost 200,000 people and advertised the products by blending them into the content on there.
Knowing he couldn’t afford standard celebrity endorsements Ben reached out to ‘micro-celebrities’, people who are still trusted and respected by a few, but not widely well-known e.g. a reserve team player from Chelsea Football Club called Jamal Blackman. He had a loyal following and cost a fraction of the price per follower than big names, such as first team players.
Seeing the power of social media and micro influencers Ben started to use more and more of them. He noticed a pattern; the majority of micro-influencers he contacted would often ignore him and those that did reply didn’t know how to price themselves. When he reached out to marketing agencies to aid him, they’d require an unrealistic starting budget of over £20,000. He could see the potential in creating one of the first influencer marketing companies, so he quit Breeze and set up Influencer.